|Reviews for Dominion|
| jackiepriinzee.perezz chapter 23 . 2/5
Hello! im not speak english, im from venezuela.. but i find this fic, and i completely loved! please act, is an amazing history.. i love the zuko/azula pairing.. i really hate mai, is a poisoned bith.. ursa like me, is a little crazy but in good sense.. please up the next chapter, and continue this incredible story.. i really want to see azula and zuko baby.. please be careful with that child, is an important part of the fic.. :-)
| BellatrixLestrangey chapter 23 . 1/3
I don't remember if I reviewed this or not. But this is definitely one of my favorite fics. It's just so well written all of the characters are just so in character. The concept is very fresh. And most of all it isn't simply 'Azula and Zuko had sex', it's much deeper then that and more profound. I just love this fic. I'd definitely rather review twice then not let you know how good this is.
| JLBB chapter 23 . 8/18/2015
...I can't even say how long it's been since I left a review for this story. Must have been years! Let me tell you, it wasn't your writting, I found all these chapters great and the plot went well ahead. Don't know, perhaps the chapter length kept me from writting something down quickly, as it's a lot to let sink in. Let's just keep it at "They were great". Wouldn't really know where to start otherwise.
As for this chapter, it shows wonderfully how dysfunctional(?) the royal family is. Plots and conspiracies seem to be everywhere. There was a saying about the prussian Hohenzollern "Kings have no sons" to describe the ongoing conflicts between the rulers and their heirs, same thing every generation since the late 1630s, if I remember correctly. Though never got to the "Kill my father/uncle/son"... though there were a couple of times were things moved in that direction or nearly came to it...
In the fire nations royal family on the other hand all these conflicts between the members are already well established and run deep. It's somewhat ironic that Ozai, who conspired against his father and brother apperantly never considered what Iroh was up to after Ozai got the throne.
While it was probably for the best of the world that the royal family could never get along, it now seems to be what will restart the war or at least cause chaos with a fire nation civil war.
Moving on, since Azula has contacted fire nation troops who are apperantly loyal or at least supportive of her Zuko's position just got worse. If she get's her hands on Lu Ten, well, what's Zuko going to do? He has nothing she wants, unless she's interested in him formally abdicating in her favor or something like that. Ozai is dying or already dead, and Zuko wouldn't be in a position to hand him over anyway, being at the north pole and all. Yeah, he could try to arrange it via hawks and all, but that doesn't sound too reliable. He better hope Mai works a miracale, it currently sounds like he needs one if he wants that throne back.
And while writting this I couldn't help but think "What is the stupidest thing Zuko could do if Azula got the throne?" I know he is trying to do better but the thought still came. And "Going along with a joint Earth-Water invasion of the Fire islands sounds like something that would be hard to top" came as an answer. I know I have a horrible opinion of this Zuko for thinking that.
Well, that's all I could think of.
| T. Alana M chapter 23 . 8/12/2015
In this chapter, Ursa was aggravating until I remembered that this was all from Azula's point of view. The phrasing and assumptions and bitterness made Ursa seem altogether more irritating..
Very good chapter, looking forward to more
| HeadoftheUFA chapter 23 . 7/25/2015
another great chapter
its quite interesting to see Azula and Ursa hash out their issues
the detail and character analysis is amazing as always
keep it up
| Miss Luny chapter 23 . 7/22/2015
Love the chapter! Thoughts and prayers your way! Hope everything starts to turn around for you! I had a similar problem last year and just now slowly but surely getting back on my feet and breathing a little easier now. Hope the same happens to you only sooner!
| ZukoWithHair chapter 23 . 7/18/2015
I really hope you find a good job soon!
| Meneldur chapter 23 . 7/17/2015
So, let's begin. Firstly, I did actually get your message on Sunday; I have internet access on my phone, it's just that I can't really write anything longer than a few short lines, I just can't stand the smallness of it. So I can also read replies sent to me during the week, I just can't reply to them until the weekend. Also, I got your second reply just as I started this, but I decided I'd first review and then tack on my reply to the end of the review.
