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Msg# 8441

MEFA Reviews for November 25, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 25, 2007 - 5:01:49 Topic ID# 8441
Title: ...To the Edge of Night: Seven Tells of a Moment ∑ Author: Elen
Kortirion ∑ Races: Men: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet ∑ ID: 439
Reviewer: Marta ∑ 2007-11-20 19:30:18
This is a very poignant series of drabbles, with lots of detail in
each one. The individual scenes feel complete in themselves, but they
also connect nicely into a story arc. I personally disagree with the
way Denethor's relationship with his sons was portrayed, but this is
movieverse so I could accept it for the duration of the series, and
there was so much other good material I could sink my teeth into. Fans
of drabbles and Gondor won't want to miss this one.

Title: Bonfires of Trust, Flashfloods of Pain ∑ Author: Klose ∑
Genres: Drama: Second Age or Earlier ∑ ID: 413
Reviewer: Marta ∑ 2007-11-21 02:08:24
This was an interesting and poignant read. As a Tolkien fan who
doesn't necessarily specialize in Silmfic, I found it nicely
accessible without being at all shallow; there was a lot of depth to
this piece, both emotionally and philosophically. The imagery was
evocative throughout, and, while the subject matter keeps it from
being something you can properly "enjoy," this short story manages to
pack a lot of content into a relatively short space without ever
feeling rushed. Nice work, klose!

Title: Life Lessons ∑ Author: Marta ∑ Races: Men: Gondor ∑ ID: 582
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon ∑ 2007-11-21 06:58:37
One of the better treatments of the post-Ring War relationship of
Arwen and Eowyn that I, at least, have read. It is natural that Arwen
and Eowyn should turn to each other, since they are both outsiders in
Gondor, for support and, eventually friendship, not to mention their
husbands being bound together in the relationship of King and Steward.
I particularly like Arwen's decision here; and how she is giving a
gift of the Elves to Men in a female-to-female almost sisterly
transaction, which seems to me to parallel Arwen's bringing a fresh,
and last, infusion of the blood of the High-Elves into the bloodlines
of Men.

Title: A Wish for Yestare ∑ Author: rhyselle ∑ Races: Men: Gondor ∑
ID: 178
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon ∑ 2007-11-21 07:01:32
Intriguing story of Denethor and Faramir's mettare observation at the
end of 3018: I like how father and son, who seem nearly estranged, are
drawn together by their memories of and hopes for Boromir, who they
both love.

Title: A Pirate's Life for Me! ∑ Author: Raksha the Demon ∑ Races:
Men: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet ∑ ID: 438
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea ∑ 2007-11-21 16:13:06
These were great drabbles, linking Faramir's childhood with the
childhood games of his own children as both parties played the
Gondorian version of Cowboys and Indians. Imrahil's turn as the
dreaded pirate king was very well done, his promise to Faramir to
teach him Umbarian Adunaic curses so he can play with Boromir more
acurately a telling indication of how well he already knows his young
nephew.

Title: Sometime Ever After ∑ Author: Dwimordene ∑ Times: Fourth Age
and Beyond ∑ ID: 363
Reviewer: Linda hoyland ∑ 2007-11-22 01:49:28
[spoilers]
I loved this beautifully told story,being a fan of both Aragorn and
Halbarad.
In this haunting tale, a badly wounded Aragorn sees his old friend and
is granted a reunion with hm.
The reader is left to guess was it real or the product of a fevered mind?




Title: Strange Stars ∑ Author: Jael ∑ Races: Cross-Cultural ∑ ID: 120
Reviewer: Ignoble Bard ∑ 2007-11-22 05:47:37
Who would have thought a simple courtesan exchange with Harad could
prove so enlightening, and on so many levels? This story is great, and
has already been praised by those more capable and eloquent than me,
but I just want to add that I loved it for all the same reasons and more.

Legolas' desire to aid Aragorn in opening diplomatic talks with
Gondor's former enemy after the Ring War is admirable on the face of
it. But, despite his best intentions and his research of the "role" of
a courtesan he thinks to merely play, culture shock finds him at a
loss. He handles things well enough at first, being the clever and
open minded Elf he is, but soon finds himself navigating the
unfamiliar, and at times dangerous, court of the Sultan. Along the way
he develops affection and empathy for some of his "clients" coming to
realize that, despite their differences, the ravages of war have
touched Gondor and Harad in similar ways. Finally, he is confronted
with a situation that, while not entirely unexpected, forces him to
rethink his attitudes, relationships, and even his prejudices in ways
he never imagined. Would that we could all take such a journey at
least once in our lives.

