Reviews for Courting Survival: a story of Tudor England
wisedec4u chapter 1 . 8/23/2011
For RG Easy Fix:

I thought this was very well written. Historical fiction is quite an ambitious task to take on for any author, but you did it with such finesse. I was surprise to learn from your profile how young you are and that really shows how talented you are as writer. Now on the the concrit part. Your beta was right to suggest that you add in the murder scene. It really drew me into the story. What made it even more heartwrenching was that we were seeing it through the young eyes of her daughter. My only qualm was that as a mother I found it odd that after having her husband tell her that he would kill her children if he found out he wasn't their real father, she baited him even more. Any mother who truly loves her children would want to protect them and it seems that by revealing the truth, especially after she knew what he would do, she put them in even more danger, including herself. Also, the mother sounded like a very religious woman, so I thought it was bit hypocritical that she would bring up her faithfulness to God when she was gleefully confessing she was being unfaithfulness to her husband. Just something there to think about. Overall, I thought the opening was a really good start and made me want to read on. I hope my critique helps. Good luck.
sarahburry chapter 17 . 8/22/2011
I was like **jaw drop** at the end. She better be no mistress, even Edward would have an issue with that. Oh Edward...

I am very curious to see what Kay has in for store as a maid.

Kayward. Can that be trending on twitter? One day...
sarahburry chapter 16 . 8/22/2011
Edward doesn't want to violate you silly, he wants so marry you and have little bebes with you.

Talking to horses? Sounds like me.

Loving it, still shipping Kayward.
lookingwest chapter 1 . 8/20/2011
She hear shouts coming from...

-Edit: typo, "heard"

I liked this opening because it starts with action and makes you want to read on because of the murder. I liked the emotion in Alice and all of her conflicts within her about what to do. I thought her decision to not go out and risk dying herself was a smart one, but a hard one, and I think you conveyed that well. I also liked how you went into Hugh's point of view and what he was thinking in a sense towards the end because it was a dramatic shift from listening to Alice and her own inner conflicts. I also thought the dialogue was good and saw no other typos except the one I already pointed out, so it read very smooth! Interesting setting choice and a start of interesting characters, I'm glad I got the chance to start from the beginning!
sarahburry chapter 15 . 8/20/2011
Of course he's a monster. Why is he even on your poll? Who in their right mind would vote for him?

Some of the things sounded modern. I cam up with alternate wording.

Are you sure you dont have some sort of issues?"

Are you demented? Are you daft?

What the hell?

Bloody hell!

look, I dont care if you tell me or not, because im just here to help, but if you dont want my help than I can just leave

Beside contrary belief, I do not wish for you to cease your secretive nature, I am here to assist, and to assist only. But if you wish not to accept that do inform me so I may depart.

So that's there. Lurving it still... still waiting for some Kayward moments. Get it? Kay... Edward... Kayward?
sarahburry chapter 14 . 8/20/2011
Classsiiiccc Richard.

Kidding. I am shocked.

He probably should have eased her into it, maybe let her sit down.

sarahburry chapter 13 . 8/20/2011

:D :D :D

He was totally just finding an excuse to kiss her. Totally was :D :D : ship Kay and Edwar lovelovelove!

Now I'll be serious.

When you say "rape" I can't help but read rrrrrrrrrrrrape! Kind oflike tony the tiget when he's ssaying GGGRRRRREAAt! But with rape. it just seems so out of place in this setting!

So I came up with a replacement, which is violate. Yes, it sounds classier. Rape sounds like you're in NYC alphabet city and you just shot up with your taxi driver. Violate sounds like you're out for tea when a drunken soldier came up to you and tried to lift your petticoat.

So violate. Hope you use it. Because I came up with it.
sarahburry chapter 12 . 8/20/2011
I laughed out loud when Katherine threatened to go beat up Edward. :D

the moment Edward came up to Kay (Ima call her that now) in a fake drunken slur, I fell in love with him. I thought that was awesome.

The how he oh so dashingly rescued her? :D :D :D Sarah likey! I am loving Edward, he's being all awesome. And though Kay shows vulnerability, she isn't showing weakness. Which is awesome.
sarahburry chapter 11 . 8/20/2011
I'm lovin the end, why would you change it?

Is it bad that at the end I totally replayed this chapter in my head as a movie?

Good for her for putting breeches on. Every girl needs breeches.

For some reason I have a problem with the cursing, but I think that's because I never really imagine people in this time period using that kind of language. I sort of imagine them dancing in pretty dresses.

This is bloody amazing, and I love it.
sarahburry chapter 10 . 8/20/2011
"I was not aware i was expected to provide you with an apology. Surely if i had, i would have prepared a little speech special for you."

This I found hilarious. In every chapter there's one witty line that I just laugh at. Brilliant.

Edward and Katherine should talk. She might just boil over from all this drama!

I said this before, but I want to say again that I think just the narration is brilliant, because it sounds like it was really written long ago, you don't just rely on the dialogue to tell the story.
sarahburry chapter 9 . 8/20/2011
Oh, poor katherine. She always seemed so strong, and now she's just sitting there barely able to keep herself together.

I would trust my life with Edward... hehehe 3

I don't respect the fact that he isn't fully standing up to his father though. We'll have to see...

Some of the transitions from character to character are a little awkward, I think formatting would fix that, but since FP is sort of basic, I understand why that isn't there.

Still loving it.
sarahburry chapter 8 . 8/20/2011
I love that everything seems to be tying together. I am not a fan of hugh, but who really would be? I actually want to go and punch him Major sympathy towards edward (and alice!) There.

"You sir are no man to speak so to me thus. I do not have to take your spite, Richard Norwood. Go crawl back into the hole in the ground from whence you came and leave me be before I kick your arse there myself"

Maybe not very realistic for the tudor period, but it made me laugh and my heart swelled with love for her.

