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Comments For To Give in Return

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Reviewer: hennethgalad Signed [Report This]
Date: September 18, 2017 - 12:39 am
Title: Stars of the Lesser

'water wrapped tight into fists smashed itself against the rock'

thats great ! marvellous writing ! really immersive, i want to read the rest of it ! 

putting on jewelry before clothes... sooo symbolic. 

Author's Response:

Thanks for reading and commenting! :D The jewelry-before-clothes habit seemed rather fitting for a Feanorian ... and sadly prescient, yes!

Reviewer: just_jenni Signed [Report This]
Date: September 17, 2017 - 05:31 pm
Title: Stars of the Lesser

I found this story very fascinating.  At first I thought the Ctenophora was something amazing that Celebrimbor had invented although not as awesome as a Silmaril. ;P

And that you had come up with a pretty awesome name for it.:D

I laughed when I read that it was actually a jellyfish!  Thanks for explaining that fact.

I really like the concept of light originating in liquid form as it's described in BOLT1.

And I wonder whether the encounter with Celebrimbor colored Pengolodh's view of the Feanorians, causing him to change his mind a little about them before he wrote his history.

Love your view on canon too. :P


Author's Response:

I love Tolkien's original work on light (as well as his later notes in "Myths Transformed") because I think it is of greater thematic and symbolic importance: This thing, freely available to all, causes strife when people seek to contain and possess it. As a metaphor, I think that extends well to a lot of what can be observed of people in general.

Celebrimbor certainly challenges Pengolodh--explicitly about his worldview in the "Illuminations" character studies. I think he did change his mind, at least a little. I observe that the narrator of the Silm is more generous toward Maedhros and Maglor--and to a lesser extent the twins--than to the 3Cs, especially Celegorm and Curufin. He even gives Maedhros some grudging admiration every now and then! :D Since it's unlikely that Pengolodh ever met Maedhros, I wonder where that came from. After all, they were all equally kinslayers, and Maedhros was the leader of them: He could have made different, less destructive choices and ultimately didn't. He--not the 3Cs--came down on the people at Sirion, and Pengolodh was likely there for that. So why the generosity toward him?

Thanks for reading and commenting, Jenni! ^_^

Reviewer: oshun Signed [Report This]
Date: May 18, 2017 - 07:07 am
Title: To Forgive

"I want you to know," he begins, "that I no longer hate you for what you have done.

Oh, ouch, Turgon! I have to laugh despite everything. Still this is real and why Fingon is my favorite.

Author's Response:

Yeah, I can never write Turgon without making him at least a little bit of a jackass, even when I'm trying to make him sympathetic!

Reviewer: oshun Signed [Report This]
Date: May 18, 2017 - 07:00 am
Title: To Forgive

I don't know why I decided to look at these this morning. I felt like I needed some Vintage Dawn Feanorians! Unlike others commenting here, I do not see Maedhros in this story as a sainty or outstandingly virtuous creature. But he is a young man of integrity, honor, and a mature sense of balance. His compassion and love for his brothers means that he is able to hold them together through long years of struggle and a myriad of differences of opinion and conflicts.

People instinctively see this in his actions throughout the texts--you said in a response to another comment: he had the furthest to fall. Which is one of the aspects that makes The Silmarillion tragic and not just a disaster. Why we keep reading it and why we care what happens.

Author's Response:

Since it's a trend in replying to comments on this story ... I had to reread it to remember it. Ouch. Maybe I'll get another comment in a couple years time and will be able to remember enough to reply without having to reread it again.

I do not see Maedhros as saintly either, although that's probably the #1 complaint about AMC (mostly on, to be fair). But he's a pretty extraordinary character in the Silm, even when seen through Pengolodh's biased eyes. (Even Pengolodh can't completely eradicate that "integrity, honor, and  ... sense of balance"! :)

Thanks for reading this dusty old thing and commenting on it too!

Reviewer: just_jenni Signed [Report This]
Date: February 25, 2017 - 11:56 am
Title: A Gift for a King

I laughed my ass off reading about Feanor, the child from hell!  But I am an older child too and sometimes felt like him after my younger sister and brother came along - that I was no longer loved or needed and that I was too big and clumsy - like I didn't FIT anymore - just like poor Feanor!


But there were so many other things I loved about this story - Finwe's obvious love for his oldest - the half-wit Indis - and the suspense in waiting to find out what the gift was!  It was a great ending.


A wonderful read, Dawn!  Thanks so much.  As you can tell, I am trying to catch up on all your stories!

