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for Children of Winata

10/27/2010 c8 12lianoid
They had reached Tepi; the soldiers quickly set up tents on the outskirts of Tepi

-Personal: Perhaps remove “of Tepi” in order to remove the repetition.

And Claire, stayed, also, singled out from the other prisonors, taken inside one of the larger tents, and tied to a chair

-Personal: I don’t think the first comma is necessary. Also change “prisonors" to “prisoners”.

She lifted her chin, glared at him and ignored the fact that some people would poison them and pin them to card

-Edit: Forgot a final period.

"Man Will, you're good," the owner of the cane whispered.

-Edit: Comma after “Man”.

Jack hang back, leaning against a tree, smiling.

-Edit: Change “hang” to “hung”.

O, I love the final image of the scarred girl. Nice way to end; I was beginning to wonder what happened to her.

You write action so well. Although it was a brief action sequence, the energy was high and I was worried for Marco. The actions were clear in my mind, definitely, and I think you employed the use of short sentences perfectly, yet again.

I also really liked the exchange between Max and Claire. I was worried for her safety, but also intrigued about Max. He surprised me, perhaps nearly as much as he surprised Claire, so I’m glad there’s an element of the unknown within his character. I wonder what use he’ll have for her; he’s sent her on an errand instead of bedding her, so perhaps she’ll survive this unscathed in the end.

The transition between the two scenes was seamless. I thought you handled that brilliantly and was highly effective. You sort of bled from one scene to the other without jarring the reader. Excellent job.
10/27/2010 c7 lianoid
Sometimes the face was accompanied by an infuriating smile that implired he just knows green in the eyes echoed the colour in the trees' leaves.

-Edit: Change “implired” to “implied”. Also, the last half of this sentence isn’t complete. I think you mean to write, “...implied he just *knew* the green in his eyes echoed the colour in the trees’ leaves.”

"Hey, dog." Casually,Will approached the canine sitting at Jack's heels.

-Edit: Toss a space between “Casually,” and “Will”.

The boys look to you as if you are ha- – 'alf God.

-Personal: I’m not sure if this is an error or intentional...

Nothing new to report: another brilliant chapter. Although this chapter was simply a scene between the two boys, I think you managed boy personalities quite well, and made Will’s inner struggle come to life and made it believable. This chapter was perfect, all around. I don’t know how to describe it, unfortunately, it was just really, really great. :D
10/27/2010 c6 lianoid
Claire felt sweat trickling down her neck, but the ropes around her hand stopped her from wiped it off.

-Edit: I believe you want “wiped it off” to be “wiping it off”.

"Courage," he whispered and he followed the two fishermen.

-Edit?: I think a comma should be placed after “whispered” although that might just be personal preference.

At a first glance he was like any other young man, reckless, and then after knowing him she realised he went deeper than that. He had a scholar's brain, a fisherman's agility, and a warrior's courage.

-Another wonderful description. You manage to convey so much in such a short time; excellent.

"Some things just don't know how to die."

-Classic line, right there. So good.

Overall, as solid a chapter as the rest. The suspense and tense atmosphere was done expertly. Your use of short sentences in the right spots did wonders, and I loved the moment before he jumped; I loved how Claire saw sadness in his eyes. There was something powerful about that moment and really solidified the chapter, in my mind.
10/27/2010 c5 lianoid
His ragged breathes eachoed against the remains of his one-time home.

-Edit: I think you want this to be, “His ragged breath echoed” instead.

...as cold as the sweat that clammied his forehead...

-Edit: “clammied” is a spelling mistake, I believe, although I’m not sure which word you wanted in its place.

It came as intolerable as the heat before.

-Personal: “came” reads oddly here. Should it be “became” instead?

The sun shone bright into his eyes, brightly burning, like the tears wetting his face and the pain of loss in his chest.

-Personal: Perhaps remove the first “bright” in order to remove the repetition.

He'd left sooty finger marks on the shirt and brushed at it before putting on the jacket his father gave him.

-Personal: I feel “his father gave him” should be “his father had given him” because he gave it to him earlier/in the past, yes?

The jacket was old, battered and too big for him – it came halfway down his thighs.

-Personal: Remove “for him” since you finish the last sentence with the same wording.

Jack reeled back. It was not the first time he'd heard language like this. But never had he heard someone say it with such venom. He steadied himself.

-Wonderful description!

"It's alright," he whispered.

-Personal: Change “alright” to “all right”.

