|Reviews for Chasing the Dragon|
| Guest chapter 13 . 2/15
This story is so awesome. Haha, very excited for an update after so long. I don't know why Zuko id helping Azula, this scheme goes further than I thought. Great job author!
| Ltlconf chapter 13 . 12/6/2017
No! Not four years! Seriously, this is well written, solid characterization, the voices are distinct, and the plot well done. I also like how the various conspiracies are far from simple, indeed quite subtle, without being obtuse (not always an easy balance to achieve). Kudos all around, but PLEASE I do hope you can get back to this one sooner or later.
Plus I love Your Azula: Still arrogant as ever and very much HER, but more self-aware that things aren't as she assumed nor that she's blameless. Azula is definitely evolving, slowly and painfully, true, but evolving nonetheless. I appreciate this subtle nature of Azula's growth, as most have it be a rather sudden 180 in personality or none at all (she's either a raving nut or still a two dimensional sociopath). In this you've hit a nice balance and it makes for a interesting character you want to stick with...to see how it all it ends up.
Same with Ty Lee. It's obvious she's grown and become more self aware and assertive if unsure still, but the growth is marked. The little nut is now showing subtlety, decisiveness, independence, and a wary worldliness she didn't have before...yet at her core she's still very much the Ty Lee we all love. Again, nicely done.
Zuko shows why responsibility SUCKS and why Aang is SOOOO lucky no one actually expects the Avatar to actually run things! I'm thoroughly enjoying the snippets we see of Zuko's troubles. I also see hints of why he may want Azula freed: Not only does he suspect the doc I'm sure (Zuko is far from obtuse after all, has eyes and ears in the asylum, and Ty Lee's suspicions would only heighten any doubts) she's one hell of a political hammer to unleash on his nation's defacto occupiers. Best of all, plausible deniability! Add in he's all best buds with the freakin' Avatar and Zuko has all sorts of room to maneuver...
God, I want this story going again!
| Elvira chapter 13 . 12/2/2017
No 4 years is too much! This is just too good, I need to know what happens next.
Can't wait for more.
| jam99chgo chapter 13 . 10/3/2017
Azula shall reign, Glory to the Fire Nation, destruction for all who oppose it!
| Lady Elvira chapter 12 . 9/2/2017
*The latest two chapters somewhat repeat itself in a table-turn motion … I really like this stylistic device, it’s like watching an actual episode, I am beyond thrilled! Way to create suspense :D Same for the sort of slow burn, regarding Tyzula. This is exactly what makes it in character, and all these questions – when/how/are they …? – still have some room left … Meaning: You’re doing everything right. Keep going!
If you couldn’t tell already, I really like this fanfiction of yours: the tempting, teasing dialogue, all the plots and intrigues, the marvelous portrayal, the writing style and tribute to the canon :))
I am really excited to have the endgame revealed (hopefully after lotsa new chapters, that is :)) Honestly, I was binge-reading this whole thing in a day and I could have seamlessly continued ... and then I reached the “end” ... now that was ... not nice. Hope there is more to be read soon-ish!
I’m impatiently waiting and looking forward to an update (and sending you positive spirits for some boost of motivation to upload lotsa new chapters ;D)!
| Lady Elvira chapter 13 . 9/2/2017
Well, this is probably one of my most favorite fanfictions in this fandom now! (Ah, I am so thrilled I found this one! I cannot wait to read on! :)) It does not only take place after season 3 but is a really great continuation of it, and idea in general … AND it features Azula … and Tyzula … and generally all these profound relationships I was already happy with in the canon. And, hands down, the royal family is probably the one with the most interesting, shady and complex ones – the one where you can get the most out of, interpretation wise and all, and well, you certainly did so far. I could read on and on and on … (nostalgia feels hitting me right in the gut cause I wished for a season 4 and Azula was always my favorite character and I wanted to see more of her and now you delivered such a great fanfiction … 3)
All the flashbacks, Zuko and Azula’s contorted relationship, showing their flaws and their good sides equally well, everyone is so in character ... Also Zuko coming to terms with the fact that he is by far not innocent as to how Azula turned out …
It was lovely to see them growing up. (The implementation was great. Zuko looking down into the garden, basically seeing screeching and laughing little Azula and himself playing together … such a picturesque moment … very vivid … so many feels.) Azula being simply adorable (I’m biased, but it is so true) and Zuko being a brat … or rather, being a normal young boy who does not want to play with his baby sister … but is still being unfair … and if it weren’t for Ozai and Ursa … well … It still hurt though when Azula wanted to play with Zuko, being all innocent and lovely and then Zuko tells her no :’( And then this thing with her owl cat … OH ZUKO HOW COULD YOU!
