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for Tales from the N'yrthghar III: The Enchantress

12/5/2019 c5 6Lowknave
Having gone through all the stories since you first returned to the GoGH archive, this is the last one I haven't reviewed (unduly), and now, I will be addressing that in a deceive manner. I'm torn between if I should review your previous GoGH stories, your previous Rio ones, or if I should stop altogether. In time, I'll decide.

Unlike the previous story I reviewed recently (Metamorphosis), this one is how I'd expect Metamorphosis to ideally look. Taking a basic core concept, applying a conflict, and demonstrating developments in a [mostly] show-not-tell format. Just as simple, but far more engaging to read, as you get invested into it.

Overall, this one was quite a fun read. It showed a more exotic lifestyle and the struggles one might face in the N'yrthghar. Though, I will comment that some additional ideas could've greatly increased the impact and significance of the story. Like Katarina setting a goal to have her music heard by the Great Tree of Ga'Hoole, and her striving to reach the quality she deems desirable. With the conflict/complication to this goal being the conflict with the Kraals.

Of course, this may be too similar to some other short-stories made by Lasky, so I can understand a focus to more down-to-earth aspirations. Maybe as an alternation to the goal/driving-force for the plot, there was another musician of similar or even superior quality, and the two were closest friends. But, the other musician became jealous/weary of Katarina's growing popularity/influence, and hired the three Kraals seen in the story. Cliche? Maybe, but once again, just an idea.

Nonetheless, in its present iteration there's a lot of cool tidbits that were pleasant to read. Seemingly with a focus on more realistic happenings rather than extraordinary circumstances. Like with Katarina helping Eskil (where have I heard that name before?), which is a simple event (though, why Katarina would encourage Eskil to talk with his love-interest while tipsy is beyond me. Kind of risky, especially if he says or does something wrong. And being tipsy isn't impressionable, I'm sure).

Though, on a related point. The amount of characters (to me personally) does get a tiny bit excessive for such a short story. If you were to ask me, characters should be introduced by actions or run-ins the main character makes, and then introduced into the plot in some noteworthy capacity. For example, Eskil and Kara are only mentioned once in Chapter Two, before disappearing entirely, kind of a dead-end development with no purpose in a story beyond character development for Katarina.

Maybe, instead, these two characters should've been Annika's allies, and were more than willing to help Katarina since she helped them in Chapter Two. This would replace the somewhat random additions of Sakdi, Henrik, and Aksel. (Perhaps keeping Sakdi, as she was a more memorable character). This has the additional benefit of adding some emotional weight if Eskil were to be the one injured rather than Aksel, as Kara would be far more fearful of losing him, and Katarina would be regretting putting their relationship into jeopardy like this. But besides having to carefully concentrate and remember all of the characters, most were good.

Beyond that, this little short-story was quite good to read. And I think to add anything further would be repetitive. I know I have a habit of mentioning more things that could've been done better, but I oftentimes have a harder time explaining what I like, as I feel there's simply too much to state and most of it is obvious. Like the combat for example is quite sensuous and with no censor, it is exactly as bloody and horrifying as it should be, even for characters that are literal-born killers.

Anything else I should add? Hmm . . . I think I will stop here. Though, I will comment how awesome of an idea might be if TftN One, Two, and Three were directly intertwined in characters and continuity to the point where they could all be part of the same story and have a plot. An example of this idea is you Kyla (main character from TftN One) and other characters perhaps have run-ins with Katarina and her crew. With the main antagonist perhaps being Storm/Thorn from the 2nd story, and have the victims be named characters from these short-stories.

Talk about a great way to tie-things together. But I digress.

All in all, I give this one a 9/10. Though, personally, I'm a bit more interested in seeing how Metamorphosis plays out. But at the same time, I would love to see a combined series as I mentioned above. Maybe something I could tackle in the future if you're interested?

Alright, onto jokes.

Solveig: "Are my unsightly scars distracting you, gadfeather?"
Katarina: "Yes."
Solveig [in Joker's voice]: "You wanna know how I got these scars?"
Katarina: ". . ."
Solveig [in same voice]: "My father, was a drinker, and a fiend. And one night, he goes off yoickers than usual. Mommy gets the ice scimitar to defend herself. He doesn't like that. Not. One. Bit. So, me watching, he takes the scimitar to her, laughing while he does it. He turns to me and says, 'Why so serious?' Comes at me with the scimitar. "WHY SO SERIOUS?" He sticks the blade in my beak... "Let's put a smile on that face." And..."
*Looks at the disturbed Katarina.*
"Why so serious?"

. . .
Plot of the story in a nutshell:
Katrina: "They took my ocarina, so I took their lives. I must also say, as a musician, their shrill screams were music to my ears."

0/10, no: "That has to be the best Kraal (pirate) I've ever seen." said by any of the characters.

(Why am I even making these cringey jokes? All well, I'll stop here. Like before, another great story! I'm so glad you shared it on here!)
4/16/2018 c1 17LemonDrops334
Excellent! This was your best story yet. Your word choice and deft use of vocabulary made it fun to read. However, I have noticed a slight pattern within most of your stories. Though this one is exempt, the pattern I have noticed is your dialogue sounds robotic. Vocabulary within spoken words is limited when speaking one to another. The dialogue in your stories has too many big words, making it seem mechanical and forced. I'd suggest loosening and lowering the vocabulary to make it flow better. Again, your stories are all beautifully written, but dialogue needs lower vocabulary to flow.

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