Woo! Another awesome chapter. I just finished reading The Pillars of the Earth, so I’m in the mood for war and ugliness. This story has a great vibe to it; one that I look forward to following. Despite a few errors here and there (which happens to all of us, so no stress) this chapter was solid all around. I loved Jack’s discomfort and how he held on to his father’s teachings. I thought that was really strong and really tied in his actions well. I also thought you conveyed Will’s blind sadness and fury rather well. It didn’t come off too dramatic or under-done. You had a perfect blend of emotions in this and I commend you for another brilliant chapter.
10/26/2010 c23 1esthaelum

I loved the description when Zared was about to shoot. That was really intense. You started using choppy sentences, when in another situation would have been strange, but on one as intense as this, it worked really well. It sounded like Zared didnt want to do it, so he was doing it really slowly...

Oh my... What an ending! I loved that! Great chapter, as always!

10/20/2010 c4 12lianoid
...it made him remember the the bantering of friends, and forget that one day...

-Edit: Remove one of the extra “the”’s.

The Cinah way of saying it was much more decisive. It sounded less husky, less emotional. Less attached.

-The entire paragraph that these lines are contained in is brilliant. I thought you conveyed the different dialect in a clear and creative way that made it easy to hear and understand. What I especially like about these quoted lines, though, is the very last sentence, “Less attached.” I don’t know a great deal about the Winata and Cinah right now, but you managed to make me sympathize with the Winata already, especially with that line.

"You're right old man;”

-Edit: I believe a comma should go after “right”.

A couple of blue magpies kyaked in the distance and Will frowned. Those birds were getting on his nerves!

-I was just gonna say! Ha-ha. Those magpies are ever-present, eh? I guess the Cinah don’t know their significance to the Winata. Or at least, I’m assuming the Winata use the magpies to deliver messages and the others don’t know.

Maximilian came to the ultimate decision. A0721 had no more use for him: he was becoming a hindrance.

-It may just be me, but this is reading as Will has no more use for Maximilian. Is that correct, because if so, that’s not making sense to me. The lines that follow say Max doesn’t have use for Will, but the second line quoted above just doesn’t make sense. =/

Angry kyaks filled Jack's ears, so loud that he wasn't sure whether they were real or not.

-Personal: I would remove the “that” in this sentence.

Many years ago, Will was a youth with no such thoughts. A fiery young man with a lust for blood. Meeting her had changed him so much.

-Personal: I think the last sentence would read stronger without the “so much”.

Such an intense chapter. In such a short period of time you manage to characterize and convey a personality with extreme accuracy. Oh, man, this chapter was so engrossing. The dialogue was smooth, as always, your descriptions were as brilliant as ever, and I especially enjoyed the contrast between Will’s character and Max’s. And that ending? Wow. I was wondering if he’d be killed soon, but I was hoping otherwise. I’m also hoping Jack got out safely; I’m guessing yes. But yeah, another amazing chapter!
10/20/2010 c3 lianoid
Whoa! Nice way to begin a chapter! I loved your descriptions here, and I especially like how you describe the animal first and *then* reveal to the reader the character’s in a crate with it. I thought that was very clever and highly effective.

Ah, nice! You’re really quite good at this, you know. Ha-ha. I actually thought Jack was inside a crate, so I really enjoyed the sudden surprise of realizing it was just a dream. Another clever technique you used here, one that, I must say, suddenly inspired me to write. :D

"Go on Jack, go and play."

-Edit: You should place a comma after “on”.

They gathered around him, eager for news. Even a couple of dogs squished in, tongues dangling from their smiling mouths, curved tails wagging.

-Ah, this was so great. Such a perfect image. You managed to convey the mood so well in those two lines.

"C'mon Jack, tell us,"

-Edit: Place a comma after “C’mon”.

"Hello boys," Thomson greeted them pleasantly.

"Hullo sir," a few of them answered.

-Edit: Comma after “Hello” and “Hullo” I believe.

I’m curious to know more about this girl. You wouldn’t have mentioned her or ended this scene with her and Jack’s father if she was going to play a major or supportive role in the future, so I definitely look forward to that. Again, your descriptions are top notch and your writing is fluid. This is such an engrossing story, and I’m a little bit surprised to be so hooked so early on. Major kudos to you for that; I eagerly read on.
10/20/2010 c2 lianoid
A wicked wind whipped up and Jack pushed against the door and stepped inside.

-Love the alliteration here!

His mother's face was her hands, elbows on the table and his father had this glint in his eye – and Jack was sure he'd seen it once before.

-Edit: I believe you want to toss an “in” before “her hands”.

The man clasped his hands over his son's, and their eyes locked together, jade green to jade green.

-Perfect. I can feel the intensity here.

