Woah… Incredible review of Winds over at The Ranting Dragon
Check out the following from Stephan over at The Ranting Dragon:
All in all, The Winds of Khalakovo is an amazing first volume in what may become a series to challenge more established epic fantasy series like A Song of Ice and Fire and Malazan Book of the Fallen. However, at this stage, I dare not make such a lofty claim just yet. The Winds of Khalakovo was not without its minor flaws, but this near-perfect novel promises a bright future for Beaulieu’s The Lays of Anuskaya. If you are a fan of the epic fantasy genre, you should definitely give this book a chance.
To say that I'm pleased would be a gross understatement. I'm ecstatic. I have to agree with Stephan that it's too early to make these sorts of claims, but to even be mentioned alongside my hero, GRRM, and Steven Eriskon is a high honor indeed. Needless to say, I'm incredibly touched that the story was received so well.
I'm also noting a common theme between the reviews. One thing that many have noted is the … I'll call it stately, opening. I think that's fair. It's more than fair. I don't start the story with things fully in motion, or even right on the cusp. Don't get me wrong. The opening hints at the things to come, and we do see some things building early, but I also take a bit of time to draw in the world as I'm working toward the larger events that start toward the end of the novel's beginning. It's a price I knew I was going to have to pay in terms of reader interest—some, after all, love the novels paced like a stock car sprint—and to be clear, I didn't want the beginning to be slower than the rest of the novel, but in the end, how it turned out felt right. And that's all we can really do is be true to our hearts and true to the story.
And to look at this from another angle, I hope that it creates a dramatic effect on the middle and close of the novel. I hope that, by contrast, it provides more loft to the high events of the novel's ending. This does, in fact, seem to be the sort of impression people are getting, and overall I think it's a good thing.