|Reviews for The Bell Keeper: Book 1 Chimes|
| SalemXYZ 8/19/12 . chapter 19
Finally, the long-awaited chapter about Rui and Yutsu's past. I think I speak for readers of the Bell Keeper that we're all curious as to how the two seemingly opposite people came to have such a deep bond. Love aside, it would seem impossible for the two to even become friends based on how their base personalities are like. Rui is closed off, careful, and lawful; she did not approve of the bounty hunters or anyone who did not belong to the norm and, especially those with a troublemaking stubborness. Yutsu is also closed off by displaying various personalities in accordance to the situation, she's daring yet calculating, and certainly scorns upon people who are, for a lack of description, 'goody-two-shoes'.
Yet two impossible characters, both with heavy burdens of pasts and present, still came together, like the moon/shore and the tides.
Like another reviewer has mentioned, I like how it's not love at first sight for either of them. Yutsu was an abnormality in Rui's life, something new and different but not necessarily good. Before the bartender could decide exactly where to place the bounty hunter in her life, she decided to tolerate this vibrant presence. Rui was an interesting puzzle for Yutsu, who seemed to have won over people of Rui's 'type' in the past. A challenge to her powers, the bounty hunter wanted to conquer this obstacle to prove her power. The tides changed though. Both became something more than an object. They became a person in each other's life, a fellow individual who is capable of emotions, who has a name, who has a different place in each other's life. They taught each other that it's okay to feel, that it's not such a bad thing to be dependent on another person's presence. Romance is a new venture for either of them because it means to surrender one's emotions completely to the other, be vulnerable. It's a trial of trust and the depth of their feelings. It definitely takes more than lust and moderate understanding to make a relationship work, something that most likely happens in the future WavesII. This chapter ended with just the very beginning of Rui and Yutsu's first step into a romantic relationship, so it'll be interesting to see how they come to know each other's full past, especially Rui's tattoo and Yutsu's real name and the stories of her hip scar, which was absent in the illustrations. There's also the matter of their rings too. It almost seems like they're either married or engaged, but something's preventing them from declaring it publicly, that's why Yutsu hid her ring under her scarf and Rui wearing the gem as an earring.
It's really interesting to see how Rui and Yutsu used to act around each other. The bartender is like an adult amused to see what kind of antics a teenager has up her sleeves, while the bounty hunter has a more childish, innocent even, side of her than the current one we know. Their age difference really shows, and it's a pleasant read to see how their relationship develops especially when we know how they are in the current timeline.
Since I've already rambled a lot, I'll just list some of the things I've noticed and the things I enjoy:
- Charlotte's carrot toy was a birthday present that somehow turned up at this target's hideout. Since it's not explained, I wonder if this target has anything to do with the Dingo later on, or whoever led the attack on Vertalis. Note it's been 7 years since Charlotte died, which means Shirley was 10 when the Republic of Quercus fell.
Dingos is the first Canine race to be associated with Tyradum, which before this chapter, I thought consists of only Felines.
Rui can use fireballs, provided the target is within her short range.
"However, the glint of gold and silver coins the girl left and the lingering scent of pine trees were stark reminders that she once existed within the space of this shady bar."- I like this imagery a lot.
"A frightened part of her mind also did not wish to learn, for she might care more than she should." - this is a sentiment I can actually relate to. Sometimes, it's really easier to not know. Ignorant is bliss.
"Thank you." So said the perfect stranger. - brilliant wording
Fenrisyr's primary language appears to be Spanish and French, so it's like Europe in my head while Riphaeus is North America.
Yutsu eats bark. I wonder if Kura knows, or if she can eat bark as well…
I also like the part with the metaphor of alcohol being a gun, and it's up to the drinker to pull the trigger or not. The part with the guitar solo is also well written. "Visible yet indiscernible, her flesh appeared to belong to an omnipresent entity and was far out of her control." It's another feeling I can relate to. Sometimes you're just so lost with your life that you don't really know who's living it.
"And Shirley wanted to be known too." - the defining moment that Yutsu feels comfortable about another person knowing who the real her is, or who she once was.
