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8 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Penelope Inkwell 

13th September 2015:
UGH! Rowena is the worst! I love how, for a moment, you had her complement Helena, and I was like, "Wait! Was that...did she just say a nice thing?" And then she immediately turns around and ruins it. No wonder Helena has such low self-worth, poor thing. Her mother just tears her down at every opportunity. It's like she's so in love with her own wisdom that she doesn't want to take the risk that her daughter might learn to think for herself, might learn to challenge her, or might prove herself just as clever or more so than her mother.

I'm highly suspicious of the baron. I mean, it's all well and good that supposedly he thinks women can learn and be intellectual equals, but does he really? And there are these "rumors" that are worrying. Not to mention the fact that we totally know he's a murderer, so that's a bit of a character spoiler right there :/

I wonder if she really will marry him, or if she'll run before then.

Girls conceal, boys reveal. On and on and on, I can list examples of my separate life from the other half. Which is why it makes no sense. Why keep us apart? Why keep us separate? I cannot live with someone if I do not know their habits.
--this was quite sensible of Helena. I can see why she's a Ravenclaw. Separating boys and girls never made much sense to me, either, and I think she explains the concept perfectly, as well as the restrictions on women that are not placed on men. The conceal and reveal line was very quick and clever. She's smarter than she knows.

Pull, stretch, smile, her commands from years back still have their effect on me.
--this was a good line!

CC:
I no longer do a lots of things because of you.
--it seems like maybe this should be "I no longer do a lot of things..."

Good work! And congratulations again on your Dobby nomination!

--Penny

Author's Response: I know she really does suck as a mum as she's just so cruel and unforgiving and all Helena needs is a hug and not constant criticism. Boo to Rowena even though it pains me to say that as a Claw but I think when people are too focused on intelligence, it can lead to a focus on a perfection hence why she keeps on badgering Helena.

Be suspicious! I shan't say why but given that he does end up killing Rowena should be a big enough indicator that he isn't all what he seems!

I know, it never made much sense and even though gender segregation is nowhere near as prominent as it was then it still makes me question why they are so keen to define the differences between them and point them out rather than embrace and integrate them.

Thanks for pointing out the CC and this review, it was so useful and lovely! ♥

-Kiana


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Review #2, by HeyMrsPotter 

11th September 2015:
She is not charming, she is not normal, she is not even pretty, Wow, Rowena isn't getting mother of the year award any time soon is she? What an awful woman!

Oh no, not the Baron! Rowena paints such a good picture of him too, wanting women to persue their interests and such. But still, we all know how that story ends.

Another great chapter, Kiana!

Dee

Author's Response: I know, boo to Rowena she sucks so much in this story and if a Claw is saying that you know she's bad. :P

That's what makes it even worse :( But I did enjoy writing him as there are a few more twists to come so hopefully he surprises you!

Thanks for this fab review Dee! ♥

-Kiana


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Review #3, by Beeezie 

14th April 2015:
Hi, Kiana! Iím back for BvB. :)

Oh, yikes. Helenaís relationship with her mother really is so fraught. I canít say I blame her, really, but itís a really thought-provoking view of Rowena that I donít think Iíve run across before. I like it a lot, though, because I think itís actually really effective at showing a darker side to a lot of the traits that are really characteristic of Ravenclaw as a house. I can see how, taken to its logical conclusion, an analytical and intellectual nature could lead to being cold and distant. Itís really thought-provoking, and it makes me wonder whether sheís like this with everyone or just her daughter.

My heart really goes out to Helena and Eleanor, because I just canít see this story having a happy ending - since, as you mention in your A/N, we know that the baron kills her, and it seems like she was still fairly young at the time.

I am wondering whether Helena and Eleanor run away after the baron arrives. Helena seems so focused on Eleanor that I canít see her falling for the baron, really (although I guess itís possible that sheíll initially be intrigued and question whether it would really be so bad, since thereís no denying that it would be easier). Itís been interesting, though, to see Eleanor voicing the same concerns Helena was in previous chapters. I wonder if sheís trying to distance herself from Helena, a little - maybe even subconsciously rather than consciously.

This was another great chapter. :) I can't wait to see what happens next!

Author's Response: Hey Branwen!

I know, it really isn't good at all, but it does change a lot later on so keep yours eye out for that. Yes, I thought it would be interesting to focus on how Ravenclaws could be just as bad as Slytherins could be, as the pursuit of intelligence and perfection can be a bad thing if taken too far, and I think that's the case with Rowena. I think with Rowena she finds her to deal with complex emotions, hence why her relationship is worse with Helena than with other people.

