Name: LadyL8 (Signed) · Date: 09 Dec 2017 04:47 AM · Chapter: 8. The Silent Language of Grief

Hey Jill,


It's me again. I'm hoping to see Merlin and Arthur together again in this chapter, maybe even working out some way to get out. I suspect that might take a little bit longer to figure out, but hey, a girl can hope :P So anyway, let's get to the reading and reviewing.


Okay, so first of all, I know I said this in the last chapter too, but I love the similarities between Merlin and Arthur. Last chapter I talked about them both managing to keep a relatively calm head considering the situation they're in, but here we also see that they're both grieving. Arthur grieves over Merlin's death, and Merlin grieves because he's lost his magic, his voice, his best friend, his home and his family. I also love that both of them come up with names for the soldiers. It was just really interesting to see these similarities, and it made it really easy to see why the two of them are best friends.


But Jill, why, WHY are you doing this to Merlin?! Poor, poor Merlin. Are you trying to completely break my heart?! First you let me think he's dead, and now you're putting him through all of this. Not nice, Jill. Not nice. But I'll forgive you because the ending left me hopeful about the future. I was so happy to see that food scene (or apologize scene?) from Merlin's perspective, and it really showed that not only did it give Arthur hope, it also gave Merlin hope about the future. That's definitely good! Hopefully they can work around the whole problem with Merlin not having a voice, and find a way to get out of this place.


Also, this chapter had me really curious, because Sir Einar was surprisingly nice to Merlin earlier, considering the things he said to Arthur earlier about an eye for an eye (or was it a life for a life?). I guess it was just talk then. Or I don't know, maybe there's something there, maybe he feels sympathetic towards warlocks or something... Hm. I don't know. I guess I'll just have to wait and see.


Anyway, another great chapter! I absolutely loved it. Thank you so much for sharing!


-       Lotte

(if this shows up in the wrong order for you, it's because I reposted it because of a mistake I just realized now as I re-read the review. It was just me saying the last chapter about something that happened in this chapter)

Name: LadyL8 (Signed) · Date: 09 Dec 2017 04:19 AM · Chapter: 9. Whispers of Acceptance

Hey Jill,


I'm back again to read another chapter of this amazing story that has just completely captivated me. I absolutely love it and can't wait to see what happens next. I'm hoping for another Merlin and Arthur moment, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see. Anyway, let's start reading and reviewing.


Aww. I liked seeing Merlin and Arthur interact again. Their moments together are always great, and I love that there are so much they don't say to each other (well, Merlin can't really say anything right now, but you know what I mean), but I think they both know that their each other's best friend. So yeah, I liked seeing another one of their moments. That's just what I wanted really. But Merlin really is self-sacrificing, isn't he? After everything Arthur has put him through with the false accusation and punishment and everything, he'd still do anything to keep him safe. Their friendship is so beautiful and I absolutely love it!


And yes, Arthur, I'm angry about that too. Taking away his voice is just horrible. He's like the most talkative person in the tv show, so I just can't imagine how difficult it must be for him to try to keep himself from talking. Especially when he's angry or in pain and he just want to say something. It must be really frustrating and disheartening (I think that's the right word, but either way you know what I mean). Just a really horrible way of torturing someone.


BUT I'm very hopeful they'll be able to find some sort of way out of this, especially now that they've found a way to work around Merlin not being able to speak. Between the two of them, they should probably have more than enough information to get out if an opportunity presents itself. The guards are the main problem, but they're Merlin and Arthur so they'll be able to work it out.


Anyway, another great chapter, Jill! I'm hoping maybe to get some more hints about the plan behind this kidnapping soon, because I've still not worked out anything about that. Maybe I'll be wiser after the next chapter. We'll see. Anyway, thank you so much for sharing! I'll be heading over to the next chapter as soon as I can!


-       Lotte 

Name: LadyL8 (Signed) · Date: 09 Dec 2017 01:57 AM · Chapter: 7. Muted Magic

Hey again, Jill


I'm still here for the Winter Wonderland Event, but I'm also back to find out what happened to Merlin. And I'm hoping to maybe get some hints on what the plan behind the kidnapping is too, because I still have no clue on that one. But anyway, let's get to the reading and reviewing part.


Oh! We're going back in time! And it's Merlin's POV! Wow. It's been a few chapters since the last time we got to see things from his perspective, but I'm so excited to find out what happened to him. Oh no. He's a slave and he's lost his magic and his voice. Do I totally ruin the moment if I say that it kind of reminds me of The Little Mermaid when Ariel loses her voice (which kind of was her power)? Yeah, I did ruin things a little bit, didn't it? :P But anyway, poor Merlin. I mean it's a genius way of controlling a warlock because most of them need to say their spells (not Merlin of course, but since the collar just gets stronger when tries to use magic, it's a good prison for him too), but still... that must make you feel so helpless.


