Reviews for Path to Ardor
Equilly chapter 1 . 6/21/2011
Hola! You've probably figured this out by now, but doesn't let you post links, so your soundtrack URL doesn't show up for Soundscape to Ardor :( A lot of people put spaces in between stuff, but a complete URL gets jumbled.

Por supuesto, no comprendo lo que pasa aqui, but I like your writing style! I especially love the snowflakes imagery.

Suerte!

-claire
MikoSwordmaiden01 chapter 3 . 5/9/2011
Greetings once more Sa Rart!

I've lost track of your fic and Im SOOOOOO HAPPY I finally had a chance to rediscover it, ESPECIALLY with the *INCREDIBLE* updates you've made since your first chapter!

This matchup was -THE LAST- one that would have crossed my mind in setting someone up to fight against Rukia. However, you did an AMAZING job with it! I ADORED Rukia's newly found bankai but even more than that, I LOVED how this was *ALL* so that she could see Ichigo. They way you had Rukia describe him and his current situation was spot on and you can just tell from the manga that he's hurting..and has been for a long time now.

I really hope since now she's defeated Ikkaku that she'll make it to the living world to see Ichigo. I would -LOVE- to see you describe their encounter, even if it is only Rukia who can see Ichigo. Im sure you'd write it beautifully! Anyways, CAN NOT WAIT for more and hope you update SOON! Peace and Love! -Miko
PennyOfTheWild chapter 3 . 5/7/2011
*claps hands in delight* You updated! Seeing this has officially made my week.

Where to begin, where to begin. Do you know, it's really incredible what a few months of absence can do for a person's writing. While description has always been one of your (many) strengths, this chapter shows just how much you've come forward, showcasing progress made in leaps and bounds.

Like this sentence:

'Then, from far away, the hiss of a distant wind filled the emptiness, and the silence that had gripped the world gave way to its sepulchral tones. '

It's hardly a sentence: more like a line of music. *awed* That phrase 'sepulchral tones' is Holy. Love the connotations.

Here, however, 'She stood there, tall and majestic with her white sword and dark raven hair,' I feel using both 'dark' and 'raven' is a bit much. It would be better if you used just one (if I were you, I'd throw out the 'dark' in favor of 'raven').

But that's me, nitpicking.

'"You really should have worn more clothes, Third Seat Madarame. What possessed you, to go shirtless and shoeless in the snow?"'

*grins* That had me laughing out loud. He really has been lucky so far: if he did have to fight in a similar situation, he'd have dropped from hypothermia a long time ago.

You used dialog to wonderful purpose here. You convey so much: Rukia's bitterness, Ikkaku's pride - and both of their senses of duty, different as they are, with astounding clarity.

'"No warrior, no weapon, no entity, from Kenpachi Zaraki to Hanatoro Yamada to Ichigo Kurosaki, can stand against the wind when it blows – they are just cast away and forgotten."'

Homage to the first chapter, no? I also sense a salute to Zoe Nightshade in 'Forgotten': another loyal, selfless soul who gave up everything, only to be cast away entirely.

Ichigo really is lucky to have Rukia fighting so hard for him.

Something else that stood out to me was your depiction of character. Remember what I said about leaps and bounds? Your characterization of him is incredible in this chapter - not that it wasn't in the first - but here, you're truer to the 'essence' that is Ikkaku (and Renji: the two of them are scarily similar in some ways).

This line, in particular: '"I really thought it mattered, I might let you go – but thinking he needs help is an insult to him, and I can't let you defy the orders of the Gotei 13 for something like that,"' is particularly significant. If I'm not wrong, Renji said something similar to Ichigo about Rukia in the Heuco Mundo arrival arc: he told Ichigo: 'worrying about a warrior's safety in battle is an insult to that warrior,' (forgive my errors; I am paraphrasing), and it seems fitting that they should apply this philosophy to other aspects of their lives, also. It was an excellent touch.

Your use of italics was particularly effective; it gave a lovely reminiscent, softly-faded feel to the whole piece, rather like a vision obscured by drifting snow-clouds: and this did wonders for the pacing, which was, as usual, flawless.

'Slowly, his body curved backwards and fell, eyes growing dim, limbs slack, as it plummeted into the snowdrift, twenty feet below him.'

I hope he isn't dead? You can't vent your frustration on the poor man just like that, friend! XD

'as the snowdrifts ran red, blood still dripping off the snow-white blade.'

I ADORED that. There's something about the imagery in that sentence that is mind blowing. *tears at hair* And YES, this is repetitive, but then, I'm running out of words to describe your writing, so I have to fall back: poetic. There, I said it. It's poetic.

