I was just messing around today searching book results by random words, and one of them struck me: fire. For some reason, fire seems to be in a lot of titles of books within a series. In particular, books later in a series seem to have the word fire in the title more often than the first book of the series. And, of course, I have a theory as to why. But first: check out how many there are!!!
When a series is just starting, the first book has a lot of work to do. It forms the foundation of an entire epic arc that’s going to span multiple books and potentially thousands of pages. In order to convince readers to stick around that long, it has to have a compelling and well-explained world in addition to the action to move along the plot. The first book has to build interest and make us care.
By the second book or later, if the first book has done it’s job, then the reader now cares! As the plot continues to grow larger and larger in scale, the amount riding on the payoff of the ending increases. The main conflict in the first book of a series as opposed to the last is typically vastly different in scale. In the first book, maybe the main character saves themselves from some peril. But by the last book, they’re probably saving all of existence.
My point here is that the more you read in a series, the more you care and the more drama there is! The flames of passion and dedication have been built! After committing so much time to it, it’s totally fair to say that a sequel is fiery by using “fire” in the title — who would disagree by that point if they’re still reading?
Later in a series, a reader is invested in what’s going on and can better empathize with the plight of characters, which makes it easier to lean into a righteous need to see good prevail! (I read a lot of fantasy, okay, and it clearly influences my language.)
Also, some numbers!
Come on, I can’t list out a huge amount of books and then not talk about if I’ve read them or not!😁
6.5: books on the list I’ve actually read
- Catching Fire
- Fire and Ice
- Fire Falling
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Heir of Fire
- half of City of Heavenly Fire
10: number of series shown that I’ve read at least one book in
- all of the above plus:
- Baptism of Fire
- Ice Like Fire
- Fire Study
(I started City of Heavenly Fire but kind of burned out. 😏)
Honestly though, a lot of these look excellent and I’ll probably be looking at adding some to my list! If nothing else it was a fun reminder of series that I’ve read in the past and enjoyed.
PS – in writing this post, I learned that the word series is a singular AND a plural. I also learned that after writing it so many times, it starts to sound like nonsense! 🙂
And, of course, here are all the first books in each series with links!
The Wind on Fire Trilogy: The Wind Singer by William Nicholson
Aisling Grey: You Slay Me by Katie MacAlister
The Cemetery of Forgotten Books: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (which is one of the top 5 most popular books with Wind in the title! This series is doing well!)
The Circle Opens: Magic Steps by Tamora Pierce
Gabriel Allon: The Kill Artist by Daniel Silva
The Great Library: Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
Air Awakens: Air Awakens by Elise Kova
Witch and Wizard: Witch and Wizard by James Patterson
Raven’s Shadow: Blood Song by Anthony Ryan
Pendergast: Relic by Douglas Preston
The Witcher: The Last Witch by Andrzej Sapkowski
Warriors: Into the Wild by Erin Hunter
Snow Like Ashes: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Kingsbridge: The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Poison Study: Poison Study by Maria V Snyder
The Hunger Games: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
City of Bones: City of Bones by Cassanda Clare
Harry Potter: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling
Millennium: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson
Throne of Glass: Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
The Kane Chronicles: The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
Graceling Realm: Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Blood and Ash: From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L Armentrout
The Wheel of Time: The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
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