Reviews for Orchid
Cotton Strings chapter 15 . 5/31
Why do you make me cry for?

Great story!
Forest's daughter chapter 15 . 1/7
This story made made me cry..
Caina Stean'Ame chapter 15 . 12/29/2013
I don’t know if you are still here – I hope so – but if feel like I must write something here:
It took me two days, to read this story, and I have to say it is a rare jewel. A really strong one, not only because of the beautiful writing - though my English is self-taught and horrible, so I had to ask the translator for help every now and then - but also because of the good story. At first glance it doesn’t look as something very special, but the way you passed it, and the way you arranged it, make it exceptionally good. I especially liked, that Orchid’s story was revealed in the end, and it wasn’t detailed, it was just enough, to tell us what we need to know, yet to leave a room for interpretation.
The realistically stupid way she died, I also liked a lot. When I say “stupid” I don’t mean it as an offense to you, I mean it as an offense to us all, because many, many, people die, over dumb things, and it’s sad – it’s even sadder that we take it as something normal. I really liked that she didn’t get the epic “I’ll take the bullet meant for you” type of death, and that she didn’t really had any very wise last words to say. It was sadly realistic.
Also you made Nuada’s dialogue incredibly strong. I actually read some of the lines with the voice of Luke Goss in my mind, because they sounded as something that his character would actually say. My most favorites are –I can’t copy them- when he talked about the fairy, and how she was afraid to be alone, and then after the story he said “I let her die alone” and his last words to Orchid. Also some of the lines they exchanged with Wink, were pure gold.

I always like it when Wink is portrayed as the sane creature he is, even if the comical way he died wasn’t actually fit for a trained warrior. I found it strange in the movie as well, but he didn’t have much of a background there anyway. After reading this story, I think it would be more fitting for him to get the epic “I’ll take the bullet meant for you” type of death. You had some great ideas about him and his story, especially at how good of a father he is.

Nuada is a great character, which is loved even now, years after Hellboy 2 was out, and I am almost sure he will not fade. I really wanna see a canon on the background of Nuada and Wink, and what exactly made him take the choices he did. Your version of it is really good one.
Hellboy 2 was probably one of the few movies, where I am actually rooting for the bad guy to succeed. And as much as I wonder what made Nuada so angry at humanity, I wonder twice as much, what made his people stand against him.
Are they really so different from humans, that they’d rather go in piece, instead of marching into a dishonoring, one sided, war? Does that mean that during his exile, Nuada actually became more human, than he’d want to admit? Seriously, if I have a chance to ask Guillermo Del Toro something in my life, would be, why the fay didn’t wanna fight for their existence?
Not even one of them! It’s strange, cause let’s admit it – Nuada is right. And Orchid is right: humans suck. Though many of us aren’t really that bad, many of us are even worse. May be that’s why the character of Prince Nuada will not fade. Just like V from V for vendetta, he caries an idea, and a good message in both, the movie and this beautiful fic. May be his ways were wrong, but his idea is right.
We may not need to be exterminated, but we need o be though a well deserved lesson.

Sorry, I kinda got off topic. Excuse my bad English, and keep up the good work. I hope you are still around, and also to see the sequel soon :)
emily chapter 15 . 12/2/2012
I only just came across this story, and I haven;t been able to stop reading it since I did. Wow, your writing is amazing! I know you wrote this quite a while ago but I just wanted to let you know, your expression and characterisation, they way the plot developed, all of it was perfect. Great work! All the best and thanks for sharing
Ya Nefer Ma'at chapter 15 . 5/20/2012
Hello again Ariana,

Well, I've finished reading "Orchid", and both sorry to be at the end and pleased with how brilliantly you tied the story up.

I am so sorry that Orchid's brief life came to such a sad end. Your writing of she, Wink and Nuada in the moments of her death is both powerful and sensitive. We tend to be so divorced from death in our modern society (unless you're in the health care service) - having Nuada talk so gently and beautifully to Orchid as she died was poignant indeed.

I also love the way these ongoing representations of exactly why Nuada should wage war on Mankind culminated in the training scene from Hellboy II. That is and will always be an evocative introduction to Nuada, but your back-story gives it another level of emotion. It makes the scene so much more, and I thank you for enriching it with your imagination and talent.

Poor, poor Wink, adopting Orchid as his daughter, only to have her ripped away from him.

As I read the story, I often wondered where you were taking it. If you chose to create an alternative version of what was in the movie, I would of course have been pleased to come with you on the journey. But that you instead wove this so perfectly into the canon is better yet – letting Orchid mature and having Nuada fall in love with her (as I thought you might do) wouldn’t have been as perfect, somehow. But having said that, poor Nuada, whose life is still filled with hatred and rage. My heart ached for him in Hellboy II and does so here as well.

