Such a simple, lovely chapter. It makes a great contrast with the earlier episode of Eomer taking Lothiriel for a wash, showing how much they've grown together and how intimate their relationship has become (in some ways). There was a hint that Eomer might be starting to see her in a different light. And all that imagery and symbolism with a naked couple and snake...
I'm wondering whether we will see a truly heroic side to Eomer: so far Lothiriel has saved him from a snake twice and saved him from his own fool hardiness once. I feel that the scales may need tipping to him and some of his strengths played up soon. Your last paragraph is a tad worrying for Lothiriel. I hope they enjoy their party...
I loved the description of their clothes (such a beautiful couple), particularly Eomer's- they felt very authentic. Lothiriel's initial outfit hadn't entirely convinced me. but I can see this one (and her dress) being very eastern ME. It's funny that it's only now that she realises he's very rich, as she's never really seen him 'in public' openly playing the King. She certainly looks the part of his consort but I wonder how it really makes her, the whore's bastard daughter, feel.
And finally apologies for late review-not a lot of wi-fi in the Highlands ;)
Author's Response: Thanks! I always love hearing from you. You always give good reviews that make me think! The only lame cliche i avoided in this chapter was dropping the soap. I'm thinking the whole three maids in a tub theme will come back again! I'm starting to think E has a death wish on top of being bull headed and stubborn. He doesn't think before he acts. He's a man of great passion and that passion possible clouds his judgement. Eomer needs to be saved from himself sometimes. He'll save her (or think he's saving her)! I wanted her dress to be very cosmopolitan. Something that would offend Eomer's sensiblities. She's a spy, but she's still a woman. Half the fun of writing is just making stuff up, the other half is comeing up with ideas from dresses! I thought alot about E and his wealth. I don't want to give anything away but Eowyn will reveal how wealthy he really is. Are you in the Scottish Highlands?
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!
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.
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!
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!
In the best possible sense, you are extremely frustrating, you know. Such a long, long wait and then you leave us dangling on *your* little finger with that ending!
More seriously, I have read many, many romances where the male gets wounded; the female nurses him back to health and they fall in love( usually in a few thousand words). But what I haven't read before is the nitty gritty of what and how that could happen. The detail of their emotions at anyone time, and how complex that makes the bigger picture is so well observed that it becomes believable and 'real'. I also like that Loti has been the focus for the last few chapters- she's starting to match Eomer's character in complexity and charisma. What a perfect pair, and I suspect Eothain might be starting to think the same thing, which should be interesting if he meddles with such thrawn characters as those two.
I wonder how Eomer is going to react when he's recovered- will he revert back to his shell of pride, jumbling up his new awareness of her with the shameful weakness of illness that he'll want to forget. And the million dollar question: he wants her, he needs her but does he yet love her (yeah I know Meatloaf said it better)?
I'm curious to see where we go from here though- are you going to diffuse things and let the sub plots take centre stage and rebuild the main story arc (their romance) to peak near the end, or are you going to get them together and keep up the level of excitement by other means. I'm curious and very excited.
Author's Response: Wow! I'm really lucky to have such excellent reviewers! And in my defense, I do have to keep you wanting to read right?! LOL Oddly enough, I just finished a book like that, where he gets shot and she helps nurse him back to health and it brings them closer together. But...yeah...I get what you mean... the sort of cheesy predictablity, the cardboard blandness of characters and plot. Eomer is a complex guy but very easy to write. He's alot like me, hotheaded, explosive, unpredictable, emotionally uncommunicative. Does he want her? yes, she's a challenge and he wants to get her in bed. Does he need her? I think he needs someone like her. Does he love her? No. Not yet, anyway. All I can say about Eothain is no one knows Eomer better, not even his sister. The story will continue beyond the time they get together! Thanks again!
Loved Eomund! That little touch of almost Flashman-like humour stopped him from being too worthy and much more rounded and realistic.Very clever and subtle.
It was a breather chapter, one I found very useful to make clear exactly where Eomer's head is and set the pieces in their places for the next round: shall Eomer even consider putting her in danger; how will he feel about her using her 'talents' to get what he needs? I look forward to finding out.
