Reviews for The Falcon and the Star
ReviewsGalore chapter 5 . 1/18/2007
Story: 8.75/10. The story is interesting and I find the journey into the otherworld or whatever intriguing. I think that when you depict a lot of events that are already described, in detail, in the books that you have to be careful to offer a fresh look at these events. Most of the time you manage to achieve this through careful delving into the feelings of the characters. I do think that you could mix things up even more through more radical interpretations of the text or maybe through experimenting with perspective and narrative technique. I don't always feel that you chapters start out as strongly as they end or as they are in the middle: I have to get into each chapter.

Characters: 9/10. I really like how you seem to have thought about what your two main characters were thinking at any given time and you don't always go for the easiest or most obvious interpretation but look at the characters in more depth. The story is focused VERY heavily on Aragorn and Faramir which could be a good or a bad thing. I do think that your Faramir is a little more sensitive than I perceive him as being (then again this is a vulnerable time for him), but overall, nice job on the characters.

Creativity: 9.25/10. I know that going into someone else's subconscious isn't a totally new idea, but I think that you use it in a very creative way in this fic.

Writing: 9.5/10. Your writing is probably the strongest aspect of this fic. It is perfectly detailed and sometimes the writing itself just fills me with emotion.

Believability: 9.25/10. I don't know that I am 100% convinced that Aragorn found out others' memories in this way, but you make a compelling argument and you manage to convince me that it is possible in the fic. You have obviously done your homework.

Overall: 9.25/10. This fic has some really nice character development going on in it and the writing is exquisite. My main complaint is that BECAUSE it seems so focused in on certain characters, it is sometimes hard to get into the story. Good job!
MusicDreamer7 chapter 5 . 1/15/2007
Love the background information provided here. Plus I realized that I hadn't added you to my favorites list like I wanted to do. Take care
MusicDreamer7 chapter 4 . 1/15/2007
This story was truly well told. I greatly enjoyed reading this little fic. I've been meaning to read your work for some time now, but illness and schoolwork have kept me bogged down. Excellent work, and I greatly look forward to reading more of your stories.
acacia59601 chapter 4 . 12/1/2006
This is a great story and I'm really impressed by your work! Keep it up!
Rugi chapter 4 . 11/15/2006
Nice job here snapping the reader back into the real world. I love Aragorn's insecurities about Faramir looking at the grubby version of him when Faramir woke up.

This scene was so touching

“Walk no more in the shadows, but awake!” I replied, and pressed his right hand between both of mine, in token of the vows of fealty we would exchange one day. “Rest a while, and take food, and be ready when I return.”

Lovely that you tied in the idea of the oath - it enriches realistically what Tolkien already gave us - though that comment really applies to this whole story. :)
Rugi chapter 3 . 11/15/2006
I guess I can say the same stuff here only more so. It's amazing how well you balance and combine so many different threads of personality. Faramir is so worn out and yet still tough enough to drag himself to Aragorn on his own strength. He's beset by evil visions but wise enough to know how to stand up to them and not be tricked by them. I love that he was holding off the darkness with song and music - the sides of him others thought made him weak make him strong enough to survive. And Aragorn is wonderful - you show his human loves and vulnerabilities (I felt sniffily when he thought about Boromir dying) and you tie them to his kingly almost superhuman qualities and talents.

I also like that you tied the rescue of Faramir to the rescue of Gondor. Faramir accepting Aragorn opened the way to Aragorn becoming king - it makes sense that the love Aragorn has for the kingdom would mesh with Faramir himself - the best of the kingdom.
Rugi chapter 2 . 11/15/2006
This chapter (well every chapter in this story really) has so much great stuff in it that I feel like I'm going to babble.

First off Aragorn. You do SUCH a great job of humanizing him while at the same time portraying his superhuman qualities. He's tired after the fight, he's 88 years old but he's born to be a King and he can heal people with a touch.

When Aragorn enters his healing trance and sifts through Faramir's recent trials it really hits home how bad Faramir has had it recently. I mean it is just one thing after another and so you simultaneously reveal him to be young and vulnerable (lying wounded and unconscious) while at the same time incredibly strong and noble to have even survived it all.

I think that's what striking me as great about this fic right now - how well you manage to combine competeing characteristics into a sensible whole. And you do it by showing and not telling which makes it even better.
Rugi chapter 1 . 11/15/2006
I am so glad to see this story up here. I love it so much it is starting to become my vision of what happened at the HoH when Faramir was saved.

