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Msg# 9591

MEFA Reviews for Saturday, November 29, 2008 (Part Four) Posted by annmarwalk November 29, 2008 - 20:37:28 Topic ID# 9591
Title: GOBLINS: The Herald's Summons · Author: Fiondil · Times: First
Age and Prior · ID: 53
Reviewer: rhyselle · 2008-11-29 06:26:20
One of my favorite interpretations of SILMARILLION canon characters is
Fiondil's Eonwe. Here we have him in his role as Captain of the Host
of Valinor at the end of the first day of battle in the War of Wrath.
His conversational partner is none other than Arafinwe, the King of
the Noldor in Aman, who is in Middle-earth for the very first time of
his long life.

The crux of the conversation is Arafinwe's distress at having killed
for the first time in his life, first an orc and then an Atan (or
mortal man). Fiondil addresses the myth of orcish origins without
having Eonwe actually state whether or not they had once been
Elvenkind, leaving the reader, as he has Arafinwe, to make their own
decision on whether to believe it or not. But it is the death of the
Man that is the cause of Arafinwe's worry—the worry that by killing
another Child of Ilúvatar, he has committed Kinslaying.

The Herald of Manwë reassures him, but that is followed up with an
exchange between the two that is a classic bit of Fiondil's inimitable
humor, when Arafinwe forgets his son-in-law's Sindarin name.

But the humor slides into a much more serious tone when Eonwe summons
Celeborn and Galadriel to the command tent, and reveals that the
Noldor will be allowed to return to Valinor once the War of Wrath is
over, but that she will not be allowed to come, by order of the Valar.

Celeborn shows his strength and compassion as Arafinwe must deal with
the incipient loss of his final living child when the war is over and
he must return to Aman.

Any story with Eonwe, in Fiondil's Valar-verse, it seems, must include
at least a mention of an oath, and here we get to see him in his role
as Oathkeeper once more. I find myself looking for the moments that
Eonwe's blue bound book appears whenever I read any of Fiondil's tales.

I thoroughly enjoyed the characterization and the way that this little
tale opens up a part of the SIL that I haven't seen dealt with much

Title: The Pillar Perished Is · Author: Imhiriel · Times: First Age
and Prior: House of Finwe · ID: 356
Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2008-11-29 06:39:50
Imhiriel's vignette, "The Pillar Perished Is", is about Feanor on a
stolen Teleri ship during the storm-tossed crossing to Middle-earth,
after the first Kinslaying.

To say that this ficlet is emotionally wrenching is an understatement.
The crossing is violent, with huge waves and tremendous wind and rain;
but Feanor's thoughts and emotions are no less storm-tossed.

His grief at the loss of his father, Finwe, is overwhelming. Imhiriel
uses the words of a poem as an organizing theme for Feanor's thoughts
and feelings, and the technique works very well in this context.

All in all, this is a emotionally powerful vignette. Very well done!

Title: King Stag · Author: Jael · Races: Elves: Mirkwood Elves · ID: 86
Reviewer: Ignoble Bard · 2008-11-29 07:00:27
Once upon a time, King Thranduil was a young man smitten by the wiles
of a strange and unusual Avari. What he was willing to go through to
win her is the heart of this story that gives us a glimpse into the
customs of a different group of Mirkwood Elves. Falling for the woman
is one thing, enduring a seemingly endless ritual of mushroom
hallucinogens and carved tattoos is the mark of a true gentleman, and
a true future king.

Thranduil is a fascinating, complex character in Jael's stories and in
this one we learn why he never sailed for Valinor and why he was so
determined to save his beloved Greenwood. This story has a depth and
humor rarely seen in fanfiction and the telling as a flashback of a
brooding and depressed Thranduil is a masterstroke. The contrast
between the rash, stubborn young Elf and the older king with the
weight of the world on his shoulders but the heart of that young man
still beating vibrantly beneath his troubled surface is beautifully
done. It is also a great prequel to another of this year's Jael
nominated stories: [Wayward Sons]

Jael writing about Thranduil. To that I say, "Is anything better? Tell
me it then."

Title: Parting Gifts · Author: Fiondil · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Post-Ring War · ID: 452
Reviewer: rhyselle · 2008-11-29 07:00:42
This is one of those stories that will make you smile even as you
weep. Fiondil's account of the final parting of Legolas and Gimli on
Tol Eressea is one of the loveliest I've read, and even after multiple
readings, I still have tears on my cheeks and a smile on my lips.

