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Msg# 9504

MEFA Reviews for Sunday, October 19, 2008 Posted by annmarwalk October 19, 2008 - 20:10:49 Topic ID# 9504
Title: The Right to Bear Arms · Author: Pearl Took · Genres: Humor:
Elven Lands · ID: 653
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2008-10-19 01:15:42
I love this encounter between Boromir and the hobbits. Pippin's
audacity is so very much in character here--Boromir does not yet know
him, or the other hobbits well, but he is about to find out a few
rather unexpected things about them!

Title: Risk Assessment · Author: pandemonium_213 · Races: Elves · ID: 665
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2008-10-19 06:47:08
I have never much thought about the society that must have existed in
Eregion, but I really like this take on it. It is vivid, consistent
and persuasive, with well-chosen details and evocative descriptions,
especially regarding infrastructure and architecture.

It's a fascinating look into the day-to-day life and work of ordinary
Elves in a diverse community with admitted tensions between Sindarin
and Noldor.

The main character has an engaging personality, and I was interested
in following her through her day. And what an intriguing, inventive
take on the properties of lembas! The philosophical discussion about
the differences between belief and science was short but very incisive
and thought-provoking, and I admit it lingered long after I ended the

Title: Wayward Sons · Author: Jael · Races: Elves · ID: 408
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2008-10-19 06:47:34
Thranduil's fatalistic world-weariness is conveyed very evocatively,
not only in his characterisation, but also in the descriptions and in
the whole gloomy atmosphere of the story. It's nice to see him (and
his realm) come back to life when those he loves most return, and I
much enjoyed the bantering tone of the later half of the story.

The take on the fading of the Elven realms is persuasive, and woven
very smoothly into the narrative as a telling backdrop to the actual plot.

There is a fine eye to detail in this story in the descriptions, and a
well-handled cast of characters. And kudos for such an excellent
choice of a poem to accompany the story!

Title: As Was Dwarven Tradition · Author: Nieriel Raina · Races:
Dwarves · ID: 553
Reviewer: Larner · 2008-10-19 07:07:31
Ah, our Gimli, now two hundred, is the master of the feast, but knows
grief that one person he's come to love doesn't appear likely to make
it. To hear the toasts and boasts and all is wonderful, but there's
one whose toasts and boasts he wishes most to hear, whose presence he
desires. To hear that one voice raised at the last had to have been
such a relief after the ongoing anxiety and disappointment, and the
growing acceptance he'd known that this one could well not make it in

A wonderful look at how Dwarven birthday traditions MIGHT have taken
shape, and the strength of the friendship between Gimli the Dwarf and
Legolas the Elf, as well as the growing acceptance of this
non-traditional friendship by Gimli's own people. How strange, and
over time, marvelous the Dwarves of Erebor, the Iron Hills, and
Aglarond must have found the companionship and feelings of fraternity
between the son of Thranduil and the son of Gloin!

The voice in which the story is told is excllent, and the descriptions
of the surroundings and Gimli's growing disappointment are marvelous.
Here indeed Tolkien's world does indeed shine through! How fortunate
we are to have such celebrations as this to imagine, and one such as
Nieriel Raina to tell it to us!

Title: Young Fëanáro Makes A Stone · Author: Oshun · Genres: Humor:
Valar & Maiar · ID: 77
Reviewer: Larner · 2008-10-19 16:44:17
An interesting manner of creating the Elessar--growing it similarly to
a sugar crystal?

And I'm rather glad Aule didn't give him the keys!

Yes, an interesting look at Feanor and his relationship with Aule and
his work within Aule's forge.

Title: A Treasured Piece of Cloth · Author: Golden · Races: Hobbits:
Family · ID: 600
Reviewer: Larner · 2008-10-19 16:58:01
To break a child from a comfort item, whether a cuddle cloth or
blankee or binky or whatever it might be, is never fully easy; and I
rejoice apparently a bit of magic lingered there in Bilbo's house,
perhaps in that firecracker, to allow the comfort to continue as it did.

