Trilogy or Series?

Perhaps the word ‘trilogy’ would not really fit here, and from the beginning, I should have used the word ‘series’ instead.

In the thread at forum, someone recently asked whether this story and the others in the trilogy have some connections or are they totally different and unrelated. So I thought that I might need to clarify this here too.

You need to understand that Asian novels, especially Chinese novels are a bit different from western novels.

In Chinese series (whether it’s just two titles, trilogies or more), the story would usually focus on another MC. The timeline between one title and the others could span from just several years to even centuries. One could read each title on its own without any problems. But, when you have read the series from the beginning, you would have a better understanding of the story.

Take for example the Condor Heroes series: “Legend of the Condor Heroes”, “Return of the Condor Heroes” and ” The Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre”. From the very beginning of the series to the end, the timeline spanned over a century. Each of the following titles would mention/include characters or things from the previous, without telling you in detail about their backgrounds. If you read the second of third story directly, it’s still ok, since it goes about another MC. But if you had read it from the beginning, you would understand the story better and would have a better picture of the whole timeline.

This would be totally different when you compared it to English novels (like the Harry Potter series, Lord of the Ring trilogies, and the other recently popular series). Perhaps a close comparison would be LOTR (Lord of the Ring) and the Hobbit. They belong to the same series, but it tells about another timeline and another MC.

I hope this would clarify this matter. I’m sorry if using the term ‘trilogies’ have caused a misunderstanding. I didn’t use the term ‘series’ , because, I thought that ‘series’ would fit better if there were more than 3 titles, since trilogy actually means a group or series of three related novels.


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