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Msg# 9497

MEFA Reviews for Tuesday, October 14, 2008 Posted by annmarwalk October 14, 2008 - 20:38:22 Topic ID# 9497
Title: Aftermaths and Consequences · Author: Gwynnyd · Times: Fourth
Age and Beyond · ID: 268
Reviewer: Larner · 2008-10-14 02:02:07
A wonderful short fic looking at the how the period of adjustment
after the end of the War of the Ring affected ordinary people, and
managed to bring two together, one of whom never realized there might
be an interest. I find I do hope that in time they find it is more
than just a business arrangement!

Title: The Warmth of Morning · Author: Spindle Berry · Times: Late
Third Age: Gondor · ID: 148
Reviewer: Larner · 2008-10-14 02:07:45
I love the writing and, unfortunately, dislike the relationship
described. But the writing deserves recognition--it is good, clear,
cogent, and emotionally pleasing.

Title: Burdens · Author: Meril · Genres: Drama: General Fixed-Length
Ficlets · ID: 219
Reviewer: Larner · 2008-10-14 02:14:58
Those possessions carried by the Elves who followed Feanor and his
sons to Middle Earth help to define them, but also serve as reminders
of what they left behind, what they hope to see in the future--if they
are among the survivors, of course.

Sad, thoughtful, hopeful, angry--each item has its own story to tell,
its own revelation to give about its bearer.

Well told, and each object and the story and emotions about it is well
chosen. A marvelous series.

Title: The Nightingale · Author: Maeve Riannon · Times: First Age and
Prior · ID: 404
Reviewer: Larner · 2008-10-14 02:34:03
How is Dior to truly love his grandmother Melian, whom he finds
inexplicable. She plays with the children, bakes cakes, allows herself
to be painted as a dragon so as to play Glaurung, sings
exquisitely.... She is so different than her daughter! And she
explains, not that he truly understands now.

A sad thing story, for Melian realizes she has had to place
limitations on how she is perceived in order to be part of this world,
and she sees so much that time will bring that her folk cannot. And
her husband, in receiving his desire, has brought upon himself and
their people the beginnings of a terrible doom.

I find myself grieving with the Maia and wishing to play with the
children, as well. The moods of both Dior and Melian are both well
conveyed, as is the hope that Dior will be able to be more than he is now.

Title: A Great Cause for Concern · Author: Alassante · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Post-Ring War · ID: 682
Reviewer: Virtuella · 2008-10-14 02:44:57
Indeed, this is a question that needed to be addressed! I agree with
your reasoning that Galadriel would speak up for Gimli and that the
friendship he has brought between elves and drwarves is the crucial
point. I think the end would have been stronger without the very last

Title: In This These Days of Glory · Author: Dana · Races: Hobbits:
Incomplete · ID: 640
Reviewer: Larner · 2008-10-14 08:30:06
Having done my version of this time from the Brandybuck perspective,
it was wonderful to see it from the Took side of the equation. The
lads have disappeared from the Crickhollow house, leaving a secretive
Fatty Bolger behind. Was it bandits, or did Lotho have something to do
with the disappearance of Frodo Baggins and his cousins and gardener?
Notes were left that weren't particularly informative; more is learned
from what Freddy shared with Berilac. But to find out WHY he chose to
share with Merimac's son was thought-provoking!

Very intriguing to see how so much of this is from Pervinca's point of
view. Now, to see more of it written! (Nudge, nudge.)

Title: Risk Assessment · Author: pandemonium_213 · Races: Elves · ID: 665
Reviewer: Moreth · 2008-10-14 11:19:15
I realised this hadn't been nominated elsewhere and, being an
interesting interaction between different groups and ideas within your
version of Ost-in-Edhil, I really thought it should be added.

Also the baths - I love the baths (well, the whole plumbing system
would fascinate me for hours, of course!). They are one of the
memorable parts of your elven architecture and city planning, and
serve to give your writing a unique feeling.

As a short piece, it includes many people you write about in more
detail in other stories and it explores the way of life during a
period of the Second Age that is rarely considered. The technical
discussion on exactly how lembas is made, and the 'scientification'
behind it is most pleasing!

