|Reviews for Lord of the Dawn|
| No name 9/20/12 . chapter 14
I wish u could have gone on with the story because there is absolutely nothing truly resolved! Aside from that I loved it. This was very captivating. Rivan is my favorite, I felt what he felt and he is the more human one. Wish there was more from his point of view! Good job on a beatiful story
| Taffeelatty 3/10/12 . chapter 14
I read this story a while back, but didn't have a fictionpress account then. So I'm reviewing it now. First of all I'm surprised that your story didn't get more reviews. In my opinion it is a readable, fascinating story with interesting and engaging characters and not your usual run of the mill fantasy story. I appreciated it that you wrote a likeable female character as well, as that is often missing in slash stories. The end is also to my liking, because it seemed plausible and it's a good cliff-hanger for a sequel (which you're working on luckily).
| Shanon 1/15/12 . chapter 14
I can't believe that this story got so few reviews. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Interesting characters (not flat or onedimensional), good backround description, intruiging plot, few typos :-) I quite liked it that you left the end unresolved. I like Renald and Rivan as a couple, but Irin is not simply portraied as the bad opposing wife, but rather as a person Renald is growing to like, so I can understand that it is difficult for Renald to be cruel to her.
I'm really glad that you decided on a sequel. Keep up the good work.
| alexisrenee 10/19/11 . chapter 1
Just noticed that there IS in fact a sequel. Sorry!
| alexisrenee 10/19/11 . chapter 14
I love it! I wish it had been longer (I think it should have continued until we resolved the possible futures that Rivan saw. Obviously we would be pretty far along to the Queen dying in childbirth, but I would like a little more closure with the relationship triad there) but all in all, it was amazing!
| Bickazer 5/21/11 . chapter 14
I have to admit I /am/ a little bit disappointed in this ending. But! That's not really fault, it's more mine. I love long drawn out endings and denouements - in my first novel the ending dragged on for four chapters! It's just, the way I am, I want to wrap up every single plot point and give every single named character a resolution. I like my endings to feel more 'final,' if you know what I mean.
That's not to say your ending is bad, it's just fairly open-ended. In the sense that the characters haven't reached a resolution, really, but are in the process of reaching one. Certainly they've changed a lot! I would just like to see a little bit of the aftermath of that development, what kind of people they've become and what exactly their future relationships with be like.
I guess...it feels a bit bittersweet? Because they haven't reached a resolution yet, Irin and Renald and Rivan. I feel like they /will/ eventually, once they talk things through. Especially that hint of Rivan not feeling that much animosity towards Irin anymore. But I don't know if they will reach a resolution or not, so I'm a bit at the edge of my seat...that is, the ending is pretty open; anything can happen. Because there's a lot we still don't understand...
Aggh, I don't mean to knock on the story! I like it, I like it a lot, and I don't think I would feel this way if I didn't care so much about all the characters, if I /didn't/ desperately want to see them work things out amongst themselves! There are so many questions left despite the story's end: just what was up with the old High Sorcerer's findings in the north, how will the church react to Malchrys' death, how do Renald and Rivan react to Irin's announcement? Aggh so many things I wanna know! And the story just ends on a cliffhanger! It's driving me crazy! I love everyone and I love this world you've made and I just want it to go on forever and I wanna find out desperately what happens to everyone and blah blah I'm starting to repeat myself.
So basically, all this is basically my way of saying 'sequel, please!' XD
| Bickazer 5/21/11 . chapter 13
Wow, well...I won't lie, that was surprising and more than a little unexpected! I'll admit I was expecting an ending a little more...epic, so to say, than that. With a grand battle and/or confrontation with the church and an explanation of just what the old High Sorcerer had found in the north. Maybe that'll end up in the epilogue, though...or a sequel. In any event, I think the ending you did choose works quite well for the story anyway, primarily because it's so emotional and character-focused. Especially at the beginning - you can just feel Janos and Renald's tension, especially Renald's. And then the scene where Janos just keeps talking to Rivan...broke my heart. And made an indecisive shipper of me yet again! Just when I thought I'd come to terms with Rivan/Renald, you have to write a brilliant moment between Janos and Rivan and now I'm kind of rooting for them to get together...curses!
