I've read up a bit, so here's some feedback on the following texts (labelled as best I could). Hopefully more will follow at some point, but you know how it is with finding time to read (or write, for that matter).Out-of-Chronology Passage
Tabia gleamed enough of the conversation without trying.
It seems a bit pointless to tell the reader that Tabia hears the convo without telling the reader what it is she's gleaning (not gleaming - but I have not gone through with with the intent to correct minor grammar or spelling mistakes so this will probably be the only instance of such a correction - not that there are many to begin with).
The other Zarquin Guard did not lift their swords. Tabia still heard foreign screams as hidden archers shot the Khanites into the crystal cyan waters of the canal. She heard swords being drawn in the distance and a command to storm the ship before she slipped out of sight.
"The other Zarquin Guard" sounds immediately to be singular to me, then the reader is given the plural possessive "their", so I assume it refers to a group. May I suggest saying something like "The other guardsmen"?
A stranger’s voice greeted Tabia from scant feet away.
“Jumanah’s light on your path, stranger.” A youthful woman’s cheery voice struck Tabia like a lightning bolt. Tabia gently turned her head toward a wooden bench, where a woman with hair of both rosy red and burnished chestnut watched her with a broad smile.
We've got three instances of "Tabia" in fairly rapid succession, it would be good to vary it.
“Adofo is dead.” Shoushan reminded. “Because of this dumb be-atch, if she’s spoken the truth. How could you ask for calm when a dozen of your brothers are dead in the caverns?”
“Enough, enough!” Faki stepped between Shoushan and Tabia, a torch blazing in his hand. “You should slake that sword of yours on some Kharanites, if you’ve such an impulse to murder.”
“The Kharanites are our friend now,” Shoushan smiled grimly. “After they learn to submit to our laws, of course. In either case, I won’t stand here and let this woman step a foot inside of Tu’shik. Not over my corpse, she shall not pass!”
I was a bit confused over why this escalated to so quickly to where apparently mortal combat was inevitable and neither party attempted to deescalate. It doesn't come off as clear in the text.Portent of the Wanderer, Ver. I
An eerie cawing of crows carried over the thunderous surging of waves. Veridia’s crystalline blue eyes snapped open to the brilliance of wicked lightning falling from heaven to earth. The skies that bristled with the clamor of Tarithinon’s wrath, were the all-consuming black of raven’s feathers.
I assumed Tarithinon's wrath is a poetic term for thunder or lightning, but this is not presented clearly in the text. I can't tell what you've told the reader prior to this since this is an excerpt, but it would be good to clarify.
An ethereal voice made distinct by a mother’s gentle love, a siren’s luring lullaby, and the enigmatic instruction of a divine touched soul, answered Veridia.
There's a danger to over-describe with overly specific yet vague descriptor. This sentence is poetic and flows nicely - but what on earth does a voice like this actually sound like? I doubt a reader would be able to actually imagine it, at least I can't.
Veridia exhaled an ancient mantra surfacing from the back of her mind. She shut her eyes and her heart skipped one, then several beats.
It would probably be better to say "She shut her eyes, and her eye skipped a one beat, then several." - but others might disagree.Chains that Break
“Autumn Queen,” Azat thought aloud. “I’ve not heard the name Hazan in many moons. The Autumn Queen that exists now must be some sheltered daughter of hers. No chance that the one I served so many moons ago is still alive.”
A moon is a poetic term for a month. He is essentially saying that he served someone many months ago, which in my mind basically equates to a few years. So my mind immediately asked "why does he assume someone he served a few years ago is dead - was she THAT old?"
Aiman studied Azat for an incredibly long time. “Are you so eager to bare such a weight on your shoulders? You are strong of heart and resilient of mind, Azat, but it'll wear you down over the course of time. It will grind you mercilessly, until you’re nothing more than embers blown upon the hot desert wind.”
"incredibly" sounds a bit misplaced here. It conjures the image of her looking at him silently for several minutes, which is a bit odd. While replacing it with some other term works, dropping it and just saying "Aiman studied Azat for a long time" works just fine too.
“Before the God-King crushed it?” Azat quipped. “Erasyl cast Hazan into that grave, and all of my dreams with it. He shattered me like no man could ever hope for, not even Baal would argue against it, if he had known. What brotherhood do I know now since he waltzed through the Hundred Temples, except that of the only one he deigned to spare?”
So in this passge the reader finds out that Hazan is definitely dead, and Azat knows so - so the whole wondering about about Hazan being alive in the earlier paragraph seems very odd in retrospect.
Overall I want to say I enjoyed the Chains that Break chapter the most, as it was interesting to get some more in-depth character development of Azat. The dialogue also flowed very well here, with natural-feeling back and forth banter which adds a lot of flow and ease to reading. The revelations of the background and natural introductions of new characters - specifically Aiman - was also interesting. The others aren't bad either, but naturally this has more meat on it for someone who is only following this thread.
Looking forward to read more!
(Also, as always, these are just my opinions.)