Yahoo Forum Archive

This is an archive of the MEFA Yahoo Group, which was shut down by Yahoo in 2019. The archive can be sorted by month and by topic ID. You can use your browser to search by keyword within the month or topic you have open.


Msg# 5091

Reviews Final as of 8/17/2005 part 7 Posted by Ainaechoiriel August 17, 2005 - 23:10:13 Topic ID# 5091
Title: Fear <> ·
Author: Ariel
2> · Races/Places: Hobbits: Pre-War of the Ring · ID: 688
Reviewer: Inkling
3> · 2005-05-10 02:37:27 Score: 10
This is an ambitious, complex, and deeply absorbing story, weaving together
two major story lines and several subplots. It’s all here: a large cast of
memorable characters, heart-felt emotions, serious themes, a wealth of
background material…the things that bring a story to life!

The characterizations—both canon and original—are all first-rate. Albarus
Clearwater is the villain you love to hate, one of the few evil doctors I
have encountered in fiction. The thoughtfully portrayed Drogo is the father
you wish every child could have; I kept longing for him to return and set
everything, and everyone, to rights. Just one of the qualities of the story
that made it seem Dickensian to me…

In between are many characters painted in nuanced shades of grey. The
disagreeable Dody is gradually revealed as a deeply troubled youth who wins
our sympathy, while his stepmother, Marietta, turns out not to be the witch
Dody sees her as—though neither is she an angel. Ariel has a talent for
revealing a character’s many facets…for example, managing to make Menegilda
likeable to the reader, even though she and Drogo loathe each other.

Frodo’s strength of character is revealed in so many little ways: his
perception that Dody’s neglect presents an opportunity, his determination to
“fix” his problems with his mother, and above all his refusal to wallow in

The description of Brandy Hall is marvelous; I could picture it perfectly.
And Ariel captured very well the nuances of the hobbits’ social class
system…healers are not working class, but neither are they gentry.
“Primula…retained a distance that Daisy found strangely reassuring.”

I mentioned serious themes, and there are several: alienation, parental
fear, and child abuse. Ariel does a masterful job of capturing the
destructive dynamic between abuser and victim. Especially horrifying was the
idea that Dody was trying to goad his father into beating him to death. And
what a chillingly believable portrait of an abuser—from the eagerness in his
voice beforehand to his creepy repentance afterwards.

While there are many dark moments, the story ends on a lovely note of hope
and redemption, in which everyone truly gets what they deserve and we are
able, for that moment at least, to suspend our knowledge of the sorrow and
loss that lie in Frodo’s future.

Title: The
<> Colors of
Passing · Author: Larner
2> · Genres: Drama (includes Angst): Gapfiller · ID: 789
Reviewer: Inkling
3> · 2005-05-10 02:39:27 Score: 7
What an emotional rollercoaster this little story is: by turns horrifying,
hopeful, and sad—that Aragorn’s light could bring Frodo back, but not
protect him from the pockets of darkness that lingered still—and yet, in the
end, still hopeful.

The brief, devastating glimpse of Frodo at the Sammath Naur is one of the
most powerful accounts of this famous scene that I have ever read, as this
incredible passage exemplifies: “The agony of his body is now seen as
exquisite pleasure; the agony of his soul as desire fulfilled. His friend is
now his enemy; the Enemy is merely a rival.”

The color symbolism is well done, but not overdone. As in all of Larner’s
stories, there is a nice and thoughtful attention to detail here. We know
that the scent of athelas is different for each person, but how does it
smell to Frodo? Larner tells us, and she has got it exactly right.

Title: Dreme <> · Author:
1> · Books/Time: Post-Ring War: Aman · ID: 858
Reviewer: Inkling
3> · 2005-05-10 02:44:46 Score: 9
Within the first few lines of “Dreme” is a passage that gives you a pretty
good idea of what you’re in for: “Gandalf, a hard traveler who usually
looked like something a bear had caught in its fur…”

The quirky, irreverent humor of this story is just one of its many
charms—and moods. Like hobbits themselves, the off-hand, tongue-in-cheek
style of “Dreme” can be disarmingly deceptive…which makes the angst, when it
comes, all the more powerful by catching you unawares.

