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9 Reviews Found

Review #1, by ad astra 

20th June 2015:
House Cup 2015 Review - Slytherin

I don't know what it says about me that the more I read this story, the more I love Gellert and the more I look forward to reading his chapters. The Dark Lord and malevolent dictator, perpetrator of war crimes and what can only be described as a reign of terror throughout Europe, and you make him a poet who loves watching the snow fall. File that under: things I should not find oddly heartwarming.

Work was calling; no doubt there would be time to ruminate on declarations of love made by silent admirers once I had installed a new world order. I love this line so much I can't even express to you how much I love this line

The will of the people is a powerful thing, Albus, as no doubt you know now. On it, empires rise and fall, politicians cast their souls, and the whims of God are made clear. I love this line for entirely different reasons. This story is in every way testament to your abilities as a linguist and a historian as well as a writer, down to the simple fact that you created the Codex Alaricium for this chapter. The authenticity of your setting is incredible and it adds so much depth and vibrancy to the story.

Author's Response: Hi again, Lisa! :D Thank you so much for stopping by - it's been so so amazing getting these reviews, especially from you, and I'm just so incredibly grateful for them, so thank you! :)

Thank you! :D It is one of those things - he's quite a fun character to write because opinions on him vary so differently - some people like him, some people still hate him. It's something I love about writing him - it makes it much more interesting to see what responses you get from things, if people change their minds and things. And yeah, I really, really didn't want to leave him as a kind of 2D Dark Lord figure, and for some reason poetry seemed to suit him - words in general are his sort of thing, though. I'm so glad you like it, though! :) Sometimes things which seem to make sense to me don't seem to make sense to other people :P

Gah, thank you! :) Gellert has his priorities sorted, for sure :P

Thank you so so much! I seem to say this so often in your review responses, but I'm just so blown away by your comments I'm just lost for words most of the time, so thank you! Languages and history are two of my favourite things and two hobbies as well as areas of interest, and a lot of that does feed into this, and I just love that you like that. (The Codex Alaricium came from law classes, though - not in name, but in form, sort of? :P)

Thank you so so much for the amazing set of reviews, they've been so so incredible to get, and I'm so so grateful for every one I've got, so thank you so much! :)

Aph xx


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Review #2, by Dojh167 

17th June 2015:
Sam here for our review swap

I remember reading the first part of this chapter, though it looks like I didn't get all the way through it.

As usual, your imagery is beautiful. Just by glancing over the first part of the chapter which I read weeks, ago, I am powerfully transported to the frozen cell that I remember you creating so perfectly. I think the fact that your imagery is so strong that it has that effect from the memory of having read it says a lot.

I really like the sense of missed connection that you establish with the flowers. The fact that Gellert didn't even consider that it was Albus who sent them says a lot about how his thoughts and priorities have shifted.

I enjoyed Gellert's logic about not being able to get what he ans by taking control of the Minister. He shows a high level of political intelligence here that makes his journey a lot more interesting to follow than that of somebody who is thoughtlessly power hungry.

Wait, they're not allowed to use magic in the hall of records, but he smokes a cigarette? That seems odd.

I like how you wrote Mathaus. The line where you said that they had the same initial reactions to each other was very interesting and really helped set the tone for the scene. I'm glad that you put the twists on their interaction that Mathaus would help Gellert get where he wanted, but also their first "conquest."

I'm really interested to hear how Gellert's journey develops.

Thanks for the swap!

Sam.

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Review #3, by nott theodore 

21st May 2015:
Hi Laura! I shouldn't be here. I really shouldn't be here - I have to get up in six hours and I promised myself an early night, but I saw that you were one review away from an enormous landmark and now I'm typing as fast as I can to try and be the person to get you there :D

Your description. How? Please, please teach me your ways and share just a little bit of the talent that you've got for imagery. The opening to this chapter was just so beautiful, with Gellert looking out from his prison cell in Nurmengard and watching the snowstorm. I didn't think that I would read something that made a snowstorm sound so incredibly beautiful and magical, but I just have. I really loved the way that Gellert was so fascinated and mesmerized by the scene - which I think is easy to be when you're watching snow fall - but he sees the cruelty in what is happening and still thinks it's beautiful; he picks up on the power there and admires it for that. Just those tiny things, the way that he views a snowstorm, tell us so much about his character and you've really captured him so well.

Since you're switching perspectives every chapter in this story, I also really like the fact that the style of the opening of each chapter is the same, which then follows onto the next stage in their story. It lets us relax back into ttheir narratives but also is just such wonderful writing that I can't help loving it.

