|Reviews for And Then There Were None|
| Gwedhiel0117 5/17/13 . chapter 11
Oh, I wish I had gotten around to reading this chapter sooner! As soon as I read the chapter's title I was castigating myself for postponing the leisure. Gah!
Anyway...(my brain's on the verge of imminent dysfunction, so I may sound a little giddy) Though I may sound like a minor bird, I honestly, again, don't know where to start. Let me just begin with the gushing praise I can't resist to give in expressing how much I cherish this story. This isn't the medication talking. I was just sitting here after finishing the chapter, and I know there's one more to come or something as such, but my thoughts are in a whirlwind of just how astounding this fiction is. I so wish I could have a method to point every Hobbit reader to this, because this is a canonical gap-filler to a T if I ever saw one.
The level of logic expressed by Thranduil, by the Elves, in all the mobilization of the army and countering events that fit the definition of the Necromancer's habitation...pure brilliance. You make it sound all so simple and obvious, and yet I get the feeling that this is exactly what happened. This story is the perfect example of all the pieces of a puzzle being gathered and connected in perfect alignment. This story has definitely gone beyond my expectations and I can't express how thrilled I am to dive in to the level of detail that enhances the very canon I so adore. And as a fellow writer, I have to express my admiration and love for the technique and style you apply to weave the images and sensations in your sentences. Such format is the type I would happily settle back in my chair and read in a published book. Not redundant, not purple, not tedious, not dry, but just the right blend to create an atmosphere of delight, at least for me. :)
But again, onto the story. THRANDUIL UNLEASHED! Man, I was practically bouncing and clapping like a little tyke in a candy store reading all those bits! :P His assessment of the White Council was perfect, which I'm sure you already knew I would say. The level of rage he professes may seem rash on the surface, but I thought this glimpse of his wrath he no longer bothered to conceal was epic. I loved it, plain and simple. But what I cherished even more was the unbelievable power of stature and strength of a whipcord Thranduil was presented to have. And that welcoming home he received from his beloved people - I think I read each and every word as slow as possible as to not miss a single detail. Honestly, you are granting so much credit to Thranduil and the Wood-elves that they rightly deserve that I can't comment enough on it.
And Rochiron...my goodness, I think that was my favorite part of this chapter! Which part, I don't know. It was delight beyond description watching such a taciturn Elf be so flabbergasted and flustered. But then his very musings that express his blatant practicality (such as he never entertained the vain hopes as others did - that was funny) were priceless. Rochiron is such a solid character, and yet it was like a full-course meal on all the dynamics granted of him. I love him! And he's just been promoted. Haha, he wasn't expecting that! Good job, Thranduil. Oh, and on Thranduil, I felt that was a brilliant way to highlight the traits expressed of the Elvenking - doing it through Rochiron's perspective. We know the type of Elf that rock of a commander is, and to witness his sincere reflections of his king were a big eye-opener, even to me. Beautiful. Simply beautiful. Don't die on me, Rochiron! You still have a battle to survive!
I particularly enjoyed the buildup of tension before the king's arrival. lol. Oh, Thranduil, the things that go on in your realm when you're not there. But the tension spoke a lot of unspoken things. The fight was childish, but it was so good and fitting that I couldn't imagine anything else as a replacement. Thranduil's ruminations at the beginning of the chapter were also mystifying in the sense of enchantment, just in how it expresses his deep bond with his beloved forest. Again and again, the characterization of Thranduil is surprising me left and right.
I also like how you keep this story on track of your initial purposes of the story, particularly with alluding to the events of the Hobbit (the missing food, thus the fight, and the Dwarves escaping) but not letting it overtake the adventures (or maybe misfortunes) of the Elves. I'm a sucker for dramatic irony, and seeing it pop up now and again is like a sudden breeze on a hot day. Bringing up Taur-nu-Fuin was a nice touch too. :) I liked it. Made it all the more real, in a sense. And I love the name Maegdir! Don't know why, but it's so fun to say! lol.
And now they're going to war (as if we never knew). This makes me even more excited to read your version of what you announced would be a sequel (if I understood the A/N correctly). I can't wait to read more, for this has been thoroughly entertaining and a lovely way of relaxing in the evening. :) Get those fingers typing!
