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Reviewing Fantasy

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

ditto. fantasy, blah blah blah.

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

"What is it, Helen?" I said. "What are you thinking?" Her head snapped back up alert.
"We've got to move," she screamed. "Get on Fallie! Make her run!"
We all leaped on, and I clutched Fallie's mane.
"Go, Fallie!" I whispered. "GO!" She bolted. I shook, shocked, as the wind whistled in my ears. Trees and boulders flew past as she galloped past the fields.
Every time she touched the ground I felt it. And it hurt. Her spine drove into me, making me gasp. I used my knees and placed them on her withers, then knotted my hands in her mane.
Much better.
She flew, on and on, and then I began to smell something. Like when Elsa got distracted while she made toast, or John or James decided to see how durable a pancake was in the oven.
The result? Combustion.
The smell seared the insides of my nostrils, and the burning scent seemed to ruin the scenic fields. I turned around and almost fell over.
Dozens of bodies, marching onward, with a darkish green tint to their skin, marched in a long line that stretched for a mile.
They wore armor, black and thick, like old iron. Embers of glistening eyes bored into mine, full of so much hatred and disgust I had to look away. The "men" clenched weapons, wicked curved swords and scimitars and halberds and knives, all stained with something dark. I felt nauseated, and chilled. Fallie's breathing became more labored as she pushed on. Helen screamed when she realized how fast the soldiers were coming.

Okay, I know, it's lame, but hey this is not the beginning because the beginning is too long until there's fantasy and then u guys would be like hey that's not fantasy wth and w/e. why isn't anyone posting anything???????????????????

message 3: by Robin (last edited Jan 04, 2009 03:41PM) (new)

Robin (robinsullivan) | 2 comments As the man stepped out of the shadows, Wyatt Deminthal knew this would be the worst, and possibly the last day of his life. Dressed in raw wool and rough leather, the man was vaguely familiar, a face seen briefly by candlelight over two years ago—a face Wyatt hoped he would never see again. The man carried three swords, each one battered and dull, the grips sweat-stained and frayed. Taller than Wyatt by nearly a foot, with broader shoulders and powerful hands, he stood with his weight distributed across the balls of his feet. His eyes locked on Wyatt the way cats stare at mice.

“Baron Dellano DeWitt of Dagastan?” It was not a question, but an accusation.

Wyatt felt his heart shudder. Even after recognizing the face, a part of him—the optimist that managed to somehow survive after all these dreadful years—still hoped it might be just a mugging. But with the sound of those words that hope died.

“Sorry, you must be mistaken,” he replied to the man blocking his path, trying his best to sound friendly, carefree—guiltless. He even tried to mask his Calian accent to further the charade.

“No, I’m not,” the man insisted as he crossed the width of the alley, moving closer, eating up the comforting space between them. His hands remained in full view, which was more worrisome than if they rested on the pommels of his swords. Even though Wyatt wore a fine cutlass, the man had no fear of him.

“Well, as it happens, my name is Wyatt Deminthal. I think therefore, that you must be mistaken.”
Wyatt was pleased he managed to say all this without stammering. With great effort, he concentrated on relaxing his body, letting his shoulders droop, resting his weight on one heel. He even forced a pleasant smile and glanced around casually as an innocent man might.

They faced each other in the narrow, cluttered alley only a few yards from where Wyatt rented a loft. It was dark. A lantern hung a few feet behind him, mounted on the side of the feed store. He could see its flickering glow, the light glistening in puddles the rain left on the cobblestone. Behind him, he could still hear the music of the Gray Mouse Tavern, muffled and tinny. Voices echoed in the distance, laughter, shouts, arguments; the clatter of a dropped pot followed the cry of an unseen cat. Somewhere a carriage rolled along, its wooden wheels clacking on wet stone. It was late. The only people on the streets were drunken men, whores, or those with business best done in the dark.

The man took another step closer. Wyatt did not like the look in his eyes. They held a hard edge, a serious sense of resolve, but it was the hint of regret he detected that jarred Wyatt the most.

“You’re the one who hired me and my friend to steal a sword from Essendon Castle.”

“I’m sorry. I really have no idea what you are talking about. I don’t even know where this Essendon place is. You must have me confused with some other fellow. It’s probably the hat.” Wyatt took off his wide-brimmed cavalier and showed it to the man. “See, it’s a common hat in that anyone can buy one, but uncommon at the same time as few people wear them these days. You most likely saw someone in a similar hat and just assumed it was me. An understandable mistake. No hard feelings I can assure you.”

