Other users have already mentioned this fanfic's failings, so I'll focus solely on the ending. It sucks. Sheffield, built up as some kind of unstoppable badass, is killed when Shirou pulls a "your shoe is untied." He beats her to death with his bare hands, a scene described in so much detail that I kinda suspect the author gets off on this kind of thing. It's so pointlessly violent and out of place from the rest of the series that, upon reading it, I had to sit back and wonder if the author was joking. Look, anticlimax can be used in very effective ways, as long as it fits the tone of the story. Hill of Swords fails in that regard: Sheffield's death is the result of random, out-of-character stupidity on her part. When the reader's instinctive reactive to a non-comedic scene is a loud sigh and an eyeroll, the author has failed. And the author of Hill of Swords fails hard. If the author wanted an anticlimactic final battle, they should have written something better than "your shoe is untied." There's absolutely no effort involved in this... actually, no, there is effort, and it's all poured into a graphic description of a woman's head being bashed in. Because that's what the reader wants to see! Not a well-written finale, no: the reader really wants to see a woman have her head bashed in after being tricked by a brooding sociopath. I didn't like Shirou anyway, since he's just a stereotypical brooding Mary Sue anti-hero. I just wanted to watch the story unfold, and while I knew I would be disappointed pretty soon into the story, I stuck around for the ending because I'm apparently a masochist. I kinda wish I hadn't stuck around. The ending is an insult to the reader, and the author acts like the final battle is the coolest thing they've ever written. It's really, really not. I was completely disappointed in Hill of Swords after all the hype it's received, and I would only recommend it to people who enjoy bad fanfiction... especially people who enjoy terrible, half-hearted endings.
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