Reviews for Roused
Unther chapter 121 . 8/14
Is the case leather? Wood? Metal?

Are people used to running at the K&Q's call? Or is that a recent development?

There should be no comma between "Bartameous" and "blinked."

That's an interesting effect, though, and reminds me of the one that Deltan females have on humans. That one's a pheromone thing, but still.

Should be, "...the guests' attention..." Because we're talking about more than one guest.

Wouldn't people be staring at Aurora anyway, if for no other reason than that she's the newly-returned Princess and many people simply haven't seen her before?

Oh, and should I infer that all of these attendees are already inside the castle?

How are Aurora and Rapunzel going to respond to make-up? They both grew up without it and I'd imagine they'd severely dislike having that stuff all over their faces. I don't recall off-hand what was used in the Middle Ages, but it's not what's used today.

Interesting bit of backstory for Bartameous. Might there be a way to include that somewhere in the text?
Unther chapter 120 . 8/14
A hundred people is NOT a very large affair? Ha! That's a really interesting illustration of perception.

There should be a comma after, "...healed the Princesses." Otherwise, it reads that the feelings had also been healed.

A ripe berry...nice metaphor, and one that completely feels like something from Aurora's world.

I'm a little confused about the make-up. Isn't it always used to accentuate facial feature, rather than the opposite? I think we both know that theatrical make-up is employed for any number of purposes, but that's very much a modern approach.

The women's approach to make-up is something that I as a guy find hard to grasp. I think you've done a good job with it, though.

Nice balance between tension and whimsy in this one. Heck, I'd be intimidated by that kind of a gathering! I mean, there were that many people at my wedding, but I was focused on making sure I didn't mess up my part of the ceremony.
Unther chapter 119 . 7/31
The "they" are the goons, right? And the people are singing to keep up their morale, right? Otherwise, I'd have thought it best to keep them all quiet, because that's kind of a bit of a signal flare.

Panicking people in a stampede. No, that would not be good at all.

Why aren't the remaining crossbow bolts already gathered? I'd have expected the available ammunition to already be at-hand for the crossbowmen, especially since they know they're being pursued and are bracing for another fight. I like their tactics, though: remove the enemy missile capacity.

Armor doesn't necessarily shed arrows the way a lot of us think. Plate armor isn't like wearing a tank, nor does it work like today's flak and kevlar. It's pretty effective at deflecting glancing shots, but a direct hit, even at range, will still penetrate. Sure, much of an arrow's horizontal energy is spent at range, but that's balanced by the increase in gravity-driven force.

Why are Hubert's chariots approaching from the goons' rear? It's all nicely dramatic, but kind of convenient. Nice pincer movement, though.

Spinning scythes...are those attached to the chariots' wheels? I seem to recall that being a tactic actually employed.

Like the contrast between Hubert's cleanliness and Phillip's and Eugene's general grubbiness.

And he has an interesting idea of fun...but I like it!

This is another chapter that could stand some embellishment.

Good Author's Note. I appreciate that you just want to tell the story. Still, more description would have been cool and would have made the story more interesting.
Unther chapter 118 . 7/31
Leah's anger toward the fairies...ja, that's a tough one. We the outside observer know that the psychological damage to Aurora was an unintended and apparently unforeseen consequence. But how aware are the characters? And if they are, how does the head convince the heart? That's a real-life issue, to be sure.

So...we know Aurora is rather upset with the fairies...and Leah is, too, right? I think this question arises from just who "she" is in the penultimate sentence of the second paragraph.

Aurora's thoughts merge from mental pain to physical pain. I think I understand why she's comparing the two, although the transition in the narrative feels kind of abrupt.

The image of the kings standing there with folded arms...that's a frightening one!

Oo...Aurora's reaction to the fairies' words...so tangible! I might have expected a similar conversation, at least one in which the fairies explain all that to the King and Queen, to have happened somewhat earlier in the story. But this probably falls under the umbrella of variations in how one writer or another envisions the aftermath of SB.

"You murdered me." Ouch! Now, THAT'S a statement!

The idea of Maleficent feeding on pain and fear...hmmm.

When Aurora grabs Rapunzel, I can almost hear Rapunzel emitting an "Oof!"

"...the bones from my limbs." Whew! You're not holding back with this at all!

Leah's realization...ouch. Now, I realize that the tellers of the old tales didn't necessarily pay attention to logic holes. That said, did no one think to hold a meeting about that plan way back when someone had the bright idea to just send Aurora into the Witness Protection Program?

"Why did she...Rose?" There shouldn't be parentheses here, since it's not something she's actually saying.

