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Msg# 8406

MEFA Reviews for November 10, 2007 (Part 2) Posted by Ann November 10, 2007 - 4:50:56 Topic ID# 8406
Title: Three Cups of Kindness · Author: Elen Kortirion · Times:
Multi-Age: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 448
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-24 01:57:27
Three instances in the life of Aragorn son of Arathorn when an offered
drink helped him deal with the realities of death.

Title: The Blessing · Author: Golden/Pearl Took CoAuthors · Genres:
Alternate Universe: Incomplete · ID: 235
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-24 02:03:50
The challenge was to write a story somehow utilizing a quotation from
someone else's book--in this case the works of E. Nesbit, and Golden
and Pearl Took have done well at meeting that challenge.

Someone did not recover completely from the injuries he suffered in
his private fight against Mordor, and in this case it was NOT Frodo
but Pippin, who's been left epileptic. For a people among whom the
fits of the Falling Sickness are usually enough to cause families to
lock away family members that they not be seen in public, this is

The presence of a guardian spirit and the work of Elrond, Aragorn, and
healer Parsow, however, help to assure that Pippin does know indeed
the positive effects of the blessing uttered over him in Cormallen.

Poignant and well researched.

Title: The Unbearable Smugness of Being Feanor · Author: Ignoble Bard
· Genres: Humor · ID: 164
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-24 02:10:22
So, now we know HOW our modern universe came to be--through the
collision of two of the greatest, most self-absorbed personalities in
all of Ea! A wonderful laugh.

Title: Kindred Spirits · Author: Cathleen · Genres: Drama: The
Fellowship · ID: 377
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-24 02:35:38
Pippin and Boromir are realizing they have a good deal in
common--except for fathers, with Pippin having a problem understanding
how Denethor could be as he was toward his sons.

But they both find Gandalf's care for them reminds them of....

Sad and yet heartening at the same time.

Title: The Witch-king's Cloak · Author: Radbooks · Genres: Humor:
Parody · ID: 106
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2007-10-24 05:47:26
That scruffy man set his good cloak on fire and now the poor Wiki must
wear the short, tattered replacement cloak squished into his pack.
How's he supposed to strike that trademark terrifying pose in a not
quite black enough cloak with less than adequate volume?

Who would have thought old Angmar was as image conscious as Wilhemina
Slater, the evil genius of the American television version of "Ugly
Betty?" Radbooks did, and made me grin at the Witch King from a
different perspective.

Title: City of Trees · Author: Gwynnyd · Races: Elves: With Mirkwood
Elves · ID: 641
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-10-24 06:33:09
This story is a rather different and very enjoyable interpretation of
the origins of Lorien, with some lovely, humorous and not-often-seen
character interaction to boot.

One of my favorite parts of this vignette is the introduction, where a
gorgeous scene is splendidly laid out before us; it allows us to
personally connect with Celeborn's ardent love of the forest. His
breach with Galadriel is nicely and believably laid out, giving reason
behind their long separation that jives with two such strong
personalities who are very different in their aesthetic appreciations.

I love the back-and-forth between Celeborn and Thranduil, who would
indeed seem to have much in common. I can see a friendship there, one
that perhaps deteriorates after they become neighbors and have to
"share the trees". I also love that Celeborn has kept count of the
days, and that it is Galadriel who makes the first peace offering
through Thranduil - the wonderful compromise that is Lorien.

Although the author has noted that this can be considered AU, I also
see no evidence that it cannot be canon. It comes from a
"glossed-over" period in Tolkien's works, and concerns a relationship
that the master himself changed his mind about frequently.

Title: All in a Day's Work · Author: Gwynnyd · Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 421
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-10-24 10:30:24
Aaaaargh, matey! I love tricksy, piratey Imrahil stories. All the
different viewpoints here gave a vividly drawn picture of a Prince
concerned for his people and doing his job to protect them. The swift,
professional efficiency with which he and his men accomplish the task
seems very much in character.

