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Msg# 8422

MEFA Reviews for November 17, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 17, 2007 - 5:06:50 Topic ID# 8422
Title: Calm after the Storm Author: Imhiriel Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet ID: 350
Reviewer: Llinos 2007-11-05 20:47:43
One thing that really struck me about this ficlet is that without
directly saying so, it is obvious from the author's descriptions that
Imrahil is a person of importance. If a reader did not know already
that Imrahil was noble there would be no question after reading this
because his nobilty is implied by his very actions and attitude.The
author doesn't go the route of many others and spell out things that
we know already and so is able to use her limited word allocation for
stunning and realistic descriptions that add depth and interest. Very
good!

Title: A Quadrabble for Sam Author: agape4gondor Genres: Drama:
Other Fixed-Length Ficlet ID: 397
Reviewer: Llinos 2007-11-05 20:48:01
I liked very much how concerned those among the great that were in
attendance worried over Sam. The last line was very in character.

Title: Mettare Duties Author: Marta Genres: Romance: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet ID: 647
Reviewer: Llinos 2007-11-05 20:48:21
I especially enjoyed the reference to the horsemanship training. Eowyn
is still her own person, spurning convention and willing to encourage
other young girls to follow paths of their own choosing.

Title: Sarn Gebir Author: agape4gondor Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet ID: 398
Reviewer: Llinos 2007-11-05 20:48:48
The author captures Boromir very well here, especially his
uncomfortable relationship with Aragorn. Boromir defers to his
rightful lord but only so far; when action can no longer wait he takes
the initiative, as he has been used to doing all of his life.

My favourite part of this series was Boromir's obvious concern for the
hobbits - that the arrow nearly striking Merry was the final impetous
he needed to manage that final burst of strength to turn the boat.

A very good character study!


Title: The River of Stars Author: Marta Races: Men: General
Drabble ID: 412
Reviewer: Llinos 2007-11-05 20:49:06
The author paints a vivid picture here of the costs of war - death and
the destruction of beauty. The imagery is very well done and evocative
and it's clear that this will not be a conflict easily resolved, to
everyone's detriment.

Title: Under the Eyes of the Evenstar Author: Raksha the Demon
Genres: Drama: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet ID: 680
Reviewer: Llinos 2007-11-05 20:49:33
I had never before thought about a meeting between Boromir and Arwen
and that Arwen must have regarded Boromir with some reservations due
to her relationship with Aragorn. That she would do so makes perfect
sense.

The nobilty of both characters is well done and each is noble in a
different way as is appropriate.

Title: All in a Day's Work Author: Gwynnyd Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet ID: 421
Reviewer: Llinos 2007-11-05 20:50:19
Imrahil is portrayed as quite the swashbuckling hero in this series! I
really enjoyed the very different type of hero that he is here on the
sea, in his element and amongst his own folk in contrast to his
courtly Book behaviour at the Pelennor, forced to fight on land. The
descriptions here give a nice contrast between Imrahil of the sea and
Imrahil tied to the earth.

Title: Rekindling Author: Tanaqui Races: Men: General Drabble
ID: 688
Reviewer: Llinos 2007-11-05 20:51:01
An excellent drabble! I liked the characterisation of Theoden here
very much, a strong ruler observing time-honoured traditions for his
people and also for the comfort of his young neice and nephew, seeking
to make them feel secure in their new familial relationship by giving
them a part to play. Before he succumbed to Grima's whisperings he was
obviously a very caring and loving uncle to these two and a good
father to Theodred. I have no doubt that he would have taken Theodred
aside first to explain why he was passing over him and allowing Eomer
and Eowyn to carry out the ritual.

Title: A Life Between - No Secrets Author: Elen Kortirion Races:
Men: General Drabble ID: 446
Reviewer: Llinos 2007-11-05 20:51:23
The intimacy between Boromir and Theodred is well described - they are
clearly in love and not merely lovers. The knowledge that the other
could die at any time must have been a terrible burden for them each
to bear.

Title: Sea King; Seeking Author: Tanaqui Genres: Drama: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet ID: 689
Reviewer: Llinos 2007-11-05 20:52:23
An excellent example of how a person's destiny and desires can affect
those around them and that no one can really be changed by the wishes
of another. We are who we are and can't be forced into a mould of
another's desire of what they would like us to be.

Excellent pov's all around and excellent progression.

Title: Reconcilation Author: Dwimordene Genres: Drama ID: 86
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea 2007-11-06 04:13:51
I spent a very pleasant afternoon re-reading Reconciliation. After
all, what can be better than someone you trust taking your characters
and writing good stories about them? Dwimordene answers a question in
Unabeauverse that I hadn't had time to get around to and does it
wonderfully well-how is it that Andrahar not only reconciles but
eventually becomes friends with one of the esquires who attacks him in
Kin-Strife. That process isn't completed here by any means, but the
seeds of the future relationship are sown.

