So I accidentally missed out a chapter :P (Honestly, I have no idea idea how!) So this is going to be slightly out of order, so my bad for that - but I'm here again for Quodpot match 1: Ravenclaw v Gryffindor star-crossed romance.
Oh. my. god. Can I slap Edmund? Please, please, please, can I? I knew from the next chapter that he rejects her, but I didn't expect it to be this cruel, yk? The way he just ignores her for so long, until she goes to find him and manages to get next to him; how he just looks at her, and just says - because he didn't really need the rest of the phrase - she's a whore, despite that he seduced her, he did the same as her... ahhh it's so unfair, poor poor Hepzibah! (Also I feel like someone's grandma sitting here thinking to myself, I told you so! I knew this would happen! haha, and honestly, you've made me feel sorry enough for Hepzibah I can't really blame her, yk? She's young, she made a mistake, she shouldn't be blamed for it like that.)
Edmund is an ass, honestly. Hopefully she can move on and find a better boy to fall in love with :)
In a way I feel kinda sorry for Honoria - which I wasn't really expecting. But she doesn't really know Edmund, hasn't had anything to do with Hepzibah's relationship with him - at least, so far as we know at the moment... - or their break-up; he's obviously not a nice guy and I kinda feel for her that she's gonna end up with him, when he's a jerk.
I love the way you wrote the moment of Hepzibah's heartbreak, how she physically drops to her knees when he says that to her and just walks off, offering her cousin his arm. It was such a great, if sad, image. Then again, all your writing in this is so good - so powerful. I love how you wrote her so nervous in front of her family, not knowing why he hasn't called or invited her anywhere, what's going on. All the little details of those paragraphs - the mention of her trembling, how smiling hurts, the weight her anxiety makes in her stomach... i love the physicality of it, because anxiety is physical and you just wrote it so perfectly and so beautifully, even if it so bitter to read.
Ahhhhh poor Hepzibah - I'm really, really hoping that she gets something of a happy ending more than ever now!
Will definitely have to come back soon! :)
I think I can forgive you for accidentally missing a chapter when your review asks if you can slap Edmund :P That's the sort of reaction I was really hoping that I'd manage to get from readers when I was writing this story, because honestly, Edmund does need a good slap. He treats her so, so unfairly, and unfortuantely she's the one who's going to suffer more for it than he is - he points out her shortcomings and her "lack of virtue", but of course there's the double standard which is still very prevalent today, when he gets away with it and she's the one who suffers.
Honoria is inspired by Cousin Kate in the poem - she doesn't know how the relationship happened quite as much, so she's going to end up with someone who isn't quite what she thought, but I also think that happened to a lot of women in this period, when their marriages were arranged for them and they just had to accept it, and be grateful in a way because it was a way of securing or elevating their social standing.
I'm so pleased you enjoyed this, and that you thought the description of Hepzibah's heartbreak was an accurate one!
Thank you for this, and all the other, lovely reviews! <3
I'm back again - got time for a quick fourth one (I'm sneaking reviews in at work, haha, which probably isn't the best way to go about this but ah well :P)! :P Here for Quodpot Match 1: Ravenclaw v Gryffindor star-crossed romance
Oh no oh no oh no - I WAS EXPECTING THAT. Of course it wasn't going to go well because I know you Sian, I know you and I knew this wasn't going to be a happy story - not yet, at least (I hope?)! Poor, poor Hepzibah - I feel so so sorry for her, because she's so young, only seventeen, and to have your first heartbreak on so public a stage, with all the gossip behind her, then her cousin succeeding where she 'failed' (as far as you can fail when you fall in love with a boy who doesn't love you). It's so harsh, and even though I know it's historically accurate to the era, I hate that her parents can only be disappointed with her, that they're upset with her because she should have done better than a brief fling and heartbreak. She's hurting and her parents are just... they just don't care about that. Ugh poor girl.
Also why did the handsome boy have to be so evil?! :P Though I love that you made him so charming and so dreamy initially - because we saw him through Hepzibah's eyes and she was so infatuated, to her he was wonderful, and then, then he wasn't, but it was too late for her.
