The Course of Love

Author: Aranel Took

Nominator: juno_magic

2007 Award Category: Times: Fourth Age and Beyond

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Novel

Rating: Mature  ✧  Reason for Rating: Some sexual content and adult themes.

Summary: The story of Pippin's son, Faramir Took, and Merry's sons, Theoden and Eomer Brandybuck, as they grow up and come of age. This is a sequel to my story "The Roots of the Ivy". A list of important plot points of "The Roots of the Ivy" are available at the site, so you do not need to have read that first. Alternate Universe.

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Reviewed by: juno_magic  ✧  Score: 10

"The Course of Love" is a wonderful sequel to "The Roots of the Ivy", Aranel Took's story about the half-hobbit Ivy, daughter of Merry and Éowyn. This story follows Ivy's children as they grow up, come of age and find love. It is a entertaining, epic story that presents the culture of Hobbits and Rohirrim in a very realistic, loving way. But although "The Course of Love" is generally a lighthearted, romantic comedy, there are also darker moments that show clearly that Hobbits are not happy fluffy children, but real people. The plot and perspective of the story are unique, original and refreshing, because the author dares to move beyond canon characters to many strong original characters. That is what makes Aranel Took's stories so very enjoyable: no matter if she writes about Hobbits, dwarves, or even Legolas, her characters are never flat, cardboard characters, but always real, full of life. While the story is epic enough to satisfy readers who prefer novels, the pacing never lags, and the individual chapters are crisp and clear-cut. The story's forte is undeniably brilliant dialogue. Witty and funny, it is also used as a stylistic device to give depth to the various characters. Last but not least it's a very moving, touching story that will elicit many "Awww's". But it's also wise to keep the door closed, because other scenes will have the reader roar with laughter! All in all: perfect summer reading for everyone who loves Hobbits and original stories!

Reviewed by: obsidianj  ✧  Score: 8

In this story Faramir Took and Theoden and Eomer Brandybuck all find their future spouses and their happy ends. But the way to bliss for them is riddled with obstacles. I think Eomer had the easiest time of it. Theoden is up against class prejudices, and Faramir gets caught by the past and his scars from his father's unhappy marriage to Diamond. The story paints a vivid picture of life and customs in the Shire, although the customs had to be bent since in this AU Eowyn of Rohan married Merry Brandybuck. It gets occasionally confusing for me with all the character names because Merry and Pippin have the habit of naming most of their children, and there are a lot of it, after the heroes of the Ringwar, and I have a hard time attaching these names to hobbit families. The stories of the three friends are tightly interwoven with the focus on one of them as time goes by. The characters are very well drawn and engaging. I could have rattled Sam, and Diamond is a character I love to hate. I liked Faramir best, probably because he is the most flawed of the three and I could relate to him the most.

Reviewed by: Marigold  ✧  Score: 3

I was really pleased to read this sequel to Roots of the Ivy. The author has created a wonderful universe here, filled with both familiar characters and original characters that it is impossible not to be fond of. There is a good mixture of drama and humour and the dialogue is just right.