Reviews for SOM: Paladin (2013)
Infected Beliefs chapter 11 . 4/7/2013
[It started raining hard when were about four miles from the temple...] - When who were? They? He? The sentence feels like you have a word missing between "when" and "were."

[As we continued down north...] - This seems like an oxymoron. You don't need "down."

[Then again, if the Fatecrafter had said that a bunch of white wizards were about to destroy my bar, I probably would have accused her of chewing qaddi.] - I love it when you add little things like this. Very rich and flavorful.

I am getting a very middle eastern/gypsie vibe from the traders. Am I hitting somewhere close to the mark? I love the complexity you put into them and their customs, and I am starting to understand them a little better. There customs about hospitality in the wild are quite intriguing, as is their almost mafia sense of community. They are an interesting medley.

Out of curiosity, when Mercy is reading out of the buck of Luscious (or whatever) you have a lot of random words capitalized that are not names, titles, or the first words of the sentence. Is this intentional?

Shit! Windrider left again! I really am going to have to read that other story of yours where she plays a larger role.

Tehe, "fatemangle."

Right on! Good way to tie Lucky back in at the end, I was wondering when we would see her again. It also gives Mercy a non-selfless motive to go after the slave traders; another good deed done for personal reasons. Well played. I am starting to see a pattern here but you work yourself up to it perfectly.

Apologies that this review is a bit shorter than my usual ones but to be honest I couldn't find too much wrong with this chapter. I quite liked it and thought it read easily and fluidly. I am really enjoying the story.
Gorilla0132 chapter 2 . 4/5/2013
this is for chapter 1:
wait when mercy is near the canal and deegan calls for the men to kill him then why din't they just shoot him instantly with crossbow bolts? its like you completely forgot about the crossbows. even if the lackeys are retards thats no excuse for not just shooting him in the face
JenniferManning chapter 14 . 4/3/2013
Hello. I wanted to say that this story is really amazing. I kinda like how the protagonist is a matured old man, instead of childish under 25 like most stories are. Its amazing, and I can't wait for more
Infected Beliefs chapter 10 . 4/3/2013
When I first started reading this back in chapter one I was a bit skeptical. I wasn't sure that I liked the first person perspective and the flippant, comical voice you use. I had felt lost about the world you were writing in and the way it worked and I wasn't looking forward to having to review multiple chapters of it. THANK YOU FOR PROVING ME WRONG! Now that I have gotten into the swing of things and gotten used to your writing style I absolutely LOVE it. Your characters are rich and entertaining, your dialogue is helarious, witty, and a joy to read, and your plot is engaging and riveting. I am really enjoying myself. Thank you!

Ahem, Now on to the review.

[...and somehow, Albis had lost one of his socks.] - lmao what? Funny little detail. Totally unnecessary but an entertaining bit of comic relief.

[I expected {he's} have blisters later, but there was nothing we could do besides press forward.] - {he's} should be {he'd} for "he would."

Really good atmosphere built up with dialogue and the ensuing descriptive paragraphs about the pit and Nok tunnel (I actually paused before writing the word Nok *Don't say its name!*). It was good to see a bit of creepiness in the story to contrast the humor, and the lack of humor and wit really helped to emphasize the moment. Is this creature that steals lost, smelly socks and broken shit really that dangerous and horrifying though? Oh, and good'onya for your ingenuity with your created creatures again.

[The creature grinned very broadly and purposefully touched me with its nose. "Boo!" It said.] - lol and back comes the humor. You really should change the genre of this to Fantasy/Humor.

["Did it?" She eyed me suspiciously.] - I agree with Windrider. I got the feeling that the Nok was just bored and lonely and wanted someone to talk to/play with lol but maybe that is just foolish optimism.

