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At Hope's Edge  by Cairistiona 13 Review(s)
EllynnReviewed Chapter: 5 on 8/24/2010
Is it strange that Mallor's death shook me waaaaaaaaay much more than this little girl? But it is so. Perhaps I was "prepared" for it... or perhaps it is because we don't know anything about her, she is just "one of many", if you understand what I mean. I don't know.
Please remind me - do you mention this event in some of your later stories? I really can't remember, and I have some blurry feeling that you do...

Now I regret that I haven't read this earlier - before your later stories. I mean, I already know that this feeling of dread comes from the Nazgul, so a little bit of tension is taken from me. But then, perhaps I'd guess anyway? I'll never know. *sigh* But hey, although I know certain things in advance, don't think that your descriptions lose their strenght. The feeling of dread is so real, just like I read this without prior knowledge.

Author Reply: I imagine that it varies from person to person how a character death might make them feel--for some, the death of a child, even an unknown, is far worse than the death of a warrior; for others, sympathies may lie with the warrior more. One never knows, as a writer, which way a reader will go and that's the fun of hearing from readers. I do know that both the deaths affect Aragorn deeply, however!

And yes, I do tie all my stories together, because I'm trying to build my own little version of Eriador and Aragorn's life as a Ranger and Chieftain. So some things might not hit you as hard, having read hints of them in other stories first. But I hope that doesn't lessen your enjoyment of this story too much--like you say, hard to know if the sensation of dread might have been heightened, but hopefully that's not going to be too much of a detriment as you read this.

Thanks for the review!

DreamdeerReviewed Chapter: 5 on 8/3/2009
(I guess this signs automatically anyway, even if you're not part of Arda, since the writer has written to me.)

I found this an exceptionally moving chapter. It does not pull punches. It sets up one expectation and plunges you into a different outcome altogether, one truer and more difficult, but the reader does not need babied and the author knows it. The tension does not let up, yet the love between the characters makes all bearable. Cairistiona makes every detail of the situation vivid and pressing, from the most physical to the most abstract. And while she's at it, she sets us up for future chapters in an unexpected way.

Author Reply: Thank you, Dreamdeer! This was another difficult chapter because I so wanted to save that child, but the story insisted that it couldn't be. Interesting how stories will take on wills of their own that way. I'm gratified that even though this was a hard chapter to read, it moved you. Thank you again for your kind reviews. :)

MP brennanReviewed Chapter: 5 on 1/14/2009
Wow, this isn't going to lighten up any time soon, is it?
Seriously, though, it's beautifully written. I'm strangely glad that you're taking the poor Ranger to the edge of despair and back; far too many authors "wimp out," in my opinion, by glossing over the pain and skipping to the fuzzy part. This story has much more impact because you're willing to go all the way.
Wonderful characterization of both Aragorn and Denlad. Excellent writing over all. You *do* toy with the audience, making us think the child will be saved, but sometimes that's the best way to make us care.
Looking forward to more.

Author Reply: Thank you, Brennan! What a lovely review! And no, unfortunately for Aragorn (and the rest), things in general won't be lightening up any time soon... bad as it is, Aragorn's still not really at hope's edge. I appreciate so much that you're actually glad to see this story going where I'm taking it... I too have the same thought sometimes, that a lot of fanfic doesn't really go far enough. Of course, conversely, I do think some go *too* far and take him beyond the edge of despair to what would be ruination, and then bring him back unscathed. With this story, I'm trying to keep it so that it fits both his character and canon--he does, after all, have to be the person we and the Hobbits meet at the Prancing Pony by the time I'm through with him. So there are limits set by Tolkien that I strive to stay within. But within those limits... yeah, there's lots of room for pushing Aragorn to the brink.

And I'm so glad you're liking Denlad. He's one of my biggest risks, really, being an OC. You never really know how an OC will be received in fanfic, so I'm trying to make him as real as I can, as I am all the OCs in this. I realize I've packed quite a few in, but hopefully they'll add to everyone's enjoyment of the canon characters and not distract.

Thanks again for the review! I think I need to go pop my ballooning ego now... *grin*

InzilbethReviewed Chapter: 5 on 1/13/2009
You absolutely feel Aragorn's despair in this chapter. We become so used to thinking of Aragorn the hero being able to set things right that something like this comes across as almost shocking.

