I've got to say, this is about the best story I've read so far on here. Your writing is spectacular; the grammar is perfect; the paragraphs are musical and smooth, and flow together nicely. I also adore your plot and the way you've written it out so far. Few people, myself included, have the patience to think a story out to this extent, and even less patience to write it chapter by chapter with no rush. You seem like a professional to me, in my opinion. Overall, I absolutely love the story, and feel myself attached to your characters. Every time I see that a new chapter has been added, I feel so excited! So thank you, so much, for taking the time to write such a wonderful story.
(And sorry this isn't really constructive or pertaining to the certain chapter! I just had to let you know how much I love the story... perhaps I'll go back and review more chapters now.) :)
Author's Response: Thank you so much for such a nice review. This is what makes writing worth while, hearing from readers like yourself. I am very glad you are enjoying the story. As far as thinking out a whole tale, I can't claim that I do that either, but as the story progresses I see a path and follow it. The characters pretty much tell me what they want and so I listen. So anyways, enjoy the rest and again thanks for the supportive review. You've made my day. ;-)
Good solid chapter. I liked some of the descriptive phrases you used. Too bad about the girl in green. You're really good at writing that bittersweet stuff.
Author's Response: Thanks. Yea, the girl was very tempted, but in the end she knew it would only bring harm to her and the others and I think she feels that she's done enough of that already.
You have a very bad timing updating your story, do you know that? I am jet-lagged, it is the middle of the night and you have another chapter up I can't leave until I slept. Yes, you may call me obsessed.
Anyway, they made a good step towards victory and I quite agree, this is what they live for. As for the slave, I hope that woman was right and it is the one they need. I have a feeling about the slave. I guess I will soon find out about him.
And now I am going to bed, good night!
Author's Response: Oh, you made me laugh Leia. Sorry about the . . . update? lol My, you're a bit testy when you don't get any sleep. Hopefully you've caught up by now. I'm trying to update a little faster than before (more than once a week) since my writing is so far out from my posts and I don't want it to take forever to get the entire story up. Anyways, yes, Fer and Orth seem to work best under pressure and they make quite a team. Get some rest now and, btw, thanks for being a loyal reader/reviewer. I really appreciate it, Leia.
So much excitement in a single chapter. It seems that Fer can kepp himself in check sometimes. Didn't think that. And I thank you that you spared the butterfly. I liked the end very much. The brothers being there for each other and always in the last moment. It seems Orth found out everything Feredir wanted to know AND rescued his brother while he was imprisoned.
Fer was there first but Orth achieved everything and saved the day. But what is a good story without s little suspense?
Author's Response: This is kind of a defining moment for Fer. It took something drastic for him to realize that he is not invincible. The butterfly is somewhat symbolic here. It too can be destroyed, like Fer, like Terr. And yes Orth gets the spotlight here. Fer is very lucky.
Wow! You did an awesome job of building suspense here! I totally thought there was going to be a Black Jack Randall moment in here! lol I like seeing Fer's more fierce human side. It's that part of him that makes his character come to life. The whole tatoo thing at the end here with his father was heartbreaking. I was under the impression he'd never met his father, but maybe you were keeping that a big secret.
Author's Response: LOL, oh goodness, I could never do that to Feredir, though it was a close call. Orth has good timing. Feredir likes to think of himself as an elf, but when he needs to, he channels the man. The story of the tatto and his father was kind of left out on purpose, but in an upcoming chapter he will have a chance to tell the back story.
Cool! Two posts so close together! I think you're doing a good job of showing how bad/depressing/hopeless it is for Terrwyn. It's all dark and dank and musty smelling down there. The part where Horphen is the outside observer in the hall was good. And I'm happy to see Tal back! I wonder if he'll play any other role here again or not?
You portray Erkenbrand as very hard handed, and I don't think that's entirely out of line. He's in a tought spot and got big shoes to fill, keep law and order. He can't waver an inch from his duty or he might be seen as weak or wishy washy. I don't think his attitude toward Horphen, Terrwyn or Tal is cruel although one on rooting for Terrwyn might see it that way. he's charged with keeping law and order. He's got to see it done, but done in a way that will satisfy his own honor, the dead man and his family's honor, Terrwyn's honor, even Eomer's honor. He's no longer just a soldier, but now a politian, walking that fine line between doing what's right and pleasing the public.
