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May 15 2012 – Asmodemon – Maiden of Thorns Chapter 14


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Thanks for the feedback on the last couple of chapters everyone, it’s been of great help to me :)

In chapter fourteen Rosalin is going further astray, looking for supplies she needs to find her way home. The precarious peace inside Overlook trembles as the inevitable siege nears.

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It looks like so far, I get the privilege of being the first to comment on this chapter.

So, we're back to Rosalin. I'm slightly disappointed in this, for the reasons I detailed in the last post; I wanted to see what happened to Dias, not have him left hanging in midair for another chapter. Still, at least we are in the city and hopefully progressing on that plot.

Since this is a Rosalin chapter, I was hoping to see the fallout from the last time we saw her, where Serissa had (rather blatantly, to the audience) manipulated her into attacking others and taking their stuff. Instead, we get... another scene of Rosalin attacking others, and taking their stuff. You hint at some fallout from before, which is good, but I feel something is lacking in not seeing any of the immediate results. Even something as basic as seeing Rosalin make a decision to trust Serissa for whatever reason (noble, sure, but wrong-headed, as the audience will be sure to point out) would help, in my opinion. In other words, I think it's too important to just leave off-screen.

This is my opinion now, I reserve the right to change it later, and the rest of the book may alter my stance. However, I'm not very convinced that it will.

On the other hand, Rosen is back, and it is a delicious fact that the voice in Rosalin's head is the voice of sanity in this situation. By now, it's obvious to me, and I assume practically everyone, that Serissa is just using Rosalin. Rosalin does offer at least one reason she keeps going, that of Serissa being her only friend, but I kind of wonder that Rosen doesn't do more to convince Rosalin to move along. I've kind of come to the conclusion that he is basically trapped in Rosalin's head, with likely little chance to get out again, but that does kind of mean his survival depends on hers now, and I don't get the sense that he is one to just leave his survival in doubt, if he can influence it. He may be thinking that there isn't much difference to what they do in the city, since the siege threatens everyone, but I would guess he considers the threat of being killed by the other city dwellers to be more immediate than whatever the siege will cause. So I would think he'd be arguing harder for either ditching Serissa or changing how they act.

Also, it's hard for me to remember that, with all her fighting abilities, Rosalin still only has the knowledge of a younger child -- what was it, 8 years old? It might be worthwhile to try to work in the occasional reminder for this here and there, as it is kind of easy to lose track of.

On the other hand, now that I've said that, some of the text while in Rosalin's viewpoint is a little wiser than that of a young child. Stuff like recognizing Rosen's voice as being wry when he comments about the world destroying itself. Pruning the viewpoint back a half-step closer to a younger level may even help with the reason why she's sticking with Serissa -- she's decided Serissa is her friend, and friends stick together, so that's that. It will also help with why Rosalin keeps taking Serissa's instructions on what to do.

I might like just a bit more depth on why Rosalin is uncomfortable seeking out weapons. I cheer for it, because I don't think I want a weapon in Serissa's hands, but a touch more detail might be nice.

In general, I thought the fight was well done -- confusing when Rosalin was confused (near the end), and stark goals with obstacles near the beginning. I also liked the part where Rosalin was captured. I kept expecting her to struggle, and maybe free herself, but the odds were pretty overwhelming, and as a critical reader (rather than just a Rosalin fan), I liked that she was actually captured. In fact, I was kind of looking forward to finding out what was going to happen with the capture. I kind of hoped they were going to sell her to whoever had Dias' dad stashed away.

That all fell apart, of course, when she was rescued without any further work on her part. I think I understand that it was done to get them into the camp again, but it seemed both somewhat appropriate and somewhat too coincidental. I don't know what to recommend there.

I also seem to recall the the first time the duo went through the camp, Serissa was taking care not to let Senna see her. There didn't seem to be any such concern in this chapter.

Finally, Rosalin did something on her own initiative again at the end of the chapter. I cheer for this, even as I kind of hope it gets her into more trouble.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The first, and so far the only ;)

You raise a lot of good points. They'll help me a lot.

I might indeed need to add a chapter dealing with Rosalin and Serissa between chapter eleven and chapter fourteen. The three days between are a bit too long to just leave off-screen. I'm starting to get some ideas on what to do with such a chapter.

You're also right that Rosalin is, in essence, a very young girl despite her current physique and fighting skills. She realizes more due to Rosen's presence, but most of her decision making so far is really based on her youth. That's why she sticks so closely to Serissa. I think I've downplayed this aspect of her - it's in my mind, but as you said, it's hard to keep track of that fact.

I can see that the ending does have a bit of a coincidental air to it. Rosalin and Serissa do have to be in the camp again...something to keep in mind, but for now I'm inclined to leave that as it is.

Next chapter is back to Dais again, you'll finally get to know what happens to him :)

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