Reviews for SOM: Paladin (2013)
Sombrette chapter 3 . 2/21/2013
What I appreciate most about your story is the sections or Districts. I like how each is set a certain way, has specific traits that make it just that way too. I guess I only just realized that Mercy is some sort of Gang leader lol I mean, I sorta knew previously but here in this chapter it shows it a lot more. He also keeps talking about his 'reputation' which makes him this leader to be feared. Can't say I've seen it yet. It's only told and not shown. That would be something I'd like more, is there's a lot of telling and not that much showing. His personality doesn't strike me as someone to be intimidated yet. I'm not sure if it's supposed to at this point.

Here, I was slightly confused and this goes back to the first chapter. You explained a lot the first chapter, probably to just get it all out there so you could get on with the story. But what was explained the first chapter is almost already forgotten because there was so much. That's why I was wanting it spread throughout the chapters so it's constantly feeding into us as we read. Just something to think about :)
Sombrette chapter 2 . 2/21/2013
I think the one thing I want more of is a deeper insight to the characters. Though, the thing holding it back is probably seeing things only from Mercy's POV and what he knows of each. I suspect it will go deeper further on. I can't say I have a hold on him yet, he doesn't have anything that makes him stick out which I find strange since it's him that we are seeing things through. Little things are mentioned that might hint somewhat to his personality, like his desire to protect, his 'boys' but as aside from that I can't say he stands out from the others to me. Ferret seems kinda like the side kick, maybe a little comical lol I liked his line: "But they have birch sticks!" Ferret protested. "Birch sticks!" that put a smile on my face, as if birch sticks explained it all XD And the bird, I like him ;D But again for Mercy, I sense a history because of his unknown father. I still would like more details about Mercy himself.

[Of course, Big Alice wanted to reward me for saving her life {twic}, and playing her...] -'twice'

["This," I gestured to my wrists. "Is from a fiend. And that's been dealt with too."] here is some interrupted dialogue and can be a little tricky. Firstly, the comma after 'this' shouldn't be a comma. Either have it a period since it's followed by an action tag or you can put a dash to indicate interruption. Like:

"This—" I gestured to my wrists, "—is from a friend. And that's..."

Hope that was helpful :)
Sombrette chapter 1 . 2/20/2013
This reads really interesting. I continuously got a Role playing game vibe from this. Like I was literally being introduced into a game. I don't really know how to explain it. With Mercy being the main character, the introduction to the world and Districts... I think I'm drawing similarities due to the similar story starts. Introduce the character, small fight, go to hangout (dragon's tail) someone come's up and demands help from character, character goes and helps civilians, possible plot showing itself towards the end (with Aerope)... lol I don't know, that's just me. I'm not even saying that as a critique either, I don't mind it. It just amused me I suppose ;)

As for the chapter itself, that was a lot of information. Every time he noticed or looked at something, I knew he was going to go off on a detailed explanation for it. That might not be the best way to handle it. I wouldn't give off that much of an info dump, perhaps spread it over the chapters. But I will say you have a very solid start from the districts and the world building, to the types of people (races and statuses) The names are curious, sometimes very blunt according to the person lol
As for the writing, I think you have a nice style going on. It's in First person, which isn't exactly my preference, but I see you handle it well.

In terms of errors, the only thing I could see is the dialogue formatting. Though, it wasn't a consistent error so I'm assuming you know how to format it and probably missed a few.

["Mercy!" {S}omebody yelled. At first I...] should be lowercase 'somebody' because it's a speaker tag.

["Mercy!" {S}he shouted, obviously not realizing...] same thing here, lowercase because of speaker tag.

[...alcohol-induced nap. "Again, Guts?" {S}he demanded.] same as above.

["Nice pigsticker, old man{,}" I observed his sword. It was a gaudy piece of work and...] - Here, that would be a period since an action tag follows. 'I observed' is an action.