Author's Response:

Thank you, Jenni, for reading and commenting! :)

I am an oldest sibling as well. I remember being jealous of my sister when I was younger. I used to call her "butter tub" and was constantly vigilant for everything she got that was better than what I got, or every way she was treated that was better than how I was treated. I was definitely channeling that common experience here! :)

Reviewer: Lotrfan Signed [Report This]
Date: January 07, 2017 - 09:51 pm
Title: A Gift for a King

Lovely with the point of view being young Fëanor's. I really liked how you got into his thoughts and grievances with those around him. The list of misdemeanors rattled off by his tutor was priceless.

It is easy to forget how unique and difficult his situation was--and due to Finwë being High King it played out in front of the entire populace. I think it becomes far easier to understand and empathize with Fëanor when you go back and really think about his childhood or write about his youth. It put many things in perspective for me when I started to write about his early years--especially how other events later played out and it increased my awareness of what a huge loss it was to Fëanor, Nolofinwë and Arafinwë personally and the Noldor as a whole that this rift existed in the first place.

i thought his gift and Finwë's response really showed the bond and love they share.

Author's Response:

(I just realized I never replied to this! I'm sorry!)

Likewise, I began to really connect with Feanor's story when I considered what it must have been like for him as a child, in such a unique situation--and a thorny one even in societies where remarriage is permitted and common--and, to make matters worse, in the "Deathless Realm" where all is supposed to be happy and, well, deathless ... but clearly that is not his reality. This story was much fluffier than I usually write, but the issues are there nonetheless.

Thank you, belatedly, for reading and commenting! :)

Reviewer: Elleth Signed [Report This]
Date: December 28, 2013 - 07:49 pm
Title: Rekindling

It's been years since I read this fic, but I can safely confirm that it lost none of its punch, and yes, I'm crying again. Which I hope gets understood as the compliment that it's intended to be. :)

Author's Response:

It is! I love making readers cry ... erm, I mean, thank you for letting me know it is still powerful. 0:^)

(If it's any consolation, I can get tears just *thinking* about this story!)

Reviewer: oshun Signed [Report This]
Date: September 26, 2013 - 09:47 pm
Title: An Ordinary Woman

I had an occasion to recommend this story on Tumblr today and re-read. It has stood the test of time.

Author's Response:

Awesome! Thank you! I'll stop by Tumblr later today, once I'm home. :)

Reviewer: ziggy Signed [Report This]
Date: March 17, 2013 - 04:00 am
Title: To Forgive

And this is what I love about your Maitimo. You have made me fall in love with him so I cant do anyhting but read about him now. sigh. 

Author's Response:

Once upon a time, I could do nothing but write about him! :) And I still would if not for other obligations. I had to reread this piece, as it's been a long time since I wrote it, but it is definitely Classic Maitimo. I catch flak in some circles for making him "too perfect," but I think this ficlet details exactly why I chose him, because in my mind, his fall was the furthest. Thanks for reading and commenting, Ziggy!

Reviewer: talktob3cks Signed [Report This]
Date: April 09, 2012 - 09:52 pm
Title: The Coronation

I MUST stop reading your stories. I am crying AGAIN onto my keyboard. This is beautiful.


I am ashamed to say that I never knew what a wonderful character Finarfin was until I read your work.


I also love elegant comparison you drew between Finarfin and Orodreth. 

Author's Response:

Thank you, Becca! I'm glad you liked the story, and if I'm giving you a new appreciation for Finarfin, then my mission has been accomplished. *rubs hands together devilishly* ;) In all seriousness, I find him a fascinating character (obviously) who has been largely mistreated in fanon. I'm glad you've enjoyed my work about him. :)

Thanks for taking the time to read and to write a comment!

Reviewer: mistrali Signed [Report This]
Date: November 07, 2011 - 07:07 pm
Title: For What I Wait

Once I gave him life, why not again? Why should a parent be made to watch his child die when his own life blazes unchecked?

It's so heartbreaking to think of Maglor actually losing his voice, and still more that once-powerful Fëanor is so helpless while watching his son die. 

I have kept the fire high and piled him with furs and quilts, yet still he shivers

*sigh*  It's a pity Fëanor didn't know what we do now about controlling fever. He might've saved his son.

tossed to the dirt and crushed beneath one's foot. Even when his feet had naught beneath him

I liked the association you've made here, from . It feels appropriately stream-of-conscious to me, exactly the way one thought would trigger another tangential one. It should be "beneath them", though.

Author's Response:

Thanks for reading and commenting, Mistrali! Seeing this story again was really a blast from the past. :) I'm glad it worked for you ... and thanks for catching that typo!

Reviewer: Aerlinn Signed [Report This]
Date: October 20, 2011 - 02:38 pm
Title: The Election Farce of Nargothrond: Of Dumbness, Treachery, and Brotherly Love

This was my first time reading humour from you, and it was great fun.  Poor invisible Cassan- ahem, Celebrimbor. 

