Hunter of the Heart

Author: Ignoble Bard

Nominator: Olorime

2011 Award Category: Romance: General - Second Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: Mature  ✧  Reason for Rating: Sexual Content

Summary: With war looming, Rúmil travels to Imladris to train with Glorfindel and finds himself stung by an Elvish love arrow.

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Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 10

Dear Ignoble Bard, I enjoyed this tale of gentle psychology. The characters get off to an awkward start, and still we can see it coming. The idea of including a Middle-earth version of the classic Cupid’s arrow theme is wonderfully fitting to this story. I liked Arwen and Rumil reminiscing about their shared childhood memories, that was a very sweet scene, and the warm tenderness of their friendship gives a welcome extra dimension. Nervous habits are always a boon to characterisation, and you have chosen a very convincing one here: not one that springs to mind easily, but when you mention it, yes, I’ve seen people do that, even without any previous injury to account for it, and it has connotations of stopping yourself from acting efficiently. It was good to see Rumil set free, both mentally and physically. It was a good idea to contrast the long-standing hero-worship with the love-at-first-sight and make it work out. The parallels between sword play and love play could have been banal, but you handled them well and they came off convincingly. On a side note, the insights into the disciplinary procedures in Lothlorien cast a somewhat different light on that otherwise so elevated place!

Reviewed by: Oshun  ✧  Score: 10

This is the picture perfect submission for a Valentine fic swap. It is open and airy and optimistic. It makes one believe in love or really want to! I think for you that this also must be the year of charming young protagonists. I love your young Rumil. Given the context, we know the story is going to be a romance when we start it and suspect the element of UST will almost certainly enter into the plot, but you do not waste a moment at subtly informing us, that there is some heady chemistry between the two protagonists and yet you do it in the most graceful way imaginable (I wish I could steal these lines outright--I could find a use for them!). {He colored again and Glorfindel smiled inwardly, wondering how deeply he could make this young one blush if he truly tried.} This is one of those proverbial fanning onself moments. And we are off and running. The story has a lovely plot and some solid psychological motivation with conflict enough to keep us guessing. Yet, it flows naturally, does not ever seem fussy or overly planned. What's the cliche? the story unfolds and we love every minute of it. Rumil has just the right balance of vulnerability and irrepressibility and we share his interest in Glorfindel. The growth of the relationship between the two is wonderfully satisfying in its development. One thing among many that I love about your stories is their heart. Also, in all but the most grim of them, there is an underlying humor. I am sure I have told you before that doing a Beta for you is ridiculously pleasurable. I get to watch a wonderful story grow and unfold, while occasionally correcting the rare typo or offering a vocabulary suggestion. There is no heavy lifting with you and I am always proud when you include my name in your acknowledgments. Congrats on another lovely story to add to the body of your work.

Reviewed by: Russandol  ✧  Score: 10

I've thoroughly enjoyed reading this story again, as much as the first time or more. I was hooked straight from the beginning, as soon as you hinted that Rúmil had a secret, possibly dark and difficult to share. The disclosing of the mystery was cleverly woven with the growing friendship and attraction between the two men, so that Glorfindel observing the puzzling behaviour of Rúmil added depth to their interaction as well as making me even more intrigued to find out the truth. However, I was glad that you did not hurry to get them together, keeping me instead hanging on the edge of my seat, even more when you threw Arwen into the mix to make Glorfindel jealous. I loved both main characters: Glorfindel treading carefully, knowing something is wrong and Rúmil lackeing confidence, over-awed by the legend-come-alive that was Glorfindel. This hero-worship did not help him tackle his sense of guilt and instead leads him to believe himself unworthy, which makes him more endearing because he does not moan about it. You have a way to write sex scenes that reflect the emotion between lovers and, again in this case, it is perfect. You make it seem easy, when I know it's nothing but. The swordfight scene in the bedroom and the lovemaking that followed were beautifully done, tender but hot and playful. Yes, I adored Glorfindel's fireman lift!

Reviewed by: Malinornë  ✧  Score: 10

I found this story to be very sweet, light and loving, but most of all heart-warming, I believe. I loved seeing how Glorfindel as the more seasoned and experienced of the two characters took the younger one under his wing, showing interest in him as a person and not only as one of the guards to be trained or a potential romantic and/or erotic partner. My favourite little detail was the cat,; seeing Rumil with it in the beginning of the story added to the description of him in a subtle way that I enjoyed very much. I'm also fond of the Melethonion motif that is used so well throughout the story, neither too much nor too little. Bilbo was a nice and unexpected addition that felt important to me, and I also enjoyed Glorfindel's description of Imladris. Hmmm... what else to mention... Rumil's generally endearing apperance and behaviour, perhaps? The blushing and insecurity were really very sweet, and I liked very much how the characters' personality come out and that their taking a liking to each other is based on more than physical appearance. I suck at writing lengthy reviews, being more of a 'thank you, I enjoyed the story and especially bla bla' person, but I really did enjoy this story very much, so I hope you will forgive this blabbering!

Reviewed by: elfscribe  ✧  Score: 5

I enjoyed this well-written romantic piece in which Glorfindel helps overcome young Rúmil's problem with his sword fighting technique and in the process they become attracted to each other. The story was perfect for its Valentine's Day subject. I liked the concept of Melethonion, an elvish Cupid, the hunter of the heart, as the story is aptly titled. The attraction between Glorfindel and his young pupil was well-earned. I especially liked the nervous gesture that Rúmil had of grasping his wrist and how that linked to his problem. I always enjoy Ignoblebard's writing, which flows beautifully and is so sensually evocative.

Reviewed by: Liadan  ✧  Score: 2

This is a great story. Glorfindel helps Rumil of Lorien discover that love often comes with understanding and forgiveness.