|Reviews for A Very Fire|
| croclock 12/8/12 . chapter 10
This is really fantastic. I know any review I write will sound dull when compared to better-spoken people who have already written here, but this piece is brilliant, and your take on the relationship between the houses is very refreshing and compelling. Fingolfin is most usually painted as a saint opposed to Fëanor's malice, and I feel like that is a very simplistic and dismissive reading of these two kings of their people, so I can't really express how thrilling it was to read these chapters. I sincerely hope you write more! But still, I am grateful for what has been written already. Thank you for sharing this with us!
| Maglor Makalaure 3/10/12 . chapter 1
This is a very beautifully written chapter. My mind is currently quite saturated, so I apologise for not being able to say much more. If I could, I would.
| EddieIrvine 8/29/11 . chapter 1
Here is a link to the Chinese translation of this tale:
hxxp:/hi,baidu,com/eddieirvine/blog/category/a_ver y_fire (substitute the "x"s and ","s). For now, there is only the first chapter. The whole story will be up in time.
My gratitude to Deborah for the permission.
| GoodnessKnows 6/7/07 . chapter 5
Whoah... I'm getting a devil-vibe from Feanor while I read these. Good job on the characterization.
| Sirielle 12/27/04 . chapter 11
Fantastic and mystical story!
I've never imagined Fëanor and Fingolfin this way. Fëanor is a kind of mystician, visionary between good and evil...
Still I have before my eyes the first scene on the clif "And why should I lift you up, then, Son of Indis?" and the last scene - Fingolfin mouthing a kiss to Fëanáro...
Who was smarter in the end ;)
Will there be any more chapters?
Please continue this beautiful story!
| Klose 2/16/03 . chapter 12
I just re-read this story yesterday (I was sick, and ended up doing a lot of reading...), and I have finally managed to collect my thoughts.
I will make a confession, I nearly did not read the story after your "may be slash, may not be slash" disclaimer. You know how I don't like slash...
The point is, I did not have any problems with this story, other than that I was scared. Yes, scared.
The seeing-stone and the sword-dance were wonderful. The way you tell the story with these devices (and more)... I cannot describe it.
There is no disputing that a third person narration is the best in this case. It is vital in catching the introspection of Fingolfin. Feanor is a bit of a mystery, with the occasional peeks, but Fingon and Maedhros are... well, what can I say?
They are indeed more emotionally fragile in this story, though with the situations of this story, I would not expect less.
I did not find Chapter Eight particularly disturbing when I read it... I think the most disturbing to me was the relationship of Fingolfin and Feanor.
"Fingolfin mouthed a kiss." and "Then, a sudden motion and Feanor crossed the narrow distance between them, seized his brother's face, and pressed it to his own. A heartbeat. Claiming lips. Fingolfin wrenched his face aside, placed his hands on his brother's chest, and pushed him backwards with all his strength."
Such contrast... not quite sure I understand what was going on in Fingolfin's mind. Or maybe I am. Eh. I think I'll just go with, "They're all mad!" Hehe. :)
The writing style was very powerful. The constant references to 'fire'- brilliant.
I can certainly see this veering to Maedhros/Fingon, even if Fingolfin thinks it's all about him. :)
I'm sorry that you won't be able to update it in a while, but I'm glad that you wrote these 11 chapters anyhow. Thank you for sharing it with us. :)
| Catherine Leary 12/27/02 . chapter 11
Having read all of these reviews, I must agree with most of them (heck, all of them in some little way) before adding my own admittedly SHALLOW observation:
I never realized Fëanor was so ****ing HOT.
My shallowness aside, I must give kudos for the character development, the style, the dialogue, et al.
Deborah, you are truly a wonderful writer.
| Furius 12/12/02 . chapter 12
Strange, and excessively disturbing.
Feanor as the victim of Fingolfin's manipulations; pride goeth before the fall it seems. And Fingolfin...he's manipulative, what is he trying to do? He is the one tainted by Morgoth's evil, taking, wanting, possessing, Feanor, in comparison, seems almost mild with his Silmarils. It seems Feanor inspires too many things in that perceptive soul. Indeed, Feanor inspires too much in general, so it comes with forceful personalities. I think perhaps Fingolfin had finally grown up, and under Feanor's influence, which is not a very good one...
Mouthed a kiss? The Elf is sinister..there's no other word to describe it. Wisdom combined with folly of pride(?)..though somehow, somehow I feel that he is taking his revenge. He is equal to Feanor now, he has already taken, or rather, tasted the fire, he knows that Feanor cannot give him any more without...
