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6 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Beeezie 

16th July 2015:
Hey, Kiana! Here for BvB!

I continue to love your prose, and I think that you're doing an excellent job of portraying the sect of Christianity that a lot of people subscribed to - particularly back then, but even now. My heart broke when the priest told Helena that she was speaking of sin and that he wasn't sure what hope there was for her. It's such fear mongering, and I hate it, but I can totally, completely see it.

What I also love is that I'm continuing to have a strong reaction to a lot of Helena's narrative. I'm a little bit of a heretic - I'm not sure I'm particularly interested in God in any context, let alone the strong all-powerful all-knowing meddlesome (sorry, if this is your thing) God that Helena believes in. There are points in the story where I want to shake her, which means that you're writing a very good, complex, believable character. You include a lot deft touches that really drive her belief in God home and show how significant her beliefs are to her - which, in turn, makes a lot of her conflict re: Eleanor make more sense.

I keep waiting for her to just get over the whole God-doesn't-approve thing, but I'm starting to think that maybe she's not going to, not completely. She's clearly moved past it to some extent - she directly agrees with Eleanor's conviction that what they have can't be a sin - but when she says that they aren't as they ought to be, that does indicate that she still feels a measure of shame and confusion about it. That bothers me so much, but if that is where you're going with it, it's a really interesting take that is, unfortunately, quite realistic.

Regardless, I feel so bad for her right now, and while I don't see how this can work out, I hope that it does.

A bit of CC, though:

I think I may have mentioned this in a previous review - if I didn't, I meant to - but the references to other gods throws me off. Helena seems to be a very devout Christian, and the anxiety she felt regarding her relationship with Eleanor earlier in the story clearly indicated that she takes doctrine very seriously. The casual references to other gods seems strange to me in that context. Saints I could understand, but not gods.

That aside, though, I loved this. Amazing job, and I hope she's okay!

Author's Response: Hey there Branwen! Thanks for this fab review and apologies for only just getting to it! ♥

Aw, I'm so glad that you liked it as I find the influence of Christianity over time really fascinating because back then, even though Helena knew of another world thanks to magic, she still didn't know enough to not believe him and she just followed his words blindly about having to obey your parents, etc.

I'm glad that you are having a strong reaction as it's better than any reaction. Bahahaha, don't worry at all as it's rather ironic I made her so religious as I'm not religious so I guess it was my way of exploring their mindset so I can try and understand them better. I'm glad you find her belief believable though as I'm never sure if I'm over doing it but I definitely want to shake her at times too because if she thought more about it, then there would be no barrier to her and Eleanor.

It's slowly, ever so slowly, getting there. I'm not saying she'll end up disregarding the entire Bible as she's too religious for that, but she'll be at peace with it and Eleanor a bit more if that makes sense. I know, it's such a shame that it is a realistic take for that era as it's one of those things that saddens me the most as well as the fact we're only just developing into a society which respects love of all forms. It's just shameful that the human race took so long to get that.

No, no, no, I totally get what you mean and was just editing that chapter in question and I thought it was a bit off too, so I'll definitely change that to something else but thank you for reminding me of that! :)

Thank you for this fab review, Branwen! :D

-Kiana


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Review #2, by Aphoride 

15th July 2015:
Hey Kiana! :) I just had to drop by on this when I spotted you in the BvB because I was thinking about this story the other day - I saw some of Virginia Woolf's books in the bookshop and was reminded of my sister and this, haha - and how much I missed it so it was too good an opportunity to pass up :P

I really, really love your take on Helena. I love how lost she feels, and how, really, little there is in her life almost without Eleanor - it's an incredibly sad, raw portrayal of her and I love it so much. Plus, I love too actually how there are traits of her mother in her, too, but the kind of traits which clash - and it's so easy to see her ending up how she does in the books, you know? She's just so real and so fascinating because she's so modern, in a way, but stuck in a medieval time. It's so good! :)

(I'm rambling, I'm so sorry - I'm really tired, if that's any excuse...)

