Book Jacket

 

rank 146
word count 33428
date submitted 09.07.2011
date updated 26.11.2013
genres: Fiction, Thriller, Fantasy, Young A...
classification: universal
incomplete

Catalaysia: The Curse of Five

Auna June

The Curse has been awakened. The Prophecy has been written. And Lepra will never be the same...

 

In a kingdom where people’s power comes from their ability to shape-shift into large felines, Lepra finds herself tossed into an ancient realm of magic the night she reunites with her cursed swords. With her powers controlling her every thought, Lepra uncovers a past she was pulled from and soon realizes an old enemy has returned to claim her as a weapon. With a broken sword scattered across the land, the young princess flees the palace in attempt to piece back together her only control of the Curse of Five and to save not only herself, but Catalaysia as well before her time runs out.


Creative Commons License
Catalaysia by Auna June Lundberg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

The manuscript is completed at 33 chapters and 114, 600 words.

 
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adventure, assassins, cats, danger, death, different worlds, evil, fantasy, felines, fiction, forbidden love, journey, kingdoms, magic, medieval fanta...

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166 comments

 

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S.M. Koz wrote 130 days ago

Hi Auna,

What a unique story! I haven't read anything with shape-shifting into felines, so I like this idea. And, the thought that they're royalty is even more interesting. I read through chapter three today and really enjoyed it. I had to stop due to lack of time, not lack of interest. Anyway, below are my thoughts. As always, they're just my ideas so take them or leave them as you see fit.

I love the names you've used--Lepra, King Leo, Queen Clea, Garvis, Thoro. Very appropriate, yet creative.

I've read so many first person stories lately that the third person threw me at first. But once I got back into that mindset, I thought you did a really good job with it, especially with the omniscient narrator. That can be tricky because you need to consistently provide the inner thoughts of everyone involved and I've read a lot of stories where authors fall short in that regard. Not you, though. Nice work.

One area that I thought could use a little tightening up is with showing rather than telling. For example, with the line "She listened as her sisters commented on her appearance," I wasn't sure exactly what you meant. If you used some describing words, that would help me as a reader to know if they were saying something nice or something mean (e.g., you could either include their specific words or describe their actions or facial expressions to give the reader a hint to their intent). Another example is "...sheathed their weapons, embarrassed..." For this, why not describe their embarrassed faces--red, eyes turned down, etc.-- rather than simply tell the reader they were embarrassed?

I thought your short and long pitches were excellent. You provided just enough information to get a reader interested, but not so much that you gave the whole story away.

I like your writing style a lot. It's easy to follow and has a nice pace. You also do a good job of portraying a royal family by using appropriate words, but not going over the top. That allows this to have a rather contemporary feel to it, which I really like.

I also like where the plot is headed. I was a little confused a couple times in the first two chapters about what was happening to Lepra--finding out about the old magic, then forgetting, then remembering again, but everything fell into place in the third chapter. I think the coronation ceremony was my favorite part as it was action-packed and clearly set the stage for some exciting events to come. I also like the idea that the reader is being told that this is "bad" magic, but (based on your pitch), Lepra will end up saving everyone. Who doesn't love a strong female protagonist?! I'm still trying to get a feel for Lepra because I have a hard time telling what's her vs. what's the old magic in her. I have the impression that over time, her personality will turn into that controlled by the old magic, which I would like because when she's under the influence of that, she's got an attitude and is independent--two things I find appealing in a MC. Your pitch doesn't allude to this, but I'm also hoping there's a bit of a romance between Lepra and Thoro :)

High stars and I'll be back when I can to read more!

Best of luck to you!
Shannon (SM Koz)
Pangalax

D. S. Hale wrote 437 days ago

You are a very good writer! When I read chapter one, I was compelled to read chapter two to find out why she had to look in the mirror. Chapter two was just as good as #1. I like your storyline, and I like Lepra. You hold back answer to questions that the reader is asking, and that is good, because that is what keeps them reading ahead. I am giving you high marks, and expect to see much out of you!!

Sincerely,
Donna
Jessup and the Teleporter

Lauren Auty wrote 462 days ago

Creative and different, a refreshing take on fantasy and directly aimed at your target audicne and doesn't wonder a skill sometimes missed by writers. I love the twist at the beginning. Have only read the first couple of chapters. Lookig forward to reading more and leaving more feedback.

Lauren

Seringapatam wrote 479 days ago

There is nothing that jumps of the page and hits me in the face as wrong. I think when a story is as good as this and that holds me as this as, I wouldnt spot it anyway. I am so happy that I have took this as my final book before Christmas day. I think not only is this a credit to you, but I am thinking this is going to do you proud in the future.
Good luck and Merry Christmas

Sean Connolly British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R)

Shelby Z. wrote 716 days ago

This is so very different from the very beginning.
It has such a twist as it starts. It was nothing that I expected.
This is very original and well written. It is interesting because it has a new voice to it.
Good work.

Shelby Z./Driving Winds

P.S. Please take a look at my pirate adventure Driving Winds.

Andreea Daia wrote 5 days ago

Catalaysia: The Curse of Five—Chapters two and three

As I said in my first review, this story presents such a very fresh approach on high-fantasy. The magic is quite original and I liked a lot that your main character didn’t have to learn it. How original is that! Your repeated hints about the curse, without actually explaining it, keep the reader’s attention high. So far except the fact that her magic seemed out of control, everything she experienced was rather extraordinary. One would consider this a blessing not a curse, but clearly there is more to that history than meets the eye. Then the coronation scene was very well done—I didn’t expect her to renounce her rights, since most people would kill for such rights. So Lepra choosing the exile over the comfort and respect of the royal family is a very compelling twist that urges the reader to keep going.

The more I read the more I’m convinced that one of your strongest suits is the descriptions. You bring in your narration so many details, that the picture you want to create is always in the front of the reader’s eyes. Technically my only suggestion is to abandon the omniscient narrator in favor of a multi-narrative. It’s an easy (if a bit time consuming) change, but one, which in my opinion, is worth making.

Character-wise, this is getting better with every chapter, and by the time Lepra gave up her birthright we already have a well-rounded character.

Your story is good and I hope you didn’t abandon this project—I believe it holds true potential. I wish you all the best with it. Very high marks and good luck!
Andreea

(Duplicity)

Andreea Daia wrote 119 days ago

It is nice to read for a change a high-fantasy shapeshifter story since today’s market seems overflooded with urban fantasies. I did encounter feline shapeshifters but they were secondary characters.

You created an original world and that it no easy task. The plot promises to be good: you have shifters, magic, and royalty all in one, plus what seems to be a dark gift. Also based on the balcony meeting, the reader may be in for some nice romance, which brings a nice touch. I also liked the idea of a language deep ingrained in somebody’s brain.

Lepra comes across as rather independent, but in the same time proper and following the etiquette. I find this refreshing because usually the very independent characters tend to never follow the rules, which seems unrealistic.

There were a few instances of telling-not-showing (for instance you have a few “he knew/she knew” that seem a bit forced). You may want to consider rephrasing those sentences.

This is a very general suggestion. Have you considered coming up with a different term for “princess?” I’m sure this is just me, but every time when I read this word all kind of kids stories came to my head.

