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The Dare  by Dreamflower 12 Review(s)
LindeleaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/26/2005
Have just started reading this for the first time, after Dana mentioned it the other day.

I love the way you draw the relationships between the cousins!

Those Bankses are a real piece of work. It sounds as if they've grown up under a bad influence. Who is it?

And yet, even here, in this very early story, I can see the seeds that grew into "Road to Edoras". Clovis is a thoroughly unpleasant chap, and seems to be the instigator of most of the mischief, while Cado seems less than whole-hearted about the whole miserable business. I think he'd actually like to be friends with Pippin, if he were let alone.

Author Reply: Hi! I didn't realize you hadn't read this one! What fun!

I am glad you like the way I draw their relationships. The ties between them, and later between them and Sam, are an obsession of mine, more than any one of them, I like examining what makes them tick as a *group*.

Good old brother Clodio.

Yes, you can see that they already have their own dynamic firmly in place. As I told another reviewer, Clovis and Cado are sort of my "anti-Merry and anti-Pippin" in that I can explore such a relationship gone wrong, where they bring out the worst in each other rather than the best.

GryffinjackReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/19/2005
Finally! I love this story; it's so well written.

In a way, Clovis and Cado Banks remind me of Merry and Pippin - it's the older one, Clovis, who is always getting the younger one, Cado, into trouble. The difference, however, lies in the type of trouble and the intent behind it. While Merry and Pippin just get into a little mischief and Merry gets Pippin out of trouble, Clovis and Cado are nasty, mean-spirited individuals.

"Their time at the inn had been a pleasant interlude, and Merry and Pippin had started back to the Smials to be in time for afternoon tea. They were not talking much, but simply enjoying one anotherís company without the presence of annoying outsiders."

That's the beauty of their relationship - they don't need to talk in order to have a good time together or to understand each other. And I'm so glad Frodo is part of this story, too!

Author Reply: I'm so glad that you spotted something that I was aiming at, and you are the first to notice. Just as I wanted Freddy and Folco to reflect how things might have been if either Merry or Pippin had died, I created the Bankses as kind of an "anti-Merry and anti-Pippin", two who are close to one another but who bring out the worst in one another instead of the best, two whose connection is due to blood ties and proximity, but lacking that depth of affection and heart that Merry and Pippin share.

The two of them don't really need to talk much. They know one another very well, and words are not always necessary.

Frodo had to be in it. I simply can't keep him out, no matter how I try, so I don't try anymore if he wants in.

PIppinfan1988Reviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/23/2005
I got an idea from you on one of your comments at the Challenge board, so today I took this chapter to work and read it at lunch. The author has done her job: I can already tell you that I don't like those two cousins of Pip's. I hope they get their just reward! Little vermin! Next chapter tomorrow...


Author Reply: Isn't it fun to read fics at lunch? I sit there with my little hard copy in the breakroom, and just read away...
Of course, after Challenge Friday, I usually have to get a new ink cartridge, LOL!

I'm glad you're enjoying this. It's one of my own favorites.

MaidenofValinorReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/14/2005
ooooh...those Banks boys piss me off! They're going to be in so much trouble if anyone finds out what they're up to. The scene with Frodo was great!

Author Reply: Oh, yes, the nasty Bankses! They do give Pippin a hard time don't they!
I'm glad you liked the part with Frodo. He almost always turns up to help Merry and Pippin out.

good_one_pipReviewed Chapter: 1 on 9/24/2004
hi, thanks for giving me the story title. But oh, no! Pippin's in trouble. I can see where this is going. Those nasty Bankses. I hope this doesn't turn out to horribly. I love Merry standing up for his poor younger cousin, though

trishetteReviewed Chapter: 1 on 7/19/2004
Hmm... is the feeling I have that this is affiliated with one of the three times Merry became angry at Pippin that you referred to in "A Comspiracy of Hobbits" on the mark?

Author Reply: Yes, it is that episode. It also features as part of the plot in "A New Reckoning".

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 1 on 7/18/2004
Nasty Bankses.

Perhaps a bit of maternal intervention might have helped here! Except it would have spoiled the story line.

Oh well - at least we have an advantage over Merry - we know the 'orrible Bankses are going to be SORRY. Although not remorseful.

Author Reply: Oh yes, nasty Bankses!

I do have an explanation of why Eglantine was hesitant to interfere a bit later in the story.

No, remorse does not seem to enter their little brains.

Grey WondererReviewed Chapter: 1 on 7/18/2004
I was hoping that you would write this one at some point. I am looking forward to seeing how the Banks talk Pip into trouble, but I'm really looking forward to Merry's reaction.

Author Reply: Coming up soon. 8-)

TopazTookReviewed Chapter: 1 on 7/18/2004
Thank you for posting this story we've all been waiting for! I love your Merry characterization -- his unpracticed, but always sincere, pleading look (in contrast to you-know-who's extremely practiced and sometimes sincere look), and all his thoughts and manipulations of the Bankses. I'm getting a little worried, though, that I'm feeling a twinge of sympathy for young Cado in this chapter as he's getting led along by his brother -- mostly because I know how much of a lout he is in your other story!

Author Reply: Well, I think Merry *would* have a pleading look for Pip,just as much as the other way round, and being Merry would only use it when he meant it. That of course increases its effectiveness immensely.

Merry is a pretty good judge of character. He is much more cynical than Pip, however, and not much inclined to cut unpleasant people a break.

As for Cado: my idea is that even though he is slightly more intelligent than his older brother, and has a tad more common sense, it doesn't matter in the long run, because he is so rarely inclined to use it to keep his brother from doing cruel and stupid things. Also, his disinclination doesn't come from feeling sorry for his brother's victims as much as from fear of the consequences if they get caught. So, yes, even though he is led along by Clovis, he is still very much a lout. He just tends to be a *worried* lout.

GamgeeFestReviewed Chapter: 1 on 7/18/2004
You're finally writing this story! I was wondering when you would. So far, it's great. I unfortunately have known a few Bankses in my life and they are not pleasant people. I tend to avoid them but poor Pippin wants to be friends with everyone.

I liked how you described Merry and Frodo through Pippin's eyes. And Merry's protection of Pippin and how he got rid of the Bankses was right on the mark.

Can't wait to read the rest.

Author Reply: Yes, I've known a few like the Bankses as well. And I've known those, who like Pippin, always are willing to give the benefit of a doubt, sometimes to their own detriment.

I'm glad you are enjoying my characterizations. I love the relationships between the three cousins.

I will probably post Ch.2 sometime tomorrow.

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