Reviews for The Black Ankh
Some1Else chapter 23 . 11/16/2011
I meant to read this immediately after finishing The Dark Realm. Whoops. Anyway, this was pretty good. It had to be to get through four hundred pages of it. Elora is a great character and I also was rather fond of Kra'lysie. Arcadion can be quite amusing as well and Mellorin was delightfully evil. I'd say the best part was when the goblin king realized he'd been duped, surrendered, and joined the fight against the Guardian. There are far too many other pieces of this story that I enjoyed. The whole Avatar being undead thing, the trek through the desert, recruiting armies from different worlds, hiding bodies inside the Shrine of Spirituality, and the scene where Elora finally defeats Mellorin are a few that immediately come to mind.

I don't really have any major nitpicks. I must admit, I wasn't really reading this novel to over analyze it. I just wanted to read. I do think that the Lifestealer subplot could have been expanded a little more, though. I did gloss over a couple of things and found a few parts dull, but that's inevitable with a story of this length. Also, if given the chance to achieve perfection I would have taken it if I had been in Elora's boots after defeating Mellorin, sham or not. Mellorin was just jealous.

Good work.
ice73 chapter 23 . 3/21/2007
Awesome. It's been ages since I've read something this good. Arcadion made me laugh.
muse5 chapter 23 . 10/27/2006
That was a nice ending for a great story. I'll wait eagerly for your version of Ultima IX because I'm sure that, just like your other stories, it'll be amazing. I was so disappointed with Ultima IX that I would rather not have any new Ultima than having that failure of a game...
Undead American chapter 23 . 9/14/2006
Hey SoL, sorry for the long delay in reviewing. Was away overseas for a while.

I'm not quite sure that I udnerstood the magickal mechanism between the Lich Crown, Arcadion, the Lifestealer, and the bracers. I mean, get from Arcadion pointing out "I'm a daemon" that the Lich crown granting him life magic somehow brought about something to overpower the bracer's spell, but I just don't really get the nuts and bolts.

The extra characters occaisionally did have me scratching my head, but it honestly wasn't that bad.

If you didn't catch it the first dozen or so times I said it, this was really a grand and epic tale! I hope you'll get a chance to write more: whether in this fandom or others. I also hope seeing my ugly mug in my last email didn't scare you away from possibly keeping in touch.
Shadow of Light chapter 14 . 6/13/2006
Thanks guys. ;)

As for future Ultima stories, since Ascension I've always wanted to write my own version of Ultima IX and give Elora some closure that doesn't require her becoming a blond male, heh. I expect I'll post a fic about it one day. :)
James L. King chapter 23 . 6/12/2006
All hail Lord British and the Glory that is Britannia! All Hail Elora, the Savior of Britannia! Thy masterpiece is complete, and in mine humble opinion, thou truly art the One True Avatar.

~Freakazoid! Dragon

-(UDIC)-
MelG chapter 23 . 6/11/2006
Wow. I have rarely read a better story. Congratulations on finishing it. I'm very intrigued about what might be in the outakes. Any plans to write anything else set in Britannia?

Congratulations again.
howardavatar chapter 21 . 6/5/2006
Increabale story so far. Cannot wait to see how it ends. 10/10 stars. I would give it more if its allowed. So much going on so much feeling. Hard to keep up with it.
Undead American chapter 20 . 5/13/2006
Sorry for the delay in reviewing 19 & 20! I like how you manage to add new intrigue and twists to the plot without making it "drag" at all-that's hard to do. Not many people can write long stories.

You know what's funny? I reread some chapters of this story while listening to Seether's song "Broken." I think that would describe how Elora will feel once this is all over. When you hear the words of that song, you can almost imagine images of various travails and losses Elora has suffered through in both this story and in your earlier work The Dark Realm.

Well, enough rambling for one day.
Baubau chapter 18 . 4/5/2006
I've been following this fic for a year now but never reviewed it before so I think I'll do it now.

This is definitely one of the best fics that I've ever read, it might even interest people outside the ultima fandom, it has all the elements needed for a great story such as action, humor, drama, etc. Keep up the great work and don't stop writing!

Thanks!
Undead American chapter 18 . 3/22/2006
If I haven't said it before, I ADORE Kra’lysie. :-) She certainly knows how to make an entrance!
MelG chapter 18 . 3/21/2006
Oh, dragons! Can't beat a story with dragons.

