Reviews for Shadows of Sunshine
K. Presson chapter 3 . 1/17/2008
Hm. Interesting story line. I like the developments of the individual differences that are unique to the world you've created. The lore of twins also grabs me because I have something of a facination with the connection between twins that single people never understand. You mention in chapter 3 that Aisha has a set of twin foster siblings. Does the lore about twins follow them as well?

The poem of chapter 1 (or the bardic song) is a good hook. I'm not sure I would have read on if not the curiosity of the origins of the poem itself.

Chapter two was short and to the point, although I think a little more mystery should be here involving the twins heritage. Perhaps their father should be revealed later. Yes, the characters don't know, but the reader is already expecting it. It's just an idea.

All in all, I'm enjoying this story. Save for duplications of words too close together, it's good. ((I have no room to speak on this matter. "Find another word." is the most common phrase to leave my mentor's lips.))
Lady Rainwind chapter 1 . 5/7/2007
In response to your message- Does it seem like care? I only don't want you to find my Fanfiction account. Lol, and you can search for Lady Rainwind on fanfiction, I'm not her, MWAHAHAHAHAHA!

The only reason I responded with a review is because it won't let me PM!

Anyway, how come I can't write poems like this? Not cool... I've only written one for Kaylin, and it's not as good! We should post Kaylin up here, BTW. Bye bye.
Lady Rainwind chapter 2 . 5/6/2007
Aha! Found you.

This is my favorite part of your story, LOL!

Mirika...
blankee chapter 21 . 5/5/2007
draft and that good? darling, you shouldn't let the others stay in your pc...you should be proud to post them here...anyway, as far as i can go, your story is wonderful, although i know you knew that the structure (literally) is an eye sore, but it's the whole story line that counts and this far, i'm not going to change my mind saying it isn't good...it's very beyond good... you sound lonely, but don't be...you are great and this story is, too!
blankee chapter 1 . 5/5/2007
it was great the way you molded the whole poetic environment...the words you used where of a character in the time you wish to portray so that is a good point...how i wish i could write poems the way you do...anyway, i like how it captured my interest, i'm sure it has done others that way, too...

-your reader

-karen
Makenna chapter 7 . 12/2/2006
This is a nice story, I like the plot idea, although...

I feel as though its somewhat a copy off of Eragon, am I right?
Lccorp2 chapter 5 . 7/29/2006
Harr.

T'alnoth of the Gold Flight:

-Temperatures in a desert vary extremely. There's the heat during the day, which most authors make some attempt to take notice of, but there's also the cold at night. If your characters aren't used to traveling in the desert, one or the other should inconvenience them at least, and terrify them at best.

-Sand gets everywhere and in everything.-Black clothes attract heat. White clothes reflect it.-Panting, crying, spitting, sweating, vomiting, and urination are all losses of moisture. Your teenage heroine should get smacked around (more than usual, anyway) for having a hissy fit in the desert. And I always wanted to see fantasy characters have to gather their urine and drink it.-Moving during noon, the hottest and least shadowy time, is not a good idea.-Just stumbling on an oasis when you don't know the desert routes is extremely unlikely.-A head covering will be necessary to stop the sweat from rolling down into the hero's eyes.-The cold will necessitate some means of dealing with it- blankets, fires, a cave- and that means that blankets and firewood will have to be brought along.

*Checks* Seems like you're giving Rill and Co a free pass, then. Considering he's wearing so much black, he should be buggering off from heat stroke, ESPECIALLY after walking through the day. Lovely. Don't they have the sense to travel when, you know, it's cool?

Nah. Authorial Intervention.

-Aisha is right. Not a good idea-riding acutally, you know, takes skill. You don't hop onto a mount's back and expect it to flawlessly bear you across, anywhere. Even with expert riders, every individual animal has its own personality and nuances, and it'll take a while getting used to.

