|Reviews for The Hawk of Amberwood
| Dreamers-Requiem chapter 3 . 2/15/2014
You’re building up a very interesting story here, and I like how you let the reader glimpse a bit more of Aveline. It’s good to let us get to know more about her, to let us make up our own minds rather than relying on the possibly bias view of Saeo. On a side note, I love the names you use, as it makes the characters very distinctive. I would suggest watching out for grammar; it’s not a major issue, but when using speech tags (she said, he said, he asked, etc) the speech needs to end in a comma and the speech tag itself should be a lowercase. (Unless you’re using a question mark or exclamation mark) Good luck, looking forward to the next chapter!
| Dreamers-Requiem chapter 2 . 9/1/2013
Really small grammatical thing I picked up on; ["You'll be wanting to go out and play then?" The big man asked,] ["You're going to go watch Danwyn's bird hunt." He corrected her dryly.] Speech tags, such as ‘asked’, ‘said’, etc, should have lower case letters, and unless you have a question or exclaimantion mark (as in the first one), there should be a comma. So, for example, (play then?” the big man asked) (bird hunt,” he corrected her). At the moment, there doesn’t seem to be a lot going on, which might make some readers feel a little bored. Not saying you have to have action constantly, but along with the paw prints they find and the ending, you might want to throw some stuff in there to keep the reader engaged, especially in terms of characters, emotions, etc. You can build a lot on what the characters are feeling. Good luck.
| Dreamers-Requiem chapter 1 . 5/12/2013
I think you have a really nice, solid start here. The opening was a little on the cliché side, but I think the writing style made it enjoyable enough to read. The characters are clearly defined, and really bring life to the story. Engaging, which is always good, and nothing slipped into being too confusing. There were a few minor things but it looks like other reviewers have caught them already. The only tiny thing I could add is the POV; it seems firmly rooted in Saeo’s POV, but near the end it slips into Marius’. I’d suggest keeping with Saeo’s. Good luck.
| Aaron Davis chapter 1 . 3/12/2013
Really excellent character and exposition work. :D You managed to work a very simple scene (barmaid serves drinks to rowdy men) into a compelling first peak at the world and characters. I want to know more about Saeo, and especially about Mistress Aveline :), as well as more context of the world.
A really good way to start a story IMHO because this could be a short fable or an epic series and it would work either way. I especially like how you seamlessly introduce exposition while moving the primary narrative along, definitely something to note for me.
I don't know what version you're on, this is mostly very polished, but here are a few small technical points that effect the flow of the story a little (it's always easier to edit someone else's work)
1) "Bring us out the bear and mead..."
Suggestion: I think you mean "...beer and mead..."
2) "It'd be a lean night if she caught you with all that..."
Suggestion: During this exchange I think you should italicize and maybe capitalize any "she" that refers to Mistress Aveline or possibly distinguish her with inner-quotes (i.e. 'She'), as using "she" to refer to Saeo in the same paragraph, was a little confusing. You may also want to mention to the reader that they are referring to another "She" or even to the owner of the establishment, but I think you can pull off keeping Mistress Aveline as an ominous/unkown "She" so long as it's clearly distinguished from Saeo.
3) "She found herself wishing, not for the first time, that the Spirit of Freedom would lead him back soon."
Suggestion: I think this is meant as foreshadowing, "the Spirit of Freedom" is capitalized so I want to say it's a boat or something, but then it could also be a colloquial term for wanderlust, a myth, really a lot of things... while that openness leaves us readers more to consider, the way it's just mentioned to the side here and the fact that it sounds sort of literal (she could be literally referring to a spirit of freedom or her fathers free spirit as much as anything else), makes me stop too long and go "huh?"
4) "An angry creature in the back of Saeo's throat screamed at the injustice,"
Suggestion: I might go for "the back of Saeo's *mind" on this one, as you refer to it again later as a "screaming creature" my first impression was that Saeo was actually making a noise.
Anywho, those are just little tidbits that snagged me away from a very well written first chapter, and I don't want to be snagged away from it at all, quite the opposite.
| Kay Iscah chapter 1 . 3/8/2013
Not bad, could use a little polish, particularly with grammar. But kudos for writing a song that actually reads like a song.
I don't have any strong feelings about Saeo yet, but she's fleshed out enough for a first chapter.
You seem to always lead dialogue paragraphs with the dialogue, and I'd consider breaking that pattern here and there to help with sentence flow.
| burlap chapter 1 . 3/6/2013
You've done a great job of introducing your characters, as well as a small amount of the plot. It seems quite intriguing thus far, but you do seem to be doing a lot of telling and much less showing.
I also noticed a few things:
"words!"Called" -a space is missing between "called" and the end quotation mark.
"horse whose drunk" -this "whose" should be "who's"; whose is used in possession, while "who's" is a contraction of "who is".
"upstairs balcony, and felt" -a comma shouldn't be used there.
" pushing it, dad." She murmured" -first thing, "dad" should be capitalized. The second thing is just general dialogue rule: if your dialogue would normally end with a period but has a speaker tag following the quotation (i.e., he said, she said, she murmured), then the dialogue ends with a comma instead and the speaker would start with a lower case letter instead of an upper case letter (i.e., he, she) unless it is the speaker's name. If your dialogue ends with a question mark or exclamation point, the same applies (but without the comma).
| Daisy215 chapter 1 . 3/2/2013
I enjoyed the beginning and how she seems to be in with the guys, her singing the song and laughing with them really caught my attention as an opener. I was a bit confused on the coin part for awhile, but I finally got it. The description is good, how they smell or tar and dirty laundry for example. I also like the way you had the back story of the town and the bar not being a town bar. I didn't understand her anger about being bought winter boots though. She was upset about how she earned the money, but it was going toward her expenses right?
