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In the Hands of the Enemy  by meckinock 11 Review(s)
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.

lindahoylandReviewed Chapter: 6 on 8/24/2005
This story intruiges me more with every single chapter I read !I loved the humour in the search of the house. I think Halbarad must be Sherlock Holmes' ancestor !
Then poor Aragorn,I am very worried about him and I don't think Roly is trustworthy.Our hero is obviously very ill.
I love Halbarad in this story too(and his horse) You are a very gifted writer.

Orophins DottirReviewed Chapter: 6 on 1/29/2004
"He hesitated at the base and cast a hopeful glance toward Gandalf's glowing staff. "I don't suppose that thing would work for me?"
"My dear boy," Gandalf answered, tightening his grip on it, "I shudder to think of the consequences."

Absolutely love the Gandalf and Halbarad interaction. You write Gandalf well, not always an easy thing to do.

"With a crack of breaking wood, he ripped the door off its hinges. He tossed the remains of the door into a corner and waved Gandalf to the cabinet, returning the wizard's look of diminishing patience with a shrug. "I guess they didn't bother to enchant the wood."

*Elf sighs in admiration of Scruffy One. She has always wanted to try something of a similar nature on Mithrandir. However, there is that staff to consider. . .Elf does not wish to be turned into a black squirrel. Our archers use them for target practice. It would be just her luck. . .*

I rather like Tillfield. Have no earthly idea why as he has few socially redeeming qualities. I mean, he guts chickens for a living! *Elf looks nervously at missive that has just been delivered to her. It appears to be in her mother's handwriting.*

"The wizard smiled. "I may look decrepit to your eyes, but I still have a few tricks up my sleeve, young Dúnadan."

*See! Elf warned you about that staff, Halbarad! Do you humans ever listen to the First Born?*

Rolly is still a puzzle. I do not quite trust him, nor do I know whether he is telling the truth about what happened to him. Watch out, Aragorn!

There appears to be a bit of a ruckus here at the moment. I think I suddenly have urgent business elsewhere. "Umm, do you think that you could tell that tall infuriated elven lady approaching that her daughter is on an urgent mission for her liege? Rivendell. Several weeks. Thanks!" *Elf throws on cloak and heads for the stables. Hopes Halbarad has the horse ready.*

Humble Scribe to his Majesty Thranduil

Lady JainaReviewed Chapter: 6 on 11/5/2003
This is excellent! I am enjoying it!

Author Reply: Thanks, it's very gratifying to know that other people are enjoying the story (I was going to say as much as me, but probably the reality is more than me at the moment, since THEY'RE not fighting with the edit button at 5AM) and thanks for reviewing!

The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 6 on 11/4/2003
Ah..again we find our sleuths slinking around a dark misnamed street that would make Rand McNally burn maps for roasting mashmallows. It's a trio that's an odd a gathering of unlikely companions as Thomas Magnum would be with Houdini and Mickey Rooney. But, Halbarad is not the kind of man to let a few mismatched tag-a-longs keep him from ferreting out secrets no better hidden than a teenage girl's diary. The empty house seems a bit too easy for a man used to the dirty job of just staying alive and keeps his caution up like a blinking light at a busy four-way. He's no fool, but he's not sure about the bumbling Gandalf and the duplicitous three-foot-tall chicken-gutter. Still, there's little he can do about his back-up, a rear guard as likely to be ready when the time comes as a shoe model on a first date. He can do little but forge ahead, sighing with an exasperation that eats him up like a bad taco bought in China Town.
The old boy, Gandalf, turns out to be of use, (even if he does swing a sword so big it rattles like a sling blade in a confessional), when he set his steely baby blues on the menagerie of equipment found in an attic that looks like it was lifted from a sleezy B horror movie. Science is his bag and he immediately hones in on the purposes of everything from fine papers to an ink that not even a king would use except to send his condolences to the widow of his latest political assination victim. Gandalf more that shocks his partners in felony breaking and entering when he saves them by busting out a light that would give Time Square an inferiority complex. He might prove useful afterall.
Then we've got the gumshoe's friend and fellow ranger still roaming about the wilderness like a sailor on shore leave. He's saddled with a oddball kid that more than likely would just as soon cut his throat as give him the time of day. But the kid is good at pulling fast ones and does it with the ease of boiling water! Rolly, the poor misunderstood orphan, gives a searing performance as Oliver, all but bursting into song as he fingers Terburic as Fagan. The ranger may even be starting to fall for the song and dance, but there's something about the tune that reminds him of West Side Story and he's not quite ready to open the show on Broadway.
The adventure continues....
You, Madam Meckinock, are weaving a fine tale here. You style is great. My renditions come to my mind because you use such wonderfully classical elements of story telling. Mickey Spillane and Charles Dickens would be green. I'm just loving this story and not one of the chapters disappoints your readers. I hope you will accept my slaughtering your tale as a silly tribute to what a fine job you are doing in crafting these chapters. I plainly see your extraordinary talent and command of story telling. And writing my version does keep me off misnamed streets after dark....:>) Karen

Author Reply: .....(strangled gasp)....please...don't....(uncontrolled cackling)...STOP!....(loud thud of body crashing to floor)
Madam Karen: Your reviews are the most entertaining part of the story! (especially for me, since they require NO EFFORT on my part! I am honored, and I hope everyone appreciates the two-for-one deal. You have once again outdone yourself ("a bad taco from Chinatown?!")
And you are very kind to say "classical elements" instead of "shamelessly lifted elements"

EledhwenReviewed Chapter: 6 on 11/4/2003
I do like your Halbarad! His exasperated devotion to Aragorn is wonderful. Excellent writing.

