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Reviewer: Himring Signed [Report This]
Date: August 21, 2017 - 11:17 pm
Title: Author's Notes:

I like the relationship between Caranthir and Nerdanel here, as well as the central romance.

Author's Response:


Reviewer: just_jenni Signed [Report This]
Date: August 15, 2017 - 11:38 am
Title: Prologue

I just want to say that I also loved this story's predecessor, The Manly-Hearted Woman.  I remember having trouble leaving a review.  I kept trying and trying, nothing seemed to be happening, so I ended up entering my review 5 times!  I deleted all but one because I was red-faced with embarrassment, but I'm not sure you ever saw it.  I just re-read it and it is not as bad as I thought, but that was a very difficult day for me!  I could hardly put one foot before the other.  I'm surprised I could write anything.  But I didn't want you to miss it because it was heartfelt and I wanted you to know how much I liked the story.

Author's Response:

Thank you so much again. I will go look for The Manly-hearted woman review. And see if I did miss it or got interrupted and forgot to respond!

Reviewer: just_jenni Signed [Report This]
Date: August 15, 2017 - 11:33 am
Title: Author's Notes:

I've just finished reading this wonderful story.  I thought the characterizations were brilliant as well as the setting - a story within a diary if you will - and I loved that you wrote an epilogue and author's notes!

"But I have written her as a warm and romantic sort. Many, looking back at long, eventful, and difficult lives, realize that love relationships often need to end. Knowing that does not kill the romance for all of us. Some of us, like me, turn to fantasy to find comfort in the age-old story of star-crossed lovers. Perhaps, like the author said above, this impulse is held in place by inertia."

This!  I remember thinking as a much younger woman that the daydreaming and anticipation of finding a beautiful, romantic lover was actually better than the reality of the lover one would eventually find.  I can see why teenagers lust over the latest Justin Bieber.  And in later years they will probably look back and find their memories of Bieber-love to be sweeter than their memories of their real boyfriends/husbands/whatevers.

Even a one-night stand in reality might hold sweeter memories than a long-term relationship that ended ugly.

I commend you for writing about this because it's the reality of today set in a highly romantic era thousands and thousands of years ago.  And *sigh* what woman wouldn't want a Caranthir in her life even if she's a well-equipped modern warrior with a busy enough life of her own?

The key to this I believe, is strength.  May we all acquire it.



Author's Response:

Thanks so much!

"and I loved that you wrote an epilogue and author's notes!"

I loved that! A lot of people don't want epilogues or author's notes. Some are very loudly critical of them and others just skip 'em. I sometimes feel like they are "explaining a joke'--as my dad always said, if it's funny, you don't have to explain it.

Anyway, thank you for making it through the whole thing! And saying such lovely things about it. I'm having trouble letting it go. I may revisit these two sometime. After I started to write it, I wished I was writing a novella or a novel, but not sure I could have and anyway, I had a commitment and a deadline to meet!

Thank you again.

Reviewer: just_jenni Signed [Report This]
Date: August 15, 2017 - 10:42 am
Title: Prologue

I've only read the first 3 chapters because I got interrupted!  But I thought I would leave some comments here before I continue otherwise I'll end up writing a book in this comment box (and how many words until I reach the limit?).


FIRST!  I LOVE Ignoblebard!  I love his stories.  Nobody can touch his ability to write humour!  But his writing is also always impeccable and he seems like such a lovely, caring person.  And so accommodating.  I just felt I had to throw him a bone.


On to your story!  

I think it's brilliant. And not only because of your characterizations and the way you make your characters come alive on the page, and your descriptions and the way you set the scene so I as reader can envisage exactly what everything looks like, and so that it feels like it's happening in real life, but the fact that structured this story around Caranthir's reading of Haleth's diary!  So that in my mind while I'm reading I am wondering what Caranthir is thinking while reading her words.

I also commend you for your ability to write about military...stuff.  If I have to write anything technical about a sword or even a horse...I sweat about it for days but usually I try to avoid doing it.

I find the sexual tension between Caranthir and Haleth is accelerating faster than their weapons flying at each other during their sword practice.  I can't wait to read the next chapter! 

I also loved how you used the title so flawlessly and effortlessly in the middle of the story.


To be continued...