I think this story would please the younger audience quite a bit. I enjoyed it. Good luck!
Andreea

S.M. Koz wrote 130 days ago

Hi Auna,

What a unique story! I haven't read anything with shape-shifting into felines, so I like this idea. And, the thought that they're royalty is even more interesting. I read through chapter three today and really enjoyed it. I had to stop due to lack of time, not lack of interest. Anyway, below are my thoughts. As always, they're just my ideas so take them or leave them as you see fit.

I love the names you've used--Lepra, King Leo, Queen Clea, Garvis, Thoro. Very appropriate, yet creative.

I've read so many first person stories lately that the third person threw me at first. But once I got back into that mindset, I thought you did a really good job with it, especially with the omniscient narrator. That can be tricky because you need to consistently provide the inner thoughts of everyone involved and I've read a lot of stories where authors fall short in that regard. Not you, though. Nice work.

One area that I thought could use a little tightening up is with showing rather than telling. For example, with the line "She listened as her sisters commented on her appearance," I wasn't sure exactly what you meant. If you used some describing words, that would help me as a reader to know if they were saying something nice or something mean (e.g., you could either include their specific words or describe their actions or facial expressions to give the reader a hint to their intent). Another example is "...sheathed their weapons, embarrassed..." For this, why not describe their embarrassed faces--red, eyes turned down, etc.-- rather than simply tell the reader they were embarrassed?

I thought your short and long pitches were excellent. You provided just enough information to get a reader interested, but not so much that you gave the whole story away.

I like your writing style a lot. It's easy to follow and has a nice pace. You also do a good job of portraying a royal family by using appropriate words, but not going over the top. That allows this to have a rather contemporary feel to it, which I really like.

I also like where the plot is headed. I was a little confused a couple times in the first two chapters about what was happening to Lepra--finding out about the old magic, then forgetting, then remembering again, but everything fell into place in the third chapter. I think the coronation ceremony was my favorite part as it was action-packed and clearly set the stage for some exciting events to come. I also like the idea that the reader is being told that this is "bad" magic, but (based on your pitch), Lepra will end up saving everyone. Who doesn't love a strong female protagonist?! I'm still trying to get a feel for Lepra because I have a hard time telling what's her vs. what's the old magic in her. I have the impression that over time, her personality will turn into that controlled by the old magic, which I would like because when she's under the influence of that, she's got an attitude and is independent--two things I find appealing in a MC. Your pitch doesn't allude to this, but I'm also hoping there's a bit of a romance between Lepra and Thoro :)

High stars and I'll be back when I can to read more!

Best of luck to you!
Shannon (SM Koz)
Pangalax

Ben Zwycky wrote 307 days ago

Review of Catalaysia, the Curse of Five

Right, I've read everything you have posted here, as I do for all of my reviews, and there is a lot to admire here, creativity, atmosphere, tension, mystery, some spectacular magic with a unique feel to it (at least I haven't come across it in my limited reading) and intriguing revelations. There were some specific issues I found, and some general ones. Feel free to disagree with me on these, I'm no expert. Specific issues first, since those are simpler to deal with:

Chapter 1:

" "I see you are still awake," King Leo said with a smile. "

This is incredibly picky of me, but this flows better if you put 'said' before 'King Leo'. Try saying it out loud either way and see for yourself. Look at your other instances of this, putting 'said', 'asked', 'replied' etc. before the name instead of after, and see what a difference it makes.


"allowing the guards to return to their previous positions and closed the door."

Again, very minor, but who is closing the door here, the men who brought the chest, or the guards? It's not entirely clear to me, since your tense doesn't match with either. If it's the men, suggest:

"allowing the guards to return to their previous positions before closing the door."

If it's the guards, then:

"allowing the guards to return to their previous positions and close the door."


"taking Lepra off guard"

catching, not taking


"Even though he knew that she would remember the old language one he hadn't expected her to pronounce the word so soon."

Should be

"Even though he knew that she would remember the old language one day, he hadn't expected her to (be able to) pronounce the word so soon."


"before returning to his friendly mask he put on for the public"

should be:

"before returning to the friendly mask he put on for the public"


"watching as King Leo waved his hands in a spiral pattern as a chair appeared out of nowhere."

Too much 'as', suggest replacing the second one with 'and', to indicate the result of his hand waving.


"Her conscious was overrun by old powers and emotions"

consciousness


"The fine details she had seen early were blurry."

should be "The fine details she had seen earlier were (now) blurry."


Chapter 2:

"but at a neutral stance in case of an attack"

should be: "but in a neutral stance to be ready for an attack."

or "but in a neutral stance, as if waiting for an attack."


"The king caught himself as toppled over as the glow touched his hand."

Should be: "The king caught himself from toppling over as the glow touched his hand."


"A shadowy figure stepped out from the middle and watched enviously."

What visible cues are there that he is watching with envy? Better to describe those than just state it outright here.


"Recognizing the two woods, Lepra remembered were made from Ash."

This sentence makes no sense, I don't know what you are trying to say here, probably some words are missing.


"The horse was still running by the time she had situated herself."

Should be: "The horse was already running by the time she had set/settled herself."


"Lepra watched as the grounds were covered in a soft illumination as the moon moved from behind a cloud."

As before, try to avoid using 'as' in the same way twice like this in a sentence. Suggestion:

"Lepra watched as the grounds were covered in a soft illumination by the moon moving from behind a cloud."


"Shaking her head confused, Lepra returned her attention back to her balcony;"

This is slightly awkward, and a little redundant to use both 'returned' and 'back'; better would be:

"Shaking her head in confusion, Lepra turned her attention back to her balcony;"


"The cat's eyes were the same colour as Lepra's, but a silver ring flashed along the outside, hiding from view every few seconds."

Suggestion:

"The cat's eyes were the same colour as Lepra's, but a silver ring flashed along the outside of them, disappearing from view every few seconds."


"it seemed heavy, but it was light as parchment."

Should be: "it looked heavy, but was light as parchment."


"the blades handles"

blades'


"The two were almost exact"

almost exactly the same?


"His smiled relaxed her"

smile


"three compartments jumped out of two pillars, causing Lepra to step back."

It might be good to mention which pillars, where they are in the room or relative to her (by the balcony, by the bed, by the door, along the opposite wall?), to help the reader visualise things.


"She drifted off into sleep"

to sleep


Chapter 3:

"waited until the Commander was on stage before opening the doors"

on the stage


"pondering on what the old guard said"

lose the 'on' here.


Chapter 4:

" "When I took this dagger Zeldonasion said when the time comes, the truth must be told, but how can that happen without drastic consequences…"

you need a question mark insteda of the ellipsis, and you need to either use some single inverted commas around the quote, or put it into indirect speech, i.e. either

" "When I took this dagger Zeldonasion said, 'when the time comes, the truth must be told,' but how can that happen without drastic consequences?"

Or " "When I took this dagger, Zeldonasion said that when the time came, the truth would need to be told, but how can that happen without drastic consequences?"


"Garvis clasped his hand on the king's back and smiled, looking at his king."

This is a little too vague here. Looking his king in the eyes, looking his king up and down, something else?


"aware this was the king's intention of their meeting."

Should be: "aware that this was why the king had called their meeting."


"Already she has acquired the magic"

Better to put the 'already' after 'has', unless this is a deliberate dialect you're going for.


"Anyways, tonight I need you to go to the stables and fetch Lepra's horse and another for you."

Anyway, not anyways; and for yourself, not for you.


"of all people you should know that."

More the 'you' to the start here.


