Semper Fidelis

Author: Dwimordene

Nominator: Marta

2005 Award Category: Races/Places: Men: Eriador

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: R  ✧  Reason for Rating: adultery, sexual content

Summary: "[N]ot every action or feeling admits of the mean...We cannot do them well or not well¬óby committing adultery, for instance, with the right woman at the right time in the right way."--Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics, Bk II.6, 1107a 10-15. A sequel to "Not In Our Stars" in which the author tries to deal with the ins and outs of temptation, love, commitment, indiscretions, and authority among Rangers and their community. Turns on the standard h/c scenario while attempting to undermine it.

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Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 10

The author says in her summary that this piece "turns on the standard h/c scenario while attempting to undermine it". That one line made me very skeptical, and probably kept me from enjoying this piece for at least a year. I barely knew what h/c was, let alone what a "standard scenario" might be. After fairly length discussions with the author (Dwim and I can both be very long-winded when the mood strikes us), I now see what she means, I think. Under what circumstances would homosexual sex be acceptable in a patriarchal community like the rangers? What happens if you transgress those bounds? What consequences would there be to pay? With subjecct matter as deep as this a lesser author might become bogged down. Yet there's much more to "Semper Fi" than its theme. This piece gives a wonderful glimpse into family life among the Dunedain and the structure fo command within the Rangers. The erotic scenes are, well, extremely erotic, the deramatic tension stays sharp throughout, and the ending interaction between Halbarad and Aragorn (who are not the romantic partners, incidentally) was spot on. Here is Aragorn who is a commander but not an unsympathetic one, Halbarad the ranger who "falls" but still maintains his honour by being willing to accept the consequences, and a host of original characters who complement Halbarad's struggle. The whole sexual structure reminded me of homosexuality among the ancient Greeks, where (if my understanding is correct) some form of homosexuality was acceptable at a certain age, but the men were eventually supposed to set this aside when the time for marriage came. This is definitely the case with Halbarad and Dwim's original character whose name I am drawing a blank on, and it captures quite nicely the problems that might result when someone is unable to obey any society's sexual expectations. A very enjoyable read.

Reviewed by: nerwen_calaelen  ✧  Score: 6

An intreaging tale. The way you takle the issues involved is very clever and adds alot of depth to the tale. Your portrayal of the lives that the rangers lead is very interesting, together with what you show about the lives of the rest of their community. You characterisations are very clever and it is very interesting to see how you set up the characters and then use them to drive the story forward. You manage to tackle the issues here without making the story too explicit but without denying or ignoring what takes place between the characters. It seems that your sence and writing makes this story remain tastefull and interesting to read.