Reviews for The God Slave (Prev: To Walk in the Wind)
GrinningPervert chapter 12 . 6/2
BUT, in more ways than that, it’s just really the fact that Daja has been growing so much as a character that it really keeps me saddled to this crazy horse ride. I love how you make me care for him in this chapter: how you make his anger so understandable, and how you make me respect him when he stands up for himself. So many authors would have just written him off as some broken little toy, but you actually have him defy those hardships and become someone who may just use his ‘fate’ to his advantage (carve out a destiny for himself). See, even if this wasn’t a smut story and only focused on Daja being stolen from his fate (without the sex stuff, without his being a whore to the gods), I’d still be utterly behind this, because of how he’s been developing. And there is Balasar: Balasar hits so many buttons for me, like in this chapter where he shows how conflicted he is between his desire and the fact that doing the wrong thing would make him no better than the others. But I really love all of your characters, and as a character fan: welp, I’m in love with this chapter (because everyone is well fleshed out, because everyone develops).

As a pure M/M fan, I really enjoy the budding hints of romance in this chapter: and the UST ! You know, I have never been a fan of instalover or instant sex: if you’re going to write an M/M story, make me *excited* for them to get together, make me ship them so hard that I cannot think of anything but them being together. Don’t make it cheap. Make me invest in the characters. And you are doing this exactly. So :D :D :D
Hedonistic Opportunist chapter 12 . 6/2
So interesting tidbit: I didn’t realise you had updated yet again, because I was reading chapter 14 and wondering what the hell was going on XD. But I’m intent to catch up, though work (gah) and finals (more geh) are making that a wee bit difficult. It’s only because the RG does place a deadline on me that I manage to keep up :P


I always, always suspected that Asseo had been a virgin before Daja; he’s always been so loving and insecure around Daja, just like a cute pup who’s fallen in love for the first time. And given what you have revealed here and how shy/insecure he still is around Daja, it really makes sense – plus, it also opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for the two of them. I think it’s undeniable at this point that there is a connection between the two of them: slightly romantic, slightly erotic but – above all – a comradeship that is starting to grow very close and sweet. It’s also an oddly tentative relationship, because of how they are still holding back (Asseo especially), and Daja not wanting to take more from Asseo that the latter is willing to offer. I think that’s very realistic, given how they started off and what they have been through, but I also love how their relationship has evolved – from Daja seeing Asseo as his master and being perplexed by him, to now acknowledging that Asseo is the only one he’s got left (and whom he wishes to protect, at all costs).

It’s not all fluffy, of course: I’m worried that Asseo is not saying everything – that he’s not making his love clear, and that Daja, while he’s attracted, is not in love with Asseo, I believe. If anything, I think he’s clinging to Asseo so out of guilt and a desire to retain the only thing of his old world that he still has left. Of course, I do think that he cares: it’s obvious that he is protective of Asseo, because Asseo is a cute little pup who’s been broken beyond belief already, but I worry that the two of them will get hurt if they don’t communicate properly. But they are so sweet together, the poor pups, and their little kiss in this chapter was one of my favourite moments in this chapter: so simple yet heart-wrenching (just two broken boys drawing comfort from each other).

But yes: I love that you hinted at the growing and budding chemistry between Balasar and Daja here; it’s nice to see that Balasar is acknowledging Daja’s beauty and even shows hints of attraction. It’s nicer even that he did consider bedding Daja, but then decided it against it: he knew that it was wrong to Daja in such a way. More than that, I really want to see those two come together (heh), because they both want it. The potential is definitely already there: with Daja being so openly defiant and even criticising Balasar (for being pathetic), and Balasar acknowledging that he wants Daja more now, because he’s no longer a perfect doll (but broken and thus more real). What really excited me though is Balasar saying what he likes (intelligence and power and loyalty), because I think it’s a hint of what Daja already is (and just might become). I honestly think you’ve been doing a great job with those two: their slow build-up is becoming increasingly more heated, and you also develop the relationship at a very believable pace, in my opinion.


I am going to have to commend you for how far Daja has become: he’s definitely become his own master now, no longer afraid to defy or challenge someone when he feels that’s right. Honestly? I think that’s even further cry from the last chapter, where he was just beginning to defy. He was openly defiant in this chapter, towards Balasar and even Asseo. But let’s start with Balasar: I like that Daja openly confronted him about his life/or lie of omission. That was not only badass, but also very true, showing that Daja does not like bullshit and that he won’t stand for it :D I like that; it makes Daja someone who has a strong sense of right and wrong, and who doesn’t accept anything in the middle. I also like that he is so critical of Balasar and even aware of how empty the man’s life is: I also liked that he realised what bond Balasar and Ismene shared. It shows that he’s not just been lying idly around, but actually observed his surroundings ( he’s definitely intelligent). I like that he didn’t seem openly broken in this chapter, but took what he could handle and even expressed that he didn’t regret it (it shows that he’s persistent and powerful). Honestly I could write you a whole list of why Daja is awesome, but in a nutshell: he has a lot of layers, and I respect that you’re writing him as a strong person who may become even stronger.

