I'm here for the Fourth Day of the Twelve Days of Reviewing. :) And also because I've read this chapter and this review is overdue.
I loved reading this chapter, you did an amazing job with it! Every story needs a good first chapter to suck the readers in, and I think this fit the bill perfectly. I really enjoyed reading about tenth century England and since I'm not a historian I didn't spot any historical errors. I like your take on the marriage process, the only thing I noticed was that I thought the marrage customs would have been stricter and her mother would be forcing Roawena to marry someone. But maybe it's because they're magical, I'm not sure.
I really enjoyed reading about Rowena, I think you characterised her really well here. Since we know almost nothing about the Founders excpet they were exceptional magical people and they each had base characteristics, so you could make Rowena pretty much anything. I think you did a great job showing how clever she was and how she enjoyed academic things more than others, but she's young and impressionable as well, and I think her infatuation with Salazar proves that.
Speaking of Saazar, I think it's really interesting that he's interested in a Muggle girl, seeing as he's the one championing blood purity later on. Ooh, maybe some trouble with the girl will turn him against Muggles? How intriguing.
I really like how you've portrayed the Founders as friends and how they connect and trust each other.
The dialogue here was really good - if anything I think tenth century English might have been slightly more formal and clunky, but overall it was really good, formal enough to give off an old-fashioned air, but not too clunky that it ruined the flow, so wel done to you there.
One thing I noticed here was that Rowena could Apparate into her tower, but when Salazar comes to collect her and go to Helga's she says she cannot get down of she'll tear her dress. Maybe she just wanted Salazar to help her down?
Anyway, all in all this was a great chapter Kristin, I really enjoyed it. Great job!
Author's Response: HI EMILY!
Ah yay! I'm so glad you thought this was a good first chapter and that you enjoyed reading about tenth century England. I did do a fair bit of research about the era so I hope it's reasonably accurate, but... unless I get a chance to fly off in a time machine/TARDIS there's no way I'll ever know for sure! haha. I think Rowena isn't the type to be told what to do, so even though her mother does want her to get married to keep with the customs of the time, she knows Rowena won't unless it's her own idea.
I'm so glad you liked my characterisation of Rowena! There is definitely a lot of room for creativity while writing the Founders, because all we have on them is the opinions of the Sorting Hat, Professor Binns, and the Grey Lady. And yes, even the most intelligent, academic people can have silly crushes. Just look at Hermione in CoS! :p
I'm glad you think the situation with Salazar is intriguing! Yeah, I don't think he would always have been a Muggle hater, otherwise he wouldn't have been such good friends with Godric, which we know he was.
I've always been iffy on the dialogue. Honestly tenth century English was like this weird Germanic/Anglo-Saxon hybrid that probably didn't sound anything at all like the English we know; I don't know how formal it was. But you can't really write a Founders fic with colloquial dialogue because it would sound kind of silly, and a little too much like the movie "A Knight's Tale" hahaha. Anyway, I'm rambling... I'm glad the balance was good and that you liked the dialogue overall!
That last bit.. maybe Apparating isn't seen as something a proper lady should do in company - it doesn't sound very graceful. But I think Rowena just wanted Salazar to help her down. She's smart enough to Apparate, but also smart enough to be manipulative if she needs to :p
Thanks so much for reading and for your wonderful review!