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Msg# 9498

MEFA Reviews for Wednesday, October 15, 2008 Posted by annmarwalk October 15, 2008 - 21:00:30 Topic ID# 9498
Title: Kementari ∑ Author: Marta ∑ Times: First Age and Prior ∑ ID: 99
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon ∑ 2008-10-15 04:05:49
Spoilers!
An exquisite study in melancholy; as the Queen of the Earth mourns her
long-lost greatest creations. Marta captures the tone of a powerful
and immortal being entrapped by sorrowful memories; and the special
closeness that she would feel with the earth.

Title: I Can't ∑ Author: Antane ∑ Races: Hobbits: Friendship ∑ ID: 24
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon ∑ 2008-10-15 04:53:57
Spoilers!
Antane presents a series of vignettes all bound together by the theme
of Sam and Frodo's lifelong friendship. The bond of a friendship as
close as brotherhood binds them from youth in the Shire through the
harrowing and heartbreaking adventures seen in LOTR and then through
Frodo's leaving Middle-earth. Antane cleverly uses the phrase [I
can't] in each of the vignettes, spoken by either one or the other
hobbit, to show how their friendship enables them to overcome obstacles.

I particularly loved the way the series is bookended by two occasions
where the friends stargaze together. Their watching the stars first as
young hobbits in the Shire and then later, in their old age in
Valinor, is a wonderful touch to begin and end the series.


Title: Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair ∑ Author: Marta ∑
Genres: Romance: Gondor ∑ ID: 405
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon ∑ 2008-10-15 05:19:08
Spoilers!
Although I don't believe that either Denethor or Aragorn had
homosexual desires; Marta sets out such an attraction and makes it not
only plausible, but intriguing. Denethor's struggle to master his own
desires is inspired; for control and mastery are crucial to Denethor's
character - and he can no more subdue his desire for Thorongil than he
could master Aragorn himself, though he can redirect that desire.

Marta uses the five classical elements - aether, air, fire, water and
earth - as themes for each chapter, a nifty bit which works quite well.

This is very elegant slash, and, like most of Marta's work, complex
and thoughtfully written.

Title: A Darkness Lies behind Us ∑ Author: Bodkin ∑ Races: Elves:
Incomplete ∑ ID: 190
Reviewer: Larner ∑ 2008-10-15 07:25:31
The first publicly to return to life, rehoused much as he'd been
before he left Aman to cross the ice bridge, was Finrod. Why one of
the exiles rather than those who'd been true to the Valar? is the
question of the day. Now Finrod and his family seek to make the return
of still others easier, and in doing so to more fully appreciate just
the depths of how life had been--out there--beyond the sea that
divided Aman and Enorrie.

A fascinating examination of each of those who loved Finrod in life. A
fascinating premise to this one.

Title: Denial ∑ Author: Oshun ∑ Races: Elves: House of Finwe ∑ ID: 80
Reviewer: Moreth ∑ 2008-10-15 13:21:20
Although this is only a short piece by Oshun, it nevertheless carries
all her hallmarks of careful detailing and characterisation.

The piece is essentially a 'gap-filler' that presents the two eldest
sons of FŽanor in their youth. In one short piece the author manages
to portray not only the close and supportive relationship between the
two brothers, but also light-hearted and slightly sarcastic banter
between friends: ['Aren't you just the picture-perfect courtier?']

The contrast between the rather bohemian habits of MacalaurŽ and the
careful public presentation of Nelyo are thoroughly amusing! (And if
you aren't familiar with Quenya names for the sons of FŽanor, the
author has usefully added a 'who's who' list at the end.)

Despite the links to other (longer) works by Oshun, this piece stands
on its own as an inticate and interesting vignette.

Title: Another Prometheus ∑ Author: Gandalfs apprentice ∑ Races:
Cross-Cultural: Fixed-Length Ficlets ∑ ID: 85
Reviewer: Moreth ∑ 2008-10-15 14:24:27
An outstanding drabble that offers a very different perspective on
FŽanor's defiance of the Valar.

The short length and spare language disguise the number of ideas and
motifs that exist in these hundred words. For example, the phrase
'[the myth of FŽanor]' implies that not only have the exact historical
details been lost to the characters, but also that the story of the
Flight of the Noldor is taken by some to be fictitious.

The concept of a teacher daring to step outside the bounds of orthodox
statements and present FŽanor as a hero is inspired, carrying as it
does all the implications of narrow-minded 'received wisdom' on the
part of ['the loremasters'].

Excellently done. A 'must read' for all FŽanor fans and a very
innovative story on the long-term legacy of the First Age.



Title: Even Legends Fade ∑ Author: Star In Ruin ∑ Races: Elves ∑ ID: 555
Reviewer: Virtuella ∑ 2008-10-15 16:44:08
This is a charming piece, very moving. You catch nuances of emotion
very well.

