Reviews for To Sleep Perchance to Dream
GossamerSilverglow chapter 5 . 5/29/2013
The guilt (worry really) from Bryn in the first section of this chapter was surprising since she didn’t show anything in regards to that when Meg and Pater bit the dust. Her starting to second guess herself doesn’t make her seem as callous as before. I really hate that you’re making me sympathize even more with Bryn. I feel bad for her even though she was going to poison a woman for her husbands crimes, even though she’d taken a mother away from her child. Having to see what she’s seeing is very cruel, especially all the years she’s endured with them. The hope the king had been giving her being taken away from her like that because he’d decided he’d had enough and then her having to see them make love so passionately…she may as well have sold her soul.

Honestly, after seeing what she’d seen, had I been in her place (and had I gotten to that severe a point) I would’ve left the mead and would’ve prayed they both drank it. *Shrugs* oh well. I’m curious as to where the rest of this story is going. I really thought this plot would carry on further, but it’s a good twist to end it so soon. I still find myself wondering if it’s going to be Oren or the daughter that ends up being the main character. It just feels like it’s headed that way, like instead of waiting to give us the background information of their lives you’ve started with it so that the readers are far more invested in the characters than they would’ve been had they been forced to continue guessing. Awesome job!
GossamerSilverglow chapter 4 . 5/28/2013
I can imagine what Bryn is going through. The King didn’t choose her though he said he loved her, she has to work everyday serving as a handmaid to his wife, the woman that took Bryn’s place. She has to care for their children, one of which she’s not too fond of, and then she still had hope because the king went to her every night (from what I understand), but then he stops. I think I’d go crazy too. Of course, once I found out he was getting married to someone else that would’ve been it right there, but ignoring that fact I can feel for Bryn’s situation. The king deserves something bad to happen to him.

When I say I feel for Bryn and that I’d have gone crazy too, I didn’t mean, however, that I’d kill the wife. It’s not her fault, it has nothing to do with her. It’s the KING. The freakin’ KING. Come on! The stupidity of this woman and her love for this stupid man knows no bounds. Why? Why? Why is she going to poison the Queen? Does she honestly think taking her out of the equation is going to make stupid horny Freddie choose her when he didn’t pick her before? Lord…this story is bad for my blood pressure.

I hope my information is incorrect, but if that poison doesn’t work immediately on the Queen, then when she goes to breast feed that baby the poison could go into the little girl. She can’t kill them both? That’d be too devastating and they’re innocents. Bryn is a serial killer. She’s killing other helpers in the palace to pass it off as a plague? My sympathy at her situation is still there, but she’ll need to pay for her crimes against these women that had nothing to do with her and the kings choice in this affair. This is what cheating does. It ruins everything.

I loved the reaction of the little girl to Broom. Her killing those girls changed something in her that the little girl noticed and she’ll forever be this evil woman with a aura of death. No children will like her anymore! Oren knew something was up. Children have a sixth sense when it comes to this. There is something seriously wrong with Bryn. She has no guilt anymore. The love she had has soured and turned vengeful. She’s past the point of caring who she hurts as long as she gets what she wants. I can really appreciate the sympathy provoked with your writing for Brynhild in the beginning. T he way you’ve transitioned from that to boiling hatred is nothing short of amazing. It felt like such a natural happening. Brynhild herself went from feeling sorry for herself and hopelessly in love to a psychotic, unfeeling serial killer. I probably should’ve seen it with the way she reacted to Oren, but I honestly thought the kid was just obnoxious. Great chapter and thanks for taking the time to write and share!
GossamerSilverglow chapter 3 . 5/28/2013
Oh lord, Bryn is gonna try and kill Queen Aurorette? I almost feel sorry for Broom. The king has played her along and maybe at one point he did love her, but choosing Aurorette over her should’ve been where she got a back bone. All the same, the king should’ve stopped after that, left her alone, because he didn’t’ I feel that whatever happens to him is fair game. Still, Broom shoulda been stronger in saying no. I only hope she doesn’t involve the daughter in this. I would like for Aurorette to find out and leave her husband, make him realize what he’s done. That there are consequences to thinking he can have and do whatever he wants.

