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Msg# 9523

MEFA Reviews for Friday, October 31, 2008 Posted by annmarwalk October 31, 2008 - 21:28:08 Topic ID# 9523
itle: No Man's Land Author: Branwyn (Lady Branwyn) Genres:
Alternate Universe: Drabbles ID: 726
Reviewer: dkpalaska 2008-10-31 02:17:10
Now this is one AU I'm fervently grateful did not come to pass,
although it does invite deep reflection on the great potential cut
down in every deadly conflict. Very nice dialogue sets the stage
clearly, and places us right with the men making this discovery.

I wonder if the notebook contents might find their way into
influencing some writer to follow the thoughts of their original
author, and what differences would spring from them seeding another
imagination? Definitely a drabble that invites reflection!

Title: The Least of Rings Author: Marta Genres: Alternate
Universe: Drabbles ID: 621
Reviewer: dkpalaska 2008-10-31 02:18:01
A well-told and unique version of how things could have gone when the
Fellowship was broken. It seems to be a favorite point of departure
for AUs (who wouldn't want Sean Bean - oops, I mean Boromir - to
live?) But Marta lays out the scenario in a chillingly clear fashion
as Boromir reflects back on what happened. Excellent word choices make
it clear that the Ring developed a powerful grip on the two
protagonists, and is working its will on the survivor.

I loved the author's take on how Boromir actually achieved the Ring
and why he fought Frodo; they fit well into canon and make the
subsequent speculation on how things turned out from this point very

Title: Spoiled Author: Tanaqui Genres: Alternate Universe:
Drabbles ID: 119
Reviewer: dkpalaska 2008-10-31 02:18:22
While I admit that this is the edge of what I could possibly believe
about this character, I acknowledge that under the right conditions
almost anyone could be altered beyond recognition. The descriptions
and PoV are spot-on for a spoiled nobleman, and the final feeling I'm
left with is, "Thank goodness for Tolkien's version!"

Title: Wave-Singer Author: Branwyn (Lady Branwyn) Genres:
Alternate Universe: Drabbles ID: 33
Reviewer: dkpalaska 2008-10-31 02:18:56
This is a nicely done take on one of my favorite Silm characters!
Branwyn chooses an unusual PoV and blends some of our own legends into
one of Tolkien's, with a result that is enjoyable and believable both.
I can just see the old man telling his tale to a group of spellbound

Title: Alter/native Author: Tanaqui Genres: Alternate Universe:
Drabbles ID: 478
Reviewer: dkpalaska 2008-10-31 02:22:09
Tanaqui paints a delightful alternate reality, where things start out
just as one would expect from a certain scene contained in the
Appendices of LotR. Soon, however, events go distinctly... awry. Even
after repeated readings, I still find this drabble laugh-out-loud
funny, mostly due to the author's light touch and the subtle
alterations that go along with the, ah, *major* change to canon.

The original quotes are incorporated and modified perfectly, and
Tolkien's formal language is carried well throughout the piece,
blending "truth" and "fiction" seamlessly. The shifts chosen to bring
about this [alter/native] vision are inspired - as is the title.
Excellently done, Tanaqui! I could use more AUs that leave me grinning.

Title: Of Dreams... Author: Avon Races: Men: General Fixed-Length
Ficlets ID: 7
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon 2008-10-31 03:23:39
Quite a beautiful ficlet here, a crescendo of reflections from
movieverse Aragorn that culminates in the offer of power in the sword
reforged. The slow, lovingly detailed texture of what Aragorn does
dream of instead of power works quite well here, and the appearance of
Anduril, and the choice, and change, that it embodies for Aragorn, is
sharper in contrast.

Title: Now the Green Blade Riseth Author: annmarwalk Genres:
Drama: Ring War Drabbles ID: 37
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon 2008-10-31 04:48:46
One reason I don't often write hobbits is that I find it hard to
capture their voices, much less their points of view, on paper. Ann
appears to accomplish these feats rather effortlessly in this
absolutely delightful drabble. And she doesn't take on one of the four
questing hobbits, but that tough-and-true provincial gardener, Gaffer
Gamgee himself. Everything rings true as if Tolkien himself wrote the
piece. And it's a novel perspective on a wonderful event in the Shire...

