Reviews for Second Arc: The Past Within
idontwannapopuponsearchengines chapter 1 . 10/10/2007
Just one question- the reincarnation of a GODDESS? Aren't Goddesses IMMORTAL? And to be reincarnated you have to DIE. Goddesses don't die, so how can they be reincarnated?

Sorry, it just boggled my mind like crazy. I guess I'll find out later.
The Ferrett chapter 14 . 8/21/2007
Yay! She survived. A great ending to a great novel. ::))
The Ferrett chapter 13 . 8/21/2007
A ritual, nice, encased in a flashback, not so, but it was done well so nice again.
The Ferrett chapter 12 . 8/21/2007
You killed wind whisper? Nasty. At least the fire fight continues.
The Ferrett chapter 11 . 8/21/2007
Vengence is HERS! Muhahaha. And Mohrr is gone (hopefully.)
The Ferrett chapter 10 . 8/21/2007
The plot thickens with a love child. Who.
The Ferrett chapter 9 . 8/21/2007
Oh a backstory. Mesa find it delicious. The verse was well written by the way and it works well now that its back to wolf girl. ::)) Tag.
The Ferrett chapter 8 . 8/21/2007
So you turned the nice girl into a killing machine... hehehe a woman after my own heart. This time... tag - you're it.
The Ferrett chapter 7 . 8/21/2007
So a nasty Evil chant. Wonder what thats about? She is right, though. If you have it, use it. Still want to see her free though. ::)) Up for a game of review tag? You're it.
A. Shapcott chapter 9 . 8/15/2007
This story starts out with a great deal of confusion in my eyes. They're walking through Dacia but they're already hearing rumors about the Madren? I thought they arrived the same day as this all happened. I can understand how news of that nature would be announced throughout the kingdom, but still. Also, maybe have them have some rumors that it could've been Ayrlyn or the man who previously murdered the king.

At least a few people need to be thinking that. It's just a matter of making the setting look authentic and making it look like more happens in the daily lives of these men and women than the characters involved in the story.

Also, why would a wolf learn to read? I mean, I can understand her ability to communicate with all forms of life, but does that really include being able to read all forms of scripture? Seems a little odd to me, really.

Furthermore, running an emergency effort to re-establish a government out of a tavern? The government of this country already seems fishy, yet it looks even worse that the next official in line decides that the best way to salvage their society isn't out of the castle that was intended to foster the government and instead out of a tavern where a potential assassin could use magic to absolutely ruin any governing officials remaining in one graceful swoop.

If these people aren't capable of thinking ahead, how could they run a country for fifteen successful years? Just saying.

Furthermore, this chapter once again feels as if Morrigan and Wind Whisper had been best buddies for years before this all happened. Furthermore, one of your lines makes it sound nearly as if Morrigan was in love with Ayrlyn or Wind Whisper with the way it's phrased:

'His heart ached for her as he thought of what they might learn at tomorrow’s meeting...'

That phrase, 'His heart ached,' just sounds far too out of place to remain where it is.

Also, going back to the last chapter... if they let dozens of people watch the council meetings, any of which could get rowdy or violent, would it honestly kill them to hire guards? It makes no sense for a council to hold public meetings in the chamber of an assassinated king and not have at least one or two bodyguards there to ensure that, if things ever got out of hand, the council could flee the chambers to safety.

Either way, it killed them not to hire guards.

I think my big problem here is that Dacia's government is far too idealistic, really. There's an immense lack of realism about it. No offense, but I think you should consider revising it.

Furthermore, why did you ignore the interaction that would've happened between Morrigan and Llew? To this point you've made a note of writing out the dialog between every character, yet it's inconsistent to suddenly jump ship and not even mention how Llew and Morrigan found each other to be, or at least what their conversation was like.

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'They sat, talking quietly, and waited anxiously to find out if it was Ayrlyn who had killed the Madren.'

We already know they're waiting anxiously to see if Ayrlyn did it or not. This is needless repetition.

