10 Reviews Found

Review #1, by water_lily43175 

19th December 2015:
Oh lordy I've got a lump in my throat and tears burning in my eyes after reading that letter from Eva. It was so beautifully written, and everything she says is totally unerstandable, and RIGHT, but at the same time I can't help but wish she'd stayed with Albus. Because they are so beautiful when they're together. But if she doesn't think she can live with herself if she were to have the suburban house and white picket fence and 2.5 kids, then maybe it's the right decision for HER. Even if it has crushed Al.

"My whole life, you have been the only thing that’s real." Sob.

I hope we see her again. Fingers crossed for some Eva in the epilogue. Which is SOON.

And you have no idea how unbelievably happy it makes me that Al and James are beginning to work through their issues. Brotherly love makes me so happy.

Oh why why why have you done this to poor Cal? :(

I swear these last couple of chapters have done terrible things to my tear ducts.

Author's Response: The letter was HARD to write. I hoped that Eva refusing to submit to justice now when she submitted in Saint Annard wasn't jarring (you have never even mentioned it, I'm just talking about it now). But now she sees/worries that a justice system would just be used to punish her for the sake of making people feel better. Not because it's fair to her or what SHE deserves.

And she can't go back. The white picket fence calls her, and she cannot answer.

I promised you James and Al would start to sort things out!

I am SUPER mean doing this to Cal. Don't worry! Just as I don't really headcanon the Stygian Trilogy being the continuation of canon, I don't consider it being the continuation of the Anguisverse. The Anguisverse will always tie in with canon where possible (so the Stygian Trilogy will be scuppered by the Cursed Child).

I'm going to talk about chapter titles right now, because the next is the last chapter and that's no time to talk about my snobbery. Okay it's late so I'll be short: the chapter titles are all segments from the Idylls of the King, by Tennyson, which was chosen as a poem in part because of the Arthurian ideal of heroism being twisted, tested, and corrupted by everyone (I always say Ignite was about becoming the hero, Starfall about CHOOSING to be the hero, and Oblivion about BREAKING her hero). The poem was also chosen because of Lillian, because she was trying to make her Camelot.

There, I could talk way more about literary themes and how I'm doing a poor job of respecting how Tennyson's work tied into Victorian society and attitudes, but that's where my chapter titles came from. A far more pretentious source than Ignite and Starfall's!

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Review #2, by whykay 

14th December 2015:
"as if time were nothing" - I dare not punctuate or emphasize on any of the words. Such an appropriate title.

Sigh. I cried a bit and slept off after reading this chapter. It broke me. I needed time for it to sink in and recuperate from the emotional wave.

I think what Eva did is right in so many ways and wrong in so many other. But mostly for her reasons. It brings me bitter joy to see that she has taken her redemption seriously, even if that means toiling until death to set right an equation that cannot be solved and yet, considering such endless toiling itself as a redemption, even if it means giving up the love of her life, the only thing that was real for her, for such redemption. She gave up that 'sunlit' corner of the world as well as the 'white picket fences'.

But Al - him being stunned, at a loss for words, numb and shaken - it brings so much pain. And he shouldn't wait for her. I think her meaning is clear. But I don't quite know if it is resolved in their minds. Eva has to dedicate everything she has to not find him AND to not be found by him. Can Al move on from here to find someone who understands his arduous journey, understands his dark side as well as his good side??

Nat's burial was very very emotional too. I think Scorpius summed it perfectly - you have brought a perfect anti thesis of Astoria with Nathalie - one was too scared to reach out to a living son and the other reached out to beyond death for her Scorpius. One was too scared of ifs and buts and the other was ready to face every consequence and insult flung her way. That IS something you would wish anyone could do and to feel that your parents fell into the former than the latter is very very unsettling. And I bleed for Cal. I hope he is able to understand.

End of the war = dismal dismal dismal.

You know, this IS the REAL and ACTUAL consequence of war, revenge, thirst, greed, etc. I don't know if you've read the Mahabharata (an Indian epic), but that war happened for so many many many reasons (as the Gods destined it to be so) and ultimately, the 'right' side which toiled for years, won, but it was them who had to deal with the casualties of war, the deaths, the ruined lives - these were the prizes and spoils of the WIN. Or should we say, as Rose wisely said 'not letting the evil win'???

