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Youngest Son  by Bodkin 16 Review(s)
AlquawendeReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/8/2007
This is an amazing take on how Finarfin won Earwen's heart. You make Earwen sound like any real person would if they knew someone liked them. I enjoyed the idea that she didn't want to admit it, but finally gave in later... Her brother, is quite funny. When he cracked his skull it reminded me that the Blessed Realm was not completely safe, even for the elves. Your characters are quite believable. He is the perfect person for a brother preferable to have than Feanor and Fingolfin. I so envy Ellie that this was for her. I wish someone wrote something for me one day! Thanks for writing!

lwarrenReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/17/2007
Well, I'm going through all the stories I have missed reviewing since the beginning of the year and trying to catch up (I've noticed the drop off of reviewers and heard some authors on one of the yahoo groups I belong to talk about it...I sure don't want people to quit writing from lack of response, so I have vowed do my part and try and catch up a little bit! LOL) I plan to re-immerse myself in your writing this morning, Bodkin...I know it will be a chore...but....

Ha! A chore to leave it again maybe! I love your stories about Finrod and his family and this was just a lovely little view of Finarfin and Earwen before the evil that darkens their lives hits. They both seem so young and exhibit all those qualities of the young - being equally shy and assertive! But I think I love Salmar the best - correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't he take Legolas sailing in "Sweet Woodbine"? (note: go look that up, Linda!) I really liked that character and I seem to remember he was a son of Olwe! Anyway, I'm rambling here - he's the absolute picture of the annoying younger brother! So glad his head is hard - solid bone, right? :-)

I also enjoyed the comments of the other elleth to Earwen, trying to get a feeling about her real thoughts of Finarfin (possessor of more muscles than expected! Think I'll drool along with Earwen's friend!)

The descriptions of the seashore were evocative, as usual - I have come to relish that aspect of your writing and am never disappointed. Just a wonderful painting of a budding romance between two strong people...with just that touch of shadow lurking in the background to give it some depth!



Author Reply: I am so behind on reviewing and on replying to reviews. And I should be working on some of the enormous raft of paperwork that is currently depressing me.

And I'm sorry to impose such a dreadful chore on you as to make you waste time you could be spending on lesson plans on something as boring as reading :-)

Salmar's son, Espalas, is the character in Sweet Woodbine. Not that anyone but me knows that he is Salmar's son. Not until now, anyway. And the shadow - yes, Salmar died in the Kinslaying at Alqualonde. I can't imagine how difficult it must have been for Finarfin and Earwen to deal with that.

I loved playing with Earwen and Finarfin's early attraction to each other - poor creatures. Even elves can't expect romance to be easy! And it's nice to get a chance to drool over a bit of handsome elf.

Thank you, Linda.

Elena TirielReviewed Chapter: 1 on 2/13/2007
Hi Bodkin!

Have I mentioned how much I love your stories?

Your characters have an incredibly a rich interplay in both actions and thoughts, that I look forward to reading whoever you wish to write about. And, your descriptions are so evocative, yet seem to flow so effortlessly -- like Mozart's music, you make writing look easy!

Me, I struggle with every single word! Maybe you do, too -- but it sure doesn't show....

This entire story is an absolute delight to read - despite the tiny hint of pain toward the end. But I want to pick out one favorite line (among many!) and tell you how it inspired me:

As Telperion turned the water silver, the wind changed and a soft breeze blew off the sea, singing of the endless renewal of the tides and the relentless erosion of barriers, bringing with it the aching cries of a thousand homecoming birds seeking their refuges in the rugged cliffs.

My first thought was that that line is sheer poetry, and it sang to my soul and brought tears to my eyes.

But as I re-read the story (several times), your line also suggested a solution to a problem I'd been working on. I was struggling with a drabble about Galadriel creating the mist that would cover the Ride of Eorl before the Battle of the Field of Celebrant. I wanted the rolling mist cloud to remind Galadriel of waves, and cause her to suffer pangs of sea-longing, but it wasn't quite having the emotional impact I wanted.

That line suggested a a better means of triggering the reaction, specifically the relentless erosion of barriers.... Well, waves can erode concrete barriers like harbor walls, but the thought of waves can erode emotional defenses, like Galadriel's struggle against the sea-longing.... Anyway, I'm very pleased with the result, and I want to thank you for the lovely, unexpected inspiration! (And I've credited you in my Author's Notes, too... but they are twice as long as the drabble series itself, so I'm not sure anyone actually reads them. LOL!)

Anyway, thank you for sharing your talent with us, and I really look forward to whatever you write next!

- Barbara

Author Reply: Thank you, Barbara! I am so flattered!

I do actually find the descriptive writing flows quite naturally - and that I need to pay attention to keeping it under control. I love the moments when I can just give in to it! (And I love your writing - so whatever you do works beautifully.)

I am delighted that you liked the story - enough to reread it several times, too! - and thrilled that it offered you something that gave you an idea that you could use. (Such possibilities are among the joys of sharing a love for the same world, I think.)

And I don't comment much at HASA - I tend to feel a bit like someone peeking through the window there - but I do read both your writing and your notes. You have such a tremendous knowledge of all the background and it is fascinating to see how it all fits together.

I'm sorry to have been so long replying - work it just on top of me a bit at the moment and it is cutting into my time for reviewing and replying far too much!

KloseReviewed Chapter: 1 on 2/8/2007
I couldn't help but see what else you'd written, and was rather excited to see a Finarfin story right below "Brotherhood". :D

Earwen's earlier determination to *not* like Finarfin had me giggling. And after that turn of events, who can blame her for not having a change of heart? :D Finarfin's tender admiration was sweet, and that entire interchange with him, Earwen and when he was carrying Salmar was nothing short of hilarious - ‘You do not need to show her how amazingly wonderful you are – she is already hooked.’ - LOL!