Alright, enough of my senseless babbling lol Congratulations on you three for finishing Book1, and I look forward to whichever installment of the TBK universe that comes next.
| jfmhill 8/17/12 . chapter 19
Yay new chapter :D and now I've gotta feeling that those rings mean something...but what? I dunno I'll figure it out later I suppose. Anyway I'd like to congradulate you all on another job well done.(:
| K 8/16/12 . chapter 19
My first thought when I saw this and read the description in my inbox:
"Oh, hell yes!"
Haha, no seriously, it was a very pleasant surprise! But what surprised me more was how well I was able to predict the characters all based on how incredibly detailed you defined them up until this very point! I somehow knew these two had a rocky start to their relationship, but I love how that aspect keeps them so close together in the end. I loved it when Yutsu walked into the bar before it technically opened and asked for a drink, only to be handed something else and told off...the whole time I was thinking, "Ah, what? She's not seriously being served before the bar opened?" only to see Rui's smart reaction back. Very clever.
Also, loved it when Rui took a drink while working on the job only for it to be non-alcoholic and another witty comeback towards Yutsu. I had the same "oh snap" reaction as the previous one, and loved the interaction...definitely made her come across as very mature and level-headed as she is supposed to be. Great job in characterization!
This chapter was simply amazing in tying together loose ends and finally showing us all how these two got along! I loved it! And I'm glad you guys made the choices you did, making Rui "hard to get" and not just a cliche/easy "love at first sight."
Nice job with the protectiveness, too. After the mishap with the drunkard, I really like how Yutsu reacted since it gave her a very realistic "violated" kind of feel, but it was nice to see Rui's reaction despite her prior indifference. I'm also happy to see more of Yutsu's three-dimensional emotions being played up, too...since, after all, she's a woman with feelings and tricky emotions that have been twisted by reality and past hardships! Excellent storytelling, characterization, imagery, and dialogue! Keep up the great work!
| K 8/15/12 . chapter 18
Very sweet chapter. It's nice to see the relationship these two have towards one another and just how important a role they each play in it. I like how you guys still play up their childhood innocence (very cute dialogue with the whole "date" scene), but also show how they have had to mature with their situations. It will be nice to see how their relationship unfolds...especially for Kura since I can see her getting targeted by Yutsu with teasings. I also enjoyed seeing Kura's further comparison as Rui and Yutsu's "child." She could practically be the epitome of one, but it's very funny to see her embarassment at each revelation since it seems so true. Nice job...keep it up!
| Light27 8/11/12 . chapter 1
Argh! Why did I discover this so LATE!?
Anyways, wonderful story, great imagination and ideas.
You all write wonderful fanfictions and original fictions! Awesome!
| SalemXYZ 8/9/12 . chapter 18
Late to read the chapter, but not late to appreciate this well-rounded chapter. It leaves many mysteries unsolved yet concluded the essential parts to make this the end of Book1, and the beginning of TBK. Book1. Unlike other chapters, there aren't much for me to ramble on except to just sit back and watch how the relationship between Kura and Nita develop. Kura finally realizes the importance of having a friend, of how much Nita's presence and words affect her way of thinking and acting. I like how Kura is so protective of the Bear. They are both so naive and innocent when it comes to romance, so it would be interesting to see who realized the line between attraction and friendship first. Kura and Nita grew up so differently too, one in the city and one in the country, so maybe their backgrounds would clash in the future.
Will there be a time when she would be forced to choose between the greater good of Drasgard and her world, her little family?
If the above isn't foreshadowing then I don't know what it is lol
The appearance of Kollin's group only convinced me further that the arms dealer will play an important role in the future. For Kura, a weapon supplier is necessary for the Rebellion but on the other hand, the Yerkar Co. can just be detrimental for the revolutionaries. For now, I will just say Kura seems to be one Kollin's good side.
