Reading Reviews for L'optimisme
18 Reviews Found

Review #1, by AlexFan Imperial

7th May 2013:
I'm from the review battle so hello there!

I haven't got any criticism for you because in my unprofessional opinion this was perfect.

You has so much description that I could picture everything I my head while I was reading. Your flow was really great as well, I love how you wrote the chapter.

I think you really captured the idea of Gellert. You managed to show that he was a slightly arrogant person who knew his power and that he was stronger than everyone else but you also showed his fear of the fact that Albus was better than him and could destroy him. I thought it was very cunning of him on how he decided to play with Albus's feelings to win him over to his side.

I also love how you wrote Dumbledore, it was one sentence but it was that sentence that really made it obvious that this was Dumbledore. It was the line about how he thought he did the charm for the Great Hall ceiling really well but he still sounded like he didn't want to brag.

The way that you described Hogwarts made it seem very peaceful. I don't know how to explain it but just the way that you wrote it and described everything just made it sound peaceful to me and it made me relax even though I already am.

Anyway, this was brilliant and I really enjoyed it!

Author's Response: Hey there! Thanks so much for stopping by! :)

... seriously? Wow! Thank you so so much for that! :) That means so much! ♥

I'm glad you liked the description - I tend to write A LOT of description, so I'm never sure if it's overboard or not... so yeah, thanks!

Ah, Gellert... yeah, he's pretty arrogant :P He's definitely worried Albus could beat him if it came down to a duel, and he really doesn't want to lose, lol. I find him a really fascinating character, tbh, and I love the fact that you picked up on both his fear and his arrogance :)

Oh gosh, Dumbledore is so hard to write! You have no idea how happy hearing you say (write?) that makes me! Mahaha, I thought it was a Dumbledore thing to do... charm a ceiling... yeah, he's not quite as arrogant as Gellert :P A little bit, though. Still a little bit.

Thank you so so much for this review - it was really very, very lovely! ♥

Aph xx

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Review #2, by ValWitch21 Imperial

24th March 2013:
First of all, I just realised that I swapped with you for stories set in the same time period (if you pick Reason to Fight, that is), which I found amusing.

Your description of Gellert just sitting there, reading the letter and thinking, was extremely well done. Though we don't get much insight into his thoughts, your description allows us to visualise the character well, and already to give us some knowledge about his attitude and reactions.

Your take on the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald is absolutely amazing: it's obvious that matters are extremely complicated between them, with the conflicting ideas and yet the deep mutual attachment and longing for one another.

both a blessing and a curse

I think this quote sums up their relationship perfectly, even though so far it's only epistolary...

What stuns me the most, with the passage in Gellert's point of view, is that there is no dialogue -- it's only character analysis, which I personally find extremely difficult to pull off. You, on the other hand, manage it brilliantly, and everything flows very smoothly and poetically, because your description, too, is lovely.

I liked the way you included a scene through Dumbledore's eyes at the end. Again, I find him very hard to write, but, again, you wrote it flawlessly. You included his optimistic character trait very well, without making him obnoxiously chirpy, which is an easy trap to fall into. I can't help but worry about the appearance of Tom Riddle in there though, and now I wonder if Grindelwald is going to be partly responsible for his transformation into Lord Voldemort.

To be entirely honest with you, this isn't quite my cup of tea, but I'm glad I got a chance to read this, as I enjoyed more than I thought I would! You've got a very beautiful writing style, and the grammar and structure of this piece were perfect, which made the reading much better.

Thanks for the swap!

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Review #3, by TheHouseElf Imperial

23rd March 2013:
Hey Aph! Here for our review swap :D

Okay, I have to admit, this is my first slash fic that I've read, so I was a little more than excited, especially because it has Albus/Gellert, a pairing that's always caught my eye.

I loved the description in this! I find it hard to write 1000 words without dialogue, but here you are pumping off more than 4000 and everything is impeccable :P I also liked the repetition of the phrase 'Out of sight, but not out of mind', it just struck me and made me want to cry :'(

I loved the character of Gellert Grindelwald. You didn't make him seem like a completely evil character and therefore made him much more interesting to me that way. The way he hoarded Albus' letters in a cupboard was a poignant image and just resonated the loss of a relationship. I also loved how you connected world war two and the fight between Gellert and Albus. I never thought of the two as linked but I can believe it now :D And the description of the expansion of the Third Reich and Gellert's plans to expand it further just epitomised the greed for power that led to his downfall ;)

I also loved the ending with Albus and the last line that children must be taught to have hope. It seems hollow, as if he himself no longer has hope anymore... poor Dumbles :P

Great job dear :D I'm going to read more!

