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A question on trilogies

For my RL book club, someone has suggested we read The Jewel of St. Petersburg next month.  After it was suggested, we realized that it's actually Book 3 of a trilogy, but it's supposed to be a Prequel. 

So... typically I only read trilogies/series in order, but because this is a prequel maybe it won't matter if we read it first/on its own.  People are kind of split as to whether to read The Jewel of St. Petersburg, as suggested, or read The Russian Concubine, which is the first book in the series.

What are your thoughts?  Since it's a prequel, do you think the actual publishing order is a moot point?  Or is it still important?

Has anyone read this book/series?  Thoughts on the series itself?

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Re: A question on trilogies

  • I haven't read the series, but if it were me, I'd read the first book regardless of the third being a prequel.  I don't have any real reason for thinking it other than that #3 might have some details in it that would be better understood if you've read the first two.
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  • I've read The Jewel of St. Petersburg and I can honestly say I had no idea it a prequel.  I thought it was just #1 in a series.  I liked it and thought it was a good book.  I've yet to read The Russian Concubine.
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  • I think it depends on the author's intent. Is it sold and packaged as Book 3 of a trilogy? Or is it part of a series and it just happened to be the first one published?

    Take the Star Wars prequels. You COULD watch Phantom Menace before watching the original, but it's technically the 4th movie in the series, right? Or Chronicles of Narnia, which we talked about earlier this week, which you can technically read out of the published order.

    I'd read some reviews and/or the synopsis and decide from there.

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  • FWIW, this series is on my TBR list, and I plan on starting with the Russian Concubine. I'd just be worried that I might be missing something if I started with the Jewel of St. Petersburg, even if it is a prequel.

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  • I have this book on my TBR list and didn't realize it was #3! But, when I do go to read it, I'll read the first two first.. but that's me. I hate spoilers, even little tiny ones, and there might be something in this book that could give stuff away in the other two..
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  • I read this book before it was indicated that it was part of a series/prequel.  I haven't read any of the other books so I think it can be stand alone without an issue. 
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  • image SnShne322:
    I haven't read the series, but if it were me, I'd read the first book regardless of the third being a prequel.  I don't have any real reason for thinking it other than that #3 might have some details in it that would be better understood if you've read the first two.

     This exactly 


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  • image msmerymac:

    I'd read some reviews and/or the synopsis and decide from there.

    I did this (good idea!), and it actually looks like it will be okay to start with this one.  Some people actually recommended beginning with Book 3 so the ending isn't spoiled.  I really dislike reading out of sequence, but it's not my pick so I guess we'll see how it goes.  I think it will be okay and we won't miss out on anything important or spoil the rest of the story!

    Thanks for everyone's input!

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  • image packfan20:
    I read this book before it was indicated that it was part of a series/prequel.  I haven't read any of the other books so I think it can be stand alone without an issue. 

    So wait... was this originally not part of a series then?

    I'm glad to hear you think it can stand alone from experience!  Thanks!

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  • image sbevmc09:

    image packfan20:
    I read this book before it was indicated that it was part of a series/prequel.  I haven't read any of the other books so I think it can be stand alone without an issue. 

    So wait... was this originally not part of a series then?

    I'm glad to hear you think it can stand alone from experience!  Thanks!

    I'm sure it was always part of it but you know on Goodreads, how it doesn't always say it's a series right away?  I know that the "(The Russian Concubine #3 (Prequel))" that Goodreads shows now was not there when I read it.  I believe you get introduced to all the characters in this book (hence the prequel) and if you read the other two first, you might know how this book will turn out.

    I gave it four stars and don't remember being confused because I didn't know the backstory.  I think you could have a good discussion from it 

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