I have to say, I really enjoyed the way you went back and forth between Loti listening to Eomer tell his story and actually being there and reliving his ordeal in the desert. I read your response to the last reviewer and I completely understand what you are saying. As a writer, we see everything clearly in our minds, but are we getting that across to the reader? I find I have a very difficult time with that. I've always been afraid of description. You want enough there to let the reader see what you see, but you also want them to make up their own mind sometimes. Then there are times when we're trying to be suspenseful and not give too much away. I think I'm far from finding the right balance. This is why I enjoy reading your story. Your descriptions are just right, at least for me. There is not too much that I have to break out a thesaurus to figure out what you're trying to say, yet I see very clearly what people or places look like in my mind (this especially goes for Eomer's body *wink*). I just find you absolutely wonderful and inspiring and I think that by reading your work, it will help me learn to do these things in the story I'm working on now. So on with the show and hopefully this gorgeous hunk of man will be on his feet soon.
Author's Response: Yes! I completely agree! That is why it is so important to have good reviewers like you and Crencestre! A good review will always make a writer think, be it praise or constructive critisism. Reading good writers in the genre in which you write is the most important thing you can do. You pick up different things from everyone and can learn from every thing you read. Diana Gabaldon writes romance different from Julie Garwood who's different from Nora Roberts who's different from Lynn Kurland. I want this story to feel real (like Diana Gabaldon does in the Outlander books) but I also don't want to dwell in the minutia. I am a firm believer too in exageration, as you'll see if you keep reading Outlander. It's part of the human condition. Look at art, especially sculpture... all exaggeration... interpretation of what the artist sees, not necassarily what is before him. I'm sure I'm blabbering on, so i'll just continue! I think in more primitive times having a mate was a matter of life and death, especially for a woman. She needed a man to protect her. But finding a mate who is your partner in all things and who you love unconditionally and who you would! die for is sort of what I want this story to be about. I'm sure none of this makes sense. I always look forward to what you have to say! Thanks again!
Eomund's son indeed. I'm really enjoying the gradual way that this story is playing out and that you aren't trying to cram in all of the back story, or show off the old canon research all at once. I wonder whether Eowyn's cameo in this chapter might develop into a bigger role in the immediate future: I'm looking forward to meeting your version soon and seeing if she's really the uptight harridan that Eomer describes her as, and how Loti reacts with the only other woman close to him. Loti, with her disfunctional mother and abused background, strikes me as someone who will not find it easy to form female friendships.
Again, some lovely imagery (flames licking hearts etc.) and a good dose of role reversal by playing doctors and nurses;) My only reservation would be why the Rohirrim have left it to her alone to look after their seriously ill King: easily resolved though.
I'm still curious as to how exactly these two novices at love are going to get their act together and how Loti will react to the realisation that her instinctive need to watch over and care for Eomer, caused her to forget the man she's been involved with and how he (presumably) deals with that additional guilt. Maybe the St John's Wort will help his depression too ;)
And finally, I never thought I'd see a Czech tongue twister (strc prst skvz krk) in Tolkein fanfiction: it was a memorable name for another fun supporting character. Looking forward to the next chapter.
Author's Response: Hello again and thanks for the review! I don't want to give to much of my idea of what I think Eowyn's personality might be like, but I think she would be very aggressive now that she's happy, and out of everyone else's shadow. Eomer is a everybody before me kind of guy, very selfless, and I thought that it would be clear that he orders the others taken care of before him, but Eothain puts her in charge of him. If this it NOT clear, and I get more similar feedback, I will make it clearer. When I started reading this I didn't realize it would be so difficult to walk the line between telling the reader everything and letting the reader intreprt things for themselves. I think the downside of making things seem very realistic is the reader starts to focus on that and looses track of the story. Myself, I am overly practical and have difficulty suspending my disbelief. (the reason why I have never watched the movie 10,000BC!)Unfortunately I can't address everything from everyone's point of view and still drive the story forward. I will be the first to admit, as a writer, you loose perspecitve, and don't always see the smaller details that might be important to the story which is why reviews and good reviewers like you! are sooo important! I've probably done a piss poor job of explaining!LOL! Thanks again! You have excellent insight!
