Reviews for The King's Councillor
Jynto chapter 20 . 9/30/2013
Okay, here goes. This will be the first outrightly negative review I have written on FFN. It comes with the proviso that I have already read The Clockmaker's Boy, and a few more of your later stories, and liked them a lot better than this one. So consider this a backhanded criticism if you will.

First and foremost is the use and abuse of tagless dialog, especially in chapters 7, 8 and 11, which contain many more words inside the quotation marks than out. This is boring at best. And at worst it makes it difficult to tell who is talking, especially in scenes with more than two characters speaking, especially when the scene features a large number of recently introduced characters, and especially when the content of the discussion is dry and political.

And then there are the scenes that begin with dialog. Doing this is risky at the best of times, because I have no idea who is speaking, or who is even in that scene, or indeed where that scene is.

That brings me onto the scene changes. Sometimes it was fiendishly difficult to discern if the scene had changed at all, because many of the scene changes were absentminded squeezed in between two lines of dialog. Take this excerpt from chapter 8 for example:

'Yes, but I can't tell whose! Is she representing Jordan or the Foundation?'
'Or somebody else altogether?'
'What is it, Will?'

It's hard to tell, but the last two lines took place in a completely different universe from the first two. You might have dome this for effect, but it is difficult to see what effect this does given the relative unimportance of Will in this story.

This also leads to temporary confusion at one point in chapter 11 when a similar scene change almost left me wondering how Arthur and Lyra had suddenly gotten inside the king's bedchamber.

I'd have a guess that truncates double carriage returns, and the double carriage return was meant to indicate a scene break. But these are more than just little stylistic errors. They took me out of the story.

It would have been better if you had included phrases like 'Meanwhile in Lyra's rooms...' and 'At the same time, in another universe...'. But that's just the bare minimum. The first paragraph of a scene should be more than just a signpost. It should help the reader enjoy that scene. I shouldn't have to tell you to do this, as it's clear from your other stories that you already know how to do it right.

Aside from that, you could have cut out a lot of material from the first half. The plot took until chapter 10 to really get going, and by then I had already lost engagement with the story. I finished it, but only really for a sense of completion. And I'm afraid there were times when I resorted to skim-reading.

The bottom line is: it looked like a first draft. And I'm willing to believe it was one. You can do better.
WyldClaw chapter 12 . 2/16/2013
i sure hope the king doesn't think lyra is lying to him
WyldClaw chapter 4 . 2/16/2013
who is creating the storm?
Lyndon Eye chapter 1 . 1/3/2008
Wow. I'd just like to compliment your amazing writing skills and your vivid imagination: it all comes together in your stories which are filled with enchanting characters, mesmerizing plots, and wonderful, realistic dialogue.

I'm especially impressed that you've accomplished all of this for the Dark Materials Fandom (still young and undeveloped) with little praise or feedback, something that many other authors need for motivation. I applaud you for your excellent sequence of stories which, I believe, will direct this fandom as a paradigm of excellence for years to come.

After reading your stories, and mulling over your original ideas, I myself have been motivated to, perhaps, attempt my own story.

I hope that you will continue writing, wherever you are in life. I'm a pretty big fan of your work and just want to thank you for all of the hard work and effort you put into it. It's been an exhilirating and entertaining read.

Best of luck to you in your future writing endeavers!

-Lyndon Eye
Pandora of Ithilien chapter 2 . 2/24/2007
this is getting good...
R.V. Kingsbury chapter 6 . 8/20/2004
I've really been enjoying your story so far! Your conception of Lyra is so interesting - it seems the wild girl of Jordan College has settled down. ;) just a thought, if you're considering editing your story. last chapter, you might want to change the "spiritual advisor" to "father confessor" as that's a more old-fashioned term, with more character. (other sounds a bit antiseptic!)


you also might consider changing that part with the two unnamed people - it's all right to have a few fragments here and there, but more than two or three in a row just sounds disjointed.

looking forward to reading more!
RavenLady chapter 20 . 7/8/2003
Wow . . . yet again, I'm amazed with your originality (very needed in HDM)! Your stories are never the usual HDM sap. You're my favorite author in the fandom!
Konrad Rudolph chapter 19 . 3/30/2003
What should I say? Great, as usual.

I'd like to make a remark about your afterword. You wrote:

"I’ve always thought that the alethiometer, although it’s a really neat idea, is a bit of a plot-killer"

I had never thought of that before. But you are absolutely right. In fact, I never liked oracles in fictitious stories because as you have explained correctly they express the author's intention in a story and take the "free will" from the characters (what is one of the most important elements of fiction).

There is one important exception that can make an oracle a powerful plot element: a false (or misunderstood) prediction or a prophecy the character tries to flee from like there is often in Greek drama (eg. in Oedipos).

I haven't read a story so far where the alethiometre plays this role. Would be interesting, wouldn't it? Well, just an idea.
SkywaterBlue chapter 19 . 1/15/2003
Hmm. Ending feels a bit rushed, and I was hoping we'd get to see a scene where Lyra tells the King about her adventures as a child. So close, so close.

As an addendum, I don't nec. agree that Lworld is the way it is because the Reformation didn't occur. Rather, I believe the Reformation did occur, just it 'fixed' the Catholic church, rather than becoming a seperate branch of Christianty. But on second though, maybe that's not what you were implying after all.

I liked it, though.
SkywaterBlue chapter 16 . 1/13/2003
I'm reading; little confused as to who Alan was. I suspect I'll have to re-read, but I don't remember him. This chapter seemed kind of like a holding place, really-not much happening except that Alan bites the big one, and goes to the land of the dead.
AySz88 chapter 16 . 1/13/2003
Ooh, that chapter didn't end on a very good note for Lyra or the king.

Eagerly anticipating the next segment. :)
SkywaterBlue chapter 10 . 1/4/2003
Mymy, if that's not the least encouraging thing I've ever read. Can't wait to see how Lyra gets out of this one, and if the King manages to convince her to bed him. (Somehow, I doubt it.)
AySz88 chapter 10 . 1/3/2003
Great so far! The chapters would normally be short for my tastes, but with this style I think it's better when short and concise.

I know should really read Intentions and Threads first, but I can't help it. :)

I see you've entered the Sraf awards. Hope you win! I'll be rooting for ya. :)
Starry Eyed Dreamer chapter 9 . 1/2/2003
Wow. You can't just end it like that! Wow. That was a great ending, and the past five chapters were wonderfully written. You write just enough to pacify the reader... Very talented.
Starry Eyed Dreamer chapter 4 . 1/2/2003
I feel like such an idiot. Philip Pullman and Peter Straub. Sorry! (Reading Black House and your story at the same time...) You have a tendency to end chapters fantastically. I wish you could make it longer, but that's just me being picky. Quality, not quantity. Your story is quite enjoyable right now, I hope you update quickly.
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