Reviews for The Story of the Moral
Never Morrison chapter 19 . 1/13
I was kinda sad to see the end come. I always am, but it's a very fulfilling sadness to reach the end of a well written story. Characters struggle, life goes on, but all stories must end just as much as they begin. I really enjoyed the portrayal of Azula coming into her own as the story progressed. Azula X Sokka is without a doubt my favorite romance possible with the characters, so it made the growth of the Princess as an individual and part of a couple that much more amazing. Thank you very much for writing this!
Never
TwinkleStaar chapter 19 . 12/28/2012
That was amazing! Love your writing.
Thank you for this wonderful story! :)
tksanders3 chapter 19 . 8/27/2012
Great story. Funny thing was. i didn't realize i'd read it before until Ch 15! haha. I then realized that i had done the exact same thing this time as i had last time. open up notepad and try to work out the ciphers. i remember solving the first cipher at the first glance. both times. i guess my mind just works that way. then the second one i seem to remember solving maybe a chapter sooner than i had this time. and the third one threw me for a loop both times. you had me googleing other meanings for binary values, because obviously ascii isnt it. funny part is that your story didn't seem familiar to me at all, i had not an inkling that i had read this story before until you gave up that it was morse code. lol. then i laughed heartily. i feel like i just got rick-rolled. haha. im sorry to say that i still have no clue what the last cipher means, and it's kind of bugging me. but nevertheless it was a great story.

now, i like to think of myself as a seasoned fanfic reader, and i think it's a testament to your writing that you can not only keep me entertained with your word puzzles as page breaks, but that you can also make me thoroughly enjoy this story, beginning to end, not once, but twice, and still not feel like i had simply re-read the same story. my mind went two completely different directions between the two readings. most people would simply have to write for a separate story to get that effect on the reader, but you sir have accomplished it in one.

Bravo sir, bravo
Tksanders3
FirebenderSlytherinDrDonnaSong chapter 19 . 8/19/2012
That. Was. Beautiful.
SoulOfsunlight chapter 3 . 7/28/2011
yeh she can breath fire and fly so yeh this true :)
SoulOfsunlight chapter 2 . 7/28/2011
not true :(
Celestia's Paladin chapter 19 . 4/28/2011
This is one epic story, and one of the post war Azula stories that I have read. You managed to have her find herself with out loosing her Azulaness, and without a large amount of angst or psyco babble. Great job Duck, hope to see more GraysonPaladin
Celestia's Paladin chapter 2 . 4/27/2011
know what it means, nice trick. Ok so far good story, kind of interesting of reading one that doesn't have Azula go off the deep end... or at least regained her sanity. So far nicely done GraysonPaladin
xlollx chapter 19 . 8/28/2010
very good story, one of the best I've read actually, the way you've shown Azula grow into the person who she was at the end of the story... just..wow :D
xTxNxLx chapter 19 . 7/5/2010
love your story :)
sparkly red ribbon chapter 8 . 6/10/2010
ok, now i've officialy read the entire story lol. to answer your questions about skipping chapters, i clicked on this story becuase it was a sokkla fic, and i wanted to get to the part where she met sokka. i wasn't in the mood for character deveolopment, but after i read the rest of the story i became really interested in it especially with the blue dragon part that was being referenced.

also, about azula's character, there are lots of different interpretations fo her character so i'm always really open to different ones...i really feel like you nailed her personality down in the sense that she does things not becuase of her heart, but becuase of logic. she can become good, but not for the same reasons that zuko did and i feel like that was very apparent in the story.

anyway great story! its one i'll definitely read again and again
sparkly red ribbon chapter 19 . 6/9/2010
Great story! To be honest, I read chapters 1 and 2, then skipped to chapter 8 and finished this all in one go. It was amazing! I really apreciated the devolopment between her and Sokka, they both seemed very in character. I also really apreciated teh balance between character dev. and action, you write really good fight and action sequences! I can always picture what's going on.

I'm going to go back and read the chapters I skipped, but later lol my eyes are tired. Anyway great writing.

PS- poor azula...you really beat up on her! but the fact taht she is literally a mini jet makes up for it.

PS2- thank you for this story actually being finished! there are so many good azula/sokka fics out there that have been abandoned...so thank you. _
sparkly red ribbon chapter 12 . 6/9/2010
best, most vivid azula v katara fight scene i've ever read. good job!
Ganheim chapter 19 . 5/25/2010
Chapter 19

The souls returned to their bodies as they weren't yet dead.

