|Reviews for The Queen of the Dawn|
| Shampoo Suicide chapter 1 . 7/24
Congrats on the WCC!
I really love the fairy-tale vibe of the beginning section. The way you open, with In all the West followed by the lush scenery description of the kingdom really evoked that for me. It helps, of course, that it's about a far off kingdom, that's probably an instant connection for most. But even the backstory of ending civil war and talking about his son and of course the story of the red prince brought up that feeling for me, and it's in large part to the language used I think. So I'm sure it was an intentional mood you were going for, and it really came across and worked for me.
It was a cool introduction to the Queen of the Dawn character too. I like that you managed to weave the details in of it naturally through the king warning his son. It was also a good introduction to the character of Hal and we learn a lot about him through his dissatisfaction with his insulted life and need to explore.
I really liked that the vibe shifted later though, at Hard ground broke his fall it didn't feel so much like the same fairy-tale sort of storytelling. I liked that shift because it made it clear the first part, while compelling, were details needed to get to the main storyline and it was done in such a clever way. Like the voiceover narration to the beginning of a movie almost. I always describe things in movie terms, I don't know why haha XD
Overall an enjoyable chapter! The voice is so different from your other writing, but I enjoyed the departure all the same! I'm intrigued by the plot concept as well and looking forward to reading more and seeing it develop, the idea of having him cursed with this impossible desire while already having this yearning dissatisfaction building in him was very cool. Nicely done!
| lookingwest chapter 11 . 7/21
Like everyone else, I'm impressed by the imagery in this chapter, and I love the fairy-tale devices, as always. The "twig-like" fingers line everyone pointed out is one that I also enjoyed and stuck out for me too, but I also just liked the imagery of the opening scene in general with Hal and his hatchet.
Perhaps my only criticism is a bit of a nit-pick on paragraphs 5 and 6 - both felt a little list-like, like "Hal did this" "Then Ann did this" "Then Hal did this" - but that sensation did not last very long and was broken up when Hamon speaks. Other that that, the image of them just eating the raven soup was also very atmospheric in a dark, subtle way. It backdrops with the fire and cold nicely for the ensuing conversation!
Since this chapter is dominated primarily by dialogue and exposition, yes, it's a little transparent in regards to seeing the technique you're using as a writer (but I think that transparency is only obvious to other writers), for the average reader, this technique works wonders, *and* I think it also keeps with that "fairy-tale" tradition I keep spouting on about. It's almost meta, in that way too, because this is a story about a king and Hamon is telling us stories about kings.
The story Hamon tells about King Edmund feels like it could be its own novel, for instance, and I *loved* and envy your ingenuity in that sense, with the plotting of it all. I'm so bad with plotting, lol. And I'm reading through this and I'm like "damn, she just made a book inside a book." XD
I think my favorite parts of the story were the bits about the Dark Lady and then even Edmund's two daughters, and their fates. It's quite sad, but also a nice juxtaposition almost with Aurora and Hal's story. While Aurora is someone I was quite wary of, in comparison to the DL, she's an angel and treats Hal with a lot of respect, very obviously shown by the fact Hal's still alive, haha. I also have to wonder if there was any foreshadow going on in that earlier tale - anything we might see crop up again as Hal's journeys. I would not mind seeing the DL come back, for instance!
Explaining the reason for realistic storytelling within this chapter was also a nice nod to oral tradition. I agree with eagles about how things can take on a more mythical quality as they're retold and retold, people add things, etc. This isn't really a story for entertainment though, but more a history - it just made me think a lot about Beowulf and how it's original tellings probably lacked such a strong Christian influence, but since the story was finally scribed down by a monk, a lot of that pagan backdrop is really downplayed and replaced/retold to fit a different grand narrative. Anyway, I digress.