"old stonewall"

stone wall, as one word it's a verb that means to consistently block.


"heading towards the backside of the orchards"

far side, or south/north/whichever side applies.


"couldn't keep Moonlight stable any longer"

'stable' doesn't fit here, try 'still', or 'calm' instead


"keeping her sight on the structure."

Should be: "keeping her eyes on the structure."


"but there were cracks scattered all around."

'scattered' doesn't really go with cracks, how about something like:

"but they were plagued with (worrying) cracks."


"More markings aligned the frame"

lined, to align means to keep something in it's proper position relative to something else. Markings don't do that, unless they magically levitate their 'canvas'


"Cracks were all along the ground with small indents from falling stones"

should be something like: "There were cracks all across the floor, together with small indentations from falling stones."


"Lepra turned back at the wall"

to the wall


"a message was written in their places."

Place


"Silver light seeped over its body"

seeped from its body?


IMO, your prophecy poem would be a lot more powerful if it had a more consistent rhythm, so it reads more like a chant that you get swept up in. How about this, hopefully not too far from your intended meaning:

When the twin swords merge/join with/by/in a silver glow,
Time stops as the power of five is controlled
The curse will be lifted as its final act,
And time will restart as a hero attacks,
(The) evil will cower as the black horse rides,
(The) evil will wail/fail/fall/be ruined as the black blades strike.


Chapter 6:

"With what I don't know, but it seems you are up to something Trenarda."

should be: "I don't know what, but it seems you are up to something, Trenarda."


"I hope she regrets the day she forgot about what I am capable of."

Lose the 'about' here.


"Lepra murmured a spell and the book disappear from her hand"

disappeared


"she started walking in the road"

'in' is the wrong word. Use across instead.


"Lepra noticed some go between a few of the buildings;"

Maybe better would be:

"Lepra noticed some loop around some of the buildings;"


Chapter 7:

"wishing she could erase Kelvere's sneer off his face."

Should be: "wishing she could wipe the sneer from Kelvere's face."


"King Leo raise his hand and pressed back the shadows setting in over the room."

This is awkward, and your first tense is wrong. Suggestion(s):

"King Leo raised his hand and pushed back the shadows that were forcing their way in to/ taking over/growing throughout the room."


"The queen moved the piece farther away from her body"

should be: "The queen shifted/held the document further from her body."


"If you know how much of this was out of my control father,"

should be: "If you knew how much of this was out of my control, Father,"


"it is not my fault I became someone abnormal"

I have become


"King Leo injected."

interjected.


"His blonde hair beginning to lighten"

was beginning


"The prince had made a threat, but to whom he was not sure."

Suggestion: "The prince had issued a threat, but he was not sure against whom."


Chapter 8:


"obscuring nearby villages from view, in her peripheral,"

should be: "obscuring nearby villages in her peripheral vision,"


"a silver coated wolf stepped out of the shadows of the trees and vanish into thin air,"

silver-coated; vanished


"she starred at where the creature had disappeared"

stared


"her magic aura was teasing him"

should be magical aura?


"but she remained silent as she worked."

Two she's right next to each other referring to two different people, it's a little clumsy. Suggest removing 'as she worked'.


"You're welcome your highness."

Should be "You're welcome, Your Highness."


"I better get going."

I'd better

With your 'conversation' in italics, are they reading each others' thoughts, or whispering? If they are reading each others' thoughts, it would be nice to know if at any point they can't hear each other's thoughts, or whether Lepra can hear Pelinin's thoughts in later chapters, it seems like she sometimes can, sometimes can't, it gets a little confusing.


"you seem like the perfect person who would know where I can find her."

A little clumsy. Suggest:

"you seem like the perfect/just the sort of person to ask/know/tell me where I can find her."


Chapter 9:


"point me in the right direction to where she is at."

Lose the 'to where she is at', it's redundant.


"this ball princess Meleda is hosting"

Princess Meleda, since her title is part of her name. Check this throughout the book, I might have overlooked some other instances.


"and shook her head confused"

need a comma after head. There are a lot of missing commas throughout the book, usually ones that separate clauses or around names as people are addressed, e.g.

"If it weren't for her appearance and strange behavior I would almost guarantee this is Zielina"

a second clause with its own separate verb, so needs a comma after 'behavior'. Also here, 'I would almost guarantee' is an odd way of saying it, maybe 'I would be almost certain' instead?

and "considering the fact that you don't know me Lepra, and that you did show me…" is an example of the second, need a comma either side of 'Lepra'


Take a look through your book for these two things, it would take me quite a while to go through and find them all.


Another example of missing commas:

"his muscles were still prominent even through the tunic and a faint tan line…"

'even through the tunic' is an aside, so should be a comma before 'even' and after 'tunic', or at the very least just after 'tunic, since that is the end of the clause. Look through your work for other examples of this, I won't highlight any more of them.


Why does Lepra insist the feat with the blade is easy, when she herself expects to be cut when she is actually doing it? That's a bit of a contradiction.


"She undid her hair and let it fall against her shoulders."

to her shoulders.


"The green hue burned into his and Pelinin could feel…"

into his what?


"Her mind erased the first half of their conversation"

she is forgetting it herself, or she is wiping Pelinin's memory? This isn't clear.


"Her eyes darkened in shade"

'in shade' is redundant, leave it out.


"How do you know that name, is what I wonder"

lose the 'is what'


"different thoughts clouded her mind"

better to use various instead of different here IMO.


"An old ruin with tall ceilings and lots of light held tables covered by books and papers"

seems in very good condition and very well-furnished for a ruin… lots of light fittings, or it was filled with light, e.g. sunlight from large windows? Contained rather than held, and covered with, not covered by.


"as he stepped back a few steps"

Repetitive. Suggestion:

"as he took a few steps back"


"a whisk of smoke"

wisp, unless of course it's a smoke formation you can beat eggs with :-P


"Kelvere sitting at a table in the back corner talking"

flows better if you insert an 'and' before 'talking'.


"After a few moments of threats she couldn't hear,"

you don't have moments of threats, you can have threatening moments, possibly moments filled with threats (but that would be a bit convoluted). Suggestion:

"After an/a brief exchange of threats she couldn't hear,"


"gripped his sword handle harder"

tighter would fit better than harder here.


"pulling his sword as he went."

drawing his sword


"pointed his sword to the ground"

at the ground, to the ground would imply that he's pointing at some specific thing, mark or place on the ground.


"Lepra was moved to a small room"

'taken' would fit better than 'moved' IMO.


"Pelinin said at once."

This makes it seem like something sudden and unexpected. Suggestion:

"Pelinin began."


"I have been given the privilege to become one of the prince's friends"

should be: "I have been granted the privilege of becoming one of the prince's friends"

or "I have been given the opportunity to become one of the prince's friends", if he means to imply that he's not quite there yet.


"His hair was black with small streaks of green running over his head,"

Where are these green streaks? The above sounds like they are on his skin, but it's not very clear, consider rewording. If you meant they are in his hair, then say 'running through it'.


"Remember what I had explained to you before"

This is the wrong tense for direct speech, lose the had and before, but I prefer a rewording to

"Remember what I told you."

or "Remember your instructions."

or "I will not explain it again."

or simply "You know why."


"It wasn't a question. The man's last words caused Pelinin to stand in place trembling from head to foot."

A lot of redundancy here. Lose the first sentence, we already know it wasn't a question. Last words are what people say before they die, a closing remark is at the end of a normal piece of dialogue. Suggestion.

