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Msg# 8374

MEFA Reviews for November 2, 2007 (Part 2) Posted by Ann November 02, 2007 - 4:40:53 Topic ID# 8374
Title: Dreams the Way We Planned Them · Author: SlightlyTookish ·
Genres: Romance: Gondor · ID: 297
Reviewer: Garnet Took · 2007-10-12 18:26:07
Stories set just before and at Carmallen are just about my favorite
kind. This one definitely makes me happy. This is a sweet tale, even
if slash is not you cup of tea. Yes, the slash is there, but it can be
overlooked to a grat extent. When you boil this story down to it's
core elements it is a story of hurts comforted and joy restored.

Title: Sea Food · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Humor: Children · ID: 53
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-12 19:08:14
A charming, delightful story, told in warm, light-hearted tone that
fits very well. The description of the tidal pools and their
inhabitants in the moonlight is lovely and enchanting, and it really
is no wonder that Faramir and Boromir are so entranced by it.

When Imrahil reveals why they have caught all those crabs, it must
have come as a real shock, the prosaic purpose so much in contrast
with the delight of before.

["That was different. Those crabs were supper. These crabs are
creatures."] Of course! Oh, the innocence of children!

And the ending just had me laughing with the irony. I wonder what
Boromir would have wanted for breakfast if they had not caught crabs,
but fish...

Title: Knave of Hearts · Author: grey_wonderer · Genres: Humor:
Children · ID: 252
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-12 19:08:37
That was a fun little story. The behaviour of the characters seemed so
very typical for those kinds of situations. Frodo was really to be
pitied, and I don't know who was worse, Pippin who was actually the
one he had to babysit, or an unhelpful, unruly Merry.

I was especially amused by Pippin clambering all over the sleeping
Saradoc and the other two desperately trying to get him away before he
wakes him up.

Title: All that is gold... · Author: Perelleth · Genres: Humor:
Children · ID: 42
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-12 19:09:01
Endearing characterisations. And despite the light-hearted tone of the
story, the Ring's sinister shadow and the memory of Celebrían's loss
looms in the background, and tinges the narrative with shade and
darker colours.

It was a wonderful idea that the brooch which gave Thorongil his name
was actually a gift from Bilbo!

Title: The Steward's New Clothes · Author: GypsieRose · Genres: Humor:
Gondor or Rohan · ID: 511
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-12 19:09:47
Completely over-the-top, but full of funny details and clever lines.
One could almost feel the tailor's disappointment at Denethor's
unimaginative choice for his own wardrobe. My favourite line was his
reason for choosing colours for Faramir's clothing.

Title: Rohan's Future · Author: Madeleine · Genres: Humor: Gondor or
Rohan · ID: 79
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-12 19:10:32
As its prequels, this story sparkles with irony and wit; it has
wonderfully engaging and vibrant characterisations, and clear
descriptions. There were a few figures of speech I found rather
inappropriate in a Middle-earth context, but mostly the language
flowed smoothly, and the details of life in Edoras were integrated
well into the plot.

Amrothos' permanent (but insufficient, as it turned out) suspicion as
he is trying to ride herd on his nephews was quite understandable. I
liked the children a lot, with their bright intelligence and blithe
single-mindedness. The other characters were equally well done, and
Éomer and Lothíriel's appearance was short but memorable.

I do wonder how Amrothos could have imagined for one moment that
building a catapult would be a good idea... It was a catastrophe (or
several?) waiting to happen, and the narrative still was compelling
and suspenseful, stringing the readers along with the question when it
will happen and how it might manifest itself.

Title: The Promise in her Eyes · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Humor:
Gondor or Rohan · ID: 100
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-12 19:11:19
Marvellous use of point-of-view and language. The voice of the
minstrel was so very vivid and immediate, it drew me right into the
story. The way he starts and stops sentences, as if he is addressing a
real audience, the way one can almost see his gestures and facial
expressions, or hear how his voice varies depending on which moment he
is describing. The way he slowly constructs his story, increasing the
tension and building up the surprising twists and revelations; I had
the feeling I was wincing and laughing right along with his other

I loved the great amount of detail that is shown through his eyes: the
faire and its visitors, Éowyn's doings, the music and dancing. I
especially liked how the mere sight of her ["shapely ankles"] affects
him so much - details like this really bring the culture to life.

