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Msg# 9539

MEFA Reviews for Monday, November 10, 2008 (Part Two) Posted by annmarwalk November 10, 2008 - 20:09:52 Topic ID# 9539
Title: Look Not With Longing Author: Dwimordene Times: Fourth Age
and Beyond ID: 479
Reviewer: Marta 2008-11-10 03:41:45
Spoilers!
I can see Faramir and others like him having these thoughts all too
easily. It's very true that we often do not fathom the full cost of
our dreams and wishes until it's too late, and this is just as true of
Faramir's dream of Ithilien as a garden, as it was of Denethor's for
["things as they were in all the days of my life"]. Dwimordene does a
very nice job of writing this character with depth and subtlety, a
real treat for all Faramir fans - I recommend it.

Title: Writer's Bloke Author: stefaniab Genres: Humor: Drabbles
ID: 431
Reviewer: Marta 2008-11-10 03:49:55
*giggles* Ai, this was cute. Every writer has faced similar moments in
their mind, and stefaniab brings this writer's block to life. Very
deftly told, it made me smile.

Title: The Houseless Author: Jael Genres: Horror ID: 178
Reviewer: Robinka 2008-11-10 10:05:18
A very atmospheric and wonderfully written one shot, perfectly set in
the universe of Middle Earth, touching and mysterious. I especially
like the characterization of Legolas. Well done!

Title: Moon of the Sea Author: pandemonium_213 Times: Second and
Early Third Age ID: 213
Reviewer: Robinka 2008-11-10 10:41:25
Ah, Elendil's wife gets a voice of her own, thanks to Pandemonium!

It is always nice to see a story about an under-represented or even
neglected character, and this set of drabbles and vignettes present a
series of glimpses at the life of Isildur's and Anarion's mother,
spanning from her childhood. And this is an brilliant set, in which in
relatively short chapters Pandemonium introduces the readers to a
fully developed, strong and compelling character -- Isilme is no
longer is an unnamed woman that, of course, exists in canon, but there
is little to nothing told about her. Pandemonium's heroine comes to
life in a way that makes me think, "Oh yes! Perfect. This is truly the
queen of Numenor. This is Elendil's wife!"

This set also is a excellently drawn combination of Tolkien's universe
and European mythology, with a touch of mystery and magic. The
language is elegant and beautiful, the imagery -- rich and faboulous.
This is a story that invites the readers to embark upon a fascinating
voyage. Splendidly written, Pandemonium! Thank you!

Title: As the Tide by the Moon Author: EdorasLass Genres:
Alternate Universe ID: 9
Reviewer: Larner 2008-11-10 10:45:19
Spoilers!
Last year it was particularly Dwimordene's writing that moved me; this
year I find it is that of Edoraslass. I rarely read extensively on the
boards where these post, after all, although I post on at least one
where both do. Nor do I regularly read stories of Gondor and Rohan,
although I write stories of Gondor myself.

But this slightly AU story in which Theodred survives and has fathered
a child is superbly done, from the aching longing of the chambermaid
who was smitten by Grima Wormtongue--at least until she meets him and
comes to know him better--to her growth as a mother and one who has
agreed to the solution offered her. Characterizations are superbly
done, as are the intrigues of those who must deal with Grima within
Meduseld, not to mention his own machinations both toward those among
whom he lives and toward his fallen master.

Definitely a story to read and ponder, and so true to the cultures
amongst whom Eledher moves. Highly recommended.

Title: Chance Encounter Author: przed Races: Men: Steward's Family
ID: 5
Reviewer: Larner 2008-11-10 10:56:08
An interesting encounter between the Steward's son and the Steward's
rival. Nicely written.

Title: Possessing the greatest powers Author: Tanaqui Times:
Multi-Age: Fixed-Length Ficlets ID: 387
Reviewer: Larner 2008-11-10 11:03:05
Spoilers!
As always, Tanaqui's drabbles manage to capture complex themes so
beautifully, particularly here as we look on the Three Rings of the
Elves and how their bearers found themselves relieved when their power
failed.

The scant words of these four drabbles are still powerful and
evocative, and we feel the shock as each bearer feels the demise of
the One, and the loss of what had added to their own power for so very
long.

Marvelous.

Title: The Night's Eye Author: Vana Tuivana Races: Men ID: 343
Reviewer: Larner 2008-11-10 11:12:27
Spoilers!
The tale of why those women of hidden Dunedain warriors lit the
Night's Eye candle and its effects within the home of Halbarad,
kinsman to Aragorn, is delicately and beautifully told. Imagery is
beautiful, and the end achingly poignant. A lovely tale.

Title: Wizards' Pupils Author: Altariel Races: Men: Minas Tirith
ID: 108
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke 2008-11-10 16:34:33
Spoilers!
This is an interesting story with many lovely details - very rich and
raises many questions. A gift that keeps on giving, so to speak. I
liked the multi-generational element, and that while Saruman's
strength is in his voice, Gandalf's is in silence. It is also quite a
provocative idea that in encouraging Denethor's use of the Palantir,
Saruman might have been furthering Sauron's ultimate plan even so
early. This story leaves the reader with a lot to think about, and I
can imagine no higher compliment.

