Reading Reviews for Knight Takes Queen
  
11 Reviews Found

Review #1, by UnluckyStar57 Rook

2nd September 2014:
Ahhh! You ninja'd me in the Review Battle, so I'll just have to leave you a quick review before I go off to class. :)

I hate that I didn't read this sooner. As with Romeo in Ivory and House of Cards, your prose is flawless. But in this one, it seems even more poetic and simply astounding. You have such a knack for simile and metaphor, and if I had time to quote some good examples, I would probably be quoting the whole thing. It was so incredibly fabulous. :)

So, this is about Rowena Ravenclaw? Is this pre-Hogwarts or during the founding of the school? I'm guessing that it's before, because she thinks about how she's so bound by societal constraints--I really appreciated that line, because to me, Rowena defies all of those constraints (and Helga too, but we're talking about our own Founder for now). I love that her curiosity was pretty much reflected by the merman's--you gave some more spark and interest to merpeople, which is awesome. :D

Sorry for such a daffy review, but I've got to be off to class now! Hopefully I'll come back and review more later. :)

~For the September BvB Review Battle~

~UnluckyStar57

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Review #2, by magnolia_magic Rook

27th August 2014:
Oh Laura. You beautiful soul, you.

I can't believe you wrote Founders! Alsjfkdskl I am so excited!! And you did such a beautiful job with it. I absolutely loved this from start to end. Rowena is just how I would imagine her. She has some big regrets, and as a perfectionist, that would be extremely difficult for her to deal with. But the merman provides the spark of hope that the story needs. The narrative builds so nicely to that pivotal moment, and ends on a "smile through the tears" note. So perfect :)

I will admit that second person POV is not my cup of tea. It pretty much tops my list of things I would rather not see in writing. But there was so much to enjoy here that it wasn't even a dealbreaker for me. Your imagery is so gorgeous and evocative; I just sort of sank into the scene along with Rowena. And the moment with the merman was so, so well done. I held my breath while he reached out to touch her hand; it was such a surreal moment, and you described it so beautifully.

I love you for this! Wonderful job, and I can't wait to tell you what I think of the other two stories in the collection. (SPOILER: I read them already and loved them! Hopefully I can carve out some more review time soon.) Well done, Laura!

--Maggie

Author's Response: Maggie! Thank you so much! I'm so so glad you stopped by this because your DCtN is pretty much my headcanon for Salazar and Helga and I loved it so much that I couldn't help but think of that when I wrote this.

I'm so happy you liked Rowena as well! I loved the idea of portraying her as struggling because she's famous for sort of having answers, you know, but also refusing to admit weaknesses, like Helena and the diadem. The merman... omigosh, i loved writing that bit, it was so much fun! :)

Second person... yeah, it's not for everyone, but I felt this sort of needed second person - it fitted. I'm so glad you could ignore it, though - it really is amazing to me that you like this, because you're so brilliant at this era :) A lot of this was just things I really like writing, haha, but I wrote it surprisingly quickly, so I'm so happy you like it :)

Thank you so so much for the wonderful review, and I'm so glad you liked all of them - I was so nervous about the third when I posted it! Thank you again! :)

Aph xx


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Review #3, by Infinityx Rook

27th August 2014:
Hi! Here for our swap!

Yay for second person PoV! It's my favourite and I have no doubt this chapter is going to be just magical!

I love the way you've begun this. It's the first time I've come across anything that makes a connection with religion. And it seems apt, considering Rowena's time. Your imagery and descriptions are just beautiful - and I've read just the first paragraph!

Your portrayal of Rowena is really interesting. I'd love to know how she came to stand there, on that rock, with such a powerful emotional turmoil. Was she about to jump in earlier, before the merman jumped out? :o

The way you've described the merman is just incredible. It's so vivid, and I can picture the scene so clearly in my head. And the final moment when she jumps in after him - it felt like it just HAD to happen, otherwise the scene wouldn't be complete.

There was a sort of mystical feel throughout the chapter, and I love the way you've written it. This is going into my favourites, and I'm definitely reading on immediately!

Author's Response: Hi there - thanks so much for dropping by! :)

Haha, I love second person pov too! It had been so long since I used it before this, that it seemed so right to use it in this, and I just enjoyed coming back to it so much! Aw, thank you! :)

Gah, thank you! I really wanted to include the religion aspect because it really is important in the time, and therefore likely would be for Rowena too, and yet its often left out because it's a difficult thing to write, I think.