This chapter was too damn short, but I sure hope that poisoness plant is going to be ingested by a male and not a female. I’ll be upset if it’s Aurorette that has to suffer because of her husband. Given the fact that these chapters are so short I’m honestly amazed at how well you’ve characterized all of your characters. I get the ornery, yet lonely behavior of Oren (his dislike for Bryn has to be some type of foreshadow on who he’ll be as an adult-I’m thinking kind, still rambunctious as hell, but he’ll be able to tell the true nature of someone or if they’re lying deceivers), the upsetting and hopeless situation of Bryn, the obliviousness and gentled nature of Queen Aurorette, and the randy, but guilt stricken King.

Each character falls into place so nicely and I’m already entirely invested into each one. I don’t want anyone to die, but Bryn is in love with a married man that couldn’t let her go soon enough. Someone is going to pay; I just hope it’s not someone innocent. The ending of this chapter was very ominous and while I have an idea of what is going to happen I’m still left guessing. This makes me want to hurry and read the next chapter to see what happens, which I’m going to do.
GossamerSilverglow chapter 2 . 5/28/2013
So the King, with just one sentence, was characterized amazingly well. I’m jealous that you can describe so much in such a short, well constructed sentence. Can you guess which one I’m talking about? “After which he raised his own glass and without words marked a silent toast to her as well.” I swooned on this sentence. He’s clearly a good man that appreciates his wife. While he’s being praised and appreciated he’s doing the same to his wife with that gentle, probably subtle nod and cheer towards her. Maybe I’m jumping to conclusions, but that’s what I got from him.

I’m curious as to why Bryn likes the Kings daughter more than Oren. Did that sinister feeling from before come from her? I hope she isn’t going to kidnap the daughter or do something wrong to the ornery little Oren, he is just a child after all.

“The Prince scowled at her, and before Brynhild could stop him Oren grabbed her by the hair and slapped her hard across the back.” Oh hell no. This is why I don’t do kids. They’re all just ‘children’ (yes I’m referring to my own words up above) until they do something like this. I say she drowns the little bastard.

I think I might be jumping to conclusions again, but I do hope that King that I just praised, the one that was cherishing his wife with a simple nod as he acknowledged her with the wine glass, isn’t diddling the maid. I really, really hope Broom is just obsessed with him, or at least has a crush on him of some sort. I’ll be extremely pissed if he’s doin’ her. Now, you as a writer are fabulous. If a writer can get these types of emotions out of a reader with a barely there prologue and a couple of paragraphs first chapter then they should be making the money…not sharing it for free on FP, but I’ll point out that being the broke college student I am, my bank account sure thanks you.

I no longer like the King. How dare he? I don’t give a crap what his story is. That little scene in the beginning was his guilt at what he was doing to his wife wasn’t it? Men like him deserve to be murdered in their sleep. I’m so mad I could just spit. Now when I said I was for her drowning Oren it was just a figure of speech. I didn’t really want her to do anything bad to the turd, but now I have an image of her taking a pillow to his face and then kidnapping the daughter. The ending was great, so great that I find myself rushing this review. I have nothing else to say besides off to the next chapter.
GossamerSilverglow chapter 1 . 5/28/2013
I get a very distinct setting with this first paragraph. Even though it said ‘steadily’ I see the kings ‘entourage’ charging forward on horses to this huge castle. Including that the castle even seemed to quake with anticipation was also well placed and helped set the general emotion of the prologue. The second paragraph only added to the atmosphere as well, I especially loved the addition of the meat turning on their ‘spits’. I get the Renaissance Faire feeling, only you know, it probably is around the Renaissance.

“Then Brynhild scored an ear of lettuce with her hunting knife until the leaves were as thin and small as eyelashes.” This was so well written I’m really kind of envious of it. Like I totally want the rights to this sentence and maybe others can’t appreciate this particular piece of mastery the way I do, but scoring an ear of lettuce with a hunting knife and making the pieces as small as eyelashes…the creativity alone warrants just as much awe as the idea of the lettuce being as small as eyelashes alone. Why eyelashes…because they’re small enough to get the point across without loosing another sentence to unnecessary description. It was a well chosen comparison.

