|Reviews for The Sunny Wall|
| YafanFish 7/8/12 . chapter 1
I really enjoy your story. I read it in my native language, since someone has translated it into Chinese. It is rather hard for me to read something in English. So i think it a pity not to have all your work translated.
Your characterization of people is really impressive. I never take notice of Cassander before, but I am fond of the Cassander in your story. I think most people in your stories have strong personalities and are memorable.
And I love it that there are many historical details weaving in your stories.
| whooopee 8/8/10 . chapter 1
That was a really different story! Make me think of Cassander in a diffferent way! Really really good!
| Mariella 8/21/07 . chapter 1
I've already read pretty much all of your stories on this site and I enjoyed most of them a lot. But I must say that this is in my opinion your best so far.
Your description and characterization of Hephaistion, Alexander and especially Cassander turned them into real, graspable people made of flesh and blood. Your subtle yet still very precise ways of portraying the characters and capturing their personalities is just admirable. I'm not an overly emotional or teary reader but this story of yours touched my heart and left me with a clump in my throat in the end.
I also don't like how Cassander is condemned as the devil in human form most of the times. I found Renault's portrayal of him to be rather clichéd. Considering the brutality and cruelty of power struggles throughout human history and considering the time in which these people lived his deeds don't seem more evil to me than those of many others.
| Joyeee 1/24/07 . chapter 1
How wonderfully, utterly _human_ you've made Cassander! Lovely story, so many threads, exploring such a range of emotions - rebelliousness, resentment, a wonder at "the road not taken"...but most of all, emotions that have great effect even though they go largely unspoken. That paragraph starting "And so I let our friendship cool" - that, for me, summed up the story beautifully (in a "What a crying shame!" way). Cassander doesn't seem to have made other "friends," not easily at least - so I feel this relationship with Hephaestion was, really, for him, a very rare and special thing. (Well, when I put it that way it sounds maudlin, but please be assured, the very reason I like it and can comment on it is that it's most definitely _not_ maudlin.)
All those speculations of Cassander's, in that paragraph... that, to me, was the heart of this, a missed chance, the slow, gradual death of a friendship - due not to any dramatic goodbye or explosive fight, but through the build-up of many little things. Doubts, reservations, a word unspoken here, a question unasked there. Because Cassander had to protect himself. Because Hephaestion never did challenge him openly, because he _may_ have wanted to avoid Cassander asking him to choose just like Alexander had. (Though, the paragraph also does rather strike me as self-justification on Cassander's part - as Hephaestion's characterized here, I really believe he would've understood about Cleon, and not ever thought about making fun of Cassander's love, since he had just fallen in love himself.) (Love how Hephaestion wrote him, by the way - and how masterful to make that the "end" to their correspondence - no definitive closure!) Because Cassander couldn't, as you put it so beautifully at the end, bring himself to "gamble on the strength of their friendship" and on Hephaestion's magic. Magic (sigh), yes, for he was the sole reason for that one moment of apology and even strange understanding between Alexander and Cassander, who'd antagonized each other from the start. (beautiful variation of his mediating skills!)
Which brings me to a question: I noticed a recurrence here of people turning away from light and warmth. Cassander resenting the wall, Cassander letting (even making) Hephaestion's friendship fade, and then, at the end, everyone - except Alexander - stepping away from the "brightness and the heat" of the pyre. Is this an analogy for love, then, that it can offer light and heat to the point of blinding and burning, and it's this sort of light and warmth (though on a lesser scale, of course) that Cassander is afraid of, in his friendship with Hephaestion?
...I'll have to resort to a PS again! I really think this, despite its apparently simple storyline, is one of your most complex, elegant, densely-packed stories! As far as I know this sort of relationship is not often explored in fiction - and love, of any kind, I think, is rarely written with the subtlety and balance you always bring to your stories. How you continually capture the sometimes-bewildering intricacy and depth of human emotion is amazing!
| faceted-mind 9/20/06 . chapter 1
Firstly you should know I'm very lazy. I have infact read several of your stories, but lack of internet at home means I nab all the stories I want to read off the internet into a text file and take them home to read them.
So this is one review to represent several, because writing the same things several times over would be superfluous. I chose this story to review because I thought it was the best of all that I have read (which is by no means all of them, though I hope it to be soon.)
I *love* your writing, and find it hugely entertaining and gripping. Your characterisation is completely endearing to the characters (if that makes sense... as we do not *know* the characters as such I can't pin down any one characterisation for them, and I hate taking the film version's characterisation of people over historical versions... Gah. I don't think that made much sense)
So. Now I've made myself look like a bumbling fool, all is left to say is thank you for writing, and please continue!
| Aitas 7/5/06 . chapter 1
I absolutely love your writing style, and this fic is yet another fine demonstration of your lovely narrative skill. I just had finished reading all of your works and I have to say they are all wonderful. You have a way of making your readers lost into your stories! My favorite is definitely “The Other Half” which sweetness rivals that of milk and honey… m…. followed closely by “Loving Hephaestion”/”Hating Alexander” pair. And “Discord in Love” was just hilarious! Please write more Hephaestion/Alexander stories, only you can make it oh so sweet and romantic! *puppy dog eyes* P
| Baliansword 6/24/06 . chapter 1
First, let me appologize for taking so long to review this. I read it over about five times before writing this. Let me just say, this is by far my favorite story from you, and all writers in this category. I loved your portrayal of Cassander. I appreciated the way that you softened him around the edges, showing that he did have compassion, and was not the Cassander that people always write about.
