Reviews for Queen Christine's Reign: Book I
Ray-Anne chapter 13 . 5/8/2009
Work on trying to put more description and life into your stories. Everything seems short and monotone as if you are telling it and not there yourself. Especially since it all happens so fast. Open up your imagination. This is good, keep writing and it could be even better.
Ecru chapter 12 . 3/8/2009
I’m a bit disappointed with how this chapter has turned out. The first two paragraphs were great, and the only thing I could see wrong were that you forgot to capitalise the Head Sorceress and you used the word, “you” in this sentence, “you could never know.” It’s fine, but changing the narrative form from one to another isn’t a great idea.

Again you made Catherine want to stay with Alyin more than to tell her people that everything was alright and that their families could come back. Although it makes her seem nice to Alyin, it makes her a bad queen. Queen’s are meant to rule over everyone and have other people put first not have their own personal agenda to get in the way of that ruling. (Like I said in an earlier review, Queen Elizabeth never married mainly because she pretty much wanted to continue to rule as she loved her people and wanted England to continue growing).

The fact is that this chapter has little plot or point in it – it seems like you wanted to get another chapter uploaded as soon as possible. Perhaps you could add more dialogue and description in. Perhaps with the Head Sorceress and the Queen having a discussion about Alyin’s father, he’s the antagonist after all and should play a role in the protagonist’s life as much as possible. If you continue to write like you did in the first two paragraphs then I’m sure readers will be more than happy to stay with this story – no matter how long it takes for you to update.

Well I believe this is the last chapter - and I will say that if you slow down the pace, maybe make the sentences flow smoother, add some details in and think through every little aspect of your world then you will have people reviewing like crazy.

Hope you take these long, rambling reviews with a pinch of salt and continue to write enthusiastically! Later.
Ecru chapter 11 . 3/8/2009
Much better with the descriptions, especially in paragraph one and three, you went into detail which is needed to gain a good effect in this type of story. There were only a few mistakes that I could really comment on this time and that’s mainly because of the lack of detail in earlier chapters.

So, first ‘...who was killing an army that had been creeping closer’ I think you mean a platoon or even a unit – an army couldn’t creep anywhere, usually there’s hundreds of thousands in an army, you’d hear them. Anyway a platoon would consist of a few hundred, and within that platoon there would be different units. Just for future references.

‘She would have been out there fighting, but the Head Sorceress, Sorcerer and Wizard disapproved of it saying that she needed to stay safe and uninjured to keep running the kingdom. She sighed, feeling her hot forehead.’ The fact remains that the Queen is up where the sorceresses are why can’t she blast a few low-level spells towards the enemy instead of watching people die?

‘She was already in armor and had spells around her protecting her from incoming attacks. Christine picked up her Morningstar named Eclipse and her magical shield. She ran out the door.’ It’s odd that if the Head Sorceress made her not go out into the battlefield that she would already be dressed for war? Since when did she have this Morningstar? Why would you name a sword unless it had some symbolic meaning?

Finally, ‘All of a sudden, a jab at her side was all she could feel. Christine tried to stab back at her attacker, but she sank to the ground. Everything went black.’ It seems a little unbelievable that this woman has not fought in years, can still keep up with men who probably spar every day and… only get jabbed? Usually if there was a royal or someone of great importance to moral: the enemy would behead them or make sure people knew they were dead to gain an advantage. This would be a good area to speak about the pain and how the lose of blood could make her feel light headed.

Although, “We don’t need to fight anymore!” Erika exclaimed. Victory was with them!’ Seemed a little fake seeing as even though they had gained an advantage, the opposing army could still defeat the other and then still crush them, that is if they were strong enough… But that’s all I have to say to that line. Anyway I enjoy reading about how the Queen and Erika managed to survive, and thankfully you didn’t fall into the hole of making the queen the savior of everyone. (In other words, making her dodge every hit).
Ecru chapter 10 . 3/8/2009
In this chapter there was a lot happening, however I think that parts had been forgotten while writing it and so the chapter seemed somewhat semi-realistic due to this.

