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By the Light of Earendil's Star  by Branwyn 8 Review(s)
IsilmëReviewed Chapter: 15 on 4/9/2005
Hello again! : ) I commented a long time ago, but i have been keeping up with your story, and i must say, the imagery throughout this chapter is absolutely wonderful!
As always, your characters show the perfect amount of emotion, and feel very much alive. Thank you for taking the time to make a Lord of the Rings fan very happy!

Author Reply:

I am feeling more than a little discouraged with fandom at the moment, but this cheered me right up. Thank you for taking the time to make a fanfiction writer very happy!

Everyone in this story is older or younger than me, not to mention a different sex, so it is a relief to hear that the characters seem credible and not too overtly emotional. Many flowers in this chapter because, when I wrote it, I was watching the snow fall and longing for spring!

Chapter 16 has been slow going due to real life commitments and (believe it or not, LOL!) a panic-stricken spell of writer's block. So, I hope to post it by the end of April, but it may be a little later than that.

Thanks again for writing.


fliewatuetReviewed Chapter: 15 on 4/6/2005
To the esteemed, if chained, Lord Eldahil of Dol Amroth

Dear lord,

I thank you for your kind reply and apologise for the long delay. I assure you that our conversation is not known to my father. Furthermore, he is neither constable nor blacksmith, so there is no need for you to fear his wrath. It is, however, the wrath of the Steward that you have to fear. I was most aggrieved to learn of your arrest and the unbeseeming treatment you were forced to suffer at the Steward's behest.

As for your question regarding the "fan club": Though a gathering of most reputable people who share a high regard for a certain Lord or Lady or even minstrel, a "fan club" can indeed be turned into a weapon of war when those good people are rallied by a common cause. Your unwarranted arrest and treatment like a common ruffian is such a cause, and I am certain that many will stand up against Lord Denethor and demand your immediate release (and that of Master Haldan, of course, though he failed to display proper gratitude for your attempt to spare him the humiliation of entering Minas Tirith in chains).

I am certain that your imprisonment will not last long and that the Steward will have to bow to your admirers (and those of his sons) and display proper gratitude for your part in the rescue of his younger son.

Should you speak with your esteemed cousins, I kindly ask you to deliver my warmest greetings and my sincerest wishes for the Lord Faramir's speedy recovery.

With fondest regards,

Author Reply:
To the fair and noble Lady Fliewatuet doth Eldahil of Dol Amroth send greeting.

Dear lady--

With scant patience do I endure this harsh imprisonment, shut away from the light of day and having none for company but thieves and drunkards and the worthy Captain Haldan. Yet I am comforted to know that you and even others think kindly of me.

Though you mean well, I doubt that the lord Steward would be swayed by your pleas; it is said that he listens to counsel then follows his own mind. With the greatest reluctance, do I put my trust in my noble kinsman Boromir. He is the most well-meaning of men if not the most subtle.

Still, a file or small knife might be baked within a cake so that it is well-hidden. Then the cake could be sent as a gift to a nobleman in prison. A clever ruse, though we must pray the guards are honest men and do not steal a bite.

My thanks to you for the hopeful missive; it leaves me greatly cheered.

Your obedient servant

Postscript--Honey cake with almonds is my favorite.

These words written in The White Tower,
Minas Tirith

perellethReviewed Chapter: 15 on 3/27/2005
What a nice surpirse to find this story in this site, too! First of all, compliments for the great idea of the plot summaries. Truly useful!

This is a funny chapter, like a commedy of sorts, the funeral turned into ER, the "deceased" high in opium-induced happiness, and the "former corpse" and "willing rescuer" put to irons and treated to the long walk up to Minas Tirith in the company of Boromir's wreathed bodyguard and his own loving commander. Great! I find Eldahil is such fun! I hope Boromir finds time to come to their rescue! although, given his reputation, I'm afraid this will eventually turn into another of Captain Eldahil's misguided adventures as the tale grows in the telling!!

