Freya Uki wanted to raise chickens and make a life for herself apart from her family. Maybe she'd become a midwife like her grandmother, or maybe she'd become a hermit who lived in the swamp.
Unfortunately for her, her mother has ambitions to regain the social standing lost after her grandmother married outside the gentry. Only becoming the most eligible debutante of the season will do, with the most suitors vying for her hand. Coalition officers? Druids? A rabbit captain of the scouts?
Freya has no idea what she is getting into.
In which a mouse navigates the decisions in her life.
Redmist Updates Monday, Wednesday And Friday.
Copy editing (certain chapters) is by Sabrina: [email protected]
Cover art is by: http://phylodox.com
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Like Riverfolk, Red Mist could easily fit in the redwall book universe, but it brings its own style and feel to the table as well. Its quaint, charming, slow--but robust. if you liked redwall or beyond the western deep, then definitely give it a look!
On another note, this book also reads like a Jane Austin book. It takes pleasures in weaving (no pun intended) a small tale (another pun, im so bad) about the coming of age of a mouse maiden in a historical fiction time period of balls, suitors, but has a hand with more pagan territory of druids.
As I said before, as it is a slice of life story, its a little on the slow side, by Weaver's genius skills of world building and likable characters are unmatched on Royal Road. Please, please, PLEASE sit in a big comfy chair, pour yourself a glass of milk, curl up with a pet and enjoy this book! Its the only true way to do it =)
I very much enjoyed this story. It is mainly a slice of life of Freya and her two best friends, as she comes of age and is facing a series of decisions about what she wants to do with her life. I was very much reminded of the Netflix series Bridgerton or books like pride and predjudice; the familiar and popular late 18th century setting, but with anthrophomorphic animals, magic and a plot all its own. In the latter chapters there is even a gossip column from a mystery socialite.
Grammar is excellent, with only the occaisional error or missing word. The authors style is very unique; childlike and optimistic while still touching on sentive topics. There is clearly a plot giving away in the background, and the characters feel real. A huge plus for me; the animals' characteristics are actually used in the plot, and not all species have inexplicably become vegetarian.
There are two minor points to adress if you consider reading this (which i heartily recommend); the first is that the pace is slow. In 45 enjoyable chapters, not much has happened. Part of that is a lot of (background on) characters that play minor roles, at least so far. The other reason is that Freya has several 'career' choices and the author is keeping them all in the race. So for each part about possible husbands, there is also often a section about her business, the army and druidism as well. It's neat to feel like you're not railroading towards an outcome in the story, but at the same time it takes a lot of space word-wise.
The last point is that I think it's not a children's story, which is more a missed promise than an actual problem for me as a reader. There is the occasional silliness a child would enjoy, but the political intrigue and romance plots wouldn't land unless the target audience is "15yolds that enjoy Jane Austin". There are also several topics in the story that are... tricky if this was really aimed at young children; like the war, ethics of eating animals and sexuality (both the reproductive kind and others).
Red Mist follows the adventures of Freya and her little friends as she tries to find her calling in a world of full of living, talking animals. It is reminiscent of Redwall, and I believe is aimed at children (do correct me if I’m wrong.)
Style: The main thing I’ve noticed is that the prose can be repetitive at times. Take this passage, for example:
If you were to take out the first sentence, and remove the object from the leftover sentences it would boil down to ‘Freya noticed X. Freya could see X. She (Freya) also noted X. I just wish there was a bit more variation in the prose instead of insert subject, verb and object in this exact order. Since Freya is the POV character, there's no need to constantly point her actions unless it causes confusion for the reader when multiple characters are involved in the same scene.
Example: “Freya noticed she seemed stuck, mute as he greeted her. A fake smile was on Abigail’s lips, who desperately tried to keep up appearances while Lord Richards remained oblivious to the girl’s state of mind.”
This is not an isolated incident, which is why I’m pointing it out, and I do believe the author can do better as he has done so in other passages.
Another cause of concern is this: Candles lit the second floor bedroom where Freya shared a bed with her little cousin Kayli. Kayli’s ears peaked out over the blanket they shared.
Growing up, I was taught in school that this is a no go. One should not end a sentence with a name and then start a brand new one with the same exact name. While this is grammatically correct, I do believe this hurts readability, and that an easy fix would be to simply merge the sentences together or rearrange them in a way that was less distracting.
Grammar: I am not qualified to judge grammar, I will admit, but I did not find any real errors. However, there were some very minor typos I was too lazy to jot down.
