I'm looking for Beta readers for my book. The genre is Adventure, and its set in a low-fantasy Universe based on the Age of Sail and Pre-Roman/Christian Europe. The narrative is centered around the struggle of four pirates(man who could've guessed), and its based on years worth of events I've done on both Retail and RPH. A majority of the named characters are based on characters created and roleplayed by other people than me, even if I've tweaked some details to various degrees in some areas.
The page count is roughly 240 A5-pages, and around 50-60% of the content are dialogue. I intend to self-publish when the book is considered finished.
If you're interested in helping me out, I expect you to actually finish reading the book in a relatively short amount of time, and provide critical response. Good, bad, or just constructive, doesnt really matter.
To catch your interest, here is a short exerpt from chapter 5:
“It seems to be healing nicely now. Very good.” He said while slowly pulled the rum-soaked cotton down the wound on Sigrun’s stump leg. In the days since its amputation it had began to close, and would come to form a terrible scar. It did not sting for her nearly as much as it had before however, when it had been fresh, or perhaps she had simply gotten used to the burn of alcohol against her raw, unprotected flesh.
“Ye should be able to walk again soon. Of course, a new leg shall be required.” Said he gently, to which she sniffed softly and spoke herself:
“Can’t wait to be up on my feet again. And for fresh air.”
“If ye would be so bold to call the rotten stench of fish draping the docks as “fresh”, milady.” The Doctor chuckled, a merriment she joined in on, but only with a weak smile. “Our next session I shall bring an assortment of prosthetics for ye to browse.” He concluded by word, as he likewise concluded physically by packing his assorted tools together in the pack in which they had laid, and then made ready to leave out the door as always.
When he had left the room he met Ninefingers outside, dressed in his usual blue attire, his back straight as an arrow and standing tall.
“Ninefingers. How pleasant to see you here.” The sawbones said with a bright smile, a gesture returned by the Administrator. In his pale hand he held a bouquet made up of roses, colored both red and white; like strawberries with cream, or blood upon snow. In a far-flung colony like this one, such flowers were quite uncommon, as patches of cabbage or onion were preferred by the locals over extravagances.
“I see you’re well on your land-legs.” Ninefingers croaked in his usual squeaky voice. “ Not as shaky as the deck of a ship. Might make for safer surgeries I reckon, but removes a reason for you to drink.”
The Doctor laughed heartily at the comment. “But no one sees if I down a dose of anesthesia for me own use every now and then.” He filled in genially, and Ninefingers gave a buoyant smirk, his eyes smiling bright beyond the yellow-tinted glasses resting upon his nose.
“Is she awake?” He asked when the Doctor was laughing no more.
“She is. I think she’ll be lively to see you, chum.” Sawbones said, and was given a nod for goodbye, as Ninefingers silently departed for the door to Sigrun’s room.
Sigrun had heard her employer outside, and had turned her head towards the wall and folded the bed’s blanket over her, to masque any sign of her being awake and aware. Even if Ninefingers saw her in this state, he did not step lightly on the tip of his toes, but with the whole of his feet; the soles of his black shoes tapping with significant noise against the wooden floor with each step. The small vase of flowers, the ones Ek had gifted to her still stood on the bed’s side-table, and Ninefingers cared little for the potty vines, choosing to toss them out of the open window, and in their place letting his own bouquet of roses bathe in the water of the vase.
“I know you’re not asleep.” He mumbled glumly. Sigrun shut her eyes in frustration, wishing only to be left alone, however she could not help to let out a burdened sigh, which also gave off her charade.
“I didn’t actually know if you were.” He said smugly, with a smirk sharing in the sentiment of his tone. Sigrun laid there in her bed, and while she had revealed herself to be awake, she still had her eyes locked on the wall, and not him. “What do you want?” She grumbled, as if she had actually been asleep.
“Is it so out of the ordinary for an employer to visit his employee?”
Wordless, she turned from facing the wooden wall to look at him without expression, and only empty, sullen eyes.
“Despite, you’ve got a stack of papers the height of the Epo Lighthouse* sitting on your desk.” He mentioned teasingly, once again bearing the previous smug smirk.
