Reviews for Gaia's Sorrow
Captain Literate chapter 23 . 10/6/2013
Expertly written. No hyperbole either; this actually looks professional, like it would fit into an Exalted splatbook! I can identify a few moments where you could benefit from checking your work a second time, where homophones sneak in every so often, but besides that, your work is expertly put together! I've often wondered what different peoples' take on the Second Breath is and it's interesting to see a story like this. I can't wait until the circle forms properly!

On that note however... Can I just say that Fatima is a disgrace to the title of 'Solar Exalt'? Swearing fealty to someone else like that... Hell, going by her memory, DESIGNING the damn thing in the first place! Okay, that second one's not such an out-there thought, as the Solars have plenty of mental domination charms in their arsenal, no matter how much I swear off them, but surrendering her will to the Perfect?! What the HELL kind of low-end willpower score does she HAVE? I am REALLY looking forward to her being disillusioned with her 'Perfect'.

On another note, I really hope we get a decent look into the charms and how a Solar refines his power to new heights of artistry. I would question though, if Jalah has passed all the required trials for learning sorcery. Journey, check; teacher, check; humility, check; sacrifice, I guess check if you count her innocence; facing a fear? I think something that integral to the lore should probably be addressed in an upcoming chapter, if you'll accept my opinion.

On a very small, personal ending, I'll admit to immediately latching onto Kylene in the prologue. She's adorable. I want one. I want one with a caste mark. I want to see her come to realise the Immaculate Order's lies. I waaaant one! Pleeeease?
S.Hagen chapter 8 . 7/12/2013
This line:
Syla then whispered a warning to her fellow slave, "Jalah, Kelohay we'll have you whipped like Opal, if she caught you eves dropping.",
is a little jarring. When I read it I actually had to go back to see if I had missed Syla being mentioned. It almost seemed as if she had appeared out of no where to whisper her warning, but then I might have expected Jalah to act surprised.

Eventually I figured that Syla was there getting this put in order, but it was not obvious. I think it might help to mention that Syla is there, maybe something like: Jalha stood nearly pressed against the door of Shotol's chamber, as near by Syla, her sister slave, was working at the tasks that had been appointed to the both of them. With her ear on the door she heard...

Then when Syla speaks her warning I would know where she came from and what she was doing.

Only think that really stood out as a problem for me.
T.S. Conlon chapter 1 . 7/6/2013
-The flame who heats the forge: "Who" denotes you're speaking of a person, but a flame is a thing. "That" is the proper word.

-...sacred Jade...: "Jade" is capitalized twice. I wonder why? Is it because it's "sacred jade" instead of merely "jade"? Like mythril, vibranium and adamantine—sacred metals all—jade, no matter how sacred, need not actually be capitalized.

-...not just a daughter of a leather worker; and having to fret over the variety of animal hide quality or all the official Imperial measurements, making sure she memorized the exact length of a Dragon's finger or arm. It was just boring in comparison.: Improper semicolon use. A semicolon is something that connects two clauses of a similar subject matter. In that case, all semicolons can become periods (but not all periods can become semicolons). All in all, I think what comes after the semicolon is unnecessary. We need to know she's a leather-worker, we need to know she thinks her job is boring. There must be some other way or somewhere else to mention she (sometimes) works with dragons (knowing she's a leather-worker we should also know she works with hides).

-...interrupting her view-taking.: "Viewing" would work better. Also, I don't know that a second non-finite verb (the "-ing" suffix) would work here. You could say "interrupting her view", "interrupting her concentration", or something similar.

-The clergywoman was dressed in the humble robes of the Immaculate Order, her head shaved to stubble, holding a simple staff.: Even with the commas, this is a bit of a run-on sentence. Try [The clergywoman was dressed in the humble robes of the Immaculate Order. Her head was shaved to stubble, and she held a simple walking stick.]

-The most striking thing about the monk, was her gray eyes, very light, almost white. Minding her manners, Kylene cast down her sight, bowing to the Immaculate.: The first comma need not be there ([The most striking thing about the monk was her gray eyes, very light, almost white]). Also, I think the proper noun of this sentence and the pronoun of the next paragraph would fair better changed around ([Minding her manners, Kylene cast down her sight, bowing to her] and ["Raise your eyes, child," the Immaculate requested.].

-...for nearly a Sun-Movement, what awes you so?": That comma should be a period/start of a new sentence.

-I think the description of the city is nicely done. It sounds expansive and wonderous, and we can really see why Kylene has such a fascination with it and with the palace.

-The monk laughed. "Don't fret, child. I see you realize your mistake," and patted Kylene on her head of long ebony hair.: Again, your puncuation is off. [The monk laughed. "Don't fret, child. I see you realize your mistake." She ran her fingers over Kylene's long ebony hair.]

-Kylene shook her head no.: The word "no" is unnecessary. Shaking one's head already denotes a negative.

-The Immaculate went on with her teaching, ...: This comma should be a period. Anything that is not a dialogue tag should be a period. [He waved. "Hello."] and [He said, "Hello."].

-The explanation of the five Anathema is a bit of an info-dump. We know nothing of these beings yet save that there are legends and Kylene is afraid of them, making them evil. I feel this would serve a better purpose AFTER we've met one or two different kinds, because even the most dedicated reader won't retain this information when its put before them all at once. In other words, show don't tell.

-[Her words grew hollow though, as if she was trying to believe them, "The Empress...] and ["So you really think she will return," hope filling her, "like when...]: Again, no dialogue tags means the break should be with periods.

