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for Queen Of Hearts

12/18/2022 c1 knockmeoffmyfeet
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5/13/2022 c9 4ChildAtHeart94
((Note: This review contains spoilers for Chapter 9))

I think having chapter 9 being the first chapter focusing outside of the castle is a stretch, though I am glad nonetheless. As I was reading this chapter, I noticed another reason why exposition is overused. As I said in the previous chapter, you were using unnecessary exposition when it didn't apply to the plot of the story. However, in this case with Selena, that isn't the problem. This is something I've done myself, and I saw it here. There's more telling than showing. It does make sense if it's like a picture book or if your novel was aimed for a younger audience (such as teenagers) but I'm going to assume you want your book to appeal to young adults. Correct me if I'm wrong. I'll use an example of where you put exposition where you didn't have to:

'But carriage rides when alone were, in Selena's opinion, one of the most boring things one could endure.'

And here I will rewrite it in a way that delivers the same message, but doesn't directly tell the reader that Selena is bored:

Selena glanced out the window as the carriage made its way past the dull landscape. She leaned back, letting out a dramatic sigh. She rolled her eyes and stared at the ceiling of the carriage as they went over a large bump. Selena gritted her teeth as she was temporarily lifted off her seat by a few inches. It better not be more than twenty, the princess thought.

Take this example as you will-the point of it being that the readers could probably figure out she's bored without having to directly say 'hey, readers, Selena is really bored in this carriage'. Too much telling is like assuming your readers are dumb, so you dumb down the writing for them to understand. I'm not saying you are doing this intentionally, it just might be a habit you've had since you've really gotten into writing. Personally, I struggle with putting the commas and such at the right place during dialogue (as in when someone speaks). I've been corrected on this and sometimes I still make that mistake. I hope that by sharing this example, it will at least help you be aware of when you might be adding too much telling. Don't get me wrong, I don't think it's always a bad idea to say things outright like 'Selena is bored and hates sitting in a carriage for long periods of time' but if it's overdone it gets old FAST. Another thing I noticed here in the sentence about her being bored is how you used too many words. Again, I'll take the original and then rewrite it slightly to show what I mean:

'But carriage rides when alone were, in Selena's opinion, one of the most boring things one could endure.'

And here is a small edit I did to that sentence:

But carriage rides alone were excruciatingly boring, especially for Selena.

Something that we learn in school is that we need to write more words. You know, like how they have an assignment for an essay that has to be a certain amount of words long? Sometimes fewer words are better. You could change the sentence either way so it's more showing or make it shorter-those are just two ideas how to make it better. I highly recommend a book called Story Genius by Lisa Cron. It's basically about how to write a good book and it's helped me a ton! I see so much potential with Queen of Hearts. The fact that you are still writing this story is awesome, it's really hard for writers to be so consistent. I've been pretty critical lately though I hope it doesn't discourage you. Okay, now I'm going to try and talk more about the story and less about grammar and such.

Okay, so it's interesting to see the people seem to really like the rulers of the kingdom. Why so? We don't know enough about the citizens yet and I hope as the story goes on, more info about them is present. That way readers like myself can continue to become more engaged in world-building. And I hope there's some history as well because in most fantasy books I've read, there is an exposition of the history so it gives me an idea of the culture and such. All I know so far is that females have a higher role in this kingdom than men, but we aren't quite sure what the role of men is. Are there male servants in the castle, or do they only take care of the horses? Some things are still too vague while other things are explained too much.
Also when Selena goes to see Ella, I thought it was odd that Ella had to ask if it was Selena. If she knew her well and especially if she was a regular, wouldn't she be able to recognize her from afar? It could just be me overthinking it but I did think it was a little odd how it was written like that.

It's interesting that you end on the note of the clovers because this could foreshadow a cultural thing. At least, that's what I'm thinking. I may have looked and seen clovers from a window, but how is that odd? Now it makes me curious if clovers are something special in the kingdom or what role they have. I think that was a nice touch to this chapter. Again, I apologize if there was too much criticizing, I only do so in hopes it will help you make the story all the more engaging for your readers so that it can become a successful novel.

