Reviews for Children of Alchemy
oldolddeadaccount chapter 1 . 6/16/2008
First off, love the name Solryk Cole. The story was very original, well written, and even though it's something I don't normally read, I found it quite captivating. Great job!
Sir Scott chapter 1 . 6/13/2008
Pretty good story idea it has a lot of promise. The actions scene were set at a good pace. Well, hope to see more of your work soon.

Einri Cade chapter 1 . 6/9/2008
I’ll always return reviews. ;P

1. (EXCERPT) Solryk Cole swept across the sky of Irmuenn, taking in the view of a few thousand feet below his strong, purple wings. (/EXCERPT)

With “strong, purple wings,” you’ve set up the chapter to be told from the perspective of third-person omnipresent (as in, the narration will observe things that wouldn’t be otherwise observed by a single, individual character).

2. (EXCERPT) below his strong, purple wings. Peace… he was at peace at the moment. He was always at peace when he surfed the air currents with his wings. (/EXCERPT)

Since you’ve already mentioned his wings, it sounds slightly redundant when it’s mentioned again in the immediate sentence after the one it was first mentioned in. The reader pretty much already knows that he’s flying on wings; they don’t need to be reminded again so soon after, ’k?

3. (EXCERPT) Solryk was in his thirties, and had been raised to accept the responsibility of the ownership of the lands since he was four. He was raised as a scholar, and a soldier. He knew ten different martial arts, and was raised to be a master of each. He could play twelve different instruments with the flair of a master, and spoke four languages. His hair was a violet-red, as was the color of the fur lining his ears. His halo and wings were both a deep purple in color, and his eyes were a light sky, blue. His skin was as tan as a bronze statue and on his left check was a deep scar.(/EXCERPT)

This entire paragraph seemed to have come from out of nowhere. It’s true that you were describing the building, so more descriptions shouldn’t break the flow, right? But it does. You moved from actions, to observation of something being seen (related to the actions - because he’s seeing what’s being seen and whatnot), to a chunk on how he looks like.

A lot of people make a mistake in needing to describe their characters instantly or within the same paragraph(s). The mistake is this: there usually is nothing that leads directly and smoothly into the descriptions. Furthermore, you don’t really need to describe your characters right off the bat. You’ve still got an entire chapter and the rest of the story to familiarize the readers with the characters.

I’d suggest doing something like splitting the descriptions up and spreading them out. Like so:

- “Of course. How careless of me to forget that I am the one that had been entrusted with the task of ridding our lands of the horrors that had so long ruled them,” he said, watching as Hcerlo paused and looked over his shoulder, expression pinched, brown eyes narrowed into a furious glare. (For Those Voices, Fragments of Some Breath)

It’s just one characteristic, but it’s there and if you continuously write in one little characteristic at a time as inconspicuously as the one above had been written in (or even more inconspicuously), by the end of a chapter, the readers should have a pretty clear picture of what your characters look like. Furthermore, it doesn’t distract from the reading at all because it’s just one thing that’s part of something that’s continuing the story. (Oh. I just confused me. If this doesn’t make sense, just PM me, all right?)

Another note: some readers like to have vague descriptions so that they could more fully visualize the characters in their minds by themselves. I don’t really, but it’s something to keep in mind.

4. You have a tendency to insert irrelevant information into as little space / lines-of-text as possible, which doesn’t include descriptions of characters’ appearances. (Irrelevant as in irrelevant to the plot.) It’s completely possible to build up your world little bits of info by little bits of info, and preferable to readers who read a story more for plot and movement (action, in whatever form) of the characters and settings (et al) than for anything else.

(EXCERPT) Anolgar said, walking besides his liege. (/EXCERPT)

I like this line, because you forwent sentences for a simple insert of ‘his liege’ which tells the readers exactly enough for them to keep going.

