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Msg# 9552

MEFA Reviews for Monday, November 17, 2008 (Part Two) Posted by annmarwalk November 17, 2008 - 20:22:54 Topic ID# 9552
Title: Healing · Author: Bodkin · Races: Elves · ID: 419
Reviewer: Keiliss · 2008-11-17 21:27:54
It's so seldom that anyone takes a clear-eyed look at the world after
the War and its effect on the elves who remained behind for a season.
The reasons given here for their choice make absolute sense, as does
the final retreat into the West. I have always wondered at Arwen's
decision to travel to Lorien after Aragorn passed, and the explanation
here makes a good deal of sense. It certainly answers my own questions
on that score.

I loved Glorfindel's part in this, his voice was very true, his love
of life and sense of responsibility shine clearly. The sense of the
few remaining elves being almost under siege by a silent world that no
longer has a connection to them is well-captured and achingly sad. I
liked the final brief conversation between Elladan and Elrohir, I
think it might well have happened like this in the end. And Galadriel
was right; Celeborn needed to know how it would be, he needed to have
no doubts or longing to return to cloud their reunion.

Lovely, lovely work.

Title: Unwilling · Author: Elena Tiriel · Races: Elves: Drabbles · ID: 64
Reviewer: Keiliss · 2008-11-17 21:30:13
Very evocative and haunting. Paradise lost indeed. I like the way it
starts off slowly and then speeds up, intensifies, when Men become
part of the world. Lovely last line, too.

Title: The Blessing of the Waters · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres:
Romance: Other Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 61
Reviewer: The Little Dwarf · 2008-11-17 21:31:34
So sad and so beautiful in the same time... You managed to capture
Elrond's voice very well, and the dynamics between him and his wife
Cerlebrian is very well portrayed.

The change in tone that comes with the last paragraph has a great
twist, even if I could somehow anticipate it from the undertones of
melancholy that were also present in the first part...

I also loved the "water" motif... Yes, Elrond was very wise and the
symbolism around him wouldn't have escaped him...

And, as always, beautiful writing! :)

Title: National Treasure · Author: Baranduin · Times: Modern Times ·
ID: 201
Reviewer: Keiliss · 2008-11-17 21:36:19
I was only about four or five paragraphs into this when I started
thinking it would make a really stunning book. I have always loved
stories where archeological digs have turned up strange, unknown
civilizations, and the reference to the Templars is something always
likely to catch my attention. I loved the little nods to descriptions
in [Lord of the Rings], which were just obvious enough to make me
smile without being overdone. The description of the location and how
they reached it was very atmospheric, too. The setting of the Scottish
highlands felt absolutely right, as well.

The couple come across as really likeable people, and I am left
wondering if they will ever make the association between their current
bedside book and the runes they found at the site or might discover in
the recoverable contents of the book. And the quote at the end from
said book was perfectly chosen.

Great idea, well executed. My only complaint with this story is that
it wasn't long enough.

Title: Hammer · Author: Aranel Took · Races: Dwarves: Drabbles · ID: 468
Reviewer: Keiliss · 2008-11-17 21:38:00
Ha! Nothing to choose between any of them, Men, Elves, Dwarves (and
probably Orcs, Ents, Trolls…) The male of the species always comes
along with an utterly cringeworthy pick up line, and the female thinks
about it, smiles, and decides that, yes, he's cute, may as well let
him get away with it.

Nice touch, the mention of her beard.

Title: The Captain's New Clothes · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres:
Humor: Other Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 421
Reviewer: The Little Dwarf · 2008-11-17 21:40:09
This story is an example of how a bad hint can trigger a very good
story... The drawing that inspired you is... well, let's call it "not
the best of Tolkien-inspired artwork", but you managed to build quite
lovely around it...

I've seen the picture before and thought it ridiculous: not only are
the poor Hobbits horribly painted, but Robin-Hood!Faramir is so
outlandish as well!

But your story was a very amusing (and surprisingly realistic!)
explanation to that... :) The well-meaning aunt was a good addition,
and of course a good idea of the reason behind Faramir's bizarre attire...

I also loved the glimpse in Faramir's life as a Captain of Rangers! :)
Characterization was great, and wrting, as always, impeccable! :)

Title: Gone Amiss · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Drama: Ring War
Drabbles · ID: 44
Reviewer: The Little Dwarf · 2008-11-17 21:43:34
This in indeed one of the saddest moments for the Fellowship of the
ring, and you've captured it very well - dramatic and powerful and sad.

Great writing (I'll keep repeating that because I trully appreciate
the style of a piece of literature, even if it's "just" fanfiction!)
and I loved your conciseness!

