|Reviews for To Walk in the Wind|
| lookingwest 3/6/13 . chapter 2
I'm once again impressed by the world building in this story and how it carries over into Daja's daily life as well as Balasar in the previous chapter. They are certainly characters that have their differences, so it's cool to see them contrasted in the first two chapters of the story - I think that was a good perspective and technique to execute. I like Daja so far, which is good - he comes across as being sympathetic, though his doubts about his place and his duties comes across very expected. I would've assumed he has doubts - is what I mean, so it didn't surprise me about his character that he did. I almost wonder if it would've been a funner dynamic between Balasar and Daja if Daja really wanted to be sacrificed and was backing the idea 100%. It would definitely create a more headstrong character - but I like his passiveness in a way too. I'm interested to see what will bloom relationship-wise between him and Balasar.
One of the unique details of Daja's life in this chapter was certainly the sex ed, and I thought the concept matched up pretty accurately with older cultures I've learned about in the past, or even akin to some of the Magna Matar teachings (basically the same idea but for women). The reasons for his sex ed made sense to me too, so I liked that the devices set in place that foster the homoeroticism of the story are well justified and backed with plausible foundations. It also helped a lot with the world building too.
One thing - how long exactly is Daja's hair? I had a difficult time exactly picturing it in the paragraph about his hair being shaved every so often and how it hadn't been for his entire year thus far. I noted he was playing with his hair now, but I think I would've liked a little more detail sine we were on the subject. We of course could get that later though and I should probably shut my mouth - I'm sure Balasar's perspective when they meet will yield a more complete picture, which will be a good opportunity I think.
I liked Daja's run through all of his teachers and I think that shows his relationships with those he lives with and his experiences with them on an intimiate level. Asseo was interesting since he was so much younger. I liked that it was clear Asseo is somewhat in love or lust with him and Daja isn't picking that up and if he is, doesn't really care or feel the same way about Asseo. I think that puts Daja in a dynamic position and I liked how the chapter ended that way for those reasons.
The tension with the sandals was built up well. It again makes me question exactly why Daja isn't completely brainwashed by this point into believing what he's doing is right and just. He's grown up in this lifestyle - it is a little odd that he doesn't subscribe to it completely and already shows doubts this far in, even if the system was in some cases abusive towards him. These people are also the only family/father/mother figures he's ever seen and I get the sense that he wouldn't follow them to the grave necessarily. From our perspective - yes this is extremely radical and crazy and he should doubt having to die as a sacrifice at the age of 16 - but at the same time, this is a radical lifestyle that he's grown up into and he knows no different (or does he?). We don't get the sense of his cultural learned scope here, so perhaps that's where he seems a bit odd to me in this chapter too.
At any rate though, I still like these developments and like I mentioned, your world-building is phenomenal so far. Really well done, especially for a NaNo novel in my opinion. I might keep reading and hit this up in the depth thread too...
| Unweighted Book Author 3/5/13 . chapter 2
As an author who writes in the fantasy genre, I often run into a problem of not knowing how my characters will react in certain fantastical situations. Daja is an example of a character in such a situation. He's doomed to die, but he's also spent his entire life preparing for it and has been taught to accept and embrace it. Having said that, I'm very much impressed by the way you've handled his characterization. It is all very believable and reasonable. He doesn't want to die, but he has a small amount of peace of mind due to his training. In addition, his various emotions and human sides are portrayed very well. His natural curiosity that he finds difficult to curb as someone who has been trapped his whole life, his personal preference for martial pursuits, his gratitude to Asseo for being kind...Brilliant job done on that account.
I'd say that this chapter dragged on slightly, however. I feel as though you wanted to get the main aspects of Daja's experiences in the temple out of the way first, and also impress his character on the readers, but it's all compressed into this chapter and it can be a little dry for the readers. Contrast this with chapter 1 where the information given for world building is very cleverly interwoven with the conversation between Balasar and the Minister.
From a technical aspect, the writing is good as usual. I'll probably refrain from mentioning it any more in future reviews unless I spot a particularly good or bad passage.
| TawneyEverett 3/5/13 . chapter 7
The writing flows extremely well and was almost poetic as I was reading. I also was able to really sympathize with the character, Balasar. I think this book keeps the attention of the reader since I was able to be engaged even from picking up in the middle of the story.