And omg. I love that Merlin and Arthur kind of has the same approach to being kidnapped. They remain relatively calm considering the situation they're in, and try to gather information to work out how to get out of this situation. I mean I would probably have just cried my eyes out and then given up right away, but they really know how to keep a calm head and to use what they have to try to find a way out. Yeah, the two of them really are alike, aren't they? :P Also, thanks for letting me know that Tharennor is not a real kingdom, because I was just about to look that up when I saw the Author's Note. You really saved me some time:P


Another great chapter, Jill! Thank you so much for sharing! I'll be making my over to chapter 8 within the next hour! :)


- Lotte

Name: StarFeather (Signed) · Date: 09 Dec 2017 01:35 AM · Chapter: 8. The Silent Language of Grief

Why, Jill, why did you torment Merlin so badly? It’s harsh that you set Stupidly-Handsome who beat him. I remembered the drama, “Outlander” where the bad English military officer lashed the main character. Please let Merlin free and let him use his magic! I love to see he can get back his power. But I know you won’t let him go so easily.


Well, at first, I didn’t notice the previous chapter and the first half of this chapter went back to the past before the time when Arthur could find his servant was still alive. So you described the detailed situation around Merlin, which is great, I can understand most of HPFT community authors recognize you are the best of the field, the angst and inner emotion writer. As you keep writing the main characters’ agony, the last climax will be great. (I can’t wait to see Merlin will use his magical power in full force!)


 Though each scene when Merlin was forced to work as a slave brings on sympathy for him, I like your writing which makes us imagine even landscape around him, the wild camp site. Those descriptions became great seasonings before reading the friendship between Merlin and Arthur who finally noticed his servant and told him he misunderstood him and apologized him.  I could visualize each facial expression  between Arthur and Merlin while reading the latter half.



Name: LadyL8 (Signed) · Date: 09 Dec 2017 12:52 AM · Chapter: 6. Food for Thought

Hey Jill,


I'm still here for the Winter Wonderland Event, but I'm starting with the novel reviews this round so I have much better time now. I'm super-excited to be back to hopefully find Merlin alive (yes, I have no forgotten how you completely broke my heart two chapters ago). Anyway, I'm just gonna stop talking now and get to the reviewing.


So I just realised I never said anything about the quotes at the top of the chapters, but just so you know, I really love them. They fit the chapters so well, and I like the one in this chapter especially well. I grew up watching and reading Winnie the Pooh, and I actually remember this quote (but in Norwegian) from the book. It works so well with Merlin's return. And speaking about that...


HE'S BACK! And for once those words are not spoken about Voldemort; they're said in a much more positive way. HE'S ALIVE!! I mean I know we didn't really get full confirmation that it's actually him, but let's be real here... it's him. I felt pretty confident he wouldn't actually be dead, but you did have me a little worried with him not appearing in the last two chapters at all, so I'm just so glad to see him back. And Arthur finally apologized. He must've Aww, I loved that scene. Something does feel off about him though, like the fact that he didn't speak at all. I hope they didn't hurt him too much.


Also, I know I've said this in one of the earlier chapters too, but I just love that Arthur keeps himself calm and tries to gather as much information as he can so he can come up with a plan to escape. That's just what I think Arthur would've done in this situation. And I like that he makes up names for the soldiers :P


Basically, I love everything about this chapter and the story as a whole. I'm happy to see that Merlin has returned, but I'm worried about him too. Hopefully he's not too badly injured. I'm also still trying to work out what the plan is. I mean the summary says their kidnapped by a mad king, so I guess maybe he's trying to start a war. But wouldn't it just be smarter to kill him then? Hm, I don't know. I'll have to think about this a little more.


Anyway, great job, once again! Thank you so much for sharing! I'll be back to review the next chapter within the next hour! :)


-       Lotte

Name: LadyL8 (Signed) · Date: 06 Dec 2017 12:12 AM · Chapter: 5. A Hollow Silence and an Aching Heart

Hey Jill,


I'm back once again to hopefully find that Merlin did not in fact die. Seeing as I'm still hurt over the ending of the last chapter, I'm just gonna cut out the talking and get right to the reviewing.


