Reviews for Itara: Lightborn
R. E. Ellison chapter 1 . 5/22/2009
Is this a poem?

Really, the sudden vacuum of all of those missing words might just suck another novel out of you.
Getuie chapter 39 . 5/11/2008
Wow, so this was quite a journey. Throughout the encounter, I was given so much ponder about - which I LOVED. I also enjoyed your consistent input and responses to my rambling as I read through this story. I think that really pulled me to the story even more. It's one thing to read something and experience it for yourself. It's completely another (wonderful) thing to go through that same experience with someone by your side and having that be the creator of this fine piece is just an added bonus. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Be sure that you shall be stalked in the same verbose manner as soon as the sequel makes its appearance.
Getuie chapter 38 . 5/11/2008
Okay so Mason WAS wearing armour... I missed that.

The ending was short and sweet. Left lots open for speculation. Especially between him and Kyra.

The only oddity I could pick up was wondering why Amryn had her quiver slung over her shoulder... ever cautious of attack, I suppose.

The song isn't something I've heard before... but quite fitting for the ending credits ;)
Getuie chapter 37 . 5/11/2008
Action packed chapter with loads of questions and comments coming to mind. Some of these may seem quite critical... but mostly I'm confused.

I do have to say that it may be that I missed something in reading. Being non-native, I do have the habit of not reading everything entirely or making sure I understand every aspect as that tends to drain me and just utterly confuse me... and takes an eternity to do. Which is part of why I rant about big words because sometimes you really need to know what is being said and you can't skip the word so you have to look it up... But MS Word makes that easier to do. Shift F7 is my friend ;) Anyway. So most of what I'm going to write about has that sense of confusion more than any real critisism.

First, I have to question the wisdom behind Mason having taken off his armour. It's understandable that it would feel awful to wear it, but it certainly would give him far better defense than his current attire. The idea of not having anything to protect him from a sword fight while Mortain is fully armoured... it just seems like folley and somewhat unrealistic... unless i missed something... and of course, being fantasy... *shrugs*

Also... So the group goes after the stone... then pops in and out at different times of the battle between Mortain and Mason to save Mason... that was kind of confusing. For one thing, why did they come back? Also, what happened to them in their search? Where was Coros in all this? He was supposed to go to the tower which means he was basically setting himself up to face Tochravanthis.

I know the main focus had to be kept on Mason in this chapter, but it would've been nice to know what was going on beyond him too.

And then the big question. Where is Tochravanthis? He's had this almost demi-god kinda persona throughout and then he's just suddenly completely missing. Plus, he had possession of the stone. How the heck did he lose that? I feel like I missed something major and it makes it very confusing. It's not like he would flee... he could kick everyone's butt left, right and center... so... *scratches head*

Also, with Mortain suddenly taking up prominence again as Mason's opponent in this clearly epic battle, it again kind of shakes things since he had been pretty low-key throughout Mason's capture. In my opinion, that previous sense of 'unimportance' really works against the shock and awe this fight could've had to the reader.

The last part of the battle between Mortain and Mason was honestly a mass of confusion, but I presume that's mostly due to me. I can read description and grasp some parts of it... but I tend to get lost when everything changes in an instant. From the point where Mortain becomes a cloud thingy that catches Mason and transports him... I got completely, completely lost. I read that part more than once and was just too thick to really get what was going on. All I got from that was ground falling. Mason hanging/not hanging. Mortain hanging/not hanging. A weird coloured thing. Mason saying something and getting all white and glowey. Mortain kicking the bucket and the weird coloured thing still remaining and showing off some kind of continuing threat.

I admit, it's not much... but at least I got the part where Mortain finally dies.

So Mason falls unconscious and he gets covered with tons of robes and Jareth carries him and everyone grabs a part of his cloth... it might be good if you remind the reader that he is in fact virtually cocooned in all this cloth... they might forget like I did and wonder how Jareth can carry him if touching him is fatal.

Jezreel's continued presence can probably be explained by the idea that she knew Mortain was going to come back all foggy... but it is kinda weird that she would be there. She clearly doesn't care whether Mortain lives or dies... she'd probably prefer the latter, so her being there kind of seems like she does care, which is contradicting. If Tochravanthis isn't in the neighbourhood, then we can assume she's not there for him. And if the battle was already lost, there doesn't seem to be any point for her being there either.

The dam breaks, our group is safe... how did the resistance get away so fast? Even if they did start running before the final magic showdown, that couldn't have taken that long a span of time for them to be able to get away and then there's the wood they would have to fight through again to get away... Yes, you do mention at the end that they're at the top somewhere, but there's still some confusion for me there. Again, probably self-inflicted, but anyway.

And then of course, how the heck did Khyler lay his grubby hands on the stone? As I said before Tochravanthis doesn't seem like the type to have that slip from him so easily.

