Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for mature content.
Hey Rosey! It's been for-freakin'-ever, so it's about time I jump straight back into Cat Steps! So I've skimmed the other reviews and I'll try to bring something new to the table here. Let's start!I'll start with your grammar and style, because you know that's where I like to focus when it comes to issues with clarity. And do we have some issues with clarity here -- while the chapter as a whole is absolutely brilliant (as per usual), I felt like some of the smaller ideas had a hard time coming across, and that can build up to your big ideas.First off, your description is lacking a bit in this chapter. It makes me sad, because I love being in Kerani's head, but I also wish we could experience the world -- as it is, we're being told about it right now, and it's missing some key details. Like here:
Hopefully I would be able to make some progress into this beast before—Walking back into my room cut that plan right off.Nitika sighed upon seeing my face. “I dismissed the servants for exactly that reason.”“I thought I had an outfit…” I muttered, ignoring the pile of fabric on the central table of my room and going straight for the ‘desk’ portion of my workbench.
“Can’t they look towards one of Father’s dozen other wives?”
“He would. He was thoroughly exasperated with the Court attention we were getting with Ranya, meanwhile the two of us were busy creating a wardrobe fit for a crown princess and her accompanying servant. All he had to be was… an accountant.”
One of the particularly inquisitive minds of the Empire had taken a liking to our gardens and science facilities I had just begun to use, them [then] newly renovated when my father had been on the throne.
Thank the gods she knew how to detect her own poisons. I didn’t have the skill to protect her at the time.I shuddered to think just what I had missed when I was twelve. And where I would be without her skill.
Nitika would make a wonderful mother, for how attentive she was to the younger ones, and the ones who needed a little more time to understand all of the input around them. Jalil was hardly a sensor, but maybe their children would inherit some genes from our father. It ran in the Palahira bloodline almost as much as our claim to the land.
They all ended up piled in my room, clamoring on every surface available to see the fabrics and patterns. Suggestions of which ones to use for what just made me laugh, seriousness of it all lost for a few moments.
I shook my head vigorously. “Me. Pregnant. Unable to go help people. Do you think that would actually work?”
Hi there Lima Bean! This is Nikayla here dropping in for a review at the very end of this lovely Review Day! This one is a little longer though I'll attempt to make this as thorough as possible in the forty minutes I have to do this. Without further ado, let's jump right in.
I had finally gotten my hands on the purchasing logs for the past week. Considering how recent the attack was, I doubted it was much earlier than that. Of course, those logs would happen to be the biggest we’d had in months, because the kitchen was planning for the official announcement of my choice of husband in four days. Not like half the palace didn’t know from gossip already.
She stood in my path towards the ‘poison’ end of my workbench, with the required sample of almonds. “A summer one, and now we are nearly winter because you took so long to evaluate possibilities, and everyone is looking towards you for fashion ideas with Ranya and Vyoma gone.”I pinched the bridge of my nose. “Can’t they look towards one of Father’s dozen other wives?”
“They will, but you are still an important member of Court we’ll all be taking our cues from.” She put her hand on her chin, mock sizing me up with a twinkle in her eye. “I think the next trend will be dagger belts, knowing you.”I laughed. “Exposed daggers lose the element of surprise. Mesh sleeves.”
