My favorite parts:
"They are strange elves, all elves can be a bit queer sometimes, but these two are more hasty then is normal for an elf. It's their human blood I've always said. Now don't fret over it anymore.”
"Bilbo was giving Elrond's adviser a strange look,"- Oh snap! You know braiding hair is like 2nd base for an elf ;)
And then after the jokes comes the assault. Gah, didn't see that twist :( Good of her to take charge of the situation at the end.
Awww.. how I love a teasing Legolas. Why does Jaden still think she is in love with Estel when we all can see she is only infatuated with him.
Infatuation and love are two different things. Erestor is a bit infatuated with her as well.
Author's Response: She does need a eye opener, that's for sure! Hum... I guess Erestor is a bit infatuated, but how can he not be? She helps him forget some of his troubles, though lets hope he likes her for more then just that :)
This is a very good story. I like how you put in the things of prejudice in our world and included Middle Earth with it. I often wondered about that, how they would deal with the different colors of the skin beyond their own. I am not black but come from a family of American Indians, Mexican Americans and black American in my family. I have seen enough in my lifetime. But anyway I like how you addressed it in Middle Earth. I hope you continue this. This is very very good and want to read more. Thanks.
Author's Response: I am happy to hear you have been enjoying the story :) I saw you're writing a story about a non-white OC. It's good to see there are more of those out there. I hope you keep reading!
I suggest a Beta and I would like to commend you for making Jaden very mature. The issue of racism is a thorny one and I am glad that Jaden is not racist herself (racism goes both ways). She is willing to see people for who they are and not by preconceived notions based on gender, skin color or social status.
I have read the story a bit further than what it is on this website.. and I am itching for more. :)
Author's Response: OH you've discovered the rest of my story! Exiting! Don't worry, I am still writing, and should have ch 13 up this week! I am re-reading and doing some editing to the chapters before I post them here, I didn't realize how much I'd forgotten from my own story! I know I probably should get a Beta. To be honest I am a little scared. I am not terribly good at grammar and formatting, so I am afraid a Beta will tear my story apart :( I can also be quite lazy, and have trouble rewriting. But I know I should suck up my insecurity's and look for one! Thanks for the review!
Nice to have a bit of a back-story on the hostility of Legolas to Jaden - and so refreshing that Jaden is actually *not* all Silhouette romance over him, but rather over Aragorn.
I like her maturity in deciding to be polite to him rather than huffy and rude, that is, I think, how an adult would behave.
Just one thing. It's Noldor, not Nolder. Noldo (singular) Noldorin, etc.
I'll send you a message about the italics, but please look in your spam folder, as messages from here always go into my spam.
Author's Response: I am faltered you find Jaden mature, that's what I was aiming for. Even though she's only 19, she hasn't had an easily life. Thanks so much for the e-mail! I've gone back and fixed the chapters, and in future they sould be less confusing with her thoughts italicized. I changed it to Noldor too, kind of embarrassing to mess that one up, oh well :)
This is great:
-“Baby sitter?” He asked “I do not understand your meaning. I do not sit on baby's.”
-and her shouting to Aragorn how she's NOT a southerner.
-loved her getting excited that she was going to 'shock' Estel by saying all that stuff about him and he was super composed. I TOTALLY would have done that too
I would say, and I think it may have been mentioned, but could you specifically mark it when she's thinking in italics or something? Having it all look the same throws me off when reading. Also, it may be helpful to break some of the longer paragraphs up.
Hmm... Is this true? Should legolas have black hair? I get so confused trying to follow the family trees of the elves.
Author's Response: I think it's really up to you. Tolkien never actually said what color his hair was. I like dark hair better, and given the amount of blond Legolas's I thought a change would be good. However, he could have just as easily had silver hair. Legolas's father was a Sindar elf and they usually had silver or black hair. Legolas's mother is unknown, so whether she was a wood elf or a Sindar is unknown. I am glad to see you are still reading :)
Oh, I just want to say, I don't think you are wrongly portraying the Elves as being suspicious of Jaden. I meant Tolkien was, in my view, wrong to push every-one who was not *white* into the *evil* camp.
I am not sure if you mean to have any-one in Imladris who was actually present at the Nirnaeth Arnoediad (Glorfindel was, the Gondolindrim were some of the very few who got out of that battle) but yes, Tolkien said that Morgoth would not have won if it had not been for the treachery of the Men of the East - the 'Swarthy Men'. That battle was such a terrible one that it's entirely possible that there were very few Elves left, after the death of the sons of Fëanor) who even knew that some of the Eastern Men had remained loyal. However, I would like to think Maedhros and Maglor might have said something to Elrond and Elros, and that it would have been remembered. It would be sad to think was not.
I also liked how you wove in Aragorn's earlier travels to the Harad into the conversation he had with Jaden. I am sure he would have seen the Haradhan culture more at a grass-roots level and found honor, love, and normal fears and courage among them.
