|Reviews for To Sleep Perchance to Dream|
| Adrenalin 2/10/13 . chapter 1
First of all, I love fairy tales retellings, so I'm very interested in seeing what your take on Sleeping Beauty is gonna be.
I really like the way you described the settings and slowly moved to Brynhild. Though the prologue is so short, you managed to convey both the bustling activity of the castle and the separate bubble of calm and quietness in which Brynhild and the princess stand.
[But the first barely visible lights of King Frederick's entourage were only just marking the horizon as the King and his triumphant soldiers approached the kingdom.]
This sentence felt a bit too long and wordy for me, especially the beginning of it. But hey, that's nitpicking.
Seeing as how you describe Brynhild as ready for anything to gain the King's love, her description surprises. Though you paint her as an efficient servant and affectionate towards the princess, I can't help but worry about her actions in the future.
| Jalux 2/9/13 . chapter 1
I liked the description of your all the activities people did because I thought the way you described it really got the meaning through. Things like 'so that once crushed under foot the scent would waft up at the King's guests' and 'onions in the garden were as big as her closed fist' went a long way in helping in reader envision your world. The prologue was short but a good hook. It makes you want to continue.
One thing I felt was a little off was the dialogue.
- "My sweet one," she began to rock the bassinet, "My sweet darling… " felt a little off.
- Perhaps just "My sweet," she began to rock the bassinet "My sweet darling… "
But just a nitpick, in general it's fine.
Excellent start, I'll be reading this.
| ShizukiHarada 2/9/13 . chapter 1
I love the description and the way the writing flows in your prologue, and I think it provides a nice introduction into what seems to be an intriguing story. The one thing I would do to improve it would be to read your sentences out loud at various stages, as some are quite long and clunky-sounding.
For [the messenger arrived hours ago] it should be [the messenger had arrived hours ago]. Little corrections like that can really improve how your story flows. Good luck!
| Salvatore Paradise 2/9/13 . chapter 1
This is quite a detailed and dynamic opening for a novel-I think the slowness of the beginning and the inclusion of all the details (particularly the third paragraph in which is described all the elements of cooking) do well in building a slow-moving drama towards teh introduction of Brynhild's child. What I might suggest, however, is to introduce the child in your first sentence and then retreat into the details from there. As it stands, the messenger has little to do with the opening action; you might save this character for your last paragraph so that the reader will be curious as to his purpose and will want to read on. Concerning the name Brynhild, I might advise you to go with a more general name; there are simply too many Wagnerian/Norse/Germanic connotations associated with it for your character to gain much autonomy-the same could be said of King Frederick, who instantaneously brings to mind that renowned German ruler. One must, I have found, be extremely careful in choosing names; you have to find one that not only fits the character's personality, but also won't be misconstrued by the reader. Being that this appears to be the opening to a medieval fantasy series, there are several works I can recommend you so that you may see how you may differentiate your opening from others: Terry Goodkind's "Wizard's First Rule" begins with an ominous, biting plant-not exactly your typical fantasy image! The late Robert Jordan's "Eye of the World" starts you out in the bloody chambers of a king's post-madness; a very dramatic scene which quickly fades into a more prosaic setting of farmland and so on. Also, to learn how to grip your reader's attention within the first paragrah or page, I would suggest that you turn to short stories, where one can really learn the craft of writing. Joyce Carol Oates's "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" ranks as my favourite short story, followed closely by James Joyce's "Araby." I do hope some of these suggestions have helped. Good luck on your future writings and feel free to email me concerning any questions or comments you may have. Cheers!
| Dr. Self Destruct 11/6/12 . chapter 14
I feel really bad for asking this, and I know it's not any fault to you it's just what happens when I read a story over such a long course of time, but are Aurelia and Oren really blood related? I only ask because near the beginning I feel like there is some strange relationship going on between them, of which even Aurelia seems to notice and mentions. Maybe something incestuous (or something leading up to that possibility). I just can't remember if the two of them are blood related or not. Either way, even if they are, I think that would be an incredibly interesting spin on the tale if the Prince ended up being her brother who kissed her and woke her up.
Again, I like how you address the passing of time, this time by using the seasons. I'm also glad you went into detail about the livestock they have in the castle, because I was beginning to wonder where they were getting their food from and how they were surviving up there all alone on the mountain - which, from what I've seen in this chapter (especially with the mention of the wolves) living up there isn't exactly the best place to be. Sounds rather ominous and dangerous.
I really like how this chapter ties into the first part of this story. Once again, it really serves to show how long it's been since Brynhild went crazy and poisoned everyone. And I'm also excited to see the allusion to Sleeping Beauty; I'm wondering where you'll end up taking this and how you'll make it different from the previous versions floating around out in the world.
One last minor thing: I really liked that detail of the wolves' claws scratching along the entrance to the castle. It was very creepy and got across the foreboding tone of winter and desolation.
| Dr. Self Destruct 11/6/12 . chapter 13
I like how you handled the passing of time. It wasn't too lengthy, and you just came out and said it. Sometimes I think people put way too much effort in dealing with their time shifts, but you didn't. You also added subtle hints that a lot of time has passed, like Brynhild's graying hair and how much older the children are, now.
I also like how you kept Oren's character very consistent from how he was like in the past. He used to be such a brat, and even now he's still a liar. At first I felt kind of sorry for him when Brynhild just went loose on him and started insulting him, but then I saw the way he reacted when she brought up the spoiled meat... and I didn't feel very sorry for him anymore, haha. I think that was a great detail to insert at that moment to make the reader unsure whether to sympathize with him or not. Though, I'll be honest, from what I know of Brynhild, part of me wonders if she was just making that whole thing up (about how Oren found the animal already dead before bringing it home).
