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At Hope's Edge  by Cairistiona 7 Review(s)
MP brennanReviewed Chapter: 11 on 2/22/2009
This is a very sweet chapter.

It was very poignant to meet Neala and see the woman's perspective on the long struggle. Far too often, their contributions go unnoticed. It takes an amazingly strong woman to pledge the life of her only remaining son to the cause that has killed the rest of her family.

You are undeniably the queen of dialogue that is both Tolkien-styled and realistic to the modern reader. The unfailing humor of this story continues to amaze me. (Duck!)

Kudos and chocolate for another great chap.

Author Reply: Thank you, Brennan! I'm so glad you enjoyed Neala... I too see her as one who has amazing strength of character, or maybe amazing compared to our standards today. I think back to women in WWII and all the way back to the pioneer women of the US in the 1800s and what they had to deal with and did deal with, without complaint, and I think Neala has that same sort of sacrificial strength and pride that they did. They were women able to cope, and to do whatever was needed and still retain a sense of joy. That's basically who Neala is. And queen of dialogue? Well, I don't know about that, but it's kind of you to say. I do try to write the dialogue in the same sort of vein as Tolkien, but yes, a bit more easy to our modern expectations. It's a bit of a challenge to keep that balance and I'm glad you find that I do. Thanks again for another lovely review... and for the chocolate! ;)

inzilbethReviewed Chapter: 11 on 2/21/2009
Neala is a wonderful example of how Dunedain women very likely were; stoic, practical, fiercely proud of their men and prepared to lose them in the service of their people and lord. You're done a terrific job of portraying all that here, making her a very believable OC. Aragorn's sorrow is also very real and moving. A very well done conversation.

Author Reply: Thank you, inzilbeth! I'm so glad you liked Neala and found her believable. That's the hardest thing about OC's, making them feel fully rounded and believable and, especially with female characters, *not* Mary Sue. I'm glad also you liked the conversation with Aragorn... hard to imagine the weight of all the men who've died in his service, and the difficulty of having to face their families with such news. It's a wonder, really, that Aragorn ever smiled, and a testimony to his strength that through all the sorrow he could still find joy. Thanks again for the review!

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 11 on 2/20/2009
I find I truly like Mallor's mother here, and regret that she has lost both husband and older son to the long defense.

Lovely. Now--how long will it take them to get Aragorn to Elrond?

Author Reply: Thank you, Larner... glad you like Neala. And now, if I answered your question, why would you keep reading? *grin* Time alone will tell...

Thanks for the review, and for continuing to read. :)

Linda HoylandReviewed Chapter: 11 on 2/19/2009
Neala is a very courageous woman. I'm glad Aragorn is at least getting a good meal!

Author Reply: Thank you, Linda... I think Aragorn was pretty glad of that himself. :)

EstelcontarReviewed Chapter: 11 on 2/19/2009
I loved To Make it Right Again. It's wonderful of you to give to your rangers and readers this delightful break from the stress, worry and sorrow you have been putting them through.

I really, really liked your Neala. She is just the kind of strong woman I've always imagined the Dúnedain of Arnor to be. She reacted exactly as I expected them to react. She's extremely brave but caring, grounded in reality, proud of her heritage and of what the Dunedain stand and are fighting for, supportive, understanding and proud of her menfolk, and ready to defend her home and family when needed.

Randir's hero worship of Aragorn is very true to life too, and what you would expect in a boy his age when confronted with someone like Aragorn.

And I'm glad to see that Aragorn has recovered enough to again cast an ironic glance at Galadh's cooking skills. LOL

Author Reply: Thank you, Estelcontar! I'm glad you liked this chapter. It's more of the interlude, and hopefully I'm not slowing down the story too much in order to give the men a much needed bit of rest. Talking to the mothers of fallen Rangers had to have been one of the hardest jobs Aragorn had as Chieftain, yet I don't see him ever shirking that responsibility. I'm glad you liked Neala--the women had to have been remarkable to have lived such hard lives, more often than not losing their husbands to war or accident. Neala's definitely a survivor, as his Randir, in his young way. And yes, he definitely sees Aragorn as the ultimate hero. :) Thank you for the review!

Silivren TinuReviewed Chapter: 11 on 2/19/2009
You know, I think I really wouldn't want to try Galadh's cooking *bg* Poor Aragorn.

I like Neala - she really is a bit like Halbarad, sensible, courageous, and strong. ;-)

//"I am no warrior, my lord."

He reached out and caught her hand, looking into her eyes. "But you are, my lady. You and every wife and mother who sends husband or son to fight for me, for our people... it takes a rare bravery to do such a thing."//

So true! Words like these are just what I love that ranger for, among other things. ;-)

I'm glad Neala had the idea to feed Aragorn. I somehow don't think that the meal Galadh has provided has done anything for his recuperation, lol. It's good to see Aragorn's appetite return.

Another chapter I really enjoyed - it was nice not to have to worry about Aragorn for a change. *g*

Author Reply: Thank you, Almut! I'm glad you liked all this. Neala is a little bit like Halbarad, in the way all the Dunedain are: brave, sensible, hardy folk, all. And yes, Aragorn always has the right words to say, doesn't he? I'm glad you're not worrying about Aragorn. For now. *grin*

Thanks for the review!

MarethielReviewed Chapter: 11 on 2/19/2009
Awwww... Okay, you have to do more with Neala... she's WONDERFUL! I love how we begin to see some healing for our poor Aragorn. Thank you. And I loved the surprise at how good the stew was! LOL Reminds me of feeding my adult son.


Very human, lovely touches of authenticity and pathos, beautiful images (love the cat reference, too). But your depiction of Neala as a woman of the Dunedain is superb.

Well done!


Author Reply: Thank you, Marethiel! I'm glad you like Neala. Taking another risk with yet another OC, so I'm glad you felt she was a good example of a Dunedain woman. There'll be a bit more of her in the chapters to come, although she is a relatively minor character for this tale. But I'll likely include her in other stories. And yes, a bit more healing for Aragorn. For now. ;) Thanks for the review!

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