Fast healing hurts that badly? Guess I'm not the only one with that idea.

I noted the theme that when you open yourself up to loving someone, you also open yourself up to the potential to being hurt by them. Which is one reason it's so hard for most of us to really open up-it makes us vulnerable.

Interesting Author's Note.
Unther chapter 117 . 7/19
As in, the knights had to fight their way to their own homes to retrieve their armor, then fight their way back out again? Why didn't they already have their armor? Weren't they wearing it ceremonially earlier in "SB?" And why are Corona's soldiers in charge of the wall defences? I'd have thought they'd be overseen by Stefan's Master-at-Arms.

At first, it almost looked like the Throne Room was being set up as barracks space. That's an interesting idea, putting refugees there. That paragraph does more telling than showing.

Should be, "...far more than they could carry." They're even putting records aboard ship? Sounds like they're expecting the castle to be overrun, a little like Helm's Deep (Although Theoden expected the fortress to withstand the assault without problems.).

How many "other" ships are there? Wouldn't a goon attack on the ships be largely ineffective anyway? There's fire, but we don't have any examples of them using that, do we?

"...not the way they had planned." No kidding! That's one of the more interesting aspects of the whole story, both the original and yours.

"The Queen was so grateful for the safe return of her daughter..." Cool. (This would NOT be the case in "The Girl With No Eyes." The vampire Aurora story could still accommodate that, since her turning occurs after her homecoming.)

So you're illustrating that the three fairies don't know the true extent and magnitude of the goon problem, right?

They're not allowed to fight? Why not?

Wow, Aurora was really hurt by all that! I keep thinking that her reaction was somewhat disproportionate, though.

That's an interesting perception from Leonard's point of view.

Should be, "...from what you did..."

But...ouch.
Unther chapter 116 . 7/5
Good commentary in that opening paragraph. Clearly, such books are written by people who both aren't fairies, and haven't had much contact with actual fairies. I guess it would be like a Muggle writing something about the Wizarding World, right?

More than a little scary? That's a bit of an understatement! :-)

Oddly, I don't recall that many tales in which a princess ends up in such a bad state.

Oh, so Aurora has had a few close calls already, eh? How old is she at this point? Five or so? No, wait...can't be older than two. So if she's only old enough to barely talk, why are the fairies reading her stories if she can't really understand them? Or is this the sort of question someone asks if they haven't had any experience raising small children?

"She can't call us that...Leah is her mother..." Well, ja. But won't Aurora grow up regarding one or more of the fairies as her mother, even if she calls them her aunts? It's kinda hard to rewire those sorts of psychological mechanisms.

Not making up fairy tales? Why the heck not?

I like that: any tales they tell are fairy tales by default.

Heh. They're telling her her own story. Cool.
Unther chapter 115 . 7/5
Great opening imagery.

The second sentence of the second paragraph is a fragment.

Okay, so the ships have brought Coronan reinforcements. And the caskets are to be loaded as a sort of cargo swap. Got it. It reads that way, sure, but it's a bit...jerky, I think. Maybe a function of gaps in the narrative?

Sergeant William...etc. I'm a hair confused. Aren't these ships? What are these boats of which you speak? Engineering supplies? I'm forgetting something again, aren't I? And why had hundreds of men already been ready? I kind thought this whole goon situation was a bit of a surprise.

Okay, you explain some of that in the next two paragraphs. Seems legit. But I only recall one message exchange. Also, how long does it take to travel by water between the two capitals? My impression was that it was far longer, at least round trip, than you've suggested. I mean, it's still only been, what, three days since the events of SB?

No comma after "Sergeant Willam..."

Nice use of nautical terms! Do we get to see anyone crosshaul the mizzenbrace? :-)

Was Cpt. Forrester banging his head deliberately?

The tide turning unexpectedly like that...does that happen in real life?

Somehow, the idea of goons besieging a castle that size is more amusing than anything.

They think the goons are smart enough to rebuild that causeway? From what we see in SB, and from what we've been discussing, I'd be surprised if they'd add two and two and get four. If you combined all their intelligence, and multiplied it by a thousand, they might have enough intelligence to tie their shoes, if they didn't drool all over themselves first.

Should be, "...get your men to..."

Sniff...poor Rapunzel.

Why would the fairies need that much lead time?
Unther chapter 114 . 6/30
Oh, so most goons can't talk?

Now I'm having images of that warg rider from that scene during the evacuation to Helm's Deep.

The plot thickens. We still don't know the goon queen's motivation, or if she really has any per se. Oh, and why was the dying goon so forthcoming with information? It kind of felt like he spilled his guts a bit too easily.