Title: Name Calling: Group Identity and the Other among First Age
Elves Author: Angelica Genres: Non-Fiction ID: 322
Reviewer: Larner 2008-11-10 16:51:17
Prejudice is alive and well among the Elves, as is evidenced by the
names each uses for his own clan compared to those used for others.

An instructive discussion, if a bit dry. It does take what Tolkien
himself spread out throughout his works and personal notes and brings
it into a relatively brief essay that can be useful for purposes of
reference.

Title: Sun Author: Claudia Races: Cross-Cultural: Frodo and
Faramir ID: 223
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke 2008-11-10 16:59:45
Spoilers!
I think this story comes as close as possible to imagining what it
would be like to see small, ordinary things as momentous for those of
us who have not experienced catastrophic loss.

Title: Boromir and Teddy Author: Ithil-valon Genres: Drama: Final
Partings ID: 113
Reviewer: Larner 2008-11-10 17:02:34
A most gentle memorial for the pair of warriors who had represented
the future leadership of Gondor and Rohan, neither of whom came to the
seat intended for him and who died at much the same time. We do not
know for certain that Theodred and Boromir were as close as many
prefer to think, much less that they were indeed shield-brothers; but
they would undoubtedly have known one and respected one another.

But the image of Faramir and Eomer kneeling together by Theodred's
burial mound, remembering the two of them together, is satisfying.

Nice use of imagery to convey mood.

Title: Arvedui v. Pelendur Author: Roh Wyn Genres: Non-Fiction
ID: 277
Reviewer: Larner 2008-11-10 17:27:54
Spoilers!
A fascinating examination of the leading factors used by Pelendur to
reject the claim of Arvedui for the throne of Gondor while accepting
that of Earnil in his stead following the death of Ondoher and his two
sons. It manages to invalidate Arvedui's claim pretty successfully,
while as a result of the fact Earnil and Earnur's dynasty was so
limited in scope it indicates precisely how Faramir is nevertheless
able to legitimize Aragorn's own claim to the Winged Crown (while
there is no question as to his legal right to the Sceptre of Arnor).
Although it continues to be likely that had Pelendur not refused
Arvedui and Firiel's claim (I like to think they would have sought to
be co-rulers, myself) it would have avoided a good deal of trouble in
the long run as well as avoiding a millenium of regency by the
Stewards in Gondor and probably have aided Arnor to survive by
offering the northern realm martial assistance in a far more timely
manner. And I love the comment that obviously Arvedui is no lawyer, or
perhaps he might have worded his claim far differently.

This is a subject that has been of interest to me in my own writing,
and it is nice to have spelled out as succinctly as Roh-wyn has
managed to do. Definitely something to think about! Thank you, my
dear, for this summary, as I have definitely bookmarked it for future
reference.

Title: Seeing Stars Author: Raksha the Demon Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond ID: 360
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke 2008-11-10 17:37:23
Spoilers!
This is a lovely story, dealt out with Raksha's usual equanimity -
sweet, but not overy so; humourous, but not teasing; joyful, and
thoughtful. Like Faramir, the writer here does a good balancing act,
never letting the details overwhelm, rush or crawl. It's a small story
with a large scope, catching a fleeting moment resonating with past
and future. Well done.

Title: Jewels of Light Author: Larner Races: Cross-Cultural:
Friendship ID: 394
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke 2008-11-10 17:41:11
This is a charming vision, if a bit overworked. I found the last line
is a great payoff, however.

Title: Promise and Sorrow Author: Virtuella Times: Late Third Age
ID: 607
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke 2008-11-10 18:00:15
Each one of these pieces has so much to it it seems almost unfair to
have to review them all together. But they are of a piece, telling the
same story again and again from disparate angles. They are wonderful
and rich, heart breaking and heart-mending. Quite a feat.

Title: Free To Live Author: Nieriel Raina Races: Elves: Mirkwood
Elves ID: 701
Reviewer: Larner 2008-11-10 18:14:08
Spoilers!
The challenge to illustrate one of the lines from Ecclesiastes'
reminder that to all things there is a purpose has been perfectly
realized by Nieriel Raina in this story. Thranduil at first resented
Galadriel's actions in leveling the fortress of Dol Guldur; but then
realizes it doesn't matter as he finally accepts that this great evil,
which has dominated life in the forest realm he's ruled for the past
how many centuries, has finally been brought down and it's up to him
to lead the healing and rebuilding.

Very emotionally satisfying as well as a marvelous choice of images.

Title: The Ghost in the Garden Author: Dawn Felagund Races: Elves
ID: 272
Reviewer: Larner 2008-11-10 18:39:14
Spoilers!
A most interesting foreshadowing of the eventual separation between
Galadriel and Celeborn, as he, the Sinda, chose to remain within
Middle Earth when she accepted her ability to return to the land of
her birth, her task set here finally met. Is that separation similar
to that chosen by the ghost she met in the garden who for a moment
appeared to have taken her for the love he'd lost to Morgoth's
enslavement, perhaps ruined into becoming an orc?

