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Which book next?

A readers says, "I just finished The General's Mistress and I loved it! I've never read any of your books before. Which one should I read next?"

I'm so glad you loved it! I've loved this book and Elza for a very long time.

Read Hand of Isis next. I think it's the one that's most like The General's Mistress in tone and in the way the main character relates to the world. Also you'll see a bunch of things in it that reflect forward into Elza and Michel.

What do you guys think? Hand of Isis next?


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 6th, 2012 12:32 pm (UTC)
Hand of Isis definitely, then Stealing Fire for the relationship with Alexander. Black Ships' Gull is asking very different questions and is open to almost the exact opposite perceptions of the world. Elza is learning to be responsible for others, but Gull always had that, and needed to learn to love and allow herself personal feelings.
Nov. 6th, 2012 07:01 pm (UTC)

Yes, I ditto this reading order for the exact same reasons. Either chronological or reverse chronological works best with this series.
Nov. 7th, 2012 12:12 pm (UTC)
I think so....
Nov. 10th, 2012 08:30 pm (UTC)
What about Ravens of Faulkenau (ack, did I spell that right?)? Would you put the short stories at the end, or in between, or what? I think because of the post-Hand of Isis short story in there it makes sense not to read that until after HoI, because spoilers, but I'm not sure it matters after that?
Nov. 10th, 2012 09:07 pm (UTC)
Personally, I think it works best at the end, no matter if you read the other books in chronological order or reverse chronological order. (Or, if you're like me, it's kind of cool to read the short stories in chronological order as well, reading the short stories set in lives before Gull, then Black Ships, then the stories after Gull but before Lydias, then Stealing Fire, then... well, you get the picture.)

There's the Dion story, as you said, plus there are... two, I think? set during Elza's lifetime (though both of them are much farther in the future than The General's Mistress). So there's a minor spoiler issue there as well.
Nov. 11th, 2012 01:46 pm (UTC)
Yeah, there are two Elza stories in The Ravens of Falkenau that take place later.

Well, the first half of Small Victories takes place during The General's Mistress. Honore is the wounded man in the cart on the way back from Genoa, and then Small Victories is about his convalescence. We actually meet Honore in The Emperor's Companion, the second book.

So I don't know if those two stories are too spoilery or not!
Nov. 7th, 2012 11:17 am (UTC)
I see that. Elza is looking for what Gull already has, and she knows it's out there even if she doesn't have words for it.
Nov. 7th, 2012 02:07 pm (UTC)
Charmian got the best of Elza and Gull in some ways. She always had both the confidence to love, and the belief in responsibility and duty. She mostly suffered from the surrounding stories which wouldn't allow Cleopatra to win in the end.
Nov. 8th, 2012 07:14 pm (UTC)
That's true. I think Charmian's flaw is that she's unwilling to take the risks at various points, however. She won't say she has oracular talent. She won't ask Agrippa to stay. She won't run the risk of looking foolish or needy, and so she doesn't get what she wants when she might have. Elza has less pride. If that makes sense?
Nov. 8th, 2012 08:47 pm (UTC)
That does make sense. Charmian had the advantage of being born into her duty and her family, but she also had the sense of pride in being a Ptolemy and Cleopatra's right hand in so many ways. Agrippa also has that same kind of pride, and it dooms his attempts with Charmian in that life. I wonder, is that something Michel has learned from as well?

Elza is unafraid of looking stupid because she has less to lose and more to gain. It'll be interesting to see how that plays out when she starts moving even more in Napoleon's circles.
Nov. 9th, 2012 05:48 pm (UTC)
That's true. Elza has far less to lose. And I think after Georg she's less afraid of losing. If she has nothing but her horse and her sword, what has she to fear? It's Elza crossing Grand Saint Bernard.

It will be interesting as it plays out, yes. And she's about to run up on what happens when her road to survival depends on betraying Josephine!
Nov. 6th, 2012 05:14 pm (UTC)
Speaking of next books, any word on the next Elza book? Has it been sold yet I'm dying of anticipation :D

Also, yes, read Hand of Isis next, it's amazing!

Edited at 2012-11-06 05:14 pm (UTC)
Nov. 7th, 2012 12:12 pm (UTC)
No word yet! They're waiting to see how the first book does. So keep your fingers crossed!

(Also weren't you going to send me something?)
Nov. 7th, 2012 05:21 pm (UTC)
Yes I was and am, just on final draft edits :D
Nov. 10th, 2012 05:57 pm (UTC)
Hm, that's interesting. My initial advice would have been to read them chronologically (BS - SF - HofI) so as to get to know this person as they develop. Sort of like reading a biography from the beginning. But maybe that's not the best approach, here...
Nov. 11th, 2012 01:40 pm (UTC)
I really don't know. Especially about whether to read Stealing Fire or Hand of Isis first.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )