|Reviews for The Bell Keeper: Book 2 - Tinkle|
| K chapter 17 . 2/16
I liked the end...shit just got real for Carlos, especially the, "Instead, he stood with the wariness and fearfulness of a boy who has yet to choose a code to live by." I wouldn't be surprised if you killed him off, as sad and tragic as that would be, with all the mayhem that has gone on in this story I really don't know who is safe anymore. Can't wait for the next chapter!
| SalemXYZ chapter 17 . 2/5
I'm glad to see this story back in action. It doesn't feel right without me rambling on TBK chapter at least once a month lol I'm feeling a little rusty but hopefully I've gone over the major points.
Technically this is Esme's first scene in the story since the interlude, but her character is still recognizable without knowledge of the journal entries. Of course, as you three stated, it's better to read the entries so the puzzle pieces are put together and it's easier to enjoy the content knowing what led up to the current predicament. Anyway, I'm glad to see Esme is recovering well. While her ability to dance again is still up to debate, at least she's regaining her ability to walk. Life and death really is only separated by a thin line, a very thin one. Even with mental training, it's difficult to prepare a person for what Esme had gone through. If I remember correctly, those who accompanied her in the journal were all civilians like her, engineers, miners and so on. That's another ugly facet of war, that whether those higher-ups planned it or not, the civilians will always get involved no matter what and, usually, they're the first to pay the ultimate price.
Carlos is an interesting character and one of the few males to have an important role. If I have to put him on a pedestal, I'd say right now he's as important as Kalti is for Kura's group, and Maurice is for Clarice's group. While the other two's involvement would end, or pause in Kalti's case (the cameo was nice), once the group moves on, Carlos is set to have more appearances to come. His position is also much heavier than it seems. If we really separate Fenrisyr in three, Carlos is the 'crowned prince' of the Dogs, the equivalent of Malik. Of course I might be exaggerating since we have yet to see enough of the Wolves, but as far as I can see, the Dogs have more influences to the species we're already familiar with - the Foxes, those in the Coastal Cities, and most likely the species who live in Kaltrea, Middleport and so on. The Wolves only seem like an intangible authority figure, while their actual interaction seem to be with other yet-to-be-revealed species.
I'm getting off track lol. Overall, I look forward to see how Carlos' character is developed. He is relatable yet he's not perfect, which is easier for readers to accept him. We'll just need more informal situations for him to drop his prince mask so we can see the real person beneath. Maybe that would allow Esme to talk to him easier, and vice versa. I don't think they've realized their feelings yet. Carlos seems like the type to deny it further when friends (such as Hideki) teases him about it lol
Back to Esme. I don't know if I said this before (lol I must have), but her perspective is appreciated on the grand scheme of things. A civilian who's not involved, yet unlike Rui, she's not a fighter, and unlike Nita, she doesn't have a history that directly ties her to the war other than the fact she's a Fenrisyran citizen, like many other people. Her inner conflict is very human and well-written, really shows the effects of survivor's guilt. She chose the path that "she'd least regret", I love the process of how she got to this decision while interacting with other characters, new and old. In particular, her growing bond with Heidi. Heidi could really be the mother Esme never had the chance to know, while Esme could be the daughter Heidi could have had (with Alfonso, even).
Heidi is still the level-headed, aloof tactician I remember, though now it's even more obvious that she's trying very hard to keep everything down, to compress all the stress she's accumulated. However, as seen here, eventually the pressure becomes too much, so she must let it out and breathe. It's nice to see characters like Hector and Alkira, especially the latter since I only remember her interacting with Nita before. We learn most about Alfonso here, and I'm alsointerested in knowing what happened to Elxius. A Sabertooth, Hector's younger brother, that's an important role too. Alfonso is likeable, a gentle spirit like his niece Elaine. It doesn't seem like Heidi ever noticed his feelings for her, but considering that they grew up together like siblings… at least, I feel that she noticed in that last moment together and perhaps would reciprocate it eventually. Reality is cruel though and it just never came to be. I wonder if Esme would learn more personal stuff about Heidi, since at the moment Heidi seems to know a lot more about her than the other way around. On a side note, I especially like this line "she was still a mortal, mother, wife and friend" when Heidi was talking about Ala.
Now, Foxes. It's safe to assume that Sui is related to Rui, not just a distant relative but maybe a cousin because of their similar name. Sui and Kano's quest of finding the lost samurais must have something to do with the ones Yutsu faced before. The samurais sound like they're looking for the Kyuubi too, and not for a good reason. I want Rui and Kura to meet these two (as well as Nita reuniting with Kano again), but it doesn't seem like the meeting would turn out well. In one way or another, any one of the main four have something to do with these two Foxes. It's also implied that the Kurama Clan has some sort of power over the Norinagas, though it's difficult to imagine Kura having any authority over Rui lol
Irrelevant, but I wonder what would happen if Mona were to meet Kachina, or Mani lol They could either get along very well or…, well, not lol For sure I know Mona wouldn't be fond of Clarice's tail. Also, it seems like I was wrong about Hideki. If he had anything to do with the ambush, he wouldn't have sent the two Foxes to help out Esme. While it could just be a personal favor for Carlos to protect Esme, his friend Hachi perished so that erased my doubts.
In future CC chapters, I'll just raise my eyebrow whenever Elaine denies being a royalty again. Her grandfather certainly has the disposition fitting of an Archiduc. I couldn't say much the first time he appeared in the Symvolo meeting, but here he seems like a fair ruler respected by his peers and subjects. It's also easy to imagine him as a doting father and grandfather. What happened to his wife/ Elaine's grandmother? I don't think it's mentioned anywhere unless I've missed it. Anyway, as a father who lost his son in the previous war, Alcazar must have mixed feelings when he sees Huritt standing with Kalti, and Diego's treatment of Carlos. His parting words to Heidi certainly makes sense.
