Tuesday, September 15

Some people can be so immature

If you have the time and patience to read this, I would appreciate your comments. Chronicler: Review on "The Dragon Knight" Rating: 2.0 Sorry, but I had to stop reading this after the first paragraph. While the writing itself was good, as an adult afficiendo of high fantasy literature, I was immediately "turned off" by the notion that mere human "knights" had the ability to kill the typical, large dragons of fantasy lore. Dragonslaying knights is really the stuff of fairytales intended for five year olds who have no knowledge of how deadly someting like a dragon would really be. This is why when a blockibuster film like "Shrek" makes fun of fairytales, they cannot overlook the ridiculous notion of "knights" killing large dragons, and rather intelligently depicted the dragon's cave full of knights bones and empty armor, because any other conclusion is ridiculous. In the future, you might want to say your story is intended for "young readers". Good luck with your project in any case. If it was devoid on unbelievable, cliche', dragonslayer nonsense, I would probably be interested in reading it. Me: Thanks, mate. Was waiting for an honest review. Jor-aren is not human, and no mere knight. Deeper into the story, it'll be revealed that he's Irda, a race far older than humans, whose innate magic are surpassed only by the dragonkind. And these knights had been infused with dragon essence. In Dragonlance, Huma was a plain human. Granted, a dragon helped him, but with the dragonlance he showed everyone that dragons could be killed too. It's not another fairytale, but a story about a jaded, cynical young man who wants to avoid taking the path set out for him. Please, if you don't mind, have another go. I have to admit, though. I wrote this one some years ago. Chronicler: Dragon Lance is pretty much aimed at adolescent readers as well. You won't see books written by bestselling adult fantasy writers like Terry Goodkind or Terry Brooks writing such nonsense. And as I recall, the only way a dragon could be killed in Dragon Lance was with the magical "dragon lance". But if a single dragon WERE threatened by such a weapon, they would simply wipe out mankind by burning every field and killing every domestic animal. It would be impossible to stop them, and so, Dragonlance is utter nonsense. The people who write this stupidity don't seem to realize that if evolution is real, (and it is generally accepted world wide now), dragons would have to be FAR more ancient and ADVANCED than any humanoid species. Their intellect and magical abilities would be MILLIONS of years ahead of any primate. MILLIONS. And why would such vastly superior creatures infuse their "essence" to violent primates that might someday attack them? They wouldn't, of course. In fact, the only reason any primate would live in a fantasy world with large sentient dragons is if the dragons wanted them to. Even if humans COULD hurt a dragon, which is highly unlikely, NO human would dare to do so, because the dragons could inflict a terrible retribution that would kill millions, and do so with absolute impunity. And if ever threatened by vastly superior odds (most likely an impossible scenario in a realistic fantasy), why would you suppose a dragon would fight to the death, or give anyone an opportunity to hurt it? Most animals NEVER do. They cut and run. And dragons could retreat to inaccesible places nobody could ever reach. Sorry, but to me, this dragon slaying by anything less than a bigger dragon is just kiddie nonsense, written in an age of Marvel Super Hero comics. What can I expect from an author than belives such a thing? I would have absoultey no faith that anything else he writes would be realistic. Such a person simply has no idea of the real capabilities of huge, consumate predators. A human sized creature only has so much reach, and so much muscle mass, whatever you may think. A rat the size of a human would be a far deadlier predator than a human. . But what chance does a rat have agains an eagle? ANY normal sized humanoid would be just as helpless against a large dragon. Dragons would be nothing less than gods to any race of primates, as shown in some of my stories and my next book. Lose the dragonslaying stupidity and I will consider reading more. As it is now written, it is simply not worth my time. Sorry. I don't read dragonlance either, they are stupid, unrealistic books fit only for children. Fairytales...nothing more. Me Well, Mr Chronicler, it does seem that we cannot please everyone, and it's a good thing I never aimed to do so. As you are adamant about the logic and 'realism' of dragons, I have to ask you this: what are dragons, if not a myth? The Western depiction of dragons are large lizard-like creatures with wings. I reckon the myths originated from dinosaur