|Reviews for The Sovereign Sword|
| Ganheim chapter 1 . 6/24
the historic consistencies of our world do not apply
[While the same things as happened on earth might not happen, simply saying “different world, absolutely everything is different” tends to be like saying “you won’t be able to understand it, don’t bother”. Humans have human psychology whether we’re here and now or whether we’re fighting eldritch horrors or researching wormholes with aliens. When our ambition is stoked we advance, when we fear we retreat. Particulars of what resources were available when will alter slightly, but certain psychological aspects will feature: a swordsmanship culture will value spirit over equipment, a firearm culture will value equipment over spirit]
without at least a byrnie under my tunic."
[Interesting detail to note, and using the specific term instead of ‘chain shirt’ that I see in most other places is impressive]
In an instant the mess deck was silent
[Must be a small place, or he’s got a reputation for violence, power, or something similar. He hasn’t been described as especially big or naturally intimidating (whether or not that’s true). The problem is that a reputation would have to be known (unless he’s magically/psychically/whatever projecting intimidation). He DOES pass things along very pragmatically. Last point: as rowdy as the group is portrayed as, would they have enough discipline to all go silent here unless it was a tiny deck? It’s not described, so it’s hard to tell]
"I do not fear these men
[Then what about just a few lines above where he said he didn’t trust the men enough to not wear armor around them?]
"What kind of seaman doesn't know how to swim
[A lot, actually. In many cultures and technological levels it was too difficult to control the ship or try to go out to rescue them without great difficulty, so it was assumed that if you went over you were a gonner]
He tossed ten wyrons on the table
[I guess it wasn’t so empty as was implied in the mess]
If a strong wave were to come and tip the twig over
[Reminds me of a saying about hull design: biremes are stable rightside up or upside down. Monohulls (traditional ships) are stable at the bottom of the ocean]
red headband tied around
[Sashes and armbands are more often tied around the shoulder or upper arm, but this might be an improvised (if very unwise) display that’s normally shown in a different manner]
"That is of no concern of yours
[A denial might be more tactically expedient, unless he’s bound by some oath or something not to deny it]
My sword is their sword and my life is their shield
[An oath said many times (with minor variation), and never said lightly]
and Ausvendiir before
[It seems extremely strange to bring a sword when you’re already armed with a bow and boar spear – two of the most utilitarian, effective weapons across history (until the proliferation of firearms in the eighteenth century). I know humanity has had an obsession with swords – a device designed for and really only good at killing _people_ - when the spear, with its advantage of leverage and reach has throughout every society and period of history been a prime weapon, challenged only by the bow and its even more extreme reach advantage with a frequent mechanical boost to damage ability as well. Spears can also be used in narrow passages, something only stabbing swords can claim (often only by soldiers trained in halfswording)]
to stay perched upon the branches above his head
[Birds above him. I see. “Ready, aim, drop!”]
slammed his stick into Pellegrin's calf
[That must be some unusual maneuvering – the calf is on the back of the leg, and sworsdmen generally face each other, which would present the shins instead]
the cold wind sent
[You’ve mentioned ‘cold’ a couple of times, but the details of people’s activity is creating an implication of a more summertime (or at least warmer) clime. This creates uncertainty in the setting – are children working themselves into a sweat on snow-covered fields (especially bare after harvest)? That could be dangerous, but would be practically expected in the summer]
of the swords shape
placed the ore inside
[Issue: ore is generally only good for the most crude implements, it has to be refined (usually into easily managed ingots) before it can be effectively used by blacksmiths, and the most efficient constructs require teams. At least in the European model (though I’ve seen a similar team dynamic in some traditions in Turkish and Japanese swordsmithing), there is a master who holds the heated metal and moves it where it needs to be and an apprentice who beats the metal down. Folded steel includes even more people and undergoes this process as many as several dozen times – none of these would be possible with just an apprentice boy, especially if he’s struggling against a height/leverage disadvantage (they’re not really described, but children implies they still haven’t entered/finished the growth spurt)]
cool it off before placing it back on the anvil and hammering it again
[That would be most inefficient – the hammering is done while the metal is softened by heat, and THEN you shock it to add rigidity to its structure]
and refolding the iron of the blade
[Though you mention working on the sharpness twice. When actually forging, you only bother with this on the last stage – folding moves the edges, so any sharpening before folding the steel would be useless]
"Illvos shaus. Shit sword. I told you years ago
[I’m not sure if it’s the dialog phrasing or relation dynamic, but something about this seems awkward]
and practiced swinging the blade
[…built for the dimensions of a larger man…]
I think you have a good idea for your unique world, but I think that you haven’t done enough research for everything to remain self-consistent. Having a familiarity (even if not intimate understanding) of what and where you’re writing is important. Research things associated with the world you’re building. For fantasy settings like yours taking place before the age of gunpowder, look into earth’s history in various places and pay attention to cultural constructs as well as resource availability. Doing so will help you create a detailed, realistic, consistent world that even readers familiar with those details will enjoy.
