Reviews for Feather and Stone
ice flyer chapter 9 . 4/30/2006
Sorry for my horribly long absence! Life has been, as you probably know, HECTIC. Anyways, great chapter as usual. Honestly, you write more skilfully than a lot of published authors out there!

NIce inclusion of "feathers." It was a cool little bit of foreshadowing.

I thought the whole little dialogue about the "romping" lads was a little bit pointless. I mean, interesting, but didn't really add anything to the chapter.

But other than that - wonderful :)
Silent Force chapter 2 . 2/25/2006
I adore your writing style; you have just the right amounts of description and dialogue and the whole chapter flows very well. It was really easy to get a feel for your characters, also. So far, I would have to say my favorites are Quinn and Gildas Vaughn. I'd like to see how they're developed later. Overall, very nice chapter; I highly enjoyed it and will be returning to read more later!
miramee chapter 9 . 2/18/2006
one thing:'The muddy wheel tracks cut across the snow at her feet like the border of a carpet, and for a long moment Quinn found herself unable to shake off the impression that this striking mental image was more than just a wool-gatherer’s feat'i don't think i quite understand this, although, it might just be , please, please write more.I'm enjoying this story immensely. You've done an artfully good job of world-creating so far - not too much exposition, just slipping things , and pretty imagery at the start of this chapter - begun nice and slow - sometimes, when a long time has passed in a story, this is not conveyed properly (the author might simply launch into things as if months had not gone by) - but you have avoided this entirely.
miramee chapter 8 . 2/18/2006
well, i'm impressed about the language - such creativity seems exhaustive to way the assassin died was nice, and i like the fact that cannon isn't a completely bad character - he's multilayered.

i don't much understand what's going on, nor who is behind the assassination attempt (but i expect i'll find out... things are starting to get rather interesting... our heroine already has one sizable problem in being dumped by godfrey.)

sorry, i am very lazy tonight (as can be seen by my over-use of elipses - i can't be bothered to make sentences) and don't feel like being critical, so i have no helpful suggestions at all.

it all seems quite good - the nice twist about cannon having his men test him and then being tested for real, for example. i'm glad there's another chapter for me to read.
Silent Force chapter 1 . 2/10/2006
Wow, I really like this; the introduction really grabbed my attention. Your writing style is very nice, and I especially like the bits of description. And the plot is already beginning to intrigue me, with the mentions of the 'prophecy'. I'm looking forward to the rest; nice job so far!
Cedric Quilfeather chapter 9 . 2/9/2006
I feel so bad for Quinn. You are really good at creating character sympathy in readers, woman!

"Now, she could scarcely hold a needle without causing herself pain," First comma superfluous, methinks.

"With a sigh, she shifted her gaze to the frozen landscape beyond the window" I love this paragraph.

“The lads are up and working," Unnecessary comma, that one.

I've neglected to mention how much I love the name "Caradoc."

"Ever since, late in September, Quinn and Lilibet had relocated out to the farm," A little ungainly, no? Perhaps recast it to something like "Ever since Quin and Lilibet had relocated out to the farm late in September,"?

"The mornings were so silent in those precious two hours flanking dawn, that Quinn decided to stop staying abed so late and awaken earlier, so that she could properly enjoy them." A little wobbly here. Tweak it a bit, perhaps "The mornings were so silent in those precious two hours flanking dawn, Quinn decided to stop staying abed so late and awaken earlier so that she could properly enjoy them." It works better with one comment, but then the first "that" throws off the rhythm. *Shrugs.*

The banter between Lilibeth and Quinn is heartwarming and funny. I love the scene; it's so . . . cozy. _

"Sedgewick smiled, a pale, skeletal expression like the curved blade of a thin knife." E, I love it!

