I have ~*~two days off~*~ am finally here to review! Look at how many reviews this story already has! It deserves more, too. On we go.
First of all, "chewed up by wisteria." I don't think I've heard that phrase before, and it's so lovely. And oh my gosh, Astrid's smile faltering when he mentions his nephew. It's really heartbreaking. But getting him to dab at his face was genius. It's interesting to see this man be kind to a random old lady. Getting to understand these characters, whether the assasins or targets, on a personal level is really toying with my emotions, here!
GAH THE KNITTING NEEDLES. "...glint alarmingly against a gray towel." Such a beautifully horrific image. Poor Johanna. The woman's immediate question, "Can you pay?" was perfect. If she had tried to be comforting, or even polite, it just wouldn't be the same. What a horrible experience for poor Johanna.
Um, Val, what is going on. You are seriously pulling out the big guns for this story: chandeliers are still being used, glinting in every direction, rippling like pennies as one would see them underwater: flickering, uncertain, temporary. That is absolutely stunning imagery. And I love that you've mentioned that, even though all of Europe is suffering right now, the Ministry still has Monets and other lavish things.
Wait, I don't understand... Perhaps it's just been too long since I've read this wonderful story, but why are Camille and Xavier upset at the comment about Astrid being the most important? Or do they just want their due credit? Hmm...
The mountain elf is a really neat idea... and also horrifying. Even moreso that it may be applied to our protagonists, if they fail to comply. And no, I don't like Goldberg...but he's a politician, so of course I don't :P
Ohhh so you do explain Jean's lie. What an interesting twist! Camille's right, though; if he plays her up to the Minister, and then she can't perform as expected, he's putting Astrid in danger as well. Especially now that she appears to be having second thoughts... Gah!
Another job very, very, very well done! Sorry it's taken me so long to read it, but I'm glad I finally had the time ♥
Author's Response: Sarah &hearts
This review has me squeeing all over the place, so I'll try to answer like a civilised being instead of like a yapping puppy.
This makes me sound like an absolute monster, but toying with emotions is one of my objectives with this story -- I don't think I could ever factually speak of WW2. So I'm sort of flattered that you found this horrific...
Yes, Johanna. This was inspired from a TV show I watch with my mom and my brother, and watching it on screen was absolutely gut-wrenching. It wasn't explicit, but it was more graphic than this, and I really wanted to get the character's pain right here.
Oh, psh. *blushes* I've been trying to work on imagery ever since you commented on it in Frozen Waters, so thank you!
Camille and Xavier just don't appreciate the way Jean puts Astrid on the front of the stage when they're all going through the same things. Especially when Jean has ulterior motives...
I won't confirm anything about Goldberg yet, but he's very important to the story. Sometimes I love him, sometimes I don't. (And I also completely second your final statement about him.)
YOU DON'T NEED TO APOLOGISE. YOU ARE LOVELY AND SO WAS THIS REVIEW AND THANK YOUUU &hearts