Dedicated to all the readers and writers who make this newspaper what it is. Happy 500th issue!
Hi! Sorry to bother you; I’m sure you’re busy. But I just wanted to say, I started your series today, and it’s really good so far! You described Devonan really well; for a plain blue Gelert, you made Dev sound like a pet I’d recognize. I could almost picture the whole field of knights he was supervising. I really like your idea of a group of knights that work with the mages!
And Caylin’s scene was awesomely creepy. I’m kind of surprised you made her a fire Hissi instead of Darigan or shadow, but I guess you were trying to avoid clichés? And fire Hissis are pretty cool, so I don’t blame you, haha! Why does she want to destroy Brightvale, though? I know, I know, I’ll probably find out next time, right? By the way, when does the next part come out?
Hi! I read part 2 of your series today. I’m glad a new part comes out every week. But after today’s section, I don’t know how long I can wait!
But first – you are so good at writing! When Dev was using magic, the way you wrote about how he sees and uses it was so clear and detailed, and I could almost imagine being there and seeing and doing it all myself!
That shadow Eyrie heading toward Brightvale castle isn’t up to any good, is he? After Dev saw – scry-ed? – him talking to Caylin, I guess that’s pretty obvious, huh? Anyway, I’m sure you’re busy, but I wanted you to know this is a cool story. It’s nice to come home to something awesome on Fridays.
Hi! So, I read part 3 of your series. You know what’s weird? I didn’t notice until I started typing this, but not much actually happened in this part. It was still really good! I didn’t feel bored at all when I was reading; some authors are really bad at time-lapsing, but not you!
I don’t think I like Trishka... she’s so bossy! I’m not so sure she and Dev are gonna be able to work together, just like Dev isn’t. Maybe if she sees Caylin’s army, though, she’d wise up and stop being so annoying!
Speaking of Caylin... that “greatest soldier” she says is heading to Brightvale – it’s that shadow Eyrie, isn’t it!
I just noticed something else- you made the two basic colored pets mages – a blue Gelert and a green Acara. But the bad guys are painted pets. Hah, I don’t know if you did it on purpose, but it’s kinda fun to think about.
Can’t wait to see what happens next!
Okay, Baron is either a really awesome character, or he’s the biggest traitor ever!
I thought Baron was kind of a weird name for him at first, but then you said Baron’s fur was darker than most shadow Eyries, and I could imagine it better. I’ll probably get used to it, I just thought it was strange.
But his disappearing trick to get past the guards was really, really cool. I wish I could do that sometimes, just slip past people. The way you talked about his feathers “turning to smoke”... it gave me this really beautiful picture in my head. Even if he says he’s a conjurer and not a mage, Baron seems just as cool as Dev and Trishka.
Still, I’m really not sure if they should trust him or not. I know he surrendered and everything, and the story about Caylin putting his family in that monster-infested area was sad... but was he really giving Caylin false information? I mean, he could just be saying that.
Of course, you already know what’s gonna happen, I just like thinking out loud. I’m probably being really annoying, aren’t I? Haha, sorry. But like always, I can’t wait to see what happens next! You’ve totally left me biting my nails this time!
Hm, another section where not too much happens action-wise, but it was still easy to read! Trishka is being ridiculous; Baron isn’t even doing anything, and she keeps threatening him! I’m surprised he hasn’t gotten angry before now! At least Dev’s being reasonable about the whole thing.
All the stuff Baron told them about Caylin was really interesting- it was a good idea to add some backstory for her, I think, otherwise, she’d seem like just another crazy, power-hungry villain. I’m really surprised she was a general for Darigan and Kass, and Darigan let her stay after he took the Citadel back. I wonder what would happen if Darigan found out what she was doing?
And I can’t believe you left everyone hanging with the monster sighting! I wonder what kind of monster it is- couldn’t Baron have given us more clues? I know him saying it needs to be destroyed means it’s bad news – that, and I guess it survived whatever Baron tried to do to it – but that’s all?
I just reread that last paragraph, I’m sorry if I sound a little angry. I know you’re supposed to end chapters with cliffhangers so people want to keep reading, I just had a bad day today. Your story helped a lot, though. I guess that sounds kind of weird, huh? Hopefully I’ll be better next week.
I know I’m a few days “late”, but here I am with my usual Neomail! You said I’m not being annoying, though, so here goes:
You did the impossible – you made me like Trishka. Or at least, I don’t hate her anymore. That’s really sad about her sister; I can’t imagine how it’d feel to have your own sister betray you- and just because she was jealous of Trishka’s magic!
I did kind of see the attack coming when Dev and Trish went off on their own, though. But I expected it to be whatever monster the mages and Baron and the knights were sent after last week; I guess Caylin has a lot of monsters! Baron’s rescue was awesome, and I almost cheered when Dev said there was no way Trish could say Baron set them up somehow. Their conversation – Baron and Trish’s, I mean – at the end was so cute. Am I a little too excited about this?
Please tell me what I think happened didn’t just happen.
Baron is... gone?
I’ve been staring at the screen for almost five minutes. I just... I was so excited during the fight with the monster. I thought for sure once they figured out that it ate magic, the knights would just take care of it. I thought it was gonna be... maybe not easy, but...
