Wonderful adaptation, very well done. Report Review
Hey! I'm here with your requested review :) I had been curious about this ever since I spotted it when I came by to review 'Hourglass Tilting', so I'm glad you posted in my thread and reminded me about it.
Your imagery is stunning, as always. I'm always impressed by an author who can write imagery effectively, because it's a skill I so covet and work on constantly for myself. The description here has an effortless, flowing feel to it, and I loved how the discussion of various climates and locales and the changing face of beauty melted together here.
Speaking of flow and melting, this piece had me captivated from start to finish. It went by so fast that I felt like mourning it when it was over. Usually I try to write a 'running review', such that I will add in bits and pieces as I go to ensure that I get out all that I want to say, but I was basically forced to read on and be patient with this one.
He was ugly beyond salvaging. Cue the guttural sound, because I think I physically gasped here, just because it was like a punch in the gut. I had felt so much for poor Fleur, being bought and sold like an animal, up until this point that I felt so sad for her not to have her "perfect" prince. It's even sadder to see how hard Bill tried with her.
I love the style, because it really feels like snippets that come straight from Fleur's mind. I can really sense her confusion and utter disappointment. At the same time, Bill's love is like a constant in the background, one that she sadly never learned to appreciate. Plot-wise, I think this pairing fits well with Beauty and the Beast. In fact, if I could offer a critique at all - and I'm really pulling at straws here - it's that I was surprised not to see Bill's werewolf attack blamed as the reason for his facial scarring.
I could pick out one after another of my favorite lines, but I think I'll stop here and just reassure you that you haven't lost an iota of talent from being away. This is the kind of abstract, unusual piece that I want so much to write, and you've pulled it off with this smooth, natural style that really kept me hanging on your every word.
Excellent! I hope this review is helpful :)
-AmandaAuthor's Response: Thanks so much! Of course I had to pop by and request a review when I saw a slot was open; ever since your review on 'Amaranthine', I've been meaning to request again, but your thread's always pretty full! Ah well, high quality reviewers must be high in demand, I suppose :)
I do feel like it might've been hard to stop and review this just because the plot is a bit slow and stopping at any random point might mean just reviewing a bunch of description. But thank you so much! I'm really happy to read that it flowed well because I wrote it a bit out of order and jammed it together all at the end, hoping it would work out.
Yeah, Fleur really was kind of awful after that point. It was the line where Fleur changed from the protagonist to kind of an anti-hero, I feel.
To be honest, I did forget he got attacked by Greyback and that's how he got turned into a part-werewolf or whatever! I skipped straight to the gashed face and part werewolf bit! Ah, I suppose that's the flaw with writing works that tie very loosely in with canon - you start forgetting actual canon.
Thank you so much! I have been away for the past few months and this one-shot was my foray back into writing; seeing this review definitely eased some of my worries about returning.
Thanks again for this helpful and reassuring review! :D
Glad to see you back!
As always, gorgeous writing. You have a way with words, but you must know that by now. So I'll try not to be too repetitive. ;)
I love the fairytale feeling of this piece. I'm glad you kept that quality intact. I'm not a huge fan of the more modern-day retellings of fairytales, so I was pleased to see that you hadn't disposed of the old-fashioned feeling/tone.
I also loved the switching of roles, and the idea of inner vs. outer beauty, how the Beauty of the piece acted more like a beast than the Beast (jumbling my words here... blame it on tiredness). It was heart-breaking to see him murdered by her hand, simply because he wasn't "pretty." His "ugliness" turned her into something truly ugly. I'm pleased that you were able to make this point without it coming across like the moral of the story. Stories that come to a predictable and moralizing conclusion just rub me the wrong way. So thank you for taking a different route.
Like I said, I'm feeling tired and not all that eloquent and the words I'm getting out pale in comparison to yours. So I will stop now and hope I've gotten across how much I enjoyed this piece. Please continue writing so I can continue admiring your work.
- GinaAuthor's Response: Gina! Glad to be back! And of course, glad to see such a lovely review from you!
Oh, I totally agree with what you said about modern day retellings. I can't stand when they're too modern. I definitely feel like they take away from how abstract and grand fairy tales are supposed to feel.
Thank you! I was definitely interested in exploring the dichotomy of Beauty and the Beast. After reading all these various versions of it, I got kind of sick of seeing her put on a pedestal for just seeing him as equal to her. I guess then I started wondering why someone as beautiful as her even bothered and what the outcome would've been if she was as shallow as I thought she might've been and this story came about.
Your words were absolutely lovely and reassuring, actually, so thank you for reading and reviewing! :) And thanks for reviewing despite how tired you must've been!
Celeste Report Review
This. Is a very haunting piece of writing. There's always some feeling about a piece that's an adaptation of a fairy tale, I think because these are so close to who we are as dreamers and writers anyway, and they have been at the centre of art and prosperity, the poor and sick, probably since people first began telling stories. I'm not familiar with the particular version you referenced for this piece, but I've read a good share of fairy tales for classes and ofc for fun, as well as have read a lot of medieval, historical fic, and this read so much like one. It's funny, a lot of the time I find that when authors try to add an element of reality or what we call "truth" to stories they're missing the point of art, but this is chilling--how fitting!
