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Msg# 9547

MEFA Reviews for Saturday, November 15, 2008 (Part One) Posted by annmarwalk November 15, 2008 - 21:16:32 Topic ID# 9547
Title: Shall We Dance? · Author: Isabeau of Greenlea · Races: Men:
Steward's Family · ID: 93
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2008-11-15 02:58:29
A confection of a story, blending promise and memory, as Lothiriel is
presented at the Steward's midsummer court; and, in receiving a
special honor from Denethor, bestows a special grace upon him. And the
metaphor of Denethor and Lothiriel as winter and spring was absolutely

Title: Wind of Change · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Drama:
General Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 47
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2008-11-15 03:15:22
A fittingly stormy entrance into the world of a woman who scorns only
a woman's place. I particularly enjoyed the brief glimpse of Rohan and
its royal house, and the other two inclusions, of Glorfindel and the
Witch-King himself were both foreshadowing and fulfillment of a prophecy.

Title: Legacy · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races: Men: General
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 500
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2008-11-15 03:19:12
A beautiful tribute to all veterans, as Boromir's nephew reflects upon
his unknown kinsman. It is also a tribute to what his sacrifice
achieved, as Elboron admits that though he too has fought battles, the
most fell foes are gone, due to Boromir's valor and that of the other
warriors of the Ring War.

Title: Last Stroke · Author: Elena Tiriel · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Drabbles · ID: 465
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2008-11-15 03:23:18
Eomer's stand on the hill on the Pelennor, tossing up his sword when
he saw the standard of Elendil, always seemed to me to be the ultimate
cinematic moment, and I never understood why Peter Jackson didn't use
it. Elena takes that scene and deftly twists it to show another place
and a darker fate. Powerful, despite its brevity.

Title: A Midsummer Day's Dream · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres:
Drama: Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 422
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2008-11-15 03:27:15
Awwwwww. A fitting end for a prince who sacrificed his own inner peace
to win a peace for everyone, only to find himself again afterwards.
All of Faramir's family, living and dead are present on the beautiful
summer day that is the last day of his life. No sentimentality, but a
very peaceful and hopeful story.

Title: The Prisoner of Time · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres:
Alternate Universe: Steward's Family · ID: 313
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2008-11-15 03:31:47
A very dark alternative vision. Surely it would have been a good
thing, had Denethor not killed himself? Raksha shows this not to be
the case, depicting a broken man who no longer has a place in the City
he served his entire life, merely suffered in the glorious new age
begun by the enthronement of his old rival Thorongil. Council, family,
king and people have all cast him aside, and he lives in bitterness. A
truly chilling depiction of a Gondor that no longer has a Steward
because Gondor no longer needs a Steward.

Title: Eight Weeks · Author: Dwimordene · Genres: Humor: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 273
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2008-11-15 03:37:15
Dwimordene has spent a storied career depicting the Steward's
dysfunctional family at its absolute worst moments. So it's kind of
nice to see them all getting along, and to see Faramir and Denethor
actual allies in a mutual campaign to get Boromir to shave his beard.
Needless to say, two men with the intelligence and acumen of the
Steward and his second son are not likely to fail, and their
machinations are depicted with understated humor that is all the more
funny for its subtlety.

Title: Moon Over Water · Author: Avon · Genres: Drama: Final Partings
· ID: 518
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2008-11-15 03:44:13
An intriguing story, where the usually practical to a fault Boromir
starts a tradition for his dreamer brother, telling him of a night
when Gondor's fallen greatest sail once more upon the Anduin. The
folktale/tradition is a plausible one and the depictions of this
mystical event are well done, seeming as they do to reflect Gondor's
deepening peril. Faramir is faithful in his watch, but his final
vision is a disturbing one. Boromir is true to character in this brief
vignette, his devotion to his younger brother and his innate
pragmatism are well drawn.

