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A Darkness Lies behind Us  by Bodkin 14 Review(s)
Nieriel RainaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/17/2007
How have I missed this before? This is very good. I'm coming to truly like Finrod. Thank you for adding to filling out the character. Every story adds a little more, and this one is really well done.

NiRi

Author Reply: Thank you, Nieriel Raina! I'm pleased you enjoyed it. Finrod is a rather splendid elf - and one whose returned is actually a matter of record! I enjoy reading - and writing - about him.

perellethReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/7/2006
Good to see Finrod back again! As always I like the the atemporal feeling, and the way you choose to develop the story through short scenes. Amarië comes out as a delightful and resilient character. It is interesting to think that bounded couples would be able to feel each other across the sea...if even half bonded ones could. Although I am not sure whether it would make it better or worse...

When you are ready, everyone will know. You will sweep us all along in your wake, my lord, and have us all doing your will. Now that's a good description of him, I think. At least I like it very much!

Author Reply: I think - sort of - that returning to Irmo's gardens must have had a very timeless feel to it. Maybe of everything happening at the same time on different planes. Time must seem different, too, in the BR - where there is so much of it and so few things are affected by it. Amarie is soft and gentle but she has an endurance about her - Finrod would, I think, have refused to take her with him. I think he is protective ... but, at the same time, he consented to Artanis coming along. Different sort of elleth. Maybe, too, there might have been elements of foresight there and fate involved.

Finrod and Amarie were not physically bonded, but I think they were emotionally - and maybe the bond would have been enough for them to touch on the dream path. Enough for Amarie to know when it was sundered. I think it would be worse in a way than being completely separated - offering hope and despair and never allowing wounds to heal properly ...

Curious, enthusiastic, honourable, honest, loving, generous - I think Finrod contained many of the best qualities of the elves. Charismatic, too. And convincing. Amarie knows him and accepts him as he is - probably exactly what he needs right now.

meckinockReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/2/2006
Whoa, Bodkin - what a powerful symphony of images and sensations you execute. From heartfelt, gentle caresses to this -

And searing into her was the echo of pain, pain indescribable, pain that clawed and chewed and ripped, stealing blood and breath and rending… A sound like a dog tearing its prey apart, hot breath on cold skin, the shredding of muscle, the wrenching of bone from bone and the stench of spilled blood and worse…

A phantom touch, a ghostly breeze brushed against her cheek, a sensation of sorrow, of apology – and he was gone.


Yowza. That has got to be one of the most gut-wrenching passages I've ever read. But with such a heartwarming reunion to follow, I suppose it was worth it for them in the end. What a beautifully written story.





Author Reply: When I was reading back over Finroddy parts of the Sil, I couldn't help focusing on his death and thinking how absolutely horrific it was. And how nice Finrod was in comparison to the sons of Feanor. (Especially the C-sons.)

Thank you - I'm glad you enjoyed it.

InglorReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/2/2006
Being a devourer of all things Finrod, opening my email and seeing this in my box was like finding the Daisy Red Rider BB gun on Christmas morning.

As much as I have liked the glimpses of Finrod in your other stories, I am now hooked by Amarie. Though I'm not surprised, you do have a knack for writing female characters that have a subtle gravity that a reader can't escape. All your female characters are admirable.

Simply can not wait for more of this and will do anything to feed the muse.




Author Reply: I'm glad you liked it! And I do like building up female characters to be more than wallpaper. Amarie is (I think) part of what makes Finrod such an admirable character. As are Earwen and Indis! (And the absence of Miriel is possibly a large element of what made Feanor such an unbalanced elf.)

You are feeding the muse! (Although said muse isn't all that hungry at the moment - or rather, I've been rather too busy to spend as much time as I would like encouraging it!) There will be more. Soon-ish.

RedheredhReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/2/2006
Just like with Arwen's story, I think you are going to reveal something about Amarie that was never understood or hitherto unknowable. What more can I say? I love your writing and your insight into the nature of elves.

Amarie's connection is a miraculous thing when one thinks about it. How events around Finrod's death *seemed* to proceed, I will chalk up to her *very* distant connection with him... Her seeking out Indis was a brilliant note nicely echoed in Finrod seeking out her.

Finrod's return was really well done. Not just the myriad discussions, but how Finarfin and Earwen were summoned and their anxious reactions. His worry that his mother was following in Miriel's footsteps was another brilliant note - that illumnated the next paragraph about how two "could endure what would have broken one alone". Personal hurts had not overwhelmed any of them, but were not forgotten as if they had never happened either.

I found Finfarfin's worried questions about being reborn very interesting and familiar. ;)

But, Finrod and Amarie's reunion was so utterly romatic - and I mean that in the absolute best sense of the word. It was thrilling and touching and sweet and real. As real as elves should and can be real. Amarie's gentle feminine humility is endearing. Exactly what would have made Finrod love her and leave her safely behind when he went into the known dangers of Endor.

He's gonna make up for that good, I hope.


Author Reply: I think Finrod will do his best to make up for his dereliction! But Amarie will not try to make him change - I think she is too aware of how his need to wander and his honesty and his frank curiosity about the world are qualities that make Finrod who he is. And she likes him how he is!

A connection - however tenuous - is such a useful thing! Amarie and Finrod are committed to each other, I think, even without the formality of bonding - and it doesn't seem impossible that their dream paths should inter-connect to a degree, while intense experiences could perhaps leave an echo in the other. I do think she would seek Indis - while Anaire, probably, as a wife and mother, would perhaps have someone who would seek comfort from her rather than the other way round... Rambling. Not the time to think of other abandoned ellyth.