And yikes, really really too late for her omigosh. At a risk of reiterating the last line of this chapter - what is she going to do? What can she do? She's really got herself in a horrible, horrible situation :/ Ahhhh stupid Edmund Prince and his pretty blue eyes!
I think what I love most about your writing and about this chapter in general is all of your descriptions in this. The way you write Hepzibah's heartbreak, how you describe it is just so beautiful. From the repetition of 'dark dark dark' to describing the invitation as 'the golden colour of autumn leaves' it's so vivid and so vibrant, and this chapter oscillates so perfectly between such bright colours and the darker, grey-toned sadness Hepzibah is feeling. I loved as well the line about the Patronus Charm - it's such a perfect metaphor and it was such a great detail to add to this.
I'm so so curious about where you go with this - you've left it on a real cliffhanger! :P
I'M SORRY! I mean, I am and I'm not - you know me well enough to know that this was going to be full of angst, and I didn't want it to be happy all the way. Hepzibah has a long journey to go on through this story, even though it's only short chapters, and I'm so glad that you're feeling for her and that you care about her as a character, because that really means a lot. Edmund is a real charmer, but I wanted to show how false a front people can put on because I think it makes it all the more painful and heartbreaking for Hepzibah, to have been so trusting and to be taken in by him. (He's very heavily inspired by Willoughby from Sense and Sensibility, as a matter of fact - I can say that now you've read to this point :P)
Whenever you tell me you like my descriptions, it's like the ultimate compliment, given how stunning your work always is. I'm so happy you enjoyed this chapter!
Thank you <3
Hi again! :D Back again for Quodpot Match 1: Ravenclaw v Gryffindor Star-crossed romance :)
Oooooooohhhh okay so your opening paragraphs have alll been so so good in this story, and this one was I think my favourite so far. I loved the comparison of falling in love to drinking wine and how she feels dizzy with it: how both are so addictive, so heady, making your head spin, lowering your inhibitions - it makes so much sense :P I loved as well that other mention of how the rules feel too strict. It was so staged then, all of those courtship things - the rituals, the rules, the courtesies you had to pay - it was crazy, and I loved how Hepzibah is chafing against them in a way she probably wouldn't do in a different situation - but she's in love and she wants privacy now, wants to kiss him again. I keep forgetting that Hepzibah's only seventeen in this - and yk, we were all pretty like that at seventeen - rebellious and annoyed by rules in general :P
That house sounds so beautiful: all the silk furnishings and the royal colours, the endless bedrooms and the wooden bannisters. As an aside, it's kinda sad to think that this all - for the Prince family - is gone in about a century: when it gets to Eileen, there's nothing left :/
I lovedlovedloved the mention of how she wanders through the house, Edmund behind her, imagining that he's watching her, seeing if she likes the house, the idea of him looking at her with the idea that she's the future Mrs Edmund Prince.
Ooooooohhhhhh oh Hepzibah! I can't help but feel that's gonna turn out to be a super bad move :/ I really really hope I'm wrong, but I can't help it! (though this line 'the choice is yours and you have made it: when will you find another chance like this, to love him?' was so so good and made me feel so sorry for her)
If I don't get a chance to finish this story before Quodpot ends, I'll just have to come back - I'm hooked now, I have to find out how this ends! :)
(Is it wrong that I'm not exactly surprised you liked a description about drinking wine? :P)
Ah, but thank you so much - I'm so pleased you liked the opening of this story, and the way that Hepzibah was rebelling against the rules and just wanting to get caught up in the romance of it all. I know teenagers are generally rebellious when it comes to rules anyway, but everything was just so strict at that point in time, and it's even more understandable in a way that people would push against them - even if the consequences were probably far more severe as a result?
I'm glad you liked the description of the house! I'd actually really like to explore the Prince family story some day, but I'm just not sure that I'm the right person to do it (or at least, I don't have the idea yet!).
You might be right that it's not the best idea she's ever had... but then, do seventeen year-olds in love generally make the best decisions?
