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Msg# 7725

Reviews for 4 December - part 1 Posted by Rhapsody December 04, 2006 - 13:39:12 Topic ID# 7725
Title: The Bucklander · Author: permilea · Races: Hobbits: Pre-Quest ·
ID: 793
Reviewer: Larner · 2006-11-30 09:16:38 Score: 4
It's been a time since I last read this one, and I found it well worth
the reread.

Lovely look at Frodo arriving not sedately but after having helped a
farmer retrieve his livestock after his wagon overturned, coming to Bag
End covered with mud and feathers, holding, of all things, a goose on
his arrival.

And, of course, young Sam, then a Hobbitling of few words, would have it
no other way. Magic has come to Bag End with Frodo Baggins.
Title: Luck from the Ashes · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races: Men:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 142
Reviewer: Marigold · 2006-11-30 09:46:17 Score: 2
Raksha takes the simple event of the discovery of a cat and her kittens
and turns it into a wonderful character study of Faramir. Excellently done!
Title: Those Who Challenge the Dead · Author: Nancy Brooke · Races: Men:
Other Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 858
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2006-11-30 10:01:41 Score: 10
These two drabbles are chilling to read. I have read them quite some
times and it just amazes me how Nancy combines the fate of these two
men. When you look at them closely, Nancy has drabbled these two
chapters thusly that you can see what both had in common and of course
what not. The boldness in their actions: simply to do what is not seen
as common sense. This is just an amazing response to that challenge! I
really like the hot-blazing pride of Earnur in the first one and how a
previous victory simply blinds him that this time it will not end well.
Baldor on the other hand is a victim of his own, well drunkenness and is
trapped. Thinking of Earnur, when I read the second drabble, it could be
him speaking there as well, then I go back to the first drabble and I
can see elements of Baldors character there too. This makes this set of
drabbles so unique and a splendid read. Well besides the incredible
elegant and fitting prose, because that is simply outstanding too. But
most of all, I appreciate the way how Nancy tells us more about these
two characters from the appendices of the LOTR, she simply puts them in
the spotlight, gives us insight in their characters and what in the end
happened to them. The author notes contains the canon bits, which make
me go back and read those two drabbles told in Nancy's voice repeatedly.
Title: Seeing Stars · Author: Budgielover · Races: Hobbits: Children ·
ID: 399
Reviewer: Inkling · 2006-11-30 10:13:41 Score: 4
From the very first line of this funny fic, we--and Frodo--have a
pretty good idea what were in for:

["I've a superb idea," Merry announced.
Frodo considered his options. The rain drumming on the roof was possibly
loud enough to say that he hadnt heard Merry's remark.]

And we're off and running!

With light, breezy humor, Budgie teaches us a thing or two about hobbit
nature: the lasses cant resist cute little darlings," and the lads
cant I love the fact that despite Merry's and Frodo's
intent to court the comely Peony and Daffodil, its their grey-haired
mum all three cousins end up vying for once they taste her cooking.

Great fun!

Title: Night Phantoms · Author: Marta · Genres: Drama: Remembering · ID: 696
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2006-11-30 10:16:06 Score: 8
I read this piece a couple of days ago, but I wanted to take my time to
review and let this piece sink in a bit more. This is such a moving
moment between those two told from Faramirs perspective. It must be
hard for him that after all the victories, Éowyn still suffers from
Grímas treatment of her: these things are just scars on the soul and
Marta did an outstanding job conveying this. This was just a firm
reminder that even though people can move on, memories from the past
still will come to haunt you during your sleep. Faramirs gentle
response to her and his restraint not to answer her kiss feels very
fitting and leaves me wondering how many nights Éowyn has to go through
until this is finally dealt with and gets a place in her life. I love
how Faramirs character is written here: many years have passed and
during those years, he has grown so much in mind and judgement. In this
respect, this piece has two beautiful elements: great characterisation
and the tenderness of the moment where we are remembered of Éowyns
turbulent past. This is a beautiful piece Marta!
Title: Home Again · Author: Súlriel · Times: Early Third Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 863
Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2006-11-30 10:21:14 Score: 4
Drabbles are, by definition, very short vignettes of exactly 100
words... but some authors, like Sulriel, manage to squeeze a lot of
atmosphere and characterization into those 100 words.

The word pictures in Home Again set the visual scene beautifully in few
strokes, like a water color... And the disdain and hauteur and
pridefulness of the principal character - an original female character -
permeate the work.

