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The Last Spell 1.2

by SilverNight


Another few minutes of walking the circumference led them to the shield door they’d been informed of. Cyrin was fairly sure the inside had to be sizable if they’d only gone part of the way around it. Every so often, another Bane or two would drift out of the walls, but it would leave them be after a few moments of watching them silently. He wasn’t feeling eager about confronting them later, and he could tell Mireya wasn’t either.

The door was a cutout in the ice wall, filled by a rippling, opaque barrier of magic. Mireya took a step to the side as Cyrin pulled off one of their gloves, wincing as the freezing air hit their bare skin.

“What kind of magic is it?” she asked, while he was holding a hand up to it.

Cyrin concentrated, frowning thoughtfully. He could sense two types of magic in the shield, but he didn’t even need to be a Minor Mage to tell what they were. The barrier seemed to be repelling his hand like a magnet, and it only pushed away harder when he tried to get closer. He also noticed a slight vibration in the air and the ground right by his feet, like there was a very tiny earthquake happening in the magic.

“It’s mostly Force,” he said. “There’s a tiny bit of Tremor in there too, although I’m not sure what its purpose in the spell is. It doesn’t seem to be enough to be threatening, at least.”

Mireya nodded. “So, they said we had to ‘burn’ through it. That could be literal and require Flare, or we try to deactivate it using Acid.”

“It’s probably going to take Acid,” Cyrin mused. “That will use up a fair bit of what I have, though, so I’ll try Flare first. It won’t make a difference.”

Mireya inched away as he flipped the MagicBox open again and separated a tiny cluster of magic from the wound-up ball. Flare was not only the least wasteful of the nine magic types, but it was also the easiest to use, which meant Cyrin could create a spell one-handed even when that hand was getting numb. It floated above his palm as he spun it around, rearranging the tiny glowing strands until he could snap his fingers and it turned into a fireball that warmed his hand. They moved it over to the shield, but the fireball only sputtered weakly against it, giving off sparks instead of burning the magic.

Cyrin sighed when it went out a few seconds later. “Well, that didn’t hurt any, but I guess it’ll have to be Acid.”

“I sure hope you have enough for getting in and out,” Mireya said, shivering. “Because I don’t want to be stuck in there.”

“Come on, you’re from Storm City too. You know it gets cold here.”

“The bottom of an ice pit that has never been subject to seasonal change is not the same as surface of a city where every room has a fireplace, Cyrin.”

Cyrin shrugged. “Fireplaces don’t stop blizzards.”

She did have a point, though, and the cold hit them even harder when they had to pull off their other glove to cast a harder spell. After considering, he removed somewhere between a third and a half of the magic he had left from his supply. He could see Mireya raise her eyebrows at the amount, but she didn’t say anything. It was going to take some work to get through this.

After cupping the magic in his hands, Cyrin first changed the type to Acid, then carefully altered the shape of it, turning it into a thinly spread but structurally strong web of what looked like glowing white thread. They then activated it in the same gesture that they sent it to the shield. This time, it appeared to work. The surface of the magic let out a hissing sound on contact with the Acid spell, seeming to corrode and disintegrate. He could now see a hole forming in the shield, and he caught a glimpse of an open room beyond it.

“How big does the gap need to be?” Mireya asked, watching it spread wider.

“Big enough for both of us,” Cyrin said, biting his lip. The spell was still doing its work, but he could tell it was already weakening. Normally, using that much magic in one spell would have huge effects, but there was so much magic in this shield. Even Acid couldn’t neutralize all of it. “I’ll wait, but you can probably step through now.”

Mireya tucked herself through it, just barely able to fit. He watched her stand up fully on the other side, then quickly take a few steps back. “Oh,” she breathed, her voice surprised.

“What is it?”

“You know what, don’t worry about it. Just wait until you get through.”

Cyrin frowned, but he had to turn his attention back to the hole in the shield. It continued expanding, but it was slowing substantially, and they knew it would start closing soon. They waited until it seemed like it wouldn’t get any larger before they slipped through, ducking and stepping through it one leg at a time. It wasn’t actually that tight a fit, which was good news for their exit. Cyrin stood up on the other side, just as the hissing of Acid on magic faded and the gap rapidly closed itself back up.

