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71 Comments

 
 

Another Man's Cage

Rhapsody - 21 Oct 06 - 12:47 PM

General Comment

Ow Dawn, the last chapters were such a delight to read. Where at first it was such a pleasure to follow Caranthir, Celegorm, and Maedhros, you treated us to magnificent insights from Nerdanel and Fingon. There is so much humour and delightful scenes in the past chapters that even I read it before it fulfils me again with so much mirth and joy. Especially Maglor's outbursts crack me up all the time. But as you know, Celegorm's pure interaction with nature is just the greatest inspiration you gave me and well, I thought you should know that.Heart

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Greywing - 25 Nov 06 - 12:06 PM

General Comment

Rarely is the present tense used so effectively.

Brilliant foreshadowing throughout.

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MerryK - 18 Jan 07 - 8:17 PM

General Comment

Dawn, this is probably the most beautiful story I have ever read in fanfiction! Your characters are absolutely brilliant in their uniqueness, your writing style is catchy and intriguiging, and above all, it is incredibly true to Tolkien. Your Feanor is, IMHO, perfect.

~MerryK 

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etondap - 14 Feb 07 - 5:05 PM

General Comment

This is truly one of my favorite stories, fanfiction or not. Incredibly well-written, engaging, and a great many other overused adjectives besides. It's not often we get to read non-emo/angsty stories about the House of Feanor, and this one is a real treat. I especially love how well you captured each of the characters' personalities.

A question regarding chapter 28:
"Stone. Thought. Share."
Could it, perhaps, be referring to the palantiri?

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Shasta - 24 Mar 07 - 6:30 PM

General Comment

I was dying to read this story, having seen so much positive feedback for it on the HASA front page. Having said that, every part of this story has exceeded even the high expectations I got from reading the comments. The four sons of Feanor that you chose to follow in this story have such uniquely wonderful personalities and are as well-developed as any character can be. The growing strain in Nerdanel's relationship with Feanor and Maglor's disillusionment with his brother is all too evident and realistic, considering their individual personalities.

Something I find especially great about stories that focus on personas whose fate is already known, is that their happiness is all the more poignant. It's nice to dream up happy endings for everyone, but I'm glad Tolkien made his world so unforgiving and believable.

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Sszvein - 03 May 07 - 12:21 PM

General Comment

How I loved your story! So much that I plowed through you 40 or so chapters in less than a week and cried at least ten times.

I had gotten used to Ithilwen's version of the characters, which I love also. Yours is quite different and I'm glad it didn't stop me from reading.

It feels as if we are among them; their emotions and thoughts are truly touching.

I await the next installment and hope you other stories with help me wait for it. =)

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SurgicalSteel - 12 Jan 09 - 3:29 PM

General Comment

This is an absolutely amazing story. I'd started it numerous times only to have to break away and kept restarting again from the beginning. I finally copied the whole thing to my Sony Reader over the holidays and read it over the course of a few days off. Loved the characterizations of Feanor and Nerdanel and each of the children. The strained relations between Feanor and his father and half-sibs were wonderfully done. You manage to make Aman feel like a real place, and I don't think I can say that about many other fics that are set there. Absolutely phenomenal - I'm glad I finally finished this, it was well worth the reading!

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JunoMagic - 03 Aug 06 - 12:36 AM

Ch. 1: Chapter One--Tyelkormo

Ah, it's turned out so wonderful. I'm only sad I did not have enough time to provide concrit on all the chapters and all the details! :-(

Thank you for sharing this wonderful story!

~ Juno 

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oshun - 21 Oct 06 - 10:21 PM

Ch. 8: Chapter Eight--Maitimo

What a marvelous effort. You've made me love each and every member of this fascinating and complex family. Fëanor is, as he should be, larger than life--the most learned and beautiful of his people. Yet each individual family member is carefully crafted and fully realized. The family dynamics ring completely true and convincing. I completely believe the relationship between Fëanor and Nerdanel—the arguing, fighting, and the making up (all with the kids listening in!). Thanks so much for the Quenya name translations—huge help. (Although, after reading this, I will never need them again. Thanks to your beautiful work, I feel I really know this family.)

Oshun

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oshun - 29 Oct 06 - 3:32 PM

Ch. 13: Chapter Thirteen--Findekano

I am always complaining about not liking cute stories with children in them. No danger of that here. There is no lack of lovely imagery in this chapter but my favorite line has to be:

"Tyelkormo walks by and glares at me, then plops down hard in Macalaurë's lap. 'Ai! Ilúvatar in Ea! First cold water on my face, then Tyelkormo sits on my balls—'"

Anyone who doesn't appreciate this has spent very little time around children and teenage boys.


 

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oshun - 29 Oct 06 - 4:40 PM

Ch. 14: Chapter Fourteen--Tyelkormo

I love this chapter. It always fascinates me that you are able to reveal so much about the other characters in the chapters done in Tyelkormo's POV. In their chapters he often comes across as a child who is undeniably beautiful to look at--all golden hair and blue eyes--but such a thoughtless roughneck. Yet when he speaks for himself there is so much more going on. And he is nothing if not honest with himself.

