Peer Review by Ibex (United States)

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The King's Cause

By: V-Rose

A crowd of nobles and other people were scattered throughout the throne room. Some poorer people hid in the background. A man saluted Leona with his two front fingers and she responded with a slight smile. Everyone was dressed their best. Leona had on a long, white dress that drifted around her legs and her ankles, and her hair fell down in curls, fastened by an elegant clip. Sabrina wore her mother's red dress with her hair in a simple side ponytail. Reena wore a black dress as was her style and stood apart from the rest of the party. Her eyes sought out the man from the whipping. The one that didn't touch her. The one who had watched her with such intensity. Their eyes locked as he slinked through the double doors and into a corner. Reena broke out in a run and leaped into his open arms. He lifted her up and spun her around. If her back pained her, she took no notice of it, although he was careful to hold her hips and not touch her back. Her face was alight with a joy that filled the space around her. Even though she was clothed in dark colors, her face was a mask of bare light.
     Leona gathered the party's attention with a single word. “Otcapa.” Speaking in a clear voice, she said, "We are here today to properly crown the appropriate ruler." Applause erupted from the crowd as the king made his way up to the stage but stopped when the young squire brought out a crown fit for a queen. The crown was pure silver and studded with diamonds and sapphires.
    A man dressed in fine clothing took the crown from the boy and turned to face Leona. Leona knelt before him, solemn and serene. With a few simple words and endlessly binding promises, the crown was placed on Leona's head, and she was pronounced queen to the kingdom. Leona watched her brother the whole while, while he stood, open-mouthed, appalled at what was happening.
     William was enraged and he walked up to Leona and pulled out his sword. With a swift movement that matched his, Reena her own swords and was prepared to face William despite that fighting him might rip open her scabs. The air felt electric. Leona slowly pulled her dagger from a fold of the dress. The dagger's blade sparkled in the light, engraved with strange markings and patterns. The tension grew as no one made a move toward the other.
     "You tricked me!" William venomously spat into Leona's face.
     Leona smiled and she raised her dagger to point at his throat. "I did what I had to do to save my family," she whispered. "The only thing I could do." In a loud, clear, and commanding voice, Leona ordered, " Prince William Rehora of Iriea, I strip you of your title and tell you as your queen and sister that you had better be miles away from here by first light tomorrow, before I slit your throat." She smiled at him, a menacing smile, and he spat at her again before racing out of the room to the outer doors. The people in the room were so startled at the rapid change of events that they just cleared a path, a hand slicing through water.
    "Reena and Sabrina. Please, come up here," Leona directed kindly. So at odds with her earlier anger. The two walked up and two other crowns were brought out, these ones just tiaras. "As rightful queen, I name you, Sabrina Rehora and you, Reena Rehora, princesses of Iriea."  The crowd cheered.
    The party lasted another several more hours. Many danced while Leona watched from her throne. The throne she had had to fight for for so long. Now, as a queen, she could protect those she loved from her brother. How had he gone from such a wonderful little brother to a power hungry-cold hearted monster?

Otcapa means attention in a magical, old language.

Message to Readers

PLEASE REVIEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Peer Review

The paragraph where Leona says she'll slit her brother's throat is so intense! I can almost feel that "electric" air between them as I'm reading!

Leona seems like a really strong, female lead. I think one thing in particular that could make her better would be the development of some internal conflict in the last paragraph, where she might still remember him as her loving brother, but at the same time knows she has to protect others from him. It would be cool to see how her love for her brother and her love for her people clash during the story.

One thing that might be helpful is placing the scene in the overall time frame of the story. Is it at the beginning, middle, or end of the story? To me, it doesn't seem like the end, but a chapter number or note on when the excerpt takes place might help to clarify where this scene falls in the story.

I think your detail is really good. Your visuals are excellent. If you wanted to add a few more details, focus on sound and touch. I can see the world you've created, but I feel as if I'm someone looking down from above. Immerse me in this scene. Help me to feel like I am truly a part of the action. Even little things, like the types of fabric the dresses are made of, would help to draw me in even more.

Your story is gripping! At the end, I was left hanging, and I had so many questions that I just can't wait to have answers! (Me after reading: Will William try to get revenge? What did he do to anger Leona so much? Why was Reena whipped? Is she OK? WOW!!!!)

I think conflict between siblings has a lot of potential for growth. Go exploring within their relationship! Take a look at their memories! I would definitely read more of this!

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