Please accept my extended silence. I’ve been hard at work on Mythborn, engaging a new editing team and rewriting the story. The series will restart with Mythborn 1, available for preorder on February 27! That’s only 6 days away! I hope you’ll all give Mythborn a new read.
Also, for fans who also purchased the book, I’m speaking with Amazon now to find out if they’ll just update your copy automatically. Thank you for all your support!
The promotional copy is entirely correct: This is not a carbon copy fantasy novel, and the characters are complex. I think I read to page three and had to put the book down to digest what had just happened. I’ll grant you that there are dwarves and elves, but they are not clones of anyone elses; they’re organic to this world. And every character is refreshingly complex; every character takes action based on their individual knowledge, motiviations and predjudices. The plot emerges from the actions & motivations of the characters and the situation, not the other way around. The characters are also sympathetic; I care about what happens to them. Some of them I don’t like, but I sympathize with them, and I care about what happens next.
One other comment I’d make; the author is very clearly a martial artist; budo informs the entire novel, which I think improves the quality of the plotting. The author understands conflict and uses conflict to drive the plot. (He benefits by comparison with other martial artist authors). Budo doesn’t take center stage, but a practitioner of budo will appreciate the book a bit more than someone who lacks the expertise.
The book is ambitious, and fairly dense. I nromally devour books, and I could only manage a few chapters a night; the complexity of the characters and the plot means that I had to bring more attention to this book than I do to others.
Surprisingly solid book from a freshman author. I’m ready for the next book, mostly because I can’t predict what will happen.
UPDATE: I feel I should update my review. As I finished this review, I was reading several other books concurrently; I found I kept comparing the other authors characterization to Mr. Lakshman’s, and the other authors were suffering by comparison. I wound up abandoning one of the novels halfway through because it just didn’t measure up. I finished the other novel (by a well known author who has a dozen or so publications under his name), but I kept asking myself why the characters in that novel weren’t as finely detailed as Mythborn. I’m not sure how to explain the problem but the characters in the _other_ novel did what they did because the plot demanded it. In Mythborn, the characters do what they are motivated to do, and the plot emerges from the conflicts in their perceptions and agendas. Mythborn was by far the more satisfying read.
Debut fantasy novelist Lakshman offers a rousing epic in which supernatural beings threaten the world of their own creators.
Did gods and demons always exist, or did their believers bring them into being? That question springboards this Tolkien-esque tale, which includes plenty of fresh twists. In a threatened world called Edyn, archmages and adepts, including the powerful Silbane Petracles, train in a life-sustaining discipline called the Way. Azrael and Lilyth, an angel and a demon who lead the power-hungry Aeris, gear up to fight them in a looming conflict that will determine the fate of the world. At the center of it all is a student of the Way, Arek Winterthorn—a seemingly innocent young man of unknown, perhaps catastrophic, origin.
The text is deftly written… Lakshman shows a plate spinner’s skill as he smoothly balances the novel’s diverse elements and keeps the action rolling at a fast clip. The author shapes his ambitious, entertaining story with a lengthy menu of familiar genre elements—good and bad mages, anti-magic fanatics, dragons, dwarves and elves. He also includes bloody combat, a sentient sword, feisty princes and princesses, noble kings and warriors, and gates to other planes of existence—and even mixes in concepts from world religions and ancient mythologies. (The author’s descriptions of physical combat, training and strategy have an authenticity that’s reminiscent of Elizabeth Moon’s 1992 masterwork The Deed of Paksenarrion.)
An ambitious, colorful and highly readable fantasy epic. -Kirkus Reviews