My only complaint? It was too short. Far too short. But I forgive you: you've been busy.

Thank you ever so much for sharing: and I can't wait to see what you come up with next!

Have a lovely weekend,

Penny.
KuroiTori-sama chapter 3 . 5/2/2011
Cool.(ain't that an understatement...)

Great battle scene, though I am surprised they weren't more closely matched. Probably the strangest thing was the level of control Rukia had over the bankai, but then again, she always did have a knack for controlling her powers.

Quite amusingly, the battle in this chapter was very interesting even though it was not fast'n'furious and rather one-sided.
Valkary chapter 1 . 3/18/2011
That is seriously deep. It 's nice that there's something from Rukia's perspective. (For once) Sooooo many people underrated her because of lack of physical strength. It would be cool to see her bankai in this. Oh, and, by the way, I caught the Mulan quote. She (Or he? Neither the manga nor the anime focus on Rukia's zanpakto very much) seems very omniscient.
burlington chapter 1 . 2/16/2011
I am your latest and greatest fan. I loved chapter 1. I read it through online and am printing it out with comments. You have a voice inside of you and a talent for putting it to paper. The discipline it takes to pen this type of story complete with characters that are well described, dialogue that is intriguing and a little bit mysterious...is pretty amazing.

Keep following your dream. You have a talent.
MyPenIsSharperThanYourSword chapter 2 . 1/31/2011
Me again! I caught a mistake in my review and thought I'd correct it:

'The focus in the last chapter was on emotions in general and feelings of futility and helplessness in particular, and you used weather and atmosphere to convey that.'

I wrote 'general' twice. Sorry!

Have a lovely week,

Penny.
PennyOfTheWild chapter 2 . 1/31/2011
*waves energetically* Hello, friend! How are things?

*apologetic* I'm sorry this is so very late. I promise to try and make it up to you: I've loads of things to say about this chapter - and it's all good news. XD

You see, I thought this was an incredible chapter.

As far as writing style/technique goes, you display your mastery at narrative writing yet again. Something I thought was interesting: the overall 'tone' of this chapter is very different from the first one. Perhaps this is because Path to Ardor was initially intended to be a oneshot, but whatever the reason, it's highly appropriate, because this chapter's - if I use 'aura', you'll understand, right? - is more 'hopeful' and 'determined', and this contributes very well to the overall effect on the reader.

...am I making any sense? I hope you're still with me!

You do this with the very first line:

'It was a beautiful night – even for someone like him, for which beauty meant nothing.'

The focus in the last chapter was on emotions in general and feelings of futility and helplessness in general, and you used weather and atmosphere to convey that. Here, you objectify (does that make sense?) the same things - weather and atmosphere, so that, while they still ARE present (you can't exactly do away with them), the characters - and therefore the reader - are removed from their direct influence. You convey, with incredible skill, just how much the slightest tweaks in style can do for a piece.

-I'm going to be horrible and point out that the 'which' should've been a 'whom' because it refers to Ikkaku. Sorry!

And here, you've a typo: 'grumbled the Third Swat, taking another swig of the potent brew.' As you can see, I'm being petty. Take no note of me!

'But he was a member of the combat squad, and his instincts were as honed as his blade.'

That was a lovely sentence; I particularly loved the phrase 'his instincts were as honed as his blade,' it's got an incredible 'ring' to it.

Your characterization of Rukia is incredible. I've said so before, I know, but I wanted to tell you again.

'Her eyes were dangerous. "Hōrin is a flexible spell. It does as I bid, and it so happens I used it to take hold and pull to me what it caught." '

I'm guessing you really, really enjoyed writing out this encounter, didn't you? As far as battles go, this was your best yet, and that is saying something, because we both know fight sequences are your specialty. I loved how you incorporated both Kido and Zanjutsu - it IS Rukia's style, using both in tandem, and you handled it with YOUR signature skill; the banter, the explanations - it could've been Kubo's own.

You've this lovely ability: everything you create is always uniquely your own, but made so that it fits seamlessly with the original story's universe. I wish I could do that. *wistful*

I do have a couple of questions, though.

Firstly - Rukia's bankai. I don't know very much about Bleach yet: I'm still new to it - but I felt (like another reviewer, earlier) that it's too early for her to have achieved bankai. Not that I doubt her skill - I know that Rukia's been underestimated quite often (to the misfortune of her opponents), but I don't see how it's possible for her to have attained it in so short a period. Ichigo achieved his in three days, but that was because of Urahara's Tenshintai, and while we don't know exactly how long Renji trained to achieve his, it's assumed that he began long before he even became lieutenant (because, after all, he had been lieutenant for a month when he appeared in the story). I guess what I'm asking is: how long has it been since she began training?