Why Brynhild? I keep on saying Broomhilda every time I see it. Okay, so the scene was marvelously set in the beginning. I loved the feel of celebration the first few paragraphs held and when the scene transition to Broom, um Bryn, taking care of the Kings daughter I also felt the shift in the atmosphere. I don’t know if you meant for it to feel sinister, but it did. I have a feeling this daughter of the king is going to not only be a major role in the story, but is also going to have many, many problems. No mistakes found, but honestly I think my review is longer than the prologue.
VelvetyCheerio chapter 3 . 5/26/2013
I like seeing this side of Brynhild's character. She's being deliberately evil, and it's cool to see what she's capable of right off the bat. I think there's also a lot to be said of her mental state at this time, too. She's, in a way, about to commit an act of bio-terrorism. It makes me wonder if she's fully aware of what she's planning. Anyway, this more wicked side to her is interesting, and it helps move the plot along easily.

The relationship portrayed here between Bryn and the Queen is well done. It shows the dimensions of personality Bryn is capable of, but also that she's not totally without remorse. If things had been different, perhaps, she and the Queen could have been friends. I also like that the Queen isn't someone harsh or evil, because this makes it harder for Bryn to justify her actions to the reader. I think in some stories, you have villains who are made that way because "good guys" push them out, and then there are people who just choose to do evil things, and I think that's what Bryn is choosing to do. But the relationship is solid, even if it is one-sided, and that alone, I think, shows the extents to which Bryn is willing to keep up appearances.

Nice work so far, it'll be fun to see what happens next. :)
Dr. Self Destruct chapter 31 . 5/25/2013
Ending: I think I'm gonna start by talking about the ending. I really enjoyed that ending image of the dream. I think the way you describe it is really cool and vivid, especially the descriptions and the attention you pay to the crows. The dream feels really eerie, and i wonder if it's some type of foreshadowing of what is going to eventually happen to Bryn. But since Frederick isn't there to stab her, who's going to do it? I'm thinking either Kaspar or Aurora. Personally I hope Aurora does it, since Bryn did murder Aurora's mother and father. But yeah, some great imagery there at the end, I really love it.

Setting: I think you have some great setting descriptions in this chapter. I know in the past I admitted to wanting more of an expansive setting, but I think lately, and especially in this chapter, you've found a really nice balance between setting and exposition. There's a lot more character interaction with the setting, which really helps develop movement and build on the surroundings at the same time. Like when Aurora leaves her tent, I love that description of how the dirt molded to her feet. It's very visual, and due to the action, it's really easy for me to picture.

Pacing: I did think the pacing dragged a bit during the scene where Aurora is stitching up Kaspar. I think slimming down on some of the details and maybe summarizing some of it will really help with that. I can see where it might be considered relationship development, but I feel like the summarizing would still be able to get that same interaction across, since Kaspar and Aurora don't really interact directly too much during that anyways. Maybe less dialogue, or have the dialogue summarized - stuff like that. This chapter is a lot longer than all your others, and while there's nothing wrong with varying chapter lengths, I did feel like the chapter itself was stretched longer than it needed to be.

Relationships: But touching a little bit more on the relationship part, I did like the ending of this chapter when Aurora and Kaspar had some heart-to-heart time. Not really sure how I feel about him admitting he loved her the first moment he saw her, though. But I know that's entirely personal preference - I'm just a firm disbeliever in love at first sight. But since this is based off of a fairy tale, I can see where that type of trope would make sense. But keep in mind tropes are tropes because they're so common - if you wanted to break away from a usual convention and experiment with a new twist in a fairy tale plot, this might be the place to start. Perhaps not making Kaspar so enamored with Aurora - and the other way around - could procure some interesting results in the plot and their relationship. Just something to think about. :)
VelvetyCheerio chapter 2 . 5/25/2013
I decided to skip the prologue and jump straight into the thick of things!