The only thing I might quibble about is the part where you say peple come from miles around to see the execution. They are not cruel people, as a culture, so I'm not exactly sure they would find pleasure in watching someone be executed. (This is over simplifing it, I know, but I'll spare you my rambling) If this were France or England, definately! But, here again, we go back to story logic. You've set this world up from the begining saying this is what would happen if she were brought to trial. If you always showed the Rohirrim as soft and fuzzy and the men like milk toast, then taking the story down this path would make no sense. And what the heck, your story, your world, your interpretaion, your characters! Plus, it adds tension and the unknown to the story.
Does this chapter possibly link up with the very first chapter? If so, that's awesome!
Once again, I think this chapter is a good example of a character's greatest strength also being his/her greatest weakness. That whole mortality/immortality thing is such a deep and difficult topic to touch on. There's so much to say about it because it's all emotion and feeling. no Logic to it at all.
Author's Response: It's been a while since I mentioned Taldred and I knew he'd have to be involved somehow. I also wanted to give him a chance to let the reader know what has happened to him since we last heard from him. Life is good for the young Rohirrim. Glad you liked Erkenbrand. I'm really out of my comfort zone here so if he came across as you mentioned then I'm glad. That's how I wanted it to seem. As far as your questioning of the execution situation, well I needed it to be this way in order for the story to advance correctly. As you said, we all have our own interpretation. I'm also working in fourth age and trying to show things a little differently, how life might have changed some now that men are on their own and no longer under the thumb of evil. And I truly don't believe they were all this way, but some were. So there is a reason for my madness. You are absolutely spot on about this chapter being a direct link with the opening of the story. When she is dreaming of Fer and wakes up alone and desolate, this is that moment. I'm so glad you saw that and I hope others make the connection.
Well, I am very busy at the moment but I will leave a short review before I completely forget it.
I liked it that you brought Taldred in once again. And I loved the insight into Feredir in the talk Horphen and Terrwyn have. But I also think they are right. He is out there being himself and they only have hope to keep them sane. I hope it is enough.
Author's Response: I really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule to leave a review. Things are getting a little hairy now. Fer's out there doing what he does best and Terr's true faith in him is being put to the test. I had to bring Taldred back. After all, he was there when it all started.
I knew it was a bad idea to go to Rhun alone. But this is Feredir we are talking about. Sometimes I think the concept of using common sense is alien to him. But then, love makes a fool of everyone ... I cannot wait to see how he will get out of there, alone or with the help of his brother...
Author's Response: Well, I guess Feredir is a fool cuz he's got it bad, lol. His patience is low and it just may come back to bite him. More on the way.
Loved it! Totally didn't see that coming with the girl in green. I never would have guessed that she was setting him up. I like too how you didn't give her a name, just called her the girl in green. It keeps in line with the whole sort of oppression/lack of identity/indivdualism thing.
I just took a class from the RWA abotu story logic. (Dont' ask me how you can be a writer and have trouble with story logic). But my point is, your characters, motivations, plots are always logically. There's always a reason why things are done, or things happen. Of course Fer doesn't think about the consequences of going into that tunnel. He's reckless by nature and desperate. If he suddenly starts acting timid, he better have a darn good reason. Even then, I'd think the story had jumped the shark. I guess some people like you just have a natural feel for story logic.
Seriously, though... this story is so great, I don't know how you're going to top it! lol
Author's Response: I had to laugh at what you said about Feredir behaving timidly. Not only would the story take an insane turn of direction, you'd probably think that I got hit in the head or something. The girl in green, unfortunately has no choice but to help set Fer up. She tried to warn him, but he's not listening. And as far as logic, I don't see how you can write without it. Everything happens for a reason is what I always say and that holds true when I write too. It drives me crazy when I'm going along and all of a sudden I start thinking, why the hell are they doing this? Where am I going with this? If I don't have an answer I know I'm going in the wrong direction and it's back to square one. So now the pressure is on huh Duchess? Haha!! Oh, there is always something brewing on the back burner of my brain. Don't know if it will top this, but hopefully it will be entertaining.
Do you have any idea how good this chapter really is? It's excellent.
One of the best things is the scene setting. Not just the physical place but the feel of oppression and fear.
I love the philoshy of the rights of the individuls and freedom vs tyranny (soft or hard). Autocrats come in all forms, although autocratic governments are the most likely to keep individuals poor uneducated and unarmed, virtual slaves, but any one individual who oppresses another individual's right, freedom or liberty is an autocrat by defintion.
It seems to me that you've thought alot about explotation and oppression. Sometimes people will do whatever it takes not to die. That whole survival instinct, I suppose.
