Reviews for Magos
mockingjaybrandybuck chapter 13 . 12/26/2015
The opening scene with the food was disgusting, yet effective and again very realistic. You get a real sense of what it takes to survive in the wild, and the kind of knowledge and survivalist skills Celes has.

My reaction to the arrival of the men was the same as Celes, “men”. Hmmm, the fact that Locke hadn’t mentioned the returner code seems to be introducing some doubt for Celes. Does Locke trust her? Did he just forget to mention the code or perhaps its for her own protection that she doesn't know it?

Oh wow, the discovery of Rachel really changes things doesn’t it? Part of me wonders if Celes can heal Rachel and then what will that do to the story? Such a heavy burden for her to carry. And if she did heal Rachel, would her memory be including in the healing? Or would she not remember who she, or Locke was?

So many questions. Looking forward to the next chapter.
mockingjaybrandybuck chapter 12 . 12/26/2015
Love the very meta moment describing the different between falling off a cliff in a book (as if this weren’t one) and what it is like in real life.

There’s an interesting dynamic going on here with Cyan being so distrusting of Celes and even Edgar admitting that trusting her is difficult. But I appreciated his wisdom referencing a lifetime of prejudices. Again, its very grounding that they do not all just join hands and sing Kumbaya (I have no idea how that is spelled). Their resistance to each other is very understandable, yet no less pain for Celes who is urgently trying to leave her past behind.

Hmm, so Locke’s feelings towards Celes continue, but I wonder about how Terra will fit into all of this. The scene with him holding her hand and asking her to stay was sweet and sincere, as well as her hesitant manner of allowing herself to focus on the feel of his hand.
mockingjaybrandybuck chapter 11 . 12/26/2015
Well, it seems like the team is in a lot of trouble now. I’m worried that none of them survived (though that would make for a swift end to the story). Am I to take it that Celes fell off a cliff at the end of that first section. Yikes! Hopefully someone rescues her. Also interesting to know that she can conjure fire and ice, though fire is definitely no her forte.

You use the flashback quite well to paint a picture of Celes’s tremendous guilt and feeling of responsibility over what happened with Maranda. And now I understand why she hates fire so much.

Celes’s reslationship with the Emperor seems rather complicated and warped. She comes across as trusting and loyal, while he comes across as patronizing and rather…unethical and unempathetic. I’m unclear whether he is as evil as Kefka, but he seems to be headed in that vein.

Again, the mental torment she feels is very apparent at the end of the chapter. And you truly get a vibe for who Celes really is.
mockingjaybrandybuck chapter 10 . 12/26/2015
The opening discussion in this chapter really helped to ground the story. For example, Sabin’s reference to Shadow just having some issues to resolve and Celes responding, “don’t we all”. It makes this fantasy situation seem much more real and relatable to the reader.

And then the Celes/Locke bonding/romance continues. Their developing relationship comes across quite nicely as well.

Oh! Who is this other woman? It seems that Locke falls for a lot of women. That concerns me for all of their sakes. And then to see Terra and Celes join forces together to attack Kefka, it makes me wonder how everything that is going on with them and Locke is going to play out. Also, I wonder what is happening with Terra. Where did that power come from? From Celes’s reaction it seems that Terra shouldn’t have that kind of power, so where did it come from? Also, this chapter clearly painted just how difficult its going to be to defeat Kefka, if they ever do.
mockingjaybrandybuck chapter 9 . 12/23/2015
Ahhh Celes, methinks thou dost protest too much. Though admittedly her previous scene with Locke did not scream love, just comfort. But in this chapter you have presented an ambiguous situation with Celes trying, successfully, to lure Locke in, while also possibly developing feelings herself. It’s really quite compelling. I love the way you continue this seductive inner battle for Celes. Am I good or am I an enemy? She clearly wants to be good, but it sounds like parts of her past (naturally) still remain.

Oh! So Celes is the Emperor’s daughter? That’s fun.

This chapter presents such a nice change from the previous ones, in that we get to see a different side of Locke and truly get to see this developing relationship between him and Celes. I have my doubts about whether they will make it in the end, but it is nice to see that the mental torment in her mind has quieted down.
mockingjaybrandybuck chapter 8 . 12/23/2015
Oooh, who is this Celes character? It’s kind of fun seeing her observe the group of men approaching, especially the part about a “mooning schoolgirl.” It makes me wonder if she views Edgar, Sabin, Cyan and Gau as allies or enemies. Very interested to learn more about this character.

