Reviews for SOM: Emissary (2013)
Guest chapter 19 . 8/19/2014
Great story. Thanks for writing. Looking forward to see what happens next
Eventual Horizon chapter 17 . 8/16/2014
Whee! A new chapter. I really enjoy all of the stories in the sword of the maker series. Thanks for sharing them.
Phalkor chapter 16 . 8/16/2014
The story seems to end kind of abruptly. It is kind of disappointing. Need More.
Regenfang chapter 6 . 5/5/2014
Great story. I really should comment more on it. But for the beginning a small detail: how does he pay for the drinks, didn't the trader take all his money?
Jitterbug Blues chapter 2 . 5/6/2014
Small notes to start:

"As he departed the Cloisters,Stephan [...]" missing space here; also, 'eelegant'

"[...] and it had Awakened so forcefully that he had destroyed all of the furniture in his room." I'm wondering if this is a typo, or if the capital 'A' in 'Awakened' was deliberate, like if the first manifestation of one's gift is called the 'Awakening', and is a significant concept? If it's the latter, then disregard this.

"There had never been a wizard in her family at any rate, although she did vaguely recalled something [...]" You'll want to either get rid of the 'did', or change 'recalled' to 'recall' here.

"Without considering how everyone around himwould react [...]" missing space again here

I believe the past tense form of 'curtsy' or 'curtsey' is 'curtsied', not 'curtsyed' as you have here - I could be wrong, you may have to double-check.

The next section has a lot of missing whitespace instances. I'll leave the ones I spotted here for easy searching on your part: realmagic whichsparked ofbutterflies illusionsand troubledlooks

"[...] and stoop so that he could breath through the linen." 'Breathe' would be the word you're looking for.

Now for the actual review: I already gave my thoughts on information dumping in my review for the first chapter, so I won't be repeating them here. Another thing I noticed in this chapter, though it was also present in the first, is how much Stephan dwells on 'what the Order would think' of pretty much everything he does. How I feel about this depends on the intention; if this is a character attribute, then it's all good and I'd expect to see a lot more of it down the line. If it's not, and was just meant to build up the Order and give more information, I'd say it's probably been visited one too many times by now.

That said, I appreciate that moment where he began having doubts about his mission - it fleshed out his character just a tiny bit more. I wish I'd have gotten a firmer foothold on his character at this point, though. As it is right now, he's very... neutral, to me. It got slightly better in this chapter: for example, the way he turned to carving to ease his mind was a nice glimpse into his character (though, now that I think about it, I am really hoping it's not a reference to a potentially Messianic complex/role in the future). I want to see more of these, more of his little habits and flaws, and what makes him tic. I want to feel for him; I want to either like him and root for him or despise him and curse his every step, and so far neither is happening.

Anyway, I hope you find some of these suggestions helpful. Best of luck to you in your writing endeavors.

- JM (for the Labyrinth)
Jitterbug Blues chapter 1 . 5/6/2014
Some small notes to start off:

"Meddling with another wizard's staff wasagainst the rules [...]" Missing a space between 'was' and 'aganist'.

"[...] wasn't about to do something that could comprise his future." Perhaps you mean 'compromise'?

There were a few other instances of inappropriate single word choices, such as couple of 'journeyman' / 'journeymen' switches, and one in which you put 'rogue' instead of 'rouge'.

With that out of the way, there were a lot of interesting concepts brought up in this opening chapter. The strict rules and expectations imposed upon those serving the Order, the way the Archwizard (and I'm guessing not *just* the Archwizard) regards non-magical folk with disdain. I was also curious about Graywalkers from the moment they were first mentioned.

That being said, there is a fine line between providing background information and information-dump, and unfortunately I think you veer dangerously towards the latter. There are so many details just given to the reader, supposedly from Stephan's introspection. I get that you have this world rich with backstory and fantastical elements and that's great, but maybe the narrative could benefit by giving us some of this information another way - dialogue with a minor character, perhaps, or some other technique. I'm wondering also if this information can't be given to us in staggered doses, and whether it all has to be present in the opening; maybe the next chapter will tell.