Arthur. Poor, poor Arthur. No, Merlin is not dead. Come on, Arthur, he can't be dead. Don't give up. And don't feel guilty. Well, maybe feel a little bit guilty, because you did take an awful long time to just apologize to him. Yeah, that pride of yours can get in the way sometime. Glad you at least realize that now. But no, don't feel bad. He's not dead. I refuse to believe he's dead.


But on a more serious note, I really love the way you describe his grief He obviously misses Merlin (the fact that he cried really shows that) and regrets not telling him how much he appreciated him when he had the chance. I think that's something we can all relate to really, feeling like there are things we should've done differently or things we could've done differently. But Arthur, you don't have to worry. He will be back, I'm confident about that.


These kidnappers still are a bit of a mystery to me. I mean Sir Einar talked about Arthur killing his brother which seems to be the motive here, but if he's not planning to kill Arthur himself, and it really doesn't seem like it, what is really his plan? It seems to me like he's working for someone else since they're travelling somewhere, and I still think maybe Morgana is involved, but I just can't see what the plan is If they're gonna take the kingdom, wouldn't it make more sense to just kill Arthur? Hm. Hopefully there are more answers in the next chapters. I'll try to visit that as soon as I get a chance. Great job, once again! Thanks for sharing!


-  Lotte 

Name: abhorsen (Signed) · Date: 05 Dec 2017 11:58 PM · Chapter: 5. A Hollow Silence and an Aching Heart

Wait so is Merlin really dead?!

I know I need to keep reading, but wow, I really thought that I'd get to the next chapter and find that, like, nope, he's still alive, and the chapter is from his point of view, and there's no suspense at all.

I was just saying that you were an amazing writer, though, and I should have known that you wouldn't let your readers off quite so easily.

Arthur's reaction to Merlin's apparent death (I still don't know whether I believe that that was actually the case but still) is so perfect. He's being held captive, and he clearly hates it, but the thing that's causing him the most anguish is losing his friend - even if he does eventually push it aside to deal with the immediate crisis. I love the way that he's owning his pride at this point, too, and realizing how little good it got him.

This is such an amazing chapter. I loved it.

Name: LadyL8 (Signed) · Date: 05 Dec 2017 11:54 PM · Chapter: 4. Dark Answers

Hey Jill,


It's me again! I'm back to find out more about who these kidnappers are. Like I said in my last review, I suspect they are somehow connected to Morgana, but I don't know what their plan could be and if Morgana is working them. Hm. Hopefully I'll be a little bit wiser at the end of the chapter.


I love that Arthur manages to keep from panicking and instead manages to think rationally and use the little information he has to try to work out a plan. That's definitely how I imagine Arthur would behave if he was in this situation. And aww. He can't think about the possibility of Merlin being dead. That's friendship right there. I love that!


But NOOO!! Merlin can't be dead. I refuse to believe it. No, he just can't be. No. No. No. Arthur, get yourself out of there and save your best friend or I'll never forgive you!! Omg. Arthur is breaking down. Me too, Arthur, me too. But seriously, this really broke my heart. For all their fighting and bickering, they really are best friends, and Arthur's reaction... it's was just heartbreaking! There are no other words. You broke my heart, Jill!


But at least I have a motive now. It answered some questions for sure, but now I have new ones. What exactly did Arthur do to Sir Einar? I can't remember that character from the tv show so I'm assuming he's an original character, and that just leaves me with so many questions. I don't think Arthur did anything wrong, but I'm curious to find out more what happened.


Anyway, great job once again, even though you completely broke my heart. Thank you so much for sharing! I'll be back with the next review in a few minutes!


-       Lotte

Name: abhorsen (Signed) · Date: 05 Dec 2017 11:51 PM · Chapter: 4. Dark Answers

Also the best quote. You've made some great choices with the quotes at the top of the chapters - they really do create such a great lens to see the chapter through. <3


So rather than talk about your amazing characterization again (even though it remains amazing), I want to focus on something else for a minute.


You are such a good writer, Jill. You just string words together so effectively, and the end result is a story that flows perfectly and that I really can't get enough of. There's often a dry wit in your description (the first sentence of the chapter is a great example of that), and you capture so many intricacies of the human condition. Arthur's realization that something was wrong came across as so, so real, as did his reaction. It says something about his training that he was able to lay still and start to suss out what was going on around him (and you've capture that perfectly, too, because again, characterization is a strength of yours), but you communicate it in such a wonderful way.


Okay, that aside:


I love the plot so far, and I (again!) continue to love your characterization of Arthur. I don't think that Merlin is dead, but I really can't wait to read on and unravel more of this, because Arthur is right: this doesn't make any sense at all.

