|Reviews for The War of Twilight IV: Crown of Dusk|
| Celeborn00 chapter 45 . 12/20/2010
Well that was quite the ending. :-) I think, overall, this was very nice plot twist, considering that I though the story was drawing to a close and obviously it's not. I am sort of annoyed that my two favourite characters are dead, but I suspect that they will be revived, at least temporarily, in the near future. It better be soon though, because I am no nearly so fond of Rael.
I appreciated the detail within the battle, both in it's duration and the snippets of action that you gave us in each scene. Some of the tactics were a little far-fetched, but your writing carried the day. I would like to say that I appreciated your description of the frontline soldiers being replaced continually be reserves, although I admit I have no idea whether that is a conventional tactic or not. I assume it is, or you wouldn't have used it in your story.
The battle between Rael and Ralis I was not as interested in because of the problem arising when two people of generally unlimited power fight each other. Zeph ran into the same sort of thing in "The Eternal Legend", and I find it to be a generally frustrating scenario for the reader. In my head, I'm always thinking "Why didn't he try this?" or "Why didn't he try that?", and these interjections are a continual disruption to the story. Actually, I was thinking of this scene in X-Men when Magneto sucks all the alloy from Wolverine's bones, and considering how much shorter your story would have been of Ralis had tried sucking all the water out of Rael.
My point is that with great power comes great possibility, and you as the writer can only be so clever. R&R can blast fire and lightening at each other for only so long before one of them comes up with something a little more potent. Ralis does eventually changed his tactics, but not enough to really alter their struggle.
I also don't completely understand several key points in the battle:
1. Ralis giving in to darkness. This gives him some of the same powers as Ralis, so is he therefore part of the Lord of Dusk? Is there another entity which infects both of them? This is only the first of a series of revelations given during the cataclysmic endgame of their battle, and I find most of them somewhat abrupt. It seems that, while Rael's hate is a bad thing, it gives him the strength to continue fighting, and is therefore a positive development. Yet there is not real resolution to the semi-sentient hatred, unless of course you are saving that for the fifth volume.
2. Why doesn't Link kill Ralis? I understand that the pursuit of glory has been emphasized again and again during Link's journey to rediscover himself, but that was a hell of a time to get self-righteous. It seems to me that his gradual relinquishing of control within the Hylian hierarchy was the real test of his new resolution, and therefore I find his self-sacrifice puzzling. His motive for showing Ralis mercy ("My son dying in the dirt while I kill his only brother. Is this my reward? Is this my glorious end?) is weak, and so I must conclude that the plot of later developments requires Link dead and Ralis alive. On the other hand, I seriously doubt that the MasterSword could have killed Ralis, even if I firmly believe that Link would have at least tried. Too much is at stake for Link to has so despaired in the critical moment.
3. Navi reawakens. Didn't see this coming. I believe that a couple of times Link or Zelda used the line "She is always with us" during the grieving process, but the idea that it was literal never crossed my mind. Generally such things need a carefully planned series of clues to be effective, and I don't feel that such clues can be found. Indeed I begin to suspect that you used the scene as a vehicle to realize the image of Zelda with one human eye and one fairy eye, a beautiful image, but one that doesn't make a lot of sense in the plot. Why did a part of Navi survive? Does Link carry a part of the all the fairies who sacrificed themselves for him? Why does the power of a great fairy devastate Ralis so when everything else, including the Lord of the Morning himself, fail so miserably? The reader is asked to make a large number of assumptions in a row that I am no altogether happy with.
Overall, although I really loved the writing in these last couple chapters, especially the stream-of-consciousness, I was perplexed by the large number of unexplained phenomena which I was being asked to swallow at face value. Most of these occurances I have seen used in other stories as the final plot-twist, but I have never seen so many twists used together. The positive aspect to this is that I really had no idea what would happen next most of the time, while the negative was that my response to most of the twists was apathetic. Too much was being thrown at me that had no background in the text, and therefore my emotions were not as involved as they should have been. Zelda's reaction to Link's death was very, very powerful, but it was also the exception to the rule.
Unfortunately, the rules to the magic used by R&R are so abstract that it is hardly possible for me as the reader to understand the counters to them. Without more concrete mechanics, I will just have to take your word as the author that Zelda's sacred shield could block Ralis' lightening, or that the Mastersword wouldn't counteract Ralis' evil. You have introduced two essentially seperate magical systems into the same world, without really explaining their interaction.
| Celeborn00 chapter 33 . 12/18/2010
al'Arantos son of a forgotten war.