Story: The story is a bit aimless at the beginning, but it gets better in later chapters.
Characters: Charming, but there were moments that felt slightly unrealistic. One of them was (spoilers ahead) when Freya was introduced to the Queen. Freya seemed to have no thought whatsoever on the Queen herself, even though one word from the Queen could send her to the gallows (probably). Obviously, this is not that kind of story, but I wish we were given a bit more of insight as to how she perceived the highest figure of authority we’ve been introduced to so far. Freya seemed more nervous about being the center of attention than being introduced to royalty.
All in all, Red Mist has all of the components which make a good story, and although it has some rough edges, it is still an enjoyable read.
Red Mist reads like something you would give to your children or to a young teenager. it reads like a classical fairy tale rather than regular fantasy. A breath of fresh air if you're into the genre!
Style: Third person narration is the name of the game here. Descriptions are concise and flow well. They still allow the reader to immerse himself into a world full of talking animals and their society. The pacing is not too fast nor too slow, things are always happening despite the shorter than usual (for royalroads at least) chapters.
Grammar: Grammar is great, I didn't spot any error. I'm not a native englissh speaker, so I might have missed some stuff.
Story: The plot moves at a slow pace, but it doesn't detract from the overall flow. Instead, we enjoy detailled scenes that build up a unique world while still hinting at larger plot points that are yet to be revealed.
Character: Each character is well-defined and they have their own motivations and reasons to act. So far the MC is the most developped, but the side characters are not left out even if they don't have a lot of screentime compared to the MC.
This is an unusual story of woodland society, reminiscent of the Sylvanian Families franchise. The writing is smooth, the characters sweet, and the story starting to get fleshed out.
Would like to read more stories in this universe, and looking forward to the adventures that Freya will get into in the future.
Red Mist is something I would've read to my kids when they were younger. A wonderous well thought out world, unique and fun characters, and an entertaining story all combine to form a great fairy tale. And yet, beneath the surface is something more.
Style 5/5: Written in an easy going style with just the right amount of description to fully develop a world of mice, rabbits, foxes, and other assorted creatures.
Story 5/5: An entertaining plot which some might consider too slow moving, but I thought the pacing was right on. However, mixed in with the story are subtle events and observations which hint at something else going on. A nice touch.
Grammar 5/5: Grammar was excellent.
Character 4.5/5: The primary characters are detailed and well developed. In particular, Freya, the main character. We see everything through her eyes and her complexity and uniqueness really shines through. There is more to her than meets the eye. The secondary characters are for the most part well done, but in places they do tend to fade into the background.
Overall 5/5: With the exception of a few secondary characters, this story is hitting on all cylinders. A wonderfully detailed world, a main character you want to root for, and an entertaining story make Red Mist worthy of an overall score of 5 stars.
So far, this is wonderfully charming. I really enjoy the mix of society, druidry, and possible espionage that's starting to brew.
The one thing I stumbled on for a few chapters was the relative sizes of the creatures involved. However this eventually gets addressed, so it's a small quibble. I highlight it as it was an early source of confusion that took me slightly out of the story.
Style: The style is entirely readable, and there's a lot of charm to the worldbuilding. I've not read Redwall, but it seems like this would be a good inheritor of that tradition, mixed with a bit of Jane Austen.
Story: It's early days, but there's a clear conflict brewing within Freya, and there are general hints as to the direction things are going.
Grammar: Clear, readable, totally solid. The Austen-sequel-language pastiche is solid, with a few exceptions where more modern phrasing sneaks in, but this could be a stylistic choice. I didn't notice any typos or grammar errors (though that is admittedly not my strong suit).
Character: The characters are clear and distinct. Freya obviously has the most developed character so far, and it's justifiable. Holly and Abigail will hopefully get a few more defining features in the near future, to bring them closer to Freya in terms of depth of characterisation.
I had fun with this. Before I knew it I was all caught up on the posted material, which is a good sign!
Red Mist is a charming story. The style reminded me to those late 90 early 00 saturday's cartoon where the cast were mostly animal. But instead of simply an anthromorphized version of their human counterpart, Red Mist has a rich lore behind it.
The story. Quite simple, our MC, Freya was coming-of-age teenager who just enter the age of majority, and perhaps a bit jarring to my modern age sensibility, she now must search a match to marry. The story so far revolved her visiting her grandmaw and grandpaw (and surprise!) found her druid power to communicate with non-sapient(?) animals (a bit of animal farm's vibe here, but that might be me projecting). It's a mix of slice of life and hint of plot that were to come.