Author's Response:

Thanks, Aerlinn! I don't do humor often, being a gloomy gus when it comes to writing (and art. ;) This story is so old, I'm glad it's still being enjoyed! :)

Reviewer: Aerlinn Signed [Report This]
Date: October 05, 2011 - 02:42 pm
Title: Rekindling

I wish I could express myself better, because this story deserves a better review. You made me cry. This was absolutey beautiful and heartbreaking. Of course it would kill him. Breaking what he poured his spirit into creating...This was perfect and painful and amazingly well written and I wish I could say something more meaningful about it. Luckily Elleth's second review does it very well already; many of the same things struck me. So thank you for writing this story and thank you Elleth for pointing out why exactly reading it was so heartbreaking. 

Author's Response:

Thank you, Aerlinn, for your comment. It is less important to me to know why I reached you than that I simply did. :)

When I first became interested in Silmfic, Feanor's words about how destroying the Silmarils would kill him was usually treated as him being melodramatic and bratty. I've always believed him, believed that he put too much of himself into them to survive their destruction. (We certainly know that Tolkien enjoyed that particular motif. ;)

I suppose this story is very personal in a way too. I am sometimes stupidly fearless, but the one thing I fear more than anything--that I do not know if I could survive--is the loss of my husband. I cried as I wrote this, imagining too easily myself in Nerdanel's place.

Thank you again for your comment. *hugs*

Reviewer: Huinare Signed [Report This]
Date: August 10, 2011 - 06:19 pm
Title: Stars of the Lesser

This story made me happy.  I discovered this site recently and am pleased to note the wealth of "heresy" that lies herein, first with some of Pandë's stories and now this one of yours.

I like how science is interwoven with the notion of history being written by the victors here.  Makes me wonder how the scientists of our day would be portrayed a generation from now, were extreme fundamentalists to take over tomorrow.

Author's Response:

Hi, Huinare! A belated welcome--I'm glad you've stumbled upon us and found some stories to your liking. :)

This was such a fun story to write; Pandemonium and her own stories were, of course, the primary inspiration for it. I like very much exploring the "heretical" interpretations by looking at the stories from the perspectives of the characters who didn't get much of a say in the original texts.

Thank you for your kind comment!

Reviewer: Jedi_Tarja Signed [Report This]
Date: November 15, 2010 - 07:46 pm
Title: An Ordinary Woman

Beautiful descriptive language and what a great concept. I loved this.

Reviewer: Silver Trails Signed [Report This]
Date: August 23, 2010 - 02:46 pm
Title: Rekindling

I don't know what to say... The story is wonderful, but the ending is so sad I want to throttle Namo (grin)

Reviewer: Silver Trails Signed [Report This]
Date: August 23, 2010 - 10:51 am
Title: Noldolantė

This was very sweet! =)

Reviewer: Silver Trails Signed [Report This]
Date: August 22, 2010 - 08:42 pm
Title: Light of the Westering Sun

This is lovely! I also think there was a measure of love between them.

Reviewer: Silver Trails Signed [Report This]
Date: August 15, 2010 - 05:29 pm
Title: Discretion

I really liked this story. Caranthir is one of my favorite elves, and it's always great to get a glimpse of other writer's view of him. :)

Author's Response:

Thanks, CC! He's weaseled his way into my heart and is one of my favorites too, and one of my favorites to write about. I really liked working on this story and how it turned out. My Caranthir's voice is one of the most fun to write for me. Thanks for reading and commenting! :)

Reviewer: Silver Trails Signed [Report This]
Date: August 13, 2010 - 06:18 pm
Title: A Gift for a King

Many times parents don't realize that older siblings are still children. Nice story!

Author's Response:

I am an older sibling, and I loathed my little sister until we were teenagers--then we were best friends! :D Pity that didn't happen with F&F, but at least we got The Silmarillion out of their legendary family quarrels. Thanks for reading and commenting, CC! :)

Reviewer: Fanged Geranium Signed [Report This]
Date: March 25, 2010 - 12:29 pm
Title: The Election Farce of Nargothrond: Of Dumbness, Treachery, and Brotherly Love

You wrote these chapters more than two years ago, and I've only just noticed them!  World's least observant person strikes again!  Anyway, I'm glad I have found them now, because they're absolutely hilarious.  I particularly like the guard elves being so terrified of Beren - the blades of grass bending! - and Beren suffering from cognitive dissonance.  Thanks Dawn!

