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Reviews For Golden Days
Loving how things are progressing so far with F&N, the oracle melons scene is one of my favorites for this story. Poor Nerdanel still not connecting two and two together, why else would he single her out? He must have devoted some time observing her hands to be able to come up with a very good fit.
Author's Response: Oh good, I was afraid that the oracle melons would be a bit too blunt! At the same time, it was so much fun. Sometimes I just need to indulge myself. ;) I think she would have made the connection - there were some moments during their night out in the woods when she was entertaining the idea that they might fit quite well together - if he hadn't thoughtlessly said that she looked horrible. He didn't mean anything by it, just observing what she was aware of herself, but she's taken it a lot more seriously, in a "back off, I'm too pretty for you" kind of way. So now she's convinced that whenever he says or does something nice, he's mocking her.
He used her flint and steel, so that's probably giving him a good starting point. And of course, he's had plenty of occasions to observe her hands - at the table, at work and, not least of all, while dancing... :)
Very clever goreshadowing for the silmarils, the rebellion, and even their future marriage, poor Nerdanel suffering from "unrequited" love. Wish she could read minds. Found myself wondering how Finwe will react to his son's views about the Valar since Finwe does strike me as a patriarchal, conservative figure that prefers to uphold the status quo.
Author's Response: Both of them are suffering from unrequited love. I'm not sure how much longer!
Finwe is going to ignore anything he hears about his son's views about the Valar. As you have observed, he's very happy with the status quo; at the same time, he is extremely fond of his firstborn. The two must be reconciled at any cost. So if anything negative reaches his ears, he is not going to hear it.
Loved their interaction here, Feanaro clearly knows how he affects her and enjoys her company very much. So many lovely lines here: the lighting of the fire, their dirty faces, etc. She is clearly his equal and I think he appreciates that, can't wait to see which of them will confess their feelings first.
Author's Response: Feanaro has actually confessed his feelings during the ball - "I find you endlessly fascinating" etc. - Nerdanel just didn't think he was being sincere. In turn, I suspect he now doesn't fully realise how he affects her: After all, she's doing her best not to let it show. So he's just laying it on more thickly and making things even harder for her. Nerdanel still doesn't realise that yes, he can and he does genuinely love her. Alas! ;)
I liked the subtle detail where Feanaro does not eat bread in the palace but stuffs himself with bread at Mahtan's house. Very clever.
It would be harder for Nerdanel to supress her feelings for him now that he is so close and obviously (except for her) likes her a lot. The line about the blanket sharing was a classic!
Author's Response: Yes, his dislike of Queen Indis really goes that far.
Yes, for some reason, he keeps on bothering her! And well, they may be Elves, but they're still teenagers... ;)
He can't seem to stay away from her and I enjoyed this chapter very much! Nerdanel's scene with her family was heart warming. The obvious jealousy of Feanor when she dances with another was funny too. At least he finally got to dance with her finally! Thanks for rewarding him at last.
Author's Response: Ironically, Feanor is entirely honest, while Nerdanel continues to think that he's just using her to endear himself to Mahtan.
You're very welcome! I was rewarding myself, too. This scene was so much fun to envision!
I think in a way, Feanaro's mention of the Teleri's ways did help Nerdanel for this part of her exam, and again that is very clever foreshadowing for what will happen to the Teleri in the hands of their offspring.
Enjoyed reading about the embrace of F&N and found myself wishing we could read about Feanor's POV too. :-)
Author's Response: It definitely helped to put her on the right track! And just between the two of us, I suspect that during one of those dinner table conversations with Alcaráco, Feanor must have talked about Telerin driftwood sculptures, too. That's where Alcaráco got the idea for such an obscure piece.
He's probably quite hopeful that she's finally letting him closer. To him, the whole "courting the daughter to be accepted by the master" excuse was only a front, so he's quite puzzled that Nerdanel really believes it! :)
Alcaraco will never forget this slight, It was a nice touch that Indis vouched for Nerdanel.
The speech of Feanaro in this chapter is like "rehearsal" for his fiery speech that enflamed the Noldor to avenge Finwe. Nerdanel's desire to "keep the peace of the Noldor" felt like a preview of how things will go when she chooses to remain in Valinor.
Author's Response: Yes, I'm afraid Alcaráco will hold that grudge forever. Indis feels very much responsible for the situation, and tries to help in her way. And yes, Feanor is definitely practicing his oratory skills here. :)
Was a little disappointed with how Finwe handled the contest results -- but then being placating egos is probably part of the reason why he became the king. Felt sorry for Nerdanel for being denied her victory, but at least Feanor is still her staunch ally.
The dialogue between F&N regarding the peace ofthe Noldor resting on her shoulders and that she should have shrugged them, felt like foreshadowing of what is to come in the future. Very well done.