A couple of points especially moved me in this one. First Feanor's horror when he discovered that he had bruised Tyelkormo's arm without realizing it when he was scolding him for being a beast to Findekáno. (A little anger management problem there, Feanor? Hurting the ones you love most?)  Then little Carnistir getting inside of Tyelkormo's head, sensing his jealousy of Findekáno and saying, "I love you Turko don't be mean." Carnistir drives one nuts with his behavior and then stops one cold with his expressions of love.

You make me love them all so much.

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IVIaedhros - 02 Nov 06 - 10:25 PM

Ch. 15: Chapter Fifteen--Tyelkormo

Heh...hehe...HAAHHAHAHAHAA *ow*

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oshun - 03 Nov 06 - 1:37 PM

Ch. 15: Chapter Fifteen--Tyelkormo

Another great chapter. I really sympathized with Maedhros having a nice voice but not singing much in light of his brother's gift--talk about a hard act to follow. Loved the duet though and the sly little nods to daddy's politics in it. The description of Feanor was hot--read that part a couple of times (OK, more than a couple). Continuing intriguing characterization and family dynamics.

Oshun

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Rhapsody - 04 Nov 06 - 12:01 AM

Ch. 15: Chapter Fifteen--Tyelkormo

Dawn... this is simply beautiful. Celegorm who is trying to make sense of why Maedhros would want to court or marry and his own dreams on how he wished to grow up with his elder brothers - instead of them marrying - is deeply moving.

As I told you before, this chapter is perfectly written for a boy of his age: keeping track of details which only feels important to him, his observations of the maidens and oh! How I laughed when you wrote that Caranthir had a wee!elleth chasing after him. It makes me wonder what colour he sees this girl. This was another great chapter from your hands! Is it Friday already?

Wink

Rhapsody

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oshun - 09 Nov 06 - 9:33 PM

Ch. 16: Chapter Sixteen--Tyelkormo

How you take small details of family life and make them suspenseful, dramatic, and funny all at the same time still amazes me. The picture of the affection of the people of Formenos for Fëanor is well-drawn and backed up in canon. Fëanor's remark that he is the one who has to take Macalaurë to the healer because Nerdanel "suffers to see her sons in pain" struck me as a projection of his own feelings onto her? I can vividly picture Macalaurë squirming with anxiety that Tyelkormo is going to rat him out to Fëanor for telling scary stories to the kids. Tyelkormo's descriptions of Findekáno are hilarious, if cruel in the way of children, revealing as much about him as his cousin. The description of the lock on the door in the lab was one of those moments of foreboding for me.

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Rhapsody - 25 Nov 06 - 4:05 AM

Ch. 16: Chapter Sixteen--Tyelkormo

Whoops, I got a bit behind in reading. Even though I read every chapter of this story, I love to see what you changed and expanded upon. The brotherly interaction between Maglor and Celegorm is played out wonderfully. Maglor still doesn't tell what exactly happened, but Fëanor knows something is amiss because previously his son was more than apt to answer his questions before Fingon would. You can sense the struggle of Celegorm here, fitting for his age: be honest and been seen as a loser in the eyes of the intruder, or stick to what has been said so far. Maglor understands him more than Celegorm realises and the embrace they had, this part particulary moves me deeply:

"Shh." He strokes my hair. "That will be our secret, Tyelkormo, and it shall go with us until the ending of Arda." His voice is gentle, forgiving, and it makes me cry harder. He kisses my ear and whispers, "Do not cry, little one, or you shall give it away."

We both know this will never come out. A beautiful chapter Dawn!

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Iel_o_Thorongil - 17 Nov 06 - 11:15 AM

Ch. 17: Chapter Seventeen--Macalaure

Nothing undone is impossible: true, but also slightly ominous in this instance. I love how you portray this family as actual people. They truly exist--they have their own problems, strengths, weaknesses. The plot of this story also seems to work psychologically--one can see the beginnings of the Feanor we all know from the Silmarillion but one can also see the Feanaro Nerdanel fell in love with. I've never been really interested in the Feanorians but thankfully, this has opened my eyes. Thanks for the update and I look forward to the next!

-Iel o Thorongil,

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BattleHamster - 17 Nov 06 - 2:50 PM

Ch. 17: Chapter Seventeen--Macalaure

I really loved this chapter.  It was neat having it from Maglor's POV for a change, and it was an interestingbackstory with Feanor (I can totally see him doing that).  Plus, I especially appreciated the dressage lesson, reading it after getting back from a dressage lesson a TB gelding with the hugest gaits in the world.Smile

I hope you keep doing these, I look forward to seeing the next chapter every week. 

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oshun - 17 Nov 06 - 4:19 PM

Ch. 17: Chapter Seventeen--Macalaure

Love Macalaurë's POV and character development, Feanor as teacher, the relationship between Macalaurë and Nelyo, Macalaurë's comment about how Feanor treated them when they were little and Nelyo's comment in response about how he won their loyalty. As usual the physical descriptions are stunning. Always love it when you bring in politics:  "Atar grumbled something dismissive and a little obscene that made half of the people around us chuckle and half of them gasp." Great funny line, which holds so much.