Thank you for a wonderful review! <3
Hihihi - back again for Quodpot Match 1: Ravenclaw v Gryffindor Star-crossed romance :)
Omigosh so I said in the last review that Edmund sounded dreamy, and he did, and in this... he just sounds so so lovely, yk - so sweet and clever and the sense that Hepzibah is mesmerised, that he is mesmerising just leaps off the page. He seems all-encompassing, almost addictive for Hepzibah and I'm only getting more worried for her about what's going to happen. The way she's allowing herself to get swept up in it - in the jealousy it provokes, the flush of first love and being loved, of having all that attention and being the centre of gossip... it's so real and I love it, but I can't help but think her mother has a point about trying to keep things slightly closer to home, and more tightly wound.
I love the way you describe their courtship - or, at least, with Hepzibah thinks is their courtship - with the envious looks, the watchful eyes of family members and guardians, chaperones keeping an eye to make sure nothing untoward happens :P I love the idea of the two of them sneaking away from their parents and older relatives, finding snatches of time alone. I really liked as well, the mention of how they talk - well, the mention of how Edmund talks to her, of things she doesn't understand and concepts she doesn't quite get. It seemed significant to me that you said he talked, rather than that they talked, it puts me in mind of an adoring Hepzibah with this smooth, charming, clever Edmund, and it's sweet, but it doesn't make me any less worried about where this is going to go :P
(As dreamy as Edmund still sounds, I'm convinced he's gonna turn out to be a magical version of Mr Wickham :P)
As always your writing is amazing. I think my favourite line in this - it's so so hard to choose favourite lines in anything you write ever, haha - is where you say 'his is a magic you have never before encountered' - but, tbf, that whole paragraph was just so good and so sweet, so reminiscent of a kind of heady, all-consuming first love.
I'm so excited by this story and so so regret that I never stopped by earlier!
Hehe Edmund was SO MUCH fun to write! He's such a smooth, charming character, and I'm so pleased that you felt like he jumped off the page and seemed realistic to you. I really wanted to show how Hepzibah was getting swept up in the romance of it, and the excitement of first love and the attention that he's giving her. I wanted to focus on the thrill of their courtship for her, and how much she's wrapped up in him; you might be right in that it's significant when he talks, rather than when she talks.
Hmm, all I'll say is that a couple in another Austen novel might have been an inspiration for the Hepzibah/Edmund relationship. We'll see if you can guess which one it is :P
Thank you so much for this lovely review!
SIAAAAAAN!!! It's been way too long since I stopped by so with Quodpot and Star-crossed romance being one of the themes for Match 1: Ravenclaw v Gryffindor, I thought it was about time ;)
And I love this. I love everything you write so it's not exactly a surprise, but there we go: I love it. You do so so well at bringing to life this whole image of a Victorian/late-regency type dance hall, with the boys stuffed into their suits - kids she's known her whole life, now pretending to be men :P and, before I forget it, I loved that sense, that she can't really forget how they used to be, and that it's strange to feel that, despite having known them all for so long, now they have this kind of strange, impossible power over her and her future, with all the ability to make or break her.
You write her so wonderfully: I love how she's not the stereotypical 'beautiful woman' of the time: she has curves and she's so aware of it, but she's pretty and she knows that too. She's confident and proud - wanting to do well, and she's such a fascinating character. I really, really want to know what you do with her beyond this: how you take her and make her grow.
Edmund Prince sounds dreamy :P Though I'm really worried that romance isn't going to end well for her. After all, in here you say her surname is Macmillan, but she ends up as a Smith in the books.
As always, your writing is so beautiful. You have a real talent for everything writing-related, tbh, and this isn't any exception. All the little details in here - Hepzibah's blush, the mention of her cousin (Honoria - Dumbledore? :P I know it's probably a coincidence, but I can't help but ask!) and her cousin's sisters, that beautiful beautiful first sentence... it's so so good, and I'm so impressed you managed to distill this all into 500 words or so. It's amazing and such a talent.
Love, as always
I think I mainly have you to thank for the inspiration for writing this story, actually - if I remember rightly it was your Romanticism challenge back on HPFF, and Cousin Kate by Christina Rossetti that inspired it! I'm so pleased you liked it!