I didn’t think it would take Baron’s life to get rid of it.
I feel so terrible for Dev and Trish. Even though they’re not real. Isn’t that ridiculous? But the way you wrote their reactions, it seems like maybe you feel the same way I do.
I keep thinking, what now? Maybe Trish will be okay. She didn’t really get to know Baron that well. But Dev? It’s really hard to stop thinking about him. Even though I know Dev isn’t real.
But I liked Baron, too. Even when I wasn’t sure he was a good guy. It’s almost worse that he definitely was good, because now... I mean, you know he risked everything. He gave up everything.
I know this isn’t a really good review. I’m sorry, it’s just really hard to think about the story as just a piece of writing right now.
This was the first time I hesitated to click on your series picture. After what happened to Baron, I was really kind of afraid of what I would find. I don’t mean to say your writing is bad – it’s just that I don’t know what to expect anymore.
Actually, it’s really not that your writing is bad. When Dev was thinking about how Baron being gone made him feel, you wrote everything so perfectly I kept reading even though I was feeling really sad again. I really wanted to jump into the story and give Dev a hug, and tell him it wasn’t his fault. I feel like if Dev hadn’t tried to protect the knight who almost got eaten, Baron would have done it, and the same thing would have happened.
I’m still feeling really down, which you probably figured out. My real life hasn’t been going so great, and I’m always feeling the way Dev did when Hagan was saying all that nasty stuff about how they were better off without Baron. Except, I can’t just give a speech and make things better the way Dev did. Although I guess since he and Trish aren’t allowed to lead the knight-group anymore, he didn’t make everything perfect again.
I know I didn’t write last week; I meant to, but I didn’t have time. And really, not too much happened – just the drill with the knights and Dev and Trish realizing the Brightvale army is doomed.
But I am so, so worried about this battle, like I was sitting at the edge of my chair while I was reading. Dev really worries me – you only talked about how he was riding in a single line, but it was amazing how clear that made everything. Why did Hagan put Dev back in charge if he still can’t cast spells? Trish can’t help him and manage the knights, right? Didn’t she say last week that she wasn’t really used to working with them on good days?
I was actually really pleased to see that Caylin’s going to fight in the battle herself. I want to see her lose, really, really badly. Maybe seeing her will make Dev angry enough to do some magic. I really hope so. Actually, I wish I could do it myself.
I just realized; this is part ten, so there can only be one or two parts left of your series. I don’t want next week’s part to be the last... even with everything that’s happened, I’ll probably be sad when I have to leave all these characters behind.
OH MY GOSH YOU ARE THE BEST EVER!!! BARON’S ALIVE!!!
I literally jumped out of my chair when Dev said that the fake magic-eating monster chasing those bad guys was conjury, and I had to shout when Baron stepped out of all the smoke! I really want to give you a huge hug right now – I knew you liked Baron as much as I did!
Some of my friends say that writers who bring back “dead” characters are really lame, but after this story, I think they’re wrong. I mean, I’m sure there are a lot of times when it doesn’t work, but... stories are supposed to be an escape, right? A place where the things you wish could happen sometimes do? The world would be a much better place if there were miraculous revivals just when you needed them.
And I think I know why you did it, too – that moment when Baron came to stand with Dev and Trish, and told Caylin to her stupid ugly face that he was fighting for Brightvale and his family and his friends, that was so much better than if he’d just come onto the battlefield like normal. And when Dev cast a spell to block Caylin’s attack, and Trish actually got the knights to fend off the group attacking from the back...
I guess it was the contrast between when Baron was around and when he wasn’t. Is that what you were doing? Making their friendship stronger by making it weak for a while?
I know I’m being even weirder this week with my thoughts than usual. I’m making some changes in my real life. Everything seems kind of metaphorical right now, but I’m probably just tired. Lots of late nights and a lot of thinking when I should be sleeping. Or maybe it’s part of adjusting. I think it’s all for the better, though. So... thanks for giving me a place to work some of that off.
And thank you for bringing Baron back! I can’t wait to see Caylin get what’s coming to her!
Twelve weeks. That’s three months. That’s such a long time to be getting neomails from a random person who sometimes forgets that a story is just a story. It seems like you do the same thing, though – I guess that makes you a really good writer, huh?
It was so good to see Caylin beaten. Dev was almost scary when he was getting back to his normal magic abilities, and all the stuff Trish did with the knights and Baron with his conjuring were amazing. But I still don’t think anything can top part eleven. Which is okay, because this section was just as easy to read. Sort of a cool-down, I guess?
Well, like I said a couple weeks ago, I’m really sad that the story is over. Even though the good guys won and everything’s settled... I want to hear more. I want to know what Dev and Trish and Baron do next, I want to know if Baron ever fits in with the other pets in Brightvale, and whether Trishka gets her own group of knights. And I want to know who took Caylin’s helmet after the battle was over!
I know, I know – nothing can last forever. Still... if there was ever a sequel... I’d love to read it.
Thanks for twelve awesome Fridays, author. They mean more to your readers than any of us can ever say.