5. (EXCERPT) His heart throbbed, he had many siblings, all of whom he was close too, but Rhan had been like a confidant in his boring days of study and ceremony. (/EXCERPT)

This is a run-on. The direct relation between the two independent clauses in this sentence can still be conveyed by a semi-colon after ‘throbbed’ and still be grammatically correct.

6. (EXCERPT) When his little sister’s wings broke during the accident (/EXCERPT)

‘had broken’ rather than ‘broke’ - it fits more appropriately with the context, because she’d broken it in the past, yes?

Same with (EXCERPT) In the end, she couldn’t deal with being kept out of the public’s eyes, and left in the dead of night. (/EXCERPT)

‘hadn’t been able to deal with’ and ‘had left’ would fit better.

7. (EXCERPT) “We’ll brief you on it, once we get to the war room, Your Grace,” Anolgar said with a sad sigh.

Spear’s Point. A port city of the islands just north of the Southern continent. It was ripe with despair, sadness, and anger. Those Delphin or Delphini whose wings were broken for one reason or another were sent here by the Temple for sins against the goddess Nicea. Rhan disappeared into the thick of night after her accident with a jousting tournament, not wanting to bring shame to her family. (/EXCERPT)

Smooth out your transition from the two walking and talking to this information. All you need to do is add in why, exactly, this information is relevant and directly connected to what was in the last paragraph. You don’t have to do this if you have a line-break between the last paragraph and the info on Spear’s Point.

8. (EXCERPT) One Delphin, General Elidyr ap-Hugh war more than smug enough to at least once advise it was time to request that the King of the Sothern Tribe place someone more “capable” and “pious” to take over the Baron title. (/EXCERPT)

A comma after ‘ap-Hugh’ as it is an appositive.

‘war’ should have been ‘was’ - which should have been ‘had been’. Since you’re already using past tense to denote the ‘present,’ adding ‘had been’ (et al) to events that had already occurred a while ago would separate the ‘past present’ from the ‘past past’. (Oh dear. I am eloquent today. ;P)

9. (EXCERPT) The girl decided that the money was more important, than in politics, she smiled gently, and then ran off. (/EXCERPT)

Remove the first comma, remove the ‘in’ and insert a period / some other punctuation mark to separate ‘politics’ and ‘she’ because there are two independent clauses in this one sentence.

There are a few other mistakes like the ones above throughout this chapter.

By the way: I like this part of the chapter much better than the beginning. There aren’t any giant chunks of descriptions to read through but the ones that are present fit in with the flow of the story and aren’t really all that gigantic.

10. (EXCERPT) The room itself was a kitchen, bedroom, and lounge. (/EXCERPT)

I so want an inn room like this one mentioned above. I didn’t even know they existed. (Do they?) But they sound lovely, spacious or not.

11. (EXCERPT) as the tip of a bright red pressed against the nape of his neck (/EXCERPT)

Bright red what?

12. (EXCERPT) he felt his arm reach for the cool, soothing steel of his own blade (/EXCERPT)

This description makes me think that his arm has a separate consciousness than the rest of him. Why not just have him reach for his weapon?

13. (EXCERPT) “…You deny them the right to think for themselves,” he blocked the staff with his free hand, crushing the tip of it, before Thomas could pull it away. (/EXCERPT)

End the quotation with another punctuation mark; commas are only used to end quotations when there are verbs that connect the quotations directly to the actions of the characters (like ‘said’ or ‘shouted’).

14. (EXCERPT) And as he felt slumber take him, he said a prayer that that was still the case. (/EXCERPT)

This last sentence isn’t very clear. ‘Still the case’? I’m sort of dumbfounded by the phrasing.

OVERALL - very interesting storyline and it sounds as though you have a solid foundation for a world and the people who live in it. Just smooth out your narration by spreading out the descriptions and easing the transitions between actions and info, ’k?

SunKat411 chapter 1 . 6/9/2008
Nice story so far. I'm working on one too. Check it out when you have time.

Continue soon.