This is a beautiful gem of a work!
Title: The King's Surgeon · Author: SurgicalSteel · Races: Men:
Incomplete · ID: 845
Reviewer: Marigold · 2006-11-30 10:25:33 Score: 3
An engrossing epic tale! The characters both new and familar are a
delight and the completely accurate medical details lend a depth to the
story that I have seldom see in fanfiction.
Title: Pride Goeth... · Author: Marigold · Races: Cross-Cultural: With
Hobbits · ID: 936
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-11-30 10:27:49 Score: 4
Thoughtful and amusing short story wherein Boromir grandly and
generously attempts to counsel the hobbits as to the importance of
stealth on their mission, and gets his foot handed back to his mouth as
the halfling quartet reminds him of just who decided to sound that horn
on leaving Rivendell.

Wonderful command of hobbit speech patterns and relationships.
Title: The Falcon and the Star · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: The
Great Years: Gondor · ID: 57
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2006-11-30 11:04:49 Score: 3
Ack! Time's running out, but I've got to reveiw this work. I've read a
lot of versions of this particular incident, but I like Raksha's the
best. Aragorn's efforts to save Faramir provide the basis of trust and
respect that enable the two men to become effective partners later.
Title: Inheritances · Author: Marta · Genres: Drama: The Steward's
Family · ID: 651
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2006-11-30 11:06:11 Score: 8
Well there is a lot to think about when you are waiting in a line for
something so short, I think we've all been there. Halfway the piece,
before I read your author notes I thought: is Elizabeth Bennet sneaking
in here? It so sounds like her! And yeps, I grinned when I came to the
end of this work and read the quote. This story contains so many things
that I liked, it almost feels as if the history of both Kingdoms are
being narrated in Aragorns thoughts and the parallels to Gondor Lords
of old are simply great. Aragorns well wishes for Boromir are touching,
and the manner how Marta describes the infant and his mother are very
moving. Babys can have an amazing grip; it is a natural reflex
especially at that age.

I love the brief insight of Aragorns years at the Gondor courts, how
the men and civilians of the city heralded him as a hero& more than
Denethor, in which we will read later on in Lotr how that plays out.
This work is smoothly written and in its unique way, Marta gives me this
nice visual of an Aragorn waiting while he observes everyone around him.
This is a great work!
Title: The Burdens of Office · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 865
Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2006-11-30 11:07:34 Score: 6
This is a fascinating and subtle drabble series, pitting the request of
the Prince of Ithilien against the judgement of the Steward of Gondor...
both of which, of course, are the same person.

Tanaqui really does a fine job of showing Faramir as he wears two
different hats, each with a separate, and conflicting, set of concerns
that each succinctly lays before Elessar as the final arbiter.

One of the things that I especially like is the role of Beregond, first
as a jaded witness to boring court sessions, and then as a sudden, if
surprised, contributor of expert opinion. And Elessar, also, shows
multiple facets of himself, both a thoughtful decision-maker and someone
with a concern for Beregond's opinion and Faramir's discomfort.

Tanaqui is a master of well-crafted characterizations, as well as subtle
conflicts.... this series is fascinating!
Title: Fallen Leaves · Author: laiquendi · Genres: Drama: Elves in Later
Ages · ID: 735
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2006-11-30 11:29:13 Score: 3
This is a tenderly written short work based on the movies. I think it
was nice to read how Legolas responded to the carnage & the losses of
his people and how Gimli responded to all of this, in his own and unique
Title: Gimli's Tale · Author: Pearl Took · Races: Dwarves · ID: 934
Reviewer: Marigold · 2006-11-30 11:31:46 Score: 4
The bond between Pippin and Gimli is depicted wonderfully here, and
between Merry too, though he is not present. Gimli's care of Pippin is
seemingly at odds with his gruff exterior, but really we are seeing a
carefully hidden facet of his character, revealed only to those he loves
best and trusts implicitly. Gimli's story is told using beautiful
language, and has a very Dwarven quality. That he has searched out a
stone for Pippin to illustrate the point of his tale is the perfect ending.
Title: Athelas · Author: Waltraute · Times: The Great Years: Gondor ·
ID: 243
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-11-30 11:51:20 Score: 3
An outstanding story of courage - how Bergil found the athelas that
Aragorn used to save Faramir's life. Bergil is written excellently. He
sees and does things that would be hard for a man of three times his
age; but Waltraute does not let us forget that Bergil is still a
frightened boy in the wreckage of war.