The Epilogue is where I feel J K Rowling's writing did not deliver - there was no glimpse of the sheer trauma of the war, the re building, the re positioning, the mourning - I think her Epilogue showed us nothing except that who got married to whom and who were the kids. Harry, Ron, Hermione - all of them couldn't have come off normal as they are shown or at least not without massive amounts of guilt and reworking on themselves.

I think your epilogue will give us a great closure to a FANTASTIC work - because you like to linger on, on the aftermath. You did that in Anguis and now will also in Stygian.

Always a fan,


Author's Response: I've been pretty lucky with the titles for this story. Oddly nobody's asked much about them/their theme, when it's so markedly different from the unsubtle titles of Ignite and Starfall chapter titles. I'll probably leave the explanation for after the end.

Eva's conclusion IS damningly sad. The idea that someone who's changed as much as she has can never have a proper, normal, happy life, is pretty demoralising. I don't think she's rejecting the idea that she'll NEVER stop her redemptive journey, but to say, 'I'll do it for X long' or 'until I've saved X' people is against the point. She also knows it would be insanely unfair to Albus to make him any such promise, even if she meant it.

Al always knew he might lose her. But he threw himself whole-heartedly into the relationship once he learnt of the pardon, and to make that move and still lose her, after a week of HOPING that maybe she was just lying low, might come back - poor guy. She won't want him to wait for her, but she knows that choice is ultimately down to him.

Astoria was, ultimately, HUGELY damaged by Draco. You can be a victim of abuse and still perpetrate cruelty, and she did that with her neglect. And Draco was a product of his upbringing - Scorpius has a chance to break the cycle, mostly because of Albus, and Astoria's not beyond hope now because, well, without fear she can always be a better person.

Cal will be heartbroken to lose Nat, but he understands that people do things for love. They did have time together before she died and I'm pretty sure by now he learnt to love her warts and all.

I have not read the Mahabharata, but that kind of ending does sound... bleak, for an ancient epic! And yet appropriate. Still, this war is over, and while there will be scars, the world is not ruined. I'd say places like Britain have much less recovery to do than they did after the Voldemort Wars (though I did wipe out Hogsmeade, oops).

Yeah, the Epilogue was... not what anyone wanted, really. She might as well have said, 'And they all lived happily ever after,' and it would have had about the same emotional impact. Something else, anything else, either giving MORE information on the lives they lead, or a slightly more atmospheric, thematic conclusion (like, say, Hunger Games of 'we're happy but traumatised!') would have been preferable. I remain eternally grateful that the source material for my old fandom, the Baldur's Gate games, ended with a unique epilogue for every party member, so you knew how their stories continued and ended beyond the events of the game. It was stonkingly necessary closure.

Oddly my epilogue might not be what everyone expects but I hope it doesn't disappoint. We'll see!

Thank you for this great review!

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Review #3, by Giù9 

13th December 2015:
I think Eva's letter was just perfect! I would've hated to see her end up in prison, or pardoned...that would've been unrealistic given the new situation. And Albus couldn't leave his family again to go with her. I think this was the best closure to her character's journey, (IF this is the last we've seen of her) because it's not a closure at all. At least for me (not sure if this makes any sense). She has a long road ahead and I would love to follow her on this new journey, but it's enough to know that she's trying and not for Al, but for herself and I'm glad. I have to thank you, because during Starfall I didn't care about Eva at all. When we first saw her in Oblivion I truly hoped that she would die. I'm not sure when I changed my mind, but I've come to love her and she's now one of my favourite. I'm planning to read Starfall again, as soon as I have the time. I'll try to understand what I missed the first time XD

Author's Response: Eva would have been doomed if she stayed, this much is fact. Perhaps in time, when the world understands better what Lillian Rourke did and they wouldn't just lock her up and ask questions later - but that would take years. I agree that, really, the questions about her life and what was right were too unanswerable to BE answered. It would have felt too neat and tidy to condemn or forgive her.

