Oh, my God, the plot thickens! So both men appear to know that she's a witch and she has fallen for Mr Cadogan? I'm still very much wondering who they all are, plus the mystery of the attackers is still to be revealed. So intriguing, honestly!
Great job so far!Author's Response: What you've said about the attackers reminds me that I should either bring them back into the story or reveal who "sent" them to get Helen. I've forgotten them, admittedly - it's something I do way too often in stories. It's the downfall to writing too many at once and not updating them often enough.
Anyway, I'm really glad that you liked this chapter and how the plot is progressing. I have a huge soft spot for this story, so it always means a lot to hear praise of it. Thank you! :D Report Review
Very intriguing chapter. I really have no idea at this moment in time who Helen's attackers could have been or why they set on her. I suppose there are various possibilities but I get the feeling that there is some vital information that you haven't released yet; which is good since it maintains the suspense.
I really like the fact that Helen can go from being very well spoken to actually very direct and also use the odd swearing word. I get a very good idea as to what she's like actually.
And Moody? Well, another very intriguing character I must say.
This story is very, very addictive.Author's Response: Addictive? Ooh, I like the sound of that! It's fantastic to hear that you're enjoying the story that much. :D
One thing I'm trying to do in this story is work on keeping options open for the plot so that the reader has to guess at who's doing what or, more importantly, who's the "bad guy" causing all the problems (or is there more than one?). As plotting is my weak point, I'd love to be able to pull off some successful plot twists and suspenseful moments.
Helen has that mask-like facade of someone who's had to pretend she's someone else quite often, even before she left her family. She doesn't take her mask off to many people, if anyone, so that it happens in front of Moody is pretty significant. ;)
Thank you for reading and reviewing! I really appreciate your reviews. ^_^ Report Review
It seems very fitting that the next part of your story commences with the opening of the tomb by Carter.
Helen's character really comes to life here. Okay, I always thought that her perception of all men as predators might have been slightly unfounded or perhaps a little exagerated. Although she's evidently a very strong and courageous woman she appears full of fear in this regard (well, not just fear of men, of other things too) and I wonder if there is a further backstory here.
The untidy American is very mysterious. I'm pretty sure that he will play an important role in Helen's life.
The way in which the Muggle and magical worlds interact sounds very realistic in the way you describe them. So, was Helen the only magical person amidst that crowd?Author's Response: You're probably right that her perceptions about men are exaggerated, and it really comes out in her narrative voice for some reason. I'm still working on the reasons for it and trying to make it more plausible - there is a backstory there, but the details still need working out. It's like I'm shutting the gate after the horse has left; however, a lot of Helen's narration can't entirely be trusted - it's the fun to the first-person narrator, and it's something I've wanted to explore further with Helen's character.
Showing the interactions between the Muggle and the magical is something I love doing in stories, and I'm glad that it sounds realistic. To answer your question: no, she wasn't. Curse breakers aside, at an event like that, there's certain to be someone from the magical world in attendance. ;)
Thank you again for the review! It's been wonderful to go through them and respond - it always helps me to come up with new ideas for the story. :D Report Review
Very powerful plot! You send the reader back in time really well and you are really skilled at combining the events of the Muggle world at the time with what we know of the attitutes of some elite pure blood families. However, the father comes across as a middle of the road character (in a good way) in that he is neither totally a sympathetic character nor a wholy unsympathetic one, which I personally find interesting.
So the wheels are in motion now for her to travel to Egypt. You still maintain quite a lot of intrigue in terms of what her life there will become.Author's Response: Thank you very much! Wow, it's wonderful that you like how the setting, time frame, and characters have turned out so far. I actually liked writing Helen's parents, as strange as they are, and I'm sorry that their limited to this single chapter. Her father is especially interesting for being so ambiguous in nature - he doesn't show his cards to anyone. I might bring in hints of him as Helen slowly reveals more about herself, but we'll see how that goes. Report Review
Great start. You have picked a fascinating period in history as a backdrop for your story. I love ancient civilisations but unfortunately I don't know enough to spot any obvious historical inconsistences, however, I note that momotwins has given you various theories to play with. Of course, a lot of the details will perhaps remain a mystery forever and you're involving HP magic, I assume, which is by the way, a very interesting mixture. I was just thinking, for instance that Bill trained in Egypt in canon, which cannot just be coincidence. I think JKR intended it to be so for a reason (even if this was only suggested but never developed in the series).