The fact that Gellert thinks of Albus when he watches the storm shows a lot too - even after all these years, it is the other that they think of rather than anyone else they've come across romantically in their lives, and that says so much. It's like they still want to share moments with each other even when they're impossibly separated. It was sad seeing Gellert's thoughts on Albus and his guilt, too

I loved the fact that you've already told us now where this story - or at least Gellert's reign - will end, back in the same place his story started; I really like the circular element that adds to the narrative and there's almost something poetic about it.

I'm so intrigued to know if the flowers actually were from Albus or if it was another of Gellert's admirers - I can't tell if they actually are from him or if, now, looking back on the events, Gellert just wants them to be from Albus.

So I know there aren't many Albus/Gellert stories on the archives at all, and I haven't seen any apart from this one which really focus on their lives as a whole as well as telling their romance, but this is such an original story. I have never really thought before about how Gellert started gaining power, and how he influenced people so much and gained followers to the extent that he had power over a lot of Europe and people wanted Albus to stop him before he got to Britain, but this version makes so much sense to me. I really like the fact that it's so different from the way we know Tom Riddle went about gaining power - this is almost a more natural path into it. To start at the bottom and work up, gaining the trust of and getting to know the people who make the decisions until you can influence them to do what you want, is a very clever way of doing it; like Gellert says, he has to change the way people think and that's what he tries to do with his path here, which shows how different to Voldemort he is.

It's both sad and kind of scary to see Gellert being forced to do such mundane work that bored him out of his mind, because we know he's so brilliant. The parallels that you were able to draw there with Albus and his situation were great; even when they were torn apart they were still linked and thought of each other a lot. I can't think of anything that reflects that fact better than seeing the way that Gellert still thinks of himself as making conquests for him and Albus. for their plans rather than just his own. It clearly indicates how close he still feels - in his heart and mind at least - to Albus and the fact that he remained in his mind when he was planning to take power. I'm so intrigued to see if that'll continue to happen as he progresses on his journey.

And I really should go to bed now so I'm going to post this and hope that nobody else ninja'ed and got there before me to the 100th review. No matter, this was a beautiful chapter and I'm so excited for you to reach 100 reviews on this amazing story!

Sian :)

Edit: wah Beth got there before me :( but now you can say you've passed 100 reviews and congratulations anyway! ♥

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Review #4, by TreacleTart 

20th May 2015:
Hi Aph!

I'm here for our review swap!

After a short break from this story, I'm back for some more. I have to admit that I really have to take these chapters slowly, one at a time, and really let the meaning of them sink in. There's so much detail that it almost gives me a system overload...and I mean this in the best way.

I do notice that at points, Albus and Gellert sound fairly similar. It's easy enough to tell them apart because of what they're talking about, where they are, and the occasional way that you slip the name of the other person into the chapter. I imagine that the reason they sound so similar is because they actually are so similar in a lot of senses. They're both brilliant, talented, young, and becoming disillusioned with the world, although for different reasons.

I particularly love the end of this chapter and how you've shown how disillusioned and power hungry Gellert is getting. The boredom with the normalcy of his job and his desire to affect massive change are very clear. His response to the Ministry representative really highlighted that all very nicely.

The tone of this whole chapter feels ominous, but in such a strange way. It's so beautifully described that it makes it almost feel light and flowy, except for the fact that we know he's only a few short steps away from trying to take over the world or at least Europe.

Another lovely chapter. As always, it's a pleasure to read your work. I'll be back for more soon!

~Kaitlin

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Review #5, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap 

13th March 2015:
To truly change a nation, to forge a future and send a continent, even a world, hurtling down the road to progression and freedom from oppression, one has to change the will of the people, and the will of the people is not so easily persuaded as the mind of a single man.

It’s a little unsettling to think of the what if’s because if they had never separated but instead loved each other and gone off together for the Hallows I wonder what destruction the two of them would have caused. Do you think Albus would have sided with Gellert and just done as he had done? They were both childish young men and had dreams and ideas and power. Albus still had all of that but he changed once his sister died. So, if that didn’t happen I think he would have joined Gellert in this ‘change the world’ and ‘domination’ thing he had going. Albus Dumbledore could have been as dangerous as Lord Voldemort. The two of them together could have been either the best or worse thing to happen to the world.

But then again Albus isn’t like Gellert in the sense he’s not a politican. Politicans are…how do I put this nicely…untrustworthy and slimey people (most of them let’s be real).