What a curious cliffhanger. I highly doubt she'd throw herself from the window. Where would the story be if she did that! But I think you worked a hook in at the end that tempts me to read on. Actually, I like that there's a hook at the beginning of this chapter and the end. At the beginning, there's the temptation of festivities and joviality, and that drew me in because it's always fun seeing the characters enjoying themselves. It's easy to relate to characters when they're having fun. At the end, there's that mystery of finding out what her next move is. The effect is the same: it pulls me in, pulls me forward.

I like the way Bryn and Frederick's relationship is something that has been ongoing rather than something that just started. It says a lot about both their characters, but it also says a lot about the past they had before Frederick got married to the Queen. I like that you made that past evident because it creates a back story without actually having an info-dump so early on in the story.
Dr. Self Destruct chapter 30 . 5/24/2013
Spelling/Grammar/Suggestions:

["Yes," she breathed, "their so beautiful, and so delicate."

"Their called Edelweiss by my people."]

Edit: They're instead of their in both these sentences. Also, around this time I think you have Kaspar sigh about three times within a few paragraphs, so maybe alternate with some different action tags to keep them from becoming repetitive.

[Lying in her litter Brynhild sighed after having coughed herself awake. ]

Edit: I notice you often lack commas before names where there should be one. Probably one of your most common grammars mistakes. The comma really helps the reader understand when to pause, and they also help make the sentence make more sense. Without a comma it seems like Brynhild is a type of "litter" instead of Brynhild being the center of the action for that sentence.

[Frederick was already on the other side of the room, his britches were pulled up to his waist but they were unfastened, his wrinkled white shirt was clutched in his hand.]

Another common grammar issue I see is a lot of comma splices. You have two comma splices in this one sentence. Since "His wrinkled white shirt was clutched in his hand." is a complete sentence due to the verb "clutched" and the noun "his," you need to separate the two sentences with either a period, semi-colon, or remove the noun from the clauses so it'll read like this:

[Frederick was already on the other side of the room, his britches pulled up to his waist, but they were unfastened, his wrinkled white shirt clutched in his hand.]

Opening: I really like how you open with the image of Aurora sitting on the horse with Kaspar. The image itself is really nicely described, and I've noticed you always do a wonderful job of appealing to all the senses. This opening image really appeals to my sense of sound and touch, especially with how Aurora can feel Kaspar breathing against her back, or the way his voice causes his chestplate to vibrate. I think that's really cool and vivid, and it makes the scene all the more realistic and lively.

Scene: I really enjoy this scene between Bryn and Frederick. I think you do a great job writing sex scenes without them being too flowery or too raunchy. They're very much in the middle, and i enjoy how you pay attention to the anatomy. I also enjoy the detail and description you use. I've heard that a lot of more modern romance and erotic authors say to use less detail so the reader can fill the situation in with themselves, but I disagree with that. Personally I'm not much of a visual reader, so I really appreciate it when writers take the efforts to describe everything to me. Besides, the whole "use less description" feels more like a lazy excuse to me, one of which you don't suffer.

Plot: I feel really terrible for Bryn. Seeing these flashbacks, I can kind of see why she's so mentally deranged now. Not only did Frederick just drop her that quickly (what a dick), but her own father goes and calls her a whore and tells her how she's the laughing stock of the entire city. It's fucked up and twisted. I hate it how women were treated back in these days, like they were just some currency to use for bargaining and all that. It's horrible. And I think in this chapter you do a great job of showing us just how terrible that sort of thing can be.
Dr. Self Destruct chapter 29 . 5/24/2013
Characters: I'm glad you decided to build more on Brynhild's character by using the flashbacks, but I wonder if doing this sooner might benefit her character more. Considering everything I've seen her do, I'm not sure the capacity for sympathy is still there. It might also help clarify her motivations sooner, too, instead of making me think she's just batty and out of her wits this entire time. But regardless, I think it's a wise decision to go into her past and give her reasons behind her actions. It'll make her insanity more believable.

Writing: You always do a great job of addressing stuff like touch. That image of Bryn lying in the litter and her skin being rubbed a bit raw as she's jostled about is really vivid. I also love the description of Bryn's voice when her and Frederick are kissing, how it spilled out of her mouth and into the silence - that's some really poetic language. I think it really fits the overall tone of this story really well.

