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Msg# 8416

MEFA Reviews for November 15, 2007 (Part 2) Posted by Ann November 15, 2007 - 5:07:59 Topic ID# 8416
Title: Time · Author: Bodkin · Races: Cross-Cultural: Gondor · ID: 414
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-04 14:21:19
A haunting and melancholy tale about the differences in memory and the
perception of time between Men and Elves. Written with passion and
care in even the smallest gestures.

I feel with Legolas: it is sad that people should be forgotten or be
deemed unimportant so easily. But I think he does not fully appreciate
the (sometimes dubious) advantage Elves have over Mortals - their
infallible memory and their longlevity. It is easier to remember if
you don't have to rely on written records who might be incomplete or
faulty, or on tales passed on which might change with every teller.

Your portrayal of Faramir was wonderful, striking for all its
subtlety. I had the feeling that he is guiding Legolas for a better
understanding of Mortals in that he didn't just tell him of "official
records" and "personal memories" and what might be contained and not
contained in each form, but in that he let him discover and experience
it for himself. And I loved the little reminder of how respected and
beloved he is among his men.

I loved Thimbriel: with some edges, dignified, wise; patiently
teaching Legolas what he sought.

Title: The Gates · Author: Isabeau of Greenlea · Races: Dwarves · ID: 70
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-04 14:25:26
What I most love about stories about Dwarves is the way their
particular interests, and their cultural heritage and preoccupations,
are very often given expression in the way the stories are told, with
appropriate metaphors and imagery.

This is also the case here, whether in Gimli's thoughts about the
sinking sun, or in Snorri's speaking of Gimli's adventures in [the
"upper world"].

The interaction with Gimli and Snorri is well-depicted, and through
it, we get a glimpse of social interaction among the Dwarves in general.

I find it natural that Gimli would want to contribute something
tangible, a product of skill and artisanship so valued by the Dwarves.
It was good of Snorri to remind him that organisation, administration,
negotiation and diplomacy are the very basics which ensure that works
can begin, continue, or be concluded successfully.

Gimli's ability to reach out to other people, accept different
viewpoints and make compromises, which he had already demonstrated
during the quest, are put to great effect here.

Title: Lost in Translation · Author: sophinisba solis · Races:
Cross-Cultural: With Pippin · ID: 31
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-04 14:26:21
This story fills in a gap in Tolkien's story in ways that are
believable and moving.

Pippin's frustration and near resentment at being left out of the flow
of information about a loved one is palpable, and from his perspective
it might indeed have seemed thoughtless and condescending that he is
left with almost meaningless platitudes.

It must be especially difficult for Pippin, the most inquisitve and
impatient of the Hobbits, to have impenetrable walls erected before
him, so to speak.

The theme of alienation and feeling left out in a strange environment
that the film of the same name evoked so very well is conveyed here as
well, a feeling that has as much to do with the actual unfamiliar
language, as the unfamiliar culture. Pippin feels uncomfortable and
disconnected even in the Last Homely House, even after his primary
worry about Frodo is allayed.

I liked the fact that the theme of the title was interwoven into the
story in different ways; language and not understanding them, needing
a translation to get to the heart of matters was very much central to
the story as a whole.

Title: Blackest Fate · Author: Branwyn · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 -
3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 476
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-04 14:26:52
Moving; the drabble is so very sad and at the same time heart-warming
and gentle.

The drabble plays with the identity of the two "prisoners", and even
if the first assumption of the readers had been right, it would still
have had the same impact. I like the fact that this misconception is
not used in a "sensational" way, as a loud punchline, but that it
comes about quiet and unobtrusive.

The contrast between their bleak and oppressing surroundings and their
happier memories of lovely places of their home is particularly
poignant, as is their deep bond, and the shared comfort they try to
give each other.

Title: Mentor · Author: Nessime · Times: Second Age: Drabble · ID: 653
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-04 14:28:54
An marvellously written drabble, with elegance, resonance and rhythm
in the obviously carefully chosen words. The prompt ["teaching"] that
was part of the inspiration for the drabble as you note is answered
with great finesse.

