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Reviews For A Minor Talent
I loved this! You do a wonderful job portraying Fingon's stubbornness, and I really appreciate the hints we get about his relationship with Fingolfin. The way the meaning of the same song shifts from one chapter to the next is also really great!
Author's Response: Aww! I'm glad this story works for you, especially my characterisation of Fingon and his relationship with his father. Thank you for letting me know!
Pasted my MEFA review:
You have woven a beautiful background story to one of the events in the Silmarillion that still makes me tearful even after almost 30 years and at least as many reads. The rescue of Maedhros by Fingon never fails to move me but until now I had not paused to think about the song that brought them together. The idea ot spinning Fingon's tale around his memories about that song is very effective to link the three separate scenes. I love how you've portrayed Fingon: his self-deprecating analysis, his youthful obsession to learn his cousin's favourite tune because he idolises him (that dicussion is brilliant, by the way), his clever observations about others (like Fëanor's devious smile), his later stand as the dutiful son against his true wishes. The final scene is particularly poignant, with the way he berates his stupidity in sync with his steps as he walks around with his harp to find an entrance to Angband (but not the front gate!) and the self-mockery about his family's trait of "being decent" that leads them all to trouble. The point at what you ended the story is perfect, though I wonder what the two of them would say about the song after the events. Really superb!
What a re-birth-day present this song turned out to be, in the end! The discussion of "idolizing" is very neatly done, especially the bit where Findekano talks to Feanaro about the term. Is this meant to be fully compatible with The Tempered Steel? I was wondering whether I should be imagining the events covered in the first chapters of that story as having happened between Chapter Two and Three of this one.
Author's Response: Heh, interesting question! No, it isn't quite compabtible. In TTS, Findekáno knows when he sets off that Russandol at the very least opposed the ship-burning (though he may not yet know that Russandol was talking specifically about fetching him!), so his musings about betrayal and abandonment in Chapter 3 of this one wouldn't be entirely appropriate. While the knowledge does not (in my take on the plot) make a difference as far as Findekáno's quest is concerned (I think he would've gone either way - in fact, in this story he has gone anyway), it does change his outlook. Hence, in this story, all the self-berating, whereas in TTS he's just worried that he'll fail.
So the events of the first chapters of TTS don't happen quite like that in the backstory of this one. Of couse you can imagine that the first two chapters of this one happened somewhere in the undisclosed past, though ;)
This is a terrific concept. Very enjoyable story. Like the Fingon you created very much. Of course, I can't help but wonder what he will think he finds out that Maedhros did not leave him behind without protest.
Author's Response: Thank you! I do wonder what he will think (note that I sneakily left everything after finding Maedhros out here ;)), but moreover I wonder who is going to tell him. Not Maedhros himself, I think, who is too stubborn and proud and maybe noble, too, to say something along those lines ("Well I DID try to get you, you know, it's all Father's fault!"). So I suppose one of the other brothers, or maybe a random servant or warrior, would have to tell the tale. Tricky, tricky! - Which is one of the reasons why in my longer Fingon-rescues-Maedhros story, Fingon knows at least vaguely that Maedhros opposed the ship-burning. He is unaware of the details (such as Maedhros asking specifically for him ;) - he'll only get those by and by - but the big reveal, at least, no longer needs to be handled...
(Knowing Fingon as portrayed in this story, I suspect he'd actually feel guilty for having doubted that Maedhros had some loyalty in him. And then he'll be angry with himself for feeling guilty because, REALLY. ;))
This is delicious! Your Fingon is so sweet, and so prone to brooding at the same time. I am enjoying this story greatly!
Author's Response: Thank you very much!