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November, 12 2005
OK, folks-this is the general forum now for questions that don't seem to fit in any of the other threads. I'm going to sort some of the earlier posts into the appropriate forums, but it might take a while, so bear with me. I'll delete the ones that have already been reposted by their authors.
OK, back to actual questions about your stories! I finally got to read Noble Jewel for a second time and true to form, I noticed many more things about it that went right over my head the first time. And generated questions and comments, of course....
1. (Ch. 2) I really, really like Cuilast. Typical of your secondary folk, he has been fleshed out beautifully. Will we see a lot more of him in the future? Anyone (besides Imrahil) who is not afraid to tweak Andra has my undying respect. Favorite lines: “Your stepfather was in error,“ the healer declared, his voice positively chirpy. “I have not known bastardy, either as a condition of birth or description of temperament, to be an impediment to membership or advancement in the Swan Knights.” “Very funny, Cuilast!” the captain growled.
2. (Ch. 2) A little before that, Cuilast has asked Andrahar to stay with Brand, and that he needed Liahan to help him with the injured Swan Knight because “He’s more than half a healer himself, you know.” Andrahar: “Yes, Liahan does a great many things well,” came the dry response.
What does that mean? Andrahar’s obviously making an oblique reference to something, but I can’t figure out what it is.
3. (Ch. 3) Peloren’s acknowledgement of Andrahar mourning Boromir, some comments that Cuilast makes, Esteven’s discretion in “Discovery” – how many people actually know that Boromir was Andrahar’s lover? Some things seem to indicate that there’s at least suspicion among the Knights, but then again can be read as merely acknowledging that Boromir was his one-time pupil and friend.
3. (Ch. 4) Does Brand actually get to use Andrahar’s prized soap in his bath??? This could be his most valuable inheritance from Andrahar.
4. (Ch. 5) “Left with time on his hands, Andrahar invoked a privilege of his that he rarely used, and set an esquire who had displeased him the day before to cleaning his tack, and grooming the remount he was riding.”
Um, is this anyone we know? :P
5. (Ch. 5) Just a comment: That whole passage, where Brand is saying goodbye to his family and gives Jacyn “studied insolence” at the end, and Andrahar finally feels hope and joy – still incredibly moving. I love how you set that up and portrayed everyone.
6. (Ch. 6) Do you have more history on Liahan (another favorite minor character)? He’s scattered throughout several of your stories but not much is revealed except his excellent character and seemingly gentle manner for a warrior. Why is he fostered to Dol Amroth? Related: Are any of our other “known Knights” married with kids? Or is it typical for the Knights to be bachelors?
Needless to say, I was very happy to have so much of Noble Jewel from Andrahar’s perspective. It really opened up a window into what a great man he is, despite his rough childhood, and beautifully showed his humanity and compassion - though well disguised to the outside world! As with all yours and Altariel’s stories that have Heth “hidden” in the background, I am impatiently waiting for Silver Swan to catch up so I can get her perspective on events!
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