Phoenix Rising, Ryk E Spoor’s book is not exactly part of a series, but the Afterword says other books have been set in this fantasy world of magic. The first five chapters were hard for me to get through. There are so many characters introduced, each with more than one name or title, and three story-lines of which two seemed like fairly typical sword and magic fantasies. I almost gave up on the book. Then I got to the third story line which features an intelligent toad named Poplock. This idea seemed fresh and the writing lighter. About half way through the 400 page book, there was a nifty plot twist that added a fourth story line that I liked.
Those early chapters led me to this approach: Read a chapter of Poplock’s story; then search thru the ebook for the next time his name appears and read that chapter. (E-books give me a lot of control; I can also search for the first time a character appeared if I forget who they are.) Two of the story lines converged fairly soon and I never missed the skipped portions of that third story line, which joined up with Poplock in the last 100 or so pages. There are plenty of open plot threads for a sequel. I finished the book and mostly enjoyed it. I don’t think I will look for the sequel though.