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Don't Explain
 [1] Reviewer:Denise Date:April 25, 2008 6:54 AM
Very intriguing story so far! I don't read much Silm fic anymore, but to me some of your characterizations have a twist on what I think of as the "usual" assumptions; along with your spin on the Miriel/Finwe/Indis triangle, they offer a fresh take on the basic story.

I think the character setups are nicely handled so that things fall into place easily later on. (For example, we learn of Finwe's sense of always being right, leading to his assumption that Miriel will not want to return and his moving forward with his petition to marry Indis, when....)

I particularly love Findis and Arafinwe's exchange in Ch. 2; they have an obvious affinity, a lovely brother-sister closeness and their frank discussion flows so naturally. These are wonderfully telling lines for Arafinwe: "You do have Father’s charm and appeal, but yours is tempered with Mother’s empathy. You hear others, you see them as they truly are, not just as you would like them to be." Yes, he is indeed wiser than all of them.

Poor Indis, so happy in Tirion, only to be overwhelmed by that awful, awful memory. Ouch! Her description of newly-married life in a home still infused with Miriel's essence is almost as painful. (A brief aside - I can't think of who this is: Another grandson remained in the East, perhaps never to return to Aman.) I hope we also hear more about why Nolofinwe remains with Mandos, assuming that it's tied to the whole mess that Indis is trying to unravel...

I think Galadriel's return makes a good catalyst for all this to come to a head for Indis. I admit, I did have quite the Celeborn fangirl reaction to Galadriel's description of her husband. *g*

And Indis never knew of Finwe's decision to remain unhoused? Ouch, again! That was truly a wicked blow, given her musings in an earlier chapter and the recent unearthing of ugly memories. Will we learn why she was never told? It seems a horrible oversight. And I'm also curious about Miriel's ever-secret reasons behind her original choice to abandon Finwe and Feanaro. (Although I also recognize that neither is necessary for the story! Just curiosity about your backstory.)

Indis' painful reckoning with Nienna is something that none of us would like to go through: Truly understanding our own parts played in an ugly situation. Self-deception is so easy... I think her gradual admittance of her own complicity is deeply painful, but does open the door to healing. It will be very interesting to see what Indis' path forward will be, and just what of the mess can be resolved!

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 [2] Reviewer:Denise Date:May 9, 2008 2:14 AM
Personally, I really enjoy how you manage to both carry the story on in these next few chapters, and still have very interesting and thoughtful reflections woven into the narrative.

Ch. 10: The first example of the above that struck me is here, when Indis reflects on the traits of the Vanyar (which you give a nicely positive spin *g*) vs. the Noldor. Her understanding that those very traits were part of what led to her complicity is an excellent extrapolation. I am also very struck by this: " was not by chance that [Melkor had] selected the House of Finwe in which to stir unrest."

Another enjoyable reflective moment is Findis and Galadriel's combined thoughts on Aman vs. Middle-earth, and the further commentary on Men and mortality vs. the Elven situation. Very well done contrasts! My enjoyment is compounded by it being very much in line with my own opinions on the matter, of course, and that they are revealed through Galadriel's hard-won real-life wisdom. *g* I particularly loved the lines: But had I met with death, I could have left unhappy or seemingly impossible circumstances in Middle Earth for Námo’s halls, without surrendering my actual existence in Arda. Men cannot do so, thus while their lives are in many ways more temporary and ephemeral than that of the Elves, they are also required to endure and to find ways to survive, even when hope is faintest. They have a tenacity that I found admirable, even though I often found their ways to be frustratingly unwise.

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 [3] Reviewer:Denise Date:May 9, 2008 2:16 AM
Ch. 11: The only part that I started to wonder about, somewhere around this point of the narrative: They haven't eaten or drunk anything for a long time. Is that an outgrowth of being in Lorien? It didn't bother me or disrupt my reading at all – I was happy to assume that they didn't need to do so – but I am curious. I have not delved very much into my HoMe books, particularly about the Undying Lands, etc.

I really feel for Indis. Making confessions to others, particularly those wounded by your actions/inactions – so very, very hard. Especially this: Indis paused for a moment as a new thought occurred to her. "...In fact, I suppose that in that regard I deceived Finwë even before he deceived me..."

And Findis' final words – Boom!! Hah! Good ending to the chapter. Findis may have as much burdening her as Indis does; I hope we get to learn more about what is in the daughter's heart.

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 [4] Reviewer:Denise Date:May 9, 2008 2:17 AM
Ch. 12: Mentally tracing out your descriptions of the Valar's dwellings is really interesting. And we meet Miriel at last... I like very much the small touch that Indis has never made use of the name "Firiel".

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 [5] Reviewer:Denise Date:May 9, 2008 2:18 AM
Ch. 13: I like your characterization of Miriel a lot. The contrast to Finwe and their compatibility is lovely, and how you blended the two into Feanor's character: very nice. The exchange between the two women is believable and well-handled, I think. Miriel's story is terrible, and leaves me wondering how anything, if anything, could have been salvaged between the weary and stubborn Miriel and her oblivious husband.

The small touches are particularly wonderful for me. Indis' brother eventually building a palace to rival the Noldorian king's. Miriel's presence in the palace being so strong because she designed it. Miriel's slightly mocking smile when she asks Indis about knowing Finwe's faults. How Finwe did, at least, learn to respect Indis' part in creating children, from his experience with Miriel. The story about Feanor's first word.

I'm looking forward to seeing how all this will be resolved!

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 [6] Reviewer:Ellie Date:May 13, 2008 5:24 PM
This chapter is so powerful with the isights into Miriel's reasons for not returning. What would FInwe say if he were there to hear the grievances of his wives and what they perceived about him and his actions? I wonder. I pity both wives. You write so very well! Keep up the good work!

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