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Msg# 9525

MEFA Reviews for Sunday, November 2, 2008 (Part One) Posted by annmarwalk November 02, 2008 - 19:52:35 Topic ID# 9525
Title: Denial ∑ Author: Oshun ∑ Races: Elves: House of Finwe ∑ ID: 80
Reviewer: pandemonium_213 ∑ 2008-11-02 01:08:34
Upon reading this ficlet, I am fervently hoping that Oshun will expand
on Maitimo (Maedhros) and MacalaurŽ's (Maglor) relationship with her
trademark gifts for writing excellent dialogue and finely wrought
emotion. She has drawn the affection between the brothers so well here.

Oshun uses her keen eye for detail to illustrate the differences
between Maefollowing is a fabulous example of the "show, don't tell"
approach with a keen eye to detail. For example, contrast this...
[Idly scratching at a dried spot of egg yolk that had dribbled onto
the front of his threadbare tunic at breakfast the day before...]

with NelyafinwŽ's studied aesthetic:

[NelyafinwŽ's bright copper-hued hair cascaded past his shoulders in
an apparent state of attractive disarray, which MacalaurŽ knew with
certainty had required considerable effort to achieve.]

This vivid writing casts the contrast of the two men into high relief:
scholarly Maitimo and artistic, BoHo MacalaurŽ. Likewise, Nelyo's
blushing, characteristic of a redhead, and MacalaurŽ's cackling add
wonderful humane touches to these characters and reinforce their
distinctive personalities.

MacalaurŽ's elusive composition crytallizes into a most satisfying
conclusion for both the character and this reader. Although [Denial]
has humor and light, there is an undercurrent of the somber, too.

Looking forward to reading more of Maitimo and MacalaurŽ in your WIP
and other nascent works, Oshun!

Title: The Last Messenger: A Tale of Numenor ∑ Author: Fiondil ∑
Times: Second and Early Third Age ∑ ID: 8
Reviewer: obsidianj ∑ 2008-11-02 01:39:42
In this fascinating adventure, the Valar ask Laurendil, a character
from the story Elf Interrupted, to bring one last message to Numenor,
to the Faithful. Laurendil is not sure why he should be the messenger,
but long ingrained obedience to the Valar makes him go.

During his time in Numenor, he becomes embroiled in the fates of the
Faithful and finally realizes, being the messenger was just an excuse
to get him to Numenor. Since Isildur's attempt to steal a fruit of
Nimlos a young man of the Faithful is missing, and Laurendil helps
with the rescue mission.

The story reels you in and you read on and on to find out what happens
next. Do they make it? What are the consequences. I thoroughly enjoyed
this tale, which helped me to understand some of the older history of

The story features a whole cast of strong original characters, but you
forget that they are not originated with Tolkien. So well do they fit
into this world.

Title: Not Yet ∑ Author: erobey ∑ Genres: Romance: Elven Lands ∑ ID: 712
Reviewer: obsidianj ∑ 2008-11-02 01:41:19
This is a very enjoyable story about Glorfindel pining for his former
lover and trying desperately to find Legolas of Gondolin in Legolas
Thranduilion. I like the characterization of the characters and how
Legolas Thranduilion stands up to Glorfindel's strange behavior.

Title: Worlds Within Worlds ∑ Author: Rubynye ∑ Races: Cross-Cultural
∑ ID: 237
Reviewer: obsidianj ∑ 2008-11-02 01:42:21
I like the way the contrast between the Shire and the outside world is
described. The Shire is all soft and round edges, the outside world is
tall, harsh and edgy.

Title: Parth Galen ∑ Author: Isabeau of Greenlea ∑ Genres: Alternate
Universe: Steward's Family ∑ ID: 705
Reviewer: obsidianj ∑ 2008-11-02 01:45:00
For whatever reason, I hadn't seen this before. This is a beautiful AU
gapfiller and I think, for my part, much more worthy of Boromir.
Although, if this would be canon, then the death scene would lose most
of its poignancy. I love it that you brought bits and pieces from your
other stories into it. Come to think of it, Boromir, in your universe,
has a lot of people to show him the right way. The ring's insinuations
are really playing on Boromir's fears and wishes. In this version it
just doesn't encounter a Boromir with no support.

Title: To Be A King ∑ Author: Keiliss ∑ Races: Elves ∑ ID: 252
Reviewer: obsidianj ∑ 2008-11-02 01:45:51
As Gil-Galad discovers, it is not easy to be King. Seeing his timid
beginning here and knowing what legend he will become, gives the story
an added depth. I like Cirdan's teaching style. He must drive
Gil-Galad nuts at times.

