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 [51] Reviewer:Altariel Date:November 14, 2007 8:42 PM
A tour de force, wonderful! Arwen may well be my new heroine. I have a soft spot for Tathar, and I would love to see her again.

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 [52] Reviewer:Dwim Date:November 15, 2007 2:19 PM
Aha, so Brand has finally decided to take steps towards dealing with his familial problem. Interesting choice of 'solutions' in Faramir - he won't take advantage of the man closest to Andrahar, but he'll go to the man who (for all intents and purposes, and making the translation Andrahar wouldn't likely accept) is his brother-in-law. If I were Faramir, and Brand asked me for advice re: Andrahar, I think my first question would be, "Why me, when you've got Uncle at your beck and call?" Looking forward to that conversation!

Hethlin has certainly gotten much better at handling the court intrigue - Dol Amroth polishing has paid off! And Arwen, of course, knows precisely how to deal with snippy ladies-in-waiting. I imagine Jerulas's court currency will drop dramatically after this, even if she hangs on to a position in Arwen's entourage.

I enjoyed seeing more of Liahan's family - and Tethar's "Valar bless Andrahar" comment, and Brand's silent projection of Andrahar's reaction to foreign benedictions was highly amusing. Poor Andra probably wouldn't want to know how many times he's been requisitioned for the Valar by the wives of his soldiers, among others...

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 [53] Reviewer:brinian Date:November 23, 2007 9:00 AM
Ch 10:

So much going on in this chapter to like! So I'll just mention the highlights - more OCs to appreciate (Tathar especially), the touch of humor about the laces of Heth's dress, the deft put down when Jerulas was such a bitch (I'm a sucker for puns!), Arwen saying in so few words something to set Brand at ease about Boromir and Andrahar's relationship, the glimpse of a side story (main story - are we going to see this in Silver Swan..please???) where Heth is dancing with the Imrahil and ENJOYING it. So many things!

Actually, this is really a good example of how much your writing has improved since starting CMC. The wealth of detail and the way the story unfolds inside the scene are so natural, without the direct narrative that characterized CMC. It's a graceful and enjoyable read that makes me long for more. Well done! Keep up the good work. Not only do I enjoy your stories, but I really am enjoying seeing your growth as a writer.

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 [54] Reviewer:Nargil Date:December 25, 2007 12:54 AM
I love this, now I finnaly get round to reading it, yeah I know not reading a fic of yours the second you post it, I should go to jail.

Brand is so wonderfull in the way he interacts with people, his shyness in this that he has to overcome compared to the slightly cocky attitude he shows jacyn. I see flashes of not only Boromir but also Faramir and Imri in him as well as Andra, his thoughts on the idea of the Valar whatching Andra and Andra and the queen, figures that the greatest swordsman in gondor should be a good dancer although not I think being a fan of the dances with a lot of lifts, some of these numenorian women must be taller than he is.

I look forward to his little chat with Faramir and seeing how this is all resolved.

One thing stuck me as a little odd Shampoo, you very carefully call it anything but in all your other fics but yet it crops up here.

other than that wonderfull as always.

I hope the nanowrimo went well and that you have a good christmas


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 [55] Reviewer:Nargil Date:December 27, 2007 11:38 PM
Must find a better way to start reviews than saying I love this, actually read it on christmas day thank you for the nice prezzie, much better than the socks my aunt bought, then the pc died, but working agian now.

Seeing Heth and Faramir together again was great, all there little exchanges digs and in jokes, and poor Brand "you blacked my uncle's eye?"

Heth's little warning and his talk with Faramir seem to be starting to set things to rights loved the Gondor's acknowledged expert on Andra line, it's saying somthing when you need an expert. Would be interesting if Brand did ask though, would Imrahil "recuse" (great word)himself or actually tell Brand what he thought.

I think I see where this is going with the book, pomegranete jokes aside, the bookmark was a nice touch. Speaking of books I loved Brand and Faramir's comments on the garden of love (has Faramir acually seen this now big brother isn't stealing it all the time?)given the odd bit's I've heard the idea of two men is a lot less wierd than some things in there.

I can't wait for more so I hope your muse and real life all go to plan, best wishes for the new year


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 [56] Reviewer:Dwim Date:January 4, 2008 7:51 PM
Brief comment - I think the change from Brand blurting out "Father" as an unconscious reaction to the more deliberate choosing of the word was a very good choice. The more deliberate version works much better with what's been established in chapters six and eight, and it gives Brand's naming all the weight of his struggle to come to terms with Andrahar and his relationship with Boromir. Despite it all, he recognizes and accepts that he is effectively dealing not with a guardian or a captain he hero-worships more than just a little or a close friend of his biological father, but with the man who has been and still is his first and abiding father-figure.

Let's hope that bookish interventions into Brand's relationship with Andrahar work, though given Andrahar's luck with books and love, even if romantic rather than familial love, Brand may have to do some quick on the spot interpreting to convince him of sincerity!

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 [57] Reviewer:Denise Date:March 23, 2008 12:08 AM
Reading Ch. 10 yet again, I must say I still break into a gleeful grin at Heth's blush over the "princess among esquires" comment. You certainly know how to make a shipper's heart go all thumpy - and that's not even including the dance scene, which still sends me into squeeing fits of delight. :)

Given that, it's probably rather contrary of me to say that I do miss hearing about and/or seeing more of Elrohir...

