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for The Corsair's Crown

6/8/2013 c1 2lightstheway
The way you introduce the General's predicament, and therefore Cale's new adventure, is exciting, and works for me a lot better than the old version. It's another moment where your narrator shines, being brave and clever (although neither learned nor wise). Of course, not every situation can be conquered with gumption alone, and I almost cheered when the innkeeper kicked him out. Good way to remind us that, though the Queen herself would listen to Cale over the average dzalin, by appearances alone he is still a commoner, and that will always be working against him.

I was tickled to learn that "inn girl" is slang for a prostitute. Is that based on an example from history, or did you make it up? Either way, I love it.

There are a couple things I'm not sure about. Alim's as much as said that the Rzalez thing is a fool's errand, a distraction to keep Cale safe while Asotegi goes into dangerous territory, and it wasn't the Queen's idea in the first place. So why does Cale tell his aunt that the Rzalez thing is standing between him and going back to the General, when it's (obviously) the danger?

And if danger is the ONLY compelling reason that Cale has for not going to the General once he's set on his feelings, well, knowing Cale, that's not much of a reason at all, is it? He'd find some justification, whether it's "I've survived this far, I'm obviously on a lucky streak!" or "I'll hang back during the fighting bits and just be with Asotegi during the lulls." So I find myself wishing Cale would just cut to the heart of the matter-he'll go to the General once his feelings are sorted, danger be damned, or at least send him a love letter (or a Dear John, depending).

And when Kore suggests that Cale perhaps can't save Asotegi, I think you have an opportunity there to show Cale's thoughts through dialogue, perhaps to a more compelling effect. I want Cale to recognize that there's probably zilch he can do for Asotegi that hasn't already been done. But he left Asotegi in a way that didn't give the General a whole lot of confidence about Cale's feelings (with good reason). But if there were any negotiations for which Asotegi was present, or a way to get a message to Asotegi, perhaps Cale could make his presence known. And then Asotegi would know "Cale cares about me enough to come out here."

It would really endear me even further to your narrator here if, rather than getting invested in this unrealistic rescue fantasy, he knowingly risks his safety just to tell Asotegi that he cares.

Anyway, I am so glad you introduced a new character, that it's a girl, and that she is not anybody's romantic object/rival. In a perverse way I like how difficult she is. We are used to seeing dzalin women moving freely about the world; now I'm glad to see how a human woman has to get by when accident throws her out of her typical environment. Although she's mistrustful and almost stubbornly believes in the inferiority of women, she is proactive and will fight for her survival when push comes to shove.

Although his narrating voice isn't quite so peppered in colloquialisms as it was in TSGS, Cale is still a unique narrator. I enjoyed your descriptions and had an easy time picturing the scenes in my mind. Once you got out of the 'recap' bit I felt a strong sense of narrative tension, and by the end of the chapter I was frantically clicking the "next" button.
6/7/2013 c1 blackouzel
I enjoyed this chapter, and it did a good job of building excitement and setting the mood and direction of the story. Where it really picks up is the second scene.

The first, with Calentine having various conversations with his wooden wolf . . . not so much. I think if you are going to tell readers to 'read TSGS first' then you shouldn't have to worry about writing us into this story with a big review of The Situation; a lot of what's reiterated here could be condensed and tucked into various places in the story as it unfolds and as it's needed . . . and perhaps to greater effect.

I'd love, for instance, to see how Cale would rehash and review certain memories and thoughts (not all of them, just a few choice tidbits) while aboard the /Deadhead/. By the time he's on the sea, his Situation has changed (and become charged!), and it would give his thoughts about the General both tension and a NEW PERSPECTIVE (which I am craving). Instead of dithering about relationships, Cale might take the opportunity to get /upset/ with himself about dithering over relationships during his little sojourn home (because NOW, all his imaginings about relationships may all be for naught, and what if he could have prevented it by STAYING with Asotegi? Aaaaah!).

