|Reviews for Shadows Under the Oak Tree|
| D. Frezza chapter 36 . 9/29/2012
Just finished reading your story, and I must say, you did an outstanding job. You made a believable story that fits with the storyline, and yet is all your own. Touching, sad, and even funny; you captured the essence of Canas' character. Well done, sir (or ma'am), well done.
| Guest chapter 36 . 9/29/2012
| shnickers chapter 38 . 7/17/2012
Ah ha ha, I see it all now!
Very inventive! So you took the premise that they didn't die in "that" blizzard, but perhaps in another one far down the road. I honestly thought that their deaths might have been alluded to in FE6 at some point or another through one of Hugh or Niime's supports since Canas's death was the only conclusive one (besides Hector, of course). ...Which makes me entirely confused as to why the gamemakers went so far as to depict his demise.
So I doubted the integrity of Lily's research going unfulfilled and her resolution to leave Hugh to Niime's care, and here you are banishing them away in one chapter! It's like you read my mind, sometimes... I am glad you extended their life and allowed them a reunion with their son. I again marvel at the complex political and economic undertones and how you really understand Ilia in a way that no other author seems to - almost as if you are a citizen yourself! I have to say I couldn't remember all of the plot involved in FE6 save the end game, but it was interesting seeing the point of view of the citizenry.
Lily is a strong woman. Separating Corinth from Ilia, the very homeland that Lily has always held pride for and strove to protect, while risking retaliation from Bern, Etruria, and perhaps even Ilia itself, is a decision that does not come lightly. These days in fiction, I feel that the prototypical strong woman is characterized as stubborn, impulsive, courageous and talented. I have to say, I hate those kinds of "strong" characters. Lily is tough, but she is also affectionate. She is outspoken, but she also recognizes and, should they lead to upheaval, tries to remedy the consequences of her words and actions. She has strong beliefs and ideals, but still does her best to accommodate and compromise not only with Canas, but with her fellow villagers. For anyone saying she is "acid-tongued" or unlikeable, I say they don't appreciate true strength.
As I mentioned, Hugh's perspective brings a fresh angle to Shadows with his sarcasm and hilarious monologues. His personality wouldn't really mesh well with his father's after all. From the two times I've played FE6, he seemed, on the surface, like a male replica of Farina (which is silly since Hugh technically came first), but I'm glad to hear his personality has much more depth than what I've seen. I liked him simply on the basis that he was Canas's son... but I'm eager to pick up FE6 again and explore some more supports (though the ridiculous amount of time it takes to collect them makes me hesitant).
Even though you mentioned that Nino and Canas are not related by blood, as supported by the artbook, since they were related in your story, I did wish Lugh and Rei would have made an appearance. But, in the end, the chapter concentrated not on the bonds Canas made as a member of Eliwood's army, but on the bonds of family and between the Corinthians and the rest of the world.
The end dialogue was fitting for Canas and Lily as well, seeing as how it was only two or three chapters ago they were suffering from marital problems (thanks for explaining that fully, by the way!). The ease and comfort with which they communicate is so apparent, and really makes me root for them. I remember you mentioned once that any written romance needs to essentially "prove" or give reason for why a couple should be and remain together, and I think you've proven beyond a "shadow" of a doubt that Canas is to Lily what shadows are to oak trees.
If you ever find the time and motivation to give those half-written files a polish, I would be happy to find an alert! (On that note, can you believe it's been almost ten years since FE7 was first released?)
| LordEphidel chapter 38 . 7/17/2012
It has been some time since my last review, but I have not forgotten; I have been reading. I still cannot wholly fathom how you managed to create a largely romantic and slow pace piece such as this and actually make me enjoy it, but somehow you did–and some of the best writers that history has ever known have failed at the same task. Perhaps it is because I enjoyed Canas and the pieces of magical theory that you included as well, but your skill as a writer played no small part in it.
Of course I cannot in good conscience leave a review with no more than gushing praise, so here is my attempt at constructive criticism, even if I must resort to nitpicking in order to find something.
One fairly regular issue that I noticed was Canas recalling some obscure fact gleaned in a previous chapter despite the relatively large time gap between the two. As brilliant as Canas may be, it still seems odd for him to recall someone who his wife briefly spoke to a month past. That being said, it is a difficult flaw to rectify, as a story such as this must take place over the course of several years despite the relative lack of action,
As I briefly mentioned before, much of my interest in this piece was on the magical theory involved, and while it did not contradict canon at all to the best of my knowledge, some of it does seem somewhat illogical to me. It seems unlikely that tomes were powered by dragonstones, for example, as I believe them to be extremely rare and more importantly, a non-renewable resource. Not only that, but magic before the Scouring would require a dragon's willing sacrifice of his or her dragonstone under this model. On a similar but less detrimental note, I would imagine that wyvern stones would not be quite as large a secret as portrayed here–over the course of a thousand years, there must have been at least one well documented text on it–but it is important to the story and not so wholly unbelievable as to make it detract from the piece as a whole.