"The man's closing remark left Pelinin trembling from head to foot."


"fought to remain stable"

Suggest "fought to remain calm"

or "fought to keep her balance", depending on what you mean here.


"You needed to be cautious of me."

wary instead of cautious.


"What happened to you Lepra?"

Who is thinking this? Lepra, Moonlight, Pelinin, Garvis? Needs some clarification here.


Chapter 10:

"along with the paths with least resistance"

suggestions:

"and the paths of least resistance."

or "and the paths with the least obstacles."

or "and the paths that involve the least trouble."


"that move you made with my sword has never been successful to anyone else."

should be: "that move you did with my sword has never been done by anyone else."


"fix your mistakes for being irrational?"

fix the mistakes you make through being irrational?"


"Lepra, do you have any idea to what is happening?"

either add 'as' before 'to', or lose the 'to'.


"None of this is your fault Lepra. It was assumed someone would get word of the ancient magic in the realm, but we didn't expect this Lepra."

As I noted above, need a comma before Lepra, since she's being addressed directly by name, but mainly you should lose the Lepra in the second sentence here. In the next few paragraphs as well, you overuse her name a little in both the narrative and dialogue, I was beginning to develop an allergy to hearing it. There are only two people in the room, you don't need the identifying speech tags at all. It's obvious who's talking, use she, her, and remove her name from the dialogue where you can.


"Yes, but the more people you try to protect the more information that is leaked to them."

Needs a comma after protect, and to lose the 'that', but the wording of the second clause is a little awkward. Suggestion:

"Yes, but the more people you try to protect, the more you reveal about yourself."


"You need to have a plan, something no already expected."

should be: "something they won't expect."

Or "something that won't be expected."


"a small scratch had formed near her eye where her mother had nicked her with a claw,"

scratches don't form, they are instantaneous, scars form over time. Suggestion:

"There was a small scratch near her eye where her mother had nicked her with a claw,"


"and recovered the mirror."

should be "and covered the mirror again." (recover is to confusing a verb to use here, since it's usual meaning would fit, and even make perfect sense in another context.)


"but there was no mistake in the magic roaming the grounds"

there was no mistaking the magic


"She surveyed the different movements of the forest"

various, not different, unless you mean they are different movements from the last time she sensed them.


"I would trade you lives anytime"

suggestion: "I would trade lives with you in an instant"


"Lepra turned around and stormed back to her horse."

'around' is redundant here, since you give the direction she goes after turning. Lose it.


"underneath the clear surface he could see that water moving downstream"

lose the 'that', consider replacing 'moving' with 'flowing'


"the soldier held back a fit of laughter the disagreement carried on."

should be: "the soldier held back a fit of laughter as the disagreement continued."


"How dare you insult me, Draingor!"

The scarred man's already used Draingor's name at the start of this rant, lose it from this sentence.


"took a step closer towards his mirror that showed Pelinin's image."

Took a step closer to the mirror displaying Pelinin's image.

" If you don't then you…"
"I know, I know," Pelinin replied, not wanting to listen to Zulimcan's last words."

Again, not his last words, not even his closing remark in this conversation, and Pelinin isn't really replying, he's interrupting. Suggestion:

" If you don't then you--"
"I know, I know," said Pelinin, not wanting to hear Zulimcan's latest admonition."



Right, that's the specific issues, I might have missed something. General issues:

The Queen and the sisters seemed a little superficial as characters, the sisters just your typical evil (step)sisters only concerned with landing a man and looking fabulous, and the Queen obsessed with proper etiquette like a typical evil stepmother, your other characters are pretty well developed, with multiple layers to them that are beginning to be revealed

Your Trion language, is there a system to it, or is it based on an existing language? I wasn't seeing much of a pattern there, but I didn't really study it in detail, so I could be wrong. I'm building a magic language from scratch for my next book, so I know it's a lot of work (and I'm begin a bit lazy in that regard by making it a trade language so it doesn't need to be poetic, though I may end up rethinking that)

The plot is a little bit static and frustrating. I mean, there's a lot of mystery and discoveries being made, dramatic visual descriptions with a real flair to them and well-written revelations about the past, but not much sense of progress, of anything new being achieved that will have a lasting impact. All through the story you've been hinting at the fact that Lepra is this great warrior who is destined to leave the castle and engage in some sort of grand adventure to defeat a great evil, and yet so far all of her efforts to do that have been thwarted, she's not really learning anything new, only relearning what she previously knew. There's not much of a sense of her investing her effort to accomplish something or gain or improve a skill she'll need on her journey, everything just seems to come naturally and nothing seems to really cost anything to her. It makes her a little hard to relate to, but maybe that's just me. Having said that, the growing evil inside her is well done, and adds another excellent dimension to her as a character and makes this aspect of her more relatable, since we all struggle with various temptations and unhealthy urges from time to time, how we deal with those really moulds us as people.

All in all, a very good effort and I can see why people have been backing you, but I think it still needs a bit of work to be ready for a publisher. I hope you find these comments helpful.

Brian Bandell wrote 419 days ago

Back for more, starting with chapter 8. You writing continues to hold up strongly. I enjoy Lepra's personality, a little cocky and aggressive. She's constantly threatening people, and yet I find I still like her. Maybe they deserve it.

Replace "severe" with "sever": "Lepra forced herself to sever the magic."

It's interesting that Lepra has a spell to look at someone's past. It might be too much power to give her, though. There wil undoubtedly be many opporunities in the book where she should use such a spell to solve mysteries and she doesn't. Here, it takes the mystery away from Pelinin.

Once again, I enjoy it. Good luck.

Brian Bandell
Famous After Death / Mute

D. S. Hale wrote 437 days ago

You are a very good writer! When I read chapter one, I was compelled to read chapter two to find out why she had to look in the mirror. Chapter two was just as good as #1. I like your storyline, and I like Lepra. You hold back answer to questions that the reader is asking, and that is good, because that is what keeps them reading ahead. I am giving you high marks, and expect to see much out of you!!

Sincerely,
Donna
Jessup and the Teleporter

mjjillian wrote 452 days ago

I just started, and agree with most that your characters are unusual and different--I like that. I also agree that the reference to the cold 2X in the first paragraph may be overkill, plus I think unless Thoro can't see the King, he should at least acknowledge him when he first sees him.
Overall..liking it!

Charlotte12 wrote 455 days ago

Hi there,
Back for chapter 2. Over all, I like the ideas and the develpment of the story in this chapter. We learn a little more of how Lepra is changed and its source (Curse). I also liked the fact that she gets her own armour and weapons and luckily, she knows how to use them. The two things I had some difficulty with 1) is the flow of the action. There's a lot going on here, but for some reason I had a hard time picturing it. The rest of the text reads fine: inner dialogue, actual dialogue, for examples, but the actions sequences felt muddled. 2) The meaning of what is going on is still unclear. The Curse of Five is named as the source of the problems and the Leopard seems to be benevolent, but by the end of chapter 2, I felt I still had no idea of what was going on or why. I think you are drawing out the mystery, which is fine, but I would have liked a little more information to go on by the end of chapter 2.

Still, I like your idea; very original. And it'll be fun to see Lepra in action. :)

Dyane-Charlotte12
The Purple Morrow

Charlotte12 wrote 460 days ago

Hello! So this is my revisit to your book, as promised. I will look at chapter one today, and then add reviews as I move along the chapters to chapter 5.

