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4/20/2008 c35 quincy
-falls over-

That, was, well...unexpected.

To say the least anyways.

It was powerful, sudden, and scary.

But I liked it, in a weird sort of way. It's plot-twisting move was shattering, as I was hoping that Ranara would at least keep her (half)humanity.

But, C'est la vie. It just wasn't meant to be, apparently.

~~Q~~
3/15/2008 c2 1MZ PEACHESZZ
Please, please finish this story- it has such a promising start and I can already see you are a great writer- good character development( thus far), intriguing plot, proper grammar/syntax/diction, etc. However, I hate reading incomplete stories and then waiting for sporadic updates that often ruin my image and overall sense of the story. Can you tell me how many more chapters( roughly) you estimate there will be and how long you think it will take you to complete this? Once you finish this, I will then proceed to read ( and REVIEW!) EVERY chapter for constructive criticism and provide more reviews to a story that deserves more but lacks it. Thank you!
3/14/2008 c34 3spikedmango
The storm outside (less on the rain side, heavy on the scary blue lightning side) keeps knocking the power/internet out, but I am determined to get this thing posted.

First off, I loved the way you began the chapter. I definitely got the whole 'just waking up' feeling from the first paragraph. It could have been excessively mushy, but you wrote it well. I felt a little of Ranara's contentment at thinking about the night before. I loved the detail about him not quite succeeding in always 'reigning in' his fangs; that simple sentence gave an amazing mental image and a nice impression of their night without being explicit. And, of course, it's good to know that he took care of her. *grin*

I liked the detail about Ranara noticing his ring, too. It was a piece of the 'real world,' reminding us that more is going on than just their bedchamber antics. And of course it led to thoughts about her promise to him, and then Corven just had to show up…

Oh, what you did with Corven this chapter. He has always just been so aggravating and antagonizing and I haven't liked him at all… which of course you had to fix before you killed him. *sigh* The detail about vampires being able to control each other like that, that was… intense. And something that Ketil would definitely do, and Willon would capitalize on. And it made me feel sorry for him. I'd be a bit of a jackass if my free will was nonexistent, too. You find the most creative ways to make me feel sorry for people, I swear. Of course, just as I started sympathizing with him, he dies.

I'm kind of surprised that Lilith asked Ranara to end her suffering… my politically correct (in their world) guess is that she was trying to spare Willon the pain of seeing his lover in so much suffering. My this-would-get-me-killed-at-Ragnorak guess is that she didn't think Willon would be enough of a man to finish her off, and she couldn't think of anyone else who'd do it. It was an interesting scene, and set up very interesting things later on in the chapter.

Oh, and the part about Lilith's bloodshot eyes make me do a double-take every time I read it. Details like that show the really intense thought and consideration you put into your writing. The sheer craftsmanship (it's the only word that fits, really) that you put into your work never ceases to amaze me. I had never ever considered what a bloodshot-eyed vamp would look like, but your mind went there and brought back a striking image.

And, Damaros waking up was much more like a vampire's awakening would be (or so I imagine) not such a long period of dazedness, just - Now I'm awake. The comment about him not often waking up naked makes me laugh every time I read it. But he was so cute! thinking about the night before. "Ranara…and he…had…" and his reaction at seeing the empty bed, and later on his uncertainty when he learned she was visiting Saul ("Last night had been blissful- she had told him as much before falling asleep in his arms")… his reactions were just so completely adorable. It really showed that he cared about her, and I love that quality in him - he's not just sexy, he's sweet too. ^_^

Oh, and, of course, the spectacular little mystery you put in here for us. Interestingly enough, the word for 'patience' in Latin also means 'suffering.' That is definitely what you were doing to me this chapter! I was on the edge of my seat, literally, bent over the computer… trying to scroll down line by line, attempting not to spoil the ending for myself. It was so tempting to jump forward and see what had happened - it really seemed like Corven had been ordered to open the shutters, but Lilith wouldn't have that authority, so how…? - but I knew if I waited the payoff would be that much better. And it WAS. Ranara's horrified reaction was perfect, but the ending line was even more perfect. E!

