Reviewer: Love_Lupin
Date: 06/18/10 0:46
Chapter: Chapter One - Soon

I just absolutely love this story. I've read it thrice over (though only once in it's entirety), and even when I take breaks from reading stories on MNFF I always end up coming back to search for this one because of how brilliantly it's written. I really like the characterization and how fluidly you move over large spans of time within the story. That said, I do find some of the conversational dialogue and expression used a bit informal for the 19th century, although conversely I do realize that too much formal language could make for a story's downfall. I really enjoy the creative thought behind a lot of aspects of this story, and how well you've developed the relationships between all of the characters. Keep plugging along! :)

Author's Response: Thank you so very much for that wonderful review! It's been making my day start brilliantly. And although I haven't written anything of value for this story in weeks again, I still love this story to pieces. I will finish it, one day. Just keep your fingers crossed that my muse will cooperate with me here. Therefore, thanks again for the review. It's such words that keep me going and wanting to finish it, knowing that there are readers out there who want to see the end of Isla's tale.

Reviewer: DownWithTheCarrows113
Date: 05/22/10 16:24
Chapter: Chapter Seventeen - Spheres

Can I pleaasseee strangle Savaric and his dimwitted arseness??? He's been quite annoying

Author's Response: *pries Savaric away* Leave him be for the time being. He's grown to me. ;)

Reviewer: DownWithTheCarrows113
Date: 05/10/10 17:43
Chapter: Chapter Sixteen - Soiree

Fabulousa! It was very enjoyable to read and I hope that Robert and Isla end up together, yet it seems like it won't. Isla is a very pretty name!

Author's Response: Thank you! I'm glad there are still people reading it after updates take so much time. And I agree; I like the name Isla a lot. But I didn't chose it on my own; J.K. Rowling gave her the name. Just look up the Black Family tree and you'll also know the end of the story lol.

Reviewer: RonaldLookALike
Date: 11/15/09 23:30
Chapter: Chapter Fifteen - Sentinel

please finish ^^

Author's Response: I will, one day. At the moment, my muse is busy elsewhere though. But I plan to continue over the Christmas holidays if my muse cooperates. Thank you for reading and reviewing.

Reviewer: ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor
Date: 09/30/09 23:58
Chapter: Chapter One - Soon

This is an absolutely fabulous story, and I can't wait for an update. Getting to finish this tale would be almost like Christmas. :-)

Author's Response: Thanks for the review. I try my best, but chapter sixteen has been waiting to be written for so long already, and my muse just isn't very cooperative at the moment.

Reviewer: kimmy90
Date: 08/29/09 16:46
Chapter: Chapter One - Soon

that was really good

Author's Response: Thanks.

Reviewer: MerrryD
Date: 07/31/09 21:15
Chapter: Chapter One - Soon

Hey, Bine! :)

I’ve been meaning and meaning to read and review this story, and I figured, no time like the present, right?

I really liked the beginning. I mean, I know I can relate to that and I bet a lot of other people can too. The peacefulness of that moment just after you wake up . . . it’s wonderful. I did think that Isla was a little older, though, but that’s mostly just because I was expecting her to be from the summary.

Your characterization of Isla is really well portrayed. I like how we know she’s sort of spacey and gets lost in her thoughts just from what she’s thinking without you coming out and saying “hey, guys, this is Isla and she’s spacey!” You know what I mean? Also, I think it’s very ten-year-old like, especially all the random tangents and explanations to herself. She’s a very interesting character and I’m looking forward to watching her grow. ;)

I wish that we could have found out a little more about Isla’s relationships with her family members. From that first interaction with her father everything is so stiff and formal, other than what Isla tells us about what she and her sister used to do. I guess, I just couldn’t tell if Isla’s father actually cared for her or if he just thought of her as a unfortunate necessity or something. But, then, maybe that’s the way you intended it.

Themis was just a house-elf, a tiny creature with a huge head, large eyes and gigantic, batwing ears, yet she was a really strong character and had a lot of willpower.


I think that this sentence is largely unnecessary. You already told us that Themis was a house-elf. And all of your readers should know what a house-elf looks like. And, you already showed us that she has a strong character and a lot of willpower, you don’t need to tell us, right after showing us. It’s kind of redundant.

we played harmoniously together.


Um, Bine, I don’t think a ten-year-old would say that. Even if she is a Black, it’s just too sophisticated. I don’t think I’d even hear an adult saying that when reflecting on their childhood. It’s just very, formal and detached sounding and too big for Isla-as-a-ten-year-old, in my opinion.