I'd also like to say that I've only just realised how clever your setting is: there's very little distraction in terms of other characters or even buildings. I'm really curious about how you tackle Minas Tirith later( if you do). It's so rare in fan fiction for potential of complex places to be exploited, to really add atmosphere and depth to a story like an extra central character. Finally, thank you for the reccy for Outlander-verra enjoyable ;)
Author's Response: I do get alot of inspiration from Diana Gabaldon. I like how epic or sweeping her stories are, among other things. Her stories are always filled with hundreds of unique interesting characters. I could only hope to be a good a writer as she is. I'm in love with Jamie and that Roger Mackenzie!! Later in the story I'm going to tell how Eomund and Theodwyn got together. Just a quick little story but fun I hope. This chapter was acutally a fun one to write dispite some of the philosophical ramblings. I think setting the scene in Minas Tirith will be fun! It seems like such a cosmopolitan and diverse place. So much happens there, it's such a layered city, pun intended! It's the center of commerce, gov, culture, history, and learning. I am going to have to play with the canon only slightly. When coming up with this idea, I envisioned what happens there before knowing specific dates. But considering I've been using Biblical quotes and no one has said anything, maybe no one else will care. Thanks for your review! I always look forward to them!!
Sorry it's taken so long but, for what they're worth, here are my thoughts.
You have a wonderful wonderful way of describing how the two main characters interact and move together physically. Not just the obvious but simple touches like describing the texture of his hand against her silk dress. As for 'the obvious' you manage to describe in sensual detail what's happening but as much in an emotional way as physical. It's not all 'he put that there, and then she moved this there'. There's always a point and there's always feeling in this story- it's sexy but not gratuitious.
There were obvious important plot markers: methinks that ring will turn up again; the bounty on Loti; and I do wonder if we'll (or better Eomer) will meet Fat Fingers...I can't wait to find out and whether the suggestion of love to Eomer might actually make him consider the matter...As usual our two main characters were wonderful and complex.
There were a few tiny things that didn't sit entirely right: I wasn't convinced by the time passed in last few paragraphs- if they've heard footsteps,but have time to fire and douse the papers and escape into a darkened corridor.
My only other surprise was the house itself- it felt very like a classical Western house/chateau type building with balconied rooms, grand stairs and corridors, big windows, but I had expected something more Eastern (or maybe Al din is aping the Gondorians- some background to flesh him out beyond the 'baddie' was happening in the early paragraphs- more would be great. (I'm sorry for being geeky- I rather liked the sound of some of those Al Din library books;)
But I loved it as usual and can't wait for the next chapter.
Author's Response: Seriously, you are a really really good reader!You were the only reveiewer to mention the design of his house! And yes, it is done on purpose, as was the fact that Izz al Din speaks Westron and was educated in Gondor. Now, before I say this, let me preface this with the fact that I am an American... Ever notice these Mid East dictators and these leaders of these thug terrorist organizations always like western or American stuff. Movies, TV, music, clothes. Saddam Hussein collected (very tacky) western art. (I mean like literally, that weird stuff that looks like its from the 80's with tigers and junk.) (Oh, do you get NCIS over there? There was an episode like that. They find an American educated terrorist by tracking his Caf-Pow shipments. My fav episode!) Anyway, they love Western stuff, but then they rail against Western culture and ideals. Also, the oppulence of the place is done on purpose too. Why is it that left wing radical nut jobs always live in oppulence while those they claim as 'their people' always end up living in squawler. (Note: Kim Jong Il and his love for congac. Like $17,000/ bottle congac while is his countrymen starve.) Autocratic dictators always seem to have a severe dislike for the wealthy, too. Probably because that wealth is a threat. They have options and means and cannot be controled as easily as those who are poor, uneducated (and unarmed). Eomer is everything Izz al Din hates. Powerful, wealthy, bright, enlightened, charismatic. Now, E and L are real people to me. They tell me what they want to say and do. I think E may already love L, but not in that passionate, soul mates kind of way. He deeply respects her and values her as a person. But respect is an odd form of love. You cracked me up saying 'he put that there, and then she moved this there'! LOL! I just can't seem to work in "He sailed his ship up her river". The most fun part of this entire chapter was writing the names of all those books! As always, I appreciate your reviews and any bits of critique you throw at me!