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for Children of Winata

8/8/2010 c12 this wild abyss
Chapter 14:

- This was one of your better chapters, I think. If not your best chapter. There were no grammar of clarity issues, and you’ve presented the characters in an easy to understand way. I loved the interaction, and Zared’s bravery was well done. The action sequence wasn’t overly bogged down with description, something I notice you don’t do very much. That’s a great skill to have, as most writers usually find that an intense scene is the best place to pack in the description, even though it’s not. Great work!

Chapter 15:

Another great chapter, though once again you’ve reverted to skipping the main action sequence and relaying the event through flashback. But other than that, this was nicely done, and I enjoyed reading this.
8/8/2010 c44 6The Saturday Storytellers
Aha, Pan again! We haven't seen her for a while, I don't think...

"She waiting for him to elaborate..." She waited?

"...her fury brows..." What are 'fury' brows?

So here we are, with the Cinah trying to fight and finding that all their stuff has been wrecked. Is the soldier's incessant use of the word 'sir' deliberate, a strong reference to his (and the Cinah's) obsession with rank? He can't seem to stop using it!

I'll say that I'm surprised that the Cinah are doing so badly in this battle. Even if the Children were able to get in to ruin their weapons (which seems a bit far-fetched - wouldn't they have posted a sentry to keep these things safe?), wouldn't the superior training the Cinah have had give them an advantage over the more random attack of the Children?

Oh, and Will's back. Okay, will be interested to see what he does.

"...Wolf looked like a down right dork." 'Dork' is a very heavy Americanism - are you sure that fits with the character of Children of Winata? You know the culture of the story best, but it sticks out to me, this word.

How many Children are there, by the way? I'm having trouble getting an idea of scale, here.

"But the Resistance had coerced the idea of ultimate sacrifice into the rebel's minds: they could not die." Ah, now this has a bad ring for the story, I'm afraid. Your story ultimately hinges on the idea that one nation (the Cinah) is over-governed, over-disciplined, over-trained. Brainwashed, in fact. The other nation (Winata) has been struggling because of the overbearing greed of the Cinah but is freer in mind - they're allowed to live their own lives.

Therefore, your sentence that I quoted just then, where what you're really saying is that the Children of Winata have been brainwashed by Will and Wolf into believing Jack lives on in them and that they can't die, feels too Cinah-ish.

"Propelled forwards by hate and anger; fuelled by the belief of a better future, they fought." I'm getting the same feeling again. Surely they're propelled by a desire for justice. To say they feel hate and anger makes it sound more like they're feeling a prejudice against the Cinah, which arguably is what the Cinah feel toward the Winata crowd. And the 'fuelled by the belief of a better future'? That feels too much like what the Cinah are fighting for: a 'better' future simply sounds like a more constricted one. A freer future, perhaps might be the better description.

Thing is, if the Children of Winata come out of this brainwashed into believing, dogmatically, that their cause is right, then they'll have turned into the Cinah, at least in spirit. And that would be no victory at all.

Ah, so the Black Dove has accidentally stumbled on a Cinah who doesn't want to fight. Or maybe two - Claire's Cinah as well, isn't she?

Hmm. Certainly something is afoot there, although I'm not quite sure what. Looking forward to the next chapter, then!

- From We Return Reviews.
8/8/2010 c43 The Saturday Storytellers
Hmm. Opening with a note is engaging and sweet, both at the same time. But when I saw that message, 'I am with you' by itself with nothing else to explain it, I was confused. I think it needs something to show it's a note. I realise that you resolve that it *is* a note in the next sentence, but I still feel it needs illustrating before that. Perhaps a sign-off, or similar. Or a greeting. But it definitely needs something, otherwise it looks more like a stray thought.

"So, it had come to a time when the people of the underworld would fight." This needs to be in its own paragraph, I think. Captain's thoughts about Rags and the low level of literacy among the masses has a different tempo to his thought about motivation for battle.

"...Wolf strode inside the room." Unless Wolf was already inside the room and pacing back and forth, this doesn't quite read right. Maybe 'Wolf strode into the room'?

