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Msg# 8447

MEFA Reviews for November 29, 2007 Posted by Ann November 29, 2007 - 4:23:48 Topic ID# 8447
Title: The man in the woods ˇ Author: Dot ˇ Races: Men: Eriador or
Rivendell ˇ ID: 13
Reviewer: Imhiriel ˇ 2007-11-28 10:32:23
Engagingly told, with some beautiful and highly evocative descriptions
and/or turns of phrase. The PoV is used to good effect, giving the
story an additional layer: we have the girl's thoughts and
preconceptions, and her limited worldview, and at the same time those
are filtered through the lense of the more experienced Falathren as
she tells the story.

Clear descriptions successfully flesh out the background or highlight
small details that give the story a three-dimensional feeling.

Good charactersations all around. I was impressed with the way the
Dúnedain and their way of life were evoked with just a few "brush
strokes". Even Halbarad was a fully-fleshed character, despite his
only brief appearance. This passage: ["Alagos wanted to play
king-returned then. I loved that game, loved to imagine far away
places that made my father's voice warm and soft as fresh baked bread
when he spoke of them, though he knew them only from his own Ada's
stories and the faith that thrummed in Dúnedain blood."] I found
particularly meaningful.

The encounter with the body is told hauntingly, and here the small
details are especially resonating: ["the ragged edges of a lovingly
embroidered tunic"], the bug crawling over his face, the remains of
the bow. The description of her lonely vigil moved me very much and
this: ["I ... wrapped myself in the hush and the creeping of time."]
captured the particular stillness of death and the forest beautifully.

Title: The Tides of the World ˇ Author: Raksha the Demon ˇ Times: Late
Third Age: 3018-3022 TA: Gondor ˇ ID: 101
Reviewer: Imhiriel ˇ 2007-11-28 10:32:55
Very vivid, almost "cinematic" description of the scene. I especially
like the fact that it was ["winter apples"] set out for him, and how
the twins helped their foster-brother so matter-of-factly.

I think you have captured well the light-headedness that comes with
total exhaustion, when one is yet too edgy and keyed-up to sleep.
Making lists of the losses and those saved could also be a way to try
to bring Aragorn's thoughts in order to try to find the calmness he
needs for sleep.

Title: Through Shadows ˇ Author: Marta ˇ Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: General Drabble ˇ ID: 620
Reviewer: Imhiriel ˇ 2007-11-28 10:33:21
This captures really well one of those magical moments in the trilogy
where I wish Tolkien had lingered longer. At least now, with this
drabble, I have a fuller picture to draw upon whenever I read the
scene in the book...

Evocative description of the beauty of the Mirrormere.

The drabble captures well the Dwarven mindset, their possessiveness
and secretiveness, especially regarding what is theirs, whether
tangible or not.

I like Gimli holding his breath and wondering whether Frodo might
understand what Kheled-zâram means for him and all other Dwarves, and
his joy when Frodo really does.

Title: The Northmen ˇ Author: SheBit ˇ Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
Drabble ˇ ID: 451
Reviewer: Imhiriel ˇ 2007-11-28 10:33:44
This drabble contains lush and at the same time elegant language,
wonderfully evoking some vivid images or employing some clever metaphors.

I like the calm tone of the comparison between North and South - each
party is of course biased towards favouring his own homeland and
climate, but it seems they are prepared to listen to what the other
side has to tell of their own country's advantages.

Title: The Wink of an Eye ˇ Author: Linda hoyland ˇ Times: Mid Third
Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Drabble ˇ ID: 664
Reviewer: Imhiriel ˇ 2007-11-28 10:34:15
Oh, what a wonderful idea! And eerie plausible, somehow...

Denethor's characterisation in particular is captured very well: his
need to control, to *know*, to draw every drop of advantage he can
from the palantír, is shown her almost as greed, as an obsession, and
I find this a very insightful observation tucked in between the humour.

The drabble is structured very well, building up the tension and the
expectation of Denethor and the readers alike, to deliver its twists
with excellent timing.

