|Review:||nott theodore says:|
Hi Val! I've had this recommended to me by so many people and I've been meaning to come and read it for a while, but now that you're a Dobby winner I thought I definitely had to pop along!
Okay, so I can definitely see already why this won an award for Most Original Fic, because I've never seen anything like this before that's set during such an important period of history and deals with wizarding involvement in it. You've already got me hooked because I love history and will basically read anything set in the past, but your compelling and beautiful writing leaves me in no doubt about whether to carry on or not.
I love the fact that we're introduced to all the characters separately and then they're brought together at the end of the chapter, so that we can understand the connections between them. It made me realise that their resistance isn't a solely independent act, but that they're working together to fight this war.
And your description! Ack, it just makes me so happy to read such beautiful description, and you use it to perfection. I love the beginning of the story when you build up the scene in an almost dreamlike tone before bringing us straight into the action.
Camille's section was completely unexpected. The image that the clothes painted in my head featured an elegant woman, and I thought perhaps she was a bit of a tomboy because of her dislike of the heels. And then BAM - she gets her wand out and kills this German soldier. She's much more ruthless than her quiet appearance would suggest, and it's a very gripping way to start the story.
Astrid is clearly shocked by her sister's death, but it seems like she's using that grief to fuel her determination to fight on. And since her sister is Apolline... is she Fleur's grandmother? That would help explain her determination as well, and her attitude towards people she loves. She was really interesting to read about and quite the contrast to Camille's section.
Johanna is a real femme fatale. I love the fact that you've created such strong female characters in a time when women weren't expected to be independent. But I think it's also a time when women proved they were a lot stronger and capable of so much more than people believed them to be, and I like the fact it's reflected in this story.
Xavier's character intrigues me too, since he's the only one who hasn't been mentioned as being magical... I wonder if he's actually a wizard, or a Muggle working alongside wizards in the resistance?
Oh, Simon... his section was so heartbreaking. I still can't understand how people let the camps happen, but I thought you wrote about his experience there well. It makes sense to me that he's more concerned about saving his family than the country, in the way that Xavier and others are. I'm curious about his wand - was it taken from him, or did he lose it?
We didn't find out as much about Jean's character or his role in the war at this point, but his section helped to introduce some more important information about the French Ministry and the relationship between the wizarding world and the Muggle world at this point.
The ending was great, with all of them coming together to discuss what they're doing next. I'm impressed by how you've managed to introduce so many original characters at once but also give them a separate and individual personality, to the point that I didn't find it difficult to know who was who and what their role seems to be. The relationship between Simon and Johanna is interesting, and I thought the way you wrote her obvious concern for him was really touching.
Hmm, I'm curious to know who 'they' are, the ones that are giving Jean the orders. And that ending was just brilliant, with that sort of bombshell. I really love the concept of this, although I'm thinking that there may be wizards on both sides of the fight... Anyway, I'm adding this to my favourites and reading on!