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No Better Name  by Cairistiona 10 Review(s)
Lily BagginsReviewed Chapter: 12 on 11/5/2011
Now, I could handle a bunch of rangers roaming around my house... but I guess Bowen's a little different. He's probably ready to get somewhat back to normal, I should suppose!

Aragorn's little smile at the knowledge he saved Owen Estel was the best part of this chapter... thank goodness he's had some good luck lately in that department and perhaps feels a little better about life in general.

Of course, he's above all practical and careful, so I'm not surprised he's planning on teaching Bowen how to defend himself.

Really enjoyed the way the rangers are always on top of things and thinking about the dangers, even while the "simple folk" go about heedless of such things. Tolkien showed us this, but only in very small bits... I really enjoy hearing more about it.

Author Reply: Thank you! I'm soooo glad you liked Aragorn's sleepy little smile! Is there anything better than a happy Aragorn falling asleep after performing deeds well done? No wait, don't answer that... I can hear you already: "No, but Aragorn falling to sleep after tossing feverishly all night after contracting a deadly plague while performing great deeds is!" *g* This one didn't have quite the level of h/c in it that I know you love, but I'm glad you enjoyed it anyway.

I like to think that when they were allowed, the Rangers did a bit of "arming" the folks of Bree... if not training them at weapons then at least dropping a word of wisdom here and there about watching the shadows and being cautious. But I have a feeling those opportunities were few and far between.

LayneReviewed Chapter: 12 on 10/31/2011
I think it's wonderful that the rangers are all helping out Bowen with his farmwork. Lovely!

Author Reply: Thanks, Layne! Isn't it fun to picture those mysterious and deadly Rangers doing things like that??

NathReviewed Chapter: 12 on 10/23/2011
*heh* Seemed as if the mother hen was in danger of having his hand pecked at right at the start of the chapter.

It was a lovely sight, those cultivated fields of Eriador, and one Halbarad carried like a secret treasure in his heart during all his journeying into danger and darkness. He lived to keep Aragorn safe and regretted not a minute by his king's side, but in these quiet moments he felt keenly the longing for a simple life by his hearth and fields. He had no doubt that someday such peaceful scenes as far as the eye could see and beyond would be the reward for all their hard labors, if not for them then for their children or even their children's children. A world at peace, where men and women tended their farms and raised their families without fear, where little ones like Owen Estel enjoyed a childhood full of small adventures and harmless mischief and bright hopes for the future... how Halbarad coveted such things.

*sigh* (*hugs Ranger*)

I must admit to agreeing somewhat with Galadh about babies; they're fine in theory, but that's where I like them best *g* although I can do an almost convincing admiration session if necessary (and Strider holding the baby is a great image).

And Bowen may be stubborn about the farmwork, but he's met his match in the man who is stubborn enough to have wooed and won the Elf princess.

All in all, another enjoyable chapter. Is it really nearly done? *pouts at the thought*

Author Reply: Thank you, and alas, yes, it is almost over. One more chapter is all. You may be pouting, but I admit I'm panicking a bit, wondering how on earth I'll bring the trilogy to a close in one more book! But I'll get it pounded into submission, one way or another.

I really like hearing when readers can connect with a certain character, like you with Galadh and babies. I'm a little that way myself--I like them, and I like to cuddle them, but I've never been one to turn all gooey and go chasing after every baby I can find to hold. So I think a little of that went into Galadh. I'll let Aragorn be the one that turns into man-goo at the sight of a baby... mostly because *that* is what makes me turn all gooey. *g*

*wipes up all the goo slopping over in this reply with a towel*

DarkoverReviewed Chapter: 12 on 10/21/2011
Dear Cairistiona: This was a lovely ending to an excellent story! Strider is back in good health, Bowen and Flora got some help in catching up on the farm work, the baby has been born, named, and is doing well, Bowen has made friends with the Rangers and vice-versa, and presumably, by the time the latter leave, Bowen will have been instructed at least a bit in how to defend himself and his family. All loose ends were neatly and appropriately tied up. As always, I liked how you portrayed Halbarad in this last chapter. I'm not sure any fan author writes him as well as you do. He seems very human and believable, concerned foremost about Strider, missing his own wife and children, and yet thinking about the other men and thinking ahead, just as a good leader should. And as Aragorn's second-in-command, and the man who leads the Dunedain when their Chieftain is not around, Halbarad is indeed a leader. This story has been a delight to read from the start, and so was the tale that preceded it. Thank you very much for writing and posting both, and for doing such a good job both times. Sincerely, Darkover

Author Reply: Thanks so much, Darkover! You're very kind to consider my Halbarad among the best out there--I do try to make him a real person, with as many layers as a real person has. I always feel like he deserves that much, having died such a hero's death without anyone really knowing much about him. I'm glad you feel I have him pegged. :)

But don't give up on the story yet! I almost hate it after you give such a good summation of how I've tied up the loose ends, but there's one last chapter to come. :) There's still a few loose ends, at least to my mind, and of course, I have to do a little bit of pointing toward Book #3 in the trilogy. So one more, *then* you can just copy/paste this for that chapter too. LOL

Thanks again!

EstelcontarReviewed Chapter: 12 on 10/21/2011
Here was I thinking I would not like anything in this chapter as much as well as Halbarad at his mothering best pestering Aragorn, when in bursts Bowen and steals the scene. It was totally delicious. I see Galadh loves dogs too as much as he likes talking. Poor scorned Ruddy! Thank the Valar, Halbarad was there.

