A note for you: It may seem as though I am not-picking in my reviews, and I mght be a little bit. But I enjoy your stories a great deal (and I do a lot of intense editing for my cousin's writing as well) so I tend to point out anyhting that to me takes away from the effectiveness of the story. Again I hope you take it as it's intended; as constructive advice. I don't bother commenting on stories I don't like! : ) Anyway I am commenting on this particular story as I read it, not afterwards. So it's kind of a blow by blow review.
---along the outer wall of the small room he was in.---
"he was in" is a little awkward and unnecessary. since he's pacing the room, the reader will know he's in the room.
Oo, "stark". I always liked that word. Very descriptive. Metronomic! Another good word!
How very intriguing so far, this game... I love how Dumbledore replies to Voldemort, especially using his name. Oo, Grindelwald! Nice tie-in there! And an ominous inference to who that Muggle might be. And you know, as I am reading, I haven't paid much attention to the game of chess itself...but though I know little of the game, I realize there's a whole lot being said there! And the fact that Tom began as the while side, and Dumbledore as the black I thought was wonderfully ironic! LOL
A nicely symbolic story I think! Though the end leaves me a little confused. Not sure what the ash was, or represented, or why they were playing a game of chess. As I have said before, I don't do well with symbolism and would enjoy a bit of an explanation for this story. I enjoyed it nonetheless! : )
I never mind constructive criticism. I consider myself a semi-professional writer, so I\'m used to it :) I appreciate you taking the time to leave me an in-depth review like this.
OK-- War can be seen as a bit of a chess game itself, with the kings as the ideology. I had Tom playing white, which is considered ideal for a more agressive, offensive player. The final pawn, of course, is Harry. I have to re-read this story for the symbolism of some of the other pieces (it\'s been a while), but most of the others are open for interpretation.
The room is of Tom\'s choosing, so everything is in black and white -- with three notable exceptions: the sand in the hourglass, Dumbledore\'s robes, and the ash at the end. All of these are grey. Dumbledore\'s robes are dove-grey, for peace. Time is grey, meaning that it adheres to neither the side of dark nor light. It is neutral. And the ash at the end -- is the combination of the two simple pawns used during the battle -- the Everyman caught up in a battle he or she may not fully understand. The result for both spent pawns is the same: Death. So again, the neutrality of grey.
What can I say? I\'m a sucker for symbolism!