She does appear to have been a stealth favourite; MOST people hated her in Starfall and I doubt anyone loved her for most of the story. I knew she had a huge potential, but equally I could have probably flubbed it quite easily and made it twee or just not believable. So I'm immensely glad and proud I could pull it off. It helps, I think, that she had a big transition between Starfall and Oblivion - she wasn't enormously changed but the lessons she learnt in Starfall had solidified and sunk in. I would imagine most readers liked her from Oblivion, with the time skip and fresh slate to judge her by.

But I would be very curious as to the results of a reread!

Thanks for reviewing.

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Review #4, by Margravine 

13th December 2015:
It's been a long time since I reviewed, but I've been lurking, I promise. Even more time poor than usual, but I have no higher compliment than this - you are the only fan fic-dom I still follow after all this time, and you remain the only reason I check hpff every now and then; to follow your stories.
Thankyou for your thoughtful, intelligent, nuanced works and imaginary people. Sorry I've been so bad at reviewing!

Author's Response: Yay you're still here! Time IS a wretched thing, sometimes, and I'm immensely touched to hear you still stick around for my stories. No need to apologise for reviews, just knowing I've kept someone sucked into the black hole of my psychological torment-via-writing is enough for my cold, dead heart!

I mean, um, yay!

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Review #5, by Bluewolf80 

13th December 2015:
The letter from Eva was just Perfect! I understand more now about why she didn't come back. I hope it gives Al some closure.

Author's Response: Albus is going to need a *lot* of time to recover, poor kid, but at least now he knows for sure. That certainty was something he lacked during his travels, and even before now. And we can recover from a lot of things so long as we're certain.

Unless you're Rose and you're certain Scorpius is dead, apparently. Then you'll fall into an unhealthy, self-destructive cycle.

Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #6, by zira 

11th December 2015:
OMG I AM SO UPSET . These past two chapters have been a bit depressing, not in a dramatic way, but more in a there's-no-simple-ending way. But aah, I thought for sure Eva would come back! She's been my favourite character for all of Oblivion (and maybe Starfall, though I don't really remember) and I so thought she was going to get a happy ending! Plus, idk why but this feels almost like a step back for her, because essentially what she's saying is that there is very little hope that she could ever have a normal happy life, so that sucks. It's just such a shock, after everything about Al making her a better person to have her suddenly say that when she's with him she doesn't feel the need to push herself, especially since she hasn't been complacent about her redemption at all so I didn't really see it. I guess I do understand that being with Al provides her with a comfort that she thinks could interfere with pushing herself, but I'm still so sad. Also, her pardon was probably about politics but I also believed Judge Roux, who made a good case that the pardon was also the right thing.
It almost seems that she is the one main character who won't get the happy ending she maybe doesn't deserve (I mean, Scorpius and Rose especially have done some pretty questionable things but will get away with essentially no external punishment). It's especially unfair because, although we know that the things Eva did are worse than anything the other characters did, her backstory provides more of an explanation. I've always felt that Eva was someone who made horrible, evil choices, but she also didn't really have the option to make good choices. It doesn't absolve her, but it does make it harder to condemn her. The other characters did have that choice, and they actively decided to pursue a darker path. (I'm thinking through this as I write but) what bothers me is that it seems Eva is being punished not just for what she did, but also for the things that were done to her because the two are so interconnected. As in, Thane made her a soldier (his bad) but now she will continue to pay for that.
I suppose the big question is what happens now? For the Five it seems fairly obvious, but Eva... I don't know. Will she end up like Al was at the beginning of Oblivion, wandering the world and doing good but having no stable human connections? Because that's just sad. On one hand, Eva's story has been such a rollercoaster (working for Baz! In jail! Out of jail! Stabbed! Recovered! Pardoned! Not pardoned! Gone...) that it's hard to predict what comes next, on the other hand it's coming to the end of the story so there isn't really time for more dramatic changes. I'm just not sure.
On another (also sad) note, I didn't feel that bad for Nat because it seemed as though she had entirely given up, and dying was the fastest road to the same place she would have ended up anyway (maybe a little dark). BUT then I think about Nat from Anguis and I just... how did you sink so far Nat? And her and Cal just reunited... so then I do feel it was a little tragic.
Well, I recognize I should stop this review now before it goes completely out of hand. I've loved reading the Stygian Trilogy, and I can't wait for the remaining chapters because there are only two options: 1) somehow Eva will be able to find a way back, or 2) she won't but at least I'll be put out of my misery.

