Reviews for Giving Birth to Imagined Saviors
Nyandalee chapter 1 . 7/12/2014
Holy shit

Ok apparently somebody already posted "holy shit" and isn't letting me post the same thing, so

Holy shit x2
ScOut4It chapter 1 . 1/8/2012
Good and dark. It's nice to get the 'monster' from Ursa's point of view rather than Azula's. (Both in actual pov and in Ursa being the monster)
They-Call-Me-Orange chapter 1 . 11/2/2011
So, super glad that we're totally post-rock bros now (I tend to have the same problem re: not wanting to wade through hipsterdom for obscure music-friends) because this time I listened to the Red Sparowes song and it kind of took this fic to a new level. I completely agree with everything you said about music being an invaluable writing tool, but this is one of the few times where I felt like a specific song fit so well with my reading experience(songfics aside because ew). I credit this to the ability of The Fear Is Excruciating to improve pretty much anything, and your uncanny ability to really convey a mood.

There's this really dark sort of gloom hanging over this piece. Undoubtedly your intent, giving the nature of the fic. I was struck uneasy and despite this being my second read and being fully aware of what was going to happen, there was this encroaching sort of dread that really took hold once Azula took notice of her mother. Azula's reaction was very well-done. Particularly, trying to supersede her fear by convincing herself she was hallucinating. It added a whole new, terribly sad layer to everything and gives the distinct impression that Ursa's been preying on Azula for a long time - though in what capacity seems variable through the years.

To be honest, I always thought that if Azula were abused it would have been by Ozai, but this makes a lot of sense too. Incest squicks the hell out of me (in the sense that I will NEVER ship any of that shit, not in the sense that I can't appreciate it as part of a larger plot) so I tend not to read it into most things as I've seen fans of incest do. But, let's face it - the whole royal family is a bunch of fucked up weirdos with some really deep-seated issues regarding the roles of love, family, and duty. Blah blah, psychology, blah blah, lovemap - basically, I don't think any combination of these guys in incestuous terms is too far-fetched. Even considering this in order to review makes me consider Zuko's raging oedipal complex and how that corrolates with Ursa's character. It's very clear how much she favors him, how much she loves him, I don't think it would be too far of a leap to suggest that she's using Azula in this fic as sort of a Zuko-analogue.

I mean, she's willing to acknowledge the different ways she's treated them, as well as the various ways she's failed Azula. She makes no secret about loving him more. And it appears that it was at least partially a conscious decision to show her obvious favor to Zuko and forsake Azula. Then she sort of superimposes some of Ozai's traits onto Azula and it adds a whole new, very revealing depth. By equating Azula with Ozai, she's sort of justifying her abuse. Ozai was a terrible bastard, and Azula is so much like him. And, by comparison, Zuko is much kinder, much nobler, much more fundamentally good. Ursa, probably somewhere deep in her subconscious, wants to have Zuko this way, but since he's Good, whereas Azula is not, she won't face up to that. So, she projects those desires onto Azula, uses her guilt over Azula's childhood as a sort of cover, and allows herself to act with those notions as justification. It all feels a few shades above lust - but I'm still not entirely sure why Ursa's doing this. It seems like she's trying to punish Azula (Ozai), act on her desires (Zuko), and almost in a fucked up way to assuage her guilt for abandoning Azula all at the same time.

Or I'm completely wrong and you can explain what you were trying to get across.

Anyway, as a character study this was absolutely brilliant.

It's always bothered me how Ursa is generally regarded as this wonderful martyr who only ever acted out of love for Zuko. Like her leaving to protect him was a completely noble, selfless act. I'm not saying she's an awful person for leaving because it's apparent she DID have his wellbeing in mind, it's her complete and utter lack of regard for Azula that makes me feel something's not right with her. You laid it all out very well: Azula was the child that was truly struggling, but Ursa chose Zuko over and over again because he was easier.

And I really loved your assessment of Azula's character, particularly her aptness to lead. That's what really tugged at my heartstrings the most when Azula fell apart at the end of the series. She was the perfect product of the fire nation. A bending prodigy, a genius, and a goddamn war hero and she ends up losing everything. What with all the psychopathy, Azula's status as a tragic character felt pretty overlooked, I wish the show would have been willing to show a bit more depth in her. Anyway, I think Azula would have been a magnificent Fire Lord. Not necessarily good or just, but very effective. She might not be able to hold a casual conversation, but her ability to manipulate would make her a political savant, not to mention her military prowess and general gift for bossing people around. Gah, basically everything Ursa thought here about Azula's potential as a leader was basically most of the things I've grumbled about personally (albeit with less Zuko-bashing, because that guy's a bit ridiculous).

Okay. That's pretty much all I've got. Though, I want to make a point to stress how much Azula broke my heart in this one. Man, I felt so bad for her. This was a really unique, really compelling, really well-crafted interpretation of Ursa. Incredibly dark, but you have a real talent for that. It always astounds me how much you can accomplish in such a limited space. You seem to be able to communicate more in a drabble than most authors can manage in an entire multi-chaptered fic. Also, your PM was really nice I might reply to that later if you don't mind me flooding your inbox. I wanted a chance to music nerd at you more and it didn't feel appropriate in a review.

-Orange
Love Hostage chapter 1 . 5/2/2011
I think you captured how Ursa felt about her children well. I don't think thought Azula was a monster, but just couldn't understand her because they seemed nothing alike.
sassafrasss chapter 1 . 2/9/2011
THANK YOU.

Bout time someone pointed out that Ursa isn't so damn angelic. What she did to Azula wasn't fair at all. At least Zuko had her love to cling to, but Azula didn't get that from her mother, only her Father's occasional approval.

Bah, Ursa.

Excellent story, extremely emotional. I also really like the use of second person perspective here. I've seen some seriously botched attempts but this was perfectly placed and used.
DoubtfulFire495 chapter 1 . 2/4/2011
As always, you write with a chilling sort of sincerity that leaves the reader begging for more, no matter how cold and raw the words are. The second-person writing was a little confusing for me at first but didn't take away from the over all presentation, and actually by the end I felt it fit well.

Loved it.
Avatar Obsession chapter 1 . 2/3/2011
wow, impressive! i loved it!