Reading Reviews From Member: lia_2390
279 Reviews Found

Review #1, by lia_2390Slivers of Hope: The Meeting

14th November 2016:
Hi there! I'm ailhsa23 from the Ravenclaw Tower here with your review.

I loved HP and the Cursed Child, especially the Albus + Scorpius relationship. I often got the inkling that it was more than just platonic.

Anyway, I really liked where you're going with this. The exploration of the relationships Draco and Astoria might have had beyond their families and friends at Hogwarts, especially after the war.

A few things I would caution you on is introducing so many characters at once. You did make Lexi's linkage to the Potters, Granger-Weasley clan known and all of a sudden, Teddy appears and we've barely gotten to know your main characters. Speaking of which, I really like Lexi. It seems as though she had her son at a young age, and I'm interested in reading more about how she came to be where she is.

Perspective is important here too. I feel like if you're going to interchange them, perhaps allow one of them to have their voice heard for more than one scene. I noticed in both chapters, you jump around a bit. Since you are using third person, you'll have to decide whose eyes your audience reads from. Taka, for instance, his POV would have been great throughout this chapter - one: he never saw Malfoy Manor before, so he could describe it for us, and his thoughts of his mother's reaction to being there again. On the flip-side, writing it from Lexi's perspective - this is important, her narrative reveals her own apprehension of being at the Manor, and certainly about seeing Draco again. If you choose to continue the omniscient POV, then each person should have at least a scene and carefully flow between each others. (I hope that makes sense - basically, if you write Lexi's, it should flow nicely into Taka's.)

Another thing about perspective here is you can alternate chapters, so Lexi's is the first, Taka is the next.

Okay, then there is dialogue vs description. I found this chapter to be leaning more on the dialogue side. A healthy balance can work well. here to appeal to both sides of the audience.

I hope this was helpful. I already want to see where these characters go, and I'm already shipping Draco/Lexi with all my heart and soul.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to drop me a PM.

- Lia

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Review #2, by lia_2390Blood Moon: Blood Moon

28th May 2016:
Hi Vicki. It's Lia from TGS here with your review :)

First let me say this was a well thought out story. I always loved it when author's ventured beyond the norms and tackled minor characters, especially those like your Fenrir Greyback. Even with Daphne taking the lead here, showing that she is way more than Astoria's sister.

In your introduction, you give the readers a taste of what was to come. Daphne's unease, and the inciting event that ultimately lead to her demise. I also appreciated the fact that this story did not have a happy ending - at all. I'm not a grim sort of person (on most days), but this was different than most.

I find that you have the tendency to tell a lot, but not show it. This was one of the issues I had when I reviewed your entries for promotions for May. I felt this piece could have been so much stronger this way. Like in this sentence: "Stupefy!” Daphne shouted loudly and she watched as Greyback, who hadn’t been expecting it, fly backwards, hitting the wall on the opposite side of the room."

You could have described the shock marring his face as he flew into the wall. Then his expression changing from shock to annoyance, then full rage.

Another point here is beginning your sentences with an action: "Scrambling to get up, Daphne got out of the cupboard and ran through the living room…". I have a habit of doing this sometimes, then I change up the wording so that I still keep the essence of my sentence. Does that make sense? Because it can interrupt the flow.

My advice would be to read - whether it be fics, or novels - and see how they make the transition. So for your one-shot, how palpable was Daphne's fear? At the end, I think she knew she was going to die. Maybe a part of her gave up long before she cast that flimsy stunning hex. I think the last part of your story was the strongest (and saddest).

Overall, I think it was a good one-shot :)

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Review #3, by lia_2390holocene.: the hallow bright.

4th March 2015:
Hi Kiana,

I'm so sorry that this review is so late.

First of all, Holocene by Bon Iver is one of my anthems. No need to go look it up because I sang it to myself while reading.

It's a song about grief, and regrets, and not being able to forgive yourself which is the hardest thing to do in the world. It's about being so low that you don't even think you can get back up again.

From all of that, this song makes it perfect for what you've written. Post-war Draco, perhaps even post HBP Draco felt all of these things. His bitter remorse, his shame, and his wonder that the entire world hasn't come to find him with their torches and pitch-forks. Not only that, but all of those things he had to do were all very traumatic. He was just a boy - something people seem to forget too often.

As the years go back, I understand Astoria's purpose even more. She was the new beginning for him. A clean slate. I like how you used her here as his confidant and saviour while they were both in-patients at St. Mungo's. She brought him out of his suffering. PTSD is not a walk in the park, as a matter of fact, no mental illness is.

I did notice some typos here like this one:
How he and Astoria meant strolling the wards. I think you meant 'met'.

I'm glad we got the exchange. I really enjoyed reading this one-shot :)


Author's Response: Hey there Lia!

Haha, yes, it is such a good song! ♥

Yes, you definitely are right about that which is why I love writing about Draco after the war as it's so angsty and wonderful and you can really explore it in so many ways.

I'm so glad that you thought it went as it just cried out Drastoria when I first listened to it. I think he will always have those feelings and that sense of isolation and loneliness but hopefully it will eventually begin to disappear one day.

I know, at first I was a bit confused about why JK never really said much about her but now I think it's almost better as we can really envisage how she changed Draco and whether it was for the better or for the worst.

Thanks for this great review, Lia! ♥


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Review #4, by lia_2390Dragonology: The Dragon

22nd October 2014:
Hi Aditi!

This was such a cute story. I think you met the requirements of your prompt very well. The tone was very light. Not only did you lighten the mood for the introduction of the dragon, but you did for Charlie as well. You're right, he usually is the rugged, tough guy, but you've turned him into someone different. Real men can have emotions too! :P

I'll admit, I got nervous on his behalf when his mentor decided to leave him stranded. I suppose that's a part of the process?

What I liked best was the dragon's appreciation of Charlie's help. A dragon is still an animal, I suppose tales of them wreaking havoc are only tales. All animals react similarly when in danger, and at the same time, they are appreciative when they receive help. That little nudge with its snout just about killed me.

I really enjoyed reading this!


Author's Response: Hi Lia! Thank you so much for your review =)
I am glad you liked it =)

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Review #5, by lia_2390The Ides of March: A star riding through clouds.

