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Msg# 9578

MEFA Reviews for Thursday, November 27, 2008 (Part One) Posted by annmarwalk November 27, 2008 - 20:42:14 Topic ID# 9578
Title: Sun · Author: Claudia · Races: Cross-Cultural: Frodo and
Faramir · ID: 223
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2008-11-27 01:30:38
This was lovely! I absolutely loved the description (though incredibly
sad) of the people weeping and digging... and Frodo's kindness in
regards to Denethor... and Faramir's tears.

Title: Many Branches · Author: Baranduin · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Frodo and Faramir · ID: 420
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2008-11-27 01:35:30
There is nothing in this tale NOT to love. The descriptions are
beautiful, the phraseology is crisp, and the friendship is sincere.

I just loved it. The intricacies of Shire life and Hobbit geneology is
too much for my simple brain - and drinking ale at the same time. I'm
surprised neither fell of that wall.

A peace-filled, lovely moment of renewed friendship and love.

Title: Dirty Jobs · Author: Pearl Took · Genres: Humor: Shire · ID: 232
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2008-11-27 04:07:56
There is a tendency in many fics to follow a fanon that portrays
Pippin as feckless and lazy. Pearl definitely plays against type here,
with a Pippin who is more like the Pippin of the books. This Pippin is
a polite youngster, who is definitely not afraid of hard work. He has
a deeply loving nature, and he takes pride in what he does.

This is a Pippin who will grow up to follow his cousin on a dangerous
Quest and when the going gets tough and he is asked how much he can
carry on his back gamely replies ["As much as we must"].

I'm very proud of this young Pippin, and of the author who chronicled
this particular adventure of his.

Most Excellently Well Done, Pearl.

Title: Took Broth · Author: Pearl Took · Genres: Humor: Shire · ID: 543
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2008-11-27 04:08:17
This is a quintessentially hobbity story: it's about food (nothing
more hobbity than food) and family and the still slightly insular
attitude even the best of hobbits can display when confronted with a
strange custom! I love Sam's efforts to avoid offending the Tooks, the
camradery of the wives, and Merry's amusement at Sam's discomfiture.

A very enjoyable little story!

Title: Untold Tales of the Mark: The Banishment of Éomer · Author:
Katzilla · Genres: Alternate Universe · ID: 206
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2008-11-27 05:29:19
I think one of the tell tale signs of a great tale is when it keeps
you up late into the night, night after night, to finish it. This tale
is that kind of a story. Though AU – it is so plausible that one has
to stop and remember exactly what the `real' story was.

The level of tension in every chapter is incredible. The characters
voices are defined and crisp. I never had a problem `knowing' who was
speaking. There is the sense that someone must come and `save the day'
but the horrors that Éomer and Rohan face seem insurmountable.

The scenery is used well. I had to laugh for I have been on Mount
Sunday in New Zealand and found out later that the author had been
there too. Easy to picture PJ's idea of Edoras – but it seemed very
close to what Tolkien `saw' too. The author uses this as another great
tool in her repertoire.

I think the thing that proved the most compelling to me – was the
conflict between Éomer (as told in the book when he is arrested) and
his uncle, his own men, and his people. Looked upon as a traitor, the
young man perseveres as his heart is torn asunder. Stunningly tragic
time for Rohan.

Even though AU – this is an incredible tale of courage and hope. And
again - most plausible.

IMHO – Ch 65 – was the best chapter – if you don't have time to read
the rest – at least read this!

Title: Lost Love · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 271
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2008-11-27 06:07:41
I loved these drabbles giving an insight into the lives of Faramir's
long ago ancestors. The Plantagenets had a similar mysterious
ancestress,only in their case a demon.I can understand the lure of the
sea proving too much for an Elf even with a loving and kindly
husband.I wish more was written about this fascinating tale which you
tell very poetically and well leaving the reader wanting more.

Title: Arvedui v. Pelendur · Author: Roh Wyn · Genres: Non-Fiction ·
ID: 277
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2008-11-27 06:10:26
A very interesting essay,thank you which I enjoyed reading very much
!As a big Aragorn fan, I always believed his claim both legal and
moral.Your point that Aragorn's claim succeeded as he was now the last
surviving heir of both Anarion and Isildur made excellent sense.

