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!
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.
"He stood and the stars crowned his head" What few words will do when you are in controle of them Zig. I read about one half of this chapter but had to stop in the middle to say I loved this. What an image it gives
I am in awe! You are wonderful.
Author's Response: (Blush) Nice of you to say so - but Anarithilen is really important in this, she has made me so much better than I was. But I liked that image too so thank you for picking it out.
Duchess is a woman after my own heart. I echo all her words. Frankly I love your het scene. Amazing! Very HOT. For those who have not read this yet, make sure you have plenty of ice close at hand. The one thing I do disagree with the good Duchess on is this. I do feel sorry for Rhav. She could hardly help her “mistakes”. Haldir always encourages her to the point no one could resist. I can feel her loss and conflict. She does not love Haldir in the same way she loves Legolas. If she had not seen him at the pond she may not have succumbed.
I love it when she says she loathes Haldir. Love is such a deep yet fragile emotion, that it can turn to hate easily of only momentarily. People w e do not care about cannot hurt us or make us angry.
And At the end when Rhav thinks of Antien…of course I feel for her when her heart breaks a second time.
If I could ever write half as well I would be thrilled. Congratulations on a superb piece of writing!!!!
Author's Response: Thank you for your support and kind words. I'm smiling ear to ear. It's amazing how different people view Rhav differently. I don't ask the reader to agree or disagree with her. That is up to them to decide how it moves them and that's part of the fun as an author. As far a Haldir, she doesn't love him and doesn't want him to love her either. Her biggest fear is to hear him tell her this. That would mean she has to face him and her own emotions. She has too much tied up in her love for Legolas at the moment. She doesn't want another complication. But her one constant is and will always be Antien. She misses him terribly and could really use his strong broad hansomely shoulder to cry on. Still, she has made this choice on her own and now faces the consequences of that decision. Time to put on her big girl panties and elf up. lol
You have really defined Rhav as an ambassador in her words and actions here. Her skill is evident as she pleads with the steward. I could think of no better word for him than deranged. Rhav in the prison cell is one of the best pieces of introspection and epiphany I have read. It is a really human (ok Elvish)moment. It takes a mature, strong individual to come to this kind of self realization, and more maturity to act on it to change.
I see Rhav’s story as less about a warrior and more about a young woman discovering herself. She lost her mom too soon. She struggles to please her father as well as herself. People need to remember that Elves, like humans, are born with an empty mind that needs to be filled with teaching and life experience in order for them to become the wise, placid beings they appear to be. One of the tasks of adolescence is to establish one’s own identity apart from parents, of course. The rebellious “I’m right no matter the issue” attitude is almost necessary to make this break. Imagine Rhav and Legolas 5000 years from this story. As much as they have changed, more change for the better is in store. I wish I had 5000 plus years to grow and learn!
Author's Response: I guess I haven't really shown Rhav as a mediator. She is much different from the warrioress. She is able to stay calm so as to resolve problems. And that was just another factor to her demise, another failure. So by the time she contemplated everything during her lockdown, it seemed like she was striped of everything. No matter how rebelious she thinks she is she finds out that it can all be taken away if she's not careful.
Rhav has a real problem. Morning after regret…very uncomfortable for anyone, but if it really is an uncontrollable passion she has a problem. She must be an outstanding warrioress if Rumil has never, in all his long long years, seen anyone fight as capably. No wonder the legendary battle lust has settled on her. Or more, I see this as a genetic thing. Your word anomaly was a perfect choice! It shows the physicality of the condition.
I can feel her deep agony over this. She has no alternative, yet feels responsible, a terrible place to be. I’ve been reading along. She has had to battle her inner self since the beginning. It’s a classic case of damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t from the very start.
You capture and convey the anguish so well. I can feel her inner strife nearly tear her apart. It’s who she is. She cannot run. I t makes me wonder if there are times in her innermost heart of hearts that she wishes she were just another elf maid? Gifts often come at a price to the gifted. The world does not see the cost, but only the beauty of the result. Rhav might be the envy of young Mirkwood girls, but would she encourage them to follow in her foot steps? Hard to say. I am sure her gift is both a blessing and a curse.
Very well done!
Author's Response: Thank you for this aur. I think the battle-lust came out so strong because this was her first real battle. She is on her own, not at home, given the chance to completely give into her warrioress. Neither she nor Haldir could have seen this coming. But they have connected and there is no turning back. It has thrown her for a loop. Legolas is still very much on her mind. There are some realizations she has not considered yet and right now she is confused. She is almost like a pioneer in that she has no example to go by. Would she encourage others to follow? Maybe not encourage but make them very aware of the difficulties and give her support to those who were determined enough. Hold nothing back is her motto. She was named Rhavaniel for a reason. Her wild spirit is very much a part of every choice she makes. No one can tame her, but she must learn to tame herself and that is part of her journey. Thank you so much for reading and the in depth review. It is very much appreciated.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
A chapter filled with intrigue! So many questions this brings up! How will each character fare? Every chapter leaves me waiting for the next very anxiously. I do hope everyone will make it thru alright. They each have so much to live for. All of your characters seem like old friends to me by now. I’m becoming very attached to all of them. Another beautiful job! I loved the scene with the pin belonging to Legolas’ mother. I can somehow imagine this is not unlike Thranduil, and most certainly like Legolas to leave a simple memento of love. No one better to trust than Antien with this treasure. I am enjoying this story so much. Keep up the good work!