“So, what was it?” Cyrin asked, looking around before he saw it himself and blinked in surprise. “Oh. I see.”

Mireya was standing over a skeleton.

“I guess we aren’t the only ones to try and come down here,” she said as Cyrin stepped closer, frowning and leaning over the remains.

“They must have barely gotten through the shield on their way out before… getting caught and falling backwards.” He shook his head. “Who knows how old this is.”

“It’s just bones,” Mireya said slowly. “But this place is a freezer, and there’s nothing here that could decompose it. No insects, no fungi, nothing. So…”

Cyrin cleared their throat. “The Banes have teeth, don’t they?”

Mireya glanced up sharply, and they both shared a look full of disgust and horror at the idea.

“Well, I think the desire to not end up that way is enough to make me get out of here,” she said briskly, moving on to the room further in. “Don’t you agree? Oh, wow— look at this place.”

Cyrin followed along, and he was shocked that the skeleton had somehow gotten his attention first over what this place held. Rows and columns of displays stretched in a grid ahead and to both sides, each stand holding a different artifact or collection. There were still Flare lights, but most of the artifacts glowed on their own, shimmering with a pearly aura. He’d never seen this many of them in one place before, not even in an Alchemist’s or Artificer’s lab like Clarity’s.

“I better start recording for our client,” he breathed, unlocking his wrist communicator and setting it up to take a video.

“You do that,” Mireya agreed, taking a few more steps to stand among the artifacts, an expression of awe on her face. She took a few seconds to snap out of her astounded daze and work on pulling something up from her own communicator.

A holographic image of an antique painting popped into view above her wrist, and Cyrin recognized it as the one they had been shown by the entrepreneur who had hired them. The painting was a portrait of a young woman sitting in an armchair with elegance, seeming to look right at the viewer with a captivating smile. She was no doubt the subject, but Mireya was zooming in on her hand and pointing at a gold ring with a purple gem that was on one of her fingers.

“The Glory Ring,” Mireya said. “That’s what we’re looking for. It was said to have ended up here seven centuries ago, a while after the painting was commissioned and the wearer passed away.”

“What magic does it have again?” Cyrin asked.

“It only has Rationale. Something about making the wearer always alluring and charming. That girl looked really pretty, honestly.”

“Don’t go getting a crush on anyone who’s been dead for seven hundred years.”

Mireya winced. “Well, I try not to.”

Cyrin stared at the ring in silence for a moment before they briefly muted their recording. “I wonder what our guy wants it for. A proposal?”

“Or maybe he wants someone to propose to him,” Mireya said with a shrug. “I’m not really interested in his plans. I bet there’s a lot of artifacts here that are way cooler, and I can’t wait to see them all, so I’d love to start searching. There’s so much to go through.”

Cyrin nodded, unmuting the video again before they took a deep breath and stood up straighter. “Let’s get looking.”


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Fri Dec 08, 2023 6:33 pm
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RavenAkuma wrote a review...



Hello again, my friend!

Firstly, you have a very interesting way of labeling your types of magic. "Force" and "Tremor" both sound unique, as opposed to the more traditional "black and white" magic or "fire, water, air, etc." Not that there's anything wrong with traditional magics, but it's good to see some creative spins as well. The MagicBox is especially an interesting mechanic.

Likewise, I'm getting some notes of sci-fi with the use of videos, holographs, communicators, and whatnot. Alongside the strong presence of magic, that creates an interesting setup. I don't personally see a lot of sci-fantasy, so I am interested.

So, Mireya and Cyrin are looking for an old artifact only referred to as 'The Glory Ring,' which has yet another interesting kind of magic called Rationale, and there are other potentially greater artifacts in this place they're searching. Intriguing, indeed. Will they find something good? Something bad? Is the ring actually the most important object, and this will become a modern rendition of Lord Of The Rings? Alongside the captivating world, it's just enough of a mystery to keep the reader going, but not overwhelming (as we're still in the introductory chapters).

Great descriptions and dialogue, and no obvious errors, though there was a portion toward the beginning that struck me as odd.