Hmmm, I don't feel satisfied by their flight from the labyrinth. I was following everything fine until they found the central area with all of the shifting stairs and the place for the key, but then they just seemed to hop a few staircases and suddenly they were back at the beginning and Pig was there again. While I can pass off Pig's reemergence as part of the absurdity that you use so well, I felt a little cheated by the group's escape. They were in the center of the labyrinth then suddenly they are at the edge? I feel that you should spend a bit more time with this, rather than rushing through it (I know I complained about the chapter length in the last review but this is the defining moment of this chapter...it deserves some attention).

I did like the visual of the dragon glass rod holding the door open just long enough for them to slip through before shattering, that was nicely done.

["He's fighting very hard, isn't he?" Albis observed with a slight smile.] - Just before this I think you need a page break or a line break or something. It is a jump in time that is not explained by the narration or anything and it feels choppier than your other transitions.

Good chapter over all. Again, apologies on the Tardiness of my review returns. Next time we swap reviews I promise I won't take as long.

Best of luck to you and your writing,

-Infected
Infected Beliefs chapter 9 . 4/3/2013
Erm, maybe I mis-read the end of the last chapter but I thought old man Grace had ended up deciding to come with them? Where'd he go?

["It's not the Labyrinth. You're dizzy because you're drunk, you dumb bitch,"] - I love this. In fact, I love all of the banter between Windrider and Mercy; they're always giving each other shit. It speaks fathoms about the relationship of their characters and adds a nice bit of humor as well, not that your story is lacking in that department by any means.

["Killing folk ought to be personal," I explained. "If it doesn't make you feel anything, that's when you should be worried about doing it. It's human to get angry, to hate somebody. But to gut someone and have it mean nothing... well, that's what separates men from fiends."] - Though Albis doesn't appreciate Mercy's philosophy I think that this little bit of dialogue is a beautiful window into Jack's personality. Sure he is a killer. Sure he is a street thug. Sure he used to work for a terrible fiend. But this shows us that he at least thinks and worries about the brutality of the life he perpetuates. It provides a redeeming quality for him, and every anti-hero needs a redeeming quality in order for the reader to sympathize with him/her.

Why did they take Pig into the labyrinth in the first place? They knew it was going to be a chaotic and constantly shifting mess of passages, stairways, and tunnels. Why didn't they just leave him outside?

[Fast as the fiend was, I barely parried its claws.] - I'm not sure I like this sentence. Saying "I barely parried its claws." seems at odds with saying that the fiend was fast. "So fast were the fiend's claws that I was almost surprised when I managed to parry them" or "Fast as I was with a blade, I only barely managed to parry the fiend's claws" seem like more suitable sentences. Maybe I am just being nitpicky but does this make sense to you?

I feel like I comment on this in every review I leave you but I absolutely love your creativity with your created creatures. This Baggorth and your description of it is fantastic. No eyes? Snake-like tongue? Skin sewn of a compilation of human parts? How do you come up with it? Your mother must have been horrified by your imagination.

Ah, more delightful banter (the section immediately after the Baggorth fight). You also do an excellent job of looping us back around to things earlier in the story (his father for instance).

[Ferret winced as he stood up. There's a lot more profit in being a fence. Not to mention fewer injuries."] - Stupid little corrections, but you're missing a parenthesis before {There's}.

Just a passing thought: I like that your protagonist is not the usual late-teen, early-twenties character. Moving on.

I feel like I am reading a fictionalized game log of some RPG with a fantastically insightful DM. The way you structure your story feels very quest-reward but keeps on hinting at an overarching plot that seems quite meaningful.

I am really enjoying your concept of Fatecrafting as well and the way it is starting to take shape. I can see how Jack is slowly being molded, unwillingly, into this champion of (whatever-god-you-previously-mentioned).

[Thanks to my armor, I went straight down to the bottom.] - I feel like I have given little else than praise this chapter but so be it; here is some more. I am digging your sarcastic narration and dry wit so very much. It is a joy to read. But goddamn, why must your chapters be so long? I don't mind reading length...when I can stop and start when I have time, but when I have to read through and review, well, it gets to be a bit much. At least it's enjoyable.