I could not quite properly grasp why Canas chose to leave Corinth simply at Rosliand's suggestion, but that may be the product of me reading this only between the hours of 12:00 and 2:00 am; I am unsure of the matter.
The conflict with Lamia seemed somewhat anticlimactic to me, but I suppose it was unreasonable to expect a full scale civil war a few years before the events of Blazing Sword.
All that being said, this piece was truly quite well done; I now have another story to add to my list of favorites.
| shnickers chapter 37 . 7/17/2012
There's so much to say and not enough time, space or energy to do it.
First of all, this story is simply amazing. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to finish it (long commutes, hurrah!) and that I've not left a trail of reviews praising each chapter.
As always, your eye for detail is impeccable. I feel like Ilia has really taken shape and been granted not only a history, but a culture and humanity under your pen (or keyboard). The pride of the Ilian has always been a theme throughout Shadows, but you've also focused on the heartbreak, the triumph and the warmth that comes with a people whose country, though beloved, is the source of their problems. Since the majority of the writers on this site are young and focused on dramatic romances, your stories stand out even more as being mature and focused.
At first, I found myself questioning the perception that Lily was indeed the ultimate main character, but I am rather glad it turned out that way (though this may just be a speculation on my part). While Pent and Louise shared bouquet, I think it was more appropriate to focus the crux of the story on Lily, since she was the hub of Corinth and since Canas, though friendly and sociable, does have his tomes to compete with his attention. As much as I love Canas, without Lily's particular struggles and growth, it would have been hard to have the same impact.
I appreciated all of the cameos. In particular, Lily and Canas's amusement at the prospect of someone naming their child Fir had me giggling like no other. I also recognized some familiar faces appearing in bouquet-how's that for hindsight?
I recognized the struggle that came with finding a way for Canas to plausibly leave his wife and child in order to pursue an intellectual journey, and his purpose behind leaving them would have unwoven rather quickly if Lily were anything but the character you created. She is probably my favorite character of all your stories thus far-as much as I love Pent and Louise of bouquet, and even Canas in Shadows-she has so much strength and humanity that it's hard not to like her. Though she's passionate, I do like that she is so calm and understanding when it comes to Canas. Perhaps his (extreme) lack of common sense brings that out in her. Hugh is adorable as well, and I found my fingers itching to poke his baby cheeks.
One aspect that I did find inconsistent was Lily's research. I couldn't help feeling that they would have a breakthrough to make Ilia "green" that never happened. Perhaps this was to serve to make their death all the more tragic, but I couldn't help feeling distraught that Lily never completed what she set out to accomplish initially. Obviously, they wouldn't have been able to conjure miracles, seeing as how Ilia is still in the same (probably worse if you work in the politics) shape come FE6, but I expected some small discovery that would provide Corinth with some small measure of comfort. Time to take off the rose colored glasses!
I admit, I did cry reading the last section. I honestly didn't think I would, since their ending was canon. At times I found myself aghast at how quickly their resolution came about. I always pictured their death being an unforeseen circumstance, given their infant son. With Niime's guaranteed role as guardian, I almost expected Lily to have more resistance, given how passionately she fought against Niime visiting their son a few chapters ago. But in the end, she never would have stood by, and that resilience really seals her strength of character. Having read this makes me realize that although Canas had a canon relationship, family, and fate, writing his story is really the hardest of the FE 7 cast, what with having to come up with why he left his family and why he sacrificed his life.
I see that you've recently uploaded another chapter, so you'll probably be hearing from me again soon!
| LordEphidel chapter 2 . 6/29/2012
Quite interesting. The only point that I would like to raise is this:
"he words of the tome stirring his highly developed curiosity-oh, it was a feast fit for a scholar-king!"
That sounds somewhat odd to me, particularly the "oh". The word [in this sense, at least] is almost exclusively reserved for literary occasions and because Canas is thinking it, it seems slightly out of place. Perhaps omitting it and making the following clause its own sentence?
Beyond that, I do not have terribly much more to say. I am really only good at criticizing, but there is really not all that much in need of a critique thus far.
| LordEphidel chapter 1 . 6/29/2012
I must continue reading; I wish to see what happens to my second favorite character [after Ephidel, because I am insane] from Blazing Sword.
