The first time I read David Eddings Belgariad (five books in a series) - I was wondering about all the memes, tropes, and other clichés.
Then I found out that he apparently wrote it on a dare - write a GOOD book with every fantasy cliché you could think of and make it readable - even if you knew how it was going to end, how did he GET THERE?
I've reread it several times, as well as the second series in the same universe and the two stand alone books - as well as the two series set in a similar universe where the gods walk among men and there are more clichés, tropes, and memes there.
With his wife editing - the two of them were a great team and did very good jobs of making old style fantasy fun to read.
Anything he did after her death...is missing her touch, and while GOOD, it isn't as "fresh" a re-imagining and re-imaging of the tropes, clichés, and memes....still okay, but not nearly as much fun to read.
I was hoping that Paolini (Eregon) could do the same thing - and he almost managed it in the first book...but when his publishers kept the editors from whittling his drafts down to two more books in the trilogy and left it at four books...well, some extraneous stuff got left in and the plot & writing didn't show much, if any growth as a writer since he was 15 and started the first book. Not that it was bad for a teenaged writer...but he didn't get that much BETTER after all that writing.
I could not bring myself to finish the fourth book - maybe later. And I will check back on him, if he's still writing, in another ten years or so....such promise...just needs a bit more practice and a good editor.
Come to think of it, Laurell K. Hamilton could use a good editor again - wonder if she'd consider her ex-husband (who did the first few books)? Because he kept things more consistent and less...let's say "distracted" - he didn't let her bedroom interludes interfere with plot and character development. Her current editors are being too kind and leaving in stuff that does NOT advance the story line.
I do get the impression that at least some people are reading the various books for those distracting bedroom scenes...but they aren't the entire reason for the series to keep selling...or at least I hope that they aren't.
I'm still upset that Mama Noir ended up being hustled out of the series as a major BIG BAD in such a disappointing way. Seriously...it's like Voldemort suddenly realizing that what he really wanted a wife & family all along...