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oshun - 23 Nov 06 - 5:47 PM

Ch. 18: Chapter Eighteen--Macalaure

The insights into adolescent first love are completely on point. The scene between Macalaurë and his father is stunning. One of the many in which you set up how it is the undeniable intensity of the love of Fëanor for his sons that makes their oath possible and the rejection of it impossible. As usual, I am captivated by the humor throughout the chapter and, as always, love your subtle inserts of details on the relationship between Nerdanel and Fëanor. Favorite quote: "I have seen him pick fights with grandfather Finwë and with Amil, and always, he opens with dangerous rhetorical stabs such as this. Do I disappoint you that much as a son? Is marriage with me so completely unbearable?" 

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Iel_o_Thorongil - 23 Nov 06 - 9:46 PM

Ch. 18: Chapter Eighteen--Macalaure

Beautiful.

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Dinromeniel - 24 Nov 06 - 5:37 AM

Ch. 18: Chapter Eighteen--Macalaure

Oh my. The sheer talent behind this entire story takes my breath away. I have never read anything that depicts the Feanorians or daily life in Valinor as real and as clear and as complex and as RIGHT as this story you are writing.

 "You tell me that the sound of water inspires you, so I build you a fountain. You receive an invitation to an audition and the desire in your eyes takes my breath, so I send you to Alqualondë. I was given a baby son with a voice greater than that of the Valar, so I put a harp in his hands. Do you think I am not proud of you, Macalaurë?" 

This last scene just stabbed at my heart, and almost made me cry (which is unheard of). Never before have I been moved to feel real empathy or even pity (although that is not the right word…this is why I am a reader and not a writer J ) for Feanor. Just beautiful. 

-Dinromeniel

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Rhapsody - 18 Dec 06 - 7:10 AM

Ch. 18: Chapter Eighteen--Macalaure

Dawn, this was a chapter in which I wanted to savour every bit, read it again, let it simmer and go back to it again. It leaves me wondering with so many things, it makes me cry and smile. This is a chapter with such a wide range of emotions, but yet it does not feel forced and full circle. You know I am the most bouncy when a new Tyelko chapter goes up, but this chapter is such a gem.

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oshun - 08 Dec 06 - 10:28 PM

Ch. 20: Chapter Twenty--Nerdanel

It's fascinating to me that it is in the chapters from Nerdanel's POV that you communicate most specifically the conscious process of creation from the point of view of the artist. The overwhelming, almost frightening, intensity of the passion of Feanor for his wife is similiar to that which you have shown in his love for his sons. You lead the reader to ask the same question: at what cost? The fact that we already know answer increases rather diminishes the suspense. Compelling reading as always.

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oshun - 16 Dec 06 - 7:42 PM

Ch. 21: Chapter Twenty-One--Findekano

A lot of character development on the two youngest sons and their cousin: Tyelkormo is so much more multi-faceted; Carnistir's strangeness becomes less weird and more fascinating with each chapter; and Findekáno shows his strengths.

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oshun - 22 Dec 06 - 8:59 PM

Ch. 22: Chapter Twenty-Two--Maitimo

Happy holidays to you too (lol). This is one of the most difficult chapters of this novel, if not the most difficult, for me to read, but masterfully done. Like Maitimo in this chapter, I have a low tolerance for pain and ugliness--but the words you gave to Feanor comforted me a bit. The quest for knowledge necessarily leads one to dark places.

Thank you for ending it on a happier note. Contains one of my favorite lines as well: "Let's pretend that I am the first maiden you have ever called your love, and I shall pretend that you are the first to say it to me." Also liked Maitimo's line that preceded it, "I assure you that the sight of your burned leg will not tempt me into compromising our shared virtue." These two are so much alike, but Maitimo's tender heart cannot be matched. This awareness, however, reminds me that even the lightest notes in this story are always the shadowed by the readers knowledge of the future.

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MithLuin - 16 May 07 - 5:38 AM

Ch. 22: Chapter Twenty-Two--Maitimo

It is so difficult reading these tender moments, knowing that Maitimo is destined to be unlucky in love and have no sons of his own.  At first, I thought you were going to kill Annawendë off or something equally traumatic, but now I think she is going to lose interest in him for some reason.  The reference to him not being the first person to say he loves her (and the ruby ring his mother noticed) suggests that there is Someone Else running around. 

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oshun - 29 Dec 06 - 6:15 PM

Ch. 23: Chapter Twenty-Three--Maitimo

I had read this chapter before and was so completely drawn into the drama around the lost boys that I had almost forgotten the power of the scene between Nerdanel and Fëanor. While writing her as normal by comparison you still always manage to convey her intensity/strength in the face of his overwhelming personality. Her remark, "Do not twist fair words to soothe my heart, Fëanáro! If anything has happened to any of those children, it is you who shall face the ending of Arda alone!" is absolutely chilling (if perfectly understandable).  

Of course, I especially love the scene at the end between Maitimo and little Findekáno. Putting the explanation of how he got the name "Fingon the valiant" into Maitimo's words is so moving and perfect: "even if you do not now know how you chose to do what you did, it is part of the past now, and it shall forevermore be part of your name." Pass me the tissue, please. (No. It absolutely is not sentimental—but I am!)

