|Reviews for In the Madhouse|
| Acastus chapter 17 . 2/12
One more addendum to my over the top review on your final chapter.
Finally, someone did Ty Lee justice. She is cute as a button (and crazy sexy, it's true), but she is not stupid. You nailed it completely, bless her little heart. "Why else would you want to have a conversation with me? Why would anyone?" I'm glad you did not have Iroh patronize her, he gave her the respect she was due.
But she figured out the secret of life, didn't she? And it makes sense that her time with Azula would have revealed this truth to a careful observer - as Ty Lee no doubt was. Greatness almost always carries a terrible price, and there is no shame in choosing happiness.
| Acastus chapter 20 . 2/12
I cannot tell you how happy I was to find this story. Azula is a compelling character whose complexity begs to be explored. You have done so with considerable skill, displaying mastery of both storytelling and language. I am impressed, this is a rare combination. You have clearly put a huge amount of time, energy and passion into this work and it shows.
Let me also commend you for resisting the temptation to cram this full of graphic sex and gratuitous violence. Azula (and the Avatar world in general) deserves better than that and you have risen to the occasion. Too few have followed this path.
Now, some specific comments, because we all love those!
This is not a bashfic. Your defense at the beginning of Chapter 17 is persuasive, but in my view wholly unnecessary. Your defense makes explicit what is already there in the story for the careful reader to grasp. You have stayed faithful to Azula’s point of view. Was she ever likely to blame herself for anything? No, not without a long, uncomfortable personal journey of which this story is but the first step.
I don’t agree that Iroh is out of character. I would (and have) written Iroh slightly differently, but based on the evidence in the show (Avatar, not Korra which I confess I have not watched) your interpretation is well within reason. Ursa describes him as lazy and self-satisfied, a characterization which I can hear Iroh accepting as a mature man who understands his own faults and weaknesses.
On the other hand, I would have written Ursa differently. Granted, I have not gone back and watched “Zuko Alone” or other key episodes after reading your story (though I have to say your story has prompted me to order the Dark Horse Comics stories about the search for Ursa, again bravo!), so take my comments with both respect and a grain of salt. That said, I take some exception to Ursa’s portrayal because I believe she knew Iroh in life and knew his quality. Lazy and self-satisifed he might have been (at least in his later years), but I believe she knew him first as the Dragon of the West, the man whose unparalleled leadership and power brought the Fire Nation to the brink of total victory. She respected him, and could only have loved the man who, while fighting a world war, found time to write and send her children gifts.
More importantly, Ursa knew Iroh as a father who learned the bitterest lesson on the value of life through the loss of his only son. Only when the Fire Lord ordered her husband to sacrifice Zuko could she have understood the magnitude of Iroh’s loss. Faced with that awful dilemma she chose essentially to sacrifice herself. Given this, I don’t believe she could treat Iroh as disrespectfully as she did in this story. The power of their shared loss and sacrifice would be too great; her understanding of his wisdom and good character would outweigh her knowledge of his faults. I can understand she would come to him from the spirit world for the sake of her daughter who clearly and desperately needed help (both physically and psychologically), but I can’t see it done in anger, or not the anger at least that I saw in this story.
Instead, I believe that Ursa would know that threats were neither needed nor warranted to get Iroh to take action for Azula’s sake if she were victimized in such a manner as you describe. Iroh simply needed to know the truth of what was going on – and above all he needed to know that there was even a chance, a hope that there was a person in that little girl's head worth saving. Ursa could hardly blame Iroh given Azula’s outward actions and behavior for doubting that she was anything but a monster. Ursa knows differently, and has always known, but Iroh did not. Knowing Iroh as the good man he is, Ursa would know that the moment he were convinced that there was any hope of redemption, that there was a person – no matter how flawed – in Azula’s head rather than a monster, Iroh would move to help his niece whether there was any chance of success or not.
In your story Iroh didn’t bother to check on Azula after the war, and this is in reasonably in character because he said to Zuko himself “she’s crazy and needs to go down.” But, I believe, the moment Ursa could show him this was wrong, Iroh would himself without prompting or threats feel shame – not shame at his judgment against his niece for her actions – but shame that he gave up on trying to reach her – or for never even having tried. He never gave up on Zuko, even after his betrayal. Why didn’t he do the same for Azula? This is a question only Iroh can answer. Regardless of his reasons, once he knew the truth, he would move I think with perhaps a little more commitment and vigor than written here.