But that’s not just Dajaa: Asseo has been showing strength and defiance too. I liked that he wanted to go and stop whatever was happening to Daja, and that he *had* to be held back. It shows how earnest and desperate he is in keeping Daja safe (his love is so real). But more than that, it also shows how he’s even less afraid now. Beyond that, I just love how gentle he is as a person: washing Daja’s wounds and telling him about his life, because he knows that this will calm/soothe Daja. He’s such a lovely person, and I love what you are doing to him. It would have been so easy to just make him some pathetic weakling, but even if one could apply those characteristics to him, he’s also a brave, loyal and very compassionate character who deserves kudos for what he’s been through (and how he’s been handling it).

I loved how you further handled Balasar in this chapter, with him battling between desire, and then finally not giving in: it shows that he has a sense of honour, and that he will not do something despicable just because he can. I respect him so much, and I can see why Daja is starting too, as well :D (not that I didn’t love Balasar before). I really loved how Balasar handled things in this chapter, using his authority to put a stop to things and being completely serious/uncompromising about it. You can see why he’s such a great leader, and why those men follow him: he’s completely competent.

Shout outs go to Ismene and Ozzrick too – but I need to move onto the next section :P


I LOVE LOVE that all those howling storms and the emptiness of the village have not been left ignored or acknowledged by the other characters (I mean the bandits). It would have been so easy to just brush it off as some whimsical mood of Daja’s, but the fact that you are touching upon these issues again in this chapter fully implies that i) Daja’s stealing away from the temple and ii) his not following his destiny will have severe consequences on the troop/these surroundings (if they haven’t already). I love how you touch upon this via dialogue, but also the atmosphere in this chapter: the men raping Daja so frantically and desperate, the silence before that event, and how it took a gunfire for all that to stop. It all shows that Daja’s presence/his stealing from the temple has awoken something dark and looming, and while the gangrape was not necessarily connected to his stealing, I do think it shows how crazily people react in the consequence of something so unexpected happening (like Daja being stolen and the world ending because of this). Even Balasar doesn’t want to touch Daja because he senses that he’s done something unpardonable. So yeah, even our voice of reason realises that something bigger is going on here. Yeah, sorry if I ramble here, but I just love, love that you touch upon those issues and themes built upon in the previous chapter and continue the story from here. It shows that you have a bigger plan, and more than that, that you know how to keep our interests engaged in story.

Also, this is so much more than just a slash story. But, what I really appreciate, is that you never forget to remind us that it’s a romance too, with various relationships taking centre stage or being developed. I can actually see a conflict of interest evolving already between Daja/Asseo and Balasar/Asseo. Of course, at the moment, all of this isn’t terribly dramatic: Balasar still wants to sell Daja, and it’s only natural that Daja would be close to Asseo. But I cannot help wondering if this will not become a huge issue one day, if it’s not going to create a conflict even. So yeah, what I’m trying to say is that I can see the seeds you are planting here, and I like it – like again that you are taking your time to develop I tall, and let it fuse into the bigger picture. What I mean by that is that romance is not the biggest factor in this story, but that it’s still an important one: Asseo is driven by his feelings for Daja, and Daja is driven to act because he wants to protect Asseo. Balasar fits into the equation by being someone Daja wants to challenge. Lovely :D


I don’t want to talk about the writing, so I’m just going to go for this category :P But yes, your writing is one of the huge reasons why I love this story, but definitely not the predominant one. Still, I enjoy your smooth prose, your lovely descriptions because they appeal to the lover of the beautiful in me. There were many sections in this chapter were I just went ‘dawww, this is so beautifully written’ and ‘I really like how you write this: it really helps me lose myself in this world’. So, of course, the fact that this chapter is so well-written and manages to make me forget RL for a while (because of how your prose just carries me into this different world) is a huge factor in me loving this.

BUT, in more ways than that, it’s just really the fact that Daja has been growing so much as a character that it really keeps me saddled to this crazy horse ride. I love how you make me care for him in this chapter: how you make his anger so understandable, and how you make me respect him when he stands up for himself. So many authors would have just written him off as some broken little toy, but you actually have him defy those hardships and become someone who may just use his ‘fate
littleanemonefish chapter 14 . 6/2
The fight scenes. The foreshadowing. The sexual tension. I loved it all. Amazing chapter!
Itsa Mia chapter 14 . 6/2
Just a thought, but I like the first title better. It works with the little tidbits you include about Daja's influence over the wind. New title doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room when imagining how the story will go, especially since you had asseo say that thing about a legendary gift.
Ok, the chapter. Whowee that was fun. Really fast imagery there. I felt like I was watching that scene in the mummy when Rachel Wiess fought her sister for the right to protect/marry their father the Pharaoh. Or something like that it's been a while since I've seen those films lol.
K it's 4 am just needed to read it before bed xD
Moonberry chapter 12 . 6/1
I cannot help but hope that Asseo and Daja end up together, but I do not know if that is entirely realistic.
GrinningPervert chapter 11 . 6/1

I think that Daja and Balasar are very much the main pairing of this story, and I can already see the beginnings of a very strong relationship here. They already challenge each other: I, at least, think that Daja is, with his ability to link reason and faith, someone that directly challenges Balasar, provoking him to see the world differently. Where Balasar is more practical and cold, I think Daja is more compassionate, and I really like this contrast, because I think they are each other’s missing links. I also think that it already makes their relationship go beyond the merely physical, even if at the moment physical interest has merely been hinted at from Balasar’s side. I definitely think that Balasar is intrigued by Daja, which was quite clear in this chapter.