Jael's stories are true "must reads" for any Lord of the Rings, Wood
Elf, or Mirkwood aficionado. To call the details, characterizations
and plots of her stories "rich" is too clichť for the emotional impact
the work produces, often in so subtle a manner that one finds oneself
revisiting scenes in the mind's eye days and weeks later.

Title: Cophetua ∑ Author: Jael ∑ Genres: Romance ∑ ID: 242
Reviewer: Ignoble Bard ∑ 2007-11-22 07:02:28
A poor girl, forced to leave home, runs into an unexpected benefactor
in this tale that begins like the standard Mary Sue story but ends up
making us believe in the depth of eternal love. Once again, Jael
triumphs over the predictable and mundane by bringing us a story that
answers the question of what happens when a lonely king finds love
with a woman well below his station. The story is brimming with fine
details about Mirkwood and its politics, as well as the
characterizations we've come to anticipate from this author. To say
too much is to give away the little surprises throughout that are like
Easter eggs for the spirit.

Suffice it to say that a reader that sticks with this story will have
some pleasant moments in store and some wrenching ones as well. The
deft blend of drama, humor, and heartfelt emotion transports the
reader to a time and place that never existed but, in the author's
capbable hands, feels like it could and should have.

Title: Sticky Sweet ∑ Author: SheBit ∑ Races: Men: Gondor Drabble ∑
ID: 196
Reviewer: Larner ∑ 2007-11-22 17:37:52
Ah, the memories of childhood compared with the griefs of the day!
What was sticky sweet now perhaps has the tang of copper to it as
Aragorn kneels by the river.

Title: Burning Your Bridges ∑ Author: Branwyn ∑ Genres: Poetry ∑ ID: 125
Reviewer: Larner ∑ 2007-11-22 18:00:48
Another look at how it was that the last bridge of Osgiliath fell, as
Faramir sees to its destruction while Boromir keeps the enemy at bay
before all seek the safety of the river.

I could feel the heat beating against my closed eyes.

Title: Foreign Ways ∑ Author: annmarwalk ∑ Genres: Humor: Gondor or
Rohan ∑ ID: 54
Reviewer: Larner ∑ 2007-11-22 18:04:22
Ah, our Mag learns how to ferment mares milk, and compliments her new
mistress by asking about making other Rohirric delicacies she
remembers from her youth.

Calls to mind my favorite Sutcliff tales! Thanks for the reminder.

Title: The Great Blotmath Walnut War In The Year 1423 ∑ Author:
grey_wonderer ∑ Races: Hobbits: Post-Grey Havens ∑ ID: 165
Reviewer: Larner ∑ 2007-11-22 18:39:20
This has to be one of the funniest stories GW has written, and she's
written some pips! When Pervinca begs Pearl for some walnuts to make
her walnut cake for Tom and Marigold's third anniversary, she agrees
to hull all Pearl gives her--an unwise wording it turns out.
Pimpernel, Pippin (recovering from an injury to his weak knee) and
Merry all find themselves caught in the war between Paladin and
Eglantines oldest and youngest daughters, and poor Pippin almost
wishes he'd go blind when he sees Pervinca in all her glory.

Absolutely hilarious.

Title: Bliss and Beauty ∑ Author: Imhiriel ∑ Genres: Romance: Drabble
∑ ID: 20
Reviewer: dkpalaska ∑ 2007-11-22 19:01:15
This is a wonderful example of how structure can be used to enhance
storytelling within the limited framework of a true drabble. Each
paragraph (only a sentence or two) is clearly a new step forward in
Tour and Idril's relationship; amazingly, they are all self-contained
and marvelously expressive. Each section builds on the one before,
until it feels almost like a mini drabble series. The numbering
strategy works very well as a subtly suggestive and compelling beat;
given the romantic elements, I hear Tour's heartbeat in my mind. The
beat connotation feels even more appropriate in connection with the
musical undercurrents of the white city's name.

