|Reviews for Dragon of the West, Phoenix of the West|
| Led Feynman M.D. D.D.S. Ph.D chapter 6 . 7/31/2012
Azula needs help finding her HONOR.
| Aurelia le chapter 6 . 7/31/2012
Yay! My ISP has stopped being a *#&%, and I can read your story at home again!
"she was pretty sure this was the comfortable house in the whole Fire Nation" I think you mean "the most comfortable..."
Azula's swearing is ... well, I guess you might justify it as her lashing out, a result of her loss of control, etc. It's just a little jarring, coming from someone usually so controlled and eloquent in their speech. I've always heard cursing is what people fall back on when they feel they can't adequately express themselves otherwise, and that fits here to a certain extent, except ... Azula already knows just the right words to say to achieve her ends (as we saw with her dismissal of Ty Lee this chapter) without cursing. I feel like she doesn't need it (at least not so often), and it's a little disconcerting.
"The people hated you, even before you banished them all..." Iroh makes a good point subsequent to this, but I think he might be overstating here. The servants probably did hate Azula. (I seem to recall one of them glaring at her during the "royal hair combing" in Nightmares and Daydreams.) But the people at large had no reason to hate her (her not having interacted with them, that we know) and more likely admired her for her firebending process and political acumen. (It seems likely Ozai would have promoted awareness of her skills as his chosen heir.)
She was probably a darling of the military establishment especially, given her tactical genius and high-profile accomplishments like the coup of Ba Sing Se. Yeah, she had/has an abrasive personality, and probably made a reputation for herself as a hard-ass (there I go ignoring my own advice) ... the rule through fear that you mentioned. But I also think there would be a lot of respect there, because they saw that she gets results.
If it was only Azula who thought "my subjects worshiped me," that would be one thing, but Zuko admits rather bitterly in the first season finale that "everyone adores [Azula]." I think it would take more than just Ozai telling him that for Zuko to be so resentful about it.
Of course, Iroh is not likely to admit any of this (even to himself), given the point he was trying to make. And that may have been your point. I just felt the need to dissect this admittedly secondary plot point.
"...but she's only trying to get a reaction from us. She needs the attention." Very astute of Ty Lee, and I also tend to think this is a lot of the reason Azula said (and did) the sort of provocative things she caught flak for from Ursa, in the flashbacks from Zuko Alone. She may have felt that negative attention was better than no attention at all, so that's what she was forced to aim for. And seeing that she has in some ways regressed to a state of childlike immaturity here, I guess it's appropriate that she be doing this more often.
"It didn't happen very often until her mom left, but after that it was a weird night if she didn't have an accident ... Oh, and her hair falls out in patches sometimes, but only when she's really stressed out." Wow. It kind of seems like more people would about know these two in particular, especially the servants. I guess you could argue Azula scared them into silence, but ... I kind of wonder why you felt the need to attribute all this to her. I seem to remember a link between bed-wetting in childhood and psycopathy (and also cruelty to animals, which is canon for her), but wow. Not encouraging. Going to be honest, I don't particularly like this. But your story, your prerogative. And I trust you to make the most of it.
"I do not know if it is such a good idea for you to pursue a romantic relationship with someone like Azula. You deserve someone who is much less cruel and insane." Haha, life advice from Iroh, and unusually straightforward. But the heart wants what the heart wants, and somehow, I doubt Ty Lee will listen to him...
"'I wasn't planning on dating anyone like Azula.' She definitely didn't know anyone quite like Azula, and even if she did, they probably wouldn't have any of Azula's neat traits. Why was Iroh telling her this?" ... if she even gets what he's trying to say, and she doesn't. Her misunderstanding here was cute (and in-character), even if you've already pegged this as TyZula.
"Particularly not when you are a teenage girl who is hated by most of your country." Hm. That he says it again here to Ty Lee (and out of earshot of Azula) seems to indicate he actually believes this. Which again, I disagree with.
"'She acts like she's lost hope. I think she's given up on everything.' ... 'Yes,' Iroh sighed. 'She's just so different than her brother.'" Oh Iroh, how quickly you forget. Zuko lost hope too, early in their flight from Fire Nation pursuit, to the point where Iroh explicitly had to tell him not to give in to despair. The chief difference being here that Zuko actually had someone he loved and trusted, who had always taken care of him, to help pull him out of it. And Azula didn't. (She might have someone like that in Ty Lee though, if she can get over the betrayal at the Boiling Rock. Until then ... not really.)
But it's not like Iroh could ever admit Azula had anything of either personality of circumstances in common with his golden boy Zuko, is it? *sigh* I continue to love the premise of this story, Iroh attempting to help out Azula. I respected him for taking that on, even if he did it primarily to help Zuko. But the more he talks about Azula like this (even if it's perfectly IC for him), the less I like him.
Good on Ty Lee though, pointing out Azula's similarities with Iroh. Someone would almost certainly have to do this explicitly before he'd ever see it, but at least he can admit it when it's pointed out to him. And perhaps even grow from the realization.
"I doubt she will ever quite be herself again, and maybe that is a good thing." And then he goes and says something like this. Again, very in-character for him and brutally honest, but not a sentiment I can readily support.