Another excellent chapter; wow! You conveyed the tense atmosphere so well. I was almost on the edge of my seat, trying to figure out what the heck was going on. Oddly enough, although I’m not familiar with these characters yet, I fear for them. Who are these people who are coming for them? What does it mean to be a child of Winata? I’m sure these questions will be answered in due time, and I certainly look forward to finding out.
10/20/2010 c1 lianoid
I adore you opening paragraphs. They were succinct but still managed to convey various senses in a powerful way. I especially liked the line “Goblets clinked, forks clattered, fancy words were formed.” There was just something so wonderful about it, really.

The King slightly and Zeen noticed droplets of sweat coming of his brow, the way his chest heaved, the way his limbs jerked to steady himself by the chariot.

-I could be wrong, but are you missing a word after “slightly”?

Wow. I am thoroughly impressed, Narq! This is so polished and so wonderfully written and just so many other excellent things. Your descriptions were marvellous, the dialogue was smooth, the tone was perfect, your grammar, word choice and phrasing was brilliant. I am going to have a tough time reviewing this piece because it’s so polished. I have no criticisms or suggestions for improvement; I think this first chapter is top notch how it is. Excellent, excellent work here!
10/15/2010 c44 4lookingwest
Woo! It has been ages! I've got to finish this story! XD

First part-

I liked it when Black Dove said 'I disagree with what they're fighting for', I thought that added some great dimension to his character motives and I actually didn't see him coming straight out to say it, so that was pretty cool.


That part when Max says "had they state sent them to their deaths" really stuck out to me in this part-this is just a chapter full of defining phrases! I liked the mention of the citizens fighting the Cinah as well, that was cool-it's interesting that the Cinah aren't slaughtering them to death or making the citizens feel that threatened. I wasn't expecting it.


Wow, big definite change in will here in the first paragraph-the strength and headstrongness of that was intense! XD Loved the bit about his hair, haha, Wolf still joking in the troughs of battle!

I did not see this chapter taking the turn it did, and that's really cool. I love the way you give us another alternative, I didn't even see a third option really, which is terrible of me but I love that you're able to manipulate the reader in such a way. I never thought of peace! Duh! And these three characters coming together, which you've artfully developed, is awesome. I believed it from all of them, felt true to character and everything.

Overall a wonderful chapter, and very productive, you'll have to really forgive me for lagging so far behind with this, I stopped at such a good point!
10/14/2010 c47 6The Saturday Storytellers
"The only noise was the Plato's hooves..." I think you'd need to either say 'the horse's hooves' or 'Plato's hooves'.

"Alive, thumped her heart.

Alive, thumped the hooves."

Very nice two sentences, there.

Again, you've got a charming bit of interaction here. It just needs beefing up.

"...anxiety sprung from her mind." I like the idea of anxiety 'springing', but it sounds like her anxiety left her at this point, whereas I'm guessing you mean she began to feel (a fresh wave of) anxiety.

Wow, quite a scene, where they're both potential in peril but won't move because this conversation is so important to both of them.

There isn't much I can add to this review, so sorry it's short, but the above covers all I want to say.

- From We Return Reviews.
10/14/2010 c46 The Saturday Storytellers
"There was a field hospital set up outside the palace. Ignoring the groans of the wounded..." I feel you could make a whole paragraph of scene-setting out of that first sentence. Gleo's action, I think, should be a new paragraph.

The progression of this chapter feels good - the actions in the scene. I think it could all do with crafting more finely, but the broader concept is perfectly serviceable.

"She was an open book, ready to be read." 'Read' is used twice here, even though the first instance is in fact 'ready'. It feels like too much repetition. Perhaps a rephrasing is in order.

"It seemed to Gleo that Maximilian gave the young woman not a second's thought as he plunged into battle.

" If I understood right, Gleo and Max are enemies too much for Gleo to know what Max did before battle. I'm getting the impression Gleo is looking to patch up the differences between the two sides. Therefore, perhaps it would be Gleo's first instinct to think the worst of Max for leaving his mate, but I feel strongly that Gleo would reconsider this and try to see the courage or the devotion to the cause Max may have felt at leaving Sheruna.

"The State had never taught them how to comfort. He had fathered children, certainly – but he'd never been a father. But his body, it seemed, knew what was appropriate. He found himself sitting by her, one arm over her quivering shoulders." I hear what you're getting at here, although I think you undermine the feeling of emotional block by letting Gleo get over it so quickly. I think you'd have a more interesting interaction between the two if you showed him feeling awkward - as he clearly does - but unable to physically reach out.

But that's up to you, of course.

"When the flow had subsidised a little..." I think the word you're looking for is 'subsided'. Subsidised means to pay a portion of the value of something so another person can buy it for cheaper!

