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Msg# 8384

MEFA Reviews for November 6, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 06, 2007 - 3:45:11 Topic ID# 8384
Title: A Mother's Touch · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Humor:
Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 44
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2007-10-17 11:21:08
What I so like about this piece is how Raksha gives the dragon and her
wee!dragon both such a wonderful and unique voice. Little we know that
this will turn out to be the big and hoarding lover Smaug! The
mother's voice carries so much pride and care, just like all moms are,
reciting from the past and their well wishes for their own kids. The
touches upon their creator and what every dragon should be pride off
feels so utterly in character in this piece. Smaug on the other hand
is still much like a small [chick] who just loves to indulges himself
with playing all day (with friends? Maybe :) ) I love how the author
used the works of Tolkien to drabble such a nice little ficlet, and
yet at the same time the author achieves to tell so much! Then there
is the use of language in this piece: its very archaic, but also so
fitting for a dragon that would prefer to remain in her hoard only to
occasionally to go hunting, after all there weren't many dragons left
after the War of Wrath. Greatly drabbled Raksha, I hope [Readfah]
returns again in your work.

Title: The haunting of Minas Tirith · Author: Fawsley · Genres:
Alternate Universe: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 651
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-17 11:33:18
I think that perhaps Boromir might have regretted his attempt to see
if the dead did indeed walk the streets of the city on the day of the
dead--particularly after Bergil mistook a mixture of singing and a dog
howling as the agony of the spirits.

What does one do when stuck in a tomb with an upset hound?

An excellent laugh, and certainly a wonderful Halloween story! Heh!

Title: Stay With Me · Author: pippinfan88 · Races: Hobbits:
Hurt/Comfort · ID: 518
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-17 11:57:01
When a storm strands Esmeralda in the Crickhollow house with Merry and
Pippin, she finds herself seeking to help Pippin deal with a night
plagued with memories of a terrible fire in the House of the Stewards.

Warm tale of comfort given and received, and fighting bad memories
with good ones.

Title: The Great Hobbiton Race 1435 · Author: Llinos · Races: Hobbits:
Incomplete · ID: 83
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-17 12:01:31
Enamored of complicated gadgets and get-rich-quick-schemes, Merry has
ordered a huge engine capable of cutting grass or hay. But when he
accepts a bet from Sam as to whether the machine or Sam and Frodo-lad
could mow the Party Field faster, things don't go as easily as Merry
and Pippin would prefer.

Enormous laughs, and hope it's finished soon.

Title: Aragorn's Moment · Author: docmon · Races: Men: Eriador or
Rivendell · ID: 509
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-17 12:06:54
The thoughts of Aragorn as he prepares for the departure from
Rivendell with the Fellowship. He does this not for Arwen, although
she is there on his mind.

A wonderful depiction of Aragorn's choices and perceptions and loyalties.

Title: Senses · Author: mistycracraft · Genres: Drama: With Aragorn ·
ID: 367
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-17 12:10:57
After an accident robs Aragorn (temporarily) of vision and hearing, he
must learn to deal with the situation as all await signs as to whether
the situation is permanent. Patience and the love of Elrond and his
children strengthen him to begin doing things for himself and to
accept what comes to him as it does.

Mostly realistic look at how sudden disability can affect a person
taken unawares.

Title: The Essence of Fire · Author: Rhapsody · Genres: Drama: General
Drabble · ID: 278
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-17 12:15:07
For Curufin, fire has been a long companion, marking transitions in
his life. Now it marks the leaving of the Noldor from Aman....

Very solemn.

Title: The Burning of the Year · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times:
Late Third Age: 3018-3022 TA: Gondor · ID: 2
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2007-10-17 12:31:08
This story is one of my absolute favourites when it comes down to
traditions and celebrations. The details of the Mettare tradition is
woven into this piece in a great way: very symbolic with a refined
touch. It feels and reads as a rite of passage befitting the Celtic
tradition (every anology regarding that resounds incredibly well),
just as the year starts anew. And this all in a manner of storytelling
I think Tolkien most likely would have liked himself. No matter how
often I read this particular piece it feels as if I discover something
new: every time it moves me or it just puts the spotlight on something
else, just as if you can look at a diamond from several angles. The
pacing is sublime, as the march continues it feels as if Faramir opens
up to you as a reader more, his concerns, and worries... yet pride and
looking for approval.This also gives this story that poignant touch,
knowing as a reader of the books what will await him that year. This
piece also gives us an insight in the complicated relationship between
Denethor and his sons: Faramir is present and Boromir being the
important diplomat is absent. Raksha captured Denethor's missing of
his eldest in a poignant matter and I applaud that Faramir rises above
all expectations. What a marvellous piece!

