Behind the Name

Hey everyone!

Long time no see, right? Haha, only two weeks. I missed last week due to sickness. Anyway, here’s a rather short post as with school and everything, I haven’t yet had a chance to sit down and write a regular post. But I promise, I’ll get back into it soon.

So, some of you might be wondering where in Arda does the name of this website come from. (And if you’re following my Instagram, you might also wonder that as well.) The thing is, I wanted to have a username/thing/title that would explain me in as few words as possible. I tend to be very verbose. *cough* So I wanted something that wasn’t so… Wordy and eloquent. You with me so far?

Thus was born out of the ashes of burnt papers containing various scribblings of usernames, The Dancing Bardess. Behold, a name!

Now, what does it mean?

Well, dancing… That one should be pretty obvious. Bardess, however, has gotten quite a few raised eyebrows. It’s the female version of bard, which, if any of you have studied medieval (particularly Welsh) history and things, a bard was a poet/story-teller/song-writer person who traveled around making music and stories and performing. Get it now? XD

Not sure what your opinion is of it, but I like it. *shrugs*

 

Song of this week is a beautiful going-to-make-you-cry vocal rendition of one of the songs from the LOTR movies, May It Be. Performed by the vocal group, Voces8, may I present, May It Be. I hope you all enjoy it!

 

Projects I’m working on this week:

More reading and editing and writing. ^.^
School, obviously.
Dance, as always.
Music; I’m currently learning Liebestraum by Franz Liszt and The Lark by Glinka, transcribed by Balakirev. Both beautiful, romantic pieces.

What are you all up to?

 

Graphic of the week is a new trilogy set that I’m still toying around with for my Princess of the Highlands Trilogy. What are your thoughts?

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Review for this week is a book by a friend in her retelling series, Rachel Andric. If you guys want to buy the first book in the series, it’s now available here on Amazon. (I own a copy now :D)

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A bit about the author:

RCFletcher is a teenaged, Christian, homeschooled, self-published author now enrolled in college. She enjoys writing clean, young adult books, having a special interest in fairy tales. She also plays piano and sings in her church choir. She has four books in print now, one of which is now proudly sitting on my bookshelf, and is the first book in the Rachel Andric series. I’ve included the link to her Amazon page if you guys want to check it out!

Title:

I personally don’t care for the titles in this series, mainly because they are rather drab and not eye-catching. They’re good, but not enough to make me want to pick them up in a book store. Also, the The in this particular book should not be capitalized.

Cover:

Again, the covers in this series aren’t that eye-catching either, mainly because the quality isn’t that great and the blending doesn’t really work. Also, the entire title should be more visible, not just the Editor part.

Blurb:

It’s a bit long. The grammar is good, but I feel like the blurb itself is too long and gives away too much. I would suggest taking out a lot of it so it doesn’t feel so summary-ish and then rewrite other parts so it’s more mysterious if you know what I mean. It gives me a good idea of what’s going on, yes, but too much of an idea. I don’t want to much information, because then I don’t feel like I want to read the book.

The Good:

I really enjoyed reading the first book in the series, which was polished. The second book, (I’m guessing, please forgive if I’m wrong) is not so much so. But more on that later.

I have always had an interest in the fairy tales, not just the typical Brothers Grimm stories, but also the mythologies of other cultures. I really loved how you smoothly combined all these stories, not just focusing on one or two characters or one or two stories (like in most retellings), but having so many stories intertwining with each other with multiple characters from various legends. Kudos on that one.

I also enjoyed how you wouldn’t shy away from death and all that, the typical darker elements of fairy tales, but also didn’t get gory with it, creating a clean tale that could be enjoyed by the entire family as well as older children.

The Bad:

First, the lesser issue. The grammar was pretty good over all, only a few slips here and there, mostly typos. It was only a few places in the beginning. Or maybe I was just reading too fast. XD

The biggest issue I had with this story was the pacing and the characterization, but mostly the pacing.

Characterization… I know a great many of these people from the first book (which makes sense, duh), but somethings had dimmed from the time I had read Rachel Andric and The Story and this book, and it took awhile to get into the story because you gave no introduction to anyway. You announced their names, a few references to the previous book, and that was it. Especially with newer characters, I found it really hard to keep them straight at times and picture them in my mind. You did an excellent job with this in the first book, so I know it’s possible, so I would encourage you to definitely focus on this when editing.

Pacing… In two words, too fast. Much too fast. It’s good to have action (especially in fairy tales and retellings), but this was too much. I enjoy action, but I do need a break. I need explanations, descriptions about what places look like, what people look like. I felt a lack of that in this second book in your series. You had all these scenes and events boom boom boom and no explanations or descriptions in between. I would encourage you to fix those issues before publishing.

What the Reader Thought:

If I was in a bookstore, I probably wouldn’t give the book a second glance. However, the story in and of itself is a good and highly entertaining one. The last few chapters, even though they were so tragic, were my favorite, because the pacing and characterization and the emotions were perfect. The whole Story-door concept, again, is a very original idea (as far as I know, haha) and I enjoyed it. I also enjoyed all that cultural blending as well. I would encourage you to fix those mistakes I mentioned above, and also another thing that I didn’t say up there because it’s not so much a technical thing I think. You often would give a brief “but she didn’t exactly know how it worked” type of thing instead of describing something. Well, that ticked me off as a reader. Why? Because it shows a lack of caring and description. If you don’t know, google it. It reads really lame to have that instead of a brief line or two about how something works/looks. If your character isn’t supposed to know, that’s fine, but the reader might want to know.

Overall, I did enjoy your story, I did, honestly. There were just things I would like you to fix before self-publishing because others might nit-pick at. Good job, and I can’t wait to get started on the next one!

Score: 5/10

Until next time!

~ Gwynnedd

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