|Reviews for The Sovereign Sword|
| TS Conlon chapter 14 . 5/21/2013
This chapter was nicely done. It was short, well-paced, full of mystery and suspense. Nicely done.
-"The boy still breaths...: You meant "breathes."
-[My father had her flayed...] and [Her neck was covered in white scars and dried blood from the tight noose...]: It sounds like she was flayed alive, which means that she wouldn't have survived long enough to be hanged. Also, flaying means "skinning." It's the attempt to remove the entirety of your skin. You don't mention that she got her skin back or anything. Did you mean flogged?
| Beccyluo chapter 2 . 5/21/2013
[He was a rather short boy with brown hair and freckles, and his eyes were as black as coal.] this is a great description. I like how you compared it to coal.
There is a bit too much dialogue in here for my liking, although I do think you keep it rather interesting for me to read on; I normally don't like too much of it.
Also, I do like the layout of your sentences and the overall structure of the text, but try to bunch them into small paragraphs. It tidies things up a little (:
[Their hulls were painted crimson like the blood of men] brilliant. I loved this sentence in particular.
[each displayed a black flag with a wyvern soaring through a vacuous night.] big words! hehe. I like because it adds sophistication, although it's good you don't add too much.
| Chiisutofupuru chapter 11 . 5/21/2013
Sweet, back to Pellegrin, I struggled through the previous chapters. None were nearly as exiting as this one.
To be totally honest, it is him and Freya that has me hooked on this story enough to want to continue reading.
Keep going and don't stop until you reach the end, I don't know how many stories I'm following that hasn't.
| Beccyluo chapter 1 . 5/21/2013
I saw the map you created, and I can't believe you're so dedicated! It's wonderful.
[A battle raged within the mess deck.] I particularly liked how you started the story, it's beautiful, intrigueing and it draws me in, right from the start.
["Relax," he told her, "it's just a flesh wound."] This made me smile. He's so tough in front of his love :D
overall, I couldn't find any problems with the story; no grammar or spelling mistakes, and the pace is good. I also like the bite-sized paragraphs, they spurr me on without being too boring. I was so sad at the end of this chapter; I was like what?! but he can't die ): Even though it's only been one chapter and for a character who only lives within this one chapter, I found myself liking and feeling for him. Which makes it all the more heart-wrenching.
I'll give more constructive criticism if you want later on, as this is only the first chapter (:
| Jave Harron chapter 12 . 5/19/2013
My my, you've certainly taken a turn for the gritty these last few chapters (and it's very much appreciated). Slavery is an aspect of the middle ages and preindustrial societies I find is often overlooked, and definitely goes well to show racism in action. Still, looking forward to see how this goes.
| Ulquiorra9000 chapter 1 . 5/19/2013
Those guys are definitely rogues and smugglers... superstitions, drinking, gambling, swords, and general dirtiness and mayhem :) That makes this chapter fun! And that was some pretty serious drama with Peleus fighting to the death while Selena gives birth. I was reminded of both The Walking Dead and the 2009 Star Trek movie.
In my opinion, this prologue is way too long (not just because it takes me a while to read). As far as I know a prologue is best as a short, focused introduction to the plot and main character and no more than that. Often a prologue has just one short scene and that's it, often a cliffhangar. This prologue could easily be split into a regular prologue and the first two chapters of the story. Still, I'm OK with this style too. let's see whre chapter 1 takes this tale.
| TS Conlon chapter 15 . 5/16/2013
The fight with the wolfchildren was pretty intense. I wonder how Vahn is going to escape, or if he even WILL escape. But I can tell this isn't over by a longshot.
Here are some errors I spotted whilst reading:
-Hares and frost clung to their cloaks and boots, ...: I am imagining large rabbits as well as frost. Is this correct?
-...ahorse again the brute shouted to the company and they rode off again.: The two instances of "again" are too close in proximity. Perhaps change the second one to "once more."
-Their horses seemed to meld with the world as they stormed on; white phantoms traveling across a sea of snow.: Remember, every semi-colon can be a period. Therefore, the tense has gone from past to present. Please change "traveling" to "traveled" or change the semi-colon to a comma.
-Because of Gorgis Vahn had been forced to spend the night cold and hungry...: Please put a comma between "Gorgis" and "Vahn."