The mystery really did it for me this chapter. I was bouncing up and down when I wasn't being tortured by it. It was very compact, set up in just a short few paragraphs, but I could feel Damaros's mind spinning in the near-panic it produced (though I never suspected Ranara - pfft! Though I have to admit I was privy to information he didn't have). The emotion of the situation was accomplished very well through his perspective. I love that annoyance at Ranara being with Saul managed to worm its way in there. And Saul's whole "you finally got her!" smirk was awesome, even more so because Damaros completely failed to recognize it. He was being friendly, you silly vampire!

This is getting long, sorry, but I think I know how Corven and Lilith died in the room together and I have to offer the theory - Willon came back, his dominance took away Damaros's ability to order everyone around. Willon finally stepped up and helped end Lilith's pain, ordered Corven to open the shutters for her and maybe to help her to the window? And Willon could've just stood there and listened to them both scream… or ordered Corven not to scream o_O

"It is such a nice thing to hear you tell me that I could make you feel sympathetic towards a child eater like Willon" made me laugh. Heh, I think the reason I thought of the castle gossip is because I get a weird joy out of seeing characters squirm, and Damaros hearing the other vamps and the human servants whispering about him having sex would just make him squirm and me laugh, hard.

I keep saying this, but you just keep topping yourself, so I have to keep saying it. This is definitely going down as one of my favorite chapters. I just love everything you did with it. Not just the events themselves, either, but the way you phrased and painted everything. Plus the ending - while being a little bit frustrating - makes me jump up and down in anticipation of the next chapter.
3/11/2008 c34 21Faith Adeline
wow, great chapter. I really enjoyed just seeing them two, and thought it was well written. While I'm glad the bitch is dead, I'm sure Willon being back isn't going to be a happy reunion. Gah. lol. Keep it up and update soon!

Faith
2/22/2008 c1 6WishesofImmortality
Well, I'm captivated. Update soon... I'm on the edge of my seat.
2/18/2008 c33 3spikedmango
The beginning scene was a great way to set up the ritual. At first, I kind of wished that the scene had been longer and that you showed more of the ritual there, but rereading it, it's much better that you left off where you did. It emphasizes his thought that yes, this is going to take a long time, and it places more drama and suspense on it - lends the final result even more weight than it has by itself. And you showed his determination and nervousness perfectly: the line "Part of that emboldened him. Part of that made him even more afraid to try- and fail." Arundis is a very human character, I like seeing his anxieties even now, after he's worked so hard and done so much. It's realistic.

There are two big lines I want to comment on in the next scene. "The overwhelming pressure of tears burned at the back of his throat," for one. When I read that the first time it made me gasp, and it still startles me. Every time I've got Willon pegged as just a hateful bastard, you go and mention some detail that makes him seem like he actually has a heart. I mean, it was entirely possible he was just using Lilith for sex, but that comment made it seem like he was actually thinking about her torment when he waged this stupid attack on Gladshiem and not just getting revenge for being embarrassed by letting a hit like that slip through his defenses. (Even though, as he now realizes, it was inside his defenses all along…) The other line I really liked was "Everything would begin, and it would begin with her," even though it leads for awful complications for Ranara! It was very… intense of Willon to think that. Very dramatic, very foreboding… and an absolutely perfect way to leave off that scene. When I reread that, it makes me shiver and feel a little scared even through the alone-time scene at the end - when Willon tries to take his revenge, what is Damaros going to do? And other uncertainties…

