Reviews For The Northern Tales

Name: Chemical_Pixie (Signed) · Date: 19 Jan 2019 07:09 PM · For: The Basilisk Slayer

Hey Sian! I couldn't stay away for very long, ahaha. Here again for RvG and for the Magical Menagerie.


Can I start by saying how much I adore the name Aelfwig? Without even finishing the first sentence, I knew that I would really enjoy reading this story because of the character's name. (Is "don't judge a fic by its character" a thing? Gah, who cares, it's such an awesome name!)


But he is not an awesome human being, is he? Why would he try to create a basilisk if not to kill? I suppose he gets his just desserts when his creature turns on him... and you capture the fear of having such a beast roam that countryside incredibly well.


I absolutely love how you have a woman, a witch, be the one to conquer the basilisk. She is so smart to bring a rooster (I wonder if Harry would have thought to bring one or transfigure one had he been older in Chamber of Secrets). And of course, she slays the monster and intimidates the Muggle men with her to not enter the cave... It is a little sad that she fades from memory, since she was so brave and intelligent and awesome, but I suppose that's the fate of many women from olden times...


And it's so cool that you have connected this tale to an actual place. Thank you so much for sharing (it saved me a Google search but also was a perfect thing to include in your authors note). I would be interested in visiting this cave, if/when I get the chance to visit the UK. I would definitely stay away from the water, though! ;)


Author's Response:

Hi again, Abby!


Hehe, I'll be honest, I think I probably scrolled through pages and pages of names like this to find one that fit for the character, so I'm glad you like Aelfwig's name!  Alas, he doesn't live up to it entirely - he's one dark wizard, and he does get his just desserts, in a way.  He didn't have quite the control that Tom Riddle/Voldemort did over the Hogwarts basilisk, and it was to his own detriment in the end.


How could I not have it be a witch?  Women are awesome, and deserve far more credit, especially in historical stories.  (If I ever get round to writing another chapter of this story, there's another one with strong women I'm planning that I think you'll enjoy.)  But what's the saying - "for most of history, anonymous was a woman"?  I kind of had to have her fade into history to tie her story into the real place where this is set, but I'm really pleased that you liked the way that she was the one to conquer and kill the basilisk, and that you enjoyed the information about the actual place!  I'm planning on trying to connect all the stories in this collection (again, if I ever write more) to real places in the north of England, so I'm pleased you liked those details!


Thank you for stopping by with another lovely review!

Name: Chemical_Pixie (Signed) · Date: 19 Jan 2019 06:58 PM · For: The Giant's Tears

Sian! Here for your writing, January RvG (GOLD) and for the Magical Menagerie!!


This drabble is incredibly well written, much like anything else you write. I am glad that this is something that you had written after a little hiatus. Coming back to writing can be tedious and overwhelming and nerve racking, but you have written something so stunning and amazing here.


Having the two giants fall in love is something that I was definitely not expecting. From what I know of giants, lots of fights break out when different dominant ones meet. I was expecting a blood bath (straight away, at least). What you have done in such a short piece is to turn that expectation on its head. Well done! You got the ship to sail.


However, you also capture the reality of such a relationship through the father. There are so many stories about star crossed lovers and feuding families/tribes/groups. I love how you have applied this archtype/trope? into a drabble about giants. The ending is quite heartbreaking, and the story is so well done. I cannot wait to read the next installment!!!

Author's Response:

Hi Abby!  Welcome to my crazy story collection (I'm still not entirely sure where any of this came from, to be honest...)


I'm really pleased that you liked this drabble!  I've never written one before, so like you said, I was really nervous about this, especially coming back to writing, but I'm glad that you enjoyed it.  I shall let you into a little secret, though - I also wasn't expecting to have two giants fall in love xD  I started writing this with no further ideas than there'd be two giant factions warring and creating the lake district that way, but somehow my brain decided to take that into star-crossed lovers territory and I was powerless to stop it :P  Nevertheless, I'm pleased that you enjoyed it!


Thank you for this lovely review!

Name: Dojh167 (Signed) · Date: 17 Aug 2018 11:32 PM · For: The Basilisk Slayer

Quodpot - Match 2


Soooo a part of me hopes that I don’t end up having as many feelings as in the last chapter, because that’s good. But also I’m here because your writing is great and gives me feelings, so I don’t know what to do with that.


Alright, just gonna jump to it, since I wasn’t expecting gay last time - Aelfwig is super gay. I mean, probably not great representation, but you killed my precious gay giant, so I guess we can’t have nice things.


Aaand another one bites the dust. Bye, Aelwig. He was super straight. Basilisk is gay now.


Bad call, there’s a (gay) basilisk slayer here. Bye, basilisk.


I remember hat basilisks are afraid of the crow of the rooster, but I don’t remember why. Does it actually harm them, or just put them off guard?


Oooh, really fun facts in the end notes (and thanks for not making me google to research myself XD). That is super interesting, and definitely something I never knew. I like how you combined a real historical story with some Harry Potter elements and came up with some cool worldbuilding of your own.


