Reviews for The Sovereign Sword
unconscious willpower chapter 4 . 5/1/2013
This chapter starts off in a bit of naive tension. Pellegrin doesn't know how to react to the blonde, but he recovers and sees through her elevated status. The Wyverns are a nice touch throughout the chapter. They add a bit of mysticism.

There's a spring festival that is nicely drawn out, and you show us the goings ons of the community. It seems like a pleasant enough time with all the eating and the jousting of children. It shows that you work hard to create an atmosphere for this story.

Pellegrin is given some real emotions and fears when he refuses to go into the forest to chase after the ghost.

There are two dream sequences in this story, I rather like the first one, it plays from what I believe Pellegrin would have become if his parents had not fled their homelands. Perhaps it will come true later anyways.

The second is quickly explained, however I thought that it was going to do with the ghost that was seen earlier.

The Festival is pleasant enough and you use it to tie pieces into the story that will be dealt with to give the story extra materials and entertainment.

The Fight between Vahn and Getrud seems almost backwards. Vahn isn't the aggressive one? The soldier has wild eyes and screams in rage, however Vahn's mom was just rapped. Why wouldn't he be the one to blindly rush forward? He seems to be a decent swordsman, I just assumed that he would have been extremely angry and attacked at the first of the guards jests towards him.

A well written chapter, I'm hoping that things will finally escalate in the next chapter.
Emerald Viper chapter 12 . 4/28/2013
“There were no birds or crows sitting in the trees” - Crows are birds.

“his tunic had been reduced to shreds and pieces.” - This is also redundant.

The description of the wagon and its unfortunate passengers is excellent. I picture it quite a bit like the opening scene of Skyrim (the video game). Even if you are not a gamer, it is well worth checking out.

The name “Bolt Bonebreaker” is kind of ridiculous. I get that it's probably meant to be, but it just strikes me as goofy in the context of your otherwise very serious story.

"They cut off Breneus's tongue when he pleaded for mercy. They sliced off Marik's hand when he wouldn't stop crying." - I would just have the old man say “We aren't supposed to talk” and leave it at that. For not wanting to talk, he's doing a lot of talking.

"Slavers. Men sworn to the Crimson Brotherhood. Ryder Redd and his underlings." He quickly looked away. "We aren't supposed to talk. They'll take our tongues and our teeth." - Same as the previous sentence. If they're really afraid to talk, I'd have this guy say something much more concise – for example: “Slavers. And if they catch you talking, they'll cut out your tongue.”

"Only an Ashariian would be stupid enough to wear a headband bearing the black gryphon." - Oh, snap! Nice one, Pellegrin.

I understand what you are trying to accomplish by having the slavers shoot the child, but it seems absurd that a group of adult men would not just catch her again. These guys are interested in making money, right?

The song is excellent.

"I showed the Arundel girl mercy," Ryder said as he turned back to the slaves in the cart. He pointed to the people nailed to the stakes, "this was their punishment for trying to escape. I saved her from suffering this same fate." - Even with this added depiction of this town, which is apparently Vlad the Impaler's summer digs, I still think these guys would have caught and sold the girl rather than shot her. They seem to be the kind of people who are motivated by money more than any sort of sentiment.

Why do the slave buyers introduce themselves? It seems like an odd public ritual.

There are way, way too many characters introduced in this short scene and I cannot keep track of all of their names. I'm also not sure about killing the minstrel or the Dyrvalii. If these slavers keep killing everyone they catch, how do they make any money? Killing the big guy makes a good point, as he's powerful and if they off him, they might be saving themselves trouble in the long run. Killing someone like the minstrel who seems to be submissive seems like a waste of easy money.

"These men came here for an auction," Ryder said to his brother. "They did not come to watch you kill valuable slaves." - Thank you, Ryder. Here's a businessman – a scumbag, but a businessman. I was wondering if everyone was frickin' crazy!

He was broken and shattered, with nothing to his name but a headband and a liarbird. (Um, the bird is still on him? I missed this.)

He would ask the failed father his haunting question, and Pellegrin did not know what he would choose. (Okay, now the random killing makes sense). I'm still confused with the quantity of names, however, especially since so many of them are similar (beginning with R).
Emerald Viper chapter 11 . 4/28/2013
“as far as the eye could see” - this is a big cliché. I'd omit it.

