|Reviews for Kung Fu Panda: Book of Changes|
| FantasyPanda12 chapter 37 . 11/20
Oh my gosh this is the awesomest story ever! Can't wait for more chapters! D
| Guest chapter 37 . 11/20
Oh hey, update. Glad this fic ain't dead! Good stuff as before.
| nievelion chapter 37 . 10/17
Finally got around to this. Life has been so busy for me with work and so much else!
It's easy to forget not all the information is privy to all the characters. So to have Tai be forcing Crane to keep secret what Vachir and Shifu knew (and how they were defying Yuan's order), and Mantis suspecting it because of Tai's dull fatalism and how he's reluctant to meet the army or be known to be there by the Emperor, Yuan, Shifu, or Vachir...yeah, it's easy to see where this is going. And I am kicking myself for not having guessed what Shifu's mission was.
Beautiful plotting, that even though we all know Tai believes he won't live, that Vachir will have to kill him, that there's no way Po can save him and he just has to try and take as many enemies with him as he can, I never guessed he wanted to deliberately goad Yuan into killing him, to take it out of Po and Shifu and Vachir's hands. It is stupid...but I can see why he'd want to do it. Yup, heart hurting again.
Speaking of Yuan...you are absolutely right of course. You knew I'd hate him, and I do. I can't even describe the levels of my loathing, I almost think I hate him more than I do Akshatha. At least, as Tai himself pointed out, Akshatha is only doing what any invader would do (albeit relishing it or worse not even caring about the atrocities), and at least he owns his villainy…while Yuan claims to be a loyal son of the Emperor and a good man, hiding behind his position so he can be as petty, cruel, and selfish as he wishes. I'm sure he is loyal (though if the Emperor chose to side with Po and Vachir regarding Tai, or if he just plain loses faces in battle and is humiliated again, I can see that changing...), but aside from that, all he is is an arrogant, pampered, overconfident idiot. Exactly the kind of noble I always wrote about in ADL and had Tai properly disapprove of.
And such a manipulative bastard too! As one example among many, he mentions that if Vachir and the Anvil had come back to Chang'an, there were plenty of "incidents which would have benefited from your efforts"-but we know damn well from Deshiyn's testimony that Yuan actually wanted them nowhere near the capital, that he distrusted, feared, and resented them, and that them staying away now gives him the perfect ammunition with which to taunt Vachir. He gets to have his cake and eat it too, claiming to be concerned about the Anvil and the empire when really he's quite glad to have such 'failures' to use to shore up his own position. Ugh.
And really, even acknowledging the jealousy he has toward Vachir and the Anvil, his suspicions toward the Five and kung fu warriors in general, his grudge against Po-he'll seriously disregard *all* their expertise in battle simply because he thinks he knows better? I doubt his own skill in battle is really that great if he's so concerned with appearances (as exemplified by his perfectly pristine armor), with his victories all likely due to his more skilled underlings, luck, and his dependence on the enemy being as traditional as he is. Even if he does have real skill, refusing to consider other possibilities, seek out new information, adapt and change his plans based on what happens in the field...he's setting himself up for a fall, assuming Ushi and Akshatha will be anything like his past foes. And I can't wait to see it happen.
"He could hardly clout General Yuan Jie as he had the snow leopard." Oh if only, Vachir!
Let's see what else... Love how even when insulting Yuan, Tai was subtly complimenting Vachir and the Anvil; I wish Vachir had acknowledged that, but then again the fact he didn't punish him worse than he did may have been partly because he did notice and appreciate it. Also loved Mantis's line to Tigress about hiding her emotions, and Vachir's comeback to Yuan.
The confrontation with Vachir was indeed painful...and brilliant to have it be witnessed by Mantis, told from his POV. We needed a sympathetic one, and having it not be Po for once, to instead be his old friend, who could contrast this with what happened when Tai was first taken off by the Anvil...
"Vachir wished he knew what had set him off after he'd agreed to stay back"...me too! But even if they hadn't been in the situation they were with all the tension and anger and even if Vachir had been more willing to listen, I doubt he'd have accepted Tigress or Ping's part in it without mockery and dismissal. He might understand that Ping's guilt over Po possibly dying without him by his side would motivate Tai, and of course he'd completely get how Tigress calling him a coward would also be something Tai couldn't stand (he himself might not have, in those circumstances), but he'd still say the choice was Tai's and that making it as he did proved he was still arrogant, thinking only of himself and how he had decided things would go, especially if that choice was the one which would end in him forcing Yuan to kill him-taking his fate out of Vachir's hands. (And how strange, that even though I don't want that to happen, I can actually admire Tai for doing this, for deciding that his fate should be his own choice, not someone else's, however much I'm glad Shifu and Vachir want to go to bat for him.)
