Reading Reviews for Heart of Clay
6 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Josette_Phoenix Heart of Clay

23rd June 2014:
Hi again :D

This is a beautiful, BEAUTIFUL story. I love how the entire thing is like a fairytale, not just The Golem's Gift. From the very beginning, with the lovely descriptions of the students enjoying summer by the lake, you convey a very vivid sense of fairytale bliss.

You've made Rose and Scorp's blossoming relationship very sweet, and a joy to follow - from the beginning where we only have a vague idea of their feelings (though really, we know what's going to happen with them :P) till the end after we've read that they've started noticing things about each other, and finally Rose touching Scorp's hair.

I also noticed that we don't know which houses you've put them in, which brings me to ANALOGY :D (I love analogy ;) ). I got the idea that because we don't know which houses Rose and Scorp are in, it really doesn't matter, because the new wizarding generation isn't prejudiced and hung-up on which categories a person fits into.

(ANALOGY!!!) At the end of Scorp's Golem tale, we're totally snapped out of the fairytale mood by Rose when she reveals the themes and subtext of the story. That was SO clever, the way you made Amshel an analogy of Muggleborns and the way that they were thought "steal" magic. Rose's ending was the PROPER fairytale ending, and also the way the wizarding world went after HP killed Riddle (ANALOGY!!). Scorp getting rid of the fairytale book and saying "good riddance" is symbolic of the wizarding world turning over a new leaf - beautiful, also, AGAIN with the symbology, how Grandma Narcissa is going mad, as the old prejudices fade away into nothing.

You've kept with JK's "love conquers all" theme, and that's awesome, kudos! (I specifically love the quote at the end, absolutely beautiful!! Ingersoll is a legend. And also, Terry Pratchett - WOO!)

OK, one last thing before I stop :3 I just want to say that the repetition of the "Not a soul, nor a charm, nor a prayer ..." throughout the story is absolutely exquisite, from Irena rejecting her suitors, to Amshel smashing and Irena committing suicide, then finally when not a soul, etc., could part them. It's a very "fairytale" cohesive tie joining the whole thing together in a very magical way ;)

I COULD go on, but I'll stop now!! Haha thanks so much for a splendid and unique story!!


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Review #2, by LittleLionGirl Heart of Clay

25th July 2013:
Wow. That was an amazing story. It honestly sounds like it came from the Beetles Bard; especially the first one. It seems just like Ron to tell his own version :) I think the relationship between Rose and Scorpius is just starting and it is so sweet. You did an amazing job!

Author's Response: Thank you so much! This story is a bit of an odd one, but I really enjoyed sandwiching it between a bit of Rose/Scorpius. I love the idea of Ron telling his children stories ♥
Thanks again! :)
Athene xo

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Review #3, by ChaosWednesday Heart of Clay

22nd April 2013:
Hey, it's Whiskey! Sorry it took me so long to get to your story!

I must say I enjoyed this very much. At first, I wasn't too happy about having to read through a Rose/Scorp to get to the golems, but the second section made it clear why we needed them! There isn't a more modern take on the nature of fairytales than to admit how relative morals are and how easily a story can mean something else. Throwing in the hopes of the new generation combined with the still quite vivid memories of violence from recent wizarding history was quite an inventive way to put something as traditional as a fairytale in a critical context. Good job!

I find both parts (the golem and the Rose/Scorp) were well written, each with their own style and rythm. I particularly liked your description of Irena: "Pure magic flowed in her veins, and shone through to the tips of her golden hair. However, she was very lonely, and seemed somehow to be fading, like a flower too long in a vase." It made me think of the film Tangled :p A few other sentences were strange though, for example you once used the word "handsomest". It's probably just me, but that sounds kind of funny, you know? Also, this was a bit confusing: "...felt stronger than she ever had when blood flowed through her veins hotter and faster than blood." Since you are going for a slightly affected storytelling tone in the golem parts, it would make sense to pay particularly close attention to the word choice :) It's some minor things, but they do stand out since the rest is so carefully constructed.

I liked how you contrasted the two different endings. I also found it interesting how Rose immediately set her Critical Theory Cap on while Scorp dismissed it as "just a story". He couldn't be as offended as her even if he tried. There are certain limits to theory, after all, and the last step comes from associating with the group that is being discriminated. The whole scene made me think about the way a feminist conversation usually goes if you are trying to have it with a guy who is into you - it basically doesn't :P That said, there was a nice feminist undertone to the golem story, and I like how you hinted at the parallels while still sticking to the discussion of pureblood supremacy as the main issue.