Author Reply: Wow - "exasperated devotion" is exactly on the mark, and I didn't even realize it until you said it!

NilmandraReviewed Chapter: 6 on 11/4/2003
I like that Gandalf got to surprise Halbarad! Use a little wizardly powers....

Now Tillfield's motives are known, I think, and not of particularly evil motive. I am not overly concerned with him in the hands of Gandalf and Halbarad. But Rolly on the other hand....his story was told a bit too concisely for one not used to speaking of his past. He seems to know more than one might expect and I am urging Strider here and now NOT to trust him! Something just doesn't seem right and I am glad that Aragorn even seems to see it, despite his injuries and fatigue. Perhaps Rolly will surprise me yet....

Author Reply: Yeah, you're right, Tillfield is a puppy dog - but maybe with a hidden bulldog in there somewhere...
Aragorn agrees with you that the kid can't be trusted, but dang it, he thinks there's good in everyone...

fliewatuetReviewed Chapter: 6 on 11/4/2003
Another wonderful chapter (not that I had any doubts;-)) I loved Halbarad's unease at not having a ranger to guard his back but a Hobbit and a Wizard instead. Though I think his opinion of Gandalf's abilities has changed somewhat. But his disrespect of enchanted locks was priceless! And then, he cannot withstand Tillfield's tears. There lies a soft heart beneath that gruff demeanor after all.

All in all, Halbarad and Gandalf make for an interesting pair in your story. They are not that familiar with each other to trust one another blindly, but they cannot afford to doubt the other's abilities in their current situation. Their concern for Aragorn is what unites them in the end.

And, by the way, I am glad that Halbarad agreed to take Tillfield with him. He may be a burden, but I doubt that the poor Hobbit would have been safe in Bree as long as Teburic and his men are about.

As far as Aragorn's new companion is concerned, I am still unsure whether to trust him or not. Aragorn himself seems still reluctant, but his wariness falters and he has little chance but accept Rolly's aid. But then, Rolly is such a pitiable boy, with his parents dead, sold into slavery, being forced to work for someone like Teburic, that his sad story must stir Aragorn's protective instincts. I think that Rolly has a fair chance to worm his way beneath Aragorn's defences, especially since the poor Ranger is not in his best condition. And if there were some substance, enchanted or not, that might help in the endeavor (Gandalf did find some strange substances at Teburic's hiding place, after all) ... was there only starwort in Aragorn's tea?

Yes, I know, I am just speculating. But I am still more than curious to see the rest of the story.



Author Reply: You zeroed right in on the essence of "my" Gandalf and Halbarad - amazing how readers articulate where I was going better than I can! (probably explains a lot). Hm, starwort...or something else???
I see Aragorn as accepting that he is stuck with this kid for the moment and not feeling that he is an immediate threat - beyond that...? I am so, so gratified to hear you are still speculating and curious - as long as that is true, the story should continue to entertain (I hope).

grumpyReviewed Chapter: 6 on 11/4/2003
great chapter 6, do you know your story makes my day!
Parts of this have me laughing out loud, like Gandalf trying to blend into the shadows, and a lock that is enchanted but the wood arround is not.
Plus on reading back over some of it, I really don't think Strider should trust the kid, I don't think he told Rolly he was heading for the Ford.
So looking forward to more

Author Reply: Thanks, I am really having a lot of fun with this, I'm glad poor Gandalf got the chance to vindicate himself, and I'm having a ball with "bull-in-the-china-shop" Halbarad (please purists don't hunt me down and kill me!) Strider is with you on the kid (and I don't think he told him about Sarn Ford, either), but he's got him, so what is he going to do with him? Thanks for the great review - it makes MY day!

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 6 on 11/4/2003
I still love Halbarad. His thoughts about Gandalf were priceless. I can imagine only too well that Gandalf is hard to hide while sneaking down an alley. And Halbarad obviously believes in the direct approach, whether it be to locks or talk.

I think that Aragorn is still in some trouble. I am worried that Rolly knows he was going to Sarn Ford. I want to believe in him, but I am wary.

The conversation about Elrond was touching. Poor Aragorn.

Author Reply: I love him, too, but I was glad Gandalf was able to show him he wasn't all washed up yet! And Aragorn thinking of Elrond - I still can't read Appendix A without crying, so there you go...

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