Name: abhorsen (Signed) · Date: 05 Dec 2017 11:41 PM · Chapter: 3. Cry Havoc

That is the best quote. Omg.




I love that Arthur really does see himself as having to save everyone and everything - Arthur's reactions and sentiments are often kind of two sides of the same coin - they're strengths and weaknesses all wrapped up into one. Arthur is a genuinely good person, and he wants to help people, and that's a really good thing. At the same time, though, that sometimes shows itself in his inability to think of himself as being part of a partnership - Arthur sees himself as being in control of any situation and as it being his responsibility to save everyone else, which is why it never crossed his mind that Merlin could take actions to actively help them, too.


I feel like I'm not being super fair to Merlin by hyperfocusing on Arthur, because you do write Merlin really, really well - his protectiveness toward Arthur despite everything that had happened was perfect. I just like Arthur better as a character in general :P, and you capture him so so well.

Name: LadyL8 (Signed) · Date: 05 Dec 2017 11:34 PM · Chapter: 3. Cry Havoc

Hey Jill,


It's me again! See I told you I would be back for the next chapter. I mean I couldn't just stop reading with that cliff-hanger at the last chapter. I mean I'm pretty sure Merlin will be fine, but still, I'm curious to see what's going on. So yeah, I had to come back. Anyway, I'm just gonna stop talking now, because I really want to read this chapter. See you in a little bit (well, right away for you, but a little bit for me).


OMG. THAT BATTLE/FIGHT SCENE!! That was probably one that best battle scenes I've read in a good while, and that says a lot because battle scenes are really difficult to pull off in writing. And Arthur. Omg. Arthur was just how I remember him being in battles in the tv show. Confident about his own abilities (which is natural, he's been trained for this his whole life), but also nervous but not showing it, and too kind to follow his father's orders (thank god he's a better man than his father). And he sacrificed himself for Merlin. I mean any other royal would've easily abandoned Merlin, but he sacrificed himself. I say it again; you've really done a great job with the characterisation. That's exactly the way Arthur would behave in this situation, and that's what I love about the story. You write so well that it really feels like I'm watching the show again.


But I wonder who these kidnappers are? I'm thinking they might be connected to Morgana, since it was mentioned in the last chapter that she was missing, but I don't see what their plan is. Hm. Hopefully next chapter will give me some answers.


Anyway, great job once again. Thank you so much for sharing!


- Lotte


Name: abhorsen (Signed) · Date: 05 Dec 2017 11:30 PM · Chapter: 2. Things Left Unsaid

Stopping back in as Lotte and I try to finish our fort for the winter wonderland! :P


Yessss, you continue to capture Arthur so, so well. He's impetuous and tends to leap to conclusions, but he also always struck me as someone who is quick to feel shame once he realizes that he's done something wrong - and he's definitely perceptive enough to know that Merlin is upset, and to realize that he really did need to apologize - even if he's not quite sure how and has a very hard time practicing apologies where he's not a jerk.


Initially, the whole "the prince of Camelot can't be seen apologizing to his servant" thing made me roll my eyes, but the more I sit with it, the more I feel a little differently about the sentiment. What he's saying isn't right in a moral sense, but it's not untrue, and especially while Uther is still king... yeah, Arthur does need to play the part. I still think that there's some pride there that's making him quicker to jump to that conclusion than he might be otherwise, too, and it's not easy to tell how much of his thought process is self-serving and how much of it is accurate analysis. It's probably a mix of both, and that's one thing that I love about your writing - there's just so much complexity, and I love it.


Onto the next chapter! (Especially since - what a cliffhanger!)

Name: LadyL8 (Signed) · Date: 05 Dec 2017 11:06 PM · Chapter: 2. Things Left Unsaid

Hey Jill,


I'm here for the Winter Wonderland Event to review for Team Phoenix. I gotta admit, it's taken me way longer than I expected to come back to this story, but I'm so happy to finally be back here to check out the next chapter. Anyway, I'm just gonna stop talking now and get right to reviewing.


Omg. I love that Arthur can tell that Merlin is upset because he is quiet, polite and on time. But hey, I have to agree, that doesn't really sound like Merlin. Merlin and Arthur always bicker and that's what makes them so great. I'm curious to see if Arthur will actually apologize to Merlin though, or if his pride will get in the way. I mean he's clearly feeling guilty about accusing him, but Arthur isn't the best at apologizing so... Aww, fixing things with Merlin is the more pressing issue. Looks like someone like's his servant a little bit more than he lets on. I know I said this in the last chapter too, but good job with the characterisation. I love that Arthur is finding it so difficult to just apologize. That's just him in a nutshell, so yeah, good job!