""Sorry," grunted Wolf." This is the second mention of Wolf's name in a very short time, and I think one or the other needs changing to avoid a sense of repetition.

And I feel that Wolf re-lighting the candle needs to be broken down a little. It's a pretty image, set of beautifully with this: "It seemed to wane… but then it strengthened and stayed.", but a reader could enjoy the feeling of searching for a box of matches and lighting the candle.

"We would be a fool not to use him."" 'We' would be 'a' fool?

"He scratched his head and stretched." 'Scratched' and 'stretched' look very similar, so I found the two words close together quite distracting. It's good that you're adding extra details into the story like this, though.

"It would, at the very least, boost the men's morals..." Do you mean 'morale' there?

There's a lovely, dark and secret feeling to Wolf and Captain's conversation. A lovely undertone. Or overtone, whichever.

"The candles in Base were dimmed..." Can you dim candles? How? Perhaps if half of them are extinguished to make the room darker overall, but unless they're using grubby lamps, I don't see how they could dim candles.

The second scene felt fine, until this point: "But while they were preparing at Base, Rags' fight had already begun." It's a very uncomfortable shift of POV. If we're moving over to Rags' fight then we need to change to his POV, a new scene.

"The flames reddened the despairing men's faces. All was lost." Considering you've just spent half the chapter spurring the reader for a battle, this is a strange start for scene three. Firstly, I've got little idea who this group of men is - at first I assumed they were Rags' lot, as the last instruction to his lot were to set fire to the barracks. But the 'All was lost' bit makes it sound like the fighting or panic has been going on for a while and this feels like the end.

""Children of Winata don't die," he'd said, and he'd just been a boy." I think that should be 'been just a boy' instead. Otherwise it sounds like he's been a boy for a limited amount of time, having been a man before.

"But without their general's order, the men would not take action. " Ah, now this is interesting. So the observers are the Cinah, yes? You said they're heavily governed, so are they so used to following orders that they won't rescue their own barracks without being issued an instruction? You could build this up - the discomfort they must be feeling, the panic 'where's the general? We need him here, to tell us to put it out!'. All of that. You could get a seriously potent scene out of this concept!

""We'll follow you," the squad said." This doesn't feel like a natural progression of a group of soldiers showing keen to follow Gleo. It feels too regimented. Perhaps if there was a buzz of agreement in the ranks, but a unified 'we'll follow you' doesn't feel right to this reader.

Sorry, I know I'm being really critical here, I am enjoying the story, honest!

Ah, so we're back to Max and his fake relationship.

"Her fist crushed into her other hand and her foot stamped." This sounds like her foot stamped of its own accord, so may need rephrasing.

Same so with her fists hiding behind her thighs.

Altogether, I feel that a lot is missing from the final scene. It's a good outline for a scene and maybe the bits that need to be there are there, but it's got such a feeling of bare bones about it that it lacks the power it deserves.

Ooh, okay. So you've left us with a cliffhanger. I'm interested to see what Claire's idea is.

- From We Return Reviews.
8/5/2010 c5 19S. M. Saves
I like how you create a cold, militaristic feel in this chapter and the last one by having Maximillian (Number One) refer to the soldiers by numbers and teams rather than their names. It dehumanizes them, makes them tools of destruction which contrasts with Will's emotions; sorrow for the loss of his wife and anxiety for his son.

I also like how this chapter brings us full circle. The mentioning of the assassination plot took me back to chapter one. It's a nice refresher since, in terms of events, chapter one seems like a long time ago. I completely forgot it ever happened. ;)

Change "cruching" to "crunching" and "eachoed" to "echoed".

