Reviews for Song of the Broken Birds
S.H. Marr chapter 10 . 9/15/2012
Hmmm. Shrike could say whatever he wants and then do something else. It'll be interesting to see how this develop when he talks(?) to Rother. And what to do about Egret...now they seem on different sides of the fight and that sucks. I can't root for them both. Or can I? Shrike disagrees with his father.

Lots of description on the beginning of this chapter. I liked it.
S.H. Marr chapter 9 . 9/11/2012
Oh, poor Daz. He got all rejected and Cardinal hasn't told him what he needs to. But seriously, awwwwwww.

Not much to say today. Sorry. It was cute. Yay!
Anihyr Moonstar chapter 9 . 9/11/2012
Ah, one can hardly blame Cardinal for the temptation of complacency. What's more lulling than stargazing, hot chocolate, and the companionship of friends? *I* certainly wouldn't mind spending a few weeks in a setting like that - but then, obviously, that's not what Cardi's been raised his whole life to do.

When I read this one line I actually raised my eyebrow at the screen: [The dismissive way he'd said Not so loud...he clearly thought that I had nothing worthwhile to say.] Since when is "Not so loud," an indication that you have nothing worthwhile to say? Like in every instance ever it's because either: a.) there's a baby sleeping nearby and you don't want to wake them or b.) you're speaking about a dangerous topic with important information that shouldn't be accidentally overheard by the wrong people. Seeing as Cardinal's an assassin by trade... I dunno, that might just be me. But it seemed like a really odd conclusion for him to jump to.

The kiss was adorable. Very nice build-up to it - could almost *feel* Cardinal's heart rate jumping out of the roof. Actually, Cardinal and Daz's interactions are generally adorable as a whole simply because Cardinal is so awkward. Again, can't really blame him, but constantly I'm thinking to myself, "CARDINAL. RELAX. IT'S OKAY. Breathing for one second won't kill you..."

Poor Daz at the end, though. :( I was quite irritated with Cardinal. I mean, I know he was startled, but the way he keeps acting I wouldn't blame Daz for a second if he thought he was being totally rejected. Talk about jumpy. I hope Cardinal can pull himself together and make amends.

- Moonstar
Anihyr Moonstar chapter 8 . 9/10/2012
Alright! 'Bout dang time I reviewed this chapter (especially considering I read it the day you posted it - just been lazy and put off reviewing).

This sentence reads oddly to me: [For the first time in years, ever since this war had started.] I feel the the "for the first time" conflicts with the "ever since" - like they just don't match up quite right. I would change it to either simply [For the first time since the war had started.] Or [For the first time since the war had started (#of) years ago.] Just for clarity/smoothness's sake.

Very interesting revelations this chapter. I can only wonder what Shrike's course of action will be, and what it means that his father is with the enemy (AND why he's fixated on getting Shrike over there). He must want Shrike for a specific strategic purpose (since the Imperial Hawk doesn't strike me as the type of man to facilitate a complex war exchange just for the sake of having a friendly family chat with his son).

Also, I wonder how this *might* effect the boys' positions on a grander scale. If it comes out that their father really is a traitor, that can't bode well for them.

Anyway. Sorry for the short-ish review. I'm very curious to see how you start to tie all three plots together. Intricate plot weaving is something I've never considered myself very good at, but am very appreciative (and envious) of when I see it done right. :)

- Moonstar
S.H. Marr chapter 8 . 9/6/2012
Well, so we just had our little saga so I could read this chapter. Yayyyy, it's here. And...well, maybe not entirely worht all the aggravation it caused me, but it was good.

Hmmm...suspicions. I'm not really sure what to think about this, as Shrike gave us some conflicting info here and I only have what he gave me to go on. infiltration, or betrayal? Sometimes you can't tell...

Terrinor. I can't tell too much a of a difference between the names of the country, and that disaapoints me. Maybe its because I don't have much to work off of, but it's a nice indicator of different cultures. Even in Eurpoe, the same name will be spelled and pronounced differently depending on the country. So I think it's a good indicator.

Shittastic. I love that word now, even though it's kind of an anachromism.
Anihyr Moonstar chapter 7 . 9/5/2012
Well *that's* an interesting development. Actually, several interesting developments.

