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Grace and Memory  by Larner 8 Review(s)
Rivendell LadyReviewed Chapter: 5 on 9/7/2020
This is an excellent story. It stirred my spirit with its rich message and history. Well done.

NrinkReviewed Chapter: 5 on 1/22/2013
I loved this chapter and the theme of continuity with the past and hope for the future. It's a such a Rosemary Sutcliff theme - I'm glad we share a favorite author (there's no other writer who crafts her prose so beautifully), and thanks ever so much for your kind comments on my story!

Author Reply: I'm so glad to find another who appreciates Sutcliff's writing--my "The Keys to the Kingdom" and "Ways Round" were both inspired by "Warrior Scarlet." I love the thought of the White Tree and its place within the history of Numenor and Gondor, and do hope that perhaps one of the seedlings of Aragorn's Tree might have found its way to Arnor, too.

Raksha The DemonReviewed Chapter: 5 on 7/6/2010
Oh, Squeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! Here's Faramir at his honorable, historian, inspirational best! He takes the long view, and prizes what is left of the symbol as a connector to great deeds and times in the past as well as a beacon to inspire reverence and pride in the future.

I love it that the guards stood up straighter when Faramir had finished. The look at the doings of Arwen, Aragorn, and a certain little sapling in the snows of Mindolluin was neat too; but I was too busy sighing with admiration over Faramir - nice characterization!

Author Reply: Oh, yes--Faramir at his best! And I'm so happy you find the characterization good. Thanks, Raksha!

AndreaReviewed Chapter: 5 on 7/5/2010
All chapters were wonderful, Larner!

But the last one I liked the most!
As was pointed out before, Boromir is a man who lives in the present, who does not believe that after all those hundreds of years Gondor will have a king again. And so he makes plans for the future - without a king. He's a practical man.

Faramir on the other hand is aware of the past, Gondor's "Ancient Glory". He still hopes that this glory might be restored.

But even Faramir would not have thought it possible that this could happen in such a short time!

Author Reply: I wrote the last vignette first, and then found myself writing the others, as this last scene could not have happened had the others not happened first, I suspect. Yes, Boromir is definitely the practical, pragmatic one, while Faramir is the one who has been enamored of the history of the land and its symbols, and the remarkable place his people have known, once a people honored by the Powers of this world and still deserving of a level of grace and honor--if its people can continue to hold true.

That there would be complete turnaround within their lifetime--that must have been unexpected!

CairistionaReviewed Chapter: 5 on 7/5/2010
Another lovely installment. I love Faramir's passion, the guards' reaction to it, and the ending was a very unique way to show exactly when this took place. I do wonder, though, if Boromir perhaps was more cognizant of the meaning of the tree than Faramir believes, although, being more the warrior than a man of lore, whereas Faramir was both, he no doubt doesn't dwell too much on the past and its significance.

Author Reply: Boromir's true feelings are often hard to appreciate, or so I find as I seek to write him more and more often. The world has appeared to have changed completely for the Dunedain, and no one has stepped forward to claim the Kingship in a thousand years, after all; and he has questioned how long it takes to allow a Steward to become a King in his own right. His ties appear to be more to the present as it appears to be, while Faramir sees the history of Gondor's people as being as important as the present fears and needs for defense.

Thanks so!

Kaylee ArafinwielReviewed Chapter: 5 on 7/5/2010
O Larner! This was a wonderful story...all of it!

I know my usual MO is to review each chapter, and I will, I just waited until it was done to get all of it (like Atar Fiondil *beams*) And like him I was struck by the resemblance to his "To Stand Fast Against the Night" in regards to the various reactions to the Tree.

Only a tree, indeed! Well, a very special Tree, and I am glad someone in each tale recognizes that.

Here, the Dead Tree is recognized and the newest Tree stirs from sleep at last...I am so glad!


Author Reply: I'm so glad it moved you as it did, Kaylee. The themes of faithfulness and grace wind ever through all of Tolkien's works, and it is perhaps inevitable that we shall write to them repeatedly!

Even Elendil recognized that the White Tree was a very special tree--he just questioned, I think, whether it was worth risking a human life to save.

Now the White Tree that has stood before the Citadel for so very long will at last be laid to rest, and its own child stirs indeed. And those who will find and bring it here and who honor it still prepare for that day even now, each by being faithful to the world as he or she finds it.

Thank you so!

FiondilReviewed Chapter: 5 on 7/5/2010
I decided to wait until you had finished this, Larner, before commenting. An interesting set of vignette spanning two whole ages from Elros to Faramir. I liked how you have one person in each declare, “After all, it is only a tree when all is said and done.” In my Akallabeth story about Tar-Palantir's coronation, "To Stand Fast Against the Night", I have his brother, Gimilkhâd, say the same thing. Interesting how some people can only see a tree while others see a promise, a symbol of something greater than themselves. Tolkien saw trees for what they truly are: beings of great majesty and full of the deep wisdom of the Earth. After reading his stories and the central part that trees tend to play in them, it is hard to look at any tree and say 'it's only a tree when all is said and done.' Well done!

Author Reply: I need to reread "To Stand Fast Against the Night," I think. But faithfulness, courage, and grace are all themes Tolkien has written into every story he wrote. As for the unifying comment of "But it's only a tree, after all"--that was the specific prompt I was given to work into the story I was to write. That it would spark five vignettes was not something I'd anticipated when I began writing this, believe me!

The last one came first, and the others sprang from it.

UTfrogReviewed Chapter: 5 on 7/5/2010
Gorgeous set of stories - thank you for each of them.

Author Reply: You are most welcome, UTfrog! Thank you for the feedback! I rejoice that I got the prompt I did to go along with the general theme, inspiring not a single vignette but five!

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