Reviews for Valor
Guile Mustang chapter 1 . 7/31/2013
Never known about Suikoden series, but because I've promised to review everything when you've managed to complete my challenge, here goes!

This is a wonderful work! The rhymes work, and really, this sounds like what a soldier/knight would say. The imagery is vivid, such as 'forest of jabbing steel' and 'shades of red dye the verdurous prairie'. I find myself needing a dictionary/translator for everything lol! It's sad to know that Miklotov dies, but he has faithfully served Lord Riou. Although his troops are weakened already, he continues to fight until the foes surrender, which shows that Miklotov is truly a honorable knight. Once again, very well done! :)
Crow's Talon chapter 1 . 12/13/2012
This is quite a nice poem - none of the lines seem forced, and the rhymes all work. And congratulations on writing sonnets - I never could manage to write one. You used some difficult words, which I also liked - I had to look up "verdurous", for instance. The alliteration worked very well, and you certainly got across the feel of a dying warrior. Great job, this was a superb poem.
IrishPanther chapter 1 . 11/25/2012
Nice work on the two sonnets here! Loved the description you wrote out with the battle scenes from L'Renouille! I was glad to see the lone warrior fighting to his death, and the way he saw the sunlight for the last time took my breath away. No grammar mistakes were spotted, so excellent work proofreading! Once again, I truly enjoyed reading this wonderfully written short story! :)
SkywardDiamond chapter 1 . 11/23/2012
I like the name you chose for this. Even though the word "Valor" doesn't show up in the actual piece, it fits quite well. I think titles are really important.
"Seing the foes are getting unsteady," I think that should be "Seeing"?
Making anything rhyme is a huge challenge. Good job rhyming all those words! I see that this is one of Kate's challenges, as well. Good job completing it.
I like how this starts out with sunlight, and ends with sunlight. I also like the clever wording such as 'dye the verdurous prairie' and 'staining my armor' and shattering ice floes. You could have said simply 'ice', but the floe element gives it the idea of movement, and it makes sense, and makes the enemy seem more powerful than just something stagnant like ice.
I would change "feel that I am on the verge of death" to "know that I am on the verge of death" just to drive that point home and up the drama a little more. "I KNOW I'm about to die" is just a bit more striking than "I think I'm going to die", in my opinion.
Anyway, this really conveys the subdued emotion of a tough soldier very well. It certainly isn't overdone, it flows well, and as I gave examples of earlier, the imagery is good. Nothing cliche or silly here. Good work with this!
The Death Frisbee chapter 1 . 11/3/2012
Aha, my sonnets challenge!

I liked the scope of this, as others have mentioned - one hopeful sonnet, before the battle, and one sonnet after the battle, when everything's gone wrong. There's definitely something Macbeth-ian in the combination of green and red as colors to start the second sonnet, which speaks to me of battles (Macbeth tries to wash off the red blood on his hands in the green sea), so well-chosen there (especially with Highlands being Scotland, even though this obviously isn't).

I also liked your internal rhymes - dash and slash, for instance, which works well, and the alliteration of scream and shriek.

Scansion (technical comments):

Sonnet 1:

Mostly on the beat for iambic pentameter. Got tripped up on one line: 'but the FOES STRUGgle to FLIP the TABle,' stressed beats capitalized. It doesn't work in rhythm even allowing for variation, because you've got the spondee of 'FOES STRUG' throwing the rest of the beat off: 'but ALL my FOES are STRUGgling, unABle,' for instance, would be on nearly strict iambic and might not throw things off-beat in that line (feel free to come up with something better!)

2: 'SEEing the GASHes on my panOPly' - similar issue, if reversed - too many weak beats in the second half of the line. Fortunately -ee is an easy enough rhyme to rephrase!

(I often write out my poems using the caps/lowercase scheme and it makes it easier for me to keep on-meter. See if that works for you too!)
ReadingBlueWolf chapter 1 . 11/3/2012
Okay, at first I was skeptical about this. However, this was really great! Truly fantastic! I really enjoyed it. The emotion that you put in this was amazing. Your sonnet was splendid and flowed well. The part about the red staining the armor was just a brilliant touch at the end as well as the loyalty part. I also loved how this was from the losing side. That was SO clever. Great job!
Sierraoscar154 chapter 1 . 11/2/2012
Both of these sonnets are really well written, in my opinion, although I don't exactly have much experience in the way of this style of poetry, but whatever. Anyway, the first one sets the scene up, and despite both of their brevity, it really had a lot of good energy and power, showing that this guy is going to go the distance.
The second one was pretty graphic and such, but it really illustrated the conviction and willingness to die on the part of Miklotov. Now that was a way to go, and in a poetic fashion, to say the least.
Good work.
Edhla chapter 1 . 11/2/2012
Disclaimer: fandom n00b, but I've googled it.