Title: Star's End · Author: Keiliss · Races: Elves: House of Elrond ·
ID: 283
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2008-11-15 03:59:51
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Arwen's end in the Appendices is one
of my least favorite parts of the trilogy. She is so certain that her
decision is the correct one, yet in the end she wavers in a way I have
always found OOC. Keiliss' story of her end almost reconciles me to
it, or at least makes me understand why she might have felt the way
she did. The presence of Maglor, who was there for the very beginning
of her story back in the depths of time is absolute genius. I love
Maglor the Wanderer stories and in this one he is remarkably
well-adjusted, seemingly enjoying his life among mortals as a
wandering bard, while still being aware of what he has lost.

He is an undemanding, understanding companion in Arwen's last days,
knowing better than anyone what it is to be divorced from all that you
love. She is his distant kin, of course, and in the end, when she is
weary of her existence but unable to die, he grants her the only gift
that he can.

This is gapfilling at its very finest.

Title: The Prisoner of Dol Guldur · Author: Soledad · Genres: Drama:
Final Partings · ID: 102
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2008-11-15 04:10:37
Tolkien waffles a bit upon the creation of orcs, one theory being that
Morgoth took Elves and tortured and corrupted them. This is a horrific
fate, but an equally horrific one for a being who is one with nature
is to be imprisoned for countless eons in a dark dungeon. After
Galadriel casts down Dol Guldur, the Elves of Lorien and Mirkwood are
appalled to find that there is an Elf in the deepest pits, an Elf
believed dead for many years, Legolas' older brother Enadar.

Soledad has an extensive cast of original Elven characters, all of
whom have well-developed backstories, and they all have their parts to
play in Enadar's rescue and recuperation. As might be imagined, such a
trauma is not to be lightly put behind one-for a long time, the former
prisoner's life is feared for. Soledad's descriptions of Enadar's
medical difficulties are enough to elicit sympathy without being
excessively gory, and her depiction of his recovery is plausible.
Despite the fact that he will never be what he once was, he has
achieved his own hard-won wisdom and serenity by the end of the story,
as he watches the unfolding of the Fourth Age.

Title: Enticements · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Drama: Featuring
Boromir or Faramir · ID: 266
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2008-11-15 04:24:39
People speculate endlessly about what Galadriel offered the various
members of the Fellowship when she entered their minds in Lothlorien.
This is Annmarwalk's take upon the temptation of Boromir. Some folks
even speculate that she actually set him up to succumb to the
blandishments of the Ring. That is not the case here, but certainly
Galadriel offers him the things he most greatly desires-a chance to
save Gondor, his father and brother reconciled, and his beloved
Theodred in Gondor, ready to fight by his side. Strangely enough, this
last proves to be the overplayed hand that enables him to win free of
Galadriel's sorcery, for a Theodred who would abandon his people to
fight and love with Boromir is not the prince Boromir knows and loves.
Galadriel seems almost sinister here, and Boromir's victory seems to
make this a good set-up for a Boromir Lives! AU. I love the
Boromir/Theodred pairing, and particularly enjoy Annmarwalk's ongoing
treatment of it. This is a worthy addition to her stories.

Title: The Shadow · Author: Linda Hoyland · Genres: Drama: Ring War
Drabbles · ID: 25
Reviewer: rosethorn59 · 2008-11-15 06:30:57
Hi, Linda. This was a really good drabble. The other members of the
fellowship - The War of the Ring - could eventually get past the
mental and physical anguish of Sauron\\\'s evil, but for Frodo it was
different. The ring caught him up in it\\\'s desire, ruthlessness and
desire. He hated and loved Gollum, and probably felt the same way
about himself, as I\\\'m sure they both felt about the ring. So they
really were akin in this manner. The whole episode was not something
Frodo could get over easily, Perhap he never would. The ring took a
part of him he could never regain. A part of his very soul and being,
his shadow. He and Gollum both shared the power and secrets of that
ring. They both lost a part of themselves on that mountain. Gollum
long before Frodo, though. They wanted it with a passion beyond reason
and both would have kept it if they could. Frodo felt he couldn\\\'t
cross the sea and go to Valinor if he couldn\\\'t be whole again,
without this shadow over his head. Perhaps he felt tainted in a way.
But this journey to Mount Doom would never have been in vain, He saved
Middle Earth. This was really a wonderful tale, Linda. Pam

