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Msg# 8437

MEFA Reviews for November 23, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 23, 2007 - 6:21:18 Topic ID# 8437
Title: The Wizard's Coin · Author: grey_wonderer · Races: Hobbits:
Pre-Quest · ID: 480
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-15 18:44:42
One of Grey Wonderer's early stories, considering the prologue and
disclaimer; but we do get a good look at the interactions of the three
cousins, as well as the confusion of Bilbo as he gets to deal with a
small, confusing Took who has him looking for something that was lost
but won't tell him what, assuring him he'll know when he finds it.

The lost returns--but mysteriously, just after Merry and Frodo realize
precisely why Pippin wanted to "borrow" the Wizard's coin to begin
with. How did it end up back on Merry's desk?

Fun, as GW's works usually are.

Title: Elrond's Song · Author: White Gull · Genres: Poetry · ID: 409
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-15 18:49:10
Elrond's praise of Frodo, the unexpected hero, come from quiet fields
to carry the token of greatest evil to its destruction, Melancholy and

Title: The Departure of Boromir · Author: Narnian Sprite · Genres:
Drama · ID: 622
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-15 19:04:59
A gentle look at Boromir's time in the Halls of Mandos, followed by
his return to the Source.

Poignantly written.

Title: Crossing · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Gondor Drabble · ID: 693
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-15 19:10:06
Ah, that first of what would be many crossings of the river. Effective
use of mood.

Title: Drawn With Love · Author: MerryK · Genres: Drama: Youth · ID: 569
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-15 22:44:10
A marvelous look at the love between the Brothers Mir as Boromir seeks
to give a form to his younger brother's memories, giving a touch of
healing to his father as well.

The story is drawn with love.

Title: Concussion · Author: Dreamflower · Genres: Adventure · ID: 711
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-15 22:47:46
A wonderful find for those who wish to see gapfillers not focused on
the Sil and LOTR. Here is one for The Hobbit as Dreamflower looks at
Bilbo awakening after the Battle of Nine Armies to find the battle
won, Thorin dying, and himself suffering the effects of a concussion.

Characterizations are perfect, the scene is authentically drawn, and
medical details accurate. A perfect gift for those of us who love
Bilbo as well as the Fellowship!

Title: Dawning Hope · Author: Radbooks · Genres: Drama: Youth · ID: 498
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-15 22:51:57
Poor little Eomer and Eowyn--their parents dead; forced to leave their
home to come to live with Uncle Theoden and Cousin Theodred in Edoras,
and few familiar faces. A look at how the two of them come to accept
they are part of a new family, and are beloved where they now are.

Lovely look at the relative innocence and stubbornness we see in the
adults in LOTR.

Title: Devious Council · Author: Rhapsody · Genres: Drama: Vignette ·
ID: 427
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-15 23:19:56
One way to get your brother to cooperate, Rhapsody!

A look at the politics of the First Age as Maedhros uses what he knows
of his brothers to manipulate them. Well done.

Title: Field of Dreams · Author: agape4gondor · Genres: Drama · ID: 374
Reviewer: Linaewen · 2007-11-16 02:22:15
I cannot read this eloquent tale without weeping for this amazing
woman of Gondor! She copes so bravely with the physical and emotional
hardships that come when parted forever from a loved one, now that she
is left behind with all the responsibility of feeding her family
without the support of her husband and sons. Hers is that special kind
of bravery of one who presses on in spite of the obstacles, even in
the midst of her very powerful personal grief. Her care is not only
for her family, however, but also for her countrymen who are in need
of the wheat in her fields, and this is another duty that keeps her
going, in spite of the hardship. She cares as much for her extended
family and their need, as she does for her own family which remains.
But it is a heavy burden for her, even though she carries it with as
much strength as she can muster in her time of sadness.

The first person narrative is effective, as the bereaved widow moves
from describing her day-to-day routine with her daughters in bringing
in the harvest, to remembering the happiness of other times, brought
to mind by her work. The detailed descriptions of how she goes about
that work -- the harvest, the sharpening of the scythe, the threshing,
the caring for her children who remain -- are poignant and striking,
and add very much to the reality and emotion of the tale.

Agape4gondor has written a very moving story that cannot be forgotten
once it is read!