You present the ancient characters really well and I'm very intrigued as to where this story is going. I assume we will be back to the present time soon.
Very good start!Author's Response: It is a really interesting period to work with, and while I won't be doing too much more with the ancient magic idea, I still think it's something that more people should try writing about. There's a lot more to magical history than just the Founders. Bill's work in Egypt as a curse breaker has become a significant inspiration for this story. JKR has left it open as to what goes on in Egypt, which leaves a wide area to be explored. ;)
With historical material, momotwins has been hugely helpful, as have library books (including Howard Carter's journals on Tutankhamun's tomb). It's too much fun to research for this story, and very easy to get lost in the reading for it.
Thank you very much for reading and reviewing! It means a lot to hear from you and I really appreciate it. Report Review
Hello again, back to review. I like how you've drawn up the character of Helen Black as a stubborn, headstrong young woman, who can stand her ground for what she wants and doesn't want. Her reactions to being sold off to marry Canis Malfoy were realistic, especially since she didn't have any interest in marrying at all to begin with.
Also, I like how you've written the relationship between her parents and her; it seems as though she's definitely more of a daddy's girl than a mama's girl, well that is until her refusal to wed Canis, and thus cause her father and mother to argue. The whole disagreement seemed natural and flowed well with everything else in this chapter. All the characters' reactions sprang up from the screen, and I was able to imagine how everything happened like a movie playing in my head (that's the best part about reading in my own personal opinion).
And then the closing of this chapter where Helen decides she will go to Eygpt on the spur of the moment just to escape her mother's attempts to marry her off to Canis. I can't wait to see where this story goes. 10/10Author's Response: Thank you very much for this! You're so wonderfully detailed, which is extremely helpful. I wasn't sure about a few things in this chapter, starting with Helen's odd reaction to marriage and men in general, as well as her relationship with her parents, which could be too cliched, especially in comparison to other Blacks (that family seems to have trouble in that sense :P). That the conversations and reactions were natural means a lot and I'm so pleased that you thought so. ^_^
Even better is that the chapter played out like a movie. I think I've written this chapter at least three times so far, but I must be improving on it each time for it to be that good. :D
Thank you so much for your reviews! ^_^ I really appreciate hearing from you! Report Review
Hey, here for the review exchange at TGS. So far I'm intrigued as to where this story is heading in as it's different than any other stories on the archives. So far the characters that have introduced seem to be taking shape nicely already. The originality so far is fresh and exciting; can't wait to see what direction this is going.Author's Response: Thank you very much! It's surprising that there aren't more stories about ancient magic on the archive because it's a fascinating thing to write about. There's a lot about Egypt in the books, too, hinting at how they used magic.
I'm really glad to hear that this is an original idea and that you like it so far. ^_^ Report Review
I was so excited when I saw this update a few days ago! I know you've a busy person, and you also have other stories. I'd nearly given up hope that this would be updated. Obviously, it has been some time since I read the previous five chapters. It's been long enough that I have forgotten many things, although you reminded the readers of some of the more important things in this chapter.
Maybe it would be interesting for you to hear what I DID remember? First off, Helen's name. Also Moody's name. I also remembered a particular description: that other man she meets (I had forgotten his name) you described as looking like a crane. I found that quite memorable. Oh, and I also remembered that there was a fight by the temple.
So what did I think of THIS chapter? Ah, well, the opening scene was superb. I just love Helen's voice. I can just about hear it in my head. She is a unique character, and I'm quite taken with the way she thinks. I very much enjoyed the way she walked away quickly from dinner so that Cadogan would have to make something of a scene to follow her.
It figures that she'd bump into Moody again. He's a puzzling character; I can't figure him out (I can't figure Cadogan out either). I admit that I enjoy Helen's awkwardness around him--around everybody, really--just because I think it would be something I'd find funny in a movie.
Ooh, the sinister elements you're injecting. Now who possibly could have been spying on Helen and seen her Apparate? If the worker really was killed by magic, why? And what about that boulder? The last word gave me chills. Things are getting stranger and creepier all the time.
