Kristin! You're always leaving such thoughtful and lovely reviews for people, in spite of your hectic schedule, and I thought you deserved some love too - and I've missed your writing so much!
This was a brilliant story! I actually find Bellatrix Black/Lestrange kind of fascinating to read, because she's such a hard character to capture and even harder to understand, so I always find it intriguing to look at the motivations behind her actions and how she grew into the woman we saw in the books -- drunk on power and incredibly cruel and fierce. This was a wonderful characterisation of her and it was so interesting to read your interpretation.
I loved the way that you used the different sections in this story to give us a glimpse of Bellatrix at different stages in her life and build up the way her character develops through the years. The words you chose for titles were wonderfully evocative, too, and I really enjoyed the description in this piece.
I think my favourite section was probably the first one. It's such a simple scene, three sisters playing in the garden together and teasing each other as children always do, but there was a darker undertone obvious already in Bellatrix when she thought about her sisters and when she stood on the beetle. The characterisation of each of the sisters was really great in this section and I thought that Bellatrix's treatment of the beetle fit very well with her character. It's kind of scary that even at that young age, she was exhibiting characteristics which would become really prominent later.
The second section was so intriguing! I found myself really trying to guess who the woman is that Bellatrix was spending time with and loving, but I can't see an obvious answer. I think that's really effective because in a way she's meant to be unknown. Seeing Bellatrix love is - I think there is an element of it here, because of the way that she thinks of her and treats her, yet at the same time she doesn't seem to value love very highly. It doesn't seem to cost her when she is forced to marry Lestrange.
The final section was brilliant, too, when we saw how much Bellatrix had grown into her role as second in command of the Death Eaters and the trust that she placed in the Dark Lord, recognising that she would be better remaining with him than striking out on her own. The imagery in that section, of the Dark Lord representing light to those in Azkaban, was brilliant. I really enjoyed this story, and I think you captured the character of Bellatrix really fantastically.
SIAN ♥♥♥ Thank you so much, this review was such a wonderful surprise - which is in its way not at all surprising because you are the best reviewer on the site! I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond!
Ahh, thank you! Honestly I'm so flattered that you liked this story because I've always looked up to your writing and to hear a compliment from an author I admire always makes my day. So thank you. And yeah, Bellatrix is such a fascinating character, and maybe because we only see one side of her in the books, I really wanted to write her through her own perspective, as challenging as that was. Thanks, I'm so glad you liked this characterisation of her!
Thank you, it's great to hear you liked the section titles and descriptions, and the way the story was organised!
It's almost weird to imagine Bellatrix as a child. (Sort of like reading Dumbledore when he's young - characters that seem like they've always been the way they are just because they're so clearly defined in the books and sort of timeless, in a way. ) So I'm really glad you liked that and that you thought her behaviour seemed right for her character, even as a ten year old. And yeah, I think kids can be cruel, but usually they grow out of it, and it makes me wonder what Bellatrix would have been like if something had forced her to grow out of it too. /tangent
Ooh, yay, thanks! I'm glad you liked it! I did leave that one quite mysterious intentionally :P I didn't have a specific character in mind, though. I think your assessment of how she values love is pretty spot on. Like, it's important to her, but it's not as important as power. Although she does care about the woman, their love is almost a means to an end, and only lasts as long as the woman can help Bellatrix move up the ladder. But I think Bella did have lingering feelings, after all she is thinking about her at the end. But definitely a complicated situation, yeah.
Thanks! I was really proud of the imagery in that section and I'm thrilled that you liked it. And so happy to hear that you liked the portrayal of Bellatrix in this.
Thank you so much! ♥♥♥♥♥ I really appreciate you stopping by with this review (and the Q&A as well, which I will get to as soon as I can!)
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I'm having some serious trouble at the moment trying to come up with something proper to write in this review...
Saying that Bellatrix was perfect would be an understatement. The way you pictured the progress of her life, from childhood to Azkaban, her love, her devotion, her madness...
I'm shocked by the craziness and the perfection of this. This might be your masterpiece, Kristin!
Sorry if this review makes no sense at all... The point is, I loved this!
The world's biggest hug,
Wahh! How do I even respond to something as amazing as this review?!? I have no words. Just hugs. *hug*
Thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked the progression of her life and all the elements of craziness and devotion. And wow, thank you for calling this a masterpiece!
You are seriously amazing and I'm still in awe that you've read everything on my entire AP. Your support means so much to me and just thank you so, so much!