Theirs was powerful, but no matter how the elves tried, it would never match our wielding.


I like this line. Right when you’re thinking that Isla seems like a decent person and not at all very Black-like, we get this thought and it’s a gentle reminder that she is a Black and she thinks like a Black. It’s sort of setting us up for those paragraphs and thoughts later about Muggles and Muggle-borns. I like how naturally you were able to write that too. I always struggle to write the disdain of Pure-blood-centric thinkers in regard to Muggle-borns, but you seemed to have capture it nicely. Of course, it’s from a ten-year-olds perspective so it’s allowed to be a little over-done and slightly skewed (NOT that yours is . . . I’m just saying that it could have been even a little stronger and you still could have gotten away with it, IMO).

The spanking at the end seemed sort of random to me. I guess it’s because I didn’t feel like there was enough emotion behind it. Yes, you said that her father was mad and angry or whatever, but I couldn’t feel it at all and it made it seem fake and weird and like you just threw something in at the end to show how strict the household was, even though I’m sure that’s not what you did, it just seemed that way.

This is a nice introductory chapter and I really did enjoy it. It was kind of slow, but definitely not boring. It held my attention through out the whole thing. I definitely think I’ll continue reading and hopefully reviewing this story. :D

Mere xox

Author's Response: Weeks later, and I finally reply. Anyway, thanks for the lovely review, Mere. And don't worry, the family connections get clearer throughout the story, when Isla evolves and grows up. Can't wait to read more of your reviews, if you do continue reading and reviewing. ;)

Reviewer: GringottsVault711
Date: 05/27/09 17:40
Chapter: Chapter Thirteen - Saturday

To start, I have to admit, at times I find your shifting points of view confusing. From Isla's first person POV, to third person POV's for other characters (and even recently, third person POV for Isla as well) without any rhyme or reason to the shifts, I just get lost easily.

But, I really liked the set-up for this chapter. They rhythm of Isla and Bob's switching viewpoints as they were both called forward by that same hypnotic power; it was very effective in creating intrigue and developing a quickening pace for the situation.

And as if I had never done anything else, I responded automatically.

‘Alaric.’


I really loved this line; even more, I love the repetition of the structure in Bob's PoV. Aside from the fact that I love the use of parallelism in writing, it really packed a punch with the switching PoVs.

The following sequence where you bring the vision back is just wonderful. I'm definitely a major fan of the structure of this chapter. It is so well designed, poetic and intriguing, and it amplifies the power of what is going on for the reader.

I enjoyed Savaric's characterisation in the Hospital Wing scene. It's a wonderful balance of being both caring and possessive, and it's hard to tell where one trait blends into the next trait. The ambiguity and complexity of his feelings for and behaviour towards Isla is absolutely delicious. I did sense that he was somewhat colder in this chapter than usual. Just something lacking that makes me feel less favourable towards the pairing than I have been for past chapters, but I think it's a wonderful element for this chapter, just because it's such a pivotal place for Isla's relationship with Robert, and the lack of chemistry between her and Savaric helps set that up.

On to Robert's characterisation; his straightforward nature is wonderful. Isla talks about being able to read him easily, because she's skilled at it, but also because he's not used to wearing a mask. And this is such a fundamental aspect of his character; it's not that he lacks the ability to be deceptive so much as it doesn't occur to him to try. He sees no reason to hide behind a mask. He's so open, it's really beautiful. And it's also great for advancing the plot. Fictional characters have a horrible tendency of keeping quiet about most things, and it's refreshing to read a character who pushes forward, and in such a natural way.

It's also a wonderful element of his character because it's such a contrast to Isla who has been raised to mask her thoughts and feelings. And, aside from the dynamic that's created by that contrast, it's also great to see how it encourages Isla to become more like Bob, and be more open and honest and stop hiding who she is.

And, you do show Isla's character developing more and more as she interacts with Robert. At the same time, you retain so much of her characterisation and I just love that. Because so often authors have characters changing over a very short course of time, with a small bit of development and then they switch on or off like a light. But, Isla is still very clearly in conflict; she still has a lot of Black instincts (the slight verbal scuffle she gets into with Robert about being all female Blacks being ladies is the particular instance I'm referencing here). And part of me thinks that she will always carry part of her upbringing with her, and i think that's wonderful. Because, while she may change her beliefs, she can never totally change who she was growing up. And, yes, I just really appreciate how you carry her characterisation on so smoothly. And how she never gets too comfortable with Robert, that wall always springing up so suddenly. I think it emphasises not only her temperamental nature, but the fact that she's not keeping her guard up consistently. Sort of like when you're fighting sleep, you get drowsy, your eyes close, and occasionally you jerk awake. Isla's characterisation seems to be doing that with Robert, and – so many aspects of her characterisation, her relationships, her development just fit so wonderfully and naturally and realistically.