Ha! I like the ending of this chapter. Well-finished - it lightens things!

- From We Return Reviews.
10/13/2010 c45 The Saturday Storytellers
I haven't reviewed this in far too long! I'm hoping I haven't lost the thread too much...

"Near the end of the day, there was no shouting or screaming from the battlegrounds." Ah, yes. There was the battle, and we had a talk via PM about how both sides have become too similar for their own good (the characters in their own world, not the quality of your creations). I can see (and hear) the image you're conjuring here, but the phrasing needs work. It could be a wonderful way to bring the reader back into your world of Winata, of the destitute silence of the aftermath of the battle, the only sound the dust being blown away on the breeze. But I think you need to put a lot of work into the opening paragraph and get it just right when you're aiming to show this kind of thing in your story.

"Only a light smother of sound rippled along the ramparts: the sound of men fiercely engaged the sound of daggers..." So it's pretty much silence. Nuanced, silence, perhaps. But one can hear 'the sound of men fiercely engaged...' First of all, men fiercely engaging in anything isn't going to be very quiet, not the way I'm hearing it, and what does 'men fiercely engaged the sound of daggers' mean? The semantics aren't making sense to me, I'm afraid.

"...the dead and wounded lined the earth." Very wel-phrased, this. Grisly, certainly!

"Will thrust deep into a Cinah soldier's heart, swung around to meet the glancing blow of another. A cry left his lips as the impact of the weapons jarred his bones.

Wolf let out a deep hiss as a deadly arc ended up stuck in his thigh. His attacker pulled back his sword, ready to deliver the last blow when he toppled backwards, an arrow producing from his back."

These two paragraphs are interesting. I thought you were about to show us snapshots of several of your characters fighting, but then you have the two interact and the image is broken. Whether this is a good or bad thing depends on the reader, I suppose, and I'm not sure what I think of it, but the device you seemed at first to be using melted away. Quite what you want to do with that impression is up to you.

"Flecks of blood spat from Will's mouth as he spoke." I'm not sure if I've said this to you but I certainly have to others. It strikes me that too often, people overwrite the actions of a person's mouth. Rather than 'X smiled', they tend to say, 'A smile played at the corners of X's lips' or somesuch. I feel you've overwritten in this way here. Bear in mind that the blood isn't what did the spitting. In effect it was the spittee, not the spitter.

Where Gleo and BD's scene starts, I feel you need to describe the setting. You've just had a powerful wartime scene and we're taken out of that to somewhere much more placid, a very different interaction. So it might help to take your reader's mind off the war and show them what's going on around Gleo and Dove. Otherwise they - certainly I did - become disorinentated, and the best stories are the ones that flow gracefully along without one needing to backtrack.

The blue magpie bit has promise, but again, it feels a bit short, a bit glib. Build up to it. Put your readers there, on the hilltop with two lonely men by their sides, listening too to the bird's cry, which must sound quite alone - magpies, to the best of my knowledge, are not nocturnal.

So Black Dove's name actually is Black. Quite a thought that his nom de plume is so similar to his real name. That said, I wonder whether his surname is Dove or something else. I suspect it's something else. Perhaps his giving up of his real name would have more resonance if he told his surname?

Well, that's the only review I have time for today but I'm glad to have reacquainted myself with Children of Winata.

- From We Return Reviews.
10/10/2010 c14 99Dreamers-Requiem
The Jack/Jade name thing, I think, is quite interesting in that you can have different characters call him different things depending on who they are...such as, I like how from Lillian's POV he's Jack, but to the others he's Jade. It's an effective tool and I like how you use it. I loved the budding romance between them and the last paragraph of chapter 18 was just amazing. Nicely done. The characters, as always, are really good and 3D, there's no clear cut feelings in them, especially with Lillian, and I liked the use of seeing things through her eyes here.

Chapter 19 was also quite good; nice work of name-dropping with the arrows, it helps to be able to link the characters together. Nice description used, too, throughout it all. Overall, a great couple of chapters, as usal.
9/23/2010 c48 Tawny Owl
Oh, there’s some very detailed description in the beginning of this chapter. The frailty of Serunna, and the horses quivering nose. It’s not too much though so adds to rather than detracts from the tension of the approaching scene.

This must be what it felt like, when an arrow was released from the bow! He felt almost weightless… -Lovely. You need more stuff like this in the previous battle scenes. Stuff that really gets into the character’s heads.

I’m not sure why Will feels the need to fight Gleo though. It didn’t really feel like it was symbolic of the wider conflict as the men had already left for battle when it started.
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