One thing I want to point out, is that when Alyin is handed the cape he asks questions about it...Then later on when we meet Abquilla: she says to the Head Sorceress , “Oh, you have these capes!” Meaning she’s seen them before... Which raises the question, if Alyin and Abquilla are from the same area – I presume this because both know Alyin’s father... how did Alyin not know what the capes were for to begin with?

‘The magic users soon began to cast their spells, killing most of the enemy.’ Most of the enemy? Most: indicates nearly all of the people mentioned. If it killed most of the enemy then the war would be over. Perhaps you should say the enemy which surrounded the castle doors? Or some detail on where the enemy is?

Typo: ‘Then he stomped his floor on the ground.’ I think you mean foot instead of floor.

‘Alyin began to clear his mind in order to communicate with her.’ He’s on the battlefield. There are people killing one another and no doubt coming at him with large weapons. I doubt he’d be able to clear his mind, concentrate, and communicate with another person. Wars are very noisy: you probably can’t even hear yourself think.

‘Fine… all right, but you owe me one...’ There was something about this line of dialogue which made me think of high school. It’s not like lending CD’s to a friend or copying homework, having an entire platoon – or even an entire army of hard-willed people, withdraw isn’t easy. People have adrenaline running through them, I doubt they’d want to stop just because someone said so.

“When you have control of the other commander’s mind, order him to tell his troops that the troops you command turned against his troops and that they need to attack them in order to win the battle.”

Wow, that was rather wordy… You could try to cut this down. Humans naturally can follow up to two perspectives before they find it confusing. (For example, Sarah said that Suzan said… is easy to follow but add in things like, Sarah said Suzan said that Emily said, that Amy told her that Sarah was annoying) and it can get confusing and it stops the flow of the story. I think this line would be better as:

“When you have control of the commander’s mind, make his troops attack Alyin’s father’s troops, say they have turned on him.”

Other than that I think you should just try to add in more description (I always find that it’s best to have more than not enough as when you write too much the reader can always scan over it). The sudden cliff-hanger was a good way to keep the tension up, however the battle seems to move so fast that the reader can't actually grasp the fear which the character's are experiencing.

The dialogue (other than the parts I pointed out) were done well. Also the chapter is much longer than the first so keep it up.
Ecru chapter 9 . 3/8/2009
At first I have one thought when I read over the sentence, ‘The news spread to the wizards, the sorcerers and the sorceresses’ what is the difference between a wizard and a sorcerer? Both are merely words associated with a male knowing magic – so in your world, what makes them different? Is one title higher, more powerful?

Typo: “towards here,” I believe it should be towards her.

This piece of dialogue confused me: “If I didn’t, I would have felt helpless, as so many of my people would die in front of me.” She’s at the top of the tower in battle, no matter where she is, she will see many of her people die. By saying this, it makes me feel as if she’d feel helpless actually on the battlefield as she’d see first hand everyone being slaughtered.

“...You’re willing to help others weaker then yourself,” I think it should be, than, rather than “then”. Also I think that you should note that a Queen is not always known for her niceness, or being pretty in order to make her good at the job – take Queen Elizabeth the First of England. She was ruthless! A famous quote of hers is, ‘There is nothing about which I am more anxious than my country, and for its sake I am willing to die ten deaths, if that be possible.’ Remember that the Queen has more than being nice as a way to win loyalty over.

‘The door reared open,’ the word reared is used in the wrong context here: a door cannot rear, it can however be slammed opened and closed.

“...she might join us, and command her troops to attack each other,” This made it almost sound like the other sorceress was going to have her own troops kill themselves... The thing that maybe you should edit is not “attack each other”, but attack Alyin’s father’s troops, which will be doing most damage.

Last on critique, “It’s not that easy, even for an elf.” Stay away from the “It’s easy,” or “It’s hard” because I’m an elf excuse, I’m sure you don’t want Alyin being a mere cardboard character who has no life to his own.