It seemed that later in the afternoon there was going to be a rather long awaited auctioning of slaves. These were not just any slaves. These were men who were assimilated, long time servants who knew the rules. They came at a higher price, because they needed no training, unlike the young boys Feredir had seen on his way in. These were men who no longer remembered their former lives and were brainwashed into believing that this was the best life they could hope for now. They had survived all these years and would be loyal to their new masters. These were the men who were only a step away from gaining the trust of the Southrons. If they proved their worth, they would be treated well and perhaps given some authority over other household slaves or property.
is probably the smartest thing you've ever written. I loved it especially the assmiliation part. Oppression, fear of the autocrat and tyranny becomes a part of them. Keep them poor uneducated and unarmed lone enough and eventually, it becomes part of the culture. this assimilation, fear, mindless zombie metality, dear leader know what's best for me cycle is probably why it's hard to get revolutions going in places like North Korea.
On to more heaps of praise. This whole scene with Fer is fantastic. Where else would he go to get good gossip but the bar! Good Believeable dialouge, interesing characters acting in the way I expect them to act. There's so much tension and danger too!
The only thing I'm wondering is: Why does Fer come right out and ask for this one particular slave. Is it because he's reckless? I mean, I get that this dirt bag is greedy and isn't going to ask alot of questions cause he wants that money but he doesn't seem like a very trusting guy either. Fer is a stranger. Maybe it's not even relative to the story. Maybe this dirt bag is going to double cross fer. After all it is your story!lol. I also get that Fer isn't a trained spy. But that was the only thing that seemed... curious to me. Not that it's distracing from the story, just something I picked up on.
Oh and I liked this line too: “Perhaps she would not make such a good wife. Already she has a wandering eye.”
I'm still so excited for the next chapter!
Author's Response: Wow, thanks Duchess. This means a lot to me. This part of the story was difficult for me. Iíve never written like this before, at least the plot. Romance? No problem, but when you start getting into the Indiana Jones type stuff, itís sometimes a real brain teaser. There is a reason why I needed to show the oppression here. The constant question was, well why donít they just run away? I needed to show why that is not an option and in later chapters it will hopefully help solidify the reason. If you beat someone down long enough and tell them that they are worthless, eventually they start to believe that. And then you can dangle the carrot in front of them. They get their reward and suddenly you control their self-worth. After they are assimilated, their value increases. Itís all kind of a sick business. Anyways, I think you answered your own question about Fer. Yes, he is reckless. He kind of has no choice but to be this way. First of all, thatís just Fer, act first and deal with the rest later. But he is also thinking only of Terr at this point. Her life is on the line, a very thin line. He has no time to develop trust with the Southrons. Heís gotta get in and get out quickly. Heís thinking on his toes and hoping it will be enough. I would say asking for a specific slave is not common and would raise all kinds of suspicions, but then the bad guy is in a crooked business of his own. Thereís nothing you canít ask him for that he wonít find, as long as the price is right. So yes, Fer can ask him about a certain slave and pretend it is for his master. Iím sure word gets around about certain well trained servants and their value is just as high as material things. He who has the most and best toys wins. Still, Fer is acting out of desperation. Knowing that Terr is locked up in that horrid cell is breaking his heart every day that passes. The weight of the world is on his shoulders. Terrís life is in his hands. His arrogance pushes him to make these quick decisions. Although he has grown mentally, heís still young enough to think he is invincible, that he can get himself out of any situation. There are lessons to be learned though and I think Fer will come to realize that Ďrecklessí does not mean untouchable.
good chapter and is twas a very good idea to leave one of them with Terrwyn. So far I have to say I expected worse from Feredir, he seems to do quite well for the time being. But knowing him, he finds a way to ruin it. I think all the time if it was a good idea to trust that man who might get him the slave or not. He is good but he might rush things. We all nkow he does not really want to wait days but if that is what it takes...
Anyway I liked the chapter. Feredir was being Feredir and Orthorien was being Orthorien.
Author's Response: Hi Leia. I love that you are always first to leave a review. Thanks for that. Anyways, I think it was beneficial for one of the elves to stay with Terr. Things are really unstable right now. Feredir, of course just couldn't wait for the others. He's thinking only of Terr right now. Knowing that she is locked up and miserable is really tearing his heart from his chest, especially when he knows there is someone out there that could help fix her situation. I'll just say this though, he's lucky that Orthorien is not far behind.
