The Kraken's Daughter

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31 Pahn Kahl

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  • Birthday February 10

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  1. Just started into Beneath the Twisted Trees, which is the fourth volume in Bradley P. Beaulieu's Song of the Shattered Sands series. The plot was steadily picking up steam all through the last book, and the fast pace is still going.
  2. Page 3 In the paragraph that starts “C and R looked at each other for just a moment,” you have the word “bunks” repeated several times. It starts to sound a bit clunky when it occurs so many times in close succession. “R ignored everything and ran to and then knelt next to T’s bunk” This phrase reads a little awkwardly. “Her limbs had gone catatonic” “Catatonic” usually describes the state of a person’s consciousness, not their limbs. Page 8 “The tall gates to the compound opened. The sky outside was blood red.” This makes it sound like either the compound is roofed, or the sky over the compound itself isn’t red. I think this is a much better opening chapter for the novel than what you had before. It introduces us to some of the details of the world-building, like the importance of soul lanterns and the war against the demons. The information about shadows and their possible connection to the rifts is nice foreshadowing for the plot thread with Princess Z that will come later. This is also a good setup for both L and (not-Princess) Z’s stories. The soldiers of the G-K’s empire are shown in a sympathetic light here, protecting people against a real threat, as shown by what happens to T. That will get the reader asking questions when they find out L wants to destroy the G-K, and when Z’s acquaintance tells her one of the demons isn’t dangerous. You mentioned that you’re considering using this as a prologue. Are you intending for these characters to reappear in the story? I like R, and the bit about her feeling like a fraud because she’s never actually sensed a rift before helped to give her some depth in a short time. I found myself hoping that she wouldn’t be a prologue-only character. I’m wondering if this is the rift that the demon from Z’s chapter originates from. I’m also curious about the Lighthouses. The mention of one near the palace in L’s chapter made it sound like it was a unique structure, so I was surprised to see that there are more than one. Is the one at the palace the center of the network they form?
  3. This is the comment/critique thread for the second and final part of my heroic fantasy novelette, "The Oneirophage." In Part 1, Adrilinda set out to track down a sea monster so that she could get her hands on the materials she needs to save her lover from a magical affliction. She's now on board a ship headed for the place where the creature was discovered...but not everyone agrees on what to do when they get there.
  4. Page 4 “J’s response was militant, like he was giving a report at the Front.” I know what you’re trying to say here, but the word “militant” is often used to mean “angry” or “aggressive,” which I don’t think is quite what you’re going for. Page 5 L’s response to J’s injury feels really understated. Page 7 “like heat rising over asphalt” This seems like a very modern simile. Maybe “heat haze in a desert” or something similar would fit the setting better? I like the hint here that Y notices something off and chooses not to say anything about it. Page 11 “M was good people.” This also feels like a modern saying. I liked M and hope we get to see more of her. Overall, I liked this a lot better than the first L chapter. I’m not sure what to think about the big twist at the end. Looking back, I can see a couple of hints: L thinking of “Princess Z” in quotation marks as if aware that isn’t really who the shadow is, and the prince’s tutor having the same name as the woman who trained L. At the same time, I feel like this revelation is hard to square with the fact that we’ve been inside L’s head in both chapters. The narration—which is from her POV—refers to her as L, which doesn’t feel like something she’d do if she’s really Z. Plus, her first chapter talked about her having been trained and assigned to this mission by the F. I wonder if the Voice is Z, and they’re sharing L’s body? To me, this revelation also raises some larger questions about the story. How did Z come to be in this state, and why is G going along with it? Does G know that L is an agent for the F? If G is part of L’s family, how will killing the G-K save him? Right now, I feel like there are a lot of pieces missing, but that could just be that we’re still so early in the story.
  5. I'd like a spot next week, please.
  6. Finished TWOK on Thursday. What a ride! Before diving into WOR, I'm reading something different: The Girl in the Tower, which is the second book in Katherine Arden's Winternight Trilogy.
  7. @Robinski That Millennium Falcon looks like it's coming along nicely. I just finished TWOK! I got up to Part Five on the commute home and things were moving so fast that I just had to finish it. (I was supposed to be prepping material for my DnD game.) My awesome theory for how the ending would go was completely wrong. Now I have new theories.