Ty Lee being ever so present when they are kids (the bamboo hat :D) while Mai is not … this focus is nice. Especially since Azula intends to throw her back into the picture for a circus visit with coaxing her to attend because Zu-Zu *might* be there … (Dum-Dum and Glum-Glum, though … I am still laughing. Oh, I missed this.)
“Ozai whirled around, eyes looking as if they could melt iron.
And that was how Ty Lee got all the candy.”
Zuko and Azula’s sibling bond is really spot-on. How you intervene your story ideas so seamlessly with the canon :3
I have a question, though: Why didn’t Ty Lee smuggle Azula some candy while being in the circus when Azula was being punished by not being allowed to sit on her throne and eating said candy? Of course, BEFORE the princess took it upon itself to reveal every magical trick to Ty Lee … way to break my heart.
Also great that Ty Lee finally got a more specific background: Her trying to run away, Azula enabling her to, her having all these arguments with her sisters … being partially raised by her grandparents, especially her grandfather, who taught her everything, most specifically her combat techniques … and who also encouraged her to become an acrobat …
On yet another note, your portrayal of the aftermath of the Hundred-Year-War is really good. The struggle to maintain balance and sort everything out … with the Earth Kingdom slowly but surely taking over. You really did a nice job in conveying all of this with introducing all these side characters, for example Azula’s nurse (I really hope she is actually going to be revealed as one of Azula’s trusted henchman now, courtesy of Zuko); it really did its own in conveying the mentality of the Fire Nation citizens, the unrest that is taking place, same for all the old values that Zuko is basically running down now much to the chagrin of the older population who is more entitled to stick to the old rules and thus, the patriarchy of Ozai and the effects that it had and still has on all of them. So much, in fact, that they are still cheering on Azula yet without actually wanting her on the throne because she is a girl. Speaking of controversy … but this makes it all the more credible. I really enjoy this take on it! (Too bad Azula wasn’t there herself to reprimand this noisy neighbor with the ever so opinionated mind …)
Furthermore, there is the question of war crimes. Ozai’s nearing execution, Azula’s stay in the asylum and the dooming question of whether it is right to take her bending away. (And Zuko being scared of making yet another wrong decision …) You got me there, for a second I feared the worst. Glad it did not come to that.
That they actually consider and partly even want to take her bending away … it seems so cruel … even though I am heavily biased … (on that note, kudos for Aaang’s portrayal! Spot on, really.) On another note it was nice to see the Gaang’s interaction with what’s left of Team Azula, for once … even if it was for such an occasion.
Zuko’s reasoning for taking her bending away is … well. Equal parts reason, fear and reluctance … as well as all these negative feelings he harbored for years … and that now re-surface with all their might once more … Him not only being scarred by his father but also (and nearly fatally) by his sister, the only one missing being his mother now … :’) So much for taking a side. That’s what I like about this one here …
And then Ty Lee’s absence and Katara’s compassion and growth that get Zuko around for good, making him unable to pull through with his original plan.
It was a pleasant surprise to see Katara actually being against taking Azula’s bending away especially since most other fanfictions portray it the other way around which is one way to dramatize things but ultimately … well. It would be weird. I mean, yes, Katara has a lot of reasons to be for taking Azula’s bending away forever (I doubt Aang could restore it even if he wanted, the way Korra did) but the mere fact that she doesn’t and instead does what is right, as it is her usual calling, really showed how she matured … talking some sense into Zuko, bringing up all these arguments … somewhat reminiscent to when Zuko tried to join Team Avatar back in the good old days …
Also the doctor and the eponymous tale of Chasing the Dragon … oh, I love such things! And that it was actually taken up so fast into the story! I actually did not expect to hear more than one version … but then, thankfully, Mai took it up once more … and once again it features Azula … somehow. Although the moral of the stories obviously vary … not being able to change the nature of a person, and not trying to chase a lost cause … now if that is not foreshadowing …
“She slipped on the stealthy black garb, the smooth material sliding silently over her skin. It was roughly her size, if not slightly too big, and Ty Lee mentally noted to yell at Zuko later for the offense.”