Well, this review has gone on forever. Please take it as a measure of how much I have enjoyed your work. I will of course read the sequel, and it should come as no surprise for you to learn that my primary education is in Roman history :)
| Beautifully Corrupted chapter 20 . 7/22/2014
Woah. Azula has always been without a doubt the most undeserving 'villain' I've ever seen. Every point you've made in this story I loved, and completely agreed with. I cried, screamed and felt with Azula while reading this, and I this is the most realistic Azula-centric story I've ever read. I absolutely loved it, and it's probably one of the better stories on . I enjoyed reading this more than I've enjoyed published works. You're an admirable writer, and a phenomenal story-teller. I have always connected with Azula, but this was absolutely beautiful. Not only did you develop Azula in a way that was nothing less than magnificent but you also created these other characters that inspired many ranging emotions. I can sing praises all day, but I just really want you to know that you did wonderful with this, and I will most certainly be checking out the sequel.
| aeva elementia chapter 20 . 6/9/2014
Beautiful. This was a needed break from 'evil Azula' declarations all around. It doesn't justify the path she chose, but it does paint an understanding of how things could have gone so wrong.
There is so much that was never went into with her character, and that indicates the somewhat lazy writing that still affects the Avatar universe till date.
It's understandable to write your protagonists as likeable, but so long as your villains are humanoid in depiction, the proper dues should be dealt- there is always a reason for behaviour.
Very good fic in all, and I loved your OCs.
| PSG1JOHN chapter 20 . 3/16/2014
I just finish your 2nd story and found out there was more, so i checked it out.
The story had me hooked until the end.
| EmeraldTyphoon47 chapter 20 . 1/3/2014
I'm simply amazed at how truly marvelous this story was. I can't believe it's over already. You were able to keep Azula in character throughout the story and succeeded in making her more 3-dimensional. The way you were able to describe her emotions was just exemplary and really put me in a position sympathetic to her. The only part I didn't like was your initial portrayal of Zuko but that was rectified in later parts of the story.
Overall, this is one of the best Avatar fanfics I've ever read and is definitely the best one I've read that's centered on Azula.
| The Imperfect Me chapter 20 . 12/26/2013
Beautifully written :)
I hope to read more from you!
| Lohikaarme chapter 11 . 11/21/2013
I just want to say one thing... bless your soul for creating one of the best Azula fics in existence :D
| axel100 chapter 20 . 7/10/2013
Wow. Made it through this in one morning and thoroughly enjoyed it. Your overiding theme about how one sided Avatar was is well taken but I would point out that even beyond Azulas point ov view, for example Innocents last conversation with her, this story seemed, well if not a love letter, then a letter of condolance to Azula. As accomplished a character as she was, she was far from innocent. Maybe the assylum wasn't the place for her, but she certainly deserved to be locked up. Still, it will be interesting to see what the sequal has in store for her. Hope you have been updating that one regularly.
| Guest chapter 20 . 4/28/2013
| lemon-rind chapter 20 . 4/9/2013
Huuh, OH. MY. GOD! I don't even know what to say. You not only managed to completely dissect a human mind and how it would react and perceive things, but you managed to write one of the *best* action scenes I have ever had the fortune of reading, and I knew that there was a break out before hand and that Azula was likely behind it.
God damn it! I don't think I've processed this quite yet. This will definitely need to be re-read. I wish I knew you, because this is genius, and I just want to talk and talk and talk...
Thank you. Thank you, for reminding me of what good writing looks like, and thank you for writing this and sharing it. I want to print it out and bind it it's so good. I don't know if you still check in every once in a while, but I hope you're reading this and understanding how affected I am. Like, I was totally able to process and create new structures of though because of this, and new ideas are scarcities, especially when related to the human psyche.
Just, once more: Thank you.
| Bellum chapter 20 . 3/29/2013
| zenler chapter 20 . 3/2/2013
Nice work, thanks for creating this! ;D
| Omg chapter 20 . 12/22/2012
Holy shit this was amazing. Have you ever considered actually working for the crew at Avatar? You fit the workings of the characters so well!
| TwinkleStaar chapter 1 . 12/18/2012
Just one word: A-M-A-Z-I-N-G !
Couldn't stop reading ! You are such a good writer! Keep it up!
Bye, I have to start reading the sequel now :D !