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Msg# 9558

MEFA Reviews for Thursday, November 20, 2008 (Part One) Posted by annmarwalk November 20, 2008 - 19:55:53 Topic ID# 9558
Title: Trinity · Author: pandemonium_213 · Times: Modern Times · ID: 51
Reviewer: Dawn Felagund · 2008-11-20 02:57:08
In "Trinity," I think that Pandemonium hits on a major reason why
characters like Feanor and Sauron--in their hearts, inventors and
creators--are fascinating to so many of us and who refuse to be
dismissed as mere villains. Underlying the creators and scientists of
Tolkien's world are questions that still torment us, nearly a century
after Middle-earth's first characters came into existence. What
responsibilities do scientists have to humankind? Should morality
temper their desire to learn and do more and more ... and how and when
shall they know this? And when their greatest creations wreak havoc
unimaginable, how do we reconcile the outcome with their humanity:
their human curiosity and, often, the desire to do good that instead
brought about evil?

"Trinity" presents these questions in the form of a conversation
between Feanor, Sauron, and Robert Oppenheimer, the creator of the
atomic bomb. I have seen many stories that consider how characters
viewed their deeds from a distant vantage point offered by
history--especially Feanor is popular for this--but Pandemonium's
perspective is unique and complicated, not easily reduced to "guilt
and regret" or "unfailing pride," and at its conclusion, "Trinity"
seems to awaken in me more questions than it answers.

The story's conclusion is impeccably written and doesn't fall into the
temptation of becoming saccharine or moralistic. It is a fitting end
for a thoughtful story that comes with highest recommendations for all
who like to consider the meaning behind Tolkien's stories.

Title: Cold · Author: febobe · Genres: Drama: Featuring Frodo or Sam ·
ID: 239
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2008-11-20 03:20:55
A lovely warm hurt comfort story set in the film universe which shows
film Faramir in a far more favourable light. I liked the alternate
points of view and Faramir's attempts to help and care for Frodo
together with Sam. I did wonder what became of Frodo's mithril
shirt,here though.An enjoyable,fee good well written story

Title: Engineering · Author: SurgicalSteel · Races: Men: Minas Tirith
· ID: 696
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2008-11-20 03:29:21
As always and now much expected - the author's writing draws me in and
holds me with my breath stilled.

I sat in the operating room and blanched... and marvelled at the
little one's courage. It always amazes me how children seem to be able
to endure things that would send an adult off in a terror!

Bless the little one's heart - I love how she growed up - despite (or
perhaps because) of this terrible accident.

Nicely written.

Title: Wizards' Pupils · Author: Altariel · Races: Men: Minas Tirith ·
ID: 108
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2008-11-20 03:35:58
Beautifully told lesson. I very much liked this. Even being a Denethor
fanatic, it was very profound and well written. My heart cried out for
Denethor, but I could accept what happened. I loved Faramir's gentle
teaching of Elboron and Elboron's learning from such teaching.

I don't particularly agree that Denethor would have succumbed to
Curunir's voice. It is said the Steward battled against Sauron in the
Palantir and never succumbed...

The part of Faramir is well-written. I think the young man would have
'discovered' Curunir's 'secret' and reacted in such a way.

There is a quality to this author's writing that is simple and sweet
and soft - just exactly what I would think of Faramir - when he is NOT
on a battlefield.

Well done!

Title: Maglor's Song · Author: Robinka · Genres: Poetry: Drama · ID: 398
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2008-11-20 06:46:23
A very moving poem concerning Maglor's sad fate.Robinka uses language
beautifully to relate this grim fate in verse

Title: There Was A Hobbit · Author: agape4gondor · Genres: Humor:
Drabbles · ID: 111
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2008-11-20 06:50:29
One does not often imagine Boromir and Haldir sharing a laugh and a
comic song together,but this delightfully amusing drabble .Tolkien's
earlier drafts can be a great source of inspiration.

Title: Galadriel Remembers · Author: Savageseraph · Genres: Poetry:
Drama · ID: 583
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2008-11-20 06:53:51
This is beautiful poem in which Galadriel's restless spirit is shown
to still be active even in Valinor when she thinks back to former
glories.Now she is just another Elf.This was very well written.

Title: Untold Tales of the Mark: The Banishment of Éomer · Author:
Katzilla · Genres: Alternate Universe · ID: 206
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2008-11-20 07:49:46
This epic AU tale of Rohan is easily the longest fan fiction piece I
have ever read. It was worth every page. Katzilla takes a moment from
the LOTR films--the "banishment of Eomer" of the title--and expands
into a meaty story of adventure, angst, and character growth.

