The FitzOsbornes in Exile

The FitzOsbornes in ExileHooray! The FitzOsbornes in Exile, the second book in The Montmaray Journals trilogy, has just been released in North America! Hundreds of copies of hardcovers, e-books and audiobooks are sneaking their way into bookshops and libraries as you read this . . .

There has been some discussion over whether The FitzOsbornes in Exile is a stand-alone “companion” (as it’s described on the inside jacket) to A Brief History of Montmaray, or a sequel (implied on the front cover, which says “The Montmaray Journals, Book II”). Of course, readers can read The FitzOsbornes in Exile by itself, but I think it makes more sense if you’ve read the first book in the series. There are quite a lot of characters, and it helps to know something about their histories and relationships. However, at least one reviewer enjoyed the second book without having read the first. On the other hand, she read the Australian edition, which includes a two-page summary of the first book (the American edition has only a one-sentence summary of the first book). I’m hardly a good person to ask about this. Are there any readers with any advice on this?

10 thoughts on “The FitzOsbornes in Exile”

  1. I just finished the second book yesterday! Loved it. I certainly think it could be enjoyed on its own, but I agree that it makes more sense if you’ve read A Brief History. I recommend reading them in order.

  2. I am one of those people who will not read a series out of order (unless it is very old and half out of print…) it feels like having dessert before dinner, such that it spoils one’s appetite for the initial book. I think the generally accepted definition of a companion book is one which is set in the same ‘world’ and may or may not share some of the characters, occasionally highlighting the role of a minor character and making them a major one. Juliet Marillier’s Cybele’s Secret springs to mind, companion to Wildwood Dancing.

    1. I agree, Skye – even though I’ve just read (and adored) Barchester Towers without having read The Warden first.

      I think Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate would be another set of companion novels. They have the same narrator, but focus on a different set of characters.

  3. I just finished reading “The FitzOsbournes in Exile” last night. It was absolutely the best book that I’ve read in a long, long time.It was brilliant! I can’t wait for the next book. Any clue as to when that will be? And if we get it through your website and not a bookshop, can readers in North America get it sooner that way?

    1. Thank you very much, Margaret. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

      I can’t wait for Book Three to be finished, either! I’m about three quarters of the way through writing it and am currently stuck on a tricky bit, although I’m sure I’ll get unstuck soon. It doesn’t have any official publication dates yet, but I think it will probably be out in Australia early next year, and at some stage after that in North America. You could certainly order it online from an Australian bookshop when it comes out – if you’re okay about it being a paperback rather than a hardcover, and don’t mind paying postage. I’ll keep my website and blog updated with news about Book Three as it comes to hand.

  4. I just read the 2nd book (and enjoyed) the FitzOsbornes in Exile, without reading the first book. I did enjoy the benefit of the two page summary in the Australian edition.

    I feel it is quite stand alone although i agree with the comment above that it would have been nice to know the characters. It was the placing of the family in the Historical context that fascinated me, and eg henry and the girl guides

    A great read which is now circulating amongst my colleagues.

    1. Thanks, Michael, I’m really glad you enjoyed it.

      My editors and I had discussions about whether a summary was necessary or appropriate, so it’s nice to have your feedback that it was useful.

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