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Msg# 9471

MEFA Reviews for Thursday, October 2, 2008 Posted by annmarwalk October 02, 2008 - 20:11:35 Topic ID# 9471
Title: Shadow King · Author: Claudia · Genres: Alternate Universe:
Angst/Tragedy · ID: 227
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2008-10-02 04:36:43
A truly chilling tale which made me shiver to read it.A man of
Aragorn's strength would be very bad indeed if he chose the dark side
as Legolas remarks.
I'm so glad Tolkien's Aragorn turned out very differently,but
enjoyed,if that is quite the right word,this well written glimpse of
how things might have been,had Aragorn had less strength of character.

Title: Wife of the Thain · Author: LA Knight · Genres: Romance: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 513
Reviewer: Marta · 2008-10-02 15:17:48
What an amusing idea for a series! I had of course read the reference,
but you really expanded the idea. I particularly like how your story
mimics the great romances of canon (Beren and Luthien comes to mind),
but still has a sensuality and immediacy one naturally associates with

Title: Dark Dreams · Author: SlightlyTookish · Races: Hobbits:
Hurt/Comfort · ID: 550
Reviewer: Marta · 2008-10-02 15:18:07
This was a touching tale of how Merry and Pippin deal with the
memories after the war. We know that Frodo was bothered by his
morgul-wound, so it's reasonable to think that anything affected by a
Morgul wound (and Merry would count IMO) would have problems. Nicely told.

Title: The Haradric Whore and Her Son · Author: annmarwalk/EdorasLass
CoAuthors · Races: Cross-Cultural · ID: 124
Reviewer: Marta · 2008-10-02 16:05:07
I think that annmarwalk and EdorasLass do to original characters what
Degas does to ballerinas. I mean, we all knew that someone cooked the
bread that made its way to Denethor's dinnerplate, but these two
authors make the cooks and consierges and yes even whores as integral
to Tolkien's world as any characters that Tolkien gave them. Like
Degas's ballerinas, Gaersum, Ciramoush and Mag are graceful and
endearing; their simple work becomes an art form in itself.

There is so much to love about "The Haradric Whore and Her Son" that
it is hard to even know where to start. Mag is in a close tie with
Mormegil as my favorite of Ann's original characters, but for an
entirely different way: she is delightly earty, an indomitable and
unsinkable woman, and I always am reminded of why I love Gondor so
much whenever I read her. And she shines in those scenes that she is
privy to (I particularly like that she has to keep reminding herself
that Faramir is no now steward!), but she is relally only peripheral
to the story.

Ciramoush is a woman that you could see scoring high on a Mary Sue
litmus test. Her family is killed, she's forced into prostitution, and
she bears a child that just refuses to be aborted to a mysterious
golden-haired stranger… yet, somehow she doesn't come off at all as
suish or cliched. I think it's the fact that her reactions are so
understated. She also is a woman who is very pragmatic and I can see
why she and Mag become such good friends. Mag hasn't suffered nearly
as much, yet here is a character who is every bit as indomitable as
our beloved cook.

Gaersum… I could write a whole essay on why Gaersum is so delightful,
and still not explain it all. He just rocks. I don't want to gush so
much that I embarrass Ann and EdorasLass, so I'll leave it at that.

And it feels like I'm just touching the iceberg on why this story has
always meant so much to me. It is doubtless different than what many
people in fandom envision when they think of Gondor and Boromir, yet I
always find it a very enjoyable and thought-provoking view of
Middle-earth. By the end, when Ciramoush comes to the Houses of
Healing, I always find myself cheering along, often out loud. (I
actually started clapping at one point!) Thank you, ann and EL, for
this story.

Title: Tower of the Moon · Author: Nath · Times: Multi-Age · ID: 577
Reviewer: Marta · 2008-10-02 16:13:55
In many ways, this set of vignettes is a study in contrasts, comparing
through their differences both Isildur with Aragorn, and (Second Age)
Minas Ithil with (late Third Age) Minas Morgul. Yet in that contrast
we see not so much two diverging lines but a circle that continues to
happen. In the end Aragorn is right, I think, that our great works are
often changed by forces beyond our control and that they are perceived
by later generations in a way we might never imagine.

It was very perceptive to think of Isildur looking back on Numenor
this way, and I never even imagined what Aragorn would think on
looking on Isildur's city - so kudos for finding ground my fertile
muses hadn't thought about before. This is both a perceptive and very
in-character examination of the cyclical nature of Tolkien's history.