Eomer, a consummate soldier usually in control of his formidable
emotions, can barely cope with the massive chip on his shoulder, due
to the trials ot the early parts of his banishment. Eowyn is true to
Tolkien but is subject to dark terrors that are all of Katzilla's
design. There is enough angst in this story to amply fill all its 80

Though moments from the films and many characters from the books
parade across the story's vast canvas, Katzilla spins these incidents
and folk in slightly different ways to fill gaps and make her Rohan a
rich, fully realized world. There are occasional language problems,
for English is a second language for Katzilla. These are easily
overlooked when you get caught up in her characterizations or get
involved in the very detailed action pieces, such as the retake of the
Golden Hall.

I personally like long stories, where the author has room to develop
the characters and involve them in challenging situations. I highly
recommend "Untold Tales, especially if you hunger to plunge yourself
into a long, fulfilling stay in late Third Age Rohan.

Title: Tolkien's Parish: The Canonical Middle-earth · Author: Steuard
Jensen · Genres: Non-Fiction · ID: 91
Reviewer: Larner · 2008-11-20 08:22:33
A most interesting look at judging what is canonical in Tolkien's
work, in the end comparing Tolkien's Middle Earth to "Niggle's Parish"
in "Leaf by Niggle" in his "Tree and Leaf." I'm not certain that
anything definite has been settled, but there is no doubt that what
Mr. Jensen has written does inspire thought on the life-long process
of Tolkien's creation of his world.

Definitely an essay those who consider themselves Tolkien scholars
should consider.

Title: The Last Stand · Author: Rhapsody · Times: First Age and Prior
· ID: 82
Reviewer: Robinka · 2008-11-20 09:24:12
This story always makes me exclaim a very fangirlish "WOW" and think
just what a fan of the Sindar of Doriath, and Beleg in particular
(though, I do not have to tell you, Rhapsy, that, do I? ;)) such as
myself can want more. The two Sindarin warriors went to war alongside
the Noldor and their allies and fought with the forces of Morgoth
despite the animosity between the two elven divisions and Thingol's
constantly growing repulsion toward the clan of Fëanor. Beleg and
Mablung could not miss this chance, and though they did not have to
prove anything to anyone, they were granted their king's permission to
go. Every Silmarillion geek knows this story. But Rhapsody did not
simply re-tell the tale; she brought the host of Gondolindrim to the
stage, with their captain Ecthelion of the Fountain, and on the basis
of this meeting of simple soldiers she built a great, captivating
gap-filler, presenting the main characters of the story in her usual,
vivid and emotional style, which I have grown to admire throughout the

Thank you so very much, Rhapsody, for writing "The Last Stand". It is
always an exceeding treat to read.

Title: Light of the Westering Sun · Author: Dawn Felagund · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 126
Reviewer: Inkling · 2008-11-20 10:15:19
Things left unsaid can be at least as interesting as those said, as
Tolkien well knew, and the relationship between Caranthir and
Haleth--allies? Friends? Lovers?--is one of those things. Dawn
provides a tantalizing glimpse of what might have been in a lovely
series of ficlets.

My favorite among the memorable images she conjures has to be that of
Caranthir with the wooden beads and feathers plaited in his hair [as
did her people]. The idea of the Haladin adorned in the style of
Native Americans is both fitting and inspired.

Title: On Hobbits · Author: Aratlithiel · Genres: Non-Fiction · ID: 457
Reviewer: Inkling · 2008-11-20 10:26:40
Those who think of hobbits as sweet, innocent, childlike, jolly little
fellows may be taken aback by the rather harsh assessment of them--or
at least of the garden-variety hobbit--that opens this essay. And yet,
while the average hobbit arguably has many fine qualities which
Aratlithiel does not dwell on here, her critique is dead on--and I say
this as a hobbit author and fan. As portrayed in LOTR, most hobbits
*are* provincial, intolerant, complacent, and more than a little
arrogant in their willful ignorance. The good Professor himself, in
Letter # 246, described this tendency as ["a mental myopia which is
proud of itself, a smugness (in varying degrees) and cocksureness, and
a readiness to measure and sum up all things from a limited
experience, largely enshrined in sententious traditional 'wisdom.'"]