And, the end of the chapter. The reveal that Sol is actually Solaris, and named for Robert's alias – I just loved that. It was very sweet and it let into that final line of the chapter where Isla's feelings for Robert/Bob (I can't decide what to call him!) click into place. A wonderful way to close it and lead further into the story.

Something that I really appreciate about this chapter is that it elaborates on the mystery of the visions, and it also expands and develops the various relationships. It's such a multi-plot-point chapter, yet it's one seamless unit. Wonderfully put together. :)

Author's Response: Thank you, thank you, thank you, Jenna. I love getting reviews from you. You always pick out the smallest things and your critique is helpful to the last dot on the "i". :) *squishes*

Reviewer: GringottsVault711
Date: 05/26/09 16:57
Chapter: Chapter Twelve - Search

The opening of this chapter is very intriguing. There's nothing to catch a reader's attention so much as something completely unexpected, out of the usual context. We're not only wondering what is happening, but where we are, when we are, if it's even a real place and time.

Your description of the setting in this opening paint a very distinct image, and I can't imagine that any of your readers didn't get some version of the pure, unadulterated, icy, blue-tinted woods. That was done wonderfully. I do feel, however, that in some cases your efforts to provide this imagery were somewhat excessive. By this I mean that in your effort to provide descriptions, you used oddly fitted or clichéd words/phrases, or used the same word/phrase over and over. Some examples:

"... the thick blanket of snow. She wears only a simple blanket..."

Here you have a pretty basic example of redundancy. You've used blanket in two consecutive sentences, and to describe two separate things. For me, this kind of thing distracts from the flow. Sometimes word choice depends on not only the best word for what you're saying, but the best word that flows with previous and following words, phrases, sentences.

"A silent rush of wind blows suddenly through the forest, the movement carrying the sound of a voice."

"The silent rush of wind,", yet it carries the sound of a voice? I know technically it's possible for the wind itself to be silent and merely carry the voice, but it caught my attention straight away. With this, I felt that your desire to attach an adjective/adverb to everything resulted in what is a somewhat awkward description, and if you'd just said "A rush of wind..." and not described it as silent, this would have been fine.

Now I'm just going to tackle the rest of fourth paragraph, which begins with "A silent rush of wind..." and ends with, "Again she calls for him, but again she hears nothing in response." With this paragraph, it just stuck out to me how often you used "wind" and "blows"/"blowing". Not a huge deal, but as with everything else I've mentioned, it stuck out to me. Non-poetic, repetition of words is something that always catches my attention, and in my own writing, I try to avoid it whenever possible.

Basically, these specific points all factor into one main point. I feel that, with this scene, you're using too many words to provide an image, and it makes it more and more difficult to find words you haven't used yet. Not everything has to be described in a way to show it is icy or cold or still or silent or silvery; in writing especially with adjectives/adverbs, less can be more.

And, before moving on, just a few grammatical things that I'll point out because they may be handy to keep in mind for future writing:

The trees glitter silvery with the ice covering their needles.

I don't think "silver" really works as an adverb. Glittering "softly" or "subtly" or "coldly" would work, because those seem to attach themselves better to the actual glittering. But I feel if you're using a colour, it's best to attach it as an adjective to the tree, rather than as an adverb to "glitter". That is, "The trees glitter silver with the ice..." I know that doesn't really work fantastically, either, but I'm mentally comparing it to something "glittering gold".

"Slowly the deadly cold lies itself over the wood."

This should be "lays itself". "Lie" is something that is just done, you don't "lie" a thing, and a thing or person does not "lie" itself. "Lay" applies to a direct object, you lay something, or something lays itself down.

Has it been dark and cold before, it now is pitch black and icy.

This bit I'm just pointing out because it confuses me; I'm guessing that there's an error here, in the first clause, because I can't make sense out of the sentence.

Her body grows, her limbs morph. Her hair embraces her, then turns from silky and soft to rough and tapered. Her skin hardens and suddenly feels like bark. Slowly she opens her eyes and discovers an entirely new world in her grasp. She looks around and sees a reflection in the ice, mirroring her new appearance.

