|Reviews for This Present Darkness|
| Guest chapter 2 . 1/20
I think that it is the best chapter well of what I've read it is a very wonderful story so far thank you for doing this book
| Namei chapter 61 . 12/26/2013
Thank you. Just thank you.
| Arya Daeriel chapter 61 . 12/14/2013
Okay. I've been reading this fic for far too many hours (do you have any idea how many pages this would be if it were actually a book?) and I just... wow.
It has been a very, very long time since I read a fic that was an intense and, quite frankly, downright disturbing. I stand back and look at it in awe because I have literally seen nothing like it in my years of perusing fanfiction.
| lucydod chapter 45 . 12/1/2013
Thranduil is my hero. Justice, finally, is served. This story is AMAZING! So much emotional turmoil, I can't stop reading!
| MidnightxRain chapter 1 . 10/24/2013
I remember this story after watching the hobbit the other day, and several other lord of the rings stories. I remember their being some Legolas/Aragorn m/m scenes am I right? Not usually my sort of thing but I remember the writing being so amazing in this story, and I not sure if I ever finished it! I was under a different name when I started reading this story, and this fanfic account is to go with my youtube channel, incase I make any fanfiction trailers! I'm glad I found this story again to complete it
| ArwenJaneLilyLyra chapter 61 . 8/26/2013
I'm not sure where to start with this review, as there are lots of things I want to say. I'll try my best to be concise.
"Hurray for an Arwen of substance!" is perhaps the most pressing point right now. One improvement that P.J. made with his films was to make Arwen into a real character - more than the elevated Elven beauty of Tolkien's original creation. You have taken this one step further. This is NOT a perfect Arwen. She makes mistakes - she perhaps takes Legolas for granted, particularly his devotion to Aragorn, then regrets it when she realises the depth of the love between her husband and her friend. Her verbal attack on Legolas after he was healed by Aragorn rang very true the emotions I would expect of her - the jealousy, the panic, the guilt, the frustration. Even at the peaks of her anger, I felt as if she didn't truly mean what she was saying (well, not with her whole heart at least) but simply felt trapped and was lashing out in desperation. I was also very pleased to read of Gondor's devotion to their Queen as she assumed a more active role as a monarch. This is Arwen as you have written her in her element, a just and fair ruler that evokes admiration and respect.
And while we're on the subject of female characters: your Eowyn never failed to bring a smile to my face. You stayed very true to her fiery spirit, and it worked well in her relationship with Faramir - "lacha nîn", how apt! I think it would be very easy to make light of their relationship, and even perhaps their individual characters. Here both were complex and interesting. In particular we saw much of Faramir's inherent strength AND weakness, and as he is one of my favourite characters I am very grateful for that.
I think what makes this story stand out is the subtle, sensitive respect you gave the topics at hand. Avoiding the outright graphic descriptions of the sexual violence in particular is not something that many writers seem capable of, but you took what had the potential to be an exaggerated piece of horror (not that I'm accusing YOU of having that potential, of course) and made it into something, dare I say, beautiful. This approach to Aragorn and Legolas' relationship, the uncertainty of Aragorn's battle between love and desire for the Elf, is not something I've considered before (I generally avoid any stories of such implications like the plague, but maybe I shouldn't) and this story has really opened my eyes. You seem to have put a lot of effort into defining this relationship of theirs, the intricacies of a connection (I'll avoid the word bond, to save confusion) between a Man and an Elf. It's maybe easy sometimes to forget that they are of different races and mindsets, and you did an admirable job of addressing this. (And slightly irrelevantly but before I forget, the gentle humour between Legolas and Gimli was very enjoyable!)
I loved your exploration of Aragorn's dark side, as I don't think it's something I'd be brave enough to attempt. Even at his worst you didn't go too far from the realms of his original character. He was recognisable - scarily so, in fact, and that's what made the fear you injected into your readers (well, this reader at least) so very real. Speaking of this fear, his attempted rape of Legolas was very well written - my my, that was a difficult sentence to write! I was so uncomfortable all the way through; if it wasn't so compelling I would possibly have had to stop reading it. That's surely the sign of excellent writing.
