Reviews for To Walk in the Wind
Sombrette chapter 1 . 3/14/2013
Hmm... geez your description is pretty amazing. During the beginning when the sun was having a moment of its own ;) I really got a nice visual from that. It's quite a way to describe it - [orb of melting gold awash with a backdrop of blood.] That just screams heat. The beginning paragraph was very sensory directed. The sounds and smells... It sets up a very interesting vibe to the scene. I think it does its job with putting the reader right there with the characters.

I like the setting, the desert type of feel. Which, is obviously playing a huge role for the plot. I think the idea of the 'Great Rebirth' is a curious happening. The way these people's lives revolve around it as well... nice culture building. Since Balasar is skeptical about it, I wonder if it truly does happen. Since he's a foreigner he wouldn't know (Duh, that's why he's skeptical lol) but Abdhi seems pretty sure about it. His reasoning for doing what he's doing is quite understandable. Though, very corrupt. I guess what I don't understand is —and this is just based of this chapter and from I took from it — these people seem like the type to take their gods/godess' pretty serious, especially when they have this proof that the gods have shown themselves (The Great Rebirth) wouldn't Abdhi be worried about denying the storm god his gift? That's really taking things kinda far.

But, from his personality he's clearly a power hungry fatty. Actually... I don't know if he is fat. This line gave me the image that he is [When he went on to pluck a treat from the platter and pop it between his lips, a smear of excess stained his mouth in the aftermath.] But, I pictured him as one of those leaders wearing loads of silks, oodles of gold, and always holding his dainty hands above his pits. ;)

["We're not so different after all, you and I…"] In my mind I finished this sentence with 'Mister Powers' but I guess here it would be 'Mister Pandrigon' XD

This was a great introduction to this world, culture, and the workings of their politics. The writing is very solid and easy to follow along with. I like it so far :)
Nesasio chapter 2 . 3/14/2013
...since one could only guess what desires he would have to meet in the next realm.
...when he choked back prayers for Vhaki to take him that instant and wrench him away from the world of the living...
-These two lines stood out to me as strange logic since the implication is that they don't know what sort of sex Vhaki's into and for all Daja knows (and presumably has been told) this could be all he expects in the next realm. The fact this never crossed his mind seemed odd to me.

In his haste, his knees hit the stone hard, and Daja bit back a yelp...
-Smooth, Daja. Obviously they didn't teach you gracefulness.

Daja nearly fell off the tower.
-I'm confused on how this works, since he's kneeling and apparently not that close to the edge. He'd have to jump pretty far to be off balance like that.

...and cast a final longing glance over tower's countless singing chimes...
-Missing a word. There were a couple other times this happened but I didn't think to make note of them. :/

Daja's description interested me. It was neat how you started to go into a physical description of him and then used it as an intro to his backstory. On the one hand, I wanted a better understanding of his appearance, particularly since you say "His appearance became a matter of great importance." but the only description we get is what he doesn't look like anymore (his childhood appearance). On the other hand, the transition was pretty smooth, diving in from the obvious character intro to the more telling history. I have to read things very closely to comprehend them so it might just be a nitpick on my part (I fixate on things that don't mesh with my understanding) but maybe a line or two of description there would be nice, to fulfill the implications of the narration.

Characterization-wise I wanted to see a little more of Daja's training peeking through in the narration. The part about his shoes was a nice touch because it shows what he is used to and he knows what is expected of him. Aside from that, though, the expectations seemed more hearsay than reality. It's like the old adage show don't tell because I was told all these things Daja knows and apparently excels at but his entire narration spent the time debunking all those things. It threw me off a bit because I didn't get enough of a chance to gauge his abilities before he tore himself down. It's understandable that he's having doubts at this stage, of course. But the bit with Asseo in particular showed a lack of understanding on Daja's part for all the things he's been raised to do. He's spent years learning how to care for a master's needs and yet when presented with that exact situation he's oblivious. Since there're no direct statements that Daja is an incompetent student it makes me wonder if the implication is supposed to be there or not. While he is, of course, only human, I think a lot of this stuff is supposed to be ingrained but I never got that feeling.
professional griefer chapter 9 . 3/14/2013
Okay, first thing I noticed that I didn't like was that you used a lot of metaphors in the opening. Which isn't really a bad thing, I guess, but I dunno-it kinda perturbed me, it didn't really seem like your style.

On one hand, I like that you're doing Asseo's POV, it's definitely interesting that you're including someone who's not Bala or Daja, but on the other hand I feel like keeping it at two is good.

And gah now I ship Asseo and Daja why are you doing this? If you didn't write frickin' relationships so well I wouldn't have feels like this.
Okay-back to the review.

So, I really loved when Asseo said he loved Daja. It kind of hit me hard, I think that's what you were intending, but I really did think it was cool. You're adding another aspect, and I'm trying to make sense, but I'm not sure I am.

Anyway, I thought it was an awesome chapter. Asseo and Daja is definitely a cool (probably onesided) relationship, all Ass's (I probably shouldn't call him that) thoughts towards the end of the chapter were really tender and like, sad...anyway, it worked well.

