Reviews for Second Choices, Second Chances
Meganalira chapter 13 . 3/15/2006
You know, it was rather a joke (as I said, I get restless when I don't blow off any evil thing for a while ;-p). But anyway, my views on Anomen's priorities at the moment of the ambush would be 1-his men's lives 2-the caravan further down the road. I do think at least one Holy Smite would be in order (and many attackers *were* found dead in this last chapter, so I guess I'm satisfied that he put up a hell of a fight, as only a fighter/priest can do (-:). I know Flail of Ages is a good enough weapon (well, it deserves at least that title with its 5 enchantment by the end of ToB), but not strength-enhancing (that, too, was rather a joke... anyway Anomen's 18/50-something strength is enough to get the job done), and that was rather a joke too... Rather a jab, kind of "I know you've been choosing the game's items to suit your story! Na-na-na-na-nère!" I was not seriously blaming you for anything.

As for the chapter's lengths, I agree with you. It's better to write a coherent bit of story and not pay too much attention to the length, otherwise you either "dilute" to lengthen it, or "lose" something in an attempt at condensing too much.

But... I never imagined they would manage to abduct Anomen. Wow, pretty powerful bandits. I hope Merena and Jae are up to the task and will get there in time. *cross fingers*

Mysterious friend in Athkatla... Sir Keldorn maybe?

So... another good chapter. Keep writing :-)
Bhictoo chapter 13 . 3/14/2006
yay! I am so enthralled. Keep those Chapters rolling. Still can't find anything to critique, so I'll just have to have a moan instead. The Chapters are too short. There, that's telling you! But I do appreciate the effort, and frequency, so short or long,(snivel), I love it. :-)
Finduilas88 chapter 12 . 3/13/2006
Reklar: You'll find out more or less what the brigands are up to soon; though you won't be getting *all* your answers right away. Glad you liked Merena's letter, but I'm afraid you'll just have to have patience to see how long Merena has to wait for her answer... ;-)

Amousca: This Anomen has the Flail of Ages rather than Crom Faeyr; a nice weapon, but not terribly useful for moving wagons off the road. As for how he reacts to the attack; a couple of hints: for one thing, he had no reason to believe he would need a lot of high-level combat spells, for another, consider what his first priority is going to be in this situation. Also, though I can't promise the next chapter will be longer (I don't pay a lot of attention to length, I go by what seems to be a cohesive chunk of the story) I *can* promise that the next chapter will be up soon.

Kendris: Nice to see you again! Yes, the inevitable snag has appeared-or snags, in this case-so our would-be lovers will have to find each other and resolve their differences somehow. BTW, I loved writing cranky Anomen in this chapter; I never realized before how fun it is to write from the perspective of a character that's just pissed off at everything.

Thanks, everyone! New chapter soon!
Kendris chapter 12 . 3/11/2006
Sorry to get behind on reviews; life's been a bit more interesting than I prefer of late...

Ah, the lovers' quarrel! Which will (hopefully) lead to the making up? Very nice job of handling the emotions of both of them!

And poor Anomen! I almost feel sorry for those poor bastards doing the ambush.

Almost.

Nah...not really. Get 'em, Ano!
Meganalira chapter 12 . 3/9/2006
You know, this is awfully short... :(

Hm, I haven't been blowing anything off in FPS or hack-and-slashing my way through Diablo in a while now... it kinda gives me ideas. I can clearly picture Anomen summoning a Deva, Holy smiting over the squires' heads, then, hm... maybe something like Confusion an Aura of flaming death, then trampling to the battlefield on Challenger to smash bandits to tiny, sorry bits with all-powerful-25-str-giving Crom Faeyr (btw, shouldn't have he pushed single-handedly the cart of the road had he had this fabulous weapon? never before or since did I have such a formidable rear-guard in my party, lol). I can smell blood from where I stand... er, sit.

Hm, I imagine it would be quite out of character for Anomen to be so blood-thirsty, even angry as he is. And I admit that having Crom Faeyr would have ruined your carefully planned ambush ;) I do imagine, however, in this slightly power-gamer mind of mine, that they will pay for ambushing men of the Order.