I suspect it wasn't just Eomer's chest that lurched halfway through that chapter. I didn't see that coming! And nicely done with the link to the line in the previous chapter, so we're not quite sure how Eomer will react. Again, he's been depicted as someone who redeems himself just in time to save his honour (visting a whorehouse, but then 'saving' the whore). You've created such a complex character; one who earns the readers' respect (amongst other things;) but yet has failings that make his strengths all the more powerful. Lothiriel's character is a bit more subtle and I'm not sure that we've seen the full potential of the curious mixture of her emotional naivety and 'professional'expertise yet. It's not that she's wooden in earlier chapters, far from it, it's maybe that your Eomer is such a wonderful, powerful character?
Going back to this chapter, agian some wonderful imagery: the smell of river water in her hair, and your line about guilt and it's fangs was perfect. The stage is now set; he's admitted how much he wants her to himself, she's admitted to him how she feels. So what will finally get them together- I can't wait to find out!
(P.S. I noticed a distinct lack of typos in the last few chapters- thank you! And apologies for bailing on the last chapter- it was wonderful too)
Author's Response: Well, hello again! Good to here from you! It's definately not love between them, although there is respect. They have a very complicated relationship and I can't rush what what they have. This whole writing process is amazing! I'm super excited about the next few chapters! And when they do get together, I think it will be really romantic! I try with the misspelling, if only for your sake! LOL! I'm glad you're entertained and hope you will keep reading! Thanks again for such a thoughtful review!
Choke the chicken, indeed. She is so innocent here. I really like where you describe all the sights, sounds and smells that Loti experiences. It reminds us of her elven blood. It's nice to see that side of her personality. Another thing that is subtle but speaks volumes is the description of a simple deck of cards. Something that we take for granted anymore would have been a precious item in times like this. I like the conversations over the card playing too. It reminds me of my old band days, being the only girl and quietly sitting back listening to the guys as they talked about their latest 'accomplishments'. It was a very unique experience for me to be a part of that male bonding, no matter how vulgar they got. I imagine Loti feels the same, accepted. And what else can I say about Eomer and Loti's alone moment. He may be barbaric, even a pig at times, but he is also a gentleman, respectable. Still, he coped a feel but I expect him to. It was a very sexy description of his hand slipping into her shirt, cupping her in his hand. OMG, I needed to step outside into the cold air after that. Awesome stuff. I love your writing and think you could eventually do so much more than fan fiction someday. Oh and btw, never knew the horse thing ever really existed. For real? A horse? E gads!!
Author's Response: Oh! wow! Thanks so much!I think I'm blushing! You're always such a good reviewer and have well thought out insight! What can I say... Eomer's a man, and men are pigs! LOL but for some reason we can't resist them. E really is a good guy, but he's still a guy and he knows it. At least he doesn't suffer from false modesty. I really can't resist filling in the cracks of Eomer's life either! I'm really not sure where drunk at 6 came in. It just happened!
You mentioned you thought your first chapters were wooden. Not so. You should not change a thing. I feel I know Loti well. What a tragic life. You have accomplished your goal. This is very real. I feel all of her despair. I admire her ability to find a reason to keep going in the possibility of a love so strong it will change the world, as you say. You did a marvelous job with her mother. We are tempted to hate her. But I found I no longer could when I saw how much she wanted a better life, and love for her daughter, however misguided her effort.
There is so much I like here that I could not possibly mention it all without writing a review longer than your story.
I just have to say how well done the horrid scene with fat fingers was…then to find she was not alone, but one of many young victims.
Again, real. Exploitation of vulnerable young people happens every day from time immemorial, to the present day. It is hard to look at. That is why it is allowed to happen.
You can be very proud of your work. I am looking forward to more.
