Forgotten Gifts by Alexander Neville-Pexton

When an orphan tries to discover the gifts her parents gave her, she finds herself and the centre of a conspiracy to overthrow the Empire.

Some parents have great expectations for their children, be they creative, academic or simply to follow in their footsteps.

Samija daydreams of the day when she will will stand before the Emperor and be told of the Gifts that her parents gave her. She hasn't realised that no one knows who her parents were or what plans they had for her.

With the help of one of the enigmatic Midwives she tries to discover her origins and her Gifts. What she uncovers, places her at the centre of a conspiracy, but before she can act she finds herself a fugitive, wanted for theft and murder.

In order to save the Empire she must use her sinister Gifts, but can she reach the Emperor in time to warn him of the danger?

Forgotten Gifts is the first part of a trilogy and it is now fully uploaded. All comments are welcome, so feel free to point out anything from spelling errors to double-decker-sized holes in the plot.


  • Classification: Moderate
  • Work is: Fully available on Authonomy
  • First submitted May 14, 2008
  • Last updated May 14, 2008
Forgotten Gifts
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  • Nick Poole2's avatar
    Nick Poole2 wrote 5 years, 6 months ago
    ARISE, AUTHONOMY GHOST! Ease those weary, withered limbs from your coffin. Push away the stone from the mouth of the tomb. You have one last task to perform. One last, sacred shelf to confer. Whether you were plugger, spammer, gusher or troll, whether you flirted or fought in the forum or beavered away in the shadows, now is the time for your resurrection. One last time. Marshall your strength, muster the last vestiges of your power and carry out your ...
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  • Retired user
    C M Slater wrote 5 years, 11 months ago

    I really enjoyed the first couple of chapters of Forgotten Gifts. I enjoy the fact that you create many questions (where was the mother from, are there more midwives, what are her powers) and therefore give yourself many plot twists to answer in this or further volumes.

    I'm looking forward to reading further,


  • Retired user
    happypetronella [Retired] wrote 6 years, 7 months ago

    Lots of detailed description which I like a lot, and a good story to go with it. Enjoyed reading the whole thing right to the end.

  • Lorri's avatar
    Lorri wrote 6 years, 10 months ago

    Hi there,

    I've had this on my watchlist for such a long time, and finally found some time to read.

    I'm not a fantasy fan as a rule, but this is interesting, and seems very character based, which I like. You write well, and the characters are developing nicely. Reads well, flows great, and a good build so far.

    I wish you luck with this.


  • JAK's avatar
    JAK wrote 6 years, 10 months ago
    Hi Alexander, i've just finished the third chapter and feel that you are really getting into your stride now with this excellent narrative. i am very impressed with the way in which you are developing Samija's character and i'm sure she is going to be the perfect shoulders on which to rest the events which will follow. The writing is very smooth and polished without the weakness of overuse of description which sometimes puts me off fantasy. My only thought ...
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  • Parallax's avatar
    Parallax wrote 6 years, 11 months ago
    Hi Alexander. As promised, I've read parts 1 & 2 and here's some feedback. Opening: After the prologue, the story does seem to take a long time to get moving. Perhaps you could insert another incident where Samija unexpectedly uses her powers in a way that causes some drama at the college? Style: - I think you could reveal more facts through dialogue between characters, rather than via big expository paragraphs, eg the first few paras of part two, explaining ...
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  • cesia's avatar
    cesia wrote 6 years, 11 months ago
    Hi Alexander ... I'm not a real critic or anything, so I'm just going to say my honest thoughts from the viewpoint of a "reader" of this book. First off, I really enjoyed the story and was pretty sucked in. Definitely a page turner. As others and yourself mentioned, it could use some grammatical refining to make it smoother to read. As far as the story itself ... there were 2 things I noticed. One, the boy she rescued from ...
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  • Pat Black's avatar
    Pat Black wrote 6 years, 11 months ago
    Hi Alexander, have had a look at the prologue - a strong start, with a sense of mystery all the way through. We're inclined to wonder about the Gifts, what magic may have been "bound", what the order is. There's also a good sense of character from even these opening lines - the inexperienced apprentice, the fastidious (perhaps a little too much so for a midwife!) Lady Latasia, the humble yet capable Larren. If I may be permitted a criticism, ...
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  • P J's avatar
    P J wrote 6 years, 11 months ago
    Alex, I was not sure during chapter one/prologue whether I'd stay with this story or not. I felt I'd read the story of mother arrives half dead, and choice has to be made between her and baby. But in chapter two it all became much clearer and more immediate with the introduction of Samija and her conversation with the midwife. The idea of the gifts and hers not being fixed in the same way as others is definitely a hook, ...
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  • LMJT's avatar
    LMJT wrote 6 years, 11 months ago
    Hi Alix, Apologies it’s taken so long for me to reciprocate with comments. I’ve read the pitch and prologue so far. From reading the pitch, I think you need to bring in Samaia’s name sooner as, at the moment, the first two paragraphs are very vague. You need to introduce the characters as soon as possible in such short space. I thought the first sentence was too long and would recommend you cut it down to maintain a reader’s interest. ...
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  • RobbG's avatar
    RobbG wrote 6 years, 11 months ago
    alexander - following up on your question on show vs. tell in the other thread, as i followed your note to read the sentence in context. the scene is definitely showing. you've got action, characters moving in and out of the scene, dialog. a sentence (or more than one) describing movement, actions or reactions (even internal thoughts) within an active, showing scene is good, a way to keep the scene moving forward. i like how you split it into 2 ...
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  • Retired user
    Rowan wrote 6 years, 11 months ago
    Definitely an intriguing story Alexander, even though I've only got to chapter 4. You've done a good job of catching the reader's interest - who is Samija's mother and what gifts did she leave her daughter? However, your sentences seem to have run away from you sometimes. The first sentence of chapter 3 is a good example. The whole work needs to be proof-read thoroughly. Stylistically, some of the description should be cut. This is especially true for chapter 1. ...
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  • RobertB's avatar
    RobertB wrote 6 years, 11 months ago

