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for Fortune's Fate

2/1/2023 c1 Cassie
Found a link to this fic on a very old livejournal post for original stories published on this site. Shame it never got finished. It’s really good. There were some other recs from you that seem to be removed or taken down. Enjoyed this all the same. Thanks for leaving it up.
8/2/2009 c1 Counting Petals
I found the blend of modern business and Gypsy tradition you hinted at in this chapter interesting. Hopefully you continue playing with this dynamic throughout the story.

The conflicts between the different characters you introduced were another good hook, because we don't know why they're feuding, and have to continue reading to find out.
7/25/2009 c1 Danielle Gin
This was a great opening chapter! Between the letter and the following scenes, especially between Navah and Mikal, you've managed to really hold my attention. There was enough friction and smoothness to the scenes to really make them flow and keep the readers curiosity. Also, your characters seem very well developed. I was ablet to get a good feel for each of them and still be curious about them - which is great. Every character needs a little mystery to them. Great work! I'll read on when I have more time!
6/19/2009 c1 anikam
Opening - The opening definitely made me want to read on. I liked how you introduced the story with a romantic letter. Romance always makes things interesting - death also.

Pace - I thought things were progressing rather slowly because I found myself skipping over paragraphs and just running to the dialogue. I felt as if things could have went it bit faster, but I doubt that it would have had the same effect if it did.

Ending - I liked the ending a lot! It makes me wonder what is between Mikal and Navah and what is in that box. I'm somewhat confused about their first encounter in this chapter though. I think I should re-read it.

Enjoyment - At first, I didn't enjoy it. I saw it as somewhat of a chore to read, but when I got to the middle/ending I found myself beginning to read entire paragraphs and wanting to go to the next chapter already.

All in all, great job! I envy your writing abilities!
6/9/2009 c14 8Lea Ai
Since this is a freebie, I am not going to use the pretty template for depth reviews…you are just going to have to trust me that I will cover four different areas with multiple sentences. I like to write so that should not be a problem :-D.

I liked your opening paragraph. It helped give one more reason for Luca’s fascination with Navah and set the tone for the rest of the chapter. One suggestion though, I think the last sentence would read better with a “the”: “Knowledge was THE power he craved.”

In the second paragraph, the first sentence should be: “she were here.” In the second sentence, the part after the hyphen was a little unclear. It would read easier if you either broke it into two: “She would appreciate the romantic setting. The view: moonlight on the lake water…” or dropped “the view” altogether (my preference): “She would appreciate the romantic setting—moonlight on the lake water and…” I love the “silver on the cliffs” imagery.

I absolutely loved the line: “It was as though the world waited, and listened to the song of men.” Beautiful. However, the first sentence in that paragraph was a bit awkward. “Like Luca, Lake Ohrid made no sound as it lapped at the base of the cliffs.” It reads as if Luca was lapping at the base of the cliffs. Suggestion: “Content to escape their notice, Luca hid in the stillness around him. The wind moved in the dark, but only silence came from nature. Lake Ohrid made no sound as it lapped at the base of the cliffs. No birds sang. No crickets chirped. It was as though the world waited, and listened to the song of men.” (again…love that line!)

There were a couple redundancy issues I caught—the most noticeable one: “Mikal pointed out the obvious toward the sheltering trees, pointing with his flashlight” – suggested fix: “Mikal gestured toward the sheltering trees, pointing out the obvious with the beam of his flashlight.”

A few sentences later you have the officer saying, “We did see horse hoof prints.” Although not necessarily “redundant” saying “horse” is not necessary—unless there are cows running around the fields—people would typically just say, “We did see hoof prints.”

Then, in the flashback: “Luca pointed to the trees that also formed a ring, leaving them in a clearing with clear view of the lake.” “clearing” and “clear” sound odd so close together. Suggestion: “Luca pointed to the trees that also formed a ring, leaving them in a clearing with an unobstructed view of the lake.”

Question: Am I reading this correctly: “Navah’s presence was now just another piece of evidence that Mikal owned.” I am not sure I understand the meaning of this sentence. In context, I would think it should be, “Navah’s presence was now just another piece of evidence that LUCA owned.” —since Luca was the only one who knew Navah was out there. Am I misunderstanding the intent there?

I felt the transition into the flashback was a bit awkward. It just seemed like there was something missing—like there should be something between “evidence that “Mikal” owned.” and “In this very spot…” Possible suggestion: “Navah’s presence was now just another piece of evidence that Luca owned— like the jewel he kept hidden in his safe—another secret that he would keep from Mikal.” Then lead into “In this very spot…”

The flashback itself was a good length. You need to have enough there to have a decent conversation without overdoing it. The first part was needed to show that Luca’s family had a claim on the property; the second section was to tell how Luca knew about the curse/letters; and the third part was to tell about Dullin’s feelings towards Navah. I felt the conversation flowed smoothly and it was a natural change from one section to the next. And I felt it gave us great insight into the character of Dullin. When looking it over, there was very little I thought could be cut and still give the necessary information. In fact, the only thing that I thought was unnecessary was when you wrote “True to his word, Dullin turned his head towards the church…” I felt that “True to his word” seemed an odd thing to say about spitting and was wasted wording—it would be more concise if that were cut.