I cracked up at Locke’s inability to shut up. Wow he is a rambler! I love Celes’s responses to him. And how she was able to recite everything he had just said, even though he didn’t think she was paying attention.

Oh wow, who is Maranda? So, while I was kind of taken out of the story in the last chapter, Celes is very intriguing. Clearly conflicted, with a much darker past, she seems to be trying to leave something behind. I wonder if Locke is aware of her inner struggle or if he is so busy talking to himself to notice. I often sell him short, so I am holding out hope that he really knows what he is bringing her into.
mockingjaybrandybuck chapter 7 . 12/23/2015
So, it’s possible I may have missed a detail throughout the previous chapters, but I believe this is the first mention of Sabin’s religion? Still you paint a good opening of the strange situation they find themselves in. I love that in the midst of all the drama, you still remind us how happy Sabin is shirtless. I love character quirks like that.

You do a great job using linguistic style to distinguish Cyan from the other two men. His very formal language and practice definitely makes him stand out in the group. It also seems to distance him from Shadow and Sabin. Though his exclamation of “Thou livest” followed by Gau calling him “Mr. Thou” was really cute.

So this comes down purely to personal taste, but I felt like the behemoth scene went on a little long. But maybe its because with Shadow gone the dynamic has changed and I was missing that. Without his presence I’ve realized I’m not really sure how I feel about Cyan. Still, he is helping Sabin, who I adore, so I will reserve judgment. I do hope we see Shadow again soon.
Thera Lance chapter 4 . 12/21/2015
Even though I can understand the decision not to cover canon events, immediately going from Ch. 1, Part III to Ch. 2 was a little choppy (at least in the area of atmosphere) for me, and it did bring a sense of disappointment that I would not be able to read about Kefka’s siege of the castle or Terra’s attacks that you mentioned. That being said, I still liked this chapter quite a bit and thought that, on its own, it started off just like the first chapter did in that it was easy to get a sense of who the characters were and how this part of the FF6 world was set up.

On the note of characters, I found Sabin and Shadow’s interactions with each other to be amusing at times. The whole “have you broken into an Imperial base before” line of questions was a nice bit of personality contrast between the two (I’m really wondering how the enthusiastic Sabin and the…quieter…Shadow managed to run into each other in the first place), and I especially liked the “silence blared between them, a property…” line. I agree that some types of silence can seem louder than words.

Now onto the less humorous interactions, Kefka has definitely gotten creepier than last time. The whole flipping out and randomly lighting stuff on fire while seizing makes me want to tell Leo keep going for the saber; it would probably be a good thing if you took out this guy now before he flips out and starts killing his own troops or something (which since he was already mentioned doing this before…).

Of course, even though I think that Leo should have taken out Kefka, I also believe that Sabin is mildly crazy for sneaking after Mr. burn-puddles-because-they’re-annoying, especially since it takes the monk a bit of concentration to light one bush on fire while Kefka can just subconsciously light stuff up in larger quantities.
Thera Lance chapter 3 . 12/20/2015
While reading, I got this distinct vibe that Locke does not like Kefka. I don’t know where this vibe possibly came from, it’s not like he went on about a whole Doman inbreeding story for the guy…On a more serious note, Locke’s story was amusing as was most of his other antics within the chapter. It is especially entertaining that he was perfectly fine with jumping from moving train car to train car but flipped out completely about a little spider in the vault-a prime example of someone who does not have their priorities straight.

Back to the Kefka thread of thought, I find that man just a little bit creepy. To me, his voice that switched from playful to shrieking wasn’t too bad; although, it did show his unbalanced nature quite well. The whole I-can-sense-you-through-stone-walls bit and accompanying “ghastly parody of cheer” definitely fit as a horror movie scene, though, and it definitely brought the shivers imagining it.

On another note, the last line of the chapter was quite the cliffhanger, and I can’t wait to read about what fate waits for the castle and its inhabitants.
mockingjaybrandybuck chapter 6 . 12/20/2015
I’m really enjoying the developing relationship between Sabin and Shadow. At the outset the seem to be quite opposites of each other, however, they both appear to care for people and are fierce warriors. And while Sabin is verbose and gregarious, contrasted by Shadows quiet and mysterious demeanor, the two complement each other quite nicely.