Title: The Making of Werewolves · Author: Ignoble Bard · Races:
Villains · ID: 42
Reviewer: Keiliss · 2008-11-17 21:48:09
For me, this is the perfect gapfiller, because not only does it flesh
out the details of Sauron's rule on the Isle of Werewolves and explain
how his servants were created, but it does so in a way that fits
seamlessly into canon, adding an extra dimension to an already dark
story. The language feels Silm-accurate, and the concepts seem
absolutely authentic. The atmosphere of casual cruelty paints a
wonderful picture, and tells us more about Sauron himself than the
title would suggest.


Title: Seeing Stars · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond · ID: 360
Reviewer: The Little Dwarf · 2008-11-17 21:48:31
Fabulous!!! And even if he drank a little too much, Farramir is shtill
the wonderful Shteward we all wove!! :))

I loved every bit of it, it seems so... beliavable, first of all.
Everything: from the joyful customs to Faramir getting drunk to
Aragorn's fatherly affection! I really appreciate the historical
references - I'm sure by now you're aware I'm a fan of scholar!Faramir
above all... :) The devotion to Gondor and the King, and the
bittersweet memory of Boromir fit very well in this story. And I went
"awwww" again when I read this line: ["Eowyn thinks already of his
first sword, but I would fain see those hands open a book, or hold a

I'm sure Faramir was an amazing father - being deprived of affection
himself, I know he would have strived to make time for his family...
And already in this early stage of his fatherhood he is such a dear!

But it was not nice of you to have Aragorn take him home before seeing
Eowyn and the baby again... He would have loved to, and I doubt Eowyn
would have minded - she would be the first to laugh at his state of
alcoholic merriment.. :)

In conclusion, a great fic about a great character... Atmosphere,
characterization, writting, they all make this a wonderful story!

Title: The Conscience of the King · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres:
Humor · ID: 649
Reviewer: The Little Dwarf · 2008-11-17 22:00:04
Wow, what a great little story!

I admit I hadn't read this before coming here, and it was a pleasant
surprize for me indeed. I rarely make more than a small smile while
reading fanfiction (even humor), but your story literally made me
laugh out loud!

First of all, I loved your original technique. The overlapping of the
inner world of Eomer's feelings and the exterior one was well done,
and I admire how well you managed to capture Eomer's voice. An A+ from
me for subtle characterization and for being able to show all his
sometimes contradictory feelings: his love and caring for Eowyn
(almost overprotecting sometimes), his slight mistrust in Faramir (I'm
sure that disappeared after a while) and finally his conclusion that
this is the way it shoul be and that being Faramir's wife would not
mean that Eowyn will cease to be his dear little sister...

Very, very good psychological analysis and great use of the
"Conscience" voice... And a plus for creating atmosphere as well... :)

Title: Reflections in the Smoke · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times:
Late Third Age: General Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 294
Reviewer: Keiliss · 2008-11-17 22:07:08
I suppose that must have been a strange feeling, having nothing left
to do, nowhere left that he absolutely had to be, the war over, the
task completed. Nice sense of him sitting a little apart from all the
noise and revelry of a victorious army, smoking his pipe and thinking
his thoughts. I wonder though if he won't find life in the West just a
little – tame after all this urgency and responsibility?

It also reminded me of what a really bad error in judgment Sauron had
made in placing so much of his personal power into the One. He might
well have termed himself [Sauron the Fool] in his last moments, too.

Nice little window on Gandalf/Olórin's thoughts.

Title: Possessing the greatest powers · Author: Tanaqui · Times:
Multi-Age: Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 387
Reviewer: Keiliss · 2008-11-17 22:11:33
The beginning with Celebrimbor was nicely explained. Of the
Ringbearers' tales, I think I liked Galadriel's with the Ring of Water
best myself, although Elrond's response at the lifting of the burden
and his realization of what that sense of lightness meant made me
smile with him. Very nice look at the response of each Ringbearer to
both their situation and the passing of the One. Unusual and

Title: Lock Out · Author: pippinfan88 · Races: Hobbits · ID: 307
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2008-11-17 22:14:29
A very amusing comedy of errors!

Title: Broken Star · Author: pandemonium_213 · Races: Villains:
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 54
Reviewer: Keiliss · 2008-11-17 22:27:34
I had to check back at the top when I had finished reading this, but
yes, it is a double drabble. I felt as though I had read a far longer
piece, which I suppose is proof of what a very good double drabble
this is. I am very glad your brain did not explode/implode/crawl into
a dark corner and whimper.