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: pandemonium_213 ∑ 2008-11-02 01:49:40
Nerdanel, even with sparse text-time in The Silmarillion, is a
character who resonates with many fan fiction writers in the
Tolkienian milieu. Dawn, with her characteristically thorough approach
to Tolkienian lore, examines this attraction and fleshes out a canon
character who has captured the attention of fandom. Through her
careful perusal of Tolkien's writings beyond The Silmarillion, Dawn
has collected textual data which reveal Nerdanel to be an
exceptionally intelligent and strong woman. In addition to being a
well researched essay, Dawn's exercise highlights the benefits of
delving deep into the expansive writings of Tolkien for the fan
fiction writer who ventures beyond The Lord of the Rings or even those
who write solely within the realm of the trilogy. Sometimes the
knowledge unearthed is challenging, even discomfiting, e.g., the fates
of the Ambarussa and Nerdanel's foresight concerning them.

The analysis of Nerdanel's hair color via the Vinyar Tengwar was
especially noteworthy. All sorts of tidbits about characters and
culture can be gleaned from study of Tolkien's languages as published
in Vinyar Tengwar or Parma Eldalamberon.

As a writer of technical documentation, I found the appendix to be a
most satisfying back-up to the essay, particularly the table. I'm with
Moreth...a graph with a correlation coefficient would have sent me
into spasms of squeeing.

Overall, an excellent resource for those who write this remarkable
woman into their fiction.

Title: Bears With Honey ∑ Author: Gandalfs apprentice ∑ Genres: Humor:
Other Fixed-Length Ficlets ∑ ID: 243
Reviewer: crowdaughter ∑ 2008-11-02 12:33:05
Very nice view at the implications of being wedded to a skin-changer;
and a very wise woman who knows how to attract her husband in such
circumstances. I like! :)

Title: Child of Hope ∑ Author: Galadriel ∑ Races: Men: Steward's
Family ∑ ID: 97
Reviewer: crowdaughter ∑ 2008-11-02 12:51:03
This is very beautiful, and a nice view at Boromir and Faramir as kids
in much nicer circumstances. I loved the image of the two brothers at
Denethor's court, and the way thy compare to each other. Loved the
surprise ending, too.

Nicely done! :)

Title: Into the Woods ∑ Author: Gloria Mundi ∑ Times: Modern Times ∑
ID: 593
Reviewer: crowdaughter ∑ 2008-11-02 12:59:37
Dropping characters from another world into Middle Earth rarely works
well, but this take on the topic was surprisingly to the point and
indeed worked. Lovely crossover with very lovely characterizations.
And I thoroughly enjoyed the image those two characters together gave
me. The interaction was spot-on, too. And the slashy part just worked
as the icing of the cake. Very nicely done!

Thank you for writing and sharing! :)

Title: Gifts ∑ Author: Gloria Mundi ∑ Races: Villains: Fixed-Length
Ficlets ∑ ID: 594
Reviewer: crowdaughter ∑ 2008-11-02 13:03:32
A striking reinterpretation of the relationship between these three,
and the way Smeagol's thoughts are presented, here. I loved Smeagol's
take on how to show his affection, and I loved the whole idea. Very
unusual, and very intriguing!

Thank you for writing and sharing!

Title: Don't Explain ∑ Author: gwidhiel ∑ Races: Elves: Incomplete ∑
ID: 289
Reviewer: crowdaughter ∑ 2008-11-02 13:43:14
I rarely read stories about the House of Finwe; I am more hooked to
the Elves of the Third Age, as a rule. However, this story has me
hooked and keeps me enthralled with the drma that lies buried behind
the apparently happy opening. Also, it is a wonderful take to see this
enfold from the view of Indis. And so we learn a lot more of the story
that ledt to the fall-out between the parts of the family...

Very compelling tale, very well written, with deep emotions. A very
good read. Thank You for writing and sharing!

Title: Feelings of Superiority ∑ Author: Gwynnyd ∑ Times: Multi-Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlets ∑ ID: 362
Reviewer: crowdaughter ∑ 2008-11-02 13:50:53
This compelling series of drabbles shows very effectively that bias
and prejudices were alive and well in Middle Earth, and not restricted
to any one race, as well. The poignant way in which Gwynnyd brings
those feelings to the point for each race is sharp and clear as a
surgical blade, but very, very fitting for each of these races. Very
well written, and very well done. [Feelings of Superiority], indeed.

Thank you for writing and sharing.