“This place was out of a fairy story,” thought Frodo, and so, too, seems
Singe’s prose at times. At one point it actually adopts that form outright,
as a tale Frodo is telling to himself in what is, perhaps, the story’s most
moving passage: “There once was a hero…” The significance of the counting is
devastating when it finally hits you.

For behind all the jabs at the “ridiculous clothes” and Frodo’s
hilarious—and yet touching—flirtation with Celebrian (“I seem to have lost a
finger in your hair” ) lurk some very serious themes of loss, survival, and
the power of memory, and a lovely final note of hope and renewal. This is
one of the most delightfully original Valinor fics I have yet to read…one
that leaves me, on every reading, all choked up but grinning like a fool.

Title: Foreshadowing
<> · Author:
9> · Books/Time: The Silmarillion: Second Age · ID: 610
Reviewer: Marta
> · 2005-05-10 12:51:19 Score: 4
This is a hauntil tale. I was reminded of Galadriel's statement regarding
the mirror: "things that are, and things that were, and some things that
have not yet come to pass". This seems to fit Palantir's foresight that we
see in this piece. I loved seeing Miriel's fighting spirit, too -- too
often, I tend to view her as the passive victim. At least here she is
resisting Pharazôn, who even she sees is a negative influence.

Title: Making <>
Verses · Author: Zimraphel
9> · Books/Time: Gap-Filler · ID: 611
Reviewer: Marta
> · 2005-05-11 03:44:37 Score: 4
Obviously Zimraphel couldn't have had Adina ATL's "The Mariner's Son" in
mind when she wrote this piece (at least I don't think she did, as the two
pieces are by different authors). But they do fit together into a nice pair.
Here we get the Elves' side of the story, their biting humour and mocking of
Bilbo. I especially loved the fact that Lindir *did* guess what was
Aragorn's addition -- how funny!

Title: What Cannot be
<> Undone ·
Author: Zimraphel
9> · Races/Places: Elves: Imladris · ID: 1013
Reviewer: Marta
> · 2005-05-11 14:07:40 Score: 2
Nice story -- it gives good insight into how the changes in Elrohir and
Elladan might have impacted the other residents of Rivendell.

Title: Good Enough
<> · Author:
> · Races/Places: Elves: Mirkwood · ID: 217
Reviewer: daw
6> the minstrel · 2005-05-11 16:27:45 Score: 10
The most impressive part of this story is the changing first person point of
view. I think first person is hard to do at all, much less to catch the
voices a several characters and this story does that well.

The characters are worth catching too. We see serious Legolas and
not-so-serious Daeron, who is a complete hoot. And we see the older
brothers, who come across as devoted to the realm and to one another

I also liked the clever and often humorous use of language. So for instance
we get Daeron's suggestion that they claim "wood elf defense." That's
hilarious. And these two lines cracked me up:

Daeron sighed heavily. “You are so funny, Legolas,” he said dryly. “I can
hardly contain my laughter. You should ask your adar to assign you to court

“I have,” I said. “He does not think I am very humorous.” As best as I could
with limbs as sturdy as straw, I punched my pillow up to raise my head.
“What else did this clean Elf say?”

And then I was completely enthralled by Daeron's report of his encounter
with the clean elf. Wow! What a wonderfully useful smart mouth. Daeron is
perceptive and cynical. What a great combination. It's interesting to
speculate if he has sight like the queen does.

I liked other small details too. I was struck by the finality of the wrist
band Aldamir wears. The fact that it marks him forever seems symbolic of the
way a warrior's experience must mark and change him forever. And I pictured
what it would be like for someone to find a body with this particular
bracelet: Aldamir Thranduilion. There's something touchingly simple about

Title: Last Hope
<> · Author:
2> · Races/Places: Cross-Cultural · ID: 64
Reviewer: daw
6> the minstrel · 2005-05-11 16:28:06 Score: 2
Poor Gilraen. I know she is starting a different part of her life and that
it too can be interesting and rewarding, but she has lost her husband, her
hope of a new baby, and the continuity she could create by telling her son
about his father.

