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Comments For Burning Bright: The Road
I started to read your novel some time ago (as you know... so much to do, not much time), but at the end of the day... a wee bit of reading was a treat. Until a few days ago, floored by the flu and sleeping is hard: I caught up and last night I impatiently searched for books 2 (I found it, no worries!), because I was not ready to leave it at this.
Writing a novel is not easy, doing it within 30 days has my utter respect and your novel shows that it can be done and still make it a great fine story. It is a page turner, before you know it you finger drifts off to the next chapter because you want to know how everyone is faring, where it will take them. I know that you will sit there shaking your head and muttering: it didn't write like a page turner to me... I know, I so know.
But I am curious, I am wondering how that boat still can be there when the instructions had been to set it free so that it would return to Aman. I cannot help to think that our famed shapeshifter has placed the boat there and tries to deceive Glorfindel that the rings should be delivered there. That would be something. But there is only one way to find out, so off to AO3 I am :c)
Ahhh, but who else might have put the boat there? And is the boat there, or is it a mirage, an illusion? And if not, whose agenda is at play here :D Even Red doesn't know the answers, so.... later. When the story tells me it's time.
I was so thrilled to have this review, sweetie. I took a break from this world over December/January while I dealt with all the swap fics and it's always hard to get back into something after a break. This was the prod I needed! I'm sorry that you've been ill but so happy that you're enjoying this.
Didn't write like a page turner, no, lol. The original NaNo draft just trundled along and did its own thing --- it even managed to surprise me, like the bit where Erestor killed Badger and I just kept writing and at the end of the scene went 'wtf??'. The editing and polishing to where I was happy to post each chapter took weeks though. Whatever the good in NaNo, it does not turn out tidy narrative. Loooots of editing and adding texture needed.
Thanks again *hugs*
Oh my! Amazing end to this. Full of portent and who knows which is the side of Good and which is Evil- it comes in many shapes and shades I suppose. What is amazing as well is that I am quite convinced that this is true of the Valar- I had thought the same! After all they were pretty determined ot get the Silmarils, why wouldn't they want other atrifacts of power?? I have often though that. But I had not thought that Glorfindel would be the one- in my stuff, it's Gandalf who has to bring them back -and of course, he succeeds.
The scene with Erestor is very very erotic, and the undercurrent of sadism, of control, of Erestos acually losing hiomself with Annatar is very powerful.
As always, fabulous writing- you said you had started a sequel? So I am looknig out for it:)
Hope your next chapter is coming along :)
There are no real blacks or whites, no. Only greys. I started with two basic facts - a lot of people seemed to want those rings, and at the end they crossed the sea with Elrond, Galadriel and Gandalf. So it's a story we all know the end of, it's the middle bit that's important here. I could see the Valar wanting them and using whatever means they had, what I needed was to work out why, beyond pure greed. And then I imagined Sauron with the One and the Three and how they probably didn't trust the Noldor to get it right and it all made sense.
This chapter was good to write - it took a while, final chapters always do, and both scenes were draining to write, each in their own way, but the challenges were good and it put both Erestor and Glorfindel's situations in context. I never planned to end with nothing resolved, it's not my style, but as someone said it was the first part of the story, moving everyone into place, Galadriel on her way to Lorien, Erestor to Numenor and Glorfindel - he has his own journey.
I guess you've found the sequel over on my website (it's also on AO3 if that's easier) --- I'll post it here and on Faerie later, when I've had some distance and do final edits (that's what I did with this, and I couldn't believe how much cleaning up it needed before I posted it here, lol).
I've loved your reviews, it's wonderful to get such a good response from someone whose writing I find so utterly complelling - you are a master storyteller. Thank you so much, Ziggy, it's a joy seeing these chapters through your eyes.