Title: Journeys of VŠsa ∑ Author: Dawn Felagund ∑ Races: Elves:
Incomplete ∑ ID: 140
Reviewer: Moreth ∑ 2008-11-02 14:47:54
In these vignettes, Dawn has presented the Rising of the Sun from a
series of unusual perspectives.

The first is a heartbreaking look at Tilion's memories of his
unrequited love for Arien, and her catastrophic encounter with Melkor.
The writing is dark and haunting, and does not leave me with the
impression that there will be a happy ending - which suits the flavour
this particular theme in Tolkien's writing.

The second is less epic in scope, but captures the uncertainty of a
world that has changed and in which 'light' will never quite be the
same again. Mahtan's fears and concerns are convincingly expressed.

The final vignette is much lighter in mood, and looks at just what it
takes to succeed in crossing the HelcaraxŽ and surviving to watch the
new Sun rise. The answer is, of course, 'good organisation'!

Interesting and entertaining studies - I would certainly read further
vignettes in this series.

Title: The Littlest Warrior ∑ Author: RavensWing14337 ∑ Races: Elves:
Incomplete ∑ ID: 552
Reviewer: Fiondil ∑ 2008-11-02 14:57:43
A creature of evil is brought forth which sucks the life-force from
other beings. Elves of Lorien encounter it first and one of the party
is injured. Only Elrond might be able to save the young Elf's life and
so Haldir and his brothers make the perilous journey to Rivendell with
the injured Elf, unaware that the creature follows.

Meanwhile, three-year-old Estel rules the hearts of the Elves of
Rivendell with his winning ways and ingenuous outlook on life. The
episodes describing Estel's relationship with Elrond, his brothers and
all the other Elves of Rivendell are hilarious and very true to the
way most toddlers act and react. The scene of Elrond chasing after a
wet and naked Estel who has determined how best to bring a smile to
his ada's face is so funny I was laughing out loud.

The contrast between the idyllic nature of Rivendell and the horror
that approaches unsuspectingly is nicely drawn and RavensWing does an
excellent job of keeping up the suspense without losing the humor of
millennia-old Elves attempting to raise a rambunctious mortal with his
own ideas. As Gilraen is already dead in this story, this is
definitely AU, but very believable in its telling.

Title: The King's Surgeon ∑ Author: SurgicalSteel ∑ Genres: Longer
Works ∑ ID: 90
Reviewer: pandemonium_213 ∑ 2008-11-02 15:45:09
I stumbled across this extraordinary novel while wandering around
those Tolkienian fan fiction sites that I visit less often than my
usual haunt, and what a treasure [The King's Surgeon] is!

I stand up and applaud SurgicalSteel's creation of SerindŽ. I'll speak
frankly here: Tolkien gave us a paucity of strong female characters or
at least not nearly enough for my tastes. Yes, I know there are
exceptions, those notables like Galadriel and Eowyn, but my life's
experience makes me yearn for more. (Full disclosure: I'm a cranky old
woman who worked in a field long dominated by men although more women
work in the discipline now.)

Make no mistake: I love Tolkien's mythology, but there's no denying
that in *certain* respects, his *canonical* work does not fully engage
me. That is to say, his "green sun" is sometimes unconvincing. In part
that is due to the many unnamed women in his works -- as Dwimmordene
aptly calls them, textual ghosts. Unfortunately, there is a reluctance
on many fan fic authors' parts to write OFCs due to the "Mary Sue"
pejorative. However, SurgicalSteel, true to her nom de plume, has
steel in her spine and shows no fear. She gives us SerindŽ, an
incredible -- and *authentic* -- woman-in-full.

I love Serinde's personality and attitude: irascible, stubborn, warm,
brilliant, sardonic...enough so that I wish I could sit down with her
and listen to the tales of her life's work. SurgicalSteel's fabulous
detailing of medicine and surgery, Middle-earth-style, is tremendously
appealing to me although I will note that it occasionally veers into
the pedantic; I say this with a knowing wink because I (ahem) have a
tendency to do the same thing.

SurgicalSteel's characterizations are excellent. Her characters come
to life as real human beings with strengths and flaws, from the
canonical "headliners" like Aragorn and Frodo to her carefully crafted
OCs. I read SerindŽ's history with fascination. That back story
provides the foundation of this exceptional woman.

With [The King's Surgeon] now under my belt, I look forward to
exploring more of the Steel!verse.

Title: Tolkien's Parish: The Canonical Middle-earth ∑ Author: Steuard
Jensen ∑ Genres: Non-Fiction ∑ ID: 91
Reviewer: Moreth ∑ 2008-11-02 16:20:33
An entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable essay that presents an
approach to determining which parts of Tolkien's writing may be
considered 'canon'.