The essay then moves on to the author's chief topic: Just what makes
Frodo & Co. so atypical...and wonderful. While she has kind words for
all four Travelers, her highest praise is reserved for Frodo. As in
all her fan fiction, Aratlithiel shows keen insight into Frodo's
character. Particularly astute is her concluding observation: that his
virtues are such that are rarely noticed or appreciated by most of
those around him.

Highly recommended.

Title: Star's End · Author: Keiliss · Races: Elves: House of Elrond ·
ID: 283
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2008-11-20 14:01:51
What a story, before I could summarize the feelings this story
provoked so well, I let it simmer for a while. Keiliss gives us a
rather realistic feel of a grieving widow, bereaved of the one she
loved and coming to the bitter realisation that all that what had been
promised to her by her husband, has not come to pass. Her long-lived
life has not given her the wisdom or knowledge to accept the gift or
perhaps has given her the wisdom to deal with mortality even if it is
extended. Arwen's searching, waiting, desperation made me cry.
However, this is not all what this story has to offer. It is being
told by Maglor (my most favourite elf) in a gorgeous and beautifully
balanced voice, who observes the evening star before she perishes...
Keiliss handles this in such a great way, that the shock of what he
did out of kindness and gentleness... the reaction comes delayed.
Perhaps this is also because of the intensity of the story and that it
takes a while before all is processed, I do not know. What I do know
is that there is more to this story that meets the eye, it is a tale
written with great skill and in a great voice and yet so utterly
realistic that Arwen could be someone so close to your own life who is
fighting and trying to deal with a loss so big (and therefore the
undertone of the great love between Arwen and Aragorn is just
beautifully handled without any cliché's what so ever). It makes me
want to help her too. Well not with a dagger or a knife that is, but
she conveys all emotions so masterfully. This is probably one of my
favourite stories by her and with an impression that lingers for so long!

Title: Eagle of the Star · Author: Neoinean · Genres: Adventure:
Incomplete · ID: 327
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2008-11-20 17:19:11
I've been following this story for some years, always enjoying it. The
author has a very different take on the young Aragorn than my own--she
writes in the movieverse--but despite and because of (both at the same
time) I find her story gripping and highly readable. She's got an
acute sense of characterization and drama, and makes the most of it.
Her command of the language of story-telling only gets better, the
occasional spelling error notwithstanding.

I completely disagree with the movieverse Aragorn who "doesn't want
that power." Sorry, but he spent years preparing himself for it, for
those of us who knew him when Peter Jackson was a gleam in his dad's
eye. But Neoinean's Aragorn is also one I recognize--the same humility
and courage--and he grows in stature as the tale develops.

One of the things I enjoy about fanfic is seeing the different ways
different authors can use the same characters and tales to tell their
own, unique story.Neoinean is one of these. I really hope she starts
writing her own fiction some day--she's got what it takes.

Title: A Fair Trial · Author: Maeve Riannon · Genres: Humor: Valar &
Maiar · ID: 403
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2008-11-20 21:03:03
I just cannot help to think to be plunged into a scene that would fit
our times so well (like any lawyer show currently out there), yet at
the same time it also works so splendidly for me in Tolkien's world.
It is the end of the First Age and those who committed any wrong
doings should stand trail (the author makes a good use of what is out
there in canon to make it work so well). Such is the case with Sauron
and Melian, an unlikely and yet believable couple in this sense.
Maeve's small touches upon what both have done brought by yours truly
Eonwe is brilliantly done. The mockery of both steps and failures, yet
also their accomplishments albeit brought with a fabulously conjured
twist. What I love the most about this piece is Melian's shrewd
thinking and I cannot really blame her making her hilarious escape
with Sauron. It had me going like: now that is how he got away from
his punishment! I mean if I would have Saruman as my defence lawyer, I
would also plan my escape. This piece has a delightful tone, with apt
references to Monthy Python, the trilogy that just ads that wonderful
twist to it all. I also love the sharp and witty dialogue to bring
across the crimes of both in a delightful manner and Eonwe's addition
to this crazy mix is just the icing on the cake. Truly, just stay away
from beverages though while reading this.

Title: A Little Misunderstanding · Author: Radbooks · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Elves and Men · ID: 275
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2008-11-20 21:15:37
This story has one shining star amongst a wonderful cast of
characters: a little Halbarad brought to you by Radbooks. As young as
he is, he remembers the day Aragorn was taken away and the author does
such a splendid job in how to translate these memories into tangible
fears. But time heals almost every wound and the adorably fierce shift
from an afraid child to a protective one had me chuckling. This is a
nice angsty piece with wonderful and tangible details, but especially
the manner in which Radbooks portrayed the child's emotions is
brilliantly done!

