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Msg# 8426

MEFA Reviews for November 18, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 18, 2007 - 4:48:56 Topic ID# 8426
Title: Of Echoes of Bruinen ˇ Author: Berzerker Prime ˇ Races: Elves ˇ
ID: 345
Reviewer: stefaniab ˇ 2007-11-08 06:36:12
An interesting challenge from Henneth Annun to correct scenes in the
LOTR films that irritate you resulted in this story from Bezerker
prime. The departure from canon film moment of Arwen at the Fords of
Bruinen may have irked Bezerker prime, but here Bezerker nevertheless
presents a lovingly created action moment that is true to the films,
but with a reasonable canon explanation subtly inserted to answer the
HASA challenge.

Title: The Waves' Song ˇ Author: Branwyn ˇ Genres: Drama: General
Drabble ˇ ID: 6
Reviewer: Tanaqui ˇ 2007-11-08 11:53:42
In this drabble, Branwyn shows expert control of vocabulary and rhythm
to deliver beautiful imagery that connects sea, wind and tree in order
to give a vivid portrait of Arwen's last years. I particularly liked
the line [her long cloak flapped like a poorly-trimmed sail]. Highly
evocative. Well done!

Title: Calm after the Storm ˇ Author: Imhiriel ˇ Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet ˇ ID: 350
Reviewer: Tanaqui ˇ 2007-11-08 12:15:48
[This review contains spoilers]

Naked Imrahil? What's not to like?!

But Imhiriel does more than provide pleasant food for the daydreams of
us Imrahil-fanciers. This drabble is woven from magical words, and
gives us a subtle portrait of the aftermath of battle. I love the
characterisation of the night-battle taking place under
[moonstone-and-pearl], while Imhiriel provides deft descriptions of
the repairs to the ship, the fate of the Corsair prisoners, and the
depradations that the Corsairs have visited on Imrahil's people. And
the details as Imrahil sheds his battle gear and searches for relief
from the doldrums conjures up a picture of his mood with great
clarity. Excellent execution lifts what could have been a cliched
scene into the level of a prose poem. Bravo!

Title: Bilbo's Dark Psyche ˇ Author: Curious ˇ Genres: Non-Fiction ˇ
ID: 519
Reviewer: fantasyfan ˇ 2007-11-08 15:27:23
It is always interesting to speculate on what was on Tolkien's mind
when he wrote The Hobbit. His world had existed in his mind for
decades, but Hobbits, their peculiarities and culture, were relatively
recent inventions. In the 1937 version of The Hobbit, the choice of
the Ring as a link to the larger story had not yet been concieved, and
its power was not as clearly delineated as it became in the later
work. So, knowing LOTR, having come to see Gollum through the eyes of
Frodo and Sam, seeing his near repentance and having his hobbity
similarities pointed up deliberately, of course we see him as a foil
for Frodo (and Bilbo) in their reactions to ownership of the Ring. I
had always seen the point of departure between the characters as the
finding of the Ring. Gollum reacted with murderous intentions, and
Bilbo with pity. So Gandalf says, and it must be true! Looking at the
earlier version of the story, as Curious does in this essay, brings
out interesting points about Gollum's reactions and motivations as
they were originally concieved by the author. It is specifically
courage that Gollum lacks: perhaps the Took in Bilbo is his true
salvation and that of the whole of middle-earth, as much as his
compassion for a pitiable creature. This is a well-reasoned and
thought-provoking short essay, and an interesting point of view well
worth pondering.

Title: Stranger in a strange land ˇ Author: Tanaqui ˇ Races: Men:
General Drabble ˇ ID: 695
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon ˇ 2007-11-08 16:25:53
Evocative drabble concerning Elessar's reaction to pomp and
circumstance in Harad, both as the King and as a wanderer in the
South. Good package of details, with emotions and senses in full play
- I could almost see the scene; and feel Aragorn's discomfort.

Title: Falling Into Shadow ˇ Author: Marigold ˇ Races: Cross-Cultural:
Incomplete ˇ ID: 205
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke ˇ 2007-11-08 17:21:00
This is a very nice vignette which serves well to expound on the
characters we know so well and show us something a little new.
Glorfindel's perspective is perfect to tell this story: with all his
experience he is still learning about Hobbits.

