|Reviews for Loving Madness|
| The Real F'n Scorp chapter 1 . 2/13
Hi there! I am a mod for the Reviews Lounge, Too, where your story is archived. I will be giving your story a review today as part of our 2015 Reviewathon. I must apologize, I am completely fandom blind and know nada about the characters or the storyline of the game itself. Despite that, I can say that this piece was quite enjoyable to read. I really liked the way in which you write your characters. They brim with life and color, despite them being part of a Dark Brotherhood that honors the edicts of a Night Mother. Liette's feelings for Cicero, her concerns over his well-being, her desire to protect him, her attraction all are portrayed quite splendidly. Her fear about how his (madness) might prevent him from loving her, wanting her as she does him comes off as quite human and adds a nice touch of vulnerability to a character who comes off strong and capable.
This: ((She's angry and disillusioned, a runaway lost in Skyrim and now a survivor of a dragon attack.)) was an interesting opening line because of how it defines Liette personally as a character. She's furious at the world, disenchanted by it, but she's also a survivor of it. I like how you distinguish that one of the things she's most recently survived is a dragon. It signifies to me about what I may expect to find along my own journey in your story. This isn't a general tale about people...there are things like dragons running around and assassins. I also found the fact that Liette didn't find a home until she met Cicero on the side of the road to be quite telling. This is a person who is clearly lonely and who had nobody and connects with a person who appears just as alone and lonely as she is.
Liette here: ((He's threatening her, and she's so entranced by the movement of his lips, the sound of his voice, the bob of his throat, the heave of his chest, the look in his eyes, that she barely registers his meaning. And then she's smiling, as serene as she's ever been.)) is cognizant of the fact that Cicero is threatening her, that he has attacked her, but she's so consumed by her feelings for him that she doesn't respond to the threat normally. She just fixates on her attraction, to his nearness, and resigns herself to being killed by him because she finds it fitting.
((He's still smiling that smile, but his eyes are those eyes, and she sees the merging of the two halves she has tried to divide him into.))-I like how you merge the two parts of Cicero together here and hint at the fact that they may not have been two sides at all. He just wore his skin quite well and played the part he needed to, based upon the circumstances involved. That Liette doesn't see that, that she's incapable of recognizing how Cicero is a blend of both the child and the man shows how blind her feelings have made her.
Just a few suggestion(s):
((It's hard to breath, but she doesn't mind.))-breathe?
((...feel of the cold metal on her skin is a shock, reminding her painfully of when she would where it openly,))- (where) should be wear.
((..."no matter their faults or differences or even out own."))-(out) should be our.
((She prays he thinking of her,))-he's?
((...trembling under dozing breathes,...))-breaths?
((...face before he's whirled around to take her, snatched up her wrists in his hands and crushed his lips to hers, triumphant.))-(snatched) should be snatching and (crushed) should be crushing?
In all, this was a really amazing piece. Fantabulous job!
| MINNOS chapter 1 . 5/4/2014
Oh it hurts so bittersweet good this is great
| voodoobuddha chapter 1 . 2/6/2014
Yeah. Just... wow.
| starlight.moon.princess chapter 1 . 2/2/2014
Disclaimer: I'm afraid I'm fandom-blind on this one, so completely unqualified to judge canon characterisation.
(running commentary, for the most part)
I really like the way that you've started this piece. Your first line is both gripping and engaging, which is always a good way to draw in readers to a story.
I also really liked your description of their relations. You've acknowledged their individual issues - Liette with her multitude of problems, and the 'he' with the way he's so different - but you've also shown why they work according to her. It's a balanced relationship, which is always a nice depiction to read.
I like the way you have her ruminating about Cicero, and if she should feel concerned about feeling close to him - and then immediately countering it with reasons why she shouldn't. As I mentioned, it's wonderful that neither character is perfect, and that Liette recognises that and is aware of it.
I like the way you've characterised her realtionship with him - she's twisted and passionate, but all of that is aimed only at him. For him she's obviously willing to let go of any and all morals that she holds, and that makes for an extremely intriguing character. The way you show this change is lovely too, since you take the reader along on the journey of her change, It's not time-skipped, and that makes her character much more - I wouldn't say relatable, but definitely real.
Your depiction of Cicero is just as interesting as Liette's. I'm not sure if it's canon, but I like how you describe him to be as crazy - perhaps even more so - than her, a fact which he obviously realises. It's a nice way of showing just what's caused her fall and just how closely she's bound herself to him.