Title: The Night's Eye · Author: Vana Tuivana · Races: Men · ID: 343
Reviewer: rosethorn59 · 2008-11-15 09:25:04
This is a very good story; I really liked it. It's the kind that you
remember. This actually gave me goosebumps. A story has to be really
good to do that to me. This story says so very much. The idea of the
window-candle is very touching. It was tradition and honorable for the
wives to leave a candle for their men who were far away and to just
let them how terribly much they were missed and loved . It was like a
symbol of love. The woman who started this tradition, Eirien, never
gave up on Belegund, even though she really knew he was gone. So the
candle, I think. to her was a constant reminder that her love for him
would never die. And to always keep his spirit alive.

It was interesting that when the spirit of Halbered returned home and
visited with his son, it was like the candle had finally led him home.
Even if only temporarily to say goodbye to his family, And when the
candle fluttered as he left, it was kind of like he and the candle
were somehow connected and it signalled his finale goodbye. At that
moment, it also proved to his son that he really had been there. This
was a wonderful story, Vana

Title: In the Van · Author: Branwyn (Lady Branwyn) · Genres: Humor ·
ID: 72
Reviewer: rosethorn59 · 2008-11-15 10:49:42
Hey! This is a really funny story!I I can just see everyone in the
fellowship fighting and bickering in the van. Ok, there are seven of
them, so it could have been a mini-van; they would all have fit, do
you not think? So, they are on their way to the Black Gate, getting
lost even with a map. Well, Aragorn is more of an ear to the ground
sort of guy. Most guys do not seem to like maps, anyway. At least in
my world. They have a television to amuse themselves on the way there.
What fun! And it is not surprising that Gimli is interested in the
World Wrestling Federation, no surprise at all. How about the dead
guy, Boromir? Him too? And they are on on their way to the enemy
fortress with road signs leading the way. I am surprised they are not
permanently lost! That makes me think of a manipulation photograph
that I have seen on another site. It is a picture of a highway with a
sign at the side of the road. It shows Gandalf stating You Shall Not
Pass at a no-passing zone. I thought it was hilarious. So is this
story of yours It is very, very good, Branwyn

Title: Care to Ride My Hot-Rod Fell Beast? · Author: viv · Genres:
Humor: Other Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 180
Reviewer: rosethorn59 · 2008-11-15 11:55:57
Rowr!! This is really a hilarious story, Viv. Very seductive and
wicked. In Angmar's mind at least, anyway. A kind of hot in an ew!
fellbeast sort of way. Angmar really had the hots for Eowyn here, huh?
It was her little girl determination, yeah right, and death as her
battlecry that really turned him on. Weaknesses? Yes, never try to
seduce or make eyes at a lady with a sword in a battle. Especially
when she is on the other side of the playing field. Men, or in this
case, a Nazgul, just cannot seem to resist the sweet charms of a
little woman. Eowyn? Yeah, right! Well, it was Angmar's undoing in the
end. I love the lines you have at the end of the story. ["Now die!"
his cleverest euphemism for 'take off the tin, sistah, and let's get
rowdy!'] I really love that line, it is cool! It is priceless, like
this story. I love parodies. You did a great job! I love it, Viv! Pam

Title: Gently Held · Author: viv · Genres: Romance: Other Fixed-Length
Ficlets · ID: 6
Reviewer: rosethorn59 · 2008-11-15 13:11:34
Oh, this is such a lovely and beautiful story! To me it expresses the
deep love Arwen holds for Aragorn perfectly, Trying to explain exactly
why she love him so. I believe it is in part all of the things she
mentioned; but those things probably just endeared him to her more. I
believe his hands represented to her tne gentleness and patient love
he has for her. He would do anything for her and does. But it all
comes down to their unconditional love for each other. Those hands
could also represent the man Aragorn was and who he is and what he has
gone through. A very warm, gentle and patient person. Rough, gentle,
patient loving hands. Plus also the love-at-first-sight ; being
thrilled by another's touch. She adored him so! A wonderful story,
Viv! Pam