“kempt and neat,”- I don't know about the word “kempt” here. Probably not necessary.

Pellegrin has some outrageous angst. I kinda want to smack him for being such a bucket full of existential drama. But it's all good.

By the end of the dream, I'm very sure it's not entirely a dream. Nice way of tying the end back to the beginning.

“Pellegrin was awakened from the horrors of the unknown by the shrill shriek of the black crow. The dark bird was perched atop his right boot, its talons gripping the leather tightly. It cocked its slender head and glared at him intently with an ebony eye: a dark void staring into the pit of his shattered soul.”

There are numerous “dark, black, ebony” modifiers in these three sentences. It's really too much. I'd omit “dark” before “bird” in the second sentence, and omit everything after “ebony eye”.

“Pellegrin exhaled and released a stream of cold water from his mouth.” - This sentence makes him sound like a fountain. Not what you were going for, I expect.

Pellegrin kicked his legs and sent the black crow into the air in a haze of feathers. The crow squawked and shrieked as it spread its wings and flew away. It came to rest on a far boulder, its ebony eyes still glaring back at Pellegrin. (Again, black crow, ebony eye). Crows and basically every corvid family member are always black. And the “ebony eye” was evocative the first time you used it, but words like this are more memorable if they aren't used too frequently.

“The blacksmith's apprentice grabbed his broken arm and limped towards the bird.” - You've been calling him Pellegrin for awhile, so stick with that.

I like your introspection in this chapter, but I'm not sure what Pellegrin's priorities are. "It was the Wyrmslayer," "I must find Freya (& Vahn),", and the deaths of Beor and the others give him an awful lot going on.

“The one-eyed man stood over as Pellegrin as he watched him slip into the dark abyss. Pellegrin's last sight was of the black liarbird as it came to sit perched on the one-eyed man's shoulder, and the man fed it a treat as it glared at Pellegrin with an ebony eye.” - again, black bird, ebony eye. This is nitpicking, but there aren't many problems in this chapter. I think it's a little long for the lack of action, and I think we can be spared some of the inner monologue, as it does occasionally make it difficult to tell what Pellegrin is doing and what he is remembering.

You are a very good writer and you have a wonderfully complex story going here, but this chapter feels especially heavy and can be (I think) just as effective in saying what you want if you cut it down a little.
Ninja Mongoose chapter 1 . 4/27/2013
This. This is how a prologue is done.
LightningBolt21 chapter 7 . 4/27/2013
This is just a question, but why did you but 'Act Two' I was just wondering.

With Ardis I was able to get a better feeling towards her. I loved the vision that Adris had. You describe it very well. You gave just enough information that the reader could picture what was going on.

{Has Ashnard gone mad? He seeks to hand us over to the strict rule of the republic? Our ancestors fought for centuries to free us from the grips of the Baalthors and their empire!"} There is no need to have a question mark after 'the republic' since it isn't a question but a statement.

{Below her sprawled the surface of the sun itself: An orb of ethereal fire that caught the air ablaze with shimmering brilliance.} The word an doesn't need to be capital and remove the word 'caught'

{There were no raining swords and there was no sun hovering below her} This is just personal but I would re-write it to flow better. {Sword weren't raining down and there wasn't a sun hovering below her.}
omega dicer chapter 2 . 4/26/2013
Nice story. I really hate those ones that start off with three or four paragraphs of exposition, rather than using their storytelling skills to give a tale's milieu. One thing I wanted to ask, were elements of this story inspired by the video game Skyrim? I suppose terms like "Thane of [insert location]" could be an actual Norse convention, and names like Windrun are common naming conventions, but then there's the mention of "ebony armor", described as "heavy armor". In those games, ebony is portrayed as a type of metalic mineral, when in real life it's a type of wood. Heavier wood than most, but still wood. They make deadly staves, but probably not the choiciest armor.
TS Conlon chapter 10 . 4/26/2013
Well, sir, I really like the description in the beginning. You have a way of making these places seem big and wonderous with good descriptions and good word choices. I read those first paragraphs a couple of times just because I liked the images my brain came up with.

I would like to see a little more inside the POV character's heads. You do a good job of giving us the characters' thought processes, but not so much of giving us a look inside their heads.

-...cleaned his nails with a knife."Highloft is one...: You're missing a space.

