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The Road to Edoras  by Dreamflower 529 Review(s)
PSWReviewed Chapter: 55 on 11/19/2016
I very much enjoyed this story as well! :-) I've been having fun with these. It's a great idea, and very well done. I find myself much interested in how things will go in Gondor. Also, I am quite intrigued by Cado Banks, for some reason. I assume he won't be in the next story, but I hope things turn out well with him...

Thanks so much for writing!

Speedy HobbitReviewed Chapter: 6 on 9/7/2013
Awhhh Folco! I'd imagine if he were a human in today's world he would have been tacked with the ADHD label for both his impulsiveness (saying unexpected things, never developing a filter on his mouth but retaining the painful frankness of a young child) and for his inattention (having his mind on the next thing of interest by the time it is made apparent why what he said is offensive.) His hyperfocus on his music, which is of extreme interest to him, matches another criterion. If he also had a proclivity for losing things, tended towards fidgetiness and found it hard following directions and acting (as well as speaking) before thinking, that would seal the deal, if his charm despite the exasperation he often causes wasn't enough! What do you think?

Author Reply: It's quite possible; hobbits of course were not ones for sticking labels on people of that sort. He clearly had a social dysfunction of some sort, and your hunch is probably a good one.

Mostly he was based on a girl I knew in college; I do not believe she had been diagnosed with any learning disability, but this was nearly 40 years ago, when such things were not as frequently discovered.

Speedy HobbitReviewed Chapter: 31 on 9/6/2013
What *do* hobbits call females? o_O I remember "lasses" but is that all ages?

Author Reply: "Hobbitess" is a term JRRT used, and so do I. I also use terms such as "matron" or "spinster" for older hobbit women.

To be honest, the exclusive use of "lasses" and "lads" for hobbits is fanon. It was very much customary when I first began writing, and one of my early betas insisted that I use it, saying that it was correct. By the time I later realized there was nothing wrong with using the terms "boy", "girl", "men" and "women" with hobbits I was accustomed to the "lasses and lads" usage, and decided to stick with it. It does help to make the Shire culture just a little different. But many writers do use terms such as "hobbit-women". JRRT used "Elf-woman" to describe female Elves, so that's not a stretch.

Speedy HobbitReviewed Chapter: 19 on 9/6/2013
I see Freddy's PTSD has already improved some; Poppy was talking about the possibility of broken ribs piercing lungs and he managed to retain a sense of the moment and not flash back to the cause of death for poor Folco. Poor Bergil; I can definitely empathize with how he feels to a degree- I've had bruised ribs before (from a car accident) and just bruised ribs hurt enough to require Percoset. I do NOT want to imagine how broken ribs feel, yikes! Poor kid.

Author Reply: Freddy's worry about Bergil trumped his fears from the past; something "now" to deal with can do that (though it's possible that somewhat later those earlier fears and experiences came to mind).

Yes, poor child! And herbal remedies were probably not nearly so effective as "modern" pills!

ImhirielReviewed Chapter: Author's Notes on 7/21/2013
I'm leaving my review for the end of the story here, because I love reading author's notes, and yours have been very informative and also encouraging. Reading about the trials and tribulations of an author - and one as prolific and good as you - assures me that my own muses also might really come back after a long hiatus as I mentioned (although, pesky critters that they are, they chose to do so just when I'm beginning a new job and have to focus on that).

I really liked those last few chapters in Edoras. You tied most of the threads neatly together, and those you didn't don't feel so much like loosely hanging, but rather as temptations to keep reading - and of course I will *g*.

Beri and Viola's courtship made me go "Awwww!", and Éomer's yearning for Lothíriel and his choice of what to do about it made me smile.

And I'm so proud of Freddy! His letters to Frodo show how much he has overcome, not only his grief about Folco, but also fear of the big wide world, and doubts about his own courage. Now Minas Tirith will receive a fully capable, confident and competent ambassador!

An addendum to our conversation about white uniforms from a previous chapter: re: Heralds; I still have to grin every time I think of the name for the uniform one of the Chosen keeps using, "Shoot-me-now-uniforms!" And yes, I, too, see solid white as a possibility for a dress uniform for the White Company of Ithilien.

Author Reply: Thank you so much for all your kind reviews! I only just found this one--I must have missed the notification for it.

Whenever I get blocked for a story, I remind myself that I've come back from it in the past, so I will be able to again. I hope your muses do come back!

"You tied most of the threads neatly together, and those you didn't don't feel so much like loosely hanging, but rather as temptations to keep reading - and of course I will *g*."

