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Msg# 9509

MEFA Reviews for Thursday, October 23, 2008 Posted by annmarwalk October 23, 2008 - 19:56:03 Topic ID# 9509
Title: Don't Explain · Author: gwidhiel · Races: Elves: Incomplete ·
ID: 289
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2008-10-23 02:18:00
I gladly helped a bit with very early drafts of this story, but since
then, Gwidhiel has done so much on her own that I don't really feel as
if I could rightfully claim some credit to the story as it stands now!

Gwidhiel handles her cast of characters thoughtfully and with surety.
There are some problems with dialogue which at times seems stilted and
over-informative, but overall, it is used effectively to drive the
story forward.

The biggest strength is her focus on the so often marginalised female
characters. It was fascinating to see pivotal events in the life of
the Finwëans' life through Findis' and Indis' eyes - a quite different
take than usual, and one I found cogent and persuasive (all the more
remarkable because I know Gwidhiel started out with a rather
unfavourable view of Indis and through her writing of this story
wanted to explore Indis' possible motives).

It also brought to attention what enormous, lasting impact history had
on the closest family bonds, bringing it down to a very personal level.

Title: In absentia · Author: Robinka · Races: Elves: House of Finwe ·
ID: 84
Reviewer: Moreth · 2008-10-23 12:33:24
Binka has written a powerful scene exploring what happened after
Maedhros was rescued. The contrasts in this story were the first thing
that caught my attention when I read it: The difference between the
stuffy, enclosed room and the open freedom outside; The static figure
of Maedhros and the frustrated pacing of Fingon.

I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to re-read this (and I still like
the bat!).

Title: Cat's Paws · Author: pandemonium_213 · Races: Villains · ID: 58
Reviewer: Moreth · 2008-10-23 14:22:04
This classic piece of Pandemonium's is a short fic from the same
setting as her longer work ['The Apprentice']. In it we see
Celebrimbor and Annatar at their finest. Celebrimbor as the
intellectually hungry smith, frustrated by the transience of
Middle-earth, and Annatar offering the knowledge Celebrimbor craves.

We see Annatar demonstrate, in a shocking and surprising manner, the
skills he can teach to the Elves. And yet he is not simply a
manipulative 'baddie' - he is also a charismatic and highly
intelligent mentor to whom Celebrimbor is naturally drawn: [' ...I had
seen him squatted down on his heels... his voice and eyes as filled
with wonder as the little girl or boy who listened to him and asked
him questions.']

The story contains beautiful visual detail (the statue, the house, the
evening meal) and yet it is filled with a profound sense of - 'horror'
is too strong a word - 'unease' would be better. Something about this
gift of knowledge is not quite right...

It makes an excellent (if heart-wrenching) pair with ['Broken Star']
by the same author.

Title: The Captain's Mare · Author: The Lauderdale · Races: Villains ·
ID: 575
Reviewer: Moreth · 2008-10-23 15:38:05
Can one write a story that is humorous, poignant and still rather
dark? About orcs? Apparently so, since this author has!

The Lauderdale never misses a beat with the voice of her orcish
protagonist - and the language he uses is simply brilliant
characterisation. And yet, behind the rather crude vocabulary and
(*cough*) eyebrow-raising recreational practises, there is a sense of
the destruction of a whole way of life in order to serve Saruman's
war-machine: ['Before that it was always a partnership: Orc and Warg
working together...But in the War, all of that was f***** up... They
hate us now.']

Nevertheless, as sympathetic as one finds the character, he remains an
orc. And the last paragraph reflects this.

I'm glad to find this piece - excellent writing!

Title: The Road Trip · Author: Garnet Took · Times: Modern Times · ID: 410
Reviewer: Antane · 2008-10-23 17:56:13
I love the idea of Pippin having to be in a car seat! What a hoot! :)
I would so love to have these four visit me too. Did you not say "Are
we there yet?" or did I just miss that? That whine has to be in there
somewhere! Love the idea of classical music, though listening to Rush
would not be at all either, if I couldn't listen to the soundtracks or
the BBC Radio adaptation.

Title: Shadow King · Author: Claudia · Genres: Alternate Universe:
Angst/Tragedy · ID: 227
Reviewer: Antane · 2008-10-23 18:04:02
A very dark AU and most definitely one I am glad didn't come about.
For Frodo never would get his precious back though I don't doubt he
would continue to try and lose more and more of himself and that
twisted king would continue to heal what was left extending the
torment. No comfort indeed for any of them.

Title: A Taste of Home · Author: Pearl Took · Races: Hobbits:
Friendship · ID: 138
Reviewer: Antane · 2008-10-23 18:14:45
What a sweet surprise for his Pippin does Merry give! *hugs him* Love
the ending.

