Wonderful Historical Fiction
I thought this was great! I loved that it was basically historical fiction, with a small hint of magic twisted through it. Your writing is incredible, and so easy to get immersed in. As soon as I started reading, I was absolutely hooked and couldn't stop until I knew what happened. Your writing and tone fit the setting perfectly, and all the small historical details made it even more convincing.
I did struggle a bit with the plot. it felt like a small story within something larger, and I would have loved to have a bit more backstory. I really felt that there was so much room to expand on this. As it was, the romance aspect seemed to pop up a bit out of nowhere. Even them being chased, while it was great to read and very exciting, did seem a bit confusing. At the end, I understood why it was happening, but I would have love a bit more build up. Then again, I suppose over all what I'm saying is that I liked the story so much I wish there was more, so that's hardly a criticism.
In summary, I can't fault your writing at all, it was flawless. I do just wish the story had been longer, and then I would have loved it even more.
I thought this story was beautifully written. The imagery that regularly cropped up created the most vivid image of this world, and particularly of Victoria. She was such a horrible person, yet such a well rounded, intense character, you could so easily visualise her. You're an incredibly talented writing. I've read over the other reviews which said she came across flat/childish/rushed etc. I don't personally agree with that, I felt like that was a deliberate decision on your part - that there was a lot going on under the surface but we never necessarily got to see all of it. While I can maybe understand what they're saying, in terms of her motivations being a bit simplistic, I did think her character had depth.
I loved almost everything about your writing style too. I'm very fond of stories that don't spend forever explaining things, but rather 'drop the reader in the deep end' for lack of a better description, and allow them to work things out for themselves. The plot itself was fascinating and unlike anything I've ever read. The only thing that I would say is that towards the very end of the last chapter, Victoria's anger over James' refusal to be afraid confused me a little bit. Because the way I understood it was that people seemed to willingly go into the heart to die, it seemed strange that there were gouge marks everywhere, or that it mattered whether or not he was scared, in the grand scheme of her plan. but that's literally the only thing I have to say.
Overall, the story was both fascinating, and incredibly beautiful. It was a real joy to read.
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