[The “as they…” bit seemed unnecessary – and potentially contradictory. When the soul is not in the body, is that not in most senses dead? The following explanation also seemed unnecessary – personally, I don’t care what process is used, whether the souls did the work on their own or whether they had to call Venkman, Stantz, Spengler, and Zeddemore]

she was feeling like any other of his tribe.

[Given what I know of environmental preferences and exhaustion, I’d think that she’d be chill and clammy]

It was well worth it.

[How does she know Sokka’s alive? She might’ve been found by random hunters who never found him or the glider]

still asleep?" It was Sokka

[I don’t see any clear “this is what Azula does/doesn’t do” until a couple of paragraphs later, and I think this is the place where a little explicit information would be good]

"I crave for you.

[Besides coming “out of the blue” (okay, I guessed that he was toying with her, guessing she was awake), I don’t think this fits Sokka’s speech patterns]

I know you didn

[didn’t]

walls aren't very effective once you're inside them."

[Au contraire, walls are even more effective when you’re trapped on the inside. It’s then that you need somebody from the outside to take a battering ram to get you out]

She didn't go unconscious after all, or even close enough to lose control of the flames.

[No, but it would’ve been funny if she’d accidentally set herself on fire]

"I sort of burned up what's essentially my own life to get here. My spirit."

[That or blood, depending on what viewpoint (spiritual ki, the more physical chi) you take. I think that ki is a little too nebulous to be really gripping, the idea of a person pretty much literally burning their own blood is the kind of catastrophic that you can’t turn away from – then again, I use it in Life of the Silver Tear]

She wasn't used to telling someone what she gave up for him,

[Given that she’d already kissed him, I think an admission like that would’ve been a petty insignificance in comparison]

It's a little over where I draw the line."

[This to an admitted “madwoman”?]

Azula, follow me."

[Because you’ve just awakened from a days-long stretch of being comatose, probably have minor atrophy even without the spiritual exhaustion and physical weakness…]

"Exactly." She glared

[I’m confused about dialog ownership in this paragraph, is it Azula snapping at him or Aang being quirky to her?]

Your aura is so tiny."

[How would a non-spiritually trained person like Ty Lee be able to see/sense Azula’s spirit from so far away? I know she talks about her own aura, but there’s a significant difference between being able to manipulate one’s own aura and examining/manipulating somebody else’s aura – that’s why shamanesses (like Himiko according to legend) were venerated in ancient Japan]

The fishes?

[It’s been a while since I’ve seen that mutation of “fish” for the plural, and it looks off. Maybe because it’s been so long, I always see it as “fish” for either singular or plural]

"You have a shiny aura. It's pretty."

[Never mind that we’re talking to a personified force of nature…]

As your own spirit strengthens, and you will need my gift less and less, it will return to me.

[Sounds like a “free lunch” to me – aren’t exchanges more dramatic/potentially meaningful when there’s no easy exchange like this? There’s already been a lot of “Azula does nothing but say sorry and then she gets her way”, and incidents like this are part of that feeling of a story where there’s not a lot of deep value exchanged]

Taking the acrobats hand

[acrobat’s]

It was to serve him.

[Or a single act to pay back his aid – I feel like this romance with Azula is something that’s sprung up much too fast]

I really did like the idea of Azula going on a journey of restitution (to the world she herself “hurt”) and self-discovery, though I felt that a number of points were too easy: as I mentioned above, several times people she stalked and nearly killed got pretty much “sorry about that, but I kinda went crazy for one episode” and suddenly everything’s fine and dandy. As far as Ty Lee and Suki I have to agree with Bico – it seems like you wanted to stick Sokka with Azula, so throwing out Suki was how you freed him up (I’d even think that her dying of sudden illness or accidental injury would’ve been less injurious to her character, as she was one of the most level-headed of the cast and definitely had a great deal of patience, and her relationship with Sokka was probably the strongest in the series including Zuko and Mai). I also didn’t really see much firm opportunity for Sokka and Azula to make enough of an impression to become more than slightly friendly allies: I liked how you gave a nod to characterization and events by having him pretty much outright say “you say you’ve changed, but I think you’re full of it and I’m going to watch you to see for myself”.