I actually really loved this chapter, with the philosophical/theological parts - I think it makes so much sense for Helena's character, you know, given her beliefs and how she really wants to be accepted, or at least keep the two things which mean the most to her: Eleanor and her religion. I loved how she spoke to the priest and he told her she was in danger for not listening to her mother, and how she felt like she almost had to make a choice between her religion and the possibility of redemption and salvation and Eleanor - it's such a heartbreaking choice, because we know how much they both mean to her :(

Your writing in this chapter was just amazing. Just so so amazing. Seriously. All of your description was out of this world - and I loved the end of the second section when she's almost despairing of the thought of not being able to have both of the things which are most important to her. It was such gorgeous writing. Plus, as always, your details were stunning - I loved the evocation of the moon maiden, and the moon versus sun bit at the beginning, and then the section about reality and what is and isn't real was so good - so thought-provoking but so interesting, especially with the feeling around it that maybe she was fainting or dying. It was so good! :)

This is an amazing story, as always! I've got to come back to this quicker than I did before :P

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey there Laura! ♥ Aw, I feel honoured that those books reminded you of the story so thank you so much for dropping by as I always appreciate hearing what you have to say about the story! :D

Aw, yay! I'm so glad that you do as I did want to write a more lost, forgotten Helena than the strong one I tend to see in a lot of stories so I'm so happy that you liked it. Hahah, I get what you mean because in so many ways she is like her mother, she is the daughter of Rowena Ravenclaw, but in other ways she's much more free and independent of society than her mother will ever be.

(It's cool I enjoyed reading the ramble)

Aw, thank you as I had tons of fun writing it so I'm never sure if others enjoy as much as I did. You are right to highlight the conflict between Eleanor and her religion which is why the history of religion fascinates me because it always seem to be in conflict with the most natural thing, that being love. It is such a hard choice, especially as she believes her soul is being decided on this but towards the end of the story she finally reconciles those two sides of her personality.

Aw, thank you so so so much! Virigina Woolf definitely helped a lot with this as her words are so amazing it's so easy to be inspired when reading her things. I'm glad that you liked as I always have so much fun coming up with new imagery for Founders stories as I feel that you can write much more creatively in this era and do a ton more detail.

Thanks for this fantastic review! ♥

-Kiana


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Review #3, by Crumple-Horned Snorkack 

27th March 2015:
Greetings. The Snorkack has ventured out of the forest once again to appreciate some beautiful writing, and I would certainly refer to this story as beautiful. Helena's narrative voice is so wonderful, almost lyrical, and more than anything, I appreciated the themes of secrecy and the philosophical nature of the chapter, as they are both topics I can relate to. I spend my life hiding in the forest unseen by humans, and of course what else does one do but philisophise when they have the expanse of time before them and only a few other friends whose existence is also debatable? Only last week, the Loch Ness Monster and I discussed the philosophy of religion. But my digression aside, the religious aspect seems very important to this story considering the time period, and you have showed just how powerful it was, through Helena's thoughts.

Altogether it reflects the time period really well, in the way priests are involved, and how disobeying is seen as suh a terrible thing. But it puts her in such a difficult place, and her resulting existential musings are appropriate to the situation and just lovely writing. Well done! I eagerly await the next chapter.

Author's Response: Hi there Snorkack! Thank you again for returning as this means so much to me as your reviews are always so kind and lovely. I'm so glad that you like Helena as she means so much to me, and I can definitely see how you relate to her. I imagine she would have been a good friend for you as she would understand of what being a recluse was like. I'm glad that you liked the religious aspect of the story too as it was interesting to delve in as it caused some thought-provoking questions in my mind.

I know, hopefully she has the courage to challenge the system and fight for what she wants otherwise it's too sad. The next chapter is now up if you wish to read it and thanks again for this great review!