Um...don't they need a battle plan first? And maybe some siege weapons?

Considering that they just shattered 5K, 1500 doesn't sound so bad to me.

Did you write the old man's song? Oh, there it is in your note. Cool! Does it lose much in translation?

Cute bit with the song. I'm kind of partial to the March of Cambreadth.
Unther chapter 113 . 6/30
"THE" big raid? (Not to be confused with THE Red Plague.) I figured they'd be expecting A raid, because the goons have been doing this for, what, two weeks at this point?

5K goons! Whew! I have images of the Uruk-hai marching on Helm's Deep, or the orcs disgorging through the Black Gate to face the allied armies of Gondor.

So Phillip et al hold the high ground, right? With the goons attacking uphill, one would think things wouldn't go so well for them. And how many were felled in the first crossbow volley?

Keep in mind that in battle, a horse is only useful when in motion. If it stops, it's...well, not quite useless, but near enough.

Wait...Phillip charges, presumably downhill and through the goon ranks and out the other side. Then he reforms and charges again, but uphill?

Nice bit of action! I'd have loved to have seen more detail because that helps draw me into what's happening.
Unther chapter 112 . 6/25
Oh, dear. That chapter title just by itself screamed, "More angst!"

Usually, it's my posterior that starts hurting if I sit in the same spot for a while. Oddly, sometimes my knees, depending on the height of the chair and the angle of my lower legs. That's a good detail about the itching, one that I think a lot of writers overlook.

Staying covered...whoa, that's going to be twitchy for a while.

A quick nap? I've never really been much of a nap person, even as a kid. Except for when I was in Egypt-they actually TOLD us to take an early-afternoon nap.

Is it Rapunzel lying limply on the bed while talking? That's kind of how it reads.
"A light breeze...lazily." Your participles are dangling.

Wow, those seamstresses have been busy!

"To put myself in danger is to betray them." Whoa. That's heavy.

Knowledge of something not changing how one feels about it... ain't it just like that?

Should be, "...a much worse betrayal..."

The hug intervals...wow, that's overwhelming! Rapunzel's insecurities are a lot like Elsa's.
Boy, Rapunzel has issues! New ways of doing it wrong...dang, she just doesn't give herself a break. Or maybe she just hasn't learned balance yet.

"...braided it back together..." Nice wording!

"I want to love them most." Nice.

Should be, "...better than Mother." 'Than' is a comparison, 'then' is a sequence term.

She wants to FIX the goons?

Simpler back in the tower...ja, I've had Rapunzel say the very same thing.

Where did Aurora learn about all those different types of love, when she's been cooped up and isolated just as much as Rapunzel?

Z?

That's adorable. But-and while I know better-it could very easily read as slash. Not sure what one could do about that.

I liked your Author's Notes for this chapter. There was an uproar over Merida's orientation? Huh? But I do see what you mean about the piece not having a whole lot of action.
Unther chapter 111 . 6/24
I had some conflicting feelings about the opening line. At first, I suddenly had images of the statues at the Falls of Roros, or the edifices of the Dwarf Lords at the Lonely Mountain, or the great statuary on Asgard in "Thor." Then it contracted when I learned the Four Heroes were those who'd died defending the Princesses.

Probably should be, "...what fine people they had been..." Because they're dead.

"...world of tears in a blaze of glory and honor." Nice wording!

Should be, "...way to die than to..."

"The princesses...at this time." There's something awkward about this sentence. It's almost, but not quite, clear who's doing the weeping or the chanting.

"...more to life than just existing." Nice wording! Deep, too.

"Rapunzel's grief...able to tell anyone." Wow, that's heartbreaking. Sure, we all deal with death in different ways, but still. More heavy stuff.

"...wasn't correct or proper, but it was the right way..." Whoa. But that's totally Rapunzel.

"sadness for the fallen and guilt for the living." Whew! No kidding.

Interesting that you capitalize 'After.' I've encountered that sort of thing in apocalypitic literature in reference to whatever event it is that sets off that particular apocalypse.

Not scared anymore. Huh.

This was a pretty dense chapter! It was short, but man, the amount of heavy emotional, philosophical, and psychological stuff in there is just staggering!

I'm reminded of something a coworker told me once. I think I've mentioned it before, but it's relevant here, so I'll repeat it. He said that the reason we have such a hard time dealing with death is that it was never supposed to happen to us. So we don't really have a very good mechanism for it. The pain heals, leaves scars, and we figure out how to just adapt and move on.
Unther chapter 110 . 6/21
Animal speak? Oh, that's hilarious!

