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3/25/2013 c25 76The Autumn Queen
Opening: I rather like the reminiscence of the Sleeping Beauty with its definite unique and dark undertone with that first line, as it draws a markedly different atmosphere, I feel like your oddly emphasising certain points. With the emphasis of the wool threading later on in the chapter, I assume the “slowly” is less important than the action itself, but your wording with that first sentence seems to put more emphasis on the slowly, and not really in the time context as you have it towards the end. There were a few other examples of that, like repeating Aurora’s name when there weren’t any other names to confuse hers with (also in that first paragraph), where I feel you could have worded things a little differently to put more emphasis on the wool threading and the sick mother instead.
Relationship: The prologue has a nice-setup feel to the characters, particularly as we know from parts 1 and 2 that the relationship isn’t as perfect (in a relative sense) as it appears now. What I particularly like about this scene is that it strips away a majority of the complications and showcases a typical mother and child relationship with the ill mother, and yet because it is so embedded into the fic, their relationship is overshadowed by all the development it has undertaken. I felt the use of the nickname further added to that brief flash of normalcy.
Scene: I think you put some rather nice description into the scene. Somehow, you’ve made it a little abstract with your focus on the wheel, but that adds to the quality of your description I think. I like the small tidbits in particular, how you didn’t describe the setting as a whole but rather let it be built from your previous parts and inferred from dialogue and other suggestive sentences, but it came together quite nicely to give a similar effect as your relationship between Aurora and Brynhild: a flash of normalcy shadowed by greater plot aspects.
Ending: I find it a little odd in terms of it being a prologue, because I don’t really see any foreshadowing in this. In fact, it feels like the opposite to me; I could easily mistake this chapter for an epilogue. It’s a nice ending, but since so much of the story has developed already, I don’t see it leading to another plot twist or a conclusion is all.
3/25/2013 c2 2Jalux
Dialogue: Not bad, it feels reasonably natural and flows pretty well. Although I did feel "To the King" could be replaced with something like "All hail the King", more cliche but it does fit better into context I feel.
Characters: Not liking Brynhild, not that she's poorly written but just her general character. You've done a decent job with the rest of the characters though. They do feel like they have their own separate personalities so good job on that.
Writing: Generally good, nice blend of dialogue and exposition. It keeps the reader sucked in because it's never boring.
Plot: Felt a little slow to be honest, I mean you set up the next chapter nicely and maybe I'm asking for too much from Chapter 1. I'll have to read more to make a better assessment but generally good if a bit slow.
3/25/2013 c2 8Sombrette
I like the atmosphere you set in this chapter, loud and boisterous with the feast hall and the goings on. I think you do a good job of painting the scene, giving good descriptors so that we can really see what's happening. I also thought you show Brynhild in an interesting way, when she mentioned in a thought that she wanted to be seated where the King would be able to see her, I figured she has a small crush, but by the end of this chapter it seems completely different. I'm not sure if we're supposed to like this character at this point though lol I'm a little 'eh' about her actions toward the king but, I'm still curious as to what their background is and how that will play out in the plot.

I guess her situation is a little sad...I suppose ;) Again, I can't tell if I'm supposed to actually sympathize with her at this point, especially with the ending statement 'She knew what needed to be done' meaning she's probably going to do something spiteful 'cause of that ever popular saying 'Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned' seems to fit.

Anyway, some things to check :

[Oren pouted, dropping his hand onto the edge of his pewter plate{, and }making a deafening clanking sound.] - This section reads oddly. I think taking out 'and' and just having it [...his pewter plate, making a deafening...]

[Frederick's eyes widened{,} "No," he instructed her, pushing her away, but she didn't stop{,} "No!" he said again and when she still didn't stop] - The comma after widened should be a period since it's an action tag. And I 'think' the comma after stop should be a period since the 'No!' is followed by s speaker tag anyway. It doesn't seem like your connecting the two 'no's' so... but I'm not so sure about that one.

