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10/12/2009 c1 14Cheyenne Kai
A good first chapter that pulled me into their world from the start. I liked the description of the beast's attack, and how you reveal things about their reality, and past.
8/12/2009 c3 50Kristina Suko
This is later than I expected it to be. Sorry. :) Running commentary. Might be a little bit random. :)

First thing that struck me was how the first two (or... three) paragraphs all had same-length sentences, which made it a little monotonous.

"The store clerk merely smiled, remembering his own childhood, and street merchants merely shook their heads." - merely, merely... merely...

Lord Yammar... does he talk a lot? Hehe. (Yammer, on the slight chance you've never heard the word.)

I just lost my train of thought... hmm. Well, I can't say much about the chapter except to give a better feel of the darkness when they are out and see the beast... but it was an interesting chapter. I'm starting to like Cassandra. And the little "exchange" between her and Kadu was cute.

I would ask for a little more description here and there, but then you know me. I run on description overload. ;)

Colors, though. Remember to use colors.

~K
7/26/2009 c5 HitchSlap
Oh, fifth chapter really pickin' up the pace. I liked it, particularly the details of the fair. There are little things that readers take for granted-describing what there is to see and do, for example- but I know they take a lot of work to create. Very good, and the storyline's getting more intense.

My only suggestion is that I thought your description of the beast veered a little over-the-top. I liked the idea of its screams having "multiple voices" (that's creepy :o), but there were occasional descriptive adjectives like "unholy blood" that seemed to be too much.

Anyway, keep it rolling. :)
7/24/2009 c4 HitchSlap
Chapter 4, well written. Now things are stepping up. I love the bureaucratic details, and I love that you're not afraid to dip into the realities of running a kingdom. The characters stood out significantly better in this chapter. And now I'm intrigued to see what the king's little plan is.
7/23/2009 c3 HitchSlap
Third chapter was pretty good. The storyline's moving along at a steady pace. I like the way you're slowing down to develop the storyline, and your descriptions are brilliant - in some places almost poetic. The only thing that's bothering me is that your characters, at this point, seem to be a little too linear. They think, feel, and speak exactly the way I'd expect them to, and that sense of predictability is robbing something from the story. I'm intrigued to see how you develop a villain character- you do a very good job for the good guys. I'm also a little confused as to the intensity of Kadu's "feelings" for Cassandra. I was under the impression these kids were very young by the way they were out playing. If we're going to see them growing up together later in the story, I would recommend toning down their emotions at this point, and letting them be stuck as best friends. :o But hell, maybe I'm just reading into it too much.

I'll be checking out some more later this week. In the meantime, take my criticism with a grain of salt - and bravo! Your prose is getting to be very polished, truly.
7/21/2009 c2 HitchSlap
Thumbs up for the first two chapters. I'm really impressed by the fact that you've done your research. You've got me sold on ships and swords. And again, your prose is very strong.

I tend to agree with Maranwe when it comes to critiques. The first and second chapter crept along a little too slowly for my taste, particularly the first chapter, which had a bit of an anti-climatic escape from the fog.

In terms of description, I think you're treading a fine line between over-explaining and divulging necessary information, but I think you're doing OK for now. I personally enjoyed the history of all three kingdoms, their transitions in government power, the reasons that their serfs might want to flee. It's hard not to draw comparisons to England in the 1500s, with the exploration of the New World, and competition with Spain and Portugal at sea. The thing that threw me off the most was the introduction of the Elves. Other than a few implied references to magical powers, we don't get a sense that they're really different than the humans. Unfortunately, it's impossible to use the fantasy concept of "Elves" without drawing distinct differences from the human race- you can thank Tolkien for that. I was a little puzzled that their system of ruling seemed so petty, with taxes and a caste system. Maybe that's the point, that they're becoming more "humanized." That could be something I learn later on.

In any case, this story seems like the beginning of a mammoth undertaking, and I'm extremely curious to see where this goes. If you've ever read George R.R. Martin's "Song of Ice & Fire" series, this bears the same epic scope. Best of luck, I'll try and catch up some more later!
7/10/2009 c2 Kristina Suko
Hm... okay, well I have to admit bluntly that I was bored until the end of the chapter. Not that you're a horrible writer, but that was a TON of explanation and information to soak in before the plot finally got somewhere. And it could just be that I have a short attention span when it comes to reading- I have to be curious from the beginning... although I have to say it's really hard to do that with something this complex.

I'm thinking it might work better if you did the whole explanation about their mother later, after the end escapade when we know Cassandra better. Because in the beginning as it is, we're reading the history of a person we don't know anything about, so there is no... emotional interest until after we see Cassandra and then we like her, and then we start to feel sorry for her and the death of her mother. Know what I mean?