On the other hand, having Paddy meet the girls is good because I see him as a possible leader for the fleets in the future. At least, a courier ship that specifically transports goods for the Rebels. I don't know why, but I like how people keep mistaking Kura as either Rui or Yutsu's daughter. It really makes Kura think about the importance of these two women in her life, as well as how much family really matters. Paddy's mention of a Mouse is intriguing. Based on Athyra's illustrations, I would guess Mice would have round ears too, like Bears. I suppose the difference between the two races is their stature, which is why people are surprised that Nita is small. She still has the strength of a Bear though because no matter how light Kura is, it still takes raw power to throw someone that far lol.
I was waiting for Odessa to reappear and truthfully, Maya too but having the Berenguers interact with Kura would be too difficult after the episode in Torden. Odessa finally revealed her last name, which automatically implies that Khan's last name would be an important in Tyradum society, maybe even above the other Tigers. Even though Rakayah appears strict and unfeeling, I believe he's fundamentally a good person like Odessa and Khan. Their exploits in past wars do not make them evil. Like Kura said, there are only shades of grey, and these generals happen to be on the winning side with a corrupt Tyr.
It's surprising to learn that Elaine's birthday happen to be on Valentine's day. I wonder if any of her past presents were mistaken for something more. To forget a sister figure's birthday is unforgivable even though I understand the circumstances. If I forget my little sister's birthday, hell would bulldoze me lol
Anyways, the prizes at the ring-toss game must symbolize something so I must try to interpret them a little. The unicorn represents a dream like goal that's reached without hardships. To compare it to our society, it's like becoming a celebrity overnight with tremendous income rather than saving up through years of hard labor. Kura is not swayed by a pretty cover, and would become the leader she's meant to be with her own steps. It also shows that she did not grow up like a 'normal girl', with toys and make-up and the like. The Griffin represents valor and royalty, something Kura have yet to come in contact with and could only gaze from afar. Its wings also represents the sky, or freedom, and it connects the unicorn, a land creature, to the phoenix, a ruler of the sky. The phoenix also connects to the bird sculpture in Torden, showing that even though it toppled from the war, it revived in the form of a keychain. Flames of conviction is portable (and friendly lol), that it will always remain with her.
Kura's letter is cute, though I foresee Elaine crying as she read the letter. Hopefully Tal would be able to contact her soon, since she's attached to him too. I wonder if we'll see how the other rebels fare. Stryk would still have the most freedom, being a Feline and a certified courier.
Again, the ending is well-written, like the start of Kura's journey, as the Bell Keeper, as the protector of hope. Alkira and Hector's connection, Nita's connection to Alkira, Nita's ability… everything is still mysterious but it nicely reminds the readers of the prologue.
Sorry the rambling is longer than I thought, unorganized too, but I do enjoy this chapter. As always, I look forward to Interlude 3 (which could be Nita's story as they travel on the ship, since Kura asked her to talk about her story near the end)
Notable names and events: Princess Yasmine Gabria Cardinal (spoken familiarly by the three generals, meaning they might be close to Prince Malik and Princess Anne too; note Yasmine manages orphanages with Maya), Elder Ragao, Alkira
(just a list of important names in Tyradum): Cardinal, Berenguer, Strider, Sethr, Xiayuan and Rowena (just because they were both mentioned by a general), Khan's last name
Lunar Feasts (held by the Three Coyote Tribes at Sik'is)
| unagi-sama 8/5/12 . chapter 18
I have to say arc3 is my favorite arc. Maybe it's because by then I know the characters even better by that point or because of the chapters themselves or because of Nita, but I really enjoy this, and definitely the whole book! Kura was not the only one who experienced change, so it's interesting to see how each of the group try to adapt to this new path they must take. I also like how Nita is not readily accepted into the group. I find their respective reactions really realistic. I mean if even if a vulnerable looking girl asked me for help especially when I'm trying to run away from something, even I would just do the most I can and let the authorities take over. However if I just lost a sense of myself and found someone who needs my protection, I would do everything I can to do just that, and hope that I can trust my own strength again.
I love Rui and Yutsu's relationship so much because it's so different from the norm. It's not like they say "I love you" or hang all over each other all the time, but I can feel how much they care for each other. While their individual pasts interest me, I'm also very very curious about how they got together! Seeing how "no nonsense" Rui is, I wonder how she got along with Yutsu, who is anything but the norm. It could be opposites attract but there's definitely more to it! There's also the fact that they live in really different worlds... gah I need more flashbacks!