Oh, the humor … poor Zuko, though. And ever so vain Ty Lee … we are really going full circle here. Some things never change, it seems.
I also really appreciate how you included everything so neatly: The cabbage men, for example (like, of all the places he could end up in, he’s in a mental facility now … I cannot even :’D Oh, the irony. And yet so fitting if you consider his obsession with cabbage … and he was basically EVERYWHERE. So who knows how he fits into the picture now …), or Joo Dee, Hama ... the latter would also explain why Katara was in the mental facility that day ...
Which brings me to that doctor. And man, is he creepy! Him being in such a high position and abusing it … what a nightmare, to put it mildly. Although he is no match for Azula, he is close … and even closer to making her life a living hell and oh, the drama … (yup, speaking of being majorly invested in the characters (mostly Azula, but oh well)). Azula and the doctor’s mental face-off … gosh, I was so impressed with the way she deducted all the information, temporarily throwing the doctor off balance and trapping him in his own trap … what a master mind. That was REALLY impressive. Sherlock Holmes salutes XD
All the more striking, that, despite his methods, the poison, his henchman and his psychological torture Azula is still able to play him in his own home, so to speak … hach 3
Still, he is such a dark and twisted character … so who knows what he is up to do next.
(Here I am, already suspecting the worst. When he was interrogating Ty Lee the other chapter, I was all screeching “NOOO, don’t give him ammo! He will use it against Azula!” But oh, I would LOVE to know what Azula told him when he asked her about Ty Lee … hopefully this will come up as well in the near future ;))
That being said, I would not put it past him to even control the palace … this An character seems to be reeeeeeeeally shady and well … it could fit. The doctor IS an Earth Kingdom citizen after all and has a very righteous and dreadful mind-set with his path being the only right one and that he is only helping … oh, the flaws of subjectivity … I really like how you integrated this one in here!
If he actually plans to dispose Zuko or use him as a puppet, his wide-reaching influence might serve him quite well … and frankly, it’s deeply disconcerting. Joo-Dee being his sister? Him being the one who introduced brainwashing to the Dai Li in the first place? Holy cow.
Also, is the doctor’s sister actually in the facility? (That would explain a lot … but then again I thought her cell would be Hama’s, which cannot be true … Speaking of: What’s the deal with Hama? Is she faking it? Is she working WITH Azula? … now this would be … unexpected.)
And when are Aang and Katara officially back from the solo mission they are taking? I want to know what’s going on!
Let’s move on to Tyzula. Geez, I did not know I harbored so many feels for that ship … and yet here I am, ever so fiercely shipping it once more. How could I not?! They are just too adorable, all while staying perfectly in character. (And being ever so amusing.)
Ty Lee – always when thinking about Azula – appearing to be quite insane herself, so Mai’s observation actually wasn’t that far off. (“My advice is to go to the asylum and check yourself in, because anyone who wants a sugar cake like that is crazier than the cake itself.”) The mental images of old wrinkled men and Lo and Li in bikinis (!) just so as not to think of Azula being bound to a bed or Azula in a bikini … really, this was so hilarious! :D
And in contrast to that Azula who is still struggling with the concept of love, because how could it be different with her upbringing?!, but still having some warm fuzzy feelings without directly approaching them, always referring to her as “this specific person” and still being drawn by some “mystic power” to make her happy in whatever limited way she can (the sugar cake, for example … like, this is officially my favorite word now. Favorite scene, favorite everything.)
“Mai did not quite understand why Ty Lee always seemed to discard perfectly fine fruit tarts, never really giving them a fair chance, but she imagined it had something to do with that rotten sugar cake. But as much as Mai disliked the murderous, twisted sugar cake, she wasn't really one to judge. After all, her fruit tart hadn't exactly been fresh out of the oven when she'd fallen for him, either.”
THE SWEET CAKE!
I was so smitten with that one …This is GOLD. I was squealing and howling … favorite scene ever. And that Ty Lee is having this conversation about fruit tarts and sweet cakes with MAI of all people … I couldn’t stop laughing! What they said and how they said it and oh! This was just absolutely fabulous! Like, “the murderous twisted sugar cake” … oh, Azula. Looking at this from that angle … it’s too comical. And Zuko as the fruit tart who isn’t “fresh out of the oven” … I literally had to take a break from reading cause I was laughing so much :D
(Ty Lee having had sugar cakes before … a very interesting notion. And Azula thinking about how once upon a time she might have gotten hurt on purpose just so Ty Lee could walk away unscathed. I sincerely hope this is not foreshadowing …)
Speaking of Zuko: Him getting fat. What a twist. And OF COURSE Azula notices it first thing. And OF COURSE it affects him enough to finally get his act together and start training once more … all hail Azula.