But it's not just Aragorn's dark side, of course. I think what I want to congratulate you most for was the darkness that was in turn displayed in Legolas. Attacking Aragorn, lashing out, the actions so clearly driven by fear and internalised anger that it was heartbreaking to read. That would have been my downfall in a story like this - I would have been tempted to sanctify the victimised Legolas. Here you didn't, there was no sheltering ANY of the characters, and your story profited by it. The range of emotions Legolas displays in this story is quite dizzying, but they were believable and very moving. His relationship with his father and brothers was particularly interesting to read, and I liked your Thranduil very much. He balanced "Father" and "King" well - I think the dialogue between him and Aragorn was some of the best in the entire story.
I also want to highlight what a wonderful villain you had for this story. I find it impossible to be completely invested in the "All Evil Enemy" character. As terrible and cruel as Dragaer was, I could connect with the root of his evils - I could understand him beyond "I Want World Domination". It also made it even more difficult to read his scenes in the story - knowing this was a "real man", not some embodiment of evil.
The consequences of this man's actions were dealt with well, too. The gradual diminishing of Legolas as the threads tying him to Middle Earth and to life were cut was very frustrating to read. I felt as if I was really on this journey with those around him, wanting to help him but unable to do so.
There's really too much left to say. I'm a terrible rambler once I get into a story. Safe to say this story was a delight to read (if painful at times) and I feel privileged to have read it. Thank you very, very much.
All the best, and I wish you every success in your future writing - particularly The Gloaming, which sounds very interesting.
| Mari83 chapter 61 . 8/21/2013
Amazing, epic story, down to every little detail, the characters, the plot, everything. I basically lived in this story for the past week. Thanks for all the work you put into it!
Off to check your other stories that look like more days of reading obsession:-)
| GUest chapter 61 . 6/20/2013
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so incredibly much! Thank you for this intense journey - I do not remember the last time that any piece of written work moved me that much.
| ForeverRainingFire chapter 61 . 5/18/2013
Wow! This is such a good story! I really loved the way you wrote the characters and the imagery you used was fantastic! I really felt like I was there with the characters. You did a fantastic job with the emotional aspects of this story. So, so good! Such a sad and horrible topic, but you dealt with it admirably. I also really liked the ending. Great job!
| dark11krad chapter 61 . 4/16/2013
It was an amazing story that was very well-written! I wished that I had taken the opportunity to read it earlier, as I have read all of your Lord of the Rings fanfics in the past. I honestly would have reviewed each and every chapter, but I feared that it would delay my finishing the story. (Ha ha.) I found myself wondering what would happen next, even while I was busy at work, and I teach elementary school kids! (Think of the patience one must also have at times!)
Indeed, it was *that* compelling; it was *that* good.
My favorite scenes have to have been any character interaction and dialogue with Thranduil, and the line “Keeping all of those balls in the air… what better training for diplomacy can you imagine?” is pure genius. It made me literally laugh aloud! Somehow, the way you characterized him is how I imagine he would be: proud, honorable, and loyal, with a dash of a mischievous sense of humor.
One of Gimli’s best lines was:
“ ‘They let Frodo in, and Bilbo,’ Gimli continued. ‘Gandalf even took Shadowfax with him! That bloody horse never bore any Ring! So you can't tell me –’ he stopped. ‘What was that?’ ”
Frankly, I can imagine the movie version of Gimli and his facial expressions as he said that.
As for Legolas, it was incredible the way you characterized him after Aragorn had healed him. Suggesting a horse ride in two-foot-deep snow and catching Gimli unaware at this sudden change of attitude is something Legolas would definitely try to do, even only to feign a distraction. (Ha ha.) I seriously believe that you would be amazing at a purely humorous fanfic between the Three Hunters during the timeline of The Two Towers (versus a post-Return of the King fanfic like “The Best Laid Plans”). Normally, I shy away from stories with any mention of Legolas and Aragorn as a pairing, but this was one in such a way - as an integral aspect of the tale - that it was impossible to not finish the rest of it.
