Reviews for Old Draft of The Phoenix Wars
Lccorp2 chapter 26 . 2/19/2008

Not really much to say this time around; I suppose highlighting the grammatical and tense errors won't win me any points.

From what I understand, the Phoenix delegation is intentionally pushing the war forward, or that's what it seems like. Kindran would have been ushered out of the tent after the first sentence, if they had any real intention of surrendering.

Oh well. Still watching, Although IMO the quotes at the bit do whittel down the suspense by a good bit-since we know the Phoenix will be beaten back, it's left to you to make the how amazingly grabbing.
Alteng chapter 25 . 2/18/2008
I am finally caught up!

I have to agree with the Phoenixes about the surrender so soon. I owuld have thought that they would put up a bit more of a fight, especially since there are those who are still willing to fight and after the incident at the other place. Can't remember the city.

It serves Groth right to have to bury the dead with the guys, and they all sound like the guys i work with. Got to check out what's going on.

Strangely enough, the description of the Phoenix messenger reminded me of a character from Family Guy. (Some of us watch trash, what can I say!) Yet, it is nice that you put in a character that is of a race that one would think of as tall, beautiful, and noble.

I can tell you were enjoying the word play between the two Phoenixes. A thought though, the special talents of the Phoenix was suppose to be kept secret from the outside world. The messenger is blabbering too much in mixed company. I know why you are doing it, but it seems out of character for a loyal member of the Phoenix clan, unless you are implying that he is not the brightest bulb in the fixture.

Oh, and the bit about Groth's clan, that was a smart remark on my part. I figured that you didn't want to mark him as any member of a clan.

Since my story is on a bit of a hiatus, due to winter blah and the January thing (It's a long story), my boyfriend has created some stories about Alteng that he wants me to advertise. His penname is Jareth the monk. His stories are significantly shorter than mine, and they are easier to read.

Anyway, until next time.
Alteng chapter 24 . 2/14/2008
The Rito Schaef meeting was indeed a fiasco, and I guess i can see how that would occur. They all have too big of egos.

The cursing was not so bad in this chapter, unlike the one I complained to you about, because there seemed to be more of a call for it. There were more violent feelings.

Rastion seems to have had a hard time, and he is a determined little cuss. It makes me wonder what clan they belong to. Seems like there are a good many brothers running about in this generation as well (Maybe rat, because of their breeding habits). All the same, Rastion seems to have had a hard time of it, and I wonder if he has joined the ranks and plans to desert, or is he just one of the followers. If he has joined, that might cause some trouble in the long run, and would Soth Maore make Groth/Syble kill his own brother for desertion to prove loyalty.

Anyway, the chapter goes off well, and it raises many unanswered questions. It makes me all the more curious.
Alteng chapter 23 . 2/13/2008
I've been a bit slothful as well, what can I say. I am still dealig with holiday burnout, but I finally got to the chapter.

This chapter has a lot of good descriiption of before the battle bit, and it is setting the pace and the feel well for what is coming. Groth's opinions about the higher ups is interesting as well, as is the reaction to Alban to him. It seems that it would be more torture if groth was forced to pull his load like everyone else, but then again, it seems that the followers are doing the work for the ranks.

It does seem odd to me that the Rito Shaef or whatever chose Grothian to be the scribe. I guess he has made an impression upon the Poisoner and the Vandal.

The uncle thing was amusing as always, and especially since Grothian is trying to remember his name. All the same, it will be intriguing to see what there is about him now in the next chapter and why the disdain from the brother.
Lccorp2 chapter 25 . 2/12/2008

-"If the mage could stop laughing at his predicament."

Predicament implies the person mentioned is in trouble, which Skollhati isn't in.

-"Or how about I light you up and see (how) you fare against their mages.”"

-"“The Vandal would counter them like he did last night,” Skollhati said dismissively."

How? Might be interesting.

-I'd have thought Alban would explain why the bodies couldn't be burned. From your description of the average grunt in the Saber Ranks, they'd be inclined to skive if no one's looking. Just a thought. Might be wrong.