Alright now, I'll try to quiet my disquiet thoughts ;) and make some sense out of my review. I liked Merena's letter; it seems, however, that it's not just injured pride that she should mentionned as an explanation for her reaction. I believe she should mention insecurity after the way Kelsey treated her - either in the letter or when she sees Anomen again (she will, won't she? (pleading)). I also like the way you made some sense return to Anomen. Running away like that, tsk tsk tsk, he would deserve some stern words from Jaheira too. And it IS true that CHARNAME is invariably VERY patient with him if you get passed the 2nd LOVETALK (not to mention intraparty boasting err I mean banter)! I really loved that he sees that himself ;)

So... as it was so short... surely you've got another chapter almost ready? So I can sate my taste for blood and see what short work Anomen has done of the agressors and, later, of the healing of injuries (I just LOVE single-classed clerics).
Reklar chapter 12 . 3/6/2006
An interesting development in the story, Finduilas. I wonder though, what happened to the mind flayer problem that was mentioned to Anomen by High Watcher Oisig in chapter eight? Did he already take care of it, or is it yet to come? In any case, it will be nice to find out what these well placed and organized 'bandits' hope to gain by engaging knights in combat, even if they do outnumber them significantly.

Merena's letter was effective I should think; short, sweet, and too the point. I'm curious to see how long it will take for the letter to reach Anomen, or for him to reach it, and how long it will take for him to reply. The obvious guess is that Merena will be stuck wringing her hands for awhile, but I try not to speculate too much these days, so I'll just wait to find out. Of course, that does mean I need another chapter to read. I don't suppose that little impediment can be remedied in short order, hmm? ;)

-Reklar
Finduilas88 chapter 11 . 3/5/2006
Reklar: No question, Jaheira is 'the man' when it comes to dispensing sound advice! As for Merena, well, sometimes you just need someone to put things in perspective for you.

Amousca: Glad you've found the latest chapters to be 'in character'. It's kind of a fine line to walk to guide the story the way you want it to go and still make sure the characters are true to themselves.

Jason: Thanks! I do love writing for Jaheira...once you've gotten inside her head it's very easy to know what she'll say in a given situation. And I can't imagine she would refrain from telling Merena what an idiot she has been-in a loving way, of course!

Bhictoo: I'm glad you're enjoying my story so much! But I've gotta tell you, promising you'll find something to criticize is not exactly a incentive for me to post chapters faster. ;-)

Thanks, everyone, new chapter up soon!
Bhictoo chapter 1 . 3/3/2006
I love this story, but am unable to critique it, sorry, I know that, that is supposed to help improve the story but I can't see anything to critique! How about you just keep the chapters rolling (a bit faster) and I'll try to find something;-0
Nathan R chapter 11 . 3/1/2006
I find myself wondering what does Merena does all day, her and Anomen never discuss any every-day events, whilst when the narrative finds her she is usually just sitting around unoccupied. Life must be terribly dull for her.

With regards to her cook, how does Arthia get away with her behaviour? The manner in which she gives advice is devoid of any of the usual servant/master relationship and the fact that she skulks and eaves-drops would be rude even if they were close friends. I am a sure there are situations where masters and servants become close, but I do not feel this from your writing and the current ‘having her best interests at heart’ direction just does not justify it.

When Kelsey finally makes his appearance he seems to be totally slimy and obnoxious, begging the question how Merena could have liked him to begin with, or is he suffering some mental episode as his behaviour would suggest? Does he not see fit to mention his philandering? Through-out this exchange and the subsequent dinner, does the child not pick up on any of the tension between its parents? I find it hard to believe that this is likely.

But what really struck me in the previous chapter was that through-out it Anomen is happy regarding any mention of Kelsey. However when the talk turns to his and Merena’s relationship, Anomen totally over-reacts; if his feelings for Kelsey are so very strong surely he would have taken exception earlier. Anomen seems unconcerned that the cook (and ergo half the town) knows of their trysts, why is he so angry with her for discussing it with someone who actually may have some valid interest in their relationship (i.e. the father of Merena’s child).