Some wider reading of Tolkien is probably required for the essay to
make sense, 'Leaf by Niggle' in particular. Jensen uses the imagery
from this short story to explore the 'unfinished' nature of Tolkien's

I'm not, personally speaking, convinced of the necessity of deriving a
'canon of work' but I am happy to share with this author a common [joy
of exploring a true Secondary World]. And that, after all, is the fun
of reading Tolkien's work!

Title: If You Could See What I Hear ∑ Author: Cathleen ∑ Times: Mid
Third Age: Eriador ∑ ID: 614
Reviewer: stefaniab ∑ 2008-11-02 19:50:46
This charming and beautifully written story delivers an unexpectedly
dark and stunningly ethereal realm in the peaceful, pre-Ring War
Shire. "If You Could See What I Hear" is a perfect example of why I
like the MEFAs. The wee hobbit genre is not a place where I normally
venture, but I am very glad to have spent time in Cathleen's world of
Pippin's youth.

Cathleen is building up a body of work based on Pippin-lad's
adventures with his knitted piglet/imaginary companion Tulip. In this
extened story, they have a somewhat perilous adventure into the world
of Faerie, a land populated by creatures from pre-Christian mythology
that has little to do with Tolkien's elves. Tulip becomes the
protective voice of Pippin's mother Eglantine, guarding the overly
curious child as he becomes lost in this deceptive realm.

My favorite moments involve the inhabitants of the Faerie world and
their encounter with Pippin's anxious father Paladin. He inadvertently
wanders into the Faerie world while searching for his son. Through
Paladin's eyes, Cathleen explores the largely fanon theme of the Took
who took a faerie wife. As the story evolves you fear for the father
and son, knowing all the while that the faerie folk will return them
safely to the Shire, considerably wiser for their encounter.

I heartily recommend this story to all who enjoy being enchanted.

Title: Where the Sky Kisses the Horizon, There My Dreams Lie ∑ Author:
Lindelea ∑ Races: Cross-Cultural: Fixed-Length Ficlets ∑ ID: 689
Reviewer: Antane ∑ 2008-11-03 00:29:15
A sweet little piece of the love for Frodo that the Ring-bearer
inspired in others. I love the last sentence the most.

Title: ...and the sound of a battered heart, beating ∑ Author:
Lindelea ∑ Genres: Drama: Ring War Drabbles ∑ ID: 690
Reviewer: Antane ∑ 2008-11-03 00:34:18
This is one of the greatest things that Frodo did. He had indeed
"grown very much". Forgiveness is essential to the one who does the
forgiving even if the one forgiven does not accept it or others do not
understand why. Frodo is a wonderful role model for us all and this
little story shows one of the reasons why. Bravo!

Title: The Language of Waves ∑ Author: Claudia ∑ Races: Hobbits ∑ ID: 193
Reviewer: Antane ∑ 2008-11-03 00:38:28
A gentle, happy adventure for Frodo in the West.

Title: In the Hands of the King ∑ Author: fantasyfan ∑ Times: Late
Third Age: Gondor ∑ ID: 231
Reviewer: Antane ∑ 2008-11-03 00:42:47
Not only in the hands of the king, but the queen as well. A loving
gift to Frodo from Arwen and we all thought the gem was her first
gift! I love the idea that she would have seen that this other gift
would be needed as well. Bless her.

Title: Elanor of Westmarch: The Return ∑ Author: Baranduin ∑ Races:
Hobbits: Family ∑ ID: 78
Reviewer: Antane ∑ 2008-11-03 00:52:53
[she who had had so many conversations in her heart and mind with both
Frodo and Sam. As she grew older, sometimes she thought she lived more
with them in her head than she did with her family] - Ah, a lass after
my own heart! I loved that part because it's so me. I talk to Frodo a
lot myself, sometimes out loud.

Title: Blood and Iron ∑ Author: Ribby ∑ Races: Elves: Drabbles ∑ ID: 122
Reviewer: Antane ∑ 2008-11-03 00:54:49
I love the idea of Elrond pouring [hope and faith] into the reforged
sword. Very good imagery there.

Title: Utķlie'n AurŽ ∑ Author: Nieriel Raina ∑ Genres: Drama: General
Fixed-Length Ficlets ∑ ID: 163
Reviewer: Antane ∑ 2008-11-03 00:57:43
The celebration of the victory at the Fire is felt far and wide - I
love that the Elves felt that.