I like the way you've built up to the revelation and the kiss. It's not overdone, and it's got an element of honesty to it and makes it a lovely read. As with Liette's madness, the reader is on as much of a journey as Liette herself is, which makes the build up to the kiss - and the actual kiss - that much more engaging a read.
[Is Cicero unlovable?] I think this was the most real - and consequently most heartbreaking - line in the whole piece. In many ways, it definitely explains his behaviour with Liette and the way he avoids mention of the kiss after it happens. It also helps in understanding his mindset, and just how truly broken he is. This line is a beautiful piece of charactetisation, I think :)
The ending is lovely. Again, not too overdone, it has an honesty to it that's hard to come by. I really like how you've written the love story between two killers so wonderfully - and, to be honest, sweetly.
The actual writing was wonderful - you described just enough to give the readers a look, but stayed away from being overly descriptive.
Regardless of my lack of fandom knowledge, this was an utterly enjoyable read, and is definitely being favourited!
| Animefreak1145 chapter 1 . 1/27/2014
LOVE IT! XD
LOVE IT!LOVEIT! LOOOOOOVE IT!
You should do these kind of stories more often!
There really should be more Cicero/Listener stories.
They are soooooo cute! But it's mostly cuz I too,love Cicero.
Sad that you can't marry him,but I will never want him stuck
In my house in Whiterun anyway.
Cicero?Managing a store?
Yeah,and horkers fly.
I always have him by my side,even though he always steals my kill.
He's just doing his job of protecting his Listener.
BUT PLEASE MAKE MORE!
| Goddess of the Books chapter 1 . 12/19/2013
Perfect. I love it! It doesn't make him sane, and it doesn't change him, and I like that. I really, really, like that. Great story!
| Chris000 chapter 1 . 10/26/2013
Reading this story, it was interesting to see my expectations that it was going to be a story of of the Dark Brotherhood become a twisted, yet engrossing romance story between Cicero. It's clear by halfway through the story that an entirely different series of events has taken place that severely changes the storyline of the game, and I liked the way that it turned out.
It was interesting to see your take on the character if Liette, whom I believe was supposed to be the Dragonborn, but there was no real indication that this was so in the story other than the fact that she follows the general questline and becomes the Listener, which canonically is held by the Dragonborn in the story, but since there was no confirmation, this is only an assumption. I liked how from the very beginning she has a distinct image of psychopathy and has the demeanor of a sociopath or an agoraphobic given how she spends months on end alone. This is interesting since we never really have an idea of what the psychological profile of the main character since they are generally used as the blank slate for the character to inhabit. They have no personality. They're all over the place. They'll join the Thieves Guild and offer their soul to Nocturnal, then go on to join the Companions and forever become Hircine's.
Let the Daedra sort out the details, amirite?
But it was nice to see an interesting personality in Liette. The personality of a serial killer. It was interesting to see that she flat out refuse to carry out Astrid's orders to kill Cicero, and not only chose to keep him alive, but chose to pursue a romantic relationship with him. That was more than enough to make me raise an eyebrow. It was interesting to see your interpretation of Cicero's character, especially in such a positive light, or at least in a sympathetic light. When I played the game, I did not think very highly of Cicero given his betrayal of the brotherhood, but it appears that Liette has a different view altogether, and I liked seeing how he was fitting in with the surviving members of the Falkreath Sanctuary. You know though what I really, truly liked what you did about the character? At the very end, it appears that his relationship with Liette was able to bring him back from his insanity. The reason I say this is because Cicero refers to himself in the first person, instead of in the third, which shows that he is now starting to regard himself as an individual and more in touch with his sanity. It gives him a second chance.
Personally speaking though, I'm not sure if I can regard Cicero as a desperate soul that is crying out into the night only wishing to be loved. I didn't really gather that from my time with the game, but it's certain that people that play the game can form different opinions on the character.
I like your use of the historical present tense. I actually just thought of this now, but this is exactly how Cicero describes things that he has done. I think that this is a nice touch given that the story is about him!
So, a very good story about an interesting group of people. It seems that in the end, everyone lived happily and insanely ever after!
