I've only read until Chapter 6 so far, and I have to say you've got some talent going for you. There's emotion here that's lacking in a number of other stories on the forums, and the plot, even though it's simplistic at points, is more varied and drawn-out than much of what I was writing back when I started on these forums.
Still, there's a good amount of room for improvement, even in what I've read so far. The thing that 'took me out of the world' the most was the lack of either character's appropriate response to death and pain in others, especially considering Naomi's age. It's one thing to learn about sword combat and talk about beating up bad guys, but when you put your sword through a poacher's back it's not the clean death they tell in myth and legend. It's messy and bloody and the screams they scream stick somewhere deep in your soul, and God help you if you have to live with that. I can only imagine what it would be like to experience that kind of an event at Naomi's age.
She also is remarkably unaffected by her captivity, and Lucy barely reacts to her return. Wouldn't she be worried sick, staying up from tension and stress until Naomi was able to make her way back home? Would she be out searching for her and not be at home, leaving Naomi to find another place to stay, or leading to an interaction somewhere else? And what would it be like to be captured like that, so powerless? Sure, there's a kind of childlike ignorance of how out-of-the-ordinary this is, and that's appropriate to her age to some degreeóbut even so, getting kidnapped is a traumatizing experience.
Many of the challenges that the pair face also seem too conveniently placed, simple obstacles for them to show their strength instead of useful plot points. They also breeze through them too easily, even if they are injured. Lucy's injuries heal quickly, and I get the sense that she's not much affected afterward.
With some emotional depth and improved points, this will be great.
Thank you for all of the ideas. I will warn you now, I have proofread up to but not including chapter 10, and I may just rewrite the whole story when I have time. Seeing as I started to write it in 2009, my writing has improved by a massive amount.
I love your ideas, by the way - I had never thought of Naomi finding another place to stay... and I could describe the poacher scene a little better too
I have a lot more suggestions, but I'm a bit worn out for the time being since it's past 3 in the morning here. Perhaps I'll give you a few more pointers in the morning. 'til then, good luck with whatever work you're currently putting your mind to!