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'Panic ruled over the crowded room and it seemed that no one bring themself to completely accept the gruesome slaughter of the Madren.'

Think of including a 'could,' maybe? Or maybe change 'bring' to 'brought.' Regardless, this line doesn't work.

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'“has been appointed to inform the town of all the details.”'

By who? This confused me. I think you need to work on your government a little more, as I've been saying.

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Aside from that, the conversation between the mob and Trael could use a little bit of work, but nothing specific. Environmental description is what I'd advise, and more of it with more detail. Furthermore, for a town with a castle everyone seems to know everyone else's name... why? Most towns of that nature would be more like small cities, really. Yeah.

Hearing Behlan's thoughts actually added something to this chapter, to make a note, unlike nearly every other thought we've been eavesdropping on this entire time. I suggest keeping them, but that's up to you.
A. Shapcott chapter 8 . 8/15/2007
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Chapter 1: 'It was fifteen years to the day that King Madren had been mysteriously murdered.'

Chapter 8: 'It had been thirteen years since King Madren had suddenly passed on...'

I'm not sure if this is intended to set the beginning of the chapter two years in the past, or a simple mistake on your part. I thought it'd be good to point it out.

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'The Madren, who governed Dacia, were made up of seven elves, some old and others young, that held council once every month or so.'

First and foremost, restructure this line or break it up. There are way too many commas if you ask me. Secondly, it should be 'was,' not 'were.' The Madren refers to a council of many people, yes, but the council itself is one body. Also, good job changing from 'some' to 'others' when talking about the council's membership. It just sounds good.

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The Madren also seem far too content after the first idea is proposed. They don't seem like a very respectable council if you only get to see one topic pass through their hands, and in that one topic they decide the outcome in four lines of dialog. You could pull this off by having the council member change from saying, 'Excellent idea!' to something like, 'We'll definitely consider it.'

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'Without any further questions, Ayrlyn uncorked the petite vessel drank its contents in a single draught.'

Looks like you missed an 'and' between 'vessel' and 'drank.' Regardless, this sentence doesn't read right to me. I'm also pretty sure your use of the word 'draught' is improper, but I'm not completely sure.

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'Her small face watched the meeting intently...'

This doesn't make sense and sounds a little strange to me. Maybe you should note that her facial features reacted to the meeting or something of that nature. Right now it doesn't read well.

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This scene with Ayrlyn slaughtering the council members is... odd. Once again you treat them too much like a mob of confused commoners with Ayrlyn being the sole bastion of logic and careful, if not cruel, reasoning. Yet I find it difficult to believe seven men intelligent enough to run a country would not have the intelligence to strike against their attacker at least once. Furthermore, why would they be so afraid? She's wielding a dagger, not a sword. If she was walking about hacking at them with a longsword, I could definitely understand the reasoning behind dropping to one's knees and begging. Yet she's using a dagger.

Also, since she has the ability to kill the men with magic, why doesn't she? Maybe this is part of Aine's ploy, but it seems so illogical that she would set the tapestry on fire instead of the men. Furthermore she decides not to set fire to the room's only exit and nearly allows various council members to escape.

The only thing I can say I liked was the ancient council member waiting to be killed, because it epitomized what I'd expect out of a member of a ruling body of its nature.

To make matters worse, there's conveniently no witnesses in the room? Wouldn't the entire population or at least members of the Air Society be interested in what the Madren were going to do with a festival that would include 1/4th (I'm assuming) of the population of Dacia?

Again, this seems like a far too convenient method of furthering the plot and thus ends up looking too mechanical, but I'll admit the writing you gave it was rather nice. Except one part, '... others bore gashes across their throats and hearts.' Hearts sounds inappropriate in such a bloody situation. I think 'chests' would do better, or something of that nature.

Also, a king's throne room is huge, yet not a single one could at least make it to the door? Again, Ayrlyn seems too physically powerful to make sense. This could be relieved if the entire council was made of old men, but it's just one of many problems.