Rereading those parts I have already read, I was struck by how organic the chapter was. That is, the shift from Ursa and Azula's present to their past seemed completely appropriate and complimentary. It worked perfectly, and I really enjoy it. If anything, Zuko and Mai felt a bit disconnected (especially given Katara's PoV) but I definitely understand why you had to include them in the chapter. It worked as well, I feel, because it offered several branches on the same tree of the dysfunctional Royal Family – Ursa and Azula, past and present, Azulon and his children, Ursa and Ozai, and Mai and Zuko. And that implication was striking – because it implies (as we've discussed) that Zuko and Mai, for all that they're much healthier than Ursa and Ozai, still have part of that deep dysfunctionality.
Oh, I really enjoyed Azula;s meeting with the commander. Firstly, we get to see the genuine respect for her among the military. Four years after her imprisonment, four years of Zuko's rule, and the common soldiers (who least knew her, some of whom may not even have been in the army at the time) are all respecting her, saluting and kneeling before her, without even being prompted by their commanders.
The officers are even more susceptible to this. While they might see her pregnancy as a mark of shame, perhaps an implication that she too is human, a female who can be overcome like any other female, that does not seem to be their reaction. Rather, they still respect her, and indeed, are outraged by the mere idea that someone would have so dishonored her. They respect her and willingly follow her commands, despite all the chaos and her being not present for over four years. And she knows how to play on that, to use that respect, and to give it back to them.
Just for example (and I do not believe that is a coincidence) their reaction to Ursa is telling. She is a traitor; she is not one of them. Not only do they not interact with her, whether positive or negative, they don't trust her – they don't understand what she's doing there, and she's not part of their war council.
And the contrast continues – Azula immediately grasping the situation, ferreting out the needed information, making the connections, realizing Zuko is almost certainly still alive, while Ursa only reacts with fear and shock (and betrayal).
Interestingly enough, it seems Fu is wise enough to not completely trust Azula (sensible, given she shows up with Ursa, a known traitor and supposed murderer of Azulon), which makes his easy acceptance of her all the more impressive. Of course, she also reacts as she should – not being bothered by the coup, even supporting it, and concerned for her father, as a true daughter would be (unlike Zuko, given rumors of what he did to Ozai). There's also the implication there that the military still has some latent loyalty towards Ozai.
Azula still remains in perfect control of the situation, even with Ursa's unpredictable presence and what it can cause – she knows how to make Ursa leave, she displays her casual manipulation and power by assigning a lecherous officer, so she's rid of him and her mother is stuck with him, she casually displays her power by correcting Ursa's title. And best of all, she doesn't attack Fu for saying Lu Ten is Fire Lord – rather, she logically dismisses his claim, and gives the fleet a purpose – the throne is anyone's, let's make it mine.
And once Azula's established control, she displays her dominance, moving in for the kill, laying to rest any doubts about her state, given that she showed up with Ursa. And again, it's one step forward, two steps back in their relationship, but Azula is telling Ursa nothing more than the truth. Everything she said was accurate and true. And it hurts Azula too, as it must, given how recently they managed to become somewhat closer – but given Ursa's reaction to the news, they were being set back anyway. And Azula has bigger concerns on her mind – like taking back the Fire Nation.
Mai and Zuko… that was rather cute, actually. I like how it started out awkward and practical, talking about her departure, and then Zuko started fumbling as he talked about the previous night. And Mai wasn't helping with her 'it was nothing', because of course it meant something, to her as well, and it was only Katara's presence that caused it to go bad for her. But somehow, Zuko manages to say the right thing, and Mai reacts to that in the right way. And they haven't made up, or solved any of their problems, but it's a start. And so, despite my earlier comment about them continuing the pattern of dysfunctionality, there's a difference about them – they truly love each other, and that means that even when their world has collapsed about them, they're willing to work together to fix it.
And that is why they are so amazing together, and why Zuko won't succumb to Katara's desires, even were she to bring them up. And so Mai can leave in relative peace, knowing Zuko still desires her, still wants her, still wants them – and is man enough to admit his weakness, and her strength. And so he lets her go, knowing she will come back, with Lu Ten, because she is strong enough. And so Mai is willing to leave him alone, because she knows he will grow stronger, and overcome his weakness, and be safe, and together they will come home.
But it's hard, and so they part with a feeling of uncertainty, with a lack – because in a perfect world, they would be perfection, but in this flawed reality, they have to part to grow stronger, and leave things unsaid and unsolved. And I fear this crack will only expand, given their coming trials.
Of course, Zuko and Mai's relationship is immediately contrasted with Ursa and Ozai - where they're fighting against each other, where Ozai only uses the word 'wife' as a mockery of their marriage.
