Crossing the threshold

When I am looking for new book there are different reasons that make me decide if I want to buy it. The text on the back cover is most important. It has to give a good impression of what the book is about and should not give away too much, as it will else tell me too much about what to expect. The lesser I know, the better, although no information and just review blurbs don’t help much either. Sometimes the cover can also play a role. It can tell me if the publisher has put some effort into it or if they lack knowledge of what would appeal to a reader. If it looks cheap or mismatches what the genre atmosphere should be about then the chance is they won’t have spent much time on knowing if the story is original or good.

So if those two things fail to give a bad impression I fall back on my instinct. Over time I’ve rarely been wrong on knowing beforehand if it would be either great, good or alright. There are times I don’t know and usually I’ve at least not been disappointed. When I think a book is probably between alright and good I have to decide if I want to give it a try or not. What influences my decision to cross the threshold and give the book a try is the price. That’s why I love discounts as the prices are usually at or below the threshold of what I allow myself to waste a bit of money in case the book turns out bad. This price lies around 5, 6 euros, which is approximately half the regular price.

So why am I talking about this? Obviously because I bought some books that passed the threshold price for deciding to try them out. The downside of discounts is that when you have a series, which is often the case with fantasy novels, they miss an earlier volume. I picked up four fantasy books, each two of a series, and in both cases not the containing an earlier volume. The first two are books 2 and 3 of the Moorhawke Trilogy by Celine Kiernan, titled The Crowded Shadows (2009) and The Rebel Prince (2010), and an omnibus called Seeker’s Bane by P.C. Hodgell, containing the novels Seeker’s Mask (1994) and To Ride A Rathorn (2006). Seeker’s Mask is a sequel to an earlier duology called the Godstalker Chronicles, so it is probably self-contained, like the second novel, which was written 12 years later. As the were put together in an omnibus I only paid for 3 books, so that made the threshold even lower.

Now that I think of it, both authors are female and the main characters of the novels is female as well. A coincidence I didn’t realize until now.

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