I’m sure these questions have occurred to a lot of you, too.
Both tie in together very strongly as there is a tradeoff between them and so I shall answer them together in one post.
So, is this the kind of series that you need to have all the books for the story to be complete?
No it is not. Although some threads link through from one book to the next and the political backdrop shifts as it must, each book has a main story that reaches its conclusion.