Diego's bitterness and aggression are to be expected given what happened, though his aloofness to his son seems odd as he is all that's left of his wife. Of course there might be something more personal at work here, or Diego has never been a caring person to begin with and his wife's death just killed whatever's left of his ability to connect with people. The other Dogs seem neutral, or even pleased at the possibility of working with the Wolves, so maybe Diego's grudge has something to do with the Wolves.
lol long ramble session, everything's all over the place, as usual. Anyway, I look forward to more TBK, especially the battle scene.
Notable things: type-0 (special bomb that might even the playing field with Tyradum's technological might); Norinaga Clan (Fennecs; ninjas?); Kurama Clan (a ruling clan?); Sergei Kovalchuk (Borzoi Sidonian general who's worked with Heidi in the past war)
| SalemXYZ chapter 16 . 11/24/2013
Arc ender, the prelude arc to the storm (or blizzard lol) in the last arc of book2. Quite a few things happened here so I'll just jot down my thoughts scene by scene.
At first glance, Rui and Yutsu's current journey has nothing to do with the wars brewing around the world, as their trip is mostly personal. However, the fact that Rowena, another Mytho with overwhelming power, is in the Tyradum military, certainly will make the two women rethink their options. It's one thing to stay away from Kura's Rebellion, but another to flee from antagonists who seek after Rui based on the fact that she's the Kyuubi. From what I can make of available information, Rowena is the second Mytho that Rui has met, and the first time a Mytho is after her Kyuubi identity (since the pursuers in the past sounded like normal Foxes).
Rowena is overpowered. While the powers of high-ranked Canines and Felines and even the Insects of Lemuria aren't shown yet, it's safe to assume that Rowena is unrivalled in power. Her control over wind makes the bombing of Hodous seem like a child's play. So, like Rui said, I don't know what her agenda could be. She could easily kill them all, as shown with those gouging wind blades, but she didn't and only left. From what the Avian said, I can only speculate that she wants to find a fellow Mytho who is as strong but preferably stronger than her. Maybe she feels guilty about being in Tyradum's military in spite of being an Avian. Maybe she caused her nation's fall and wants someone capable of ending her life? After this encounter, for sure Rui has no choice but to fully embrace the Kyuubi/magical side she has shunned for so long. Yutsu, who had once protected her mate from pursuers, now has a renewed purpose of fighting to protect her loved ones even if if means she has to get involved in the Rebellion.
Kura's scene is done in flashbacks so I was just as confused as she was at first, though unlike her, I thought the blizzard was caused by Rowena's powers. It makes sense too, since it's explained that the weather was just fine and the blizzard appeared out of nowhere, and the locals are baffled at the weather abnormality too.
For some reason, I still don't trust the Wolves. They look like they're siding with Kura's cause at the moment, but I can sense that both Mani and Lyra still have ulterior motives. And their support of Kura depends on whether or not they get this said unknown objective fulfilled. From the discussion (and later the Symvolo meeting), I feel that just by having the three Canine races work together isn't enough to fight Tyradum, since most of Tyradum's power isn't revealed yet while the two revealed powerhouses, Rowena and Odessa, are devastating enough. And let's not forget the airship in Webgate, and those assassins who almost succeeded in killing our main characters. They may be dead now, but I'm sure there are more enemies like them at Webgate.
Mani's invisible sword range though, makes me wonder that it's possible for non Mythos to combat one. Like Kura, I'm not surprised that Mani's the Alpha female, since her sons are introduced and she's so comfortable around Lyra the Beta, meaning she must be more than it seems. Still, it's nice to fully take in the presence of … say, an ally boss character. Kachina and Ala and Tal are powerhouses too but as a reader, I feel too familiar with them to put them on the same pedestal as Tyr Ruryk, the ultimate obstacle Kura must overcome. Mani, along with perhaps Alcazar, and then the other Wolf Alphas, would be the opposing forces to the Tyr. The fact that Lyra is a blacksmith has a deeper meaning now because the weapons she created might have extra effects, or I even dare say magic. I vaguely remember the Elder saying that everyone has magic and it's just the ability to tap in the said power differentiates in individuals. I might have to reread to check on that.
While it's expected that Kura and Nita would survive the blizzard, I'm interested in the how. Did Rowena really leave? Did she maybe sense the power in Kura's Bell, and is waiting for it to awake? Or maybe waiting to see what Nita's powers are like? Nita's affinity is Earth, so maybe she could summon some form of protection. Though really, Rui's power is most needed in this kind of weather. There are too many possibilities so I'll just stop rambling lol.
It'll be interesting to see how Kura and Nita's relationship will affect the group dynamic from now on. Rui and Yutsu's relationship is established before the story starts (though we have yet to see the full story), while Kura and Nita's developed as we go along so in a way, I feel … satisfied to see it becoming canon? I got to say though, I actually didn't expect their mutual feelings to be known to each other yet. Usually in-plot relationships don't bear fruit until the very end, so I'm glad that we'll actually be able to see the stage beyond this supposed 'end'. Maybe that's what I enjoy about Rui and Yutsu's, that we're shown the up and downs instead of the assumed 'happily ever after' when a romantic relationship is established.
