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Msg# 8379

MEFA Reviews for November 5, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 05, 2007 - 4:17:10 Topic ID# 8379
Title: Letter to Frodo · Author: AmandaK · Genres: Alternate Universe:
Gondor or Rohan · ID: 540
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-10-16 12:31:57
[This review contains spoilers]

This is an interesting tale. If Boromir did survive Amon Hen, I can
very easily see him grappling with what he did to Frodo, and I found
the writing and subsequent burning of the letter to be a very apt
device to get to the heart of the matter. Boromir fans won't want to
miss this one.

Title: Are You Going to Leave Me? · Author: Llinos · Genres: Drama:
With Merry · ID: 142
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 15:36:46
I think I never before noticed how in the film Merry's place beneath
his foes, with only his foot sticking out, mirrors Pippin's position
in the book.

This is indeed a nice gap-filler for the scene in the film. It makes
judicious choice of both movie and book characterisations. What a
clever answer to the question of how to get Merry up to the Houses of
Healing, and how it came to be that later he rode with Éomer to the
Black Gate!

Title: In the Hours of Joy · Author: Spindle Berry · Genres: Drama:
With Merry · ID: 289
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 15:37:46
Merry's emotions are palpable, even through the indirect way of
showing them through Gimli's eyes. I thought this choice of PoV was a
good move, as it could set what the Hobbit felt more into perspective,
bring it into sharper relief against the backdrop of everything else
that is happening.

Gimli's steadfast, unobtrusive companionship to Merry was wonderful,
as was Legolas' friendship in his turn for Gimli.

I admit when Merry left the tent and Gimli remarked that something had
changed, I was at the edge of my seat, could only draw breath when
Merry told him that Pippin had awoken - even though I knew Pippin
would recover!

Title: A Mother's Touch · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Humor:
Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 44
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 15:40:25
The incongruity of juxtaposing the tenderness of the scene between
mother and offspring with the *nature* of said protagonists creates a
hilarious picture, while still the readers can enjoy the interaction.
It seems mothers face the same problems where their children are
concerned, regardless of race or time...

Each word is carefully chosen for the greatest effect in this
"double-layered" narrative, whether to conceal the unexpected twist
for a long time, or spring it on the unsuspecting readers (I remember
I did a double take on my first read of this story; as I hadn't read
the summary, I had really been taken in).

The characterisations are very appropriate, and despite the "everyday"
subject of the story, the disctinctive natures are still recognisable.
Especially the mother really is a very fascinating character - I wish
we would see more of her! The dialogue flows very naturally, even the
archaic form Readfah uses to address her son fits perfectly, and gives
the scene an even more loving, intimate feeling.

I also very much enjoyed the author's notes, which added even more
layers to this delightful double-drabble.

Title: A Texas Gay Boy in King Thranduil's Court · Author: Ignoble
Bard · Genres: Humor: Parody · ID: 182
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 15:40:54
An outrageously irreverent romp, plundering all sorts of fandom
conventions (mostly those prone to turn out bad!fics) and poking fun
at them at the same time. I especially enjoyed the way lines from the
films were twisted, Mike's impersonation of Wilhelm Tell, and the
arrow-procuring methods.

Title: Poking The Badger · Author: grey_wonderer · Genres: Humor: The
Shire or Buckland · ID: 209
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 15:42:40
The interaction between the characters was well-written, the deep
affection both cousins feel for each other was conveyed clearly. The
dialogue in particular was really well-done, everything Pippin did or
did not say was exactly wrong, a perfect example of "talking at
cross-purpose". I also liked their reminiscences about the things
before and after their "growth spurt".

Title: A Passing Troll · Author: Dreamflower · Genres: Humor: The
Shire or Buckland · ID: 210
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 15:43:56
I really love how this story is structured - it contributes much to
the effectiveness of the dark, dark humour (especially on a re-read):
Everything about what actually happened is merely implied and
presented *after* the fact, and yet the readers can easily piece
together the events.

