|Reviews for Intrigue At The Crowned Jewel|
| lostinalaska chapter 1 . 5/5/2010
I have read the whole story, and just now realized that I forgot to review, so this is for the whole thing.
I described it while reading it to a friend as "Angsty, well written, classy sex, and still hilarious." That is the best description I can come up with, except for amazing. This story does everything well. Every time I thought I didn't understand what had happened someone would say something and I'd go, "Oh, right!" I loved all the characters, particularly Jade (what can I say, green is my favorite color) and I was impressed by the way you managed to write the story so that I viewed Sebastian the way he did, as a mix of multiple people and genders and so very real that I teared up when he had to tell Adrian what had happened.
Honestly? This quite possibly the best story I've found here. I wish I could be much more eloquent about it, but there you have it.
Thanks for writing this and posting it for us to enjoy!
| raquel chapter 28 . 5/4/2010
this is the only story of any that i have ever read online that i not only thought worthy of re-reading, but actually did it. and i managed it in less time i think than the first time i read it. i absolutely love and adore this story. there might be room for improvement but only concerning grammatical errors or time period relevancy. this story is that amazing. i am so happy you put so much effort and brain strain into this story, it has been a joy to read. thank you
| mela chapter 28 . 5/2/2010
Excellent. Just having finished your fic I'm left with an oddly satisfied feeling. Things have come to an end but it was a good read. Even though, I can see great potential for a sequel considering all the politic plots and intrigue that now await Adrian and Sebastian. Maybe you'll consider doing just that one day?
Now I know I should have left a review earlier on so I wouldn't have to blurt out all here but as that didn't happen.. I think what you have here is a very exceptional story. I mean, the core of it is the age old story of love but around it there's wrapped up this whole plot with deception and deception in deception, multiple personalities, characters and environments. The character's are not what they seem like on the first glance - nor is the reasons for things to happen. I loved your idea of an unreliable narrator - people really underestimate how it can be used to surprise and intrigue the reader. It also made it possible to have these secrets after secrets to reveal themselves so that things already happened were given a completely new meaning.
Sebastian was an interesting main character but I think the changes between he's different.. roles? Could have been somehow more pronounced. I know it was continually said Viper was extremely different from Rose Quartz with almost everything, but it was something that never really showed when Sebastian posed as either one. I mean in his thoughts. I suppose that might have been your goal anyway - and it does have it merits. It was certainly clear that even though neither of those fake characters were purely Sebastian, they were still him. However, the similarities also caused me to view Sebastian firstly as the character he was most prominently presented as. With Rose Quartz the story gained more focus immediately and it was like the first impression - something that I had hard time trying to get past even though all the evidence to the contrary. For at least half of the story I was thinking Sebastian as a 'she'. It was so confusing that it was sort of funny ;) I mean I didn't really mind, but I guess it took away some intensity at times.
Ah, also I just remembered that I never though Sebastian as such a vain person. It wasn't that clear, since he didn't really spend that much time without Adrian or some of his friends. It also didn't seem like he actually became a better person, more like he fell in love and had more tolerance and understanding because of it. In the story, the vain Sebastian kind of lurks around but never truly shows himself - he's already in the past and so the developing process of the character is not that obvious. It's actually the same thing I was saying about his Viper and Rose persons. Others basically tell the reader what we should think about them, but then they just don't think - Sebastian is the narrator after all - as they are supposed to. So it's like Lime Jade calls Sebastian vain and a bad person - but we readers just don't see as much evidence of it. Uh, you know?
There was one thing that I did find slightly bothering. The Jewel, although glamorous, is a brothel. And I guess I felt what was presented was the very sugar-coated version of prostitute's life. I understand this was the most wealthy and influential brothel in the world maybe, but when it comes down to it, the workers are still prostitutes. There would be nastier aspects of that life, clients they wouldn't want to entertain and so on. I would have hoped these things would at least been mentioned at one point or another.
