YMMV: The Hill of Swords

  • Better Than Canon: Some among the fandom see the story as better than The Familiar of Zero in nearly every way.
  • Brick Joke: "Alright, Root. That does it. All the other stuff, I could handle in time. But now I have to worry about having unauthorized porn of me circling the country as well?" This gets even funnier when you've read In Flight.
  • Cargo Ship: Shirou's reaction to Derflinger had shades of this.
    "Shirou," Louise said, her eye twitching, and her fists clenched as she eyed me strangely. "I'm glad you like the sword, but could you please stop rubbing your cheek against it? It's disturbing."
    • The Zero Fighter too. No wonder no woman can seduce him his love is only for weapons of mass destruction
    "I gave into the urge myself, and embraced the machine guns. "Oh! The armies we'll slaughter together!" I crooned, rubbing my face against the weapons."
  • Colbert Bump: When it first showed up in a Fanfic Recommendations thread over on the SpaceBattles Creative Writing forum, few if any of the locals had heard of The Familiar of Zero. Much awesomeness and a well-placed plot bunny thread later, ZnT fics — especially copycat crossover ideas based on "Louise summons ______ instead of Saito" — have more or less taken over the forum.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Shirou and Henrietta. Many believed that the one that got knocked up at the end was her.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The 2012 The Familiar Of Zero anime gives us, for the first time, Disintegration Void Magic. Several years after it appeared in this fic.
  • Ho Yay: This line about Shirou and Head Chef:
    'He had invited me to his room after his shift was done so we could discretely begin working on the book in privacy later that night.'
  • Love It or Hate It: The fandom loves it because they see the alternate familiar as much cooler than Saito, while the hatedom hates it because they see Shirō as mischaracterized and think the fandom hates on Saito too much.
    • Some of this is addressed in the author's notes at the start of each chapter, mostly concerning whether Shirou is overpowered or underpowered compared to his Fate/stay night self, the relation to Fate/stay night Canon (which the author clearly explained as being an alternate universe where parts of the the Unlimited Blade Works route seeped into the Fate route so the author could use a Shirou x Saber pairing while having UBW's better character development and magic for Shirou), and some admittedly Out of Character bits (Shirou has never sworn on the Root or really said much at all about the Root of the World in the entire Fate franchise so fans of the Visual Novel find it off-putting).
    • The debates over whether this Shirou is overpowered or not largely center on the Final Battle and how it kinda sorta totally breaks the rules of the Fate setting in half. In order, Shirou...1) uses Unlimited Blade Works (which he doesn't have anywhere close to enough mana to use and required a huge donation of mana from Rin to use which he doesn't have here), 2) uses Avalon inside UBW (while Shirou can project a perfect Avalon, it only works using Saber's mana and would be completely useless unless he had an active contract with Saber), and 3) uses Excalibur (even if we assume it is Excalibur Image - an incomplete version since he can't Trace the real thing - actually using it would kill him instantly as he doesn't have enough mana.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Thank to Follow the Leader, the plot that was once really unusual is now the first one used for all The Familiar of Zero fanfics ever.
  • Tear Jerker: The entire end of the second story arc (Chapter 14). Shirou's Last Stand and Heroic Sacrifice. Louise's realization after having a normal dream, rather than a dream-cycle dream. And worst of all, Shirou's reaction to Tiffania resurrecting him.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks: A common criticism is that the story is essentially the same as The Familiar of Zero, but with a cooler protagonist.