"Mireya took a step to the side as Cyrin pulled off one of their gloves, wincing as the freezing air hit their bare skin."

The use of 'their' in this context (especially since Cyrin is an established character, one person, and consistently referred to as 'he' otherwise) just seems out of place. To keep consistency and accuracy, I would replace the "their" in this sentence with "his."

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

Nice work! :)




SilverNight says...


Thanks Raven! Cyrin is actually a character who uses both he and they pronouns, and both pronouns appear throughout this chapter, so it's no inconsistency, but I'm glad you wondered about it so I could clear it up!



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Thu May 04, 2023 11:06 pm
foxmaster wrote a review...



Hello this is Foxmaster!!!!! *Dances*
Whoooooa what a chapter! I have to say that I am really getting IN to this now! I mean, like, at the beginning... *goes back to check first chapter and gets embarrassed when seeing old review and wishing you could travel back in time to actually REDO that review again, XD*Okay, so in the first chapter we get some HINTS of the magic (Just imagine whatever I'm capitalizing is italiced, [of course I can't spell that at all]) and now we're really getting INTO the magic stuff! Woo-hoo! Okay, so now let's get to the actual review and not listen to me make so many random side comments........

Mireya nodded. “So, they said we had to ‘burn’ through it. That could be literal and require Flare, or we try to deactivate it using Acid.”

“It’s probably going to take Acid,” Cyrin mused. “That will use up a fair bit of what I have, though, so I’ll try Flare first. It won’t make a difference.”

Mireya inched away as he flipped the MagicBox open again and separated a tiny cluster of magic from the wound-up ball. Flare was not only the least wasteful of the nine magic types, but it was also the easiest to use, which meant Cyrin could create a spell one-handed even when that hand was getting numb. It floated above his palm as he spun it around, rearranging the tiny glowing strands until he could snap his fingers and it turned into a fireball that warmed his hand. They moved it over to the shield, but the fireball only sputtered weakly against it, giving off sparks instead of burning the magic.

So here, I am loving the magicbox thing, like you need to trademark that or something, just saying. The Acid part (pointers on the capital A) is interesting.... I'm imagining literal acid and I think that's it but it's magical now... ohh!
[quote“Come on, you’re from Storm City too. You know it gets cold here.”

“The bottom of an ice pit that has never been subject to seasonal change is not the same as surface of a city where every room has a fireplace, Cyrin.”

Cyrin shrugged. “Fireplaces don’t stop blizzards.”

She did have a point, though, and the cold hit them even harder when they had to pull off their other glove to cast a harder spell. After considering, he removed somewhere between a third and a half of the magic he had left from his supply. He could see Mireya raise her eyebrows at the amount, but she didn’t say anything. It was going to take some work to get through this.[/quote]
Storm City? So there are magical places too? Now I really want to know more about whatever this storm place is..... although the fireplace part is so true. So, like, I know that all the magic here is finite, but why not just do a quick warming-up spell? Coldness problem solved. Just like that. *snaps fingers in front of screen to prove point*
[quote“Oh,” she breathed, her voice surprised.

“What is it?”

“You know what, don’t worry about it. Just wait until you get through.”

Cyrin frowned, but he had to turn his attention back to the hole in the shield. It continued expanding, but it was slowing substantially, and they knew it would start closing soon. They waited until it seemed like it wouldn’t get any larger before they slipped through, ducking and stepping through it one leg at a time. It wasn’t actually that tight a fit, which was good news for their exit. Cyrin stood up on the other side, just as the hissing of Acid on magic faded and the gap rapidly closed itself back up.

“So, what was it?” Cyrin asked, looking around before he saw it himself and blinked in surprise. “Oh. I see.”

Mireya was standing over a skeleton.

“I guess we aren’t the only ones to try and come down here,” she said as Cyrin stepped closer, frowning and leaning over the remains.

“They must have barely gotten through the shield on their way out before… getting caught and falling backwards.” He shook his head. “Who knows how old this is.”

“It’s just bones,” Mireya said slowly. “But this place is a freezer, and there’s nothing here that could decompose it. No insects, no fungi, nothing. So…”[/quote]
TALK ABOUT A DARK TURN!!!!!! Ohhhhhhh *hums dramatic music in background*
Cyrin cleared their throat. “The Banes have teeth, don’t they?”