(One typo in the next scene, from a sentence you changed: "Inside…she was whirlwind" should have an "a" there.) I know I read this scene before, but Mech'eari's initial refusal to take Ranara upstairs still startled me and made me angry. Though I liked the clue about the sweet scent not coming from the vamp; it made me smile to figure out it was the succubus before she actually appeared. She handled him excellently, of course. And, I know I've said it, but I love Saul. I love that you showed his serious side this chapter, him giving advice to his friend. And Ranara recognized that he was being serious and she had better listen to him. His advice was pretty good, too, nothing… flirtatious, really. Just sound advice. And of course he still had to be Saul: “Very well then. Don’t forget to let me out when the time comes,” which made me laugh. I really hope she does get the chance to let him out… soon…

The beginning of the next scene was very entrancing. You progressed through the steps, through Arundis feeling like the rest of the world was dropping away - and I definitely got that feeling. The conversation with the spirit was… interesting. A creator insulted that someone was implying that her work wasn't up to snuff, as it were. I do wonder what the cost is going to be… I'm sure you have something mean, but smart, in mind. His collapse at the end had me worried, but I know what happens now, and I do like the detail about him being too tired to care who disturbed his room.

I liked the detail you put in about Rentun needing Rekem's magic to regrow his fangs, it was an interesting little point. And it was interesting to see Damaros do it in the first place - though it was a good leaderly move, very commanding, and appropriate considering the things at stake (that is, the tempers of the Demonics). His musing about leaving… my thought was 'Sure, Damaros. Sure.' I have the feeling he's thought about leaving a lot and never made a single move to actually do it.

When Ranara came in… oh. It was so completely adorable and wonderful. I loved, loved, loved that she reduced Damaros to someone younger, more inexperienced - his fangs are suddenly awkward, he doesn't know whether to sit or stand, his muscles getting tenser as she came closer. She knocks him so off-balance that he's snapping at her even when part of him realizes he doesn't want to. And he can't look at her until she apologizes and doesn't react immaturely when he stays stoic. A small detail, but I liked the ellipsis you added at the end of "…not letting the canines touch her skin for all that he yearned to…" It made the sentence stick out more, made me do a little double-take to read it again.

Her request to take a bath still made me grin. It was a good detail to note right before she asked, about her clothes. They've changed since Damaros last took a good look at them, but her blouse by then definitely would've been 'grungy,' it was a good lead into the bath request. And of course in about ten minutes the entire castle will know that Ranara's in the regent's bedchamber with a hot bath… *grin* The vampire summoned to bring the bathwater was a nice detail, it'd have to be someone strong, and the gossip will spread even faster now.

And now I get to rant about the last paragraph of that scene, heh. That paragraph is going to stay in my mind for a good long time to come. I love that you didn't go too explicit with everything, for one. It was much more shiver-inducing just to think about it - to read that she began to lift his shirt and his hands reached for her blouse's hemline - than to get a big description of them staring at each other half-clothed or less than half-clothed. And something about him saying "I'll stay, I'll stay" - twice, not once - just hit me, hard. Like he said it once to himself and then once to Ranara… *fangirlish sigh* The other details: the noise in his throat, his lips 'cascading' onto hers… Alone time was perfect, and finished perfectly.

The last scene kind of brought us back to reality - the serum is being concocted, but we can already see the price will not be pretty just from Arundis losing so much energy from discovering the recipe for the thing. It was foreboding, which was probably your intention. It was interesting and sad, too, to see Lorenda on the other side of the dynamic: Arundis is the one sick, she's the one well, but she has to face what he did with the duty of going on with her… duties.

Heh, well, if you had put Utada's "Simple and Clean" at the beginning it would've been a little eerie; I had all of my Utada music playing while I reread this chapter, and that's one of the songs I have of hers. The chapter was excellent, and will stand out as one of my favorites in this story. Whenever Rylan and Sasilyna get around to kissing again will be good… as long as it's not a 'you're about to die in my arms and make the audience cry' kind of kiss. And, oh man, the 'next time' hints have me worrying for the safety of so many characters. Again, the chapter was excellent, and I'm definitely looking forward to the next one.
1/31/2008 c33 21Faith Adeline
wonderful chapter. I loved the part with Ranara and Dameros. Very, very good job. I cannot wait for more, so hopefully you're able to update soon :)

Faith
1/19/2008 c32 3spikedmango
This whole chapter was a great decision on your part. After reading it, I think the cast and crew of this story were definitely in need of a 'Day of the Living'-type occasion. With the weight of the war, funeral, and inevitable second confrontation with Willon on everyone's shoulders, a day to eat and talk with each other was good doctor's orders - or, I guess, author's orders.

