Ah, finally, the moment I've been waiting for. Nolwi is finally standing up to her ghosts. I can see her freedom just around the corner. A very good chapter indeed. It is so true to life, too. Silence is a killer, esp. between couples. I can see how deeply these two love each other. I want them to be free, to be happy. They are on the right path to recovery, and then hopefully they can live together in peace with themselves and in love with each other.
Very good dream-like chapter. I like your take on Mandos and the webs of time that are constantly weaving. I liked the mirrors that reflected their state of mind too. I feel the couples despair and I feel for them, hoping that they will resolve things soon. Great job.
First of all, the beginning of this chapter was great. I love seeing Arqueno and Lainanu bonding, bringing together two different races of elves and diminishing the prejudices. There was one sentence that stuck out at me and shows how talented you are. "Sometimes it is best not to think and dwell, but simply to react." I loved that line and I love Lainanu. His story is heartbreaking, but it does not seem to consume him. He is strong and I think Arqueno needs a friend like that right now. I also like the little smile Nolwi and Arqueno shared and the kisses he gave to wake her. It shows that there are still true feelings of love and hope for them. Now, my other fav of this chapter is your description of Mandos and Namo and Vaire. Wow, you did a wonderful job with that. Everything is so clear from the description of the hall to the Valar themselves. Love the description of her weaving Time. I could go on and on, but let me stop. I just can't believe how much your writing has changed since I first started reading your work. You are really taking off and it is so fun to see it happen. I know you are looking for a beta, but honestly, I don't see where you need one. Everything is so well thought out and there are little if no mistakes. Just keep doing what you're doing El P. This is your best work yet.
Author's Response: Thank you so much! I can't emphasize enough how much I appreciate your reviews and your support. This chapter has a personal meaning to me on many levels, and so I tried to emphasize the necessary points. Lainanu is indeed exactly what Arqueno needs now. The Laiquendu survived his terrible ordeal, proof that Arqueno can do the same. Nolwi and Arqueno are still very much in love, but unless their secrets are not revealed they will lose each other. As for Mandos and the Valar, that was the most difficult but rather satisfying part of this chapter. Death is often perceived as a horrible state, but there are lessons to be gleaned. Not that I'm saying death is a rainbow, but there are aspects of it that are not as harsh. And for the Elves, death is an altogether different avenue. I've not read any fanfictions where Mandos was described in any detail, so I had nothing to go by, only the few things Tolkien said about Mandos and the Valar I borrowed. I am really happy that my descriptions came to life. I can only hope my writing gets better with such a wonderful reader as you to support me. :)
I must admit, Lainanu has my full attention. I don't know how far you will take him into your story, but I really like his character. He has all those charming wood elf qualities that I just love. He is very perceptive too as he tries to make Nolwi and Arqueno see their differences. I can tell that these two love each other, but they are seperated by secrets and faults. I am already silently cheering for them to overcome this and just be with each other and have no more worries. Lainanu's story was heartwrenching, but he seemes to have come through it. This shows his ability to survive such tragedy instead of dwell on it. I have to tell you, your writing just keeps getting better. Your attention to detail has improved throughout this entire chapter and I cannot wait for more.
Author's Response: Lainanu just materialized out of nowhere. And I am in love with this Laiquendi as you are. If the Muses want, you can borrow him. He doesn't mind. Yes, he is quite perceptive. He sees what people hide, but he can't foretell or see some of the future as Galadriel does. His past was not a good one, but he had the courage to rise above the pain and do what he had to. Nolwi and Arqueno are fortunate that they have him. Their journey to light is about to begin. I hope I continue improving in my writing. Thanks for reading and reviewing.
I love your description of Olwe's palace. It's very clear and gave me a great vision of how it looked. I also loved the symbolism here when Nolwi gives Vanime's diary to Olwe. She is leaving her home. Her marriage is questionable right now, and the diary is the last thing she has. Now even that is no longer available to her. And the fact that she gave it to Olwe shows her willingness to step out of her comfort zone. I can already tell that this journey is going to change Nolwi and she might find that she is not the person she thinks she is.
Author's Response: Thanks, describing people, places, and things is not my strong point, so I am glad it was clear to you. There isn't much to go by in terms of architect, and knowing that the Teleri love everything Sea and swan related I tried to incorporate those elements. Yes the symbolism is very much like before; here Nolwi again must choose between staying as she is, or becoming stronger. Her marriage once more is very delicate. And she just gave up her daughter to an unknown fate. This journey is not going to be easy for everyone. More surprises ahead; thanks for your continued support :)
This is a side of your writing I have not seen before and I was pleasantly surprised. I liked the part where you said he needed to control her. That shows he is a strong lover. Beautiful love scene, but not just for the graphics (which were hot by the way), but for the emotions that went along with it. I feel for these two. I can see that they love each other, but their secrets are keeping them from being complete with one another. They need to go on this journey. They both need to deal with their pasts in order to move on. You've set things up nicely and now I can't wait to find out what happens when they get to Mandos' Hall.
Author's Response: Thanks. Nolwi and Arqueno refused me to write them in any other way; so I let my Muses have at it. I am glad you caught onto what I was trying to convey--their emotional needs. Arqueno's frustration made him do what he did, and Nolwi's resentment at her complete submission hurts her, but they are both realizing their need to be totally truthful with each other. Vanimë's death will be their key, the journey to Mandos their salvation. Yes, it is sex, but it was more than that. It is two wounded individuals trying to express themselves, but still holding back. Many surprises still along the way.
Oh how exciting. So many new routes have opened up in this chapter; Olwen's guilt over Vanime and her fear of traveling to Manwe. Is Vanime in Manwe. And Arqueno's painful realization of the sacrifice he made to have Olwen as his wife. This felt like settling down in my favorite big comfy chair and getting ready for another twisting adventure. Anxiously awaiting more. ; - )
Author's Response: Thank you, Moe. Again I let my Muses guide me; I am having fun with this style. I wanted to explore the effects of the Kin-slaying in Valinor, particularly how it pertains to Olwen and Arqueno. And it's Mandos that they are going to. Arqueno petitioned Manwë to get Olwen since the Telerin King Ingwë lived with that Vala. I am glad you are enjoying it already, and hope I won't disappoint. Again thanks for your warm review :)