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Iel_o_Thorongil - 31 Dec 06 - 3:02 PM

Ch. 23: Chapter Twenty-Three--Maitimo

This chapter is very human. It's beautiful Dawn.

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Greywing - 01 Jan 07 - 10:42 AM

Ch. 23: Chapter Twenty-Three--Maitimo

Ah, this is wonderful.

Please excuse me while I grab a tissue.

Very good foreshadowing, and a beautiful description of Feanor's emotions through his son's eyes. 

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oshun - 04 Jan 07 - 12:37 PM

Ch. 24: Chapter Twenty-Four--Nolofinwe

I really liked seeing a view of Fingolfin that was other than Fëanor's directly or as filtered through his sons. The letters really worked. Fëanor's letter made me want to take him by the scruff of the neck and shake him 'til his teeth rattled (not that it would have helped at bit!). Maedhros's was a perfect gem: such a blend of sincere warmth and caring for little Fingon, yet written with such self-conscious diplomacy, and unconsciously layered with the poignancy of his desire to smooth over the conflicts between his uncle and his father. (What a lot he takes on his youthful shoulders and how heartbreaking it is to watch.)

 

One can also read the chapter from the perspective of who are the children and who are the men here: Feanor is being such a brat and Fingolfin is not far behind him...whereas Finarfin, the youngest of Finwë's sons (and in his older brothers' view the lightweight), and Maedhros, barely more than a kid, are the ones who rise above it.  I am going on too long, but just have to add that you skillfully include family history, character development of the whole other side of the family, and reflections on everything from sexual attitudes to pregnancy that make it a goldmine for understanding this world as you imagine it. The comparison of Finarfin's and Fëanor's attitudes on sex were believable, and done with such humor. Fingolfin's impressions of Nerdanel and Fëanor me snicker, while his reflections on his own wife made me go "awww." Hard to pull those contrasting emotions out of a reader simultaneously.

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MithLuin - 16 May 07 - 6:17 AM

Ch. 24: Chapter Twenty-Four--Nolofinwe

Thank you for this glimpse at Fingolfin!  I suspected that he had sent Findecáno away as a sort of punishment, to make him appreciate his home and tutors more - a sort of exile with his half-brother's wild family.  I see now that he really did it because he has his son's best interests at heart - he may be cool, but he is not unloving.  And Anairë sees Eärendil, how cool is that?!

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oshun - 11 Jan 07 - 5:08 PM

Ch. 25: Chapter Twenty-Five--Carnistir

I love the part about having a glass of wine Oromë! So what I might expect in the house of Feanor. Also loved the picture of Fëanor sitting in a chair "reclining on its back legs like my brothers are not allowed to do." Tells a lot about the Valar and Fëanor—they tolerate, if not outright encourage, his bearing with them, and then… Also the notes on the difference between Nerdanel's attitude to Oromë and Fëanor's. Subtle details that tell us so much. Maitimo telling his brother not be overwhelmed by the inability to please Fëanor: "You are too harsh on yourself, Macalaurë…. If you stopped constantly judging yourself by Atar's example, then you might realize …. If we all found self-worth only in equaling Atar's achievements…" really broke my heart, knowing how, in the end, it is Maitimo who gets hit hardest by the futile attempt to please, match or stand up to their father. 

Carnistir's voice in this novel is always so right to me. This is Carnistir at his best and most tragic. So much for the "gift" of foresight. No wonder the poor little guy seems a bit crazy. The end was perfect and chilling.

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Greywing - 12 Jan 07 - 11:07 AM

Ch. 25: Chapter Twenty-Five--Carnistir

Another fantastic chapter that I thoroughly enjoyed, though I wondered if a four-year old Elven child would have been so articulate. Probably, considering he was Feanor's son!

I was almost biting my nails at the end :

"and there is blood and fire and madness"

Poor little Carnistir! And I love the way he is able to say spells, almost instinctively.

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Iel_o_Thorongil - 20 Jan 07 - 10:44 PM

Ch. 26: Chapter Twenty-Six--Macalaure

Yikes. Tyelkormo must really want to see Orome's halls to risk Feanaro's anger. hmm. That will be a very interesting chapter. Also, I like the insight into Macalaure this week. As a musician, it would make sense that he is not a physical man, or rather elf. Here's to the next chapter!

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oshun - 21 Jan 07 - 11:16 AM

Ch. 26: Chapter Twenty-Six--Macalaure

This chapter continues to compare and contrast the differences between the brothers. Appropriate that it should be in the voice of Macalaurë, as an artist, that we receive these insights into the evolution of thoughts, emotions, and beliefs. Its just the beginning of relationship of Tyelkormo to Orome. The sons begin to move off the path Feanor wants for them (in this chapter Tyelkormo, recently Macalaurë, and canon gives us plenty on Nelyo/Maitimo). The author simultaneously reinforces how they are always inexorably drawn back into their father's orbit whatever breaks or departures they make along the way. On first read I was floored by the humor, naturalness and poignancy of the revelations about Macalaurë's adolescent sexual anguish—so real (ridiculous and beautiful at the same time). I would disagree with an earlier comment that Macalaurë is less physical, and agree with Feanor that he is just a late-bloomer. (I have my own theory, which intrudes here for me, that an extreme focus early in youth on performance arts or sports often does delay the onset of the normal annoying obsession with sexuality that often hits other less-focused kids earlier.) 