Secondly - Ikkaku tells Rukia he's surprised Renji didn't tell her about Ikkaku's bankai. I felt that was a little out-of-character for Ikkaku, because we know that he and Renji both trust each other to a large degree; Ikkaku wouldn't doubt Renji by insinuating that Renji would break his trust and tell Rukia that Ikkaku has a bankai (especially considering it doesn't concern Rukia at all). Also, I think it would be very unlikely that Ikkaku would actually reveal Ryumon Hozukimaru to Rukia; it's been stated more than once that he'd rather die than risk widespread knowledge of his bankai. Ikkaku, I feel, like his captain, has his own interests closer to his heart than those of Soul Society; while he did use bankai during his battle with Edrad Liones, it was because it was very unlikely that word would ever get back to his superiors - that's not the case here.

I'm sure you have an excellent explanation, though, which is why I asked - because you never do anything without a very good reason. And, lines like this:

'He yelled, and the dragon on the axe glowed with red light, raging like a fire, and the blades cut – cut through metal and ice, into each shoulder, and blood sprayed across the clearing. For a moment, his grinning face was inches from her pained one, and then he lashed out with a foot. She flew, helpless, tossed like a rag doll, and she felt her ribs break. Thirty feet later, she rammed into the tree, and she heard the bones snap in her hand as she struck,'

are mind-blowingly awesome, and make me wonder why I'm even questioning you.

Also: I absolutely adored this: '"Shikai can't beat bankai,"' - a tribute to Ichigo's fight with Byakuya, isn't it? I love how you do things like that. XD

Your closing lines were epic, as usual. -putting in a release phrase (is it one?) was appropriate here, I think. It was a lovely touch, and is, in itself, beautiful - poetic.

I'm so very sorry for being so picky: it's because I'm jealous, you know. XD - I really, really enjoyed reading this.

Thank you so much for sharing.

Penny.

P.S. I'll have you know it's completely your fault I'm addicted to Bleach now. My sister, who doesn't even know you, blames you too. Shoulder the blame, friend. Shoulder the blame. XP
KuroiTori-sama chapter 2 . 1/8/2011
The bug is gone~!

Now as far as this chapter is concerned - holly s***!

There were a few itsu-bitsy little problems, so I added some constructive criticism.

You should note that, while strong, Ikaku would have probably had more problems defeating Rukia even if it was banai vs shikai. Evidence? Rukia killed an espada (even though Aaroniero Arruruerie was the weakest). By my estimate, he would have an advantage when it comes to raw power. But on the other hand, Rukia never relies solely on raw power, instead she constantly combines the powers of her zanpakutou and her kidō (it's something you've done quite well, If I might add). So, yea, thumbs up there!

The only things that was really worth complaining was her bankai. First of all, (I think) you brought it out too early in the story (but then again, my mind is permanently fixed on long'n'epic, and by the sound of your author notes this ain't one of those stories). I must, however, point out that the canon Rukia still had a few tricks up her sleeves, like per instance - her ability to fire of two high level kidō spells at the same time (though she needed to use chants for both of them).

"Sode no Shirayuki Kageyoshi" or "The vibrant display of Sleeves of snow"? So far, I can say it definitely sounds good. Now to wait and see what it looks like. Don't remember that she just obtained it. (remember what happened to Renji when he first used his bankai!)

Oh, yea - I almost forgot. No bankai has a release phrase. Those releasing their bankai only call out 'bankai' and then speak the bankai's full name. (So that was a big 'wooops!' there on your part.)

Well, so much from me! Hope you update soon!

~KuroiTori-sama

(PS: I wonder if this will become a long'n'epic kinda story?)
KuroiTori-sama chapter 1 . 1/8/2011
As far as chapter one goes:

The story is great, the pacing is good, Rukia using sarcasm bad (I might be wrong, but I can't remember any occasion she used it in either anime or manga).

You said "Hadō four, Byakurai." Trust me, it doesn't work. Use either Japanese or English, not both. So it's ether:

"Way of Destruction no.4, Pale Lightning." or "Hadō no yon, Byakurai."

Ichigo is the mountain? Damn, that's one hell of a good comparison.

That's it for chapter one (you'll get the review for chap2 as soon as the bug that tells me that there's an error every time I try to access it disappears).

~KuroiTori-sama
LotusFlower640 chapter 2 . 1/8/2011
I like how you made Rukia stronger, but not too strong to the point that it's ridiculous. My goodness, this is great writing. Thank you! Please update soon.
Aizawa Li Syaoran Vessalius chapter 2 . 1/8/2011
bankai?

wohoo!

rukia vs ikkaku! .

that's so cool

update again XDD
MikoSwordmaiden01 chapter 1 . 11/14/2010
Greetings Sa Rart!