Hm, didn't think of the fact that Mellorin would already known Armageddon. Intriguing...

Nice chapter. Once again, I hope you update soon.
Shadow of Light chapter 17 . 3/18/2006
MelG: Thanks for the headsup on the typo! I've fixed it in my 'master document', but don't know if I'll be bothered reuploading it here, hehe. Let me know if you spy any others. :)

I'm glad the spy pulled off well. That's the kind of effect I was hoping for (if not readers being completely oblivious... :) Heh heh...)

Armageddon was a spell in Ultima 6, Ultima 7, Ultima Underworld (part the first), and it also featured in Pagan and *cringe* Ascension. It did leave bodies, but didn't kill those with sufficient protection (LB didn't did, possibly because of the throne. Batlin didn't die because the Guardian protected him... etc).

As for the second spell inscribed on the crown... that would be telling. :)
Undead American chapter 17 . 3/12/2006
Here is the entirety of my review...

:-)

Sorry, nothing more susbstantive than that at the moment.
MelG chapter 17 . 3/7/2006
Hmm, damn and it's slow updates. I wasn't actually able to read this until 24 hours after I got the email alert. Then I couldn't review either. That'll teach me to write long reviews and not back them up before trying to post them. Gr. Anyway...

I really hope you aren't one of those authors who hate having people foresee your plot twists, because I'm afraid I have to say: I KNEW it! Ok, maybe not knew but I was getting pretty certain. Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. I'm just trying to figure out if this could possibly get worse. Why have I got a nasty suspicion that the answer's 'yes'?

Absolutely masterfully set up. Just enough hints in previous chapters to make me suspicious, not enough for to quite be certain. I was totally shocked and horrified when Iolo confirmed it, even though that was exactly what I was expecting him to say. Also, I seem to recall you mentioning in a previous chapter that Lord British left his crown jewels in the Castle. I love the way you're now making use of all the almost off-hand comments you made in previous chapters. This really has the feel of everything building for a massive climax. Although, it could be just me, but I find that I like anti-climatic endings. Real life so often is, I like it when fiction follows the same pattern.

I really, really wish I could guess just how you intend to get them out of this mess. Though, I guess exactly how much trouble they're in depends on how you write the effects of Lord British's crown. As I recall, in-game didn't it cancel all magic not cast by the party? But that might just've been the designers' way of implementing the idea that it protected the party from hostile magic. If you plan on making the former the case then Elora just needs to get close enough to the daemon and they're fine, right? Personally, I'd be inclined to think that it actually only protects the party. In which case, they are in a great deal of trouble. Wondering what the exact nature of the other spell on the crown of the liche-king is. Since you mentioned it, I'm sure it will play a part. Unless you're trying to throw us off track.

The other thing I'm wondering: is there much point in casting Armageddon on Britannia? Forgive me if I've got it wrong here, but I think the only game I've played that contained the Armageddon spell was UIX, which may not be much help here. Britannia will be destroyed anyway if they don't resurrect Lord British quickly. Armageddon doesn't destroy undead. Does Armageddon leave bodies? Could they be resurrected? If so, then is it really so bad? Elora would still be, for lack of a better term, alive. Hm, the other spell on the crown: reverse of Armageddon? Plus, wouldn't it destroy Mellorin's own army (and her if she was in Britannia at the time)? That is, of course, assuming that the daemon is that closely controlled by Mellorin and isn't going to use the crown for its own end. Argh, so many questions!

On a more cheerful note, I loved the bit of humour at the end. Kept the chapter nice and dark without letting it become entirely hopeless. I'd love to know what the rest of the joke was.

Eek, this must be about the longest review I've ever given (knowing my luck it will still refuse to submit). Enough with the speculation, all I have left to say is: you are a superb author. If you aren't published you deserve to be because I have read far far worse published stories. Oh, yes and: please update before your loyal readers die of suspense :D.

Ah, just remembered something else. You have at least one typo: "...I suspect they’re the only ones you trust enough to hand something that valuable too". Should be 'to'. Yeah, I'm pedantic. Sue me.

(Yikes, out of interest, I just checked how many words this review came to. 673. How come I can write that in 15 mins but a 20 word essay takes hours?)
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