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Msg# 9529

MEFA Reviews for Wednesday, November 5, 2008 Posted by annmarwalk November 05, 2008 - 21:02:40 Topic ID# 9529
Title: Scholarship · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races: Men: Steward's
Family · ID: 43
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2008-11-05 01:37:08
This is an interesting glimpse into Faramir's parental life, and
public life as one can only imagine that it is the thoughtfulness with
which he meets this delicate situation that would make him a good
leader and politician.

Title: Heavens' Embroidered Cloths · Author: Tanaqui · Genres: Drama:
Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 292
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2008-11-05 01:48:00
This is a lovely series, but more than anything what stood out from it
for me was that the memory Eowyn returned to Faramir was one primarily
of his father, not his mother, and that from that came a happy vision
of a future family united.

Title: Supporting Acts · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond: Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 436
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2008-11-05 01:52:24
An interesting look at the bit players in the big drama with an eye
toward how many small details can combine to create enormous change,
for ill and for good.

Title: The Roses of Imloth Melui · Author: Aervir · Genres: Drama:
Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 435
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2008-11-05 01:59:26
I am always interested in seeing minor characters brought to the fore,
and this is a welcome portrait of an often overlooked character. I
especially liked the earlier drabbles, which hinted at Ioreth's
reasons for becoming a healer.

Title: Reparation · Author: Isabeau of Greenlea · Races: Men · ID: 296
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2008-11-05 02:03:09
An intrighing vignette which focuses on the complex relationships of
three of Isabeau's original characters. Isabeau has a knack for
creating some of the most interesting and credible Middle-earth
originals; and none is more charismatic, in his dour way, than
Imrahil's armsmaster and sworn brother, Andrahar. Here, Andrahar's
only battle is an internal one; in which he considers a rash action.
It's the kind of compelling drama that I've come to expect from this
very talented writer.

Title: Songs of Innocence and Experience · Author: Tanaqui · Races:
Men: General Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 440
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2008-11-05 02:10:14
I almost find this trio of drabbles misleading; in the first two
Faramir is intentionally manipulated to serve many, while in the third
he clearly sees the lie intended only to harm the liar.

Title: Messengers from the West · Author: Jay of Lasgalen · Genres:
Drama: Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 98
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2008-11-05 02:14:07
This is a cute little vignette.

Title: Dispelling the Fog · Author: fantasyfan · Races: Other Beings ·
ID: 642
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2008-11-05 02:50:49
Interesting exploration of the true identity of one of the most
mysterious denizens of Middle-earth. Good characterisation of Frodo, too.

Title: Seas of Fate · Author: Thundera Tiger · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Elves and Men · ID: 487
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2008-11-05 03:34:26
An elegantly written, quite interesting character piece focussing on
two characters rarely written together - Imrahil and Legolas. Thundera
Tiger focusses on the significance that the sea holds for the
Numenorean prince and the atypical wood-elf, and explores the
influence the sea has on each of them.

Title: Thawing Lily · Author: Soubrettina · Genres: Humor: Gondor · ID: 30
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2008-11-05 06:51:22
Soubrettina's version of the courtship of Eowyn and Faramir takes a
tempting "what if" twist on their relationship and gives it an
alternately humorous, alternately disturbing spin. One of my stories
dares to have F and E consummate their marriage before the marriage,
so I was curious to see how someone else tackles this plot line.

"Thawing Lily" defies fanon in a riotous consummation scene, (not
terribly explicit, if you care about this). The succeeding chapters
turn the humor on its head by serving up bouts of stream-of-conscious
angst on Eowyn's part. What started out as a sly romp becomes a window
onto the disturbed mind of a woman who believes herself seduced and
abandoned, though indeed she's only trying to adandon joy for herself.

This is a very unusual story, worth checking out for its unique

Title: Moved to Pity · Author: Imhiriel · Genres: Drama: General
Drabbles · ID: 366
Reviewer: Robinka · 2008-11-05 10:05:02
A very beautiful and poignant drabble that explores Luthien's choice
from the perspective of the Valar. Excellent writing!

