|Reviews for A Long October's Night|
| Ivy Rose Thorn chapter 16 . 6/21/2012
Once again SasukeBlade manages to spin another epic tale and once again I feel like a child staring at the work of a master.
This was pretty darn cute and as always extremely well written. I loved Sherrill and Marina because, well, I'm a sucker for that sort of thing. You play with minds and hearts and weave a fabric of immense artistry. It is amazing to watch. You said this story would degenerate and, while it has not done so, it was enough to make Nesselde blush, which is always a plus in my book. She is such a darling little sister. I hope your writing expedition never stops and that you enjoy it as much as your readers.
-Love and thorns
Ivy Rose Thorn
| The Trinity Tree chapter 16 . 6/9/2012
Boy oh boy. I'm feeling all sorts of things from this chapter, but most of all the frustration on behalf of Julin, and Raithen's confusion. It's kind of amazing how I can empathise entirely from both points of view, and says a lot about how realistic your characterisation is. Most of all I'm just surprised, because usually the Yukes are portrayed as being the most picky and difficult when it comes to choosing a partner, and once they've found them we tend to assume their relationship will be long and perfect and leave the squabbling to the Selkies. You've taken that and turned it on its head a bit - I can definitely say I've never read a fic about two married Yukes fighting.
Perhaps it's because I've known Raithen for a few more chapters than Julin, but I genuinely feel terribly sorry for him, and maybe even a little mad at Julin? As he says at the end of the chapter, if he feels he's done everything for his wife and given it his all, it must be awful to find that what he's been giving isn't quite what was wanted. He must love her on some level - he was getting short of breath and panicky at the thought of her leaving! But I guess it's not enough. It's just a little sad that he doesn't know what's wrong, and that he's going to end up trying to fix this all the wrong way.
I feel that maybe Julin should have mentioned this a little earlier, rather than to let it build up for so long... but then, if you love someone, you keep holding off and hoping that they'll notice and the problem will be fixed without you having to start an argument. In that respect, I sympathise completely with her and then I'm caught back up in the "but who is right?" swirl with no idea how this is going to end.
On a lighter note, Rai's summary of how the other races go about finding and securing love was amazing. "He knew how the Lilties did it, declaring themselves loudly. He'd seen one of the great Lilty playwright Shakespeare's plays. That Romeo, shouting up to a balcony...how uncouth it was." Of course Shakespeare is a Lilty. Everyone gets mad and kills each other/themselves in his plays, or shouts a lot and likes to have their overly long and emotional say. So perfect! Hah.
And the little exchange between Rai and Aaron at the beginning was pretty hilarious. I like that you consider all characters from the perspectives of the rest of the cast - Raithen assembles what little he knows of Margery from things he's overheard from his friends and youngest wife, just as we might, and it's rare to see that. Usually an omniscient presence would kick in round about that point to deliver some kind of general message about Margery from the author's point of view. It's nice that you don't do that - almost like your characters are gossiping quietly about each other offstage.
Another great chapter! Can we get a little Jai Noo on the next scene though? I could do with cheering up after this bombshell. Thanks for the read!
| AnimeIceFox chapter 16 . 6/4/2012
D You updated! Does this mean that his father is going to be making an appearance soon with his one wife? I really liked the bit about Romeo and Juliet! I couldn't stop myself from laughing and startling Aulie (the cat that likes to follow me anytime I go home). This was really good, you could really feel the emotion and how he just wasn't getting what they were trying to tell him. He somewhat reminded me of a few men that we know ;). Great work, as always. Guess this means I should get to updating a fanfic too P.
| The Trinity Tree chapter 15 . 11/9/2011
Sas, sometimes I think you are my fairy godmother.
This was just what I needed. I've been freaking out over all these exams I have this week, but just reading this new chapter relaxed me. The interactions between the three women were so easy and fluent, it was almost as if you'd taken a real conversation from your own life and applied Margery, Salira and Mina to it in the most realistic and lovely way possible.
