Invisible Ink

Author: alex_quine

Nominator: annmarwalk

2008 Award Category: Genres: Drama: Featuring Boromir or Faramir

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: Teen  ✧  Reason for Rating: Romantic Situations

Summary: When Faramir tries to persuade Eomer to do what Elessar wants, he finds himself face-to-face with a fragile world, a secret revealed and the promptings of his unquiet flesh.

Read the Story

Reviewed by: annmarwalk  ✧  Score: 10

A unique view of Rohirric culture, a tale of extraordinary depth and richness, this is almost like a tapestry, every inch worth exploring for the unexpected detail, the line or curve that speaks volumes. First of all, the annual gathering - what a marvelous glimpse into the life of the Rohirrim, inviting us as guests to their festival. The imagery here is marvelous: [“ Almost as far as the distant lakeshore campfires flickered, little pinpricks of flame in the dark that came and went as groups of horses moved slowly, grazing, in and out of the firelight.”] And the people of Rohan! The author has drawn them in a manner that is so loving, and so real: [“Elders greeted one-another as doughty survivors of another year, reminisced and planned matings of their stock that they might never live to see. Men in their prime brought their sons, raw youths, to be admitted into the circle of their father’s friends and some brought daughters too, softly-spoken girls with downcast eyes in search of a handsome suitor, and keen-eyed maidens, straight-backed and strong, who would take on a holding and its master and make more of it than any man.'] So many other stunning details: the mourning ceremony for an aged bard who cannot complete his tale; the counting and cataloging skills, devised as children's games, to strengthen memory skills so vital in an oral culture. These are cultural artifacts that Professor Tolkien would certainly applaud . And what a marvelous Eomer King the author given us. Well-grown into his new role, yet still bearing the bittersweet knowledge and anguish that his blessedness is built upon the loss of those he most loved. The physical description of him alone is fabulous - the flowing golden hair (and that bit of vanity, the rinse to keep it golden), the silken shirt, the gold adornments. But this Eomer Eadig is different from so many others we've read, in that this author has given him the pride and courage, the confidence and determination, to keep the heritage of his people intact, despite the most gentle and seductive and well-meaning intentions of his king and friend. And the concept of the King bearing, incised into his own body, the symbols of his heritage and bloodline and contract with his people, is just stunning, and the imagery this story elicts is just amazing. I can see it all so very clearly, smell the peatsmoke and musky sweat (barely underlain with camomile), taste the ale and hear the soft rustle of Eomer's silk shirt sliding over his shoulders. The (very slight) slash element to the story appears almost as a consecration, a blessing, of the new bonds of trust and understanding between Faramir and Eomer Eadig, a powerful symbol of the deepened and renewed alliance between their peoples. Thank you once again, alex_quine, for writing this story for me! It's a far richer gift than I ever imagined.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 4

Definitely one of the best Eomer/Faramir slash stories that I have read; because there is so much more going on here than sex or even sexual attraction. The comparison of cultures, the value and immediacy of the spoken word to the people and lords of the Mark, are intelligently explored. The sex is only lightly implied; and seems secondary to the rest of the story; which, given the power of the writing, is a good thing.

Reviewed by: Imhiriel  ✧  Score: 4

The scenes and characters are described very vividly, projecting a three-dimensional world you can see and hear and smell, almost touch. A version of Rohan's culture is extrapolated believably, especially the worth of oral tradition (and its drawbacks). While I'm more on Faramir's side, I liked the even-handedness of the argument about ["book and song"], and found the list of mnemonic tricks to aid memory retention interesting and plausible.

Reviewed by: Galadriel  ✧  Score: 3

A wonderful examination of the traditions of Rohan. Believable and creative, as if Tolkien himself had laid down such customs. I especially adore how the reader is led slowly to the realization of all Eomer stands for and all his marks say alongside Faramir's own exploration. A really beautifully crafted tale.

Reviewed by: nancylea  ✧  Score: 1

there are reasons its called body art and you are a different kind of artist. thank you.