Beginning: I like the image you invoke of the spinning wheel in the beginning of this chapter because i think it brings me back to the thought of this being a Sleeping Beauty retelling. I'm wondering if the spinningwheel's presence is some type of foreshadowing to its reappearance in the future. Little easter eggs like these make me excited to see how the old devices from the fairy tale are going to fit into your more modern retelling. Since this is so different from what I'm used to when it comes to Sleeping Beauty, I'm glad you have the spinningwheel there to remind me what I'm reading.

Dialogue: Frederick is such a smooth player, isn't he? Heh. I'm referencing the dialogue near the end when he shows her how he's going to protect them by kissing her. Very smooth indeed. On a whole your dialogue is always really crisp and easy to understand, it the diction fits perfectly for the time period I imagine. There are only some technical errors I would suggest to watch out for and to fix up when you come to revise, like incorrect dialogue punctuation. I see a lot of that. I also notice that you sometimes match your dialogue with the actions of another character, which can come across as confusing.

["Yes?" Senora startled Aurora.]

Like right here, since Senora's name comes right after the dialogue I thought it was her speaking when it's really Aurora. Adding a simple "Aurora said." would fix that, or just putting the following exposition into its own paragraph.
Cyh Scaevola chapter 16 . 5/22/2013
Crap, I ended up reading ahead...I guess I'll review this one, too.

Honestly, I'm kind of surprised at what they found in the tomb. Obviously, Aurorette is dead, but with the hints in chapter one I had somewhat expected something a little bit more intact. Of course that's just silly, but I was hoping. I really like Oren's reaction, too. I'm still not entirely sure how much he knows, but I'm sure that on some level he realizes the significance of those bones. It's all very intriguing...

I actually had no problems with this chapter other than a few typos, so I'll tack them on here. (Besides, this is a freebie. ;D Yay for no rules! )
[She tilted her head toward him, broken suddenly from the string of her own thoughts, "nothing," she breathed listlessly.]
- "nothing" should be capitalized, and perhaps start a new sentence here?

["—the woman I saw yesterday before you found."]
- I feel like this sentence should end with "me"

[He stood, reaching his arm out for her take...]
- "to" should be inserted between "her" and "take"

[...she could tell form his expression that that was the last place he wanted to go.]
- "form" to "from"
Cyh Scaevola chapter 15 . 5/22/2013
Okay, now all of my theories are being thrown out the window. (It's a good thing - I like surprises.) Does Oren even know that he's her brother at this point? I mean, it's a heated scene, but at the same time I'm trying not to get overly squicked-out by the thought. O_o; Yikes! This story is so excellently twisted.

Ahem...anyway, there weren't any negatives that really stuck out, other than maybe describing Oren more in previous chapters. I sort of remember how he was as a boy, but now he's all grown up and I'm left with a mental gap of what he should look like. Back then he'd been a portly, annoying little brat, and now I'm trying to see past his former self. The only concrete description so far is that he's used to carrying heavy things, and that his shoulders are broad. Perhaps setting Oren up with a few more physical details early on would help garner him a little more of the reader's affection. (It might also help soften the blow of this scene in the barn.)

Only two typos in this one:
[Brynhild didn't offer any of the meal to Oren, who, as for as Aurelia could tell was still in the barn.]
- "for" should be "far"

[...the sky slowly turned from molted gold to black.]
- "molted" should be "molten"
Cyh Scaevola chapter 14 . 5/22/2013
The first and last lines of that poem were, in part, pretty much lines from one of Shakespeare's sonnets, weren't they? Interesting. I worry, though, that using a poem with such intense wording might confuse most readers. Not everyone has had to study how to break down poetry and derive the meaning in the texts. It's not entirely a negative, but definitely something to take into account.

Other than that, I really enjoyed the sudden supernatural turn taken with what I assume was the ghost of Aurorette. Obviously, she wasn't called by name, but there's really no one else who would have an attachment to Aurelia - and who happens to be a ghost. At this point, I suspect that Oren remembers enough to have a general idea of what happened during the epidemic, and perhaps enough to know that Aurelia is his sister. Interesting developments are afoot!