On another note though...how deep is this pool? He sinks to the bottom, but then he breaths and is swinging with his warhammer? I am a bit confused.

I am liking this eclectic group of companions Mercy is amassing; quite the interesting combination of characters and personalities. I am interested to see how all of this pans out.
Infected Beliefs chapter 4 . 4/2/2013
Ok, I know this review is on chapter four, but I already reviewed chapter eight (which this review is for) before you edited, and since chapter eight has become new material, I thought I would leave a new review on it. So, even though this is on chapter four, remember, it is about chapter eight.

[Mercenaries weren't heroes. Heroes were dumb.] - I like this line you added near the end of the last chapter.

I am glad that Windrider is back! She is probably the character who intrigues me most to this point. I am a little curious as to how people can tell she is a Trader on sight. Do Trader's have some distinguishing mark? Do they have dark brown skin? Blue eyes? Something else? I would quite like to find out.

[Windrider made us a fire by sprinkling a tiny bit of silver {power} on a huge wet log.] - Did you mean to say {power}? I mean, I think I remember you saying something about Trader's being magical so maybe you did mean {power}, but the way that it is written makes me think you meant {powder}. And then I read the next sentence and this all clears up. It's just a typo then.

lol loving the donkey named "Pig."

["Well, I do dearly wish you'd come to Mizun at a better time. This is a beautiful valley, and the people are usually very friendly. This sickness is... very serious, unfortunately. More than a few people have died already."] - This line (and your earlier mention of dragon crypts or whatever) brings to my mind things like WOW, Diablo, Guild Wars and any other sort of click-and-attack RPG. The innocent villager who begs the travelers to do some stupid task for a reward and whatnot. 105 XP for everyone! Yay! No but seriously, it feels a little cheesy, and while a lot of your story plays with that writing cheese for humor, this presses a little too far (IMO).

[...we were in the home of retired adventure-seeker.] - "we were in the home of {a} retired adventure-seeker." Small typo.

Just so you know, your writing stamps a bemused smile across my face at all times. I find your voice quite entertaining. Bravo.

[Though she looked almost human, her feet ended in cloven hooves and she had horns on her head that were forked and covered in velvet like a stag's. Her eyes were the color of moonlight. All of her veins were very obvious, and whatever it was that flowed through them was bright green.] - I absolutely love all of the creatures you have come up with for your story. I'm pretty sure I have mentioned it before but it really is fantastically creative; not something you see much these days. It brings your story to life and your descriptions of everything are entirely adequate.

If the Goat Woman can kill Albis and Mercy with considerable ease, and she is not mortal either, how the hell did two random villagers manage to capture her? It seems highly unlikely to me that two farmers would be able to subdue a fae as you have presented them. It rather feels like something you made happen just for the sake of keeping the plot/arc rolling. Food for thought.

Holy shit this chapter is long.

[It was a risk I should not have taken, for by ancient accord, my powers are weak on this side of the river.] - You always seem to answer my questions later on in chapters...I really must learn to be more patient.

As I said, I really like your writing style and voice; it is very unique. I did feel that this chapter seemed very video-game-ish, and it rather felt like a detour from the overall story, but I will press on further to see if that is the case.

I will get to your other reviews as quick as I can, sorry for the delay.
unconscious willpower chapter 1 . 3/25/2013
Him and his brother Rowdy both looked ready to knock out some teeth./ He and his brother

Everyone else was sent out kill fiends or bandits in the desert./ to kill

and the meat was the cheapest and nastiest money available/ nastiest available

These quips are from two different parts of the chapter, but they still show some off balance preferences:
The knife rested comfortably in the palm of my hand. It was a good little piece of Trader steel, perfectly balanced. I would have rather thrown it than fought with it, but I'd just come from the docks and I didn't have another blade.
I stood up and hopped over the bar, producing my sword from underneath a tray of unwashed mugs. Though I preferred to fight with a knife, Grimes liked to make people think he was a patrician.
I can make this make sense to me, but it leaves me wondering what weapon the main character would prefer and why that weapon wasn't available at the bar.

