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At Hope's Edge  by Cairistiona 18 Review(s)
DreamdeerReviewed Chapter: 21 on 8/10/2009
Skillfully throughout the author has walked the tightrope of showing us Aragorn's increasingly disordered perspective, making it credible that he should believe what he does, while making sure that the reader knows just how unfairly he perceives himself. Now comes the painful promise of relief, that finally someone with authority will cure the man of his doubts and self-destructive delusions that he has till now been too wary to confide. Laying bare the fullness of his suffering at last hurts, but finally brings us back over the edge of Hope to a promise that the long-neglected, infected wound will be cleaned--on all levels.

What powerful metaphors Cairistiona has laced this story with!

Author Reply: Wow... thank you! I can't say that I consciously created all the metaphors--they just sort of happened. In fact, that the physical wound was a metaphor for the spiritual wound wasn't anything that even occurred to me until you pointed it out. I have a feeling if I tried consciously to do that, it would have been clunky and unwieldy. LOL Thank you for your kind words, always.

EstelcontarReviewed Chapter: 21 on 4/20/2009
Poor Aragorn, this time he indeed did manage to make a mess of things, didn't he?

As I must have mentioned a thousand times, he should have taken Halbarad's wise adviced, and let Elrond know what's was going on with him. How did he expect weary and heavy-hearted as he was before meeting the Nazgūl to cope both with the effects of the black breath and of an infected wound?

I'm glad wise Gandalf was there to see what was going on. If I were him I would have clouted Aragorn on the head and taken him to Elrond immediately. LOL But it is a testament to Aragorn's strenght that he managed to fool even Gandalf about his real state of mind, and to resist so long against the combined effects of his own state of mind, the black breath and that infected wound.

liked the idea that Sauron had heard rumours about the Heir of Elendil and sent one of his Nazgūls to investigate. And it does even make more sense that Aragorn in his state of mind would feel guilty and responsible for the destruction and death this lead to.

See, I liked this one also, though I'm on tenterhooks to know what you're going to come up with in the next chapter.

Author Reply: Thank you, Estelcontar! Gosh, you're flying through these chapters, aren't you? I'm so glad you're getting caught up. *grin* And glad that you're leaving me all these lovely reviews. I do think Aragorn likely would have been able to pull off quite a charade, and did, but eventually his deteriorating state told the truth of the tale. You can't be that sick, for that long, and continue hiding it, and that finally happened with Aragorn. And I'm glad you liked the motivation for the Nazgul being in the region... that was the one thing that gave me the most issues in writing this, coming up with a reason for a wraith to be up there. Searching for the existence of the Heir seemed the most likely.

Thanks for the review!

Silivren TinuReviewed Chapter: 21 on 4/10/2009
*hands over Mean Cliffhanger Award* I think this ending qualifies, lol!

I have to say I absolutely love your Gandalf! //Gandalf glared at him from under those massive grey eyebrows of his, which were drawing toward each other like two warships bent on destroying each other.// This beginning already made my day! *g* That's about how I hope Gandalf would react. You've perfectly captured the irascible, quick-witted, aquiline-nosed (if that's a correct expression ;-), big-hearted wizard from the books, whom I personally much prefer to the Gandalf of the movies. It was really a relief that Gandalf was finally able to get the whole story out of Aragorn.

//"It is unusual, I must say, after all this time. Most men would long have died by now," he mused, seeming to be talking to himself more than Aragorn.// *chuckles* What a wonderful, annoying reaction to Aragorn's tale!

I think it probably need an Istar in full-wrath-mode to stop Aragorn from marching right into Mordor. *shakes head* It's a good thing Aragorn did not think about the possibility that Sauron might have learned his identity (or suspect it) before Gandalf arrived. Gandalf's outright way of talking about things is so very refreshing! :D

No need at all to disturb Elrond, of course. *glares at half-dead ranger* Luckily Gandalf has no such qualms. //"Elrond, cease your slumber and come immediately!" // LOL!!! I only hope no one tells Halbarad what has happened - that poor ranger might get a heart-attack.

A wonderful chapter, Cairistiona (if I didn't mention it lately, I love your sense of humour *g*)! I'm a little bit worried about Aragorn now, though. ;-)


Author Reply: Thank you so much, Almut! Gee, the Mean Cliffhanger Award, even! I'll gladly accept. *evil grin*

I do like cliffhangers at the ends of chapters, which I'm sure everyone's figured out by now (and is probably wishing they could beat me about the head and neck over). It just always seems to me that a chapter should leave the reader leaning forward a bit off balance so that the next chapter can sort of push them back in place.

I have to say I laughed when I read your review of the last chapter as you hoped Gandalf would snort loudly in disbelief--I didn't have him exactly snorting at the start of this chapter, but basically the same reaction. *grin* I'm so glad you feel I've caught Gandalf in all his many irascible, witty and compassionate ways. He is rapidly becoming a favorite of mine, so it's reassuring to know I've managed to capture the essence of him. And yes, I do think aquiline-nosed is the right expression!

Your point is well made in that it likely was a good thing Aragorn hadn't figured out that he might be the target of the attacks... he may have done something foolish and impetuous and really brought a mess down on his head (as if this mess he's in now isn't bad enough!)

Thank you always for your kind (and fun!) reviews! (And yes, we do have the same sense of humor, don't we! LOL)

Raksha The DemonReviewed Chapter: 21 on 4/10/2009
Well it's about time!!!

Excellent building of tension and some misdirection between Gandalf and Aragorn, culminating in Aragorn's final fall and Gandalf being there to understand and catch him, literally and metaphorically. Aragorn can't pretend to Gandalf; the wizard is simply too old and wise.

Looking forward to the next chapter!

