Monica Edinger has been hosting a lively discussion stemming from Jonathan Hunt's Horn Book article, "Epic Fantasy Meets Sequel Prejudice." Sequels sure do pose questions to reviewers: can you fairly evaluate volume one of something when volume two is meant to finish the job? What if you've skipped volume one, only to find that volume two has made it worthwhile? Or one was terrific, but two doesn't do it any favors?
I once had to review a volume three of something where two had not been published (in this country). And there's the recent example of Ellen Emerson White's new Long May She Reign, sequel to an out-of-print series whose most recent entry was published in 1989 . . . .