I love how so much about the two characters is smoothly and naturally
tucked in: Tour's sea-longing, Idril Celebrindal's dancing, the
magnificent unlikeliness of their love and the similarities with Beren
and Luthien's. The imagery is lovely and beautifully poetic; one of my
all-time favorite Imhiriel phrases remains ["two graceful hands
weaving music into motion"]. I come away with the picture of Idril
seeming like a fleet and somewhat mischievous doe, and Tour the hunter
calmly and patiently waiting until, intrigued despite herself, his
love slips to his outstretched hand.

A very creative and apt treatment of the beginnings of their relationship.

Title: Salt ∑ Author: Dawn Felagund ∑ Times: First Age and Prior ∑ ID: 743
Reviewer: Doc Bushwell ∑ 2007-11-22 21:50:30
Dawn's magnum opus, _Another Man's Cage_, was my first introduction to
Tolkien fan fiction. I spent a good chunk of my New Year's vacation of
2007 immersed in it. Yet again, Dawn draws me into her secondary world
of the FŽanorians with [Salt], a story that so lovingly, tragically,
and convincingly paints a vivid portrait of Carnister.

Carnister's narrative begins in Aman. The mother-son relationship is
beautifully drawn here, and Dawn illustrates Nerdanel's love for each
of her sons with the detailing of the phials. These are consistent
with Dawn's overarching fictional take on Tolkien's Firstborn. She
portrays the Elves as fully human (as explicitly noted by Tolkien
himself), but still possessing the sense of the Other that sets them
apart from mortals. The eldritch touch of the phials conveys the
strangeness here.

Tolkien's legendarium, _The Silmarillion_ in particular, lends itself
to the interpretative fan fic writer, and Dawn, as characteristic of
her work, takes this and runs with it. In Salt, FŽanor is a Noldorin
Cassandra; few listen to his misgivings. Dawn also fills the white
spaces between the lines with her description of the harsh realism
likely to underlie the more general descriptions written by Tolkien.
This is starkly illustrated by Dawn's description of the commandeered
ships foundering and drowning of the Noldor, and furthermore, the
terror experienced by FŽanor and his sons at the mercy of the fierce
ocean, and most intensely by Carnister as he takes another's life.

The symbolism of the ocean and its intimate connection to Carnister
are interwoven skillfully throughout the narrative. The sea offers
peace to Carnister yet displays its lethal force to him. Salt is given
to the ocean by the tears of a god, and yet is benign and trivial as
flavoring on popcorn. Through this theme and the interlaced
connections between the force of nature and the protagonist, Dawn
effectively conveys Carnister's inner anguish and depth of feeling
that lie beneath his carapace of the weird. Throughout the story, the
sea lies in wait for Carnister, ready to take his tears.

Salt is a haunting story and for this reader, evokes a dream-like
quality. It is an excellent addition to Dawn's expansive compendium of
First Age tales.


Title: The Eagle's Gift ∑ Author: Raksha the Demon ∑ Genres: Drama:
Minas Tirith ∑ ID: 591
Reviewer: Larner ∑ 2007-11-22 23:43:56
Denethor finds his father's gift on the night of his marriage almost
embarrassing, and the messenger sent to bring it almost an insult. But
at least this night he looks to hold a treasure the equal of which
Ecthelion's Eagle of the Star admits he cannot boast--at least, not as
yet. It is an admission that allows Denethor to feel superior as he
looks to claim the full pleasure of his own.

An enlightening look at the dynamics between Denethor and Thorongil
and the absent Ecthelion.

Title: Brotherhood ∑ Author: Bodkin ∑ Genres: Drama: Incomplete ∑ ID: 733
Reviewer: Larner ∑ 2007-11-22 23:55:40
As always, a wonderful, clever glimpse into the lives of the sons of
Elrond and their father and the rest of the inhabitants of Imladris as
they find their hope and interest in life restored by the coming of a
small child of Men and his bereft mother to join the household of the
Last Homely House. A marvelous, thoughtful tale that I pray will be
continued soon. Don't keep us waiting too long, Bodkin.