The toe of my boot stuck was in the trellis/ was stuck

I escaped his fortress the skin of my teeth/ I'm not sure if this is the name of the fortress or an expression.

This is a very well written piece. Its got some under-city tones to it, with Deegan and his cronies. And a little bit of humor is tossed in to relieve tension using Ferret. I like the up front conflict that starts this chapter off because its not too over descriptive and moves at a nice pace, wrapping up in a few paragraphs The protagonist is drawn up as a badass and you describe the tone of Bones Picked Clean pretty early on. You weave in the traders at the bar very well and hint at their ability to work miracles with the most mundane incantations imaginable, like dropping the bread to start a chain reactions of events. I immediately became suspicious of them after this part of the story. Deegan is brought back into the plot again at the brothel and I imagine he will be a reoccurring problem in the story. After the conflict we are drawn to Aerope, some previous love of Jack's. He deals with the junkie, which is his mistake. Still, she hints again at his father , though that could just be mind reading.

In the first chapter much of Calyari is left blank in our minds, however we are drawn in to the district of Bones Picked Cleaned. Most of the first chapter is here. We aren't given huge landscapes or giant views of grandeur, not that there are any in this section of town, but what we see is the life and personality of this district and world. There are many unique races, the Traders and the Ksrali are very unique and well thought out. We see the shady underbelly of what it really is. THe brothel is interesting and you add detail to what is real in the story (the canals and the trellis) instead of an eight page architectural breakdown of the city. An interesting city lies here at the beginning of this story.

Jack Mercy (killer name) is somewhat of an oddity. He has all the necessary traits to be a lowlife, slumlord, murdering ruffian. However, he has a sort of inner vigilance that he brings about through the story. As a reader we are forced to reckon with the fact: he's not wholly evil. Still, he is interesting and likable enough to see if he will cross that line. I enjoy his outlook on his business, not backing down when Deegan pushes him.
Ferret is a unique character. He's a married man who could be a wizard by birthright. He seems to be an attribute to Jack and I hope to see more of him in the story.
You bring in Deegan, another lowlife boss. This guy is ambitious and clever. He might push his reach too far one day, but he doesn't seem to care about cutting his losses (especially if those are his underlings.) except for Big Alice.
She seems like a strange love affair. I'm not judging, except that she can probably slit my throat and dispose of my body in the nearby canal. So this lady of the night is not to be stepped on.
And last we have Aerope, the crazy, drug crazy, woman. Did I mention that Jack still has a thing for her. Ha. She will be the death of him yet. I really hope not. Still, her ability to use magic and her past give me hope that she will not be reaching her end soon.

I enjoyed the first chapter to the story. There is a rich expansive city here that I hope stays alive and well. The characters have a certain charm about them.

Everything that I write is my own opinion and I only write it to help you as a writer. Please use what you like and ignore the rest.
Cyrano81 chapter 16 . 3/21/2013
I love it! I love it so much!
The pacing and character development are really picking up.

A couple of minor things:

"I thought you were proud of being a thief," Albis admitted, breaking the silence.
"admitted" is an odd choice of word, here. He's not admitting anything; he's questioning.

The bandit's leader was a Northman with a nasty looking axe.
**bandits'**

If a Northman was tolerating the company of weak, southerners, he'd done something unforgivable in the eyes of his own people.
The first comma is strange, here. It looks like it should either be removed or there should be another word in there.

