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Reviewer: Athrabeth Signed [Report This]
Date: December 27, 2014 - 08:41 pm
Title: Chapter 25/25

This scene with Elros on his deathbed is one of the most tragic and insightful I've read with him (I bolded the part that especially stood out to me):

"He folded his hands on his chest and closed his eyes and concentrated on his breathing. He had no idea how to do what came next - but then again, this had been the tale of his life. Somehow he had always managed, through instinct and common sense and, surprisingly often, by drawing upon the lessons in kingship learned from Gil-galad hundreds of years ago."

I I hadn't ever thought about it like that, but it's really true. Elros seems all the more impressive to me after reading that. He does SO many things, and he really didn't have all that much preparation or guidance to do it at all. Yet his legacy lives on for more than six millenia after his death.

Author's Response:

Elrond regularly stole the limelight in this fic, but Elros was my quiet hero. I really understood why Galadriel promised to wait with him. The final chapter took me weeks because I wanted to get his final scene as close to right as I was able. Thank you so very much for leaving this comment. Even though the fic is several years old noq,it was my baby and it still makes me so happy to know someone else has read it and enjoyed it.


Reviewer: Idle Leaves Signed [Report This]
Date: December 18, 2011 - 02:20 pm
Title: Chapter 1/25

Mm, this is such a satisfying piece of fiction. Your characterisations are wonderfully consistent yet complete and multi-faceted, even for the characters (like Celeborn) who don't appear at all or who appear in very limited capacity. Your Glorfindel, Gil-galad, Elrond, Erestor, Galadriel, and everyone else - just, yes. Wonderful. I love the way you manipulate details and setting, too, to give a very vivid representation of the time and place.

This deserves a much better and longer review, but I'm more or less just left making *___* and ♥___♥ faces. Long character-driven fiction that's this nicely realised is hard to find.

Author's Response:

Be warned, I am really bad at gracious thank yous for lovely, complimentary reviews. I either get quite stiff and formal or I gush! Anyhow -- you liked it? Awww, thank you so much for all the kind words, I'm really happy that you liked if. This was like my third child for around eighteen months, so when someone says good things about it I take them quite personally, lol. Seriously, thank you, I really appreciate the kindness, specially as I'm going through a 'cannot write, cannot write' patch as I try finish my BigBang fic. Lovely timing --- you are more than kind :D


Reviewer: mistrali Signed [Report This]
Date: November 13, 2011 - 08:57 pm
Title: Chapter 10/25

I love the way you've written Eonwe here: completely emotionless, "inflexible", other. He doesn't even consider that they might choose the same fate. It's all very decisive, manipulative, diplomatic language: "move along now, the choice has been made for you". Chilling, really. It makes me wonder how much the Valar might've been altered in the 'histories' of the Valaquenta and the Silmarillion. 

Author's Response:

I think the Valar were written with the unfailing respect of people who knew they might one day be living back in Aman and who wanted to keep a clean slate, so to speak. When you read between the lines ---- why would orphaned twins who had been through some really horrific experiences together decide to choose life paths that would mean they never met again till after the end of time? It just seemed very unlikely to me, there had to be a reason :D

As for Eonwe -- I had such fun writing him. My beta loathed him, which gave me a great deal of satisfaction. I'm glad he worked for you too. (don't usually pimp my own work, but there's a little thing called Cultural Differences featuring him and Gil that gives a whole other view of him *g*)

Reviewer: mistrali Signed [Report This]
Date: November 03, 2011 - 09:44 pm
Title: Chapter 1/25

Mild spoiler warning for anyone who hasn't read past ch. 14 or so.

I can't begin to describe all the things I love about this fic. The writing especially is impeccable. And the characterisation. Suffice it to say that I read (reread, actually, because I read this some years ago and forgot to review) nearly thirteen chapters at one sitting.

Laslech was a lovely touch, and I'm curious to see what's going to happen with Elrond in terms of Erestor and his newfound talents (why did I put those two in the same sentence?... my mind is now in the gutter). His pain at Elros' departure is very tangible.

Your Glorfindel is probably unique, too: I've never seen him written like this, and I'm loving it.

Author's Response:

I'm very flattered you're rereading. That's a lovely  compliment, thank you so much :) 

Erestor's job was to show up, get naked, be Elrond's love interest, but Elrond wasn't too sure about rushing things like that. In the end I gave up and let him go at his own pace, which is what had been happening right from the beginning, so no big surprise there :D 

Glorfindel.... Doubt started out as a Slashy Santa swap fic and the request was for a shy, insecure Glorfindel plus elf-of-choice. I suspect the requester expected Glory to be very young, but it occurred to me that there is no reason why a hero couldn't also be shy and socially insecure. I grew to love him dearly, though there were some strange comments on the original posts, lol.