There was a small typo in the paragraph following the flashback: “Could it be that he said, ‘She will be the death of me.?’?”—Should be, “Could it be that he said, ‘She will be the death of me’?”

I must say, Luca really got under my skin in this chapter. He is so frustrating! I wondered how Mikal could keep his cool when it had to be obvious to him that Luca was trying to frame him.

I didn’t understand this paragraph: “’To jump would be deadly,’ Luca said, swinging on the light, which swept the stones. The beam was too weak to show the waves far below. ‘But a toss?’” I understand the intent was to show the officers that the murder weapon could have been tossed out into the water, but I did not understand why he said, “To jump would be deadly.” That makes it sound like jumping would be deadly, but a person would survive a toss. I think it would be better if he were more straightforward here…”Luca swung on the light, which swept the stones. The beam was too weak to show the waves far below. ‘The water makes a convenient hiding place for a murder weapon. The longer it rests in the water, the harder it will be to locate as the waves cover it with continuous layers of sand.’” (or something like that) They already see him as being “authoritative” so this would not seem unusual for him to say.

The ending of this chapter was very good. The best villains are the ones who feel they are owed something and you definitely have Luca set up that way.

Overall, another wonderful chapter! Great job!
6/7/2009 c10 Lea Ai
[Opening] – I like it when chapters open with intense emotions. You brought in the right amount of misunderstanding between the two characters and we can feel frustrated right along with Navah—even knowing Mikal’s feelings. One thing I noticed: in the second paragraph you have her kicking dirt for the “second time”. After thinking about it, I remembered that she kicked the dirt in front of Mikal in the last chapter, but I had to step out of her head for a second to think back since I took a break between the two. You could possible change it to “in frustration”…although it really isn’t a big thing.

[Scene] – It was very easy to get caught up in the “closet” scene. For not being a “romance writer”, you write romance well ;-D. I did have a critique, but honestly it was only because I was looking to find one…my first couple times through the scene I was so wrapped up in it that I didn’t think through any possible plot-holes. But when I went looking, I had to wonder why Mikal got so overwhelmed by her so quickly. (Besides having a mostly naked woman in his closet…) Their last meeting was a fight and then he found her hiding in his closet, pointing a gun at him that she shouldn’t have known about in the first place. It just seems like he should have some reaction in between seeing her with the gun/forcing it from her and making out. Although “surely it’s not that bad” is a very manly line, perhaps you could have him say something that lets us know that he understood she was having a psychic manifestation instead…something like, “Stephano is not here, Navah, it’s just me. Please put the gun down. Navah…are you okay?” -but much better…(just a jumping off point to get you thinking…)

[Spelling] – One minor spelling error that I caught: “Navah had refused to give in to his demands to see the future and bend it to his will and he had publically dismissed her.” Should be “publicly”.

[Enjoyment] –Anyone who was looking for a good romance would like this chapter ;-). Very realistic writing—enough detail that we could visualize it, but vague enough that the images were my own. You had me blushing with the images flowing through my head—like I was interrupting a very personal moment. Yes, I definitely enjoyed this chapter!

[Plot] – To be honest, the ending of this chapter didn’t come as a surprise to me…well, maybe the ‘hiding in the closet with a gun pointed at Mikal’ part…but I figured she would end up with something happening with Mikal. The grandmother was obviously orchestrating it from the moment she walked through the door (well, actually since the previous chapter’s morning talk with Mikal). That being said, just because it is not a surprise did not mean it wasn’t enjoyable. I think many people reading this genre expect something along those lines and look forward to it.

And yeah…did I mention that I liked this chapter? Great job! :-D
6/7/2009 c9 Lea Ai
[Dialog] – The dialog is written very well. Their voices are distinct and easily imagined, but what I like the most about their interactions are the small, detailed actions that you intersperse in their discourse. It really brings your characters to life.

[Relationships] – I really like how you’ve written the grandmother. The interactions between her and Mikal are just as they should be for a grandmother who has taken on a more maternal role. When they speak, I can imagine her looking at him with wise, loving eyes that see all, and in turn, him looking back almost sheepishly—not wanting to fail her in any way, yet wanting to be the “man”. Very enjoyable.