I was unsure what to think about the Samurai man at first. Friend or foe? But it appears Sabin and Shadow are on his side. The cultural differences between Shadow and the Samurai were very interesting as well, especially to see that the disparities remain to strong in light of the tragedy around them.

This chapter seemed to be dominated by a combination of character development and action. I’m assuming with the amount of time devoted to Cyan that he is going to become an important addition to their crew in the future, perhaps helping to take down Kefka, who destroyed Cyan’s village.
Lexik chapter 4 . 12/19/2015
Facepalming at the money contract made by the man who has no idea what the monetary rates are.

I love your Sabin.

He contrasts so much to Terra in every way, and him taking the narrative lead really shows an entirely different perspective on the World of Balance. Terra is a woman who -only- knows fear and machines. Sabin has a much broader view of the world, but happens to be something of a hermit. Most notably, for contrast, he's a stranger to fear and hasn't a clue about machines. And Shadow's few lines fill in cultural nuances that he had no idea about either.

And the man really does carry both ends of the conversation, lol.

Although, some of it does drag a little while they're walking, walking, walking and Sabin's talking, thinking, and talking. The information update strikes me as pretty Important since that was a rather significant skip, there. And establishing the relationship and personalities of Shadow and Sabin, too.

The meditation broke some of it up nicely. And I gotta say, pretty impressive to be able to do his deep sensory and internal probing while moving around slippery, wild terrain. Again, I really like Sabin here, but some the early part of this chapter stretched a bit. I mean, there's only so many ways you can say they trekked through the rainy forest before it all sounds the same, elegant description or no.

I still have very little idea what a career in limnotics is, except that it looks like a joke, and I don't get it :P

Shadow's stockpile of uniforms - including a Returners outfit. Well, that's a mercenary for you. Has me wondering if it was Shadow who tipped off the Empire to the Returner hideout...

Shirts don't fit Sabin :D It's a nice detail and says a lot about his enormous body-builder bulk. Especially that even the military uniform is snug; if anyone's gonna have muscle, it's a man in the army.

Gotta say, Shadow's reaction to Terra is interesting, and especially the where was she from question.

The infiltration is gold. Love it all from the two officers on break to Sabin's bad plan, the generals themselves, to Kefka vaporizing puddles. Guess he doesn't appreciate the endless drizzle either ;)

Sabin is so gloriously bad at this infiltration business :D

And Kefka's lines about Celes seriously haunted me throughout the first read through. "Celes is dead. Poor little Celes. Beautiful little Celes." It's good creepy, and it stuck with me.
acctdisabled chapter 13 . 12/17/2015
Definitely can’t blame Celes for not fishing the traditional way- I definitely do not have the patience for it. Of course, I loved that she flipped Edgar’s statement around and showed off her skills in the process. The banter between Celes and Edgar was enjoyable during the opening part of the chapter- funny how Edgar sometimes makes Celes look more laidback which is saying a lot.

It was interesting to see that Celes was the most brave during that situation, even Cyan had some doubts of her plan to sled down for a faster route but seemed to have placed a little more trust in her. Definitely not surprised the other two were screaming in terror while sliding down, but luckily the event was in their favor. Glad to see they got a sense of humor about it in the end, which was a subtle, yet nice way to show the friendship between the three is growing.

The returner codes are canon I presume? The description of Kohligen definitely fit an abandoned town, and I certainly can understand why Locke was so mum about it. I loved the contrast of the happy people walking outside with the bleak conditions surrounding them. Especially this line: ‘they looked for all the world as if they had never even heard the word ‘empire.’ These people have seen devastation, and yet they are able to find beauty in the most simplistic of things. Celes also had a great point when she mentioned the girl she was watching pass by probably had on a strong face and really faced more than one would think.

Celes’ commentary about the people giving up was pretty jarring, and touched on a theme of hopelessness that you’ve weaved into the story here and there. Was not expecting the reveal that Locke had lied about his past, only given that there was so much grief behind it and clearly Edgar had every right to be angry. Of course Celes had to awkwardly run into Locke as well. Rachel’s situation was basically a coma, but it was good to see that the moral implications of her status were touched upon, which mirrored Locke’s decision to lie about her status.

