|Reviews for Of Hilt, Haft and Hem|
| Cheile chapter 3 . 10/25/2014
I like the beginning of this scene—a nice cozy room with the fire in the hearth and Hala knitting a blanket. But there's that sad little touch when Fili asks after his mom—aww. Poor little guy, he just doesn't get what's goin on.
Oh geez, poor Dis—she's dying isn't she? :( I almost cried when she saw her husband instead of Thorin, and how she's slipping away by slow inches. And how Thorin allowed himself to cry with Fili before taking him in to meet his baby brother.
It is sweet that Fili instinctively knows to take care with the handling of a newborn. His question about why his mother didn't take him with her and Thorin's answer almost made me cry again :/ that smile at the end when the brothers locked eyes for the first time was adorable. Another good chapter.
| Cheile chapter 2 . 10/25/2014
Again I like the contrasts you can depict with the sun outside being a weak light but the torchlight inside the Blue Mountain stronghold being even.
How sad that Fili's mom is not going to survive from the sound of it :(
Even tho Fili gets into trouble with Thorin, it's still a bittersweet scene. I like the touch of Thorin feeling bad for lecturing Fili, even tho he was right to do so. The mishap later with playing catch in a room with valuables was amusing...i like the point you make about how it would have been a fine room to play in except for dwarven strength being behind the ball being thrown. The end scene where they have to go to the hall of records as punishment (and I presume help copy manuscripts for hours) with the kids making faces at each other behnd the scribe's back was funny and so kid-like.
Again you're missing important commas in certain places, like "Come along[,] Mim", but otherwise your writing is excellent.
| Cheile chapter 1 . 10/25/2014
Excellent beginner with what sounds like a memory or a storytelling—I really like all the mentions of sound mashing together in a horrid messed up cacophony with only the elves' horns being distinct. I can "hear" it in my mind and imagine this scene quite well. Nice touch.
"He was, of course, the Thorin Oakinshield" – don't think "the" is necessary in that line and it kinda derails the pace a bit.
How sad that Fili's mother is losing the will to live. I am glad that Thorin has a plan in place to help care for Fili and try to care for her and her unborn child. It's great to see the optimism there of young Fili once he's told by Hala that she and Mim will be staying there, that now he has someone to play with, so all will be more or less well with him.
The end scene with Fili promising his uncle that he will play nice with Mim is adorable.
You're missing commas in a couple important places like "Can you promise that[,] Fili?", and "Aye[,] lord". Other than that, nicely done.
| Ersatz Einstein chapter 2 . 7/28/2014
The opening description of the room was lovely. (I especially enjoyed the antecedent use in, "The brackets that held them ranged from beaten bronze to salvaged tin.") There were still some grammatical issues elsewhere ("Beg pardon lord," "It was quite spoiled though, when she stuck her tongue out at Fili," "shattering it more effectively than Smaug did so," etc.).
That said, I loved the dynamics between the children and the adults. The caring worry of the latter masked by their necessary disciplinary anger ("As she saw both children safe, she was free to be angry,") made an amusing contrast to the children's attempts to mimic their perceived sternness ("She made a valiant attempt to imitate her mother's stern tone, with her hands on her hips"). Generally speaking, the real behaviors of the adults and the imitations of the children formed the backbone of the chapter (in my opinion). The ending nicely tied off the motif.
| Ersatz Einstein chapter 1 . 7/28/2014
There were some minor grammatical errors ( "to give one's word" should be in quotes in the first sentence, "they are not who this tale is about," "innumerable, dark bats," "shrill cries... melded with the howling wargs," etc.). Also, given the slowness of dwarf aging, making Fili four in the flashback struck me as a bit of an odd decision.
On a more positive note, you have a real gift for setting scenes and making philosophical statements. (I mention them in the same breath because they're both very Tolkienesque skills.) I particularly liked the sentence, "To those who have very little to treasure, their given word holds a particular power." The little gestures and character traits made the various players work in your drama. ("His fingers stroked the metal as he did when worried," while grammatically incorrect, was wonderfully visual.) The disconnect between the battle and the flashback provided an enticing sense of mystery.
| ShadedRogue chapter 1 . 7/28/2014
I really loved the opening to this chapter, with Fili drifting back into his past while the final battle rages on. The description in that first paragraph really blew me away. A criticism, though, of the sentence "under skies darkened..." and then "dark bats". Your use of "dark" and "darkened" is repetitive and unnecessary. I'd suggest a different adjective before bats.
