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for The Sailor's General Superior

5/26/2013 c19 blackouzel
The cousins! I am so happy to see them. And Alim (oddly! I like him a bit despite myself), and the General's questions about Cale avoiding his touch made my heart hurt for him, and also put ideas in my head about what's REALLY put the buzz up Cale's spine. Could it possibly be that he is feeling overwhelmed? Could it possibly lead to a kind of "overwhelmed" that involves attraction?

Very, very lovely chapter. Also, Cale's injures. Holy damn. I was wincing in sympathy all the way through.
5/26/2013 c18 blackouzel
AAAAAAAAAH this chapter is SO GOOD, and I just have to keep reading to find out what happens next. -bolts toward "next" button-
5/26/2013 c17 blackouzel
This was a really beautifully-written chapter. I loved the imagery, how real the forest seems, and how believable the difficulties of the prolonged march. Everyone is wearing thinner in every way, and it's perfect timing for Alim to make his move.

I heart Calentine so hard for the decisions he made. And I LOVE reading about how muddled & hurt he's feeling about the General.

Favorite line, for the "my": [The doctor sighs, stepping closer to the hand still on my General's arm. ]
5/26/2013 c16 blackouzel
I love how slowly and mindfully you've worked your way toward the realizations Cale has in this chapter. The revelation of the magic was delightful, but the REAL treat was this: [And I think, he really is beautiful.]

I wanted to ask: did you make up Paraz's magic & talents without knowing how they might apply later in the story, or did you have plans for them already at the time you invented each of his abilities? I'm really curious about which came first: the plot or the magic. Not because either answer is better than the other! But I am just curious about how the process went for you, because his talents are so wonderfully eclectic.
5/26/2013 c15 blackouzel
Ugh, the last line is SO good but I can barely read it because my eyes are all full up of water. I loved this chapter: it's all about aftermath, and I'm noting certain changes in Cale's attitude about his situation (he's starting to think in the direction of "this is an opportunity to change some things that aren't right" instead of "how the hell do I cope with being in this awkward position?"). I loved how the soldiers responded to Cale taking command, almost as if it was the most natural thing in the world. And I am REALLY happy to see Cale being taken seriously at one of the meetings the officers hold to discuss their plans.

5/26/2013 c14 blackouzel
Oh my lord, you set up for the ending of this chapter SO WELL and of course I was completely blindsided by it; I'm just devastated.

Very, very, very well-written. I won't go into detail here for fear of spoiling it for future readers, but you've pulled a master stroke with this. And I feel almost sick with sympathy for Cale.
5/26/2013 c13 blackouzel
This chapter was really beautiful and made my heart ache for Paraz. He and Cale are being so sweet to each other, and so considerate, and so selfless . . . and yet they keep getting stuck in an awkward position together, not quite matching up. It reminds me of an earlier scene (from chapter 3 maybe?) where Cale was feeling unwell after his first jaunt outdoors and the General was also feeling unwell after having been separated from Cale too long, and they ended up just leaning on each other in the oddest fashion. That's been a really apt image for their relationship so far: supportive, and trying, but both failing a bit, both needing something they can't quite get, both trying to provide that thing for the other. And awkward.

It's so very delicious.
5/26/2013 c12 blackouzel

I'm not sure I'm capable of saying anything intelligent, I'm too blown away by how good this is. I'D BEEN WORRIED THAT THE GENERAL OVERHEARD SOMETHING THAT ONE TIME but he played off so cool I assumed that Jara and Cale's privacy prevailed.

A really perfect chapter that pulls the cinch on the plot even snugger. Hot damn. Reading on!
5/26/2013 c11 blackouzel
Oh I just love the developments at work here, and the fact that you are showing us Cale isn't just refusing to contemplate bedding Paraz out of simple "lack of interest." It has evolved into something so much more complicated and, in fact, compassionate.