And the last paragraph is beautiful.
Title: Okay, NOW Panic! · Author: Boz4PM · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Incomplete · ID: 907
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2006-11-30 11:55:57 Score: 5
This is an extraordinary story and should be required reading for
aspiring fanfic writers - if only because it would scare away the
dabblers. The author has taken on a huge task - to really see Middle
Earth with a fresh, outsider's eye, and never stinted or taken an easy
rode. The depth of research alone is amazing, but the characters too a
well and fully realized. And just by thinking it through reasonably, the
author has exposed our heroine to every possible terrain - physical,
cultural, and social - imaginable, without ever having the story seem
forced or overly manipulated. It deserves highest marks.
Title: Heralded By Storms · Author: SilverMoonLady · Genres: Romance:
Incomplete · ID: 128
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2006-11-30 12:00:16 Score: 4
This is a wonderful story, and brings to life such terrific details of
hobbit life. The characters are fresh and full, while still fitting
perfectly into the established landscape of middle-earth. What I find
most impressive, though, is what does not appear on the page. The story
is told equally by what is written, as what is omitted and left to the
imagination. Well done.
Title: Birthdays · Author: Rabidsamfan · Genres: Drama: Remembering ·
ID: 988
Reviewer: Cuthalion · 2006-11-30 12:10:14 Score: 8
As far as I remember, I never read such a thing before... seeing Sam's
grief and memories through the eyes of a child. Elanor Gardner - Elanor
the Fair - is born exactly on the anniversary of the day when Sauron's
ring went into the fire, and each time she celebrates her birthday, her
father struggles with a sorrow and with old ghosts still not overcome.

Rabidsamfan - being the brilliant wordsmith she is - manages the
language of a child so believably that the reader is truly convinced to
see her thoughts, and even her moving attempts to puzzle the whole thing
out and help her father to heal. The whole last paragraph is one single,
perfectly childlike sentence, breathless, excited, a waterfall of words
used to describe how the little girl gives Sam the simple wisdom of a
child and helps him finally see the truth -- he has done nothing wrong,
the task - even his task - is fulfilled.

This moves me to tears every time I reread it, and Rabidsamfan is still
one of the writers in fanfiction whose stories are the greatest gift for
me. This one is absolutely wonderful.
Title: Awake · Author: Rabidsamfan · Times: The Great Years:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 837
Reviewer: Cuthalion · 2006-11-30 12:18:57 Score: 5
This was one of Rabidsamfan's - rare - attempts to write about a scene
using the movie version (she normally prefers the professor's original),
but she succeeds wonderfully. She describes the moment when Same wakes
up in Ithilien after the quest, slowly remembering what has happened,
listening to voices he is most surprised to hear (Gandalf is alive!?!)
And of course she refers to one of the most beautiful moments in the
movie... Sam, standing in the door and meeting the eyes of his master,
giving that wonderful, loving smile that always makes me smile, too.
Marvelously done!
Title: Too Many Names · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Aragorn
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 866
Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2006-11-30 12:24:55 Score: 5
This series of a dozen half-drabbles is extraordinary!

Yes, Tolkien gave Aragorn a lot of names.... but Tanaqui so succinctly
places each one in a context, capturing the differing points of view of
so many people who knew Aragorn over the years... establishing a
character in a short fifty words takes exceptional talent, and Tanaqui
has that and more to spare.

Furthermore, I particularly enjoy how Tanaqui incorporates so many bits
of canon, many of them relatively obscure. I think my favorite one is
Faramir, trying to work out the meaning of Telcontar, and wondering
whether Elessar was playing a jest on Gondor with his dynastic name.

These are truly enjoyable to read!
Title: Along the Morgai · Author: Rabidsamfan · Times: The Great Years:
General Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 849
Reviewer: Cuthalion · 2006-11-30 12:25:04 Score: 5
I love this shamelessly - perhaps especially because it sees Sam through
Frodo's eyes. Instead of focusing on the fiery eye in his mind, Frodo
muses about his gardener, his best friend and companion, wondering if
anyone will tell the world about his heroism. Will the Gaffer ever read
a letter about the fabulous deeds of his son? He remembers the child
that used to play heroic games in the garden of Bag End (using a dirty
trowel, a detail that never fails so make me smile), and he continues to
hope. One of Rabidsamfan's countless, small drabble gems. Thank you
(again and again)!
Title: Ship and Shore · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 867
Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2006-11-30 12:48:24 Score: 7
Okay, I admit it -- I have a special soft spot in my heart for stories
that illuminate the many obscure or lesser-known cultures of Tolkien's
Arda -- the ones that he only hinted at -- and, in this excellent
drabble series, Tanaqui does that with consummate skill.

