This is quite a powerful chapter. I am curious though, that Vanimore thinks he can convince the Azanti to take in the 2 women, considering how secretive they are.
I love how he is still not quite sure what it means after his visit to the temple. And how Zadina clearly cares for him, though she should be thinking in some manner that this one can not be remaining in power very long. He is too radical! ;)
I know this is the last chapter, and I will be patient...
Author's Response: He could persuade them - they originated with the people he lead south before the War of Wrath, and they have legends about him. Lol, Van would certainly not last long if he were Mortal!
*I am such an impostor as thou wouldst never believe, but I am still going to rule this city.* This made me laugh. It seems very much like the Vanimore I created in my mind, based on your stories, to say something like this. I love how this story shows some of the way Vanimore is trying to adjust the ways of Sud Sicanna, even if he does shock people by letting the male and female Seragalio use the same gardens.... Great job, showing how hard it is to adjust a peoples societal views, even those who would benefit from it can not believe it.
I also loved the fact that Van took Zadina to his couch. It seemed like she would be the kind of woman he would be interested in, even if she is older. And to him she is really not that old... (And I would guess that even in reality she is not that old, (mid fourties?), I would assume that women were discarded quite quickly. I seem to remember somewhere a reference that she had been in the Seragalio for 30 years?
Poor Jehana, even now Kalma tries to force her into a role she does not want. I hope that Van can help her.
The scene at the temple was interesting. The realization that Morgoth made his own statue, and then *“Not for thee, Morgoth Bauglir,” he said aloud* I love how he tried to make sure what he did was for the Goddess he was trying to get to know. :D I am going to read the next chapter, unfortunately the last so far, to see if you reveal any more.
And now you almost are making it a mystery. I love how Vanimore is not blindly accepting the story, as dismiss it as myth only, but needs to investigate for himself whether there is truth in it. Loved the chapter, a nice break from the brutality in Sud Sicanna.
*If it were not the most ridiculous of thoughts, she would have sworn him to be speaking from experience.* LOL of course he speaks from experience! Of course Zadina would not know. She certainly is clever though, of course that has kept her alive until now. And Jehana got a kitten. I loved: *Lula said with a strange mixture of awe and excitement: “Mistress, the prince said he is devastated you would think he would harm something so defenseless, and says that you should take charge of Raakshi.” * Not only had he no intention of hurting the kitten, he gave her a name! Of course with the experiences with her uncle still very fresh in her mind, it is not a surprise that cruelty and hurt are much closer to the front then kindness and love. Of course Van understood this, which is why he sent the little kitten to her. I love the feeling that comes through in the story, the terror during the trial, the belligerence of Chafal, the silent careful curiosity that starts to peak out when the prince walks into the garden. And the completely different society of the Azanti is absolutely amazing to *experience*. Awesome chapter!
Author's Response: I am glad you liked this chapter - I hope it shows Vanim
A new wind is blowing in Sud Sicanna.... I love it! Oh well, nap time is over, I am going to have to get my boys from school, but soon I will be back to read the rest. :) So far I think this is a fantastic story, and a delight to read, despite some of the brutality, or maybe because of it. Vanimore and his gentle demeanor (despite the horrific punishments he put out, are such a wonderful contrast to the city.... I can imagine that he is very curious about what has happened to change the attitude towards women so much. Undoubtably having to do with a scared but powerful man....
Author's Response: I want to really thank you for taking the time to comment, when you are so busy. Many people who are not half as busy don't review.
Ooh, such lovely intrigue! This would be a massive change to this society! No wonder there were those who want to kill Vanimore. Change is always scary. And for something like the seragalios to be allowed at the feast, that must have completely shaken the nobles. :D I love the tension I was reading between the lines. And how amusing that Vanimore has a direct line to the Dark Wolf. Great way to out these traitors though. They basically outed themselves. Dumb that they could not keep them selves hidden until they were indeed unmasked, because it could have been a bluff. But human nature, especially in people like that is not the most... brave. :D Wonderful chapter.
Author's Response: Oh, I'd almost forgotten that part, lol. I liked writing it, as Van is no tyro to deadly politics.
Yes, the seraglio are being permitted more freedom. Some might never leave, others he would dower if they wanted to marry, but there will always be those who don't want to go, as they feel it's safer now - they won't ever be thrown out. And because Van first loved his sister, he is always inclined to be chivalrous to women - well unless they prove themselves beyond the pale, as his future wives do.
I absolutely love Zadina. She is an awesome character. I know this story is not yet finished, and I will be setting myself up for some frustration at the end. But that does not bother me enough to not read it. :D I can understand that writing HET would be very different from Slash. And you write the latter so well. I will be very excited to read the continuation when you get around to it, which ever direction it takes.
Author's Response: Thank-you :) Yes, I like Zadina too; she has a lot of wisdom.
You might like Fragments of Fate and Fire if you've not read it, as there are some gapfiller fics.
I used to write exclusively het for many years, but since I started slash, it has no appeal, I'm afraid.
How poignantly you write the disgusting practices at the temple. Glad Van put an end to it. I am also glad the girl was saved from the stoning. Mobs are such a careless, thoughtless monster, and in this male society even more so. I love reading all the emotions you write into the story so beautifully.
Author's Response: I haven't actually finished this story, Mindirith; I will need to, eventually, but it was supposed to be a het story, and I can't write het, it bores me, so I shall probably change it in time. But thank-you!
Such an ugly start to a story. Very well written though. I look forward to the rest of it!
I liked this story very much and I'm very intrigued to read on someday, when you've written more of this particular time. As in later time in Magnificat Dana is present, I guess that Vanimore indeed awakens the Goddess again somehow.
