The first 150 pages of the new project went to my wonderful agent, Cameron McClure, who is also the best beta reader I know. Last week I heard back: she thinks it's great.
I can't tell you how glad I am to hear that. Cameron and I signed on together after she read Daughter of the Sword. Because she liked that book, the probability of her liking Year of the Demon and Disciple of the Wind was pretty high. They do form a trilogy, after all. Whether she'd like the new project was, at least in my mind, very much in doubt.
I'm one of those writers who never has any idea how good a piece is while I'm working on it. Call it self-doubt, or a need for validation, or exactly the right amount of humility a writer ought to have in order to write the best book possible. I don't know what it is. All I know is that when Cameron thinks something needs work, it needs work, and when she thinks something is good, it's pretty damn good. (Take a look at some of the authors she represents. They're pretty damn good.)
So the new book needs work -- all drafts do -- but on the whole it's looking good. This, of course, means I won't be on the blog for a while, as it's back to full steam ahead on this project. I'm on Twitter more, if you want to keep in touch.