The subjects are incredibly varied... the Teleri of Alqualondë
remembering the Noldor after the First Kinslaying, the Drúedain
abandoning Númenor before the Downfall, the Lossoth (Snowmen of
Forochel) using the Ring of Barahir as a remembrance of the perceived
folly of Arvedui's shipwreck, and the sardonic opinion of the Elves of
the Grey Havens held by the Dwarves of the Blue Mountains.... these are
all the stuff of legends within Tolkien's legends!

Tanaqui has truly done a wonderful job of limning each individual
culture by the thoughts and deeds of individuals, and, in particular,
their opinion of other cultures. Very nicely done!
Title: Midwinter Rites · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Aragorn
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 868
Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2006-11-30 13:14:05 Score: 5
This is a peaceful telling of all the different Yuletide traditions that
Aragorn participated in during his life, including in his years in Rohan
and Gondor as Thorongil, and his travels through Harad where the stars
are strange. Where even in celebration, he had to be cautious and
tight-lipped, to avoid saying anything that would identify him.

But the arc is completed at last when he is married and has children of
his own, and he can give his children the kind of loving, happy, and
carefree celebrations that he had when he was a child in Rivendell.

This double-drabble makes me nostalgic for innocent childhood
celebrations, not fraught with the cares that we adults impose on ourselves!
Title: Unspeakable · Author: White Gull · Genres: Romance: Poetry · ID: 822
Reviewer: este tangletoes · 2006-11-30 13:19:37 Score: 6
[Unspeakable by White Gull]

White Gulls poetry never ceases to amaze me. All that she writes goes
straight to my heart. There is always so much to ponder and enjoy. I
love this piece particularly and find it breathtaking.

I wondered who could be the female character that wishes so much to
bring healing to Frodo, by sharing The Universal Cure with him. The
soothing balm that touches the very soul.

When I first read this devastatingly beautiful poem I thought it was
Rosie Cotton, the wife of Samwise Gamgee, but on further reading I see
that it could be anyone that loves Frodo.

White Gull tells it like it is, Frodo sought no praise or fame, even
though he was the most deserving of all the hobbits.

Unspeakable, in my opinion, is a very sensual poem written in a subtly way.

I recommend anyone that loves poetry and in particular poetry regarding
Frodo to read more of White Gulls beautiful and touching verse.

Title: Stewardship · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 920
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2006-11-30 13:32:36 Score: 6
I thought I reviewed this one, but somehow& I love this quiet
introspective drabble featuring Gandalf. It somehow manages to encompass
the years that Gandalf spent on Middle Earth and it gives the reader a
feeling that with these thoughts, Gandalf indeed hands the Stewardship
to the young and next generation of a broad variation in races (the
second generation of Eru's children), full of hope, wanting to restore
Arda marred as much as they can. I think Manwe and Varda will reward him
for this once he sets foot on the hither shores. What I find so cleverly
drabbled in this piece is, that Raksha brings across this atmosphere of
serenity in her words, but a sense of closure for Gandalf as well. The
piece feels more than just hundred words and reads perfectly balanced.
This is a great drabble Raksha!
Title: The Princess and the Horse Lord · Author: Oshun · Genres:
Romance: Incomplete · ID: 425
Reviewer: Raihon · 2006-11-30 13:33:10 Score: 10
Oshun's story is a great post-war gap filler that has several features
to recommend it, in addition to the clear, lively prose. A few elements
of the story hit a somewhat implausible note, but overall it is well
worth reading.

First, there are detailed characterizations of some of our beloved
familiar characters (Eomer, Eowyn) as well as of lesser-known characters
(Lothiriel, Elladan). Each of these kinds of characterizations presents
their own challenges, but in this story, all of the central characters
are really brought to life in a believable, and often charming, way.

Second, it is not a children's story, which is of course a subjective
taste, but if one is going to write a LOTR story that's not rated for
young people, it's best if the drama is plausible and if the sex is,
well, sexy. In this story, there is romantic tension (with a
character-appropriate dose of teen drama) as well as its natural
fulfillment, and though I'm not an Eomer fan myself, seeing him through
Lothiriel's eyes, I might as well be.

Finally, for those of us who can't get enough of exploring the post-war
world, this is an engaging take on it and the events that play out
behind the scenes of the last chapters of the book.
Title: A Tisket, A Tasket · Author: grey_wonderer · Times: Late Third
Age: The Shire · ID: 570
Reviewer: Marigold · 2006-11-30 13:34:53 Score: 10
This is a lovely tale, sweet and funny! I can *so* see Pippin coming up
with this scheme and that is one of Grey Wonderers gifts; she is able
to take the simplest, or most outrageous or funny situations, and turn
them into a wonderful tale that you will want to reread again and again.
This is one of those tales.