bones found by ancient people. The winged, flying dinosaurs that did exist had hollow bones and streamlined bodies, and they lived near shores where the windrafts could lift them. They were gliders, not fliers. Not reptile living now can actually fly. The Eastern depiction of dragons are serpentine leviathans that glide the open air. There is no logic in that too. What about dragons having magic, then? How do we explain magic? Those that we have today are merely illusions. Magic is a term used to something unexplainable by science. Ancient Chinese who discovered firepowder hid the fact and made everyone else cower in awe by their 'magic'. How indeed do dragons, reptiles, possess magic? Or the command of language? We take another lore. Fire-breathing dragons. Now how is that possible? How can living tissue withstand the heat? I have read the short stories you posted. You portray dragons as gods, and if that's the way you roll, then good for you. Most stories portray gods as petty creatures with their own wants and agendas. I'm Muslim and I believe in the One God, but Abraham, Moses and Jesus prayed to the same God too. And we know that God is not petty. God cannot be understood or visualized by mortals, by us. God creates life. God takes life. God makes mountains and trees as easily as God destroys them. How can dragons be gods when they cannot create life, but can only destroy? When you say it is not possible for mere humans to kill dragons, how can all stories, all mythologies depict dragonslaying? The reason is simple. A dragon is a metaphor for an impossible obstacle. Many give up or are defeated by this impossibility, but for those with heart, for those who persevere, the impossible becomes possible. Stories like these are meant to give people hope. Lose the dragonslaying stupidity and I will consider reading more. As it is now written, it is simply not worth my time. Sorry. I don't read dragonlance either, they are stupid, unrealistic books fit only for children. Fairytales...nothing more. By stating this, you are mocking my intelligence. In fact, you're saying I'm stupid. You may have written books, but you don't have the slightest idea what I do for a living. If you deign to read other works (Dragon Knight is the only dragon story I wrote), you'd find that I have a gift. But writing is not my source of income. Neurosurgery is. I understand that as a 'dragon specialist', you look down on people who don't portray dragons as you see them. But please. I would appreciate it if you could lose your snobbery. Right now you sound like one of those literary artsy snobs who curse on John Grisham and Dan Brown and Stephen King and JK Rowling for writing trash that made millions. I'm sorry to have to say this, but I have met your kind before. Just because you are well versed in a particular field, you look down on others who do it blindly, based on the stereotype. Well, you can write a story with a hospital setting, and you may get it all wrong, but if your writing is good, if your story resonates, I will read to the end, and supply a few helpful comments. That's what I do, because I love reading and helping people. I don't simply tell them I stop reading at the first paragraph because I find the concept illogical and stupid, which, I have to point out, you did at great length. You did of course say my writing was good, but how can you tell when you stopped reading at the 1st paragraph. Since you are adamant about the logic of dragon portrayal, I suggest that you read Jurassic Park. That's as close as a real dragon can get. Because, after all, dragons were born from dinosaur bones. Having said all the above, I do appreciate your spending time giving me a review and a follow-up comment. Chronicler: What a coincidence. In my last note I almost added that you ought to watch Jurassic Park to learn something about usual outcome of human versus giant carnivorous reptile. Now if jurassic park was written by the comic book writer of Shanna the Jungle Girl, she would have slaughtered the T-Rex with a bowie knife, just as your "knights" are able to slaughter giant sentient dragons. Now do you understand. When mere humanoids can kill giant sentient reptilian predators, the work is little more than a children's comic. I agree about the magic. But if there is going to be "magic' in a fantasy world, it might be what scientists in our own world consider paranormal phenomena. Some serous scientists have stated that thousands of years from now, humans will refine these abilities and use them. So if any creature in a fantasy world might possess some of these abilities, it might be creatures that have been sentient for 100 million years instead of 200 thousand. Virtually every human culture spoke of actually seeing living dragons and interacting with them. Perhaps these are mass hallucinations, but