There is such an air of inevitability about this scene, especially
once the name 'Sauron' is uttered, proving that words do indeed have
power. Celebrimbor does what he has to do, Sauron also has no other
real choices open to him beyond the primitively effective [glowing hot
iron rod]. I suspect you could have reduced this down to a true
drabble had the need been there, but it would not have been half as
evocative and I doubt I would now have this very clear picture in my
head of a courtyard filled with dark invaders, of the nearby brazier,
and the bound captive. So much detail contained and implied in so few

Title: Wind of Change · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Drama:
General Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 47
Reviewer: Keiliss · 2008-11-17 22:36:41
I liked this very much. Particularly enjoyed the way the author uses
the device of the wind to carry the omen of Eowyn's birth to both the
Lord of the Nazgul and to Glorfindel, united as they are by a prophecy
that has just drawn breath. I like the part about her father finding
that he can [only see the snapping of banners in the wind and hear
only the clatter of swords] when he tries to picture his newborn
daughter as a grown woman. That line seems to me the heart of this
short piece, and sums up her future fame in very few words.

Title: A Sea Visit · Author: Elen Kortirion · Genres: Humor: Drabbles
· ID: 96
Reviewer: Keiliss · 2008-11-17 22:44:10
Having lived most of my life close to the sea, the title promised I
would enjoy this - and sure enough I did. It left me with a broad
smile on my face. I could smell the sea, almost feel the water, and
was grinning along with the elves even before I knew the joke. I'm
sure Aragorn had a great time getting to know his new friend.

Title: A Great Cause for Concern · Author: Alassante · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Post-Ring War · ID: 682
Reviewer: Sivan Shemesh · 2008-11-17 22:54:28
I enjoy it... poor Legolas.

Title: Galdor: An Elf By Any Other Name.... · Author: Marta · Genres:
Non-Fiction: Character Studies · ID: 475
Reviewer: Keiliss · 2008-11-17 22:56:06
That was really very interesting. Unlike the writer my first love is
for the Elves, so this was very much aimed at my sphere of interest.
There were a couple of points I would have found interesting to debate
a little perhaps, but all in all this was a very well-considered
examination of what were in some cases very tiny clues and hints that
lead to surprisingly clear and logical conclusions. I rather like the
idea of Galdor of the Havens being the same as Galdor of Gondolin. It
would certainly explain Cirdan's trust in him, both as an emissary
able to take decisions on his account, and as someone who would
survive a rather long journey in perilous times.

Thought provoking.

Title: Somewhere I Have Never Traveled · Author: Fiondil · Times:
Fourth Age and Beyond · ID: 578
Reviewer: MithLuin · 2008-11-18 00:13:56
This story has so many different facets to it - grief and solemnity,
jokes and lightheartedness, hobbits and Valar, the sisterhood of
queens. I love how Arwen seems so sure of her choice, but is easily
thrown for a moment when things do not go quite as she expected.
Having her brothers there, and having even Sam Gamgee comment on it
really makes this one, brief, story a lovely epilogue to The Lord of
the Rings. Thank you so much for writing it!

Title: Bibliophile · Author: Imhiriel · Genres: Romance: Drabbles ·
ID: 370
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2008-11-18 00:31:22
There are so many facets to touch on with this drabble; I'll just set
to working through them in the order that they occur to me when
reading (and rereading)...

The first is simply the lovely image of an intelligent and literate
Eowyn, sitting and reading. I have to wonder why she chose the book
she did, too. Was it simply that the Rohirrim didn't have knowledge of
that House of Hurin's ancient tragedy? (I note that Imhiriel's brief
commentary on Tolkien's most messed-up family's dynamics, ["It's...
interesting."], impeccably brings the whole screwy ordeal to my mind.)
Was it that this House shared its title with another, that had its own
share of more recent (and close to the heart) tragic history? Or was
she trying to learn more about the mother that Faramir loved and
hardly knew, and whose mantle Eowyn now wore?

Possibly a bit of it all; at any rate, Eowyn is embarrassed when
Faramir asks her about the book. It's a sign of his respect for her
when he asks her opinion; I think it's a sign of their closeness that
she felt at ease borrowing a likely-treasured remembrance of his mother.

What ends the discussion is a particular sign of closeness *g*,
particularly when Faramir-the-scholar doesn't even notice that the
book plunks down to the floor...

This is a charming and I think deeper-than-it-looks drabble,
encompassing a lot of territory in a brief span of words.