There are so many wonderful bits in this story - Pippin's whisper that
is louder than his normal tone, Merry waking up cuddling Errol, that
Merry, who thinks he is so grown up and superior, isn't too sure himself
exactly how babies are made, the story of Merry and the squirrels and
Frodo and the baths, and that the Bracegirdles have far too many
children. And I loved that the bed that Pippin shares with Merry is safe
for Errol and his one offspring, and that no more little bunnies will
result if he sleeps there, as Merry and Pippin haven't had any babies! I
would have loved to see Bilbo and Frodo's faces when Pippin came up with
that! I am always happy to see a GW story that has an appearance by
Errol. He is practically a canon character himself now!

The dialogue is just spot-on and so are the characterisations and all of
the little descriptive details.

A really enjoyable story! Grey Wonderer is a wonderful writer of little

Title: A new tradition · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Dwarves: Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 869
Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2006-11-30 13:47:18 Score: 5
Only Tanaqui would write a triple drabble about a character telling of
fictional Yuletide festivities... then add half again as many words in
footnotes! LOL!

I enjoyed this amusing vignette, partly because it is clear that Gimli
is not entirely used to dealing with children, and has to resort to the
same delaying tactics as storytellers everywhere when they need to think
up an answer for a question posed by a child. And fussing with his pipe
is so Dwarven...

And then he realizes that he has to come up with the presents that he
"promised" by the next day! This gave me a very big grin...

And I liked the Elf deciding to get a gift for his friend Rathsvith... a
loving gesture by a true friend.

A very cheerful piece!

Title: First Impressions · Author: Bodkin · Races: Men: Featuring
Aragorn · ID: 806
Reviewer: Raihon · 2006-11-30 13:49:42 Score: 3
This story was really well-written and evocative. It reminded me of my
first trip alone to a "less-developed" nation. Spot on with the misery,
but young Aragorn is more resilient than I was, as well he should be.

The last line is great, too.
Title: Where The Shadows Are · Author: Kenaz · Genres: Drama: Elves in
Later Ages · ID: 776
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2006-11-30 13:50:08 Score: 10
This story was quite a ride! The summary made me curious about this
story and it was simply stunning! This story is packed with tension,
grim words, and passionate actions with a great characterisation of
Gil-Galad. His bitterness and slight touches upon a kind of madness,
driven by the legacy of his house: Gil-Galad knows his time is almost
there and in a way, wishes for the end. [I am the scion of kings..that
bodes ill for me.]

I dont think Elrond quite gets it what he wants and comes across like a
young man who thinks that love might change the course of Gil-Galads
fate. Gil-Galad however knows better and replies very sarcastically to
it . Because lets face it, love never has been the lucky charm of the
house of Finwë and starting to swear oaths&

["Swear not that oath, Elrond. You have given me your fealty; it is

And in his reactions, he keeps the young half-elf (although Elrond is an
age old, he reads like a reckless half-elf here and it works splendidly
in this piece) at bay by toying with his emotions but for both sakes. I
cannot help to think that later on, when Elrond does what Gil-Galad asks
him too, he will understand what the elf lord meant with his words. A
legacy ends with Gil-Galad, lives marred by an oath and their doom and
maybe for the best of everyone. This story has a strongly written
background setting; I admire how Kenaz writes the battlefield, the
looming Orodruin at a distance and the grimness in Gil-Galads eyes. The
stunning start of the story drew me in immediately and did not let go
until I read the final word, even after a reread.
Title: Ships Passing · Author: Marta · Races: Men: Vignette · ID: 302
Reviewer: Raihon · 2006-11-30 13:55:42 Score: 3
I'm always keenly interested in the principle of 'doubling' in Tolkein,
and this story is a nice presentation of a redundancy I hadn't thought
of before. Had Faramir died and Halbarad lived, everything still would
have worked out, but still, I'm just as glad it's Faramir's voice in
this story.
Title: For the love of the Lord of the White Tree · Author: Tanaqui ·
Times: The Great Years: General Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 870
Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2006-11-30 13:56:11 Score: 5
This is an evocative drabble that makes my heart go out to Legolas as he
constantly struggles with the Sea-longing.

The descriptions are so poetic and really lend themselves to creating
clear images in the imagination, yet the repetition overlays the
beautiful imagery with an overwhelmingly yearning quality.

Yet the constancy of his loyalty to Aragorn also shines through, though
we really understand what an unending conflict it caused in his heart.