if you profess the God of the bible is real, these scriptures also document dragons, and they are the highest assitants to the real Creator God. How could they "breath fire", read this short story about the world's most famous dragon, taken right out of the Bible that you must be familiar with. How Dragons Breath Fire With great apprehension, the white-bearded patriarch pulled back the curtain, and entered the richly decorated, leather topped tent that would later come to be known as The Holy Tabernacle. Bright flames flickered from the seven spouts of the imposing, intricately wrought candelabrum of gold, and their reflections danced like a thousand points of light on the iridescent, blood-red scales of the great creature whose coiled body perfectly filled the antechamber. Well-sated by a substantial meal of several sacrificial calves, lambs, and the first born children of those who could not pay the prescribed ransom in precious metals, the beast noisily snored until the man neared the tent. Now there was a deathly silence. The patriarch went to his knees, and in a whisper implored, "Lord of Lords, your servant speaks". With the acute senses of a consumate predator, the beast had heard the man's tread even on the soft desert sand the tent was pitched upon, and was now wide awake. The cat-like, but intelligent golden orbs were open, and bore down upon the fearful man. Great scaly lips parted, revealing rows of teeth, each as large and sharp as a fine Egyptian dagger, and an oily black, forked tongue, as long and as broad as man's leg, tasted the air, withdrew, and then in a deep, resonating voice, the creature replied, "Why do you disturb my rest, Moses?" With an unsteady voice, the old white beard stammered, "Lord of Lords, the people grow disaffected again. They complain of the monotony of the manna you feed them, while you daily consume their finest livestock. Few still have treasure from Egypt to ransom their first-born, that you demand, and the harshness of the desert becomes intolerable. They wish that members of their own tribes would be among your priests, and not all from the Levites. Some think they were better off as slaves in Egypt, and wish to return ithere, if they are not brought soon to the Promised Land." The great reptile tasted air again, detecting the scents of many men, and said, "I sense people outside the Tabernacle who are not my priests. Are they the disaffected ones?" The Patriarch replied with unease. "Y-yes oh Lord, and they request an audience to voice their displeasure." "So be it", the reptile flatly stated. "Let them feel the fiery wrath of their Lord". Moses shook his head in affirmation, and asked, "The oil skin, Lord?". The dragon gave a grunting nod and then gaped wide it's terrible jaws. Moses entered the second, smaller room, partitioned by a curtain, and removed the lid to the magnificent gold-sheathed, wooden ark that reposed in honor there. Along with the device that the old man sought, the chest housed original copies of the laws the creature had imposed upon His people, as well as his finest treasures. Among the dragon's baubles of silver, gold, and lapis lazuri, he lifted out a large, heavy, liquid-filled vessel, fashioned from the entire skin of a young calf, but where the head would have been was a fine bronze spigot, bound to the calf's neck with sinew and pine resin. He also removed a polished white object that looked all the world like one of the great creature's teeth, only this one was hollow and fashioned from elephant ivory. The Patriarch hefted the heavy calfskin into the dragon's mouth, carefully positioning it on the base of the forked tongue where it broadened considerably, with the bronze spigot facing outwards. Then he loosened the hardwood cork, and filled the hollow ivory tooth with the highly volatile mixture of naptha, pitch and oil, taking care not to let the bitter fluid soil his master's tongue. Replacing the stopper, he then carefully inserted the ivory tooth in an empty socket in the very front of the reptile's bottom jaw. He then inserted a common lamp wick of twisted linen into the tip of the faux tooth and set it alight with a small branch that he ignited with the flame of the wondrous, seven branched oil lamp. The dragon carefully closed its jaws just enough to conceal the calfskin, but not enough to extinguish the flickering lamp, and with his snout, pushed Moses toward the tent flap. The Patriarch strode out before the assembled dissidents, each of whom had carried a smoldering bronze censer that burned aromatic incense in respect for their Lord. Moses rebuked them, saying, "Woe to you for your disaffection and ingratitude to the God who delivered you from Egypt. Now feel the wrath of your Lord!" With that, the great 'fiery and flying serpent" uncoiled out of the tent entrance like a flowing river of