First up is Falcata Times, who say:
If you love fantasy that not only makes you think but presents a tale that will stay with you long after the final page is turned then you really won’t do better than Mark’s Nights of Villjamur. Its got Erikson’s attention to world building, Martin’s politicking and finished off with Gemmell’s combat. Ideal fantasy fodder and from a guy who works in the industry is the type of novel that will perhaps take the genre into a new direction in much the same way that Rothfuss and Lynch have done in more recent years. Cracking fantasy and an excellent start to Mark’s series that left me begging for more, I really can’t wait for his next offering.
And then, a spoilerific write-up which is – shock horror! – not quite full of praise, damn him, over at Neth Space:
The blogs and other review sites are ablaze with seemingly overwhelmingly positive reaction. This is both deserved and troubling with Nights of Villjamur being a strong debut in the world of epic fantasy, but ultimately not the outstanding work the blogger buzz proclaims.
How very dare he not join my ranks. Surely everyone should like the book, no? What does he mean it isn’t outstanding?
Nights of Villjamur is cerebral fantasy.
I like this. I might just leave it there.
The writing, while intelligent, suffers at times from the inability to live up to its aspirations and remain consistent.
Oh “Internet Buzz”, you fickle, fickle mistress. You promised me the world at the start. You whispered sweet things, you tell me I’m the next big thing. We could have been something good, really good, I know it. There were happy times, right? Surely we can give things another go, in a year or so when the next book is out? Now everyone is going to be so disappointed with me and you just leave me out here, cold and alone.
Interesting, I didn’t really think I was being spoilerific. Hey, at least I wasn’t as harsh as Strange Horizons.
Only a couple: aspects of one of the character’s private life, I hoped, would be a big surprise for some.
ahh – I debated that one, but in the end I decided to include. Partially because I’d seen it elsewhere, but mostly because I wanted to include a bit more on why I thought you did so well with that character.
Well I’ll let you off, since it came as a compliment! 😉