Author's Response:

Ignoble Bard first: he is awesome. (He uses a carrot to keep me writing--so appreciative and encouraging). He teases me a little, but mostly he has figured out that need a lot of stroking to keep me writing. (I got tortured by my siblings when I was a kid for leaving my stories lying around (trauma/drama ensued!). I had a big brother who used to read my stories aloud to embarrass me in front of guests--I couldn't spell then either! He grew up to be a wonderful person, depsite all that.) Yes, Ignoble Bard is a meticulous reader and has a good sense of what is a graceful sentence and what is awkward as hell. If I mess things up, it is generally because I am stubborn and did not take his advice. He's been doing this for me steadily for over ten years.

I am so excited that you liked the action sequences. I am like you--I break out in hives at the idea of writing those. I skim battles in a lot of novels--fast-forward through them in movies! I can barely watch a short car chase on TV--I change the channel. I closed my eyes during a lot of PJ's Hobbit. So, not surprisingly, that military stuff was the hardest part for me. I am really happy that it worked for you.

Characters are my babies. I try to get inside of their heads and then work to put that on the page. But that is what I love doing. These two--Haleth and Caranthir--really stole my heart. So if I managed to convey even a small part of that I'm thrilled.

Warning: the love scenes are more lyrical than graphic, but I hope still hot!

I'm looking forward to you reading more and seeing if you still like the story!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the wonderful comment.


Reviewer: Lotrfan Signed [Report This]
Date: August 14, 2017 - 02:40 pm
Title: The Beginning of the End

Really love the detail of how his men tease him because, as Haleth says, they like him and respect him. It is so brutally obvious here how not quite enough and perhaps even inferior to his brothers he felt. 

As difficult and tragic as their time was in Beleriand I think for  Carantheir it was a place where he could distinguish himself from his brothers and be who he wanted to be--letting his natural leadership, warfare and negotiation skills shine when he didn't constantly have to do so in the shadow of his brothers. In many ways he flourished here, perhaps more than we would have in Tirion.

his inexperience is endearing and generous.


Author's Response:

Thanks so much! I think in Valinor he might felt like everyone but him had a niche. And placed where he was in Thargelion he found a purpose--his area produced a great deal of profit and his lack of people skills would not have mattered that much to the insular First Age Dwarves. His role become one of extreme importance--bankrolling the Maedhros' Northern Alliance. Can you even imagine Celegorm as a bookkeeper!

I'm thrilled at your interpretation of the story which aligns with so many of the points I hoped to make.

In real life as well as fiction, I love seeing socially awkward people find a comfort-spot as they mature where they can function withhold making themselves miserable. I think he had to have found that amonst his own "people."

Reviewer: Lotrfan Signed [Report This]
Date: August 14, 2017 - 02:25 pm
Title: I've Hungered for Your Touch

Very creative way to bring the song lyrics in!

nice underlying tension in their attraction to each other--I am sure he was very aware of their legs brushing!


i love this side of him--his lovely voice, but in the shadow of maglor's --nothing special in his opinion. 

Family heirloom for a song--nice one!!

but no heir to inherit it--heartbreaking because it was true for all of them except Curufin, whose son was from before it all went to hell.


Author's Response:

You are such a great reader--a writer's dream come true.

I love your outline of points I made that I had really, really hoped some readers might pick up and like some of those!

Thanks again!!

Reviewer: Lotrfan Signed [Report This]
Date: August 14, 2017 - 12:32 pm
Title: The Battle

I really love this! I love your description of the arrival of the Elven army--single-minded, lethal, fierce and implacable but stunning and beautiful at the same time. And then!! Their silence after was so moving. Caring for the dead and wounded. The image of the Elf cradling the wounded was lovely and poignant.

Ok he's only been in the story briefly so far but I love this Caranthir of yours. I like him in general but I really like this side of him when he's on his own, without his brothers. When in a way he can be himself, truly himself, without the preconceptions that come with so many of his other interactions. 

And Haleth made me laugh--finding him attractive! 

Author's Response:

Oh, thanks so much for such a lovely encouraging review. I did enjoy these characters and building a story around them. I hope you enjoy the rest of the story!!

Reviewer: Hrymfaxe Signed [Report This]
Date: August 14, 2017 - 06:31 am
Title: Author's Notes:

I loved this! Thank you for following up on the hint of the dairy. :) This was both sad, cute and funny and I thouroughly enjoyed reading it. 