| Puffgirl1952 the 2nd chapter 25 . 12/16/2015
I cheated and read the new chapter; it sounds good and I like the mixture of Norse Mythology...
| Puffgirl1952 the 2nd chapter 6 . 1/3/2015
Finished reading Part 1 and it was good; but there are some mistakes that you might want to fix, reread the chapters carefully I forgot what they are...
| leofrost chapter 3 . 11/20/2014
Hmm, so he doesn't like Ardis? Thats a suprise. I was hoping for a love triangle. Not! I hate those things. Is this book based off of Johnny Tremain? It reminds me of it.
| leofrost chapter 2 . 11/20/2014
Lol, i almost fell over from the discussion between the three boys. Hilarious! Well written! Going on to chapter 3 now.
P.S For some reason, i feel like i should know those ships, but im to lazy to go back and look.
| calex chapter 1 . 11/16/2014
I had a feeling he was going to die...
Leaving that aside, great prologue man! You nailed it, with a first chapter that hooks you with its storytelling, this is the first fic that I've read here that gives such a classic fantasy feel. I'm guessing the names and setting are inspired from Norse myth.
| Puffgirl1952 the 2nd chapter 1 . 10/29/2014
I'm going to read this but right now I will Follow...
| nightfuries chapter 4 . 10/8/2014
“Yes you.” She said” –“Yes you,” she said.
“Is there something wrong?” She asked him.” –“Is there something wrong?” she asked him
“The blacksmith’s apprentice looked away quickly (…) Her eyes were like glistening emeralds and Pellegrin couldn’t look away from them.” –You’ve got a bit of a contradiction here :)
“She peered off at the stars, “or so…” –Change that comma to a period
Ah, it’s not a romantic scene without a conversation about the stars and what they symbolise :)
“In Sovenrauth, there’s a small village that sits below the Mountains of Illrothur called Cairstheim.” –Love your fantasy place names! Can’t even begin to try pronouncing them, but they’re super cool :)
“I-I’m sorry.” He said quickly.” –“I-I’m sorry,” he said quickly.
“The other villages do.” –You mean “villagers”?
“Because he told Ranolf and me the same thing.” –Hehe, now I’m picturing Borris holding a seminar for all the teen boys of the village instructing them not to get with Freya :D
Just wondering, would Vahn really not know what the Murky Maiden is? He’s lived in the village by the Winterwood just as long as Pell, right? I’d recommend finding another way to mention what the Murky Maiden is, but it’s totally up to you
“The stories say that she’s dwelled within the Winterwood for thousands of years; cursing those who came near and turning them into mindless draugrs.” –That semicolon should be a comma. Also, draugrs :D You are speaking to the Skyrim fan in me so much right now (although I think the plural of draugr is draugar)
“Ephraim swallowed and pointed south; towards the lower reaches of the Winterwood.” –Change that semicolon to a comma
“…and Pellegrin thought as if he were standing…” –The wording seems off here. Maybe change “thought” to “felt”?
“…and led him towards the black throne; their feet tapping upon the tiles.” –Semicolon should be a comma
“Young acolytes and small children raced through the village as flung iridescent flowers…” –Think you’re missing a few words here. Maybe a “they” between “as” and “flung”
“…welcome to come laugh at them!” there was a fresh…” –Capitalise “There”
I love that the fastest pig is named “Sleipnorin”, especially since at first glance I somehow managed to pronounce it “Sleep Snorin’” :)
Hmm, Borris and Beor’s story about the Cyrens is getting me veeeery suspicious of Freya :)
Oh man, that little chant dream Asvoria says to Pell in his nightmare is chilling! Super creepy, fantastic job setting up that atmosphere!
