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10/16/2003 c7 27Morcar
Sorry. Not buying it.

So the navy, a regimented authoritarian organisation, takes on board a highwayman's daughter with an avowed hatred of authority, puts her in a position of command and *then* she manages - single handedly no less - to rally the crew to mutiny? Not only that, but she seems to do it entirely by walking up to the established crew and saying "by the way, your captain's a nutter, wanna overthrow him".

Does nobody resent her or dislike her? After all you establish earlier that female officers are unheard of, why is she getting special treatment? Just having green eyes doesn't qualify you for leadership.

Yes, she's cool, but she's that special sort of cool which comes entirely from the author being determined that you will be cool no matter the cost, and that sails dangerously close to Mary Sue territory.

At the very least, provide a bit more detail of how the mutiny got together, of how she pursuaded all those people to join her and *crucually* give her some damned opposition worth the name. So far I haven't seen her make a single mistake, and that's not a good thing.
10/16/2003 c5 Morcar

So a highwayman - a gentleman of the road, a brigand and a robber - presents his daughter to a ship of the inperial fleet and they take her on board as an officer?

There is, I am almost certain, backplot and history to explain this, but it strikes me as very slightly mad - what kind of Empire gives positions of autority to the daughters of higwaymen?
10/16/2003 c3 Morcar
Me again (I figure chapter by chapter is easier for both of us).

I like what I've seen of Jio. Imaginative illiterate and a little naive, all in all a well rounded character and rather a charming one. On a similar point I like the fact that you've just hinted so far about the nature of magic, talking about alchemists brewing five essential metals and healing-women with bags of herbs rather than the usual godawful "A storm. That meant an Air-Mage" which one comes to expect from many of the entries in the fantasy section.

I'm not so convinced by the latest developments in Saphra's story. Firstly it appears that not only did she win the race on sodden wings, but also on wings she wasn't used to, and she was only just out of training wings. I know there's an archetype of the Plucky Precocious Heroine, but you need to be carful about how you use it.

The kidnap plot seems still more bizzarre. In particular the idea that "the floor was scuffed, as if something - or someone - had been forcibly dragged out." I just don't buy that. Either there was a struggle, in which case things would be broken, there could even be bloodstains, but scuffs on the floor? If they'd been moving a chest of drawers maybe, but unless her Givensister was *extremely* heavy, had very shapr corners, or was covered in grease, I don't buy the floor being scuffed. It's only a little thing, but to my mind it damages the credibility of what follows.

The new wings then. If I were Saphra I'd be a little more suspicious about the Wingkeeper knowing my sister had been taken, and a good deal more persistant in that line of questioning. (incidentally my guess at the moment is that finding her sister is the *real* third trial, but I could be wrong). The black wings "that dripped coolness" are a bit Magical Sword Of Destiny for my liking, and it is generally bad form to describe a thing as "dripping coolness" unless you are speaking *strictly* from the point of view of an easily impressed teenager. Otherwise, to quote the self made critic in his review of Matrix: Reloaded "Guys, when you have to tell us how cool you are, you aren't very cool."

On the plus side I do like what I've seen of your invented world, the academy seems real and substantial, and wonder of wonders has a level of technology that isn't cribbed directly from dark ages europe.
10/16/2003 c2 Morcar
Okay, further thoughts. Chapter one is... a little confusing I think. There's a lot of conflicting imagery as regards the nature of these "windriders", much as I *loathe* people who expect fantasy settings to subscribe to real-world physics, I think it is possible to go too far here.

You start off with your Windriders almost like hang gliders, riding thermals and relying on the air currants to get anywhere. Later on it seems that they can fly like gannets, diving into the water and out again *but* you've already said that these are artificial wings made of silk and metal, so it just doesn't strike me as terribly plausible that you can just dive into and out of the water like an Osprey on them.

Similarly I don't see how Tavus managed to maintain the lead if he was carrying a bloody great iron sword, or how Saphra managed to catch up with him with waterlogged wings. Similarly in arial combat, I don't see how somebody dripping wet is going to beat somebody who is not dripping wet and who is, assumedly, a bit better than them even on a good day. Of course it's possible that the iron sword was just impractical for the requirements of fighting on the wing, but surely one of the five best windriders in the Academy would know that and would carry a more sensible weapon.

Sorry if this sounds critical, and I know how irritating it is when people try to apply real world physics to fantasy, but what I'm getting at here is not the aerodynamics of the situation so much as the consistency of the chapter.