Brynhild telling Aurelia the story of her father and what happened to their kingdom was quite interesting, considering I know what really happened. I was curious to see how she'd cover it up, and it seems Brynhild is clever as ever. I wonder if the children will ever discover the truth.
| Dr. Self Destruct 11/6/12 . chapter 12
I really like the paragraph where you describe the bodies piled up like branches ready to be burned. It's such a specific image, and it's very vivid the way you describe it. And I think you help drive home the eeriness of the scene by going even further; you follow through with the description and address how the hands are curled in pain. It creates such a foreboding picture, and right away the tension shoots up. So yeah, great opening.
[Once they had been stripped of their valuable belongs, and thankfully stripped of nothing else. Lisbet pulled her sister into the old baker's shop, locking the door behind them.]
The period after "else" should be a comma since it seems the sentence doesn't want to stop there.
[Originally she had thought to wait out the looters. Hoping that eventually they would have to depart when the King's guard was restored and peace would once again take hold.]
Same as the previous sentence I pointed out, the first period should be a comma linking the two clauses together, or else it doesn't make much sense.
In regards to the scene with the horse being stabbed, while reading I was wondering if it would really be so easy to injure a horse like that before it tries to either fight or run away. Perhaps mention how Lisbet notices the horse seems to be under some type of trance, because i don't think someone can gut a live, coherent horse before it tries to run away. Other than that, you have some wonderful descriptions, and I really enjoy your details. You do a great job filling in a scene and making it come to life on the page.
| Luckycool9 11/1/12 . chapter 7
I liked how you basically show another side of Oren because after a death like his mother he wouldn't be the same and you kept it true to society and dit also showed that he could love. I also liked how the king would now atone for his sins because he should know them and hold them dear since they destroyed his wife. I truly loved this chapter.
| Encore19 10/29/12 . chapter 31
Wow you're an amazing writer! First off I think your writing style is very descriptive which is a good thing to see when you're already into the thirty-first chapter of your story. Examples of this being how you described the morning scene, the fight scene with the wolves and Aurora's dream scene at the end. I like how you empowered your delicate and beautiful main character when she had to cure the prince's wounds and all the soldiers let her be in charge of caring for him. It was a nice change to see. I can't see anything that should be changed, you're already clearly skilled and have many reviews and followers so good luck in how you decide to end your story!
| stuck in bed 10/28/12 . chapter 25
Ugh, I really don't like Brynhild. How can she still be obsessed with Frederick after all those years? I do suppose it brings out the creepy side of her in a subtle way. It does show that she hasn't changed at all. I also liked the simplistic language used here. Aurora's thoughts bring out how...well, somewhat "normal" her life is. As in, it's full of domestic matters and not really so tragic. Then again, she doesn't know the full story, does she?
The only thing I'd have to pick on would be this: "He was always eating them and then he would get very close to your face and whisper. The whole castle could smell him coming." The two sentences somehow don't...fit. It talks about him coming close and whispering but then it switches to the whole castle smelling onions, meaning that he would have to be quite far. Maybe you should add a sentence between them in order to produce more of a flow.
| Highway Unicorn 10/28/12 . chapter 2
[A dish made primarily with deer waste, and served only to the lower servants.] :O Is that a real dish? Did people really serve that to the servants back then? If so, then I appluad you for your research of ancient times. :D But still...deer poop...eww. XP
[In a single quick motion she had his trousers unfastened and her hand circled around him.] Woah. She's determined. XD
I like the dramatic/intense relationship you've created between Brynhild and Frederick; it's very believable and enjoyable to read. And it also creates this mystery around them that leads the readers, or at least I, wanted to learn more. :)
I love Oren; he's a little spoiled brat, and I know he's just going to grow up to be a prick. XD I cannot wait to read how he acts when he's older. His character alone promises a good read. :)
| Whirlymerle 10/28/12 . chapter 4
I love how you juxtapose the image of the maids' giggling and chattering with Brynhild putting poison in the mead. Such a party pooper. :( In all seriousness though, the fact that she needs to make her plague believable and kill all innocent people shows how horrible she is. If it's anyone's fault, it's Frederick's, I think, which makes the whole thing pretty messed up, but I digress.
[will you please follow me back to the castle, I want to change before the evening meal?"] I think it would read better as "will you please follow me back to the castle? I want to change before the evening meal."
I wasn't a huge fan of the ending. There was nothing specifically wrong with it, but I just feel like it needs some more drama.
| Whirlymerle 10/28/12 . chapter 3
I think your writing does a great job of eliciting emotions from the reader. I like how you have Aurorette expressing her desire to be friends with Brynhild even as Byrnhild plans to kill her. I think it shows excellently how ruthless Brynhild is, since even though she feels terrible, it doesn't stop her own selfishness.
I really like the detail about Brynhild grinding up the poison with her father's spoon because I think it conveys how terrible she is (not listening to his advice AND using his spoon to do it in a super subtle way. I still think she's sympathetic, but in this chapter, her awfulness comes out.
| Whirlymerle 10/28/12 . chapter 2
[Cried Lord Guerin] lowercase "cried"?
Oh wow, what an interesting chapter. I love the subtle hints you give to show that something's wrong with Brynhild, like when Oren calls her a witch. I thought it was great foreshadowing and made the piece really interesting.
I really like Brynhild as the antagonist. I think you did a great job of making her sympathetic, and therefore, complicated. I like the idea that she and Frederick had a thing going on before Aurorette came along, and the way you show how she longed for Frederick to look at her is sweet in a tragic sort of way.
| colorstain 10/28/12 . chapter 4
I like this story it is very well written.