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Reviewer: pandemonium_213 Signed [Report This]
Date: April 09, 2013 - 06:19 am
Title: Winds That Blow Against a Star

Thoroughly enjoyed this latest installment!  I have been looking forward to it, and it did not disappoint!  Not in the least.

Erendis' parents call to mind Elizabeth Bennet's parents from Pride and Prejudice: the learned, loving, and pedantic Mr. Bennet and the more flightly and fussy Mrs. Bennet.  That first scene is pretty neat in that it shows a good deal about the social standing of Erendis and her family as contrasted to Anardil and the royal family.

In regard to the latter, it was not entirely common, but neither was it unheard for women to study there, although more often than not in the fields of arts and letters. Less frequently did women study the sciences. Erendis, not surprisingly, was fascinated by forestry and conservation, as well as animal husbandry and veterinary science. She was not ashamed to admit either that her interests were more practical than theoretical.

I cannot begin to tell you how much I loved this. *points to italicized text*   Thank you, thank you, thank you for portraying Erendis as such an intelligent young woman, whose judgment is just as fallible as that of the rest of us mere mortals of this primary world.

Their reunion at the ball is romantic and erotic.  Yes, erotic.    Bits like this 

She relished that it was still toasty from his body heat.

...are examples of what I mean by a subtle eroticism.  The sexual tension between these two just crackles, and one gets the sense that this is a tremendous driver (an uneasy foundation perhaps?) of their relationship rather than pure pragmaticism of a well-considered (politically and financially) formal match.  The intensity of Erendis' emotion contrasts well with her intellectual practicality.

The last scene is very well done.  I loved the sense of ritual here (and may poach it, if you give permssion).  This...

“No!” she said, laughing at him, while her heart felt like a lump of ice in chest, easy to ask when he knew she’d refuse. I should say ‘yes,’ she thought,just to see the terrified look on his face. a nice use of foreshadowing and insight into their developing relationship.

I'm afraid this is an inadequate commentary by my standards, because there's much more to be said about this chapter (oh! oh!  the reflection on Eärendil and Elwing! The Valar as "big brothers and sisters" to the Eruhini!).  The Mariner's Wife is perhaps the most "human" of all of JRRT's works, and you're delving into that humanity even deeper with this inimate look at the story from Erendis' POV.


Author's Response:

This is an amazing comment. Thank you so much. I am so happy that you are following and enjoying the story.

I absolutely with agree with you that it is the most "human" of his works. Makes me wonder at times what is the impetus behind it. He did use it to tell us a lot about the background, history, and even georgraphy of Numenor and foreshadow future events. But the details of the love affair and its outcome is interesting and really different from any others in his work.

Initially, I did not have a lot of sympathy for Erendis. I kept wanting to tell her to just get over herself and get on a boat with him. It's a bit like me trying to talk my sisters into visiting me in Mexico. I never succeeded.

Also, what did they have in common, well, I started the characer building from two points--the sexual attraction must have been enormous. And the both were apparently intelligent people. After that, I had to develop Erendis in a manner which would make her sympathetic to ME.

We are not always rational. We all have different phobias and cannot really judge those of others. But when people tell me, for example, that they are afraid of public speaking I want to tell them that they are intelligentand to just get up there and talk loud and pretend you believe in what you are saying. But, of course, things like that are never that simple. Erendis was phobic about the sea. I have not been wild about flying since the air traffic controllers strike in 1981, but have done a hell of a lot of flying since then. So, yeah, Erendis was a bit of mystery to me. Still peeling the layers off the onion.

I found the intimations of the class differences in the original. Even more fascinating to me is the incipient differences between the folks around Aremenelos and Romena and the people of the Adustar--heavy foreshadowing to me there.

The ritualistic elements of it are based largely on canon, so they are yours to take. I recall a nice version in Elfscribe's epic also. But haven't been back to read it lately, so am not sure how it compares to mine. Good stuff. I like a little detail and am glad he gave us that one to play with.

