Hello Amanda! I'm back again - I'm sorry it has taken me so long to keep reading! I finally added this to my favorites (how did I not add it before now?!).
You know, I really don't know what to tell you anymore, my dear, I really don't. I've run out of words of praise and there isn't anything for me to CC. Your writing, as always, is phenomenal. You've researched so very well and I see nothing that is grossly historically inaccurate. Characterization is excellent - from how you've set up the characters and their characterizations, everything flows really well and seems to remain true to what you've written thus far.
I think what I love most about reading this is the plot. I love anything set in the medieval era - it's one of my favorite eras if written properly and you sure do know how to write historically-centered fictions. The plot, the characters, the dialogue, it's all so wonderful. The glimpse you give us of the Four Founders is perfect. Your story isn't focused on the four, but you've given us enough of a look and made them minor characters/events so that it concretes what little we know about the era from the books.
If you remember, I didn't know if I was fond of Venn or not. I'm still unsure about him, but he's warming up to me. There's something about the way he pines for Helena that is intriguing, cute, and oddly disturbing at the same time. That may not be what you wanted to get across, but it's the vibe I'm getting - and that's what makes you a great storyteller! Your readers and reviewers get different impressions from the story and its characters because your style and the story itself is so well-written.
I hope you know that I just love you as a writer and this story! I can't get enough. If I didn't have to work or write myself, I'd just read and write reviews for you all night long!
Author's Response: Ahh! I'm so flattered that you added this story to your favorites! I've been kind of stunned by how good of a reception it's gotten--when I first thought about it, I almost didn't even go with it because I thought no one would want to read it. But it's been a real treat to write.
I always try to do my best with everything I do, and so my mindset was that if I was going to try to be historically accurate and work hard on characterization and such, I needed to make sure it stayed consistent throughout the story. That means, obviously, that my updates don't come as quickly as for others. Fortunately, that doesn't seem to be too much of a deterrent for lovely readers like you :)
This story is so, so different from anything else I've ever written and it's just so fun. I kind of like keeping the Founders in the background and watching their interactions play out in the macrocasm while Venn and Helena have their little journey going on.
I hope that people's feelings about Venn are generally divided throughout this story. The poor guy didn't get a good rap from the beginning, so I tried to make him pitiable without excusing any of his obvious faults. At the same time, a major goal was to create some conflict for Helena, too, so that her role in the story wasn't purely that of a victim. I'm pretty happy with how they've turned out and feel quite sad to be writing the last chapter now. It'll be interesting to get your take as you continue and eventually finish this story.
Haha, it would be wonderful to just be able to sit back and review all the time, wouldn't it? I've found more time lately to do so and it's been such a nice return to my early HPFF days. Writing and reviewing are such wonderful escapes from everyday stressors.
Thank you for this truly wonderful review!