The language is used with great effect, the almost overblown
descriptions really deepen the irony and the dark humour of what is
really going to be revealed.

I do not think Sauron has a sense of humour as such in general, but I
can very well imagine him feeling glee when one of his schemes proves
successful - and be it such an absurd and roundabout way to vanquish
his opponents.

Title: Aragorn's Moment ˇ Author: docmon ˇ Races: Men: Eriador or
Rivendell ˇ ID: 509
Reviewer: Imhiriel ˇ 2007-11-28 10:35:00
A close look, extraordinary careful, insightful and moving, into what
might have gone on and through Aragorn's head at the moment in the
trilogy just before the Fellowship sets out from Rivendell.

This moment, ["Aragorn's Moment"] of solitary introspection has always
intrigued me, and you have given me a thoroughly believable answer to
my wonderings.

The ficlet is structured well: with each little movement of his
preparation it is laid out how *others* have helped raise and shape
him as the man he is now, but that now is his up to *him* to prove
ready and worthy for the task. Regardless of many decades gaining
wide-spread experience, this quest to destroy the Ring will truly
bring his long endeavours to a head, can only lead to victory or doom.
Should they fail, there is no more hiding in anonymity or the wilds of
Middle-earth.

I especially love his calm surrender to do his duty to the best of his
ability, with his acceptance of it as being beyond any expectation of
personal gain.

Title: Drink Down the Sun ˇ Author: Michelle ˇ Races: Men: Eriador or
Rivendell ˇ ID: 355
Reviewer: Imhiriel ˇ 2007-11-28 10:35:55
Well-written and moving gapfiller with good pacing and engaging
characterisations.

Arathorn's love for his wife comes through very clearly and movingly,
the way he appreciates her strength of will, mind and body, how she
has as great a sense of duty and responsibility as he does, while
nevertheless brightening his days.

Gilrean as seen through her husband's eyes has just as strong a
presence in the story.

The anxiety and nervousness of impending fatherhood is captured well;
the readers can almost feel his frustration when the midwife bangs the
door in his face, his mounting tension and fear at the long wait, and
his immense relief and sense of wonder when he hears his child has
finally arrived. How bittersweet and poignant his joy and love set
against the knowledge of the readers that he will not be able to keep
his promise made with so much conviction, never see his son grow up to
be the man in his vision!

I also have to admit that I found Baby Aragorn absolutely adorable *g*.

Title: Duty and Devotion ˇ Author: Marta ˇ Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet ˇ ID: 411
Reviewer: Imhiriel ˇ 2007-11-28 10:36:51
This is an insightful, thought-provoking and just perfectly... *right*
look at Beregond in the moments between Pippin telling him what went
on in the House of the Stewards until he determined to do his best to
save Faramir.

The way I envisage Beregond, I can very well imagine that it might
have taken him some moments to spring into action, no matter how much
he loved Faramir. This cannot have been an easy decision, as it goes
against all he has been taught as a soldier of Gondor: leaving his
post, entering a forbidden place, defying the orders of his lord. I
can understand his reluctance, his question of why it should fall to
him to do something.

His nervous energy while pacing informs and supports the tension that
the subject matter evokes. I liked it that you even made a reference
to his station as a ["plain man of arms"] which must also have
influenced his initial hesitation.

That it is the horror of the looming Nazgűl that finally spurs him to
action reminds me of the passage in ["The Siege of Gondor"], where
they had a similar effect on him as he and Pippin watched Faramir's
retreat towards the city. You have captured well this precipitous,
almost reckless streak that Beregond possesses in the midst of his
usual (or so I imagine him at least) equanimity.

Title: A Wish for Yestare ˇ Author: rhyselle ˇ Races: Men: Gondor ˇ
ID: 178
Reviewer: Imhiriel ˇ 2007-11-28 10:37:31
A bittersweet story, told with warmth and gentleness, combining the
celebration of Yestarë and personal memories of the absent Boromir
with politics and politicking.

The characterisations are convincing and moving - it was nice to see
this peaceful and harmonious interaction between Denethor and Faramir,
but still tinged with awkwardness at the uncommonness of it.