“…pay his mum another visit.” A burly soldier…” –Comma, not period and lowercase “a”
“He scrambled to his feet once more; unwilling to be felled by the soldier.” –Comma, not semicolon
So, first off…
VAHN. IS SUCH. A BADASS. MY GOD. Seriously, he better not die! I’m pretty sure he’s my favourite characters and if he dies, I’ll be devastated! He needs to stick around, seriously! If Vahn goes, there’ll be like, a courage hole in everyone’s lives. Seriously, he’s super brave and awesome :)
Speaking of, I love how Pell isn’t brave, which is a trait usually associated with main characters. It adds a lot of depth to him, which I like a lot! And while I was wishing he would do something to help Vahn, I really love that you’ve got such different characters in your story, so great work with that!
Also, pretty sure I’ve commented on this before, but I have to say it again (and in caps. I’m really feeling caps right now). YOUR WORLD-BUILDING. WHAT?! HOW?! WHY ARE YOU NOT PUBLISHED YET?! Seriously, the atmosphere you set and the world you’ve created and just, ugh, everything is so perfect! The Fyre Festival scene was so great, the pig-jousting was awesome – I can’t get over how detailed your world is, and how much it feels like an entirely new world you’ve created. It has such an awesome fantasy feel… I seriously can’t describe this in words. But it’s awesome. TSS is awesome. You’re awesome. ‘Nuff said :)
| nightfuries chapter 3 . 10/6/2014
Finally getting back to reviewing this :) I feel like I should have reread the first couple of chapters first, but ah well, I picked up the story easy enough, I think. No Vahn this chapter though! As I recall, he was one of my favourite characters :) Pel I’m not entirely sure about, but we’ll see how it goes. Also very excited to see the conflict between the new soldiers and the townsfolk, I’m sure stuff’s going to go down very soon.
"The free folk of Windrun" -You aren't a Skyrim fan, by any chance, are you? Because now all I can think of is a cross between Windhelm and Whiterun :)
"...crowded around the statue of Shaela to glare at their unwelcome guests." -This makes it sound like the guests are somehow coming from the statue or like, down it or something. Crowding around something usually implies the thing you're crowding around is what you're staring at, which isn't the case here, so I'd do some rewording here
"...the farmer answered, not even bothering to look back." -Why would he bother to look back? Is Pel standing behind him? That's not made clear, and honestly, it's an unnecessary detail, so I'd just cut it out
"...a silver necklace fell from her neck." Like, actually? Or in the poetic description sense? While I'm all for your beautiful descriptions, this one could get confusing. I'd change the verb
"...a horrid face covered in grisly scars and cuts..." -"cuts" usually implies wounds that were made recently; at least, that's what it makes me think of. If that's not what you mean with this word, then you can delete it. "scars" is enough to get the idea
"The brute followed close behind the young girl; eyes narrow like a..." -Change the semicolon to a comma
"...as he peered at the free folk." -"peered" just isn't doing it for me here. Usually I think of peering as a kind of tentative or sneaky gesture, but this guy seems more like the glare-and-stare type. You don't have to change the word, just a suggestion
“The man grew impatient, and he began to walk through the crowd.” –I feel like this sentence would flow better if you deleted the “he” but that might just be me
The bit about gods and prophets was a little confusing at first. A prophet is not the same as a god, so when the big guy got all angry and started ranting about the true gods, it wasn’t clear why he was doing so
“…said some unknown townsmen.” –As in, multiple townsmen shouted that at once? Or did you mean “townsman”?