Title: My Shining Stars Author: Oshun Races: Elves: House of
Elrond ID: 371
Reviewer: Robinka 2008-10-31 08:27:07
A very interesting, insightful and believable take on Elrond and what
he might have thought about his paretns, the biological ones that in
truth abandoned him, and the foster ones -- Maedhros and Maglor --
that in fact raised Elrond and his brother. Oshun explores Elrond's
past and gives him a unique, and also ironic voice. Very well done!

Title: Elanor of Westmarch: The Return Author: Baranduin Races:
Hobbits: Family ID: 78
Reviewer: Imhiriel 2008-10-31 08:45:25
A wonderfully sensitive and engaging take on Elanor as an old woman;
very nuanced and sympathetic. I had to grin at her crabbiness and was
moved by her holding on to the memories of the past.

I loved her odd "relationship" with the Elvish tower, the powerful
symbolism of it paired with self-awareness and whimsy.

It was a nice touch to blend in various quotes from LotR into the
narrative, both directly and indirectly; especially the last one.

Title: Yule at Great Smials Author: Dreamflower Races: Hobbits:
Family ID: 566
Reviewer: Imhiriel 2008-10-31 08:45:48
The sense of bustling activity before and during the celebrations is
conveyed well, not only in the fast pace of the story and in
describing the preparations, but also in showing the "busyness", the
anxiety, the anticipation and joy. I liked the emphasis on the sense
of community that is so important in Shire society, their love to get
together at the least opportunity with family and friends.

The big cast of characters is handled well; the readers never lose
oversight of who is who, and who are major and minor characters to the

Title: Wife of the Thain Author: LA Knight Genres: Romance: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlets ID: 513
Reviewer: Larner 2008-10-31 14:40:38
When I first nominated this it was only a few chapters long, and now
it is slightly over halfway posted, according to its author. A
fascinating look at the courtship of the Took ancestor who allegedly
took a fairy wife, this is presented as a Shire fairy tale--one that
is told in a fascinating way, and with all the savagery of our-world
fairy tales in their original, unexpurgated forms, tales that are not
all sweetness and light.

One feels with the Thain who must labor to finish several impossible
tasks before he can take this beautiful swan princess to wife, and
with the beloved who suffers mightily at the hands of her vicious
father for the sin of having come to love a mortal.

It is a story of many sharp, painful, yet marvelous chapters,
vignettes that are each very short and to the point. There are
references to so many familiar tales, myths, and legends; and her
chapter beginning quotes are from a variety of sources. And her means
of including some familiar characters in this story is also fascinating.

She has recently explained that real life (always a bugaboo to
writers) is getting in the way of finishing the piece; all we can do
is hope that in time real life will calm for her and she will find the
time to complete this and some of her other pieces she's been writing.

Read and enjoy.

Title: Gone Amiss Author: Raksha the Demon Genres: Drama: Ring War
Drabbles ID: 44
Reviewer: Larner 2008-10-31 14:53:54
That moment after Boromir's death is caught to perfection. What did
Aragorn think then as he knelt by the dying warrior's side, besides
how all he'd attempted to accomplish that day had gone amiss--that
fear having been so well described by the Master himself? Was he
remembering a small, determined child and that child's proud father?
The loss that child knew so early in his life of his gentle, loving
mother? Certainly he knows all too well the one he expects to be
required to account to for Boromir's death now, under these circumstances.

Memories and expectations whirl through him, thoughts and regrets, the
pain of loss of what could have been a warm friendship based on
similar tastes and interests lost to suspicions and envy and ambition;
the pain of loss of the chance to tell this one how much admired his
father had been; the pain of loss of the chance to have watched this
one become what he has.

Raksha has indeed caught the grief and concern and compassion and
expressed it succinctly and well. Her writing is always satisfying,
and this is indeed a gem amongst her longer works--perhaps small, but
clear and its facets carefully shaped and polished. As always with
Raksha's works, a delight to read!

Title: Healing the Long Cleeve Author: TopazTook Genres: Longer
Works ID: 133
Reviewer: Larner 2008-10-31 14:58:10
I love Diamond and Pippin stories, and this one did not disappoint. A
wonderful look at their courtship and marriage as the two come to
learn so of one another.

Of the same family origin but separated by distance and old quarrels,
the North-Tooks and those of the Tooklands finally find realliance as
the son of the Thain and the daughter of the North-Tooks learn to
truly love and rejoice in one another.

Some fascinating new thoughts and original insights expressed.