Rivan's return to consciousness felt at once triumphant and bittersweet. Just the effect you were going for, I think. And he's now been left blind as well as lame...poor guy gets such a raw deal. I'm interested in seeing what he does with his abilities; given his visions, I'm currently predicting some kind of prophetic ability. I guess we'll find out in the next chapter, though.
So. The Witch Hunter's dead. A pity; I'd have liked to know more about him. I sense that troubles with the church haven't ended, though.
Eomy/Marcel at the end was a bit unexpected yet strangely sweet...despite the circumstances.
Agh I'm brokenhearted that there's only one chapter left! I want to find out so much more, learn so much about these characters and the world they inhabit and the trials they're going to face...but we'll see what happens in the epilogue.
| Bickazer 5/20/11 . chapter 12
Well, that was...interesting.
A lot happened, really fast; I felt a little overwhelmed. But all these developments, I welcome them! They're really quite fascinating. The fairytale forest, the rain, the nightmares...this chapter is full of all sorts of atmospheric scenes. It almost has a dreamlike aura thanks to that.
I've always wondered about Rivan's connection to the Tower, since he clearly can't do magic, but now I understand a little more. It must be horrible, to be part of that world yet not entirely a part. His jealousy and desperation and fear of losing Renald came through astonishingly clear, it just leapt off the screen. I really, truly, desperately feel for Rivan. He's been given the rawest deal out of any character in this story and he is by far the most flawed and that makes me love him all the more. I love my flawed woobies. I just want to give him a big hug and reassure him everything will be all right. To think he feels so strongly for Renald that he would put his life in danger just for a chance to be close to him...omfgz omfgz!
Not sure what to make of all the nightmares, but the way they were written, jumping from one to another, created a haunting effect. I could just feel Rivan's terror rising with each nightmare.
The ceremony scene had some of the most evocative descriptions in the story so far, I think. I could picture it perfectly in my head.
And Irin is with child...wow, and here I was thinking that Renald had never slept with her. Did something happen that I miss, or did it happen between the lines?
| Bickazer 5/20/11 . chapter 11
After the intensity of the previous chapter, this one feels like a bit of an unspooling...winding down, so to speak. It's a nice relief, gives the reader a chance to breathe.
I was a bit surprised that you basically glossed over Renald's coronation, but thinking about it, it probably wouldn't do the story much good to included a full-blown ceremony in the middle of the chapter. It would kill the entire momentum, for one thing. And this chapter isn't really about Renald triumphantly assuming the throne. It's more a setup of things to come, a careful placing of all the pieces needed for the finale.
Love the Renald/Irin scene at the end. It reveals a lot of both their personalities, especially Irin... Irin's admission that she could have been a sorcerer is especially heartbreaking, especially when you realize that she has never really made choices of her own. I feel for her, I truly do. I feel that she was forced to become strong as the only way to deal with living a life controlled by others. I hope she finds some happiness soon.
And love all of Janos' interactions with Rose and Jaydore. I still feel there's a lot more to their characters than has been revealed so far, but right now I feel comfortable thinking of them as a happy couple, stable people in a sea of folks with tons of issues, and possibly a counterpoint/foil to Renald/Rivan. I mean, they get along perfectly with no strife or drama, and Janos himself notes that they look like they were made for each other unlike Renald and Rivan. I always love parallelism and foils and shadowing, so I like to read Rose/Jaydore that way. Their relationship certainly throws Renald's and Rivan's in strong relief.
And oh, how they tease Janos! I certainly hope that one day he accepts their offer. That would be hot indeed. :)
I am certain the Church/Malchrys has got something deeper planned...there's an ominous air hanging over the entire chapter, and I'm impatient for answers! Especially as to why Malchrys was/is acting so weird.
| Bickazer 5/20/11 . chapter 10
AGHHHH FOMFGZZZZ ASPDFHAWEHFOEWAHFSDOIHFSDAI;OHF;!
