Reviews for A Game of Chess
Nimloth9 chapter 22 . 5/28/2012
I remember reading this story before but have not submitted a review then.

I admire your amazing writing, and how you portray the characters so splendidly. I especially like your Aragorn/Faramir relationship as it is not "bromancely" as I find in quite a number of other fanfictions. It's more like how I imagine their relationship to be. They love and respect the other, but they also keep a certain amount of distance as befit a lord and liege IMO.

The verbal spars (the friendly ones) were just wonderful too.

I admit I have a few qualms regarding the story, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and am thankful for being able to read it. Again, your writing is awesome.
WargishBoromirFan chapter 11 . 5/9/2012
I am the first to admit that I'm a Denethor Defender almost to an OOC extent, (the man's the furthest thing from a fluffy-bunny romantic hero, but he's got brains and dedication to back up that massive ego, if not enough to weather the emotional wreck at the end of his life,) and having seen the after-effects of mental/emotional abuse without direct violence thrown in, I find most stories that heap physical abuse on top of it tend to cheapen all subjects involved, so I gotta admit I was cringing at this part for more than just the fallout between Faramir and Eowyn.

But you know what? For Faramir's loyalty, for Eowyn's uwillingness to take any guff, for Imrahil trying (and not quite succeeding) to stay rational, for the way the group stumbles toward a new normal, by the end, it all works. Once again, great job.
WargishBoromirFan chapter 8 . 2/28/2012
If you will excuse a horrible, horrible pun in honor of a very moving and well-written story, that was a second-degree burn right there from Imrahil. My own twisted sense of humor aside, I love the three-dimensional characterization you put into your stories.
Equilly chapter 14 . 5/20/2011
Love it!

geekmama chapter 1 . 3/12/2011
Sent here by azalaisdep (on LJ) when I told her I'd always wanted to read some good Eowyn/Faramir. This is every bit as wonderful as she said it was, beautifully written, just the right tone, and with a touch of humor. I am almost teary with happiness. I love your Faramir voice, and the research you've done to make every detail just right. Beautiful work!
Eryndil chapter 22 . 2/13/2011
Truly extraordinary. At times, difficult to read as it becomes so bleak, but impossible to stop reading all the same. Beautifully written, with a sensitive and well thought out exploration of the effects of war on those who survive the battle. A very fitting subject given Tolkien's own influences. The style is exactly right and you have captured the speech patterns in a way that very few fanfiction writers manage to do. This is now the first LOTR story to go on my favourites list and I will be reading more of your fics.
Scila chapter 22 . 1/23/2011
I just want to say that, well, I read and reread this story many times trough out the years, since 2003, I think. It's 2011 and here I am finishing up another read, and it's still beautiful and touching as it was. More so now, I think, because I'm a different person, with more experience in life, and mostly, experience with relationships (not all mine, but of people close to me). Faramir's distress and post-traumatic stress thanks to war are now more understandable to me, I can finally really appreciate how you approached the subject with care and honesty. As was the way you wrote Éowyn doubts as a mother. Also Faramir childhood and Denethor abuse were... Well, I can say that while I'm fortunately never experienced such things, but I know of people who did and I can relate to his suffering very much. I was especially moved by their marriage troubles, because it felt real and it's was dealt with care and no need for overly dramatics, just two people talking and loving each other. Truly beautiful. Anyway, I don't know if you will still read this review, but I was struck by the need to write this after being suddenly afraid of what would happen one day if wouldn't find it anymore on the net. I felt the need show a little gratitude after enjoying it so much so many times. So, thank you for this story that made such impression on me, and will stay in my memory for many, many years. I hope to enjoy another read of it soon. You have incredible talent for writing, thank you!
Darkover chapter 22 . 12/29/2010
Dear Altariel: This was an emotional wringer of a story, but at least all was happiness in the end. More or less, as I get the impression there are a few issues, or maybe a few issues developing, between Faramir and Elboron. Or maybe that is just because Elboron is fourteen years old. Sort of like Mark Twain's observation; "When I was fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. Then I left home, and didn't come back until I was twenty-one. It was amazing how much he had learned in just seven years." Not that I believe things are that bad between Elboron and Faramir, but I suspect that it will be awhile before Faramir's oldest son truly understands about his father's illness, and before he truly understands Faramir's bravery and his family history. Elboron can't be expected to understand it all now, of course. As for "A Game of Chess," it is a magnificent story, mostly about the importance of learning to communicate! IMHO, that was something both Faramir and Eowyn had to learn, but learn it they did, happily. In Faramir's defense, though, I can understand why he did not want to tell Eowyn what he had been going through. Frankly, considering what she was like at the beginning of this story, she was not the sort of person I would want to bare my soul to, either. And concerning the infamous incident in which Faramir put his fist through the glass: Eowyn seemed conveniently to forget that she was about to strike him just seconds before that happened. I am *not* saying that she deserved to be hit, because she did not, but she had no right to hit him, either. As always, you did a masterful job of portraying these characters, including the secondary characters, such as Imrahil, Aragorn, and Arwen. And I thought your emphasis on how the same incidents can be seen and comprehended very differently from another's POV was nothing short of brilliant. Thanks so much for writing and posting this. Sincerely, Darkover
Starshinedown chapter 2 . 12/6/2009
This is lovely. The language is exquisite and wonderfully appropriate in a way that so many LotR (and other period writers) try but don't quite achieve.

