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Msg# 9551

MEFA Reviews for Monday, November 17, 2008 (Part One) Posted by annmarwalk November 17, 2008 - 20:20:21 Topic ID# 9551
Title: Somewhere I Have Never Traveled · Author: Fiondil · Times:
Fourth Age and Beyond · ID: 578
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2008-11-17 03:57:36
A unique and refreshing view of Arwen's departure.I liked the idea
that Eowyn would stay to meet her.Poor Arwen,though, this is not quite
the reception she hoped for.One wonders what did she expect in the
afterlife as Elves have a different destination to humans? I'm glad
her sacfrice was appreciated and she was reunited with
Aragorn.Beautifully written as one would expect from this talented writer.

Title: Dispelling the Fog · Author: fantasyfan · Races: Other Beings ·
ID: 642
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2008-11-17 04:05:48
I enjoyed this story very much as it discusses the oft debated
question about who exactly was Tom Bombadil? I like it that here Frod
is every bit as curious as the average reader! Not that the Hobbit
gets a proper answer,though!

Title: Call of the Wild · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Romance:
Drabbles · ID: 94
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2008-11-17 05:36:34
This powerful drabble nicely characterizes Morwen Steelsheen as she
views Thengel, the current king of Rohan, for the first time. So vivid
is the author's portrayal of Morwen's emotions that we feel as
attracted to Thengel as Morwen is.

Title: The Prisoner of Time · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres:
Alternate Universe: Steward's Family · ID: 313
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2008-11-17 05:52:28
In "The Prisoner of Time" Raksha tackles a popular AU theme, what if
Denethor had survived the siege of Minas Tirith and lived to surrender
his stewardship to the man who had been the rival of his youth. The
result is an extremely bleak short fic, with excellently done Denethor
angst to make fans of the genre happy. Denethor appears more bitter
than mad, more ruminating than calculating. In the end, the former
Steward's misery is chilling, but you feel sorry for himself despite
it all.

Title: Surprise Inspection · Author: AmandaK · Genres: Humor: Gondor ·
ID: 207
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2008-11-17 06:22:01
A sassy, yet very realistic bit of fun, in which Captain General
Boromir decides to spring a surprise inspection on the garrison
protecting the ruins of Osgiliath--and catches the whole crew skinny
dipping on the bristling hot day. Although "Surprise Inspection" has
perfectly fluffy intentions, what works best for me in this story is
its depiction of life in a Medieval army base. Boromir comes across as
a business-like and capable commander, sympathetic to and
understanding of the soldiers that he leads.

Title: Lost · Author: Claudia · Genres: Adventure · ID: 226
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2008-11-17 06:22:20
A fascinating "what if "?story that explores how Frodo might feel if
he lost the Ring.Most interesting to me were the reactions of his
companions. I enjoyed this skilfully told tale very much.

Title: Loving a Book Lover · Author: Avon · Genres: Romance: Drabbles
· ID: 721
Reviewer: Robinka · 2008-11-17 07:55:49
Very nice. Subtle, amusing and suggestive. Well done!

Title: My Precious · Author: SheBit · Genres: Romance: Drabbles · ID: 14
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2008-11-17 08:03:37
The author certainly met her goal: we get into the head of the PoV
character with a completeness that leaves me feeling slimed. I need to
read a light, fluffy drabble as a palate-cleanser, quick!

His obsessiveness towards the object of his desire is drawn out well,
shedding light on his horrible betrayal. The contrast between his
countrymen and his "shiny" is a nice touch, adding some depth and
meaning to how he could have become so twistedly in love. Wonderful
choice of title! That all by itself throws added layers into this drabble.

Title: Home is where the heart is · Author: Linda Hoyland · Genres:
Romance: Drabbles · ID: 505
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2008-11-17 08:04:05
A sweet and beautiful drabble! Her longing for what she knew is
palpable, and the author brings out some familiar and likely images
that give us a connection to what Arwen is missing. No doubt it will
not be the last time she experiences these feelings.

Then (like all Aragorn fans *g*) she's swept away and reminded of why
she is giving up so much, both tangible things and deeper, more
personal ones. ["Home is where the heart is"], indeed. Lovely language
makes this work feel very intimate and brings Arwen close to the reader.

