Reviews for The Zenith
GraphiteHeron chapter 42 . 7/10/2007
Yay! Another chapter! Ah, you have so elegantly captured the rivalry between the knight and the sparrow. Their squabbles are hilarious...when you're on the other side of a computer screen, but I imagine actually having to put up with them would be torture. Poor Fritha. Send her a hug for me, will ya? Looks like she needs it.

The map was a nice touch. Seems like the rest of us take for granted that our maps are going to be accurate, and then for you to come along and put an extra mountain on the map, it's like, "Wow, I never thought of that." A further twist of originality and a little detail that makes your story all the more enjoyable. Love it. Will overload on sheer joy when the next chapter comes out:)
AutumnFire28 chapter 41 . 6/29/2007
Phew! (breathes a sigh of relief) I'm so happy to see that you're still writing Blackcross-Taylor! I have to admit, I was getting a bit worried! Now, on to the review...I really liked this chapter. It seems as if there's some foreshadowing imbedded in your latest installment. I'm wondering if Nalia will be leaving the group in order to take care of her family estate. I can't see such a major character being cut from the story, but I'm interested to see how you're going to resolve this subplot if Isea does get convicted for slave trading. Perhaps Fritha will now have two strongholds? Your development of Anomen's character is also very interesting. I can't help but feel as if this chapter was a big turning point for him. He has always seemed to see the world in black and white, and this is really the first time that he has fully acknowledged that there are shades of grey. What's more, he acted according to what HE felt was right and not what would bring him personal gain; in other words, the praise and acceptance of the order in which he wants so desperately to belong. For the first time, he didn't allow the truth to be dictated to him by his 'superiors', and he really stepped up and took responsibility for the consequences of his decision, unpleasant as they were. At first, I was surprised that Fritha decided to place Anomen in charge...I would have expected her to place more trust in Jahiera. But, after reading this chapter, I think that Fritha's one smart cookie! It seems to me that she placed Anomen in charge of the group to not only experience the difficulties of leadership, but also be the one who lived with the consequences of his decisions. It's so much easier to be critical of someone's decisions when you are merely a follower, and not in their shoes. I think that Fritha's decision to place Anomen in charge of a situation that was more personal in nature resulted in an awakening in him, that will hopefully lead to a greater understanding of "right" versus "wrong". With any luck, it will also prevent him from acting like a petulant baby when he doesn't agree with Fritha (j/k) :-) Thanks for the update Blackcross-Taylor...I truly hope that you're over your case of writer's block, cause if I have to wait another month for my update of The Zenith, I'll be pulling my hair out (even though it is wort the wait)!
Italian Empress 1985 chapter 41 . 6/29/2007
Excellent. I thought all the characters were a little more serious this chapter. This in addition to your previous chapter makes me think the story is getting to be pretty deep. That's all good for me! ;) I'm actually a little confused wether Anomen has any 'feeling' feelings for Fritha or really was just playing along with Reynald because he could think of no better excuse. I'm sure that's on purpose so I'm not even going to try and figure that boy out. :p Jaheira seemed particularly lovely in this chapter and was more supportive than I think she had been. Her offer to bury the dead reminded me of my 'Ashideena' chapter, but of course the men in your story were far more deserving of a decent burial than a psychotic necromancing priest of Cyric. :p I like when authors recognize the dead in their story and don't just leave them to rot under the Athkatla sun, as it were.

Fritha and Nalia was more fun than I expected, and I liked Fritha's brief fierceness there . . . her inner Bhaalspawn showing perhaps? Ya know when the woman didn't respond I thought for a minute that our favorite bard accidentally killed her, but of course that didn't happen. Silly me. :P I do think I prefer Imoen's thieving to Nalia's though. I just can't help it. Your Nalia is thee BEST written I've ever seen but I still prefer little miss pink hair as the resident thief. I'd say Jan Jansen but then I like him all around, illusionist/inventor/mage/cynic/wise-ass/thief . . .they're all good; and that big nose is so sexy! Okay I'm kidding about the last part. :p

Don't worry about taking a while. I'd rather have you take longer and have the chapter be of a quality you are comfortable with than post so your readers aren't waiting so long; only to have the chapter be pretty sub par. I can't speak for everyone but I'm willing to wait for the good stuff and this was good stuff. I have been over a MONTH with my latest update . . .in fact I think I only updated two or three days ago. [Your cue to go check it out. ;)]Mine was a time issue and some technical difficulties . . .but there have been previous chapters where I had your same problem. Quality is of more value to me than speed, especially when speed can effect quality and not for the best.