glistening red scales. Rising up upon his haunches, He spread its great wings, lowered its head, and gently squeezed the calfskin with its tongue against its pallete, causing the cork to pop out, and a great stream of oil to spew forth, igniting when it reached the flaming ivory tooth-lamp. The dissidents screamed as the plume of flames enveloped them. The multitude of Israelites who witnessed the event, were awed by the magical power of their Lord, and for a long while, complained no more of their hardships. So memorable was the event that it would be recorded in the scriptures that we now call the Holy Bible. " And fire came out from the LORD and consumed the 250 men who were offering the incense." Numbers 16:35 And to confirm where the fire came from: "Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth." Pslams 18:22 END But no, you totally misunderstand my writing. I did not say dragons were gods, I said humans in ancient times would believe they were their gods. There is a big difference. As for talking, there is plenty of scientific precedent. Dinosaurs and Pterosaurs are not mere reptiles, but Archosaurs. Birds are also archosaurs, and surely you are aware that they can pronounce human words. Your information about Pterosaurs is also outdated. Some of the largests ones (and one type is large enough to swallow an adult man whole), lived in flat terrain can could fly like a traditional bird witout relying on cliffs or wind. I am not trying to be snobbish or arrogant. I just think stories about humanoids with iron age technology killing gigantic intelligent flying reptiles is ridiculous, just as most scientists would say a humanoid with iron age technology killing a T-Rex with the brain the size of an avacodo is likewise ridiculous. And an intelligent dragon would be far, far more deadly than an unintelligent dinosaur. And believe it or not, I run a military museum, have studied military technology and combat skills for decades, and have even jousted on horseback in full armor. If you watch the History Channel you have undoubtedly seen me equipped in museum quality armor from ancient to medieval times. I do know what I am talking about. In the fantasy I like to read, it should read like quality historical fiction, and NOT like comic books with heroes impossibly slaying enormous monsters far superior to the human in every way. Like I say, eliminate the dragon-slaying sillliness, and I'll be happy to read and comment on the rest. I am not saying eliminate dragons, as fantasy worlds without them are very boring places. But if dragons are in your world, they should be realistic, and not mere fodder to be slain to enhance an unbelievable human hero. Me: Even with the lines from the scripture, there were no further verses or explanations to identify that the Lord, or the creature from whence the fire came from, was a dragon. In Quran, quite a number of the passages are vague, but have to be taken at literal value and are not open to interpretation, and rightly so. Different people with different background and prejudices have different interpretations. And from these differences come dispute. " And fire came out from the LORD and consumed the 250 men who were offering the incense." Numbers 16:35 "Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth." Pslams 18:22 These could also be interpreted as a volcano erupting. And I wouldn't be wrong. You did mention that my take on the flying dinosaurs are outdated. Why? Paleontologists found more evidences that contradict their previous assumptions. Just like the T-Rex. It's now a scavenger and not a hunter as they previously believed. They cannot agree with each other, because there aren't enough facts to back them. They can't even agree on whether the dinosaurs have feathers or not. What about skin color? More assumptions. Just because you have a certain ideal, a certain belief on how a dragon should look like, should behave, doesn't make it real, doesn't make it undeniable fact. Dragons are open to anyone's interpretation, just like the deep sea monsters, just like unicorns and flying horses and chimeras and the like. If other people's dragons don't fulfill your vision, you have no right to scoff at them for telling their stories the way they do, unless you have a pet dragon under your basement. Only then do you have the right to say, "Sheesh. These people. They know nothing." The way you're putting your foot down can be likened to some people scoffing at all the alien-related books and movies, because they know. They've seen aliens. Or maybe you'll laugh, saying that these people are just crazy. The universe is big. Maybe there are aliens. Maybe there are dragons who rule countries like demigods, demanding sacrifices. Maybe there are dragonkin who evolved to become humanoid. And maybe, just maybe, there are alien knights out there