Their first meeting, though … them yelling at each other yet being so strangely alike in that manner … right in the guts. They really aren’t nice at all. But that’s just how they tick with each other and just thinking about how this could just as well turn the other way around like it was when Zuko was temporarily on her side during the war … nothing is lost (yet).
And then there’s Ty Lee. And Azula pretending not to know her (for a moment I believed it, already seeing the plot unrolling … )
When I started reading I kind of did not know where this was going. But then abruptly, just after the first visit, Ty Lee took over … very determinedly. Even going so far as to visit her a second time … and fussing all about her appearance, going through various clothing and color options … how very … considerate of her. (And all the more striking that she forgoes her Kyoshi warrior uniform just for the sake of not “upsetting” Azula … maybe some strings are about to be cut there.) And then Ty Lee picks that purple top and all the stress about that one, the top suddenly becoming the main reason to even try harder to achieve this one visit … :3 (I’m sold.) Their interaction while playing Pai Sho … THESE DIALOGUES 3
And oh, the cleverness of Azula. Just like that smuggling her a piece of paper. But really, I shouldn’t be surprised.
And then – bäm! – the third visit. And Ty Lee even goes through the effort to bake her a cake ( a sugar cake of all things!) with a smiley face (although that gets destroyed by the wards – now that was sad :() … and then they KISS … (and I was squealing) Azula SO wanted to kiss her … (stupid wardens for interfering … and yay Azula for literally making them kiss the floor … wonderful.)
And suddenly there is a vial there. Hello, genius. (Azula was still kissing her for the sake of kissing her :3) On another note altogether: Why did Azula slip her the red lily pai sho tile? Reminiscence only? Or did I miss something vital?)
Ty Lee being ever so deliciously flustered by that kiss; even Azula being out of her mind because of it … now we roll :D The development, though.
Ty Lee being left no other choice than to turn to the second smartest person she knows, trying to resist Azula (ha, as if) complaining that she already went “cold turkey-duck” (turtle duck?) on her, twice … she’s just so adorable. She couldn’t pull through with that if she tried … same for Azula.
So cute that Ty Lee gets jealous of the mute girl (yet another nicely fleshed out side character!), prompting her to scold herself … that’s just so authentic and Ty Lee … I really like her POV. (And the rest, of course.) And then Azula in contrast, not batting an eyelash when Ty Lee mentioned that supposed boy who gifted her that top … (but secretly probably noticing that this was a lie anyway …)
Azula is really, really calculating and so damn smart in this one … kinda makes the series appear like we have only seen a slice of her genius, but now we are basically looking inside her head … You are doing her justice ever so splendidly!
Azula smuggling Ty Lee items really has this heist-y air to it … and the dramatic flair, of course.
Also terrific that Azula basically “healed” herself … BUT BEING CONSTANTLY POISONED ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME! My poor baby … And still, she pulled through. Somehow. (But still, I could not imagine it any differently. Like, she had to. No alternative.) And yet she is still being affected by her own lies … A portrayal. Not even Azula is invincible and her time in the asylum is taking its toll … glad someone’s there to finally help her out a bit.
(Ty Lee crying for her, though, on that second meeting … Azula getting mad at her … too many feels for that one. Azula being troubled, being ashamed of shaking ALTHOUGH she was POISONED for Agni’s sake (or slightly pretending, but why would she show weakness if she could help it?!) … (there is no way I am not gonna continue reading this one.)
The riot Azula arranged … it was HILARIOUS. Like, remember this scene at the Boiling Rock where the team was ever so clueless as for how to organize a riot? And Azula … veni, vidi, vici. And all on her own.
But now there is the dagger … the last appearance … and only for a short amount of time?
"For one night, and one night only, the Princess Azula will attempt a death-defying escape from her underground tomb."
