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By Sad Waters We Sat Down and Wept
 [1] Reviewer:Imhiriel Date:May 26, 2011 10:48 AM
This was wonderful, Altariel, so haunting and poignant and with glimmers of hope. I loved the whole tone of this, the rhythm of the words, of the speech, the way it flows. The way it is a gripping monologue and at the same time a conversation (I can sense the other part of that dialogue though it happens off-page). I have written a drabble myself about that passage, and from now on I will have your wonderful writing to remember as a more than perfect continuation of it.

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 [2] Reviewer:Dwimordene Date:May 30, 2011 2:40 AM
I was extremely curious how you would handle the rambly birthday musing I'd laid out by way of request. Your first person voice is always very strong, and putting this in the form of a direct conversation, even if we only hear one side, cuts to the heart of the matter: the extraordinary and extraordinarily hard task of building up a nation in the face of the emerging geopolitics of the Fourth Age.

The difficulty the slaves have had pulling together something like a collective response to horrifying conditions, when hampered by terror, necessary (but also pathological) self-interest, and languistic-cultural barriers, is starkly laid out here. Too often, there's too easy a complicity and support among the oppressed; it rarely works that way, and then only for a period of time, before unity takes serious political work to maintain. The line about the ease with which people can become animals, and how hard it is to recover a state of humanity was also fabulous.

The fragility of the present moment, and the even more fragile hope for a future are then dead to rights - as is the line about the "cruelest joke" of being granted a land that they hate and that may not be very hospitable even without Sauron's oppressive regime. I like the warning that Aragorn, Gondor, et al should not expect gratitude from the newly freed and chaotic society of ex-slaves who now have to try to make the lands round Nurnen bloom. Damn straight! Hopefully, Aragorn and the other rising powers of the West will listen and respect the newly-made people of Nurnen - it'd be nice if someone did, sometimes...

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