Thanks so much for sharing “Orchid” with us! I will go looking for the sequel.


Ya Nefer Ma’at
Ya Nefer Ma'at chapter 11 . 5/18/2012
Hi Ariana,

I came to your lovely story, “Orchid”, courtesy of LA Knight - she lists this fanfiction as one of her four all time favourites. High praise from a successful writer... I was intrigued and made a point of visiting.

I am so glad that I did! I am loving your story. I think that your characterisation is masterful. Your version of Nuada strikes me as being true to the movie character while also more than what we were treated to in Hellboy II. You give Nuada depth and a history that was only hinted at. Your back-story for Wink is equally evocative, and I am so glad that your story gives Wink such an important role.

It is hard to introduce a human into this equation without having him or her immediately slain. You have done this beautifully. I agree that Nuada wouldn't slay a child out of hand, especially if his friend and guard took her in. That he tolerates her and eventually just plain gets accustomed to her presence is very believable - well done indeed. I think that Orchid is interesting in her own right, as well as being a good tool to allow us to experience life with our favourite elf.

I also love your minor characters, and find your writing to be excellent. Congratulations on producing such an all-around excellent story!

I am pleased that I'm not done with “Orchid”, and look forward to reading the rest.

Thanks for sharing your lovely writing and your vision with us.


Ya Nefer Ma’at
MercenaryBunny chapter 15 . 4/7/2012
I wanted to cry at the end of this, i really did. It was so well written, well done.
LA Knight chapter 5 . 3/6/2012
Dearest Ariana who fills my fanfic life with happiness every time I reread this fic! I have not forgotten you! I just don't have time right this second to do an in-depth review. So... I just wanted to tell you I love this chapter esp. Nuada's like, "Wait, she wants to be my vassal? What?" And Wink's just kind of like, "Her, duh." Love it.

I will try to review more in detail soon!

- LA Knight
OceanFire9 chapter 6 . 2/24/2012
Wow! I am thoroughly impressed by your fight scene here! I'd like to say more, but really, anything I could say just falls short of doing it justice, so instead I'll just say ROCK ON! And may the Muse be with you! :)
Lord Dragon Claw chapter 4 . 1/2/2012
(using my husband's account to finish the review)

"Despite the cries of shock, fear and pain, all Nuada could hear was silence as he killed, a terrible stillness inside that even Nuala's gentle mind could not penetrate." Um... I think someone's gone a little off the deep end here. Just a little. I think he might've had a mental break. My favorite book series, the Dark Jewels by Anne Bishop, call it sliding into the Twisted Kingdom. Sometimes the person comes out without harm, sometimes they come out only a little changed, and other times they don't come out at all. I have a question, though, on a semi-different track. Was Nuala actually *trying* to reach him?

I'm glad he didn't kill the babies... but does that mean he killed the little kids? I just... don't see him doing that. In the same way he couldn't kill the babies. Because when he asked Wink why Wink didn't just kill Orchid (who's like, 8), Nuada realizes almost automatically that that would be evil and wrong because she's just a kid. So... yeah. I'm just wondering.

Ew, sharks! Scary! *cringe* I hate sharks!

"Obsessive need" is a good word to describe his thing with the Golden Army. Erm, phrase. And suddenly I'm reminded of, "Hey, Myers. What's a really good, strong word for need?" "Need's a good word." "Meh, too needy."

"He would have to become a monster, to make the choices others could not, to do what others would not." I'm sorry, this is a really powerful line and actually the whole three paragraphs beginning with "The crown... that damned, seductive..." all the way to "Not even Nuala could possibly love him enough to overcome..." are so beautiful and sad and powerful. But that one line, although brilliant and powerful... makes me think of Batman at the end of the Dark Knight. *cringe* Don't hurt me!

I can really see Wink being like, "Whoa, what? We just massacre some humans and then you're like, 'Go away?' What the heck, man?" Poor Wink. Poor Nuada. I wanna cuddle them both. I don't think they'd appreciate it, though.

