To be honest, I think you should be proud of the job you've done here with this character. I don't usually want to throw something when I read a story, and I really have a couple times here. It's definitely memorable, and I think you're doing fantastically.
Author's Response: Thank you Mel. That really means a lot coming from you and I really appreciate it. I am proud of this one. At times it's seemed like a real challenge for me, but I am definitely happy with where it's been and better yet, where it's going.
A well deserved rest in the arms of a friend…
LOL “And you will definitely never have IT in you.”
That was a very tender talk Antien and Rhav had after some brilliant comic relief. It had to make her feel a little better. Yes she and Legolas are different. They compliment each other. Antien knows that. And as many times as I’ve read this, this is the first time I’ve noticed that Antien tells her other people can see her love for Legolas emanating from her. What a wonderful thought!
Oh and I can just picture Antien’s wicked smile. I swear Glandur is a lucky Elf. (I envy him.)
“Most of your Lorien warriors are going back to their home to honor the fallen. Glandur leads most of his troops back to Mirkwood, though a few have agreed to stay and follow the King of Rohan as a sign of good faith.”
“Rhavaniel couldn’t help but notice how Legolas called Lorien her warriors. Did he no longer think of her as kin of Mirkwood?”
“I will go where I am needed most.” she said looking deep into Legolas’ eyes. Having him so close to her again stirred up many old feelings of love and need, a longing for the days of their youth. Too long had she followed the path of the warriors without a break. If he asked her, she would go with him just to feel close to him again. Her pride kept her from telling him this though. “And you, where will you go? Will you now go back to Mirkwood with the rest?”
This exchange between Legolas and Rhav is a back and forth between trust and insecurity, longing and self protection for them both. But it can plainly be seen that they are both beginning to let their guard down. I think that just mentioning the infidelity they both indulged in broke the strained, icy wall that stood between them. You pack this with so many emotions and have us wondering until the end if, as Legolas ponders, there is any real hope for them. I think everyone is glad to see that there is. Antien’s assessment is right as always.
And finally , Antien and Glandur. They really intrigue me and you have invented a memorable pair here. I am more interested in them as individuals in a relationship than I am in graphic slash, because you have made these two real. It is like our own friends and neighbors who happen to be gay. We need not pry into their private moments, just as they are not interested in ours.
It really tickles me that Glandur is so shy he would blush at Rhav’s gentle tease. Antien and Glandur are wonderful Characters and I would love to see a one shot, or maybe several chapters of their daily life. Do they bicker? Who likes to cook? Is Antien as chatty as I imagine him to be, and Glandur as quiet? I could speculate all day!
Author's Response: I just love your enlightening reviews. Poor Rhav has just been through so much. There had to be a point of relief from it all and Antien made it easy. Glandur will be thankful later. *wink* I'm also glad you see the change in Rhav and Legolas. They definitely have a connection that cannot be ignored no matter how hard they try. In a way, I think this seperation and having them on two totally different tasks was good for them or it will be soon. They've both done a lot of growing and it will only make them stronger along with their feelings for each other. As for Antien and Glandur, I have a short piece I'm working on for them about how they met. I will post it and there will be no details of their private life. As you said, what they do behind closed doors is their own business. Still, there are lots of adventures and comic situations that could be written for them. They are just a fun loving couple when they're not at war with Mordor. They could be M.E.'s first situation comedy LOL. Hey, why not? The war's over. Sauron's dead. The ring is destroyed. Life goes on and these two could make things very interesting. I like the way you think aur. Again, thank you for the wonderful review.
Again twisting your wonderful tale in ways I don't expect. I'm anxious to see where you go next.
Author's Response: I try to write my stories the way a drunk person walks, never in a straight line, LOL. So glad you are still with me and enjoying.
I have tried to finish this review no less than four times today but get interrupted each time. In my first review I failed to say that Legolas, as much as she may love him, is a complication in her life at the moment. Lovers often are. In this state of confusion steady Antien, her platonic friend, is one man she can turn to that will not play havoc with her emotions. He is the nonjudgmental friend we would all be lucky to have. I happen to be lucky enough to have a dear Antien in my life. That unconditional support and love is a balm to the soul and can definitely change a life for the better.
Author's Response: Having an Antien in your life is truly a blessing that not all experience. I have mine and am thankful every day. Rhav is also lucky to have the real Antien. She might be a mess without him or more of a mess than she already is. Glad you finally got to finish your review.