There will be references to it later, to how she came to be there, but I'm so glad you like Rowena - I loved writing her! :)

The merman... I just loved writing that. When I was trying to think of magical creatures to write, it just seemed so obvious to me to write a mermaid/merman, and merman seemed more interesting, and I loved describing it - it was a lovely break from wind :P

Gah, thank you so so much for the favourite and all the compliments and the lovely, lovely review - it was so great to get! Thank you so much for the swap, as well - I always love swapping with you! :)

Aph xx


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Review #4, by nott theodore King

25th August 2014:
Hi Laura! Here for review tag (since I should be doing other things right now and I need an excuse :P)

I've really enjoyed reading this short story collection so much - I haven't read a lot of Founders era stories and certainly not ones that focus on Rowena without delving into some sort of romance that she experienced in her life, so this was really original and interesting to read!

I liked the way that you skipped to Rowena's death here, and called the chapter King. Although she's dying and fading away, at this point in her life she's already got her crowning achievements in Hogwarts and the unity of the four houses, so she it is like she's taken the king. But at the same time it could maybe be interpreted as her having been checkmated, as she's losing her life and the game and things. It's really intriguing to think about the different ways the theme can be interpreted and the symbolism behind it; the ambiguity there is great, because it lets the reader put their own spin on what's happening.

It was actually really sad to read about the way that Rowena was dying, though, even though I know she had a really successful and influential life. I thought it was really effective to skip from the last chapter, when Rowena is escaping from all the difficulties she faces in a Muggle family, to her death, when she's surrounded by magic and the people that she's worked with to create her legacy. But you wrote her death really well, especially the way that she was ill and sort of fading away, then ending it with that last line. It sounded so final and I think it was a great way to end the story.

I loved the portrayal of Helga Hufflepuff in this chapter as well! Even though this chapter's less than 1000 words long, you still managed to weave in enough details about her to make her character seem real and believable. I really liked the idea of her being some sort of servant to Rowena at first, because it fits so well with the sort of humble image I have of Helga in my mind, and the fact that she values hard work and loyalty. For her to then rise to become this strong woman is great to think of, and I really like the idea that Rowena helped her to become that woman so that they could all create Hogwarts together.

Again, the second person was so brilliant in this chapter. It flowed so well and it really draws me into the story, so that I feel a connection with Rowena even though she's dying in this chapter.

I think my favourite thing about this chapter was the way that Rowena thought of Helga and Godric as her siblings, a family that she'd earned. I'm glad that she could feel that sense of family again after she's left her real family behind in the Muggle world and made this new life for herself, and I thought that was a great way of capturing the relationship between them.

This was a really lovely ending to the story and I've really enjoyed reading this collection, Laura! It's made me think of Rowena in much more depth than before and it's great!

Sian :)

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Review #5, by toomanycurls Bishop

5th August 2014:
Hey!!!

I'm here for the BvB battle!

I love the tone and growth in this chapter. Rowena's bitterness towards her past and difficulty accepting her powers was so well put.

I can imagine how scary she would seem to commoners and servants. I like to think of her bold and strong and slightly terrifying for people who are muggles (or just not as powerfully magic).

Having Rowena's powers fully manifest while she was at the church is perfect for the way you've laid out her reactions to magic thus far.

You don't say she's by the lake besides Hogwarts or the same willow that students we know of sat by, but that's what it seemed like and there was something wonderful about seeing one of the more powerful founders at these same places but before they held signifigance for the HP world.

Rowena's acceptance of magic and being able to cast out her shame was wonderful. I love this chapter and can'tw ait for more.

-Rose

Author's Response: Hey Rose! Thanks so much for dropping by! :)

I really like exploring a bit more of the attitudes towards magic at the time, in this, and the emotions that would kinda hold. Rowena is such a great character to explore because of the weaknesses we know she has in canon and the qualities she prizes, which are kinda strange for women of that time, so I like that :)

Haha, yeah that's pretty similar to my head-canon for her! :D Sort of haughty and proud and strong, and becomes very independent :)

I wasn't quite sure about that, tbh, in terms of the meaning behind it and the imagery... but it's kinda growing on me, I think. Churches are such beautiful places, so I really enjoyed writing the setting!

I kinda think of it as the lake beside Hogwarts, though I have no idea about the tree, haha. I mostly end up using willows in everything, because I love them - and they're so useful for concealing things because they hang down... it's kinda against canon, in that respect, but ah well :P

Gah, thank you so so much for the wonderful review - I'm so glad you're enjoying the story! :)

Aph xx


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Review #6, by momotwins Rook

4th August 2014:
Your writing is beautiful, homeslice. Good vocabulary in a story makes me super happy. Your word choice is excellent, so evocative, and you paint such detailed pictures that it's like watching a movie. I could totally see the merman leaping and splashing her. I wish I could write description like this, it's amazing. Really well done, can't wait to read more.

