Well, this obviously needs some reviews. It’s fantastically written! You start off with a great opening paragraph that is filled with details. I’m a big fan of opening paragraphs that show a lot of description and insight. You give us a lovely picture right from the beginning. The second paragraph connected to the first one very smoothly with still plenty of description while also showing great characterization of Lucius. You write a very believable and realistic look at Lucius. Without using any dialogue we get a sense of his bitter mood. It’s hard to believe this is your first time writing the young Death Eater.
The owl was coloured as white as the first snowfall in the winter time, and the colour was so pure that the bird itself seemed to be bright and glowing.
I loved your description of the owl. I liked how you related its colour to the first fresh snow of winter. Very beautiful!
Reading through the maze was interesting. A lot of great plot work was obviously put into it. Thinking of obstacles and surprises to write into the story seems like a hard task. I liked how you tested Lucius’ Herbology skills. Doesn’t seem like something he’d enjoy, does it? *Smirk* Many authors would not think to use Herbology, and I think the subject is way too unknown and under-rated in the Potter-verse. It’s refreshing to see you use it in this story.
“Miss Umbridge has just informed me of your prank on her,” said Sprout, but when Lucius made no acknowledgement that he understood the teacher, she continued. “She told me of the potion that you poured into her drink . . . the one that made her croak like a toad every time she opens her mouth.”
Okay, I’m laughing here. This was a great touch of humour, and a clever way of ‘getting even’ with the character we love to hate. Though one question: Why did Lucius pull that prank on Umbridge? Did she do something nasty to him? Lucius seems to be more concerned with serving the Dark Lord, rather than pulling pranks on random students. Telling us a reason for the prank might have made it a bit more believable.
However, the conversation between Sprout and Lucius, was very in-character. Lucius is very cunning and deceptive, a true Slytherin indeed! I absolutely love the way you write him.
The riddles were well-written. I’m not an expert on things like that, but I enjoyed reading them, and I thought they flowed nicely, especially the first set. The last one was my favourite. I love its mystique!
And now for my nitpicks (yes, there are always nitpicks ;-))…
A slightly disgusted look on his face as he opened the last package,
This sounds sort of awkward. Re-wording it might make it sound better. Maybe something such as, With a slightly disgusted look on his face, he opened the last package, or something similar to that.
Not only did he not recognize the owl, but he did not recognize the seal or the handwriting,
‘Recognize’ should be ‘recognise’.
The seventeen-year-old Slytherin
You refer to Lucius as ‘the seventeen-year-old Slytherin’ quite a lot throughout the story. It seemed very repetitive as I was reading it. I would suggest re-wording it in just a few places, so it is less common.
Your hard work really shows in this. I can see all the time and research that went into this. Your writing is very accomplished and the plot work and characterizations are all very believable. This was a brilliant attempt at a challenge that seems quite difficult and complex. I’m extremely impressed!
Katty – Knight of the Turnip Table
Author's Response: Hello, Katty. First off, thank you so much for the lengthy review; I loved it!
Also, I'm very pleased that you liked my portrayal of Lucius (and yes, this story was my first time EVER writing him). He's my second favourite character in the series, so I'm pleased to hear that you think I wrote him well enough.
A lot of the obstacles you're referring to, as a matter of fact, came along with the Gauntlet prompts. I had to have Lucius play some sort of prank -- and THAT was a hard thing to do while still having him remain in character well enough, and Herbology was the subject that the prompt called for.
Hey, I love the nitpicks in reviews -- it helps improve writing, after all. The comment about "the seventeen-year-old Slytherin" is absolutely right. I didn't notice exactly how many times I had used it until I read it back after reading your review, as a matter of fact.
Again, though, thank you so much for such a wonderful review. I really appreciate it.