The characters. The only place I felt obliged to dock a point -- not because the characters is bad or two dimensional or anything like that, it just that their dialogue felt clunky and a bit unnatural. Like a scenario that make sense in the author head but translated as-is before filtered through each character's lenses.
Consider this paragraph:
“I’m so happy that you’re finally letting me get near the beasts. I promised Old Gran that I would be safe,” she said.
Need action beat or a simple 'she said' between 'I'm so happy' and 'I promised' since the sentences carried two different, opposing tones.
She’d been dreaming of ways to use the beasts for something, especially since they seemed the exact right size for a rider.
“And I’m here to keep that promise, pup, or else I’ll be what’s for dinner,” he said, lifting up the flask, “This here? It’s supposed to supercharge these beasts and make them move a little faster. I heard it will give you palpitations if you take it though.”
What's for dinner --> It wasn't clear what this sentence referred. Did it mean, he'd be served as dinner instead? Then it should say 'or else I'll be the one who get served for tonight's dinner"
This here... --> This sentence was bland. Unlike the first opening (the pup) which showed grandpaw's character as someone who loved his grand daughter, this sound like a throwaway. It also didn't connect with previous sentence (which had a motive of keeping Freya safe when visiting the beast). If I would rewrite the sentence, it'd be something like this:
"Do you see this?" his grandpaw grinned, lifting up a flask."This"--he hushed, crouching to her ears before whispering conspiratorially--"is their favorite food. Or so I heard from the mole I bought them."
"Oh! What is it, grandpaw?" she said, observing the brown flask with increased interest.
"He called it ka-pi. Supercharged them. Making them a bit faster." he said, smiling, handing her the flask. "Take it, they'll like it."
"What is it, Freya?"
"No, no, grandpaw! I--it's nothing." Beast fuel?? Wasn't this what Kayil drunk before? Uh-oh. Should she tell grandpaw what happened to his cousin before?
"Oh right, Freya." his grandpaw said before she could decide if she should or should not to. "Only give it to the beasts. It'd make your heart palpitate if you drink it."
The same problem also happened on the grandmaw and her lady's friend chapter. While everyone grandmaw was different, her manner of speaking didn't feel like a grandmother's, for example a 'force that to be reckoned with', for me that not grandmotherly at all, it'd be better if it'd be replaced to a 'great, amazing mice' or something along the line.
Grammar was fine.
In conclusion, Red Mist is a nice story to read, although I highly recommend second pair of eyes to give the dialogue another once over.
Disclaimer: This review was created as part of the swap with the reviewer story (Tales of an Unlikely Wizard) in accordance with the Royalroad Rules regarding Review Swap. Reader discretion is advised.
A nice little fantasy novel that I'm glad to have found.
The setting is cherry and cozy, but also mysterious and expasive as you can realy tell there's more to the world waiting to be seen. I've only read about 3-4 chapters and it's already competing for my top favorite amoung this sites library.
The plot of a young mouse girl chosing her next stage in life is heartwarming and engaging. And the descions are not rushed but also exciting. The ability to place oneself in the stroy is excellent because of this, and I can relate well with Freya and her family as they try to consider what's best for the future.
There is much more for me to see and experience in this book than I've already read and I'm excited to explore this in detail. The romance, intrigue and underlying themes are all setting up for welcome surprises and gripping twists. All in fairy tale stlye that makes it all the more charming.
I stand by the score ratings that I've given this author and I wish greater success in the future
This is a sweet story that will remind you of Redwall and all of those old movies from when we were kids with animals as protagonists (NIHM, or Once Upon a Forest). It's comforting and nice to read. But it doesn't shy away from reality and I'm sure the more we read the more we're going to get to know about the world. This isn't just surface-level 'animals because cute' but 'animals and it is important to the story' and that makes it all the better.
(I mean, just in the first few chapters we're discussing the differences between an arranged marriage and a love-match.)
I really like Freya. She's young and a bit naïve at first, but this very much feels like a growing-up and maturing story. She's a great protagonist and it's helpful to see the world through her eyes.
The prose is lovely. I didn't see any grammar errors- maybe a misplaced period instead of a comma, but nothing that you'd notice unless you were paying attention. And in being swept up in the story you won't see the small errors.
Recommend to give it a chance even if anthro-fiction isn't your thing. It works and this deserves to become popular here on RR.