This is a staggeringly awesomely wonderful chapter. The relationship between Galardriel and her daugter is very very well conceptualised; there are tensions here that are not from history but from Galadriel's own nature, her unwillingness perhaps to give into any weakness. And that touch with Thorhof, not saying anything but judging nonetheless, just accentuates that beautifully. Her apprecaition of the dwarves, of Moria, of the culture is emblematic perhaps of her learning and power/magic, and her deep knowledge and experience. I love that scene with Durin- and every single detail of Khazad-dUm, knowing what will befall them. Thorhof too is a marvellous character but Durin... yes. You must come back to Durin.
Every scene is luscious- a jewel, full of colour and sensuousness. I found myself seeing, hearing it. Again, those gorgeous little details like the amethyst just lift this beyond fanfic into something quite else. I have such a complete image of Khazad-dum now because of this- I can't imagine any other story will be able to dislodge this now!
And the wonderful 'battle' scenes that are not battle scenes but view it obliquely as just amsterful- sorry I am gushing but I am really deeply captivated. Again, it's those details, like elrond remembering Madhros and Maglor's advice/ habits etc just give this a resonance and depth. Celeborn's noticing the broth, his 'fighters' -not warriors but some sort of guerilla group harrying and picking off the orc bands they can hear calling at night, the fact that Elrond tells them fire gives them courage, they lose half their number, Celeborn knows this..all of this feels very convincing, very real. It has the feel of an army on the run, in hiding but not quite.
Oh- and the commander of Sauron's army, with green and gold banners and who let Elrond go...now there's a mystery. I feel you won't be revelaing that but actually, I don't mind- lots of scope for more stories to come.
Really really first class as always.
My heart sank when they reached Moria because I had never spent much time thinking about dwarves and their culture and how they lived in those great underground cities but somehow it just opened up as I went along and I was fascinated by all the questions of how it would look, how they would live.... I do love writing the dynamic between Galadriel and Celebrian and watching Celebrian grow. Don't think Galadriel ever thought of herself as maternal material, lol - she'd defend Bri with her life, but being gentle about crossing that bridge was just not her way. And she knows it and I think wishes she was different but knows she can't be. It's yet another way she's feeling Celeborn's absence.
A friend who is brilliant at thinking outside the box wondered if Durin would ever have reincarnated as a woman, so she gets credit for the idea, but for the rest --- s/he was just 'there' and that is one of my favourite scenes in the fic. Thank you for liking it.
I envy people who can write (and enjoy writitng) good strong battle scenes, but going at it from an angle is more comfortable for me (yes, I write like a girl *g*). But seeing how people think and deal with situations is what interests me, and I could see Elrond starting to remember things he'd seen when he was growing up, things he'd been told, and putting them to use. As for Celeborn, he's been fighting for a very long time, it's almost normal life for him. I have a mental image of someone like a big silver cat, at ease in his skin and looking calmly out at the world, if that makes sense?
The commander comes back, of course :) In Answers in the Dark. But you guessed that!
Never know what you can believe.” Gil-galad sounded put out. “And the people who were there don’t put themselves out to get the record straight either. Like that business about your mother turning into a bird, Elrond.”
wonderful! It has always seemed silly some of the stories told and I have laways thought elwing irresponsible to say the least to jump and take the Silm and leave her children with those she believed would murder her! So this lovely little prosaic aside is perfect. I love the portrayl of Gil - so practical and very sensible. And manipulative and clever- the consumate politician in spite of his seeming dislike of it but as you point out earlier, he was, in Noldor terms, rather long lived for a king!!
Heh, Gil probably got away with a lot through sheer charm or by convincing people he wasn't as smart as he in fact was. I think to balance the opposing forces in a kingdom like Lindon would take a clever politician with a lot of practical good sense.
The swan story always bothered me rather. I'm sure Elwing did something strange - she was part Maiar after all, and in my 'verse a fey, damaged girl - but not sure about sprouting wings. My instinct is to treat those kinds of things, along with life under the stars with no sunlight, as allegorical or at best Tolkien being whimsical. My head doesn't quite go there, lol.
They brushed against one another as they moved about, storing the closeness and familiar warmth for later memories. There was very little to do and all too soon it was time to move on.