-"...and beat back the Anathema?" It was the story of the Realm, ...: There should be a paragraph break between "...Anathema?" and "It was...".

-...Shogunate of the Old Realm...: "Shogunate" is a Japanese term, coming from the Japanese word "Shogun", meaning "general" or "warlord." Does Japan exist?

-Where was Kylene? Was she just hanging outside the shop, looking at the skyline, daydreaming? Was she on break? What was the purpose of Ivory Eye being there? Was she a patron of the shop? She mentioned she'd been watching Kylene for a while ... from where? Was she watching Kylene while she daydreamed? Does their meeting and talking have more to do with the story than just exposition? Will we eventually know what this is? I ask because Kylene just kind of appears mid-paragraph, and then Ivory Eye just shows up. I'd like to know a little bit more about them, what they were doing. Even if we never see them again, I would still like them to be a little more fleshed out.

*FINAL ASSESSMENT*
Overall, this was a good beginning. I'm wondering why the excerpt at the beginning and "The Anathema" couldn't be two different "chapters." But that's rather nitpicky and more for asthetic purposes.

This might be nitpicky, and if so, I apologize, but I don't like the word "prologue." I never write them in my stories. Most of the time writers use the term "prologue" incorrectly, same with "preface", "foreword", and "introduction." A prologue is an opening monologue given by the main character, or one of the main characters, of a play. A "preface" is a short essay about why the author wrote a book. An "introduction" is a short essay about the content of the book. And the "foreword" is by someone other than the original author: usually in non-fiction, a different author, an expert in the field, telling about why the book is important. Most of the time people use "prologues" even though they contain the main character(s) and it is part of the story proper. Even chapters that contain characters or events BEFORE the main character knows about them are still actually chapters. Why? Prologues are technically speeches about the work, as defined by Miriam-Webster "a preface or introduction in a literary work." But I just described what those are, so it's kind of negated. Funnily enough, "epilogues" can be for plays or books, and need not be speeches. Aaaaaaand that's enough of my rant! :D

After that, we get something of an info-dump. We get information about the city, information about the Anathema, about the "Elemental Poles" ... it's a lot to take in, especially in a "prologue." A lot of this information—namely the "info-dumping" (excessive quantities of information that the reader does not need to know right now)—could definitely be conveyed throughout the book. For instance, I don't need to know the five-ranks of Anathema and their powers, only that there are legends about the Anathema in general and people fear them and claim that more keep showing up. That's foreshadowing. I don't think I need to know about the Elemental Poles right now either, but the legend of the Contagion and the Fae are fine.

The grammar is mostly good in terms of sentence structure. However, the punctuation needs some work. Knowing how to use commas and where to stop sentences will make the reading flow better. Not every sentence needs to be made longer with commas. In fact, a lot of people—especially younger writers—tend to take shorter sentences for granted when they can be just as powerful and help get more points across (as I've shone in some of the above edited examples).

It seems like your world is very well put together. You have some good lore, and you have many things you're going to convey throughout the story. It needs some touching up, but so far I think you've got a good way of going about it.

Oh, out of curiosity, I don't see any parallels to other fiction stories and this is on . Is that because this was written before Fictionpress was created? If there -are- parellels to a pre-existing work, I must be missing them.
midnighter chapter 23 . 7/4/2013
hi! so,when will we see the story rotate back to Tonauac's perspective?
blue destiny chapter 17 . 7/3/2013
ryana is really so cool! she really reminds me of that girl from Alias or that dude from 24!
anathema boy chapter 23 . 7/3/2013
and yet again, windfire gets the short end of the stick... when will we finally see windfire get some vengance for what he suffered in the hands of the perfect?
voice of the for chapter 23 . 7/3/2013
nice! just one question! forgive my ignorance,but what is a daiklave? how is it different from a regular sword?
british guy chapter 1 . 7/3/2013
Hi! nice chapter 23! For some weird reason,I found this chapter funny... seriously... I was laughing all the way! did they really have to go down a toilet? really? the smell... keep on writing... more updates please!
iraqveteran chapter 1 . 7/3/2013
What? so now,the perfect of paragon has his own pet solar exalted? How could fatima be so gulible? I cant believe it!
pacificuser chapter 23 . 7/3/2013
Well, the long awaited chapter of Makwa's epic is finally up after more than two years of anticipation.
So far,the prose has gotten better since the previous update in 2011. In particular,the problem of lack of adjectives has been completely resolved.
The new chapter 23 is rich in descriptions for both exalted veterans and newbes.
Second is the noticeable more-fluid grammar and punctuation.
Other than that,it is still the same old story we know and love! Nice work!
british guy chapter 1 . 6/30/2013
hello... where is the new update posted at the end of this month?
anathema boy chapter 10 . 6/25/2013
uhhh... such a sad ending for windfire... I feel sorry for the guy... I hope it gets better for him in future chapters...
anathema boy chapter 9 . 6/25/2013
wow! really enjoyed this one! kind of like reading George RR Martin's fiction! Keep it up!
anathema boy chapter 7 . 6/25/2013
so far,this is the best chapter ever! the final paragrapph says it all for me! I look forward to reading more!
jade lion chapter 18 . 6/24/2013
wow! great Exalted story! One question though? Why is this chapter not named after the specific solar caste exaltation,following previous naming conventions? Wouldn't it be more fitting to call this Eclipse? Well,after Fatima Exalted? so... why is this particular chapter named differently? well...
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