22nd October 2014:
Hi Kiana,

I'm so so sorry this review is so late!

I thought this story was enchanting, to use one of your own words, and poetic. It is very interesting to have a slash pairing set in such a time were people were punished for much less.

Helena's characterisation is my favourite. She is so much different from the brave, sharp-witted young woman we are used to. She even sees it herself. Use of the bible and the concept of witchcraft fascinates me the most in this story. It's not that her attraction might drive her to the fiery pits of hell, but in that same book...the same chapter, I believe, witchcraft and divination are also condoned. I suppose she didn't read that :P

This is a stunning representation of unrequited love being successful. Of so called brave attempts not ending up as failures. Honestly, this could be my head canon for why she didn't want to marry The Baron and how they both meet their end. Seriously, Kiana, I'd so ship it.

I'm glad we had the exchange :)


Author's Response: Hi Lia!

Don't worry about it, I know what life can be like!

I'm so glad that you liked the language as it was inspired by the literature of the time as that seemed to be so much more poetic than it is now.

I'm so glad that you liked her, as it's probably the most controversial characterisation I've ever done but I've had so much fun with it at the same time. Yes, I suppose she just manipulated it for her own use :P

Aw, thank you so much the reason for why she didn't marry the Baron is explored in the next few chapters as he did make an appearance so I hope you like the reasons why!

Thanks for such a great review, Lia! :D


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Review #6, by lia_2390Sevenfold: all romantics meet the same fate

2nd August 2014:
Hi Jenna,

It's Lia from TGS with your review.

So far, I think your plot is very well orchestrated. I always admire authors who can weave two timelines into one story and have them make sense - to relate to each other in some way. I'm thrilled you decided to tackle WWII Germany and Grindelwald's involvement in Hilter's crimes. From that perspective, it made me wonder who der Meister really is. I'm also curious about this girl locked away in Nurmengard and how Louis will discover the link. You've completed this story, so I'd have to read on when I get the chance. I'd be honest here and say I'd almost forgotten about Barty Crouch Jr after the events of GoF, but I think he's in a far better place than he was before. Oh dear, the former death eaters are in a world of trouble now, aren't they?

I really like Louis. I do. Like one of your reviewers said, it is strange seeing him as the MC in a fic, and he's often overshadowed by his sisters and cousins. This is also a serious role for him too, so I'm interested in seeing where you will take him on such a journey.

Eugenie Bones. A very interesting choice. I quite like her, she has a curious sense of humour - perhaps a bit dark - but curious nonetheless.

It was a bit strange initially to read such a dark, solemn introduction, then switch to the almost lightheartedness of Wizarding London in 2027. In retrospect, it does fit, but as the chapter progresses, we return to that. No complaints from this corner though, everything fits.

There was one bit of concrit I had, which was your repetition. It is a bit jarring for me to see a word repeated so close in a sentence. In the first paragraph, there is this:
"Nurmengard is no place for women and children – they never stay for long in Nurmengard."

I think the sentence would be much smoother without the second Nurmengard, but that's just a suggestion.

I honestly love stories like these. It takes me away from the fluff. I think you made a fantastic start, and I will read on!


Author's Response: Hi Lia! :) I'm sorry for taking so long to reply to your lovely review!

I'm so glad you like the plot so far and how the two timelines are intertwined. I really loved writing both sections and main characters of the story, and it's a quality I've found sneaking into other stories of mine. I'm plesed you like the idea of WWII as well and Grindelwald, who I saw as being der Meister though he's quite a distant, mythical figure to Ada. I'd forgotten a bit about Barty as well, but he was a good fit for the first murder.

I'm so glad you like Louis! I love writing him, he's quite fun but also intelligent and just a joy yo work on. I'm also pleased that you're interested in Eugenie so far, and that she's intriguing, which is how Louis is feeling about her at the moment.

I'm glad the changes in mood fit and don't seem too out of place as I was a bit concerned about it but unsure whether I could fix it up or not. I've been keeping an eye out for the repetition as well, thanks for that! :)

Thanks so much for a wonderful review, Lia! :)

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Review #7, by lia_2390Dream Catcher: Patronus

31st July 2014:
Hi Maggie :)

I thought this was a really nice opening chapter. I love the background you gave with Molly going to see the game with her father, uncle and grandfather. I especially like seeing her having a friendship with Victoire. It's not very often I see that - Victoire is the eldest, and is always with Teddy someplace.

The narrative was clear, and well suited for a seventeen year old - including her challenges: the intimidating Professor, exam anxiety, and most importantly, she has some hope.

I haven't spotted any typos or errors. I think you've made a decent start and I'd like to see where you go with this.

- Lia

Author's Response: Hi Lia! I'm on a mission to catch up on my review responses *hangs head in shame* and I want you to know that I really appreciate you taking the time to give this feedback. I haven't visited TGS in a long while, but maybe I'll head back over sometime soon :)

I liked the idea of a Weasley bonding ritual of Quidditch, because my own family and so many others I know bond through sports. It can really bring people together, especially when fans are devoted and loyal.

I also liked the idea of Molly being one of the oldest Weasleys, and being close in age to Victoire. I figured it wouldn't be too implausible for Percy to maintain the family tradition of settling down and having a family at a young age; in my headcanon, Victoire was a planned baby while Molly was very much a surprise :)

I'm glad you enjoyed this! Thanks again for your review :)


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Review #8, by lia_2390Go Softly: Go Softly

27th April 2014:
Hi Jenna,

I'm here for our review swap on TGS :)

This is a beautiful one-shot. I'm not entirely sure what else I can possibly say. I haven't read the first one-shot this is based on, and somehow I don't think I need to.

I liked the way you wrote this in pieces. Each scene, though short, told much more of the story in my opinion - as if each section became much heavier as your story unfolded. There was something about the narrator's tone that I loved. Not so much nostalgic, but very 'in retrospect' - if that makes any sense to you. While each scene presented the narrator at an older age, it still felt like he was much older and hopefully a little wiser throughout.

You addressed a tonne of sensitive issues in this story too. You said a lot without having to spell it out. One was the darkness around Swift and the struggle with the consequences of his illness. Mental health has come to the forefront these days, though in some places it is still stigmatised. I felt bad when Thackeray found his 'tools'.

