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Reviews For Unconquered
Your drabble today led me here, and wow, what a rollercoaster of emotions this story gives! It is so dark in places, with such palpable relief when Morwen is safe in Doriath, and of course, the concluding scene is hot as hell. :) There is such ambivalence too that makes the story unsettling (in a good way and as a way that seems very honest about how a woman in Morwen's situation might have felt) in her simultaneous attraction/love/desire for Acca and the terror and loathing that accompanies her mutilation. Then, of course, discovering that the mutilation was itself a work of art, which itself has unsettling implications.
I also liked what you did with the motif of kneeling throughout the story, much in the same way.
I thought your characters were great: Morwen so strong and unbroken, Melian so peaceful and ethereal, but Artanis I just loved and thought you did such a wonderful job in capturing her character in relatively few words.
By the way, I never said: I really like this first part of the story and it made a strong impression on me.
I'm afraid I found the rest of the story too difficult for me. I can be rather a wimp, on some subject matters!
I remember that once I got the assignment to write this request, I wondered how far I should go in describing thraldom/slavery, combined with the other elements. It is one thing to read about slavery and women being claimed as spoils of war - even into present day - but to write about it... that was an entirely different matter. But this was the fate of those men in Dor-Lomin after the fifth battle, and it shaped Morwen's fate and that of her son. For me to write it was a journey, because I wanted to have it a meaning for her in the end and also that Húrin's words shortly after she died would carry that extra meaning.
Thank you for taking your time to read and review it, I know it is an unsettling story for some and you have my utmost respect for making it so far, and to admit that it was hard for you shows that what I wrote hit to close home. I hope that one day these war crimes will no longer be committed against women and children alike, but I am afraid we're not there yet.
This is an impressive effort. You managed to find light within the darkness of your plot line. And courage under thralldom. I'm a coward when it comes to reading violence; it was a little on the dark side for me. OK, I am trying not to laugh at myself, if you did this stuff to a man, it probably would not have bothered me much at all. In my life, I have found more tenderness and compassion with women, a desire not to hurt (of course, there are plenty of women who enjoy hurting people also). I think that is one reason the violence repelled me--therefore, it was effective within the construct of your story. Another may be that we are accustomed in our fandom existence to run across more m/m stories than f/f stories and, therefore, have become more inured to violence and torture in the m/m stories.
The title is very good and especially moving given the source.
I am so sorry that you found the violence in my story so unsettling and I adjusted the rating for violence accordingly prior responding, I thought it would fit the moderate category since it was not explicitly shown (rating a story is not my strongest thing) - I did had that planned initially, to tell the story from Morwen's point of view as she lived through those long twenty years. However the story ended up differently and I opted for letting the character tell what she did want to tell, through my storytelling.
To write a story about a woman claimed for spoils of war as requested by another woman, with domination to any degree: I can imagine that it can be read as very disturbing... Also it is writing about a very sensitive issue because it is nowadays considered as a war crime and to dive into those details throughout history made me feel uncomfortable as well. It still happens though, sadly enough. Since Ludovica gave it as an option to write it in our history, I considered writing it during either the roman age or dark medieval age, but as I was reading bits of Children of Húrin and knowing what happened after the Nírnaeth in Dor-Lómin... the bit where Turin finds out when Brodda speaks so brashly made me wonder... if Morwen intimidated the male incomers, how could she serve as a thrall then? Together with the parts where it is said too often how cruelly the people of Morwen were treated, being held as cattle in Brodda's mead hall, I decided to weave in many Saxon-Anglo elements like Acca the peace weaver - yet with middle eastern/Arabian influences. I hope that that shone through though and that the violence used didn't throw you that much off the story. If so, my apologies: that was not my intent.