Suggestions: More detail about the wings is probably a good thing, they're clearly a unique and important element of the setting, and it's vital that the reader understands what they can and can't do, otherwise they'll assume you're cheating and changing their properties as suits the plot, similarly you might want to make the first glider that Saphra taked down put up more of a fight because at the moment that initial confrontation makes the Flightwings look like fragile constructs that couldn't take being (for example) flown into the sea at high speed. Drop the iron sword, if Tavus needs to have something slowing him down, have him catch an arrow in the second trial, that way it makes sense for Saphra to suddenly be catching him up.

Thanks for bearing with me.
10/16/2003 c1 Morcar
First thoughts (just read the prelude, but they do say that breakfast is the most important meal, if you see what I mean)

On the one hand I am never much impressed by any story which has characters named "X of the Y Clan" it just strikes me as a bit derivative (I know that technically it can't have been used more often than X, Prince of Y, Lord of A and B and Emperor of C but even so). On the other hand Kaniq does seem relatively interesting, and that's enough to get me to read further, and that's really all a prelude has to do.
10/14/2003 c26 Nael
This is AWESOME!I love your story! It is definately the best part of my day!(I'm in computor science right now)Keep it up! I can't wait to see more of Sovey. She's hilarious! Don't let school keep you away! And I'd love to talk on aim, none of my friends are ever on. I'm horseyhop. Talk to ya later! -Nael
10/5/2003 c9 8Kezkay
Ah! pieces of the puzzle are coming slowly together...hmm. You know, it's so unfair that you can manipulate me into reading ANOTHER chapter of your fic so soon... *grumbles* stupid weakness.. For some reason, it was THIS chapter that I reviewed when I meant to review chapter 7, how odd. anyway, the part where the tumbleweed blew across the outside...hilarious. Especially when placed in between the prophecy.

"The man in black raised his arms to the heavens wordlessly. The fighting siblings ignored him." hahah!

"Look. I came here to give you this message,” said the man in black, having lost all his mysterious composure." the poor man, his mysteriousness is all GONE! haha! I was really reminded of Allanon from the Shanara series by this part, until THAT happened. ha! Terry Brooks ought to take part in that hilarious goodness.

-chocolate kezhound.

PS- This spur of the moment review-thing ain't happenin' again. You've got enough as it is!
10/2/2003 c8 Kezkay
Aie, I can sense some clashes coming up in the future. I wuved the part in the wagon where Saphra met "Sissy Moo!" HAHHAHA! That's great, by the way. Happy Wings! *does girly eyelash-flutter thingy*

Anyway! Man, Saphra got duped, didn't she, haha!

Short chapter. You left me wanting. But I'm gonna go work on MY story now, no more reviews for you!
9/30/2003 c2 203Shades Of Autumn
Your quality of writing is really impressive: lots of nice adjectives and descriptive words.

One thing, in this chapter were quite a lot of new people, and you changed the focus back and forth so much that it made me feal disoriantated;

The names of the charecters are nicley chosen and somehow really fit them. You also gave out a few good hints to whet the imagination, like the reason why she just *had* to win the race. I like her determination, but feel a bit worried about the part where she takes out a fellow competator by sabotarge; this would be fine if she's an anti-hero, but not so good if she's a goody. Another thing: it would be good to let your readers know right away whether the new charecter is a 'goody' or a 'baddy'. There are various ways of doing this, but the way I find best is though the thoughts of the charecter; they really reviel the soul!

Oh, also, I really liked the race, the sence of tension and suspence was exallently crafted; I was rooting for Saphra all along!

I've tried to do my best in con. critism.
9/30/2003 c1 Shades Of Autumn
Oh interesting ;) like the idea of the blueice clan. Oh, dunno if you remember me, but you reviewd my storie a couple of weeks ago so I'm reviewing you!

Muse: After a mounth?

AG: Don't question your creator!

Fiend: Like you really had somthing *better* to do?

AG: Of course I did. Namley, decide on who's next gonna die in Shadow Spinner.

Aryah and co.: *gulp*

Anyway, on with the review. An interesting beggining, that strange language was particually intreaging (don't with spelling!) sort of like normal English only changed, perhaps altered by the tides of time? Anyway, looks good!
9/27/2003 c7 Kezhound
HAHAH! You have an evil midget for a character! Like minime, but evil-er! Hmm, I don't believe that mutiny was very FUN for Sovay, I think exilarating would be a better word...Hmm, was this ship rather important to Thane North? You hinted at something in this chapter... Now I just hope the crew doesn't mutiny against HER! -kezzy
9/22/2003 c26 30The B.A.T
MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! (I've gotta stop starting reviews like that...) Hell hath no fury quite like Sovay! You know, it's interesting. For someone who maintains his composure well, Jiranor certainly did not do that at all this time. "I've had more intelligent conversations with people in lifelong comas!" Ain't it the truth? This line is filled with so many timeless one-liners I can't stand it! It's too funny! *dies laughing but enjoys the Rebirth and revives* Congratulations on another brilliant chapter. I had an idea. Since Jiranor and Sovay are basically anti-each-other from this point on, it would be great if at some point in time Sovay and Saphra had to switch clothes, Jiranor didn't know about it, chewed out Saph instead, and suffered HER wrath instead. Oh, god, the hilarity of it all. It hurts so much. Lelly should be tied to the anchor and plunged into the ocean at every port. "No freedom for you inland." Oh, god, this chapter has so many directions to take character relations in. But Tollin... it's not good to be close to someone with a Napoleon complex. Sure, she resolved the problem with Kym, but Tollin is still out there. Not good. But that's just me worrying whenever I see his name in the text. Oh, well. I look forward to reading the next chappy!

