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for The Children of the Wilds

1/12/2008 c2 12Esther Jade
I really liked this chapter. I thought the interaction between Alida and her mother was very authentic. I didn't particularly enjoy the last chapter - the emotions didn't feel as real as they do in this one.
6/7/2007 c15 a reader
Overall a very good story.

Description in this chapter unintelligable. Can't picture what is happening. At all.

Too flippant in dealing with the deaths of Alida's father and uncle.

The changing POVs is pretty skillfully done, but it could have been better.

The italized bits of Leil at the bottom-boring. The whole "blood, and PAIN" thing gets tiring.
6/7/2007 c4 Miskavel
You are fucking brilliant.

The names sound a bit Harry Potter-ish.

But you are the most imaginative...UGH

This is amazing
6/1/2007 c4 12iamthedave
I was thrown for a loop by this chapter, because it seems to assume familiarity with the characters... which there isn't, because they're all new. I think it needs some reworking for that reason. In all it feels like a big step down from the previous chapter on almost every level. Some of the descriptions seem hazy and uncertain, the pacing's too quick for me at least, and the amount of stuff crammed in here makes it feel a bit like an infodump at times. I'd suggest streamlining the content and expanding it a bit, so things have proper time to settle and be established. I always find it difficult to get into it if the pace is too quick.

-If I asked what business we were in, she would explain at a rather loud volume that it was a figure of speech, dammit, and had I always been this dense?

I'm of the feeling that there's too much told and not enough shown here, but such things are hard to get right. The thing is you give us character history without at any point setting the actual SCENE, or properly introducing either the main POV character or her. I'd say you'd be better off focusing on showing us their relationship first, then filling in blanks about history and whatnot in a later chapter. Flat out I don't know who these people are beyond their names and a brief appearance in chapter one, and you don't ever really fill us in.

-hermind-voicetart

I think something went wrong there.

-Luring a vicious monster into his part of the dreamscape that everyone slipped into at night and then binding it there for a year and a day might have been Duana’s idea, but I was the one who had actually done the work.

Ahoo how what not? MANY NEW CONCEPTS HERE!

-The something shifted again, with a silent, half-awake grumble before settling back again into its sleep. I let out my breath in a long sigh and sat gingerly on the other throne.

The scene-setting feels really scratchy to me. I can't really get a handle on what's going on; probably because I'm trying to get my head around this dreamscaping business at the same time. I think that this chapter's basically trying to do FAR too much. You're introducing two new characers, a brand new magic system, a new place, backgrounds, AND moving forward with the plot. And you're doing it really fast. It feels a bit too chaotic for me.

-Later, I decided, I could go deeper into Miskavel’s dreamscape

Then why do it now?
5/28/2007 c3 iamthedave
Terribly sorry for being away from this so long. About time I add my voice to the reviewing legions.

Very little to complain about, in honesty, your style remains as fluid and easy as before, the dialogue's mostly good - though the re-telling of the tale is a bit halting - and the end line's fine.

-As I hungrily began on my large bowl of oatmeal, barely pausing for breath as I worked on a hunger far more familiar than my previous craving for platinum, I barely noticed my brothers as anything other than potential challengers for the pile of toast in the middle of the table

That's a VERY long opening sentence. The part after the first comma isn't particularly vital, I think. If you cut that it'll work fine.

-My mother sighed, tied the braid off with a bit of green ribbon

An 'and's missing here I think.

-A long time ago, when the Wilds covered almost all of the world. The beginning to almost every story, and a sort of disclaimer that said, “Well, sure, so maybe this isn’t exactly what happened, but it’s more or less what happened, and so what if I added in a few bits that sound neat? The point is that it happened, and if it isn’t perfect, then at least you’ve got the general idea.” It also suggested that any questions posed about why those sorts of things never happened in the present would be answered with the statement: “Because that was then, of course.”

I don't like this. It feels like author opinion insert, and it jarred me out of the moment. I think keeping it serious would be best; you're in infodump territory anyway, so you might as well make good on it. Besides, how do they know it wasn't really that way, and especially how does a kid know?
4/9/2007 c2 iamthedave
Slow chapter and quite a switch away from the first scene. I find the pace change jarring, personally, and this one takes a long while to get going. You include a lot of those little details that L uses, and like him I think you go a bit too far and say too much. If you shorten the lead in a bit, this would be improved quite a bit, I think.