I enjoyed this chapter very much. Thank you for updating. :-)Author's Response: It's the story I keep meaning to update, but either lose confidence or just can't be satisfied with the idea I have for it. It's only after writing a chapter that I start to love the story again, and maybe updating more with keep that love for it alive and make it stronger. Probably the reminders of what took place in the earlier chapters are also evidence of me trying to remember what happened, and re-working my way through the various aspects of this story.
The crane description! I remember reading it somewhere and thinking it too perfect, so I borrowed it for Cadogan, as I wanted him to look as odd as he was, like something wasn't quite right about him.
It means so much that you liked this chapter! I had no idea how it would sound in relation to the others, if Helen's voice would remain consistent, or whether the pacing would be right. I've come to love writing Helen because her narrative voice is so natural, as though she's talking to the reader, but it's also biting and sarcastic in a very amusing way. I'm glad that she's a unique OC, especially since she's a Black and I'm trying to both make her fit into the family, but also not be a stereotypical member, if that makes sense.
Moody's taking shape more easily now that I have a mental image of him (a face, a voice), so I can flesh out his character more and make him more realistic. There's a lot of different sides to him, but Cadogan's the same, so Helen's awkwardness around them both grows with her curiosity about them.
The one thing I'm worried about with these sinister elements is that I'll forget about them and leave them around as red herrings. It's perhaps the hardest thing about the mystery/suspense genre because it requires so much detail in the plot. I'm very glad that the ending had that great suspenseful feel to it - I had a lot of trouble writing this ending and figuring out the right point to stop, as I still had ideas for the plot and wanted to keep going, but the chapter could have gone on forever then.
Thank you very much for this review, Alopex! It was a great surprise to hear from you without requesting, and it means a lot that you took the time to read and review this one because you always have a lot of others to do. ^_^ Report Review
I was so excited to see an update for this! Especially since I was just watching an 18th Dynasty special on tv a few weeks ago and ranting at Dr. Hawass, so this time period is sort of in my head right now.
I have to say, I'm a little freaked out! Claws? An attack in the valley? zomg. I have a feeling one of these main characters is going to die, and probably soon. Obviously not Helen, but Moody or Cadogan? Oh my.
Someone saw Helen Apparating? That can't be good. I'm dying to know who Moody and Cadogan really are, both of them don't seem to be who they seem to be, if you know what I mean. And I'm really dying to see Howard Carter make at least a cameo!
Can't wait for the next installment. And hey, if you want to talk 18th Dynasty at all, hit me up on the forums :)Author's Response: It was so great to see a review from you for this! :D I probably will come to bother you with some questions, as the next few chapters will probably require more historical and geographical detail than this one did (I purposely skimped on this chapter a bit in that regard, but it did allow me to focus more on the action).
This is just the beginning of the suspenseful action-y bits - I'm hoping to make those aspects of the story wild and fun, rather like The Mummy or Indiana Jones (specifically those because of their unrealistic aspects). This is the part of the story I've been waiting to get to for a long time (five years!), so I feel more motivated to write this story. :D
Haha, you might be surprised by what happens to Moody and Cadogan, but who they are is crucial to the plot, and I can't give it away. :P
It's the archaeological info that I need to get back into (watching Discovery or History Channel might help, though I get annoyed at Dr. Hawass as well XD). I'm not sure yet how I want to include Carter, but it couldn't be more than a "Helen watches him walk past" moment.
Thanks again for coming to read and review this! I really appreciate hearing from you and, if I need help, I'll definitely ask you! ^_^ Report Review
I really liked this chapter. Hellen's in a tight spot, eh? I'm really excited to see what happens next, so, I suppose, I'll read on now. :)Author's Response: Haha, she's often in a tight spot. XD She's just the type to always be getting in trouble.