Finally... if the stone isn't destroyed, it should still pose a threat. It's kind of like 'the ring' in LOTR. Just because it washed away, doesn't mean it can't be used again.

So those are all the confusing/critical thoughts. The chapter was quite gripping. There was so much going on it was kinda like being caught in a whirlwind. Must've been hectic to write.
Getuie chapter 36 . 5/11/2008
Yay, so Mason's normal again. Should be interesting to see what happens further between him and Bael...
Getuie chapter 35 . 5/11/2008
This chapter gave me quite a bit to chew on. From the quote which speaks volumes in itself to the failure of the Elven blade to the twist of a (supposedly) completely corrupted Mason to Izzika's horror that 'That was not her Human'... Tons to think about.

The initial description of Mason in his armour was great. The whole time I was expecting it to be Mortain, eager to take out his frustrations on the enemy and perhaps to regain what favour he could.

The fact that he was given the Elven blade bad is a particularly wicked twist. It just helped to show that Mason wasn't a threat to Tochravanthis even before the latter allowed him to exit the range of the stone. It also serves (or could serve, rather) as a reminder to Mason of how powerful his new master is to not only survive Mason's attack but not to even falter in the slightest during it.

I'm not even going to start talking about the group's little trip through the water... that was just gross, although you did handle that well by not being terribly descriptive yet giving enough for it to be gross.

One thing you may want to clarify in terms of the group is how strong the draining power of the wood affects them in the area they are now. In some sense you have done that by Bael's jealousy being sparked at Kyra's concern for Ephrein... but that was before they gained entry to the... uh... fortress(?) and also from the perspective of a non-magic user. It would be nice to just see, during their time in the building whether their powers are still waining - which would bring more concern for facing their opponents - or whether they're regaining their strength... which would also be of interest to the reader.

Having this be about Mason and about his relationship with them and the idea that light will overcome dark... obviously the reader expects that Mason will recover from his corruption... unless you're going Darth Vader on him (in that case, just do it better because with SW I that was just horribly sloppy and an utter disappointment). But anyway, the most dominant expectation and hope is that Mason recovers through all the strong relationships he had built.

What did come to mind when you introduced this different form of his was the thought of what a twisted version of him would look like. What would Mason be like had it not just been a magically induced change?

I obviously don't know if this is coming, but it would be absolutely facinating to know Mason's thoughts at this point... beyond the fact of being fueled by revenge. How is his mind rationalising being under the submission of his new master? What sense of pride is there behind that? How does he rationalise fighting against his friends? That kind of thing. I'm one of those weird people who like understanding evil's rationing. I feel that it not only makes the antagonists more tangible, but evil is so much more frightening when you realise how within reach it is.
Getuie chapter 34 . 5/11/2008
Amryn's becoming an increasingly curious specimen. Well, she's been out of the typical Elven mold for a while now, certainly. I wonder what you're going to do with her. At this point she certainly has the potential of being a facinating character in her own right.

So Izzi sets off on her own mission. This should be interesting.
Getuie chapter 33 . 5/10/2008
In her throne vs. on her throne. We are taught UK English here by South African native English speakers who are more pompous and arrogant about English than their British forefathers and acted like listening to us Afrikaner kids trying to speak the language was a greater torture than nails on a chalkboard. In their drive... they've given me a weird Brit accent, Brit spelling and a habit of noticing all those oddities that make the language as strange as they are ;) So maybe the US English doesn't make that destinction between in and on?

I think, with regard to the falcon, the last bit with only the feathers flying does have that comical sense to it which kind of breaks the seriousness somewhat.

Ah, the stars thingy is used once again. It should be quite a comfort to Kyra now that all those stars are still there... The spell part was interesting too. It did have a touch of predictability though, I have to admit. Not much, and certainly something one could put from your mind and just enjoy... it's interesting how her anxiety and her sense of relief when seeing Mason crashes like waves into the reader... well, at least into this one.

Tochravanthis' change in tactics were certainly interesting... and somewhat unexpected, but that may naturally be seen as the very reason for doing so. I'm curious to see what he cooks up next.

Mortain's fall from grace is a bit odd... although it does make for interesting side drama with Jezreel always hovering close by. I guess it's because he's always been so prominent and now he seems kind of demoted to a 2D character. It seems strange not to see his perspective on his falling out of favour to at least keep that sense of importance he had up until now.
Getuie chapter 32 . 5/10/2008
The falcon's intro to how evil the wood has become was quite interesting. It gave us a foretaste of what the group would be facing... and was creepy.

"It was known to all that he considered himself to be higher than Livanthia, and believed his rightful place was in her throne." - ON her throne?

