Reviews for The faerie
this wild abyss chapter 1 . 7/3/2012
The opening for this piece was, in my opinion, a teensy bit confusing. It wasn't immediately obvious to me that this was being narrated from the present looking to the past, so I automatically had questions. It seemed almost too vague, I think, and though you eventually explained who "the northerners" were you referred to and what the reasons for the laws were, I think you could have started this piece off stronger. All told, it wasn't the best transition into a very excellent short story.

I think you made a good choice with your narrator. As he serves mostly as a point-of-view character, his job is to observe and report to readers what's going on, rather than actively engage in the conflict. Because of that stylistic choice, I felt that we got a more impartial look at things—you didn't seem to take sides on the faerie/human issue presented, and I think that ambiguity worked very well for you here. I also liked that though the doctor isn't a huge part of the story, he still had a personality; he wasn't flat and dull. You gave his voice a unique tone and presentation.

Obviously, though, of all the characters I liked the faerie the best. Kayla's personality was hard to pin down, and I loved her uniqueness. I was honestly surprised when she woke up and didn't want the baby—I'd been expecting some sort of meek culture shock tale. I loved that you threw me off guard there, and from that point I loved Kayla as a character. I loved her independence and her strength. In such a short space, you did a great job in characterizing her and making her available to the reader.

The setting for this was nicely done, too. Because of the word count constraints, you obviously didn't have a lot of space to waste with world-building and description. However, I found that I really liked the little you did include. It hinted at a wider, more fully realized setting, and I loved the impression of depth this story had.

Overall, I thought this was a great piece. It's definitely unique, and well-written. The story is unique, and I love that, with the right mindset, it could almost be taken as a feminist cautionary tale. Very very cool
Tawny Owl chapter 1 . 5/7/2012
So glad I wandered by to read this. It's such a good idea for a short story.

The description of Kayla's entrance as a large bundle was a bit confusing though - it made her sound like a sack of something rather than a human shaped person. I did love the rest of your descriptions of her though, especially when she first regains consciousness of a trapped animal scurrying backwards on hands and heels, and the details regarding her apperance and her voice. The bit where she first talks to the doctor as all scared and imperious and then sinks back into scared young woman with 'please' was really believable - especially given the twist that she never wanted the baby in the first place. It added a suprising and nearly imediate tension to the story.

That said though, Kayla was the only character that really stood out for me. Harcourt was clearly besotted with her, and one of the late king's lords - beyond that we don't know anything about what sort of person he is, or what he looks like and there is nothing in the relationships with the other characters to indicate at his status. How does he come up in the heirachy compared to Fothiger, who seems like a bit of a ghost. The implication at the end is that either Harcourt made the baby for the king becuase the king couldn't do it himself, or that the king was already dead and Harcourt took it upon himself to make sure there was an heir to prevent any future scuffling over the crown. It's intriguing and I can't decide whether it's more exciting or frustrating that it's not really clear.

I did find the doctor character, or maybe magican seeing as he knows so much about books and fairies, more intriguing. However although the story is in his voice it didn't really stand out. The story starts with one of his opinions (actually I'm presuming him, I don't think there's anything there that says one way or another) but then keeps his thoughts to himself for the rest of the story which seems a waste of an intriguing character. It also feels that after nine months tending her there would have been more emotion from him regarding the whole Kayla/Harcourt situation and how he feels about Kayla's escape. I think I'm being really harsh, but it's always the voice used for short stories that grabs me the most.

I was also interested about the role that the fairies play and why the king/Harcourt thought that a fairy baby would make their position stronger. It was a bit strange though that given that the midwives wouldn't touch Kayla, but Harcourt had no qualms about getting her in that state in the first place.

I loved the descriptions of the weather throughout this though. They were really amazing (especially the bit with the wind coming down the chimney and being just above the fire) i was shivering just reading it.

I also loved the end and Kayla's escape. A preying mantis was so original,and made me think there was more to the whole drinking nectar thing than just a whim on your part. It made her seem like a grown up flower fairy with gumption. I really liked that.
spottedstempunk chapter 1 . 4/10/2012
WOW! Your writing is improving! The word choice was consistant and made me feel like the story really was taking place during the medeval days. Since it's a short story, I suppose you couldn't go too heavy on the deatail or risk deterring from the plot. One pun I enjoyed (I don't know if it was intentional) was 'It was murder bringing her out in this' followed by 'It would have been suicide to stay' It made my day. This didn't bore me and kept a mutual interest throughout the story.
Nesasio chapter 1 . 4/8/2012
The only thing that confused me about this story was the last line when the narrator called it 'Harcourt's child'. I thought the baby was the king's? I get that Harcourt would be raising it and he had feelings for the faerie but I felt like I missed something. Was the baby actually Harcourt's? Who was Harcourt to the king anyway?

Other than that, I thought this was cool. Your writing, as always, is beautiful. I loved all the descriptions of the mountains and winter, and especially your take on the faerie girl. I liked the bit about her glances being inhumanly fast and her flying off on a giant preying mantis. They're such unique little details, it just brought me more into the world you created here.

Great job and good luck in the WCC!
Punslinger chapter 1 . 4/8/2012
"...the wind clawed at the window panes and howled just above the fingertips of the fire."

Your edge for the descriptive phrase remains keen. As does your ability to conjure fascinating characters and story lines from minimal elements. I'm curious as to how the King managed to entice the faerie and keep her captive long enough to conceive his heir. Perhaps a wizard or witch in his court cast a magic spell?

Anyway, you did a fine job of nurturing a lovely flower from the tiny seed of a prompt.
lookingwest chapter 1 . 4/7/2012
I really loved this Sophie, and I think the dialogue was my favorite part. The reading was smooth and it was really unique-you also contributed a great plot for this month's WCC and I think your piece is wonderful. You always do so well with short stories and this is no exception :)

I liked the setting and the characters and the scene where Kayla first speaks really tipped this into a favorite I've read in awhile. Thanks for the writing, hope all is well with you, and best of luck.
YasuRan chapter 1 . 4/7/2012
Haven't come across anything like this in quite a while. There are a lot of intriguing characters and concepts in the mix: a faerie, Harcourt the loyal, the king wanting a child with faerie blood. Kayla and Harcourt's hinted-at romantic relationship implies at many more secrets to come.

I also liked the role of the neutral narrator, the doctor. Neither judge nor jury, he plays his part of observer well. Whether you continue this or not, this piece has the makings of something interesting :)