-Horses can manage deserts- Arabian horses were originally specifically bred as raiding mounts in such environments- but they drink a lot, so a large part of their strength and time will be spent carrying water along. Some breeds of horses can get along with less water, but they will be correspondingly smaller and weaker. Arabian-like mounts are your best choice. Draft horses or destriers would be a huge mistake, and would probably end up dying along the route.

Your heroes' own waterskins will NOT BE ABLE TO HOLD ENOUGH FOR BOTH THEM AND THE HORSES. What did the horses eat, in any case? There's no grass around for them to graze. You made no mention of them buying fodder, or extra water containers for the horses. Are they shod? stepping on burning sand is quite tough even for a horse's hoof.

Oh yes, and most horses will bolt instead of standing stock still when afraid. Sad fact.

-Eh. Have you ever seen oases before? I could believe them hiding under the canopy of a tropical rainforest, or even a temperate dedicious forest, but an oasis...ugh. And with the desert lit up at night with that much sand...

Authorial Intervention making the villains stupid again, I see.

-Fudge time and distance if you have to, but leave a REASONABLE amount of both for travel. Yes, there are anal-retentive people who will plot every league you claim the horses have traveled, who will want to know a dragon’s speed and then calculate how fast it could have flown, who will point out to you that there’s a bog in the way and the heroes really should take longer to cover that immense distance. But there are many others who are willing to forgive you for things like this, or just sit back and enjoy the story…

…as long as you don’t march on them with a chainsaw and hack their suspension of disbelief apart.

Covering 20 miles in ten days on horseback? The Pony Express managed it—by using fresh horses every 10 to 15 miles, charging for it (and providing a service that people were willing to pay for), and using pack mules in winter, while adjusting the time to twelve days at the very fastest for that winter route. Your heroes racing madly across 20 miles of mountains in ten days, in the dead of winter and in blowing winds and blizzards, on the same horses all the way? Unlikely. This is one of the places where your reader is likely to become caught up in the minutiae, because you have brought that minutiae forcefully to their attention. Tone down the drama and add a little realism. You can still have the flavor of a mad dash by adjusting relatively minor circumstances.

On the opposite side, don’t insist that a dragon can fly five thousand miles in five days in a hurricane, and then say that the dragon the hero rides to the final confrontation takes five days to cross one hundred miles in good weather. This smacks of what it is, clumsy authorial manipulation to make the ending more exciting. Most parts of that can be forgiven, but not the “clumsy” one.

-Ugh. Unless there are magical reasons for a desert, I'd expect there to be a semi-arid area in between deserts and green, rolling plains, a transition state of sorts, and not just this abrupt change.

Don’t just stick swamps and deserts in the middle of nowhere. Deserts can come about for a variety of reasons. If the land is overgrazed, then the ground is more likely to shed topsoil and turn infertile. In the rainshadow of mountains, then the land won’t get as much moisture and can advance in the direction of desert. Land that’s part of something else, such as prairie, but doesn’t receive much rain can also start turning that way. However, deserts should not be stuck in the middle of nowhere, particularly not next to a prosperous city or fertile fields without any transition. Again, this smacks of a constructed land. When you’re planning to put in a desert, ask yourself about why it is where it is, and if there’s a natural (or magical) explanation for it.

That's all for now.
Lccorp2 chapter 4 . 7/29/2006
Harr.

T'alnoth of the Gold Flight:

-Oh yes, I nearly forgot to say this last chapter, quoted from a very nice person named Limyaael:

"It’s awfully hard to cheer for infants, even if they’re twins. When a book starts with a baby, I usually roll my eyes. The baby is often an heir to the Something of Something, spirited away from god-knows-what danger into hiding, and of course the reader is meant to cheer for him or her because, gasp, what kind of villain would kill a helpless baby?

Well…a practical one. It’s better than waiting for the heir to the Something to Something to grow up, claim the Something of Something, and come to kill him.

It’s even worse when they’re twins. I bet the author is splitting them up. I bet the adults in the scene—who should be better-characterized than they are, given that they have had, oh, lives and experiences to have them in—will wail about how that is so unfair, and my what sorrows life will weave, and how they hope that the twins will find each other someday. And of course they will.

