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A Darkness Lies behind Us  by Bodkin 10 Review(s)
TreezebeesReviewed Chapter: 5 on 1/24/2011
I just finished the story and it's really great! I enjoyed reading it and I hope you will add a new chapter some day!

Agape4GondorReviewed Chapter: 5 on 6/24/2008
I love the repartee between Finrod and Espalas - you'd think Finrod would realize that Namo would NOT want him back so soon! But I found it so sad that Finrod is separated from the Men he so loved.... And Finrod's knowledge of men - he should be listened to...

And poor Amarie - she will have her hands full - if Indis has anything to say about it. I do so like her... her love for Finrod, her spunk, and her resolve to do what is needed.

Oh my - who was that? Are we ever going to learn? I loved Finrod's humble acceptance of the obeisance... I loved the obeisance....

Oh - I so loved the Council - great chapter all the way around!

Bless you for sharing it.






InglorReviewed Chapter: 5 on 5/17/2008
Oh, and your talent for crushers:

-I am here now,’ Finrod reassured him. ‘And so are you. And, in the time to come, we will all do better than we did.’


‘Vague, cousin,’ Espalas intruded, ‘very vague. And meaningless.’


‘Not if you were there,’ the unknown elf told him. ‘Then you would understand.’ -

gave me chills...



Author Reply: The separation of experience is, I think, one of those things that make it difficult for elves to grow past their bitterness. That, of course, combined with immortality and elven memory. The elves of Aman will never understand - and the returned elves don't want to let go of what they have seen / done / experienced / loved. But they all need to grow. Whether they like it or not!

InglorReviewed Chapter: 5 on 5/17/2008
There are perhaps 10 ff writers that I can name off the top of my head, yours is one of them. What makes your writing stand out from the other 9 is your imagery. Your descriptions of sights, sounds, and smells, are pure joy.

Behind every great man is a good woman, yes?
I really like your female characters.

Author Reply: Goodness! I'm flattered. I love expanding beyond sight to make words multi-sensory. And I love strong female characters - and looking at those left behind.

Thank you, Inglor.

perellethReviewed Chapter: 5 on 5/14/2008
I am glad that you are still with this!
There are two moments that caught me here. One is the picture of Indis literally walking out of her garden, abandoning her self imposed eclusion and probably having a role to play in this new state of things. The other was this:

Not if you were there,’ the unknown elf told him. ‘Then you would understand.’ So definite, stating in one moment the gap between exiles and the rest. Also when they met those elves to whom Alqualonde was just achapter in long a bloodied story... and I liked that the thought somehow sobered up boisterous Espalas for a while. Light humour is easy when you do not carry such wounds... IT is intersting to see how they all would adjustto each other's presence in a foreseeable very long future!

Author Reply: Because the division between Aman and the Hither Lands is so firmly drawn - if one way - the elves of Aman can never understand. Their lives are so sheltered, that hearing of the suffering of others is like ... sitting in a restaurant sighing about sub-Saharan Africa. Small matters seem so much more important - and, with immortality and elven memory, grudges never get buried - and they have precious little incentive to overcome prejudice. Alqualonde - as the only example of its kind for the elves of Aman - will always seem a ... massive offence.

Thank you, perelleth.

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 5 on 5/14/2008
Ah, our beloved Bodkin! How wonderful to see you again! Hurray! Hurray!

I find I very much like Espalas and his perceptions of his half-Noldo, half-Teler cousin; and the introduction into Alvalonne is just perfect! Heh! Dropped goblets of cider and all!

As for the reluctant Elf now told off to help in the refuges--hopefully he'll actually learn something, although I have my doubts right along our beloved bride-to-be!

Yes, these are Elves who will help to see the return made easier for those who come in the future.

Author Reply: Oh, I think that everybody is about to learn a thing or two! It must be so easy to stagnate in the Blessed Realm and think that because it has always been so, so will it always be. Finrod seems to me to be the largest pebble dropped in the pond of self-satisfaction, but he's not the only one.