Gimli is concerned about leaving Legolas alone and friendless once he
is gone, and so has conspired with Olorin to make sure that his dear
friend will not fade away from grief.

His last hours are filled with gentle teasing, loving reunions with
old friends and new ones present. Galadriel, who can still make him
mumble and blush; Arafinwe; Ingwe, the High King, and Finrod are
there, as are Elrond and Celebrian. In the end, though, it is Legolas
who sings him to his rest, and Gimli falls into his final sleep at
peace with his long life.

The final scene—an epilogue, if you will—is very much a favorite of
mine of all of Fiondil's Mortals in Mandos tales.

May we all face our departure from Arda with the grace and dignity
that Gimli did.

Title: Call of the Wild · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Romance:
Drabbles · ID: 94
Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2008-11-29 07:11:18
Ann Marwalk's drabble, "Call of the Wild", is an aptly-named vignette
of a Gondorian maiden who sees a certain magnificently masculine
Rohirric lord in Minas Tirith, and decides on the spot that he will be

I love the wonderfully evocative language in this drabble: phrases
like [tawny hair and leonine grace] makes my heart go pitty-pat. ;-)

The point of view character, Morwen of Lossarnach, is decisive: she
will have this man as husband. The unspoken message is, "And no one
had better even try to get in my way!" One can't help but admire her
single-mindedness in pursuit of a (very!) worthy cause.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this drabble, not to mention its
companion piece, "Like Calls to Like". Beautifully done!

Title: FAULT: The Doctor Is In · Author: Fiondil · Genres: Humor:
Valar & Maiar · ID: 545
Reviewer: rhyselle · 2008-11-29 07:11:32
When Fiondil puts a beverage and food avoidance warning on a story, he
really means it!

This short fic manages to bring in a non Tolkien character that I
never would have thought of, and it works really well!

I've always thought that the Feanorean's were at least on the borders
of psychosis and needed help.

Well, here comes the help, in the person of Dr. Sigmund Freud, broken
English and all. The chaos of the session he holds with the brothers
Feanorian is spot on as are the personalities of each of the ellyn.

I laughed so hard my ribs ached. And I'm darn glad I'd obeyed the
beverage warning when, at the end of the session, the good doctor
turns his attention to Lord Namo! Otherwise I would have had to buy a
new laptop!

Very funny, and very well done!

Title: Wayward Sons · Author: Jael · Races: Elves · ID: 408
Reviewer: Ignoble Bard · 2008-11-29 07:23:11
[Wayward Sons] is another of Jael's stories I eagerly anticipated and
one that did not disappoint. On the verge of fading, Thranduil
receives word of strangers entering the Greenwood. He rides out to
discover the party is group of Elves from his past, but even when we
discover their identities and purpose, the biggest surprise is yet to

I will not give more away at this point, but anyone who has been
following Jael's Mirkwood stories needs to read this one. It's a
lovely continuation of the character study began in [King Stag] and
gives us a Thranduil as spiritually dark as we are ever likely to see
him. Jael writes Thranduil's despair palpably and his joy at the
reunion with the returning Elves equally so. Thanks to Jael's vivid
descriptions, the reader is able to share in Thranduil's joys and
sorrows as well. Another great addition to the Jaeliverse.

Title: An Autumn Fair in Halabor · Author: Soledad · Times: Mid Third
Age · ID: 165
Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2008-11-29 07:50:40
Soledad's fine story, "An Autumn Fair in Halabor", covers a period of
days in a Gondorian town of her imagining, filled with distinct and
fascinating original characters, during a time of festival when Gildor
Inglorion and his wandering company of Elves visit.

We get a glimpse of the daily lives and loves of many different
families, all involved in some sort of crafts or trade or otherwise
seeking to earn a living. Their stories are interwoven in realistic
and fascinating ways.

I really enjoy all the fine details, the complexity of the
interrelationships and interactions between the characters; each is
uniquely drawn, both the good and the bad. Halabor appears to be
loosely based upon medieval history, and I enjoyed seeing how things
are done "in the old ways".

This is a fascinating and complex story that I read with pleasure.
Nicely done!

