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Msg# 9571

MEFA Reviews for Wednesday, November 26, 2008 Posted by annmarwalk November 26, 2008 - 18:59:09 Topic ID# 9571
Title: A Warm Sun Shining Author: shirebound Races: Hobbits:
Post-Ring War ID: 727
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland 2008-11-26 05:10:49
Spoilers!
Happy comfortable Hobbits,Aragorn and kittens! What more could a
reader want?I don't usually much like film verse stories but this one
won my heart as it so beautifully depicts the bond between Frodo and
Sam and the love Aragorn bears for them.I must say the kittens are the
best behaved I've heard of,as any felines I know what not leave much
lunch untouched for their Hobbit friends.I type this watching a row of
three large cats beside the fire! This is a truly,delightful,warm and
feel good story.

Title: Arwen Author: Neoinean Genres: Romance: Gondor ID: 359
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland 2008-11-26 05:20:27
Spoilers!
A beautifully written and moving story of Aragorn and Arwen.
I found this very true to life,especially Aragorn's nightmares as
Tolkien hints he has seen some dreadful things,which cannot fail to
have left their mark.
This is also a tasteful exploration of the intimate aspects of Aragorn
and Arwen;s marriage, which are again believable,such as Arwen's fear
and Aragorn's tenderness on their wedding night.

Title: Aul the Smith Author: Oshun Genres: Non-Fiction: Character
Studies ID: 530
Reviewer: Ignoble Bard 2008-11-26 07:47:07
Aule is a fascinating character and Oshun brings him to life superbly
with this biography, one of a series she has written for the
Silmarillion Writer's Guild. Aule is a smith and creator who freely
shares his knowledge and works with others before moving on to each
next project. Her comparison between Aule and Melkor, whose thirst for
knowledge led him to envy, desire and ultimately the twisting of his
creative impulse into one of destruction, is noteworthy and fitting.
It seems that Tolkien saw Aule and Melkor as two sides of the same
coin, one faithful to Illuvatar's vision and the other bent on making
that vision his own. But Aule is not simply a mirror of Melkor but his
own man, a character who tempers knowledge with compassion.

Oshun writes informative biographies, giving us information and
insight into the characters in Tolkien's works with her diligent
research and wordcraft. Her keen sense of character brings the
Silmarillion characters to life and her interpretations are always as
fascinating as the nuts and bolts facts of the characters themselves.
Considering how little information Tolkien gave for some of his
characters, it's an amazing feat to make us see the character's place
in canon and how they fit into the tapestry of Tolkien's world. This
biography of Aule is certainly one of her best.


Title: Elflings Author: Jael Races: Elves: Family ID: 348
Reviewer: Ignoble Bard 2008-11-26 16:10:42
This story, Thranduil as a youngster playing a prank on his father
with a friend, could have been a silly or overly sentimental exercise
but instead is a funny, touching, thoroughly pleasing tale. As always,
Jael gives us a Thranduil who, even as a free spirited child, shows
the sense of humor and sense of responsibility we see in him as an
adult. We also learn in this one how Galion's fate came to be so
inextricably entwined with that of his master. Jael's stories are all
part of a larger vision, always giving us that next little piece of
the characters' personalities and unique qualities as they move
seamlessly between past and future, making them seem identifiable and
realistic people. Yet each story can also be taken on its own as a
ripping yarn that, even if one is unfamiliar with the characters,
keeps a reader engaged and fascinated watching the events of their
lives and loves play out. This is one such story and is a good
introduction to Thranduil for those who imagine what type of child he
might have been or how he and Galion, who appears to great effect in
many of Jael's stories, became so inseparable.

Title: Heart of the Wood Author: Kenaz Races: Cross-Cultural:
Friendship ID: 60
Reviewer: Ignoble Bard 2008-11-26 16:38:15
It is not often I read a story so beautifully written, so insightful,
and so moving as Kenaz's look at the relationship between Turin and
Beleg. I do a lot of swap stories, written upon request to a specific
set of criteria, and it is always a challenge to write a story that
captures what the requestor wants and, at the same time, make it a
true work of fanfiction that can stand on its own as good read for
everyone interested in the fandom. This story goes beyond even those
goals to the realm of a work of art. The characterizations are spot
on, the descriptions take the reader to the time and place so
effortlessly it is like we are part of this group of Elves who are
defending the borders of Doriath. This is a slash story but to call it
a slash story is like calling The Catcher in the Rye "that emo tale".

It's extremely rare that I read a story that stays with me for days
after I read it, that makes me return to the characters in my mind and
recall an incident or turn of phrase contained therein that tugs at my
heart or makes me smile. This is one of those stories, and I'm not
ashamed to admit the ending moved me to tears and gives me a
melancholy feeling even as I'm typing this review. If you have never
read slash out of fear of what you'll find or if you don't read
stories of Turin and Beleg because you think you know all there is to
know or find the characters uninteresting or for whatever reason, this
story is guaranteed to change your mind. I encourage everyone who
likes Lord of the Rings fanfiction, be their preference Elves, Men,
Hobbits, Dwarves, any genre, any style to read this one. If not you
will be truly missing one of the great ones.


Title: The Portrait Author: agape4gondor Races: Men: Pre-Ring War
Fixed-Length Ficlets ID: 288
Reviewer: Linaewen 2008-11-26 19:44:04
There is so much that I love about this short little tale! Boromir and
Faramir are on a search for the perfect Yule gift for their father,
and the suspense of that search is intense. Boromir knows what he is
looking for, and is frustrated that he cannot find it. But he will not
give up, and I would not expect him to do so. Not Boromir! Faramir
does not seem to have figured out what Boromir has in mind, but he
nevertheless follows him confidently. Even in a tale of so few words,
Agape4gondor can give us a clear glimpse into that brotherly
relationship which is so special between these two men!

