I think part of the problem is I'm holding myself hostage to the structure I had in mind: one chapter from Jacob's POV, one chapter from Jael's. That form has its advantages (and a good pay off in a few chapters...I hope). It shows the internal life of both characters and their take on the occurrences of the previous chapters as well as their own view of the current chapter's encounters. And there it is: that phrase. 'previous chapters'. I'm starting to think that this form I've chosen is holding back the action. Since part of each chapter is a retrospective on the last, forward momentum is being blunted.
Oh, I don't know. Forward momentum, action and constant tension are critical to some genre's but I'm not sure it's required for Epic fantasy, though I'm sure it is for conventional YA. Readers, me included, are willing to relax and enjoy a fantasy novel. We want to escape and be entertained. We don't want stories we love to end. So maybe I'm fussing about nothing.
I need to get some novel readers to go through the whole thing and give me their impressions. Ah well, one thing at a time. Tonight is chapter 29, wonder and romance at last.