Title: With Hope and Without Hope · Author: docmon · Genres:
Adventure: Incomplete · ID: 466
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2008-11-29 08:01:45
Certainly there have been other authors who tried to tackle the
question of what would happen if the Three Hunters had been captured
alongside Merry and Pippin. And there have been a number of stories
built around this theme with varying degrees of success. But what sets
this story apart is that it finds a single turning point and then
shoots off into AU territory while always keeping in mind the canon
story that it parallels. This story is earned. Nothing is taken for
granted, and those events that would affect canon also affect the AU.

The action is also brilliantly related. There are some harrowing chase
sequences and some riveting dialog passages that are as much action as
any battle scene. Particularly after Saruman enters, the verbal
exchanges take on something resembling swordplay. And the drama that
ensues is gripping and dark. The narrative thrills readers both with
what it reveals and what it does not reveal. Sometimes the things that
are left unsaid are the things that really come back to haunt.

Finally, I have to give this story full props for some brilliant
descriptive prowess. The interior of Orthanc comes to mind as a good
example, and you can just see the shadows receding upwards in the
central room. Full and nuanced tale! Well worth the time to read!

Title: To See A World · Author: Nightwing · Genres: Adventure:
Incomplete · ID: 330
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2008-11-29 08:03:25
This story was recommend to me when it had about five chapters. I was
hooked from chapter 1 and I have avidly followed it ever since. The
thing that constantly blows me away every time I read is the intensity
of the emotions and the drama. There are no shortcuts here. Nightwing
makes each word count, and the emotional roller coaster is authentic
and real. The readers feel what the characters feel.

But perhaps even more impressive than her grasp on the ability to tug
at readers' heartstrings is Nightwing's ability to describe a room or
a situation without relying on one of the character's primary senses.
And she does it so subtly that at first, it's difficult to pinpoint
what's going on. As Legolas slowly recovers, there's a sense that
something is wrong. Something is not as it should be. But it's hard to
get a feel for what that something is, because Nightwing more than
compensates with touch and sound and smell. By the time readers
realize that they've just experienced the narration of an entire scene
without the benefit of sight, they're just as shocked as Legolas to
realize that the sun is shining outside.

But of course the story doesn't end there, because Nightwing also
crafts a complex plot involving the local town. Fantastic OC
characterization abounds, as well as some very astute characterization
of a pair of struggling canon heroes. All in all, this is a dynamic,
fast-paced tale that pushes all the right boundaries and reminds us at
every turn what it means to ["see a world"].

Title: Tarnished Ivory · Author: Yavie Feels Pretty · Genres:
Adventure: Incomplete · ID: 464
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2008-11-29 08:04:03
A great start to what looks like a promising AU! I like how attention
is paid to each member of the Fellowship, giving the story a very
ensemble feel. It's as though an epic is in the making, though there's
currently only a couple of chapters available. The stage is set well,
and you can see the thin edge of the knife that the Fellowships walks
and how easy it is to take a step one way or the other. I'm anxious to
see more.

Title: The Wanderer · Author: Lackwit · Genres: Adventure: Incomplete
· ID: 627
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2008-11-29 08:05:55
I really like the Odyssey and to see some of its storylines coming
into play as Faramir returns from Harad was a treat! The political
scene in both Harad and Gondor is as complex and difficult as what
might be found in any Greek epic, and Beregond as the loyal companion
is perfectly cast. I love the dark hints given as to what might be
happening, and the betrayal that Faramir reveals in explanation for
his long absence is dark and sinister. The story feels like it's a
mystery unfolding at a brilliant pace that pulls you insistently along
but never rushes you. It allows you time to absorb each new tidbit of
information, which gives you the impression that you might be able to
unravel the truth of what is happening. As well as what Faramir might
intend to do about it.

Characterization is also something of a marvel. Beregond is superb,
but Faramir is absolutely spectacular. You can see the wear of a long
journey, but you can also see the sharp-witted Steward beneath it. But
perhaps the real power of characterization lies in the grim hints and
speculation regarding the canon individuals that have not yet come
into play. Eowyn is portrayed as something of an enigma, which fits
her well enough anyway but her actions here are difficult to fathom.
Aragorn and Arwen, too, are mysteries, and in the meantime, rumors run
rampant. Very powerful beginning to an enthralling ride.