Title: You <>
Ask Too Much · Author: LKK
7> · Books/Time: The Lord of The Rings: Drabble · ID: 643
Reviewer: daw
6> the minstrel · 2005-05-11 16:28:36 Score: 1
Sometimes a drabble is just 100 words. Period. But this one is poetic in its
brevity and compression.

Title: Moriquendi:
<> The Gendered
Other in Tolkien Fanfiction · Author: adn_heming
0> · Genres: Non-Fiction: Elves · ID: 58
Reviewer: Marta
> · 2005-05-11 22:43:29 Score: 3
I might argue with the author about whether a certain characteristic is
necessarily "feminine", but that's my feminism getting the better of me, I
think. But moving beyond that, this is a really fabulous essay. I do not
uread enough elf-centric fan fiction to know how prevalent this phenomenon
is, but you have provided a nice explanation of it.

Title: The Sacred
<> Warp of
Tolkien's Tapestry · Author: Wordweaver
8> · Genres: Non-Fiction · ID: 609
Reviewer: Marta
> · 2005-05-11 23:47:57 Score: 3
This was a nice essay -- the insights overall were nice, and the first half
or so was technically good as well. the second half (when the author been
exploring different Christ-figures) seemed to undercut the overall
structure. That said, it was a very nice read.

Title: 110 <> ·
Author: Aeneid
1> · Races/Places: Men · ID: 59
Reviewer: Marta
> · 2005-05-12 00:36:46 Score: 2
This is a nice glimpse into Boromir's search for Imladris. I especially like
the blend of free verse and prose -- very effective way to capture Boromir's
growing desperation!

Title: Sight <> ·
Author: Aeneid
1> · Races/Places: Gondor: Original Characters · ID: 374
Reviewer: Marta
> · 2005-05-12 02:27:34 Score: 10
I have never read Plastic Chevy's story "The Captain and the King". It's a
personal thing; I cannot read 'Boromir lives!' stories, no matter how
masterfully written; it's the same reason why I can't bring myself to read
Adraefan, though from the reviews I have read it's a very good story, too.

Getting back to "Sight", I mention all of this because your piece worked
fine for me withoout ANY knowledge of Plastic Chevy's piece (except for the
fact that Boromir survives Amon Hen, which I gleaned from her summary). You
give just enough background information that the narrative functions on its
own, though I am sure I would have enjoyed it on a higher level if I was
familiar with the larger piece.

And you seem to have a real feel for how to make erotica "work". It was so
nice to see Boromir in a heterosexual relationship. Not that I am
necessarily against slash (I enjoy Boromir slash as much as the next girl
*evil grin*), but I do like the idea of him being able to settle down and
create a family. And I think, if Boromir did choose a wife, it would be
someone like Gil, who was very "real" if you know what I mean.

Which brings me to the other thing about this piece that makes it work so
good. Boromir is very strongly in character. Gil is the kind of woman who I
can see Boromir being attracted to, and every aspect of this piece is
uniquely Boromir. If the leading man was Faramir or Aragorn or Pippin or
whomever, it would all proceed so differently. Combined with a knack for
exposition without overwhelming the narrative, beautiful sensory detail, and
leaving just enough to the imagination (not over-explaining), this is
probably one of the best (canonical character)/OFC romance pieces that I
have ever read. Bravo! (And can I respectfully request more stories about
Boromir and Gil? Or even more romance pieces from you? You are so good at

Title: The Laughing
<> Oliphaunt ·
Author: Aeneid
1> · Races/Places: Gondor: Original Characters · ID: 998
Reviewer: Marta
> · 2005-05-12 10:16:02 Score: 3
A nice piece -- both the drama and the humour were biting. And the OCs were
very original. I liked seeing what led up to Faramir's revealing his dream
to Boromir, and loved the way you used Gondorian history to develop the folk
lore of the laughing oliphaunts at Poros.