And if he had believed Tai? Well he probably would have been pissed at Tigress for causing this (particularly since she was acting without the knowledge of Yuan's order or his), and that would not have been good in his current mindset. Still...even if what Vachir did wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been, I can't help being frustrated and wishing he could learn the full story. Also, nice subtle implication of what Vachir put Tai through at Chorh-Gom without coming out and saying it, or making it as bad as what I had happen.
Which is why even though I know I shouldn't be, I'm glad when Po chastised Tigress about Tai's fate, and demanded why she didn't make sure he stayed in the Valley. Because she knows damn well (and her pained expression clinches it) that he would have, if not for her needling him just before they left. So I'm sorry, but I think she has every right to be feeling the way she is right now. The rest of the Five though...that campfire scene was so emotional, so well done, everyone pitch perfect and in character.
As for Vachir and Tai...I love that he let him go off on his own to "sort it out", and their talk at the end of the chapter...damn. So many feels! Tai figuring out Po doesn't need him, but wanting to look out for him anyway. The mercy kill being offered (beautiful inversion of what happened in ADL). The drugged drink, which is so Vachir, and Tai being "bright-eyed and ready to kill people in the morning". And finally that sad reiteration of "You are a problem to me"... *sniff* You made me cry again!
Last details: absolutely loved Shifu's thoughts out on the parapet, so real and true and painful. And of course that Tempting Fate bit with the guard tells me exactly where you are going with this. (Though really, could it go any other way, in a kung fu story about redemption?) I think I have an idea now who the traitor might be...but either way, I do wonder what Po's plan is, and how it could ever work. Since short of them defeating Ushi early, or rushing to save the Emperor when they realize Akshatha flanked them and will be able to bring down the fortress thanks to the traitor, I don't see how any of them can get there to help Shifu and save the day, let alone Tai.
Guess I'll find out-much sooner than this chapter was posted, I hope! Not that I have room to talk, but I want to knoooooooow what happens!
| Darkwysper chapter 37 . 10/4
*sigh* Man...that chapter hit me right in the feels. I absolutely, no hands down, LOVE your story! I've followed it loyally from the beginning, even though I rarely post reviews, but man, I'm sooooo looking forward to more chapters! It's so lovely and awesome and angsty and grim and UGH! I love Vachir's softening attitude toward Tai, it's so endearing in a harsh way lol! :) Again, amazing story, amazing skill at characterization and details and emotions!
| Berserker88 chapter 37 . 9/29
Wow, you've actually managed to make Yuan more unlikable than the outright VILLAINS. That takes a special kind of talent. Looking forward to whatever karmic fate you have in store for him. :)
| A Guy Named George chapter 37 . 9/28
Glad you came back to this 3
| Kitty9167 chapter 37 . 9/28
omg O.O Tai is doomed to die?! noooooo
*sniffles into her stuffed animal snow leopard* at least that general won't get the satisfaction of causing it.
Great chapter! please keep up the good work :D
| Gustauve-Drakenhime chapter 37 . 9/28
Fantastic to see another chapter, though I had hoped it to be longer.
No matter; I only hope you can make another soon.
| North Hayward chapter 37 . 9/28
Well may I be the fist to say... ABOUT FREAKING TIME! I have been anxiously awaiting this chapter all year and now its here. When i got the notification that you had posted chapter 37 I literally jumped for joy! I had to go back and read Pursuit and Mountain Passes before I read this one just to remind myself what was going on.
Ill start by saying I was a little disappointing that there wasn't any fighting in this chap, but then again we are leading up to a massive battle. Everything else was good tho. I had forgotten that only Tai and Tigress knew that Yuan wanted Tai Lung dead and Tigress was only guessing. It made for quite the rude awakening when they finally met yuan, I hate that prick! All stuck up and arrogant, I liked Vachirs little mental insulting of Yuan's ridiculously polished horns haha. And when Yuan said "Not now girl." To tigress?! I thought he was going to die for sure, and mantis saying "Hey remember what I said about showing your feelings? Forget I said ANYTHING!" I was in stitches, it was hilarious :)
The best part of this chapter was the end tho as we got to see more or Vachirs and Tai Lungs relationship, "Its not a relationship, its a game" that was a cool line. And that conversation round the fire tho! wow! Vachir promising to kill Tai and Tai just being like "awww you'd do that for me?" It really hammered the nails home that Tai is done with life and only wants to die doing something useful.
