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Msg# 8443

MEFA Reviews for November 26, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 26, 2007 - 4:03:28 Topic ID# 8443
Title: When the King Comes Back (Brandy Hall) · Author: Dreamflower ·
Genres: Drama: With Merry · ID: 713
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-24 11:30:49
Ho hum. Saradoc is so much more sensible that Paladin in some ways.
Although I suppose he has always been prepared to be Master, while
Paladin spent much of his life as a farmer before being dragged to the
Smials to take over the Thainship. And Saradoc has only one child,
while Paladin had three daughters before obtaining his heir. It's good
to see the family reconciled, though. And to have them learn more of
what happened Outside - although the males are being nicely protective
of female sensitivities. Love the irony of Paladin's declaration - no
reconciliation until the king comes back. Well, right back at you,

Title: Safe In My Arms · Author: Fiondil · Genres: Drama · ID: 470
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-24 11:47:39
Uncle Namo! Now Faramir is just exactly the person who would call Namo

I love the way that Boromir spends time playing with his brother - and
that he finally realises that it is he who needs to feel safe.
Although he accepts Faramir's exalted status far more easily than his
father can - Boromir has always appreciated Faramir's talents, I
think. In a big brother way.

It is good to see Denethor freed from his torment - although, I
daresay, he still needs a lot of time to come to terms with his past.

And are you suggesting that Eomer has found his time with the
periannath to be rather wearing? Surely not!

Title: The Dancer · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Drama: Minas Tirith ·
ID: 150
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-24 11:52:50
The poor woman - that is so sad! A society where she must be totally
passive and receptive. Always be asked, not asking, wait and smile and
be patient. And he intended to wed her - one day, when it suited him
and the need for heirs made marriage inevitable! Only he fell in love
- and dropped her without even an apology. Such self-centred arrogance!

But Vinyarion sounds a kind man - and understanding. And she was
content - both to be with him, I imagine, and to be away from Minas
Tirith. The last thing she needed was to see Denethor with Finduilas!

Only life didn't even spare her one of her sons to stand by her side,
but doubtless handed her home to her husband's heir and sent her back
to watch Denethor atrophy.

A lovely - but sad - perspective on the prospects for the Mothers of
the Sons of Gondor.

Title: One Who Sticks Closer than a Brother · Author: Lindelea ·
Genres: Drama: Incomplete · ID: 417
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-24 12:05:19
My goodness, but they do go through it! Poor Tolly - he's just had so
much on his plate recently (non-edible things on a metaphorical plate,
too, to make matters worse) that it's not surprising that, when he
fell ill, he fell hard. It's just a good thing that the Thain and the
pseudo-Son of Elrond were prepared to stretch a few rules and those
hobbits not so much in-the-know as in-the-suspicion are prepared to go
along with it!

And Tolly was right with his mercy - and I only hope that everyone who
know of the matter becomes aware of it. The mindless application of
rules for the sake of them does no-one any good. Not to mention that
the young men were a) friends, b) owed a life debt, c) adopted elves
and d) born and raised in the Shire and thus (in a way) hobbits.

I'm glad things appear to be settling. Although the key word there is
probably 'appear'.

Title: Getting Away from it All · Author: Bodkin · Times: Fourth Age
and Beyond: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 63
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-24 12:46:22
A wonderful pastoral setting for this story. There is a golden glow
and feeling of relaxation to the scene that is really appealing. Yet
this doesn't get in the way of the more serious layers underneath: the
wistfulness that such truly restful and informal moments can only
rarely be snatched from duties and the formalities of the court, which
must be especially difficult for those four characters. Smooth
switches in mood.

Lovely character interaction and dialogue, the readers can truly sense
the ease and friendship between these four, as well as the love of the
couples. I especially liked how you described the gestures and
expressions. There was also a wonderful sense of the personal history
of each character woven into the narrative.

The talk about politics and plotting nobles was intriguing and has me
fervently hoping you will some day write a sequel to this story!
Excellent strategical thinking of the four protagonists; I think they
have the situation well in hand.

Erm, and I completely agree with Éowyn's disapproval at Faramir's
reluctance ["to strip off at the least provocation"] *g*!

Title: Sorgbyrðen · Author: Aranel Took · Races: Men · ID: 275
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-24 12:47:25
Wonderful characterisations. The readers can really see the brashness
of a young Éomer, and Éowyn hiding her fears behind a mask of
unconcern and aloofness.

The relationship between the siblings was captured very well. Just
like in the books, there is evidently a deep bond between them; but
just like in the books, Éomer doesn't always see Éowyn's fears and

I really liked the sense of family between the four of them you
captured in the scenes set in 3002.

