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WIP Old Blood by Oil on Canvas - T

Discussion in 'Review Board' started by Lindsey, Jul 23, 2018.

  1. Lindsey

    Lindsey Headmaster

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    Title: Old Blood
    Author: Oil on Canvas
    Rating: T
    Genre: Adventure
    Status: In-Progress
    Library Category: The Alternates
    Pairings: No pairings as of yet.
    Summary: The Battle of Camlann never happened, thus the legacy of Arthur lives on. The blood of the founders still walk the halls of Hogwarts, while ancient enemies clash to this day. Years later, Harry Potter wakes up a stranger in a strange world. Between over competitive house relations and never ending mysterious plots, he must struggle to find the truth about that fated Halloween. AU
    Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12417372/1/Old-Blood

    One of the best fics started in 2017. It is a complete AU. It reminds me of 'A Prince of a Dark Kingdom' or Taure's 'Lords of Magic' by the sheer scope of changes made from canon.

    It starts off with some technical issues, as the writer is not a native English speaker, but it gets significantly better as time goes on. I became the Beta-Reader a few months back for the story, and can honestly say the writing has improved tenfold on the latest chapters. The author is determined to improve, and more importantly, has no plans on abandoning the story anytime soon. First year should end in about two chapters.

    4/5 for the time being as it's still in the first year, but easily can go up to 5/5 if it continues in this way.
     
  2. Hawkin

    Hawkin Minister of Magic

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    I literally just received an update notification for this fic. Quite frankly, I had completely forgotten about it and am in the process of reading it again. I concur with Lindsey's sentiment; it reads like a mix of A Prince of a Dark Kingdom and Lords of Magic with its very AU take on the wizarding world, and how Harry becomes a part of it. I'm only back to chapter 3 or 4, but it's a solid read so far.

    4/5 from me, and could easily reach 5/5 depending on how the subsequent story evolves.
     
  3. why?

    why? Seventh Year

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    I picked this up when Lindsey posted it in the almost recommended thread. One of the best reads as of late and also an easy 4/5 for me.

    Very interesting take on Quirrell, who is equal parts interesting and terrifying. People who try to write a manipulative charmer could learn a thing or two from this.

    It’s been some time since I’ve read this and Quirrell is the standout feature of this story.

    Harry and the other children behave like actual children and from what I can recall, they feel very well rounded. I actually didn’t dislike Hermione in this story, and the Harry and Daphne rivalry is cute. Curious to see more of Bellatrix and Molly.

    I can’t remember much else, but I’m very excited to hear this has updated. Thanks Hawkin.
     
  4. The.Snorting.Hat

    The.Snorting.Hat Second Year

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    Pretty cool, so far. Well written, well flowing, can't really complain much about the technical aspects.
    Some weird things that struck me as awkward though, that make me cut points.
    1. The apparent 'mystery' about who's housing Voldy. Oh my god after all the obvious nods towards Quirrell, if the author tries to do an awkwardly placed surprise plot twist without sufficient explainations, I'm gonna flip some friggin tables.
    2. Speaking of Quirrell, why the fuck is she female? It felt enormously unnecessary. Random gender changes hurt my delicate sensibilities.
    3. Plot development is sometimes strange with regards to the motivation of characters. They do random shit without any reason to fit the plot. Like Q taking Harry to that meeting. For what reason? It served no purpose. Harry already would have believed anything she said, he didn't require an ounce of proof to sway him or anything like that. There was no need for the risk there.
    4. The amount of tantalising hints to a deeper plot are mind boggling. Now, I like tantalising hints. But there's a point where you dangle too many of them, and the readers loses interest over which of them they should care about. It's obvious that not all the questions raised are going to be answered. I feel this fic is going to be abandoned because of the sheer scale of plot hints the author is building. Unless this is planned well in advance, no way the author is getting anywhere. We'll be lucky to see Harry reach third year.