I liked the ending and the return to Ann since she doesn't play a large role in the history (though I do like the reference her Hamon makes in regards to his own family history and how he hopes to keep these stories alive). The comparison between Ann and Hal's father staring into the fire made for a nice chilling last line, especially providing perspective on what Hal's absence did to his people. Overall, I leave this chapter feeling like he's undergone a huge amount of character development from Ch. 1 - as seen by his pausing to learn a thing or two, and not jump right into battle, and the care he takes to put his people first. Now that I'm all caught up, I can poke you to update this soon too! ;D thanks for the read!
| lookingwest chapter 10 . 7/19
Opening - I liked the use of dialogue for the opening, it got right to the point and also did wonders for world building and showing how different the world is in comparison to when Hal last left it - already I could feel from the opening that things had changed. Oh! And your opening also establishes Hal's age too. I thought dialogue-wise you did good with the accents. I'm horrible at accents like that, so I commend you with keeping the convo going in such a convincing manner. Plus the rest of the chapter's dialogue as well. But it really shined in your opening :)
Ending - The last paragraph was a good summation of where Hal's at character-wise this chapter. He's very one-minded, not so much thinking about his past or even how he's come there. It seems like Aurora was unfortunately easily forgotten by him. But I like the determination in the ending dialogue, and for a last line, it does well to establish foreshadow and the next main plot line!
Character - Hal the Old Man! It doesn't seem to phase him much - I suppose it wouldn't since he probably expected the changes. But I was surprised, actually - I didn't realize that most of the destruction he was seeing was over such a large span of time. But then again, I think it fits and is very believable - it made me wonder "why didn't I think that, duh!" haha. He seems to be back to his one-dimensional self though... I remember him feeling this way in the opening of the novel - mostly in regards to how he kills that boy and doesn't think a whole lot of it. He does have a moment of pause where I think(?) he detests his actions, but he doesn't dwell on them. This probably goes hand in hand with his one-track personality - it seems to focus so intently on one thing a lot of the time, the rest goes by the wayside. That was true here with his opening actions.
Setting - I thought it was going to be really awkward that he followed the boy back to the village after just killing a boy - as in, I was wondering if there would be a wailing mother anywhere and was thinking "dude you just killed a child and you don't think anyone's going to be upset about that?" but again - seems like the world has been wrought so horribly these past generations that yep, nobody really cares. I doubt the kids even have parents after the characterization of the village here. Especially the intro of Ann and her father. I thought that was a very natural way to introduce more world building and mythology on Red Richard. It didn't feel forced at all for background info!
Overall a great chap - really honing in on that fairy tale tradition with Hal's character. I like that. Congrats on winning the WCC!
| D.L. Keys chapter 7 . 7/12
So time is passing, and Hal can't really tell how fast, a bit like for Oisin in Tir Na nOg, only this is more epic and exciting.
I like the clever way you weave in Hal's dreams and visions, though I'd have liked to have heard more of his inner voice.
Wonderful storytelling - love it.
| D.L. Keys chapter 4 . 7/12
An action-packed chapter, and you've described the motions really well. The movements flowed so I could imagine them all, and the pacing was good.
I liked getting a better glimpse at Hal's inner workings here, too.
| D.L. Keys chapter 3 . 7/12
Chapters 2 & 3:
I liked how you described the Prince's journey and the encounter he made along the way.
Very fairytale-like: he is warned, and he knows of the dangers that a wait him, and still he feels compelled to continue on his quest.
The wise woman you have living on the outskirts of the world is an interesting character. She can help him with her knowledge of the dragon, and she is also the temptation that lies along the way of our hero, a forbidden attraction that might keep him tied up too long, perhaps.
One small thing I might note: If I was working on this, I'd make some changes to the part where Hal is lying in the hidey hole as the dragon fire engulfs the world above - I'd love to have read some of the panic he would have felt at the heat, rather than the part where you describe his skin feeling as though it would burst open. I think the heat would have made it very claustrophobic in that hole, and physical damage by heat makes it difficult to hold still - he would have to have been an exceptionally controlled person to endure that kind of thing, maybe have had an inner protection, an inner safe-place to go.