I must say I really appreciate the little details you throw in to supplement the culture. Most writers here just don't really bother to "flesh out" their world, and so I think that your insistence both shows your excellence and the fact that you're training to write real novels in the future.
I like the first part of this chapter, although I wasn't really thrilled with the sex scene (as I've said before). I'll spare you the argument about it's feasibility within their characters because that's just a matter of opinion, but once again I feel that it somewhat cheapens the scene. Redemption is partially achieve with Zelda's line about Link having to be pried from her "cold, dead hands", but that refreshing spark is brief. Frankly, I think what irritates me the most is your reference to the rhythmic movements of their waists, as if they're a couple of horny teenagers at a house-party. Some more appropriate euphemisms would have been nice.
I greatly appreciated the opening dialogue in Chapter 33, especially because of it's contrast to the perplexingly inane horse-whale thing in the earlier chapter. Rael's response to Anya actually made me laugh, and since usually the only person who makes me laugh is Zelda, I though it was an important moment. He's making some serious progression as a character, which is, once again, a testament to your evolving talent.
The easy way with which this complex plot is moving is also fairly impressive, considering the number of things you're having to remember to include. I wish you'd pass some of that talent my way. :-)
And then another sex scene, which begins post-act with Elane asking the unforseen and quintessentially hilarious question "Do you think we love each other?". Once again, I laughed, but this time it was at the characters, not with them. As with the dusky Lon Lon Ranch maid, the scene just seems entirely erroneous to the larger story, and damages the character of both Rael and Elane. I know that you argue that their just behaving like normal human beings, but I question that defense in the context of Hylian society. 1. Like it or not, the idea of marriage within your Hylia is based upon Judao-Christian values. 2. The twin paragons of virtue in your story, Link and Zelda, engaged in moody abstinence for thirty years after their brief lapse into lustful abandon, and only re-engage sexually after exchanging wedding vows. The importance of this detail, used by you as the author to justify their actions, cannot be underestimated in the wider comparison. 3. Rael and Elane are portrayed by you as being smart, capable leaders, yet this action is not smart, well thought through, or even consistent with their general character. Rael is consistently turned into a bumbling, tongue-tied oaf by Anya, so why is he suddenly so smooth with Elane? And why the sudden liberal wantonness of these two normally conservative characters, especially when they actions are motivated by "lust", not love, as both of them are smart enough to admit?
It is, essentially, a very hollow scene, epitomized by the irony of the dialogue in which they are forced to engage. It's as if you want the reader to recognize the stupidity of their actions, or perhaps are haunted by the faint memory of some solemn youth-group meeting during your adolescent years. :-)
The next chapter does a very good job explaining why Link and Zelda attempted to open the Sacred Realm, although i still don't understand why they didn't wait until Rael was with them (as a sort of insurance policy). I am also very impressed by the effort you've put into shaping the story around that prophecy, and the planning it must have taken. Once again, I sense some Robert Jordan influence.
| Celeborn00 chapter 25 . 12/16/2010
Well I must confess that I read a bunch of chapters in a row and didn't review most of them, but then again I seem to remember you promising some yet-to-materialize reviews too. :-)
It really feels like you are coming into your own as a writer. I love the ease with which you mix technical detail and artistic elements, even if I do miss the flamboyantly poetic prose from the first three installments.
I also enjoy the mixture of plot lines within your writing. In this chapter (25), you include numerous sub-plots (Jaendral and Jevilla for example) that keep things entertaining as the whole story grinds inexorably forward. I can't say I've been terribly impressed by the zombie assassins as a whole, but then again, there are very few characters who can pull of lines like "I am a nightmare". I want them to be more impressive, to be "scarier", sort of like the Myhrdraal from WoT.
I also think, judging from the quality of the dialogue, they shouldn't be able to talk. :-)
I apologize for my mistake in not realizing that Link and Zelda do discuss Navi's death. It just appears later in the text than I thought it would. This doesn't change the fact that I dislike her death, but it is a fair admission.
