Reviews for The Amirian Maid
poisonous.substance chapter 1 . 8/5/2008
This story is really good, I can tell already. I am surprised that you have only gotten 10 other reviews besides mine.
feeder chapter 2 . 4/4/2007
I really like the small details you put into this, such as the superstitions that Lyra is afraid of at the end, it really helps to make your world seem more real.

I also like the character of Edith, it's nice to see a genuinely strong female antagonist for a change. In fact, I like the whole politics of the aristocracy seen through the eyes of a servant thing, not only is it a more interesting plot than the 'Dark Lord trying to take over the world', but you have developed the contrasting attitudes of the court and the servants very well.

At the end of the chapter though, it would be easier to read if you spaced the text out more.

Also, at the beginning where Borsche and Lyra are playing chess, I can see why you wanted them to have that conversation, but at times some of the things they talked about seemed a bit unlikely. For example, wouldn't Lyra already know that the Raajmars own some soldiers - she surely would have seen them at some point, or heard about them from someone else.

"They call themselves the Fighting Raajmars anyone who holds important jobs for the Raajmars are Raajmars themselves." - there should be a comma before the word 'anyone' I think.

A good chapter.
chantal chapter 1 . 4/3/2007
i like your stories very much i hope you get this story published i would definetly but it i dont think u have to improve anything
feeder chapter 1 . 3/29/2007
Right. Okay. It's the accents... talking in a different way is easily explainable depending on the circumstances, but you'd have to actually state the reason. If there is no reason then it makes no sense.

However, I do like the accents, they're very well done, but just too inconsistent.

'"Far too close for my liking," She said to herself' - it should be written 'liking," she said'.

And I must disagree with Lccorp2 here, I think it's ok to use games like chess in fantasy, after all loads of other things are taken from real life. I think it's fine.

Anyway, it's a good 1st chapter, it seems quite different from the usual fantasy stories so far. Keep up the good work.
Tigeress Moon chapter 14 . 3/27/2007
I love this story. I hope you write more and soon.
Lccorp2 chapter 3 . 3/19/2007
Harr.

You may have to heavily edit the grammar on this part, especially the commas. I'm not sure if I've spoken to you on this subject before, but a general rule of thumb is to say out the sentence you're writing. Every time you pause for breath for a little less than one second, put in a comma. Longer pauses may require semicolons and dashes-it all really depends, and there's no way to learn this except by experience.

"“I’m afraid she is feeling rather poorly, she was sorely unhappy at being unable to attend the masquerade this year, she does so love a good party."

to:

"“I’m afraid my mother is feeling rather poorly; she was sorely unhappy at being unable to attend the masquerade this year and she does so love a good party."

The second rolls better off the tongue, don't you agree? but seriously, though, some of the errors are more blatant.

-Be careful with your synonyms of "said". Things like "nodded" are not synonyms of "said".

The whole dialogue in the first part is pretty much clunky. You'll have to rewrite that; it doesn't seem like people talking naturally at all.

Moving on from the basics:

-Chess. Whist. Charades. Hmm. Again, I wonder why would these games as we know them exist in this decidedly not-earth world? There could be strategy, chance, physical and all sorts of games, but to have the exact ones...well...let's say it's too much of a coincidence for me to bite down on.

-"Edith, taking a chance to rest herself, leaned her frame against one of the pillars along the sides of the room. She had been in gory forty-eight hour battles without tiring but a silly party for six hours could cause her this much weariness? Shameful."

Forty-eight-hour battles...no. Just no. I think you know better by now, but this has to be brought to your attention. Just...NO for forty-eight hours.

A tired protagonist will be more likely to drop her sword, to miss if she’s throwing knives or shooting arrows, to not be able to stab with her spear. Then there’s what happens if she kills her enemy, but another one is coming up on her, and she needs to yank the weapon out—more strain for the shoulders and back and arms. Her sweat will be rilling down her face, getting in her eyes, getting all over her hands and making her grip slippery. Any armor she wears will weigh down on her. Previous wounds will tear open, and add the distractions of pain and blood loss. Her movements will grow less coordinated. An enemy’s blow is more likely to get through, and be more likely of the kind that will do lasting damage, such as numbing her sword arm. If she’s exhausted, her sight will start blurring, she may get headaches, and she may lose control of her emotions, which could result in extravagant gestures or screaming matches. All good consequences, all good ways to add detail without resorting to the simple and bland “she was tiring,” and all good ways to make a fatal mistake.