who hunt dragons for a living. It's called speculative fiction. People speculate, then they write the fiction. By the way: why would a dragon want treasures, like what you've written. That's just not logical. They can't wear the jewelry, they can't spend the coins. So they just like shiny things? Now, knowing what you work as, I would have understood and respected you if you pointed out if armors or weaponry are all wrong. Because you would know for a fact. Because you immerse yourself with the FACTS of life during medieval periods. But we're talking about dragons here. They never even existed for you to preach people on how they should be portrayed. As it is, you come off as one of those die-hard Star Wars fans who wear Jedi-getup everyday and worship the Jedi religion, and argue with everyone the real cultures and behaviors of the creatures that George Lucas created. Chronicler: On the contrary, there is considerable more evidence that the Biblical Yahweh is a dragon, but understand, that in both original Hebrew beliefs, as well as the earlier Canannite tradition where he is called "Yaw" or "Yam", this creature is one of 72 lesser gods, each one adopting a human tribe or culture. Deuteronomy plainly states that Yahweh had the Hebrews, just as Ba'al had the Cannanite...... But the cheif God over all of these "dragons" around the world was called El or Eloi to both the Cannanite and Hebrews, and this is probably where "Allah" comes from as well. But El is probably not a dragon, for as the creator, he had to exist before the dragons described in the Bible, including Yahweh. Volcanos do have a "mouth" but Yahweh also: has nostrils that spew smoke is described with big wings definately had assistants, maybe even children that were dragons (the real meaning of the word Seraphim) He was fed lambs, calves, first born children and liquor to drink ordered Moses to make his idol in the form of a "fiery flying serpent". That is all in the Bible. In addition, the enormous Perisan Empire stated in their Zoroastrian scriptures that Yahweh of the Hebrews was a dragon, and many early Christians also believed Yahweh was a dragon. And it is no coincidence that virtually every culture that ever left records stated that there were intelligent dragons, that in some cases taught them things. Now you can dismiss all of that, including the Bible as all nonsense based on seeing dinosaur bones, but the subject of my ciritisism wasn't whether or not there is some truth to the worldwide dragon beliefs, but rather, how ridiculous is is to believe humans, or similar sized creatures, armed with basic iron weapons could possibly kill something like a giant, intelligent, flying spinosaurus. (better choice than a T Rex because of the large forearms. You are the one who brought up Jurassic Park. We don't see anybody killing T-Rexes with swords because that would be stupid, childish nonsense, and JP had scientists as advisors. So how could you think a creature FAR more deadly than a T-Rex could be killed by a human, or hunanlike creature that could only have neglibable more muscle mass, senses, etc.. If you wanted to give your knights, high tech modern weaponry, yeah they could kill a dragon, but long before the humans adopted that technology the dragons would probably recognize humans as a threat and wipe them out. This is common sense that few fantasy writers think about because they are not historians. You can have your heros kill as many dragons as you like in your stories, it is your right. And it is my right to laugh as such childish absurdity, and refuse to waste my time reading anything more from a person who could believe such nonsense is possible. This is based on the typical, large intelligent, dragon of fantasy genre. Now if your dragons are no larger than a small pony, like the only dragons people in the Middle ages thought even a Saint could kill, then your story wouldn't seem so silly. This has nothing to do with my opinion, it is the same common sense and science that prevented Jurassic Park being ruined by somebody killing a T-Rex or Spinosaur with a medieval type weapon. Also it is only one paleontologist's opinion that T-Rex was a pure scavenger. In truth ALL predators are scavengers too. Most Plaeontologists refute this idea of T-Rex as a pure scavenger, and I agree. T-Rex was probably an ambush predator like a crocodile, and therefore did not have to run fast or far. Why do dragons collect gold? Other Archosaurs like and collect shiny objects, but more probably it was for status among other dragons. But a dragons money can still buy weapons for the people who worship it, just as we see in the bible with the conquest of Canaan with this dragon's assistance. And in a fantasy world where dragons may not have to be so secretive as on this world, dragons could use their gold to hire mercenaries, make