Reviews for The Dragon and the Crown
Metropolis Life chapter 4 . 5/18
As journeys into the belly of the whale go, that one was a doozy! What I like about this chapter is that you've gone beyond the archetypal setting-up of the story entire, and you're now delving into the plot specific to your story. Stuff that jumped out at me: speaking the truth saved a life. Jay and Dee having names that are really just letters; I wonder if there'll be any more of them. And your description of the underwater passage was very (pun sort of intended) immersive.
Metropolis Life chapter 2 . 5/14
It's one ordeal after another with our hero, eh? And you've written another very full chapter, every word used carefully.
I like Shabby very much - as "fairy companion" types go, you've inked something quite original. Once again I see JP's influence; I don't think it would be a stretch to say that Shabby is the stand-in for Jiminy Cricket in all his aspects, including the Christ one. You did choose a phoenix for an animal companion, after all. Like the puppet's conscience, Shabby seems a little crude, but he at least knows about the problem of small snakes, and how one day they become big snakes.
Lorenzo has made some progress, but he's still no king. He can speak, but the words don't come out right, and only serve to make things worse. Every time he says something, it's wrong, or a lie, and he still hasn't realized, by the static in his head, I suppose - that he himself knows it.
You ended the chapter with a perfect piece of wisdom, something that Lorenzo desperately needs.
Metropolis Life chapter 1 . 5/14
Wow! What a strong start. Easily the best thing I've read on Fictionpress in years. Your influences are very clear, as you pointed out in the summary, but the way you've incorporated Dr. Peterson's lessons into the narrative are incorporated seamlessly, not amateurishly thrown in. Your prose is clear and effective; "fresh butter and warm bread" as a line drew me in and set the comfy, idyllic tone. The use of stars, foreshadowing the crown and the dragon, the way you remark that they're always there, because those are the eternal archetypes. Very good.
Then there's the Order. You're starting the story in the chaos-order cycle with Order being the negative, constraining force. Again, the influences are very clear, with the Soviets and the Holodomor. And I like how you've used a combination of the repressive Father and the totalitarian Big Brother; the Uncle also seems reminiscent of Hamlet's usurping uncle, driving the Order away from its benevolent potential.
Lastly, I like how your main character is embodying the tropes of the beginning hero. He's nowhere near to being a king or a god. After all, he can't even speak! He couldn't see what was in front of him, and now he can't speak. Plus with how his injuries are truly limiting him and causing him pain, Lorenzo is certainly not starting off as any sort of Sue. I'll be sure to continue reading, I've been wondering for a while how Jordan Peterson's lessons will rub off in fiction.