Loved Laslech. Didn't even tell my beta what would happen with her in the end. Glad you've been enjoying her.


Reviewer: oshun Signed [Report This]
Date: October 03, 2008 - 03:54 pm
Title: Chapter 24/25

I've been re-reading each of the chapters as you have been posting them. I had, of course, intended to comment on every one, but I get so easily distracted and now you are nearing the end.

This is one of my favorite chapters, love the peek you give us into Galadriel and Celeborn's relationship. I felt like a fly on the wall. It's such a believable picture of how two such strong-willed individuals would relate to one another; the addtion of the warmth and basic solidity of their feelings for one another added to inevitable clashes are absolutely enchanting.

The scene of the self-assured Gil-galad being uncertain and jealous is delicious too. Glorfindel's reaction is wonderful to read and, like so much of your writing, incredibly visual, I can just see his face, every nuance of expression (and hear him also).

The consistency of all the characterizations throughout are fantastic; you seemingly effortlessly (and I know it took great effort) make the reader feel clever to know them all so well.

I always enjoy Elrond and Laslech together, whether we are directly seeing them or through others' observations of their connection. I never would have thought I could become so attached to a dog in a story.

It makes me sad and wistful to see you nearing the end (and it's not like I haven't read it before). This is such a satisfying story.

Author's Response:

I'm behind on everything, which is no excuse for being late here after you've been so kind *blushes*.  I always love your comments, thank you so much for this one.


I was tempted to bring Celeborn in as a character, too, but knew I couldn't do him justice in the small amount of space available. Instead I tried to show him through Galadriel's eyes - I hope it worked. I think they must have had an exceptional relationship. (that's a nice, ambivalent word, isn't it? :D)


I sketched out the scene where Gil finally admits to being jealous and that he loves Glorfindel sometime around chapter 6. Originally it was set out in the garden, and the context was a bit different, but the heart of it sat with others in a folder marked 'try this' till it was time. Then I spent ages fleshing it out and added texture. I think one of the nicest moments I had writing Doubt was realising the old end point still worked.


There's one part left to post, the epilogue, and I keep putting it off. Should probably have gone up at the same time as this chapter, really,  or the day after. But - I will never post this story again, and it's felt so good to reconnect with it. (yes, utterly sappy, I know - sorry *blushes some more*)


Reviewer: oshun Signed [Report This]
Date: July 17, 2008 - 09:18 pm
Title: Chapter 1/25


Elrond loved Maglor, he was the closest thing he ever had to a father, his own having been so much absent. I always wished he could really acknowledge that. The argument was fun to write - I'd started with no idea how to write Cirdan, and I think that scene kind of cemented him in my mind :D

I just have to make one more point on Maglor and Elrond. Oddly, when I got the notice of your response above, I was at that exact moment re-reading your story "Star's End," about Arwen and Maglor, or better I should say Elrond's daughter and Maglor, because I think that it largely how he thinks of her in that story.

I was always certain that Elrond had to have been affected by those who raised him and, given the circumstances, he did not turn out badly. Aside from the usual point these are heroic tales, blah, blah, blah, not subject to the rules of real life, etc., I was always fairly appalled at the picture that was left of the parenting of Elros's and Elrond's biological parents. My own piece "My Shining Stars," summarizes my initial thoughts on how Elrond might have regarded his period of fostering. It is just a little scrap of a story, partly me thinking aloud about my own personal canon, as I do intend, if I am able, to continue my storyline on Fëanor's family up through the fostering of Elrond and Elros. I got a review on it in the MEFAs today, which states that perhaps I take my theory just a tad too far. Maybe, maybe not. The fun of writing fanfiction for me is exactly what you do so well in your work, try to develop characterization using the barebones outlines of these lives found in the canon texts.

Author's Response: The bit about these being heroic fantasy stories is all well and good, but I find a character needs to make sense to me before I can write him or her, which means their actions need motivations, explanations - and their actions lead me to think Elwing and Earendil were both the kind of people who should not have children, quite honestly.

*nods* Maglor saw Arwen mainly as Elrond's child, yes, connecting her to the familiar, the memory of her father as a child. Though at the end, I think she'd become someone in her own right to him, which was how he could do what he did.

Reviewer: oshun Signed [Report This]
Date: July 12, 2008 - 02:38 am
Title: Chapter 11/25

The characterization again is just right! I adore Laslech barking at Cirdan. The entire argument is so well done; like most arguments, pretty much everybody managed to stick their foot in their mouth at a some point, so realistic. Really wanted to pat Elrond on the back for standing up for Maglor though and thumbs up to Glorfindel for standing up for himself.

The love scene that follows is just so hot. Amazingly, well done.

Wonderful introduction of Galadriel, and pregnant no less. Such a nice touch and used so well to tell the reader things about her.