This was definitely the most intruiging, best written chapter so far. I was so enthralled with the story, I might have missed mistakes, I hope not, but, wow. Emer, you should be published. AND POST MORE OF THIS STORY RIGHT NOW! xD It's awesome.
Cedric Quilfeather chapter 8 . 2/9/2006
"She brought it on herself, he reminded himself sternly. No one says ‘no’ to the m’Lord without his permission. The thought confused him, and as he softly repeated it to himself aloud, he frowned." Heh, I laughed at this. I love your characterization of Cannon. And the pun of a warrior with the name of a firearm, lol. Fantastic paragraphs, where you explain how he hates silence and everything. Very well written.

"When first she arrived in Damis, she had protested loudly enough her captivity." I like inverted, complex sentence structure, which is why I through out run-ons from time to time. Here, however, it's just not doing it for me. I would be more aesthetically pleased by "When first she arrived in Damis, she had protested her captivity loud enough."

“The ambassador from... cor, where was it, Dai?” Cor? Is that some new word?

"Cannon nodded, though inwardly he was seething with curiosity." Normally, this guy seems to be pretty placid and controlled, so I like how this fits here. But I would actually suggest adding a word to strengthen the idea: Try "Cannon only nodded," maybe?

"The only light in the tapestry seemed to emanate from a woman clad in white not far away, her face turned away him," turned away -from- him? Anyway . . .

A short corridor lined with . . . . This paragraph and the ones following are just . . . beautiful. Your prose is breathtaking.

It was a quiet sound, and yet carried such anger and pain that it struck even the tried and true old warrior to the quick. I like this sentence . . . I just don't understand the expression "to the quick."

Ooh a mask . . Heh, I like characters who wear masks, but then, you already knew that, from a certain protagonist of mine! _ Good battle, by the way. A little short, but hey.

Oh man. This story is awesome. I feel like a two year old at a candy store. And the whole language of your own is as elegant and authentic as Tolkien's . . . though, heh, I am not going to say it's as expansive (of course, I couldn't know).

Fantastic. Chapter 9, ho!
Cedric Quilfeather chapter 7 . 2/9/2006
Two words. Wow. Okay, that's one, so I'll say it again. Wow. There, two words. Your writing just gets better and better. It's like each chapter is a masterpiece, but in creating that masterpiece, you've become better, and so create a greater . . . masterpiece, if that's even possible.

A little mistyping: Her beautiful, golden hair had been cropped boyishly short in an attempt to hide the damage down to it by the ravenous flames . . . Down should be done, I assume?

It was becoming quite vexatious. I don't have the right to tell you what to do, but I am going to ask you: Please, just remove this sentence altogether. The fact that it has become vexatious is pertinently obvious. There is no need to say more. Just go into Bryn's dialogue. The intensity of the preceding paragraph was so well done, so captivating, so touching, that explaining the painful situation in such flat terms deadens the whole experience.

This chapter's powerful description far and away outstripped everything before it, and everything before it was fantastic. The poignancy of your prose here is so moving and so real that I found myself smiling or frowning, fully immersed in the emotions and sensations of the story. You have done a great job so far, and I can see how it will only become even greater as it goes on. I only have so many words of praise in my vocabulary, and you are going to exhaust them!
Cedric Quilfeather chapter 6 . 2/9/2006
You open this chapter with fantastic description. One feels as if he were trekking through a muddy field himself.

The dialogue, as usual, is charming and authentic, like real brothers squabbling. All too true, really.

“Are you calling me parsimonious?” I like the idea of this arguement . . . but if he has the vocabulary to say "parsimonious," maybe ledger is a little insulting . . . Perhaps have him say "simple" instead?

"The closer he became to it, the more his mind was troubled by this unusual cloud." "became" seems a little awkward. "came" should suffice.

"The fire, a living thing, belched black smoke into the sky." You just said the cloud was like a living thing. Separately, it's an awesome similie, but twice in the span of three paragraphs is a bit tedious. Try something else, if you agree.

The scene with the barn is intense and desperate. I love it.