"Pale hands splashed with dark patches of blood began to shake and Nuada curled them into fists to keep them under control. Waves of gratitude and grief and fear crashed together, sending tremors throughout his body. He would have to do the unthinkable to save his world, but he wouldn't be alone. He could depend upon Wink, his brother-in-soul, to keep him from faltering and fading when all hope was eclipsed by the coming darkness." I'm kinda crying now. I've read this like, 50 times, but it still hits so hard. Oh... *sniffle*

Just to let you know (now that I'm at the very end, and now we have Orchid 2), you did not get into "emo territory." I mean... that's a hard, cruel choice. In no way is his reaction emo. Emotional, yes, but emo, no. Very appropriate and warrior-like, I think. And I like that he's afraid. It's a scary thing, to perform an action that you firmly believe will force your loved ones to completely sever ties with you. So no, not emo. Very good.

Ack, I'm out of time. Rats! Or else I'd do the next chapter. Gotta go, sorry. Be back when I can to review more (so that you'll maybe begin the Orchid sequel? Please let Nuada find love! And peace! Please?).

- LA Knight
LA Knight chapter 4 . 1/2/2012
And I'm back! I should've done this ages ago, but I didn't, because I'm a slacker, but that's okay because you wrote me back and now I'm SOOOOO excited because you said my reviews make you happy, so yay!


Ew. Hot dogs. I mean, I like hot dogs, but ew. Because there's mustard, onions, and other nasty things. Gross. So gross. I love my hot dogs a bit blackened, with copious amounts of ketchup, and that's it. Ew, Wink. Although I have to mention, I love what you've done with Wink, and how he's so developed here (you've really inspired me to try and develop him in my fic, as well, although I've tried to make him vastly different from yours as father to Tel and Orchid, warrior troll, and shield-brother to Nuada). Yours is the only fic I've seen where he's really developed as a person, beyond the growling/snarling/roaring tusked behemoth in the film. Here he's cultured, wise, skilled both in combat and masonry, loyal and kind. I absolutely love that.

Kudos for usage of the word "pungent." Onions are totally pungent. And so icky. Who puts onions on hot dogs? Sorry, I just can't get over that. Blech. Although I like "the sharp sweetness of ketchup" because ketchup *is* kind of sweet, isn't it? Tomatoes are a sweet sort of fruit/vegetable, and only vinegar and salt keep ketchup from being sweet the way cake or donuts are sweet.

Hahaha! Nuada's outvoted by Wink's appetite. He is fairly massive, isn't he? How many tons of food does it take to feed a troll, anyway? Oh... that sounds like a really bad joke. Blech.

I like that Nuada hates the hot dogs but allows them without even a grumble because Wink liked them. That just shows how much the prince loves him. I wanna say, "Awwww..." but it's not quite that it's cute. Sweet, maybe? I'm not sure. It makes me happy, though, to see how much he cares for him.

Who are the Four again? You didn't tell me in your message.

Two years. He's been with her for two years, and they haven't had a real conversation ever. I can't believe him. Sigh. I love him so much, I really do, but he's a little ridiculous. Sigh.

I can't believe he won't eat the grapes! Stupid, stupid, stupid Nuada! You're going to feel really bad about this, Nuada, I'm telling you now. Just eat the grapes. Come on! Gah. Stupid prince. When he realizes that what happened was because he wouldn't eat those stupid grapes, I always wanna cuddle him, poor sweetheart. He should've just eaten the dumb things. Although this makes me question something. No, not question... I have a question. There we go. It says "... he couldn't bring himself to accept them. It would mean accepting her... she would never be one of his people." Well, when she becomes his vassal, what's his excuse then? Since she's clearly one of his people *now." And especially after he realizes (in like chapter 12, I think) that he... not cares about her... but it's that whole "she was *his* vassal and these stupid humans dared, blah-blah" thing. When that happens, why does he still not eat the grapes?

"His spear spun and flashed through the air, sending glimmers of firelight from its silver length to dance across the walls." Oh, you used the word "glimmers" again! I love that word! And that's so pretty. It gives a sense of elegance to Nuada's fighting prowess (which he has, but it can be hard to show that in writing). Yay for you!

I think Nuada's a little OCD ("...his mind picked over the plan, checking and rechecking it for flaws."). Not that he's out of character. Just a bit OCD. Which, actually, military people often are (both my parents were Air Force, my brother a Marine, my sister in the Army). So that totally works with his backstory.

"The best plans are the simplest, Wink often said..." This just illustrates my point about Wink being wise.

You know, I don't see Nuada saying "blown to hell," but for some reason it works here. So cool on you. )

Quick question, more for Nuada than for you - WHY does all three Crown pieces being in Elven hands mean Balor has to listen to Nuada? What's the prince's reasoning behind that little idea? Because I don't see how the two are mutually inclusive or anything.