I know, I'm sorry but it has to happen, but there are few more things which happen before we reach that point.

Hmmm, I can't answer that as that would be giving away the rest of the story, but I will say that Helena is guided by her own will at the end of it and she does what she thinks is right. Hmm, as for the case of Eleanor, there will be more twists and turns for regarding her, but I can't say more than that.

Thanks for this fab review! ♥

-Kiana


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Review #4, by Aphoride 

14th February 2015:
Hey there, Kiana! :) Happy Valentine's (Singles! :P) Day! :D

I think I've said this before, but your writing in this story, the characterisation of both Eleanor and Helena and Rowena, the plot in it - all of it is just amazing. It's so breathtaking, it's actually really hard to review, because it feels too much like I'm just repeating myself over and over again :P

Is it bad that as sorry as I feel for Helena and Eleanor, and how Helena has to get married and try then to preserve their relationship during that, I do also feel a little sorry for Rowena? There's something so sad about her constantly being so disappointed in her daughter and not understanding, even if it's unspeakably cruel to Helena :( You kinda just want to bang their heads together and make them get along, almost.

Your Helena is amazing, though. I love how romantic she is, but how angsty she is, too - though it's so realistic for the time. There really is no hope for them, and there's something so captivatingly brave about their whole romance and relationship which I just love to pieces - even more so because we know it's doomed, you know? In this chapter, I loved the way you had her practice walking the way she was instructed - for some reason, it struck me pretty deeply, as though simply by conforming to walk in the 'right way', it's a symbol of a deeper conformity and a deeper repression, almost. I have no idea if that's what you were going for, though :P

Also, the whole musing on how men and women are so different was so cool - it's one of those things which is so sensible if you think about it, haha, like it makes sense! :P Rationally, it's perfect! :)

Your writing, as always in this, is an absolute tour-de-force - your description, your dialogue, the set-up of this chapter and the entire plot overall. Especially the description. I adore the little inclusions of religion in this, and your use of colour with the blue for lies. It's so, so lovely! So evocative and so emotive, too. So, so wonderful - I can't say that enough! :)

So yeah, I love this, and I love you, and this is a wonderful story! Hope you enjoy your Valentine's Day! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey Laura!! Thanks for this lovely Valentine's Day review, I'm so sorry it's taken me a while to get to it. :P

Aw, thank you so much! These two have definitely been among some of my favourite characters to write about as they're just so different from anyone else and you can really explore a wide range of issues with them.

I know, but as we know from canon, Helena never actually ends up married to him, but what caused her to end up in Albania is another question... I get what you mean about Rowena because though she has lots of skills, people skills is something she severely lacks and you really wish that she could work on them because then everything would be better again. Rowena does have a few surprises to come though...

Aw, thank you so much, I'm so glad that you like her as she is very close to my heart. I think that's why I like historical stories so much because unless you went by the prescribed norm, you really didn't stand much of a chance as everyone and thing were acting against you. Aw, thank you, you're definitely right about it symbolising conformity and repression and even though her mother goes outside of societal norms, she still wants her daughter to be within them.

Bahaha, I know, because the whole men are from Mars, women are from Venus is so true are a lot of the time as we really are quite different.

Aw, thank you so much! This review means so much to me as you were so kind and just ♥ ♥

I hope you had a good Valentine's Day too! :D

-Kiana


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Review #5, by BellaLestrange87 

4th February 2015:
This is for the Blue vs Bronze review battle!

So your prose here is just as gorgeous as it was in the first two chapters. I love the imagery you used in the first section and how Helena compared the different stages of her relationship with Eleanor to different ways of living. It really showed just how in love Helena was, and I thought it was cute.

I love your characterization of Rowena here, even though I don't really like her character. You've created such a cold and calculating woman and you've shed a different light on her character from what I usually imagine. Thinking about it, I can now think of a more logical reason why she wanted the smartest students: they were the only ones who were able to match up to her standards. And her characterization also adds to the story: if Rowena had been more caring, Helena might have felt comfortable enough around her mother to talk openly about her sexuality. Instead, nope.

Rowena casually discussing how Helena had no hopes for the future gave me chills. What sort of a mother would choose a man who has had many people express doubts about him as a suitable match for her daughter? Just because Helena apparently needs 'controlling' she does not necessarily need to be controlled. And even this Godric (Gryffindor?) doesn't like him. I have a feeling that this is the Bloody Baron and now you've set up a reason for how the story ends.