I am rambling, ignore me. But this chapter is really really scary. And my Feanor sympathies are in full force.
| Adrienne again 12/6/02 . chapter 12
But, in the end, has Fingolfin assumed the public role of himself, or of a pseudo-Feanor? Blah. Dun know if I'm just rattling off about this. XD
Also: "knowing that these were the words that history would hear" was an excellent, slap-to-the-face line- very much like Elros being the last of the House of Feanor in the Maglor cycle.
And, argh. I felt awful for Feanor throughout, the poor kid- although really what he's getting is a colossal dose of his own medicine, the mockery-of-a-kiss- _ouch_.
So, yes. Seeing Fingolfin, who's been more or less the hapless identify-with-able good brother for ten chapters, have as his idea of coming into his own be becoming a master manipulator- eeesh. But, wonderful, wonderful chapter.
| Adrienne rambling on I should do this in email but it's all typed up and I can't copypaste from a ff.n review 12/6/02 . chapter 12
Ook. This is damn, damn, good- "This is my rightful place". Oh, goodness. I'm reading on as I'm reviewing, and it looks like Fingolfin's really hit rock bottom here-
"Fingolfin mouthed a kiss."
Oh, my god. I am appalled. I am horrified and disgusted and appalled- the sheer precise deliberacy with which Fingolfin effects his plan- to what? To usurp his brother's place? To take his brother's identity? He does such a chillingly good job- in this chapter, Fingolfin, even though he has no idea of the ramifications of his actions, completely and forcefully switches place with Feanor- but the only person he lets in on it is Feanor. The sick triumph with which he does that absolutely horrifies me- Fingolfin has already stolen his brother's identity, and part of that identity is an outrageous disregard for the importance of other people- so Fingolfin dumps the news that Feanor has assumed the role of Fingolfin as- I was going to say "ungracefully", but that isn't righ. He does it quite gracefully, with such a cold grace that it gave me shivers, and he doesn't tell Feanor what he's done until it's already happened. (I'm reading and rereading this chapter, and I'm not sure that I get what's exactly happened, so here is attempt to get things straight.) So, Fingolfin decides that he is finally going to get rid of Feanor, and he does so by completely /becoming/ his perception of Feanor- he lists the causes of his grievances against Feanor while posing as the victim of Feanor's behavior. His hands must be smaller than his father's hands, for there is strength in being wronged. Meanwhile, he has secretly and quite meticulously set himself up as the perpetrator of all of these wrongs: the forger of weapons, the stealer of a son, the usurper of inheritance. It seems almost like the identities of the two brothers are something separate from the brothers as individuals: there is one Cain and one Abel, but the roles aren't fixed. This is not true, and is a dangerous way of looking at individual identity, but it seems to be the way things are in Fingolfin's mind: the idea that there are two set behavior patterns that he and Feanor can follow, and that if one brother behaves one way, the other /must/ behave the other way. Fingolfin sets up this paradigm of the good and bad brother for Finwe, to make sure that it is as real for his father as it is for him, and then proceeds to invert it: he establishes himself as the "good brother", then makes a switch without letting anybody know about it. He has, of course, to tell Feanor- because Fingolfin is now Feanor, Feanor must also be Fingolfin, and it is Fingolfin's responsibility, if he wants the switch to go through, to make sure that this happens. Feanor's somewhat shocked reaction shows how frighteningly successful Fingolfin was- Feanor is the honest brother, weak and victimized, bearing the Elessar. There's something absolutely revolting about the situation, something twisted, like a broken limb that's nauseatingly at all the wrong angles. I think what disturbs me so much is that Fingolfin so /deliberately/ decides to give up his identity- and to force that identity upon somebody else. The boggling cruelty with which he does so doesn't help, either. And his creepy zero-sum view of his and his brother's identities: one is fire, and one is not, and if Fingolfin wants to have fire and come into his own- to "take his place"- then Feanor's fire must be dampened or put out. The fact that he sets out to do that, with seemingly no moral qualms whatever (until it's been done), is awful as well.
In the end, Fingolfin realizes- subconsciously, I think- that his idea of "fire" and brotherhood as a zero-sum equation is false. He's driven out Feanor's fire, all right, but that doesn't mean that he has the fire.
Maybe, in a way, Fingolfin /has/ become Feanor- and Finwe's going off to Formenos and abandoning Fingolfin is a reverse of Finwe's neglecting Feanor for Indis and their sons. So, Fingolfin has managed to assume the identity of Feanor as he relates to other people- he is cruel, mocking, and, abandoned by his father (I notice none of EITHER of the two's extended families show up here)- alone. The role is only an exterior one, though- Fingolfin can play his brother's part for others, and he can be /treated/ like his brother in return, but on the inside, he is still himself- he does not have the fire, because that is not a thing that can be taken. Fingolfin realizes the hollowness of his victory as it first really hits him that Feanor and Finwe are /gone/- that he has driven away the flame, and that he is, ultimately, an impostor.