Author's Response: Hey there again! :) Thank you so much for stopping by again - I can't believe you've gone through so much of this so quickly, it's amazing! :)

Yeah, it's definitely a very nervous thought, haha! I don't really know... I think they would have ended up going off together and perhaps following a similar course, maybe, though if Gellert listened/was influenced by Albus, it might have been better? It's definitely an interesting question to think about - they're a very volatile and powerful combination, I think. Gellert isn't quite as domineering as he thinks he is, though :P But yes, they could have been anywhere from best to worst, that's for sure! ;)

Albus is far less of a politician, I think, and he's much more cautious, which makes him a bit better. He's still political, though, and still radical, just he has less passion about it, in a way, I think. But god yes, so many politicians are so awful... all out for themselves and nothing else. Ugh :P

Thank you so much for the lovely review! :)


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Review #6, by pottered  

22nd February 2015:
omg aw Albus sent the liliacs to Gellert, I'm happy and sad. Oo so in a way Gellert found his puppet; mathaus. No matter how vile Gellert can be, I love him.

Author's Response: Hi there again - thank you so much for dropping by! :)

It's not all that sad! :P I really wanted him to do something with the declaration - something Gryffindor-ish, but not completely mad, hence flowers :P It's just a shame Gellert doesn't understand who they're from... Ooh, Mathaus... he's not going to be much of a puppet, but he's definitely the kind of person someone like Gellert will find useful, if that makes sense ;) And Gellert will get a lot worse as things go on, haha, I promise! :P He's is kinda sweet at times, though :P

Thank you so much for the lovely review! :)

Aph xx


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Review #7, by crestwood 

15th February 2015:
Hi Laura! I went to review this last night, but I was far too tired to say anything that would do this justice. Hopefully today my mind is in the right state to approach all of this.

I wonder what you write down when you plan or if you plan at all. Like, I imagine you just writing something like 'say some stuff about winter and snow and stuff' and you just know what to do. I can't really comprehend how you take things that I don't think all that much about and turn them into such a beautiful series of words. I could probably lock you in a bathroom and tell you to write down what you see and receive all manner of wondrous prose about the way the light shines off of the toilet and the way the room folds back on itself in the mirror and I would be excited to read it. Basically, what I am saying is that you write the most gorgeous description of anyone I've ever read. (Not just talking about fic, either)

Gellert's voice in this story will never get old. Just the self assured way he speaks gets to me every time. I can almost hear the matter of fact tone in the line - 'Outside my window, the snow keeps falling, beautiful and wild and free and deadly, and I cannot help but be reminded of what I once was; and I was all those things, once, Albus, for that is why you loved me, yes?'

A lot of the time, it isn't just the vocabulary used that's so impressive, it's the sentence structure itself. It's remarkable the way you phrase things. You just choose the absolute ideal way to say everything you're trying to convey. This story makes reviewing so easy, like I could write essays about how remarkable it is. It's simultaneously a feat in poignancy and a tour de force in aesthetic quality.

I love that Gellert influenced the legal system through Mathaus Adenauer. It makes sense that he'd have come across some like-minded people before he began his plans, it only makes sense that he could not do what he did alone. I'm always surprised by how nicely this fits into my headcanon of this time period and all of the events leading up to Gellert's reign. The fact that he knows law is of no surprise to me, being who he is. I'd say that making up your own legal code was a nice touch. I must say, I love Gellert's forward thinking nature, if he is thinking toward a less than ideal future. You've really kept his characterization so consistent throughout this story. I can't believe I'm only six chapters in. I feel like I've read full novels about these two.

This chapter was spectacular as always. Thank you so much for the swap :)

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Review #8, by AlexFan 

14th January 2015:
Personally, Gellert doesn’t seem out of character to me, he sounds the same as he did in the previous chapters that were told in his point of view so I don’t think you have anything to worry about there. He still has that tone of voice where it seems like he’s making little jabs at Albus to try and get a reaction out of him with stuff like “I’ll probably go insane here and then you’ll have that on your conscience.” (I can’t believe I’m only noticing this now). I also like how you added yet another layer to Gellert’s character by showing that this is a man that lives on being the center of attention.

Honestly, I like Gellert more than I like Albus. Gellert is more direct and sharp, he doesn’t beat around the bush and he’ll tell you what’s on his mind whether you want to hear or not, no matter who you are. I like that he’s unapologetic about what he says and believes. I like how Gellert isn’t modest, he knows exactly what he is capable of and how intelligent he is, just like Albus does, but unlike Albus, Gellert doesn’t try to make what he can do any less than what it is. He won’t go around bragging about it but he won’t deny that he’s brilliant and it’s just really appealing how confident he is. Gellert is just my favourite character.