Title: Return · Author: Elleth · Genres: Alternate Universe: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 399
Reviewer: Robinka · 2008-11-05 10:17:32
A very powerful set of two drabbles, each told from a different PoV,
that presents a truly interesting, and moving to the point of tears if
I may add, take on the fate of one of the Feanorian twins. Very
emotive writing!

Title: Midwinter Thoughts · Author: Rhapsody · Races: Elves: Noldor
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 570
Reviewer: Robinka · 2008-11-05 10:32:04
An elegant and insightful piece that shows a more emotional,
melancholic even, side of Maedhros as he pondered the purpose of his
life and his feelings. Beautiful, symbolic imagery, and an excellently
drawn portrayal. Bravo!

Title: Cat's Paws · Author: pandemonium_213 · Races: Villains · ID: 58
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2008-11-05 14:44:45
[Cat's Paws] is an immensely intriguing story set at the time where
Sauron tried to woo the Noldorin elven smiths for his cause. After
reading [the Apprentice] this story shows how even the mighty and
intelligent Celebrimbor is being lured into this deception, however
Doc B manages to do it in such a manner that as a reader you fully
understand how this came to be. It is too easy to say that the
Fëanorian pride and lust for power caused Celebrimbor's downfall. No,
that is not the tack Doc B chose with this story, she simply shows the
thirst for knowledge and the camaraderie between two scientists and
how both interact where one has discovered something the other is
curious about. The symbolism (and therefore a superb chosen story
title) used to convey this is just excellent, cunning as a cat can be
to lure its prey, Sauron patiently awaits until Celebrimbor steps into
the trap he has sat by using the thirst to understand Sauron's skills
more. It's fascinating to read how this elf struggles with both
fascination and the feeling of so being perturbed, giving this fallen
Maiar the benefit of the doubt in the end. Aren't cat lovers just as
easily swayed when their sweet Tom goes out hunting? The caws of a pat
can be soft and vicious and the nature of a cat isn't always sweet, or
vicious. This story is a fascinating tale of seduction and
characterisation, with a feeling where I think: `and so it begins,
Eregion's downfall'.

Title: The Revenge of Curufin's Horse · Author: Moreth · Genres: Humor
· ID: 139
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2008-11-05 15:00:43
I remember this story reading for the first time and desperately had
to search for some tissues to clean up my desk and monitor. Moreth has
a delightful sense of humour and stays true to form with these two
Fëanorians. I mean she really pictures Celegorm's priority: not a
raving rant, nay first tend to a filthy horse who has been mistreated.
Also is planning and scheming nature – picturing Curufin as the one as
impatient and a bruised ego is just fab! His love for animals and the
understanding of their language is put to such good use here. That
part alone had me grinning madly and nodding. It is often too easy to
have him around like a raving elf and to see him laughing so hard and
in tears regarding Mannish bad poetry once the mare fills him in:
simply hilarious! Curufin's reaction to those two is just worth being
a witness off (and Moreth makes you feel as you stand next to him).As
easy as these Fëanorians can be roused to revenge and action, just as
much can they are in stitches about attempts at poetry, no wonder
Thingol made Beren work for it. This is brilliantly written with a
great description of scene and atmosphere, Moreth puts her sense of
humour and writing skills to great use here. I am looking forward (and
I know she has more like this) to more of these great satirical – and
yet not – pieces.