    Your first few paragraphs are good, but then you lapse into telling rather than showing. Take your time, and show us, for instance, what Larren finds when he goes into the dormitory. If you keep compressing incidents into short, impersonal paragraphs, you'll lose your reader's interest.

  • jmac's avatar
    jmac wrote 6 years, 11 months ago
    I'm back again Alexander, ( from work about an hour ago ) and happy to be back, because I've just read through to the finish of chap 8, and this story gets better and better, and I thought it was just for kids. I was wrong. This is so interesting and you don't just write the story but give some lovely descriptions of the surroundings and the actions, and in such detail. If this were never to get published it ...
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  • jmac's avatar
    jmac wrote 6 years, 11 months ago
    Hi Alexander, have just read the 1st 2 chaps and find that the story builds gradually without giving anything away - only a few questions answered. From your outline at the top of the page it looks interesting and should appeal to younger readers - a lot younger than me, but it has a good thread to it. I know you say there's a lot of work to do with the story regarding the editing of words and punctuation(lots), but ...
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  • Retired user
    2004carlt [Retired] wrote 6 years, 12 months ago
    This is a better version..... Samija is an orphan in service to the Empire. Soon to come of age, she must make a pledge to use her Magical Gifts but she doesn't know what they are, and neither does anyone else! With the help of one of the enigmatic Midwives, she begins to try to uncover the nature of the Gifts given to her by her unidentified parents. What she discovers places her in great danger and reveals that someone ...
    Read more
  • Retired user
    2004carlt [Retired] wrote 6 years, 12 months ago
    What about this? Samija is an orphan in service to the Empire. Soon to come of age, she must make a pledge to use her Magical Gifts but she doesn't know what they are, and neither does anyone else! With the assistance of one of the enigmatic Midwives, she begins to try to uncover the nature of the Gifts given to her by her unidentified parents. What she discovers places her in great danger and reveals that someone has had ...
    Read more
  • Sam Hackett's avatar
    Sam Hackett wrote 7 years ago

    I'm enjoying what I've read so far Alexander. I'm intrigued. I've just added it to my bookshelf. Hope that helps get you more readers too. All the very best, Sam (born on t'other side of Pennines to you, but grew up in the Home Counties/London, so a southern softie now – although I live in the wild West Country these days!).

  • AJK's avatar
    AJK wrote 7 years ago

    Thanks for your comment..I will try and read Forgotten Gifts over the next few days!

  • Diane's avatar
    Diane wrote 7 years ago

    Oops, I meant to say 'Prologue' in my comment, not Chapter One. Sorry.