Good luck and happy writing!
Author's Response: Oh, that makes me happy to hear we agree on the elves :) I like your idea that Maedhros and Maglor would tell Elrond and Elros about the loyal 'swarthy men.' I have wanted to portray Elrond was being more sympathetic to her, and that ties right in. Elrond has always struck me as a pretty open minded elf, because of his mixed bloods, and unconventional upbringing. I think, despite the son's of Feanor's other faults, they were more accepting of mortals, both dwarven and human, and it makes sence for them to pass on their open mindedness to Elrond and Elros. Thanks again for your comments!
This is a very interesting idea, and much more thought-provoking than the usual Girl-falls-into-Middle-earth.
I like to explore the other regions of Middle-earth in my stories, and although I work on the premise that many of the people of the Harad and Rhun had the misfortune to come under Morgoth's dominion in the First Age, that to paint them all as evil 'Men of the Darkness' is just too sweeping. Also, Bór and his sons who went into Maedhros and Maglor's service renounced Morgoth and were faithful, and I hope that is not forgotten by the Elves in your work.
I also like that you do not *angelize* the Elves. Jaden's first encounter with them showed them to be very *human* in their reactions and prejudices. Tolkien stated that Elves were human, and his Silmarillion Elves certainly acted *very* human and so I love it when authors write them with a human dimension - although not as Mortals, since I think the mind-set of a person who lived so long would be utterly different to a Mortals.
I don't think any-one has attempted writing of a black/asian etc person as a main protagonist in a Middle-earth story. I always see Arda as a place of exotic, rich and fascinating cultures stretching from the far south to the distant east as well as the north, and it's good to see how some-one of a different skin-color to the norm in the north would be treated, given the agelong prejudices.
I would suggest putting Jaden's thoughts in italics like I better not faint, she thought distractedly. Oh my God, this can't really be happening, though...
as it makes it stand out better. There are also a few words you should read over, like hand jesters is gesture - it's there turn their turn. Just a few, which are easily fixed; you can edit online, I am always picking with mine.
Author's Response: Thank you for taking the time to read my story, and reviewing :) I admit I had forgotten about Bor, and it's good to know there were at least a few good portrayals of dark skinned human's in Middle Earth. I will have to think about how this will affect my elves reactions to Jaden. Elves have long memories, and are slow to forget past kindnesses rendered, as well as evil done to them. Perhaps I have been to general with their immediate mistrust of her as a human with dark skin. However, I also think the elves would be slow to forget the fact that many humans, both light and dark fought on the side of Morgoth, as well as Sauron in past wars. I see that I will have to give it further thought. I don't want to misrepresent elves, but as you said they are not perfect beings, and can make mistakes, which is something I'd like to explore later on in the story. Thank you for your helpful hints on grammar and spelling, I will make the changes :) I hope you will continue reading. I really appreciate your comments.
I really like this; I am very interested to see this story develop further. I like writing my girls with different backgrounds and I am pleased to see a mixed race girl in a fiction. I am very interested as I have friends from Nigeria and Ghanna and the description of tribal life fits very well.
Author's Response: I am happy to hear you are enjoying the story. I have been reading your 'Broken' story. I really liked the fact that your OC was from a mixed background, I just wish there were more of them out there :) I am thrilled you find my description of Kenyan accurate. I love Kenya, and hope I am able to give it justice in this story. I hope you will continue reading, and enjoying :)
Oh, I'm so happy to see this here too! Now I can leave a review. I'm enjoying this story a great deal. I would recommend, maybe, a beta. There are some wrong word choices. I need to know if you're going to be nice to Erestor? Please? Keep up the great work.
Author's Response: I am glade you're enjoying it! I'll think about a beta too, I know grammar and word choice isn't my strength. Don't worry, I am a huge Erestor fan too, I'll be supper nice to him :)
I hate to see the elves as assholes but I enjoy Jaden's reflections on the topic of whiteness. Intruiging. Please continue.
Author's Response: I love elves, and hate seeing them in a bad light too, but they're not perfect either. I think they can be subject to all the faults of human's, just on rarer occurrences. I am glad you are enjoying the story so far, and I hope you'll keep reading.
I like what you have so far and I am ReALLY excited to see you explore racial identity and prejudice in Middle-Earth. I'm writing a story (A Vampire Slayer in Middle Earth) where the protag is Latina and i struggled to figure out how or if that should be addressed regarding how the elves and rangers would treat her. I got so caught up with other things I didn't incorporate those thoughts into my story so I am interested to see how you handle it. Nice to have some background on Kenya too.
Author's Response: I'll have to check out your story. I've always thought there weren't enough non-white OC's out there. I have always wished Tolkien could have made at least ONE of his good character's black, but he was a product of his time I guess.