Author's Response: Ouch, didn't get the notification. Thanks so very much for reviewing, Oshun :) Sorry for the late response.

Elrond loved Maglor, he was the closest thing he ever had to a father, his own having been so much absent. I always wished he could really acknowledge that. The argument was fun to write - I'd started with no idea how to write Cirdan, and I think that scene kind of cemented him in my mind :D

I'm glad the love scene was okay. I'm always vastly insecure about writing them. And Galadriel was a bit like Elrond, really tried to hijack the story a few times. She's such a wonderful character to explore.

Reviewer: pandemonium_213 Signed [Report This]
Date: July 07, 2008 - 09:33 am
Title: Chapter 10/25

Keiliss, I am thrilled to pieces that you are posting Even Quicker Than Doubt on the SWG!  Upon oshun's recommendation, I tore through it on your fluffy dragon site some time ago and loved it.  By posting the novel here, you allow me to re-read this gem of a novel and really savor your superb characterizations and highly intelligent writing.

Even Quicker Than Doubt is such a fine example of character driven fiction.  From cocksure (but not always) Ereinion to a vulnerable Glorfindel (and with an anxiety disorder no less!) to Círdan to Elros and Elrond (oh, man, your young Elrond is incredible), you craft these guys with so many intricate and distinctive facets so that their personalities become real, not just cardboard heroic cutouts.

Re: Ch. 10 - The Will of the Valar. Elrond's painful recollection of the aftermath of the War of Wrath is brilliantly executed.  Heartbreaking and fascinating both.  And Eonwë?   Eeeeesh.  Talk about chilling. That smile with no warmth, the strange accent and the other details of the scene in the tent convey the strangeness of the Ainur so well. And then to insist that Elrond and Elros make their choice then and there.  There's no hint of compassion or real human understanding on the part of Eonwë.  Elrond's advice to Glorfindel -- do not trust the guidance of the Ainur -- is well taken given what happened to him and his brother.  Using the device of the puppy being there as Elrond offers his tale to Glorfindel is a good touch -- the contrast of warm and unconditional trust to the details of what was a difficult childhood for Elrond.

Looking forward to the rest! 

Author's Response:

I think I mentioned before how my mind blanks at compliments, right? Thank you for writing such a great review.  I spent something like a year and a half living with this story, and after a while the characters became people I knew well enough that it became difficult to stand back from them.  I used to worry that I wasn't getting what I saw across to anyone else. Comments like this are a wonderful reassurance. I loved these guys, wanted to do the best I could for their story.

In the grand scheme of things the logic of separating the twins makes perfect sense, but they were terribly young and had been through so much.  I always thought it incredibly cold and impersonal, and that was how I approached chapter 10. Eonwë was pure joy to write *grin*. It gave me great satisfaction to take the ultimate Mary Sue appearance - silvery hair, amethyst eyes, slender, graceful  - and apply it to him. My beta (Eni) felt it was a just punishment. And I hoped Laslech the puppy would ground things in the 'here and now' as well as being a contrast to what was happening and being discussed around her - I'm thrilled it seems to have worked.

Again - thank you!


Reviewer: oshun Signed [Report This]
Date: July 05, 2008 - 10:47 pm
Title: Chapter 4/25

More on Laslech, the dog: the thing I like about the SWG challenges is the stories do not have to be written especially for a challenge to be included in them. And they never close, so you can put this in the "All Good Beasts" challenge. I do adore this dog, and I think said somewhere before, that I am not really a dog person, but he is used so effectively in this story. Everyone seems to get involved with him at some point--I have actually known a couple of dogs like that in my life.

Reviewer: oshun Signed [Report This]
Date: July 03, 2008 - 09:44 pm
Title: Chapter 4/25

Another wonderful chapter: and the introduction of Laslech the puppy. I was just thinking that you really should enter this novel in this month's challenge: "All Good Beasts," which is specifically designed for animals as supporting characters in stories. This little dog is an excellent supporting character. The very idea that he is introduced as "Elros's puppy" and yet it doesn't take long for the reader to discover that he, in fact, doesn't take long for us to discover that he very much belongs to Elrond. He is also a marvellous judge of character we will soon find out and a commentator on what goes on around him, without saying a word or even having a single paragraph written from his POV. OK. Enough on the dog!

Love the development in this chapter of the friendship between Elrond and Glorfindel and the meeting of Erestor and Elrond. Of course, now we are anxious to see what will develop between Gil-galad and Glorfindel. Beautifully organized chapter. 

Author's Response:

Thank you so much for the lovely review, Oshun. I went and looked at the challenge and actually it does fit really well.  I had fun looking down the list of animals in Tolkien :D Are stories meant to be specially written for the challenge though?


I'm thrilled you like Laslech - thank you :) I can't remember what gave me the idea that Elrond should have a dog in his life, but it just - worked.  I was surprised at how much the presence of a pet could say about people and events - Elros, too busy, and essentially a cat person, Elrond capable of acting very responsibly if given a good reason...