Either way, this chapter has various plot holes but once again the lack of the characters' thoughts cluttering up the scene makes the writing and style in general very enjoyable. Good job.
A. Shapcott chapter 7 . 8/15/2007
Chapter 7 definitely demonstrates a better writing style than previous chapters. No time is wasted on telling you the characters' thoughts, you're left to see what happens yourself, and thus there is some semblance of tension and suspense. It's admirable, but as some people pointed out, there's logical flaws.

Why does Aine think a goddess would not be capable of escaping such a minor trap? The concept of the water runes being painted on the ropes seems far too minor. I think that the power of these runes needs to be stressed, or at least Aine's arrogance needs to shine through even more than before. Else, it simply lacks reason that she would assume a goddess that could take over an entire country would be foiled by a few ropes.

Nonetheless, this review could be inaccurate, as there's any number of things you have planned to counter the questions above.

Aside from that, there's only so much I can say on this chapter. Once again the capitalization strikes me as odd, but I might be wrong.

I'm sure I'd be able to make this review more detailed had I not had to wait two days to make it, though this does summarize my general feelings on the chapter. If your writing style throughout the story was more like this I imagine the plot would look much more neat and polished.

Good job, regardless.
The Ferrett chapter 5 . 8/14/2007
Continueing goodness. Like this new dude already. ::))
A. Shapcott chapter 6 . 8/13/2007
As with my last few reviews, I'll begin this one by looking over the reviews of the previous chapter and putting in my two cents.

I have to agree strongly, again, with the people who stated that they found the man ignoring his fee at the bar way too convenient, as was the reaction Wind Whisper shared with Morrigan too convenient.

I have to disagree with changing Ehrian's dialect, though. It's legible and gets the point across without being excessive, unless it's already been changed. I've read books with characters with even stronger accents and it's easy to get through so long as one takes careful note of what the character's trying to say.

Anyway, that's all I really had to say. Moving on to chapter 6:

Other people complained about it, and you used the word 'tracked' far too frequently. Followed, stalked, shadowed, etc. are all viable alternatives to that and carry the same meaning so long as you establish that she is in fact tracking someone in the first place.

Also, again, things moved way too quickly with Wind Whisper and Morrigan. You didn't get to see any of their interaction in detail, but suddenly she trusts a shape shifting elf enough to camp with him after telling him such a story? And revealing Morrigan's intentions was once again a bit of a bad choice - once again you know what everyone's thinking and you don't question the possibility of Morrigan turning on them during the night.

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'Something from a plant, thought I don’t know which one.'

It should be 'though,' not 'thought.'

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By the way, biologically wolves cannot cry, if I remember correctly. Wind Whisper's eyes begin watering, but unless it's part of her abilities it technically couldn't happen. It's not a major thing... I'm just picky.

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'They made their way into the city, determined to find Ayrlyn as soon as possible. Wind Whisper led the way, her nose working to tell them where to go and Morrigan walked beside her, vigilantly listening for any word of their friend.'

Strike out the 'and' and just use a period. The sentence is a run-on otherwise.

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There are a lot of problems with this chapter.

This once again makes Morrigan seem ever too convenient. His abilities match too nicely with Wind Whisper's as he manages to transform to meet the need of their quick run through the forest. Furthermore, unless Aine has some sort of special ability, isn't that a massive amount of distance to cover overnight with another elf on her shoulder? She would be fatigued and it would be night time, forcing her pace to slow.

It's not that she couldn't do it, really, it's the idea that she traversed so much space in so little time that seems odd. I figure Wind Whisper and Ayrlyn would traverse a fair bit of space in a day or so, but that doesn't seem to be the case the way you present it.

Once again Aine does give a good read but the rest of this seems like a bit of a let down compared to the last two chapters. It seems too illogical, hasty, and convenient.
A. Shapcott chapter 5 . 8/13/2007
I began reading some other reviews chapter by chapter and once again ran into some things I'd like to state about the second chapter.

