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AN INTIMATE HISTORY OF THE GREATER KINGDOM

Now more my cup of tea

By G.S. Williams, author of No Man An Island

Aug 1, 2008: MeiLin Miranda is a good writer, and extremely creative. Not only does she have a lively imagination, she also comes up with impressive ways to involve her audience, and designed a great website. Individual chapters of her ongoing story can be humorous, erotic, thrilling and intriguing. Her description of clothing and scenery is elegant and evocative.

However, for all of that, I never understood her enthusiastic fan base. For a fantasy novel, it rarely uses magic. For an erotic story, the sex was a little dull in comparison to say, "Tales of MU," where the author (AE) avoids being as graphic as erotica. For a political history, it had less intrigue than "An Empire of Law," and as a character study, it had less interest than "Alisiyad." At the time I first wrote this review, all that was true.

Why was I comparing "An Intimate History" to other online stories? Because I think part of the story’s appeal might be in the fact that it tried to encompass so many interesting possibilities in one place. But as a reader, my lack of interest used to stem from this same fact. It seemed that there was no real story arc to follow, because the story ran in so many directions at once. These other stories do some of the same things in a much more focused way.

I have since come to revise my opinion. That scattered quality in the text was in large part because it followed the perspective of Prince Temmin. At first, Prince Temmin’s character is dull, a flighty spoiled aristobrat who goes wherever the current pulls him. The histories of his ancestors have more interesting characters and plotlines, but they are episodes against the backdrop of his life.

But Temmin is a youngster, and growing up. By the end of book one, he’s learned some humility, and also starts coming into his potential as a leader. It is a testament to Miranda’s skill as a writer that her text becomes better and better as Temmin matures, indicating to me that the writing style is very intentional, guiding the reader through Temmin’s growth as a character.

I’ve improved my rating of this story, and if the last section of Book 1 is any indication, by the end of Book 2 I’ll be raising my score again.

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