Everyone wants a set of friends like this. The nice thing is, I see my own friends in your three characters - you've got a knack for creating multilayered, slightly flawed but very human individuals. Mina's Fummish drawl made me laugh out loud ("werds", I can't even express how perfect that is). And their advice! I grinned to myself at the idea of them holing up in the inn for weeks drinking and stuffing themselves, bemoaning the world. The fact that Margery and Salira were so comforting towards Mina that I personally calmed down is pretty much a testament to your awesomeness as a writer.
You balanced out the good with the bad nicely too. Although Margery was doling out the comfort to Mina, we got a nice little bit of introspection about her relationship with Aaron. I'd had him pegged as a slightly rough, cheeky but surprisingly observant and caring sort of guy; now you've added another facet, the man who hurts his best friend without really thinking about it. No-one's perfect, I guess, but I really felt for Margery when the realisation hit home that Aaron's insensitivity was never really going to go away.
I also quite liked the fact that Margery was (usually needlessly) over-analysing her words to avoid upsetting Mina. Nice to see everyone does that and not just me!
I know this chapter was largely from Margery's perspective, but I don't think I can get enough of Salira. She's hilarious, and so irreverant. It makes a nice change from all the stuffy prudish Yukes that fill the fandom (hah, mine included!). When she casually removed her helmet I was like whoah, interesting. I assume it's because she's so close to her friends that she feels secure in doing so, although she's a little unconventional anyway.
Thank goodness for NaNoWriMo. And thank goodness for you! At least I'll have something amazing to read during this appallingly busy period. Excellent chapter Sas :)
| AnimeIceFox chapter 15 . 11/2/2011
A sweet new chapter. I like the ending, it seems fitting. _
| AnimeIceFox chapter 14 . 7/22/2011
AHHH! No JAI NOO! Bad boy! This was fun to read! Though... I don't really understand all the species(?) that were mentioned, it was still fun to read. _
I liked the one with the Harem, when you first introduced them. And also the one when you scarred Jai Noo with the tentacles. That was pretty funny. I really did love all the emotion in the story, such delicious tears of saddness!
| The Trinity Tree chapter 14 . 7/20/2011
Hey, a new chapter! And it was even better than the last :)
Ah, that first paragraph is just absolute genius. I would have known it was Jai Noo even if you hadn't specified. That strike system actually had me grinning to myself, especially strike two: no one likes beautiful people. Let's face it, it's true. Oh Jai, you are so incredibly conceited and yet on you, somehow it works.
It's interesting to see Hao Ri from all these different perspectives - from her sister's, from a fellow caravanners, and now from a man who never knew her. Without us ever meeting her, Hao Ri is now a fully fleshed character in the story. Jai's speculation on Hao is pretty hilarious in its irreverence, though. Bet Sherrill would smack him if she knew what was going on in his filthy mind.
One thing I did particularly like was the line about Sherrill being classically beautiful, like a painting. I've never heard that expression before in any form, and I really like it.
I am really interested in seeing what happens next, especially now that Jai has expressed an interest in Yerica. The fact that he believes Yerica to be someone in disguise as a grey Yuke is a pretty fantastical idea (I really have to wonder if Jai needs his eyes testing) but it could go some unusual places. Either there's going to be a little heartbreak when Yerica finally receives some romantic interest, only to find it's because the man in question believes her to be something she's not, or Yerica is going to take what she can get and go along with him! You did say sex comedy, after all :D
Still rooting for Arro to step in though. Shh.
Thanks for the new chapter, it was outstanding as usual :)
| The Trinity Tree chapter 13 . 4/15/2011
First off, my apologies for this review only concerning this particular chapter when if I was any sort of good reader I would go back and comment on each and every one in their respective glory. I'm sure I will go back and do that soon.
In the meantime, thanks for updating this. I'm a pretty big fan of everyday life perspectives and I felt considerably better having seen this new chapter.
I think every person has at some point in their life been unhappy with the way they are, or felt inferior. Evidently Yerica is no exception. It was a sad way to start the chapter, sure, but I instantly identified with her as a person. Impressive considering she's a Yuke - the tribe we all wish we could write properly. She was despondent enough to be convincing and evoke empathy from the reader without being too pathetic or whiny; that little burst of confidence at the end while she danced made me smile.