Chapters four and five ran smoothly together and, as you can see, I don't have anything critical to say about either one. That's why I'm only submitting one review. Don't get me wrong, I liked both of them but I wanted to steer clear of a one-line review. :)
8/5/2010 c41 13Tsumujikaze no Soujutsu
Herro there. Sorry for the terrible delay in reviewing. You see, my intention in the delay is based on my plans in updating A Ranger's Tale. major shit though is the fact that I just kept delaying the thing, it ended up implicating my priority in reviewing this one despite the fact that I should have done it way earlier. In fact, I don't know if you know who I am because it's during this shitty delay that I've changed my pen name. :( Anyway, this chapter is pretty short, but it's also an emotionally charged one. To be honest I don't know who you're referring to in your A/N, but my guess would be Zared. Which in my own views isn't someone worth hating. Pity would be a more apt reaction from me as a reader. It's not as if I'm seeing a clone of that emo dipshit Anakin in the Star Wars prelude movies.

However, I'll have to say quite a bit of stuff in critique here. Firstly, it really seems that the way you're alternating between the two ends of Zared's emotions. Quite obviously you did a little hinting to let the readers have a preparation for his emotional swing. It's either that or the very brief mention on his idea would point to something else. But without a doubt, the next paragraph where Zared thought about the things worthy to fight seems to transit pretty much abruptly into the issue of the rights to revenge. Yes on a hindsight, this is also something worthy to fight for in a twisted sense, but the way you worded the whole thing is totally wrong. In one instance, you've mentioned Sheruna, then the next thing I know, everything jumped straight into the subject of national justice. The link in between the two isn't existent right in the first place. Sheruna was an issue on a personal scale while the subject of national pride is something of a common cause. I don't have any problem in linking the two, but there has to be a certain process where you could have established a clear idea on the common grounds between the two reasons.

But I'll have to say that the Black Dove's own objective take on the war is pretty much refreshing amidst the nationalistic nature of the story. However, I think you could have strengthen his stance on the war via a visual portrayal on his reactions. I'm not saying he should be vocal like Zared, but at the very least, drop in little mentions on his tone, expression and body language. What you're doing here is only to make his views known and not the feeling of humane reality behind such a stance on a personal scale.

As for the revelation of Zared's birthright, it's a real shocker. Not much of a mindrape when compared to what Mori has done for the current BlazBlue story and the extreme means by Gainax in respect on the Rebuild of Evangelion movies, but still a shocker nonetheless. But I think you could have been more consistent in the Black Dove's show of emotions after he went beyond the simple truth of his family's ordeals. You didn't actually create any show of emotions when he mentioned the issue of Sheruna's plight, which actually created a major discount on the show of his own views on her both as a royalty and a human being. Just think about what he might be thinking and feeling upon telling Zared everything he presumed to know about her current status. Satisfaction on spilling out what he viewed as the truth? Was he trying to play the sarcasm card in order to push Zared's buttons for specific aims? You know little things like that could go a long way to creating a strong identity on his stance towards the entire royal family on the whole.

And one last piece of critique. During the final scenario, I think that you could have played up the paradox card where Zared's feelings towards the war is concerned. Try to create a real sense of conflict between his own rationality and emotions. Make him try to struggle one way or another. It actually doesn't matter if he's in a state of emotional heat because you could actually create a certain show of disregard towards what he knew was right while creating a certain truth of suppressing his own rationality just because he's being a selfish prick who didn't want to face up to the mistake behind his thinking. It might not affect the plot at least directly, but at least it would create a show of reality in his humanity.

P.S; It's ex-Mr Ragna Badguy if you still dunno who is this dude with a badass pen name. :)
8/3/2010 c9 99Dreamers-Requiem
Really nice interaction between Jack and Will; you can really see their friendship growing. The way you highlight the differences between them and their home countries is done really well too, it's subtle but still a constant presence in the story.

I also thought the dialogue between Maximillian and Claire was brillient; it's hard to tell if he's angry because of his concern for her or because of the lack of discipline, but either way it's starting to look like he does care for her. Nice work overall :)
8/2/2010 c44 Tawny Owl
I seem to be doing nothing but apologising to you at the moment. I have a uni thing they sprung on me that I need to do before 20th August. So I’ve been doing that. And sorry for the ‘seem to’ as well.