Title: Eagle of the Star · Author: Neoinean · Genres: Adventure:
Incomplete · ID: 327
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2008-11-29 08:07:54
Beautifully drawn, this story is an amazingly thorough examination of
Aragorn's years in Rohan. And, I imagine, eventually his years in the
service of Gondor, though the story doesn't stretch quite that far
yet. This story boasts a brilliant mix of characters, action, drama,
angst, and some very astute healing scenes. The glimpses of Rivendell
and Arwen give the story a broad feel without detracting from its true
focus, which is Thorongil. I love how this is a learning experience
both for Aragorn and for all around him. Everyone seems to be growing
together, which is so hard to do as a writer. For a character to grow,
it means they can't come into the story at their peak. They need to
struggle through weaknesses, and balancing those weaknesses against
the seeds of greatness that they contain is a difficult thing to
accomplish. Neoinean seems to have pulled it off seamlessly, though,
and the complexity of the plot and action lend to a very real, very
visceral, and very plausible journey for both Thorongil and readers.
The elves are full and complete characters, the Rohirrim boast a rich
and vibrant culture, and in the midst of it all, Aragorn starts the
long road to destiny. Engrossing WIP!

Title: The Web of Darkness · Author: Soledad · Genres: Adventure:
Incomplete · ID: 101
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2008-11-29 08:08:57
Oh, this is simply fantastic! First of all, what a great plot by the
Witch-king. I love the idea of bringing a drow to Middle-earth in
order to wreck havoc on Mirkwood. Superb appearances and insights from
Khamul abound, too, which makes me even happier. But then I just
laughed when I saw which drow got pulled over into Tolkien's canon. Of
all the drow they could pick, they just had to pick Drizzt!

The first meeting between Drizzt and Mirkwood Elf was brilliantly
depicted. You could feel the tension and the uncertainty, and I love
the mental acrobatics of the entire Mirkwood gang as they try to
figure out just where this strange elf came from. The emergence of
culture clash between Sindar and Silvan elves was also a great
addition, and one that Drizzt could certainly appreciate. But even
more than all that, I loved the dwarves and Drizzt's interaction with
them. His own memories from the Forgotten Realms series served as good
bridge for crafting friendships. Fun stuff, all around.

And then there's the action. Wow. Action sequences are always
difficult to pull off, but Soledad seems to have no trouble painting
rich and engrossing battles. A wonderful tale and an amazing blending
of two different worlds. Very well done!

Title: Moon of the Sea · Author: pandemonium_213 · Times: Second and
Early Third Age · ID: 213
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2008-11-29 08:10:02
I really enjoyed this snapshot approach to Elendil's wife, who gets a
name in this story! I love how both she and Elendil are clearly tied
to the sea. It infuses everything they do and every place they walk.
Even childbirth is endured by remembering the long waves. It gives
these snapshots a tie that binds them together outside of the
characters, which makes the story feel fluid and smooth even as it
jumps through Isilme's life.

I was also impressed by how much growth the characters went through.
You see the child Isilme, and you see some of the qualities that will
be present when she is an adult, though they're not quite fully
developed yet. I was also touched by the images of Elendil as a father
and his devotion to family. I can just imagine that devotion turning
to country and kingdom during the Last Alliance.

Title: The Last Messenger: A Tale of Numenor · Author: Fiondil ·
Times: Second and Early Third Age · ID: 8
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2008-11-29 08:11:23
Wonderful story! Lots of action, plenty of suspense, and some
fascinating culture exchanges on the part of Laurendil and the
Elendili. The strength of the characters is in turn one of the
greatest strengths of the story. These are full, complete characters
brought to life with brilliant dialog and surprising insights. The
historical background for the order lent even more detail to the
characters, and the political climate of Numenor was present in nearly
every action. These are desperate people living dangerous lives, and
that fact was never forgotten, even amidst the humor.

One of the other great things about this story is just how well it's
put together. The search for Fiondil was a theme from the very
beginning, though they didn't rescue him until over halfway through
the story. Finding Eanur was a great surprise, especially since
Laurendil's grief at his passing had been a very real and profound
thing several chapters earlier. It was interesting to see his
reaction, particularly given his relationship to the Valar. Boromir's
sacrifice was heart-breaking, and his foretelling of Numenor's fall
was another blow. Wonderful story filled with both hope and grief!