I don't recall seeing Liette's race being mentioned. I did some digging in the Elder Scrolls wiki pages and discovered that there is a Bosmer that is named Liette in Morrowind. I know that there's no relation, and that most likely Liette is a Nord given how she refers to Bruma, but I read her as a Bosmer. Wonderful work! This was a very nice one-shot to read!
| Anna chapter 1 . 9/27/2013
Oh, such a beautiful story! This was a real tug on the heartstrings for me, and such a great ending - I just may have done a little fistpump :D Would you ever consider writing more of their adventures together? You do it so well.
| Cecilia'sNotebook chapter 1 . 9/2/2013
I LOVE your stories! And I love Cicero, I loved him when I first saw him in the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary! He's just so adorable. :) And this story was amazing!
| Edhla chapter 1 . 7/18/2013
I know pretty much nothing at all about Elder Scrolls or Skyrim (I know *shameshame*) But I was able to really enjoy this one-shot anyway. Your prose is really fluid and measured, and a pleasure to read, though there were some punctuation issues surrounding dialogue (I can see that another reviewer is already onto that, so I'll not continue in that direction :) )
A very interesting and full-blooded, honest portrayal of Liette in particular. I assume she's the one referred to in your A/N as the one who dwells on pointless drama ;) It comes through without me wanting to downright strange her (or you for putting me through it :p)
There were a few tense issues (or possible tense issues; forgive me, sort of tired...) for example, in the "At first she was disappointed" line. Nothing major, but if you're considering revising, it's something you may want to look for.
"That she would kill them all..." I was a bit confused here. "she'd hurt him"?
Although it may well be canon (and if it is I'll shut up) the use of "okay" was a little jarring amongst what otherwise seemed Ren Faire language.
"Who moved first..." Really loved the leisurely descriptions here.
"Her years aging her eyes." Again, I'm a little confused about what you were trying to convey here.
"Crushed his lips..." lovely word choice there. Nicely done x
| StrawberryDuckFeathers chapter 1 . 7/16/2013
. Fandom- blind.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I like the way you worded the introduction line to this story. It's got a great dramatic tone to it that really pulls you into the action. I also like your word choices- the way there's a mix of soft and hard sounds seems to create some kind of an almost-rhythmic pattern of fricatives and plosives, and I like the shocking effect of that. I also liked the way that you make it seem as if there is no hope at all for Liette, since she's weak, broke and she doesn't even know where she is at all. But still, she seems to feel she can't complain because it's her fault. But is it really her fault, or does she just believe it's her fault? [ For she hears him first, the loud cries of anger and frustration up ahead, then sees the broken down wagon.] I think I've heard of Cicero being a madman in Skyrim before, I think- so I wonder if this references him, and the broken-down wagon references his broken- down mind? It's a great symbol you've put there. :)
I like how her mood seems to have picked up after seeing this man, and it seems like he's the kind of man who turns most away, but she seems to be quite fascinated with him. I also like how any offer of somewhere to stay for a bit is something she treasures, really showing her desperation and how lost she is. I also love the contrast betweeen the warmth and comfort of home, and being stuck in the cold and rain with a dead woman and a madman. It's cool how she's thinking up excuses just to stay with him as well, but then realises he has personal things to do. But it seems like, without him around, that feeling of 'homeliness', if that's even a word, just isn't there.
I thought the time skip was a nice idea- it gives you the idea that she's been waiting alone for ages now, and she's almost forgotten the man, but she's still fond of him. It makes me wonder when she'll see him again. It's an excellent way of showing her strong desire to see him again. I also like how she's decided to take up some work to keep herself busy and keep her mind focused, but then she's off again to the south-east. I think making her a drifter is quite an exciting touch, since there's something cool about following her adventure through a place she doesn't even know. Maybe she'll see him again.
I like the stark difference between towns. It seemed quite relaxed in the last town, and now it's very dark and dangerous, and one has to keep their mind focused at all times just to avoid being killed by the sounds of things. I also like the drama of Liette's kidnapping here as well. It was an interesting thought of hers, that the madman could have been part of the Dark Brotherhood. And once again, a brilliant contrast- between 'sweet', 'deceptive' and then 'crazy'. And then she gets what she wants- Cicero in the family. Nice touch. :)
Seems Liette is a bit concerned that she feels so closer to a murderer and a madman, but then I like how she begins to relate to him, in a sense, since she's technically now a murderer too. I really like how she keeps getting nightmares about all the bad things that she's done, but then she seems at home when she sees Cicero. The constant contrasts between crazy and comfort are something that I think work really well in this story, since it seems to make me think 'why is she so in love with this guy?'
It's a brilliant touch with Liette seeing Cicero in a different light than the others see him. It's actually quite sweet that she sees him as being more than just a crazy man. However, it seems a little crazy in itself that she wants him to show anger towards her... I wonder why? The further contrast between her excitement and him attacking her is scary! I also liked the contrast in his eyes- child-like, yet man-like. Wow, that was a great twist with Astrid wanting her to kill him! Could she really kill the man she's basically fallen for? Also, the way in which she seems to be at ever-growing ease with committing murder and crime gives me a feel like she's almost going as mad as Cicero is. Aww, I bet Liette felt so heartbroken when she was him curled up on the floor injured. I like how Cicero seems to be finally showing some interest in her after she heals him. It's very strange how she seems so calm when he wants to kill her. Maybe she's just trying to show that she's calm with him, hoping he'll warm up to her?
