|Review:||800 words of heaven says:|
Hello! Here with your requested review!
I'm a rambling reviewer, so bear with me as I ramble my way through your story!
Let me start with the summary. I don't usually comment on them, but I thought I might in this case. I'm not a big fan of angst, because it makes me feel sad, but from reading your summary, I wanted to read your story! I don't know who "she" is yet, but I'm pretty excited to find out! I'm a big Black family fan, so I'm really hoping it's one of them.
I've read about two paragraphs at the moment, and can I just say, that you such a wonderful writing style. I really like it! I'm picky about writing styles, and am put off by stories easily because of it, especially if it's a genre I don't usually read, but you write with clarity, yet still include wonderful description which is rich and simple all at once. Well done!
So I think this is from Narcissa's point of view, and so far, I like her characterisation. She always seemed a bit sensitive and vulnerable to me, and I feel as if you've captured some part of that of her in here. She seems the type to mourn those who others would not. But of course, it's all done privately and symbolically, because she's a Black and a Malfoy, twice damned by duty and fate. I have a feeling this is written after the first war, and not the second, because I think by the second time, Narcissa was really sick of it all and just wanted to protect her son and get out of it all. If my guess is correct, I think you've shown the sowing of the seeds of doubt in Narcissa really well. It feels as if all these losses will add up and partly define her decisions later on in her life.
The most interesting part for me about Narcissa's description of Evan was the bit about baby Draco. I never thought the Malfoys as especially involved parents, but the way you've painted Narcissa, I can see her spending more time with her son; at least more than Lucius, and that her cousin would be so involved is charming as well. It makes for a really poignant and bittersweet part of the story, because you know the things he did were bad, but after all, he was a human being, and like Narcissa feels, a loss is a loss, be it on the winning or losing side of a war.
Characterisation wise, I think the way you've shown the pureblood Death Eaters is really interesting. We, as readers, along with Narcissa, know that they did terrible deeds, but through Narcissa, we can empathise with them. They were people too, and they fought for a cause, just as the other side did. And as war changed the people on the other side, so it changed these people, making monsters out of men. I think it reflects well on Narcissa that she mourns not for the monsters, but for the men they once were.
In terms of plot and content, I think the themes that you've chosen to portray are difficult ones, but you've done well by them. I agree with a lot that Narcissa thinks and feels, yet I still feel that I can't forgive these characters for the horrid acts they committed - a feeling that I think Narcissa also shares. That sort of unique blend of confusion and understanding that underlies her grief is really well handled and never feels overdone or preachy.
With flow, I feel only a tiny bit disorientated when you jump from the sad endings of one group of people back to the happy ballroom that Narcissa is imagining, but I think that underlines the confusion and grief that Narcissa feels as well, so it works out in the end!
Like I said before, I don't read angst often, because it makes me feel sad, but I'm really happy that you requested this, because this was a really interesting read! Feel free to request again for other stuff or whatever - and please let me know if the review was what you were looking for. I'm trying to improve my reviewing skills!
Author's Response: Hi there - thanks so much for stopping by! :) And don't worry, I'm sure it'll be great ;)
Gah, thank you so much! Summaries are one of those things I always struggle to get right - they're so hard! - so I'm so glad you liked it!
I really enjoyed writing Narcissa. She's such an interesting character - with the way she has a sort of duality of character, her tenderness and her pride and belief in pureblood values with her caring for her family at the same time. Yeah, I wrote this after the first war, not the second war, and it is sort of the kind of reflection after a war, I think, and which sort of starts making her wonder about the truth of it all and what the actual result would be.
I loved writing baby Draco! :) I have a really specific headcanon of the purebloods, including the Malfoys and Blacks, and I don't really agree with the idea that they hated their children or anything like that: if the bloodline is important, then the children are important - and the idea of Evan playing with little Draco was too cute :P
Yeah, I really tried not to dwell on the idea of the things they'd done as Death Eaters, and rather to think about the people they'd been as people, because there's that side to all of them too - they were all more than simply Death Eaters, and it's so easily forgotten, I think.
Gah, thank you so much for the lovely compliments - and I'll definitely take a look at that bit you said jumped... I tried to make it smooth, but I don't know if it worked - thanks for pointing it out! :)
Thank you so much for the lovely review - it was so nice to get! :)