So yeah, great chapter all round, oh and Jifeng is a cool character, I hope you keep him around I like him, get these next chaps out faster then this one tho... please. Because i'm kinda forgetting whats going down and going back and reading has become a necessity haha, but like I have said, "THIS FIC ROCKS!"
North Hayward, Out!
| Berserker88 chapter 36 . 4/4
Finally caught up, only to see that you haven't updated this in WAY too long. What a shame. Anyway, I'm pretty sure Yuan is not the traitor. That just seems too obvious and he's already somewhat of an antagonist anyway. Now I just hope he conveniently dies in battle. :P
I like the little parallel at the end with Crane mirroring Zeng. This is going to be awkward indeed.
| nievelion chapter 36 . 9/22/2014
First things first: in re-reading the previous chapters to refresh my memory, I came across a nice bit of subtle symbolism I didn't notice before: when Vachir was talking about Tai Lung being like his hammer, that his skills and strength not being used for good was as wasteful as his hammer hanging unused on a wall, I recalled how you drew attention to said hammer having been lost in Chorh-Gom at some point during the escape. And then I realized your wonderful parallel you drew: like the hammer, Tai Lung too was lost, in more ways than one, to himself as well as to Shifu and Vachir. Which also means that Vachir isn't just adamant to save Tai to make use of him-consciously or not, he's using him to replace the weapon he lost. Very well done.
But really this whole chapter is well done. The beginning is especially poignant and traumatic...I was hoping we'd get to see Tai Lung's side of what happened when he faced Po, and if we did I knew it would be painful, but...wow. My heart is hurting for him more than ever, you had me in tears-especially after the confrontation with Tigress. There's also so many intriguing points, callbacks, foreshadowing, grace notes being struck... I found it both interesting and important that you had Tai mention how he had *always* had an inability to control his temper, and that there had been times before where he went too far and was too dark and savage. You had commented in response to my fic that Oogway and Shifu's reaction to the rampage suggested this was out of character for Tai, but having him always having struggled to control the beast inside him makes a lot more sense-it still works, since all those moments were either internal and so no one else was aware of them or, as he himself thought, they dismissed it, thus explaining the shock when the rampage happened. But in retrospect it makes the rampage fit into a larger pattern, one that while no one else saw it coming they could realize it was inevitable looking back.
Other thoughts: Tai wondering why he was drawn back to China and thinking it was to die for his crimes-he had similar thoughts about why he'd come back to Yunjiang and then just stayed there, waiting, until Po found him. I think it's quite clear that as much as Po is in the grip of his Dragon Warrior nature and powers, Tai is caught in them too-because he needs to deal with his past once and for all, and because destiny/karma knew he was needed as well to help Po and the others. There's also such painful dramatic ironies here-that the reason he went mad was to protect Po from Akshatha (which I should have figured out but makes perfect sense), only to end up almost attacking Po instead; Akshatha being a foil to Tai, a way for him to expunge the darkness from himself and yet in doing so he keeps falling back into it; him being so worried about Po having to kill, yet it being a distinct possibility that if he doesn't pull himself back in time he'll force Po's first kill to be himself (as everyone originally thought it was!); the things Tigress was accusing him of which were identical with Tai's own self-recriminations (yet of course she could never think he could possibly feel that way...) or equally as bad...
I was furious with Tigress for some of the things she said, even if I understood why she felt as she did and even if she was absolutely right about all of them. (Case in point, her noting that he never bothered to take stock of what he does in battle is proven by how he had to note that he was stopping "for the first time" to really see what he'd done to the men outside Akshatha's tent.) And she's especially right that his major problem, other than not being able to control himself and thinking too highly of himself, is that he doesn't consider the consequences. The irony again is that he actually is doing so no, but Tigress can't or won't see it...and if she could, she'd actually agree with Tai that it's too little, too late. Still...I couldn't help wanting to give Tai a hug there at the end. :(
Speaking of Tigress, I was quite interested in Crane's thought about her species and about how it and Ta's rampage factored into why she was treated the way she was at Bao Gu. Not only did you do a nice job of covering how else tigers had figured into the empire's history (and nice shout-outs to me and Luna in our usage of royal/military tigers!), but the contrast you describe between tigers being seen as noble and worthy of respect, and being seen as dangerous, deadly, and not to be trusted dovetails with how tigers actually are seen in China and East Asia even today, this dichotomy in their nature as both awe-inspiring beautiful animals and scary, fearsome predators. It's something I think we all were tapping into in how we used tigers in our stories, but you're the first to come right out and state it, or at least imply it.
