Reviews: Guide Me Home
Gets right what so many other fanfics get wrong
Fact: I hate romance. For me to tolerate a romance story long enough to read it all the way through takes a near-miracle; I read this one all the way through and liked it. The relationship is built up slowly enough to be believable while thankfully never getting into UST territory, and what's more, it's a healthy relationship that's built on a foundation of trust and respect. Trust is one of the major themes of the story, and more than one Crowning Moment of Heartwarming results when Hakoda tells Ursa he trusts her and means it in spite of knowing there are things she's not telling him, and when by doing so he earns her trust in turn. The transition of the relationship from tentative allies to friends to lovers happened smoothly and never felt forced, and the story happily avoids the pitfall of romanticizing unhealthy behaviors - or even having the characters engage in such behaviors - that is all too common in fanfic and professional works alike. The only real complaint I have is that I find it rather unbelievable that, in the three weeks he spent on a ship with them, Hakoda never found the right moment to tell his children about his new relationship, but that's a fairly minor nitpick. All in all, this story is very well-done and comes highly recommended.
Progeny Ex Machina's review
Oh good, this is already here — I was just coming by to add it. Personally, the reason I fell in love with this fic is because it's one of the very few stories I've seen where things happen slowly. In particular, Ursa getting over her issues with self-hatred and invalidated guilt (the portrayal of which, judging by personal experience, is disturbingly accurate) and the evolution of the way she sees the world. Azula's recovery, while not a major plot point, is realistically gradual as well, and I love how her first breakthrough is sparked by Ursa's conscious emulation of the unconditional trust she was shown that helped her start to recover. I'm also partial to the way it wove in and out of the events of the show, never quite contradicting canon (and providing plausible excuses for how the main cast is left out of the loop despite their occasional reunions with Hakoda). The only negative thing I would say is that there are times when it gets somewhat cheesy due to its position far to the Idealistic side of the scale, but all in all, I would definitely recommend this one.
Caellach Tiger Eye's review
While this idea is risky of being a cliche, the author manages to make the idea of a relationship between Zuko and Azula's mother, and Sokka and Katara's father, very plausible - at the same time, much of the action happens off-screen, as the author is careful for the story to fit with what actually happened. It works very well. Ursa and Hakoda are well-written and developed despite their limited screentime in canon, and their contribution to the war effort is also well-written. O Cs are prominent, but don't dominate proceedings; rather, they are used to flesh out the world of Atl A more than canon did, such as giving names to Hakoda's men and introducing other members of the Order of the White Lotus as allies - their interactions with the story's protagonists helps them both grow as people. Also expect to see them meet canon characters during the storyline. Overall, the storyline is very well-written, plausible, and deeply moving.