Reviews for Her Men
Mark of the Asphodel chapter 1 . 7/26/2009
I love this story. It's grim, but I *like* it when FE fics acknowledge the reality of war, acknowledge that lousy mundane things like bandit raids can claim a hero's life, even after the evil overlord has been dealt with and everybody "ought" to live happily ever after. You set up a beautiful atmosphere in this, with the distorted window-glass (historical accuracy for the win), and kept that through to the ending. My only complaint is that a couple of moments, like the reference to "Nameless Soldier A" and the "don't-sass-me" part, seemed a little too contemporary, a little anachronistic. Other than that, it was brilliant, and the part where Lyn acknowledges each of the men that has died for her really cemented Lyn's worth as a leader of men, and not just some poor girl thrust into a role. And the ending was perfect!
Caradryan chapter 1 . 5/9/2009
Downer ending. Can't say I'm too happy about it. But!

First, let me congratulate you in building the story. It's done with a very nice touch - while other writers would have likely focused on Sain's death alone, you also brought us the bigger picture with the rest of the Caelin's fallen.

It makes Lyn a more sympathetic character to otherwise rather one-sided interpretations I've seen. The action of Lyn moving one-by-one, inspecting the dead knights makes for a powerfully moving picture.

That being said. Your syntax is very distracting in places. While they would be easily "read" in one breath as a spoken piece, in some places, it was too long and detracts from the overall sentence.

For example:

"Her eyes were nearly closed when she saw the horses, saw the flags, and for five minutes that seemed to stretch on for an hour, she watched them advance, watched the equine’s necks get skinny, then fat, then skinny again as they moved, their figures passing over various swirls and chips in the window glass that separated them."

That is one long sentence.

A basic principle in rhetoric is the idea of metadiscourse, or certain signals that allows the readers to interpret what the author had just said. Long sentences run the risk of diluting the strength of your message, weakening the ideas behind it and making it really hard to read. Usually, we have certain "cue" words that let our minds know what to absorb and when to take a break, and those "cues" are missing in some of the sentences.

The meaning is still there, it's just hard to follow at times.

A recommended suggestion would be to use the simple rule I call "building," also known as the Known-New contract. For example, on the passage I cited, you could have it so that:

-Lyn sees horse.

-Horse is carrying flag.

-She watches them advance.

Instead of Lyn sees the horse and the flags flying and looking for a long time as she watches them come around.

But I digress. Those are stylistic issues only. I am not expert enough to pick at grammar or syntax, and I think your grasp of Lyn/Kent/Sain is probably better than mine.

Keep up the good work.
themagebear chapter 1 . 5/6/2009
the magebear thinks you ended it well. the magebear isnt normally one for tragedy, but this was good. the end fit the story very well.
FireEdge chapter 1 . 4/30/2009
Beautiful. I loved it. I don't think I've seen a story about Lyn being left behind, waiting for her knights to return. It's nice to see someone touch upon how her life would've been if she were truly a lady of Caelin. Her thoughts were very realistic and your descriptions fit just right (especially the opening part). I also loved that one repetition with "And wait". That really struck me.

Another aspect I really liked was when Kent gave her an "order". It was SO different from how he normally acted and really made it appear as if he had suffered much loss during their expedition. Then having Lyn ignore him and pay respect to her fallen knights showed how strong she really is.

However, I caught two spelling mistakes (I guess you would call them): "his was chin dotted with stubble" ("was" and "chin" got jumbled) and "worry through sound of the drizzle" (missing "the")

Either way, I really really loved this. It touched on an idea that's ever present in Fire Emblem games but is rarely explored. Great job!
jordan114725 chapter 1 . 4/19/2009
great fic, it was really fun to read. thanks
Sardonic Kender Smile chapter 1 . 4/19/2009
Oh no. OH NO. The very first sentence of this told me what's going to happen. (Or, rather, reminded me of what you told me was going to happen xD.)


The second paragraph is great-especially since you made a single line a paragraph all its own, for emphasis. Good touch.

[She wanted left to her vigil, left to wait for them,] "She wanted TO BE left to her vigil", right? You have that quote in the summary, too, so perhaps I'm mistaken...

Nice look into Lyn's character, here-worrying about being selfish, and worrying about staying in the castle when she COULD be helping. That's so very Lyn.

[She shouted orders in her best don’t-sass-me tone] EXCELLENT xD.