At the very least, make the adults interesting. Show why and how they’re devoted to the heirs, or the Something of Something the babies are heirs to. That way, if the book focuses on the quest to carry the twins to safety, I can at least feel sorry when the adults die (as they inevitably do). I’m not left feeling I have to cheer for a character the author has not made more than a bundle of baby blankets.

If the book focuses on the twins when they’re adults, or, far more likely, teenagers, then don’t rely on that first scene to tug on the reader’s heartstrings and hook her for life. It’s sentimental button-mashing. Yes, yes, the twins are being split up, sob sob. War orphans usually suffer far worse. At least these babies have people who care about their safety. And if the enemy is looking for twins, excuse me if I think it’s a better idea to split them up and try to hide them far apart from each other than to leave them together in plain sight because “gasp, twins have to be together!”"

-Don't you think that it's odd that someone would so readily leave behind their homes, their families (even if they're fostered), everything they've known just because of a few words? Isn't there any reluctance? Doesn't she feel any animosity towards her foster parents? (At the very least, she could thank them for raising her.)

The reasons are equally flimsy. So what if she's from Aberline? She could damn well be any old orphan. Oh, look, I'm from Sunstone. Does that make me the Head Lorekeeper? Nah.

And it never crosses her mind that Rill could damn well be lying. How does Rill know so much about her, anyways, when in just the previous chapter to him she's just a girl whom he think he has a special connection to?

“And can’t you feel the energy when we are near each other? That is just more evidence of us being special twins!”

...

...

...

If someone tried to convince this Dragonkin on these particular arguements, at the very least I'd send them back packing to where they came from.

-Another Limyaael quote:

"About the mind bond: Put up or shut up. I’m resigned to the fact that fantasy twins will have a mental bond, sometimes telepathic or empathic, usually both. They will be able to feel each other’s pain, to speak silently (and distance does not the fuck matter, usually), and sometimes to wield magic in concert. The author will go on long mystical spiels about how Speshul twins are. I will hide under the bed, and possibly keep reading if the writing is good enough. All the stupid things that I’ve already ranted about in person-to-person telepathic bonds will happen.

But, please, for gods’ sakes, show the mental bond in all its depth, including its agonies and its consequences. Don’t use it for a plot convenience, to be forgotten when the author wants one twin to wallow in angst, inexplicably alone. And don’t hinder it without explanation. So these twins have a bond that lets them tell which direction the other one is in at all times, and usually exactly where the other one is. But then one of them gets kidnapped, and the rescuers never think to have the other twin pinpoint the location of the one in danger, just so that the author can have a long dramatic chase scene? Oh come the fuck on.

You had better have an excellent idea of the potentialities and limitations of such a bond, and apply them rigorously. Yes, hi, it’s another form of magic that needs rules. This is less because of the nature of the magic itself than because of how authors writing fantasy stories centered on twins plot. One is always getting kidnapped or turned against his or her sibling or sent on a dangerous mission. Why the empathic bond then mysteriously falls silent or doesn’t work anymore or can only give partial and incomplete information rather than the exact information it gave before is never explained.

So, decide on the limitations. I don’t care what they are. In a very good story, the author doesn’t need to waste time infodumping about them, either. I just need to have the sense that she knows what they are, so that she doesn’t mysteriously abandon that magic she’s spent so much time extolling when she wants angst."

-If Aisha doesn't trust Rill, why did she leave her hearth and home on the flimsiest of excuses to go on some adventure with him?
Lccorp2 chapter 3 . 7/29/2006
Harr.

T'alnoth of the Gold Flight:

Rooftop gardens? Judging by the way you describe the erratic rainfall, I'll hazard a guess that this is a fairly dry climate, semi-arid at the least. Plants require large amounts of water, and would be better grown by a river in this dry type of place, and by the townspeople's reactions, they don't have access to one nearby. While gardens might offer some relief from the sun's heat, the price to pay in water that could be used for drinking or cleaning doesn't make sense. Food? that would most definitely have to come from somewhere else-given the average size of a house, they wouldn't be enough to feed a family.