I can't help feeling pity for both Hyacinth and the troll both.
Hyacinth, because as awful and even downright evil as she had shown
herself to be (particularly for a Hobbit), this was neverthelesee a
gruesome end. And the Troll, because he was driven by hunger to bit
off more than he could chew (pun very much intended *g*).

Title: More than Meets the Eye · Author: Dadgad · Genres: Humor: The
Shire or Buckland · ID: 128
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 15:44:59
Effective use of the PoV of outsiders to shed light on the Battle of
Greenfields. Good balance between telling the seriousness of battle
and some light-hearted or downright comical touches.

The viewpoint of the twins helped to set the Hobbits' battle into a
larger historical context. It also helped to better visualise the
battle strategies in an "overview" manner, rather than being caught in
the confusion in the midst of it.

I like how the Elves - and obviously the Orcs - like so many after
them (and I'm sure before them) underestimated the peaceable Hobbits
and were shown just how resourceful and determined they were in a pinch.

Title: The Stone of Erebor · Author: Primsong · Genres: Mystery · ID: 401
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 15:46:52
This may be the first story I have read about Bilbo's second journey
to the Lonely Mountain, and it was a gripping adventure, packed with
drama, suspense, mystery and humour, good characterisations and a
fascinating look into the reconstructed Dwarf-Kingdom.

The story shows a believable picture of a society so much focused on
secrecy, artistic skills, and the material side of things (not merely
regarding the price of things, but also their aesthetic worth).

The behaviour of the Dwarves was often such a puzzle to Bilbo (and to
the readers), but it really helped to establish them as a completely
different culture, based on completely different values, attitudes and

The tension between Dáin and Thórin's Company was interesting, and I
was really indignant on Bilbo's behalf at the King's discourtesy and

The portrayal of Bilbo was marvellous and completely in character;
quite a few lines of dialogue or introspection had the "flavour" of
TH; I enjoyed his craftiness and resourcefulness in particular.

There were many delightful passages, but I think Bilbo's boasting to a
rather rude Dwarfish jewel-smith was my favourite:
["I am the Mathom-Wielder, the Poet Scribe of the Hill! I have spoken
to the Gaffer himself many times, and have driven the Motley
Treasure-Seekers from my land singlehanded! Those of great strength
have stood in my presence silent, as if turned to stone."]

Title: "A Cat Of A Different Color" · Author: Cathleen · Genres:
Mystery · ID: 385
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 15:47:12
The beginning of the story sets the scene very evocatively. Merry, as
someone who likes to have the overview and organise things, strikes me
as a good viewpoint character: through his eyes we get insightful
descriptions of the other characters.

The narrative flows smoothly, even if the dialogue is a little stilted
from time to time.

Title: A Dragon in Buckland · Author: Pearl Took · Genres: Mystery ·
ID: 206
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 15:47:57
Well-plotted story - building the suspense for the mystery was done
excellenty. The way the "dragon" is used for repaired items, for toys
and gifts (and against bullies), is charming. It seems perfect for
mischievous but great-hearted Pippin (I especially liked his note to
Saradoc about being ["a good son"] for his ailing father).

The ideas for Merry's upbringing as future Master of Buckland were
very interesting, and I can readily imagine him as the ["hands on"
sort of lad] he is described as in the story, as well as the
similarities and differences to Pippin's upbringing in Whitwell.

I liked the "magic" in the end: even though Pippin was prepared to do
his part, he had help from a "real" dragon (and I liked the tale that
sparked the idea for the little circle). But I was very sorry that
Pippin himself hadn't seen it.

Title: Drawn With Love · Author: MerryK · Genres: Drama: Youth · ID: 569
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-10-16 16:22:15
Oh goodness,MerryK, this story had an 'awww' factor of 7+. Great tale.
Of course, I absolutely adore your Boromir and could well see him
creating such a thing. My hubby was an engineer and knew how to draw
very well, usually blueprints, but other things as well, when he put
his mind to it.

I loved the opening quote - and am going to save it. I loved the map -
I want one - does Boromir have ANY idea how many 'fans' would love to
have such a map??? Frustrating trying to find a really good one. Even
using Karen's Atlas isnt' quite the same as this one appears to be. I
always thought his father would have been a good cartographer. Seems
it runs in the family. Dearest Faramir will learn this art too!

