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A White Shell  by Celeritas 4 Review(s)
VirtuellaReviewed Chapter: 3 on 1/25/2010
It's great to see the independence and ingenuity with which Kira goes about her business. Her poverty is heart-wrenching, but we're left with the impression that she will cope.

One can't help thinking that if earlier generations had taken to trouble to teach village children the way Kira does, the whole situation would have turned out differently!


Author Reply: Kira is a bright sort, and I think the hardest problem facing her at the moment is not so much poverty as getting around poverty without her mother finding out about her extra source of income.

Kira is certainly under the impression that she's taking up a cause long, long overdue, and I think that that colors her work in many ways.

Thanks for reviewing!

Independence1776Reviewed Chapter: 3 on 6/15/2009
I can't believe I missed this! Kira's certainly grown up quite a bit. I'm glad she's able to continue telling the tales, even if she has to hide it from her mother. Wonder when she'll find out?

Marvelous story so far. :)

Author Reply: Well, this story is not updating regularly because it's still very much in the process of being drafted (and KatM took about 4 years!) so it's easy to overlook. I really like working with this older Kira, because she's got a lot more initiative and is even more stubborn!

Thanks for the review, and I'm glad to see you following this. It should be an interesting ride. ^_^

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 3 on 6/8/2009
Ah--a wish of hers granted, and via Merina? Good! And she has a WHOLE other life her mother remains unaware of!

Love the letter to the Gardners! Dear, conniving child that she is! Yes!

And wait until she meets Hal and his brother for good! Heh!

And she's named the pony Nienna? Ah, a good name for her!

Thanks for this one.

Author Reply: You're quite welcome!

Yup, she got her pony. ^_^ Since it's the only wish she has that can be plausibly granted, I thought I'd give it to her--plus Nienna is one of the handiest plot devices I've come by in these stories.

One of the things I love about this Kira (as opposed to the 16-year-old one) is how clever she's become (not that she wasn't intelligent before; she just didn't realize it and didn't know how to put that to good use). I always have fun writing the storytelling bits because I can focus on what emphases Kira puts on the tales to get whatever point she has across.

DreamflowerReviewed Chapter: 3 on 6/8/2009
It's a shame Kira is having to keep her babysitting business from her mother. If only the two of them could communicate openly-- Kira without having to hide her enterprise and her intelligence, and her mother without letting all of her fears keep her from listening to what her daughter truly needs. And if her mother would not be so set against the things that mean the most to Kira, then her own life could be considerably eased.

How long can this double life go on? So many people know about it, really. How is it that it's not going to come to the ears of someone it shouldn't, sooner or later.

I like the way Kira has structured the stories, to give the impressions that she wants them to give, although I'm a bit troubled at her message of how dreadful "Outside" is. I'm not quite sure that's the message the Travellers themselves would have wished to convey...still, I do understand that it is mostly in order to be able to continue *telling* the tales...

Oh, what a tangled web...



Author Reply: If I were totally realistic in this story Kira would never have been able to keep this deceit up this long. She has tried her best, though, by only visiting families from the country on the opposite sides of town, who are less likely to run into Kira by chance. There are also those who are much more fully acquainted with Kira and her circumstances and would love to help the family out any way that they can. I don't know how much Kira has given off the impression that this can't be communicated to her mother, but apparently it's been kept up so far out of kindness. From Mother's end (and I can pull the "they don't get out much" card here) she's used to having a daughter that's very honest, even painfully so, at least from during KatM. (I give you the exhibit of Kira's immediately handing the token from Firin over to her, even though she could have gotten away with keeping it.) That began to change, very slightly, at the end of that tale, and at some point Kira became used to out-and-out lying to her mother about her true self. For some reason I imagine most hobbit-children and hobbits as being unusually honest by our standards, which would make for someone who wants to believe a lie it even easier to pass over subtle indicators of the truth (I can imagine Kira silently panicking if one day at market one of the children runs by and addresses her by her pet name, only somehow Mother doesn't seem to notice).

But in the end you're right; it's really quite precarious--which doesn't excuse me from not coming up with a better way to frame this conflict, much less its plausibility.

Kira has had to learn to be pragmatic over the years, especially with her taletelling. This means emphasizing the perilous aspects (and I'm not entirely sure if she truly understands the kind of "perilous" that Tolkien meant) of the outside world.

There's also a very good personal reason for her focusing on the dangerous aspects of Outside, though I don't think she realizes that...

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