-The longboat they were hoisting dropped onto the railing and gave a sickening crack.: "Sickening crack" is usually saved for when bones are broken or faces are bludgeoned. I wouldn't get sick if a longboat fell.

-"Bloodred" is not a word, and it is not usually hyphenated either. Please put a space between "blood" and "red."

-Vahn came to her side."The Frostborn folk...: Again, you're missing a space.

All in all, good job.
LightningBolt21 chapter 5 . 4/25/2013
hearthfire is a word from Skyrim, so I would recommend using just hearth.

Now, onto the grammar. I'm not the best, but I trying to get better.

'It felt as though some unseen blade had ripped Pellegrin's heart into pieces.' I would replace 'some' with 'an'

'their endured the labors of the day.' I think you meant to write 'they' instead of 'their'

'Once I do what I can here to do' Change can to came. 'Once I do what I came here to do'

'A soldier stomped Pellegrin hard across the face, sending bright stars across the boy's vision' I don't mean to sound harsh, but the 'bright stars' seems a bit childish. You could simply write that the air was knocked out of him.

'Pellegrin cursed and groaned as he tried to lay dazed upon the grimy floor' Why would he try to lay? I think you meant as he lay dazed on the grimy floor.

'He knew that voice!' There is no need for the exclamation mark.

"By the goddess," Pellegrin said as he neared the farm boy. Pellegrin's eyes were filled with horror as he looked upon the farm boy, and he fell to his knees and vomited on the floor.'

You used 'farm boy' twice. I would leave the first one and then replace the second one with Vahn.

'Cuts, scars and burn marks' I would change burn marks to just burns.

'His right arm had been completely cut off' I would change arm to limb. 'His right limb'

Everything I have written you can chose to use or ignore, the choice is up to you.
Emerald Viper chapter 1 . 4/25/2013
I wonder about your “Conan the Barbarian” style opening, complete with the threat of a medieval c-section for Selena. “Warrior father/orphaned main character” has been done to death. That said, the large number of reviews and follows you have suggests you know how to do this differently.

“within” the mess deck. The sailing phrase is “on” the deck.

Peleus cringed against the chaotic noise. I'd omit “chaotic”. As a modifier for “noise” it just sounds odd to me, almost redundant.

“scrapped that ebony armor” - If ebony refers to the color, that's understandable. The historic material called “ebony” is a kind of wood, and a quite rare and strange material to make armor out of. Then again, this is your world, so you can do as you like.

“byrnie” - What is this word?

"your drinks, My Lords." - I am not sure on the capitalization here. It may be correct, but you should probably double check.

"If any of these men learn who you truly are(,) then (omit “then”) we will never leave this ship alive."

"The blimey bastard pissed in my drink!" - “Blimey” is very 19th century. It belongs with “Guv'nor” and “Bloke” rather than medieval slang. If it's your intention to keep everything medieval, you might not want to use this word. Of course, nothing says that you have to keep a fantasy story purely medieval.

I think I could tolerate slightly less dialogue between the two men, considering that this is an introduction and Peleus is going to be dead by the time the chapter ends. The chapter is also extremely long, but as many people have already said – it is good, and your world is interesting.

When Peleus leaves the mess deck and starts walking, I get a bit confused. Windows? Most sailing ships don't have windows – at least not the kind of shallow draft ships used by pirates and scumbags around the world. The only place on the ship likely to have windows would be the forecastle or the captain's cabin. While the moonlight is evocative, it would probably be coming from the gun ports (that is, if your world even has black powder or cannons). And why are there holes in the ceiling?

That being said, I aim to review some of your later chapters. Any preference as to which ones?
Kitsune95 chapter 10 . 4/21/2013
I love the way this is written. It flows and it's descriptive, but not overly so. This story is very, very interesting and I look forward to reading more.

The only thing I did not enjoy was the profanity and derogatory comments, but it suits your characters and setting, making for a good, believable read. Of course, this is my opinion.

Once I started reading, I couldn't stop. Overall, I enjoyed this and can't help but wonder what has become of Pellegrin.
Jave Harron chapter 10 . 4/20/2013
Okay, I did like your character development here between Vaan and Gorgis. The brute's got a bit more development making him seem more pathetic than sinister. Still, there could be some other words to describe him (including not necessarily nice ones). A continent trying to kill them reminds me of some kind fantasy Australia. Still, one thing that might be useful is demarking all the kingdoms and polities on that map of yours you uploaded.
Osmium chapter 10 . 4/19/2013
I like Gorgis. He's neither a friend nor an enemy, and his relationship with Vaan is much more interesting than the more traditional route of having one of the soldiers turn into a mindless lackey.

