|Review:||Elphaba and Boyfriends says:|
Hi! Elphaba here with your requested review,
First of all, wow, I really like this story! I love the way you've taken a familiar fairy tale and essentially reversed it, so that the heroine descends from riches to rags. I also really appreciate the fresh perspective on Eileen Prince/Snape. I see her as being responsible for her own fate, here, rather than a straight-up victim as she's sometimes portrayed.
You asked for criticism, so I do have two little nit-picky things to point out. Your prose is lovely, but I have a thing about the placement of adverbs: "...staring into the green and brown muck fiercely." Fiercely should precede staring in the sentence.
The other is "she worked like a slave," ... there's really nothing wrong with it, and I like that you continue the simile by referring to her quill-wielding masters. I think it's just a bit of a cliche, and while I know I used the phrase on occasion when I was younger, it now makes me cringe. I can definitely see how Eileen might *think* that she's working like a slave, though.
"A child died in winter. Ivory snow, chapped lips, hair black like crows and death." -- I wasn't sure what this meant at first. Does this refer to her loss of innocence? If so I think it's fantastic!
"What would his love potion smell like? Spirits, poverty, disappointment. How had she been charmed?" -- I love this! It seems to sum up their entire relationship.
"Her child--he should have been her crown--was not perfect enough, not even close." -- It's sad that she puts the same pressure on Severus that her parents put on her, but it fits with his character and is also, sadly, realistic.
So, yes, I really like this story and don't have anything else to critique. :)
Author's Response: Hello, thanks for coming by!
I'm happy to hear that you enjoyed the sort of reversed fairy tale here and the way I characterized Eileen. I don't know that this is my head canon for her, but I always see her portrayed as a victim and I wanted to try something different.
I really appreciate you taking the time to give me critique. I don't get it often in reviews, and so I sometimes just want to ask for it so I can continue to improve as a writer. I agree that putting the adverb at the end of the sentence there is a bit confusing; if I go back and fix it at some point, I'll probably put it after "staring," though, rather than before it.
Yeah, I know the phrase "worked like a slave" is a bit overused. I just don't know else I could use there--"worked like a house elf" seems a bit too light for the tone of this story. So I might leave that one, but I'll think on it.
Yes, that line about the child does symbolize her innocence. I'm so glad you picked up on it! And the one about what Tobias's love potion would smell like seems to be everyone's favorite, despite its morbidity.
It's great that you liked my mention of Severus. I tried to allude to the fact that Eileen's disappointment in her life might have bled into his, like a contagious sort of tragedy.
Thanks again, so much, for this great review!