I will say I enjoyed the chapter because Christine appears to think ahead, she makes a plan of action quickly. The shape-shifters appear once again, if they do appear in the later chapters, you should describe the basic form of one. Also you give Alyin more characterization than most of the other chapters with just the words, ‘I don’t want to face him,”’ This gives the reader a fear, a doubt that he has and it is a possibility that it will be a challenge if he has to pick between running or fighting. All in all that made me interested and half of me wanted to shove Alyin and his father into a room just to see what he would do.
Ecru chapter 8 . 3/8/2009
The first sentence seems as if someone had writers block and typed it to get something down on the screen. It’s short and rather pointless to the chapter. The readers will assume that seeing as Christine went to sleep in the last chapter, she will be awake this chapter. (Unless there’s some dream, or flashback). ‘Christine woke up refreshed and well rested.’ The fact is most people wake up well rested, it’s only when you don’t wake up as such then something is troubling you. Also refreshed and well-rested mean the same thing.

On the other hand the second sentence is realistic seeing as her mind automatically jumps to Alyin and what trouble might be brewing. It keeps her character focused, and the readers done lose the sense that Christine wants to protect everyone, and make sure people aren’t hurt.

The next line, ‘Christine disapproved of war, so she would do anything to prevent it’ is also very superfluous. No one likes war, which is why most people will try to sign a treaty or make a deal so war doesn’t begin. War costs a lot of money to the economy and of course the workforce will be used for soldiers, so war must be carefully planned. Usually war will only take place for economical benefit, strategic benefits, or to try to gain favour (if say the townspeople hate a certain city, then the new/hated leader could attack said city so they would gain favour in the eyes of the townspeople).

However, as Christine continues to think about these things, she gets changed (you never really read about Princesses changing attire, mainly because it’s described in such long detail at the start that the author decides that one clothe-change is all that is needed). So, thankfully you seem to understand that, that is not the case. You even did so with Alyin which is a relief.

A thing which made me almost click back on the chapters to see if I had misread anything was: ‘Her teacher is the one with the shape-shifter as a pet. But she is a very sweet girl.”’ Wasn’t it only a rumour that there was a teacher with a shape-shifter as a pet? How did Christine find that out: when did she find that out? We were never told about the shape-shifter after that...

A typo: “... your not in charge.” I believe you mean you are or you’re.

However, you continue to let the idea that shape-shifters are taboo into the story, which is a good world-building technique. ‘“Oh, dear. No wonder that poor girl’s afraid! Shape-shifters are horrid!”’

On another note, I thought about Alyin’s father. How powerful is he that he can threaten an entire kingdom? Surely he is a king himself? If not, how did he get so many people who will readily follow him into battle?

A line which I found slightly narrow-minded from Christine was the line of dialogue, ‘You are an elf and elves are honest...’ Even if she is half-elf and her mother was one, who are kind and honest – doesn’t mean he is. If I were to say I’m honest and human, and therefore, all humans are honest: that doesn’t give me a solid motive to trust another human who could very well be an enemy in wolf’s clothing. It’d probably make me more stupid than considerate. Make sure you class Aylin as himself, compete with flaws and strengths, and not just “an elf”. An elf is what he is, no who he is.
Ecru chapter 7 . 3/8/2009
Erika was mentioned earlier on, so it’s good to see that she was introduced now, so that the reader doesn’t forget who she is. It would be troublesome if you were to mention her for pages and only introduce her after another main event had occurred.

The dialogue was iffy at parts, such as: ‘“...sorry I bumped into you; I didn’t know that you were there…”’ The last part is rather redundant seeing as if Christine knew someone was there – she wouldn’t have bumped into her in the first place.

Also there was this part I couldn’t help but feel as if it slowed the chapter down:

‘“Yes. So, you call your gift your power?” Christine asked.

“Yes, that is what I call my gift,” Erika said, bowing her head, as if ashamed.’