My writing tends to be rather wordy (as if you didn't know that already) so it was a challenge fitting everything into chapters that were so short (my aim was to emulate the stanzas of a poem, in a way). It's great that you think I managed to capture the scene and bring the era to life in this story, with all the little details that I tried to include in here to make it more authentic and believable. Believe it or not, I have a real soft spot for Hepzibah, so I'm really happy you liked the way that I described her in this chapter and that you want to see more of her character!
Thank you so much for this review <3
100th Review for my most favourite person <3
I loved this chapter, honestly there was just something about the way you painted the scene, it was so colourful and vivid. I adored the imagery that you created 'like the flash of a mermaid's tail.'. You are such a good writer because I was engaged in the piece. I could almost see the room in my mind because your description was so beautifully played. You found a good balance with your imagery here which didn't have to do it. I really felt the energy of the occasion.
I thought your characterisation was really strong here too. Honestly, I can really get a sense of who she is in the words that you've chosen. I loved this that you've been able show how childish that she is in some way but she is so excitable. it's really cute and she becomes likeable to me straight away! I can't believe that you've managed to create such a scene in a short amount of words. I love in your novels that you're able to create this whole world with all your little details and often your chapters are long (such a treat!) but you've really shown how talented you are by using just over 500 words that you can still set the scene perfectly.
There are so many beautiful moments here, I think my favourite phrase is probably the last one 'eyes locked, sky and sea blending together, you dance.'. it's just so simple but it's really romantic at the same time. I'm glad she got chosen. I'm glad I chose this to review, I'm going to have to come back to review some more chapters at some points.
- Abbi xo
Hi Abbi! Ah, the 100th review made me smile so much! <3
I'm so pleased that you enjoyed this chapter! When I started writing it, it was a real challenge to fit everything in the way I wanted to in just 500 words per chapter, especially with how wordy my writing normally is. I was pretty pleased with how the story turned out, in the end - I know there's probably some adjustments that I could have made to it, but overall I was happy.
The description being vivid and helping to paint a picture in your mind makes me really happy! I wanted to focus a lot on that because I think it fits not only the period well, but the Romanticism, which heavily inspired the story. I have such a soft spot for Hepzibah (not that you'd necessarily think it if you read all of this story, because, ahem, I'm not very nice to her) but I'm so pleased you liked her characterisation and that you got a sense of who she was in this first chapter. She has a long journey to go on through this story but I'm glad you're enjoying it so far!
Thank you <3
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Agh, this chapter! The beginning is so wonderful and peaceful, it gave me chills and almost made me cry! After all that Hepzibah has endured, it rally makes her ultimate happiness mean so much more.
I really like the suggestion that Hepzibah had not really known herself, and yet she had still ended up in the perfect place for herself despite it all. I'm also glad that she shared her secret with Isaac. I don't think she could be truly happy with him otherwise.
Oh wait, scratch that. I thought that this was describing Hepzibah and Isaac's home, but it is Sacharissa's? Aghj, feelings!
The emotion you've written here for Hepzibah is absolutely perfect, and I feel it all.
I like that you've given Hepzibah and Isaac two children of their own. It gives Hepzibah a chance to have what she lost. At the same time, the way you refer to them as "Isaac's" really speaks to the fact that Hepzibah's heart is still with Sacharissa.
I find it really precious that she asks if they're muggles. It's such a wonderfully child-like thing to ask, capturing her sense of blunt curiosity and lack of awareness that muggles wouldn't know if they were mugggles.
This is such a beautiful ending to the story. Of course, I had many more questions. I wanted to know what led them to finally seek Sacharissa out after all this time, and of course what happened next. But the minimalist style of these short chapters is part of what made it shine so much, and I wouldn't want you to change that.
I hadn't made that connection about Sacharissa! Thanks for the author's note!
This story was a lot of fun (but mostly feelings) to read. I'm glad to have found it =)
I'm so glad you enjoyed this chapter! I know I've been putting you through a lot of angst with this story, but it means a lot that you carried on and you've been able to see Hepzibah actually achieve some happiness in her life.