I like that you made her grey, a colour associated with dullness. I also found it interesting that Yerica feels uncomfortable and awkward in her own skin. The fact that she considers the Yukish form "hideous" is kind of sad - it implies that she is constantly drawing parallels between herself and the other races that we humans would typically find more attractive, just like she does with Annie.
Things I especially liked: Annie's hair being described as cinnamon-coloured, Yerica's memory of holding hands with a Lilty boy back when they were too young to really understand the significance of the gesture, that tiny reference to Hao in the ceremony that seems so poetically perfect but simply not enough to thank a person for a lifetime of service.
In short, this chapter was full of your customary dashes of amazing little phrases and metaphors. I really like Yerica. That "Today I will be happy, no matter what" attitude really clinched her character for me. She's just plain adorable in a sort of sad way, like a kicked puppy. I just hope that Arro can come along and show her how lovely she is.
Now to go and write some Endellia x Iroh just so she has something to read, although I'm sure neither of them will thank me for it.
Thanks for the read Sas, I enjoyed it :)
| BreathlessCyan chapter 10 . 11/19/2010
So we finally learn how Hao died, and every member of the caravan blames themself. How sad. Their friend died in front of them and adding to their mourning of her death, they also put the blame on themselves, only making it harder to bare.
It's nice to see another update from you Sas, regardless of the length of the chapter.
| BreathlessCyan chapter 9 . 10/25/2010
Kellen is so sweet. And seeing what Mina's been through, he's the type of man she needs in her life, someone who loves her and wants her to be happy. It's nice to see you update once again, especially since Halloween is on Sunday.
| SeoulGamer chapter 8 . 10/24/2010
So, this is your latest project, then. As always, your focus is on the lives of ordinary people in a community, but there is something distinctly different about this work. It strikes me as being an experiment; the introduction of a variety of sexual orientations and pairing types not normally seen in this section. Not only that, but you try out new writing techniques that work very well in the manner in which you have employed them, and demonstrate a mastery of ensemble casts that leaves me certain that this will be something I can look forward to over the coming weeks.
You have completely attacked any conventional notions of marriage, family and love. Relationships in this fanfiction feature people of all tribes and sexual orientations, and many couples have children they conceived of with their friends. Love of all kinds is explored; that of friends, family, lovers. With all the boundaries torn down like this, and such a diverse and interesting ensemble, the opportunities for drama are vast indeed.
However, I do feel as though you are trying to do too much at once; with so many different scenarios and such short chapters, I wonder whether these ideas would have been dealt with easier as standalone one shots. Of course, no individual scenario is isolated; the lives of the villagers all intertwine, but it can be tricky trying to keep track of all the lives, names and back stories you have crammed into this densely plotted tale.
I find it strange that you would associate autumn with new beginnings; because that’s the vibe I’m getting from the first chapter in particular. The very first word we hear spoken is “Peace”, something that all the villagers seek in their lives to relieve the pain they feel from their many burdens. Your description of the Crystal “a blue pinpoint of hope” seems to reinforce this first impression; that autumn is a time not of loss and decay, but merely a time when the old begins to make way for the new to come in spring. Though the lives of the villagers seem hopelessly entangled and unresolved now, perhaps everything will fall into place following the confusion of Hallow’s Eve.
The theme is romance, but this is much more than a romantic fantasy for readers to escape into. This diverse range of relationship and family types, from mixed race and lesbian partnerships to Yuke harems, results in a fresh and invigorating exploration of human relationships. Lonely hearts of all kinds abound; the farmer who mourns the absence of a woman in his family, a young man too cowardly to approach his crush, a lesbian couple who struggle to balance the rigours of family life with the duties of the Caravan and of course Raithen and his many wives.