Last scene. I remember in Mary's interlude we're shown the state in Vertalis after the Republic Fall, after the Felines' invasion. Now here, Salvatorre's words and mannerism only showed how much worse Vertalis has become since then. Samaria is still a mysterious nation, though it's worrisome to see such good relationship between Tyradum, Samaria and Vertalis. Lemuria alone may be able to rival Tyradum, but certainly not all three. Lei Yi may have to change her neutral stance to help the Canines. True, I don't see her wanting to get involved, especially because of the bad blood between the two countries, but she doesn't have any fondness for the other three anyway. I remember Hector got Lei Yi to help him out once, so that's an accomplishment already - a feat Kura must do. Maybe that's where her Hybrid blood comes in handy. She represents both Fenrisyr (technically Yasumaro) and Lemuria.
Ruryk doesn't seem like someone who cares about his offspring, but we have yet to see him interact with his two favorite daughters so it's still reasonable to see why he's motivated to avenge Anne. I don't think the name Cassander was ever mentioned before, but it's hinted here that he was assassinated in the past by (supposedly) Fenrisyrans or perhaps even the Bears. Nations aren't black and white after all, so it's still reasonable that some radical Bears, like how the Balkans were the extreme radicals of Canines, had killed the (favorite?) prince. The last few lines make me feel certain that Tyradum has something to do with the non-weather abnormalities that Mani enumerated of the White Capital.
On a side note, I'm excited to see how feared and revered the Insects are even to a seemingly invincible ruler like Ruryk. The power of full-blooded Lemurian Insect is something I'd love to see in combat. I would place them a step just below an elemental Mytho if the swarm is this feared. Also, side note #2, I'm glad to see that there are Komodo Dragons in this story lol.
In conclusion, Kura has many trials ahead of her, but that's what arc4 will be about, won't it? Lol it's been 1.5 Book and 2 CC arcs already, but I feel like the story just started. Definitely looking forward to the concluding arc of Book2.
Notable things: Silva Fenrisulfr (current Grey alpha); Rafe Kraar (current Sable alpha); Varg Jaaqpait (current white alpha); Rolfe Kraar (former Sable Alpha); Greg Mackenzie (Rottweiler in Bismarck, Ragnur's friend); Aukanec (the White's capital, which I'm guessing are Arctic Wolves); The Nest in Portland (formerly an Avian property, now used to host important events like the Symvolo meeting); Samaria and Vertalis have good relations with Tyradum; Cassander (a deceased Tyradum prince)
| Guest chapter 16 . 11/23/2013
MY SHIP HAS SAILED-
Damn that Tyr though -.-
| SalemXYZ chapter 15 . 11/9/2013
Finally had time to write a proper review, even though I read it a day after it was uploaded. Things have been crazy but I digress. I skimmed the chapter again to jog my memory lol So, cliffhangers on both end and both could be interpreted as either good or bad.
First on Kura's side. This is the the first time we see an overview of how a Canine environment is like. The bay cities are too influenced by the Felines and the Plains are too open and have very little buildings, while so far we've only been at the outskirts of Sidonia for the Dogs. Yet, in spite of the details Kura noticed of Lupa, this Wolf capital is still similar to Kaltrea. Sure there are differences, and seemingly lack of racism (which I'll talk about later), the Canine and Feline cities still really resemble each other even though they're supposed to be archenemies, the opposites, and should be completely different. But they're not, so I can already see the gears turning in Kura's head. Unlike the Balkans, she doesn't want to kill every single Feline, so this noted similarity further strengthens her belief that not every Tyradum citizen is 'evil'.
The discrimination still exists amongst the Wolves. There's the water and oil compatibility of Wolves and Dogs, but the Wolves seem to be scornful of Insect descents too, as shown through the two young Pups. Perhaps the adults have it too, just that they hide it well. I don't recall a major Insect character yet (other than the two Roach Hybrids of our main cast, and they don't count), so I don't know if this is mutual or not, though it most likely is due to the history. I do remember somewhere that Hector once got these two races to work together, so maybe this is something Kura must do to truly succeed her father-figure and advance her Rebellion plans.
Fenris, the much-revered figure for all the Fenrisyran Canines. I can't say what his presence would do to the story, but I speculate it may be something similar to how Ginka guides Rui. The bell appears to be associated with Fenris too, so at least we'll continue to see the magical side of this plot even in this renewed path to reorganize Kura's rebellion.
I like the fact Lyra is a blacksmith. There are many possibilities one can do with a blacksmith, and maybe Kura might get a proper weapon at last. Or Nita, considering the Wolves use poleaxes and she uses a spear. I can't say much for Lyra or Mani yet. On one hand, they seem fond of Nita and the Bears, but it doesn't mean this friendliness extends to Kura, racism aside. Lyra doesn't seem fond of Hector for some reason either. I would guess that, at the very least, Lyra would hear whatever Kura has to say, but whether she finishes unscathed or if her words would reach the Wolves is a different story.
On a side note, Nita is criminally cute in this chapter lol might be because she's a young girl in love. And Kura seems to have finally realized that.
Now, Yutsu's side. In spite of the revelations she had in Ti26, she seems lost as to where her place in the whole scheme of things. Rui is very much against the Rebellion, and that's her stance, while Yutsu is still tittering between the pros and cons. I would say her heart's with Kura, but the realistic side of her isn't, especially after all the bloodbaths she's overcome and caused. Also, she's been a protector on their journey so far, but now that she's the dependent one, she doesn't know how to react and what to do. While I have no doubt that she trusts Rui and doesn't mind depending on her mate, she must prefer being the protector instead since she hates feeling helpless. It's especially understandable now that we know a lot of her past, except the convoluted segment where she's killed many. No gory details needed, but I have a feeling her past sins would catch up to her sooner or later. At least, it hints here that Joseph's death might be the reason why she left Madame Shrew.