    Despite all my reservations, can't really deny the quality. So it gets a hopeful 4/5, just in case I'm wrong in my worries.
     
  5. Plotless

    Plotless Professor

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    This is probably my favourite new HP fic at the moment - sure the fandom is stagnating a bit but still. Characters feel like actual people, children are actual children, worldbuilding is good, writing is technically competent.

    I'm highballing a 5/5 because I have high hopes for what it has in future, though that's probably overly generous.

    For some reason I can't actually input a vote on mobile but I'll get round to that when I'm back in England.
     
  6. Hawkin

    Hawkin Minister of Magic

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    Quirrell is definitely one of the best character of the story so far, and I don't see what the problem is with the gender change in this case. I'm pretty sure there's another one down the line, but I can't remember at the top of my head. I think the purpose of it is to let the reader knows that Quirrell is still the same (in the sense that he's housing Voldemort), but we get to explore a different take on the character. I think the author just embraced the fact that if she had put a female DADA teacher, who was possessed by Voldemort, and had a reputation fighting vampires for Harry's first year, a lot of people would just ask: why not just use Quirrell? And that's what they do. Additionally, how many bad fics have you seen with a "mysterious" DADA teacher? I think the author was quite smart on this front. The character is original enough to keep us interested, but familiar enough that we know what to expect as well.


    She's just reinforcing Harry's affection and dependence on her. She's the only one willing to give him answer. She's the only one willing to include him in important stuff. She's the only one who has his best interests at heart. She certainly didn't have to bring him along, and it was a risky maneuver certainly, but she knew that no one would expect it and it fit with her goals concerning Harry.

    [/quote]4. The amount of tantalising hints to a deeper plot are mind boggling. Now, I like tantalising hints. But there's a point where you dangle too many of them, and the readers loses interest over which of them they should care about. It's obvious that not all the questions raised are going to be answered. I feel this fic is going to be abandoned because of the sheer scale of plot hints the author is building. Unless this is planned well in advance, no way the author is getting anywhere. We'll be lucky to see Harry reach third year.[/QUOTE]

    I think that's just an issue with massive AU. We have so many things we expect to know, but that are flipped upside down like
    James and Lily working for Voldemort or
    Bellatrix Black fighting against Voldemort that we just end up grasping at all those mysteries and expect them to be solve quickly because we knew what they were meant to be in canon. I don't think it's as much of an issue as you make it sound really; I rather think it makes this story even more interesting. Now we have all of these little things we wonder about and try to piece together.
     
  7. pbluekan

    pbluekan Auror DLP Supporter

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    There is some technical weakness, especially early on, but it’s minimal and understandable for an author writing in a second language. Other than that, I have no real complaints.

    The real achievement of this story, I think, is the author has managed to almost preserve Rowling’s voice. We are still presented with the overwhelming sense of wonder that was so indicative of Philosophers Stone, even when some of the content is so very much darker.

    4.5 even, currently as it needs some cleanup, especially in the early chapters.

    Agreed.
    Is she, though? There has been little mention of Harry’s scar hurting in her presence, and she can clearly touch him. It just seems almost too easy for her to reprise the same role she held in canon.

    To be honest, I have this lingering suspicion that she is some FUBAR combination of Voldemort and Lily Potter. The Mirror of Erised scene is what really got that stuck in my head. The revelation about the Blacks also got me stuck in the idea that Lily has replaced Bellatrix’s role.

    That said, she, clearly, is manipulating harry for Hernreich own purposes.

    Hell, we don’t even know what actually happened the night the Potters died. Only some vague assumptions based on some canon parallels, and those haven’t proven terribly reliable.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018
  8. Dystopian Destiny

    Dystopian Destiny Fourth Year

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    A brilliant, realistic fic. It's got its drawbacks though.

    Hermione was a bit too mature imo. Harry-Daphne interactions were a llittle too cliche at times.