Author's Response: There is no simple ending, though I hope the eventual ending will prove not too frustrating. I won't get too far into STUFF because I can't really discuss it without either lying or giving things away from the next two chapters! I'm really glad you care about what happens to Eva - she was far and away my favourite of Oblivion, stealing the show. I'VE not known what would be 'right' for her; she really did do absolutely horrible things in her life, and horrible things once she was an adult capable of making her own choices. But still, you're right; she was in many ways brainwashed to follow Thane; he cared about her and he also turned her into his weapon.

So, she did those things, and having a sad origin tale doesn't stop her from being culpable. And yet she's changing, so what's the gain of punishing her? One thing I wish I had found space for in Oblivion would be confronting her with one of her past victims, or their families. There was nobody to really speak 'for' the people Eva hurt in her old life, but I couldn't find a way of including such without it being very contrived - or a distraction if it had been included in the pardon hearing. Redemption is a tricky thing. I think she had to keep fighting, had to keep trying to make the world a better place, though arguably there are other ways to do that, and she is also punishing herself a little by denying herself the happiness of Albus. I had considered Al originally leaving to globe-trot and fight evil WITH her, but he would have had to disappear, again. He wouldn't do that to his family, and it felt very out-of-keeping with his arc. So... well, I'll discuss it more after the Epilogue! :-D

I'm not too sad about this Nat Lockett dying, either. She was a very messed up, tormented woman, and had she lived she would have been punished and her life ruined anyway. Despite the Stygian Trilogy being consistent with the Anguisverse, I don't necessarily consider this The Definitive Sequel to it. Anguisverse is and will forever try to be canon compliant; Stygian Trilogy is not really what I headcanon the Next Gen world to be. Hopefully in the 'real' timeline she got past some issues and reconciled with poor, poor Cal.

As for the rest, well... you'll see! Soon, soon, you'll ALL see!


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Review #7, by hjgw 

11th December 2015:
First of all, thank you for sharing such an incredible trilogy! I've spent the last three weeks compulsively reading in my free time, and was slightly horrified when I realized that I'd managed to read over 600,000 words during my last week of classes and finals... I'm also sad that I've now caught up and can't immediately finish the story!

I was really hooked on the very first chapter of Ignite-- the characterization of Al and Scorpius and their friendship drew me in and made them feel real. And they only got better, more dynamic, and more complicated, as real people do. Eva and Selena found me caring about them much more than I thought I would from the beginning. As soon as Al started taking care of Eva after the big escape in Starfall, I felt like she would have to switch sides eventually, but I found myself transitioning from wanting her to get found out as a murderous traitor to really feeling for her without even realizing it. Even with the slightly less extensive conflicts and wrongdoings that Scorp and Rose faced, I felt like every character had me reflecting and really thinking about forgiveness, morality, and what an average person would actually do for someone they loved. The emotions are also so real in this story. Scorp's goodbyes really got me, and Eva's final meeting with Thane was just as conflicted and eerie as it should have been.

I am the farthest cry from a history buff there is, but I was still captivated by the intricacy of this world and the development of the plagues. Nothing about the plot felt contrived or convenient, and it's just refreshing to have such an original story. I was constantly trying to predict what would happen, and then failing as something else happened (um, Lockett?!)

I'm excited to see how the last chapters pan out (and if anyone will finally get some peace)! I feel so bad for Al... I was hoping Eva would find a way to make it work out. Rose and Scorp also clearly need to have a talk.

Thank you again for putting what I'm sure has been tremendous amounts of time, research, and dedication into this and for sharing it. I wish I had found it sooner, but it's given me loads of entertainment (and late nights of "just one more chapter...") now. Looking forward to keeping up with your future projects!

Author's Response: My, a story a week on average? That's good going! And I'm thrilled you were so engrossed! Don't worry, it'll be over soon - before Christmas, I *promise*.

I have thoroughly enjoyed getting into characters I and readers loved and then putting them through difficult moral situations. I feel the complexities would have been diminished if people didn't care quite so much about where these guys were going and how they'd end up, so I'm glad to hear that you had that investment!