Gildas Vaughn has become less of a jerk and more of a curiosity. I really like the whole scene with him waking up and trying to remember his dream, then the quip from his father that made him remember his mother. "The stars are turning too fast." Intruiging statement. I am finding myself increasingly caught up in this story. Excellent. I can't wait to read more.
miramee chapter 7 . 2/5/2006
What a beautiful twist (though i suspected things weren't going to last with good sir godfrey, as quinn is clearly destined for someone else).

and poor quinn is beset with troubles: the fire has robbed her of her good looks and health (if only temporarily) and her beloved is engaged to someone else. How unfortunate for her.

And is Maid Blatham truly sympathetic to quinn's plight or is she one of those nasty people that enjoy gloating at others' misfortunates under the guise of charity or whatnot?

The revelation was skilfully set up - i was certainly eager to know what bryn's secret was. (he's such a lovely character, if a bit on the serious side. But then most heroes are like that - only carefree minor characters are usually permitted a bit of humour and irresponsibility.)

the old-fashioned language is nice, on the whole. only one word seemed to me to be a bit incongrous - 'ironical'. i feel you should just put ironic. the use of the word 'stricken' as well wasn't quite to my liking. However, I am sure that other people would be fine with it, and it's just my personal taste. 'vexatious' was delightful. not used enough, that word.

the telepathy between quinn and bryn was beautifully done - it was the perfect combination of light humour and sadness (because she's sick and everything).
Cedric Quilfeather chapter 5 . 1/20/2006
Charming at the first. I think, from an aesthetic standpoint, this chapter is so far my favorite. The dialogue is . . . for lack of a better word, cute; then, highly intruiging. One question about:

"The cool and damp made their way easily through her woolen gown,"

I was pretty sure that woollen has two "l"s, but I could be mistaken about that.

"Quinn frowned, fingering the heavy pendant that lay, hidden, beneath the high, starched collar of her gown." I like the sentence holistically, but my first reaction was that it has too many commas. Maybe take out the ones around "hidden"? Just a suggestion.

You seem to be getting even better as you go . . . I didn't expect that to be possible, but so it is. I anticipate this to be on bookshelves in the not so distant future. You're going to have a barrel full of my gushing reviews, lol. Well, on to the next chapter I shall go . . .
Cedric Quilfeather chapter 4 . 1/20/2006
The surreal feeling of this chapter is great. A little stereotypical; nightmares and thunderstorms and omens, but it takes classical ingredients to create classics, which is what you are doing.

A few minor gnit picks. You say she "wraps her quilt like a makeshift cloak," well, I think there is some superfluous wording here. If it is makehift, it is like what it is intended to make shift for. It's not such a problem that must be addressed, but to tighten up the statement you might want to eliminate unnecessary diction: "wrapped her quilt around her like a cloak" or "wrapped her makeshift cloak around her." The reader aready knows it is not a cloak; the word makeshift clarifies the concept you are trying to say. A rule of writing (which you generally follow marvelously) is to say the most with the fewest words.

I love the cultural jargin you employ: "water room" for bathroom, "candlmarks" for the passage of time. The banter between brother and sister is livened by such diction, making such offhanded use of what would be characteristic to their society as a useful tool in building authenticity.

