[personal profile] cofax7 asked for recommendations for romances with a platonic start and a long lead-in, and I wrote,

The Time of the Dark: The Darwath Series (Book One), by Barbara Hambly. I would only read the first three books; sequels were written much later and are substantially different and really, really grim. Mostly adventure, but I really like the two main romances.

Dragonsbane, by Barbara Hambly. Wonderful, mature romance between two middle-aged people who once slew a dragon together. They're not married, but have kids. This was written as a stand-alone. For the love of God, don't read the sequels, which were written much later and are substantially different and really, really grim.

This made me ponder the existence of disappointing sequels. The horrifying Dragonsbane sequels are possibly the worst I've ever encountered: totally different in tone, excruciatingly depressing, poorly written, out of previously established character, and systematically undoing everything I liked about the previous entries in the series. My other contenders are the Star Wars sequel/prequels, for the exact same reasons minus the grimness.

And then there's Mary Gentle's Golden Witchbreed, an anthropological sf adventure primarily focused on worldbuilding but including adventure and female friendship between a human ambassador and a female alien. Its sequel, Ancient Light, wasn't badly written or an artistic failure. However, gur znva nggenpgvba bs gur svefg obbx jnf gur jbeyq. Va obbx gjb, gur srznyr nyvra qvrf va n shgvyr nggrzcg gb cerirag gur raq bs gur jbeyq. Ng gur raq, gur jbeyq vf nobhg gb or qrfgeblrq, naq gur nzonffnqbe pna bayl jngpu va qrfcnve nf ure qrngu naq gur qrngu bs rirelbar jr zrg va obbx bar nccebnpurf. (Decipher at rot13.com, since lj cuts are not working. Sorry!)

Speak to me of disappointing sequels. Spoilers are totally fine, but please put them in comment headings. (ie, "Spoilers for A Dance With Dragons.") If they're for very recent works, please disguise in some way, like via rot13.com.
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