All the ZeLink mush is intensely satisfying, and i must say that his repeated affirmation that he's "always closer" was a poignant touch. I am unsure why they had to breach the Sacred Realm, and the given explanation that it was because Rael had to pass into it was unclear. Is this what Link learned in Jasinin? Or is this part of the prophecy? Either way, it seemed like a very stupid idea given Link and Zelda's history with the Temple of Time.
In chapter 26, Colter describes the Kairin as "terrorising our women and children." I realize that I'm a bit hypocritical to harp on spelling errors, but I thought I'd point it out.
I enjoyed your characterization of the Zoras and though that it was essentially in keeping with the games. The dialogue was funny and quick, and the chapter was well executed (pardon the pun) even if the only real point was to narrate the assassination.
I think my two favourite parts (going from memory) were the unusual flashback narration you used when Ralis parted the ocean, and the authority mechanics between Link and Zelda when they approach the generals in Chapter 29. The artistic elements involved in contrasting Ralis's adoption to the raw reality of his power was fascinating, especially considering the biblical allusion to Moses. It also reminds me of Jacob and Esau, or Cain and Abel.
I think I liked Link and Zelda's little misunderstanding over authority because I wasn't sure how the scene would end. Most fantasy follows certain conventions which, if one is familiar with them, make the plot fairly easy to predict. That scene suprised me, if only momentarily, because I didn't think that Link's approach would fail. The character realized in that short scene alone was worth an entire chapter. :-)
| Celeborn00 chapter 23 . 11/7/2010
Okay, a couple of preliminary things
"The twenty guards moved out on command, stepping out into the grassy fields on each side of the track. They were close to the town, so Rael decided to keep his conversation short. "Anya," he said, looking across at his companion, "you keep approaching me for these conversations... but then you continue to speak to me as though I'm a lout in a pub. I enjoy your company – at least I like you more than most of the Blades – but you're starting to... concern me.""
The direct approach...hmm. It's always weird for me when the character asks the question the reader is wondering. I mean, I don't know what Anya's role in the story is because Rael already has a love interest, but thankfully Rael asks her for me. In honour of female characters created by male writers everyewhere, she's ambiguous in a coquettish sort of way, but I'm still surprised that Rael would straight up ask this question. My sister would call it a "DTR" a.k.a. "define the relationship" question.
There is a line in this chapter where you describe a man by his "pronounced calves". Isn't there some other element of the man's physical appearance you could use that doesn't sound so eccentric? Or...uh...well...
I like how you spend a significant portion of this chapter attempting to develop comraderie between the Blades. Anya and Rael have some funny moments, but the achievement is dampened by the lackluster dialogue of the male bodyguards. The horse- whale thing isn't funny and it seems strange to me that you would describe this game as ongoing amongst the Blades. As is shown, they run out of "bigger" animals pretty fast. A little more creativity would have been a nice touch.
The dream travelling is interesting because you imply in this chapter that both parties have to be sleeping for it to work. I'm pretty sure that Ralis sucked Rael into a dream while he was awake in a previous chapter, which contradicts the implied mechanic. I actually found that previous chapter funny because Rael had just killed a Kairin soldier before it happened, so if Ralis had pulled his arbitrary dream-trick 10 seconds earlier this story would have been a lot shorter.
But I digress.
Your description of the magic surrounding the dream is also interesting because of the violent, bloody imagery. I'm actually not sure what to make of it.
The rest of the chapter is fine, although I always find conversations between Rael and one of his parents awkward. I know they aren't supposed to be able to come to terms with their relationship, but I resent Rael for what seems like unecessary crankiness. From a plot perspective I think you did a very good job refocussing the reader onto the new Kairin threat.
| Celeborn00 chapter 22 . 10/31/2010
And so I come to the best chapter in this whole story, at least by my recollection. Perhaps it's because this feels closer to my writing style than most of your other stuff, or perhaps it's because it's about my two most beloved characters. The mood you create in this chapter is beyond impressive, and I believe that it's effectiveness is created by the unique nature of the scene. I mean the cat. :-)
I was having a talk with a fellow writer yesterday, and we entered into a discussion about the nature of character. He was saying that he hates writing scenes or dialogue between characters when it's not shaped by some driving plot mechanic, because he doesn't know what to write. I believe that meditative or flippant scenes are a good test of how well the writer knows his characters, because they require intimate details about who a character truly is outside of the restricting framework of plot sequence. When a character is creating the scene, rather than reacting to outside forces, the depth or shallowness of the character is glaring obvious.