The suspense of the search mounts as it seems Boromir has found what
he is looking for but no, not yet. But finally, the place Boromir is
looking for is found, and Faramir at last understands. Tears fill my
eyes just as they do Faramir's eyes, every time I read this story.
What is special about all this is that Agape4gondor never comes right
out and tells us what that gift is which the two brothers have finally
discovered after a long search. But we can supply our own guesses, and
it is very satisfying to be able to do so. I feel as if I had been
searching along with Boromir and Faramir on their quest for the best
gift ever, and when it is located, I feel the same joy and wonder as
the two brothers must feel!

I suspect Denethor will have a hard time keeping his tears to himself
when he is presented with such a gift, not only because of the gift
itself, but also because of the obvious love and intimacy that will be
shared between him and his boys when he realizes how they wish to
honor him at Yule.

This is a glorious story that will never cease to move me!


Title: National Treasure Author: Baranduin Times: Modern Times
ID: 201
Reviewer: Linaewen 2008-11-26 20:11:08
What an amazing story! I thoroughly enjoyed this tale from beginning
to end. I found it strangely moving, as if I were present as well,
making discoveries of things lost and pondering what it could all
mean, right alongside the husband and wife archeologist team who are
searching for Templar locations in Scotland. The descriptions of the
setting are exquisite, and worded in such a way that one feels the
mystery of something else that is as yet undiscovered, even as the
archeologist team finds what they are seeking.

Who hasn't wished they could find such a treasure -- and yet these two
do not realize what they have found. Not yet, anyway.

When I first read this story, I literally exclaimed in delight at the
final sentence! I had suspected that this was where the story was
heading, but even so, I was unprepared for how the mystery was to be
solved. I found myself wishing for a sequel, and yet I think this was
the best way to end the story, because the imagining of what happens
next is unfettered.

This story is definitely one that I will never tire of reading over
and over again!

Title: There Was A Hobbit Author: agape4gondor Genres: Humor:
Drabbles ID: 111
Reviewer: Linaewen 2008-11-26 20:31:54
Agape4gondor certainly does have a knack for drabbles, both serious
and light-hearted, and this one is no exception. This particular
drabble falls under the "light-hearted" category, and it was really a
fun read! That particular song is omnipresent indeed, if it has even
made its way to Middle-earth!

Aside from the unexpected twist and resulting hilarity as the song
lyrics are revealed, this story is lovely for other reasons. I am
particularly fond of the picture it creates of Boromir and Haldir
laughing together over something they both find humorous not to
mention the thought of the Elves of Lothlorien actually having the
audacity to sing such a song out loud! I almost wish we could find out
what others think of the song, particularly the one who is the main
subject of the song, hehe! But even more than that, what is most
precious to me is the exquisite picture of the noble Celeborn and his
quelling look. I truly can imagine it would be a thing to be avoided,
being pinned by that Look, and woe to the one who is not paying
attention and misses the cue.

This is a very enjoyable tale, even if it DOES get that song in my
head every time I read it! *winks*


Title: A Cat in King Elessar's Court Author: agape4gondor Races:
Cross-Cultural: Friendship ID: 66
Reviewer: Linaewen 2008-11-26 20:54:38
Agape4gondor is an author who has the capacity to tell a familiar tale
in such a way that it becomes totally new and fresh, making it
amazingly insightful in the process. Here we have a story about
familiar characters and places, yet told through the point of view of
a cat! The cat is not just any cat, however; we find out soon enough
that this particular cat is a very special one indeed.

On the face of it, it hardly seems possible that we could learn much
of what goes on in Minas Tirith from a cat, yet Agape4gondor makes
this character seem incredibly believable, to the point that we are
caught up in the same emotions and fears and observations as
Alqualonde the cat, who is advisor and comforter to the Ruling Steward
Denethor.

I very much love the idea of the Steward having such a special friend,
particularly in the final days when he seems so very alone. I also
very much appreciate the insight this relationship gives into
Denethor's inner thoughts. We see him so very clearly when we look at
him and the events that surround him through the eyes of this wise
creature. To see Denethor and his city and his people through the eyes
of a cat somehow makes him all the more human and touchable! I love,
too, the fascinating relationship that develops between Alqualonde and
Pippin, and later Aragorn.

This is a magnificently lovely tale that makes me laugh and cry and
sigh happily, no matter how many times I read it! Thank you so very
much for being willing to be scribe to the Muse Alqualonde, Agape!


Title: Care to Ride My Hot-Rod Fell Beast? Author: viv Genres:
Humor: Other Fixed-Length Ficlets ID: 180
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke 2008-11-26 22:19:56
Spoilers!
What I love about this most is that the author does not only give us a
new and totally clever way of seeing Tolkien's work, but just how
little she changes Tolkien's own words to do it. Labelling the Witch
King's threats as a come-on line alone is worth an award! Wickedly
brilliant, as always!

Title: Gently Held Author: viv Genres: Romance: Other Fixed-Length
Ficlets ID: 6
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke 2008-11-26 22:22:53
This is such an extraordinarily incisive vision. The use of first
person gives an immediacy and intimacy to this work, and by beginning
with false starts, as it were ["guess again"] brings the reader closer
and closer with each paragraph. It is an exercise in synecdoche,
right? making a part represent the whole? and hands are so wonderfully
symbolic, and actual simultaneously. An exemplary work.

Title: Pippin's Secret Author: shirebound Races: Hobbits:
Friendship ID: 599
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke 2008-11-26 22:29:23
This is an interesting little 'what-if'.