"... letting his contempt for the breed lace frost through the word." Wow. Just... wow. So pretty! I love the way you write. Holy crow. D

"The human rested her elbows on her knees with a faint scrape of metal. Her adoration of Wink had gotten so bad that she'd asked him for a metal arm like his own. Wink had tried to explain as gently as he could that since she wasn't a troll, she couldn't have one. She had immediately begged Wink to turn her into a troll..." Just one word. AWWWWWWWWW! Okay, two more words: SO CUTE!

Wow. Three days? Where did he go for those three days? I wanna know! Was he visiting a lady-friend? What's the word you used... leman? Yeah; was he visiting with his leman? Or was he just off sulking because Wink doesn't just like him anymore?

"Nuada wasn't certain how to react to the matter." What are his options? Disgust at a human immitating a fae and what else? Perhaps... approval? *slaps Nuada across the back of the head* Or maybe he could admit it's cute? *double head-slap* Dumb prince. Sigh. I love him, but gah. I'm very protective of children.

"Do you never stop speaking?" Nuada asked." Um, dude - she hasn't said anything to you beyond "we got you one, too" and that was more than a year ago. Jeez, lighten up. Grouchy.

"He was no longer able to scare her into silence with a single look." And he is soooooo disappointed by this, poor baby. Lol.

It's not a scar? Is that canon or is that just in your fic? Oh, I have to say also, thank you for mentioning the temple-whorl, because I didn't actually know those were there (I don't pay enough attention, sigh). So thank you!

"The prince wondered how so many human children managed to survive to breed, with their inborn penchant for driving those around them insane with endless questions." This sounds like a parent to me, lol. Or someone who doesn't like children and their inherent desire to ask about everything, which I personally find adorable, but most people don't. Kudos. I like it. )

Oh, wow! I just noticed that he's imagining fighting velgen and then later he has to fight one. *face-palm* I feel stupid now...

"The first time Nuada was ever caught completely off-guard in weapons practice, it had been while facing off against one opponent, while a third came up behind him and smacked him across the back of the head with a quarterstaff." I love how this comes up a few times later whenever he's completely pole-axed.

Kudos for usage of the word "freshet." I had to go look it up. I love learning new words!

"Adolescents. Human adolescents. Human female adolescents." I love how the thing about that statement that really gets him is the female thing, but that the first thing he growls about is her age, not her breed. Interesting, and so hilarious.

Um... Nuada? Telling her that if you hated her you'd have killed her... not a good way to handle a child. Like, really. *sigh*

"Should he speak to her again?" Yes, you idiot! *pokes Nuada* Move it, buster. (to Ariana) As mentioned in a prior review, getting these reactions out of me is just an indicator that I adore your fanfic. D Like, so totally for real.

"Truly, what did he owe her?" It's called common courtesy, dude. Take notes.

"His eyes were fixed on the ground as the words came reluctantly. Thousands of years of atrocities commited by humans against his people, and he'd seen the face of every murderer in hers. It was unjust of him..." Paradigm shift! Finally! *grabs a bunch of choir kids* Everybody sing! *choir kids sing "Hallelujah" *

"The faces of dead fey marched past him; some he knew well, some he'd known in passing, others not at all. Every one of them was precious to him." And here is why he is both sympathetic and not villainous at all, really. Right here. Because he is driven by love and desperation moreso than hate. By the end he's driven a little bit by craziness and grief, too (in your fic), but here, right here, it's about love and desperation and sorrow and, in a way, fear. Fear that he will fail his people, fail the fae. Fear that he will lose more of the ones he holds so dear (as a prince *should* hold each of his people). It also gives an interesting counterpoint to Balor; I don't doubt Balor cares for his people, but because he is so weary and so tired, he cares more for his own tiredness than for the fae. Which is sad.

Did he make the sculpture? Because I can imagine him doing that (after wiping out Roanoak or however it's spelled and washing off all the blood), and tears running unchecked down his cheeks, but he's still partway inside that odd, icy silence and stillness and so he doesn't even notice them as he carefully makes a memento of his little Orchid. *sniffle* Crap, now I'm tearing up. *sniff*

Wow. The dewdrop thing is so sad because how long must that have taken? To collect dewdrops for her? But he did it because he cared for her. And that just makes her death even sadder, with this new indicator of how much he cared for Orchid 1. '(

"The crystal bottle fell from Nuada's nerveless fingers. Shock and denial fused to block out the world around him, all of reality eclipsing down into that one small area where he could almost hear the soft chirring of laughter. A sudden, awful truth hit him low in the gut." The sudden, awful truth... is it that she's dead? That's what I thought, but I just wanted to make sure.