So much emotion and passion in this chapter. Lightly philosophical and spirtiual with out being glaring. I think all humans, be they from our world or a fantasy world all have some sort of spiritual belief, some sort of life after death senerio. I was just thinking about this the other day, about writing fantasy. When you do, you need to know what your definition of Faerie is. What is humanity? What stories are common throughout humanity? Why are some stories or objects or ideas common to many cultures even though they are separated by mountains or oceans? Is it because those things are part of the human condition? That's why I think it's okay to include spirtuality in this story, not the mention this setting and I think it's okay to include quotes from Ruth, or say, the Song of Solomon. Not only are they beautiful, but they are so very human. I think maybe alot of canonites might not think it's okay, since there really isn't a lot of spitituality in the books. But then again, in the LOTR world, you don't need a whole lot of "faith" when you know something to be true.
Much to my embarrassment, I got a little misty eyed here at then end when she gives him the butterfly. What can I say. It was lovely and so heartfelt. a lot of passion. My heart ached. Now I know why it's called Journey of a Butterfly, for more than one reason. So smart. That's a good writer!
Isn't it interesting how two people interpret things?! Your interpretation of the Rohirrim is much more...classical, while mine is barbarous civility. I totally agree that the inhabitants would be curious, especially about strangers. Isolated as they are, they would probably love gossip and be very hospitable. I don't think, ingeneral, the Rohirrim would be openly hostile, but a mother facing what she thinks is her son's killer is exempt from that rule, so I have no objection to her reaction. It's totally natural plus it further's the story line.
There's actually alot going on in this chapter even though it's not that long. So much unknown and so much worry from everybody involved including the reader!
I soooo want to knw what's going to happen! I can't believe i'm gonna have to wait a week to find out more!
Author's Response: You're getting all philosophical on me when I'm coming off of a sinus infection. I had to read your review a few times before it got through the mucus. I think there is a common understanding among most people of a greater power, spirit, god or whatever it might be that we believe in. A lot of the time, simply 'hope' seems to keep people of Middle-earth believing in their cause, keeping the faith I guess you could say. When Terr gives Fer the butterfly, I felt she was passing the torch in a way. Her chances now are very slim. Fer will go on and he will keep her alive through his memories. The butterfly is all she has left that proves she existed. Is she giving up hope? No, but she has accepted the possibility that these may be her last days. As far as Rohan goes, I think there was a lot of "barbarous civility" as you say. They lived in a harsh enviroment with little education. I love that about them. It has really shaped them as a rough and tough people. But the citizens I'm portraying here are not the norm for Rohirric society. The mother and father are hurt over the death of their son, unable to accept anything they may hear about his cruel intentions. They are out for blood, Terr's blood and they will recruit anyone that agrees with them. They want revenge. It won't bring back their son, but it will make them feel better to see her suffer. I hope I've made sense as I'm struggling to answer through the fog in my head. Really bad for trying to write too. My muses have left me for fear of catching my cold, lol.
This stubborn, stubborn elf. Terrwyn is right, he cannot do this. He is good at what he does but the risk is just too high. He would do better to wait. I think I will wait to see what twist will await him.
At least Erkenbrand allowed some delay and I hope Eomer takes his time in coming back so he cannot overrule this.
Author's Response: Feredir is falling back into his old ways here, act first and deal with others later. Of course, he makes this decision after Terrwyn is behind bars. He'll find out the hard way about patience. Luckily, Orth and Horphen are on their way. Erkenbrand will hold off as long as he can, but it will be difficult.
I'm excited to see what happens in Rohan and in Rhun and what becomes of O and Fer's mother.
The scene there in the woods was very telling about Fer. He's sort of matured. Putting down roots, making a life for himself, a future, no longer living as a nomad, so to speak. It shows how far he's come and tying it into what Terr said to him a while back shows us how she and his relationship with her has changed him. He's become a man, a real man, because of her. If only all men were this easily swayed. lol
Loved that one or two sentence love scene you've got there. It's tender and beautiful. Love scenes don't always have to be 25000 word diatribes. Sometimes the fewer words the better...subtlety. You can still write eroticly and sensually, convey emotion and conflict and do it one sentence. Sometimes, a scene can be so intimate between two character, you don't want to invade their privacy. they are after all real people, and you don't always want them exposed. Less said the better at those times. It's not about titilation but connection. Well, I don't know how you feel about it, but that's how I feel about Eomer and Loti sometimes...