As I write this review, I still find it difficult to express how wonderful a read the story was, and even now, my mind is reeling because of it. A thousand times: thank you for sharing your intricately woven tale of love, friendship, betrayal, vengeance, and so much more. I wish all the best in your future endeavors, including The Gloaming, and *never* stop writing.
| Demons Hiding chapter 61 . 2/21/2013
Holy crap. I have no words for how completely AMAZING this fic is, but just know that I read this all in one go the night before my midterm. You have everyone's characterizations so downpat, I could hear their movie voices in my head as I was reading.
Everything you've built onto Tolkien's foundations is just so completely plausible and blends perfectly with things that we know for a fact. The parts about the elves and Legolas, and the delgurth were heartbreaking in how realistic they were.
Hands down, your portrayal of Aragorn is the best I've ever read. In the beginning, I was almost feeling nauseous at how both like and unlike him his actions were, and when he came back from his madness, that was just amazing and beautifully done. I think my absolute favourite part was when Aragorn was healing Legolas of the shadow, and the way you described the sensations and feelings he experienced was breathtaking and I could almost feel the horror and breaking like I was right there with him.
You have a wonderful way with words, and I thank you so much for this amazing piece of work.
| BewitchingDesire chapter 6 . 1/11/2013
Your writing has entranced me. The mastery you show over Tolkien's world is breath taking. I don't know if you still look at the reviews for this story, but I must let you know how much I am thoroughly enjoying this story. It's beautiful, and I am only 6 chapters in! Thank you for writing!
| Eboni chapter 61 . 12/31/2012
I apologize because I came back to this story after watching The Hobbit to reread it, and now realize that I did not read the whole thing. What a wonderful surprise actually, because I got to enjoy being reaquainted with the story and then earned about 30 new chapters that I could not recall.
Beautiful writing, beautiful story-telling, beautiful bonds. And you've done something that I've never seen before in LOTR fanfiction. The concept that the love for a very good friend and romantic love are not that different for elves, so Arwen's jealousy is understandable, though Legolas has no romantic feelings for Aragorn.
I love that she feels love-hate for Legolas at one point, because she knows how much Aragorn loves Legolas to do so much for him, but then there was also Legolas sacrifice to Aragorn. I know she must have felt small and insecure, how can she compete with that? She wasn't even given the chance to by Aragorn.
I even loved their awkwardness toward each other at the end, and Legolas and Arwen's heart-to-heart. And I am enchanted with how devoted Gimli is to Legolas.
King Thranduil and his sons, I enjoyed their appearances. King Thranduil scaring away mortals with his mere presence, classic. And his determination to save his youngest is touching. Legolas's brothers' anger at Aragorn and thinking he needed to be sentences in Greenwood was perfect.
I can go on about how much I loved this story and how you left no stone unturned when it came to characters and relationship and emotional arcs, but then you would start skimming the review, lol!
I apologize once again for not reading all of this story and not realizing that I hadn't. I don't remember why I thought the story was done in 2006, because I think that's the last time I read it. I think I remember up until the point of Gimli being stabbed and Aragorn saving him.
Wonderful story and the Aragon and Legolas and Gimli preparing to ride off into the sunset is the right ending. Good luck to you and your writing projects. Good luck with your book! Much luck in 2013!
| Kiiimberly chapter 61 . 12/17/2012
Thank you for sharing! My only regret is not reading this sooner. I've had this story bookmarked for perhaps half a year!
| Kiiimberly chapter 43 . 12/13/2012
I'm so glad Gimli is alive. His reaction to the loss of his beard was hilarious. But yes, a beardless Dwarf is better than a dead one. I fear that Legolas will misconstrue Gimli sending him away though.