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Reviewer: Himring Signed [Report This]
Date: January 07, 2017 - 04:22 am
Title: Survivor's Guilt Coda

This really strikes home.

And that last sentence is great.



Author's Response:

Thank you! It was difficult to decide just where to end this, on how much hope, how much shift away from the sledgehammer-heavy parallel of canon dead to Lúthien. When i re-read the lines in the poem, I realized scent wasn't mentioned as part of the scene, but hey~

Reviewer: Dawn Felagund Signed [Report This]
Date: January 05, 2017 - 06:49 pm
Title: Eyes Bright with Honor

This was nicely written. I must confess that the story of Beren and Luthien has never moved me much, but the way you describe Beren--especially that powerful last paragraph--makes me see the story differently. I liked especially the shifts in time, how the present story in fact occupies so little of the text but most is looking back, explaining how Consael came to be here. I've always found the episode in Tol-in-Gaurhoth to be one of the most horrifying in the Silm to imagine. You've succeeded in putting faces and identities to some of the Elves who bravely went forth with Finrod, and yet I don't come out of this story with my usual sense of horror for that particular episode but with admiration and new understanding.



Author's Response:

I’ll admit I was one that initially breezed through Beren and Lúthien without giving their story and the complexity and richness of their characters the attention deserved until I read fanfic. Now with all my subsequent re-reads of the Silm. text and "The Lay of Leithian" I adore them; and their story might be my favorite from Tolkien. Especially the richness and drama of Beren.

As I said to another reviewer for this story (who also left with a greater appreciation for Beren): Consael's story being the story of Beren inspiring others to courage and admiration was not how I planned it to be, but organically grew up around that theme as I wrote out the story of where Consael came from. 

There’s a quote by Lois McMaster Bujold from Cordelia’s Honor that I consider some of the best lines from an extremely well-crafted series, and it influenced how this fic evolved, especially the second-to-last line of this fic.

“He wanted to know what I saw in you. I told him . . ." he paused again, and then continued almost shyly, "that you poured out honor like a fountain, all around you."

"That's weird. I don't feel full of honor, or anything else, except maybe confusion."

"Naturally not. Fountains keep nothing for themselves." (pg 241)

Pouring honor out like a fountain, keeping none for themselves, spoke to me of Beren (and Lúthien and Finrod) and contrasted nicely to the complete opposite, Celegorm and Curufin.


Consael is the fifth of ten original characters with backstories to flesh out and perspectives on this episode of imprisonment and death in Tol-in-Gaurhoth to show while avoiding staleness. As an author, some have felt more successful than others, but I’ve yet to feel that I’ve retread ground, even when the sister-story/sequel is about another original elven character detailing his imprisonment in Angband and that his early chapters have the same general concept of heavy flashbacks to life in Nargothrond. (Self-evaluating: the minor focus on the actual imprisonment of Beren’s companions in Tol-in-Gaurhoth probably has a great deal to do with how much I’ve spent writing about those long years of imprisonment in Angband. That, trying to refrain from too much explicit gore and horror, and that the series is only a little about how the ten died and more about who and why.)


Reviewer: heget Signed [Report This]
Date: December 28, 2016 - 09:21 pm
Title: Eyes Bright with Honor

I knew with this series I wanted one of the elves to have been an 'outsider', one who didn't owe a life debt to mortal bravery, and when I was inspired to loosely base one of the elves on Robb Stark from ASoIaF, that brought in Robb's wife and in-laws who been pre-wedding had bannermen of Robb's enemy, having their parallel characters be Celegorm and Curufin's people from Himlad that increased Nargothrond's strength was a tidy parallel. As I wrote Consael's history out, I realized that his perspective wasn't completely the outsider. That thanks to the Nan Dungortheb (and like Lúthien having close oppotunity to compare Celegorm to Beren and see the actual superior), Consael had more knowledge of Beren in one way than others. And I can't overlook any opportunity to bring up just how incredible Beren was, so I'm glad both components worked!

Aglar's a much larger character in Release from Bondage and his slot in this series (third on the list) is, like Bân, one that by necessity of a detailed established backstory much longer than the others. To be honest, his might be the last I finish writing.