The key for me, however, is the interaction between the characters.
You manage to portray both the subtle tension between social groups,
and the positive interaction of the same, in a way that makes the
Ost-in-Edhil community live and breathe. It's great to see a
philosophical debate on 'belief' vs 'proof' played out in the
roman-style baths - who could ask for more?

Title: A Woman in Few Words: The Character of Nerdanel and Her
Treatment in Canon and Fandom · Author: Dawn Felagund · Genres:
Non-Fiction: Character Studies · ID: 107
Reviewer: Moreth · 2008-10-14 11:43:40
An excellent overview of what is and (perhaps more importantly) is not
known about Nerdanel from the published works. The essay draws a
portrait of a talented and fascinating woman, one who clearly deserves
the interest of the fandom!

I must admit I rather enjoyed the Appendix, with the detailed data
collation from different fan sites. The only thing it is missing is a
set of graphs!

Title: The Craft of the Elven Smith · Author: Larner · Times:
Multi-Age · ID: 1
Reviewer: Moreth · 2008-10-14 13:50:52
I very much liked the portrayal of Nerdanel as a talented smith and
gem-crafter in her own right. The idea of re-using elements from
previous items (Fëanor's gift and the coat of mail) was particularly
appropriate to the overall theme of healing and renewal.

The Valar, who are always difficult to depict convincingly, interact
with main character with compassion and wisdom, but remain distant and
rather intimidating.

A well thought out story with very pleasing detail and some enjoyable
little surprises.

Title: A Midsummer Day's Dream · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres:
Drama: Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 422
Reviewer: Marta · 2008-10-14 16:20:31
This ficlet does a remarkable job of telling its point without
descending into anything touching maudlin. Just what that crucial
point is, I do not want to say because I am sure it would spoil the
story; but the author knows. Yet for one of Faramir's lineage it
seemed extremely fitting. You brought tears to my eyes before I even
reached the end. A fine piece indeed.

Title: Midnight · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Romance · ID: 18
Reviewer: Marta · 2008-10-14 16:20:51
Mmm, lovely imagery throughout here. It is nice to think of these two
men so at peace; I can't imagine them being that way when they both
were awake, but with one quietly watching the other in sleep it seems
more believable. They need this space to relax, and I really enjoyed
seeing you give it to them.

Title: There Was A Hobbit · Author: agape4gondor · Genres: Humor:
Drabbles · ID: 111
Reviewer: Marta · 2008-10-14 16:21:10
Priceless! Especially considering Frodo's original character names.
And it's nice to see Boromir and Haldir connecting, it was a very nice
character moment. Well told, Agape!

Title: Noldolantë · Author: Dawn Felagund · Races: Elves: House of
Finwe · ID: 253
Reviewer: Marta · 2008-10-14 16:21:26
"Noldolante," despite its dreary name, is a rather charming set of
stories about Maglor's relationships with his brothers and father, and
how those relationships relate to his art as a musician. Although they
are for the most part carefree, each has an element of pain or tension
to it. Which of course most stories do; but it is very interesting to
look at just what is causing that tension. In the beginning they are
fairly simple, though no doubt traumatic to young Maglor ;-) - a
scraped knee, jealousy oer a new younger brother. Yet as the story
escalates the tensions in each scene grow more and more serious, and
for Maglor it becomes harder to find "the music."

As an artist (both writer and musician) I can relate to this, and Dawn
captures this theme very well without ever explicitly saying what
she's doing. When the tension of the last part hits, it swept this
reader off her feet; I had no trouble imagining that Maglor would be
mute for so many years.

Title: One Step More - The Heroism of Frodo Baggins · Author:
ConnieMarie · Genres: Non-Fiction: Character Studies · ID: 395
Reviewer: Marta · 2008-10-14 16:21:39
This essay shows Frodo's courage and determination well - I hadn't
thought of it in these terms, but I can see Frodo's relevance to
modern (wo)man much better. Nice work.

Title: Small Strengths · Author: Elwen · Races: Hobbits: Hurt/Comfort
· ID: 238
Reviewer: Mews1945 · 2008-10-14 20:34:01
The emotions in this fic are powerful and true. Sam's guilt over
leaving Frodo, Frodo's fear of the spider, are logical reactions to
things that occurred during the quest. Frodo's illness is described,
but the comfort he receives is given just as much attention, and makes
for a satisfying read.