Mireya glanced up sharply, and they both shared a look full of disgust and horror at the idea.

“Well, I think the desire to not end up that way is enough to make me get out of here,” she said briskly, moving on to the room further in. “Don’t you agree? Oh, wow— look at this place.”

good question..... dun dun dunnnnnnn! I also kind of hope that these characters make it out alive......
that's all! I am sooooooo continuing this and am so impressed! This was good! (Also, if you are looking for anything to review, you could do my work.)
-Foxmaster!!!




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Sun Dec 18, 2022 3:15 am
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Snoink wrote a review...



HI. It's me again. Your favorite incoherent reviewer, here for another incoherent review! *waves*

Every so often, another Bane or two would drift out of the walls, but it would leave them be after a few moments of watching them silently.


WAIT. THERE IS MORE THAN ONE BANE???

I don't like this...

“It’s probably going to take Acid,” Cyrin mused. “That will use up a fair bit of what I have, though, so I’ll try Flare first. It won’t make a difference.”


OH.

OH NO.

Magic is a finite resource??? I don't like this at all...

“The bottom of an ice pit that has never been subject to seasonal change is not the same as surface of a city where every room has a fireplace, Cyrin.”


I feel like this sentence is either awkward, missing a word, or maybe I am reading it wrong, but I can't figure out which one it is. Maybe read it again aloud and seeing whether something is legitimately wrong? I might just be sick... sorry...

After considering, he removed somewhere between a third and a half of the magic he had left from his supply.


OH NO. A HALF??? This is not going to end well, is it???

“Big enough for both of us,” Cyrin said, biting his lip. The spell was still doing its work, but he could tell it was already weakening.


OH GREAT. The hole is going to close and they're going to be stuck there forever. AHHHHH.

“Or maybe he wants someone to propose to him,” Mireya said with a shrug. “I’m not really interested in his plans. I bet there’s a lot of artifacts here that are way cooler, and I can’t wait to see them all, so I’d love to start searching. There’s so much to go through.”


Wait... how much are they actually going to realistically going to sort through? Like, they can probably get to more than just what their client wants, but also since they are professionals, I would expect that they would be able to kind of look around and grab what they think is the best. Or something like that...

ANYWAY... this is the end of chapter 1? I don't feel like it is... they haven't done much yet, lol. BUT I AM GETTING SOME BAD VIBES...

WILL THEY HAVE ENOUGH MAGIC???

WILL THEY FIND THIS RING?????

WILL THIS INNOCUOUS RING REALLY BE THAT INNOCUOUS?????

I know none of the answers, but I am going to guess that 1) who needs magic because IMPROVISATION IS THE WORK OF GENIUS, 2) Yes, BUT THE RING WILL CAUSE THEM PROBLEMS, because 3) THE RING IS GOING TO BE MAJORLY PROBLEMATIC.

AHHHHHHHHH.

Okay. I am definitely interested though...




SilverNight says...


Thank you! Fear not, this is coherent enough XD



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Mon Dec 05, 2022 11:58 pm
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Shady wrote a review...



Shady, sliding back in to review the second chapter part after ghosting for three months? It's more likely than you'd think ;)

I went back and skimmed through part one to give myself a refresher, and hopefully a bit of a running start, so let's jump right on in and see if my plague brain has anything helpful to say ^^

“You know what, don’t worry about it. Just wait until you get through.”


>.> I already don't trust her enough to be wary by this answer xD WHAT IS IT MIREYA?

~

Okay! I apparently don't have any line-by-line critiques for you xD So let's take it general instead~

1) I think you could benefit by having a bit more description of your magic system here. I know it's a fine balance to strike between over-explaining and "telling" us everything rather than showing us, but I honestly don't really understand all this with Acid and Flare, etc. etc. it's clearly a unique magic system you've dreamt up and seems really cool! But also not something standard that all readers should know by now, so it could benefit from a bit more elaboration so we understand what's going on.

2) I would still like more physical descriptors of your characters so I have some way to envision them, which I currently do not.

