|Reviews for Armies by Candlelight|
| Mad Asher 1/27/08 . chapter 2
Nicely done upto this point, I've always wanted to read about a story of Anient India. I like how you're setting up your characters, they seem rather realistic. Keep up the good work!
| Arej 11/22/07 . chapter 2
Bad me. Bad, bad me. Didn't I say I was going to keep with this? Bad me! Although, in my own defense, I did say it might be slow...never did I imagine slow to mean this slow.
Thus, my penance. I seem to be doing a lot of that lately. Heh.
Dumb question - why is it a consolation that the bag of documents is soaked? I would have thought that the documents would be important, and thus a bad thing to get wet. Might just be me though.
Are Sahib and Adarsh the same person?
"loud enough to wake a stone idol" - I do love this phrase. Well done.
Nice way to tell the narrator's age, by the way. Subtle and smooth.
Wait, when did Sahib turn around to put his hands on the boy's shoulders?
And also...good description of the narrator's financial situation, his role in the family, and his morality. He does feel guilty, but his priority is his family...a realistic person, to say the least, and identifiable, even as distant as he is to this world by time and location.
Er...but did they have wallets?
"An ancient elephant hobbled past us, draped with heavy sacks of cereals, led by a leaving a white trail of rice and flour. Beggars clamored behind the man"...wait...what man? I only see an elephant...
Pretty abrupt ending there.
Anyway, I think I'm getting a good feeling of the atmosphere...pretty dark, I'd say. Not necessarily light-wise, but spirit-wise: depressed people, beggars in the streets, with the few rays of sunshine that are children playing.
So...yeah. Penance begun. Heh.
| The Candle Thief 9/3/07 . chapter 1
Um...I just want to say one thing. Why would he live in such horrible conditions? Don't tell me it's just because he's evil. Or is he really poor, even if he is supposed to be wealthy? Even so, I can't imagine anyone who would want to drink from the skull of a child. Please don't tell me he's doing it because he's a villain, because unless you've noticed, villains are humans, too. I don't think they would go out of their way to make their lair all musty and mildewed and dis-repaired just for the sake of preserving that cliche bad guy image. Why wouldn't he want to make his living space as comfortable as possible, even if he is a bit short on 'rupees'?
| Raptora 8/27/06 . chapter 1
Well, this looks like an interesting story. I'll review as I go.
"Gnawing hungrily on the flesh of the dead dog, rats and flies feasted on the remains of the dead animal."-About the gnawing hungrily-rats I would understand, but it seems a little bit odd that flies would gnaw at dead dog, seeing as they don't have teeth. Nothing major, just tweaked me a bit.
"Of course, I would have never told him that [lest I wanted] to be turned into a spider or something else nasty."-I could be entirely wrong here, but it just sounds off with the "lest I wanted" bit-the 'wanted' throws it off, I think.
"Wonderful, now the renowned wizard Aryadhatta knew my name as well. Perhaps living into my old age just wasn’t in my destiny."-Haha, that line made me chuckle. And now we know this "I" person's name. Good job on discreetly bringing it into the story instead of just saying it.
"...I felt Aryadhatta had a point[ ]but Sahib..." -I believe there should be a comma there. Other than that, another witty line.
And a good way to end the story. You're certainly setting the reader up for what promises to be an interesting read, that's for sure. What will happen with this Aryadhatta and the servant, Nikhil? A good introduction, and I look forward to the next chapter!
| Katiefoolery 8/9/06 . chapter 1
Firstly, I'd like to praise you for the atmosphere you've summoned in this chapter. You do a very good job of giving us the little details that are often missed in stories: a smells of real life, the sounds and the sights that are often taken for granted. I feel as though I have a very strong sense of the room/house in which this chapter takes place.
"Gnawing hungrily on the flesh of the dead dog, rats and flies feasted on the remains of the dead animal." - I feel that the point of this sentence isn't as clear as you might like it to be. Perhaps you could consider reversing the order and putting the image of the dead animal at the start. Adding the rats and flies at their feast would serve to heighten the sense of decay and death that surrounds the characters and would help give the sentence more of a purpose.
At first, I thought the story was being told in third person, so it felt a bit weird when the "I" suddenly intruded. Perhaps you could include a reaction from the first-person narrator when we see Aryadhatta drinking from the child's skull cup. This would let your readers know from the start that the story is being told from a first person perspective.
I like the setting that you've chosen and I think it should make for an interesting story. I'm afraid I'm no expect on the stories or history of Ancient India, but it seems like it would ripe for an amazing fantasy story. I shall most definitely continue to read this one.
P.S. I'm sorry it's taken so long to return your thoughtful review on my story. I'm afraid I lost track of things for a little while I was working out things with my writing.
| ice flyer 7/23/06 . chapter 4
I was kind of confused on who Kavita is. You suddenly introduce her in the second sentence without saying she is a servant. Although you imply it further down, the suddenness of it is a little jarring. I would just add "Kavita, the maid," to show the relationship with Nikhil.(On a side note, I had to skim over the chapters to find his name, and I only saw it in the summary of your story at last. This might be my own fault, but perhaps you could just slip in his name in dialogue or something a few more times?)
Also, I noticed that sometimes the voice is very modern. like, "got pregnant." It doesn't exactly sound authentically "ancient India," if you know what I mean?
