I just read something that wouldn't let me go, and now I'm late for work. But I can't leave until I gasp out my admiration here. I haven't even commented, because I need more time. This is wonderful, and horrifying, and it bears such a weight of magic, of cruelty and manipulation, the utter ruthlessness and predatory power of politics and its stranglehold on people's lives. It's a quiet story of teenage Severus being backed and maneuvered into a corner until he has no choice, and it looks with condemnation and clarity at the heartless side of the Good.

The bond between Severus and his mother is beautifully, obliquely rendered, subtly building up a picture of their mutual struggle against blackmail that would claim their allegiance and their lives and then toss them away. And if that's not enough for a teenager to contend with, it's the summer that Severus must deal with his loss of Lily's friendship and not succumb to the temptation of despair.

It sounds bleak, and by implication it is, but the story itself isn't. It's gorgeous. The writing is masterful. I feel like one giant ache now, but I'm so captivated I don't care. Brava, mystery author. If you are who I think you are, you do this to me every damn year.

ETA: *facepalm* I am an idiot. You might want to know which fic I'm talking about, hm?

Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree
perverse_idyll: (quill & candle)
( Feb. 5th, 2011 10:27 am)
Hello, dear flist, it's recs time! Time for me to pop in, as I do now and then, to point you toward what pleases me. I've just finished a month on [livejournal.com profile] crack_broom, where I recced Snarry fics (link goes to the first of eight), and now that it's February I'll be serenading Snape's life over on [livejournal.com profile] crack_van with stories spanning his childhood to the end of his life and beyond. For those who already know my tastes there won't be many surprises, but these fics all deserve to be added to the lists for posterity.

Now, about [livejournal.com profile] snapecase: the final story posted today, and I've been so sluggish and behind on my reading that I've entirely failed to pull my thoughts together. The truth is I *still* haven't caught up (I've been lured away by books: Rebecca West, Sylvia Townsend Warner, Molly Keane, to name a few. Apparently I'm in high Anglophile mode and regressing to the first half of the 20th century). But now the fest is ending (woe!), so it behooves me to stir my uninspired arse and strew a few petals before those who deserve bouquets.

In no particular order )

[livejournal.com profile] snapecase will post its reveals on February 7th, and in the meantime you might want to join in the guess-the-creator game that concludes the fest.
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