It was interesting that the "better ending" had Irena more empowered as a woman, as a non-magical being and as a blood-traitor, as a scientist and an individualist. Basically, she embodied solidaity with everything marginal all at once. It was a nice touch! Doesnt get more politically correct than that... Ron really knows where to find the good stories XD

One thing I missed, though, was a stronger characterization of the golem. He was similar to the servents so must have had an expected role to fill, but it wasnt clear how exactly Irena's society viewed him. They didn't seem to be bothered so much by the fact that Irena chose to fall in love with this creature as much as that he took her magic. But, I suppose that was the point of the story :P

Also, I liked the "do not harm yourself" bits in the golem's programming when contrasted to Irena's suicide. In the end, it is a story about personal integrity, so these details set the tone.

Alright, I'll stop rambling now! I really liked this story, so thank you for entering the challenge :D

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Review #4, by patronus_charm Heart of Clay

21st March 2013:
I said I would stop by, so here I amÖ.even if it is one day late ;D

I really liked how you start because in most next gen stories the characters have so much energy and the pace of the story is so fast I can feel a little lost at times, but the way you started it was very reminiscent of the original books. I really enjoyed that feeling because I doubt Hogwarts would have changed dramatically like many stories say it has, so this was a great start!

Then I liked the little interaction between Rose and Scorpius and how they were just content with one another, and there were no major arguments, which was a refreshing change to stories about them. I also liked the nod towards Hugoís flying skills as it made me laugh, because I always imagined him to take after his mum in that department.

Then I really loved the fairy tale! It just fit perfectly into the genre of it, I think the language you used was probably key to its success. That again was very reminiscent of the stories you grew up with, and it reminded me of the Tales and the Beedle and the Bard, because you manage to mimic the way JK Rowling wrote her fairy tales so you can imagine wizarding children being brought up with it.

I quite liked the character of Irena. You donít often find sort of feminist in fairy tales, because theyíre usually swept off their feet by the first suitor, so I liked that little twist. Even though she did appear a little haughty at times calling her prospective husbands fools, it just fitted in with her, and it really didnít bother me at all, which isnít something I say often.

I really liked the idea of the golem as well. At first it reminded me of Golem in the Lord of the Rings, but this one seemed different, he had this calm air about him. It was nice to see how in depth you went into his creation as it was interesting to read, and it made me wonder whether that actually would have been possible in the wizarding world. I think I spotted a very minor typo here ĖĎ He became Amshel, which means Ďangelí.í I think it should be meant as the rest of the story was in past tense :)

I liked how you gave each of the suitors identifiable traits, as that again fits well into the genre. Even though they remained nameless, I still knew them as the wealthy one, clever one, and the other one. I guess I was slightly wrong about this golem being calming. He did seem to feel a little like the Golem in LoTR due to him becoming slightly power hungry and everyone fearing him, and that worked really well.

Oops Iím feeling a bit stupid not seeing that the story was meant to symbolise blood purity, but it was really well done, and I liked Roseís reaction. It was nice to see there was an alternate ending to it, as I was rather sad that they both died.

I thought this was an excellent and unique one-shot, and Iím so glad that I read it!

-Kiana :D

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Review #5, by CambAngst Heart of Clay

5th March 2013:
Aww.. that was a really beautiful story, on both levels.

I loved the way you set the scene for this. I have an amazing imagine in my head of a warm, sunny fall day on the grounds of Hogwarts. Every little details you layered on, the different activities the students are engaged in, the squid lounging in the shallows, all of it is marvelously complimentary. Even though it doesn't relate directly to the story that Rose and Scorpius share, it gave the story so much more impact in my mind.

Having the two different versions of the story of Irena and Amshel being told in two very different wizarding families was a very clever touch. I can totally see the Black family -- well, not so much Narcissa, but definitely her parents and eldest sister -- glorying in the story of a witch who pays a terrible price for "wasting" her magical gift on an unworthy being. It's easy to see the suitors through sympathetic eyes in their version. They offered her strength and bravery, beauty and wealth, and intellect, respectively, and in her own arrogance she turned them all down to pursue her own ambitions of a mate selfishly tailored to her own desires.

Then you flip the story around and tell it from the Weasley point of view. Irena was able to overlook the superficial attractions of the suitors her parents chose for her and follow her own heart. She chose true love, as embodied by the scroll she placed in the golem's head. And when the townspeople were prepared to destroy her one, true love, she regained her magic and saved him.

Amazing how essentially the same story can lead to two very different morals based solely on the ending. You did an amazing job of crafting it. I am seriously in awe of your cleverness.

The parallels to Rose and Scorpius's own story are pretty obvious at the end, and this was a really great way to bring the two of them closer together.

Sarah, this was amazing. For something so short, it really made an impact. Nicely done!