[Spelling/Grammar] – There were a few things that needed to be corrected:

“True to his personality, Mikal surrounded himself with only the minimal and necessary: a few well loved books, an autographed futball, one family photograph.” – I suppose this one could be a personal decision, but I felt you should have an “and” in your list before “one family photograph”.

“He trusted her and secretly longed for someone to talk to – the last few days in particular only increasing his growing sense of isolation.” – It would sound better if it were “increased” instead of “increasing”.

“She chuckled and moved towards the door, her limbs stiff and betraying her age.” – It would be a little more concise if you said, “her stiff limbs betraying her age.”

“Navah dropped the reign and let the animal trot over to Mikal.” – Should be “rein”

“Amber eyes met big brown ones, and a look passing between the two.” – Should be either “and a look passed between the two.” Or remove the “and”.

“He mouthed the bit; a small glob of foam collected on one edge.” – I think this would sound better if you added an “and” instead of the semi-colon. Either that or change “collected” to “collecting”.

“Door seals were being tested and the floor of a few stalls was being painted.” – “was” should be “were”.

“She sat atop the tall horse, back straight, gloved hands holding the reigns.” – should be “reins”

“The helmet on her head protected her from the worst of the impact of the fall, but Mikal didn’t stop to think about safety equipment as swung first one leg, then the other over the split rail fence.” – missing a “he” between “as” and “swung”.

“He watched her sit and tried to reign in his anger,” – should be “rein”

[Pace] – You put a little more detail into what Mikal’s “job” entails in this chapter which I felt slowed down the pace a little. However, looking through it, there really wasn’t anything I would cut. I think it adds a bit to his overall character and gives us a background that shows him to be responsible and hard working. And, although the pace was slowed a bit, that is not necessarily a bad thing. It still flowed well and I was definitely never bored.
6/7/2009 c7 Lea Ai
[Opening] - Your letters set the tone for the chapters nicely, without being too overt—for example, when there is a “love scene” in a chapter, you have a romantic tone to the letter. This one had an ominous feel to it, which made me excited to read on…and I wasn’t disappointed.

When the actual chapter started with Luca, I honestly felt sad for him. To love someone who is so obviously out of his reach and know that she loves someone else is heartbreaking—even if the man is a creep. The opening flowed smoothly into the rest of the chapter and I found myself caught up without even trying.

[Scene] – The scene with the car was very exciting and well thought out. I could hear the tires squealing and the commotion after the “accident”. I was particularly impressed with Luca’s reaction. You have done a wonderful job making him realistically evil.

My only suggestion would be to remove the words “and twirling” from the sentence: “The car flashed past, the front bumper making contact with Mikal’s side as he tried to dodge, sending him spinning and twirling towards the gutter.” “Spinning” and “Twirling” pretty much mean the same thing so it is kind of redundant, not to mention that personally, when I read the word twirling, I think of a top or a little girl spinning around—it’s too “happy” of a word to use here. Otherwise, that scene was fairly flawless.

[Characters] – I love how you you’ve written Luca. He is not a stereotypical villain. He has feelings of love and hate and is very much “human”, and yet my stomach twists in knots when I read about him. His actions have a logical purpose behind them, there is no wasted energy “trying” to make us believe he is evil—he just is. Very believable.

[Spelling] – A few minor spelling errors:

“The man and the woman were framed, silhouetted, in the soft glow of interior lamp light.” Should be “lamplight”.

“Mikal stepped again to the side, his booted feet touching the asphalt covered street.” Should be “asphalt-covered”.

“’ I don’t need the money either,’ Mikal stated matter of factly.” Should be “matter-of-factly”.

“Mikal buttoned his top coat” Should be “topcoat”.

“With little time to react, the young man had to choose to move forward or back in a nano-second.” Should be “nanosecond”.

“Mikal waved at the glowing street lights and fought back a chuckle.” Should be “streetlights”.

[Enjoyment] – Great chapter! Kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.
6/6/2009 c6 Lea Ai
[Ending] – My only “complaint” for this chapter was the ending. I liked the ending—I thought it had a good catch to make me want to keep reading—however, it didn’t feel quite right. I understand it is necessary for the plot for him to take the letters, but I just didn’t like the last sentence (especially since he shows her the letters in just a few chapters). It just didn’t ring quite true for me. I think it would be a stronger ending and more mysterious without the “He was resolved. Navah might 'show him hers'. But he would never, ever, show her his.”

[Characters] – You really opened up Navah’s character in this chapter. I loved the description of her apartment and how you used that for her character-development. You get a small insight into her soul with the beauty of her artwork. Nicely done.

[Relationships] – I truly enjoy how you have Mikal and Navah interact. It is very natural and easy to imagine. I also liked how you added a relationship with Seth in this chapter. Although he obviously wasn’t physically present, you caused Mikal to react so passionately to him that it felt like he was in the room—the third wheel infecting their relationship. Again, very natural.

