Companion Novels are So Important!
To create this post, I thought it wise to not only give you my biased opinion on why companions are awesome and important but to share the opinions of some of the friends I’ve made on Instagram over the years, and keep reading for my review of the companion novel to the Magnus Chase trilogy Hotel Valhalla!
The overall response I received from the people I spoke with on this topic was that – like me – they generally love companion novels, but I received a mix of responses as to why and in the rare, case why not.
Who doesn’t want to dive deeper into a book’s world and explore, learning more about the culture, religion, social structure and even how the daily lives of the citizen usually play out? I sure do and so is the focus of many companions novels, usually made with the intent to educate and inform readers allowing them to further immerse themselves (and hence have a basis for fanfiction) in the culture of the world they love so deeply.
Mine and many other’s favourite types of companion novels are those that give extra stories. These are not really for the purpose of education and information, rather just another story to add on to the already existing series of books and provide the reader with more fluff to fangirl over. Much like with what Cassandra Clare has done by releasing The Bane Chronicles and Tales of The Shadowhunter Academy companion novels, bringing me to the next point…
Companion novels, like the afforementioned CC novels, aren’t necessary to read but are always so much fun to as they give a little behind the scenes insight but don’t really impact the further storyline or plot points in any way, making them filler stories until you wait for the next book in the series (if there even is one).
Then we have this wonderful point that Tracy bought up about the cost of companion novels. If we look away from the shadowhunter world for just a moment (too long for me hehe) and look at those books that are only 70-150 pages long. These books, barely novels, usually retail for the same price as the books they’re made to support which in turn puts off the buyer as no one wants to be paying $18 (AUD) for a book that had 150 pages when they could buy a new 400-page paperback for the same price.
In my opinion, it all depends on the reader’s dedication to the series and how much they’re willing to spend to reap the benefits of a companion novel as listed above. It is true that books go on sale, and authors do need to make money off of their works but the comparison cannot be ignored. This is where the option of purchasing/ reading a companion novel is so beneficial.
Hotel Valhalla Guide to the Norse Worlds: Your Introduction to Deities, Mythical Beings & Fantastic Creatures
This is a companion to the Magnus Chase trilogy and includes profiles of Norse Gods, mainly the ones in the novel plus some other ones that are key players in the Norse myths. Along with the inclusion of profiles, the novella includes myths and legends told in a fun way from either a point of view perspective, letter format, or interview, etc.
I loved this as a fun way to learn about different myths individually and truthfully, in a fun manner which is easier to understand, rather than going to the source or a professional document to find the stories. I gave this an obvious 5/5 stars as it is a perfect example of Norse Mythology education done right!
What are your thoughts on companion novels/ novellas?
With Love Bree xx
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