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Msg# 9561

MEFA Reviews for Saturday, November 22, 2008 Posted by annmarwalk November 22, 2008 - 19:20:22 Topic ID# 9561
Title: Brotherhood · Author: Violin Ghost · Races: Men: Steward's
Family · ID: 261
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2008-11-22 03:46:02
This was a delightful, yet poignant, tale of the memory of brothers' love.

The best and most unique part for me was the use of a warsong! It was
a perfect vehicle for the tale that it bore.

We have three parts to this tale - all remembrances and all with the
warsong weaving through each part. First, we see the young boys before
their mother's death - their father's pride, their mother's sorrow. It
would make one weep - Boromir's joy and Faramir's sudden concern.

The moment when the brothers must bid each other farewell as Boromir
is off to a soldier's life. I agree fully with the author's assessment
of Boromir's love - for his City. It is beautiful explained in this
portion of the tale... as the warsong hums along.

Then the author writes about the Battle of the Bridge! That is my all
time favorite part of LOTR - which is so odd because it is almost a
footnote in the book... a mention... yet such a profound moment. The
whole scene was incredibly poignant. Another tear-jerking portion.

We are with Faramir in Edoras and the warsong springs from his lips as
he pays silent homage to his fallen brother; yet the singing of the
song brings him another brother.

The ending was perfect.

A truly beautiful tribute to Boromir and a wondrous telling of the
'quality' of Faramir! Well done indeed!

Title: A New Day · Author: Oshun · Genres: Longer Works · ID: 35
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2008-11-22 12:48:21
Oh what to do with these two characters. I started to follow this
story a while ago, but could not keep up with it. So after starting
all over again ánd noting the difference Oshun infused in the story
ever since, I felt like smacking her pairing quite a lot. The story
starts with Maedhros being rescued by Fingon, while at the same time
the Noldor faces a new beginning as well. Much is pushed aside and a
sigh of relief escaped me when Finrod pointed out what I as a reader
was feeling all along. At that point I also realised how much
engrossed I was in the story itself, wishing to break out of the
background and saying: guys, it's great that you have sex so much, but
start to deal with what really happened before this goes so wrong and
this relationship can't be repaired! The political complications
involving reuniting the Noldor (however the events regarding Melkor's
division of the Aman elves also did influence their budding
relationship greatly in Oshun!verse, yet they simply could not see it
happening again) also pushed the true healing of Maedhros to the
background (it felt as if the characters used it as an excuse to
postpone really talking to another, a pitfall many veterans do
encounter) and Oshun slowly started to reveal in her story how matters
would never be set right with her beloved elf if they both never faced
what happened at Angband. And hurrah! At the end both see the light,
at the cost of poor Finrod (I really do feel for him). I do hope
things will be set right for him as Oshun continues to write her
storyline, he most certainly deserves it! ;)

Title: The Consuming Darkness · Author: Isil Elensar · Genres: Drama ·
ID: 467
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2008-11-22 13:46:25
Gah Isil, it doesn't matter how often I read this piece, but it so
packed with action that every time I am amazed how much you tell in
such a short time. This is a story that works extremely well because
it captures the utmost chaos of Númenor's downfall, the choices made
by so many to either stay or flee. As the wrath of Eru is upon them
and Tar-Miriel the gracious queen tries to warn her people as much as
she can, we witness her final hours on Arda. But as the tremors start
to wreck and shake the island on his foundations, so is her life torn
asunder and all normal registration of time and distances fade to the
background. You just can feel the adrenaline rushing through her
veins. Instead of focusing on her own survival, Tar-Miriel is more
concerned with the survival of her offspring, seeing them to leave the
island in safety. Only then she can surrender herself to her fate,
knowing all to well in the end it was partly of her own making and yet
Isil gives this story a hopeful (and to me an exciting) twist, with
two young survivors and heirs to the throne sailing for Middle-earth.
This story is packed with the necessary detail, from tumbling debris
to the people of Númenor slowly awaking to their downfall. The main
character's despair and anger just jumps off the screen as she rails
against her husband's mistreatment of her and her regrets. I do hope
those bunnies have been nibbling again, because I am so curious how
this will continue and knowing Isil's writing it will be an exciting
and romantic ride, just like this story which is just quite a ride
itself. Great writing!

Title: Free To Live · Author: Nieriel Raina · Races: Elves: Mirkwood
Elves · ID: 701
Reviewer: Jael · 2008-11-22 18:29:50
This story is a lovely piece that shows a more 'human' side to one of
my favorite characters at the end of a long battle. Little does he
know that another, different, long defeat is beginning for him, but
for the moment, Thranduil Oropherion, Elvenking of Eryn Lasgalen feels
joy, and we feel it along with him.

