Just In
for Daughters of the King's Forest

7/20/2008 c3 82Solemn Coyote
Sorry that it took so long for me to get back to reviewing. Schoolwork intervened in a huge way.

1) The theme with your chapter names is pretty cool. The bible is always a good source of important sounding lines.

2)“No. But I know of hunger.” Depending on how the woman's character plays out, that has the potential to be a very creepy line.

3) I like the way magic seems to be implemented in this story. It's never a direct thing. Fireballs and such. Instead it has a lot more to do with emotion and illusion.

4) The plot seems to be picking up nicely. Once again, this chapter is stronger than the ones before it. You also seem to be piling up quite a cast. I'll read more when I get a chance, but for the moment I have exams.

7/4/2008 c2 Solemn Coyote
1) Your chapter titles are excellent. They feel like they might be in allusion to something. Maybe the original fairy tales? Anyways, they set the tone for their respective chapters and get the reader asking questions before he's even started reading. Well done.

2)“If you will guess where the acorn is, it is yours, young sir!” The man is obviously an acorn pusher. Actually, it's kinda logical to have kids' games that mirror gambling, at least from the gambling establishment's point of view. If you make gambling into a game, you can hook people young and you'll constantly get new waves of customers.

3)"He looked up to find a hooded figure before him. Wisps of golden-red tendrils escaped the opening of the hood," I think I can guess who in the fairy tale structure of this story that might be...

4) Overall, this is a better chapter than the one before it. That's a good thing in any story. I do have a slight complaint about the magician, which is that he comes off too obviously as the villain, but I guess that's okay for a fairy tale, in which the villains usually are pretty obvious.

6/27/2008 c1 Solemn Coyote
As far as the stories on your account go, this seemed to have the greatest disparity between chapters posted and times reviewed, so I thought I'd lend a hand with that. Here goes...

1)“Why is it not good to say we are happy?” Interesting superstition, and I like the logic behind it. It applies pretty well to most fairy-tale environments.

2)"The forest about them seemed to emanate a sinister opposition to the happy voices." That certainly adds a little more complexity to the story. I find myself sincerely disliking the king, and hoping that his apparently evil forest reflects his character a bit.

3)"She was reminded of the cripple in the village who sat dipping the twine in animal fat, forming candles and humming serenely" It's good to see that you've researched some of the more mundane aspects of medieval life. Adds a handful more of realism to the story.

4)"“No, I am still hungry,” Hansel told her. “But it is dark, like the inside of my mama’s oven.”" That was kinda chilling. First time I've been legitimately creep'd out by the Hansel and Gretel story.

5) I guess it's because the first chapter uses a really familiar story, but my only complaint is that it feels a little bland. The parts that I liked were all places where you added or removed something from the usual framework of Hansel and Gretel (the enchantment outside the witch's cottage, the hunting party, etc.) That's where you really made the story your own.

4/10/2008 c2 Monkeywrencher
Me again - have read the second chapter of your story and the pacing is just right, the dialogue exchange between the characters flows well, and the magician comes off sly and calculating, like the classic con artist who pretends to lose and then reveals his skills to pinch money from the mark. You don't fall into the trap of long, overly detailed descriptions; this allows readers to imagine the characters for themselves!

It makes a lot more sense knowing the archaic language is a deliberate point of the story, and I like the idea that you're writing it as an origin story for the myths and fairy tales that we're so familiar with. Neil Gaiman rewrote the Snow White story in his collection "Smoke and Mirrors" to exonerate the Queen and show that Snow White was actually the baddy. It's something that is rarely done, and I'll be interested to see how it pans out for you.

On the other hand - why not give the children Hansel and Gretel different names? You've sufficiently hinted enough in the first chapter for a discerning reader to recognise the original fairy tale, so you could have much more license if you wanted.
4/9/2008 c1 Monkeywrencher
Hey. This story is very interesting so far, with a combination of fairy-tale elements and an intriguing story. The layout is clear and the introduction of the characters is slow but steady, which is very useful for your readers in following the story. Keep going.

But there are just a couple of things you might want to edit if you're interested in some constructive criticism. You could drop the archaic language, as even in historical novels and stories authors tend to avoid attempting fairytale speak in order to make it easier for 21st century people to read and identify with the characters. Unless this is deliberate, and the story is actually meant to be told as if it is a fairy tale - but it reads like high fantasy.

If you want to tell readers specific pronunciations, it's probably best to do a "prologue" in the first chapter slot where you lay out the rules for pronunciation. If you do it in the text straight after the words, it makes the lines, especially in dialogue, very stilted.

And there's a bit in the middle of the first chapter where Willifus is thinking to himself and "explains" a lot of information about the world and the background in an infodump. This could be introduced subtly over the course of the chapter. Perhaps you could have introduced a brief flashback scene to cover this bit instead, separated from the rest of the text by stars (*) to mark breaks in the narrative.

Apart from that, I think you've got a good story going here!

Twitter . Help . Sign Up . Cookies . Privacy . Terms of Service