|Reviews for By Bird and Book|
| Absolute Elsewhere chapter 2 . 10/3/2019
John is...incautious in dealing with someone who might just have some magic about them. I can think of some things I would rather have seen done to him than having him eat a magical rose. But I suppose Jane is nicer than I am.
I can't help but wonder what's up with Mr Brocklehurst. Being fandom blind I don't know where he comes from, or if he's an OC, but I suppose he has some link to Mr Norell. I like the sense of meance and expectation about this. The words "It hasn't happened yet" have a nice sort of menace about them. Very nice imagery and I do like the description of the creepy little faerie thing that shows up when John is being...difficult.
I do like this and wonder whatever is supposed to become of Jane when she goes off to school. It's October 3rd here, and I was in the mood for something a bit dark and creepy. This fit the bill. Thanks for sharing.
| Absolute Elsewhere chapter 1 . 9/14/2019
So here I go again, with another of my fandom blind reviews, just because.
First of all, you do real good moody/Gothic/Olde English manor on the foggy moors. This is the most atmospheric writing I've seen from you, and I like the spell it casts. I happened to read this on a cloudy afternoon with distant thunder booming, and maybe that helped.
By the way..."book murder". I love it. And yeah, speaking as someone who lost a priceless old book to a sociopathic relative ina n estate related theft, hanging about covers it.
[Outside all was rain and mist and shadow and the whispering of the rain against the glass. On a day like this, and in a house like this, it might be easy to think that Mrs Reed was right, and the barrier between our world and the Other Lands fragile and easily breeched.]
Oh yeah. You do good Gothic.
There's a sense of waiting or expectation about this, and I guess we were waiting for Mr Childermass to appear. And we find out that yes, in fact, Jane can do some actual Magic with a capital M. I did enjoy the scene of her in the Red Room when Something Is Coming. And then Mr Childermass shows up, and recognizes that there's more to Jane than than meets the eye. Not sure what a King's Road is, but we may find out about that in Chapter 2.
Good work, and I've actually been meaning to review this for a while. I had to finish A Kinder Light and we've been shorthanded at work. I will read and review Chapter 2.
| whiskeyneat chapter 2 . 12/24/2017
I love this. And that's all.
| whiskeyneat chapter 1 . 12/24/2017
First - I haven't read Jonathan Strange. But I have read Jane Eyre (one of my favorite books). Second - I wish I could highlight every single passage of this exquisite writing.
For example, [Instead I studied the pictures, searching for meaning in the ancient engravings: a circle of stones on a heath, each one crooked and leaning like an old forgotten gravestone; the moon hanging low in the sky above an ancient forest; a boat run aground on a shoal of sand; a room in a crumbling castle, where the ground was littered with bones; and worst of all a shrike impaling a small lizard upon the spine of a hawthorn tree.] These images are so evocative, I feel as though I'm turning the pages right along with her.
[."...Your kind cannot help being wicked, and if you don't repent something bad might be permitted to come down the chimney and fetch you away."] If only something *would*, because it would not be bad, and then Jane could escape the horrible Reeds.
I adore this story. Sorry the review is late.
| thewinnowingwind chapter 2 . 8/19/2017
Loved this and can't wait for more. I love the way the magic is represented, as both fascinating and frightening. Thanks!
| thewinnowingwind chapter 1 . 8/19/2017
This is INGENIOUS. I feel like I've read Jane Eyre a thousand times - you've done a fantastic job of adapting the tone of this crossover to the original work. I love it!
| hiddenhibernian chapter 2 . 1/28/2017
I was on tenterhooks the whole chapter - this is so, so good! The language, the characterisation that remains very true to the original, the AU elements cleverly woven into the canon plot, the menace and promise of Jane's affinity with magic... It would be very churlish to complain about the length after such a quick update, but I do so hope you complete this.
The very best bit was the child climbing out of the mirror on the wall, and her sharp white teeth - it was truly frightening, because I could imagine it so clearly.
Can't wait to see where you take this - although giving Mr Brocklehurst the sticky end he so thoroughly deserves would be a nice direction to take...
| hiddenhibernian chapter 1 . 1/20/2017
I really should be writing, but I was so intrigued I had to read this. I'm very well versed in canon for Jane Eyre, but I still haven't read Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.
The beginning made me smile, first in anticipation and then at the way Mrs Reed lives in an alternative universe but still remains exactly the same. It's not surprising Jane is more at home in a world with real magic, and choosing fairy origins for her is an inspired touch.
“Taking the volume I sought from the bookshelf” - the way you drop canon phrases into the narrative keeps up the suspense – I want to know both what you have changed, and what remains the same. The pictures in The Language of Birds remind me of the sketches Jane shows Mr Rochester much later on – they have the same haunting quality.
The fight with John Reed, little toad that he is, works brilliantly – it leads to the red room, just like in canon, but of course nothing good will come to Jane in that house, whether she does possess magic or not.
Bessie seems like her canon self, and despite my canon blindness you give me a good idea of Mr Childermass' character, both good and bad. I'm not sure he's a great ally for Jane, but he certainly makes things interesting.
Your language is exquisite – it is very difficult to get it right, but absolutely crucial to make the story work. I spent the first few paragraphs waiting for the shoe to drop, but then I could relax and let myself be immersed. It reads like the original and seems effortless, but I'm sure you had to put in a lot of work to get it right.
Unfortunately (or perhaps not) I don't have many suggestions – I didn't spot any SpAG errors, and you have executed the crossover idea beautifully while keeping the feeling of the original. The biggest failing is that there is no chapter two yet...
I do think you're perhaps selling yourself a bit short with the summary – a bit more detail would convince potential readers it worth clicking on.
It's a beautiful story, full of suspense and potential – I hope you're planning a very long story arc, but even as a stand-alone effort it's impressive. I think what I'm trying to say is to keep writing!