Another thing you addressed is the matter of gender. You sort of foreshadowed it in the beginning with the girl in the pub, and considering you never mentioned the narrator's gender, I suppose their situation is similar (ironically). It is sensitive and I am impressed you included it here. I almost smiled when the narrator attempted a change of hairstyle and clothes. If I'm guessing correctly, then it goes back with what I mentioned earlier.

There were some areas where you slipped into second person. Here for instance: "They're concerned. They love you, these three people here. " It's the part where Thackeray used magic at school. Otherwise, that's all I spotted.

This is one of these stories I can't really read once. There's a lot here, and I think I'll find myself coming back to it in the future. There is a lot to think about - in spite of the angst, I think it is realistic considering the the Western culture these days. I think this deserves more attention because it was tastefully done.

- Lia

Author's Response: Hi Lia! :)

Wow, thanks so much for the beautiful review! It really means a lot to get such nice feedback on this story as I really care about Thackeray as an OC.

I'm glad you liked the structure with the different scenes. It felt very natural to build the tension of the story up that way and slowly show the conflicts and fears in Thackeray's childhood. I really like your comment about "in retrospect," and that's definitely what I was going for: the story felt like Thackeray was looking back at a former, more naive self and explaining why they are the way they are now.

I wanted to explore the different sorts of depression the two siblings had and the toll it took on the entire family. It's not a particularly uplifting message, but I did want to do it justice through Swift and Thackeray's own self image. I felt very bad about that part as well, and almost didn't include it, but Swift's death was in some ways the end of innocence and heroism for Thackeray so it did feel necessary.

Yes! I'm so glad you noticed the gender identities here and liked how these things were portrayed. Thackeray was originally going to be just a character whose gender was never specified in the first story, but I ended up hinting that Thackeray was instead very gender-neutral and possibly even transgendered, without specifying outright. You're very right about the implications of changing Thackeray's appearance, that can be read as a gneder identity moment. :)

I'm going to do a read-over right now and try and catch the last of the "you"s. Thanks for pointing that out! :)

I'm so honoured you found this realistic and tasteful, I really loved writing it so getting this feedback is truly lovely. Thank you so much for the thoughtful review, Lia! :)

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Review #9, by lia_2390Pranks, Pants and Prance: Pranks, Pants and Prance

19th April 2014:
Hi Jenna :)

Thank you for participating in our anniversary challenge! Don't worry about this being 'unusual', you'll find that it's those that are most treasured.

Anyway, you mentioned that you were uncomfortable writing anything within the humour genre, or Marauders' era. The thing with humour is that there is no need for it to be over the top. Considering that this was your first attempt at it, I think you did a pretty decent job. I was pleasantly surprised with the use of the Death Day party and Regulus being terrified of ghosts! I nearly died when he woke up on the table.

The tone you used in this one-shot - to me - suits the genre in the form of humour you wrote. As I said, there's no need for it to be over the top, even subtle types are the best ones.

I loved how human you made each character. Lily with a retainer and spot cream, Peter and his premature baldness. No one was the drop-dead gorgeous character I'm used to seeing in this genre. I particularly loved Remus (I usually do) and his crush on his best friend. I honestly think Sirius might realise and possibly feels the same way if he notices how Remus flushes at certain things. Honestly, you've said a lot about Remus's feelings without having to put it into so many words. I thought that was done really well.

You've alluded to so many things at the end, my heart felt a bit crushed in a way. None of them could predict what was going to happen. I suppose they were in sixth year at this point. The irony about Peter's statement, and Sirius joking about being put in prison. *clutches hands to chest* I just can't.

This was a good read :) I hope the challenge and feedback from this story will encourage you to venture more out of your comfort zone in the future!


Author's Response: Hi Lia! :)

Thanks to TGS for hosting the challenge! It was a lot of fun even if I was a little concerned with how well this would turn out. :P

I agree about humour! I think subtle humour, or even irony or sneaky sarcasm, are quite enjoyable to read and write about. I'm glad you thought I did okay! Poor Regulus - he was a bit of a ridiculous character here, but it was fun to torture him a little through the ghosts.

Haha, one of my favourite parts of writing this was making the characters very human, like you said. It seemed to fit well since not only are most people in real life not perfectly drop-dead gorgeous, but I never saw the Marauders as being particularly attractive. Well, maybe Sirius from canon, but in a more sloppy way. I'm glad you liked Remus' little crush on Sirius - it was fun to write! :)

I feel the same way about the ending! It's so sad to think about, and I wanted to hint at the darker future for these characters. :(

Thanks so much for the lovely review! :D

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Review #10, by lia_2390Lost?: Lost?

12th April 2014:
Hey Kiana,

I'm here for your Anniversary challenge review :) In one of the threads, you mentioned that Pre-Hogwarts wasn't something you wrote often because often, you found nothing to inspire you. So I commend you for attempting it AND for tackling such a subject.

At first glance, I expected this story to be sad, but it isn't. How you've written Sirius here is like a man obsessed. This isn't a story about guilt, regret, or lament. In his grief, he finds a way to survive by turning it into something else. Something dark and dangerous.

I like that you tackled the anniversary prompt from this perspective. No mention of years because it is a bit hard to keep up. But days, yes. He uses the spent days as a reminder of what he wanted to do. How he wanted to prove himself in the end.

I thought of his years in Azkaban differently before I read this story. And how you wrote it makes a lot of sense. As I think back on the events in PoA, I can see that this Sirius is the mad man who hovered over Ron's bed with a knife.

I listened to Coldplay's song while I read this, just so I'd have a reference of sorts. There is a lot of hope in this story, but not in the flowery sense. There is no question about him finding Peter again, it's only a matter of when. So I get it. He hasn't lost, he's not defeated. He's merely been delayed - if I can put it as simply as that.

You did a great job with this one-shot, in spite of your initial reservations ;) Thank you for participating in the challenge, I hope it inspires you to move beyond your comfort zone in the future.


Author's Response: Hi Lia, sorry for the late response, being ill does slow down HPFF sort of things!

Yes, usually I think of Pre-Hogwarts, and I'm just like what even happens then? So, when this idea hit me, I realised this era could actually be really fun and interesting to write, so thank you for having this challenge which made me realise that!