[When nobody answered, she ran forward, ran into the arms of the Caelin Knights.] THAT was cool. /Insanely/ cool. She's running to break THROUGH them, to FIGHT them like it's Red Rover, and they're trying to force her back...but it seems like a hug. Because they all love her and are trying to protect her. The juxtaposition made me shiver.

[“No,” he repeated again.] That, coupled with his reaction of gripping her shoulder, was incredibly powerful. Wow, Manna, you sure know how to create mood and emotion! And without being wordy or drawn-out about it, either! It's just simply...there. That's skill.

[“Oh, Sain,” she cooed softly, sweetly.

And then she moved to the next man, and the next, until she had looked at the brown burlap that held each corpse.] HAVE I TOLD YOU THAT THIS FIC IS THE JANX YET? I can hear her saying that-the exact pitch of her voice. High and light, like he's a little kid, and she's just going to stroke his hair to calm him down and make everything okay-even though SHE'S the one that wants to cry, not him. And moving down to every corpse? YES, LYNDIS. That's EXACTLY what she would do. I'm geeking out because it's SO RIGHT. Guess what she'd also totally do? EVERYTHING ELSE SHE DOES UP UNTIL THE ENDING. Manna, your characterization is flawless and touching. I'm, like, ranting. I hate to rant in reviews, it makes me sound like a fangirl. But THERE YOU HAVE IT. (Also...your author's note. And the historical accuracy in reference to windows. I MUCH APPROVE xD.)


Ethereally chapter 1 . 4/16/2009
Hello! Nice story, love the way you've portrayed the friendship between Lyn and Sain- I'm glad to notice that he hasn't been forgotten while Lyn and Kent have been busy making sweet babies together. Anyway.

"Nameless Knight A" Somehow, saying that makes her seem a little heartless? Maybe you could have used "Any of the nameless, faceless knights, knights with families and lovers and hearts that beat like her own" or something along those lines- I personally feel that it sounds a lot more human to personify them, even for a second.

"“Kent?” she asked, sounding lost, asking more than one question without saying anything except his name." Beautifully written.

"Such a good, gentle man, she thought, trembling fingers petting his hair, the only thing she could see; she was afraid to see the rest.

She didn’t cry.

But if she did—if she did shed any tears—they would mix with the rain and nobody would be able to tell the difference." This too. Amazing portrayal of emotions from Lyn.

The thought of Lyn touching Sain's hair when he wouldn't be able to feel it, when he wouldn't be able to know... It's painful. It's horrible.

Now you need to write a happy fic about Lyn and Kent so that I am at peace. Or I shall go write happy fics about Lyn and Kent and put myself at peace (and never finish them, being me). Either one.
Xirysa chapter 1 . 4/16/2009
I'm already having a pretty $hitty morning, and then you have to go and write sad 'fic. But that's alright, because it's not your fault, and this was some pretty amazing 'fic indeed. So yeah. I love you and I love this 'fic and you know I'm not a terribly emotional person, so the fact that I have tears in my eyes is news.

But gaahh... NO. SAIN. That's all I have to say. Poor dear. And we shall never see his smile again. (Or do we? I shall ponder upon that...)

Ok. I'm done being a silly emotional git, now. Love you, my dear.

Shimizu Hitomi chapter 1 . 4/15/2009
More crap! :D

More seriously - Oh goodness. I really liked this. The imagery and the mood and everything. I could really picture the scene, and I especially LOVE the way you describe her distorted vision through the glass. And Lyn and her... I want to say possessiveness, but possessiveness is so not the right word. But her knights, and well, *her* men. The contrast between her memories of them and their current state. Her strength even in grief, and the respect she holds among all the knights.

And Kent's actions. So... Kent. And we know just how serious this is just from the way he acts and just AGH. YOU KILL ME DEAD.

I feel you ended it in just the right place - it feels almost as if the questions that arise earlier in the fic and her guilt throughout and her final orders are all leading to one final conclusion, i.e. this is the final impetus for her to leave and return to the plains. And it's not something that needs to be said, because the whole movement of the piece just seems to be leading there. Though this is just my interpretation, of course. And at the same time I'd also love to see this Lyn hang in there, too, and become a really effective leader in her own right. But the open-endedness is what really makes it work, I think. Like you said, death is final only for the one who dies, and this ending makes it clear that it's not "the end" for everyone else, that the living must still continue on with their lives. Exactly *what* happens afterwards is not as important, in that sense. And the fact that you end with them marching back - that just captures that whole feeling so perfectly.