This is a link to the first few pages of my first attempt to write original fiction (as most of my stuff consists of saga and other adaptations). It’s the fantasy novel I mentioned in the OP of my story ideas thread as a fusion of The Hobbit and Oliver Twist. It’s actually intended to be a saga-type tale with the archetypal Artful Dodger character as a hero (which is why Bjarki Thórinsson is basically a fantasy-Norse version of Dodger and sounds similar).
Explanatory note about the setting and names: The country this is set in is based loosely on medieval Iceland and Norway and the Icelandic/Old Norse calendar is used: Ylir, Morsugr, Einmánuðr, Góa, Harpa… that said this world is a fantasy world loosely based on our own (well basically our world with renamed countries and magic and mythical creatures).
Character names and characteristics:"Everyone has traditional Norse names. Thórinn is my attempt to anglicise the male name * Þórinn * closer to the Old Norse/Icelandic spelling. Thráin(n) isn’t only Thorin Oakenshield’s father but a well-used Norse name from the Saga Age; it’s the name of a minor villain in Njáls saga as well as a dwarf in Voluspa and a berserker in Hromunds saga Gripssonar. This character was explicitly named after Thorin in The Hobbit. Bjarki means “little bear.” In this case Dísa (mentioned) is short for Ásdís, a common female name.
Critiques of how the premise works (because let’s face it “orphan raised by dwarf leading a gang of child thieves in fantasy not-Iceland gets involved in commissioned robbery along with his gang” sounds a bit cute or at least humorous, like something on a comedy show or that you might read to your 3-year-old cousin. Although that could be because I still associate “dwarf” with typical fantasy dwarf in my mind and fantasy dwarves are usually not thieves, adding to that comic feel) whether Bjarki works as a medieval Icelandic steampunk Artful Dodger, whether the Icelandic-influenced setting is well-conveyed and whether Thórinn is enough of a manipulative, creepy yet somewhat caring Fagin clone are appreciated.
TBH I don’t know what to make of this myself. When I look over it it seems as if some of the characters are more 2D (I’ve noticed this in my other side projects) and that the plot is thin. Not fishing for compliments but I honestly think it’s not as good as it could be and I don’t know why. Any advice for improvement and opinions on characterisation and premise are appreciated.