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for To Sleep Perchance to Dream

3/17/2013 c27 5Dr. Self Destruct
I'm a little confused about why Aurora doesn't try to get Brynhild to leave (or at least warn her) when knowing the Prince and his men might be coming after them. Considering how spooked Aurora is as she's running home, she seems awfully calm throughout the rest of the chapter, up until she's done eating dinner and she finally hears the Prince coming, but it seemed to me she already knew he was on his way. Maybe venture a little more into her thoughts earlier into the chapter as to why she doesn't decide to run or get her mother out of there? It might help fill up that plot inconsistency. I feel like the tension at the beginning of the chapter doesn't really follow through and vanishes before it should.

I like the relationship development between Aurora and Brynhild when they're eating dinner together, because it's nice to see how much Brynhild means to Aurora. It's also odd seeing Brynhild acting so nice after seeing what she did to Aurelia, but I think that makes her character much more complicated. I also like the ending of this chapter because it's a nice cliff-hanger. I wonder what the prince plans on doing to Aurora. I'm not very familiar with the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, so I'm at a loss as to what might happen next. Regardless of what I just said about Brynhild, I wouldn't mind seeing the Prince hack her to pieces, haha.
3/17/2013 c36 5Persevera
I like Frederick more than I did in the first chapters. It doesn't appear that he ever tried to have both women at once, which would have been really despicable, knowing how much Bryn loved him.
Your detailing of the Cesaerean birth is really great. In Gone with the Wind it was Scarlett's delivery of Melanie's baby that made her more sympathetic. While writing that I just realized the similarity in the situation of that story and yours—Scarlett/Melanie/Ashley and Brynhilde/Aurorette/Frederick. The drama in yours though makes Margaret Mitchell's rather pedestrian.
Poor Bryn set herself up for misery in not being able to tell Frederick no.
Maybe Aurora's feelings for her will keep me from losing sympathy for her again.
3/17/2013 c22 8Adrenalin
Poor Aurelia... I felt sad for her when she was disoriented and happy when waking up, and then everything came back to her. It's a pity this is the last time she will feel contented with her life.

I liked the way you described her worries through the chapter, how she worried about Oren. The way you placed the chapter of Oren's death just before that one was a good move, because that way we can feel that, no matter how much she looks for him, she won't find him, and that even her hope that he will come back for her will be crushed. The bit about the shovel near the barn was ironic and sad, but I liked it.

Damn Brynhild, her ruthlessness and her lies. It wouldn't be such an interesting story without them, but still... damn her.

I don't know if that's really how you intended it, but I liked that Aurelia's stress at having possibly been abandoned by Oren brings on her labor, and that it occurs on the same day as Oren's death - it's a nice mirroring.
3/17/2013 c1 6Findus
liked how you create atmosphere through the setting, it's all there smell, sight, sound. I love all the spices and herbs mixed into the story. Makes me wonder about this world that sounds Germanic (Brynhild) but has exotic spices from the Far East (Cinnamon and nutmeg)
"Scored an ear of lettuce." My favorite expression in this piece. It has such surprising undertones of violence and cruelty. Makes me imagine a vegan version of mutilation."Delicate as moth wings," another beautiful expression, and unexpected for describing a baby. I like the sense of excitement you create with the approaching soldiers.

I there is any negative feedback is that the prologue sets the scene but doesn't a strong motivation for the reader (well me) to turn the page. I would have enjoyed a little hint of what's to come. Some question, dilemma or the sort. But apart from that, you have gorgeous, clean language and for all I know, the next chapter might be mayhem (I hope).
3/16/2013 c19 4lookingwest
Pacing - I feel a little unsure in recent chapters about the passing of time so far. I expressed in my last review the skepticism towards Oren still staying with them, especially after Bryn's reaction to his appearance in the first place, but I feel at the beginning of the chapter the timing of this story has spend up a little, and I'm not sure that I like the days that are glossed over. I feel in the beginning of this chapter especially, we get the sense that Aurelia has had a few days to think about what she saw and everything - I'm wondering if it might not be more economical for the pacing here to just explain these were her "day-after viewing" effects and describe the first full day after she sees the bones, how she has to sneak off to throw up, how she doesn't know how to deal with knowing, etc. I think that would tighten up the situation a little more and keep the pacing more even.

Ah, and as I was reading in the opening, I wondered if her sickness wasn't something else...

Hmm, this complicates what I just talked about above, doesn't it? Maybe you could go into specific detail the day after she sees the bones and her throwing up - and then use that as more of a concerete transition to accelerate the time? expanding from that scene? Just ideas. You'd then have an opportunity to zoom in, maybe have Oren ask if she's okay, and then zoom back out and get us into the next few months. Especially since this is largely a chapter concerned with time passage and transition.