He no longer sees Daja as a mere sex toy, but a man who’s capable of his own thought and draws his conclusion based on his intellect and not just blind belief. I loved that realisation, because I think it was tinged with respect. This was, IMO, further evidenced by how he treated Daja with respect and care after that conversation, wishing him a goodnight and not mocking him any longer. That is a far cry from the man who treated Daja like some fool in the earlier chapters.

Daja himself, I think, is beginning to see Balasar as an interesting man, but I also think he’s angry at Balasar at the latter end of this chapter: for him, Balasar has broken his promise. He believed in him, and that the result was that Asseo was still getting assaulted every night. That is sad, and I think it will be an important plot factor in the next few chapters. But yeah, what I really like is that Daja is not so fascinated yet; it’s more in line with what a kidnapped/stolen person would feel. There’s anger and bitterness, and I think that Daja may be warming up, but it’s going to take a while for those two to get anywhere yet.

Last point: I really like how you have been treating Asseo and Daja in this story. I would not say that Daja is in love, but it’s clear that he cares about Asseo deeply. There’s a definite bond of friendship between the two men that was not just born out of Asseo being the earlier survivor. But what I liked in this chapter was that Daja was fully provoked into acting on Asseo’s behalf: because he cared that much. It just shows how strong their bond is.

Hedonistic Opportunist chapter 11 . 6/1
Well, that escalated quickly O_o Let me just ffff gather my thoughts before I even try to review this coherently. Holy crap though. I was hoping you would not go there, but you did ): (yeah I spoiled myself a bit for the next chapter but anyhow).


This chapter is practically evil in how it starts off so slowly and practically harmlessly before shit hits the fan. I kind of liked how it had those seemingly positive elements at the beginning: Balasar and Daja reaching an understanding (they said goodnight to each other, aww!) and the whole awesomeness of Ismene bonding with Daja (and Asseo). It lulled me into a false sense of security, you know? Up until specific plot events in this chapter, I was hoping that this would be the starting point of something better and hopefully less painful for Daja and Asseo, but nope, nope, you really did just have to make me regret feeling too comfortable XD. But yeah: I really love the quieter moments of this chapter, because they not only build up/lead up to the more tense moments in this chapter so very well, but they also deepened the characters/relationships so well. I was particularly fond of Ismene’s revelation as to why she spoke Daja’s language so well (but I’ll get to that later). Honestly, now that I think of it, the writing in the quieter moments of this chapter was tense, and I ought to have known, but moving on XD

I guess what really shocked me was that Daja would not budge in this chapter. I was hoping he would, I thought that Ismene being there would make him effing shut up, but nope. He actually went ahead and offered himself, after smashing a dish. Holy fucking cow. Seriously. I wanted to stop reading momentarily, because I just did not want to see it happen. I did not want to see Daja get hurt, but he went ahead and did it – and you, evil person, completely defied my expectations and hopes. It was quite clever and emotionally devastating but really clever. I think that one of the best ways to lure a reader into a story/make the plot memorable is by being completely evil: a lot of good writers shock us, because they do to places that we don’t want them to go /don’t think they would have the guts to do. But yeah, you did, and you have my immense respect for that.

The point why I respect you further for doing this, is because it wasn’t unexpected, when I think about it, really. Daja’s anger and desire to step in – that was already hinted from a few chapters ago. Of course, he would snap – and alcohol, a clever plot device you introduce in this chapter, is only more likely to make this decision easier for him. I like that, in the end, the decision for him to step in, was logically traceable and understandable, even it makes me worried for him (but it also makes me respect him all the more).

Of course, this is a very good chapter, because of how the plot makes me damned curious as to what’s going to happen next: you want to know whether the men will really touch Daja, after being explicitly provoked like this. You want to know if Balasar will stop this madness, you want to XDD… you know the only reason why I’m not reading the next chapter yet is because I’m reviewing this one XDDD (I guess that’s the one thing I do dislike about reviewing each chapter individually – sometimes I seriously just want to yell at people in screencaps and then continue reading, while loving the author and yet cursing them to them to heavens :P). So yeah, in a nutshell: very, very good plot in this chapter. You’re evil.


There was honestly badass dialogue in this chapter, for various reasons. The first reason why I think your dialogue was amazing, on a technical level in this chapter, was because it flowed amazingly well: there were no awkward pauses/obstructions between dialogue and interleaving prose in between, the dialogue sounded natural, and it was joy to see how everyone spoke differently from each other. Not everyone does it well, but with you – and in this chapter especially – I could envision the characters talking to each other, could actually visualise and hear them talking, like seeing a film unroll before my eyes. It’s amazing and does a lot for the tone and character interaction in this story: keep on doing whatever you are doing in terms of dialogue, because you rock.

The second reason as to why I love the dialogue, is because a lot of the dialogue in itself was just amazing: lovely lines that I want to quote back at you, because they are just so memorable. I’m not sure if my favourite is Daja stating that even godless men will pray in their last hour, or Ismene’s recounting her backstory, but you write such beautiful, inspirational lines (are you a Hannibal fan? Are you? If not, you might give NBC’s Hannibal a go: some of your dialogue, dark and twisted as it is, reminds me of that show exactly). I’m not only giving you such high praise here, because I genuinely enjoy good and memorable lines, but because they really add flair and extra beauty to your story. Besides, the fact that you manage to interweave such beautiful lines into your dialogue without making your characters sound awkward or stilted is amazing. In fact, I think it all fits in splendidly because of how lush your prose is, and how intelligent your characters are. It just fits.