Overall, I enjoyed reading these two chapters very much.
| D.L. Keys chapter 1 . 7/9
Loved the writing here, very interesting beginning that pulled me into the story fairly quickly. Your descriptions are well-balanced, and the dialogues are comprehensively delivered.
| lookingwest chapter 9 . 7/6
I was not surprised at all to see that Hal has chosen plot-wise to stay behind and return to the world of mortals! I was a little surprised that Aurora was so relaxed about letting him go - I mean, she was visibly upset and I liked the mention of the mist around her and the crying - especially her like "We feel sorrow" - it was really sad! But I think her reaction of letting him go and even claiming that plot-wise he was never actually trapped or forced to stay says a lot about their relationship, in a way. I mean, at the beginning of this story (it's kind of actually similar to how I feel about Clay and Stella!) I was thinking that they were doomed for each other, in a way, and that Aurora would totally take advantage of him and ruin his life - likewise, because Hal was very immature, if I recall, at the start of this story. BUT as it turns out, I think they both genuinely love each other, especially Aurora, and I do buy at this point that she wouldn't want to totally force him to do something. Somehow, at the end of all this, they ended up in a pretty healthy relationship considering the uh, goddess-ness and immortal realm and Kingdom bits, heh. I think I sort of mentioned that last chapter too, but it was especially evident here when they actually have the conversation about Hal leaving for good.
Which, uh, plot-wise (I hope they don't leave each other for good - there was PERHAPS a foreshadow of a happy ending towards the end there when he asks if he will ever be able to return. I don't it will be that simple. But we shall see if it ever pans out. For now, the romance between them feels authentic, for sure.)
I liked the way that their first conversation on the subject ended up escalating into sexy time, haha. It perhaps felt a little repetitious to have the same thing happen again in the next part, though obviously have a different kind of outcome to it, but that's perhaps my only point of tension with this chapter and I don't have any alternatives. The sexy time, I feel, is a bit necessary because that's also one of the last times they'll be together (it's actually interesting Aurora didn't try to have a "Last Night Party Bash with Hal" night, heh). But overall, I liked how their conversations both times led into those two different moments where Aurora is trying for the immortal life of her to get Hal to see how lucky he is right here with her in her world. I think... I don't know - there's this interesting implication that if he would've just whined / demanded enough he would've gotten to go on the chariot with Aurora in earlier parts of their time together. I don't know if that would've actually led to any different of an outcome here (if he had a bit more freedom and autonomy like she does world-wise), but I'm choosing to see it less supernatural, and more - Aurora did not want him to come because he would literally see his kingdom in ruins and want to go back like he does here. That explains maybe the ease in which she bends / allows him to come with her this time when he demands it. Or maybe from a supernatural angle, once he gets on the chariot, there's no getting off unless he's back in the mortal realm? Either way, I think there are enough explanations to explore!
Setting-wise, per usual I enjoyed seeing Aurora toy and play with her worlds, especially the way she can move both her and Hal around with such various ease. I liked in the second conversation they're having, how she tries to show him the mountains and trees, etc. and how you describe the grandeur of all of it. It does take on a magical and mystical quality so well. I also liked the inclusion / mention again of the Lord of the Dead and how he's toying with Hal in a way, too. It makes me worry for Hal if that is indeed the real enemy here besides the dragon. There are a lot of interested parties, heh.
Let's see - the ending was very powerful regarding imagery and the feelings of Hal. I kinda had to cringe a little at the description of "brain on fire" - yikes! But I liked the incorporation of sound and touch and how those both come together to create a punchy and scary ending. The attention to noise and what Hal hears - the noise turning "sharp and shrill" is a great word choice to compliment the "eye sockets" and "filling his skull" of the whiteness. If I knew he didn't stay immortal (since Aurora explains that he still gets to earlier) I have to wonder if maybe his immortal "glow" heh, is what's being taken away here, leaving only the ability to withstand the ages as the only thing he has with him as a mortal. I wonder also if this means he can't die - like even if he's stabbed or something, he'll still keep on truckin' - which I suppose would be a good perk to trying to turn your Kingdom around, but I could also see that pissing of the Lord of the Dead. Or maybe I'm ascribing too much personality to that figure and Dead Lord really doesn't care about anything but his dead, heh.