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Review #4, by DancingMooncalf Imperial

23rd March 2013:
Hey Aphoride, here is the review you requested:

You start in such a lovely, almost poetic manner. You really have a way with your words. Its almost like reading literature, really.
Like all literary works the first few lines made me feel like its far to complicated a story for me, but when I bravely read on it turns out you, as the author, helped me out. Painting the scenes with a very detailed brush.

Ive always been one to read fast stories, that jump around a bit and have a lot of conversations. Yours it the opposite, but I like it a lot!
Once it read the first 100 words I found I could not stop. Breathlessly I had to read 'till the end of the chapter. Stopping only to write my thoughts about it, so I would not forget them.

A simple wow would not be sufficient to describe your talent. I think its amazing!
I cant wait to read the next chapter... I will and leave a review to that as well if you want. Tell me what you want me to look at and I will gladly do it!

Its very obvious there is this tension between those two men. I think you captured Gellerts nature pretty well. The thing is, unless maybe you are Lord Voldemort, there is always two sides to people. You make it clear what his reasons for this war are. His longing for power, for a magical utopia, thats what drives him.
Why are some people so hungry for power? How you fall into thinking the greater good will justify slaying innocent people?

As for Dumbledore, he does sound like the Dumbledore we know. I always wonder why he did not do anything against Gellert earlier. He could have beaten him before all those deaths. That could be a thought to consider, if you werent already. In the end he did not go for power, but he has the want for it somewhere in his mind. Hidden under disapproval and the knowledge that he cant handle it if he were to get it.

Im falling into philosophies now... which is easy for me to do, but I dont know if you want to read all that.

Anyway, overall Im impressed by this story, to be honest I never gave much thought to Gellert and Albus until now and it got me thinking a great deal. I like that!

As I said, if you want me to read the next chapter Ill gladly do it. Feel free to request!

Thanks for such an amazing read, it made my Saturday morning sitting on the couch with a cold a lot better!


ps. Tell me what you think of my review... did I do a good job? Was it useful?

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Review #5, by GingeredTea Imperial

19th March 2013:
Hey, it's me from the review tag. I donno why it didn't go through the first time but thanks for pointing it out to me!

When I read this last night I think the part that stuck with me the most was the pure tension you were able to portray between them without ever having them meet in the story. The descriptions were scrumptious and your characterization beautiful. It was like a peek into a part of canon and when I was done I felt like it was probably something that DID happen. :) Those are always the best time of stories.

Wonderful job. I look forward to running into you again in the tag thread and reading more of your work!

Author's Response: Hey there - thanks so much for stopping by! I know, it happens sometimes if the internet connection mucks up, but it's not a problem! :)

Oh, there is so much tension between them, haha! It's one of the things I love so much about them... they have all this history and everything, but they only meet, what, twice? in the books.

Thank you so so much! I'm honestly smiling so much now, I don't really know what to say in response! :) Thank you!

Ah, thank you again! :)

Aph xx

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Review #6, by patronus_charm Imperial

12th March 2013:

I have to admit Ive never read a Gellert/Albus story, which is surprising as I thought Ive read nearly every ship, so I was really excited to read this, as Gellert just revealed a whole new side to Albus, though I still think the biggest shocker was that he was gay! And there I was shipping Albus/Minerva throughout! Ok enough of this babbling and on with the review!

I liked how you kept the writer of the letters ambiguous, yet you gave the reader enough hints to be able to presume that it was Albus. I think the biggest give away was the looped ls, it seemed like it would be a handwriting feature of Albus. It was effective not revealing the real author of them straight away, as the readers confusion, seem to almost symbolise the confusion Gellert must have felt towards his feelings of Albus.

I liked the analogy of their relationship being similar to that of the one currently being fought out in Europe. As I love history it was great to see that there, and it almost made you realise how futile their situation was, I doubt that Albus would stop sending the letters, and the only thing that would make him do so would be for Gellert to reply to one, but he was determined to stand his ground. It also made you wonder how much the wizards played a part in muggle events, as their big duel was in 1945, and that was when WWII ended.

I thought it was interesting that Gellert kept the letters, and he spoke about how hard it was to resist the temptation of reading them. It suggested to me, that perhaps Albus feelings were reciprocated, even if it was only a little. Or it could also mean that though he didnt feel anything romantic about them, that he perhaps still craved their friendship, but was stubborn and proud to give in.

It was interesting that Gellert almost viewed himself superior to Albus due to the fact that he was deigning to write the letter in his second language, and he used affectionate terms to refer to Albus, it made me wonder where the true balance of power in their relationship actually lay, and this clearly suggested it was Gellert, and that echoed what JK said, in the Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore.

