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In the Hands of the Enemy  by meckinock 12 Review(s)
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.)

lindahoylandReviewed Chapter: 5 on 8/21/2005
You had some lovely touchs of humour mixed in with all the drama in this chapter.I'm fascinated to hear all the details you have only hinted at before.I must go to bed now but I'll be back as as soon as I can to read more.

Author Reply: Thanks, Linda. Get some rest - you must be exhausted between reading and writing. I appreciate the review, and glad you're enjoying.

Orophins DottirReviewed Chapter: 5 on 1/27/2004
Eeeeeeeeeeeeyew! Rangers eat mutton. Blech. Well, now we know whom to invite when we must cull the elven flock of woolies. The queen of the South will be pleased.

Interesting with Halbarad and the Shire. Admit I have always been a little puzzled about the Ranger devotion to the Shire. Is all about to be revealed?

*SCREAMING laughter from elf. SCREAMING. Gandalf is asking Halbarad for a clean handkerchief??? A RANGER???. Whooping elf clutches door jamb to hold herself erect. And they call ME an optimist when I ask them to wash their hands in front of a roaring waterfall? " . . .beating heart of a dragon?" Elf whoops in uncontrolled laughter."

A Prancing Pony spy ring is a sinister idea. Really. Can't wait until blue-eyed Mr. Underhill slouches in. "Hi, I'm Mr. Underhill. I am carrying a really secret and sinister THINGEE. Would anyone care for me to sing a song in the Common Room?"

*Elf scribbles notation for Thranduil: Dunlending bandits - sinister activity. Send patrol to investigate.*

Excellent chapter. Liked very much the interrogation by Halbarad. Ai, elf confesses. Halbarad is one of few humans that hath a certain attraction. Her mother, of course, would kill her for associating with anyone this scruffy.

Elf scurries forth to next chapter.

Humble Scribe to his Majesty Thranduil

P.S.--It was a fit of MADNESS. Madness. My liege doth love his dark son.

Author Reply: Oh, admit it. You just want a scruffy, smart-alecky, wrong-side-of-the-tracks ranger boy-toy to have your way with and then toss aside when your proper Silvan relatives come calling! Halbarad is considering the offer...

PortReviewed Chapter: 5 on 11/16/2003
This was the funniest interrogation scene I've ever read. Not that I've read so many, but it was damn funny.

I'm enjoying the wonderful detail (gosh-darnit, the weather was awful, the Prancing Pony was comfortable and Strider was really wasted), and the excellent characterization of both original and Tolkien's people. Plus, the plot's keeping me on my toes, which is really refreshing. The one weak point may be the mysterious villain; I kept getting reminded of your basic evil super villain from comic books and cartoons. Maybe it's his mystery--there's no special detail (mannerism, trait, habit, flaw, etc.) that stands out to make him an individual, so he sort of melts into the stereotype.

Other than that, though, I'm really enjoying this. It's good storytelling. The subplot with Halbarad is one of my favorite parts. You've added so many layers to all the characters just through the conflict between him and Strider. I look forward to reading the rest. Thanks for sharing it!

Author Reply: Hi, Port,
As I'm sitting here beating my head against the keyboard trying to fit the pieces of chapter 12 together, I can't tell you what a cool surprise it was to get a review for chapter 5! After a while I started to feel like a stand-up comic - the only performance that matters is the one that starts in five minutes. It's really great to know that you found the story, and so kind of you to review.
I know what you mean about the villain in chapters 1 and 2. I struggled with how to keep him mysterious (there's a reason for that) without making the lack of detail off-putting. I really appreciate the constructive feedback, and if you're enjoying the story otherwise, I'm overjoyed. Halbarad seems to be everyone's favorite character (including mine). He's like Aragorn without all the hangups...

EledhwenReviewed Chapter: 5 on 11/2/2003
This is excellent stuff - exciting, in character, plausible - more please!

Author Reply: Thanks, I'm glad you're enjoying it!

AvonReviewed Chapter: 5 on 11/1/2003
Daw recomended this and she's right - it's a very good read. Well done! I love the relationships.


Author Reply: Thanks, I'm glad you're enjoying it. I really enjoyed "Of Green and Red Leaves". The relationships are the most gratifying part of writing for me, as well.

The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 5 on 11/1/2003
Wow! What a great chapter. I could see the scene unfolding in a seedy downtown hotel room where neon lights split a night so dark that even the stars were afraid to show their innocent faces. The mood is set where the gumshoe is interrogating the witless kitchen boy after the kid was fingered by the mysterious but beautiful cocktail waitress who served the P.Eye's missing friend the evening before. Despite this man's underlying current of extreme danger, his living on the edge demeanor and his scruffy hardened appearance, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to him; he's sexy as hell! Halbarad, as Johnny Halbarad, PI, is skating on the edge, grasping for control of his overwhelming urge to beat information out of his reluctant informant and his practical need to wheedle it from the kid by indentifying with him, soothing him and offering the diminutive floor-swabber his strong shoulder to unburden himself on. He is the consumate investigator, having served his time as an enforcer of an imperfect law that fails as often as it succeeds.
Then we have Olorin Gandalf, a forsenics/science expert and kind hearted gentleman who is well known in his field for his uncanny abilities. Some have even called him a wizard. However, for as gentle as Gandalf seems, he is equally as deadly and the few who have firsthand knowledge of this deception rarely live to tell it.
Barley Butterbur is extraordinary in his role as the flustered inn-keeper.
I see movie offers...maybe even a TV series.
Girl, you nailed this scene! :>) Karen

Author Reply: I saved this one for last because I had to climb back onto my log!
You have missed your calling! I want to see you write Elves like this!

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 5 on 11/1/2003
I LOVE Halbarad. He is so human and he interacts so convincingly with both Gandalf and Tillfield. He is clever and tricky and honest. He cares about dead teenagers and does what his wife tells him. What more could one ask for?

This is just another stunning chapter. I continue to be so impressed by your ability to bring these people and places alive.

Author Reply: I know; what a doll. Too bad he's taken...

grumpyReviewed Chapter: 5 on 11/1/2003
hi there,this chapter was great, so glad you gave us the backstory of what had happened between Halbarad and Aragorn, and what the rangers life is like. Can not be very easy between the orcs, wolves and winter (snow) The rangers life is very hard, you got to wonder why they do it!
Loved the parts with Gandalf and Halbarad, and when Gandalf asked for a clean handkerchief, I couldn't help but laugh. looking forward to much more

Author Reply: Thanks - this chapter gave me fits and I'm glad you think it worked out OK in the end! Also glad you found the attempts at humor amusing - I've sat here thinking "Well, I think it's funny, but on the other hand I thought THAT was a good color for a sofa, so there you go...

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