Women were always waiting, it seemed. – and how does that make her feel? Resigned? Annoyed? Afraid? Like she wants to crack open the vodka? In the later chapters your omnipotent narrator voice has got into the habit of creeping in and making these statements, and although I don’t mind I think they’d have more impact and sound less intrusive if you tied them into the way your characters function more. The statements should be a reflection of where the characters are right now and the closer we get to the finish the more it feels like the characters are there only to make the point. Does that make any sense? Or am I just being mean? I’m so out there at the moment it’s hard to tell. Feel free to shout at me if it’s the latter.

"Wait for me," Aww, Will. She may not be able to see his eyes but I bet there’s lots of other ways that suppressed emotion can creep out. Didn’t the big lug kiss her goodbye? Sheesh, men!

She knew that though the march to Tepi should have been a long one. To the Rebellion, it would short beyond imagining. Is it really a period you need between one and To. I think you need to change the punctuation or play with that first sentence so it’s more of a statement.

"I thought you didn't want to fight?" – I’m not sure where this statement came from? Is it because he’s reluctantly letting go of Silent One which indicates that although he’s not fighting with Will and the boys he’s still going off to do something?

her fury brows – furry?

I really, really want the Black Dove to trip on his shoe laces or slip on a banana skin. I think he’s a really interesting, complex character but sometimes, gr, sometimes it just feels like he needs to get over himself. Of course that does add to his complexity, but still. The man needs to be wrong and know it, just once, please?

Maximilian swung furiously around. What were these natives playing at? Why were they everywhere at once? – Oh, poor Max, are they kicking Cinah’s butt? I liked the urgency of the dialogue in this scene, and Max’s obvious frustration at a world coming apart at the seams. This paragraph really needed a sense of place though. Where’s the action taking place? And if he can see the attackers can he hear them? Is there a battle going on around him or is he back at HQ peering out of a window?

I love the fact that Will has all this passion (albeit for an unhealthy lust for revenge) and force of character but he still has no idea how everyone admires him. Sweetheart.

"Because yer hair is so bright that we can all see where yer going!" – Oh, Wolf, you old goofball. Liked that a lot.

And the men looked. Stared. – in shock because they’re all about to go to war? I’m not sure because the members of the rebellion always seem like a tight bunch and I’d be as equally willing to believe that they’d find it funny too. I think you need to elaborate on that.

like a down right dork. – You can describe it better than that!

I liked the camaraderie of the chuckling. I think it’s something that makes the approaching speech less hard and more like ‘we’re all in this together’. Something to be expanded on maybe? And maybe a chance to show us faces that Will recognises. I know you have a huge cast already but one thing I’ve noticed is that no one except for the principle characters has a name and a face. I think a moment like this would be enhanced if we at least recognised some of the people who were going to die for Winata. You don’t have to big them up, just, I dunno, men who brought messages, or asked questions at the base entrance. It feels a bit like the leads are floating about on a sea of invisible extras.

Will kicked his gelding into a canter. – what? They’re on horses? You need to tell us that sooner, especially when Wolf pushes him so hard he nearly falls down.

Horse hooves, men's hearts and blood pounded with the same rhythm. – nice, makes me think of the ground vibrating.

The armies met, clashing like two dragons. Metal jaws and claws, killing, thrashing. – like that two, especially the thrashing, like when two armies meet and actually start fighting and the lines all start falling apart. Again, I think you lose some of the impact of the charge, and the fighting by going omnipotent again. It feels more detached.

I like the idea of the resistance as a creature as well. That one that when you cut the head off three more grow back. Can’t remember what it’s called. Good idea though.

The palace lay behind him, quiet, a place of great sorrow. – Poor Palace, very evocative though.

He wanted to stop this unneeded bloodshed and pain – nah I’m with the resistance on this one. Will’s speech got me all fired up. Besides, are the Cinah going to leave if they just get asked nicely? I appreciate there’s good and bad on both sides, and they both die as easily as each other, but…that’s life. I’m curious to see how he’s going to be hero, though. I’m guessing he is.

One of the palace, perhaps. – question mark. And one of the palace what?

A small gasp – she'd tripped. – Damn it, that booby trap was meant for BD!