Title: Iron to Iron ∑ Author: mrkinch ∑ Times: Second Age: Drabble ∑
ID: 662
Reviewer: Larner ∑ 2007-11-22 23:57:47
The title says it all as we examine the thoughts of the very Light
with which the Silmarils were filled--meant to shine freely, it was
first hoarded and then made to shine upon degredation.

Thought provoking and in ways disturbing. Well done.

Title: Hossis ∑ Author: Fawsley ∑ Genres: Drama: Youth ∑ ID: 520
Reviewer: Larner ∑ 2007-11-23 00:01:03
What a way for mother and child to learn their lives have been
overturned as husband and father is killed by an orc arrow. No, the
Master wasn't always consistent with details, and this is definitely a
different look at how Gilraen's son came to look on Elrond as his father.

Interesting and unique vision of that time.

Title: The Inner Light ∑ Author: Rhapsody ∑ Genres: Drama: Elves in
Later Ages ∑ ID: 236
Reviewer: Larner ∑ 2007-11-23 00:05:42
First as he watches Elrond prepare for his departure from Middle Earth
and over time glimpse the thoughts and memories of Erestor, most
recently of Imladris. But when he himself returns to Aman, his own
heart is conflicted--and then healed by what he finds, as he sees
still another family he'd thought torn apart for eternity at least
partially restored, and he finds in that breach healed the chance for
himself also to reach more toward healing for himself.

Very poignant and thoughtful.

Title: Weary Beyond Joy Or Sorrow? ∑ Author: Imhiriel ∑ Times: Late
Third Age: 3018-3022 TA: Gondor Drabble ∑ ID: 671
Reviewer: Larner ∑ 2007-11-23 00:10:00
He looks upon a still figure--that of Halbarad, I must suppose. Not
all that happened on the day of the Battle of the Pelennor brought joy
and gladness to our beloved Aragorn.

Love how he finds comfort. It made me feel stern myself.

Title: Fissures ∑ Author: Thundera Tiger ∑ Races: Dwarves ∑ ID: 804
Reviewer: Larner ∑ 2007-11-23 00:30:39
Ah, the reality of the changes within Gimli as a result of his
participation in the quest and his friendship with Legolas now meets
the rigid traditions of the Dwarves who follow him to the Glittering
Caves of Aglarond, and Otin hopes to minimize the possibility of too
deep a fissure in the structure of their new colony and within Gimli
himself.

Now, to learn how pervasive and potentially dangerous the fissures
Gimli is opening might be.

Title: I'm Your Pain When You Can't Feel ∑ Author: Robinka ∑ Genres:
Drama: General Drabble ∑ ID: 103
Reviewer: Larner ∑ 2007-11-23 03:53:13
The devotion between Finrod and Beren was unique at the time; and this
look at Finrod's last wishes and prayers for his mortal friend is
heart-rending.

Title: The Understanding of a Father ∑ Author: Ellie ∑ Races: Elves ∑
ID: 174
Reviewer: Larner ∑ 2007-11-23 04:15:54
His son was sent back and must now prepare him to follow the Valar
eastward to the War of Wrath, and Glorfindel's father finally
appreciates that his son has known his own griefs and losses as
terrible as his own; while Glorfindel finally realizes the pain his
father feels at not having been able to protect his child from those
griefs.

In this case, pain shared is indeed healing.

Title: Setting the Captives Free ∑ Author: pippinfan88 ∑ Races:
Hobbits: Post-Ring War ∑ ID: 245
Reviewer: Larner ∑ 2007-11-23 04:39:54
Once the ruffians were bested, the next task was to free those who had
been incarcerated in the lockholes in Michel Delving. Told with a
sensitivity and purposefulness equal to that of our returned
Travellers themselves as they sought to restore the folk of the Shire
and to find and free their beloved cousin Fredegar Bolger.

Title: Peregrin ∑ Author: Pearl Took ∑ Races: Hobbits: Gapfiller ∑ ID: 316
Reviewer: Larner ∑ 2007-11-23 04:49:40
Ah, what a movie-verse moment as a peregrine falcon comes to aid
Peregrin Took and give him heart as he ascends the rock holding the
beacon, helping strengthen him that last bit of the way as he climbs
enough to make of the beacon a small sun indeed.

As heartlifting as the section of the films in which the light of Hope
is passed from mountaintop to mountaintop.