Overall, though, great chapter part! It was engaging and I tore through it in no time. If my adhd cooperates, I'm off to the next chapter now and excited to see what's next :')

~Shady




SilverNight says...


SHADYYYYYY THANK YOU AND WELCOME BACK <3



Shady says...


<333



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Tue Sep 20, 2022 12:09 am
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AceassinOfTheMoon wrote a review...



oh hi, it's me again~

magic time magic time magic time!! I love reading about magic systems and finding out how that all works and you're doing a fairly good job of showing how things work! I would like less of Cyrin and Mireya explaining it to each other and more letting the readers pick up on things naturally though >.>

I'd like less of Cyrin and Mireya explaining things to each other in general, honestly? Like, talking about the ring. They should both know what they're looking for and what it's about. That's the problem with not showing the heist planning beforehand; you don't have a really good opportunity to explain the details.

You could definitely rewrite the whole conversation about the ring and instead of having them explain the ring's magic to each other, just poke fun at each other and their employer- kinda like they already do, but without the flat exposition beforehand? I don't know how else to put it or really how you'd do that, but the vibes of the conversation are off and I know you can do better >.>

Still loving this, though! I'll be back to keep reviewing this as you post more parts :)




SilverNight says...


Ah, explanation, my fatal flaw XD

Thanks for pointing that out! This is something people agree on, so I will definitely try to work on it <3



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Mon Sep 19, 2022 1:35 am
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Plume says...



Hey there! Finally got around to continuing to read~

I love how you've continued the story—the chilling descriptions of the surroundings were nicely offset by the warm banter between Cyrin and Mireya. I also adore your magic system in this, or what we've seen of it so far! It seems super original and I can't wait to learn more about how it works. You also did a very nice job of weaving it in to the story in a way that didn't feel too info-dumpy or confusing. Here's to hoping Cyrin and Mireya make it out safely and with the Glory Ring. Very much looking forward to reading more, and best of luck with LMS!!




SilverNight says...


Thank you Plume!! <3



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Mon Sep 12, 2022 7:48 am
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Omni wrote a review...



Silv <3 here to review the second part of your first week, excited!! :D

Every so often, another Bane or two would drift out of the walls, but it would leave them be after a few moments of watching them silently. He wasn’t feeling eager about confronting them later, and he could tell Mireya wasn’t either.


Interesting, so is there a way they could deal with those Banes before said Banes attacking them while trying to leave? Also, are these Banes like NPC guards in those stealth games that are pretty easy to avoid if you don't have a direct line of sight with them or will they magically be able to tell Cyrin and Mireya are escaping?

Also, noticed that Shady mentioned not knowing how Cyrin and Mireya looks last chapter, so I'll just note that I didn't really notice it? but it's important, fo sho, I was more focused on their dialogue back and forth. Descriptions are something that escape me too, and I've noticed it's something that's lacking in LMS. When writing like this, descriptions kinda escape people sometimes, so it's a good reminder when reviewers point it out.

The door was a cutout in the ice wall, filled by a rippling, opaque barrier of magic.


Speeeeeeaking of descriptions, would love to see more here. What color is this magic? Any other descriptors, what senses are being used here? When in doubt regarding descriptions, I fall back on using other senses.

“It’s mostly Force,” he said. “There’s a tiny bit of Tremor in there too, although I’m not sure what its purpose in the spell is. It doesn’t seem to be enough to be threatening, at least.”


YEET MAGIC NAMES LESSGO

“I better start recording for our client,” he breathed, unlocking his wrist communicator and setting it up to take a video.


This is something that I've noticed a few times now in these first two chapters and it's that your characters are often announcing what they're thinking or going on in a direct manner either to themselves, to each other, or to no one in particular. I personally would like to see less of this in the future, as it gives less for me to figure out as a writer. Kinda like showing (or not showing) versus telling. The dialogue, while quippy, has been pretty upfront in telling the reader what we should know. If you go back and read through this chapter especially, there's quite a lot of it, and it just makes it harder to engage for me.

--

So I am in love with the names you have for the magic already! It makes it easy to understand and concrete, and it makes me feel that this magic is going to have a lot of rules, or be strict in its rules.