    Canon is altered in extremely interesting ways.
    I like how James and Lily were on the Voldemort's side (publically)
    . I don't get why we don't hear much about Bellatrix.
    The strongest wich in her generation just before the war and she is just mentioned in her chocolate cards?

    Greater muggle integration is obliquely implied. Some phrases were ill chosen.

    Feel a bit sorry for Harry, being manipulated by Quirrel and the crown.

    I was confused when Hagrid exclaimed about imagining Great Britain cut in two parts. This seemed to suggest that Britain was united whole-heartedly. But, as Ron tells, many people were voluntarily under the 'Usurper' for a considerable period of time. The remaining tension is exactly whats missing from the fic.

    Speaking of Ron, I think this characterisation is the best I've ever read. Instead of being a normal kid, he turns out to have a bit of complexity in his character.

    I noticed no mention of Nicholas Flamel being alive? Wonder if its got anything to do with the expulsion of goblins from France.

    Rating 3.75/5 up to 4/5

    EDIT:
    I don't think it is mentioned anywhere about Blacks fighing Lord Voldemort. This story is a tricky one.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
  9. Saezots

    Saezots Seventh Year

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    @Dystopian Destiny It's mentioned that the Blacks are highly associated with the Crown and that they were against the Usurper. I don't remember which chapter that was said exactly.
    I'm not quite sure if the fic ever talks about Bellatrix fighting in the war, but imo it's highly implied or even directly said and I missed it.

    On a sidenote I feel like Quirrel being female has a lot to do with Voldemort wearing a mask all the time when they a public highly famed alchemist. Not that it automatically means Voldemort is also female or anything but maybe they were twisted by the dark arts even back then.

    EDIT: Yeah, ch.10s the one I quoted, ninja'd I guess. The Ch.1 thing implies either Bella or Sirius killed the Usurper unless it's some other Black.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2018
  10. Dystopian Destiny

    Dystopian Destiny Fourth Year

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    @Saezots Was it in the chocolate cards? Because the only times Blacks are mentioned is Bellatrix's chocolate card. And if they were on the crown's side, wouldn't that have been a prominent entry on the card?

    I got the reference. In chapter 1 the private hears someone telling "Black did it, they say" or something similar. While this does heavily favour Blacks helping the crown, it doesn't seal it.

    EDIT: I found a more conclusive one, in chapter 10. While searching for it, I think I found an average of 2 'black' and 'black'+something in a chapter. Seemed a bit high.
    Yes, Blacks were almost completely ignored by this fic.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2018
  11. Lindsey

    Lindsey Headmaster

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    Which is the case in canon. We didn't know the Blacks' until the 3rd book.
     
  12. Anarchy

    Anarchy Totally Sirius DLP Supporter

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    I've been reading through this after seeing it pop up on reddit. The idea is pretty cool, and it has good world building. But the characters themselves are a bit... off. Maybe it's just the interactions that feel stilted, but it never really feels like a real conversation. Just people talking at walls essentially. I don't feel like any of them are done particularly well, which is a shame. The differences from canon feel kinda random and disjointed, but once you get used to the fact that it's all over the place and focus on the world as a whole, it's a decent read. I feel like 4/5 is a fair rating, and I could see it going either way. If the world gets stale, I could see it dropping, and if the characters suddenly become interesting beyond being names attached to bodies, maybe it could go up.
     
  13. pbluekan

    pbluekan Auror DLP Supporter

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    How is this fic “realistic” in any way? It’s a warped mirror of canon.
    How so?
     
  14. Dystopian Destiny

    Dystopian Destiny Fourth Year

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    Much of the changes is either explained properly or another explanation is hinted at. For example, WUBS. Ron being somebody instead of a normal guy, because of his changed history. The constant outrage at "usurper". Closer integration between muggle and wizard worlds due to the crown's interference, leading to less awe of historical magical figures and replacing them with Round Table and various Christian(I think) artifacts. Hiding Harry's role, sending Minerva McGonagall to send a letter to Harry. Hermione's attempt to join a famous club. Greater swearing using crown related imagery, and so on...