Quinn's recounting of Bryn's age discrepency is fantastic. By this time, I had almost forgotten the prophecy entirely (since, of course, I haven't read in so long!) Leaving these little hints and possible red herrings for the reader to chew on is a great technique; it makes one's literary appetite growl, if I may speak a bit melodramatically. Tying the continuum of the story into the prologue's hook in this way gives the reader the sense of progression, of secrets being revealed, and it invites the audience to become curious and interested about where it is leading. Could Bryn be the one? the casual observer asks, Or is that just too obvious? Unsure, he turns the page to the next chapter, eager to read more . . .
Cedric Quilfeather chapter 3 . 1/19/2006
Your talent is stowed in elegant prose that mixes rigorous formality with beautiful imagery and wonderful descriptions. It is your fantastic and fiercely effective use of vocabulary which makes me cringe when I come across the word "tourney." You are such a good writer, but that word does not fit in with its environment. "Tournament," especially when spoken by an official, such as in the previous chapter, would seem much more appropriate. I could see one of Quinn's brothers, or even Gildas, calling it a "tourney," but more formal characters (including Quinn, who tends to be serious and businesslike, as far as I can tell, in a childlike but intelligent way), would probably shy from such slang. Otherwise, continually impressive. The thickening of plot, as it were, is great; the way in which you slowly add more and more depths to characters that more inferior writers would allow to remain undeveloped is fantastic. Rather than underwhelming readers with characters that have no color or commiting the other Erratum, i.e., providing a description of a character's entire personality in one long, stilted and boring paragraph, you instaid patiently build believable personnas. I am truly enjoying your reading, and have very few suggestions. I can't wait until I have the chance to read more; good form!
Cedric Quilfeather chapter 2 . 12/6/2005
As before, masterful. In the first paragraph, I wonder, would it be better to more specifically define who's back is turned to the stables? Obviously it's Quinn, but it might cause the reader to pause for a moment. I love the second sentence; it is powerfully textual. One suggestion, though, is try to balance it out. You have some words that you flesh out beautifully: "frying foods, herbs from the apothecary, flowers sold by rosy-cheeked young girls carrying baskets, the hot coppery smell of the forge". It's beautiful imagery that is missing in other instances: "perfumes, horseflesh, bread, leather". Having these single nouns thrown in amidst the flow of the more descriptive ones deadens some of the fluidity and beauty of the already wonderful sentence. Perhaps the sweet perfumes mingle with the smell of the hot, sweaty horse flesh and the creaking, oiled leather, along with the freshly baked, warm loaves of bread . . . Adding in those descriptions might help make the sensations more real in sync with the rest of the environment. Look at your sentence that starts "But those that she knew . . ." Here you have done what you did not in the first paragraph; every adjective and noun is alive and colorful, bringing the Wayfarers into stark reality. It's a fantastic paragraph, a special gem among riches. Either way, everything you write flows with ease, stringing itself together as if it had always been. A few minor issues: When Quinn's brother is calling her away from admiring the Wayfarer's and he says he doesn't want her getting injured, perhaps you should use the word hurt? I doubt most siblings would use such proper words as "injured," especially considering that he just used the more casual term that his parents would have his head, should anything happen to her, a more typical statement; which works beautifully, by the way.

The first sentence of the paragraph "Rolling her eyes . . ." ends a little awkwardly. "numerous games of chance going on" is not the best form to leave a sentence in; try variations such as "a small clearing filled with tables where men gathered together to play numerous games of chance." Where Aneurin speaks to Quinn condescendingly, in sentence two, you have a lot of commas, which in this case just become cumbersome. Try simplifying a little bit here: instead of giving the phrase "despite being two years her junior," maybe you could write the sentence: "he only did it to emphasize the fact that even though he was two years her junior he already towered over her, a fact that he never let her forget." Complex sentence structure is a good thing, and it seems to be your strong point, but sometimes it is superfluous. A question: "by the god's teeth"? Shouldn't it be "the God's"? or "the gods"? If they are monotheistic, it should be capitalized. If they are polytheistic and she's making an oath out of gods in general, it should be "by the gods' teeth," and if it is by a specific god, name the god. I don't have time to finish reviewing the chapter now, but I will pick it back up when I get the chance. Until next time, take care!
Cedric Quilfeather chapter 1 . 12/3/2005
Words escape me. I am 18 years old an a freshmen in college, and thought I was a decent writer. Your work is precocious, and nothing less. The first sentence and the following paragraph scream at the reader to pay attention; what's beating its wings? Her brother has wings? It's great. I actually had to reread it to find any suggestions, and then I only found one: in the paragraph that starts "He turned his back," I do not think the commas in "it, indeed," are necessary. I think "and it had indeed been a hard prophecy" flows fine. You are a crystal clear writer; it is said that clear writing is the product of clear thinking, and I can tell you don't have any problem in that arena. Fantastic. You are a born writer, gifted and polished. Superlative. I can't wait until I get a chance to read more.
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