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At Hope's Edge  by Cairistiona 11 Review(s)
layneReviewed Chapter: 2 on 6/16/2014
I'm thinking that that feeling of being watched was Sauron watching them through the palantir.

Author Reply: Ooh, hey, Layne, you're reading my ancient story! Thank you! :)

And... I cannot comment because of Spoiler Reasons, drat it. But hope you enjoy finding out just who and/or what is watching them.

LisaGReviewed Chapter: 2 on 2/3/2010
What a heartbreaking story so far...I can't imagine the indescribable pressure Aragorn must be under! Bad enough that he has the hope of his people resting on his shoulders, but also all of Middle Earth! And if he doesn't succeed in vanquishing Sauron and winning the throne of both Gondor and Arnor, he doesn't get to be with the woman he loves. How does a person deal with all that, plus all the heartache he sees as the leader of the Dunedain? You do an excellent job of relaying Aragorn's waning hope and increasing despair at his the feeling of losing control over events and being unable to come out victorious in the end. I would want to run away, too!

I look forward to reading the rest of the chapters, where, I pray Aragorn can reclaim his hope and his spirit.

Author Reply: Thank you, Lisa... this one is definitely a heartbreaker for Aragorn, darker than my other stories but still with moments of light and friendship. Aragorn has such a seemingly insurmountable task in defeating the forces of Mordor, and doing so with a people who, while fierce and brave and noble, are facing near extinction. I can't imagine how he kept his hopes up, other than with a lot of help from those who love him. I hope you enjoy the story as it unfolds... thanks for the review!

CanafinweReviewed Chapter: 2 on 12/1/2009
There is something very strange, very unnatural, about Aragorn's urge to run. Not only because he isn't the sort to flee from fear or peril, but your writing imbues this feeling with such eerie urgency... *shudder*

The exchange between Halbarad and Aragorn is so painful. These two, as close as brothers, are not even able to express their grief or to find solace in one another's company. Their attempts at affable banter further underscore their desperate struggle to maintain control in the face of the terrible loss of their youngest compatriot. They need a hug, very, very badly!

"Aragorn winced. He *knows*." These four words speak volumes about Aragorn's state of mind. He is teetering on the edge of despair, afraid to confide in his cousin, unable to trust others to help him shoulder his burdens. How difficult it must be to be "the hope that all look to" when your own hope is flagging! But if he could not even confide in Elrond, Halbarad has little hope of piercing the darkness to reclaim Aragorn from it.

No danger WHILE they were being attacked, but only after? What on earth is going on here? It seems my earlier feeling was right: this fear isn't natural at all.

The scene with Mallor's mount was heartwrenching. Aragorn is even trying to bear the burdens of the horse! It seems impossible that he can keep this up much longer, but there are many, many chapters remaining. I confess I'm not sure how he can bear it! (Though I have no doubt that I shall enjoy it immensely).

The touch of camp humour with the remarks about Ranger cooking and Aragorn's rancid sausage are a welcome respite from the sombre tone of the rest of the chapter, but even here there are sobering notes. The men are afraid for their captain -- and rightly so, but that Aragorn's distress is so visible speaks volumes about his mental state. But of course "aye, every inch a king", he is not to be rebelled against: "The watches stay as they're set."

All in all, a chapter filled with foreshadowing and turmoil (and nasty meat!). I look forward to seeing where you take this.

Author Reply: Thank you most kindly, Canafinwe! I'm so glad you enjoyed this chapter, with all its eerie foreboding and hints of darker things to come. You're right when you say that Aragorn is not one to run from battle, but he is also one that can rightly judge a field of battle and wisely retreat to fight again another day, and this is a situation where he feels that is exactly what is called for. Just what they will be fighting remains unknown, though! And even in the midst of turmoil and dangers and inner struggles he dare not speak aloud, there is still room for lighter moments. I've always felt Aragorn likely found refuge at times in lighthearted moments and never did he need it more than this day.

So... many layers to this chapter, and I thank you for touching on them all in your review!

ThorongirlReviewed Chapter: 2 on 4/20/2009
Oh yeah, he's fine all right. That could be taken more than one way, I suppose, but really, Aragorn? You're fine? Men. They're all alike, I swear it. I absolutely love Halbarad in this story. Writers like you and Meckinock have endeared him to me. But poor Aragorn. That poor man definitely needs a break and since I've already read everything you've written so far, I know he's not going to get one *eg*. 'Not now Halbarad. My heart is too sore.' *Melts* No, I wasn't counting this as one of my all-time favorites just based on the first few chapters, but I probably would have strongly considered it anyway. This is wonderful.

'Galadh nodded. Aragorn felt a faint stirring of wry humor as he watched Galadh dismount. A nod from that man amounted to a lengthy speech.' Very droll.

'He patted him and thought about the ancient Quenya words: May your sorrows now be ended, my friend. I will carry your sorrows. Lord Elrond had often whispered them in his ear when he was a small boy beset by heartaches that in his childishness he felt certain would end life itself.' Ah, I only just noticed this. Very well done. Is it too much to hope that you have even more stories in your vast repertoire of LOTR knowledge? Not that I would beg for another story when this one isn't even over...or would I? I think you know the answer. Fantabulous story.

