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Jewels  by Lindelea 114 Review(s)
MattReviewed Chapter: 37 on 2/27/2017
I've often not read your stories because the chapters on ffn are so short. The "view all chapters" function here is tremendous. I have read all of the chapters you've got up on Jewels here and hope you'll put up the others that are on ffn here as well at some point. I like the characters and plot of this story and suspect I may others of your works now that I have discovered this delightful feature. thanks loads for your hard work on a lot of ff over the years, hoping to see more from you as you have time.

PSWReviewed Chapter: 37 on 1/8/2016
I really got into this story! Very entertaining. Thanks so much for writing!

EruherdirielReviewed Chapter: 37 on 6/30/2014
I like how you work the various familial tensions without being overwhelming. And Estella in particular is a dear.

How are you going to work things so that Pippin becomes the Thain?

curiouswombatReviewed Chapter: 37 on 6/4/2013
Aha - a very good suggestion on the part of Carodoc, under the circumstances!

Author Reply: Yes, it is. I imagine he's been thinking about it for some time, too. He's not the impulsive type, but very good-hearted as well as practical-minded.

curiouswombatReviewed Chapter: 33 on 6/4/2013
And the perfect solution to the problem - now all it needs is for the next step to occur to Merry...

Author Reply: Yes, Merry... Think!

curiouswombatReviewed Chapter: 22 on 6/4/2013
I've been dreading these past few chapters, whilst being sure they must come, and you have written them so well that this one, in particular, brought tears to my eyes.

Author Reply: Yes, it was difficult to write, knowing that Merry does not end up married to Ruby and there had to be a plausible reason for it. I think, though, that when Merry-and-Estella finally comes about, he'll treasure Estella all the more for knowing how unpredictable life can be.

curiouswombatReviewed Chapter: 16 on 6/4/2013
**Note to readers: Someone told me that there was too much chit-chat in this chapter, it borders on boring. But we need to spend just a bit of time in the frying pan before we plunge back into the fire..**

Then they were, most certainly, wrong.

I'm reading my way through whilst I have an afternoon off work, and am really enjoying the story so far - and there is absolutely not too much chit-chat in this chapter.

Author Reply: Oh, thank you! So glad to hear that.

I do enjoy chit-chat, but I know that some people find it tiresome. Glad to find a kindred spirit!

FantasyFanReviewed Chapter: 37 on 6/4/2013
This is quite an interesting branch point in the story, and I find my mind wandering into "what if..." this morning. Bless Carodoc for seeing the potential in Pippin, and thinking of a way to save him! Had he not, what would Pip have done? He's so beaten down right now, physically and emotionally, but he wouldn't have stayed that way forever. Eventually, especially surrounded by the love of Diamond and her family, he would have recovered some of his strength of will, I think, even if his physical strength did not improve much. And he would have become restless with nothing to do, with no outlet for his sense of responsibility and fertile imagination. Because he did have a sense of responsibility, even at this early stage of his life, and plenty of bravery; though both were in need of tempering and testing. Would he have removed to Gondor where he was at least valued, if not in an attempt to be healed by the King? Would he have tried to be a useful son-in-love to Farmer Took, and died too young, gasping and breathless, when no one found him in time during an asthma attack out in the far fields? Would he have volunteered as a Bounder, putting his bravery and experience to use protecting the Shire, and died of pneumonia after being caught in a storm? I don't see him giving up for too much longer, but I can easily see that he is mostly holding on for Diamond right now, and that the luck of the Tooks, at least for this one, may have run out at any time. Caradoc sees this as well as his potential, I feel.