Eonwë's thoughts and feelings are captured very well, in every
changing nuance; his perplexity and lack of understanding at what the
Númenóreans chose to do with this Gift is conveyed particularly well.
It gives us a perspective not only on the Men he contemplates, but
also on his own kind: it shows that despite all the divine powers the
Valar and Maiar have, there are still limits to omniscience, that Men
are really as unpredictable and free as Eru wanted to make them - and
the Powers had no part in this.

I like the description of Sauron as ["the one who broke faith with
me"]. This is an incident rarely explored in fanfiction, and the way
you have built it into the drabble gives it a personal angle that will
make it memorable for me on re-reads.

Title: The Slave of the Ring · Author: Linda hoyland · Races: Men ·
ID: 418
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-04 14:29:24
Good use of formal language.

Boromir is annoyed at Aragorn's appropriation of command even before
he glimpses the Ring, prideful and only reluctantly conceding that
Aragorn might have greater knowledge of their whereabouts.

Setting Boromir's desire to see the Ring in contrast to the others'
disregard of it was an effective touch: it shows how even though
Boromir seems to be aware of his different attitude, he doesn't seem
to regard this is as something sinister.

Title: A Ranger's Love (Song to Arda) · Author: Michelle · Races: Men:
Eriador or Rivendell · ID: 112
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-04 14:30:10
Beautiful use of language and rhythm. The "examples" for every season
are perfectly chosen and highly evocative.

I liked the unusual order of describing the seasons - beginning with
winter and ending with spring. Although you describe both positive and
negative sides of each of the seasons, this order seems to invigorate
the piece, make it more colourful and fresh and warm as it goes on. It
is also a wonderfully appropriate transition to the last passage about
Arda in general and the Ranger's love for her, in all her facets and
her changeability.

I can very well imagine that Rangers have a particularly deep
connection and appreciation to the land they traverse in all times and
all weather. And that would include, as you have so poignantly shown,
also the inhabitants of these lands, no matter that they are oblivious
(and unappreciative) of the Rangers protecting them.

Title: Life Lessons · Author: Marta · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 582
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-04 14:31:22
A lively and engaging story, filled with evocative details. The
characters of Arwen and Éowyn are captured well.

I found it completely believable that they would talk in great length
about the subjects raised here in the story. There are also
fascinating moments of intercultural exchange that provide insights
into the cultures and traditions of both Elves and Men.

Title: Future Imperfect · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851
- 3017 TA · ID: 749
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-04 17:00:34
I liked Denethor in this. His strength of character really comes
across, both as a father and as a leader, and the love for both his
sons and his responsibility for his land and people are very well

Title: Bitter Springs · Author: Dwimordene · Times: Mid Third Age:
2851 - 3017 TA · ID: 634
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-04 17:00:45
A well told glimpse of how Grima's machinations are falling into
place, to the dismay of Theodred (and Eomer) who can do almost
nothing, and Boromir, who can do even less. There is a very
appropriate sense of sad resignation and approaching tragedy.

Title: Respite · Author: Linaewen · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 - 3017
TA · ID: 389
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-04 17:00:58
Lovely story of a mother's attempt to escape the unescapable for a
time, but even so her fears follow her. I especially enjoyed her
thoughts of her sons as individuals - she knows them both well. It is
sad to know that soon even this place will be no partial refuge for her.

Title: Burning Son · Author: Aruthir · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 -
3017 TA · ID: 436
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-04 17:01:20
The author does a vivid job here of describing the bleakness of war
and its cause and effect.

Title: The Heir of the Hill · Author: Lothithil · Times: Mid Third
Age: 2851 - 3017 TA · ID: 675
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-04 17:02:09
A nice, long story that details Frodo's early years at Bag End.