Kura and Nita are beyond cute. I was snickering the whole time reading this chapter. It's totally a date! But neither knows it because they think it's a fruit! XDD that cracked me up. When Kura touched Nita's tail, I was like "oh no, she did not just do that." I had a bad feeling that Kura might get slapped, but the fact she got thrown made me laugh even more XD There are just so many cute scenes that I think I can die happy, but I won't because I still need to read more! Kura's relationship with Elaine needs more scenes though (love triangle?) Even though Kura claims she's only like an older sister, but who knows? That letter she wrote with the scratch marks is really emotional. We'll need to see Elaine's side of the story, but I don't think that's possible now that the group left Riphaus. If only Kura was able to stop by Ahkalin before Middleport.
The ending made me smile. The Bell Keeper is starting her journey! And I can't wait to see how that would turn out! Amazing job with the story, all of you trio!
happy dragon, not eel
| jfmhill 8/4/12 . chapter 18
You just blew me away...this is probably the greatest book ever written. I honestly think you guys made my life 1000x better by writing this, so I thank you from the bottom of my heart...that sounded like a cheesy Emmy speech but I mean every word of it.
| Chaotrix 8/3/12 . chapter 14
LOL, the sudden A/N after all that made me laugh way more than I should have. Gah, this was a badass chapter! Despite, well, all the blood and all but I guess that's to be expected!
But it was a great chapter - awesome fighting by our own protagonist trio! I loved the setting for it as well, a train fight. Those flies were pretty... erm, silly, to even attempt to attack Yutsu the way they did. Have they not heard of her enough to at least be somewhat less cocky and more wary?! xD
- "He's…not for you… to kill," Rui rasped firmly, "Witnessing death and causing it… are completely different." - was an action coupled with wisdom from Rui that I personally liked and that I hope Sakura learns the meaning of. It's true, though. Those are two completely different things, two completely different experiences.
Yutsu is so scary! Haha, but I love her fun side despite the forever-unsatisfied craving for blood within her! I hope they all get some down-time soon. Not sure how much of this tense and pressure-filled atmosphere they can take. Hopefully no arguments or fight occur under all the stress (especially now with dat bear)!
Excited for the next chapter
| Chaotrix 8/3/12 . chapter 12
I sincerely loved this chapter. It's so interesting to see how a young girl like that could mature and develop into the strong woman we know in the present. Although I could only wish that Rui had not suffered such torment for so long, I know that it actually benefited her in the long run. The struggle is so real and there was no fairy tale happiness to come and save her when she needed it most. It really takes only one kind person to turn your life around, doesn't it? Mr. Randolf truly is a great and hospitable man.
I love knowing more about characters' pasts, and I can only imagine how Yutsu's will turn out... heh.
Fantastic writing, once again!
| Chaotrix 8/2/12 . chapter 11
A very edgy chapter. I felt so bad for Sakura the entire chapter - she was just so... vulnerable, and it was painful to read knowing how highly she thought of her fellow rebels and so on. The title of rebel leader was only a label. She had no way of contributing to her own cause in such a dire situation. Truly, I had hoped for some shining light for the small Foxroach, but that is the reality of war.
I giggled during the part with Yutsu contacting the command center. Bunny One, haha. Ah, to have a sense of humor even in the midst of such chaos is admirable no matter how... disturbing or unfitting it may be. xD
So now we're off to another new location, one that is sure to provide some GREAT content. I'm excited on finishing up the rest of the chimes!
| Chaotrix 8/1/12 . chapter 10
There's always SOME dire situation. xD
Ah, how I love Yutsu (okay, so I say that for everyone, but that's because everyone is lovable). Her implied mysteries REALLLLY make me want to know more and more about her past. But she'll be the last one with her past written out for all to see, I'm sure. xD
Yes, I KNEW Jor and Yutsu were going to duel it out. Honestly, I thought Jor would say something to trigger something dangerously dark in Yutsu, but I'm glad it was just a playful game of chess for her. Phew!
