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Msg# 9554

MEFA Reviews for Tuesday, November 18, 2008 (Part Two) Posted by annmarwalk November 18, 2008 - 20:15:56 Topic ID# 9554
Title: Footsteps in Time Author: Keiliss Races: Elves ID: 76
Reviewer: Larner 2008-11-18 23:37:44
A beautifully written fic for as far as it goes. The two chapters
written are lyrical in their beauty and illuminating in their
characterizations. And that Galadriel's gift was much taught by Melian
herself as well as the idea that Melian might tend to be fleeting and
contrary in her interests is a fascinating pair of concepts to consider.

I look forward to the day these two chapters are built upon and the
story continued and finished. This look at this long-bonded pair is
fascinating and so well done!

Title: Wind of Change Author: Raksha the Demon Genres: Drama:
General Fixed-Length Ficlets ID: 47
Reviewer: Tanaqui 2008-11-18 23:42:13
This is a wonderful short story which connects the fates of three very
different characters in three lands that span almost the whole of the
west of Middle-earth. There is a strong sense of the ["ensorcellment"]
mentioned towards the end of the drabble running throughout the piece
with all three characters having power of their own kind and being
subject to the power of others. However, although the strands of the
story are cleverly woven together, it is not the connections between
he who made the prophecy, she who will fulfil it, and he who will fall
by her hand that resonate most strongly in this drabble from Raksha
the Demon's fertile imagination. Instead, it is Eomund's response to
his daughter his delight in her beauty, her strength and her spirit
and Eowyn's own indomitable spirit, already clearly present, that
remain in the mind. A terrific piece well done!

Title: Before the Black Gate Author: Raksha the Demon Times: Late
Third Age ID: 45
Reviewer: Tanaqui 2008-11-18 23:42:23
Raksha the Demon has created a charming little vignette in which
Pippin and Beregond share a last breakfast before the final battle.
Pippin's mix of entirely natural fear for the coming day and his
high-heartedness and courage in the face of it shine through the piece
in the author's subtle descriptions and nicely turned phrasing. I
particularly like Pippin's reflection ["Only sixteen days, and now I
go to die in it"] when contemplating his fine Gondorian livery.
Although I consider Raksha more of a Mannish writer and one of the
best exponents of Mannish tales in the fandom this piece shows that
she has a fine grasp of Hobbit sensibilities as well. Good work!

Title: Seeing Stars Author: Raksha the Demon Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond ID: 360
Reviewer: Tanaqui 2008-11-18 23:42:41
I have a somewhat unusual credit in the author's notes for this
particular piece, but all the credit for its brilliance goes to the
author, Raksha the Demon. This piece provides us with a lovely vision
of Faramir celebrating the birth of his and Eowyn's first child.
Faramir seems as much thrown off balance by the momentous occasion as
by the rather-too-many celebratory drinks he has consumed, although
that famous insight and dry wit are still very much present as he
considers his current condition. (And I chuckled at the thought of an
inebriated Faramir propping himself up using the White Tree.) However,
this is more than a comedy piece. Faramir's relationship with Aragorn
both King and friend is delightfully captured as Aragorn escorts
him home. And the day is completed by his contemplation of all those
who have gone before who share blood with this child, and his
realisation that the sorrow of their losses are mitigated through the
birth of a new heir events of the day itself. Beautifully done bravo!

Title: The Onion Riddle Author: Branwyn (Lady Branwyn) Races:
Cross-Cultural: Post-Ring War ID: 13
Reviewer: Tanaqui 2008-11-18 23:42:46
Lady Branwyn does so many wonderful things in this story that's it
hard to know where to begin when praising it. Firstly, there is a
fabulous portrait of Dwarven culture, building effectively on the
little we know from canon. On top of that, the story is told from the
point of view of Beregond, one of my favourite Gondorian characters,
and Lady Branwyn does an excellent job of capturing his good-hearted,
gruff, plain-guardsman personality in his words and actions. Then
there is the amusing plot twist at the end, played out in an
entertaining and credible argument between Beregond and one of the
Dwarven miners. Add to that the inclusion of the riddle of the title,
not to mention the other tales within tales told around the campfire,
and the reader is royally entertained from the first word to last. All
of this is presented in the kind of sharp, evocative and clear prose I
have come to expect from Lady Branwyn, and which makes all of her
works a joy to read. In short, this is a wonderful addition to our
store of stories about Middle-earth bravissima!

Title: Twentynine White Horses Author: Jael Races: Elves: Mirkwood
Elves ID: 557
Reviewer: Dawn Felagund 2008-11-19 01:25:19
Despite my fascination (sounds less pathological than obsession) with
Elves, I'd never considered what happened when they lost teeth in
adulthood. I usually read Silmarillion fiction, but sheer curiosity
drove me to put this one on my Wish list, and I'm glad I did. This
story is both funny and tender without being sappy, and Jael
characterizes her players and captures their culture in admirably few
words. (I loved the female healer in particular!) And Thranduil's
parting line to Legolas ... priceless! I'm glad I broke type with this
one and will be looking up more of your work, Jael.

Title: The Captain's Mare Author: The Lauderdale Races: Villains
ID: 575
Reviewer: Dawn Felagund 2008-11-19 01:51:58
I haven't seen many stories from an Orcish point-of-view, and those I
have seen generally don't work for me. This one does. The Lauderdale
doesn't shy from the brutality that would have been a mainstay among
the Orcs of Mordor, yet it is not the sole focus of the story: The
Orcish narrator feels more realistic--I dare even say "more
human"!--with details like the mundanities of working the convoys in
Mordor to bring the culture to life. The voice of this piece is
fantastic, four-letter words, bad grammar, and all!

The denouement of the story, however disturbing, is also intensely
sad. It reminds me that one of the theories on the origin of Orcs is
that they were made from Elves. That, many ages later, the most
villainous race on Middle-earth still expresses that intensely human
sentiment, ["They wanted touch and so did I; that's all we ever
wanted. Just to touch and to be touched in turn,"] is a reminder of
their origins and, underneath what they have been made to be, their
humanity. Original, dark, and insightful--an excellent story!

Title: And Then There Was Cake, or Begetting Day Horrors Author:
Klose Races: Elves: Family ID: 540
Reviewer: Dawn Felagund 2008-11-19 02:08:52
Raucous Feanorians, too much wine, and a second-person point-of-view
... what's there not to love? "Begetting Day Horrors" is one of my
favorite Silmarillion humor stories. I laugh out loud every time I
reread it! The story combines Elven traditions with familiar
modern-day conventions, giving it a ring of truth that I think that
anyone who has ever attended a family birthday party can appreciate,
and it mines the familiar Finwion family circus for all of its
humorous worth. The story starts dreamily, languidly, as Maedhros
passes through the hallways of the palatial paternal home, and it
quickly escalates into a whirlwind of begetting-day horrors, much like
the "pile up" instigated by Celegorm. Klose touches on just about
every Finwion relationship of note--the "friendship" between Aredhel
and Celegorm, the bitterness between the Feanor and Fingolfin,
Caranthir's dislike of the sons of Finarfin--as well as the quirks of
the individual characters: Feanor's obsession with his virility (and
Galadriel's hair), Maglor's musical talents, and the twins' ...
"fragrance." All of this, by story's end, would make me quite sorry
for Maedhros. If I wasn't laughing so hard, that is.