Posted June 19th, 2014 by rebecca
A Book Review by Rebec
in Rivendell, the only place in Middle Earth that gets Wi-Fi
This is the second cowrite I have reviewed today, and in comparing this one to the other, it gained an extra star. On its own merits, it would only rest at a three, however, it is an excellent example of what cowritten work should be, as both authors agree upon a style and go with it. Were it not for the fact each chapter says who it is written by, I would be unable to distinguish between the two writers. In fact, if I did not know this was a cowrite, I would think it were written by one writer, which shows the pair have succeeded in telling one tale.
The story itself is a child's tale, about a princess in a kingdom, who is to be married against her will, which is rather on the cliche side. She meets a wizard who offers to teach her magic, but he turns out to be evil, with his own designs that are yet to come to fruition. The girl Willow, meanwhile, meets a boy called Rory (who she met once while in disguise), who I would ship with her if I wasn't such a huge fan of Doctor Who...oops, wrong universe, so sorry. Rory and Willow, commoner and princess, become friends, and we can all tell where this is going. Their being friends works - it's a bit early for anything else, a bit sudden and slightly pointless at the moment, I think their relationship could factor in later in the story. On the other hand, where it is introduced, when Rory faces down a siren because of his love for Willow, is powerful in itself and is key to the plot, so I would keep it in. There are other things that happen prior to this, such as the introduction of the mystical and dangerous Twilight Canaries, who could kill them but instead save their lives, the psychic who reads the future, and the realisation that the wizard Wandregisen is evil. There is a griffin attack, as a result of the king's plans with said evil wizard. In itself, it breaks away from the cliche and becomes something more, however, it does have its own problems.
For a start, the setting is confusing. It is a fantasy world, with griffins and magic, but it also has Cafes, bizarre indeed. Also, it makes no sense that a shopkeeper would try and give a dress away for free. She's a businesswoman, it is not how you make money at all. Silly. At times, the tense changes to present by mistake, for instance, in the first chapter, when talking about Adrian. It's also strange that Willow's best friend Glory is mentioned, but barely appears. Another thing is the sentences seem restricted, all of a similar length and many start in the same way, especially in the prologue, where the first three begin with 'Willow draped', 'Willow grabbed' and 'Willow was', which could easily be more varied. It's little things like this that let the story down. It needs editing. Just to get rid of these mistakes.
Personally, I was going to give this three stars, however, I upped it by one because of its advantages over the other cowrite I read. It's not bad, it just has some problems - such as that awful font. I know that is nothing to do with the actual writing, but it made me want to gouge my eyes out with a spoon. I would say it lacked description, but I say that about everything, and on balance, this story mostly works. It needs more context about the world, the bigger picture, where and when the story is set, oh, and what the kingdom looks like. Okay, it needs more description. I always say this, mostly because description is where many writers,
including especially myself fall short. DESCRIPTION. The bane of our lives. This story needs more. Sorry.
For the authors:
Continue working so well together, you're both exceptional, edit to make sure you stick to one tense - past is best for this kind of story - maybe add some of Glory, because she only appears a few times, and has a few lines, for a supposedly best friend, that's not very much, historical context! (have marshmallows been invented? Or is the puppy named for the plant? What about the dog breed? Stuff like that. Oh, and cafes. Seriously, why is there a Cafe in a medieval-esque kingdom?) What is the place and time? What does the area look like? DESCRIPTION. Sorry, I had to say that. Vary your setences, and also the little errors like that thing with the dress that mkes no sense. That's about it. Otherwise, keep writing.
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