The language is simple, descriptive, and poetic, and one really gets the
sense of understanding a part of Legolas more clearly. This is just
beautifully written!

Title: Second Son · Author: Nesta · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond: Gondor
· ID: 843
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2006-11-30 14:04:00 Score: 4
I was so intrigued by the summary that I just had to read it. If Túrin
had lived in our age, he would be quite a forensic talent! To read
Faramir as a father is quite a treat and I think he does a good job at
it. I love how Nesta wove in the flashback to a fallen comrade to given
Faramir a bit of closure of the past, comes up with a solution to honour
the man that fell for Gondor and Middle earth, and it also enables Túrin
to explore his interest in a more controlled manner. I really like how
this story came together!
Title: Boromir's Song · Author: Rhiannon Merdon · Times: The Great
Years: The Fellowship · ID: 695
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2006-11-30 14:12:33 Score: 5
This story is very evocative with breathtaking moments. This for example
is so beautifully written:
[Telperion shielded his light prematurely, casting darkness. Eärendil
plunged into the Sea, followed by a wake of silver star trails as the
remaining lights in the sky vanished, plunging into darkness. The light
of Boromirs boat flared and faded, leaving blinding afterimages in
Frodos vision.]


[The staff of Mithrandir was extinguished; the garments of Galadriel
were darkened; Celeborn in his grey was nearly invisible but for his
bright hair. Bilbo alone sat in a circle of light, humming to himself
still, oblivious of the silent dark.]

Rhiannon Merdon mingles movie verse with book verse in a gentle way and
in this story, she gives Frodo closure regarding his relationship and
fate of Boromir. I just love the way in which Frodo and Bilbo interact,
Bilbo always keen on something news, Frodo is still reeling from what
happened on Middle Earth. Then Boromirs funeral boat turns up and this
is used in a very symbolic manner that it gives me an answer what
actually happened with that boat. But foremost, Frodo ánd Boromir find
healing in a very satisfactionary way. This story was a pleasure to read.
Title: Keeping an eye on the enemy · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men:
Fixed-Length Ficlets With Children · ID: 871
Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2006-11-30 14:18:57 Score: 6
This is a delightful drabble about the interplay between a young Boromir
and an even younger Faramir; with Gandalf and Denethor portrayed as
merely part of the scenery.

There is a warmth that Boromir displays when he teases his brother, even
though he is rather young himself (old enough to be annoyed that Faramir
is still playing at being a Ranger, but young enough to conveniently
forget that he, himself, did the very same a short few years before).

He sneaks up on his brother and startles him, but at the same time he is
teaching him a lesson in a skill he *will* need as a Ranger, to keep
watch for the enemy both in the front and from the behind.

There is a clear affection between the two brothers here, and that makes
this drabble heart-warming.

Title: Midwinter in Mordor · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Villains:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 872
Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2006-11-30 14:32:26 Score: 3
Oh, Tanaqui, I just love this! Especially the little fillip at the
end.... if someone weren't reading carefully, they could just go
straight past without registering the implications.

Such a lovely Yuletide custom!

You have been assimilated... resistance is futile... Bwahahahahahahaha!

Title: Rising Hope · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Other Fixed-Length
Ficlets · ID: 873
Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2006-11-30 14:45:41 Score: 4
I estimate that Tanaqui's notes at the end of this drabble are about
four times as long as the drabble itself...

I love it!

This is a fascinating exploration of the names of the heroic family of
leaders of the Elf-friends in Númenor, as well as a warm illustration of
the ties between the generations of any family, and it also touches on
the history of the light of the Two Trees in Aman from the Silmarillion.
It works on all levels.

Very well done!
Title: Tokens of Sorrow · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Early Third Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 874
Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2006-11-30 15:08:00 Score: 4
This drabble moves me deeply. The Battle against the Wainriders at the
Morannon was a disaster for Gondor, with the king, his two sons, and
later his nephew (Minohtar) all being killed, leaving Gondor without
heirs to the monarchy. His second son was supposed to be in Minas Tirith
acting as regent, but sneaked away to fight, and die, with the Éothéod.

It is an extremely tragic part of Tolkien's history of Gondor, and this
drabble shows the intensely personal result.