The tale you weave is rich with detail and reaches into the lives of everyone in the community, and even the outsider’s perspective is included in the character of Jai Noo. When you switched to his point of view, I knew who it was before I even read his name; this testifies to your mastery of portraying the world through the eyes of differing cultures. This open-mindedness is evident in the explosion of innovative new ideas you have taken on to describe to us readers, but be sure to maintain a certain degree of consistency in your general vision of this story. You mentioned how you were allowing yourself to get sidetracked in chapter five by a sadder theme; while the chapter doesn’t feel out of place, I would warn against any sudden changes in mood throughout, unless you can justify it as a logical consequence of some event that happened earlier in the story.
The tensions you have set up for these chapters will allow you to affect your readers in the way you wish to, although do be careful to keep track of the many different plot threads running through the tale. Be sure to know which ones you want to dominate the story, so that if one particular scenario is neglected over another, it is because you want the story to be structured that way, not because you forgot about it. Though I know well how experienced you are as a writer, it’s easy to make mistakes from time to time.
There is a certain use of repetition in reinforcing certain ideas in your writing, which I found to be most effective as a literary technique. A repeated verbal style in chapter seven, from “I, you” to “she him” at the end reflects the mutually beneficial relationship shared by Aaron and Margie, while Loren’s clinging to his other mother in chapter eight reminds us of the curious contrast between Sherrill’s family, with two mothers, and Kellen’s family which has none. Plus, it serves as a useful demonstration of Marina’s earlier observation that Arro is closer to Sherrill than herself, as we see when Sherrill spares her son any embarrassment by knowing to ask for a hug rather than just expect it from him.
Your use of quotes to set the mood for each chapter is interesting, and helps the reader to look for the themes you styled each chapter around. I also like your treatment of sexual lust; you fall back on senses other than sight to evoke your character’s feelings for one another, and the use of smell and touch show us how your characters feel without having to be graphic about it. I would consider this to be one of this work’s strongest points; a fresh view of human sexuality and romance. Though the cultural elements of Crystal Chronicles set the stage for your characters and themes, there is enough original content here that you could have almost written it as an original fiction. But of course, how could you describe elements like the child Arro who is culturally distant from his mothers to an audience unfamiliar with Crystal Chronicles?
Interestingly, the story’s description contains no mention of drama as a genre, which should be clear to me from the emphasis on humour that you mentioned in the first chapter. The humour you use does exactly what humour should; it takes those things we take for granted in our society and turns them on their head. What can we learn from the compassionate relationship between two women, or the efforts of a man to seek a woman, or the man who has many women in his life? Clearly you know better than any of us, and we can look forward to your creative vision as realised in this story.
There is something important you should keep in mind with regards to this story’s rating. As far as sexual content goes, you’ve kept the gory details to a minimum, so nothing to worry about so far as breaking the rules goes. However, my understanding of the age ratings in the guidelines is that even non-explicit sexuality warrants an “M” rating, and you’re cutting it pretty close with that Yuke harem scene. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you this, since you’ve been around so long, but just in case, I’ll tell you anyway. Explicit sexual content is against the rules, and no rating, not even M, will justify it. Be careful, and don’t let the sexual elements derail the story.
Moving on to how you can improve, I have a suggestion to offer.
I would consider an ending that does not satisfy your reader’s expectations directly. Not that I think a downer ending is necessary, but the conclusion-still a long way off-that you build up to will ultimately relieve the tension that your readers feel on behalf of the characters, or it will leave those tensions unresolved or even heightened, leaving them with a powerful impression of the thoughts, ideas and feelings this story evokes. What do you wish to impart to us? Will the desires of your characters be satisfied, or will their challenging experiences with love leave them all the wiser as people, despite being unrequited?
I wish you all the best, Sasukeblade, both with this intriguing story and with whatever personal challenges you face right now that have lead to your halt on this project. I always enjoy seeing you trying out exciting new ideas that most authors would never even consider, and to see you always striving to become an even better writer than you already are.
Once again, I wish you the best of luck!
| The Trinity Tree chapter 7 . 10/13/2010
Whoah, Sas, polygamy! No wonder no one minds the odd couple of lesbians hanging around :P
I totally wasn't expecting Raithen to have four spouses. Or even two! From the way you only described the two Yukes in the previous chapter, I made the assumption they were his parents! You cheeky thing you, surprising me like that. It was amusing though, and I did like the idea that Yukes can communicate through scent. I've never come across that before but somehow it works.