There is a palpable tension in the narrative, quiet but insidious, fed
not only by Éowyn's memories of her parents, but also about what is
happening in the present with Gríma and Théodred's wife. I found it
remarkable how you achieved this so much between the lines, by what is
unsaid, or just stated matter-of-factly. It also captured very well
the universal theme of how the families of soldiers feel, having to
wait, torn between trying to be brave and worrying about their loved
ones in peril.

Title: Sent Unto Men · Author: Alassiel · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond
· ID: 346
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-24 12:48:06
A believable and very moving premise in this intersection between LotR
and the Bible. The details taken from the Silmarillion, HoMe, and
"Hail Earendel", the poem so beloved by Tolkien, are filled with life,
are believable and very touching. There is respect there and care, for
both sources.

I like the sense of mystery, joy and wonder, that suffuses the
narrative, and is shared by all protagonists. A very fitting touch to
use here the titles of the characters instead of names: it gives the
story an hightened, archetypal feel.

I also like the open end, that you leave what will follow to the
readers' imagination, and what is "known" from the Nativity.

Title: Risen From Flame · Author: Ribby · Races: Men: Gondor Drabble ·
ID: 761
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-24 12:49:15
Wonderful and very, very appropriate equation of Faramir and Gondor.

The drabble is structured excellently, and the words are skillfully
chosen for a maximum impact, and set in such a manner that a very
powerful rhythm keeps resonating throughout.

Yes, both have endured much, wounds and losses. But both survived and
came out all the stronger, tempered and honed like metal in fire.

Usually, the pyre that nearly claimed Faramir, and the flames that
swept through the Pelennor Fields and through (at least) the first
circle of Minas Tirith is only seen as a destructive force. But here,
the fire that destroyed was also a cleansing fire, a fire of rebirth
(I'm thinking here of burning forests & fields leaving fertile ashes
for agriculture) - truly like a phoenix from the ashes.

Title: Point of View · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
Drabble · ID: 750
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-24 12:49:58
I can very well imagine that this is exactly what happened when
Aragorn asked for a copy!

Both Sam and Pippin are very much in character, especially taking into
account what we know of their concerns and interests after the Quest
from the Prologue, and of course the brief hints refered to here of
how a copy of the Red Book came to Minas Tirith.

Sam is modest and humble when thinking about the greatness of Minas
Tirith under King Elessar, whereas Pippin is enthusiastic and not so
easily daunted, and much more perceptive that he is often given credit

Title: Vocabulary Lessons · Author: Larner · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Gondor · ID: 521
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-24 12:50:27
Entertaining despite some long-windedness and repetition. The OCs were
three-dimenional, and integrated well into the narrative.

I found the contrast between the pompousness, self-importance and
self-righteousness of the young heir especially misplaced - and funny
- when contrasted with the helpfulness and humilty of the other

Title: Could Will Have Its Way · Author: Nancy Brooke · Races: Men:
Gondor Drabble · ID: 286
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-24 12:51:30
Haunting and moving look into Denethor's reasons for beginning to look
into the palantír.

The drabble is structured very well, with a the repeated question
giving it a powerful rhythm wich resonates throughout the drabble, and
throughout his thoughts. The slightly altered repetition at the end
leaves the readers with a very ominous feeling. The sentence structure
and word order increase the sense of rhythm, and it reads almost like
a prose poem.

Powerful imagery, with some excellent, evocative turns of phrase, and
I especially loved this line: ["I ached to see beyond the dark of
mourning"]. I also liked the many different uses of "sight" that are
woven very appropriately throughout the drabble, whether literal,
figuratively, and concerning vision/foresight; as well as the
juxtaposition of darkness versus light.

Title: South · Author: Aliana · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond: Gondor
or Rohan · ID: 8
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-24 12:52:01
Exquisitely lyrical style that gets really close to the characters,
what they think, feel and experience, as well as paint scenes with
short but brightly evocative "colours", rather like Impressionist art.
As ever in your stories, you manage to tell just as much in what you
*don't* say, through what can be inferred or read between the lines.

Merry's dreams, so enigmatic to begin with, are interwoven into the
narrative of his day-to-day life with its little mundane things that
are nevertheless so very important to him. This contrast between
dreamscape and reality hightens the mysterious, almost mystic quality
of the dreams.

I like the way the comparison between Éowyn and Estella is very
subtle, very naturally; no value judgement, just a matter-of-fact
allusion to some parallels and some differences.

And just for the record: I want a copy of that map *g*!

Title: Sometime Ever After · Author: Dwimordene · Times: Fourth Age
and Beyond · ID: 363
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-24 12:52:49
In this very gripping story, you manage to write from so far within
Aragorn's perspective that the readers feel as if they are very
directly witnessing his feelings and thoughts, as if they are sitting
in his head, almost.