Lovely story, gently and imaginatively solving the problem.

Title: The Myth of the One Ring's Power · Author: Dreamflower ·
Genres: Non-Fiction · ID: 532
Reviewer: pandemonium_213 · 2008-10-19 18:12:42
Anyone who begins her thesis with [I know it sounds a bit
controversial] and then proceeds to pick apart a myth with such
precision has my admiration. Dreamflower writes a well-executed
argument that not only debunks the apparent misconceptions within
fandom concerning the One Ring's power, but also sheds light on the
various personalities and motivations of those touched by the One Ring
from its inventor to its destroyer.

Dreamflower's essay is very well-written and referenced beautifully.
She creates her argument in a steady logical progression with which
she reaches a most satisfying conclusion. Her arguments convincingly
illustrate that the One Ring works through the characteristics of
those who are tempted by it -- and fall to it -- or to those who are
able to reject it.

I also read this as commentary on how myth can obscure fact, such as
they are in a mythopoeitically* created world. Just like Elendil at an
alleged 8 feet in height stands at a truly larger than life in myth
(and in the "reality" of JRRT's secondary world was probably much
shorter), so the One Ring's influence is not all encompassing, or
"generic," if you will, but instead individualized.

Excellent essay, Dreamflower, and quite thought-provoking.

*Yes, a goofy neologism. I can't resist them.

Title: The Revenge of Curufin's Horse · Author: Moreth · Genres: Humor
· ID: 139
Reviewer: pandemonium_213 · 2008-10-19 18:43:43
Humo(u)r within the Tolkienian framework is a tricky thing. In some
works of fan fiction, it is done well, and in others, well, not so
much. [The Revenge of Curufin's Horse] fits snugly into the former

The story is executed well technically and is engaging with its
irreverent humor. Using great word choices and overall construction,
Moreth builds up a bit of tension and allows us look at Celegorm
licking his wounds. The subject and its conclusion (which still gets a
chuckle out of me after many readings) are delicious and will
certainly appeal to Fëanorian loyalists. It's gratifying to know that
Celegorm and Curufin got a good laugh out of turgid poetry, their
amusement true to Noldorin form.

A most excellent -- and funny -- MEFA debut for Moreth!

Title: The Ghost in the Garden · Author: Dawn Felagund · Races: Elves
· ID: 272
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2008-10-19 19:58:20
As I've come to expect from Dawn's stories, the language is elegant
and lyrical, and perfectly tuned to the situation, with a great
capacity for evocative metaphors and turns of phrase that both
enriches the plot itself as well as the "tapestry" of the wider narrative.

The observations and descriptions are sharp and incisive; the dialogue
and character interaction smooth and realistic.

In this story, the opening paragraph swept me away and plunged me into
the "reality" of the story - I could see it, feel it, smell it. I
found Galadriel's perspective on the Sindar and what their thoughts
might be about Valinor and the Noldor who fled it highly interesting.

The uncanny situation is built up very well, increasing mystery and
tension likewise. And I admit the description of the apparation sent a
chill down my spine... To learn the history of him made it only more
haunting and sad.

Title: The Lowest Circle · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Elves: Drabbles ·
ID: 449
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2008-10-19 21:50:29
This drabble is almost like a documentary in that it so clearly
presents just how sanity and thought and *being* unravel, and is
transformed into something fundamentally opposed and unrecognisable
"other". Disturbing, because as you're reading, your thoughts follow
the thoughts of the protagonist and you almost feel them flitting away
like his do. This line best exemplifies it: ["For a long time he
remembered, or thought he remembered, or perhaps only imagined..."].

There is a dark, perverted majesty to the tone, which I think may come
from the well-chosen title and the implications that come with it. I
thought that the relative "vagueness" of describing exactly what is
happening fit very well into this.

