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My Sword Sings - Book One - 'My Sword' Series  by Agape4Gondor 72 Review(s)
gginscReviewed Chapter: Author's Notes on 9/12/2014
Well, that was sad! Poor Boromir dies at 11 years old!! It would be nice to know how all this affects the Fellowship of the Ring. Surely Faramir, as steward, would not go on the quest. Who would take Boromir's place?

LarnerReviewed Chapter: Author's Notes on 5/5/2014
I merely rejoice that Saruman has been foiled at least for now. Too bad he is still intent on murder and despoiling.

Poor Faramir!

Szepilona10Reviewed Chapter: Author's Notes on 4/5/2008
How could you kill Boromir? So young too!);


Author Reply: I have ALWAYS been angry at Tolkien for killing Boromir off in LOTR. Now I can understand.

I was at a Howard Shore concert and they were playing the Amon Hen music as Boromir goes to his death. And I literally 'saw' - in my mind's eye - little Boromir at the Fountain and the water ran red and I knew the dear one was going to die. I wept the rest of the concert.

Sometimes - authors don't quite listen to their Muse. I have found mine quite intelligent and I do not buck her when she tells me what to do. I would have loved having Boromir in the rest of these tales, but it is not to be. Faramir, however, will recover..........

Very sorry.......

FiondilReviewed Chapter: Author's Notes on 6/1/2007
Well, I just finished reading this story and as promised am writing this review. It was heartbreaking to see Boromir dying so young. I suppose it was never his fate to be the Steward of Gondor. I loved the character of Indis. It's rare to see strong women characters who don't come off sounding like total harridans and shrews. She is definitely a force to be reckoned with. The introduction of canon characters, especially those who are minor characters in LOTR, such as Targon, or, like Éomund, are already dead, was cleverly and seamlessly done.

Much of this story, especially with the treatment of the children reminded me of Katherine Kurtz's "Deryni" stories, the ones that take place centuries before Kelson. It is harrowing to read the abuse of children who are seen only as pawns in the cruel game of politics. Amandil and his cronies care nothing for the well-being of Boromir and Faramir. I trust there's a special place in Mandos for people like that and that Lord Námo gives them a... er... good talking to. I'm sure not even Eru would want them sullying the Timeless Halls with their presence.

I liked the portrayal of Théodred, who we know only from the reports of others, as he dies off-screen, so to speak, in LOTR. I had to go back to the Appendices to discover that he and Boromir were indeed the same age. That is something I never knew. It's even more interesting, when you look at the Tale of Years for 3019, that Théodred and Boromir die one day apart from one another.

I am curious about your source for Sindarin, since some of it appears wrong. "Llasto" is incorrect. It should simply be "Lasto". The double-l does not exist in Sindarin and as far as I remember, never did. "Melethril" properly means "female lover". The masculine equivalent is "melethron". I have no idea where "potilas" comes from. There is no attested word for "patient/sick person" in either Sindarin or Quenya. The closest win Sindarin ould probably be "caeleb" meaning "bedridden, sick". Possibly one could construct the word "caeleben" meaning "bedridden/sick person" from "caeleb" + "pen", which means "someone". "Verno" is neither Sindarin nor Quenya. The Sindarin word for "husband" is "hervenn"; the Quenya equivalent is "venno". And "come here" should be "tolo hí" as the adverb seems to suffer soft mutation in this position.

Picky, I know, but I hate improper use of the Eldarin languages when there are any number of websites that offer proper wordlists and grammar rules.

According to my OE dictionary, "undertaker" should be "andfenga" with plural "andfengan".

Anyway, please do not think that this in any way is meant to disparage your story. I truly enjoyed it even if it was sad with Boromir dying. I found the plot suspenseful and believable simply because I'm aware of our own history and the terrible things done in the name of politics and greed. The characters were superbly drawn and three-dimensional and I was rooting for them to the very end. I am looking forward to reading the sequel(s).

Author Reply: Hello, Fiondil,

My deepest thanks for your comprehensive review. Something like this is very hard to come by; I most appreciate the time you took.

Every time I had to write Boromir or Faramir or Theodred or Targon - the writing just seemed to flow. I fell in love with these young people's courage in the face of massive horrors! As for the men of Rohan - though I am by soul in love with Gondorians - they took me by surprise and made me love them too!

If you could find it in your heart to, perhaps someday, write a little tale of Namo's wrath upon men such as those who did the atrocities for naught but their own profit.... is where I found Andfangol for undertaker. is where I found the Finnish translation for patient. I did not like the Old English word and since Tollers liked Finnish - I decided to use it. The one who uses the word 'potilas' is Rohirric - that's why I didn't use Sindarin or Quenya.

