Reading Reviews for Swan Lake School of Magic
  
6 Reviews Found

Review #1, by charlottetrips Swan Lake School of Magic

17th July 2011:
This story was brilliant!! It's got humor but also a sort of moral about it. These are one of my favorite kinds! ^_^

I loved that it was Percy in this story getting his head shoved into opening his mind a bit more. This is exactly the type of thing I could see Kingsley doing and also the change that Percy would be willing to experience.

The whole German/Austrian/Bavarian accent thing was a bit hard to get used to reading and a bit comical at first but then the Headmaster started sharing the history of his school and what it is based around and the guy suddenly became more real to me.

The characterisation of Percy, Wolfgang and Kingsley were spot on in my opinion and I truly felt I was reading on something that certainly could've happened in HP-verse.

There were definite moments when you had me laughing, like in the beginning with Percy's grumbling about climbing the mountain top.

You've certainly made a case for the British Ministry's need to widen their horizons and the insight you've provided is very enlightening!

xChar

Author's Response: Hello!

Wow, somebody brave enough to review this story :) It is a bit lengthier and I think a bit off-turning because its not in the Harry Potter world we are used to, but when I approach stories like this, I always like to make my valid connection.

I always had and still kind of have the impression that there is more going on in the international wizarding community that we just don't really see in the books.

It didn't take long for me to choose Neuschwanstein as the location for a wizarding school--if you've ever been there, it's secluded and there is a lot of mystery surrounding the castle. Not to mention the fact, that the crazy and extravagant (not to mention eccentric) King who built it only finished 5 rooms in this HUGE monstrosity. I said to myself...yeah...there's room for a secret wizardry school!

Percy was really fun to write...because he is just a character that we are all dying to have lighten up!

As for the accent thing...I live in Germany and teach English to Germans, so I'm very used to hearing and reading their accents. Accents can become very taboo in Fan-fiction, but I appreciate you sticking it out and giving it a chance!

Thanks for the lovely review, take care!

-Katie


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Review #2, by maskedmuggle Swan Lake School of Magic

4th January 2011:
Hello! :)
Wow, that was such an interesting fic! Written very well, and very originally! I thoroughly enjoyed it, and you covered every aspect. I only have one question… Why do the schools need funding? Why can't the wizards/witches just magic all the decorations, etc? I'm just interested to hear your answer :P

I thought everything was really clever, and well thought out. I can see that you've spent some effort researching/thinking. The German was really good. It seemed realistic to me, but then again, I'm not German. And I think Percy is hard to write too, so you did a great job!

I really liked this :) and the creativity of it! :)

Author's Response: Hello there!

Thanks for the review, I really appreciate that you left one for this story, as it doesn't often get that many reviews.

As for the funding, my theory is that you can't just magic up items/and wealth. We see this in the books with the different wealth classes, such as the rather poor Weasley family vs. the rich Malfoys. That would be my answer, I guess ;)

I went to this castle, and have lived in Germany for a few years now, so it was really only a matter of time before it crept into my fan fiction.

Thanks again!! :)
-Katie


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Review #3, by Jackson Robles Swan Lake School of Magic

31st August 2010:
Hey Schoe! I've started this bugger about three times now, gotten about halfway through and then by some fluke have either been pulled away or the browser defenestrated. I'm not entirely sure if it'll work this time, but I'll apologize for the week or so it's taken to get to this piece. And I apologize for some of the things I might say - they aren't meant in a negative way, I promise, there are just a few things I wanted to comment on, you know? All in all though, I see that you have most definitely igven this school some serious thought, and it most definitely feels like it could be a real place in Bavaria - excuse me, Germany. ;)

The bit about having whole curriculum guides from the start of school to finish actually sounds really interesting. I like the idea, much like Percy, and the bit about the school's funding coming from tourism - not to mention the exclusivity of the school, well, it's great. The name suffices. I don't much like 'aptitude', but maybe it comes from the translation from German to English, you know?

However, the interesting and fully developed school aside, I've got some comments about the narration and methodology of this piece. You are grand at descriptions and definitely give a full feel for the characters, but the events and some of the things that they say strike me as a bit stilted. The story doesn't flow very well to me, in fact sitting together like blocks, where each paragraph is either completely interdependent of anything around it, or linked by some Elmer's School Glue hastily applied. The story also just feels like a simple fluff piece. There's not a single element of conflict or real drama whatsoever, and I feel slightly as though I am reading off of a list or a newspaper article about the Dow Jones's current disreputable state.

Now, I know better to make such claims (and claims is a loose word, I would more like to say statements, as they are just what I think... but anyways!) without giving any examples of what I mean. Or what I'm trying to say, I suppose would be a good way to put it.

Let's start with the notion of not a single instance of conflict. I know this is just supposed to give us a resemblance of a school in some far off land, and can't exactly have You-Know-Who blowing up ramparts, but I'm not just looking at this story in terms of the challenge. You asked for anything I saw fit to comment on. This story goes from complaining about climbing up a hill, to talking to the Headmaster, to getting drunk, to waking up and talking to a smiling Kingsley - when we find out the surprise ending - this whole thing was for Percy's own good (or at least a chunk of it). I kind of had that figured, oddly enough. Just the use of inebriation and all that jazz, it felt as though Percy was being intentionally overwhelmed, which sounds a bit strange, but Percy had a diamond gaze on his face the entire time, you know? No complaints there. It was a scene between two people the entire time. Percy and the headmaster and hungover Percy and Kingsley, but it still felt just like someone was reading a report. And it had mild points of interest, like I said, but I will repeat what I said: it was like reading a very long newspaper article in story format. We were getting a fantasized version of the report Percy was writing you know?