    I get that history is still contrived, but these differences stood out to me as realistic changes.

    Oh, come on. Girl is a princess. Boy does something bad to girl. Girl hates him. They slowly get to know each other and are much more friendly later on. Harry is the instinctive quiddditch player while Daphne is the calculating one. None were able to trump the other, till the end of the matches. The first interactions between Harry and Daphne were perfectly natural. The latter ones, like chapter 7 seemed a little forced to me.

    I agree that I should have reworded that to "a little cliche at times".

    Also, damn you for making me use my 100'th post on this.:cool::mad:
     
  15. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign Prestige

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    Oh my.

    I thought that when this fic was compared to PotDK it was just a tall tale and I would be disappointed. @Lindsey, bless you for posting this thread. I haven't enjoyed a new fanfic this much in forever.

    It's flawed, and these aren't small things to easily dismiss. An excuse can be made for the author's first language not being English, but this only goes so far. The first several chapters are full of pretty annoying mistakes and typos, and they don't go away completely, but I agree that there's improvement in the latter chapters.

    There are some very skippable parts (everything to do with quidditch). The author has a tendency to take advantage of the reader's canon knowledge in a clumsy way, where there will be a walltext of plain telling. The fic has a slow-ish rollout and doesn't find its stride until like chapter 7 or 8.

    But, by Merlin's flaming pants, everything else is--dare I say it--great. The nuggets of worldbuilding are dealt out at a nice pace, no overwhelming infodumps. Character interactions, Harry's relationships with his friends. Hagrid's basement. Shadow Mage's quest (although I found the way the snakes were written rather annoying). The history Harry discovers about his parents.

    Everything about Quirrell. That legend she told (Darth Plagueis, anyone?). The way she brings Harry under her wing and over to her side. I mean, we know it's Voldemort in a skinsuit, but I'm also wondering, as someone else said upthread, if Quirrell isn't Lily Potter. I dunno, there's something motherly in how she interacts with Harry. It really does seem like it would be Harry's mum with Voldemort mixed in.

    The AU is strong with this one and by gods, it evokes this same interest and wonder that PotDK did the first time I read it. The Prince will be an ever-festering unhealed wound, but if this fic keeps going like it has, it may just be a balm for it. I think I'm in love.

    I won't give it full marks (still a bit apprehensive and I can't completely overlook its flaws), but this a very strong 4/5. Can we lure the author over to DLP?
     
  16. Dicra

    Dicra Groundskeeper

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    So I'm now following another fic.

    This is good stuff - the most enjoyable read I've had since ... well, actually HP & the Boy-Who-Lived ch. 12-16 when I registered to this site.

    I'm not that good with the English language, so I didn't even notice most mistakes that are criticized on here. Also didn't notice the dialogue suffering from any talking-to-walls problems (even though it's been nothing special either).

    Actually, I find it pretty damn hard to come up with any criticisms for this fic. The very caricature-y behaviour of the snakes, maybe, but on the other hand, I actually laughed out loud at the snake's musings about being too fat. The grail is another pitfall, because it seems far too powerful as of now.
    But my lack of criticism might be due to the very same fact which is also the reason I'm not giving this full marks yet. It's just in its earliest development stages. There are so many fresh, exciting ingredients there, but the water is barely hot enough to put them in.
    Professor Quirrell? Tbh if it's just the same old "no one suspects the stuttering beautiful and pleasant Professor Quirrell", I'm going to be disappointed. The shadow mage? If it really is just some omniscient figure and there's no explanation behind it other than "plot device", I'm going to be disappointed. Camelot living on to this day? Well, could also be just a neat gimmick and not of any importance. You see the pattern. Same with alchemy in general and Harry's parents
    working for Voldemort

    Potential is there in spades, more than I think I've seen in a fic posted within the last five years (and yes, that includes HP&PoS, even from my PoS-fanboy point of view). It's interesting, it's engaging, and after 20 years of HP fanfic, it still manages to be wholly original.