I hope that you enjoy the rest of the story! Thank you very much for reading and reviewing! ^_^ Report Review
I love this. Your Helen character really draws you in to the story and really allows the reader to understand her conflicts. You're such an amazing writer. Have I already stated that I love this story so far? ;)
Can't wait to read on to find out what happens next!Author's Response: It means so much that you love this story, as it's one closest to my heart - definitely my favourite story idea of all time. It's just a lot of fun to write, and while I used to dislike Helen for being my polar opposite, she's hilarious to write with her deadpan one-liners and generally cynical view of the world.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read and review! It's wonderful to know that you're enjoying this story! ^_^ Report Review
I can already sense that this story is going to be quite unique and entertaining. I love the detail and the history you put into it so far, and how you made the proloque a glimpse into the past. It was amazing.
Going to read on now. Great so far!Author's Response: Thank you very much! It's wonderful to hear that you've enjoyed it so far, and I hope that you enjoy the rest as much. :D Report Review
i liked the other chapter so much, i had to come and read this one! this story is soo great, i cant keep from reading it! please get chapter 6 up soon!
also, i just wanted to say, im hermionejeanmalfoy from the forums, remember? i posted that comment on your page, about how much i love your stories! and i do! i don't know where you get all the good ideas.Author's Response: Wow, great, thank you! :D It's really wonderful that you're enjoying this. I'm still working on how I want the plot to move. I've written the next chapter twice already, but aren't quite satisfied. Once I get out the chapter of another story, I'll probably come back to this one. :)
Yes, I remember! Haha, I'm not sure where the ideas come from either. They seem to come out of nowhere, sometimes. o_O Report Review
great great story! im sorry its taken me so long to review this chapter. but if you've seen the amount of stories in my favourites, then youll realise how hard it is to read them all! but i promise i'll carry on reading this as soon as possible!Author's Response: Don't apologize! It happens sometimes. What I appreciate is that you came back to read more. :D I don't have a quarter of your favourites and still find time to keep up! Thank you very much for coming in to read and review! Report Review
wow! i dont normally read stories like this, but it sounded so awsome that i just HAD to read it!Author's Response: Thank you very much! I hope you enjoy the rest of it. :D Report Review
This story is so entertaining. It's not just a simple read through and be done kind of thing - which is refreshing. It gives a lot of information, while still keeping it light. You don't make the mistake of trying to feed the readers knowledge of Egypt, which is probably best for your story. Reading a fic with history such as Egypt's can be daunting because most authors will water down the plot with an excess of details. You, however, provide just enough for me to understand, but not enough to give away your story completely.
You really should write an OF, Susan. You're such a talented writer and you give such a voice to all of your characters. It's impressive.
I'm going to follow this story, because I'm really curious how Helen, Cadogan & Co., progress. I love the characterizations, the progression of the plot and, well, everything. Please, please, please update this story. Often.
And thanks for pointing me over here. I love it!Author's Response: Oh gosh, Jessi, now you\\\'re being way too nice! :D I don\\\'t know what so say! It\\\'s really awesome that you like this story so much. I\\\'m glad that I asked you to take a look at it (and not just for the compliments - it was because I respect your opinion so much).
The slight downplay of historical information is in part to help readers get through the story without being bogged down in things. But it\\\'s also for my own benefit, as I want to do a bit of research, but not too much. I like to have a bit of imaginative freedom. ;)
This story was originally OF, but I thought it\\\'d be interesting to add some fantasy aspects. It still can be adapted to OF, and I might do that someday. :D If only fanfiction wasn\\\'t so addicting to write!
Thank you again for reading and reviewing, Jessi! I really appreciate that you took the time to do this! :D Report Review
Helen is my new favorite OC, I think. Her thoughts are so much fun to follow; she's funny, witty and dry. I love it. I think that something people typically forget when developing a new character is that the readers can learn a lot from how they interact with other characters in the story - even minor characters. Seeing the way that Helen interracted with Hassim (I'm assuming he's minor at this point =P) was what truly made me fall in love with her a little more. She was just so real then.
I like the way the story is progressing, too. It's not at all slow, and yet you are giving us such a foundation. I'm not sure how you pull it off - normally this sort of build up is rather tedius to read through... but this... Learning about the different characters is really fun, especially since you give them all their own voices, even though the narration is Helen's.