With that all said it's glad to have you back my friend. If you ever need another author to chat with or have for back up, you have my email ;) You are by far the best author in this sector. I have others I enjoy but no one that makes me intake sharply when I see that they've updated, beyond you. :)

I'm looking forward to Trademeet and are curious if you are considering any additional characters, such as perhaps Cernd? Ya know, on a semi-related note; the music in-game for the troll swamp was rather romantically sad (which was a little weird for the area) in a way and inspired some of my writing scenes. I wonder if it inspired you in any regard.
GraphiteHeron chapter 41 . 6/29/2007
A decent change from the all-out slaughter the game presents:) And your ability to keep your characters all 3D from chapter one to chapter forty one is amazing. I suppose I could ramble effusive praise and all that, but I think, instead, I'll just try and patiently wait for the next chapter. And if it takes a while, that's all right, because muses are troublesome, fickle creatures and true genius takes time
Dangerously Incompetent chapter 41 . 6/29/2007
I loved Fritha's and Nalia's breaking in. It was done very well, and I felt the tension throughout the whole of it. Anomen took a big step, choosing his heart over his ... dreams, but I'm glad he did what he did. Fritha and Nalia's scene in the bath-house was also excellent, the shock of Nalia's possible leaving portrayed well.

I can't wait for next chapter, where we'll be heading for Trademeet, where there will no doubt be more plots and quests for you to twist and expand. Oh, it's going to be brilliant!
Ariquelle chapter 40 . 6/21/2007
Awesome past couple of chapters, and trouble really seems to be brewing for the group...

I was so shocked when Fritha used magic, it also opens up a lot of possibilities and such, maybe Nalia and Aerie could tutor her (that is if Aerie isn’t to preoccupied with Haer’Dalis), perhaps even a Familiar? Anyhow, I look forward to how this will affect the story...

P.S. Sorry 'bout not reviewing for a while, I was a bit preoccupied with the end of the years exams...
Dangerously Incompetent chapter 40 . 6/2/2007
Haer'Dalis is so brilliantly poetic. An awesome, if slightly chilling, chapter.

The vampire scene had me on the edge of my seat. I wouldn't put it past you to have something terrible happen then, so I was quite worried.

The lads at the beginning were brilliant, and I can only hope we'll see them again. We can't waste such great chatracters.

Firtha has finally managed to cast a spell. Late bloomer or what? I can't wait for her to actually utilize this. What a surprise it will be for the others!

Jaheira was maternal in this chapter, an important part of her character. Her reaction was spot-on predictable, and had me smiling as I read.

Favourite line has to be "‘Oh, shut up, Aerie!’" - i love Aerie to bits, but it had to be said.

I can't wait to read more. You've left me guessing, as always, what's in store for Team: Firtha.
GraphiteHeron chapter 40 . 5/25/2007
You sure have a thing for powerful chapters, eh? Good writing, I can't wait to know what happens next. The cliffhanger was excellent too, skillfully done. Just so you know, I'm waving flags and wishing Nalia and Fritha good luck on their endeavor.
Italian Empress 1985 chapter 40 . 5/25/2007
This chapter started with the normal Blackcross fun but quickly turned into one of your most serious chapters to date. You imagery of the vampires almost seemed in kind with how Anne Rice has them. Gorgeous but oddly off debutantes.

I'm not really sure why everyone was so pissed that the other guild was vampires. Anomen and Jaheira I can understand, one is a priest of a neutral/good god and undead are offensive to people of that profession and the other had already been fretting about the welfare of the girls only to find out they very nearly became a quick snack. Minsc I can sort of understand because he hates anything evil. Aerie however I would see as being more apprehensive and I'm not sure at all why HaerDalis came across as so mad about it, unless you were painting the picture that he was angry because he was worried about Fritha. I'll have to go back and give it a re-read.

Nalia and Fritha seem very close, but that's no surprise, I'm just still rather worried what is going to happen when they get Imoen back. Considering this a very long running fic (just the way I like em) that could be awhile, but I dare say there will be some conflict there. Anyway your half-elf bard came across as much more adult in that latter sections of this chapter and I rather enjoy seeing her grow up . . .to a point that she has to reach into herself to remember how child-like she had been not even a complete year ago.

THAT was neat by the way, pretending to be a scared little puppy and not really having to do that much pretending. Nicely written that.

HaerDalis and Aerie were nice in this chapter as well. I don't like seeing the avariel acting so catty but I enjoyed how the tiefling seemed to finally take that relationship at least a tad more seriously. It makes him more sympathetic as a character to me than if he was just a playboy.

Lastly, Fritha put Anomen in charge? That was an odd choice as I assumed it would be Jaheira that would get the mantle. She is more leader-like but I'm not going to lie and say I don't enjoy that Fritha trusts Anomen to assist in that portion of their quest in her absence, especially since it's more personal with him. I just hope her faith isn't misplaced. I'm crossing my fingers for both parties in the next chapter.
Lady Irene chapter 39 . 5/20/2007
Lodved the chapter! How can I say more? But I still haven't seen Valygar... It's so sad, I hoped he will be in your story...
Leech82 chapter 39 . 5/15/2007
Wow - this is a great story B&T. And another great chapter! I keep counting the days between each.

