Sigh -- color me gleeful, excited, hopeful! It's so lovely to read a new scene with these wonderful characters interacting again. More, soon, please!!! :)
Haha, although I'd never given it a thought beforehand, of course Amrothos is uncomfortable around babies! Also, I appreciated the mention that some find Imrahil's interest in Hethlin to be ... "inappropriate" -- and I see why it would be Elphir.
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 Reviewer:Denise Date:October 5, 2010 3:21 AM
Oh, Brand, you really are so lovely!
I'm going to blame this terribly long review on the fact that I'm delirious with joy at having another Passages chapter. Sorry about the rambling, though terse I have never been!
I'm enjoying Brand's continued perceptivity. He is one clever guy – indeed so much like his father.
I'm happy something good seems to be in the works for Tathar. Maybe for her long-suffering older sister, too? (I know, I know, Denise always wants the whole world to be saved...)
Eowyn among the courtiers: now that's a sight to imagine. Certainly she'd hold her own among them, but I'd love a glimpse inside her head when among a bunch of Gondorian riders. Although as Tathar shows, some have talent even without real experience. Eowyn is nicely shown here – I can't even tell that you don't like her much. *g* I think she's written very well: wonderfully forthright and plain-spoken as to be expected.
Had a chuckle over Brand being a bit thrown off by Eowyn's hug. Growing up, isn't he? ;-) A nice replay of the constant Rohan-Dol Amroth horsey jibes, too. But – little Caeriths in Rohan? I hope we hear more about them...
Brand hastily ran over his introduction etiquette in his mind, then plunged in. Perfect.
...who was oddly enough less taken aback by the Queen than she had been by Éowyn. Lol – also perfect!
The whole exchange with Amrothos about books and babies is a complete riot. I love every single word of it. Of course, then 'Rothos gets his revenge, doesn't he?
...where they found Faramir at a desk doing something that looked suspiciously like paperwork while Éowyn sat upon the couch and read a book. I think you've done a nice job of foreshadowing events in A Game of Chess without it being obvious.
Had a good laugh at Amrothos' opinion of Meneldor echoing Denethor's. *snerk* But a mystery about the book arriving in Dol Amroth? Is Nimrien's hand in here somewhere?
I really appreciated Brand's confusion and curiosity about Eowyn-Elboron-nurses. It was a good way to fill us in about the whole situation. I also loved Brand's unselfconscious and natural reaction to his crying cousin. (Experienced Imrahil must have hung back for some reason?) But it was truly a lovely and enjoyable scene, with the lordling figuring out the whole problem before anyone else! And Brave Amrothos. I imagine he'd have rather been back under the Osgiliath bridge...
"You'll do just fine, my lord." Ah, good. Brand needs to hear it more often, from people who don't already love him.
Wonderful talk with Eowyn, and another nice tie-in with AGoC.
I have to admit, I almost fell out of my chair laughing when Amrothos dropped the bomb. What on earth inspired that? Was it really revenge for the whole baby/book thing or was he planning it for a while and just waiting for the right opportunity? Faramir's reaction (or rather lack of one) makes me think he was in on it; though he's awfully good at hiding his thoughts.
But poor blushing Imrahil... Well, I might or might not feel sorry for him, once I know if he ever felt badly about how he treated Hethlin on the Rohan trip. (*deletes plea for more Silver Swan* But must you tease us so? Horse dance?? What horse dance???)
"And you always tell him things you don't tell us." Gee, can't imagine why, 'Rothos...
I've been curious for a while if Faramir ever told Eowyn about Imrahil and Hethlin, so now I know. I wasn't at all sure how she would react, given the competitive nature that their friendship often takes on. (Of course, she might show different feelings to Faramir later, but she's so open and honest that I think Brand would see something here.)
It was a great conversation, really well portrayed. I love that Amrothos was surprised, the rundown of the kids' opinions, and this:
"I know nothing about love and when I'm totally ignorant about a subject, I don't make myself look foolish by expressing an opinion." *quiet squee for Akilah*
Followed by: "But I do hope that whatever happens, you'll both be happy. Because you both deserve it." Bingo. The feelings, I bet, of every Unabeauverse fan, whatever we think will actually make those two happy. :)
Thanks for a sweet finish to the chapter, despite the awful foreshadowing (if that's what it is) at the dinner table. May your muses be on a roll!
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 Reviewer:Dwimordene Date:October 21, 2010 10:20 PM
Hey, there's a chapter 15!
Sort of a light family-centric chapter - I liked 'Rothos in his whiny scholar mode. Yep, I know that one!