You know why I mention this. The first half of this chapter is essentially a summary of Hylia's situation, and yet its also an opportunity for you to "play" with the character of Zelda. Her conversation with the cat is a masterstroke because it's refreshingly spontaneous, and creates a solid connection between her and the reader. I have a cat, I "know" all the movements you described, and i even talk to it occasionally myself. This interaction is on a different level than the rest of the story, and is a glimpse of potential you have yet to realize.
This sentence is a mistake:
"Zelda rested her tired head on her left hand, and with her left prodded the tomato on her plate with a fork." Important to change because its the first sentence of the chapter.
The rest of the lines I just picked out because of their power:
"the man who saw her flesh and soul and spirit at a single glance.
"I should think that the counsel of men would better the counsel of beasts," came the reply.
The light coming through the curtains was fading, as the sun sank low beyond the western hills. The evening twilight was settling upon Hyrule, bringing an end to another wearisome day in a dying world. Dawn to dusk and life to death, time was short, and the pursuit of love was ever held back by the inevitable fear of the unknown beyond."
My only real complaint is that the writing mastery in this chapter highlights some of the lacklustre of the other characters. I wish this story were about Zelda and Link, because I don't really think you could write a chapter about Rael like this. I don't think that you know him well enough.
Now it's true that part of the appeal in Link and Zelda is the emotional and historical baggage they carry from canon and a billion other fanfics, but nevertheless, they are your strongest characters. I bleed for them, while I'm merely bored by Rael and Elane.
I'm bored, that is, when I remember that they have a relationship, which isn't that often. :-)
| Celeborn00 chapter 21 . 10/27/2010
This chapter is refreshing change in both character and setting. I can't say I like Edwire (he's the stereotypical spoiled novel) but I love your characterization of Ralis (more on this later).
"Startled, he broke his fall by throwing out his hands to meet the earth, narrowly avoiding a calamitous impact with his handsome face."
Odd line. It's funny, but I'm not really sure whether it's supposed to be funny or not. Edwire is childish in his emotions and affections, and your writing style seems to reflect this
"His life had been ruined by this awful peasant king, and he would see to it that this terrible man received nothing less than he deserved for the awful things he was doing."
A purposefully simplistic style: interesting tactic. Comic relief I guess.
I think my favourite part of Ralis is his unpredictable nature. A lot of people try to write the character who's half-genius half-madness and fail miserably, but you do a pretty good job. I think your secret is in his delayed reaction. We know from past experiences with his character that he's going to punish Bethron, so Ralis's initial reaction is confusing. As the reader I'm no longer sure of my own predictions and so I'm caught in the tension of the moment. When Ralis does strike, it's deliciously unexpected. In my opinion, that moment of surprise is the best part of the chapter.
(On the other hand, how many thousands of men does Bethron need to deal with "feral cats"? Like what kind of excuse is that?)
One thing I probably wouln't have mentioned is that it takes Bethron 10 seconds to drown. First I don't think it's accurate, and second it distracts from the moment. Your reader is immediately debating the length of time needed for a man to drown instead of appreciating the murder. A little thing, but it makes a big difference in an otherwise poignant scene.
I thought the last chapter before this was effective in solidifying the break between Ralis and Rael. I must admit that I'm not really sure why they keep meeting in these weird psuedo-dreams (I know their linked by destiny, but Rael suggests that Ralis "did something". Is that true?) Also, I've never been quite sure why Ralis is so much stronger than Rael. Is it because he's older? Or because of his rage?
P.S. I'm going to do a little plot summary, so tell me if I've got everything right. Right now Link and Zelda are about to meet up in Castletown to discuss the new weapon that Link received from the fairies (although I forget what it is exactly). Link is renewed in mind and spirit and so he and Zelda are going to rekindle their own flame. Rael is in Taeren Key feeling slightly disillusioned with the fact that Ralis doesn't think the loss of his army is a tangible setback. Elana is struggling with the fact that she just ordered the massacre of a bunch of helpless prisoners, and trying to get used to being arbitrarily set upon the Gerudo throne.
Everybody and their mother are building armies.
Is that about right?
| Celeborn00 chapter 24 . 10/25/2010
Okay, so I read this chapter again. It's a very emotional piece and i think that you wrote it very well. Whatever you say about not being a pro Fantasy writer, you have the potential.
