Reviews for Three Years At Sea
Lunatique chapter 16 . 3/3/2011
Magnifique! Entirely gripping and un-put-downable. I'm in love with the way you handle naval adventure and the technical details of naval warfare, with enough description to give the story a hands-on feel without getting bogged down. Great comic moments with the wordy Wang, whose rambling reveals a bit about Fire Nation life during wartime while at the same time providing comic relief. And to this already heady mix you added great character moments for Zuko, too, revealing his competence, energy, and sheer determination, and also his compassion-and pragmatism. The portrayals of the military men are a treat; I like that Zuko's predicament presents moral dilemmas for grown men that he himself is unaware of. It's very realistic for a child's suffering to be more disturbing for the adults than for the child himself, and poignant, too.

I do think Shuang was being a bit overconfident here in not suspecting a trap, but that's kind of understandable with his track record. Perhaps some mention of overconfidence or arrogance on Shuang's part would have provided better foreshadowing. At any rate I loved the resolution of the battle, and the fact that all the characters are human beings and not easily categorized into good and evil boxes. Great job!
Lunatique chapter 10 . 3/2/2011
Another great chapter! The subtle changes in Zuko as he focuses more on the present are very interesting-I think in some ways, his obsession with the Avatar was a survival mechanism to keep himself busy and not be eaten alive by resentment and anger. Like Iroh said, the Avatar gave him hope. Zuko's first battle was also well-written and realistic, including his reaction to the first kill. Your description of his relationship with Jee is absolutely spot on; these two strike me as the kind of people who can hurl fists and fire at each other one hour and fight side-by-side without a hitch the next. I've always had a soft spot for the Lieutenant and wondered what happened to him after the North Pole assault. Good job, keep it up!
Thomson chapter 16 . 3/2/2011
What an awesome chapter! I was on the edge of my seat the entire part where they were going through the minefield- so epic! I love your writing so much, and I can't wait to read more of this story!
AnnaAza chapter 16 . 3/2/2011
Fantastic strategy and pirate scene! Though Zuko should have found a way to take the crew hostage or something because Shuang seemed ok with going with Zuko if his crew was saved.
Carm9nD chapter 16 . 3/2/2011
ahh, my favorite Avatar story got an update. My day has just got considerably brighter. This chapter was very nice and this entire story is so well written that I sometimes forget this isn't in the official storyline but fan fiction. That is how awesome of a writer you are.

Keep up the good work!
Kimberly T chapter 16 . 3/2/2011
This chapter and the one before it really echoed of the old Horatio Hornblower novels. Very, very well done!

It would be interesting if Zuko ever read a transcript of Shuang's interrogation, and learned just why Shuang had decided to turn against the Fire Nation; what the turning point had been. (I know it probably won't happen, he's got two more years at sea and a lot more besides to go through, but I still think it would be interesting for him to learn what other, non-Zhao-type people thought of his 'training accident'.)
Lunatique chapter 3 . 2/27/2011
Favorited! I love this account of that dark period of Zuko's life, and the characterizations and reactions were all spot-on. Your attention to detail, such Iroh's demand for a ship, crew, and money, the maps, and the medical treatment, made the story all the more engrossing. I could practically hear the original actors in my head, the dialogue was so good. I like the Jeong Jeong theory, too. Excellent, gripping, and moving.
Captain Croft chapter 15 . 2/26/2011
Wow, this is amazing! I just read through the whole thing and I'm so excited :D I love the way you portray the characters; it seems perfectly in-character to me, and even Jee, who doesn't have that much character in the hsow, is very very believable.

I'm just very impressed, to say the least. Keep it up! I can't wait to read the next chapter!
FairladyZ2005 chapter 1 . 2/25/2011
Just wanted to say how much I love your fic, easily one of my favorites in the entire Avatar archive. You have captured the relationship between Zuko and Iroh exquisitely in these chapters (I'm up to chapter 14 so far). I feel like I am reading a cannon prequel to the show, kinda like the Zuko's Story movie prequel which is good, though I like yours better. I'll probably have more to say about individual chapters later, but so far I've really enjoyed - the imediate aftermath of the Agni Ki and Zuko's memories of it while trapped in the ice, how Zuko got his dao swords and explainations of how bad his sight is affected by his injury, the pirate battle, explainations for why Zuko keeps his hair in the style he does, and Iroh teaching Zuko the breath of fire.
Nele chapter 15 . 2/18/2011
Ooooh, exciting! I wonder how Zuko thinks he's going to capture that godawful evil ship. Overconfident much?