4/27/2022 c8 ChildAtHeart94
((Note: This review contains spoilers for Chapter 8))

Alrighty, so I do have some critiques for this chapter, some positive and some negative. Take it as you will-at the end of the day it's just my opinion. I'll start with the cons so I can end my review with something positive. Here it goes:

Cons: Too much exposition here-how is describing the bedroom in full advance of the plot? I think I've said this before, but the only purpose exposition should have is if it is essential for readers to understand the main story. For example, let's say there is a legend in the kingdom, so the first chapter would have a summary of that legend. That type of exposition is necessary. And I do think at times a description for an area is needed, but I think you went a little overboard in the chapter. Like how you described the room having a tub-why did I need to know that? I can understand you want the readers to have a visual of what the rooms look like, but I don't read stories so I can read about rooms. If Carmine was going into the tub to do something, then that description would make more sense. I read to engage myself in the plot and invest in the characters. One more con I have about this chapter and I think the past one or two prior is the fact that all of a sudden, you're writing back in time. I've read stories time and time again that start another way but then change all of a sudden. For example, I read a story that had constant flashbacks (which is fine, but I'm saying it almost every paragraph) and then all of a sudden it was a flashback of a flashback, and the book hardly focused on the present even though that was the main plot of it. This isn't what you've done, of course, it's just an extreme example to show how confusing it can be. In my opinion, it would have more suspense if you just moved forward and it was later on that the other sisters found out Carmine is up to no good.

Pros: I like how you ended the chapter on a statement, the way it's written is well done. I also like how, as you've done throughout, you write from the different perspectives of the sisters, therefore it's like a puzzle the readers have to put together. We got to read about how the cat was taken for ransom, nowhere its about how the jewelry was stolen. I'm asking questions like 'Why would Carmine steal jewelry? Is she the one who stole the cat? If so, why? This is very good storytelling. If you can get readers engaged and asking questions, they'll want to read on (even if it's midnight).

That is all and I hope my review is helpful.
Sincerely, AChildAtHeart94
3/29/2022 c7 ChildAtHeart94
((Note: This review contains spoilers for Chapter 7))

Huh, I never would've thought I'd be reading a story where a cat gets ransomed. It was a very creative chapter and my oh my I see tons of foreshadowing. I'm going to guess as to two could have taken Lord Lenaidius the cat. On a side note, Abraham Lincon quoted that if America were to be destroyed, it would be from within. So, in this case here, I think one of the sisters, Willa, or even a servant/staff in the castle had something to do with it. I did find it odd that Laurelei wasn't even freaking out. I have two dogs and if one of them was stolen, ransomed for, and a threat was made to their life and wellbeing I would be panicking like crazy! Or I figure part of Laurelei's character is remaining calm, even in stressful situations. Still, I can't get over just how calm she was! I do think Willa is a little suspicious because she immediately was like 'I don't know who could have done it, maybe it was a random theif'. Hmm. Okay, sure. Nice chapter :D
3/23/2022 c6 ChildAtHeart94
((Note: This review contains spoilers for chapter 6))

Nice, I see more foreshadowing. What's interesting to me is the fact that everyone went silent when you'd think normally there would be more chatter and excitement. It's as though the people know about the potential troubles that will come ahead between the four sisters. The truth is (as I've mentioned before) I have one sister, and growing up we only got along like 50% of the time. With four sisters in this story, I can only guess that things will eventually fall apart. I realize I am repeating what I said in my last review, but I can't help it haha! It's getting so tense without saying it's getting tense! I love how you don't rely solely on exposition to tell the story. In my opinion, I think you do need a little bit more of it so we as the readers can get an idea about the kingdom they live in because as of now my knowledge is only about the four sisters and their life living in the castle. What about the common folk? Are they being taxed fairly, and what role do common men have if women are superior in this kingdom? I hope that future chapters will give us a glimpse or better yet, introduce us to more characters. I also can't help but think Aliya is staring into the water because that's where the necklace fell. Just a wild guess. Something's going to happen at the coronation-or a little bit after-I just know it!
1/18/2022 c5 ChildAtHeart94
((Note: This review contains spoilers for chapter 5))