I like that you've gone into Fili's childhood here. I was bummed that in the book there's not really much backstory into the characters, other than Thorin - and I, personally, felt like I never really learned much about anyone while I was reading it. So, I'm excited that you chose to write about it. I really love the way you've written Thorin. I think you got him down perfectly. He's tough, and very serious in the book, but I can imagine him trying, with a little difficulty, to not talk to his little nephews as if they were soldiers. Although, he probably forgot that at times.
I liked the book-end format you had for the chapter, by starting out describing how someone's word is their bond and then you ended the chapter with Kili making that promise. I'm guessing now that the fact that he made the promise and you left it hanging at the end of the chapter there is foreshadowing that, somehow, that promise wasn't kept. So, it'll be interesting to see what happens in the next chapters.
| amberheart19 chapter 1 . 6/25/2014
I like this. You follwed the same writing style as the Hobbit, and possibly inspired me to start writing in this fandom. You have earned my stamp of approval.
| Great Angemon chapter 2 . 1/14/2014
The first thing I noticed was the strange format of the second paragraph. The line seemed to be broken into three parts, but they were stacked on top of each other, like a paragraph.
Even Dwarven kids are strong enough to break porcelain statues? They must have muscles growing on top of their muscles for a five year old to be able to do that.
Ooh, Dori, I love him. I'm glad you've added a familiar character. It makes the story feel like it actually takes place in Tolkein's universe. And Thorin! Stop being so mean to Fili! He's only fiv! He doesn't know any better. But he shouldn't be pointing swords at girls. An important lesson to learn.
I'm really enjoying this story. The characters are all believable and the writing is very in-tune with Tolkein's style. I feel like I'm reading a part of another one of his books, socongrats on that.
| Great Angemon chapter 1 . 1/14/2014
Wow! That opening paragraph! I mean it, that was awesome. I mean, reading that was like I was reading one of Tolkein's books! You did a great job of capturing the essence of how he phrased things like that, telling you what the story was about without ruining anything.
I loved the first chapter to this story! The way you described the battle, through Fili even though he wasn't really there in his mind. that was absolutely fantastic! And I loved the way you described Thorin's smile. He was always so serious in the Hobbit book, so it's nice to know that he can do something like a smile.
One thing I noticed, paragraph four after the first line break, you said, "It is a strange thing, than when in battle," but, unless I'm just not getting something, I think you meant, "That when in battle." If not, ignore me, please.
| reminiscent-afterthought chapter 1 . 8/7/2013
Never heard of a "haft" before, but I love the alliteration in the title.
A little nitprick in terms of your chapter title: in the drop down menu, you’ve written it with a lowercase “of”, while after the author’s notes you’ve used a capital “Of”. I prefer to see them consistent.
I like that little introduction. At first I wondered as to the “antiquated” term, since it looked a little elegant on the offset but it suits quite well with the narrative voice you’ve adopted. I read the Hobbit after LoTR though, so I always think of its language as rather simplistic in comparison…which doesn’t exactly put it onto perspective. So unexpected, but rather pleasant to read. In contrast though, something like “plenty” comes out as being very colloquial; it’s also more common as an adjective than a noun.
You’ve also related the olden setting to modern times very nicely; it makes the story relevant as well as interesting, and therefore more memorable.
“Innumerable dark bats” reminds me of that prophecy in the first season of Digimon. Anyway, I find it odd you’ve used “darkened” and then “dark” in the same sentence; perhaps a synonym? And I’m not quite sure what you were going for with the bats. You’ve said it as though the bats are literal instead of metaphorical, but I don’t recall anything like bats in Tolkien’s world. I thought you mapped out the battle stage very well though, in general with both sight and sound and then into a more specific number. I take it those thirteen are the dwarves that go with Bilbo. “Hemming” was a very nice word to use as well.
[It is a strange thing, than when in battle,] – do you mean “that when in battle”?
I also like how you merged the past with the present so nicely. Although I think, since there’s no space after the ellipses implying it’s a continuation of the same sentence, it should be a lowercase “a”. And I’m reminded of Filli in Deltora Quest, even though that one has an extra “l”…and is a small furry animal. :)
The scene that follows just screams cuteness. You’ve used “young” twice in the same sentence though; makes for awkward phrasing. I also found this part: [Fili knows his mother doesn't want to be here anymore. He knows his father's gone too."] – sounds a little less formal than the rest of your dialogue. [Does he know] as well, but less so; that one could be rephrased as “Is he aware of..?” but I’m not sure how to go about the other one. Also things like “get home” as opposed to “return”; words like “Aye and “lord” and such, and the lack of contractions in things like “I am sorry” do speak towards that more formal tone, which is more appropriate from Tolkien’s perspective. And the axe makes a very prominent part in that scene too.
