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Reviews Comments: Terrible, Terrible Ending. The Hill Of Swords arc review by Hainuwele

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.


  • doctrainAUM
  • 13th Apr 14
How is Shirou a sociopath?
  • roryokane
  • 8th Jan 15
I didn’t see Sheffield falling for Shirou’s “your shoe is untied” ploy as “random, out-of-character stupidity”. As read that statement in the story, I myself believed that Shirou’s laughter really was for that reason. I saw Sheffield as falling for Shirou’s words because she was still shocked and disconcerted by being stripped of her power.

Thus, I didn't see that moment as an anticlimax, because in my mind, Shirou had already won the fight by stripping Sheffield of her biggest power, which she had never anticipated fighting without. The stripping of that power was the climax, and the ensuing beatdown is just Shirou finishing off an injured enemy.

I agree that Sheffield’s death was unexpectedly violent and out-of-place. However, I did find a point to it. I thought that the author was reminding the reader that though they may be tempted to wish they were in Shirou’s shoes, they should reconsider, because battle is messy, not glorious.

Because of these different perspectives, I enjoyed the ending, and was satisfied with it.

@doctrainAUM When Hainuwele calls Shirou a “sociopath”, I would guess they are referring to the way Shirou, to protect the people he cares about, is willing to kill or harm anyone he doesn’t care about. For example, he (jokingly?) tries to paralyze Eleanor permanently just to stop her from pinching Louise’s cheeks too hard. I would call that stretching the definition of “sociopath”, since he still does care about some people, but I understand why someone might see Shirou as one.

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