Reading Reviews for The Pyre
5 Reviews Found

Review #1, by GinnyLilyana The Inferno

2nd February 2010:
Oh wow... so different from what I usually read on here... but it's very well written. It took me captive when I saw that no, there were no Harry Potter characters...


Author's Response: Hello GinnyLilyana,
Thank you so much for your support ^_^ We're excited that you are willing to step out of your comfort zone for us! It will tie back into the HP Universe, eventually ^_^ we appreciate your enthusiasm!

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Review #2, by Aliana The Inferno

8th November 2009:
I've finally gotten a chance to read this story and from this chapter it looks like it will be fairly interesting.
Is it common for people to find creatures like the three-headed snake Eleri ran into in the beginning because she didn't seem the least bit surprised to see it? I'm assuming it was a magical creature and if it is common or at the very least sparsely known among the people of this time that magical creatures exist would there be more leniency towards people who are believed to be witches?
Also, is Eleri a maid of sorts? I gathered that her mother works for the duke and as a result she does as well.
I'm willing to bet Eleri's judgment of the duke's son is far from the truth and that there will be further interaction between the two later on.
Excellent chapter, both of you! Please update soon!

Author's Response: Hello Aliana!
We are so thrilled that you enjoyed the chapter! You raise a lovely point concerning the snake; you are quite a perceptive reader! We cannot answer your question now because it will be important in a later chapter. ^_^

Eleri's mother does work in the Duke's kitchen, but Eleri is not a servant or slave. She lives on the Duke's manor by birth and her mother is her taskmaster. She spends most of her time in the stables, working under the tutelage of Gareth.

We adore your predictions! Thank you so much for reading and have a very merry Christmas!

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Review #3, by lucy The Inferno

15th October 2009:
i'm excited to have found a story that doesn't deal with any of the usual characters and is written well! Thanks for the good read!

Author's Response: Hello Lucy-
We are thrilled to hear that you enjoyed this chapter ^_^. We hope you continue to enjoy the variation! Thank you for such a lovely review!

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Review #4, by cazvalleygirl The Inferno

8th September 2009:
WOW! Sarah, Celtic, Well done!

As a born and bred Welsh girl let me just say you did a brilliant job! You didn't scrape on any details and I love that you used the welsh language.

'Mam' or as I call mine 'Mammy' lol was the first indication that this story was going to be authentic and after visiting Sarah's website I had a real feel for the castle.

I love the story and so hope that you continue, I already love Eleri she seems like a fantastic character, and I have a feeling Cadfael with capture her interest? No, not going to tell me? Ok lol.

I love that you chose Gareth as a name seeing as my bf is called Gareth lol. The only thing I'd say about his character is he comes across as a bit Scottish, if that makes sense, still it doesn't matter, its all brilliant!!!

Love Bran he is a darling lol.

Well done ladies, a massive 10/10 :D x

Author's Response: Hello Caz-
We are so very glad you are enjoying! We hope to stay true to the Welsh language and we are thrilled that you find it authentic. It's lovely to have a reader taking full advantage of the story's resources!

Eleri is certainly quite a character and we are pleased that you like her. We'll have to see about Cadfael, won't we? ^_^ We love Bran and Gareth, too.

Thank you for reading!

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Review #5, by RonsGirlFriday The Inferno

7th September 2009:
Hi, Ahna and Sarah!

I'm glad to finally get a chance to read this, particularly since it's about witchcraft and witch burnings in Early Modern Europe, which obviously played an important part in the HP-verse history as well as real world history.

The writing is excellent and well-suited to the time period. I noticed a couple of grammatical things:

my mother and I's room -- I'm fairly certain this should be my mother and my room, since if you were to take mother out of the ownership, it would be my room, rather than I's room.

Similar thing with the baby bird and I, which I believe should be the baby bird and me, for reasons similar to what I said above (since the baby bird and Eleri are the objects, rather than the subjects, of the sentence). ^_^ I'm about 98% sure, anyway.

I like Eleri, and I think you've done a good job of introducing her character. I'll tell you what my impression of her is, since I know it's helpful to learn whether your readers are seeing her as you intend them to see her. From what I've read in this chapter, Eleri seems to be very kind and nurturing; innocent, though not naive or unaware; and somewhat free-spirited, though also grounded and pragmatic (that's what I gathered anyway, from the fact that she used to imagine escaping, but now has a more realistic view about it).