I'm glad you didn't find it sad, because in a way Sirius isn't, he's in this obsessional state over their deaths as that caused this spiral of events which destroyed his life, so without that happening he would have been a lot saner, and not as dark and dangerous as you said.

Yes, it did have a bit of a morbid twist to it :P At first, I wasn't sure how to count the anniversary dates and then this idea hit me, and it just made sense as it went with his obsessional mindset surprisingly well.

I'm glad you did, as I listened to it throughout writing this as it had what I was hoping to capture in this one-shot. Yes, you can put it as that, as I think that's how Sirius views it here, him getting out of Azkaban is just a fact, he will do it, he just needs to find Peter and then he's all set to go.

Thank you so much for this great review, the challenge definitely did make me think differently about this era, I just hope I can do the same with my other fears soon!


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Review #11, by lia_2390Connect the Dots: hermione

15th March 2014:
Hey Gina, I planned to stop by sooner, but you know how things are.

This story was just...stunning! It creates a sort of feeling when reading it after midnight on a Saturday morning. You had me from the first line. There are bits of sadness interwoven with the hope that some day, things might get better. Parts of it too were very subtle - no huge need for an explanation. Even when it was explained, it was brief and to me, that was enough.

Hermione/Krum is an interesting pairing. Something I thought could have been explored more in the series. I loved that he still had the same yearning for her as he did over a decade earlier. I wonder how their meeting came about. I suppose I'll find that out in your Krum chapter.

As for Hermione, I loved that she was placed in this sort of situation. She's used to being in control of things. She's where you would expect her to be. But here, she's moved into a tiny flat filled with boxes and she has a baby.

Anyway, I really enjoyed reading this! I'll go ponder over the subtleties. :D


Author's Response: LIA!

So much love to you for this review. I apologize for taking so long to respond.

Haha, I love that last line: "I'll go ponder over the subtleties." I laughed when I read it, but at the same time it makes me so very happy (almost teary, actually) because that's exactly what I intended. I have such a hard time knowing where the line is between giving too much detail and not enough. I tend to err on the side of not enough because I trust my readers to be smart and make connections, but I always have people that respond with a resounding, "Huh?" So to hear that you enjoyed what wasn't said, that you could read between the lines--that's a success for me.


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Review #12, by lia_2390This Longing: Divergence

14th March 2014:
I just want you to know, I've been crying since chapter 20. It is very difficult for me to say that because stories very rarely make me cry.

There are too many things I can honestly say about this story. It was incredible. You've included many characters, all playing important roles whether they realise it or not. Minerva's especially, was amazing. There was always something in her mannerisms, that made me pause while reading. I know I mentioned this in your MTA page yesterday. But she represents so much. She is brave, witty, very guarded with her feelings, which makes her quite sensible. But when she loves, she does it with so much ferocity that it's a bit scary.

There was something I noticed, I'm not sure if you did it on purpose, but to me it felt like if you'd reversed genders. You made the example of Grimm being prone to hysterics in an earlier chapter (and I could not stop laughing at that because it is completely true) while Minerva stays resolute. And he did most of the pining for all those years too.

Speaking of Grimm, I found he grew somewhat over the course of these events. The reality of war, death of a fellow student, understanding what love truly felt like... My urge to strangle him in earlier chapters lessened. He is a rather complex character, Grimm - moreso than most. I still do think he acts with his heart more than his head. He's very passionate, and easily prone to jealousy. In his mind, what turns him green is worth it. I'll be honest, it broke my heart when he left early. It was a bit much, after the tears shed over poor Hagrid. In retrospect, Dumbledore's words ring true, even if they were hard to hear at that point in time. Had he waited, I don't think he might have left, then...knowing both of them, guilt might have followed.

This was a fantastic read, honestly. I think you should be proud of creating such a story over seven years. Congratulations and thank you for sharing it with us :)


Author's Response: Crying?! Wow! I'm sorry, but also pleased because when I think about it, this story is sad, even painful, especially in these final chapters, when everything just unravels and the characters are powerless to prevent it. It means a lot to hear that the story affected you so deeply.

*blushes* Thank you for the compliments! I'm really glad to hear that the characters - all of the characters - had strong roles. Minerva is the main character, but she lives among many interesting people, each with their own influence on her, whether she recognizes it or not. I enjoyed writing her, and she became more natural to write over the course of this novel - she reveals more facets of her character, ones that even she does not know existed.

Ah, you caught that! Yes, I did a bit of stereotype bending with this story. Seven years ago it seemed a bit more unique, though even now there are romance stories that draw too heavily on the stereotypes, whereas in this story, I wanted to show more of a fluidity. Much of it arises from their backgrounds and class - Minerva, despite being a pureblood in this story, comes from a rural, lower-middle class background that required her to work harder and be more resistant to adversity while Grimm is an upper-middle class city kid who has the time to dabble in arcane studies because everything else is done for him. Yet I'd never call Minerva a "tom boy" and Grimm is still annoyingly male. Grimm is definitely the more outwardly emotional - he can't control his expression of feeling while Minerva is more skilled at repression. Something like her brother's death haunts her throughout the novel, but it rarely ever shows, and the same goes for her feelings about Grimm.

It's hard to explain Grimm's development in this novel because he becomes an adult, yet at the same time it's a downfall - he develops through failure. And he often makes the wrong decision for the wrong reasons - sometimes perhaps the right decision for the wrong reasons. Going to war ultimately makes him less expressive and less impulsive, but the cost is of course considerable. I'm very glad to hear that you've found him complex! He really grows up in this story, and I don't think I've ever had a character have to come so far to do so before.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read and review this story! It means a lot to hear that you enjoyed it. :D

(And I am proud of it, if I may say so. ;))

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Review #13, by lia_2390Hourglass: 3 years 35 days

26th January 2014:
Ah Rose, she's so melodramatic, isn't she? I wonder what you have in store for her. Sometimes when authors include things - like Albus's brief analysis of Rose - it makes me wonder if you tried
to foreshadow an event. She isn't like
most Roses I've read about either.

As for Albus, he is a thinker, for sure. But even as the characters almost lose him to his thoughts, I find I do as well. It might help for us to be privy to some of them. Like one reviewer mentioned, I'd like to see some more description here instead of dialogue.