Title: The Importance of Being Bilbo · Author: Dreamflower · Genres:
Non-Fiction: Character Studies · ID: 686
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2008-10-14 20:41:34
Dreamflower's essay is a very fond but clear-headed presentation of
some important reasons to not overlook TH or its main protagonist on
our way to the more famous sequel. I enjoyed the look at parallels
between the two stories, some quite eye-opening; and especially
appreciated the acknowledgement of how critical Bilbo's presence was
in Frodo's life.

Title: Trouble at Bag End · Author: Angiet · Races: Hobbits: Childhood
· ID: 728
Reviewer: Mews1945 · 2008-10-14 21:21:29
A meeting between a lonely ranger visiting a hobbit friend, and the
baby who will someday grow up to be the Ring-bearer. Aragorn finds
himself being charmed by Frodo Baggins, even when the lad is stormy
and inclined to kick. He discovers the baby's problem and has a
solution that soon has Frodo in a better frame of mind. Charming and

Title: Labour of Love · Author: Aprilkat · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Frodo and Faramir · ID: 733
Reviewer: Mews1945 · 2008-10-14 21:38:54
As startling an idea as is male pregnancy, Aprilkat has created an
entertaining and enjoyable variation on the theme. Frodo and Faramir
are lovers and discover the little known fact that liaisons between
men and male hobbits can sometimes result in pregnancy for the hobbit.
With the King acting as midwife, Frodo suffers through many of the
difficulties of pregnancy and childbirth. One scene, when the
apparently helpless hobbit is waylaid by ruffians, ends with a most
unexpected result. The birthing scene is funny, thrilling and touching
and the characterizations are excellent.

Title: A Little Misunderstanding · Author: Radbooks · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Elves and Men · ID: 275
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2008-10-14 21:45:59
An interesting premise. Yes, what *would* people, especially children,
remember and think about Aragorn's disappearance? How many were privy
to the secret? And just exactly how much would they know?

Radbooks brings this Dúnedain village and the community to life. My
favourite bits of descriptions was of the stalls - they brought the
special atmosphere, the sounds and smells to life very well.

The characterisations are excellent; each very nuanced and vivid. I
especially liked those of the twins; the guilt Elladan still carries
within him because of Arathorn's death and Elrohir's attempts to
console and reassure him. I also liked the obvious bond between
Halbarad and his father.

Title: The Legend of the Grey Riders · Author: Jay of Lasgalen ·
Races: Cross-Cultural: Elves and Men · ID: 176
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2008-10-14 22:00:32
Ha! This was a amusing clash between history and legend. Here are
Éomer and Éowyn trying to tell a solemn and momentuous moment in the
history in Rohan, all the while the twins keep interrupting them
insolently because - being witness ot the events - they know the
details better.

I loved the irony and glee with which the twins anticipate every new
line, and Éowyn's scolding, and the heated debate that ensuees between
her and her brother over the finer details. I'm sure Faramir would
eventually tell his wife, but for now, he is right in not coming
between the lines.

The story also has a more serious aspect: that in Middle-earth are
beings who were eye-witnesses for events so far away in the fogs of
the past that for others, they are only dimly-remembered myths. It
must created quite a cognitive dissonance at times when these
different cultures meet.

Title: Labour Pains · Author: Aratlithiel · Genres: Humor: Shire · ID: 483
Reviewer: Mews1945 · 2008-10-14 22:14:09
What does a bachelor do when asked to take care of his gardener's
pregnant wife for a fortnight while Samwise has to be away taking care
of an emergency of the gardening sort? Frodo is first horrified, then
disbelieving, but somehow finds himself manipulated into staying at
Bag End alone with Rose, who promises to tell him the second anything
happens. For the next two weeks, Frodo must somehow deal with Rosie's
mood swings and cravings and keep his sanity at the same time. And he
can only hide in his study for so much of the time. When Rose goes
into labor early, Frodo suffers panic when he can't find the Widow,
but does send Gaffer Gamgee off to fetch Rosie's mum. This is amusing
and sweet and kept me laughing all the way through.