Other than that, this was a good chapter and I'm curious as to how this story will play out :)
3/24/2013 c38 5Persevera
The barely lamented passing of Brynhilde. I could almost become compassionate for her again, knowing that she'd just been through so much emotionally that she broke, but she also killed Oren and Aurora. That's harder to forgive. I never liked Aurorette much.
Frederick was so selfish. I don't think it helped that he always said please and I'm sorry when he asked her to continue as his emotional slave, rather than letting her leave. He forced the woman that he knew loved him to watch him not only in love with a woman, but happy with a family that she'd never have.
[arduace studies]-I believe that's supposed to be arduous.
3/24/2013 c37 Persevera
The royal ego—the death of the queen's brother wasn't cause for the kingdom to go to war. Families lost loved ones because Aurorette grieved?
I like that you included that Igor wouldn't take the gold since Abelard had died. It's important for him to have some honor since he's Kaspar's ancestor.
[he set out imedietly to begin his work]-Immediately.
It's a shame Brynhilde couldn't get over her grief for her baby or leave the castle or something. Frederick said he wanted her there to be his friend and then made him nothing more than his son's nursemaid. She had no ally.
3/24/2013 c22 4lookingwest
This ended on a very creepy note, I have to say. I like how you started the beginning with Aurelia's search through the living quarters and then into the woods for Oren. I was half-expecting her to come across his cold dead corpse but I knew once she got back into the castle, Bryn was definitely up to something. I wonder what she did with his body. Anyway, I liked the descriptions of the frost and the yellowed forest at the beginning of this chapter when Aurelia is wandering outside because I thought the forest was described quite poetically. I could really get a sense of the chill during her search (perhaps because it's snowing outside too and I'm also facing a window, ha!). But yeah, excellent job with the setting in the beginning portions of this, and also the attention to touch with the cold verses the heat of the castle on her return when Bryn is waiting for her.

I also liked how you incorporated a small memory of Oren into this chapter, especially because the reader now knows he's no longer with us, and so seeing Aurelia reminiscence over him was especially distressing. The memory was woven into the fabrics of the narration very nicely and I appreciated its inclusion, not only the dropped hint of his fuzzy past. It does make me sad that he died not knowing his true identity and everything, but I hope at some point Aurelia will learn of it - or at any rate, perhaps her own child might. I know there's a third part to this novel, so I'm wondering if the story might progress to the next generation. I'm wondering when the ghost-vision of the princess will return, or if she'll even return to Aurelia plot-wise.

Anyway - I kind of liked how the primary dialogue of this chapter was centered on just "Oren?" and "Momma?" because I think that reflects the two most important people in Aurelia's life, and when she's lost without them her desperation for their presence becomes apparent. I also liked seeing a bit of doubt in Aurelia as she finally learns that she probably shouldn't trust Bryn concerning Oren's whereabouts. That was a good moment of her development and characterization concerning her relationship with her "mother". I thought we were nearing the pregnancy so this ending isn't shocking or unexpected, but I'm really interested to see what might happen and if indeed the baby is born without any fuss or trouble. I really hope Aurelia doesn't die or something in childbirth because that would leave crazy Bryn to take care of the poor thing! We really glimpse Bryn's true colors in this chapter again towards the end, and I swear that "I've prepared everything..." ending was kind of creepy. I hope nothing bad happens to the baby or to Aurelia!
3/21/2013 c4 10AlternatingCurrent
The image of the kitchen at the beginning of the chapter is excellent, I felt like I could see, hear, and smell what was going on as they all bustled around. I also liked the little bit of suspense put in when Aurorette is about to drink, but is interrupted. It gives Brynhild a chance to not go through with it after all. I wonder if we could hear a little more about Brynhild's emotions throughout this story. How does she feel when she hears which servants are sick? Does she regret what she's done at any time? You've done a good job of describing the initial uneasiness about the sickness that will possibly lead to panic later on. You might add to it by having characters wonder how contagious it is. Brynhild knows it's from the drinks, but no one else does, so they would probably be trying to figure out how people are contracting the disease. A good read so far!
3/19/2013 c4 1Vagrance
Opening: I felt this opening lacked impact. It didn’t carry on the intensity from the end of the previous chapter. Perhaps you could allow the readers a peek into Brynhild’s mind throughout her tasks.

"Meg and Pater both took ill this afternoon, and the Queen says she's feeling poorly too. – missing a speech mark at the end.

“Brynhild studied her; she saw no red marks on her chest were her bodice exposed the skin,” – I think you meant “where” instead of “were”.

Plot: lots of foreshadowing. This chapter felt somewhat heavy and ominous.

Characters: I personally thought that Brynhild would feel at least some remorse for killing an innocent bystander. Was her indifference intended?
3/19/2013 c23 8Adrenalin
I liked how you made the scene of the birth so stressful, in a way completely independent of the dangers of giving birth in such conditions in the first place. The way you characterized both Brynhild and Aurelia until then, and their relationship of complete interdependence, all culminated in that moment where Brynhild tells Aurora that it's easier if she's tied, and Aurelia just believes her because she trusts her and has never seen a reason not to.

Brynhild's actions and discourse are unsettling through this chapter. She's an unsettling character anyway, but in this chapter you really did a good job showing it, with her disjointed discourse and the way she blames Aurelia for her attitude and want to punish her, first by having her feel all the pain of childbirth and not supporting her, then by taking the baby away. I liked how you progressed from her just wanting Aurelia to realize what she considers an horrible mistake to her decision that Aurelia is defiled anyway and not worth the effort (when she decides that Aurelia, like Oren, is too much like the much-hated Aurorette).