Crap! that was funny! I wish I would have thought of it. A very nice intimate moment with Rhav and Leggy. More admissions and confessions! So much uncertainty still with them even thought it's still clear they both love each other. And they admit it too, it's just so hard for them when they're pulled in two totally different directions. Kind of like real couples they're still dwelling on things that happened in the past. Not quite like holding a grudge, but you know what I mean. maybe more like resentment. This chapter makes me ask alot of questions. What did Galadriel tell Leggy? What is in thier futures both as a couple and as individuals? Where is she going to go next?
Author's Response: Thanks Duchess. I hoped that would come across as entertaining. And yes, I understand your meaning. Leggi and Rhav regret what they did, but it's out there, it happened and either they get past it or move on. And with everything else happeneing they don't have time to argue or completely make up. I believe all your questions will be answered in the next chapter. More adventures on the way.
Well after the last chapter I'd already prepared myself for this one, but it was still tough to get through. I think one of your other reviewers made the point about Rhav contrasting personality very well. She is utterly ruthless in a battle situation but when it comes to the emotional side of her life she's just like the rest of us! I like the reaction she had when Haldir told her he loved her, a "don't you dare tell me that now" moment when she is already trying to deal with the loss that's coming and the guilt. Well done.
Author's Response: Thank you so very much. This wasn't the easiest thing to write and I'm glad it is done. It's been a little dark for a while now, but that is about to change. Antien will be a big help in bringing a little lightness back into things. Again, I am so happy Rhav is coming off as she is. She's a tough SOB at times but she has to know it's alright to let go too.
Wow! I got all choked up there when Haldir died! Even I was suprised! It's interesting how Leggy shows up just when she needs him the most. I feel for Rhav here. It's like sh's lost a part of herself or who she is, a part of her that Leggy never really understood. I'm sure she feels sort of lost or like no one understands her now. REmember when we were talking about how in order for characters to be believeable women have to act like women? Rhav is tough, badass, stubborn, but she's still female! Her distress over haldir's death constrasts starkly with her blood lust. Hard-soft. Woman-warrior. Strength-weakness. Lover-fighter. She's incongruous and that's what makes her so compelling. Felt bad for leggy too. she goes to Antien instead of him.
Author's Response: I do remember that conversation and I hoped to show her softer side here, but without completely getting away from who she normally is. This will prove to be another turning point in her life. She will need to realize that she cannot be all balls to the wall every minute. And I didn't want her to go to Legolas here, breaking the rules again maybe. At this point, they still care about each other but they are not together. The only real comfort and safety she could indure right now is that of her best friend. I am so glad this chapter came across for you the way it did.
A well named chapter. An excellent author takes a reader through a gamete of emotions. And once more you prove yourself to be excellent here because that is exactly what you do for us. You show us life in both joy and despair. You have handled a difficult scene perfectly. You let us see a bit of the souls of all your characters here. This includes the lovably gruff Gimli. He is really just a softy isn’t he? I love your Gimli. He is so concerned about Legolas and wants to protect him. That’s the way Gimli, just bash your rival in the head with an ax and drag the woman away by the hair. Legolas is right, wouldn’t work for an elf.
Legolas respect for life touches me. He has a deep and loving soul. No wonder his friends love him, and Rhaviniel does too. The exchange between Legolas and Rhav is bitter sweet. I sometimes wonder how many more disappointments Legolas can take. Still, Rhav has her two men on the battle field and has kissed them both. A warrior she is, but also an elfmaid after my heart. How could a girl help but want both for their own unique beauty?
She feels Haldir’s pleasure, and unfortunately his pain. The slow motion run to him as he falls is so nightmare-ish. She knows she’s never going to make it.
Legolas still has an elvish connection with his one true love. He can go to her, but can he help her? Or will this simply be another heart break for him as he sees a noble warrior’s life end and his Rhav grieve over the loss of one she loved?
This is a hard scene for all involved. This is war.
Go gently into that good night Haldir
Author's Response: These next couple chapters will prove to be a tough thing for all. War is not pretty and sometimes those we care about will perish. But life goes on and Rhav knows that more than anyone. Glad you like Gimli. He comes along just when you need a little reprieve from all the seriousness. Rhav was connected to Haldir more than she thought. And I thought the one thing she would feel more than his pleasure was his pain. That's what the warrior bond is about, unfortunately. But Legolas is still deep within her heart and that will never change no matter how close or far apart they are.
Uh oh! How will Hal's impending death effect Rhav? I like how you wrote Gimli. You definately have him down. Surly, and grumpy with a dry sense of humor. You're characters are consistently consistent in their personalities and actions. Your stories are about one thing. Romanace. Which is, really, the reason people want to read it. You don't spend alot of time dwelling on things that aren't directly relevent to the story. Your excellent sense of pacing comes into play here. I hate to see Haldir written out of the story as he adds an interesting twist and conflict to the leggy/Rhav relationship, but you've gotta do what you've gotta do. It'll be interesting to see what happens now!
