Okay, I have to admit first off that I'm one of those people who follows stories attentively but doesn't often review - guilty as charged! :) So, when I saw you'd posted in review tag, I had to jump in because it's probably about time I actually reviewed :D
Gosh, I do love this story. You've taken something so obscure as the Grey Lady/Baron backstory and completely made it your own. This story is so unique it's unreal and... gah, it's so good!
I love how you've characterised Helena, Venn (nice name, btw!), Rowena... actually, all your characters. I don't think there's one I haven't really liked. They're just so true to the period you're talking about (I'm a huge History fanatic and my sister's into all the Arthurian myths and things so I know quite a bit ;) ) which is fantastic and they really just breathe, you know? They seem so real - they make mistakes, they get scared and worried and boastful. You've included all the historical bits and pieces wonderfully, as well - they're not just flung in all over the place or only mentioned when absolutely necessary, there's little details here and there and it really fleshes the whole thing out.
Gosh, Venn can be an idiot sometimes, though! Silly boy! Cheating - tut tut, lol! Nah, I can't be too annoyed with him, though, knowing how it's all going to end. I expect he was nervous he wouldn't win and chose to cheat in order to make sure he won *nods* Yeah, I'm gonna stick with that :)
The whole jousting scene reminded me of the BBC tv show Merlin, by the way - and they do good jousting scenes, so it's all good ;)
I loved your inclusion of Antioch Peverell, as well. The way you've portrayed him makes so much sense when I consider what happened to him as well - how do you do it? It's unreal...
I think I've rambled a lot in this review... in summary: it's very, very good and please continue! :)
Author's Response: Hi Aph! You don't know how delighted I was to find a review waiting for me on my brand new chapter :) I think the only thing I like more than faithful reviewers is when readers come out of the woodwork and leave reviews after 'secretly' following the story. It doesn't happen to me often, but when it does, it makes me happy, so thank you so much!
Anyway, yay, I'm so pleased that you're enjoying the story! It's great that you like my characterization; it's been a fun challenge to try to balance my love for canon and desire to adhere to it with my need to make these characters and events my own with those little details. It's also lovely that you feel like the historical piece is accurate. That's a huge relief! I don't have many reviewers with a background in that area, so I always feel better about my efforts when someone who does comes along and approves of my choices. I definitely know that sometimes the historical details can feel a little tacked-on and that it can be hard to balance that with the rest of the plot, so it's doubly exciting to find that my characters still feel real and alive. (So, basically, this review response is just me jumping up and down. Yay, yay, yay! Thanks!)
Ugh, he sure can. Izzy (CloakAuror9) actually suggested the idea of him cheating, because it really does fit in with the concept of a prototypical Slytherin. You may be on to something with your reasoning; hold on for chapter nine to hear him explain himself :)
Ooh, I love Merlin! I agree that they have good jousting scenes, and whether or not they unconsciously influenced this chapter, I'm glad that the joust was satisfying to you. It's great that you liked Antioch, too -- I was definitely building off the tension Venn feels regarding Nentres and the way Antioch comes across as being domineering in canon.
Thanks again, so much, for this wonderful review. Stay tuned for chapter nine! :)