A really well-constructed chapter that had so much going on in it. I almost whooped with Caletine at the news delivered at the end. You've spent a long time building toward this and I am SO EXCITED to see how it plays out!
5/26/2013 c10 blackouzel
Oh I'm so heartbroken for Hanna and the realizations that follow about how the servant-class gets preyed upon.

The best part of all was when the General knelt and took Cale's face in his hand, repeating his question. I'm completely charmed and blown away by his desire to ease Cale's situation, even when he doesn't know the details of it remotely.

I am really curious to see how this plot-arc develops, and whether Cale himself might end up getting into trouble with a lord who "doesn't ask."
5/26/2013 c9 blackouzel
Ahahah about the "light red" hair.

I thoroughly enjoyed this chapter, in particular the tenderness Paraz demonstrates toward Cale. I also noted that Cale is starting to think of the General in fonder terms. THERE IS LIKING, definite LIKING starting to take root here.

And in the midst of all that pleasantness, it was really, truly wonderful to read a line like this: [Quick as lightning, the General's hand latches onto the front of the man's robes and hauls him close. "Apologize at once," he hisses.] I just loved the reminder of the lethal force of the protectiveness and possessiveness created by the bond.

Both the visit to the church and to the mage school/place of study reflected the theme you've started where each member of this Odd Couple pulls the other a little more into his own world. I really liked that.

Favorite line: [carvings around the door, which were obviously made by someone with an obsession with vines, skeletons, and naked women, and an incredible amount of time on their hands.]

Finally, I wanted to comment on how delightful it was to be surprised with the news that Caletine might die if Paraz does, or vice versa, and that certain ruthless people might be tempted to target Caletine for that very reason. Spooky. I'm already wondering if this is a bit of foreshadowing. So of course, I have to read another chapter RIGHT NOW.

I very much enjoy the fact that I cannot put this story down.
5/26/2013 c8 blackouzel
["I was out swimming"]
You have such a talent for making innocuous-seeming lines like this one FULL OF IMPACT AND MEANING. I think that speaks to your ability to construct a good scene. I LOVED how gentle (and also not) Caletine was with his General on their little forest venture. And I really, really liked that each one coaxed the other to do what he was dreading.

This makes me think they may find common ground after all. Or, not "find" it perhaps, but create it. I love that.

Going to keep reading!
5/26/2013 c7 blackouzel
Hahah, the drunken conversation was fantastic. And I was so happy to find out who Jara really is!
I'm intrigued by all the details coming up about Paraz's past and how he used to be (maybe?) kinder and gentler, and is starting to tend that way again, now that Cale is in his life.

Favorite line: "You wield my title like a hammer."

A great pleasure to read.
5/26/2013 c6 blackouzel
AWWWWWWWW this chapter gave me all the feels. I loved the discussion between Paraz and Cale- I could really feel BOTH of them growing more frustrated about the situation. Poor Cale must be feeling so USELESS and awful right now; and the General is hindered with both a secret and an actual handicap (since his former partner Alim isn't able to offer the support he'd normally, I assume, be giving). Despite the high tension in this chapter, you manage to strike a truly poignant note by the end.

I really like Jara and I am happy that she's in the story so much. (I'm more curious than ever about her past, too!)

5/26/2013 c5 blackouzel
I was on the edge of my seat for this whole chapter! I loved the suspense you built by playing on Cale's (and our) expectations for how a battle -ought- to go (this was made especially poignant when Cale thought about how the battles he's actually BEEN in have been), and how you then made that suspense grow by using first Jara and then Paraz himself in the fight.

I really enjoyed the information about the magic, and the specialized knowledge that both Cale and Jara possess regarding the history/style of warefare in their own societies.

The final line was great, both for the pang it delivered and the irony of the situation.

And I also really, really liked the descriptions at the beginning of the chapter. I kept wondering "why can't Cale see all of these towers and tents- and then I had the pleasure of discovering that he was filling his eyes with the sea.

Really beautiful and creative.
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