I noticed right off that the intro had changed since my last visit. The writing is smoothed out and we get a clear sense of the MC’s mood, which sets a nice, intriguing tone from the get-go. I enjoyed reading of the first contact with her father, as well as the style of their speech, which I noticed is different when Lepra speaks to her stable boy friend (nice detail).

A few things you might want to consider (and these are just suggestions and wholly up to you to do with as you want):
- I was a little confused about the purpose of hinting at some kind of danger when she first meets her father (his hand is by his sword, her dagger snags on his sleeve), when later on, it appears from their conversation about keeping secrets from the queen, that they enjoy a pretty good relationship. I am not sure if this seeming contrast is intentional or if the nature of their relationship needs to be clarified.
- I was lost during the whole section when the old magic manifests. There’s a flash of light, they fall down, she is physically changing, the father thinks about some old magic from the past…I found the flow of the story and the actual events taking place became muddled at this point. I was trying to follow each person’s POV as well as trying to understand what was actually happening and why. Which bring me to another point: there are multiple POV changes through out the chapter, which can be difficult for some readers to follow. My suggestion for both points would be to pick one POV, preferably Lepra’s but the king’s might also work, and tell the story from that one perspective to avoid jumps in logic, events and flow. Or, if you want to tell the story from both of the POV’s perhaps you could separate them with page breaks (but that also carries its own potential drawbacks). Either way, I think this will improve the clarity of the story.

Over all, though, I am glad to have revisited the story and I am eager to see where the next chapter takes me. J

All the best,
Dyane,
The Purple Morrow

Lauren Auty wrote 462 days ago

Creative and different, a refreshing take on fantasy and directly aimed at your target audicne and doesn't wonder a skill sometimes missed by writers. I love the twist at the beginning. Have only read the first couple of chapters. Lookig forward to reading more and leaving more feedback.

Lauren

AunaJune wrote 463 days ago

I found this this morning when I was looking through some messages :):

I have been lazy to start reading, but I have not been able to stop now that I have started. Dan

Jane Mauret wrote 477 days ago

Hello, Auna
I never read fantasy so it is hard for me to comment but I did get a sense you know what you are doing and that the plot is well thought out. You obviously have a very fruitful imagination and I like the idea of the cat people. That idea gives you lots of scope to play with and helps the reader imagine the characters too.
You describe scenes and characters with a few well-chosen words/phrases, leaving the reader space to fill in parts themselves.
I was intrigued by the curse that had befallen Lepra. I am wondering if her father could be called something other than King Leo – something less obvious, less cliche perhaps? I also found the name Lepra made me think of leprosy (!).
I wasn’t sure about some of the language, eg, hifop = I think when syllables are recognisable as parts of English words, they lose something; I read this as “high-fop”. I think when you invent a language, quite a lot of thought has to go into it – a difficult task but worthwhile in the end. I also found Trion made me think of Star Wars. I know it is impossible to cater to all tastes but again, character names need a lot of thought in any book and especially so in fantasy, I would imagine.
There were not really any glaring grammar or punctuation issues which is always a good sign since often people here don’t bother to try and get those things right.
I think this story has a lot of potential and the author is quite capable of plotting out a novel-length story.
Best wishes.
Jane Mauret
I CAN LAUGH - NOW!

Seringapatam wrote 479 days ago

There is nothing that jumps of the page and hits me in the face as wrong. I think when a story is as good as this and that holds me as this as, I wouldnt spot it anyway. I am so happy that I have took this as my final book before Christmas day. I think not only is this a credit to you, but I am thinking this is going to do you proud in the future.
Good luck and Merry Christmas

Sean Connolly British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R)

LCF Quartet wrote 480 days ago

Hi Auna,
I read the first two chapters of your book and I can easily say that you've crafted your manuscript in a professional manner which is highly sophisticated.

Lepra is portrayed in a remarkable angle where we see her characteristic values, and easily delve at the thoughts that pass her mind. The dialogue parts are strong and well-designed.

I haven't noticed any glaring issues with syntax, grammar or sentence structure. I would avoid too many sentences that start with 'she' or "Lepra' though.

Highly starred and Watch Listed for further comments as I read on.
Best wishes,
Lucette- Ten Deep Footprints

AunaJune wrote 482 days ago

Betsy wrote 6 days ago

Hi Auna,

Lepra’s tale opens with a princess who has cat-like features. The descriptions are vivid.

Lepra is a cat-like princess who is about to be crowned. She is of an ancient, mystical lineage. There is much about her mystical powers that she doesn’t understand. And as she is a big cat, she’s unpredictable and dangerous. Her father is fearful.

Nit picks. Perhaps Lepra is coming across as a little self-centred. We understand that she’ll be in a position of power. How will her big-cat tendencies impact on her subjects? Apart from being a bored, cat-like teenager, who is she as a person? So far, I’ve found it hard to engage with her.

You may want to watch repeats – ‘Light’ is mentioned five times in the second paragraph.

Good luck with this.

A fantasy author you may enjoy taking a peek at is Angie Sage. Specifically, the Septimus Heap series.

Cheers, Jacqui Christensen

myownwords wrote 487 days ago

Hi Auna, thank you for introducing me to you and your work. You are very talented for such a young age. I'm jealous. It took quite a few years to reach your level---and I may not be there yet actually. The fantasy genre, is somewhat outside my reading circle and definitely outside of my writing competence.
To me, you have a quality story and great imagination. Your writing skills are obvious. If I may, there are several minor issues that you may want to address, but it's your decision on what you do with them.

First, is the main character's name, Lepra, critical? I ask, because the word carries some negative "baggage". It means "scales", as in scales on skin and thus the root to the name of a disease, leprosy.

Two other words made me stop. The first came when we see Lepra "sauntering". Since, in the prior sentence we learn that she is in "cat" form and has fur on her neck, etc., is there not a better word for a big cat moving across the floor? Perhaps, gliding, or striding? And along with that---if you mean for her to be in this body---for her to "sigh", seems wrong. The word "purr" would perhaps be too obvious, but you get my drift.

Also, I believe there is a verb tense correction needed in the sentence (chapter 1): "Lepra... did Lepra's thinking returned to normal." Perhaps you meant "...did Lepra's thinking return to normal".

Another issue that I'd like to mention is point of view. Unless I'm mistaken, you have in the first chapter at least three different POVs. The first is Lepra's. But when the father enters we alternate POVs between the two of them. Again we see shifts after Thoro enters and we have his POV. There are, of course, rules that are broken all the time by authors, but if you weren't intentionally shifting POV's, the preferred techique is to space break to jump to another POV, or change scenes.

One last item, then I'll leave you alone. You may want to check the use of passive verbs such as forms of "to be", or "was". Perhaps try to find a more active verb and sentence structure.

That's enough of my pedagoguery---or attempts at it. You may find that none of my comments have any validity and that is why it's great to be an author. You have the power to make whatever changes YOU like---or not.
Best to you and I expect to see your name on book shelves soon in Barnes & Noble.
Ron Graves

Michael Matula wrote 491 days ago

First off, I'd like to thank you again for your kind words regarding Arrival of the Ageless. Your thoughts were much appreciated.

I thought you did a very good job with this. There's tons of imagination on display here, and the characters and story are very interesting and unique. I don't know that I've seen many books begin with a girl in the form of a cat, and the story gets off to a very fast-paced and action-packed start.