I was aware that Zelda's death served a number of purposes, I just think that you cheapen the event by having Navi sacrifice herself. This living, breathing, complex supernatural character becomes a mere expedient through which you buy this romantic encounter.
It's true that her death makes the Dusk Crown more potent as a weapon, since it's been foiled several other times. it just seems to me that you really wanted to have this scene where Zelda died and was resurrected, and you bought it with the life of another character who really didn't deserve to die this way.
Navi as a character is important in Jasinin because she saves Link from the fairies zenophobia. Once they leave the city, her only important interactions involve Zelda. First she urges Link to "not lose his chance" or whatever, and then she swoops down like a flock of Tolkien-esque eagles to resurrect the queen. THEN, to add insult to injury, she isn't even mentioned in the next chapter where ZeLink take off to open the Sacred Realm (at least I couldn't find a reference).
Solidifying her in my mind as a plot mechanic, rather than a character.
Now I am guilty of this too, so I feel slightly hypocritical, but I also think it's important this doesn't happen again. It was a great scene, other than the price you had to pay to accomplish it.
As for the ideas of balance:
You're right, manpower is necessary to possess and oversee conquered territories and keep their populations in line. therefore it is very important to have armies marching around ready to fight. But I am also reminded of the Wheel of Time, where a very small group of Power-wielders could destroy massive forces of conventional warriors. Rael and Ralis have revolutionized how wars are fought. In an open battle, either of them are worth more than entire armies, and can easily turn the fight into a massacre. The only way they are really countered is if both of them are present (as in the final battle), and they have to concentrate on each other.
So for me, Rael is sometimes remarkably impotent. i look at him and say "why don't you do this, that's what Link would have done". And he looks at me and goes "but I'm not Link!".
And perhaps that's what irritates me most of all. :-)
| Celeborn00 chapter 19 . 10/24/2010
"With his steel primed he ran towards the rising sun, courage coursing through his veins."
I very much liked this line because "the rising sun" is one of your symbolism for Rael right? Description that serves two purposes, as this line does, is the mark of sophisticated writing.
Here''s the opposite:
"the former boss of the Sun Blades was a man ready to take on one hundred foes with this own hands."
And yes, I have other issues besides the spelling mistake. :-) It's not original, it's not really necessary, and the wording is strange. Why the arbitrary number of one hundred? Why "with his own hands" when he's carrying a weapon? Minor details, but they are important when once considered that out of the bajillion phrases you could have used, you chose this one.
As I've mentioned in earlier reviews, the "balance of power" within this story bothers me. According to this chapter, Rael doesn't really need an army. With a little more creativity on his part he could have waltzed into the town by himself and destroyed the Kairin garrison. Problematically, Ralis could have sailed across the sea himself and destroyed most of Hyrule. Yet neither seem to realize this. As much as the Crown of Dusk is a nasty weapon, it pales in comparison with the power wielded by the two brother. Why then, does Ralis hide behind his little stone-possessed minions? Why does Rael insist on always almost getting killed, when, if he had the brains of a salmon, he could win the war singlehandedly?
Now I realize you can use excuses like "mental instability" and "aversion to killing/magic", but I believe that the all-important thing is balance. Good and evil in a fantasy story must always be balanced, because as soon as they're out of balance, one side must inevitably attack.
Perhaps what I'm trying to say is that I don't feel that the limits you've placed upon Ralis and Rael's power is adequate to explain the decisions they make in the story. Every time I have to break my suspension of disbelief to ask "why didn't he do this other thing?", I become less involved in the story, and more frustrated with the characters.
(I remember you and Zeph mentioning a similar sentiment in my story when Zelda gets arbitrarily kidnapped early on. Things happening for the sake of plot, rather than following logical conclusions).
But perhaps I'm missing something that you can explain to me. It has been a long time since a I read the first half of this story after all.
| Celeborn00 chapter 18 . 10/24/2010
Ah, perhaps I do understand why you got rid of her. Navi's role as comic relief is over, now she's a strange mix of goofy and sexy. And that makes for a very strange relationship between her and Link. You did well with what you had, but this new Navi is just a distraction to the story, along with being obviously difficult to write.
| Celeborn00 chapter 15 . 10/24/2010
This will be a rather strange review, but I'll go for it anyway.
