Terry Goodkind and the Sword of Truth
I really have no objection to authors making money. Nor do I mind them returning to characters again and again or continually returning to a world that they've created.
What does sour me on an author is when they constantly return to a world even though they no longer have a story to tell and they're simply rehashing the same one over and over again. For some reason, fantasy authors fall prey to this more than any other genre--except perhaps romance novels.
One of the biggest offenders in my book is Terry Goodkind whose 11th book in the Sword of Truth series (Confessor) comes out next Tuesday. It claims to be the last one, but I'm afraid I won't believe that until at least five years have passed without another one coming out.
It's a series that started out wonderful. Wizard's First Rule was engaging and compelling and if there was a little too much bdsm kink in it, it was forgivable because the story was so well told. Even the next few books carried on some of the promise. However, they were saturated with the same heavy-handed themes. It got to the point where I could only envision Goodkind wearing leather and carrying a whip that he brandished over readers he expected to be ever-more submissive and willing to take whatever punishment he wanted to dish out.
I'd lost any sort of submissive tendency by the third book and while I tried to force myself to forge on eventually gave up in utter disgust. I no longer cared about Richard and Kahlan because they were no longer real to me. They constantly made the same mistakes and faced the same decisions. They learned little and grew less.
Even reading the description of what is supposed to be the final book once again brought back the anger that what started out so creatively and sparked such interest became bogged down in such muck.