PS: Oh Thranduil, I want more of you. And Rochiron. He needs to be a canon character.
| Beriofirion 5/16/13 . chapter 2
This is amazing! I've always wanted to read a story in which Thranduil isn't bashed for what he did to the dwarves, and I love your new circumstances around Old Tomnoddy.
| Guest 5/15/13 . chapter 10
Type your review for this chapter here...
| world-classgeek 5/15/13 . chapter 11
MIRKWOOD GOES TO WAR! somebody's gonna get killed... I just have a bad feeling about this... *wicked grin* keep it up!
| Purestrongpoem 5/13/13 . chapter 11
| Gwedhiel0117 4/16/13 . chapter 10
I think I have a bone to pick with FF, as I still haven't received any email alerts. I again came across your update completely by accident. *grumbles under breath* Anyway...
The banter and abnormally righteous anger between Calethor and Legolas towards the beginning was as delightful as it was hilarous. I could just see it before mind's eye, and I think Calethor is the type of person I could easily come to appreciate as a companion, if not friend. His jibes towards Legolas over his frustrations provided a beyond excellent start to this chapter for me (hey, if it makes me laugh, I'm always satisfied).
I noticed that you did quite a few jumps in this chapter, concerning the passage of time and what group is where. But they worked, I think. :) I was a little surprised when we came to Girithron and then Legolas made his epic entrance in the door, but I suppose it was the wiser course to make the return journey to Thranduil's Halls only in reference, for unless you intend to fill such a harrisome journey (with wounded Elves grumbling left and right, :P) with constant suspense (which can be disastrous if done wrong) then it is a good idea just to skip it all if nothing happened and it proved more tedious than eventful. So...thanks for that, I guess. lol. I got to keep up with all the good meat of the story!
Rochiron...Will there ever be a chapter where I won't comment on him? I know I've said this before elsewhere, but it just seems like every single word from his mouth just has me hooked. Reflecting on that, maybe my fascination with him is based on the fangirl part of me, but to speak as objectively as I can, I rarely have encountered such a complex, believable, memorable, and likeable OC (again, I can count them on one hand). There were two parts that I loved about Rochiron in this chapter. The first, of course, was his classic gruff attitude, especially towards his personal healer whom I think he was ready to tear limb from limb. lol. Note to self, when Rochiron is injured *and* in a less than content mood, stay as far away as possible to save yourself a tongue-lashing. And the captain fought with an arrow in his chest...why would a practically unusable leg hinder him? Stubborn Elf. lol. Though I like the image of Erethion(?) glowering at him.
The second part was learning that Rochiron had a son...I think the world spun slightly on its axis when I read that. And I can't describe the change in opinion it made me have of the grim Silvan. Maybe you can imagine my shock, but aside from it just lending another layer of depth to Rochiron...I felt such sorrow for him. It's like, I think I now understand part of why his outlook on life is the way it is. Why he's such a tough character. I mean, I'm sure other factors are involved (including that it's just the type of person he is), but I obtained the sense that through the unimaginable grief of losing his son, Rochiron had somehow unconsciously hardened part of his heart against such further grievance, if it came. It's endearing to picture him playing the part of a father, but then it's like you can see the memories swimming in Rochiron's own eyes and thus, learn a glimpse of the pain he harbors. I sensed no rancor when reading what he spoke about mortals and their children, so I'm guessing (hoping) that somehow Rochiron found a way to let go of the pain, to not let it fester in his heart overly much, though it obviously left a big scar.
Another I'm sure you knew would attract me was the very conversation held between Rochiron and Legolas, about the love for one's child. What I appreciated is that you could see both sides of the argument, you could see where both were coming from. Being an immortal, Rochiron makes perfect sense in his reasoning and, if I were an Elf, I probably would take Rochiron's side. But what impresses me is that not only does Legolas hit it closer to the mark with describing a mortal's love as "more intense" (a brilliant dissection of the topic I might add), but the prince seems to already have the unconscious awareness that, as humans, we have a more keen awareness of Time than the Eldar. The Race of Men are so careful to measure every year, every day and every hour, so precious is Time to the Secondborn. To the Eldar, they are (understandably) incapable of making sense of such a quirk, and while they might respect it (even be in awe of it), in their immortality Elves are only so cognizant of Time as humans when they lose it through death.
In short, Legolas seems to exhibit much wisdom on that side of the coin, but Rochiron's arguments are equally undisputable. Suffice it to say that that's the type of conversation I cherish reading about (as I'm sure you were fully aware of). Moving on...