It was Christine who mentioned the word ‘gift’ in the substitute of the word ‘power(s)’ therefore it isn’t Erika which called her powers a gift. Also Erika just seems to be repeating what the Queen said and it seems as if a nod would have been sufficient. Although you’re beginning to show how people are acting and representing themselves while they speak, (shown by the ‘Erika said, bowing her head, as if ashamed.’ So keep that up).

At the beginning also you wrote, ‘Christine said smiling, even though this female couldn’t see it.’ Yet later on you suddenly tell the reader what Erika’s eyes are like and how her hair is braided. If a character’s surroundings change, you should mention them.

‘Erika looked at Christine with apprehension in her eyes, as if Christine was the being she most feared.’ and, ‘…Erika said, stumbling with her words…’ Are good examples of how to continue to write about the way each character interacts, it helps sent the tone in which each character would be using.

The light in each part of the story seems to change and the only part in which you actually mention light is: ‘They walked into the library. Christine soon noticed as she lit a candle.’ So they were randomly walking through the halls of the castle? In the dark? When they had both bumped into each other because they couldn’t see a thing? It is a sketchy idea, and it would be good to continue to mention a light source, or whether or not the character’s can see where or not they are going to.

The phrase: ‘as tall as Christine’s shoulder;’ is rather confusing, it makes Erika sound as if she’s as tall as a shoulder. Perhaps you could say that Erika was just below Christine’s chin, or stood level with Christine’s’ shoulders?

Again you break up the sentence structure which is a good habit to get into, however I believe you don’t need the, ‘then said’ in this sentence: ‘“… Part of my power,” she paused, and looked around, then said,’ you don’t need to say it due to the fact she merely paused and is still in the process of saying it.

The next two critiques are mainly about the way things are worded: ‘…I should probably go. My teacher will probably be wondering where I am if she checks on me,”’ I think there’s a few too many probably’s in there.

The idea would be better written as: I should probably go. My teacher would wonder where I am if she checked on me. The fact is the teacher hasn’t check up on her (or at least she’s assuming so, because the teacher would be wandering around wondering where she went).

Lastly, ‘She fell asleep, knowing that tomorrow was going to be a new day.’ Again this last phrase is a little redundant seeing as everyone knows that tomorrow would equal a new day. Perhaps this would be a good area to add in the Queen’s thought on Erika – make her go over in her head what has happened over the past few days?
Ecru chapter 6 . 3/7/2009
Just a suggestion, but why not start the chapter without the time skip? Actually show the reader what the mind probe is like – possibly from the elf’s POV this time? It would make the chapter longer, and also would help the readers understand why the Queen felt pity on her own assassin. (If you wanted to switch back to the Queen’s POV, a small page break would work fine).

With that you could also have the Head Sorceress explain what she saw, or heard, or read or... however the mind probing in this world works, in the elf’s mind. The Queen would be most interested in what she had found out would no doubt question everything the Head Sorceress said, even: ‘“That is of no importance at the moment,”’.

Christine seems to be a rather odd character. I thought she was a friends with the Head Sorceress? If she wasn’t really a true friend but more of a reliable subject then I guess it’s alright but... If they were both friends I doubt that Christine would wave her title of Queen around to get her way, seeing as she seems to consider everyone: she would at least listen to the Head Sorceress’s’ reasons to why she shouldn’t go visit them.

Although the elf may no longer be the main “threat” what stops the father from taking over his son’s body again? This would probably be a question asked by both Queen and Head Sorceress would ask.

Personally I would think this person was lying through their teeth unless the Head Sorceress came to the conclusion that someone else was in his mind or whatnot.

Also a note, the Queen would never, ever be simply two doors from the right away from someone who tried to kill her. He’s be at the other end of the building, seeing as the Queen would be no doubt in a bind if he really did escape and was after her blood.

All I can say to this line: ‘Christine thought for a very long time, and then realized that she didn’t know the elf’s name.’ Is what took her a long time to think about? Insight into the character’s mind is a good way to explain and help the reader keep on track with the plot and what the character might do if something were to happen.

