Hey Dee! Sorry for the lateness of this review! I was trying to write both my writers duel and a new chapter of Orchard (which is nearly done, by the way!) Thank you for your patience.
Right, i'm no Founders expert. There is a reason I've never attempted to write a story on it yet because I don't think I could ever get the tone of the story right. I think, generally, you did a good job with word choice and making the story feel like it was in era. I think what might have helped even more is in your description. What makes the world you're writing about look different from the world we know now? That would help set it back in time for me. Your dialogue was good, I think you did well keeping their words a little more formal and archaic. If you could also have that reflect in some of his thought processes as well, it would make it seem more connected.
I think the darkness you've introduced to this story is really lovely. How he's fighting it immediately as the story begins. It sets a darker theme to your story which is exactly what you want. I like how you focus on the the wolves, the rustling of the underbrush of unknown creatures, and his journey for something even more dangerous than what the woods have to offer. That really helps set the tone for a darker piece. You set that up really nice. I think that as the story went on, if there had been a little more imagery you'd have captured the horror of the story better. I think what would have helped was a stronger lead up to him pulling the knife on her. It felt quite sudden and it sort of jarred me from the story. If you included a little bit more where the anger flashed across him, and he found himself losing his reason it would have made the end where he took the life of the woman he loved stronger. Also, maybe if we sensed more of the repercussions of his actions (more thought process perhaps before he kills himself as well) would help us feel the horror of the situation. As it is, that moment, which is the most horrifying bit of the story, happens quite quickly compared to the lead up. It felt a bit unbalanced to me. Don't get me wrong, I think what you have here is a good piece, especially if it isn't your usual genre. It's just my opinion that if the end bit was tightened up a bit, you could make this even better.
I like how you added some of the backstory into this as well. We got a small sense of why Helena left, perhaps she felt little love from her mother. Perhaps she wanted to gain the wit that her mother had. It made me wonder why she took the diadem in the first place, but those are questions that I don't think need to be answered in this, it just gives me a sense that there is a bigger story out there and we're only show a short blurb. I think that is an excellent tactic for one-shots to be honest :). I also really liked the contrast between the rational Baron and how he went about finding her, and to the moment where he lost control. That really helped crete horror because it seemed like the opposite of what a character like him would do. It was well done. You're writing style is really easy to read as well and makes reading this incredibly smooth.
Thank you so much for requesting from me Dee! This was a pleasure to read!
Author's Response: Hi Zayne!I'm sorry back for the lateness of the reply :P
I'm not a founders expert either, I've read some amazing founders fics so the idea of writitng this was a little daunting.
Description is something I'm really awful at, though I'm working on it. I always start with it in mind and then as the story goes on I get myself so lost in plot that I forget about it, and this story is no different.
I definitely want to come back to this and tweak it so all of your comments are really helpful. Having read this again, I completely agree about the build up to him killing Helena and using his thought processes more.
Reading DH again gave me the idea for this, the brief talk Harry has with Helena leads to a million questions and a whole story in itself, it's one of the things I love most about JKR's writing, that she has created hundreds of stories that all link with Harry's in some way. You're completely right about the bigger story, if I was better at Founders era writing maybe I would have attempted it haha.
Thank you so much for all of the lovely compliments and the helpful advice, I'll definitely come back to this in the new year :)