Comment on And What Happened After

  1. I've never actually written a proper review before, but this story spurred me into it because it is just so very good.

    All your other reviewers have already praised how well you capture the voices of the characters, but it bears repeating because they are absolutely spot-on. Not only do Bilbo and Frodo and Gandalf sound exactly as they should, but you've also done an excellent job of handling Tolkien's register-switching, so that the juxtaposition of Bilbo speaking to the Valar is amusing without seeming silly. And Gandalf moves so naturally between those different registers, while the hobbits are noticeably more self-conscious about it: "as a scholar only and as not one for whom the words are as living thought" indeed!

    On the subject of the Valar, I would also like to say that your description of Mandos was absolutely stunning. "Justice untempered by mercy" in particular just captures him perfectly for me. Indeed, I found your description of the Valar as the embodiment of abstract concepts really convincing altogether.

    Oh, and when it comes to characterisation, the conversation between Elrond and Frodo was wonderful. I love it when Elrond gets some more characterisation, and “Do you ask me this, Frodo, because I can still look at you?” was heartbreaking.

    I love, too, how w

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    1. (Sorry - hit the wrong button there!)

      Anyway, I was saying that another thing I love is how well you have taken up Tolkien's theme of music, from the description of a city like a song to the song of the healers to the reminder of Lúthien's song before Mandos. And then right at the end of the chapter you have Gandalf saying "behold your music", and the irreverence of that is so very Gandalf but it also reminded me of a lot of Tolkien's thoughts on sub-creation and the concept of being "made in the image of a Maker", as he puts it.

      I could go on for a lot longer about this story, but I should probably leave it here. I'm really looking forward to the final chapter, but right now I'm going to re-read chapter 2 again...

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      1. This is such a great comment to get - thank you for all your thoughts and for taking the time to share them! (Because seeing readers respond to this - especially, seeing readers respond to things that were so close to my heart while writing it, like the music thing - has introduced me to a whole new class of delight. Seriously. Comments like this make me bask like a cat in a patch of sunlight.)

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