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A Matter of Appearances  by Lindelea 271 Review(s)
Eirinn LeighReviewed Chapter: 18 on 11/22/2015
I'm hoping for the kind of luck that leaves club-man alive and willing for questioning!

LarnerReviewed Chapter: Author's Notes on 4/25/2007

I am still waiting for other stories to be updated, of course! Heh!

Author Reply: Of course. If only the Muse would work on autopilot. I'd love for the other stories to be updated, too.

But thanks!

Little hobbits send their best regards.

Nienor NinielReviewed Chapter: 43 on 9/25/2006
You made me sniffle quite a lot again with this one. Of course I knew that you wouldn't ever kill Ferdi, but to see poor Farry like this, and the young ruffian and all...

I especially enjoyed Aragorn's appearance and the way you wrote his character!

All the best, Nienor

Author Reply: Thanks for stopping by and leaving a good word. Don't know if I never saw it in my email, or if I thought to "save it for later" and hit the wrong button.

Anyhow, I'm very glad that you liked Aragorn's portrayal. I'm always a little hesitant to write him, because I worry about getting him "right".

Ferdi actually did die, in the draft of "Merlin", and much of the material in this story comes from that draft. However, it's very nice that "Merlin" got revised the way it did, and that Ferdi squeaked by in this story. (Have decided I do not wish to write his end, and so I most likely won't. However, I choose to think that it was quiet and peaceful, at the end of a long life, with his Nell at his side, and that's all I need to know.)

And so belated thanks!

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 43 on 9/17/2006
Dear Wonder, also known as Flora? Lovely!

So glad I had time to finish this and review before I have to leave again for work. Lovely indeed.

Author Reply: Goodness, found another review I hadn't answered! How *does* that happen?

The Muse deserted me right about the time I emailed you about that story, but if she ever returns you'll be the first to know.


LarnerReviewed Chapter: 42 on 9/17/2006
And I'm glad they did. They are dead and passed on one hopes to something else with perhaps still a chance of redemption somewhere in their future; but they got to think about it, at least, a bit ahead of time, a time I think they needed.

harrowcatReviewed Chapter: 43 on 9/10/2006
Welcome Wonder! This is indeed wonder-ful Lindelea. Congratulations.

Author Reply: Thanks!

Pearl TookReviewed Chapter: 43 on 9/10/2006

To quote Sam, "Indeed."

Sorry I didn't leave a response on the last chapter. I finished reading and sat there a lengthy time - but naught came to mind. I just couldn't think of something to say that fit. Not in a bad way, mind, it was a wonderful chapter, I just blanked.

This has been a hard fought tale, both for you and the hobbits. You've all done very well!

Author Reply: Well, thank you for responding to this chapter! I don't always get many reviews on a final chapter... in fact, on the latter half of the longer stories, it's funny how the reviews sort of peter out. I write too "long", and people lose interest, most likely.

So thanks for hanging in there!

(And whew. Glad it's over.)

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 43 on 9/10/2006
I think that Tolly - maybe in the company of his cousin the Thain - needs to re-encounter those 'ruffians' he allowed to escape from the Shire unhanged - and find out loud and clear that his judgement was not wrong and that they did not deserve to encounter the end of a Ranger's noose.

And if Brawny knew the Shire both pre-quest and during the Troubles, I have little doubt that he knew enough to find his way in without any ale-engendered revelations.

Mind you, Meadowsweet's method of comfort seems to have something in its favour! And Tolly will probably get the infant he wants. Although she forgot to mention that Ferdi isn't actually to be counted among the lost - still that's a pleasant surprise that will boost Tolly's spirits.

Lovely naming ceremony - twisted to fit the occasion - but Wonder! Well, she's named after a good lettuce. And Flora will make a much better everyday name. Sam certainly does know the right thing to say - a thing that will fit almost any occasion!

A satisfyingly happy ending to a tale with some very dark moments!

Author Reply: Very dark moments. Whew. EF said to stretch, and I'm feeling like Gumby.

You know, the Muse was taken with this review and began spinning ideas. Not exactly what you mentioned in the first paragraph, but a prequel of sorts (showing how Tolly encountered the wanderers, interlaced with the aftermath of this story, and perhaps overlapping the beginning of "Rope", depending on how far the Muse takes the plot. Don't know as it's just the barest glimmer, not even outlined, but tempting.

There is a lettuce named Wonder? How lovely! So she's not completely off the wall.


