Reviews for Light of the Renikai
GryphonFledglingOfSilverWings chapter 3 . 1/29/2007
Hm... My main comment for this chapter would be that the story is zipping by at an amazing pace. There was very little time in the last chapter to connect to either the villagers or Mauresion: all we know about them is what Nali thought briefly. And while she may care about them deeply, if the reader doesn't know much about them, they really aren't going to care too much... This is a perfect example of the need to show, instead of tell...

Anyhoo, otherwise, this was a wonderful chapter. Without being too specific or graphic during (most) of the slavery sequences, one really feels an overwhelming sense of despair eminating from the slaves. Very, very wonderfully done. Love it...

Oh, and question, do your people believe in a hell? Is it called anything other than Hell? Because one of your prison guards swears with it and if your people do not call Hell Hell, then it would be a little out of place. I'm not saying that you have to change it, I've just read a fair amount of stories where authors try to sound "fantasy" by giving everything an unpronouncable name. But if you call Heaven Heaven and Hell Hell, than that's fine. Just thought I'd point it out...

GryphonFledglingOfSilverWings chapter 2 . 1/29/2007
Ooh, I liked this chapter. Interesting change of pace from the last, but it works...

The second paragraph: the line where Nali thinks to herself "At least a lot of friendly people" seems to have no meaning. It appears to be totally out of place with the rest of the narration right there and isn't even really clear about what it is saying.

Is there any particular reason why you are trying to hide Mauresion's identity from the reader? If you are going for a shock effect, it seems a bit late and is even a little hidden in the dialogue. It might work better if they refer to eachother by their relationship to eachother sooner, perhaps when they first greet one another, or at least earlier in their conversation...

When Nali is thinking to herself while she is hiding from the raiders, she refers to one of them as a "guy." This is sort a modern expression and is out of place here. Perhaps "man" might work better.

Anyhoo, great chapter! Rather a sad ending, but wonderfully written. However, why is it always that the hero is on the verge of discovery when they are interuppted by raiders? Gr...

GryphonFledglingOfSilverWings chapter 1 . 1/9/2007
Oh, this was a sad beginning. Yet somehow it was beautiful. I just got this sense of the moon streaming in through the window and pooling on the floor.

I disagree with the reviewer who said that you needed to spice up your writing. While yes, it is nice to have a variety in your prose, sometimes the simplistic is best, especially when telling a complex story. Readers can get lost in the style and miss the plot and then go away unsatisfied. However, it is your story and you can do whatever you want with it.

I would emphaisize a little more Cairis's relunctance to squeeze even while she has her hands wrapped around the baby. Babies, while a bit tougher than most people imagine, are still very fragile and such a young baby (newborn I believe, right?) wouldn't have to be squeezed so very tightly.

Anyway, this was quite a haunting chapter, especially the end, concerning the guard's thoughts. I enjoyed your style of describing the character's immediate thoughts and emotions rather than the surroundings and their own appearance that have no impact on the moment. I've been trying to experiment with this style for a while, but you pulled it off wonderfully. Instead of drawing the reader's attention to the light shining on Cairis's hair as she sits rocking the baby, you focus on the tears welling up in her eyes and the way she looks around warily. And there is minimal of even those descriptions. The only inconsistency here is in the fourth paragraph, where you mention her deep brown eyes... If we aren't going to be seeing too much more of this character in the future, why mention the color of her eyes?

Anyhoo, lovely if a little disturbing in its themes. I do believe that the M rating is appropriately chosen... You can't say you didn't warn anyone...

rvtolentino chapter 3 . 8/9/2006
it has been some time since i last read this, and it was such a refreshing read i just had to leave some comments to you (and encouragement, perhaps); sorry it's been long overdue. i'll write here as i move along from chapter 2.

wow. the talk of raiding was very serious and formal, and i like the exchange. Mauresion as Nali's father was very... surprising, to say the least. there was no hint at all on their dialogue of being father and daughter; very nicely concealed. although, Nali was just stating the obvious; villages near one another and being systematically attacked are of course orchestrated by some power.

dang. just as Nali was about to say what she thought was the cause of all those raids. stupid raiders to come at a wrong timing LOL. maybe she *was* perceptive, after all.

the evacuation of the village was very vivid, as well as the futile efforts of the defenders, who are i think no more than peasants and farmers in these kinds of stories. you were able to highlight the battle scene even if the focus was on Nali, her fears, and her worries. in fact the attack was so graphic that i could see orange-red floating in my eyes and hear the screams and the whinnying of horses. even more so was Mauresion's death; it was described as well as i could ask for, and more about besides. it was just brilliant.