I did write down a few notes as I read, though they're all quite minor, and are likely subjective. Please do disregard anything you disagree with.
- you mention the “cool breeze,” and “cold wind” in the first paragraph, and later mention the breeze and the night air a few other times, and it felt a bit repetitive to me. I might consider removing a few of the references.
- I wondered if you didn't do a bit of telling instead of showing at times. For instance: saying the cougar transformed into a man. I wanted to know what it looked like, instead of being told it happened.
- The punctuation looked slightly off to me in places, like “after several minutes of pondering her father's response(,) she agreed” and “know everything(,) father.” - when speaking directly to someone, there should be a comma before their name
also, “father” should be capitalized when it's being used in place of his name, and only lowercase when simply referring to him, like “my father.”

Overall, though, I really enjoyed reading this, and I thought you did a very good job with it.
High stars.

Mike
Arrival of the Ageless
What, the Elf?

patio wrote 503 days ago

I attempted to read a bit of this sTory but struggling to get into it. Maybe its the wrong time. I try another time

jrevino wrote 510 days ago

this starts out well. you have a good writing style with a good flow. a little confusing when lepra's emotions begin to change. i didnt understand the part where it said lepra reached out and touched a watery substance? i assume its an energy she can only see? the scene jumps from loving father giving a gift to his daughter to two people holding back urges to attack one another. this happens a little abruptly, which may be your intention, but it caught me off guard. overall, it seems interesting and there is an obvious ability to tell a story. i will read more and comment some more later. have a good day.

Happykid56 wrote 529 days ago

I was a bit throughn off by the fact that the princess had a tail and I felt the beginning had a bit of a slow start, but other than that, this was a great chapter one.

RMAWriteNow wrote 533 days ago

Hi Auna; I have just read your first two chapters.
It isn't often you come a cross a book that is genuinely different but I felt this was.
Lepra is a character in the midst of change. Her powers seem to be coming to fruition and she certainly has quite a presence every time she takes centre stage.
The morphing from cat to human that appears to go on here is strikingly different to that of such as werewolf books in that it seems at will and when fighting or needing to. The fact the character is in human form the vast majority of the time allows for development rather than just action.
There are some lovely subtle touches in this. I particularly liked Lepra running her hands through her hair and leaving the emerald streaks behind. It was very simple but very visually effective and there was much like this.
The tension between Lepra and the King seems to be a salient point of the book and looks interesting as to how it will unfold.
My only thoughts would be that it might be worth explaining the animal changes a little earlier as it is a little confusing at first and also that the long pitch lacks a bit of the dynamism of the short. These are only minor points as the book is very good.
All the best
RMA
The Snow Lily

celticwriter wrote 540 days ago

Nice use of your genre - you make it your own, doesn't read like someone else's. On WL for now.
jim

ubulord wrote 550 days ago

Read until mid chapter 2. This is one of the few books I've read in here that I find interesting. It's well written, imaginative and keeps your attention. I'm giving it 5 stars. That said, lets focus on the problems which is probably more useful for the author:
1) The following 2 sentences need corecting: "As Lepra tried to suppress her e senses back she found resistance" / "this power will destroy her and if aren't careful"
2) A word of caution: constant changes in physical form and episodes of magic are no substitute for a real plot. There are too many of those in what I read. It works in the beginning and draws your attention. Then it happens again and again and the effect starts to wear out. Then it happens again and again and it starts to get boring. Thre is a delicate balance here between the novelty and the repetition and you are not managing that balance adequately.
I think this is a very promising book that is not yet mature. You say the manuscript has 132.000 words. If the rest of the book folows the same pattern, then I would say this can be edited to a world class 70.000 words book or a confusing and convoluted 132.000 one.

Neuravinci wrote 550 days ago

Ooooooo, I really like this!
You do a good job of showing, not telling, esp. in that all-important first paragraph. Well done and it is definitely going on my watchlist :)

Abby Vandiver wrote 577 days ago

Your writing is good and it sets a mood. I like the idea of the story. I don't feel that the narrative is flat, but there is a lot of it, even surrounding the dialogue.

There are shifts in POV which can be distracting. Also, all the descriptions of changing, shapeshifting or whatever was quite confusing to me. I thought she started out a cat, then it seemed she was human and wondered why she had cat-like features. All the description, I think is too much. It makes the reading long and it confuses the reader. Just say she was a human and suddenly changed or however it goes.

Good start.

Abby

Shelby Z. wrote 716 days ago

This is so very different from the very beginning.
It has such a twist as it starts. It was nothing that I expected.
This is very original and well written. It is interesting because it has a new voice to it.
Good work.

Shelby Z./Driving Winds

P.S. Please take a look at my pirate adventure Driving Winds.

MaeMae2011 wrote 750 days ago

Keep up the good work! You have a great start to this epic novel series. I like not knowing everything all at once, it keeps my attention and it doesn't feel like every book I have read. It will be interesting to see where this goes, but don't stop, you have done an excellent job introducing this into the fantasy world.

Good luck!

Tate Reese wrote 769 days ago

The concept gets me right from the start, a strong beginning. Interesting aspect to have the animal form and the change, although I feel i need a little bot more of an explanation - where am I? - what are the characters in the story etc...

I like that you have a couple of cliffhangers at the end of each chapter as well, as it keeps us guessing :-)

Enjoyable read, highly stared :-)

AudreyB wrote 786 days ago

Hi, Auna June–this is an unforgivably late review from AudreyB. When you read mine, we were in a crit group together…but no longer. I recently audited my comments and discovered I owed TWENTY TWO reciprocal reviews. I am filled with shame. On the other hand, my English teacher alter-ego, The Grammar Hag, never feels shame. If I say anything you don’t like, it was probably her idea.

Pleasantries out of the way first: which small town? I live in Bellevue. Not really a small town, tho. I went to HS in Spokane which you probably already guessed when you read “Forgiveness Fits.”

I like the way you open with Lepra gazing out at the kingdom. I would like to know some of her thoughts on the occasion of her birthday. She later tells us that she loathes her birthday. This would be a good time to find that out. I think we need more than a simple wish for adventure, which is pretty universal among those turning 17. She could at least wish for the horse.

I think I would like to hear more of a conversation between father and daughter to help anchor me in their world and to make me care about their fates and understand their points of view.

I’m a little confused when a man materializes on her balcony—she’s seventeen—and her very powerful father has no reaction. It’s also puzzling to me that she doesn’t introduce her visitor to her father. And even more puzzling when the ‘man’ turns out to be the ‘stable boy.’ A parent wouldn’t say “If I may ask…” to find out who was visiting his own palace on the occasion of his daughter’s 17th birthday. And an adult would invite the guest inside.

I got lost completely as I worked my way through chapter 2. I do not read much fantasy so I’m sure much of my confusion is simply lack of knowledge. But many things seem to occur here that are immediately undone. This strikes me as a confusing opener to the story. The King’s inability to ‘help’ Lepra continues to puzzle me. He brought in the trunk, so he surely suspects that she has these abilities. Yet he’s either surprised or immobilized when she experiences them. And I see few signs that she treats him as a father figure or as her King. I see the mirror requested and brought in, but I don’t see her look into it. I realize Lepra is confused by what is happening to her, and you want us to feel that confusion, but mostly I feel muddled. I doubt that’s very helpful feedback, though.