Title: The Price of Pity · Author: celticbard · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Steward's Family · ID: 373
Reviewer: Larner · 2008-11-27 07:37:47
A fascinating AU, a mixture of movie-and book-verse, in which Faramir
had brought another bride to Minas Tirith some years before the final
battles of the War of the Ring--an Elf from Lothlorien. She does not
love him, and he does not love her--or do they love one another in
spite of themselves.

But she was lost shortly after the gates of the White City were
destroyed by the great ram Grond, and Faramir found one he truly loved
among those who strengthened after suffering grievous wounds, there in
the Houses of Healing.

Now Eowyn faces the memory of Aniror, the female Elven warrior her
husband had reluctantly taken to wife, as well as the rejection of her
new stepson. How is the ghost of the Lady Aniror to be layed, and
shall she gain the trust of the child?

Well crafted, and excellent and effective pacing of the story as Eowyn
learns the history of her husband's first, tragic marriage.

Title: One Equal Temper of Heroic Hearts · Author: Gwynnyd · Genres:
Romance: Gondor · ID: 334
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2008-11-27 09:06:15
A sensual, mischievous vignette where Aragorn, on his eighty-fifth
wedding anniversary, desires Arwen more than ever. Well written, with
just the right amount of sexuality.

Title: The Road Trip · Author: Garnet Took · Times: Modern Times · ID: 410
Reviewer: Cathleen · 2008-11-27 14:04:35
This story is simply too, too funny, LOL! Especially Pippin - oh my,
talk about a side-busting good story - thanks Garnet!!

Title: Shelter From the Storm · Author: SlightlyTookish · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Friendship · ID: 315
Reviewer: Cathleen · 2008-11-27 14:09:08
I adore stories that feature Boromir and the hobbits, particularly
Pippin and Merry. SlightlyTookish's tale is a wonderful gapfiller
highlighting some of the man of Gondor's best moments with the hobbits
on Caradhras. His caring for them shines.

Title: A Hobbity Wizard · Author: Golden · Races: Hobbits: Childhood ·
ID: 596
Reviewer: Cathleen · 2008-11-27 14:13:49
A lovely, very hobbity romp with Gandalf and Pippin! Golden, in her
usual excellent storytelling brings a fine touch to this little tale.
For someone who writes so much angst, this writer really shines when
it comes to writing humour and fluff, and I wish she would do more of it!

Title: The Right to Bear Arms · Author: Pearl Took · Genres: Humor:
Elven Lands · ID: 653
Reviewer: Cathleen · 2008-11-27 14:21:44
Pearl Took has crafted a very lovely story here, and one that is so in
character. Boromir does not yet realise just what kind of people the
hobbits are and soon will find them to be full of surprises and
resourcefullness. Stories that feature Boromir interacting with the
hobbit, particularly Pippin and Merry, are among my favourites in the
fandom. Pearl does a marvelous job with them all in "The Right to Bear
Arms" and the man of Gondor learns that even the smallest person can
indeed make a huge difference. Pippin at his hobbity best here as he
spars with the big man!

Title: An Ordinary Woman · Author: Dawn Felagund · Times: First Age
and Prior: House of Finwe · ID: 32
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2008-11-27 14:22:04
Luthien as an ordinary woman or maybe not so ordinary. At least she
doesn't fall for her own legends. This whole tale takes the glamor out
of the legends. When describing the table manners of Thingol compared
to Finrod's, the king comes away as pretty ordinary himself. No wonder
that Luthien is quite ordinary. And the enchanted girdle of Melian...
I had to laugh at that.

Title: Chance Encounter · Author: przed · Races: Men: Steward's Family
· ID: 5
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2008-11-27 14:26:11
On his way home from Dol Amroth, Boromir runs into some trouble. I can
imagine Boromir pulling this stunt as a young man. Luckily for him, he
gets some help. I like the way Boromir as a young man is described
here, inexperienced and rash, but already a great warrior with
glimpses of the Boromir we will get to know later. I loved his pledge
to Estel. Little does he know what the future holds.

