|Reviews for Between Fathers and Sons|
| DarkSapphireXx 2/7/11 . chapter 5
I love this story! I think you captured the characters really well! I especially love alexander's outburst in chapter 4, when he cries "WHY NOT ME", it really captured his vulnerable side as well as his strong side. Really well written and a nice take on the father-son relationship i think :) The only 'problem' for me was that the last chapter was fairly abrupt, but you made up for it with the pain and irony expressed in alexander's last line ;)
| siriuscanid 7/16/07 . chapter 5
Very nice fic, indeed. you captured the feelings so well.
| Joyeee 6/8/06 . chapter 2
I think the site ate my review for ch. 2. Here goes again -
Alexander looking forward to the "peace" at Mieza and being so wary of everybody only having their own interests in mind in befriending him, or even acting as Philip's spies - made me think of him not as the eager, visionary young man his conquests would suggest, but rather a world-weary old man ready to shed his mortal burdens and move on to the next stage!
Alexander and Hephaestion's parallels in family situations are really nice. And they both vent to each other about their parents, their dreams ... but they're not ready yet to talk about what _really_ bothers them underneath, what they're afraid to think about, themselves. Which leads to the end of the chapter. Bad, very bad situation. But I already know how it ends, yay! And now I know the full significance of what Alexander says he wishes.
| Joyeee 6/8/06 . chapter 5
Wonderful portrayal of Philip. The most complex, sensitive, wonderful potrayal of him I remember seeing anywhere. He wears masks, perhaps better and with far more control than Alexander. When he's really angry, he doesn't have to shout to make his disappointment felt, keenly. He may not ever have experienced a love like Alexander and Hephaestion's himself, but he comprehends what it means for those involved, how it can develop, and of course, how it can be used. But most of all, I liked how you emphasized that besides being a king, a strategist, an often ruthless man, he is also a father - when he said "does he think so little of me that he fears I would put you to death just to spite him?" it made me think how awful it must be to have one's own child, whose future you're trying to build, seem to misconstrue everything you do as harmful and not even see you as a basically decent human being. Plus I love that whole speech from "I could have forced you to spy on him, even to work against him" to the final declaration that "I never even thought about it. And not just because, in spite of what my faithless son thinks, I love him very much."
Alexander's reaction to Philip's death is poignant too. And it strikes me that you've brought it full circle. Alexander started as a son, progressed through each stage as indicated by your chapter titles, and now he's king - but only now, when he's king following the death of his father, does he truly, fully _feel_ as a son.
I've long since grown repetitive in regard to your work, but - wonderful, complex, insightful story. Thank you!
| Joyeee 6/8/06 . chapter 4
Hephaestion's family is wonderful, right down to the little kids being charmed by Alexander! Laius, too - so perceptive. But my favorite part here is the first section.
I really, really like Alexander in the first section. Not in an adoring "what a cute little boy" way, nor in a "what a brilliant charismatic man" way, though I think those a lot with your fics. No - it's Alexander's legendary temper flaring and then the plummet afterward to being just a small boy crying "softly and pitifully." It's so magnificently written (especially so, that is - all your fics are magnificent), and the violence he's capable of even at this age is frightening, while the aftermath just makes my heart go out to him.
This appearance of crazy-possessive Alexander is truly a little alarming - before when I've seen him in your fics there was always a slightly zany tilt to his temper (in A Time for Lovers, for example) but here, no. And you can tell that behind the explosiveness of the violence is all the hurt of a heart that feels like it's broken.
But then, yay for Alexander, he has Hephaestion there! Hephaestion, who's not afraid, just a little bewildered and stunned at first. Hepaestion, for whom "Alexander's plaintive weeping seemed to recall him from deep within himself." (Absolutely wonderful line, that one!) Hephaestion, who's grown so very mature and now comprehends so much after nearly losing his mother.
And now they do talk to each other about the things they were afraid to reveal before. Of course Alexander develops a little self-loathing after his outburst ... but Hephaestion _understands_. And with that understanding, that willingness to give up all his own inhibitions and misgivings about "taking advantage," Hephaestion makes it possible for Alexander to do so, too. (Heaves a big, satisfied sigh.)
| Joyeee 6/8/06 . chapter 3
Wow, Plato discussed with his friends who (of Achilles and Patroklos) was the lover and who the beloved? Wonderful! What a debate to have! It would be like ... like Newton coming up with a theory about how gravity affects lovemaking!
I wondered how the end of chapter 2 would resolve itself here ... what would they _say_ to each other? But no words are necessary - they understand each other this much already, yay! (I found it a little odd that Alexander was the one nearly apologizing when Hephaestion was the one who hit him, but I guess that shows how deeply Alexander understands that Hephaestion truly, completely loved his father - even if he didn't realize it until they both had time to cool off, even if Alexander doesn't have that sort of relationship with his own father.)
And, with that resolved, here comes another groan-inducing (in a good way!) ending...
| Joyeee 6/8/06 . chapter 1
Late, late review... nothing new here!
Philip is quite fatherly! When he tells Hephaestion of Amyntor's death and then sits by while he absorbs the news, I got the impression that that is how he'd act toward Alexander, if anything really serious should happen to him - and even on a day-to-day basis, if he were't dealing with so many other things, and without Olympias to stoke his temper. Speaking of Olympias, his epithet for her is just brilliant on your part! And you illustrate the complexities of Philip's thinking so well. He wants to reconcile with Alexander, but not at the expense of his own authority as a father. He doesn't mourn Amyntor's loss, but will see to it that Amyntor's son does well - but if Alexander wants Hephaestion, "Hephaestion did not have the choice." Not a nice thought on his part exactly, but nice, nice line on your part!