Character - I'm missing out on Bryn in these past two chapters, I feel like she should be involved more, especially here, and I'm wondering what her reactions to Oren sticking around so long are. I think if you do come back to revise this chapter in consequential drafts, that might be another scene to try to include - perhaps Aurelia throwing up and trying to hide it from Bryn because she's afraid Bryn might find out she'd seen the bones, that kind of thing. Aurelia's ignorance to her pregnancy could work well here to your advantage in this sense. At any rate, I think you stay consistent with our two lovers, but this lacks Bryn and I'd like to see her included more as a threat to them, especially Oren.

Plot - Hmmmm you always have me wondering what's going to happen now. This twist has definitely changed the plot around - and I have to admit, when I was reading the sex scene I was definitely thinking about protection and the lack of it while they were having sex together, ha! Now I'm wondering if this twist of fate might bring us to the more traditional sleeping beauty role or not? Perhaps her own daughter will take on that kind of archetype. At the same time - yikes! Her daughter is her brother's daughter. If we've learned anything from Game of Thrones, it's that children born from brothers and sisters are kind of scary and insane if they become king or queen _ I probably should not jest. But I'm curious to see if this baby will be brought to full term, or if she'll miscarriage. We shall see. You do a good job adding in new plot elements as the story continues, though, and I really like that. It's intriguing Bryn didn't notice. I already feel terrible for the young couple once she does D:
3/16/2013 c18 lookingwest
Like others who reviewed this chapter, I like the dream sequence you've included as an opening. I think you handled it well and it blended the concepts of reality and dream together - even more by the wonderful decision not to put it in italics and everything. I thought it was quite surreal and I thought it was a good way to draw together some of Aurelia's deepest anxieties and what she's experiencing right now, most specifically I think, doubt about Bryn as her mother. The details were handled really well, I like how you use Oren and switched to different positions of him speaking to her. I also liked what drew her to wakefulness. I'm interested to see what this apparition really is - if it's just psychological or if it's magical. You do a good job teasing the reader with the ghost woman.

I noticed Sica's review and want to mention that I share her feelings about Oren and Bryn and how I was under the impression that Oren was only allowed to stay a day. It makes me wonder if maybe not that much time has passed or not, or if Oren is just kind of staying low and Bryn thinks he's left by now. At any rate, the impression was a little off from what I thought I remembered Bryn demanding of him.

And then, of course, we have the horror scene here at the end D: Really great job with how you transitioned from scene to scene in this chapter, and I think you did an excellent job easing the reader into the King's chambers along with Aurelia. His description of decay was awful and I think it warranted her reaction, especially since I feel that this chapter has super dark undertones and that Aurelia is finally transitioning into understanding that she's living in a fabricated dream-world that is now turning into a horrifying nightmare. It's interesting that this happens after Oren and Aurelia have sex - it's almost as though she's been awakened symbolically and can no longer be so easily tricked by Bryn. I'm looking forward to how she might confront her "mother" about this situation, if at all - or what Oren might say if she tells him. Intriguing ending!
3/15/2013 c1 63RedactedNoLongerWriting
The fires in the dining hall were lit; meat turning on their spits by the many kitchen boys whose fingers quickly blackened from the soot.
-Should be a comma instead of a semi-colon, or two sentences since the second part isn't a complete idea.

...and proceed in formal procession into the boarders of the kingdom.

A couple things confused me here. Brynhild is first said to be in the Queen's chambers and then she's looking out from the King's chambers. Are these one and the same or did she move? Also, it's a nitpick but if it's nighttime she shouldn't be able to see far in the darkness unless the moon is out.

Overall, though, I thought this was a neat intro. You're very detailed about the preparations and that helped set the scene well. I didn't feel like much happened in this, but it's a vivid opening that promises a lot of powerful imagery in the coming chapters.
3/15/2013 c5 5Whirlymerle
Hi from the RG EF!

Wow, it’s been awhile.

I thought you did a great job with the coupling between Aurorette and Frederick. I loved how tense it was, with Brynhild watching everything. I like the detail about how Brynhild knew when Frederick climaxed—it’s such a slap on the face moment, and I almost feel bad for her because now she has to watch her former lover get it on with another woman.

[She began to question what she had done in her mind: had Meg and Pater both deserved the death that she had dealt them?] Okay, so I’m being nitpicky here, but I feel like this shouldn’t be the question she’s asking. I think it’s obvious to Brynhild even that Meg and Pater were innocent and therefore don’t deserve death. I think she should be instead questioning whether it was worth killing them to get Aurorette. The way it’s phrased right now stuck out to me as a little odd.

Solid chapter.
3/15/2013 c13 44professional griefer
Okay. I absolutely loved this chapter.
I'll start with how awesome and freaky Brynhild is acting. She kinda seems like she's lost her mind, and you portray that amazingly, I mean, she seems kinda crazy but not over the top. I love that she's convinced Aurelia that she's her mother. I feel like Oren thinks differently, but you didn't explicitly say, so I dunno.

I also really liked the dialogue. You got the characters down really well. It was cool that just from the dialogue, I could tell how much Oren had changed. And I already talked about Brynhild, but she was done perfectly.

I couldn't find anything wrong with this chapter-overall I think it's my favorite. This and 11 are pretty much perfect.

