Reviews for Menzoberranzan Nights
MercurialNight chapter 4 . 4/21/2011
hor, are a genius. Hahah I'm so glad I found this. I love the freinship between Jarlaxld and Zak, and you developed ot brilliantly. Your writing style is so interesring and easy to get lost in; I'm never bored. And I absolutely adore your Jarlaxle XD They're both extremely well rounded. Jar's not just a cocky idiot either; you balanced that side of him with a hidden and cunning intelligence. XD keep up the epicness!
Nyx-Zephyrus chapter 4 . 1/24/2010
I wish to be showered in adoration!

With this I must say: hot diggety, can you weave you up some atmosphere. That's a hell of a skill and it seems like it's fading fast in the literary-o-sphere; I'm fairly hard to please with imagery, possibly because I have very little imagination and I need the scene spelled out for me in an attractive way, and you have enraptured me. So five stars.
unsichtbar chapter 4 . 11/6/2009
This chapter makes the story for me; it is an astoundingly beautiful, reflective, compelling and philosophical tour de force. There are numerous aspects I found extraordinary:

1) Zak's thoughts about how no two people can truly touch each other are not only fascinating, they are also wonderfully presented in a logical flow from reflection about others to reflection of the self and one's position in society.

2) I love the clothing, the "insane" patterns and heat signatures; I was intrigued by Zak's magnetic attraction to those signatures and look forward to more development on that account.

3) The reflection on gender politics was brilliant. Zak's growing awareness of his own conditioning and limited perspective is breathtaking; in particular, I loved your description of his reaction to the emotions evoked in him by the music. The hint of coming social upheaval implied by the reactions to the music was extremely interesting!

4) Perhaps my favorite aspect are in the diegetic shifts - the song sung (lovely lyrics!) and especially the "Märchen" - and how Zak snaps into the trance of fiction, learns from it, and finds himself suddenly called to action. It makes him an almost Romantic hero, and I love that!

This is a wonderful and terrible cliff-hanger, and I cannot wait for more!
unsichtbar chapter 3 . 11/6/2009
I enjoyed this chapter a great deal, although it was also here that I first began to realize how little I know about the fandom. The conversation between Zak and Triel was especially well done. In particular, the manner in which they react to the dance came across almost physically: the sentences took on a stacatto pace, miming the dance, and then suddenly flowed into a seamless blur - this was an astonishing episode! I also love Jarlaxle's awareness of language - to me, it makes him a truly literary figure - but especially interesting is the suggestion of a "new world" to be discovered. I am fascinated by the suggestion that different places on the map of society contradict each other logically; by Zak's discovery of the "other" in Triel.
unsichtbar chapter 2 . 11/6/2009
This is so beautiful, so charming on the surface, and it inspires the reader to look deeper, to recognize the complex structure beneath, the heart of the story. (I've read this chapter five times now!) I am quite impressed by both levels. The banter between J and Z repeatedly brought a smile to my face, but I especially loved your portrayal of D and his wife and the glimpse into the hierarchy of values in this society (the goblin, in particular, made clear how ambiguous these values are). On that note, my favorite moments were your often stunningly beautiful portrayals of the objective world - the roads, the architecture of the tavern, the musicans and dancing. If this story is motivated by anthropological concerns, then I agree completely, for the performative aspects - how the story presents itself as an argument - are extremely well done. Now, on to the next chapter!
Iceheart Firesoul chapter 4 . 10/13/2009
A! I thought this story was dead, and here's an update after all!

I must say, focusing on Zaknafein all through the Elistraeeans' sermon was a great way to build the tension, knowing that in the meantime Jarlaxle was likely being interviewed by the oh-so-sneaky priestess in disguise. As for the missionaries themselves, my hat's off to you for your description of their music- you gave just enough to audiate from without distracting from the story with excessive description, and their appearance was very unique. In general, you're catching those hard-to-get nuances, like the wistfulness Zak keeps feeling and the discordant music of the bards, with great aptitude.

(I'm hardly one to talk since I've had writer's block for months, but I hope the next chapter comes sooner than eight months from now.)
Hr'awkryn chapter 4 . 9/30/2009
I really am loving this story. Your writing is so well done, and your research into the history, culture, and language is appreciated. A whole new take on our favourite characters! Please continue and keep writing!
nick chapter 1 . 5/18/2009
we i like it alot, but Jarlaxle uses the two weaopn long fighting style as well as the sword and dirk combo, but other than that awesome
Lady Annikaa chapter 3 . 3/2/2009
Yea nice to see this fic again! .
Linndechir chapter 3 . 2/24/2009
I'm late, as always. Sorry, but I guess it could have been worse. ;)

"smiling with anticipation of some mischief" - I can so see that smile on Jarlaxle's face ...

"Jarlaxle grinned manically" - I can see that, too ... Perfect expressions for Jarlaxle. I like your Jarlaxle in general, his behaviour, how he talks ... It's nice to see that playful side, not just the coldly scheming mercenary. And at the same time you never make us forget the intelligence and pragmatism under that mischievous behaviour. Great characterisation.

