#171 – Threesomes

My reading habits often cause minor annoyances and occasionally lead to absurd results. Take the trilogy I concluded last night.

I read a lot of books, most of them in the realm of fantasy. After thirty years wading through the genre, the titles and themes I’ve digested have begun to blend. As a result, there’ve been times where I scanned half of a newly-purchased novel before realizing I’d not only finished it in the past, but already held a copy on my bookshelf! I’ve also bought items based on their enticing jacket descriptions, only to recognize after completing them that I’d perused them before and hated them just as much the first time.

Still, those mental lapses pale in comparison to my latest farce. A couple of months ago, I acquired an older trilogy written by a fantasy author named Melanie Rawn. The series is titled DRAGON PRINCE. In the first two books – Dragon Prince and The Star Scroll – young Prince Rohan and his beautiful sorceress wife fight against a villainous High Prince and his heirs. I expected the engrossing story line to continue in a rousing climax to the trilogy.

Instead, it seemed as if the author suddenly lost interest in her subject. The third book began with Prince Rohan already dead, of old age no less. His son, a small boy at the close of the second installment, had grown up, and he and his peers were now the featured players. They didn’t battle against the High Prince’s kin either, but rather against an invasion by mysterious barbarians from afar. Perhaps most bizarrely, the tale opened in the middle of the invasion, leaving incomprehensible gaps in the storyline. The lunatic author even mentioned significant deaths and events for the first time, as if the reader already knew of them!

Last night, I finished the disappointing drivel and immediately headed for the nearest trash can to “shelve” the work where it belonged. On the way, I silently hissed at the paperback’s cover page and its bold title: DRAGON STAR: BOOK III” – SKYBOWL. Then, I flipped it over and disdainfully began speaking aloud the opening line of the back jacket, which I hadn’t previously bothered to scan: “With her widely acclaimed fantasy trilogy, DRAGON PRINCE …”

Wait a minute, I thought. Dragon Prince? Dragon Star? I hurried to my bookshelf and found the first two titles in the series … DRAGON PRINCE. Leave it to me. Who else but Richard Stern could read the first two books of a trilogy and then accidentally skip to the third installment of an entirely separate series?

I suppose I’ll go back and read the three novels I missed. Too bad I know how the second trilogy ends already, and have a pretty good idea how the first one concluded as well.

 
A less careful reader might not realize that Skybowl belongs to an entirely different trilogy than the others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *