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Reviews For Maitimo and Findekáno
I read the story yeasterday for the first time with beating heart - and today run and re-read it with the same feelings ^^ so passionate, tender and BEAUTIFUL! A real pleasure, upon my word) I'm not good in reviews so I can't say more, just radiate with joy)
And - will you give me a permission to translate it into Russian?)
Thank you so much. I am so happy you enjoyed it.
Yes, you may translate it; if you do translate it, I would love to have a copy or a link to it when you are finished!
Finally reviewing after lurking for quite a while. I absolutely adore this story, along with the ones that come after it. You have put so much thought into the complex personalities and relationships between characters- not only Maedhros and Fingon but the supporting cast as well- and it shows through in every little thing that happens. I actually really love your portrayals of all the family of Finwe- I think you’ve created a really interesting family dynamic that is not too fluffy and happy (which I’ve seen), nor too angst-filled and focused on foreshadowing (which I’ve also seen.) The way you portray them, you can perceive the undercurrent of unrest that will lead to the family breaking apart, but also their contentment, in equal measure. Also, supporting characters were treated with just as much thought and care as the titular characters- in particular I remembered Maglor, Feanor, and even Caranthir.
As for Maedhros and Fingon, I really appreciated that you went down the erastes and eromenos route- acknowledging differences in age and experience, but in a way that makes me believe they will become equals in a lasting relationship, instead of turning to any kind of Japanese “shounen ai” conventions (which irritate me under most circumstances, but especially in Tolkien and with characters like these). Their young love is both beautiful and believable, and you achieve a wonderful mix of genuine tenderness and humor, which becomes more poignant by the foreshadowing that is there because the reader knows what comes next in their story, without you needing to write it. Your writing style has a pleasant flow to it and just enough detail without being too much, and you write wonderful dialogue (one thing I tend to struggle with, so I appreciate it more in others) that is modern enough for the reader to identify with, but enough like Tolkien’s more antiquated style that I can believe the voices belong to the characters. You also handle physical intimacy excellently, making sure it is neither pornographic nor too flowery, but instead grounding it in the emotion and writing the physicality from that.
Overall, a wonderful start to a series that only gets better.
Also, I wanted to send you this- http://avi17.deviantart.com/#/d486vzh . I sent you the sketch about a week ago, but I don’t know if you got it. XD But I finished it. A little illustration of young Maedhros and Fingon inspired by this story. :) I hope you like it!
I did not receive the illustration! Thank you so much both for your kind words and especially for the illustration. I love it. I really like the details of their hair. Beautifully executed. Thank you so much it is absolutely lovely. There is no greater compliment to a writer in my mind that to inspire an artist to create something like this! Thank you again.
It was the only one I could get, Oshun, but I will have the others up as soon as possible. I don't like losing reviews I write, either, and should make a habit of saving them, just so I can repost them if necessary!
From LOTRFF.com. :)
This is absolutely fabulous - again - I don't see many stories written in first person, and I know it's apparently the hardest mode of writing (One of my favorite published authors writes this way though, so I tend to compare people who use this style to her ) .
But I also think that if it is done well it is an incredibly '' intimate '' way, of letting the readers into a mind and heart. And this story does this superbly. I can feel the emotions of Fingon and see things through his eyes imediately. I even had to stop to have a sniffle thinking of him then and Nirnaeth Arnoediad, and Maedhros' suicide, because the ending of something that began in so much light and glory and love, is impossibly sorrowful.
You are so lovely to copy this and post it here. But that is who you are. Thank you so very, very much. When I write the Silmarillion I feel like you are standing at my shoulder. You have been so supportive of my work.
What a lovely story, Oshun.
I am usually not fond of the pairing, but this was beautifully done. I think what I loved the most about the story was how each character was very believable and how easily you joined Tolkien's legend with more earthier, mundane things -- like falling in love and family interactions. It was well balanced, wonderfully written.
I think I'll return and re-read this often. :)
Thanks, Olorime! I am so happy you read and enjoyed it. It was one of my earliest Silmarillion stories and my very first slash story. I fell in love with the characters the first time I read The Silmarillion and Dawn Felagund's earthy, almost magical realism of her novel Another's Man's Cage gave me the courage to write a Silmarillion-based story using recognizable problems and emotions, instead of it being all solemn and bigger than life. I'm still writing them and their crazy family. (Epic heroes are hard for me, but crazy families I do know about!)
A very beautiful story of a very lovely pairing. I've always had a soft spot for Fingon and Maedhros, and in truth, they were the first attempt at slash I ever wrote. This brought back nostalgic feelings in me.
And you are absolutely right - they are possibly the most slashable pairing in the Silmarillion.
Author's Response: Thank you so much! I am so glad it entertained you. Can't resist recommending my entire Maitimo and Findekano series here.
I'm firmly in the "they're just friends" camp, but I've seen this series recommended so many times that I finally broke down and read it.
It's a wonderful, wonderful story. You capture the differences in the House of Finwë wonderfully.
I love Makalaurë's song. It fits them perfectly.
Their vows are perfect-- it truly is the intent.
If you should ever leave me, I will follow you, at whatever the cost, until I find you, and then I will bring you back with me even if I must lug you all of the way.
Love the foreshadowing of canon here.
Again, wonderful story. :)
Thank you so much for reading, especially since you're in the "just friends camp." You can see I'm in the "amost canon" camp! Thrilled if I could suspend your disbelief if only for a few minutes! This was my baby of their story cycle. I know my version of these characters better now; this was the first I wrote of them and still holds a place in my heart. I adore Maglor (just in general); glad he caught your attention. For me, when writing Feanorians, it is always so much about the extended family dynamics.
Thank you again. I'm beaming.
OKay, I had a whole review typed up for here, but my pc ate it. As I rebooted the pc and mulled it over, I came to the conclusion that I can rephrase the rambly review at Quills to something more neater (then two reviews at the same day are in a way nice too), yet the first impressions of a re-read are important as well. What still stands so strongly is that I just needed to read this piece before I'd plunge in 'A New Day' to read it (hopefully) in one session, where the darkness will be more present than on this pre-exile story.
The themes of young pupil vs older mentor appeal to me the most here and has for me the overtone in a world where the hand of Morgoth is already visible (for some reason I can see that with Nerdanel's response and the way Fingolfin is portrayed), but the lovers are cocooned & sheltered by those who love them so much. I know that A New Day what once was is nearly ripped away, which gives this story title another dimension to read. So before I shut up (and gods, I did repeat myself again compared to the other review, did I?), I am glad that I re-read this piece prior to a New Day. Thanks for indulging me! *coughs*
Thank you so much. Those are such wonderful observations. I think with Feanor, I see an intersection between affection for and defense of his immediate family and his probable lack of respect for social conventions and mores could conceivably make him able to tolerate the pair and I do believe, if one takes that train of throught entends it, that he might get a kick out of watching the slightly more conventional Fingolfin squirm a bit at his eldest child's departure from the mainstream.
I don't know if I had a developed theory on the hand of Morgoth, but the alterations in the perfect pattern of the original music had long been made, turning a potential paradise into a much more real world, with the suffering, human error, and misunderstandings that are a part of that.
It's in Maitimo and Findekano that Fingon's irrepressible personality started to become real for me. I never believed that anyone of his caliber of courage and daring could ever have been a dupe for Maedhros, which was one of fanfic conventions that irritated me and enticed me originally to want to tell their story in my own way. I never felt canon backed that up whether ones writes them as simply close friends or more.
Oshun - I really, really love this. Your characterizations of everyone in the family is wonderful - each with their own personality. I loved the scene with Macalaure sitting on the bed the next morning and the fact that the whole family knew. In fact, I really enjoyed the family feeling in this which is so well done and not often seen in fanfic. I love the way you've used language - somewhat formal, clear, and yet has a classical feel to it. The feeling of love between Maitimo and Findekano just shines through. As I've said to you before, the way you write their lovemaking is deeply erotic without ever being vulgar. In fact, I love the realistic little touches, such as the difficulty they had with their first time. I have no doubt when I finished this that I knew and understood them and their deep bond and knew how terrible the future would be for them. This completely deserved an award.