The third reason – and the last one – is that each of your dialogue actually adds to the characterisation and plot; you don’t just throw lines at us, but choose careful phrases and lines that help build up character interaction and pinpoint important moments. I felt that each of Daja’s dialogue in this chapter stressed his budding anger and growing defiance, until he finally smashed that dish and openly told the men to just choose him, instead of a harmless man (I love how aggressive his lines were, how challenging). Ismene’s backstory was beautifully told through the dialogue, showing us her dark past in a very natural and beautiful manner. I liked how she seemed to be so straightforward about it too, which really made me respect her as a character. The lines between Balasar and Daja were lovely, because they showed how they clashed and how they stood at odds.
I am only stopping here, because I need to move onto the next section, but fkfjfkjf your dialogue.


I have immense respect for Daja in this chapter. Sure, he’s being stupid and stubborn, but I think – and that’s very important, given how you’ve been building/writing him for this whole story – that he’s growing up. He’s finally showing defiance and a mind of his own, which previously he was denying to do /not allowing himself. I think that this was very nicely built up to, by him firstly defying Balasar when the other man tried to reason with him regarding the villagers. I like that even Balasar recognises that it’s not superstition talking here, but Daja being honestly intelligent and wise: he’s not a silly kitten, but he’s definitely aware of how people work. That, and I think – to bring me back to my earlier point – he’s not going to agree with Balasar, just because Balasar is used to giving commands.

So yeah, this was well built up, and I think the only thing Daja needed to finally snap was alcohol and seeing Asseo getting hurt. I think that the anger just overflowed then, and I liked that he didn’t listen, but decided to step in, because he didn’t want others getting hurt for his sake. I think that’s important to note, because it shows that he’s a kind man, too. He feels for others, and he’s compassionate, which is something that sets him as a contrast to Balasar too (who cares, but only really gets involved with the people how are close to him). Daja, meanwhile, I think may grow into someone who is not going to allow anyone to get hurt in his stead.

Congrats, kid – that’s a huge step for someone who, in the first few chapters, was used to merely serving.

I loved Ismene in this chapter: you’re quickly making her one of my favourite characters, because of how charming she is – how kind and strong, but also because of how she’s honestly trying to bond with Daja. She’s not strong enough to help him everywhere, but she at least *tries*. And I like that she seems like him as a person too, reaching out to him and telling him about herself, so that he can learn about others, outside from the temple. Okay, I am blabbering but she is a lovely character, and I hope that we are going to see more of her :D Hmm, otherwise: I loved those little hints about Balasar being childish: like him being so used to getting his way. It was kind of funny and even cute, because you can tell that he’ll maybe need someone to give him a bit of tough love :P But yeah, I loved that he wasn’t so proud here, that he realised that Daja was right, no matter how much he tried to deny it.


I think that Daja and Balasar are very much the main pairing of this story, and I can already see the beginnings of a very strong relationship here. They already challenge each other: I, at least, think that Daja is, with his ability to link reason and faith, someone that directly challenges Balasar, provoking him to see the world differently. Where Balasar is more practical and cold, I think Daja is more compassionate, and I really like this contrast, because I think they are each other’s missing links. I also think that it already makes their relationship go beyond the merely physical, even if at the moment physical interest has merely been hinted at from Balasar’s side. I definitely think that Balasar is intrigued by Daja, which was quite clear in this chapter.

He no longer sees Daja as a mere sex toy, but a man who’s capable of his own thought and draws his conclusion based on his intellect and not just blind belief. I loved that realisation, because I think it was tinged with respect. This was, IMO, further evidenced by how he treated Daja with respect and care after that conversation, wishing him a goodnight and not mocking him any longer. That
alltheeagles chapter 5 . 6/1
RG EF review

I get a deep sense of sadness from reading this chapter. That doesn’t mean I didn’t like it, it just made me feel all choked up. Somehow you plucked the right strings or whatever it is that you did. Okay, okay, I’ll try to be more specific. I think it was most likely the way Isoba kept remembering Daja as a boy. That was a wicked effective contrast to the way Daja was adorned – that description of him as a figurine was a particularly solid jab in the guts for me. And then the line about Isoba’s heart breaking – I swear I almost started bawling. What prevented the embarrassing public display was the second part that came immediately after. I like that there is a lingering sense of melancholy in it, but it is downplayed by the teasing mock-bickering between Bala and Ismene. It was also clever of you to insert Bala’s views on innocence and perfection, because I’m sure these will come into play when he finally encounters Daja.
Hedonistic Opportunist chapter 10 . 6/1
The opening paragraph was honestly chilling and beautifully rendered. I’ve always been a fan of strong writing, and – in my opinion – nothing captures a reader’s attention more than strong, poignantly thought up words that lead to beautiful sentences; I felt that this was a good way to set up the scene for the initial mood of this story, and the short, sharp opening sentences were a beautiful hook/introduction to the dream that Daja had (the premonition). I definitely wanted to keep on reading. I also think that the association of a dream with a stalker/predator was a very clever one to make, given how the winds later – towards – the ending are implied to follow Daja and his band of kidnappers around – like a punishment for Daja having failed in his mission, like a reminder of what’s to come.

