Reviews for The Falcon and the Star
Rian Steelsheen chapter 2 . 6/24/2010
"To say that I was weary was to say that Arwen was pleasant to look upon, or that Pippin was a curious hobbit."

Wonderful introduction, it makes us enter into the story directly, into Aragorn's head and into the ambiance. It is funny, yet it’s a bad news. I love this sentence, very much! In fact the whole first paragraph was impressive… :)

The writing is most excellent, truly. There are some very powerful images and the rhythm is well chosen. At some times the wording is so very powerful I can feel what you write Aragorn feels!

"If he was soon to die, I should at least speak to him, assure him that we would hold the City."

I'm not sure Denethor would wish to see Aragorn before dying, given his words at the Pyre, the poor man would have an attack or something! Lol

"Imrahil suddenly challenged Pippin's use of that name, as if we all had nothing else to do than bicker about details."

That made me laugh, I never noticed before.

"The Black Shadow usually chilled its victims. The fever's presence could signify that he was fighting the blight's advance"

I've always wondered at that, but if it's due to him fighting, wouldn't Merry at least be fevered too? I don't know…

Faramir's healing is also very different from Éowyn's and Merry's. Aragorn seems to go into a trance (or something) only with Faramir. Maybe both parties must be Númenórean?

I don't know about the memory-reading stuff, Gandalf could have told him about Faramir, they had all the way up to the sixth level to talk about it. And it just seems to me too…magical? (hm, this isn't the word I'm looking for!) It makes me think of Aro in Twilight… Well I'm just uneasy about it. If Aragorn could see memories, wouldn't he have done that with Gollum?

But then it's your choice! :)

Aragorn's characterization is very well done. His frustration, weariness, etc… are all very real.

The only thing I found lacking, personally, is him not giving a thought to Faramir as an obstacle. Just a sentence to know what he was thinking about it would be nice, because he has healed/saved the one person that still stands between him and the throne (well once Sauron is overthrown anyway). It was a risky choice for him but he did it nonetheless, I would have liked to know how your Aragorn saw the whole thing. In the book we only know he wouldn't defy Denethor before the end of the war (for fear of causing dissensions among them).

The vows at the end of the chapters are wonderful, really I loved them. My favorite parts of the whole chapter are the introduction then the ending! But the whole thing was excellent, no joke.
Rian Steelsheen chapter 1 . 6/22/2010
Great prologue! Very vivid, you can really feel his confusion and fear...
SubRosa7 chapter 5 . 5/26/2010
I think this is a wonderful description of Aragorn's first introduction to Faramir! Thank you so much for writing it!
Mirach chapter 5 . 3/28/2009
P.S: Tell Anke that her drawings are awesome!
Mirach chapter 4 . 3/28/2009
Oh, thank you for this story! It was very ravishing and well-written, and with deep knowledge of Tolkien's world. Now I'm proud of myself that I caught your hint about Gandalf as Olórin in Lórien's gardens :)

It was again a very nice detail as you showed the anxiety of Faramir's men for their captain. And it was very touching how Aragorn found new trust into himself in Faramir's trust.
Mirach chapter 3 . 3/28/2009
I sat quietly for a while after reading this chapter, to savour the feeling. It's beautiful! And Faramir is so brave and wise... The scene where Aragorn had to watch him climb the slope and couldn't help him was heartbreaking, and you nailed it with the rhyme that Faramir was repeating to keep going.

Then you gave Aragorn Elendil's star and you remembered the healing powers that the Elessar had and tied its light with Aragorn's hearbeat. I am most deeply impressed.
Mirach chapter 2 . 3/28/2009
Poor Aragorn, poor Faramir! Really good chapter, connecting the facts and direct speach from the book with a deeper insight into Aragorn's thoughts. I wouldn't call Éowyn a "sorrowful scrap of a girl", though :) I like the little things, like Aragorn remembering Ioreth and her tongue, his assesment of the state of all the patients to determine who is in greatest peril, and meditation at the end with dedicating his work to Estë.
Mirach chapter 1 . 3/28/2009
The prologue is very nice, the description of the land so vivid. The heat and fire are a very good expression for the fever and for Denethor's burial pyre. And with every paragraph I wondered what is the worst thing, if not this.
Jassmine de Blanc chapter 5 . 6/25/2008
I, too, was always under the impression that Aragorn was in some kind of a trance when he healed Faramir and the others... This, however, was the first fic about the "dark vale" that I read, and I found it extraordinarily well done!