Oh, and best line in a fanfiction ever belongs to you. "So I took the lady-like way out. I pretended to faint." I giggled so much when I read that!Author's Response: Oh yay! It\\\'s wonderful that you like Helen so much, Jessi! I\\\'m really getting into her character more with this re-write and she\\\'s fun to write with her dryness. I do worry that she might be going overboard, but I\\\'m glad that you like her - it means a lot. ^_^
Yes, Hassim is pretty minor - he might appear one or two more times at most. But it is interesting to see how Helen interacts with various people, high and low on the social scale. She has pretencions of upper-class, yet at the same time despises their snobbishness. It makes her more fascinating, at least for me, to watch how she responds to people - it\\\'s very unpredictable.
The best line! *cheers* I do try to be funny with them. :P Thank you so much for reading and reviewing this, Jessi! It means a lot not only to hear from you, but to hear such great compliments. ^_^ Report Review
I'm not sure who I'm more intrigued by, Cygnus or Canis. Cygnus is the doting father, obviously. And it seems that he has a lot of pent up frustration at his family... But the way that you portrayed Canis in the background, intrigued by Helen - and quiet! I will love seeing how he plays out (assuming, of course, she ever comes back fom Egypt).
I think that you write this era very well; the time frame really compliments your writing technique. Or, maybe it's just because you're such an awesome author... =P
Usually, I don't read first person stories. Especially not first person OC stories. I find that they lack the ability to help me connect to the main character. But Helen is very well fleshed out as a character, and you write her so well in this point of view, that I don't have any trouble at all connecting to her. Actually, I like her quite a bit!Author's Response: Canis is definitely a character I want to explore more, if only because he causes Helen so much distress. There\\\'s something between them in the past that even I\\\'m not sure about yet. XD The quiet Malfoys are the scarier ones. Even though Helen won\\\'t be going back to England in this story (it\\\'s not a spoiler, really :P), Canis, or at least the threat of him, will come back to haunt her, and it\\\'s something she has to deal with.
It\\\'s more the time frame than any aspirations of awesomeness. :P I\\\'ve read way too many books that take place in the early 20s, so it just feels comfortable to write in it as well.
First person isn\\\'t normally my thing either, though it works in certain cases, like with Helen, who is far too amusing to miss out on. ;) It\\\'s great that you like her so quickly - it took me longer to warm up to her, haha.
Thank you for the wonderful review, Jessi! I really appreciate hearing from you, and it\\\'s fantastic that you\\\'re enjoying the story so far. :D Report Review
Susan, my God. In 900 words, you've not only completely captured my attention, but you've made me feel so compassionate for a character I don't know at all. I'm glad that I know a bit about Egyptian mythos and history, otherwise I would have been a little bit confused. =P I loved the beginning and I'm sure that when I'm done reading, I'm going to be mad at you for not finishing it yet. :PAuthor's Response: Wow, thanks, Jessi! :O This is definitely the basis of a case to keep the prologue - something I\\\'ve been hemming and hawing over for a bit. The historical stuff is harder to write because there\\\'s a lot to it. I can see how it would get confusing for those who were unfamiliar with it.
It\\\'s great that you\\\'re liking the story so far. :D I hope you enjoy the rest! And thank you again for coming to read it! Report Review
I adore creative ideas and different ways of thinking. It is a great setup and choice for a story. Rather sorry that I can't give you an indepth review- I lack the time. Great characters and plot line. It has realism in it, like the hardships Helen is going through. Rather interesting, intriguing and brilliant.Author's Response: Thank you very much for this! It helps just to know that the characters, plot, and idea are turning out well so far. That the story has realism is almost best of all - it's not something I tried to put into the story, but it's great to know that it's there! :) Report Review
So who is this mysterious Cadogan? He's fantastically described. The line 'towering over me like a crane, all angles. ' was perfect. Paints such a vivd picture. I'm curious about him now, pasty and red-headed yet named Emile? Judging by that little incident at the end of the chapter it would appear that he too is magical. Possibly a pure-blood as well? Although then she might well have known of him. Would have been a fairly tight community.
The magic's starting to build. Really quite exciting to read. Although, that's me assuming it is magic making the sand do funny things and not just Helen's imagination playing with her again.
The cat-and-mouse game she's playing with both Moody and Cadogan is intriguing to read. It's quite humorous to read how they're tailing around each other through the valley.