-Kiana


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Review #4, by nott theodore 

18th February 2015:
Hi Kiana! I finally made it here - I've been trying to review this for a while but trips away and then no internet prevented me, so I'm finally caught up and have time to write this!

Your descriptions in the opening section were stunning. I could tell how much thought you'd put into them and I loved reading those first few paragraphs; the beauty in the imagery really made the relationship between Helena and Eleanor sound like a beautiful, wondrous thing and it was lovely to see that effect in the narrative, particularly with Helena's doubts so far. But the relationship with Eleanor is definitely something that brings her happiness, and that was clear to see here.

At the same time, though, I think it's really significant that these meetings only take place at night. I like the way that the moonlight is something that allows Helena to be herself, and that she can enjoy her love at this time, but at the same time it's really sad that the two of them are only able to be together under the cover of darkness. They can never be themselves in the day time because of the way that society has been constructed around them and it's really upsetting to think of that.

From the first section, though, I sensed a shift in this chapter in Helena's state of mind, and her thoughts and feelings about Eleanor and who she is. It felt like she had begun to drift away from Eleanor more and more after the initial section, especially as her thoughts centred more on religion than other things.

I loved the passages that you wrote when Helena attended church, and it definitely wasn't too religious or philosophical for me - I found it so interesting to see the way that you weaved those elements into the story. In a story like this one, I don't think it would have been realistic if you had tackled a relationship like Helena and Eleanor's without at least some mention of religion, especially when we know that the magical and Muggle societies lived more closely at this point, so it helped make this story seem even more believable because you included that.

One of my favourite parts of this chapter was the scene in the church. I really liked the way that you showed Helena to have some true religious feeling, rather than practising because that's what she's always been brought up to do. The detail about Eleanor, Rowena and Godric never attending church was really interesting too; if I'm right, Christianity hadn't taken hold everywhere at this point, so there would have been some leniency in who attended church, but I also wonder if their magical background has an effect. Religion was always one of the biggest topics that the books avoided and I find it really fascinating to see how people interpret its presence in the wizarding world.

I loved the imagery that you used when people continued to ask Helena to tell her mother things; the wound and the blood coming from it, as though she was in physical pain because of their gratitude for her mother. I liked the way that she thought of God transcending everything and that these people would be better if they placed their trust in him than in Rowena. Besides showing some of the relationship between Helena and her mother, it also showed the standing that Rowena has in the community and the way that Muggles might revere witches and wizards because of what they're able to do.

The discussion that Helena had with the priest was brilliant. I'm really glad, for a reason that I can't really explain properly, that the priest berated her for thinking of disobeying her mother rather than the relationship that she's having with another woman. Of course, both are sins in the eyes of the church but I think that the strong condemnation she received for even thinking of going against her mother's wishes shows how she would have been treated if her secrets had been revealed. The priest probably thinks that she's lusting after a different man and in his eyes that's bad enough, without her relationship with Eleanor being revealed.

I felt so sorry for Helena in that section; her faith seems so strong and so to her, obviously, the priest is highly important and stands as a representative of the God that she loves, so she's put in an even more difficult position with regards to Eleanor. I think that faith is what seems to have really had the most impact on her drifting away from her love.

The triplication in the following section was really effective, and you used it so well so that it had an impact. The words that you chose to repeat really stood out, Helena's thoughts dwelling on her confusion and fears of what will happen to her if she dies and if she continues the relationship with Eleanor. It was so interesting.

I loved the imagery of the letters of Eleanor's name drifting up to the moon, mirroring the way that Helena is putting Eleanor behind and leaving their relationship in the dark nights when they met.

And the ending was really brilliant. There was a lot of tension in such a short section, with the sort of doom coming to Helena bit by bit as the sounds approach and her fiance arrives. I get the feeling that there could be a decision arrived at soon, as she chooses to flee from home rather than marry Edmund, although at the same time I wonder if we'll get to see the development of her relationship with him. The Bloody Baron is said to have loved her, after all.

