|Reviews for Beltane Night|
| Jerlanege chapter 3 . 7/25/2022
| Sleepydragon19 chapter 3 . 2/2/2022
OMG! Simply amazing. I love the premise and the darkness and the suspence. All of it. Please say you're going to continue :)
| Pennedbyme chapter 3 . 11/5/2021
| Helix28 chapter 3 . 8/6/2021
Excellent! The dialogue was marvellous, and I do love a dark jareth and I think you created a wonderfully terrifying character with him. Looking forward to your future works.
| ofwondersfound chapter 1 . 5/2/2021
Beautifully, gorgeously written! Sarah’s love for literature and her memories really made this a joy to read.
| nhrc chapter 3 . 4/5/2021
Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii...(Startled shocked face) for the love of All gods...WHAT ?
| nhrc chapter 2 . 4/5/2021
That's it - I will sleep whit one eye open... If I ever made fall asleep .
| nhrc chapter 1 . 4/5/2021
... (Shocked) ... Wow...
Whit a beginning like this, it will be insane not go on...so I'm going in!
| Guest chapter 3 . 2/27/2021
Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh that was glorious! Thank you so so so much!
| CuriousCrumb chapter 1 . 8/28/2020
That was horrifying in the best of ways
| Liv chapter 1 . 7/4/2020
The description of the wooded area and the chill night air set the atmosphere perfectly.
How you describe Jareth is excellent. He's beautiful but vicious.
| FateDebated chapter 3 . 6/17/2020
I was debating, whether or not I should post four reviews instead of three, just to give this chapter all the credit it deserves on its own (the previous two got their spotlight, so this seems a bit unfair to rob this brilliant piece of work the ovation that is so due), but eventually decided against it. Who knows, maybe I’m overdoing it and by this sheer verbosity actually discouraging you from appearing. Moderation is also key, you know. So brace yourself for the third and the last:
The first scene, the one in italics, is pretty self-explanatory, further confirmed by Jareth himself to be one of the worst perceptions of him that Sarah harbors. I believe that being locked in an oubliette, repeatedly violated by Jareth, while wearing the mockery of her ballroom scene gown is what Sarah believes her life will be reduced to, should she agree to his demands and go with him willingly. Jareth is very vary of this image of himself, which is made evident by the flaming anger he treats her with in this scene – I can’t help but think that he is positively mad she makes him do it. His own additions to this nightmare of Sarah are minimal – he merely makes her immobile and even that is only for a very brief period.
I loved this second little callback to Gone with the Wind that you managed to squeeze in there, a variation of Scarlett’s famous line about “thinking about it tomorrow”. Kudos for that! I also admired a sneak preview of another terror that Jareth may be trying in the next loop – the one involving Toby. From what I’ve seen in the fandom, it usually works. I would so love to see the description of that particular night, done by you as masterfully as this one. Care to make this into series? I think that would be positively marvelous.
Terrifying Sarah is not Jareth’s modus operandi, that much is evident. He positively dislikes frightening Sarah with himself and when faced with the necessity to do so, lets his true concern and admiration for her seep through his veneer of coldness and indifference (“Is this my wildcat?”). Yes, he can be cruel, but with Sarah he’s much more inclined to be generous (“I’ll give you jewels for your skin, and ribbons for your hair, and silks for your body...”). He wants her to want him, love him even – even Sarah catches a drift of that. Clearly, romancing is indeed the method that has proven most fruitful for Jareth so far – that is the only way he gets her submission, manages to falter her resolve, if only for a brief time. It is obvious that Sarah cannot resist him.
The unraveling of Jareth’s emotions so skillfuly given in this chapter is magnificent. I don’t think there’s anything I can comment on his monologue – it’s all there. I only want to say that this love, his understanding of the notion, that he has for Sarah should not be measured by human standards. They do not apply. What he feels appears to be much more consuming, grating, infuriating and painful – who is she or any of us to judge. He did not ask for this, it’s all Sarah and her thoughtless approach to words that have power. Again, she is the instigator of this, so really, it’s she who’s being unfair, if you ask me. He wants to have her willing, which is key. Oh he tries to conceal this with alleged revenge, but the truth is much beyond that and of that he is perfectly aware himself – the weight of loneliness in immortality is truly a misery to bear alone, without a worthy companion. We see the flicker of that, however fleeting, underlying his motivations. Your Jareth is not as dark as he actually can be - there are others that are much, much darker and no less believable (and I so do love them all too, with all my heart).