I -am-, unsurprisingly, a history buff. :-D But still, it was fun to do the research for the story - I fell down so many rabbit holes on wikipedia, you have no idea - and it's good to hear it paid off for making the story more engrossing, not crunchy.

Thank you for catching up with everything, and now join me, onward, to the end! :-D

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Review #8, by Solana14 

10th December 2015:
Omg, Slide, what oh what are we going to do without the Stygian Trilogy in our lives? I can only speak for myself, of course, but I've lived for updates of this story since forever and I'm trying to imagine now doing without it. I will gladly read your next story even though, I must admit, that era isn't my favorite, either. But I simply must find out about your new characters and what they get up to!

I nearly cried after each scene. And now the questions: Will Eva ever come back to Al? How does he really feel now? I know we'll find out that in the last chapter, at least. I think he'll be strong and survive fine. He's gone through his arc, as you said, and came out in one magnificent piece. Our Albus, the man he used to be and much, much more.

I predicted that Rose would go to Adeline to give her Cassian's watch and other effects and for a last conversation. And I knew of course that Cassian had contentedly passed on.

And our Scorp. For all he's gone through, he's still basically a kid with abandonment issues he needs to work out. Maybe now he can do so while getting to know his parents again -- if he finds that's worth doing, that is. I have high hopes for him. But he's going to shed some tears in the process. Our emotional Scorpius, just wanting to be loved.

He and Rose are, I feel, going to go slowly with their relationship, as they should. But I do feel they'll end up together, and they'll end up happy.

Selena and Matt? At first I didn't see them together. Now... I feel differently. I see them also taking it slowly but as a couple they're... not bad at all. There's promise, real promise. But as individuals they have at least as much to get through as Rose and Scorpius. I so want Selena to come out happy, after everything she's gone through. She's earned the greatest dose of happiness.

What an adventure! And we still have 2 chaps left to anticipate! Can't wait!!!

Author's Response: Oddly I was very disinterested in the Marauders era until I started to consider my next project, and knew it was a popular era I hadn't considered. It kind of started as a thought exercise and snowballed from there. But that's a story for another time!

Hopefully the epilogue, if not the next chapter, will provide a good deal of closure on everyone's issues. I'll talk more of THAT later, too, but I have done my best to not leave things frustratingly dangling without being TOO neat.

Al has, indeed, gone full circle and emerged the man he always was, just focused, tested. And yes, Rose, too, has to return to the beginning - only this time, Bachelet is the beginning. But it's a 'happy' ending for Cassian's ghost, at least.

The more I study psychology the more I despair at poor Scorpius. So many abandonment issues, but he's in a place now where he can begin to build bridges. With his mother, at least, now SHE'S in a better place, too. Draco is a more complicated sort of situation. But you're right, he has Rose now, and they're being careful but - well, we'll see more of them next chapter.

Certainly we will also get more on Matt and Selena next chapter, too! It's so dang hard to comment this near the end, these chapters all kind of flow together.


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Review #9, by Zoey 

10th December 2015:
I just wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed all of your stories. Best fanfiction I have ever read. I've read everything you have written and posted on this site.

Author's Response: Thank you! It's lovely to hear that, and I hope you continue with my work to come!


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Review #10, by RelentlessFire 

10th December 2015:
You brought tears to my eyes. It's not the first time either, every feeling is described in such a perfect and exact way that I can relate to small details of almost all of them. I'm really proud of being your fan. I told some of my closest friends to read your story. I can't promise I'll be able to read you new Ffiction because it's my graduating year and I'm packed with things to do, admission tests and final exams. I hope to be able to catch up with your work in a, not so distant, future. I know you don't need to hear it from me, but never stop writing… I'm leaving a longer review than usual because I'm worried I'll be to busy crying and dying inside to leave a proper one in the next final chapters, I'll try my best. I forever will keep the Stygian Trilogy in my heart knowing it is one of the best I've ever read.
Love, Giulia

Author's Response: I'm truly grateful for your kind words. I hear you on busy times ahead - being a student again is what guarantees I won't be able to write a new fic as quickly as I produced the Stygian Trilogy. But I'm so glad to hear how much you've enjoyed the story; it will absolutely stay with me, and I'm happy to hear it will stay with my readers.

Thank you kindly.

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