Kudos for use of the word "gouged" (referring to a well; do Elves not have wells?) and "atrocity."

jhalya chapter 15 . 12/13/2011
I've read your story in one go and I must say the way you pictured Nuada was nearly darn perfect! congratulations on a story well told:)
LA Knight chapter 3 . 8/30/2011
And I'm back with how amazing Orchid is so far! Wootness for joyful moments (or at least non-tragical ones) before the sorrow. D

Kudos for "slitted eyes;" makes it obvious he's pretty ticked off without you actually having to say so.

"One was a hulking cave troll, lesser nobility by blood, but greater by far in soul." Awwww! Right there, you see just how much he loves Wink. So sweet!

Awww, Wink made her a little hammer! He really likes her. So cute! Sorry, I'm a little loopy right now due to being tired and hungry, so there's probably gonna be lots of "loves" and "cutes" popping up here. Plus, a lot of the chapters with Orchid and Wink together are cute ANYWAYS. D

"If not for his mood, the scene before him could almost be comical. Nuada thought it was ridiculous." Oh, get over yourself, Nuada. Jeez. It's adorable and you know it!

"She'd managed to avoid doing anything to really annoy the prince, other than simply breathing." I don't know if you were trying to illustrate how ridiculous and heavy his prejudice is, but you're doing a good job of that. I saw the thing about the breathing and was like, "Seriously? She's a little girl. *Gibbs slap*"

"McNeil had... caught his wife in their bed with two of her lovers." Ew. All I can say.

Kudos on usage of the word "sordid." I love that word. Hehe.

"It appeared as though everything that could possibly complicate the situation had done so. He blamed the human pet." My first thought was, "Murphy's Law." My second thought was, "WHAT? You're being ridiculous, Your Highness." The fact that you're getting these reactions out of me means I'm totally wrapped up in this story. I LOVE this story, even though I know how it ends. *sigh*

Whoa; Wink speaks English? Well, I guess they never say he *can't.* Huh. I don't think I've ever seen him speak English in a fic before. Kudos for originality! D And awwww! Him training her is always so CUTE! Argh, I can't stand how adorable it is! I can't! Especially when he pokes her. He's being so gentle, and she's all super-serious. Just a question, though, about the "plain features smeared with dirt." Don't they make her bathe? Nuada's so fastidious, and he was complaining about how humans smell, so wouldn't they make her wash a lot? Just wondering.

Is the striking behind, striking in front thing something you made up, or is that real?

Orchid has fleas? They'd totally make her bathe, I think. I mean, thinking about how I am with my cats (and how most people are with pets), if the animal(s) have fleas, they bathe them and try to get rid of them all so the fleas don't spread to... well... the people. And Nuada would *hate* fleas. He's so... careful about his appearance and presentation of himself.

"Nuada's eyes slitted open a little more, one eyebrow lifting. She was not mute after all. Pity." SIGH. Just when you think he's maybe softening a bit, it goes out the window. BIG SIGH.

"Who you fight is not as important as what you fight for," Wink said. "If you concern yourself with your enemy, then the reason why you are fighting begins to pale and you will lose your strength." I *like* this. This is... very wise. I LIKE it. A lot. It rocks. D

"The fact that Wink was showing infinite patience with the child and teaching her - actually teaching her - how to fight suggested to Nuada that his friend might very well want to keep his pet for a while. He could tolerate that, but when the time came for them to move on, Wink was going to have to get rid of the human. She'd be useless weight to them." Excellent foreshadowing, with just the right touch of his contempt for her species.

Ew, cold meat? Blech. Just a personal preference, not a complaint against the story itself. )

Wow. It never occurred to me that he'd have to replace the grips on his weapons. Does that make me stupid? Kudos for incorporating these little touches of realism into your work. Oh, and I didn't say it before, but thank you THANK YOU for the Nuada stretch. Ever since I read "Saving Nuada" by Gwenfarr, thinking of Nuada stretching makes me shiver. *drool*

UGH! He is SO mean! I wanna smack him! And I'm very fond of the Prince, so me wanting to smack him is unusual. But that was very much in-character (and yeah, hotdogs with everything on them are SO nasty, blech; although I didn't know they put eggplant on hotdogs. That's so gross); in-character for him, for Wink as he is portrayed her, and in-character for a little girl trying to win the approval of the people she loves. *sigh* Stupid Nuada. Wanna smack him. Although I like the ice-frost-snow theme of the situation.

Hahahaha! Scaly mongoose. "I do not like pickled mongoose, I don't want pickled mongoose, don't wanna eat pickled mongoose!" Sorry, that made me flash to one of my favorite parts of the book The Martial Child. Lol... I just got to the part about it being pickled alive. OMG. Ew. Poor thing! Although pickled anything is icky (including pickles).