I'm intrigued by Ursa wanting to hide the conversation with Azulon from Ozai. Everything else is clear to me – that Azulon was dying, that Ozai feels the need to interrogate Ursa to discover everything that happened. But Ursa… well, she's about to leave them forever (as far as she knows). Did she so fear what Ozai would do with the information? Well, then she knows him well – he certainly would use it, if there was a way, to further alienate Azula from even the memory of Ursa, making her dependent solely on him.
Listening to Ozai's monologue was fascinating. I really enjoyed this look into his twisted psyche and mind – it really explained so much. The thought that he was certain he was going to be heir, that Ursa was some kind of confirmation, so that made him happy, and so he treated her well.
And then learning it was poison, it was only a tool, this marriage. That Ozai was a tool to Azulon, no less than Ursa. And it is such a contrast, learning this – the happiest day of his life being his marriage to Ursa, the supposed confirmation that he was heir – and yet the worst day of his life must have been Zuko's birth, when his son, the future Fire Lord after Azulon, after Ozai, the official confirmation of being Azulon's chosen heir, turned into a disappointment, into nothing – no confirmation, no approval, a non-entity. And of course, there was no choice of changing this – Zuko was born to nothing, to no acknowledgement by Azulon, and only continued in this, never becoming something that would be worthy of it.
Telling this while all the while sexually assaulting and eventually raping Ursa was a wonderful device, incredibly creepy and amazing well done. Especially as it kept on bringing memories up to Ursa, both good and bad. It was a bit disorienting, but as I said, very well done, and it added another whole dimension to Ozai's monologue.
The history of her marriage with Ozai was also amazing, the way in interwove with their narrative – the beginning sweetness, the hope of a son, the growing abuse – so subtle, oh so subtle, Ursa's innocence, probably thinking the first time was a momentary thing, overcome by rage or something, as so many victims of marital abuse do. And so, given his continuing sweetness, she hates all her ladies-in-waiting, but still loves Ozai, welcomes him to her bed, until at last he does it again, and again, and she realizes the truth. And with that realization, comes the awareness that she was raped, that Azula may be the product of that, and it adds another whole dimension to her interactions with Azula – because Azula may not only be Ozai's child, she may be ONLY Ozai's child, conceived unwillingly, having nothing of Ursa.
It's even more complex, given Ozai's rage at realizing he was nothing, realizing his second child, the prodigy, the one born on the hottest day, was still nothing, nothing but a wife and womb for Lu Ten. And Ursa's desperation, Ursa's certainty that she might still have something with her husband, even if she doesn't want more children, doesn't want more forced lovemaking, and it only makes it worse. And so it spirals downward, with neither of them wanting the other, but Ursa never understanding why, until now, not even when Ozai once again (for the last time) raged and used her.
And it goes back to Ozai's rage, to his belief in hard work, in Iroh and Lu Ten gaining everything for accidents of birth, when he with all his hard work is given nothing, and his daughter, his image, is taken from him, only to be given to people who have only been given things.
Continued in PM...
| srgm chapter 23 . 7/14/2015
I'm sorry to hear about your problems. I wish you best of luck finding a great job, as you deserve to be happy (and well compensated) doing what you do, but also for a selfish reason of reading more of your beautiful story. Sorry I can't offer something constructive...
Ok, this is the first time I'm writing a review for "Dominion". I won't go in great lengths describing what I felt reading the chapters published so far, as I'm not so great with writing the words, but I have to say that I enjoyed it immensely. Not only for a beautifully written and perfectly tied story, the characters being amazing and conforming to my self-developed and acquired headcanons ("I'm more of a man than he is" - nearly choked here), the deconstruction of common themes, but also for the way that this - essentially "Azula redemption" - story have herself at control of her path. Azula is not issued ultimatums, isn't forced to turn inside out or reinvent herself to earn second chance, doesn't get life-changing yet instant interventions from unlikely sources - the more the chance for her to actually get better.