This chapter is so harrowing and real. You really give the reader the sense that he is assailed at every side physically, mentally, spiritually. I can believe that this is the dark vale.
JuliaAurelia chapter 5 . 11/13/2006
This is one of my all-time favorite stories of Aragorn's healing of Faramir in the HOH, and I was very glad to see that you had posted it here.
Dimfuin chapter 5 . 11/9/2006
I greatly enjoyed this story! I have always been a fan of stories on this particular chapter, and this is one of the best versions I've read. Faramir's thoughts seemed well justified and thought out, and Aragorn's characterization was also quite good.

The only thing that was a bit distracting was that every so often something Aragorn said or thought would be a bit more modern than your other writing style. It didn't detract too much, and there was nothing I can say was wrong, persay, but it seemed a little jarring at some points. Other than that, however, and overall it was great!
LadyBranwyn chapter 5 . 11/8/2006
Tolkien says that Aragorn had to "walk afar in some dark vale" to retrieve Faramir to the world of the living; this story explores that journey. I like how Raksha describes the dark vale as a place that is supernatural but is also influenced by Faramir's sensations in the real world-the thirst from his fever, the heat and smell of fires. Very nice that it isn't the physical hardship that disturbs him; from years of travelling in the wild, he knows how much and how long he can endure that. He is most frightened because he cannot see the stars, Tolkien's symbol of hope.

The disembodied voices are fittingly eerie-

"Go back, West-Man," said a thin sharp voice. "This is not your road. The Son of Gondor is ours."

Sad but true that the appearance of Denethor would be the one thing that could break Faramir's spirit. Even in this other world, Aragorn and Faramir at once recognize each other's worth. The details about their dress are so telling-Faramir is dressed as a simple ranger, which is how he views himself, and Aragorn is wearing the Elendilmir because he must bring the healing powers of the king into this place. Faramir shows a characteristic combination of resilience and humility; I loved him asking, as he is about to keel over, if there is anything he can do to help Aragorn!

Though I do not think that Aragorn was reluctant to become king, it does seem reasonable that he would have doubts about his own abilities. He says in "The Two Towers," after the breaking of the Fellowship, "All that I have done today has gone amiss." The burden of leadership fell to him after Gandalf's death, and he feels he has failed the test. Before he can claim the kingship, he must resolve his own lingering doubts about his fitness to be king (though when the Dead answer his summons, that is one validation of his claim), and this story provides an interesting exploration of that process. I especially like when Aragorn takes Faramir's hand between his two hands "in token of the vows of fealty we would exchange one day." A few of Faramir's men watching from the hallway, showing how loyal they are to their beloved captain, and Beregond hugging Bergil and crying-aw!

In this tale, Aragorn says, "It was well that I had begun my kingship with the saving of so worthy a Steward." How true that is! And thanks so much for sharing this wonderful tale.
Annawen Ereiniel chapter 5 . 11/8/2006
Since I read the entire story at one sitting, I'm going to apply this review to the story as a whole, not a particular chapter. I hope that's all right!

Anyway, I found this to be one of the most fully fleshed-out versions of the Houses of Healing plot that I have run across, not to mention one of the most inspired and inspiring stories I've ever read. Raksha, you're a genius. Don't ever stop writing!

I know you don't have all day to read reviews, so I'll keep this short. High points for me: the quotes at the start of chapters (helpful for setting the mood); the accuracy of Aragorn's mode of speech; "Let me see your quality" in Chapter 2 (although Aragorn couldn't know of the "quality" discussions surrounding Faramir, the repetition of the phrase has a resonance with the reader); your careful details about the hellish wasteland, including landscape, wraiths, and phantoms; your acknowledgement and repetition of Tolkien's ideas about the power of song and names; the overall portayal of Faramir as a man of strength and nobility, as well as the falcon imagery; the exploration of the importance of Faramir hailing Aragorn as king.

Other than a couple of little typographical errors (and I do mean only a couple, you're obviously careful about proofreading and polishing), I saw nothing that requires amendation.

Great work, Raksha, you have totally made my night by posting this, and I hope to see more from you in the future.
lindahoyland chapter 4 . 11/7/2006
A wonderful conclusion to this great story,shedding new light on a familiar passage from the book.I loved the image of Faramir as a falcon flying home.

I think I have read most of the Houses of Healing stories posted on the Net and this is by far the best,you do Tolkien proud !
lindahoyland chapter 3 . 11/7/2006
"It seemed I held the spirit of Gondor itself." I think this captures the essence of your story and the image of Faramir as spirit of Gondor has had a profound effect on my view of the man and my own stories. This chapter is just beautiful.

Faramir's initial confusion of Aragorn with his father is a plausible and striking idea.
lindahoyland chapter 2 . 11/7/2006
You capture Aragorn brilliantly here,his weariness, uncertainty and determination to try to do the right thing.
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