Author's Response:

Thank you so much! I often am walking around with a half formed story in my head and then a challenge or fic swap comes up and I hang on that. But Haleth could not have been further from my head when I tackled the first one.

I always read Haleth stories though--especially Haleth/Carnistir stories! I'm incorrigible. Those feels personal to me. That is why there should never be shipping wars in fanfic. People often like a couple in canon because it resonnates in their real life.

Sorry--off on a tangent! I am so thrilled you enjoyed the story!

Reviewer: Lyra Signed [Report This]
Date: August 14, 2017 - 01:51 am
Title: Epilogue

I love how... uncomplicated, for lack of a better word, you made their "courtship". No awkward pussyfooting, no misunderstandings, they've both got a crush on each other and determine quickly (enough) that the other loves them back. Not that there's anything wrong with a nice slow burn, but it was nonetheless satisfying to have things progressing so swiftly for a change, even if the happiness can't last.

I thoroughly liked your less gloomy, more gracious Caranthir, too! Your descriptions of the Noldor in general. And the shared jokes. And the warrior practice. As usual, you have fleshed out your story with so many wonderful details that the characters and their world really come alive while reading. I enjoyed it very much!

Author's Response:

Thank you so much! I am so glad you like the way I plotted it. I love the slow-burn too, or a certain amount of unresolved sexual tension. But I can't write it! When I try it doesn't ring true for me.

Two things take precedence for me when doing a Silmarillion story: canon and characterization. I guess I'm working within the parameters of an already set plot.I didn't have time within canon for the attraction/obstacles/courtship/resolution. And anyway the resolution here is that there is none.

So glad you liked Caranthir. Haleth is easy, although I did work hard to make her my own.

Oh, wow! I am so excited that the world and characters felt alive to you. I had a lot of fun with the story. (Some problems with geography, which I more or less resolved to my satisfaction! That was a nightmare when it was about half done.)

Thank you so much for such a lovely comment. It will encourage me to write more! I need both support (readers!) and the whip (deadlines) to write fiction. Only occasionally does an idea strike like a bolt of lightning

Reviewer: Dawn Felagund Signed [Report This]
Date: August 13, 2017 - 10:34 pm
Title: Author's Notes:

I had all intentions of finishing in two-chapter segments but, once I started again, had to just bowl through to the ending. I loved it--all of it: the characterizations that I mentioned earlier, the bright point of romance amid the darkness of the First Age (something that I love about your stories and think I crave since mine are so often dark), the tenderness and gentle humor in their relationship, the bittersweet ending where--millennia after her death--he finally learns that she loved him.

(Which itself is illustrative of the insecurity that Haleth picks up on: his inability to understand why his followers show such affection for him, seeing it as mockery.)

> would have liked to read the story of Haleth which celebrates that she did not need a man to complete her life.

Oh bother, I hope you don't get criticism to this effect! For one, she didn't need him to COMPLETE her life (as she did not COMPLETE his!), and I think that's abundantly clear. And as you pointed out in the Haldad bio, Haleth is no Eowyn, whose courage leads her to a man and the decision that she doesn't need that warrior spirit--the core of her identity!--any more. You don't even give us a heartwrenching parting scene but something that ends, almost organically, as both Haleth and Caranthir serve their people.

Also, on that note, I really liked the implication that she was experienced and he was not. (Although I was mortified on his behalf that his mother read about his lovemaking prowess! :D)

And--last thing!--I adored how you worked in the lyrics and title to the song (and the name of the challenge! ;). It's funny because I've heard "Unchained Melody" a thousand times if I've heard it once; it was one that I contributed to the song list, and it was one of the first ones I put on because it's possibly my favorite outright love song, and it had to be there. And I'd never noticed the lyrics before (even though I guarantee that I can sing them by heart), and they fit perfectly.

Anyway--once again, I loved it. It was a beautiful, fun story and got me through my work today--thank you! :)

Author's Response:

Oh, wow, I'm speechless! (Yeah, right! I can manage to eke out a couple of words more!)

I was so afraid of handing people a bowl of fluff. I am glad it does not come across that way to you. I loved the doing the epilogue because it gave me the a chance to make fun of own over-the-top style.