She’s bleeding? That was some trip. I think if it’s that serious you need to expand on it. I thought she’d just misjudged the level of the pavement of something rather than going down and grazing a knee.

From nowhere – I think you can do that better too.

"You're hurt," the man said. Yeah, and now she’s p*issed because some strange bloke has just slammed her into the wall.

"Just a scratch." – What? Some random has just come from nowhere and accosted her! If she’s not p*ssed she’d be waiting for her pulse rate to calm down, surely? ‘Just a scratch’ sounds a bit too polite and calm for my liking. Especially as he hasn’t let her go yet.

"I know you're out there. The mysterious Black Dove, isn't it? I mean you no harm." – how does Gleo know? And is it his cottage? How far away are they from the fighting? Trees were mentioned so are they out of Tepi? Or can they still hear it in the distance?

It was dimly lit inside, but chairs and a table could be made out in the darkness. – And the faces of the people? How does BD see them?

her face had gone pale. – It was already pale earlier. I like the unspoken request for permission though. Nice touch. Some idea of how much pain she’s in would be nice though. How’s she breathing? can she walk on it? Goodness, I’m nosey.

An ugly wound ran down the length of her calf. Ok, I’m being picky now. If it’s her calf then it’s the back of her leg? How did she fall? And will that make it harder to see/treat? Is he going to have to move her leg to reach it?

The water slowly turned pink. – good detail

"His name's Maximilian. – lovely! Although my inner cynic can’t help noticing that she introduced him first. In much the same way Gleo did with his b*tch…

Oh, of course Gleo and Claire have seen each other around! Is that why she was so calm about him grabbing her? Although meeting like this the dynamics of their almost unattached relationship are about to change drastically. Looking forward to that.

The Black Dove leaned back comfortably against the wall. – Comfortably, really? Given the strangeness of the situation?

“But what can we do?" Start an online petition! No, really, I want to know. I am really curious about how they are going to pull this off. Or if they are. I think they are.

The way this man had treated Claire made the Black Dove warm to him like he had to no other Cinah had made him do before. – Ah, which would explain the comfortably. But I think you should show more of this warming earlier. Especially as the last observation the BD had on Gleo was that he was old and could probably be beaten in a fight.

Something was happening – oohh, expand on that. How does it feel for him to enter into an alliance with these two people? Is he apprehensive, excited? And what does the world around feel like if he’s in one of those moments where a choice can change the world?

"The Princess would be happy to help us out." It’s about time that girl was good for something! Another interesting character, but she is as wet as a used hanky.

"I can protect her to Number One." - that sounds a bit odd.

Captain! Squeal! Does that mean the BD didn’t know who Claire was?
8/1/2010 c42 6The Saturday Storytellers
Ah. Have we seen Rags before? I haven't, but then I started halfway through the story.

So she's picking a note off a bird's foot. You could put extra into this image, I think. There needs to be more opening description here.

Oh. Rags is a he. Okay.

I'd be keen to know why Rags is called that. What does he look like, for instance?

"...a few boys ran up to him." The vagueness of this comes across quite strangely. If a group of boys run up to Rags, presumably he knows who they are. In which case, why is he not registering their names rather than thinking of them as 'a few boys', and why is he not at the very, very least registering the specific number of them. 'Few' reads as if there could be anything from three to a dozen or so, so it's quite strange.

And the fact that one of them whispers feels at odds with the fact that they were running. At first I thought they were running as part of play, which would suggest they were being noisy. So this whispering, not to mention the getting straight to the point, feels odd.

The whole second scene, up to "But it was too late, for they had seen him." is very vague again. I've got precious little idea of what's going on, who's there, what they intend to do, or what they're thinking.

"After what seemed like an eternity, the two women progressed towards him." I was under the impression they were in some kind of formal procession. So the fact that they're now coming toward him suggests they weren't. But what are the princess and her maid doing on the streets? Surely that'd be dangerous?

"The Princess had turned back, and had an expression of impatience." Some of your phrasing feels quite bumpy, and this is a prime example. 'had an expression of impatience' just feels very wrong to read. This needs rephrasing.