Thanks again! Sorry for the blathering--tired and so no filters are working properly.

Reviewer: Himring Signed [Report This]
Date: April 08, 2013 - 01:28 am
Title: Winds That Blow Against a Star

Oh well done! I was really looking forward to this and it was well worth waiting for. It is good in all the ways I expect from you!

I also like your description of Erendis doing environmental studies with Ailinel and the interaction between her and Aldarion's sisters.

(Small nitpick: "staring context" should be "contest".)

Author's Response:

Oh, thanks so much! And thanks for pointing out the typo; it has been in place through countless nitpickings.

I am so happy that you are enjoying it. Sorry it took forever also. Now I hope I can get back into the head space of writing it and get out a new chaper soon.

Reviewer: pandemonium_213 Signed [Report This]
Date: February 17, 2013 - 12:15 pm
Title: First Engagement

He was also presumptuous, perhaps dangerous, and utterly delicious.

OMG, yes.  Yes, he is.  And you take us right into Erendis' head space to show that.

Love this chapter, Oshun, from the details that paint a vivid picture of the court (Almarian rearranging the place cards is a hoot) to the fantastic dialog between Anardil and Erendis, which sparkles like Champagne, is as silky as dark chocolate, and then cuts like a blade.  These two are keenly intelligent people, and within two chapters, I am heavily invested in Erendis.  You truly let me see through her eyes, falling for Anardil despite herself.

Love the bits on the distinction of class here - the vaunted nobility of the ruling house, but then Erendis and her family, commoners who have money (and lots of it) are clearly valued in the court, even if they are "not quite good enough."  One gets the subtle sense of that here.  

Since we know the story, we know the heartbreak that is coming, and I really like the way you have foreshadowed this in Chapter 2 - that Erendis is younger (by far) than Anardil (oooh, your comparison of him to the sun is great as is Erendis' observation that he is reminiscent of Eärendil in looks) and not of the line of Elros, the need for large single trees for a mast (you did your maritime research well here), Erendis' love of the primeval forest...

This is one heck of a story within 2 chapters...very much looking forward to more.


Author's Response:

Oh, thank you so much. I am having a lot of fun with this story. So happy that you are enjoying it too. I really like both characters. Erendis has a lot going for her, but I fear they did both fall in love with the wrong person. It happens.

Dawn and Lilith have the next chapter. It has been all but finished for ages (a couple of weeks actually! I am so impatient). I hope they read it soon. I have started to one after. I guess this is going to a novella.

Reviewer: pandemonium_213 Signed [Report This]
Date: January 23, 2013 - 10:40 am
Title: The King's Court

Although I know you have favored the First Age and a certain pair of fellows, I am so glad you have found your way into the Second Age and the lesser tread paths of Númenor, which, IMO, offers a rich trove for fan fiction.  

That is certainly what you have done here.  I love the atmosphere you have created with the wonderful descriptive prose and attention to detail.  You should give the excessive George R.R. Martin a lesson in how to write about food - yours is succinct and yet with such clear imagery that lets the reader imagine the setting and salivate, too! ;^)

Your characterization of Erendis has me well and truly hooked.  Her young woman's voice comes through with clarity, and I love the influence of your expansive reading (and knowledge) on this glimpse of the court, esp. the Queen and the princesses.

Looking forward to the next chapter!  Oh, yes!

Author's Response:

What a wonderful review! I was shaking a little in my boots on the food--GRRM has definitely made me look at my food description three or four times before letting them pass! On the other hand, he inspired one of my favorite websites "The Inn at the Crossroads" and its awesome inspirational recipes.

I got a kick out of thinking about Aldarion's family--Tolkien gave us a lot there also, explicit and implied. More on that later. The next is being nitpicked at the moment. It's might be a bit self-indulgent on its descriptions of Aldarion through her eyes. She never fell in love before. And he was a big man already before she met him.

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