This was a brilliant chapter, my dear, and I'm really sorry that it took so long for me to get here - I'm hoping this review helps to make up for it a little bit! ♥

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hey there, Sian, of course this review makes up for it and you have nothing to apologise for as I have taken a shamefully long time in getting to this!

Thank you so much! I've really had fun playing with the descriptions in this story, as I've noticed that depending on which era you write in, the description you use changes accordingly. So as this is written in the Founders era, you could go all out on the nature, and the clothes and the feelings because they seemed to be much more reflective about that, which made it a lot more fun to write about.

Yes, you right about the importance of it being night time too, for those reasons you pointed out. It really is sad, but just imagine if they met up in the day time, the chances of them being caught are just so much higher and then they really would be in trouble which is the really sad thing. Another thing about the day time is that they focus on society too much and are almost too up tight and not able to relax because of the sun being up.

Yes, you are definitely right about the shift in her thoughts as she's starting to get over the initial excitement of Eleanor, and now she's focusing on the wider implications of what them being together exactly means.

Aw, I'm glad it didn't get too religious or philosophical because when you're writing it it's so hard to judge how other people will react, especially to topics such as those. Yup, it was starting to spread into Britain at that point, because they said the Founders was about 1000 ad or so, so the influence is still quiet weak hence why the Godric and Rowena aren't religious at all. I think in a way it needs to be explored, because magic is in a way a strange thing and needs a more mystical explanation than things in the Muggle world do, so in a way it's even more plausible that magical people are religious than muggles.

I'm glad that you picked up on the relationship with her mother, because I think the fact she is this righteous women in the community means it's even harder for Helena to understand her because she never gets to see that nice side of her mother. It really is quite sad how people can be so different depending on who they're with. I think also the way Rowena treats her means that Helena is drawn to religion and God because then she feels as if someone understands her and someone can provide her comfort when her mother cannot.

I'm so glad that you liked it, because I think that even though Helena is lost in the world of love with Eleanor, she still wouldn't be too in love to admit the fact the person she loves was a woman because she definitely does realise the gravity of that. I think in those days it was definitely more respect for your elders, you should do what your parents say etc. hence why the priest focused on her going against her mother than loving someone.

I know :( It's so sad, because nothing seems to go right in her because she probably thought she would receive guidance on how to deal with her mother, but rather she was told to end it completely as it wasn't what her mother desire.d

Aw, thank you so much! Those themes will definitely be covered in future chapters as Helena tries to figure out whether her and Eleanor can actually be a thing or not so I hope you look forward to it!

I know, it was a bit dum, dumm dum, you definitely will get to see more of Edmund but there's a bit more of a build up before you actually see him in the flesh I must say.

Thanks for this fantastic review, it completely blew me away! ♥

-Kiana


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Review #5, by BellaLestrange87 

7th February 2015:
Hi Kiana! I'm here for the Blue vs Bronze review battle!

The opening section was beautiful to read. I could feel how happy Helena and Eleanor were, a happiness which, unfortunately, probably isn't going to last. The joy that Helena feels when she's with Eleanor is a huge contrast to the way she feels when she's with her mother, or overhearing Rowena's plans to marry her off to the Bloody Baron. It saddens me that Helena isn't close enough to her mother to feel comfortable telling her about her relationship, and that Rowena doesn't seem to care about Helena's wishes when playing matchmaker.

I really enjoyed the church section. I'm not religious myself, so I don't really have any idea what I'm talking about here, but I'm going to pretend I do and ramble on anyways. Helena's thoughts about how her mother, not her, is a sinner for not coming to church was very revealing. A lot of strict religious anti-gay propaganda that I've seen offers the view that those who are in same-sex relationships will go to hell, and Helena's view that her mother will go there instead of her as Rowena is not religious was a nice contrast.