Title: A Useful Skill ˇ Author: EdorasLass ˇ Genres: Humor: Children ˇ
ID: 46
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke ˇ 2007-11-08 17:32:28
This is a great view of Denethor. Rather than cold, bitter, or
resentful as he is traditionally described, you give is a portrait of
a thoughtful, if somewhat distant parent. Well done. I particularly
liked the detail of his self-chastisement for being so long away from
the field and forgetting the necessities that make men equals.

Title: Exploring the Wild ˇ Author: EdorasLass ˇ Genres: Adventure:
Pre-Ring War ˇ ID: 30
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke ˇ 2007-11-08 17:58:26
This is a sweet tale and a nice portrait of your OFC. Your Boromir
strikes me as a bit young (there are five years between the boys), but
the brothers certainly act and interact truly, as do all your characters.

Title: Making Acquaintance ˇ Author: Bodkin ˇ Times: Mid Third Age:
2851 - 3017 TA ˇ ID: 216
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke ˇ 2007-11-08 18:06:56
I really liked this story. It is full of fun, character, action,
foreshadowing and foresnickering but in no way too full. The style
remains uncluttered but rich, the story straightforward but sweetly
told. I particularly like the detail of Gandalf's coming to the Shire
as if to rendezvous with fate while not know what that fate might be.
Very nice.

Title: Fissures ˇ Author: Thundera Tiger ˇ Races: Dwarves ˇ ID: 804
Reviewer: Imhiriel ˇ 2007-11-08 18:55:10
A story that poignantly contrasts the "usual" Dwarven suspicion of and
distance from Elves with Gimli's changed attitudes when he came to
befriend Legolas.

I liked the discussion about architectural details, and how those
reflect Gimli's ambitions and his experiences in encountering
different races and cultures on the one hand, and Otin's unease at the
innovations and change from tradition on the other.

A detail I appreciated was that Gimli had even taken thought to
Dunland in his plans.

Title: For the Dwarves, Gimli ˇ Author: annmarwalk ˇ Races: Dwarves ˇ
ID: 155
Reviewer: Imhiriel ˇ 2007-11-08 18:55:30
I enjoyed this short series, and even more did I enjoy "getting to
know" Gimli's mother. Fast-paced, yet with enough detail in dialogue
and description to leave the right impression.

There was such a feeling of mutual love between mother and son (and
Gloín, too), and I liked that Gimli just took all the extra things his
mother insisted on, without complaint.

Title: Seen in the Halls of Dwarrowdelf ˇ Author: Aruthir ˇ Races:
Dwarves ˇ ID: 73
Reviewer: Imhiriel ˇ 2007-11-08 18:56:28
Wow. What a marvellously written story, strong, rhythmic, so very
appropriate for Dwarves. Powerful imagery and the word structure both
strengthen the eeriness and immediacy of the narrative.

Effective use of fast pacing and sentence lengths - I could really
feel how breathless and precipitous the Dwarves were getting when
their goal seemed so near.

The readers can sense the sweat and arduousness of labour, just as
they can feel the satisfaction and joy the Dwarves find in their
common endeavour. And how their desire to go on and on and still
achieve *more* turns to obsession, making them blind to warning signs,
unable to give up against all reasonable odds.

["Look about you, traveller..."] - this passage reminded me of the
epitaph on the Spartans' burial mound at Thermopylae. I don't know if
the reference was deliberate; in any case it fits very well, and gives
the story an additional fascinating resonance.

Title: The Weregild ˇ Author: tyellas ˇ Races: Dwarves ˇ ID: 522
Reviewer: Imhiriel ˇ 2007-11-08 18:57:01
The story is descriptive and evocative, the setting and characters
come to life with just the right amount of detail. Customs known from
canon (even obscure ones) and original are both interwoven flawlessly.
I particularly liked the fact that the Dwarves were so appreciative of
the care that had been given to the wrapping of the precious stones;
and that the king's wife was his chief counsellor.