Oh, yes and it’s good to see you varying your sentence structure, keep it up: Her Head Sorceress sighed, “Oh please!” she said standing up and walking to the man, “can’t you see he is an elf?”

Also, continue to world-build, you seem to know the area in which Christine rules: “He lives on the west end of this land, near Gorajin city, about fifteen leagues west to be exact.” Well done!

There are some parts of dialogue which don’t need to be there, take this for example: “I am the only heir in the whole kingdom, except my younger sister. Please do not insult me by saying I am too young.” The fact is that Christine isn’t the heir to the throne, she’s there already – she’s Queen. Her little sister is the heir to the throne, not her.

And lastly, I spotted a typo: ‘Her Head Sorceress’s expression change...’ It should be “changed”. Also this would be a good area to add in some description of facial expressions, feelings and so forth.
Ecru chapter 5 . 3/7/2009
I’m very, very glad that you didn’t go down the route I thought you would! The only thing I would say to the beginning of this chapter would maybe make the Queen’s worrying thoughts spiral a little out of control, and begin to really panic. It would add to the characterization of Christine (seeing as she always seems worried about people) and also let the reader become frantic in wanting to know of what became of the Head Sorceress.

One thing that was a bit unrealistic about Christine’s reaction: ‘Christine tried to make her voice angry, even though she wanted to show grace to the poor man. But Christine had to show that she was in charge.’ Even if Christine is a genuinely nice person, who would let petty things slide – she was almost killed by the man in front. She’d either be angry beyond words or worried that he could jump out and attack her now, no matter what he looked like.

Again, the Head Sorceress reaction was at first realistic however the following line of dialogue made it uncanny: “Shall I probe his mind to see if he is a threat to the kingdom…or you?” The fact is that the guy has already attempted to kill the Queen, right now they’d automatically be thinking about how he is a threat and trying to get as many answers out of him as possible.

Again, the first sentence of the last paragraph, “But she couldn’t do any thing that could possibly help him.” Why would she want to help him? She personally may not like the feeling of having her mind probed, but surely if she really wanted to know why her life was almost ended she would be up for letting such a thing happen to him.

The last line was well done: He had tried to kill her, she kept thinking over and over. But why?

It gives the question which all the readers, vaguely understand. This man was probably the elf – and no doubt it isn’t his fault. They can sympathize with him and also the Queen because of their situations.

The only real things needed done was the reactions, and of course, there’s no harm in letting you’re character’s think for a good while – or even describing if they’re frowning or pacing back and forth. This way it adds to the picture and we get a feel of the room. Just try to keep it to two POV’s maximum other wise it could be a little messy and could become confusing.
Ecru chapter 4 . 3/7/2009
I’m very interested in this story, seeing as it has so many elements of fantasy are in it – magic, princesses and now…shape-shifting, which appears to be taboo in this kingdom. Interesting, indeed!

Just a thought as I re-read the first few pieces of dialogue. The Head Sorceress apparently ‘… looked as if she had been running all over the castle.’ Now, sure the castle would be huge and obviously it wouldn’t be too easily to locate her without running around as such. However what I want to note is that if she was out of breath (like the kind you get from running the 100m Sprint), why would she easily down a glass of water? Usually you’d take sips and slowly recover, that is unless you are unbelievably fit. Even so, if she was still recovering, I doubt she’d be able to yell – if she’s so tired from running that she needed a glass of water to calm herself down. I think she’d be breathing heavily and speaking slowly and quietly or ragged and in short pauses.

Perhaps you could tell the readers, without information-dumping too much of the idea of shape-shifters onto them… “Why” the idea shape-shifters are fears or at least why they are concerned to be completely outrageous as a pet. Maybe there’s a law or tradition it breaks? Try not to go into too much detail though, it’s a very fine line between helping the story seem more real and slowing it down.

This line made me puzzled to be honest: ‘“I must check it for poison, your majesty,” the Head Sorceress said.’ First of all… I have to say, you did bring a unique aspect. Poisonous flowers, good idea! (I’m imagining that it was the pollen that was poisonous and not the thorns seeing as the servant, and the Queen have touched them without collapsing to the floor dead). However, the way the sorceress acts to it is a little… off?