Anyway, thanks for the read mb!
| Jalux chapter 11 . 7/4
It's interesting that we get this contrast of Hal living in the palace to the start here where he's chopping wood and helping the elderly. Or even to him before as prince, it's nice characterization to see and makes him more likable to most readers I would think since he chose this over life with Aurora. I think it was good to have Hal learn of what happened through Hamon as it seems realistic and avoids an information dump. The detail you delved into was just enough to give me all the details but not enough to ruin the pacing. Also just on your dialogue, always nice to see you break it up with actions and thoughts, it keeps the dialogue flowing nicely without feeling repetitive. Also I sensed Hamon is a little resentful of Hal, it seemed through his dialogue he felt Hal played a huge role in the kingdom's fall by running away basically which I felt was a nice detail, or maybe I'm digging too deep? Good chapter anyway.
| lookingwest chapter 8 . 7/3
WELL HAL. This is what happens! This is what happens when you abandon your kingdom even though your Dad says not to! THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS, HAL. I mean, his Dad did tell him not to go, right? Haha. And then he went. And then this all happened. All's I can say is - oh my goodness, I really really hope that this sort of Mega Regret does not actually happen with Stella over in Loreley Island. I mean, he also does live on an island. So hopefully Anthony doesn't turn into a dragon and destroy it all. Anywayyyyyy. So the irony is strong with this one regarding the dragon at the ending. That was pretty horrifying. I thought you worked wonders leading up to that in the last scene. Great ending punch.
When Hal speaks with Aurora in the opening scene, I really liked their conversation and how you had Aurora speaking in multiple voices. I know you've used those details previously, but I just really appreciate how you keep weaving them in. Also, basically everything she says is really cool and fantastical, lol. Have you ever read the Elric Saga? This just reminds me of the first book. You might actually like it if you could find it! There's just a lot of super rich imagery that really works here. Like "the forever tower" - like omg, you don't even need to go into super detail, that just *sounds cool* ya know? But I liked the details about it later, with the thrones of gold that are actually made up of light. That's awesome. In Elric, there's a throne carved out of a single massive ruby. See? Just cool fantasy stuff, exactly how I like my fantasy.
So anyway, the scene with Aurora and Hal talking was probably my favorite, just because I really enjoy the world building, especially the details about the Underworld king. That's an interesting plot point, especially because his manipulation also proves to be true. If only Hal was like "well this is my own fault, I'm sure it will work itself out without me" haha - that would make the Underworld dude annoyed. Hal's kinda gotta watch himself on all accounts, you know? I'm sure he'll want to plot-wise do something about this plague on his people - but will it be from a god-like stance, or will he try to go against Aurora? That would suck. I don't think she'd like that very much. Really oddly enough, I kind of like Aurora? Like I know if Hal betrayed her she'd probably be like, "well, there's another "love of my life" gone again, just another notch on my girdle" BUT for some reason I still think it's eyeroll worthy if Hal does betray their love just to go save his people because I almost guarantee that decades later on his death bed he'd be all, "Ohh if ONLY I could return to that magical place where I was immortal. Holding this squirming baby just isn't the same as a goddess' lovely breasts." and all his grandchildren will be like, "Ew grandpa's getting delusional again." AHEM. Just saying.
Okay. Where even am I in this review? Totally all over, haha. OH. Setting. I talked a bit about that, yeah, but I liked the details about the earth being round. Look, Hal, she's even giving you geography lessons. But okay I'm not sure advocating that all his people die in horrible ways either (your descriptions were spot on sad / gruesome about that) BUT I don't know, I just hope / strive for as a reader, a happy ending where he can have both worlds, haha. That doesn't happen much in fairy tales / fantasy, drats. The effect of spinning through the world was really cool. I liked all the little details about the other parts of countries and people - and hey, off topic from that, but even about the mythology of how a dragon's immortality. It's a really nice explanation for why we're sort of in the fantastical world we're in, but still in "ours" at the same time - it's just that everyone's become a story. WHOA, so meta! Haha.
