Reviews for King Richard's Challenges
Cole Culain chapter 1 . 12/15/2010
This is a review squad review for the review marathon.

I like voice you used in this story. It was charming, funny and witty. I could picture reading this in the anthology of fairy tales I had as a kid (still have it, but shh!).

The characters were pretty much the cookie cutter variety you find in fairy tales, with not much depth. But I feel this was intended, so no qualms there. I did feel like the characters developed to much at the end though, as if making up for lost time. It seemed unnatural and out of place.

Overall though, a really good story, and quite funny too.
C. Tattiana H-H chapter 1 . 7/11/2010
I enjoyed this opening paragraph. The simple, short sentences combined with the repetition gave it a nice, silly feel. Excellent way to begin any silly short. ;)

But how was he supposed to catch them all? Then he remembered what Emily had said about Charlie.

-I noticed this in The Wildest Tales; you are so good at connecting people. (Terrible wording, but you know what I mean). One passing comment near the beginning of the story ends up being useful later in the story. So brilliant!

He bucked, neighing and shaking his head, and Max was thrown off the saddle. Luckily, he landed in the soft grass, but it had still hurt. Now what? Max stood and wandered around for a little while, not sure where to go, when a fierce growl came from behind him.

-Personal: I think you should throw in one line about the horse running off. Although I’ve gathered that it has, I still prefer a quick sentence to confirm it.

She and Max turned to see Emily, holding a sword that looked far too big for her while glaring at Anastasia

-Edit?: You and I both know how horrible my comma placement is; so I feel rather awkward right now. I don’t think the comma is necessary in this sentence. I’m just throwing that one out there, not 100% sure about this one. P

She growled and slashed a claw, but the two humans stepped back.

-Personal: The “but” reads oddly in this sentence to me.

In fact, after the event with Anastasia the queen would never stop apologizing to Max and Emily and she would go on and on about how brave they were. She offered them whatever they wanted and always got them presents for no reason no matter how much they told her they didn't need any.

-Personal/Edit?: I think a comma should be placed after “Anastasia, and “Emily”, and I think you should change “got” to “gave”.

This was a really neat story. It read like a fairy tale and the ending was cute. I’m reading the reviews now... Yes, I agree with Emily, I haven’t read very many fairytale-like stories on Fiction Press, so this was rather refreshing. Great piece, Sir. This was a lot of fun to read. :D

And that’s it for all of your one-shots, I believe. I’ll be finishing up The Wildest Tales (which should be on my alerts) and then I’ll be moving onto your poetry soon enough. I think it’s safe to put you on my Favourite Author’s list now. The old rule for my FA list used to be I had to favourite at least three of the author’s pieces before I added them as a favourite author. However, I realized how much easier it is to favourite someone I adore and only add one or two of my top favourite stories by them; in order to make room for the other amazing pieces I stumble across, of course. You definitely qualify, my friend. I love your style, and a lot of your one-shots would be on my Favourite Stories list if I wasn’t so weary of having such a lengthy one. Ha-ha.

With well wishes,

Liana
AvidWriter-92 chapter 1 . 7/4/2010
Oh, I liked this a lot. :) It read very well, just like a child's story, which is what I think you were trying to go for. :P You described everything really well, but didn't go too terribly in depth, because again, it's supposed to be a child's story.

I also liked how original the story line was, and the little moral at the end of the story. :)

Overall, I think you did a great job on this. I've never read any "child's" stories on here, so it was a nice change from the usual. :P

Avid. :) Roadhouse, 5/9
lookingwest chapter 1 . 3/18/2010
I know you may never come back to revise this, XD, but I'll just give my two-cents anyways! :D

In the Kingdom of Siceli, King Richard was a king who was always complaining.

-Suggested edit: In the Kingdom of Siceli, King Richard was a king who constantly complained.

-Just to get rid of that passiveness and sort of make it a more solid claim.

-Also, I am such a bad complainer...maybe I will learn something. XD

I liked the writing style of this-it was very direct in a way that created that sort of "bedtime story" atmosphere. It really just presented the facts and didn't go too in depth with background or anything, it was like: this is just the way it was.