This is my favourite part of the opening sequence of the chapter, especially the line "Her hair embraces her...". The imagery is wonderful and your word choices are fitting in a number of ways. I feel that in this paragraph, you did the description just write; you used necessary adjectives/adverbs, but you didn't go over the top. It's just right :)

On the subject of the German parts of this chapter, I understand that your use of the German dialogue is meaningful; it gives clues to the origin of the voices, and provides the peculiar angle of Isla being able to comprehend and speak German in her unconscious state. And, yes, I personally love it. I'm glad it's there; it improves my enjoyment of the chapter. However, I also have a grasp of German and was able to understand a fair bit of what was going on without using the translations at the bottom. It occurs to me that other readers, with no German whatsoever, will find the amount of German – coupled with the importance of what is actually being said – daunting, and off-putting.

Consider that the majority of your readers are seeing large amounts of text in a completely foreign language, and it will take away from the experience for them to not understand and break up their reading process by either forcing them to scroll down to the translation as they're reading, or in a lot of cases, not have any idea what has happened/been said until they reach the end of the chapter and see the translations there. Maybe, in future, you could lessen the amount of German, or use the German in places where the words themselves are not so important. Or perhaps you could use the old trick of saying the speaker is using German, but writing the English. I know that last possibility would affect the continuity of your style for this story, but perhaps for future writing endeavours where your target audience is largely not German-speaking :)

Some notes on the chapter overall, I thought the structure was very interesting. The opening sequence, and then Isla's point of view framed by the two third-person-perspectives. You revealed a great deal in a very small space, and it really set up an advance in the plot.

Something that I really appreciate about the story is that you have these various plots that are all so strong within themselves, yet interweave so wonderfully. Isla and Savaric could be a romance in itself, as could Isla and Robert; and yet you still bring this other plotline into focus and, as a reader, I feel entranced by all three aspects of the story at once.

My impression is that you have a great storyline, vivid characterisation, wonderfully unique and constantly developing and shifting dynamics between those characters, and that what you mainly need to work on is really fine-tuning your sentence construction and word usage.

One, simple example of what I mean:

"Like in a trance her fingers slowly fingered the material, then her hand picked it up."

It sounds as if her fingers, and only her fingers, are in a trance. Which is at first odd, but which also makes the following scene of her actually being in a trance, a little more sudden and confusing. "Like in a trance, she fingered the material slowly..." would attach the word "trance" to her whole state of being, rather than just her fingers. (It also eliminates the redundancy of her fingers fingering; if she's fingering the material, we automatically know she's using her fingers.)

I honestly have no idea how comfortable you are with English, and I'm aware that the fact it's not your first language is possibly a factor, but I do feel that you're better with English than a good deal of native speakers, and I think that the main issue is merely attentiveness. It can be hard work, but it's brings a great improvement to one's writing to occasionally stop letting the story and characters control the flow, and think more about the technical bits of writing.

So, yes. Exciting chapter, a wonderfully done turn – I felt it started and ended just where it needed to. It sort of feels like an interlude, and it's really interesting to imagine not only where this is going, but how it will affect Isla's overall development, as well as her relationships with Savaric and Bob.

Author's Response: Thank you so much for that awesome review, Jenna. You have no idea how much it means to me that you caught up with the story and left such an incredicbly helpful review, more so that I'm going to use that first sequence in a later chapter again. And also thank you for the compliment; I take pride in my English being on the level of native speakers. And I'm extremely pleased that the plot(s) and characterisation are liked. Thank you. I'll be working more on sentence construction and word usage to make new chapters even better. :) *hugglesquishes*

Reviewer: clabbert2101
Date: 05/17/09 16:10
Chapter: Chapter Fourteen - Significance

I'll try for coherence, shall I?

Isla meets the freaking Emperor of Austria?!? :O

Okay, so that's not really all that shocking, but that he took an interest in her because of the myth is (seeing as I'm pretending that the story is real right now, and putting myself in Isla's shoes). And Savaric.....he's grown on me. In an overprotective sort of way. I still like Bob better....

By the way, I burst out laughing when Isla said she doesn't speak German. I know she's British and all, but you are German, so....yeah.

As for the little dusty shop of mystery.... :O (yes I did use the same smiley twice in one review)

I'm a bit sad now, though, because I can tell the story is getting towards the end. And I don't want it to end. Not that I want you to prolong it indefinitely by leaving months between updates, either.