Author's Response: On a personal level, it definitely is disappointing; on an official level, as you say, placating egos is part of his job. Personal feelings have to take the back seat when social peace is at risk. ;) Fortunately, Nerdanel understands that, so while she is disappointed, she knows where it's coming from.
Yes, Feanor is definitely showing a glimpse of what lies ahead here. I guess it also shows that it isn't just favouritism or court politics that later put him into such fierce competition with Fingolfin; while he's charming and brilliant and whatnot, he's also proving too rash and too much guided by personal feeling to be relied on for wise decisions. I mean, I love him to pieces, but I have to acknowledge that Fingolfin probably is the better choice of king! ;)
Master Alcaraco is clearly very threatened and serves him right. Nerdanel is holding up really well against the bully, enjoyed the scene with F&N strategizing.
Author's Response: The sad thing is that he really doesn't need to be, since it's not an official contest but just a "friendly" thing. Alcaráco just turns it into a big thing. So yes, definitely serves him right!
The mother-daughter scene was very satisfying to read, her mother is clearly astute but probably wants Nerdanel to figure it all out herself. The last line about the position of queen is quite "prophetic" as well.
Author's Response: Yes, more foreshadowing... and yes, Istarnie is probably reading their feelings for each other quite astutely, but she's wise enough to know that you'll never convince [the Elven equivalent of] a teenager by arguing.
This is one of my favorite chapters with the confrontation scene of F&N---"why" indeed would he do something beneath him just for her? Why would he bother to go out of his way just to explain himself to her? The prophecy about the 7 brats was also a very nice touch.
Author's Response: Some foreshadowing needs to happen, right? ;)
Her problem from this point onwards is, of course, that it all makes sense if she accepts the basic premise of "He's in love with me". But as long as she thinks that's impossible, nothing works out. It's going to be a rocky road until she realises that she's wrong about that... (muahahahah!)
I knew there was something behind the "perfect studio" assigned to Nerdanel. Too bad we do not get to read Feanaro's POV, he must have been so delighted with her reaction when he showed it to her.
Judging from Nerdanel's reaction to his "betrayal", I think she has fallen for him.
Author's Response: Heh, feel free to write this chapter from Feanor's POV! I agree that it would be a lot of fun to see that.
Her feelings at this point are really complicated, especially as she doesn't want to allow or admit half of them herself! But yes, part of her has definitely fallen for him by now.
Indecency indeed! I think this is such a subtly sexy scene! Loved Feanor's rebuttal to what she said.
Author's Response: Shocking, I know! I'm afraid both of them quite enjoy it, too - in spite of Nerdanel's dislike...
Alcaraco is quite the bully. Feanor's distant way of his half-siblings is quite quirky now, but they somehow give me a sense of foreboding of how he will interact with them in the future. I'm glad you decided to include Findis and Irime as well, it makes the narrative a lot more colorful.
The scene of F&N in the garden and how he seems to want her approval was so enjoyable, this should have given her somewhat of a clue, but she is blissfully still unaware. I like how you very subtly point out how compatible they are (example, Cuivienen for this chapter).
Author's Response: The more, the merrier! ;) And of course you're right, his (relatively?) harmless quirks will later turn out to be serious trouble.
I really like that you like that! I found it very important to show that they're not just mutually (eventually...) attractive on a superficial level, as in "he's a prince! and a great smith! and really pretty! and she's a great artist too!", but that they actually share a lot of dreams and ideas and opinions. :)
I really envy Wintillo very much, his job offers such lovely access to juicy scenes in the palace. Enjoyed the F&N sparring during dinner, he is so clearly flirting with her and she has no clue. He is so clearly protective of her in his own way, when he brought up the fox during the exchange with Alcaraco, Nerdanel and the King.
Author's Response: Yes, he really wants to do her some good turns. Sometimes she doesn't notice, and sometimes she resents it! Yes, Wintillo has access to all the juicy news. There have to be some perks to the job, or nobody would be doing it! ;)
Laughed out loud after reading the scene where Feanaro obviously observed her in the library, he clearly is not used to being ignored by the fairer sex and her disregard for him (among other things) is working better than a love potion,I think. Loved, loved,loved the scene where she tells him he might stay single forever--reminded me so much of Pride and Prejudice. His dislike of Indis is very evident and I found myself agreeing that the contest proposed by Indis is not quite sensible and puts Nerdanel at a certain disadvantage. Perhaps the Vanyar are not as competitive as the Noldor.
Author's Response: Heh - the working title as I began to write this actually was "Pride and Prejudice in Valinor". So this is definitely no coincidence.
I definitely think that the Vanyar are less competitive, or shall we say, less about individual achievement. And then, even Indis assumes that while Nerdanel may be a very talented apprentice, she's still a young apprentice, so of course she can't seriously endanger Alcaráco's victory...
