Reading Reviews for Courage Rising
  
6 Reviews Found

Review #1, by starryskies55 A Foul Word

11th September 2012:
This was wonderful. The language of the piece really fitted well with the time, at least for me. The dialogue was very good (and it is hard to write period dialogue, I've tried :P)

I liked the characterisations you've started- the start, with the descriptions of Marianne's family and the business and how she discovered her magic- it was unbelievably cute and I loved it. It's also pretty reminiscent of some older books that I've read- the style you've written in, I mean.

It's really interesting to see the Founders as teachers, and to see students with at least some degree of familiarity with them- as they were just 'professors'. :p

Overall, I liked this a lot. You're off to a fantastic start! :D

Author's Response: Thank you! Dialogue is really interesting for me to figure out.

That's what I was going for, so I'm glad you liked it!

My idea is that this is sort of near the end of the founders at hogwarts--ie their deaths, salalzar's leaving, whatever I decide actually happens. So things have changed a bit, and the students see the founders more as just regular teachers, though they still honor them. Hope that made sense!

Thanks again, I really appreciate it! And sorry for taking a while to reply!


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Review #2, by Beeezie A Foul Word

1st September 2012:
Here for Gryffie tag. :)

I really liked the way you started this story. You gave me a good sense of what kind of world Marianne is living in right from the start, and you worked it into the narrative beautifully. The comparison Marianne draws between her classmates saying it and Slytherin saying it indicated, at least to me, that she faces a fair amount of prejudice from her peers - including, from what you said about Louisa and Malane, other Gryffindors) It also indicated that, however cowardly she's feeling right now, she does have a thick skin in most situations. Both of those fit the time period well, IMO.

Additionally, I really liked the way you segued into a brief backstory after you'd already introduced the readers to Marianne. If you'd started with that, I would have appreciated the prose (which is really lovely), but I don't know that I would have felt a connection to her character. As is, I was intrigued and drawn into her story, and I love the way you crafted her background.

The way you described her parents' profession and how she felt about it was absolutely lovely, and I found your description of how she discovers that she is a witch to be perfectly believable. I do think you could have included a tiny bit more detail about why it took her parents a week to agree - were they concerned about the magic end of it? Religion? Her leaving home so early? A little more information on that would have helped to flesh it out a little more, though as I said, it was very good already.

However, while I did like it overall, I felt like there were a few parts that were a bit unrealistic.

First off, I didn't love the way you have Slytherin call her a Mudblood - I like the fact that he did and I liked her reaction, but it just felt a bit too contrived for me - that's exactly the sort of thing you'd expect the stereotypical villain to say, but it didn't really seem to fit the situation. If Marianne is practising human transfiguration, she must have been taught quite a lot already, and she is a fifth year; if that's the case, and if a simple mistake is enough to have Slytherin toss that word out, wouldn't she have heard it before? If he'd made some comment along the lines of, "Oh, so you really are a Mudblood after all," or something along those lines, it would have worked, but as it is, I would have liked to see a little more subtlety.

Similarly, while I liked the fact that you really did depict a wizarding world that was much more hostile to muggleborns than Harry's is, again, I wish you'd used a little more subtlety. The fact that Slytherin is the only prejudiced Head seemed a little simplistic to me - none of the others have any bias at all? I also would have liked to see more variety in the kinds of prejudice Marianne is describing - not all prejudice is that obvious. Off-handed comments or condescending attitudes without the person being overtly excluded and ridiculed. Yo

Finally, a few of the names didn't really seem to fit the time period. I could be wrong, but Erica and Michaela in particular just seem out of place, as did Marianne having a middle name. Again, this isn't my area of expertise, so I could very well be mistaken - it just stuck out as odd to me.

I also noticed a few small typos and grammatical errors - nothing big, mostly misplaced commas, and in your A/N at the beginning of the chapter you wrote "your" when I think you meant "you." It's not a huge deal and didn't really take away from the piece, but I think that it's worth looking over one more time. :)

On the whole, though, this was a great opening chapter, and I'll check back for chapter 2! :)

Author's Response: Hi :)

I'm glad you liked it. I'm really trying to figure out how to write founders right now, so it's great to hear what you have to say.

I see what you mean about the situation with Slytherin. I'll have to think about it and see if I can work it out a little better.

Hmm, I guess you're right on that too. The thing is, he's not really the only one who is prejudiced. But because it's from Marriane's POV, you just haven't seen the other founders' bias. It actually should become clearer in the next chapter. I'll see if I maybe can figure out a way to hint at it a little in this chapter.

