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|At Hope's Edge by Cairistiona
|Reviewed Chapter: 7 on 8/24/2010
|Reading a novel at once can be harder than reading one chapter after another every few days (which is the case when reading as you post them), because it requires a lot of free time, which none of us often has much.
But! :) I am on holidays, and today is a true holiday, not a "working one", like I described to you last week. :p I am home alone, Alen is out the whole day, and I can read. :) And so far, I successfully ignore the clothes that watch me from their corner and call for me to iron them. :)
On the other hand, reading a novel at once means that, when there is a cliffhanger, I don't have to wait another week to see what happened. :) So, I'm hurrying to the next chapter. :)
And this chapter... wow! It is great! Your writing is so good, so tense, so vivid... You are definitely one of the best writers I've ever read.
P.s. As for Mallor/little girl thing we talked about two chapters ago. I was not thinking about warrior/civilian thing, but known/unknown. In the moment of her death, I didn't know anything about her. Mallor, on the other hand, no matter how small part in your story he gets, is someone I got to know: I know that he is 16, that he lost his father, that he was a joyful young man who loved life, that he loved Aragorn as father and tried to learn from him... I can see him, I can feel him, and that is why I grieve for him. Little girl is no more than those two words: little girl. And that's all. And that is why her death didn't affect me.
Author Reply: Hooray for holidays and those rare free days when you can ignore laundry! :) I'm glad you're able to sit down with this all in one go--it does help with the cliffhangers, doesn't it? *g* And yes, knowing a character in a bit more depth does make his death hit a little harder. I kind of hated to kill him off but the story required it, alas.
I'm glad you like my writing style... your words are very kind and I thank you!
|Reviewed Chapter: 7 on 8/3/2009
|Beautiful! Horrifying. Beautiful because of the courage and devotion in the midst of horror. The writer does not stint in portraying the terror of the character, and thus makes every leaden step towards what he fears all the more courageous. As usual for this writer, the credible characterization holds allthe rest together like a keystone.
Author Reply: "Credible characterization"... I think that's the highest praise a fanfic writer can earn, and I thank you for it. To me, if a story doesn't capture the essence of Tolkien's characters, it's a miss, no matter how compelling the plot. And even the original characters need to stay true to Tolkien's vision. I'm reassured that you're finding this story holding that line. Thank you!
|Reviewed Chapter: 7 on 6/2/2009
|Whew! That was just stunning. Aragorn versus a Nazgul. Because I am reading this some months after its first posting, I could read others' reviews and your comments to find out who rescued Aragorn. I thought it might be Elrond's sons or one of the Istari. Gandalf would be too obvious. That Aragorn was rescued by his own men rather than a more powerful creature is a simple explanation, perhaps, but a better one. I was expecting a deus ex machina coming but instead our boy was rescued by his comrades--a more realistic approach.
I continue to be impressed by your story. It's an excellent example of how to write action.
Author Reply: Thank you so much! I'm glad you like how I write action... it's something I enjoy doing very much, so I'm glad it comes across as both realistic (well, as realistic as fantasy can be) and believable. And yes, I do try to avoid the "out of the blue" rescues when I can--the Rangers at this point had no one around to help them, and desperation breeds all kinds of inventions, hence Halbarad's grabbing up the flaming brands like he did. I figure he probably had heard stories of Glorfindel driving off the Witch King in the past and likely that helped him make the almost instinctive decision to grab for the flaming brands. Certainly he didn't have much time to sit and ponder!
I hope you continue enjoying the story. Thanks for the review!
|Reviewed Chapter: 7 on 2/1/2009
Another gripping chapter! RL has prevented me from keeping up, much to my loss. It was a great treat to come back to this story. I love your characterization of Aragorn--how self-sacrifice is just part of the job to him. I like how despite his difficulties, he doesn't lapse into self-pity. And the fight scene . . . wow. Both the external and internal conflicts are perfectly portrayed and flow seamlessly. Kudos! (tosses roses and chocolates)
Author Reply: Thanks, Brennan! Drat that RL sometimes, but glad you're getting caught up. :) Yeah, my Aragorn does have to fight self-pity, which he despises with a passion. But everyone struggles with it sometimes, even him. I'm glad you liked the fight. I probably enjoy writing fights and battles far more than is healthy. LOL And thank you for the chocolate and roses! *grin* But moreso for the reviews... I do appreciate your taking time to leave them very much.
|Reviewed Chapter: 7 on 1/27/2009
|I have to agree with other readers, that was the best Nazgul encounter I have yet read. Tolkien hints at their evil but this fight brought it all together.
Thanks for the story and looking forward to the rest.