"His body's extremely dehydrated. At least twenty-four hours, but likely forty-eight or more without water. Explains his feinting. feinting- fainting
| professional griefer 3/5/13 . chapter 8
I loved the beginning. You described the near-death state Daja was in beautifully. I actually felt like I was in that purgatory with him, so you did awesomely with that.
I also LOVED the interaction between Daja and Balasar. Bala was just so harsh with him, but I dunno, he seemed kinda tender too, like maybe he kind of cares about Daja, and I'm just having a nice fangirl rant...anyway, I thought their scene together was really well done. You have their interactions down perfectly, and I can see how some romance could get to happening.
My only complaint was that after you kind of switched to Bala's POV, it got boring. You set an awesome tone with Daja's part, but after that I kind of felt myself getting lost. But the first part was so good that it all evened out.
I also loved the last line. It was a great description, and I kinda was mentally cursing the fact that there isn't another chapter yet. You set the mood really well with that-I'm kinda expecting a god to come out, here, and if that happens I will freak. But it probably won't.
I definitely ship Bala/Daja, and I'm super-psyched for the next chapter.
| Guest 3/4/13 . chapter 8
Please sweet merciful baby Jesus, let Asseo be put out of his misery. I don't know why, but I was automatically fond of him and I could bear to read about him being "entertainment" (testament to your great writing to make me feel such emotions!). I literally skimmed that whole section. Poor poor Asseo. I don't like Balasar or his men right now at all.
| Unweighted Book Author 3/4/13 . chapter 1
A very nice and pleasant read! As you probably know, I'm not a fan of slash, but this chapter hadn't introduced any such elements yet so that's fine. From a technical point of view, the writing is quite outstanding. The description you use is vivid and yet not overbearing, remaining quite succinct. Sentence structure, flow, and pace are all on point.
The world-building is quite impressively done as well. You manage to set up a strong, coherent world by borrowing from Arabic culture. Normally, this technique creates a problem of breeding unfamiliarity and turning off those who aren't familiar with the original source, but you've avoided that very well here by not going too deep in Arabic elements and simply using the most commonly known aspects, polishing the rest with your ideas. The placement of your world-building details is also very natural and never feels like an infodump or excessive disposition.
I don't have many complaints to make, but the final sentences felt somewhat forced to me. It's hard to pin-point the exact reason, but the idea of a 'villain' and a 'hero' aren't really existent right until then, it seems as though you had to shoehorn them in to make for a good way to close out the first chapter. One possible solution would be to include those motifs earlier on in the chapter so that the final conversation between Balasar and the Minister feels like there is more of a context to it.
| midnight41 3/4/13 . chapter 8
Thank you for the update! Can't wait to see what happens!
| Faithless Juliet 3/4/13 . chapter 3
I really liked the introduction of Oz as a character – when I read the part were Bala said: “Oz” I immediately thought “We’re not in Kansas anymore” but I like the name, that was just my first reaction to reading that. I like how you gave him a lot of personality without specifying a lot. You let the reader meet him through the dialogue, so it was a natural progression and didn’t feel forced at all.
I though the chapter itself was a bit so-so. More character development than plot/action oriented (not really a bad thing at this point.) I do wish it had been a bit more lively being that last chapter (with Daja OMG) was so exciting and interesting. I worry that for a reader it might be difficult to continue on with the story at this point without more of a hook in this chapter. Having said that though, I do realize that Bala is making his way to Daja, which will create the action of the story. Keep up the good work.
| flawedxuni 3/4/13 . chapter 8
I really like this and have been excitedly awaiting an update for about a month since discovering it but this last chapter has left me very conflicted. Are we supposed to loathe Balasar? I'm really loathing him right now. When Balasar said "I" I immediately assumed what he was meaning but hoped I'd be wrong, that he'd allow Asseo to be unharmed. I'm hoping that by next chapter the events will change. Honestly, I love his character. I like him WAY more than any of the others, equaling Daja's character, but I'd rather see him dead then to be subjected to the horrors of multiple, and likely extremely violent rapes. Daja had to go through similar ordeals with the other priests. I don't see this ending well if he finds out what's happened to Asseo, and that Balasar is mostly to blame. If Balasar doesn't put a stop to this soon and Daja does find out I hope he gives him all kinds of hells.
What Oz said, "But now that you've permitted it I don't see any graceful way to back out without making things worse than they already are." I hope is not the case. I'm sure there's *some* way especially since this is an unusual thing for Balasar to do.
