Reviews for The Drink of Champions
Martin III chapter 1 . 8/27/2009
Very good work here. I have to say that I'm not pleased to find another fic focusing on Elliot, partly because I find it sad that nearly half of all SF1 fics focus on him, and partly because his character flat out makes no sense, and the only writer who has yet been able to fix Elliot's motivations so that they make some sort of sense is JunXD. So in that aspect, at least, I must disagree with Demonic Weasel's critique: Yes, Elliot's determination that Max shall slay him is odd, but certainly no odder than anything about him in the game itself.

But moving past the subject matter of the fic, the writing is very solid. I'm unclear on your reason for using the present tense, but it's not at all a problem since you use it so consistently. You only lapsed into past tense once that I noticed, with the word "happened": "...and it so happened that they were stopping for the day." (Also, who is "they"? The Shining Force or the wagons?) You have a great pace, with enough description to give the writing a steady beat, yet light enough so that it doesn't get bogged down.

As Demonic notes, however, the dialogue is awkward in places, especially so in the opening conversation between Max and Mae. One specific problem I can point out in that part is that when Mae accuses him of fibbing, Max spits out the truth without missing a beat: no hesitation, no struggling to overcome his reluctance to talk about it, nothing. It's disconcerting.

The story itself is very well-conceived. Your depiction of Max doesn't feel fully developed yet, but for a first piece it's certainly deep enough and believable enough, mixing his heroism and determination with the right level of uncertainty and carefulness. The ending is subtly and beautifully done; I love how you did it without Elliot actually saying who he was. As a side note, though, it is extremely odd that Mae would expect Max to know the former name of a foreign country. As a whole, the path you took with the Max/Elliot encounter is a good idea, and well executed.

Overall very pleasing piece of writing, with my only major complaint being, as I noted, the specific subject matter. I sincerely hope we'll see you writing more for this section.
Demonic Weasel chapter 1 . 8/20/2009
Well, allow me to begin by saying that seeing a new Shining fanfic is always a pleasurable experience and, thusly to extend my hand of gratitude and welcome to you. I hope we'll see some more work of yours. That said, on to the story.

On the whole this is a thoughtful, well-realized, well-written piece. Your characterizations are fairly good, although I think that some work might be in order. You capture Max really well, especially because you're willing to give him doubts. He's not certain and feels himself to be in an uncertain situation. His rigid adherence to the attributes of a 'noble' character (no suffering ever, no personal desire to stop Darksol because of his own losses) make him feel a bit more bland, but such blandness is far preferable to poorly handled angst, so on the whole a thumbs up there. Elliot is splendidly written, although his seeming determination that Max should go on to vanquish him feels a bit odd.

As for the actual writing? Well, you have a very direct style that you use consistently and skilfully, and, most unusually of all, it's all present tense. The writing is fairly strong, but you have a habit of putting a period at the end of each piece of dialogue. Using a comma so that the sentence segues into 'name said' is a better approach to take, most of the time when you specifically indentify who says what.

The only other crticism I can make is that because of that, partially, and partially because of some dialogue tags you use (i.e. 'stated) the dialogue is occasionally flat. Not the actual conversation itslef, but the way it reads. Otherwise though, this is a very nice addition to the archives. Thank you.