Reviews for Age of Pretense
Sentury chapter 16 . 11/30/2013
How did I miss this?

Honestly, Star, I think about this story so much, which is super weird to say about a fanfic, but I just love your characters and story so much. I'm thrilled to see you've updated and kept my hopes hi.

THEORY. Idunn has gotten her soul destroyed again and is the one calling Fae's real name.

Now then, the opening of this was a touch confusing. I had to do some back referencing to make sure I didn't know the two characters in the scene. You seem to do this a lot with your introductions - talking about characters we don't know to create an aura of mystic, and it certainly works, just threw me a little bit because I didn't read the chapters in succession, I don't think that avoidable.

Once again, though, these two characters strike me as people serving sinister purposes, but not absent of moral identity. That's a very humanizing sort of characteristic and I think you do an amazing job of it. Ginny seems to be very driven, but is not without care of people. But Elimine, you've introduced another set of characters! Are they with Lysander! It seems that way because of Irene's reservations and fears.

Speaking of Lysander, he continues to mirror Zeke's own enigmatic persona, but it a much darker, more frightening way. Do people complain about you being mysterious in real life? I feel like they must. I'm not buying his talk "of wanting to avoid war" at all, but I like that Fae considers it, she hasn't seen all his underlying motives, so its understandable that she might be at least a little persuaded by his high talk. I am; however, getting a little bit of a somber tone here...is that my imagination?

Despite the fact that I'm not buying Lysander's friendly attitude, I'm also totally not buying Fae's "I'll destroy you" talk. Seriously, this whole chapter seems to be guys putting up airs. Irene is trying not to show her terror, Lysander is trying to get in with Fae, and Fae seems to suddenly think she can go dragon to solve all her problems, and this Ginny character isn't tell actually Ginny. This isn't Fae's character, though, I like that she has a sudden rush of confidence, but I think she's more trapped rat than cornered wolf.

Parts I liked:

(OMG can I no longer copy and paste lines from Fanfiction?! That stinks!)

Okay...well, guess I can't really tell you specifically what I love, but the part where Lionel realizes something is up but chalks it up to paranoia. NO, LIONEL, YOU MORON, GET OUT OF THERE, FAE NEEDS YOU.

I think Elijah is going to have to go into hero mode soon...and I am going to love it.

Fae remembering Iduon, tragic. I hated hearing her lament about a time when she wasn't alone and WAS happy.

SOPHIA URGING FAE TO TRUST ZEKE!? What!? You can't just casually slip that in there, is Sophia alive still? Does this mean Zeke is most definitely a good guy!?

More, but I need my copy/paste.

Not an incredibly exciting chapter, but one great on subtle expository detail. Then tension is really building.

I will say, however, I don't like how Sheno wasn't in this chapter. I know that's kind of whinny and maybe its because I just love him so much, but I get the feeling that all of these little character stories are rapidly heading towards each other, and focusing exclusively on Valor makes it seem almost like what's happening over there isn't as important, even if it isn't. But that might also be because of the fact that it took a while in-between updates.

Anyways, great job, really looking forward to what's coming next!
Fellblood Morgan chapter 16 . 11/19/2013
It's been a while. After rereading the entire fic, it's amazing how little character development anyone's had, but you've shown that it's not needed.
Sentury chapter 15 . 7/22/2013
Ahhhhh finally caught up! Such a cliff hanger though!

I'm so sorry that took me so long, oddly enough my summers are busier than any other season for me.

Okay though, so first; I think I'd like to take back what I said about your introduction of characters, now that I've really gotten into the bulk of the of the story and have had a chance to get to know you characters better, I have them all straight and the confusion that once existed has since faded. Maybe you could have spent more time focusing on them one at a time so that happened more gradually rather than all at once, or maybe things had to be conducted the way they were and it just took some time. Regardless, I love all the characters and think you've done a great job with them.