That being said, what I believe Jareth will eventually have to do to succeed is to forego casting Sarah as this collector of children, transpiring between worlds. I think this concept is somewhat reminiscent of what Subtilior wrote in her “In a Glass, Darkly”, which is all things grand, by the way, but not fitting this particular Sarah. That will require her going much darker than the archetype she stands for and I do not believe that would work in the end. Jareth alone is perfectly enough. He needs a counterbalance, an adversary, a challenger and a champion, not a complacent co-ruler (their story does resemble the one of Hades and Persephone, but not to that extent). In the end, it is exactly her selflessness, her inability to succumb even to own desires at the possible expense of inflicting misery (if even justified) upon other unnamed children that causes the King of Goblins to fail. Which is exactly why he should renounce this foolish notion of making her a “Goblin Queen” and try again. I want to believe that his affection towards Sarah will finally make him see reason and abandon this idea, which is based off his speech of “surrender”. Although it seems that he was only making it as a mockery, calling it “being worth a try”, but I am convinced he is truthful in that sentiment. Sarah’s will is strong and unwavering – that is the precise reason why he is simultaneously infuriated by her and drawn to her. She captivates him by this steel spine of hers. It is precisely the reason why he wants her willing, not the alleged revenge. He could have her in her power, possess her, but still be unable to own or tame her – another shout out to “Et Arcadia, Ego”. He wants her to remain herself, but consciously choose to be by his side.
So, in the end, where does this leave us? What can be said of this repeating circle of events, or, rather, a spiral? Whose punishment is it, after all? Is it only Sarah’s? One might argue she brought it upon herself when she willed Jareth’s love for herself into existence. Or is it Jareth’s, for losing to a mortal girl whose kingdom is as great and allowing his Labyrinth to be splintered to pieces? To be caught in this never ending battle of wills, unable to let go? Admitting that he would rather have her fight him endlessly, then allow her to live out her ordinary life, himself being trapped beyond the border between worlds, forced to watch her? Sarah at least gets a clean slate of forgetting each ordeal, while his memory remains intact.
Maybe it’s both…
Some might argue that Sarah is just fighting herself in this story. That Jareth is nothing more but a manifestation of her alter ego that is unwilling to let go of the magic of childhood. But I refuse to reduce him to that. He is much larger than what even Sarah’s mind can conjure and he’s been around for more than a millennia, mind you. I think both he and the readers deserve a chance to see who he really is (“That’s the chance I’m offering you. To see myself, as I really am”) beyond Sarah’s imagination. And the only way, it seems to me, for that to play out would be for Sarah to actually decide to go with him willingly and thus relinquish her power over him – because as it is now, he is still bound by her perception and subjugated to her will.
I do think that that’s bound to happen, sooner or later. After all, it’s two against one – Sarah has to fight not Jareth only, but also that part of herself that simply cannot let him go.
Thank you again for this brilliant piece of work.
I'd love to chat sometime and compare my headcanon to this to yours.
| FateDebated chapter 2 . 6/17/2020
Oh this is fun! If I knew reviewing would make me so ecstatic I would've started much earlier. Maybe even would have gotten a better chance of baiting you into contact eventually (come on, my reviews are almost as long as chapters themselves, who else does that, seriously?), but alas...
The ante has definitely been upped in this Chapter. I am still figuring out, what exactly is meant by that statement of Jareth – my current take is that it’s Sarah herself who’s at stake, – and I am absolutely loving it.
The sequence in italics, obviously, is another Beltane night two years ago, on the eve of Sarah’s eighteenth birthday. We already know that Jareth is able to cross between worlds during those nights, but apparently his abilities are not yet at full zenith, so he is confined to her dream sequence. It becomes evident in the flashback that Jareth is preparing for the events being played out in the main story. He’s doing his homework, together with some extracurriculars on top, so it seems. “I won’t give you the chance, not this time” – this line foreshadows things to come. I wonder whether I can take this to mean that he will overcome her eventually (I so hope he does, rooting for evil Jareth, as always).
