Sunday, July 02, 2017

Three book reviews

First, a new fan of Summa Elvetica and Selenoth with an literarily eminent heritage reviews the precursor to Arts of Dark and Light.
As fantasy within the noble ranks of the great JRR Tolkien, you're being overly modest if you fail to see that SUMMA ELVETICA is more than a worthy sucessor. No doubt Tolkien himself would have been greatly pleased at how you have been able to successfully and seamlessly synthesize many of the beings and creatures of Middle Earth with Earth's ancient and modern history as we know it, thus making both all the more relevant in the process.

The Elvish soul question then functions more for me as a thematic jump-off point from which springs a very satisfying adventure tale, both grounded and uplifted by the problematic duality and contradictions inherent in Church doctrine. In other words, I'm glad, as you state in the "Author's Note," that you decided to pursue a more narrational rather than philosophical structure to the book. For me the tale and detailed descriptionn of its inhabitants - be they Elves, Men, Dwarves, Orcs, Trolls, Goblins or Ulin -- is the meat, and the philosophy is the spice; not the other way around.

Not that you need hear it from me, but your prose is as poetic as it is precise, and your storytelling gripping. Makes for a very satisfying read in the finest Tolkien tradition. Naturally I gleaned much intelligence from your terrific podcasts and interviews, but it didn't prepare me for the power and command you exhibit in your fiction.

Something I find fascinating -- and it may not necessarily be how you intended it to be viewed when you wrote it -- is that the realm of SUMMA ELVETICA can be seen as either prequel, sequel or a parallel realm to that of LORD OF THE RINGS. When the Elves depart from Middle Earth at the end of the trilogy, it's said that it's now the "Age of Men." Marcus Valerius appears to be a worthy if not exactly a heroic successor to the great King Aragorn (who married an Elf Princess), but overall, if Amorr is a successor to Gondor, it is -- although not unexpectedly when viewed from the perspective of this world we inhabit -- comparatively fallen, debased and considerably less heroic, and that's reason for sadness.
It's a very kind review, but I don't think "poetic" is a phrase one is often likely to hear used to describe my prose. I am pretty sure that "workmanlike" is a more accurate description. That being said, I am very pleased to hear that people are enjoying Selenoth to the point that they regard it as a worthy successor to Middle Earth rather than, say, Westeros or Malazan. And, of course, there are a few songs in A Sea of Skulls....

Second, a less-than-flattering review of SJWAL:
Excretable Nonsense
What twaddle. Now I know why no one takes you seriously. I didn't think my eyes could even roll that high. 
And another one of Crisis & Conceit:
Don't waste your time. 
I'm always rather curious what these obvious fake reviewers think they are accomplishing, if anything. I used to think they were simply trying to drive the average rating down, but over time, I've come to conclude that they are actually trying to relieve the pressure on their amygdala caused by the very existence of the book and/or the author. Regardless, it seems a very strange way to attempt to effect change.



Blogger Stilicho July 02, 2017 7:05 PM  

Re: fake reviews, probably a bit of both plus projection of their fears onto you: what do rabbits fear? Ostracism from the warren, and lack of popularity can cause that out-grouping, so they are trying to frighten you with being out-grouped and cast out of the warren. They would do it to a fellow rabbit who was unpopular with other (even if not with them) solely to distance themselves from possibly contagious unpopularity. They cannot conceive of anyone else acting differently.

Blogger DeploraBard July 02, 2017 7:18 PM  

It is the only way they have to blow off steam. They don't like hot women, lifting weights, guns, martial arts, or muscle cars so they sit around and try to tear down a hard working man.

Blogger DeploraBard July 02, 2017 7:21 PM  

1/3 of the way through Hitler in Hell and enjoying it very much. Being a Jew, MVC sure seems to be pretty blatant in describing the tribe's flaws. Or, is that simply to paint Hitler as more of an anti Semite by saying the same things about them then that people are saying again now?

Anonymous Looking Glass July 02, 2017 7:22 PM  

The root of the SJW's personal terror is their very limited ability to properly interpret the world. It comes from a pathetic religion that is extremely simple and falsifable, but it's still very real to them.

Responding to something like a book they've never read lets them let out the rage that's manifest in their hearts at something else. Little different than snapping at a waiter because you've had a bad day and they simply asked what you wanted to drink. The fake review or the twitter reply is a short release of the darkness that is consuming them.

Sadly, they're more pathetic than I believe I can describe.

Blogger Salt July 02, 2017 7:39 PM  

"workman-like" is a more accurate description

Agreed, and I did enjoy Summa Elvetica.

Blogger Dave July 02, 2017 8:00 PM  

Eye-roller has no other Amazon reviews so possibly he might have been forthright about his desire to know why no one takes you seriously.

