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Complete Power the Dark Lord Knows Not by Fantismal and Jormandugr - E

Discussion in 'Review Board' started by waterthecan, Dec 12, 2021.

  1. waterthecan

    waterthecan Muggle

    Dec 9, 2021
    Title: Power the Dark Lord Knows Not
    Author: Fantismal, Jormandugr
    Rating: E
    Genre: Drama/Adventure
    Status: Complete
    Library Category: The Alternates or Restricted Section
    Pairings: Sirius/Remus
    Summary: "Sirius thought he had cut all ties with his family, but when Kreacher shows up in his bedroom with a dire warning, he's hardly able to let his idiot little brother die. And when he learns about the Horcrux his brother was chasing, he's hardly about to let him take on Voldemort alone. But getting tangled up in the House of Black again is not the best way to prove his innocence among an already-suspicious Order. Sirius has to walk a fine line if he wants to keep everyone he loves alive."
    Link: https://archiveofourown.org/works/32082121/chapters/79476895

    I'm not sure how this will be received, but it's a good story. The author rated it explicit, but it's less explicit than many fics rated M on here. The authors are very...generous with tagging--it seems they wanted to warn for everything, so it's pretty over-tagged.

    The premise is fairly common--instead of letting Regulus die, Kreacher begs Sirius to help. The Horcrux plot then unfolds in 1979 rather than decades later. The story centers around Sirius and Regulus, but James and Remus and Peter also are major characters. It stands out, though. The writing is perfect--perfect grammar, no over-elaborate sentences but still detailed and interesting sentences, lots of italicized words but not in too distracting a way. Sirius's family is fucked up--that's what all the background fics (it's a series) are about--and that's shown throughout.

    Character development is a large part of the fic, but what makes it stands out is its plot. It's basically Deathly Hallows in 1979-80, without being a rehash at all. There's parallels, but the Horcrux hunt is different in many ways. The story is intriguing and new without going off the rails. It's good.

    Peter is a villain and a scarily competent one, but not in an unrealistic way. It's a war, so people are hurt, too. It's definitely a good depiction of the first war, but it isn't Order-centric. Dumbledore doesn't really like Sirius it it.

    The main downside, and what people will probably hate, is the angst. There's angst. There's heartfelt conversations and a lot of emotions between Sirius and Regulus, and a good amount of them. And between Sirius and James and (but mostly at the end) Sirius and Remus, if a little less. I don't hate it, I think the author does a good job and that it makes sense, but others might.

    Also, the Sirius/Remus. Definitely the worst part of the fanfic. I don't think it's done very well and it didn't make me root for them. Luckily, it's also a tiny part of the fic. It's brought up fairly often, but more in an angst-way--Remus is very far away for most of the fic. There's barely any smut (which is what I assume gave it the explicit tag) and what their is is easily skippable and not needed for the plot.

    Don't be put off by the angst and Sirius/Remus mentions--it's a great fic and I probably exaggerated it.

    I'd rate it 4.5/5 since it's a good story overall.
  2. Testamentary

    Testamentary First Year

    Feb 8, 2017
    High Score:
    This is not my usual fare, but the claim of perfect writing and the lack of reviews were enough to convince me to give it a shot.

    In my opinion, the writing is not so much “perfect” as it is absolutely clinical. Technically fine, but a bit choppy and stilted in places. I think maybe the story is over-polished? Too much work has gone into sanding down every surface that I might be able to get my teeth into, giving the whole thing a sort of mirror sheen. There are places where I wouldn’t mind that, but in a story like this that has basically one trick—emotional distress and vulnerability—it really doesn’t work for me.

    This story loves tragedy and angst, and it absolutely smothers you with them, alongside that particular kind of faux-wholesome “you’re my family” sentimentality which is supposed to make us really believe in the characters’ deep emotional bonds. To me most of it read as largely hollow, as if I was simply expected to believe these characters had profound connections despite never really being shown how they got there, leaving everything feeling very flat—though this could perhaps be a function of this story being part 12 of a series.

    Which brings me to my other major problem with the story. Too. Long. This story did not need to be 330k words long, especially given how often I felt like my eyes were just sliding over the page, absorbing nothing.

    The slash pairing was fine—nothing atrocious about its execution—but suffers from the same problem as all the other relationships in that it felt largely one-note.

    I had a nearly impossible time with Peter Pettigrew. In a story where everyone is a more angsty and pathetic version of themselves, Wormtail—the angstiest and most pathetic of characters—is transformed into a smug, malicious bastard. I could never buy it.

    In summary, the writing is technically fine. Almost too fine, as some glaring quirks or bad choices might give me something interesting to latch onto. The story’s primary purpose is to be a vehicle by which to deliver hurt/comfort, so if that’s what you’re into, you might thoroughly enjoy it, but I found it to be a boring affair with unbelievable characters that stretched on much longer than it had any right to.

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