Reviews for The God Slave (Prev: To Walk in the Wind)
A. Gray chapter 3 . 3/14/2013
Great chapter here. It was nice to see more about Balasar, and how he views things. I love know that he specifically takes jobs to piss of gods, and his companion just follows along even as he hates it.
It also really makes me wonder just why he wants to do that so bad. Oz says that he wants them to kill him, and surely he does have a death wish, but why? Good mystery here, and I love it.
I find it rather interesting that these people thing so little of their women, but have a Goddess. Is there a particular reason for it. I was slightly confused that they would shun all women outside during the day and yet worship a goddess. What to the women do at night? I felt this was a bit lacking in that respect.
Infected Beliefs chapter 5 . 3/13/2013
I really enjoy when religion is addressed in depth in fantasy stories. It has always fascinated me which, I think, is why I try to incorporate it in my own writing. You do a great job of developing the Vahki faith and an even better job at developing the mindset of its followers. They are faithful but unsure, and angry that they are unsure. It is a very human quality that helps me connect with them. I cannot speak for everyone, but if my own experiences are anything to be judged, this nagging suspicion that what we are doing may be wrong is a common occurrence in the minds of men (and women, of course).

[Made his heart second guess where his true loyalties lie.] - I think, and I could be wrong, but I think {lie} should be {lay}, considering the rest of the sentence is in the past tense.

I like how Daja serves as a sort of replacement for Isoba's children and how the old priest has taken an affectionate, almost fatherly attachment to him. It speaks leaps and bounds for Isoba's character and the fact that he already lost his wife and children helps to reinforce the possibility of this.

[over twenty lingering, fleeting, horrible, and beautiful years] - I like the contradiction of this. It says a lot in few words. Good writing here.

[His also pants showed more than they hid.] - Typo

I like Isoba. I have always enjoyed older men in stories who seem...tired, weary, and mildly sad about the things they have to do. I don't know why. Perhaps it is that sense of reluctance that draws me to them but what ever it is I have always sympathized with such characters. I am curious though. Would this not be the second Gift that Isoba has seen off? The first one, perhaps, he would not have seen grow up quite so much but if he had been there for thirty years, wouldn't he have seen one cycle already?

[And Isoba's heart remembered what it meant to break.] - Another good line.

Ah, I am glad you brought Balasar in for this chapter. I was disappointed when the chapter didn't start off with him. And you did not disappoint me! Aaahhh, so tantalizing! So...curious. First off, you never did give an answer to her two wing scars, though it does bring to mind Balasar's dislike of religions, and then you leave us with "It was not every day a man got to steal from gods." AAAAAAHHHHHH You have my curiosity peaked! No, not peaked, SPIKED. Curse you. XD
Infected Beliefs chapter 4 . 3/13/2013
I notice you have a tendency to pick up chapters exactly where you left off previously in that character's story arch. Personally, I find this somewhat distracting as, having read the chapter before this, I expect some time to have past. I felt the same way in the beginning of the previous chapter, when we switched immediately from Daja to Balasar back where he was at the end of chapter one. There is nothing wrong with the way you do it and I am not saying that you should change it, it is just somewhat disorienting to me.

I like Asseo's hesitancy. He may be the master, but he is also younger than Daja, and likely a little intimidated by him as well (Daja being the holy sacrifice that is destined to meet Vahki and all). It would be like a young college professor trying to teach a post-grad level course where everyone in the class is older (Only...if they were having sex -_- so maybe not the best comparison).

[To have a man trust him so utterly as to let one of his most vulnerable assets pass between Daja's teeth—was that not a remarkable leap of faith?] - This. Accurate (though with girls).

You can undoubtedly write sex scenes, even if it is not a gender combination that I You provide just enough detail to artfully convey their actions without making it seem crude or pornographic, a fine line to be sure. It kinda reminded me of Laurell K. Hamilton, if you have read any of her books. And hey! I actually read it :D (the chapter that is, and I didn't even skim!)

Poor Asseo. It is so blatantly obvious what he wants to do and say but he is unable to say it due to the constraints of etiquette. And Daja doesn't know enough about the subject to understand Asseo's feelings. Sucks to be both of them lol

I liked the brevity of the dream and how it instilled a sense of dread, rather than curiosity or hope. The coming of Balasar will not be a good thing, at least so far as Daja is concerned. One quick question though, you say that he knelt atop the tower until well after the sun fell on him, but when is first prayer?
Infected Beliefs chapter 3 . 3/13/2013
I like Ozzrick (both the name and the character), and I absolutely loved all of the banter in this chapter. It helps define the characters, and their relationship to one another. I feel that you have a strong grasp of both Balasar and Ozzrick and your portrayal of their friendship is spot on. I could easily see the two of them having worked and fought together for quite a long time, always bickering and arguing but never meaning much by it.