Author's Response: Wow! And Thanks! I'm extremely flattered!I believe all people, no matter how evil or what terrible things they might have done, have redeeming qualities. Some may be hard to find and you might have to do alot of looking but they are there. Sounds a little Pollyanna, but hey...You know, one thing I haaaate are rape fantasies, like pretty much anything Kathleen Woodiwiess has written. How falls in love with a man who does that?! I didn't want it to be anything erotic or sexually exciting. But I did want it to be cruel, like an end of innocence and maybe, like, they end of dreams or of "normal" life. I didn't want to dwell on it and I did want to be tasteful. I absolutely agree with your explaination of exploitation. Many turn a blind eye to it and say it's not my problem or what can I do about it? And yes exploitation and manipulation of those who are most vulnerable will always happen under those who desire absolute power. Dividing and separating those who are weakest will make them more compliant. On the other hand, exploitation and manipulation can work to the good too. A General or a King, like Eomer who is genuinely a good man, coerces and encourages an army of individuls into a single homogenious fighting unit to accomplishing something worthwhile. Like building a road or protecting his people. Maybe he does it through pay, or praise or intimidation, but he does it for the benefit of all. I hope this makes sense.. I'm a little tired! LOL Thanks for Reading and I hope you are entertained.
I can really feel for Eomer here. He has so much to deal with and so many depending upon him as King. It really was a role that he was thrown into overnight. But I could see no one else but Eomer being able to fill this role. A friend told me about a story of a soldier wracked by war, but for the kindness of one woman was he able to find himself again. All she did was be herself and he was comforted. I think Loti can be that one, eventually. No wonder men's lifespans were so short then. They were under a lot of stress. Maybe now he and Loti will start to come around. I'm anxious to see how their relationship will develop now. It seems they might be about to flip a new leaf.
Author's Response: Sometimes it is hard to write responses 'cause I don't wan to give too much away! War changes a man that's for sure. My mom said her dad was in the Pacific during WW2 and never ever talked about it. But Eomer has a lot of baggage too. You'd think that Loti would be the one who would be more or less depressed, given all that's happened to her, but Eomer knows what it's like to have a support system and a normal family enviroment with people who love him. So I think he would suffer more from the loss of everything and everyone he loves. And this assumption seems very realistic to me. He's sort of at a cross roads in his life. Maybe he's having a mid life crisis or a crisis of "faith" or just lost... I'll let the reader make those assuptions. As far as their relationship...it's... complicated. He wants her, that's certain, but also i hope what's obvious is that he isn't in love with her. Eomer is a good looking, powerful, single, rich man, and probably used to having women fall all over him. But he's also has honor and is a man of his word, and will not take advantage of her emtional state or of her proximity. Loti wants security and safety(all women have a securtiy gland!lol!), to love and be loved, but I don't think she's actually looking for it to happen right now, and certainly not with Eomer, who's a funloveing playboy in her mind. They are coming around but he's a hot head with emotional issues and she's headstrong and knows how to push his buttons. I really can't write this story fast enough, but I want to give it due care too! Thanks soooo much for your review as you are always insightful, observant and encouraging!!
You have come highly recommended by my friend L8bluemer. I like the intro to your story enough to read it in its own right w/o a recommendation. I am not a cannon purist and believe Elves swore and indulged their flesh as humans did. Thinking creatures with souls do not always choose the noblest or purest path. Stories that are real are stories we can relate to, stories that interest us. I am looking forward to joining your adventure. I joined the site simply to read and review. I do not believe in reading w/o a review. Saying nothing means you felt nothing. If I were an author I would rather have someone say they hated my character and give me a reason rather than say nothing.
Author's Response: Well hello and thank you for reading! I've probably addressed this in another review, but i'm not entirely happy with the first couple chapters and plan to rewrite them. I feel they are a little wooden. You're your own worse critic, eh? We are in agreement about human nature. I believe the cannon is there as an outline. It is what happened, but were there are gaps people will always ask what happened? The last thing i want to read in another E/L were she works in the house of healing or it's an arranged marriage or she's Eowyn lady in waiting and Eomer is some white knight. That is not interesting! And who's to say this story would be incorrect. You can ask two people to read the same story and they will both have different intrepretaions of it. Limiting yourself into these stereotypes makes for dreadfully dull characters and uninteresting plots.Too many are terribly myopic about cannon and charactarization. Dont' get boxed in! think outside the box! So many treat Middle earth as if it were a real place. If we're going to go with this idea, then let's go with it! Tolkien said it was an intreprtaion or a transalation, then why can't this be also? I'm telling a story. Men are men! Women are women!Of course they swear and curse and have histories and hang ups and are sexual beings! If they didn't no one would care about them! People are not logical. They are inherently illogical. I do sincerely appreciate all reviews! I too would have someone tell me what they didn't like or make suggestions as to improvements rather than say nothing at all. What I do hope is that you are entertained. Even when I'm writing something philosphical, or as philosphical as a cleaning lady from the rural boonies of Wisconsin can be, I still want it to be fun and interesting to read. Warning: I'm verbose and wordy. Sorry about that! LOL! Hope you will continue reading. thanks!
