Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Drop The Needle 18

Title: Nino
Genre: non-historical Historical Fiction?

Baypat now walked past me. I thought she might be Bulyar’s daughter, not his wife. The same eyes and cheeks, even the dimple on their chins matched. I thought she was thin, but her sleeveless dress showed wiry muscles that tightened and relaxed in spasms. She scared me. I cowered and turned my shoulder, hiding my gesture against the evil eye under the cloak. As she walked, she stripped down, removing her foxtail cape and dropping it on the ground. She took off her skirt and her tunic to toss to one of the slaves, leaving her breastband and a short skirt. She stopped in front of me. “He loved me best because he gave me his heir,” she said, and then, at the top of her voice, repeated the claim.

Violna was now taking off her garments. The elegant dress was not thrown onto the ground as Baypat’s foxtails had been. A young woman – a relative, possibly one of Violna’s daughters – took the dress and carefully folded it over her arm and pulled a cloak over it. Violna took a leather thong and tied back her hair as she circled the courtyard again. “FARIDA!”

Where Baypat was muscle, Violna was curve and grace. Her stomach undulated as she walked around the courtyard as if she were dancing. She called again. “FARIDA!”

“You’re going to say he loved you best, aren’t you?” Violna pointed up at Farida, who shook her head.

“N-N-Nnnno,” she stuttered. “No, he didn’t.”


  1. Hmm. I'm not sure who is the secondary here. Both Violna and Baypat sound equally mean and catty. I think they both came off strong here. But, who is Farida?

  2. Two possible SC's. I get a bit better view of Baypat, but the active description work well for both her and Violna. still, I'd preferred to know a bit more about one SC.

  3. I'm compelled by the two SCs because there seems to be an intriguing backstory going on here, with the man and the heir and the love and all. Kind of makes me think of Leah and all her sisters.

  4. Both Baypat and Violna are SC's, of course.

    Hmmm.... this is a little confusing, I mean sorting the two stripping down women at the end. The one is muscular and the other is lithe.

    At the start Baypat stood out, but towards the end that was when I lost track of who was where.

  5. Sorry, but I couldn't get a beat on any of the characters here. There was no clear main POV character, so I couldn't even guess who the secondary was.

  6. Apologies, but I don't have a clue who is supposed to be the SC here. Two of the women seem pretentious and judgemental, while Farida comes across as nervous and faltering. And who is the viewpoint character?

  7. I didn't quite get which was the SC here as the viewpoint character is some unspecified third. I didn't get too much of a feel for either - Baypat has a strong physical description but the fact that she scares the MC feels more like a tell than anything else. She didn't seem that scary, to me.

  8. I found all of this a bit too much telling and not enough showing. Of course, that often happens in very short snippets. Two of the women (Baypet and Violna) seem to be battling for alpha status, and the third seems mousy, and I got all of that from their dialog, not their physical descriptions (which were a bit confusing TO ME, what with them throwing robes and other clothing about).

  9. I didn't get a lot of feel for the characters here. There was a lot of physcial description, but not much else.