Surely if something was poisonous, that could kill the Queen: the Head Sorceress wouldn’t ask for it to be tested, on the off chance that Christine would say no. She’d take them herself and explain later. Seeing as Christine is rather considerate to her subjects then I doubt she’d be brash if someone happened to take the flowers off the servant before they were handed to her personally. After all I’m sure there have been many ‘poison checks’ if there were tension between rival kingdoms.

The way they both react to the news of finding said poison isn’t done in much detail. You could expand on the thoughts of Christine and even the Head Sorceress. Perhaps Christine is more concerned on why someone would want to kill her, and the Head Sorceress is much more aware of said tension.(Although I do hope you don’t make Christine fall into the naïve category, she seems rather aware of her kingdom duty so far, good job).

Christine also says she wants the flowers burned to stop the poison from killing any villagers. Her life could have been taken away from her and she wants to make sure no one else is hurt? Surely she would want rid of the flowers, but not out of selfishness, but more of an ‘Oh-my-that-can-kill-me!’ sort of reaction. To make it appear that she is both, worried for her own life and concerned for her people: you could say, get the flowers to be burned but then let an investigation occur because of these flowers making sure no one got hurt?

I really did like the last line:

The Head Sorceress thought for a moment, and then said, “I shall do it far in the Dark Forest. I will be back in less than an hour.” It adds tension, and makes the reader want to appear at the Dark Forest to see if that elf is still hanging around – and if the two will meet one another.

Although with the way my mind is working I can see a rather predictable plot that can happen here. Seeing as that elf is also still in the Dark Forest (I’m assuming here,) then said elf and Head Sorceress will fight as they will soon be in the same area? Possibly with one of them dying? Perhaps it’s the Head Sorceress, leaving the Queen without her reliable friend to help her piece together what is happening? A little cliché however, if you do go down this path: you can still add in a few twists I’m sure, in order to revive it.

(Off I go to the next chapter)!
Ecru chapter 3 . 3/7/2009
(I may as well go review each chapter seeing as I'm going to continue reading, so I don’t mind and if it helps, win-win situation)!

First off, the length has improved and this is probably because you’re actually getting into the story and it’s now beginning to take shape.

My first point is mainly about the situation in which the first sorceress is put in. A few questions spring to my mind when I read that paragraph and mainly is was about the way the two acted towards one another. Now, Christine is the Queen at this point, correct? She holds power over the entire kingdom and its subject, right? So why would a sorceress be able to back chat someone of such a high rank?

Unlike democracy or some political candidate in which people can say horrible things to their face and not have to worry, monarchy is different. If you insult them enough or hide information away it can be proclaimed as treason. Treason usually was punishable by death. I’m not saying that the Queen would order the death to all those who bad mouthed her, just not anyone would bad-mouth her because there is always that little doubt, and capibility of her doing so.

No matter who the person is, they’d be respectful in her presence, however I think if the Queen wasn’t in ear-shot the woman would probably grumble away about how pathetic she was at being Queen and so forth.

(On the same note as previously above: the fact that ‘Christine looked at the sorceress, surprised by her expression.’ shows that the old woman hasn’t done something like this before and so would be at least scolded for such insubordination). This I think would make the dialogue a little more believable.

On the other hand I enjoyed that the monarchy is keeping a note on whom and how the magic-users are in their studies. This would be seemingly helpful if a war or battle were about to begin, and they aren’t letting these special, magic-users wander around their city without a care.

The second sorceress is much more realistic, she is respectful and not only that but genuinely interested in the Queen’s well-being which makes me think I'll be seeing her again at one point or another. If you want to make a rebellious sorceress then let the readers get inside her head and listen to her ranting at how unfair her pay is.