Title: Don't Be Deceived · Author: Imhiriel · Genres: Humor: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 351
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2007-10-17 12:52:19
[this review contains spoilers]

This is such a lovely little piece and a great answer to the
challenge: the timing is perfect in this one which gives this piece
that perfect & humorous touch. The last lines are just perfect and
sheds a different light on where Aragorn might have found inspiration
in for his own shaggy & mysterious appearance when the hobbits see
Strider for the first time. Moreover, who else could be involved than
Gandalf! He seemingly interfered with every little detail by
introducing people to the other. I am now wondering how Aragorn might
have remembered later on how Bard chose to be amongst his own people,
still mixing with them in tavern: being truly a King adored by his own
people. Hmmm, food for thought (and more plotbunnies that pop up

Title: Love Story · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres: Humor: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 273
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2007-10-17 13:02:49
[this review contains spoilers]

This is a cleverly written piece that wholly sticks to Bilbo's
perspective: every thing adds up in the tiniest details and GA shows
us how the inspiring playwright Merry tries to get the tale of
Tinuviel right. Something inside me makes me go like aww and the
responses of the hobbits are so well, hobbity and fitting for their
age. I mean, this is just so great:
[Clutching his chubby cheek and waving a pointed, silver-painted
stick, Beren yelled, "Woe! I'm hungry! Will I ever get out of this mess?"]

Such wishful thinking and spot on when it comes down to things
important for hobbits! But I had to laugh so hard when Rosie made a
run for it, to get away from Fatty `Beren' Bolger probably thinking
that Tinuviel did the same. Simply fabulous! And aw, how all these
kids look up to Bilbo to get his opinion, how cute! I just can picture
that scene so well. I really loved this one GA, what a gem!

Title: Drawing Straight With Crooked Lines · Author: Fiondil · Genres:
Drama · ID: 76
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2007-10-17 13:16:31
[this review contains spoilers]

This is an interesting take on the short stay mortals normally have in
Mandos. Knowing that Beren was quite an exception, I can see why the
author made an exception for Boromir as well before he passes on (and
time is relative). What I specifically like about this piece is the
use of dialogue to further and enhance the story, without forcing it
too much. I am glad to read that Boromir found the redemption he
sought for at the end, bringing this short story full circle.

Title: Under the Eyes of the Evenstar · Author: Raksha the Demon ·
Genres: Drama: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 680
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2007-10-17 13:45:16
[this review contains spoilers]

Oh, this is a brilliantly written vignette and it was a delight to
read it from Arwen's perspective. For some reason it felt as if I
could hear Arwen talk, seeing the room through her eyes and observing
a man with that pinch of Noldorin pride, mixed with practicality and a
light touch of sensuality. She is so different from Galadriel in that
respect, yet that scene carries the same tension when Galadriel is
offered the ring. For a moment, I wondered: what shall she do, Arwen
is on a crossroad to act on behalf of her love. After all she could
have sent the maidens away and drown him if he appeared to be that
tired… The gift of foresight is there and she pauses, re-collect
herself. This is great gapfiller material and Raksha's take on how
they could have met makes perfectly sense to me since Arwen would have
acted as the lady of the house. Her internal conflict its well
explored and the portrayal of Boromir is so eerily close to the books,
yet I could see the actor Sean Bean lounging in that bath (and
probably the maidens as well). A superb piece!

Title: Tom Cotton · Author: Dreamflower · Races: Hobbits: Post-Grey
Havens · ID: 774
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-17 14:21:32
Dreamflower has crafted a thoughtful, sensitive portrait of Tom Cotton
here, ruminating over the changes wrought in his relationship with Sam
Gamgee by the fortunes of War. His humble working-hobbit's voice,
beautifully composed by a writer with an excellent ear for such
things, sadly considers the loss of his "best friend" to the memory of
Frodo Baggins and the sons of Tooks and Brandybucks, and ponders the
bleakness of the fact that a lifetime of friendship can be so
summarily swept away by the crucibles of War. Tom remains, in his
heart, devoted; Sam is still his best friend, even if destiny has
taken Sam in another direction. One senses the enormous strength and
sympathy in this eminently decent hobbit, who understands the
psychological brutality of war more than most--having held down the
fort while the commanders were away--and who is brother-in-law to Sam
through two marriages, and wonders if the hole in his heart will ever
be perceived and beyond that if it will ever heal. This is a fine
little work, deftly constructed, gently pursued, and hauntingly
memorable. I found it sweetly touching, and wished there was more!