    But at the moment, there's actually not a lot there, despite having reached almost 100k words (well, of course, first year plot is coming around, but we don't know that much about the 'big' things). There are hints and glimpses that all scream "captivating".

    Let's see if they are. I'm on for the ride, I just hope it will actually be a ride.

    Because this project's scope is beyond belief and I have serious doubts concerning its potential to be finished. Well, actually I have zero hope for this to be finished, like, ever. But it's so good that I don't even care. I want to see everything about it the author's free time allows me to see, and that's how well done it is.

    TL; DR: 4/5, because too short, need MOAR!
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
  17. s0ng2Sing

    s0ng2Sing First Year

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    So, I decided to give this a try because of all the reviews that it has been getting recently. I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy my reading of the story and the fact that it feels like a canon HP story. I really have nothing bad to say about it. One of the things I am most looking forward to is learning more about the Civil War, Harry's Parents, Voldemort and how they all tie together. Since this is Harry's POV and he is an 11 year old who likely doesn't enjoy or even have mental maturity to understand complex politics it makes since that we don't really have what happened during the War spelled out for us. Hopefully, he uncovers more soon though.
     
  18. BTT

    BTT Headmaster

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    I'll echo the positive previous comments. The first chapter didn't quite grab me, but the next few chapters improve immensely. Spelling errors, grammar mistakes, etc. all diminish significantly and it becomes a much smoother read. I enjoy the way the author throws in references to canon, yet doesn't overemphasize the differences or similarities with canon.

    That said, I don't quite know what the point of the Arthur stuff is, so far. Sure, it's the point of divergence, but I'm not sure why that in particular. So far, the story could've been told largely the same way without tying in Camelot.

    4/5 so far.
     
  19. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Auror DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

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    Hmmm. I'm not really enjoying this, and haven't made it past the second chapter on an attempt now and when the review thread went up.

    The language is poor in the initial section, though it appears from above that this improves.

    I found the introduction of Hermione annoying, the bracketed editorial description of how the author wants us to view her 'cute' mannerisms, meh. The banking 'system' and McGonagal's decision to trust the Dursleys to do as she wished when she had to magically restrain a histrionic Vernon seemed moronic.

    Cecilia McVoldemort (presumably) is also irritating as balls- gender swapped, fine whatever, just jerks me out of the narrative a smidge - but the way she's touring Harry around. This is not how you introduce the big bad when you have no capacity to make it a twist. She does not seem sinister. She does not seem the host of a practitioner of soul crippling terrible, but great, magics (#not my Voldemort).

    It's not often I drop a HP fic, mostly because nowadays I'm only going into fics I've heard good things about.

    But yes. As interesting as the premise sounds, the characters fall flat for me, the frequent typos and odd phrasings and the skim-able Diagon Alley combine into an unappetising mess and I don't have the energy to read further. I have to consider it a failure and rate it 2/5.

    Obviously that seems against the grain of the thread, and I didn't complete what's up, so I'll leave it as a qualitative review rather than actually rating the thread with that score. Maybe if you persist it does become the equal of Lords of Magic or skitterleap. From my POV though, I doubt it.

    So yeah, for others: if poor proof-reading and odd early characterisations are big stumbling blocks for you, like me, maybe give it a miss or wait till a day where you're full of fizz.

    EDIT: and what's with the summary (because that was the first note of dissonance), a lot of the reviews compliment the childlike quality it captures in one exploring the magic world but the summary says he wakes a stranger in a strange land: is there a canon Harry consciousness jump or something later? Does it just mean the idea of a muggle raised Harry in a magical world?
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
  20. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign Prestige

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    The summary is just the generic "fish out of water" that a muggle-raised kid is supposed to be in the magical world. I wouldn't read anything more into it.