Congrats on your first Bleach fanfiction! I absolutely LOVED IT! I admit that I to have been frustrated with how things have been going in the latest chapters of Bleach and Im glad you've taken the initiative to perhaps curb that frustration.

I love how you've portrayed Rukia here; you can really feel her pain and emotional turmoil. You've done a GREAT job so far and I am really looking forward to more! Thank you for sharing your work!-Miko
PennyOfTheWild chapter 1 . 11/14/2010
When I saw your new story alert in my inbox, I initially registered five words: [New Story] by Sa Rart.

Naturally, I was transported to the seventh heaven of delight - because your stories are always an utter joy to read.

Then I clicked on the alert, was redirected to the summary page, and, quite honestly now, all my initial excitement went out like a spark:

BECAUSE I HAVEN'T SEEN/READ/WATCHED BLEACH.

That's right. The only Japanese anime I have ever seen was Death Note, and that upon insistence from my twelve year old cousin, who oughtn't to be watching Death Note anyway. This same cousin has been pushing me to watch Bleach, too: but four hundred episodes is a bit much, and I have always said 'No,' very firmly. More on this later.

-but as you have probably deduced, I went ahead and read this anyway. ...you may wonder why: I don't know myself; I personally am going to put it down to insanity.

That said, this was an ABSOLUTE pleasure to read. ...seeing as I had always viewed Bleach in terms of an anime regularly seen and enacted by my incredibly immature cousins, I never ever thought there would be any sort of depth to it. It seems I was way off the mark there.

I can't comment on characterization, having never met the characters, or on the suitability of the setting/plot-line/anything remotely related to the original story, but I CAN and WILL comment on your style and the atmosphere you created here.

The atmosphere, in particular, is incredibly vivid. I loved the contrast you created between the gardens and the world-within-Rukia is beautifully painted, and your writing creates the oppressive feel of the weather - both physical and emotional wonderfully.

I loved your exploration of action and inaction, duty and obligation (to oneself and others), as well as the question: how far should one 'follow the rules' at the expense of one's own happiness.

Also, your style was LOVELY. - it generally is, but it was particularly lovely here: very atmospheric (I said that before, but I had to say it again), and I loved the ...casual formality (does that make sense?) of it: it's very, very appropriate.

Because I'm a nitpicker, I'm going to tell you you've got a couple of typos - I'm ashamed to point them out, because they're TINY, but I hate to see such perfection marred by something so easily corrected.

'How could he have failed to notice He wanted so badly' - you missed out a question mark there. I warned you they were tiny!

Also:

'He was the warrior, trained to shatter and kill the heart; he had never tried to figure out how to put one back together.'

I loved that sentence - you convey a great deal of meaning in it: however, I think that first 'the' in 'the warrior' should be an 'a', perhaps? -maybe there's a significance in it that escapes me - maybe Renji IS 'The Warrior', and if that is the case, please forgive me: I spoke out of ignorance.

'The wind struck it, and only the wind was turned aside.'

Maybe removing the 'only' would make the sentence stronger? 'The wind struck it, and the wind was turned aside,'? - because I felt the 'maybe' interrupts the flow of the sentence.

I will remind you I am being a shameless nitpicker.

'No matter how the wind howls, the mountain will never bow to it.'

Lovely. Paraphrase of the Mulan quote, right? Inserted into just the right place. - oh! Now I know what the atmosphere you created reminded me of: the entire ambiance of Mulan - minus the humor, because that wouldn't be right at all.

It's very Japanese. XD

Comparing Ichigo to the mountain ... despite knowing very little about Ichigo, I think I can safely say that was an incredibly fitting comparison, with regards to what he does for the Society as a whole, and Rukia in particular. Wonderful.

...my favorite part, however, were your closing lines. Again, you end on just the right note: a resonating, reverberating line:

'"Sode no Shirayuki," Rukia repeated, gazing into the blizzard. "Teach me how to fight the wind."'

-epic. Seriously, epic.

Remember I said I haven't, and wasn't, going to watch Bleach? That I withstood my cousin's constant 'Watch it, watch it, watch it!' (it's incredibly annoying!)? - you broke my resolve with this piece - and if Bleach is ANYTHING like this, then I know I won't regret changing my mind.

Sorry for rambling, old friend! - I have probably bored you to tears :/

Thank you for sharing this. I had a lovely, lovely time.

Penny.
Aizawa Li Syaoran Vessalius chapter 1 . 11/14/2010
aawww poor rukia

do your best! beat up that wind!

update
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