Reminding us about his near-death could have had a certain lovely impact when Kore gives him that skeptical once-over, and it's a point in the narrative where I really believe Cale would let such thoughts flow though his mind (and again, there would be the added flavor of 'hey, me staying away was supposed to keep us BOTH safe, how could this be happening, why didn't I fight him harder on this' which readers would find so juicy).

Anyway, I think you can trust your readers to (a) listen about the 'read the first book first' part, and (b) remember what's going on with minimal prompting.

The main reason I am harping on this is NOT that I hate recaps (although I do think they are best done when they /add something new/ to the audience's understanding or appreciation of events already witnessed. More on this later). I just had a hard time picturing Cale, whose value to duty/honor-obsessed nobles lies in his pragmatic view of the world and his attachments to the obvious and rational, /telling a wooden gamepiece/ about how he never asked for anything but to have a NORMAL life, and how much of a shitstorm there will be when everyone eventually finds out how WEIRD he is (against his will! Because, magic!), and how much he dislikes being stared at, since life is already hard enough with his appearance diverging so much from the people he grew up with. (Taking it so far that he's actually /telling his aunt/ in the first line of your entire book about how he's going to go off by himself and a chunk of wood is going to keep him company... is arguably going to make him look so bizarre that I can't really take him seriously ABOUT wanting normal things, including 'to blend in').

I would have loved if he JUST kept the wooden wolf in his pocket for a good luck charm, and yes, it would have been not only believable but moving if he spoke to it-in-lieu-of-Asotegi maybe once, in a VERY BRIEF "wish you were here, sigh" kind of a way, especially at some point AFTER he finds out the General is a captive and he has to start wondering if this little chunk of wood is his last connection to someone he will never see again.

Anyway, to pull an earlier point back up: the recap did not add anything new to our understanding of the situation, and you essentially go out and say it: Cale has had to make sacrifices to buy this time back home with his family, and it is supposedly has the added (perhaps even more important) purpose of helping him gain perspective and make up his mind re: Asotegi and their connection.

So why is there no perspective gained? Even if his only epiphany was "oh crap, I can't figure this out just by sitting by myself, I actually need to talk to /people/, especially /him/, and everyone else in my life is surprisingly useless about this" there would be a certain value in that, because it would motivate Cale to seek a return to the General's side WITH all his unresolved thoughts and feelings /still unresolved/, but also with an INTENTION that we as readers would find JUST FASCINATING.

Alternatively, if you are willing to take a more exciting (and potentially more rewarding & emotionally gratifying) tack, you could use the recap scene to show us that Cale has grown distant from the events related in the first book. He is back at home in his native environment, and perhaps he gets to thinking that everything that happened between him and Asotegi was really . . . not meant for more than just a few weeks' madcap adventure. He could MAKE UP HIS MIND that they /don't/ belong together. No ill will, just a fundamental incompatibility of tastes, class, and desires, with magic forcing them into lockstep a brief while, and NOW, thank the heavens, it's over (and Cale is far enough away from Asotegi to make gross assumptions about whether the General himself is also thinking "thank the heavens"). Cale already half-takes the cracking of their bond as a sign, and already /starts/ to imagine how everything will really be better this way . . . with them separated . . . (but I felt disappointed that "halfway" was as far as it got, and tired of Cale doing yet more waffling in the same old channels).

Until he finds out that Asotegi is in trouble. Which is the turning point, no matter what way you play it. I just think that there's SO MUCH POTENTIAL here for there to be something more complicated going on than just "Cale has been in a self-induced isolation/mental haze and virtually has not experienced time since we last saw him, but on his way to somewhere else he finds out that Asotegi may need rescuing, and so it begins." There has been all sorts of geographical movement here (A to B, B to C, etc etc), and yet zero /emotional/ or mental movement. This makes the whole thing fall a little flat. I want to challenge you to find a way to change A-B-C to AX-BY-CZ, and show us either how his inner landscape has shifted, or WHAT HE THINKS about the LACK of a shift. (Which, paradoxically, is also a change of sorts, because in all the madness and high-paced goings-on of book 1, it was FINE if Cale's state fell into blanket "confusion" and didn't climb back out. Is he STILL fine with that? What does he think he needs to do about it? These are interesting questions)