Title: Loving a Book Lover · Author: Avon · Genres: Romance: Drabbles
· ID: 721
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2008-11-17 08:04:26
I had to laugh out loud at the beginning of this drabble. Oh, yes, I
can certainly completely empathize with Faramir; I think that
connection we voracious book-lovers immediately feel is one of this
work's most powerful attractions for me.

The other attraction, of course, is Eowyn's eventual success. Never
spelled out, every individual with an imagination can immediately call
up the tactic *they'd* like to see tried as a distraction! Delightful
and funny, this is a wonderful glimpse into Faramir and Eowyn's

Title: Expert Treasure Hunter · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Villains:
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 447
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2008-11-17 08:06:00
Tanaqui really nails Smaug's perspective in this drabble. It's a bit
of a different take from the usual view of dragons; here we see just
how their well-known discrimination between fine and poor-quality
treasure is accomplished. It's both humorous and plausible; and since
it is Smaug talking, the accompanying destruction and desolation is
oh-so-matter-of-factly mentioned - just another day of rearranging the
furniture. :)

The author's wonderfully descriptive writing conveys Smaug's
characteristics, methodology and power very clearly. His inner
thoughts are particularly delightful.

Title: Orc Dreams · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Villains: Fixed-Length
Ficlets · ID: 448
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2008-11-17 08:06:23
I'm not sure if it's a compliment or not, but Tanaqui does capture the
orc PoV quite well. I'd never even noticed the referenced quote
before, yet the author spins it into a clever take on orc astrology! I
love the names she's come up with for the old familiar constellations,
and the ending: no matter what little prescience may be dancing
around, orcs will be orcs. Somehow, it's reassuring to know that the
enemy also has nightmares...

Title: ...and the sound of a battered heart, beating · Author:
Lindelea · Genres: Drama: Ring War Drabbles · ID: 690
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2008-11-17 08:06:48
I think this is almost a special art form, that nearly an entire
drabbled scene can be dialogue - and very excellent dialogue it is,
too. The speech patterns capture not just Hobbity characteristics but
the emotions of the characters as well, with nary a facial or voice
description in sight.

Brilliant last line; yes, that's the wisdom of this particular Hobbit
and that particular wizard. And something all of us can carry off and
keep for ourselves.

Title: Now the Green Blade Riseth · Author: annmarwalk · Genres:
Drama: Ring War Drabbles · ID: 37
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2008-11-17 08:07:31
The dialect and phrasing are exceptionally well done; I can see this
being the Gaffer exactly. His view of his son comes through clearly,
too, in one brief reference. But my favorite is how this old, cranky
and suspicious plant-lover ends up viewing the new Party Tree. I can
see it being the same reaction among all those stout-hearted Hobbits
of the Shire: a resurrection of hope for an entire community. Sam's
lovely, lovely, deep and homespun wisdom...

Title: Primum Non Nocere (First, Do No Harm) · Author: febobe ·
Genres: Drama: Hurt/Comfort · ID: 628
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2008-11-17 09:12:31
A charming take on what might happen should Eowyn be called upon to
tend Frodo.Sam's reactions are very realistic.I personally don't see
Eowyn as a 'cuddly' type but still an enjoyable story.

Title: Even Legends Fade · Author: Star In Ruin · Races: Elves · ID: 555
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2008-11-17 09:25:19
A touching and unusual story on a well known theme,the death of
Aragorn, but from the viewpoint of an ordinary guard. Although,I'm not
certain Legolas was Aragorn's very best friend,his grief ,together
with Arwen's is movingly portrayed.I'm pleased I found this story
through the MEFA awards as the writer is very talented.

Title: The Last Words · Author: Rhapsody · Genres: Drama: Featuring
the Noldor · ID: 409
Reviewer: Robinka · 2008-11-17 09:31:23
A wonderfully written, compelling and heart-breaking portrayal of
Nerdanel. Rhapsody conveyed the pain of Nerdanel's lost love and the
power that the Silmarils had over her husband. This is a very poignant
take on the thoughts, and words, of the woman who felt robbed of her
husband's love, which he seemed have turned to his own creations, and
yet she still loved him – and that made the estrangement of Fëanor and
Nerdanel more tragic.