Out of all of the chapters I have read this far, I love how this one finally begins the conflict. I love how on the outside, it looks like all four sisters get along and will rule the kingdom equally. But even from chapter 1, I was very skeptical because I have a younger sister and there's no way our relationship was all rainbows and equal. I knew something was going to happen, but I didn't know when. I love how subtle this is but the message is loud and clear-a fight is about to get down. Perhaps it will be over their mother's possessions or I don't know...maybe the crown? I cannot tell you how masterful this chapter is in foreshadowing. By far it is the best chapter story-wise as we transition from the sisters getting along and handling everything well. I predict that one of the sisters will use the other three as their pawns to get exactly what she wants-maybe even the crown. I cannot wait to read the next chapter!
1/3/2022 c4 ChildAtHeart94
((Note: This review contains spoilers for chapter 4))

I love how this chapter marks the beginning of the conflict as we get a sense of Carmine's character. If I understand correctly, she sees herself as being a better ruler than her sisters. I liked reading about the court and how smart she was, she plays it off like its no big deal that her sister isnt as good in the court, but deep down inside she's disgusted and is planning something. I'm going to take a wild guess and say Carmine had something to do with her mother's death. Greed, perhaps? Or maybe I'm just way over my head, haha! I'll find out soon enough. Also on another small note I get the impression that men do have some rights as the rice seller could up or down scale the price as he pleased. Instead of servant, you used the word slave to show how Carmine views the workers in the castle. Good on you for showing and not telling this.
So I do have two cons with this chapter-mostly with two sentences. The first is when Carmine askes the slave about where the black roses are planted. I get the idea that you couldn't think of the right words. "Where, in the Royal Gardens?" feels a little off to me. This is because the slave has already said 'the royal gardens.' To be honest I'm not sure how you should have her rephrase the question, though as a suggestion here's how I'd write it:

"I was sent to inform you regarding the black roses you requested."

"What about them?" Carmine inquired.

"They've been planted in the Royal Gardens," the slave replied, "the roses are located on the wall that faces the fountains and hedges."

You don't have to rephrase it exactly as I had here, it just needs to make sense. My other issue with the chapter is a lack of descriptive language. Don't get me wrong, you hage included some good descriptions such as the windows. But I don't feel like there was enough description what the court looked like. Where do people sit to wait? How does it work-is it only the pricesses who do it? I struggle with either writing too much or too little description so its all about finding that balance. There were smaller errors on your grammar, though its not big enough to ruin your story. As you finish your novel I suggest you hire and editor to help you make sure everything is written smoothly. I enjoyed reading this chapter and I hope this review was helpful.
12/27/2021 c2 delilahryan98
Hi, I really like with the story even I'm not finished yet. But I can feel that you have great writing skill. anyway I want to give you an offer, but may I know your mailing acc? I will be glad that we can talk it at mail
12/20/2021 c3 ChildAtHeart94
((Note: this review spoils chapter 3))

I like that Lari is the optimistic/positive character out of the four sisters. I can't help but think that maybe they are coping a little too good despite the death of the queen. I can't help but wonder if they had something to do with her death? I'm probably way off since its so early in the story and I've been watching too many true crime documentaries haha. Also I'm curious as to know what rights men do have in the kingdom. I get that females seem to have a higher end here, but I can't help but wonder if men are allowed to own property etc. I've seen role reversals before but not quite like this. I find it interesting. Also when Cam was talking to Lauri about the flowers I got the impression it was symbolic of their mother's passing and them taking on the new role like how the rose reblooms in the spring. Or it seems like its foreshadowing something. I sense something brewing and I can't wait to get into the conflict stuff. Also reading about Willa has me curious as to whether female servants have the same or more rights than the men/male servants. Hopefully I can get to understand the culture in this story. Looking forward to getting into it :)