I've got to say that I really appreciated Jasinin. It's a minor setting in the story, but the effort you put into crafting a believable setting for the supernatural beings merits praise. i wasn't sure about the entrance being a big rock, but I think I understand why you chose it. I'm taking a class right now on medieval lit, and i'm reading stories where the entrance to the fairy underworld is through rock. Obviously there is the possibility of coincidence, but I prefer to think that Jasinin is an allusion to the medieval "faerie". :-)
The name itself, I presume, is from Wheel of Time.
The allegorical convention of Mercy, Wrath, and Justice is not new, but it's appropriate in the setting. They remind me of a play I wrote last year, or a less otiose version of Din, Farore, and Nayru. The fact that Link is stripped naked before approaching them is reminiscent of a pilgrimage, as if his "sins are laid bare" to use biblical terms (directly quoted from Davy Jones in "Pirates of the Caribbean"). I like that the three forces see right through him, and that he's a complex enough character that I, as the reader, am surprised at what they see. Rael is not this complex.
The end of this chapter is unfortunate, in that I think you should have written Navi as staying in Jasinin. She doesn't seem to be an important part of the story, and if I remember correctly, you kill her off quickly in a very anticlimactic way. I mean, she dies because she's the wrong type of fairy for healing? Seriously? I understand the nostalgia of the moment, but I don't think her decision had any real purpose in your story except as a convenient Dues ex Machina when Zelda gets stabbed.
I also think you needed better descriptions of the elder fairies. They need to be more than tall and glowing.
Although this paragraph was very good:
"She moved unclothed stood before the rest of her kindred, with such presence and power that her light made all others dull by comparison. Her body was pure perfection, and her shining face was so incomprehensibly beautiful that in the same moment she made Link both joyous and bitterly sad. In his heart he thanked the gods that he had lived to see so majestic a sight, and yet knew that in his remaining days he would never again see anything so wonderful."
If not for the unclothed part I would think you pulled this straight out of Lord of the Rings. In fact, I still think you were channeling Frodo in Lorien. it seems like I've seen this paragraph before, but anyway, this is definintely the highlight of the description.
I just want the same treatment for Rath and Mercy.
| Celeborn00 chapter 8 . 8/18/2010
I don't know if I gave you permission to call me "Cel", but I guess I can forgive you if you don't do it again. :-) It is a hideous mangling of the elvish.
Anyway, as I said before I like the military chapters. Unfortunately, this one reeks of Robert Jordan. Between the names and the dragons on Destan's cuffs, you really seemed to want me to remember your source material.
My two favourite phrases of the piece so far are the ubiquitous "I stand to serve", and Vash's "May the God's entomb you in glory". I think the second one particularly is a nice touch both in itself and as an expression of warrior culture. The other elements of culture are nicely and subtly done (the pins of rank come to mind), although I find it hard to imagine "Three wooden triangles atop a short shaft of wood". Are the triangles carved into the shaft? Or balanced atop it?
I also took exception to this:
"The sound of two approaching boots broke the silence of the grave site, and Vash sat up immediately. Two men were approaching."
Two bootsone man. Unless Shaef is carrying Destan upon his shoulders...which I find unlikely.
Or perhaps each man is hopping on one foot, although that might detract from the dignity of the scene. lol
It is interesting that Destan would tell Vash to "not remember their names". Isn't that the opposite extreme? I don't pretend to know much about being a military commander, but I had to think about Destan's words for a while to see if I agreed with him. I don't think I do, but that might be for the same reason I'm pursuing academics rather than enlisting in the marines.
This was a nice breather chapter. I'm not sure what exactly it added to the piece considering we don't get much plot, or much information. I think you could have added more detail about the military operations (even if only to justify adding the chapter). In fact, I think most of the stuff here the reader should already have known, which is...curious.
Character development is good, but it is only one of many elements which should be present.
| Celeborn00 chapter 5 . 8/9/2010
Wow, there's a volume 5 now? Thinks are moving.
Anyway, I really liked this chapter. I think the interaction between Destan and Link is very well done and advertises some of the stronger aspects of your writing. You seem to have a very good grasp of the mentality and heirarchy of the Hylian military, and I find that chapters involving figures like Destan and Vash are the best part of the story. I feel sort of guilty that I like Vash better that Rael, but I guess that's the way it goes.
I especially like the pomp embodied in the pins used to denote rank They're really only a minor part of the overall story, yet they show an attention to detail (and realism) which I appreciate.