It’s very fitting to end that chapter with “I promise”; it’s a very real example of what you introduced at the beginning.
| SunnyStorms chapter 4 . 7/21/2013
Fili continues to be so flipping adorable and lovable in this. Your descriptions were the standout this chapter. Your manner of wording describes the scene so vividly and beautifully with many turn of phrases and imagery that I found quite refreshing. I particularly loved your take on the storm. Some standout lines from that part for me were:
/The clouds were deep grey, and there was ice in their hearts. A storm like this would cut the delicate flowers to ribbons./ -What a great way to convey the intensity of a storm.
/The vibrant colour seemed to leech from the grass and flowers, leaving them dull copies./ -And again, what a great way to describe that dull cast of color that the world turns with an impending storm.
The part about Fili falling with Kili was quite tense for me as well even though I knew they'd turn out fine. Once more, I loved that you continued to echo the motif of promises through this story at each chapter's end.
Your narrator was much more intrusive this chapter and I'm uncertain how I feel about that. It did make for a little more jarring read for me with the frequent switching between tenses and pulling away from the scene every so often.
Overall though, I'm continuing to enjoy the story.
The SpaG related things:
/I myself once [gad] my kitchen knives/ -had?
/one hand [protectively] over the baby's head/ -If not missing verb, then it should be protective as an adj. to describe the hand rather than an adverb
/[Mum] held her [shirts] up with one hand/ -Mim and skirt?
/Hala twisted the curl of her [heard] around her finger/ - beard?
/"Can we please go Hala?"/ - go [comma] Hala
/first jagged flesh of [lightening]./ - lightning?
| SunnyStorms chapter 3 . 7/21/2013
Oh wait, one more thing about the last chapter that I forgot to mention. I did have a question about this section:
/"Her confinement will end soon," Hala said, closing the door to the dim room.
In this matter, Thorin Oakenshield would trust the woman.
"Beg pardon lord," Hala looked briefly back to the door, "it is too soon."/
-The dialogue didn't flow very logically for me in that part. I couldn't see what it was about Thorin's words that would prompt Hala's answer. Additionally, for extra clarity that Thorin spoke the second line of dialogue, I would suggest putting it in the same paragraph as /In this matter, Thorin Oakenshield would trust the woman./
As for this chapter:
Another well done addition to the story. The emotions were particularly high and raw in this chapter. I was moved nearly to tears myself for the young Fili to have to face such tremendous loss at so young an age. I also liked the subtle touch with which you conveyed Hala's emotions as well from the way her needles slowed, thinking of her husband, to the unintentional brusqueness with which she sent the children to bed after witnessing Fili's sadness. The moment of shared grief between nephew and uncle was also a very striking one. It's a moment that lingers with you. Excellent job there.
Again your descriptions were very well done and enabled me to picture the scenes very vividly. I particularly liked the phrasing of Thorin's face being "set like the stone of their home" and all the passages regarding fire which well conveyed its allure and beauty for the dwarves.
But to balance with all the sadness in the chapter, I loved that you ended it with the sweet moment between the brothers. And again the echo of another promise being made further keeps a tight thematic hold over the story.
As for suggestions, I have a little more for you this chapter:
/There is, I am told, something particularly alluring in fire for dwarves/ -This line came across as a random insertion of info since the line right before it was about the children's boredom and the bit right after was Fili asking about his mother. Thus the line didn't seem relevant to the surrounding context. I would suggest moving it elsewhere, closer to the sections related to them observing the fire.
/He did not mind the small murmurings and shuffling, but he had no children of his own./ -The relationship between the two phrases doesn't quite make sense as one of complete contrast.
/Every few moments she dragged her gaze from the grate, down the dimmed hallway./ -I felt that the two sections separated by the comma needed more of a transition. It felt incomplete as a sentence.
/They passed the reception hall, one of the niches still empty, and stopped in the corridor./ -I was at first confused what the relevance of the niche being empty was and then I remembered about the broken statue in the previous chapter. Still, I think it's an unimportant detail for the scene you're writing, so I would suggest just leaving it out.