To be honest, I'm a little hesitant to critique you because I worry that what I say might not be right and you are a vastly better writer than myself so I'm sure some of the issues you experience writing are probably clear to yourself. I'll still try though, and in future chapters I'll be much more comprehensive in my reviews. I just don't like LOOKING for mistakes, and there are times here when I find myself doing just that. When I'm caught up though I usually read things two or three times so I'll catch something. Woo! Something to look forward to?

Anyway, some awesome moments since I've departed.

I think that "big" moment came with Lionel on the ledge with Fae. It gave me goosebumps. Seriously, you must have worked on that for a while because that whole scene was absolutely perfect. Lionel seems to have a gift with words and his theatrics clearly won over Fae. But having the title of the overall story even in his speech made me wonder even further about if Elible spiraling toward a huge change.

Elijah's quick decision to join in with Fae and Lionel felt a little bit awkward, like it was forced to get him to continue on being a character, but I can understand that a little and a also wonder if maybe he doesn't realize the severity of his new companions' situation.

Over near Sacea, Sheno continues to be my favorite character. He has such a calm, cool, collected demeanor that it just makes me swoon with masculine envy. Such a deep character. There are so many subtle details to his character that he became my favorite without my even noticing. There's the motorcycle instead of a horse which Johanna mentions, or his refusal to admit that his father is dead, or the small moment of doubt and embarrassment he feels when he meets the Cayan people.

Their reaction to Amarnthine and her bow was another great moment. I liked how their leader was more threatened of her positon though rather than the weapon. We've met her big sis before, ever so briefly, and she gave me chills. It was fascinating the way the characters fear of her is so masterfully relayed through their words. And it is your success as a writer that our brief encounter with nin's grace and the tone of that scene was echoed there. That being said, we all know what "nini's" is which makes me wonder what the origin of this group could be. Their name suggests they may not be entirely evil.

I like also how you described the bow itself. Its done in a way that obviously suggests theirs something unnatural about the weapons. I wonder how they'll fair in a world of guns and bombs, but you did a great job in giving them a supernatural power all the same. These are important, and I know their important. Great job.

Oddly enough, I have to say my favorite moment so far (and trust me, that's saying something) has to be Irene when she is at Bern describing the sensation of cutting herself. I'm unsure why this part struck me so deeply, but it was an absolutely amazing and perfect moment. I liked how she naively believes that her way of harming herself is somehow different than the rest of the world. I mean, it is a little bit, in that she can heal herself and states herself that it is a manner of control, but so it is for many, I suspect. I'm very interested in her character.

Your most recent chapter was a tad more boring in comparison with some of these high moments, but that's to be expected with "setup" pieces. I'm not particularly sure how much I liked the whole "Lionel-falling-into-a-date-that-is-hosted-by-our- enemy-thing" but I trust you to make it work. And wow. I loved that moment at the end. I knew Fae is not really Fae's name and I loved the way this was done.

But Irene seems so sinister here! Gah!

Anyway, you're late on your update, I see, understandable, BUT UNACCEPTABLE. Forty lashings. Seriously though, love this story you have here, a ton to be proud of. Looking forward to our next installment now that I'm caught up!

All the best!
Sentury
Not Important chapter 13 . 7/13/2013
This is not a review so much as something that occurred to my and I thought you might want to think about for this story.
It seems unlikely that Idenn has died due to age. I think this because in two thousand year Fae seems to have aged about 10 years and in FE6 Idenn look to be young 20s so she would look old 30s now.
This of course does not stop her from being dead, she could easily have fallen sick, but I think that this would have affected Fae somehow.
If you have already thought of this than ignore me.

Otherwise I think your story is great.
My advice to improve; Make sure that any change in character's perspective is made obvious, because with as many characters as you have in this story keeping track can be difficult.
Also try to avoid introducing character traits by stating them. Instead have them inferred through their actions, dialogue, etc.
Sentury chapter 5 . 7/9/2013
Okay, so that's all I can read for now, thought I'd drop you a review of some of my thoughts so far. Sorry if this is a little too long for your liking, but I tend to leave some long ones, especially on a story like this.