How ironic and sad that the boat they are committing to the Anduin
with their wish for Boromir's return will at the end be echoed itself
by Boromir's funeral boat returning indeed to his homeland...

Title: Making Acquaintance ˇ Author: Bodkin ˇ Times: Mid Third Age:
2851 - 3017 TA ˇ ID: 216
Reviewer: Imhiriel ˇ 2007-11-28 10:38:12
Vivid scene setting that really makes "Pippin's tree" and Pippin's
progress along it come alive in all its details; which I thought
especially remarkable because the readers see it all from Merry's PoV
down on the ground.

Engaging character interaction and dialogue. It was fun to witness how
a Hobbit might see a Big Person - and Gandalf at that - for the first
time.

The characterisations are wonderful, and spot-on. Not even an almost
deadly drop can quench irrepressible Pippin!

I like the idea that this meeting was "meant to be". Gandalf has,
after all, some experience with fateful encounters that had more
wide-ranging consequences than happenstance could account for.

["Thank you for droppin by"] - Bwhaha!

Title: Decorum ˇ Author: Larner ˇ Genres: Humor: The Shire or Buckland
ˇ ID: 59
Reviewer: Marta ˇ 2007-11-28 15:40:30
Really nice work, Larner - I found myself smiling at the twists in the
early part, but the last scene gave the story enough weight that it
made me think (which I love). This is an excellent tie-in with
Dreamflower's piece.

Title: Dawning Hope ˇ Author: Radbooks ˇ Genres: Drama: Youth ˇ ID: 498
Reviewer: NeumeIndil ˇ 2007-11-28 21:06:54
This was quite darling. The shifting point of view was an excellent
way to introduce us to the characters without relying on exposition. I
felt very strongly for the children as I read. Nicely done.

Title: Living Tales ˇ Author: pippinfan88 ˇ Races: Hobbits: Post-Grey
Havens ˇ ID: 806
Reviewer: NeumeIndil ˇ 2007-11-28 21:16:09
A nice idea. Sweet interactions between the Hobbits at Rivendell. I
would suggest using fewer adjectives and adverbs. Too much description
slows the flow of the story, and much of it is unnecessary. (ie: We
already know Pippin is "young". Why restate it?)

Title: The Great Blotmath Walnut War In The Year 1423 ˇ Author:
grey_wonderer ˇ Races: Hobbits: Post-Grey Havens ˇ ID: 165
Reviewer: NeumeIndil ˇ 2007-11-28 21:48:03
Lmao. Sounds just like my father's (very large) family. Nicely done.

Title: Concerning the Curious Healing Properties of Soup ˇ Author:
pipkinsweetgrass ˇ Races: Cross-Cultural: The Fellowship ˇ ID: 571
Reviewer: NeumeIndil ˇ 2007-11-29 00:04:58
What a lovely piece. Had I not just finished dinner, I'd be tempted to
make some stock and have a go at chicken soup too! I like your
Boromir, and the mention of Legolas underestimating Aragorn's ability
with a hunting net. The fact that the Fellowship could have been, or
perhaps were, strangers to each other in many ways is often overlooked
in fic. The last lines don't seem to ring true to the rest of the
story to me, though. They feel a little heavy-handed on the part of
the narrator since we're taken out of the scene of Sam soothing his
little ones for a sudden grand closing gesture. It might be better to
keep the end small and safe and comfortably in bed after chicken soup,
and let the love be there without needing mention.

Title: Geometry ˇ Author: Branwyn ˇ Genres: Drama: Gondor Drabble ˇ ID: 80
Reviewer: Marta ˇ 2007-11-29 02:14:21
Oh, how sad! You captured Faramir's grief for his brother's passing
(and, if I may say so, Denethor's in many ways even better by saying
so little). As a mathematician I found the analogy really evocative,
and I can see both Faramir and Denethor thinking of things in this
terms, too. Very nice gapfiller.