Bad Ozai, probably hoping Zuko will get killed.

(I love Jee stamping the thing while going on about what a rotten idea it is ;) Ah, Jee.)
hotcocoalatte chapter 10 . 2/17/2011
I like what you're doing with Lt. Jee and Zuko :)
hotcocoalatte chapter 4 . 2/17/2011
You know, I think that's the best and most brilliant explanation for Zuko's swords that I've come across. :D Anyway, I'm really enjoying this fic so far!
Shade40 chapter 15 . 2/15/2011
This chapter felt a little long, but I suppose waiting would feel long to Zuko too. I liked your historical comments. I have actually spent a few weeks on a ship (for a work placement, though I was dreadfully seasick), and a lot of your details are accurate and familiar to me. I like that Zuko now finds sleeping on land to be too quiet and still, that he now finds the rocking of the ship lulling. I didn't need the note about the letter of marque to get the general gist of its purpose, though I've never heard the term before.

As to your story's moral ambiguity, I would say you're doing okay so far. I know that I often emphasized with the 'evil' (against Aang) characters, since everyone has different motives and views of the world, but I disagree with your opinion that Avatar was good at moral ambiguity. Aang and his friends were often close-minded to the views of their opponents. But I suppose they listened and gave the benefit of the doubt as often as they didn't.
Zolarix Aster chapter 15 . 2/12/2011
Starting in the middle of action worked, but it did confuse me for a second. I had to check if they were being attacked last chapter.

"snapping turtle." Good name. Sounds accurate for this thing.

Jee didn't check closely because the cat was there! Bwa ha ha!

Now I really want to read a fic where Zuko ends up joining the navy or something after he gets banished. How would that work out? (sorry, tangent.)

Wang is obviously the time-traveled love-child of Aang-on-caffeine/Ty Lee-also-on-caffeine.

Is one of those nasty possibilities that Zuko doesn't want to think about that Ozai will give his seal because he doesn't think Zuko will succeed? *Is proven right two paragraphs later. Is sad.* Also, good on Iroh, trying to change Zuko's pov. This seemed a bit less subtle than I'd normally expect from him, but he's also under a bit of pressure to convince his crazy nephew not to attack a highly dangerous traitor.

By the way, does Zuko have a plan, or is he going to just charge in? Because Zuko-plans sound like an intriguing notion, and are less likely to get him drowned.

Well done, on the moral ambiguity front. Also, the letter of marque thing was really interesting, and makes sense how you've adjusted it.
Kimberly T chapter 15 . 2/12/2011
Nice historical lesson in addition to some great storytelling! I'll admit that at first I thought the attack was a dream/nightmare that Zuko was having, because I couldn't think of a canon-plausible reason for an attack on his ship. The chapter title might have given me a clue, but when I saw it for some reason I instantly thought of the graphic novel written by 'Ali Wildgoose', the movie prequel "Zuko's Story", and the chapter in it dealing with the man who showed Zuko the way to becoming the Blue Spirit. So I was wrong twice, but I don't mind a bit!

One thing I found not-quite-right was Zuko being forced to share a room with Wang the Talkative. Zuko's royal privileges are gone now that he's a banished prince, but he's still a ship's captain. It doesn't matter if Zuko and Wang were closer in age than anyone else; a captain does not bunk with midshipmen. In terms of rank, a more logical choice would have been Lt. Jee, if not his uncle. Being bunked with a midshipman was an insult to his rank, and a real slap in the face if it was deliberate on Commander Wei's part. I'd be inclined to wonder if the insult was meant as payback for Zuko's declining the invitation to dinner, but Wei's attitude towards Zuko the next day doesn't sync up with that notion.
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