Title: Outmatched · Author: Tiana Luthien · Genres: Drama: Vignette ·
ID: 132
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-10-24 10:35:53
I can just see Eomer using the device of a sparring match to decide
whether or not a certain grave Gondorian is worthy of his sister. Good
images of both men here, despite the brevity of the piece.

Title: Summer Daze · Author: Marta · Genres: Romance: Pre-Ring War ·
ID: 471
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-10-24 11:03:16
Whew! <fans self> I have absolutely no problem reading about a young
Faramir in the throes of adolescent sexual urges, and Marta conveys
his aching frustration and embarassment very well. His earlier
confrontation at a Dol Amroth inn that turns out to be something else
entirely has left him wondering and imagining what he might have done
had he stayed. He takes these fantasies in hand, as it were, and
eventually returns to the inn to make them real. Very sensual
descriptions, of the surroundings, the food and the act itself. I was
amused when he thought about telling Boromir about the evening-it
seemed such a typical young man's response.

Title: Inroads · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races: Men: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 45
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-10-24 11:07:49
A nice depiction of the difficulties Eowyn must have faced, wedding
the Steward of Gondor. Sniping society matrons must indeed have been a
trial, and one she was not by disposition and temperment inclined to
deal with well. But she overcomes these difficulties with grace, and
by the end of this piece, you can imagine her integrating herself
eventually into the very heart of Gondor. Well done, Raksha!

Title: Charms of Wisdom and Grace · Author: annmarwalk · Genres:
Drama: Ithilien · ID: 460
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-10-24 11:12:49
Having done a small bit of weaving myself, I was intrigued by this
story, which gave Faramir a hitherto unthought-of skill. But it made
sense the way annmarwalk depicted it. And Eowyn, after years of
marriage, has no problem with her husband showing a gift for what
might be considered womens' work. It would be very like Faramir to
make a gift for his son or his brother that would guard them from the
elements. A beautiful, haunting piece.

Title: Sunshine and Roses · Author: shirelinghpc · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Gondor · ID: 531
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-10-24 11:24:39
Awwww, this was a sweet piece! Tolkien made much ado about Frodo's
trials and what they had done to him, but never mentioned the fact
that poor Sam might have been damaged as well. Trust Faramir, with his
keen perception, to notice this when the hobbits are oblivious due to
the difference in their social station between themselves and the
gardener. If he is not complaining, he must be all right, right?
Faramir has just the right medicine for Sam, and he and Aragorn bring
the other hobbits to an awareness of the fact that Sam too has his
demons to slay. A very touching story, the characterizations were
right on target.

Title: The Turn of the Tide · Author: Altariel · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 72
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-10-24 11:35:16
Spoiler Alert! As AUs go, this one is more hopeful and much more
perceptive than most. It's not just the fact that both Boromir and
Denethor live, it's that Faramir went on the Quest and Eowyn met him
in Rohan and loves him and not Aragorn. This gives Eowyn's own quest
to Minas Tirith a validity, at least to me, that is lacking in canon.
Her responses to Boromir, and later to his father, are very
interesting because of this, particularly her growing relationship
with Denethor, in whom she sees a kindred spirit. The despair, tension
and fear that hang over Minas Tirith after the Armies of the West
depart for the Black Gate are the same as they are in LOTR, Eowyn
still has her nightmares to deal with, but the final outcome is ever
so much happier!

Title: Jewel · Author: Aranel Took · Genres: Romance: Drabble · ID: 325
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-24 15:20:41
The idea for this Dwarven tradition sounds very plausible for their
culture, especially as I imagine the fact that there were so few
Dwarven women gave them some advantages when it came to choosing their
future husbands. In addition, skill in the suitors' respective crafts
is surely something the women would take into account when making
their choice.

A nice, engaging touch is that this drabble has Gloin and his future
wife as the protagonists: it's fun to imagine that this might indeed
have happened when Gimli's parents were courting, and to think of the
stout Dwarf we know from TH and LotR as an endearingingly nervous and
smitten suitor awaiting judgement from his love.