Author Reply: Thank you so much, Casso! What a kind thing to say... I did try to make it as real and as accurate as it could be with what Tolkien gives us about the wraiths. I hope you find the rest of the story engaging, and thank you again for the kind review!
|Reviewed Chapter: 7 on 1/25/2009
Wow - I don't even know where to begin reviewing. That was really... tense. I don't think I would have noticed if someone had fired a cannon to get my attention while I was reading this chapter. *g* I LOVED your description of the Nazgul! It was really true to Tolkien - you really captured that mysterious, creepy, fascinating, terrifying evil-ness, and how it's mere presence will threaten to extinguish all hope and warmth there in in this world.
Aragorn deciding to face the Nazgul alone was certainly one of the most courageous things I've ever read about, but also one of the most foolish. In short, just typically Aragorn. ;-) It's obvious Aragorn does not have the means and the knowledge needed to properly defend himself against such a creature yet, and he's undoubtedly about to learn things the hard way.
I'm really glad Bilfen and Kenevir insisted on going to Rivendell alone, btw. As it is, Aragorn really seems to need every man. Aragorn trying to avoid Halbarad at the beginning of the chapter was sweet and I liked how Halbarad managed to get him out of his self-recrimination.
Of course the thing I'd like to know most right now is what happened at the end of the chapter. I once again loved your description of that booming voice, the flashing fire, and the Nazgul's reaction ot it. I have a good idea who (in addition to Halbarad) has come to Aragorn's aid, but I'll wait patiently for the next chapter to see if I'm right. ;-) I'm a *tiny little bit* worried about Aragorn now (I have a feeling horse balm won't be much help this time).
Loved it! :)
Author Reply: Thank you so much for such a comprehensive review, Almut! I'm glad you liked this. I did do a lot of research into the Nazgul and the effects of the miasma/black breath etc. Took a bit from all the different descriptions of its effects that Tolkien gave and sort of rolled them all into one (poor Aragorn). The cold was definitely something that's consistent in all encounters with the wraith, and I figure it's both a spiritual and a physical thing. And yes, after a lot of discussion with different people and doing some research, it's a fair guess that the Dunedain, and even Aragorn, really wouldn't have had a lot of knowledge about wraiths at that point. I think if I'd had the encounter with the wraith and Aragorn down south in Mirkwood or down near Mordor, yeah, Aragorn would have immediately guessed it was a wraith. But in 3000 TA, there really wasn't a lot of reason to expect a wraith in the north... yet it's not impossible that there might be one straying up there to wreak a bit of havoc.
And hmm, you think someone else comes to Aragorn's aid? I can say without giving anything way that it is just Halbarad waving the torches around here in this chapter.
Finally, yes, Bilfen and Kenevir gave me a bit of a headache, figuring out how and where to send them! I needed them out of the picture (because their survival actually wasn't part of the original plot). Fortunately, they cooperated and left the scene gracefully. Well, as gracefully as Kenevir can. He was definitely a bit miffed Aragorn thought he might need any assistance. *grin*
Thanks again for the review!
|Reviewed Chapter: 7 on 1/25/2009
|Halbarad, or another of his folk--or one of his Elven brothers? Excellent time for a rescue, I'm thinking!
Author Reply: Thanks, Larner, and yes, our five intrepid Rangers could use some more assistance, to say the least! I'm glad you're still reading, and thanks for the review!
|Reviewed Chapter: 7 on 1/24/2009
|No no, don't stop there! I mean, I guess it could have been a worse cliffhanger, but the rhythm of the chapter was flowing so well, I don't want to stop now!
Author Reply: Thank you, george! I didn't really want to stop it then, either, as originally this chapter and the one that follows were one big chapter... but it was too big. So a cliffhanger it is. But it won't be long until the next update. I might squeak it online a bit earlier than normal, given Aragorn's dire circumstances. *grin* Thanks for the review! It's always so encouraging to hear that a reader hates to stop reading. :)
|Reviewed Chapter: 7 on 1/24/2009
|Wonderful battle scene. I envy your ability. :)
Aragorn vs Nazgūl is delightfully frightful. *shudders*
Definitely looking forward to the next chapter.
Enjoy your birthday. :)
Author Reply: Thank you, Cal, both for the review and the birthday wishes! I'm glad you enjoyed this, and as for writing battles ... sometimes I worry I'm a bit bloodthirsty because I do love writing them and reading them. LOL I'm glad you liked this and are looking forward to the next. Thank you again!
|Reviewed Chapter: 7 on 1/24/2009
|Phew, I swear that gets better and better the more I read it! That has to be the best Nazgul fight ever. I do though also love the short passage about how Aragorn feels when in the midst of battle. That seems so right. Yes, suddenly he's no longer the pooch stretched out by the fire having his tummy tickled, but the wolf that his ancestors were, hot on the heels of his prey and loving it. The pooch, though, will return as soon as the job is done.
An excellent chapter all round though shame we didn't get a repeat of the horse balm LOL!
Author Reply: LOL!! What imagery! I love it! And I'm so glad you continue to like this chapter. It was the one that inspired the entire story, more or less--in other words, I wrote it first and the rest of the story grew around it. I love your imagery of Aragorn the pooch-wolf! Wonderful!
Thank you again!