Excellent job! And I guess this time it’s my fault that the gays are dead…



Author's Response:

Hi again, Sam!


Oh dear, I feel like I've really let you down on the gay character front with this chapter.  Should I promise to write you a gay character with a happy ending at some point in this collection?


(Why am I offering to write happy endings, we both know that I like torturing my characters and readers equally.)


I think (if I researched correctly) they can be killed by the crow of a rooster?  I might not have got that right because I'm not sure it's very clear in canon, but I know Ginny kills all the roosters in CoS so I assume it's something to do with that. (It is late and I'm not sure my brain is working any more).  So basically, in this story, the rooster is what kills the basilisk and then the Basilisk Slayer goes in to check the coast is clear and make sure that the Basilisk can't harm others.


It's been kind of fun to incorporate legend and fact and the HP world in this story, even if it does end up being very, very strange...


Thank you for this lovely review!

Name: Dojh167 (Signed) · Date: 17 Aug 2018 11:07 PM · For: The Giant's Tears

Quodpot - Match 2


Ooh, this is a really cool idea for a story (/series). And it’s probably going to be mostly missed on me, because the extent of what I know about England is from pop culture...


I really enjoy this, and that the style is a bit less of a story, and a bit more, um, textbooky? I’m not sure if that’s the word. But it feels more like telling a historical tale than a story. And this also reminds me how fascinating wizarding history must be, and what a travesty that Binns has made History of Magic uninteresting for generations of students. It would legit be my favorite class with a decent teacher.


I like that you focus on the diplomacy and wisdom of the giants, not just cliche giant brutality.






But the story summary said tears, so this is going to be not good….


Ugh ugh ugh why Sian


Okay, so I like what you highlighted in the last paragraph, that something beauty came out of this, but that beauty was heavily stained. And the only people who could really appreciate it were non-giants who did not have a stake in the loss.


I know he’s already dead,  but DOWN WITH MORDAIN.


I did not expect to feel so much from a quick giant history story, but that’s the power you have.



Author's Response:

Hey Sam!  Welcome to what is quite possibly the weirdest story I've ever written xD


I'm hoping that people don't need to be super familiar with English history to be able to follow these stories, because they're still mostly from my own imagination, but yes!  I agree with you on the wizarding history point.  I love the subject and it's such a tragedy that generations of students don't like it because of his terrible teaching.


Haha I don't even know how the giants ended up gay, but they decided they wanted a tragic love story when I wrote it so really it's their own fault?


I'm glad you liked the way that I ended this chapter and that you felt something with this story, even though it's so short (and slightly ridiculous).


Thank you for the review!

Name: Rainbowtui (Anonymous) · Date: 03 Jun 2018 03:36 AM · For: The Basilisk Slayer

Petrifying properties? What? Like if you submerged a fish say, it would emerge petrified?

Author's Response:

Yes, petrifying properties!  I'm not quite sure how it would work with something like a fish (or whether they can even survive in that type of water), but the water in the cave does have petrifying properties.  When you visit, there are people who leave items behind (teddies, bikes, all sorts) and over time, the minerals in the water "petrify" the items and turn them to stone.  It's pretty interesting to see the photos of it - I thought it might be fun to play around with that idea and what we already know in canon with Basilisks petrifying people!  


Thank you for another review!

Name: Rainbowtui (Anonymous) · Date: 03 Jun 2018 03:33 AM · For: The Giant's Tears

Are these based more on imagination, legends, or Hp? Whichever way, I'm enjoying these tales so far.

Author's Response:

This is a real mix of all three!  I've taken inspiration from some of the places in the north of England which are renowned for their beauty or have interesting/legendary connections, and then I've tried to weave stories about their creation into the world of Harry Potter.  Some future chapters will be based on local legends (or the "truth" behind them) and others more on my own imagination.  I'm glad you're enjoying the story so far, and thank you for the review!

Name: Nix (Signed) · Date: 02 Jun 2018 11:03 PM · For: The Basilisk Slayer

Hello again! I loved this! Poor Aelfwig... I'm guessing he got a basilisk egg by mistake somehow? Or did he purposefully seek out such a dangerous creature, being one very deep into the dark arts? I find it so interesting that the villagers just abandoned their homes, instead of asking questions or cornering Aelfwig for an explanation. I am very intrigued by this woman though, who comes onto the scene knowing exactly what the serpent is and how to kill it. But how did she kill it!? And did the rooster survive? And why can't anyone of nonmagical blood enter it's cave or drink the water nearby after it's dead? I didn't really understand that bit, not sure if I'm missing something. And what did Ursula go on to be after arriving at the cave? I'm so curious for more details on this little story! 


Such a great chapter, I really enjoyed reading it!


Author's Response:

Hi Nix!  Thank you for stopping by again - I know this is a bit of a bizarre story collection so I appreciate you sticking with it!


You know, sometimes it's not until you get a review from someone that you realise what you've written wasn't very clear *facepalm*  I knew exactly what had happened in my head but I don't think that's been communicated very well here.


