We’re now in Blair’s POV, Blair, of course, being Harlow. We know this because the section is titled Blair in large bold letters. I have a bit of a problem with this. Done properly, if they start referring to themselves and thinking of themselves by their new name it can illustrate the depth of change they have undergone. One good example would be in A Song of Ice and Fire (spoiler alert) where Theon comes to know himself and think as Reek. That being said, that change only comes after months of months of brutal torture combined with extreme mental abuse and subjugation. Here, Harlow hasn’t really been through much, there’s been no passage of time, and it makes the sudden name change rather…odd.
She and Roswell are having more training sessions dueling with wooden staffs.
With leverage from a low boulder, I pushed myself into flight. Seizing his weapon between my filthy bare feet, I applied slight pressure, adding to the already splintering force of my body weight until finally it cracked and shattered (loc. 1284)
When did HarBlair become a ninja? People don’t learn to leap in the air and grab and snap wooden staves between their bare feet overnight. Not buying it. It sounds like a cool move from The Matrix, but no.
Blair falls down and throws up and realizes she’s hungry, so she asks Roswell how old he is. No, the sudden change doesn’t really make sense. Breeanna: have your characters have moments of introspection when they are not actively involved with other things. Like, they fight, Blair gets hungry, so they go hunting, and as they are walking out into the woods she wonders how old Roswell and so she asks him. Conversations have ebb and flow, dialogue follows after each other. It doesn’t sound like this.
Roswell is 19 Zapatos. Not sure if this will become relevant. Blair is still hungry, so she imagines bison or hyena grilling over a fire with coco sauce. I don’t know what that means, unless it’s a sauce made out of Conan O’Brien. I do know that bison is delicious, and I’m pretty sure that hyena would be stringy, tough, and not remotely appetizing.
Roswell says he’s going to teach her hunting so they get a bow and arrow and…sit…without going anywhere…for an hour. Eventually an eight-point buck wanders by and she jumps up which is a bad idea because it scares game and she fires and the arrow curves in midair and nails the deer through the side of the head. Ok. So when he said he was going to teach her hunting, he wasn’t going to teach her anything. Or maybe the point was it doesn’t matter if you’re extraordinarily shitty at hunting if you can use your Wanted-esque skills to magically curve an arrow’s flight in midair.
Blair’s strength and vision fails her and she swoons and sees Darian’s gorgeous face. He’s talking to a woman named Rowie. Blair is pissed off. How DARE he leave her for another woman who is taking care of him as he’s sick! It’s not like she’s shacking up with a hot werewolf. Blair is enraged, but after a moment she feels upset because he’s under the weather and feels happy that he’s being cared for and decides she’s never going to let Darian go. It’s like being inside the mind of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Please, for the love of the gods, structure your thought process. Show the logical progression of something thinking about a problem and changing their mind.
I never wanted to see his face again (loc. 1329)
And now she’s back to hating him.
We hop skip and a jump over to Jafar who is in bed in extreme pain. He calls for the nurse and an attractive blonde comes in. He begs her to come closer…and closer…and closer…and then he asks her to save him from his agony.
She slapped my face, stormed off.
“Get back here,” I yelled.
“No way. I quit, you letcher!” She tossed her bonnet on the floor. “Touching my butt,” she muttered under her breath (loc. 1341)
Lecher doesn’t have a T in it, but more to the point, please decide exactly what type of world you are living in. I tend to give pseudomedieval fantasy a lot of shit for not conforming to what medieval life is actually like, since it doesn’t make sense to use the medieval archetypes without understanding what that type of life is like for the different castes. But honestly, you don’t even have to do that much. All you really need to do is to have your story be internally and logically consistent. So: either Jafar is a powerful dictator-prince of this country who can have entire villages razed to the ground and the inhabitants exterminated because he fucking feels like it, or he can let himself be slapped by nurses. Not both. It doesn’t work that way. If Jafar lives in the supreme dictatorship that has been established, then if he wants to sexually assault a servant, they are almost certainly going to let themselves be sexually assaulted. Is it horrible? Of course it is, but life in dictatorships is pretty horrible, and most people know better than to strike the crown prince because the punishment is probably somewhere between being boiled alive in oil and getting the full William Wallace treatment.
Jafar is mildly annoyed but he makes a mental note to find a nurse who’s a tramp, and then starts thinking about Harlow.
I smirked at the very thought of getting that sensuous mare and her magnificently kissable breasts (1346).
Referring to a woman as a “mare” is rather offensive, but that fits Jafar, so okay. “Magnificently kissable breasts”, however, is a wonderful phrase.