‘She had already been there for at least two hours. Christine was very glad she didn’t have to pay a visit to the wizards and sorcerers too.’ The first sentence is fine, it shows Christine is dedicated and doing a rather, dull, job without too much whining which shows at least a long attention span. (Seemingly absent from some females that are occasionally wrote about). I think you could delete the word ‘sorcerers’ seeing as she is already paying the sorceresses now, unless this has another meaning, of course.

I’d like to think that Christine sat up “straighter” as I can’t picture any real Princess slouching on a chair. No matter what length of time she has been sitting there for. (Seeing as in real life, a coronation can last up to something such as four hours, a very long service: never has it been shown on television or even heard that the new King or Queen slouched. They must stand sit, walk perfectly and gracefully).

‘…she wore a purple cape that was very thin, so that you could see the clothes she was wearing under it.’ So the purple cape had a transparent element about it? Which makes me a little confused, seeing originally a cape would only cover the back, surely they’d have another layer of clothing under it?

‘The capes were special to magic users. If one of the capes got into the wrong hands, there would be spilled blood.’ Again, if the capes were special to magic users, only people with magic would and could use them, right? So if the Queen has a record of such who is a magic user, how could the cape fall into the wrong hands? Unless it were some neighboring enemy who stole a cape, but again why would someone steal a cape if the properties of it were unknown to them? In fact you didn’t even explain why blood would be spilt because of the use of the cape.

On the other hand, you’re beginning to describe the surroundings better, which is an excellent way to help the reader become engrossed into your world.

The other sorceress says, ‘…dreadful place?’ is she really speaking about the Palace? The place where the Queen resides and no doubt has the most wealth in one room that most of the lower class would ever see in their life-time? I would suggest maybe to delete the, ‘…so I can leave this dreadful place.’ I’d understand if it were a cave, but – the castle?

Also, a quick note, why would Christine tell the sorceress to wait when she didn’t have anything else to stay to her?

I liked the fact that you did tell the reader that the Princess did know a little magic, this will stop any confusion if she suddenly casts a spell: also I have to say that Christine is becoming more and more “alive” as yet again you give her another fault of not being about to remember long messages or chants and also not being able to use very powerful magic. (That was a guess, seeing as I merely am assuming that the more complex and powerful the spell the longer it would take to chant and cast).

The chapter ends on a cliff-hanger of such, which will entice the reader to continue reading on although I can’t help but feel this was a little flat compared to the first and second chapter. The first had some suspense, showing a danger or rather the antagonist, and then the second was introducing the protagonist (which I believe is Christine), meanwhile this one… Doesn’t seem to have much occurring other than meeting some characters, which I doubt the reader will meet again. Perhaps you could add in a few worries of the Queens? Maybe mention some threats which she’s thinking over while she hands out the money, just to keep the suspense there and not forgotten?

(Onto the next chapter)!
Ecru chapter 2 . 3/7/2009
I’m grateful that you didn’t fall into the trap of going into such a large description of the female character like a few writers do. Also by not stating she’s “amazingly beautiful” made her much more realistic than some other authors seem to make their female characters.

I don’t know if you did it intentionally by the word choice of “skinny” is usually occasioned with being unattractive and rather underweight, meanwhile 'slim' is stated as being “pleasingly thin,” and just saying “thin” gives the same idea of “skinny”. It gives the impression that the woman has good points and bad points about her physical appearance.

There are two things I’d like to say however, concerning word choice. The first is the “shape of a heart” phrase. When I usually think of a heart, I think of the heart you see on St. Valentine’s Day, now I did have a little chuckle imaging someone’s “face” in the "shape" of a heart. Now, I think I understand what you were trying to do – perhaps she’s got a pointed face or a more oval face than normal however this particular phrase doesn’t work well.

Now the second part is that you say, “...beautiful crystal blue eyes” now although this is a sentence, it’s over-run with adjectives that it’s a little distracting to the reader. You may wish to take one or two of the words away, so instead of, ‘Christine had long golden hair and beautiful crystal blue eyes’.