Author Reply: Thank you, Thorongirl! I'm glad you like my take on Halbarad... Meckinock definitely inspired me to take a closer look at the relationship between Aragorn and Halbarad--I do love her Halbarad and hope I haven't borrowed him too much!

And yes, you're right in that Aragorn isn't going to be catching any breaks for quite a long time, I'm afraid.

"Vast repertoire of LOTR knowledge"??? *looking around to see who you might be talking to* LOL I'm glad my stories come across that way, but I don't really feel I'm any sort of expert at all. But I know people who are and ask a lot of questions. *grin* And I'm reading a lot so that someday I'll have a better handle on all things M-e. But I'm still very much new at all this. It's gratifying, though, to know that my stories don't seem full of mistakes. And yes I do have quite a number of story ideas and WIPs piled up that hopefully will see the light of day eventually.

Thanks for the review!

Alone DreamingReviewed Chapter: 2 on 12/24/2008
Well-written. :) That's all I have time to say for now. I'll leave something more in depth later. Thank you. Merry Christmas.

Author Reply: Merry Christmas to you, too, Alone Dreaming, and thank you for taking time out of your holiday to leave such a nice review! I'm glad you're enjoying the story.

meckinockReviewed Chapter: 2 on 12/22/2008
My favorite moment was when all Aragorn had to do was stand up and put his hand on his sword, and his men automatically sprang into battle mode. And his good-humored humility when it seemed he had a case of the jitters.

You've really set up a sense of spookiness and impending doom, and ragged nerves and exhaustion and short fuses ready to ignite. The pot is steaming and looks ready to boil over. And whatever is out in the woods...

Author Reply: "And whatever is out in the woods..."

Okay, I now have the galloping heeby jeebies. LOL I have to say, yours is the first review written in such a way that has me getting goosebumps about my own story! LOL I all but dove for the next button myself ... well, I would have if there was one. LOL Next Sunday...

Seriously, thank you for a stunner of a review. I'm glad you liked that little moment of leadership--I do think the men are so attuned to everything Aragorn does that the least little frown on his face has them loosening their swords in their scabbards, if not drawing them. And him leaping to his feet like that ... yeah, you can bet I'd be readying my bow, too. Thanks again!

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 2 on 12/22/2008
I can appreciate the sentiment; but Halbarad is right, of course! May they both not need to fight this night!

Well, well described!

Author Reply: Thank you, Larner! Halbard usually *is* right... Aragorn needs to start realizing that, methinks. *grin*

Silivren TinuReviewed Chapter: 2 on 12/22/2008
I loved this chapter! This is getting wonderfully creepy and mysterious. Halbarad's worry about Aragorn was sweet and obviously justified. Aragorn's state of mind (or perhaps rather, his state of soul, if there is such an expression) is quite alarming. I wonder if that mysterious evil influence they're all feeling has at least partly something to do with it - at least it surely won't be helpful. It is really a heavy burden Aragorn carries. I wish he wouldn't be so stubborn. ;-) What that rider told about "shadow falling on all the villagers, knocking them senseless and making them easy prey" is both intruiging and frightening. I can't wait to see where you're going with this! It's too bad Halbarad isn't Elrond - drugging Aragorn to make him get some rest is beginning to sound like a good idea to me. *g*

Author Reply: Thanks, Silivren! I'm so glad you liked this chapter. Creepy and mysterious, definitely, and you're right in that it's not helping Aragorn's already troubled state of mind ... or state of soul (I like that expression, so let's hereby make it an official one!) As if it wasn't bad enough, having just come off a summer losing so many of his people, now there's this *thing* to deal with.

And hmm, you might give Halbarad some ideas that Aragorn won't like! In fact, I'm seeing a rather evil glint in Halbarad's eye ... *slaps his hand away from Aragorn's pack of medical supplies*

Thanks for the review!

Linda HoylandReviewed Chapter: 2 on 12/21/2008
Another great chapter,my one minor quibble is that "I am fine" sounds a bit modern for M-e ,but otherwise I loved it,Aragorn's forebodings are truly chilling.
I love Halbarad's concern and wish Aragorn would accept it.
Your horses were especially endrearing here.

Author Reply: Glad you liked it ... personally, I don't think "I am fine" sounds too modern, but reader's mileage will vary on that point. We'll just have to agree to disagree, I think. Hopefully it won't put you off reading the story because I do use it again in later chapters.

But I'm glad you liked the rest of the chapter, and especially glad you liked the horses--I like writing about the horses and feel they can be characters in and of themselves.

Thanks for the review! :)

Szepilona10Reviewed Chapter: 2 on 12/21/2008
Honestly Aragron, it wouldn't hurt to be a little less stuborn(sp?) at times! Great chapter! Update soon please!
God Bless!


Author Reply: I've tried to talk to him about that stubbornness, but he stubbornly insists on being stubborn. What can you do??? *grin* Thanks for the review and glad you're still hanging in there!

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