The way the episodes weave in and out of focus also help to convey
Aragorn's current condition with its hallucinations. These episodes
seem to be not completely "there", just a little out of focus. And
this is so effectively contrasted with the change in writing style in
last paragraphs, with its so much more neutral, observant and
reporting voice.

And on top of that, the relationship you convey between Aragorn and
Halbarad is as fully-realised as ever when you write about them. Just
a few brushstrokes, a few well-chosen words in dialogue and description...

A realitiy in which Halbarad grows old and is there to know Aragorn's
children is a very moving notion, and I wager Aragorn was torn between
the grief that it could never be so, and thankfulness that at least in
his visions/hallucinations, it could be true.

Title: Behind Every Great Man... · Author: annmarwalk · Times: Mid
Third Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 52
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-24 12:53:08
Great use of the dialogue-only form. The discussion between Denethor
and his servant was pitched perfectly, and the readers could very well
imagine their respective voices. The dialogue itself flowed completely
naturally and captured perfectly the rhythms of speech, with trailing
off, stammers, awkward noises etc.

Denethor is quite obviously rather nervous at the prospect of his
wedding (and his wedding night *g*), and is also quite flustered at
the amount of detail his servant went to to prepare the bridal
chamber. I rather think his question elicited much more information
than he was expecting as answer!

I liked the character of the servant: he was solicitous without being
servile, I imagine his tone as quite calm, perhaps even elaborating on
his answers so as to soothe his master.

Title: Unexpected · Author: Madeleine · Genres: Romance: Incomplete ·
ID: 559
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-24 13:05:47
I was delighted to see another episode of Lothiriel and Eomer's story
- and I only hope that it will make it through to a conclusion. It is,
like all your stories, great stuff, with delightful and really
attractive characterisations.

From the very first chapter - I think one of the things that makes my
toes curl with delight is Lothiriel looking at Eomer and wondering if
this is the moment to mention getting a tutor to teach her Rohirric.
It is just so Lothiriel. Only she.... And then - Eomer's changes of
mood - from passionate to laughing to teasing to irritated to bemused
and back again over a matter of moments are a joy. As is his admission
that he wasn't all that happy about his proposal and that he was not
pressured but rushed. Not to mention finally getting out the three
words 'I love you'. Lothiriel is so practical, too. A little
uncomfortable with the situation, but not gauche and embarrassed and
naive. Aragorn was right when he described her in the last chapter of
To Become a Queen. Practical, intelligent - but not grasping the
subtleties - which I think will suit Eomer down to the ground. Mind
you - it is going to take them some time to settle down together - and
- short of the bedroom - they will be adjusting to married life in
public. Not easy.

I love the way Lothiriel begins to learn her way round Edoras - and
round the Rohirrim (and her own personal Rohir in particular!!) And
she has such strength of character! Yet she is confident enough that
she just isn't going to allow herself to be moulded into anybody
else's idea of a perfect Queen of Rohan. She doesn't see that she has
done anything wrong and she's not going to give way just because
society wouldn't necessarily agree with her.

But, as always, there is more to the way you tell their story than the
words. They debate brilliantly and confuse each other and respond
verbally according to their characters, but underlying it all are the
most amazingly sensual undertones - followed by the most amazingly
sensual overtones. I love your writing.

Title: Where Once My Enemy Stood · Author: Nieriel Raina · Races:
Elves: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 109
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-11-24 15:58:58
Nieriel Raina has produced a lovely little ficlet about Thranduil's
response to one particular friendship Legolas forged in the War of the
Ring. I really liked the way Thranduil's reactions explore notions of
honour, worth and love – and how, perhaps, those have been changed, or
he has changed enough to perceive them differently. My favourite line
is [even our people have changed, and we are not a people who change
easily]. The language is crisp and clear, and I love the subtle way
the evolution of Thranduil's understanding is shown through partial
repetition of phrases which are then carried on to a new turn of
thought – this seems reminiscent of the sea and Elves in general. Very
nicely done.

Title: First Flight · Author: Isabeau of Greenlea · Times: Mid Third
Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 513
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-11-24 15:59:48
I really like the sense of Eagle culture Isabeau creates here, and the
nice contrast in character of the two eaglets. Most unusual and

Title: An Unexpected Party · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Humor: Drabble
· ID: 16
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-11-24 16:00:17
Oh, this made me laugh out loud. A lovely blending of Tolkien's
magnificent, proud, brave and noble dwarves with a very different take
on dwarf culture. Well done, Branwyn – I'm still chuckling!

Title: The Weregild · Author: tyellas · Races: Dwarves · ID: 522
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-24 22:26:31
This is a nice gapfiller of the history of the dwarves. Bolin is every
inch a dwarf, with both the treasure-lust and the gruff exterior, and
I really like how tyellas has Nili, as a female dwarf, be so
perceptive. It's a really nice glimpse into Durin's sons.