Also, within your banter, you do a great job of world building. I really enjoyed the legend of Versaai and Vhaki. I felt that it added great character to your already well fleshed out world and it developed both the culture of the people who populate your country (I'm blanking on the name) and Balasar/Ozzrick simultaneously. Well played, madame, well played. However, I will be looking for this to circle back around at some point later on. It felt very "Chekhov's gun" to me.

God I hate you description of food, and not because it is badly written by any means. I am so fucking hungry right now, all I want to do is eat this breaded fish wrapped with beans and rice in a bannana peel D: It sounds so good!

[The Traveler's Quarter was appropriately named, a polite title for the only place in the city that could legally house foreigners overnight. Unless, of course, said foreigner had an explicit invitation to stay in the home of one of Bhepal's permanent residents as well as permission from the city council to do so.] - Good little detail, more tidbits of flavor for your world. I like the idea of these desert people being so exclusive and wary of foreigners. Racism and prejudice exist in great quantity in the world, why should it not in our stories?

[Apparently the natives here are particularly adverse to seeing women in public.] - Ok, you may be getting tired of me pointing out the amazing quality of your world building skills, but I just had to point this phrase out too. I LOVE CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS IN STORIES. Anything that can make it seem like it is not the first world country I live in today, painted to look medieval (which an unfortunate amount of stories are).

I have always been a sucker for mercenary troup dynamics (I'm a big fan of Glen Cook's The Black Company). I am looking forward to see the development of all the character's in Balasar's group and how they interact. So far, I'm loving it. Top quality, I look forward to continuing.
Whirlymerle chapter 6 . 3/13/2013
[embarrassed that his weakness spurned the desire in the first place] I could be wrong, but I think you mean "spur" instead of "spurn"?

Other than that, I really enjoyed the writing in this chapter. It's polished and flows well. I especially like all the setting appropriate metaphors/similes in this. I thought they wre creative and made the piece vivid- awesome for such an action packed chapter. I thought it was interesting how both Ramal and Asseo were compared to hares. I like that Ramal's hare was tense but powerful and Asseo's wild eyed one just seemed vulnerable/innocent- I like how the same simile contrasted their two characters.

I actually did not mind Daja's crying at all. I absolutely agree with you that this situation justifies his crying; I'd be surprised if he didn't. Overall, there's nothing he did that's out of character or unrealistically surprising, I thought.

I found the exchange between Daja and Asseo particularly touching. I like how it was a close, intimate moment between the two of them admist all the commotion. It made me think of how funny (dunno what you'd call it, fate?) it is that things play out a certain way. I wonder how things would have been if Daja and Asseo's roles were switched. I also thought it was grimly ironic when Asseo mentions that he's afraid of death, and thinks his position allowed him to escape death, when Balasar may likely save Daja and kill everyone else. One thing though: I remember you mentioning in chapter two that Asseo was certainly younger than Daja. Was that Daja's ignorance? I thought it was rather confusing.

Loved it. Loved the last sentence especially. The piece definitely ended on a high note, writing wise. I thought it a little goofy for Daja to say to an alien man no doubt on the side of Isoba's murderer that he dreamt of him. But then again, he's been dehydrated and starved.
Gorilla0132 chapter 3 . 3/13/2013
i love the name Ozzrick, it's so unique.
again another flawless chapters. there's not much to report in the way of errors: i didn't find any spelling errors and such.
Gorilla0132 chapter 2 . 3/13/2013
i like how this world of yours is so vivid and fleshed out. you spend a great deal of time informing us of how every works in you story. it's very interesting to hear things about the locations and such.
Gorilla0132 chapter 1 . 3/13/2013
an excellent start to what i hope to be a great story. each character seems dynamic and alive. your descriptions aren't too overwhelming, and i could keep up with the plot rather quickly. great job!
lookingwest chapter 7 . 3/13/2013
We have been kicking the butt of the RGs this week, whoo! And to think, last week at this time I don't even know if I had read Ch. 2 of this story _ Now I am invested in the Daja and Balasar relationship of awesomesauce. Looking forward to seeing if this chappy will yield any convo between them! :3

Balasar frowned. "You think he'll attempt suicide." [There's something about this line that I didn't feel was formal enough for how things are usually narrated in this story. I can't really explain it beyond that, so my reasoning probably isn't very good. I think "suicide" feels too blunt/technical - instead maybe, "You think he'll take his own life." might be a better fit? Suggestion!]