You did a good job in the first scene of showing the discussions going on, what natural talk would be like on a recovery day like that, including Rylan's discomfort in remembering Sasilyna's bloodshed, and the bit of gossip Vedis had about the throne - which I'm glad you kept in there, if for no other reason than the fact that everyone enjoys a good bit of gossip now and then. It made sense for something like that to pop up in conversation.

And you put enough humor in there to lighten the mood a little after the darkness of the funeral. My favorite bit of humor had to be the comment Khepera made to someone about prying into the details of a secret city, heh. Rylan's observation that the rest of the crew at Gladshiem had to be filled in on the details about daily life at Melsara was a good one, too, and a detail maybe not everyone would have thought of.

The meeting among the leaders and 'tag-alongs,' heh, was a good scene. Listing all the names like that, that really hammered in how big the meeting was. And I liked that Rylan just called it 'the meeting' and not 'the big meeting' or some other adjective. The slight tension in people's voices and their word choices really showed that Willon has made a huge mistake in making these people angry. I remember there was hesitation in the beginning about facing him at all, and now everyone shares Sasilyna's desire to see him lying still on the ground.

Oh, and I love the bit you added in about Reldin. It gave me a much better picture on Willon's progress and how things are shaping up, and it gave a good reason as to why they had brought him to the meeting in the first place. The dialogue you added for him put in some good extra insight into the situation, the kinds of odds Gladshiem faces. And I loved the 'try about two thousand' thing he shot in after Rylan, heh.

And, of course, you know that I loved the Lorenda-Arundis scene. Rereading it made me notice that Lorenda didn't notice Arundis getting up to follow her, and she did mention that the necromancer had been sitting with Eerie a moment before… which makes me think a certain blond gave his friend a good suggestion. *grin* Much appreciated, Eerie, by me and Lorenda. I cannot get over how adorable she and Arundis were together. And they were so obvious. "Maybe you could show me the way," hah! It was so cute. And flirting like that actually reminded me how young Lorenda is. Most of the time I forget her age; she's mature and smart enough that (sorry, Ranara) Ranara seems like the youngest sister.

But you didn’t completely sugargloss (I'm aware that that's not actually a word, but sugarcoat doesn't seem to fit quite exactly) everything. On the way down to the beach, you added in a small somber note about everyone having lost someone - a wonderful reference to Angard'dul, by the way - and a lot of people having lost a friend or family member. It was realistic: a day of the living where people are spending time with each other, but they've far from forgotten the effects that Willon wrought on the city.

Oh, dangit, and I feel bad because I missed it in the beta - there's a half-finished sentence that goes "She tore into one half of the biscuit, handing him other" (I guess you meant half).

Arundis taking advantage of his newfound power and prestige to help get Lorenda down to the ocean was nice, too. Besides the fact that having him on the council was a wonderful move - he totally deserves it - it was nice to see him actually being comfortable with being recognized. Before Sasilyna and crew came to Gladshiem, he probably would've shirked away from people knowing his face as he walked down the street. And he actually felt confident enough to talk to Lorenda at length and be with her alone, and FLIRT, heh… ^_^ Lorenda mentioned it: 'And now…now the boy was actually…opening up.'

As for the idea of how to concoct the serum… calling up the spirits of the original mixers was a pretty damn good idea. I never would have thought of that. After all, they've been dead for years. But I guess that's what you have necromancers for, right? A completely brilliant plan, and I can't wait to see it worked out - but then again you have the next chapter written so I don't actually have to wait long, do I? And that's good, because the scene-break ending with Arundis not revealing his other clever plan was just a TAD frustrating. Grr. (But great, literarily speaking.)