I loved Helena's reaction to this. There's a perfect mix of shock and anger there, as anybody finding out that their mother was planning to marry them off (against their will) to a less than desirable man would feel. And this sentence - Secrets floating round and round until they have stained the air a steel blue, the colour of deception. That is perfect. Just perfect.

Helena's logic about the separation of boys and girls and how it doesn't make sense is very interesting, and also made me ask the same questions that she was thinking. If boys and girls are supposed to get married, you should let them mingle so they at least get to know each other before being bound together for life. This quote - They are foreign beings to us. - is also perfect. I'm currently writing a novel that alternates first-person narration from Lily II to a male OC and writing chapters from his perspective is SO HARD because I have no idea how boys think.

Helena and Eleanor definitely aren't going to take this marriage news lying down, and I like that. They shouldn't just roll over and get separated because of political advantage or their parent's innate desire to get their daughters all married off.

At least Rowena is letting Helena get to know the Bloody Baron before she gets married to him. I think if it was any other woman (other than Helena) it might have gone better and she would've been happily married (or unhappily, depending on whether or not she liked him), but since we know Helena's true love, that of course isn't going to happen. However, I suppose Rowena's decision is a bit more free-thinking, from the little I know of the times.

I loved this chapter! Please write more! I know there's the fourth chapter but I'm thinking I should save it so I can savour it later.

~Olivia

Author's Response: Hey Olivia!

I'm so glad that you liked that because when I was writing this, we were discussing in philosophy the whole idea of life and what it is to be, so it sort of drifted into my writing, like lots of other philosophical things did. :P

I know, I don't really like what I've done to her either given that I'm a Claw as this feels like betrayal against my own house, but I feel as if it had to be like this in order for Helena to not be able to open up to her mother. Oooh, I hadn't thought about why she chose students like that before, but I think you're definitely right because she didn't care if they were pureblood or muggleborn, just so long as they were clever she would have taken them in I guess.

I know, Rowena is horrible like that. The sad thing is though it was most often the case for females in that era as they really had no rights at all and could not make any of their own decisions which is so sad as it was just left to their parents. You are right, that is Godric Gryffindor, though I wouldn't be so warm to him as he isn't against arranged marriages in principle, only because he doesn't entirely approve of the man.

I'm glad you liked it and Helena's indignation about this will continue to shape the rest of the story. Her love and respect for her mother really does start to go down here from now on too, as she just can't understand why someone could possibly do that to her.

I'm glad you found it interesting, as I initially didn't even think about it that much, it almost felt as if Helena took over me at that point and started writing that section herself, if that makes any sense. :P Bahaha, I know, boys are so confusing but I suppose they think the same about us girls being strange too, so really they should have integrated them more and they would have had more successful marriages as a result!

No, they are not, and it's definitely going to be all girl power and let us love from now on which is exciting. Albeit in a subtle way given the society that they live in.

I know, that is one good thing about her rather than just forcing it on her. Plus, it means we get to see exactly what the Bloody Baron is like and decide whether he would actually be a good match for Helena or not which is quite exciting.

Thanks for this fabulous review, it really did make my day! :D ♥

-Kiana


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Review #6, by tangledconstellations 

22nd January 2015:
Hey there lovely! :)

I finally stole some free time for myself and hurried over to read the next chapter ♥

This one was really good, and it felt like another really steady continuation from the first two. Again, you have that gentle introverted tone that's so effective and has kept Helena so in character throughout. Reading this fic is such a joy because I don't feel hurried or as though anything is moving too fast - it's like daily life, things are escalating and changing in their own way and at their own pace.

But oh no - the wheels are in motion for Helena and the suitor :( Honestly, it makes me so sad that she feels as though it's expected of her. It was really effective that Helena was almost meek and quite obliging to her mother about the topic. My gut instinct was for her to just flip out and say she doesn't want to but after all you're writing in a really particular context and Helena is a particular character. She wouldn't just start shouting and refusing because she's been brought up entirely in a certain manner. In some ways I felt as though I wanted to see a touch of jealousy from Eleanor, but maybe that's something that will come later. There's starting to emerge a frustration that I think is really interesting about their position - the fact that they can't have what they want; they can't be together and even if they were it just wouldn't be okay or accepted. Helena's hands are totally bound - I mean, there's no real reason why she CAN'T marry this guy. It's so heartbreaking.

Again, your writing style is as flawless as ever. I know in previous chapters you were worried about Helena being whiney but if that's a concern for this one, don't worry. There's enough plot justification at this point to balance out her feelings and she still has that focus on Eleanor that's seeing her through, like a guiding light. While this chapter felt shorter than the others (I don't actually know if it was - it just felt it hehe) I think you're heading at a good pace. To throw too much at Helena at once (and the reader for that matter) would break the really effective style.

