Reviews for The Shrew War, Book I: A Fire in the Night Sky
SomeoneI'mSure chapter 7 . 8/16/2012
Oh, exciting!

Lord Urthblood is going to learn that dishonesty is not going to accomplish making too many friends. You are not in the Northlands anymore.

While reading other one-hundred chapter or so fics, I generally find a problem which gets me to thinking that the author hasn't done much research on her/his story. Your are the first which makes me think that the characters are the problem. Wonderful work making this believable - if I haven't said that enough as is.
SomeoneI'mSure chapter 4 . 8/14/2012
Okay, I've finally gotten this far, so I might as well post a review.

Every single character has not changed so much that I do not recognize them. Very good at keeping both the characters and the story consistent.

I can tell Mina is really infatuated with Alex. So much, in fact, that she would disregard the Abbey rules after Alex tells her them, just to stay with him for as long as she likes. If she had been a spy, I'm sure she would have dusted her paws off and done exactly as instructed, per whatever instructions Lord Urthblood might have given her. Sorry, Colonel, but Lady Mina seems straight through-and-through to me (even though I agree with the Abbess - get married first!).

Poor Hanchett. Jans and Broggen broke his brain. I can't believe his opinion of Smallert before he killed Jans has suddenly turned topsy-turvy! I hope he doesn't go off the deep end.

I still find it interesting that okay with considering Smallert and Broggen family, even though their species has been enemies for generations and Urthblood has not. Lord Urthfist must have really spoken a lot against his brother to beat it into their heads that he's the enemy. It makes me wonder what Peppertail and Traveller's opinion of the badger will be at the end of all this, since they were the major skeptics in the last book.

Urthblood's (possible) fortress reminds me of one my own story ideas I never got around to writing. Creating a fortress for vermin is such a strange and wonderful idea. What kind of normal vermin leader could accomplish such a thing without forcing people into slavery? A fox? A rat? A weasely-thing? Or something else. Now, what Urthblood is really building has me clueless. I'll have to read the next chapter to get a better clue.

All in all, I'm still head over heels for the conclusion of this masterpiece. Wonderful work, as always!
ifeelmad chapter 5 . 11/4/2011
Hurray for a sequel! And one about the same characters too. Only thing I don't like so far is Tolars soppy and overdone attempt at eloquence.
fiendfall chapter 1 . 9/9/2011
Oh, I have to say, I love this! Extremely well written, and perfectly in the vein of Jacques! I could actually be reading one of his books ] I can honestly promise that I will read the rest of this one! Hats off to you ]
allthingsbright chapter 4 . 8/25/2011
Awesome! Love it!

Lord Urhtblood sounds like an interesting character. Is he a grey character or something?

Anyway, it's really good. Keep it up! ;D
Killy-S chapter 7 . 8/7/2011
"I am your friend, whether you realize it or not. But on this matter you must not oppose me. You must not."

I have a feeling Redwall will not be accepting this friend request.
Killy-S chapter 6 . 8/7/2011
Okay, Roxroy is adorable. I don't trust him as far as I could toss him, but he's a cutie.
Killy-S chapter 5 . 8/7/2011
Sammy, I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one. I think the Colonel was acting reasonable considering his position.

Only a few short seasons ago the Long Patrol, was stripped of their cultural identity. I think it is unfair to expect them to laugh it off, stuff their faces, and sing some off coloured ballad.

Salamandastron belongs to hares just as much as it does to badgers.

The fact that the Colonel didn't punch Tolar in the face for those comments says something. I have a soft spot for hares, so I'll give the fella a break.

I'm also pleased to see the changes in Vanessa.
Killy-S chapter 4 . 8/7/2011
"Nobeast messes with th' Long Patrol!"

Darn right they don't.

Oh those foxes, can never be sure what those types are up to.
Samadhir chapter 7 . 8/7/2011
I’m kinda sad at seeing the foxes leave so early; I would’ve liked to see them stay and get into further kerfuffles with Clewy, heh! But they are duty-bound creatures and are willing to forego a night in a soft warm bed to travel their comrades at the quarry. But we will be seeing Roxroy again, make no mistake!

Clewiston continues to be a jag-off about the whole thing of course. Not to mention stupid; does he really think that sending a couple of hares and some squirrels and otters to force thirty highly-trained swordfoxes and their mole allies away from their homes that they are about to build is going to end well? Vanessa is wise in her decision not to intervene; Mossflower woods doesn’t belong to Redwall after all, and the foxes should be allowed to build a home base for themselves without any stuffed-up hares trying to bother them.