There's more, but I won't point them all out. So probably just take a look at all the dialogue when you go over an edit. Anyway, nice start :D
ArmachiA chapter 4 . 2/4/2013
Positives
•I didn’t see many, if any, grammar mistakes in parts 3 and 4. There might be some that someone else finds, but I personally didn’t find any. Since I’m always finding mistakes in people’s work, this is quite the accomplishment ;)
•I must admit I was a little sad when I thought the liarbird was dead. The story wouldn’t feel right without Cookie calling Mercy dumb.
•Mercy reminds me a lot of Malcolm Reynolds from the old Sci-Fi show Firefly. This isn’t really a positive or negative thing, just an observation… but since its Malcolm Reynolds, I stuck it in the positive section.
•The way you write is fine. Actually, it’s more than fine, it’s really, really good, but from a Critique standpoint “Fine” will have to do XD. You’re dialogue flows naturally, it’s well written and not awkward at all. Your descriptions are spot on, really. I love the way you twist words to make them match the story you’re trying to tell. I can tell you’re really well versed in the English language and it really makes your writing flow smoothly.
•I’m unsure with what parts you think need worked on, as I didn’t see any big glaring errors in the narrative or felt like it was slow. BUT, as I don’t know specifically what it is you want to do with the story, it makes sense I wouldn’t see anything. If you want to elaborate on what you think is missing, you can send me a message and I’d be happy to help out.

Critiques:
•There are places in the story where the pacing seems fast, like parts are just skimmed over.
•The characters are all fleshed out rather well, I don’t feel like any of the characters don’t fit into the world or any who feel awkward.
•Honestly, I would like to know a little more about the different races. I know one race is dark skinned and one race has olive skin and dark hair but… that’s really all I know at this juncture. I don’t know where they hail from or what their stereotypes are or what really separates them from each other save for a few comments on their appearance and some things they do offhand. I don’t think the chapters need to be edited to do that, but it’s something to think about for later chapters.
•Right now it feels like there are two different storylines that don’t want to intersect with each other and that makes it feel like two different books being crammed into one. One book about this short of cowboy in a fantasy world helping with a rebellion in his town, while dealing with his reputation and his past. The other story is about a cowboy in a fantasy world that was chosen by a God to be a part of this order. But the latter was only a really short story because Mercy was like “Nah.” And the Wizard was like “Okay that’s cool, I’ll meet you here if you change your mind.” I think there needs to a constant reminder that the second plot is a thing. Even when he was forced out of town, he didn’t think about the Wizard’s offer and instead looked for a job with the Guild. It’s like the wizard story lifts right out at the moment.
•Chapter 4 ended a little abruptly. “We road like that for five days” END CHAPTER. I would just end it with “I hear ya, Guild Sister.” And just use the riding for five days part in the next chapter.
ArmachiA chapter 2 . 2/4/2013
Grammar and things for Chapters one and two.
•I know you wanted the later chapters done, but in Chapter one there’s a line that says “She was dressed in a filmy white shift and seemed to be in a hurry.” I would say “white shift dress” because a lot of people are going to go “Did they mean Shirt?” Even I was a little confused till I looked it up.
•Chapter one: Big Alice is probably the most famous good-time girl in Ancaradis. She's Arborean like I am, but she dresses like she thinks she's one of the Patria's daughters, always decked out in pearls and waving a floofy ostrich-feather fan. She can cook, out drink any man, and throw most scumbags right out the doors of her own brothel. In addition to being a born tussler, there's lots of her to go around, which is something I appreciate. Her curves could cause a dead man to check his pulse, and she likes to scream like a banshee when she's having a good time. If she wasn't a whore, I'd marry her in a heartbeat. As it is, I tend to instinctively stick my neck out for her whenever she's in trouble.”
Watch your tenses. This paragraph slips into present tense when the rest of the story is in Past tense. Fix to “But she dressed like she thought she was one of the Patria’s daughters…” “She could cook, out drink any man…” “which is something I appreciated.” “and she liked to scream like a banshee…” “If she wasn’t a whore, I’d have married her in a heartbeat. As it was, I tended to instinctively stick my neck out for her whenever she was in trouble.”
•Chapter one: “Resisting his apprentice Aerope was another matter entirely.” Needs commas, “Resisting his apprentice, Aerope, was another matter entirely.”
•Chapter one: “We might have married too, except that tried to eat my soul when I was considering how to propose to her.” … “Except that tried to eat my soul…” What tried to eat his soul?
•“I still did not wanting to be found when questions were asked.” Typo. “I still did not WANT to be found…” not “wanting.” :)
•“One might have thought that the crowd of unsavory characters around the door would have warned him off, but from the sound of performance…” Typo “Sound of HIS performance” maybe?
•Chapter two: A wizard going ballistic certainly added to the grisly reputation of The Dragon's Tail... but the fire he'd conjured showed no signs of going out…” I feel like the ellipsis here are unnecessary and a comma would suffice.
•“When the growing Mist swallowed…” Mist doesn’t need to be capitalized :)
•Is “Patria’s/Petria” supposed to be Capitalized or not? Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t.
•“"Have I peaked your interest?" Master Benedict pressed.” Typo, it’s “Have I piqued your interest?”