If I was Clary, I'd be totally flattered that I had been called a friend. Guess she's a little more confused.

Anyways, I think the characters are evolving which is totally lovely, and I'm really loving it.
cerebral1 chapter 14 . 8/20/2011
Well, that's just great! Now I have to read the next chapter to find out, and it's 12:15 already! I wonder who Richard killed? And why did he come to tell Katherine? I'm not quite getting his tie-in in the story, or why he's where they are, so I guess I'd better keep on going. Another good chapter with great attention to historical facts!
Ioga chapter 12 . 8/19/2011
Hi again!

Ok, up to chapter, uh... Lady's Lost Wager. I'm still at the somewhat older version so if you've been changing these few chapters in the meanwhile, some of my comments may be outdated.

In this chapter, it struck me as odd that the whole curfew thing was brought up only after Kat and Ed were running from the rapist. But the whole scene can't have taken much more than a few minutes, so wasn't it already on when they went out or did curfew set down at exactly 21:00:00 and if you were out at 21:01:05 you'd get arrested? So it got me boggling how the curfew could go from not-worth-a-mention to a major issue so quickly.

I was also a bit surprised to hear later that Edward is a soldier. He abandoned his weapon in the arm of the rapist guy, that would seem like a decidedly silly move for a professional fighter.

In the previous chapter, there was a sudden mention of a rogue called Edmund - I'm not sure where exactly it was, but it was between Kat preparing for a horse and Edward and Richard looking from the window. It looked like a POV change to Edmund but as far as I could tell from the surrounding text, he was nowhere around. Then I went back and saw a mention of "Archer" two dialogue lines earlier - although close, it was far enough that I managed to completely lose the connection between the mention and the explanation. (It was also where I ended up having a page break, randomly enough.)

While riding, Kat and Ed joked around a bit. Then there was some description, with e.g. "The two had agreed that [they'd ride hard to avoid the rain etc]". But then all of a sudden, the next paragraph says they rode "in stony silence". Why were they sulking? Was this misplaced (their argument is only later) or was it an accidental mixup of words?

Is there one Ralph-youngster-fawning-for-Kat and some other M-youngster-fawning-for-her/childhood-friend/someone-she's-seen-practice-swordfighting, I wonder? I'm still confused from the sudden introduction of that childhood friend I mentioned in the last review (for a while I thought the introducee was Ralph, but then it turned out Ralph was just the son of the guy she had as escort on her first trip, and I just can't seem to keep up with these two).

When they're at the inn, by the way, I seem to recall Edward's POV mentions she's been approached by a third guy already - when Kat's POV concentrated on showing us Leo, seeing Ed's POV after that speak of 3 guys made me assume Leo was the #1 and there were two more since. Maybe I just missed the two others.

Minor nitpicks: I've run into rather many 'i's (where should be I) in the last few chapters, might be worth doing a word search to eliminate them. In the chapter for riding preparations (I think it's 10-11) "if it began to poor" should be "pour" ( pouringly rain), near the Edmund note "like a sweat meat" - like (some) sweetmeat(s), and the sentence does not end in a period. Nearby, Wolsey's nickname "son of bitch" - son of a bitch. (That section might need a proofread in general, it had more typos than usual.)

I'm glad to see we're getting to the 'survival' part of the story! :D In times of real crisis, the witticisms, courtliness and pettier pouts are peeled off and the raw people momentarily show up underneath. Can't even really _know_ a story's characters before you put them through the meat grinder a bit. :)

Thanks for this!
Ezekiel Finch chapter 17 . 8/19/2011
Hi from the RG!

I'm a history nerd AND I'm a big architecture fan so I enjoy talking about Middle Eastern trade patterns, the revival of Roman columns, and the influences of luxury items on art and the perception of opulence by society. Yet I felt extremely overwhelmed by the amount of description you provide in paragraphs 16 through 21. It's great that you give us something to see but sometimes less is more. It feels like a chore to wade through all the descriptions because the descriptions aim to serve one purpose: show the grandeur that Henry the VIII and Princess Mary live with. Simply put, we understand that Katherine is overwhelmed by the sudden outpouring of luxury. You don't need to ladle on the descriptions to prove your point because we understand. With that in mind, you should think about picking what descriptions are important to not only the story but to something more important. For example, the detail about the gardens with their "reds, pinks, and greens," was something that caught my eye. These colors immediately made me think about the Tudor Rose, which is the symbol of Henry the VIII and his dynasty, but made me think about the absence of white which represents the House of York. Is it possible that Henry the VIII has yet to end the War of Roses, which means that he has not yet conjoined the two houses? That tiny detail made me think because it implied something important. It made me think, it made me ponder, and it made me involved with your story. The little things make up the big picture. Now I'm not saying you should give every single detail a political, social, or economic implication; what you should do is give us less details but pack the same punch with it, if not more.

I thought the usage of rain was appropriate in foreshadowing the events later in this chapter. It hinted at some sort of terrible event and it was not too dramatic when the rain came in. It's actually interesting for me that the rain actually betrays Katherine's state of mind. When the clouds come in, she is immediately overwhelmed by the palace. The rain begins as she sees the gardens. Then she sees Wolsey and all hell breaks loose.

While I was reading I noticed a few typos that you can easily fix.

If she didn't she would surely go mental within a fortnight!

[The phrase "go mental" is a modern colloquialism and should be adjusted]

It would seem i was right about Court giving you rather severe and unbearable mood swings!

"Well for one, i'm sure Edward here wouldn't mind the position."

It is a test, Kay. He want's to see if you will follow him in whatever he asks of you...

[Remove the apostrophe in "want's"]

Ezekiel Finch
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