I probably I complained a lot this review, and sorry for that. Even if there was much to frustrate me here, that was (strictly speaking) not your fault. And there was also much to intrigue. I continue to look forward to watching this develop, and thanks again for sharing such a unique story. :)
| Led Feynman M.D. D.D.S. Ph.D chapter 5 . 7/29/2012
Damn. I like this.
| Guest chapter 5 . 7/23/2012
I usually don't read fanfiction for my fandoms (ask no questions), but this story caught my interest and I'm really glad that I started to read it. You have translated the characters from animation to 'paper' wonderfully, which, in my opinion, is very difficult. I will await every instalment eagerly. :)
| Anonymous chapter 5 . 7/22/2012
Poor Azula can't breath! I bet it's helping her figure out a little though.
Zuko is a bit too touchy, but I'm enjoying the Iroh interaction.
| Aurelia le chapter 5 . 7/22/2012
Have not been able to review, because for whatever reason my home wireless blocks this story ... but, interesting developments.
Iroh remains almost comically suspicious of Azula, just like I would expect. This also gives her a lot more opportunity to snipe at him, not that she needs it. Still amusing to watch their dynamic, and wonder what changes you plan. So far, he treats her disappointingly like Ursa did, only paying attention to her to show suspicion or criticize. Their brief discussion of Azula's conquest of Ba Sing Se showed promise though; more honest conversation like that, and they might reach a better understanding.
Zuko has been surprisingly reasonable (for him) about allowing Azula some freedoms so far, especially this last chapter. He must realize that Azula has no reason to invest in this rehabilitation scheme unless she can anticipate tangible improvements in her life. He seems to genuinely care for her well-being though, and his kiss on the forehead to her was extremely cute.
I still wonder about the wisdom of sending her to Ember Island though. Yeah, she needs to get away from Zuko, the palace, and bad memories associated with them, but it's an obvious security risk. Hopefully Ty Lee and Iroh will be enough to hold off any attempts on her life, but considering what a concerted effort that is likely to be, I doubt it. Perhaps Azula will break loose of the corset and show them she can use her firebending for legitimate defense (maybe even, dare I speculate, of Ty Lee and/or Iroh themselves) and not just world conquest. That might prove instructive, for Iroh especially.
Not much to say on Ty Lee, except I think your portrayal is pretty accurate. She seemed a lot closer to Azula than anyone else on the show, and her insights into the Fire princess reflect that. Thank you too, for not making Azula degenerate into a raving lunatic around her, but act believably cold and hurtful toward Ty Lee for her betrayal at the Boiling Rock. This is a lot closer to how I think their reunion would happen, and Ty Lee's justification and Azula's rejection felt real to me. We'll just have to see how they proceed.
I'm also really enjoying the short chapters - a nice change from my own style - and quick update speed. I look forward to reading more from you, and thanks!
| Guest chapter 1 . 7/22/2012
This is just sad to even read.. You got them treating her like an abused animal.. And ty lee is going on with it like she cares..its sick
| WARLOCK2552 chapter 5 . 7/21/2012
Well Frankly I don't blame Azula for being so craby. if I had to where a corset like that all time I'd be angry too. then again im a guy.
Anyway i hope you update soon because this story is realy grabing my curriousity.
| WARLOCK2552 chapter 4 . 7/19/2012
things are getting interesting.
| Redneck Badger Lord Drizzt chapter 1 . 7/18/2012
Interesting premise, I'll be glad to see where this particular Azula redemption story goes. It's already far surpassed the status-quo for such stories.
| WARLOCK2552 chapter 3 . 7/18/2012
Hmmm.. I like this story but the chapters are a little short.
That's not improtant, anyway I suspect humor in this story. Just because it seems that Iroh and Azula might just drive eachother up the wall.
| JuststartHere chapter 3 . 7/17/2012
Great story so far. Azula has always been my favorite character. I have recently started working on ideas for an Azula fic and I was just looking at some other stories, just to see what was out there. This one really intrigued me. I will continue reading.
| Guest chapter 1 . 7/17/2012
Ok i'm interested. Please continue asap.
| N3phtys chapter 2 . 7/15/2012
Okay, its... good.
But something important is missing...
liked both chapters, especially the second.
"Fuck you, old fool!" love it.
Also, Azula honest as hell? great. Also like how Iroh is still not trusting any of her.
| Aurelia le chapter 2 . 7/15/2012
How does this not have any reviews yet? Maybe because it's Sunday morning, and you updated so quickly from yesterday?
Anyway, it's insights into the Fire Nation royal family like these that made me favorite you as an author, beyond any of your individual works (which are also impressive). Not many people realize how many similarities Azula and Iroh share in common, both tactical geniuses and the favored child of their respective parents, both probably the best firebenders of their generation and skilled enough to invent techniques unique to them. And all indications were that before Lu Ten was killed, Iroh might well have been comparable to Azula in mindset (joking about burning Ba Sing Se to the ground), if a good deal jollier.
That Iroh doesn't see these similarities I think stems primarily from his favoritism toward Zuko, which causes him to demonize Azula. I look forward to seeing your interpretation of how they might mend the rift between them, an uncommon premise in post-series Azula fic.
The corset that restricts her firebending is an interesting idea too, and oddly appropriate, since Avatar is set at a technological level equivalent to the 1850's (if Korra is 1920's-esque, seventy years post-series). Azula's obvious trauma and the abuse she suffered at the beginning were sad, but entirely likely for asylums of that general time period.
I do wonder if Zuko will make any effort to help out the rest of the patients there though? If a patient as high-profile as Azula was being abused, how much worse would they treat someone whose family just dropped them there to forget about them? Not the point of the story by a long-shot, but Zuko is compassionate enough that I like to think he might move to reform the asylums, once he realizes how ineffective and harmful they are.
A great start to what I anticipate will be a gripping story. Thanks!