Attempting meaning she will stay after all? She isn’t going to stab herself and certainly not the doctor … Then why is Ty Lee there? (it’s not like Azula is going to take her down with her …)
I actually rather feel like this is a slowly unfolding plot to undermine the doctor’s credibility and the facility’s reputation (as being safe, or impregnable, and just in general) so Zuko can get rid of him without it causing uproar and protest? Because it would not advantage them if Azula was on the run … constantly running and hiding and questioning her and her motives … (would Ty Lee run with her?! Kyoshi island isn’t exactly neutral ground now … or very welcoming ground, on that note. Not after the coup she pulled last.) Also the fact that she would be prosecuted by Earth Kingdom and Water Tribe alike … I haven’t even thought of that but now that you point it out … Undermining the doctor’s credibility would in turn mean acknowledging AZULA’s credibility … making her available for the court again, and with that for Ozai’s execution as well … (Which makes me question how he is handling all of this .. fatalism? Defeat? Yet another plot?)
Once more, there is a whole new meaning to the whole “Azula always lies” business … like, was she really when facing Zuko? When he was visiting her? True, she wasn’t showing her deck (but then again, when is she ever) but her riddles … those were true. Except it’s apparently only Ty Lee who wants to see this truth … after a two year long absence. (guilty conscience much? did she want to get away from everything? or did she intend to punish herself? the remark with the “matching set” really hit home.)
Kudos to everyone though for holding themselves up – more or less – for two years. So far, so good.
Azula could have told Zuko on that day and I cannot really fathom why she didn’t … well, only that I can, in a way. She’s Azula, she does not want to ask for help, admit defeat in whatever way … and she is not exactly in the position to be a) taken seriously or b) being trusted. (And maybe, maybe she does not want to jeopardize him, taking apart whatever plot the doctor is forming from the inside? But … that would be a bit much, wouldn’t it? Not to mention you would have made that path somewhat apparent otherwise … right?)
That aside, though … I guess Zuko knows. Whatever it is exactly, he suspects something, is maybe even working together WITH her … Him enabling Ty Lee her little adventure in the first place, her going against Mai (what happened to the tablet she was carrying? Did she drop it?) … (Ty Lee proves it, after all) … and sending Ty Lee, making sure of the nurse … why would he do that if not for trying to bail Azula out? And he needs her, that much is clear. (She needs him as well. And whatever she says, she cares.)
Zuko suspecting Tyzula … geez, he should talk to Mai more often.
Azula never actively mentioned the first reason for not testifying against Ozai … I could imagine because she simply does not want to, cause even after all he did to her, he’s still her father and she loves him, in whatever twisted way. It’s only that she does not quite want to admit so to herself, let alone Ty Lee … yet another fear of being convicted … and she truly faced enough conviction from Ty Lee already.
I really want to see Mai coming around, maybe not exactly seeing reason but coming face to face with Azula once more … Also, where is Iroh?
The latest two chapters somewhat repeat itself in a table-turn motion … I rea
| Anzuz chapter 13 . 8/27/2017
Seeing an update for this story was a happy surprise. I hope you continue this amazing story!
| Chaotic Harlequin chapter 13 . 8/20/2017
A wonderful surprise to see this updated. Here's to hoping that it won't be another four years for the next chapter. -C.H.
| GLaDOS-SFC chapter 13 . 8/20/2017
Never expected this fic to be continued, since it seemed abandoned quite a while ago, but that was a pleasant surprise! Had to reread the whole thing, just hope next update won't take that long :D
| shortazn97 chapter 13 . 8/20/2017
Dude holy shit how long has it been.
This was great though but I seriously had to go reread the entire fic.
| Ehpoca chapter 13 . 8/19/2017
...I hope it doesnt take you another 4 years to update, because Im so hooked right now.
Your writing of Azula's dialogue has to be one of my favorites. The childhood flashbacks are perfect as well.
You're an amazing writer, and I hope to post another review on chapter 13. XD
| QueenTyZula chapter 13 . 8/19/2017
OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! I am losing my shit! You...you updated this! I am not half way through reading, but I had to thank you! I was once in a black hole of rage and confusion waiting for this to be updated lol. And the length...fabulous. You have such a fan in me. This is just grand! Can't wait to read more! This is like one of my top favorite fanfics of all time. *Bows* thank you!
| QueenTyZula chapter 3 . 2/23/2017
Still crossing my fingers that this gets updated one day!
| Statue of libby chapter 12 . 2/21/2017
| Dragonheart51 chapter 3 . 1/25/2017
Doesn't seem like Azula is any different from usual. That's not a good thing.