I really wanted her to be honest with Isaac, so that their relationship meant more to her. She shouldn't have to hide that part of herself and he really cares for her and loves her, which is why he's with her and prepared to try and seek Sacharissa out again. Writing Sacharissa was so lovely, and I'm glad you liked her appearance and her conversation when Hepzibah appeared. The connection to canon through Sacharissa was something I'd planned on quite early on, because I think it ties in quite well, and I'm glad that it made sense for you to help wrap things up.
I'm so happy you've enjoyed this story, and thank you again for all the lovely reviews you've left me!
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I haven't checked back on this story for a wile, and I am thrilled (and a little sad) to see that it's now completed. Okay, two more chapters of intense feelings to go...
After everything that Hepzibah has been through, it is wonderful that she has two years of happiness here. I am not totally convinced that everything will end well, but she deserves those two years (okay, maybe not happiness, but not-unhappiness?"). I'm actually not sure if we've met Isaac before. I didn't see him in the last chapter, but it's been a long time since I've read anything before that.
I like that you brought back the wings of a dove metaphor.
I like how you mentioned the jeers after Hepzibah's wedding. They are very different than the kind of taunts she would have received for her disgrace, but there is still a sense of connection there.
Despite the general lighter tone of this chapter with the courtship and the wedding, I am glad that you didn't use it to negate Hepzibah's past and continued suffering.
I love "The living leave ghosts as well."
Nice chapter - I'm off to read the final one!
We haven't met Isaac before - he only comes in at this point, really, but I felt like it was about time that Hepzibah got some time when she had some happiness and relief from all of the terrible angst I've put her through. The poem, Cousin Kate, which inspired this doesn't offer the protagonist the same chance after she's been rejected, but I wanted to make sure that Hepzibah did get that opportunity. I didn't want to negate her suffering at all through this, but she did deserve to have a fresh chance and a new start here. I'm glad you noticed the dove metaphor, too!
Thank you for another wonderful review!
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Yes, more angst. Because obviously.
I think you're missing a word here: "she is sickened your gloomy face"
The fact hat her father ignores/essentially disowns her makes me so angry. If that was going to be your reaction anyway LET HER KEEP THE BABY
Wow. Mommy dearest really thinks Hepzibah will be jealous of Honoria? My goodness.
"The shining sapphire of your eyes"
" You look at her through a film of shadow, see for the first time the black glint in her eyes and the cruel lines around her mouth"
"It lies inside the cage of your chest"
Essentially, your writing is amazing and beautiful. But it can't maybe make me not feel like the world is being ripped apart? No? Ah well.
More angst, obviously? I feel unfairly accused!
Her parents are really awful, aren't they? They hold much more closely to their pureblood ideals and the image they should portray to the people around them instead of actually caring for their daughter. I'm sorrynotsorry that this made you feel like your world was being ripped apart? I know it's slightly evil of me, but I'm really glad that you care enough about this story for you to feel like that!
Thank you <3
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This chapter is so breathakingly beautiful.
Your opening descriptions of Sacharissa are amazing, and really capture Hepzibah's emotional state. Her awe over her child and her inevitable melancholy seem opposing in nature, and yet you weave them together so seamlessly.
I really love Hepzibah's counter to "Nobody will have you now."
And of course they have to go and ruin that.
Do they really think that taking the child away will save her in society's eyes? Is the damage not already so badly done that she still has a chance?
I absolutely love the poignant simplicity of "Why would you give her up for that?" In another's eyes, or even Hepizibah's in another time, her reputation would be the most important part of her, and this really shows what a huge effect Sacharissa has had on her worldview.
It makes me sad that she does not fight for her child more. The kiss and goodbye seems so simple and almost passive. I know that there's probably nothing she could do to keep them from taking the child, but it still makes me sad.
Beautful chapter, as always! I'm glad there's anotehr posted!
Thank you so much! I know you know that the descriptions were really the main focus of this story, so it's really exciting that you thought the descriptions here were beautiful. It means a lot to me that you think that.
Well, I couldn't have Hepzibah enjoying her happiness for too long, could I? I don't know if they think that taking the child away from her would make people forget about it (given that it was mostly hidden, anyway), but it did happen quite a lot in many places - or at least, in the UK there were often children raised by their grandparents believing they were their parents. I think in Hepzibah's case, though, it was mostly that her parents needed to continue controlling her life and bringing her into the line that they saw as the family front.