I really like that "Philip . . . loved [Alexander]. Loved him more than he cared to think about." As you write him, Philip has ideas that could be called kind/sentimental if only he weren't so relentlessly practical when those ideas don't seem attainable! Considering his treatment of Athens and the other Greek city-states I think that's how he was, and you've wonderfully illustrated how that mindset would work in relation to more personal matters!
Hephaestion, well, strikes me as already very headstrong and self-reliant (or so he'd like to believe) at this age. Also his initial attitude toward his mother's relationship with Laius reminded me of how he wanted to box the ears of his father's pages and remind them just whose father Amyntor was in another of your stories, which in turn is reminiscent of crazy-possessive Alexander. And speaking of parallels between Alexander and Hephaeastion, their first meeting here is wonderful, they get started in a sort of startled, potentially hostile way, but then both of them start talking about their dreams (yes, does Alexander _really_ want to be on his own?), and they have these adorable little mental jumps, just as I'd imagine eager, precocious little boys like them to have. I also like it that even though Hephaestion thinks he wouldn't be able to keep up with Alexander, at least he makes the effort, whereas other people would just give up or think Alexander's snobbish or laugh him off as a little boy with oversized dreams.
| Ancient Galaxy 2/15/06 . chapter 5
Amazing ! Write more !
| angstman 2/1/06 . chapter 5
I like this story very much. YOur plot is good and your writing is excellent. This is one of the best A/H/Phillips fic I ever read.
| angstman 1/30/06 . chapter 3
I just read chap 1-3. This is great story. Love it.
| CoralDawn 1/25/06 . chapter 5
Very nice ending with the Carrian affair and Philip's death. In this story, because of Hephaistion's love for both Philip and Alexander, he was placed in a between Scylla-and-Charybdis sort of situation. The exile scene is wonderful, with Hephaistion's confession that he is guilty because he loves Alexander and Philip's letting him know that he always understood and supported that love.
The trust the friends have developed is extremely important at the end when Hephaistion needs to ask Alexander the all-important question and then accepts his answer.
We really do not know where Hephaistion was when the Famous Five (all supposedly quite a bit older than Alexander) were exiled. Mostly people assume he was not - which is very intriguing in itself (if not, WHY not?) But it could very well be that he was too - as well as others who have not been mentioned!
Gosh, before this end chapter, I thought you were refering to Hephaistion in your chapter titles. I see now it was Alexander, as seen by us, as well as Hephaistion. Wonderfully done! And thanks for a great story!
| Queendel 1/25/06 . chapter 5
A poignant update. Heph and Alexander meeting again after such a long time apart without communication seem so full of tension and anxiety. However, I was happy to see that truth and honesty still existed between them, especially in light of the question that Heph asked Alexander.
You could feel how badly Heph felt in failing Alexander and allowing him to do folly and how the King's disappointment hurt him. And even as Philip was disappointed, you could see feel his affection for Heph.
I was happy to see that Alexander realized that he did not hate his father nor wish him dead.
Eager for next update as it would be interesting to see the bonding process between Heph and King Alexander.
| Trust No One 1/25/06 . chapter 5
Great ending to an equally great story. You added yet another dimension to Hephaistion's character with this last chapter. I loved the restraint they showed and the discretion of their ardour (not that I'll ever complain about graphic stuff either :P). Hope to see more from you soon.
| Tionsbabe 1/25/06 . chapter 5
Such a beautiful ending to this wonderful, wonderful fic. I loved it!
| Fredericka 1/24/06 . chapter 4
Thank you so much for your good wishes. I am feeling better but still weak...and very cranky.
Which is why I haven't sent a review of the latest chapters of "Fathers and Sons". I started one yesterday and it was so puerile, I had to give up. I sounded like a groupie, which. in a way of course I am, but unfortunately, I sounded like a semi-literate one.
However, this morning I wobbled over to the computer to see if you'd posted anything, and to my delight there were two new chapters. I sat down with my tea and biscuits and began to read. When I came to the part where Hephaestion returns from visiting his mother and he and Alexander are sorting out their misunderstandings, I actually became a little misty-eyed. You so skillfully describe the inner conflicts facing these two young men. Both have absent fathers; are estranged from their mothers; desperately want to love one another but are afraid to trust, etc. Given all those conflicts, together with their basic integrity, it’s natural for them to be extremely cautious about entering into a sexual relationship. Instinctively they know that doing that, before all their uncertainties are resolved, will poison their love.
Now that they’ve finally sorted out the major misunderstandings, we get a glimpse of how their relationship will evolve: Hephaestion becoming Alexander’s refuge, the keeper of his secrets, almost of his sanity; Alexander finally able to release some of his inner insecurities, including the constant need to keep his emotions under such tight control.
It seems ages since I've been able to empathize so completely with the characters in a story. Their portrayal here has a powerful ring of truth. I sincerely hope you take us with them to the end of their journey.
P.S Appreciate the tactful manner in which you handle the “sexy bits” in all your posts. You let your characters keep their dignity. Being gifted with an incurable romantic’s vivid imagination, deliciously sensual phrases like “the boy’s lips parted invitingly and the kiss deepened” tell me everything I need to know to visualize their encounters. Naturally, sometimes it gets happily carried away...today it allowed me to experience considerable vicarious pleasure (strictly literary of course) while reading your description of Hephaestion’s legendary thighs.