I think I might change my theory about this mystery girl every chapter. Right now, the gears in my mind are turning, and I have no idea what might happen next. And that's a good thing, especially with this genre.

I am curious about the scar though. I don't believe Quidditch could cause such a wound in the inner aspect of his forearm. Which sort of makes me wonder if he sleepwalks, or his dreams are more real than he thinks.

I do like your writing style. There is a hint of a contemporary feel to it. It's amazing how much writing has progressed. When I read your lines sometimes, they floor me. If I had to pick a favourite from this chapter, it would definitely be this one:

He could see the dust motes circling, dyed by the colored panes of glass. He reached out to grab one.


His hand came back empty.

I love things like that. As simple as it is, it's lovely.


Author's Response: HEHEHE. I'm such a sucker for foreshadowing, so it's pretty likely that I've thrown some in to every chapter (some unintentionally). Oh, and I adore Rose. :)

Thank you for the feedback on Albus's inner dialogue. I do need to add more of his thoughts and perceptions, and I definitely went light on the description here. I'm trying to get a different feel out of this piece--more young adult, more humor--but ultimately I am a description girl and I know that this chapter is lacking. Edits are imminent!

Hehe. Theories. I love that you're coming up with theories! It means I'm doing my job.

YOU'RE WONDERFUL. Thanks for another lovely review.

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Review #14, by lia_2390Hourglass: 3 years 47 days

26th January 2014:
It's so interesting to see these characters portrayed in such a way. Most times when I read them, I almost forget they are teenagers. Albus is such a sweetheart. It is honestly endearing to see him blush at the contents of a letter. In a way, you through some shade at other forms of characterisation of Albus Potter. When you mentioned he went to his classroom when girls rejected him, I sat back and re-read it. It was very subtle the way you included it, then moved on to other things. Usually it's him and Scorpius breaking hearts and taking names. He seems so lonely though :(

Speaking of Scorpius, well...I don't know what to say. He's one of my favourite characters in the fandom, so I don't mind if he's acting ridiculous. Their non-friendship is a curious one. Part of me wonders why they even bother, but perhaps it may show its worth later on.

From reading on, this story has the feel of something akin to time travel. Or maybe Al was someone else in his past life who met this girl. Now she's there, but he doesn't know who she is. Or his past memory hasn't awoken yet, but hers has.

Can I just say how lovely your description is? Nothing about it or the rest of your narrative seems forced. At all.

I think you started off quite well with this story. So I'm eager to read the rest of it :)


Author's Response: LIA! So sorry I took forever to respond...

Honestly, I haven't read much Next Gen. That's probably a large reason why Albus seems a bit different here. But I'm also glad that my characterization is unique! I really like the direction his character is headed in, though it was such a struggle to pin him down initially.

Ah, Scorpius. Yes, I will explore their relationship later on. And that's all I will say for now. ;)

I'm sorry if this is a spoiler, but yes, this is time travel. I was going to throw that bit into my summary, but because it's not traditional time travel, I didn't. So I guess that's not much of a spoiler since I haven't told you who is time traveling or how it has been accomplished (or why). Mwa ha ha!

Thanks for the lovely review. You're the best!

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Review #15, by lia_2390Escapee: The Wind Changed

24th December 2013:
I read this a few times before typing up this review. There are so many things I could talk about. Many of them made me pause while reading, and they are probably the reason why I re-read this.

It's hard to believe that this story held so much in a mere 500 words.

Without a doubt, Filch has had a long, hard life. From the eyes of an outsider, and certainly an astute audience, could pick up your hints. Even in the first paragraph, we realise he does it on purpose - the hiding - which I can surprisingly relate to. Then there's the rain. I'll admit, it does have an effect on people. If we looked close enough, I suspect we might have found a clue.

It's interesting that you brought these two characters together in such a manner. Both are looking for something, I think. In his own way, Filch returns to the pub for company, however discreet the gesture might be. Thus making her so much more than a barmaid.

At the end of it, I'm left with an aching curiosity about what his eyes have seen and what more she discovered.

It doesn't matter that you wrote this 4 years ago, perhaps it still carries the same, profound effect.

Merry Christmas, Marina

Lia (TGS Christmas Tag 2013)

Author's Response: It was not 4 years ago!! :O Wow, that makes me feel so super old. It's nice to have an excuse to go revist old fics, actually. I love Filch as a character because there's definitely more than meets the eye with him.

Thank you so much for the wonderful review!

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Review #16, by lia_2390The Writing Desk: Alohomora

2nd December 2013:
This is a fascinating line to take in this particular story. Before you, many writers ventured to include Sirius's flight from his childhood home, but I've never come across one like yours.

At first glance, I wondered what you could have written about this theme in 500 words. However, I found it was so packed with things, I felt I needed to read it twice.

The biggest question I had about it was 'why now?'. He'd lived in the house for seventeen years. Why, on the eve of his departure, he'd stop and look at an old writing desk. Was he looking for a reason to stay? Would that writing desk give him a lasting semblance of hope for his family? Himself, maybe? On the flip side, the desk could have given him what he needed, and placed the final nail in his proverbial coffin. He'd already packed up his things, but something about this movements that night felt hesitant to me.

Fantastic example of showing without telling, by the way. The description was beautifully written and quite a shock. I never expected to see a boggart pop out of the drawer, and obviously, neither did Sirius. It was a chilling reminder of the times. In spite of Sirius's portrayal, there is always something he feared.

I'm glad I sorted us for the exchange. I enjoyed reading this one-shot.



Author's Response: Hi Lia! Sorry this response took ages!

When I saw the announcement for the competition, this idea sprang to mind basically immediately. It just begged to be written, and I'm glad it turned out as creepy as I'd envisioned in my head.

I do think there are plenty of unanswered questions that just couldn't be explored in 500 words. I think my interpretation of why Sirius stopped to look at the desk was similar to yours; he realized that he'd never be back to this house (or so he thought) and couldn't resist taking it all in during that moment. As soon as he got too close, though, he remembered why he needed to run, to get closer to his friends and further away from the thing that threatened them. He realized what really mattered.

Thanks for your lovely review :)


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Review #17, by lia_2390Finding Him: morning.