First off, I must say (despite it lingering in the back of my mind to wonder why the boys all looked so different) I never considered that they might all have different mothers. Now that it's mentioned, though, it seems somehow perfectly in character with what I know of their father. It feels like the archaic equivalent of one of those sci-fi movies where in the future, you pick and choose which genes you want and don't want. Except that in this instance, because of the way it's done, it feels almost inhuman. More like breeding puppies. Putting your seed out there in as many places as possible and then picking only the best of the pups to keep.

In any case, the background on both their origins and Egret's special relationship with his father in particular are very interesting and make perfect sense, but never occurred to me before. Perfect combo.

And, it looks like Cardinal is a magic user! Never saw that coming. Although, I do have to wonder how Egret would know that only a magic user could see magic and Cardinal wouldn't. For some things (like, secretive things or info he could only gather from very specific sources) it would make sense that only Egret would know, but this *sounds* at least like the type of knowledge people would just know in general about their world (even every day people). I'm curious as to why it's secret knowledge and how Egret came to know it.

Nice chapter, though, in any case. Good luck with your school work, and here's to hoping the updates don't slow down too soon. ;)

- Moonstar
Rogue Energizer Bunny chapter 6 . 9/4/2012
Shrike's point of view is completely separate from the other ones. He's so much more violent and straightforward than Egret or Cardinal. I feel like this is a positive and a negative at the same time. He provides a good counterbalance to the other characters, but it's hard to get a feel for their relationship from this perspective. Egret and Cardinal still interact emotionally, and he's disconnected from them. Maybe some more on that?

["Oh, no, no, no. Don't tell me that's a letter from Egret."] Like here. You could easily slip a line in to help define the relationship.

[ Besides...if we came back we would have to confront Via and Egret. And I knew I wasn't nearly strong enough to take down my own brother. If I could bring myself to do so in the first place.] This is some good development, but it's still unclear. It's like you're assuming we know something that we don't.

[The fucker! I always hated it when he pressed his height advantage.] Ahaha. SHORTY. Napoleonic complex? This amuses me, because he's the most aggressive out of the three.
Rogue Energizer Bunny chapter 5 . 9/4/2012
Cardinal's... yeah, he's a sweetheart. I still like Egret, but he's so wittle and shy.

I'd like his lack of confidence emphasized a bit more - because that's what all the shyness stems from, right? And that could be a real defining factor for his character, and it sets him apart from his brothers. Egret is controlled and calculated, Shrike is all attitude, and Cardinal's shy and doesn't assert himself. This seems like an important part that could use a bit more development.

I find his parts a bit lacking in centralized conflict. There's good exposition/description, but it seems a bit unfocused. I can't tell if this chapter centers on his internal conflict, his relationship with the prince, or the possibility of magic. That's three major conflicts competing for attention.

[Oh, Egret. I'd always been such a burden on my honored eldest brother and I knew it. When I was younger, he had been one of the only people who believed me in unconditionally, who'd encouraged me to try harder and do better next time, whereas Father just sneered and Shrike taunted. In the past year, Egret had taken on an even greater burden—not only had Father's disappearance left him the highest-ranked assassin at court and therefore the one who had to coordinate everybody else, but it also meant that he had to oversee my training. Somehow, he'd always made time out of his busy schedule to spar with me, test my knowledge of poisons, and he even taught me how to shoot.] Like with Egret's beauty issues, I'd be careful here. I can't imagine somebody actually believing this - I feel like real relationships are usually more complex than this, and people usually recognize that. They do have an interesting dynamic though.

Short review. Merr. Okay. Onwards.
Rogue Energizer Bunny chapter 4 . 9/4/2012
I'm BAAAAACK LOLOL huzzah.

So I've actually been stalker-reading these chapters without reviewing. I am so evil, I know. :( but I'm going to review anyway.

Egret is definitely my favorite character. :( although Cardinal's pretty sweet. But Egret seems the most mellow and balanced out of them. Is that weird? That's just my interpretation.

[ at least not in the way that I hoped.] This line seems unclear to me. Maybe I'm interpreting it wrong. To me, it seems like he's either trying to get info out of the prince or he's trying to hook his brother up with some hot man-flesh. And the ideas are both so different XD.

[ You've only just recovered from your last illness."] So he gets sick often? (Well, I already know this, but I'm reviewing as if I haven't read the other chapters.) I really like chronically sick/physically impaired characters. Heh, maybe this is why Egret is my favorite so far. It creates an interesting dynamic to his character, and keeps him from getting /too/ overpowing.