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oshun - 29 Jan 07 - 8:22 PM

Ch. 27: Chapter Twenty-Seven--Macalaure

This is one of my favorite chapters. Fantastic Feanor--thoroughly believable as the father who so engages and enthralls his sons that one completely understands how they will do anything for him. As usual the voice of Macalaurë gives us so much depth of insight, not only into his own character, but into that of his parents and brothers. Wonderful Findekáno through the eyes of Macalaurë, we really see the adult he will become in this child. Of course, once again, you give us a heart-wrenching and complex view of Nelyo. You often show me aspects of Feanor in each of the various sons but it is interesting to me that while Macalaurë speaks explicitly of his similarity to his mother and his insecurity about his relationship to his father in this chapter, his own complete submersion into one thing after another throughout this hectic day in his life really remind me more of his father

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Freyalyn - 31 Jan 07 - 4:32 AM

Ch. 27: Chapter Twenty-Seven--Macalaure

Feanor just doesn't bend, does he.  And everyone else will break trying to live up to him or make him soften.

You're getting me so involved here I'm actually finding it rather painful.  And poor Maglor, beating himself up about his simple forgetfulness, because he's not perfect *like his father*.

 I love the imagery you tie to each character.  Feanor hot, dry, on fire.  Maitimo obsessed with his own beauty, either in his dialogue or your description of him.

And I'm so glad that there were fuzzy stuffed puppies in Aman.

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oshun - 04 Feb 07 - 9:25 PM

Ch. 28: Chapter Twenty-Eight--Feanaro

Love this chapter which analyzes the thought processes of the most creative and complex of all of Tolkien's characters from his own point of view. It is believable that you suggest Feanor himself does not understand his own mode of functioning. The details on the circumstances surrounding his development of the tengwar script is both fun and moving. The interaction between him and Nerdanel is completely plausible and his reflections on how he depends upon her and considers the present and past of their relationship are fascinating. I like the way you handle the use of ósanwe between Feanor and Nerdanel—not so easy to do convincingly in work such as yours which is so rooted in identifiable experiences and emotions, but which you pull off well. 

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oshun - 14 Feb 07 - 11:27 AM

Ch. 29: Chapter Twenty-Nine--Feanaro

Love Feanor's point of view. Of course, he has an opinion on almost everything—even women's fashion! Your tiny details always entertain me—that fashion trends would originate first in Taniquetil, then spread to Tirion and finally reach the coast—very clever. Meanwhile he is oblivious to such obvious things. So he asks Nerdanel if she had not intended to eat; no, Feanor, actually these states of yours are deeply disturbing to those around you. While one could never describe him as emotionally distant, he does consistently expects those he loves to understand more about him than they possibly can if he isn't able to communicate more clearly. But his self-absorption stands in the way of him being able to grasp that. I did not guess what his project was although I knew it was too soon for the Simarils. You engage emotions on the small stuff so easily—I got so excited that he is still going to make sure that Tyelkormo still gets his birthday trip. Loved his comment that he could have been an Avari—yeah, I can see that part of him. Then you finish it off so nicely by having him add: "I would make their civilization the greatest on Arda." So very Feanor. The emotional content of the scene with Nelyo is layered with too much for me to even begin here.

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ziggy - 10 Mar 13 - 3:39 AM

Ch. 30: Chapter Thirty--Maitimo

I have not been able to wait until you post this on SWG so am catching up here. It's so sad- he'll never marry. And instead suffer all his life. It's too sad- I wish there was another dning.

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Iel_o_Thorongil - 24 Feb 07 - 10:30 PM

Ch. 31: Chapter Thirty-One--Arafinwe

Beautifully done. I have often contemplated the paradox of the closing of a door in one's life and the opening of another. This chapter really seems to capture the bittersweetness and joy that comes with such an event. Perhaps my favorite thing is the balance of emotions that Arafinwe feels. This was just very well done. Thanks for the update!

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oshun - 25 Feb 07 - 3:53 PM

Ch. 31: Chapter Thirty-One--Arafinwe

Finarfin was never compelling for me before I read yours and I find myself liking him so much—disarming and delightful.  Love his observations of his older brothers and nephews as well. One who has been following your development of the boys, in particular, can completely relate to his description of them ("Macalaurë is awkward, Tyelkormo is obnoxious, and Carnistir is mystifyingly mean") and yet see how he is subtly off. Maedhros, of course, he gets ("he has inherited the innate grace of our half-brother that makes no one doubt he is a prince"); but the reader knows that is more likely than not due to the ability of Maedhros to project the image of himself that he believes others want to see.  

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ziggy - 10 Mar 13 - 5:14 AM

Ch. 32: Chapter Thirty-Two--Tyelkormo

The seeds of both love and disaster are here, inevitably, Feanor and his intensity and passion lead him both to greatness and disaster. Beautifully written. Rich, deep and so sensual in its real sense.

