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Msg# 8445

MEFA Reviews for November 27, 2007 Posted by Ann November 27, 2007 - 5:04:37 Topic ID# 8445
Title: There and Back Author: Lindelea Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Gondor ID: 801
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke 2007-11-26 15:46:30
This could have been a ponderous story, full of detail and filling
every gap, but instead the author gives us a wonderfully rich
conconction replete with flavors and textures, never heavy or dull.
The framing of Pippin's in-and-out recovery with mirroring
recollections of the journey to that point is masterfully done, and
gives meaning to both sections. This has some lovely details; I
particulary liked the note that at the end Merry was included by the
members of the Gondorian guard. So many author's assume the Fellowship
members must always be the center of the action. This is Pippin's
experience, so Merry is appropriately, temporarily, judiciously sidelined.

Title: Yule Author: rhyselle Races: Hobbits: Merry and Pippin
ID: 764
Reviewer: Marta 2007-11-26 19:48:57
[spoilers]

This story is really poignant, describing each of the Yule traditions
in the different lands Merry and Pippin have connections to, and I
could very easily see each of these celebrations. What's more, I
really liked the way Boromir looked on from beyond the Circles of Time
-- it seemed fitting to canon and emotionally nice that he was still a
part of their lives. Nice work.

Title: A Truth Universally Acknowledged Author: annmarwalk Genres:
Humor: Gondor or Rohan ID: 556
Reviewer: obsidianj 2007-11-27 01:47:29
This humorous piece had me giggling. Boromir, listing all the virtues
his future bride should have to an audience of Faramir and Lothiriel
sounds just like one of Austen's characters.

Title: Decorum Author: Larner Genres: Humor: The Shire or Buckland
ID: 59
Reviewer: obsidianj 2007-11-27 01:48:20
This is an amusing little tale. Dora Baggins discovers that manners
are not everything. I think she learned a lesson by first preaching
good manners and then violating them herself. That was an eye-opener.
I think you captured Frodo and Bilbo really well and at the end Dora
herself shows that she is not all rules and regulations, but has a heart.

Title: Drink Down the Sun Author: Michelle Races: Men: Eriador or
Rivendell ID: 355
Reviewer: obsidianj 2007-11-27 01:50:21
This is a beautiful little story, watching Arathorn with his newborn
son. I laughed at Arathorn rushing home to his wife and then having to
cool his heels in the living room. Poor man, not even being the
chieftain gave him entrance to the birthing room. The ending is
especially poignant because we all know how little time Arathorn will
have with his son, no matter how much he wished he would be there for him.

Title: My Sword Sings Author: agape4gondor Races: Men: Gondor
ID: 426
Reviewer: obsidianj 2007-11-27 01:52:06
The story starts when the news of Denethor's assassination reaches
Edoras, where his sister and his sons stayed for a visit. Rohan is
loyal to the Steward's house, and we follow his sister and Theoden and
the boys (Boromir, Faramir and Theodred) on their dangerous way to
Minas Tirith to claim the Stewardship for Boromir, who is only a boy
of 11 in this story. The story had me on the edge of my seat. Traitors
and assassins are everywhere and the plot has some surprising twists
and turns I didn't expect. The children are well characterized and
Indis, Denethor's sister, an OC, takes on a life of her own. The women
in this story take on an active leading role, which is not always to
the liking of the Rohirrim who, despite of having the tradition of
shield maiden, prefer that Indis would stay out of the fighting. There
are a lot of familiar names of minor Tolkien characters, which are in
their prime during the timeline of this story, and get a chance to shine.

Title: Feasting on Poison Author: Gryffinjack Races: Hobbits:
Post-Ring War ID: 534
Reviewer: obsidianj 2007-11-27 01:52:50
In this amusing story, Sam goes on about the Gondorians feeding their
guests a poisonous vegetable or fruit depending on whose point of view
is used. The charactes come to life in this short tale, especially
Sam. I could see his agitation and the confusion of his hosts as if I
was a part of the story.

Title: In the Waiting Author: Altariel Races: Men: Gondor ID: 392
Reviewer: obsidianj 2007-11-27 01:53:40
In this story Faramir muses about the effect the ring has on him and
on the people around him, notably his father and brother. Even if the
ring itself does nothing for him, because of Sauron's designs he is
still affected. This is book!Faramir as I love him best. And I like
the language in this vignette which I think is very Tolkienesque.

Title: Who is this Gil-galad, of Whom You Speak? Author: Erunyauve
Genres: Non-Fiction ID: 250
Reviewer: obsidianj 2007-11-27 01:54:17
This is an interesting little essay about Gil-Galad. It shows that
there is really very little Tolkien ever wrote about him. But it
brought to my mind that there is a lot of fanon. But still Gil-Galad
is special among the kings of the elves.

Title: The Course of Love Author: Aranel Took Times: Fourth Age
and Beyond ID: 179
Reviewer: obsidianj 2007-11-27 01:58:03
In this story Faramir Took and Theoden and Eomer Brandybuck all find
their future spouses and their happy ends. But the way to bliss for
them is riddled with obstacles. I think Eomer had the easiest time of
it. Theoden is up against class prejudices, and Faramir gets caught by
the past and his scars from his father's unhappy marriage to Diamond.