I also liked how the opening sentences flowed very well into the description of Daja’s dark dreams of anger and pent-up revenge: the opening was appropriately dark and menacing, and I think that the dream, with its very clear dark contents (Daja’s implied bloodlust and desire to break everyone in his path), are merely a continuation of that. I also liked how the opening was actually plot-relevant (including the dream), because it indicated that the anger that Daja would feel later (when he realised just what had been done to Asseo), and it’s also a strong hint of the imagined/supposed/likely retributions that Daja fears that he/others might go through, because he’s not dead as he was supposed to be. I know I’m focusing on this a lot, but it’s easy to just toss in pretty writing, but what you’re doing is plot-relevant and I love that :D To be honest, I also just think the opening was very interesting to read, as well as being a good continuation from the previous chapters. A lot of your story has to do with dreams, and of how Daja keeps ‘seeing’ the future. I enjoy that your opening picks up on that.


Continuing what I said about dreams and Daja being able to see into the future, I actually really got excited in this chapter regarding two things you have been hinting at: a) that there be punishment for Daja and al to come (because there are hints tossed in this chapter regarding that – the missing people, the wind disappearing and then reappearing) and b) Daja taking revenge at some point (which is hinted at by his budding anger and the dream). I’m probably wrong, and I think it’s entirely possible that point a is just imagined on Daja’s behalf: the boy has been taught to view everything supernaturally, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were no supernatural elements at all in this story (which Balasar’s stance and perspective would support). But the fact that you rouse my interest so, and actually make me speculate in such a manner does show two things i) that you’re very good at rousing my interesting in your plot and that ii) there’s a lot to this story that is thought provoking.

Let’s start with i: initially, when I picked up this story, I thought that this was just going to be a romance/UST fic about some jaded guy and his new prized item. I wasn’t expecting a story that would very slowly but cleverly explore each and every character, cleverly build up everyone’s motivation before the great heist and then further slowly but not dully see how this event (the heist) would change everyone in question. I was also not expecting, as demonstrated in this chapter, for the immediate consequences to be made so apparent: villagers leaving, places being warded against evil. This shows that Daja’s kidnapping must have become hot news or, at the very least, that the people in this part of the world are superciliously superstitious. I was also not expecting for the howling storms to grow so apparent, as indicative at the end of this chapter. What I’m trying to say – at the end of this tl;dr – is that you’re making me excited to see what will happen next: are people going to attack the bandits? How will Daja’s further shake up this community? You’ve got a very intriguing plot here, and I like that you’re taking your time with it.
As for ii: You’ve already it made it clear that there is a lot more to your story that just LOL Daja is a temple whore, and LOL LOL kidnapping. What I really like about your plot is that it shakes up a lot of questions: like how does one, like Daja, change after being exposed to a new world, outside of their used settings? Does religion, as in the case of Asseo, help one to overcome terrible hardships? (Like him believing that Daja was meant to survive, as a testament to something that humans cannot comprehend). I also like how this explored through the characters themselves: Daja and Asseo’s more religious stance, and Balasar’s more critical, modern attitude towards things like faith and so forth. In this chapter, I felt that what was raised is the issue of Asseo telling himself that his rape and Daja’s kidnapping is a result of the gods wanting it. Of course, it’s probably just delusion, but it does make one thing. A lot. And probably too much in this case, but here you go: your plot is multi-layered and very, very clever. I love. A lot.


A particular shot-out goes to Ismene, IMO, in this chapter for being very nice and forthcoming towards Daja; I love that you paint her as this very generous and wise woman who is amused but also helpful towards Daja. A lot of slash stories would not paint/depict the other woman/lover in such a positive light, but you make her likeable and also suggest that she may become Daja’s friend in the near future. I like that, because it avoids the clichés so omnipresent in other stories and also shows how you are so good at writing strong and believable female characters. Another shout-out goes to Daja: I found that he’s already developed quite a bit from the previous chapter, where he was still emotionally drained and questioning of everything. In this chapter, when confronted by Asseo’s torture and emotional reactions, we see that he is observant, angered and protective – this is lovely, because it – yet again – circumvents common clichés. Daja is not a weak puppy; he’s not just a victim. He’s proud and utterly capable of getting mad – and I could tell that there were moments in this chapter where he was about to burst and do something that he might have reacted (and that would have harmed him and Asseo). But I love that: it makes him flawed and I look forward to more of such behaviour in the future. What I liked too is that he was shown to be quite perceptive about a lot of things – like Balasar’s gentleness when it came to his horse. It shows that Daja observes things, and that he’s not naïve at all. He may want to revolt, but he’s beginning to learn that he can only survive this by observing and keeping his mouth shut (for now).
Lastly, for this category, I like that Asseo, despite his pain and shame, managed to keep Daja’s temper at bay. It shows what a wise and perceptive person he is; I think you could very well call him the voice of reason – he may just become the Oz for Daja :D We’ll see.


I could have well placed this a lot of the stuff I am going to say here under ‘relationships’, but I’d rather like to talk about the Asseo-Daja meeting up scene again, because it raised a lot of good points and did a lot for them as characters. For starters, I liked how this scene had initially Daja trying to behave as if Asseo was still his mater, but Asseo immediately fixing that issue. It raised two points: Daja is still clinging to what he knows and has left, while Asseo is already a step forward. He knows that the only way he and Daja can survive in this world is by adopting to their new rules (I do say that Daja knows this already in characters, but I think that Asseo is even more aware of it). I like that Asseo’s outburst makes Daja realise that he needs to stop living in the past, and that he immediately addresses/starts seeing Asseo as someone who’s more of his peer than a teacher. I think that this scene establishes a turning point in their relationship that will help them grow stronger, perhaps.