Good luck with the next chapter! I'm really enjoying reading this so if you ever wanna PM me about it, please feel free!

Laura ♥ xxx

Author's Response: Hi there Laura!

Aw, thank you so much! I really love writing her inner reflections and thoughts as it means the story takes a much slower pace compared to others which is a nice change. I'm glad that you liked it too, as I was worried that some readers might find it too boring as it's not that fast and nothing much has really happened yet.

I know :( I know, it really is sad, but I guess that's just the norm for women at the time and it's nice if the parents try to take their daughter's wishes into consideration when choosing the husband. You definitely are right about Helena making a stand from this point onwards as she really does become resolute and realise that it's Eleanor that she wants and she'll fight for it no matter what. Hahaha, as for the jealously and Eleanor that will be explored more later on!

Aw, thank you so much! ♥ Yay for Helena not being whiney either, as she's still so confused and unresolved about everything I was so unsure about it all! I think it might have been a little shorter actually so that might be why. :P

Thanks for this amazing review, you are lovely! ♥

-Kiana


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Review #7, by nott theodore 

26th December 2014:
*sings* Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Kiana, happy birthday to you!

Hello, just stopping by before I go to bed, I've been saving up my review for this chapter since you posted it :P

This was an amazing update, once again - I'm always so impressed by the way you manage to consistently post such high quality writing. The narrative here was so poetic and lyrical, it was really beautiful to read it, and I also think it fits so well with the time that it's set in, with Helena coming from the Founders era and the language being more elaborate - at least in prose - at this point, too.

The opening section, short though it was, grabbed me and pulled me straight back into this story. I know you love patterns of three and this one worked really well, with the contrasts that Helena makes between existing, living, and being. I really liked the way that, at such a young age, she had already come to separate her life into those different states and recognise the differences that it meant for her as a person and what caused them. I think it's also a great way to illustrate the impact that Eleanor has had on her life.

Rowena is really horrible! I think this characterisation of her is one of the most interesting I've ever seen, because even though I've not read a lot of Founders era stories, the majority of stories I have read portray her as an intelligent, caring woman, a mother figure only surpassed by Helga. But in this story she's completely detached from Helena, almost as if she isn't related to her in anyway, and she just sees her daughter as a burden. It's strange when I think that Helena's father doesn't seem to have been around for a lot of her life, but at the same time I know that in rich families, parents were a lot more detached from their children at this point.

Rowena's behaviour also makes a lot of sense because I know this story is building up towards Helena's decision to flee her home instead of getting married, and to steal the diadem. Rowena is so derogatory about her daughter - the fact that she chooses her husband without consulting her doesn't really surprise me, as young people in Helena's class had very little say who they married at this time, but in other aspects it is so insulting. She really underestimates her intelligence and I think it's great that you demonstrate that intelligence isn't everything.

The imagery that came into play with Rowena, the way that blue seems connected to her mother for Helena, was lovely, and you know that I love little details like that.

I wondered, when they talked of strange behaviour, whether Rowena and Godric have noticed anything about the relationship that Eleanor and Helena have, although I'm thinking that they don't as they wouldn't have accepted it so easily.

Even though Rowena is so mean to her daughter, so inconsiderate of her feelings, Helena is still conscious of trying to please her, with the way she walks and tiny things like that. It's very hard to please Rowena, though!

All of Helena's musings on the differences between men and women were so interesting to read! I could understand the way that she would question those details and her identity as well, and it does seem ridiculous that men and women were expected to have normal relationships when married if they weren't allowed to spend time together before that.

It was so sad to see Helena talking to Eleanor about the marriage that she's being forced into once she leaves school, and the way that it's safer for the two of them, in a way, but at the same time it's against their true nature and all their feelings for each other. The inclusion of the references to hell and the devil were nicely placed there, showing that they both question, at times, what they're doing and feeling, and what they've been brought up to believe in. Even though Helena seems to accept it to an extent here, I think that before long she'll realise that she can't be without Eleanor and that's what's going to trigger her escape.

It was so sad to see how alone Helena felt at the end of this chapter, too, with the way that she didn't have anyone to really turn to with her problems, even if they were slightly taboo at this point. It wasn't a happy existence at all!

