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Scholarship  by Raksha The Demon 10 Review(s)
Little DwarfReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 6/29/2008

This was cute, funny and intelligent in the same time! And definitely well-written, with all those small delails that make up a very atmospheric background! :)

I liked your Elboron - as a character, he's very realistic, consistent and, most of all, so clearly Faramir's son! And father!Faramir lives up to my expectations as well!

I loved the relationship between them: warm and open, but in character with Tolkien's world. (I've seen quite a few family stories with good plot, that were spoiled by the fact that the authors tended to modernize the relationships (and the dialogue!) too much...)

As for the fact that Elboron asks for tutoring in Varasi using *the* parchment as support text... wow. Honestly, I would never have asked my Mum to help me translate Ovid's 'Ars Amandi'! ("The Art of Love" - it's a half-parodical Latin treatise on seduction - it *is* frivolous, but it wouldn't get more than a PG-13 rating! And it has no pictures!) :))

But what about the bee and the flower? I feel I'm missing something here...

Author Reply: Thanx for the review, Little Dwarf.

I do try to keep the language close to Tolkien's. And although Faramir and Eowyn would love their children, they would not be modern parents - servants would help raise and educate the children. I think that Faramir and Eowyn both would have made an effort to spend some time with their kids, but I doubt that they would have been changing nappies themselves when the children were young. Elboron is now old enough to begin having a more mature relationship with Faramir; and Faramir is smart enough to know that not answering Elboron's questions might lead the kid to satisfy his curiosity in ways inapropriate to Elboron's age and station.

Actually, I think Elboron wants to learn Varasi so he can read the parchment - though he probably will learn the language later; since he will be Prince and Steward, and Gondor will have more and more to do with the lands where it is spoken.

NestaReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 1/27/2008
Middle Earth's answer to the Kama Sutra?

Author Reply:
Oops, I neglected to reply to this one too! Well, the scroll is sort of M-e's answer to the Kama Sutra. Of course, we don't know the entire contents of the Rivendell library, do we? And I think there would have been some less lively explanations of the reproductive process in the library of Minas Tirith, which seems to have been a sophisticated city.

Thanx for reading and commenting, Nesta!

KhorazīrReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 1/7/2008
I don't think I can add much to what the other reviewers have to rightly pointed out: it's an excellent study of the relationship of father and son, and shows great inside into both characters. And it's funny, too, which I think is also very appropriate. One thing the story does make me wonder about, however, is what a conversation like this would have been like between Faramir and Denethor -- if it ever took place.

Author Reply: Yeeks; I forgot to reply to your review, Khorazir! Thanx for reading and commenting. I was aiming for an undertone of gentle comedy here, so I'm glad you noticed it.

Denethor would have either considered it his fatherly Duty to convey the facts of life to Faramir and given the kid a dry and concise lecture about it (which would have been heavy on prohibitions and don't-touch-even-the-willing-servant-girls), or delegated the task to a tutor; or Faramir, being probably precocious, would have done some reading or pestered his uncle or brother...

LarnerReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 10/29/2007
An excellent look at adolescence and adolescent curiosity, after all. Having done my own discussion on the subject from Frodo's POV, this was charming. And the language is most appropriate!

Author Reply: Boys will be boys, be they hobbits or Gondorians. I'm pleased that you enjoyed the story; and thanx for the kind words about the language; I racked my brains trying to come up with a proper name for at least one Easterling tongue.

Agape4GondorReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 10/28/2007
You had me ROTFL with the bee and the flower - delightful little tale.

Author Reply: Thanx for reading and reviewing, Agape. Yes, the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees are probably all included in the colorful scroll; and other things besides. I'm glad that the ficlet amused you.

BranwynReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 10/28/2007
Thank you for the exquisite birthday present! The setting under the cherry blossoms, symbol of youth and transience, is perfect, and Elboron is adorable in his forthright awkwardness. He and his father can speak openly and with trust, so different from Faramir's dealings with Denethor. Faramir wisely realizes that, if he rebukes his son, the lad will find another teacher who may not be so learned or so honorable. And even if, as Faramir no doubt hopes, Elboron does not indulge in these pleasures outside of marriage, some day Elboron's wife will benefit from this teaching! How very much like Faramir to remind his son of his responsibility to protect those who are vulnerable because of their age or sex. I love the invented languages and the Rhunic version of "Kama Sutra," though the captions don't sound very helpful, lol. This is a marvelous piece of writing, and I am so honored that you would dedicate it to me.