This was a bit of a slow start, although there's nothing wrong with that, and I do appreciate a slow, easy start just as much as a fast-paced first chapter. I like the fact that you took time to set the scene and introduce us to Eleri by illustrating her relationships with others (her mom, Bran, Gareth...) However, for as much exposition as there was here, I was left with a couple of uncertainties and unanswered questions -- chiefly, what specific position does Eleri's mother hold within the castle (where does she fall in the rank of servants), and how has she managed to keep Eleri a secret from the Duke for almost two decades? It seemed to me that he doesn't even know Eleri exists, but I would imagine that words travels and the walls have ears. Eleri seems to run around the grounds quite freely, even just for the purpose of doing chores for her mother. I was also left wondering whether anyone else knows Eleri's secret, especially if she has any kind of interaction with other servants.

I also felt that there was a rapid change in tone the moment she saw the pyre in the distance. Up until that point, you seemed to be cruising in second gear throughout the duration of the chapter, and then as soon as you got to the pyre, you rammed it up into fifth gear. That was how it seemed to me, anyway, because when I reached that part, the chapter took on a kind of urgency that I hadn't felt earlier on.

It's totally fine if that's how you intended it, although I did feel as though Eleri's powers were treated almost with nonchalance in the earlier parts of the chapter, considering how much gravity the pyre brought to the situation. You do mention, in the earlier parts, how bad it would be if the Duke ever found her, but those bits almost seemed to have been slipped in there as afterthoughts. In the paragraph that begins, I used to imagine that I could escape, the last sentence about the Duke finding out didn't really seem to fit the rest of the paragraph, which seemed to be about Eleri's distaste for the drudgery of everyday life.

I was torn between thinking that, since Eleri has had these powers and lived this way for a long time, it makes sense that it's just become a part of everyday life, something she's accustomed to; and thinking on the other hand that, if there have been four witch burnings in a month and they've had such an effect on her psychological and emotional state, she should appear much more anxious throughout. I just had a hard time squaring the way her situation is discussed early on, with what we find out at the end of the chapter.

I was left not knowing entirely what to expect from the next chapter, since you wrote this chapter in such a way that it could go in several directions -- that's not a negative, though, just an observation! I was curious about how you classified the genre, though, because right now it's categorized as Drama and Romance, but there are several things that make it seem like it will be Horror/Dark as well (the title, summary, chapter title, the end of this chapter...) Overall, I was left wondering what significance the witch burnings will have in this story -- whether they will simply be a backdrop, or whether they will affect Eleri more directly.

Obviously, take a lot of this with a grain of salt, because if it's your intention to leave some of these things open-ended at this point, then you're accomplishing what you set out to do, and that's what important. And I only bring these things up because I know it's nice to have an indication of where your readers are, so that you can make sure the story is exactly where you want it. ^_^

Dear mother of mercy, I just looked at how long this review is. o.O I should let you know that I think your writing is wonderful, and any story written by the two of you is bound to be PHENOMENAL, so please know that I think this is off to an excellent start. I am favoriting it and intend to keep following it! Absolutely none of it is uninteresting, and I hope that's not how this review sounded!

Really great first chapter (and story idea)! 10/10


Author's Response: Hello Melanie!

Thank you for reading! We are glad that the time period interests you and that you can see how it will relate back to the HP-verse history as well. And thank you very much for pointing out the grammar =).

Your perception of Eleri is very accurate - you are very perceptive. She is very innocent, grounded, and pragmatic: wonderful phrasing.

Eleri's mother is head cook in the Duke's kitchen (the soldiers who live in the barracks within the castle walls have their own kitchen with much poorer food). The duke does not know of Eleri because she is a serf. He may have seen her around once or twice in her life as she went about her duties but he has no idea she is a witch, it is in this manner we mean he has no idea of her existence. A Duke would not be preoccupied with the women who staff his kitchens. Another does know of her powers - but we have yet to reveal who.

Eleri is a very resilient girl, and she is still quite young. She has not personally known a woman who has gone to the pyre as of yet - it does not preoccupy her thoughts very much at this point. It has not affected her directly. All she truly knows is her mother fears it and she knows that she must inherently fear it as well. We have done it this way to allow for growth in her character.

The Pyre does cause a rapid change in tone- you are quite correct ^_^. The sense of urgency is there because of Eleri's precarious position, even if she did not realize how precarious her situation is. She sees the Duke's temperament as almost a tangible aspect of her life: it is no longer shocking to her. If she lived every day in all consuming fear, she would not be able to function. The gravity of her predicament is an afterthought to her but not to her mother. To her, it is a part of her life as solid and unchanging as kitchen drudgery.

We love that you are thinking so thoroughly and analytically about the story ^_^. Thank you so much for such an insightful review! We cannot thank you enough for being so kind and for giving us such a peek inside your perceptions.


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