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The Daughter of War- Chapter 2: Brother's Love

by Ley


Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language.

Chapter 2: Brothers Love 

As nightfall dawned on Olympus, Josephine sat at her family’s large dinner table in their quarters. All big twelve Olympians lived within the same kingdom, except for Hades who was banished to the underworld by his father, Zeus, and Poseidon. Josephine was the only daughter of Ares. With ten brothers on her father’s side, she was the only female that lived in Ares’ quarters. On her mother’s side though, Josephine was merely a middle child, having sixteen half-siblings—mixed genders. Josephine had two other siblings that shared both parental genes—Harmonia and Anteros.

Harmonia is many years older than Josephine, and so is Anteros. Josephine was born about twenty years after both of them were born. She didn’t see Harmonia much, being as Harmonia had birthed children herself—and was busy most of the time setting harmony to earthlings. Harmonia hadn’t visited Mount Olympus for almost ten years now.

In total, she had twenty-six siblings and was overlooked by most of them.

The large corridor in which they sat for supper was rather large. The ceilings were almost fifty feet tall and smooth, ceramic columns lined each corner of the room—each one as white as a dove. Those columns represented power, peace, and wealth.

Josephine’s brothers sat all around her and shoved their mouths with food. They weren’t the most handsome, polite, or house-trained boys, but they were definitely warriors.

“I heard that Josephine kicked some lightning-bolt spawn’s ass today,” Josephine’s oldest brother chuckled, looking up at his tired and overworked sister.

“Don’t even start, Anteros,” Josephine grumbled, shoving a large honey-crusted carrot into her mouth. She didn’t look up at her brothers and instead stayed with her gaze focused on her plate.

I heard you got lucky, Sister,” Phobos spat. Phobos was the god of panic. He hadn’t even known about Josephine until recently, and Josephine had still been trying to figure out his vibe. He rarely talked and when he did, it seemed to always be something negative. Definitely something Phobos inherited from his father.

Josephine chose not to respond at that moment and ignored her brother’s slick remark. But, Phobos is right. Josephine didn’t think she would even make it past trial one. She glanced at Anteros and noticed all of her other eight brothers were staring at her. Josephine was used to being looked at differently from the others.

The staring contest didn’t last long once Josephine stood up and abandoned her dinner. She quickly started walking towards her quarters, the dim lights of the palace defining the vast shadows that lurked against the walls. She could hear Anteros’ heavy footsteps behind her, but she ignored them as she approached her door. Josephine had become a professional at ignoring things.

Just as she was about to open her door, Anteros placed his muscular hand on it, and pushed it back shut. Josephine turned to him with an annoyed look on her face, “And what is the problem now?”

“We’re worried about you, you know,” Anteros whispered to her as a heavy-set guard passed by them, whistling a tune.

“Oh, so now you’re worried,” Josephine chuckled, “Now, spare me the lecture. I need to get some sleep. I have training with Theseus in the morning before dawn.”

“Now is not the time to be hardheaded, Josie.”

Anteros never used her nickname unless he wanted something from her. She knew this because when they were younger, Anteros would try and draw from Josephine’s power and use it for battle. Anteros and Josephine always had a connection that none of the other siblings had, and they’ve kept it a secret for this long.

Josephine shoved past his arm and into her quarters, where Anteros followed behind her. He wasn’t going down without a fight, it seems—or at least a heated debate. Anteros looked at Josephine as his fragile little sister, the weak one. Josephine was destined to prove him, her father, and everyone else in Olympus wrong.

“If you do not leave me be, Anteros, Gods forgive me, I will--,” Josephine started, before Anteros’ voice overpowered hers.

“You’ll what, sister?” He growled, stepping closer to her, “Kill me? Yell at me? Banish me?” He laughed as he sat on her bed, and the cream-satin sheets crinkled as he crossed his arms and stared her down, “You think that you can defeat Enyo’s daughter? Is that realistic, Josie? Dimitra has been training for years. She found her power. Have you even tried to find your gift?”

As Josephine stood there listening to him, her eyes started to water. Heat overcame her whole entire body. All she felt was rage, betrayal, and skepticism. She didn’t even know that the daughter of Enyo was her next opponent.

Enyo was close friends with her father. She was the goddess of war and destruction. If Dimitra was anything like her mother, Josephine didn’t stand a chance.