Title: A Life Between II · Author: Elen Kortirion · Genres: Romance:
Drabble · ID: 445
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-24 15:21:24
A drabble that focusses on the smallest details of Boromir's hand,
with its own personal history of scars and healed wounds - Théodred
wants to memorise everything about it when his lover is absent and
takes his time to explore everything very slowly and thoroughly. No
direct feelings are described, yet the mood seems wistful because of
the looming parting - maybe even somewhat foreboding?

The ending is particularly poignant, and seems to creep up quite
unexpectedly, to great effect.

I like how the drabble skirts the edge between subtle and overt erotic
touches, and the languorous pace of it, which also contributes to the
punch of the ending.

Title: Dreams the Way We Planned Them · Author: SlightlyTookish ·
Genres: Romance: Gondor · ID: 297
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-24 15:21:48
A moving, descriptive narrative, told in a calm, gentle tone, with
enough details of setting and characters to bring them to life in the
readers' mind. Engaging characterisations.

Title: Four Voices - Autumn, 3018 · Author: annmarwalk · Genres:
Romance: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 756
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-24 15:22:21
Beautiful language, the images and metaphors paint a wistful but
shining and moving picture of deep love and affection. I especially
loved Éowyn's musings, and the very last line of Éomer's contribution.

Title: Seeking to Please · Author: Gwynnyd · Genres: Romance: Pre-Ring
War · ID: 193
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-24 15:23:15
This story fills a gap in the development of the Aragorn/Arwen
romance: between Arwen almost dismissing Aragorn when he professed his
love to her, to their encounter in Lothlórien almost thirty years
later when she seemed to instantly fall in love with him.

It is written entertainingly, and the characterisations are spot-on,
yet given an extra slant that is all fresh and new.

Elrohir's special perspective as, on the one hand, Arwen's brother who
is not in awe with her beauty or high station, and on the other,
Aragorn's brother and friend who has watched him grow up and mature
among his folk, abroad and in the wilderness, lends a particularly
interesting insight into the relationship.

I loved the way she was so taken aback at the realisation that indeed,
this is no longer Estel, the little child, but Aragorn, a grown and
confident (and thoroughly charming) man.

I can well imagine that Elrohir later had times when he regretted
having arranged this meeting, I doubt he would have wanted it to go
quite this far.

Title: The Beginning · Author: Oshun · Genres: Romance: Second Age or
Earlier · ID: 339
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-24 15:24:08
Gil-galad muses on Elrond who he has come to love. There is desire in
his thoughts, expressed by the loving descriptions of Elrond's looks,
but also clear insight into and appreciation of the other's inner

I liked the calm, leisurely tone of the story, with the restrained
passion lurking just beneath the surface, giving the narrative a
slightly simmering quality that felt quite appropriate for ["the
beginning"] of their love.

The hesitation of as yet undeclared love, of the doubt whether the
other reciprocrates the feeling, and whether one dares speak one's
heart, is conveyed very realistically and movingly. It must have come
as such a relief (and a surprise) to Ereinion, when the normally
reticent Elrond dared the first step in such a forward manner.

Title: Youngest Son · Author: Bodkin · Genres: Romance: Second Age or
Earlier · ID: 406
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-24 15:24:38
Wonderful setting of scene; the description of the seashore was very

And then to contrast this, and Finarfin's surreptitious admiration of
Eärwen, with the ellith, including her, mocking the oblivious
Finarfin, and simultaneously admiring his features like fangirls - too

I like the obvious yet innocent sensuality the characters notice about
each other: it's a fine balance to keep, and you managed it very well.

The characterisations and character interactions were believable and

The brief foreboding gave the light-hearted story a feeling of
transience that made it all the more precious perhaps.

Title: Yours to command · Author: Lialathuveril · Genres: Romance:
With Rohirrim · ID: 129
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-24 15:25:36
There is so much in this story: adventure and action, intrigue and
suspense, romance and drama - all well-shaken (not stirred *g*!), and
served as completely enthralling plot seasoned with good
characterisations, humour, and creative twists and turns.

The romance in particular is well-played against the intrigue of the
plot with a remarkable and believable villain, and the solution to
both satisfied, and felt well-earned by the way the plot was structured.