And we're at Merlin's POV. Omg. I'd forgotten how much I loved that you switched between two POVs. It really allows us to explore their relationship from both sides. I just have to repeat that because it's one of my favourite things about the whole story. And poor Merlin; he's so worried about being punished for something he didn't do. Arthur, just tell him you're sorry. Don't let the guy suffer any longer than he already has! But seriously, good job with Merlin too. I absolutely love him!




No but seriously, I love the ending. It's made me really curious about what happens next, and I'm gonna have to go check the next chapter right now to find out. Great job, once again! Thanks for sharing!


-   Lotte    

Name: StarFeather (Signed) · Date: 23 Nov 2017 01:19 PM · Chapter: 7. Muted Magic

Nooooo, Jill. Can't Merlin simply escape by his magic? How could you think of that trap? Poor Merlin, he has still his magical power, which let the cage stronger as a result... I love the description when he tried using his magic,flashing his eyes. Please give him a chance to find a chance to be free.


I wonder what a powerful wizard thought of the horrible magical artifact, the metal thing. I guess you prepare the chance for Merlin and Arthur to fight back later. K

Name: StarFeather (Signed) · Date: 29 Sep 2017 01:45 AM · Chapter: 6. Food for Thought

It's funny Arthur named the angry soldier his least favorite dog's name. Leon and Gaius reminded me of the series and I smiled. It's great you mentioned about Gaius's and Uther's feeling, which make us feel sympathy towards them.


The blind fold situation hit greatly, Jill! Readers including me imagine many things as a blind Arthur and felt like experiencing all his sufferings. Then, oh, you let Merlin enter this timing! I almost shed tears. Poor Merlin. He seems to have been tortured and lost his voice? I hope he was just pretending. At least Arthur could apologize to Merlin and they could be friends again though the circumstances were too severe for them to endure.



Name: StarFeather (Signed) · Date: 17 Sep 2017 02:12 AM · Chapter: 5. A Hollow Silence and an Aching Heart

Jill, how could you let Arthur suffer for his loss like this? It’s so merciless for him to regret what he had done to Merlin in such a miserable state as a Prince of Pendragon. At the same time, I really enjoyed Merlin fandom you created. You spared much space for Arthur’s agony, regret and realization that Merlin was the best friend he had ever got in his life. This spot, " tearing up his insides and pushing moisture to the corners of his covered eyes." move our hearts.


I might have mistaken the situation or summary you informed us. I thought Merlin was blind after attack. You set Arthur blindfolded, right? If so, I hope Merlin might be alive with full of magical power inside him and his eyesight is safe, he might have been seriously injured though.


One more question left, Sir Einar apparently has a strong grudge against Arthur or Uther Pendragon. Why did he decide to carry Arthur unharmed? Was just loyalty to his king? Except the kingdom Uther Pendragon reigns, what mighty kingdom did you create for this story?



Name: StarFeather (Signed) · Date: 15 Sep 2017 02:32 PM · Chapter: 4. Dark Answers

In about 340 words, you loaded with lots of Arthur’s worries, cares and outbursts for his friend Merlin. It touches our heartstrings. Arthur couldn’t eat anything concerning about Merlin’s safty. It also moves us to sympathize with him.


What a merciless villain he was. Did he really kill Merlin? I doubt that. Or worse. I’m sure he let him alive but did any harm on him. Arthur will know eventually.


And he was informed his friend was killed. What is the true purpose of the bad guy? It seems his brother was killed by Arthur. Lying and taunting Arthur might be a part of his revenge.


The first words before this chapter, “Sadly enough, the most painful goodbyes are the ones that are left unsaid and never explained.” is so impressive thinking over Arthur’s situation. I’m afraid that Merlin is suffering from tremendous pains right now after the last blow while Arthur is a captive in the dark.


Name: StarFeather (Signed) · Date: 15 Sep 2017 01:35 PM · Chapter: 3. Cry Havoc

Hi, Jill. Finally I came back! Sorry for late coming back caused by mostly strange tropical weather these days. Autumn arrived. It’s the best season for reading!!


I like this sentence, “He had to play the part of prince, not friend, if they were going to get out of this alive.” It’s cool that Arthur behaved in that way to save Merlin. The messenger’s words, “your reputation as a just and fair man proceeds you, Prince Arthur. He may be just a servant, but even the life of a servant has meaning in your eyes” show Arthur has a kind heart. I like it, too.


