Prologue: Shade of Fear
Characters: A "Shade", some "Urgals", three elves.
My first thoughts on this are, if you're going to call a character or race "Shade" do not give it crimson hair and maroon eyes. It creates a sort of conflicting imagery in the mind, you think darkness for the word "Shade" and well not for the redness of the hair. It seems to have unnaturally good eyesight and it's very powerful. I don't see why it needed the Urgals at all. The Urgals, however remind me of Steve Urkle and so now I think of some monsters in high pants and suspenders with thick nerdy glasses. Which really isn't helping my being able to immerse myself in the story. In regards to the monsters, they have "a pair of twisted horns [that] grow above their small ears" so I'm thinking maybe like a Minotaur? Dunno.
Odd turn of phrase here, "The Shade hissed in anger, and the Urgals shrank back, motionless." How do you shrink back and remain motionless at the same time? While I'm at it, if "Shade" is a race then it shouldn't be capitalized.
The Shade seems to be rather powerful if it can set a ring of fire in a quarter mile of forest. Why does he need the minions? He seems to be perfectly powerful enough to take down three individuals by himself. Especially since they don't seem to be as powerful as he is. And if he's a minion how much power can really powerful people channel?
The bar for magic has been set rather high now. A lowly powerful minion can use a lot of magic and is powerful without getting tired either. The really powerful people must be god like.
The language that the Shade speaks looks like the cat walked across the keyboard.
Now to the Elves. He points out that one of the elves is wearing a helm, as a differentiating mark but the question is, at least to me, is the elf wearing armor of some sort as well as the helm or just the helm.
They are as he says cantering. Cantering is a fast gait for a horse and makes a sort of rocking horse motion. Also, when you are riding a horse, unless you are riding side saddle you do not have a lap to put things on. You are straddling a horse, your legs are to the side of you. You can have something in your saddle, but you would have to hold onto it, especially at a canter where it feels like you're about to be thrown off at every forward movement. You'd have to hold onto the bag while holding onto the reins.
Geography seems to be a bit iffy here. They start off in a forest and then the Shade climbs "a piece of granite that jutted above them. from his perch he could see all of the surrounding forest" (page 5). Which means that it must be one hell of a big piece of granite to let him see all of the forest with its many tall trees and what not.
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