Dwimordene - 04 Jan 07 - 9:08 AM
Ch. 15: Brave
I have just caught up in a rather whirl-wind reading tour. Too many good, terrible things to even list--magnificent!
I will try to give some more substantive comments later, but I did want to mention now how much I've enjoyed this. It's a just beautifully done.
Go to Fallen
Dwimordene - 14 Jan 07 - 11:54 AM
Ch. 15: Brave
Back to those more detailed comments I said I would leave.
I've been so impressed by the way you handle your nameless protagonist, and this set of chapters really sealed for me the way she sees herself as in some sense essentially nameless. When she carelessly mentions how she's been called so many names of mothers, wives, daughters, etc., by dying men that her own name isn't important, that pinned her for me as someone who seems to see her place in life as a faceless place or as disappearing into other people, as a sort of strange ghost. Obviously, there's a certain amount of trauma speaking, too, that encourages that perspective--having been raped, she does in a way want to disappear and not be seen by anyone, friends or enemies.
The complications with Valacar are fascinating. I like his somewhat clumsy efforts to help, or to get her help, and the way his own "homeless" (that is, workless) status is used to complicate matters between the protagonist and him. It seems as though they should be closer, and yet his decision in an emergency and the fact that he is a man, and not one who's ever worked on the wards, as was observed, make it hard for them to interact. I was intrigued to learn of his past with Aradir, too, and it was told so subtley--I suppose this means he's not likely to be more than a fatherly/elder brotherly colleague figure to our heroine. More room for Beren, and I liked how that was handled. That initial, hard "rejection", coming not from the protagonist but from traumatic reaction was painful to read, but when she sought him out just before his company left, I thought it worked perfectly. A little awkward, oblique, and yet it seems clear tht the important part was communicated. At least Beren has that to hold on to.
I am curious whether the rapist will be caught before the host returns. We now have a situation where our narrator is armed, but as that poor, tragic boy from Rohan made clear, it's a weapon meant to serve as an escape from the depredations of orcs, not as a weapon directed against the enemy. I don't think she'd use it on herself prior to that--she's too tough (and I loved her irate rebuttal of Elloth--"It takes more than that [broken romance] to kill us!" It also takes more than rape to kill women (ya hear that Tolkien!?))--but I do wonder whether she'll end up having to dispatch the orc-in-human clothing at some point.
Beyond that, I am envious of your skill in weaving together the timescape, which, coming through the first person, can jump back and forth without warning. Yet it never feels fragmented. Every episode helps set up others or clarify what's past.
Go to Fallen