I really love this story. This period in history fascinates me, and I really love the fact that you've combined it so seamlessly with history in JKR's world.
Everything fits in well, and your characterisations are fantastic. I liked the ambiguity of the chapters, leaving it up to the reader to guess who was narrating, and I think it highlighted the differences in character and voice well.
It's such an original and interesting take on the Founders and it's incredibly well written and fitting for the time period.
I quite like the style, one reviewer said it was too short with it just being mostly memories, but I liked the effect. It's like looking at their lives through a patch of mist. I especially liked the previous chapter, there's something incredibly poetic and melancholy about the way she reminisces about what has happened, and I really love that in a story.
Sorry if everything's seeming disjointed in this review; I've only got this tiny box as my MS word is broken! But what I'm trying to say is: I loved it!
Author's Response: Gosh, you just made my day :-) I had so much fun writing this and I haven't really written much since then, so its so much fun to get a review! I'm so glad you enjoyed and and thrilled with your review!
Beautifully researched and beautifully written. I'm so glad I read this story-it was inspiring and touching with a touch of humor and a large dose of originality.
Author's Response: Thanks so much! I must say that each of the Founders feels so real to me, as if they were telling me their stories. The research was interesting, I hadn't really known much about the British Isles before the Norman conquest and the Battle of Maldon quite took my breath away. There are lots of tag ends and loose pieces that are making their way into drabbles - and possibly other stories,
I really liked it. It's well written and you put a lot of research into it. The only thing I would ask more of it is that it's really short. We don't really get to see the journey the characters make, the formation of the school. We only learn about it second-hand through their memories. Other than that, it was amazing. You breathed life into the characters that before were merely placeholders.
Author's Response: Gosh, I think that is my favorite criticism - "its too short!" I agree, there is a whole story waiting to be told of the first years of the school. I think that it would be most interesting to tell it from the point of view of an apprentice - with perhaps alternate chapters by the Founders. I have some drabbles posted about the initial years of the school - things that didn't make it into the story. Following one of the first classes would be intriguing.
Ahhhh, that was just lovely! You're characters have an effortlessness about them, have I told you that already? They're yours, even though they were created by JKR, because you turn abstract qualities into flesh and blood, with feelings and motives and ethics. I love how Godric is the "Other Gryffindor" and how Godric's Hollow isn't even named after him - your efforts to de-romanticise him and push him from his pedestal certainly worked! I also loved the way you described the battle scene and its aftermath - and OMG! I just read your Author Note - The Battle of Maldon is AMMAAAAZZZZING! I studied it last year, and yes, you certainly did it justice with that scene. I just love the way you've managed to turn an amazing yet not well-known area of English history into something so life-like. It's a very difficult area of history to get your head around, yet you make it seem easy and effortless. You're a superstar writer! (and I am sorry - one day you will get a nice coherent review from me, I promise)
Author's Response: If I were really clever, I could think of other ways to respond to reviews besides "Thank you!". I stumbled across the Battle of Malden, and after trying hard to incorporate the actual battle into the story (but what would the Gryffindors be doing so far from home?) I decided to take artistic license with it instead. And I left out the part where Byrhtnoth falls and someone named Godric rides off on his horse - causing the British to think that Byrhtnoth was fleeing, which in turn caused panic and a route. Although that would have been interesting! Perhaps in the future.
and doesn't this quote from the "Battle of Malden" just send shivers down your spine?
Thought shall be harder, heart the keener,
Mood the more, as our might lessens.
Well done, another fantastic chapter! I loved the discription of Gareth as having "the spirit of a warrior, the heart of a poet and the broken nose of a born troublemaker." You really do have a wonderful way with words! It's fascinating to see the four of them interacting, and I can't wait to see how they all become such good friends.
Author's Response: Thank you so much! I have to admit to some struggles with the next chapter - I've written it three times now. And real life keeps interfering! But i will persevere.
This is a fantastic story! I'm so glad I came across the Review Corner!