Can you believe it? I have finally caught up. Hope your holidays were good. You said once that you compared Rohan to the US. That comes through very well here. I've spent a lot of time thinking about characters but not about the different lands. I get it. Rohan is still a young country compared to the others, yet they are growing very quickly in strength. It makes perfect sense to me. Such a great comparison. And Eomer is very passionate about it too. I think I've fallen for him a little more with his comment about politicians. (lol) You have managed to make all of this seem like real life. There is some mystery too as to why the gunpowder is being transported. It's the story within a story that makes a great read as far as I'm concerned. Just to let you know, I tell everyone I meet about this story and hope some will eventually jump on board. They are missing out if they don't. You are a good author and storyteller. Keep it up. Now on to Minas Tirith.
Author's Response: Thanks as always for your supportive words! I plan to rewrite the first couple of chapters so it is smoother more storytelling-like read. I find the longer I write the smoother it becomes... Writer's evolution I suppose... Practice makes perfect. I would very much like to submit this for MEFA this year. I am finding though, this is a very complicated story to tell for a beginner! Maybe that's why I haven't given up on it yet! It is a challenge everyday! Cannonites might look down their nose at this idea that Rohan is similar to the United States, but in order for this story to differ from all the other boring same old same old stories about E and L I have to look outside the box. I really do see Rohan as a place that's almost wild west like too maybe. Very small towns, most rural, very spread out, people have to be self sufficent in order to survive and not rely on Edoras to take care of them. I thought about the whole politician thing too. He was a soldier, like his father before him and it probably wouldn't be and easy transition for him to assume the role of being a politico. I think he might have trouble adapting and conforming. There are still some adventures yet to be had but I think what happens in Minas Tirith will be exciting!! and an evolution of of their relationship. Next chapter is a relatively short one for me anyway... should be posted soon!
Sorry for delay. I think I am as frustrated as our young lovers appear: I want all of this story and I want it now! I sense that this chapter is a kind of starting platform for the plots that brings them together finally. I'm looking forward to the visit to Minas Tirith where L will have to face her brother's death as well as meet the other characters. Talking of characters, I love the way the story is peppered with little interludes of pyromaniac dwarves, camp elves and blond twins: they add real depth to the story. As does your sensory descriptions, especially smell and touch.
And I laughed at the snake symbolism. Roll on some more 'snake taming' ;)
Author's Response: Hello! Yes this was rather an important chapter. Got to see a little more of E's political beliefs. I am also excited for them to go to Minas Tirith!! I hope you will like what happens when they get there. This story has a cast of thousands! Like real life, some people are quirky. There is alot of tension between E and L. Eomer also has alot of problems. He's a jerk and an ass to Loti so she will stay away. But you'll eventually understand why he does what he does.
So many stories have the main characters meeting and falling in love at first site. But this is the way it should be. They are slowly getting to know each other. A trip to the market was the perfect way for them to spend some time together. Of course there is still much they don't know about each other. Lots happening in town; wheeling, dealing and almost stealing. What I wouldn't give to be rescued by Eomer. Loved the bartering scene. Reminded me of that show on TLC Pawn Stars. (lol) Eomer and Loti's relationship is developing wonderfully. I just love this story. You are truly gifted.
Author's Response: I should thank each reader individually for reading all 31000 words of that chapter! Unlike your characters of Leggy and Rhav, they've really only just met and they have no bond. What was Eomer before he was King, what did he do when he wasn't soldiering? He was a lord but he was most likely a farmer. Farmer equals businessman in my book. (I am from Wisconsin lol!) And most of the businessmen i know, myself included are very conservative with their money. He'd want to get the best deal possible. Eomer is generous to a fault, but he's also cheap. That cheapness is a part of his political philosphy too. how he runs Rohan and how and why he earns the name blessed... all will be explained! lol! Your reviews are always appreciated!!
