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- Naruto - My Final Farewell by link no miko - If I were going to quibble with one thing about this story, it would be that I want to say Yondaime meant for Naruto to be a hero to the village, but in this fic, the characterization/plot hinges on that he knows he's dooming the baby to a life of isolation and loneliness. However, when I set that issue aside, this is really one of the best Yondaime - Naruto fics I've had the pleasure of reading, the writing is smooth and the flow of thoughts has a nice pace, it isn't stretched out too far, it doesn't repeat itself too much just to stretch things out, but neither is it too short. There's a lot to be said for a fic that knows just how long it needs to be. There are some very nice turns of phrase inside the story and, even more than that, it does a really nice job with the heartbreaking story, Yondaime knowing he's not going to be there for his son, that he loves him and wants the best for him, all in that way the series has. Really good Yondaime fic. (No warnings/pairings.)

- Naruto - In a Kingdom Far Away by Chevira Lowe - I admit, I'm sort of torn on this fic, because I'm not really sure what the point of it was and suspect I'm missing the point by looking for a point. What I mean is that this fic is sort of a horror or dream-like piece about Yondaime after his death, about a constant run from the Beast that his chasing him and the loss of everything that he used to be as he keeps running. The imagery is heavy, but I found that it worked for the piece, given what felt like the objective of the story, it certainly created the sense of a dark, twisted painting in my mind, a dark backdrop and atmosphere that was what won me over with the fic. Plus, good Yondaime fic is rare, that makes this all the more intriguing. :D (No warnings/pairings.)

- Naruto - Such Great Heights by link no miko - Remember how I'm kind of a dink about some things? Well, I'm a little bit of a dink here, too. But maybe it's just my own theories and assumptions about the background details that I might be wrong about, like I believe Kyuubi belonged to Konoha before it got loose (given what the old woman from Suna implied), rather than that it happened to wander towards the village here. But once I get over myself, this was a fabulous story, a really great possible background for Yondaime, the way his life passes along in this smooth stream of a story, from a talented young ninja who knew a cute little girl he gave lopsided flowers to to an even more talented teacher who didn't have so much time anymore and and even more talented Hokage with a child prodigy who was also dealing with the loss of their team to finding his way back to something like happiness and the flower girl to what we all know happened eventually. I really liked the story because it was so simple in a lot of ways, so lilting and smooth in the narration, but so complicated and messy in other ways. It was... I guess I'm trying to say that it was good and the tone the author took with the character and the atmosphere and the past she spun for him, it all vibed with the character we've seen not nearly enough of. It was charming and almost quaint, despite the heartache and loss they all suffer. (No real warnings.)

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