Title: Some Confusion in Accounts · Author: viv · Genres: Humor: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 276
Reviewer: rosethorn59 · 2008-11-15 14:06:07
This is really, you have a great sense of humor! Galadriel would be
intimidating to anyone, but that look she gave to Susan the Reporter
was scary. Probably almost enough to make you want to run off
screaming. And what a question to ask Galadriel, of all Elves! Ouch!
Susan should be afraid, very afraid. But Galadriel took it stride and
answered at her leisure. Susan\\\'s assessment of her, the Old Goat!,
was funny. It was naughty of Galadriel, but she does have a point. Why
would you want to wait 4000 years for for someone who you love and who
turns you on, and you want right now? That would be torture,
wouldn\\\'t it? I probably wouldn\\\'t want to wait, either. That is a
long, long time. But Galadriel is cool and patient; even with Susan
the Reporter. Galadriel could have been a real witch, but she was not.
She is more like a Glinda! And the description of Mr. Wise lolling
about in all his beauty, or something like that, that was funny. Thi
story was really good and that last line really catches you off guard.
Really great, Viv Pam

Title: NIGHT and FOREST: A Glimpse of Beauty · Author: Fiondil ·
Times: First Age and Prior · ID: 554
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2008-11-15 14:21:40
The descriptions of the horrors of Nan Dungortheb and its inhabitants
were evocative and very haunting - in fact, this might be the first
story I've read that really gave me a sense of its menace and what
Beren felt while traversing it.

Very convincing take on Beren, who for me often was a very shadowy
figure when trying to imagine him prior to his fateful meeting with

What I appreciated most was how Fiondil described how Beren's anxiety
actually grew once he was in (relative) safety, which struck me as
very realistic.

The last line is truly lovely in its understatedness.

Title: Aftermaths and Consequences · Author: Gwynnyd · Times: Fourth
Age and Beyond · ID: 268
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2008-11-15 14:34:25
Plausible and refreshingly unsentimental story about what two "common
people" might have had to fend with after so much destruction in the
War of the Ring - and which is so easy to forget in the celebration of
victory and all the good things that come with it.

The original characters are very well-drawn, and I like that despite
the almost mercenary nature of their bargain, there are still hints a
more personal bond might lie in the future. And especially that both
protagonists take pains to respect the other's choice and their pride
and dignity.

Title: An Ordinary Woman · Author: Dawn Felagund · Times: First Age
and Prior: House of Finwe · ID: 32
Reviewer: Robinka · 2008-11-15 16:18:00
I can honestly say that this story is my favorite among those written
by Dawn. Every time I read it, a somewhat funny thing occurs to me:
regardless of the fact that I am, and have always been, a devoted fan
of the Sindar of Doriath, I have never liked Lúthien. Not have I
really liked the story of Beren and Lúthien, even though I realize,
and I will be the first to admit, its importance and the fact that it
is one of the most poignant stories in canon.

That's why I really love "An Ordinary Woman" -- an unusual and a bit
controversial take on the beginning of the story of Beren and Luthien,
told by Finrod as he visited Menegroth and realized that the tales and
songs exaggerated, and the princess of Doriath was not exactly what
they depicted -- or rather what they wanted their readers or listeners
to believe in. Finrod is by the way my favorite character of this
piece. This story always has me laugh, and also marvel at how an
excellent and very talented writer, such as Dawn, can re-forge
something that has never been my favorite part of the Tolkien universe
into a most likable story that explains a lot in a most amusing,
thought-provoking, and also believable – if one wants to accept that –

Great, truly great job!

Title: Seeing Stars · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond · ID: 360
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2008-11-15 16:24:06
Engaging dialogue that very much fits the different characters and
their respective "situations". Lovely descriptions which are
interwoven smoothly into the narrative, and wonderful character

Telling the story from the perspective of a more-than-slightly
inebriated Faramir was an inspired touch, and very effectively
executed. I've never been quite *this* drunk, but I recall being in
Faramir's shoes where you say to yourself that your head is still
clear, it's just your body saying and doing its own things, and where
all emotions, thoughts and sensations are very much hightened... I
also like how the plot thread weaves and swerves with Faramir's
somewhat loose grip on coherency at the moment.