I do a lot of ruminating before I can actually write a sentence. I fell in love with Haleth during that period, "unable to write" period. I've always loved Caranthir. Actually, there are a lot of throwbacks to your really awful Baby Caranthir from AMC in this story and the last one before it. I've stopped thanking you every story that has Feanorians in it for how seminal AMC has been for me when I write them. I really should mention you more often in my notes. I guess I figure anyone who reads an old-school Silm writer like me has probably read AMC. So thanks for the inspiration.

Poor Nerdanel! In my case I've always been forced to know far more than I ever wanted to about my own kids sex lives! If I didn't accidentally catch them, or have to listen to them(!) ugh, then they told me more than I needed to hear or an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend of theirs did. A good mom just soldiers on!

Glad to pull you away from your work! That's high praise indeed. (You know I jump on your stories the instant you post--that night of the 11th, rushing to finish, was torture for me because you posted early and I got a notification! I almost blew off making the deadline to read yours.)

Reviewer: IgnobleBard Signed [Report This]
Date: August 13, 2017 - 09:23 pm
Title: Prologue

I don't know how you manage to make me love the Feanorians so much but you always do. Here is Caranthir, who should be a dark, gloomy character, but you make him so vital and alive in all his fiercely intelligent awkwardness that I can't help adoring him. It's so great to see him through Haleth's eyes and their romance is sweet and real without being cloying.

I especially enjoyed the description of the Elves sweeping into the battle and routing the orcs and Haleth's first look at Caranthir. I also like their easy banter and how she pulls him out of his shell. The description of her dressing up, trying to make herself attractive, and that being a foreign feeling for her is both amusing and touching.

Even your OC gets a funny moment for himself, you never leave your characters hanging or just toss them in there like spear carriers. They always come off as real people who I can imagine living their lives outside the story.

And your song choice for the challenge and execution of the theme is perfection.

Anyway, enough rambling. This is just a great challenge entry and one I enjoyed reading as well as betaing. I'm glad you decided to write for this one.

Author's Response:

Wow! What a terrific comment. I could not have finished this story on time without you. You were so generous at working within my timeframe and also my panic and insecurity. Not to mention the countless typos and other issues you tracked down.

I am so glad that I was able to engage you and draw you into the story. I know that is not your favorite Tolkien mileu to work in; I always figure if I can entrap you, I have a good chance of making others want to keep reading.

I love the things you chose to highlight here--things I would hope a reader would like! Awww! Thank you so much. Let's work on another story together sometime! (Ha! Like you can ever escape me!)


Reviewer: Dawn Felagund Signed [Report This]
Date: August 13, 2017 - 01:52 pm
Title: The Battle

I'm only on Chapter Two--this was my reward for a stint of planning--but I love this so far! I'm swooning over your Caranthir. Keeping company all these years with Caranthir fangirls has finally done me in, I fear! He's beautiful and gracious as you write him.

But Haleth! Haleth is absolutely perfect as the scrappy, youthful, cocksure woman raised among a fiercely independent people. She rings very, very true to me.

This is going to be a great reward for me for getting my work done. ^_^

Author's Response:

So glad you loved Caranthir and Haleth too! I became incredibly fond of them myself. I hope you are not a spoiler-phobic but Nerdanel is in the end of the story too. Another character I love to write. (Although she feel oddly more self-assertive when Feanor is not in the story! OMG! Art reflects life.)

Thanks so much for using this as an excuse to take a break. I hope the find the need for more!

Reviewer: Robinka Signed [Report This]
Date: August 12, 2017 - 11:58 am
Title: Prologue

LOVING this to bits, from the first sentence to the last. I may come back with a more cohenerent comment later on, but I wanted to tell you that I adored this fic. Thank you so much!

Author's Response:

I am thrilled! Thank you so much. I did have a ball writing it, but worked very hard also. This is a wonderful comment. If you do want to share more, that would be great also.

Reviewer: Grundy Signed [Report This]
Date: August 12, 2017 - 10:41 am
Title: Prologue

Very nice! I like both that it keeps to canon - unfortunately, no happily ever after for this pair is just that - and that Caranthir gets to hear her side of it all these years later. I love how alive Haleth sounds, and how honest. (And I had a good giggle at the brandy incident. Well done working humor in as well!)

Author's Response:

Aww, thanks so much for the kind review. I almost bit off more than I could chew. It wanted to be a longer story. And the I started slow and ran out times, I was dying at the end. Still picking up typos!

I had a lot of fun with them! I still enjoy handing people an incendiary drink and watching them swallow too much. Ever try Schlivowitz?

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