Title: Too Many Rangers · Author: Larner · Races: Hobbits · ID: 116
Reviewer: Inkling · 2008-11-20 21:31:34
I'll never forget browsing a volume of HoMe for the first time, coming
across the names Bingo and Trotter, and snapping the book shut,
terrified that my mental image of those noble heroes was forever
spoiled. The horror wore off eventually...

Could we have taken Frodo and Strider seriously as Bingo and Trotter?
Fortunately we'll never know, but in this inspired spoof Larner
imagines a moment when drafts collide with hilarious results.

Larner does a fine job getting inside Butterbur's cluttered head, and
Strider's dry metafic comments are a hoot: ["I'm not speaking of Shire
Reckoning, or even Steward's Reckoning. I'm speaking anno domini."]
But I think my favorite bit is Trotter and Strider vying for the same
table in the corner, as the whole company looks on bemusedly. And I
can't help but wonder: what if Aragorn's nickname *hadn't* been
changed? King Elessar...I wonder what the Quenya word is for Trotter?

I could see a fun sequel to this...with Trotter refusing to leave the
story and both incarnations insisting on leading them to Rivendell,
bickering all the way!

Title: When Trouble Came · Author: Lily · Races: Hobbits · ID: 109
Reviewer: Cathleen · 2008-11-20 23:54:52
Lily's tale of the Troubles in the Shire is an exceptional one and I
highly recommend it to all hobbit lovers, particularly those who enjoy
the Brandybuck's. Her portrayals of Saradoc and Merimac are just so
"right", so well done, that I almost feel I actually know them in real
life. Lily does have a soft spot for Merimac, and her continuing hard
work at the development of this less-often seen character is
remarkable. She has really brought him alive for me and I find myself
looking forward to each new story!

Title: Between Childhood and Coming of Age · Author: Dreamflower ·
Races: Hobbits: Friendship · ID: 141
Reviewer: Cathleen · 2008-11-21 00:17:19
I very much enjoyed Dreamflower's tale of Pippin's adolescent woes.
There are some very lovely moments in this story and the writer
explores Pippin's moodiness, dreams, and relationships in a humourous
manner, while maintaining the seriousness in just the right places. I
am certain Golden was thrilled when this story was gifted to her in
the Yule fic exchange last year!

Title: The Birthday Blessing · Author: Larner · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond: Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 687
Reviewer: Cathleen · 2008-11-21 00:22:10
A very tender and lovely story from a talented author! Larner sets
just the right tone in this little birthday mathom. It's a sweet
glimpse of the Gamgee's.

Title: The North Delving Incident · Author: Dana · Genres: Drama · ID: 26
Reviewer: Cathleen · 2008-11-21 00:28:55
This is an extremely well conceived, well written story, by a talented
author. It's not the type of story I usually seek out because of its
dark theme, and those can be very difficult for me to read. But this
one is tremendous and I'm glad I read it.

Title: Seven Sisters · Author: Pearl Took · Races: Other Beings · ID: 388
Reviewer: Cathleen · 2008-11-21 00:52:19
I loved reading this deliciously humorous and at the same time,
frightening tale! Pearl has woven together several lovely myths and
the result is a very entertaining and spooky story that's a perfect
read for this time of year. Pippin's reactions to Delphinium's kiss
and his youngest sister's teasing is delightful. The funeral scene is
spooky and surreal and makes the reader every bit as glad as Pippin is
when the other children come to find him!

Title: Music hath Charms · Author: Linda Hoyland · Races: Men: Minas
Tirith · ID: 361
Reviewer: Cathleen · 2008-11-21 00:55:52
This is a sweet and fluffy little story, and one that is sure to bring
a smile to all readers!

Title: Regarding Ents · Author: PipMer · Races: Hobbits: Post-Ring War
· ID: 525
Reviewer: Cathleen · 2008-11-21 01:00:12
Walking and talking trees - it is incredible and Sam said it
perfectly! This is a very nice little tale and I got a kick out of
Merry and Pippin trying to explain the ents to Sam and Frodo. Well done!

Title: The Last Summer · Author: Golden · Races: Hobbits · ID: 143
Reviewer: Cathleen · 2008-11-21 01:08:37
So sad and beautiful. Golden's tale of Pippin's granda's last summer
is a real heart-wrencher. Filled with many different emotions, this
story is a lovely tribute to her own grandparents. Well done, Golden.