The connection that he had with Hephaestion was brilliant, as was the nickname of the Perfect One. I thought that such a name added great depth not only to Hephaestion, but mostly to Cassander, because there was so much hidden emotion of how he spoke. This was by far wonderful and I thank you for the dedication. Your writing is amazing and I am honored that you've read my work.
As always, I anticipate what you will be writing next. I promise not to wait so long to review next time. Good luck, and thank you again for sharing this wondrous story with the world.
| Trust No One 6/19/06 . chapter 1
This was so different, meant in the best possible way. Cassander as not the villain or even the jealous comrade, but as someone very much his own person, with true feelings of friendship and regret, without being overly emotional about them. Hephaistion is very much the way I see him,'comfortably sensual' that was such a great description!
The glimpse of seduction, so natural and matter-of-fact, as if it was something that Hephaistion didn't even find a challenge, but went for it anyway... not sure if I'm making sense here.
Then the switch to raw angst and to the image of Alexander as a walking corpse standing by the pyre. Truly one of your best!
| Fredericka 6/19/06 . chapter 1
I once read a statement, can’t think just now who said it, that, “the saddest words of voice or pen, are these four words, ‘it might have been’”. I don’t remember anything I’ve ever read that brings this so clearly to mind as does this beautifully-written piece. Your ability to evoke powerful feelings in your reader, always strong, seems unparalleled here. What utterly heartrending grief! Alexander’s for the loss of what he had - Cassander’s for the loss of what he might have had. Every time I think of his regretful farewell to Hephaestion, “Goodbye Perfect One.” I experience a deep sense of sadness. Your sympathetic depiction of all three major characters, especially Cassander, is probably closer to the real persons than is usually seen. Well done… perfect one… - Fredericka
| Ergonomicsky 6/19/06 . chapter 1
Absolutely beautiful, this story of yours is! I loved every single line of it, and your elegant writing-style easily got me carried away with and engrossed in the scenery you described.
I could see it al clearly and vividly happening in my mind while reading..; It takes talent to write like this; you have it.
So, congratulations and thank you very much for having written this endearing piece of work and for posting it here.
| Lysis 6/18/06 . chapter 1
I can't believe I've finally read something that has put me in a tender mind toward Cassander! Only you could do this. As a rule I dislike him intensely. However, your story is really wonderful at presenting him from a more vulnerable and human position than I've seen before. It isn't the Cassander from the movie, which wasn't accurate anyway, since Alexander wouldn't have him on campaign with him. I actually found myself a bit tearful at the end. Just don't do this again! I refuse to shed too many tears over Cassander!
| purple lolly 6/18/06 . chapter 1
I relly like this story.
It nice to see a story where they all get along in some way or another instead of trying to kill each other.
AS all way a enjoyable read.
| angstman 6/17/06 . chapter 1
I really really really love this story. The friendship between Hephaistion and Cassendre is fascinating and the way you portrait Hephaistion and Alexander is also very nice. Love it.
| CoralDawn 6/17/06 . chapter 1
A very refreshing and original take on a young Cassander, Alexander and Hephaistion! I really enjoyed this. I agree with you that there is no justification for making a young Cassander totally bad; in that case, practically all of the Diadochi would be satanic young children! The personal nature of his problems with Alexander, his doting on his little brother Nicanor (who Olympias had killed later), his love of literature, all seem historically highly possible. Thanks for inventing Cleon and making Cassander even more human and able to understand A/H better. I enjoyed the rather playboyish Hephaistion who has an eye for pretty boys, but finds himself falling for Alexander eventually. And I really liked your version of how early in the A/H relationship, H lets A know that he will not stand for any nonsense from him, not be a sycophant, point out his faults, but love him all the same (through the apology incident). I agree with Tioonsbabe, that the reasons for Cassander and Hephaistion drifting apart are very realistic and happens everywhere. The ending is beautiful too, with Cassander bidding Hephaistion goodbye in his own way.
Lastly, "The Perfect One". This is such an apt description for Hephaistion in the fanfic world - he would have been pleased! :D
| Becky Greenleaf 6/17/06 . chapter 1
This was so beautiful. I was absolutely speechless after reading this. There were many things I loved about this story. I think there's so much I can't even cram it into this review!
I must say that I have never read such a decent, excellent, humanizing portrayal of Cassander. He is usually portrayed as someone who is purely evil who hates Hephaestion with every fibre of his being. I really loved the way you portrayed him. He now seems such a likeable character. I think there needs to be more Cassander love in the world!
I also liked your portrayal of Hephaestion. I have no idea why but it just seems really different.
I enjoyed the friendship between Hephaestion and Cassander. It's just so original and interesting. I also liked the way that Cassander perceived the relationship between Alexander and Hephaestion.
Lastly, I have to say that I really did enjoy the funeral. Poor Alexander...I really do feel for him.
I really did enjoy reading this story so much. I can't wait to read more from you soon. I really enjoy your style of writing.
P.S: *puts story on favorite list*