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oshun - 16 Mar 07 - 8:28 AM

Ch. 33: Chapter Thirty-Three--Nerdanel

I owe you comments on this chapter and the previous one. They were so significant and unsettling and raised large questions of interpretation, foreshadowing, and characterization (particularly of Feanor) that I really need to settle some of my own thoughts about them in my own head, before dashing off any quick comment. (In fact will probably  write you something longer in a private email.)  Loved your exploration of Feanor's relationship with the Valar and their attitude toward him. You very much hit on what Tolkien wrote on the subject that has often seemed to me to be ignored by both scholarship and fanon. That Feanor's method of reacting to the Valar was not a one-sided arrogance on his part but based upon their reaction to him and what they permitted him (up to a point?) and then it is almost as though they wanted to change the rules half way through the game to tragic consequence.

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ziggy - 10 Mar 13 - 7:56 AM

Ch. 33: Chapter Thirty-Three--Nerdanel

I awaken with a start from a nightmare I cannot remember, only that my heart races in fear for my sons. All of my sons. All

seven

four of them, although I cannot fathom why; all I remember was how beautiful they looked, bathed in perfect white light.

This terrible tragic vision keeps anchoring us back to the inevitable, but I love the way this story narrates IN SPITE of it- its domesticity, its desire and eroticism. The last scene of the rose quartz is just lovely- all the contradictions and fury and passion and absolute tenderness bound up in that one jewel.

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Iel_o_Thorongil - 15 Mar 07 - 5:06 PM

Ch. 34: Chapter Thirty-Four--Macalaure

oh no. I hope Nelyo doesn't get foolish.

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IVIaedhros - 15 Mar 07 - 5:35 PM

Ch. 34: Chapter Thirty-Four--Macalaure

"He is human, Macalaurë," Nelyo adds, as though reading my thoughts. I have to wonder sometimes.

Small gaff there.  

As always, your work is superb.  Your updates are always something that I look forward to.  You've been pretty consistent with the Thursday releases and neither quality nor quantity has ever slacked.  Look for an email review sometime in the next week or two.  Hopefully I can give some in-depth critique in repayment for this wonderful tale.  It's the least I can do...it'll be tough though.  I may not always agree with your stylistic approach, but as far as my amateur eyes can tell in a glance, everything is faultless within the limits you set for yourself. 

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ziggy - 10 Mar 13 - 8:46 AM

Ch. 34: Chapter Thirty-Four--Macalaure

Ah- this is a gorgeous chapter, Dawn. Maitimo is beautiful, observed by his brother in this slightly surprised, objective way that seems to almost doesn't know /recognise him. And I love that moment when Macalaure hears himself described as a son of whom Feanor is proud and talks of. That's a lovely moment.

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oshun - 31 Mar 07 - 2:32 PM

Ch. 36: Chapter Thirty-Six--Macalaure

A beautiful, intense chapter, Dawn. I really should not read your stuff when I am in an emotionally vulnerable mood. (Let me qualify that I have been known to make fun of people who weep at the movies—so I am not crybaby!) But this chapter. Moved me so many times. You've got a thing about names haven't you? How Noldorin of you! I loved Maedhros's speculation about the name Nelyafinwë: "An inheritance that I shall never claim." Silence. How can I argue with that? But Nelyo goes on. "When am I ever going to be king, Macalaurë? Should Grandfather Finwë see a need for abdication, even temporarily, Atar would take his place, and can you see Atar relinquishing the kingship?"  Reminds me of your passage about names in "Evidence Of" and I thought of your wonderful story, "Essecarmë." Then Macalaurë says: "You would make an excellent king, I think." Jeez! I'm supposed to stay dry-eyed for that one!

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IVIaedhros - 01 Apr 07 - 6:52 PM

Ch. 36: Chapter Thirty-Six--Macalaure

I like the foreshadowing...it's expected, certainly, however the dreams are not blatant at all.  I especially like the idea that Feanaro is laying the heat on Neylo.  

REQUEST: Please, please, please label your chapters with something that indicates their content!!!  Everytime I want to reread a particular passage, it takes about an hour to find.

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ziggy - 10 Mar 13 - 1:58 PM

Ch. 36: Chapter Thirty-Six--Macalaure

He is making me choose.

I will let him destroy me.

You have led me down this lovely, rich narrative with its humour and delights, its domesticity, and now you slowly reveal a little more of the dreadfu catastrophe that will come to them, but you make me think too, that Feanor would have always left Aman, and that he would have always pursued this destiny, but the Silmarils, I am sure, you are going to show his love for them is greater than his love for his family and so he destroys them with the Oath, but he would also use that Oath to hold them to him.

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Shasta - 16 Apr 07 - 12:31 PM

Ch. 37: Chapter Thirty-Seven--Findekano

For all that you say you are depicting relatively happier times for the Feanorians, I'm guessing that you - like me - have a slight addiction to angst, with the exception that you write it very well in addition to that.

 Fingon's use of the philosophy "What Would Maedhros Do" is really touching, and Maedhros's explanation - "I do not lie" - warns of how much grief both of them are bound to suffer because of their respective integrity.