The notion of the storm being held back is interesting. Obviously the storm has its own role to play soon...you can't have a lightning kid with no lightning, after all. But the fact that it's already in place and is already waging its own war against Tochravanthis just help builds what's to come.

"The click of the lock resounded through the small room with the sinking, sentencing void of a gavel strike." Do they have gavels in this world? Just wondering...

There's something particularly horrifying about being tortured for an answer you do not even have. The tortured section in general was really difficult to read. I'm one of those who gets upset relatively easily by stuff like that... so yeah... that was a task to read.
Getuie chapter 31 . 5/10/2008
If only that image of villians and heroes were kept to children's books. While pondering on the depth of our villian, it reminded me of some of the things left all but destroyed here (including our educational system) due to the massive changes made simply so that the 'origin' could be disposed of.

I chuckled at this chapter's quote. It was the perfect introduction to Ephrein all in one line.

"Guilt gnawed at him for dredging up her brother’s memory against her and wished he had used it with more fines, but he knew it was a bitter-if necessary-move to make." - finesse?

The Bael/Kyra relationship is also an interesting one. I'm struck by his sense of honour and his need (in his mind) to bring her back to reality. The parallel between his friendship with her and her relationship with Mason were it only to remain at friendship was also quite striking.

"She opened them and stabbed the fire with exasperation, sending zephyrs of sparks into the air. One landed on Izzika sleeping soundly. The little Sprite scratched it away from her back and curled into a ball, muttering incoherently to her dream." - This image was just too cute *big grin*
Getuie chapter 30 . 5/10/2008
Tochravanthis' reflection on Enevist and what could have been was rather facinating. In some sense, it was naturally a method to give more insight regarding the structure and the wonders within it but the fact that he took time to consider the marvel whose technology is probably forever lost because of him... is such an interesting twist. It makes him a bit different to the normal villian or hero who considers everything their opponent does as inferior... and that in itself shows a sense of maturity in his character.

While it make sense that Tochravanthis would prefer Itara in the dark... Having the word 'unfortunately' so close to that statement didn't really feel like it meshed well. It makes sense logically that he'd have these two opposing thoughts in close proximity, but it didn't feel right in reading it... maybe because unfortunately has that hint of regret... I don't know. But it bugged me.

I liked the idea of the lightning chasing Mason and Mortain... it was such a vivid picture and amusing for some reason.

The part with Mason consuming the food made my stomach turn... so you got the revolting part of it down pat. Well done.
Getuie chapter 29 . 5/10/2008
I find Khyler a far bigger annoyance than anyone else... which probably means he's very well written ;) Less suspense in this one... A nice little breather.

So Kyra can finally hear Izzika? Hmm... should make for amusing arguments.

The top quote was quite interesting... especially coming from the horse's mouth.
Getuie chapter 28 . 5/9/2008
This chapter left me feeling sick, upset and more than a little angry... which I guess could be complimentary to you seeing as it means that I got quite drawn into the whole affair. But yeah, grasping the notion of how fear and conditioning entered into the villagers mindset and having to marvel at how easily all of them turned and realising the reality behind that... I'm still utterly disgusted by them regardless of their motives. It does explain a lot as you said it would.
Getuie chapter 27 . 5/9/2008
"Mason’s sword, bedroll, hunting knife, and personal effects were together in one pile. She shook her head, disheartened. " - Okay, obviously we know that it's Kyra here, but the fact that she had been unmentioned before might bring the slightest hint of confusion as to who you're referring to.

The handkerchief... This was an interesting thing to add into the mix though of course that possibility had always been there. It's such a small thing yet it is a lovely catalyst of emotions... Mason's grief, longing and perhaps guilt(?), Kyra's longing, uncertainty, jealousy and helplessness. Very nice and devious little prop.

She's gotten attached to him rather fast... but then, with the circumstances, the constant proximity, the mystique and what not, it's understandable.

'Coros added, “The P’nai kept a barrier around it to keep Manke from wandering in by accident. A confusion spell would cause them to turn around, or head in another direction without endangering themselves, or the students,”' - This seemed a little too much like Harry Potter... although I can't give you an alternative.

Interesting that Izzika would come to rest on Kyra's head considering her usual hostility to the woman... and yet it also makes a strange kind of sense.
Getuie chapter 26 . 5/9/2008
Yay! An all out Izzika chapter!

"A flash of bruised purple mingled with the bass of thunder, and strobed within the small hide-a-way of a Mataru squirrel’s den high in the lofty greens of a young Taydenalcia." - For some reason I found this to be a very tricky sentence. It took me quite a few tries to grasp it... dunno why though. Seemed quite straightforward when I eventually got it.

Bittersweet and very interesting. Have you ever thought of writing a story only from a sprite's perspective? Maybe something of their element wars with Humans being the 'strangers'? I don't know why but it seems like there's a lot of things one can tap into regarding that.
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