You have portrayed Merena as a gentle mother; why, therefore, does she so readily connect love with sex, especially as she is the one initially thinking of taking it slowly. When refused, she completely flies off the handle. If she doesn’t trust Anomen enough to believe he means it when he tells her he loves her and to let him explain, why does she trust him enough to want to sleep with him in the first place?

And if Anomen is so unwilling to sleep with Merena, then he shows no hesitation within the first three quarters of the chapter; if he is unsure it should show there.

Their argument feels like a set piece, born more of your desire to have the pair fall out and be eased back together by the supporting characters, than any natural disagreement on their part.

Some of your writing has a good style to it and I can see where you are trying to head, but there are many inconstancies within the writing; the two main characters flow so hot and cold. Anomen and Merena are continuingly acting like children. I cannot believe that adults such as they would be so blushing and coy. Has Anomen been living like a monk for the last ten years? Merena has had a child with another man who then left her; enough experience, one would think, to jade even the most timid of hearts.

Reading the poorly executed plug at the end of your previous chapter, I dreaded Jaheria's arrival into the writing. However, I was pleasantly surprised and I found her to be well characterised and strongly written, with her classic sharpness and wit. Sadly this could not save the chapter from being a collection of predictable exchanges where she shows Merena the error of her ways with statements so screamingly obvious you can only wonder how Merena, and all her pensive moping, was unable to realise the same without the druid’s prompting.
Jason chapter 11 . 2/27/2006
I love it when everybody rights Jaheira. She always gets those perfectly funny and cynical lines. It's just too perfect for her character.

Love this chapter. And now that things are moving along in what must be done, I can't wait for another chapter.
Meganalira chapter 11 . 2/27/2006
Weepe for Jaheira! I very much like how you've made her put Merena back in line. And just a side note: I found the two last chapters to be very much in-character for everyone, as you seemed to worry about that. Reading "stern but comforting Jaheira" was very enjoyable. I hope there's more to come soon :)
Reklar chapter 11 . 2/26/2006
Hahaha! Oh Jaheira, you lovely woman. :) Arthia may be a wonderfully shrewd woman and not to be trifled with on matters pertaining to the household, including visitors, but she is no match for Jaheira when it comes to setting things straight. If she were any sharper and more piercing with her counsel Merena would have to wear armor! :D Still, it is nice to see Merena finally facing up to her feelings for Anomen and no longer listening to that irredeemble turd, Kelsey. (Fie on him, I say!)

Anyhow, now that the ball is rolling again, I want to read the next chapter. Move spritely now, you can't keep your readers waiting. :D

-Reklar
Reklar chapter 10 . 2/26/2006
You already know my opinion of this chapter, Finduilas, but just to be fair I'll repeat that I think it is an excellent one. There's always a bump or two along the road to romance, especially the most enduring sort, so it had to happen eventually I suppose. Still, I'd like to smack them both upside the head for being such dolts. Miss Jaheira will do that for me hopefully. ;)

-Reklar
Finduilas88 chapter 10 . 2/26/2006
Amousca: Glad you're enjoying the story, even though this chapter might not have been what you expected. Can't be too predictable after all. ;-)

Jason: I love writing Arthia, so I'm glad you like her so much, too. It's fun to have a character that can say what none of the other characters have the nerve to say! Thanks for commenting.

Nonecko: Thanks so much! I was a little worried that the quarrel might come off as too contrived and soap-opera-y, so I'm happy to hear that their actions seem in character. And yeah, Anomen was working in that general direction. I can only imagine how agonizing it would be to be so close to what you want and have it blow up in your face like that.

New chapter soon!
noneko chapter 10 . 2/21/2006
Aahh! You tease!

Now that I'm done expressing my suprise, I can honestly say that this is my favorite chapter yet. Anomen's reaction was pretty much spot on, in my view, and I can't help but feel sorry for the guy... he was going to ask her to divorce Kelsey and marry him before she got angry, wasn't he? Sadness.

Merena's reactions are also very believable; after all, once bitten, twice shy. I only hope Jaheira can do something about all of this!
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