On the bright side, I'm finally here to review this! On the not so bright side, I'm uncertain I'll have anything very constructive to say (per usual, really) Sincere apologies for taking a decade to get to this, I had uni exams throughout most of January, then just got really lazy once they were over. Oops. Alas, I'm here now, so hopefully will be able to make some use of myself.Now I'm really quite fond of moments in stories where the more human aspects are explored (whether it be a fantasy, sci-fi, realistic, action, whatever--I love me human aspects), and so I have quite a soft spot for this extract. I love how it explores Kerani's human side, what with her love for children, her intense need to protect them from the world, alongside her need to guard her heart (as she put it). It really helped build empathy, and as a character who's renowned for hiding emotion, it's nice to see her acknowledging how much repressed emotion the poor lass actually has. Bravo for that, seriously. Even though I have been whining about the assassination storyline dragging a teeny bit over the past few reviews, it didn't bother me here (partly because of the soft spot I have for character-based, 'human' storylines). I think the subject matter here (Kerani's repressing of emotions, attitude towards kids, wedding planning etc) was interesting enough for that not to be a problem. So yeah, I mean, I guess I kinda really super like this extract.Criticisms, hm.I don't really have any specific criticisms for this chapter, if I'm perfectly honest. I think the only thing I have to say is that I would've maybe liked to have seen you explore Kerani's time spent with the kids a little more, as it only lasts a paragraph or two at the moment. We get the impression she's super fond of them because of her internal monologue, and with what Nitika said about the way she is with them, but I'd like you to actually show us that more. It would help build even more on Kerani's more emotional, vulnerable side, and further create a higher degree of empathy with her. It's not that the way you have it now is bad or anything, I just think there's potential to build on it even more. Err, does that make sense? I just want to see Kerani getting more involved with the kids, really show us the fondness she has for them.There's not really anything else constructive I can think of, least not specifically based on this chapter. I have something that's more of a question than a critique, though. I'm going to apologise in advance because this is something that may have come up in the past, and I've forgotten about it completely, but where is Kerani's mother? I'm hesitant to mention this because knowing me, we've literally met her several times, and I've just 100% forgotten because I'm an idiot. Buuuuut I can't recall doing so, so I'm warily assuming we've not really seen or heard from her much/at all. So yeah, I mean, if I'm not mistaken with all this, what's the deal with Kerani's mother? Is she still around? I know her father has several wives, right? Even though it's custom and normal in society, does she have any feelings towards her numerous step mothers? I'm just curious about Kerani's maternal influences, really, so would like to see that explored maybe a little more.That's it, I guess. Bit of an anti-climax of a review considering I took my damn time to get to this, but hey, that's all part of my lovable charm. I hope the points I have raised have been able to provide some kind of positive impact, but if not, I think it's safe to say you can rest easy in the knowledge that this is a good, solid addition to this novel's second chapter. Hopefully I'll be able to respond a little more quickly to your next post (which I do realise I say every time), and be able to give some more solid constructive comments!Keep writing,xoxo S(k)ins
This is Nikayla here for a review!I've heard you talk about Cat Steps, but I've never really read it, so let's jump right into the review! One of the first things that I learned is that you have a bit of a calm writing style, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I did want to point that out. I like fantasy novels that can still be fantasy but at the same time not have to have a huge epic battle scene, and that's why I enjoyed this chapter. It's rather laid-back in what it's displaying and even though there is a bit of action hinted in this chapter, it still keeps that cool-feeling at the same time. I was a fan of the dialogue of the chapter and it happens to be one of your strengths here. One of the things that I felt to be a bit lacking because I feel like you only have the bare minimum of is description. I'd like to see the description displayed while the story is still actively moving along because that'd be a good advantage due to the slower pacing that you have in this point of the novel. I'm also a little in awe since this is part six of the second chapter and I'm wondering at this point how long your chapters end up being? I know this is rather short, seemingly being only around 800 to 1000 words, but still. The chapter just felt a little hollow when it comes to describing things like the atmosphere of the story and while you may have a writing style like that I think having a bit more would help you out. The voice that you use in this chapter is one that's crafted quite masterfully and it's one of the other strengths that I happened to find here. I love how you can have it be in first-person without having to be really spontaneous with how you write the voice--you just kind of write it as it is. I hope I helped and have a great day!
“A summer one, and now we are nearly (at) winter because you took so long to evaluate possibilities, and everyone is looking towards you for fashion ideas with Ranya and Vyoma gone.”
I glanced at Nitika, her with a very specific type of yearning and me with long suffering resignation as the often-heard cry of “Aunt Cat’s door is open!” rang through the cavernous halls.
The sign I was normally unoccupied.
It meant tolerating dozens of comments I was behaving improperly— again— by being too cold of all things. Don’t show love, then show it on command.I wished they’d make up their minds.
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