I decided that I would carry on reading, while I have the time, and I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next!
Ooh I enjoyed learning more about Helga! I always love having a backstory to each of the characters as they feel more real to me that way, so I definitely loved learning more about her family, and how she met Rowena. It seemed to fit Helga perfectly, and it was cool to see where her hardworking traits came from.
It was interesting to see that she the peace maker between Helena and Rowena, but she just seemed the like the natural choice the more I thought about it, with her naturally calm demeanour, and the fact that she was so close to both of them. If Helga felt a little frightened by Rowena’s temper, I dread to think what it could have been like as she always seemed like the type of person who wouldn’t get scared that easily.
I thought this line from Helena perfectly demonstrated the dynamic of her and Venn’s relationship – ‘He romances me as if I were a princess in one of my beloved books.”’ It did sort of feel like a fairy-tale romance with the kissing scene, and the competition over Helena’s hand in marriage. I guess she felt indulged, and that’s how I feel when reading scenes between them, as they’re so well written, and balance the levels of romance, fluff and believability perfectly.
I enjoyed the scene between Venn and Salazar, as it meant that we could learn more about what was expected of a marriage at the time. I found it interesting how sure Venn was of Helena’s fertility. It was rather touching to see, as it showed how much he cared about her, because even though it was partly arranged match, it looks as if it really is blossoming into a one of love.
Salazar is scaring and worrying me more and more. The way he had so carefully planned the basilisk being at Hogwarts, with him injecting the potion, and having the locket, it’s just so dark and horrible. It was nice to see that Venn was still firmly opposed to the plan, and his reaction of shock and outrage perfectly mirrored mine. I think the scariest thing about Salazar is the lack of remorse he is showing, and the way he killed the doe at the end was just awful. It almost seemed to be foreshadowing future events; of Voldemort killing Lily as her patronus was a doe.
The endings was simply wonderful, and it contrasted perfectly with the rest of the chapter. Helena and Venn seemed to be so affectionate for one another now, and it’s great to see the change from them being recluse at the beginning, and now seeing how close they’ve become.
I can’t wait for the next chapter to be up now, as this one was excellent. I’ve caught up with all your stories now, so I will have to hunt your author page for some more :D
Author's Response: Look at you, all caught up! Next chapter will be up on Tuesday :)
It's great that you liked Helga's back story. I really love her as a character and I wanted to show that the roots of her friendship with Rowena run deep. You can imagine that it would be hard to be stuck in the middle of a feud between Rowena and her daughter. Rowena would probably have a fearsome temper, but I think part of Helga's hesitation was knowing that her suggestion to Helena would probably break her best friend's heart.
I have been trying to paint Venn and Helena's courtship as a fairytale romance. It's been a crazy whirlwind and both of them are really swept up in it right now. As illustrated by Venn's confidence in his future bride, neither of them wants to believe that their impending union will be anything but perfect. Unfortunately, they're about to fall back into reality, and I can tell you that it's not going to be an easy landing.
It's good that Salazar is frightening--he's meant to be. He's so far gone into this plan that he can't understand how anyone would object to it, let alone his own flesh and blood. I'm pleased that you picked up on the parallel with the doe and that the ending really solidified your opinion of him as dark and evil. We'll have to see where he goes from here.
I'm glad you've enjoyed watching Venn and Helena fall in love, and I hope their changes of heart seem believable given this pace.
Thanks so much for another lovely review! I'd be happy to get your feedback anywhere, but if you'd like a suggestion, I'm looking for more feedback on Post Scriptum, my other WIP novel. So feel free to look at that if you like :)