As for the current chapter:
Your present-time Ursa is... at first I was going with "infuriating", but then, from her point of view, her concern for Zuko is well justified - last time she saw him was about a decade ago, he was in a really bad situation and what little news she had after her banishment weren't encouraging much - and Azula is right in front of her, all limbs present, seemingly "ok". The dramatic presentation of Azula's PoV also probably shouldn't be held against her mother (Ursa's flashbacks in this chapter present her own voice in her relationship with her daughter, but nontheless, it would be interesting to read a conversation in present time from Ursa's PoV). Finally, she might be pissed at having to endure fears of meeting Ozai and Azula not telling her about Zuko usurping the throne (she told that he was fine, though), but still, barely acknowledging that Azula spent four years in prison (an exagerration, but not entirely, and Ursa doesn't know anything anyway), the way that her pregnancy coincides with the time she spent looking for her mom... At times, Ursa talks like she was expecting Azula to become surrogate mother to Zuzu (and I thought that Ursa's speech about Azula in Zuko's Spirit World corner was a weird manifestation of his own guilt).
Then again, it seems like she haven't really asked Azula anything about her life, unrelated to Zuko or Ozai, besides her age, pregnancy (lol unrelated), her looks in the Spirit World and some other topics that came up in conversations with third parties.
(To the abovementioned - the news that (un)grateful subjects had kicked Zuko out haven't helped the talk, but I think Ursa knows that she can't hold it against Azula).
The flashbacks put her character in a different light - tragic, yet strong. She covered all bases in her encounter with Ozai - tried to kill him, to take her children - but she wasn't a "player" in this "game", surely not against him. An interesting revelation is that Ozai didn't really needed Ursa's help to assasinate Azulon and the whole plan instead was to get rid of her, but the question - why did he left her alive - remains. The cover-up of violent circumstances of Azulon's death, of clues leading to Ursa and subsequent lack of manhunt were for Ozai's benefit, but letting her go in the first place looks odd, for a calculating and amoral being he is.
As to her relationship with Azula and it's backstory - it is well-written, sad (like Ursa didn't want to think about circumstances of her daughter's conception, but couldn't help it at the same time) yet comes as a given, or else the story could have been entirely different...
The "Imaginary Zutara and a cruel woman, dressed in furs" moment was pretty amusing side plot in this chapter. Mai is still somewhat an enigma for me. As for Katara - I thorougly enjoy her PoV throughout the "Dominion", at times the bias is simply delicious.
Again, thank you for continuing your tireless work on this exceptional fanfic, with five year anniversary on the (not so distant) horizon, and best wishes for getting a hold of your life.
(ok, that was a lot of parentheses)
| erisol chapter 23 . 7/13/2015
Awesome chapter, my favorite so far. Wasn't expecting Katara to stand there the entire time. That was funny! And damn is the relationship between azula and ursa complicated. You use everything from the show so perfectly.
Sorry about the crappy job. If it makes you feel better your an awesome author. One of the best in this website.
| SimplySinful21 chapter 23 . 7/12/2015
Awesome! Amazing back story! And I totally understand ur situation u had at ur old job! I too suffered idiotic bosses that didn't know what the hell they were doing! Don't worry u will make it out there!
| Allie Montgomery chapter 23 . 7/11/2015
EEE! An update! This was a great chapter! And thanks for answering my question about the Search - that guest review i didnt sign - and I admit that I much prefer your version. The Search, as many have noted, was out of character for nearly all of the royal family.
On another note, the Ozai scene was one of the reasons I love this story. You flesh out the characters, and dont just stamp the label 'evil' on them. There are also those in shades of grey, like Ursa.
I wish you luck on your job endeavors - if you're in business, might i recommend consulting? About your boss.. This might sound presumptuous, but you should let it go. Take it as a learning experience and dont let it hold you back. (Also, kick him in the balls when the oppoetunity presents itself). And pray for the best.
Also, no problem. The only reason I hadn't recommended you sooner was because I thought someone else must have done so already. I hope it was a small way to brighten your days.
| Flip Ants chapter 23 . 7/11/2015
I'm in exactly the same situation with my former "dream job" and I know all too well how terrible it can be. I really hope that things turn out for the better and that you find a new job soon that fits you perfectly. Best Wishes!
| PSG1JOHN chapter 23 . 7/11/2015
I love this chapter, it finally had Azula and her mom with a nice heart to heart talk... still leaving out the Big bang of who Azula child is.
I can't wait to see what happen with the Earth troop meeting... alliances maybe to stop war or Azula just kill them in kind of battle.
| Allie Montgomery chapter 1 . 6/5/2015
This is a GREAT story. I've put in a recommendation for this story in the Avatar TV Tropes page. I hope that's okay. :D