Comments to The Torgaine of Ysengarth by Belinda Kelly
Submitted by colin (Feb 12, 2010)
Although I was initially put off by the fact that the story was coming from the perspective of the bird I soon warmed to the idea, it was a very interesting way to tell the story. It was quirky, funny and very enjoyable. I liked the fact that the magic was used in a subtle way, I don't think that there needed to be any physical action by the sorceress because the effects of her magic were evident. Also, by doing this it is not possible to know how her magic works and the sorceress remains an enigma.
Submitted by Morden Grey (Apr 22, 2009)
I guess I am coming in a little late on this, but I have to say--this was well done. The flow was good, you never spent an overly large amount of time on description, just enough for me to get a pretty vivid image of what was going on.
The length of course was well executed as well--not too long not to short. I am always amazed how people are able to do in five pages what takes me 20-30. At first, I thought I was going to not care much for pig-faced witch woman, but only after a couple pages the crow and the witch made a companionship.
The dialogue was good, the story was humorous. At the end I found myself wanting to read more--which I think is the goal of any story and you obtained it.
Again, well done.
Submitted by Scott (Dec 08, 2008)
I guess what others keep calling ordinary magic is to me the one real short coming. (Sure, I don't go for 1st person often, but this was good.) It is when the sorceress changes Pak's mind that the magic really falls short. It isn't just ordinary. I think of ordinary as a waving wand or the chanting/reading of strange words. It was kind of non-existent. If she had made so much as a gesture, a nose-wiggle, a clenched fist, if she had "done" something, something visible I would have liked it better.
I imagine that this was a deliberate move though. Cutting out the possibly cheesy "wizard language" and any other tired and overdone (not in my opinion, mind you) magic systems was a good idea. I just feel that magic is an act, so there should be some action involved when using it. Look at Star Wars: even though lifting something with the force is purely a mental power, they always "do" something to indicate they are causing things to move, such as a throwing gesture or a look of extreme concentration. You can see they are using the force. I want to see this sorceress use magic.
Praise-wise, I found myself pulled along to the point that I even had to write this comment. It was so good I had to say something. It is the voice more than the hook that kept me reading. Great story.
I'll let others support my idea or pick it apart.
Submitted by J.W. Mitch (May 24, 2008)
I really enjoyed your story. You write very well and the flow of your story was very smooth. With a lot of short stories, one can get a confusing mess of symbolism and preaching, but this story was clear and very amusing. Good job.
Submitted by josiah (Apr 29, 2008)
surprise im a bird! i liked how you revealed that character in the opening paragraph
the "ordinary magic" was particularly refreshing