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The Bitter and the Sweet  by Cairistiona 23 Review(s)
PSWReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/3/2021
A lovely piece… :-)

MikoNoNyteReviewed Chapter: 1 on 2/3/2013
This was indeed bitter and sweet.

I think I've read something similar lately (LJwriters will kill me I swear!) with Aragorn beyond the World. But this was very unique in your choice of point of view.

Watching through another pair of eyes as Aragorn arrived, seeing the respect and love granted to a once king (now ghost, come on ... he's dead ya know!) And then finally the release of the watcher's guilt and catharsis!

I admit a few tears in my eyes (hides the wet hankie).

This was really good Cairi; not just because it IS well written or the point of view but because you can capture out attention in a few opening words and hold us hostage, letting the reader work their way through to the final release with guilt washed away and the final healing that the now dead king can do.

*grins* Girl, you are killing me! haha

Author Reply: Hee hee! *hands you fresh supply of tissues* (though I feel I should send you a defribillator!) *g*

Glad you enjoyed this, and thank you for the kind words about my writing, as always. This was a stretch for me, but redeeming Isildur had been a plot bunny that came up in discussions with Inzilbeth and I couldn't shake it off my ankle no matter how hard I tried. When you read about Isildur in the whole of Tolkien's writings and not just the appendices (and certainly not how he was portrayed in the movies), he really does come off as a hero doomed by one horridly bad choice. I felt he deserved his moment of absolution!

TanisReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/27/2010
Oh what a gorgeous tale of redemption, of finding peace at last. Even beyond the circles of the world there is still human need and longing, and it's beautifully portrayed in this story. The imagery of the boat sailing beyond, the passage of time outside of time, the crowd waiting on the shore for this particular boat, and the people who made the journey with their king - astonishingly vivdly painted. How much easier that journey would be if we could harness the faith to believe this is what waits each of us at the end of our journey here in this world.

Beautiful story!

Author Reply: Thank you, Tanis! I'm so glad you enjoyed this piece. It would be so much easier to have faith with proof, wouldn't it? But alas, just as we in our lives don't, neither did Tolkien allow it in his subcreation--faith alone has to be the substance of what we hope for. Aragorn had as strong a hope as anyone but I think even he might have breathed a little sigh of relief when the shore hove into view! One of these days I'll write more tales like this one, from different points-of-view, most notably Aragorn's as he reunites with Arwen. I find it a fascinating area that's not covered much in fanfic.

Thanks again for the review!

kathuReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/21/2010
Wow! I never thought about Isildurs POV. Beautifully written. I´m amazed. Thanks for sharing this story. Kathu

Author Reply: Thank you, kathu! There's not a terribly lot of Isildur POV stories out there and I thought it'd be fascinating to explore his thoughts when he finally got to meet Aragorn. I'm glad you enjoyed this, and thanks for the review!

AlassanteReviewed Chapter: 1 on 2/22/2010
This was very touching. *sniffle* I really really like the fact that Aragorn came over on a plain ship with no pomp and fanfare. That seems more true to his nature than anything else he could have done.

Author Reply: Thanks, Alassante... *hands you tissues* I'm glad you enjoyed my take on what might have happened. I've always thought that Aragorn wouldn't have been overly impressed with pomp and circumstance but understood the necessity of it during his life. And I imagine if he had a say in how he arrived on the shores beyond life, it would have been as quietly as possible, but of course, all those adoring family members and friends wouldn't have heard of it. :) Thanks for the review!

LisaGReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/27/2010
Lovely...just lovely! I love that Aragorn came on the ship with his people with no fanfare...he was a king of the people, indeed...this was very much in keeping with his character. The reunions made me tear up, most especially with his father, whom he only knew from stories. And the reunion with Halbarad was joyful...great stuff!

Author Reply: Thank you, Lisa! I'm so glad you enjoyed my take on what might have happened. I couldn't see Aragorn, or really any of the kings, arriving with great fanfare, because once beyond the circles of the world, all would be equal--otherwise you'd have all the kings spending eternity arguing over who's the best, and that won't do! :) And I do think Aragorn more than any of them likely would have preferred a quiet arrival, or as quiet as he could make it... there were simply too many people anxious to meet him (not least of which was his father).

So glad it touched your emotions--thanks for the review!

Lily BagginsReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/23/2010
Well, this is beautifully done and no mistake! What a clever story idea . . . I can only imagine how cathartic such a thing would be for Isildur. So gorgeously written and emotional---and we get to see Arathorn! That was a wonderful touch.

I so enjoyed this!

Author Reply: Thank you so much, Lily! I'm glad you liked this glimpse of what might have happened upon Aragorn's arrival. I've often wondered what a meeting between Isildur and Aragorn would have been like and this grew out of that. Thanks for the review!

ElentarriReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/13/2010

Author Reply: Thank you, Elentarri... so glad you liked it!

AinarielReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/9/2010
Wow. Wasn't planning to cry tonight...but you've got the tears flowing!

This was fantastic. I love that you didn't demonize Isildur - really, was he that different from Aragorn? If he had known the dangers (and the true power) of the One, I doubt he would have attempted to master it. Aragorn had the benefit (if you can look at it that way) of knowing what could happen. Some decisions are easier when you know their consequences, after all. The way Aragorn addresses Isildur is perfect - so much is said in those few words, and the reference to the White Tree is spot on!

Author Reply: Thank you, Ainariel! I'm glad you liked this little tale... I do think that Isildur often gets an unfair shake, so I wanted to show his quality in this--his remorse at Gladden Fields was so strong that I felt he likely carried the guilt of his actions for a long, long time. I think it took someone like Aragorn, who was deeply affected, after all, by those consequences, to be the one to finally help Isildur shed some of that self-condemnation. I think Isildur will always carry the scars, though. I think Aragorn likely avoided falling into the Ring's trap because he was not burdened with that sort of unhealthy pride that Isildur had. Isildur is nothing if not a good illustration of "pride goeth before a fall". But he deserves forgiveness nonetheless.

Thanks for the review!

Midnight PromiseReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/8/2010
Beautiful, absolutely brilliant! You an author who can do everything, and do it amazingly! I am demanding, not asking, for more shots to this theme! (Pretty please? With hot fudge and cherries? Money?) You are so much to use! You have Elendur, Elros, Beren, Luthien - dude, you have EVERYBODY! Especially Arathorn!

How you described Aragorn is always awesome, but from a complete outsider's opinion was a new one that I enjoyed greatly. :D

This is definitely a top favorite! Awesome job, way to start off a much needed weekend!

May Life's Blessings find you!


Author Reply: My goodness, thank you, MP! I feel like I have my marching orders now. :D Seriously, I probably will explore this theme a bit more... I'll have to figure out how best to approach it, whether to do it all from everyone else's perspective or from Aragorn's, or a mix... lots to think about. But I'm very glad you liked this story! Blessings back at you. :)

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