the religious overtone of the story is now just becoming more and more evident with Nali's insistence of giving the Passing Prayer to her father even against her better judgment. the simple prayer was effective and powerful in its shortness, and even during the prologue we could see that the concept of religion (including the mark of passing and the Goddess) is greatly emphasized here. i've always wanted to make a religious-themed fiction, and i guess you might be the one i'll be referencing *in case* i'd do one, which is highly unlikely at this point.

so Nali was captured. hmm. though in fact if the man was a simple raider (which i guess he wasn't) stories would've logically had him rape her, get her belongings, and then bind her-that's one of the practices of reaving in those days, some sort of a "due" or reward in carrying out their task (there's an exception in which younger girls would be reared as wives/concubines of a reaver lord or sold as slaves, though). but well the wench is pregnant, as they say, so that's that. and a long chapter, though it was the farthest thing from boring; it was absolutely gorgeous.

now going on to chapter 3.

the story wasn't actually dark; it's more on the gruesome side than being "dark". and why did i have to think Nali would awaken while on the road even *before* you said so several paragraphs down? the cliches of fantasy storytelling sometimes XD. not bad, but i guess the jostling and shaking around would really wake one up-that, and being uncomfortable as they were tied together.

i saw this a couple of times in chapter 2. "winds and waters". i like that. it has a good ring. and once again you're withholding that information as to why those raiders were pillaging small towns. aw, meanie! XD

true to tradition, a slaver city was a desert city-Warnik. i have nothing against this, though, but a city that made its living selling humans had always been situated in a desert. why? what is there in a desert that appeals so much to slavers anyway? and the reason of the raiding was becoming more and more mysterious and tantalizing.

oohh, a good, M-scene in the slave prison. very much detailed and... well, violent. the murder of the priestess was so gory and despicable. and what's with being Renikai? are they outcast people? with their copper skin and almond eyes, plus their religiosity and the hatred of other peoples for them, they STRONGLY remind me of the people of Ishbal from Full Metal Alchemist. there are striking similarities.

and wow, a fictional language. i've always loved a made-up language for fantasy stories ever since i've read Eldarin in LOTR, one of the first fantasies i've read. *dies* i really, really love this story already! so the name of this tongue is Kinraealli... and it's the ancient language of the Renikai. ZOMG i would like to read more of this. i hope your syntax for this language is consistent and believable.

oh, okay, Sein X Nali pairing coming up! lol, i mean, Sein doesn't seem a little bit shaken by what happened to his sister. a family member beaten bloody in front of you is extremely traumatizing, and he doesn't even show hysteria or a believable response to such barbarism. come on, even someone you don't know being beaten to death before you is sickening-what more your sister, and a younger sister at that? although i could probably say Nali's presence is a reassuring distraction.

overall EXTREMELY good 2 chapters! you are assured of my avid readership. and oh, going over to my Favorite Stories list.

keep on updating!

Zozma chapter 3 . 8/2/2006
As always the chapter is well written. One problem I have though, and this is more for chapter two than now, is the scarce amount of time the reader is given to connect with the villagers and, more importantly, Mauresion. Here's a great guy who is obviously a font of wisdon and intellect and he dies without developing a character and thus left me, atleast, without really caring about his death. Granted, you needed to make it quick to progress the story. It's unfortunate that it's sometimes impossible to do both.

"One rope. One fate."Nice line.A little dramatic for my tastes but splendid all the same :P. Undoubabtly this will lead to the introduction of new characters! Hurray!

I can't help but feel that if Nali listened to her father and went down to the river she could have lead her people away. That's a sad thought, but portrays a realistic conflict (well, not in today's day and age but you know what I mean.) Had she been doing what she was told there would have been a chance of escape. Yet it would have condemned her father to an unjest fate in the eyes of her deity. It was a lose/lose situation all around, which is a great thing to conclude.

Why was the old man taken as a slave? You'd think he'd be a little feeble for that.

Ahh . . . dear Mauresion's killer. Nice turn of events. Not exactly unexpected, but still interesting. What horrible fates will befall this murderer, I wonder? Aww, nothing yet. But at least we get a name. Dain it is.

Nali's a very clever girl. Very well written.

The scenes written in Warnik were expertly created. They create a powerful sense of overwhelming despair. Great, great work.

Poor priestess. I really felt for her in that section. Very moving.
marsalbione chapter 1 . 8/1/2006
Hiya, Im one of Zozmas reviewers, and I saw this story, and it sounded interesting, so here's a review.

The first thing I noticed about your writing is your ability to convey emotion. Cairis' situation was a terrible one to be in, and you definately made sure everyone knew that. I thought that the emotional imagery you used to describe Cairis' strangling of the poor child was amazing.