Brilliantly done!

Title: Aulë the Smith · Author: Oshun · Genres: Non-Fiction: Character
Studies · ID: 530
Reviewer: Robinka · 2008-11-17 11:38:17
A well constructed, informative and very interesting essay that
presents the Smith of the Valar – Aule. I enjoyed reading this
portrayal not only because Oshun provides a lot of information and
gives us a deep insight into the character she writes about, but also
because the essay is far from falling into a short, dry note such as
those we can find in encyclopedias. Her knowledge and attachment to
the subject matter can be clearly seen in the writing, and that is
what I like the most. But that does not come as a surprise – Oshun's
knowledge and devotion for the Tolkien universe shine through all her

It is also worth pointing out that each and every essay that she
monthly writes for the Silmarillion Writers' Guild archive is a treat
to read, and worth my sincere recommendation. Thanks, Oshun! Great job!

Title: The Least of Rings · Author: Marta · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Drabbles · ID: 621
Reviewer: rosethorn59 · 2008-11-17 16:04:03
Marta, this is very good. I love both drabbles and angst. I was a
little confused about a couple of things, though. Boromir had stolen
the Ring. Was Frodo fighting with him to try and get it back? Did
Boromir kill Frodo or just decide not to go with him? Or not take him
along? It is late, I am tired. Perhaps what happened here did not
matter. Boromir did have the Ring and would have planned on taking it
to Gondor to try and use it to save Gondor from Sauron and the hordes
from Morder. But it never would have worked that way, like he had
wanted it to, because the Ring had already taken him. For how else
could he exchange his marriage ring for the One Ring and convince
himself that that would be all right with his late wife? No, she would
not have understood. So who knows what would happen? We would have
Boromir as evil ruler of Middle Earth? Well that could be interesting,
do you not think? I have never read a story like that. But there
probably are a few out there. A new plot bunny? You say quite a lot in
just a few sentences. I like that! I really liked this !

Title: Fait Accompli · Author: Ignoble Bard · Genres: Mystery · ID: 381
Reviewer: Oshun · 2008-11-17 17:53:54
I don't exactly know where to start with this review. This is a
well-crafted, dark and fascinating story. It has a mystery, which is
only gradually revealed to be a mystery (for me at least—I though I
knew what was going on and it turned out that I had not a clue). The
ending is one I absolutely did not see coming, although I have been
privy to a lot of discussions of writing with the writer and know
something about his taste. I also think that one could discuss what
the ending means and argue about it. IgnobleBard loves to explore the
character of Legolas. In this case, he takes off in a totally, new for
him, direction. It is a serious psychological study in that it
examines one's desire to do the right thing and yet still make
decisions that may have disastrous effects. It is also about the quest
for self-knowledge and the difficulty of overcoming pride to
understand one's own motivations.

I am not one to usually be attracted to stories which deal with lack
of consent in any detail, much less torture, but my choices in reading
are based upon the premise of never-say-never. This story is an
excellent one, where overcoming by usual taste and taking a look was
worth it. It is not written in a titillating or over-the-top manner,
but is nonetheless convincing and disturbing. It also is one of the
longer stories IgnobleBard has written and causes me to want to urge
him that he should do that more often (he actually has in the past
period and I hope he will continue to do so).

Title: Home is where the heart is · Author: Linda Hoyland · Genres:
Romance: Drabbles · ID: 505
Reviewer: Robinka · 2008-11-17 18:34:38
A beautiful and utterly romantic (in the best way possible) drabble. I
love the imagery -- it is a vivid scene, and a very nice insight into
Arwen's thoughts. She realizes -- with a hint of bitterness -- that
her home is no longer Imladris, but the White City, where her love for
Aragorn has led her to.

Lovely drabble, Linda. I think it is safe to say that every fan of
Aragorn smiles warmly while reading it.