Thank you for that! It's just the sort of ending I was hoping for, to tie up what needed to be tied, and to lead into the sequels--so I'm very glad it had that effect on you.

I've been enjoying the courtship of those two, taking it slow and hopefully not take over the rest of the story. But Berilac and Viola just seemed "meant to be" when I started the story.

Fredegar Bolger is one of the best of the "minor characters"; he has so much potential in what we do know of him that I don't understand why he's so often neglected in fanfic.

LOL! Glad to know we agree on that. *grin*

ImhirielReviewed Chapter: 49 on 7/21/2013
Oh, and how nice to see Gloín again, too!

That was roughly my inner voice while reading the first half of this chapter *g*.

And I had to grin at this:
who was clad in the grey and white livery of Ithilien
It seems you, too, have a problem with having the White Company actually be dressed in complete white (unlike one of Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar, if you know the books). It seems rather impractical, doesn't it? Especially in the wilds of Ithilien, or on the road through Rohan in this case.

Should my muse at last, eventually, finally, deign to return to me, I intend to have an alternative to white as well in my "The Heart of a Knight". You wouldn't believe just how many permutations that uniform has been going through in my mind and in my drafts, even though I reckon it is going to make probably a very brief mention only.

(And I can report that to my everlasting surprise, for the past week or so the muse has shown signs of life after years and years of leaving me hanging. But I will have to revise the previous chapters - thankfully only slightly - and immerse myself into the story again before I can continue...)

But enough of me!

Poor old hen-pecked Gloín - he is getting it from all sides: his king, his wife, his daughter (oh, and the idea of Gimli having a sister is just delicious) and his old friend! And what a nice little peek into a Dwarven community, and the mysterious feminine one at that.

Author Reply: Yes, solid white uniforms don't exactly seem practical. Perhaps they do have solid white ones for "dress uniforms" or palace duty--but in the field? I never really understood the Valdemarian penchant for white on the Heralds--so impractical! (Though to Mercedes Lackey's credit, the characters mostly thought so too, even though they rarely tried to buck tradition, they complained about them a lot!)

I am thrilled to hear your own muse is beginning to cooperate again. More new story is always something to rejoice about! Yay, something new for me to read!

Yes, Gloin is indeed getting it from all sides--and I figured Bilbo would be the last straw! But I think he even knew himself that he was behaving badly; he just needed a few nudges.

ImhirielReviewed Chapter: 42 on 7/21/2013
He thought of the Lockholes, and how hobbits of the Shire had been locked up this way. At least, they’d been together, he supposed, for there had been so many of them.

That's the hight of gall! Saying they were locking up so many of the Hobbits that they hadn't enough cells for each of them, and presenting it as an exculpating and self-pitying factor! *shakes head*

and baths have been drawn.”

Gimli made a face.

*grin* Poor Gimli, has to make himself presentable and get rid of the comfortable dirt of travel! It makes me wonder if Legolas is in the habit of settling downwind from him not only when he smokes, but also when they have been on the road for a while...

I so love Merry's letter to Éomer, particularly just how clear Merry's voice and tone and character come through. His description of the Banks brothers made me smile - he's obviously still fiercely affronted on Pippin's behalf, ever the protector. In fact, it may be one of my favourites among the many examples of letters you have given us in your stories (although a few of Pippin's "elaborate" epistles may come close *g*).

Author Reply: Dago is, as you can probably tell by now, a totally self-centered creature, with only a modicum of empathy--which he does his best to squash whenever it rears its inconvenient head!

I think Gimli just doesn't like the hassle of getting out of all his gear! But I imagine poor Legolas' nose gets a workout whenever he's in the midst of his beloved mortals. There is a trade-off for the pleasure of their company, LOL!

Oh, I thank you so much! I love to write those various letters, and I admit, that one was a favorite as well.

ImhirielReviewed Chapter: 41 on 7/21/2013
It seems you get a second review from me for this chapter *g*.

So: All the complimentary things I said in the first one still stand *g*; in fact, I want to elaborate and say how much fun I had at the convoluted introductions. I could so clearly see the Rohirrim trying to follow and commit it to memory to be polite, but losing the thread halfway through. Although: they are a culture with an oral tradition; their memory is bound to be better than that of Gondorians.