IF WE DON'T MAKE IT ALIIIIVE, IT'S A HELL OF A GOOD DAY TO DIIIIE...

Ahem.

(My reviews get loopy in the evenings :/)

The assassin scene seems a bit rushed to me - like you wanted to develop the chapter or a character and jammed something in to move things along. I'm not getting a good feel on the assassin's character (even though he's just a supporting character...) and the way Egret acts seems a bit off from how you portray him in the prologue. He seemed so much more feeling-oriented in the prologue. Did you make this distinction on purpose? If so, I'd add some reflection to make it more direct.

I'd like more development of the tension. They're in some conspiracy, correct? I'd like some reflection on that as well. The chapters are a good length, but with the pace at which the plot is progressing, it's hard to get a grip on the whole perspective in the little window.

[ a slave who had been cursed with a pretty face] CAREFUL. Too many hacks have ripped off the I DON'T WAAAANA BE PURTY and it's really hard to pull off. I don't see anything in Egret's character to justify this. Maybe if he was raped or something really extreme, but wanting to be attractive is a part of human nature.

D'aw. Like I said, I love sick characters.

More coming!
-Liv
S.H. Marr chapter 7 . 9/4/2012
I'm wondering how old Egret (and his brothers) is (are) now, after finding out how old Via is. I just want it to be slightly un-creepy, you know?

Anyway, lots of background info here that I liked, and some suspicions confirmed, which makes me feel good. Also, brothers interacting: it had to happen sometime.

I like the backstory in this. I think flashbacks can be over used, so having him reminiscing was a nice change of pace. And you still got quotes in there!

Egret. I dunno how you got that name, but I always think of "regret". I wonder if this will ever be important...
S.H. Marr chapter 6 . 8/30/2012
I agree with Shrike. He's kind of frightening because he wasnts to hurt people and he's more than capable, but even from the little bit we got of Egret...he's not an easy puzzle. Egret could make you let your guard down and then hurt you. I dunno if I'd ever be comfortable around Shrike.

White flag: Shrike's worst nightmare? A trap? We shall see, I suppose. I'm slowly starting to understand the politics behind all of this, so that's good.

Didn't expect the prince to know about what Egret and Via were doing. I like that he's not stupid, though, or even judment clouded by familial ties.

Not sure what to say about the writing, and that's a good thing. Writing shouldn't call attention to itself, it takes you out of the story.
Anihyr Moonstar chapter 6 . 8/30/2012
[Instantly I ran to the northernmost bastion...] Comma after "instantly", I'd say.

["It's from Uncle Via."] This might only sound strange to me (or maybe I'm missing something) but why would Rother call someone "uncle" (without a classifying "my" or "your") when speaking to Shrike? In my experience, members of the same family will call someone out like that ("mother"/"father"/"uncle") since they share the relation, but if you don't share the relationship to the person, you don't generally call them that? Just a thought. It merely sounded a tad strange.

I really enjoyed Shrike's insight on his brother (Egret) this chapter. It's interesting, but from both Cardinal's and Egret's own perspective, I never got the sense of him being quite that dangerous or even closed up. Cardinal clearly looks up to his brother, and Shrike's right - he desperately wants approval - but Shrike's comments about the ambiguity of Egret's motives is very neat to read, because he makes good points, and they cause the reader (or at least me) to really try to think of him from another angle.

[Quickly I followed him back into the hall...] Comma after "quickly".

A white flag? o: Seems like a strange development. I half suspect a trap, but whatever it is, I look forward to finding out soon.

Also, poor Rother. He's definitely in a bind, but it's easy for me to forget that the Emperor isn't just the emperor to him - he's his father. That's a tough spot for anyone, but especially so for a prince with so much on his plate already.

- Moonstar
S.H. Marr chapter 5 . 8/28/2012
Eh, well, I think I've made my opinion on updating fairly clear, but school's starting back up and not-me people have social lives and such. You'll probably get fewer reviews that way because people might not have gotten to the chapter yet.

Leli: new favorite character. She was kind of zero and annoying before, but apparently when she actually talks, she can be quite funny.

Magic...I'm now assuming that's why the bastard prince was accepted. Cardinal was wondering about that, I wonder why it's not connecting for him.

