About the historical accuracy question: in Shakespeare's *Julius Caesar*, Brutus and Cassius commit suicide when it became clear they would lose the battle. If this is incorrect, how is the real story known, and why didn't Shakespeare use it?
It's a good story. I think the descriptions of the battles were a little succinct and matter-of-fact; his life would have been at risk, everything was on the line, and it somehow seems secondary. Of course, since this is first person, that fits in with the "hastily jotted narrative" air of the story, so it's not that bad. This does help to resolve the question of why almost all of the spells are in Latin; focused, incantational magic began in Rome, which helps to explain why they were so successful, defeating Carthage, Greece, and Egypt. Their decline could then be traced to Christian opposition to magic and the leakage of wizarding secrets to barbarians.
I feel as if I have actually been to Ancient Rome after reading your story. The atmosphere you create made me feel as if I was there sitting across from the Narrator, listening as he told his tale, and then I felt as if I could see the different scenes he describes in front of my mind’s eye. There was not one line that disrupted the atmosphere, the Ancient Roman setting stayed vivid throughout the story, especially in the dialogues, because of the words you chose.
At first I wondered where the connection to Harry Potter was in your story, because it reads just like any other historical story I’ve read, but then magic is just there during the fight with Brutus. I loved that. You didn’t make a big deal out of introducing magic but just let your narrator use it without explaining what he does. Very nice and sneaky. It took me a minute to realize he had used magic, and the Cruciatus curse at that.
There was one thing that I still, after reading the part twice, don’t understand. Why does the narrator survive at the end? Wasn’t Augustus dieing when he traded places with him? So shouldn’t he have died then after seeing the vision of how his blood line would end?
I loved the twist at the end though. When you referred to your narrator as the Black Prince I thought that he maybe had some connection to the Black family, but I would have never guessed that he was the founder of that bloodline. I don’t get why he had to change his name completely, why didn’t he just add Black at the end? In my Latin class we learned that nicknames were often added to the end of actual Roman names, so wouldn’t adding Black have been better than changing the whole name?
Anyway, the ending was lovely and the whole story was enchanting and transported me right back to Ancient Roman times. Good job!
Wow. what an amazing story! I swear, it's really really good! Since I'm in SPEW I can't gey away with this kinds of reviews so I will give you a proper one.
The introduction is superb, it transports the reader very quickly into the world of ancient rome. One of my favorite periods in world history, I might add. "I write my account to tell my tale - a tale of betrayal and sadness." What a great line! I sucks the reader right in.
The speech is lovely, I can see that you really wanted to give this man a voice that was proper to the period where her was living and it's not only in the narrative and the dialogue. I can see that you made a great deal of research to write this fic and i love that. It makes someone's work so much interesting when they do research. Kudos to you!
"I walked over to the body, lying there in a pool of blood, picked him up as a mother would her crying child" This one is another of my favorite lines and the image is beautiful as well. As a matter of fact, the whole piece is filled with beautiful imagery. The young child that represented Ceasar in the dreams with the dagger in his back it's another example.
"I wanted to taste every part of him and he wanted me to do so." I wanted to quote the whole paragraph, but that would've been a waste of space. The love scenes were so HOT!! Just the thought of two sweaty romans kissing each other....Ok, I better stop there, but you know what I mean.
The only critique I ave is that there were not many descriptions! Like settings and fisical descriptions of the characters, which is a real shame because that time period had a lot to offer in that department.
Other than that it's magnificent. The ending wow! it blew me away. I almost had a heart attack when I read that his name was changed to Regulus Black. When I started reading, i was wondering if there was any conection to Harry Potter at all, but you proved me wrong.
Awsome fic, really! It's become one of my favorites.
PS: I think I'm becoming a James fanboy! lol
That was excellent. very well written and thought out. Hope to see more of your stories.
Fantastic! I really enjoyed it!
Nice take on Rome...
*lol* you know I just realised that I truly have no idea on the art of monologue writing *lol* I actually thought that you can’t include dialogues and only have one speak all throughout.
Nit-picky beta mode first – All because I want to help improve this excellent story albeit slightly…
I’d seen him around on numerous occasions…Brutus, I believe his name is. (I think you switched a tense here. I would suggest that ‘is’ be replaced with ‘was’)
I planned to build a farmhouse on the land and sell vegetables and fruits I grow for a small profit. (missing ‘s’)
Why do you allow Caesar to rule the senate like a king? (I think Senate ought to be capitalised for it is referred to as a proper noun here)
I don’t remember what I said that day, but I felt that one word would lead to big things. (there’s a missing word – I think you meant remember)
It appears the name of the Black prince is enough to strike fear into the hearts(’) of enemies. (I don’t think you need an apostrophe there)
Now onwards about the story.
You really managed to capture the feel of Ancient Rome here extremely well – the politics and the culture. Those little Roman terms like ‘imperator’ help add to Romanesque feel to this. You’ve added the bit of HP-ism by showing up the Cruciatus Curse without blatantly telling us readers the curse used – brilliant! I like that. This story rightfully deserved that win. ^_^
The story flowed smoothly despite the large gap of time in between. On your character Marcus Agrippa what is highly distinguishable of him is his loyalty – strange thought it is – I see him as a Puff ^_^ (okay I’m just strange but back on topic…)
Another thing that struck me that although this is a monologue you didn’t start off the paragraph with an ‘I’ often – that truly helped to make us readers feels as if we’re the character and not listening to a narration. Great Job, James. ^_^
Very well done. Your writting style is extrodinary. However, there were one or two small details you might wish to consider. I understand that this is meant to be a historical fiction, as opposed to an AU type of world, and as such there were a couple of facts that bothered me. Octavian was not with Caeser at the time of his assasination, instead he was up north at school, and was very cautious in his return to Rome, not sure of what his reception might be. Also, Cassius and Brutus were not beheaded for treason, instead they were granted amnesty and escaped to the East where they became rulers and very rich men until war broke out with Antony and they committed suicide. Other than that, your story was wonderfully told. Keep writing, I'd really love to see more.