I'm kind of in love with this story now. Awesome work, again!
3/15/2013 c12 professional griefer
I thought it was a bit odd that you switched from Brynhild to Lisbet, considering that Lisbet's new, and if I'm correct, you didn't mention her before. So I guess I didn't like that. It was a tad jarring, considering the fact that I was just starting to get really into Brynhild.

But I did like this chapter a lot. You built the tension really well, your pacing was spot on, it was really creepy towards the end, and I thought it was awesome.

Mistake I just saw-[They slowly creped along] Pretty sure you meant creeped...

Anyway, even though I thought it was an odd time for a POV switch, you did start an engaging new storyline with Lisbet and I'm super interested in the witch.

Awesome chapter! Can't wait 'till I catch this again in the games.
3/13/2013 c1 2Mia52
I didn't like how short this prologue is. I feel as though that this could have been easily added to the next chapter or made longer with a better hook at the end.

However, I did like the descriptions you gave for everything. I wonder where did the king go. Did he go off to fight in a war? And what about the Queen? Where is she? I like that I'm having these questions in my head and that it will hopefully be answered.

Overall, this was a pretty good beginning.
3/12/2013 c2 6Michodell
I think you do a great job of providing a good sense of the characters' personality in this chapter. I found the dialogue natural for the time and the story was very easy to follow which is definitely a plus. The descriptions were concise, but detailed.

Oren is definitely a brat and it's great that you could make me feel angry at a character I've only just met. Good job!
3/12/2013 c36 19Anihyr Moonstar
Woah, very impressive - to perform a successful C-section in that day and age and have both the mother and child live has to be nothing short of a miracle, and a testament to Brynhild's expert efficiency as a doctor under the circumstances. Fearless when it comes right down to getting the job done. I felt like that entire scene was well handled - realistic and believable, gritty without being overly detailed.

And the final scene makes me set about my distaste for Fredrick to use her like that. She tells him straight up that she's still in love with him, but he just wants to keep her around, to force her to suffer through pandering after his kids with another woman - his official wife - and from what we know already of the future, he obviously doesn't stick strictly to keeping her around as a servant either, because he's still letting Bryn share in-the-shadows moments with him in the beginning chapters of part one. Urgh. I want to kick him in the balls.

Bryn really is a fascinating character. For all that she does eventually become twisted and horrid, it's really neat to see the fairy tale told from the eyes of the 'witch' - just a complicated, headstrong, blunt, forthright, determined, forceful woman who knows what she wants but had the misfortune of falling absolutely in love with the wrong man. At this point in the story, looking back on all that's unfolded so far, I think you've done a really impressive job weaving together all those webs and bringing everything into one package around her.

- Moonstar
3/12/2013 c35 Anihyr Moonstar
Gahhh, this chapter is so sad. D:

She was over him, dangit - she'd made a life for herself, she DID THE RIGHT THING. And then fate had to drag her back into it because she couldn't turn Fredrick down. ;-; Guhhh. Okay.

I liked the opening scene. I don't think I could ever forgive someone who pulled such a morbid trick on me, either - father or not - so I can sympathize with her. In fact, that he was family and did that too her may simply have made it cut deeper, it's just...not something you can forgive, and I respected Bryn's decision to make a life for herself on her own away from everyone.

And the closing scene was so poignant and dramatic and tragic, given what the audience already knows about the future. I want to be furious with Fredrick for using her like that, but I can't be because he only wants to save his child and the woman he's fallen in love with, and I want to protect this Bryn - the one that isn't out on a murdering rampage of madness - but I can't find fault in her for caving to the man she's still clearly in love with when he begs her. So, excellent execution of dramatic build up.

- Moonstar
3/12/2013 c34 Anihyr Moonstar
[Bryn had to resist the urge to cup her hand across her belly.] Ohhhh, I felt a little flip of excitement in my gut at this reveal - followed almost immedeately by a twinge of sadness and then curiosity. What a lovely twist so late in the game, but I'm concerned about what this might mean for her baby.

["Thank you." She said and the shy blush that formed on the girls faces made her laugh.] Should be: ["Thank you," she said, and the shy blush that formed on the girls' faces made her laugh.]

Interesting moment near the end when Bryn is so certain the baby is a boy, just as Aurelia was so certain hers was a boy. It makes me wonder if Bryn's, too, is a girl, but I'm still so concerned. I hope something awful doesn't happen to it.

The moment between Bryn and her father was beautifully done. One of the most touching scenes in a while despite its simplicity. It was just saturated with that hesitant, awkward, but tender and sincere emotion, and Bryn's secret, hightened state of vulnerability made her that much more in need of that kindness from him.

Oh. FUCK. That's horrible!

I was writing this review as I went along, if you couldn't tell, but Jesus, I did not see that twist coming. Very well done. Sickening, but well done. Expert execution.

- Moonstar

p.s. [When I sat down to write this chapter budgeted about four thousand words for Bryn's flashback scene, however, 15,000 words later I realized that I might have overshot that goal.] Heheheh...this is me when I try to plan anything's length, I swear. :l
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