Reviews for In Brethil's Shade
Gyreflight chapter 1 . 12/21/2013
You do them both proud here, Finrod and Haleth, each lord of their own people in their own way and each accepting the other in a way that highlights the very different nobility of soul that they both embody, each after their own kind.

This is a much appreciated chance to see through Finrod’s eyes, that most noble of elven lords, friend of men and dwarf-named elvenking – and it illustrates beautifully exactly why it’s for his interaction with other races that he’s best remembered. He has that rare gift of seeing without judging, with only the intent to understand, to see what is there on its own terms…including the fact that this is not the way that his kin perceive the world either.

It’s that openness to difference, the ability to look outside his own understanding that lets him recognise the strength and honour and even nobility in these tough frontiersfolk whom the more ‘civilised’ elves might otherwise disregard as ‘barbarians’.

Haleth has something of this about her too, and it’s plain that in this one thing, she and he are perhaps more alike than any others of his companions. I love the way that as Finrod can be fascinated and unthreatened by the changefulness of men, Haleth can accept the unhidden nature of elven gifts without envy or fear, and feel only the wonder that such as he exist in the world, never thinking herself made the lesser by his existence - you can see why she deserves to give her name to one of the great Houses of Men (I do like the way that Finrod’s non-human perceptions of other’s emotion and thoughts are brought in as perfectly natural to him – and that Haleth accepts them just as easily).

As a character sketch of Finrod this does a lovely job of demonstrating how that open, watchful mind translates into the diplomat needed to visit the Haladin, the politician who judges the situations with Caranthir and Thingol, the king who would offer land and protection where it is his to do so – and at the last the warrior who will pick up a weapon and let it teach him the shape of its own mastery.

As ever, language and tone are nicely judged, metaphors appropriate to time and place, a part of the world that you are building with each word – and the whole is a most-memorable pleasure to read.

Thank you.
Julia-Monday chapter 1 . 6/10/2012

I like this story very much. May I translate it into Russian and set on Russian site?
asdfjkl chapter 1 . 6/17/2009
both your finrod and you haleth were magnificent.
RavenLady chapter 2 . 11/11/2003
Oh. My. God. This is so beautifully vivid, and a very convincing portrayal of both Finrod and Haleth. How can I possibly be the fourth reviewer? That's ridiculous, I mean it's a small fandom, but still. A fascinating explanation too. This is obviously very well researched and well written, and I admire that.
Mouse chapter 1 . 8/7/2002
Well I finally got around to reading this (at the recommendation of Finch the Finrod Fanatic). Reading accents- ugh, one of my least favourite things to do. Buuut... it was worth it, of course, and a necessary feature as the first highlight of the differences between the Elves and the "barbarians."

Finrod's interaction with the Haladin is engaging and positively charming, as is his later conversation with his brother. But it's Haleth's vivid, crackling personality that drives the story- I loved all dialogue between her and Finrod.

And one line just hit me hard, from "and in that instant of full acceptance it is revelation of Mortality" onward. Gorgeous.

Another brilliant piece. Hope to see lots more from you soon *cough-Timelost-cough* _
San Antonio Rose chapter 2 . 7/28/2002
Haleth: Ma Kettle (or Granny Clampett) meets Hannibal Smith. I love it. :) Not only could I picture her, I could hear her voice ("voice like a corn-crake," we say down here) and even her laugh-a definite cackle, but too wholesome to be a Margaret Hamilton cackle (more like the grandmother on the Holiday Inn commercials). And your Finrod is, as always, thoroughly endearing. He's one of my favorite Elves, and I think his wisdom and ability to relate to Men as well as any Elf (besides Luthien) ever could are among the reasons why. You do a terrific job of portraying both... I could just see him working patiently while the kids climbed all over him! The depictions of the Haladin and Finrod's companions are spot on, also, and I can see why Orodreth would compare Haleth with Galadriel.

Excellent as usual, Uncle Friday!
Finch chapter 1 . 7/27/2002
Not that I'll ever get enough of Finrod, but that is not the reason why this story is so good. It's the brilliant way the differences and similarities between Elves and mortals are worked out, with Finrod as an intermediary. While remaining an elf - and the last paragraphs serve to remind us of that - he interacts with mortals in a manner that sets him apart from his fellow Elves like the proverbial prophet who finds little acknowledgement among his own. It's very gratifying to see him that way, and not as one of those Noldorin princes who came to fight Morgoth and to regain a Silmaril or two, or the other way around.

And he doesn't just have a navel, he IS one.

I hope you'll write a Helcaraxe story from his point of view one day, or his reaction to the Curse of Mandos. But on the other hand, he's at his best among mortals...
Nath chapter 1 . 7/27/2002
Wonderful extrapolation on that one phrase 'Where are Haldad my father, and Haldar my brother? If the King of Doriath fears a friendship between Haleth and those who have devoured her kin, then the thoughts of the Eldar are strange to Men.'

I absolutely love your Finrod; Haleth too - that is one tough lady -, and the filling in of Haladin culture.

Orodreth's reaction when he realises what Finrod's living conditions had been like in Estolad was very funny.