Title: Drawn With Love · Author: MerryK · Genres: Drama: Youth · ID: 569
Reviewer: Linaewen · 2007-11-25 02:05:35
I truly adore this story! Not only is it a lovely tale of the special
relationship that is shared between two brothers, remembering the
mother they both miss, it is also an amazing treasure trove of insight
into the character of Boromir. For Boromir, maps drawn must be
accurate, work done must be perfect, promises made must be kept, no
matter what the consequences to his own grief. Though he is busy about
his own work, having the reputation of not liking to be disturbed, yet
he keeps his door open, and one eye trained to his brother's need.

I think it quite fitting that Boromir should be a fine artist, for
indeed, a practical leader and tactician like Boromir might well have
such an artist's eye -- accurate in detail, memory sharp and easily
recalled, able to capture reality and reproduce it with pen or
paintbrush. I am certain the qualities that made him able to draw well
also aided him in other ways as he grew older, and turned those
abilities to his needs as the leader of his men and his City.

I love the description of Finduilas, and the picture of her that is
formed before the reader's eye even as it is formed before Boromir's,
as he chooses just the right colors to recall his mother to life,
though it be on parchment and not in reality. Even the reader who is
not familiar with the artist's tools of the trade understands through
MerryK's finely worded phrases what it is like to paint, to take a
picture that is in the mind and the memory and make it live on paper.

I was very touched by this tale, to the point of tears, particularly
over the simple trust and firm confidence that young Faramir has for
his older brother -- he knows that Boromir will be true to his word,
and he knows that Boromir will fix whatever is wrong. I also love the
brief but satisfying glimpse we see of Denethor's care for his young
ones, and his own tender memories of his wife. I have a feeling that
Denethor might have visited Faramir's room even more often after that,
not only to tuck his young son into bed at night, but to catch just
one more glimpse of Finduilas, living again in Boromir's painting.

Title: Sure as Shire Talk · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Hobbits: Drabble
· ID: 753
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-25 02:26:14
This drabble really brought home the gravity of the quest for those
who would have been touched by it. By not describing Rosie's reaction
directly you avoided becoming maudlin, yet there isn't a doubt in my
mind that she was very much affected by Sam's disappearance from the
Shire. Well done!

Title: ...To the Edge of Night: Seven Tells of a Moment · Author: Elen
Kortirion · Races: Men: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 439
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-25 05:17:42
A beautiful set of drabbles focussing on the heart-wrenching scenes
between Faramir and Denethor and Pippin in movie-ROTK, when Denethor
sends his son to certain death. Here, not only are these moments
viewed and interpreted by the father and son and reluctant witness,
but by others of the Citadel such as a courtier and a cook.

All the drabbles resonate with incredible pathos; but is the Ostler's
piece that strikes me the hardest - the ostler chastises a stable-boy
for using a second-best blanket for one of the horses who will bear
the doomed knights; and berates him for the idea of allowing one of
their soldiers to go to his death in less than the best of
accoutrements - this, to me, seems very Gondorian.

Title: Lords of Gondor, Sons of the Shire · Author: Gandalfs
apprentice · Races: Men: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 379
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-25 05:25:15
Two well-written vignettes; of which the first is good and the second
outstanding. The second vignette presents Pippin and Faramir poring
over some particular dusty tomes in the Minas Tirith archives after
the Ring War ends - great dialogue and characterisation here,
especially of Faramir as an avid student of history, and a delightful

Title: The Ground Portends · Author: Thevina Finduilas · Races:
Dwarves · ID: 638
Reviewer: White Wolf · 2007-11-25 08:20:47
A nice little piece that gives us a glimpse into the strength of
Gimli's connection to the earth. We also see him with Legolas and
understand why he was called Elf-friend.

Title: Fissures · Author: Thundera Tiger · Races: Dwarves · ID: 804
Reviewer: Nieriel Raina · 2007-11-25 08:27:56
Excellent piece of work! This is one of the best dwarven tales I've
read, even though it is short. The choice of words is exceptional for
getting across the culture. Thundera's insight into the culture of the
dwarves impresses me to no end! Sometimes I think she must actually
have found a way to get into these characters' heads, for she writes
them as if she knows them personally!

In this tale, Gimli presents his plans for the Glittering Caves to his
friend and second, and in the process reveals much about how the Quest
and belonging to the Fellowship changed him, not to mention his
friendship with a certain elven princeling. As they discuss the plans,
two views collide. Time honored custom and long held prejudice faces

As always when it comes to Thundera's work, I am utterly amazed at the
amount of talent in the writing and I can only be grateful she writes
for us hopelessly obsessed fellow fan fiction addicts, instead of
writing award winning tomes of literature.