-The brute twisted the spear and ripped into the boar's windpipe and it dead in a puddle of mud and blood.: This sentence is a run-on, which is not usual for you. I would change it to, "The Brute twisted the spear and ripped into the boars windpipe. It fell into a puddle of mud and blood, dead."
-They ate the pork steaming and raw...: How is it raw and steamy? Also, undercooked beef is eaten in many cultures, but never undercooked pork. That will kill you, and these people should know that. But then in another sentence it is mentioned that the pork WAS cooked...
-[...Vahn savored the sweet flavor of the meat.] and in the next paragraph,[Vahn did not indulge in their midday meal.]: Sounds like he did, though.
-You gods do not know me...: Should this be "Your Gods"?
- I saw him led his host...: Should be "lead."
- "If would be an honor to share...: "If" should be "It."
-"He's the only king I'll ever respect." he chuckled again.: After the quotation mark, "he" should be capitalized. Otherwise change the period to a comma.
-[Gorgis stopped, grabbed his flagon again...] and [...he tipped the sac over and...]: A flagon is something with a handle, a pitcher usually served at a table, not during travel. A sac is a baglike structure created by an animal, plant or fungus for holding liquid or eggs. I would change these to "wineskin" or just "skins", which is what you do later on in the chapter.
-A crude arrow with wet fletches was protruding from his left shoulder...: Super-past tense all the sudden. Should be "... protruded from his left shoulder..."
-He needed to reach safety. He needed to survive!: Normally I don't like exclamation points in prose unless the follow an onomatopoeia or are in a quote or thought. However, I really feel this was needed here. I believe I read it as it was meant to be read, desperate. This was an enthralling scene.
-...with pointed ear...: Should be "ears."
-With a resounding howl it sprinted towards the brute...: Should be "toward."
-They felled three savages with ringing sword before...: Should be "swords."
-...as his stallion...: Is he riding a stallion or a mare? You mention both in this chapter. Or did you mean "steed"? You make this mistake again in two paragraphs down as well.
-...as the brute placed Ausvendiir's steel on his shoulder.: The apostrophe S at the end of the "Ausvendiir's" should not be italicized.
| TS Conlon chapter 13 . 5/13/2013
This was a good chapter. The direspider fight was exciting. I'd like to see what happens next to Sindri, how will he survive?
-"Try not to eat them all in one night,"...: Again, the second quotation mark is italicized. Please revert it to normal for asthetic purposes.
-"You are the flame that keeps me warm, my child," he...: And again here.
-...and withdrew her longsword.: There is some confusion here. "Withdraw" means that she put her longsword away, but you don't mention that she drew it again when she reached the direspider at the bottom of the hill.
-...Organs and entrails fell from the creature's innards...: Innards ARE organs and entrails, and entrails ARE organs. These words are repetitive. Perhaps change "innards" to "wound."
| nightfuries chapter 1 . 5/9/2013
Gah, sorry, my review posted before I was finished! Here's the rest of it :)
"He embraced her tight."
- You haven't mentioned Selena in a while, so I'd say her name again here
"...and it brands you as one of the most notorious men in all of Eos.""
- Why is Peleus wearing it then? He seems to be a cautious man, I doubt he'd go around parading symbols that could get him caught. Can't he just take it off?
"He left the men as they were and made for the far galley. He found Beor sitting at their usual table within the mess deck as predicted."
- Always, always, always try to never start two consecutive sentences with the same word, especially "He" or "She". You'll be surprised how repetitive the story feels just from reusing that one word and the beginning of a sentence twice
"When their song was done they stood and left the mess deck."
- Who're they? Peleus and Beor? The crewmen? It might be a good idea to specify
"The ship was filled with her cries as blood began to flow from between her legs."
- I'm not at all an expert on birth, but shouldn't she break water first? And I think usually there isn't blood involved there, or if there is, only a little; a lot would be a very bad sign and you make it sound like there's a ton of it
""Fly! Find me the doctor!""
- The "Fly!" bit really threw me off. It just sounds kind of ridiculous :) Also, would they call them doctors in a medieval fantasy world?
"...Selena said as he gripped his arm."
- You mean "she gripped his arm"? Or "he gripped her arm"?