I got thrilled when Merlin escaped the villain’s hands once and expected he might use his magic. Oh, no. Well, I feel like I predicted what was coming next. It’s not going to be that easy.


I also like these: “Arthur knew what he'd been trained to do in this situation, what he should do. Knew without a doubt what his father would do. And he also knew with just as much certainty that he couldn't do it.” Uther Pendragon would never rescue his servant. But Arthur does.


Oh, you prepared the scene after that. I missed this. Powerful magic. I like this spot: “A sudden surge of pure power, hot and alive and uncontrollable, welled up inside of the warlock.”


Wait, Jill, the villain didn’t do that so early? I remembered the cruel scene from “Outlander”. Is that the moment he lost his eyesight???



Name: abhorsen (Signed) · Date: 13 Sep 2017 07:39 PM · Chapter: 1. Stormy Weather and Words

Hey, Jill! I'm sorry I couldn't continue onto chapter two like you requested, but I love Merlin and I hope you'll forgive me for reviewing C1 as well. <3  I promise I'll review C2 if you request again and Lotte doesn't beat me to it!

I really, really loved this. I could actually see it playing out in my mind, as though I was watching an actual episode. You captured the dynamic between Arthur and Merlin so, so perfectly, and you also did an excellent job of characterizing each of them as individuals. Their characters shone through exactly as they did in the show, which gives you a really solid starting point to build the story.

I loved the way you depicted Merlin. I immediately felt so much sympathy for him, and you really brought home both how undignified and physically painful the stocks are and how much emotional betrayal can hurt just as much. Merlin is trying so, so hard to help Arthur, and being unappreciated and called a liar hurts - and never so much as when you feel like you're friends and the inherent power dynamic comes roaring back. I'm curious to see whether Merlin forgives Arthur, and how quickly.

And as much as I loved Merlin... I loved Arthur, even though he's very clearly in the wrong here. He's prideful and impetuous in a way that's perfectly congruous with what we see early on in the show. He's so convinced that he's Right and cannot possibly be Wrong that he never bothers to think about alternative explanations - for example, that he misplaced it rather than Merlin stealing it. But he is Prince Arthur of Camelot! He would never misplace something! Merlin must have stolen it!

It's interesting, though - I'm curious to see how and when Arthur apologizes, but I don't have any doubt that he will. You've captured Arthur so well here, and given Arthur's character, it's clear that this will be eating him up inside and he won't be able to just let it go. Arthur feels what he feels, and he acts on it - sometimes that means that he's petty, but it can also mean that he's good.

Amazing job, Jill!

Author's Response:

Why would you be sorry?  This is an amazing review and I love it!


I'm so happy you liked this, and thought it was like watching an episode.  That's the ultimate praise!  I still feel so new to this fandom that I worry I'm getting them even close to right.  This makes me feel so much better.


This summary of my opening scene makes me so happy, because that's EXACTLY what I was trying to show.  You got it all, and I'm jumping for joy here!  WHOHOO!  Thanks so much!  And it's Merlin - he always forgives.  It's part of who he is, and why we love him.


As for the Arthur part - THANK YOU!  I feel much more secure writing Merlin and Arthur.  Merlin is like other characters I've used in the past - Arthur not so much.  Getting the right balance of his arrogance and yet his caring is difficult!  I really wanted to show that pride you are talking about, since it's still early in the show...but I also wanted to show that while he acted out of pride and what he's been taught, he still cares for Merlin and is so conflicted.  Your comments are so nice, because they show you followed what I was hoping to show. :D  Thanks!


Despite all of his faults, it's that underlying goodness of Arthur that we love, isn't it?  And yes, Arthur will intend to appologize.  Now, whether the muse will let him do it or not is another story....or at least another chapter.


Thanks so much!  Sorry I was rather slow responding to this, but I wanted you to know I really, really, REALLY loved it!

Name: MadiMalfoy (Signed) · Date: 10 Sep 2017 06:37 AM · Chapter: 3. Cry Havoc

Hi Jill!!! You requested that I read this (and I also wanted to anyway) in my review thread so here I am! I elected to read a few chapters in to get a better feel for how you were writing this before passing judgment on it. 

So first off, I absolutely LOVE your choice of writing style here! The flipping between Arthur's internal swirl and Merlin's internal swirl, each of them thinking the worst of the other...oh the torture!!! I'm actually not very well-versed in Merlin fanfic -- I also got a rather late start with the series, and never relaly got into fic once I'd finished the series (probs because of all of the dying in the last season, but you know how it is), but this really makes me want to read more! 