I really liked the ending, as it seemed appropriate to end it on Dumbledore, and see his thoughts and views on things. Even if it was brief compared to Gellerts section I still enjoyed it greatly.

Im really glad that I read this one-shot, as it was so thought provoking and interesting, and thoroughly enjoyable. It made me realise how complex Gellert and Dumbledores relationship was, and Ill definitely look out for more stories focused on those two again.

-Kiana :D

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Review #7, by Lululuna Imperial

11th March 2013:
Beautiful writing! I'm pulled into this story- I think the idea of Grindelwald's involvement in ...WW2 I believe? is very cleverly executed and eloquently described. The relationship between them seems very authentic and thoughtful as well. Can't wait to read more :)

Author's Response: Hey there! Thank you so much for stopping by! :) Yeah, I think JKR mentioned in an interview that there was some kind of link between Grindelwald and WW2, so I sort of went with that, so it's not totally my idea ;) Thanks - I was so worried about messing them up... it's /Dumbledore/, after all, you can't really mess him up :P

Thank you so much for the lovely review! Hope to see you by again! :)

Aph xx

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Review #8, by justonemorefic Imperial

15th December 2012:
Hullo! :) I've never read a proper Albus/Gellert, I believe, but their relationship has always been so so fascinating.

It was a bit heavy with the description, but there's this kind of detail that I love, where it describes something relatively mundane, but makes for the perfect image in context. Like the nuances of his actions: he folds it in two, not bothering to make sure the edges line up and an inverted sigh. I love how the letters are a routine and how they show how their friendship has morphed and his entire routine is almost ceremonial. There's a weightiness to it -- I recall a section devoted to weight, and that's sort of what I translated it to.

And I think there's something to be said of the way he watches his empire grow (I really like your take on a war tactician's map, with the red cloud; the details of maps have always fascinated me because they're so intricate). There is war, and then there are the letters, personal and otherwise out of place, and it's like both Albus and Gellert struggle with both sides in their own ways. Albus, who must have on his mind, the deeds Gellert have done, and then Gellert, who doesn't know how to write in a simple letter.

But he's the one with... all this grace surrounding it, with his shelves of carefully sorted letters, and when he begins writing, he thinks of the niceties Unlike Albus, he will not start it simply with the others name, and unlike Albus, he will have the grace to write in the others maiden tongue English.

I love the line you ended his section with: Dumbledore always did long for power, for glory; he will at least consider the opportunity. because it's so arrogant yet reminds us that Dumbledore wasn't always the man we knew, and that Gellert knows him better than us.

I would say that there was repetition at the beginning that was overdone, as well as appended descriptions that sort of just reworded the previous phrase; the amount of description toward the end is preferable to the beginning, because I definitely felt the pace pick up as Gellert began writing his letter. There's some really great stuff here, so paring it down would make it stand out, I think :) It's a lovely opening!

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Review #9, by sparkleshinestar88 Imperial

12th December 2012:
This is really great writing! I love the descriptions!

Author's Response: Thanks so much! I'm so glad you liked it! :)

Aph xx

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Review #10, by CherryBoom Imperial

11th December 2012:
It was beautifully written. =) I could almost see the clock ticking on the background as Grindelwald ponders about the dilemma Dumbledore presents to him. While the actual action in this chapter was very limited and methodically controlled, it enhances sense of great minds battling while still keeping their distance from each other.

I can see why Dumbledore would try to avoid the meeting Gellert face to face as long as he can. Not only because then he would have to confront his former friend about his plans to change the world 'for the greater good', but also because then he would have to revisit his sister's death once again.

Their relationship is so complex in DH, that I would personally be intimitated to undertake such a challenge as to dissect it in fanfic. But I commend you for taking up the challenge and succeeding so well in it.

Your writing was enjoyable to read, and I was pleasantly surprised how well you managed to pace it, even when it was mostly Grindelwald's thoughts.

It was intriguing to read and I haven't read similar before. I'm definitely interested in reading more of it in the future. =)

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Review #11, by TenthWeasley Imperial

21st October 2012:
Hey -- reviewing for the TGS review exchange! And before I say anything else, I just want to remind you that you should credit the quote in your story summary. :) Don't want to get in trouble or anything like that!

I was very intrigued when I clicked over to this page and saw that you had written an Albus/Gellert story, because I've never really read any before -- somewhat strange, really, as there's a fair amount of slash writers here. I am curious to know what he was writing a letter to Dumbledore for, and what the response will be. Though I suppose I'm less curious about the response without knowing what the letter said in the first place! :D

The thing I will say about this, though, is that it was very hard to read down to the actual story through all the thick descriptions you've included. I love descriptions in stories, but I must say frankly that some of yours were a bit hard to wade through. Be careful not to stray from being descriptive into using purple prose, especially in a first chapter; there are some very good blogs and essays to be found about purple prose on the Internet, and they're very valuable research tools.

