The author, Luca Rossi, has become a major hit with readers of all shapes and sizes. Some of these are delving into a genre way outside their usual fare, including me. So, what has attracted them to The Branches of Time?
The novel is set within the complicated elements of time travel and slips. It is a fantasy world caught up in the grips of black magic, love and war; a book that you can safely lose yourself in as soon as you 'turn over' the first page.
The points that stick out for me are:
The Branches of Time has many scenes of love and sex which, for some, could be a problem. If they become a regular feature of a book and do something to move the story along, then the book should be marketed as erotica as well. Too much in a book that does not require it and you could alienate those who prefer not to read about sex.
I do not regard the sex scenes in The Branches of Time as erotica. Does it give anything to the book and story? Is it even well written? This book could do very well without any mention of sex. It wasn't the language or the acts themselves that caused me a problem, but the excessive focusing on some of them. For example, the King Beanor really kneaded this one particular piece of dough almost out of existence. Excessive, yes. Necessary, no. There is a fine line between what is considered erotica and porn. If you're not careful any scenes you write about sex can come over as tawdry.
The novel is shorter than what I would have liked. It seemed to me that it just ran out of room to fully establish the characters and the roles that they played overall. Without a doubt, some characters are stronger than others but I became confused as to whether they mattered or even if they were going to be a continuing part of the story.
I feel the book could be edited further. Some of the words are surplus to requirements and removal of these would have made the book much more enjoyable. Was something, again, lost in translation? It's possible, but I doubt it. Research more into how people generally communicate with one another and it can help to give a more natural feel. A good tip is to read your novel or story out loud. If it makes you wince then you know it can be improved upon.
There are separate stories going in within the one novel which can be disconcerting. It's an awful lot of jumping around in such a short space of time. Fantasies are another genre that can quite easily confuse me: too many long, strange names, battles and unusual worlds. So a lot of happenings can really spin me around.
Overall, Branches of Time is an interesting read but do be aware of its sex and violent content if you decide to give it a go.