It was all too harrowingly real. Well done.

Author Reply: Thank you, Inzilbeth! It is so true that we're used to seeing Aragorn "fixing" everything... it's interesting to explore what happens when he runs up against something he's not able to. Does he crack? Does he falter? Or, like steel, is he tempered by the flames of hardship? Those are the questions in my mind as I wrote this, and hopefully by the end of the story we'll see just what the events have wrought in our Ranger. Thanks again for your review (and of course, always for your guidance!)

RedeReviewed Chapter: 5 on 1/12/2009
I almost cried at this one. I've never come so close to feeling so absolutely miserable about a story. Very sad, and very well done.

Author Reply: Thank you... I just hope that it doesn't make you so miserable that you quit reading it! :) Thank you for the review... it's gratifying to know when your writing has touched the emotions in such a strong way. I do hope you continue on with the story. Thank you again for the review!

Linda HoylandReviewed Chapter: 5 on 1/11/2009
Utterly heartrending.I was so hoping they could save the child and they tried so hard.Very well written.

Author Reply: Thank you, Linda, for you kind words! Very sorrowful time for them, definitely. Thanks for reading and leaving such a nice review.

Szepilona10Reviewed Chapter: 5 on 1/11/2009
That is so sad! Update soon please!
God Bless!


Author Reply: Yes, it is a very sad time for Araogorn and the Rangers. Update next weekend, as usual. Thanks for reviewing!

Silivren TinuReviewed Chapter: 5 on 1/11/2009
Oh, that's so sad. Poor girl, and poor Aragorn and Denlad. It must break one's heart, to almost be able to save someone (especially a child) and then loose him/her. *sigh* I wonder what Denlad is thinking right now, I hope he isn't blaming Aragorn. Aragorn only wanted to save his life, after all, and he must be aware of that, even if he's angry right now. I like him, btw. To learn some details about both his and Aragorn's upbringing and the problems (or blessing) it brought with it was very interesting. Joining the Grey Company must have felt like heaven to Denlad, compared with his childhood. That he found it hardest to get used to something like friendship did not only touch Aragorn, but me, too.

You really have poor Aragorn going through a lot of heartache in this story. Another wonderful chapter, and I'm already looking forward to whatever will come next. :)


Author Reply: Thank you so much! I'm so glad you're liking Denlad... creating OC's is always a bit of a risk, and I've loaded up the story with a bunch, I realize. But Denlad's always had a special spot in my heart, so you'll see and hear more about him as the story goes on. And Eledh and Galadh as well, though they play more minor roles in this tale. But before too long, I'll add a story that explains fully how Eledh ended up being called an Elf Maid. ;) Anyway, yes, Denlad's got a storm of emotions going through him at this point, as do all the men. And yes, I'm really piling it on poor Aragorn... we'll see how much he can take! Thanks again for your review, this one and the others!

Jay of LasgalenReviewed Chapter: 5 on 1/11/2009

Oh, how desperately sad - but realistic, I think. There must be many times when rescuers come so close to saving someone but ultimately fail.

I can understand why Aragorn blames himself - who wouldn't? - but there was nothing he could do.


Author Reply: Thank you, Jay! *passing tissues*

I think you're exactly right... I don't think life then wasn't really any different than life now, when responders sometimes lose those they're trying to rescue--it's doubly wrenching when you've come so close. You're as wise as Halbarad in knowing there was nothing Aragorn could do. Of course, try telling that to Aragorn!

Thank you for the review!

EstelcontarReviewed Chapter: 5 on 1/10/2009
That was a very good chapter, but very sad too. I can just imagine how devastated Aragorn must have felt, after getting so close to save the child, loosing her at the end. It must have been hell to him, and I'm sure he must have felt very guilty. That, most definitely, isn't going to help his feeling of despondency.

Poor Aragorn, and poor Denlad. I imagine Denlad was cherishing the wish to adopt the girl. This was a very well written chapter, and so lifelike that it was actually very hard to read. And you've managed to surprise me. I was sure they were going to save the girl.

Author Reply: Thank you so much, Estelcontar! No, this isn't going to help his despondency at all, is it? And I did try and try to figure out a way to save the child... but the story just would not let me. And yes, I wonder if Denlad might have offered to take the child ... although as a single man, and a Ranger, not much chance of it working out. Thanks again for the review!

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