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WIP The Steep Path Ahead by shadenight123 - T - Familiar of Zero

Discussion in 'Anime, Cartoons, and Comics' started by Jarik, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. Jarik

    Jarik Chief Warlock

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    Location:
    Melbourne
    Title: The Steep Path Ahead
    Author: shadenight123
    Rating: T
    Genre: Adventure
    Status: WIP (with an insane update rate)
    Fandom: Familiar of Zero
    Pairings: Louise/Saito
    Summary: (Unofficial Summary) An AU in which Saito is summoned by a Louise who has grown up living in an orphanage in Germania.
    Link: SV

    The Steep Path Ahead is quite different to the usual FoZ AU fare, which usually see Louise either summon a character from another universe, or a stronger version of Saito. Instead, the AU in this story starts a lot earlier, with Louise not even realizing she's a Valliere and instead having been raised in an orphanage.

    This change in scenery and situation changes the overall atmosphere of the setting and plot. Where almost all FoZ fics have an indisputably anime feel, this comes across more like a teenager fantasy adventure novel or an RPG. Instead of spending time in school yard fights, most of the story is of Saito and Louise adventuring through small towns and forests on a big journey.

    Louise is a fantastic character. Without the noble/tsundere stick up, she's a friendly, honest and extremely likeable character, who still manages to be awesomely fiesty without coming across as a typical tsundere. Having being brought up by a Priest and aspiring to be a nun, Louise still extremely religious, but her admonishing of Saito's heathenism and perversions come across more as witty teasing than the usual tantrum throwing fandom Louise has.

    The interaction between the two is one of the main selling points of the story. The back and forth dialogue is fun and lighthearted, but also warm and heartwarming. The first time I've really shipped a FoZ pairing this hard - a canon one too!

    Best part of it? The wildbow-level update rate of sometimes, several chapters a day.

    I have a few gripes that have appeared recently:

    I feel Mazarin's plan sort of fell apart at the end. If he had publicly returned Louise to Karin, all of his carefully crafted plans would have come together a lot better. It'd have made the institution of the Crown look more powerful, having tracked down the long lost Valliere where despite her mad search, Karin herself couldn't. It'd have also pacified Karin and publicly earned her debt. Instead, he secretly sends Louise off with a letter, then goes off and tells Karin how he deliberately fucked her over as some sort of punishment. Seems counter productive and not really helpful.

    Overall, 4.5/5 rounded up. Highly recommend to anyone who has ever enjoyed the FoZ fandom. A unique, refreshing and really well written story that makes you fall in love with the characters, the world and keeps an entertaining character-centric plot to give it structure. One of the few FoZ fics that can actually take itself seriously, rather than just being a fun premise.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
  2. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage ~ Prestige ~

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    Yeah, seconded. Update rate is great, writing quality is high and the characters so far are fantastic. Had a slight issue in on e of the later chapters, but that really depends on how that character is going to play out.

    So far, easily a strong 4/5. One of the best FoZ fics and it does that without retreating canon or being stuck in the stupid Academy.
     
  3. Mutton

    Mutton Unspeakable

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    You said it all; the part you have in spoilers felt kind of half assed but it's a damn fun ride. 4/5
     
  4. Download

    Download First Year ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I will say the story is a breath of fresh air completely avoiding the well trodden FoZ paths. Saito however is boring.

    The author made Louise (and why is she spelt Luise?) far deeper, but kept Saito as boring... He brings nothing to the table.

    ---------- Post automerged at 00:54 ---------- Previous post was at 00:53 ----------

    Up to Chapter Ten and giving it a 3/5 for now. It will hopefully go up.
     
  5. Nuit

    Nuit Dark Lord

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    Because that's how it would be spelled in Germania, according to the author note at the very beginning of the story.

    Edit: I finished reading what's there but I don't know if I'll keep reading afterwards. Mainly because I cringed every time there was a 'wacky' misunderstanding.

    3/5
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
  6. Download

    Download First Year ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    The name is just irritating.

    ---------- Post automerged at 13:58 ---------- Previous post was at 03:23 ----------

    I was going to rate it up but so far every battle hasn't had any tension in it. In every fight so far no one dies and they usually win by pulling something out of their ass.

    ---------- Post automerged at 17:27 ---------- Previous post was at 13:58 ----------

    I'm not sure how to feel about this.

    I'm kind of pissed the author is great at writing but made nearly every fight boring as fuck. But the rest of the story is great.

    4/5 I guess. Reluctantly.
     
  7. A Lightning

    A Lightning Seventh Year

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    Weak start, with neither character being likable in the slightest. This does change quite rapidly, but it's a bit too quick in my opinion. The character development is very welcome, but doesn't seem entirely justified. This stands out even more because once Louise and Saito settle into their new relationship dynamic, and development there practically halts.

    That said, the way those two interact is definitely the best part of this story, and I'd have no complaints at all if they simply interacted that way from the beginning. (With some reasonable justification)

    Reading about Luise irritated me just as much as the numerous bad Harry Potter fanfictions that change Harry to Harold/Harrison. I know the reasoning behind the change isn't similar, but still very irritating.

    The plot was a bit weak, but tolerable for the most part. Again, it really was the character interactions that kept me reading. My biggest complaint is that after reading the entire story, I can't really think of any scenes with real tension. I think there were some intended to, but the writing fell a bit flat in that regard.

    The update rate is really great though. Read it late last night, and found four new chapters when I checked just now.

    3/5 with plenty of room for improvement, but I agree it's definitely one of the best fics in the FoZ fandom.
     
  8. Download

    Download First Year ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Talk about a batman gambit. :colbert:
     
  9. Rayndeon

    Rayndeon Professor

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    The chain of events seemed kind of unlikely--like Louise said, things could have gone really wrong--and Charlotte / Tabitha seems a little worryingly unhinged. Possibly Joseph-levels of unhinged considering how smug she was about it but assuming she's telling the truth, it worked out for the best, even as dubious and manipulative as her methods were.

    That said, I did find it suspicious from the beginning that she was conveniently around to save their lives the first time around. It is more than a little jarring to see Tabitha acting like this though. I'm really interested in her backstory now to see just how in the world she got to this point.

    Louise was okay with the Cardinal pulling some manipulation off for God and Country--and to be fair, Karin did read more than a little dickish to me in those segments, almost unlikeably so, if understandably nonetheless--but she seems to draw the line where manipulations directly affect Saito here.

    Also... Tabitha talks about knowing that Louise is a Void mage here and that Saito is the Gandalfr. But we also know that she has Derflinger, which belonged to the original Gandalfr. I'm sensing... additional shenanigans in the wings.
     
  10. Jarik

    Jarik Chief Warlock

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    I have to admit, Charlotte's character took some time to get used to. This is the first time I've seen her portrayed as anything other than the dandere type character she always is in canon.

    But once you get used to it, she's actually pretty interesting. Likeable while still being manipulative, sociopathic and fucking over Louise and Saito.

    I was initially losing interest since the Albion arc started, but recent events have piqued them again. It's also returned the feeling of "Louise and Saitou vs The World" prior to Louise finding out her parentage.