These little details are just one of the features that lift your writing from the common herd of fanfic into something really quality- professional standard and a joy to read. And you write things I really want to read as well - just a delight to be reading on a blustery Saturday afternoon when I've been out all morning in the wind! Lovely.
Ha. Your weather sounds the same as ours today. It would have been a perfect afternoon for writing if the electricity hadn't been off. Thank you for your very kind words about my writing, it means a great deal, especially coming from such a gifted wordsmith. I play with things I want to read or am curious about, and that's why the focus on the little details - those are things I always wonder about, the background that says so much about people.
Breathless and brilliant! I can't stop and know I am skimming and missing your bejewelled prose but oh Celebrimbor! so sad and so honourable and couragous! True Fëanorian in Maglor&Maedhros' tradition rather than the more feckless and reckless younger sons.
I want to read an AU story where Celebrimbor survives and joins in the fight against Sauron using weapons he's designed but never made because he really wanted to change the family legacy :) I so did not want him to die! And yes, I agree he had the honour and the high ideals of the best of his family.
I loved finding this string of comments -- it's such a cool feeling to know someone liked the story enough to rush through it. Thank you so much, Ziggy :) You did my miserable writer's block the world of good today.
There is so much to love in this story- I have never really bene that interested in Gil-Galad, preferring woodelves, but since I got to Imladris and Erestor (who is fascinating) I've changed my mind- and now you have got me a bit more interesrted in Gil. But Ost-in-edhel is where the real action is- funny that it is written about so little and yet is such a rich mine for fanfic. Your idea of using the Rings in htis way is absoultely wonderful and that scene with Sauron just watching and then killing Tolfaen is superb. I am really pleased to have found this wonderful story AND you are already posting a sequel -my cup runneth over!!!
The outline of the scene where Sauron kills Tolfaen is the earliest written in the whole story. I was dabbing with something that didn't work but I knew that part would fit in somewhere and then the story spread out from there. It ended up being one of my favourite scenes, along with Durin and with Glorfindel's dream.
I don't know why there isn't way more fiction set around Ost-in-Edhil, there's so much contradictory canon to play with and there's all that foreshadowing, or the story of a survivor somewhere, or.... just so much to play with.
Love writing Gil - he was in my second fic ever and is the person I find easiest to hear, but Erestor gets into most things I write, even when it has nothing to do with him *g*.
Reposting my MEFA review.
This is Book One of an ambitious story surrounding the fall of Ost-in-Edhil. The story abounds with politics and Kei's wonderful characters. As always with Kei's work, reading this is to fall completely into a fully envisioned part of Middle-earth in all its wondrous detail. I enjoyed traveling through Eregion with Lindir and Erestor, meeting other characters like the Avari Badger, an elf whose culture seems so different from the others. Galadriel and Celebrian's trip through Kazad-dum was another treat. Many of the characters are ones we've encountered before in Kei's work, wonderfully re-envisioned for this story. Not to mention the incredibly charged erotic scene in the last chapter when we meet Kei's powerful rendition of Annatar, as seen through Erestor's eyes.
I particularly loved the opening scene in which Glorfindel is traveling to Middle-earth with the images Kei paints of the sudden drop off of the seas, Glorfindel's swan ship, the birds flocking about telling him land is near, Gil-galad with his hastily tied hair and Glorfindel, tall and golden-haired --all wonderful, reminding me of a pre-Raphaelite painting. This first book felt like players on a chess board all moving into place to get ready for the next part of the action. Looking forward to more.
Thank you so much for re-posting it here, love. That's such a thoughtful thing to do. Seeing the story through your eyes is always a wonderful experience, I'm flattered you think so well of it this far. And once again, thank you for the MEFA nominations.
I like Durin being a woman. My Eru has no sex, but making him a woman was an idea too.
About this kinslaying, I had a similar discussion with my beta about putting an elf to death long ago. But he'd killed another elf. Something similar happened when Eol was sentenced to death. I think it was not kinslaying. I guess self defence is in a gray area...
