Salazar’s Heir – by YsM
The Basics: Phoenix Era, Angst/Romance, 100k, PG-13
Warnings: Underage, Pregnancy, Original Characters, Abortion/Miscarriage Triggers, Marriage Law (not actually ML, but has that feeling.)
Hermione, beloved by all men, all unicorns, and Hogwarts itself, finds herself in trouble when Voldemort adds himself to her list of suitors.
Yes, my description is terribly tongue-and-cheek, but it’s only because this fic is perhaps the most heavy ‘Mary Sue’ fic that I have ever read! Hilariously, laughably so, especially in the beginning chapters. “Mary Sue” is the term for a main character, usually female, who is super idealized. A beautiful genius, gifted in special in many ways, beloved by everyone, on whom the fate of the world hinges. This Hermione definitely qualifies.
With that aside, let’s get to the real review. The first few chapters of this fic are unbearably difficult to read. It has the feeling of being written by someone extremely young and inexperienced. It’s difficult to tell who is speaking and what is going on. This does get better, however. It becomes quite a pleasant read in the later chapters. That’s one of the reasons I made this site – I would have skipped this on the first page – ‘Nope, bad writing’ – if I were reading it just for myself.
The romance is also quite terrible, unfortunately. It’s filled with soap opera cliches, and the bland ideas about love espoused by someone extremely young who has never really been in love. For me, SSHG needs to be about intellectual partnership, bitterness, loneliness, arrogance…something! There are so many special things that bind Snape and Hermione together. They are so much more than ‘you are attractive and I feel deeply for you! Flourish!’ Unfortunately this fic delivers far more of the latter than the former.
Now, this sounds mostly negative, but I have to tell you that there are many enormously positive elements in this fic. The storyline is based on the idea that Rowena Ravenclaw and Salazar Slytherin were in love, and that their true Heirs will always be searching for each other, trying to love each other again. There are also a ton of interesting Heir-related prophecies that propel the warplot and intertwine with this Rowena-Salazar idea. I found these ideas to be fresh, original, and extremely enjoyable. There are a lot of twists and turns, and although most of them are clumsily done, I really appreciated all of the effort put into this complex and interesting plot.
Despite these great ideas, the childish point-of-view really brought this fic down. None of the adults ever talk to each other. People constantly ‘forget’ to mention crucial things to each other. Snape brewed a potion that could kill Voldemort that he just forgot to mention to Dumbledore and then sat on for weeks. He brewed a potion to heal Hermione that he forgot to tell anyone about, including Hermione. “Oh yeah, I healed you! That was a couple of weeks ago.” There are never any meetings about Voldemort or the war. Even Snape and Hermione don’t really work together; they just communicate about the things that happen to come up in conversation on the rare occasions that they aren’t mad at each other for stupid things.
The bottom line: A lot of great ideas – seriously, GREAT ideas. This could be one of the top SSHG fics ever written. Unfortunately, the execution is unforgivably and hilariously clumsy. The characters all act like 12 year olds putting on a soap opera play. The pacing is atrocious. But you know what? The great ideas and the youthful charm really make this readable and enjoyable, at the end of the day. I would LOVE to see this reworked by the author, with an adult mindset. Read it for SSHG laughs and fic-writing inspiration. Skip it if you are looking for something stimulating written by an adult.