Oh the imagery was lovely. I especially loved the opening bit. The horse and rider moved slowly across the landscape. They were clearly in no hurry to get anywhere, giving the impression of having all the time in the world. Gave me chills and I knew I was in for a good read. The image of Dumbledore and Snape in a car though is just too funny to me. They are just so...gah! I don't have a word for it but honestly just the image of them in a car is just histarically odd. I'm putting this on my favs list.
One year later…
…and this is meant to be a quick review. *frowns at her utter lack of conciseness*
Oh, and I’m up to chapter 6!
The first thing that struck me was that DoL clearly isn’t written for younger teenagers. It’s written in the same style, maturity and depth as any of the novels that come from your smoky attic (with the exception of Dan Brown, of course; he’s far more a sophisticated and talented writer than you! Lol!). DoL stands out against the many other chaptered fics on MNff as one that competes with the quality of JKR’s writing and, yes, I am going to say it, does indeed exceed JKR. Instead of copying JKR’s characters, you take their key features and develop them into your own, and weave a very interesting plot around them.
The opening descriptions of chapters one and three are magnificent. Not only your attention to detail but the way you lace metaphors and personification into the imagery. In both cases, you were not describing a magical place but the descriptions enhanced the place to the point where it was magical, and I was yearning to step into the story and visit it. You successfully breathe life into Abbeylara with the same eloquence as I have seen in novels by the Bronte sisters and Dickens. It’s this type of beauty that keeps a place in someone’s mind forever. You are extremely talented.
Something I have grown to expect from you, and something I really love, is the way you manage to put snippets of humour into the narrative. These are often very subtle and show a glimpse of your own lively and funny personality. It successfully helps to break up a very lengthy description and so lightens the mood of what at the beginning is a very dark fic. One example in chapter 3 (I think) is how Muggles would see “an ageing Ford Mondeo car with a slightly bent bumper and a broken wing mirror.”
Maeve is a very unique character insofar as she is fiery and highly attractive, but she’s been suppressed to the point where this is only a flickering flame. For seventeen years Maeve has been unable to make a proper decision, perhaps not only because of her father but her own fear of independence. You manage to evoke a great amount of pity for her without Maeve herself being self-piteous – a very difficult thing to achieve. All her apprehensions and fears are handled sensitively making her a very realistic character. One thing I would say, however, is that she might need to be slightly more uptight and slightly less trusting of Dumbledore, Severus and Remus to begin with, due to her lack of social interaction. Perhaps have her dialogue more clipped and sharp and make her a little more on edge during her journey to Hogwarts.
Both Severus and Remus are very much in canon. I love how you draw contrasts between the loving, caring and open Remus and the cold, reserved Severus who lurks in doorways. The jealousy that Severus feels already is marvellous, and it makes me giggle because he is behaving exactly how I expected he would. The history behind Maeve and Severus’ relationship makes it all the more interesting. It is clear Maeve still has feelings for him – I like how she described her fantasy of a ‘picture of Severus’ and I can imagine her longing for him for years after they parted! How disappointed she must have been, bless her! I also like how Severus’ hatred of Remus is growing, and I believe he feels threatened by Remus because he is isn’t scared of his feelings. Severus keeps returning to the issue of him being a werewolf in order to demean him and his security around his own feelings, which is something that Severus does in canon, to some degree. Remus, on the other hand, is the same gentlemen who gives unconditionally and blames himself too much. I often find him a boring character but you give him a lot of life.
There were times when I did feel you became a little too descriptive and it broke the flow of your chapter. There are the odd occasions when I felt you needed to push it along a little. Firstly, in chapter one your description of Malachy Meany’s visit is too complex – you dwell on detail’s that happened a long time before and I did begin to get a little confused. Perhaps simplify it; state that he has a connection to Maeve’s father but uphold more mystery around him. I did, however, like how you conveyed Maeve’s insecurity around him. Secondly, in chapter 3 you describe a lot of detail about Maeve’s bedroom. It’s all beautifully described but does become slightly verbose. By the end of the description, I was forgetting what had been said at the beginning. Condensing it and breaking it into smaller paragraphs might help.
Also, you sometimes have a long piece of dialogue that you follow on with a narrative of the events. This isn’t incorrect, but I think it would be clearer if you separate out the narrative from the dialogue so to make it easier for your reader to follow.
And finally, in chapter 5 I think Snape is a tad too angsty when he visits Maeve at the cottage. I understand why he visited her and that he was irritated by the situation but he lost his self-control very easily. I would have liked to have seen him uphold it for longer and then lose it gradually as the conversation progresses. The caps lock didn’t help ;-)
Okay, the end. Was that short enough? I think I have some kind of syndrome where I can’t write a short review. It’s just impossible. And I understand that you wrote this beginning some two years ago, and so I feel like the biggest pain in the ass with my concrit. Lol. But I really do love your writing and I am going to keep bugging you with these reviews all summer. So get used to it!
Oh no! That sounds sinister! What's happened to Maeve, I wonder? Poor Remus . . .
Yay! Yay! . . . Yay!!!!
Oh no! He's not really dead is he? He can't be!
United by grief. How . . . poigniant. Poor Sev, I hate reading about people's reactions to deaths.
I feel so bad for Sev, believing she was dead. His reaction alone nearly made me cry! Still, glad she's alive, very glad!
Ummmm . . . . WOW! This is amazing already, and I'm only on the second chapter! Beautiful style of writing, by the way.