Title: Faithful · Author: Dwimordene · Times: Second and Early Third
Age · ID: 105
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2008-11-29 08:12:33
What a twisted political tangle Amrazar finds for himself! And for all
of Belfalas. I've haven't seen many stories detailing the time around
the kin-strife, but this seems to boil down through all the politics
and hit the heart of the matter. The conflict is clearly narrated, and
Amrazar's dilemma is compelling. I love the imagery of the swan and
the metaphor Amrazar draws from it. I also loved the opening imagery
of a growing storm off the coast and the idea that Dol Amroth has
always been a place where people can find shelter from that storm.
These narrations of the environment create some powerful symbolism for
the turmoil currently affecting Gondor.

I also enjoyed the second section and Castamir's eagerness as he opens
Amrazar's response. His ambition is clear, and it seems as though he
never doubted the reply. Great characterization all around and
excellent look at a piece of Gondor's history that could probably due
with more scrutiny from the fandom.

Title: Nightfall · Author: Jael · Times: Second and Early Third Age ·
ID: 87
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2008-11-29 08:14:37
Wow! Amazing story. Huge and epic and so very aware of its time and
place and the characters that infuse it. Thranduil is perfect. He is
every inch the woodland king, even though Galion keeps thinking of him
as Prince. The gamble he took was a dangerous one, and I love the idea
that Thranduil himself insists on taking part in the venture. Given
all that has happened and all that the elves have had to endure, I can
only imagine how distasteful it must be to dress in the garb of orcs.
And to add insult to injury, I love the verbal exchange between
Thranduil and Erestor, who makes a compelling cameo that beautifully
illustrates that tension that infused the Last Alliance. Thranduil's
response was a fantastic stroke of characterization, and I dearly
loved the follow-up when all was said and done. Even though Erestor is
forgiven, Thranduil's still going to get in the final strike.

Speaking of striking, the battle sequence in this story is brilliant.
The scope is huge, but even in its massive size, it is easy to
visualize. Jael does a superb job of narrating an enormous undertaking
and boiling it down so that the reader can follow the action of both
Thranduil's group and everyone else. I especially loved the
involvement of the dwarves, and I loved even more the side note that
Thranduil considers them ["doughty warriors"], even if he says it with
an odd look. I can only imagine the memories that such a remark had to

Finally, there is the ending, in which Thranduil mourns a father while
Galion mourns a son. For all its epic scope, this story finds profound
meaning in a quiet, simple closing scene. All in all, wonderfully
drawn, powerfully narrated, and beautifully concluded. Thank you for
such a remarkable story, Jael!

Title: A Perfect Impression · Author: weepingnaiad · Times: Second and
Early Third Age · ID: 494
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2008-11-29 08:15:35
What a touching family scene! The power of the writing is such that
the emotions are crystal clear and easily emulated by readers. The
complication that Thranduil and Saervain were a political match rather
than one made from love added an interesting sidenote, and the
resolution of that conflict made the scene even more nuanced. Very

Title: U elyë, Ar-Pharazôn · Author: Elitihien · Times: Second and
Early Third Age · ID: 486
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2008-11-29 08:15:47
Powerful little piece! The despair and condemnation ring out as
Tar-Miriel watches Numenor sink. There are quite a few pieces that
depict these last moments as Elendil escapes and the Queen sinks
beneath the waves, but this is one of the most compelling I've ever
seen. She faces her death and regards it as both a gift and a doom,
but she never seems to shrink from it. And there she passes her
husband (and most of the rest of Numennor) in accepting what she is
and what her fate will be. The narrative details depicting the sea are
excellent, and it isn't hard to get a mental picture of what is
happening. Beautiful story!

Title: Whatever Harm Encroached · Author: Nieriel Raina · Times:
Second and Early Third Age · ID: 708
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2008-11-29 08:16:39
The imagery in this story is truly remarkable. Readers can feel the
cold winter seeping into their bones, and as this hunter hunts,
readers crouch along with him, watching the deer come to life as
though they were truly there. Even afterwards, as the identity of
these characters are revealed and the story becomes a little more
distant, the narrative still manages to paint a vivid and compelling
picture. The small detail of Legolas rubbing his hands together even
though he is safely within the elven stronghold gives readers a sense
of just how cold it is and how the elves have been pushed to the point
where everyone is now a hunter. Of course, the true star in this story
is Thranduil, who is wonderfully realized and definitely proves the
claim made by Bilbo that he was the greatest of Greenwood's kings.
Lovely story and excellent depiction of life in Mirkwood during the
Long Winter.

