This is a gr8 story!
Aw, this was a very sad one shot! I really admire how you took a pairing that we know little about and made such a beautiful story out of it.
Her heart ached. Every part of her — physical, spiritual, and emotional — longed for an escape from the torrent of frustration that coursed through her, more destructive than a great storm; she longed for freedom from the shadows of her thoughts, more ominous than black clouds.
Whoa, amazing description and wonderful start. I can see all of this happening--- clouds rolling in, a woman aching spiritually, emotionally . . . your description not only here is good, it’s evident throughout all of the story. Good work on this.
You know, your story makes perfect sense, because we know that Salazar left the school, but we never really know why. You, even in this story, spin a web of mystery and never really reveal why exactly Salazar is leaving. We know that he loved Rowena, and I've heard theories that he left because Rowena broke his heart; I think that this ship actually happened, really, though we won't know because the books don't center on it. I think that your story is plausible in many ways and that most pieces could have actually happened.
“It’s different. It is love and compassion that prevents me from taking your view; you are asking me to give up one love for another.”
Their fight was rather clichéd; I've seen it done so many times over just like this, but I liked how you did the twist on it with the intense description, loaded words, and really just what they said all together. Not many writers have a style like you do, and I like how you incorporated a different presence to the two characters. Nice work.
. . . Salazar stopped her just for a moment, taking her hand tenderly and placing a gentle kiss on her tear-stained cheek.
Aw, this is SO sweet! You can tell that Salazar truly does regret leaving to go wherever it is he's going. You know that he's going to miss her, even if it isn't enough to stay behind for her. Your romance is brilliant, and I wish I could have seen a flashback or something of their love and how it tied Rowena to him so, but I understand how it stands like this.
“Farewell, Salazar Slytherin,” she sobbed quietly to the silent night. “My heart shall never love another as it loved you.”
Nice ending. I like how you left the readers hanging, though they knew it was going to happen. It's sad to know that Rowena got her heart broken, and most likely never loved again, and once again your description is brilliant.
Also, the way they spoke in this actually reminds of how they lived--- they wouldn't say the words that we would usually say now, and I can see that you've sprinkled some old-fashioned words throughout this story rather than using the same old words that everyone else uses. I admire that.
I must say that I love your fics. You are an amazing writer, and have a talent for describing scenes, and your characters emotions. Everything is so detailed I could feel the heartbreak and the struggle that Rowena and Salazar were both expierencing. You showed that Salazar truly believed in the purity of blood. The way you portray him it doesn't seem as though he has malice towards muggles or muggle-borns, but simply believes that they don't belong in his world. I love your writing keep it up!!!
My Heart shall never love another as it loved you~ I just adore your stories:D
Jenna, I stumbled upon this one-shot by pure accident, and I’m so glad I did! I think the title drew me in …
I have to say, every time I read one of your fics, I’m more and more impressed with your talent, and obviously, this story is no exception. I loved everything about this – the dialogue, the characterisation, the argument, the description, the beginning, middle, and end. Everything was just fabulous.
You’ve captured Salazar and Rowena’s character perfectly. Salazar is so slippery, so cunning in his arguments – as I was reading, I tried to put myself in Rowena’s position, trying to come up with counter-arguments, but it was tricky. He kept twisting her words and using them against her – it was creepy. But Rowena never gave in. She kept her head, arguing back intelligently despite the breaking of her heart. Amazing. I don’t know how you managed to portray both so well.
The beginning of the fic, with its intense description, captured me right away. I was aching for Rowena before I finished the first paragraph, and my heart broke with hers as I continued. She seems so puzzled – she needs to understand, but at the same time, she honestly can never understand.
I’m also very impressed with the formality of their speech. I’ve seen other writers attempt to write this way and fail, but you’ve definitely succeeded. Even though it seems stilted and you used big words, I can tell what they mean and what they’re really saying. It’s fabulous. This fic needed the formality, I think, because the issue is too powerful for everyday speech. Also, it takes place a long time ago, so the characters would have spoken in such a manner. It reminded me of Jane Austen, actually. Well done.
I did notice a few punctuation issues, though, the most important being a question mark where I believe you intended an exclamation point.
“Salazar. Please. Do not leave. Do not do this. What you are doing is wrong?”
I’m pretty sure that should be an exclamation point there at the end, but I could be wrong. Also, I’ve noticed that you have a tendency to add a comma after starting a sentence with “and” or “but.” Generally, that’s not necessary, and it can be a little distracting, not to mention incorrect. I think I saw that twice in this fic, but it’s not a big deal. Those were the only mistakes I found – excellently done, Jenna. I love this.
First off, I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed this story. You're stories have always been some of my favourites, and your writing style just seems very powerful, to me. It's clear that you have a lot of talent, not only with this story, but also with others -- Sins of the Father being my favourite of all, perhaps.