"My name's Emily,"...

- O: Most awesome name EVER!

But, as usual, King Richard wouldn't listen to her.

-Edit: the previous sentence ends in "to her" so I would suggest just omitting it from this one as to not be repetitious.

And that was what they did.

-As mentioned above, I love the simplicity, I think that fairytale tone really shines here.

...including Queen Ann, who wouldn't let the matter go for years.

- XD

He still complains more than the average person, but at least he's working on it.

-YAY! Me too, XD

This was a great afternoon read for me! Light, happy and fun. I liked it a lot and I never read many fairytale-like stories on FP so I found this refreshing too! And Emily was awesome-but I already knew that because we share such an amazing name, XD.
Fractured Illusion chapter 1 . 11/13/2008
A belated birthday gift from the Review Game to you to celebrate the forum turning one years. Thank you for your participation! :D

"but his question was answered as a"

- the "but" doesn't really fit in this context. it would imply it was not answered, but you say here it was. Either go with "and his question was answered" OR

"but his question was not answered as a"

". The messenger just shrugged."

Haha! XD Good grief, how sympathetic! Haha, poor Max.

The story reminded me of fairy tales almost, the stories you were told as a kid :) But it wasn't juvenile, I in fact felt it had a nice balance. Also it made me smile, very sweet story too.

My only dismay was that I originally thought this story would be focusing more on the king, but this worked great too :)

Keep it up!

- Frac
B. J. Winters chapter 1 . 7/22/2008
This was cute and light - just what I was looking for.

Opening: Could be stronger. You use the word “was” five times and focus on “to be” verbs. More action verbs would grab the reader.

Example: In the Kingdom of Siceli, King Richard was a king who was always complaining. {possible close rewording: King Richard constantly complained. Kings are named king, and have kingdoms….}

Flow: you have a couple of jumbled points of view in the early interaction. The king can sort of see the kids – and you mention he’s watching while trying to keep the reader focused on the other action. It’s distracting.

Example: The two children were completely oblivious to this. Max examined the horse's hoof. Sure enough, a rock was wedged snugly between Sultan’s horseshoe and hoof. He pulled it out, and Sultan seemed very relieved. King Richard, infuriated by this act of simple helpfulness, stormed back to the castle. {first sentence “this”? It’s not a good topic sentence. I’d put all of Richard’s reaction in one paragraph and keep the flow of the kids all together. You do this with the mouse catching and I think the interaction with Sultan would flow better grouped like that.}

After returning to the castle,…{this paragraph is very long. You can make the point in half as many words}

Dialogue: Overall it’s good. Nice, simple and on-point.

Ending: I liked the moral of the story. It’s simple and obviously keeping on theme, mapping back to the topic sentence
HeroR chapter 1 . 6/13/2008
The voice of this story is very cute and sweet. It reminds me a lot of bedtimes stories that mothers tell their children before going to bed. Even the ending has a 'happily ever after' feel to it.

The story was also dark enough to catch the attention of an older audience and had more than a few funny moments in it.

Nice work on the story:)
Tawny Owl chapter 1 . 6/8/2008
This was very amusing. I liked the way that the problem of the mice could be solved with Charlie. It made it seem like a proper fairy tale.

I also liked the comment about Queen Ann not letting the incident with Anastasia go for years. That made me chuckle.

I noticed a few mistakes, hope you don’t mind me pointing them out – it’s good practise for me too.

Max examined the horses hoof – horse’s needs an apostrophe

“Chief!” should be Chef

he just delivered messenges – just a typo I think
Harmonic Discord chapter 1 . 5/20/2008
Review game!

I like this. The writing is simple but flows very well, like a child's fairytale. You have a really good balance between description and dialogue, which makes this story easy to read. I love the details you include, such as Anastasia giving King Richard the same look as Emily's cat.