Author's Response: I just love Gimli. He is one of those no fooling around, tell it like it is guys. I guess I don't spend a lot of time with other parts of the story because... well, we all know the story. These are just the filler spots and of course romance is what appeals to me. It was difficult for me to write this Haldir part but it had to happen. Still, Legolas is maturing and things will pick back up after a while. I'm very excited about some future chapters. *rubs hands together and laughs evily* Thank you for all you kind words and your wonderful support. I always look forward to hearing from you.
The emotions were higher in this chapter than the previous. At least Rhav and Legolas reconciled a bit, that is good, and none too soon now that Haldir is severely injured/dead. Now she has him to fall back on for support, and Antien as well hopefully.
Author's Response: Antien will prove to be a major avenue of support in an upcoming chapter. And now we'll start to get away from some of the darkness and back into the light. I assume you made it back so welcome home.
You have written this so beautifully that it is less painful than I expected it to be. Maybe because I can see a point to Haldir's demise unlike the film!
I took you up on your recommendation from my previous review, in my opinion you can never be "too friendly" with the Elf.
Author's Response: I appreciate this coming from you. I know you weren't looking forward to it and I'm glad it came across like it did. Also thanks for reading my other story. Every woman should be some elf's wine wench at least once. Hey a girl can dream. LOL
“Well, I for one am not ready to sail anytime soon. I have lived my whole life with evil at my doorstep. I do not want to live like this anymore. Although I crave the kill, it is not something I want to do for the rest of my existence here. I wish to know peace before I sail to Valinor, if that is in my future. I would die defending those who have a future. To war I say, for peace and freedom.”
I think this might be the sentiment of many woodelves. They seem to have suffered more than any elvish realm at the hands of the enemy. I see them as more willing to stay in middle earth and I like to think some still dwell in Ithilien.
Love love love antien. He’s not asking directions. What a gem he is. I am going to steal him away from Glandur!
Later when you describe Rhav searching for Legolas and the hobbits, I love the very descriptive short line, “he followed her line of sight.” It is little tid bits like that that make your writing great. You could have said he looked in the same direction and it would have done, but the words are so well chosen.
“a whisper seemed to brush across her mind. Rhavaniel listened for it again but it was gone. The ghostly contact remained behind and she knew who it was the spoke.” This is another masterful description…a cluster of gems, true beauty, volumes in a sentence about how elves connect with each other and their environment.
Again over all Haldir shows his tender thinking side here. It was not all lust and evil self gratification for either of them. They have feelings for each other.
Every being in that fortress knows this moment could be their last. Very good job showing that. The elves know Mandos could be on the other side of the wall for them. It seems they have all come to terms with that. Better to die than to live as slaves for both men and elves.
Bravo Dear! More, more , more!
Author's Response: You are a never ending source of encouragment aur. When I write, sometimes I'm not paying attention to the words, but more the plot and flow. So for you to point out these things really makes me kind of wake up and see what I have done. I also have to agree with what you say about woodelves. I think this long suffering may also have something to do with their elusiveness and mystery. And Antien... I like to think of him like this. He is not really gay, he just plays one in fan fiction. Hehe. He's become one of my favorites and I hope to give him the spotlight in a little side piece. But for now, Rhav is holding me hostage until I finish her story. She is constantly peeking over my shoulder and giving me that woodelf glare. I know better than to mess with her. Thank you so much my friend. Your words mean the world to me.
Personally I think your Haldir is charming. OK he can be a bit overbearing and conveniently handy when battle lust is involved. But he obviously has put aside his personal feelings and needs to do what is best for Rhav. What elleth wouldn’t appreciate that?
I love the line “I knew you have this anomaly, but even more I know that I do not.”
Legolas is a prince here, maturing and becoming wise. Thranduil has raised him right and he is his father’s son. He did the right thing, but how sad that he releases Rhav from his love. I know both of their hearts have to be breaking. But this is what war does. When we know the day may be our last we get honest and cut to the chase. Even the immortal Elves have to live like mortals here and in a way I am glad to see them gain an understanding of us. We are a flash of fire, a meteor, they are the stars in a constellation
Hurray! The Mirkwood warriors must be an awesome site to see. Antien is so proud of his true love. And It will be good for Rhav to have the company of her friends, especially Antien. She’ll tell him everything eventually.
Oh, setting Rhav free! That would be the best way for him to get her attention, that is make her snap to alertness when it comes to their relationship.