Another thing to remember is to keep your narration true to your characters! Even though this is told from a third person point of view, it is still Gellert's story; make sure that what you, the author, are saying would be things he would plausibly think about. "Warmth's honeyed clutches" comes to mind; it is a very poetic phrase, but I don't see a person plausibly thinking to describe warmth in that way. First chapters are made to draw readers in, and you don't want them getting lost in the process!

This is still a good start to a story, of course, and with just a bit of work I think you would have a lovely narrative style. Best of luck with the rest of this story!

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Review #12, by slytherinchica08 Imperial

11th October 2012:
This was really well written! The description in this was just amazing and really had me able to picture everything you wrote! I loved seeing this from both pov's and thought that you started this off absolutetly wonderfullly! I do hope that you write more about these two and their relationship which is very complicated. I loved how you talked about all of the letters that Albus had sent him and how he seemed to take great care of putting them away! I only found a couple of small mistakes the first being here: "Without looking, he folds it in two, not bothering to make sure the edges line up, letting them cross other each other" that first other should be over. I think there had only been one other small mistake that I had seen but nothing too huge! Great Job!


Author's Response: Thanks so much! I was so nervous about taking something like this on - mostly because, as you said, their relationship is so complicated and tragic in a way, so seemed a really daunting task. It still does, actually, lol. I'll definitely write more - second chapter is well under way and should hopefully be up soon if all goes well! :) Ooh, I'll definitely take a second look at it and get rid of that mistake - thanks for pointing it out!

Thanks for the great review!

Aph xx

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Review #13, by Calypso  Imperial

4th October 2012:
Hello- this is CalypsoJenna from the forums here with your requested review!

Blown away by this!

The first thing that struck me was your writing style. I found it very detailed and elegant- every word feels so precise. This chapter really demands to be read carefully, without scanning, or glossing over anything which was very much a good thing!

Your use of language is gorgeous. I loved the recurring images of words and letters and the very rich description all the way through. I found I could picture exactly what was happening throughout the chapter.

I didn't actually realise that the narrator was Gellert rather than Albus until I was a good few paragraphs in, which cast an interesting light on them both for me. While the books make a point a pointing out their differences, you've done a really good job of highlighting their similarities- the point about their shared optimism is a really good one. I think it's a very interesting idea that their- for want of a better word- relationship continued after Ariana's death. I think it's very in-character for Dumbledore to use whatever influence he might still have with Grindelwald to try and halt his power in a non-violent way- I'll be interested to see how you weave a plot out of their situation.

So yeah- I think Dumbledore's actions match his portrayal in canon and to be honest, we see so little of Gellert in the books, I think you have a lot of free reign with him.

I do think that sometimes the pacing is a little slow, and that some parts probably don't need quite so much detail. I understand that this is a chapter with a lot of internal rather than physical action and so it's naturally going to be a little slower-paced, but maybe for future chapters you could think about moving the story on a little quicker.

I'd also be interested to know exactly what part Grindelwald is playing in the Second World War. His musings on world domination were great- they really informed the reader about the way he thinks and I'd love to have that explained a little more fully.

So great chapter! You have a gorgeous style of writing, and both Albus' and Gellert's emotions come across beautifully. I'm really interested in what sort of plot they're going to follow, so if you'd like to re-request for further chapters, please do so!


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Review #14, by caoty Imperial

4th October 2012:
Oh, this is wonderful.

So you start off with Gellert, but don't reveal his identity until a good while through, which is very effective - it allows us to sympathise with him freely, because we don't yet know that he's an imperialist. And you write him beautifully. Honestly. You've really written the experience of his situation - the texture, the colours - absolutely perfectly.

And then you have lines like this:

>His eyes glitter, capturing the light and holding it prisoner.

And that makes me jealous of your ability because this line is all kinds of brilliant.

And now moving onto Albus... who hasn't read the letter... you tease! I wanted his reaction!

He is perfectly in character here, and I love all the little details of Hogwarts you've mentioned, like the sky which he has enchanted reflecting a storm outside (that's a lot like the A/G story as a whole) and the presence of Tom Riddle. I just love that he's there. It brings a certain sort of inevitability to the story, you know, as if you can never defeat Dark magic, you can only subdue the current Dark wizard. I don't know if that was what you were going for in this chapter, but that is what I took away from it.

