|Reviews for Erlkönig|
| IWasAFairyPrincessOnceToo chapter 1 . 8/23
This has to one of the better Labyrinth fanfiction I've ever read. It makes it clear that by not being human, his concept of the human emotion of love is at best corrupted and at worst thinly-veiled, prideful possessiveness. A lot of fanfiction will have Sarah forgive Jareth in a heartbeat for screwing with her mind and stealing her brother for the sake of fan/author wish fulfillment, making it odd upon second reading when she falls for him. Others will have her hate him for it and slowly build trust and love for him like shes plagued with Stockholm syndrome. I find both unrealistic for her character, however much I like the pair. Here you still satisfy the fan/author wish fulfillment somewhat but having her say that he is attractive to her, but you counter it by showing that that doesn't make him human, loving, or caring. Simply a selfish fae with selfish desires. I found myself hating him and hoping she'd escape centuries later, long after the scene with her daughters, but knowing that it's unrealistic in the context of the story. Yet even though I cheered for Sarah's acts of defiance, Jareth's character intrigued me enough to feel a weird satisfaction in the epilogue (which was promptly destroyed in your A Year and One Day one shot). Fantastic storytelling; thank you.
| Kitty chapter 10 . 7/8
What happen , i didnt understand . Was he killing her in the end xD
| rabid behemoth chapter 16 . 3/20
Okay. This is one of the most compelling pieces of fiction (fan or otherwise) I've ever had the privilege of reading: we're talking top 2 of the (tens of?) thousands I've read over the past ten years in any fandom. Furthermore, I'm an academic, and throughout my education I've been lucky enough to be handed works to read that have been marked as the most gripping stories anywhere in the world, throughout human history. Few other stories can compete with this. I finished this fic yesterday and have been unable to stop obsessing over it since (it was so unsettling I ran to my husband to dissect it and have since made him begin reading it too!)-from a cursory glance at other reviews, it appears I am hardly the only one to experience this. But why?
What have you done here that is so fascinating?
I've thought deeply about my emotional response to this fic. I believe its power stems from the way you create multiple conflicting desires in the reader: we must love Jareth even as we hate him; more complicated still, we yearn for Sarah's defeat/rape/death even as we fear it.
There is no question this is a story of rape-nothing dubious about consent here. Physical pleasure can never be used to measure an entirely mental concept like consent, and it was crystal clear from the beginning that despite whatever ways Jareth may seem enticing to Sarah, mentally, she was fully opposed from beginning to end. I am a rape survivor, and I can be very sensitive to media portrayals of rape, which are almost always problematic-especially in how rape is so often presented as sexy or desirable or "not really rape because she secretly wanted it." This fic avoids this pitfall in an unusual way. It is not Sarah who desire her own rape, it is the reader.
To borrow a quote from The Unbearable Lightness of Being: “Anyone whose goal is 'something higher' must expect someday to suffer vertigo. What is vertigo? Fear of falling? No, Vertigo is something other than fear of falling. It is the voice of the emptiness below us which tempts and lures us, it is the desire to fall, against which, terrified, we defend ourselves."
This goes beyond a simple Freudian death drive: it is the simultaneity of competing, opposed desires that affects readers so deeply. The paradox is key: we fear falling even as we wish for it. Sarah's torture/rape/death-of-humanity is our greatest fear, so perhaps the impulse to sublimate it, to experience it in a controlled way (nothing is more controlled than text on a page) through catharsis, makes a good deal of sense. Yet, when it happens, it is...unspeakably awful. Words cannot describe it, so I won't try. It is the pain (and promise) of experiencing opposites (love/hate, life/death, pleasure/suffering) that is irresistible to certain readers (again, from the number of reviews, I must be speaking for more than just myself...I hope!).
This desire for suffering may seem far-fetched at first, but when considered in light of fan texts that go beyond this particular fic, it makes more sense. Readers don't come into this story as blank canvases, they are already fans of Labyrinth, and have probably read at least a few other works based on it. One critical thing readers of this fic will have in common a priori: they ship Sarah and Jareth. That's why we choose the fics we do, that's why we started reading Labyrinth fic to begin we-we love both characters (including a variety of fan interpretations of both characters), and ship them.
At the start of the fic, we love "Jareth" in general. Your Jareth, we quickly grow to hate. But that does not erase the history of our relationship liking his character in other texts; you take advantage of this to help cultivate sympathy for a character that should otherwise be so reprehensible he'd be nearly impossible to like, whatever his backstory. It's an ingenious use of extratextual experiences to manipulate the way readers experience your text. Were this Jareth an original character, I doubt I could get past his despicable behavior enough to muster up so much as a molecule of empathy for him. But he is not (entirely) original, there is a kind of familiarity to him, so instead I am tortuously conflicted over how to respond...and I love it!
Similarly, though the rape and theft of a character's soul should be the worst thing I can imagine, part of me desires it (especially as it becomes increasingly inevitable-the anticipation is so much worse than simply getting it over with). Based partly on the character dynamic you've created here, and partly on my other readings of these two characters (canon and fanon alike), I enjoy them as a couple. I want them to be together. The only way that's possible in this fic is through the most evil of methods; so even as I wish for the inevitable, I am repulsed by it.
