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Msg# 8434

MEFA Reviews for November 22, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 22, 2007 - 5:47:53 Topic ID# 8434
Title: The Last Leaf to Fall · Author: Robinka · Genres: Romance:
Second Age or Earlier · ID: 546
Reviewer: NeumeIndil · 2007-11-14 07:43:37
This story tugs at me right from the beginning, while Flower sits,
begging her great aunt for a story. It brought to mind the smell of my
grandmother's apartment and knitting lessons when I was a girl. I also
enjoy the narrator's voice, the chatty tone she adopts from the start
is welcoming, almost comforting in a way, easing us through the
sadness of her pending departure with the happiness of her girlhood.
And yet, over all, the melancholy is what has stayed with me since I
first read it so many months ago. Not only does the OC have only one
day with her husband, but the niece that would know her story never
hears it. The leaf falls too soon. Except for us, the readers, the
truth dies with her. It makes me wonder how many of my grandmother's
stories passed when she did, a testament to the power of the narrative
here, that someone can be touched so closely by a simple, relatively
short tale. It is also worth noting that it is rare to see stories of
humans who had interacted with First and Second age elves in this
fandom. Thanks in part to the P. Jackson films, the early history of
Middle-earth is still an untapped resource in many ways, and yet the
Silmarillion-based stories to be spawned by a simple "what if" seem
nearly endless. This is, I hope, just one of many sweet and sad and
engaging stories still to come from the pen (well, keyboard) of a
great writer with excellent command of the language in which she writes.

Title: Blessed by Ilúvatar · Author: White Wolf · Genres: Drama: Elves
in Later Ages · ID: 485
Reviewer: NeumeIndil · 2007-11-14 08:02:34
A sweet, short tale illustrating how even the greatest hearts are
touched by sorrow and loss, and how the simple, open heart of a child
can help healing begin. I very much like this Thranduil and the
structure of the house of Oropher. Nicely written.

Title: Mistaken Identities · Author: Greywing · Races: Elves · ID: 201
Reviewer: NeumeIndil · 2007-11-14 08:04:15
Haldir as Pallas-Athena? Okay, that gave me the giggles in a bad way.
This whole idea just somehow *works* so wonderfully well. What a
creative, extraordinary take on the lives of those First Born who did
not sail. Just lovely.

Title: Future Imperfect · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851
- 3017 TA · ID: 749
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-11-14 11:34:01
A good look at a more sympathetic Denethor than is usually provided.
He and his father-in-law Adrahil are discussing Faramir's eventualy
role in the guarding of Gondor, while unbeknownst to them, Faramir
listens outside. Denethor's regret that he will have to send his
second-born to one of the most dangerous postings is palpable here,
but his resolve is as well. Adrahil obviously favors Faramir, and
wants to spare his grandson some danger, but is over-ruled. Good
character development in a little bit of space.

Title: Tradition · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Cross-Cultural: Drabble ·
ID: 691
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-14 14:19:35
This drabble is sad in its way, but there's a beautiful poignancy to
Eowyn's simple statement that [a scop's music dies with his lord]. I
also liked this presentation of Rohirric custom as something worthy of
respect, just not yet understood by Faramir. He would have been within
his rights to insist Gleowine sing, I'm sure, and it speaks highly of
Faramir that Eowyn knows she can convince him to alter his actions in
the future.

Title: Gifts · Author: Acacea · Genres: Humor: Other Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 500
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-14 14:41:02
Hee! Oh, this is a fun moment, and I can completely see it happening
the way you laid it out. And it's good to see Denethor and Faramir
interacting naturally, and Denethor as a good father - so much to love
in this ficlet. Nice work, Alawa.

Title: The End of Dark Days · Author: annmarwalk/EdorasLass CoAuthors
· Genres: Drama: Minas Tirith · ID: 56
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-14 14:45:24
Another enjoyable story set in this well-conceived universe. There is
a nice mix of relief and shocked disbelief here as Nanny learns about
what has happened in the City and to Faramir.