The ending didn't really seem like a good place to stop, I didn't feel like it was complete or that you were left with a cliffhanger, it just sort of ended.
| RemnantsOfSyreal chapter 1 . 3/1/2013
Posting in the Roadhouse isn't bad, the Review Game forums are even better for feedback.
With that in mind, I've got a couple of thoughts bouncing around. Your writing is pretty damn solid, as far as prose and structure are concerned. You got a smile and a laugh from me with that limerick early on, and it reads very smoothly. A couple minor formatting issues are present, but nothing too egregious.
The dialogue is used quite well. You managed to convey tone in just a couple lines rather well, and it all reads naturally. Nothing sounds out of place or overwrought.
You've all ready got the makings of several flesh and blood characters. Each of them reads as an interesting human being with quirks and flaws of their own, and I rather enjoyed the dichotomy you presented with the mistress. I found myself both sympathetic and loathing her in the same paragraph, and that is tough to pull off.
All in all I'd say you have the makings of a great story, and I want to read more. Keep posting, and feel free to pm me if you have any specific questions or concerns :)
| Dr. Self Destruct chapter 1 . 2/28/2013
[My love will see me riding home, 'Your bloody drunk' she'll scream!]
Typo - you're
[It had reached that time of night when drinking songs started to some out,]
Typo - come
[they really weren't such a bad collection of men, apart from the smell of pine tar and unwashed laundry they always brought with them. ]
Need commas after pine and tar.
[ and feel a spike of panic shoot through her chest.]
Typo - felt
[Saeo stick out her tongue at the back of her head.]
Typo - stuck
[She set down her stack of dirty dishes and began to climb the stairs as slowly she I could.]
Typo - as slowly as she could?
[Stiffly, she dug the silver coin out of her pocket and drop it into Mistress Aveline's hand.[
Typo - dropped
Dialogue: I notice you seem to have a habit of separating your dialogue and the following speaker tags/paragraph. I'm not sure if this is a stylistic thing, but it makes reading the dialogue very jarring. For example, you have:
["It'd be a lean night if she caught you with all that."
The man said, a subtle warning in his tone as he whisked a pan of dark gravy.]
Which should just be formatting like this:
"It'd be a lean night if she caught you with all that," the man said, a subtle warning in his tone as he whisked a pan of dark gravy.
The way you have it now also uses incorrect dialogue punctuation, so you may want to look up a guide on Google on how to format it if you're unsure. The reason dialogue runs into a speaking tag with a comma is because it's all one sentence. The only time you'd normally make dialogue and action into two sentences is when it's an action... like this:
"How are you?" She shook his hand.
As opposed to the speaker tags of:
"How are you?" she said.
So yeah, I'd highly recommend fixing the formatting of the dialogue and not separating it the way it is now. I'm all for experimentation and stuff, but I don't think the way you have it is helping your story.
[like reaching out to stroke a vicious animal; you know that something unpleasant is going to happen, but you're aren't sure how agonizing it's going to be until you feel the claws sink in.]
I really like this simile, but maybe pick a specific animal so this isn't so vague. It'll make it easier to picture. Maybe some type of large cat.
[It had something to do with the shape of her nose, and the way her brow would furrow over her eyes until they were almost not there.]
I really like this description. It's specific and detailed, and it helps me picture her expression really easily. I think you do a great job describing your characters; instead of listing out vague physical descriptions, you focus on one thing that makes them unique from each other.
[Her curiosity dissolved at once, turning into snowflakes that froze her insides.]
Another very nice description. Very unique.
Enjoyment: Overall I enjoy this first chapter. I really like the atmosphere you developed in the beginning, and the tavern setting really brings me back to the old fantasy books I used to read. The one thing this first chapter is lacking, though, is sort of a reason for the reader to continue. Creating some intrigue is what will carry a reader forward. Maybe give Saeo more of a desire to leave, and divulge a bit more on her attitude toward leaving. I think that will create some drive for the reader to want to see if Saeo eventually accomplishes this wish. Another idea might be to include one of the men in your summary in this chapter (that's assuming she meets them in the tavern). They don't have to play a huge part, but introducing them and having Saeo notice them (though not talk to them, if you don't want her to) will create some questions for the reader, like "who is that man?" or "is he the one who's going to help her get out of this place?" Things like that. It'll give people the drive to keep reading and wanting to know what'll happen next.
Hope you found this review helpful!
| nightfuries chapter 1 . 1/17/2013
I'm really excited to see where this goes! The only off-putting thing is the formatting. Like the other reviewer said, start a new paragraph each time someone different talks. Also, commas are used in dialogue tags. For example:
"This will go toward your winter boots." She says, all business.
Should actually be:
"This will go toward your winter boots," she says, all business.
But otherwise, great start to the story! I really like Saeo so far, and I can't wait to read more!
| Torre chapter 1 . 1/9/2013
Not quite a review, though I would love to read and review in the future if you fix the formatting issue.
I find it really difficult to read stories that aren't formatted, and you haven't formatted the dialogue; a new line when a character speaks, and a new line if another character replies.
Not doing so turns it into a bit of a word wall, and makes it really hard to determine who is saying what.