Title: Broken Star · Author: pandemonium_213 · Races: Villains:
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 54
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2008-11-18 00:32:09
This is really an excellent double-drabble that packs a huge punch for
its size. It's only a glimpse, one quick scene; nonetheless,
pandemonium deftly sets forth not only the current event, but brings
out the history between the two protagonists and leaves the future
playing out in our imaginations.

I think I like best that Sauron is given his full potential as a
multi-dimensional character here; the ["...vestige of myself..."] line
is all we need to realize it. Celebrimbor's bravery is on full
display, too. Though nothing is graphic, the author's careful
descriptions leave me with no doubt of the level of horrors he has and
will endure.

Sort of an aside: Reading the title, I had first a flashback of
Feanor's heraldic device being in a fire/sun/star style, and second
that there was a "Star of Feanor" symbol carved into the west gate of
Moria. I don't know if there was any intentional connection, but that
combined with the terrible line in UT, that Sauron went forth
["bearing as a banner Celebrimbor's body hung upon a pole"], somehow
made all this even more deeply painful and poignant - the symbolic
final shattering of Feanor's House linked to the use of his grandson's
broken body as Sauron's device. At any rate, even if my rambling
doesn't make sense: great title. :)

Title: The Shadow · Author: Linda Hoyland · Genres: Drama: Ring War
Drabbles · ID: 25
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2008-11-18 00:32:40
["The Shadow"] is wonderfully powerful and very moving. I can feel
Frodo's pain and despair fresh and clear again, as from the books. The
idea of Smeagol still haunting him - shadowing him like he did during
the long, hard toil to Mt. Doom - is insightful and unique for me.

I'm reminded of the conversations between Smeagol and his alter-ego
Gollum, and think it's not far-fetched that, although Frodo carried
the Ring for a shorter time, the intensity of its pressure on him
could have created a similar "fracture" in his mind - almost a split
personality like Smeagol had. That the "other" would have Smeagol's
face in the mirror speaks volumes to the strange connection that bound
him and Frodo together.

The language and tone seem perfectly fitting, with the first sentence
grabbing me right away. It all underscores Frodo's inability to stay
in the Shire and his almost desperate desire to escape this ghost.

It's a terrible brotherhood, and I commend Linda Hoyland for exploring
it so well in so short a piece. Very nice!

Title: Charge! · Author: Tanaqui · Genres: Drama: Ring War Drabbles ·
ID: 444
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2008-11-18 00:33:30
Tanaqui has a way with tossing out twists to the story, guiding you
blithely along to the "expected" outcome, and then - whoops! What
constantly amazes me is that she carries it out in a drabble format
over and over again. It doesn't seem like there should be enough space
to do a 180, but there you have it.

The descriptions are marvelous, rich and thrilling. The reader gains
an immediate connection with the PoV character - a startling one at
the conclusion, when realization dawns. Word choice and phrasing is
sublime, and the pace feels very much like a battle-charge; I tense up
in anticipation as the drabble builds momentum.

Beyond being sneaky and clever, of course, the misdirection also
serves the purpose of pointing out that the other side often believes
just as deeply, is just as committed, as the side that you are on:
we're gifted with a pertinent vision from the other half of the field.

Title: O Kheled-zâram fair and wonderful! · Author: Imhiriel · Races:
Dwarves: Drabbles · ID: 354
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2008-11-18 00:34:35
This drabble is beautiful when read simply as a straight-up romantic
encounter: sparkling stars, a shimmering lakeside tryst, entranced
lovers, a longing to find that one particular partner for life.
Imhiriel abundantly enhances this basic richness by making these two a
specific pair of Dwarven lovers, and by employing superb language to
evoke the setting and characters.

The descriptions are all harmoniously chosen to reflect the fact that
these are Dwarves, who see the world in a certain way. Their hearts
may soar as high and gloriously as any other being's, but Imhiriel
carefully selects metaphors, similes and phrases to bring home their
unique and abiding connection to the earth and its hidden glories. All
of it is blended smoothly and naturally together, until I feel I
really am looking through Dwarven eyes.

Then the enjoyable surface story is greatly deepened when it's
revealed just who these two individuals are. The setting the author
chooses is incredibly apt, a reminder of past history and the special
role that the man holds. There is a great weight to the moment indeed,
and true love here, to accept joy and burden both of a joined
leadership. Particularly a leadership of people so stubborn as
Dwarves... *g*

Title: Love at First Sight · Author: Gwynnyd · Races: Elves: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 432
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2008-11-18 01:17:46
I don't usually read stories set in this era,but I loved this poignant
ficlet knowing as we do that Miriel will soon fade.Finwe's instant
paternal love is deeply moving and again sad as we know the full story
of this tragic family. A beautiful and very well written story.