So here was I again thinking that was going to be the best part of the chapter when you give us Aragorn training to be a father, and that melted me down. I loved the way you used Aragorn and Owen Estel's bonding to frame Halbarad's dream/foresight, a most effective foreshadowing of what I imagine is going to be told in the next story. The last paragraph is just about perfect.

Author Reply: Thanks, Estelcontar! Bowen did more or less steal that scene, didn't he. LOL And yes, Aragorn-in-training, holding that baby so much and being Chief Babysitter! I just love that image. *g* And I imagine it will have formed a lasting connection between Aragorn and Owen Estel, even though Owen Estel was far too young to remember.

Glad you liked so many parts of this chapter. :)

SuzelleReviewed Chapter: 12 on 10/21/2011
More love to give! Let me count the ways:

1. I've mentioned it before, but I do so love the subtle fleshing-out you've given to all your OC's. Galadh never fails to crack me up...perhaps Owen Estel will prove to be the baby that warms his heart *g*.

2. "But those are all... I'm no good at cooking, and I don't have the first clue about the laundry." Bwahaha Bowen I know how you were originally going to end that sentence and you're lucky that you didn't, otherwise I think there are certain females who would have given you a very strict talking-to! *g* And good for Strider/Halbarad for pointing out that it is quite important, indeed, for everyone to know how to cook XD.

3. Oooh, I do like the idea that they are going to try and get Bowen/some of the other Breelanders to start defending would be an ease off of everyone's mind, wouldn't it?

4. The scene where Halbarad was missing his home/family may or may not have brought a lump to my throat. But in a good way.

Author Reply: Thanks, Suzelle! Hee... I'm glad Galadh makes you smile! He's such a taciturn guy, but I really do suspect he has a heart of mush under that silent and stern exterior. *g* And I wondered if I'd be absolutely destroying Bowen in your eyes by making him a typical male for the time... that is, one that delineates "women's work" from "men's work"! But don't be too hard on him--division of labor in those days was rather specific out of necessity.

Would that the Rangers could have taught defense to those heedless folk! But I fear they would have just thought them off their rockers to even suggest the need. Bowen's going to be one of the fortunate ones, really.

Aw, yay for the possibility I gave you a lump in your throat. *g* I like inflicting lumpy throats... bwa ha ha!

ElflingimpReviewed Chapter: 12 on 10/21/2011
Loved this's so heart warming to see grown men cooing over a baby(well most of them)and helping Bowen out with his fields and such, wish life was like that today. Hugs The Imp

Author Reply: Thanks, Elflingimp! Isn't it so warm and fuzzy, picturing hardy and dangerous-looking Rangers cuddling a little baby and no doubt making silly faces at it? :) And it would be nice to live that thoroughly peaceful and rural life. Those that have managed it in this day and age are truly blessed, I think.

shireboundReviewed Chapter: 12 on 10/21/2011
A world at peace, where men and women tended their farms and raised their families without fear, where little ones like Owen Estel enjoyed a childhood full of small adventures and harmless mischief and bright hopes for the future... how Halbarad coveted such things.

And how they all deserve it. What a wonderful chapter.

Author Reply: Thanks, shirebound! They really did deserve those things, didn't they. I think it's just too tragic that Halbarad didn't get to enjoy them after the fighting was done, but maybe they gave him a lovely patch of fertile ground to till in the lands beyond the Dark Sea. :)

FantasiaReviewed Chapter: 12 on 10/21/2011
Lovely, lovely chapter. Halbaradís description of his home and family, especially his wife was beautifully written. I can see, feel and hear the fields, the breeze that sounds. It breaks my heart, to know that he won't know that peace. But he has a home well worthy of his fight.

And the Rangers gang is being a framer gang. Just perfect.

Author Reply: Thanks, Fantasia! Yes, Farmer Halbarad! I really see him as being a peace-loving man at heart and happiest when he's at home with his family and his farm, rare that those times are. You're right in that it makes it all the more heartbreaking that he doesn't gain it for himself in the end... but all the more noble of him, I think, to add that to the reasons why he fights.

And yes, they're all getting a rare chance to play at being farmers! I think it's fun to think about them setting aside swords for plowshares. :)

MirachReviewed Chapter: 12 on 10/21/2011
A few off-topic things first:
- I don't know why I checked SoA right now, because I didn't get the notification for your new chapter yet, so it was a surprise to see it. I'm sure I'll get the notification 10 minutes before leaving again, they tend to to that =)
- I knew what's a "ha-ha""! :D We learned about it in the history of landscape architecture =)

And on topic now:
Aww, Ruddy! I want to pet him... He's getting my new favourite character =) Bowen is surely starting to miss the old peaceful days without Rangers and babies, poor man. Are they really going to teach him to fight? It's hard to imagine, but I'm curious what you will do of it. And what fate did you prepare for Owen Estel in the third part of the "Rushlight trilogy" (Did I guess right?) And how did Halbarad plow with his hand? Or is it already healed?

Author Reply: Thanks, Mirach! Glad you liked the chapter! And knew what a ha-ha was! That's not a common term in the US so I wanted to be sure to put a definition at the bottom so people wouldn't think they were fixing Bowen's laugh (I don't know... maybe he has a really irritating laugh that DOES need fixing! *g*) And yay, Ruddy's gaining fans!

To answer your questions: As to whether they'll teach Bowen to fight... you'll have to wait for the last chapter to see. :) The fate of Owen Estel... will be revealed in detail in Book #3. (You didn't really expect an answer to that, I know!) And as for Halbarad's hand and plowing... I guess it's healed enough that he managed all right. And too, maybe it's a different enough motion that it didn't aggravate it too much.

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