I've really enjoyed the story so far - it seems to me that you've done your research very well, as the magical world and the history flow together very well. The opening chapter threw me right into the time period - I genuinely winced when the poor girl's arm broke. Your characters all have very distinctive and unique voices, and it has been fascinating to watch their lives intertwine.
Your use of language is beautiful too - I particularly loved listening to Helga Hufflepuff's story. There was a very rhythmic quality to her speech. So well done!
I'm extremely impressed with what you have done . Although the characters are JK's creation, you have truly made a world of your own.
I'm adding this to my favourites now, so you'd better update soon! Once again, really well done!
Author's Response: Thank you so much! I think that Helga is my favorite, or at least I do when I am writing her! The next chapter is being beta read by my wonderful beta reader (I have issues with commas. . . .) and the fifth chapter is unfolding in my head - so fear not - updates are coming!
Arwww, that was very beautiful! (Wait, I said that about the last chapter, didn't I?) I just love how you take these characters and make them your own. I've dabbled in Founder Era before but never imagined Rowena's backstory and personality to be like this. Once again a very different voice - a young and fragile but very mature voice! I now can't wait to see how you handle Godric.
Author's Response: Thanks! Godric is a little difficult because he is a bit on a pedestal, in my opinion. How to retain that regard and bring him down to a human level? Its more challenging, I am finding, but the chapter is coming along well, just a little slower than the others. Stay tuned!
Another lovely chapter. Rowena is presented much differently here than I have ever seen her, and I adore it. "Frail and thin, with nothing of beauty to remark on, I learned to please him with precocious knowledge." - a wonderful line, and the relationship with her father is fascinating and believable. For the first time, we hear all of the founders mentioned in one chapter. I really like how you've made them all different ages, with vastly different knowledge and skill levels. I'm just itching to find out how they all come to the decision of building a school together... speaking of building, is it possible the Ravenclaw castle is the foundation of Hogwarts? Or do you have something more grand in mind? Not that you have to answer of course! I'm thrilled to read Godric's POV now, especially since Rowena is engaged to his brother.
Author's Response: Its an interesting thought, to have the Ravenclaw castle as the foundation of Hogwarts, although I am not sure that I can make that work with what we know from the books. I think that Hogwarts would be rather farther north than where I have placed Ravenclaw, but there is a historical event that would dovetail nicely into making the two more connected than I had originally planned.
Fortuitous thought! And thank your for the review!
i love seeing how they all meet and love seeing your take on how the lived way back then. well done can't wait for the next one.
Author's Response: Thanks! The story is coming along nicely. Its nice to have a known endpoint (they found a school), to work towards, and the interesting part is figuring out how they get there.
Gosh, I just love this. I love how we're slowly being introduced to each of the main players, hearing their voices... you still have me on the edge of my chair, waiting for the next installment!
Author's Response: Thank you! Trying to find a different voice for each character is an interesting exercise. I find that when I read the chapters aloud (which I do to help find awkward sentence structure) that I take on different accents without really intending to. I'm so glad you are enjoying it, and I DO love my banner :-)
Those chapters are very well written
hope you update soon cause ill be reading...GOOD STORY:)
Author's Response: Thank you! I seem to be writing a chapter a week, which works out well, since it takes about seven days for a chapter to get validated.
This chapter was really beautiful! I loved Helga's personality, her voice, and the original quirky features of her story. Keep up the good work!
Author's Response: Thank you! I am striving for a different 'voice' for all the founders, and that has made this fic both fun and challenging.
It may interest you to know that the Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith said that verse was better translated as "Thou shalt not suffer a murderer to live."
Author's Response: That is interesting. The original Hebrew would be, of course, the best source - and I happen to know several people who speak it, so I may ask for translation. I am sure that the Talmud offers some discussion on the passage, but I didn't dig that deep!
What a well-written, intriguing first chapter! I'll definitely be coming back to this story when more chapters are up.
Author's Response: Thank you Calico! It has been a lot of fun to write and to research.