Title: Dawning Hope: A Day Out · Author: Radbooks · Times: Mid Third
Age: 2851 - 3017 TA · ID: 659
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-04 17:02:53
This author is skilled at getting inside the heads of her characters
and she doesn't fail to do so here - all of the characters are well
written but her characterisation of Eowyn simply shines. She is very
much a seven-year-old little girl here and most definitely and
distinctively she is *Eowyn*.

The plot was well thought out, from the quiet moments to the stressful
time after the accident. The realistic attempts at first aid were very
good. I enjoyed this!

Title: Foray · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 -
3017 TA · ID: 55
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-04 17:03:18
A very nice glimpse of Boromir and Faramir - I liked the mix of the
maternal/paternal way that the elder looks after the younger, trying
to stand in for both absent parents.

Title: Making Acquaintance · Author: Bodkin · Times: Mid Third Age:
2851 - 3017 TA · ID: 216
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-04 17:19:26
This was a very hobbity tale filled with subtle foreshadowings of the
future, from the characterisations of both young hobbits to Gandalf
holding Pippin ["...the big person had caught him and swung him round,
clasping the young hobbit to his chest as if he was meant to be
there."] to their offers of future service and Merry's sudden thoughts
that he might someday like to see the wide world outside the Shire.

I found the actions of both Merry and Pippin to be very in character,
both as hobbits in general and as Merry and Pippin in particular. She
has captured their different personalities very well and also their
similarities. Their comfortable and close relationship with each other
is very well described and isn't overdone or overly sweet and I liked
that very much. They display so many hobbity characteristics here but
still the writing is subtle I think - what I mean by that is that the
author is simply writing hobbits as they *are*, she does not overwrite
them to impress upon us that they are hobbits and so, different from
us, nor does she explain every motivation behind their hobbity
behaviour as if we, the reader, aren't familiar with the race. I know
what I mean to say here but don't know if I am getting it across very
well! Suffice it to say that I think she does a grand job.

I also liked that the hints of foreshadowing weren't grim and terrible
but spoke more of comradeship and adventure.

And the last line was just right, because a well-mannered young hobbit
wouldn't fail to issue such an invitiation, lol.

Title: Brothers at Heart · Author: Radbooks · Times: Mid Third Age:
2851 - 3017 TA · ID: 330
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-04 18:03:09
This story has really impressed me. For my interest to be so truly and
wholly engaged throughout a multi-chapter story of this length about
Estel/Aragorn that doesn't include (save for the barest mention) my
favourite race, the hobbits, is pretty much unheard of and yet I
couldn't stop reading this and finished it in one sitting.

The author has captured Aragorn's character here to an extent that I
have seldom seen in fanfiction. This is very much Tolkien's
Estel/Aragorn. Even though he is young in this story he has all of the
wisdom, maturity, skills and nobility that one raised as the only
human child amongst the elves would have developed, on top of his own
noble blood. It is easy to see that as he matures amongst his own
people he will only grow even greater as he comes to know them and
their ways and to incorporate this new knowledge with the old. This
story gives us an insightful look into the beginnings of this process.

That he knows he doesn't have all of the answers and is willing to
learn and to be guided when necessary is one of Estel/Aragorn's many
strengths and evidence of his true wisdom. Yet he does not use his
youth and inexperience as something to hide behind and ultimately all
decisions are his alone, for he accepts that he is the one responsible
for his people and those that they protect. He doesn't shun that
responsibility, he takes it very seriously. He is kingly here and it
is easy to see that this new Chieftan is something special. It is
clear to the reader that he is truly born to be King and everything
that he learns and endures will be remembered and analysed and will
help him attain this unattainable goal, then when he has done so, help
him to govern wisely and well.

In addition to the excellent depiction of Estel/Aragorn there are many
other wonderfully drawn original characters in this story and the
other canon characters that appear are also well written, Halbarad in
particular. I really enjoyed watching the friendship developing
between the two cousins.