Author's Response: One thing about Haldir, he seems to have stirred up some heavy emotions. He can be hard and tough at times, but compassionate when he needs to be. He really does love Rhav but knows she will never return those feelings. If the warrior bond is all they ever have, he will settle and suffer silently. But then again, if a busty wine wench offers herself up, he wouldn't pass up the opportunity. LOL I love your comparison of humans and elves, a very clever and poetic way of putting it and very true. It is nice to see them on a human level when faced with uncertain death and I think they grow to have a better understanding of humans because of it. And of course, when everything seems to be at its lowest, Antien saves the day. She really needs him now, maybe more than anyone else.
oh boy, so complicated. both letting gaurds down pre-battle. and seeing legolas again. but I love Antien and am glad for his presence. he is definitely Rhav's conscience. I hope he doesn't get killed.
Author's Response: I can safely tell you that Antien will be fine. I could never hurt that sweet elf. He's become special to me. Still, the next chapter won't be pretty. It was not the easiest to write either, but necessary. It's definitely another turning point for everyone. And btw, you are in my prayers for a safe return home.
Ha, I like the way she thinks Haldir is complicated! Pot calling kettle there. I think I shall read the next chapter by peering at it through my fingers and shouting "he's behind you" at Haldir.
Author's Response: You think that's bad? Try typing while peering through your fingers. LOL Your review made me laugh. I know you see what's coming and believe me it wasn't an easy thing to write either, but it is a first for me. If it will make you feel any better, I suggest reading Behind the Mask. It is very Haldir friendly, actually a little too friendly (if you know what I mean) *wink* Thanks again for the review.
Oh, boy! Throwing a movie-verse curve in there kinda twists things up doesn't it! I think I can kinda see where you're going though...I like how you contrast Rhav's bloody side with her tender side. It's a very hard thing to do. To make her both sweet and sympathetic and brutal.
Author's Response: Sometimes movie verse comes in handy, gets you out of a pinch. I think Rhav is trying to move on here and being in the throws of battle helps some. It's like a Jekyll/Hyde syndrome. Blood and sweat draws out this lust she has for Haldir, but when she's not fighting she thinks of Legolas. Eventually something's gotta give though.
oh, poor Rhavaniel... to be torn between Legolas and Haldir, and to have had Legolas treat her the way he did.
By the way, what is so amazingly fantastic about Haldir? I love him lol and it seems a lot of writers do as well! Why?
Author's Response: I think Haldir protrays himself as being arrogant and (as I like to call him) a bad boy and that in itself is a turn on. But in the actuality of my mind, behind that exterior is an elf that will do anything to please the one he loves (very much the way you show him). He can be deadly and dangerous one minute and in the next ravish you. At least that's how I see him. He makes a great specimen though doesn't he?
aw :) Legolas defending his bow! You have wonderful imagery when you write, and it's nice to read someone else's work who doesn't write about the elves like they're humans with pointy ears... meaning you give them the respect they deserve when you write :)
Author's Response: I'm glad to see you are enjoying the story. I try to make my elves seem as real to life as I can, feelings and such, while trying to stick to the way Tolkien saw them. It makes me happy to know it works for you. Thank you so much for your kind comments. It means a lot.
Well, it's all been laid out, hasn't it. Deception, betayal, unfaithfulness. Now that it's out and there are no more lies maybe they will be able to forgive each other sometime in the future. I was suprised it was Leggy who broke it off. But also nice to see that Haldir is actually a decent guy too... and not just interested in one thing...There's something about the way you end chapters that makes me want to read on right away!
Author's Response: It's been a difficult time that's for sure. I think Legolas needed to do it. Rhav is still trying to hang on to everything, but she can't. Legolas has done a lot of growing up especially on his journey. And this allows him to make the first move instead of tough girl Rhav. Haldir's also showing his true colors. He really does love her but won't admit it because of her feelings for Leggy. So he's there for her when she needs him to be and not always for a romp in the woods. He'll take it wherever and however he can just to be close to her. Thanks again Duchess. You always brighten my day.
It's hard to deal with the fear of the unknown all over again, because it's so much the tougher. It's a sign of maturity when two people can realize their differences and let go of each other, though you can feel the tension. I'm glad Antien made an appearance, I had a feeling he would. And Haldir is still so very smug it sickens me.
Author's Response: I think they need this seperation. As you said, they are maturing. To let go of someone you love dearly is one of the hardest choices someone can make. Imagine letting go of someone you have known your whole life. As for Haldir, well, he's an elf all of his own. Love him or hate him. lol