I already have this thing for Africa, a fascination with it, I suppose, and then with your writing, but you know that--and then here you are, putting Africa into a story about the cold, and the brute. It's so, so strange, but you've made something clear to me that I hadn't thought about before: that the roles are totally reversed, and literally so. She's a wolf in sheep's clothing, if you allow me use of the idiom, and he's a good man, as you say, perceived as a beast. But in a way you've made his appearance a mark of his goodness, too. Fleur thinks him ugly a hundred times and I can't be brought to imagine him that way. I'm sure you intended this, but I'm still marveling at it.
The imagery of Aphrodite and Hephaestus really shocked me--I'm not quite sure why. It's just such a powerful metaphor and I think it really showcases Fleur's self-absorption, too, comparing herself to a goddess. And there's something particularly grating about this comparison of her husband to Hephaestus, probably because it makes it all clear that she's completely missed the mark and is completely out of her mind, since Hephaestus is a creator and a good, gentle god. There's also a huge amount of irony in this comparison even though it matches up literarily, like, she did come across the ocean and everything, but Aprhodite is the goddess of sensual love, and she refuses that kind of interaction. She's barren and fruitless and that is the failure of that self-assigned metaphor, I think.
I'm unsure of what else I can say, because as always I am absolutely in awe of your ability as a writer, and especially since you've taken a break and this is you coming back. You write with precision and force, and wisdom, and an eye for human goodness which you've somehow revealed even in the absence of it. I don't feel badly for Fleur, nor her father, and of course I feel to a certain extent for Bill because I do believe that he loves things about her, and that he's a good man, but they don't really love each other, I don't think.
And then there's the whole cold and hot dichotomy. This is fascinating, too, the properties of cold and hot with respect to water, which crops up so much in this story particularly. I remember in psychology in my senior year of high school we read a study on how when tepid and ice cold water were mixed into a single stream and people put a finger under it, they perceived boiling hot water, when really, nothing about it was hot. I think this is a beautiful mirror of Fleur's delusions, so I had to bring it up. And the failure of water as this renewing, restorative force, which it nearly always is in fairy tales, is striking and really--I don't know, resonant here.
The last line, of course, is lovely in its ability to be perceived through different lenses: I think literally it's meant to describe Fleur, right? The beast that she is and her love affair with the beauty of Africa that all goes wrong. But also you could read it to be the cold itself, since the cold is what wouldn't allow Fleur her happiness in the same way she wouldn't allow Bill his happiness. It's all very foldy-in-on-itself-y and petaled, if you know what I mean. Profound is a more...er, well-known phrase :P
Also, this line: The prince of her imagination had manifested himself into serpentine scrawling, into fresh parchment, into a hot wax seal she peeled off each morning with her tea--gave me lots of feels. Just thought I'd add that, as I'm not sure how to tie off this review. I am, as ever, in awe of your skill and insight. This is wonderful.
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This was beautiful. I knew it would be, of course, but wow. So in the end, Fleur turned out to be the beast. Oh my goodness I had so much dislike for her in this one-shot, which I know you intended, but I'm surprised by how much I hated her here. Poor Bill did not deserve that. Her cold, cold upbringing just stayed with her everywhere she went, making her blood run cold, making her shallow and simple and ugly on the inside; a rich man penned lovely words for her and she loved his words but changed her mind when she saw the face that was attached to them. Bill was cautious, biding his time, sending her the letters and the flowers far in advance so that she could grow to love him and his appearance wouldn't matter by the time they met - and I was so looking forward to him revealing his scars and Fleur seeing him and not caring, and still loving him anyway, that it was like a slap in the face when she sat there and cried. What a horrible, horrible thing to do! And staying in her room for a year! Good grief, she is vile. My heart stings for Bill, I feel so bad for him. :( I'm glad she got what she deserved. It's so fitting that she died from the heat that she couldn't seem to feel. And Bill, meanwhile, is her superior in every way, and such a good man. You did an excellent job of showing us what she was missing out on because of her blindness.
Your diction and imagery were, as always, amazing. I just love this. Love, love love.
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This was beautifully written; you have wonderful prose. Report Review
Wow, this was absolutely stunning and amazing and gorgeous and a million more adjectives that would still not be enough to describe it.
WHY IS EVERYTHING YOU WRITE SO AMAZING?
*ahem* This was such a beautiful piece. I loved how Bill and Fleur really did fit the fairytale of Beauty and the Beast, especially de Beaumont's original version, but the ending was rather different. In the beginning, Fleur could be compared to Beauty and Bill, the Beast, but near the end, Fleur seemed to be the Beast and Bill was more like how Beauty was described in the original fairytale.
The imagery in this story was just so stunning. It was like poetry and flowed so well, too. This review seems inadequate to describe your masterpiece, thank you so much for writing this, it was an absolute pleasure to read :)Author's Response: Thank you!
AND IT ISN'T, I PROMISE. This was the product of a lot of random paragraphs being cobbled on top of each other.
I absolutely think Bill and Fleur are a perfect fit for the fairytale Beauty and the Beast. de Beaumont's version, while a classic, I feel like has been told and retold so many times that I didn't really want to stay faithful to it.
And yes! You got their role reversal exactly!
Thank you! Masterpiece it definitely isn't, but this review is so sweet! Thanks for reading! :) Report Review
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