Date: August 04 2023 11:52 PM Title: A Mini and a Merchant
"Curse the versatility of language."
I was surprised to see you put out a story with a gentle tag, as that doesn't seem to be your preference. However, in College Woes, what you did with Heather showed that you could write an interesting gentle character (as well as still find ways to get away with them doing some not-so-gentle things with tinies), so I was really curious to see how this turned out.
That said, I really liked this. In particular, you did an excellent job with Tess, who comes off as a bit mischievous and has a merchant's morality, but deep down is a decent person. Her initial idea to sell Theo wasn't rooted in a desire to get rich but instead in being able eat good food and take her pack mule with her to an inn for once. That's a pretty understandable motivation, and the fact that she even takes the time to explain this to the mini shows a general level of respect for her. After all, from what we're told of the relationship between giants and minis, it seems as though most giants just would have snagged Theo and been done with it.
And even when Tess is making Theo clean her feet and sleep in her boot, her joy comes from legitimately liking having her feet be cleaned and finding some humor in it, almost like a practical joke. There's no indication that the giant is taking any pleasure in Theo's suffering itself. Because of this, I found myself liking Tess even during (instead of despite) that part of the story.
And, of course, there are a few brief windows in which Tess shows that she actually cares for Theo, including showing that she was truly remorseful after rescuing the mini from her boot. It's not much, but it's enough that Theo feels comfortable enough to joke around with someone who literally just almost crushed her underfoot.
And all of the above rambling is to say that you laid the groundwork for Tess to be a character who can get away with doing things that a "gentle giantess" normally wouldn't do while still keeping her as a lovable, fun character. That's not an easy thing to do.
I've often said that I'm not a huge fan of fantasy stories, but my only real issue with most of the ones I don't like is that they tend to get lost in their own lore. I hate it when the world itself or the rules surrounding it are highlighted more than the characters in of the story itself. You didn't have that issue here at all, and I really appreciated that. We didn't get a ton of worldbuilding here (I'm guessing part of that is because this was a one-shot), but what we did get was introduced in a fluid, engaging manner.
I love when information about a setting is conveyed through dialogue rather than the narrative, and I felt like we learned a few things about this one in Tess's conversations with Roderick and Theo. That kept are main characters front and center, and they did an great job of keeping the readers' interest.
Also, reading your response to the other review, it looks like you're thinking of continuing this. Allow me to encourage you to do so as well! This was left about as open-ended as you can get, which is a trait of a great one-shot: Let the readers' imagination take over from there. But if you want to save me the work and just tell me what happens next, I'd really appreciate it!
Thank you so much for your review! To address the latter half, I definitely follow the show-dont-tell philosophy of writing, and with the nature of a one-shot I intended to build the world by this technique rather than having things be blatantly explained. And to address the bottom statement, I will continue it! Please continue to review stories with this level of depth, it's an artform you excel at and it's beyond helpful.