Somehow the fact that Éomer - to the evident surprise of the minstrel
- was relatively "mild" in retaliation tells me that Éowyn might have
done similar things before...

Title: Mistaken Identities · Author: Greywing · Races: Elves · ID: 201
Reviewer: Radbooks · 2007-10-12 19:12:26
A fun, amusing, and yet a melancholy tale of some of my favorite elves
who have lingered long past the time when most elves have gone to
Valinor. I loved the image of Glorfindel as Apollo especially because
it fit him so perfectly. I giggled when Haldir was made into a goddess!

Very enjoyable and well told story.

Title: Respite · Author: Linaewen · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 - 3017
TA · ID: 389
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-12 19:13:44
Atmospheric, quietly tense story.

Somehow, throughout the story, one gets the feeling that Finduilas
already is too much afflicted with whatever it was that led to her
death: her refuge is not truly one, it is no real respite for her to
come there, as she can't seem to be able to forget the Shadow of
Mordor and her worries about her husband and the looming threat in the

She tries to tell herself to enjoy the moment, but it sounds not
entirely convinced. She comes back again and again to her fears and
doubts, without, it seems, being able to rest her thoughts. Even the
peaceful slumber of her children is to her only cause for concern as
she sees this peace destroyed as they grow older and take up their
duty with the sword.

Title: Welcome · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Elves: Fixed-Length Ficlet ·
ID: 694
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-12 19:15:39
This drabble is structured very effectively, contrasting Glorfindel's
memories of his first live with the new life he is about to begin in

Looking closer, the readers can see not only these two stages, but one
more: set side by side is Glorfindel's past in Valinor, then his life
in Gondolin, and now new features to discover in Imladris. All are so
different from each other, and yet they have qualities in common: the
Misty Mountains are as encompassing and sheltering, the Bruinen as
melodic, and nature as lovely as what he knew before.

And Elrond's warm welcome feels indeed like a homecoming, perfectly
demonstrating why his refuge was called "The Last Homely Home".

Also: Brownie points for using my favourite quote about Elrond!

Title: The White Tower · Author: Anna Wing · Races: Elves · ID: 528
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-12 19:16:32
Evocative, graceful and elegant descriptions that bring the landscape
and the lively community that has sprung up around Elwing's Tower
immediately to life. I have always found it odd and regrettable that
Elwing should live so alone and remote in a far-off Tower, and you
have "remedied" this situation very nicely. I liked the "reunion" of
Teleri and Sindar in this community, and also the different customs of
the Elves, depending on race and age, and the little references to
known Elves that have been reborn in the meantime.

The choice before Elwing and Eärendil, and the questions that come
with it are explored in compelling, thought-provoking ways. And the
way you resolved the dilemma had me holding my breath.

It was fascinating to see how this part of Valinor had developed since
the First Age, and the Elves' progress in science and technology. I
especially enjoyed how you have incorporated things like submarines
and airplanes, and as contrast to that, prehistoric creatures, in ways
that feel creative, yet canon-compliant.

The Silmarils as ["merciless light"] and possessing ["terrible
sanctity"] is an extraordinarily profound and appropriate description.

Title: The Smile That Wins · Author: Marta · Genres: Romance: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 258
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-12 19:18:12
Faramir's thoughts and feelings are conveyed very clearly and
movingly. I like how this drabble is construed about the changing
stanges of his perception of Éowyn. How the question about her
capability to smile is answered at the end.

First, his eagerness to know everything about his beloved, from every
source available. His uncertainty and fear as the metaphors he finds
for her get tangled with his memories about his father's end and his
own near fate. It's interesting to see that the well-known picture of
Éowyn as frozen and cool is something Faramir disagrees with and
instead comes up with the exact opposite.