How old is Ragnur? 22, 23? Either way I'm surprised that he's already married and expecting children, since the first time he appeared, in CC, he was only an adolescent, a temporary lecturer for Elaine's class. Though surprising, I like the fact that his wife is a Reindeer (in fact the girl whose life he's helped, according to my old reviews lol), so this means their child would be a Hybrid. Other than our main characters, I don't recall seeing a named one, so this puts an interesting spin on things. It'll also be interesting to see how Yutsu reacts to a city full of Hares, her brethren, and maybe eventually a bunny-Hyrbid kid like her.
Because of the pictures and the fact Rowena Silverwing is the only named Avian (other than Alkira), I would say it's her at the end of the scene. Now, back to what I said in the beginning of the review - this could go either way. The whole set-up her introduction is probably meant to make her seem antagonistic, which is reasonable since she's from the Tyradum army, the smile at the end might not be as chilling as it looks. She, the Admiral of the Air Force, flew all the way up here to find the Kyuubi? Certainly, if the Kyuubi is powerful, this would require her direct attention since she's a Mytho as well. However, she extinguished the campfire without any of them noticing her presence, meaning she could have just killed them if her purpose is to exterminate a possible rival Mytho. So I'll wait and see what her real intention is. It could still be either harmful or beneficial to Rui, but at least I'm sure Rowena doesn't want her immediate death. Still intrigued why an Avian, like her is doing in her supposed enemy's army, as an Admiral too. It's like Nita being a Tyradum general too. Speaking of Nita, I wonder if her being a Mytho would interest Rowena as well.
Anyway, looking forward to next chapter as always.
Notable things: Lycan Castle (Alpha, Beta Sable's residence); Randal, Ulric, Rollo (Mani's sons); Rowena Silverwing (Mytho who can control wind); Shira Krasami (Ragnur's Reindeer Wife)
| SalemXYZ chapter 14 . 10/16/2013
Here it is, the aftermath of Kura's decision the previous chapter. Since this chapter is clearly divided to two, that's how I'll review it as well.
Nita, in spite of the optimistic and fairly positive end to her scene, took a much heavier decision than it appeared. Unlike Kura who already lost everything regarding the Rebellion or what was left of it, Nita still has a life on the Plains. She has family-like friends who care for her, and a community she could thrive in (disregarding the few racial villages). The brief scene with Lokni also shows us how she is viewed from the Blackhawk Tribe, and how much her help is appreciated in her homeland.
Like Kura said, she is more needed here if we look at the big picture. However, like Lokni said, she must choose the path she'll least regret.
And, in Nita's case, I agree she's picked the 'correct' one. I use the term 'correct' loosely because there really isn't right or wrong as Nita had pondered over. For her, after everything that's happened, she's found her place and that is to be there for Sakura.
On the other hand, Rui's place with Sakura takes a complete different turn. Whereas she was there for her charge before, she's decided she had enough or rather, she finally allowed her dissent to erupt, literally too. I can't say I blame her for being so angry. In fact, I'm fully with her on this if I were to put myself in her shoes because from the beginning of the story until now, she had never wanted part in this Rebellion, but obligations and responsibility 'forced' her to do so (another term Nita had pondered over). No one could blame Rui now that she decides to just leave. Kura left without even saying anything after all.
This is the tricky part though, because I would do the same thing as Kura did if I put myself in her place. In order to pursue the Rebellion while keeping her loved ones out of danger, I would leave in a way that would prevent them from chasing after me as well, at the cost of my bond with these said loved ones. That's the theme of this chapter, I think - shades of grey. Each character has decided on something that's 'right' for them, which makes the other party 'wrong' or at least in Rui's case. Kura, after all, also thinks it's 'right' that Rui and Yutsu don't get caught up in what -she- believes is correct, which is the Rebellion. However, Rui believes what Sakura does is wrong and detrimental to the point that she actually wants to hurt and kill her former charge. That's also understandable since any option, no matter how terrible it is, sounds tempting when a person is filled with anger lol
That said, this is just me but her rage seems to be over the top because of those meditation sessions which should have helped appease that. Yes, the Elder's words don't make sense to her and meditation itself seems like a waste of time yet in that brief narration in the beginning of the scene, I would even dare say she enjoyed 'being immersed with nature', as Nita would have put it. I don't know, maybe this is to show that in spite of the meditations, anger cannot be easily extinguished?
Maybe once she's calmed down, she'd think differently, and by that I don't mean to forgo her anger. The parental figure in her still reserves the right to discipline Kura for leaving unannounced. After that though, I'm not sure where they can go from there. Having the two Foxes around each other just doesn't work. If Rui's around Kura, Kura can never grow up and become an independent adult. If Kura's around Rui, then Rui can never move on with her life. In each case, any compromise would cause reluctance and other negative emotions to build up and eventually erase any good bond they once had, which I really don't want to see considering everything they've gone through. I remember Rui and Kura's bond being the first to be fully shown to readers as well as being the first characters to get POVs. They would need a proper conversation later for either of them to get closure.
The political issues and war seem to have taken a back seat and would probably continue to be for arc3, since I believe the shift in character growth and the dynamic in their relationship is the main point. Kura regained her confidence and became more mature; Nita found her niche and possibly acknowledged her romantic feelings for Kura; Yutsu let go her darkness (at least in Ti26) and was willing to look to the light again; and Rui gave in to her darkness but acknowledged her role as a Mytho and thus her connection to Nita the Spirit Bear. The railroad issue, which had been mentioned and hinted before, presents the most viable option the northern half of Fenrisyr has in combating Webgate. After all, it doesn't matter how powerful the Wolves are if they have no means in transporting their manpower and resources to the battles. Roald, the first introduced Wolf character, seems like a nice sort of fellow who listens to reason instead of being blinded by prejudice like Balkans were. There is nothing more frustrating than speaking to a biased, condescending person, so I'm glad to see he doesn't sound like one.