31st October 2013:
Hello! It's Lia from TGS here with your review for our swap :)

Your opening line made me smile. Human beings cannot even begin to understand what that really means. It's a question I asked myself a lot as a teenager, and over the years I became rather cynical about it (however, that's another story for another day). You also addressed a lot of the things people say they feel, but in retrospect, may not make any sense. There's an article about it knocking around somewhere on the internet too.

Admittedly, I used to be one of those cowards who couldn't say it either. It made my tongue feel heavy. I'd have to mean it. So, I like that you had her spell it out as opposed to saying it. Obviously there's something there that still stings, and by the end of the story, it could be resolved.

I found that some parts of your opening chapter were a bit repetitive. If you do mention or describe something in detail, then there's no need to state it explicitly. I tend to do this a lot too. One example of what I mean is from this line:

It makes you feel nervous and doubt yourself. And at the same time it makes you feel whole and right. Basically it is a jumble of confusion.

At some points it does tend to be a bit jumpy. For example, with Rose and Albus in the kitchen, first they are exchanging pleasantries, then one is yelling and the other has tears welling up in her eyes. I suggest that at the mention of Scorpius's name, you allude to something that has happened between them, or to him. Something that makes the mere mention of contact with him brings tears to her eyes, without giving too much away. You can even show this with Al's body language as she meets him at the door. Some guilt, perhaps? Compare it to how he usually is, this can then create a sense of foreboding with Rose as well as the reader. Try to show what's going on there more than only telling us.

At the end of it, I'm not getting much of who Rose is. I get bits and pieces of feelings. I realise there is some past angst about Scorpius as you've mentioned it. I know more about Al than I do about her.

I hope this didn't come off as overly critical...actually, I really hope it is helpful. I do believe this story has a lot of potential and as your summary suggests, a lot of tears and laughter along the way.



Author's Response: The opening chapter...I actually wrote the first little bit way before I wrote the rest so I knew parts of it didn't seem to come together but I didn't know which parts.

Your review didn't come out too critical at all. It was very helpful. Sometimes when you write something and you keep reading and staring at the words you can't really tell what can be improved or how. This is why I love getting feedback from someone else's eyes. It helps. Thank you for pointing out some of those major things. I will have to look over and edit this chapter and will definitely look back to this review as a guide.

Again thanks. :)

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Review #18, by lia_2390Into Oblivion: Into Oblivion

19th October 2013:
Okay, why don't you just rip my heart out, throw it on the floor and step on it?

There are so many things I could say about this one-shot. Most of which I doubt I can articulate very well, but I will try.

I've always wondered about this pairing. Compared to the other characters authors decide to put Lily with (including what is canon), I cannot get over how much Remus and Lily make sense. Both very bookish and kind. Both fiercely protective of their loved ones. Most of Sirius's musings regarding them early on are exactly what I thought.

Remus's characterisation is spot on here and exactly how I pictured him as a teenager. Never mind the perceived bookworm tag people place on him, including his own friends. He's a human being, he has a whirlwind of thoughts and feelings and ambitions. He's also in love with a girl, but feels too shy to make anything out of it (at first). Even in his anger and disappointment, he never raises his voice. He is so very Remus - that's the best way I can put it. The library scene was my favourite to read. Even though he barely said a word, I felt he screamed so loud on the inside. Never once though, did he compare himself to his friend, a bitter rant about how he could have been better. Again, this is consistent with who he is (at least, how I see him).

Lily, on the other hand, made me smile and not necessarily in a good way. There are many characterisations of Lily Evans, all on different sides of the scale. We are led to believe that she was an extremely good person who deserved every nice thing in the world. Recently, I've taken on a more jaded approach. She's not that good, but she isn't bad either. In her life, she's been through a lot - from her sister's rejection, and at this point in your timeline, Severus's as well. She has begun to realise that not everything exists in black and white.

Don't think too highly of me, will you? I don't deserve it and don't dispute that fact.

If I had to pick a favourite line, it would be this one. She summed up everything about him and herself.

For me, it was at that point that whatever they had, was lost. She is no saint and she knew it; Remus should have taken her word for it.

I'm really glad we got this exchange. This is a fantastic one-shot and I'm thrilled I got to read it. You should feel proud :)


Author's Response: Hi Lia! I'm not sorry that I made you feel like that as it showed what I was trying to do worked :P

I know what you mean about how much they would suit one another, which is why I'm surprised other pairings such as Sirius/Lily and Snape/Lily are a lot more popular, even compared to Jily Remus and Lily make a lot more sense to me for those exact reasons you listed.

I'm so glad that you found his characterisation was spot on because I've always had a soft spot for him and want to do him proud. I think the whole thing about him being quiet and never saying what he really thinks is his biggest downfall in a way despite it being an arguably good quality as it just lets people trample over him at times. Aw, poor Remus because the one he time he does stand up he gets rejected by Harry.

I've taken a jaded approach to her recently too. I think with all the issues in her life such as Snape, Petunia and then being a Muggleborn she couldn't have been this balanced and normal person everyone makes her out to be, so I had fun twisting it here. I'm so glad that you liked that line as it was one of my favourites too.

Thank you for this wonderful review, and I'm really glad I got you in the exchange too!


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Review #19, by lia_2390Devil's Snare: Beyond the Pale

5th October 2013:
I meant to review this ages ago, and only now have I gotten back here.

This was incredible. Tom is presented so different in the first chapter that I'm fooled. This definitely did not go the way I expected it to. Like Pomona, I am immediately charmed and in awe of this deceitfully handsome creature. But this is how those types of relationships go, isn't it? Naive girl with scales in her eyes, because she's unable to see the monster that truly stands before her. Pomona Sprout, by the way, is an interesting choice. She's a very obscure character, and along the way, you've included what she loved best and used it to your (and Tom's) advantage. You turned it against her in the end - the biggest irony of them all.

I love what you've done with Tom. You've placed him in a role one wouldn't think of putting him in. It's all very carefully done and he's a subtle character. He's also a closet sociopath, like one of those guys you'd see in those serial killer movies. He shows no remorse and he has this insatiable need to devour everything in sight, but tries really hard to keep it in. My goodness, he's just perfect, isn't he? I am amazed that you thought of writing him in this capacity.