To witness the normally restrained Faramir being so exuberant and
silly was at once hilarious and touching, all the more so because his
joy went beyond the birth of his son to also encompass the love for
his land and the joy at the New Age, as symbolised by the young White

Title: Vodka · Author: Ford of Bruinen · Times: First Age and Prior:
House of Finwe · ID: 714
Reviewer: Oshun · 2008-11-15 17:11:18
This is so brilliantly wicked. It is provocative and biting and makes
writers like me who could have a tendency to fall into a kind of
smarmy hero worship of Maglor and Maedhros take a second look and
examine their conscience. It definitely should be considered a
classic. Everyone should read this who has waxed sentimental about
poor little Maglor, who couldn't hurt a fly, the good brother.

Despite my differences with you on interpretation, I want to give you
the top points for consistency and logic. Maglor's voice is simply
amazing here, as is that of Maedhros. It is just so, wicked and
original and such a departure from the fanfic clichés and standard
interpretation. I love it. It reminded me a lot in tone of Tehta's
masterpiece about Maedhros, ["Gathering the Pieces"], which is not to
say that it is in any way derivative or echoing the logic that led her
to her conclusions. Yours is totally unique. Meanwhile, it contains
enough subtlety and ambiguity to drive me back to read over it several

I must indulge myself by mentioning a few of my favorite lines:

[" You, of all of us, still have that thin thread of honour. The rest
of us shook that off at Losgar."]

Or, or how about summarizing that transcendent bond of love and
friendship between Fingon and Maedhros to this:

["You know the boy only saved you because he fancies himself in love?"]"

Or, reducing the Noldolantë to:

["A pretence of regret."]

Oh. Ouch.

I still can't believe you did this in only 500 and some words.
Congratulations on a great short story.

Title: Don't Explain · Author: gwidhiel · Races: Elves: Incomplete ·
ID: 289
Reviewer: Dawn Felagund · 2008-11-15 17:30:47
"Don't Explain" takes the point-of-view of Indis, which is too often
ignored in Silmfic, to portray a complex realization of the events
that tore apart the House of Finwe after Galadriel's return at the end
of the Third Age. Indeed, few are truly "innocent" in this tale, which
takes a very fair approach to Finwe's marriage to Indis and the events
that come after and also approaches topics such as the Noldorin drive
to settle new lands and Galadriel's contemplation of her at times
contradictory impulses as a member of all three Eldarin peoples. In
particular, I find the friendship between Feanor and Findis and
Indis's conversation with Miriel to be compelling in a story that is,
as a whole, extremely thought-provoking. The gentle and reflective
tone perfectly suits the time period and characters that Gwidhiel
writes. I recommend this story, particularly to readers who enjoy
thoughtful stories about Tolkien's female characters.

Title: A Harmony In Autumn · Author: Oshun · Genres: Romance: Elven
Lands · ID: 49
Reviewer: Dawn Felagund · 2008-11-15 18:42:57
"A Harmony in Autumn" has a lot of what I have come to expect from
Oshun's stories, namely the Eldarin politics underlying the plot of
the story and giving it its shape, the lively dialogue, and the upbeat
outlook that lacks in many Silmfic stories. I particularly enjoyed the
idea of beloved friends at last discovering and acknowledging their
unrequited love for each other. The eroticism in the story is as
always a lovely addition to the story but not its sole reason for
existence: Oshun balances this very well.

The autumn setting--and, particularly, its metaphoric connection to
Noldorin history at this point--really enhances the story quite well.
A lovely, enjoyable read!

Title: The Nightingale · Author: Maeve Riannon · Times: First Age and
Prior · ID: 404
Reviewer: Dawn Felagund · 2008-11-15 18:59:40
Maeve certainly has a talent for exploring the characters of Tolkien's
more mysterious women, first with her series about Miriel Serinde and
now with this piece about Melian the Maia. Her portrayal of Melian is
somewhat unexpected yet really worked for me, and she does a really
wonderful job of working Melian's foresight and otherworldliness into
the story in such a way that is chilling and sorrowful.