"I would think this place near inhabitable if I were not seeing this before my very eyes"
I believe that this ought to read "near uninhabitable"
I found it somewhat strange how quickly Lily changed her mind about Canas when she discovered his lineage. Unless she is particularly trusting [which does not seem to be the case thus far] or the name of Niime is sacrosanct [which may be the case; I am only vaguely familiar with the Sword of Seals], I imagine that she would need some sort of evidence beyond the word of a shaman.
I also thought that those few paragraphs directly after the point of view shifted to Lily's were somewhat redundant, describing what we already learned in the first section. Then again, it does give a better idea of her own feelings here, so perhaps that is not so terrible.
Regardless, I found this quite interesting thus far and wait to see what future chapters have in store.
| Vestrwald chapter 38 . 6/20/2012
I gotta say, I was real surprised when I saw that you gave this story another chapter. Nice to see you haven't completely given up on Fire Emblem stuff yet either.
I really enjoyed the chapter. It gave a nice little window into a world where Canas and Lily survived that storm. It was also very nice to see the two interacting again; I had no idea I missed seeing their fun little rapport. The addition of Hugh is quite fun as well.
I was also rather interested of your portrayal of Merlinus. He's normally, well ignored. To see him at all is worthy of note; the decision to portray him as a rather negative character is quite entertaining.
This chapter also raised an interesting question. Can the death of a few citizens of Corinth be forgiven since several years later, Lily and Canas are able to devise a way to grow crops in Ilia? Or is the shirking of that ancient duty unforgivable, even though we know that if they had fought the storm, they would die and perhaps damn Ilia to the cold for decades, perhaps centuries? Do you have any thoughts on this?
Overall, a rather splendid chapter. I enjoyed an outsides look at Roy and his team of advisers. I would have rather liked to have seen the meeting Lily had with them. Liy's condemnation of the army was rather interesting as well. It is not often you see the "good" army's motives be questioned. I also enjoyed the "fight" Hugh had in the mess hall with Elysia. That bit in particular really stood out to me.
Overall, a very good chapter. Sorry if this review was over long.
| thomasquwack chapter 38 . 5/27/2012
Anyine else think this is the best fic they have ever read? IF you say no, be prepared to have me unstring my violen, take the strings, garotte your cat, and then bring it back to life. Without telling you.
Nah, I'm kidding. Violen strigns are like, what, 5 dollars a pop?
Hahaha, kidding guys.
Still. Best. Fic. Ever.
| thomasquwack chapter 2 . 5/26/2012
I dont see Canas holding a tome in battle when he is a shaman or a druid...
BECAUSE HE IS CANAS!
| thomasquwack chapter 1 . 5/26/2012
And so begins the story of the best magic user in all of Fire Emblem! I am Faving!
| Gunlord500 chapter 38 . 4/17/2012
It's really good to see something from you again, my friend. I hope to see more, though if, as you said, your time has passed, I understand and won't pressure you. Believe me, I feel the same way, or I'm at least close to feeling that way. xD I'm very sorry...I don't have time to really give this a full-out review, but to quickly run through the things I really liked:
1: Good to see that after all this time, everyone's still in character, and I like how you explained the AU too. 3
2: The moral dilemma-that the Ilians who may have sided with Bern aren't necessarily "evil" is very well done.
3: Hugh's dialogue and personal thoughts are great, both in character and amusing on their own XD
4: The intercharacter drama as well as the political stuff are both done well. :D
Sorry I can't say more...I'm busy busy ;_; But it's great to see you again, my friend :D
| Pyro's Apprentice chapter 38 . 4/16/2012
This story always had a sort of magic for me, and I couldn't be more surprised or more glad to see another chapter. The tension caused by Corinth's mysterious status was played masterfully through the chapter, and although the end felt a bit rushed, I was very satisfied with the explanation.
Normally I would mention a few places that could use improvement in the story, but I can't really bring myself to do it considering this might be the last update I get from you. I don't usually like reading long fanfics, but Shadows Under The Oak Tree had me hooked the whole way through. If you do decide to write more FE stories, I'll be sure to review every one.
| NibelungVilesti chapter 38 . 4/16/2012
No clue when I subscribed to you, but I'm just glad to see my favorite fanfiction author "active(?)" again :)
| Quercus chapter 38 . 4/15/2012
haha, I think I am one of those who still had the story on alert... but it doesn't take any effort to keep it on the list, and it's nice to be pleasantly surprised five years later! I love your interpretation of Elibean politics, there needs to be more 6/7 linking fic in the world. Thank you for writing!