The ending made me so feel bad for Locke, he’s really been through the ringer and I can see why he’s not fully over Rachel.
acctdisabled chapter 12 . 12/17/2015
Celes definitely found herself in a tough position without her blade, and more importantly her group. I think for the first part of this chapter a little more dialogue and less description would serve a better job of showing Celes’ inner worries and doubts. For example, where it says ‘What would she do if they didn’t,’ would be a great place to show this line through body language and inner dialogue. It was interesting to see herself fight with her personality, showing she is starting to exhibit some character development.

‘its not like you ever applied for his fan club,’ lol I got a good laugh out of this. I’m not surprised that Cyan was starting to have doubts about Celes’ intentions and where her allegiance stands. He was right though about her tendency to hold onto the past. Great to see though that Edgar had retrieved her rune blade, which was certainly would have posed issues if she never found it.
The description of Locke’s injuries was done very nicely, and I really could envision how unfortunate and grave those injuries were. I definitely sense Celes was starting to fully understand her feelings for Locke since she started to question whether it was ‘okay’ to feel deeply, which isn’t something she is very comfortable with.

Sabin’s leadership abilities stood out when Locke was trying to be healed- definitely has no problem taking charge and doing the dirty work, so to speak. It was interesting to see his recovery go from jovial and happy to see everyone to recalling the incident with Terra. The ending was very subtle but very telling in regards to both Locke and Celes’ feelings for each other. It really showed how Celes’ heart is starting to slowly open up.
acctdisabled chapter 11 . 12/16/2015
This chapter definitely started out with an intense moment, and I have been enjoying reading the POV from Celes’ perspective, especially where we get insight on her internal feelings about issues and whatnot. […when strength isn’t enough, use your head] this is such an apt statement and definitely can apply to many areas of life. The end of the first scene definitely highlighted that even when Celes is pushed to her limits, she will have an emotional reaction as well.

It was very interesting to see in the flashback her becoming emotional and getting rattled while revealing to Gesthal her failures on the battlefield. I was definitely surprised bv his reaction and basically his response of justifying that its okay that this devastation occurred because the troops ‘weren’t motivated enough,’ so to speak. He didn’t seem to think these deaths were in vain, which brings another point about the value of life and when a death is respectable or not.
The fact that she had to deal with so much at only 16 years old shows another reason as to why Celes had to become the ice queen in order to deal with the unusual circumstances she lived in. Her mentor slash father also showed to have a conflicting agenda, which was shown in Celes’ surprised manner in regards to his commentary. Deaths, according to him, aren’t valued unless they achieve their goals. It really characterizes why Celes keeps her heart shut- if you don’t attach yourself, you don’t have to worry about losing something valuable.
acctdisabled chapter 10 . 12/16/2015
Celes is definitely shown to be a fearless character when she reveals that she tried to kill Kefka twice, who truly is someone that you can’t easily mess with. I loved that it actually turned out to be bet as well, showing that even monks like Sabin love to gamble. She definitely was a tad bit too excited to see Locke, and it was interesting to see that .

The Kohlingen background was quite interesting, and I liked getting Celes’ perspective on things. Now I’m pretty intrigued to learn about what Locke’s connection to this city is, and whether this will have a strong impact on him. Celes seems to be one of the only people who hasn’t lost their home, so I found the quote “ a place so deeply that its loss could hurt that much.’ I’m really digging the dynamics between Locke and Celes so far, and it seems they are slowly but surely getting closer to each other and perhaps will end up in a romantic context.

Loved that Edgar brought his suspicions up to Locke, and seemed to believe Celes might not be completely honest about a few things to be discussed. He’s definitely right that Locke has mixed messages when it comes to his feelings, which is ironically reflected in the fact he picks women with emotions that are hard to read.

I thought the fight scenes were described well, but one thing I would like to see is actual dialogue and reactions during the fact rather than simple description each time to break up the monotony of such scenes a bit. [sometimes she wondered if all Returners were insane]- ha, got a good laugh out of this!

Kefta really was amused if anything by Celes’ attempt to kill him, which shows how confident he is. The description of how the rune and the sword worked was well done and certainly explained the questions I had when first reading the chapter. The tense scene of the fight was nicely contrasted with Celes’ thoughts that showed worry about Locke. Its interesting how she feels he would be better off without her, which again hints at an underlying lack of confidence.

Terra’s idea certainly had severe consequences if it went wrong, The ending of this chapter was intense as well. It was nicely set up to where you would assume Kefka was going to die in the flashback (obviously its clear there’s no way he did), but the tension was executed well.
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