-"And those magic words cast a mighty illusion over the men. Even I was affected by it." This would work better shown, methinks.

That's about it for now. Nothing to complain about.
Song of Shadows 313 chapter 24 . 2/10/2008
Great story! So much better then most of the garbage you see on this site. It's refreshing to find something written by someone who can actually think of an original idea.

That aside, specfics for this chapter. I didn't think the profanity was excessive, given the situation. Words were invented to be used after all, correct? However, I must admit I am a bit confused on one point: Is Groth in trouble because he killed his last girlfriend, or just because he had the audacity to sleep with the duke's daughter? Other than that, great chapter and a great story. I kinda hope that Groth and Alban can mend their friendship... I really enjoyed their dynamic before their falling-out.
Lccorp2 chapter 24 . 1/30/2008

Well. At least I can say I've seen how your writing has changed over the years-there're definitely less things leaving a bad taste in my mouth nowadays. You know what that means, coming from me. Good job.

-I find it a little odd that he'd use animal statues (unless the magic doesn't work with anything else, then I can understand.), but it's not too worrying. What does puzzle me somewhat is why the wide variety-I don't know about your experiences, but in mine I've usually found the people around me to prefer one thing for a certain kind of job-either because they're used to it, for they've found it most efficient.

Or am I misinterpreting the whole thing and these are just decorations and not to be used in bringing down the walls of Phoenix? If that's the case, it bears another question: Azamon's been portrayed as intelligent and keeping to himself most of the time, why the sudden display of ostentatiousness? Hm.

-You've gotten better at showing and not telling things which should be such, but some problems remain. For example, how can someone say something "loyally"? The attempt to place an arm around Azamon should have been enough, there's no need for the extra adverb.

-Minor nitpick. "Dammerung was stunned. “How many escaped?” he asked after a brief pause." If he was stunned, the pause would probably more than brief.

That's pretty much I have on the list for now. You've improved since the days of Behemoth.
Keja Toshiro chapter 21 . 1/20/2008
XRenderS chapter 1 . 1/15/2008
really good so far boy can I relate to Janan, getting a job is hard! T_T I'll continue reading.
Keja Toshiro chapter 17 . 1/15/2008
Keja Toshiro chapter 14 . 1/14/2008
Keja Toshiro chapter 6 . 1/13/2008
Tsumujikaze no Soujutsu chapter 23 . 1/13/2008
Well, interesting chapter here. You really did well in splitting the scenes. I particularly like Grothanin's view on the whole Saber Ranks system here. Seems interesting. And am I right to say that this story will be nearing the end since the entire army is nearing the Phoenix walls? Anyway, interesting to look out for the next chapter. Never thought about Grothanin's past all the while. Guess my brain's going kaput. Definitely interested to know so much more about the truth about him especially given the ending of this chapter...
Lccorp2 chapter 23 . 1/13/2008

-First two paragraphs-tense flip from past to present. Fix, please. It's quite jarring, to put it lightly.

-Ouch. Paragraph four; shout-out. I think it's clear enough from Groth's attitude towards Alban that they're clearly not friends anymore; have him extend this apathy to the other superiors, perhaps have them wonder what's up with him, and that should be fine. Not much need for a shout-out here, unless you're worried your readers might have only two brain cells.

-I believe it's traditional for the individual to have any clothing over the lashed/beaten area removed, in order to inflict maximum injury. Dunno if they should be doing otherwise; care to explain?

-I'll give the paragraph on Azamon a pass, because I do know it's Groth's subjective view on the person. I know there are already suggestons that he's a falliable narrator, but you might want to show some more scenes of him being wrong, just to reinforce the notion.

-Hm. what does this sentence mean, in any case? " It every shop keeper raised their wares to exorbitant prices the camp followers couldn’t really meet."

All right. We'll assume monopolistic competition here, and that every shopkeeper is out to make as much money as possible. The problem with this idea is that somewhere, someone will get the idea that since no one else will lower prices, THEY'LL do it. consequently, it'll be a sellout-not that the shopkeeper cares, because they're out to make money.

