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Review:CambAngst says:
It's really all starting to come unraveled now, isn't it?

You did a great job weaving some major cracks into Venn and Helena's relationship in this chapter, as well as their relationships with their families.

I feel sort of badly for poor Witter. He's trying to hold things together when it's pretty obvious that his family is coming apart around him. On one side, he has Helena sniping at her mother even though she seems to be seriously ill. On the other, you have Rowena who seems to be almost irrationally possessive of her diadem even as her health fails and her only daughter drifts further and further away. It's a sad end to a noble house.

For Venn's part, he seems very upset about the fact that his mother has designs on another man. It makes sense. It's the sort of thing that would disrupt his comfort zone at a minimum and perhaps even pose a threat to his inheritance of his father's barony. Then you have Salazar making a huge show of "giving" him the locket and then demanding its return in the next whispered breath. It's enough to make a young man feel very uncertain of his place in the world.

And lastly there's the re-opened schism between the young couple. The harsh, almost bitter edge that you brought to the disdain Venn feels toward the muggles really helped to drive the last nail in the coffin of poor Helena's girlish fantasies. When he dismisses all of her thoughts and gets selfish and possessive about everything that he brings to their marriage, it was as though you could feel her crumbling on the inside.

The brief aside with Godric and Salazar gave us a good idea of the backdrop against which Venn and Helena's personal drama is playing out. There's plainly a much larger divide in the magical world between those who think as Salazar does and those who see a role for muggles and muggle-borns. Now Helena and Venn find themselves approaching their wedding from opposing sides of it.

I'm very curious now as to what Helena has in mind for her wedding. With the changes she's ordered to her dress, I get the feeling that she's planning a major show of rebellion. Good on her!

Wow. I'm getting really close to the end here. Another great chapter, Amanda!

Author's Response: Hey, you! Nice to hear from you again!

Ugh, I really don't envy Witter. He's dealing with a couple of real drama queens here--a drama queen and a drama princess, perhaps?--never mind. Anyway, yeah, he's in a tough position. I think of him as being of the same mind as Edeline--let's just get the wedding over with, let the two lovebirds get on with their adult lives, and settle into retirement.

I think it's difficult for Venn not having his father around, because now he has to rely on Salazar as he tries to figure out what kind of man he needs to be, and that's obviously not the best choice of role models. You're right, Nentres could definitely be a threat to his possession of his father's barony. At least you understand why he's feeling a bit on edge!

Poor Helena's dreams are falling apart, which is precisely where this chapter title came from. The pieces were put together painstakingly to create this beautiful party, and now they're being torn to shreds. You're right that her changes to the dress represent a mental shift for her, and you'll have to see what happens with the engagement next.

Someone had rightly commented that Godric wasn't making a strong enough showing in the story so far, so I decided to give him a bigger role here. It feels right that he would be the one to really put his foot down about Salazar's behavior. I also wanted to emphasize that, as you pointed out, the wedding may seem like the main event to Venn and Helena but there's really a much larger battle going on in the backdrop among the four Founders.

Thanks for your wonderful review, Dan!


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