As a spy, when you're working an op, unless you want to get dead in some remote wilderness a thousand miles from civilization, you need to be able to trust the members of your team, be as close to them as they are to you. Your very life depends on them (I've watched one too many episodes of Burn Notice). So, it's very shrewd of Glandur to send Orthorien and Horphen off with Feredir.
I'm sure you're learning, as I am, these mystery/spy/suspense/thriller/political intrigue stories are not easy to write. They need to be very carefully crafted, but once they take on a life of their own, they just blow up. I wouldn't mind seeing you write another romantic/mystery. You're like the Nora Roberts of LOTR fanfiction!
Author's Response: Yes, I too thought it was time for Fer to grow up and embrace all that makes him who he is. I really do agree with you about love scenes. Some of the best ones I've read have been short with just enough info to draw a picture. Not every love scene needs to be a chapter worth of explanations, though sometimes it's fun to write, but exhausting. We've seen Terr and Fer's first time and some other milestones. To me, the sexiest thing is describing the brush of a hand or the touch of a kiss. You wrote in a review once, "the rest is all just in and out." That has stuck with me. I think to take my writing to the next notch I need to tone things down while still getting my point across. Still, at times I just can't help myself. It's a turn on to write the explicit stuff, I just don't want to do it all the time, every chapter. Boy, you're right about writing a mystery thriller rollercoaster of a story. It really takes a lot of preplanning when doing this. It's hard challenging stuff. It's easy to back yourself into a corner and sucks when you have to go back and rewrite a few chapters so things work out the way they should, but I really enjoy doing it. I think I may have found my niche. And wow what a compliment coming from you. Thanks for following, giving advice and encouragement. It's most appreciated. And, btw, I'm a big fan of Burn Notice (Shall I shoot them?) Love her. Have you ever watched Leverage? Another one of my favs.
All those memories got to me. Romantic =)
I actually had to laugh a bit when I found out who is going to be Terrwyn's escort beside Feredir. I think could become very interesting. I am especially interested in the mission Orthorien and Horphen will carry out.
Author's Response: Lots more to come Leia. Things are not going to be so easy. Glandur knew what he was doing when he chose Orth and Horphen. Feredir needs strong companions who know him well in order to pull this off.
I simply love it! And I love how you introduced Glandur's lover as the elf that started it all. :) This Chapter made me cry (In a good way)
Author's Response: So glad you are still enjoying this. Yes, Antien really started this story while I was still writing Taming the Wild. He's always got his nose in things, lol.
This is without a doubt my favorite chapter. I just love Antien and Glandur and think it is about time Glandur got up the nerve to show some public affection to that lovely spouse of his. I am so proud of Antien for ending the fight in the way he did. I thought I would choke on my coffee when poor Terrwyn said the line about serving under Glandur. I bet if Antien said anything smart Glandur would have stomped on his foot with those big black leather boots that I am sure are part of the officer's uniform.The second set of eyes may see the error in the 4th paragraph from the bottom.
Thank you for this absolutely charming story! It is a delight and so are you.
Author's Response: Yep, I found it and changed it. Thanks . . . I know you just adore Antien and Glandur. It was so much fun putting Antien in an authoritive role. He's taking this bar owner thing seriously. And really, Fer and Orth needed someone to set them straight.
It's nice that Terr finally got to meet the elf that gave her the butterfly. When you started writing this did you know it was antien or did it just come to you later?
The whole O/Feona thing I didn't see coming.
Terr is clearly a very endearing person for so many to want to help her and be near to her.
Just wanted to mention, and now I can't find the sentence, once the word waist was mentioned but i think you meant waste. Damn homonyms! your stuff is always so clean I just wanted to point it out to you. When you write so many words it's bound to happen occasionally! lol
Author's Response: You know, it never fails. I have two sets of eyes looking over these chapters and still some things get past us . . . So here's the story with Terr and the elf. When I was writing Taming the Wild and Antien was entertaining the pair of children at Helm's Deep, I started getting a flicker of an idea. As I got closer to finishing Taming, I was thinking more and more about a connecting story, but one that could hold its own. So I knew long before writing the first word for Journey that Antien would be that elf. I guess you could say that he started the whole thing . . . Orth and Feona make a very steamy couple, though what they have is just a fling. I actually wrote something rather explicit for them , but it will not be a part of this story. If I decide to write for Feona, I will likely include it then. I'll just say this, I think Orth met his sexual equal with Feona. They're both a couple of horndogs, lol.