Title: Sorgbyrđen ˇ Author: Aranel Took ˇ Races: Men ˇ ID: 275
Reviewer: dkpalaska ˇ 2007-11-29 03:41:26
The title sets the tone and says so much about this thoughtful and
interesting exploration of Eowyn's character. I like the way snapshots
from two different events in her life are juxtaposed against each
other, and gradually and plausibly lead up to a young woman's final
crucial decision.

Aranel does a great job of incorporating her personal vision (like
Theodred being married and yet without an heir when he dies), along
with excellent characterizations of both canon and original
individuals. Throughout it all, the author shows us snips of the
Rohirric life, some foreshadowing of things to come, and the universal
fear of those waiting for the return of their loved ones from danger.

This ["burden of sorrow"], borne for parents and brother, steels
Eowyn's resolve to not tie her heart to another's, something which
will only be hardened by Grima's predations. I can see clearly how it
will take a trip through to the other side of absolute despair, and a
certain Steward, to wholly thaw such a determined will.

Title: The Last Queen ˇ Author: Maeve Riannon ˇ Races: Men ˇ ID: 744
Reviewer: dkpalaska ˇ 2007-11-29 03:43:25
A captivating and chilling read, as well as a slightly startling view
of the Downfall of Numenor.

I can see Miriel descending into a darkness of her own, given the
fates of both herself and her father. The depth of her hated and
vengeance is well-crafted and only gradually brought out, culminating
in that terrible climb to Meneltarma at the end. There is excellent
use of carefully selected flashbacks during her final minutes that
highlight her horrific witness to the slow descent of Numenor, as well
as some neat twists to the standard storyline (like her being the
source of a certain idea).

I pitied her even as I cringed at her methods, and thought she truly
fell into madness at the end under the weight of what she had done.

Title: All in a Day's Work ˇ Author: Gwynnyd ˇ Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet ˇ ID: 421
Reviewer: Marta ˇ 2007-11-29 05:15:18
This was a really fun series of ficlets to read - full of action,
quick-paced, with a good mix of action and good interaction between
the various groups represented. Gwynnyd presents us with her usual
attention to detail, developing a most realistic world (complete with
economic considerations - not an easy task for a drabble series
devoted to a battle). A very enjoyable read.

Title: Boys Will Be Boys ˇ Author: annmarwalk ˇ Genres: Humor:
Children ˇ ID: 555
Reviewer: Marta ˇ 2007-11-29 05:24:11
A thoroughly delightful tale of a childhood scrape and the
over-reaction of youth. I could just see Boromir reacting this way.
And that last line, "[Perhaps he would live, after all,]" had me
chuckling outright. Very cute, Ann!

Title: The Dryad ˇ Author: Imhiriel ˇ Times: Late Third Age: 3018-3022
TA: General Drabble ˇ ID: 71
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon ˇ 2007-11-29 05:42:59
Tolkien's description of Ithilien is one of the most striking and apt
bits of visual poetry I can remember from the books; it just makes me
sigh with pleasure. This drabble is an exquisite little adjunct to his
wonderful line about that [dishevelled dryad loveliness]. And the
dryad's protectiveness toward, and willingness to help, both the
Rangers and their Captain in the defense of their shared forest, is a
nice touch.

Title: Standards ˇ Author: Marta ˇ Times: Late Third Age: 3018-3022
TA: General Drabble ˇ ID: 541
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon ˇ 2007-11-29 05:43:23
A beautiful drabble with two characters rarely juxtaposed in
fanfiction, but who had a lot in common, or, to be more specific, one
very special person in common.

I love the concept of Halbarad bearing not just a mysterious object,
or even a standard, but bringing hope to the man who was not only
named for Hope but who bears the hopes of Halbarad, Arwen, and all the
Northern Dunedain (and Arwen's folk as well). And Halbarad's awareness
of himself, his role in this great gamble for the hidden King and his
hidden people, and Arwen's role as well, is very credible. The reader
can clearly see the understated pride that Halbarad feels for his king
and what he brings to him; which seems very typical of the Dunedain of
the North.