I loved, loved how Rylan quietly ushered Sasilyna away from everyone else. He did it so subtly she didn't even realize it at first, hah! And then he was so … sexily casual about it. "Do you want to talk?" Which it took them a minute to start doing, after they were done skating around each other. And, oh, when he said "Why did you resist it?" and you put in the bit about their eyes meeting just as his hand touched the windowsill… that made me shiver. But he stopped before really kissing her! Argh! I know, I know, suspense is going to make it amazing when they finally get another kiss… but I can't help but want to slap him. Just a little.

I think the ending passage was more effective, too, with those little 'slightly-too-romantic' bits taken out. Reading it through this time, it felt more like the passage was just more like Them. Which shows your skill at being able to make something romantic without sacrificing the strong natures of your characters.

I'm right to worry about the character's safety? Oh, that does not make me feel better at all. And I do hope that Willon's nose is included in that statement. Or some other part of his body, preferably one that he would miss sorely. (Or all of it, you know.) I'm glad you enjoyed the beta, and I hope you enjoyed the review as well.

It was a great chapter, a nice lull in events - something that the characters deserved, and something realistic to a wartime situation. I know that it won't last very long, though - only about five chapters left? Wow. It seems like not long ago we just began beta-ing for each other. Hmm. And I find it amusing that you put in 'BIG DEATH' in all caps at the end of the chapter, hah. I eagerly await the next installment in this wonderful story!
1/16/2008 c3 12sunflowersing
A little bit of romance. :-)

sunlflowersing
1/14/2008 c32 21Faith Adeline
Good breather chapter. After all the fighting, it's good to see things calm for a while. But, I still can't wait to get to some more action. Although, the big death part is scaring me a bit. Hopefully it isn't anyone I like :( hahaha. Keep it up and update as soon as you can.

Faith
1/13/2008 c31 Essie
Hey, I tried reading straight through but ... hehehe it's like an epic.

I like that the three sisters have flaws... they're not yeah ok let's go save the kingdom so regularly.

My fave characters has to be Saul. damaros ... i know he has an inner battle to contwend with but i hope he meets a bad end ... is that evil?
1/2/2008 c31 sousie
update
12/30/2007 c31 3spikedmango
This was a really good place to start the chapter. There were probably a few other places you could've chosen from, considering how much 'aftermath' there was to go through, but starting with Lorenda was just perfect. For one, there was so much death in the chapter (understandably) that starting out with a 'saved' life was a good balance, especially since Lorenda has been sick for so long. Plus… seeing Lorenda better was a way of knowing, 'Oh, okay, all the other surviving plague victims are waking up and trying to eat faster than they really should.' ;)

The way you described the power of the Obelian Sapphire was beautiful. Something about that was just so poetic, and I felt like it really communicated the feeling that Lorenda must have had, holding that.

The whole chapter had good references building up to the final scene, with the funeral pyre. You mentioned 'the pang of loss' being hard to deal with, and a few other things, in several other scenes. It was a good, poignant way of building up to the final gut-wrenching funeral.

The encounter in the hallway was revealing. Rylan startling her like that was a good way to show her feelings about the kiss event. I especially liked that she knew she was being illogical, but she didn't really care that much, heh. It fit in with the fact that she resisted him a lot in the last chapter when he was kissing her.

Oh, I think definitely one of my favorite lines in the chapter was "walking through the abnormally vacant streets of Gladshiem." Because I remember vividly when they arrived in the city, how you made a big deal of mentioning how bustling, crowded, and noisy the city was. It was a very… piercing comment, another indicator of how BIG the battle had been, how much of a war it really was - not just a siege on the city. A war.

The bar scene was nice too, just to get an idea of what the guys were doing. And, of course, Rylan's reflection on the kiss. He knew it was illogical to be angry, too, but was still stubbornly doing it. It couldn't have been fun for him to get shoved away… I hope they get nice alone time after this. *hint, hint*

M, military business. I can't imagine how Sir Weston felt about showing up late, let alone how his soldiers felt. They absolutely have to be hating on themselves and even more determined to help out. The details showing how many of them there were (they wouldn't fit in the normal places, so they had to be put into the inns) were good.

