Reviews for Excerpts from the Diary of Princess Ursa
T. Alana M chapter 103 . 2/19/2015
Review 700! :D

Ursa's finally figured out how insane and callous the royal family is. They weren't so before because, simply, they had no reason to be. Now that an opening has appeared, they're drawn to it like sharks to blood.

Great, great story.
T. Alana M chapter 102 . 2/19/2015
Oh, Ursa. It'll get much worse soon. Perhaps the worst -and best - part of this story is seeing how much Ursa genuinely cares for the family. In canon, not much was known about her so it could be inferred that she was distant from them. The Search supported this fact, as she was practically forced into an arranged marriage and deeply longed for her old life. Here, she actually cares about her family, and she has to choose between them, and won't even get to keep any of them.
T. Alana M chapter 101 . 2/19/2015
T. Alana M chapter 100 . 2/19/2015
Aww.. things are almost over.
T. Alana M chapter 99 . 2/19/2015
I can't help but notice that Ozai's disappeared entirely, and isn't even doing his political duties(being Ursa's escort). Is he just sulking and plotting in his room?
T. Alana M chapter 95 . 2/19/2015
Lu Ten's a good kid. Poor boy.
T. Alana M chapter 94 . 2/19/2015
Studywork. A combination of two unpleasant words. Shudder.
T. Alana M chapter 91 . 2/19/2015
Ozai's finally being a jackass. Boooooo. I liked the nicer side of him. Sigh
T. Alana M chapter 70 . 2/19/2015
I'm enjoying this story very much. Discounting The Search, this is exactly how I'd expect the Royal Family to be. Ozai's character was the most interesting. He's power-hungry, but not THAT bad, and he's distant but he hasn't started abusing Zuko because there's no reason to. He has, at most, vague designs on the throne, so he doesn't feel the pressure of being heir and raising perfect heirs in turn.
novelreader chapter 83 . 2/12/2015
It's weird seeing Ozai like this... and kind of defending Zuko (even though I think a part of him agrees with Azula) when in the show he practically treated the kid like shit. I always got the feeling Ozai hated his son for some reason...
novelreader chapter 71 . 2/12/2015
In my head cannon "Zuzu" was Azula's first word. lol xD
novelreader chapter 58 . 2/12/2015
I also think he feels like he could sympathize with her more and it's his way of saying, "I'm ready to be a father... to my second child only because I've had enough of first borns being favored." or something, maybe he also thinks Ursa coddles Zuko too much and regrets not being active in the beginning so is now so that she doesn't scre up his second child... who knows.
novelreader chapter 53 . 2/12/2015
Ty Lee?
Oh and by the way, I wonder what prompted Ozai to name Zuko, Zuko. He seemed to be looking at the kid weird like there was a connection or something in the last fic? I like the think he feels some connection to the kid someway but he feels conflicted about it for some reason, might be because Ursa almost died or because he just doesn't know how to be a father hence the reason why he's hoping to only deal with them when they start to firebend, because he can teach firebening, but he doesn't know all the fathering thing, and because Ursa could've died and had she died, taking care of Zuko would fall into his hands and he wouldn't know what to do. I wonder how it would've gone had that happened.
ice23hot chapter 101 . 8/3/2014
You are evil! It was mean of you to make us get attached to Lu Ten when we all knew what was going to happen. You are a very gifted writer and this story is superb. Thanks for posting xx
Lunatique chapter 105 . 4/8/2014
The endgame was already decided by Zuko Alone, but I liked the emotional resonance lent to it by the course of the story. When the news of Lu Ten's death came it wasn't just, oh, this faceless cousin died too bad so sad, but rather oh GOD they killed LU TEN why oh why. That's because you let us get to know him as a character, someone we saw in moments that shone out in Ursa's memory.

Of course I saw the limit of Ursa's vision in the way she only thought about her own loss and not what the war was doing to Earth Kingdom families, but I don't hold that against her at all. In a way her diary is a lot like the extensive journals kept by women during the U.S. Civil War, a rich source of not only historical record but also literature from the time period. Many of these women were on the wrong side of the war, but they are nevertheless deeply sympathetic because their fierce partisanship is an honest reflection of their priorities as people. They're not political philosophers or dispensers of justice to humanity at large, just people born into their time and place trying to pull themselves and their families through hardship and loss. Politically I may not see eye-to-eye with these Southern women or with Ursa, but I do understand the universals of love and suffering and perseverance, as do they. That's how I can feel them where it counts.

Depending on what exactly happened in the lead-up to Azulon's death (and I understand your decision to keep this vague), Ursa's final letter to Iroh could seem rather weak. If she'd killed Iroh's father I would have expected not "heartfel apologies" but a plea to care for her children despite what he might hear about their mother. If I were going by the theory that Ursa murdered Azulon, I would have Ursa beg Iroh to consider her dead and to take pity on his brother's motherless children. Then again I come from a culture that is given to extreme, almost masochistic utterances. :D It all shows the importance of concrete situations in fiction, I think - there's no such thing as one-size-fits-all writing because stories are all about experiences rooted in specific places and people. It's really the ATLA creators' fault and not yours that you had to generalize so much, though.

I had a blast reading the story, in case you couldn't tell. It taught me about writing stories that punch you in the gut, and gave me a whole new appreciation for epistolary storytelling. Good job.
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