~Bella (who didn't quite manage to be coherent after all)

Author's Response: *huggles* The incoherency made me laugh though. So you get a thanks for that lol. And yeah, I might be German, but that doesn't mean Isla can speak it, right? I'm not Isla. ;) And I'm working on the next chapter, honestly, I do. My muse just... let's not talk about her. <.<

Reviewer: Kayla Andrena
Date: 05/03/09 23:14
Chapter: Chapter Fourteen - Significance

LOVE it!!!! Especially the myth within the story, and the fact that Isla seems to be living out the myth itself with Robert & Savaric. I can't wait for more! Please keep updating.

Author's Response: Thank you. I'm working on the next chapter. :)

Reviewer: Kayla Andrena
Date: 04/15/09 1:27
Chapter: Chapter Thirteen - Saturday

I love this story! I love Isla and Robert together! There hidden friendship is so suspensefull and I want them to continue being friends. Keep going I can't get enough! ;-)

Author's Response: Thank you for reading and reviewing! And I definitely keep going. I have the last chapters outlined in my head (and on paper), and I'm positive to have chapter fourteen finished this weekend. So, keep a lookout for a continuation of this story in the very near future. :)

Reviewer: Bookaddict
Date: 04/10/09 1:12
Chapter: Chapter Thirteen - Saturday

Hm my opinion its a great story . please update sooner than soon.

Author's Response: Thank you! I'm already working on the next chapter.

Reviewer: Bookaddict
Date: 04/07/09 7:10
Chapter: Chapter Twelve - Search

it was a chapter that had the feel of a real book.

Author's Response: Thank you.

Reviewer: tatjanablack
Date: 04/04/09 3:14
Chapter: Chapter Three - Slytherin

Another great chapter :D I really like this story and I really liked the Sorting Hat part, I always think it is interstering to hear what the hat says . (I always wonder what the hat would have said to me.. okay now I am rambling)

Off to read the next chapter.

Author's Response: lol Thanks again. Enjoy the rest.

Reviewer: tatjanablack
Date: 04/03/09 12:52
Chapter: Chapter One - Soon

Hello Bine,

Finally I got time and a chance to read a story of yours! And this is one I have wanted to read for a long time.

You are great at writing I must say. It is a great chapter and I already want more, when I am finished with this chapter I am off to the next. You are great at describing things and you really make me feel as I am there.

Tatjana

Author's Response: Thank you so much for your kind words, Tatty. :) *hugs*

Reviewer: clabbert2101
Date: 01/24/09 12:28
Chapter: Chapter Thirteen - Saturday

*squeals ecstatically*

FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!

It took you long enough, but this chapter was well worth the wait. I loved the dream sequence with Robert, and the transition between their thoughts before that. The whole chapter has a feeling of anticipation, and I absolutely refuse to wait so long for the next one. *squishes*

Author's Response: Yay! *squishes back* Thanks for leaving another review. And, um... I try... but I can't promise anything. There are my other stories that need nurturing, too, lol. But I will definitely keep writing cause I love my story to pieces. :)

Reviewer: Hermione101
Date: 11/29/08 10:38
Chapter: Chapter Twelve - Search

I love your story, I read the beginning a long time ago and really liked it so I was very happy to find it again. Savaric is such an interesting character. I think you are already trying to do this but I would like to see his point of view more. Please update soon!

Author's Response: Thank you! I love that people love my story. :D And I'm working on the next chapter. Huge parts are already written, but in a messy state. I hope to get the chapter done during the holidays. :)

Reviewer: Kiryn
Date: 11/15/08 11:40
Chapter: Chapter One - Soon

What was confusing was that this was a short chapter just centered around this dream, and she woke up but I guess she was still dreaming, and the whole thing just kind of repeated itself twice...

I'm sorry, I don't know exactly how to explain it.

Author's Response: You explained exactly how the chapter was: A dream from which she woke up but she was still dreaming. I already guessed it was getting confusing, but all in all, that's what Isla's search is: confusing. Finding the truth isn't easy, and she has to solve many riddles and overcome many obstacles. I tried to make it as clear as possible when writing that chapter. Sorry if that didn't work out so well.

Reviewer: Kiryn
Date: 11/13/08 3:10
Chapter: Chapter One - Soon

That last chapter was so confusing, and not because of the German bits. It just seems like a bit of a non-sequeter. Anyway, can't wait for the next chapter!

Author's Response: Thanks. But it would have been more helpful if you had told me what exactly you found confusing and mean with "non-sequeter". Thanks though for reading and reviewing.

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