I’ve received (some time ago, actually) a three-star review for “Becoming Lioness”. The story is perma-free, so it’s not like this review has a major effect on sales. However, the reason “Becoming Lioness” is free is to provide an easy introduction into the world of the Dual Magics series. There will be more short stories (also, hopefully, free) in this series between releases of the novels. In fact, I’ve got one that will hopefully be ready in November and two more on deck.
The review complains of inconsistencies between “Becoming Lioness” and THE SHAMAN’S CURSE. They tell you to never respond to a review–good or bad. And they’re right. So this isn’t a response. This reader’s experience is perfectly valid and right for them. It’s just not–from my point of view–complete. But, then, you see, there are things I know about this world that readers don’t–yet.
What this reader sees as inconsistencies come from two sources, I think.
The first is just that this is a short story. In order to make that work without bogging the story down, some things are simplified. Characters who would normally be present, aren’t there because each additional character adds approximately 1,000 words. In a short story that should be in the range of 7,500 words, that comes with quite a premium. (“Becoming Lioness” is technically a novelette and closer to 11,000 words.) So this plot is narrowed down to just the two characters who matter for this story. Some of the finer points of the magic system that don’t really matter for the plot are reduced, too, for the sake of brevity.
But the main “inconsistencies” I think come from the fact that the events of “Becoming Lioness” take place in the time frame of the fourth (as-yet untitled) book in the series. So, for example, Kiara is aged 7 – 10 in THE SHAMAN’S CURSE. She’ll be several years older–about 17–by the time we get to Book 4. That alone accounts for some significant differences.
So, I hope you do enjoy “Becoming Lioness”–and “Modgud Gold” when it becomes available. If you’ve read THE SHAMAN’S CURSE, “Modgud Gold” takes place in the same time frame and focuses on what Arcas was doing while Vatar was an apprentice blacksmith.