That was seriously the most intense chapter yet. I just...my heart is hammering, I can't think coherently! Just tense and scary and awesome and emotional and just all sorts of amazing, all wrapped in one little package.
I love how at the beginning, you jumped very rapidly over many short scenes. It did a great job ratcheting up tension, just like rapid cuts in a movie. And allowed you to show a lot from a lot of different perspectives. I enjoyed the look into the Witch Hunter's head, though I feel we're not seeing him at his best...something seems to be disturbing him to an extent. Something supernatural, maybe...
Another thing I love about this chapter: though a lot happens, there's still a lot of mystery hanging over everything. I said in my review of the previous chapter that it felt like everything was spiraling to a climax, but I hadn't expected that the strike on the tower wouldn't be the climax. A lot of things are left unexplained - like just Malchrys was planning, as well as why he attacked Rivan - and suggest that there's still a lot more of this story to be told.
I am curious about Irin; it seems her magic abilities have jumped up a level. Hope we find out why soon.
But of course, the one thing that really had me going AFSODHFA;SDHFK;AH!1 at this chapter was RIVAN. OH GEEZ POOR RIVAN! I was totally not expecting that; the way you set up Malchrys' own thoughts and feelings as well as the expectations of Renald and co. made me think that if someone was going to get hurt, of course it would be Renald. The attack on Rivan came totally out of the blue, unexplained - and that gives it so much OMFGZWTFBBQ impact. I'm desperately hoping he'll be okay and hope for some explanation as to what happened.
And yeah, I am totally on Team Renald/Rivan now. That kiss at the end made me squee like nobody's business.
I also appreciate a look at the magic system, at last. It seems magic is much more limited in this world than typical for a high fantasy story; for instance, Irin isn't allowed to use it outside the Tower. A neat detail that certainly explains why I've not seen any magic from her yet. I like the detail about the currents of magic and the runic/diagrammatic style it seems to take.
Eagerly reading on; I MUST know what happens to Rivan!
| Bickazer 5/20/11 . chapter 9
Sorry for taking so long to get around to this. I was a bit busy yesterday, but I should have enough time today to finish the story soon.
Believe me, I want nothing more than to finish the story...okay, that's a lie, because if I finish it I know I won't be able to see everyone again. It's that awful-awesome conflicting feeling, when the story is so engrossing you absolutely /need/ to know how to ends, but at the same time you don't want it to end because once it ends there won't be any more! Seriously, it just gets better and better with each other.
This chapter in particular may be one of my favorites so far. A perfect blend of rising tension, political maneuvering, and character moments. Oh, the character moments! They made this chapter for me. Finally Rivan and Renald have managed to sit down and /talk/ about their issues like grownups. I love that you aren't artificially prolonging the tension between them, as so many romance writers do. It would have felt artificial and stupid, so you did the smart thing making them finally work it out. And what a sweet reconciliation scene it was...I felt for both of them. I do wish we could have had a look at what they actually said to each other, but at the same time, it feels kind of nice that you're giving them a little privacy. Hahaha lol they aren't even real people, but I'm so invested in their story they might as well be!
I must admit this chapter did make me vacillate a /lot/ in terms of relationships! At the beginning, in the scene with Janos and Rivan, I was really rooting for Janos/Rivan to happen - but the ret of the chapter made me want Renald/Rivan to work out! Hahaha, I love it in a story when the relationships aren't so clearly telegraphed.
And the plot grows thicker...I can definitely see it beginning to spiral to a climax at this point. There's just something so neat about the scene at the end, where Renald decides who will accompany him. More to it than just plot tension...I don't know, somehow you really manage to convey how much the council trusts Renald, without it coming across in a stupid or unnatural way.
