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At Hope's Edge  by Cairistiona 14 Review(s)
EllynnReviewed Chapter: 19 on 8/25/2010
Poor Aragorn. :(
Though, I am quite sure that he feels so bad because he is still under the influence of Black Breath, although he can't/doesn't want to see it. I suppose I'll discover in the following chapters if I'm right.

Author Reply: I really made it tough on poor Aragorn, didn't I? *g*

DreamdeerReviewed Chapter: 19 on 8/10/2009
Honest. Vividly honest. Aragorn's struggle is everyone's struggle, sooner or later in their life, and the author makes the reader identify with it. Yet a host of rich details also make the character distinct, make the story as new as it is old. The willow-refuge in particular was a touch of genius.

Author Reply: Thank you, Dreamdeer... your reviews are incredibly reassuring and encouraging. This chapter was a risk. I wasn't sure it would be accepted that someone like Aragorn could reach such a nadir that he might actually, at least fleetingly, consider ending it all. Of course, Aragorn being Aragorn, his innate strength and hope, battered though it is, makes that an impossibility. But I do think everyone has those incredibly dark moments. Hopefully most of us will then take a deep breath and go on anyway. I'm also glad you liked the willow... I read about the remnants of Gondolin and knew I had to bring a touch of Nan-tathren into Aragorn's life here, because it suited the story so well with its mix of refuge and sorrow. Thanks again for the review!

EstelcontarReviewed Chapter: 19 on 4/20/2009
I fear Aragorn is very much still under the effects of the black breath. The stubborn ranger should let Erestor know how he felt, but no, he won't. He should listen more to Halbarad.

I liked your Erestor. I like his wistfulness for the vitality he felt in Bilfen, and I like his perceptiveness about Aragorn's despondency, and the fact that he took Aragorn to Aragorn's special spot in Rivendell, which he had made more comfortable. These little details tell a lot about his kindness, as does too the little bit about 'Erestor The Endless Elocutionist', which was also a most welcome touch of humour in a dark chapter.

Aragorn's inner struggle is very powerful and poignant. And I'm really, really happy that in spite of all you make him struggle on and not give in. I just wish that for once he would ask for help.

Can you tell I liked this chapter?

Author Reply: Hmm, yes, I think I can see that you liked this! LOL Thank you so, Estelcontar. Yes, this is about as low as a strong man like Aragorn can sink, isn't it? And it's not like him to have suicidal thoughts at all, so yes, the BB is still affecting him greatly. And yes, Aragorn would never actually give in, I don't think. He's too strong for that, despite everything. I'm happy you liked my Erestor... I really wanted to show that he's a very kindhearted person, with many of his own strengths but also just a tad bit eccentric. He's very much an empathetic person and can sense mood and mindset perhaps more quickly than others. All those years trying to read Elrond, I suppose!

Glad you enjoyed this and thanks for the review!

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 19 on 4/4/2009
I think the time has come for Elrond to work rather quicker on Halbarad that he might come the sooner to Aragorn, who in some ways is the worse hurt. Someone needs a hope infusion.

Love the story of the willow!

Author Reply: A hope infusion, I love it! LOL That's definitely what Aragorn needs. Glad you liked the willow aspect of this... it's based a bit on my own fondness for willows, dating back to childhood and that big old lovely willow in the front yard. :) Thanks for the review!

Linda HoylandReviewed Chapter: 19 on 4/4/2009
PS. I forgot to add that I love willows too. These grow along the riverbank in my town and I always think they are where Aragorn and Faramir sunbathed and Shelob's daughter dwelet in the roots!

Author Reply: What a lovely picture! Yes, that's a bit what I visualized with the willow, although my willow has fronds that grow all the way to the ground to create a bit of a secret room... I had a willow like that in my yard as a child and it was a wonderful place to play. :)

Linda HoylandReviewed Chapter: 19 on 4/4/2009
Poor Aragorn, he seems to have reached the depths of utter despair. I hope Elrond can help him once halbarad is out of danger. I eagerly await what happens next.