Thanks for the tips about the names :)

I really appreciate your review! Thanks so much :)


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Review #3, by Aiedail A Foul Word

31st August 2012:
Hi there! Here from the forums with your requested review, sorry it's taken me a few days!

Okay, so I am first and foremost going to focus on your ares of concern: flow, plot, characters, description, and whether or not this feels medieval to me. I love founders, so I'm so happy you requested from me :D

Flow: This chapter has excellent flow, in my opinion. I love, love, love the beginning of the second section of this; and I love that you've broken it up, too. That's a bit of a modern twist on an old story, which adds interest but doesn't detract from the overall feel. I think that part of what is especially working out for you in terms of flow is that you've set up the events in this chapter in a way that seems like the connecting factor is the narrator: what's important to her, and the events in an order that she wants us to see them as they mean something to her personally. The fact that she's so good about explaining how she felt about things, too, made me care about her, and the flow just added to that.

Plot: I really like this idea. To me, in founders stories, it seems like the prejudices special to the time are really never played up enough, because mostly, the ones I've come across are focused on the founders themselves, who come with their own batch of problems, obviously. I like that you've adhered to JKR's really diverse idea of the Wizarding world: it's really remarkable that two women in the time that this was were able to rise to enough power and influence to be half of the founding team (or whatever I should call it), considering how women were generally treated and thought of. So I like that your main character is a girl! And because of the blood-status concerns in the modern world JKR writes, I can only imagine it'd be much, much more of an issue during this period of time. It's not that we've come so far in modern times--it's just that this has always been important to certain members of the Wizarding population, and at this point in time--while the Founders are still at the school, I mean--they're probably still debating about whether or not students need to pay to get in, so most likely these are just very well-to-do people at Hogwarts right now. And being a Muggle-born amongst them would be terrifying and trying. So I like that you're going to explore this!!

Characters: If you can't tell from the above, I like your characters :) Marriane seems like a smart girl, if overly sensitive. As far as flaws in characters go I think that's one that could be hard to write, though, because it'll be hard at some point to show how she's growing out of it. If I could give you some advice: if she's going to get over this and "find herself" eventually (or something not so corny sounding, hehe), start introducing glimmers of confidence really early that she just happens to ignore, and then with increasing confidence near that "epiphany" chapter. It makes her more interesting, I think. But as it is in this chapter alone, I find I do care about her and I do hope that somehow, magically--there's no shortage of magic here, after all--all of Hogwarts will grow up and mature. Ahem. Although I know that doesn't happen overnight, aha.

I do find it--slightly--odd, the roles you've given to the Founders. In my experience reading Founders that deal with classes directly and with what I know from canon, the Founders didn't teach modern subjects, per se, but rather each hand-picked their group of students and then taught them exclusively. So if Gryffindors were going to learn about plants, self-defense, and broom-riding, for instance, it'd just be Godric Gryffindor teaching them all three subjects. I didn't think there'd be a standardized curriculum, you know? More like, each Founder liked different subjects and taught their hand-picked students only those subjects pertinent to each "House's" characteristics. Like Slytherin might teach potions and politics, or something like that, for his ambitious and cunning crew. I was also a bit surprised that the Sorting Hat had already made an appearance here! In my head, it's only after the Founders leave the school that the Sorting Hat starts its job. However, I think these things don't necessarily need to be in your fic; you have your own view of Hogwarts at this time, after all. So I think your job might just be to convince me in other ways that this is Founders' era.

Description & Dialogue: to me these both were easy to read (which can be a problem in founders!), and I do think they were mostly modern but with a certain medieval flair in diction and syntax. I like that it's not too over the top, so I think you're doing a good job!! Don't be afraid to throw in the odd Old English word, though ;) You can always translate it in an author's note, but I think we might be able to catch the occasional one by context.

Other than this, I think this was a really interesting, well-written first chapter! I think it did all the things a first chapter should do: got me interested and invested in the character's well-being. I do wonder about the "medieval" setting, though, because JKR had said the school was founded about 1000 years before the 1990s, which would put it, well, around 990 A.D., which is considerably earlier than medieval times. I know magical folk have longer lives, but it might just be worth considering. Or this could be slightly AU, and that's totally fine!!

Thanks for requesting from me, I hope this was helpful for you! Feel free to PM me about anything you wonder, as well, I'd be happy to talk about it with you :)

-lily

Author's Response: Thanl you so much for your long and thoughtful review! I apologize for taking so long to respond!

I'm glad the flow worked for you. I really want to create a strong character with Marriane.