As vivid as your description is, it isn't overwhelming at all. I'm actually quite envious of it. In this last chapter, there is certainly a build up. The final mask as shattered into millions of pieces, leaving this creature left. You even gave us a taste of what was to come before, in the previous chapter. It was interesting to see things from his perspective.

I can't believe you killed her though! I was hoping that she'd get out. Why did she stay and watch his little seizure? Why didn't she run? I'm convinced that was a ploy to get her to stick around. If his hunger is so strong within him to bring about such a reaction, then I'm so sorry for the rest of the (fictional) world he's about to wreak havoc in.

There was something else I wanted to mention from the last chapter. His frustration at not being able to feel anything from those words "I love you." I thought that was a great touch, and it rings true later on in his life too. It can explain why he does the things he does, and why his insides live for death and violence. The thing is, he had to command her to say it, so it really wasn't sincere. I wonder what would happen had he found one person in the world who actually felt like that. I'm sure Pomona had a strong infatuation with him all for what she accepted at face value. What she thought was 'love' really wasn't. Even in this chapter, she finds it hard to believe his feelings weren't sincere.

Hoo boy, I think I've rambled enough. You have done a fantastic job, Sarah! This story deserves so much more recognition than it's gotten so far.


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Review #20, by lia_2390Free Fall: Free Fall

24th September 2013:
There's always something about your one-shots that I love. They capture all that the audience needs to see (if they look hard enough) and maybe a little bit more.

This one-shot in particular was very sad, but it hid nothing about what was to come. Actually, it was very matter-of-fact in that regard which made me long for a happier ending more than anything else.

What I like most of all in your one-shot is the characterisation which shows both Remus and Tonks in a different light. Remus is a bit rougher around the edges. He doesn't have the weight of the world on his shoulders, but he's seen things. Tonks is trying as hard as she can not to be linked with anyone on her mother's side of the family. I find this a bit odd because I've never seen her as a Black at all. She was just Tonks.

This was a Remus/Tonks fic that highlighted different parts of their relationship. It really didn't go into the romantic-y bits at all, but this isn't that kind of story. For me, I feel like I'm trying to cling to what you've written about them together. Maybe that was your intention all along.


Author's Response: Hey! You got it.

You really understood this. You know sometimes I love getting reviews that analyze what I write, just so that I can go 'oh, so THAT was what I was trying to do'. My intention was to portray their love story, but to portray it as shortlived, sad and intense. And if you're clinging to those moments, then I've fulfilled my intention.

It's incredibly dark, yes. I think I tapped into Tonk's history with the Blacks because I wanted to explore that part of her which was never truly explored in the books. It may very well be that she never thought of her mother's side of the family and that break. I just know that I would have. And I like to explore character's relationship to families and relatives they don't know - to have them somewhat guessing, retracing traits to find patterns that connect them to where they come from.

So I get what you're saying about Tonks, I just wanted to explore another side to her, to enhance parts that were hidden by JK.

Remus. Remus is how I always imagined him to be like. Kind, patient and rough. I'm pleased that you caught on to that.

Thank you so much for reviewing! It really means a lot.

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Review #21, by lia_2390Black Sands: In the House of the Goddess

6th September 2013:
Have you ever thought of watching people read your work? I imagine you'll been grinning like a cheshire, especially after this last chapter. Because, what in all actuality? Holy crap! Okay, I'm trying to put things into perspective.

Let's go back to the beginning with Cadogan. I wonder what brought him here. Moody's line about him "appearing out of nowhere" first led me to believe he came out of the tomb itself, but then he could have apparated there too, but how? He probably followed her and saw her apparate in the alley as well, so perhaps my musings of Moody were wrong in that regard. But how did the two of them meet? What was the reason for it? If in the end, the same person who drew them together tore them apart because Mr. E went a bit too far. Or, he found out about something he wasn't supposed to. Was he really a lonely man looking for something like Helen was? Gahh, there are so many things, but this is why I love mysteries to much.

After Helen found the demonology book, she should realise this is something far, far beyond her control. I think that who is responsible, definitely was released from the tomb - the same one that caused the wind to blow up around her in such away back in chapter three - which is why I mentioned that of course she has to look like Ankhesenamun. (Maybe I'm thinking more of the Mummy's plot...I dunno). It made me go back to re-read the prologue. Mentions of Seth (the red-headed one) and the daemon.

The dream is the most puzzling of all. I honestly don't think she was speaking to Cadogan there, but to Seth himself. It's as if Cadogan was only a vessel or a puppet being manipulated by a greater being. Then there's the interest in Philae...the rumoured burial ground of Osiris who was killed by his brother Seth...


Author's Response: Oh yes! It would be fun to watch their faces, gauge their reactions... it would also be really useful, more useful than reviews (because most people write them once they've had time to think things through - there's a lot less immediacy to it).

This chapter is a bit of a doozy. It re-introduces some of the mystical elements of the prologue, and it's uncertain how much of Helen's experience on the boat is part of the dream world and how much is actually real. It seems that Cadogan is at the centre of that boundary between dream and reality, and there's much about him that Helen still has to discover. ;)

Haha, your point about Helen looking like Ankhesenamun has made me come up with a terribly mean plot twist. Thank you... though you might not thank me later...

Aahh, again, I have to remain silent on many things. I love reading your questions to see how you're piecing the mystery together. It's helpful because I've taken so long to actually figure out the plot of this story that I can't always remember what clues I've left along the way. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing this story! It means a lot to have heard from you. ^_^

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Review #22, by lia_2390Black Sands: In the Blink of an Eye

6th September 2013:
Ooh yes. I do love a good mystery.

I wonder why Helen never thought of asking who recommended her to Mr E. I think it would make an interesting conversation, but it's too early in the game for those kind of revelations.

Helen continues to be awesome. There's much discussion on the rare 'strong female character' on the internet, and Helen simply proves to be a strong character. She's rebellious, looking out for /her/ needs, and she'll lie if she has to. However, she's not doing a great job at trying to lie to Moody. I suppose it takes one to know one.