And I keep forgetting that Gladshiem and company have next to no information about how Ranara is doing! We've been with her all along, but all they know is that she's at creepy Willon's mercy. Who may or may not get it through his dense head that he needlessly slaughtered all those people by attacking the WRONG sister! Ahh…

Hmm, this might be a good time to mention, again, that this chapter set a record for scene breaks. Not that there were tons of them, but there wasn't one I met with that made me the least bit aggravated. At first I thought maybe you were just being nice to me (heh), but looking back at it now… this was a much more somber chapter than usual. Therefore, the chapter breaks were more subdued, and naturally wouldn't have been as… aggravating. Which was very nice for the chapter, although now I realize that the scene breaks will rack right back up to being aggravating - especially as we get closer to the end of the story, and dramatic rescues (hopefully) and the BIG DEATH occur.

And, oh boy, Arundis. Poor Arundis! I really just have the overwhelming urge to give him a hug. He's beset by nightmares, torturing himself over his father figure's death, and recovering from an extremely trying period where he was using his powers in completely new ways. (Not to mention the emotional turmoil he must've felt, with probably one of the biggest connections he's ever had with a girl… as soon as he starts to get to know her, she's struck down by a disease that seemed almost incurable until said father figure sacrificed himself to save the victims.) Though it was one nice detail with Sasilyna being less cold to him, which I'd been worried about when they first met.

The scene in Lorenda's room… oh. Tense. I could taste it. Sasilyna was very smart, smoothing her way out of there. Eerie and Arundis together, well, awkward. Those boys definitely have some issues to deal with. I just hope no tempers are lost, because there is definite potential for that, considering how awful the subject is. And… well, Arundis was there when Angard'dul died. Eerie wasn't. I'm wondering if Eerie is feeling at all slighted because of that. Hmm…

Oh, boy, the funeral pyre had me tearing up. The solemn procession over to the location, the mention of just how many bodies there were. The addition of Yelanj, and the comment that she had grown close to Melsara, an entire culture… I liked that. And, yes, seeing Maris's name did shock me. I did like that Sasilyna's tears didn't start till then (I sound so sensitive and compassionate, don't I?). And, water really did come to my eyes at Angard'dul's name. His death was such a powerful scene, and even though this chapter was slightly delayed, hearing his name read like that was like a wound reopening - very touching, very striking. You did a wonderful job.

The whole chapter was wonderful, as usual. The chapter started out happily, with Lorenda recovering, but ended… appropriately. This really was the 'aftermath,' the good and the bad, and especially the very bad. It's going to take a long time for the cities and cultures involved to fully recover from their losses, and you showed well how big those losses were.

Interesting that you wish you could've seen me tearing up over Angard'dul's death. o_O No, I know what you meant, heh. More secrets with Rekem? Oh boy, how much more can the necromancer dish out. Looking forward to the next chapter, even though I'm quite seriously worried about the safety of the characters… (Willon could break his nose and I wouldn't mind that much, though. *wink*)
12/28/2007 c31 1A.V.Mackie
Finally, an update! That was a really touching chapter, very sad, had me almost crying at times.(And me a big Scotsman!) I have to admit though, that I couldn't remember all the characters that have died, mainly because I read the last chapter quite a while ago, I still can't remember who/what Maris is, I'll have to go back and check. Great stuff, can't wait until you've written the rest of the story and I get to see how it all turns out, however many wonderful chapters that takes.
12/27/2007 c31 21Faith Adeline
I liked this chapter, I really think it showed what would really happen after this huge war. It was realistic. Well, as realistic as a story with dragons and magic can be lol. I'm so happy you're making a sequel! I love this story, and cannot wait to read more. Keep up the great work!

Faith
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