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|By Such a Foolish Name by Cairistiona||18 Review(s)|
|Sneha||Reviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/1/2014|
|It was so vivid. I could feel the filled up inn and the jovial noise. Bowen as your character is so well real! Can't wait to read the other two.|
|Imhiriel||Reviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/13/2011|
|I very much enjoyed this story, even more so on second reading, because of all the little details you put in the background. I find Bowen to be a truly likeable, sharp, wry character, with a wonderful immeditate rapport with Strider; and I'm very much looking forward to reading the sequel to this story to "meet" him again. The descriptions were very vivid and palpable.|
Writing the story from his perspective added very much to the vividness of the tale, and gave nice insights into life in the Prancing Pony and into its customers. I also liked how perceptive Bowen was right from the beginning at first sight of Strider. I think it not only shows him as a good judge of character, but also, keeping in mind Tolkien's rules of the canon, that he himself must be a good character to be able to discern the nobility of Aragorn behind the guise of Strider (regardless of the final line, which is a funny juxtaposition for the us knowing readers). It must be a rare treat for Aragorn to be greeted so openly, non-judgmentally, and "non-distrustfully" (for lack of a better term), particularly in Bree (I also loved the oak comparison and the "quiet dignity" bit).
One thing I especially liked was how Bowen would put aside a patch of mushrooms especially for Hobbit youths who might happen to come raiding - not just for the plain fact alone, but for the matter-of-factness and casual generosity in the way this detail is revealed. And of course the issue of Bowen's problems with "Strider's" name is just too funny.
And I also have to say, I'd really like a scene of Aragorn telling a tale in the Prancing Pony - your little throwaway line about that really whetted my appetite...
Author Reply: Wow, thank you, Imhiriel! Sometimes when I read a view like this I scratch my head and think, "Did I do all that in this story??" *g* You've made me blush, to be honest. I wrote this mostly to explore the idea of what Strider would look like from a Breelander's perspective, and what a Breelander might think of that strange name. And then I discovered Bowen had a good sized streak of decency in him--it's really funny how characters will sort of grow and develop in ways you don't plan and that's exactly what happened with Bowen. I think a part of Bowen's development grew from the fact that Butterbur himself wasn't a bad man, really. Tolkien describes the Prancing Pony as a resort for many, including Rangers. But Butterbur did at times allow himself to be too influenced by local prejudice--he's really a fascinating character when you start looking more carefully at him. And I've always been intrigued by Aragorn's statement at the Council of Elrond that "less thanks have we". He didn't say, "*No* thanks have we", so I've felt there was a story or two there about a few Breelanders who viewed the Rangers a little more kindly than most. And that's the case with any minority, really... there's always those broader-minded folks who overcome prejudice and judge the individual, and that's what Bowen tries to do both here and in the second story, which I hope you enjoy as well.
Thanks so much for your kind words!
|Minerva Organa||Reviewed Chapter: 1 on 8/17/2011|
|You have outdone yourself this time, dear Cairistiona. Story, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways :D|
1. I heart Bowen, and am sort of jealous of his wife :D.
2. I love seeing the Prancing Pony/Bree from the perspective of a native. It casts a different and somehow more familiar light to the place, and it's especially nice to get it from someone who is kind and isn't automatically distrustful of the Rangers (See #1).
3. “Now Halbarad... there’s a proper name for a man. Might be a little Elvish but nothing wrong with that.” BRB STILL LAUGHING. (and laughing at all the other funny bits).
4. I love the interaction between the two men to the ninth degree...how Aragorn is obviously on his last legs and a tad bit wary of any Breelander approaching him, but to Bowen the fact that he's a Ranger doesn't make a difference in the slightest. I can see the seeds of a long and good friendship forming here! (See postscript).
Thank you for such a wonderful little tale!!
P.S. Sequel please? *winning smile*
Author Reply: LOL! Thanks so much, Suz! I'm glad you enjoyed it so much. And are apparently crushing a little on Bowen. *g* I definitely wanted to create a character that would give us a glimpse of Strider as the Men of Bree might have viewed him--I tend to see the world through Aragorn's eyes so it was fun to look at Aragorn through a Breelander's eyes. It was so much fun, in fact, that I'm furiously working on the sequel, so your wish is granted. *g* And it's a multi-chapter story. So LOTS of Bowen. And his wife (sorry *g*) and Rangers a'plenty, from a worried Halbarad to a cranky Denlad to....
Well, poor Bowen; let's just say he's getting a right and proper education about them Rangers.