Title: Go Out in Joy · Author: Larner · Genres: Alternate Universe:
The Shire or Buckland · ID: 145
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-17 14:22:30
A gripping AU story that speaks to the question: What if Frodo had
chosen to remain in the Shire instead of sailing with the other
Ring-bearers? And what if the members of his family had divined he was
fading, and gathered to fare him well?

The author has a considerable talent for fleshing out background
hobbits who have heretofore been only names for most of us. The family
that gathers here are far-flung relations, every individual with his
own story and his own personal grief. Readers will want to read back
in Larner's portfolio to get the backstories on some of these people,
but even if they don't, the Shire folk will leave a lasting impression.

The dying Frodo is achingly drawn, his sufferings rendered almost
beautiful through the incandescence of his character, and his nearest
and dearest are captured doing what hobbits do at the most trying and
telling times of their lives. Several surprises attend this
leavetaking, and one very near the end will take your breath away!

This is the work of a dedicated writer, sensitive, knowledgable and
constant. I was both moved and dazzled by the talent showcased here.

Title: Sweet Memories · Author: PipMer · Races: Hobbits · ID: 272
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-17 14:23:24
Here is a gentle portrait of the hero-to-be: a tender story in which a
young Frodo marks the anniversary of his parents' shocking deaths with
a solitary picnic by the river and loses himself in poignant memories
of days that will not come again. A brief Afterword moves us forward
to the perilous days of the Quest, where Frodo's early loss, absorbed
by now into the very essence of his character, helps him to make a
friend of an aloof companion. Sensitively written, with lovely images
and insightful observations, this story reveals an author who is
thoughtful, respectful and discerning, and worthy of both attention
and applause.

Title: Youngest Son · Author: Bodkin · Genres: Romance: Second Age or
Earlier · ID: 406
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-17 14:24:10
I really like this story of Finarfin and Earwen, set in the time of
the Trees. This is not a time period, or a people, I am at all
familiar with, but I was very taken with this presentation of these
two, who eventually became the parents of Galadriel. They are very
well-drawn: the serious young prince, determined but unsure of his
reception, and the silvery elf-maiden waiting to be dazzled and spoken
for. A sunny summer incandescence lights this romantic occasion, and
the gently lyrical ending, finely crafted, foreshadows the inevitable
end of summer for the Elves. Nicely written, with descriptive skill
and witty dialogue, and leaves a lasting impression of an exotic time
and place where the shadows are beginning to lengthen.

Title: Merry's Grandmother · Author: grey_wonderer · Races: Hobbits:
Pre-Quest · ID: 137
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-17 14:24:36
This story is so skillfully written that you don't realize right away
what treasures are waiting to be found at its core, or suspect what an
interesting circle is coming around. Grandmother Took looks to be the
origin of much that is special in her grandsons, being as seriously
insightful as Merry and as sweetly impulsive as Pippin, and her story
is both touching and magical. I especially loved the reference to
["poor, sensible Paladin"]. Out of his mother's mouth, it has special
poignancy. GW always serves up joy, but in this case she also tugs our
heartstrings and makes us come away feeling very thoughtful.
Grandmother Took is a wonderful character, Pippin is endearing as
always, and Merry is much enriched by his closeness to both. A lovely

Title: The Dwarf Dagger · Author: Dreamflower · Genres: Drama: The
Shire · ID: 85
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-17 14:24:53
I remain fascinated by this story, which I first read last year, in
which we meet an earlier generation of Tooks and Brandybucks, focusing
on Adalgrim and Periwinkle Took, parents of Paladin and Esmeralda. A
young Bilbo Baggins and Rory and Primula Brandybuck make appearances,
along with an infant Paladin, and the dreadful Lalia Took perpetrates
a senseless tragedy on Paladin's older sister Pearl--which, one is
satisfied to note, will come full circle a generation later when
another Pearl, Paladin's daughter, is present at the old lady's
long-in-coming death.

The author has a command of canon and character here that makes this
work as a history as much as it does a story: well-written,
authoritative and poignant, it opens a window on the Shire in the days
before the heroes of The Lord of the Rings were born. There is a
strong sense of family, of community, and of social order, and we are
treated to the earlier manifestations of family traits that come to be
so important later.

I think this is a significant work, well within the bounds of canon,
thoughtfully conceived and constructed and written with confidence and
subdued passion. Very well done indeed; Bilbo would be proud!

Title: A Million Little Stars To Light Their Way · Author: Cathleen ·
Genres: Drama: The Shire · ID: 387
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-17 14:25:41
This is a sweet, gentle story with some lovely images, not the least
of which is the ["take him and cut him out in little stars"] quote
from Shakespeare at the end, put to perfect use here. I liked the
ideas expressed with regard to mortality and the juxtaposition of
flashbacks to the real-time narrative. Pippin's pain and longing and
Merry's lingering anguish are drawn with a sure hand, and their
memories of Boromir are what they should be: memories of a Hero who
was good in every way. The device of the constellation is inspired; I
rather think the skies of Middle-earth will forever be a tad more
crowded after this than they were before!