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ziggy - 10 Mar 13 - 2:40 PM

Ch. 37: Chapter Thirty-Seven--Findekano

That last moment is full of loveliness and portent, and all the time I was reading this, I was thinking of Fingon rescuing Maedhros. You have layer and layers in this.

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Shasta - 16 Apr 07 - 12:52 PM

Ch. 38: Chapter Thirty-Eight--Nolofinwe

It's so wrenching to watch the family tear itself apart simply because some of them - i.e. Fingon and Maedhros - get along well. Reading this chapter made me want to wring Fingolfin's neck a bit, but of course, that would do nothing. Anyway, he did smarten up a bit towards the end. 

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oshun - 17 Apr 07 - 9:27 AM

Ch. 38: Chapter Thirty-Eight--Nolofinwe

Oh, Dawn! Amazing work as usual. You do young Fingon's hero-worship of his brilliant, attractive cousin in such a realistically convincing way, while showing us how Maedhros in return loves and sympathizes with Fingolfin's oldest son. I think this novel is so addictive because, over and over again throughout, you take a mythic theme from Tolkien's work and give it life and blood. You have done this while never letting the reader forget the big picture--the fall of Feanor and doom of the Noldor. This chapter laid the basis for the mythic friendship of Fingon and Maedhros which Tolkien described so beautifully: "Long before, in the bliss of Valinor, before Melkor was unchained, or lies came between them, Fingon had been close in friendship with Maedhros; and though he knew not yet that Maedhros had not forgotten him at the burning of the ships, the thought of their ancient friendship stung his heart." (Meanwhile, you manage to slip in with such sly humor your unique take on the loveable dysfunctionality of the Finweans. Great stuff.)

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oshun - 27 Apr 07 - 8:57 AM

Ch. 40: Chapter Forty--Maitimo

Beautiful chapter. But I do sort of want to shake Maedhros—he's young, brilliant, gorgeous and we all know, bright as she is, that the girl isn't good enough for him (my motherly instincts coming to the fore here!). The sex scene and all of the emotion and angst surrounding his sexuality and body image is among the most powerful, if not the most, that I have ever read (in addition to the fact that the physical description is intense).

I love the way you draw Finwë—that he is one who can offer hope through his solidity. Your version is such a strong character. Like the conflict relating to Maedhros's responses to Indris and Fingolfin—ring very true to life. For the second chapter running, the relationship between the two cousins is amazingly constructed. The lullaby for little Fingon at the end of the chapter transported me straight to the cliffs of Thangorodrim.

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IVIaedhros - 09 May 07 - 8:19 AM

Ch. 41: Chapter Forty-One--Maitimo

I like how Maitimo is slowly being forced to go through the almost exact same process that Findekano was, namely, seeing what life is like for the other side of the family.  He slowly learning that, yes, his step-grandmother and half-cousin's family are indeed real people who are not bent soley on making Feanor's life miserable.  I hope to see more of this, particularly since one of his most famous roles is that of a peace maker between the then Fingolfin and the rest of Feanor's people.  While he occupies the position of lord, he consitantly displays an unusual degree of understanding and tolerance towards elves who are hostile towards the feanorians...his comments about Thingol, for instance.   

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ziggy - 11 Mar 13 - 12:58 PM

Ch. 41: Chapter Forty-One--Maitimo

I am really pleased to see Vorondil fleshed out here and for the rather aloof (publicly) Maitimo to see him as he is- its a wonderful glimpse beyond the family and of course later, he IS important in the Silm. I like hte fact that Maitimo is flawed too- by that slighter but still Feanorian arrogance and contempt for those less gifted than their father. 

You write so accurately and well, with perfect precision - I rather think of you as Feanor as a wordsmith, turning each phrase this way and that to examine its effect, nodding approval and placing it deftly on the page...effortlessly careful.

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IVIaedhros - 10 May 07 - 7:36 PM

Ch. 42: Chapter Forty-Two--Carnistir

As much as Neylo may be my favorite all around person, Carnister takes the cake as the most fascinating.  His gifts, behaviors and mentality are all so unusual...and what makes it all the more unusual is that we know how he ends up.  Both him and Turko are the ones who are known for the apparent callousness and the evil deed of trying to capture Luthien and leaving Fingon and Beren to their deaths.  It's almost like watching a young Hannibal...holding your breath as pieces slowly click into place.  Feanor is the same in some ways, though to a lesser extent.  I'd love to see someone examine Carnister as an adult using your template.

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oshun - 11 May 07 - 8:52 AM

Ch. 42: Chapter Forty-Two--Carnistir

I have mentioned before how much the way you write Caranthir reminds me of my granddaughter who is both autistic and exceptionally gifted. So moving  in this chapter how Maedhros is described as struggling to maintain outward control in front of his little brothers and how they nonetheless read his pain and sadness and try to comfort him each in their own clumsy ways. Loved the sentence about how Macalaurë wipes the fish parts off of Nelyo's forehead with a tea towel "griping about how clumsy and senseless he can be, but his annoyance is clearly contrived, and his hands are gentle on Nelyo's face." You capture Caranthir, Maedhros, Maglor and what boys are like all in one sentence.