Title: Breath of Spring · Author: Ribby · Races: Men: Gondor Drabble ·
ID: 763
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-14 14:45:51
[mild spoilers]

There is something truly sad (but also really poignant) about the idea
that the smell of death followed Faramir even into his black
breath-induced dreams. It makes sense, and I wouldn't have it any
other way, but when you said even Boromir [reeked of blood and death],
I wanted to cry for Faramir.

But then there is the transition, the moment where the air clears and
a new smell comes in, and I'm sure it would be as refreshing as a
summer rain to him. There's some really affective use of smells and of
sensations in general in this drabble, and I really enjoyed it.

Title: Letting Go · Author: Rowan · Genres: Drama: The Shire · ID: 310
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-14 15:26:48
This is a tale that could easily have turned out to be overly
sentimental, but Rowan rose to the challenge and gives us a
conversation between Bilbo and Frodo that feels natural and fresh
without losing its poignancy. It's not an easy task by any stretch of
the imagination, but Rowan manages it well, and the result is a
delightfully fresh tale.

When I try to think about why I liked this tale so much, two things
come to mind: characterization and description. The descriptions both
of Bilbo's preparations for the party and the physical world he and
Frodo walk through are rich and vivid, yet they do not slow down the
tale. Rowan gives us just enough details to whet the appetite and lets
our imagination carry us the rest of the way, just as it should be.

That on its own would make for a nice read, but Rowan also shines
through in characterization. Bilbo is not the impulsive adventurer of
the Hobbit, the care-worn and diminished uncle we see in Rivendell, or
the snarky gift-giver of the party scenes, yet he feels fundamentally
"Bilbo-ish." Frodo brings out his softer side without (as I said)
making him overly sentimental, and I can very easily see one of my
favorite characters acting in this way. I tend to be very exacting in
how I like Bilbo in fanfic, and this story does a good job with him,
too. And with Frodo, too. I can see the gentle spirit and earnestness
of the young in him, but he also has the wisdom and the generosity of
heart that will make him a fine ringbearer.

All in all, this was a very enjoyable read. Anyone who likes
vignettes, gapfillers, and especially fic about Bilbo should give this
a try.

Title: A Thankless Task · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Drama: Youth ·
ID: 49
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-14 17:31:55
I especially enjoyed the interaction and banter between the brothers
here. I can't help but think that it would have ultimately been better
for Boromir's character if his father had insisted he continue his
lessons. Perhaps he would have turned out less haughty and impatient.

Title: Answers and Questions · Author: Peredhil lover · Genres: Drama:
Youth · ID: 189
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-14 17:37:46
There is an interesting twist here that I have never seen before and
it really appealed to me. It made the twins much more alive, clearly
individuals rather than clones of each other. Estel's characterisation
was also well done.

Title: Erestor and Estel: Hidden · Author: Pentangle · Genres: Drama:
Youth · ID: 167
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-14 17:51:18
It's lovely that Estel already has the ability to see the worth of a
person beyond their exterior. Another example of "all that is gold
does not glitter"!

Title: Force of Nature · Author: shirebound · Genres: Alternate
Universe: The Shire or Buckland · ID: 360
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-14 21:18:53
Ah, another sequel to "Quarantined," wherein Aragorn seeks a Ranger
apparently lost in the Old Forest. But when the trees appear to poison
first the Ranger and then Bilbo Baggins's young cousin Frodo, it's to
be wondered what's going on here.

A wonderful look at ineractions between Rangers and Hobbits, and first
meetings between Estel and Merry and little Pippin and his ducks.
Sweetly told.

Title: To Sleep, Perchance to Dream · Author: Blackbird Song · Genres:
Drama: Ithilien · ID: 301
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-15 00:45:29
The deep love between these two is very clear in this story. I
especially liked the first part, set in Buckland. The descriptions
were very well done. Pippin's prophetic dream was very Tookish!