-I'm not sure why pale skin would be a sign of beauty. While it's possible, i would love to hear the particulat cultural reasons. :D

Also be forewarned: especially in a dry, sunny climate like this, pale skin will burn easily. Very easily.

But we'll see, hm?

-It would be good if you have more specifics, instead of using generic 'herbs' which are the in the repitoire of any fantasy healer, and which always seem to work wonders. Make up your own, or here's a good list:

References for herbal . - the best of the best, Consumer Labs site.

. ?ccommon_herbs at American Botanical Council

-And please have breakers in between POV changes, you know, for something known as the convenience of the reader.

-...I'll want a good explanation for this "magical connection", and hopefully one that's reasonable and not done to death.
Lccorp2 chapter 2 . 7/29/2006
Harr.

T'alnoth of the Gold Flight:

I suppose that for now, it's decent, if not quite 'standard' for an opening, since I don't want to use a stronger, more appropriate word.

There are a few hints of Stupid Villains(TM), though there's nothing conclusive. I'll be watching your antagonists very closely...killing minions, and Evil Laughter(TM) are already bad signs of stock characters.

But we'll see.
Adaku chapter 2 . 7/7/2006
I'm not good at getting Grammar mistakes, so you won't be hearing complaints from me. This story's plot is going well. Keep up the great work

waterhealer
Adaku chapter 1 . 7/7/2006
Wow, this is a nice poem-uh lifesong you have here. I bet your story will be even better. Keep up the great work. Till next time

waterhealer
Cedric Quilfeather chapter 1 . 5/25/2006
I like the opening passage. John Milton and Aphra Behn mastered this technique initially: adding a lot of details, or one very drawn out detail, to the description of an environment or situation makes things seem too complicated to be fake, and therefore more authentic. So your description of the procedure the villagers/cityfolk use to gather the rainwater is very effective (and in a medievalish setting) very appropriate.

The repeated use of "cloud bursT" might get a little tedious. Use your vocabulary: switch it for "downpour" or something similar where appropriate.

"Aisha ran over to one about to close and threw down two bronze karns and picked up a bag of corn without pausing to bargain as she normally did." Whew . . . No grammatical mistakes here, but you might want to include some commas for the sake of posterity. And lung capacity. _

"Her foster mother Ǽlma smiled at her black-haired daughter, noting her pale skin with pride, a result of always hiding it beneath a veil when she went out. It would help bring her a better husband soon." I love this detail, mostly because it actually has historical clout. I'm sure you know that pale skin was once a sign of nobility, since rich people didn't need to go outside to work. This gives your story nice depth.

Twice you said Aisha did things "slightly." I might be nit-picking now, but you might be able to find a better word - or at least a way not to repeat it so close together. I don't like repeated adjectives, lol, sorry!

"It was called saskan, and Bren brought it home before every cloud burst as a kind of celebration for the rain and new growth brought by the cloud burst." Two cloud bursts in the same sentence! Owich, lol. Sorry, don't mind me if I'm getting miserly.

Avoiding numbers in this kind of prose is generally a good thing. Instead of "13," you might want to say that the girl is in her "thirteenth year," or something to that effect.

"Once there, she turned them over to the care of the watchful woman who watched all children at the park and sank onto a bench to think." Watchful women who watch are good. But there are watchful women, or women who watch, and we never need say that they are both. _

Ah, a very interesting story. A magical connection between two young, strapping teenagers. Always leads to some unique situations. I look forward to reading more. While your categorical writing was creative, this is organic and entertaining; I pointed out some minor things, but over all, it's very nicely done. Post the next chapter soon!
Angel Jenna chapter 1 . 5/1/2006
This seems like it is going to be a very interesting story and I am wondering what a "shadowborn" is. Please update soon!