Éormangilda stepped down from the dais, and went to the remaining hobbits, to whom she spoke in heavily accented Westron

I don't think this aligns with canon. Thengel lived in Gondor for many years and married there in 2943; when he returned home upon his father's death in 2953, he already had two daughters. And even if Éormangilda is the one daughter besides Théodwyn to born afterwards in Rohan, it says explicitly in Appendix A that "the speech of Gondor was used in his house". So she would have grown up with Westron and Sindarin, and even if she was otherwise surrounded by Rohirric, it's unlikely she would develop a "heavy accent" in her (literal) mother-tongue and first language.

But apart from that, I really like her, from what I remember and what I'm reading again. I have a soft spot for those kinds of older matrons, who are maybe a bit stern and aloof, but still kind, and who have a lot of common sense and a no-nonsense attitude. She and Mistress Poppy should get along like a house on fire.

As I'm in the process of niggling *g*, in this story, too, there are again repeated instances of "Mundberg" and "Odovocar", as well as extraneous spaces when there is a name beginning with an accent, instead of the correct spellings. I do hope you don't mind these reminders; it's just that your stories are so good, they deserve to be polished until they shine all the more, and not throw the reader out of the flow by distracting "blemishes".

Éothain is completely justified in bringing the two Banks brothers to Edoras instead of Minas Tirith, IMO. For one thing, they are not guilty of collaboration and treason, like their father and Bracedgirdle - being minors, they didn't do any deals with Lotho and the Ruffians and Saruman (although I can't at the moment recall if they did anything during the Troubles). The crime they are guilty of is assault on a member of the embassy. But seeing as they attacked a Rider, it's nothing to do with Gondor, really.

Author Reply: I had not really thought about them speaking Westron much in Thengel's court, but you most certainly have a point. OTOH, many writers have posited that the "court language" of Gondor was not Westron but Sindarin. I've never actually taken a stand on that, though--I suspect you are right. But perhaps Eormangilda spent much of her growing up years "away" from her you've got me wondering about her backstory...

You and I share a weakness for that sort of older female. I have several characters of that type, LOL!

I do hope I can get the time to fix these little things--usually I'm in the middle of other work, and then I have to remember to get after them. But I'll certainly give it a try. Those spaces with accents were something I was plagued with for a while--I am still not quite certain what caused them or how I got rid of them. I think it's an SoA thing--your review as I look at it on this page has little black diamonds with question marks in them instead of accented letters, though they do not appear on the actual review page that way!

You are quite right, and that was one of the reasonings that the two ambassadors used to justify taking the younger ones to Rohan rather than Gondor! The only thing to do with Gondor was their motivation for the attacks: to derail the High King's investigation into Saruman's dealings in the Shire. But it was the actions trumped the motive in their case.

ImhirielReviewed Chapter: 6 on 7/19/2013
Re-reading Freddy's story about Frodo had me chortling loudly in the middle of the night (and hoping I didn't wake any of my neighbours). A person with such a severe case of (wooly- *g*) foot-in-mouth disease is so, so funny to read about, but actually having a friend or family member be afflicted with it is rather excruciatinginly awkward. But you convey so very well the bright innocence of Folco - which makes his fate all the more horrific and sad.

And I have to say, I'm not normally a vengeful person, and Ted Sandyman's fate in turn was bad and pitiful, but for his part in Folco's torture and murder, I'll freely admit to a feeling of satisfaction and "justice served".

It's a good thing to follow Freddy coming to terms with the loss of his best friend through the course of the story, with the help of Bergil. IIRC, he will make a gift of the flute to the boy later on, and I still remember this as a very nice and symbolic gesture of this process, as well as of the friendship that had developed between those two.

Author Reply: Folco was quite funny--he was like the child in "The Emperor's New Clothes", only he never grew out of it. It was only his bright innocence as you call it and his generous spirit that made him loved by his friends.

And I am glad of your reaction to Sandyman's fate; for all the misery Lotho caused and the dreadfulness of his own fate, it happened "offstage" and no one really had to deal with it. Dealing out justice to Sandyman was quite satisfying to me, even though it was also rather harrowing to write.

I am so glad you noticed the symbolism of Freddy's friendship to Bergil and the role it played in his healing; that was important to me as well, and was one of the elements planned for this story before I ever even finished "A New Reckoning"!

PeguengReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 5/15/2013
Oh blood and bloody ashes. You are a productive one. Just finished "A new reckoning" and i thought that was a superb story. I just couldn't let go of it but had to read it through in one reading... took me couple of hrs. And now i find that you have made what i ired would ne'er find... a continuum to that awesome tale.... I have no time ... must read on. From the bottom my heart, Thank you for being,... and writing. / Pe

Author Reply: Thank YOU, and my apologies for the late response to your kind review; I only just now found it!

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