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Msg# 8446

MEFA Reviews for November 28, 2007 Posted by Ann November 28, 2007 - 4:24:53 Topic ID# 8446
Title: Tell This Mortal Author: Chathol-linn Races:
Cross-Cultural: The Fellowship ID: 611
Reviewer: White Wolf 2007-11-27 22:13:56
This was a wonderfully woven and very original tale seen through the
eyes of a mortal woman named Aerlinn. Her observations of Legolas and
Gimli was done with a keen eye and appropriately fit the storyline.

I loved the way the story went full circle with the past, and though,
for the most part, it was sad in nature, it ended on a note of hope
and ultimate joy. I particularly liked the description of the ship
leaving the sea and moving onto the Straight Road. It's just how I
think it would have been.



Title: The Dancer Author: annmarwalk Genres: Drama: Minas Tirith
ID: 150
Reviewer: Marta 2007-11-27 23:24:14
It feels a bit odd to be reviewing this, as I beta'd this story and so
I have a very personal connection to it. But I think it is objectively
good, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone, especially
people who like original characters. The OFC in this story provides a
fresh look at the Gondor of a generation before the Ring War. The
politics certainly feel consistent with canon, and annmarwalk's
version of how Denethor met Finduilas was utterly believable. And the
individual short sections made the piece race by almost too quickly,
capturing the way I'm sure the years would have slipped by for this
dowager lady. Nice work, Ann.

Title: Spring after Winter Author: annmarwalk Times: Mid Third
Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Drabble ID: 462
Reviewer: Marta 2007-11-27 23:30:06
Oh, beautiful! This drabble has some splendid imagery, and the
symbolism of water washing away sorrow worked very well as well.

Title: Jewel Author: Aranel Took Genres: Romance: Drabble ID: 325
Reviewer: dkpalaska 2007-11-27 23:39:15
Romantic and sweet, but with a very Dwarven spin to it. The ancient
tradition ties in nicely with what little canon exists, and is well
thought-out: incorporating the Dwarven emphasis on craftsmanship and
the upper hand that women would have in choosing a husband, and thus
their power in granting the boon of additional privacy in which to
further the courtship.

While it would be a charming look at even an unnamed couple, this
carries extra punch because we've seen Gloin in other, very different
situations. The contrast between that dour, stout warrior and this
["trembling in his boots"] suitor is wonderful.

Title: The Company of Heroes Author: annmarwalk Races: Hobbits:
Children ID: 393
Reviewer: Marta 2007-11-27 23:51:43
This was sad, but I could completely see it. Sam has a passionate side
and if his relationship to Gollum is any indication he can carry a
grudge. And he really did wrong Frodo, even if it was under the
influence of the Ring. So while I like to think of Boromir remembered
kindly for his noble sacrifice and his honorable past, I can see Sam
not wanting to talk to him that often.

P.S. - I had a real chuckle when the first "ninth walker" people
thought of was Haldir. ROFLOL!

Title: Kindred Spirits Author: Cathleen Genres: Drama: The
Fellowship ID: 377
Reviewer: obsidianj 2007-11-28 01:24:08
It is amazing how many similarities the members of the Fellowship can
find, although they belong to so many different races. In this tale it
is Boromir and Pippin who have a look at their similarities. The
characters of Boromir and Pippin ring true and Gandalf really reminds
me of a mother hen sometimes in the books.

Title: Three Cups of Kindness Author: Elen Kortirion Times:
Multi-Age: Fixed-Length Ficlet ID: 448
Reviewer: obsidianj 2007-11-28 01:25:42
This is a beautifully written set of drabbles. Each time someone hands
Aragorn a drink to help him in a situation and it is touching to see
how the situations change.

Title: Dangerous Place Author: Ushmushmeifa Genres: Drama: Minas
Tirith ID: 590
Reviewer: obsidianj 2007-11-28 01:28:16
[Spoiler]
This is a touching vignette. I think this filled in another motivation
for Boromir to go to Imladris. Just going for duty feels pretty cold
to sustain him for such a long time, but going for some tangible
thing, for the welfare of Gondor's children after witnessing the death
of this little one is a powerful motivator.

Title: Mettare Author: rhyselle Races: Cross-Cultural: The
Fellowship ID: 732
Reviewer: obsidianj 2007-11-28 01:30:36
[Spoiler]
This little piece gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. It seems like Boromir
and the hobbits are feeling homesickness. By telling of each others
customs and building the little boats together they feel better. But
thinking about going into the ice cold waters of a river in the middle
of winter gives me shivers. This letting boats float down the river is
obviously a custom of warmer climates...

Title: Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush Author: Isabeau of
Greenlea Genres: Romance: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet ID: 512
Reviewer: obsidianj 2007-11-28 01:31:36
I think Diamond is a match for Pippin in this piece. At least she is
determined to claim him in no uncertain terms. Pippin better watch out.