Fritha is a great protagonist - I really love her character. The rest of the party is also well written, and they seem to come alive in the story.

I keep wondering who Fritha will end up with. Personally, I hope you deviate from the in-game romance options a bit. Anomen's character is developing nicely, and the motivations behind his angst makes it hard to fault him despite his continued short temper with Fritha. But in the end I just dont see her ending up with him. Oh well - I'm sure whatever you decide will be done with your usual aplomb.

Keep up the good work an keep those chapters coming.
AutumnFire28 chapter 39 . 5/14/2007
Great chapter Blackcross-Taylor! I kind of wonder if this is going to be a neutral Anomen story. Anomen's views are so black-and-white, I don't see a lawful good Anomen mixing well with Fritha. If you pair these two together, I think they'd mesh better if he decided not to go for knighthood. Of course, Anomen really needs to take some cues from Haer'Dalis in the area of romance. "You look...nice"? Gah! Anyway, if Murphy's law applies, the girls might be in for some trouble tonight. Not good, going out without weapons, but I can't help but feel a bit sorry for Fritha. She so obviously wants to lead a normal life, and you have to wonder what she would be like had she not been born as a Bhaalspawn or had mounds and mounds of responsibility heaped onto her shoulders. Well anyway, great job, as usual, and I eagerly await the next chapter!
Italian Empress 1985 chapter 39 . 5/14/2007
"Jaheira frowned. ‘Do not be foolish! You cannot leave without it, go and fetch it now.’

‘I will not,’ Fritha snapped, really pink now and looking more than embarrassed by the fuss being made, ‘No other girls wear them, why must I always stand out?’"

"I don't care if it looks silly. It's chilly outside and you WILL wear a coat with your Halloween costume."

"But I don't wanna! It looks dumb! Nobody else has to do it, why do I?"

Ahh motherhood. :D

Saved by the squire, lol. He always seems to come in at the wrong time of a conversation, for him anyways because he's never sure what's going on, lol :P Cute.

I don't seem to remember the outcome of the Fallen Paladin quest. I think . . . Anarg turned out to be a jerk, because I DO remember getting a reward from the Order, so I must have done something right, lol.

Anyway . . I KNEW IT! I knew you were going to have another Fritha/Anomen chat and that he'd finally apologize. Okay I didn't really know it, but I had a pretty good idea. Very nice. :)

I like how Nalia was trying think "now what would Imoen do?" Imoen's one of kind, it impossible to think like she does. I miss her. :*( It was also nice to see the girls just going out on the town to enjoy themselves. I half expected HaerDalis to try and drag himself and Aerie along.

Fritha is a better person than me. I had unadultered hatred for Irenicus in the game. Even more so for Bodhi because that evil b*tch seemed enjoy hurting people a great deal. Emotionally and physically.

""Sir Ryan Trawl had been his mentor since he joined the Order years ago; there was no truer man in all of Amn""

Sir Ryan reminds me of King Arthur . . . is that weird?

"Why is Fritha in such good spirits?’ asked Jaheira as she reached them, still sending a puzzled frown to the stairs behind her.

‘Paint fumes,’ said Anomen and the bard together. Jaheira groaned."

Hahaha :D

This wouldn't be taking inspiration from life would it? That varnish can pack a punch. I bleached the kitchen one time without appropriate ventilation and got a little silly.
Dangerously Incompetent chapter 39 . 5/14/2007
Jealous Anomen. Aww! This chapter made me realise that, yes, he's sweet and all, but his ideals really are stupid. I love him still, but his veiws on the world are very narrow-minded. Nalia and Fritha together was sweet, Jaheira's discomfort was touching (classic Jaheira!), poor Minsc is so easily entertained it's funny and Aerie and Haer'Dalis are becoming one of those annyoing couples. Yay. Nice chapter, as always. Don't take too long with the next chapter, please. I want everday to be a Zenith day (that's what I've named days where I get to read new chapters of your story).
Kulyok chapter 38 . 5/8/2007
A truly beautiful story you've got here. I've been reading it since last November, and I think it is only polite to tell you that some of the clicks you see in your stat window are actually mine. :-) It reminds me of Bronte's novels a little, and of Ulitskaya, who's been writing about young ladies in Smolny institute over a century ago. Nalia, Aerie and Fritha all look as if they were from that time... a little. I love Haer'Dalis, Anomen, and Jaheira, as well, and chuckle every time when I wonder about Fritha's eventual choice.

I've read the first part, too, but it's the romances in the second part that keep me going. I should also tell you that your story is so good that someone tried to post the translation of the first chapter in our Russian Baldur's Gate LJ community and pass it as their own story(unless you are Russian, in which case it could've been you, but the translation wasn't good, so I doubt it). I let everyone know the truth by posting the direct link to Sunrise, of course.

Waiting for the next installment, and the next, and the one after...
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