Oh what a treat, Isabeau! I'm so glad you've given us more Lorend -- I've always liked him, and imagined him being exactly the way you've shown him: clever and cheeky, charming and kind-hearted. He reminds me not a little bit of young Imrahil, so it's perhaps no wonder that I like him so well. Silivren knows what she's about in going down to Poros...
There are so many things to comment on in this story. I think you did a good job in delineating the often subtle but very significant differences that mark an individual in such a society as being from one class or another, and their awareness of those differences. I also appreciated your depiction of the different duties that different social stations carry, and the community's concern for its own integrity.
Really, really awesome story -- and I just love Lorend!
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 Reviewer:Lady Masterblott Date:February 20, 2006 7:08 PM
thank you very much for your SSP - it provided excellent entertainment for the evening. Just when the story started, it made me think that I would actually LOVE to read more about Lorend, and there he was.
(Even though I have to add - I would still love to read more about him. LOL.)
I felt almost (!) sorry for poor Lathron, though - he hardly had a chance, with all folks being in the game and closing their ranks against him. It seemed almost too easy to have him resign. But then, on the other hand, it was Mettare, and he for sure deserved to be reminded of that, and I suppose this made it easier to get the cooperation of any person involved. ;)
Also liked your take on Hethlin. (Made me wonder whether "Blackbow" is ever to be continued, by the way.), for once a venerable sidekick. (Reminded me that I was really sorry when her maladjusted horse died in CMC.)
As I said: I enjoyed every single chapter.
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 Reviewer:Radbooks Date:February 20, 2006 11:03 PM
It was a wonderful story and a nice treat to have on my day off! :) I like the idea of Faramir sending his Rangers off to check up on the families of his men - a very Faramir like thing to do. The troubles that a family whose husband/father has died - Ranger or not - would have during that time seemed very real to me.
It was interesting to see Lossarnach as a town with markets, pubs, and Forlong's castle, etc. I suppose that it always has been, but I've never seen it that way in my head - silly me! I guess it was just an area of land to me, like Ithilien or something so I enjoyed seeing it this way. :)
Of course, I enjoyed Mablung, Lorend, and Hethlin. It was nice to see Lorend in this kind of a role and I can guess what kind of trouble got him sent to the Rangers in the first place. Something to do with a woman I imagine. :) And, Hethlin the hunter was enjoyable. It must have been quite difficult for her to go out in 'public' like that. Someone might slip up and call her 'she' by accident. Then Mablung is there to keep everything all under control and running smoothly as usual. I really enjoy him!
I thought the boy was very convincing as well, it is so hard to be a man at the age of 14 and to have that kind of responsibility. But you did an excellent job of portraying him.
Nicely done all the way around! Thanks for sharing!
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 Reviewer:Denise Date:February 21, 2006 7:39 AM
Where to begin? It was a wonderful story, as always. I heartily second the comments on the story that others have already left – loved the interplay of societal roles, regretted Arcag’s death, and loved seeing and learning more of Lorend. Perhaps one day we’ll get the final story of him and Silivren! I would really enjoy reading about if/how the irrepressible flirt is finally tamed.
I enjoyed seeing women’s roles in Gondor society played out more. While both high and low-born women seemed to have few choices, and women could not be soldiers, the middle class woman was clearly capable of making significant contributions and having the respect of the community.
I thought your religious invention was very good, and liked how you had the Numenoreans replace pagan holidays with their own – just like the Christians did in ancient times. And excellent thought of Faramir instituting a weregild. It makes sense that Rohan would have an old (similar) Anglo-Saxon custom, and the compassion behind adapting such a custom to Gondor's soldiers and their families is 100% Faramir.
Lorend’s interactions with his family were delightful. His mother’s wary question, “You did get leave?” And the whole of him having to birth the calf – from telling Heth to strip and join in to “I hate cows!” – I laughed out loud.
And among all this, we get some glimpses of Hethlin from someone else’s perspective – which I always love – and you manage to work in subtle and cruel hints about her future besides! I was glad to read that she did get some recognition for her deeds on the Pelennor, as it’s not obvious in CMC except for the rumor heard by the harp maker.
Thanks for sharing this with us. I think I have a new Christmas tradition. :)
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 Reviewer:Altariel Date:February 21, 2006 11:00 AM
Wonderful. I am so glad you took your time with the detail of the religious ceremonies, because it has paid off and given the story depth: the Trickster, the Hunter, and the Lord are all brought to life.
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 Reviewer:Melina Date:February 22, 2006 12:27 AM
This was lovely as always, Isabeau. I'm not sure if I've said this to you before, but what I love about your writing the most -- except, possibly, for the unexpected, laugh out loud humor -- is your ability to give daily life in ME such wonderful texture and detail. You also make readers able to identify with and care about original characters more than any other fanfic writer I've come across.
I particularly loved the stuff with Lorend and his family in this, and seeing Hethlin at that time of her life through the eyes of outsiders.
As always, beautifully done.
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 Reviewer:obsidianj Date:February 28, 2006 12:34 AM
What a lovely little story. The Ithilien rangers for a change not in a typical battle situation. Although they fight a battle of a different kind. I love the way you write Lorend. He is here in his element and can show that he has some qualities aside from chasing women.
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