Title: Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair · Author: Marta ·
Genres: Romance: Gondor · ID: 405
Reviewer: Oshun · 2008-11-17 18:41:24
This story, standing on its own, is probably my absolute favorite of
all of your stories. I have always found Denethor a fascinating and
complex character. I have also been drawn to examine him in the
context of comparing him to Aragorn. The way he is written in canon
impels me to do so. The manner in which you described his attraction,
more obsession, with Aragorn, is psychologically convincing, dark, and
utterly mesmerizing, and can be made to fit within my conception of
both of them. The language and imagery is fantastic. This is a
gorgeous story. I'm scoring you here for a fabulous story. I have read
it several times and recommended it widely (although with reservations
and one piece of advice—please read the story text all the way through
before reading the notes on every page and getting discouraged).

On that last point, I seriously thought about not mentioning it,
especially since this is a subject that is controversial: the question
of the author's notes at the top of the individual chapters and the
footnotes within each chapter really detracted from the work for me. I
found them distracting in the extreme.

I cut and pasted the body of the story on my harddrive, deleting
those, and found the story to be perfect, a classic in the genre, with
them so-so. You had already created an author's notes' chapter,
longish for a story of that length. I would have appreciated it, if
you felt you absolutely had to make those further points upon each
chapter that you had posted them within that author's notes' chapter.
I would have read them there and probably appreciated them.
Personally, I do read author's notes chapters—virtually always—and
don't even mind lengthy notes at the beginning of an initial chapter.
I cannot think of a case where I have skipped them. I almost always
write author's notes myself, but I try to place them so the reader can
read them or not as a choice. I wrote one humor story myself, which
began with author's notes almost as long as the story, in fact. I also
noticed on this story, that some reader's commented that they
appreciated your notes. Like everyone else, I can read less than
amazing fanfic stories about my favorite characters and enjoy them.
But, I tend to judge excellent stories like this by my standards for
original fiction. That in and of itself is controversial, but I think
it should be flattering.

Title: Epiphany · Author: Larner · Races: Cross-Cultural: Fixed-Length
Ficlets · ID: 293
Reviewer: Robinka · 2008-11-17 19:06:42
A very poignant drabble. It must have been a somewhat odd feeling for
an immortal being to realize that time indeed passed swiftly. Larner
conveyed Elladan's and Elrohir's realization, as they watched their
foster brother -- no longer a boy, but the King of Gondor -- in a very
gentle and thought-provoking way. Well crafted!

Title: The Prisoner of Time · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres:
Alternate Universe: Steward's Family · ID: 313
Reviewer: The Little Dwarf · 2008-11-17 21:19:28
This was a very well-written and dramatic piece of fanfiction. I loved
to read it as an AU and a psychological exploration of what could have
been, but I'm very, very glad it's still an AU. I wouldn't have minded
Denethor surviving the war (he would have been of course affected by
his long time in contact with the Palantir...) but I can't stand the
idea of Faramir dying because of his father's pride.

Your characterization was, as always, extremely good. Even in an AU,
Denethor is very much the character we know from the book. I think
that book!Denethor would have been able to hold the defences of the
City, that's why I absolutely loved your description: ["He had led the
defenses on the south wall, fighting in the front until the
Morgul-spawn retreated, caught between the hammer of the captains of
the West who scoured the Pelennor and the anvil of Minas Tirith itself."]

I also loved your indirect description of the celebrations in the city
- ["The City (...) now throws open her broken gates to Isildur's
upstart heir like a giddy strumpet opening perfumed knees."] - a very
expressive simile and feminine personification of Minas Tirith... and
again, this belongs to your excellent writing! :)

All in all, beautifully-written fic, but thank God it's just an AU!

Title: Undivided · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races: Elves: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 46
Reviewer: The Little Dwarf · 2008-11-17 21:24:20
Actually, this was the first fic I read where the twins are not just
part of the background or a couple of mindless, imature Elves who do
nothing but play pranks on others... Your story was so different from
those, that I start to think more about these two...

First of all, I loved your characterization of the two - of course,
they're not individuals, but they have at least some individual
identity - their reactios are very similar, but not identical. It's
great that you kept this balance. The description of pain was very
vivid as well, and your writing skills helped you create some palpably
dramatic scenes... great drabble!