This is such a frightfully intense chapter and it is BRILLIANT.
| Cirdan 12/4/02 . chapter 12
I find it amusing that Fingolfin knows exactly how to manipulate his father. I suppose most children do. He knows that Feanor is the favored son and uses that to his advantage. I like the way he times things so that Feanor just "happens" to overhear him. "This is my rightful place." Nice to see Fingolfin developing a Feanor complex. :b And to see it in full bloom.
My, Fingolfin is in a taking mood. :b The parting of his cloak to show his sword (_) is hardly a problem compared to his sharp tongue. I think the two brothers are closer than they've ever been in the past. It's horribly twisted the way Fingolfin mouths a kiss, only, I suppose onlookers wouldn't know that's what it was. And I love seeing Feanor kind of lose momentum. It must be nice for him to be confused for a change, only, it'll take him a moment to realize that he doesn't really like it even if it's what he's always wanted.
Your selection of detail is excellent, especially in the exile scene, where you say just want needs to be said and leave the rest to the knowledge of the reader.
| Staggering Wood-Elf 12/4/02 . chapter 12
*pounces on fic*
I'm glad you found the famous inspiration! I've missed this one while it's been blocked.
I loved what you did with the Silm dialogue - taking the words, and giving them such a different slant of meaning. Fingolfin and Fëanor seem to be almost equals now, but whether that's a good thing or not, I don't know. It seems like everything is set now, and the tragedy of the future is unavoidable. And this review is making no sense.
*sigh* Yes, everyone in this story needs a good spanking.
| Chat Noir suite 12/4/02 . chapter 12
His opinion does not matter, or at least the opinion he expresses publicly. He needs only to hear. After his -Fingolfin's- moments of -what do we call this; madness?-, Fingolfin can hardly recognise the father Finwë was for the child; the figure looses his entire signification. And, well, that is the beggining of the great desillusion...
And this moment of euphoria when Fëanor is following at last, when Fëanor is running after him -all he's ever wanted-, talking to him, at last acknowledging his presence, and when Fingolfin can "lead the dance" after being led for that long... ::shudder:: There is so much -just something: joy, madness, ectasy...- in the word that is 'Taking.' When at last Fingolfin gets to say 'Son of Miriel.' after having been called 'Son of Indis.' far too often. It is amazing how much these two appelations can mean when one bothers to think a little while.
I think what really happened in this chapter is that Fingolfin poses a last hopeless ultimatum, for something, anything to happen that will change what is, all the while knowing that he will never get what he really wants; therefore he is destroying himself and trying to bring all those he loves -and hates at the same time- down with him. Justice, as in Manwë, will give him right, but the conscience and knowledge that Mandos is knows, in the end, always knows.
There. The length of the review is about proportionate to the length of the wait you gave us, isn't it?
| Chat Noir 12/4/02 . chapter 12
::taps fingers on desk:: The thing with this chapter must be that Fingolfin never says what his plan was supposed to lead him to. Not sure he knows it himself. That madness all comes from the lack of *hope*, as if everyone in there is thinking that it can never get worse anyways. Oh how wrong they are. How wrong.
Your Finwë is strangely disturbing. Seeing Fingolfin faced with his father here seems to bring everything together; this character is at the base of everything that happens between his two sons. I doubt they ever were brothers, even in their childhood. It must, after all, have only begun at that: Finwë, Fëanor, Fingolfin, one father, two sons, childish jealousy. And I don't mean childish as in petty or trivial. Childish as in the deepest and most unreasoned. Fingolfin seems to be just like a boy trying to get his father's attention... And I get the line 'Finwë smiled, as if at an overenthusiastic boy.' to second my thinking. _ And how Finwë is giving right to Fëanor... made me cringe. The whole persona seems almost statue-like, as when Fingolfin knows exactly what he is going to say next. It is a painted image in a book.
And how, finally, in the end, the father-figure comes to not mattering at all after having *been* the start of everything. (now, I'm doubting this at the moment I'm writing it; maybe I give far too much importance to Finwë in the interpretation, it's only that he weirdly is the character who really struck me as proeminent in the chapter... Fingolfin seems only like a puppet possessed by a thing he does not control.) It does not matter whether Finwë listens or not, because Fingolfin is speaking for Fëanor. Because he knows that Fëanor will listen. Yet Finwë must be there to *hear*. His opinion does not matter, or a
| jillian baade 12/3/02 . chapter 12
I've said it before, I'll say it again, this group of elves acting like 6 year olds all need spanking, especially Feanor. But you do write them so well, Deborah