So congratulations! Yes, this is certainly your masterpiece (so far!), it's so complex and deep... Thank you for so beautifully and inteligently rewriting one of my favourite scene from the book!

I looked at the drawings, they are very beautiful, and the ink technique preserves some of the gloomy air of your story...

And one more thing: it was a great idea to insert Biblical quotes as mottos for each chapter, they were perfectly chosen and imprinted a solemn atmosphere from the very beginning!

I absolutely loved this! And I think I'll read it again, with a clearer head, later today! (it's 5:53 here! a.m.! :D)
Jassmine de Blanc chapter 4 . 6/25/2008
How could I leave this story and go to sleep? Forget sleep, when I have such a wonderful fanfiction to read! :)

The last chapter was perfect again! (I think I've used this word far more times that I would normally do - well, it just suits!) I *loved*loved*loved* your rewritting of Faramir's awakening! I've always liked the fact that the first to call Aragorn "King" was Steward - Tolkien sure knew how to insert such small detail! I loved how you used this. I think this is my favourite paragraph from this chapter: "By the Valar, he had called me king! And suddenly my doubts, my anxiety about the next battle with Mordor’s forces, all melted away before the fierce hope and devotion I saw in my Steward’s eyes. Though I would make no formal claim until Sauron fell, I knew I was king now, King of Gondor. Faramir’s King. For he was the first to hail me as lord of the realm his sires had ruled." Very in character for Aragorn, that irresistable mix of modesty and awareness and acceptance of his own role in hitory... Excellently written!

And the final lines, with Aragorn's determination to put to use all his power for the greater benefit of Gondor and all her people... simply wonderful!
Jassmine de Blanc chapter 3 . 6/25/2008
Oh, my God! This was... unbelievably wonderful! Don't expect me to write a coherent review, I'm far too impressed for that! :))

Surrealist again. An extremely interesting view of the "land of Shadow", I absolutely love the gloomy atmosphere and the demonic landscape!

Aragorn's voice was perfect again, and I loved the way he gradually comes to understand and respect Faramir. The man sure deserves it, and Aragorn's praise is welcomed indeed! I've seen the Faramir-as-mtonimy-for-Gondor-in-Aragorn's-eyes motif before, but never so beautifully handled as you did it here: "I pulled Faramir close, to steady him. It seemed I held the spirit of Gondor itself. Here, in my keeping, was a treasure beyond price: the virtues of the Southern Kingdom embodied in one man: the ancient pride and traditions of Westernesse, the courage at arms and desire for peace, the love of music and lore, the keenness of mind and generosity of heart, passed down from our lost home in Númenor to this last Steward to guard the realm." - perfect choice of words! :)

The shade of Denethor was a tricky test, for a moment I thought Faramir will give in, but he resisted the temptation most wisely!

I also loved your recurrent theme of "music that keeps the evil away" - very Tolkienesque and perfectly inserted here!
Jassmine de Blanc chapter 2 . 6/25/2008
Wow. This was extremely good! It gripped me from the first words to the last (and, mind you!, it's very late in the night ... or early n the morning, here!) and I couldn't help but read line after line with an increasing anticipation!

I *loved* the way you assumed Aragorn's voice - it was perfect, with his self-awareness combined with a certain modesty and of course pity for others. After Faramir, Aragorn is the the character I like most, and your version of him doesn't fall short of the Tolkien one! :)

I also loved Aragorn's first incursion in Faramir's memories... And the admiration he start to have after seeing Faramir's strenght and bravery. The sorrows of the younger man could certainly touch Aragorn - he has known pain himself, and compassion is one of his virtues.

Finally, the writing of this chapter was really good as well - it's well-paced, it creates suspense and it has great characterization!

Moving on to the next part... And you were right, I do think this is indeed your masterpiece! :)
Jassmine de Blanc chapter 1 . 6/25/2008
Breathtaking.

Raksha, this is not fanfiction, this is a very well-written page of surrealist prose! Excellently done!

The nightmarish vision contrasts with the lucidity and realism you granted Faramir in "Survivor"; and though I loved that too, I think I like this one a hundred time better! :)
Lenneth chapter 5 . 12/19/2007
excellent, excellent work! :-)
jada952 chapter 5 . 2/2/2007
extremely well written story - firmly grounded in

tolkien, yet weaving an image of the shadowlands,

that is powerful.

well done.

i thought the Biblical quotes apt.

sort of wondered about them though, given your pen name.

;-)
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