Do I detect a sense of pride from Lucius, as if he finally did something right? Update soon.
Pease tell that now the plot thickens. I've been following this story and was wondering when you were going to get around the face off of father and son. Please dont take to long to update.
I got caught up by the title. You know your alliterations well.
And then by the story. But I'm not fooled. You're not only a writer, you're a painter. A few strokes here, some shadows there, voilà, a wonderful landscape.
Although, that's not enterely accurate, isn't it? I wouldn't suggest that your style is casual. Well, it is, at first glance. But the detail is so precisely handled, so suggestive and carefully delivered, that it's hard to believe it's there on a whim.
Yet you don't fall in the trap of exhaustiveness, in the sense that the human eye looking at your paintings will not see all there is to see without the help of the brain. You don't need to say, for instance, that Nott knows Lucas is Malfoy's son. You had already informed us that father and son resemble. And then, after an "intense gaze" at Lucas, "a knowing look" shows in Nott's face.
And your portraits are so convincing. I can't but love Lucas in his calm acceptance of his irrelevancy and when the calm is subtly lost (a hand gripping a glass, at a loss for words) when turmoil enters his life.
I've found it a lovely and thoughtful story. The only discordant note I was able to find was the use of "half-blood" in Lucius's lips when referring to Part-Veela instead of Part-Muggle. I guess it is a permissible license, but, shouldn't it be "half-breed"?
I'll follow your updates - you definitely go to my favorites.
Author's Response: Thank you for such a wonderful review, Maxim! I'm absolutely flattered by your praise, and I will definitely look into your very valid point about "half-bloods" vs "half-breeds". Again, thank you so much!
I really like this story a lot. I just discovered it today and I find this characterization of Lucius quite interesting!
Author's Response: I'm very glad that you like my interpretation of Lucius' character - even if it is a bit coloured by the works of TheVault. ;) Thank you for reviewing!
Anna! When I saw that you had a new story validated, I knew I had to read it. And wow, I was not disappointed! You have a beautiful way with words – you can paint images and scenes with your language and choice of words that are just as beautiful as your photography or banners. Each one seems tailor-made for its purpose.
I read this when it was first validated and made a mental note to review it for this review period, and here I am getting it done at the last minute. Coming back to this chapter after several weeks, I’m finding new emotions and realisations as I read. I’m falling for Lucius in a way I never have before, sympathising with him and with the way his life must inevitably end.
I love that the title of this chapter fits so wonderfully with the content! Three letters to Lucius and his emotional responses to them. The difference in tone from Grace’s first letter to the one eleven and a half years later says so much. What a great device – telling your readers what has transpired since then while Grace tells Lucius. It’s incredibly effective and extremely subtle – much less jarring than if you had simply listed the details as a narrative.
After the first letter, Lucius’s determination to keep his engagement to Narcissa might seem cold-hearted and maybe stupid, but it doesn’t at all! You explained his motives so very well. Not only does he have to keep up appearances, but Voldemort himself would question him. He’d have to face much more than just unforgiving family members. As a side note, however, I wonder if Voldemort had red eyes at that point in time. I’d thought that the red eyes were only in his “new” body, the one he received from bone, flesh, and blood in Goblet of Fire. Either way, I like how subtle your reference is to the Dark Lord.
And oh, after the second letter! The way Lucius still thinks about his son, the way he knew that he would be starting school soon, just makes him so much more human to me. I love your explanation for Lucius’s insistence that Draco attend Durmstrang – of course he would want that, given the circumstances. And Narcissa’s over-protectiveness makes sense given that she can’t have more children. Teeny, tiny details like these make your characters live and breathe for me, Anna. It’s just fabulous the way you’ve made me like such hateful characters. Even just telling this from Lucius’s point of view helps so much.
I noticed two typos in this section, right before the third letter. There’s a missing “a” in the word “education” in the last sentence of the second to last paragraph there. Also, “brake” was misspelled as “break”.
And wow, with just three letters, nearly twenty years have passed! Just amazing. Mr Malory’s letter is brilliant. His coldness toward Lucius, his love for his daughter, and his protectiveness for his grandchild – all while he passes on the news that Grace is dead. And ooh, I just shiver when I picture the encounter between Lucius and Lucas. Gah, I can’t wait to read about Lucas all grown up! He’s fascinating even in this brief cameo. And lol, poor Draco, “seemingly incapable of accomplishing anything” and perhaps “better suited as a common Hufflepuff.” Hee. That’s Draco, exactly. I love it!
*contented sigh* I absolutely adore your writing, Anna. Whether it’s reading your latest LJ entry or a fabulously constructed chapter such as this one, I always get such a comforting feeling. You have the gift of a storyteller, and you just draw your readers right into your world with you. You really are wonderfully talented. Bravo!