- JM (for the Labyrinth)
Wishes Are Children chapter 1 . 9/4/2013
This is shaping up to be a great story! What stands out to me is that you've paid a lot of attention to detail...included the year in which the story takes place, what the carvings on the wizard staff look like, etc in order to inform us about the character and circumstances. I'm hoping that we will hear about some of them a second time as the wizards journey progresses.

I guess the only thing that I might change is what information is in which chapter. What you have could be two chapters, so that there is a more drastic contrast regarding the change of setting; ie the meeting is in a room while we are introduced to the main character out doors. This might help readers remember the content of your story more easily.
LightningBolt21 chapter 2 . 8/25/2013
Hey, long time no review : )

{As he departed the Cloisters,Stephan reflected} There just needs to be a space between 'Cloisters' and 'Stephan'

{thos eelegant towers of white stone} You need to take the first e in 'eelegant' and put it with 'thos'

{illusionsand saw } Needs to be a space between illusions and saw.

The beginning part of the chapter, where you explain the Order of Light, Lucia, Stephan's family and everything really flowed together. Normally, when people describe the area or why its called such and such, it tends to be tedious and goes on and on, but the way you describe things seems almost effortless to read. Maybe that's why I enjoy reading your work since it flows so well.

The chapter seems to be a filler almost, letting the reader get a feel of the world you created and was very, carefree almost. I liked how Stephan seems down-to- earth, but also semi-careful when it comes to his Gift. There's nothing worse than a bird that steals your stuff, but if some one was swinging a staff at me I would steal something from them as well. Why did he to begin with? Are liarbirds dangerous or something?

Your description is very, I don't want to say short and sweet, but it kind of is. You give the reader just enough information that we can picture it, but it isn't overloaded with description either. A perfect balance. I wouldn't say what Stephan did was a 'waste' of magic, but he shouldn't use his gift just for the sake of using it. I also love powerful amulets, and the one Stephan has seems to be VERY cool and powerful.

The only advice I can give just to make sure that you have a space between yours words since those were the only errors I saw in this chapter. I hope helped you in some way or another : )
Wendy Thompson135th chapter 1 . 8/4/2013
they were not permitted to keep any personal possessions at all. -not completely true,is it? The staff, for one; and apparently carving tools (since if carving tools were kept in common, the other Journeymen would just carve their own staves).

Some of the other young Journeyman -more than one Journeyman are Journeymen.

a slight bit of rogue -rogue/rouge. One is artificial color. The other isn't. You want rouge. 'slight bit' -awkward. Simplest fix is just drop 'slight'.

His "doctors" will see to that. Within a set of double quotation marks, the standard is 'single' quotation marks. Within single quotation marks within double quotation marks, use double quotation marks: Marvin said, "When I said, 'George said, "Mary Sues are boring",' I was reporting a fact." -it's a lot like HTML tags in that they occur in pairs.

"No haste?" He murmured to himself. -Except for proper nouns, no capital letter after closing quotation marks. Also here: "Don't give me that look! The great Archwizard Vincentus Saleri walked everywhere! Humility is a tenant of our Order, and an important one at that!" The Archwizard scolded.

who served the king, stating his identity, and the purpose of his travels. Omit the comma after 'identity'.
adsiderum chapter 2 . 7/22/2013
Another FABULOUS chapter! I really liked the sophisticated tone of your narration as well as your excellent characterization of Stephan. He has flaws, like every relatable character should have, as well as a quality that makes the reader wish that s/he could be like Stephan. Being a wizard? Totally cool! His resourcefulness also makes his character really believable. One of my biggest problems with other people's writings is when they give a character special powers or such and then they don't write in the character using them for simple chores. Here's two thumbs up to you.

I only noticed one typo: [If he had not been born with the Gift, Stephan felt certain that would have been a carpenter himself.] - forgot "he".