Author's Response: Hi Meg! Thanks so much for dropping by! :)

Ah, thank you so much! It's so lovely of you to say so! I got to admit, part of comes because I really, really hate repeating words :P I'm so glad you liked the description, particularly the merman - I've always wanted to write about mermaids because they're such fascinating, beautiful creatures - so it was such a great change for me to do that! :)

Thank you so much for the lovely review - I'm so so glad you enjoyed the story! :)

Aph xx


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Review #7, by nott theodore Bishop

3rd August 2014:
Hi Laura!

Ah, this was another great chapter! I'm so impressed with your writing here and the way you're able to create such a powerful impact in a chapter when it's under 1000 words long. It's also great to get to see more of an insight into the life of Rowena Ravenclaw before she became Rowena Ravenclaw, and I loved the way that you continued the story here!

Once again, I loved your use of second person when it came to this chapter because I felt like I was experiencing all of the emotions alongside Rowena in this chapter. Her sense of insecurity and self-loathing came through brilliantly here and I couldn't only see those emotions, but I could understand them too.

I think the way that you chose to include the theme of religion in this chapter was great! Of course it fits in with the chapter title but I often see it avoided as a theme, even in this period when it was one of the most important aspects of every day life for people. The fact that witches are condemned at this time, and burnt, because they're thought of as being agents of the devil, makes things so much harder for her and I felt so sorry for her, especially when you described the way she behaved as a little girl when others avoided her and she didn't know why. I thought it was fantastic to show the way that she felt that pressure and wanted to change because what she'd been taught all her life said that she was wrong for being who she was, even though it was something that she couldn't change. The scene in the church was really effective to illustrate that.

I felt so happy for Rowena though when she finally left home, even though it was a really difficult thing to do, especially at such a young age. I wondered if that spirit that caused her to flee home was something that is mirrored in her daughter, though, with Helena running away with the diadem? It's only something tiny but I love the idea that she's Scottish too, as it fits in well with the idea of Hogwarts being built in Scotland.

I think my favourite thing about this chapter had to be the amazing imagery that you included in it, though. Even when Rowena was suffering you still managed to somehow make it sound beautiful (if that even makes sense) and the bird motif was brilliant. It was so clever that you worked in the raven coming to greet her, as though it's an animal that she has a special affinity with, and then the last lines with the raven and the eagle together, as they tie in so well to what we know of her! It made me think that maybe the name Ravenclaw hadn't come from her family at all but was a name she chose for herself to fit with her new identity. And the eagle works so well when we see it here, and also thinking that she's Scottish when it's their national bird. I really love stories that work in details like that and this chapter was just amazing!

Sian :)

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Review #8, by nott theodore Rook

9th July 2014:
Hi Laura! I'm here in the middle of my reviewing frenzy to stop by some of the staffers' stories, as a thank you for organising this event for us!

This was amazing! (Apart from the fact it was written in support of Ravenclaw, which I'm willing to overlook :P) I loved your use of second person as I don't think I've ever seen it done before to write about a Founders era character, and you write it so well! Rowena's character was really intriguing as well; your portrayal of her was much more vulnerable than the one that I normally see, and she seems much more unsure of herself.

I thought that the description and imagery that you included in this chapter was brilliant, really. I loved reading each line because there was something almost poetic about it and I could picture each detail so vividly. I really liked the moment with the merman, as well. There was a subtle shift in tone from the beginning to the end of this chapter and it was nice to see that it was more hopeful towards the end!

Sian :)
Gryffindor House Cup 2014 Review

Author's Response: Hi Sian! Awww, that's so sweet - you really didn't have to! It was fun to plan it all out (and drive you guys mad during Event 4 ;D)!

Haha, sorry about that (Ravenclaw all the way! :P) but I'm so glad you liked it! I really struggle with writing short pieces, so it was surprisingly hard to keep it compact. I'm so glad you liked Rowena - she was an interesting character to write, and I liked making her vulnerable and sort of lost, it was interesting to explore.

Gah, thank you so much! I really loved writing the merman and I've always loved writing sea and wind and things, so it was sort of just a bunch of things I really enjoy, so I'm so happy you liked it!

Thank you so much for the lovely review, and for stopping by! It was so sweet! :)

Aph xx


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Review #9, by patronus_charm Rook

7th July 2014:
Hi Laura!