Good job!

Title: Some Confusion in Accounts · Author: viv · Genres: Humor: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 276
Reviewer: Jael · 2008-11-22 18:38:11
This little tale is a serious and scholarly (if you believe that, I
have three shiny gems I can sell you, cheap) attempt to explain one of
the Professor's numerous discrepancies -- in this case a difference in
implication between the Laws and Customs and the wording in the
history of Galadriel and Celeborn. Like the original works, the ending
of this story is delightlfully ambiguous.

I know how I interpret it, and . . . I'm with you, Artanis!

Title: Sing All Ye People! · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: Late
Third Age: Gondor · ID: 249
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2008-11-22 19:22:06
The writing beautifully reflects this bright, triumphant and glorious
moment - I can feel Faramir's joy and excitement. What a wonderful,
wonderful idea to assign each verse to a specific person who has been
important to Faramir.

To see Faramir's take on this moment was really moving, and I thought
completely in-character. I just love how he can be moved so intimately
by things and at the same time is able to see it or set it in a wider

The description of the eagle, every detail of his appearance, manner
and meaning was poignant, and the glory of it all infused the story
from start to finish like a bright golden thread.

I also like the perhaps minor fact that the musical underpinning, so
to speak, is also present throughout the story in a subtle way. IMO,
it gives this moment (in the book and here) the right "hightened"
context to "justify" the excultation which might otherwise risk being
over-the-top in a straight narrative.

Title: The Importance of Being Bilbo · Author: Dreamflower · Genres:
Non-Fiction: Character Studies · ID: 686
Reviewer: Claudia · 2008-11-22 20:03:14
I had never seen this essay before and was pleased to come upon it
here. I for one am so glad that Bilbo went on that quest and came back
alive from it and was able to take Frodo as an heir! Bilbo is very
important indeed!

Title: Wind of Change · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Drama:
General Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 47
Reviewer: Claudia · 2008-11-22 20:05:46
Wow, this is a stunningly beautiful ficlet! I especially loved the
Eowyn part and it seemed incredibly in character and very like baby
Eowyn to be so hearty! :))

Title: Pirates Ye Be Warned · Author: Imhiriel · Races: Men: Gondor
Drabbles · ID: 353
Reviewer: Claudia · 2008-11-22 20:07:27
Very nice characterization of pirates! I also like how in character
Imrahil is!

Title: Tolo Dan Na Ngalad · Author: Elwen · Races: Hobbits · ID: 735
Reviewer: Claudia · 2008-11-22 20:09:55
This was such a vividly described story of the healing in Rivendell. I
know this author has a special love for Elrond healing Frodo and she
does such a masterful job at it. I am always in awe of her vivid
language and emotion that she brings to this scenario/part of the book!

Title: The Dancing Lesson · Author: Lindelea · Races: Hobbits:
Friendship · ID: 664
Reviewer: Claudia · 2008-11-22 20:11:52
An adorable story! :)

Title: The Six-Fingered Glove Mystery · Author: shirebound · Genres:
Mystery · ID: 522
Reviewer: Claudia · 2008-11-22 20:13:52
Nice bit o' silliness! :)

Title: Faeries · Author: Pearl Took · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond ·
ID: 304
Reviewer: Claudia · 2008-11-22 21:18:49
ooh, I love anything having to do with faeries, and what a neat angle
to bring in Faramir's faery ancestry! :)

Title: At Cormallen · Author: Mews1945 · Genres: Drama: Hurt/Comfort ·
ID: 730
Reviewer: Claudia · 2008-11-22 21:21:08
oh, I remember this. Such a sweet and gentle and healing fic. It would
make sense that poor Merry would be worrying so about all three of his
hobbit friends at that time!

Title: Dispelling the Fog · Author: fantasyfan · Races: Other Beings ·
ID: 642
Reviewer: Claudia · 2008-11-22 21:23:04
Tom Bombodil is such a mystery and I love how Frodo as smart and
curious as he is still can't figure him out and how Tom evades their
questions no matter what! This is such a wonderful gapfiller!

Title: For the Want of ... · Author: Larner · Times: Late Third Age:
Gondor · ID: 681
Reviewer: Claudia · 2008-11-22 21:27:38
Very nice tale of learning and friendship between Faramir and Pippin.
It brings to life for me the way they've bonded and makes sense later
why Pippin would name one of his children after him!