Sorry I've had to make this review rather shorter than the others. Exam tomorrow and all. Just wanted to say thank you for requesting. It's a fantastic story and I hope you find time to keep it up =]Author's Response: It's definitely a good guess, though just being able to recognize magic doesn't make him a wizard. However, he does have the poise of a wizard, even if in a stork-like way. ;) He's fascinating to write, and it's great that he comes across so well from the picture in my head to the words on the page.
No, it's magic doing things. :P Helen is imaginative and paranoid, but what she's seeing is definitely magic. What form that magic will take, though. who knows.
It's a bit cliched of me to make the three of them chase each other around the Valley, but I couldn't resist. It does make for a humorous scene, and it's great that you liked that.
Thank you very much for the review! No worries that this one was shorter. What you said about Cadogan has given me a few ideas as to what to do with him in the future. :D And I hope your exam goes/went well! Report Review
Even though maybe it wasn't intended to be, the most interesting chapter of this chapter was Helen in regard to the Winter Palace. She's still very much a Black and still expects to be able to maintain her previous lifestyle. Her pride isn't letting her accept the reality of her situation. She got saved in this instance by Moody showing up and being his normal slimy self.
As you mightt have noticed from that little comment, not a huge fan of Moody. It's that that slightly greasy, slippery, slimy edge to him. As a character he's very well crafted, appearing both genuine and slightly dodgy. It's an interesting paradox.
I actually googled the Winter Palace after reading this. Staggered at the depth of this story. Not only was it 'the' place to be, seems as though Howard Carter spent a good deal of time there himself. Possibly he will slide into the picture soon?
The action scene was well done. Helen's character adapted well to action, especially considering all we've seen of her so far is a snobby elitist with a dry sense of humor.
And a new character enters. Sounds like an interesting type already. Very English, upper-class ever. Not just the name but the writing. Already have an idea about him, even though have only seen a single letter from him!Author's Response: The Winter Palace is a gorgeous place. When I've heard about it in descriptions or seen pictures of it, it seems so stunning. Just the perfect habitat for a pureblooded witch, perhaps more so for a Black. ;) She hasn't entirely left her past behind her, which keeps her from sounding like Sirius or Andromeda.
Haha, Moody. I'm actually glad that you don't like him because he's not supposed to be likable. He is slippery and dodgy, which makes him more fun to write. Like Helen, he has his own secrets.
Adding a scene with Carter is a possibility. I'm just not sure if I want to or not. Helen is so obscure on the archaeology scene that there would be no reason for him to associate with her. She might see him from afar, but that's it. But that's still on the drawing board. :)
Wow, that's great to hear that Cadogan came through so clearly, even just from the letter. He has a strong persona (it helps that I sort of based him on a real person, allows him a more developed personality).
Thank you again for the wonderful review! You're very detailed, which is extremely helpful. :D Report Review
Brilliant continuity here. The way three years have simply slipped by. There's a hint of detail to those years, broad brushstrokes if you will. The reader understands what Helen has been doing, what she's been dealing with and most importantly how she's dealing with it.
She's an interesting character, Helen. She has a dry, almost cutting, sense of humor that's refreshing. She gives off a sense of wanting to stand out from the crowd, really be her own person. Which, I'm sure, is driven by a desire to prove herself right in running away from her past.
A past that appears to still be haunting her. Is it just paranoia or is the dreaded Malfoy actually tracking her down? Or possibly one of her 'prophecies' will come true. Certainly has a vivid imagination.
Moody? Any relation to Mad-Eye? To me, it represents the way you tie in the Potterverse to the plot rather than the other way round. This could very well stand alone as original fiction, but it's even better with the little hints of magic.
The daemon [love that spelling] is one such hint. She's manages to persuade herself it isn't anything, even though she almost wants it to be. A very complex character.