When you write, try leaving what you've written for a few days and then come back to it and re-read it. Be prepared to add bits in or change bits that no longer sound right. Perhaps you're just putting up the bare bones of a story for FPers to comment on, but as it is the story really feels like it needs a lot added, especially considering the grandeur of the concept.

""Don't tell anyone what we heard, Princess." Claire bustled around the room. " Again, open the scene with description, physical (the room they're in, or their entry to the place) and emotional (clarify whose POV this is going to be and how does she feel, what is she thinking?)

"Back inside, Sheruna was immediately alert." 'Immediate'?

"He cut her off. "I have also something to tell you. My name is not Malcolm." Sheruna opened her mouth and he silenced her with a finger to the lips. "I am Maximilian, or, as my men call me: Number One."" Yet another one with more than one name? This does get confusing you know, Narq. Sorry, but it doesn't really work for me. I think you could make it work if you were very descriptive about your characters so that a reader could work out for themselves who is who, but names are such a convenient tag for identity that you're risking confusing your readers, giving each character more than one name.

"Sheruna's eyes widened. Fear flickered over her features. "Are you going to kill me?"

The man shook his head and clasped her hands in his. "I love you.""

Again, to be shown this love affair while Sheruna thought she could take it at face value would have been helpful. We're having to take your word for it that they love each other, that Max has found satisfaction in his life that was previously absent, and that strongly dilutes the impact.

- From We Return Reviews.
8/1/2010 c41 The Saturday Storytellers
"Sore and stiff, Zared shifted his position in the tree." An interesting enough opening for this chapter, but this is the first paragraph in its entirety. I think it needs more description. You can do more here to put the reader up in that tree, the sudden vertigo, perhaps, as Zared looks down and thinks about the time he's spent up there, asleep and vulnerable. The coldness, the dampness. The roost of birds that have settled not far from him, maybe. That kind of thing.

As it is, the idea remains divorced from the feeling. And writing is all about getting the reader to believe they're there too.

The second paragraph also feels divorced in this way. I want either to see BD turn up while Zared's half-asleep, or for Zared to look down and see that his brother woke him up. It is never established in what way BD got there, or what his involvement was before they spoke. He just seems to *appear*.

"His feet found firm ground and he steadied himself against the tree." This is an improvement. More of this, please!

""What should I do, Black?" he whispered." Why's he whispering? Is he so troubled that his mind feels tender and he's being gentle on himself, or is he afraid of being overheard, or is he worried that the birds above will startle and, if they all fly at once, their position will be given away to the enemy?

"Black cocked his head aside. "What?"" At first, this comes off as BD not having heard Zared and asking him to repeat himself.

"At first he thought his brother had some inside information on why the battle was doomed to fail, but after Zared told him everything then, the words on Jack's deathbed, his own interpretation of it, and Captain's words, he realised Zared thought the battle was based on the wrong idea." All of this feels like too much explanation all at once. I think you need the actuality of Zared explaining what he thinks in the middle of it, so we can feel we're going through BD's thought processes rather than simply being told about it, second hand.

""I agree with you. This battle can't be stopped – their anger and hate is too big."" I'm confused here - who are they thinking is feeling too much anger and hate? If you go through Zared and Black's conversation and Black's thought processes in more detail, this subsequent chunk of conversation will make more sense, be easier for the reader to follow.

And in an epic story like this, it's best to give your readers as much fuel to understand what's happening as possible.

The POV switches from Black to Zared in this scene and I think you should settle on just one.

"Bitterness laced the Black Dove's words. "You are my half-brother. We have different fathers."" I'm not sure where this bitterness is coming from, I thought BD was more rational than this. Cooler-headed. Again, to have some thought processes shown here would be helpful.

""Men could practice their skills on female servants, no?"" What? I've got no idea what this means.

