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for Arcana

7/12/2006 c7 9rvtolentino
honestly, i don't know what to say. your diction and use of words left me spellbound; the style and flow of the story is captivating; and the consistency of the characters, their interaction, and their relationships are nothing short of brilliant.

the use of the Tarot cards made me "ohh..." all alone here, and when i saw the chapter titles the pieces finally clicked into place (i was kinda debating myself on whether i'd read this, since it's named "Arcana" and it's not a very original title). and the chapters weren't titled just for the heck of it (usually chapter titles reflects events in that chapter, but yours are more... both provocative and subtle, i should say). this, along with the little touches like the number of duchies, which is twenty-two (the number of major Arcana in a Tarot deck, if i'm not mistaken), make it a thoroughly pleasant read, even with the fairly unoriginal title.

even the first line of the first chapter was evidence of your talent. your descriptions are vivid, comparable to a fruit in its ripened sweetness-not too bitter and not too sweet. the chapter structure is good and easy to read, which gives readers some breather every after chapter is done. normally readers would be bored with a story seven chapters long, but it's either Arcana is simply too amazing to put down, or because it's built so as not to tire. either way, i read it through, and i really felt that you should write more.

your terms and names capture the heart and soul of this timeline, including the faint political innuendo and the requisite conflict thing that most probably defines our idea of "high-fantasy". but you've taken it a bit further with Blade (who i think is the object of a small gripe of mine, and ONLY because he has a very stale name), who suffers from what appears to be shell shock or a massive conscience attack. this gives a very nice dimension to his character along with the fairy-tale-type princess Chalisse, who, i expect, will have some kind of a brutal awakening soon. and speaking of characters, you have an excellent cast-all of them seem to breathe and pulsate with life. i've seen only a few Fiction Press authors who could've equaled you in character design, and even then it's a stiff competition.

tired of the praises? well here are the bad parts. the four people who are tied by destiny is the very core of the story (as far as it goes, at least), and that's not a very original premise. others have used it and it's up to you now to deliver the unexpected-and, i expect, a twist worthy of a master wordsmith. also, i don't know if you're fitting the time frame to have 22 chapters, but the events are going considerably faster than i would've believed, of which a prime example is Blade proposing to Chalisse. or maybe even Luitha Mae's arrival at Taron too soon, which gives me the impression of almost a plothole (what happens here between Wanda's hometown and Taron? how come she's so attached to Koyn? and a dozen other questions related come to mind.). also, the chapters are lively, yes, and splendidly written, but it rapidly evolved to a point to "more of the same", except for Blade, at least. in case this is to be misunderstood, the "more of the same" thing is not what events had transpired; rather, it's more of an abstract idea, of the development and advancement of both the characters and the plot. if you are going to have only 22 chapters, i think it's about time to have some decent turn-the-world-around-shocking-revelationor other what-have-you happening, which is odd because this is conspicuously absent even though the pacing was fast. also, the love story angles are a bit overused, or at least how it starts out, but i'm beginning to suspect that you have some other nefarious plan XD that you will use to choke us your fervent readers in tears.

anyways, it's not that i couldn't ask for more-there is always something to be asked for-but at least you cover the basic necessities of an outstanding fantasy story. cool geography: check. solid, living characters: check. spectacular writing style and talent: check. and yeah, well, umm-cliched romance: check.

all in all the elements of an excellent, commendable story. i will be adding you to my Favorite Authors list; i simply adore your skill.

PS. if it's not too much work for you, i would appreciate it if you review me in return. XD
7/9/2006 c7 2Whatsit
My favourite characters so far are wanda and blade...is there a possible hook-up in the future? They're the types of characters I'd put together, but maybe I'm too typical. Lisse really bugs me she's so PerfectPrincessy, and I think that means you're doing a good job. Keep up the good work. :D
7/9/2006 c7 2Casey Drake
heh. this is interesting... the little bits... how will they come together?