Reviewer: Himring Signed [Report This]
Date: December 28, 2016 - 07:06 pm
Title: Eyes Bright with Honor

I like the description of Beren and how you motivate Consael's admiration of him!

I'm not getting a very clear picture of Aglar--but I guess he will have his own piece, in time.



Author's Response:

I knew with this series I wanted one of the elves to have been an 'outsider', one who didn't owe a life debt to mortal bravery, and when I was inspired to loosely base one of the elves on Robb Stark from ASoIaF, that brought in Robb's wife and in-laws who been pre-wedding had bannermen of Robb's enemy, having their parallel characters be Celegorm and Curufin's people from Himlad that increased Nargothrond's strength was a tidy parallel. As I wrote Consael's history out, I realized that his perspective wasn't completely the outsider. That thanks to the Nan Dungortheb (and like Lúthien having close oppotunity to compare Celegorm to Beren and see the actual superior), Consael had more knowledge of Beren in one way than others. And I can't overlook any opportunity to bring up just how incredible Beren was, so I'm glad both components worked!

Aglar's a much larger character in Release from Bondage and his slot in this series (third on the list) is, like Bân, one that by necessity of a detailed established backstory much longer than the others. To be honest, his might be the last I finish writing.

Reviewer: Himring Signed [Report This]
Date: June 04, 2016 - 08:58 am
Title: Promise You Won't Forget

He may not remember, but you have remembered it all for him...



Author's Response:

Beren and Finrod's half-delirious conversation right before Finrod is murdered is my canon loophole for elves getting sick and the recreation of the Mako posioning I'm using as inspiration. Fan will spend most of his time in Mandos and the Gardens of Lorien recovering his memories, don't worry (the game version is so nice and probably close to how it happens here). 

As fun as this series is to write (and I've having a ball), the yanking on heart-strings wouldn't be as fun without the implicit understanding that they are going to be healed and restored from Mandos before the end of the First Age and that their goal of ensuring Beren and Luthien have a life together and silmaril stolen from Morgoth is fulfilled.

Reviewer: Himring Signed [Report This]
Date: November 24, 2015 - 05:02 am
Title: Kingfisher in a Cage

Your use of that image of the kingfishers and how it shifts works really well.  Also that scene where he watches the ongoings in Nargothrond gives a real sense of the place and its inhabitants.

Poor Heledir--poor all of them.



Author's Response:

 Thank you for taking the time to review!

When I started writing Release from Bondage, I had no idea just how much time I would spend in Nargothrond fleshing out this city and its inhabitants, thanks in part to Faron's flashbacks of the city. But it was the impetus to fully realize the ten companions (and give nine of them names). I've a great fondness for 'Lower Deck Episodes' and the chance to see great stories at least briefly through the eyes of spear carriers.

And I didn't realize how much fun I had writing angst ;)

Browsing the various Sindarin dictionaries and lexicons, and heledir was one of the few complete terms (and of a specfic fauna) that also visually worked as a name without need for modifiers.

Reviewer: sullhach Signed [Report This]
Date: September 25, 2015 - 05:02 pm
Title: Release from Bondage

This is not the final review, but I can' t sleep without stating how gorgous and overwhelming this story is...

I read it much too fast, and surely have to reread it, but now it is one o clock in the morning and my eyes are heavy with sleep...



Author's Response:

Get some sleep :D But this is the best type of review as an author - that someone wants to re-read. And the scope of this story as I began to write it was greater than I ever imagined.

Reviewer: Himring Signed [Report This]
Date: September 24, 2015 - 04:20 pm
Title: The Girls of Minas Tirith

I like your girls! I haven't had time to begin Release from Bondage yet, but this has certainly whetted my appetite.



Author's Response:

Yay!

This was a bit of an experiment in structure and formatting, but also a chance to expand on a few comments and characters/their relationships mentioned in RfB. Other OCs, the soldiers, get developed via Dorthonion or the Tol-in-Gaurhoth fics, but lady friendships needed the spotlight too. And I call everything the " Nargothrond Soap Opera " because it's growing into one with each new character. 

Reviewer: Makalaure Signed [Report This]
Date: September 21, 2015 - 06:12 am
Title: Release from Bondage

This is beautiful writing. :)



Author's Response:

*blush* thank you!  goal accomplished ;)

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