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for King Nickel

1/26/2001 c1 Melanie Koleini
Not bad. This is my first review so please feel free to ignore me completely. This story is clearly an allegory. It was straightforward and fairly easy to understand. The ruler manipulates and controls his people and when they question his ludicrous laws he responds harshly and cruelly.

I found a few grammar and content mistakes but nothing too major. In the first paragraph "which" should be "who" and when the knight is taking to the boy he said, "Uh, carrying money around makes people less likely to rob you." I think you meant, "not carrying money."

I have two big complaints with this story. 1) I don't identify with any of your characters. They are flat and seem unreal. I believe this is why your climax doesn't work for me. The ending per se is fine but, even in my drowsy state, I don't buy it. I don't have any sense of who the King is. I believe he would kill someone how challenged him but you never indicated he had a temper. You never really gave him any personality. What about the King would make him try to strangle someone with his bare hands rather than sending in his guards? Why would he get his hands dirty?

My second problem with this story is the lack of set up and missing details. You never described what Talumberia looks like or how the King chose which third of the old city would move. You say, "Many people were happy about the move," but you never say why some people were unhappy. When the King announces the new laws you say the people finally realized the rumors had come true. What rumors? You talk about the new Royal Bank before you mention it exists. Apparently all the villagers have "direct deposit." How does that work? Do they all work for the King?

Also, I have a few more minor concerns with the story. One of the characters in the story says the Constable is never around. But if a Writ of Sale was needed for any purchase then wouldn't he be very busy? Instead of emphasizing the ludicrous of the situation may be emphasizing the needless bureaucracy would make more sense. On the other hand, that might not be what you're trying to say with this story. I'm also curious why none of the fairly intelligent villagers thought of trying to institute a barter system.

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