Reviews for By the Crystal, United
Seoul Gamer chapter 13 . 8/26/2010
I thought that the ending was a bit weak. You just brushed over the founding of Shella, with no real explanation as to why the Yukes all suddenly decided to move there.

I was expecting a tragic ending, so I was suprised that everything turned out okay for them. Though you extended the story past its original six chapters, it still felt like the story was cut short.

I imagine that the central Crystal would have been destroyed when the miasma came. After all, if there was no town around it, there would be no caravanners to provide it with Myrrh.

Still, not bad for your first Crystal Chronicles fic.
Seoul Gamer chapter 9 . 8/22/2010
Finally, one of the friends has died from the war. When Miach learns of her friend's fate, what will she do, I wonder? Or perhaps Uday won't tolerate her company any longer. In a way, her teaching of the Lilty language to him only helped to worsen his situation further.

I take it that at this point, the Yukes have walled themselves up in Shella and are no longer concerned by the Lilties world conquest as long as they are left alone.

Didn't Frederick and Chessa have a plan, though? Perhaps it's not over yet for the Selkies...
Seoul Gamer chapter 7 . 8/20/2010
Your poem is very nice-simple, but harrowing. Given that the next chapter will focus on the Selkies, I take it we'll be approaching a major turning point in the plot.

Until the friends actually end up hurting each other directly, it'll be hard to really get the feel that the innocence they once shared has been truly lost. Also, I'm surprised that the Yukes allow twelve year olds to enter the war.

I've also wondered how the Lilties physical strength could possibly crush the Yuke's magic. Surely the hexes and spells they could cast on the Lilties would devastate an army relying on mere muscle power. Then again, the defeat of the Yukes by the Lilties is a canon part of Crystal Bearer's plot, so who am I to talk?

Carry on. This tale is getting interesting.
Seoul Gamer chapter 6 . 8/19/2010
So my prediction was correct, then! The Clavats just rolled over and gave in to the advancing Lilty armies. Too bad for Celerina and Uday; I doubt that the Selkies could hope to stand against the Lilties, though the Yukes will certainly give them a run for their money.

I really like your character names, by the way. Especially Frederick and Chessa's names.

It'll be interesting to see the perspectives of the other tribes on the war. Although the Lilties reason for going to war seems a little too simplistic to be believed. If they really consider themselves superior to the other tribes, you should show how they came to think this way rather than just having them repeat "Pride! Honor!" over and over again like robots.
Seoul Gamer chapter 5 . 8/18/2010
Very interesting. I notice that the story is getting more detailed as the characters age, though the chapters are as short as ever.

Will the Clavat's refusal to fight mean that they'll just stand by as the Selkies and Yukes are massacred, I wonder?

It seems a bit strange that it was Miach, the Lilty, who experienced that vision. Lilties aren't exactly known for having supernatural powers, unlike the Yukes. And isn't Miach helping her own vision to come true by joining her father on the battlefield?

Keep the chapters coming.
Seoul Gamer chapter 4 . 8/18/2010
The chapters are a little too short and lacking in detail, in my opinion. Short chapters aren't necessarily bad, but you could flesh out the characters a bit more and show us how deep their differences run as well as their similarities. I would prefer to see how the differences in their personalities and cultures act as a source of conflict in their own right, rather than blaming it all on those mean old adults. It would be more interesting if the pressure put on the kids by their elders served to exasperate any tensions between the friends that already existed, rather than having the sole reason for their separation being the racist adults.

I also find it puzzling that the Clavats could try to be neutral. If the Lilties are trying to take over the world, surely the Clavats would be targeted too, in which case their "peace delegation" would simply be a fancy front for surrendering their sovereignty without a fight. As far as the setting is concerned, I'm guessing that this is a hypothetical Crystal Chronicles world created purely for exploring the theme of racism and the effect it has on friendships, rather than a particular time and place in the main Crystal Chronicles world. Then again, it could also be set in the period between the fall of Rebena Te Ra and the meteor impact, thought that still wouldn’t explain the existence of the central Crystal.

So far, the story has been interesting, but it doesn't really emotionally affect the reader enough. Longer, more detailed chapters that explore the themes of this story in more depth would be much appreciated by this particular reviewer.
SasukeBlade chapter 4 . 8/17/2010
I enjoyed this chapter, and the fact that they argued. Not all friends get along all the time, and with a betrayal of this magnitude, well, a fight would be inevitable. I liked how you described each of the races' defenses.

Some issues: Several times Chessa/Cressa's name was misspelled. Which is it?

Your characters are falling into very stereotypical roles, particularly Miach and the Clavats. Uday and Celerina are less so, and Dhiren's almost violent attitude was rather surprising (in a good way).

You have a very straightforward way of storytelling, by which I mean that you tend to tell rather than show. Maybe consider expounding on some of your scenes rather than just summarizing next chapter.

Still reading :)
SasukeBlade chapter 2 . 8/16/2010
Hmm. First, I like it. I like it a lot. So far there doesn't seem to be much direction/plot going on, but that can wait, 'cause I like what I'm reading. I'm curious as to where this will go though.

Like Seoul Gamer I'm rather curious as to where in the world this is taking place. Is it in a single town? Is it within a country? Is the original game involved in any way? You didn't mention miasma, so does it exist in this timeline?

I like the children's singsong, and I liked how you described each grouping. There's something very sweet and nostalgic about your writing, yet it gives me horrid foreboding. Maybe it is that as an adult, I know innocence can't last.

Looking forward to reading more.
Seoul Gamer chapter 2 . 8/15/2010
It’s an interesting idea for a story, to be sure. I take it that the setting is one without the miasma-is the central crystal supposed to represent that of Tipa? Seeing as Rebena Te Ra is too far west to be the center of the world you describe.

I find it hard to tell exactly what sort of story you're setting up. Racism will clearly play a part in spoiling the precious friendships between the protagonists, but I wonder how you'll get to that conclusion. Will the story take place against a backdrop of war, or will the Lilty conquest play a more minor role? Will the children come into a dramatic conflict with their elders, or will they be corrupted by racist beliefs themselves? My point being, have you thought it through and carefully planned out your story? It's terribly easy to rush in with the first ideas that come into your head and end up unable to decide how the tale should go on.

You show us clearly how the interaction between the different tribes enriches their lives-Miach's purchase of the Fire Ring for Dhiren and Dhiren's fascination with the Selkie language are my favourite parts. The friendship between the Clavat boy and girl is sweet and endearing, and you effectively evoke the memory of happy, innocent times for the children.

Don't expect many reviews right away. You may need to continue updating this story for a while before any of the writers here notice it. If you want attention and constructive criticism, try posting in the forums or reviewing other stories in the section. Since there aren’t many people browsing this section nowadays, you'll have to make an effort to participate if you wish to be noticed.

Oh, and break up the block of text in the prologue into small paragraphs and individual lines. It looks horrible all bunched together like that, and discourages anyone taking a quick look at your story from reading any further. Rather than rambling on about how they will be separated from one another by their communities, try to come up with single, individual lines to summarise your story with more dramatic impact. Or, you could just rethink your story summary altogether-it should be concise enough not to need more elaboration.

I hope to see more instalments of this story, as there are too few authors here who think beyond the obvious crystal caravanner-type plot. Good luck, now!