I'm very impressed by this so far (if you couldn't tell!). I'm intrigued as to where you'll go with it, so you may see me around in the future. :)

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Review #15, by Elphaba and Boyfriends Imperial

3rd October 2012:
Hi, Elphaba here with your requested review!

First of all, while this chapter is slow paced (or "leisurely" paced, which sounds more complimentary) your writing is lovely. :) If I were to shorten anything, it would be the description of the parchment at the very beginning. I'm not saying "hack this passage to bits," but maybe snip out a sentence or two. This was the only section that I felt was a little too slow.

I really like the suspense that you build at the beginning by not immediately revealing whether this is Albus or Gellert who we are with. I also like the connection you make between the wizarding war and WW2. It made me wonder whether Gellert IS Hitler, or if his actions are just paralleling Hitler's. I suppose that will all be revealed as the story continues. :)

Okay, so you mentioned a cameo, and I'm guessing this is Fawkes' appearance? I think this is brilliant! I don't believe it conflicts with anything that has been revealed in the story canon, and it seems very fitting that Albus may "inherit" him from Gellert, given his patronus takes the form of a phoenix.

We know very little about Grindelwald from the books, so it's hard to say how he should be portrayed. I like your version of him, though. He seems charismatic and sees himself as acting in the best interests of wizardkind. As warped as he may be, he seems more sympathetic than Voldemort, which I think is important if there is going to be any romance between him and Dumbledore. :)

Overall, I enjoyed this chapter very much and would be happy to read more!

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Review #16, by javct Imperial

3rd October 2012:
javct45 here with your requested review.

Yay for Gellert! He is such an underrated character in the hp series and I adore reading about him. I always fan-girl a little when Gellert is shown with a heart for someone else (be it Ariana or Albus).

Worried about the characters you say? It's hard to comment about the real-characterisation on Gellert because we so little of him in the books, and when we do hear about him it is usually a passing comment from someone else, but I think that you have managed to capture him really well. I just love the line: "His equal in everything, his opposite number, the only one who ever challenged him, the only one with the power or ability to defeat him." I think that captures Gellert's personality so well because him and Albus used to be friends, best friends in fact and I think that a lot people forget that and write them as enemies. I'm glad that you didn't, even after Nurmengard.

As someone who has looked closely into Gellert's timeline can I just compliment you on your canon information in this story, down to the last detail. Even leaving Britain to last BECAUSE of Albus being there.

I defiantly want to read on and to know what happens next (or previously, depending on whether you write their summer together or not). Don't be worried about the description, I really liked it. It doesn't have "Lord Of The Ring" imagery/description that just goes on and on and on and on which, when you first said you used a lot of imagery, I thought. You used just the write amount and you wrote it beautifully, I can't pick which line was the best because there were too many too choose from.

Gellert has a phoenix? A slight-cameo you say, is this, perhaps, the same phoenix that Dumbledore has in his office in CoS? *here's to hoping*

Please let me know when the next chapter is up; I can see myself becoming very invested in this story!

Jasmine, x

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Review #17, by HarrietHopkirk Imperial

2nd October 2012:
I really, really like this. I love me a bit of Albus/Gellert, and so I was really excited to read this!

Your descriptive skills are just fantastic, from the off: a cream sheet marred by slender black lines. Such beautiful stuff. I also love how you've described absolutely everything - the movement of his fingers, the surroundings, everything. It's small details like this that make the story and give such insight into the emotions of the character.

Just watch out for sentences that end in triples or lists. I do this all the time, and it really adds to flow of the story, but sometimes if used to often can get a little repetitive. Some of them are really pretty though, so I would only edit a few out :).

I love this bit: It is so familiar, his name written in that handwriting, the ls looped and curved, running into one another, every letter linked, and it has become more familiar than before in the last few years, since the war started. Familiar and yet not familiar, because his name now always precedes a letter no longer excitable, from one friend to another, prolonging that days debate, but a plea, a string of arguments against his actions and those of his troops, begging, hollow words.

So, so, pretty. Really wonderful writing style.

I love the little touch with the ribbons and the letters, and the fact Gellert has kept them all. I love your characterisation of Gellert, the idea of the map, his plans for world domination, all so beautifully laid out in such excellent prose.


I love that you added in the section at the end with Albus - they both optimists, both equals.


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Review #18, by No_oneKnows Imperial

30th September 2012:
You write so beautifully! I really, really love this so story so far and I've never read an Albus/Gellert story before but I know you'll do it justice ;)

Keep it up!

Author's Response: Thanks so much! I've recently fallen in love with the two of them - they're just so wonderfully tragic and so complicated - and I really, really hope that I do them justice! :) Thank you for the really lovely review!

Aph xx

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