Author Reply: LOL... I think that's been the general consensus of everyone: FINALLY!! *grin* I'm so gratified at your kind words about the build-up of tension, because that is exactly what I was going for: that sort of push and push and push until everyone's about ready to explode from the tension. And yes, Gandalf was there on every level for Aragorn, which is how I see their relationship--Elrond is of course Aragorn's father but with the tension that exists between them, I've always felt Aragorn needed one other father figure, one without the "baggage", so to speak, and that need is filled by Gandalf. And yes, Gandalf is so wise... he won't really let Aragorn get away with much foolishness, although he did perhaps miscalculate just how sick Aragorn was. We might forgive Gandalf that, though, since Aragorn had almost everyone fooled except Halbarad. And Halbarad was not there to hop up and down insisting they strap Aragorn down and get him fixed up. :)

Have a wonderful weekend and a happy Easter, and thank you again for the review!

Lily BagginsReviewed Chapter: 21 on 4/9/2009
After reading this chapter, if I were a man I'd ask you to marry me.

Seriously---how can you know this is practically a scene I've dreamed of reading for years? And years? And years? Aragorn steadfastly refuting Gandalf's assertions that he's not well . . . stubbornly refusing to get help . . . and then completely collapsing, leaving Gandalf to find him and do his best to help?

For someone such as myself who is such a a huge hurt/comfort lover, this chapter was masterfully done. Gandalf's concern is awesome, while Aragorn's fear and despair are so palpable.

The collapse scene alone deserves some sort of special Aragorn angst medal, yes it does. My heart was up in my throat when the stabbing pain in his head came about, and I'm sure my eyes were popping out as I read on. I am SUCH a sucker for Gandalf comforting Aragorn, and his use of "dear boy" and his alarm absolutely melted me into a puddle of goo.

So Aragorn is unconscious now---I can't help but hope he'll regain some consciousness and be something of a difficult or stubborn or delirious patient!!! Or at least, sick for a good long while with fever and all the terrible and unpleasant complications of the wound infection and the BB and the wrenched ankle and the chest bruise and the mosquito-borne illness he hadn't ever quite rested up from. :)

I'll be thinking all weekend about the next chapter, I promise you! Have a wonderful weekend!

Author Reply: Oh Lily, you have no idea how your reviews are leaving me smiling! I think were I not already married and were YOU a man, I'd accept your proposal. *grin* Goodness but your comments are so encouraging.

I'm so glad to have brought to life a vision that you've had for so long--to think we both had that same "if only *this* might have happened" idea! That's the fun of fanfic, I think, is exploring those things and then finding others with the same ideas.

Yes, poor Aragorn is unconscious and whatever fighting he may do from this point is merely to stay alive... no more protestations of being perfectly well. Now it's up to poor Elrond to sort through that incredibly long list of ailments and figure out what to handle first.

You have a wonderful weekend, too, and a happy Easter. Aragorn, well, he'll likely sleep through the entire thing. ;) Thanks again for a lovely review!

Linda HoylandReviewed Chapter: 21 on 4/9/2009
I just love Gandalf here and how he manages to make Aragorn tell him everything.No other man could have endured so much and it was an amazing feet bringing Halbarad to Rivendell.You have me gripped by this story. I hope Aragorn now gets some TLC that he badly needs and deserves.

Author Reply: Thank you so much, Linda! I'm so glad you're enjoying the story so much. :) And yes, I really do think only Aragorn had the stamina and the strength to endure so much--like I said at the outset of this journey, this is truly a test of the "most hardy of living men". But even the hardiest have limits, and Aragorn's finally reached his. Now for that TLC! Thanks again!

BeeGeeReviewed Chapter: 21 on 4/9/2009
Woweee! Excellent characterization of Gandalf here, and Aragorn does have a lot on his shoulders. I'm sure all of Imladris is awake now with Gandalf's bellowing :) Poor Elrond! At least now Aragorn won't be able to squirm out of getting proper treatment. I'm looking forward to the next chapter....

Author Reply: Thank you, BeeGee! I'm glad you liked this chapter, and my characterization of Gandalf. Yes, I do think he probably managed to rouse the entire Homely House with his bellowing, and I do bet it was quite a rude awakening for Elrond. Thank you so much for the review and the next chapter should be up on Monday. :)

VanadesseReviewed Chapter: 21 on 4/9/2009
You can't leave it there! Il like the way you write Gandalf. It sounds a lot like both book and movie Gandalf.
I was touched to see Aragorn going home again after so long a time.
I am waiting ... ;)

Author Reply: Thank you, Vanadesse! I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter and how I wrote Gandalf--the movie Gandalf was very close to the book Gandalf, and while I try to stick to the books, the movie versions are there as well; almost impossible not to feel their influence. Thank you for leaving a lovely review--the next chapter goes up on Monday. :)

Jay of LasgalenReviewed Chapter: 21 on 4/9/2009

Aragorn's collapse is worrying, but understandable. I'm less worried about him now that he's finally admitted what's wrong, and Gandalf has worked out the rest. Once Elrond has seen to him - and as long as Aragorn doesn't convince anyone he's 'fine' - I hope things will improve.


Author Reply: Thank you for the review, Jay, and yes, it is a bit of a relief that Gandalf worked out that it's largely the BB involved, but still a "yikes!" moment when he collapses. Thanks for continuing to read!

curiouswombatReviewed Chapter: 21 on 4/9/2009
Hmm - Hurrah might be an odd thing to say at this time, but 'Hurrah!'

At last he might get some treatment! Typical man...

Author Reply: LOL... I know what you mean. There is a bit of relief when you see him finally collapse and know that he will be getting the help he needs at last. So yes, 'Hurrah!'

Thanks for the kind review!

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