Firstly: poetry is brave and difficult and I admire you for writing it, particularly writing a heavily-constructed poetic form like the sonnet. (Hell, I get excited when other people know what a sonnet is.)

There are some striking expressions in these that really help carry it along. I'm a fan particularly of "forests of jabbing steel." That's precise, it's evocative, it works, it's great. :D

From my perspective (and I am not infrequently wrong :p ) it seems that you've gone for an epic (in the serious sense of the word) tone and feel to this. Which, given my limited understanding of the fandom and the content of the sonnets themselves, is *awesome.* I love me some battle poetry.

But while I love sonnets, I'm wondering if you could convey this better with another verse-form (no, I'm not demanding you rewrite from the ground up, but experimenting could be fun :p) Sonnets, from memory, came out of the Italian renaissance (though there are different forms) and were developed because of how melodious and pretty they sound (and they do), which, depending on what you're going for, may actually be working against you here.

For martial Japanese poetry, it might be worth looking up the styles used in real life for the subject. I'd be extremely interested to see what you could do with this if it were written in, say Roei style. It might also free up your word choice, because you wouldn't be restricted to rhyme and rhythm.

In poetry, you really can't use any "filler" words or be imprecise; every syllable needs "punch." There are definitely words here that have it... and others that seem a little vague or that could be ramped up by something more evocative. In reading it a few times, I really think you may have been hamstrung in that respect by your choice of poetic form, as some lines seem to be "filled" to keep the syllabic count, e.g: "as redness keeps on staining my armour" is nowhere near as strong as, say, the bluntness of "blood stains my armour." The last line, too, would be stronger without the word "ultimately."

You do, where the verse form lets you, have a strong sense of language, and that's what I'm taking away from this- if someone mentions if I've read 'Valor', I'm going to remember it as those sonnets with expressions in them like "to strike the foes" and the alliteration of "sparkling under the sunlight." :)

Keep at it, because you're definitely onto something here, something grand and good. :)
Kanarah J chapter 1 . 11/1/2012
First of all, many kudos for writing poetry. It's quite difficult to do through a character perspective as opposed to original work, so many points for even electing to do this. It perfectly follows sonnet formatting. I'm not familiar with the fandom, but you have some good lines in here, "shades of red dye the verdurous prairie," although, the common image of a prairie that comes to mind is that of yellowish grasses as opposed to green ones, but maybe that has to do with my region. I also enjoyed these lines here: "I feel that I am on the verge of death/ But I have served Lord Riou with honor/ For I have battled until my last breath. Nice intense imagery.

I wondered if some of the words could have been substituted with others, though. Since you have limited verbiage to play with, their impact must be that much more dramatic. E.g. "some fatal blows" reads a but dry to me. Also, I'm not sure what you mean by "floe." Are you talking about "ice floes?" If so, I'm not sure it makes much sense here. Maybe strengthen up more of your rhymes and other words, and your piece will be even better. Good job.
Empress Nightshade chapter 1 . 11/1/2012
-Positive: Your plot for what you're trying to convey. I can feel the emotions of the battle and death, however...

-Negative: Mixing two poetic styles. Haik's have their place as well as sonnets, but by mixing the two together like this, you robbed both of what gives them that creative emotional impact. And it weakened the piece as a whole. It would have been better if you had done two sonnets or stuck with only haikus like your other piece.
The Bitter Kitten chapter 1 . 10/31/2012
Just fyi, I've got no knowledge of the fandom.

I can see what you're aiming for, and I think, for the most part, you accomplish it.

I get the idea that this guy is noble and loyal,

I think that some of your word choices are a little suspect. You obviously have a vocabulary and know how to use it :P "No pain no gain" feels ... oddl if you're talking about gallantry, bulwarks and panoplies and verdure.

light/night is a very common rhyme, and I think that commonness takes away from the emotion you're going for at the end.

Also, I sort of like how you have haikus for before the battle and move into a sonnet when your character is dying, but it feels just a bit jarring to switch between the structure. I almost feel like the haikus would be better suited to the end when the character knows he's lost.
Overall, though, I think you got the idea across that you meant to.

Cheers!
darkin520 chapter 1 . 10/31/2012
Well, as you know, I am not familiar with your fandom except for reading your stories. I also think you've done a very successful job with this poem! First, I'm very impressed you were able to rhyme so many words since I have a hard time doing so when writing poetry myself. I also love the picture you paint for the readers here. I get that it's a battle scene, and I think you've written it very well. I love your sense of description in this, especially when speaking of the red dye and rusty iron. That just gives us the picture that it's been a long battle...and it's obviously bloody. And the last two lines...oh, how said, but a wonderful couplet. Well done. :)