Aelfwig sought out a Basilisk as part of his quest for power - according to canon, dark wizards often did seek them out - but then failed to be able to control it.  The villagers abandoned their homes after they realised how powerful Aelfwig had become, and the fear that the creature provoked.  The woman who slays the Basilisk is meant to remain mysterious, but she killed the Basilisk with the rooster's crow - it's one of the only things that can slay a Basilisk, according to canon (which is why Ginny kills all the roosters).  The reason I imagine Muggles can't enter the cave or drink the water is because the Basilisk living and dying there has changed the qualities of the water, meaning that it's not safe unless you have magical blood - hence the petrifying properties of the water.  


I think I included it briefly in my author's note, but Ursula became known as a prophetess and was quite famous in her day - if you're interested in finding out more, you can google Mother Shipton and you should get some interesting stories!


Thank you for this review!

Name: Nix (Signed) · Date: 02 Jun 2018 10:43 PM · For: The Giant's Tears

Hello! Saw your tweet about the next chapter and thought I'd stop by and check this out! I've certainly never read anything like this before and I thought it was really neat. It was sadly very short, but I get that it's a drabble. But still your prose is impeccable, you manage to say so much in such a small amount of words. I thought it was very interesting that the two opposing giants fell in love and I can only imagine how great the lands would have been if only Mordain had allowed it and their tribes had joined forces. The ending is very sad, leaving Borin alone as the last giant in Britain as the two tribes literally fought to the death. I did think the ending was a little comical with the "new Lake District," clearly it was created in sadness, but the fact that it was named directly after being created was funny to me for some reason. Sorry. I did enjoy reading this though! And I'm super curious to read on about this female Basilisk slayer!



Author's Response:

Hi Nix!


Thank you for stopping by and checking this story out!  I will say quite happily that I don't really know what this story collection is all about, and it doesn't always make much sense in my mind - I've been struggling to write /anything/ at all lately, though, so I wanted to try and post something, even if it's not my best work.  


Writing a drabble is really hard (for me, at least - you might have guessed by now that I'm very wordy :P) but I'm glad that you still thought I managed to say a lot in a small amount of words.  That's a good point about the ending - it wasn't intended to be comical, or that it was named immediately afterwards - more that this created the Lake District and the name came later.  I think mentioning the name of the area was more of an attempt to tie the story into the north of England and real places, so I'll have to look back and that and see if I could work it any better.


Thank you for this review!

Name: StarFeather (Signed) · Date: 02 Jun 2018 10:40 PM · For: The Giant's Tears

Hi, Sian! The mystic title invited me and I stopped by. Giants! I remembered the sightseeing spot in Northern Ireland, Giants Causway. Highlands sounds nice to me, 'cause I've visited Irish Highland area. It's interesting to imagine once there lived various tribes, not human-beings, but Giant tribes!


"When Hildric and Borin met for the first time, something extraordinary happened.  They fell in love." I thought there must be thunder and rumbling sound of the ground when Hildric and Borin fell in love.


Alas, their combat must be horrific. That's why there are lot of hills, valleys and lakes in Britain.


 Yes, the last scene is very beautiful. That's exactly I imagined. Borin's tears became a lake! 





Author's Response:

Hi Kenny!


Giants are so interesting to write about - I think I'd like to read more about them, actually!  They appear quite often in British and Irish folklore, so it was fun to write about them and try and think about how they might have shaped the landscape of the country.  I'm glad you enjoyed this piece!


Thank you for the review!

Name: Crimson Quill (Signed) · Date: 05 Feb 2018 03:54 PM · For: The Giant's Tears

Hey Sian!


I'm really happy to see that you've managed to get the ball rollin' with some writing! Personally, I think this is very exciting project that you've taken on and I love the concept of stories about how the north was form is really interesting. I think you're going to do this justice and come up with some very clever ideas because you've certainly proved that in this chapter! I think you being a proud northerner (very proud!) means you are the perfect person for this one!


I love the style that you've chosen to write this piece in, it does come across like a fable and the idea is basically bonkers but I don't know.. it seems some how believable? I believe in these giants and their love! (gay giants <33). I guess you wouldn't have a story if you let them have their happily ever after that but doesn't stop me wanting it! I love that in these short piece that you still have some lovely imagery like ' The sunset bled over the mountains', I think that's really gorgeous. The last line is my favourite, I thought it was really effective. I hope you had fun coming up with this because it seems like you have. I love how quirky this idea is and how you've managed to pull it off! 


I do like a good orgin story so I can't wait to see a few more of these because this was so fun and cute! Good luck with the challenge too! :)


- Abbi xo 

Author's Response:

Hi Abbi!


Argh, I don't know how this project is going to be honest - the chapters and tales just feel like random lucid moments shaped into half-stories, so I'm glad that you think the idea behind it is interesting, at least!


"The idea is basically bonkers" THIS IS ME ALL OVER hahahaha.  That's exactly how I feel about this story and I have no idea how I came up with the idea, but I'm glad you still liked the style I told it in and the descriptions I managed to include in this.  Thank you so much for this lovely review <3

Submit a Review