I thought there was definitely plot in the chapter, maybe it was a little slow in the beginning but you had to give some background so that the reader could understand what was going on and then it picked up and went at a steady pace that kept the chapter interesting. I personally thought it flowed really well, everything connected together really well and just in general, I would say this was really well written.

Author's Response: Hi there - thank you so much for stopping by again! :)

Thank you so much! I was so worried about that because this chapter felt very different to previous ones when I was writing it. Yeah, he's very bitterly scathing towards Albus in a way, even though Albus can't actually hear him or read it or anything, it's more a matter of principle. :P Yeah, I always thought of him as a sort of egocentric person - he thrives on attention, so being deprived of it isn't really good for him, in terms of himself.

Haha, really? Well, you're definitely the first :P (Apart from maybe Albus himself, lol) But yeah, Gellert is a lot less inclined to be sympathetic and cover things up if they're harsh than Albus is, though he's not any less likely to cover things for his own agenda. I really wanted him to be apologetic, too, so I'm so glad you like that, because to me it's a very important part of his character, and it distinguishes him from Voldemort, which I really wanted to do. Modesty is not a thing Gellert is really familiar with, or tries to be familiar with. It's a good thing and a bad thing, I think; it's not always something people appreciate, particularly given that he's not inclined to overestimating other people, either. I'm just so happy you like him, though, because I really wanted to make him more than just evil, you know? :)

I really tried to get the plot moving along a bit for Gellert in this one, especially given that now he has the Elder Wand... he needs the revolution! :P Yeah, I tried to cut down the background stuff, but I wasn't sure it would really make sense shorter, hence the length. I'm so glad you didn't think it dragged too much, though - I'm always so nervous about that! :)

Thank you so much for the lovely - it was so great to get, as always! :)

Aph xx


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Review #9, by Red_headed_juliet 

17th December 2014:
I decided to read the whole thing for our swap. +] Just yesterday I said to my hubby "I miss second person point of view" and then I find this!!

I love reading about Gellert/Albus. I'm a sucker for tragedy, and a Ravenclaw, so the abounding intelligence is just addicting.

I have to attack this review logically or it is going to make no sense. (And I'm so sorry, but this is going to be giant.)

Characterization: Your Albus Dumbledore is the perfect amount of hopeless romantic, niave lover, proud intellect, and quirky observer. Everything is just so well constructed, it would make sense that he aged into the character we know and love from the series. I also appreciate the little things. How he calls Gellert my darling when he feels sentimental, and how he apologizes for how affected he was by the loss of him. It's really very interesting to read.

I have to say that I look forward to Gellert's parts more. There's just something about him that I find addicting. The way he seems so collected and hopeful, and then out of nowhere so dangerous and unbalanced. The way Dumbledore speaks about him is only supported by his own internal musings, and it's sad to see how well they know each other. I think the line about how 'there's nothing to say or we already know all there is to say' is very accurate on how a relationship between them would've worked. With men of such intuitive intelligence, the subject matter of intimate conversations would be predictable.

I also find it noteworthy that he has never said/thought Ariana's name, and only refence he makes to her is as 'the girl'. The kind of detachment he shows towards the whole event in general pretty much showcases the difference between him and Albus.

Descriptions:

Beautiful. As an American, I have never seen Paris, Wales, Bulgaria, or any of those places, but your imagery is more than able to paint a vibrant picture. Also, the way you tie in landscape and environments with deeper moods and associations is very subtle yet impactful. It really conveys how deeply they affected each other, and how they were never able to escape from their passions.

Plot:

I've never given any thought to the interim between Ariana's death, and his downfall.

Now that you've brought that span of years to my attention, I'm very VERY interested in what is going to continue to happen. The foreknowledge is killer, it really is. The fact that they are aware of it also lends to the overall tragic tone and mood of the piece (which I absolutely love).

I'm very interested to hear more about Mathaus, for example, and I'm thinking that must have been the man that 'they' killed unjustly in Gellert's eyes...

Style:

The way you've written this, from the deeply engrained metaphors, to the duality between conversation and silence, love and passion, hope and desperation, all of it tastefully and artfully done. There is certainly a reason this got a Dobby award. You certainly deserved it.

Nothing stands out as awkward, or misplaced. The transitions are all well timed and correctly transitioned. Tense is consistent, even though foreknowledge is often very difficult to write when doing things chronologically, not to mention writing in second person point of view from two different view points!

I'm definitely so glad that I got to read this, and will be coming back for more!

Until next time!

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