The mention of her absent gift made her want to puke. All of her brothers, and Harmonia, had already mastered their gifts. Anteros, for example, could take a long-term view of relationships and coax deeper, less chaotic emotions. He drew unselfish affection from people, but it didn’t work on Josephine. Anteros knew Josephine had gifts, because he would try and draw from them regularly, but he could never pinpoint what the gift was.

“Mother told me that the gift will reveal itself, when the Gods commend it to,” Josephine glared at him, and tossed her coat on the night stand next to her cot. Normally, she would put it in the hamper, and bring it down to the wash-ladies, but today, she was abnormally tired. All she wanted was to sleep.

“How is it that Cycnus discovered his gift before you, the mortal among all gods?” He chuckled, “And yet, here you are—”

“Stop it right this instant,” Josephine stopped him, and she moved closer to him. Her voice lowered into a threatening whisper, “Do not compare me to Cycnus, Dimitra, Harmonia, or anybody else. I am not them.”

“Of course, you aren’t, Josephine,” Anteros’ voice grew somewhat paternal, “And that’s why I need to keep you safe, away from all this. Father said that they need people to tend to the garden. I think it would be a great way to honor the gods.”

Josephine wasn’t angry anymore. She could be mad at her father, mad at the world, but not Anteros. He’d been nothing but nice to her, and he’d always been her sole protector. Sometimes Josephine wonders if Ares requested him of that duty.

“I will be fine,” She sat next to him and placed a dainty hand on his shoulder, “but, there is something you can do for me.”

“And what is that, sister?” He looked at her with a puzzled grin on his face.

“Teach me about Dimitra’s power. If I’m dueling her tomorrow, I need an advantage.”

~

After Anteros told Josephine about Dimitra’s gifts and left, Josephine focused on her strategies for her second trial. Anteros had warned her about Dimitra’s gift of warfare. She had a very similar gift to Athena, although Dimitra’s is more focused on weaponry. Josephine could expect Dimitra to wield a bow and arrow, sword, or pocketknife.

In the trials, weapons were allowed. Josephine found this unfair, as she had only learned how to wield a knife, and that isn’t fast enough to stop a bow and arrow. If Dimitra were to choose that, Josephine would ultimately be fucked. She needed to figure out another plan.

Josephine glanced over at her clock. One fifty-seven. Almost two AM. Josephine needed to get some sleep, or she was going to perform horribly tomorrow. She turned off the light and allowed herself to drift off into the dreamlands.

~

Josephine woke to the sound of horns and cattle. It was still dark outside. She could hear the maids as they shuffled outside her quarters, and they talked in Greek tongue about the second trial today. Many people were competing, and Josephine’s duel was at four PM.

She sat up quickly and shuffled into her closet. Today, she picked out a black halter top and thick pants. Her stomach was begging for some food, so she headed down to the dining hall and took a seat in the corner of the room. The dining hall was large, taking up almost two fourths of Ares’ quarters, and all of his servants and children were only allowed there. Muscular guards lined the entry and magic was heavily felt—a shield was placed by Zeus to protect all common areas of the Gods.

Pictures of the Trojan War, Ares and his disciples, and weaponry lined the brown-painted walls. The agriculture in every deities building was truly extravagant, the lines in the ceramic outlined a story—like hieroglyphics.

A servant approached Josephine almost immediately, “Josephine, how are you my dear?”

Josephine looked up at the woman to discover it was her favorite maiden, Eleni. Eleni had watched Josephine grow up and was one of Ares’ favorite servants as well. Although Josephine didn’t like calling them servants, they insisted on being called such. Eleni was there when Josephine picked up her first sword, took her first bath, and spoke her first words. Josephine admired Eleni like a mother and swore that if anything happened to her—she would go absolutely crazy.

“I’m okay, Eleni. Getting ready for this trial.”



“Oh, my love, how is that going?” Eleni’s eyes dimmed.

“As good as you would expect it to be,” Josephine smiled in attempt to soothe Eleni’s nervousness for her, “Do you have oranges and angel cake today? Maybe some bacon?”

Eleni paused and eyed down Josephine, as if she knew. Maybe she knew Josephine was struggling. Anteros might have told her. Just as Josephine was about to speak again, Eleni scurried away towards the kitchen.

Josephine watched her with angst and sat back in her chair. She let out a long groan of frustration and looked up at the winding staircase to her left, where a man appeared. That man was no one other than her father. 