Not on purpose? Whoa. That could be tense. (Kind of like how I have Alexis inadvertently blurt out a word of Khantushakal here and there.)

"In chameleon, she's been..." I figure this is an explanation, but it isn't quite punctuated like one.

The round room...somehow I found that to be humorous. It's an interesting point, though.

All of a sudden, Leah knows songbird? That's kind of...rushed. Rebecca speaking chameleon makes sense, particularly since you explained that. But language is very complex and unless the character has some magical ability (like the all-speaking I invented in my HMC-verse), they're not going to just suddenly be able to speak an entire language just like that.

In human? I'd have said whichever language we're meant to understand people use in that part of the world.

I do that, too: blurting something out in some language other than English. I sometimes even use two or more different languages in the same sentence. It amuses my wife.

There could have been more to this. The different sounds of the different animal languages, the different syntax, that sort of thing. That could be very interesting.
Unther chapter 109 . 6/21
I guess this scene takes place in a sort of war room? That should be clearer at the opening, which means rephrasing the first few sentences.

Okay, the path is interesting, and certainly represents a strategic back door, but I felt like the kings overreacted. Aside from the obvious, they don't know where it goes or what they'd find there. They need some recon.

I suppose Stefan is saying all that stuff to Leonard, but it's not clear. It's also a bit off-topic, isn't it?

Leonard's reply is run-on. But he makes a good point: the result of their respective daughters' absences is more or less the same.

Ah, right...Rapunzel is a couple of years older than Aurora.

And the arranged marriage thing...how many writers have that sort of thing pop up in their own versions of the stories?

They should go play siege weapon bocce when they're done.
Unther chapter 108 . 6/21
So, this Miles Deekins...he's an ancestor of one Ichabod Crane? As a bit of an aside, isn't that an English name?

...based on the Queen's message. Okay, I think I know what you mean-that he deduced which maps would be needed-but that sounds kind of off the way it's worded.

I love maps, just so you know! :-) I once drew a series of topographic maps of a fictional country that I'd contrived-it was a lot of fun-I still have them kicking around somewhere, I think.

Should probably be, "...know where you lived." Present tense, because she still knows where she lived.

Kind of an Isle de Muerta sort of thing, eh? It cannot be found except by those who already know where it is!
Or:
"It ain't on the map."
"Trust me, it's there."

"From what they found...from the goons." This is kind of a fragment and it doesn't make much sense.

They really marked up a map like that? I'm a little surprised, since maps were VERY difficult to make back then, at least in terms of labor...and probably materials, too, since one generally needed larger-than-average parchments.

I'd change "...would stop..." to the simple past tense, since these are things she's doing while the story unfolds, not something she habitually did in some other time prior to the story.

Should be, "...her finger past..."

Ah, yes, the ol' hiding something in plain sight or under someone's nose ploy.

Missing paths...that doesn't surprise me, either. Deer paths, foot paths, even today's USGS topo trail maps don't show everything and I'm pretty sure every hike I've taken has involved some path or other that wasn't on the map, and/or a trail that wasn't where the map said it was supposed to be.

Should be, "...hand drew in..."

He knew to bring a map of the world?

Because of certain logistical considerations, I think the scene might work better if the Princess were to visit the cartographer's lair. Among other things, he could lay hand on any map in question at anyone's request. I liked this chapter...it felt fun, though maybe that's just me and my thing for maps.
Unther chapter 107 . 6/16
I like the detail. But the second sentence of the second paragraph is kind of a fragment. I typically write out "five thousand" because the character actually articulates those words. That's 5K goons, right?

Maybe the detail of ammunition might be better discussed earlier, during a discussion about logistics.

But do those knights actually know how to fight in their armor?

Goons grabbing people to feed to the queen...ick! "In his belly you will find a new definition of pain and suffering as you are slowly digested over a thousand years."

That kind of hasty defense can be effective, though. There's a real-world example of a young woman in India who killed hundreds of the enemy with a sturdy stick in just that way, a sort of lethal whack-a-mole. The story's on Rejected Princesses.

Ja, cavalry need to be moving in order to be really effective. At some points in history, soldiers didn't necessarily even fight from horseback. They used the horse as a rapid transport, then dismounted to do the fighting.

He wants the goons to run away? I thought the idea was to slaughter them all.

That bit about the change in perception of Eugene...to me, that looks like an opportunity for a campfire scene with a few of the enlisted men having a discussion about that.

More of those logistical problems. That's good for the story, I think.

Nice plan...I like it.
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