Uhn! He called her a brat! *smacks Nuada* Jerk.

"When he cooked, Wink often couldn't eat his fill. When Wink cooked, Nuada often couldn't eat more than a few bites before his willpower surrendered to revulsion." And my ire has cooled in the face of your well-timed humor. D

Ew. I get why he's sliding around in that water (battle tactics are no respector of cleanliness, basically) but ew! When you use words like "slimy" and "viscous," I get a little nauseated. Good job, though! And omg, Wink punched him! One, he deserved it. Two, ow. And all this sliding around in water is making me think of Abe, hehe. OMG! Wink punched him in the chest! Eeek! It's like watching a boxing match, only better. And I like Wink's way of taking point. *spider hand crawls over, taps* Lol. And this is so Nuada. He's the happiest he's been in months... because he's being pummeled by Wink. *sigh.* Boys.

Flesh-shaping? What is this flesh-shaping? I am curious. Is it like glamor?

"...exercising was the best thing for the aches." SUCH a man. *sigh* Or should I say, such a warrior?

Wow. I just realized he stripped in front of her. I know there's no romantic thing between them, but still... ew! She's like, what, ten? Maybe I'm a prude (though that's not a bad thing), but I wouldn't want my 10-year -old exposed to naked Elf Princes... especially if they were hot. If she'd survived, she'd probably have gotten a crush on him at some point. *sigh*

OMG, Nuada's such a girl. Hahahahaha... "Oh, no, my hair will take me an hour, meh." Hahahaha! I'm literally chuckling as I'm typing this. Only chuckling, not laughing hysterically, because I'm smothering my giggles so I don't wake up my roommate.

"...pausing slightly as he noticed something odd. Very odd. The child was curled up in the crook of Wink's good arm, to all appearances sound asleep. And so was Wink." Awwwww! I bet he comforted her later, while Nuada was showering. And probably congratulating her on the grapes-idea. So cute, though, the image of them together. And of course Nuada's all, "WTF, mate?"

Okay, question: who are the Four?

Wait, she's been there for months and he hasn't spoken to her once? *sigh of utmost exasperation*

Oh, just eat the grapes, Nuada you moron! Jeez.

Because I know of the later significance of the grapes, this part has a bit of melancholy to it for me. *sigh* I wish she hadn't died. Couldn't it have been something else? Like, they thought she died, maybe? I don't know. Blargh. I'm just so... fond of Orchid. And Nuada and Wink were both so very sad. Anyway, love this fic, love your HB work, etc, etc. Hearts for you!
LA Knight chapter 2 . 8/26/2011
And I'm back for more Orchidaceous awesomeness!

So, I'll be honest - when I saw "fast-forward 400 years" I was like, "Whaaaaaat? Confused." But never mind. I gotcha now. )

Okay, so I know most authors want to see some constructive criticism, but I actually couldn't find anything to criticize (other than, has Nuada really never met any decent humans ever? That just seems statistically impossible. But that's not necessarily a fault of yours; that is indeed how he's portrayed in the film). Anyway, all I could find was things I liked/loved/thought were absolute high-larious. So here's a list for your pleasure, milady. *bows*

1) "Crafted conduits in the earth, but unlike the passages that were lovingly sculpted by the trolls, these were like the tunnels left in decaying flesh by borer worms. Tunnels left in the decaying flesh of the Mother." Wow, that's depressing. Not to mention gross (but in a good way; it's just gross to think about corpses being eaten by worms, ew). But anyway, I love this for several reasons. First of all, I like how you show Nuada's appreciation for troll work. I was reading on the Hellboy Wikia that he's unusual among the Elves because he has an appreciation for other species, like goblins and trolls. I like that you have that in here. Secondly, I like the freaky imagery of subway tunnels and death and decay and how humans are basically relegated to the archetype (archetype? no, smaller, less epic word, but I can't think of it at 2AM) of the carrion eater. And that last line really shows Nuada's love of the earth and his reverence for it. Basically, I like the whole little paragraph. D

2) "Herds of humans shuffled out of the cars as the doors slid open in a pneumatic hiss, and herds of humans shuffled in." Wow. I am really feeling his contempt for us mortals right now. Loving the characterization here. And kudos for the word "pneumatic."