The plot is straightforward and well-crafted, with amusing characters and situations. I loved King Richard's increasing annoyance at the lack of complaint-worthy items. Also liked how you made Emily the brave one instead of Max in terms of fighting the tiger. My only critique is that you might have made the King Richard's turnaround a little more exaggerated. You don't really establish that he feels any deep remorse for nearly getting Max and Emily killed; instead, it seems like his wife is more the cause of his apology. I think it could add to the story a bit if you actually describe his regret in more detail.

Overall though, enjoyed the story, the voice, the plot. Very well done indeed.

Minor issues:

“My name’s Emily,” said the girl, “It’s a long story, but I really don’t have anywhere else to go.” - I findit a little odd that Emily is making excuses before Max even asked what she was doing there. It disrupted the flow a little.

“What’s the matter?” asked Max gently, but his question was answered as a loud sneeze echoed from the far corner of the field, under the fence a girl lay half buried in straw in a tangled mess, a calico cat on her lap. - Run-on. I think this would flow better if you split it in half, i.e.:

“What’s the matter?” asked Max gently, but his question was answered as a loud sneeze echoed from the far corner of the field. Under the fence a girl lay half buried in straw in a tangled mess, a calico cat on her lap.

Sure enough, a rock was wedged snuggly - I'm pretty sure you meant "snugly." "Snuggly" means "cuddly".

As he had said, Max let Emily stay with Sultan. - maybe "promised" would be a better word choice than "said"

Her cat, as Max came to know(,) was called Charlie.

However little of a problem it was, the fact that it was solved gave King Richard one less thing to complain about, and that was unforgivable. - *grin*

The next morning Max was summoned by one of Hid Majesty’s royal messengers. - "Hid" should be "His"

“The king’s royal food supply has been depleting,” - I think you meant "depleted"
Esther Jade chapter 1 . 5/17/2008
Hey!

I enjoy the tone of the story. It suits a children's story.

One thing is that even though it's a children's story, it does stretch credibility a little too far now and then. For the section with the horse, I think it would work better if the King was integrated more into the scene. Maybe have the scene with the stone outside the stable when the King returns and then Max can meet Emily when he goes inside.

Also, when the King changes at the end, it feels a bit too abrupt. I think maybe it needs more of an explanation. You're 'redeeming' a character so his character shift needs some motivation.

I like Max and Emily. They're both engaging characters. Emily's dialogue when she first arrives in the scene with Anastasia, though, feels too grown-up. I would suggest toning it down a little bit.

The rest of the dialogue is good but sometimes has too many synonyms for 'said'. Unless you feel you really need to, just use 'said'. Using synonyms makes the dialogue harder to read.

Minor points:

But Max didn’t min being alone too much. Besides, he had his horses for company. - Typo. That "mind" is missing a "d".

The horse, it turned out, quite enjoyed her company. Max would visit them every night to bring them some food and to just talk. As it turned out, Max enjoyed her company as well. - That echo is really cute.

Max had the obscure feeling that this was not a good place to be right now. - I think having "obscure" as well as the rest of the irony is a bit overdone. I would suggest taking it out.

And then, before Max, Emily, or Anastasia could register who was alive and who wasn’t - I like this turn of phrase.
ByYourSide chapter 1 . 5/16/2008
I love the voice.

I love the way it's very fairytale-esque, and it maintains that voice throughout the whole story. Often I've read stories that start off one way and end up another and it's very hard to adjust to, especially in short pieces. You did very will that.

I like the typical fairytale characters too. Especially the king and his desire to complain all the time. None of your characters are very fleshed out, of course, but that's how fairytales are and it fit in well with the rest of the writing.

I read the whole thing, start to finish, and I must say it had my attention captured for sure. Which in my opinion is an awesome thing-my attention span may be shorter than average, heehee.

Plot was very simple. Then this happened then this happened then this happen-easy to follow, too. That may have been one of my favorite things about this.

I like how everything was tied up nicely and came around at the end. Sort of an 'and they lived happily ever after' scenario, which of course never happens in real life, but this is a fairytale, isn't it? Kudos to you on that, too. It left a nice warm fuzzy feeling in me.

*hot cocoa time*