Reviews for Ella and Anne
rebecca-in-blue chapter 1 . 4/25/2019
Hi there, here from review tag and fandom-blind for The Tudors. I found the opening of this story fairly hard to get into. The narration feels too wordy in places (the opening sentence, for example, could be "The setting sun cast evening shadows") and Ella and Anne's dialogue was hard to hear from kids that young. Especially "To make the world what it could be" - I'm skeptic that she would even know what that means.

This story covers so much time that the pacing feels pretty fast, despite its 5k length. I would suggest editing this down; all the talk about Cardinal Wosley, for example, doesn't really seem to go anywhere. The constant cutting between Ella and Anne and Jonathan and Thomas in that section also felt kinda clunky, and I think it could be written in a smoother way, maybe combining some of their scenes and making less cuts.

Anne's extreme anger towards Lady Tremaine and her daughters at the end feels over-the-top to me; maybe this is how this character really would react, but I think a colder, more controlled anger can be more effective than outbursts. I'm also not sure why she seems to immediately assume they've done something awful to Ella, when she's never met these characters before and hasn't seen Ella in some time.

On the SPaG front, almost all of the dialogue tags here are written incorrectly, and added up, they made the story look messy to me. It should be "Dialogue," she said, not "Dialogue." She said.
Sara K M chapter 1 . 10/28/2018
Hi, I’m reviewing “Ella and Anne” for the Short Review Game. I’m familiar with both fandoms, as Cinderella has always been my favorite fairytale, I’ve seen and read just about every version available. And I’ve watched the “Tudors” as well as having some historical knowledge of that time period.
To begin with, I think you blend both worlds well, establishing that their fathers’ had been friends for years, so the girls were childhood friends, too. Then as they get older, Ella stays at her country estate while Anne serves as a lady – in – waiting for queens. Mentioning characters like Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas Moore, and Charles Brandon along with Lady Tremaine, Anastasia, and Drizilla also establish that these two stories exist in the same universe.
Your characterization of Ella and Anne is excellent. Ella is an idealist who lives by her mother’s advice, “have courage and be kind.” She feels sorry for what happens to Cardinal Wolsey, no matter what he has done to others, dresses the mice, and stays in the attic as a young adult because she cannot stand up for herself and sees no other option. Her dream is “to be loved and to love in return.”
Anne is more cynical, as she said “good riddance” when speaking about Cardinal Wolsey, and doesn’t like Charles Brandon, either so she barely tolerates him. She hopes to use her influence to “make the world what it could be.” And she intends to use her influence over the king as his “chosen one” (I don’t want to say mistress, because Anne didn’t want to be Henry’s “mistress” in the show. That’s one of the reasons why he ended up marrying her.) And as his queen, of course. In the Tudor’s, that’s certainly what she tried to do, introducing new ideas about religion, women, etc. to Henry.
You do a good job showing how Anne and Henry’s relationship changed after their marriage, too. I remember telling my husband once that Anne and Henry’s relationship, according to the show, were one of those couples where things were better when their relationship was “forbidden” and “full of sexual tension” rather than after they were married. On the other hand, Anne certainly enjoyed the power she had over everyone else by being “Queen.” I did like reading about her using her power to tell off Lady Tremaine, though!
I appreciate you using the older English speech, especially when Anne is speaking. (“Tis life at court, Ella such mean little there.”)
The biggest problem I have is the subject of Anne’s marriage to King Henry. You said that Henry VIII didn’t marry Anne until after Queen Catherine died. That is NOT accurate to historical fact nor is it accurate to the show. In both cases, Henry wanted to end his marriage to Queen Catherine because she wouldn’t give him a son and because he believed he loved Anne. The Catholic Church fought over it with him, until he eventually got so frustrated that he created the Church of England (Anglican Church), which he made his own rules for, so he got his divorce.
It’s a HUGE part of history, and a big plot in the show. Anne encouraged Henry not to listen to the pope, because as King, he should be the supreme authority over England, rather than the Catholic Church. Her advice is one of the reasons why Henry made the decision that he did. So it ties in with Anne’s wish to “make the world what it could be,” as you say. As well as her desire to have more power in general.
The other problem is small, but I thought I’d mention it. You said Sir Thomas Boleyn and Master Jonathan had been friends since they were apprentices in youths. But as they are both wealthy landowners, and Sir Thomas Boleyn, at least, is nobility, I don’t think they would have apprenticeships. Apprenticeships are something that middle – class youths do, not wealthy men. I suggest you should change it to they studied at Oxford together as youths. That would fit better for men in their station.
I’d love to read more of this, as you said it has a lot of potential, and your characterization is so great. But you need to change the details of how Henry VIII wed Anne. I’m afraid historical inaccuracies, especially big ones like that, are a deal breaker for me.