Here are a few typos/errors I caught:
[Her heartbeat was pounding with the veins in her writs feeling like they would burst from her skin like bees bursting from an irritated hive.]
- the first "with" should be "in" (The following "in can be changed to "of" to avoid repetition
- "writs" should be "wrists" and there should be a comma afterwards.

[...he pointed with index finger away from them...]
- "his" should be inserted after "with"

[And you never had any sibling, let alone a sister.]
- "sibling" should be plural
Cyh Scaevola chapter 13 . 5/22/2013
I'm sure it will be explained, but I'm kind of surprised that there's no mention that Oren is her brother. I know he was young, but he was still old enough to understand that Brynhild wasn't Aurelia's real mother. Maybe Bryn beat the knowledge out of him? Now I"m really curious!

I'm liking the jump in time with this second part. The castle is still there, but it's pretty much empty, and mentioning that they had to eat the wolf was a good way to show that supplies are probably getting low, at least during the winter. Also the way that Bryn has completely stolen Aurorette's former station is frightening. After all, Aurelia was just a baby. She doesn't know anything other than what Bryn has told her. Creepy!

I'm surprised, but I find myself sympathizing with Oren. I hated him as a little kid, but now he's just a downtrodden young man who wants to protect Aurelia. Poor thing...

Anyway, here's a couple of minor issues:
[In truth, Aurelia had stopped listened to her mother's over-told fairytale...]
- "listened" to "listening"

[Aurelia always loved these parts of her mother's stories, "tell me what he said the first time he saw me, mother?"]
- You should start a new sentence after "stories"

["I should have left you exposed on the hillside as an infant," she added off handily once he had gone.]
- "off handily" to "off-handedly" or "casually"
Cyh Scaevola chapter 12 . 5/21/2013
It's interesting to see things from the perspective of someone other than Brynhild, especially the aftermath of the epidemic. There's a real sense of abandonment, that the entire region has, rather suddenly, become a lost cause. I'm truly amazed that Lisbet and Gesine managed to avoid the disease, actually. I hope they come out of it alive. *sigh* Ah, it's nice to have a normal, totally-not-horrifying chapter to chase away the nightmares I expect to see. (Well, the horse things is bad, but I saw something similar on NatGeo involving a cow, so maybe I'm desensitized? The cow didn't die, though. Poor Sarpedon. He had such a cool name!)

Now I'm wondering, did everyone consider Bryn to be a "witch," or is this just something that the kids came up with? Or is it just because of how totally insane Bryn was when she busted into Lisbet's house and stole the King back? Maybe a little bit of clarification here would be a little bit good for the reader, especially since she's been seeing things through Bryn's eyes this whole time.

Ah, and of course, my endless nitpicks:
[Despite the witches' small frame...]
- "witches'" should be "witch's"

[...and once they had gone, Lisbet took hold of her younger sister, "get your cloak!" she instructed, "we'll go to the castle! Be quick now!"]
- You should start new sentences after "sister" and " instructed"
- Also, this feels like it should be the start of a new paragraph, since Lisbet is talking now, and "the witch" is no longer dominating the scene.

[Once they had been stripped of their valuable belongs, and thankfully stripped of nothing else. Lisbet pulled her sister into the old baker's shop, locking the door behind them.]
- "belongs" should be "belongings"
- This whole string should actually be one sentence, with a comma after "else" (You could also remove "Once" and replace "and" with "but" in the first sentence.)

[The tracks where her earlier tears had fallen gave her pale face and ethereal sheen...]
- "and" should be "an"

[How could see – daughter of a Lord...]
- "see" should be "she"

[They slowly creped along the edge of the courtyard...]
- "creped" should be "crept"

[...the depths of the forests dangerous ranks.]
- "forests" should be "forest's"

All in all, this is a good way to end the first part of the story. It breaks away from the usual POV, giving you a different perspective on what's happening, and prepares you for the changes that are bound to happen in the next part of the story, presumably after some time passes? (I don't know yet - I'm trying not to peek!)

I can't wait to read it!
- Cyh
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