As for Azula, I think her steps were still too much like rapid leaps forward (your changes were gradual for the most part, excepting a jarring jump-start at the beginning and end), as far as the start I have to agree with RamaFan as to her sudden jump in self-image (although I thought the “I have no morals” was as full of crap as when they said the same about Contractors from Darker than Black – without follow through [nay, with evidence to the contrary in both counts), it looked more like she’d just suppressed her morals and was unable to completely ignore them anymore). There’s also perception of the world and her jump in diplomacy (while she gets a lot of what she wants, in canon an awful lot is just handed to her and when she doesn’t get what she wants she already starts losing it). I’ve said it a few times, and RamaFan said it too, but it bears repeating: when something’s broken (especially badly), it doesn’t just take work but it takes a LOT of toil and time to fix and I didn’t really see quite enough. Things slow down and the gains do start taking a little more effort by the end, but the extremely important beginning just seemed to hand her most of what she wanted.

The last thing to point out is that I saw a lot of “telling instead of showing”, particularly in scenes and character interactions that I thought could’ve been a lot more powerful with somebody actively doing something that draws attention to both what’s being done and what they’re not doing. There’s quite a bit that could’ve been altered to strengthen the next step, though looking back to “The Conflicts of Haruhi Suzumiya” it goes to show that you went through a lot of improvement in your writing.
Ganheim chapter 15 . 5/25/2010
Chapter 15

Disclaimer: Azula does not suffer from insanity. She enjoys every minute of it.

[Me too! I only seem to suffer from the occasional normal]

almost on pair with

[on par?]

She was also hard to disagree with.

[This is a lot of “Azula tells Aang what to do” without a lot of backlash, and they’ve only been training for two days. Wouldn’t he be more concerned for just doing everything she says? She’s an excellent warrior, but a good warrior is not always a good teacher. He’s also young and still hasn’t passed out of the “me, my way” stage. He’s got a lot of training to fight that, but he’s still going to have slips and I’m surprised to have seen none – he was doing so repeatedly to Toph, Zuko, and Katara, though those are diluted somewhat by them becoming his friends]

Knowing get no further with her,

[_he would_ get]

"Worse. It's Koh."

[If it’s Koh, wouldn’t leaving Sokka and all of the others not (semi)rigidly trained in schooling their emotions behind be the best idea, to avoid casualties?]

Chapter 16

Disclaimer: No sky bison were hurt in the making of this piece of fanfiction.

[Just little sackmen]

A lot of people tended to panic when they saw a ten ton huge beast landing in front of their feet.

[At least they should, though I actually remember quite a few times in canon where the people seem to ignore it]

The group unpacked mainly to let Appa get some relief from the burden, since they didn't really need all the stuff.

[Most of this sentence seems unnecessary. I understand they unpack Appa’s saddle, but the rest could be a new sentence (and I’m not sure what it means – they leave it behind? They just set it aside so he can rest more easily right now?)]

it was finished enough for Azula to rise up and snatch the container with Appa's food

[Would she even think of this? Not that she wouldn’t realize Appa needs to eat, but I’d think it would be habit for Aang or one of the others. She’s still a relative stranger]

as the airbending duo were

[Although Appa isn’t really a bender, is he? He’s more of a familiar]

No one seemed to care that she went back to Appa instead of eating with them,

[I’d think they’d wonder why she’s with him instead of them – previously, she hung around the group’s outskirts, rather than completely away from them]

If you are going to fight Koh,

[He’s probably not going to rely on lightningbending, given his lack of proficiency. I think there’s also implication that his mastery in the other elements is influenced by his past lives, whereas none of the previous Avatars did lightningbending (reinforced I think by the lack of lightningbenders now and implication that it’s new)]

Killing was still something he'd never accept if there were any chance of another solution.

[Even against a monster like Koh? I thought Aang had at least learned that there were some monsters that you can never subdue without death]

she fell back. She motioned for him to stop,

[I hardly think her telling him to stop would be necessary]

He was just trying to help her, unwanted and irritating as the help was.

[Now this is precisely where I think she’d be at this point: she knows she needs help, but even then she’s reluctant to step outside of her comfort zone, so she’s at the same time slightly threatened and significantly grateful for somebody who works around the facade]

Being as gentle and precise as he could, he gusted the two far away,

[I think him just leaving them alone in the meadow would’ve done enough]

they were speaking with normal voices again.

[What were they speaking with before? Squeaky helium? You mention the scene is tense, but there’s no direct mention to their manner of speech itself altering]

For trusting you. I tried

[I don’t see any catalyst for this – yes she’d be wary from the night at the fire, but that’s one small incident and unless what he said to her was earth-shattering (I don’t think it was as short as it was) I don’t think that this decision of hers makes sense. Her fear has never really been exploited, and if it was I’m not seeing a “YOU took advantage of me” (though as I said I don’t think that one quip by the fireside would fit)]

Her eyes opened up to show the entire iris.

