Reviews: The Hill of Swords
The simple fact of the matter is that, while it is a good story, it's one of those things where the fundamental goal of the fic may be one you don't like. That's probably why I disliked the ending - I am fundamentally repelled by the main character being a Death Seeker who's only possible happiness is him dying to be Together In Death with the one he loves, shown when Shirou and Saber reunite in Avalon, and that is what the author set out to do here. The Love It Or Hate It really depends on if the storyline's purpose is one you like or not. If you dislike it as I do, there's not a chance in hell for you to enjoy the overall story once you've read it, no matter how good it is. After all, good does not necessarily equal enjoyable. That is just my two cents of course, but I thought I should put it out there. Don't like Together In Death and Death Seeker heroes who don't resume living normally? Then there's no fundamental need to read, because this story may disappoint you. If you do, congratulations - there's a wonderful piece out there, waiting for you.
I'm honestly a big fan of the fic. Yes, it has Shirou very much out of character from the end of Fate/UBW (which Gabriel claims to get his inspiration from) but that gets justified as he, and other characters, realize that he is thoroughly along the path that made him Archer and he slowly starts to show more shades of the original Shiro. Yes, Shirou initially comes across as a God Mode Sue, until you remember that his skills are being augmented by being a Gandalfr and even then he encounters people who he thinks would qualify as Heroic Spirits after their death. Both Louise and Shirou undergo Character Development throughout the process, and the fight scenes are well done.
By Elven Queen:
Personally, I thought this fic suffered from some Hype Backlash. While there are plenty of things going for it (well-written action scenes, a good dose of humor, the background element of Shirou's romance with Saber, even some interesting political drama), there are also some things that didn't work for me. There are plenty of grammar errors (which Gabriel never bothers fixing), the whole "every other woman throwing themselves at Shirou" thing got really annoying after a while, and the whole premise of Shirou's characterization falls apart when Fridge Logic sets in. To elaborate on that last point, Shirou is supposed to be basically on his way to becoming Archer, but the problem is that Archer didn't become bitter and cynical until after he had spent an undetermined amount of time as a Counter Guardian, and that didn't happen until Archer had died. Again, though, this fic is not terrible by any means, but it's not something I'd necessarily call a flawless masterpiece.
I almost wrote this one off before the first chapter was done because Shirou doesn't talk or act anything like any version of Shirou seen in the games. Then it hit me towards the end of the first chapter; it's not Shirou, it's Emiya, or at least a Shirou who's well on his way to becoming a Counter Guardian. Subsequent chapters and authors notes confirm this, and I'm eagerly awaiting future installments on this one.