Then, his doubts about his own perceived unworthiness as her puts her
on a pedestal. And finally, the realisation that she is human,
fallible and approachable.

All these apparently contradictory characteristics also remind me of
what Sam says to Faramir about Galadriel: ["Warm as sunlight, cold as
frost in the stars. Proud and far-off as a snow-mountain, and as merry
as any lass I ever saw with daisies in her hair in springtime"], and
it adds another interesting layer to Faramir's assessment.

Title: A Truth Universally Acknowledged · Author: annmarwalk · Genres:
Humor: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 556
Reviewer: Radbooks · 2007-10-12 19:21:46
An enjoyable little tale that is very well told. It sounds exactly
like Boromir and yet I can definitely hear Mr. Darcy in it as well!
Pride and Prejudice is my favorite Austen book and so to see it in
this setting was fun. That would make a fun cross-over story... I mean
a full length one. :) Very well done.

Title: An Alphabet for Middle-earth · Author: Dreamflower · Races:
Cross-Cultural · ID: 231
Reviewer: Garnet Took · 2007-10-12 20:01:29
The prompts for these short stories were quite challenging.
Dreamflower handled each one with great creativity. I especially liked
the one for the letter "T". That once was very clever indeed.

Title: A New Reckoning · Author: Dreamflower · Races: Cross-Cultural ·
ID: 308
Reviewer: Garnet Took · 2007-10-12 20:11:14
If I remember correctly, this was the first story of Dreamflower's I
ever read, and it still remains one of my favorite stories. Period.

This is a tail with so much happening that you find yourself totally
wraped up in what is happening, and not just to the familiar
characters. The original characters she creates a quite compelling.
From respectful Rohirrim and gallant Gondorians to a few horrid
Hobbits, the reader can't help but love, or hate, them as much as
Tolkien's own creations.

A fantastic story of new bonds formed in the Reunited Kingdom.

Title: Tea and Seedcake and the Influence of Hobbits · Author: Baggins
Babe · Races: Cross-Cultural: Gondor · ID: 492
Reviewer: Garnet Took · 2007-10-12 20:53:48
This is such a nice story of a kinder, gentler Gondor under the rule
of Aragorn. The influence that Frodo, Sam, Pippin and Merry have had
on their king and his city is clear to see.

After reading this, I'm hungry.

Title: Respite · Author: Lindelea · Races: Men: Gondor Drabble · ID: 303
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-12 21:19:30
This was an enjoyable and well written drabble which captures
Faramir's character perfectly.I can just imagine him enjoying
snatching some precious moments with books as a temporary respite from
the horrors of war.

Title: Falling Into Shadow · Author: Marigold · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Incomplete · ID: 205
Reviewer: Garnet Took · 2007-10-12 21:22:25
This is an interesting story. Marigold looks at something that very
few have. Merry's encounter with the Witch-King was not his first
exposure to the Black Breath. How had it affected him on those earlier

I really hope Marigold continues this story at some point. It is a
nice look at Merry and Pippin's relationship and how a friend's love
can heal a lot of wounds.

Title: What Was That Job Description? · Author: Larner · Genres:
Crossover · ID: 523
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-12 21:24:51
I don't usually read crossover stories but this one was pure delight
from start to finish. What if Lockheart from Harry Potter applied for
a job at Aragorn's court? His opinion of Elves was hilarious and
naturally did not go down very well. Lockhearts cowadice and Aragorn's
sense of honour are brilliantly contrasted.I would love to read more
about these two!