[Enjoyment] – I thoroughly enjoyed this chapter. I thought the descriptions were vivid, yet without an overuse of adjectives—beautiful in its simplicity. The dialogue flowed naturally, as did their reactions—simple little things that brought them to life, such as “Tucking a strand of dark hair behind one ear she speculated,” and “With a chuckle she fanned herself”…very realistic responses. A very well written chapter.
6/6/2009 c15 Lea Ai
[Opening] – I really like the idea of opening with letters and I enjoyed this letter more than all the previous ones. I loved the responses he had for her rejections…especially the line: “Silver is cold. - Yes it is. You cannot have fire without ice.” Beautifully written.

[Writing] – Overall, the writing is well done. You do a good job of mixing in metaphors for your description without overdoing it. One thing that caught my eye, (and I’m not really sure it fits in this category) is when you first mention the Djinn, you put genie in parenthesis directly afterwards. It just seemed odd to me—possibly because the narrator knows what it is so wouldn’t feel the need to explain (like marid later on)—or maybe it was simply because there was only the one word there. I think it would read easier if you put an “otherwise known as” in front of the genie in the parenthesis…or you could even have a side note “Djinn—or, “genie” as it is written in fairytales—and a woman’s wish”

One more minor thing: “The darkness of his room seemed almost unnatural, and his eyes could not even seem to adjust to the lack of light.” You could leave off “of his room” since you say, “settled into his bedroom” in the next sentence. I just think it would flow better.

[Spelling/Grammar] – “Chin resting on his fist, Mikal pinched the diamond ring and held it up to the lamp light.” Should be “lamplight”.

“Bound- like a prisoner of hell- he had no other path but to walk to a God's anger and face the consequence of having been born.” “God’s” should be lower cased when there is an “a” in front of it…it is capitalized when used as a name.

“He looked on her silently as her boney fingers touched the top most card.” Should be “bony”

“Pulling back the covers he crawled underneath.” Should be a comma between “covers” and “he”.

“Leaning forward he kissed her again, pouring some of the pent emotion inside him into the contact.” Should be a comma between “forward” and “he”.

“’First born. And perhaps all first borns thereafter.’” Should be “firstborn” and “firstborns”.

[Pace] – The chapter flowed quite naturally. You do not bog us down in description and the dialog/character interactions feel as if they are happening in “real time”.

[Other] – Um…yeah…a little bit speechless about the scene between Mikal and Navah. It was beautifully written. Had my little heart flittering all over the place. I want more! :-D
5/30/2009 c15 13Nicki BluIs
I get it. The pieces of the puzzle are finally falling into place. The djinn and marid stuff is a bit fuzzy but it all makes sense in context which is good.

Something I admire about the story overall is that there is an appropriate balance. rather than overwhelming the plot, the romance adds depths and nuances to the story.

Athens is going to be fun. I can already tell :)

Nicki :P
5/30/2009 c4 5groovi-gal-numba1
sup, i'm here for the review game :)

PLOT: as always, you have some great developments. You're revealing enough in every chapter, but not so much that its an info dump, so kudos!

DIALOUGE: in the first part of the chapter i felt like there was no dialouge. i found myself getting tierd reading long descriptions. Second part there was lots though. but space it out more evenly.

DESCRIPTIONS: they are good, but i felt like in this chapter there may have been a bit too much.

CHARACTERS: great character tension between luca and mikal. its subtle, but its there plauging me... which is exactly what you want from your readers :)

xoxox groovi
5/28/2009 c3 groovi-gal-numba1
Hi there!

OPENING: I'm getting a bit worried about these letters in the beginning. They could possibly get tireing after a while if you do them for every chapter, you know? But, that said, this was a very compelling letter! hehehe! oh the mystery...

PLOT: hm... quite a development here :) you took it in a whole other direction then expected hehehe. Its interersting to find out who the letters are from. You are revealing just enough to keep your audience screaming for more!

good read!

xoxox groovi
5/19/2009 c14 13Nicki BluIs
Very nice. The flashback part was bit long for my tastes but it was all important (I presume) information so it's okay. Despite his creepy connivingness (is that even a word? Probably not...) I still don't hate Luca. He's interesting and has more depth to him than I once thought. Not a typical one-dimensional villain. But yes. I'm excited for the next chapter if only to find out how much Mikal really trusts Luca and how much of it is him spinning a web of his own.

Nicki :P
5/16/2009 c14 Summer
It's incredibly hard to find good fiction on FP these days, but this story has made my day. The writing is great and consistent, and you've managed to create an original, creative story even though a few of the plot lines have been seen before. This is an amazing story and I wish I had time to go into more depth, but for now, know that you have secured another loyal reader, who looks forward to reading your updates.

Thanks for this pleasure.
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