-Then we set off, my oldest brother first, a patient, dignified expression on his face as he tolerated being sent to watch us, Sharn bounding alongside and Delvar following a bit later

Hm. Two sentences, maybe? I'd try and remove that -ing ending. I think it weakens the sentence as it stands. There's something about 'my older brother first, a patient' that I find cumbersome.

-but the waterfall had taken especially long to thaw this year,

At this point I'm getting impatient for something to happen. You set a great first chapter, and now you've dropped off completely for lots of 'naturalistic' exposition on how their little culture works. That's fine for a while, but now we're six paragraphs in and you're still doing it.

-“Platinum,” she named it after a moment. “Not as valuable as gold or silver, but a nice piece all the same.”

This seems odd to me. Platinum is rarer than gold and silver, and in almost any environment it appears it is worth more than gold and silver. Given that there are people in your setting who need it to live, I'd have thought the value of platinum would skyrocket.

-I stood, but paused and looked longingly at the platinum flakes on the table. At my mother’s smile, I picked one up and bit it, delighted by the ache of my teeth and the cool metallic taste. I ate the others in short succession and then, my hunger assuaged by the small pieces of metal, felt myself yawning.

The mother's comment makes even less sense now. If she was deliberately being evasive concerning the platinum, you should make it clearer somehow.

and the usual sign off: please R & R my stories if you have the time
4/1/2007 c1 iamthedave
Excellent first chapter! Moves along at a rocketing pace, so double kudos for that. Quite a few bits that I think could be improved, though. Your dialogue and characterization are good, and there's no silly spelling errors, which is always nice. Hope some of this is helpful.

-I frowned at the knot in front of me, wishing I could leave the room but blocked by the knot that tied the doorknobs together, locking me in

Hm. Good beginning, but a structural quibble. Or suggestion, at least. Personally I lean towards scene first, thoughts second. I think the story would start stronger if the knot was introduced first, and you then had him musing on how he got into this position, with the backstory revelation and whatnot. As it is it seems a little like shoehorned backstory revelation, which isn't good.

-The knot was, evidently, meant to teach me to think in different ways, so that I wouldn’t always resort to weapons when I was king

What's 'evident' about that? That might be the purpose of the exercise, but the exercise itself in no way implies that this is the purpose behind it. Besides, many weapons would provide a FAR more efficient solution than one's hands. Which they do here. Essentially, you try to enforce a surprise. You tell the reader the purpose of the exercise to prepare the double twist with the character cutting the knot and THAT in fact being the point. You should go to more pains to indicate that it's what the character thinks rather than just saying it. Besides, you've already said that he's done this before.

-Completely stunned,

This is already covered by the sentence preceding it. I'd take it out.

-my left hand, my dominant hand, slipped under his arm, my small knife flashing.

This sentence kind of trips over itself. I'd lose 'my dominant hand'. In this situation its an irrelevant detail, and I think you should end on an -ed ending. -ing words are better used, in my opinion, in the middle of things just to further extend a sentence in a first person past tense story. I don't think they work well as endings at all. -eds are more immediate and more punchy.

-I struggled, furious and grief-filled

Don't tell it, show it. It'll take more words, but it'll give the scene much more gravitas and much more impact.

-The first soldier, the one who had gone to retrieve my riding gear, met up with us soon afterwards, handing me first my dark brown cloak with the russet lining, as well as the pair of high boots. I donned them quickly, and then accepted the woolen gloves and a sack. My horse was waiting for me when I arrived in the stable, the guard who had gone to fetch him still wearing the stiff mask that hid his grief.

This doesn't ring true for me. The problem is you've created an emotional character, he clearly doesn't control himself well. However, he's about to walk out on his entire life. You'd have thought that would be on his mind a little. Some nerves, a touch of panic maybe, just something. I don't buy him being all business, it just doesn't feel right to me.