"Jarlaxle mentally tipped his hat at the absent Zaknafein, thanking him for a thorough exposure to the slang and profanities used by commoners"

I think I already said that about the earlier chapters, but I really love how you show the social differences between nobles and commoners in general, and between Jarlaxle and Zaknafein in particular. I can see Zak teaching slang to Jarlaxle just like I can see Jarlaxle correcting Zak's grammar mistakes.

Aw, poor Jarlaxle. Why am I not surprised that he didn't win his bet, despite his magic items and dexterity? Drow ... ;)

Yay, a Triel mention! Sorry, I know that doesn't have much to do with your story, but I'm just such a Baenre fan, and Triel (Baenre, I mean ;)) is about the only drow female I don't despise. Anyway, apart from that I like that you used an already existing name. You're right, it is an absurd "rule" that important characters get to keep their names all for themselves. ;)

I like arrogant young Zaknafein. Even if, as you know, so much as a hint at het makes me cringe. Gna. Really. Maybe it's just my inner het hater, but I can't imagine that Zak would be so happy about an encounter even with an attractive and apparently more 'liberal' female. Zak is just too much of a top to enjoy sex with any drow female. And it's het. Do not want. :P

"There is only so far a male can go in Menzoberranzan."

I wonder to what extent Zaknafein himself has already considered that. If he thinks that he still has a future in Menzoberranzan, he's obviously much more optimistic than his older self. I really wonder how and when Zaknafein went from "Yay, I'm such a great fighter, I'm even better than those arrogant nobles" to "It doesn't matter anyway, my life is hell."

“I have heard that they even have male clerics there,”

Little hint at Rai'gy, I suppose? I like the idea that Ched Nasad is slightly (if only slightly, of course) more liberal about such things than Menzoberranzan. After all, Menzoberranzan is Lolth's holy city, so she's probably a lot stricter there than anywhere else.

"Jarlaxle purred into his ear"

Mhmm, that's more like it. Sounds like slash. What, my reviews are not very intelligent and useful? Don't tell me you're surprised. ;)

"Wait! Zak signed sharply, before leaning back as casually as possible. “Trouble at o-two-hundred.” "

It's good to have a reminder that drow always remain alert, even if they're out enjoying themselves. It would have been easy to forget that in this scene, and I really appreciate that you didn't.

So, anyway, another great chapter, although I was rather put off by the amount of het. I officially whine and demand more slash. :P I'm looking forward to the next chapter, I really want to see where this is going. And I still haven't forgotten that you once wanted to write an Artemis/Zaknafein-story, so I will keep nagging you about that. O:-)
Celeborn's Concubine chapter 3 . 2/21/2009
Yay! Lol, this latest chapter was so much fun- you have no idea how happy it made me to get that little update notification email _- There are just so many things that I'd like to compliment you on in this latest chapter that I just don't know where to start.

Firstly, I suppose, I thought you 'drew' the most exquisitely wonderful imagery of the dancing drow. Their immersion in their hedonistic pleasure was not only consistent with portrayals of the drow in various FR novels, but also differed from those portrayals in that there was an appealing innocence in their merry-making. Particularly potent was the interaction between Zaknafein and Triel. I thought that Triel was an excellent character - she was clearly in control of their conversation at all times, consistent with the whole matriarchy thing, and yet, unlike so many of the drowesses we encounter in both the novels and fanfiction alike (and I'm ashamed to admit that many of these occur in my own fics) she didn't need to be reduced to a hyper-aggressive femme fatale or butch brute stereotype to achieve that. She was very /real/, and all the more elegantly written as a result of that.

Ha! It is SO Jarlaxle to go and stick his nose straight in anything even vaguely suss. You've captured him to a tee. I love it _

Don't you ever worry about making us wait for your updates - they are always well worth it ;)
Darkrin chapter 3 . 2/19/2009
Ahh, Jarly and Zak at their best here. You write their bantering very well - the conversations flow nicely and naturally.

I'm also enjoying the fact that this story is more about the 'common people' of Menzoberranzan and less about the crazy nobles. As interesting as the latter may be, this is a pleasant change.

I can't wait to read more of this!

~Rin
penny4him chapter 2 . 2/6/2009
I must say this is a magnificently composed and hilariously witty story so far! There are far too many great lines to comment on them all, especially the endless back-and-forth between our beloved Jarlaxle and Zaknafein. Suffice it to say, I love how you've written this. You are obviously a very talented writer, and I hope you'll update soon.
glenarvon chapter 2 . 7/28/2008
Very nice. Love the bickering and teasing!

More, please?
Ilmthara chapter 2 . 4/7/2008
Personally, I think you're doing a great job describing the aspects of the life of drow commoners. I find the subject very interesting myself, considering that in the FR books, we usually get to see a whole lot more of the noble's lives.

I also like your writing style and rich description, not to mention that the dialogue is well-written and lively. Plus Jarlaxle and Zaknafein are both one of my favourite characters in FR, so it's a pleasure to read good fanfic about those two.

Usually, I never bother reviewing any fan-fiction, but now I've obviously made an exception.

If you're enjoying the story yourself, please do write more.
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