After reading a plethora of fics I have found Sturgeon's Law truer than I would have liked to admit. There are exceptions to his rule. Then there is Hitchups that blows the aforementioned exceptions out of the water. When I say this story is great, it is borderline insulting to how unbelievably good it actually is. It is riveting, always keeping you at the edge of your computer wanting more. The author has a way of melding words seamlessly into a tale that sucks you in. Any grammar or spelling mistakes are hard pressed to be found in the course of the 300000 words.
The characterization is the most amazing I have ever seen out of a fic. Hiccup develops into a true man over the course of this coming of age story. Hiccup and Toothless are hilarious when bantering, while all of the other interactions leave readers craving for more screen time.If there is any fault in this story it is that there are a little too many characters, mostly because I want to see them all every chapter, some used purely as a device like the nomads. One of the things that stunned me the most were the OC and re-imagined characters. I personally always hold any OC with a grain of salt so I was pleasantly surprised at how well they were developed, and even found myself cheering for a few of them (Gudrid and Doris will hold a special place in my heart).
Don't even get me started on the prose. This story is full of intimate details letting the reader's imagination run wild. Every word serves a purpose for astounding foreshadowing. The plot is a bit episodic but has an overarching theme that precedes a strong climax. Despite the assurances of the author that this wasn't a romance focused story there was romance present. Normally when an author says this I brace myself but the romance was written as well as anything I've ever read. It was beautifully crafted in the very real aspects found in the world. Many of the relations have a bittersweet ending that can leave the reader heartbroken. It has a classy feel and doesn't include lemons.
Ultimately this is one of the best stories I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I would say it is comparable to another great coming of age story Catcher in the Rye but with less curse words and more dragons, so better. I can only offer my sincerest thanks to The Antic Repartee for letting us readers experience this journey with him.