I really like the description in this story. I'm not a visual person, and it all seems to somehow show how the characters are feeling while you're doing it instead of just physical details.
Anihyr Moonstar chapter 5 . 8/28/2012
"I couldn't begin to comprehend it, so I decided not to." - Picky comment I guess, but shouldn't it be "so I decided not to *try*"? You can't excactly decide whether or not to comprehend something. You can either try to comprehend something or not, but sometimes you won't be able to even if you wanted. :P

"To become an silhouette of star-sprinkled darkness." Ought to be 'a' silhouette, not 'an'.

I realy like this line, "his delicate hands handling the telescope with a gentleness that made my heart hurt," because I think it's another little glimpse into what makes Cardinal tick. Clearly, he has more of a yearning for...innocence? Gentleness in general? "Good" things in the world? Not quite sure exactly how to put it, but it's definitely unfortunate that such a characteristic is so at odds with what he "ought" to be as an assassin.

I think this is a really nice line - "Like a jeweler's display case, only infinite." - because while it's a similar idea to an over used one ("twinkling like jewels" or some such) you put a little twist on it to make it different, and I don't think I've ever heard it described quite that way. Variation's always good, and I think I have endless appreciation for new similes. x)

"It's like...I'm looking at weapons..." Great. Seems like a perfect comment.

"Ooh, look at you two! Why don't you just kiss already?" - Oi, were they being *that* obvious? XD It seems like an odd comment for a serving girl, particularly since - at least from the outside - I would assume that a prince kissing his slave would be major, *major* breech of propriety (even though it's obviously being done, still, I wouldn't think it would be something they'd *talk* about). Hn.

Lots of lines I liked this chapter. I didn't point out every little simile/metaphor that caught my eye 'cause I felt like I'd be babbling after a while, but I'm definitely interested in finding out more about Daz as this goes on. And more about magic in general, since it seems to be an isolated and rare thing.

*I* certainly wouldn't mind if this updated more frequently (goodness, 24 chapters already? - how do you write so fast!), but obv that's up to you. ;)

- Moonstar
Rogue Energizer Bunny chapter 2 . 8/23/2012
[Today, I'd finally been assigned to a member of the royal family.] Tense contradiction. "That day, I was finally assigned to a member of the royal family"? And in the following sentences, I feel like "was" would work better than "had been". I can't explain my reasoning for that, so you're gonna want to look that up, ignore my suggestion, or take my non-professional FOS word for it. LOOL

Have you ever tried writing in present tense? I feel like your style would go nice with it, for some reason. That also eliminates a lot of the tense issues. Excuse me. I felt the random need to advertise present tense. SORREH *present tense fangirl*

But seriously. You're using a lot of internal monologue in first person, and tenses can get confusing. First person present goes very well with a lot of internal monologue, because you don't have to indicate the difference between thoughts and narration - you can let it melt in without worrying too much about it.

[Feledaz na Ritha turned those strange serene eyes on me, and a sudden—something—tightened in my gut. Not an emotion. Not really. Something deeper, that went beyond instinct. It unbalanced me, and for a moment the room spun around me in a midnight blue blur before I regained my bearings.] Love this description. Cardinal's in wuv and he doesn't even know it! LOL. I feel like the next line weakens this paragraph, though. It's obvious that he doesn't understand the feeling by the "something", so the internal monologue seems too blatant.

Characterization is almost flawless, of course. Cardinal doesn't get much affection at home (at least, that's what I gathered from the last chapter) except from Egret, and that comes in the way of protection. So having a stranger grab him and try to connect with him would be disorientating, and he wouldn't know how to react to the openness (word? it should be). He's also such a shy, sweet little guy. It fits the prince, too, since he's probably been sheltered from danger, and would be much more trusting with strangers than most.

I would like a clearer picture of the prince. He seems pretty consistent with the princes I've read in stories, so I'd like more to his character. Maybe show a few more flaws? Dig from his social/family life. If he's naive and sheltered, he's likely to be insensitive to others' feelings, since he's been raised to view himself as a priority, with his servants' feelings on the backburner? Something like that.

I'd like more variation between Cardinal's and Egret's points of view. It's okay, as it is, but the brothers have such distinct personalities that I'd expect more of a difference in tone.

Moving onwards!
-Liv
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