THE PRICE OF MAGIC: Introduction

August 01, 2005
A thought by James Berardinelli

For those who read The Price of the Crown, welcome back to the land of Devforth. For those who haven't, I would encourage reading the first book, but it isn't a necessity. The Price of Magic is intended to be a stand-alone, although there are numerous hooks into its predecessor.

When I wrote The Price of the Crown in the early 1990s, I didn't expect to write a sequel. The book was intended to tell of the rivalry between Sor and Wil, and, when that rivalry ended, so did the book. Along the way, however, I conceived an idea that couldn't be explored in the first book. And, when it was all over, I came to the conclusion that I couldn't in good conscience leave Sor in the state he was in. So the sequel was born.

Don't expect things to get better for the king of Vorti immediately. In fact, don't expect to "see" him for about a week. The book starts out by introducing a new group of characters, then moves on from there. New blood is good. The Price of Magic starts 20+ years after the conclusion of The Price of the Crown, and, due to a skip in time about a third of the way through this book, the majority of the story transpires 35 years beyond events of the first volume. If there's a constant, it's Sor, who is pretty much the same the first time we meet him in The Price of Magic as he was in Chapter 36 of The Price of the Crown. Things will get worse before they get better.

This is more of a traditional fantasy novel than the first one. It includes non-human races and deals more with magic than politics (although the latter forces still play a part). The landscape has been broadened. We see more of Devforth. Significant portions of the story take place outside of Vorti. For those who were dissatisfied with the end of The Price of the Crown, I think you'll find that this one packs more of a punch.

Additional effort was required to get this book into "postable" shape than was the case with its predecessor. The Price of the Crown was written in 1991, but has been revised twice since then. The Price of Magic was written in 1992 and 1993, but hasn't been touched since then. Consequently, instead of just converting the .doc files into .html files, I had to do a major edit. I avoided entering "re-write" mode, so all I did was to correct some mangled sentences and do a lot of chopping of adjectives and adverbs. I believe this will make The Price of Magic flow better than The Price of the Crown.

There are 34 chapters, but in order to keep the posting entirely in the month of August, two chapters will be posted on August 1, 2, and 31. Meanwhile, work continues on the third book, The Price of Terror. It will be completed in the near future, but, since I won't start posting it until it's done, there will be a longer gap between books two and three than there was between books one and two. (My current goal is post The Price of Terror in December 2005.)

As always, comments are encouraged and welcome. Authors write in a vacuum, so any feedback reminds us that someone is out there. Tell me what you think of the characters and situations, and explain what I have done wrong. At least in a general sense, suggestions received about The Price of the Crown are being applied to the last third of The Price of Terror.

Thanks, and enjoy. On August 31, I'll provide some specifics on where I think The Price of Magic went wrong, and where it went right.