Keep in mind that fighting is extremely hard work. These situations where people go on fighting for ten hours should only happen to a) extremely experienced soldiers who b) have no choice. Fighting for ten hours when you have a safe place to retreat and time to nurse your wounds is incredibly stupid.

And that's considering single combat. For battles, it's usually over in an hour or two; once one side decides to retreat, it's all over as the other gives chase and cuts them down as they run. Those dawn-to-dusk dramatic battles you read about in fiction simply don't exist; maybe if both sides had enormous reserves six hours could be maintained.

-Please keep Lyra's "accent" consistent. That was one of the annoying things about Paolini. At least Rowling kept Hagrid's speech constant. One moment Lyra's talking perfectly fine when playing chess, the next she has a country accent-and there's no mention of any possible reason for the change.

"If the author does not explain or hint at an explanation, the reader is justified in assuming it is a mistake."
GryphonFledglingOfSilverWings chapter 1 . 12/30/2006
I liked how you began with a chess game. *grins* I love chess...

Anyway, this seemed like an interesting start to your story. The story of a maid who turns out to be more than she seems has been used before, but I am sure that you'll be able to do well by it!

The one thing that I thought I would point out was your sentance structure. You have a great story to tell, but your sentences are mostly short and choppy and nearly all begin with a noun or pronoun: it/he/she/the door etc. It just becomes repetitive to the eye and can degrade from your storytelling...

But I did like it. The conversation between Edith and Anira was especially good. Great job!

GryphonFledglingOfSilverWings
Siamh chapter 11 . 12/20/2006
I am finding it hard to believe that you only have 3 reviews for this story! It's so good! I hope you get more, it's a real pity that not many people review it. Best of luck and keep on writing!
Chiideki chapter 10 . 12/8/2006
Well, things seem to be getting a lot more interesting now. Some people actually don't tend to like the parts of stories where characters are talking and the backstory is revealed, but I personally enjoy these parts the most; the characters become more 'rounded', less 2-dimensional, if you catch my drift.

Your sentences are definitely easier to read now, with the exception of a few overly lengthy paragraphs and still too many simple sentences. Remember, (of course, there's no hard and fast rule in writing, but generally speaking) choppy, short sentences are best left for action scenes. Feel free to combine a couple of them together.

And now, that cliffhanger makes me want to hurry you up :P but don't. Take your time, ;)
Chiideki chapter 8 . 11/28/2006
Hey there; I happened to come across your story while browsing the fantasy section, and I must say that I'm really quite taken by the storyline and your characters thus far. If I may give a few pointers?

Your sentences are rather choppy. It would definitely help if you combined some of the simpler sentences together, especially during the descriptive parts. For the more action-packed, terser scenes, it's fine to be choppy. In fact, I encourage it.

There are also a few awkward phrasings and punctuation details; nothing a little bit of proofreading and/or editing won't fix.

Now onto the stuff I liked:

Your effort to actually differentiate Lyra's speech from the speech of the other characters really caught my attention. It was a bit sporadic at the first few chapters (ie, she'd sometimes speak with the accent (I believe it's meant to be a Cockney accent?) and sometimes not), but she definitely seems to have it now. Great job though; it's hard enough to come up with believable dialogue.

The setting and other characters are also very interesting; the typical "oh, look, it's two countries at war again" could be pretty interesting if you continue to develop them, and Tyrin and Throar are the first characters in a long time that i've actually liked. Of course, they seem to have a bit too casual a demeanour for two escapees, but I like how you're setting them up for something that might contradict that demeanour later on.

All in all, a very solid story despite some writing flaws. I'll be looking forwards to reading your next chapter, and remember: NEVER rush a story; take the time to proofread and edit, ok?

Good luck, and most of all, have fun!
G chapter 5 . 11/23/2006
Your story is pretty well written, and interesting. You have a plot, and I can't wait for more. I have a suspician that Lyra is much more than she seems, (little does she know) especially since Borsche has invested what seems like a lot in her, as her father.