Well, the idea of some marked kid acting as a great catalysst has been done plenty of times before, but you make this mark seem to be a bad thing, and the kid survives and (I guess) grows up with his original parents. So, that raises some pretty good questions. I'm wondering what it really means, since the world these people live in does include religion, to be the enemy of a goddess.

Ack, kinda gory with the whole impaling and cliff hop. The maid didn't even kill the kid, either.

Excellent job so far. I'll be back to revies ch2 later today or tomorrow.
Zozma chapter 2 . 7/29/2006
I like the opening of this chapter, where Nali is avoiding the townsfolk. Exhanges like this aren't needed for the story to progress, but add a hint of realism that makes the whole piece more enoyable.

You have a thing for cryptic dialogue, I can tell :P. The flow of the story is very natural and easy to picture in one's head. The characters' don't have vivid descriptions, but that's just fine; it gives readers a chance to use their imaginations.

A very desperate feeling chapter. I'm sure you know that the main character's village being burned down has been done a dozen times before, but I do not doubt someone as clever as yourself will come up with more than a few innovative ideas that put a spark into this already well thought out and interesting story. My only regret is that you don't seem to have many reviews :(.
Zozma chapter 1 . 7/28/2006
Heya. I can't in any good conscience accept such positive reviews without reading your work. I already read the short story you wrote on Hannah, which was very well done, so I decided that you definitely had talent and that reading more of your work can only be a blessing. I hope you don't mind that I review a little different than what you may be used to.

From the sound of the first few paragraphs I'm gonna assume the baby prince may or may not have some sort of omen mark that promises an evil future, eh?

Very descriptive, by the way.

Hope she doesn't have to kill the poor baby. That wouldn't make much sense, though, as that responsibility probably wouldn't fall to the nurse. I'm eager to find out exactly what's going on.

Hurray! I got the evil symbol thing right.

Poor kid . . . not at all a pleasant way to start a story. I hope it ends up a little more cheerful for the characters' sake. Ah, nevermind. The child's alive. Is that a good or a bad thing, I wonder?

All in all deeply mysterious and brooding. Very well written. This is going on my favorites list :).
rvtolentino chapter 1 . 7/20/2006
wonderful. the sort of prayer at the first line of the story is a great way to start, and it naturally draws the attention of the reader. allow me to give the first review of your work which, as a summary, holds much, much promise.

but of course as being me, i tend to review by analyzing specific parts of the story, rather than just praising you outright. first i would like to commend you for the intriguing title (or maybe i'm just a sucker with Japanese-sounding titles XD), and the synopsis is vastly different and seemingly unrelated to the first chapter. now this is one thing that people may either find good or bad depending on their taste, but for me, it is good-makes me wonder what you're going to write next.

when i read stories, i also try to visualize what the author himself/herself tries to imagine-and in this case, i see you are focused more on character-building (even if short-lived hehe) than on the immediate surroundings and the mood. this is not half so bad as it sounds, since you have quite a talent for engrossing readers into the heart and soul of what a character feels and "emotes" about. there is descriptive detail, but your focus is more on the character and the baby-and what she is expected to do.

the opening scene of infanticide is quite disturbing to some people, so i think it properly deserves an M rating (and i just love Mature stories). this gives the creepy idea of the birth of the Antichrist we are all so gaga about. i notice however a very striking similarity to the Japanese anime Scrapped Princess, in which the daughter of a royal line was deposed and killed (she wasn't, but they thought so) because she was the prophesied destroyer of the world. but yes, this one's a prince, but they're both royalty. but what the heck, the execution's good, so i'm not complaining.

having read your profile and being particularly impressed, i had very high hopes and expectations for your work. you did fulfill most of those, but i have a minor thing with your tone of narration-you seem to fall into patterns of writing. try to make more complex sentence patterns to inject some variety into the narration; it would make the story much more appealing. picture your style as music-yours now is just flowing, smooth perhaps, but lacking grandeur. master wordsmiths use different tones and styles which make their stories and other written works seem like a philharmonic concert. and don't mind me-i haven't mastered it myself, but it wouldn't be wonderful if someone has that talent and/or experience?

other than this minor gripe with your writing style, you have a very promising plot, and i would very much sign up for the next chapters. this is a very strong start for you and i hope that it won't be wasted on the succeeding chapters. if this was a short-story, i'd probably rate it a high grade, but since it's a novel-length story what will happen afterwards will probably make or break it. after deciding, i'd likely hope you'll make it.

keep writing! i've added you to my author alert list.

PS. if you have time, you can go over my page, or contact me through email or YIM. i'll be glad to hear from you!