I didn't get to review when you posted it, but I did notice and appreciate the edits made to Chapter 34, where Merry realizes his feelings for Estella. I had never really realized how abrupt the former chapter seemed, until the expansion was posted. Thinking dispassionately, it might have seemed quite odd that Estella bows out of the arrangement, Pippin and Diamond announce their intentions to be handfasted as quickly as possible, and then Merry and Estella come back from the stables a very short time later planning for a double ceremony. Nobody could have seen it coming, as Estella had truly made an effort to make the relationship with Pippin work, until it became obvious how much it would hurt both Pippin and Diamond to do so. Merry clearly had no thought of persuading her away from his cousin for himself. He had to deal with his own grief, but more than that he had never actually evaluated Estella as a potential partner. He knew from quite a while back she was promised to someone, and not him, and that is as far as any thought went. Merry, clever as he is, does not have the same ability to see outside the box as his more intuitive cousins do - he is much more conventional in his expectations of his role. So to see his thoughts and feelings, in that moment when he re-evaluates everything that Estella has been and done, is quite important. It's quite likely the most impulsive thing he's done in his entire life. The old aunties were probably still a bit scandalized.

Author Reply: Ah, your what-ifs are fascinating to contemplate. So many possibilities! Yet another that I could foresee is Pippin seriously considering his options in light of his limitations. He has the courage to face the truth, and the wit to work out the problem to the best of his ability, not to mention a strong sense of duty and love for Diamond -- he will not cheat her by taking on the kind of risk that will kill him sooner than later, not if he can help it.

So I think that if Carodoc had not made this offer, things might have gone this way: He'd have moved between Hall and farm, studying all the while, using his memory of his father's farming technique, the lessons the old shepherd taught him, while observing the north-Tooks' methods, and delving into the books in Brandy Hall's extensive library on husbandry and agriculture. It's likely that with his insight and capacity for leaps of intuition (where do those come from? I wonder.), along with this learning, that he could become quite an armchair expert on farming or, more likely, animal husbandry, bloodlines, and breeding.

After two years of immersing himself in study (a quiet occupation, but absorbing if one has the motivation and determination), the wedding would take place and he'd be completely and safely married to Diamond. (It's probably impossible to break a handfasting vow, but if there were a way, he wouldn't put it past his father to try. He may not know why Paladin is so determined or so keen to acquire Estella's fortune -- for he didn't find out about the disappearance of the Tooks' treasure store until after he became Thain himself, but he does know his father's stubborn streak. After all, he inherited it.)

Three years of practicing what he's learned, building a reputation and a business (and a visit to Gondor -- I mentioned in some story somewhere that he and Diamond visited Gondor early in their marriage), and with Faramir's birth, I envision him returning to the Great Smials with wife and child and enough confidence in himself (and in Diamond's strength) to return under his own terms, and not Paladin's.

...which would have cut Ferdibrand's Ban nearly in half...

Funny how I can see it so clearly. It's a tempting timeline to seize and spin from, but I already have two timelines going. Whew.

Author Reply: To answer your comment about the edits to Chapter 34, I have to tell you that it was feedback from the first version of Jewels that made me realise that I had jumped too fast, made assumptions, knowing the background but not sharing enough of it for the readers to follow.

I think I remember your comments among the others -- somewhere, on some chapter of some story, though I can't find it now -- speculating about Estella's motivation. Was her throwing over Pippin the way she did a calculated move, knowing that Merry was now free and she could pursue him? Though not stated in such bald terms, that's the impression I remember, that it appeared Estella was more mercenary in her aim, where as it ought to have read, she was not mercenary at all, just trying to wade through a minefield of propriety and expectations and most likely anticipating that she'd end up an old maid just like her favourite aunt. Merry had been so thick over the years, she had no confidence at all in him, poor fellow.

Author Reply: p.s. Your last line made me chuckle. I'm sure they were delightedly scandalized, indeed.

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 37 on 6/4/2013
A most proper compromise, I must say! Excellent plan on Caradoc's side, and excellent chance for Pippin to prepare for his future, no matter whether he and his father reconcile or not.

Author Reply: I love old Carodoc. Shrewd, excellent observer, deep thinker, and kind heart. He'll make a good mentor for Pippin, and help to shape him into the servant-leader he becomes in later stories.


LarnerReviewed Chapter: 36 on 5/26/2013
I can appreciate how miserable Pippin has been, and why he wants to leave the succession for the Thainship. No, he's not going to do well as a farmer, not now with his lungs compromised as they are. Can he find a way to compromise with Paladin? Paladin definitely needs to get real when it deals with his son.

Author Reply: You're right on all counts! Thanks. Hope to see you next week.

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