Title: Emmaus · Author: Dwimordene · Genres: Drama: Vignette · ID: 636
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-16 04:24:13
A singular, unusual version of Faramir's personal experience in the
"dark vale" from which Aragorn called him in ROTK. Here, Faramir casts
himself away from the horrors of combined memory and Shadow influence,
into a more gentle dreamscape; until Aragorn appears and gives him a
fateful choice.

I really liked Aragorn's words to and about Faramir. The appellation
of [Pilgrim] has a spiritual quality to it. And Aragorn's calling
Faramir [the very rock of this land] reminded me eerily of Peter being
called the rock upon whom the Christian church would be built.

A lovely vignette from this outstanding author.

Title: Field of Dreams · Author: agape4gondor · Genres: Drama · ID: 374
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-16 07:12:49
This is a moving story about the struggle of the women left behind in
the Ring War to survive.Having decided to explore agriculture in
Gondor in one of my own stories,this struck a chord with me.The
bereaved woman is very true to life,thinking she sees her lost love
By the end of the story, I truly cared that the woman and her children
would survive.
A well written and unique story.

Title: Green Magic · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres: Crossover ·
ID: 312
Reviewer: NeumeIndil · 2007-11-16 07:16:25
Ooh, creepy, scary and reminiscent of Fellowship all in one. Very nice.

Title: The Great Hobbiton Race 1435 · Author: Llinos · Races: Hobbits:
Incomplete · ID: 83
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-16 07:17:29

A delightful and amusing story exploring what might happen if the
Hobbits decided to embrace technology and use machinery.The idea of a
race reminded me of the London to Brighton run of vintage cars,an
annual event in England.
Well written and heartwarming.

Title: 13th Birthday · Author: stefaniab · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 138
Reviewer: Inkling · 2007-11-16 07:24:04
"13th Birthday" operates on several levels, and succeeds beautifully
on all of them. On the surface it's a light-hearted romp with the
brothers 'mir--a charming coming-of-age tale in which Faramir
graduates from desert ponies to a big, spirited horse, suffers the
indignity of a cracking voice, and offers unexpected, endearing
responses to the classic question, What do you want to be when you
grow up? But darker, more ominous undercurrents are present from the
opening lines, with the description of the White City [spread out
beyond the manor walls in all its beauty and despair.] And perhaps
more than anything, it's an astute character study, with sensitive,
nuanced portrayals of Faramir, Boromir and Denethor, and the
relationships among the three.

This exchange between the brothers, for example, speaks volumes about
the family dynamics:

["You can't tell me that you couldn't miss Government for one day. I
hated Government."

"Well, one of us has to study Government," Faramir retorted. "That's
what Father says. He'll cane me if I skip out this afternoon."

"When's the last time he caned you?" Boromir defied him.

"Why, I don't remember."

"Of course not. As I recall, I was the one who always saw the butt of
his cane. Something about how I was older and therefore I should know

Stefania nimbly shifts gears throughout the story, moving from comic
to serious and back again. The thoughtful, somber notes sneak up on
you when you're caught off guard by the lighthearted bantering,
particularly the haunting line that ends the first chapter:

["I do not fear Father," Faramir said softly. "I fear for him."]

There are sly twists in the final chapter that upend what we--and
Faramir--think we know about Boromir...and about Denethor too, for
that matter. Boromir may not be quite the spendthrift he seems, and
Steff has managed to make the Steward quite likeable, even warm and
paternal, while always remaining very much Tolkien's
small feat!

Title: Harvest Bonfire · Author: Cuthalion · Genres: Romance · ID: 667
Reviewer: NeumeIndil · 2007-11-16 07:33:19
Poor Rosie, and thank goodness for Lily, once again! I don't suppose
this has been said in public before, but your Sam's actually quite
sexy when he stops worrying about every little (or big) thing! As
always, your hobbit tales are so vivid and real I feel like I've
stepped back into the book, though of course the good Professor would
have subtly shut the bedchamber door behind them. I'm glad you don't.
*wink* You've taken one of my favorite holidays and turned it into
what is likely to be Rosie's favorite holiday for a long time to come,
and so well in such a small space. I simply can't say enough how much
I enjoy these stories.