You've done a great job with keeping both Merlin & Arthur in line with their characters at this point in the show, so that's a big help!! I agree that they are in that sort-of-friends, sort-of-still-awkward-master-and-servant thing so your writing exemplifies that beautifully! The choice of opening scene too makes me reminisce to the opening bits of the series (oh how things were simpler then) which was a nice touch. From the summary and from what I've read so far, you've got these two in for a wild ride with a mad king, and I'm very excited to see where it goes. Also, I sure do hope the fake messenger character makes a reappearance! 

I'll be reading further on (and reviewing as I go) when I have some more free time next week. This is so well done, and don't be discouraged by a lack of readership--this series is not super well-known nor as long-lasting as others, but the fandom is very supportive of its fanfic authors! I'll be a true fan for sure. :)

Loved this idea, and I can't wait to see where your exemplary writing takes Arthur and Merlin! :)

~MadiMalfoy x

Author's Response:

Hi!  So sorry it's taken me a while to respond to this amazing review!  But, I can't tell you how honored I am that you read MORE than one chapter!  GAH!  Thank you!


And thank you so much for the loads of praise!  I'm blushing so much!  I didn't really make an active choice to use both Merlin and Arthur's voices here, it just kinda happened, but I liked it and decided to stick with it.  Apparently both boys want the chance to tell their side of the story.  


I wasn't very well versed until a year ago.  Then I feel head over heels for it and haven't looked back since.  (Fic is a really great way to AVOID all that dying, actually.  AU is a beautiful thing.)  You should try reading more - there's some absolutly great stuff out there.  I could point you if you want some ideas.


Ah, thank you!  I'm so new at this, I did worry if they would seem true to character.  And weren't things so much simplier and almost nicer in the early seasons?  Before all that seriousness and dying and such. :(


(Don't worry, the fake messanger is there to stay mostly.)


Thank you again so much!  I do hope you eventually get the time to come back for a bit more of the wild ride, as you called it.  This review was such a pleasure to get and I thank you again so much for taking the time to read and review!

Name: LadyL8 (Signed) · Date: 17 Aug 2017 02:21 PM · Chapter: 1. Stormy Weather and Words

Hey Jill,


I hope you don't mind me taking up your review request. I love Merlin and like you I was actually really late in finding the series too. I only started watching it last year, but I really feel in love with it. So I had to snag this story, because this just seemed like something I would love.


And I have to say, I absolutely loved this first chapter. You capture the characters and the description so well that it really felt like I was watching the show again. In fact, I kind of feel like watching the show again now, because I'd forgotten just how interesting the relationship between Merlin and Arthur is. There's so much stuff there (like magic, their status, their personalities etc.), and you just captured the complexity of their relationship so well. Again, it really just made me feel like I was watching the show, and that's not an easy thing to do.


I really like that you write from both Merlin and Arthur's perspectives. It allows us to see their conflict from both sides, and I think with Arthur, he doesn't always show what he actually feels because his pride can sometimes get in the way, so hearing his thoughts allow us to see what he actually feels. And I think you really just got his character right. He's stubborn and it'll be interesting to see if he can swallow his pride and apologize for his mistake.


And I also have to say that the whole point with a first chapter is to make the reader want to continue reading the story, and this chapter really did that. I don't usually do this because I don't usually have the time for it, but between the last paragraph of this review and this one, I went on to read the next three chapters right away (I'm gonna come back sometime later and leave a review for them as well), because I really think this is an interesting story.


So you said in your review request that you wanted to hear what people think of it. I really loved it. It's without a doubt the best Merlin fanfic I've read, and I'm definitely gonna try to come back and read more of it later. It really just brought back my love for the series, and since I actually have a few hours off today, I'm gonna take that time to go watch Merlin again. So thank you for requesting this story! I absolutely loved it!

Author's Response:

Why would I EVER mind?   I was honored and thrilled!  And this is such an amazing review!  It made me smile so much.

It is always so nice to find a fellow Merlin fan.  They seem to be a bit few and far between on this site, so knowing you love the show and reading fic for it made my day.  And are you like me, wishing you could have been watching it during it's hey-day and absorbing all the magic?

Aww....thank you.  I was trying hard to write a first chapter that would grab people and make them want to come back.  And I was so worried about writing these characters for the first time.  They are such dynamic characters and I wanted to do them justice.

Hehehe - I made you watch the show again.  So, did you?  And was it as fun the second time around?