Anyway, great chapter, though extremely sad.
3/19/2013 c21 4lookingwest
"What really happened her?... [typo]

I have the same feelings about Bryn's strength as Dr. Self Destruct does, I'm not so sure it would be that easy to knife Oren, and I'm a little wary of her strength as an old woman (described at the very opening paragraph) as opposed to Oren's strength as a man (also mentioned about halfway through). Perhaps instead it might work if she had the convo with him, then stalked him, then knifed him while he was sleeping. But I won't go into detail on this since you have another review that already does.

Anyway - I had a suspicion that there was some foreshadowing of Oren's death and while this ending is sad, it isn't surprising. It's also sad that Oren never finds out that Aurelia is his sister. I almost think that might be a final blow to him that would really kick him in the teeth as she slides in the knife - I was disappointed that Bryn didn't add any extra oomph and that Oren never found out before he died. If you revise, that might be a good inclusion to add between them, because then at least the reader also feels some vindication because *someone* learns about Bryn's true wickedness, even if they die directly afterwards.

I thought you did a good job with the dialogue between Bryn regardless of feeling that something was lacking a bit from it like I mentioned int he above paragraph. I liked that you did have Bryn confront and find Oren. I would've liked perhaps a little more detail on how they found one another in that forest, but I liked the inclusions of the setting that you do offer, and I like the descriptions of nightfall. Overall, this also pushes the plot even further. It would seem the same fate that befell Aurelia's mother risks to befall her. It'll be really interesting to see what happens to her bastard child and how Bryn treats it if Bryn even lives to see it born. Looking forward to more, as always!
3/18/2013 c12 9Infected Beliefs
WOOOOHHOOO A new character perspective! How refreshing! I only read the first two paragraphs so far and I love it!

[Outside their home, the hill of bodies had been piled in the center most part of the courtyard, like so many twisted branches ready for a great bonfire. Glassy eyeballs stared at them, and their fingers clutched desperately inward, forming a pain-riddled closed fist.] - I really like this paragraph. It gives a good apocalyptic feel that is very chilling and unsettling. I can easily imagine the two sisters walking through a town filled with nothing but piles of corpses, all piled high atop one another. It makes me think of someone who hid through an entire battle and then comes out after it is over to find the war-torn remains of the engagement.

[They never had a chance to make it to the castle. Barely half way there they were spotted by looters who demanded to take possession of their jewelry, and any other fine things they might be carrying.] - Good bit of realism and ooh how depressing. As if they haven't suffered enough. All the survivors are gonna have the worst PTSD, if they don't go mad that is.

[Lisbet could see that she wore an ill fitting, dark colored smock, and her hands and feet were strangely bare, despite the cold.] - Up until this point you have portrayed Brynhild as being psychotic, yes, but not supernatural. Does she actually have some magic? If not, how is she able to survive the cold barefoot without getting frostbite?

[How could see – daughter of a Lord...] - I believe you meant {she} rather than {see}.

Your story sort of reminds me of Grimm's Fairy Tales. It's like the fucked up version of a Disney movie. I dig it.

Best of Luck to you and your writing,

3/18/2013 c11 Infected Beliefs
I am still not convinced that this poison would have effected (affected? I always mix them up) Frederick so quickly after he imbibed it. Aurorette still had sex for half the night after she drank it, and the draught she drank was much less diluted then the pitcher by lord Gurin's bed (one being from the well, the other directly poisoned). You go on to say that [his teeth were stained red with blood.] but for everyone else who has suffered from the poison only a little trickle came out at the end. Basically what I am saying is, from the way you describe it, it seems as though the King imbibed some other poison entirely.

I've said it before but I'll say it again...Brynhild is FUCKING NUTS. Rapes the king while he is semi-conscious? I am surprised she could even get him aroused. "I'll save you!" Fucks him. Yeah, that worked. Bryn really frightens me and I strongly dislike her, which means that you, as a writer, are doing an excellent job.

Necrophilia? In a K story? You might want to bump up the rating. It doesn't bother me but I would hate to see your story get taken down because of some stupid, minor infraction like that. Though you are on chapter thirty-whatever, so maybe it doesn't matter.

[Byrnhild slept well into the day. There was no one left to disturb them.] - The next line is her going to check on the baby, which was also going to be my next question. The baby and Oren have just been in her room for like a day and a half? SOMEONE CALL CPS! Oh wait...
3/18/2013 c3 1Vagrance
Opening: this passage gives a good indication of the relationship between the Aurorette, Brynhild and Frederick. You could consider not using "fell" twice in one sentence.