Title: The Ribbon · Author: Gentle Hobbit · Races: Hobbits:
Hurt/Comfort · ID: 336
Reviewer: Claudia · 2008-11-22 21:29:45
oh, such a beautiful gentle story about Frodo using his hands after
his finger has been gone. That missing finger was always such a source
of mental anguish for Frodo, a reminder of what he could have done
better (in his mind) and it is nice that he was using his skills for
something so innocent as tying a hobbit lass' hair!

Title: On Canon and Fanfic · Author: Marta · Genres: Non-Fiction · ID: 123
Reviewer: Claudia · 2008-11-22 21:33:05
This was a very interesting essay! From the view point of a person
(me!) who writes both very wild AUs and very canonical, serious
pieces, I don't think AU needs to have a negative connotation. I think
that there is plenty of fan fiction to go around for everyone's tastes
and that we should be grateful to Tolkien for providing such a rich,
diverse playground for us to play in!

Title: Two Prisoners · Author: Lord Branwyn · Genres: Alternate
Universe · ID: 724
Reviewer: Súlriel · 2008-11-22 22:54:34
I have seen variations on this take and while I almost always enjoy
them, I found this one to be especially well done. It's certainly easy
to imagine that two who have lived so long by the sword would continue
to do so.

Title: Trinity · Author: pandemonium_213 · Times: Modern Times · ID: 51
Reviewer: Ignoble Bard · 2008-11-22 22:57:05
From the opening John Donne poem to the chilling closing quote by
Robert Oppenheimer ["Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."
I suppose we all thought that one way or another.] Pandemonium takes
us on a journey into the mind of the man who ushered in the nuclear
age. Before our world was profoundly changed by the Manhattan Project,
before the prospect existed of mankind's ability to extinguish itself
in a matter of minutes, there was another vision, a vision of two
strange men who once conceived and wielded power that irrevocably
changed their own world, their own history, and almost caused its
destruction. Who these me are, and what they share with Oppenheimer,
forms the basis of this thought-provoking look at how the exhilaration
of discovery must be tempered with the possibilities and consequences
of these discoveries.

The story is sprinkled throughout with the details [Oppenheimer took
the cup and saucer, incautiously gulped the liquid, and scalded the
roof of his mouth.], descriptions [An opaque silver mist swirled
around Fionn and Saunders, obscuring them. When the mist cleared, the
two men were clad in short sleeved button down shirts, khakis and
loafers, just like the physicists, chemists and engineers at the
labs.], and engaging characterizations ["I can see that," said
Oppenheimer. "It's just your eyes. You both must have unusual
refractive proteins in your irises. . ." Fionn beamed. "Excellent! You
didn't yammer about orbs of starlight and all that gossamer faerie
bullshit. That is a perfectly rational -- and accurate -- explanation.
I'm telling you, Saunders, he belongs to us!"] we've come to expect
and love in Pandemonium's writing. It is a rare author who can bring a
modern sensibility to Tolkien without losing the charm that continues
to enchant legions of fans around the globe, but Pandemonium is just
such an author. If one was to check out the latest fantasy/science
fiction anthology from the local bookstore one would be hard-pressed
to find even one story in the collection to match what Pandemonium
does with each of her tales.

An author far too modest in assessing her abilities, Pandemonium
creates masterworks with an effortless grace and professional tone
that makes the reader identify with her characters, even the wicked
Saruon, and see beneath their Tolkiened patina into the qualities that
lie within.

Title: Philosophia to Philomythus and Misomythus · Author:
pandemonium_213 · Genres: Poetry · ID: 50
Reviewer: Ignoble Bard · 2008-11-22 23:46:19
This pair of poems encompasses the arguments for and against the uses
and meaning of myth in a world of science. I knew as soon as I read
them I had to nominate them for consideration this year. Capturing the
essence of an idea in a poem is terrifically difficult (believe me, I
know) and taking on a debate of this magnitude is a herculean task.
But Pandemonium does so beautifully. I admit to being out of my depth
when it comes to critiquing poetry but, like those of us who look at
any form of art and give it a rousing thumbs up or a disgusted thumbs
down, we know what we like. These poems are the two halves of a whole
that bring together the worlds of science and fantasy and show there
is not always room for both but that both are essential for the growth
and evolution of humanity.

Stylistically, one poem reads like the best of Shakespeare or Milton
while the other reads like William Blake. Both bring us to a place
where we must examine our relationship to and between knowledge and
fantasy. We must choose to "see the world in a grain of sand" or
simply pick the offending, abrasive object from our swimsuits and go
about our business, forever shut off from the possibilities beyond the
realm of our perceptions and objectivity.