I'm really curious how the story's going to go. Keep up the good work.
Notable things: Ragnur Dalquest, a Hare (first shown in Elaine's flashback as a prof in her school); Roald Wargson (beta of Sables, overseer of Sonoron)
| K chapter 14 . 10/16/2013
All I can say is: dayum.
One of my favorite aspects of storytelling is characterization and emotions, and this chapter was quite the emotional rollercoaster. The interaction between Sakura and Nita is very sweet and just makes you feel warm inside knowing how they feel towards one another and seeing it finally out.
Love how Yutsu now values her life and takes a bit more responisbility before acting and such, and that really shows how everything up to this point has changed her mindset a little from reckless to careful. But shit, I didn't expect Rui to have the dark thoughts and emotions towards Sakura when she found out that she left (mainly that "strangling" part). Holy eff, that is intense and not what I expected from her character whatsoever, but in ways, I can see why she feels that way and why it can be legitimate characterization. To feel like your being used after busting your ass to take care of someone or look out for them (to the point of near death experiences) and not getting any consideration of what that even means in return would probably make me go ape shit crazy too. I can totally relate to the "being used" part, it really does suck to get taken advantage of (especially kindness and sincerity). But man, to consider yourself like a parent to the one being you care for...only to have said child abandon you with their recklessness (which is not seen that way in Sakura's eyes), that burns...(literally for Rui lol).
I love the reasoning between Rui and Yutsu as well. While Rui is pissed beyond all reason, Yutsu can understand and sees what Sakura was thinking. This section seriously gives me goosebumps because it's so deep underneath the surface. I can't wait until the confrontation between Rui and Sakura, that's going to be one scary as shit scene in my opinion. If I were Sakura, I'd be scared of ever facing that woman again...
Nice job with the update! I think this has become one of my favorite chapters so far! I loved the emotions and thoughts driving the depths of each character in this chapter! Keep it up!
| SalemXYZ chapter 13 . 9/15/2013
Ah TBK. It's been a while, even longer for Yutsu. I actually read this when it was uploaded but I wasn't be able to write a proper review then.
I'm sure readers of this story have been wondering about Yutsu's past for a while, and this chapter is definitely an eye-opener. It's heartbreaking to read her young self while knowing what kind of person she would become. A timid girl who disliked alcohol and leaving the comforts of her home to go traveling? It was inconceivable for her then. Of all the characters, she was the only with the happiest and most complete family then. Even Elaine wasn't able to grow up on her Fenrisyr homeland and she had lost her uncle to the war. In spite of her hybrid blood, she had everything.
Then everything was brutally ripped away from her. Charlotte, while never stated to have died, I'd imagine it would be difficult and even if she somehow survived, it would be impossible for her to remain the same bubbly girl she had been. Yutsu changed drastically so she would too, and I'm not sure if I want the two sisters to meet again.
Samurais. That term has appeared a few times, but we won't be able to see what roles they'd play. On one hand they're antagonistic to Rui and Yutsu, but they were mentioned fondly in Nita's. It may seem like their involvement on Fenrisyr is over, but that's not the case at all. I won't comment much on the teaser dialogues, though it's fun to see the lines with Esme and think "I know where that's from" lol I think it's the only line from scenes we've read (other than the carrot martini). The short dialogues are disorientating but in an effective way. Chaotic but meaningful as we see glimpses of her descent into the professional killer she is today.
I had to look back on my previous reviews to remember who Larry was. Since I just read Mary's interlude not too long ago, I still remember Baird and after this, I can conclude Larry, Joseph and Baird were the citizens of the Republic who happened to stumble upon the ruins of the Feline invasion. The exact events after Yutsu was found are still vague, but I can grasp a direction of her traveling until meeting Rui. It sounds like she hasn't joined the Kazan Guild before she left Esme, so exactly what Yutsu did on Fenrisyr that makes her so fearful of sharing with Rui and Kura might be bigger/worse than I expected. However, that's also what makes the ending bit with Nita cute. Yutsu was probably melting inside lol
Overall, Yutsu's many contradictions is probably why she's so dynamic, and the memory segments of Shirley combined with what readers already know about the bounty hunter really make one appreciate her character. It's enjoyable to read her thoughts on the story so far, especially tidbits of her past that makes her who she is today. Normally I'm against copy-pasting certain lines from the chapter but I feel I have to mention this as my favorite because it's powerful the way it's written:
"What's your name, then?"
She felt her lips curve as something wet slid down her cheeks. "Yutsu. Call me Yutsu."
Because Shirley was dead.
Now, the second half also has a lot of new information that paves the direction of arc3. In spite of arc1 and arc2, Fenrisyran culture is still largely unexplored since the cast had more pressing matters then. Kura and the readers are finally shown how things are like in the Plains and how these Chiefs handle political issues and their response to Hodous.
She is also given an option here. She could have chosen to stay on the Plains to stay with the adults and eventually leaving for a new place so she can settle down as a normal civilian at last. However, in spite of what's happened, I never expect her to choose such option and I'm glad to see that she didn't. This is the Kura we're familiar with. While I don't see her progressing with her spiritual strength any time soon, at least she's regained her sense of focus and is able to be that hopeful girl that Hector called his successor. Whatever obstacles she may face in the future, her persistent mind would aid her instead of further confusing her.