I really loved this insight into Rowena’s mind as it was very different to the usual portrayals I see of her. She was just so much less sure and steady of herself, and I could really sense a weakness in her moves. Like when she was in the water, there just seemed to be so much reluctance there that I thought she might drown or something as she just didn’t seem to be aware of much really.

I loved the descriptions and imagery in this story as it was so lovely and vivid from the sea and the wind to Rowena herself and the emotional turmoil she was going through right now and you caught it so well. This is sort of linked, but the way you wrote about the merman was really good as it seemed as if they were really meant to be there and just part of the magical world which was cool.

A really great one-shot, and I hope there is more to follow!

-Kiana

Author's Response: Hi Kiana! :) Thanks so much for dropping by! It was so great to wake up to find this :)

Thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked it! I liked the idea of portraying her as sort of out of control, because it sort of comes back to how Helena's loss devastated her so much, so it's kinda meant to link up a little to that, in a way. I've never really written a character this lost, either, so it was an interesting challenge! :)

Gah, thank you so much! I loved writing the merman - it was so much fun to write with the lake and the water and all... it's so different to anything else I've written, something I'd never thought of before, so I'm so glad you liked it! :)

Thank you so so much for the review - it was so nice to get and such a great surprise! There's going to be two more chapters, along the HC themes ;)

Aph xx


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Review #10, by HarrietHopkirk Rook

5th July 2014:
I really like this! And it's in support of Ravenclaw, who are awesome, obviously and ABOUT Ravenclaw, who is awesome, obviously... so there's no way I wouldn't stop to read this.

Your writing style is marvelous! I really enjoyed reading this one-shot. You manage to blend description, imagery, emotive stuff and action seamlessly - that description of wind, pure class! I loved how the story started, with the rosary beads - I always want to write more about how wizards react to religion and such.

And the moment between Rowena and the merman - so touching! So moving! And your writing complimented the tone of the piece really well: sad at the beginning, where Rowena is a bit lost, then more hopeful, as she relishes in the presence of the merman, of meeting new things, new knowledge etc. I don't know though, that's my own interpretation.

Overall - super good. Favoriting!

I was wondering whether chapters will follow this?! You've labelled it 'I: Rook'...

Author's Response: Hey there - thanks so much for stopping by! I was totally not expecting this at all and it was so lovely to get, so thank you! :)

And yes Ravenclaw are awesome, and Ravenclaw is awesome... you guys were amazing during the HC! :wub:

Gah, thank you so much! I originally meant for it to be a 500 word thing, but it kinda grew too big for that and there was no way I could edit it down - so I'm glad you liked it! Religion and wizards - gosh, yes, that's something I've always wanted to explore a little more, or at least include a bit more than I have done in other stuff. So yes, with the time period and all I just had to include a bit in here :P

Haha, no it's good - I kinda wanted it to be more hopeful and kind of a meeting-of-minds thing with the merman, where she sort of realises that she's not totally alone and starts a new friendship and a new chapter of her life. I always thought of it more as the potential of new knowledge, but that's just being really picky :P

Thank you so so much for the review and the favourite - it's so so amazing to get and gah, just really made my day! :) Thank you!

Aph xx

p.s. ooh, sorry, yeah, there will be two more chapters, to go with the HC themes ;)


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Review #11, by toomanycurls Rook

29th June 2014:
Thanks for doing a review swap! I wanted to read this since you talked about it for the warnings.

You did a great job capturing Rowena's desperation and fear about having magical powers. I'm really impressed with how you conveyed her deep-rooted religious feelings right away.

The mermaid's appearance was perfect confirmation for her of the existance of magic and not just her own insanity/possession.

I love your description of the merman's hunger being akin to Rowena's own hunger (for knowledge I'm guessing).

This is a wonderful story and gives a great bit of rationale for why Rowena would have devoted her life to starting a school for witches and wizards.

-Rose

Author's Response: Hey Rose! :) Thanks so much for the swap - I always feel like I win in all of these, reviewing True Romance :P

Gah, thank you so much! I didn't want to overload the chapter with loads of talk about religion and the role it plays and everything, even though it's really interesting, so I'm glad you felt it came through :)

It took me a while to come up with the merman idea, but when I got it I really liked it - they're such beautiful creatures in mythology - and I couldn't let it go. I'm so happy you liked it - and yeah, it's the hunger for knowledge and the curiosity about other species and new things and wanting to learn about them and stuff...

Thanks so much for the lovely review and for the swap - they're always so brilliant! :)

Aph xx


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