I am thrilled to death that you read this and left such a wonderful comment (you know how much I love your writing). This was my first true slash story. I was completely taken with the canon descriptions of their early friendship, Maedhros standing up to his father and asking to go back for Fingon, refusing to participate in the burning of the ship, and then the spectacular singled-handed rescue of Maedhros from the cliffs of Thangorodrim. That has to be a wonderful canon setup for a romance between two men (whatever the author intended). I could not let it pass.
I realized that there had been some really great and not-so-good stories in the Maedhros/Fingon genre that had preceded it, but something had always flawed them for me. Either they were left unfinished, covered only a little, were too tragic too soon without a sufficient build-up that took into consideration the significant contributions of each of them before their ultimate tragic end. (Of course, there are also slash stories of sissy, whiney Fingon or barking mad Maedhros which just fly in the face of their canon accomplishments.) So, this was intended as my introduction to an entire epic series in which I hope to tell their complete story. It is still a favorite of mine among the stories I have written, although I think my writing has improved a lot since then. The use of first person was a challenge, because I believed it needed to be at least somewhat more formal in style than the way I usually prefer to write. I thought of these chapters as written, almost in diary-form, by the two characters and people write differently than they talk, even in something they do not think anyone will read. (Sorry, sorry, too much information!)
Thanks again for reading and commenting. I am excited that you liked it.
This is my review of Maitimo & Findekáno that I wrote for its MEFA 2007 nomination. I thought I'd crosspost it here for posterity.
- pandemonium_213, Oct. 2007
Prior to my discovery of Tolkien-flavored fan fiction, I viewed slash as a pop cultural curiosity. My opinion was fueled primarily by exposure to the "Trekkies" documentary as well as the occasional sneering commentary aimed at this sub-genre. Thus, I figured that slash was little more than PWP as it is termed in ficcish parlance. However, my skepticism regarding the genre was thoroughly and completely shattered by noteworthy authors in the realm of Tolkien fan fic, and oshun stands out among them.
In “Maitimo and Findekano,” oshun crafts a heartfelt and intelligent story describing the culmination of love between these two Noldorin icons. The underlying theme of the erastes and eromenos is apparent, but oshun sets this concept solidly in Tolkien's Aman. She embellishes the theme through her infusion of wit, poignancy, well-articulated emotional states of the characters.
Through each man’s voice, she lends insight into their relationship as it blossoms in Aman. Oshun’s Káno and Maitimo were captivating as this reader followed their initial hesitation and misgivings as they acknowledge their love for one other to its full expression. The author captures the introspection of each character as he contemplates the ramifications of his feelings for his lover. She paints their relationship with many layers from the abiding affection of genuine friendship to heated sexuality to the transcendence of love. Their love and friendship feel very natural and real. The eroticism is effectively interwoven into the whole of the story. Oshun also takes care to allow that the nature of their relationship is not one that would be widely accepted in Eldarin society, even if it is among Maitimo’s immediate family, thus lending the harsh edge of reality to it.
Swirling around Findekáno and Maitimo is the complexity that is the Finwean family dynamic. Again, oshun captures this effectively through Káno and Maitimo’s voices within the acceptance and intimacy of Fëanor’s lively family (as noted by Maitimo, nothing is ever simple for the Fëanorians) to the political undercurrents of Finwë’s court.
In my opinion, the appreciation of literature is highly subjective. With that in mind, oshun’s prose and distinctive style greatly appeal to me as she draws the details of scenes and paints the portraits of multifaceted characters. Plus, her Noldor are so darned loquacious! And that is exactly how I imagine this clan of the Eldar.
With “Maitimo and Findekano,” oshun offers to the reader a combination of enticing lust and the realization of genuine love between two compelling characters of The Silmarillion, woven together into a well-crafted story. Thumb's up on this story. It ensures that I will follow oshun's vision of these Noldor and their clans, and opened my eyes to the fact that the genre of slash lends itself to artistry in the right hands.
Author's Response: Oh, thanks for posting here. It is a lovely review. I'm crazy about it!
I've just added this story to my favorites list, just so you know. :) I know that I've told you before, but this is one of the best Maedhros/Fingon stories I've ever read. The voices in this story are superb, like living with the boys, if only for an hour, and you use humor and sensuality in a way that enhances without overtaking the story.
Author's Response: Thanks! I owe so much to your AMC canon (despite departures!).