-Yusef "The B.A.T." Pittman
9/22/2003 c25 The B.A.T
MWAHAHAHA! That was highly entertaining! But you're gonna have a hard time explaining how Yiddish accents exist in a fantasy world, lol. Non-sequitors are fun. I like them. Yeah. I have big feet. The lab closes at 4:30. Three people are wearing hats in front of me. This is a computer lab. This is a college. This is enough. I was referring to Saphra's random thoughts, of course, lol. That was one segment I particularly enjoyed. And I'm glad Sovay is still thinking about Saphra and what she may "know". And I was thinking about why Sovay feared her twin for some time, and it's good to know I drew the same conclusion as you decided to write. Just REVEALING the knowledge that Saphra knows to Sovay could destroy the security of her world. Sure, Sovay could try and brush it off and move on (like Makethran seems to be doing), but that doesn't change the fact that she knows. It would torture her, and so she is right in fearing it. After all, some things are better left unsaid, or in this case, unknown... but this isn't one of those cases, is it? And I look forward to reading the next chappy!

-Yusef "The B.A.T." Pittman
9/22/2003 c24 The B.A.T
Oh, dear god. Good grief. Of all the things. My word. *rolling eyes* I don't believe it. *blankly* Right. That was the most blatant thing I've ever read. "Password?" "Swordfish". Lol, not sure if that's the Marx Brothers shout-out you mentioned (that name sounds so familiar and I feel like an idiot for not being able to identify it... am sure those are the two brothers behind The Matrix series, but now am wondering if they did Swordfish as well), but I did pick that up right in the beginning. Was there anything significant about the ranks in there? First... Fourth... Seventh... Tenth... Why those four numbers to stand out? And there's a little error. You say Greatarms announced that everyone moved up, but you also say that only those four are present, so to whom is she announcing? But enough about that for now, lol. Makethran, I think one word can sum him up: angst. Yep, he's angst in a nutshell. I think I read in your bio that you were asking what the word meant? Well, if you were, he's angst for certain, and not MERELY angst; he's living, breathing, feeling angst, lol. But now he's sleeping angst. Those assassins, oi... and I just realized that Kym actually has the favor of this little pact. Hasn't she been trying to kill Saph? Why else would she unless she was one of those Evils that the Truthbearer talked about? I didn't even need THAT tidbit to inquire about it; I should have thought about that long before. Speaking of Kym, that was by far one of the most entertaining scenes in this story, back in the previous chapter. I forgot to mention that because the Truthbearer thing dropped that entirely out of my mind. Excellent chapter, as always. Only two more to go. YATTA! And then I will no longer suffer from catch-up-itis.

-Yusef "The B.A.T." Pittman
9/22/2003 c23 The B.A.T
I'm glad you did not let me down; WWanll survived, and will at long last live his life, provided that it will take some years for him to learn how. You will soon notice that I change my theories with every chapter, or have you noticed it already? This chapter reeks of Salt. At first, I thought Saphra and Sovay would both be quicksilver, but then I remembered that I said Sovay was copper, and so I sadly conclude that each child has their own symbol, which means not everyone I expected is a Child (that's why I'm sad). So Saphra is Salt (this can't work without Salt, she said it herself, without the capital letter, but it seemed like it held such foreshadowing importance from the narrator's perspective nonetheless), and now I am still positive that Jiranor is Iron, the strenght of the group. But who is Quicksilver? Iain, or Makethran? I was positive that Makethran was Gold, but I know nothing about Iain yet, so I'm still a little uncertain. Then again, Iain could very well be that decoy. But that last line worries me. "If only it were that simple." And then the prophecy. "Salt is dead. It cannot be reborn." I'm beginning to suspect that every human harbors the soul of one of the ancients, and by Saphra saving WWanll's life now, she has condemned the life of one of her own peoples. I would have done the same, but still, that's an interesting thought that I'm playing with and I can't help wondering if I'm on the right track... This chapter really messed with my emotions, that's for sure. Keep it up, as usual!

-Yusef "The B.A.T." PIttman
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