Title: The Dancing Lesson ∑ Author: Lindelea ∑ Races: Hobbits:
Friendship ∑ ID: 664
Reviewer: Virtuella ∑ 2008-10-15 16:51:57
*Grin* You know what image came up in my mind when I pictured Frodo
thinking of orcs and spiders, while all the mama's pushed their
daughters at the eligible bachelor, who doesn't like to dance? It
starts with D and ends with arcy...

A very amusing piece!

Title: Trading Pledges ∑ Author: Adaneth ∑ Races: Dwarves ∑ ID: 339
Reviewer: Larner ∑ 2008-10-15 17:16:12
I love how so many stories of the Dwarves appear to focus on their
love-lives--Gloin giving his new bride a necklace to wear close to her
heart; lovers sharing the moment of looking down into the Mirrormere
together; and then this one! How does a young Dwarf court the object
of his affection, and right then on the eve of war? This story
displays how it is done, and how the Dwarf maiden seeks to pledge
herself to him.

A most wondrous tale, and so fitting!

Title: Moon of the Sea ∑ Author: pandemonium_213 ∑ Times: Second and
Early Third Age ∑ ID: 213
Reviewer: Larner ∑ 2008-10-15 18:06:43
Spoilers!
This series gives a life, purpose, and character to Elendil's wife.
From now on she will be for me, also, ever Isilme, the moon of the
sea, the pearl of immense value, Pandemonium has named her.

Yes, a strong woman, the match for the strong man she married; and
fully worthy of her husband and her sons.

This is a series all can rejoice in!

Title: Things as they were in all the days of my life ∑ Author:
Tanaqui ∑ Races: Men: Pre-Ring War Fixed-Length Ficlets ∑ ID: 393
Reviewer: Moreth ∑ 2008-10-15 18:10:52
Spoilers!
I like this well thought out series of drabbles that show glimpses of
Denethor through his life.

My favourite is [Lost Lore], which shows the Steward through the eyes
of his sons and close friend as he is now, and as he was in his youth.

The weight of responsibility and grief that build over time is very
poignantly handled. Well done for showing the human side of a stern
and demanding character!

Title: Frodo's Crosswise Verse ∑ Author: Elanor Gardner ∑ Genres:
Drama: Featuring Frodo or Sam ∑ ID: 520
Reviewer: Larner ∑ 2008-10-15 18:35:43
Spoilers!
Grief, despair, self-hatred, loss--Frodo feels all of these as he
speaks, he thinks, to a sleeping Sam and a small spider weaving her
web. And slowly he states his case, remembering the vow not to keep
his feelings trapped inside him, even as he seeks to do this, hating
what the Ring has made of him.

Sad, poignant, moving--and in the end hopeful. A worthy sequel to
Sam's memory of the day they met with the tinker.

Title: Seas of Fate ∑ Author: Thundera Tiger ∑ Races: Cross-Cultural:
Elves and Men ∑ ID: 487
Reviewer: Imhiriel ∑ 2008-10-15 21:35:39
Spoilers!
The story perfectly captures not only the "mere" sight and sound of
the seashore, but also its atmosphere. It provides an insightful
backdrop for Imrahil as a sea-loving man, and so able to help Legolas
with his sea-longing. It seems he knows to a certain extent what the
Elf is going through, torn between the land and its duties, and the
freedom and promise of the ocean.

I like the calm, slightly melancholy tone of the narrative, which
seems ideally suited to the subject matter.

The characterisations are excellent; and the balanced note in the
level of closeness depicted between those two strikes me as very
convincing. In particular Imrahil is captured exactly the way I
imagine him: sea-loving but diligent in his duties, compassionate,
insightful and wise. I love the way he teaches Legolas the ways of the
sea and just how limited any perceived "mastery" over it there is in
the end.

The sea-longing as observed by Imrahil is described very powerfully,
and very gripping; almost as if, just like him, the readers are
captured by the sheer force of it.

Title: The Pirate ∑ Author: Sivan Shemesh ∑ Genres: Alternate Universe
∑ ID: 674
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland ∑ 2008-10-16 00:00:47
A cute,warm hearted story.

Title: Things as they were in all the days of my life ∑ Author:
Tanaqui ∑ Races: Men: Pre-Ring War Fixed-Length Ficlets ∑ ID: 393
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland ∑ 2008-10-16 00:20:59
A beautiful and perceptive collection of drabbles.I especially loved
the glimpse of a light hearted young Denethor and was saddened by the
way his jealousy and suspicion of Thorongil warped him. As one trouble
follows another,Denethor gradually becomes the bitter and crazed man
we see in the book.I highly recommend these well written drabbles for
all fans of Denethor,or for people like me,who don't much like him,but
wish to understand him better.