It was fascinating to see the wars of Eregion and Eriador through the
eyes of the Dwarves, and to witness how one of the Dwarven Rings
actually came into their keeping, and to catch a glimpse - even a
brief one - of "Annatar".

I found it especially ominous how quickly the Ring began to work on
Bolin; how he began to neglect to pay attention to his wife's words,
and that in the end, he stole the ingot of ill-gotten spoils.

Title: Woven in Friendship ˇ Author: SlightlyTookish ˇ Races:
Cross-Cultural: With Pippin ˇ ID: 290
Reviewer: Imhiriel ˇ 2007-11-08 18:57:34
I could feel with Pippin how the character in the tapestries almost
came alive, the descriptions were so very vivid.

His memory of being in Minas Tirith and hearing the horns announcing
the coming of the Rohirrim to the beleaguered city was very moving,
recalling to mind the breath-taking moment in canon.

I like how the horns of the Rohirrim and Boromir's horn are here
linked together. And now we know why Merry received the horn as his
parting gift from his Rohirric friends!

Title: My Treasure ˇ Author: Armariel ˇ Genres: Poetry: With Hobbits ˇ
ID: 332
Reviewer: Imhiriel ˇ 2007-11-08 18:58:07
Powerful and powerfully moving.

The readers can truly feel Sam's anticipation, his quivering joy only
slightly tinged with nervousness - he seems so full of gladness at the
expected reunion there is no place for doubt, beyond a few questions
in the first stanza that are apparently quickly forgotten in the rush
of other imagined details full of the certainty of welcome.

I love the choice of tense for this: writing the poem in the future
tense gives it even more a feeling that Sam can hardly wait any more,
that he has imagined minute details of how it will be. On the other
hand, he clearly still has questions of how exactly the reunion will
play itself out he is eagerly looking forward to getting the answers.

Some wonderful word pictures and metaphors; and I appreciate that you
took their aging into account and wove it so naturally into Sam's

Title: Osgiliath ˇ Author: Dwimordene ˇ Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Gondor Drabble ˇ ID: 626
Reviewer: Imhiriel ˇ 2007-11-08 18:58:47
This drabble has a driving rhythm that fits the tense moment
perfectly. Word choice and word order complement it wonderfully, the
alliterations marking out some even sharper moments.

A haunting picture, infused with the desperation of fierce struggle.
The moment of the fight on the bridge and the plunge into the Anduin
is given keen immediacy.

The terror the Nazgűl evoked, that of the battle itself, and the
battle-lust that can come in the very midst of fighting, are conveyed
very evocatively.

I found the play with the term ["shadow"] in the last line very
intriguing. It seems as if the attack by the Ring-wraiths insinuated a
feeling of futility into Boromir, which could not even be shaken once
the fight was over. A tinge of the Black Breath? Moreover, a "poison"
that might have contributed to Boromir's feelings that the Quest might
be hopeless, and the Ring should be put to better use? The allusions
are vague, ambiguous, but the basis is there for this kind of
interpretation - which is what a well-constructed drabble that
contains more than the surface layer like this is can provide.

Title: They also serve who only stand and wait ˇ Author: Tanaqui ˇ
Races: Men: Gondor Drabble ˇ ID: 724
Reviewer: Imhiriel ˇ 2007-11-08 18:59:20
A close-up look at the Gondorian soldiers guarding the beacons. It
seems entirely plausible that people would be selected who are no
longer fit for more strenuous jobs, but still soldiers charged with a
vital part of the defence of their land.

It also reminds me of Aragorn giving soldiers quailing on the way to
the Morannon an honorable task in recapturing Cair Andros - he know
that is is important for them to feel needed and given a task they
still can in honour fulfil.

I like how the pride is captured so succinctly that they have in their
monotonous and dull job, that they know exactly that their routine and
diligence is vital part of the task, even if for long stretches of
time nothing might come of it. An apt elaboration of the
excellently-chosen title.

Wonderful details of what the job entails, notably the mention of
smother to be able to signal in daylight.