Title: The War of Wrath · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Elves: Drabbles ·
ID: 120
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2008-10-19 21:51:35
Oh, bravo! To combine the requirements of a drabble with the even
stricter formulas of a poem, and to do so with grace and eloquence and
creativeness - chapeau!

This is a wonderfully inventive peek at and a convincing take of a
very neglected character in Tolkien's cosmos. I love how the structure
and content of the poem brings up echoes of a similar poem of
Tolkien's about Eärendil (perhaps even with a dash of the poem about
Gil-Galad), yet is completely its own creation and adapted to its own

The tone, the language and the rhythm are employed deftly to
underscore the content. The meters scan without a hitch and without
compromising the flow and understanding of the words, which are chosen
with obvious care. They serve the triple purpose of telling a straight
story, combining to a metaphorical layer, and serving the strictures
of the poem.

And in doing so, Tanaqui sketches a fine picture of a heroic, bright,
shining figure deserving of this accolade.

Title: Taking Roots · Author: Imhiriel · Genres: Romance: Drabbles ·
ID: 367
Reviewer: Marta · 2008-10-19 21:51:49
*happy sigh* It's so nice to think of Celeborn and Galadriel in these
rare moments of peace, both with themselves and with each other. I
love the inversion of which one is usually seen as certain and which
is usually more doubting. I don't doubt that Celeborn was sure of
himself in "his" spheres, and trees and Middle-earth botany would
certainly be part of that for a lord of the galadh. It speaks highly
of their relaitonship that they are comfortable exposing their
weaknesses to each other, and Imhiriel captures that very well.

Title: Hearts of Stone · Author: Elen Kortirion · Races: Men: General
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 12
Reviewer: Marta · 2008-10-19 21:52:00
I love explorations of treasures, relics, and other *things* loved and
collected by Arda's residents; and this drabble set certainly meets
that description. I loved particularly the second drabble, describing
the many uses of the stones Aragorn collected. There's a story in each
one, and the way Kortirion hints at it gives Aragorn a truly amazing
sense of depth.

Title: Feet That Wander · Author: Linaewen · Races: Cross-Cultural ·
ID: 576
Reviewer: Marta · 2008-10-19 21:52:11
I had never thought of Boromir interacting with Tom Bombadil, but
given his shall we say circuitous root (really, 110 days?) it is
entirely possible. I really like the fact that he had a connection to
the northern kings through the Barrows, and the reference to his
previous experience with the Nazgul tied in nicely with the larger
canon. All in all, it was a very creative and well-told story, that I
could easily see having happened.

Title: Seas of Fate · Author: Thundera Tiger · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Elves and Men · ID: 487
Reviewer: Marta · 2008-10-19 21:52:36
I have a bit of an inverted relationship to this story, as I am sure
most people who read it long before they read its sequel, "Seaworthy."
I, however, read "Seaworthy" first, so found that "Seas of Fate"
provided some very nice background as well as being an enjoyable story
in its own right.

Like "Seaworthy" (and indeed, like most of this author's stories),
"Seas of Fate" is one parttop-notch characterization, ote part
gapfiller, and one part philosophy. I found Thundera's exploration of
why the sea could not be mastered to be fascinating, complimenting
without duplicating her treatment of why Legolas wasn't ready to sail
yet. Read in light of that later piece, one aspect of "Seas of Fate"
tha tjumped out at me was the deeper meaning behind Legolas's desire
to keep his lessons secret. There is of course the practical matter,
but also I sense a conflict in who he wants to be that becomes much
more obvious in the later work. Yet that conflict is there. This is
just many ways that the characterization transcends this vignette into
something that feels teally authentic.

I really enjoyed this, and found it a convincing and thought-provoking
gapfiller. Nice work, Thundera.

Title: The Edge of the Knife · Author: Dwimordene · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Other Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 274
Reviewer: Marta · 2008-10-19 21:52:46
It's a bit surprising, when you think about it, how close history came
to utter ruin in Tolkien's universe. That's of course true of the
Fellowship, but perhaps even moreso for Isildur. Dwimordene shows
masterfully the many ways that his life could have turned out worse
than it ended up – and a few times, how it could have turned out
better. She is well-known as a master of AU, yet for all of their
doom-and-gloom these drabbles feel natural, not at all weighed down as
they might have been if recorded by a less nimble pen.