I think self defence against anyone is what it is, I certainly don't see Erestor as a kinslayer, nor does Lindir, but Erestor is so mired in guilt over Annatar he's not seeing it clearly. Eol - Eol killed the king's sister, I'm not sure anyone was thinking clearly there- and I suspect things were a lot more stringent in Gondolin than was usual in elven realms.
Durin as a woman was Nikkiling's brilliant suggestion, I liked the idea of reincarnation and trying to hear his/her voice while writing him/her was so interesting. The conversation between Durin and Galadriel is one of my favourite parts of the entire story. That and Glorfindel's dream right at the end.
So happy you're still enjoying the story, CC.
Oh my! That was a real surprise (or rather several surprises). In a good way...
The thought that the taboo against elf killing elf might actually in part be a consequence of Alqualonde is interesting.
Arrrrg! Sorry for the late response, I never got a notification (again). I need to train myself to check for reviews.
Surprises are good :D Very happy you didn't guess where things were going. Mind, I didn't plan it out either, so maybe that shows. I wrote the entire scene in one sitting (the horrors/joys of NaNo) and it all just sort of happened. It was the first time I realised Lindir wasn't going to vanish as planned when they got to Mithlond.
Other, awful things happened after Alqualonde, but I think that would be a common reference point, a day of terrible firsts that the Noldor would have taught their children about and carried major guilt over. Before, I get the sense the idea of killing an elf would have been too foreign to contemplate, let alone need rules about.
Reading back, I realise I sit and think about strange, strange things, LOL.
Much thanks for commenting.
Interesting chapter. I *love* Lindir and I like how you write him. Erestor too. He must feel bad about killing an Elf, but he had to.
I have been wondering about death penalty among the Elves. Turgon put Eol to death, and I used that on a fic where an Elf had killed another.
Sorry for the typo on the previous response *g* - wish the site allowed edits. Also wishit wouldn't randomly not send notifications. Ah well.
I'm so pleased you like the way Lindir's developing. I didn't have a very clear picture of him to start with (mind, he was meant to be a very temporary secondary character), but as things have moved along I've got to know and like him. Erestor's pretty jarred by what happened, yes. It'll take him a while to accept he had very little choice, specially in the middle of nowhere.
I've never seen anything that suggested a standard response to really heinous crimes like kin slaying and treason, but then we're led to believes elves didn't generally do that (which I take with many grains of salt) I've always felt Gondolin might have been more strigent about major transgressions, so killing Eol made its own kind of sense. In Lindon, Gil-galad was trying to keep the peace between a whole range of elven cultures, so I thought exile would be more likely. There'll probably be more about that in Book Two.
Still reading, and enjoying the story. =)
I can't get out of my head the image of two small and cute dwarves now!
Dwarf childred. The absolute last people I ever imagined writing, lol! I'm so glad you liked them, CC. They did seem rather adorable, Bri certainly thought so :)
What a fantastic beginning, Kei! Beautifully written and envisioned. As always, your words are like liquid silver. They just flow like poetry.
He knew, intellectually, that his vessel was guided and protected, wrapped around with runes of binding and warding, but even so, when he reached a place where the water seemed to drop away roaring beneath him, he curled up on the floor of the craft and closed his eyes. There was no one to see him, no need to act the hero. He was alone in the midst of angry, magic-enhanced nature, and he was quite sensibly afraid for his newly restored life.
Glorfindel’s light-toned voice seemed to come from a distance as vast as the pale sky above their heads
And I just love the characterization of Ost-in-Edhil as "the noisy prosperity and vaunted brilliance of Ost-in-Edhil."
I love the images you paint of Aman, the sudden drop off of the seas, the image of Glorfindel's swan ship, the birds flocking about telling him land is near, the image of a large Gil-galad with his hastily tied black hair and of Glorfindel, tall and golden-haired. All wonderful, like a pre-Raphaelite painting.
Also really like how you develop the characters and tell us a lot of backstory in a very economical fashion that never feels as if you've dumped it in.Sending him to the coast rather than some good, solid Noldor fortress had almost certainly saved Gil-galad’s life, as one after another of those fortresses fell to the Enemy. By the time he came of age, only the elves on Balar and in the crowded settlements around the mouths of Sirion survived.
