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It's hard being a [Peasant] on Pallos. Immortal troll [Jarls] crush mortals under their boots, dinosaurs roam the lands, pirates sail the seas, and goblin hordes run rampant.
Yet everyone, even Iona, has access to a grand System, making the impossible into the every day. Follow her adventures as she navigates her path through Pallos!
Valkyrie's Dawn is a collection of all the the Iona side-stories from Beneath the Dragoneye Moons. They'll be posted one a day until they're all up. If you can't wait, and need to find out what happens next? Find the chapters in Beneath the Dragoneye Moons!
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First advanced review I've done, but seeing the "Completed" tag convinced me to take the plunge, as I've followed these side stories for the entirety of the brief period of posting. This is a companion work to "Beneath the Dragoneye Moons", one of the most prolific stories on this website, and measures up finely to my expectations. "Valkyrie's Dawn" is a collection of side stories centered around Iona and her journey, fleshing out one of the more enigmatic characters from "Beneath the Dragoneye Moons". It chronicles her humble beginnings and perilous journey, and has impeccably exceeded what I was hoping for when I saw the great Selkie had posted a new fiction.
Written with an exquisite fashion and prose, I have no complaints about the style, only praise. As this is more of a collection of important moments than a detailed story in a linear fashion, I thought that the selection displayed was very well chosen and helped the reader care about Iona more, something usually necessitating lots of development. In terms of grammer, it was great as always, I didn't see any mistakes in the actual story, and it flowed beautifully. Despite focusing on Iona, the other characters were also compelling and felt realistic, and nobody came off as contrived or cliche'd.
In conclusion, I truly enjoyed this work, short as it was, and feel that not only is it a wonderful companion work, it also stands strong by itself. Amazing job, Selkie!
tl;dr - I recommend this for anyone already reading and enjoying Beneath the Dragoneye Moons (BTDEM), but I would not recommend as a stand-alone read.
To quote the author, "These are 90% the BTDEM chapters, just without the weight or expectations. 10% new material, half fixing plotholes, half fleshing stuff out."
I am a big fan of BTDEM, and I think fans of that fiction will be fine with this stand-alone collection of what are presented as minor and major interludes in that story. In fact, I find Iona's story much more plalatable in this format than as what I consider to be unconnected distractions in BTDEM. That said, however, this story relies upon all the world-building of the former to make sense. In fact, the first source interlude doesn't even happen until book 2.
I also feel like Iona's story is rushed. Consider that Iona reaches roughly the same point in her personal develompment at chapter 25 that Elaine (MC of BTDEM) does in chapter 162. There are multiple chapters in BTDEM dedicated to classing up, for example, that are completely absent in Iona's story. And that's fine, as long as you have the context of BTDEM already in the back of your mind. If you don't, however, I think this story will leave you wanting.
Valkyries's Dawn will not dissapoint on a technical front (grammar, style, prose). I mean, compared to a lot of the stuff on RR, this is defintiely way above par in quality, but I find the story and MC hollow as compared to BTDEM. I'll keep reading it, but if the author stopped this project, I wouldn't really care. The same cannot be said of BTDEM, the ending of which would feel like a gut punch to me.
The story is well written with an interesting premise. The story itself is fairly fast paced but keeps the reader engaged. The author is willing to change things up in unexpected ways which is refreshing. I look forward to reading the authors other works after just finishing this one.
I haven't read too much of this one yet but what I've gotten through looks promising enough. Characthers have enough wit to be funny but not overly sarcastic. Personality is seen in plenty but not in the way strawmen are made. Style is paced perfectly enough while giving enough background info that I'm not annoyed. Overall a good composition. 5/5
Seeing another review say this is a companion piece really helped ... However I didn't see that until right after I hit the end. I really really love the story, but in the dedication it'd be really nice if it had pointed to where this was a side story of and call it out explicitly. I picked this one up as a complete story and wow I have so many questions now about what happens next.
I have a feeling much is explained in the base story I'm now going to dig into with much delight. I would highly recommend the story if you like fantasy with a system, it really portrays the emotional struggle well. There are some large time jump where years pass without warning which was a bit jarring but I fh with the context I got after finishing makes total sense.
Seriously though the ending of this is amazing even if I don't yet know how it picks up and really held my attention the whole way through!
I normally don't bother with side stories, but I had been reading these as they came out, and finished them with the release of book 6. I am shocked to find out this is "the end" (for now?) And can't wait for more of the story, even if it takes away from Elaine. Maybe the author can clone themselves and write both at the same time for me? Much appreciated! (Though with the authors release schedule being 2 billion words an hour I can't really complain!)
Thank you for your lovely stories and please keep them up!!