Enjoyed this chapter! The plot thickens! I can't wait to see what it has in store for Hal and Aurora's relationship, though.
| lookingwest chapter 7 . 5/24
Ya know, I was kinda skeptical of this opening while I was reading this chapter - and not the very first opening part, but the second part where the chapter I feel, kicks off the most. When we go into this "tell" mode with Hal and him sleeping with his Queen etc. etc. and the death of his father - I was willing to go along with it (wondering if it was some kind of dream, either way), but it did feel like the "tell" aspect of it drug on a little too long for me? The thing is though, I'm not quite sure how to suggest ever alleviating that, because by the mid-point, then it all *is* revealed to be a dream. It's a unique technique though, and I do like the strange quality of it really feeling like it lasts more than just a moment of sleep, and I think by the end here, I feel won over looking at these three chapters as a whole. It works, and the technique itself after the reveal of the dream make it worthwhile.
I will note though - I did have to read the paragraph where he "awakens" after reading the tapestries over again because I wasn't 100% sure that he was really "waking up" with the reference to the wings, etc. But by the next paragraph when he starts speaking to Aurora, I knew what had happened and been revealed. Again, not sure if you could add anything else really into it, but if I'm the only reviewer who had any trouble, eh, I wouldn't bother, haha.
Things really started to straighten out here plot-wise again, I was wondering what might be in store for Hal after the last chapter, but I like that there's the feature of his unrest that's brought up while he's in Aurora's realm. It harkens back to Ch. 5 again where she told him she'd give him anything and he would never want - but clearly not being able to leave is gong to be the one thing that he really wants. Poor Hal, I doubt there's really a loophole there like it looks like, but I'm very intrigued to see how he might handle this - if he'll go behind Aurora's back (attempt) or if he'll start arguing with her about wanting to go. The device of the spirits of the Green Isle sending his future son to him was very spooky and uncanny. I liked that moment - especially the detail that he had no eyes.
One of my favorite moments character-wise in this chapter was when Hal looked at himself in the mirror, and how at first the mirror was split apart. There was some wonderful imagery regarding writing that followed, but I think it also becomes a great moment for the reader to see how Hal has visually changed due to his journey, even if a lot of it has to do with his transformation into an immortal being. His reliance going back on hunting to try to pass the time was also a nice facet of his continued characterization, and I liked the idea that it just isn't enough because of the way the animals act. The changing landscape was described wonderfully too.
I loved the imagery of Aurora riding off on her chariot, etc. and Hal's paragraph about how he first appreciates the beauty but then starts to envy her freedom. That was such a rich a paragraph for both characters. I really commend though that Hal is making an effort here - but I think his future son appearing was the last straw. I have to say, he feels much more likable this round than in the first few chapters, if I remember correctly. Thanks for the read! (3/3)
| lookingwest chapter 6 . 5/24
Cool, cool, part 6! Okay so, I wanted to start this one out talking about the opening. Oh - I think the reason I felt like I was missing something last chapter is that I misunderstood the sibyl and Tesana as two separate characters - but that was cleared up for me in the beginning here, because he catches Aurora between phases and the wording is clearer. I suppose maybe my advice would be to just call Tesana always by her name after she's introduced, and never use her title "the sibyl" after he learns her name, but this could also just have to do with my abilities reading on FP, and again, the gaps. I'm glad I got it straightened out though (I believe). For a "waking-up" opening, this was again, chuck full of imagery, and like I mentioned already, I liked the imagery of when he takes off her blindfold again.