Reviewer: Michiru Signed [Report This]
Date: August 21, 2009 - 04:33 pm
Title: Discretion

I read this a while ago, actually (wow, that's a bad habit...), and loved it, like everything else you write (*I will mope about my own failure to characterize on my own time, I will, I will, I will...*) I especially love how Carnistir and Fëanáro are so alike in their tempers. For some reason, it amuses me to think of them both sitting in the wagon, arms crossed and scowling. Too bad I can't draw. It would have been interesting to see how it would have affected the Noldor if Carnistir had gone ahead and told Arafinwë. (I seem to be saying that alot in reviews lately...)

 I do have a question though- ever since I first read this, that last line has been positively tormenting me with possibilities. What was going through Arafinwë's head at that moment? (*must know*)

Thank you for sharing with the rest of us (*will not sulk. absolutely positively will not sulk*) Seriously, though, thank you.

Author's Response:

Thank you, Michiru! :) I was so excited to find a new review on this story. It's one of my favorites but--thanks to the rather odd slash pairing, I suspect--often overlooked.

As for what's going through Arafinwe's mind ... there are indeed myriad possibilities! It could be any number of things, and I wanted each person to come away with her or his own conclusion. Now as for what I think (and my opinion on it doesn't make it the "answer"; I suppose that only Arafinwe knows that! :D) ... I think he knows about Findarato and Nelyo. And Carnistir is less adept at hiding his thoughts on his face than he likes to think; Arafinwe can perceive that Carnistir thinks something is not "right" between his brother and his cousin. Of course, this puts Arafinwe in a tough spot because, until this point, he has been able to feign ignorance. But if Carnistir tells him of the illicit affair, he will likely be forced to take action by the fact that, if he did not, he would be brought low with his son and nephew and also "defused," to borrow the word that Carnistir himself use in reference to destroying Nelyo and Findarato's power. That would leave only Feanaro and Nolofinwe at each other's throats, and Arafinwe knows what a disaster that would be. So I suspect he is seriously hoping Carnistir does not reveal the affair to him.

My Arafinwe is meant to be a lot smarter and savvier than he acts. His bubbly, optimistic demeanor is just that and meant to keep the peace between divided factions of his family and people. That he clutches his hands, however briefly, and ruins that facade shows the depth of his upset ... or I hoped it would anyway. :)

Anyway. That's my answer, of course not the only one, but the way I see the ending of the story. :) Thanks again so much for the review; it made my day! :) And if ever you want to talk characters, please do email me. I have more ideas about that subject than I know what to do with. ;)

Reviewer: Naltariel Signed [Report This]
Date: May 09, 2009 - 11:05 pm
Title: The Ghost in the Garden

Creepy, but in a good way. I hardly ever see a writing about an Elf who doesnt heed the summon of Mandos and thus becomes the disembodied spirits. Of course there must be a lot of Sindar who refuse to go to mandos, why should they? This is their home and they don't know Mandos at all. And let's see... being imprisoned for Eru knows how long in a fortress whose keeper is a grim forbidding Being they don't recognize or keep wandering the green beauty of their home. Not so hard choice to make, isnt it? 

It's not so strange to think that the LACE about romance between elves too will be quite different in Middle Earth than in Aman.

Reviewer: Aiwen Signed [Report This]
Date: February 20, 2009 - 04:22 pm
Title: A Gift for a King

It's fascinating to Feanor so young.  I enjoyed this.  Thank you for writing.

Author's Response: Thank you, Aiwen! Thank you for reading and reviewing! :D

Reviewer: elfscribe Signed [Report This]
Date: November 30, 2008 - 06:28 pm
Title: Rekindling

Gorgeous story!  Dawn's words create vivid mental images of both place and characters.  For example, she renders a similar image, that of a fist, in slightly different ways to characterize Nerdanel, the lover of growing things who notes that the leaf in her garden is "curled small and tight like a little green fist."  It almost sounds like a baby's fist.  This in contrast to the scene where we first see Feanor, master smith.  "Slowly, Fëanáro uncurled each finger on his hand. Knotted them again into a fist. Flexed each in turn."  A beautiful contrast between male and female.

The scene in which Feanor and Nerdanel are reunited is full of emotion, but not overly-wrought.  I really have a sense of their love, both from Nerdanel's remembrance of Feanor's quick kisses between the arrival of the messengers and Feanor's realization that his only fear about dying is her loss.   I was horrified at the thought that Feanor would immolate himself until I realized it was to rekindle the Two Trees.  That brought a certain symmetry to his story and make the sacrifice all the more meaningful.  

I also liked the characterization of the hard "green-eyed" Namo and Vairë the Weaver. "She spoke rarely, Fëanáro had learned, but rather collected the best thoughts of the others and wrought them into logic that trickled cold and clear as water into his mind." 

This is a jewel of a story that renders the end of the world in the 'human' terms of the love of husband and wife and then pulls back to a mythic view of sacrifice and redemption.     

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