"Zared's breath came in short gasps. "You lie!" he shouted. Emotions roared in his ears like the blood pounding in his veins." Anger seems to be a standard response among your characters. I'm wondering if it's used as a quick way to drama. I don't think your story would suffer for having a few more pensive characters, those who were able to think through the positions, or simply give themselves time to think it through elsewhere.

"There was a flash of golden but he enclosed the chain in his fist." Do you mean 'gold'?

"Zared took a step back. His fingers fluttered to his throat where Sheruna's necklace was." Again, you're being undescriptive here. Does this mean that Sheruna's necklace was still around Zared's neck, or that BD managed to take it off Zared without him noticing (having just talked about pickpocketing), or... what?

I'm guessing it simply turns out that they have matching lockets, but I think you're either forgetting or neglecting to put half the story that's in your head onto the screen, so a lot of guesswork is left to the reader.

"Zared glowered, fists bunched by his sides. He knew, deep in his heart, that his brother spoke the truth. But he didn't want to believe it. He didn't!" You're going from disbelief to acknowledgement of the disbelief as unhelpful within one sentence, and potentially this journey of thought could take many chapters - for some it could make an entire story! Take care how quickly you put your characters through their thought processes.

"For the first time in his life, Zared hated his brother." Again, we're seeing this defection to angst, which seems to be quite standard in this story. Why would Zared hate his brother for revealing this knowledge? He might feel a bit sour at him, he might want to keep a distance from him for a while so that he can get his head together, but to hate Black? BD hasn't done anything wrong.

"He was joining the battle, because he didn't know how or where to release his emotions." Again, too much insight from Zared about his own motivations. If he really can't face that his father is the king, then he won't face it. He'll work out some other reason to join the battle.

Re: your author's note. No, I don't hate any character. Presumably you're meaning BD, but I think he's got his own mind screw to deal with, so if he was a bit short with Zared over the fatherhood thing then fair enough. Nobody's perfect, after all.

- From We Return Reviews.
7/31/2010 c8 99Dreamers-Requiem
So, is the scene between Claire and Maximilian taking place at the same time as the Jack & Will scene? So it's a few months after Claire was originally taken? Just trying to get that sorted in my own head :P

Anyways, I don't know what to think about Maximilian! It seems to me as if he could do what he likes to Claire, but isn't going to for some reason? There seems to be a real sort of admiration for her, underlying his speech. Although I don't like him, the way he treats her is very intriguing.

'They had reached Tepi; the soldiers quickly set up tents on the outskirts of Tepi' - maybe take out the second Tepi? just 'the outskirts' would do :)

Aw no! What's happened to that dog? It makes me worried - usually the dogs seem fairly tame, I may be reading too much into what could be just a disease or something, but something about it feels a bit off. Hmm...

I like how you had Jack, at the start, wondering about Will but by the end, he was kind of reconsidering his own opinions. NNicely done.
7/30/2010 c44 30sophiesix
frig bloody computa ate my bloody review.


oh so sad with BD at teh begining there! makes me veery very worried for him!

ha, but let max feel his own mortality close. suck it maxie boy, this is what you get for messing with Winatans!

love Wolfs breaking of the tension. he's such a spazz, though i 'm not sure "down right dork." is teh best word for Will about to go into battle?

"Curious, he followed, melting in the darkness if she glanced back./ He noted much about her. " lovely contrast here, with this arwen like bit. if you had 'as seh glanced back' instead of 'if', you could ditch 'he noted much about her' because teh reader is already focused on her?

"then realised the man was referring to himself" heh heh go gleo!

ha! i see teh first aid training shining through here :D

heh heh great cliffie!

i think you need just a couple more sentences on why BD feels he can trust Gleo, like not just becoz of how he treats claire but because there is some deep understanding between them because of their essentially pacifist words and sentiments.

but anyways go you three! do your best! but remember, you aer up against War! (yay, go Will :waves flag:)
7/29/2010 c2 23AvidWriter-92
Hello again, review buddy. :)

I quite liked how you introduced Jack, and had the magpies in this chapter, too. It ties this chapter to the last chapter, subtely, I think. ;)