The king enters and Jafar yells at him for only knocking once and it’s just like a teenager arguing with his father except weird. The king says the city is sealed tight, no getting in or out, which might’ve been useful if you’d done that before Harlow escaped.
Jafar asks of Darian was found. Uh…what? Now I’m more than a little confused. How does Jafar know anything about Darian, let alone be even mildly interested in his whereabouts? Darian hasn’t gotten close to the fucking capital, he’s off chilling with Treebeard and the lonely witch, which is a great name for a band. So either there was a deleted scene of some kind or she forgot which characters know about which characters and either way it doesn’t make any fucking sense.
Jafar jumps up and pulls his clothes on, deciding to find Harlow. For some reason, prompted by the news that Darian was gone. He runs out to the stables, is interrupted briefly by his mother, and then realizes that Harlow stole Ellie, which is an odd name for a black stallion. Anyway, Jafar changes his mind about taking two hundred soldiers with him and decides to seek Harlow out on his own, a gloriously stupid idea I can only pray will end in a most gruesome death. As he rides away, he thinks about how this will be the last time he sees his father.
Now we’re in the POV of Nani Anne Pine(Grimm) who goes through an intense inner monologue about her child, and thinks about how much the human race sucks. She comes upon a town and leaps over a fifteen foot wall. Guards start shouting.
“Hold it, lady!” one shouted.
“Her damned legs got to be broken after a fall like that,” the other snickered (loc. 1398).
Use “said”. It’s better 95% of the time, and it helps you avoid using words like “snickered” when they don’t make sense.
Her legs aren’t broken, as she “mooches” which is the weirdest speech tag I’ve ever heard. She breaks the guards’ necks easily and again thinks about how disgusting humans are.
I shall forever loath that my beautiful Harlow was born of such a filthy and undeserving race. She may have been born a human, but on the eve of her eighteenth birth she will have blossomed into the greater being—a being sent as a salvation to all (loc. 1403).
Well that’s fun.
However, as it turns out, if she’s forced into a “premature metamorphosis” then everyone’s screwed.
Back to Roswell. It’s hot. They’re traveling and almost at a joint called Caspyna. They’re travelling to a place called Dibujar to acquire demon slaying equipment, which seems reasonable. Blair is not so hot, veering back and forth between feeling great and violently puking everywhere, which worries him a bit, but Roswell is much more worried about Master Smith, who they’re going to see. Roswell and Master Smith have been communicating throughout the course of his life in a secret language only they know. The language here is a bit confusing, so I’m not sure if they’ve been writing letters back and forth or communicating telepathically. Maybe a bit of both?
Roswell thinks about how it hurts him to see the bruises he leaves on Blair’s body during their training session, and that he has feelings for her, and that they are one, and that he is almost out of cigars and really needs to get some more from an upcoming town.
Blair asks if they can stop to eat, so they stop and he growls at her playfully.
“Oh stop that, silly.”
“I’m not silly. I’m a beast. Rawr! Fear me!” I screamed jestingly.
“You’re not a beast. You’re a just . . . just a big house dog.” (loc. 1450)
When people are jesting, they usually don’t scream.
She pounced playfully, wrestling around in the grass (loc. 1455).
This is the same person who was just raging about Darian being tended by another woman. If Breeanna is trying to convey that HarBlair is a raging hypocrite, she’s doing a fine job.
Later, he misplaces Blair, as she is his possession that can be misplaced. Eventually he spots her down by the creek, morosely splashing water as her “Charmane” hair…is there.
“This is that, the celebratory Epoch of birth.” Her voice was unchanging. (loc. 1461)
What is that?
“In truth? That is something to be glorified about! Why are you sullen?” (loc. 1462)
What are these people talking about? The creek? The creek is the celebratory Epoch of birth? Or is it her Charmane hair?
“I have no reason not to be. My life is no happy occasion, Master Roswell.” (loc. 1463)
To be fair, Blair has had a bit of a hard knock life, but she is alive, and she was just wrestling playfully with her sexy werewolf Master a short while ago. What prompted this change?
“Oh, but your life is celebratory to me, for your birth has made me a blessed person. Rejoice because your life is important.” (loc. 1464)
Roswell talks really fucking weird.
“Staunch. I am of no importance.” I lifted her chin up with my finger. (loc. 1466)
I really have no idea why Blair says “staunch” here. But I do know that dialogue that is said by Blair should not be accompanied by an action that is taken by Roswell. It needs a new paragraph, otherwise the reader is confused by who is taking the action.