"For an hour Peleus leaned against the far wall..."
-Could he not be a bit more helpful? His wife is giving birth right in front of him
"They glared at him with wild eyes; each prepared to take his life and collect the enormous bounty."
- Change that semicolon to a comma
ANyways, overall, you've got a really fantastic story going on! I'm curious to see how Beor will get out alive with the baby; those crewmen don't seem like the type to let him off easily. I love your style of writing, it's so beautiful to read, but one thing you might want to work on is the flow of your sentences; oftentimes they're short which makes for choppy flow. But otherwise, this is absolutely amazing and I can't wait to read more!
| nightfuries chapter 1 . 5/9/2013
"The soothing elixir fell down his gullet and filled his stomach..."
- I know you're trying to use more fancy words, and there's no problem with that, but the use of elixir in this sentence makes me think of some mysterious potion, not an alcoholic beverage. I'd recommend using a different word. Also the "fell down" bit is a little jarring; drinks don't really fall down your gullet. "slid down", maybe?
"Beor whistled towards the boy and tossed him a single, silver wyron."
- I don't quite understand the need for Beor whistling, as the boy's already shown he's paying attention by nodding at them in the sentence before
""I didn't know you could carry your own weight in rum, my friend," Beor said as he glanced at the empty cups on the table."
- As the last person Beor spoke to was the deckhand, I almost thought he was still talking to the boy. Even just changing "empty cups on the table" to "empty cups before Peleus" would help to clarify that
""I thought you were paying for the drinks?""
- This isn't really phrased as a question. Either change the question mark to a period or rephrase it to something like "Weren't you paying for the drinks?"
"...envying the poverty of the lowborn workers."
- Envying poverty? If that's actually what you meant to put, you'll need to add an explanation as to why they might envy poverty
"...and he moved deftly through the rough crowd."
- Delete the "he" after "and" to avoid repetition in the sentence
"...scrapped that armor for something a bit more comfortable." Peleus glanced down at his red tunic."
- A tunic isn't exactly armor. I'd add more a description, or change tunic to chainmail or breastplate or something actually armor-like
"The lad shouted in surprise and dropped the tray, sending a bottle of mead crashing onto the table."
You said the boy placed cups and a bottle onto their table in the paragraph before. If he picked up something new, he did it awfully fast
"I-I'm terribly s-sorry, My Lord..."
- Why call him "My Lord"? I'm pretty sure you don't address everyone that way, and unless it's very obvious Peleus is a lord (which I don't think is your intention as he seems to be trying to go undercover), you should change how the boy addresses him
"He snatched an unopened bottle of rum from the lad's tray ..."
-The tray that was dropped?
""At least the drunken buffoons understand the simple things in life," Peleus said as he eyed the rambunctious men. They sang the song again, and the soldier turned to find Beor tapping to the beat. Peleus looked at him with disappointment before drinking from his cup."
- Peleus and Beor seem to have interchanging reactions to the song. When it starts, Beor groans and Peleus laughs, and says the line above, which doesn't come across as sarcastic or insincere. But then when Beor starts tapping to the beat, Peleus frowns at him in disappointment. Just make sure you keep them consistant; maybe switch around Beor and Peleus's names for that last bit
"...gave a wide smile, "ah! Another visitor!"
- Change the comma after "smile" to a period and capitalise "Ah"
""Ah," the man said, "but it's not gambling if you win, my friend.""
- Whoever told him that obviously wanted to make him a very poor man :)
"Each man offers ten wyrons, and covers one side of every coin with a drop of blood. We both place the coins in and I shake them up. We each call out a number, and when the tankard is overturned, whoever's number is closest to the amount of blood-faced wyrons wins the coins. Simple enough?""
- Would the blood not rub off on both sides of the coins? I mean, if you're dumping them all in one cup, they'd definitely get blood everywhere
"Peleus accepted the blade and ran the edge along his left palm."
- His palm? Ouch. Wouldn't it make more sense just to dig lightly into his finger? He only needs a few drops of blood, after all
"...decided to take a gander at the ocean."
- The word "gander" really threw me off here. Maybe because it's just a funny word :) But it seems to casual and light-hearted for a story like this. Up to you whether you want to change it or not though
"...as he came to his side..."