I also liked the scene towards the end with Daja observing Balasar’s gentleness towards his horse. There were a lot nice quitter Balasar and Daja scenes, but this one stands out, because I think this is the first time that Daja viewed Balasar as something different than dangerous (or where he’s not surprised by Balasar not reacting in a way he was expecting). Beyond that, it was just a nice and quiet moment that served well as a reminder to the reader that Balasar is not such a bad guy deep down, and that Daja may just be warming a little (heh). :D

As for the final stance on this section: I loved the last scene, with them entering the abandoned house and the wind growing stronger – it was so spooky and ominous, serving well as a closing paragraph/line to the beginning that had the same mood/hints. But I’m getting tired and there’s not much else I can really say XD

Sorry for the more formal review. I’m just trying to keep it well-organised :D
Chiscribe chapter 4 . 5/31
Hmmm, what a kinky chapter! When you mentioned the sex scene being awkward in the authors note I figured you were talking about the "taboo" nature of the sexual acts involved because the actual writing of it was anything but awkward. If anything, it was awkward as far as Daja being taken aback by his masters request and his relative inexperience in...well, let's just call it "topping", but the entire scene was tastefully done and enhanced by your rich and vivid way with words. I was actually impressed by your use of language in handling the scene as it towed the line between sensual and explicit perfectly while leaving little to the imagination.

The relationship you explored between Daja and Asseo (fitting name btw. lol) was quiet bittersweet in this chapter as well because you drop subtle hints that Asseo really wants something more from Daja while Daja is simply giving his body away, not his feelings, their whole dynamic blurs the line between slave and master, submissive and dominant and it was really a joy to read.
Hedonistic Opportunist chapter 9 . 5/31
You are so cruel, but I love you. I am not going to talk about the metaphors in this chapter – at least not negatively XD (was I ever even negative? O.O). I think that the similes in this chapter really, really helped set the mood when it came to talking about Asseo’s feelings of shame, pain, revulsion and feelings of displacement. I like how you never directly referenced the rape, but still made it perfectly clear just what had been done to Asseo – the beginning of this chapter perfectly addressed this very dark issue, and I honestly felts sorry for him (I felt even sorrier for him later when he said that the gods were justified in allowing this to happen D:) But yes, the opening of this chapter was lovely, and I think your prose manages to remain beautiful and tasteful even when describing such difficult matters (there are writers who wouldn’t manage).

I loved, loved the dialogue between Balasar and Asseo in this chapter. For once, it further fleshed Balasar out :D, showcasing yet again what a good man he is (and yet how he isn’t – he’s blunt, he’s not wasting any time to spare Asseo’s feelings). I mean: he was willing to let Asseo go, - which I really LOVED that – implies that he was not just asking Oz’s advice for the heck of it, but was probably already contemplating to let Asseo go then. He does listen to his friends; he still has a conscience, and I love that you’re integrating the earlier chapters in such a way, because it not only promotes smoother storytelling, but makes the character development a journey that you can actually trace back to some lines of dialogue here and there. But yes: moving on – the dialogue between these two was fantastic. I loved how well timed it was, how you showed the differing point of views quite well: Balasar’s cold yet undeniable sound reasoning, and Asseo’s belief that his life is determined by the gods. It wasn’t just dialogue thrown in for the heck of having it, but it moved the plot forward as you further fleshed both men out: Asseo deciding to give his life to Daja, and Balasar showing that he’s not as cruel as he seems to be on the surface. Also: I just loved how feisty both of the men were: the little mouse showing claws and defiance, when Balasar assumed he would just run away.

(Let them just kiss and have a bit of fun :P XD LOL Moving on.)

I love that Asseo is both a mixture of feisty and terrified in this chapter. It’s also heartbreaking that he feels that he deserves this ): But I also like it, because it’s a logical build-up from the character hints you’ve dropped here and there: how he always was so careful to ask what Daja wanted, how he allowed Daja to take control that one time, and how he always, always was so keen on treating Daja like a friend and lover rather than just as a toy. I think this chapter merely allowed Asseo to finally voice his feelings – that he loves Daja and wants to protect him. I love this, because I think that it might make him potentially dangerous in the future. He’s already showing hatred towards Balasar, and I think that more breaking (more rape and torture at the hands of Ira) is only going to give him more of a reason to want revenge at some point, maybe. Of course, that’s speculative at this point, but I do like that the last lines of this chapter hint at some growing determination within Asseo: to grow stronger and to numb his emotions so that he can become a better friend/protector towards Daja. Also, there was just something so heartbreaking and sad about him hearing Daja’s voice and being elated … but also too ashamed to come out to greet Daja D: Poor puppy – come and let me hug you ;_;

Yes, I care about those characters – and I am ashamed (or maybe not) but I kind of like Ira. He’s an utter bastard, of course, but the fact that he’s so unabashed about it, and so demeaning towards Asseo makes me love him. You don’t present him as a kind man, and that’s perfectly realistic and also makes the darker aspects of this story so much more authentic. Plus, the line about Asseo not flattering himself just made me grin XD. For some stupid reason probably, but I did like it XD.