With the tomb opening, I wonder if more than just a curse left it. I try not to believe in coincidences, so a lot of things that happened were inevitable. There is too much magic around to not think that this curse is legit. This are too weird at the moment. I keep thinking about Moody and his background. He might not be magical, but it doesn't mean he isn't supposed to be...i.e. suppose he's a Squib? (It's a bit far-fetched though) I won't put it past him to be the one who followed her into the alleyway and saw her Apparate. There are so many things that they need to say to each other, but they refuse.

Then there's this murder. I thought of the killing curse the moment it was mentioned that there was no blood. Something bigger is at stake here. It makes me think that someone is playing up this curse to hide something else.

Author's Response: Time for a confession: Helen never thought to ask because I didn't think of it. *hides* It would have been a good idea, wouldn't it? Even with what happens later, it's still something she has to figure out - how did Cadogan find her?

I'm so glad to hear that you like Helen. There was a time when I didn't particularly like her - she felt too far removed from me when I first started writing this story, but perhaps she's just someone I had to grow into. The fact that she's a Slytherin makes her perfect for this story because she needs to be resourceful and, more importantly, look after herself, no matter the cost. It's gotten her this far.

Sadly, I can't say more without being spoilerish. I feel like River Song when responding to your reviews, but too much of this story relies on the details.

Thank you again for your lovely reviews! ^_^ I hope that you keep enjoying this story!

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Review #23, by lia_2390Black Sands: In Conversation with Madmen

6th September 2013:
Oh boy. This chapter took a serious turn. I'd never say no to the Helen/Moody banter, but if only she wasn't so stubborn. I thought that he was the one who recommended her for the job with Mr Cadogan, but now I'm not so sure. I don't trust him at all and I highly doubt Cadogan is his real name. And as for Moody, I suspect he is trying desperately to warn her (though we got an admission about possible seduction! I'm a tad bit too excited about that, but never mind).

I think that Helen wasn't the only one to feel different when the tomb was opened. Maybe he's not so Muggle as she thinks.

While the possible threat that someone in her family is still looking for her, I think this one is much more immediate. It's only a matter of time until the curse manifests.

Author's Response: Oh yes, on with the banter. It's fantastic when you can find the right set of characters that can carry it off. When I re-read this chapter, I always giggle over the number of times that Helen thinks about Moody and how conscious she is of her actions around him. Cadogan is a far more shadowy figure in his apparent simplicity - Moody is indeed right to warn Helen that Cadogan isn't quite what he seems to be.

I want to respond to your other points, but I keep finding that my explanations are filled with spoilers. *hides* Sorry for this short response.

Thank you again for your reviews! It's wonderful to hear your thoughts on this story. :D

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Review #24, by lia_2390Black Sands: In the Temple of Luxor

6th September 2013:
Alexander Moody is such a case! He is so infuriating! I have sat here and cackled with laughter. Poor Helen! I knew things weren't looking good from the moment he appeared at her side. I probably would have turned him into a toad too.

When you first mentioned the Winter Palace, I thought of Russia, but considering the context, I was a few years too late. Both of them are lovely places though, filled with history.

Somehow I get the feeling that we haven't heard the last of Canis Malfoy. There's a reason authors include certain things even if they won't be mentioned for a while. The fact that these goons showed up with their European-ness doesn't help much either. However, these guys don't seem to know who she is. Hmm. We shall see.

Author's Response: The benefit of writing about witches is that they can constantly imagine turning people into toads. :P I wouldn't be surprised if Helen was driven to it one day - Moody knows just the right buttons to push. He's a crazy character to write, especially with the chemistry he has with Helen - when they're together "on screen", there's a wonderful tension that's fun to play with. It's the kind of tension that reminds me how much fun writing can be. :D

I'm still trying to find the best way to bring Canis Malfoy back into the story. He may not fit, but I feel that he's too important to leave out entirely - there's more between him and Helen than she's letting on.

Thank you again for reading and reviewing! ^_^

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Review #25, by lia_2390Black Sands: In the Valley of the Kings

6th September 2013:
Hey Susan, this is one of (hopefully) many reviews you will get for this story - for the TGS review exchange. I'm so sorry you never got yours (even after all this time). So we're trying to correct that for everyone on that list.

I started to read this a while ago, and I can honestly never get bored with it. There are so many themes you've created while writing this story and I don't think I can get to all of them in this review alone! I'll be reviewing as I read so bear with me.

In this chapter so far, you've given us some back story about Helen Black. Other than the main conflict from chapter one, there are others to be discussed as the story continues. For one, it's the 1920s, she's an unmarried woman in a strange place, and she's broke. Did I mention it was the 1920s? It fits though. It's after the war - not one as catastrophic as the other which will come 15 or so years later - but women had to advance themselves since men were absent or too injured to do it. I think she's awesome.

Helen is hilarious. The narrative is very witty and reminds me of a Jane Austen heroine that you're channelling.

Ah Moody. Why must you be so muscular and persistent? And an American farm boy? For me, this is a case of where fandoms collide, and it's a joy for you to bring both of them together. HP and The Mummy. I think I mentioned this in an earlier review. If only Helen was with her brother…I hope you have a sidekick written in. I also love the historical aspect of this fic. A rather prolific one at that.

I love how you're able to transition from a seemingly light-hearted tone to one that makes the reader unsettled. Definitely a sign of what is to come, because Helen's wit and Moody's persistence would not be enough :P

Oh...and of course Helen happens to look like
Ankhesenamun. ..of course.

This fic has so many things! Ahhh! I'm sorry I could not find anything constructive to say :( But I've enjoyed this a great deal :)


Author's Response: This is a wonderful surprise! Thank you very much, Lia, for taking the time to review this story - and so many chapters of it too! I can't express how much it means. ^_^

You've captured the time period in a nutshell. It feels like it should be the complete opposite of the period described in the prologue, but at the core of both stories, Helen and the princess aren't that different - they both have this powerful dynastic history behind them, yet they look onto a bleak future. They're still confined by patriarchal structures, which leads the princess into an unwanted marriage with the wizard and Helen into poverty (and she herself barely escaped an unwanted marriage). Hopefully I'll be able to do more with these parallels as their two worlds collide.

Haha, yes, how could I help being inspired by "The Mummy"? XD It's actually more of an influence than I thought - I didn't even notice those connections!

Thank you again for reading and reviewing this story! I hope that you enjoy the rest. :D

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