Though admittedly, Clewy’s concerns does appear more valid when we see Andrus and Tolar’s discussion about the matter back at their camp. Yes, they deliberately lied to the Redwallers about what they really plan to build. All by Urthblood’s orders, apparently. You know, I’d say that Urthblood’s motto is: “Better to ask for forgiveness than permission”. That really is how he works here; he knows the Redwallers might oppose his project, and instead of trying to negotiate and discuss the matter with them, he decides to start the whole thing without their knowledge and then (quite insincerely) apologize about it afterwards, when they won’t be able to do anything about it. Urthblood acts like Urthblood acts…

At least we know that Andrus views himself as a friend of Redwall, and doesn’t harbour any hostile intentions towards them. He’s just so convinced that his master is right in this that he cannot tolerate interference; even from the ones he hopes to turn into allies. It’s an understandable position, but which doesn’t tend to foster trust and goodwill in the long run…

And so the first part of The Shrew War comes to an end. Like “The Warlord” in TCB, these introductory chapters serve mostly to get us familiar with old familiar faces and set up plot points that will become important later. However, I think it’s much better paced, and brings us into the interesting parts much quicker, one reason for that being that it’s only about half as long. It’s a great beginning to the novel, and leaves us eager to know what comes next. Very good job, Wing, as always.

Unfortunately, while the next part will be more fast-paced and exciting, it will also be much more brutal and unpleasant. It will truly introduce us to the darker side of the Urthblood Saga, and show just how ruthless the war between two ancient adversaries can be…

See you in Book II: The Winter Coast!
Eulaliaaaa chapter 7 . 8/7/2011
This was good, exciting confusing, and most of all, short.
Killy-S chapter 3 . 8/7/2011
Loving Lady Mina and her attitude. Poor Alex, does he know what he's getting into?

I also think it would be beyond adorable if Redwall had a Brother Smallert.
Samadhir chapter 6 . 8/7/2011
And here we get properly introduced to Roxroy. I love that fox! He’s so cute and charming and warm, a welcome change from the grim, disciplined beasts that usually dominate the swordfox battalion. And it’s nice to know that Machus left such a presence in the north that he inspired several younger foxes of taking up Urthblood’s cause as well. The scene where he lies down to sleep right on the floor like a baby is just SO adorable!

But… fifteen seasons old? Not even 4 years old? Man, that season-system bothers me! Even if we accept that a season is roughly equivalent to a year for them (though I have no idea how they manage to mature, grow emotionally and intellectually, and learn new information and knowledge to our degree at that rate), a fifteen year old swordsbeast does seem a little young.

Anyway, you have to admire Tolar’s politeness and subservience even in the face of Clewiston’s continued insults. I almost wish he could lash out against him occasionally; the hare deserves it. I loved it when the fox managed to shut him up by pointing out all the healing and treatment of the injured Long Patrol that they performed at after the battle of Salamandastron; would the hares have done the same to them if they had won? Respect, my overly subservient brushtail, respect!

Of course, the greatest mystery is just what all those support beams are there for. Columns, pillars, arches… to hold up an empty patch of ground? No, there’s something very odd going on here, and I think the Redwallers will be quite shocked when they find out just what it is…
Samadhir chapter 5 . 8/7/2011
Well. the Redwallers apparently don’t get the chance to travel to the quarry to get their answers. The answers come to them instead! Nice that the foxes are (somewhat) more forthcoming than their badger master. And we get a quick look at Roxroy; he will be properly introduced in the next chapter.

And the project they’re working on… Foxguard! An impressive name for a impressive fighting force. The foxes truly deserve their own fortress, given their skill and loyalty to Urthblood. Having them around will truly make Mossflower safer, regardless of what Clewiston thinks. That they are planning to build this mighty bastion is another example of how the lands are changing, and of the dynamic world you’re creating in your novels, Wing.

As for the “detention facilities”… I understand the Redwallers trepidation, and the suspicions of some of the other reviewers that it might be for more than just holding POW’s. As for Tolar’s sarcastic comment that maybe they shouldn’t leave any of their enemies alive even if they’re willing to surrender… let’s just say that I can’t help but think of it as foreshadowing…

The other major issue here is Clewiston’s behaviour. As brave and admirable as he can be, especially in comparison to Urthfist, this scene amply demonstrates what a rampaging prick he can also be at times. His constant insults and grouchiness, his not-very subtle threats, it’s really off-putting. What made me quite angry was his comment that the swordfoxes acted like they didn’t want to leave any enemy alive at the battle of Salamandastron. Eh, Clewy, I don’t know if you remember but that was YOUR plan, or at least your crazy master’s plan that you followed without questioning it. They showed a lot of restraint at that battle; far more than you did. Going around acting up because they had the nerve to defend themselves just makes you look like a hypocritical idiot. Stop it!

I think Vanessa is right in wanting to inspect those blueprints more closely than the foxes might want her to. Urthblood is quite secretive after all, and it’s best not to take any chances were he’s concerned. Let’s see how it works out.
aksjdygwkfb chapter 7 . 8/6/2011
The true scope of this Foxguard worries me. Everything about Urthblood worries me, I just can't seem to trust him. Even as dedicated to allying with Redwall, I just don't know what Urthblood would do after Clatton was taken care of... All will be revealed in good time, I suppose. Update soon.
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