Title: Charms of Wisdom and Grace · Author: annmarwalk · Genres:
Drama: Ithilien · ID: 460
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-15 00:53:35
[Spoiler Alert]

This is a beautiful story, very calming somehow. The descriptions are

I didn't find the idea that Faramir could weave farfetched at all, so
well thought out was the reasoning behind it. The idea that he had
made Boromir's cloak and so helped to save the hobbits from freezing
on Caradhras was a nice one, another tangible thing that he had done
to help the Quest succeed.

Title: The Far Corner of the Garden · Author: annmarwalk · Genres:
Drama: Ithilien · ID: 554
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-15 00:59:20
I enjoyed this - it is a very life-affirming story and does a
wonderful job of showing just how far Eowyn has come from the cold
maiden who desired death. Now so many of her thoughts are on
sustaining life. The simbelmyne was a particularly nice touch.

Title: A Noble Thing · Author: Lily Baggins · Genres: Drama: Ithilien
· ID: 596
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-15 01:43:26
My favourite part of this story was the flashback to the bath.
Faramir's kindness really shines through.

Title: Journey's End · Author: Altariel · Genres: Drama: Ithilien ·
ID: 442
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-15 01:57:37
This is a very good story. The two "Rangers" are very much at the
heart of the piece even though the story is not told from their pov.
The mistress of the inn is an excellent OC and her thoughts provide a
very clear example of how everyday folks must have suffered during the

I really liked the idea that these two particular travellers might
sneak away now and again for a bit of anonymity!

Title: Firelight · Author: Songspinner · Genres: Drama: Ithilien · ID: 817
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-15 02:20:33
A nice weaving of film and a bit of Book-verse! The fire theme was
well conceived. The close friendship that the members of the
Fellowship have for each other is well conveyed; their closeness is
obvious primarily because of the characters' actions rather than too
many words. The friendship between Legolas and Gimli and the fondness
that everyone feels for Pippin is expressed especially well.

Title: Night Terrors · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 -
3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 752
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-15 02:27:32
Great title! This is a very sweet drabble. I'd love to hear the story
about the [Last King and the Snowmen]!

Title: Truly Tested · Author: Súlriel · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 -
3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 257
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-15 02:34:50
This drabble really manages to convey what training with a sword is
menat to accomplish, the reflexiveness so that one can act and react
without hesitation. Well done and realistic.

Title: Behind Every Great Man... · Author: annmarwalk · Times: Mid
Third Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 52
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-15 02:39:14
This drabble works very well written completely in dialogue. Mormegil
is an excellent servant and I found myself wondering what had become
of him in later years.

Title: The Wink of an Eye · Author: Linda hoyland · Times: Mid Third
Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 664
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-15 02:41:29
I wouldn't have guessed that Sauron had a sense of humour! Definitely
*not* what Denethor was hoping for!

Title: Outmatched · Author: Tiana Luthien · Genres: Drama: Vignette ·
ID: 132
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-15 02:42:36
One of the best Eomer/Faramir piecesI've ever read. The descriptions
are almost cinematic; and make me see the action, which is intense;
yet there is a certain playfulness, and a beauty about it all -
witness the line [Thrust, parry, block, dodge, they danced sure-footed
across the earth raising clouds of dust, lightning flashing from their

The only problem is that Tiana Luthien did not write me into the story
with a camera. But the image of the combat between such well-matched
heroes remains engraved in the FanGirl portion of my brain...

Too often, Faramir's strength and skill at arms is given scant
attention in fanfiction stories. Here is one that not only
acknowledges Faramir's martial skills, but Tolkien's assertion that he
can hold his own with any man of the Mark.

And the ending is wonderful, and very believable.

Title: And We Will Travel North · Author: bewize · Times: Mid Third
Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 39
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-15 02:53:58
This drabble made me consider something that had never crossed my mind
before; characterisations of Elrohir and Elladan that I have read,
including LotR itself, portray the twins as elvish in every way. Yet
as Peredhel they must have wondered at some point in their lives about
what it would mean to be human. Their journeys with Estel must have
been enlightening for them. Very thoughtful drabble about the
relationship between the three of them.