And yes, there is SO much to their relationship - master and servant, prince and subject, lawmaker and lawbreaker, friends, almost brothers...  This is was draws me to these characters.  Well, and the fact that Merlin is just SO amazing and such a long-suffering characters.  Oh, and it probably doesn't hurt that they are both dang cute.

I enjoy switching back and forth between POVs in a story, and I adore both these boys and so wanted the chance to be inside both their heads.  I'm glad you liked it!  

Again, I'm blushing - so happy you think I did well with the characters!

OH!  You read more?  WOW!!  THANK YOU!!!  I'm so happy!!!  REALLY happy!!

Thanks again!  This was an amazing review!

Name: StarFeather (Signed) · Date: 09 Aug 2017 12:25 PM · Chapter: 2. Things Left Unsaid

Hi, Jill. I felt like reading your Arthur and Merlin tonight, so I came back.


The first sentences expressed Merlin's emotion very well. I remembered Arthur's awkwardness in the previous chapter. Oh, then he asked Merlin for that outing to apologize him? How sweet. (but I've read to the end before I wrote this review, No! How could you do that? Merlin was kidnapped before Arthur had a chance to say sorry to him?!!!)


Arthur's pride as a prince prevented him from telling his honest feeling that he was sorry. oh? Morgana had been missing? I wondered if she knew the secret of her birth and ran away from Uther. Will she enter later?


We readers understand how Arthur was getting to feel Merlin as a best friend. I could imagine visually Merlin's facial expression reading the spot where he kept staring at the mane of his mare holding the reins.


I felt impatient at Arthur's hesitation trying to say the best words. It was simple! Say the word, "Sorry"!


Agh, poor Merlin. He had two disadvantages: 1 he was a servant. 2. What if Uther found he was magical. "Uther burned children alive for having a spark of magic." So horrible!


I really imagined Arthur would apologize Merlin during lunch time! I love the description, "The smell of fresh air and green things growing hit Arthur as they passed through the last city gates and he breathed deeply with relief. He might be a prince, born to privilege and rank, but there was something about the forest that called to his soul."


No! Though I was informed at the forums, was he abducted so early?

Author's Response:

Hi Kenny!  Thanks so much for coming back!  That's so cool!

Oh, I'm glad you think I'm expressing Merlin well.  That's going to be very important later on, so I'm glad you think it's working.  

And yes, isn't Arthur just the king of awkward, especially if it's something that has to do with his pride or humbling himself just a little.  

How could I do that?  Because I'm evil.

Yes, Arthur's pride - it's a stumbling block for sure.

As for Morgana missing - this is canon.  I've set this during the break between seasons 2 and 3.  It's implied that Morgana is "missing" for almost a year there.  In reality, she's been wisked away by Morgause and is learning to hate Camelot and Arthur and Uther.

Hopefully, before the end of this story, Arthur will be able to admit Merlin is his friend.

And yes, poor Merlin.  He is stuck with some very big disadvantages isn't he.  Things we in the modern world would never think of.

Thank you!

And he's not abducted...just being held at knifepoint right now.

Thanks again for reading!  Love getting your reviews!

Name: StarFeather (Signed) · Date: 18 Jul 2017 08:26 AM · Chapter: 1. Stormy Weather and Words

Jill, I love this. The memory when I enjoyed watching the TV drama came back, reading your splendid description like,  Merlin enduring the punishment, which was entirely misunderstanding.   The scene kids threw rotten projectiles against Merlin is super. You captured the stubborn prince Arthur's temper very well. And I'm very impressed when I read Leon's expression. Writing the fair senior kinght, Leon is a good point, which made Arthur more immature in this story.


Arthur's Cloak pin! A nice plot. I remembered Anne of Green Gables. The incident showed how Merlin felt disappointed and got angry against Arthur and you explained the background about Merlin and Arthur for the readers who don't know about the TV drama well.   We can imagine Arthur will be kinder or care about Merlin from here, I can't wait to see what you are preparing next. :)   Kenny

Author's Response:

Thank you so much!  It made my day to get this review, and I'm so happy you enjoyed this little walk down memory lane.  


I was pretty mean to Merlin in this chapter, wasn't I.  I'm glad you still enjoyed it, and didn't get too mad at that stubborn prince.  And it was really fun to bring Leon into it for a bit, as most of this story will take place away from the castle and so I don't get to play with those extra characters much.


AH!  You are the FIRST person to catch my little Anne nod here.  That's exactly where I got my inspriation from, and so points to you for seeing it!  


Let's hope Arthur will be kinder to him, right?  Merlin certainly deserves an appology at least.


Thanks again!  This was great!

Submit a Review