Onto the lack of flow. There were many jagged changes in writing. I saw quite a few notable block paragraph changes really early on. I could see we were on Percy's shoulder the entire time, but the way the story began made it a bit hard to get into. We thrown face first into a story that knows where it's going, but I felt constantly reminded that there was an author's hand behind everything Percy thought and was shown to - the Headmaster was basically your left hand in showing us this school, and I'm okay with the large role of indicating that he fulfilled. Granted I don't think I could do better on this piece, but sometimes we get a hard topic. I really think this one was. You definitely fit the criteria, but I just feel the story to be a bit belittled, you know? The comedy felt forced and I wasn't amused - but those are my tastes. I have a different sense of humor than other people.

I will say that Percy felt in character. Kingsley seemed like a younger Dumbledore, which I'm sure he would have become (at least I think...) and I'll repeat the fact that I had very few problems with the characters. Narration brunted on me. Dialogue fuels the piece, and it goes back to the notion that it feels much like a list.

It's hard to have good flow with so much dialogue. The narration's thought processes relay too much information rather than thought to provide for good flow. So it is not as though I'm necessarily blaming you. I don't want to do that, actually, as this review seems far too harsh to me, and I really don't want it to sound like that. It's a good bit of story, but like anything there are a few problems. Just the level of depth I'm trying to go into them I guess I'm going a bit far, so I'll let it go.

I'd give this a solid thumbs up if they wanted to read about a magical school in Germany. If they wanted a riveting tale of magic and adventure - no. But that doesn't matter, I'm critiquing this as though it was SUPPOSED to be one of those, you know? So I'd give this review a thumbs down! At any rate, I better wrap this up before I go any further down the path of bad reviewing.

In conclusion: Swan Lake feels real, as do the characters. Narration is a bit rigged and fights to flow correctly, lack of interest as this feels like a list, but that's okay because it IS a list. No conflict needed. I need to work on my reviewing, and thumbs up to this piece.

Cheers!
JD

Author's Response: I deeply thank you for your honesty and will keep your critique points in mind. I'll take a look and see if I can tweak some of the things you mentioned in regards to dialogue and watch out for that 'list writing'. You do have a valid point there.

I do appreciate the part that Swan Lake feels real! This means I've done a good job of describing this place where I've actually been, which I consider a huge compliment and that was my ultimate goal when writing the piece--perhaps why less attention was paid in other areas.

I found your review extremely sincere. No sugar coating, I appreciate the feedback immensely!


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Review #4, by almonster Swan Lake School of Magic

23rd August 2010:
Oh I like this a lot. This is a very interesting view on a different magical school. I like all the descriptions you use, I could see a wonderful castle in my head. I also like your characterization of Percy. I thought the little joke he made about the name of the school was quite funny. :)

Very nice job and well written!
~alex

Author's Response: Thank you for the review :D The castle that I described here is actually real! It's in southern Germany, the same one you can see in the background of my banner. It's called Neuschwanstein, look it up :)

Well, this review was rather nice of you!! Just thanks so much again!!


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Review #5, by TallestTower Swan Lake School of Magic

30th May 2010:
Hello there! It's Broomsticks the creator of this challenge.
I'm really glad to see what the challenge inspired you to do! :)

Your writing is lovely. I really like the tone. It was light and comical, but also there was great detail and beautiful descriptions of the mountain scenery.

Percy was very funny in this. You had me laughing out loud at "More like the Swan Lake School of Magnificent Altitude". :D He was still true to his character though and I thought it was a good characterization. He was just as nerdy and eager to please as canon Percy. I thought you portrayed him really well.

I love the idea of this - it's so creative! And the moral twist at the end was really lovely. I love Kingsley's wisdom and how it all tied together to make a point. You described the school wonderfully while still having this underlying message plot thing going on!

Another thing that was great was how much detail you went into about the school - and it flowed really well, the information didn't seem out of place or tedious. You gave the school character and background... I really liked the historic parts!

The grammar seemed pretty perfect to me, which is always nice :)

This is really very very well written and constructed. I love the added parts of German. There is so much here for me to love, it really is a wonderful piece and you managed to describe the castle so vividly in a one-shot! I really love the place you have created and the plot.

I really enjoyed reading this, thank you for posting. Look out for the challenge results, they should be appearing soon!

-TallestTower/Broomsticks

Author's Response: So glad that it turned out to be a great piece for you to read. Thanks so much for your extremely thoughtful review, and for creating such an interesting challenge!

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Review #6, by momotwins Swan Lake School of Magic

8th May 2010:
Really cute story, very well-written and creative. I like the school you've invented, it sounds like a lot of fun. You did well keeping Percy in character too. Great job on this!

Author's Response: What a treat, just validated and then a review. Thanks for taking the time to review, I've never written a story like this before and it's so great to get some feedback :)

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