Crane's rejoinder to Tigress was spot on of course, and shows how insightful he is-because whether Tigress as doing it for herself, for Shifu, or to show she wasn't Tai, in the end all she is doing is showing she doesn't see value in her own accomplishments, even when others praise her for them.
It was really great to see Jifeng again, and I love his attitude. Also cool to see Irwan and Chay again, to finally meet Deshiyn, and to see the Anvil all finally reuniting. But why do I have the feeling Chay is tempting fate and at the very least he isn't going to make it through this? I also have to note in amusement that Anguo having taken an arrow to the knee sounds a lot like a familiar Skyrim meme...and that while the idea of using Shen's cannons against Akshatha has a lot of merit (and foreshadows how important gunpowder will become to Chinese warfare), the way they were used so wickedly and horrifically in KFP2 makes me rather glad the Anvil doesn't get to have them.
Shifu showing up has me scratching my head in puzzlement; if he was going to appear in the story again at all (save for near the end in some final scene with Tai, hopefully), I was expecting it to be because he found out Tai didn't stay in the Valley. Instead, not only does it seem Tai managed to slip out without *any*body knowing except Po and the Five, but he's there for...some other mysterious reason? Inquiring minds want to know!
Finally, I'm glad you at last brought out into the open what you've only hinted at before now, that besides Ushi, someone else in China is working with the invaders and has passing on information. While there were hints beforehand, the fact the Emperor just happened to be out of the capital on a sacred pilgrimage when this all went down was what immediately raised red flags in my mind. At this point there really seems to be only two possible candidates for the traitor, assuming it's someone named we've already heard of or met, I mean. And while I already know he's going to be an a$$ and I'm going to hate him for how he'll treat Vachir (and by proxy, Tai), I suspect Yuan is not the traitor. (Though I do hope he dies in battle, that would solve a lot of problems.)
No, I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest it's Kuang-something just seemed off in his scene with Crane; the fact the Emperor's entourage is out of position, moving so slowly, and not even seeing to be heading out after he said he'd get them departing is all very suspicious; and he just seems too nice and competent. If it is him, great job on making me like him at first so I can feel bad for doing so; if it isn't him, my apologies to him and I will bite my nails waiting to find out who it is if it isn't Yuan...
| Darkwysper chapter 36 . 9/17/2014
Your story is so amazingly well written that it just sucks me right in and I'm always sad to see the end of the chapter because it always seems so soon! Even though your chapters are fairly long compared to lots of fics, it still seems so short because of how fantastically written it is! :) I give you a gold star! I look forward to many more chapters to come and eagerly look every day for an update!
| North Hayward chapter 36 . 8/31/2014
YES! Finally the next chap in my favorite KFP fanfic ever! (Seriously, its my favorite) Wow, what an emotional chap! I love the extent of your description of Tai's thoughts and inner turmoil and how that plays out in the rest of the characters around him. You do a great job at really getting the reader to see what Tai is dealing with and just how much it is eating at him. The conversation, or rather fight, he had with Tigress was crazy! I was like, "wow, Tigress is showing emotion? To TAI LUNG!? This is insane!" And the way he felt so bad for truly ruining her child hood was great and the fact that he tried to apologize to her even though it was something he knew wasn't easily forgiven.
And Im soooo glad that the anvil is back up to full strength! Seriously! I let out a sigh of relief when the were reunited. Now we just have to see where this whole thing with Vachir wanting to keep Tai will go!
Lastly the thing with Shifu randomly appearing! What was that all about! I mean Im glad he's here and all but its all so strange! Plus everyone besides the five thinks he's back in the valley! I suspect that the s #t is going to hit the fan some where down the road soon.
So I loved the chapter and I cant wait for more! North Hayward, out
| ConstantReader76 chapter 36 . 8/19/2014
Whooo-yeah! an update! I am SO glad that you were able to continue this story; I have been so anxious to learn how our heroes will deal with Akshatha and how Po's conviction that things WILL work out for Tai Lung will play out.
The deck is certainly stacked against him, though; even with Vachir on his side, even if they can go over General Yuan's head, the Emperor still has to be won over and he may feel that Tai Lung has used up all his chances, or he may feel that it is more politically important to sooth Yuan' s ego and keep his loyalty than to defend a condemned criminal.
Hope that you can update soon.
| Long262 chapter 36 . 8/18/2014
Failure of a story. A big one if I might add.