Author Reply: Thank you, Linda--yes, Aragorn's just about at his nadir, isn't he? And Elrond too busy saving Halbarad... it's a hard spot for him. I think it would be hard on a good day to know that the fate of the world rests upon you; Aragorn's far from having a good day, and the weight is becoming more than he can really bear, I fear. Thanks for the review!

ElflingimpReviewed Chapter: 19 on 4/3/2009
Looks like Aragorn is at the end of his rope, with the shadow taking his spirit over without him realising it and physically he's not in to great of shape either,hope Elrond will show up in time, I feel so bad for Aragorn. Hugs The Imp P.S. Thanks for the Thursday update, that was so nice!

Author Reply: Thank you! I'm glad you liked this chapter... and you're certainly welcome for the double update this week. Yes, Aragorn has a lot of things going on and the fever and the BB really is hindering his ability to think clearly. I'm glad the story's generating sympathy in you for poor Aragorn! I'm going to *try* to update again on Monday again, if the chapter is ready to go. Thanks again for the review!

Silivren TinuReviewed Chapter: 19 on 4/3/2009
I'm beginning to think this was the wrong time for Halbarad to get injured. ;-) He certainly wouldn't have allowed Aragorn to drift off into darkness like that, but, on the other hand, I doubt even Halbarad would have been able to permanently keep Aragorn from despairing as long as something isn't done about the cause of said despair... and I think there's certainly more to it than Aragorn's own doubts. I don't think he'd be likely to consider committing suicide if a certain Nazgul hadn't meddled with his mind somehow. I'm really glad he's at least in just the right place to get healed. :)

That place by the Bruinen with the giant willow tree sounds wonderful! I think I would love to spend time there, too. It was a good idea of Erestor to lead Aragorn there, though I don't think Aragorn really cares at the moment. ;-)

I wish Elrond wouldn't be busy right now, though I really don't want him to stop treating Halbarad. *sigh* Methinks Aragorn could really use some fatherly support at the moment.

*anxiously looking forward to the next chapter*

Author Reply: Thanks, Almut! You're absolutely right in thinking that Aragorn wouldn't be in such despair without the Black Breath having a hand in it. Normally I don't see Aragorn as ever entertaining such thoughts, but one of the effects of BB is despair... and I think when such deep despair hits, the mind of even the strongest man might flirt with the idea of just walking away from it all in whatever fashion he can. And yes, poor Elrond has no idea just how bad off his "other patient" is, does he? Even an Elf Lord can't be two places at once, unfortunately.

I'm glad you liked the willow... I love willow trees, and I wanted a willow that *wasn't* evil. LOL And then after I'd roughed that part out, I ran across the bit about Nan-tathren in the Silm and it all sort of clicked together.

Thanks for the review, and I may very well star updating twice a week. Readers seem to be wanting the chapters a bit sooner and you know, I kinda want to get the story told, too! :)

Ainu LaireReviewed Chapter: 19 on 4/2/2009
Well. Methinks that Black Breath is still affecting him. He seriously needs to see to that... he is not well at all.

Author Reply: No, he's not... and Elrond's still busy with Halbarad... Hard times for our Ranger!

Thanks for the review. :)

InzilbethReviewed Chapter: 19 on 4/2/2009
Oh, Cairistiona, you create such a heart breaking scene here. Aragorn is home; the one place he should find peace and hope but both elude him completely. You really have taken him to Hope's Edge.
An excellent chapter in an excellent story.

Author Reply: Thank you, Inzilbeth! I'm glad you liked this one... he's just about on the brink, isn't he, poor Ranger. But in life peace usually has to come from within, as helpful as being in peaceful surroundings are. And Aragorn has a lot to get through before that peace he's so desperate for can finally arrive. Thanks for the review!

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