Author's Response: Thanks aur. I know how much you like these characters, especially Antien. He really is like a comfortable pair of jeans. I'm glad you liked the brooch scene too. It really is the simplest things that have the most meaning. I love to think about Thranduil and how proud he is of his treasures, jewels and fine wines. But he is not blinded by this wealth and can still see the beauty in something very simple and basic. And so those are the qualities he made sure to pass on to his greatest treasure, his son.
“You are an elf are you not?” he said desperately.
I’m sure you did not mean for this to be funny, but this morning it struck me that way. What gave you that idea? The height? Fluid grace? Perfect athletic body? Elvish armor? Or the pointed ears? Answering this question alone without placing thumb and index linger to forehead shows she is developing patience.
“I feel as though you protect me in some way. Death would not dare cross my path while an elf stood by. I have always admired your kind and if this is to be my end, I would be honored to have you beside me as I leave this world.” he said weakly.
I love this segment. I think I might feel the same way. And it is a subtle way of showing that rhav is emanating an aura that includes gentleness as well as warrior prowess. I am proud of Rhav for coming to the young healer’s aid. And I like that Faramir basically says all elves talk in riddles.It’s a great scene between Rhav and Faramir. There is a little humor between them. It seems they connect right away.
Your portrayal of Aragorn makes me like him. Most I have read of him makes me feel neutral, and some make him so arrogant I wish Legolas could be King.
I wonder how Legolas has changed aside from the sea longing?
I cannot wait for the next chapter! This one gave me a great read on a Sunday morning with a cup of tea.
Author's Response: You know, you're right, I didn't see this as funny at the time. But I see this assistant as young, scared and extremely worried for such an important person who is on the brink of death. It's like he's been sent on his first mission and it couldn't be any more crucial. He's trying to be assertive and has picked the wrong elf to mess with. It's a good thing she's in the process of turning a new leaf or he would have needed a healer himself. I'm so glad you liked Aragorn. And I feel that Rhav will eventually become good friends with Faramir and Eowyn. Maybe that is something for a Part II of this story? Maybe...
How do you di it lovely? This is so very moving. Rhav's words of love and pleading with Legolas so very well done. This is a beautiful chapter, a great reward to the readers, and to Rhav and Legi too.
Author's Response: The rewards will get better too. Rhav has finally come to the realization that she cannot be so self absorbed anymore and that it is alright to admit she needs someone. It is not a weakness as she has always thought it to be. She is finally letting go but gaining so much in doing so. I am so glad you like it. Thank you again.
Another great chapter. Rhav and Legolas together at last(on the battle field). You thought of everything here. I enjoyed your take on the black gates, The destruction of Sauron, and the eagles rescue of Sam and Frodo. Now everyone can take a break before a new Kingdom is built. Enjoyed it as always!
Author's Response: I was pretty battled out by the time I got to this part. I'm glad it came across. And yes, they can all take some much deserved time off, some more than others. *wink wink* ; - )
Wow! Ice! Fans! fangurl swooning here!
Absolutely beautiful. You could write the phone book and I would be in awe.
Eowyn would have to have suffered brain damage by being kicked in the head by a horse in order to pass up your Legolas.
Zig you deserve a pay check for your lovely writing, but all I can give you is my thanks!
Author's Response: What a lovely thing to say - thank you. Don't worry, Eowyn is no fool. Next chapter will be up soon. And thanks is good enough.
Wow! You have written my every elvish fantasy, almost. I absolutely loved it! Legolas as you portray him is the most awesomely sexy being in the first place, when he is not doing anything sexual. This is almost too much. YOU are amazing and I LOVE your writing!
I had an great treat this Sunday morning. Wonderful reading from you and L8bleumer!
Author's Response: Yes- mine too! I have to say I am completely in lust with Legolas - so its easy writing this!! And thank you for commenting- nice to know you are enjoying it. Love Ziggy
Oh I just had to add; Legolas is asking if he is boring? I should be so bored! That made me laugh. I also laughed at legolas standing naked on the ledge. I hope for the sake of those watching he was on the courtyard wall. Anyone watching might be tempted to endanger life and limb by trying to climb the wall!
Author's Response: made me laugh! Fangurrrls climbing up the wall- I know I would!