Thank you for this lovely review!
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I know you got kind of spoiled with a flood of reviews from TAR, but this chapter deserves just as much love!
Describing tears in Hokey's eyes was very touching. A lot of people don't give House Elves much humanity, especially in relation to their masters, so I liked that you added this personal connection between them.
Oh my goodness, and the description of how it is easier to hide her pregnancy than her broken heart! So beautiful and on point.
I also really liked how you combined the physical and emotional aspects of the pregnancy in your descriptions. In particular, the way that you said the nausea lingered throughout really speaks to her physical and emotional condition.
I was unclear on whether she was able to hide her pregnancy up to the very end.
The image of her parents rushing in and seeing the scene with tiny Hokey is very powerful.
As intense as anxiety can be (I know), I somehow feel it is too light a word for what Hepzibah sees as she looks at her mother at the end.
I find it very interesting to see that you've made her child a girl, instead of a boy in the poem.
Can't wait to read more!
Sam! It's so lovely of you to stop by after TAR and keep on reviewing this story. I'm glad you're enjoying it enough to want to come back!
I think this was probably the first time that I've ever written a House Elf, but I think from the brief scene that we witness in the books when Hokey is serving Hepzibah, she cares deeply for her mistress. I could really imagine something like this bonding the two of them together for life.
I honestly don't know very much about pregnancy, so I was glad that the chapters in this story were short enough that I could skirt over the main details and mention enough for it to seem realistic. I'm glad you liked the descriptions here and the way that reflects her physical and emotional state. I think you're right with the fact that anxiety probably isn't the best word for what Hepzibah is feeling when she looks at her mother at the end of the chapter - I'll think on that one for sure.
Thank you again!
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Ah, here come the angst. Can't forget that.
It is so powerful that she is so strongly socially shames simply for being unable to keep a man, without anybody knowing the true details of her shame.
And then grrr anger that this kind of shame ever existed at all.
You have a number of really great metaphors in here, like that the sunlight doesn't reach her room in her parents' house and that it's like mastering the Partonus Charm. This last one was extremely evocative, because it hints at the fact that she doesn't have any hope to hold onto to fight the darkness off.
There is so much momentum here, and even though Hepzibah spends this chapter wallowing, you keep it driving forward rally well, especially by connecting the marriage announcement and the realization that she is pregnant.
I'll be back for more as soon as you update!
Let's face it - would it even have been a story by me if there wasn't a healthy dose of angst? (Maybe don't answer that - I am probably a little too predictable on that front :P)
The fact that this shame was all placed on the woman at this point makes me so infuriated - and there are definitely some aspects of that which remain today, although not to the same extent, I think. I took a lot of inspiration from books like Sense and Sensibility here, with the way that Hepzibah was abandoned after everyone believed she would marry Edmund. But I think one thing which always fascinates me is just how strong women consistently are - even when they have to endure so much and deal with things they should never have to deal with, and they make it through. I really wanted to show that element and how strong Hepzibah is, regardless of what she has to face here. Hopefully that comes through here - and thank you again for the review!
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From the very first words of this chapter, the tension is amazing palpable! Just what we knew would happen is happening, but it still hurts so much to watch. A dangling toot is the PERFECT simile.
Yay, Hokey makes an appearance!
URGH SUCH ANGRY FEELINGS
I totally expected him to leave her and move on to somebody new, but I had not expected him to call her that. Good job raising the stakes. I want lots of pain for Edmund and Honaria.
Does it make it any better that I also have angry feelings and I'm the writer?
I'm glad you like the simile of the dangling tooth, and Hokey's appearance! Edmund is such a piece of work, isn't he? I'm glad that you didn't quite predict that the stakes were going to be raised to the point of him marrying her cousin; since the story was inspired by Rossetti's Cousin Kate, I felt like I definitely had to include a nod to that. And of course, it makes his rejection of Hepzibah even worse...
Thank you again!
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Fun fact: I didn't realize until this chapter that this was in 2nd person. In my book, that's a really great indication of the fact that you have written it so naturally.