armor, etc, but of course, humans wiithout modern technologies would be no threat to them. They may want the gold simply to attract human thieves, which would be less bother than hunting for animals with tough, indigestible fur coats. In some fantasy worlds dragons could be law abiding creatures that buy animals from hunters or farmers, instead of stealing them. In ancient cultures, humans were happy to feed their dragon 'gods' some of their animals, just like the bible says. Me: Ancient Chinese said that mountain ranges were sleeping dragons. That's why their dragons are serpentine, without the wings Westerners seem to like. Some still do believe it. So, is it at all possible that the dragon of your reference are merely volcanoes, and nothing more? Some lava erupt from the mouth/crater, but some seep out from the sides of the mountain. When it is active, before eruption, smoke trails out of the crater, or the nostril(s). A large, long body? Part of a mountain range, maybe? Big wings? some mountains may give the impression of folded wings. Before the advent of science and understanding nature, villagers offer sacrifices to appease such gods, hoping that they will have a successful hunt, bountiful harvest, but most of all, free from natural disasters, which, at that time, were thought of as a sign of the displeasure of gods. I will keep on giving my point of view, and you will counter with your historian background. This will not end. What I've been trying to say is that you've let your firm belief on your take on dragons that you've closed your mind to other possibilities. When it comes to fiction, especially speculative fiction, it is not about what a reader believes should happen. The reader is there for the ride. The story world is created by the author. He has the prerogative to tell the story as he sees fit, but. There's a big but here. The author has the responsibility to lead the reader true. If the sky is green instead of blue, fine. Make sure it is green throughout. If animals could talk, fine. Don't make them operate fine machinery that requires opposable thumbs unless they have opposing thumbs in the first place (humanoid form). If a dragon can be killed by humans, fine. The question is how. I do agree with you. Take a regular blacksmith-edition sword and try to stick it in a dragon, it'll die of laughter (I heard dragons have an odd sense of humor). I didn't write that with my story. My protagonist isn't even human. You judged me without even reading the story. So I can't say anything about it. And I do hope you will one day realize this, when I say please lose the snobbery. Just to recap: - You gave me a 2.0 rating without even reading the story, when this website is about writing and reading other writers. - 1st email (review): Sorry, but I had to stop reading this after the first paragraph. While the writing itself was good, as an adult afficiendo of high fantasy literature, I was immediately "turned off" by the notion that mere human "knights" had the ability to kill the typical, large dragons of fantasy lore. Dragonslaying knights is really the stuff of fairytales intended for five year olds who have no knowledge of how deadly someting like a dragon would really be. -2nd email: The people who write this stupidity don't seem to realize that if evolution is real, (and it is generally accepted world wide now), dragons would have to be FAR more ancient and ADVANCED than any humanoid species. Their intellect and magical abilities would be MILLIONS of years ahead of any primate. MILLIONS. And why would such vastly superior creatures infuse their "essence" to violent primates that might someday attack them?...What can I expect from an author than belives such a thing? I would have absoultey no faith that anything else he writes would be realistic. Such a person simply has no idea of the real capabilities of huge, consumate predators...Lose the dragonslaying stupidity and I will consider reading more. As it is now written, it is simply not worth my time. As I said, the world of that story was of my creation, was of my vision. You stumbled onto it with your firm beliefs and prejudices and it stopped you from experiencing other authors' worlds. Yes, you definitely have the right to your own opinion. But to have the audacity to imply (in my face) that I am stupid for creating my own world with my own possibilities, that is snobbery at its worst. And you have the galls to tell me to modify my story to suit your taste. I'm sorry. I've not heard of an author doing that. I welcome any and all reviews about my writing. But you didn't do that. Instead, you're preaching me how dragons should behave. If you tell me "Now look here, no monkey in this world can breathe underwater," I would look back on what I wrote and thank you for pointing out my silly mistake. But, if my story