The Archwizard and the rest of the Wizards really bother me in this chapter. They seemed all humble in the previous chapter, but then Stephan leaves the Cloister building and realizes that the kingdom is in worse condition than he thought. The wizards must be really selfish if they aren't doing much to help the other people of the kingdom out. Would it be possible for them to summon water or something to help water the crops and to end the drought?

I also really liked the way that you used dark/evil imagery when describing the Liarbird. It really helped to give the impression of the bird being a fiend. Keep on doing that!

This chapter brought new questions about the going-ons in this world. I need to know what happens next! I'm looking forward to your next chapter.
adsiderum chapter 1 . 7/22/2013
I really enjoyed this story, especially the world that you made up. It is very well made, well explained, and seems like you know all the details about it forwards and backwards, which is always a great feeling to get from a writer. There were a few points in the story where I felt there might have been typos or I felt like something was confusing, but all in all, there weren't too many.

[He did know what he would fill it with, but the thought of having a few nice things of his own appealed to him.] This sentence didn't really make sense. Perhaps you meant [He didn't know...].

[After spending years within the marble walls Lucia, many Journeymen were anxious to travel.] Typo error - I think you meant to say [the marble walls of Lucia].

When you were describing the Archwizard, you stated that he didn't look old, but then at the end of the paragraph, you compared him to a corpse. I get that you were using the simile to describe how his skin looked, but it made me picture him as being much older than you previously described. I would recommend for you to use a different simile than that.

What I don't get about this plot is why a more experienced wizard isn't taking Stephan's place. If I was the Archwizard, I wouldn't send someone as inexperienced as Stephan on a mission that is so important as saving the Prince's life. Also, it would appear as if time is of the essence in this mission. The water seems like it would need to get to the Prince as soon as possible so he can drink it before his illness gets worse. I think the fact that the Archwizard is demanding that Stephan walks to the Sickle Woods contradicts the importance of the mission. If it is vital to the plot of the story that Stephan walks in his journey, you might want to include something about the Prince's life expectancy or something like that so that the reader knows that the Prince will be kept alive while Stephan is on his mission.

This was a GREAT chapter! I'm hooked on this story already!
Nullbound chapter 1 . 4/22/2013
I like the multitude of your tales spanning from one definite root. It gives not only a wide, but a massive scope of your story from different places. Although I hadn't fully read the similar stories of this particular series, I like the construction of the people, places and events to tie-in with one big, solid world. Truly an in-depth journey into this world that you created.

Anyway, moving on to chapter. This chapter had a nice opening and has a smooth, constant flow which doesn't need a second pass over as it well-written. As awkward as it sounds, I couldn't notice any grammar, punctuation... ANY mistakes! This proves on how well of a writer you are. The only thing I can say is to keep it up.

I have, however, noticed a minor sentence displacement (meaning that there was a sentence which didn't quite fit well within paragraphs), but when I saw that it had a link to the next corresponding sentence, I didn't find it as an issue, since the writing flow was still stable. Still, I just wanted to let you know that those sentences happened to stand out, in my point of view of course.

An example was: [Before coming to the Order of Light, Stephan had lived with his mother, father and three brothers in an old farmhouse with windows made of wax paper and only two rooms. Raised to believe that something as simple as a new pair of shoes was a great luxury, he could not conceive of walking on something that had been paid for in gold.] This paragraph is consistent with those above and below it, and it also adds a little back story into the character, but it still stands out as it briefly diverts the reader from what was currently happening.

However, as I mentioned before, it's hardly a problem. It's just something I happened to glimpse at apart from this well-written chapter.

By the way, I like the title. It's simple, yet mysterious. And it pretty much tells everything there is to know about how the story goes.
Cyrano81 chapter 1 . 3/18/2013
“Though the Archwizard's tower could be seen for miles around, it could only be entered through a single set of doors which could only be reached by passing through nearly every hallway in the Cloisters and climbing no fewer than seven sets of stairs.”
Suggestion: flights of stairs sounds more like Stephan and the alliteration sounds funky when spoken.
Also, the word “Archwizard” is used four times in as many sentences, here. Perhaps a synonym or his name could replace one of the middle two?

Other than that, the opening chapter is just about perfect.