The last line... Oh God, here comes a shower of blood!
| Chaotrix 7/31/12 . chapter 9
Once again, a spectacular chapter. Got very tense when Yutsu popped back up - I was holding my breath a few times, even!
I would have been angry, too, at the way the rebels were behaving about the whole Yutsu ordeal. Although reasonable, I can understand the personal resentment toward the opinion that the bunnyroach would betray any of them.
I desperately need to catch up on this story, haha.
Rui is a strong woman, dealing with all the misery surrounding her at the moment. I'm glad Yutsu came back after a worrisome amount of time, and that she also brought back past memories.
| Guest 7/21/12 . chapter 6
best chapter of the bell keeper so far! keep up the good work, this story is really engaging! please keep the chapters coming!
| SalemXYZ 7/20/12 . chapter 17
This chapter is well-rounded in many aspects, in particularly hidden sides of the characters who could finally be themselves without outside forces interfering. The relationships between them are explored more, especially the importance of Rui and Yutsu to Kura. In spite of the many silly and cute moments in the chapter, it's still sombre overall. Since Book1 ends next chapter, I guess it will mostly be about the carnival that focuses on the growing friendship between Kura and Nita. There probably isn't anything dangerous happening, for the purpose of concluding Book1 by answering some questions.
Okay, enough speculation. Sakura, as always, is made fun of whether because of her tail or her defiance in being girly. However, it's this childish side of her that needs to be shown more so she does not completely get swallowed by the heavy burden of being a rebel leader. With her mother (lol) against the Rebellion, she still had to cope the loss in Torden by herself. Thus, all the teasing actually has a positive effect by distracting her from thinking about things out of her control.
She really does need a friend, a peer. I originally thought Elaine has that role, having grown up with Kura, but it's obvious that Kura really kept a distance between them as hinted throughout the story. She seems fond of the older girl though, so I can't really understand why she doesn't feel close to Elaine, unless there's more to it. Kura's interlude (Rui's too actually) only showed the flashbacks pertinent to that point in time. Naturally, Kura's bond with the Alsaces is not fully revealed yet. Anyways, the point is that Kura will only be able to shoulder the responsibilities of a leader if she has a better grasp on her identity. Again, Nita's role is much anticipated.
Nita, the more obvious magical factor of this fantasy genre so far, shows that she may have something to do with the bell, which is the very story title itself. I agree with Kura that the bell will not be a magical solution, but it will be able to guide her somehow. Nita finally showed that she was more than just an optimistic girl without sadness. She seemed to treasure those feathers, which may have something to do with her last name Blackhawk. I'll need more information but I definitely look forward to reading her past.
More information on Yutsu, but still not enough to piece together the puzzle but that's fun. The scars she bore, the tattoo and many things remain a secret, but she can't hide her real emotions in her music. As expected of AdrenaVeris quality scene, the piano performance was mesmerizing. I listened to the suggested songs as I reread the passages, and I have to say they're well-chosen. I really like this line: "How long will you keep walking by yourself, Yutsu?" At some point in Book2, her dark history is bound to blow up. The only question is if she'll be able to stay with the group. Her leaving the group would be detrimental to the two Foxes because even though Yutsu stays on Rui's side, she has been neutral so far in their arguments and keep the group together. Yutsu's bond with Kura should continue to grow as well since the two share similar traits when the former was younger. Eventually, I hope they can open up to each other more.
Rui, like Yutsu said, is Kura's greatest critic because she looks up to the older Fox in a way that even Hector cannot compare. If Hector is Kura's hero/idol, then Rui is her role model. Rui faced a similar predicament as her charge though, because she is no longer a bartender and needs to find a new identity she is comfortable with.
There is not much I can ramble here about Rui and Yutsu's bond, because everything's there in the chapter. A reader can really feel their love from simple gestures, let alone actual dialogues. They accept each other for who they are, whole-heartedly, both good and bad. It's something really vital in a relationship, so it's no wonder that in spite of their differences, they are able to stay together for five years.
As always, I look forward to the next chapter, the conclusion to Book1.
Notable thing: The Greybeaver Tribe is a Coyote tribe