I hope this question is not mainly opinion based, I'm really just looking for a writer's handbook/source/acclaimed author saying this is either good, okay or bad. I think it might not be so good, which is why I'm asking.
In the very first sentences of my book, I introduce Nick, the main character. At the time of writing, I thought little of the words I jotted down. But now, reading it in retrospective, something was off to me. Take a look.
Splinters flew as Nick chopped the logs. A great pile of firewood towered beside him. Deep ravines laid in the haft of the axe, shaped by Nick’s hands. The axe had belonged to him since a young age. He was soon to be the lumberjack of the homestead, like his father before him. He died, along with Nick’s mother, a winter night. Such was normal for low-level servants of the King. So, without his mother of father, Nick was without family. The closest thing he came to family was Brad, who was his best friend, and the other servants on the farm.
Sorry if the excerpt was a bit lengthy, I know this is not a critique site. Now, at first it's OK, I'm just describing what he's doing. But it quickly gets into how his parents died and all that. This is not a vital part of the story, not at all, I just wanted to tell my readers why he was the lumberjack. And also to illustrate what kind of situation he's in. But when I think about it, is it too soon to say these things? Perhaps the reader can just wonder about these details for a bit. Here's another example of this, coming straight after the first excerpt.
-Hey, you done soon?
Millie was exhausted. She did all the small jobs on the farm, like transporting the firewood from the chopping block to the shed, or the fireplace. Since she was just twelve there wasn’t any specific job given to her yet.
Once again, the details are not very important. Her age could be told in a different way, through her actions for example. So, is it "bad" to say details like these, and background material, so early in a character's introduction?
Also, sorry if it looks like I want you to critique the entirety of my story. That is not my goal, I simply want to know if the potential problem of mine is a problem.