Honestly, I cannot wait to see how Daja and Asseo will further interact: I do think that Asseo is being selfish and yet unselfish in wanting to protect Daja. It’s kind of implied that he’s not willing to let anyone else have Daja, maybe? I worry that he may not let Daja go, even if Daja himself does not want anything to do with him. But then again, Asseo seems like such a kind puppy, like someone who just wants Daja to be happy and safe. So I may just be speculating. What I’m honestly more curious about is how Balasar will further develop. He’s already showing that he’s more than just a looter.

But I need to end this review XD I don’t think I have anything else to say anymore other than LOVED THIS CHAPTER LOVE THIS STORY: I KEEP CLAMING THIS STORY ON THE RG BECAUSE I CANNOT GET ENOUGH
Hedonistic Opportunist chapter 8 . 5/31
Little things that I’m just mentioning for bookkeeping – you’re free to disregard them or come after me with a pitchfork. Okay, so you know that I love your similes: they’re really imaginative, and I do think that they convey a sense of beauty to your prose. But, on the other hand, there were instances in this chapter – especially at the beginning with Daja, where I didn’t feel that they added or amounted to much. Daja is already in a vulnerable state, and the lovely paragraphs about his confusion as to whether he’s dead or alive (or just wishing he was dead) already convey a lot of emotion, that I’m not sure we really need the comparisons to X and Y while he’s meeting Balasar for the first time. I think cutting down here would/could help to making your writing even smother, but as I say, YMMV :D On other hand, I do think it might just be that Daja’s POV is more emotionally charged than Balasar’s, so if that’s what you are going for: coolio, and I’m absolutely fond of that technique then :D

I was going to criticise the supposed POV shift in this chapter between Balasar and Daja in this chapter, but just reading through it: I realised that you kept in omniscient and never once let us glimpse into what Balasar is thinking after Daja passes out. That’s unexpectedly clever and a very natural/smooth solution to a problem that makes many a narrative confusing. I just so rarely see this done well that … welp, I am really pleased that you solved it this well XD. It makes this chapter a smooth read, and I really like how you keep Balasar’s thoughts in the dark, but still hint at the workings of his mind through the dialogue. But I’ll get to that later :D

I really, really loved this chapter, but more than anything I love, love how you flesh out Daja and Balasar (and everyone else). Let’s start out with Daja: I love that he’s emotionally wrought in this chapter, and so very humane in his reactions here: confused, in denial, wavering between hope and utter despair. I think you capture a multitude of emotions, rather than just having him lash out at the unfairness of his situation. I think that may come later, in fact; I think he’s too much in shock right now to even process what has really happened to him. And I like that you’re showcasing this so realistically. I also like that he’s just trying to make the best out of his situation: like latching onto protecting Asseo, because that’s the only person he’s got left from his former life. Of course, he’s a bit naïve here – assuming that Balasar is not manipulative and honest, but I think that fits in with the fact that he’s lead such a sheltered life up to now. I kind of like how you that into consideration, and also further flesh out Daja, by showing how easily embarrassed he gets when he thinks he’s out of line. I think that shows how he’s still used to pleasing others, rather than just thinking of herself (he’s a bit of a puppy like this, and I feel so sorry for him when he feels guilty for having survived; I sense that he’ll be having quite a bit of that too, as the story goes on ): I want to hug him). Honestly, I could talk eons about Daja and how loveable he is. He’s very human in how he reacts to everything, and – beyond that – I just think that he’s a very nice person so far. A bit gentle and also compassionate. I think he may just offset Balasar’s more practical/jaded approach to life, but we’ll get to the shipping later :D

I honestly love Balasar: yes, he’s a jerk in some ways, and very callous, but I think that’s only natural, given that he has to lead a troop of men who rape little boys for fun. He’s definitely in the grey zone though: the fact that he let Asseo live, because Asseo showed enough guts to defy him is kind of intriguing, but it’s also callous because he knows that Asseo is going through hell right now (being raped over and over again). I don’t think it’s just sheer curiosity that made Balasar keep Asseo alive, but sheer disgust for anyone who chooses to serve the gods. I very much like how you hint this through his dialogue with Daja, when he says that Daja is nothing special, but just one of many humans. At first glance, I think that’s a very cruel statement, but on the other, it shows that Balasar is a man who’s – maybe – got a very strong sense of every human being the same, and there being no such thing as a higher power that requires people to give up their lives for it. Sure, Balasar allows Asseo to be raped and clearly states that he’ll sell Daja – he also makes it clear that he’s an opportunist, but he’s also honest and showcases a sense of … tired jadedness over the accusations that both Oz and Jaleah toss at him in this chapter. I like that you hint that, deep down, Balasar is a very broken and lonely man (who lost someone he loved). At least, the fact that he didn’t want Jaleah to be taught a lesson and openly asked Oz for his opinion show that there is some goodness in this man.