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to talk about the first scene this long; everything that comes after is superior in quality and composition, as well as being more in line with your usual flair and craft and skill. I just think that a dramatic alteration of the recap (either cutting it altogether and using its carcass to spice up the scenes that follow... or keeping the recap but using it to show us something, even a LITTLE something, that has changed since last we shared an adventure with Cale) would make it SO MUCH BETTER; it would arguably not require much effort on your part, as you would not have a runaway butterfly effect on your hands: everything is set to "I must go to Asotegi and HELP HIM" the second Cale finds out the General is a hostage.

That is kind of my beef with the recap, actually: as it stands, removing it entirely would not affect the story in any way. So why is it here? If you're going to ask us to read it (AND to read TSGS first), it should earn its place by developing something, crystallizing something, affecting a change of state, and/or bringing us to a new awareness. For all we know, a tweak there might get something much later in the story to move in an interesting way for you, and help bring you to resolution. What do you think?
6/3/2013 c9 chibikodo
Haha Oh man I love how Cale interacts with Ferrax and Kore. Their ruse to win an ally is definitely more entertaining (and thought out?) than in the previous version. I can't wait for the next chapter. :)
6/3/2013 c9 Raasuha
It's an amazing rewrite so far, thank you for bringing back our lost sailor.
I missed him too much (you got me confused with the original first chapter).
You make my day.
5/30/2013 c9 krlsen
5/29/2013 c8 2thecat111
I really liked this chapter. It was a little shocking to go from Cale's POV to Jara's but after a couple of paragraphs, and after I mentally assigned her a voice, I was happy to read from her perspective. Though, I have to say, my favorite alternative POV is always going to be the General's because of all of that inner turmoil. It's heartbreakingly cute to read Paraz wax poetic about Cale and then how he's not good enough for Cale. It makes me want to give him a hug and some good advice. :)
5/28/2013 c8 twiglet
I don't normally post reviews but am sufficiently annoyed/ disappointed to leave one now. I should start by saying that I loved the Sailor's General Superior.

This version of the Corsair's Crown is all over the place. Why the sudden change of point of view? If it's a first person narrative the story is usually stronger if you stick to the same p.o.v. throughout. Where a story switches between perspectives its usually more consistent and/or necessary to keep the plot moving forward. Why would you now (a story & a half later) suddenly introduce a new narrator - when it adds nothing to the story! It is jarring to have a sudden change of voice. What's more Jara is an important but 'minor' character - I don't care about her love woes - having no existing relationship with her I don't care what she feels. Also there was precious little plot in this chapter. You could have summarised it in a paragraph without taking anything away from the story.

The old version of the Corsair's Crown was much stronger overall. It needed tightening up in some places but was a better read.
5/25/2013 c8 chibikodo
Lol Oh Majerern, glad to know it's not really just in your dreams. 3 Jaraaaaa! I love how Jara kept getting distracted and the description of what it was like to be a royal prisoner versus a pow was interesting. Can't wait to read more. :)
5/25/2013 c8 krlsen
5/24/2013 c8 2Facella
Bahaha, I loved that last scene! It really made me laugh xD
I'm SO GLAD the muse finally hit you and you managed to write this chapter. I love this story, reading one chapter always makes me long for more.
Including Jara's POV is quite interesting. But I didn't really miss it so far. That's not to say that I disliked this chapter, though. I rather liked it. Derek's talent is utterly intriguing. But it's a shame he can't see the dreams. Or in this case, it's not xD But if I were him, I'd REALLY want to know what's going on in those dreams...
Anyway, if I weren't quite so tired (it's 3am...), I'd probably come up with something more to say. But as it is right now, I can only say I'm definitely looking forward to more of this. I just love it.
5/5/2013 c7 sannah
i love this story
4/22/2013 c7 rurui
hi, i'd just like to share an opinion i've been holding about the TCC re-write for awhile. be warned, it's long and possibly controversial.