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Fri Apr 05, 2024 3:13 am
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goodolnoah wrote a review...



Hello there!

I have returned for another review!

Writing Commentary

Again, your writing is great! In this chapter, the dialogue really seems to shine. When I read in my head, I feel like I can tell exactly what kind of emotion the character is feeling at the time, this alone is a great achievement! It means your character descriptions gave me just enough of an idea for me to imagine what they may feel or sound like.

The dining hall was large, taking up almost two fourths of Ares’ quarters, and all of his servants and children were only allowed there. Muscular guards lined the entry and magic was heavily felt—a shield was placed by Zeus to protect all common areas of the Gods.

Pictures of the Trojan War, Ares and his disciples, and weaponry lined the brown-painted walls. The agriculture in every deities building was truly extravagant, the lines in the ceramic outlined a story—like hieroglyphics.


This description of Ares’ dining hall is one of my favorite sequences. It serves to add a bit of worldbuilding while also characterizing Ares himself without him physically being there. I like how this description almost serves as a precursor for Ares’ appearance coming soon. It seems he is not only a man obsessed with war, but interested in extravagance as well.

Story Commentary

I really like the relationship between Anteros and Josephine here. His balance between threatening and loving(?) older brother shows how deeply he cares for her, however, he seems to not know how to show it. He often threatens her in this chapter, though, they seem like well-meaning threats.

Josephine herself seems to appreciate and despise him. His truths are harsh, and only serve to reinforce the lives that Olympians live. Considering Josephine’s circumstances regarding entering the trials, it makes sense she would not want to hear what he has to say.

I am unsure if I am onto something here, but the descriptions whenever Josephine’s emotions get high seem to relate to heat overcoming her body. Perhaps alluding to her unawoken gift?

As Josephine stood there listening to him, her eyes started to water. Heat overcame her whole entire body.


(I also LOVE the concept of Anteros in greek mythos, wish he was used more in olympian based fiction…)

Closer

Have a good day/night! Thank you for the read!




Ley says...


Ahh! You may be going somewhere with your prediction of her unawoken gift ;) Glad you enjoyed this Chapter!



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Sun Feb 25, 2024 5:29 pm
KateHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: This a lovely follow up to that first chapter I think. We start with that more intense part of Josephine's life and work our way to seeing the background of it all and this is really heating up very nicely here.

Anyway let's get right to it,

As nightfall dawned on Olympus, Josephine sat at her family’s large dinner table in their quarters. All big twelve Olympians lived within the same kingdom, except for Hades who was banished to the underworld by his father, Zeus, and Poseidon. Josephine was the only daughter of Ares. With ten brothers on her father’s side, she was the only female that lived in Ares’ quarters. On her mother’s side though, Josephine was merely a middle child, having sixteen half-siblings—mixed genders. Josephine had two other siblings that shared both parental genes—Harmonia and Anteros.

Harmonia is many years older than Josephine, and so is Anteros. Josephine was born about twenty years after both of them were born. She didn’t see Harmonia much, being as Harmonia had birthed children herself—and was busy most of the time setting harmony to earthlings. Harmonia hadn’t visited Mount Olympus for almost ten years now.

In total, she had twenty-six siblings and was overlooked by most of them.


Well that certainly is quite the sizeable family there, of course making the fact that there's still no one amongst them to support her that much worse when its out of such a large number of people.

The large corridor in which they sat for supper was rather large. The ceilings were almost fifty feet tall and smooth, ceramic columns lined each corner of the room—each one as white as a dove. Those columns represented power, peace, and wealth.

Josephine’s brothers sat all around her and shoved their mouths with food. They weren’t the most handsome, polite, or house-trained boys, but they were definitely warriors.

“I heard that Josephine kicked some lightning-bolt spawn’s ass today,” Josephine’s oldest brother chuckled, looking up at his tired and overworked sister.


Hmmm well that's certainly something at least. Its hard to see if Josephine is going to actually appreciate something like that, but then at the very least her brother's seem to have some sort of interest in her.

“Don’t even start, Anteros,” Josephine grumbled, shoving a large honey-crusted carrot into her mouth. She didn’t look up at her brothers and instead stayed with her gaze focused on her plate.

“I heard you got lucky, Sister,” Phobos spat. Phobos was the god of panic. He hadn’t even known about Josephine until recently, and Josephine had still been trying to figure out his vibe. He rarely talked and when he did, it seemed to always be something negative. Definitely something Phobos inherited from his father.