I liked the description of the dying man a lot. I also like the fact that NIkhil's voice is being developed, like his stealing of food and all that.
I think you used the word "mulling" to describe the crowd more than once. Shouldn't it be "milling"? Mull means to like think over or something.
Ohh, I think I'm your hundredth reviewer! Congrats!
| ice flyer 7/23/06 . chapter 3
Hi! I'm back after a long break, and it is nice to re read this.
I like your descriptions of the dungeons a LOT. It really creates a great image in my mind.
There is a problem with your pronouns in one part. "he let the boy King out of his cell. Limping slightly, he clutched my shoulder to keep from falling." Dev let the boy king out, so the next 'he' should also refer to Dev.
And the paragraph beginning with "More than a head taller than me, and far skinnier, he looked more scarecrow than man." I don't know who this is describing.
I like the last sentence a lot. It characterizes him well. Good job..
| Islandbreeze 6/15/06 . chapter 7
The description of Maya Dadi is awesome, I could really picture her, and it made her seem very mysterious and ethereal-ish, but in an old way, if that makes sense at all.
" I sent home if they new it was tainted"- newknewthe fortune telling idea with the wedding is intriguing, and I wonder if it will impact the story, or if the fortune teller will show up again. I don't know if there's a point to the chapter, it adds atmosphere, but if it slows down the story as a whole when you're finished, then you might consider removing it. Anyway, nice work
| Shadowhound 6/7/06 . chapter 7
"Is there any point to this chapter?" you ask. No, but it didn't stop you from doing a good job on it. If anything, it gives more depth to the realm you create and shows more about your character. Despite common belief, not every chapter has to be relevent to the plot of the story.
I'm not happy you decided to do short chapters, but I'll live with it. It means you will update more quickly, which is always good.
I hope to see more soon.
| softlycryingrain 6/6/06 . chapter 7
Is there any point to this chapter? If the author doesn't know, who does? though, you introduce the fortune teller as if she was important or had something important to say, but you haven't said what the fortune she gave yet was, so it is hard to say if it really is important or not. If it is completely bogus like you hint at, then it probably isn't that crucial of a chapter, but if it will come back again to haunt the character at a later point, and serves as a bit of forshadowing too, then yes, there is a point. I'm probably rambling...sorry if this doesn't make much sense!
Anyway, as for the story as a whole, now that I have reached the current limit:It still seems to jump around a lot, but at least now I have a vague idea of what the main problem/plot is going to be. There are annoying little typos that keep popping up, which aren't that big of a deal, but if you were picky enough you could read it all over and add in a few missing words. Luckily it is easy for the reader to figure out what they are from the context though.I still like your descriptions, I can picture the world around your main character, but I can't really picture him yet. Is this on purpose? If not, you could add in some descriptions of him too. (Unless you did and I somehow forgot them already...if that is the case I humbly apologize!)
Anyway, great job so far, I look forward to more in this department.
| softlycryingrain 6/6/06 . chapter 6
The conversation scene was fine, it is good that you don't overuse the dialogue tags and leave some lines just hanging like that. What you could do to add a bit more is tack on small descriptions of the characters'facial expressions and tones of voice when they say certain things. You did this with "his tone suddenly menacing" which was good. But if you wanted you could add more.
| softlycryingrain 6/6/06 . chapter 5
The glossary is entirely up to you. If you feel it is confusing otherwise, by all means put one in. I, for one, am not too confused by terms just yet, you do a good job explaining most of them through the context around them. But then again, I have no idea what sort of names or terms you plan on using in the future, so if you feel it will be necessary, I say put it in, otherwise I don't see a dire need for one yet.
| softlycryingrain 6/6/06 . chapter 4
hmm, so far the story seems to jump around a lot, not centralizing around the main plot just yet. At the moment it is a bit confusing, but hopefully you'll bring everything together later.
The first paragraph of the second part could use a little tweaking. "Blood oozed..." that one. You use the word "body" three times, twice in the second sentence, and it comes over redundant. You could replace at least one of them with a different word, such as corpse, for one example.
| softlycryingrain 6/6/06 . chapter 3
In the paragraph that begins with "More than a head taller than me, and far skinnier, he looked more scarecrow than man..." I was unsure who you were talking about, I would recommend replacing "he" with a name.
Still very good, especially the descriptions...I can't seem to get over those, I think I shall call you the King of Descriptions. (Don't get cocky now, I'm sure there still are ways to improve them even further, but someone wiser and more experienced than me would have to point them out to you)
| softlycryingrain 6/6/06 . chapter 2
I like the idea of writing a story that takes place in Ancient India; it isn't a place/time period that many people venture to write about, and I applaud you for that, along with the extensive research you must have done.
The descriptions in the first chapter were wonderful, good similies/metaphors/adjectives and scene also did an excellent job grabbing the attention of the reader and pulling them into the story.
Good job keeping up your style through the second chapter, I didn't catch anything outstanding to criticize you on (constructively of course!) But I stopped here to point out one awkward sentence (I am picky with you because that is the only way it seems I can get CC in)The second sentence of the first paragraph (not counting the A/N)...now that I reread it again, I think the only problem is a missing "which" between "hand" and "was soaked"Its up to you if you want to go back and change a minor typo like that, but it did disrupt the flow for me when I was reading it, so I felt it was worth pointing out.