-This can get confusing because you're using two generic pronouns to reference two different people. I'd just say "as he approached"
"...the black fur of his cloak riding the gusts of the night..."
- I'm a huge fan of your style of writing and all the beautiful poeticness and metaphors, honestly, but sometimes they're unnecessary. Here, for instance; makes it sound like his cloak's not attached to his shoulders and is just flying off in the breeze. I'd try rewording it
"Peleus looked away from the arrogant man. He could tell by the man's posture that he held himself in high esteem."
- You might want to think about switching up the order of these two sentences. It feels very much like a statement and explanation how it is now, like you're saying he's arrogant and then the second sentence is only added on so that the reader knows why
""Aye, but is it so foolish to have faith in miracles?""
- Yes, yes it is, according to what Peleus just said before this line of dialogue. So this question doesn't make too much sense
""I'm sorry to have kept you waiting my love.""
- Comma after "waiting"
"...it's just a flesh wound."
- Hehe, Monty Python reference :D
"...a son standing in the gates; waiting for me.""
- Change that semicolon to a comma
- This is a relatively modern term and feels really out of place in your story. I'd recommend changing it to something else
"The days began to meld..."
- I feel like you should have some sort of page break before this paragraph
- Similarly to "Okay", this feels like too modern a slang word to belong in your story
"To their surprise a white seagull suddenly..."
- Comma after "surprise"
- And comma after "Peleus"
| TS Conlon chapter 12 . 5/9/2013
-He wept as she wriggled her hands around...: Is this supposed to be "She wept" as in the girl is weeping?
-Pellegrin did as he bid.: Should be "did as he bade."
-...and a longbow was leaning against...: "...and a longbow leaned..."
-"If we do not reach the coast before nightfall then I will skin you alive and eat your flesh for supper.": The one-eyed man speaks pretty eloquently for an outlaw. He's used contractions in other sentences as well. Is there a reason for this? I'm curious.
-He had watched as his daughter was murdered.: There was no implication before that the little girl was his daughter, nor is there really any with this last sentence. How does Pellegrin know? I think the old man should plead, should beg, should show some kind of hint beforehand. Otherwise, remove it.
-Rathias pointed to the far gates, "freedom?" his fingers moved to the crowd of slavers, "or enslavement? What is your choice?": Below is my edit.
Rathias pointed to the far gates. “Freedom—” his fingers moved to the crowd of slavers, “—or enslavement? What is your choice?”
-Rodan hesitated before speaking:"f-freedom...My Lord.": While it is correct that most instances after a colon are lower-case, quotations are upper-cased. Please change to "F-freedom..."
-There was no answer.: This might be nitpicking, but I feel this would be better as a paragraph all its own for aesthetic purposes.
This was a good chapter. Pellegrin's horror at the slavers only intensified when he actually reached the auction, and I could feel that as a reader. At the same time, this new man, the man that brought Pell, will not necessarily keep the bleak scenario. I don't know why he's so interested in Pell to pay that much for him, but I cannot wait to find out.
| TS Conlon chapter 11 . 5/9/2013
-It looks like each new paragraph that begins with a quote in the dream sequence has an un-italicized quotation mark. This is offputting considering the ones later are all italicized.
-My guardian…has been taken from me." "I don't want to lose the one chance I have to be happy in this life.": Was there perhaps supposed to be something between "...me." and "I don't..."? If not, please combine both quotes.
-His throat was dry. Dried blood covered his face.: The two uses of "dry" disrupt the flow. Try either "his throat was harsh" or "blood caked his face."
-"Earn the right to wear it," Beor...: The second quotation mark is italicized. Something minor, I know, but it's for the neatness.
-Show some respect!"Pellegrin shouted...: Please put a pace between " and Pellegrin.
-...of the World," High...: Again, this quotation mark is italicized. You may want to correct it for aesthetic purposes.
-...the beard that fell from his face and the cloth that covered his left eye. His face...: Again, the use of words is unsettling to the reader. Perhaps try, "...the beard that spilled onto his chest" or something.
All in all, this was a good chapter with good imagery and enough suspense to gag a bull moose (whatever that means).
My suggestions regarding the use of words and the italic (or not italic) question marks are for aesthetic reasons. It's entirely up to you if you want to change them.
| 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.