[I know that this is a gag used in some anime (though Avatar is not one of them, not really), and there’s a TV Tropes article on “Open the Iris”, but this does not sound fitting. “her eyes widened” might fit, though I wonder if a more subtle reaction might be better suited: she’s neither the all-composed once-Azula nor an emotional in-touch/showy Azula]

This was actually one of the most satisfying chapters of the story so far, and probably the one that most shows how she’s tentatively trying to grow as a person, and on being confronted with her vulnerabilities quite logically tries to withdraw but can’t due to circumstances, and this makes her feel worse yet also forces her to grow a lot more. I don’t think the previous chapters really caught that – a lot of it was “Azula gets her way”.

Chapter 17

Disclaimer: Do not try this at home.

[Go to a friend’s house]

Appa wanted to sleep, but he was also the one pressing forward on his own will.

[Given the fact that he’s more likely than not to skip out on this extremely dangerous battle, I don’t see how bringing him along (either literally into the city or more metaphorically in the scene at all) helps develop the events. Seeing faceless/semizombified people (or directed stretches of rubble) would be plenty to confirm Koh’s presence. I’m also not sure about the later decision to leave faces, given that one avatar’s girlfriend’s face was gone and Avatar girlfriends probably wouldn’t gain spiritual powers and travel around through the spirit world]

and Katara bended the water from the nearby fountain to lift off everything Appa carried

[Why? They’re only getting their weapons, and Appa regularly sleeps with the saddle on]

"Actually, you did kill me," he stated, giving her a pointed, yet forgiving look.

The princess had the grace to show a hint of being ashamed

[I’d think simple surprise/shock instead of bashfulness would be more fitting]

"I shall have to think about that. No.

[Unless he continues almost abruptly, I think that a break to a narrative detail – like him miming tapping his chin in thought or something – would fit after his claim to think]

By now she was certain Koh wanted to play with them much more than he wanted to fight them.

[What she perceives as being toyed with might actually be his act of feeding – this is how some folk-tales depict wraith-like creatures]

but the water went harmlessly past the spirit.

[As in he ‘dodged’ or did it strike and do nothing? Up until now, everything has indicated he physically exists in the mortal plane]

He held onto his sword

[The last ‘he’ mentioned is Koh, not Sokka. Using the name I think would’ve been better]

almost stopping the attack

[“almost” sounds more like “pretty much succeeded” than “only managed to slow it down”, which later narrative implies should be here]

I also had a lot of trouble trying to not think about Duriel from Diablo 2 while writing him. They're just so similar. However, Koh prefers to talk his enemies to their defeat, unlike the other fellow.

[No idea who the other person is, but I’d say that if they give you good working ideas than why not?]

Seemed like a good fight scene to me. Not as drawn out as I’d have expected, but well done.

Chapter 18

I can't... He's dying."

[I can fully understand Katara getting emotional over Sokka, but you don’t tell us that she (even relatively) stabilizes him before giving up on him to go heal a DEAD Azula]

"Sokka!" She was running over to him

[I’m confused, is this Katara who’s “beside herself” with concern over her dying brother, or Azula who hasn’t shown any clear feelings (even curiosity) for him. And why would Katara leave somebody whom she’s successfully healing, even if it’s slow and hard?]

"I am fast enough.

[To get to the north pole? The vegetation and weather indicates that the Earth Kingdom (at least Ba Sing Se) was in a temperate zone, which would be quite a distance from the North Pole. I also don’t think that Katara would stop trying to heal him – it wouldn’t necessarily be rational, but she just doesn’t give up and if she’s going to heal a DEAD Azula then she’s not going to stop with her brother. As an alternative: maybe she actually does succeed in healing him enough for him to tell her to tend to the others (and what about Toph?), so after reminding Aang how to revive Azula (I wouldn’t actually heal her because that would draw her from her brother and I don’t see that happening until he’s already passed fully on). From there, Azula would be conscious to make the offer to go and the scene could proceed with less of a strange clock ticking down sense and more of a bold “even in the face of reason” attempt like Boston Low reviving Ludger Brink with a life crystal in The Dig]

What had caused her to much disarray

[caused so much]

Land came within sight.

[Wouldn’t it appear to be a huge iceberg to her, rather than land?]
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