D'aw. Marina and Sherrill's reunion was adorable. Nothing says love like knocking someone into the dirt and then kissing them.
I love Jai Noo. I didn't mention him in my last review but the part of Chapter 4 you wrote from his perspective was hilarious - "where were all the hunnies?" And having him turn to Aaron for answer abouts Raithen was equally genius.
Poor Ty! I wish he'd have the courage to speak up to Ren. I suppose it's hard when you know she's as independent and brave as Ren and she probably wouldn't look to you to play the typical man role of protector. Realise this, Ty, and be the caring, sensitive one! I am now officially rooting for this pairing to be completed by the end of the fic.
So far so good, can't wait for the hijinks to commence with the costumes. Venice-style flirt-carnival, anyone?
As for you Sas, I hope your emergency sorts itself out soon :( Can't be having with anything that upsets my favourite writer's schedule!
| BreathlessCyan chapter 7 . 10/12/2010
I see now what you ment about 'sex comedy'.
The Yuke senses were interesting to read, since it's your take on how the Yukes really are. Raithen having multiple spouses didn't really surprise me, I've learned to expect weird things from Yukes.
I like Jai's character, reminds me of Dai a little bit. _
Aaron and Margery seem to make a nice couple as well, if they addmitted they were a couple. :P
Nice to see your writing again so soon, I hope it means that you're feeling at least a little bit better.
| BreathlessCyan chapter 5 . 10/11/2010
:( Sas, I hope whatever is going on with you gets better soon.
I liked this chapter, I actually expected him to be thinking about Sherrill, but it was cute that he liked Ren. I hope she likes him back, poor guy. Good job, don't worry too much about updating, get what you need to get worked out worked out first.
| The Trinity Tree chapter 4 . 10/10/2010
From what I've seen so far I am super excited about reading the next twenty or so days' worth of fic! Sorry to sum up a whole four chapters with one puny review but I'll do my best.
I actually love society-based fics, ones that explore relationships and communities rather than traditional adventures. You get a lot more involved with the characters and quite often they turn out to be just as interesting :D
Like Angelic said, the initial couple of chapters had a lot of names to take in straight away and I confess I got a bit muddled. Obviously a re-read fixed that and, if this fic is anything like as good as your usual stuff, I'll get to know all the characters you've mentioned this far pretty well anyway. I think mostly in the second chapter there might be two or three typos but they don't really detract from the reading experience (I got a 0 spliced onto the end of "eyes", a non-capitalised "mama!" and I think there's a tense mixing but for the life of me I cannot find it again, so I might just be making that up.)
Anyway, shutting up with nitpicking now.
From what I can see so far, you've got a same-sex couple in Sherrill and Marina (who incidentally I think is adorable. It's quite cute to imagine the Lilty staying home to bake and the Clavat going out to beat things up). As they're same-sex they obviously can't conceive together and have had children via other means - such as sleeping with close friends like Kellen and Aaron, or adopting.
Merry, Mina Mi, Lena... Again with the names. I know I always say this but I *love* the names you come up with, particularly for Yukes. Sherrill and Marina's kids have the cooolest and cutest names ever. I like Arro, although Loren's character is my favourite. Gotta love a flour-dusted Lilty toddler.
It's already amusing me trying to work out any number of things: which children are aware of the gay-parent situation, does Lena know that her father might possibly be Kellen, are Kellen and Ty gay too, how does the village view all this homosexuality and what have you...
And of course you've got your splash of serious with the death of one of a pair of identical twins, which somehow makes this whole "sex comedy" quite grounded and tragic, and also helps to set it more firmly in the Crystal Chronicles universe. The idea of the boundary of the fence also enforced this - you sort of forget that a village full of kids would have to think about stopping them running off into the miasma.
Gahhh damn it Sas. Why do you have to be good at everythingggg. Can't wait for the next chapter.
PS. Is Serforrin going to appear in this anywhere at all? *excited*