Kudos on the descriptor "mechanical worm." I just hear some serious disdain from that for some reason. Carrying off the contempt/disgust very, very well. *hearts*

3) "Soldiers rushed into battle with little thought beyond their targets - warriors were the true predators of a battlefield." See, I like this. People think of soldiers and warriors, and a lot of them just lump the two categories together. This, however, shows a difference. Sort of like the difference between soldiers and commanders (as explained by Tamora Pierce in her novel, Squire): soldiers follow orders and fight the good fight, but commanders are both thinkers and fighters, strategists and warriors. I like it, and I like that you've seen that as well (and that you've made it so that Nuada has seen it, as well). Would you mind if I paraphrased this particular line for my own Hellboy fanfic? I won't unless you say I can, but I'd like to (and I'd credit you; it's absolute brilliant and I just love it).

4) "Balor was aging, but still wise. Tired, but still strong. Fading, but still King. Distant, but still Father." Awwww. This is so sad. Only because I've seen the movie. Here he's got such faith in his father still. He sees his father's... virtues? Not the religious type of virtue, but kingly traits. Even though he can see Balor's flaws, he sees the good stuff too. But then we know that in the movie, he's lost that trust. And so this line is very... melancholy.

5) "He was not so arrogant or filled with hate that he plotted to exterminate all of humanity, but the earth would certainly benefit from a decrease in the population. A very significant decrease." Um... dude. Nuada? That sounds fairly arrogant to me. And hateful. (To Arianna) This sort of reminds me of the saying that's been going around for awhile: "I'm not prejudiced. I hate you all equally." Pfft. But this is so him. This totally shows that you've got him pegged. Rock on.

Quick break just so you know my reaction to this sentence: "The terms were simple: the humans were to stay in the cities and his people would keep to the forests. Even a child could do that, could it not?" I kinda just wanted to smack him in the back of the head (a la Gibbs) and be like, "No! Moron! That's why children drown in swimming pools and get lost in the woods or get bitten by rattlesnakes and stuff! Because they have trouble following the rules for some reason! Gah!"

Anyway, back to things I loved (wow, there are a lot).

6) "Though doing so felt like swimming in a brackish pond choked with the disgusting effluvia of rot and refuse, he went among them." This makes the reader seriously feel his disgust, without actually saying, "Nuada was disgusted to go among the humans, but did it anyway." I'm just happy with the word choice in this sentence. Every word (brackish, effluvia, rot, refuse) seriously punches with sheer "ew."

7) "The fact that Nuada was surrounded by real stone and not concrete made this den tolerable, but only barely." I like this sentence because I think you're the only fic author I've read so far who's entertained the idea that Nuada actually hates being in the places where he lives. The dens and lairs and such. And that has a serious impact on his... characterization, I guess. Because home is supposed to be the place you retreat to when the world is too much. The one safe place you have to go to when you just can't take it anymore. But he doesn't even have that. He doesn't like being "home." Doesn't really have a home, actually. How must that affect his mood and emotional well being, do you think?

8) "Very well. I'll not envy you your watch, my friend, but you do have a stronger stomach than I. It would be just like that female to- What is that?" I love this part. Because he's like, "Tactics, real-life problems, strategy, enemies, war-council, blah-blah - what the f*** is that hideodorous thing?" I could just see him. Lol.

10) "Clutched under one thin, dirty arm was a ragged stuffed unicorn. At one time, it might have been bright pink, but now it was a faded peach color patched with grime. Seeing the image of one of Elfland's most graceful and nobles creatures mocked in an effigy of synthetic fibers made Nuada's stomach turn over in a wave of nausea." Wow. That is... so him. Because most people who see a little girl holding a stuffed unicorn would be like, "Awwww! How cute!" And even Wink was probably like, "Oh, she likes faerie stuff. Good for her. Maybe she'll keep that respect in her adult years." But Nuada is just like, "Oh, gross. I think I'm gonna be sick." *sigh* Whatever will we do with him? Will he ever learn?

11) "Nuada closed his eyes and counted to ten. Twice. Then again backwards." Lol. I love this part, too. Because I can just see him doing this. And it shows not only that he's a man of strong temper, but a man of rigid control as well (since he's not beating Wink over the head with a shovel). I like. D

12) "Make sure it's housebroken too," Nuada replied sourly." BEST ENDING LINE EVER! That is just... I laughed out loud. It was awesome. Thank you!

Okay! So I've reviewed the first chapter and the prologue. Hopefully I can get the review for chapter two up in a semi-decent amount of time (like, before the end of next week; that is my goal). I love this fic. I find myself rereading parts of it and turning them over in my mind and thinking about them, even though I already know how the fic ends (*weeps*). So I just want to show my love for it by giving review love. XD

Have fun!