First and foremost, I think this story is fantastic.

That being said, critique first:

There are sooooo many characters and soooo much going on in this story. Its just a little bit hard to follow. I understand that with a story of this nature, some of that is unavoidable. And it is also possible that this is more do to my limited level of intelligence which I'm sure yours trumps. However, you spend so little time focusing on one character, or a single group of characters, that it is really hard to tell who is where and what they're doing. The one character who does get the most dedication is Fae who, generally speaking, readers are the most familar with.

Also, there are a number of vauge refrences that I would like to hear more of. Ilia invading Sacea or this accord that forbids the manufacturing gun powder weopondry. This immediately drew my interest as I was wondering how the weapons of Fire Emblem (which you briefly touched on with two of the coolest characters ever) would interact with a world similar to ours. I'm thinking you'll probably get back to that though, so maybe this criticism is a little premature.

Anyone, I think you could probably benefit from some focus and, while there are moments where you perfectly switch from one setting to another (the shift from Charolatte and Issac talking about the bow to Sheno drawing his bow being one such instance), I think spending more time with your chatacters would help me to love them even more - and actually know all their names without having to look.

Now for the likes.

Your writing is so elegant and beautiful. Your ability to turn a phrase is some of the best I've ever seen. The part about Sheno hearing a gun being fired for the first time was absolutely perfect for a man who's only ever lived on the plains and it was great to experience that with him.

Further, despite what I said about the constant shifting of perspectives, you are great at giving each perspective their own unique voice. I've never played six (sad face) but from everything I've heard Fae has the perfect mixture of naivete and childish wisdom. I like how obvious it is that she's matured over the 2 millenniums that have past, but you can still clearly identify that this is her.

I really love this story, I can't wait to read more of it. Hopefully Fae turns into a dragon and kicks some ass soon. Though, I'm not entirely sure who the villain is yet and your summary seems to promise a war, maybe this Lystander fellow? Fae and Zeke seem to think so.

Incredible work here. Write on.
hi chapter 2 . 6/26/2013
etruscan? wth does anciant rome have to do with this? nevertheless its a fine story
Flying Banana Dinosaur chapter 14 . 6/26/2013
I. I can't handle this anticipation. Lionel's reveal in this chapter of what happened with the Way, and Elijah apparently inheriting that good-natured blunt "we can do this!" attitude from his ancestors and just. I. I'm literally quaking in excitement. I absolutely have to know what happens next. How does the Dragon's Gate play into all of this? Is it going to be opened? I am so wound up you don't even know ahahah!

There was a missed comma in the dialogue at the beginning of the chapter, but no other errors I noticed. I must comment once more on how amazing it is when you switch POVs - the way you write your characters is so superb and distinct! And now that things are really picking up in the plot, it's even better - I mean, you can write "distress" in so many different ways. It's amazing!

(Also sorry I missed reviewing last chapter. I thought I had done so, but apparently I did not. Whoops.)
0 The Fool chapter 13 . 6/11/2013
Everythng is picking up beautifully with this chapter. You're keeping me fairly well hooked in, keep delivering the good stuff!
Flying Banana Dinosaur chapter 12 . 5/26/2013
Aaaa another great chapter. I think the thing that struck me the most was the selling of the motorcycle. One of the main characters of Sheno's group has permanently died, and that makes me really really sad. In seriousness, it stood out as the end-all "no going back" turn for Sheno, which was a great note to end the chapter on, considering the conversations and new information this chapter was packing. Once again, amazing job, and I can't wait to read more!
Flying Banana Dinosaur chapter 11 . 4/3/2013
I really love your shift in writing styles between Randie and Sheno's points of view. That's one of the things that makes this such an interesting read. Glad to see more of this side of the story; the expanded worldbuilding you've done really shines through in these parts! I am really curious to see how Kamilo ties into the story in the long run.
Flying Banana Dinosaur chapter 10 . 3/10/2013
Lionel and Fae's discussion was so powerful. The title drop was what really struck me; it was so beautiful and sad at the same time. Lionel is really growing on me.