"Great Mazu Mari, we didn't know who he was when we found him," Ferret interrupted. "He never claimed to be the Baroness's son. He gave us an alias. He didn't want any shame to come to him family."
**his family**

Suddenly I could **picturewhat** had happened in Ozman's Labyrinth when I'd fought the fiend in the pool.
Gorilla0132 chapter 1 . 3/20/2013
i read the first chapter of this story weeks ago and i didn't review it then so i will now.
i really like the concept. i like how the city is corrupt and gritty, and i like the different districts and the "gangs" if you will. i like how Jack Mercy comes off as a badass, but he's still mortal and can be harmed (as shown in the first fight)
the story is told well, the plot is entertaining (its not just a bunch of people talking all the time) and it kept me hooked.
excellent job!
poppypips chapter 12 . 3/15/2013
Oooh im so excited for the next chapter!
Infected Beliefs chapter 8 . 3/3/2013
Chalceda is a small town, you said. Has Mercy really been able to avoid Roger and Khalid for all the ten days that the guards have refused exit? Have they just been hiding out in the guild house? I feel like a little closing conflict between Mercy and those two, or at least Roger and the caravan master (whatever his name was) would be a good bit of entertainment.

Ah, and it seems you have already thought of that. Looks like I will get my wish.

Everything I have been thinking as I read this chapter has fallen perfectly into place. First, I was wondering what happened to Roger and that crew, then "Walah," explained. Next I was thinking that if Mercy needed money to buy armor, he might as well just scamper down beneath the temple again and steal himself some trinkets. While that's not quite what happened, the end result was still much the same effect. I'm going to have to start being patient and just wait to see what happens before I start second guessing you.

Chekhov's gun again with the armor, methinks. This time I think I can see where you are going with it.

That has got to be the most pathetic army I have every scene/heard of. And there you go again, pointing out my thoughts.

I am really enjoying this little insight into the Ksrali culture. Before this chapter it was just another name in many but now they are fleshing out and we are getting a little background info on them (which, by the way, is well delivered. Your exposition is fluidly trickled to us, rather than shoved down our throats. well played, my friend, well played). We're also starting to get into a little more politics, which I always enjoy when done well in a story. Also loving the name "Mazu Mari," good tribal name.

I think this was my favorite chapter yet! I loved the entrance of the Ksrali. Mazu Mari on his two headed, winged snow leopard was an awesome mental picture and everyone ducking and dodging through the trenches was fun to imagine. I am a little confused by the end, as I don't see what difference Ferret and Cookie could make on Mercy charging the enemy, but I suppose I will just have to wait and find out.

Best of luck to you and your writing,

-Infected
Infected Beliefs chapter 7 . 3/3/2013
Ok, er, this goes back to me talking about your ineffectual villains/antagonists, but why are all of your guards drunk? It seems as though your guards are the most intoxicated demographic of the story. The guards in the Comenas complex were drunk, some other guards (that I can't think off immediately off of the top of my head) were drunk, and now your guards on the walls of Chalceda are too drunk to notice a traveler on the road (or just content to not do their jobs)? No wonder Fiend Raima thought he could take over the world, all the guards/soldiers are too fucked up or have too little discipline to fight back!

[Albis knocked on the doors of the temple and an old priest with an oil lamp came to meet him.] - Why does the priest have an oil lamp? I was under the impression that it was the middle of the day. seems a waist of valuable oil to me. A few paragraphs later you go on to mention: [Staring up at the earliest rays of morning sun...] This just seems like a bit of an inconsistency to me.

More incompetent guards getting robbed in alleys.

You asked me not to focus on your grammar and punctuation so I won't, but you seem to have a lot more discrepancies in this chapter than the previous ones I have read. I've noticed several missing words already and quite a few missing or incorrect word endings (-ed, -ing, -s, etc). You have flip-flopped between tenses a few times that I have noticed as well. I know you said that you had been editing your earlier chapters, but you might want to have a sit down with this one as well. Read it out loud to yourself, and fix whatever doesn't sound right.

I like how you accept your clichés with a nod and a cheeky wink, rather than pretending they aren't actually cliché.