Btw, I like the way you're portraying Denethor!

Author Reply: Thanks so much for the kind review! Since I don't update very often, I figure that the plot summary is the least I can do to make amends. :-)

AcaceaReviewed Chapter: 15 on 3/26/2005
I must first apologise for not reviewing earlier although I have been following your fic for a while now as much as RL would allow me to follow fics. But now I have a long weekend, and you have an update, so I hope to redeem that:)

I’ve really liked the way this story progresses, you’ve got such a lovely mix of drama and angst but never letting either get overdone. And I think the relationships come out just perfect, especially in this chapter. Denethor comes out really well, grieving yet angry yet calm on the outward. And so what if Faramir isn’t graphically nekkid, he’s really quite brilliant under the poppies’ influence.
I loved your descriptions too, of the camp by the river, they were extremely vivid, and bring back nice memories of river camps to me. Thank you for that!:)

I’m looking forward to more and I’m going to try to review more regularly too.

Author Reply: Acacea--

No need to apologize! It is difficult to find time to read, let alone review! And it is even harder if you are trying to work on your own stories at the same time (and I know you write!). :-)

A reader did ask if the people on the pier (about half the City of Minas Tirith) could see poor Faramir's nekkidness. I think the soldiers would have kept everyone back from the edge of the pier so they wouldn't get pushed off if the crowd moved suddenly. Glad you liked Faramir's cheerful, rambling commentary!

Thanks for writing!

Raksha The DemonReviewed Chapter: 15 on 3/25/2005
Another great chapter!

Good use of medical realism - a wound like Faramir's can become very dangerous when it goes days untreated (I don't consider what the orcs did for it to fall in the category of "treatment" - they were trying to keep him capable of running, not trying to save him). Faramir's illness and the guilt that is also gnawing at him are very well described. Loopy!Faramir, rendered serenely unguarded by the poppy infusion, is adorable, everyone should have one. And as another reviewer has remarked, his comments are unwittingly funny.

Good pickup on the love that the people of Minas Tirith have for Boromir and Faramir, crying the latter's name at the revelation of his survival, showering them both with flowers and garlands. And Go, Denethor! As an encore to his fireman ladder-descent, I was hoping the Steward would do some one-handed pushups on the pier...Oh, well.

Wonderful summation, from Denethor's POV, about the family dynamics of the Steward's line. Boromir does have mass appeal, and so does Faramir in a less conscious way, but Denethor doesn't think he ever did, and loves Boromir's extroverted nature. Boromir is just adorable here - the danger is past, he's showing off and expressing his emotions in ways that Denethor (and probably Faramir, at least when fully conscious) just can't - lifting up Faramir to the attention of his father and the assembled crowd is a wonderful moment.

Poor Eldahil. No respect! He's like the Rodney Dangerfield of Gondor, but much cuter. Hope he's freed soon!

Nice flower-imagery - violets in Denethor's hair, flowers everywhere! And ribbons in maidens'hair -a happy day for a worried City.

Author Reply: Raksha,

I am glad you liked Loopy!Faramir! The most fun that poor man has had in the entire story. The "tincture of poppies" is laudanum--opium dissolved in an alchohol solution--so he is definitely feeling no pain. (The word "opium" did not sound Tolkienish to me so I just used "poppies" instead, though the dictionary says "opium" is from Middle English, based on a Latin root.)

Denethor shinnying down that ladder is my favorite part of the chapter! If Boromir is like most young men, he thinks his own father is old beyond belief, feeble and decrepit. What a surprise to see the old man chuck off his robes of state and slide down that ladder!

I do think that Thorongil's successes would have undermined Denethor's confidence in his own abilities. Curse you, Thorongil! I like Aragorn, it's Thorongil I can't stand...

