Status: Complete, Word Count: 246,500
Read the Fic Here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11752324/1/Limpieza-de-Sangre
Author’s Summary: Harry Potter always knew he’d have to fight in a Wizarding War, but he’d always thought it would be after school, and not after winning the Triwizard Tournament. Worse still, he never thought he’d understand both sides of the conflict. AU with a Female Voldemort.
Characterization: The characterization in this fic is insanely good, and I’m blown away by it all over again every single time I read it. The star of the show is Emily Riddle, who has some of the most complex character motivations I have ever seen in a fanfic. We get to see what essentially boils down to her entire life story through the diary, and I think it’s all done really, really well. Her corruption is slowly laid out before us, and it’s really interesting to see her slowly lose her humanity over the course of her life, as she loses everything again and again. However, what’s honestly even more impressive is that she’s still decidedly a villain in this story. Her cruelty and her desire for world domination are not at all nerfed just because she has understandable motivations, and I think TheEndless7 strikes a really important and delicate balance when writing her. She’s honestly fantastic, and when I read this fic I truly understand why Emily Riddle has become the default name for a gender-bent Voldemort. This version of Voldemort is absolutely iconic, and I fucking love it. Luckily, the other characters in this fic are great too! Harry’s probably my favorite, just because I love watching Voldemort manipulate him and fuck with his emotions so casually, and yeah let’s talk about that, because TheEndless7 is objectively too good at writing characters. When Harry feels things in this fic, those emotions are transferred to me in a way that feels absolutely effortless, and it’s honestly a bit scary that he’s this good at writing emotional scenes in his fics. When Harry feels either sad, or disgusted, or horrified while viewing Voldemort’s memories, I am right there with him feeling those things too, and….it’s just so fucking good. I also feel like I need to mention how great Harry’s dynamic with Hermione is in this fic, because wow. It’s always a bit ambiguous whether they’re in a romantic relationship or whether they’re just very close friends, but it’s great either way. Look, TE7 has a reputation for writing amazing, complex, interesting characters, and I am happy to say that every good thing you’ve heard about the characterization in Limpieza de Sangre is true.
Plot: I think this fic’s plot is, overall, very good. I’m a huge fan of the beginning, and an even bigger fan of the ending, but I do think there are a few points in the middle that drag a little bit. Most of all, though, I’m impressed by how many pitfalls TheEndless7 managed to avoid while writing this fic. It would have been so very easy for him to turn this into a Harry/fem!Voldie story, and if he had done that this story would suck so fucking hard it would be practically unreadable. Luckily, this fic is a tragedy, and it’s absolutely amazing. The ending scene hits insanely hard, and it really feels like it’s the natural culmination of everything that came before it. I also absolutely adore all of the Voldemort memories that we get to view, because they’re all really interesting. However, never let it be said that I’m not fair and balanced in my reviews, because I have to dock some points for using rape in order to gain cheap sympathy points for a character. It is fucking disgusting that this is done so often, and it needs to stop. Fanfiction is just not the place to do such a thing, as there does not exist a fanfiction author out there with the talent and nuance to pull it off. However, it’s only one scene, and there’s nothing especially graphic, so I’ll only dock 1.5 points instead of giving this fic’s plot a failing grade and moving on. However, despite that rather large and unfortunate mistake, I still really enjoy this fic’s plot. Sure, it drags a bit at points, but I definitely think that, overall, the good outweighs the bad here.
Dialogue: TheEndless7 is extremely good at writing compelling, interesting characters, and that very much extends to the dialogue. The flow is great, each character has distinct speaking patterns, it’s engaging, and I absolutely adore it. A lot of this fic is very conversation driven, and it would not work if the dialogue wasn’t top notch, but it is, so it works.
Action: The action in this fic is fine. There isn’t much of it, it isn’t always the best, but I’d call it serviceable. TE7 has never been especially good at doing action though, as is evident in the cringeworthy penultimate chapter of Pureblood Princess, and even though there’s nothing nearly that bad here, it still feels a bit off at times. The action is at its best when it’s a conduit for great, compelling character moments, but the issue is that there are a few times when there’s just action for the sake of action, and it never works very well.
Writing Mechanics: Yeah this fic is mechanically perfect. I mean….there are probably a few flaws here and there, but TE7 is generally very good about proof reading and making sure there are no mechanical errors, and yeah this is still true here. The grammar’s all sound, the sentence structure all makes sense, all the words are spelled correctly, etc.
Overall: Limpieza de Sangre is a fucking experience to read. This story broke so much new ground, and it did so many different things right. First of all, as far as I can tell, this fic turned Emily Riddle into many people’s definitive version of Lady Voldemort. Not only that, but LdS is also basically responsible for Female Voldemort’s current popularity within the fanfic community. Besides being fandom-defining, this fic does an absolutely fantastic job painting the wizarding war in shades of grey. The scenes featuring flashbacks throughout Emily’s life were incredibly effective at making me sympathize with her, and understand her goals and how she became the person she was at the start of the fic. However, it also manages to still clearly condemn her for being, ya know, an insane, cruel maniac. Besides Emily, the other main characters of the story are also characterized extremely well. Harry, Hermione, and (surprisingly) Evan Rosier are all written extremely well and all have unique personalities. The action is mostly fine, and the finale is one of the best endings I’ve read in a story. I’m actually not too keen on this story’s sequel, but as a stand alone project it is incredibly satisfying. I implore you to check out this fic, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Final Thoughts: Look, I’ll be honest here and say that even though Limpieza de Sangre is far from perfect, it is the dictionary definition of a fandom-defining fic. It is unique, it is original, it has had many, many people try to copy it over the years, but it stands the test of time and is still easily the best version of female Voldemort ever written (Unseen Perspective not withstanding). I honestly think that everyone should read this fic all the way through, because even if you don’t especially care for it, it’s still an important touchstone in the history of this fandom. Regardless, if you enjoy well written tragedies, this fic is for you. If you enjoy female Voldemort, this fic is for you. If you enjoy a fic giving a huge middle finger to the idiots who think shipping a 15 year old boy with a seventy year old woman is a good idea, then this fic is for you. Check it out, I have faith that you will not be disappointed.
Tier: Top Tier
Written on 05/20/2021