As a final note before I end this review and something I think will help you out in your future writing: I love the quippy dialogue. I think dialogue is one of the main staples of good writing, and something you can fall back on if you're not as proficient with the others (action and stream of consciousness are the other two in my opinion, probably are others but I can't think of them at the moment XD) and I do like the dialogue in here! However, right now, I cannot tell a difference between Cyrin and Mireya. Let's say I get rid of all the dialogue descriptions and just leave the dialogue itself, I wouldn't be able to tell who's saying what. So, for future, I'd love to see more separating their speaking mannerisms and how they quip with each other. It might feel stereotypical at first, but I think a measure of one-note in the beginning is needed to differentiate characters until the story progresses more.

Anyways! Good luck with week 2! Super excited to read moreeeeeeee




SilverNight says...


Hey again Omni! c: Thank you for the feedback ^^

Might as well answer these questions like it's trivia, since this seemed like a matter of curiosity:

Interesting, so is there a way they could deal with those Banes before said Banes attacking them while trying to leave? Also, are these Banes like NPC guards in those stealth games that are pretty easy to avoid if you don't have a direct line of sight with them or will they magically be able to tell Cyrin and Mireya are escaping?


For the first one, they certainly could just go up to one and fight it even before they leave, but that would cause all the others to go on the attack as well. (The reason why they attack people leaving will show up next time we see these two, but it has to do with hostility.) Second, the Banes are themselves magic, so they can tell without having to see that they're leaving or where they are.

Good luck in the competition! Thanks again <3



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BrumalHunter wrote a review...



Oh, I'm first here? That's actually a little disappointing. Come on, people, two consecutive chapters! These are easy points! *shakes head*

Anyway, salutations! No need for formalities.



Another few minutes of walking the circumference led them to the shield door they’d been informed of. Cyrin was fairly sure the inside had to be sizable if they’d only gone part of the way around it.

The first sentence makes total sense! The second one… not as much. Does he mean the shield door? The circumference? The hall on the other side? What?

He wasn’t feeling eager about confronting them later, and he could tell Mireya wasn’t either.

This sentence feels a bit passive. You could strengthen it more by trimming some of the fluff and saying, "He wasn't eager to confront them later." I highlight this here because if it's an issue once, it'll probably feature elsewhere too. I shan't point out each instance, but keep in mind that using fewer words makes your writing impactful more often than not.

Cyrin concentrated, frowning thoughtfully. He could sense two types of magic in the shield, but he didn’t even need to be a Minor Mage to tell what they were. The barrier seemed to be repelling his hand like a magnet, and it only pushed away harder when he tried to get closer. He also noticed a slight vibration in the air and the ground right by his feet, like there was a very tiny earthquake happening in the magic.

To illustrate the above point, I'll trim this quote down. It's just an example, but you'll (hopefully) see what I mean. I'll also include Cyrin holding up their hand, as it fits better here than in Mireya's dialogue tag.

"Cyrin held up his hand and frowned thoughtfully. The shield contained two types of magic: The first repelled his hand like a magnet, pushing away harder the more he pushed closer. The second caused a slight trembling in the air and at the ground right by his feet. He could identify them even without being a Minor Mage."

And then Cyrin would inform Mireya using the proper names, since you rightly don't want to repeat information that the reader knows.

Mireya nodded. “So, they said we had to ‘burn’ through it. That could be literal and require Flare, or we try to deactivate it using Acid.”

“It’s probably going to take Acid,” Cyrin mused. “That will use up a fair bit of what I have, though, so I’ll try Flare first. It won’t make a difference.”

Remember what I said about AYKBisms! You're explaining this to the reader, but they wouldn't have to explain it to each other, so they'd do it much more concisely, leaving out the parts they obviously don't need to repeat. Maybe something like:

"They said we had to 'burn' through it. Flare?"
"Unless we just need to deactivate it, which means it's probably going to need Acid instead."

After Cyrin's response there, you can keep the rest as it is. Consider how people speak in fragments of sentences if they're all clued in on the subject. Don't be afraid of keeping the reader slightly in the dark, since that creates a sense of mystery and intrigue. Take your time to explain things! If readers are curious, you'll have ample time.