Title: If You Should Die Before I Wake · Author: PipMer · Genres:
Drama: With Merry · ID: 277
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-17 14:26:22
This story is a page-turner! Here the author conducts us on a gripping
emotional journey with Merry and Pippin on the Field of Cormallen and
through alternating moments of joy and sadness, hope and despair,
sickness and health, and life and death. The relationship between
Merry and Pippin is one of great interdependence and is drawn with
considerable sensitivity, and there are several other character
profiles--notably those of Gandalf and Gimli--that are so spot-on that
they make you smile. Passions run high in the aftermath of War and
here they are expressed with love and care. Very nicely done, with
several heart-stopping cliffhangers! Good work, Deb!

Title: A Kingly Discussion · Author: GamgeeFest · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Grey Havens · ID: 780
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-17 14:27:26
This is a delightful story, with wonderful, witty dialogue
(brilliantly laid down) in which The Gaffer and assorted other hobbits
read a letter from the King and discuss the peculiarities of Men. A
wry humor helps to bring the hobbit audience into focus and there are
several references that speak to the author's considerable knowledge
of All Things Tolkien, including a very sly reference to The Children
of Hurin, which sparks some interesting conversation among the
discreetly scandalized hobbits. But the best line, to my mind, is the
one where it is observed that while Men might make strange choices for
leaders, the Shire would most certainly not ever elect a Mayor who had
["lived with Elves and wandered about in the Blue"]. Beautifully
written, with a sure hand and a great sense of humor. I liked this a lot!

Title: Comforting Silence · Author: Radbooks · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 157
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-17 14:27:47
This sweet little portrait of Faramir and Aragorn gives us a
tantalizing glimpse of them in Faramir's later years, when their long
friendship draws them together at the time of Eowyn's death. The
author deftly handles the widowed Faramir, exhausted in grief and
years, but it is the sparsely written, keenly insightful picture of
Aragorn that wins the day here: tender, thoughtful, and sure of his
remedies. This was a great King, and here we see why. Very nicely done!

Title: In Fangorn Forest · Author: Garnet Took · Races: Hobbits: Merry
and Pippin · ID: 260
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-17 14:28:08
A welcome reminder that Pippin too has moments of grace, intelligence
and resourcefulness is this little ficlet in which the youngest hobbit
explains to his cousin that they really are in this together and
should share, as equal partners, responsibility for looking after each
other. This is a idea all too often forsaken in our fanfiction,
wherein Pippin is frequently required to be infantile so that others
can show their comforting skills. A fine statement of emancipation and
one I heartily endorse! Characters are quickly but successfully drawn
and the dialogue smoothly serves Pippin's revelation. Amen!

Title: Freddy and the Thain's Rabbit · Author: grey_wonderer · Races:
Hobbits · ID: 251
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-17 14:28:54
The wonderful thing about the stories of Errol, Pippin's stuffed
rabbit, is that while they are absolutely delightful they are also
capable of putting a lump in your throat.This charming entry into the
Annals of Errol does both with joyous efficiency, and some lovely
surprises. Errol's origins (so far as we know) are brought to light as
one of his former child companions is revealed for the first time, and
in addition to Merry's son Freddy, who took him away to Buckland for a
tender time, we meet the sweet little fellow who gets him following
Pippin's passing: young Peregrin II! As always, Errol is helped in
writing his adventures by his faithful scribe GW, who sneaks in a
little humor when Errol isn't looking, and also manages to record all
the proceedings in the voice we know is Errol's. She is a very
talented scribe. It is my personal opinion that The Annals of Errol
should be required reading for any child who thinks about journeying
to Middle-earth. It is necessary to know that such good things as
Errol are there when you are about to meet wargs and orcs!

Splendid, as always, GW. You always call it fluff, but it really
isn't. Sheep are fluffy; Errol is serious business!

Title: Making Acquaintance · Author: Bodkin · Times: Mid Third Age:
2851 - 3017 TA · ID: 216
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-17 14:29:34
I quite enjoyed this warm, witty story of Merry and Pippin meeting
Gandalf for the first time. The very young hobbits are skillfully
drawn. Flashes of their older selves are visible now and again, and
their defining characteristics are already in place--Merry's serious
sense of responsibility and Pippin's gleeful impulsivity. Gandalf is a
splendid figure, and the whole business comes across as quite
authentic. Excellent dialogue and a fine writing style; this is a
story to be proud of!