I know this series is long over, but I just found it after following Ignite, so wanted to share my thoughts as it was amazing and you obviously put so much effort into it.
This series is so powerful with how you deal with all the issues and complexities that people have to face in wartime as well that it was Slytherins we were dealing with as it is an interesting alternative angle. It was interesting to see characters with such different personalities and how they deal with the struggle of being from Pureblood families and Slytherin in that world. I think in the end, Tanith became one of my favorite characters and I loved seeing her interact with Katie, Harry and Ron in the final stories.
I'm really glad you did this final piece to show the struggles that all the relationships had after the war ended, as it would so hard to go back to normalcy. And I didn't feel that Tanith/Tobias could just fall into a relationship when he came back with all that was in their past and how they never had any chances to resolve it, so I'm glad you showed them having some real issues to work through.
And I'm glad that Tobias finally got his act together in regards to Tanith. While I adore this series and your characters, I have to admit that throughout the entire series, I've been pretty disappointed in his half of the romance. While she has supported him and made so many sacrifices for him over and over again, I don't really feel that he ever did the same until he proposed. No matter how much he said he loved her, it just seems that whenever there was a real defining choice, he never chose her, whereas she ALWAYs chose him and gave him unconditional support. I'll admit my dislike really started with his handling of the whole Annie-Tanith thing as I think his treatment of her was terrible, and in my mind in his quest for revenge and justice, he just kept putting her second and never really made up for it or was there for her when she needed him. But I think wt really upset me the most was after Annie's death, when he promised Tanith he would do the same for her, and when push came to shove, he didn't. I know he was in an impossible situation and it was a complicated choice, but when it all came down to it, he was willing to do anything and risk his life for Annie and for Cal, but not for Tantih, even when she was in prison for helping him.
Anyway, sorry for the rant, but I think Tanith grew into this amazing person who was so good to him and I just never really felt that his actions supported his supposed great love for her and that he always took her a bit for granted. Maybe it's because he's supposed to be more of a big picture, idealist who wants to change the whole world so he has a hard time balancing that with taking time for her, but Jen was similar and I think she treated Gabe better than Tobias did Tanith. I can't figure out why, but Jen and Tobias were my least favorite characters. Despite all their heroics and that I did admire their principles, I just found them to be too arrogant and self-righteous to be really likable (or maybe it was because I was too firmly in the Tanith camp and thought they both treated her poorly and unfairly).
Anyway, at least Tobias finally seemed to get his act together and will hopefully start to actually be what Tanith needs.
As you can tell, I just really came to care about your characters and I hope they can all have some happiness and peace after everything. And I would love to read a one-shot about how everyone's doing if you ever want to revisit.
Thanks for continually sharing your amazing writing!
Author's Response: Yay! I'm always happy at new readers coming to this story, as I think the series is my best work to date. I wanted to deal with the war issues 'on the ground', the complexities and little details the books didn't contend with, and so I wanted to do it from the centrepoint of conflict - and Slytherin House was in that conflict long before the other Houses were.
There was always going to be a follow-on to Falls the Shadow. Admittedly, it might have been 'a few extra chapters at the end', but then it would have probably been followed more swiftly by the non-linear anthology of post-war short stories. I still intend to write that some day, but when FTS ended I had ideas I wanted to keep on exploring - of the characters, and the idea of Tom seeking his own 'justice' struck me - and so I decided I'd write one more story. I'm pretty content with BTP in how it's tied up the loose ends and sent them off into the sunset.
Mm, Tobias gets a bad rap sometimes. I would stress that he and Tanith were BOTH pretty awful teenagers over the Annie issue - he was harsh to her, but she had jerked him around with mixed signals for literally YEARS. She made big sacrifices for him, though those sacrifices and gestures weren't only one way. This WAS the man who got a Ministerial gag-order on the Lackardy trial, and while it did protect the Ministry it went pretty thoroughly against Tobias' principles, and he did it anyway - solely to protect Tanith. I'd point out he also did this within SECONDS of learning her darkest secret; he didn't hesitate or reel, he just did what he had to for her.
But he wasn't perfect. And certainly a big picture idealist, while Tanith dealt with the problem in front of her, and that was part of what made them an effective team, and part of why they could fight so, so bitterly. About the only main defence I'd give Tobias is that we, the reader, spend a lot of time in Tanith's head. As Dimitri points out in BTP, though, she's changed a lot in the war and Tobias doesn't KNOW what these changes are. He worked to find it out, but a lot of the time was blind, and that was on HER for hiding so much.
Jen WAS pretty horrid to Tanith. And vice versa. I liked presenting them as two sides of the same coin on good guys - to show how two people could fight for the same cause and both be decent people and this didn't mean they had to like one another.
But yes! I'm happy you enjoyed the story, the characters; if you're having this kind of a reaction, then I've done my job. And lots of people like or dislike lots of different characters, but I'm happy for a REACTION. :D
There will hopefully be some one-shots in the future. Thanks for reviewing! And reading!