The Legendary Zhuge Liang VI
It is Cao Cao defeated, not defeat. Owes it, not owns it. It is set fire to, not put on fire,
The only part I cannot accept about the battle scenes is the utter rout of the enemy. Historically it has happened, but the times it happens it is such a rarity that the names are part of modern memory, Gideon's Band, Marathon, Plataea and Lepanto. Most of the time it would be about two or three hundred thousand in this number escaping via desertion without a strong cavalry force to keep up the skeer as Forrest would say. Not to mention an unbroken shield wall would not simply fall over dead. They might be pinned down unable to move, but they wouldn't be slaughtered. So you have about 300,000 captured, and unless they now join your army or you kill them after they surrender, you have to detail enough guards to watch over them. But an army of only 50,000 doesn't have enough to guard them and at the same time launch a massive offensive.
As for the escape of the enemy commander, that I can accept because they are as well known for their blood feuds as the Irish and Scots are.
Six plus Months Post TSL: Still trapped as a slave, Mira learns more about the littlest of her companions.
Remember to sight edit. There were a couple of places that needed polishing.
After reading the sequel to his last week, I promised to go back and review this one.
The piece flows pretty well, but there are unanswered questions, one of which was asked in the story itself, was the Jedi she saw briefly her father. The other ones are more germane to the narrative.
First, how did the Jedi know the attack was coming, and why didn't he do more to warn Telos? It has been described in the first game as a sneak attack. Yet you are not going to evacuate people unless there is a recognized threat.
Second, having one of the Hutt merely decide to snatch people off the street to enslave them doesn't make a lot of sense. It happens occasionally today, but that is in a world where chattel slavery is very uncommon, while the Hutt seem to keep it going even against the laws of the Republic. There are people enslaved today, but the 'owners' aren't showing off their prizes except to others of their ilk. They are more like what they call in the world of art theft, 'gloaters'; people who pay for stolen works of art just so they can look at it, and never show it to anyone else.
It was curious that the Zeltron woman was merely sent off to be hung, yet Shayla was executed in front of the others. I know more that I would really like to know about not only torture, but about executions as well, and both should have been killed in front of the others merely, as the french would say, 'pour encourager les autres', where they would take every tenth man in a unit that refused an order or broke during a battle, and execute them in front of the others.
The one torture scene you did have was lackluster. You don't just have a couple of guards slice her up, even if it is just to show the daughter what can happen to her. A slave is, to an owner, a valuable piece of property, and when the Inquisition used the Auto-da-fé, it was done by people who were trained in torture. It is too easy unfortunately, for an untrained person to merely kill the victim, rather than to make the torment last.
KOTOR The Power of Choice
Sith Lord Darth Revan
Beginning Pre KOTOR AU: What if Revan remembered everything?
One minor note, having different type faces for the different modes of speaking makes sense, and is used by a number of authors. Yet you do not need to separate the words from the speaker. You have a tendency to make the statement, then begin a new paragraph where you have the person. It might merely be the system, since I have posted sections of my own work where it suddenly creates a paragraph break for no reason.
The piece is harsh and graphic, but except for one point (Revan taking a stance) very well done. The negative about the stance is merely that except for game references, you never see them. The best way to understand what I mean is to find the original movie pilot of the TV show Kung Fu. In one section of scenes, the master is explaining to the young Kane the different styles, and as he is, a teacher is showing them off by taking on students. Watching the scene, you understand how they are different, something the Games never actually showed.
A friend I had at the Renaissance Faire joked about the movie the Princess Bride where Inigo and the masked man were fighting, and name dropping at the same time. The names used were actual fencing schools of the 16th century, but unless you happened to go to the schools in real life, you would not understand the different style
Post TSL: Something you do for others, rather than yourself
The author has English as a second language by admission. However I saw only one flaw in the entire work, and that was merely background.