When I read the name Ivanneth and his epithet of "ancient elf", is it creepy that I started hearing mystical music in my head? Anywho, the deliberations between Girithron, Henenuir(sp.) and the other military advisors was well crafted and thought out (evidence provided by that I was taken aback when Legolas suddenly showed up). It meant you were wasting time just to indulge our patience. I truly that they were trying to figure out what the heck to do with this mess. And I can understand Girithron's anger (and perhaps even a little hurt) at that Elf's muttering of Thranduil.
I still love how the undercurrent of this whole story consistently alludes to the dire state Mirkwood was in at the end of the Third Age. The actual severity of it is coming across very smoothly and believably. They're coming to be encompassed by the Enemy, if the Orcs constantly harrying them are any example. I'm just glad everyone's safe back home, if not in their most stellar mood. Thranduil, I have a word of advice: Never leave the confines of your forest again. :)
I'm sad that the story's coming to a close, but am uplifted with the knowledge that sequel will be following. :) I can't wait!
| world-classgeek 4/15/13 . chapter 10
*takes a deep breath* Okay. They are all safe for the time being. Thank goodness. I love this story. You portray the characters so well. KEEP IT UP
| blackieconnors 4/13/13 . chapter 10
Brilliant. Love this story!
| Purestrongpoem 4/13/13 . chapter 10
| ailhsa23 3/29/13 . chapter 9
I've followed this story for a while, and I'm so impressed with your use of language in this story - whether it be the dialogue itself or narrative. Sometimes it's a bit frustrating to see stories set in this universe written in modern day language, so this was a breath of fresh air to me. Nothing about this feels out of character, and even though it's not what most are used to reading, it is still easy to follow and equally entertaining.
This isn't much of a review, but I wanted to say it anyway.
| X 3/26/13 . chapter 5
You have an excellent writing style and great depth but i'm going to be frank...this is boring, Nothing beyond conversations with people we don't know and speculation has happened after the round with the spiders. you need to get to the point or build up tension, throw in plot. I understand this is a imagery of what was happening with the elves during this time, however you barley bring up the dwarves and bilbo at all. I end up skimming waiting for something to happen to the main characters of the book. I think you should at least work in things that build tension and keep the readers guessing.
| world-classgeek 3/26/13 . chapter 9
Good job! Tense through out with a good ending. I was scared for all of them!
| Gwedhiel0117 3/26/13 . chapter 9
You updated this story less than a day ago and I didn’t even receive an email alert about it! I can’t keep up with you, FFN….I seriously found out you updated by accident – just glancing at the front page of the fandom and did a double take when I saw your story’s title. *rolls eyes* I was in the middle of typing a PM but I suppose this is better.
Poem: The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot. :D Though don’t give me any bonus points since I googled it. :P lol.
The level of detail of the aftermath of battle was gruesome beyond repair, and I don't speak in terms of physical wounds. On the side, it's so very rare to be able to read so deeply into a battle's aftermath, as it's something people just rush through and summarize in a paragraph or two. But I can't tell you how much honor you have given to those soldiers in real life who have to suffer battle and its aftermath that can sometimes prove to be even more horrifying. And that means you've honored a large section of my family who serves/served in the military (including my mother and father) who had once had to go abroad and/or fight in a war, from Vietnam to the Gulf War to Desert Storm to Afghanistan and Baghdad. So on a personal level, this chapter meant a great deal to me in ways I can't describe. It was like, finally: someone who can publicly acknowledge and profess some semblence of the true horror of war (in fantasy or not). And I had tears in my eyes when discovering this, both in appreciation and sadness as I was reminded of the wars my relatives dealt with. They deserved that honorable mention, even if by a lone story on a site and fandom known only by bookworms who love to write. So thank you.
But back to the story, there was such a rich (and I mean RICH) level of detail visible in this aftermath scene (and you deserve those bonus points for stretching it out and not simplifying the writing of such a difficult topic to make it easier on yourself). And I'm talking about Death. Death, despair, confusion, sorrow, anger...all the myriad emotions boiling inside you. Not only the overwhelming amount of deaths these surviving Elves have to face, but the foulness of Death in the air, as though it were an airborn disease. As I think I said in my last review, so many people cower away from writing that depth of risk and horror found in battle, and I can't describe how ecstatic (or horrified, based on one's point of view) I was when seeing it expanded into this chapter.
There were two points when I think I had tears in my eyes (or at least a tightness welling up in my chest), and the first time was when Esgaldor spoke "honor" as his last word. As Legolas thought, must Death hound them at every moment in life? It made me grieve for Esgaldor, who must die without knowing so many things. And to think he was one of many Elves who suffered this. And none of these deaths were shallow, which made them all the more emotional and resentful.