I think that's the crux of this fic. I love being torn in this way; it's one of the most emotionally arousing things a person can experience. For me, the most compelling stories in the world are centered around angst and conflict. The conflict here is not resolvable-a fully satisfying ending impossible-because of the opposing nature of desires you masterfully create in readers. To reach such heights of conflict in a single fic...thank you for writing this. I will never forget this experience.
I know you're inactive, but on the off-chance you still use the email account that receives these reviews, I hope you'll grant me permission to refer to this fic someday in a paper. I'm sure I want to write a paper on this topic eventually, and I owe you a great deal of thanks for writing the piece that clarified so many thoughts of mine at once. I look forward to reading the other work you have posted here. Thank you again, and I hope you never stop writing, whether I get to read it or not!
| Mango Supreme chapter 16 . 2/19
author if i could i would hug you right now
this was very well written...
and my heart was thrown around with the pace
i love the prose and the metaphors, good choice with the thread analogy - i had a bit of a moment to be frank
anywho thank you so much for sharing this bit and keeping it up on the site, im definitely adding this to my favorites
| Sarah chapter 2 . 2/2
I LOVE this story this is the second time I've read it and it still keeps me on the edge of my seat!
| GargoyleGirl chapter 16 . 1/29
Wow. I just recently started reading Labyrinth fanfic (your My True Love Gave to Me was one of the first!) and while the fangirl me loves the ooey gooey ones where Sarah and Jareth are happily ever after, tra-la-la, this story stands out and is just so amazing. Your dark portrayal of Jareth is well written; even as I hate him for being so evil and selfish in his pursuit of Sarah, when you revealed his motivations I could still feel some sympathy for him. The cycles of Sarah's defiance do seem a little repetitive, though it is delightfully horrifying in how each event brings her a tiny bit closer to understanding (I kept telling my monitor "No! Don't you see what he's doing?!") though never fast enough. I really have to go read the rest of your Labyrinth stuff now, and am very much so looking forward to it!
| klong chapter 16 . 12/22/2014
Wow... Just, wow... That was awesome... Don't know what else to say... That was freaking awesome...
| crazyfan17 chapter 16 . 12/17/2014
This was totally AWESOME and dark. I love it! I love the plot, how you wrote the characters and the settings :-)
| Born in 20th Century chapter 14 . 11/27/2014
Thanks for sharing this enthralling tale - it's out of the ordinary, and I loved your writing style - the vivid imagery, descriptive language, and references to literature and music - it was all absolutely amazing; thank you for writing this!
| Victoria chapter 16 . 10/9/2014
I have read this story twice and I can tell you that I find it haunting. Seriously, I read it last night and could not get to sleep. I had to read it again today.
It's incredible how you're able to make Sarah's disorientation transfer to the reader. I felt like I was there with her in the cold, fighting for survival. Every time she would make ground in bringing herself back to reality, Jareth was there to pull the rug out from under her feet, plunging her back into confusion. I was on the edge of my seat.
My eyes misted a little for her when she lost and her heart broke. I started crying when Toby blamed himself.
And then there was the Goblin King. I felt chills of confusion every time Jareth spoke. Love? Hate? I had so many confusing feels. I can see why Sarah had a hard time of it. Oh yeah, I got the sense he was a right bastard, but at the same time... Geez, I know he's evil. I mean, he's doing some damningly evil stuff to Sarah, but he masks it with pretty words and a tenderness that shadows out his true plans.
And his possessiveness! I know it grew from his love/obsession, but DAMN, he won't even consider what damage he's doing to Sarah by forcing her. Not to mention how contemptuous his behavior is when she tells him she'll never forgive him. That asshole says he loves her, but he has a messed up way of showing it.
Listen at me...getting angry at a fictional character. Just more proof that you've done a damn fine job with this story. Thanks for your hard work. You've done fantastically.
| SparklesJustReads chapter 16 . 10/6/2014
So I didn't even have an account on before - I just lurked and read. I literally created this account to review this story! And even though there are nearly 500 reviews already... I still feel compelled to let you know how fantastic this story is...
I have read this story over and over... It is THE BEST Labyrinth Fan Fiction I've ever read. You've captured Jareth so perfectly... He's definitely not the same Jareth we see in the movie, but he has evolved so realistically (being bound to this girl against his will, the years of trying to break it, the way he talks and treats Sarah now that she's an adult).
It's so beautifully dark and tragic... Ch. 16... The struggle never ends, does it? Sarah obviously lost this battle, but can she win the war? Can't she just except her new beautiful "life" ... Isn't that easier? Could it be so bad (sounds fantastic to me!)? But Sarah has always been so strong willed... And I suppose if it's really not what you want, you'd keep fighting, too... So is her will enough to break this enchantment over her? Who cares! The story is perfect. And I'll keep reading it over and over.
| nekochan1994 chapter 12 . 9/6/2014
| nekochan1994 chapter 11 . 9/5/2014
What's going on?!
| nekochan1994 chapter 9 . 9/5/2014
TT-TT I really hate Jareth right now. Please don't let Sarah die!
| nekochan1994 chapter 8 . 9/5/2014
1.) That was a little ridiculous of her to say she can change the fate of children who grew up & died.
2.) Is that really Toby?