The descriptions are vivid, and Galadriel's discomfort palpable.

Very compelling story.

Title: An Ordinary Woman Author: Dawn Felagund Times: First Age
and Prior: House of Finwe ID: 32
Reviewer: Larner 2008-11-10 19:27:46
Spoilers!
What a delightful look at a Luthien who was nowhere as radiant as
legend insists and how Finrod might have somehow aided both his
stubborn female cousin as well as a lost human youth to meet.

A lovely example of how the romantic ideal of Luthien might have
exceeded reality and have led in the end to the tragedy of the Silmarils.

Title: Promise and Sorrow Author: Virtuella Times: Late Third Age
ID: 607
Reviewer: Marigold 2008-11-10 19:28:10
Spoilers!
This is a stunningly poignant series of vignettes and I wish that they
were able to be judged seperately as they each deserve recognition.

The first one is wonderfully disjointed, the mother focussing on the
trivial subject of shoes rather than the sad reality of her son's
injuries, something that she is unable to deal with. I thought that
her constant thoughts back to when her son was six years old were
particularly poignant; a time when he was whole and happy and didn't
know about war, and she herself was full of hope for her family's
future. Now she isn't so sure, despite her relief that her son is home
at least.

Another that really touched me was the woman in her sister's wedding
party, trying to hold onto the possibility of hope for her own
happiness, yet doubting it, and though she wants her sister to be
happy, jealous nonetheless and feeling guilty about it. I thought the
complexity of her emotions were very well described and the happy
ending was just perfect. It highlighted that while so many personal
outcomes from the war were less than perfect, for some things did work
out, and hope is not misplaced. Sort of sums up one of the main themes
of Lord of The Rings for me.

The story about the childhood lovers was another that really touched
me and the twist at the end was a powerful and unexpected surprise.
Really brings home the point that it isn't only soldiers that perish
during war, and it's not just women and children that are left
grieving for their menfolk.

I also liked the vignette from the healer's perspective and the
mention of the gift sent by the soldier of Rohan's mother, the
character featured in the first vignette. I have read the story where
this gift is created and love that one as well. I'd love to see
follow-up stories about all of these characters!

To sum it up, I thought that all of the vignettes making up this story
were very well done, including the ones that I haven't singled out
here. I thought that all of the characterisations were excellent and
all were original and written as individuals.

Sad and poignant, yes, but nicely balanced with hope for the future. A
stunning tale and well worth reading!

Title: Leaving Home Author: annmarwalk Races: Men: Steward's
Family ID: 39
Reviewer: Marigold 2008-11-10 19:52:32
Spoilers!
This is a very sweet tale and I really enjoyed it. The author has
captured Merry and Pippin teasing but loving relationship, seen
through Elboron's eyes, very well. I particularly liked Faramir's
relationship with Elboron, the way he taught him through stories
especially.

That trip must have been a fantastic adventure for a six-year-old!

Title: Last Stroke Author: Elena Tiriel Genres: Alternate
Universe: Drabbles ID: 465
Reviewer: Marigold 2008-11-10 20:18:28
Chilling AU drabble and the imagery is powerful. I liked this
portrayal of Cirdan, grim and mighty, noble and commanding; even
though this is most probably the final ending and a terrible loss of
everything good that might remain in Middle-earth, he still stands
tall and ready to do what must be done.

Title: The Journey Author: foxrafer (csevans8) Times: Late Third
Age: General Fixed-Length Ficlets ID: 604
Reviewer: Marigold 2008-11-10 20:29:16
I think that Pippin's feelings about how big and frightening the world
outside the Shire truly is, is just exactly how a hobbit would feel.
Most authors don't manage to capture that sense of just how out of
place the hobbits must have felt when they first left the safety of
home but foxrafer certainly does.

Pippin's characterisation is very realistically written in this, both
as an individual and as a hobbit in general, and I enjoyed this
drabble very much.

Title: Old Man Willow Author: Nath Races: Other Beings ID: 314
Reviewer: Marigold 2008-11-10 20:35:16
Spoilers!
Wonderfully creepy and written in a matter-of-fact way that suits the
character perfectly. Old Man Willow is evil and malicious, but at the
same time bereft of real emotion and Nath captures that very well.

A very original 'what if'!

Title: ...and the sound of a battered heart, beating Author:
Lindelea Genres: Drama: Ring War Drabbles ID: 690
Reviewer: Tanaqui 2008-11-10 22:21:28
Spoilers!
In this drabble, Lindelea has cleverly woven a beautiful portrait of
the tensions and issues facing the inhabitants of the Shire following
the War of the Ring, as well as an insight into the grace of spirit
showed by Frodo's during the Scouring. The familiarity of the
relationship between Estella and Frodo and her puzzled questioning are
beautifully written, and the final sentiment provides a satisfying
response to both Estella and the reader. This is an inspirational and
resonant work very well done!