Off to Chapters 3 and 4. :)
Wendy Thompson135th chapter 1 . 2/3/2013
"When I was young, I dreaded hard labor," Old Sirus would often begin. "I didn't want to be a fisherman like my father and so I stowed away on an Atheri ship. Couldn't read then. Thought it was a merchant barque bound for Freeport. When the Captain finally caught me, we were halfway to Ilskaa – and I found out I'd joined the Imperial Army! I thought I'd worked hard before, fixin' nets!
And if he had an audience, he would sometimes continue on, "Oh, you think it's hot today, do you? Why, twas ten times more miserable than this when I marched across the Ksrali Wildlands! Fought at Makeena I did, and the Siege of Wul. Had two of my fingers bitten off by a dragon!"(Dreams of Endymion, Chapter 1) — Now these are correctly punctuated dialogue tags. Since you can do it right here, why are there so many goofs in your stories? These are incorrect: "You've got blood on you, Mercy." He informed me. & "Had to stab someone." I replied casually, — and leave sentence fragments dangling alone and very noticeable. (( "You've got blood on you, Mercy(COMMA)," he informed me. & "Had to stab someone(COMMA)," I replied casually — this is the correct form of the examples.))
Beyond that very obvious and all-too-frequent (and really jarring) mistake, this is interesting. I've always enjoyed Prather, Brust and Cook, in their various examples of the mean streets, and so far this is a worthy addition the genre.
Redz chapter 1 . 2/3/2013
I actually didn't expect much when I clicked on this, but it surprised me! Maybe it's cause I recently got into this sort of darker fiction, but I found I couldn't stop reading. Great world-building with all the magic, fiends and things, you ease us into the story without info-dumping too much.

On the other hand, I was hoping for a bit more depth from your characters. I mean, we know about Mercy's past, but we're not really sure what he's doing in the present (his lack of underlings is strange; it's odd that he watches over a whole district by himself) or what his goal has been up until the wizards find him.

You also have a couple of typos and missing words; I suggest you re-read to correct them.

Anyway, awesome story. Keep it up :)
We.Can.Create chapter 1 . 12/5/2012
This was very enjoyable! It has a similar feel to 'The Lies of Locke Lamora' which i read not long ago. I dont really have any real criticisms as it seems well edited. Maybe the first person slipped into third person a couple of times (or at least the narrative voice described things it couldn't have known on occassion) but i would have to carefully read it over again to cite examples.
Guest chapter 1 . 9/22/2012
Excellent piece. It was well written with strong characters and a world that felt real, detailed, and fresh. Interesting story as well. Hope you keep it up.
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