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4/19/2020 c4 6Darth Zannacross
The record has made it quite clear Ilarion is not a gamer, guess he's not loyal to the King of Games to say the least.

While he's trying to be professional about it, but something shifty is going on, hopefully its not involving zombies.

Well, she's flinching now, hopefully she won't be snapping necks with her mind next chapter, guess only one way to find out.
4/19/2020 c2 31Starart152
This is a nice chapter that leaves a lot of mystery about what happened to the woman. Whatever she drinks did something to her. The only thing we know is that it taste bitter.
I really like the style you are using to explain an event with a lot of detail, but putting a strong mystery of what happened in the story.
4/18/2020 c3 6Darth Zannacross
Back to soldier boy, should be fun.

Though, Velas so far is not very fun at all, guess its not part of his job to be fun but still.

That was a tense meeting with the Emperor all right, he did not come off as the worst but things easily go south it seems.

So, the two lead are set to meet eh? This could be fun, eager to see how it unfolds so nice work on the stellar setup.
4/18/2020 c1 31Starart152
This is a good introduction of this high fantasy. For the start, there is little information's about the world the characters are living it.

However, you are using characters are well aware of this world and how it works, so it's clear that it will by explained by the narrators or to an ignorant character.
4/17/2020 c2 6Darth Zannacross
Ah, quite a different feel today but, guess that makes sense as we switch to a different lead, this Rensa lady.

She sounds like she's been very, very traumatized, but is not throwing in the towel yet. Sounds like things are going to be rather messy when she does break out, should be a wild ride. Eager to see how that goes so till next time.
4/16/2020 c1 Darth Zannacross
Hey there Candid, looked around for stories and yours seemed like a fun one to check out so here we are. Looks like, there is a chance that secrets will be a heavy factor for the story, we will see.

Ilarion seems like a interesting lead worthy of the main role so far, and quickly shows how fast he is to take down threats, god damn.

Well, already starting off with a intense start with magical kid spies, oh my. Well, time to quickly see the nature of this Emperor and what will go down in Valador, should be a wild ride so thanks for a epic start.
7/28/2017 c17 66AlysonSerenaStone
Wonderful story! I love your world and character building. :)
7/28/2017 c17 Guest
Wonderful start! I love the world you are creating and all of your characters. :)
7/16/2017 c17 gigi
even though i would probably find ilarion too whiney and emo in real life, i LOVE him in this story. you genuinely write some of the best "dark" male (anti)heroes ever.

i hope you update soon even though life can get crazy! also, how many chapters do you think STTS will be? part of me wants to get to the end because i'm DYING to know what happens but the other half of me wants to savour this for as long as possible.
7/3/2017 c2 Es from GR
YES! I REALLY enjoyed this chapter. It's mysterious yet informative enough to make me want to find out more. I think that not including it as your first chapter (and to not tell the story from this character's POV right away) was an excellent choice. If you'd started with this, I would've been lost, and anyway this setting doesn't sufficiently lend itself to world-building, whereas Ilarion's post on a ship does. Alternating POV's are usually tiring to me (and often badly done) but you've definitely hit the right spot here.

I'd only cut the last line ("Her lips taste bitter") because it ties up the chapter too neatly. "Her tongue creeps out to sweep the crust-covered corners of her mouth" ends the chapter on just an open enough note to invite continuation.
7/3/2017 c1 Es from GR
Thoroughly enjoyed this chapter! Very gripping - Ilarion is already a character I'd like to follow. He's deliciously brutal. Of course, I do have some general crits so here they are! Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

All right here we go:

1. I'd advise that you cut out everything from the first sentence all the way to these sentences: "That words can cause even a kingdom to crumble when wielded by the right ones. My kingdom for a secret." And that you then start with this one instead: "Ilarion Velas' head pulses with dark waves and stormfire as he rises from bed." Or something of the like, something that's more in your style if you'd like

I suggest this because the hook you have now isn't doing much to hook me, which isn't your fault; I simply need to see the main character IMMEDIATELY and your current beginning doesn't introduce me to him fast enough. It's a nice piece of backstory and world building (not to mention poetic), but I gotta see Ilarion immediately or I won't have anything to hold on to. Think of the beginning of the Hunger Games, where we start immediately from K's POV, I'm thinking something like that would work splendidly for this one

2. "He starts to sit up and winces as crimson /flowers/ bloom their way through the wrappings on his chest."

Instead of "flowers," I'd suggest a simpler word (less "flowery" if you will, pun intended hehe) like "stains"

2.5. "He likes the fight, thrives on it, in a way." GIRL, U BETTER SHOW ME! DON'T U TELL MY DENSE ASS! In other words: cut haha. Your writing is strong enough, this will show itself in time

3. The part with the mirror to describe his appearance read a bit cliche to me - I'm sure we can find another way to find out about the way he looks!

4. Love, love, LOVE the part with the bribed Damarathi spy/guard. Again: deliciously brutal

4.5. and DORAN. I can't wait to see more of him

5. Your writing is super lovely, smooth, and lean. There's not much here my editor side would cut or add, I could rave about it for HOURS. Everything is so nicely measured, all words so excellently chosen (except for flowers up there). NENIA, I LOVE

6. "The Emperor" - give this mf a name, I need a name to hate or love ayee

7. There's something about this story that feels a lot like "an ember in the ashes" to me and I think that's mainly because of the names (Ilarion Velas, Doran, "the Empire"). If you'd like to set SttS apart from aeita (which I didn't like tbh, so I'll admit this advice hinges entirely on that) you might want to consider changing the names. The name Ilarion is sexy af though...

But do give "the Empire" another name or people will definitely point out the similarities to ember

8. But overall this was an excellent, excellent start. Onward I go!
6/14/2017 c17 22Hypa To Hell And Back
I have a question! What the hell? I had to reread the recount of his father and growing up and his betrothal to another man a couple of times because it confused me like no end. Like what is that about? Explanation please!

Other then that I love the extra long chapter, yay you for it being the longest. It actually took me tree times to read it. I had to split it up in to sections before work.

But sooooo good. I love Emaris. Shame you didn't use it but Ilarion is better. ;)

Thank you
6/12/2017 c16 MayWillow
I just started reading your story two hours ago and it's very good. The skillful description, the thoughts, the emotions - it all makes your story feel very real. I think you've done an amazing job. I especially loved the way you describe everything; its this wonderful way of describing the scenes, items in this poetic and elegant manner.
I hope you make this into a trilogy. I don't think I will be satisfied by a single book.
Eagerly waiting for your next update.
6/12/2017 c16 Hypa
No! No! No! No! No!

Bleeeh... it's too much! Give me morooe
6/11/2017 c16 Zero
Really beautiful work so far, fantastic pacing and great world building.
I'm also big fan of your eye color description and elemental references throughout this story. Looking forward to more.

- Zero
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