And Finarfin's reaction... "feeling surprisingly light-hearted" - it's a simple, show-not-tell way to help us get a look into Finarfin's state of mind, but it is so illustrative, and that's why I'm starting to love your writing to bits, I think.

Earwen was as perfect, as a young princess trying to be cool and collected... but still with her own insecurities and small amount of self-conciousness - and Finarfin, as well, clealy a man in the making despite the occasional (quite adorable!) awkwardness.
But Salmar certainly stole the show, along with the utterly brilliant setting you've laid down her!

The younger sons of Finwe and their spouses can never get enough attention, I think; it was nice to see a light-hearted story (with just the right amount of foreshadowing) portraying them in the days before children, Melkor, discord, etc. A wonderful story, from start to finish!

Author Reply: Thank you Klose! Earwen and Finarfin spring from such a light-hearted time in Aman's history - after the Journey and before the darkening - but despite being elves, I can't see the pains of young love and courtship being much easier for them than for mortals! I'm glad you liked the setting - it described itself, I found - and I developed a considerable affection for Salmar - although I couldn't decide quite how many brothers he and Earwen shared!

I'm glad you enjoyed the story.

ArmarielReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/28/2007
I've just re-read this one, and it was even more enchanting the second time, somehow. Noticed things I missed the first time, I suppose. Description, dialogue, characterization...all elegant and professional. Bodkin, you raise fanfic writing to a high art!

Pssst--it was MY birthday too!


Author Reply: Thank you, Armariel. I'm glad you enjoyed it enough to reread it! I enjoyed visualising the shore before Alqualonde - and the careful approach of Finarfin and Earwen! Salmar did a good - if inadvertent - job in bringing them together.

It was your birthday? On the 25th? Happy birthday, Armariel, and many of them!

meckinockReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/27/2007
This was lovely, Bodkin. Very sweet. And as always your descriptions are just wonderful.

He paused, pearly grains rolling to bury his toes in the warm sand, to admire the white spray and the ruffled blue of the water. Out on the bay white-sailed ships tacked across the horizon, while Laurelin’s golden light sparkled on the rolling waves.

Man, you really anchor the story in the sensory environment. Awesome.

Author Reply: Thank you, meckinock! I must say I really enjoyed writing the seaside scene! I could just see it and feel the breeze and the sand. It was rather fun to wallow in the tentative approaches of Finarfin and Earwen - even if a touch of foreshadowing of a darker future insisted on making itself known!

FiondilReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/27/2007
Finally got a free moment to sit down and read this wonderful story. It's great to see someone writing about Finarfin and Eärwen when they were young and just "courting", as we would say. And Salmar is annoyingly amusing in the way of all younger siblings (I have two). The ending was just right with the promise of a future life between Eärwen and Finarfin shadowed, however briefly, by the threat of darkness that we readers, at least, know is coming. Very lovely, Bodkin, as are all your stories. Thank you for sharing. Oh, and happy birthday, Ellie.

Author Reply: It was delightful just to look at Finarfin and Earwen being young and carefree and just finding each other. They must have spent many happy years together - but their early life tends to be overshadowed by what comes later. Salmar might find himself forgiven for his cheek this time - as he has brought about exactly the outcome both Finarfin and Earwen hoped for, but were too cautious to try! And he will have many happy years as Olwe's youngest and most boisterous son, before the events at Alqualonde.

Thank you, Fiondil! I'm glad you liked it.

perellethReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/26/2007
what a wonderful moment. I doubt I ever read a fic of FInarfin at this age! and they are all so refreshingly innocent and carefree! Delightful. Happy birthday, Ellie

Author Reply: It was such a pleasure to concentrate on happy - with the tentative approach of two lovers who are tormented by no more than doubts that their interest will be welcomed! Although some intimations of events still many years away insisted on making themselves known, Finarfin and Earwen are far more focused on other things!

Thank you, perelleth.

RedheredhReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/26/2007
Bodkin, what a very enjoyable ficlet! I mean it in the best way when I say I really like the elven touches you apply to what would be regular people without them. But, I really like that they are 'regular people' very much too! Ah, young love and old families! They make for interesting courtships in Arda. :D

Happy Birthday, Ellie! Behold what your romantic fics have wrought! And thanks for sharing this, both of you!

Author Reply: Thank you, Redheredh, I'm glad you liked it! And the thing with elves is that they are regular people to themselves. And everything might take centuries instead of weeks, and they might sit at the feet of the Valar and take the light of the Two Trees and pour it into jewels - but to them, that's normal! And they still get up in the morning, and eat, and have to decide what to wear - and fall in love and marry and have difficult children. And worry about them. Although they do tend to have to endure rather more in the way of doom and division.

It was fun to write something short enough that the romantic interlude didn't end up being overwhelmed by tragedy! (Although a little foreshadowing insisted on making itself felt.)

Jay of LasgalenReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/26/2007
I really liked this story, and I rarely read anything much to do with the Silmarillion!

The opening scenes on the seashore were beautiful - I loved your descriptions here. Drowning elflings seem to be a very good way of bringing hesitant couples together!!


Author Reply: Drowning elflings are definitely an ice-breaker! Wet dresses and naked-to-the-waist ellyn are quite an enticement to hormonally-challenged elves who are already drawn to each other as well!

Thank you - I'm glad you liked the seashore. I can just see it - and feel the sea breeze and the sand. (Wouldn't mind being there at the moment, actually!)

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