You painted such a sad picture of Faramir, broken hearted at his loss,
that I almost cried here at work. Not good! And the gentleness of
Boromir with his little brother is beautiful to behold. I loved the
confidence that Boromir took into the project! Yes! I loved Faramir's
confidence in his brother. I loved Boromir's trying to be a 'man' and
not cry. His thinking he had 'recovered' from the grief of his
mother's death was so sad to read. Poor boy! I'm sure neither of them
had much chance to recover. I sobbed at the description of Finduilas -
all the pieces/parts. Beautiful writing on those... And Faramir's
certainty - once he received the gift, that his mother watched over
him as he slept. Another one of the big 'Aw's' - as for Denethor...
well, I happen to love the guy and I adored the ending... I will say
farewell now myself and thank you for sharing this exquisite little tale.

Title: The Turn of the Tide · Author: Altariel · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 72
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-10-16 16:59:01
Excellent 'Boromir lives' tale - and Denethor too. Very pleasant for a
heart that loves the men of Gondor.

I wondered what was happening at first, but really enjoyed the story,
after I figured it out. My favorite lines were - [mockery of an old
man at the defiance of the young.] And Denethor's [that is how they
destroyed themselves] part.

It did my heart good to see the 'banners' of the Steward's sons. Eowyn
was well written.

Title: The River of Stars · Author: Marta · Races: Men: General
Drabble · ID: 412
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-10-16 17:05:25
I loved the constellations in the river... though it was a hideous
thought - knowing the planetarium was destroyed. But well written way
of putting it. I'm not a big 'kin-strife- follower. This, however, was
worth the read.

Title: Conjuror · Author: Branwyn · Races: Men: General Drabble · ID: 432
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-10-16 17:07:45
This was chilling and profound at the same time. I really liked your
Denethor... wise, yes! I loved what Gandalf does to the poor stone -
though I think if a Hobbit had been present - there would have been
much sobbing at the mushroom's fate! Nice job!

Title: True Silver · Author: Marta · Genres: Romance: Drabble · ID: 612
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-10-16 17:13:33
Excellent. I loved both Celeborn and Galadriel. She really knows how
to 'win' a man over. Perhaps that's why she enjoyed Gimli so much.
Perhaps the Dwarf reminded her of herself, asking for Celeborn's hair!
Celeborn was no slouch either!

Nice job!

Title: A Special Kind of Lore · Author: Astara · Genres: Romance:
Drabble · ID: 748
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-10-16 17:18:04
This was absolutely delightful. I so loved the fact that Finduilas is
looking in the library. Great way to pass the day. And glad to know
she might have had some nights that were 'interesting!'

The worn shape that the book is in is telling in and of itself. And
who needs language when there are skillful drawings. LOL

I loved Denethor's sigh. I'm still laughing as I think of it. Score
one for Finduilas.

Title: At Long Last · Author: Astara · Genres: Romance: Pre-Ring War ·
ID: 746
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 17:32:29
Good, vivid characterisations, evocative descriptions.

Denethor's portrayal was spot-on, always thinking, analysing
situations and people, searching for hidden motives.

I found the comparison between the Steward's and the Prince's family,
regarding the relationships of the different members towards each
other, quite apt (it also resembles my own take on this issue).

I liked how the romance developed quite unconsciously between them:
Denethor was for a long time unaware just what it was he felt towards
Finduilas, he only knew he had found someone he liked, and this fact
alone was unusual enough. It was amusing to see just how much she was
able to dispell his reserved attitude.

Title: The Tolkienian War on Science · Author: Doc Bushwell · Genres:
Non-Fiction · ID: 444
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 17:36:26
An entertaining exploration of Tolkien's concepts of science vs.
nature. Apart from the rather long and rambling introductory passages,
it is pleasantly fast-paced, which might not often be a criterium for
non-fiction, but fit well with the snarky, colloquial language, which
casts Tolkien's creations into contemporary concepts we are familiar
with today.