Title: Never Speak Nor Sing · Author: Claudio · Times: First Age and
Prior: House of Fingolfin · ID: 130
Reviewer: Oshun · 2007-10-12 21:48:30
This is the beginning of an epic story cycle that has me completely
hooked, despite the fact that it takes some of my favorite characters
and relieves them of all of the most obvious of their admirable
characteristics and puts them in a series of circumstances that are
definitely not likely to result in heroics. But that is all
surface—underneath the indignities to which the author subjects
Glorfindel and Fingon in particular, although no actor in this piece
is really safe from his razor-sharp wit, a warmth and humanity
pervades the entire series. I guess backed into a corner and forced to
pick what I consider the absolute best single story in Tolkien
fanfiction (or best introductory story to a story cycle, as I would
not want to discount the stories that follow this one), I would be
hard-pressed not to pick this one. The conception of plot and
character is ambitious and promises much and so far the subsequent
parts of this story arc have lived up to its initial promise. The
backstory for the entire related group of stories is enormous and
wickedly creative, not revealed at once, but little-by-little as
stories are added. The standard cliffhanger is a trite trick compared
to the manner in which this writer draws one into his world.

On a totally different point, if there were awards for "best author's
notes ever" these would be my nomination. I have quoted them
extensively in private correspondence. My favorite lines are: [the
characters are grumpy, quarrelsome, spiteful, cruel, arrogant, and a
variety of other unpleasant adjectives besides.... But the Elves of
the Silmarillion did lie, steal, fight, discriminate, kidnap, covet,
attempt rape, betray, murder, and so on. And in Tolkien's early
drafts, they were far worse.] If that description wouldn't make
someone want to read this story I don't know what would.

Oh, yes, beautifully written, and the knowledge of canon reflected and
use of Tolkien's languages are great fun.

Title: The Beginning of a Wonderful Friendship · Author: Imhiriel ·
Races: Cross-Cultural · ID: 629
Reviewer: Oshun · 2007-10-12 22:01:46
This is a great ficlet. I loved the characterization of all of the
major players: insistent, single-minded Luthien, angry, passionate
Celeborn, and even the charming, if clueless, Finrod. The description
by Galadriel of her brothers error and his virtues was too funny.
(Finrod is often made such a saint, I want to take a little poke at
him myself now and then, but he so admirable, it doesn't work to poke
too hard--this is just right.) The beginning of a wonderful friendship
indeed. Well, it will certainly be an interesting
relationship--Galadriel, for all her adaptations remains a Noldor, and
Celeborn, well he remains Celeborn.

Title: Mastering Men · Author: Imhiriel · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Gondor Drabble · ID: 623
Reviewer: Oshun · 2007-10-12 22:07:43
I read this is one some time ago and liked it very much. Faramir is
one of my favorite characters (and being a bookish sort myself, love
his loremaster side), but it is important to me that readers remember
he was among the foremost warriors and leaders of men in Gondor,
second only to his brother (and in my opinion that might be arguable,
we only have Denethor's word for that).

Title: In Shadow Realm · Author: Legolass · Genres: Adventure · ID: 266
Reviewer: White Wolf · 2007-10-12 22:48:46
To say this story is original, visually descriptive and well-written
is to understate the obvious, as soon as the reader begins.

From the first word to the las, the reader can't help but be
mesmerized along every step of this amazing journey. I certainly was.
Even after the climax of the story, you want to keep reading to find
out exactly how it all winds up.

Each of the characters we all recognize were done to perfection, and
the original ones, good and bad, were richly textured.

The scene at the Glass Pool was wonderful. I love what Aragorn tells
Legolas: [I escaped a fate worse than death only because you were
there, and you knocked at the door of my soul till I answered, even as
you promised you would. Ever shall that door be unlocked for you,
Legolas.] They demonstrate the heart of this story, as well as their
deep friendship.

The last paragraph was so perfect for an ending and so beautifully
expressed, it made me sigh, knowing all would be well with our elf and
our king.

This is an adventure not to be missed!

Title: The Ground Portends · Author: Thevina Finduilas · Races:
Dwarves · ID: 638
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-13 00:23:23
A wonderful look at Gimli's thoughts as he rides with Eomer from
Meduseld to Helm's Deep. Good additions to the Dwarvish language as well.

Title: Stranger in a strange land · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men:
General Drabble · ID: 695
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-13 00:26:12
Oh, how well I can see this reaction by Aragorn to a meeting with
Haradri dignitaries in the desert. As for his final wish--that I fully