It's interesting to see this period of time, which was covered by "A Game of Chess" from a different perspective, and with so many more characters involved. It opens out the sometimes claustrophobic atmosphere that was generated in "Chess" - that fit the Faramir-Éowyn relationship, and the sense of isolation that was getting a stranglehold on the two of them. Brand's perspective, and the inclusion of so many others mutes that considerably.
Still anticipating that tournament, and the/a showdown between Brand and Andrahar!
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 Reviewer:Drenagon Date:January 13, 2013 5:52 AM
Two lots of CMC-verse in close succession - I'm a very happy girl right now! Even more so because I got to see the Rangers with Heth again. I have a very soft spot for all of the Rangers and watching them interact with Heth. Its nice to see they haven't forgotten her just because she's been moved on. Something tells me that Brand will have more than Faramir and Eowyn for company if he remains in Minas Tirith. It was sad to see Andrahar still being so standoffish with Brand, but I'm so glad to have more of this verse to read that I can forgive him. I hope there's more to come soon :)
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 Reviewer:Nargil Date:January 13, 2013 6:52 AM
I loved Hethlin, Brand and the rangers, the invite for Brand to go and be a ranger was very well done, make him feel a bit less like it's Swan knight or nothing. I get the feeling the next chapter will be very interesting, and that Imrahil may well yet resort to borrowing one of Lord Hurrin's cells and locking Brand and Andra in untill they see sense!
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 Reviewer:Denise Date:January 15, 2013 4:43 PM
Yet again, a deeply satisfying chapter. I've wondered how a reunion between Heth and her former Ranger comrades would go, but of course you exceed anything I have ever dreamed up. I do love seeing it from Brand's POV, and his inclusion felt very natural. So did Heth's nervousness about both tournament and said reunion, and how she decided to announce herself. So, so nice to see Mablung again, and - believe it or not - I'm glad Lorend has not changed. Just adored Mablung's from-the-heart gladness that Brand existed, no matter the circumstances behind his conception.
The theme "I loved..." is getting repetitive, but I also loved Damrod's matter of fact assessment of Brand's blooding, and the incredulity-turned-respect. I can only imagine how much that really meant to Brand.
I am glad Boromir's role in getting Heth into the Rangers is out there a little more, too - would that Andrahar had heard it at some point, although he has (hopefully) seen Heth's abilities and potential for himself by now. (Maybe one day he'll talk to you about his view of Heth at this point...? Goodness, I REALLY miss the back and forth of the forums.) Very perceptive on Brand's part, thinking why Boromir might have been more accepting of Hethlin as soldier.
I also love Brand's thoughts on being able to spend money on his friends, vs. the shallow "now I can impress people as a lord". That boy has his head on straight; I just love the down-to-earth nature his brings to his lord's role. Boromir's son indeed!
Which brings us to the bittersweet ending and the contrast of motives for "family solidarity". Leave it to Amrothos to call it like it is. My heart wrenches for Andrahar, and for all of them. I still have hope they will work through it before Dale. Or, perhaps, I'm pleading? :) You're going to spoil us all, with this frequent posting schedule!
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 Reviewer:obsidianj Date:January 19, 2013 9:02 AM
I just discovered that I missed several updates of this great story. I love this chapter. I had an inkling that Brand would go home with the dog after the way the dog fastened his attention on him. I think the dog will solve some of Brands problem of not being able to go anywhere without guard. I like Lord Lalven. Interesting story about caring for the dogs of the King over the long absence. I love the idea.
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 Reviewer:obsidianj Date:January 19, 2013 9:24 AM
What a nice way to get an audience with the King. Just get up early enough ;-). I loved Brand's version of the honor price. That is a lot more meaningful and personal than plain money.
I was right that the dog would solve some of Brand's problems about going out on his own. But are these dogs not known for their specialty? Just seeing one of these dogs should tip of people that Brand is someone special.
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 Reviewer:obsidianj Date:January 19, 2013 9:50 AM
What a lovely evening. I sounded so homely and pleasant on the surface, but knowing GoC, I can see the shadows lurking in the corners. Brand is quite inqisitive when he wants to know something. I think he is just a different type of learner than Faramir or Amrothos. More hands-on that bookish. He went and asked the midwife about the problems his mother had with his younger siblings and not just stayed away as far as possible as most boys would do.
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 Reviewer:obsidianj Date:January 19, 2013 10:10 AM
I hope Andrahar and Brand solve their differences soon. Preferably before Andrahar goes north with Imrahil. This is no way to leave for war. I like it that Amrothos chose to join the family to support Brand.
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