Characters: Brynhild is a very dark and sinister woman. However, unlike antagonists in most, we know her motives from the very start. This makes her more than a jealous and possessive person. The downside, I feel, is that the readers are not given the suspense of watching a villain unravel their device.

Grammar/spelling: "The butchers didn't care is she shortened her walk..."

I think you meant "as she shortened her walk..."

"...like a star or a handprint and the barer of that..." I think you meant bearer instead of barer.

Ending: this is a sharp and strong ending. I really liked how you tied it back into Brynhild's scheme.
3/18/2013 c20 4lookingwest
Characters - I'm feeling a little uneasy here about the way that Oren is portrayed in this chapter - I'm wondering if maybe he should've fought Bryn a little more than he does, especially when she starts physically abusing him. I mean - by now Bryn is most likely an older woman, right? And yet she manages to give Oren a shiner and knock him down to boot? I'm not sure I buy into how easy it was for her to abuse him by this point - probably both physically and even verbally. Aurelia's strength in the situation also felt a little disappointing - especially after seeing her father's corpse. It's clear she knows something is up/wrong with Bryn, and she makes no connections about wanting to verbally say anything - I almost think this would've been a good opportunity for her to finally step up and take on a stronger role as the main woman character of this part.

Writing - I like your descriptions and attentions to the body in this chapter. You do a good job keeping it in mind and keeping it present as Oren fights with Bryn and Aurelia's body is finally uncovered. I thought opening with that description of her swollen belly also worked well. This entire fiasco has me really wondering where this will lead, or even if the two of them could have a healthy baby - isn't the probability of recessive genes carried by both parents who are brother and sister like 1 out of 3? I suppose we'll find out if they have any bad recessive genes! Anyway - that really doesn't have to do with writing, xD. Aherm. I suppose plainly: I like how you handle the description of Aurelia's pregnancy in this chapter, especially the moment when she's found-out by Bryn, and also the moment when she discusses how Oren likes her new body.

Dialogue - The dialogue fell a little flat from Bryn's perspective. I'm just not sure about her anymore - it feels as though she's lost some dimension and has come very one-dimensional. Since she's the only woman in the entirety of this retelling so far to actually stand up to a men (it seems physically as well), I'm not sure what the story says about women who speak out and do their own independent thing. I mean, Bryn is crazy, that's clear, but it serves and interesting message when close-reading. Sometimes her dialogue feels a little stilted when she tries to argue, but I think my favorite moment was when she mentions that the two of them don't know what they've done. It's crazy that she doesn't tell them their brother and sister, but then of course that would jeopardize all her lies that she's built around herself for so long.

Enjoyment - I enjoyed this chapter a little less than those that I've read in the past, but I did enjoy that we seem to be moving along with plot progression. The plot in this story seems tied very heavily to family and relationships, which I think works. It makes me wonder if this might be the last we see of Oren since the foreshadowing at the end about the darkness is seen as a "bad omen" - I'm wondering if we might then see a shift into a new generation, though I hope that doesn't happen too soon since I feel like I've hardly gotten time to know Aurelia as a character. I enjoyed seeing Bryn in this chapter too, as I mentioned before, I felt she had been neglected prior to this, so it was a great moment to bring her opinions back into play, and her discovery was also a good move and I think it's overall a realistic one. I'm really interested to see how Bryn might treat the offspring of Oren when this is sad in done (if the baby lives and is healthy, and if Aurelia doesn't leave the castle grounds). The knowledge of her father's corpse still looms, as well. Can't wait to see where this is going!
3/18/2013 c10 9Infected Beliefs
["Perhaps," Frederick went on, "One of them can marry my son, and we we'll be grandfathers together."] - That seems a little presumptuous to pronounce to a man on his death bed. "I will treat your children like my own...and maybe fuck them."

Woooowwww just realized that he says **marry** my son, not **carry** my son. Whoops! My bad. I must be dyslexic.

[Never in either of their wildest imaginings had they thought the old warrior would die in his bed with the blankets pulled up to his chin like a scared child.] - I have always been a fan of death coming for strong characters in strange ways. This is quite good, in my humble opinion.

[There was a pitcher of water beside Guerin's bed, and lifting the cup to his mouth Frederick took a long drink from it.] - Nooooooooo. Plan backfires! Really great twist! I was wondering when something would go wrong and Fredrick would drink something he was not supposed to. I am confused as to why the poison affected him so quickly though? With everyone else it has seemed to take a few hours at least to kick in, and even then they are not immediately rendered immobile. Seemed a bit too quick working but maybe he is passing out due to some other reason.

You do a good job maintaining the time period of your piece. Little mentions of sweetmeats and the corpse pile (which strongly reminded me of the Black Death) were good additions to help the reader immerse themselves in your world. Nicely done. I will read on.
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