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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/my_feedback/action/view/id/4535736
Review #4535736
Viewing a review of:
 The Righteous King  [ASR]
A fatal affliction causes a change in the heart of a king.
by brom21
Review by Tobber
In affiliation with WYRM  
Rated: ASR | (3.0)
Access:  Public | Hide Review (?)
Hey, Brom.

One review coming up, as promised. *Smile*

"King Striver lay on his bed in his royal chamber peering outside of his window to his left..." - "to his left" seems like redundant information (the exact position of the window isn't really relevant here), but other than that I think it was solid scene opening. We a clear POV character, and though it's not clear until the second paragraph exactly why, we get a sense of the conflict with the king thinking he'll soon die and regretting the way he's lived his life.

"...by ingesting a deadly plant juice slipped into his drinking cup." - This immediately made me wonder how the physician could explain the method of delivery and the nature of the poison so exactly. And how did they catch the spy? If it was in the act, then surely they'd saved the king?

"He was told he would die by morning. He had been..." - It took me a while to figure out that the second and third "he" refered to the king and not the spy.

"a months ago" - It should be either "a months" or "months".

"...and prolong your life by a day." - Again, his knowledge of the poison is suspeciously detailed.

"Thankyou my friend." - There's a missing space to separate "thank you".

"a small glass vile of red fluid." - "vile" should be "vial"

"He took the vile and drank it." - Same thing here. Also, technically he emptied it or drank it's content.

"Morning came and with it, the sliver of the orange-red sun peeled over the distant mountains." - If there's to be a comma here, then it should probably be before "and". That aside, I think it's a neat description. I don't I have praised your sentence level writing much in the past, but this sentence is well crafted and paints a very clear picture.

"It is gone! I am freed from the pain of wretched affliction, albeit for a brief time. Now to get to work!" - This read a little jarring to me. Partly, it's because the king yells out this to no one. Even considering that his excitement might lead him to exclaims a few lines of dialogue out loud even though he's alone, the "Now to get to work" part reads off. It doesn't read like natural dialogue. If it was me, I would change that last part at least, maybe into something like: "He slipped out of bed with renewed vigor, ready to make the most of his last day." It's of course just one way to say it, and maybe it brings you too close to a max. word count.

"it would nonetheless help a great deal to the poor in the future." - There's a minor slip-up in the phrasing here. I think it should either be "a great deal of help to the poor..." or help the poor a great deal..."

"One day in his royal council, where he had ordained all his charitable acts..." - The "One day" makes it seem as if we're following him over several days, but everything else indicated that this was the first day after the phsyician told him the good news. Also, is a minor miss-match with the information we were given early on that he'd not live much longer.

"Then we will seek donations from Nerith..." - This part doesn't really make sense without further explanation. Why would another kingdom donate money to them? Even as famine, war, and diseases plague large parts of Africa, most foreign governments aren't exactly eager to help. Secondly, why would the rulers of Nerith kill the ambassador? True, they probably would accept to help, but just because you haven't spoken to some in a while that doesn't mean you hate them.


Overall
There were a few technical issues, but all of them minor and easily fixed (see above). There were bigger-picture things I noticed, though. One of them positive, the other negative.

On the negative side, there wasn't really any conflict or mystery to create a plot and drive it forward, so the story turned into a list of events. There's a writer's quote (I can't remember who said it) that goes like this: "The king dying isn't a story, but the queen dying and the king then dying of grief is a story." This implies that the latter example will show the king struggling to live with his grief only to fail at the end. I guess the basic premise here was that the king would be struggling to turn his life around and make the best of what little time he had left, becoming a better person. But there's no real oposition to this only the brief need for more money, so there's no real struggle. (That this key element of a story is missing is also the reason for my low rating.)

On a far more postive note, I think this is some of the best sentence level writing I've seen from you. There were a few hiccups, sure, but generally everything was clear and easy to read, and the information followed in a logical order. Plus, there was a really great description in there too. I've said it before, but I'll still mention how nice to see the improvements you're making in your writing. I look forward to the next story you send my way. *Smile*


No disclaimer here, because you're a WYRM and knows that it took time and effort to provide this feedback and that it's only meant as a help to improve your writing.

*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
   *CheckG* You responded to this review 03/02/2020 @ 8:16pm EST
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