Sapphire Book Reviews has posted their review of The White Tree. Spoiler alert: it is a very nice review. Giving it 4.5 stars, she calls The White Tree “an instant page turner” that “has everything you could ask for in an adventure story.”

I’m sure I’ll wind up with a nasty review one of these days, and I’m sure it’ll sting, but it’s been pretty nice to keep reading these positive ones in the meantime.

The reviewer does some nice analysis of the religion in the book, too. It’s pretty interesting as an author to see what readers and reviewers hone in on–religious strife drives most of the action of the book, but when I was writing it, religion as an entity wasn’t one of my main concerns. I mean, I wasn’t particularly trying to say anything about it beyond how history, legend, and meaning can be distorted, misinterpreted, and mistranslated by those in power, resulting in profound changes to the original beliefs. That and how these beliefs can divide us.

But it sounds like if the book had been more spiritually-oriented, or obviously trying to make points about specific real-world religions, positive or negative, the reviewer would have been turned off. Which I completely understand–it would take a pretty special book to get me to want to read Christian or inspirational fiction. That’s just not my thing. But it just didn’t occur to me that what I was writing was that concerned with religion, that close to being a potential social landmine. I was just writing medieval-era epic fantasy. In the medieval ages, religion drove an awful lot of politics, economics, and various social forces. Plus I’d been fascinated by how much of the embedded meaning of ancient parables and stories is lost as, over the course of centuries, a culture moves further and further from the one that created that story in the first place.

Which makes it sound like the religious angle was the driving motivation to write The White Tree. Really, I wanted to tell a story of a kid who discovers a life-long passion while trying to keep himself together in the midst of a harsh and violent world. The rest was just additional color.

The White Tree‘s available, FYI, in electronic formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

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I am a Science Fiction and Fantasy author, based in LA. Read More.
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