Although, I must admit that I didn't foresee her decision to go by herself. I thought she would try to convince the others again. While the end is a positive change for Kura, the other three definitely would not be happy about her decision once poor messenger Kalti delivers the news. Especially Yutsu, who almost died. However, judging by her characterization this chapter, I don't see her condemning Kura for her decision either. Angry, but still understanding. It's Rui and Nita who would have a hard time. I suspect they would go after Kura but it'll be difficult given that Yutsu can't even move around much, let alone travel, and Nita just returned home weeks ago.
In conclusion, Yutsu and Kura have a lot of revelations this chapter that make them accept their current selves even though they used to hate them (I suppose that's where the chapter title came from). This is only the beginning, and I look forward to the rest of arc3.
Notable things: Zared Teresia (his mercenaries destroyed Millingshire, Yutsu's hometown, and her nemesis); refer to deviantart upload of the Plains Chiefs
| K chapter 13 . 9/15/2013
Wow, after reading so much CC, I almost forgot how intense TBK was...damn.
As soon as I read the sweet flashback with Charlotte and Shirley, I knew something bad was going to happen. I was just sitting there thinking, "this is not going to be good..." and boy was I right. All my feelz man...you guys really know how to mess with people's emotions. By first providing an innocently cute flashback with the exact opposite right afterwards, you completely caught me off-guard and I was horrified.
But, I was really excited to know why Yutsu is the way she is...but man, she's had one pretty fucked up past, no wonder. OMG, after reading "Chief Teresia" I was just like, "oh shit!" I'm loving how all the characters' histories are being tied in together slowly, from Mary in CC being connected to trying to find Rui at one point, and now Yutsu's past with Clarice. I was looking forward to the day where the two worlds collide and all the characters run into each other, but now I'm not too sure about that because I feel like some shit would go down before the peace due to such a gruesome and traumatizing past (but that would make a pretty fun scene in ways). Know we know where her scar came from...ouch.
So, I'm guessing Charlotte didn't make it, but then again...she could have possibly (but not likely)? This series has messed with my emotions so much that anything is freakin' possible these days...
I loved the series of short flashbacks...maybe it's because I was a film major and could totally picture the series of images flashing by on-screen in the way it was written, but it was awesome...especially the scenes we haven't quite seen yet.
And then, of course, after going from the cute flashback to the horrific one...you go straight into reality with Yutsu being her teasing self. Gotta love the interactions between Yutsu and Rui...never fails.
And wow, totally didn't expect Sakura's decision in the end to go alone! It was kind of awesome though because it really shows how much she's grown and how far the story has come so far. She's gone from this young naive girl who really couldn't support herself without the aid of Rui and Yutsu and others along the way, to this independent adventurer who is slowly seeing her goals and knows what she must do to reach them. I love it! Although I feel sad that I might not get to see some interactions between the group for a while, I'm happy to see the story continue in a new direction!
Nice job on the chapter! It was pretty amazing and like I said, I almost forgot how TBK could get with being absent from it for so long. It's good to see it return! Keep up the amazing work guys! I can't believe I've followed this story for so long now...I'm still amazed to see something that started from essentially nothing but ideas for an original tale turn into something so huge (at least in the eyes of those who follow it). Your dedication to continuing a story is still very inspiring, and I'm not even sure how you guys do it without burning out, but more power to you!
| unagi-sama chapter 12 . 6/24/2013
I don't if this is the longest chapter you guys have but it took me 2 hours to read it, though not continuously because I kept getting interrupted. Anyways, I'm not complaining because I got to read so many KuraNita moments and know more about this cute Bear. I feel so bad for her at many instances but luckily the Coyotes were there to help her. Alkira's death is painful to read especially under the circumstances and the fact I'm deep in Nita's character at that point. I agree with Nita, I also think she and Kura are destined to meet and that just makes me smile stupidly for the umpteenth time. The two Foxes sound like cool characters, I hope they can appear again!
This review is shorter than my previous one but that's because I really love everything about it as it is. This interlude feels like the beginning of something grand and exciting! I'm going to miss this story but I'm excited about CC too, I'm heading there right now XD
| unagi-sama chapter 11 . 6/23/2013
I was on vacation for a month but FINALLY I got time to catch up! I feel pretty proud reading through this whole chapter in one sitting. To me it's not long at all because I love this chapter! Nita and Kura are so cute I can't help but smile stupidly at the screen the whole time! I know nothing's happened between them yet but I think I like it this way. They're both new to this and it'll probably take them a while to realize or acknowledge their feelings, but when they do, it'll be like they're already on their nth date already. They'll be even more inseparable by then.
It looks like there's a competition for Kura's attention though 8D Everyone loves our favorite sootball, I do too. So far Kalti is likeable so that's okay.
I'm glad more of the Bell is revealed! I like the idea of the bell being just a simple ornament too. Maybe it is, maybe it's not, maybe it's just a symbolic decoration or it requires certain conditions to be met before its power can be unlocked.
Ah Yutsu, how I've missed you! The family reunion scene made me smile and feel warm. I really miss RuiYutsu too. I remember they haven't been getting along in Book2 but now that she's awake, I hope they'll go back to how close they were.
Odessa. I'm not saying killing all those people is right but at least it's obvious that she's not killing purely for fun and racial reasons like some of the other soldiers. The two Tigers are a huge contrast, but so are Odessa and Rakayah. They all seem unique characters but my favorite is still Cissy XD I'm surprised but not that surprised to see her here because of what happened in the journal entry. I love how she gave everyone nicknames and just napped there. I wonder what nicknames she gave to the higher-ranked generals or even the Tyr. I'm sure she doesn't call them by their titles in her free time and while they're not around. Rowena seems really strong though, I don't think Rui and the others are ready after that bloody fight…
Aaah this arc ender is really just the teaser intro to the next arc!
| SalemXYZ chapter 12 . 6/7/2013
Yes, this is the longest chapter you've written, Adrena. However, everything flows so well that I have nothing to complain. Each present scene ties with the flashbacks in a way that shows Nita the Cub still exists inside the teenager she is now. One of the messages I got from this interlude is that no matter how the present might be, one's childhood innocence will forever live inside the person's heart, protected and loved. The following rambling will be all over the place. They are just some thoughts I have since this interlude is relatively peaceful for any (fail) analysis.