So much going on and all of it so intense. I started reading this chapter this morning and couldn't stop until I got to the end. And they say women have a ticking life clock. I can see Eomer's struggle with the fact that he has no heir yet. I'm sure marriage came at an early age in ancient times and the King must look like he is getting pretty old by their standards. He is still holding out for something real and not just a baby maker. That is what seperates him from the rest. I just love your development of Eomer. He's not much for conversation but his heart is big. There are so many more great things to say but I don't want to go on too long. You know I love your writing and that's all I need to say about that.
Author's Response: Thank you for your words of encouragement, especially on a day when I am feeling insecure and overly critical. You know, I think everything I write is crap, and that is just not modesty. I've heard writers are inherently insecure... I'm rather inclined to believe it! lol I'm sure they would've gotten married young too. Sort of why I gave every body else wifes and lots of kids. But not E which is strange. But sort of makes sense. I belive Eomer is ambitious and driven. (Prob part of the reason why his uncle is so swayed by Grima when Grima tells suggests it.)Boromir was and I think that was part of the reason he was not married. Theodred, I'm not so sure about, but one could speculate its the same reason. They just don't have time for relationships. Possible reason for all of Eomer's one night stands, an unsual thing for a romance hero. I see the Rohirrim as an erotic culture where sex is considered important and not something taboo. They have a precarious existence so procreation would mean survival. These ideas of virgin brides are all christian idea. They ancient greeks and romans and egyptians didn't see things the same why. Their culture is so different from that of the "civilized" world of Gondor, etc, that i think there would be those who would see the Rohirrim as barbaric and thier views of sex wicked, or vular or primitive. The last thing I wanted was for Rohan to be some sort of Fairytale land. This is real life, sex is part of the human condition. Accept it and move on! LoL!!
I love how you made both of them so vulnerable at the same time, Loti by admitting her fear and Eomer for going against his beliefs of endangering a woman. I could feel layers of hatred and tension fall away. Great explanation of the reason the enemy wanted Eomer dead. It’s a great storyline and very real as you are so good at doing. I love that there is nothing ‘happily ever after’ about the start of the fourth age and Aragorn’s acceptance as the new king. Of course there are those who would have protested and disagreed especially in the line of Stewards. As time allows me, I am slowly catching up with your story and enjoying every word of it. I have recommended you to others, especially my elf loving friends. It is a story that should not be overlooked.
Author's Response: Thanks alot! It's nice to read such nice things when feeling a bit insecure! I enjoyed imagining what politics after the WOTR might be like! I sort of molded the Haradrim after the scottish clans since it seemed reasonable after what Tolkien wrote about them. Why people think everyone flew kites of peace and pinwheels of hope after Aragorn takes over is beyond me. powerful men crave power. who would want to give that up? Isn't that what makes Boromir sympathetic? Aragorn just shows up one day and everybody goes 'yeah! everything is great!'? I see Rohan as the opposite of that. Not bureaucratic at all, and extremely stable and well positioned in the world. Rohan, to me, at the end of the war strongly resembles America's role in the world.(Some will get really pissed when I say that). Strong and stable gov, military, leadership. Seriously, who's gonna want to mess with them after 6000 of them took on, like 25000? This is just my interpretation. I also believe Eomer's roles as Lord and Marshal are extremely important, and vastly understated, to his view of the world, what kind of King he is and what beliefs he has. I wanted it to be alot different than the rest! It may be boring to some but the sub plot has a direct effect on the romanctic storyline. I am verbose... It may take a while to get through the other chapters... sorry!
Stunning! I love this story so much :)
I really like how complex (and realistic) you've made Eomer and how he's been fleshed out in this chapter. I particularly like the way that you use his armour and sword to help represent his emotional state. I loved Elfhelm and how his character makes Eomer's youth apparent and less 'all powerful King'.There was also a little glimpse of a rather amoral Imrahil, again an older man who seems capable of influencing Eomer. I'm now wondering what will happen between the two of them when the truth comes out.
You describe beautifully not just the intensity of falling in love, but you also really get across the fragility and uncertainty of the whole thing from the characters' point of view and how much both of them will have to risk (no easy thing when the outcome is known). And gods, it's hot!