personally, i didn't really feel that a complete re-write of the second novel was necessary. a lot of the things that were changed in the new version, such as calentine's reaction to pirates, the change in portrayal of alim, and the introduction of a new character were hard for me to deal with. i always felt like calentine's refusal to hate alim despite his snarkiness, and calentine's easy-going attitude toward the pirates, showed what made him so special and made paraz fall in love with him. because cale is so kind to others, is so humble and even at times oblivious of his own looks and power over the general, he comes off as a very likeable but still believable character given his background. by changing that, i felt like i was reading about a completely different person. i can agree that calentine definitely wouldn't be praising any pirates during his return to his village, but i felt like the character i had grown to know wouldn't hate the pirates either. calentine's reaction to alim in the tent at general grei's camp was even more baffling to me, because even in the first book calentine never seemed to see alim as a rival, at least not in a capacity that would make him seriously dislike him. also, to be honest, alim and calentine's growing friendship in the original version of TCC is one i was really fond of, and to see such a negative portrayal of alim just made me kind of sad. i feel like the changes in the new version made a more "normal" calentine, with hating pirates and the person who always insults him, but i think calentine's "abnormal reactions" are what make him a good protagonist. and also i feel that this revised version is very different in tone from TSGS, which makes it hard for me to see it as its sequel.

another thing i'd like to talk about is cale's feelings about paraz. i actually liked the fact that in the very first chapter of the new TCC, calentine spends more time contemplating his feelings for paraz. i think it was necessary to set up the shift in calentine's feelings, because i always felt that in the first book and the beginning of the old TCC, that calentine's love for paraz was a lot weaker than paraz's for cale. but i could understand that, because cale is human and not used to gay love being accepted in society. in fact, i felt that calentine's reaction to paraz in the tent was a little extreme. because cale's still coming to terms with his feelings at the time.

also, i didn't understand the need to make cale's first impression of general grei as a nice or likeable man, and i didn't feel the addition of Kore as a character really added much to the story- i think the confusion of dealing with a new character overwhelmed any realism aspect it added as far as getting cale to the place where paraz was held hostage.

all in all, i just felt like the complete re-writing of TCC was a little overkill when the original plot was both believable and enjoyable. i don't mean to be rude, but it makes me wonder if there was some sort of panic that made you want to completely turn over a new leaf for the sake of realism. because it just doesn't feel like it's the same story you know? i don't feel like i'm reading about the characters that i've come to love after reading TSGS. i think that you were on the right track with what you were writing before, and now that you've changed the whole story around, it's lost some of that heartfelt emotion propelling the story forward. i still think you're an amazing writer, but to me the real TCC will always be the original. i realize that you've already gotten pretty far into the new version, but to be honest i wish you had just taken a break to figure out plot for the third book and make the necessary revisions to the old TCC, rather than decided to re-do the whole second book. even now i would gladly continue reading the original version if you decided to take it up again. i don't mean to invalidate your decision as the author or make you feel confused, but since i know you value your readers' opinions, and i feel pretty strongly about this and am a big fan of your books, i felt that taking the time to write this would be worthwhile.
4/7/2013 c7 chibikodo
3 I think it's clever how Cale is able to prod Kore into show the corsair king how smart and valuable women are- more than just wives and mothers. Also, Cale & Paraz's moment together: they're so adorable. Haha :)
4/4/2013 c7 Guest
hooray, another fabulous update, thank you!
4/3/2013 c7 4janichan143
I love how closer they are physically and emotionally, but the plot, with the exception of kora and the slight twist ofthe corsair king, I lovethe previous one better. I mean, I love callentine!
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