Had I known when I started this story how long it would take me to finish, and where it would go, I probably would have run screaming before I wrote a single word. All I intended was to figure out how Denethor and Finduilas might have become husband and wife. Secondary purposes were to experiment with several different writing techniques – shifting points of view with each chapter, and including letters as a means of exposition – and to try to achieve a kind of Jane-Austen-meets-J.R.R.-Tolkien kind of story, in which the conflict relies primarily on personality and small actions, rather than world-sweeping events, without resorting to unmitigated angst. Though a romance, it is not overtly sexualized, and in that at least I hope it rings true to both Tolkien and Austen.
As seems always to be the case, and was true for Tolkien himself, the tale “grew in the telling,” and what I initially thought would take six chapters ended up about three times as long, with more on the political side of things than has often been the case in my work. Various minor OCs as well as some minor canon characters put in an appearance; among the former is my recurring OC, Golasgil, who first showed up in IHBS as the boys’ tutor.
I would like to thank everyone who has commented on various chapters of the story over the eighteen months or so that it gestated, and to give especial thanks to Julie and Anglachel for all their helpful feedback. Without their help the story would be much less than it is. Any remaining infelicities, discrepancies, or errors are of course my own responsibility
Finally, this story is dedicated to my husband, even though he persists in calling its leading man “Desenex.”