I like how the priest's advice kept with the times, and how, instead of supporting Helena in her desire to stay faithful to who she loves, he reprimanded her for going against her mother's wishes. From the way Helena phrased her question, it doesn't seem like she's asking much - "I want to love who I love. Is that wrong?" - but since we know that she's lesbian and for some stupid reason that's not allowed, her question is an entirely different matter than if she loved, say, a noble duke or some other suitable match. I also feel that the priest's response would be a lot harsher and more condemning if she had revealed that she loved Eleanor and not let the priest assume it was another man she lusted after.

And I love how after that advice, she had a huge mental debate between the different parts of her. I feel like this is ominous, how she decided that death is the only answer to this question. Of course, we know from canon that she ran away instead of committing suicide, but I still can't wait for the next chapter to get posted. You ended on such a good cliffhanger: Did she escape? Or run away? Please post Chapter 5 soon!

~Olivia

Author's Response: Hey Olviia, I'm so sorry for how long it's taken to reply to this, life has been crazy!

Bahahah, erm, how did you guess that? I'm sorry that it won't last but as you know, Helena ends up a ghost whereas Eleanor doesn't so that's a big giveaway as to what happens in the story. :P I know, I think it would still be hard given what society was like at that time, but it still would have been nice if her mother could help her.

I'm glad that you liked it, as I'm not religious either, just very interesting in things like philosophy and theology so I had a lot of fun writing it here. I know, it's not nice at all what they say about them. But I suppose as people still sadly hold those views then, they stood nice chance against it back then.

I know, I think the whole respect your elders thing then was a much bigger deal than it is now, because I don't think a parent would ever dream of telling their child who they could and couldn't marry. I know, I think it's the only good thing about it because if Helena had told him about Eleanor, she would have been done for.

Bahaha, canon does help a lot with this story and the next chapter should be posted in the coming days, apologies again about how long it's taken!

Thanks for a fantastic review, Olivia! :D

-Kiana


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Review #6, by tangledconstellations 

4th February 2015:
Heya again lovely,

Eep, the fourth chapter! I love how far this fic is coming, I am so invested in Helena and her love for Eleanor right now.

I really enjoyed this chapter, most especially because there feels like there is more of a distance between her and Eleanor. She's not as swept up in her feelings anymore - the rational, more socially conditioned part of her is speaking up and convincing herself that the way she feels is in need of some sort of cleansing. You've created a really interesting contrast: Helena is still in love with Eleanor, and she is the unattainable beauty that transcends their social positions, but at the same time its as though she's something that she needs to be purged of. The implications of their feelings for one another are really starting to take a hold of their lives actively. Helena was almost quite optimistic when visiting the priest, like she had found a way for her love of God and of Eleanor to exist side by side. Alas...!

I feel like Helena has become a lot more headstrong in the last couple of chapters. Though I think at this point she's still not sure what it is that she wants she's fighting for/against something, and it's all taking such a toll on her body. Has she fallen really sick at the end here? Argh I just want to know!

Again, your writing is beautiful in this chapter. It feels ethereal and dream like, but your dialogue brings it down to earth and makes me feel like I am Helena, sort of floating through life with these conflicting feelings and pressures. I can't wait to read the fifth chapter - I just want to know whether or not she marries this man, especially as it's not a matter of choosing what her heart wants - it's her heart that's so divided!

Laura xxx

Author's Response: Hey Laura, I'm so sorry for taking aeons to et to this!

I'm so glad that you liked it, as it was fun writing this chapter as it was much more transitional than the other ones, as she's calmed down a lot now which is nice to see. I know, there seems to be endless barriers to their love which is such a shame because you would think she would be able to get round them but sadly no.

I know, she's so confused about what's right and wrong that she just has to keep on fighting on and on. Yes, you are right about her being sick at the end of this, and we'll see exactly what happened in the next chapter.

Aw, thank you so much! I'm so glad that you liked it as it means a lot to me. The next chapter should be up soon with the illness and the potential husband being discussed further!

Thanks for this great review, Laura! ♥

-Kiana


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