A very impressive first novel. I am most intrigued to see how this story plays out. The concepts and philosophies in this first book display a maturity unusual in a young, novice author and it is clear that when these are further developed, the story will become even more interesting and exciting. This novel promises to be the first stepping stone towards a new epic fantasy story indeed, with our mysterious protagonist presented to us initially as the "innocent" on the cusp of an epic adventure,learning the nature of unkown forces with the help or hindrance of chaperoning mentors and facing down an unknown evil. However, I sense that there is more to Douglas, and the world beyond Sol Mavrica, than the stock standard epic fantasy genre usually produces. I am certain that the author will surprise us with some deeply hidden and dangerous flaws in his main character that will take this story to another level, a twenty first century level where there are many more colours to the literary spectrum than just black and white. Praise also for the vast range of characters that inhabit this new world, and for the grand story that makes space for some politicking and humour and the description of the agonies of "coming of age" in the young. I look forward to the next stage of Douglas's journey!!!