Since you asked, and only since you asked, I only have a few, very small, criticisms. Unless it crops up in the next chapter, I wasn't entirely convinced by the attack on Loti. The attack itself and Eomer's reaction to her scream was really well written, easpecially his sense of dread, but the aftermath (coffee and shopping) seemed to be superficial. Maybe they wanted to forget, dunno. The only other thing is typos/spelling: in writing at such a high standard, they are distracting (I'm a sad grammar nazi, I know, sorry).
Looking forward to another chapter soon.
Author's Response: Thanks for such a well thought out and positive review. Why a man like Imrahil is seen as a puritan is beyond me. He's a man and flawed just like any other. Even in the cannon every character has some sort of flaw or weakness. I think men just see things differently than women and morality is can only be defined by the character. I do appreciate the criticism. It is a lesson in humility. lol! Ususally I post here first and then on Fanficton.net, so it tends to be a little rougher on here. I'm not really too concerned about punctuation or spelling (although I don't disagree it is important)Since ultimately I want to write romance, I'm more concerned about pacing, conflict character and plot development. That's what an editor is for right?! :-o I'm purposely holding back alot about Eomer's emotions and his reasons for treating Loti the way he does. In all of that thirty thousand word chapter,I did give one hint as to his key motivation. (why he buys her stuff, and humors her sometimes). But I also don't think that's for Eomer to tell you, you will find out from someone else close to him...I am glad that you are pleased and entertained, which is ultimately the what i hope you will be. This is my first attempt at writing anything so you will have to bear with me!
I don't what to say. I am left speechless. Awesome chapter. The tension is magnificent. This is the best Eomer ever written. Makes me want to abandon my elf obsession... almost. What a man! Loti pushes him hard and he almost gives in but always remembers his beliefs. Hot stuff here. Excuse me while I take a cold shower. hehe
Author's Response: He's such a sleaze bag sometimes. But why not? He's twenty nine and single. One of the rules of romance writing is the hero and heroine never sleep with anybody else except each other. But why? In this case, he has lived his own life the way he's wanted to for years, so why would meeting the heroine stop him from being what his is and doing what he's always done. Character have their own histories and issues just like anyone else. and i think when they finally get together that will make the change in him and her trust in him more powerful. Fuck Prince Charming, I prefer barbarians.
This chapter was one of the hottest I've read in a while. The sexual tension between these two makes the pulse race. Love the bits of humor thrown into the mix as they spit insults back and forth. And then you bring us back to despair as Loti remembers her family and her how she ended up where she is now. You are truly talented and are going into my favorites category. I just can't say enough. Thanks for this.
Author's Response: Wow! Thanks for such a nice and well thought out review! It is appreciated. I think the first few chapters could be rewritten at some point. But, I think only with perspective do you realize that things could be presented better. It took me a few chapters to really understand these two.
Loved the exchange between them as she hid ready to fire her bow. Laughed when she told him he hit like a girl. I feel her pain and her frightfulness for what might happen to her. Loti is one of the strongest leading ladies I have read. Love that about her. Eomer will definitely be her match in that way. Great chemistry already.
Hi Duchess. I have just started reading this and I'm only on the second chpt. But I just had to say that I am completely enthralled with this story. What an awful life she has had thus far. Already I'm yearning for Eomer to come and sweep her off her feet. I'm sure it won't be that simple though and look forward to reading more. Great writing. Very descriptive and poetic rhythm. I've got some catching up to do but just wanted to let you know what a great job you are doing and that I am hooked. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Author's Response: Thanks for the nice words and review! I have a tendacy to be verbose, but hopefully that makes it seem more realistic.
The dynamics of Eomer and Loti's relationship changes to the point of no return; indeed, no turning back. But I like the fact, that before the last scene, is the thawing of Eomer and Loti's heart. It just shows you that no matter what or where your station is in life, the rules of attraction and chemistry, does not know any boundaries. When it strikes, it strikes hard. I love the details of your story; you take the time to develop each character's turning of change of heart. Never a dull moment. Pleassseee continue, and much thanks.
Author's Response: Thanks for such a clear well thought review!! I agree sometime you don't know why you're attracted to some people, and sometimes it's people who you might not even consider getting to know! Romance, love, sex, attraction... it's all just part of the human condition.