I like it, how you prtray so different parts of life in the city and around - the first chapters dealing with Jehanas expereinces was very drastic and suffocating in the closed possibilities and the hopelessness it showed everywhere. And I'm quite disappointed that Jehanas mother is so far gone into mistrust and anger that she can't look beyond it. For although she obviously still has feelings for her daughter and regrets her actions for her and herself both she's already plotting to secure position in this new world. As she applies the old rules I wonder how she can be blind that by doing so she is effectively denying new rules and the opportunity for change.
And by the way, of course Vanimore can sacrifice some nights and put terror into those who would abuse their wifes or children but I think it probably could be as effective to establish public schooling for both sexes and empowering everybody to be able to take care of themselves. Although changing a culture takes time, I think to give people the chance to take care od themselves lessens the chance that they have to endure abuse because they see no way for themselves to live differently. That's why I greatly admire Zadina, she's a truly strong character, having gathered knowledge, to carve out a way of living for herself in the given circumstances without giving in to the easy way and climbing on the backs of others.
Author's Response: This story was difficult for me to write, as it's very much outside my slash comfort zone (and also emotionally difficult to write the abuse of women, as it is quite triggering for me) but it is important, and I do know what I have to do. I may have to leave it until I have finished everything else, but I will eventually finish everything.
Van does make great changes in Sud Sicanna - it' the only city in the Harad where the Mother is worshipped (it's mentioned more in my crossover with Esteliel's stories, A Light in the East and a Far, Fierce Sky, as it's set when Van is ruling the city). But as you say, change takes time.
Zidana was a good character to write, and Van respects her a great deal.
Yes, I can see why you need to write Maginicat and ALITE- they are all so interlinked. This is a realy wonderful story- it cannot be called fanfiction- it is so completely its own. You are writing a tale for all women to hold to , one of defiance and strength and soriety too in spite of Jehana's mother who acted in fear- and htat is such a real situation- isnt that why the nazis were so successful in ther reign of terror? Fear for oneslef can overwhelm - and also the generosity of spirit that other show, can triumph too. Zadina IS teh Mother too, as Jehana is the girl and the Azanti mother the Crone. Everything has its own gorgeous symetry.
Author's Response: Jehana's mother who acted in fear- and htat is such a real situation- isnt that why the nazis were so successful in ther reign of terror? Fear for oneslef can overwhelm
Yes, of course that's true, and I was sorry for her, because these things do happen, and still are :(
Zadina IS teh Mother too, as Jehana is the girl and the Azanti mother the Crone. Everything has its own gorgeous symetry.
I am so thrilled you picked that up!
This story is part of the arc too, as at this point, Dana is not 'present', she has to return, as she is in the later stories, like Magnificat. It's the 'how' that gave me some problems, as what I was going to write was not, I decided, what I *should* write. Now I know what I should write, it's just having the time! Earthblood though, probably does not seem like fanfic, no -- as it's outside the world Tolkien wrote of, and is OC-centric.
I think this might be my favourite story, Spiced. I love the mytholgy you weave around this and the superb way you link this with the old stories of Angbad and Vanimore leading folk out of Angbad to freedom. His old armies and men are their ancestors and I love that link. I also think the ideas of the Mother touch deeply and the hostility of the patriarchal religions agaisnt women is so rooted in our psyche that this just resonate. I think I have said before that it is scholarly too, and that satisfies my intellect (such as it is!!)on so many levels.
Author's Response: His old armies and men are their ancestors and I love that link.
I love links. I wondered what happened to the people Van had lead south, it seemed somehow poetic that he would meet their ancestors (or some of them)
The treatment of women in Sud Sicanna, which is excessive, but not limited to this one city, is rooted in what happened so long ago, and Melkor's hatred of Dana. I am not a scholar, XD I just read a lot, and hope some of it sinks in, so I am really pleased if something of it comes out in the story, as I do love myths and legends, and like to try and intertwine them with the stories. Thank-you. :)
I love this- getting the story from another angle and epxerirencing the fury of Vanimore and the effect of his emancipation from the slaves' pov. And Zadina is wonderful!!
Author's Response: This is another story I must finish. And it is important to the arc. I haven't forgotten it. Van was almost 1000 years in Sud Sicanna, though this story would not cover all of it. Thank-you, Ziggy.
I am not always good at writing the reviews we all like to get - that pick phrases and ideas and give praise for them.
Especially when reading has kept me up a goodly way past my bedtime... which is a form of praise in itself!
So this is simply to say how engrossed I am in this story - how well it flows, and holds my imagination.
But, desperate to sleep now that I have reached the last available word, I can say nothing more sensible than that...
Author's Response: Oh, thank-you so much Curiouswombat. :) I am thrilled you like it so far. This story is actually on hold at the moment, but I do have to write the most vital part of the plot at some point to tie in with the series.
Ai! I recently finished the "Dark Prince" series and wanted to read more of Vanimore when I found this. I was elated by the discovery as I had also wanted to see a story that focused on some of his het relationships. (As lovely as Elgalad is, it spices things up.) I really would like for this to be updated soon. *makes puppy face* Please?
Hi there, and thank-you so much for reviewing. :) At the moment this is on hold, I'm afriad. Not abandoned, but I had to think hard about what I was going to do in this, and none of the ideas seemed to fit. So it's just waiting until decide how to progress. The actual plot is important to the whole series, as Dana, the Mother appears in later stories, so I will be picking it up. :) Again, thank-you for taking the time to say you enjoye it. I am thrilled!