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So, I just discovered that Piers Anthony released another novel in his Incarnations of Immortality series called Under a Velvet Cloak. Apparently, this involves the Incarnation of Night, a new (to us) Incarnation.

Should I reread any or all of the previous 7 books to have the background information for this new book? Or is this books narrative fairly separate from the other books (given that it was published 17 years after the last one?

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    Based on the Goodread reviews, I won't be reading this book, and you probably shouldn't either.
    – user31178
    Mar 28, 2016 at 17:00
  • Wow, I forgot all about that series. And Under Velvet Cloak was released in 2007. Guess I'm out of the loop. Thanks for mentioning, will put on list. Mar 28, 2016 at 17:37
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    As a long time fan of the rest of the series allow me to encourage anyone reading this question to not bother with Velvet Cloak. It's gawd awful by contrast. It serves to provide a creation foundation story for the other 7 incarnations and that's about it, and ... well just spare yourself. Aug 7, 2018 at 16:49

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As a disclaimer, I have not read Under a Velvet Cloak yet, but in the prior books, Piers Anthony wrote in his author's notes that he intended the series to be able to be picked up at any point, that your experience would be enriched by seeing the interaction between the books, but that it was not necessary.

As a bit of additional information, a reader from Goodreads says that no prior information is needed to enjoy the book.

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  • From my experience, the family history in previous novels definitely made future ones easier to follow, but good point about author's notes. Reading them is why I switched to Dvorak keyboard.
    – user31178
    Feb 11, 2016 at 18:29
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    You can find some spoiler-free reviews of the book on Goodreads. I think I'm going to give this one a miss myself. I don't know if it's me or the author, but his books seem to increasingly focus on lots of underage sex with older men and why it's a Good Thing.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Feb 11, 2016 at 18:41
  • I've heard some disconcerting things about Pier's Anthony's proclivities, so I'm also trying to determine whether or not I should continue supporting his works. I remember thinking some parts were quite odd when I first read them over a decade ago. I suppose I'd be more bothered, now.
    – user31178
    Feb 11, 2016 at 21:28

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