I like the comment Balasar makes about Daja's prettiness, lol. It was really natural and witty, too.

Techniques/Dialogue - The big controversy with this chapter is probably the way you handle the speaking of the native language, eh? I actually am in favor of you dropping the arrows completely and just narrating, "He spoke in his native tongue" before say, you start a dialogue in Akanii. I'll demonstrate what I mean:

"Ever seen one this small, boss?" He yanked the boy around, holding him back by his elbows like a prized farm animal for show, and Balasar found himself the recipient of a poisonous glare, equal parts hatred, fear, and humiliation.

«Heathens.» The boy spat the word like a nettle caught on his tongue. «Vhaki will hunt you, rend your spirits from your flesh and splinter them among the lowest of the dark worlds.»

Might then become:

"Heathens." The boy spat in Akanii, the word like a nettle caught on his tongue. "Vhaki will hunt you, rend your spirits from your flesh and splinter them among the lowest of the dark worlds."

Because...honestly - I mean, I think you already do a good job establishing to us that the preist culture does not speak Balasar's language. So we already know that. And assuming that your readers are smart (which, ya know, FP and all, but I like to be hopeful), they should be able to pay attention when you're doing the back and forth switches. My experience is admittedly stemming from my own work, since I also deal with a language barrier, but I think it takes on a visually more appealing technique than what you have, and I think it also leaves the reader to follow their own interpretation. This is just one example. But eh, I don't know what other people's opinions of it have been. I think I'm leaning more towards wanting to see you take it out and actually show the switches using your writing abilities with the narrative, though. My two cents! (even if you didn't ask, xDD)

«You have a name, yes?» he asked, switching to Akanii. [See, dude! You don't even need those arrow brackets! ;D You gots this. And we know Asseo speaks in Akanii. And we can then assume that when Balasar is speaking to him, he's speaking in Akanii, yadda yadda yadda...]

Onto more important matters.

Character - Asseo! Asseo is coming along! Kind of not good though, since he'll probably be tortured the whole way, but I think this is really going to turn things around from the dynamics that I actually thought were going to take place in this group. It's weird too, because when I think of Asseo here, I see him as being almost Daja's like - handmaiden or something - who is going to be his little servant and stick with him and counsel him perhaps, that kind of thing... But that isn't the case, since for his entire life Daja has spent it under the priests' command. So I'm really interested to see how Daja and Asseo actually communicate with one another in the coming chapters, and who takes on what role. Will Daja still call him master - or are they seen as almost equals now? Especially after Asseo's confession to Daja in the previous chapter? At any rate - his presence is unexpected and I'm excited to see what you do with him! I like that you've included him here and I think he'll act as a good foil for Daja coming up against Balasar.

Enjoyment - Even though Daja and Balasar don't have a conversation here or anything, I still enjoyed this chapter for the conversation that unfolded with Asseo and Balasar. We see some interesting developments and also get to see a moment of a projected plot - or at least, where the group plans to go next. I enjoyed that glimpse of the future. I'm also scared for Asseo and the whole rape thing though :[ Hopefully Balasar doesn't you know...rape Daja or anything and then Daja gets Stockholm Syndrome and this whole story goes in a completely different direction than I'm assuming, aha! Yeah, I doubt that. But Asseo, not so much. Anyway. I enjoyed the way you transitioned from Jaleah's conversation with Balasar to Ira. Good contrast in the group there and we get to see the different relationships again. What happened to Oz, though, I wonder - I haven't seen him in awhile it feels like. I wonder what he thinks of all of this, haha.

Relationship - Specifically, I wanted to talk a little bit more about the relationship I see between Jaleah and Balasar. I don't know if I commented on it in the last chapter they were together in too much detail, but I like how you carry over that last scene between them and what you open with here. As a reader, I mean, I was thinking of their last exchange about her scars, and everything - while they were talking about Daja. And that was a nice bridge. I think I did mention that I'm interested to see what happens between Jaleah and Balasar once Daja comes into the equation, and I think we already see a little hint of that here in the beginning when Jaleah mentions Daja's beauty and though Balasar jokes about it - in his narration he admits that it's true. Totally realistic. I liked the conflict that Balasar has in those moments to admit to himself that Daja is pretty awesome. I also liked the detail in your descriptions of Daja to emphasize it too. There was a good line about earrings in there. Liked that.

