Blog Tour Stop – Review of The Curse Merchant at Happy Tails & Tales

Today’s blog tour stop is hosted by a blog with the single most adorable welcome image I’ve seen yet. You have to go see it, seriously!

And once you’re there, check out the latest review of The Curse Merchant at Happy Tails & Tales. Five Paws!

So, a quick observation I’ve made recently. The Curse Merchant has been reviewed three times in the last three days, and each of these review bloggers have commented on the same thing. Here are some quotes; see if you can spot the thread:

“While you can feel that this is the first book in the series — there is a LOT to learn, Mr. Sloan is adept at making that learning fun. No giant info dumps here… One of the things I loved was that I got a rich, full sense of backstory, as if I’d read books full of it. I felt like I knew the characters mentioned, as though I’d read the scenes and events described and lived through what Dorian went through to get to this point. That takes some skilled writing.”

“A beautifully crafted story with the character of Dorian being both uniquely voiced and incredibly detailed.  Rich in history and research…”

“The world building and research that was put into this story made it so much more real. Everything seems to flow and mesh well. I am definitely looking forward to reading book two, as this is a fantastic start to a new series. You know I normally say I don’t like big info dumps- well, this story has a ton of description, but it never felt like that because it was written excellently. It felt like you were learning the back story, and not have random info thrown at you… This is a major A+ for me!”

One of the ambitions among fiction writers is to avoid the dreaded “info dump”, or exposition. The fiction genre is replete with such chunks of patent backstory, meant to ground the reader in the world and perhaps even explain a few of the world’s rules. This has become so prevalent that the average fantasy/sci fi reader has actually developed a kind of desensitization to it. Still, one tries more artfully to lace the history, rules, and the greater world into the plot itself. It seems I’ve succeeded in that!

I feel that more often than not an info dump is a sign that the author doesn’t trust the reader to keep up. Readers of fantasy are savvy, imaginative, and experienced. If you give them a sense of the present, and if you’ve done your pre-writing, then they will absorb the milieu as quickly as you’ve written it, and perhaps even more fully!

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