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Hubay

Hubay – Lord domestic Ch 17

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This one's a direct follow-up to the last chapter. It's almost entirely action, which has kind of been absent the last few chapters. I'd like to know how dangerous Jhuz's situation feels. He's very much a powerhouse courtesy of his metsi, but I don't want him to feel invincible.

As a sort of counter to that, I don't always have Jhuz make the best decision – in this case, the way he was bound to Hex wasn't the best way to handle the situation.

This isn't a 'he's an idiot' thing so much as an idea I want to have reoccur throughout my story. I feel like in a lot of heroic fiction – fantasy or otherwise – the hero never has bad ideas. I mean, he might make the wrong choice in a moral or judgement situation, but I usually don't think you see him make a poor plan that often. Jhuz is good at planning, and he's very good at delegating. But when he makes a split second decision, and doesn't have time to think it out, it isn't always the best way to handle a situation. I think this is true for nearly everyone: grace under fire is nice and all, but it doesn't always exist.

Anyways. Let me know what you think. That outlook might make sense from a philosophical sense, but it might not be the best of storytelling.

Aug 30 – Hubay – Lord Domestic ch17 (L, V, S)

Summary: Jhuz just had a startling and revealing confrontation with the Chell, and as consequence now has Hex working for him on contract.

Ch17: Jhuz has to escape the Nothroi Camp

Edited by Hubay
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We haven’t seen much of Jhuz fighting so far, so this is a welcome change. It’s always nice to see one of the main characters excel at something. On the other hand though he’s really good, killing the flying enemies. I was a bit surprised by this since he only fought a few times, none so skilfully as now, and at the start of the story he was forbidden to fight at all, so how experienced can he possibly be? So his metsi might be powerful, but I never figured Jhuz for a skilled fighter. Even so, though Jhuz was skilled and strong I didn’t feel like he was invincible. He killed a couple of enemies, but not the whole army or even a whole squad by himself. He used speed most of all and that felt right.

I was a bit fuzzy though on the logistics of the earlier part of the escape. I get that Jhuz had to be close to Hex to become invisible and that being tied together helps in that, but you have the two tied at their waist, wrists and feet. I’m surprised they can even move without falling, let alone actually manage to escape and move and fly.

Also, wouldn’t Hex hold on to Jhuz and not just rely on the bindings? That way there’d also be less stress on the binds cutting into Jhuz’s flesh. And what bites into Jhuz should also bite into Hex, but the assassin doesn’t seem bothered by anything.

When the binds do break both of them become visible, this was also counterintuitive, since I expected only Jhuz to become visible when he dropped out of Hex’s range. Hex’s invisibility isn’t dependent on the binds, so why did he become visible? Shock of falling? Lack of concentration? I don’t really understand his power well enough yet to know these things.

Also afterward Jhuz thinks that now he can fly as fast as he wants and still carry Hex, so why the binds then if Jhuz can carry Hex anyway. Or, why fly so slowly when bound but not when Jhuz actually has to put in some effort to hold Hex in the air? Given that Jhuz and Hex leave the tent at the same time as the guards who have to rouse the camp they should’ve been able to fly away well before the camp was mobilized enough to stop them. This would mean no action scenes, but it would also make a lot more sense to me. But maybe that’s just me.

Otherwise it was a pretty short and sweet chapter.

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Thanks for the feedback. Good point about Hex staying invisible once the bindings break. I thought it would be a good image, having him hanging from Jhuz, but you're right that he'd stay invisible.

I should probably explain how hex's invisible metsi works a little better, but the reason he's bound and not carried is because of how close he has to be to something to make it invisible as well. He can usually hide his clothes and maybe a backpack because of how he thinks about something being attached to himself, instead of something just being carried.

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Continuing my catch-up.

This made a nice change from the last two in that we get some action. On the other hand, I thought it was a little too direct. Or maybe too clearly blocked out, or something. It's a lot of A happens, then B happens, then C happens... to me it reads like what they described as videogame fighting in Writing Excuses. Their suggestion was to (paraphrasing) get even closer to the character and show it how they perceive it. I think it could also be improved by making the action more active; right away there are a lot of "made (verb)" that could just be "(verb)ed." An example for both is "She screamed, and the pain made her loose control of her wings." The scream is good; Jhuz would definitely notice that. The second part is more passive, but I think showing what happened (her wings fluttered out of control as she dropped from the sky) instead of how it is phrased would help. Less overall perspective may help also. For example, in the next paragraph you state that the fight had given the Nothroi army enough time to get sandsnakes close. That seems like very strategic thinking for someone who's seeing how well his metsi can keep him alive.

One more critique is the same as the last chapter. Jhuz is free now, and acting, but what is he feeling about this? Scared? Exhilarated? Comfortable, now that he's finally in the air again, even if he's being chased by his enemies? I don't recall any emotion from him from after he first engages the harpies.

Some bits on tactics: one of the main things I was wondering during the initial escape with Hex was why they didn't flip, so Hex's complete weight was being supported by Jhuz's body, instead of the other way around. Like Asmodemon, I wondered why he was suddenly able to fly quickly once they were exposed. Finally, if he knows ground support causes so many problems, why doesn't he book it to and across the river as soon as he can? I know you said he doesn't always make the smartest decisions, but a couple of these seem common-sense.

I thought the end of the chase was somewhat anticlimatic, and also the description of looking for a meal slightly off. I think just a bit more reflection from Jhuz on both would help out. I especially wonder how he's planning on meeting up with Hex again if the army's going to be sending out a search party soon. I'm guessing that Hex doesn't travel faster than the average person, and don't think Jhuz would have any reason to know Hex could if it was even possible. That may play into the supper bit, by the way; Jhuz might as well catch and start cooking/eating a supper before Hex is able to make it to the meeting place.

Despite all the things I mentioned, I think they're quite fixable and don't really affect anything outside of the chapters. I'm about to glance through my inbox to see if there's another chapter to read, but I have an unfortunate feeling there's not.

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