But thankfully it's not scathing! Nevertheless, by dint of being a negative review, I admit it is humbling to say the least. Read it for yourself via this link.
This review has, however, given me an opportunity to explain MATHION's apparent "flaws". As my first novel, it was virtually guaranteed that there would be flaws. The benefit of a trilogy however is the opportunity to learn and grow from the experiences of the books as I write them. Yes, MATHION is a "traditional" epic fantasy tale. The two main elements of a primary world fantasy story is 1) strange lands and 2) an epic quest/journey. This is what I love about fantasy, and though it is a tried and true plot device, if it weren't for the epic quest, the reader wouldn't be able to explore the strange lands in the story.
MATHION, by way of traditionality, eases the reader into a trilogy that, as it unfolds, will turn out unlike most other series' before it. In keeping with the theme of lost legends being uncovered, you will soon see that THE MAVONDURI TRILOGY is, despite its scope, ultimately fragmentary and incomplete. MATHION, being the tale of Mathion's youth, was the most complete story in my mind. It always has been. But when looking at classical myths and legends, the deeper you go the less you uncover in terms of actual narrative. Book 2 (which I officially revealed to be titled "THE LAST ASCENSION") and Book 3 will be VASTLY different from Book 1. MATHION as a book is meant to be accessible to the casual AND hardcore fantasy fans alike.
Now, if this is an issue of characterization, that's up to the reader. I love the characters in MATHION, and have no intention of changing them, but as an author it is still JUST an opinion. There is a bond that grows between them, and as they interact with other characters you see the bond of fellowship and brotherhood that only soldiers share.
I do have ONE issue with the review, and that is the reviewe's description of Elekan the White Wolf as a "Saturday morning cartoon character." WHAT?! He rips werewolves' throats out left and right, and wise as he is, he (like any animal) can be brutally vicious. I don't know what the reviewer saw, and I'm not knocking his opinion, but Elekan is NOT a Pokémon. That is not the character I see, but that's why opinions are opinions I guess.
Regardless, I thank the reviewer for being honest in his/her opinion, and look forward to the reviews to come. It was, in a twisted sort of way, actually a relief to have someone NOT gush over the book, and for a very specific reason: It gives me the motivation to write better, and challenges me to really bring something fresh to the epic fantasy table. Which, I may point out, is exactly what I intend to do with THE LAST ASCENSION.
Now if I could just get my computer a new charger...