This chapter was the most surreal of the three that I read today - I almost feel like there was some strange setting blending going on here, where they sort of transcend the cavern at some point and there's perhaps the shift into her realm? I didn't feel like the settings were completely concrete, but that adds to the surrealism which I really did like here. The bit with the cottage though, like when he has to search for her and finds her so quickly - all that I believe was happening having shifted from the cavern into a new more magical space? I enjoyed the fluidity of place here throughout.
Since I know where we end up in Ch. 7 - looking at this right now, I'm wondering what the significance of the dragon again is... I mean, when I was reading it came across as very fleeting for Aurora, like she'd done this sort of thing before to many men (and perhaps that's true as well, though I do feel by the next chap things are a bit genuine), but since it doesn't come up again and Hal has left this space behind by the next chapter, I just wonder if it was only here just to create a bit of tension OR if the dragon fire is essential to sort of build Hal into the "god" that he becomes. I like thinking the latter. I do like the line about dragons not dying only once though.
Well, I gotta talk about the sex scene, heh. I liked it a lot. I thought you did a great job, like another reviewer mentioned, making it pretty hot but actually referencing little direct sexual moments, like anatomy. It was poetic but also strange (in a good way) - due to the dichotomy between desire and violence, I think. The imagery gets very forceful. Especially when Hal is overcome and basically is shouting "I have to have you" at her - in that sense it also feels very mystical or that there's this higher magical power that's also drawing out his desire. Which makes me wonder what's up with the summary / other facet of this story where he's struck with a desire he can't get rid of - is that the desire to have her? I can't quite remember Ch. 1. BUT anyway, and then the violence of the line "slew her" as well as a euphemism for penetration. I also liked the imagery / attention paid to the hip movement. Overall, intriguing and well done once again! Though others lamented plot here, I think characterizing both of them / their relationship is an essential part of Hal's story before moving forward. (2/3)
| lookingwest chapter 5 . 5/24
Hello, hello! I did something weird this time with Depth multi and I actually read all 3 chapters in a row without stopping to review each time. So if I start to blend the chaps together or talk about one and then the other, I apologize. I'll try to keep everything straight and tidy - the only downfall is I know what happens afterwards for Ch. 5 and 6 haha. Anyway, just thought I'd mention.
So it's been such a long weird time for me reading this story from when I first started - and I'm trying to get things straight but I just want to make sure because I couldn't even figure it out by reading other reviewers' reviews of this chap (which can sometimes help, but not clearly in this case). So the sibyl, Tesana, and the Queen of the Dawn have turned out in this chapter to be all the same person, right? But the sybil and Tesana are just different facets of the goddess? If I'm wrong, just let me know. The next two chaps didn't really clear up that question either, but I at least got for sure that Tesana was the Queen, just a different part of her - I'm guessing that's why she speak in "we" and "us" because she sort of has multiple incarnations? If so, I like that characterization.
So plot-wise because of the above reveal, I felt like this chapter really got somewhere with progression on Hal finding the Queen, which was kind of his first task, right? I thought it might take a bit longer than it did but it was cool to see it come above mid-novel, it makes me wonder what the rest might be about, though having read Ch. 7 I'm guessing it will have to do with Hal trying to leave her. I feel like overall - while when I was first reading, the Queen felt a little shady in this chapter promising love and immortality, in the end I think she really does desire Hal and love him, though it's kind of like one of those fairy tale deals where if he goes out of bound from what she says, he could end up breaking both their hearts. But yeah, I liked the intensity of her offer and when reading I was very exciting to see that he does eat the dragon heart at the end!
Well, I'm going to sound like a broken record by the time I get to reviewing Ch. 7, but of course, your writing was very well done this chapter. Though there was a lot of dialogue, the writing managed to weave in a lot of poetics even with that - like towards the ending when Aurora (that's the Queen's name right? Is that sort of the *true incarnation* of her, and then Tesana and the sibyl are different aspects?) when she really selling Hal on the idea of immortality and joining her in her realm. I think what I find most interesting too, is when she tells him that he will "want for nothing and your greatest desires shall be fulfilled!" because as we learn by Ch. 7 - that isn't so at all. In this sense, it makes me wonder if she is blatantly lying, OR if she just has a misunderstanding of what he would want and that she actually can't fulfill it, much like gods usual underestimate or misunderstand mortals and humans in things like greek myth, etc.