Your writing is technically quite clean and proficient. It’s a pleasure to read a MS with so few errors or typos.

Wishing you all the best with your ms, and I apologize again for taking so long to return your read.
~AudreyB
Forgiveness Fits

Neville wrote 788 days ago

Catalaysia: The Curse of Five.
By Auna June.


You get right into the story from the very start of chapter one.
I was taken aback unexpectedly as I realised that Lepra was in an animal form.
Sometimes this is a good thing...It saves a slow build up which can be off-putting for the reader.
The way you have done it really gets the reader’s attention straight away ...I like it.
‘Another year older and I am still waiting for an adventure.’ This characterises Lepra as a go- getter and we are in for an interesting read in my opinion.
The fantasy element of the story is excellent, the appearance of Thoro, a cougar, also able to change to human form. And the mystery of the chest with ‘Zielina’ and the power it exhibits
The book is full of suspense, unexpected twists and turns keep it flowing.
I’ve only read chapter one, but this is some book! Well suited to the Y/A, and above I would say.
You have a very good small pitch but I think the book cover could say more.
You’ve written an exciting book...It needs an exciting cover...just an opinion.
All in all, an enjoyable read that I will come back to.
Highly starred for now! Well done, Auna.

Kind regards,

Neville Kent. The Secrets of the Forest – The Time Zone.

AndrewStevens wrote 812 days ago

I’m not a big fan of fantasy or teen fiction, Auna but I can see how this might appeal to your target readers. The prose is simple and direct, the dialogue clear and the plot well-conceived and multi-layered with plenty of scope for escapist adventure, intrigue and romance.

I do think it needs quite a bit of work, though. There’s a flatness to the narrative which doesn’t really involve me as a reader. There are lots of fantastical things going on (shape-shifting, magical kingdoms, mystical languages, sinister powers) but the tone of the novel really doesn’t live up to the supernatural subject matter. It also feels a bit long-winded in places with many of the action scenes and conversational exchanges feeling slightly purposeless. I think, if you concentrate on tightening up the prose and dialogue, you may well find the energy and spark that, for me, is unfortunately lacking at the moment.

Sorry to sound so negative, Auna. I do think you have the basis for a good fantastical adventure here but, at the moment, the style of the storytelling rather undermines the appealingly fantastical premise. Thanks and best of luck. A



I made some notes on the opening chapter as I went along. Feel free to ignore:

Slightly confusing opening line. I assumed Lepra and ‘the princess’ were two different people/beings. Maybe rephrase??

Who’s ‘the girl’? If you’re still referring to Lepra, I think you need to rephrase. The POV is all wrong.

Specks not specs.

‘Gray mane’ – is her father in human or animal form? I assumed human but the ref to mane causes confusion??

Why is coronation italicised?

‘he didn’t notice. His attention was.. etc’ – as we’re in Lepra’s POV here, this rather grates??

‘eyes stared holes’ – not sure about this??

I think you need to show that Zielina is in Trion when Lepra first sees the chest. The king’s surprise at her being able to pronounce the word doesn’t make sense otherwise??

‘father mimicked the motion’ – reads like her father is mimicking Lepra sitting down??

‘and hid [not hide] a laugh…’

Some of the dialogue (eg ‘Thanks…’ ‘I’d better be off’ ‘Not a problem’ ‘loud and clear’ ‘false alarm’ etc) feels far too modern/ colloquial for the rather grand, regal setting and the fantastical, period feel of the novel??

The shifts in POV feel rather abrupt?? Maybe pick one (either Lepra’s or an omniscient POV) and stick with it??

There are quite a few references to ‘energy’. It feels like a slightly lazy shorthand for what Lepra is really experiencing?? Maybe try and be more specific/original??

Repetition of ‘scared’ in successive sentences.

There are quite a few references to cool breezes/cool night air etc. Becomes rather noticeable after a while??

Charlotte12 wrote 816 days ago

Hi there,

I am so sorry it's taken so long to get to your book. But I have read chapter one and have to say that there are some really good things going on in it.

I like the way you dose information about the characters so that we don't get all the details right off. The whole time I was reading, I kept asking myself, “Who are these people? What's really going on?” which of course encouraged me to read on. You also ended the chapter well, by not entirely answering all those questions.

Below, I included some thoughts and comments about the chapter. They are only my opinion, so feel free to take or leave anything I have included.

I thought it was a little odd that the King barely reacted when a young man he doesn't know suddenly showed up on the princess's terrace. I would have expected him to show a little more fatherly concern or to ask more questions.

Also, I wasn't sure why Lepra and King Leo's meeting seemed to be so tense at first: why does he have his hand by his sword and why is it significant that her dagger caught on the king's clothes? I kept waiting for some explanation of this.

The word “chest” used three times in two paragraphs. You might want to find other words for it to eliminate redundancy.

I noticed that the text jumps POV. First, we are introduced to Lepra and get the story from her POV and midway through, we get parts of the story from the king's.

This is a very interesting story with intriguing elements. I am sure that anyone who likes this kind of genre will thoroughly enjoy it.

All the best,
Dyane aka Charlotte12

Horsemad1 wrote 823 days ago

A refreshing read – well done. I’ve personal messaged you – good luck with your writing.

Nathy Mc bee wrote 824 days ago

Hello Anna

What a very interesting world you speak of, A world where people freely transform Into big cats.... did that come from a childhood fantasy? I always wished I could be a cat if only for a day. I am working on a new book now and in that there's a part when one of the character's becomes a cat.

Your 1st chapter is strong, there is a lot of misery surrounding the the box and it ends leaving you wanting more, which is always a winner. Your writing style seems good and I found it easy to read through although some of the sentences are quite long you could probably replace a lot of the coma's with full stops.
I only picked up one editorial point, when Lepra is looking at her door you used the word door 3 times in the paragraph I think it could read through smoother if it went
“Lepra stared at her door. Her eyes scanned over its intricate design until a secret latch underneath its handle caught her attention” there is also another part where the guards try to get into her room, you could loose the “her door” and replace it with “Its handle”
This however is only my opinion and I am by no means a professional. Anyways overall its very good. And I look forward to reading more once I have got through some of my other reads

:)

Cheers Nath

jackie rawlings wrote 825 days ago

I have read the first 2 chapters and really enjoyed it. You had me gripped from the start and made me want to read on to the next chapter. I know I will be reading more of this book and will be putting it on my shelf. Well done on your brillient descriptions and ability to make the reader want to read on.
Jackie
Lies and Death
Sins of the Past

Noelle J. Alabaster wrote 825 days ago

Hi Auna,
Wow, cool book! I love the people having cat powers--it's really new and interesting. This is a very fun and exciting fantasy, and I enjoyed reading it.
Noelle J. Alabaster

Hege Nabo wrote 825 days ago

I've only read the first chapter, and this is of course just my opinion. The story promises much and is interesting. The heroine is also potentially the antagonist, sort of. But the problem for me lies in the execution. For me, there isn't enough description about the transformation, possibly because of the switch between POVs. Why does she look evil? What does she feel? I think the strengths in story might keep me reading, but adding to her emotions while she acquires this additional power would in my eyes strengthen the story even more.