Once again I'm finding that Zelda and Link are much more engaging than Rael. I do wonder why Zelda had to lose an eye. Was that just a desire to be different, or is there deeper symbolism? If she got a sword to the eye than that would leave some hideous scars, and disfigurement usually has severe psychological consequences. Zelda is handling it a little too well by my estimation.
I like the interplay between Jevilla, Jaendral and Elane, even if I think their actual discussion could use some work. It sounded like something out of a fanfiction, which is, I believe, what we are trying to avoid. I realize that's fairly vague, but I think you'll get what I mean.
| Celeborn00 chapter 2 . 8/2/2010
Well, I'm back! It just took me a lot longer than I thought.
And I believe I didn't review Book III at all, but I read it so long ago I don't think I'd remember any of my points...
Anyway, I loved the doomsday prophecy at the beginning (once again). It really sets the mood for the piece while also providing some gravity that is sorely lacking in most fanfics. XD (perhaps for good reason).
The ship battle was particularly interesting because I've just finished reading a bunch of Patrick O'Brien novels. I've also been reading about the evolution of black-powder weapons in some David Weber sci-fi, so there were several details of the battle particularly interesting.
First of all, I've always thought of the Zelda world as set in the late, late fuedal era (technology at least). Therefore I'd presume that any cannon mounted on the Kairen vessel is going to be very, very primitive. No carriage, no trunnions, just an iron cylinder mounted on a wooden frame. It's very heavy, it must be hauled manually back into position after every shot, and accuracy...is lacking.
I believe your Kairen are firing something like twice a minute in chis chapter, and their accuracy, even in the middle of a bloody hurricane, is almost perfect. This could be because they are extremely lucky, they've loaded multiple chasers and are just firing them off one at a time, or because you've given them some advantage I don't know about.
Besides, conventional black powder for the period I've mentioned wouldn't fire under the conditions you've described. It's just too wet, and the conditions are too treacherous.
But other than that, I liked most of the rest. I'm not terribly sure while Rael switched to lightening considering it's a very irrational move and he ponders it very rationally. I thought his emotional reaction would outweigh his logic at that point.
Good ending too. :-)
| Zephros chapter 45 . 6/27/2010
You bastard. You conniving wretch!
After all that build-up and sacrifice, all is not done! What the hell man? Are you that much of a sadist to continue the story?
Dramatics aside, that surprised the hell out of me. If we go by the prophecy then the dead have to come to life still and the war has yet to begin? Looks like the fifth installment is going to be interesting.
Though, I really don't know how your going to top, or if your even going to try and top this last battle. It was pretty bad-ass.
So for years of build-up and for a semi-satisfying ending...Great-Job! Round of applause.
As to the chapter itself, there is not much to comment on. It's mostly just filler, save for the end of course.
I'm wondering to the first light and the evil darkness bit. Gah, you've got me wondering! When will you be starting on the next installment? We need a resolution, man. hehe.
Still, good job.
| Zephros chapter 44 . 6/27/2010
I must say that I was a bit let down on how it ended, really. The whole thing had been put up with a battle between Ralis and Rael, and I was eager to see how Rael would champion him. In the end it was Link(somewhat), Zelda and Navi that defeated him.
That bit aside, I was pretty anxious to see how it would play out. I'm still confuzzled as to Elane's abduction, though. I think that will be resolved in the next chapter.
The Karrin suddenly routing was a surprise, since last we saw of them they were winning; if memory serves.
I liked Jaendral's short bit. Lost without his queen and love. It really brought him how much people had lost in the struggle.
Onto the fight itself. You used grandiose language for it throughout, going over the top with how Zelda and Ralis spoke to each other. However, the contrast of light and dark, seen in the descriptions and the dialogue, saved what I think should have been cliched. So for that feat, awesome.
Though, I was let down by the outcome, I was pleased by the how it was accomplished. Love is not the greatest tool of the light, but sacrifice is, considering it is the single most selfless thing someone can do to counter selfishness. Navi popping out of nowhere, beautifully explained btw, was great. Especially, the bit with the eye. Saying Navi was continually sustaining her until that moment was pretty genius. I also recall you dropping a hint a long time ago about Navi's role not being done. heh.
There were a few hitched grammatical wise, but nothing jarring.
So pretty nise. Epic battle, heart-wrenching, surprise twist, and bad guy dead.