“Come on, you’re from Storm City too. You know it gets cold here.”

“The bottom of an ice pit that has never been subject to seasonal change is not the same as surface of a city where every room has a fireplace, Cyrin.”

Cyrin shrugged. “Fireplaces don’t stop blizzards.”

Hmm. This is clumsy. You can do better.

“So, what was it?” Cyrin asked, looking around before he saw it himself and blinked in surprise. “Oh. I see.”

Yeah, I think it's better if he just sees the skeleton as he steps through. Later, you have Cyrin acknowledge it as surprising that he'd notice a skeleton over the vault filled with magic items, but I'm afraid the lampshading there doesn't cut it. You say here that he looks around, which means he would see rows upon rows filled with artefacts. You obviously did this to focus on the skeleton first and then showcase the rest of the place, but I don't think that order is logical. You should consider reworking the scene, since Cyrin can look around and be awestruck, with Mireya trying to get his attention and point to the skeleton. That would be more realistic.

“Well, I think the desire to not end up that way is enough to make me get out of here,”

What happened to not talking about leaving in front of the banes? (I decapitalised it because it's not really a proper name, unlike Bane of Trespassers, for example.)

“Well, I think the desire to not end up that way is enough to make me get out of here,” she said briskly, moving on to the room further in. “Don’t you agree? Oh, wow— look at this place.”

Getting back to what I just said about the skeleton versus the place, there's no way she'd have to walk a few steps into the presumably open space before reacting. Maybe you're going for the same effect as the scene in National Treasure (I don't know if you've seen it, but I highly recommend it!) when the protagonists discover the titular treasure and it has the dramatic reveal, but that's because the hidden vault was, you know, hidden, meaning there would be no light source. Only once they saw an oil trail and ignited it did the entire vault light up and reveal the full extent of the treasure. You have magical Flares all over the place here, so that effect is gone.

“What magic does it have again?” Cyrin asked.

Sorry, but I don't buy this. Cyrin seems like the more knowledgeable of the two when it comes to magic, so it seems highly unlikely that he'd need Mireya to remind him what magic type it has. Also, the section between this quote and my previous one has lots of AYKBisms in it, so you really should work on introducing your background more organically.

“Don’t go getting a crush on anyone who’s been dead for seven hundred years.”

Mireya winced. “Well, I try not to.”

Huh. That's pretty telling! See, I like that, since it implies she's done it before (or something similar, at least), which gives her depth without needing to recount the entire context to the reader. More of that! :D



I'm glad that didn't take me as long. XD

Again, a solid chapter! I totally see why you wanted to write both chapters in one go. I'm curious to see what the Glory Ring does, and I'm also hoping we'll see some flashier magic used against the banes. Since you've limited the magic (as you should!), that's more likely to create opportunities to use it creatively, which I also look forward to seeing!

Since this started with a heist, it could either turn into the kind of story where heists are the main thing, or something could go wrong and the characters are set up. I'm personally hoping it won't be the latter, since we see that all the time and it actually makes more sense for such specialised criminals to have proper job security so other employers can use them again in the future (otherwise the criminals will just learn to never work for anyone but themselves). But if it does turn out that way, I'm sure you'll be able to write a decent story nevertheless.

Good luck with your participation in LMS! May we battle it out for months still to come. >:)

~Hunter




SilverNight says...


Wow, these are some great critiques! If I were to rewrite the second half right now, I'd use a lot of this (and now I'm going to have to wait for forty weeks/until I fall out, should it happen before then due to terrible tragedy, but I will definitely go back to this review when it's time for editing). Thank you for the honesty and helpfulness, and best of luck to you in this competition! >:)



BrumalHunter says...


You're welcome! Along with being thorough, I figure being honest helps people improve more than just always complimenting them. Measured praise is necessary too, but compliments will feel more earned after we've grown and improved. ^_^

And hey, if my reviews are useful, it means I've spent my time well. That's also always good to hear! XD




The wince that you wince when you see your quote in the quote generator is quite a wince, I tell ya. To know that the whole YWS community has read and judged your quote is quite an awkward feeling like oh noes. *manly blush*
— Arcticus