Title: Hope comes for Estel · Author: stefaniab · Genres: Drama:
Featuring Aragorn · ID: 622
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2008-11-27 14:30:30
This story about Aragorn's first meeting with Faramir after Faramir is
back on his feet shows the dance the two men do to get to know each
other without giving too much away, without showing weakness, but
still trying to gage the character of the other. How much is Faramir
like his brother and father? Is Aragorn really worthy to be King?

I like Aragorn's musings about what he is to do about a kingdom in
peace as he knows only warfare and his observations about the
differences between the Northern Dunedain and their southern counterparts.

Title: A Time to Hope · Author: PipMer · Races: Hobbits: Incomplete ·
ID: 302
Reviewer: Cathleen · 2008-11-27 14:31:01
Pipmer has created a lovely glimpse into the aftermath of the events
at the Black Gate. There has been so much death and destruction
already, and now Merry must wait to see the final outcome of the
recovery of each of his cousins and his friend. They have been through
much together, and the sense of hope that they will also overcome
their most recent trials is conveyed clearly. I love the care and
concern Merry shows for them, and most especially Pippin, and the way
Pippin returns that caring to his elder cousin. The love between these
characters is highly evident in this story and I find myself holding
my breath along with Merry as he waits to find out how events will
finally finish unfolding. Although I already know the outcome will be
a happy one, I can still feel the angst and the pain and suffering
each of them has endured, and cheer for them as they return to health
and find each other whole.

Title: Leather · Author: Marta · Genres: Romance: Other Fixed-Length
Ficlets · ID: 297
Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2008-11-27 15:22:18
In Marta's fascinating drabble series, "Leather", we see vignettes
from the lives of Boromir of Gondor and Theodred of Rohan, who are
lovers in this universe. Each drabble is a glimpse of the life of one
or both; two of them are coming-of-age stories, where one is losing
the innocence of childhood unexpectedly, and the other is gaining the
trappings of manhood. The contrasts between the sadness of Boromir and
the fondness of Theodred as they remember their childhoods is great.

I especially like the vivid and sensual details that make reading
these drabbles a treat for the senses. I could feel the giddiness and
abandon of the love each held for the the other in the rare moments
they could spend together. We know how each encounter sounds
(sometimes silent) and feels and looks, and I can easily imagine the
smell of the leather whose presence is a unifying theme through the
entire series.

These drabbles are rich and evocative, a feast for the reader's
senses. Very nicely done!

Title: Old Man Willow · Author: Nath · Races: Other Beings · ID: 314
Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2008-11-27 16:36:40
You know that proverb that comes from George Orwell's "Animal Farm":
[Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.]? There must be a
corollary for how power that is derived from absolute evil can affect
an already relatively evil creature.

Nath's highly original short story, "Old Man Willow", is a
spine-tingling Alternate Universe that explores the question of what
might happen if the eponymous character had done away with Frodo and
company and taken the One Ring. I've read several stories over the
years where "X takes the Ring", but I think this one left me more
unsettled and "creeped out" than any other.

Readers may start to get an ominous sort of feeling as soon as we read
[His soil was still rich enough that it didn't need fertilising.] If
that's how a tree thinks, I'm going to stop hugging them. Permanently!
*Barbara stares suspiciously at the redwood tree outside her window.*

The writing is very simple, as is appropriate for the point of view
character - but extremely powerful. And the protagonist's grand scheme
for conquering of Middle-earth, and then onwards from there, is
stunning in its scope, audacity, and utter maliciousness.

A truly original and creative idea... and very well done!

Title: A Treasured Piece of Cloth · Author: Golden · Races: Hobbits:
Family · ID: 600
Reviewer: Cathleen · 2008-11-27 17:11:44
Another very sweet and imaginative tale from Golden!

Title: Loss · Author: SurgicalSteel · Genres: Drama: Hurt/Comfort ·
ID: 196
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2008-11-27 17:52:19
This story is heartbreaking and made me teary-eyed. I knew about this
episode from the main story, but seeing it all written out makes it so
much more real. That midwife needs a dose of her own medicine.

The characters in this universe seem so real that it doesn't matter
that all of them are either OCs or just little mentioned characters in
LOTR. Lucky for Halbarad that he paid attention to the lectures his
wife gave to him and Thorongil. I love the medical detail in this story.