I think you have done a really good job showing Edmund's seduction of her. She really believes she is making this choice on her own, but that is also because he believes his intentions are pure. It is both painful and engrossing to read.
I also love the double meaning of "the fall." Very clever!
Ah, I'm so glad that you think the use of second person seemed natural in this story! You might know by now that second person is probably my favourite narrative voice (especially for shorter stories) and I feel like it really worked in this story, because I wanted to draw the reader into the piece more. It's set in a time so far removed from this one that I thought it would probably help to give the reader an extra opportunity to connect with the characters and story.
The double meaning of "the fall" seemed to jump out at me for this chapter, and I'm glad you picked up on it. Edmund is really, really not a nice character, but it was interesting to write the way that the two characters come together. There was definitely a lot of inspiration here from classic novels, and I'm happy that it seemed to come across here in this chapter.
Thank you for another lovely review!
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I feel that you have done a great job of capturing the romantic style. I get really sucked into your language, and the rhythm and the images do a fabulous job of picturing a picture of the world. I particularly love your adjective use: "thorny tongues of gossips," "secret delight," "cobalt eyes." My favorite was "eyes half-green with envy."
I really like the structure you're creating here with the very short chapters. Each one of them really feels like a stanza of a poem, which works really well for the challenge and the flow of the story.
Since this was written for the Romanticism challenge, I'm so happy that you thought I managed to capture the Romantic style in this chapter. I worked really hard to try and use evocative language that would paint the picture I have in my mind on the page for the readers, so it's great that it worked for you. And I'm glad you saw the similarities between the short chapters and the stanzas of a poem - that's exactly what I was hoping to achieve and it's so great that you were able to pick up on it.
Thank you so much for this review!
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I just read Cousin Kate, and I find the poem extremely interesting and am excited to see what you do with it.
I found the passage where you talk about the men being boys she had played with in adults clothing who now had the power to change her her future very powerful. It really helps place us in the social setting and establish the stakes.
Obviously, based on the poem, this won't end well, but you dd a really good job with this chapter of creating the emotional excitement of the glamor of it all.
I'm excited to see how you continue to develop this. And especially excited to see how you explore such minor characters.
I love Christina Rossetti, and when this challenge came up, I really couldn't resist the opportunity to write something inspired by her. I'll be interested to see what you think of the story in relation to the poem!
I'm really pleased you enjoyed this chapter! It was a bit of a challenge to try and capture everything I wanted to tell in just 500 words in these chapters, but I'm glad that you thought my descriptions here managed to capture the social setting and give the reader a sense of what's at stake here. And you know me - minor characters are essentially my favourite thing to write about :P
Thank you for this review!
It's kind of an accident that I'm here right now, but oh my god I'm so glad I am. I was casually scrolling through recents, saw your name, thought "ooh yes, I love Sian" aaand couldn't stop reading.
Amazing. So so amazing. I love how small the chapters are but oh my god they pack so much. I just binge read this entire story. I'm so glad you left an author note because now I can appreicate it even more. I know the chapters are short, but for all of them to be 500 words exactly?! *splutters* I am in awe of your talent. Also, I did guess the Prince name (and Edmund was just as slimy as the rest of them.) The language you used transported me right there, I could have been reading something from Jane Austen. It's so cool that Sacharissa is a canon character, and that you tied in her wanting to be beautiful like her mother and then she goes on to beauty potions - it was so nicely done.
Ahh I could gush so much more. This was just so good, Sian, a really really gorgeous story <3
B! Ah, this is such a lovely surprise!
It's such a compliment to see a review on the last chapter of a story and know that a reader's made it all the way through it, and you're going to make me blush so much with all the amazing things you've said about this story! It was so fun to write this (and torture my characters, oops). Making sure each chapter was only 500 words was a bit of a challenge, but it was so much fun exploring these themes and this era, especially because I don't really tend to write purebloods and their societal framework. I'm glad you picked up on the canon characters too, and the way they tie in to the universe - for some reason it's always easier for me to write something like this is if I can link the characters with canon, so it was great you picked up on that link!
Thank you so much for this lovely review, and for all the wonderful compliments on my story and writing!