Title: Twice blessed is help unlooked for ˇ Author: Tanaqui ˇ Times:
Late Third Age: 3018-3022 TA: Gondor Drabble ˇ ID: 631
Reviewer: Imhiriel ˇ 2007-11-08 18:59:37
The sensations of what a warrior feels after a long and strenuous
battle engagement are evoked in precise, vivid terms; including the
almost numb befuddlement when seeing something strange - Imrahil
doesn't even react to believing himself dead and thus able to see
Thorongil, just taking it in stride unexcitedly.

Only after some moment of questioning this sight as something that
must be only a false vision - for how could it be? - does he search
for another explanation and is palpably relieved and glad he is
correct after all (and apparently prepared to let explanations wait
for a more opportune moment).

Title: Come Back to Me (Drabble) ˇ Author: Marta ˇ Times: Fourth Age
and Beyond: Drabble ˇ ID: 538
Reviewer: Imhiriel ˇ 2007-11-08 19:00:10
Yes, there is bitterness in this drabble, as the summary says. It is
poignantly conveyed, as is the passage of some not specified but
clearly long passage of time since the end of the Third Age.

Bitterness at Men's forgetfulness and disregard for each other and
other beings (it appears as if the weapons they use in their wars on
each other only inadvertently also kill Ents).

But also bitterness, or so it seems to me, at the Ents' complacency
and retreat from daily life which makes them oblivious and "treeish".
Treebeard himself is no exception, as the gathered topsoil on his
roots signifies. At least he has woken up now and is prepared to be
active again in the search for the Entwives, in the course of his
race's very survival.

Title: More than Meets the Eye ˇ Author: Dadgad ˇ Genres: Humor: The
Shire or Buckland ˇ ID: 128
Reviewer: Marta ˇ 2007-11-08 22:03:49
Oh, this was excellent! Really nice use of humor throughout the early
parts with the way Elladan and Elrohir only slowly revealed the full
tale - the false starts and Elrond's increasing dismay was extremely
well used, I could so see the scene and found myself chuckling at
several points.

But what really I liked even more than that was the way you used
canonical information about the hobbits and your own extrapolation to
create a fleshed-out account of the Battle of Greenfields. I could
completely see this as Tolkien's hobbits, which made the conversation
with the elves all the more entertaining. Really nice work on all
counts, Dadgad.

Title: A Noble Thing ˇ Author: Lily Baggins ˇ Genres: Drama: Ithilien
ˇ ID: 596
Reviewer: Linda hoyland ˇ 2007-11-09 06:45:02
I liked Faramir's kindness to Frodo in this somewhat AU story.

Title: Ours ˇ Author: Queen Galadriel ˇ Races: Hobbits ˇ ID: 334
Reviewer: Linda hoyland ˇ 2007-11-09 06:47:56
A sweet moment showing Sam's devotion to Frodo.

Title: The Turn of the Tide ˇ Author: Altariel ˇ Genres: Alternate
Universe: Gondor or Rohan ˇ ID: 72
Reviewer: Linda hoyland ˇ 2007-11-09 06:54:57

A fascinating AU full of beautifully written what if moments.It was
very interesting seeing Denethor and Epowyn keeping one another
company as they wait for Faramir's return.

Title: Devious Council ˇ Author: Rhapsody ˇ Genres: Drama: Vignette ˇ
ID: 427
Reviewer: Linda hoyland ˇ 2007-11-09 06:57:08
An interesting ficlet exploring the not always harmonious
relationships between Feanor's sons.

Title: Dawning Hope ˇ Author: Radbooks ˇ Genres: Drama: Youth ˇ ID: 498
Reviewer: Linda hoyland ˇ 2007-11-09 07:01:58

This hearwarming and enjoyable story explores the childhood of Eomer
and Eowyn in very believable detail.
I've never been very interested in Theodred,but here he is brought to
vivid and likeable life.
Eomer and Eowyn were just as I imagined them to be as they struggled
to adjust to life in Edoras without their parents.Eowyn's grief at
even being parted from her nurse is profound.
I also liked Eomer's protectiveness and Theorded's willingness to help
cheer his cousins, though that ends in a near fatal accident.
A great read!