One last note: Love love love the bit about Rivan thinking his sudden inner conscience voice sounds like Janos'! Lol it's nice to see his old sardonic personality returning, if only a little bit.
I'll keep on reading!
| Bickazer 5/19/11 . chapter 8
Ahhh! The plot thickens!
I must say, despite this chapter being about separating Irin and Renald, it really showcases their relationship. Or at least, the depth of Renald's feelings for Irin. It's plain that he cares about her deeply and he blames himself for what happened to her. I have to reiterate that I love, love, LOVE how you've been developing Irin and Renald's relationship. I must admit that when I first learned of the 'escort your lover's fiance' plot, I was afraid you'd make Irin into a stereotypical shrieking harpy and make it clear that Renald hates her but is only marrying her out of duty. So I'm pleasantly surprised that Irin is a strong, sympathetic character in her own right and her relationship with Renald is much deeper, more complicated, and perhaps even more mutual than I expected. I don't see how anyone could hate her, unless they expect all women in a slash story to be unlikeable on principle. *shrug*
The kidnapping scene played out well. It was the just the right combination of suspenseful, mysterious and creepy. I'm assuming the sweets and wine were drugged, right? In any event, having Irin be drugged gives this a scene a wonderful creepy serenity. He reactions are completely /wrong/ for the situation and she knows it but she can't do anything to stop it. It makes the scene a lot more tense and just plain /dangerous/ than if she was fighting and struggling the whole way.
I do have one question, though: does Irin know magic? I mean, she does come from the Tower of Stars, right? But I haven't seen any magic from her yet...or for that matter, anyone.
That scene where Renald finds the letter is also delightfully creepy. I know, I keep using the word but that really describes the atmosphere in most of the chapter. Not just the kidnapping scene and the letter scene, but also the scene where Renald discovers the impostor's body. Janos at the end injects a bit of sorely needed lightness in this chapter, and for some reason I smiled a lot at the detail about Rose and Jaydore communicating with their minds!
And this, this:
"Lady Eloise," he started, in an exaggeratively calm and reasonable voice. "Would you care to tell me what the fuck is going on here?"
So amazing! It gets across all of Renald's rage and confusion and I can picture it perfectly. Definitely a crowning moment of awesome for Renald.
I am really intrigued by all this! Why the impostor killed herself, for one. And what the Witch Hunter has planned...I'll definitely keep on reading!
| Bickazer 5/19/11 . chapter 7
I don't know if it's just me, but it seems there's been a major improvement in the descriptions in this chapter. There were a bunch of really evocative sometimes whimsical, descriptions that just captured my imagination.
For instance, I love love love the descriptions of Irin's wedding dress. I can picture it perfectly in my head. Especially the thread that 'sparkled like sunlight on pristine snow.' And then the contrast between Irin and Rivan. And the 'couple of small eternities' line, pure genius.
But of course the descriptions aren't the main reason why I love this chapter. It's just so...so heavy and intense yet lighthearted at the same time. So many contradictory things happen, so many contradictory perspectives on the same actions. It's beautiful. I love the little bit of character details that get revealed - especially how Irin actually feels insignificant compared to Rivan. That's something I totally wasn't expecting, yet it fits with her perfectly! And Rivan's misery, oh poor Rivan...and he ends up taking it out on a servant boy. Delicious! I feel like I'm getting to know so many different facets of everyone, in such subtle ways.
I am wondering if Renald is beginning to fall in love with Irin. That scene in the bedroom certainly suggests there is more to Renald's feelings than just pity or honor. I am so intrigued!
I'll admit, compared to the wedding scenes, the last half of the chapter where King Darion dies feels a bit...dry. I feel that at least part of that is intentional, since you want an air of mystery around his death, but I'm just not as invested in it as the characters themselves are (aggh, can't explain myself). Just, for such a momentous occasion, it doesn't have much of an 'impact,' so to say? Yet I feel it is intentionally that way, and Darion certainly doesn't seem the sort to make a big deal of things (not even his own death!)...there's just lots of layers here that haven't even begun to crack.