You ought to be congratulated, at least, for one thing: turning the tired old "farm boy turns out to be a prince" plotline and making it interesting. Vaan's royal status (though I'd have thought he'd have given it more thought than he apparently has) is more of a hindrance than anything else.

This last scene was very good. Ultimately, it illustrates the futility of revenge—Gertrud did a horrible thing to Asvoria, so Vaan killed him in revenge for Asvoria, so Titus did a horrible thing to Vaan in revenge for Gertrud, so Vaan might kill Titus in revenge for himself, in which case the evil spirit Dysis would go on a mad rampage in revenge for Titus… an endless cycle of bloodshed. Perhaps it's not the point you intended to make, but I find it both refreshing and interesting that your story raises those points.

As a much more minor point, I like your evil spirit (or "goddess of gold")—not because she's nice, since she's utterly evil, but because she's an ENTERTAINING villain. The scene with the man's son and the explosive substance… beautifully written. Well done.

And what Lucius has paid for remaining loyal to the Hexad is touching, as is his genuine faith even to those who do not deserve it. I'm fond of his son—brash and impetuous, perhaps, but he's standing up to the tyrants to whom his father is meekly bending the knee.

I don't really have anything else to say—I did, however, think I ought to review, since this story is superb, it deserves far more reviews than it has, and I've been enjoying it so much that I feel vaguely guilty about not saying anything in those circumstances.

anti-climax chapter 10 . 4/18/2013
Is it just me or is there a whole lot of Skyrim, Final Fantasy and Gladiator references scattered around here?

In any case, you have an interesting Nordic-esque background and setting here. The first few chapters of idyllic village life felt somewhat slow paced but I suppose it was necessary to establish the ideologies and motivations of your characters, although I found it strange that two 'princes' should be in the same locale. That being said, I also considered the fact that Beor and the newborn Pellegrin survived the ship in the first place unusual given the harsh nature of your story setting - will you be adding in a backstory to elaborate further in future chapters?

Character-wise, Dysis and her God-complex is written quite well. Especially like her power of suggestion in chapter 9, and her sense of absolute justice without heed for human compassion is what I would have expected of someone with her background.

The relationship between Vaan and Ardis seems a little one-sided at the moment because she's going all out to find & rescue him but she's scarcely mentioned from his perspective. I do think Vaan could also be portrayed as a little more defiant against his captors - they did after all rape his mother and chop off his arm and he's probably entitled to a lot more resentment that what he's showing thus far.

I think you probably have some plan with Pellegrin (since he was explicitly named in the first chapter!), so I don't have much to comment on his sudden disappearance. Just hope he's not going to return as some type of Chosen One character.

Overall, I liked the story thus far. The descriptions were great and I can feel that you've really got this world and your story mapped out, at least roughly. Keep it up, hope to read more from you soon!
A Searcher chapter 1 . 4/17/2013
You are actually brilliant.! I am not sure could I ever write out something that amazing if I spent a year at or ever have the patience to.
I would never usually read something like this but man you are a good writer and I truely enjoyed this prologue. You had enough different things happening to keep it interesting and gave enough description so that the reader would not be lost in everything.
The dialogue is not too formal and very fitting of the time Peleus, Beor and Selena would have lived in. Besides for the name Selena, I completely believed that I was back a few centuries watching the events on board this ship un-fold.
You are very talented so keep writing :D
Jave Harron chapter 9 . 4/17/2013
Okay, you did some more description of ship types, which was appreciated. The torture scene here was like something out of recent events (and just as nasty). I am interested by the godless and the Grey Republic, but from what we've seen of major factions so far and the tone of the work, they may not be all that nice. The metaphors in the language seem to flow better than in the early sections of this work, and I am honestly impressed you can churn this much out consistently at decent quality. You are effective at capturing a distinctive 'voice' for each character, an essential when you have a work with a large cast. That said, some of the pacing felt rushed near the end of VIII, but it was a good cliffhanger.
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