The pacing is wonderful and it is not just the characterisations and
interactions that are well written, so are the various events that
take place in Estel/Aragorn's first year as Chieftan. Various
altercations with orcs, bandits, and scenes in which Estel/Aragorn
must put his healing abilities to use had me on the edge of my seat.

This is definitely a story that is going onto my list of favourites! I
would love to read more!

Title: Escape · Author: Bodkin · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 - 3017 TA
· ID: 24
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-04 18:30:54
I liked the anonymous and yet familar man and elf - the fact that we
don't know exactly who they are and yet understand the events that
they are caught up in really struck me. In addition to the characters
that we know, so many unnamed others played a part in the struggle
against Sauron and I enjoyed this nod to them.

Title: At The Foot of the Sarn Gebir · Author: Rabidsamfan · Times:
Late Third Age: 3018-3022 TA · ID: 787
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-04 18:39:46
Sam is wonderfully resourceful here - I couldn't make such a meal in
my own kitchen! I liked the way that he brought comfort to himself by
providing comfort for others. How very perfectly Sam!

Title: Between Crown and Mantle · Author: Marastar · Times: Late Third
Age: 3018-3022 TA · ID: 701
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-04 18:50:43
What I liked most about this story was the implication that every
decision has an effect and that all things are tied together in some
way. And even now that the battle against Sauron is won Gandalf still
acts as a guide to help others understand.

Title: Lily of the Valley · Author: Baranduin · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA · ID: 682
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-04 19:35:48
Very nice hurt/comfort and I especially liked the idea that Aragorn
was in hiding watching the Birthday Party, waiting to escort Bilbo on
his next Adventure. I could really imagine that happening!

Title: Snare · Author: Ruby Nye · Times: Late Third Age: 3018-3022 TA
· ID: 539
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-04 19:48:15
Hobbits really are fierce as dragons in a pinch and Pervinca shows
that bravery here. The hobbits may not be equal to the Ruffians in
strength but they are smart and canny and Pervinca adds her own
feminine wiles to the equation and does the job that needs to be done,
foul though it may be.

I like stories that show the hobbits coping with the invasion of the
Shire to the best of their abilities and this one does not disappoint.
I just hope that the archers show up before things go too far!

I particularly like that it is Pervinca here - she is the daughter of
the Thain after all, and Pippin's sister - look at how brave he was.
There is every reason to suspect that his sisters were very special
too, having the same Tookish blood in their veins. Excellent story,
and hopeful despite its grimness!

Title: Divided · Author: Pen52 · Genres: Drama: The Fellowship · ID: 223
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-11-04 19:49:51
This is a nice moment between Pippin, Aragorn and Boromir. The
characters are captured so well: Pippin with his insatiable, innocent
curiosity, Boromir and Aragorn with their wide range of experience,
which is weighted down by, especially for Boromir, bad memories.
Pippin's innocent question(s) about the Swertings brings into focus
the difference in Boromir's and Aragorn's experience and also a
difference in character between the men.

Title: Free and Gay · Author: Marta · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 81
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-11-04 19:50:35
In this short tale Boromir and Faramir celebrate Yule away from home
with Gondor's soldiers. With a few words the brothers come to life and
the reader gets a sense about the differences in their characters. On
the surface their conversation is just some light banter between
brothers, but Boromir is troubled and some of his remarks can have a
different meaning if Faramir would suspect anything.

Title: The Harper · Author: juno_magic · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
Gondor or Rohan · ID: 10
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-11-04 19:51:22
In this story a blind harper spends the winter month in a little
mountain village. He is mysterious and never gives his name. He
befriends a little boy and, although he tries to discourage the boy,
the boy follows him at the end of the winter to become a harper. This
short summary doesn't give justice to the story. This is a beautiful
piece. It reads like a fairy tale with a dreamlike quality. I like the
symmetry of the story. It starts with short, chopped sentences and a
lot of questions and ends the same way, I can't really describe it.
You have to read it to see what I mean.