Great chapter (sorry about the rambliness of this review).
Nesasio chapter 1 . 3/14/2013
I read this some time ago and I don't remember why I didn't review it. I think I might've been considering reviewing it for one of the games and then lost the desire to review stuff (not at all related to the story quality, haha) but I distinctly remember this first chapter from however long ago.

I'm impressed with your attention to detail. While I'm not much of one for long descriptions, I think you seeded in enough details to establish the setting and mood in a solid way. There were a few places it felt a bit synonym-heavy but I think that's just personal preference. Overall, I think you really set this universe up as a unique but also realistic place.

I'm torn on the narration here. I didn't notice it until the end but some of the observations in narration didn't work with the characterization, at least how I perceived it. I got the impression this was third limited, arguably focused on Balasar's impressions of things. Balasar so far has been portrayed as cool, realistic, maybe a bit jaded with life, and overall competent. Toward the end, there were bits like ' with the disconcerting immediacy of sliding on a mask' that made me wonder: is this really disconcerting to Balasar? I get the impression that he doesn't like or really agree with Abdhi, yeah, but this seemed to shake Balasar on a deeper level than just moral differences. Maybe I've put too much thought on this and I'm completely wrong on the POV, haha, but this just struck me as odd for what was established to that point.

Feel free to totally ignore this section... Again I have an unhelpful personal preference to present: this chapter is a decent intro to the story premise without sounding like an info-dump but it doesn't really hook me. I'm a sucker for action intros and cold opens, admittedly, but I haven't gotten a sense yet of what sort of adventure story I might expect here. There could be duels, army-size battles, archery and swordplay, magic, alchemy, zombies for all I know, or maybe guys just sit in rooms talking menacingly at each other. I can't tell for sure. Don't get me wrong, the premise is enough to keep me reviewing in the games, but if I read this as a driveby reviewer, I don't know if I would have been motivated to read on because nothing grabbed me or told me I had to read on to know more.

But anyway, kudos to Balasar for pointing out the whole 'this might backfire horribly' thing, haha. Granted it's your story and you control the gods but if it was me ruling that world I'd so make things turn to shit just because he was such an arrogant douche. You think you know how to work nature better than me, huh? Ha. Haha. NOPE. *turns Bhepal into desert* *empowers other provinces* *strikes Abdhi with lightning*

Basically I'm a horrible authoress but Balasar at least has a brain and that is promising. ;)
lookingwest chapter 9 . 3/14/2013
Opening - I really liked the opening of this chapter. I think it parallels with Daja's well, actually, in the las chapter. Because it's showing that the two of them have undergone this terrible traumatic stresses in the past few days and both of them have a "waking" period into the nightmare that is now their lives. It paralleled really well - I can see Asseo acting as Daja's foil in more ways than one, even how he interacts with Balasar. But yeah, the poetic-esque language you use at the beginning of this chapter was well done. I think it tastefully describes something very horrific. Good writing for the opener!

Dialogue - So Asseo can understand Ira? I know Ira can speak his language, but I think maybe he was supposed to not speak it very well, or have a very thick accent, right? You might want to mention that, or at least make some mention of Asseo's inability to completely understand him. Or even mention Balasar's accent, if any (I remember you mentioned it while in Daja's POV though, so it's of less importance I think). But some of those queues might be nice to add into your speaker tags. But anyway, besides that, I really liked the dialogue between Balasar and Asseo. Their exchange was quick and witty, I think, and I liked Asseo's attitude and his comebacks. They were refreshing.

Character - I feel like in this chapter, I get the sense of Asseo's strength as a preist/leader more than I have from Daja's point of view. I think this becomes most apparent when he mentions how he knows that he used Daja in the way that Bal's men are using him now - and that he acknowledges his wrongdoing. That creates a really cool dynamic in him, and it's also startling that he considers the conditions of his and Daja's relationship on similar sexual terms on what's happening to him with Ira. I also saw him taking on more of that leader role when he saw Daja and hid himself and didn't go out to make his presence known due to the state of himself. Like I mentioned in an earlier chapter - I was super curious to see how the dynamic between Asseo and Daja would unfold, since it seems Daja's importance has given him more of that dominant role. Obviously, Asseo is feeling that pressure - because he knows that Daja might still see him as a "master" figure and he's in no professional state to see him now. That worked really well, and was glad to see that mentioned/incorporated.

Lets see...what's something I don't normally comment on? (I always find myself leaning towards Character for this story)...hmm...

I think I might just want to take a moment here to talk about your world-building (which I guess works into setting, but I'd like to emphasize the religion specifically). Religions are hard to create for stories, I think, but yet in every chapter you have within this story, I think it's so well done. I like that you dont' forget about their religion and you keep coming back to it. And not only have you created this religion, it's something that hinges on the actual plot of the story and also is embedded with ritual that your characters must perform each day. I liked the way you incorporated the religion into this chapter and how you had Asseo frequently praying to his god and also seeing Daja begin the morning prayer, etc. It also shows something. That Asseo and Daja, despite their trauma, still carry their beliefs. And that's something that I don't think Balasar has to keep him afloat in worser times. It's a nice touch. I enjoyed your attention to it.