She adds lots of good detail (which I intend to shamelessly
appropriate!) about how the Swan Knights train their esquires, and
fleshes out Andrahar's cultural background, including his views on
religion, his language and Gondor's bewildering differences,
particularly its more fluid social structure, so unlike Harad's more
ordered castes. He is still, despite his recent knighting, the odd man
out here, the warrior from the enemy culture regarded with suspicion
by his fellow Swan Knights, fighting to win a place for himself other
than that of the oddity tolerated because of Imrahil's friendship. And
he is still very much fighting his desire for his oath-brother. Add to
that his superiors' request that he somehow advance the reconciliation
between himself and Elethil and Peloren, and that he teach his native
tongue to the esquires who dislike him, and you have one stressed-out
young man.

My characters all ring true here and Dwim adds some good ones of her
own. Aldan, the valorous man-at-arms called up from the foot to try to
become a Swan Knight is a particular favorite. Older than the other
esquires, and of lowly birth, he is a good, common-sense foil for the
angst-ridden Elethil and Peloren, who have been allowed to come back
to the Swan Knights after spending a year in the foot as penance for
the attack upon Andrahar. This is a historical precedent for the Swan
Knights and their fellow esquires seem to be determined to drive them
away once more. Harthil, an instructor in Haradric who turns out to be
something more, is also a memorable creation, but in a more sinister way.



Title: The Great Hobbiton Race 1435 Author: Llinos Races: Hobbits:
Incomplete ID: 83
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon 2007-11-06 04:33:06
[some plot spoilers ahead]


This is a rip-roaring good time of a story; sheer fun from start to
middle and presumably on to the end when it is written.

Some fifteen years after the Ring War, Merry and Pippin bring
technology back to the Shire, in the form of ...[The Great Steam
Vapour Spindle Activated Vegetation Dissection and Lubrication
Apparatus]. I kid you not; that's what the new lawn-mowing machine is
called. The dwarves in Dale, who apparently manufactured this
technological marvel, were evidently quite serious about naming it.

Merry and Pippin are like children with a new toy; excited and happy
to show off their new gizmo and use it for the benefit of the Shire;
but they really have little idea how to manage the machine. A race is
set up to prove the thing's usefulness, between Merry and Pippin
driving the machine on one side of the party field, and Sam and his
son Frodo-lad on the other, to see who can mow more grass. And therein
hangs a very funny tale.

I loved it when Sam referred to the machine as a "thingamabob". The
other hobbits' reactions to the new marvel are also funny and very
much in character. And the adventures of Merry and Pippin as they try
to operate a machine whose workings they really don't understand very
well are hilarious.

Highly enjoyable, and thoroughly hobbity! I can't wait to see how the
story ends.

Title: Sea Food Author: annmarwalk Genres: Humor: Children ID: 53
Reviewer: Linda hoyland 2007-11-06 05:15:45
[spoiler alert]

This is truly heartwarming story concerning young Boromir and
Faramir's visit to Uncle Imrahil. Their uncle takes them fishing for
crabs and they catch a good many, but the boys insist on freeing them
rather than taking them home to eat. I thought this a lovely
foreshadowing of the compassion that adult Faramir will show towards
those in need. I loved the dreamy atmosphere of this charming story.

Title: Some Dark Place Author: Raksha the Demon Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet ID: 226
Reviewer: Linda hoyland 2007-11-06 05:22:04
[spoiler alert]

This is an interesting attempt to show why Aragorn speaks of the
Nazgul with such fear to the Hobbits,though to give the Ranger soon to
be King credit,he bravely fights them off. This story shows his first
encounter with the dread creatures and the fear they inspired in
him,though he somehow managed to fight them off.

I'm not sure if anything would produce such physical reactions in
Aragorn as described here,but then I never met a Black Rider! I liked
the ay Halbarad cares for his young chieftain.

Title: Go Out in Joy Author: Larner Genres: Alternate Universe:
The Shire or Buckland ID: 145
Reviewer: Linda hoyland 2007-11-06 05:27:06
[spoiler alert]

This story answers the question what if Frodo had chosen to stay in
the Shire and turned down the chance to sail West? In this version,
the Hobbit is unable to survive in Middle- earth and bids a deeply
moving farewell to his friends.

I liked it that Aragorn came to be with him at the end,though I'm not
sure the King would be so loath to enter the Shire,years before he
passed the law forbidding Men to set foot there.

It turns out his presence is much needed to tend Frodo and free him
from a hidden evil .

I am certain few readers can read Frodo's death scene without a tear
in the eye.

Title: Vocabulary Lessons Author: Larner Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Gondor ID: 521
Reviewer: Linda hoyland 2007-11-06 05:31:58
[spoiler alert]

This original and amusing story shows the writer's wide range of
talents and I enjoyed reading it greatly.

A proud and haughty young lord comes to pay his respects to the new
King, though his attitude suggests,he thinks the King should bow down
to him!

The young man encounters first Frodo and Sam, without knowing who they
are and shows scant respect for them,or even the King himself when
Aragorn appears in less than kingly guise.

This story suggests Aragorn will have his hands full with some of the
Gondorian nobility.I do not envy him at all!