Title: Bounty Author: Marta Genres: Romance: Drabble ID: 572
Reviewer: dkpalaska 2007-11-28 06:21:16
I love all the allusions and subtle connotations in this drabble.

First, there is the reminder of who Eowyn is: the strong and brave
woman who felled the Witch-King. Not only a lady deftly able to
maneuver about a royal court, and beautiful and intelligent enough to
win and keep Faramir's heart, but also a tomboy and skilled warrior.

From this, Marta leads right into what is my favorite part: that
Faramir loves this about Eowyn. Her scars are not something to be
ignored or skimmed over when they are making love, but rejoiced in as
part and parcel of who she is. That he incorporates them into their
intimacy speaks volumes to how much he loves the whole of Eowyn, no
matter her internal or external scars. I particularly adore this
lovely tribute to committed love and open-armed acceptance.

Finally, what a sensuously intimate gesture in front of the assembled
throng: a subtle and hidden caress that speaks of tremendous joy and
love to come, that evening and far into the future. (My last thought
was, how cool if this was the night Elboron was conceived - a great
bounty indeed!)

Title: A Song of Silence Author: Nessime Races: Men ID: 156
Reviewer: dkpalaska 2007-11-28 06:21:56
The deliberate calmness of the narrator sets a nice contrast to the
hurry of preparation, both within and without the house, with
beautiful and clear descriptions. The tone and style is close to
Tolkien's own, but is not stiff or stilted at all. Rather, it has the
rolling and smooth feel that I'd associate with Rohan's emphasis on
oral tradition.

The discussion of Deorwyn's deafness is handled adroitly, showing the
stark contrast between her and other Rohirrim but also giving me cause
to rejoice on her behalf. I have to wonder: Would her tapestries have
been as glorious, have "sung" so clearly, if her voice had had other
outlets? I found the telling of her story via her daughter-in-law's
perspective to be very effective and moving, with excellent use of
canon characters and details.

What I am most enchanted by, however, is the strength of the women:
the narrator's refusal to weep, Deorwyn's leaving her wool and
compassionate embrace, Willa's calm obedience. Even Eowyn at the end,
as we know what horrible pressures she has been under and how soon her
despairing ride will occur - yet she can smile a little, and think of
preserving the tapestry. They are the hardy Rohirrim to the core.

Title: Inroads Author: Raksha the Demon Races: Men: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet ID: 45
Reviewer: Larner 2007-11-28 07:30:30
There are those who look on the coming of Eowyn of Rohan to Gondor as
Faramir's wife with disapproval; but a short confidence from a young
girl helps to turn the tide of public opinion.

A lovely moment as the honesty of a young maiden helps bring the Lady
Eowyn into context. The short exchange is very intimate in feel.

Title: The Smile That Wins Author: Marta Genres: Romance: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet ID: 258
Reviewer: Larner 2007-11-28 07:35:02
Aha! Now we see Faramir gaining confidence with his desired courtship
as he begins seeing Eowyn coming alive, no longer the ice maiden or
the summer lightning.

Wonderful images here!

Title: Forcing a Path Author: Linaewen Genres: Drama: The
Fellowship ID: 400
Reviewer: Larner 2007-11-28 07:44:34
Herein we see the final breaching of the drifts on Caradhras from the
point of view of the two Men who did the work. Beautifully integrated
gapfiller here.

Title: In Passing Author: Lily Races: Hobbits: Post-Grey Havens
ID: 613
Reviewer: Larner 2007-11-28 07:52:37
I've read so many stories in which we see the passing of Merry and
Pippin from this life. This is one of the most poignant as we see
Pippin, having lingered a time in Aragorn's company after Merry's
death, realizing just how much he has been awaited as he is conducted
across Tol Eressea as a result of a brief reunion he hadn't anticipated.

Beautiful and heart stirring.

Title: The End of a Lonely Road Author: White Gull Races: Hobbits
ID: 542
Reviewer: Larner 2007-11-28 07:59:02
Another of White Gull's AUs in which we see Frodo with a love in his
life, this time one who is allowed to do more than remain behind as he
goes with the Elves to Tol Eressea.

A lovely tribute to the Hobbit so many of us love so well. May he
always find his Violet nearby!

Title: Summer Daze Author: Marta Genres: Romance: Pre-Ring War
ID: 471
Reviewer: Larner 2007-11-28 08:00:17
A most interesting look at our Faramir and his sexuality as a youth.

Now, did he or didn't he? Heh!

