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Gamesmanship  by Raksha The Demon 15 Review(s)
theaBReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/25/2019
I feel odd describing a story with a sea battle and gore as gorgeous, but this is - the evocativeness and the rain and the movement of the ship/boat throughout. I love the glimpse of the characters in the fourth age, and that it’s not all ‘plain sailing’ after the end of Sauron but everyday, human dangers are just as deadly.

And also the knowledge that all the warriors have kept their hand in, especially Éowyn and Faramir. Like everyone else, the high-strung war horse analogy for Faramir is brilliant, just as evocative an equine analogy for him as Isabeau’s “racehorse forced into a war rig”

The Little DwarfReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/28/2008
Great story! You did a wonderful job at describing the battle scenes, and assuming Eomer's point of view too! He was perfectly characterized - brave, a great warrior, caring for his family, but also unable to grasp some deeper meanings... His words to Faramir, that he thinks too much, are very in character!

As for the latter, as usually, you portrayed Faramir wonderfully, even through Eomer's eyes. His qualities, including physical strenght and fighting skills, are recognized by his brother-in-love, and I loved the mutual respect of the two!

Also loved Eowyn's brief appearance! If it weren't for the children that had to be protected, I'm sure she would have wanted to join her brother and her husband in the battle as well! :)

Author Reply:

Thanx much for reviewing, L.D.! Eomer's certainly no slouch in the brains department; but he's not an intellectual; which might help him be the mighty warrior that he is. And he was raised in a culture that encouraged joy in killing one's enemies; whereas Faramir, was raised to at least appreciate Numenorean ideals, even if he could not always put them to practice (remember that Faramir told Sam and Frodo that the Gondorians were becoming more like the Rohirrim in that they were becoming fond of battle for its own sake). I think Eomer and Faramir would have a lot of mutual respect, though.

harrowcatReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/1/2008
RL is being a brute at present but I had to pop back and tell you how much I enjoyed this Raksha.

Author Reply: Sorry I'm late in answering; thanx much for reading and reviewing, Harrowcat - it's not the type of story I usually write and I'm glad you liked it.

SarasratiReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/20/2008
I think this is quite possibly the best characterization of Faramir I have ever read. I had to come back and read it again a few times, just to take it in. For a short tale there is so much said. Perfectly, magnificently, eloquently done.

Author Reply: Oh, what a lovely thing to say; especially since I am so very fond of Faramir.! You should read the stories of Branwyn and Nesta, also on this site; they write Faramir very well; and there are many others too.

Thanx so much for reading and reviewing, Sarasrati; I'm pleased you liked the story.

Agape4GondorReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/17/2008
I think this has got to be one of your best stories ever.

I loved Eomer's difficulty with remembering stern/bow/floor/deck. It was great in the midst of the battle.

AND - I really had to do a double take as I started to read - I expected something about chess or some such! :)

Great job! Must thank Lady Branwyn for having a birthday that draws forth such a tale!

Author Reply: Sorry this is late, Agape!

Thanx for the praise, and for reading the story! I figure that Eomer hasn't apent that much time on boats-er-ships; and I know I still have trouble remembering/learning all the parts of big ships, and I've spent a fair amount of time on sailboats and other vessels - I think Eomer learns best when he's doing, and on the boat he's just hanging around trying not to be seasick. And since he's a take-charge, very competent warrior as well as King, it would be a bit frustrating being a bit unsure of his environment.

I had a lot of fun with most of the story. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

annmarwalkReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/17/2008
Oh, that's a great story! I particularly liked:

Still, you do not poke at a warhorse still restless after a bloody battle; you walk him about and soothe him before currying and feeding him. So it is also with men of war, and in particular as brave a man as my sister's lord.

So very, very true; a wonderful analogy.

Go you! for writing the action/adventure; very smoothly done.

Author Reply: Thanx for reading and reviewing, Ann; I'm so glad you enjoyed the tale (especially the action/adventure, which I always feel a bit uneasy writing). I do think Eomer (and probably Eowyn) would think of equine metaphors and analogies; it's part of their culture and history.

BranwynReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/17/2008
(Beware the spoilers!)
There are so many good things rolled into this fic that I don't know where to begin--Eomer feeling at sea without his warhorse, Eowyn arming herself to defend her kinswomen, the Rohirrim and Gondorians fighting pirates together (squee!). The surprise cameo at the end had me chortling with glee; I hope that he returns in a future story. I was waiting for Elphir to say, "That's the worst pirate I've ever seen." *grin* Eowyn's reaction to Eomer scorekeeping is spot on. Tolkien says that she is no warrior but simply a women who shows valor at need, and of course, she knows Faramir far better than her brother does. Faramir's brutality is startling but realistic; he would do what is necessary to win. You write Eomer very well, with just the right touch of wry humor. The writing is fast-paced and witty yet also introspective.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for this wonderful birthday present!

Author Reply: You're very welcome; Branwyn; and I'm thrilled that you've enjoyed your birthday prezzie. (especially since you wrote a wonderful Eomer/Faramir story yourself on this site - The Long Race, at

Eowyn knows well her husband's worth, and she knows that he wouldn't appreciate being pushed to discuss the body count, at least not unnecessarily so. (I would think that Faramir already reported how many he slew and wounded to Elphir, who, as captain of the ship and a lord of Dol Amroth, had a right to know)

The unnamed dishy pirate just had to make an appearance. I'm not sure whether he'll return, though that's two requests I've had now.

Battle is brutal, when you're fighting raiding pirates, I would think there would be little room for gentleness or compassion during the battle itself. Faramir would not shrink from doing what was necessary to protect his people, family and allies; the difference is that Eomer enjoys the battle and Faramir does not.

Thanx for a perceptive and very thorough review!

Annawen EreinielReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/17/2008

Nice little vignette, with a perfect balance of fast-paced adventure and moral reflection afterwards. My favorite line of the whole thing was "Lothiriel and I were finishing each other's yawns," which for some reason struck me as intensely funny and gave me a serious fit of the giggles. I wonder what happened to the pirate who got away after he stole the boat from Tolfalas... will he be returning in a future work? (hint, hint!)

Author Reply: I think the pirate who got away is probably going to sail clear of Dol Amroth waters for awhile. Elphir might well turn the Bay of Belfalas and Pelargir upside down looking for the fellow. Maybe he'll head for Umbar. As for returning in a future work, anything is possible, but not necessarily probable.

I'm glad you found that line funny; and thanx much for reading and reviewing, Annawen.

RugiReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/17/2008
A lovely and exciting story. I enjoyed seeing the battle from Eomer's point of view - he had a novel take on fighting on a boat (why did it never occur to me that the rocking would make it tricky) and it was fun to see him learn more about Faramir (a many-layered individual). I liked that you gave some time to Faramir's martial side but also showed how he was different from the average fighter.

And I also enjoyed seeing a bit of Captain Jack (or maybe I am imagining things) in the one that got away - amusing to consider him facing Faramir's sword...

Author Reply: I thought it unlikely that Eomer was used to ships, he wouldn't have had time for more than a few hours here or there, maybe a day on board a Dol Amroth vessel occasionally; and to fight on one of them would have taxed his considerable skills; while, in contrast, Elphir and the Swan Knights would be very comfortable fighting on a ship; and Faramir probably spent weeks at a time, or longer, at Dol Amroth and aboard seagoing vessels, in his youth.

I'm not sure if that was actually Captain Jack; some things are better left unsaid; but if Jack Sparrow had a twin in Middle-earth, he might well have been part of that pirate raid.

inzilbethReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/17/2008
This was quite priceless and wonderfully entertaining. There were so many funny lines slotted in throughout, I'm sure I'll have to read this again to catch them all. What I found so brilliant though, was how you still managed to keep Eomer and Faramir completely in character whilst putting them through their hilarious paces! Fabulous stuff!

Author Reply: I'm so glad you enjoyed the story - I was aiming for a certain amount of comedy amidst the adventure. I'm very pleased that you thought Eomer and Faramir in character; I was aiming to keep them that way.

Thanx for reading and reviewing, inzilbeth!

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