It seems that Liette might be losing his patience with him a bit, since he might just see her as a Listener, when she seems to want him as her lover. Looks like she's even willing to go as crazy as him to get him. I really liked the development when she starts trying to dry him and tease him at the same time, and I thought their lip-dragging kiss was a shocker! But I wonder what Cicero thought of it, though? And it seems that he's the one who initiates the next one, and it's really sweet. Cicero seems like he's never gotten close to anyone, and yet he's become close to her. It was sweet too when he used her name, as if it really shows that he's bothered to remember her name, and it shows some intimacy between them.
Aww, I actually found it quite sad that Cicero asked if he was unlovable. It's kind of like he's probably left lonely over the years, since it sounds like everyone's been avoiding him because of his madness. ["Love is love, we'll love who we love and love them how we love them, no matter their faults or differences or even out own." She shrugs, a tiny sage with fangs and glowing red eyes. "Nothing is impossible. No one is unlovable. It's just a matter of finding someone who will love the way you are, or is willing to try to, at least. Even love isn't perfect."] I personally loved this line so much. It's very sweet. :)
Wow, Cicero seems so devoted to Liette now. When she tells him to call her by name, he does it. When she tells him to tell her he loves her, he does it. Maybe she realises how special she appears to be to him now. :) It was sweet when he asked her to tell him that she loved him, too. It seems like Liette finally got who she wanted, and Cicero realises that he really isn't unlovable after all. :)
- - - - - - - - -
Here is my critique/suggestions for you. :)
. (when she would where it openly) 'where' should be 'wear' here. :)
[The Amulet of Mara she has jangles against her chest as the fabric that was hiding it is stripped away. The feel of the cold metal on her skin is a shock, reminding her painfully of when she would wear it openly]
. ("We should get back." She replies) Here, there should be a small change in grammar: [ "We should get back," she replies]
. ("Cicero doesn't love the unchild," his nose wrinkles in distaste.) Since I'm unsure if it it'll fit in the review, I will PM you a little guide I wrote on dialogue and dialogue tags. :D
A brilliant story with a nice message to it. Keep up the good work! :D :D
| Zeeweeble chapter 1 . 6/22/2013
Wow. I... this... uh... wow. I love this. WOW! 3
| Tune4Toons chapter 1 . 4/12/2013
Hello! I'm here from Reviews Lounge Too as a member of ours recommended your story. :) As a little disclaimer, I am not familiar with Skyrim or any of the Elder Scroll series, but reading through this, I had an easy time adjusting to the story and the general situation. First off, you got this really juxtaposed imagery straight off the bat that made me smile: [Sitting in that rickety wagon with a dead woman and a madman on a freezing cold evening in the drench of rain, she's never felt more at home.] Already tells wonders about the character through a strange thought haha. There's almost this poetic voice you have here as it quickly goes from one scene to the next. They both seem to have this quiet insanity to them—I don't know how to explain it, but the idea of how they take death and just the way they interact with each other do send a few chills especially in the middle here haha. Their relationship too, I love how it starts out calm as it gradually goes into this dark twisted life, yet it's all very passionate (and Cicero's funny, the pants bit. XD)
My main concrit (and this is me looking as an outside perspective, so take this as you will with a pinch of salt) is that it's difficult to image the setting sometimes when you switch scenes. Like the change from [In Windhelm, she hears rumor of a boy.] to the scene right after for example, without some indicator of her location, it was hard to imagine and adjust to the setting right away, so if it was possible for that extension in imagery at least in a few places, that'd be my main crit and bit there.
Other than that, thank you so much for the lovely read. :) I would like to add this to the RLt archives if that is alright with you, and if not, feel free to tell me. Cheers!
| liliedove chapter 1 . 2/10/2013
At first I was kinda so-so (common Cicero beginning, ya know- though I liked how you presented it best. Especially with taking the liberty of having her help fix the wagon). But then... I think my emotions got WAY to attached man. _
AHH! I JUST GOT SO EMOTIONAL! That's some'thn for finishing up at 3am! GAH, the feels, the FEELS! I have them!
| Oxygen Pirate chapter 1 . 1/19/2013
I love it! I like how you portrayed Cicero in this as well :)