Author Reply: You're very welcome and Happy Belated Birthday, Branwyn!

Elboron is at an age that's both delightful and poignant; he's showing signs of the man he will become; he's old enough to serve in a military company; but he's not quite a man yet. Faramir knows he can't treat him as a child anymore, even though part of him would probably like to; yet Elboron can't be given complete freedom from bounds and prohibitions. Some kids couldn't be trusted with what freedom Faramir does grant Elboron; but I think Faramir would know his son well and be able to judge him with some success.

I had the idea that the King's kids, as well as Eomer's (who might also visit occasionally), would be at least a year or two younger than Elboron, so it wouldn't be appropriate for Elboron to share his new find with them.

I think some of the captions would be more helpful than others, LOL.

I'm particularly glad you enjoyed the story! It owes a debt of inspiration to that image of Eldahil, Faramir and Boromir huddled around the book in the library that you painted in Book Learning.

DreamflowerReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 10/28/2007
I love what this story shows about the relationship between Faramir and his son beyond the topic under discussion.

Elboron is somewhat reluctant to show his father what he's been reading, but does not pitch a fit when he has to do so. And both of them have such reasonable reactions. It's quite clear that they have an openness between them, and that they are able to accept their roles: Faramir requests that his son not show the scrolls to an inappropriate audience; Elboron asks his father's help in translating them.

I'm so pleased to see that after his own experience with a more demanding father, Faramir has been able to forge a loving and honest relationship with his own son.

Author Reply: I think Faramir would expect a lot from Elboron, and would also give him a lot in terms of love and trust; but since the days of the Ring War are long past, Faramir does not have to even think of asking his son to ride out to almost certain death.

But this father and son would have a far more positive and trusting relationship than did Faramir and poor Denethor. I think Faramir and Eowyn would have raised a good-hearted, reasonable son; and in most cases Faramir could deal with him more and more on a basis of mutual respect as Elboron grew up, though Faramir would continue to have the authority of a liege-lord as well as a father.

Thank you for reading and reviewing, Dreamflower.

Linda HoylandReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 10/28/2007
It is good to see that Faramir has such a good relationship with his son, though I personally do not imagine him having such liberal views, but I love the way he shows himself to be a loving and wise father.Very atmospheric and well written.

Author Reply: I don't see Faramir having so much a liberal view as a realistic one - he knows his son is not about to go hit the hay with the servant girls; and feels that if the kid is old enough to be an esquire with a military guard, he is old enough to be given guidance in matters he is looking into on his own already.

I'm glad you liked the tale, Linda, and thanx much for reviewing.

annmarwalkReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 10/28/2007
What a lovely story!

First of all, I love the richness of the details you've used to set the scene. The soft, sweet smell of the cherry blossoms, the colorful and exotic figures on the scroll, the fact that there even is now a New Market where returning soldiers can sell souvenirs to eager young cadets. This world-building is just enough to add vividness and depth to the tale without overwhelming it.

The crux of the story, Faramir's sensitive and compassionate realization of the fact that his young son is approaching manhood, is written with great tenderness.
Whether Faramir learned these vital life lessons at the guffawing side of his brother and cousin, or chose to study the arts of love in secret, he is now confident enough of his parenting skills to use these teachable moments, confirming with Elboron that his curiosity and feelings are normal and natural. And how tactful and wise of young Elboron to diffuse any possible awkwardness by asking for a lesson in language arts, rather than any other. Wonderfully, wonderfully done!

Author Reply: It's a whole new world for Faramir and Gondor; and that world is much broader. There would be exotic new ideas and materials pouring in from far lands; and of course the knowledge that fathers and sons would have a good chance of living long lives. And Faramir is smart enough to realize that loving guidance of Elboron, rather than total inhibition, would be a wise course as Elboron nears adulthood; Elboron being fundamentally a sensible boy; one can't turn back the clock and pretend that teenaged yearnings don't exist.

I'm glad you liked the bit about the cherry blossoms; that bit just occurred to me and needed to be included.

Thanx for your lovely review, Ann.

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 10/28/2007
There's a really nice relationship between father and son here. Faramir is reassuring about Elboron's interest in sex at the same time he reminds his son of the need for maturity and honor.

Author Reply: Thanx much for reading and reviewing, Daw. Elboron's transition from boy to man would be a delicate time for both father and son; especially since Elboron will inherit power and responsibility. Faramir would not want to limit his son's horizons, while at the same time he is aware that some desires must be limited. Faramir is sensitive and realistic enough to know that honesty and education is needed here, not just rules.

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