- LA
Lord Dragon Claw chapter 1 . 8/19/2011
OMG, first thing I gotta say: "How many times must I ask, not the hair?" LOVE THAT LINE! So funny. And it shows a humor in him that we don't really see much because you never see Nuada in such a relaxed setting. But at the same time, you can totally hear him saying that to the little fairy. And that was really smart of her. I always wondered why Nuada would have hair that long since it might be a problem. )

Are "cilfa'lir" a real kind of faerie? Same question regarding the "garpin." Would look up myself, but don't have reliable internet access.

Word choice I adored: usage of the word "chirred," "haft,"nimble," and "garbled" as referring to a mode of speech.

I like that Nuada doesn't automatically assume that all fey are incapable of doing harm/stupidity. I like that he stepped in for... I guess we'll call her "Orchid 1."

Other line I loved: "More troll profanity, including one creative phrase that Nuada had not personally ever heard, but made a mental note to remember for the future." Must've been creative if Nuada (ancient as dirt) hadn't heard it. I'm curious now. Not to mention that's always funny. I can just see him hearing that, blinking, and thinking, "I'll have to remember that one."

Beautiful description right here: "The light of the crescent moon glimmered white on the silvered head, softening to gray on the crest etched into the blade." Glimmered is one of my favorite words (blame it on too much She-Ra as a kid).

Did the garpin not know who Nuada was? Because if he did, why would he even think about fighting him? And if he didn't, then why didn't he? I'm just wondering. Like, almost every American knows what President Obama looks like, and almost every British person knows what the Prime Minister, Queen Elizabeth, and Prince William look like. Shouldn't the garpin know who Nuada was? Just wondering.

"What manner of creature," Nuada growled, balling up the shredded remains of his patience and batting them far away, "cheapens his honor with torture? Are you-" he searched for a sufficiently scathing insult, "-a human?"

Ouch. Congrats on the "balling up the shredded remains/batting them" thing. And ouch - he *really* hates us.

"However, after that, she had settled quietly on his shoulder, extremely happy to play with his hair while they talked." I like this line a lot because until I read it, I never really thought about the fact that Nuada's hair was touchable. I know that sounds redunculous (my beta's favorite word) because Hellboy grabs it in that fight over the Golden Crown. But I mean... like, it never occurred to me that someone might play with Nuada's hair. I don't know why. I can just see that becoming a very intimate and cute thing (between him and a full-sized woman, I mean, not him and Orchid 1. That would be a little weird...).

"Cheeky little blossom..." Awwww! Cute!

"The twilight brought with it the cooling breeze of night, but the warmth of autumn had faded in favor of the heralding chill of winter." Jeez! Do you have to describe things so amazingly beautifully? Makes me lament my own efforts sometimes. But seriously! Beautiful description.

"...snuggling up to the spear-calloused mound at the base of his thumb." Not that this is exceptional compared to any of the other things that I've been like "I LOVE THIS LINE" about, but I just wanted to thank you for pointing out to a dunderhead like me that yes, Nuada has calluses on his hands from training with weapons. I hadn't thought of that, and I needed to. So thank you.

"With a yawn, she curled up in its black center, her petals blending in with the flower's until the orchid simply looked like a fancier bloom than its brethren." Oh, oh, oh! This reminds me suddenly (as I was picturing it) of the Cicely Mary Barker Flower Fairy books. Just saying. Go you!

Okay, I'm at the end of the first chapter. Now, as I know what's going to happen next, I'm actually kind of depressed. But this was a beautiful and sweet first chapter. It portrays Nuada believably, but at the same time, he's gentle and kind, not proud and cold and angry. I'll admit, for some reason I thought this was a romance when I first started (I know, I know, LA's a moron, since this does NOT say romance in the tags) and so I was like, "Wait... he doesn't get with the little fairy, does he? Ew..." But that was just my initial reaction. Beautiful first chapter. Shows Nuada with a gentle tenderness that is absolutely believable (and like bread and butter to all of the drooling fangirls who want to see Nice Nuada every so often). So go you!

Am I out of room? I think I am. Ciao! Chapter 2 review will pop up soon.

- LA Knight

PS - In case you're wondering, HotelMoscow recommended this fic to me. They said it was the best HB fic they'd ever read. In case you like praise. And I agree, this one is very, very good. My only fault is it's not romance (and I'm a sucker for it) but that is NOT A FLAW WITH YOU! It's a flaw with me. So don't think I don't like it. I am favoriting this if I haven't done it already (curse my crummy memory). And I'm mentioning it in the Author's Note of my HB fic as one of my top picks.

~ LA Knight (posting using her husband's account)
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