Review: White Queen Ascending + Sorcha Knight in the City || Xephyre

White Queen Ascending. Webnovel Story. Genre(s): Fantasy. # of Chapters: 22

TQ 3   PD 0   CF 1   ||   RL 1   CL 2   ||  Overall: 7

 

Important Note:  There is a big difference between a webnovel–a story of the internet and mobile world–and a published book. Besides straightforward editing, published stories are constantly polished to be more engaging, meaningful, and clear. So a successful webnovel doesn’t equate to the same caliber of a published novel. This is due in part to an online writer typically being a one man/woman show. Thus, reviews will be given as if regarding whether this could be a published print or e-book.

 

All 22 chapters were covered in this review.

 

Characters:

Amias – No real backstory or much of a clear or compelling reason to help Luciana. Personality isn’t very defined or unique. In other words, he doesn’t stand out/isn’t memorable.

Luciana – She’s a little bit lackluster. In part, that IS her personality-stoic and introverted. But even the “quiet” ones have underlying, strong feelings, thoughts, fears, and motivations. She needs a little more depth and backstory so readers can better grasp her personality and uniqueness compared to any other stoic characters of other stories.

Finally in chapter 11, we see a little into her inner struggle. “Truthfully, she’s finding it hard to spar with another kid. Half of her mind keeps on telling her to kill him. …. how hard it was for her to keep her hands from dealing a killing blow.” Good.

Theon – Seems like the antagonist or is part of those “against” Luciana and her escape.

Torin – A kindly man who takes an orphan in. Not much to say. He has a backstory on his family, but it doesn’t seem to be of much significance to the plot except establishing a somewhat tragic backstory. Marcus, his friend, again, nothing to say.

Oleander – “Torin explained to him about Luciana’s past, and he now understand her introverted personality. Now, he no longer care even if most of the time, she ignored him. Torin also said, if he showed her kindness and stayed with her longer, they could be good friends in the future.” Poor boy; Torin has to explain to him about Luciana. Yet another kind person to help and try to understand her. Quick note on tense, should be ‘understood.’

Dax – Typical, arrogant noble. Doesn’t have much of a purpose in the story.

Plot & Action:

The story begins with trying to escape. This is perfectly fine except that the direness of the situation isn’t conveyed. Okay, so they’ll escape. But for what and why. Just how terrible is this place? This should be explained first in order to elevate the suspense and urgency to leave such a place. Now, after they try escaping, this becomes a little clearer, but the world isn’t set up.

Wolf fight, and kind white deer – Hmm, more can be conveyed in these scenes to establish Luciana’s abilities, strengths, weaknesses, and potential. The deer as well is a nice source for world-building, but it seems more a sweet and convenient escape from the forest. Why did the deer do that? Does Luciana attract or have affinity with creatures? The significance of these situations should be clear in terms of progressing the plot, or adding meaning, whether to characters, future events, or settings.

Conclusion:

There isn’t anything to say on the technical aspect of the writing concerning punctuation, grammar, and spelling. As for the story, there’s a lot to be worked on, but it has potential. The events don’t lead up to anything foreseeable, and the necessity of Torin’s backstory is unclear. Now, this might be due to being only 22 chapters, so there is more to come. But at this point, there should be at least some indication for where all this is leading to. Apparently, Luciana is being chased, but it’s only dwelled on a little and not mentioned much in the last several chapters. The characters, regardless of any backstory given, have little to make them all interesting as their inner thoughts and emotions aren’t generally conveyed. Each character should have something which drives them and defines them that is different from the rest. 

Many stories start as a idea but aren’t fully expanded upon; thus, it’s essentially created and decided upon while writing. Along with your author comments, this seems to be that kind of story start. Preparation and foresight is key to a successful story. It is very hard to make an engaging story just on the spur of the time writing. So, along with characters and plot development and depth, consider world-building: what is the world like in terms of society, appearances, and mechanisms (like magic as this is Fantasy)? Once all these details are visualized before writing, it can be better expressed to readers, thus allowing them to truly immerse in your world.

 

Sorcha Knight in the City. Webnovel Story. Genre(s): Romance Fiction. # of Chapters: 49

TQ 1   PD 0   CF 1   ||   RL 1   CL 2   ||   Overall: 6

 

All 49 chapters were covered in this review.

 

Technical:

This story’s technical writing is a little less polished than your novel, White Queen Ascending.

It’s dialogue heavy with little description of how people talk, their gestures, actions, thoughts, and emotions. As a romance fiction, interpersonal relationships and inner feeling and thinking is most important.

Chapter 7 has world explanation. Ok.

Sorcha, Zamir – Okay, so the basic premise is whether they can hook up again and fulfill their promise. Sorcha’s character is expressed the best of the cast. But just like the rest, her motivations and idiosyncrasies in terms of daily thoughts and emotions are absent. 

Edmund, Rica, Anthony, Aria, Michael, Luke, Ryan, Marion – They are all introduced by chapter 9. This is way too many characters introduced in the beginning, and they have little to differentiate themselves from one another or any clear importance or significance to the plot. Edmund and Sorcha pairing, Luke, Rica – Lacking build up in chapter 23. Ryan and Sorcha – Big brother… Again, lacks build or much reason for attraction. It’s also somewhat disturbing as he’s the teacher.. But it’s reined in, so it’s not of much concern.

Aunt Claire, David – They appear basically once and are not mentioned much again until David in chapter 47.

Plot:

The only real action that occurred throughout these 49 chapters is the Sorcha kidnapping, running, and rescue. Before that, it’s basically her school life with her friends, and they don’t do anything that’s real interesting. The synopsis is interesting, even if the reincarnation and finding an old lover has been done before, but the story only sticks to this in the beginning, and none of the events that follow add any bit to this supposed overarching storyline. If Sorcha remembers her past life, then she isn’t doing anything that’s reminiscent of that life or is trying to seek out the people she knew. If she doesn’t remember, then the events themselves should subtly build up to the same premise.

Conclusion:

Both the characters and plot have a lot to be worked on. Character depth needs to be refocused, and events should start building up to the climax and connecting to the synopsis. With added character depth, believability of  interpersonal relationships and feelings will increase. In short, many of the same concerns in your other novel.

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