We know from the Exile's reminiscences that his companions died, but there is nothing beyond that. No mention of any survivors, or how. Just 'they died'.
I liked the attitude that the world was playing a joke on him; his old commander will be his commander again, missing falling to the dark only because of a major loss, and finally learning why you smile.
StarWars Remnants of the Old Republic: Bloodline
New Republic Era: A young student joins the Academy
The piece comes across as a bit hesitant. I only had time to read the first chapter, but your character comes across as a bit too good considering the situation.
Every Jedi would know that the Force is strong in family lines, and that would include both Palpatine and Vader. It is highly unlikely a child of such a line would not have been investigated, and dealt with. He should have been checked out even as a baby. Considering the premise behind TFU, he would have been suborned or killed.
Note that Jaden's primary reason for being asked to join the Jedi originally was that he had made his own lightsaber, which shouldn't have been possible. Having a new student capable of reading his own master's mind is right up there in the unlikely category, and if I were Luke Skywalker, I would have decided to teach the boy myself instead.
An Exile's Tale
For Love of Sunflowers
Post TSL and into the future: The Exile's career continues four millennia later
Remember to sight edit. The piece needs serious sight editing. There are a number of cumbersome sentences that slow a reader down.
The biggest problem is because of the cumbersome sentences and a tendency to ramble, the piece doesn't read well. The best way to explain it is to picture a river. It goes from here to there, just like a story, and the idea is that the reader should merely go with the flow. Cumbersome sentences and scenes are like sand bars that catch the reader and stop their progress. If the action hangs up for too long, you end up trapped unable to go further.
It was interesting that Manda'lor would use something so common for a marriage proposal. In my mind, I can see him coming to her, and saying, “I claim you. Do you disagree?” Instead.
The byplay is a lot of fun; Bastila blowing Revan through the door of Dex's diner, Revan commenting it's a 'monthly' thing, then Scorch worrying about hormonal women
Post TSL: The thing she hates is saying goodbye
The piece is nicely done, the emotional overtones underscored by Atton hiding out so he can play Pazaak in peace well portrayed. Better yet, her admitting she loves him, but mainly to convince him to stay where it's safe.
I would have dinged the prosthesis except for Atton still having problems with it and an indeterminate time on planet. It isn't something that can just be cobbled together out of spare parts after all.
Darth Revan: The Begining of the End Book One
J R. Jenkins
Pre TSL: The exile begins
The first problem I had with this was the term revanchist. The ideal of it is what drove France into attacking Germany at the start of WWI, and the same attitudes later caused the German People to back Hitler's snapping up all of the lands stolen by the Treaty of Versailles.
But if you applied it to the US in either war, it would have fallen apart. We did not get into either war because we wanted revenge (What the term means) for past losses, though Remember Pearl Harbor is by definition a revanchist term. So the Jedi that went to war were not by definition revanchists.
Second was the comment that only four Jedi went. Having one person literally throw an entire campaign to the underdogs is so rare that there is only one person who can make such a claim. That would be Joan of Arc. Four men in a space measured in hundreds if not thousands of cubic light years, and armies in the millions would as the old sarcastic term, be like trying to stiffen a bucket of gelatin with as many buckshot.
Third, unless you are going to keep someone imprisoned, there is no way you can enforce the 'wander forever' bit. As an example is the old story 'The Man Without a Country', the prisoner was moved from ship to ship for almost sixty years. What you have done with the mark they put on him is just a retelling of the story of Cain, with the mark telling those who see it he's condemned by god, but you are not allowed to kill him.
Back during the dark Ages, they did have a similar punishment, however removing her force powers is an extension of that.
Bazylia de Grean
TSL on Dantooine: Vrook prepares for his last stand
The piece was written by a Pole, and I am not saying that to excuse anything. The one or two mistakes I did see (Improper words usage) were overridden by the command of the story itself.