Wyatt placed his hat back on, tilting it slightly down in front and cocking it a bit to one side. In addition to the hat, he wore an expensive black and red silk doublet and a short flashy cape however, the lack of any velvet trimming, combined with his worn boots, betrayed his station. The single gold ring piercing his left ear revealed even more, it was his one concession; a memento to the life he left behind.

“When we got to the chapel the king was on the floor. Dead.”

“I can see this is not a happy story,” Wyatt said, tugging on the fingers of his fine red gloves—a habit he had when nervous.

“Guards were waiting. They dragged us to the dungeons. We were nearly executed.”

“I am sorry you were ill-used, but as I said, I am not DeWitt. I’ve never heard of him. I will be certain to mention you should our paths ever cross. Who shall I say is looking?”


Behind Wyatt, the feed store light winked out and a voice whispered in his ear, “It’s elvish for two.”

His heartbeat doubled and before he could turn he felt the sharp edge of a blade at his throat. He froze, barely allowing himself to breathe.

“You set us up to die,” the voice behind him took over. “You brokered the deal. You put us in that chapel so we would take the blame. I’m here to repay your kindness. If you have any last words, say them now, and say them quietly.”

Wyatt was a good card player. He knew bluffs and the man behind him was not bluffing. He was not there to scare, pressure, or manipulate him. He was not looking for information; he knew everything he wanted to know. It was in his voice, his tone, his words, the pace of his breath in Wyatt’s ear—he was there to kill him.

“What’s going on, Wyatt?” a small voice called.
Down the alley, a door opened and light spilled forth, outlining a young girl whose shadow ran across the cobblestones and up the far wall. She was thin with shoulder length hair and wore a nightgown that reached to her ankles exposing bare feet.

“Nothing Allie—get back inside!” Wyatt shouted, his accent fully exposed.

“Who are those two men you’re talking to?” Allie took a step toward them. Her foot disturbed a puddle that rippled. “They look angry.”

“I won’t allow witnesses,” the voice behind Wyatt hissed.

“Leave her alone,” Wyatt begged, “she wasn’t involved. I swear. It was just me.”

“Involved in what?” Allie asked. “What’s going on?” She took another step.

“Stay where you are, Allie! Don’t come any closer. Please, Allie, do as I say.” The girl stopped. “I did a bad thing once, Allie. You have to understand. I did it for us, for you, Elden and me. Remember when I took that job a few winters back? When I went up north for a couple of days? I—I did the bad thing then. I pretended to be someone I wasn’t and I almost got some people killed. That’s how I got the money for the winter. Don’t hate me, Allie. I love you, honey. Please just get back inside.”

“No!” she protested. “I can see the knife. They’re going to hurt you.”

“If you don’t they’ll kill us both!” Wyatt shouted harshly, too harshly. He did not want to do it, but he had to make her understand.

Allie was crying now. She stood in the alley, in the shaft of lamplight, shaking.

“Go inside honey,” Wyatt told her, gathering himself and trying to calm his voice. “It will be alright. Don’t cry. Elden will watch over you. Let him know what happened. It will be alright.”

She continued to sob.

“Please honey, you have to go inside now,” Wyatt pleaded. “It’s all you can do. It’s what I need you to do. Please.”

“I—love—you, Da—ddy!”

“I know honey. I know. I love you too, and I’m so sorry.”

Allie slowly stepped back into the doorway, the sliver of light diminishing until the door snapped shut, leaving the alley once more in darkness. Only the faint blue light from the cloud-shrouded moon filtered into the narrow corridor where the three men stood.

“How old is she?” the voice behind him asked.

“Leave her out of this. Just make it quick—can you give me that much?” Wyatt braced himself for what was to come. Seeing the child broke him. He shook violently, his gloved hands in fists, his chest so tight it was difficult to swallow and hard to breathe. He felt the metal edge against his throat and waited for it to move, waited for it to drag.

“Did you know it was a trap when you came to hire us?” The man with three swords asked.


“Would you still have done it if you knew?”

“I don’t know—I guess—yes. We needed the money.”

Avempartha by Michael J. Sullivan

message 4: by Robin (last edited Jan 04, 2009 03:57PM) (new)

Robin (robinsullivan) | 2 comments Here is the start of my husband's First Fantasy Novel:

Archibald Ballentyne held the world in his hands, conveniently contained within fifteen stolen letters. Each parchment was penned with meticulous care in a fine, elegant script. He could tell the writer believed that the words were profound and that their meaning conveyed a beautiful truth. Archibald felt the writing was drivel, yet he agreed with the author that they held a value beyond measure. He took a sip of brandy, closed his eyes, and smiled.