Typos: /There Thorin lowered himself to [knees knees]/ and /Hala tried to speak once and [founder] her throat tight./
| SunnyStorms chapter 2 . 7/21/2013
Truly wonder characterizations all around. Fili and Mim are adorable and a delight to read. You've continued to portray them as the children that they are in all their playfulness and contrition at being caught disobeying. Thorin too was great - we get a good sense of how much he cares for his nephew but at the same time feels compelled to raise him well with all the sternness that he feels it demands of him. A particularly effective portrayal of that was how you wrote his actions after he left the room. Hala too definitely comes across as the loving mother-figure that she is but is no pushover either. Even Dori at the end in his brief appearance I could picture quite well.
I also really liked your bits of description through this that gave me more insight into the dwarves' world such as here:
/The brackets that held them ranged from beaten bronze to salvaged tin./ -Metals would be a thing that these dwarves would have detailed knowledge about and experience working with, so I loved that this detail here captured that aspect about them by being so specific as to the type of metal and how it's worked.
/A rug, all in the warm, earthy tones loved by dwarves, kept them off the cold stone./ -Again, I love when a descriptive detail gives us something more about the person and/or the setting than just merely the physical appearance of it.
Overall, I loved the chapter for the snapshot it gave us of Fili and Mim's friendship and how it showcased Fili's honor-bound nature.
| SunnyStorms chapter 1 . 7/21/2013
You've certainly got the feel for Tolkien's style of language. The grand, sweeping, and mythic nature of the battles in his books is well on displayed in your intro. I loved the details of the sounds especially. It was also great the way you smoothly transitioned from that moment back to the past. My only suggestion for the intro, the italicized portion, is that a little bit of it sounded repetitive: e.g. the use of "bats" in the first two sentence and the two phrases "small band did not yield" and "yet soon the company must yield" in such close proximity.
Little Fili is adorable, and he did come across as the young child that he is. One of the writing things that get at me is when children characters aren't characterized as children, but no problem in that regard here. I'm not very familiar with Tolkien's work, so I'm glad that you provided us enough details that I knew enough about the characters relationship to each other here to follow the story. Nice details too in your descriptions of Thorin and Hala which gave us a bigger sense of who they are than just their physical appearance.
One small suggestion for this part here:
/"Does he know?" the dwarf questioned. He was of course, the Thorin Oakenshield/ -'He' at first seems to suggest the "he" mentioned in the dialogue when you go on to mean the speaker instead. Just for extra clarity, I'd suggest rewording it to remove the ambiguity. "the Thorin Oakenshield" also sounded strange to me with that article there, but perhaps this is a Tolkien manner of expression?
I liked too that you ended this on Fili's "I promise" since promises was the subject that was focused on in the first half. It tied it together for a tight intro chapter while putting emphasis on what I have a feeling will continue to be important for the rest of the story.
| StrawberryDuckFeathers chapter 3 . 7/20/2013
I like that you always mention it being different in the place that Fili, Hala, Mim and Thorin are in. It makes me wonder if maybe something bad will happen to them, or maybe if there will be something later that shows us that they are different to the other dwarves somehow. :) I also like the possible symbolism of autumn, as for me, autumn is when things become gloomy and when the plants start to wilt and die- and maybe the same will happen with one, or some of the dwarves. :O [It was not the first time Fili had heard that answer. ] This line sounded so sad...I felt sorry for Fili for not being able to see his mother, but I wonder if she's actually dead now. :( The way she gives that warning glare to Balin makes me think she's very protective of those kids, which is sweet. :)
Aww, that was so sad when Fili found out about his mother. It seemed that Thorin was quite on the way but not just because of his somewhat-serious nature, but I think it did well to show his sadness as well. :) I like how there's been a revelation of a death, and then also a revelation of new life, the little baby Kili. I like the suddenness of a fire, like things have warmed up inside him upon seeing the baby. :D
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Here is my critique and some suggestions for you. :)
. ("Very well," Balin lowered himself onto the side of the bed.) When dialogue is followed with a non-dialogue-tag, then the comma in the speech turns into a full stop. Nothing changes when you use ? or ! though. :)
[ "Very well." Balin lowered himself onto the side of the bed. ] ["Very well," Balin lowered himself onto the side of the bed.
. (Fili's blonde hair) The blonde used for boys is spelt 'blond'. :)
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Great work on this chapter, and keep up the good work! :D