Reviews for The Parting Glass
Hcatty chapter 7 . 11/15
*gasp* WHAT?! What happens?! RUN JACK RUN!
MeraHunt chapter 7 . 11/14
Oh no, poor Calvus! All those books and life work gone. Arg! I need more! I know I've said it before, but you write first person present /gorgeously/. Every time a new chapter comes out I'm pulled into the story and I can't put my phone down.
Guest chapter 7 . 11/13
Ahh! God, please update soon! (sorry for the very bland review). This story is amazing!
DrollFace chapter 6 . 11/8
Very interesting story so far, please continue!
Guest chapter 6 . 11/7
Loving this!
Absolute Elsewhere chapter 6 . 11/7
So the plan goes forward, but there’s this little matter of a zombie in the dark. Well, nothing worthwhile is ever easy.

[nd then I continued, working my way along the underground scream with no idea whether ]

Should be underground stream, I think, although underground screams can certainly become a factor here.

[drew my arm back, and swung, struck it in at the juncture between its neck and its chest. The blade of the dagger sank into its flesh, caught on a bone]

I like the fight with the zombie, it’s exciting and well done, but I’m going to make a suggestion here related to weaponcraft. A dagger is a stabbing weapon. You stab or thrust with it. And especially, the way the dagger ends up lodged in bone seems to imply a thrust. Also, since he’s I in close combat, a thrust is faster and gives the opponent less time to block. If he’s close enough to touch you, then you more or less have to thrust, because in the time it takes to swing, you’re going to die. So maybe stab or thrust instead of swing.

[I jammed my forearm under its throat, holding it back. Felt for the hilt of the dagger, still jutting from its neck. The blade snagged on bone, so instead of tugging it free I worked it like I was trying to ream a lemon. Wrenched the blade around, and drove the it upwards into the zombie's jaw.

Thick viscous liquid ran down the blade of the knife, over my fingers. The zombie jerked, jittered on top of me like a landed fish. Its teeth rattled, stinking breath enveloping me, and its weight crushing me.]

This is good visceral hand to hand combat. And the fluids, the stench of rot, and general ickiness all work. The more I look at this the more I like it.

["What are you doing in the well?"

I gritted my teeth. "I'm taking a shit. What do you think I'm doing? I'm trapped! Please–"

A scandalised gasp. "People have to drink that water, young man!"]

It can be a very good thing to leaven scenes of horror and visceral hand to hand combat with humor. This is well done.

And he’s going back for the book. That damn book better be worth it after this.

["It was a kid," Brey said. "Fuck only knows what it is now. Gods." He looked like he wanted to throw up, a yellowish cast to his skin thanks to the conjured light. Saliva flooded my mouth, accompanied by the roiling sensation of nausea.]

The part where they recognize who the zombie was is actually the best and most effective part of this chapter.

[only to emerge with the stink clinging to them]

Nice little practical detail, that.

So Calvus is going to help out and we’ll see where that goes. I do like this chapter a lot. Only a couple of minor bones to pick, and mayb, considering where the chapter takes place picking bones is the correct analogy. This is good work, and my favorite chapter so far. I don;t know how you reward yourself for a good chapter (With me, it’s a dry martini), but go reward yourself.
Absolute Elsewhere chapter 5 . 11/2
OK, so Jack has a plan. And it's not quite going according to plan.

My favorite part of this was meeting Calvus Varo. "A little less". The guy has his dignity, even in his present reduced circumstances. And he pays for "The horrible pie". I like his style.

["Stay out of this, boy."

"She didn't do anything," I protested.

"She swore at us."

"Yeah, and last I checked that ain't illegal."

"Bitch threatened us," the first guard said.]

Good is good 'bad cop'. The type is familiar enough in any place and time.

One thing I like is that when the whateveritis appears, Jack knows it's dangerous by the smell. he can see it, sort, but that smell. Our sense of smell is there partly to warn us of danger from bad food, foul water, or disease. So if it stinks, we know we need to avoid it.

I think there's a good job here of setting up circumstances that are grim enough to justify taking more risks. (One shouldn't break into the Castle on a lark.) And of course things are going to go wrong.

So we'll see what happens in the next chapter.

One minor suggestion. It's more a matter of tradecraft than the craft of writing. Nearly an hour to find a hidden compartment in the drawer seems extravagant. There's only a limited amount of apace to search. You might consider ten to fifteen minuted tops. Maybe twenty. But not over forty, which would be the better part of an hour. This may seem nitpicky, but you know yourself that I'm not likely to catch you out on a matter of wordsmithing, I'm better at the out in the field tradecraft end of things. An hour in one room doing a black bag job feels like asking for it.
MeraHunt chapter 5 . 10/31
Yo this is so good! First person present is so difficult to write in a way that doesn't sound weird and I simply can't get enough of this fic! I love how you write Corvus and I can't wait for more.
Absolute Elsewhere chapter 4 . 10/28
So poor Jory came to a bad end. But besides knowing how to serve it out stone cold, you also do good romantic and yearning. I like the mood of this chapter, dark and retrospective. Being fandom blind I don't know the canon version of the life of the main character, but...

[As if I had the power to freeze the world about me, to prevent those grains of sand from tumbling through the hourglass]

I like that. I also like this:

[Fuck knows." He sighed. "I think I'll be a river-rat to the end of my days. Or I might become a pirate after all. It's in my blood. My da was a sailor, after all, and my mother had plenty of sailors in her." I snorted, but Armande continued as if he hadn't heard me. "You, though... you're meant for something more. I just hope she's pretty."