Enjoyed this long chapter very much. So thrilled for Nerdanel, her talent being praised and recommended by Aule no less, plus more commendation from Yavanna! She is truly the perfect match for Feanor. Enjoyed the "intelligence" shared by Nolofinwe, Feanor definitely likes her a lot, but she seems determined to dislike him--manages to keep on his toes, in her own way. He seems to enjoy this very much too.
Author's Response: I definitely think that Nerdanel's resistance to Feanor's charms is part of what fascinates him, yes. :)
Your Nerdanel is so unaware of her great talent which makes me like her immensely. Enjoyed the scene with Master Carnildo. I think the maturity she showed in counselling her younger sister will come in handy someday when she has her own family.
Author's Response: Like most talented artists, she compares herself to her aspirations rather than to the average - so she tends to feel that she falls short. I'm really happy that you found her mature in this scene. I sometimes worry that I'm making her look too immature or too prone to err because she's supposed to be so wise! Then again, she's still basically a kid, so I think she's allowed to make mistakes. (Besides, the trouble with being thought wise is that you might end up too sure of your own opinions...) But I'm very glad if I managed to make her famous wisdom shine through on occasion! :)
Reading your descriptions of sculpting has me convinced that you are a sculptor or you have researched the craft very well. This is one of the reasons why I love your stories very much, they have so much depth. Enjoyed the father-daughter scene that concluded the chapter.
Author's Response: I have to disappoint you - I am not a sculptor! My only hands-on experiences with sculpting were some soapstone-cutting in grade 9, and some masonry while restoring our house! Everything else is cobbled together from holiday visits to museums and historical sites, and (when in doubt) Google. Glad that it looks convincing, though! (I used to dread these museum trips with my art-obsessed mom when I was a teen, but you never know when it comes in useful... ;))
Very glad you enjoy the interactions between Nerdanel and Mahtan, too. I found it very hard to find my way into the "grown-ups" of this story, so it's nice to know what works!
I have read this fic for years, and have loved it for years! I am so happy you took it again!
I love your Nerdanel. She is bright and clueless, charismatic and very humane as a character despite her impressive achievments. Your Fëanor is very cute as well (well, as cute as Fëanor can be), trying to woo the elf of his life with pretty much not subtelity... too bad Nerdanel doesn't understand yet (for them! For us it's funny).
Also Mahtan is the chillest father ever.
Author's Response: So happy you let me know! And so happy that you love my Nerdanel. I adore her a lot, but sometimes I worry that I'm making her either too smart or too clueless. (I also adore young Fëanor, and sometimes worry that he outshines Nerdanel, which I don't want because it's her story, not his...) Don't we all know the tragedy of teenage love? ;)
Yes, Mahtan is pretty chill. I picture him as immensely trusting, and as long as he trusts people, what does he need to worry about?
Well, Elves are supposed to have foresight, some of them, aren't they, although these don't seem to have all that much of it. But it is astonishing how easy it is to take a game like that more seriously than you planned to, even if it Yavanna is not involved.
I really liked that description of the sickle--and how Nerdanel reluctantly falls in love with it.
Author's Response: I don't know if you know the jelly baby oracle, but it seemed to hit the nail on the head more often than not when we played it! So yes, it's definitely too easy to take that kind of game too serious.
Oh, I'm glad! I'm in love with the idea of that sickle, too, but you never know whether it comes across the way I want to write it. Thank you! :)
Oh. Oh dear. Poor Nerdanel worrying about the wrong things. Well, not entirely the wrong things, I guess. But the absurd things Feanaro says will turn out to be the really dangerous ones. And her looks are not not a problem except to herself.
Anyway, good use of the charcoal and the sickle and the implications you draw out of all that!
Author's Response: Well, she may be wise, but she's still a teenager! ;)
Thank you! I did try to push in some foreshadowing in between all the lovestruck teenage stuff, and I'm glad it's noticeable. :)
Alone together in the woods? Potentially romantic! Or not--if Feanaro annoys Nerdanel too much with arguing and questions...
Author's Response: You're on to me! ;)
Lyra, I am enjoying this story so very much!! Your characterization is just delightful, and I love all of the Noldoring lore you have created to go along with your awesome tale. Can't wait for next chapter!
Author's Response: Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoy the details I made up (well, more like stitched together from various human cultures and time periods ;)). It's been so much fun to flesh out the environment of young Nerdanel! Of course, I'm thrilled that you like the characters, too!
„Nerdanel's the smartest, Nerdanel's the best!
Nerdanel's the greatest, she has passed the test!“
Adding my own congratulations to everyone else's!
Author's Response: Heh, thank you, I'm sure Nerdanel appreciates it!
Author's Response: Heh, thank you, I'm sure Nerdanel appreciates it!