Then the way you cut up the tension of the daemon scene with the neat little "Shut up, you ass" pun, simply showed off the control you have over your writing.Author's Response: Your description of Helen is spot on, though I'd also add that standing out from the crowd is also part of her breeding, not only in that she's a bit vain, but that she's also proud. I'm glad that the three years squished into three paragraphs worked out, though. I'm very uncomfortable with "telling", so it could have gone very wrong there. ;)
A vivid imagination! That's the best way to put it. She's paranoid, which is hilarious to write, and while suspicious things do happen to her, she does tend to blow them out of proportion. And with the daemon, she is looking for something adventurous, if only to give her something to do. ;)
A possible relation, though I guess it's a bit obvious - just using the name does that. But thank you for the compliment! This was an original fic initially, but then was switched into fanfiction, so a lot of little things had to be changed. But I do like having the magical stuff in this story, as it makes it more interesting to write.
Thank you again for the review! You've picked out really insightful things about each chapter, and it's great to read them. :D Report Review
Apologies if this review is a bit all over the place. Have cold/flu type thing so head is a bit fuzzy.
The way you weave in the magical and Muggle worlds is fantastic. Your idea about young wizards going off to fight in WWI is just stunningly original. There isn't much nationalism in canon, so it's super exciting to see the world being built onto.
The narrative of this chapter works well, has a nice easy flow to it. Doesn't feel rushed or hurried, or even too slow. Just... works.
Helen, despite being a bit too, what's the word... self aware? Okay that's a phrase, but still. She just seems incredibly in control of all her thoughts and emotions. Actually, that's probably deliberate on your part, ignore it. She's a Black, which is fantastic to read. By Black I mean a 'real' Black. Not some renegade one, but a proper one, prejudiced, cunning and proud.
The whole backstory you're building around this is fascinating. A spurned Malfoy, vengeful mother and a father who's not quite sure who's side to take. No wonder she moved to Egypt!Author's Response: The cold/flu-type thing didn't harm your review at all. It was easy to follow and mentioned some very helpful things, so thank you! :D
Helen's self-awareness was also recently mentioned by another reviewer, and now with two mentions of it, I'm starting to re-think her narrative style a bit. While it's really only in this chapter that she talks about herself so much, it's a flaw in the first person narration that might come back to bite me. I might edit it a bit in this chapter to tone it down. While Helen is aware of herself and pretty self-confident, I don't want that to get in the way of the story, either. The self-awareness was sort of deliberate, but I'm less sure of it now, if that makes sense.
The backstory here was mostly an excuse to tie the story into canon - the Black family and the lives of purebloods in the early 20th century. The historical stuff about Ancient Egypt and WWI wasn't as difficult to write as was making this solid fanfiction. :P So I'm very glad that the backstroy turned out well, not only in content, but in style/technique. :)
Thank you again for the wonderful review! I appreciate how detailed each of them is. :D Report Review
Hey, finally here to review, really sorry it's taken me this long to get to you! Life's just been doing its whole life thing. Actually quite intimidating reviewing you actually. Have never read one of your stories before, so have only heard the myths :P
Quite frankly though, you live up to the hype.
Fascinating start to a story. Honestly don't know enough Egyptology to be able to comment properly on that, you seem to have a very solid grasp on the topic, so I'll just assume it's all right. There is a powerful fascination about Ancient Egypt though, don't know what it is, seems to draw everyone to it.
Obviously this will be quite different to the story itself, it does give a good indication of what things will be like however. The description is fresh and tight. Lines like this, 'tears dripping down her copper cheeks and falling into the sand below,' really capture the emotion of the moment.
The way magic was tied in was slick as well. Something of enormous power, yet not to be trusted and kept carefully under control.
Really good start to a story, looking forward to reading on =]Author's Response: Don't be sorry at all! Admittedly, I'd half-forgotten that I'd requested you, so these were a lovely surprise to receive. One for each chapter, too! I'm excited to go through them and see what things you've pointed out. :D
Haha, yes, there is something about that era that's captivating, but I don't know what it is either. There's so many interesting aspects to the history and culture of that time, and the curses always attract attention. I've had an interest in Ancient Egypt since grade six, I think, so this story was a long time coming. ;)
I'm glad this prologue sounds good language-wise. That's what I was more worried about than even the historical aspects. I had been trying to go for a historical atmosphere, trying to get an Ancient feel to this. It's also great to know that the magic was slipped in well. I wanted it to be recognizably similar to the Potterverse, but also with its own distinct quality. :)
Thank you very much for this, Jack! I look forward to reading your other reviews! Report Review
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