Category: Harry Potter
Main Relationship: Harry Potter / Draco Malfoy
Length: 298,913 words (34 chapters)
Sometimes people are forced to make many changes in their lives in order to survive. After a summer of torture with the Dursleys, Harry goes into a magical coma, where he decides many things that could very well change the Wizarding World forever.
Why I love it?
I think that Windeseeker2305 pretty much summed up what is so amazing about her writing in the first chapter of this fic: “Romance and family is a major recurring theme throughout the three Life Cycle stories.”
Let me just say that the Drarry couple is not my favorite Harry Potter slash relationship, because I think that Harry should have ended up with an older guy. That being said, when you look in Harry’s age group, the person who was probably as affected by the war as he was, was Draco.
I mean the poor guy had to live with a deranged and crazy torturer in a snake suit in his house, watching his psychotic aunt maiming and killing people on a regular basis. That kind of stuff really stays with you.
What I loved the most of about the first book in the series was that Windseeker2305 actually made me like the whole enemies-to-lovers dynamic in Harry and Draco’s relationship. Even after they were lovers, she left a lot of that honest, I’ve-put-my-foot-in-my-mouth, insecurity-leads-to-saying-things-you-shouldn’t vibe, which kept the whole E2L trope realistic.
Draco didn’t stop being a complete and utter prat just because he finally got with Harry, but at least he acknowledged when he messed up (even though it took him a while to be the bigger man and fix it). I never felt like Draco’s personally did a full 180 degree turn, because he still was ridiculously pompous, cruel, and belittling. He just didn’t behave that way to the people who were important to him.
Harry on the other hand was a refreshing mix of being vulnerable and very confident. I liked how the author really thought about the consequences of Harry growing up in a highly abusive environment, and how that would impact his relationship with Draco.
Harry, in the first book of the Life Cycle series, is very sensitive and insecure about his role and place in Draco life and in their relationship. He is okay busting into Voldemort’s Death Eater headquarters and making demands of the man who has tried to kill him on numerous occasions, but one careless comment from Draco would send him careening into depression. That realism of how abused individuals are sensitive to specific triggers was brilliantly portrayed, and kept me hoping that Harry and Draco could heal each other.
The character development was fantastic, because Windseeker2305 didn’t just focus on Harry and Draco. She built a family (a huge one), and she really made me feel like I was a part of their lives-each and every one of them. I got to see Voldemort go from being a remorseless killer, to a begrudging overprotective older brother. I got to see Neville got from the bumbling idiot of Gryffindor to Harry’s quiet, steady confidant. Most of all I got to see each of the characters come into their own and start to look that one person who compliment them well.
I also really enjoyed how balanced the romance and action plots were in this book. Never did I have a moment where I was like, “Seriously, enough of this mushy, lovey-dovey crap. They are freaking Ukatae, for chrissake! Dark elves are supposed to be evil, bloodthirsty creatures!” Windseeker2305 started out gentle in this book, but by the end of the series, bloodshed and instinctual savagery are just a regular part of the book.
Windseeker’s world building was ridiculously on point, creating this whole other species and world that just freaking blew my mind. What was smart was that she started in the Harry Potter magic world, that the readers were already comfortable in, then enabled the readers to learn about the Ukatae as the characters themselves were. I was with her every step of the way, never feeling lost or overwhelmed by her descriptions or characterizations of the Ukatae, and by the time Harry and Draco met their Ukatae guardians, their Ukatae behaviors and reactions felt comfortable and familiar.
Does the world building make or break a story for you? Would you prefer to be bombarded with too much world building information, or to be left flailing and confused when you don’t get enough?
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