Thanks for the kind words!

mirthorReviewed Chapter: 15 on 3/25/2005
Thanks for this latest installment - I check here often. I much enjoyed the way you played Denethor here. I could just feel the tension in him as he awaited Boromir's arrival & then the release when he saw Faramir move. And both his sons' personalities seemed spot on for as young as they are in this tale. I like your description of the Harlond.

Author Reply: Hello, Mirthor--

I hope that the quarrel between Denethor and Faramir did not make Denethor seem like a troll. While he is not the most patient man, you can hardly blame him for being annoyed at Faramir. Denethor has been debating the merits of a strategy of offense versus defense since before his sons were born. Not surprising that it would picque him to be taught strategy by a 20-year old!
In Faramir's defense, he is out in Ithilien and sees the current situation; Denethor probably hasn't been to "the front" in years. Also, Faramir is very likely saying exactly what all the commanders in Ithilien are saying; because Denethor is so very autocratic, they may be reluctant to be frank with him. Finally, Faramir may be inexperienced, but he is extremely intelligent--he could have some new insights into the situation. However, I don't think you would get too far trying to tell Denethor what he should do, LOL!

As my military advisor (who doubles as my husband) pointed out, guerilla warfare in Ithilien will cost more lives than holding a defensive position. Tolkien makes it clear that Gondor's population is declining; they can't afford the losses. However, as Faramir says, can they sit by while Sauron gathers in his allies? Two different strategies, each with its weakness.

But now I ramble! Just wanted to point out that Denethor's irritable reaction (telling poor Faramir to go practice his archery) is not entirely unreasonable. Thanks for the kind review!

annmarwalkReviewed Chapter: 15 on 3/25/2005
Hooray! and well worth the wait.

I love your descriptions:
"Exhausted by pain, he slid under the black surface of sleep without leaving a ripple."
"...could not see that his hands were clenched until they were bloodless, finger bones outlined under the white skin..."

"When he had been the steward’s heir, he had earned much respect but little love; his eldest son was everything that he had not been." Oh, how marvelously true! but how generous of Denethor, really, to not envy Boromir the affection of his people, the unswerving devotion of his men.

I really love the way you've portrayed Denethor here; torn between joy at Boromir's return and dread, turning to amazement and relief, at Faramir's.

"Faramir stared at the sable horses and the black-draped litter then looked at Boromir. “Who died?” *giggle* I also like the image of Denethor, all in black, bedecked with violets.

Poor Eldahil! I like him so much; I hope Boromir will remember to get him out of this mess!

"I am glad that you are here, Father …all will be well, I do not doubt it…" Ah, poor, dear, Faramir, so generous and loving. I so wish that all could be reconciled between them, but (since I don't think you are completely rewriting Tolkien), I feel this is not to be. Alas!

Author Reply: Ann--

Thanks for the kind words! Since Denethor is no longer a soldier out in the field, he can take pride in Boromir's success as a commander and his skill at arms without feeling threatened or jealous. Faramir has the misfortune of being an intellectual rival to his father. And Denethor is very proud of his own learning and intelligence. I am relieved that you like the portrayal of Denethor; writing him is not easy because he is far more subtle than I am. :-P

I imagined the crowd, especially the young children, just hurling the flowers at Boromir and the rest of them, like the way people throw rice at a wedding. So Boromir has flowers on top of his head, and Denethor is strewn with violets, LOL!

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 15 on 3/25/2005
I adore Eldahil! Boromir better come clean for him.

And I'm sorry, but I found much of the scene with Faramir morbidly funny. I was particularly amused when he asked who died. And the image of them all with flowers in their hair seemed so bizarre after the horror they had just suffered through. This was great, Branwyn.

Author Reply: Daw--

Thanks for writing, and I am glad you liked the triumphant arrival at the Harlond. :-) Loopy!Faramir based on personal experience with morphine after surgery; I clearly remember telling the nurses what nice people they were and so very kind to me!

Me? Twisted sense of humor?

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