But I really have very little to complain about. In fact, that was it. Maybe, if you decide to edit this, you could add more building chapters to the latter part of the story since it gets sort of hectic when first all the secrets are revealed and then the wedding is organized. In case of a sequel, maybe some things could even be moved to that one. Or you could just forget about that and go straight to the sequel :D Anyways, I did love your story and definitely the plot line very much. If you don't continue this, then maybe you'll get the inspiration to write something else.
| karrotlover chapter 29 . 4/30/2010
I loved this story. It was good.
| august chapter 28 . 4/23/2010
AMAZAZING STORY. If I wasn't in a rush, I'd log in and leave a big review, but I'm in a rush. SORRY/
| Victoria Pendragon chapter 19 . 4/12/2010
So, I'm confused because the character is confused? Wow, you're good. All of the other stories I've read are quite transparent. Not this one. I thank you for that. I enjoy not knowing what's happening.
| wonderland212 chapter 12 . 4/11/2010
I want to love Adrian, i really really do but he's kinda boring, and not that interesting, espeacially since all we ever hear when adrian is around is how much sebastian wants and needs . it was clear to me after the second chapter that sebastian would end up with Adrian, considering how into addrian sebastian was just after ONE date, so i've been trying not to let jade get into the picture too much b/c (like I said before) i know how this will end but no offense or anything but jades personality is severly out-shinning adrian's.
I get that jade was probably just thrown in there to be a fustration/distraction, but now that his character seems to be winning me over I don't think the story will be as enjoyable knowing that Sebastian will eventually end up with Adrian...i know i shouldn't try and guess so early in a story but i'm normally right about these things (
Anyways, your story was very well written and the plot was very creative. Best of wishes!
| wonderland212 chapter 9 . 4/11/2010
So this had to be the best chapter so far ;)
The whole 'acting but not really' thing between jade and sebastian was extremly sexy...mainly b/c i wasn't expecting it.
| MantraMagazine chapter 1 . 4/9/2010
I had no problem whatsoever with the names. I can even tell you Grey Diamond without having to look back at your story. I did have a little trouble getting her full descript, but I guess there's still time to find out about her. :) After all, you're talking to the person who didn't let out the physical appearance of her main's until ch 4. Cheeky, ain't I?
I understand your fear of worrying about learning something and writing about it at the same time; you worry if the fact that you haven't completely defined your knowledge and that there's something glaringly obvious you're missing out on. Since stories work well on slowly incorporating subject matter (or change if they're going with a realistic flow) learning while you're writing is very natural in my opinion. And I think in your story you sound very intelligent and yet understandable. Not once did I think "Ooh, that's wrong, she's a dunce." -Giggle- Not that I've ever thought that about anyone. :) Yet.
Suspense is great! And what's even better is the way you're doing it. You're unique in the way you throw in those 'unexpected things', they flow really well with the story and are enjoyable to read.
Your last comment in your AN, the way you see your setting is EXACTLY WHAT I SAW! I totally got you, everything right down to the major players you were trowing in. I love history, and there is boundless beauty in it. The elements that you chose to incorporate melding well, and like I said, I immediately caught on to. Even a few of the negative aspects (the necessary, cultural ones) I identified and was able to add to my view of your story like a jewel to a crown.
Black Viper though is interesting. He has an alluring quality about him. You know, intelligent sexiness. Bravo!
Man, it's nice to find a story that you can give a really long review to. It proves how good your story is to inspire to ramble aimlessly (though I was pointing in a certain direction ;) ). I like your story a lot and am eager to read more.
| AsiaLisek chapter 29 . 4/4/2010
bloody epic. ah.. wow.. really.. it was getting really frustrating about mid-way in, but wow... the intrigue, scandal, misunderstandings! And the way you played Sebastian off of Lime Jade, for a minute there I though they would end up together instead! But then again.. I do believe it was part of the frustration.
LOVE the "enter the monsoon at a completely inappropriate moment" moment. XD Made me laugh.
Really... FANTASTIC story. Absolutely wonderful.
| unidentified author's ghost chapter 28 . 3/23/2010
I’m honestly not quite sure where to begin, or what I can add in terms of review-substance that hasn’t been covered already, but the fact this is, by far, one of the most fantastic stories I’ve ever encountered in my life in any form makes me want to at least attempt to say something worthwhile.
I’m not joking, your story is really that good.
Malistar basically said everything that I wanted to say about this story: that the writing was exquisite, the handling of the complex cast and setting of limited geographical variance was masterful, and your attention to detail something that almost reminded me of espionage, you were that careful to fill in any holes and cover and re-cover your tracks so everything explained itself in the end. The latter, in particular, stood out to me – something I often mention in reviews is that many of my preferred authors neglect to smooth over a few plot holes in their stories, leading to an ending that is either hasty, cliché, or confusing: the conclusion to this story was none of those things, which is a rarity even in published works, and which makes me appreciate this all the more. Also, since this story was crafted as a fairy tale and the “happily ever after” ending is not only fitting but expected, I remember smiling as I read Sebastian’s address of his and Adrian’s happy ending as a beginning instead, while, again, avoiding clichés. I could go on and on about how you write like a master and how this made that story that much more amazing, but I wouldn’t sleep tonight if I let myself do that.