I'm excited to see how this story plays out!
LadyoftheShield chapter 22 . 11/30/2009
Beautifully crafted, well done!
HeadbangGirl chapter 22 . 7/10/2009

Really, one of the best stories I've read :)

I read A Game Of Chess on Emyn Arnen-fanfiction first, so I was glad to find it on FanFiction as well.

Great you put in Bron as epilogue :)

duj chapter 22 . 6/1/2009
Excellent work. Thoughtful, plangent, compelling.
Cariad-je chapter 22 . 5/31/2009
You are an amazing writer... infusing meaning on so many levels I don't believe I'm aware of them all. I must come back to read this in a 'lit student' mode (unaccustomed as it may be), it seems I'm missing much :) but gaining a great deal all the same.

This story is absolutely incredible, even, perhaps especially because it's so painful to watch people tear themselves and each other up so easily. But I'm so glad you saw this story through to its happy conclusion - that it is a story ultimately of triumphant love and hope is what seems to me most important.

Your assessment of people, and how they feel and what makes them feel and how they can hurt... it's so believable and riveting, and it makes me feel so young. Young in the sense that there's so much of life and love and living that I don't understand, and might not ever even as I feel and live myself. (I mean no offense - only that you write with penetrating depth of insight and a sort of wisdom.) You have such an ability to see and capture dual perspectives so vastly distinct as to be bound only by the reality of the observance...

This was so well crafted I can find nothing that bears criticism, only minor points I disagree with. IMHO, Denethor would not ever have been a man to repeatedly hit his wife nor strike his sons - but an upright man whom happier circumstance would have made a magnificent Steward. But that's just my opinion, and your portrayal of Denethor works so well in this story, gives so much to it, I could not envision it otherwise.

Too many stories try so hard to find some appropriate villain, and I really admire you for hitting on the one source of conflict that's so natural as to seem almost inevitable, and pulling it off so well, when a physical hurt is so much less difficult to face (and, I imagine, to write :). You wrote it so well as to make that sense of connection and (common) humanity seem stronger than the concept of earth or Arda... I couldn't help but start pinning modern names on this illness or that malady :)

In rambling on like this though the heart of what I mean to say is this: you touched me to the core. You seem to do that with all your stories in any case, but with this you had me on the verge of tears for much of the ride. Many emotions seemed too familiar, struck so very close to home... I don't know how to put it, but it made for an intense read, and the effort and time you took then to put into writing this is very, very much appreciated.
Jazzcat chapter 22 . 5/4/2009
What a beautiful, beautiful - and incredibly insightful - tale. Thank you so much for sharing this. Faramir and Eowyn both had a boatload of baggage to bring into a marriage - even with a love as deep and intense as that of Eowyn and Faramir's had been in the beginning. These issues were bound to crop up over time. Charmingly written and carefully woven. It was definitely time well spent - even away from writing the thesis!

I'm delighted to have stumbled across this. It was a heartwarming story.

Thank you again, and write on!

Hunchbook chapter 22 . 10/19/2008
Having spent a large portion of the past weekend reading through not only this story but the few preceeding it, (although I don't believe you wrote them in that order, they come out like that) I have to say: WHY HAVEN'T YOU PUBLISHED ANYTHING YET? Although I guess if you did, I would have to go out and buy it and since I am a) a poor student and b) horrible at selecting books that aren't in the young adult section or my housemate's bookshelf, I much prefer this method.

This is all to say that you are a fabulous writer, and aside from a little pronoun confusion in one or two sections, I have absolutely nothing constructive to say because there is nothing that renders criticism. (although that may be because it's 1am and i just spent the last 4 hours reading this... maybe more)

Thank you so much for writing. Faramir was always one of my favourite characters, and I was very glad to hear more about him.

Oh! I did have a comment, I notice that Eowyn did not seem to do much by way of well, anything other than "womanly" occupations (taking care of children, shopping, um...) until the end (with the exception of a brief mention at the beginning of Faramir going to her for advice). Not that you could change it now, just something I noticed.

I also have to say that I loved how the story was told in first person. I truly felt, thoughout the story that the character was talking to me the day or a couple of days after the event. It was marvelous to see not only how the characters in the story changed, but how the narrative changed with the story. Adding that feel of realism that occasionally gets lost in first person.

Thank you for writing something that I can only poorly comment upon. :) (and yes I've read some of your newer stuff as well)
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