They don't have to raise prices immediately, either, there'll be a "lag period" before price rises to meet demand.

But that's not the main problem. The problem is that unless the shopkeepers are using market differentiation, selling at normal prices to the average citizen, there WILL be trouble. Massive inflation always brings trouble. Ordinary crow-ravens will find their real wages and savings diminished to the point of uselessness, depending on how severe the inflation-especially since the items the Saber Ranks will be buying are commodities.

Subsequently, there'll be pressure from workers on employers for increased wages, driving up the cost of doing business; employers may not have enough resources to hire the same amount of workers, people go hungry in the streets, you can't buy food...runaway inflation can and WILL cause a lot of trouble. It doesn't have to be on the scale of the Weimar Republic before civil unrest happens; violence against the government and the Saber Ranks, demonstrations, looting of shops and homes, and so forth. Given how you've described the situation and the size of the Ranks, I'm honestly surprised it hasn't happened already.

Economics and politics are very hard to tease apart in practice.

-Again, with the show and tell-this time with the Saber Ranks. by telling it like this, you're distancing Groth from the readers-have him experience these people himself. It's a very good way to make people care, because then the exposition becomes Groth's story, he infuses it with emotion and empathy (positive or negative). Try it; I think it could very well work. Have Alban or someone else send him down amongst the comonners for some reason or the other.

-Hm. I'll see how you handle the last bit, and decide whether ti need to be commented on or not.
Lorendiac chapter 1 . 1/9/2008
Okay, I've read your first chapter. You did a decent job of making me feel sorry for your narrator, far away from home, broke, willing to do honest work to make a living but having a rough time in his search for anyone who will hire a stranger of his background. There are things I want to know more about, so I'll read at least a couple more chapters after I post this review.

As I went through the chapter, I took notes on odds and ends that confused me and/or struck me as needing a little rewriting. Here they are! (Note: I normally quote passages from what I'm reviewing inside asterisks - * like this * - to make it easier to distinguish between my own comments and the stuff I'm commenting upon.)

* I’m glad I’m not from this land. Even at home it wasn’t this bad. Cheap labor was always appreciated, but never scorned if the desperate man wasn’t from your own Clan. *

The way that's phrased, it implies: "Cheap labor wasn't scorned if the desperate man wasn't from your own clan - but the man could easily be scorned if he WAS from your own clan."

That doesn't feel right. It occurs to me that you may have meant to say something like this: "But never scorned, even if the desperate man wasn't from your own clan." Just inserting the word "even" drastically changes the meaning.

* No skills to speak of, no real talent. Of average build, I had little hope of joining a local gang and work as a strong-arm. *

I was VERY surprised to see the narrator's self-assessment, saying he had no skills or talent worth mentioning. It raises questions about just what he's been doing with his life until now, and why he didn't learn any possibly useful skills in the process. A few paragraphs later, I saw him say he used to work with the militia back home. If they gave him some sort of basic training, doesn't that qualify as a marketable job skill? And what did he do when he wasn't in the militia; did he learn anything useful from his father, for instance?

Of course, I'm also wondering: If he figured all along that he was awfully short on job skills that would let him earn a living in the big city . . . then WHY did he bother coming to the big city in the first place? What did he hope to gain by making such a long trip? (Alternately, I suppose the proper question could be: "What was there at home that he felt the need to keep running away from, until he got all the way to the big city?")

I strongly suspect you intend to delve into that subject more in later chapters - his reasons for leaving home, etc. - but I'm offering some "first impressions" of what's going through my mind right now, in case you're interested in them, without bothering

By the way, the second sentence in the passage I just quoted should end "working as a strong-arm."

* Meaning pretending my search was fruitless and return back to my search for any work possible wasn’t really an option any more. *

Should be: "and returning back to my search."

* Dark, sultry brown wings that sprouted from his back! *

Is it the shade of brown that's supposed to be "sultry"? I'm having trouble imagining how one shade of brown would look more sultry than any other shade of brown, but perhaps I'm missing something.
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