I love your writing style! There is a balance of everything, and it's very descriptive. I hope things work out for Maeve and Severus in time. Onto the next chapter!
I waited to finish reading the whole story before I reviewed. I LOVE IT!!!! the whole story was excellent!!! I am starting to read the next story about Harry, Mave, and Severus.
Well, I am quite glad indeed to find Remus alive at the end of the chapter. *hides hands, shaking from nervousness* Whew! Now...I'm glad that Ron got to go along. He and Maeve are developing a better relationship. I love that he can play the trumpet, and Rule Britannia just made me grin. Roderick! Well! We'll be seeing more of him in the future, won't we? Is he a spy? Oh, and the gum! Only Ron would pick up a single piece of gum from the floor of the woods. Can't wait to see where that goes as well!
Thanks so much for these little extra bits of information! While I understood some of the references in the story, there were definately some explanations in this chapter that made my knowledge just that little bit deeper. Things like this help the reader to fully appreciate your story, so if you write anything like this again, I would seriously recommend you write another afterword with info in it, like this one.
I loved the wedding and your writing talents really are enviable. The chapter was fairly long and took me a while to read, and as the story is finished there isn't any point in really commenting on it, but you still managed to keep me interested and reading right up until the last sentence. Another great chapter, as per usual!
That opening paragrah was just amazing, the description you did was just really well written and while you continued that through the rest of the chapter, I think that the first paragraph was one of my favourite parts. The canon characters all seem to be in character according to what we know of them in the books, and that is something that is often hard to achieve, so well done!
So, that's the end. It was a really enjoyable read and I feel sorry that it came to end. I wish I could have prolonged this.
A very nice ending here, especially with the spider, and a nice hint when Dumbledore smiled at Neville when he mentioned it as a good omen. I like Roderick, more precisely I like to dislike him. But that's just me.
The blue dress was hilarious and it should have been a clue, because Dumbledore said he knew Severus wouldn't wear anything else than black. A clue I missed. *hihi*
Maeve really grew on me and I can barely wait to read the sequel. (Thank Merlin, there is a sequel!)
I really enjoyed all the chapters and your storytelling reminds me of my grandmother who used to tell us old stories when we were lying in our beds in the summer.
The Irish folk myths and tales were so nicely fitted into this story, and I really enjoyed to meet some of the names I've learned about during my studies earlier on this subject.
Thanks for sharing this story with us and for making it so enjoyable. I'm happy for Snape that he found Maeve. And I still envy Maeve a bit!
So, I'm now addicted to your fic. I was up half the night and was reading the story, while it was still quiet everywhere. And I enjoyed it immensely!
I knew that Roderick would return and I knew that there was some reason why he was talking about those caves. It seemed perfectly well fit that time, but then it got me thinking. They were man-made caves and tunnels. So, now I know it.
It's so sweet that Alice is giving Neville all those wrappers because she wants to protect him. What mothers would do to protect their child!
I'm actually delighted that Neville and Ron play a bigger role in your fic. They are a bit neglected, as you have put it, Ron is always the faithful sidekick of Harry. But now he had his time of glory.
Well, I love Snape, and boy I wish I could be Maeve! *hehe* Anyways, I'll go back to reading this night, when everyone returned to their beds and the streets are quiet. joanna
*waves enthusiastically at Jan* I'm popping very randomly into the middle of your story because I found what I am looking for. Obviously, this is the first place to look for 'Maeve'. I have every intention of reading this story during the summer after all the compulsory reading alongisde my studies. But, I will say that I do love your writing very very very very much. I've gotten to know Maeve a little from PMoA *cries at the fact that it is now finished* and she is an amazing woman, and your Snape has never ceased to amaze me. You keep him so perfectly IC whilst allowing him love. *sighs* Okay, end of random review. Expect a proper one your way soon.
So, I'm happy because I can finally write up a review. The previous nights I always got that Avada Kedavra sign whenever I clicked the review link.
I'm so glad that I have finally found the time to read your work and can't read fast enough to satisfy my curiousity.
The storytelling is so natural, it flows so smooth that I haven't even noticed that I'm at Chapter 10. Descriptions were always an issue for me, so I envy you really, because you are so talented at them!
I have noticed some spelling mistakes about where and were in the previous chapters and in this one a missing t at the end and we thought, but they are easy to fix and your choice of words and the quality of your fic doesn't suffer from it at all.
I think the story is just getting more and more interesting and can't wait to find out more about Maeve. I like how Harry changed, subtle chapter by chapter, but he matured and it's really good for him. I think that in HBP it was Snape that influenced him, he taunted him, he was picking at him etc. and somehow Harry realized that he shouldn't rise at every occasion. In your fic it's Maeve who has this cooling effect on Harry, and I think it's very plausible. I think that in the books he was influenced by men too much and that that womenly touch was missing. I'm very glad for Harry to have Maeve at his side.
I think we have now three cliffhangers at the end of Chapter 10 (Firenze's words, the laughter and Severus' concern) and I can barely wait to know what they all mean.
As for Maeve, I think she is a wonderful character, but so is her father (as a character, not as a person). And I now can say that I have seen very well written male OC too. Roderick Rampton was hilarious, I hope I can get a glimpse of him once more.
Back to reading,
sincerly yours, joanna
Having read this background on Irish mythology and seeing how much you like it, if you haven't, you should read Stephen R. Lawhead's "Song of Albion" trilogy. It has some strong Irish myth base.
Who knew that bubble gum could be so good for you? Very clever.