Anyway, as for a review mainly concerning Grant Me Mercy. Where to start? I particularly liked the way that the focus was really on Rowena; she told the story and it was her thoughts and such that we were reading about. The beginning paragraphs, I think, were some of the strongest parts of non-dialog in this brief one-shot. You describe and show Rowena's emotions and feelings without ever coming right out and just telling it. That's a great thing for writers to do, in my opinion -- it shows a trust and faith in the reader's intelligence that they can figure out a character's emotions without needing the writer to say "She was worried" or something. As such, I applaud you on that.
Secondly, I love the dialog for the most part. It's powerful, really, and I think it fits the characters quite well, in my opinion. Just by the words you have Rowena and Salazar speak, their characters are revealed fantastically and fit with some of the information on the Founders that is in canon. (Rowena's logic and orderly intelligence are shown in her words, as are Salazar's strengths and pride, for want of a better word.)
Oh, there's so much for me to say about this story. I don't really have the time to make this review as long as I'd like it to be -- I could pretty write on this bit for awhile. But, I will close with my (two) favourite bits of dialog throughout the entire story:
“It is a plea for all.”
“Then it is a sad day for all; for it is not a plea I can acquiesce.”
And Bit Two:
“Farewell, Rowena. I am sorry you could not save me.”
I don't think I would necessarily have to explain why these hit me as strongly as they do, but I will leave a quick comment about them. The first bit really hits on both Salazar and Rowena's character with only a few words. You get that "justice for all" vibe from Rowena's statement, and you experience the . . . oh, what's the word? . . . Gah, I don't have it . . . strength of Salazar's resolve, I guess.
The second bit is just plainly fabulous. It's short and sweet, and it's just perfect. There's a lot deeper depth that could be seen of Salazar in those words, in my opinion, and it's just . . . well, it's just quite profound, I guess is a word that'll have to work.
Once again, though, Jenna, allow me to say that I loved this story. It was very well-written, and, while I believe I still prefer Sins of the Father, this is an entertaining and powerful one-shot nonetheless.
I could write you a “normal” review for this story. I could sit here and talk about what you did well in this story and what you could have done better. I could go into detail about how the dialogue is slightly too formal and about how Rowena and Salazar don’t display the depth and complexity that your characters generally possess. But I’m not going to, because you’re a bloody good writer, and if you went through it and looked at the dialogue, you could make it more natural, and if you wanted to take the time to develop this as a story, you could also make your characters into something more. And honestly, I couldn’t tell you how to fix it better than you could tell yourself.
But there’s something else that keeps me from going on in the vein of “you could improve the dialogue here” and “you could make this character’s motivations less vague there.” Because… the formal dialogue and incompletely developed characters are a symptom of something else, something other than your writing skills. Because I know (and if you’re fair to yourself, you know) that you can write shiver-inducing dialogue and characters so real they get stuck in other people’s heads.
In a sense, this is less a “story” in the way that Secrets or Sins of the Father are stories, and more simply Jenna (if that makes any sense). I mean, yes it’s a story, but it’s more raw emotions than anything else. It has the same problems as Grey Lavender –– overly formal dialogue, characters who are conflicted but yet not highly developed, and a somewhat simple plot –– although this story is still better written. It’s simply not a story in the way most of your other stories are stories.
At a very basic level, this story isn’t about the characters or the plot, though arguably it is about an idea. I could be totally wrong, but… it seems to me that this story is really about Jenna. You’re a writer. And here… it seems to me that what you’ve done is use this story to work out your own emotions.
If the characters aren’t as developed as yours usually are, that’s because they’re more vessels and voices for emotions than they are characters in their own right. And if the dialogue is overly formal, that’s because it’s not really characters expressing themselves, but rather the natural eloquence of your own frustration.
What really comes through from this story is (unsurprisingly) the depth and strength of the emotions involved. Your characters are beautifully emotional ¬¬–– possibly because at some level they are emotions, but also because you write emotions very beautifully. You have a gift for writing powerful emotions and making them seem real. But your gift for writing extends far beyond exposing the rugged beauty of emotion. And that is why, I think, that while this is still a good story, it’s not as satisfying as your other work.
If you wanted to return to this, yes, you certainly could make the dialogue feel more natural and add depth to the characters. You could make the details of the plot less vague. In short, you could, if you chose, make this into more of a “story.” But if you stop looking at it so much as “story” and look at it more as a piece of yourself, you might be content leaving it as it is. Because in the end… well, this sounds stupid, and maybe it is, but… there IS an end. And to me at least, that suggests that this story may have served its purpose for you.
One line in particular was so beautiful that it absolutely made me shiver: “I am sorry you could not save me.”. *shivers* So… profound.
It’s possible that I’m completely wrong about this story, in which case I have given you a vague idea of what you can fix and I apologize for taking up so much space. If I’m not wrong, then … I’m not. You’ll have to tell me. Either way, it’s the absolute strangest SPEW review I’ve ever written. In any case, I lovest youest, Jennaest.
*sob* that is fuckin sad, i was crying so much
I found this rather poetic, and really good. Cool way of explaining a relationship between two of the founders.