It's good to see Kura regaining her former spunk and confidence. She's not 100% back to herself but it's obvious how much Yutsu's awakening has done for her. I suppose their actual interaction (with Rui too) will be shown in arc3, which I greatly look forward to. She's very fond of Nita, and vice versa. In a way, I see something already developing between them without either of them knowing lol If anything, Nita would be the reason Kura would be able to regain her conviction to fulfill Hector's dream.
Nita wants to fly, does she? lol I'm sure there are few Avian survivors throughout Drasgard, in hiding or have joined the rebel ranks, so it'd be interesting if she gets to meet a real flyer.
Nita's situation in the Plains surprises me as well, because you'd think people would be kind to the last Bear. However, it is implied that the villagers do care until they see her eye. I think there's more to this 'Sight' than just fearing an unknown. Perhaps a long-running superstition that involves negative stories. I thought of an individual with both eyes being red. I also thought about witchcraft and witch hunt between the 15-18th centuries in Europe. It doesn't seem as bad here in the Plains, but the Whitesnake Tribe probably would've done terrible things to the little Cub. The Alsatians' grudge against Nita is personal, so I don't think they have any negative view on the eye alone. Like I said before, Kura has a lot of work ahead of her if she wants to united the Coyotes. By doing so, the other villagers should listen to them. As hinted through Kachina, who is my favorite by the way just for snubbing that Alsatian, the Wolves are the true powerhouse here north.
Kalti truly is a nice guy. He'd make a good Chief when the time comes, just as how Elaine's dog friends in the nobles' circle would make good heads too. It'll be funny to see how his crush on Kura develops though.
The Steimer's Orchestra's been mentioned a few times and they stick in my head because it consists mostly of Roach members. It'd be nice to see a fancy Roach at last. While I'm on this subject, I find Kano intriguing. He's certainly sophisticated, like Rui's grandfather, though as shown through the ninja girl, not all foxes are reserved lol I wonder exactly what ninja arts though. It must be some form of magic that these non-mythos are able to utilize. I remember the mention of the missing samurai in the last arc? Since it's mentioned again, it must be an important plot point.
Our Foxroach and Fox aren't exactly knowledgeable about their races. Come to think of it, Yutsu has yet to reveal anything about Rabbits or Lops either. Even Nita doesn't know much about her Bear culture. In contrast, I think the CC trio are quite familiar with their races' cultures.
Nita's mention of backlash reminds me of a part in previous chapters where she's mentioned 'consequences' of healing Yutsu. I guess we won't know until we see Yutsu's POV. The incident with Alkira was definitely traumatizing, so Nita truly was strong to be able to hold herself together when she healed Yutsu.
The Avian culture sounds quite fascinating. Their leader is a young child, which reminds me of the ancient kingdoms where the heir is put on the throne, while other official(s) become the regent(s).
The first generation of rebels have many untold stories, but from what I can piece together, Alkira's ability allowed her to see something she shouldn't, and she became ill and unable to fly. Hector and co. thought she was dead. Then the Battle of Hodous happened and Alfonso died, causing the remnants to go on Riphaeus. Finally, Hector perished in the Barracks. The second Sabertooth caught my interest though. I remember reading somewhere that implies Hector has a sibling, so he must be it. How he perished must be important to the key events decades ago. The unknown man from the illustration must be Alcester because I remember his name mentioned somewhere. His exact role is still unknown, since he created the guild yet disappeared? It also sounds like he splits from the rebels before they came onto Riphaeus too. While Alkira and Hector's relationship didn't come to fruition due to the war, Kura and Nita's might be realized because of the hardships they will be facing together.
There are a lot of symbolism throughout this chapter, the most prominent one being 'The Bear leaving its Cave'. Nita left her childhood cave as she grew up and truly left the metaphorical cave when she met Kura. The metaphorical flying of growing up is also recurrent. Overall, this chapter is a pleasure to read.
Due to the nature of the plot, I would guess that Kura will either go north to recruit the Wolves or go south to recruit the Dogs, but it's not far-fetched for her to go to Yasumaro either. After all, Rui has a reason to go there too (though the person in question probably doesn't want to). Yutsu is a question mark, while Nita would most likely go with the group as long as the destination is still on this continent.
Lol I'll stop here. My rambling is all over the place. I look forward to CC and the long-anticipated arrival at Kazan.
Notable things: Alkira Tyflotia (a Gyrfalcon Seer from the Lancea, the defensive choir of the Ignis priestesses who serve the leader); Phreia (Alkira's friend and mentor, a warrior from Sagitta) Louis Strasbourg (Alsatian alpha, Tal's former leader); Honon & Maka Achak (Nita's parents); Tacquka Sahr (Kodiak Bear chief who perished in Beryn); Vulpine Mikos from the Asuka Clan; Norinaga Ninja Clan, soheis (Kano's clan name wasn't mentioned);
| jfmhill chapter 11 . 5/21/2013
Yutsu my love you've returned!
Sorry I haven't reviewed in so long. I've been busy with my education and whatnot. Back to the review, amazing ending to the arc c:
| SalemXYZ chapter 11 . 5/19/2013
As you said, long chapter, but there really isn't a good place to split it in two, so its length is justified. There are many things in this arc-ender, so I'll be rambling for a bit.