Otherwise, writing-wise, that last paragraph was so rich. I know I'm talking about the ending a lot, but that's what really swept me up here, I think. That and when the blindfold of Aurora is taken off and Hal describes her eyes as stars that "sear his sight" and the tresses of her hair that seem like they're on fire. That really correlates here with the last paragraph - I like the imager with all that "fire" - words like "boil" and "melt" - it all fits into that theme rather nicely. Great way to end, with some excellent writing. (1/3)
| lookingwest chapter 4 . 5/11
Haha, so, I'm sure you'd prefer reviews on your other stuff. But ta' here I am! It's also been a long long long long long time since I've read this story, but it turns out I'm on ch. 4, and I do recall a bit from seeing your summary - so I'll go ahead and get started! Apologies if there are things that I ask or allude to that I don't know or I've simply forgotten, by the way, but I hope it comes back quick!
From what I do remember in regards to this story, I recall not being a total fan of Hal and his attitudes, kind of (now that I've read more of your work) in a similar way to how I feel about Clay, actually, haha. He's another man with an obsession (perhaps that you're theme ;D) and in this sense I think they share sometimes a little bit of selfish qualities. But I mean, I like that about Clay and Hal. They're complex and real people in that way - with flaws. Not totally likable, but real! I saw that happening a bit with Hal when he talks about Tesana and what he wants to do with her - make her his Queen, etc. and how he isn't really thinking about if she says no to him or what she wants. I mean he does consider that she doesn't want to leave her home, but then negates it, ya know?
What I also remember and has stuck with me is the wonderful descriptions in this story. It's fabulous and this chapter is no different from how I remember. I enjoyed the opening descriptions in regards to the setting and then also later of course with the dragon - but the opening with even "night cloaked the land" - so great! The literary devices are expertly used here but not overly flowery. That was a huge highlight in this chapter. The action scenes were also wonderful in regards to the bit with the golden arrow. It reminds me of this Grecian myth but I can't for the life of me remember which one...but just that imagery - it also harkens to myths like that and fairy tales. Love love love, heh.
His obsession with the dragon at the end, I felt, really captured the climax of him killing it - that desperation of everything else being pushed away and him obsessively like "the dragon must die" was something I felt was realistic... Not that I've ever killed a dragon before, but when in life and death situations, I feel that emotion would be laid very bare, all previous hookups disposed of.
Fun story point to jump into again! Thanks for the read! So poetic!
| Jalux chapter 10 . 4/18
Interesting how Hal has changed into an old man basically, it's something we were told through Aurora but being able to hear it through the bandits through to loot and kill him was a nice touch. Also cool to see his immortality at work here, you show us rather then tell us with the bandits trying to stab him to death only for him to shrug it off. I do wonder why Hal is so quick to murder the youth though? Is it because he's angry at what his kingdom has become or perhaps he just woke up and retaliated in self-defense. I suppose it is explained in that he feels slightly guilty. Cool scene where you show the youths reacting to his eyes as well. It's a good reminder to us that although Hal is back in the human realm he is anything but human (I mean there are other signs of course like the knife part but this really stood out).
So Hal finds out it's been a century or more since his time and you do feel terrible for him knowing everyone he loved is dead. He does sink to his knees but I do wonder if we need more of a reaction from him? Certainly he is not human anymore but he has the emotions of one still if his arguments with Aurora show. And this is further shown by him being kind to the child. The ending is solid really, not amazing but it gets the job done. Hal has a purpose once more and I'm excited to see where this takes him. Part of me thinks he'll return to Aurora but there also seems to be hints of him wanting to stay here. Excellent stuff.