Author's Response: Abigail, I don’t know what else to say, but THANK YOU for such a lovely review! Encouraging and helpful – I couldn’t have asked for anything more. *grins* And it made you fall for Lucius in a way you never have before, you say? *cough* You haven't read Sins of the Father then, have you? If you haven’t, I can really recomm – eh, what am I saying? If you haven’t, then you must. MUST! ;) Seriously though, I couldn’t deny that my interpretation of Lucius has been affected by Jenna’s story. Good point about Voldemort’s eyes – I shall have to have a look at that in the chapter and see if I can rewrite it somehow. I’m sure Voldemort was creepy enough even before his… eh, rebirth. Also, thank you for those typo corrections. I’ll take a look at those too. I’m just so happy that you like what I’ve written, if a little nervous if I’ll be able to live up to your expectations when you get to meet Lucas in the next chapter. The next chapter, which I submitted today… =)
Wow, this is absolutely amazing! I hadn't read your work before, but I will certainly be reading every one of them from now on. :) You have a great descriptive style; your imagery is vivid and detailed, but it doesn't drag at all. The whole chapter has a very smooth, easy flow to it, as you say a lot with a little. I particularly liked He turned his head slightly to the right and looked up at his father who was standing one step above him. That was a nice, subtle way to show the relationship between father and son, especially with the line further down about Lucius's childish pleasure. I also loved He carefully avoided the ballroom, not knowing yet if Narcissa Black shared his opinion on relationships, or if she was inclined to agree with his father. Lovely, sly terms to put that into; I think that was my favourite line.
I was really impressed by the characterizations. I don’t read much about Slytherin characters, so they still have the “evil” stigma to me, but all your characters were well-rounded. Lucius had a nice mix of inferiority beside his father, with the implicit superiority of his standing and pride in his ball. Abraxas was appropriately cool and imposing, yet he still showed some fatherly pride and respect for his son. And Lydia was so kind and helpful in explaining the “correct” prejudices to Lucius. The whole family felt very real; neither overtly villainous nor too sympathetic, which I thought was well done. And as for Grace… wow. Smoking hot without being at all cartoonish. I loved her casual dismissal of marriage and the way she seduced Lucius with perfect aplomb. Plus, She thanked him not with words, but with the sight of her lips touching the silver. That was simply delicious!
I tried really hard to find something to criticize so this wouldn’t just be a gush-fest, but all I found was but Abraxas has already stepped forth, in which the “has” should be “had,” and youngest of the Black sister, where “sister” should be plural. Plus, there were a few sentences where I thought a semicolon should go instead of a comma, but that could be stylistic. And that was really it, the rest is really flawless. Congrats on a wonderful beginning; I hope there’s a lot more!
Author's Response: :D
Thank you so much for this lovely review, BC! I’m really happy that you chose to review my new story (well, newly posted, it’s been sitting on my hard drive long enough), because I’ve been a bit hesitant whether I should even post more of it or not. But your review helped convince me that I should.
Also, thank you for picking up on those typo mistakes. I will go and see to them at once. As for the rest of your review… *blushes* Just… thank you! I submitted the first real chapter (as opposed to the two parts of the prologue) tonight, so hopefully it’ll be up soon and you can read it if you so wish. =)
Well, I for one would say this: for a parent to be ashamed of son who didnt quite live up to his expectations is so old money!! You have to wonder if Lucius wasn't temped to now find his eldest son. My question is, if so much effort was placed to keep him away from the Malfoy's and their "frienfs", how and when will he be forced to make any kind of choice about the war?
Author's Response: To begin with - thank you for taking a moment to review! And, yes, Lucius Malfoy is very curious about his oldest son, but he's not a stupid man. Being a Death Eater and all, he finds that it's easiest to keep the other parts of his life as uncomplicated as possible. Also, at this point he is still a very respected wizard of the magical society, and people finding out about an illegitimate would not be so good for his reputation. And Lucas, well, will he be forced to make a choice? What if he refuses? In the next chapter, which takes place after the end of HBP, you will finally get to meet him in person. :) Again, thanks for reviewing!
Good heavens. I certainly didn't expect to be review number two on this story. I assuumed all other SPEWers would clamor to get reviews written for your wonderful writing. I actually feel a bit smug about reviewing your lovely story before the masses. Is that allowed?
Though there isn't much to say in the way of concrit. Except that maybe you need to write more, and you punish the world by not giving us more of your fiction to read. You have such a gift with descriptions. You set a complete scene, yet you don't explain everything. The way you do this is in your ability to give the reader just enough framework so that they can complete the image in vivid detail in their own mind.