Beautifully written, but sad and touching in its simplicity.
Title: You Never Know · Author: MysteriousWays · Genres: Humor: The
Shire · ID: 701
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2006-11-30 15:14:52 Score: 5
Oh, this is such a light read where at first you think& yes maybe Sam is
indeed ill. But as it sometimes goes with dreams, your subconscious pops
up in it and before you know it, you are dreaming about your very own
siren or how fellow hobbits look like. It leaves me wondering how Frodo
would have gone through the day now that he truly woke up.* grin * I
loved the small digressions in between, it kept the piece light-hearted
and very entertaining. I remember the challenge being issued and I
wondered how you could weave in those elements, but MW made a great
story out of it!
Title: Caws Llyffant · Author: Llinos · Races: Hobbits: Pre-Quest · ID: 634
Reviewer: Marigold · 2006-11-30 15:48:19 Score: 10
Not only is this story laugh-out-loud funny it is very cleverly written
as well! The idiom is clever, the hobbits and dialogue perfect, and the
plot just hilarious!

The opening is just striking, with only dialogue and no descriptions. It
gives it a very effective fade-in sort of quality, the kind you get when
there is dialogue over a black TV or film screen and then the picture
slowly fades in. You pay more attention to what the characters are
saying, and it is so sharp and clear. I am not aware of having seen this
done before and I thought that it was excellent! It was so easy to
picture Frodos distraction with his book because of this opening. Frodo
puts it down just about at the spot where the descriptions begin and
this works so well!

Bilbo and Frodos easy camaraderie here was wonderful and I loved the
image of 109-year-old Bilbo striding off with Sting at his side! His
characterisation in this story is very much Tolkiens Bilbo, sharp and
intelligent. His leaving Frodo the shopping list written in Sindarin is
exactly something that he would do! Bilbo's awesome gift to Rory is just
the sort of thing that he would pride himself on giving, and Llinos
outdid herself with her invention of the [Melting Purple Dragon]!

The shopping trip is great! I loved Merry here, with his organising and
helpful suggestions; most of which are designed to ensure that poor Sam
and the village delivery lads do all of the work. All of the
characterisations are great, from overprotective Eglantine to the
mystified cheese seller. Even the cheeses themselves are well thought
out, especially the cheese from Bree!

The idiom that Llinos uses sets up Frodos confusion perfectly. I loved
that thanks to Merry he wound up with so much superfluous cheese, but
being as they are hobbits I am sure that it wont go to waste!

My favourite part of this story has to be this exchange between Frodo
and Pippin: ["Because my dear little lad," Frodo was glad the cheese
seemed to be diminishing, if only slightly, "because, I mistook an idiom
whilst shopping."

"You took an idiot out shopping?" Pippin looked up at Merry, who was
already busily eating his way through the pudding courses, "but I
thought you took Mewwy shopping with you."

"Yes Pip," Frodo ruffled his cousin's curls, "same thing."]

Its the perfect ending to this marvellous story!

Title: Show his quality · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Steward's Sons
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 875
Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2006-11-30 15:50:52 Score: 5
This drabble, and the strikingly beautiful visual that accompanies it,
gives a striking portrait of Faramir in his role as thoughtful commander
of the Ithilien Rangers.

It is a tribute to this Faramir's patience and concern that he sought
out the young soldier so persistently, and chose to comfort him with a
tale of his own failing (and a bit of humor). And the fact that
supplying the front lines is such a crucial task is not something that
most writers would even think of addressing in their writing, but
Tanaqui has done so at least twice.

The Faramir of this drabble is thoughtful and considerate of his men,
something crucial to a capable commander. Very well done!
Title: Shadow and flame · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Villains:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 876
Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2006-11-30 16:09:40 Score: 6
I think this is one of my (several) favorites among Tanaqui's drabbles;
both the words and the lavish visual that she selected are inspiring to
me both as a reader and as a fellow writer of drabbles.

The language here is breathtakingly gorgeous; the description of what
fire does is evocative, awe-inspiring -- and also poetic.

But then we see how the purity of the flame became corrupted by
Morgoth's evil, entwined with the Darkness... and the process seems so
natural, so normal... and so inexorable.

But we are left with an ending that is extraordinarily hopeful...
nothing can remain corrupted after hearing the music of Ilúvatar once again!

This drabble is awesome, in the fullest sense of the word. Thank you,

Title: Lord of the Rings Limericks, Chapters One and Two · Author:
Llinos · Times: The Great Years: Poetry · ID: 759
Reviewer: Marigold · 2006-11-30 16:23:26 Score: 10
It never fails to astound me the way that Llinos can write all sorts of
poetry upon request and these limericks are an excellent example of that
talent! I couldnt stop laughing from beginning to end! Every single one
is stunning and side-splittingly funny!