Title: Rivendell International Airport · Author: Primsong · Genres:
Humor: Elven Lands · ID: 345
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2008-10-23 19:04:13
I still don't know how I missed the fact that there were airports in
Middle-earth. This is obviously a well-run airport with very good

The Fellowship did themselves proud, especially (Rolling on the Floor
Laughing) Sir Rimorob. You have taken this genre to new heights. Every
detail was spot-on in regards to going through security at a 'modern
day' airport - yet - I knew I was still in Middle-earth. I do so hope
they made it to Gondor.

You have a way, in all of your tales, of keeping true to Tolkien's
characters. Never have I read something of yours that makes me wonder
at a discrepancy. I really feel I'm still reading something the master
himself would have written. Perhaps it's the 'twisted' lines - you
know the ones - you know you've read them before, but, still
delightful - taking on new and hilarious meanings.

This was hilarious upon my first reading, and also great on the
second! This is one of those ones that one chapter is definitely good,
but to have TWELVE - Awesome!

Great tale. I hope many others have the opportunity to enjoy this
taste of a not-so-unlikely scene!

Title: Feet That Wander · Author: Linaewen · Races: Cross-Cultural ·
ID: 576
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2008-10-23 19:29:15
I absolutely adore this tale. The beginning and the end were perfect -
gave the tale a sense of a border, as a fine portrait has.

Tom's care of his land and those who trod it is perfect. I could just
see the jolly man walking along, singing. I did, however, miss a
moment with Goldberry. Perhaps the next chapter. *giggles*

Poor Boromir - one could feel the weight of his predicament upon his
shoulders. To have lost his horse and his way... not what the Man from
Gondor would have liked. You portray his feelings of frustration very
well. The other part I liked was the 'hint' of darkness that was
quickly working its way towards him. To be so close to the
Barrow-Downs and not be assaulted was great. Saved - just in the nick
of time and by a most unlikely creature. I loved the immediate sense
of relief from our friend. The sword action was good too. *giggles*

I'm glad Tom set our dear Captain-General on the straight path and
that he stayed with him awhile. So this explains some of the one
hundred and ten days of his travels. Laughs out loud.

Now - will we see what else took him so bloody long to find his way to

Great tale and unexpected in its characters and setting. I love it
when I find something 'new' and unexpected.

Title: Long Memories · Author: Bodkin · Times: Second and Early Third
Age · ID: 310
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2008-10-23 19:34:59
I had six 'oh my's and one oh dear with a bunch of happy and sad
smiles. Here goes!

The level of disdain was horrid and brilliant at the same time. First
'oh my' came at Taryatur's dogs and fleas comment. And the 'prattle'
quote was seering along with the reference to the Kin-slaying. And
when I found out it was Oropher - yikes! I am glad Erior was about - I
loved the whole section about Oropher's wife and his need for her -
along with his need to 'pound every Noldor' into mud. Interesting and
very sad. This whole section was excellent!

I loved the 'suffocating heap of differences' - the phrase not the
actions and words of the Elves. They do not present themselves well,
do they?

I ROTFL when I read about Maltheniel's thinking regarding the Noldo.
(general wonderfulness *giggles*)

Another 'oh my' with the 'unclean' comment! So telling with one
word... And Celebrimbor's angst at the thoughts of his family. How
very sad indeed. Another 'sad face' with the 'I am sorry' line. The
whole thought of all those families sundered and the pain and grief,
anger and frustration. Almost too much to bear, for this mortal woman

The ending was great with Legolas, though my heart broke at the
thought of the final passing of Gimli... I loved the last paragraph!

Bless you - this was great!

Title: Dirt and Gold · Author: Empy · Times: Mid Third Age · ID: 590
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2008-10-23 21:38:20
Grima's self-vilifying is extremely compelling portrayed here.

Title: The Conscience of the King · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres:
Humor · ID: 649
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2008-10-23 21:41:14
This is an interesting argument Eomer has with himself, though a bit
prudish. It was most convincing when it was thought of his little
sister behaving sexually that rankled, not so much Faramir's actions.

Title: Boromir and Teddy · Author: Ithil-valon · Genres: Drama: Final
Partings · ID: 113
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2008-10-23 21:43:39
I really enjoyed the similarities drawn between the two living
brothers, and the two deceased, and from living to dead. it was nicely

Title: Candles · Author: Gentle Hobbit · Races: Hobbits: Post-Ring War
· ID: 460
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2008-10-23 21:45:41
The images here are well rendered.

Title: The Dancing Lesson · Author: Lindelea · Races: Hobbits:
Friendship · ID: 664
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2008-10-23 21:49:35
This story started out slowly for me, charmingly enough, but ended up
unexpectedly rich. The last paragraphs were studded so nicely with
many lovely details of Frodo and Bilbo's relationship in their easy
conversation, Bilbo's absent-mindedness, and Frodo's preferring to
stay home and get hermit lessons to name only a few.