Reviews for Betrayals, Renunciations—
Gyreflight chapter 2 . 2/14/2013
This makes for no easier reading than the last, and so it must, as they come together to the very end – and yet that ‘together’ has so much strength and so much meaning that such ‘very end’ becomes something different than it might otherwise be.

Finrod and Beren both are exceptional people, and they truly show their quality here. Love standing against the dark; friendship in extremis, where weakness and strength are shared and accepted without judgement, and there is nothing that either would not give for the other.

…And at the last, when all is done and all decided, rescue finally comes. The culmination of another’s tale is almost an afterthought to this one, where so much has happened that is invisible to the watching eye, and of which no bard shall ever sing…except that it is the man who comes out of this nightmare of whom they will speak, and this he will carry with him to the world’s ending and beyond.

Thanks for the read.
RavenLady chapter 2 . 2/15/2007
It is confusing at first; I guess that's partly your writing and partly that neither of them is in any state to make complete sense at this point. This is a brilliant exploration of the relationship between Finrod & Beren. It's chilling (but under the circumstances, not all that surprising) that Finrod, afraid of the judgement of Mandos, came so close to taking Beren's offer. And what imagery! The descriptions of the Helcaraxe, and Galadriel's "familiar-strange" face (am I right in thinking she reminds Beren of his mother?) - wow. You are amazing.

I'm not sure I get it all, but oh, this is a real gem. I hope you get the chance to write more fanfic someday.
Finch chapter 2 . 8/22/2002
So you did write the story of the Crossing. I am indebted to you, Mystic at Large!

This is the most marvellous example of coinherence I've come across yet, one where giving and receiving are equal and the same, and the smaller contains the greater - in both directions, though it's true that Beren is greater than Finrod (prefiguring the 'Ye shall be the lordly ones' from the Athrabeth - sorry if this looks like turning Secondary Time about, but that's the way of the subcreated world.) Is it that as a mortal, he's more aware of being the Gods' fuel for the turning of the world? No more, but also no less, than stardust?

What strikes me, again, is that Finrod does not know the outcome, which makes it a true repayment, giving love its due. Or that, being reduced to his bare essence, he is also stripped of every awareness of worth or greatness; isn't that what validates his act more than anything else?

Finally, the release from bondage in the most literal sense, the breaking of the bonds: here, I think, I stray from the path you staked out. I do see the need of explaining Finrod's sudden power, but I'd like to think of it as a moral metaphor: hi scomplete contrition, his reduction to coal, means he is ready to break the chains of guilt that have held him so far. (For I don't think the Naugrim would have honoured him with the title of felak-gundu if he had no understanding of living stone. It's merely outside his grasp here, as long as his guilt rides him.) I'm inclined to make a comparison with Fingon's prayer when he seeks Maedhros on Thangorodrim. That one is incomplete, and therefore the chain shackling Maedhros to the rock holds.

But this, of course, is an interpretation of an interpretation. Thanks again.
jillian baade chapter 2 . 8/21/2002
Ok, I've taken a deep breath and recovered! What a marvellous story! Of course Beren and Finrod were truly comrades and friends, long before the end all distinctions of rank and race had vanished. Interesting how you point out that Finrod needs Beren as much as Beren needs Finrod; he needs to care for Beren, and worry about Beren to keep himself strong and sane. The bit about Elvish inchantments in Chapter 4 was well done, I am reminded of a friend who once witnessed a proper Australian Aborginal Corrobboree, a hunting ritual where one man played the kangaroo being hunted by the others. My friend said you did not see a man, but a kangaroo being hunted, and when the spears were thrown at the finish, you saw the kangaroo speared, you saw it's blood, you felt it die even though no one was hurt at all. Similiar type of enchantment, I suppose. Of course Beren suffered terribly from guilt over the deaths of Finrod and the other elves,blaming himself for their deaths. Was Finrod only driven by his oath to aid Beren, or was there another reason there too? And Luthien must have felt guilt too, that Beren suffered captivity and torment, and his companions were killed all for this affect her later decision to become mortal? That after all these people had suffered for her, and died, could she refuse to suffer too? I am shocked this has not recieved more reviews, but I suspect it is too disturbing for most readers.