Josephine chose not to respond at that moment and ignored her brother’s slick remark. But, Phobos is right. Josephine didn’t think she would even make it past trial one. She glanced at Anteros and noticed all of her other eight brothers were staring at her. Josephine was used to being looked at differently from the others.


Well that immediately put that right into place there. Her brother's definitely aren't her biggest fans, and even the ones that seem to be trying to compliment her seem to have rather backhanded intentions. I think that definitely solidifies the comment about the family from earlier.

The staring contest didn’t last long once Josephine stood up and abandoned her dinner. She quickly started walking towards her quarters, the dim lights of the palace defining the vast shadows that lurked against the walls. She could hear Anteros’ heavy footsteps behind her, but she ignored them as she approached her door. Josephine had become a professional at ignoring things.

Just as she was about to open her door, Anteros placed his muscular hand on it, and pushed it back shut. Josephine turned to him with an annoyed look on her face, “And what is the problem now?”

“We’re worried about you, you know,” Anteros whispered to her as a heavy-set guard passed by them, whistling a tune.


Hmm well that's an interesting step to take. It being the same one with the somewhat genuine compliment earlier is definitely something to note. Of course he could totally just be treating her as weak here with that comment but once again its something at the very least.

“Oh, so now you’re worried,” Josephine chuckled, “Now, spare me the lecture. I need to get some sleep. I have training with Theseus in the morning before dawn.”

“Now is not the time to be hardheaded, Josie.”

Anteros never used her nickname unless he wanted something from her. She knew this because when they were younger, Anteros would try and draw from Josephine’s power and use it for battle. Anteros and Josephine always had a connection that none of the other siblings had, and they’ve kept it a secret for this long.


Oooh well that one solidifies the little suspicion I had. Glad to see that I wasn't just grasping at straws hoping at least one of her brothers would be a little nice to her. Well this definitely makes this whole dynamic a lot more intriguing.

Josephine shoved past his arm and into her quarters, where Anteros followed behind her. He wasn’t going down without a fight, it seems—or at least a heated debate. Anteros looked at Josephine as his fragile little sister, the weak one. Josephine was destined to prove him, her father, and everyone else in Olympus wrong.

“If you do not leave me be, Anteros, Gods forgive me, I will--,” Josephine started, before Anteros’ voice overpowered hers.


Hmm well Josephine is certainly not very thrilled at Anteros regardless of them sharing any sort of genuine connection or not. It does seem like them having some sort of a connection is tenuous at best.

“You’ll what, sister?” He growled, stepping closer to her, “Kill me? Yell at me? Banish me?” He laughed as he sat on her bed, and the cream-satin sheets crinkled as he crossed his arms and stared her down, “You think that you can defeat Enyo’s daughter? Is that realistic, Josie? Dimitra has been training for years. She found her power. Have you even tried to find your gift?”

As Josephine stood there listening to him, her eyes started to water. Heat overcame her whole entire body. All she felt was rage, betrayal, and skepticism. She didn’t even know that the daughter of Enyo was her next opponent.

Enyo was close friends with her father. She was the goddess of war and destruction. If Dimitra was anything like her mother, Josephine didn’t stand a chance.


Well that definitely makes this interesting. A bit of a classic our heroine doesn't have her cool powers yet situation. I'm very intrigued to see where that's going to be taking it. I'm sure there'll be quite a moment with that at some point.

The mention of her absent gift made her want to puke. All of her brothers, and Harmonia, had already mastered their gifts. Anteros, for example, could take a long-term view of relationships and coax deeper, less chaotic emotions. He drew unselfish affection from people, but it didn’t work on Josephine. Anteros knew Josephine had gifts, because he would try and draw from them regularly, but he could never pinpoint what the gift was.

“Mother told me that the gift will reveal itself, when the Gods commend it to,” Josephine glared at him, and tossed her coat on the night stand next to her cot. Normally, she would put it in the hamper, and bring it down to the wash-ladies, but today, she was abnormally tired. All she wanted was to sleep.


Well it looks like we have ourselves one of the reasons why everyone doesn't seem to think too much of her. The whole I don't have my powers yet idea certainly does tend to put a bit of a damper on people taking you seriously in a setting such as this one.