Title: At Losgar
<> · Author: Wild
7> Iris · Races/Places: Elves: Poetry · ID: 604
Reviewer: Marta
> · 2005-05-12 10:28:01 Score: 3
This poem is almost too beautiful and poignant for its gruesome subject
matter. The image of the Teleri ships being nothing but candles was
particularly haunting, especially when you consider that the Kinslaying only
contributed to the metaphorical darkness.

Title: Sercemaitë
<> · Author:
0> · Races/Places: Elves: First Age · ID: 382
Reviewer: Marta
> · 2005-05-12 12:25:02 Score: 3
I have never been in battle, but I imagine the confusion this story's
narrator exhibits is fairly characteristic; this story also did a
commendable job of getting across his naivete and his anger. I also liked
how you weaved in conflicts between the Noldor and more "primitive" Elves
such as the story's narrator.

Title: The <>
Twilight · Author: Aerlinnel
0> · Races/Places: Elves: Imladris · ID: 399
Reviewer: Marta
> · 2005-05-12 13:39:50 Score: 4
This is an engaging story. More pieces should explore how Arwen's choice
effects her brothers. (I have seen other stories that deal with Elrond's
reaction, but this is the first one I have ever seen that touch on her
brothers at all). I particularly liked how you brought in the meaning of
Elladan and Elrohir's names, and how those might reflect their characters.

Title: Promises to
<> Keep · Author:
2> · Races/Places: Men: Eriador · ID: 169
Reviewer: quirky_orthodox
3> · 2005-05-12 17:45:20 Score: 8
Before I happened to fall into this fic, I was very suspicious of Original
Characters. Like many readers, I had seen one too many Mary-Sues paired off
with Legolas, Frodo or Aragorn to really have the motivation to read any
story even featuring an OC, let alone a story featuring only OCs.

Then I read this and had my perceptions turned upside down. Here were
characters with depth, realism and a humanity to them that was so refreshing
it spurred me to keep reading. The Author has had evidently taken the
trouble to exhaustively research and note down the backgrounds of her
characters. I was hooked both by the plot, which was clear and concise, and
by the wonderful little asides which hinted at so much more than what was
simply presented on the page.

The story was inside canon, but in a way I had never seen before, existing
just on the edges yet interacting with the tale of the Quest in a way I
found very pleasing. I have been formally converted to reading OCs because
of this story and its subsequent sequels. I honestly think that this is a
fanfic which could spawn its own fanfiction and that is certainly worthy of

Title: Dolor Meus
<> · Author:
> · Books/Time: Post-Ring War · ID: 897
Reviewer: riverotter7
3> · 2005-05-12 18:39:17 Score: 9
When I first read the synopsis for this story it seemed rather banal. That
was, of course, before I read the story itself. This is one of those stories
that I would call "perfect". In my opinion, to subtract or add too many more
words would seriously detract from it's effectivness. Although short, the
use of emotion definatly moves the reader on multiple levels from the
ordinary to the sublime. This peice certainly does not need to be of 'epic
proportions' to be effective. Werecat has carried her charecters from their
orginal place in Middle Earth to the 14th century (give or take) of our own
world. Over on HASA, the author worried that this story might offend readers
due to religious content, but I heartily disagree that she should have
worried so. Most religons have both compassion and forgiveness as a basis
for their particular salvations. In the story, the author was able to convey
that forgiveness, and she gave compassion to a lost and lonely son. This
story made me weep in both pain for the singer and in joy for his return. I
thank the author for this wonderful story and am very pleased to nominate it
for an award.
Thank you.
Molly Littlefoot