The idea for the plot kind of jumped out at me while I was looking for some good founders stories. I realized that most founders era stories just use all or one the founders as protaganists. I thought it would be really interestint to explore what it might have been like for a student of the time, especially with the pureblood prejudices that must have existed.

Again, I'm so happy that you like Marriane!

Okay, to address your points about the role of the founders. This story is set very near to/when Salazar leaves. So, in my head, they have found a few more teachers, and have have split the classes more evenly between them. The school has grown a lot since they built it and they are of course getting older. As the plot moves along, I hope to be able to explain that a bit more. I hope that makes sense to you. As for the hat, the way I see it is by this time the founders had started discussing what would happen to the school after they'd gone. They got onto the subject of how students would get into houses, and that's when Godric pulled the hat off and made it the sorting hat. Again, this is my view of things and I hope I can make that clear as the story goes on.

Thanks for the tip on old english words :)

I think its a bit AU. I have more confidence in writing this time period honestly. I hope that messing with the exact dates a little doesn't detract from the story!

Thank you so so much for this review! It really helped me think about things and I'm already utilisng it in my editing and my next chapters! I really appreciate it!


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Review #4, by Jchrissy A Foul Word

30th August 2012:
Hello! I'm really starting to enjoy founders fics, so I was happy to see your request :)!

I love that you're using an OC in Hogwarts to tell this story, I've usually read one of the founders (or all) acting as the protagonist, so this was a really fun change.

I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on history, or the words and styles used to speak back then. But I do think this sounds perfectly adequate for the time fame you've chosen. I think if this was coming from one of the founders, we'd need a bit more eloquence when it comes to word choices, but it's being told from a teenagers point of view, so I think it feels really believable.

I love the imagery you've used in this, especially pertaining to the castle. One thing, I have no idea what Marriane (perfect name, by the way) looks like. I'm not saying I want two paragraphs on her face, but maybe when you're discussing her family something like,

"My family had never been rich, but we were quite well-to-do, courtesy of the successful tailorsí shop my grandfather Archer had established. We were the only tailors in my home town, and were respected by all. Our success may not have possessed the ability to pay the steep price of a carriage and steed, but it always supplied nourishment to feed us, lavender wash to keep my ___ hair and light skin free of grime, and of course all the comforts one could desire."

Obviously I'm just pulling this out of air, but maybe just someone fitting in a bit of what she looks like so I don't create a completely wrong image would work :).

I think your emotions surrounding Salazar's insults are absolutely perfect. It's one thing to have the strength to ward off those kinds of feelings when they deal with your peers, but when someone who is the founder of this school, someone who (like she said) is supposed to teach and nourish the brain, says that, it would be much more degrading. Marriane really made me feel her level of disappointment when it came to that.

I also really enjoyed the look into her background, it was nice to get a feel of where she came from and a hold on her family. I'm usually a huge fan of lines to create sections, but I don't think it's actually necessary here. Although, that's simply a stylistics comment and has nothing to do with your writing ;).

I don't really have the ability to comment on your characterizations just yet, but so far I do feel like Marriane has the makings of a strong, dimensional protagonist. I'm happy you didn't have her stand her ground to Salazar, it would have been too expected and showing this, showing her kind of moping (rightly so) helps us understand that she isn't some super girl who can just ride the insults and let them pass. She's a real person that is usually strong enough to ignore this kind of thing, but in this instance it was just too much.

I think this was a really decent first chapter, and you did a wonderful job of building curiosity as to the professors and what exactly they're talking about at the end!

I hope this was helpful! :)

Jami

Author's Response: Thanks for your review!

I've noticed that too, and I started thinking--what would have been like to be a student of the founders. I'm sure there must be a story somewhere on it, but I haven't seen any so I thought I had a good oppurtunity to write something more unique.

It's pretty hard for me to try and think from a teenage point of view as well as a medieval teenage, so I'm happy to hear that you think it sounded right!

Ehh, you're right about that. I'll work it in somehow! Thanks for pointing that out!

I'm glad you think I did well on her emotions. I can't imagine being insulted by someone so important! It would be like getting insulted by the president or something!

I appreciate you coming over here so much! Thank you so much for your insight and comments!


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Review #5, by magnolia_magic A Foul Word

29th August 2012:
Hey Kathryn! Thanks so much for letting me know about this story...I really enjoyed reading what you've got so far. And I'm super excited to have a founders buddy! :)

I love the way you began this chapter with just the word "Mudblood." It gets straight to the heart of things really quickly, and I love that feeling of being thrust into the drama right away. It's a really striking way to begin.

And ugh, Salazar. I can totally see him doing this, humiliating a student in class because of their blood. That part made me mad, but at the same time I liked it because it's true to who he is as a person.