Yes, I really loved your dialogue in this chapter: it flowed very well, and each line served as a fleshing out of Balasar’s character. I liked how it showed that he’s practical and rational but also bitter and judgemental (when he scoffed at Asseo). I liked how Jaleah’s angry words towards Balasar implied that she may have gone through horrible experiences herself (further evidenced by the shaking of her fists), and I like how she hinted at knowing that something had happened to Balasar in the past. I liked how Oz’s words were so brutally honest, but still gentle, showcasing what a great friend he is. I liked that Balasar was honest in his replies to Oz, but yet didn’t say anything. I love so much of the dialogue in this chapter that it’s about the main reason for my ‘criticism’ at the beginning. I just think that you do very, very well with your dialogue and body language of your characters. XDDDD Some of my favourite aspects of this story, in general, are the interactions between your characters and the great dialogue you have :D

I’m a big fan of how you wrote out Balasar and Daja’s first meeting – well, first conversation anyway. There were no hints of instalove, and Balasar did not spare Daja’s feelings. He quite frankly told him that he had nothing left to lose, and that the rest wasn’t going to last long. I should not enjoy this kind of brutal honesty (because hey it’s not sexy or romantic), but I feel that it makes their interactions quite … thrilling; I actually like that you’re showcasing their contrasts so much: Daja’s politeness and emotive nature coupled with Balasar’s far more pragmatic and cold approach to life. I cannot wait to see how they will clash and mash. The chemistry is already undeniably there, even if you have not made it explicitly sexual yet. But then I’m not reading this story just for the sake of romance – or that all.

You have a great plot and great characters – one of the things I appreciate the most is how you take your time with this story and really let us get to know everything. I cannot wait for the next few chapters :D
pumadelic chapter 6 . 5/31

A terse two line opener. Ramal is on the alert and we learn rumours of the ambush have reached the monks.


As usual, this is an accomplished blend of sensory detail, variation of sentence rhythm and some effective metaphors. - I like the desert hare racing for its burrow partly because it also serves to remind us that there will be no such refuge from the heat for Daja. Daja's understandable fears about his fate are vividly expressed - choking and cooking in his body as helplessly as a starved fish yanked from the protection of its muddy river to suffocate in the sun'. Loved 'the world melting inwards in a single black spiral' as an image for losing consciousness.


You very economically keep all the monks in character even as they accompany Daja to his final destination. Ramal is tough, sexy and protective; Kaffir a leering sadistic creep, and Isoba tender and protective even in death. Which upset me because you had created such a complex and sympathetic portrait there. I hope it wasn't meant to be karma for Isoba's role in maintaining a ritual he no longer really believed in but it is realistic that a few of them would die in the attack. Daja's preference for a flight from the tower shows he fears death itself less than a slow degrading death. His tears for Isoba, which he doesn't recognise at first, are moving because you have established that his training is supposed to have deprived him of spontaneous natural feelings. Asseo is trying to do the best thing for Daja but I'm more touched by Isoba really breaking the rules and telling Daja to live. Fantastic. Daja typically feels unworthy of all the slaughter committed in his 'service'. This is ironic because these men are dying for him so he can die for the gods.


Another strong point. Kaffir calling Daja 'rabbit' is suitably icky and all the conversations add to the themes, are realistic and in character. We learn more about Asseo's sense of connection with Daja as someone sharing his name day and the final interchanges between Daja and Isoba transcend the cliche of the usual deathbed grief, partly due to the wierdness of this particular situation -eg Isoba wasn't the one who was meant to die.


This is nicely paced. As we knew what was going to happen, it was a question of how Balasar would pull it off and when. Not too long spent on the actual fighting which is quite well described (fight scenes generally bore me in writing) It is right that it is Balasar himself who grabs Daja, and the moment of recognition prefigures interesting interactions to come. I know why you spared Asseo (and wish I didn't) so I'm not going to comment on that.


Daja remembers his dream and passes out in Balasar's arms. I understand why you've told it from Daja's pov but felt a desire to have Balasar's first impressions of Daja. Maybe not the best chapter for that.
Cheddar and Graham chapter 1 . 5/31
RG Depth review

That's a good line to open with - it ticks all the boxes: stirs up interest, is directly relevant to the premise, and introduces the MC. I think it could be improved just a tiny bit by actually linking the name Pandrigon to the man Balasar. Quick fix: just start the second sentence with his full name.

I won't talk about Balasar at this point, cause I'm pretty sure I'll be reviewing this again and I want to get a better picture of him first. I'll talk about the minister instead - I think he embodies a non-western worldview very well in his tacit acceptance of the supernatural, while watching out for no. 1. At the same time, he covers all his bases by not personally doing the deed, so presumably whatever consequences will be borne in full by Balasar. Top grade scheming, that...

I am very, very, pleased that the characters don't sound modern because that is one of my absolute top pet hates. If one of them had gone, "Don't give me that crap, dude." that would have immediately, as far as I was concerned, taken away at least 75% of this story's credibility. Instead, we get a witty exchange and I thoroughly enjoyed that.

Nicely paced, not too much information given all at once yet the premise was clearly presented. I'm not sure how big a role is given to the magical aspect of fantasy in this piece, ie whether the god is an actual god or just an abstract creation of mass superstition, but either way I think you're well able to carry it through based on what you've given us so far.
alltheeagles chapter 4 . 5/31
RG EF review

Hahaha… you answered my question in chp 2! Both of them, in fact. Riiighttty…. Darling Daja is so versatile. I think it’s sweet. Not in an awwww, how cute kind of way but Cool, he’s a complete guy. I like very much that he isn’t a total uke – it’s one of my pet hates how the submissive partner in slash is often so wimpy he might as well be a girl.
I like the gentleness of this chapter, and the melancholy beneath the passion. It’s sad not just because it is undoubtedly a parting scene, but because to Daja it was still ‘business’. I like the implication here, that though he’s given his body to many, he has never given his feelings, maybe because they have never been his own.
In conclusion? You’re making a fan of me.
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