I have to comment on your actual writing, though, since that was, I think, what sets this story above others more than anything else. Since it takes sophisticated and expressive writing and diction in order to present characters to a reader as clearly and vividly as they appear in the writer’s head, I’m honestly amazed at everything you were able to actually DO with this story. You were able to construct a fairy-tale told in the first person by an unreliable narrator with a split personality, to surround said narrator with characters of surprising depth and complexity despite the inevitable natural separation between the reader and the characters, and to have every smallest action by the secondary and tertiary characters become significant in some way to the end result of Sebastian’s happy ending. To accomplish all that without repeating yourself, confusing your readers (not permanently, anyway), or leaving plot holes is an admirable and, I’ll be honest, extremely enviable accomplishment.
Your creativity and writing ability are both astounding. Thank you for all the work you did on this story and for sharing it with the world, I can’t wait to read it again someday.
| Ilenn chapter 28 . 3/3/2010
I've read this story now over the past week or so, and trying to formulate a decent comment for something this long and complex in one go is a bit difficult, but I have to try simply to show you that I did enjoy the read. A funny incident was that, in the middle of reading this, I had to be away from the computer for a few days, and I kept getting this feeling like I've got a really good book I wanted to go back to reading... only then I'd remember that it wasn't a book and that I couldn't go read because I didn't have computer access.
Then about the story itself. On the whole it was very gripping, a truly enjoyable read from start to finish, not a single boring or *too* confusing passage. I'm amazed at the complexity of the story considering that it mostly took place within the Jewel's walls. Your characters are awesome, although at first it felt a bit overwhelming to have most of the cast be half-breed magical creatures in a very "normal" setting. Haven't often ran into faeries and sphinxes (or whatever is the plural of a sphinx) in "serious" fantasy. But you handled the slightly over-exotic cast with grace.
I must admit that, when in the second chapter it turned out that Sebastian was in fact Viper, I was a bit disappointed. The Viper from chapter one seemed exactly the kind of character that I usually find interesting, and Sebastian seemed far too nice to be him. I did get over it and used to the idea, though.
Now, writing a review for the whole story at once, it's difficult to recall every single awesome bit, but one thing I loved especially was the flashback chapter, where the whole plot is revealed to the reader. Because nothing is really explained, per se, we just see glimpses of the events and there's this feeling of impending doom or something, it's difficult to put into words but the result was really intense.
I also really appreciated the detail that Adrian's former betrothed would still have a chance of making as good a match, that she wasn't just swept under the carpet and forgotten about. Adrian's household staff was also an awesome detail, and seemed like people I wouldn't mind hanging around myself either. Oh! And one very, very awesome thing was Lime Jade. His personality, the way you made him likeable without changing his character. And I loved his speaking style.
One thing about the story that I couldn't fully come to terms with, was that Sebastian married Adrian under the pretense of being a woman. I mean, he can't hope to bear Adrian children, that at the very least would be a problem later on in their life even if they managed to keep up the deceit for the rest of the current king & queen's lifetime. That seemed to me like a non-solution, I would have rather seen him take Sebastian as lover. But yeah, that's just me.
Anyway, despite the last point, the story was (as I've said before but hey I like repeating myself) awesome, really enjoyable to read and you've really got the talent.
| Dark Lynnette chapter 14 . 2/26/2010
That was sweet. I didn't expect the encounter to turn out that way, but I can now predict a change in the relationship between Rose and Adrian. Still, I wonder how Sebastian will react to all of this. I like how Sebastion, Viper, and Rose all have different personalities, but still retain similar characteristics. Well played.
| Dark Lynnette chapter 5 . 2/26/2010
i'm really enjoying this story. I think enough happened in this chapter to make me curious about Adrian and his female staff, in case you were still wondering if there was little plot development. I'm still totally into it.
| Shikaido Yuki chapter 11 . 1/15/2010
I've been downing your story since yesterday and I've been loving it. :) I haven't actually read the eleventh chapter because i'm having a major test tomorrow, but i just have to say this... your writing style is really, really beautiful. i'm suck at vocabularies, always using the same word over and over again, but your story provide me with the mean to study new vocabs... i can't just open a dictionary and memorize every single word in it, but with reading... the memorizing part is only natural. So, thank you very much! I hope you write another story again in the near future (and update your website, at that). :D