Title: Longing Author: Larner Times: Fourth Age and Beyond ID: 468
Reviewer: Linda hoyland 2007-11-06 05:35:23
[spoiler alert]

I learned something new in this story as I had no idea that in his
other writings,Tolkien said that lembas is dangerous to mortals as it
gives them sea longing.That makes sense,when one considers the
ultimate fates of the Fellowship,as only Aragorn does not seem
restless. Pippin's son must have been very puzzled why his father felt
he had to leave to spend his last days in Gondor.

Title: Green Magic Author: Gandalfs apprentice Genres: Crossover
ID: 312
Reviewer: Linda hoyland 2007-11-06 05:56:38
A well written and haunting story set in our own times which leaves
the Reader feeling profoundly unsettled.

Title: The Captain and the King Author: plasticChevy Genres:
Alternate Universe: Gondor or Rohan ID: 738
Reviewer: Linda hoyland 2007-11-06 05:59:20
An interesting AU giving a diffrent angle on the oft asked
question,what if Boromir survided? A treat for angst lovers.

Title: Blackest Fate Author: Branwyn Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 -
3017 TA: Drabble ID: 476
Reviewer: Linda hoyland 2007-11-06 06:07:16
[spoiler alert]

I loved this dark drabble about the suffering of Mordor's captives and
how they help and support each other.The twist at the end catches the
reader entirely off balance,yet the identidy of the captives could not
be more apt,especially as Tolkien mentions their capture.

Title: None may live now as they have lived Author: Tanaqui Times:
Late Third Age: 3018-3022 TA: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet ID: 687
Reviewer: Linda hoyland 2007-11-06 06:11:09
[spoiler warning]

A deeply moving and beautifully written drabble showing a moment
between Aragorn and Arwen before he leaves with the Fellowship when he
gives her farewell messages for his men.

Aragorn fears he may never return and both know the cost should the
mission fail .

The drabble ends on a note of hope as Arwen encourages her beloved and
maybe glimpses the future ahead.

Title: A Suitable Tribute Author: EdorasLass Genres: Drama ID: 474
Reviewer: Linda hoyland 2007-11-06 06:14:44
[spoiler alert]
I liked this very much, both in what it tells us about Aragorn and the
young woman. As King, Aragorn is entiteled to tribute and needs it to
run Gondor,but he will not let his people suffer or go hungry to
provide it.

A young woman has no idea what she could give but has an idea by the
end of this charming drabble.

Title: The Blue Book of Bilbo Baggins, or, Tales of the Forbidden
Silmarillion Author: Gandalfs apprentice/Greywing CoAuthors
Genres: Alternate Universe ID: 195
Reviewer: stefaniab 2007-11-06 06:22:31
What a wonderful reworking of the Silmarillion stories. The Blue Book
presents an "alternative" rendering of the Silmarillion canon. In
Gandalfs Apprentice (most of the writing) and Greywing's (artwork and
a short fic) hands, Tolkien's myths become satirical fairy tales. They
borrow from every type of mythology available: Greek myth, the
Brother's Grimm, Shrek (what??), and, much to my surprise and delight
the legend of Pelehonuamea. There is lots of implied sexuality for
anyone who thought the Silmarillion too dry and puritanical. No
Tolkien character is safe from the authors' pens. No fanfic flight of
fancy is safe from their pens. L.A.C.E. is definitely not safe from
their pens.

The authors save the best for last, a pseudo-scholarly review of the
"Blue Book" that takes the skewer to all those scholarly
interpretations of Tolkien that people like me sometimes read in spite
of themselves. Good job, Gandalfs Apprentice and Greywing.

Title: Under the Ring Author: Holdur Races: Hobbits: Vignette
ID: 215
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke 2007-11-06 17:52:19
Very interesting characterizations here, and interesting to examine
the more subtle effects of the Ring on Frodo and the general stress
and mourning for Gandalf, on all of them.

Title: Building the Future Author: Tanaqui Times: Mid Third Age:
2851 - 3017 TA: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet ID: 644
Reviewer: dkpalaska 2007-11-06 19:12:01
I do love drabble series such as this. Each one is a separate story of
its own, that can stand without the rest of the episodes and still
make sense, but as a whole they build upon and resonate with each
other beautifully.

The stage is set in the first drabble, where we are shown Dale being
slowly reborn. It is perfect in its detail: the men arriving first,
providing the basics for survival, while the women come after,
bringing civilization. Bard's belated realization that every family is
flourishing but his feels apt and in character for the man I've
envisioned.

What follows are his attempts to rectify the situation, and sycophants
and flatters need not apply. I really couldn't see the grim-voiced man
who disdained the corrupt Master of Esgaroth falling for fluttery and
finery, so his attraction to the plain-but-practical also felt wholly
right. Too, he is given enough similarities and parallels with Aragorn
that I liked this female contrast to Arwen.

Her response to his summons is well-handled and shows her worthiness
to be his partner in Dale's future, as well as making clear that she
weds the man and not the position. The ending is sweet and charming -
my favorite part being Bard's plea, ["Will you have me even so?"] and
that big grin upon seeing his intended.

There is much left to explore - not many authors attempt fics set in
Erebor. Personally, I hope Tanaqui takes us up to Bard's last stand,
and beyond.