Title: Decorum · Author: Larner · Genres: Humor: The Shire or Buckland
· ID: 59
Reviewer: Inkling · 2007-11-16 07:44:03

In "Decorum" Larner has created a delightful sequel to Dreamflower's
"Miss Dora Baggins' Book of Manners," answering such practical
questions as just how did Dora distribute her magnum opus, and to
whom? She has also raised--and answered--some deeper questions on just
what constitutes real manners.

The opening paragraph captures Dora's personality with amusing
precision...after running through a mental checklist of the virtues
and flaws in Frodo's and Bilbo's appearance, she concludes that [when
all was said and done the two of them were worthwhile acknowledging as
her relatives.]

There is a charming moment when Dora blushes at Bilbo's teasing,
making her suddenly seem much less starchy. But she soon reverts to
form, pronouncing Frodo with great satisfaction ["a fine specimen of

I loved the hilarious denouement, as Dora discovers her relatives'
most undecorous behavior at elevenses, with Frodo attired in [the most
disreputable nightshirt it had ever been her misfortune to see.]

But my favorite scene is the coda. Frodo, with the know-it-all
presumption of youth, had once viewed most of Dora's advice as
self-evident and, therefore, unnecessary. He now learns the hard
way--inundated with nosy, inconsiderate questions following Bilbo's
disappearance--that not all of his relatives possess his natural good
breeding, and that perhaps Dora's advice would make useful reading for
many of them.

And Dora, for her part, can see that Frodo's kindness, manners, and
grace under pressure are flawless when it truly counts. Their final
exchange, when Frodo understands his aunt's compliment on his decorum
for what it is--an expression of love--brings the story to a sweet,
touching conclusion.

Title: The Turn of the Tide · Author: Altariel · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 72
Reviewer: NeumeIndil · 2007-11-16 07:48:58
Ooh. This is a *very* different take on the waiting in Minas Tirith
from those I have read before. I have to say, I almost like this
version better than canon. There is more hope for Faramir and his
troubled family in this way. The strength you've found in him and
shown to us is admirable. Eowyn's relationship with her father-in-law
is another narrative path I think I should like to see more of one
day. A wonderful, thought-provoking piece.

Title: The Dryad · Author: Imhiriel · Times: Late Third Age: 3018-3022
TA: General Drabble · ID: 71
Reviewer: Inkling · 2007-11-16 07:50:34
Beautiful sentiments, beautifully expressed. The passage in LOTR that
inspired this drabble was one of my favorites long before I was
otherwise paying much attention to Tolkien's use of language. The
poetry of ["dishevelled dryad loveliness"] is unmistakable and
haunting, and I'm thrilled that Imhiriel has honored it with this drabble.

In her notes Imhiriel qualifies her dryad as ["presumably AU"], but I
don't know...Tolkien's natural world strikes me as full of sentient
life, from the mournful stones of Eregion to cruel Caradhras to the
River Woman of the Brandywine, and I think this dryad fits right in.

Title: A Mother's Touch · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Humor:
Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 44
Reviewer: Inkling · 2007-11-16 07:56:27
Raksha has a real knack for writing lovable monsters! Baby Smaug ranks
right up there with her portrait of Carcharoth (aka Wolfiekins) in
"Lord of the Werewolves." He's so cute you just want to bring him home
with you--almost. (And wouldn't Hagrid just die for him?)

Readfah is quite endearing herself, having to contend, like mothers
through the ages, with a muddy child and reciting a maxim with the
ring of classic maternal wisdom: ["A good dragon is fearsome, but
never dirty!"]

A most enjoyable ficlet!

Title: One Frodo Too Many · Author: Baranduin · Genres: Humor: Parody
· ID: 683
Reviewer: Inkling · 2007-11-16 08:07:45
Frodo Baggins has invited some very unusual guests to Bag End...

If you have even a passing acquaintance with Frodo slash pairings,
you'll find this fic's characters hilariously familiar. And if you
know Baranduin's own fics, or those of other authors in this genre,
you'll appreciate the affectionate digs at such slash classics as the
Pretty Good Year series.

But even if you're unfamiliar with any of these things, you will still
find this a funny, funny story. Book!Frodo disparaging the
intelligence of his fanfic descendents in Pig Latin makes me laugh out
loud every time I read it.