/Hege - The Silver Bell

earthlover wrote 825 days ago

Freaky story with lots of twists and turns. I read the first two chapters and enjoyed them. Well written with many surprises. Lepra having to get control of her power before she can be trusted, the King's reluctance to be in a room alone with her at first, and the connection to her birthday are all nice touches.
What is the purpose of this metamorphosis? Is it revealed in later chapters?
The only suggestion I have is don't repeat names so often, so close together. It might also be a little long with the story needing to move more rapidly.
Good luck with this!
Georgia
The Woman From E.A.R.L.

Barbara Gaskell Denvil wrote 825 days ago

I was drawn in immediately. The first parapgraph is deliciously intriguing and very well written.
After the initial delight, I did feel it a shame that everything slowed down rather unnecessarily - the fond banalities with the father - the irrelevant thoughts - the slightly confused sentences. However, on the whole I found this an excellent read, and although I'm the wrong age-group, I think this story has real potential. It's going on my watch-list and I shall read more of it as soon as I get time. This certainly deserves it's rating.

Lina Beldona wrote 826 days ago

it's really something i'd recommend for everyone reading. :) i have always loved stories with prophecies in it. your characters really do come out alive. hope it gets published already! Good Luck!!!

Warrick Mayes wrote 826 days ago

Auna,

I am not surprised by your lofty position, this is an excellent story.
132,000 words - blimey! I read to chapter two because I had to see what Lepra saw in the mirror, your caught me the way you will catch all readers - well done!
Your narrative and dialogue are both first-rate and easy to read, your descriptions subtle.

Best regards
Warrick

Zerin Mewa wrote 827 days ago

Really enjoyed the first chapter, your characters are spot on and I like the cliffhanger at the end. Well done and wishing you the best of luck :-)

Nathan O'Hagan wrote 827 days ago

Not my genre at all, but from what i read you have a really clever and original story that could easily tap into the current Twilight inspired enthusiasm for this type of YA/fantasy fiction. At times it felt like you could use some editing, it had the feel of something that had been written very quickly without a proofread afterwards. I understand how it is, you want to get all those ideas down as quickly as possible before they disappear. But is it important to go back and re-read what you've written again and again.
If you do this, then you've got a potentially very commercial idea that could prove very popular. High stars awarded.

scoz512 wrote 828 days ago

So far I have read five chapters. I like what I"ve gotten into and I will have to be back for more. I really like the idea that Lepra is a lion shifter. You do a good job switching between the "cat-like" descriptions and the human ones. I also like the idea that even her own father the King is afraid of the power she has or what may become of her in this prophecy. I do feel that I was thrown a bit in the middle of Lepra's life. I dont' really get much of a backstory of who she is and I feel myself unable to believe if she will make her own destiny since I dont' have much to go by in the department of her individual make-up. By chapter 4 and 5 I feel like I'm connecting a bit more with her. I'm starting to see her independence and cunning side. I'm also getting super intrigued with the five swords. This is something new that I've never read before. Nice. But I'm also wondering at this point what kind of kingdom this is...who is Thoro as her friend and what role does royalty carry in this world? Does this make any sense? I do, however, feel absolutely compelled to keep reading and see how you answer all these questions so this is not necessarily a critique. I think you do a fabulous moving the dialogue along and I'm certainly intrigued by the plot.

Sara

StrikeAMatch wrote 829 days ago

Found a little more time to do another review. This one is for: Auna June's Catalaysia: The Curse of Five
Date: 01.09.2012
Review By: Elizabeth Raine
Chapters: 1
This is one lovely story so far. You really paint the perfect picture and allows the characters to jump out of the text and come to life with her descriptions without carrying on anything and leaving the reader in a jumble of too many words.

The first chapter ends with many questions unanswered, really good way to end it-in my opinion.

I only noticed one mistake with 'Making him see grim'. I believe you have forgotten the m in 'seem'? Apart from that everything look fantastic. Nothing else that needs edited or anything like that.

I wish you the best of luck on reaching the Editor's Desk. This manuscript really deserves it. Your creativity is beyond this world.

6/6. W/L.

~ Elizabeth.

K.R.Slifer wrote 829 days ago

Auna,

I read chapter 3. I have to say I feel like way too much is happening way too fast. The premise of this is so interesting and i'm being rushed through some really good parts.

I dont understand anything about the transformation Lepra has made. There isn't enough detail in what is happening to her beyond just that she is changing and that she isn't a Lion. How does she know this? I feel like she knows way too much for it only being the 3rd chapter. If it was slower paced and she learned about it by some prophecy or some scroll inside the chest, the denial of her part as Princess would make a lot more sense.

There were a few inconsistencies and typoes:
in the beginng, Lepra sees the Queen at the bottom of the stairs, but then suddenly she is speaking to her father. Where did he come from?
Lepra supposedly isn't treated as part of the family, but her mother seems sweet and he father took the time to wish her a happy birthday in her room. That seems like part of the family to me.
"looked away.... glanced away" i think those two sentences are redundant.
"coronation crown her sister's had worn years ago" sister's doesn't need an apostrophe.
"Did I stutter?" That doesn't seem time appropriate. She should say something like "Was I unclear?"

You also need to be careful of changing POV. It doesn't work to write from Lepra's POV and then change suddenly for a sentence to Thoro or Garvis or King Leo.

I would also take out her ride to the stage on midnight. It doesn't make sense. As a reader, her transformation from sweet girl to rebellious fighter is too quick. Why would she suddenly decide to ride her horse to the stage and how did the horse get into the castle to begin with?

I wonder where this is going and what the purpose of this dark magic that Lepra inherited is.

I'll be back for more later.

Kat

Brian Thompson wrote 830 days ago

Hi,

I read the first chapter of your book and really enjoyed it. The concept of animals changing form into humans opens the book up to a wider readership. The story flows well in the first chapter however, I do have some suggestions that you might want to consider below.

(For just a few quick moments it flooded the girl’s room, causing every surface to shine.)

For just a few fleeting moments it flooded the room, causing every surface to shine.

(The king’s light blue eyes scanned the room as his hand fell to his sword’s hilt, but he smiled graciously as Lepra transformed and his shoulders relaxed.)

The king’s light blue eyes scanned the room, as his hand fell to his sword’s hilt, smiling graciously, as Lepra completed her transformation, into human form.

(her father said, opening his arms, “Get over here.”)

her father said, opening his arms, “Come and give me a big hug!”

Your imagination clearly paints a wonderful story, that I’m sure will be full of colour and detail in future chapters.

Well done!

ericardoz wrote 830 days ago

I read the first five chapters and I like the opening conflict. Lepra's trasnformation between leopard/human is a bit confusing at first, but once I realized that the (cats) fight and then they take human form to do anything else it made it easier for the story to flow. I feel like the story does not give enough background information. I'm not sure what exactly "The Curse of the Five" myth is about. Lepra goes into the orchid garden, but we're not told what happens? From your pitch it says the character is not sure what her purpose is..you might want to let the reader know a little bit more information..to keep the reader hooked..

David J Baron wrote 831 days ago

Hi Auna

Will definitively have a nose through this as I have a few spaces on my book shelf and WL. Would you be so kind as to have a quick look at my book - The List. Feel free to leave a comment.
ta very much.

David J Baron

D. S. Hale wrote 831 days ago

This is a very interesting first chapter. It ends in such a way that you have to continue to chapter two, to see what happens next. Very good, cliff hanger ending! I've given you high stars, good luck with this! It will be a very cool series!

Sincerely,
D. S. Hale
Jessup and the Teleporter