First, Icicle Tears' post made me pause and realize something... if she was getting a symbol gouged into her arm with a sharp rock, why exactly was that not able to trigger her abilities to light things aflame even though falling and getting annoyed and a little roughed up was? Icile Tears point is valid and sort of makes that entire portion a convenient way to ignore the character's abilities in favor of moving the story along in some way.

It's a big problem, too, unless a good reason is established. Many authors, professional or otherwise, do it and it bothers me to no end. They often forget to justify why their character, despite being fully capable and willing to stop a situation from happening, allows it to slip by and impact them deeply. It also creates a nagging plot hole and makes it hard to predict the extent of a character's powers. And everything else written up to that point (and the fourth chapter) supports her emotional impulse protecting her from harm.

Also, a lot of people are complaining about you explaining too much of your characters and it seems the problem persists. If a reader cannot make their own judgments about the personality and thoughts of a character then that character can become boring to read, especially when none of the main characters have hidden motives or emotions you need to think about and guess at instead of being told outright by the author. For example, if you never mentioned Aine's motive and only hinted at her manipulative nature with the barkeep, we'd still be guessing as to what she was doing by the time we flipped over to the fifth chapter. In fact, she could go the entire story looking like a good guy until the very end, and then betray them. Then everyone would have to say to themselves, "I should've seen that coming." That kind of climatic writing makes interesting stories.

I think I've said that before already, though. Sorry.

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'Ayrlyn pointed at a clump of bushes just ahead of them and motioned that she had heard something moving in the bushes.'

That's repetition again. Just use 'something moving in them.' Well, that or something similar, at least.

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'A single white Air run adorned the middle of its forehead and it wore a leather collar around its neck.'

It should be 'rune' and not 'run.'

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'Fear took over Ayrlyn and all she could do was back up and whimper.'

More a personal opinion, but it's very strange to say, 'fear took over Ayrlyn' as opposed to, 'fear overtook Ayrlyn.' Either way, I'd like to see different wording used, but again, it's personal taste.

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'“Hmm,” she grunted. “What’s your name?” she asked.'

A lot of this is sort of sloppy. I suggest you simply keep the part about her grunting and asking his name. The rest of it is redundant.

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She's wary because anyone could know people think she's the reincarnation of Cern, yet it seems as if very little time has passed. I'm a bit confused there. You should somehow note the number of days it's been since they left the town.

Also, since it's not common for talking wolves to exist, shouldn't this Morrigan fellow be at least slightly confused as to why Wind Whisper is speaking fluently? Maybe this is explained later, but it still strikes me as offbeat. He should be at least surprised, I would imagine. I mean, he notes it, but he acts pretty nonchalant about it until then.

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“No, I haven’t. I have heard of the Festivals, though and they sound very fun.”

I think the comma should be after the 'though.' It certainly doesn't look right as-is.

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Also, Wind Whisper goes to talk to the elf they just met no more than five minutes ago. Does it really seem wise for her to be telling a man that can freely change his form to suit his purpose the nature of their problems? It seems a convenient way to get Morrigan to join in on their little adventure and is a bit fishy overall.

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Chapter 4: 'She’d even graduated a year ahead at the Alyncia School of Defense and Weaponry because he’d made her practice every night without exception.'

Chapter 5: 'Most of Ehrian’s friends were at least a year older than her because she had graduated from the Alyncia School of Defense and Weaponry two years early.'

Another inconsistency and the entry in chapter 5 once again gives the reader too much information. It's easy to guess why she would have older friends and it simply takes up space when readers will already understand. I could be mistaken, though, and you know why.

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As for the rest of this, most of the dialog with Ehrian was well done. Once again there was a lack of description and no indication that there was any elf not paying his tab until the actual event came about. Then it seemed to sudden and as if it were dropped on the spot for the sake of creating a lively situation.

Either way, your writing definitely improved from the first three chapters into four and five.
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