I quite the way you describe the way Elrond's prescience comes to him. Warmth flooded Elrond’s gut, his stomach twisted as though he was about to throw up. That was all the warning he ever received before Melian’s gift overtook him. I remember seeing your description of that before in another fic and admiring it then, as well.
How sad that Glorfindel had to leave Elsúrië behind twice. But I gather he has reasons, both political and personal to go.
Great set-up. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to start reading this. But there's not enough time. I look forward to reading more as I get to it.
Definitely hear you on the ‘not enough time’ problem. I can usually find time to catch up with emails or read or write but very seldom all at once, and reading seems to suffer the most.
I was really thrilled to find you commenting here, I always love finding out what you think of my attempts. Besides the wonderful compliments, what I really appreciate is your reassurance that at no time did it feel like I’d done an information dump. I’m always challenged by the need to explain things only I know about characters or events without it coming across like a lecture, and I’m never sure I’ve got the balance right.
The gap between Glorfindel’s instructions and instincts will widen as the story progresses – I think there might be times when he wishes he said ‘No, thank you’ and stayed home with his lady. He’s not as I normally write him, a bit tougher and more pragmatic perhaps, and getting to know him has been an interesting experience.
Like a pre-Raphaelite painting? I shall treasure that, thank you so much, my dear :)
I'm delighted to see another chapter of this posted. Poor Glorfindel - aching to be in action and fulfill his mandate and unable to do so because of a very perceptive King. And at least, for the short term, Galadriel and Cel are safe, but for how long? Frightening times for all.
- Erulisse (one L)
They were indeed frigthening times, but the perfect setting for a story I've always thought *g*. Glorfindel's life is likely to get more frustratingly difficult in the future - there are a few little details he could never have foreseen
I'm thrilled to find you're following Burning Bright, Erulisse, and delighted you enjoyed this chapter. Thanks very much for taking the time to review :)
I really enjoyed the interaction between Galadriel and Celebrian in this chapter! Interesting encounters, both the Dwarf and with the Avari.
I never thought I'd end up writing about dwarves, this chapter startled me, lol! Very glad you liked Galadriel and Bri, they're interesting to write - I've never tried a mother-daughter dynamic before.
Thanks very much for commenting, great to know you're still reading :)
I really like your Lindir. He is different to others I've read about.
And of course, I am enjoying this story greatly. :)
I didn't have a very clear picture of Lindir when I started besides him being a professional musician who's travelled quite a lot, but he's really fleshed out since then. I'm so glad you like him, CC - he's really grown on me :)
This story is shaping up very well. The scenes in Eregion are intense, and I look forward to seeing where you take it from here. On a sillier note, you have a typo that confused me for a second: stream became a floo. Floo powder courtesy of the Harry Potter universe, anyone?
Oh lordie, that's a bit unfortunate, lol!. Thanks so much for letting me know - flood hast been reinstated *g*.
Thank you also for your kind words about the story, the comment is much appreciated. I'm delighted you're enjoying it.
Very happy I logged in. I didn't think you'd post it so fast. I like the way you take your time to create the atmosphere of a place, and how your characters have quite distinct personalities since they start speaking. I look foward to the next part.
I'm aiming for a chapter a week, or as close as I can manage to that. I'm glad you've enjoyed the beginning, and am really gratified you find the characters distinct from one another. It's always hard to step back and look at them objectively in the middle of writing something, so I really appreciate the feedback.
I read this chapter over on your website and I'm glad you've decided to post this story here as well. It amazes me that you can write these characters convincingly in so many different constellations--each time they are different and each time unmistakably yours!
That's one of the nicest compliments I've been paid, thank you so much :) I love how a small change in setting or back story can create subtle differences in the way a character will react --- my view of Glorfindel probably varies the most, while Gil-galad is just - who he is, lol.
And thank you for the kind words about Burning Bright.