Triumph Out of the Bitter Taste of Ashes – by Kiristeen


Rating: Acceptable Minus

The Basics: Phoenix Era, Friendship/Angst, 150k,

Warnings: Non-Consensual (not Severus), NC-17, Pregnancy, Slash

As with many of my low-rated fic reviews, I did not finish this story before skimming to the end.
If anything in my review is inaccurate or misconceived as a result, please feel free to let me know and I will amend my review.

This fic barely qualifies as SSHG.  It’s really a Draco/Ron fic, which is something I haven’t seen before and that didn’t really work for me.  Once I realized this, I started skimming the chapters and then skipping ahead – I didn’t really find much of note and the ending was kind blah, so I’m glad I skipped it.

The writing is okay, except that Snape is grossly out of character.  He seems brash and even cocky and doesn’t seem to understand the subtle nuances of any situation that he’s in.  He constantly does the wrong thing, usually loudly.  I felt embarrassed for him most of the time.  This is not the Severus that I know and love, not one bit!

Hermione is better, except that she is pregnant and experiencing PTSD for most of the fic.  I have read fantastic PTSD fics before, fics that broke my heart, but this one is kind of heavy-handed and eyeroll-y instead of heartbreaking.  I could see the plot of a war-traumatized Hermione clinging to the first friendly face she found, Severus, being a beautiful and dramatic fic, but this one just wasn’t written compellingly enough or delicately enough to pull it off.  I got the impression that the subject matter was too much for the author.  PTSD needs a tender, analytic, slow-burning quality to the writing to work.  That was absent here, leading to a lot of cringe-y moments.

The bottom line: It’s all over the place; I think the subject matter was too ambitious for the author.  Severus is terribly out of character. Skip it unless you love DM/RW.


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