"Who?"

"Your woman. Or at least that she can cook. Ugly fucker like you it's probably too much to ask for both."]

This is good dialog.

[It's a familiar theme throughout my life, pretending to be someone I'm not, and I'm sick to death of it now, but then it was new to me, and more intoxicating than the alcohol, this realisation that I could be anyone I chose if I could only persuade others of that fact.]

Good mind set for a thief, or someone who went on to have a rep as something of a scalawag.

So job well done. I'll get to your new fic later. I'm blind in that fandom too, but to quote Woody Allen, I've never let incompetence stop me from rushing in.
Absolute Elsewhere chapter 3 . 10/26
Note: I remain fandom blind as the proverbial bat, but good fanfic is a rare enough commodity that blindness shouldn’t become an absolute bar. SO plunging right ahead...

I like the entry into Bravil, and the general tone of the place. Good urban squalor is harder to do than it looks, at any tech level.

[A third of the way across and I was grinning, bouncing up and down on the bridge with all the instinct for self-preservation of your average thirteen year old boy. At least until the guard, who'd been leaning against the post watching me, called out, "By the by, if a board does break and you survive the fall, try not to swallow any of the water."

"Wh-What?" My bouncing stopped. I stared back at him in terror. The grin on his face told me he had been joking. Fury mingled with amusement, and I shook my head, gave a disbelieving laugh. "You bastard."

He winked. "Takes one to know one, citizen. Take care in there. And finally he turned back to his post. And I continued on mine. No bouncing this time.]

Very nice. Tells you something about Bravil by means of of a memorable incident, as opposed to you the author just telling it.

[I nodded a greeting the old Khajiit fisherman, who was selling his smoked fish and elvers. He was something of a fixture in Bravil in those days, although I'm sad to say he's since long dead. His death probably came as something of a relief to the poor misunderstood eels of the Larsius, because as far as I know, they were the only foodstuff he ever seemed to eat, and he was the only person I ever met in Bravil who was stupid enough to eat them. Other than me.]

I like this. A little detail about the character and the place, and for some reason it reminds of something from real life - That old guy trying to catch a sheepshead under a pier.

The whole business with Armande works, in part because the fight scenes and action are convincing. The guy can use some speed and deception but that’s not always a substitute for mass and muscle. Kind of like real life.

[I knocked him off balance, drove the air from his lungs. Elise shrieked as I twisted, diving underneath his flailing arms. A moment of terrified skidding in the mud, and then I was off and running, taking a left turn down an alley with him on my heels. And for all that he was big, he was fast. Much faster than I'd expected, and he knew this town better than I did.]

Always beware of the fast big guy.

This chapter has really really good description and incident. Bravil comes across as scenic and seedy. I want to see more of it. Not knowing the fandom, it’s an interesting place, and I want to see where it’s going Best part:

[The guard stepped back, sweating hard under his armour. Turns out it's hot and thirsty work kicking the shit out of children. He blinked up at me in confusion. And then I tipped the bucket over the edge of the balcony. The guard's eyes widened in surprise and then horror, as what seemed like a pint or two of partially concealed, still-warm pig's blood struck him full in the face.

Followed by the bucket, which collided with his skull, knocking him to the ground. I stared, unable to do anything other than let out a disbelieving laugh at what I'd just done. Until Armande yelled at me.]

Hot and thirsty work kicking the shit out of children. Yeah. And a comeuppance of pig’s blood. I like.

Keep it up. You sweated blood on this and it shows.
Absolute Elsewhere chapter 2 . 10/23
Hoo boy, I like this a lot. One reason it that you manage something I don't see all that often, which is integrating physical and supernatural action. "How it gathers in your chest like a clenched fist" Very good description of the feeling the character gets bring around something supernatural and dangerous. The whole scene in the inn rocks. "Well, there goes the element of surprise." Good line!

I like the whole scene with the bandit. The fight, the chase, the escape. The green beetle, actually. Raymond chandler said that in a lot of cases, what the reader really noticed and remembered in a scene like that were the small details. But the whole scene, the feeling of hatred and wanting pointless vengeance on the remains of someone who wronged you, really feels right. It compliments the physical action.

I may be slow getting this read, because of twelve hours shifts at work and struggling with a fic of my own, but I will continue, because I'm liking this. Good job.
AughraOfEarth chapter 2 . 10/6
Continuing well...vivid and energetic, doing good things with the material. Am enjoying very much!
Absolute Elsewhere chapter 1 . 10/3
WELCOME BACK! So good to see another offering from you. I confess to being fandom blind, but I wanted to see what you had posted. Good grit, good description, and love your dialog. Good fight scene too, by the way. This is solid work.

"You've no clue, boy. The dead are hollow..." I LOVE this bit. If Brandt's tale is going to weave a spell, then Brandt's words have to weave a spell. This is good masculine storytelling, and not many people can do it.

"A story left unfinished...like a ghost not put to rest..." I love this too.

So if you're willing to accept a sincere "Well Done" from someone who doesn't know the fandom, was able to groove on your wordsmithing skills , then I give give one a big thumbs up.
AughraOfEarth chapter 1 . 10/2
No knowledge of ES lore to bring to bear, and basically no concrit either, because damn, this is *good*. Easy reading, vivid, engaging, very presentable stuff. Going to stick a follow on it in hopes of more...