Sincerely, ChildAtHeart94
11/24/2021 c2 ChildAtHeart94
((Note: This review spoils chapter 2))

Okay so I feel like this chapter was easier to read. I have been trying to be more open minded to books that focus on cultural and historical events in fiction and non fiction works. Though sometimes I enjoy reading simple chapters like this that focus on the characters. In my opinion I feel like there is too much exposition-don't get me wrong, I don't think its bad to have the explanation of things-however, I feel like some things in the chapter could be shown and not just told. For example, when Laurelei talks about the cat-you could remove the few sentences explaining who he is and have her explain what he did to the curtains and the readers could use discernment and realize that Lord Leinadious is actually an animal/pet. I probably could have figured out that Lord Leinadious was a cat from that alone. This is just my opinion, I generally loved reading a little about their family history and found it interesting that woman have a higher role than men, especially in this fictional mideval world. I hope I learn more about what the mens' role is in this kingdom. I've read too many stories-books and fan fictions alike-that mention a character but then never or hardly ever mentions them or uses them in the story. I guess I'll find out :) I look forward to reading the next chapter, hope you continue to be inspired :D

Sincerely, ChildAtHeart94
11/19/2021 c1 ChildAtHeart94
((Note: This review spoils chapter 1))

So when I do reviews, I usually do it every few chapters, but here imma try and see how effective it is to review every chapter as I read it. It may actually be easier for me though I don't want to spam your inbox so just let me know if you'd prefer less messages.

Okay, so overall I really liked the introduction. You didn't spend too much time describing every inch of the princesses. Don't get me wrong, I love descriptions but if I have learned anything about writing, its that you have to be careful and know when it is or when you've got to do more showing than telling. With what you've presented within your first chapter, you've given just enough information for the readers to know this is a kingdom and all four princesses are potential heirs to the throne. We also get a picture of their physical appearance, and again I thank you for not bleeding out an encyclopedia of how they look and act. I am a fan of metaphors and similies so its nice to see them for once. They are often times rare to find (from my experience, anyway). What I think is iconic is the fact that these four sisters, after what may have been hours or even days, made the decision to divide the throne so each of them could rule. I can see this going wrong fast, which is what I predict. First of all, they are women, and having grown up with only one sister, we got into alot of fights-some of them seemingly over stupid things. I wouldn't be surprised if this happens. The last few sentences give readers a good forshadowing of the contention to follow. Also, I would think the king would have been a part of this- is he dead? Grieving? I guess I'll find out.

I don't want to jump to conclusions, especially since this is the first chapter, but I believe either one or more of the princesses are planning something. Or maybe even a servant or knight in the castle...planning treason. I hope the next couple of chapters are world building and I can get a better idea of what kind of kingdom these sisters are ruling. And hopefully overtime I can memorize names and places so my reviews can be more descriptive.

Okay, so I have two cons. There's a missing word between 'into' and 'skull'. I assume you meant 'into her skull' and the second being using the same word 'headache' twice in the same paragraph. This might be me being picky, so take it with a grain of salt. I don't like writing or reading stories having the same word or words together in the same sentence or paragraph. In this instance I would replace the second mention of headache with 'pain' or 'ache'. It still gets the point across that Selena is dealing with the irritation from wearing the crown. I believe it shows more effort if you do your best not to repeat the same words and/or descriptions too much. And some of your readers may reconize that. Also I find it symbolic to her having new responsibilities in the kingdom and it weighs down on her skull. Even if this wasn't your intent I noticed this and liked how you wrote about her crown first thing.

And that's all for now, hope my review was helpful.

Sincerely, ChildAtHeart94
11/4/2021 c1 2SidneyVisser
Why do I have a feeling Carmine is the rotten apple of the bunch...

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