Title: Seeking the Sun · Author: Linda Hoyland · Races: Men · ID: 488
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2008-11-05 17:48:11
On the morning after our US Presidential election, when surely some
pockets of prejudice nurse their hurts even while most of the nation
rejoices I find this a particarly moving portrait, but not only
because of the coincidence of timing. The author does a first-rate job
bringing the main character's disappoinment, hate, and loss to life,
yielding actions - though difficult - with which the reader can only

Title: Broken Star · Author: pandemonium_213 · Races: Villains:
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 54
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2008-11-05 19:42:22
[Broken Star] is an immensely well written ficlet that stirs up many
emotions and equally as many thoughts. Knowing what is to come for
Celebrimbor, this short and private insight gives me the chills. In
Doc B's verse, she set those two up as colleagues and friends and many
of her works illustrate that. That is why the intimacy between those
two work so well, the experiences that ties both or a somewhat shared
past where both have killed – even those close to them. It even brings
up ethical questions to the table in the sense that can a villain
redeem himself? Can he or will another villain always manage to
connect to such a trait that makes them a [brother-of-my-heart]?
Sauron does feel at some level still something for his victim, the
stunning opening paragraph shows such love in his heart. In a way it
feels twisted that he has such tender emotions and at the same time… I
would have felt a bit awkward if the writer didn't bring it in,
knowing her works. This tenderness feels corrupted since at the end he
just as easily reaches for the poke to torture his victim, to get the
job done. This leaves me to wonder about executioners and their chosen
line of profession, how much they will have to set aside of their
humanity to get the job done. So many thoughts and ponderings, all
evoked by a stunning written double drabble. Great job!

Title: The Apprentice · Author: pandemonium_213 · Races: Villains · ID: 52
Reviewer: Angelica · 2008-11-05 21:36:37
The Second Age is a period sadly underwritten, especially considering
all the events of cosmic consequence that take place then. This story
and its sequel more than start making up for this lack.
The author constructs a whole society of guilds and cities where Elves
and Men interact in a totally natural and realistic way and she does
it out a few canonical indications. The main characters, both the
canonical and the original, are amazingly vivid. Samaril, the original
character shares all the distictive traits of a full Noldor: skilled,
intelligent, passionate about his work and totally blind to its
ulterior implications. And, of course, Sauron: so far from the [Lord
of the Rings] ultimate villain. Here he is shown as a being immensely
complicated who has to deal with his multiple aspects and he does not
have an easy time doing it. He is Evil with capital E but he is so
much more and it does make sense that Celebrimbor and all the other
Elves of Eregion should fall into his trap. The background is a rich
canvas where even apparently minor characters add to the wealth of the
whole picture: for example, Samaril's parents who survived the horrors
of the First Age from Helcaraxe to Gondolin and bear the scars of all
they lived through.
The beautiful pictures that illustrate each chapter are another
element that add to the overall effect of this great story.

Title: No Mercy · Author: Tanaqui · Genres: Drama: General Drabbles ·
ID: 443
Reviewer: Angelica · 2008-11-05 21:37:01
Great description of the Dagor Bragollach where Morgoth's armies are
not the only enemy or even the most dangerous. The speed of the
movement of the flames is wonderfully conveyed as is the despair and
helplessness of the Elves, Men and beasts trapped by the fire.

Title: And Then There Was Cake, or Begetting Day Horrors · Author:
Klose · Races: Elves: Family · ID: 540
Reviewer: Angelica · 2008-11-05 21:37:25
This is a thoroughly enjoyable and really very funny description of
what a birthday party must have been like in the golden days of
Valinor. It is full of delightful details that enrich the overall
scene: I choose - among many others - the presents Maitimo feels his
cousins would have liked to receive [ridiculous objects depicting
certain parts of the female anatomy] instead of the carefully chosen
books and jewelry he presents them with.
All the characters play their expected role: from Makalaure singing
bawdy songs to Aredhel and Tyelkormo getting a bit too close, to the
twins spilling the punch bowl. And of course, the drunken brawl
between Feanaro and Nolofinwe.
I can't help thinking that this story strikes a chord with mostly
everybody because not too many of us can claim not to have an
outrageous relative around at birthday parties.