He sat by the fire, savoring the moment and appraising his future. As Earl of Chadwick, he already possessed ample wealth, a modest position at court, and of course, his exceptional good looks. Most ruling nobles were potbellied, gout-ridden, old bores. He, on the other hand, was in his prime: fit and tall with a full head of auburn hair, chiseled features, and piercing blue eyes. Archibald was proud of his appearance. He could obtain wealth and fame through any number of means, but to be born handsome was a gift for the deserving. He accentuated his natural virtues by wearing the finest imported fashions made with expensively dyed silks, embroidered linens, and feathers from exotic birds. His fellow nobles admired him for his elegant style. Soon his prestige would be elevated to the same enviable level.


Reluctantly, Archibald opened his eyes and scowled at his master-at-arms. “What is it, Bruce?”

“The marquis has arrived, sir.”

Archibald’s smile returned. He carefully refolded the letters, tied them in a stack with a blue ribbon, and returned them to his safe. He closed its heavy iron door, snapped the lock in place, and tested the seal with two sharp tugs on the unyielding bolt. He then headed downstairs to greet his guest.

When Archibald reached the foyer, he spied Victor Lanaklin waiting in the anteroom. He paused for a moment and watched the old man pacing back and forth, and it brought him a sense of satisfaction. While the marquis enjoyed a superior title, he had never impressed Archibald. Perhaps he was once lofty, intimidating, or even gallant, but all that was lost long ago, shrouded under a mat of gray hair and a hunched back.

“May I offer you something to drink, your lordship?” a mousy steward asked the marquis with a formal bow.

“No, but you can get me your earl,” he commanded,” or shall I hunt for him myself?”

The steward cringed. “I am certain my master will be with you presently, sir.” The servant bowed again and hastily retreated through a door on the far side of the room.

“Marquis!” Archibald called out graciously as he made his entrance. “I am so pleased you have arrived—and so quickly.”

“You sound surprised.” Victor’s voice was sharp. Shaking a wrinkled parchment clasped in his fist, he continued, “You send a message like this and expect me to delay? Archie, I demand to know what is going on.”

Archibald concealed his disdain at the use of his childhood nickname, Archie. This was the moniker his dead mother had given him and one of the reasons he would never forgive her. As a youth, everyone from the knights to the servants had used it, and he always felt demeaned by its familiarity. Once he became Earl, he made it law in Chadwick that anyone referring to him as such would suffer the loss of his tongue. Archibald did not have the power to enforce the edict on the marquis, and he was certain Victor used it intentionally.

“Please do try to calm down, Victor.”

“Don’t tell me to calm down!” The marquis’ voice echoed off the stone walls. He moved closer, his face mere inches from the younger man’s, and glared into his eyes. “You wrote that my daughter Alenda’s future was at stake and you had evidence of this. Now I must know—is she, or is she not, in danger?”

“She is most certainly,” the earl replied calmly, “but nothing imminent, to be sure. There is no kidnapping plot, nor is anyone planning to murder her, if that is what you fear.”

“If you’ve caused me to run my carriage team to near collapse while I worried myself sick for nothing, you will regret—”

Holding up his hand, Archibald cut the threat short. “I assure you, Victor, it is not for nothing. Nevertheless, before we discuss this further, let us retire to the comfort of my study where I can show you the evidence I mentioned.”

Victor glowered at him but nodded in agreement.

The two men crossed the luxurious foyer, passed through the large reception hall, and veered off through an ornate door that led to the living quarters of the castle. As they traversed various hallways and stairways, the atmosphere of their surroundings changed dramatically. In the main entry, fine tapestries and etched stonework adorned the walls, and the floors were made of finely crafted marble; yet, beyond the entry, no displays of grandeur were found, leaving barren walls of stone the predominate feature.

By architectural standards, or any other measures, Ballentyne Castle was unremarkable and ordinary in every respect. No great king or hero ever called the castle home. Nor was it the site of any legend, ghost story, or battle. Instead, it was the perfect example of mediocrity and the mundane. For twelve generations, the Ballentynes lived there. Each earl, including Archibald’s father Albright, had tried to advance his position, but in the end, his failures left the House of Ballentyne anchored to the morass of nobility’s middle tier. Only time would determine if Archibald would succeed, where so many others had previously failed.

The Crown Conspiracy by Michael J. Sullivan
The Crown Conspiracy

message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

That's amazing. I'm speechless, Robin. And The Crown Conspiracy is good, too.(i have a friend named Victor RIGHT, VICTOR?)

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