The dialogue between Sarah and Jareth throughout this chapter is wonderful. It sways from mock-gallantry to blatant threats in an instant, but with fluidity and seamlessness that’s astonishing. I have immediately recognized the line from “Gone with the Wind” (which happens to be one of my favorite books of all time) and instantly recalled the exact scene where it is used – it’s when Scarlett tries to pry some money from Rhett, needed to pay for Tara, while Rhett is sentenced to be hanged. She agrees to become his mistress even. This also calls back to another scene in Atlanta, when one evening Rhett makes his indecent proposal to Scareltt on her front porch, which, she, in her own opinion, very rightfully scorns by “taking the moral high ground”. Rhett dialogue is very similar to what Jareth does here. Even the rhythm seems to be the same *goes to cross-check the GwtW scene* - yep, definitely. I especially love Jareth calling Sarah out on her double standards – children’s choices are either valid and come with consequences, or they are not and are thus moot. You really can’t have it both ways, Sarah dearest.
I absolutely love the explanation of how Jareth is able to challenge Sarah despite her not making any wishes. It correlates to the notion of “Sarah the narrator”, which the previous chapter touched upon. It is Sarah’s mind that determined the happenings of her adventures in the Labyrinth back then. Her adventures here, now are also triggered, shaped and made possible through her unacknowledged desire and yearning for the magic she left behind, as well as “her remembrance”. She thrives on this, as Jareth correctly points out. No wonder that when she accidentally slips her tongue by admitting her desire towards the very embodiment of magic that wants her back, Jareth does not shy away from fully exploiting that weakness. Beguiling her allows Jareth to touch her with “the touch of Faeries”, thus marking her as his “for all the world to see”. He is so sure he finally found the right venue to ensnare her that he also lets his tongue slip for a moment by admitting to all the titles he intends to bestow on Sarah – “my queen, my princess, my love”. I wonder what this action means, what consequences is triggers and whether this marking of Sarah has happened for the first time. Will it give Jareth more power in the next loop? *note to self – keep an eye for this in the next chapter*.
Toby is Sarah’s quintessential anchor here. Only through memory and thought of him is she able to shatter the binds that magic and Jareth so skillfully put on her. No wonder, similarly to the Church Scene in the previous chapter – they go mad when Toby himself or the thought of him shatters their carefully woven snares.
The concept of Sarah being the source of her own predicament, introduced in previous chapter, is further developed here. Jareth makes it evident that whatever powers he has over her, she herself is giving away. That being said, though he does have power over her, but he is simultaneously subjugated to her will. It is the extent of her willingness to “empty her heart of this mortal dream” (ah, Yeates) that he has been actually exploiting in his schemes up until now.
This chapter also provides a very good insight into Jareth’s motivations. Similarly to Sarah that is undecided between above and belowground, wanting to “land an editing job, with own writing on the side” and watch Toby grow up, all the while unable to let go of Jareth and all the magic of the Labyrinth that she yearns for, Jareth is also torn between his desire for Sarah herself and revenge upon her. He is willing to be generous in tempting her with her dreams, as he, truly, does not wish to hurt her. But he can also be cruel, if repeatedly scorned for his gifts. So now Sarah has left him with no other choice to attain his desire but to employ heavier artillery that is not temptation, but coercion through fear. He will be showing us some of his dreams now.
Let’s see where that takes us.
| FateDebated chapter 1 . 6/16/2020
Here it is – having left a handful of reviews here and there since establishing myself in the fandom, I have officially decided to review each chapter of this fic separately. Pretend as if I haven’t read this story a gazillion times over, both chronologically and selectively, and pour all my remarks on it with meticulous precision bordering on plain nerdism (is that even a word, I wonder?). I am fully aware that my effort here is probably - no, not probably, most definitely - completely wasted, as you are not to be seen on the face of the earth since February 2016, but I still hope. It’s the third time I am reviewing your work, and the work to be reviewed is in three chapters so here’s goes nothing – the third time’s the charm, they say. I’m making it double, just in case!
As I have obviously read this story many more times than I would care to admit, I already know how it goes. So, without further ado, heed my review:
The opening part in the italics seems to me to be a glimpse of a particular moment in-between “rewind, repeat” stages of Sarah’s entrapment. The corner of the next spiral bend, if you will. We see and hear Jareth sending her into another loop, hoping that maybe this time it’s going to work in the manner he wants it to (I can so relate, which is obvious from the first paragraph of this review). This has been going on for quite a while, apparently.