Title: The Last Elf
<> Standing ·
Author: Suzene
0> Campos · Genres: Humor: Elves · ID: 1124
Reviewer: riverotter7
3> · 2005-05-12 19:31:57 Score: 6
Bless it, I laughed myself off of my chair and rolled around on the rug for
awhile after reading this thing. This is one of those peices that I had to
print off and put in my very own personal hard copy file so I could re-read
it when I really needed a pick-me-up. These two noble elves of rather famous
lineage being petty and snarky with each other was marvelous! I do think
Tranduil did have a point when he mentioned his father and half of the army
vs Elrond's humiliation, though. Heh heh heh. The twins with drum sets,
groupies and a tour schedual; Arwen and the Sindarian kama sutra; Legolas
sent off with a dwarf. I did wonder just *how* it was that the river in
Mirkwood got that unusual repuation. Now I know. Hilarious!
Molly Littlefoot

Title: Circle
ryview=toc&chapter=1&cat=7> of Light · Author: White
> Gull · Books/Time: The Lord of The Rings: Poetry · ID: 1208
Reviewer: Marta
> · 2005-05-13 00:11:33 Score: 3
I really like this. It's a touching scene about the legacy of the Red Book.
I was a little confused, though, by how the Red Book had passed so
thoroughly into myth before Legolas leaves Middle-earth in FA 120. It might
work better, for example, if you changed the picture to Bilbo and the elf to
Elrohir or Elladan. But other than that, it's a nice little story.

Title: Remembrance <> · Author:
· Books/Time: Post-Ring War: Gondor Drabble · ID: 108
Reviewer: Marta
> · 2005-05-13 02:37:05 Score: 6
Often a drabble (or even a longber piece) will focus on the death of one of
the mortal members of the Fellowship; it's nice to see ones like this that
focus on the cumulative affect of ALL those deaths.

This is probably just a stylistic issue, but I find long paragraphs
intimidating. I would prefer that the author had utilised paragraph breaks,
perhaps before "Gandalf and I alone" and "Merry and Pippin will follow" (and
maybe even make "Grief is my burden; remembrance, my destiny" its own
paragraph). I almost think this would work better as a trio of drabbles,
focusing on the departure/death of: Frodo, Sam, and Gandalf; Merry and
Pippin; Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli.

Hmm, maybe I'll have to do that series myself. See, the sign of a good
drabble: it makes me want to write my own. :-D

Title: Ailurophobia
<> · Author:
> · Genres: Humor: Animals · ID: 115
Reviewer: Marta
> · 2005-05-13 14:23:54 Score: 6
This is a very funny story, and survives re-reading. I have probably read it
a dozen times and each time I end up laughing out loud by "We are hungry,
they said. Feed us, they demanded. Our young are starving, they growled." So
true! Any cat lover knows the shift from plaintive request to demand to
outright viciousness. I can *so* believe that cats would behave like this,
if they figured into Tolkien's mythology. And you've provided a plausible
explanation for his disappearance from canon, besides something like
"Tolkien grew tired of him".

It also plays in niceley with Beruthiel's cats being considered unnatural
and evil by the Gondorians. This story does make me feel for poor Huan,
though. Great big mutt, with all those cats carousing around Angband.

Title: Death,
> I Call Thee · Author: Werecat
> · Races/Places: Cross-Cultural · ID: 292
Reviewer: Marta
> · 2005-05-13 17:14:46 Score: 4
This piece does a very effective job of showing all the different viewpoints
in so few words. I especially like how the different viewpoints were so
similar. Though I am not sure that Gondorians would think of themselves as
loyal to the shards of Narsil, given that that is a relic of the North, and
Boromir says at the Council of Elrond that the tale of Narsil surviving was
never told in the South. All in all, though, this was a good piece.

Title: Touche <>
· Author: DragonLady7
9> · Books/Time: Post-Ring War: Vignette · ID: 229
Reviewer: Marta
> · 2005-05-13 18:29:47 Score: 5
Oh, now *this* is hilarious. Eomer's and Faramir's fencing match was vivid
in my mind (perhaps because I've seen my share), and Lothiriel's and Eowyn's
actions likewise made a lot of sense to me.

I was a little confused, though, about where Aragorn came from. For some
place I envisioned this taken place in Ithilien, and while that's not far
from Minas Tirith, there's really no indication of Aragorn being around.
Maybe this last part would work better if it was someone from Ithilien who
popped up there? Maybe Beregond?

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]