I was also afraid that Elijah wouldn't be going with them, so the scene with their departure made me incredibly happy. He's like... a really bad and awesome babysitter. Hahah! I cannot wait for their travels to start, and to see the character dynamics come to fruition.
JamesBCrazy chapter 9 . 2/17/2013
The plot seems to have slowed down a bit - just keep it going and you'll be fine.
Flying Banana Dinosaur chapter 9 . 2/10/2013
Oh wow. I had always toyed with the idea of writing something like this myself, but I was never sure where to go with it or how to put any sort of relevant plot together. But THIS. This is amazing. As the first 'fic I've read since coming back to the FE fandom, I've gotta say this is probably one of the most interesting things I've read in a long, long time for this series, and I'm so happy that I've gotten the chance to do so.

As for concrit... sometimes, the descriptive paragraphs tend to drag on, or seem unnecessary. The intro to Sacae in Chapter Five was exceptionally well-done in my opinion; it flowed very well and didn't bog down the flow of the story. But your character descriptions, I feel like they could be worked into the story more instead of feeling like mini info-dumps. Please don't take that the wrong way! You have done much better than most people, but sometimes description gets tedious. It's actually kind of hit-and-miss, because you do very well most of the time. I also remember seeing both “Etrurian” and “Etruscan” used at different times throughout the story thus far, so there's a little inconsistency there, but that's me being nitpicky.

And now the positive: I love what you've done with this and can't wait to read more. You're an amazing writer, and your grammar is spot-on, so it's an easy read as well as an interesting one. I'm also really loving Elijah and Sheno; they're both very likeable and well-written OCs. Especially Elijah, because he seems to have inherited that good-natured Pheraen nonsense from his ancestors. Which is always a good thing. Another thing - all the allusions to history are very entertaining.

I can't wait to see where you take the rest of the story!
JamesBCrazy chapter 8 . 1/27/2013
I never got far in FE6, though this looks great, and keep it up.
LordEphidel chapter 6 . 12/2/2012
Be carefully how you introduce characters; the way you dealt with Felix implicitly suggests some sort of future romantic relationship between him and Irene. Even if she finds his presence irritating, the fact that he is described to the reader as physically attractive and sociable will by default lead them to expect some significant relationship to arise. Unless you are particularly skilled at handling such a situation, this may result in either unmet expectations for the reader if ignored, or a sense of platitude if followed up on. I usually find it simpler to introduce the character as a bit more varied than that [or just as an outright terrible person, more often than not, but you already know that]. Alternatively you could introduce some fact that tends to deny such a relationship, such as shared blood, a wide age gap, etc.

I may or may not have mentioned this in the past [I mention it to everyone at some point or another, so it is difficult to keep track], but your sentence fluency could be improved. I would give some specific suggestions, but because there are so many ways to go about it, it feels as though that would be forcing my particularly strange writing style on you, causing a whole host of issues on its own. Just form some more compound sentences.

I am somewhat confused as to how Irene ended up where she is now, and even if it was explained elsewhere, it was somewhat too far back for me to recall. For scenarios like this where there are multiple characters involved in largely non-intersecting stories, I might suggest closely following one particular character up to where they do intersect with the others before moving onto the next one. This also helps to reduce the confusion caused by the multiple point of view changes in every chapter. It is far from an adamant rule, of course, and can be easily abused, but you might find it helpful.

I am also unclear as to whether or not people are aware of the magical properties of staves. I would imagine not, considering how they are unfamiliar with tomes, but it seems odd for Irene to be carrying one around with her if that is the case, not even considering how she managed to acquire it.

You are making good use of the brief introductory text in your chapters now; they add an interesting bit of historical information that is relevant to the story without being overly verbose.

My review feels so lackluster after the great lengths you went to for my story; perhaps I should wait until I am not so tired to leave a review next time, but I do have difficulty resisting the urge to begin reading the moment I see an update.
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