The atmosphere you've created for this wizarding society is so lush, even though, again, you don't explain it in detail. You hint at it, coloring a bit here and there - noting Lucius' thoughts about his father's feelings for his mother, questioning about the Veela blood and giving the direct answer. And !!! You mentioned the handsome Orion Black. I do love him. That's allowed, right? Because I would possibly fall into bed with him if Regulus didn't exist. Minus the possibly. Gah, this isn't relevant to your story. -makes it relevant- I like that you have more than just a few characters, you note the background, which makes it all the more real for the reader, drawing them right into that party.
Seeing Lucius at a bit of a loss of tact was so interesting. I don't know if that's the best way to word it. I guess it's more that he's just in awe and wonderment over this mysterious woman. It was so interesting to watch their interactions. Grace is a terrific character. I love her pull on Lucius. I want to know more about her.
I'm also very intrigued by Lucius' mother's hand in the Lucius/Grace tryst. I'm waiting anxiously for more of this story. I know you've been working on the Lucas story for....bascially the entire year that I've known you now. It's so great to see it actually come to life as a reader. This chapter was so well put together, I simply can't wait for more!
Author's Response: Hee. Yes, dear, being smug is allowed. Loving Orion Black is also allowed, if a little naughty. But hey, I’m all for naughty.
And, >.>, you want to know more about Grace Malory? *clears throat* I shall have to write a one-shot or two then. <.<
*reads through Mar’s review again* I really don’t know what else to say, except that you are being way too nice to me and making me blush repeatedly. Thank you!
My dearest Anna, forgive me, but I need to take one tiny moment to joyously claim: ‘First Review!’ Normally I don’t rejoice over those things – but I enjoyed this piece so much, and I have a feeling it is going to grow into something lovely, and therefore I just couldn’t help myself. *impish grin*
First of all, just let me say that was a-maz-ing. You are such a fabulous writer, and you have never failed to deliver in the short number of stories you have actually allowed us common people to read. Your words paint such a vibrant picture that it’s hard not to topple head-first into the world you’re portraying. In this case, a very … shall we say, heated one? Oh, I do think so.
“Bad luck and bad faith, yes.” Some powerful words come from your powerful character, who I must admit to being quite drawn to – though perhaps in a different way than Mr Lucius Malfoy, hmm? She certainly seems to have some intoxicating qualities about her, and I do love the almost … indifferent way she has already begun to pluck at young Malfoy’s heartstrings. I also found it funny that Lucius commented on their similar names, as I noticed it right away when after the Malory’s were introduced. Perhaps great minds think alike, after all? Ha ha.
Quite possibly my favourite part is when Lucius asks if Grace is in search of a husband, and she so deviously returns that, ‘On my own I am whomever I choose to be, while as some man’s wife I would never reach further than he did.’ I love this not only because it’s just a great reply, but also because it gives some good insight on the values and goals of this character. Plus, her confidence is simply astounding.
As far as nit-picking goes, I came up short-handed. Only in one sentence did I find anything worth noting.The man had a quite extraordinary built and aura about him, and was the kind person Abraxas would almost allow to show interest in his precious wife.’ I was a bit confused as to whether you meant to say ‘build’ rather than ‘built’, and also, if you meant to place the word ‘of’ in between ‘kind person’. Other than those instances, though, I was at a loss of criticism to give. There is, quite honestly, nothing else I would change about this. The mood is captivating, the setting – stunning – and you do the characters justice and beyond.
That being said, I expect more – and soon! Seeing as your introduction mentions someone by the name of Lucas Malory, I can only assume that the business that goes on in Lucius’s chamber (gaspshockdie!) – which may or may not have resulted in said illegitimate son – is merely the prelude to the bulk of your story. So expect me to be sitting here, impatiently awaiting the bulk. ‘Bring on the bulk!’ as I always say. Fabulous, intoxicating Anna!Bulk. ;)
Author's Response: *giggle* First review, yay! And what a review - *blushes*
I fixed the silly mistake right away – I keep doing things like that when I edit my own stories, so it’s a good thing that there is a Beckham out there to correct me. :)
I’m so glad that you liked Grace. Even if she personally only plays a small part in this whole story, she is very important to her son, and it was a challenge for me to establish her character in this first part of the prologue. And Lucius, hee. In his defence, I must admit that Grace did turn on some of her Veela powers; she wanted him, she was going to have him, so why not make it as easy as possible for herself? I did enjoy writing insecure!Lucius, because he is such a contrast to my favourite version of him, which, of course, is the über-confident!Lucius of Sins of the Father.
The second part of the prologue is up as I type this, and I’m planning on submitting the first real chapter (which is set after the end of HBP and where you finally get to meet Lucas). I hope you will enjoy it, and thank you SO MUCH for the fantabulous, blush-inducing review! *hugs!*