Absorbing and Intelligent
This ongoing story depicts a world of elemental wielders in an almost post-apocalyptic backdrop where Earth as we know it has altered. I thoroughly enjoyed how the author gradually revealed more and more about this premise over the chapters. Take for instance Chapter 1. We learn something isn’t quite right when Saffire (a lovely play on words) begins to talk about rationing. The author holds back an explanation to this, leaving the reader guessing. Something this author does in abundance and demonstrates adept skill in is her use of world-building. Descriptions are rich and detailed, drawing you in.
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Despite the fantasy genre, at its heart, this is a story many can relate to. Saffire strives to overcome challenges in her life, both on a personal level and a grander scale. Being thrust into the role of a Fire Spirit Elemental Leader is empowering but brings a lot of hardship to her life. It is nice to see peppers of light-hearted and even humorous notes woven throughout the drama. It breaks up the arduous core of the writing and makes the characters all the more dimensional. I too love to use the notion of good and evil, dark and light, as a central theme, so I enjoyed the trials and tribulations. You aren’t afraid to tackle challenging subjects head-on, knowing how integral they are to the characterisation of your cast and backstory. Abuse is a powerful tool when used sympathetically and you did this superbly. I also love (bias here) stories written from a first-person perspective as I find them immersive. The connection I had for Saffire made me feel for her all the more intensely.
On a personal level, I like fast-paced fiction, so I do agree with the feedback around breaking up your chapters so that they are punchier. We tend to read until the end of a chapter and sometimes I found myself wanting a break before I reached the end. Not because of your plot but it just felt a little overwhelming. Like the concept of being over faced at a meal even when you are starving! Relating to grammar and punctuation, everything is close to perfection. The main issue I found was specific to speech. I was always taught to begin dialogue with a capital letter even if it starts mid-sentence. The only exception to this being when you do broken speech and the tag goes in the middle. I noticed that the author often places the tag before the speech, which is a nice alternative but then begins the speech with a lowercase letter. It could be that there are different preferences for different countries (I’m from the UK), but I thought I’d raise it all the same.
I’m not surprised this creative and fascinating tale has so many positive reviews. You have crafted a well-rounded story with a clear story arc and character development. I’m intrigued to see how things progress and ultimately end.