The first set is about the Fellowship and she has captured each member
spot on! The second set was written from readers requests and includes
all sorts of characters that might have stymied a lesser writer but
Llinos doesnt even bat an eye. These too are just perfect! How she is
able to take a minor character from the films like the old guy at Helms
Deep and write not one, but two absolutely hilarious limericks about him
is just awesome!

It is nothing short of amazing how she can keep everyone in character
and at the same time parody them in rhyme. And she manages to stays true
to canon, whether it be book or filmverse.

It is nigh on impossible to pick a favourite but mine has to be the one
about Denethor; she sums him up in a way that is both bitingly funny and
dark, capturing his personality and his warped deeds succinctly in just
these few lines. Saruman is a very close second.

And they are all equally fantastic! Every single limerick is sharp,
clever, and in perfect character. I absolutely love them all!

Title: Whispers of the Dragon · Author: Shirebound · Times: The Great
Years: The Fellowship · ID: 916
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-11-30 16:26:25 Score: 5
This story follows the fellowship down the river Anduin and fleshes out
what might have happened during their travels on the river. All the
characters feel right and I love the discussions during the watches
between pairings like Aragorn and Merry that you dont see often in
fanfiction. It is strange. They traveled together for months, but in the
books they never seem to talk to each other. I love the portrayal of the
fellowship, how they take care of each other. Not always Aragorn cares
for everyone else, but also the hobbits making sure that Aragorn gets
necessary rest sometimes.
Title: Bored · Author: Make It Stop · Genres: Humor: Gondor · ID: 779
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-11-30 16:27:10 Score: 3
LOL! That was funny. I love the intersection of the thoughts of the
guard, Denethor and Faramir with their staring contest, and Boromir
oblivious to it all<g>. I think Boromir is the only one in the room
content with what is happening.
Title: Pride Goeth... · Author: Marigold · Races: Cross-Cultural: With
Hobbits · ID: 936
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-11-30 16:27:38 Score: 3
Finally, someone tells Boromir off for blowing his horn when they leave
Rivendell. I love the way the hobbits get to take Boromir to task and
explain to him the errors of his ways. He never expected it from the
hobbits. Boromir had a lot to learn on this journey. Alas, some lessons
took too high a price.
Title: A Message and a Bottle · Author: Larner · Genres: Drama:
Featuring Pippin or Merry · ID: 89
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-11-30 16:28:16 Score: 3
Oh, Larner. What a beautiful story. It made me all teary-eyed. Pippin
really has crazy ideas. But in the world of Middle-earth this just seems
possible. The short notes were so in character. Sam not really knowing
what to write and Merry giving a more elaborate account. And it is so
like Frodo to add something for everone else and himself stay in the
Title: A Memorial in Four Parts · Author: Illwynd · Races:
Cross-Cultural · ID: 702
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-11-30 16:28:43 Score: 3
This is a lovely set of little scenes where Faramir, Merry and Pippin,
Frodo and Aragorn remember Boromir. I think my favorite scenes are
Faramir's and Frodo's memories. I love the dreamlike, eery quality of
Faramir's thoughts and Frodo's vision where it seems Brormir understands.
Title: Book Learning · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Romance: Gondor · ID: 910
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-11-30 16:29:49 Score: 5
What a charming, erotic tale. It left me giggling and with a huge smile
on my face. It is hard for Faramir and Eowyn to get the necessary
education with no experienced friends of the same gender around. I think
it natural for Faramir to turn to books for enlightenment. I loved the
not so near-sighted archivar with the blank look on his face. I was a
bit surprised that Eowyn's first thought was also books, but then she
remembered the only other married female from Rohan she met. Their talk
was quite educational. I will never look at vegetables quite the same
way. The ending was very fitting.
Title: What Better Companion? · Author: Space Weavil · Races: Elves ·
ID: 175
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-11-30 16:30:17 Score: 3
This little scene describes the first encounter of Glorfindel with the
Maia Olorin. Both are exploring a new life. I like it that Olorin
compares life and decisions with music. I think it is fitting for a maia
to think in terms of music. If a decision or path of life strikes a
discord it is not right. Now you just need to hear the music.
Title: For Love of the Lord of the White Tree · Author: Legolass ·
Genres: Drama · ID: 202
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-11-30 16:30:54 Score: 4
This is a great tale especially for Aragorn and Legolas friendship
lovers. In the beginning I had a bit of trouble with the
characterization of Aragorn. He came across as a bit overdramatic for my
taste. But once he was on the road to go after Legolas, it didn't matter
anymore. My favorite scene was when Legolas tried to explain his
friendship to Aragorn and what it means to him to his father. That was a
great conversation.