A nitpick I have is that I don't understand why they resorted to killing all of them. I get it if they're fighting back but someone like Asseo for example, who Balasar had planned on killing before becoming "curious" (I'm thinking Daja was right on asking if he was a demon), as far as I know, Asseo did not have a weapon. He was running away, not trying to fight. It feels like they were going to war not merely acquiring a payment and high tailing it out of there.
I really do like this. I know I'm sounding like I don't; it's merely venting because I do really like Asseo's character. It'll probably be awhile before I forgive Balasar's character and hopefully I will, considering (I'm assuming) he'll be Daja's eventual love interest. I'm anxiously awaiting the next chapter.
| FiggThe3rd 3/4/13 . chapter 8
Loved this chapter! Poor Asseo though :(
Please write and update soon!
| Daisy215 3/4/13 . chapter 1
I like the intro, it is correct grammar-wise, which shows me that this is a quality story. It also catches my attention because of the word legends and there is something about his name that intrigues me. I want to know what happens in the conversation. The discussion is also a great opportunity to provide the backstory that you did.
With it came the salt taste of sweat and desert
I feel like salt should be salty here, although it doesn't have to be. It just draws my attention that it's not salty.
I like all the description you used and the choice of adjectives. I really got the sense of the market setting outside, which added to the conversation, showing that it was small talk and not a serious and formal discussion.
I love this idea! Kidnapping a child for the purpose of conquest, it makes me want the villains to succeed, because they are portrayed as real people with a purpose, and it makes the plot all the more interesting. Congratulations on bringing me over to the dark side!
| Mesosphere 3/3/13 . chapter 8
I enjoy the story and I don't mean anything bad by this but I advise you to try to warn people if you write rape or mention it because some people can't handle it or read it but still might want to continue reading if they're warned cuz yea... kinda a mood killer.
Other than that it's interesting so far and I look forward to more.
| Faithless Juliet 3/3/13 . chapter 2
Love Daja, what a great character. He has all of the elements of submissive slave and free spirited wanderer. I think what really works here is his willingness to die. It makes sense that he would know and understand his death because that’s what he’s always been instructed to do. He knows nothing else. I like how you didn’t clutter the chapter with him trying to escape his fate or find a way out, it makes the plot flow smoother and I think it makes him more likable.
Normally I don’t like long chapters on fictionpress (sometimes they’re needed) but it makes for reading very difficult but here is a case where I actually wish I could have read more. As I said Daja is a wonderful character, full of spunk and life (even though he’s about to become a human sacrifice, irony, huh?) and I wish this chapter could have been longer so I could have experienced more. Keep up the good work.
| Faithless Juliet 3/3/13 . chapter 1
OPENING: I like the concept that you present in your opening, and how it directly affects the characters. Legends are almost like fairytales or myths or urban legends. We feed off of them and they directly affect us but very few people actually think about what they mean. It says a lot about Balasar’s character just by having him answer that question with a no, rather than going into more detail.
SETTING: I love the desert setting, it’s very current, and I don’t know if that’s what you are going for, but it plays in perfectly with the mythology and hierarchy of the plotlines. It makes me think of worshipping the Nile. I also enjoyed the Arabic influenced names, even some Latin ones as well, they mirrored nicely with the story. I’m not sure if the *time* is current or futuristic or an alternate version of both. That was never really clear to me, although I have to go with the alternate version of both at this point.
CHARACTER: I like how even though the Minister is technically a villain, he is in fact very likeable, much like Balasar. I like how you’ve played with the ‘grayness’ of their personalities, I thought it really worked well. Obviously this is just chapter one so we’re still in the introduction phase but I think you did a great job at transitioning the voice between each character and having them work and interact together in a space.
ENDING: Can’t wait to see what happens – I have a vague idea of how the story will transpire, at least in an M/M standpoint but I also think the premise you set up here is fantastic. You can do so much with it, it blends all of the right elements of fantasy, sci fy and mythology in all the right ways, can’t wait to read more. Keep up the good work.
| A. Gray 1/25/13 . chapter 2
Such a great chapter here. It was so nice to see things from Daja, the sacrifice's, personal point of view. I can't help but feel sorry for him and the way he's been living. I want him to really have a life, and I want to beat Kaffir into a bloody pulp. I can't wait to see how things go from here!