Author's Response: Hi Dan! I'm so sorry it's taken me forever to respond to this review - I had a sudden boom in reviews just before going on night shifts, followed swiftly by a bout of flu! But I'm here now :)

It's good to hear that you had a strong image of the grounds of Hogwarts in your mind - I always aim to create a vivid setting or atmosphere, because that's my favourite sort of thing to read!

I love that your review focuses on the difference between the Black family and Weasley family versions of the same story - thank you for that. You actually summarise them both so perfectly, and see things from each family's perspective so well that I feel you've given *me* a fresh perspective on my own story. Which is my favourite sort of review

I really enjoyed including a little bit of Rose and Scorpius in this, seeing how the conflicting stories could actually bring them together.

Um... and and and. THANKS! So much! For all the kind words. I know you just called me clever, and this is not a particularly erudite response, but let's blame the flu.

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Review #6, by Jchrissy Heart of Clay

5th March 2013:
I already love how youíve started this. The first sentence about summer stretching itself over the very boundaries of summer was so creative. It isnít too complex that it pull the reader out of the story, but itís such a new way to inform the reader of the month/weather and do it all on an insanely beautiful level. ugh. Iím green with envy.

Weíre barely stared and youíre already playing with my feels! I want to know why Scorpius is so protective over his book!

Oh, youíre going to tell me. Well then. I shall continue :P

So we have Strength, then Riches, and now Intelligence. Mentally noting that for this review.

Okay so much for my running review :P

SARAH THIS WAS SO PRETTY. I think the bedtime story was the perfect left of make believe. We all know that a lot of our favorite kids stories have darker twists. Look at the meaning being Ring around the rosy... so I think working such a dark context into the story was one million perfect perfect.

I loved the context of the bedtime story itself. The idea of her turning down all her suitors, none of witch truly loved her, and building her Golem with her own hands, the most important part being that he would truly love her.

I loved how each of the three suitors stood for something that the pureblood culture does value. But not one of them stood for love. The first was strength and willpower, vowing to do whatever it took to conquer Irenaís heart. But she canít be conquered, because she isnít something to own.

Then we have the second suitor and his riches. Another important value in the purebloods. He can buy anything he wants for the beautiful woman and promise to lay it all at her feat. But she cant be bought. Loving someone canít be done through gold and jewels.

Then our last, Intelligence. He is the most clever, and cares about her skill of magic. Not about the person she is behind the magic. And he canít win her year.

The three suitors were just so, so perfect and creative. Watching them be denied her hand request after request, until her loneliness was just too painful. I loved how she learned of the golem, and her frantic need to create her own. And ohh! The characteristics she gave him were so, so warm and sweet! To be kind to himself, to be kind and love her, and then her magic bring him to life. OHMYGOSH my heart might melt! It was just so beautiful and sweet.

I was so happy that you chose to expand on Roseís version and tell hers as well. When she was reading it, I could start to pick up on where the one her dad would tell her varied, then I got worried that you wouldnít tell her side too. And you did!

I really liked that you chose to have Scoprius not understand before Rose told him the message behind the story. It makes it clear that he doesnít feel that way. If heíd have just shrugged and said, ĎI know, but itís just a story,í I would have been said that he liked it so much already knowing what it was about.

Youíre such a sneaky girl twisting two love stories into one, you know.

This was so beautiful Sarah. I know you said to give any CC I can, but the only thing I can think of is the smallest thing ever. And thatís for the first suitor to say that he wants to know what it will take to conquer her heart instead of win it. Because it seems more strong/manly/huntery.

See. I told you I didnít have any actual CC. I really did try, though.

Thank you for telling me such a beautiful tale, mídear. One of your many.

♥ ♥ WUB YOU.

Author's Response: Wooo, time for a running response!

Yeah, I was pretty pleased with that line. It took a lot of fiddling to get it right! But it works, apparently, so yay.

"Oh, you√ʬĬôre going to tell me. Well then. I shall continue" - Hahahaha - what am I going to do with you?!

Yes! Pretty but also dark and twisty is exactly what I was going for. Yay again! I can't think of any traditional fairy tales that doesn't have a darker meaning. Sleeping Beauty is... horrendous.

Honestly, I wasn't sure about this story at all. I didn't know if readers would get the relationship I tried to build between Irena and Amshel, or why Irena did what she did, but from what you've said, I'm so glad you got all heart-melty!

Jami! I'm really falling for Scorpius/Rose. I really am. I loved writing their bits of this story! I'm glad you got that about Scorpius - I wanted it to be clear that he actually hasn't grown up knowing much about the problems muggleborns might face. Maybe he's a little sheltered, but he's not bigoted... and Rose is more than willing to educate him. She's like her mum :P

Thank you for the CC! Hahaha. I actually changed it to that when I originally got this review, as it's such a good idea. So thanks!

WUB YOU! Thanks for the review

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