:) CD
7/9/2006 c7 5anti-climax
I like your work :)

a hero tormented by things he has done in the past; beautiful princess; a simple sailor and a merchant's daughter...the general with a dark past is a little cliched but is quite interesting, he could very well turn out to be a bad or good guy eh :)

rather interested in seeing how things will work out
7/9/2006 c7 22effervescent-sentiments
wow. i guess you would call it dejavu.I'm writing a story in which there are four characters, and they all have different combinations of your characters' personalities.although chalisse is much too innocent for my taste. it bugs me.so, keep it up.(one of my characters is named Shadow, and yours is Blade... this is weird. I guess it's not all that original of an idea after all.)
11/17/2005 c6 2wickedstarr42
hm, i dunno, after reading the rich, exciting wild magic, this all seems a bit bland... i mean, not much happens in a chapter. *shrug* i know ur busy. neway, on to gol, then i'll b caught up at last! ...i think... lol l8r
11/17/2005 c5 wickedstarr42
aw, thats so sad... man, problems with a vengeance, huh? lol.
10/23/2005 c6 2Hemtec
i think is too soon for my to reason the 'wilderness' of the story.. but my guess is that you are tring to show like the change of this 4 characters through the story as they try to solve their personal things.. because each one of them has his/her own problem to solve, but what they don't know is that later, they will have to deal with the other's problem and life, because they are all like the four different corners of a square.. is that right? i'm just guessing! I really don't know... anyway, the reason for that arragement of the chapters i haven't thought of it yet..but, for the story, it seams like chalisse and blade are going fast, but i trust you have a reason there..but i really like to see, because these 4 ones are going to meet sometime, but, i love to see what wanda and blade feel for each other then.. because they seam for each other.. wanda being so selfconfident, and him needing such a lot of help.. and chalisse, well, she's right for her character, but she's so innocent!.. and i really like koyn, he seams to be my type of guy jaj.. soo after this LONG LONG review, i hope you continue!hmtc
10/21/2005 c6 1rrmehta364
wait how is blade using chalisse. im confused. also, as concerning the name blade, is it his real name. it seems like to well crafted a name,fit to his exact role, to be his real name. hes quite an angsty, possibly evil, millitary commander.

aw..i like wanda and koyn. i believe thats all. glad to be caught up though.
10/21/2005 c5 rrmehta364
i like Riye. how dangerous is Arcana anyways. this seems like the type of book with a very kool and detailed map id obsess over. random comment.

interesting how Chalisse and Blade are set up. by making it too perfect, there's something bound to go very wrong. very, very wrong. i bid yeh farewell.
10/21/2005 c4 rrmehta364
i wonder if the one moneylender who was nice will have anything to do with the plot. just exactly how big were Koyn's debts. interesting war developments. sometimes im getting tired of the good, kingdom, evil kingdom spiel, and stick only to good people and bad people. nations can be so hard to stereotype. yep, very, very good. hasta lavista.
10/18/2005 c3 rrmehta364
im sorry, but lisse and blade seem more in love with the idea of being in love than in love. they seem to be moving a little too fast. also, id imagine a grizzled soldier to find a girl talking for three hours tiring eventually. however, you did do an excellent job of showing how both characters think. however, a little description of the garden may have been nice if you plan on comng back to that same setting. the thing is, you seem an excellent, competetnt writer so far, so i figure you know what your doing. thisll be my last complain on this front, and ill be waiting for you to throw some twists into their relationship.

the wanda koyn part is better, though i cant get why she was so nice to Koyn. She doesnt seem to have more than a vague like for him. still, i like both characters quite a bit.
10/18/2005 c2 rrmehta364
hmm... i liked the first part. i have a feeling there'll be a cliched romance between Koyn and Wanda but these fluffy parts can be amusing in a sweet way.

however, the blade and lisse part had large warning flags all around it. brave, but unusually young and handesome general, and beautiful princess playing there roles perfectly. the attraction betwen them is nothing more than physical, yet you bill it as love at first sight. i know im being harsh, but this story is really good so far. your style is impecable, and entertaining. do something with the blade/lisse relationship to make it interesting.
10/18/2005 c1 rrmehta364
i like the first paragraph. really sets the tone descriptively. you use a little too much passive tense.

i like lisse's attitude, it seems the attitude someone would have in that position.

don't put too many character breaks into one chapter. its a bit disorienting to the reader. i like the trust Lucien puts in her daughter. you might want to give her age to put it all into reference.

i like blade as well. youve got some interesting and unique characters going for you so far.

i love Koyn, i think hes my favorite of the group. however, four snippets in one chapter is a little disorienting.

overall, id say this story is really good. no grammar mistakes (something im nowhere near reaching) the story has a very good flow to it. as far as cc, a little detail wont hurt, though it isnt necessary wither. hmm...thts all for now.
10/17/2005 c6 12Lccorp2

Archdemon Lord Duffikus:

Since I've come back to your works...

All I gotta say is that I second CD.
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