Author: Isabeau of Greenlea

Nominator: Altariel

2011 Award Category: Post-Ring War and Beyond: Gondor - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: During Altariel's Fair Game Faramir took up a sword again for the first time in years. Keeping it in hand requires some work and some adjustment...

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Reviewed by: Altariel  ✧  Score: 10

How spoiled am I, to get a sequel to my own story?! Here, we see Faramir a few months after he has picked up his sword again and spent a summer ["letting the King of Rohan use him for a pell"] (oh, how Eomer must have enjoyed that). Now comes the test: putting himself up against the most experienced swordspeople of his generation. First he has to get himself out of bed (ably assisted by Eowyn), and then the remainder of the morning presumably brings at least one more pummelling from another fearless swordswoman, his former Ranger, Hethlin. As ever with Isabeau, the characters sparkle and leap off the page (including Imrahil, who appears only in the conversations of other characters). Andrahar is matter-of-fact, Hethlin is delighted at Faramir's appearance (but won't patronise him by holding back), and Faramir admires the courage of others (Hethlin's gritty determination to come back from a terrible leg wound), while not quite giving himself enough credit for being willing to put himself to the test (and suffer the inevitable defeat) in front of a crowd of curious spectators. A lovely addition to the Unabeauverse, and - because I am greedy - I naturally now hunger for the follow-up conversations between Faramir, Hethlin, Andrahar, and the King. Oh, and Faramir's first fight with Brand. And... And... Thank you, Isabeau!

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 10

Every time I look at the gym, or at the track, or contemplate dancing the night away, I feel a kindred dread with Faramir: this is going to hurt *so* very much! Although this story follows [Fair Game] in the Unabeauverse, there's no need to know more than that Faramir's retreat across Pelennor and the trauma of the war eventually took their toll: PTSD is nothing to sneeze at, and although friends and family eventually come to understand, it's been a long, hard recovery and the process is ongoing for Faramir. But really, this story isn't about that: it's more about how the things you say, and which you intend to reflect only on yourself, can get away from you because communication is never so straightforward when it's about things that matter. There can be a certain virtue in silence, or in curbing one's enthusiasm, lest one accidentally suggest that one's eagerness to be done with a particular task has something to do with the quality of the people with whom one is performing. Isabeau doesn't let this story get bogged down, though, and there are all sorts of lovely interpersonal moments between Faramir and other characters that are sure to please. The story ends humorously, if fiercely - just as it should! Thanks, Isabeau.

Reviewed by: obsidianj  ✧  Score: 3

It is good to see Faramir healing from the aftermath of the Ringwar. I loved to see Heth and Andrahar again, familiar characters of the earlier stories. It is a heartwarming, domestic scene when Eowyn kicks Faramir out of bed. And, it seems, sleeping habits run in the family. Give it to Imrahil to use this to his advantage.

Reviewed by: Darkover  ✧  Score: 3

A good sequel that can also be read as a stand-alone. You are good at descriptions, both of background and of Faramir's emotional state. You made us understand why Faramir might take up the sword again. The last few lines were very good; "Be gentle with me?" "Never, Captain!" Nice story.

Reviewed by: Antane  ✧  Score: 3

Is there a sequel to this? You can't just leave me hanging like this! I love that Faramir lay down his sword and I love that he would want to spar again with his fellow Ranger to give her some joy. He is going to be in for a hard time I think.