...This review is really character-heavy. Hopefully that's okay. Lemme know if you have any other specific questions or you need me to clarify anything. Love the developments so far, solid work!
Frayling0 chapter 3 . 3/13/2013
Love the title of this chapter. You did Oz and Balasar's dialogue really well, their conversation was really engaging. I also loved hearing the stories about the deities. This isn't a criticism, more just personal taste, but sometimes I feel like your chapter is maybe a bit too dialogue heavy? I don't know? Great work regardless!
GossamerSilverglow chapter 9 . 3/13/2013
So Asseo is not only god fearing, but has a back bone. I’m enjoying his character more and more. I’m not enjoying the fact that the chapters seem to be getting shorter or at least this one was, as you pointed out. Update soon!
GossamerSilverglow chapter 8 . 3/13/2013
Ha! Another word I need to go and look up. Ephemera? And just finally Bala and Daja are actually in the same scene together. Talking even! Whoop! Tricky, tricky Balasar. I almost forgot about his ability to barter a little too well. He made the promise that he would not hurt Asseo, but not his men. Daja was just too innocent to catch on. It’s rather ironic how Asseo’s and Daja’s positions have reversed so much already. Poor Asseo and my opinion of Balasar has dropped significantly.
GossamerSilverglow chapter 7 . 3/13/2013
Kaffir’s psychotic isn’t he? The scenes in this chapter and the descriptions of the fighting was good, but the way you describe Daja viewing these foreign ‘demons’ was by far the best description so far. I really got a solid image from that.

Beauty and the…mouse? It fits. I’m really glad Bala understood that it was not his right to do what he did and force his/other beliefs, through his actions, on those priests. Poor Asseo, but I’m glad he isn’t dead.
GossamerSilverglow chapter 5 . 3/13/2013
It’s pretty amazing when you can make people sympathize with the man that handpicked Daja for being sacrificed. You let people know that there are always two sides to the story. An honor? This guy is seriously crazed and needs a good thump in the head. Is Isoba in love with Daja? I guess if he was gonna have someone love him , Isoba wouldn’t be the most horrible choice. He’s okay, for an old fogey. Just, you know, thinking be sacrificed as being honor, well that needs some work, but no one’s perfect.

What’s the symbolic meaning with the earrings? I’m not sure I get that, but the masters have them, but so does Daja. You said in a previous chapter that Asseo wouldn’t get a certain kind until he was older. Does it indicate age? Or did I miss something?
I like Ismene and it would be good if Balasar had some feelings for her other than occupying his bed, but it is a slash story after all. "Innocence is just a pretty word for ignorance and gullibility,” reading that sentence made me feel very bad for Balasar and whatever life his lived until this point. He’s very jaded. The dialogue between Bala and Isme was very easy. I got a good feeling that they’re comfortable with each other and that they do feel for each other as comrades, but nothing. I still wouldn’t mind if it was something more. Ooh, maybe a threesome? I could get in on a Bala/Isme/Daja ice cream sandwich.

Whoo, let’s get the cock rollin’…err-wait a minute, balls would work too, I suppose! Hehe, I crack myself up. Fabulous writing! Thank you again for taking the time to write and share it for those of us who are in school and just so poor. *_-
GossamerSilverglow chapter 4 . 3/13/2013
I don’t understand why you aren’t writing your stuff to be published. It’s like friggen perfect. Anyway, Oz has Balasar down pat doesn’t he? It’s not that he doesn’t believe, it’s that he does. He just doesn’t give a shit. “It’s a rock.” I snorted so loud when I read that. It’s amazing what some people think are treasures or in Oz’s case, a ‘missus.’ There’s always some kind of whacky incestuous behaviors when it comes to gods and who their boinking. I’m with Bala on this one, totally deranged. I love Oz’s sense of humor he’s going to be the comic relief, isn’t he? He’s kind of like nagging wife.

I was kind of upset when chapter three didn’t go directly to Asseo’s and Daja’s sex scene, but the wait was worth it. I didn’t think it was awkward at all. So Asseo wasn’t being selfish at all, he was going to let him experience what it was like to take someone. Is there going to be a romance between Asseo and Daja, or Daja and Balasar—or is romance even something you’re going for?

Some people are just meant to write. I could only dream that I could write like this. Quit your day job! I insist. *_- There are some really craptastic novels out there so I find it hard to believe you’ve even tried to get this published. Have you tried? Maybe you’re waiting until you’ve finished? You’re not one of those ‘I just do it for the fun’ are you? Because that’s what I am, I do it for fun. You do it because you shouldn’t be doing anything else but write.

Wait, what am I saying? Thank you for wasting your time on fictionpress so ‘I’ could read an amazing and free story. Can’t beat free. Seriously, thank you. I guess another good thing is, I don’t usually read slash, so I probably wouldn’t have read it had I come across it on my own.
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