Soo I'm officially all caught up now ;D Hurrah! Now I get to officially tell you to WRITE MORE SOON and can now harp on you in the OT. How wonderful :3
Chiisutofupuru chapter 3 . 3/14/2013
Confused with the all of the new characters. I will have to just keep reading and learn more I guess.

This story could have a very interesting prologue. Perhaps a glimpse of the last time Balasar was in that specific city. It would be awesome to see him in action early.

lookingwest chapter 8 . 3/14/2013
Opening - I liked that you open with Daja assuming that he has died. I think you do a good job explaining why he feels like he's dead and how it compares with what he thought death would be like. I especially liked the mention of those that came to give him water. You transition from that opening scene to the scene with Balasar well. The poetic language of the opening was well done and you pulled out of it smoothly into Daja's ordinary narrative. I liked that you took the time to describe his sickness and dehydration. Kept things realistic, too.

Scene - The scene between Daja and Balasar was good to see unfold. Daja was less angry and panicked than I thought he would be, though. I don't know if that's good or bad. I think it could have to do with just PTSD kind of behavior since he's just been traumatized and just is kind of going along with the flow at the moment. It's brave of him to try to bargin with Balasar. I didn't get the sense during that scene that he feared Balasar at all. He seemed more curious about him than anything. In fact - his lack of fear is something I also didn't expect but I think it could make sense because he's faced death his entire life. But there's so much now that is unknown to him...I feel like he should fear the unknown more - the fact that his entire life has changed and everything he's ever known as far as structure and belief has been ripped out from under him. Plus everyone he liked is dead. I say like because he never gave feelings of love much before (I think that's one of his inner character conflicts I enjoy). But anyway, the scene was a lot more civil than what I expected. I almost was waiting for Daja to try to run away even though he's in a sorry state, or try to at least shout and yell about the mass murder of all his fellow priests X_X But PTSD does weird things to a person. And I think you did a good job showing us how exhausted he is.

Character - It might be awhile until I forgive Balasar or I'm at least able to understand his perspective a little more. I know his decision about Asseo already transpired in the prior chapter, but the fact that there are those in his group, such as Jaleah, that are not okay with this - and the fact that we find out he's never done this before, make me question his motivations a little more than I thought I might. I think we see that conflict happen when Oz says the line about how he understands that Balasar can't go back on his word now...but eh, I don't see what's stopping Balasar exactly from going in and being like, "Okay dudes, enough raping Asseo for today. Don't want to kill him right off, let's save it for tomorrow." He really doesn't give an inch when it comes to mercy. I kind of wanted to see at least a little of that to display that he mentally might be having some conflict concerning his decision. I think you show that he does though, just by the way he second-guesses and asks Oz. Overall - it's going to create a weird dynamic with Daja I think, since once Daja finds out that Balasar let Asseo get raped, he might not like him so much anymore and his fascination will turn into wariness and perhaps hate. It will be a unique hurdle their relationship will have to overcome. Unless Daja doesn't care that much - but I think he might. Really interested to see what will happen!

Pacing - This chapter was well done pacing-wise, I think. All of the stuff that transpired in it was necessary for plot progression and lent itself well for the story overall. The pacing of the plot is good. I don't mind plots that take their time because (if you couldn't already tell) I'm way big into characters. I can see the trajectory of the story leading to the slave market. I'm wondering how many chapters we'll have before we get to that point, and if Daja will even have a change to see Asseo before he gets sold as a slave. Since Balasar has already told Daja that Asseo is alive though - I don't see the story taking that direction. But it would be an interesting thing for Balasar to lie about (the rape thing) and then later for Daja to find out once he's in a more loving relationship with Balasar. I could see the two of them having a row about that. But eh, I project too much, don't I? XD Your story makes me think, ha! I love predicting. I need to stop though. But eh, like I was saying, the pacing was good for this chapter because I think you did a good job pacing things character-wise and showing some in depth developments for both Daja (in the beginning) and Balasar (in the end with his conversation with Oz).

A good chapter! As always, looking forward to more. And wowza, I'm almost caught up ;D! You better be writing more as I type, hahaha!
Chiisutofupuru chapter 2 . 3/14/2013
I never knew a twenty-year old would worry about his shoes so much.

So... tradition is that every fifty years, a 'gift' is given to the deities on the 'gift's' twentieth birthday? To the day even? Wow... ok... I guess it wouldn't be too hard to find some random kid born on that specific day a certain year.

Daja seems like a kid so far, very Avatar. Although I picture him having ling hair because he's almost twenty and they've stopped shaving his head at the age sixteen.

To the next chapter
Chiisutofupuru chapter 1 . 3/14/2013
So far the idea of a bandit that pisses off deities seems very interesting. Makes me wonder what's going to happen to him near the end of the story. Makes me wonder what he's already been through.

It's a suicide mission? I guess I will find out how in the next chapter.
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.
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