- Broken Base: The fact that Saito is pretty much manipulated by everyone.
- "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The Annual "Harass the Valliere" Festival sounds like a harmless event where where Zerbst lead farmers on exciting 'hunts' through the border's contested land. Usually to break enough stuff to make it an annoyance, but not enough to warrant a repercussion.... That is until you learn that they do it on the one day when Karin refuses to leave her manor because that was the day Luise was taken and Cattleya was killed several years ago and she's grieving.
- I Knew It!: A lot of readers figured out The Reveal on Chapter 73.
- Iron Woobie: The sheer amount of things Siesta goes through in the fic is just depressing, but she soldiers on.
- Strawman Has a Point: Backed by the author, the Cardinal has a point about what Karin did weakening the country.
- What an Idiot!: As this reader helpfully points out, there are so many damn ways the Cardinal's plot to reveal Louise later could have blown up in his face that he should by all rights be dead. This doesn't even include the fact that Karin could very well decided to level the church, royal family, and everyone else involved for hiding Louise.
- Hell, it doesn't even address how Louise could have reacted. Did he honestly think that she would let the fact they were emotionally torturing her mother go without a hitch when she got reintroduced?
YMMV / The Steep Path Ahead