The Redemption of Erâth: Two-Star Review

I sent out copies of The Redemption of Erâth: Consolation to a number of online review websites some time ago (around the new year, if I remember correctly). Most places never responded, but a couple said they would try and read it. The other day, I received an email from Erin over at A Drop of Ink Reviews, letting me know she had finally managed to read the book, and write a review. You can read the original review here.

Now you’ll note she prefaces the review by saying she would never normally write up less than a three-star review … and you’re probably thinking, what must Satis be thinking, promoting a two-star review? The truth is, I couldn’t have asked for a better, more honest opinion of the book. Erin points out the strength of the writing, the development of characters, etc.; her main point of contention is that the entire story feels like a long-winded backstory to something else that’s about to happen. And she didn’t like that.

The important thing is that [the book] might not be to everyone’s taste.

The funny thing is, she’s absolutely right. The Redemption of Erâth: Consolation is very much a ‘setting’ piece: it’s a prequel to the adventures that Brandyé embarks upon in the rest of the series. It’s necessary, I’ll argue—without it, there would be no Brandyé, and we would have no understanding of the nature of Dark and Light in the world of Erâth. But her point is that all of this could have been given in flashback material of another story entirely. And I agree.

Had I had this feedback three years ago, The Redemption of Erâth might have taken a very different turn. Indeed, going into it, I thought there was going to be a large number of battles and fight scenes in the first book alone. But the story has a way of running away with itself, and Consolation turned into something much different. It became smaller in scope and setting, focusing almost entirely on the tiny land of Consolation. I liked this, actually: it serves to contrast with the grandeur of the cities like Vira Weitor that we encounter later on.

But the important thing is that this might not be to everyone’s taste. I never expected someone to read Consolation and think of it as anything other than just a story. What Erin’s done goes far beyond that—she’s looked at the story in the context of a greater world, and decided that, in that context, it was too much. And I wholeheartedly respect that opinion. Cherish it, even. Erin could have simply put the book down and said, “I don’t like this”, and left it at that. Instead, she respected my and my work enough to actually think long and hard about it, and for that, I am thankful.

So thank you, Erin, for my first two-star review: it’s the best I could have hoped for.

The original review is posted below.

I have just done what I swore I’d never do; which is post a 2-star review. I normally keep these silent and contact the author directly. However, this is a different case entirely. The story itself is well-written and there are almost no errors in the manuscript itself. That is impressive. And for many, this book may be great. I read all 250+ pages of it just fine.

As a writer, I’m well aware of the need to create an elaborate back story for characters, especially the main character, in order to be able to show a rich and complete character to the reader. Unfortunately, in my opinion, that’s all this book was. It was the intricate back story that tells us what made Brandye what he is. I kept waiting for the story to fully develop and things to happen. While there are great scenes in the book where I thought, “Here we go, there’s the story,” it would fall short and back up a bit. Those great areas could easily have been worked into a different book as flashbacks, or something similar, so we could see what happened to make Brandye the way he was. When this book ended, I thought, “Now we reach what should have been the first book.”

Do not get me wrong. This entire book was well-written. That is the reason why I’m leaving a 2-star review for the first time. There are plenty of people out there that may very well disagree with me and believe this made a terrific first book to what appears will be a great series. I will admit that I’m intrigued and would be willing to read the second book to see what happens next. There are so many ways this could go from the end point that I’m fascinated to see what will happen.

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