The story paints a vivid picture of life and customs in the Shire,
although the customs had to be bent since in this AU Eowyn of Rohan
married Merry Brandybuck. It gets occasionally confusing for me with
all the character names because Merry and Pippin have the habit of
naming most of their children, and there are a lot of it, after the
heroes of the Ringwar, and I have a hard time attaching these names to
hobbit families.

The stories of the three friends are tightly interwoven with the focus
on one of them as time goes by. The characters are very well drawn and
engaging. I could have rattled Sam, and Diamond is a character I love
to hate. I liked Faramir best, probably because he is the most flawed
of the three and I could relate to him the most.

Title: And Thought How Blessed He Was Author: Imhiriel Genres:
Romance: Drabble ID: 670
Reviewer: dkpalaska 2007-11-27 02:25:03
Ohhhhh... *melts*

This drabble contains some beautifully sensuous passages. The erotic
descriptions stay well below a "mature" rating, but also delightfully
stimulate the imagination and paint a loving image of this (at long
last!) intimate moment between these two lovers. The profound
connection between Aragorn and Arwen is wonderfully explored and very
clear to the reader. The author has captured the sense of their long
history, of the weight of time and all they have endured, and what it
means for Aragorn especially.

That last resonates most powerfully for me: the reminder of Aragorn's
long years of wandering, of all the struggles to bring about his
destiny and the "right" to wed Arwen. Once homeless and road-weary, he
has finally achieved what must have often seemed like pipe-dreams
during endless nights and dangerous ordeals: both his kingdom and his
love. With all this in mind, I can understand how overwhelming it all
could have been for him. Arwen - his heart - would indeed be "home" in
a way noone and nowhere has ever been before. Imhiriel interweaves all
the erotic and deeply emotional elements extremely well, with a tender
and insightful touch that leaves me happy and satisfied at the end.

Well, OK - mostly satisfied. I'd love to see the rest of that night,
too. *g*

Title: A Very Rain of Sparrows Author: Dwimordene Races: Men ID: 440
Reviewer: dkpalaska 2007-11-27 02:39:01
A very, very intense story set during a tumultuous and difficult time
in Gondor's history, and loaded with complex politics, alliances and
ironies. Like so much of Dwimordene's work, this is not an easy read;
but like all of her stories it is utterly worth it. Everything is
carefully thought out and intricately woven together into a tapestry
worthy of gracing Tolkien's world.

The author brilliantly extrapolates from the tiny amount of existing
Kin-Strife canon. Careful research lays out a complete and realistic
background for the characters to act against, whether it is the
ground-level effects of higher political decisions; or the grinding
daily details of life in a small fishing and farming village; or the
wonderful cultural delineations. Pelargir and its docks in particular
come vividly alive.

The characters are sympathetic but still carry their own shortcomings
and faults; I finished the story caring deeply about them and grieving
over their fates. I love the technique of bookending the peasants'
story with the "extracts" from official records, as it emphasizes how
much of the bloody truth is compressed and lost in the historical
retellings, and that those viewpoints usually reflect those of the
mighty victors - not the "small folk", who typically suffer no matter
whose side they are on.

This works well as a parable both for Middle-earth, in the sense that
each war has affected Common Man everywhere in different yet similar
ways; and for us today, with the majority of our world's people living
in poverty, war-torn areas and/or under repressive regimes. Thoughtful
and telling, Dwimordene has given us a work that fills in gaps in
M-e's history and also carries an unhappily universal theme.

Title: Better Days Ahead Author: Raksha the Demon Genres: Humor:
Other Fixed-Length Ficlet ID: 51
Reviewer: Linda hoyland 2007-11-27 06:05:52
[spoilers]

If you ever wondered what happened to the Orcs after Sauron fell,this
amusing ficlet will give you the answer!

It seems that Shagrat has taken command now that his master is no more
and he is busy trying to raise the spirits of his followers, no easy
task, I would imagine ,given that so many Orcs were killed and they
lack organisation.

Naturally,Shagrat feels it wasn't fair that Sauron lost but
vaingloriously still believes the Orcs are due for a comeback.

This ficlet is chilling as well as funny,given that Shagrat chews a
dead comrades finger while he speaks and plans a worse fate than being
devoured for the women of Middle-earth.

At least we readers can rest safe in our beds,knowing that Aragorn and
Faramir are determined to clear out the orcs so they will no longer
carry off innocent maidens and rage war.

A well written and darkly amusing ficlet.

Title: First Flight Author: Isabeau of Greenlea Times: Mid Third
Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet ID: 513
Reviewer: Linda hoyland 2007-11-27 06:11:14
[spoilers]

A delightful ficlet concerning the somewhat mysterious Radagast and
the great eagles which he has befriended.I love the idea of Radagast
as a healer of wild creatures,tending the eagle's broken wing.

There is a lovely surprise in the last line of this ficlet,which
suggests Radagast did more to help than we supposed.