Title: Cultural Exchanges In Gondor Author: Llinos/Marigold
CoAuthors Times: Late Third Age: 3018-3022 TA: Other Fixed-Length
Ficlet ID: 94
Reviewer: Inkling 2007-11-28 08:33:11
[spoilers]

Worlds collide with hilarious results in this double drabble series,
in which the four hobbit heroes take on post-war Gondor and encounter
such exotic mysteries as veil dancers, prawns, cigars, champagne, and
spas.

It's hard to single out favorite moments, but I loved their griping
about Arwen's dreadful tea-making skills, and Sam's itching to do it
himself just to get ["a decent cuppa."]

Their day at the beach is priceless, with Gandalf wisely deciding not
to try to explain tides, saying only that the sea ["moves about you know."

"What, like the Ents?" Merry suggested.

"Hmm!" Gandalf agreed, "something like that."]

It's clear that this cultural exchange will leave neither side unscathed!




Title: My Children: Reflections from the Shire Author: Gryffinjack
Genres: Poetry: With Hobbits ID: 35
Reviewer: Inkling 2007-11-28 08:34:56
The sentiments of this poem are very movingly expressed. While the
meter strays at times, the central image of the Shire as mother is a
powerful one, reminding me of the stirring Irish folk song "Four Green
Fields." Nice work!

Title: Fell Beasts Author: Tanaqui Races: Villains: Drabble ID: 403
Reviewer: Inkling 2007-11-28 08:38:22
What marvelous, evocative language in this drabble! Especially well
done are the descriptions of characters, making use of their names
unnecessary...I love the reference to Sauron as [he who walked behind.]

Title: Dragon Lore Author: Tanaqui Races: Villains: Drabble ID: 404
Reviewer: Inkling 2007-11-28 08:53:07
Tanaqui offers a fascinating explanation of the origin of dragons,
further developing the ideas in her companion drabble "Fell
Beast"...whereas [The beasts of the field and the birds of the air]
could be twisted to Morgoth's ends, spirits must be asked--and can
refuse. And so while the fell beast of the first drabble is no match
for an eagle, here we can see that a dragon, as a fellow Maia, just
might be. The motivations of the Balrogs are equally intriguing,
seeing the Eagles as traitors.

I liked Morgoth's unconvincing dismissal of the eagles as [a mere
pinprick], given what we know of the talon scar that, with his limp,
served as a permanent reminder of his humiliating battle with
Fingolfin. His desire to [have them gone] seems more obsession than
whim, giving rise to at least two new breeds of evil creatures.

An impressive example of just how substantive a 100-word ficlet can be!


Title: Pest Control Author: Tanaqui Races: Cross-Cultural: Drabble
ID: 697
Reviewer: Inkling 2007-11-28 08:57:26
I love this glimpse of Fimbrethil, fierce as any riled-up Ent...yet
eminently practical, too, which seems very much in character for an
Ent-wife. I can just picture her the next morning, cheerfully handing
out sacks of fresh bloodmeal and bonemeal to unsuspecting, grateful men...

Wonderful title!



Title: The Burning of the Year Author: Raksha the Demon Times:
Late Third Age: 3018-3022 TA: Gondor ID: 2
Reviewer: Inkling 2007-11-28 09:30:19
This intelligent, powerfully written story was inspired by Denethor's
death speech in "The Siege of Gondor." While I had always interpreted
this chilling passage as alluding to a funeral pyre rather than a
sacrificial one, Raksha's take on it has produced a riveting piece of
fan fiction, richly layered with symbolism, foreshadowing, and
familial tension.

While firmly rooted in book verse, the fic also provides an intriguing
counterpoint to Faramir's gloriously futile assault on Osgiliath in
the film version of ROTK: [If the lives of one man, ten, twenty or two
hundred, could safeguard Gondor for a year, I would lead them out
myself and be the first to bare my throat for the knife. But such
wanton slaughter would serve no purpose save to delight our Enemy.
When we die, our end must be made for some better reason.]

The story turns on contrasts--between pagan and civilized customs,
between defiant revelry and impending doom, and between the favored
and "lesser" sons in the eyes of their father. But most of all it
highlights the choice between despair and, if not hope, then at least
resistance and stubborn endurance, echoing one of Tolkien's most
resonant themes. Despair may indeed be the easier way, but survival of
a people depends on those who choose the harder path.


Title: She Watches Author: Larner Races: Hobbits: Gapfiller ID: 640
Reviewer: Inkling 2007-11-28 09:37:46
This lovely vignette presents a convincing, sympathetic glimpse of
Rosie, as she voices the questions faced by families of returning
veterans throughout the ages (expressed more irreverently in that WWI
chestnut ["How 'Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm after They've Seen
Paree?"])

This nuanced portrait shows us not only Rosie's fears, however, but
also her perceptiveness, confidence, generosity of spirit, and perhaps
most of all her good, plain hobbit-sense. All of her questions are
answered with eloquent simplicity in the wonderful final line.