Again, I love the way that you used description to convey emotions and thoughts. :) I especially liked the way that you descriped Jack's fear when he notices that something isn't right when he gets home... :)

I thought that the little disagreement between his parent's added to the tension of something being wrong. It made me want to say, "Just tell him already!" :P

I'm assuming that the "Cinah" are like a rebel group against the people of Winata, or are like a group of assassins? I wonder what his family did that was so wrong; why is knowledge an dangerous thing to have according to them? Hmm... :P

I liked the tone of urgency that his father had, and I could really tell that this was something huge that is important that's happening. I'm not quite sure why yet, but I think that it'll be explained in more detail the further I get on with the story, no? :P

I couldn't find any grammatical/mechanical things to fix, so good job on that! :)

Otherwise, I'm really digging this story, and I can't wait to see how all of the "Children of Winata" are connected/become connected to each other... :D

~Avid, repaying your review. :) 2/2. (review buddies.)
7/29/2010 c1 AvidWriter-92
hey, Narq. :D

I don't know how helpful I'll be in telling you what you what's wrong with this chapter, because I thought it was really great. :P

First off, the first paragraph or two really hooked me in, and made me want to figure what this story was all about... :P

I also really loved the descriptions that you used. :D They were excellent, and appealed to my senses. I especially liked how you contrasted the condition of the rich people with Zeen. It was sort of ironic, but in a good way. :P

I also love how Zeen is infatuated with the Princess. :) She seems like a great person, since she's willing to take him into the Palace (and it seems like a habit, too.)

I haven't quite decided if going into the Palace is a good or bad thing, because you've hinted at the disapproval of the people that go into the palace from the Peacekeepers...

Anyway, I'm also interested to see why the assassin is so intent on killing the Princess of Winata. I love it when things get political and dirty (:P) between countries. :P It makes things so much more interesting, to me at least. :P

I also like how, throughout this chapter, you've hinted at certain people, and certain things, but you don't tell us flat out what's so important about them. :) It definitely makes me want to read more, and figure it out for myself.

Onto the grammar stuff...

"Lamp[s] lit a facade behind the palace walls..."

~I would change it to just lamps.

"Warmth leaked, [but was] quickly stolen away by the chilled air."

"Run," the boy whispered, waving his hands [frantically]."

"Cinah!" he spat and rolled the man back on[to] his face."

Ha, that was all I could find. :P Good job on that! :)

Really fantastic first chapter, Narq! :D I can tell that I'm going to love this story... :D

~Avid, repaying review... (Review buddies.) 1/2.
7/29/2010 c7 99Dreamers-Requiem
The interaction between Will and Jack is done well, I like how you show their strengths and weaknesses, and Will's hesitation on becoming an actual part of Winata is shown really well, too. As always, the use of the birds is really good; especially the way you drew attention to them and the dogs in this chapter.

The only thing I'd suggest is maybe putting in some sort of indication about how much time has passed here? It seems that Will has been there a while but not so long that he feels completly comfortable, yet. It's a bit confusing, is all.
7/28/2010 c3 19S. M. Saves
"[K]ing of Winata": I believe since it's a title, "king" is capitalized.

"He [s]quinted in the dark:"

"He hoped that he would've need to leave her again, but if the fates would have it that way, then that would be the way.": Does he mean "he hoped that he "wouldn't" have need to leave her"?

Although the beginning was confusing at first, the confusion was cleared up when Jack woke up and I realized it was just a dream. Good thing too. Jack was just introduced in the last chapter. I wasn't quite sure how he was going to go from standing in the doorway of his home to being trapped with a bear without it being a dream. Poor kid!

I like the descriptions in this chapter, of the slum children and how they behave in contrast to Jack. I like how they talked too. It was fun reading their dialogue.

Jack's father is such a mystery man but he seems very wise. The scene at the end with the burned girl was well-described. "Her form melted beautifully in the trees, in the shadows, as if she belonged there. But that was not right, and he shivered." Lovely description and is that foreshadowing I sense?

I feel that with how you focused on her twice she's going to become a critical character in the future. I'll have to keep an eye on her.
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