FantasyFanReviewed Chapter: 43 on 9/9/2006
And so another story comes to a happy ending, with lots of hobbity 'cheer'. (Happy that is, for everyone but the ruffians.) Loved the mention of Frodo, as always. He gave Pippin a butterfly, Arwen gave one to Faramir (am I remembering it right?), and now Faramir continues the tradition with little Flora. Maybe one day Flora will give one to Faramir's firstborn. Wonder is, I think, a good name for a Took. I wonder if she will be the adventurous type of Took? Someday I think you should write some of the Took women having adventures, for I am sure some of them did.

I hope Tolly will be all right soon. This is a terrible thing for him to have to go through, really. Losing Ferdi, fear for Farry, watching the ruffians die, dealing with trying to get his head around the evil they did, hearing about the horrible punishment of the Rasterlings, remembering the pain and anguish of the Battle of Bywater, the horrible guilt of feeling responsible for giving ruffians an in to the Shire: it's all very very too much for any hobbit, even a fine responsible one like Tolly. Meadowsweet helps him, spring will help him, seeing Ferdi alive and on the mend will help him, perhaps Pippin will speak to him as well. It'll be off the record, not in this story, and not in the one that comes afterward either, but it won't do to have the head of the escort anguished and uncertain. If I were the Thain, I'd prescribe lots of time with his wife and children, food and laughter, and a bit of time with his friend Ferdi.

(But then, if I were Thain, Pippin would skip off to Gondor for a vacation, and I'd be stuck with all the boring work. Never mind, let's leave it in his hands.)

Author Reply: Happy for everyone but the ruffians, indeed. And sometimes I can even manage to give "ruffians" a happy ending. Although they're usually not ruffians by the end of the story.

I haven't written Farry's Naming Day yet, but it is possible that Arwen did give a gift of wonder to him. I think you might be remembering Arwen's gift to Merry's daughter.

I would like to write some of the feminine Tooks having adventures, though I have to figure out how to do it within the constraints of the society that simmers away in the back of my head. I've shown Goldi, I think, as well as Rudi's wife Laurel, as being spunkier than average. (And Diamond, I think, as well as Estella.) And for some reason I think Bilbo's mother had at least one adventure, before she settled down with Bungo. Maybe more. But the Muse has not done much with them, having Tom-Sawyer/Huck-Finn-like adventures (which is what comes to mind when I think of the term). Just Goldi, learning swordplay from Farry, and doing her part to fight off wolves (staying back, so that the menfolk don't get distracted with worry on her part, and working to light a fire), and Celandine tying up the lads, and being hobbitnapped down to the Sunlands and trying to cope and keep self and children alive in the midst of enemies (and trying to figure out who their friends were, and learn a language), and a little of Estella living as a boy during the Troubles...

But those are the sorts of adventures that flow easily from the Muse. I don't know if you meant something different?

I like your prescription for Tolly. As a matter of fact, between you and Bodkin and your reviews, the Muse is percolating, and there may be a sequel of sorts that cuts between this period following Runaway and the period following FirstBorn. Don't know yet. But it's possible.

Perhaps you might simply be another special assistant to the Thain, giving orders in his name... I think Pippin delegated a lot of his authority to capable hobbits, for certainly there aren't enough hours in the day to make all those decisions...

DreamflowerReviewed Chapter: 43 on 9/9/2006
*grin* And a nine-days "wonder" it's going to be. All of this has certainly given the Tooks a very great deal to Talk about! "Wonder" I think is a perfectly lovely name, and Flora a very nice "love-name".

Have you ever written the story of Pippin's Naming Day? If it was Frodo who gave his cousin the gift of wonder, it's no surprise that it stuck! I'd love to see that! And I'd like to know what Merry gave his little cousin...

As to Tolly--well, seeing Ferdi alive and whole (if not *quite* well) should help, as should his wife's quickening. But I think the episode with the Ruffians is going to be on his mind for a good long while...

Author Reply: Yes, Pippin's Naming Day is in "Healer's Tale"; the chapter has "family" in the title, something like "Family Matters". I had cut chapters with Naming Day ceremonies into the draft for this story, to compare notes, and actually accidentally left a piece of one of those old chapters hanging when I copied this into SoA. Hope nobody got jarred by the fact that Berilac was limping up the aisle, crippled by a bull attack that wouldn't take place for at least two years! (Excised it, and hopefully didn't miss any other "research" paragraphs.)

And Merry's altogether too cute, I have to say, at his cousin's naming day.

And poor Tolly... but then he tends towards melancholy in the dark part of the year, anyhow. Springtide is coming, and by the time spring arrives, he'll know of the new baby growing, and that will be very cheering, along with the return of the sun and longer days.

They say time heals all ills, and so by the time the sun retreats again and the days grow shorter, hopefully his wounds will have scabbed over and he'll be able to cope. And of course he'll have the distraction of worrying about Pippin, whose coach accident (and the birth of Diamond's twins) is at this point on the timeline, only a couple of months away.

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