ok then, anyone who might read this, I will spoil some details, so be warned.
I did choose to have an open review because I was thinking about opening a review topic myself, much like this one.
* Atmosphere and tone
* Eory - Yes, he by himself counts as a pro
* The setting
What I liked:
I'll start by saying, A good way to capture my attention is to have a main character that feels lonely and anxious, and well, this one is perfect for me... But I’m getting ahead of myself.
One thing I’ll disclose right off the bat is that I did not list to the music, I realize how it was picked to match the scenes, and I get it... But I have a lot of trouble focusing when there is any form of persistent sound around me, so sorry in advance if that was an important part of the experience.
However, even without that, the atmosphere you’ve built is phenomenal, the little details slowly making up the environment our main character finds himself in are perfect to set the mood... At first somber and dark, but when Eory changes mood it gets bright and happy, but the melancholy of anxiety never leaves the air as it never leaves him.
So far the pacing was great for me, I actually love when we have proper characterization moments, like when he meets the rat, and how he interacts with the guards, and even the moment in the ride over to the king where he is basically looking for a distraction so he doesn’t sit with his thoughts... Everything works well to pull our attention towards Eory and his feelings, and that is exactly what I want from a drama, and something a lot of people don’t get at all, yet you mastered.
This is what makes Eory such an asset for the story that I put him as a pro, his widely conflicting emotions make scenes feel lovable but at the same time eerie, like when he receives the puppy, I felt a warmth in my heart, but a sudden chill when he decided to name it after his brother, who we were led to believed killed his family’s dog.
Eory is this intricate dancing puzzle right in front of us, who we genuinely don’t know if he is a good or a bad guy, we fall in love with his sweet and tender moments, but dread what might happen later... AND THAT IS EXACTLY THE FEELING EVERYONE ELSE HAS FOR HIM!! I totally get why Kori, the king and everyone else feels so uneasy. I want to believe he is good, but I also don’t know for certain.
And that is not even touching on the subconscious layer of the story... Like is he a good guy slowly turning mad due to the way he is being treated? Did the same happen to his family at some point? It’s all beautifully constructed and you nailed the delivery here.
On a final note to close the good, I love the setting, fey are rarelly explored and I feel like its fresh and interesting to see a story focus on them for once, I do hope we will learn more about them and the world around them on chapters to come.
* Sometimes too obfuscated
What I didn’t like as much:
No work is perfect, and as much I loved this story, some parts of me had me scratching myself in wonder.
For one I do believe there is some redundancy in the way Eory relationship with Kori works, I understand the complicated situation they found themselves in... But I do wish a bit more of it was just show rather than told.
I felt it was a bit repetitive how it is stated that Eory both loves and hates Kori so many times, don’t get me wrong, I live with anxiety and I totally understand why it is so reoccurring, but I feel like you did a good job showing his anxiety and repressed anger... There was no need to say it more than you did at episode two as we already know he feels that way and could link those behaviors together.
That same time could have been spent making certain other details a bit clearer, like when Kori spins the tale of Pollyana I wanted to know that tale, I wanted to muse in the same wonders Eory mused into, the same way I wished we got a bit of the banter of the guards...
Anyone else would say those are unimportant details, but I actually think the opposite, if Eory is so drawn to those things, knowing what they were would have made me understand him a bit better... I do understand however maybe you shortened these bits to make the text not as lenghty, and this brings me to my last point.
Maybe you noticed it already, but my cons are not really that much cons as much as they are editorial notes, that is because I actually couldn’t find anything that I legitimately felt was wrong with the series... The things I criticized could just be chalked up stylistic choices and not necessarily things that are wrong or bad, this should be a testament to the quality of writing on display.
I had major fun reading though this story and I’m pretty sure I will continue to do so. I feel like there is a lot here to love, and pretty much nothing to be peeved about, so if the first few pages capture a reader’s attention as they did mine, surely they will stick with it.
And dare I say, more people should be reading it right now ^^
Edit: I forgot to @ratscout