As always, my usual sign off: Please R & R my stories if you have the time.
3/16/2007 c19 13Shadowhound
10th of January, huh? I'm no one to talk, considering it took me nearly three months to read this chapter. And, for once, there isn't much to say. Good job.

Shadowhound
1/27/2007 c17 twinklie toesies
Great story!

Extended essay... are you, perhaps, a fellow victim of the IB?
1/9/2007 c19 Linda
Wow I really like this story! Please update soon! Though, try not to make things a little too hard to understand. Sometimes the plot seems to go on for too long, and it seems as if you're giving useless details.
1/6/2007 c1 7Etenebris
Honestly, I think I've fallen in love with this story. If only I'd known about it earlier!

However, there are some things that bothered me, and have brought out my inner nag. Don't be offended - that happens quite easily.

To begin with: the last sentence of the first paragraph initially confused me. If Tamen is not, in fact, the true prince, then would his parents not, in fact, be the King and Queen? And how would they be so sure he would be a "good ally" to the man who would one day come and take his place? He would learn that his entire life had been a lie, and would most likely have feelings of extreme inadequacy and resentment for the rest of his life. I can understand the fostering and the switch (quite clever, actually) well enough, but the underlying emotions flowing behind the seems are seriously confusing me. They just don't mesh, these situations and the reactions, in my opinion.

Then, "Although this might have been a trick..." et cetera. Why would his parents trick him? Perhaps to keep the illusion more realistic by making him think that said illusion was reality? Again, it's not all explained, or even implied, and while I do love a good cliff hanger, both as a reader and a writer, I'm slightly upset by this sudden drop of our view of his obviously distraught inner psyche, if that even makes sense. (Sometimes, I enjoy making a good word salad - then, afterwards, I feel like an idiot. /sigh)

I love your description of the way mages handle partnerships, though - dry and hilarious.

There should be a line, or something signifying a break, methinks, between the fourth paragraph (I count the one sentence after the first paragraph as a paragraph of its own, just to clarify) and the fifth. The first four are Tamen speculating, and then after the fourth, it seems all action, with no segway.

I like the knot challenge, but one thing bothers me - all knots have a solution, unless it's tied so tightly as to purposely prevent untying. The teacher should have either explained that the knot was far beyond Tamen's level (which, IMO, grants far too much credit to the skill of knot-tying, the whole 'levels' thing, I mean - whatever, I make no sense), or that it was really quite impossible to untie because of the tightness of said knot. Then again, one can generally tell that such a knot is impossible to be untied in the first place, so even that might be difficult to pull off. But the lesson is perfect, I'd say - you're showing the reader that your character, while not a forceful dunce, will most certainly not be pulling any punches.

Now, the reaction to Tamen's parents' death is realistic. Heir to the throne? Sure, you cry, you're going to show your kingdom that you're seriously a pathetic whelp of a kid that can't be trusted to govern an ant farm, and even while it may not be true (who wouldn't cry if something like that happened?), it's the general message. But I don't think that any of his inner feelings - he seems to dismiss the
1/4/2007 c19 2Casey Drake
Ok, this is really cool. Question: What is a Swan Sister?

:) CD
12/27/2006 c19 12Lccorp2
Harr.

Here we go, then...

-I can more or less understand the allure of food Tamen's using, but given as harsh and desolate a place as The Wilds are you've given me from previous conversations...I think Tamen would do well to emphasize creature comforts he can give them, and not gold and silver. You can't eat those, they're hard to sleep on, and so forth. Or perhaps you're trying to use this to show how much he doesn't really understand the Greenfolk? Tamen really needs to think on about how he's going to fulfil his promise to the Greenfolk-if they get discontented, that's the end of him. Kaput.

-"...we approached one of the rare dry oasises that hid in the Damnably Cold and Dry Place." Oases seems the wrong words to use here. I can understand what you're trying to say, but isn't there a better way to phrase "a dry spot?"

Harr.
11/4/2006 c18 WistfulRequiem
I love your story! I don't have a big amount of imagination, so I cannot write this type of stories, even though I want to. Update soon!
10/24/2006 c18 2Casey Drake
hmm... what's the difference between a Dreamer and a Dreamwalker?

:) CD
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