I like this Éomer very much: you have achieved a fine balance between
showing the fierce, temperamental warrior, and the caring king and
leader with a great sense of duty and responsibility.

And your portrayal of Lothíriel is pure delight: her bravery and firm
will, coupled with a sweet nature, is very engaging, and all the more
impressive for her disability with she faces with so much courage and
forthrightness and lets neither it nor her family who almost smother
her with over-protectiveness hinder her in anything.

Title: Black Eyes · Author: Lialathuveril · Genres: Romance: With
Rohirrim · ID: 177
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-24 15:28:19
A well-plotted, visually descriptive, and engaging story.

The characterisations, the interaction between the characters, and the
dialogues were well-written. I especially liked Lothíriel's daring,
perceptiveness and resourcefulness.

Framing the story with quotes from "The Art of War" (transferred to
M-e), and using martial terms throughout was inspired, and fit well
with the "sparring" going on between the protagonists.

It was entertaining to witness Lothíriel's (quite creative) attempts
to thwart the plans to "marry her off", even for the cost of acting
foolish or downright appalling, only to discover that those attempts
mostly backfired.

I also liked how you interwove political/mercantile concerns into this
generally light-hearted and not quite serious story to give it more
depth (and to offset somewhat the unbelievable, *outrageous* rudeness
of Aunt Ivriniel).

Title: Winds of Change · Author: Lady Bluejay · Genres: Romance: With
Rohirrim · ID: 228
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-24 15:28:52
Lively, descriptive style, very pleasing to read (apart from some
minor issues like modernisms or errors); vivid, flowing character
interaction. The expressions, gestures and dialogues felt very real
and immediate, as did the settings, street life, furnishings etc. in
Minas Tirith. I also liked the fact that you took your time to develop
the romance, that you took into account that there were so many other
important things and changes going on in Gondor and Rohan at the time
that would mean as much to Éomer and the people he interacts with.

Éomer is portrayed very much in-character, and it was very interesting
to follow his thoughts and feelings over the course of the story. I
very much liked him in his role as brother to Éowyn, and I *loved* his
interactions with Faramir (who was characterised equally well).

Title: The Promise in her Eyes · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Humor:
Gondor or Rohan · ID: 100
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-24 16:36:40
I remember this as one of the first stories of yours, EL, that I ever
read, and as such it's fun to go back and note the very beginnings of
characteristics of your writings that we know and love so much now.
First off, of course, is the attention to detail and description: the
embroidery trim on Eowyn's dress, the swirling of her skirt and the
reckless flash of her ankles, the fact that the young hero is a
bodhran player – a bodhran player! You've put all that time spent at
Renfaires to joyful use, which is what great writers do, of course –
store up every experience until the story that will require it is
ready to be told.

The second engaging characteristic is the vividness of your OC. Your
original characters are always extraordinary – it's like they've
always existed somewhere, with rich and full and rambunctious and
playful lives of their own; you merely whisper you magic over them to
bring them to life for us. I don't know that you've ever written your
bodhran player again, and I wish you would: perhaps a bit older and
wiser – he couldn't be a carefree musician forever – but yet, not
beaten down by what he's seen and experienced since his meeting with
Eowyn. I'd love to see him at the festivities surrounding Eowyn's
wedding or Elfwine's birth or the harvest festival in Ithilien.

The third characteristic is the sense of absolute joie-de-vivre you
bring to all your writings. Even the sad or somber or creepy or goofy
ones convey the total delight you take in creating these worlds and
people and places and sharing them with us. You are a creator-goddess,
and you bless us with your gifts.

Title: The Gates · Author: Isabeau of Greenlea · Races: Dwarves · ID: 70
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-24 16:37:16
What a lovely read. At first I felt terribly sorry for Gimli – stuck
with the managerial bureaucracy while others had the satisfying
opportunity to do the actual craftsmanship. But the points that Snorri
makes are very valid and thought-provoking, about the importance of a
proper support staff in allowing the artisans to concentrate without
distraction. It made me think about my own support staff position, and
the contributions I can make to the effective and smooth operation of
our department. On a day like today (frantically busy), this story was
a particularly meaningful gift. Thank you!