I’ve gotten back the second (of three) critiques back on WAR OF MAGIC.
With later books in a series, I always try to have one beta reader who hasn’t read the previous books. They’re the ones who can tell me when I’ve assumed too much after living in this story for a couple of years. When I haven’t reintroduced characters sufficiently–especially minor but important characters. When I haven’t re-grounded the reader in the world or the magic system. Or, in the case of DUAL MAGICS, what the various groups of people feel about magic. When I haven’t established where scattered characters are in this world at the start of the story. Things I’m much too close to the story to judge.
Though I label each book with its number in the series, there’s no way I can control how readers come to them. Some might pick up the fourth book first. Or, someone who’d read the first three books might not read the last for–well, at least a year, because that’s how long it’s probably going to take me to get it published. But maybe longer than that, too.
That’s okay. Each book in this series is meant to stand alone, but they’re also part of a larger story. So I try to make it easy to step back into the story. And there are clearly some places where I failed to accomplish that.
Also, it appears that the first part of the story is too slow. I’ll have to think about how to fix that, too.