I love the little flashback of the Christmas church service, with all the visions and sounds Sarah experiences. We get the explanation later on – it’s Jareth pushing through the borders between worlds, commanding the magic of the Labyrinth to reach out and ensnare Sarah, to drag her back into her rightful place. It’s a beautiful tie-in with another work of yours – Et Arcadia, Ego – where you mention a similar concept of Jareth trying to “break through” to Sarah on Samhain and Beltane, to somehow disrupt her seemingly blissful life of ignorance, with fury and despair seeping across the borders between under and aboveground.
I love how Shakespeare’s the Tempest is woven into this. Prospero’s speech seems very indicative of the predicament that Sarah’s in.
The significance of names is highlighted in this Chapter. I do know that in fairy tales names have power; they may serve as a way to bind and be bound to. It is therefore, not a coincidence that the leaves of the wreaths in the Church Scene whisper Sarah’s name unceasingly, while the Goblin King demands for her to call him by his first name. He even brings out the watch referenced in the opening of this chapter when she seems reluctant to do so. I wonder if that’s deliberate. Does this watch give Jareth some kind of ability to bend Sarah to his will? An image of a person being hypnotized by a swaying watch-turned-pendulum comes to mind… Was that the intent?
Also a lot of emphasis is placed on Sarah fearing Jareth. She insists she does not, whereas he seems determined to make her. I wonder if this is a part of the “three level” process of enslavement, starting with fear, followed by love and obedience. Is that where he’s going?
I am also fascinated by Jareth seemingly warding some evil powers off Sarah – the mist spinning its tendrils around her. I wonder what that means…
The concept of Sarah’s perception shaping the appearance of Labyrinth is one of my favourites in this fandom. I have seen it discussed in many fics, but not in a manner as it is here. I love the explanatory nature of it, as told by Jareth. It has always been a question I myself had and it is lovely to finally be receiving a straightforward break-it-down, which did coincide with my headcanon, so that’s a perk. Whatever Sarah did undergo in the movie was a product of her teenage mind, ridden by hormones of emerging womanhood clashing with the reluctance to “put away childish things”. A mishmash of angst and archetypes, distilled to an easily digestible childish narrative. But that bodes a question that Sarah touches only the surface of – who dictates this sequence of events? Is it truly Jareth? Or is it still Sarah herself, unwilling to let go of the experience so vivid that her own life seems bleak in comparison? Is it a mix of both?
Sarah claims to reject the dreams Jareth offers her due to price being too dear. But I do not believe that by accepting Jareth’s gift, she indeed will fall under his powers completely. Nor do I think Jareth wills it – again, a reference to “Et Arcadia, ego” seems fitting. Sarah is, formally speaking, under Jareth’s power there, but boy is she still able to press his buttons and put up a good fight…
And last, but not least, I found the story of being endlessly tied into a nightmare of a loop terrifying. Bone-crushing in its perpetual misery. And I do get that it may be a fitting punishment to some, but I fail to see how does Sarah deserve to inflict such punishment upon herself? According to Jareth, he is not the source of the punishment (“I cannot stop the influence of the Fey becoming manifest in a mortal”), but rather the executor of its design (“add a few touches of my own in the way they experience the after effects”). Then he follows on to state that while Sarah herself is also marked by magic (cheers to that!), due to her inner strength of character she manages to escape with the after effects of a primarily positive nature. So now, given the fact that I already know where this is going, which statement from the above-given is untrue? Is Sarah not as righteous as Jareth points her to be or is it, after all, in his power to not only shape, but create the punishments?
Let’s see if my questions get answered in the following chapters. If not, though, would it be too much to ask of you to drop me a line?
Thank you and until soon.
| BowieQueen chapter 3 . 5/2/2020
Jareth must eventually get sick of groundhog day. One of them will break eventually. Sarah doesn't seem to remember so she'd just make the same choices again surely? It wouldn't grate on her, if she believedoesn't it all a dream before hand? But Jareth on the other hand it living it again and again. ..even he must tire of that.
But I'm probably wrong.
It is a lovely descriptive piece and very invoking. Thank you.