is about water-breathing monkeys, I'd just say "This is fantasy. This is my story. Live with it." The same can be applied with our predicament here. You let your mind shackle you from enjoying good reads (I'm not referring to my story here. The reason I posted it is to show myself how I've improved over the years). As a reader, as a writer, that is a dangerous liability, when we should be open to all possibilities. PS: There is no mention of dragons in Quran. And Allah is not derived from Overlord Gods. I can't say anything about the Bible, as its original form the Injil had been tempered with. Christianity assimilates local cultures and believes to make the transition of conversion easier. So it's no surprise if dragons get into the picture. The Torah as well. Its original form, the Taurat, is no longer in existence. PPS: That being said, with your background and your view on dragons, you have the potential to spin stories different than the stereotypical ones out there. Pursue that, but keep an open mind. That's my advice from a fellow writer who's still learning the craft. Chronicler: Any good source on Chinese dragons both illustrates and explains that the earliest ones had wings and looked surprisingly like "western" ones. Perhaps when dragons became less frenquently seen their appearance was more stylized. This will all be illustrated with original artifacts in the book. The Chinese histories record the names of Civil Servants paid to take care of visiting dragons. Dignitaries whom dragons gave rides to are recorded. One account states that a ship captain paid a dragon a keg of wine to push the boat off of a sand bar. How to you confuse this with "a mountain". While not specifically in the Koran, dragons are still acknowledged in other early Muslim texts as punishers of the wicked, exactly as they were in anceint Christian and Jewish texts. A famous Islamic artwork of Mohammed ascending to heaven shows him being escorted by a Dragon, which is what all of these ancient faiths understood the Seraphim to be, though now christianity has turned them into swan winged humanoid angel.s Like I said before, it is not just my opinion that human sized "humanoids" would be inacapable of killing large intelligent "dragons" if we give them the expected attributes of large theropods like the spinosaur, which is essentially a standard fantasy dragon if you added wings. So if I begin reading a story how two large dragons are killed by 24 knights I immediately know the author has absolutely no concept of medieval era weaponry, human capabilities, nor how dangerous a giant, intelligent "flying dinosaur" would be. Such creatures could exterminate humanity if they wished to do so. It is really not even debateable. When I read this, I could only imagine you were a teenager. And then there is a whole segment of fantasy readers that wouldn't read your story from that point on simply because they like dragons and stories about them being killed makes them unhappy.. Like I said, little kids like to read that stuff, but most adults cannot take it seriously. If your audience is little kids who fantasize they too, can be a mighty dragonslayer, they may like your story. i may have liked your story if you hadn't revealed how little you know about fighting weaponry, animals , etc. when you added the dragonslayer nonsense. Many people, including several published fantasy authors value my advice. Some have eliminated all dragonslyayer nonsense from their stories after talking with me. You don't have to listen to anything I say. I spent my own good time telling you why your story turned me off. That's what reviews are for. The rating is low, because anyone who writes about knights killing large intelligent dragons suggests he knows nothing about the subject. If I am going to be entertained by a story, the story has to be good. Even if the writing is good, if the author knows so little about the subject he would write such nonsense, I will not waste my time reading the rest. And believe me, I am not the only one who thinks this way. The blockbuster movie Shrek made fun of the whole idea of knights slaying dragons. Most people (except little children and you, apparently) think the idea of knights killing enormous dragons is ridiculous. It is perhaps the stupidest of all Fairytale Cliches, and this is how you start your story. Good luck with your project. . If you clean out the dragonslayer nonsense, I will read the whole thing because I do like quality fantasy (devoid of unbelievable silliness).. Me: Review on "The Dragon and the Virgin Priestess" Rating given: 3.0 TITLE & GENRE: Title is simple but appropriate. Well chosen genre. STORYLINE/PLOT: Definitely has potential, but the history lessons could have been done with more grace and subtlety. At the moment, it stops the story, breaking the flow. CHARACTERS: Rahab could have been portrayed better. As it is, I found it hard to emphatize with her, especially toward the end, when she acted out of character. She was a high/senior priestess, as such, her faith would have been strong and not as easily swayed as she did. Unless from early on she started doubting her god Ba'al for abandoning her and her people. You started near the middle, when she saw the serpent and started rationalizing its existence. She was in awe-with the serpentine living god, and when its tongue gave her pleasure, she was immediately a convert. EMOTION: There were too much side-information feeds that I found it difficult to feel what Rahab should be feeling. These emotions should have conveyed with absolute strength: fear, desolation, and finally awe. IMAGERY: It is a possibility you had to limit your total wordcount, and with the amount of things happening, you could not spend much words on descriptions. There's room for improvement. DIALOGUE: May have benefited from dialogue, to strengthen the imagery of era and level of intelligence as well as mannerisms, but as it is, I did not find this story lacking. TECHNICAL/SUGGESTIONS: There are quite a few that I would like to point out if I may: 1. usage of adverbs and other modifiers weakened your prose. E.g. "roughly pulled" could be replaced with "yanked". 2. careful of redundant descriptions. E.g. "triumphantly returned from their victory" both "triumphantly" and "victory" convey the same meaning. "fetid odor" also bring about the same meaning, and could be replaced with "stench". "cringed in terror," cringe, def: to shrink or flinch in fear. 3. long-winded (wordy) sentences are sometimes too much. One of the tricks is to voice out your sentences, and see if your tongue stumbles. If it does, so will reading in silence. E.g. "Everywhere Rahab looked there were bodies, countless thousands of butchered male children of all ages, and their mothers, all with their throats slit, and with those violent deaths, came the pungent coppery smell of blood, as well as a fouler smell that came from the inevitable, involuntary discharge of liquid and solid wastes." Sentence could have been stopped at "throats slit" to give a grave impact. 4. careful of cliched, inappropriate simile. E.g. "They effortlessly lifted her up like a child’s rag doll" - would a child in that era play with rag dolls, in a land of constant war? Were there rag dolls in that era? This simile is common and overused, and for this piece inappropriate. OVERALL: This story has much potential, but I felt cheated when I reached the end of the story. Here was a great serpent-god who humbled other gods, and not only was it lying there doing nothing (throughout the story I imagined it a contraption created by the white-bearded patriarch, nothing more.), it started to molest and rape (more pleasure than rape in your depiction) the priestess. A god, with godly concerns, takes its time to use its tongue to pleasure a human being. By the way, having been celibate for 30 years, and had never known a man's attentions, it is hardly believable that Rahab felt pleasure. Pain, yes. Terror, definitely. But a woman being raped never feels pleasure. I was disappointed reading this development because from a historical fantasy story, you turned it into a hentai, Japanese cartoon porn with tentacles and such). Think back on this. RATING: As I said, the story has much potential, but ruined by the ending. I'm afraid a 3.0 is the best I could offer. ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Much room for improvement. Keep on writing! Chronicler: Thank you for the detailed review. It is understandable that you really didn't comprehend elements of the story, as by your own admission, you know almost nothing about the Bible. This story was intended for people with a basic understanding of the stories of the Old Testament. To people who understand these things, here is a typical review I received on another writing website for this story, along with the highest possible point award: " good god. rawr. lol. a stunningly portrayed, powerful story, this was awesome. gripping from start to finish, you have a gift for imagery that draws a reader in. this was such an imaginative story on such a little known subject. f ing amazing." And not only do you know nothing about the subject of this story, but the absurd, childlike notions revealed in your own fantasy writing make it impossible for me to value your judgement. No offense, but you are the one who thinks 24 knights with medieval technology would be able to wipe out an entire city along with two, apparently large and intelligent dragons. How can I take anything you say seriously after that? Believe me, I was trying to help you, and for my efforts you give me a bad review in spite. Very, very mature. And you're really a Neurosurgeon?