And I really like the names you've given the students! They're so long and beautiful, it gives Hogwarts sort of an elite, aristocratic feel. (And then we have Marianne, who comes from more humble beginnings. But I'll get to her later.) I can't wait to put faces to some of those awesome names in future chapters!

Okay, now for your main character. I like what I'm seeing about Marianne so far. She is clearly determined not to show weakness, and to be proud of her heritage (something which reminds me of my version of Godric. And Marianne is in his house, so that made me smile.) But everyone has a breaking point, and it made sense for her to be upset when a role model belittled her like that. But I'm glad she has supportive friends like Rebecca in her house.

I also was really impressed with the comment she made about adults behaving just like children sometimes. That's a really mature viewpoint, and it made me think so much more of her as a character.

I really enjoyed reading about her childhood, too. The way you described her working with her parents made me smile; it read beautifully, like a fond memory. I especially loved the line: "There names were as sweet as their touch on my skin as I stitched them with delicate thread and embroidered them with seed pearls." I just think that's gorgeous :) It was also interesting to see how Marianne's magic started to develop, and how she heard about Hogwarts in the first place. I'm glad the school is reaching out to Muggle-borns and inviting them in.

One question I had while reading about Marianne's backstory: why would her parents being tailors give away the fact that they were Muggles? Did wizards not have tailors? Or are there just not many working-class wizards? I think just a statement of clarification there might be a good thing to add.

I had so much fun reading this! This is a really good introduction because it has lighthearted moments as well as hints at drama to come (love the cliffie ending, by the way.) I'm looking forward to reading more! Keep up the good work, hun!

--Maggie

Author's Response: Founders buddy...hehe I like the idea! Thanks so much for giving me your thoughts on this!

Yeah, Salazar is a jerk right now...Hopefully his character will get interesting and complex as I continue writing!

Coming up with names is difficult at times, but fun too! some of them are based loosely of of latin terms, just like JKR ^_^

I'm proud of Marriane honestly. I hope that I can write her as well as she deserves!

Hmm, you're right. I'll try and add some more details on that and make it clearer. Thanks for pointing that out!

cliffies are fun :) I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate your review! Thanks so much!

-Kathryn


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Review #6, by megthechef43 A Foul Word

28th August 2012:
StormThief17,

One thing you asked me to comment on was if it "feels" Medieval. I think it does. It definantly has an old feel to the way it is read. Some of the wording suggests a time from long ago. The names are awesome. I think the fit in perfectly with the Medieval theme of this story.

I really liked that you added the backstory of Marianne's home life. I think that the wizarding world was way more judgemental in the founder's era than in Hogwart's era. I like how you added in that 25 percent of the population shunned muggleborns. I think that in relation to the founders it is an accurate proportion. Though I think in general it should be higher because one quarter of the students would be just Slytherin but it also includes students from other houses. Just my thoughts on that.

I think the description in the chapter was well thought out. It wasn't too overpowering. I think the description of the torches on the suits of armor was great and being paired with some more backstory of almost being decapitated. I think the little tid-bits of knowledge make Marianne a more rounded character and easier to identify with.

I felt horrible for Marianne when she ran from the room and away from Professor Slytherin. I think he is a horrible person in general and this helps fuel that hatred for him. I'm glad you have laid such thorough groundwork for the general dislike of the "judgemental" population.

Rowena was well protrayed as aristocratic. I loved reading your depiction of her. I have never given much thought to her persona but you have started the shaping of her in my mind's eye.

I think flow was good and I'm curious to see where the plot takes you. I can't wait to see her courage grow into the "lioness" I know she can be. I would really like to continue reading this story and I hope you re-request once you have posted the next chapter.

Megthechef43 aka Meg

P.S: I think you write the founders well and I really hope you continue.

Author's Response: Thanks!

I'm so happy that you think I've got it medieval. I was pretty worried about it sounding awkward and modren. The names were so fun to come up with! A few of them are based loosely off some latin terms, just like JKR :)

Marriane is a really interesting character for me to write, I'm glad you like her so far! Thanks for pointing that out, it makes sense to have a higher proportion of students.

Again, I'm so glad you think she is well rounded! I try with each of my characters to give them something like that, because I know everybody has so many little quirks and thoughts associated with objects.

Slytherin isn't too likeable at all, but I hope in the future chapters he becomes more complex, not just the "evil" professor. I'm glad you liked how I described Rowena as well :)

I will totally be re-requesting once I get my next chapter up! You've given me such great encouragement as well as a lot to think about and work on. Thanks so much for your review, I really appreciate it!


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