I'm intrigued about what the Baron's presence will do - I wonder whether Eleanor will become jealous, or if they'll be forced into the open and perhaps that causes Helena to flee? I'm looking forward to the next chapter! ♥

Sian :)

Author's Response: *hides* I'm so sorry about how long it's taken to get to this chapter, I am a terrible person and I hope you forgive me! ♥

Aw, I'm so glad that you liked the language as I was a little worried that I was overdoing it because it's so much fun I have a tendency to get carried away by it all, but that means so much to me to hear that!

I'm so glad that you liked that, because whilst I was writing this we were briefly exploring what it was to be in philosophy, so that really caught my interest and it somehow floated into this story. Bahaha, my love for the rule of three, I need to calm down on it but it's so good. I'm glad that you liked it, as it does show what a difference one person can have in your life which is amazing once you think about it.

Okay, I'll quickly explain Helena's father before going to Rowena as that might help a bit, but I've been deliberately vague when it comes to Helena's father as you'll find out later on but the reason for why he isn't there has a lot to do with why Rowena is the way she is. I do feel sort of bad depicting her in such a horrible way, but I think though intelligence is obviously a good thing, it has the ability to make you very detached and cold and Rowena has grown in love with the idea of it so much that she rejects everything which doesn't fit with the ideal of it if that makes any sense.

I'm glad that you liked the different take on intelligence because whilst there is the erudite form of intelligence, there is also the emotion and common sense forms of it which Rowena clearly lacks as she overrides everything that her daughter. I'm glad that you liked the set up for her escape for it too, as making Rowena like this does make it clearer why Helena did what she did.

As for the strange behaviour, I think they are aware that perhaps their daughters are flightier and much more away with their dreams, but they definitely aren't making a connection between the two of them yet.

I know, it's so sad as Rowena just isn't worth the amount Helena loves her :(

Bahaha, that was my sneaky bit of feminism in there, and it was much worse before with the patriarchy of the Medieval society crushing all women's dreams but I had tone it down considerably :P

Ooh ooh ooh, I'm liking your theory there, as all of those things do definitely play a key part in what happens in the final chapter. The pressure of time is an obvious one as that will rush them into doing things, hell will force them to question what is right and wrong further and whether the divine really controls all their lives, and all of that sort of leads to the escape. In a way...

Thanks for this fabulous review and sorry for taking aeons to respond to it! ♥

-Kiana


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Review #8, by marauderfan 

23rd December 2014:
She always thinks that I lack the intellect to understand the greater the plan which will lead to the greater good for us all. -- I think this is a really astute point about Rowena Ravenclaw, how her great intelligence could be a failing in this sense, that she underestimates the intelligence of others including her own daughter. :( I also like the way you incorporated the Ravenclaw colour of blue into Helena's opinion of her mother, how blue represents cold silence and secrets. The imagery is lovely.

I also like Helena's ponderings on how different men and women are, and her justification for why it's natural for her to love a woman. I mean, it makes a lot of sense actually, given that men and women who weren't married probably WERE separated a lot, meaning you wouldn't really know anything about the other until you were married. Her desire to stay with what is familiar and known really makes a lot of sense for her personality as well.

Aw! I really feel for poor Helena here, and at the end when she says she has no friends, no one to tell, it's just so sad because there are few that would listen to her without judging given her very progressive views for the time - and I imagine that probably a lot of her housemates are intimidated by her as she's Rowena Ravenclaw's daughter.

I'm really curious how the Baron will impact Eleanor and Helena. Obviously, she's not going to marry him, because in the end he kills her for that reason, but I think as he gets to know her , he's going to figure it out that she loves someone else, a woman, and that will be what makes him angriest of all.

Awesome chapter and I can't wait to see where you go with this!

Author's Response: Hey Kristin! ♥

Aw, thank you! Even though I am Claw and I should love Rowena, I don't think she would have made a good parents because to me, when someone focuses on intelligence too much, they're focusing on perfection too, so if Helena makes one slip her mother judges her so harshly which is so cruel and mean as Helena just wants to love her mother.

Bahaha, yes, she is such a revolutionary with her thoughts, but I'm glad that you thought it made sense because if there were no men to ogle at, you might just end up ogling women for something to do. I'm glad you picked up on her desire to stay with the familiar though, as I think it ties in again with the way her mother is with her and how she has no love in her life really.

I know, she really is so lonely which is why I think she loves Eleanor and obsesses over her so much as she's the first person apart from Helga to really display affection towards her. I think you are right about the housemates too, as they must think she's this super cold genius or something.

Oooh, good theory and as you can obviously tell this will have a massive impact upon Eleanor and Helena and I do hope you like how it unfolds!

Thanks for a great review! ♥

-Kiana


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