Thanks for the review!
|Mirach||Reviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/27/2011|
|So you *have* posted the story! I was waiting for a chance to review it, and didn't notice thjat for some strange reason, my mailbox started to consider SoA notification as spam. Bad mailbox, bad! I knew you are exaggerating when you said you won't get the 1st place ;) Congratulations! It was a wonderful story, simple and yet full of understanding the characters. I'm adding it to my favourites! I just hope the one-night's rest was enough for Aragorn to get better, that illness seemed like on the border of "something that will pass in the next morning" and "something serious". |
Author Reply: Thank you, Mirach! Drat those pesky spam folders, anyway! I'm glad you enjoyed the story, and I *still* am surprised it took 1st... soooo many great stories on that challenge, including yours. And yes, poor Aragorn really is on the cusp of either recovery or getting really sick. I'm working on a sequel for this that will be a longer story (though nothing novel-length) so eventually we'll find out! Thanks for the review!
|Larner||Reviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/22/2011|
|Ah, but I do like this. A foolish name, perhaps, for one who is obviously anything but foolish; and a simple man who sees beyond appearances. Excellent, Cairistiona!|
Author Reply: Thank you, Larner! So glad you liked this. Bowen is indeed a simple man, but definitely no simpleton. :)
|Ainu Laire||Reviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/19/2011|
|Hey Cair! Cair Cair Cair Cair!|
... I like Bowen.
Yep. That's about it. I'll leave the well-written and fancy shmanzy reviews to everyone else. They basically said everything I am thinking right now. *nods vaguely*
Author Reply: ROTFL! You're such a hoot, Laire... thanks for the review (and becoming such a Bowen fangirl!). I'm mulling over sequel ideas already. :)
|Linda Hoyland||Reviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/19/2011|
|An outstanding story and worthy Teitho winner.|
Author Reply: Thanks, Linda! So glad you enjoyed it. :)
|BM||Reviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/18/2011|
|this was a wonderful little story! An excellent look into life in Breeland with great insight in Aragorn's life as a ranger. You write extremely well--I could hear the rain pounding on the roof, smell the ale in the air, and fancied I almost heard the voices in the crowded room :) Your characterizations were in depth and fit perfectly for the culture and are they were fitted in--they really came to life and Bowen was very likable! I think you did Tolkien proud in this little snippet, and I thank you most kindly for sharing it!|
OF course, now I wonder what Bowen thought in a few years when King Elessar came north--if he got a chance to meet the king, that is....
Author Reply: Thank you, BM! So glad you liked this. It's always gratifying to hear that the details in the story brought it to life... I hope the rain splatter didn't get you wet when Strider opened the door! I think we're all wondering how Bowen reacted when he heard his mysterious roommate ended up being the Great King.
Thanks for the review.
|Darkover||Reviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/17/2011|
|Dear Cairistiona: This story was a pleasure to read! It is beautifully descriptive, and the dialogue is equally good. You have done an excellent job with characterization, too. Barliman is his typically bustling, kind, parochial self, and your OC seems most Bree-like but generous. You have portrayed Strider best of all. Even for a man who is coming down with an illness, he is impressive and gives the impression of being both strong and keen. The line you ended the story on was the best. Thank you for writing and posting this. Sincerely, Darkover|
Author Reply: Thank you, Darkover! I'm so glad you liked this story and how I handled the characters, both canon and original. I enjoy writing Strider as soon through the eyes of other people, and Bowen was fun because I was able to explore how an ordinary farmer who's not prejudiced against Rangers might view Strider, and yes, finding him a strong and impressive Man despite not being at his physical best.
Glad you enjoyed the tale, and thanks for the review!
|Estelcontar||Reviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/17/2011|
|As I already told you twice, I absolutely loved this story. And for once you completely fooled me. It was the first story you wrote for Teitho which I had no clue was yours. I should have known better because Bowen sounds very much like one of your characters. You did a great job of bringing him to life.|
I'm indeed really glad he was there to recognize Aragorn's worth, and to make things easier for our poor exhausted ranger. You did a great job too of showing Aragorn's nobleness and dignity through Bowen's very observant eyes. Your Aragorn, as usual, to my mind was spot on.
Author Reply: Thank you, Estelcontar! I'm so glad you enjoyed this... it was fun to write, but I didn't think for a minute you wouldn't guess it was mine. LOL Bowen Rushlight was interesting to create--I always like the idea of Strider being surprised by kindness, since he evidently encountered more scorn than succor during that time of his life. I suppose it's the mother in me, vicariously trying to take care of Strider when no one else does! (Well, except Halbarad, of course!)
Thanks for the review!