“Very funny.” Sigrun mumbled.
“Brought you roses as well, if you did not see.” Ninefingers followed with after a moment’s pause, beckoning with a hand to the bouquet.
“Yes.” Sigrun said faintly, and looked to the fine bouquet, structured neatly and with order, resting in the vase and its water. “They’re most delicate.”
“Better be.” He said as he wiped his nose. “Cost me a pretty penny.”
1* Epo Lighthouse - The tallest building in the world, built in the harbor city of Epo, Carnudon. It was commissioned by King Toutio o’Draque to flex the nautical muscles of the nation.
Sigrun could not help but let out an amused snort, barely even a chortle, at the comment. “Always been very petty about the coinage. Why don’t you just take it out of my salary?”
“A shared treasury? Some might take us for courting. No, see it as a bonus.” He said with a forced smile and cold eyes, to which she pursed her lips and nodded. The two were silent again, for a little longer moment, before he spoke again: “How are you feeling?”
She did not know what to say, and was silent in thought for words. Emerald eyes landed on the vase, which had recently been emptied and refilled - then on Ninefingers and his almost regal blue clothing, orderly and well kept, holding its bearer in a straight and proud posture.
“I’m fine.” She finally whispered, weakly so, gaping at his grey eyes concealed by the spectacles. He threw a sideway glance towards the vase, and the window next to it, where he had thrown out the old flowers, and then back to her: “What of your leg then?”
“It is recovering.” She groaned. “Valliant said I will be able to walk soon. He’ll bring prosthetic models next week.”
“I assure you that they’ll be paid for you.” Declared Ninefingers, as a leader making claims and promises to his subjects, a commanding, assuring and stern tone. She shook her head vaguely: “You don’t have to…” Said she, as to push him away. Sternly he spoke again: “I do. My obligation as your employer, and you should see it as that.”
“What if I didn’t want to see it as your obligation?” She muttered coldly and with a half-scowl being her current expression.
“Then see it as you so prefer.” Concluded he, and then folded his arms behind his back. The two were silent now for a much longer length of time. His eyes were locked on the floor, the peculiarities of the carpet. And a blemish on his black shoes. Hers were locked there too, but she did not want to know for what she wished.
“You should know that you are safe.” He suddenly proclaimed to her, who looked at him without expression, her face a clean, sullen slate.
“There is no one coming for you.” Ninefingers said with a softer voice than previously, as he attempted to sooth, and perhaps even comfort her troubles.
“How do you know?”
“The Navy got what they wanted. They know nothing of your involvement.”
Even as she lied there and locked her heart in an iron box, she let out a sigh of relief, even if she did not fully believe in her own safety.
“You’re welcome.” Her employer let out after another, but shorter, moment of silence. Suddenly she spoke out, and almost interrupted him.
“What about Geraldo?”
The Administrator sniffed, widening his nostrils. “His days are numbered. Maybe the town will be able to rest easily now.”
“And what about the gold?”
Ninefingers’ eyes widened with an uncommonly seen surprise. He tilted his head down, causing his spectacles to fall below the position to cover them, as if he wanted to get a naked, and honest view of the one who gave such an unexpected question: “...The gold?” He asked.
“You’re just going to let Madrell have all of it?”
“What gold?” He demanded, as his voice had again contracted to a stern tool of force; but if the previous ones had been bronze, this was steel.
“The Hylangold. Geraldo still has it. His First Mate mentioned it, likely wishing to use it to tempt you and Sweet-Eyes to return to his fold.”
“What? Why didn’t you tell us before?” He spat out stressedly, the pressure unnerving her, reflected by a scowling grimace.
“I think you can figure out why. Ek told me, so I suspected he had told you.”
Ninefingers was barely there any more, one foot in this reality, the other deep in his mind, reflected by his motion of rubbing the ridge between his eyes with two fingers. “This changes everything.” He muttered to himself, and Sigrun could barely make out those words, or ask what it even was he said, let alone thought, for he had already stormed out of the room.