“Titus said to the Thane of Windrun.” –Repeating Borris’s title here, especially since it’s so long, disrupts the story’s flow. I’d replace it with Borris’s name, or even just “the Thane”
“The crowd gave soft comments of agreement as they supported their leader.” –This sentence is bugging me for some reason. Maybe it’s because it implies the crowd is doing something other than muttering comments of agreement to support their leader. I’d rework the wording to something more like “The crowd gave soft comments of agreement in support of their leader.” Or you could just take out the “support their leader” business
“Titus replied as he withdrew his sword.” –Do you mean he sheathed it? ‘Cause it’s not clear what he just did right now
“Borris looked abash.” –Think you mean “abashed”
“Titus eyed the crowd, but was otherwise silent.” –I don’t believe you need a comma here
“…the Thane of Windrun finally declared.” –There goes another unnecessary reuse of a long title :)
So, is Pel known as a kind of ladies’ man around town? Or is he known for getting involved in troublesome relationships? Otherwise, the thane’s lecture to him seems unnecessary, just a way to single Pel out because he’s a main character
“No chores! No chores!” –I’m going to assume Pel isn’t the one shouting this :) In which case it should be a separate paragraph
“He was immediately offended by the sight…” –I wouldn’t use the word “offended”. Pel doesn’t give any indication that he’s overly irritated by the soldiers’ presence, and it just seems too dramatic for the situation
“Pellegrin was instantly assaulted by…” –You don’t need to use Pel’s name here after you just used it; try “He” instead
Do we really need all that info on Hennie? It seems kind of random that Pel continues to go on talking about her when most people would have just stopped at “Yes”
“Anyone will do.” –I feel like it’s “Any one” in this sense
Wait, Pel just ate raw meat? If that’s a thing you can do, that’s fine, but I wasn’t aware of it and it totally through me off. That just seems, I dunno, really gross :P
I’d start a new paragraph when Ardis starts talking to Pel at the marketplace. I’m also a bit confused as to what Ardis’s reaction is meant to be when Pel dumps the crate in Sindri’s arms. Her mouth falling open is really throwing me off – is she shocked, amused, what?
“The acolyte’s cheeks flushed red.” –Is there a point to referring to her as “the acolyte” here? This may just be because I haven’t read the first two chapters in a long time, but I had no idea that was meant to refer to Ardis. If you really don’t want to use her name here, you could always say “the girl”
“What’s that” He asked” –Lowercase “he”
“Ardis gasped and shoved him away.” –Wait, so we weren’t supposed to automatically assume the greyhound was the victim here? ‘Cause I definitely did. In a situation where there’s a child with an axe chasing a dog, I don’t think anyone would think “oh, that poor child” first
“…his eyes locked upon Ausvendiir as it sat at Beor’s side.” –The “as” in this sentence doesn’t work for me. I don’t know why, but it makes it sound too much like Ausvendiir is an animate object. I’d just go with something like “Ausvendiir, sitting at Beor’s side”
“I’ll have your head for this you little whore” –Comma after “this”
I feel like Beor is tempting fate by drawing his sword and then tackling the other guy. Sure, maybe he’s skilled with a sword, but I still feel like the blade would be dangerously flailing around and could potentially hurt one of the two guys really bad. Wouldn’t it make more sense to tackle the guy first, then draw the sword?
“I curse myself for not killing when I had the chance” –I think you’re missing a “him” after “killing”
“…kills him again and again,” he took the…” –Change the comma after “again” to a period and capitalise “He”
| KnightX chapter 12 . 8/29/2014
Okay, so i decided to give this another, and so far Im glad I did. Ive come to realize that the biggest problem I have with this story is Pelegrin, I just dont like him, from now on, Im going to skim over his parts, because I just dont care. Vahn, on the other hand, I love, he is what I feel Pelegrin should have been.
Anyway, Im no longer hesitant to continue reading this.
| fortiespoet chapter 1 . 8/14/2014
Definitely an enticing start. I was expecting Peleus to serve as a major character later on; I hope his son will, and that Selena will have a role, too. He seemed like a good character - real, if not rather unlikeable. So I hope we'll find out more about his history later on, because there's a lot of potential there. I really liked that this was long - I prefer my chapters on the longer side, & I find this reads more like an actual novel. It's certainly as good as, if not better than, lots of YA i've read, and your premise seems interesting. I'm glad that there are 21 more chapters to read of this! Best of luck with the story.
| XtremeAngell chapter 22 . 6/4/2014
Awesome story! It is a story i cant predict which is a huge plus for me :-D the charachters feels real to me. I hope to lots and lots of updates in the near future!
| Everfew chapter 1 . 5/22/2014
Uh... You do know that the pictures used to illustrate the stories have to belong to you, right? And that picture is the cover of King of Thorns, and unless you are the illustrator, you should change it, or you might be punished by the admins.
| Riverfeather123 chapter 1 . 5/10/2014
Wow. There are no words to explain how incredible your writing is. I'm in love with your style of writing, and your dialogue is pretty good. You really know how to set the mood. Wonderful job!
| sabhow1 chapter 2 . 3/12/2014
I'm convinced that you take pleasure in doing horrible things to your characters. The fact that Pellegrino is missing his middle finger is enough to prove me correct, I should think. Another great chapter.