The first half is cute, relaxing and hopeful. Of all the Nita POVs, I find this the most natural and 'true', since she's truly back in her life on the Plains. She's more of a spectator than an active participant, which resembles Rui in a way. Nita's view is more optimistic though, always trying to keep her companies relatively happy, and wanting to observe and offer her aid if necessary. She's sort of like the 'glue' who holds the group together and fixes the tears, which is fitting because this Spirit Bear is a medium who connects the world to the people.
The vision is very intriguing. Unlike our two Mythos with physical manifestations of magic, Kura has something more related to sensory. I would think it'd be related to sound because of the bell, but again Kura herself can't hear it so she ends up seeing things instead. I agree with Nita that it's the past, present and future, meaning we have something just as intense as Ti22 coming up in both TBK and CC.
Kura will be able to train both her body and mind under Kachina and the Elder's guidance, and music through Kalti. This is good because it's better than her self-taught training and it's more well-rounded this way. The instrument part still fulfills the sound requirement with the bell, so once Kura's become proficient with her flute, she could finally tap into the Bell's power. It could be a 6th unknown Artifact. Her birth father sounds like he was an expert flute player, so maybe that has something to do with magic or how his daughter came to own the bell? There are still many unanswered questions lol so I'll stop here and move to the next point.
Those Artifacts present a hope for Kura to possibly achieve her (former) goal. As far as I can see, Tyradum is invincible. No other countries have the capacity to fight against the powerful empire. Of course I could be wrong because there are still much to be explored, but magic sounds like the most probable method of combating Tyradum's technological might. Nita gets her power from the surrounding, from Drasgard itself, so her magic would be something to behold once she's matured. Rui draws power from her emotions, which is also another resource that's infinite. Of course, she'll have to be careful not to detonate it due to uncontrollable anger. Other people are not impervious to her fire after all. With proper training though, firearms or even missiles would be of no effect to a firey inferno. Even then, they're still vastly outnumbered, so it's imperative that Kura gains the support of all the people she could find. I don't think there's anyone who can use the Eye in Tyradum, otherwise Ruryk would've used it to conquer the world already.
Needless to say, Yutsu's return will do wonders to the group's morales, perhaps enabling them to meditate better and so on. As a reader, I miss her as well. She brings a certain dynamic to the group that makes a reader quite fond of her. It'll take a long time, if ever, for her to regain the use of her right arm but as long as they're all together, they will be alright. Kura looks like her guilt still festers but that should also fade over time.
All's not well though, because Tyradum's planning more or less a second Beryn Invasion, and the group will be caught in it especially now that Admiral Rowena herself will be investigating the forest fire. Maya surprises me, because I didn't think she'd return to the military since she manages the orphanages nowadays, am I right? If it's an order from the higher-ups, that can't be helped I guess. Krim's high rank is interesting because he's a Reptile. Narcissa definitely comes as a surprise as well. I wonder what she's really doing in that CC journal then, though that's weeks before this chapter happened. I knew Khan would be quite high up in rank, and as a Tiger and war hero, he does have the capability of becoming a Field Marshal. Now Rowena, obviously an Avian, is so high in ranks and working for the country that destroyed hers. Did she betray her country? That could make sense since Tyradum was able to take down the Avians and the Bears, there must be more than just military advantage. Two decades ago means Odessa was still very young, so I suppose that's why she's called a prodigy. Tyr Ruryk is a fearsome presence to behold, I like that.
As always, this story gives readers an idea how the plot might proceed but still manages to surprise us with twists and suspense. That's what keeps TBK fresh and interesting. I greatly look forward to the interlude.
Notable things: Viennattaria (a city in Lemuria that's most likely famous for their music); 5 Artifacts - the Fang, Tablet, The Eye (Bai Hu's), The Talisman (Phoenix's), The Horn (Unicorn's); Parsadan Palace of the Tyradum capital; Shizi Headquarters (primary manufacturing plant); Admiral Krim Tioz (salt water crocodile); Fangtian (elite force of tigers)
| K chapter 11 . 5/19/2013
I had a feeling you guys were going to update last night, and I read the chapter AGAIN at 3-4am...worth it (like always though). :P
Nice job, wow, the end was a little information-overload (or maybe I just wasn't too attentive at the hour) but dang. There's a lot going on with a lot of new faces...I'll be interested to see what will be made of each of them! And as always, I'm so impressed by your ability to outline and create a story from one with such detail and depth, that takes a lot of planning and a long time I assume...nice! I love your dedication to your story and it really shows in the depth!
This part of this particular scene was my favorite for reasons:
"Yutsu, I-I'm sorry—"
"You look really pretty in that dress."
I love how it was set up! Kura, who is clearly guilty of everything that happened to Yutsu (and is at her lowest in the whole story because of it) is finally apologizing when Yutsu completely changes subject to something else! This simple dialogue shows just how kind Yutsu's heart is, by giving a complement to Kura about something that she even is not too thrilled about (a dress, as we saw in the previous chapter regarding the first time she wore one). And I love how Yutsu doesn't address the apology...I don't know what it was about it, but I loved it! It was just too perfect, and as I read it I was like, "YES! TOO GOOD!"
And, of course, you had the humor with addressing Rui in her dress...clever dialogue (as usual).
Well, I'm glad Yutsu's awake, and as I've said, I'll be curious to know if her personality changes just a little regarding her value to her own life now that she's faced this near-death. She's been reckless, so I wonder how this experience will impact the choices she makes from here on out. I'm also curious to see if Rui will master her fire abilities and her emotions to use it.
Nice job on the chapter, keep it up! :D