I like your little story about the Nok. Completely unnecessary (or is it?) but it adds good flavor to the writing.

From the way that Mercy jumps from "quest" to "quest" with such casual ease, I almost get the feeling that I am reading the fictionalized account of a role play or video game.

Once again, good job at bringing things full circle. I was not expecting the walking cliché to be the bard from before, and I was expecting who he turned out to be even less. I am curious though, why was the door to the temple's treasury unlocked? That seems terribly insecure for such a vast treasury. If I was a thief, I would be making nightly ventures down there and pocketing as much as possible. Did Waylan open it for him perhaps?

Might I have been wrong that Lucky would be playing a larger role in the upcoming story? So far, it seems that I was but I shall patiently wait and see.
Infected Beliefs chapter 6 . 3/2/2013
Here is one of the instances I was refering to about not being able to keep track of location names: Is Onestis the place the wizards of Light told him to go to (of course I could look back to find the answer to that but I really shouldn't have to). I thought that they had wanted to meet him in Chalceda, which is why I thought that he was going there. Apparently not. Apparently I should pay better attention.

[I'd saved my favorite trick for last and was looking forward to showing it off] - I sincerely hope that I get to see this favorite move at some point later on in the story. It is kind of a Chekhov's gun scenario; the story would have been fine without it, so it better play some importance later on.

Jack's a fiend? o.0

Your writing has seemed vaguely reminiscient of something and I have been trying to figure out what it was. You use the word "clammed" in this chapter and it finally hit me. I don't know if you have read any of the old Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective pulp novels, but both Mercy and your prose really reminds me of him. The diction you use, the style of your sentences, I dunno, it just really reminded me of his writing.

[but soon I fel asleep in the shade of a huge palm.] - This is the first instance of you explaining the terrain to us. Until this point, I had immagined a sort of traditional, western-Euro type landscape. With palm trees though, I am thinking somewhere in the south? Perhaps the tropics? It narrows the options but at the same time widens them.

I hope Windrider comes back in more than reference sometime soon; I think she is my favorite character yet and you only left us with that frustratingly tantalizing hint that all was not as it seemed with her. I am hungry for more.

[Still, it seemed mad to me that a kid about the same age as my boy Tig would want the cloistered, celibate life of a priest rather than a chance for riches and the opportunity to sow some wild oats.] - I absolutely loved this sentence. "Sow some wild oats?" Perfect.

So, Deathwalkers have fiend blood and wizards have dragon blood. That is two off of my previous list but I am still unclear on traders and...whatever people Ferret and his wife were. Still though, it is progress and I am starting to get a firmer grasp on things.

I don't know if you plan out your stories before you write them, but you do a really good job of circling back around and tieing in new bits of development with things you mentioned in previous chapters. Ie. the kid, Albis, and the wizards. His little charm and Lucius. Etc.

Good chapter all in all.
Infected Beliefs chapter 5 . 3/2/2013
When I first started reading your story I was griping and moaning to myself about having to read another amateur first person narrative, thanks for proving me wrong. In general, I am not a big fan of first person narratives because more often than not I have a difficulty figuring out what is going on around the perspective character. For this reason I generally try to avoid them and therefore, have some difficulty identifying what makes a first person narrative "good." Quite by coincidence, I picked up Glen Cook's "The Black Company" the same day I began to read "Paladin." Both stories are written in the first person perspective and it provided me with a good parallel to base my judgment off (There is also a character named Mercy in the Black Company which I found to be a surprising coincidence as well). Don't worry, yours held strong.

"Paladin" is listed as Fantasy and Adventure, but I half think it should be comedy as well; I found myself laughing frequently, which is not a commonplace when I read normally. I felt as though Mercy was like a doddering old uncle, the type with the busted knee who sits by the fire telling grandiose stories to his nieces and nephews about the exaggerated tales of his youth while his wife nags at him from the side to stop telling the kids such awful things. I almost kept expecting there to be a pause in the narration for something like: "I paused in my story, realizing that the five children around me were scarcely listening any more. One of the cheeky buggers wasn't even pretending to pay attention so I gave him a solid cuffing about the ears. 'You think this is for MY amusement, boy? This is educational, listen up!'"