  8. Hey, @hawkedup! I'm catching up on your story. I enjoyed this a lot more than the first chapter (more on that below) and I'm looking forward to reading the next one. Page 3 “There was nothing worse than accidentally rubbing your eye after peeling fresh chile.” My mother-in-law makes hot pepper jelly, and she has learned this the hard way. More generally, I love your descriptions of the food and the joy Z takes in preparing it with her father. My grandfather was an Italian immigrant, and cooking and enjoying food together has always been a big part of our family traditions as well. These descriptions gave me a nice thrill of nostalgia, and I imagine they’ll do the same for a lot of other readers. Page 4 “Señora E was unmarried” It’s been roughly a billion years since I took Spanish classes, so I could be wrong, but wouldn’t an unmarried woman be Señorita? Page 5 “Meet in thirty?” This feels like an oddly modern phrasing. Page 14 “He didn’t raise his voice, but the silence that followed was tantamount.” I don’t think “tantamount” is the right word here. It usually means “equivalent,” like if someone said “Questioning an order from the G-K’s general was tantamount to treason.” I like Z a lot more than I liked L in the first chapter. I remember finding L’s immaturity a little annoying, because it seemed so out-of-step with her role as a spy. Z doesn’t provoke that reaction, even though she’s acting believably for a 14-year-old, and I think that’s because (so far) she hasn’t been set up as anything more than that. Her behavior fits her role in the story, if that makes sense. I think this chapter also makes a better introduction to the world. You’ve given us a good feel for the culture, with the food and the festival and some discussion of how local government is structured. At first, the G-K seems to be a benevolent figure, defending humanity from these vicious demons…and then a possible crack in that image shows up when we find out that two mostly defenseless kids have been hanging around a demon and not been devoured yet. This would lead nicely into L’s chapters and her organization’s quest to kill the G-K.
  9. Hi all, This is the comment/critique thread for Part 1 of "The Oneirophage," a heroic fantasy novelette. There will be two parts in total.
  10. I'd like a slot too, if possible.
  11. There's a trope in a lot of fantasy stories of technological stagnation. A civilization might have been around for hundreds or even thousands of years but will be using mostly the same technology for all that time. But in TWOK, we see an elderly ardent couple make a discovery about spren, and the armorsmiths of Jah Keved made those half-shard shields that can stop a Shardblade. Even with the upheaval caused by the Recreance, the fall of the Hierocracy, and various wars, the people of Roshar are discovering and inventing new things. There's a sense of progress, and I really like seeing that in a fantasy novel.
  12. Thanks for the answers, everyone! I wasn't sure if I was just missing a clue, especially with the first one.
  13. Just about to start Part 4 of TWOK. But I'm looking at the names of the characters to be featured in this part and...no Shallan?!
  14. No worries about the length. It didn't feel that long while reading it, which is a good thing! Page 2 “it was considered peculiar if someone wasn’t bled at least once a week” I’m not sure exactly what this means. You’ve already specified that fights aren’t uncommon, and adding this right after implies it’s talking about something different. Do you mean bleeding as in bloodletting to treat an illness? Or death, as in “bleeding out”? Page 12 “Wooden stakes jutted out of the face of the hill in no particular pattern, human and hound skeletons impaled upon them.” The description of the town in this paragraph is great. I can picture what it looks like, and I appreciate that you’ve included other sensory details, such as the smell, as well. Page 19 “G knew it was too dangerous to perform life-saving maneuvers on a man with a stab wound.” I mean, I don’t see how it could possibly make N any worse… Page 20 “one of them carrying the knife that had been used to stab N, still dripping with blood” Back on page 5, you mentioned that the blood had been “carefully” wiped off the blade, so it shouldn’t be dripping here. You mentioned keeping the third scene here instead of moving it to Chapter 3 because it made a stronger ending for this chapter. I think that was the right choice. The ending as it stands is quite suspenseful. I imagine L is going to swoop in to save G and P, but I want to keep reading to know how it happens. I also like the character of G. To be honest, I feel more emotionally invested in him than I do in L. Based on the hints you’ve shown us of her history, I can understand why she’d close herself off from other people, and I appreciate that you don’t want to give away everything about her at once. But I feel like she’s a bit too mysterious and unapproachable. It’s harder to like her than it is to like G and P.
  15. So, I'm about two-thirds of the way through TWOK. (Kaladin has formed a plan to escape the warcamp with Bridge Four, and Shallan has switched out her broken Soulcaster for Jasnah's functional one.) Obviously, I have a bunch of questions, but two feel more like inconsistencies or things I'm missing, rather than just "the plot hasn't gotten to the answer yet." 1. What is the nature of the Stormfather in Roshar's cosmology? I had been assuming he was a sort of Satan-figure, since variants on the word "storm" are used as expletives. But when Kaladin sees him during the highstorm, he doesn't try to do Kaladin any harm. And later, when Kaladin "rides the storm" and sees him again, he doesn't seem menacing or hostile. He almost sounds wistful when he talks about how people don't ride the storms anymore, and he warns Kal about Odium. I also think it might be his voice that Dalinar hears during his visions, and telling him to unite the squabbling highprinces doesn't seem like the kind of thing a malicious being would do. So it doesn't look like the Stormfather is the ultimate evil of the setting after all. But he doesn't seem to be identified with the Almighty, either, and the Vorin faith appears to be monotheistic. So who/what exactly is the Stormfather? Is he some kind of genius loci for Roshar? Are the Vorin faithful wrong about Roshar having only one god? 2. I'm pretty sure that Syl's attachment to Kal and her having a greater degree of sapience than other spren is tied to Kal being able to use Stormlight. So why doesn't Szeth, who also uses Stormlight, have a spren following him around?