|Review:||nott theodore says:|
So I have a little more time and I couldn't really resist catching up on another chapter of this story :) I can't believe you've made it to twenty chapters already and I'm so far behind! Maybe when I finally finish this year's work and exams I'll have time to catch up (please don't have finished by then :P)
The opening of this chapter was fantastic - I loved the imagery that you used there. I could see the image so clearly in my mind, Gellert locked up in the tower, high above the wolves that he knows are running free through the forest beneath him. The comparison between Gellert and the wolves just worked so well, too - the ideas of power and strength and hunger that it evoked felt very compatible with his character.
Seeing the way that he thought of Albus at this point was so interesting, too! The comparison with the captive fox was really intriguing - the parallels that it drew between the two of them, yet again, since Gellert is a prisoner in Nurmengard and Albus, in his own way, is held captive in his tower. It kind of suggested that even though they're miles apart, in situations so far from each other, they're still the same in some ways.
The fact that they both see each other as wolves in their dreams really added to it, too - the sense of nostalgia and the longing for what they could have had, and the idea that they've continued together on the path even though they've lived such separate lives. The whole passage was just brilliant, really.
Gellert's voice is growing, too, and I like the way that it's developing in maturity. At times it's almost bitter, but he seems to have accepted his fate and actually be spending most of the time thinking and reflecting on what's happened. It's so compelling to read.
I also loved the fact that we got to find out some of Gellert's back story in this chapter! I think I knew a couple of things from reading your other stories, but definitely not to this extent, and since we know so much about how Albus grew up and stuff, it was great to get to know Gellert more. Even if it doesn't seem to directly affect what they're doing in the present, I always think it helps us to understand a character better. And the way that you introduced it and used it was so skilful - we're far enough into their story that it doesn't feel like an information dump (not that your writing ever could feel like that) and even at the end you bring it back to Albus and their story together.
I felt so sorry for Gellert in this chapter. Right from his reluctance to go to see his dying mother, I could tell that it wasn't going to be an easy experience for him. The fact that he was illegitimate makes so much sense to me, though, and I had so much sympathy there. It's so ridiculous that the children were condemned for what their parents had done, because people thought that they were born of sin and therefore had to be sinners themselves, but it was such a real situation for so many people at this time, and I'm glad that you showed how difficult it could really be. As far as Gellert's half-siblings knew, he hadn't done anything to actually deserve being shunned, and it's so unfair that they treated him that way, but it is understandable in a way. The fact that Gellert shows an understanding of it too really emphasises what social attitudes towards children born outside marriage were at the time.
I loved the line about all families having their own secrets! It's so true. Every family hides something from the world while they try and present a perfect image, a front that's considered socially acceptable. Maybe part of the reason that Albus and Gellert are drawn to each other and seem to understand each other so well is because they both know what it's like to live in a family that's full of secrets. The consequences and effects that must have on them are kind of similar - or at least create some similarities in their outlooks, I think.
It's so heartbreaking that Gellert's mother had to fake her own son's death so that she could save her marriage and get to stay with the children she already had. That shouldn't ever have to happen, but there are plenty of places where that sort of thing still goes on today and it's horrible to think of. Gellert was actually quite lucky in a way that his father was willing to take him and bring him up alone. Then there was his father's pain and regret - Gellert's background is so complicated and difficult. I am glad that his mother got to tell him that she loved him, though, even if it didn't make much difference to him.
Again, the ending was brilliant (how much time do you take planning and writing them out?!). I loved the wistful way that Gellert longed for someone, not quite admitting to himself until he had to that he was really missing Albus. The way each chapter starts and ends with each thinking of the other really reinforces the way that they feel, the enduring connection between them. Even though they took such different paths and parted in such horrible circumstances, I still feel like there's going to be a connection between them that goes beyond love - the two of them are like equals, and really the only one the other acknowledges as an equal, I think, and they're the only person that can stop the other from feeling lonely. (If any of that makes sense. I'm getting tired and rambling again. Sorry :P)
Hopefully I can get a break from my horrible amount of work at some point and come back to read more of this beautiful story soon ♥