The relationship I think I liked writing most in Doubt was the friendship between Glorfindel and Elrond.  They were always so  comfortable together. When I first read LotR I was around 13, and back then I thought they were probably best friends. I guess it stayed with me, lol.


Reviewer: oshun Signed [Report This]
Date: July 02, 2008 - 01:30 pm
Title: Chapter 2/25

There is so much to love in this chapter. Particularly for me the development of Gil-galad - "a practical Elf, possessing a quick, keen-sighted intelligence and a very sound instinct for the strengths and weaknesses of those around him"-I love that he is not played up as an impossibly heroic figure and yet, so appealing and possessing the characteristics that would make an able ruler. So warm, wise for his years, and just so profounding decent. Which, apparently, if one reads between the few lines he gets in the text, he must have been to have done what he did for so long and with a degree of success.

The interview/discussion with Elros and Elrond about how he expected them to behave with Glorfindel is memorable and so funny. Again, you use this to develop the personalities and differences between Elros and Elrond.

Elrond is to die for-so young, so complex, and so entertaining: "His unbound hair was a wild, smoky mass, spiderweb-fine, sinfully alluring, and his slanting grey eyes studied Gil-galad with an expression of such intensity as to be more than a little unnerving." More still that I adored: "Losing your temper with Elrond was an instant admission of failure. At the least sign of weakness he would pounce, gleeful and heedless as a kitten, inflicting damage with surgical precision."

"Elrond presented an edgy, arrogant self assurance, a scalpel-sharp tongue, and gave no ounce of respect unearned. Elros manifested a calm, helpful appearance, and spent a fair amount of his time appeasing those his brother had managed, with a few well chosen words, to outrage." This is so true to life, strong figures are rarely easy children or youths.

Finally, "Elrond rose gracefully and stood, head slightly bowed, the picture of decorum and respect. Gil-galad felt an almost irresistible temptation to smack him." Oh yes. Love these characters so much.

I don't even want to go into the sparring scene between Gil-Galad and Glorfindel. Beautiful visual and in the psychological insight again.

Author's Response:

Poor Gil-galad - he ruled for longer than all the previous High Kings in Middle-earth combined and then some, but he somehow gets overlooked when people talk about Elven kings.  Lindon was a very stable, prosperous kingdom for several thousand years, so I figured he must have been doing something right.  All we really get about him is that  he stood his ground and tried to tackle a Maiar with a spear, so I took that fact and tried to work out what sort of person would do that? Ego didn't seem likely, so - someone decent , someone who took his responsibilities seriously, someone who would be willing to die in the end if it would make the difference…


Never, ever let me get started about Gil-galad, lol. I'm hard to stop. We all have our elf, he's mine.


Elros and Elrond. Oh, that was just meant to be a brief appearance back when Doubt was outlined as a five chapter fic. I have no idea where Elrond came from, but right from the first line I could see and hear him clear as day. That scene is probably a major reason Doubt ended up running to 25 chapters - I wanted to learn more about them both. Anyway, I had no choice. When I started the next chapter, he was lying in wait for me.  I really like what you say about strong figures seldom being easy as children - that was my thought about him as well.


I have missed this story being part of my life. Really love your comments, and the way you've picked out passages I well remember writing with a smile on my face.  Thank you  so much  :)

Reviewer: oshun Signed [Report This]
Date: July 01, 2008 - 12:35 pm
Title: Chapter 1/25

I guess I have mentioned to you many times that this is one of my absolute favorite Tolkien fanfic novels. I am so excited that you have decided to post it here. (I was intending to approach you about doing so.) This is a wonderful first chapter. I love the psychological insight into Glorfindel, the creative exploration of what such a reincarnation might feel like, and the references to First Age and early Second Age history. Your introduction of Gil-galad is excellent and really sets up the development of his character throughout this story. So excited that people who might not have encountered it anywhere else will have a chance to read it here.

Author's Response:

Finally did it, yes. I've been meaning to post it for months, but kept thinking 'oh lord, it's 25 chapters'… which is silly as it's really not difficult. But it's still going up in stages, not all in one major posting burst :D


When I wrote Doubt, I was posting in a Third Age, Erestor/Glorfindel - oriented fandom, so I was constantly surprised to find it had readers .  I remember sweet, shy Glorfindel  confused a few people, lol -  struck me as strange, because courage doesn't depend on social skills. One of the first things that occurred to me was how alone he must have felt in Lindon, how displaced in time - I'm glad you feel that worked.


Doubt was like my third child - a difficult, often uncooperative, stubborn  teenager.  Nothing makes a mother happier than having her child praised, and you are always so wonderfully kind in your comments - thank you so much, dear Oshun  :)


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