Title: The Roses of Imloth Melui · Author: Aervir · Genres: Drama:
Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 435
Reviewer: Marta · 2008-10-02 18:00:21
In canon, Ioreth comes off as a bit silly with her merandering tongue,
but Aervir won't leave it at that. In these ten drabbles she gives us
moments from the healer-woman's wife, showing how the road to the
Houses of Healing wasn't as straight as might be supposed. In the end,
we see that see how Ioreth's strength of character and exposure to
pain gives her a uniquely feminine (within Middle-earth, at least)
form of courage, and allows her to critique the perversion of this in
her perhaps most famous female patient. A very eye-opening series.

Title: Handy With A Sword · Author: Tanaqui · Genres: Romance: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 437
Reviewer: Marta · 2008-10-02 18:01:33
I have always thought that many of Mike Longcor's fabulous songs were
a natural match for Faramir and Eowyn, and I guess this author and I
are slowly working to prove that point. "Handy With a Sword" certainly
succeeds on that front. Tanaqui does a fantastic job of incorporating
the line from the lyrics into the last drabble, and I quite agree, I
can see it being penned by some cheeky ranger all too readily.

Quite aside from that, these drabbles show Eowyn in a remarkable
light: fun-loving and bold, but also more than just "one of the boys."
She may have said she would [be a shield-maiden no more], but that
will always be part of her identity; and if Eowyn will no longer allow
that part of her to come to the forefront, well, Faramir would still
do well to remember where she was born, the fact that she grew up
around brothers and male cousins, and the many other factors that make
her a very different sort of lady than a Gondorian woman would be.

And that brings us to what I love so much about this drabble set -
those aspects of Eowyn's character are definitely there, but they're
hardly mentioned. We know Eomer taught her at least one sparring move,
but for the most part this more tomboyish influence is completely
non-explicit. Which is as it should be, but it's fiendishly difficult
to pull off an understated characterization. Tanaqui, however, pulls
it off with aplomb, resulting in a most enjoyable series.

Title: Pip-napped! · Author: Dreamflower/Lindelea CoAuthors · Genres:
Adventure · ID: 669
Reviewer: Claudia · 2008-10-02 20:30:39
I really enjoyed reading this story. The premise makes perfect sense.
Of course Aragorn as king would have some potential enemies, as well
as people who think they can make some money off of the new king
through the king's very good friends. Of course Pippin proves himself
to be quite resourceful. I love kidnapping stories so this was a
really enjoyable read!

Title: Call of the Wild · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Romance:
Drabbles · ID: 94
Reviewer: Claudia · 2008-10-02 20:33:13
This was a stunning portrayal in so few words of an unusual courtship.
Hee. I can totally see how the ladies of Gondor would fan themselves
over those horse men from Rohan! Nicely done!

Title: Murder The Dawn · Author: crowdaughter · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Incomplete · ID: 383
Reviewer: Claudia · 2008-10-02 20:40:35
whew, holy crap this was a dark one! That first chapter was incredibly
chilling, from the killing of every member of the fellowship. His cold
calculations that he needed to kill every one of them, even his lover
and the innocent hobbits. And the vision of Elrond's library burning.
For some reason that one has stayed with me. What a chilling
alternative universe!

Title: The Journey · Author: foxrafer (csevans8) · Times: Late Third
Age: General Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 604
Reviewer: Marta · 2008-10-02 23:07:57
This was a really perceptive drabble looking at some of Pippin's
thoughts after the Fellowship left Rivendell. It actually reminded me
of how I feel at times in my graduate program, surrounded by
intellectual giants. I can see that Pippin, as the youngest, would
feel just this way; he also probably was used to being the leader
(being the thain's son) and so not being the most socially advantaged
character would be humbling for him. Good for him to rise to the
challenge! And good for foxrafer for showing this
often-underappreciated aspect of his courage.

Title: Sing All Ye People! · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: Late
Third Age: Gondor · ID: 249
Reviewer: Marta · 2008-10-02 23:13:13
I know I've read this vignette before the MEFAs, but I don't think
I've ever had it impressed on me how philosophically *deep* "Sing All
Ye People" is. The author nails it, exactly - it is Faramir's ability
to balance passion and reason (among other things, of course!) that
lets him resist the Ring's pull. That's a very astute observation, and
I love the way Raksha fleshed this out by the voices of the different
verses of the song. Very well done!

Title: A Perfect World · Author: mistycracraft · Genres: Romance:
Elven Lands · ID: 248
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2008-10-02 23:28:47
A sweet and touching moment between Aragorn and Arwen.I could a;lmost
smell the flowers in this atmospheric story.