“How is it that Cycnus discovered his gift before you, the mortal among all gods?” He chuckled, “And yet, here you are—”

“Stop it right this instant,” Josephine stopped him, and she moved closer to him. Her voice lowered into a threatening whisper, “Do not compare me to Cycnus, Dimitra, Harmonia, or anybody else. I am not them.”

“Of course, you aren’t, Josephine,” Anteros’ voice grew somewhat paternal, “And that’s why I need to keep you safe, away from all this. Father said that they need people to tend to the garden. I think it would be a great way to honor the gods.”


Hmm well that definitely really spices up the relationship that these two seem to share here. Its clear it isn't exactly all sunshine and rainbows but there's clearly love in there which I suppose is pretty much every sibling relationship so that's quite on point there.

Josephine wasn’t angry anymore. She could be mad at her father, mad at the world, but not Anteros. He’d been nothing but nice to her, and he’d always been her sole protector. Sometimes Josephine wonders if Ares requested him of that duty.

“I will be fine,” She sat next to him and placed a dainty hand on his shoulder, “but, there is something you can do for me.”

“And what is that, sister?” He looked at her with a puzzled grin on his face.

“Teach me about Dimitra’s power. If I’m dueling her tomorrow, I need an advantage.”


Well that definitely cements that they do have a little connection. Comments like that certainly aren't born without having years of caring about each other. This fight also seem like it will prove to be quite exciting.

After Anteros told Josephine about Dimitra’s gifts and left, Josephine focused on her strategies for her second trial. Anteros had warned her about Dimitra’s gift of warfare. She had a very similar gift to Athena, although Dimitra’s is more focused on weaponry. Josephine could expect Dimitra to wield a bow and arrow, sword, or pocketknife.

In the trials, weapons were allowed. Josephine found this unfair, as she had only learned how to wield a knife, and that isn’t fast enough to stop a bow and arrow. If Dimitra were to choose that, Josephine would ultimately be fucked. She needed to figure out another plan.

Josephine glanced over at her clock. One fifty-seven. Almost two AM. Josephine needed to get some sleep, or she was going to perform horribly tomorrow. She turned off the light and allowed herself to drift off into the dreamlands.


Oooh why those fights certainly seem to be happening quite fast back to back. And I can't help but notice the specific mention of how late this is and the fact that there's a thing Dimitra could use that Josephine specifically would have no counter for. I have a feeling that's going to matter in this fight.

Josephine woke to the sound of horns and cattle. It was still dark outside. She could hear the maids as they shuffled outside her quarters, and they talked in Greek tongue about the second trial today. Many people were competing, and Josephine’s duel was at four PM.

She sat up quickly and shuffled into her closet. Today, she picked out a black halter top and thick pants. Her stomach was begging for some food, so she headed down to the dining hall and took a seat in the corner of the room. The dining hall was large, taking up almost two fourths of Ares’ quarters, and all of his servants and children were only allowed there. Muscular guards lined the entry and magic was heavily felt—a shield was placed by Zeus to protect all common areas of the Gods.

Pictures of the Trojan War, Ares and his disciples, and weaponry lined the brown-painted walls. The agriculture in every deities building was truly extravagant, the lines in the ceramic outlined a story—like hieroglyphics.


Hmm loving the little description there. We don't quite have too much of an image of this place yet and this certainly goes a long way to tell us a bit about how it looks.

A servant approached Josephine almost immediately, “Josephine, how are you my dear?”

Josephine looked up at the woman to discover it was her favorite maiden, Eleni. Eleni had watched Josephine grow up and was one of Ares’ favorite servants as well. Although Josephine didn’t like calling them servants, they insisted on being called such. Eleni was there when Josephine picked up her first sword, took her first bath, and spoke her first words. Josephine admired Eleni like a mother and swore that if anything happened to her—she would go absolutely crazy.

“I’m okay, Eleni. Getting ready for this trial.”


Hmmm well it seems we're slowing meeting another couple of people that Josephine has on her side. I love that we're having a nice bit of spacing for all of this so we can slowly get a little map of exactly what kind of life Josephine has at the moment.

“Oh, my love, how is that going?” Eleni’s eyes dimmed.

“As good as you would expect it to be,” Josephine smiled in attempt to soothe Eleni’s nervousness for her, “Do you have oranges and angel cake today? Maybe some bacon?”

Eleni paused and eyed down Josephine, as if she knew. Maybe she knew Josephine was struggling. Anteros might have told her. Just as Josephine was about to speak again, Eleni scurried away towards the kitchen.

