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Review:academica says:
Hello! I'm here with your requested review--and yay for Helena stories! Thanks so much for following mine :)

Whoa, this is so different from my take on the story of Helena and the Baron! I really like it -- it's edgy. You made me feel a lot of pity for Helena and a great deal of fear of the Baron and Rowena, the latter of whom reminds me of the wicked Queen from Snow White. I also love that Helena isn't just a two-dimensional damsel in distress. At the end there, we start to see a flicker of her Ravenclaw wit. It does make me sad to think about what will inevitably happen to her in only a little more time.

One thing I did notice that interrupted the flow a little for me was the dialogue. Some of the ways you shortened things seemed ill-fitting to me. For instance, I would have chosen "I think" versus "Methinks" and "It is" instead of "tis." To me, the shortening implies a lighter, more casual and comical attitude, which isn't the mood of this story. However, that could just be my personal choice.

I loved your description. This was stunning:

Helena knew there was a storm coming. It was visible in the set of Rowena's jaw, in the way she marched rather than glided; and in the manner that she tapped the vial's wax stopper with her fingernail.

We also both have Edeline/Adelines in our stories, how funny! Anyway, I really liked this one-shot. I think the characterization and plot were the strongest points, and working on the dialogue will, in my opinion, improve the flow of the piece. Your imagery was also really nice.

Great work! I hope this review is helpful!


Author's Response: Indeed, yay for Helena stories -- it's only natural for me to follow yours: it's really amazing.

Yes, Rowena is quite like the wicked Queen; I hadn't made the comparison before but it is very appropriate! I'm glad you don't think of Helena as a damsel in distress, if that was the case I would probably go and rewrite this piece.

It's interesting that you think the shortening creates a more comical attitude -- in fact you're the first to say this. I chose this type of formulation because it seemed more archaic to me, therefore more appropriate (in all honesty, I looked it up in some of Shakespeare's works to make sure it was correct).

The Adeline/Edeline coincidence was quite strange, wasn't it? I started reading Diamonds into Coal after this was posted, and the first thing I thought was "I hope she doesn't think I copied her"!

I should be updating soon in the future, and I'll take into account your help...

Thank you for the lovely review :)

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