As for the Elvish translations - my deepest thanks! I have changed them. It is extremely difficult to find a good translator for Elvish (Sindarin or Quenya) - so I tried my best! But I truly BOW to your expertise in this area - you are incredible!

I think 'llasto' got caught up in my fingers or my Spanish... and verno, I think, was a typo!

Again - deepest thanks!

SurgicalSteelReviewed Chapter: 35 on 11/7/2006
It's not so much that water increases blood flow - warm water (higher than body temp) can raise your heart rate and increase blood flow, cold water (I'm imagining fountains wouldn't be warm) would tend to slow the heart rate. But being in the cold water makes you hypothermic (medicalese for cold) and makes the clotting factors in the blood not work so well. But truly, someone could bleed to the point of nearly irreversible shock withing minutes from the injury you've described - and even if you assume a roughly mid-1800s level of medical knowledge (which I do in my writing) and that folks know enough to replace lost blood with saline or even attempt blood transfusions, outside of either the Houses of Healing or a well-organized medical camp, you're not likely to have the resources to reverse shock immediately available.

*shrugs* It's not just that I'm a surgeon, I'm also fascinated with medical history, have read a Civil War era text for Army Surgeons, and am working my way through Larrey's 'Memoirs of Military Surgery.' I'm geekly that way. ;)

SurgicalSteelReviewed Chapter: 35 on 11/6/2006
Surprisingly to many, you can in fact survive having a carotid ligated. There's a rich collateral network at the base of the brain called the Circle of Willis which is fed by both internal carotid arteries and the two vertebral arteries. As long as it's intact (not damaged by years of atherosclerosis, etc), you can sacrifice three out of four vessels and still have enough blood flow to the brain for normal function. Same for the jugular - rich collaterals drain the brain, so you can ligate one and the blood flow should preferentially drain out the other side. You may get swelling on that side of the face short term, though.

It'd be the blood loss without fluid/blood replacement that'd get people. You can bleed to death in a matter of minutes from that sort of injury.

Author Reply: Well, since you've offered... since I hadn't know about ligating and such - I'm wondering... after his neck was sliced... he fell into the pool... doesn't water increase the blood flow... wouldn't he be more prone to bleeding to death because of being in the fountain for many moments???

SurgicalSteelReviewed Chapter: 35 on 11/5/2006
Ligating a vessel is basically just tying it off above and below the injury - or we'll say 'clamp clamp cut tie tie.' Clamps on either side of the injury, finish dividing it, tie around both clamps. The injury you describe is *potentially* survivable, but unlikely to be survived, if that makes sense. A few would survive it, but it sould be rather unlikely, esp. if he'd lost a lot of blood prior to trying to repair the injury. Hemorrhagic shock alone could kill a person.

And if you have any medical questions, I'm happy to help in any way I can. Ask half my f-list on LiveJournal, I'm more than happy to play medical beta if anyone needs one. :)

Author Reply: Thanks so much for the kind offer. I will 'bug you' when needed.

As for this - I think the sword cut his jugular veing and the carotid artery and I really can't see him surviving that - can one really clamp off the jugular vein, the carotid?

That's why I had the poor healer trying to sew the carotid back together...

SurgicalSteelReviewed Chapter: Author's Notes on 11/5/2006
Overall a good read - political intrigue which seems entirely plasuible, and leaves Gondor's fate in the hands of a small boy and a fierce woman. I enjoyed this!

Author Reply: So very glad you enjoyed this. It's nice to give back to an author whom I so admire!

SurgicalSteelReviewed Chapter: 35 on 11/4/2006
Minor medical issues here - by having someone *repair* rather than *ligate* a vascular injury, you're assuming a very high level of medical knowledge and expertise - one that wouldn't have been widely available until the 1900s. As recently as WWII, standard practice was to ligate injuries even to the carotid and the jugular, and I've personally ligated someone's inferior vena cava.

Otherwise, nicely done.

Author Reply: Thanks SS for the review...

This chapter absolutely blew me away because there was NO way that the end result was going to be what it was.

But then a nurse-friend of mine told me that no one could have survived the blow as I described it... so I had the surgeon do what he could... what I thought was the only remedy - not having the surgical background that you have... I didn't know anything about ligate - I've got to go to the internet and find out what on earth that is....

As for the descendants of Numenor - I give them huge credit for all kinds of stuff - a people who could build Minas Tirith, the impregnable tower at Nan Curunir, and the Argonath - were capable, IMHO, of doing just about anything!

If I could have saved..... oh dear - but that definitely means the sequel would not exist as such... and I think the muse definitely decided Faramir was STILL going to be Steward - no matter what!

Thanks for reading - and know I agonized over these last few chapters.

SurgicalSteelReviewed Chapter: 34 on 11/4/2006
yikes, Boromir's hurt now!

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