I understand that the little history of the world is needed before Cassandra, though.

The one other thing that hits me is your action sequence (or whatever you want to call the voices/wall/door sequence at the end) was a little... non-dramatic? I don't know. There's something about the way it is presented that makes it feel very slow and sluggish, and I don't know if it just needs to be cut up and jumbled a little or what. I do know that you need to break up your sentences a bit- they were all the same length in that sequence, which is possibly why the sequence feels so slow and not frightening like it should. Some of the more factual things, too, like the language considered dead to the average Elf, detracted from the tenseness of the scene. You might want to explain that afterward, when they're walking away, that Cassandra is mulling over the voices she could not understand.

Wow... I feel really critic-y.

I am interested in the next chapter now, though. And I like the very last two sentences. THAT makes it just pop. Although -why is there always an although?- I think it would improve the pull if you were able to edit that into one continuous sentence. (I keep re-reading it in my mind and wondering that if you changed it to "the whispers from an unseen entity continued to mutter the dark curses...", and replaced the period with an "and", would it be run on sentence? But I'll let you decide that)

Anyway. Overall, interesting enough to now make me want to read more, and I am very curious about the wall.

Sorry for all the critique. You asked for it. ;) lol.

~K
9/19/2008 c12 Indicates
You know, I really like this story. While I am quite skeptical of the stereotypical 'fantasy' story that has to revolve around a kingdom and some mistress and a sword, you pull off these things rather nice. While you describe sometimes to the point of too much (about swords, mostly), the story flows smoothly, and...well, a bit skeptical with the elves in general, but so far, your story seems rather solid.

~Snuffie
9/7/2008 c1 6Navaura
ok, I know this is not a review of the chapter, but I've read the first paragraph, and it's beautiful written. You are a beautiful writer. There's two stories of yours that will be added to my favorites list. Secrets and The thrill of the chase, but only because I love mystory novels and I'm going to school to become a crime scene ivestigator. So, you're probably asking what's the point of this review? There isn't one.

Navaura~
3/17/2008 c1 50Kristina Suko
How do you pronounce Captain J.P.'s last name? I like the name of the ship. It's pretty. I think that Delathat would sound better as Delatath.

"The Vionna’s first mate, a lean female elf was ascending " - forgot a comma after elf. Baradur... reminds me of something from Lord of the Rings... isn't there a fortress named Baradur in LOTR? Huh... anyway.

Very interesting. I would say that using swear words in a fantasy story usually just sounds off, but somehow the d word fit. It's a good cross of reality and fantasy. No more typos, although the part where you're describing everyone's reactions and ending each paragraph with a dash is rather... long... and a little repetetive. I think because each sentence is the same lenght. If you had the desription lenghts varied a little more, it wouldn't be as... well... boring. Haha. The tenseness of the moment was drowned by the common lengths of sentences. Varying short and long makes for a better read and better intensity.

Other than that, it was good.

~M
1/8/2008 c4 IBWriter
This was a very interesting chapter to read. However, the beginning of the chapter did not really "pull me in". The aspect that really intrigued me was the council meeting.

And by the way, I really liked the character June.
12/19/2007 c3 IBWriter
This chapter is very well done. Your grammar is excellent as usual, and the chapter as a whole had a very nice flow to it. I do not have anything to criticize on it because you did a very wonderful job on writing it. You concentrated on telling the story instead of explaining it to your readers, which made it easier, more enjoyable, and compelling to read. I am really looking forward to your future chapters. Please continue. :)
12/18/2007 c2 IBWriter
Great job on another exciting chapter. Your grammar was perfect, and I loved your word choices.

On the flipside, some things seemed a little unnesessary. For example: the very beginning where Simon was making the sword. The descriptions were really nice, but the scene felt too long and it seemed like I was reading an instruction manual to make a sword rather than reading a story. Just shorten that part a little and it will work out fine.

Another thing I noticed was when you talked about Cassandra and her family's past. It was a large info dump that could easily confuse your readers because of the great amount of information being thrown at them at one time. I suggest dramatically shortening that part and giving them exactly what they need to know at that point in the story. Concerning the information that you decide to take out of the info dump, as the story progresses, slowly give them that information rather than giving it all to them at one time.

And the usage of "had" is fine for the most part. Some sentences do not need it, especially where you already have indicated that you are referring to the past. There was one sentence where you used "had" twice.

As with the last half of the chapter, it was simply amazing (same thing with the last half of the prologue). There was less explaining and more story telling, and I would love to see more of that. Again, excellent job.

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