We see Vrook here looking back with regret. That his relationship with Kreia ended badly, that his stand here is because he knows how much support Adare needs. We get the view of a man who is going to do his duty, no matter the cost.
Pick of the Week
Let Me Go
End of TFU, and to Endor: Only now does he come to ask her
As I have mentioned before, I do not have enough memory on my computer to run TFU, and because of that I only know the story of it from what I have read when fan authors have done them.
The one thing that has bothered me reading them is simple. Why brute force against brute force? When Mace Windu dealt with the emperor before Anakin's betrayal, he used his light saber to drain the attack which caused Palpatine's later disfigurement. Yet when we have Vader and Galen fighting, why not go for something more subtle? He has three prosthetic limbs, and a respirator (More because his lungs aren't working to full efficiency, and needs a higher partial pressure) so why not just cause one of the limbs or the respirator to shut down?
No one for some reason has tried that.
The piece is good because you're getting a lot of Galen's inner thoughts. Should he kill Vader at the Emperor's command? Should he save the Rebel leaders? Then when he defeats the Emperor, should he kill him?
I just wondered why he waited seven years to come and ask her to let him go. It should not have had a lot of effect on how Juno worked for the Rebels, and knowing he is watching over her would have given her some comfort.
KOTOR: Trails of Deceit
KOTOR on Coruscant: Some padawan are sent to shadow the Ebon Hawk
The piece needs sight editing to repair some minor flaws, then polishing. Other than that not too bad. One thing, Vandar does not speak like Yoda.
Now, my question is the same the main character voiced. Why would they trust four untried padawan more than they trust Bastila? And considering the caliber of people they are following, how do they think they can succeed? You have two serious force users (At the moment, Bastila and the newly reminted Revan) and two officers who are trained for combat, meaning they are going to be watching for something like a shadow.
Unless you know where they are going (Which you wouldn't, Revan has all those clues in memory, but they come out as it progresses) you can't very well follow far enough back to be unnoticed. The biggest problem in modern day surveillance is how easy it is to spot a tail; without using satellite surveillance, or a high flying drone, you have to be close enough to see using whatever sensors your ship possesses. This means they can also see you if you make a mistake.
What this means is for example using the path my Revan took 'Go to Yavin, as you leave, you see a ship coming in. Go now to Kashyyyk, As you leave you see the same ship lifting off as if to follow'.
A Journal of Exile
Pre TSL: Looking into the Exile's mind, step by step
The piece was well done, the 'pissing and moaning' as she called it nicely private. Her own realization that people cling to her counter pointing the comment later in the game by Vrook.
Considering the way she ended up in the orphanage, I wonder why the Jedi even chose her to raise. Her own 'relationships lead to the Dark Side was amusingly counter pointed it with her brief sexual relationship with Revan.
The only negative I had here was again Revan is jumping the gun on eliminating his Jedi. The battle might crush the Mandalorian fleet, but will it guarantee victory? I am reminded that Palpatine had a peace overture in his hands already when he gave Order 66, and only then did he give it. Once the Jedi on Coruscant was dead, he sent Anakin to slaughter the leaders, and could claim victory.
Only had time for the first chapter, and that's a pity. This one is worth reading all the way through.
Pick of the Week
Dream of a Lifetime: A KOTOR Parody
Kawe N' Wessie
KOTOR Aboard Endar Spire: May the zaniness begin!
I was only a few lines into this when I began to chuckle. Part of it reminded me of a story I reviewed years ago (Also silly) where the main character convinces Carth to run around the ship, watch a movie, play a few games of Pazaak, all because as we know from playing it, the ship doesn't explode until you have escaped.
From the first moment, you have everything silly you might imagine. One girl stumbling around because she hasn't had her morning coffee, another waking up at the words 'I have chocolate', and automatically devastated when there isn't any. Trask singing the worst song imaginable... On that note, I hope I get a comment on this review. The song My Trask would have used would have been 'Tomorrow' from Annie...
Best of the Week