There are times when elven memory cannot be a blessing - Finarfin must have been emotionally strong to support the cares that piled on him, and that suggests strong bonds with those left. Earwen, certainly - but I think Indis must have been a good mother. And that her son's need probably held her more firmly to life than he realised.

And musing on death and rebirth and new lives and past experiences. Well - yes! Am I getting repetitive?

Author Reply: I think Finrod will do his best to make up for his dereliction! But Amarie will not try to make him change - I think she is too aware of how his need to wander and his honesty and his frank curiosity about the world are qualities that make Finrod who he is. And she likes him how he is!

A connection - however tenuous - is such a useful thing! Amarie and Finrod are committed to each other, I think, even without the formality of bonding - and it doesn't seem impossible that their dream paths should inter-connect to a degree, while intense experiences could perhaps leave an echo in the other. I do think she would seek Indis - while Anaire, probably, as a wife and mother, would perhaps have someone who would seek comfort from her rather than the other way round... Rambling. Not the time to think of other abandoned ellyth.

There are times when elven memory cannot be a blessing - Finarfin must have been emotionally strong to support the cares that piled on him, and that suggests strong bonds with those left. Earwen, certainly - but I think Indis must have been a good mother. And that her son's need probably held her more firmly to life than he realised.

And musing on death and rebirth and new lives and past experiences. Well - yes! Am I getting repetitive?

Author Reply: Clearly I am getting repetitive.

It pretended it hadn't posted the answer. And then it did it twice!

KittyReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/2/2006
Nice to have a story about this part of the family for a change. It will be interesting to watch Finrod readjusting to his old life in Valinor and dealing with what little of his family remains, how he is able to cope with his experiences in Middle-earth.

How sad that Finwe chose his first family in spite of all their faults instead of the second, who deserved his love and care much more. It is difficult to understand.

I am glad Amarie was there for Finrod. Even more than his parents, he needs her to adjust to nis new life, I believe, and am glad she is there for him.


Author Reply: Thank you, Kitty. Sometimes it is those who appear neediest who attract the attention. I suspect Feanor was always expert at pressing all the buttons that made Finwe feel guilty. And Feanor's mother can't have been the most rational of ellyth - refusing to live despite all the encouragement she received does make you wonder a bit about the genes she passed on to her son. Indis, on the other hand, probably remained strong and coped with all that was thrown at her - and Finwe decided she was more than capable of supporting his other two sons through their trials. (Not the first male to be short-sighted in that way!)

It won't be an easy adjustment for Finrod, I think. Especially as it sounds as if he is fairly experimental. Those in charge of the service will get better with practice. Very good thing Amarie is there - Finrod needs someone who has faith in him as an adult and doesn't want to cosset him. (Well, not in the same way, anyway.)

French PonyReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/1/2006
Fascinating beginning. Love, death, rebirth, second chances. . . there is so much to explore and think about, but perhaps too much for me to contemplate today, what with the funeral and Yom Kippur beginning tonight. But I will definitely be following this.

Author Reply: Thank you, FP. The second chance thing is perhaps one of the attractions of the idea of elves returning to their kin. Although it is also a very great complication - it cannot be easy to be returned to the home of your innocence when you contain the memory of so much else. Bringing together all the experience within your head and blending yourself back to wholeness - hard. Very hard.

EllieReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/1/2006
SIGH...This was so beautiful adn just so...exquisite. You write a lovely Finrod and Amarie. The pain of Finarfin at the reminder that his father loved his second family less than his first and always would, was so very sad. Indis' strength adn Earwen's as well (okay Amaire's too) are all to be admired. Such strong noble courageous women chosen by the House of Finwe. This was wonderful!

Well done!

Author Reply: I find it very sad that Finwe would be such a supporter of Feanor - even when he was wrong. It says a lot about their relationship - as if Finwe was constantly trying to make something up to his first-born and failing to realise that he was creating divisions between himself and his second family. A well-meaning father perhaps - but not necessarily a very effective one. But Finarfin has Earwen - who has stood by him staunchly. And his mother will not abandon him - emphasis on the will! I reckon Indis must be a very strong woman - and a good mother to her boys.

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/1/2006
Yes, the new quest to find himself via love rather than the challenge of war. So glad he agreed to return, and that she awaited him.

Author Reply: Finrod seems to me to be an elf with a deep curiosity about the world around him. I think he is one who would certainly be up for the challenge of doing something that no-one had tried before. And I can see him shouldering the responsibility of trying to bridge the gap between those who had left the Blessed Realm and those who had remained.

And, of course, finding happiness with Amarie!

HalethReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/1/2006
I am so happy to find this story. Finrod is my favourite Tolkien character and you portray him wonderfully, Bodkin.

Amarie, who is little more than mentioned in passing, becomes warm and real. It is hard to imagine what she went through being separated from her true love for so long and knowing the Doom that hung over him.

As always, I am looking forward to more.



Author Reply: If you look at the journey of the Noldor and the War of Wrath from the western side of the sea, there were so many people left behind who must have suffered separation from their loved ones - separation by distance, by exile, by death. They would have needed remarkable strength to endure - and remarkable faith to believe that, one day, they would be reunited.

Thank you. I'm glad you like Finrod and Amarie - and the rest of their families. There will be more ... just not quite yet!

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