Is 200 Pages Enough?

I just read Melanie Rawn’s first book of the Exiles series, The Ruins of Ambrai. It was the second book I picked up for my trip a few weeks ago but I had so much trouble getting into it, I had to renew it to give myself enough time to finish it.

Having read enough speculative fiction over the years I know that the first hundred or even two-hundred pages of the first book in any series can be a bit tough to follow.  The author needs to set up characters, setting, magic systems, technology bases, etc. I know this, and yet I still had difficulty getting into the book.

I had this same argument with my husband when he started the David Weber  Safehold series. Must preface this with the fact that we both love the Honor Harrington series and pretty much all things Honorverse. Anyway, husband was sloughing along and I kept urging him to give the book another chance. Still not sure if he finished it – meanwhile I just bought book 2 – By Schism Rent Asunder.

So my question today is how long does anyone else give a book to prove its worth?

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