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IVIaedhros - 18 May 07 - 10:13 PM

Ch. 43: Chapter Forty-Three--Carnistir

Ah, the palantir...kinda figured that since (they) it's the only physical object referenced by name and created by Feanor....also very appropriate that Carnister finds it. I hope the little tyke uses it to cause some major psychic havoc.

Thanks for the lovely new chapter

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MithLuin - 19 May 07 - 5:47 AM

Ch. 43: Chapter Forty-Three--Carnistir

So that's what Fëanáro was doing on his five day binge in Formenos - making a palantir!

Carnistir is a strange child, but I am glad that Nelyo is starting to hear him, and Grandfather Finwë and Arafinwë seem to know what he is about.  He's lived in a private dream world since he was born.

And what dreams!  The poor guy...  Having Tyelkormo dream of Alqualondë because they were sleeping together was quite interesting.

And now I must patiently wait a week for the next chapter, LOL.  I've been spoiled so far!   

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oshun - 06 Jun 07 - 8:26 AM

Ch. 44: Chapter Forty-Four--Macalaure

You weave ordinary daily life in Valinor into this chapter in such a convincing way. Like the idea of grandpa stepping in and making the boys' trip to Alqualondë more reasonable and less of a trek. Love Maglor playing the boyfriend--he and his girl are such charming geeky musicians and suit one another so well. The descriptions of Alqualondë and the cultural differences are lovely. It is also interesting to see Maglor comforting Maedhros and his older brother accepting his reassurance so easily in his half-awake state. Breaks my heart to think of how small their troubles are in these scenes compared to what is to come.

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IVIaedhros - 04 Jun 07 - 12:10 PM

Ch. 45: Chapter Forty-Five--Macalaure

As said, a nice and breezy chapter.  I enjoyed it and it's enjoyable to think how Macalaurë becomes the mature lord called Maglor.  He's just so insecure and angsty right now...heh.

I hope we get to see Neylo before the Valar.  Maybe they can clear up his love life?  :D

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IVIaedhros - 08 Jun 07 - 2:04 PM

Ch. 46: Chapter Forty-Six--Macalaure

Heh, the forshadowing is so thick you could cut it with a knife, though you do it well enough that it doesn't intrude on the story. Ah, poor guy.  The one who has the most lose is forced to suffer the longest from the Oath.  

 ...inappropriate time to ask for a blessing indeed.

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oshun - 09 Jun 07 - 11:39 AM

Ch. 46: Chapter Forty-Six--Macalaure

Love your Macalaurë and Vingarië and how you describe the cultural differences between the Noldor and the Telerin. In these recent three chapters Macalaurë is growing up rather quickly, but still remains Nelyo's adoring and adored little brother. You really get the large/close family details right in describing the brothers Fëanárion. (Trust me.; I know being one of seven myself.)

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IVIaedhros - 21 Jun 07 - 9:07 PM

Ch. 49: Chapter Forty-Nine--Maitimo

And the foreboding continues to pile on. Heh, AMC become one of my life's little constants...sort of like the morning news, I suppose. It blows my mind that you would write a prequel and a sequel. It'll probably drive nuts waiting for you to finish, but it's not good to look the gift horse in the mouth. Really, thank you for providing such wonderful entertainment for free. Someday I'll have to do a homage to this monster.

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ziggy - 13 Mar 13 - 3:04 PM

Ch. 51: Chapter Fifty-One--Maitimo

Just when I think you have reached the pinnacle of writing, you do something more- the end of this had me weeping hopelessly for all of them and the tragedy that is foreshadowed over and over through dreams- and I will never see Carnistir in the same bloody light as he is usually painted, but will alwys have in mind this lovely moment in which he sees what no one else can- and he gives Rumil what no one else can really give - a real view of him as he really is, the silver beauty of his spirit. MAde me cry- still crying and I have spent too many moments durin the working day (also a teacher so not many of those free!) thinking aobut this and wanting to get back to it.

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ziggy - 13 Mar 13 - 3:22 PM

Ch. 52: Chapter Fifty-Two--Maitimo

Well! That was unexpected. I have spent all these chapters growing in my dislike of Annawende because of the torment of poor Maitimo, and then she comes back. But he's happy and therefore, so am I . But I'm also intrgued ot see how this ends, and then want to rush on to the next story to see what happens.

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ziggy - 13 Mar 13 - 3:35 PM

Ch. 53: Epilogue--Tyelkormo

A happy ending to a Feanor story - what a wonderful tale this has been. I love your Feanor, you give him such richness and depth- I will always hav ethat image of him in his apron, wooden spoon between his teeth, Turko on one leg and Carnistir clutching the other and his striding around the kitchen making somehting, like snails which Macalaure will spit out and Carnistir will gobble up. And our lovely, gently, beautiful Maitimo - his face caught forever in Rumil's mask. The quality of your writing is beyond fanfic - a real art of langauge worthy of Maitimo. Delicate, vibrant, completley Feanorian in all their glory. Thank you for this gift that is your writing. Sorry- I am gushing but I am completely smitten with them.

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