Book!Frodo is here portrayed as the "stout little fellow" described by
Gandalf to Butterbur in FOTR. I confess to preferring the
slimmed-down, post-Weathertop book!Frodo that peeps out of the mirror
at Rivendell, but Baranduin is clearly going for maximum comic
contrast here, and in this she succeeds splendidly.

Title: Rain on the Downs · Author: Breon Briarwood · Races: Hobbits ·
ID: 794
Reviewer: Inkling · 2007-11-16 08:11:21
Rain--and hunger--can drive a hobbit to desperate measures indeed! An
enjoyable ficlet with a clever twist at the end.

Title: Letting Go · Author: Rowan · Genres: Drama: The Shire · ID: 310
Reviewer: Inkling · 2007-11-16 08:18:36
I love this story's Rowan deftly sets the stage in
two brief, beautifully worded passages: first the sights of twilight
in the bucolic Shire countryside, then the sounds of the approaching
hobbits--the thump of the steel-shod staves and the voices raised in
song--bring the scene vividly to life. It's simple, understated, and
very effective.

This vignette captures a subtly drawn moment between Bilbo and Frodo
that rings true emotionally. I can well imagine that they must have
had a conversation just like this one before Bilbo left the Shire.

Bilbo's POV is convincingly done, very much in his voice: ["How can he
not feel as if he's being orphaned all over again? Bilbo, you fool!"]

But it is Rowan's portrayal of Frodo that most impresses me...his
quiet perceptiveness, confidence and generosity shine through, proving
not only that he has indeed come of age, as Bilbo realizes with some
surprise, but also that he truly is ["the best hobbit in the Shire."]

Frodo's reference to the star of Eärendil, and apt comparison of the
legendary wanderer to Bilbo, provide the perfect note on which this
lovely story ends.

Title: The Minstrel to the War Is Gone · Author: Pentangle · Races:
Elves: With Mirkwood Elves · ID: 813
Reviewer: Fiondil · 2007-11-16 10:52:47
This was an interesting look at two completely different elves: the
consummate warrior, Legolas, and the equally consummate bard, Lindir,
who is anything but a warrior, yet exhibits those qualities most
associated with true warriors: courage under adverse conditions, a
willingness to sacrifice one's self for the sake of another. and

The situation the two elves find themselves in as they travel from
Imladris to Lothlorien was both believable and quite harrowing.
Lindir's character comes out very strongly and I could easily
sympathize with his dilemma. The ride of the elves from Imladris under
the command of Glorfindel to rescue the two hapless (and helpless)
elves was both visually exciting and emotionally rewarding considering
the horrific nature of the "baddies". Glorfindel's method of curing
Legolas and Lindir's emotional scars was quite funny and true to his
character, bringing the experiences of two lifetimes to bear upon the

A most enjoyable read.

Title: Not an Ordinary Day · Author: nau_tika · Genres: Drama: The
Fellowship · ID: 737
Reviewer: Fiondil · 2007-11-16 11:20:11
Poor Pippin and Legolas! A most perilous and funny situation. I liked
how Legolas, in spite of his pain and embarrassment, tries his best to
comfort the youngest member of the Fellowship and how solicitous
Pippin is, even to the point of ensuring that none but Boromir learns
the truth of how Legolas was injured. Boromir's actions are what I
expect of so honorable a Man and I love Glorfindel's response when he
sees that Legolas is injured:

[A voice of authority drowned out any response Pippin might have made.
"Assemble a patrol. Have my horse readied. Where did the attack take
place, Lord Legolas?"]

Aragorn and Boromir's talk with Pippin hit just the right note to help
the youngster from belittling himself because of what happened with
Legolas, and you can sense the love and concern these two warriors
have for the hobbit, but Aragorn's final line as he sees just where
Legolas was injured had me laughing out loud.

Title: What Was That Job Description? · Author: Larner · Genres:
Crossover · ID: 523
Reviewer: Fiondil · 2007-11-16 11:35:00
I've always loved Larner's stories and this one is a personal
favorite, if only because of the Harry Potter crossover. Kenneth
Branaugh's performance of the clueless Gilderoy Lockheart shines
through in this little vignette. The best line was about house elves
being pathetic and the reactions of Legolas and Elrohir to the slur. I
also think Gimli's suggestions were spot on. One wonders if Aragorn
actually does accept Gilderoy as a court magician or if he will end up
putting the hapless wizard in motley instead.