It could simply be: ‘Christine had long golden hair and blue eyes.’ [Although you could even edit this further as blue is a vague word. Although this does let the reader imagine their own shade of blue, however if you’re going for a detailed description you could say if they were indigo or cobalt blue].

I believe that the second paragraph was an alternative opening? However, I think that the first was better for the character Christine than the second then again the second paragraph does give more background into why Christine had to become queen at an early age. Perhaps you could re-write these two paragraphs to intertwine? So it would give description and background of Christine.

Again just picking up on word choice: ‘He fought with valiance and was very brave when it came to war.’ Vigilance is just a synonym for courageous, meaning bravery so the phrase, ‘…and was very brave when it came to war.’ is irrelevant as you’ve already told the reader the father was fearless whenever he fought.

Before I point on another critique I just want to mention that I could hug you for saying that the reason why the father died was because he was exhausted by of the use of magic. Once again you’ve not fallen into the main holes some authors have, such as having magic in their story but just no limit or consequence to it.

On the other hand, I have been thinking that if this world has magic: couldn’t someone other than the King go out to kill this dragon? Surely there would have been a few men willing to risk their lives for glory and money? It would usually be a dreadful thing if a King where to die (neighbouring Kingdoms could attack because of weakened moral and whatnot).

Another simple typo, “threatenin0g”. (I’m sure you don’t need to be told the zero doesn’t need to go there).

In the last paragraph...

Christine and her mother where of the monarchy and so I would automatically presume that they would be staying in the castle and be continuing the role of being Queen and Princess, so you don’t need to add the ‘Christine lived with her mother…’ phrase.

Also I’d just like to note that even though Christine and Catherine are different names they are similar and sometimes the reader can become agitated when they see similar sounding names as it makes it a chore to think about who you’re speaking about. Perhaps a name-change is in order just so no confusion arises?

Again like I wrote earlier, you needn't add in the “…still lived with her…castle work.” Although I do have to say that most people think that Princesses and whatnot do nothing all day – thankfully you’ve actually made them a useful monarch!

(Onto the next chapter...)
Ecru chapter 1 . 3/7/2009
Hello, Elma of Celeria (or should I say Emma and Ella)? I’ll be trying to give you constructive criticism hopefully I’m not too harsh, remember this is just advice! Anyway to start off, you don’t need to put the information that this was once a play in the summary. You can place that in an author’s note at the beginning of the chapter. This will give you a better chance to lure some readers in by having the summary be about the actual story setting.

The first chapter, or rather the Prologue is a little mundane and a bit confusing. The opening sentence, ‘An elf ran across a field with all his might.’ Automatically would give the reader the impression that he is running from something or to something which is important to him. However, the sentences that follow made me frown in confusion:

‘He was running away from a spell, but he didn’t know where he was going. The elf reached the Dark Forest. He did not know why he was running; his mind was not itself. The elf was being controlled, which he realized soon enough. The worst part of it was that he had no idea where he was going and why.’

By the second line it seems as if the elf had been trapped by the spell at this point, yet there was no indication in it doing so? You have contradictory sentences in this paragraph, without any explanation. First he was running away from it – then suddenly he doesn’t know where he’s going because he is being controlled? You might want to add some description of the spell hitting him, or slowly taking control of him.

Two little spelling/typo errors, which isn’t actually that bad seeing as they’re rather small (sorry, I’m in a picky mood today it seems)!

marvelous marvellous

stone he had every seen. stone he had ever seen.

To finish, I will say I enjoyed the finishing lines it gives a sense of suspense – although it would have been interesting if you had went into more detail in this chapter. Perhaps have it in the elf’s point of view, explain more about the emotions running through him?

The idea of the elf not having free-will intrigued me and I wouldn’t mind reading on. However I feel as if I’ve rambled enough, if you wish me to continue with my constructive criticism in each chapter: simply PM me or reply.

Have a nice day, hope you continue to write for your enjoyment, later!
Jwt12895 chapter 1 . 3/2/2009
I thought that the beginning of the prologue was a bit redundant. I also think that more could be added to make a bit more suspense.