I found the conclusions rather extreme and too much black-and-white,
but thought the general premise a plausible and interesting
interpretation of the subject matter.

Title: Tolkien's Usage of "Thou" and "Thee" · Author: DrummerWench ·
Genres: Non-Fiction · ID: 443
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 17:37:50
A useful essay on the proper context and use of the archaic
grammatical forms "thou" and "thee" and related issues, providing
relevant examples not only from LotR, but also the King James Bible
and Shakespeare.

Presenting this subject matter could have resulted in a dry
instruction manual, but the essay is enlivened and made interesting by
its clear, engaging style; and made more vivid and comprehensible by
using and demonstrating incorrect and correct use on concrete examples.

Provided with this knowledge, it enhances the readers's ability to
detect additional layers of meaning in certain dialogues in the
trilogy (notably between Aragorn & Éowyn and Gandalf & Denethor), that
would either go undetected or falsely interpreted otherwise.

As a foreign-language speaker, I also appreciated the brief
information on the ["Quaker thee"] which I had encountered several
times in books, and - wrongly - took for errors by the authors.

Title: Who is this Gil-galad, of Whom You Speak? · Author: Erunyauve ·
Genres: Non-Fiction · ID: 250
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 17:38:55
This essay about Gil-galad is structured very well, it is written in a
clear language that makes the best out of brevity and yet conveys a
full picture of what is described.

It presents and analyses thoroughly what - surprisingly little - there
is written in canonical and semi-canonical sources about Gil-galad and
goes from there to speculation about the great gaps that are missing
in the wider history, but also in the personal biography of this
long-reigning Noldor King who must have decisively influenced events
in the Second Age. The speculation is sound, underpinned with
convincing arguments, or making relevant comparisons to other times or

From this essay emerges the picture of a strong, active king, skilled
in diplomacy and sustaining good relations with various cultures and
races, as well as a capable, decisive strategist and leader of armies.

This essay also acknowledges Gil-galad's faults, notably his secrecy
concerning the Rings, and his inability to form a united front before
the Black Gate.

I found it an interesting detail that he (unlike so many of his
ancestors and other relations) had a much more favourable view of the

Title: The Anglo-Saxons and the Rohírrim · Author: willow_41z ·
Genres: Non-Fiction · ID: 585
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 17:40:21
A intriguing and provocative essay exploring the question just how
much knowledge about Anglo-Saxon history and culture can be used as a
model for the depiction of the Rohirrim.

The essay uses thorough side-by-side comparison of several different
sources and aspects to come to the mostly convincing conclusion that
the differences outweigh the similarities so much that Anglo-Saxon are
hardly useful as the basis for constructing a Rohirric Culture.

One argument I didn't find convincing was the presentation of the
great differences in themes of "Beowulf" and similar texts compared to
those in LotR, when it is expressly stated beforehand that these poems
don't really reflect Anglo-Saxon realities.

Title: Triolet: The Weaver's Song · Author: annmarwalk · Genres:
Poetry · ID: 553
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 17:40:59
Intriguing idea, and the rhyme scheme is used to good effect.

I love the idea that Boromir's cloak was made with love and the weaver
hoped it might protect him not only from the cold, but would also
["shield him from all harm"]. The way the richness of it - ["dark
velvet and black sable"] is emphasised gives it meaning on an
immediate and a symbolical level.

Title: Good Rest Ye Merry · Author: Llinos · Genres: Poetry · ID: 798
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 17:41:20
Irreverent and funny. I like the modernisms that have sneaked into it,
it makes the poem even more surreal, and takes the edge of any lines
that might be construed as insult, or that remind of the pain and toil
and loss the Fellowship had to endure.

Title: Burning Your Bridges · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Poetry · ID: 125
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 17:41:44
Very descriptive and "real" in its minute details, and yet there are
touches of graceful imagery here and there (like the reminder of the
craft of Númenor) and a sense of detachment, giving the poem a good
balance (even if I can't recognise a specific rhyme scheme). Every
sense is employed - sight, sound, smell, taste, touch - which makes
the poem very vivid and three-dimensional.