Josephine watched her with angst and sat back in her chair. She let out a long groan of frustration and looked up at the winding staircase to her left, where a man appeared. That man was no one other than her father.


Oooh now that's quite the combination to be ending on there. Getting both a promise of some lovely food there and also the absolutely cliffhanger there of Ares appearing. I am absolutely looking forward to seeing where that's going to lead us.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: I really enjoyed the snippet into Josephine's life here and getting a glimpse of the few supporters that she has within a family that appears to shun her somewhat for being almost a runt of the litter type of situation. And well that ending definitely makes me immediately want to head to chapter three which is what I will in fact be doing.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Kate




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Tue Jan 30, 2024 9:45 am
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DreamyAlice wrote a review...



Hey there! Here for a review!

My first thoughts

So I always love a fictional story with gods and demi-gods and of course trials and fight scenes, I feel fight scenes are very easy to get chaotic and messed up and I particularly find them hard to write about so I am excited to read the next chapter to see how you did it. I like stories with female warriors, I mean it's so fun to write about, and when I saw the title "The Daughter of War" I felt I needed to read this.

Narration/Plot

Your narration was pretty smooth and I can say not hasty and well done. I haven't read the first chapter yet, but I still read it through and found it a good light read. We came to know about the family of Josephine and her relationship with them, it built a good foundation for us to get involved I know stories with a Greek mythology background have kind of been overused but I am excited to see how you make it interesting in your own way.

Dialogues/Formatting

I feel dialoguing helps us fill in the gaps when we express character dynamics and it worked well. The conversation with Josephie and Anteros was quite good and reflected their bond.
The formatting of the paragraphs was neat, it was a decent-length chapter and even though there were many events starting with the dinner scene to the next day's breakfast scene, it didn't seem abrupt, you structured and formatted the paragraph, and the chapter nicely!

Characters

We got to know a few more things about Josephine, that she hadn't got her gift yet or she hadn't realized her gift. And about her family with so many brothers. I liked how you made it known it was a family of warriors with her brothers. As for Anteros, I understand his care but he shouldn't have demeaned Josephine like that, that made me a little angry. But at least she has one of her brothers who seems to notice she is there.

~Few lil suggestion~

“Oh, so now you’re worried,” Josephine chuckled, “Now, spare me the lecture. I need to get some sleep. I have training with Theseus in the morning before dawn.”

Here, instead of 'chuckled' some other word like 'snapped' or 'grumbled' would have fitted better. The word 'chuckled' did show that Josphine was dismissive but still it didn't quite capture the emotional side of her saying these lines to her brother.

Incorporating these adjustments can enhance the dialogue's emotional side portrayal.

The second thing I can suggest is, I think as Josephine still does not realize her gift which has a lot of importance in this chapter, you could have shown more of her inner conflict regarding this.

"The mention of her absent gift made her want to puke."


Apart from this, I couldn't see any of her inner thoughts about it. By adding few lines about it, the character of Josephine can be further developed and understood.

Overall

This turned out to be a long review, I liked this chapter, there were mostly no nitpicks. Your writing style is very neat. Will love to see more of your writing!

Keep Writing👍
ALICE^-^




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Mon Dec 18, 2023 7:02 pm
RavenAkuma wrote a review...



Hello again, my friend!

Excellent chapter. There was a lot worth noting here, like how many siblings Josephine has. A lot! That is consistent with Greek gods and their legends, though, so it works well and gives a feeling of authenticity. Also, if Josephine is the child of Aries, that explains a lot! I remember a lot of stories or characters featuring inspirations from Zeus, Athena, Poseidon, and even Hades. I think Ares is an interesting and underappreciated god in modern renditions of Greek mythology, so regardless of if it's in a positive or negative light, it's great that you chose him to work your main character around.

I like how you described Josephine's brothers. "They weren’t the most handsome, polite, or house-trained boys, but they were definitely warriors." That sentence alone says a lot about them, but leaves enough room to build on them individually as the story progresses.

If I could offer any advice, it would just be with one line toward the beginning, where it says "Harmonia is many years older than Josephine, and so is Anteros." It feels a bit out of place for a story otherwise narrated in traditional past-tense, third-person POV. It would probably read better as "Harmonia [was] many years older than Josephine, and so [was] Anteros."

Of course, this my opinion, and I am no professional.

Nice work! :)





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