Title: Star's End · Author: Keiliss · Races: Elves: House of Elrond ·
ID: 283
Reviewer: Angelica · 2008-11-05 21:37:45
The author has provided one of the most original, most melancholic
answers to what happened to Arwen after Aragorn died. She brings into
the story a very unexpected character but probably the only one at
that day and age who could really understand her predicament. It adds
to the story's power how Maglor and Arwen, though set ages apart,
interact so credibly and seamlessly.
Both characters are powerfully portrayed: on the one hand Arwen who
only then seems to realize what her life and death will be like
[Nothing in my life was ever that easy] and Maglor who is a true Son
of Feanor, no madness, no fading but full of pity and understanding.
He takes care of the practicalities of life in the wild and sounds
very much in control of the situation -quite reasonably so if one is
to consider that he survived for seven thousand years - and he seems
to have become reconciled to the fact that he is still an outcast for
most of the other elves despite all the time that has passed.
And then, he comes to the terrible, totally unexpected -at least for
me- decision at the end.
Another outstanding aspect of this story is the marvelous language
used to describe this beautiful world that is disappearing, becoming
something different after the departure of the Elves, where Arwen
can't find a place and where Maglor will struggle on.

Title: Trinity · Author: pandemonium_213 · Times: Modern Times · ID: 51
Reviewer: Angelica · 2008-11-05 21:38:13
I've always thought that elves-in-modern-times stories at their best
are a kind of theoretical exercise (within the bigger theoretical
exercise that is Middle-earth) that serves to illuminate both Primary
and Secondary universes. Well, this put-together of the Silmarils and
the One Ring and the atomic bomb goes far beyond that as a powerful
reflection on ethics, power and scientific responsibility. The
original idea, strong characterization, wonderful details (the
shackles, the eyes, the hair), great use of quotations from very
powerful texts all make this story a real must.

Title: A Moment in the Morning in Bree · Author: Budgielover · Races:
Cross-Cultural · ID: 731
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2008-11-06 02:32:46
Oh, I loved this. Talk about strange customs. Poor Aragorn, being
watched that closely while shaving has to be disconcerting. I had to
laugh at some of the comparisons his shaving drew. It never occurred
to me to compare Aragorn's appearance with Frodo's. I loved Pippin's
questions. His friends might seem him too forward, but I bet they
wanted to know the answers too.

Title: Dead Steward's Gift · Author: stefaniab · Genres: Mystery · ID: 572
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2008-11-06 02:34:05
This entertaining story takes you on a twisting and turning ride.
Faramir makes some discoveries, I think, he would have preferred not
to make. I like the characterization of Faramir as a capable man, sure
of himself, and willing to brave his memories and all kinds of ghosts.
But Cirrion, the cat, steals the show in some chapters. I loved the
epilogue from Cirrion's pov.

Title: Gently Held · Author: viv · Genres: Romance: Other Fixed-Length
Ficlets · ID: 6
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2008-11-06 02:34:36
Arwen's answer is not the typical answer to the question of why she
loves Aragorn. It's not the obvious, but something most people don't
think about. I love the poetic language of this little ficlet. I think
it fit the character of Arwen as elvish Queen as I envision her.

Title: Five Things that Never Happened to Serinde of Dol Amroth ·
Author: SurgicalSteel · Genres: Alternate Universe: Angst/Tragedy ·
ID: 222
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2008-11-06 02:35:23
Whew, am I glad that these are scenes that never happened to Serinde.
The first four scenes are a bit depressing. I never liked her
stepfather, but this here is gruesome. I liked the last scene the
best, so typically Serinde. When she wants to convince someone, she
doesn't care who is watching. I can believe that that demonstration
put all rumors to rest.

Title: One Equal Temper of Heroic Hearts · Author: Gwynnyd · Genres:
Romance: Gondor · ID: 334
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2008-11-06 02:36:10
Well matched, indeed. That is a lovely discussion between Aragorn and
Arwen. I had to giggle at Arwen's comment about this being [not an
academic discussion]. Poor Aragorn, he worked so hard on hiding the
evidence, and it was all in vain. Luckily, Arwen is smart and caught
on to Aragorn's doubt and insecurities fast. You could feel the trust
and familiarity between them during their discussion. I loved the
mentioning of Faramir in here. It had to be hard on Aragorn to see all
his friends die before him.