Maybe what makes this chapter so impactful for me is its mix of birth and death images. I mean, you could have done it the straightforward way and had the wedding scene symbolize birth, the death scene, well, death, but instead birth and death symbolism is mixed throughout the entire chapter, making it feel gloriously confused - there's all the ambivalent feelings towards the wedding, and Darion's death is mixed with Renald's ascension to the throne. Heavy stuff.
I do think it's a bit suspicious that Eomy Rose is the first one to announce that Rivan is the new king. He definitely seems to be one to look out for.
That last paragraph, I must say, is pure perfection. Such a powerful image that sent shivers down my spine.
Keep up the good work!
| Bickazer 5/18/11 . chapter 6
AAAGH OH NO POOR RIVAN! ADSFLASJDOFJAJOP;!
Hahaha I seem to be responding to every chapter with capslock and keysmashing, but I can't help it! I am really, really excited to see how this all ends. I'm getting so invested in all the characters and the plot seems to be moving in an excellent way.
I feel terribly for Rivan. I think that's the one of the worst things anyone can realize - that they are no longer needed. It would have been one thing if Renald genuinely disliked Irin and was miserable about his upcoming marriage. I think that's the path a lesser writer would have followed. But this situation? It's so damned complicated! I can't see any way of resolving it that wouldn't end up horrible to at least one of the parties involved.
I liked seeing Rivan and Lord Darion interact too. I got a stronger impression of Darion's character from that conversation than I did in any of the past chapters. In the previous chapters he was more like a mysterious presence, more a symbol than human. So it's nice to get to see the real Darion.
And the church scene at the beginning, creepy and awesome! Malchrys has been pretty mysterious so far but I would love to see more of him. The crazy fanatical villains are always the best.
The paragraphs about Janos' personal life and all the parties were fun too, a nice breather after the intense church scene and transition into the heavier drama of the end of the chapter. It's a fascinating glimpse into the world of the nobles of Armania and a nice exploration of Janos' character as well. Love that he's always getting hit on. Those scenes and the later one with Lord Rose and Renald have made me curious, though, about how Armanian nobles view homosexuality. It doesn't seem strictly taboo but also doesn't seem to be acknowledged much...
Speaking of Lord Rose, I feel like he's growing steadily in importance. I don't have a handle on his character so far, but I am definitely intrigued by him and would like to see more of him.
Yeah, this review is all over the place, but one thing's certain: I love this story, love love love, and am so heavily invested in it. I am definitely going to continue reading!
| Bickazer 5/18/11 . chapter 5
That was quite the mood whiplash, I must say! To go from the joyous festivities in the first scene to that - that argument! That argument! It was just perfectly written. Nasty, but necessary I feel. I think both are in the wrong: Renald wants to do what's right for the kingdom but he doesn't seem to be considering Rivan's feelings, while Rivan is right to feel jealous but has no right to be so catty and bitchy towards a seventeen year old girl. Good stuff, and it will not be easily to resolve.
I swear I had something to say about the first scenes, but I really don't, because the drama of the last scene pretty much stole the show! I admit, I am a little wary of slash stories where a woman gets between the male couple because usually she ends up treated in the worst, most misogynistic way possible, but so far this story doesn't seem to be going that way. Irin gets her own perspective, she's sympathetic and understandable and even likeable to an extent. I hope you continue to explore her with such nuance. She's not just a prop or a tool to create drama, she's a character in her own right.
And d'awww, she's falling in love with Renald! I sense much trouble ahead over the horizon!
I must say that my only complaint is that Janos is really, really fading into the background here. So far he doesn't seem to be playing a plot important role and is character falls flat compared to all the drama between Renald and Rivan and Irin. I'll continue watching him and see where he develops, though.
One last thing - I absolutely adore this line: 'for a fleeting moment when Janos glanced at him his face was like a thundercloud, ready to start glaring lightning' So wonderfully evocative and with a touch of humor to boot.
Keep up the excellent work!