The other point where my emotions started to get the better of me was when that Elf (forgot the name) spoke of Rochiron's request of what should be done with his body if he died. I don't know why that got me, only that it did. Again, a further level of depth to the Captain is given, when none was expected (it surprised me, in other words). I adored both the detail of separation between Legolas' kin and the Woodland kin, as well as how poetic and beautiful the reason behind Rochiron's burial request was. That was so precious, so "Elvish-y" precious that it fit like a sword to sheath to me. And Rochiron's still in trouble...Why am I not surprised? :) But I'm just so glad he's alive and looking to be on the road to soon being hale (though at the rate he's going, he may just get himself into more trouble before that happens). And I had the amusing thought that, as soon as Legolas told Rochiron who was in charge, Rochiron's immediate thought was just "shoot me now!" :P So typical of Rochiron to have that ring of command still in his voice when lying on his probable death bed. I can definitely see him sitting in that place of honor next to Thranduil.
And Calethor's "accidental" way of discovering how Rochiron and Belegir were still with the living was so funny. Poor Elf.
I can understand Legolas castigating himself for being so selfish at this time, as I know I would personally be self-disgusted just like he was. But I also understand and don't blame him for feeling such "selfishness" after the battle. But my understanding, you don't want to dismiss your woes as unimportant at that time. You don't want to think about anyone else. You don't care. You don't want to care. All you want to do is wallow in self-pity and grieve for those you lost. Be angry at knowing they would never return, at yourself for believing it might have gone differently if you decided another path. I can totally understand Legolas for being "selfish" at this time, and certainly would be surprised if he or any other warrior wasn't at least at some point. But then, Legolas does have the burden of command, and thusly must do against our instincts and lay aside what he might feel to be Captain. That really sucks. :) But at least he has the honor and respect (and trust) of those under him, and that was shown beautifully.
And maybe I'm a little late in this, but I finally made the connection of how this chapter (and previous chapters) are interrelated with the beginning chapters of Thranduil not coddling Legolas, but being subconsciously protective of him. Boy, won't Thranduil receive a surprise when he comes home and learns what Legolas has been up to. But I didn't even realize that until now. Talk about smooth sailing.
And the transition back towards Girithron was a lovely surprise. One thing I love is how you're making none of these battle-hardened experienced warriors "used to it". I can't count the endless fics where all their "warriors" (including their MS OCs) don't even bat an eye in face of battle or death or death of comrades. Like I once inferred: If you're "used to it" you're already either mentally insane or evilly twisted at heart. No true warrior finds his duty to be a theme park of embroidery! (Sorry. Started going into a rant there a little bit.)
But that's why I loved Girithron's desperate and even panicky (sp.) thoughts about the news he received. Talk about stressed and overwhelmed. I felt so bad for him in that moment and can't imagine the turmoiling battle raging within him at the choices he must make as a leader, let alone Crown Prince. The burden of leadership was showcased so brilliantly here that I think all of those MS writers and OrlandoBloom-hotguy fangirls need to take a lesson in. Girithron's characterization is coming along astoundingly. It's like every time I enter his brain there's something new to discover about him. And I particularly liked his reflection on how this had never happened before, not at Amon Lanc or elsewhere. They had always been one step ahead of the Enemy (even if in retreat). That was a nice subtle touch on the peril of Sauron's growing dominion over Middle-earth, Mirkwood especially. Very awesome link to the coming darkness of LotR.
Well, I think I out-wrote myself and there's probably a thing or three I failed to remember to comment on. But even though this chapter can be perceived to be slow, it was so rewarding in its richness and a much needed delving into the greatness of these Wood-elves, of their honor, loyalty, and valiance. And I still have no idea what may be coming, so I will repeat what I said before while my anticipation is still high: get the next chapter written! lol. And if you don't get a PM from me tonight, you'll get one tomorrow.
| Purestrongpoem 3/25/13 . chapter 9
| HowlingBurn 3/25/13 . chapter 6
"It was only when he could gaze openly at the stars, without fear, that the king felt his weaknesses succored and his doubts reassured."
That line actually made me cry - I feel the same way myself about the stars, they have such power to draw out emotions long-buried. Thank you for that, for your (in my view)pitch-perfect portrayal of Thranduil and for engaging me with this story - your pacing and plot are masterful. I look forward to your updates and they always brighten my day.
Hannon le, Estel-Mi-Olor. Hannon le.