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In the Hands of the Enemy  by meckinock 153 Review(s)
SuzelleReviewed Chapter: 12 on 10/31/2019
Okay. So. I very clearly remember first reading this fic when it was first published in...god, the timestamp says 2003?? Which would have been when I'd gotten into Tolkien fandom for the first time and I was an impressionable young teenager. I remember ADORING this story and Halbarad and Gandalf and all the rest. But I had not read it since! In a fit of nostalgia this past weekend I tracked it down and I was SO happy it was still posted and SO glad that it was just as delightful as I remember it being. I think this story unconsciously informed a lot of my own development as a writer, especially in terms of Halbarad and Aragorn's relationship. There were so many instances I was laughing out loud because of the Halbarad-Gandalf shenanigans, and this last chapter in particular was...*chef's kiss*. Thank you so much for sharing this story with us; it was wonderful then and it's wonderful now.

Author Reply: You're making me cry, for so many reasons. I have so many wonderful memories of that time and hearing from you brings them all back again. Thank you. I'm interested in hearing about your writing and I'll reach out to you on your e-mail from my meckinock email address.

ReaderKitReviewed Chapter: 12 on 1/8/2015
Hehe, this chapter's end was so hilarious! Kudos. The entire tale was good, and the parallels between Rolly and Tillfield were thought-provoking. I am glad to see how Aragorn sometimes despaired of ever achieving his destiny, and how Gandalf would hit him over the head for being a fool. And yay Halbarad!

Author Reply: Thanks for the review! I'm sorry the reply is so late; I don't monitor this e-mail address like I should. I'm glad you liked the story.

MP brennanReviewed Chapter: 12 on 2/5/2013
I'm so glad I stumbled across this! It's excellent. It's deftly plotted and perfectly paced. You had me guessing with just about every chapter. Your style is so engaging and immersive--I got lost in this fic.

The original characters just leapt off the page. Gotta love Tillfield! ;) Rolly absolutely broke my heart, particularly his last words to Aragorn. His conflict comes through so clearly with so little explanation. And the dynamics between the canon characters are note-perfect.

Anyway, I know you posted this forever-ago, but I just wanted to say well done!

Author Reply: Thank you for the kind review - I'm sorry the reply is so late in coming. I'm glad you enjoyed the story. It's hard to believe the kitten I named after Rolly is now 11 years old.

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 6 on 10/11/2008
I love how practical Hal is. Why waste time messing with a lock when you can just pry the door off? Watching him with Tilfield is interesting. He thinks of himself as tough and others may see him that way too but all the kid has to do is cry. Though he did make up that stuff about his mother. LOLOL

With Aragorn, you see the power of subtext over text in his elliptical comment about hurting Elrond.

Author Reply: Thanks for reminding me how darned much fun this was. I loved writing Halbarad, especially in this story. And it's amazing how Tillfield just jumped up and grabbed me by the throat, too. He wasn't supposed to be a major character at first. And he was supposed to be a bad guy. And a Mannish kid. Thanks for the review; I needed a reminder that this can be fun.

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 5 on 10/11/2008
One of the things I like about this chapter is how Halbarad's character is established as much by how others react to him as by what he thinks or does. He's potentially dangerous, and like the barmaid, I have to ask if that's entirely a bad thing. :-)

Author Reply: I don't think it is :-)

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 5 on 10/10/2008
The tall Ranger leaned wearily against the doorjamb, dripping melting snow onto the floor. “Gandalf, listen, have you seen Ara – I mean, Strider?” Halbarad asked, wincing at his slip and glancing about. “I really need to talk to him.”

“This manner of his disappearance seems very suspicious,” Gandalf concluded, having coaxed the Dúnadan back out into the common room and given an account of his own attempts to determine what had happened to Aragorn.

See that? Lovely condensing of time so we see the interesting stuff only. And see the intriguing mysteriousness of this? Intriguing despite the way we know more than Hal does. At least, in some ways we do. But it also feels like he knows intimate things we don't.

We had just finished the burials when Strider came walking up, out of nowhere.” Halbarad looked down at his folded hands, and added in a voice almost too low to hear, “Just like he always does.”

And I truly love Hal's dry humor:

Strider wasn’t fit company for a troll. I had hopes that their influence might improve his disposition."

"Did it?"

"Not so I noticed."

Author Reply: LOL; thanks again for reminding me this stuff can be fun. It seems to me the second paragraph is a little awkward, though - I'd be tempted to dink with it now (Gandalf concluded, having coaxed etc.)

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 2 on 10/10/2008
Have I told you lately how much I admire your writing?

his wiry mass of brows plunged together again, deepening the furrow above his much-broken nose

I want that! I want to be the one who wrote it!

But really I just admire the way this feels so easy, combining actions, emotion, description, characterization, and humor with seemingly effortless ease. I'm in a nasty, ill-lit attic on a rainy night in Bree.

He fingered the map once more, tracing the route of travel as if caressing a favorite pet, then tapped the corner of the table absently. “Go and fetch your men.”

“But it is nearly dark -” Teburic protested, only to be cut off by a flat, expressionless gaze.

“You were told to make them ready,” the other said with a note of accusation. “They must be waiting for him at the falls tomorrow. Everything must proceed exactly according to plan. Do you understand what is required?”

“Yes, my lord,” Teburic answered, suddenly realizing that he was not sure that he did.

alpestarsReviewed Chapter: 12 on 1/1/2008
Very delightful fic. Thanks for the story. I admire your skill in weaving a good story and your creativity in coming up with that scene between Aragorn, Halbarad, the hobbit, and Gandalf in the last chapter.

Author Reply: Thank you so much! I'm very pleased you enjoyed the story, and especially the last chapter. It was nice to end the story on a light note.

nautikaReviewed Chapter: 12 on 2/13/2007
This was a wonderful story. I just finished it and am already printing the story about their return to Rivendell. I really enjoyed Halbarad and Gandalf together and your original Hobbit, too! I was undecided through the whole story as to whether the boy was good or bad. I knew it was he that knocked Strider out, but then I'd change my mind, then I'd change it again.

I was really glad to have the other story to print because i have *not* had a good afternoon! Thanks for sharing!


Author Reply:
Hi, Nautika,

Thank you so much. I'm glad you enjoyed the story. This one at least had a few lighter moments, unlike the one-shots. I didn't realize Gandalf and Halbarad would be such a hoot together until I started writing them - they were a lot of fun for me, too. And I'm glad you liked Dudo. As far as being undecided about Rolly being good or bad, well, he was, too, up until the end. In the end he chose loyalty to his master over the forgiveness and love that were being offered to him by Aragorn and Gandalf. Sometimes I want to go back and write an AU where he chooses differently :-) Anyhow, thanks for reading and reviewing.

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 1 on 12/25/2006
I just reread this. Man, it's good. You set the scene and give us characters very economically, and it's all show, no tell.

Author Reply: Wow, thanks, Daw. What a surprise to check the e-mail and see a review alert - definitely a great Christmas present.

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