Thank you, Larner. I will try to be a bit quicker about updating! Or this will take years.

RedheredhReviewed Chapter: 5 on 5/13/2008
I really love Espalas and his self-satisfaction! He is perfect in his role!
"... never as silly as you pretended..." Cleverly stupid,eh?
"... perfected the look of straightforward simplicity." Perfect for an agent.
"... the rakish smile that tended to make the mothers of beautiful daughters decide he was dangerous." lol!
"... as simple as his sister's husband." Well, that just says it all. ;)
His analysis during the council was superb. Finrod is lucky to have a helper, who also has affection for the Edain.

The dropped tray was well done and used very effectively. I wanted the elf to be Edrahil... and then I remembered he died with Finrod. *sigh*

Indis had some great moments too.
" The symbolism was obvious - but vaild, nonetheless." Loved that whole bit.
"It was always a mistake to forget that the Valar could be ruthless..." Profound in its cynicism and irony.

I have hopes for where Finrod is headed as much as Espalas! Just make sure he makes room for Amarie, please?


Author Reply: Espalas makes me laugh. He's a lot cleverer than he lets on - and I think he would get on like a house on fire with the more mischievous Sindar and the less-shy Wood-elves. While Finrod, I think, likes and appreciates Celeborn far more than most of the Noldor.

I'm not sure the Valar really know what to do here - the whole situation is a bit beyond their experience. I have a feeling they're just dropping a few pebbles in the pond to see what will happen.

And Finrod and Amarie will definitely have time together!

Thank you, Redheredh. I hope the next chapter will arrive rather more quickly.

AlquawendeReviewed Chapter: 5 on 5/12/2008
I'm so glad that you've updated at last!

I wonder who that elf was that Finrod and Espalas met. Is he going to be important or not later in the story?

I'm also curious about what Finrod is going to do about the returned Exiles and the Sindar. But wouldn't the Sindar follow Olwe, if not Finrod because Olwe was their old lord's brother? I'd think they would hear Finrod at least because he is related to Thingol and understands part of what they felt because he had lived in Beleriand too.

Thanks for writing and please update soon!

Author Reply: I suspect that elf will be around. He doesn't seem the sort to step back from Finrod now he's seen him again.

I think Finrod's role is primarily to bring down the barriers that stop all the different peoples from hearing each other. He's blood-related to all the ... tribes of Aman, rebel, Exile, kin with the Sindar, and, I daresay, enough of a wanderer and enthusiast that the Wood-elves know and like him. He did, after all, die at the side of one of the Edain. The Sindar would have made their way to Olwe, I think, once they left the Island, but I'm going with the thought that the Lonely Isle was a necessary stopping point, where elves from the Hither Lands needed to recuperate before reaching the mainland.

I'll try to be a bit quicker about the next chapter. Although there's only about half a page so far.

NilmandraReviewed Chapter: 5 on 5/12/2008
I like this line: While the few Wood-elves … Espalas hid a grin. Well – they might not accept it, but their preferred method of resistance was absence. Controlling them was like trying to cage mist. - it shows that not all elves are the same, that their spirits and temperments vary so widely. I'm sure Indis and Amarie and the others helping those returnning to M-e will find that what the elves need will vary considerably.

Author Reply: Thanks Nilmandra. I'm not surprised the Valar put off re-embodying the elves in the Halls of Mandos. It must have been an administrative nightmare of the kind that makes you look the other way and whistle whenever the topic comes up. I suspect that Tol Eressea and all the different elves there - well, at least they had had a common enemy. Espalas has the eye of someone who can see the problems and ia able to decide that it's none of his business - and be thankful for it.

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 5 on 5/12/2008
I like the ideas being considered here: the possibility of forgiveness, the need for reconciliation. I also like Indis's observation that it didn't do to forget how ruthless the Valar could be. Indeed. Time for everyone to remember just how small and limited they are, and yet valued nonetheless.

Author Reply: Thank you daw. The more you think about the problems the elves of the Blessed Realm must face, the more complicated it all becomes!

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