Of all the moments portrayed in this series, I think I most "enjoyed"
(if one can even use that term) the final one. There is a nice
dichotomy between the idea in Tolkien's draft that Gollum would allow
himself to fall into Orodruin having possessed the Ring once more
(which I actually like much more than the idea in the final draft. And
the reference to Buridan's ass
[ was inspired. Nicely
conceived, and nicely put.

Title: Broken Star · Author: pandemonium_213 · Races: Villains:
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 54
Reviewer: elfscribe · 2008-10-19 22:33:05
This is a superb example of the short form that tells a whole story in
a single defining moment. In this ficlet, Sauron as Annatar attempts
to torture information about the Rings from his former friend,
Celebrimbor. Everything about this little gem is effective from the
choice of first person narrator that allows one to feel the momentary
sting of regret that Sauron feels (and thus to my mind increases the
horror), to word choices such as Sauron <i>gently</i> pushing
Celebrimbor's hair away (ah the power of the much reviled adverb), to
the opening vision of him [naked and vulnerable, a broken star of the
House of Fëanáro bound at four points]. There is also much in here
about the power of names - Sauron recoils at the use of that name, and
he in turn uses an endearment "brother-of-my-heart" which sums up the
depth of his betrayal. I can well imagine the effect on poor
Celebrimbor. Absolutely chilling and tragic. Well done!

Title: Chasing Blackie · Author: Pearl Took · Times: Mid Third Age:
Eriador · ID: 655
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2008-10-19 22:36:11
A story that is very cute, that of little Pippin chasing after an
imaginary kitten, saved from over-sentimentality by the excellent
characterisation of his long-suffering mother as she cleans him up and
draws out the tale of how exactly he came to have a bloody nose in the
first place. There's a gentle humor in the story that is very appealing.

Title: A Meeting in the Tower Hills · Author: Imhiriel · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 374
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2008-10-19 22:46:11
The Second Age often strikes me as the neglected step-child of Tolkien
fanfiction, sandwiched between tales of doomed and brooding Feanorians
in the First Age and the rise of both Sauron and Mankind and the
Hobbits in the Third Age. Imhiriel is one of the few, the proud, the
gifted writers who consistently prove me wrong in her visits to this
fascinating epoch. Here, she spotlights a pivotal step in Numenorean
and M-e history with a lovely and thought-provoking and humorous
drabble. I like the sense of coming-together, which is a key theme in
Tolkien's work, as two long sundered branches of Edain make a
bewildered but determined new contact.

Title: Another Prometheus · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 85
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2008-10-19 23:03:39
Gandalf postulates, through the lens of a Fourth Age teacher, a very
different interpretation of Feanor's relationship with the Valar and
the Silmarils than is written in the Silmarillion. This is an
intriguing look at the interplay of history, legend, and time. The
Fourth Age is far removed from direct contact with the Valar and the
direct influence of either the Noldor or Melkor and Sauron; and
perhaps the awe with which those forces were once viewed has waned;
and a myth of a single creative genius defying all great Powers rises
to greater significance.

I personally cannot see Feanor as Prometheus, unless one postulates
that the description of his words and actions in the Silmarillion were
inaccurate/lies - and that's a whole other kettle of fish. But this
drabble is skillfully written and makes the reader think, and think
hard, about the cycle of myth/legend/time/history.

Title: There and Back · Author: Dana · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 89
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2008-10-19 23:15:33
I love the use of this particular title for Pippin's last, and in some
respects, greatest journey of all his Ring War travels; complete with
coda by a recovering Beregond after the battle is won and done.
Pippin's grim yet practical thoughts are well-written; and Beregond is
also characterised quite well.