Time-waster not only 1-starred C&C but also Cuckservative last month. Oddly enough their next previous book review was on December 18, 2014: Flim-Flam! Psychics, ESP, Unicorns, and Other Delusions (Paperback)

If it was a crusade for these folks they would 1-star all your books unless they think that's too obvious? But then where are the 1-star reviews of other wrongthink authors?

Blogger DeploraBard July 02, 2017 8:06 PM  

4) short release of darkness for pleasure, you may be onto something. Darkgasm

Blogger DeploraBard July 02, 2017 8:08 PM  

Or maybe, that is what the dark lord triggers in them

Blogger Thucydides July 02, 2017 8:12 PM  

Fake commenters may be paid to try and drive down average ratings, but obviously they (or their paymasters) have never read the old adage that any publicity is good publicity.

Foaming a the mouth progressives talking about your books at the water cooler are still talking about your books, much like President Trump's tweets are the topic of conversation even in hostile SJW converged organizations....

Keep up the good work!

Anonymous Russell Newquist July 02, 2017 8:18 PM  

And, of course, there are a few songs in A Sea of Skulls....

Speaking of which are there any plans to record versions of the songs? Because there are no excuses, Mr. Top 40 charting musician!

Blogger Lazarus July 02, 2017 9:06 PM  

Dave wrote:Eye-roller has no other Amazon reviews so possibly he might have been forthright about his desire to know why no one takes you seriously.

If he is forthright, then he has exposed himself as a deluded moron.

It is not a good look to defend deluded morons, Dave.

Blogger Dave July 02, 2017 9:20 PM  

His words not mine, don't be so literal Laz.

Blogger pdwalker July 02, 2017 10:10 PM  

It's a very kind review, but I don't think "poetic" is a phrase one is often likely to hear used to describe my prose. I am pretty sure that "workman-like" is a more accurate description.

Sorry, but you're wrong (in my opinion).

Summa Elvetica is a beautiful piece of work, even poetical and it's my favorite so far

i may be slightly biased though.

Blogger beerme July 02, 2017 10:28 PM  

Better to be a workman painting a solid wall than a "master painter" painting over Chinese sheetrock in a Mexican assembled house. Flowery prose is pointless when the story has a soul only Monsanto could love.

Blogger Tatooine Sharpshooters' Club July 02, 2017 10:41 PM  

Check out the other reviews by the "Waste of time" so-called reviewer, and see if you can spot the source of "John-Michael Perkins" distress.

Blogger Happy LP9 July 02, 2017 11:50 PM  

wow, the first matter Summa E is great the 2nd Crisis & Conceit: VD is a stand out writer; my kindle is down but still your critics whom seek to harm to Castalia House is noted, they are all haters and they heck with them!

Blogger Happy LP9 July 02, 2017 11:51 PM  

Yeah I noted, photographed and archived that insulting comment slash review.

Anonymous Anonymous July 03, 2017 12:21 AM  

Interestingly, the first fake review is directed towards you, where the second fake review is directed towards the public.

I can somewhat understand the one directed to the public, but the first seems a strange way of trying to dialog with you, since you have a blog and a gab account.

Anonymous Bellator Mortalis July 03, 2017 12:31 AM  

It is mind clearing to watch the ORIGINAL Invasion of the Body Snatchers - 1956 version. It shows what America used to be like. And it shows what has happened.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash July 03, 2017 2:00 AM  

Excretable Nonsense
Has heard, but doesn't know, the word execrable.

Anonymous Anonymous July 03, 2017 4:50 AM  

Nietzsche puts it down to ressentiment: "It is not surprising that the lambs should bear a grudge against the great birds of prey..."

I think he was onto something.

Blogger wreckage July 03, 2017 5:49 AM  

I would like a recording,in gruff dwarfish chorus, of the King's Guard's unofficial anthem.

I havta say, I especially like your coarse shanties.

Blogger wreckage July 03, 2017 5:52 AM  

"Excretable nonsense" clearly refers to the fact that the SDL crafts his propaganda with specialist propaganda-excreting hate-glands located just below his mandibles.

Look out! They're onto you!

Anonymous Anonymous July 03, 2017 9:33 AM  

I've got to get around to reading Elvetica, but I'm damned if I know when. Too much winning from CH.

I will say that my opinion of Vox's prose is that it is superior to most; somewhere around 3 SDs above the average publication.

As one might reasonably expect.

I wouldn't say workmanlike is an insult, but certainly an underestimate.

Then again, as a failed author I'm probably not the guy whose opinion on this matter you should prefer above Vox's own.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash July 03, 2017 11:57 AM  

It is said that a good artist is always his own worst critic. Vox's critics challenge this aphorism, being unfamiliar with the concept of reading the book before critiquing it, addressing any of the qualities of the book in their criticism, or even learning comprehensible English in some cases.

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