I am wary about how easily Mercy can fight off large crowds of people with scarcely any weapons. On a whole, your bad guys/villains/antagonists seem to be bumbling, incompetent idiots. This would usually bother me a lot more, but your good guys/protagonists seem to be only slightly less bumbling and idiotic than their opponents, so I guess it all evens out. Still though, for Mercy to be able to fight off numerous guards, thugs, and fiends with only a punching dagger, and take no wounds, and escape fairly easily borders on obnoxiously unrealistic (though that may just be me, as I have a preference towards the darker, grittier, more realistic side of fantasy).

Your characters and your dialogue are fantastic (ESPECIALLY the dialogue, which I love) but I am having a difficult time following your world building elements. I don't really understand how fiends work into your world, they seem to be those with devil blood but at other times fiends seem like devil-spawned animals. Eg. Deegan is a fiend, but so is Cookie? Aerope is a fiend, but there are roaming fiends in the wild? I don't understand, and I am also having a difficulty understanding the different types of magic users. Deathwalkers (Deathcatchers? I can't remember), Ksrali, wizards, sorcerers, traders, fatecrafters; I have a hard time discerning them.

Speaking of traders, they seem like a really interesting concept, but I don't understand them in the slightest. At one point (chapter one I think?) you mention that they are not entirely human. They are exempt from the laws, though again I do not understand why. Are they fighters? Wizards? Aliens? I need to know more.

I have little idea of the physical relationship of anything to anything else. I get that Bones Picked Clean is a district of about four streets, but I don't know where anything else is in relationship to that. I am also having some difficulty keeping up with the amount of names (places, not characters) that you have been throwing at us. It took me about three chapters before I realized that Ancardis was the city they were in, and that the Patria was the ruling family (though maybe I am just a little slow off the mark).

Basically, you seem to have a very developed, complex, and thought out world, I would just like to see and understand a bit more of it.

Now that all of the basic stuff is out of the way, let me move on to the actual chapter.

["Idun Raima would have conquered the south {of} the Order of Light hadn't put him down,"] - I believe the selected {of} should be {if}.

I like all of the creatures you have created: Sylf, Liarbirds, Morgwraiths etc. It is refreshing that you don't draw on the conventional magical menagerie. It shows creativity. Before Tolkien, authors like Lovecraft, Howard, and Merrit were always creating their own unique creatures. Though the practice has continued in science fiction, it has become a depressingly rare thing to find in fantasy writing. Props.

I have a strange feeling about Lucky, I feel like she knows more/is more than she is letting on. She intrigues me. I will have to keep reading to find out.

Wizards taking a vow of celibacy? Nice touch.

The description of the battle with the Morgwraith was well done, though again I am disappointed by the ease with which they battle it. It is supposed to be this huge, fearsome creature that can crunch a horse with a single blow, and yet four mercs, one old, one green, and two moderately experienced, can stand toe to toe with it? And only come out with a few bruises and one scrape to the face? Sure they didn't kill it, but if it hadn't been able to self regenerate they would have. Not so fearsome a beast in retrospect.

Anyway, enjoying the story so far...On to the next chapter now.
burlap chapter 1 . 2/22/2013
Whoa. I really like how you tossed the reader straight into some action, and your description of the fight at the beginning was fantastic.

Two things, though:

-Mercy!" Deegan sneered. "Why am I not surprised?"
The quotation mark that should be at the beginning isn't present.

-"I seem to remember you left me," She reminded me.
There isn't really anything wrong with this; it's just that when presenting dialogue with a he said/she said afterword, the he's and she's aren't capitalized.

Happy writing!
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