Ch.11: The retorts between Hethlin and Faramir are absolutely, positively priceless. I was also a bit surprised by Heth's playful but extreme impertinence; but then we don't really know how their relationship was last left when Heth went to Dol Amroth, post-engagement, so I just went along for a very enjoyable ride. Indeed, surrounded by fawning courtiers and/or war-planning sessions, what Faramir needs most is probably exactly what Hethlin is dealing him: a good friend's unreserved ribbing and attitude of normalcy. I am left wondering fervently just what her own feelings are concerning Faramir particularly when you toss in tantalizing and (for me) inexplicable exchanges like at their parting. I imagine even if (hopefully) her thoughts have settled or will settle soon on purely platonic friendship, he will always hold a special and high place in her heart. I love how she still calls him Captain vs. any of his other titles.

I continue to adore Hethlin and Brandmir's friendship (although I don't quite agree with Lady Merilin's assessment *g*). Heth's cautious but caring poke to get Brand to talk to Andrahar was perfectly played; I can so see her doing just that. (Although Faramir should recall that Imrahil held a similar superstition!)

Brand and Faramir's conversation was simply wonderful: Faramir the incredibly fine man he is and Brand developing into the same. The entire scene unfolds so naturally and believably, and I love how a flash of "Ultimatums" shows up at the end. The part where Brand names Andrahar "Father" still chokes me up; it's beautifully played and led up to, and feels just perfect.

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 [58] Reviewer:Elena Tiriel Date:March 23, 2008 4:15 AM
Ah, these last two chapters are sooo satisfying... "a kennel door has been left open" indeed! that was a ROTFLMAO moment!

And Arwen has clearly mastered the courtly favor game; she knows how to use her pleasure at seeing someone, either Hethlin or Brand, to the best advantage of that person... I guess that's an advantage of being queen. LOLOL!

There were great minor characters, too... I hope Brand has some chances to ride with Tathar... she reminds me a lot of, well, me at that age.... LOLOL! (except she may actually outgrow the awkward stage....)

And in the latest chapter, I really like how skillfully you show the interplay between Hethlin and Faramir through Brand's somewhat befuddled point of view. You show so much about the character of all three persons in so few sentences.... well done!

Oh, was the business of the black eyes in one of your stories? I must have missed it....

I was especially touched when Brand picked up that Faramir was pleased that Brand took after him in some way, with his archery. Brand needs all the reassurance he can get right now, and positive feedback that is subtle like that, rather than overt and intentional (like praise), might be even better. (If that makes any sense at all...)

And Faramir's thoughtful discussion with Brand seems so characteristic of him.... He forces Brand to clarify his muddled thinking about what Andrahar means to him, and why he wants (needs) to reconcile with him so much... and then, of course, he decides to have Brand consult a book to find his answers for himself. LOL! So typical of Faramir! And I smiled at the bit about Brand reacting to books just as Boromir did.

And I enjoyed the reference to Nimrien in Ultimatums at the end, having just re-read that story. She was so good for Imrahil, it makes me sad that she left him widowed for so long.

Speaking of re-reading, I've re-read all of your Imrahil-Andrahar-Brand stories recently, plus Dwim's Reconciliation. I keep hoping that by the time I reach the end of them, you will have posted a new chapter of Passages. I know I don't have any right to ask, since I am such a scapegrace about reviewing, but is there any hope? *pleading look*

*sigh* Meanwhile, I'll just have to start over.... ;-)

- Barbara

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 [59] Reviewer:Denise Date:May 2, 2008 4:42 PM
I'm not sure I can accurately convey the level of delight I had, wandering blearily down to the computer this morning to check for an expected email, and finding instead an HA digest entry for a Passages update. After shooing my children off, I had a great start to my day! :)

You are able to take what would normally be the most mundane interlude ("Brand prepares for his day") and turn it into a wonderful, laugh-out-loud chapter. His exchange over breakfast with Imrahil re: Tathar ("I'm not going to pork her!"); Imrahil's response to Lady Merilin's comments; the lovely, lovely conversation with Sherlock Amrothos on Andra, courting and sex... Ah, I had tears in my eyes.

And I never realized just how badly I wanted to meet Imrahil's valet until you trotted him out. Yet another awesome, three-dimensional character that fits perfectly within his spot in the Unabeauverse.

Blended in, of course, you still give us much reflective depth with Brand: his continued unsureness about himself in "fine" society, his mixed feelings about leaving the old Brand behind, the rough edges still being polished (or will he keep Boromir's ability to exhibit a cleverly crude turn of speech?). He is clever and kind, and a very fine heir to his father.

(And now the headache I woke up with is gone! Apparently all I needed was a little dose of the Unabeauverse. Or maybe of Imrahil. *g*)

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 [60] Reviewer:Raksha The Demon Date:May 2, 2008 8:15 PM
I tried to post a review at too; but the system seems to have eaten it.

Anyway, a pleasant and credible chapter. Excellent handling of Brand's betwixt-and-between stage of growth, too old to be a child, too young to be a man, but slowly being made more aware of a man's obligations outside of the battlefield as well as on it.

I love it that all Brand wants is to befriend young Lady Tathar; he's still quite squeamish about GIRLS.

And a great introduction to the most powerful man in Dol Amroth after Imrahil - Maeddan the valet! And I enjoyed the reference to Aragorn's giving Faramir a comradely haircut in "Captain, My Captain" - neither of those gentlemen would, it seems to me, be motivated or even aware of the nuances of tonsorial elegance; they'd just want their hair out of their eyes and not in their way.

What is this about dogs in Tathar's father's house? Does he have a pack of little sheepdogs? Perhaps a big deerhound that thinks it's a lapdog? I think Brand would like dogs.

Update soon!

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