Title: The Strength of Men · Author: Savageseraph · Times: Second and
Early Third Age · ID: 584
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2008-11-29 08:17:12
Dark and fascinating. The tension between Elrond and Isildur is
palpable, and I love that both are able to offer up arguments that
feel, for the most part, sound and logical. Isildur's are, of course,
tainted, but there's enough truth and feeling behind them that you can
see this is truly how he feels and how he thinks. That's the other
thing that is so compelling about this little story: You can see the
beginnings of the Ring's influence. It doesn't have complete hold. Not
yet. But it's definitely started to work on Isildur. Great little
snapshot into the end (literally) of the Last Alliance.

Title: Long Memories · Author: Bodkin · Times: Second and Early Third
Age · ID: 310
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2008-11-29 08:18:20
The tension between Willing and Unwilling has always been something of
a fascination for me, and when you add into that the tension that
always seems to rise up whenever Feanor's sons (or grandson) get
involved, it's like a political gold mine. And there are a lot of
stories that explore these tensions, but I think this particular story
might be among the best because it doesn't necessarily focus on the
big picture. It's certainly aware of the big picture, but the crux of
the story is carried by just a few individuals who have let their
emotions and prejudices run away with their common sense. It examines
the clash of culture on a microcosm, which allows the reader to see
exactly how this drama played out for the average elf. The mentions of
Gil-galad, Finarfin, Celeborn, and Galadriel gave the story a broad
feel as though it were encompassing all the elves, and the appearance
of Celebrimbor firmly anchored the presence of the Feanor gang. But
the story never moved from its true focus, which is what makes it so
powerful. But perhaps best of all, no one in this tale is completely
right or wrong. Bodkin doesn't play favorites. All sides of the coin
are told, and each side is given equal voice. Fascinating story!

Title: Wizards' Pupils · Author: Altariel · Races: Men: Minas Tirith ·
ID: 108
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2008-11-29 08:25:39
Delightful - I love your Faramir. And, come to that, his family. A
most pleasurable read.

Title: Star-songs of the Eorlingas · Author: Tanaqui · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 291
Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2008-11-29 08:27:10
Tanaqui's extraordinary drabble series, "Star-songs of the Eorlingas",
was written for my birthday, and I confess that every time I try to
describe my delight in these vignettes, I become tongue-tied. I am
afraid I don't have the words to praise it as highly as it deserves.

The Rohirrim seem to be a bardic culture; songs and stories were
recounted around the fire and passed along through countless
generations. And they [love best the plains], rather than large
cities, where a horizon-to-horizon sweep of the nightly procession of
sparkling sky-travellers can be appreciated in their full glory.

The fine companion series to this one, "Heaven's Embroidered Cloths",
covers Gondorian legends of the origins of the constellations, as
related by Faramir; this series depicts Eowyn's equivalent Rohirric
myths... which are truly distinctive, and have a decidedly Rohirric
flavor to them.

The language is truly exquisite, and captures the rhythm,
alliteration, and vivid imagery of the Rohirrim brilliantly. For
example, the first drabble is actually a poem called "The Hunter",
about Bema (Orome), and this is an excerpt: [From far-flung lands he
brought the fathers of the foals grazing our grass.] The enticingly
Rohirric flavor sparkles.

The legends that Eowyn relates are about the same constellations as in
the Gondorian series, but are uniquely suited to the Rohirrim
perspective; for example, one of the constellations is called the
Mearh, and another is the Horsefly.

I especially loved the glimpses of canon sprinkled throughout. For
example, the Hunter will not hunt the Boar until the foes of Rohan
have been felled, which is an echo of the story of the "real-life"
King Folca from the Appendices. But the bits that Tanaqui imagined
herself are also fascinating. For example, Bema wields the Eagles as
one would in falconry, to attack creatures of darkness.

This is truly a brilliant series, with vivid imagery and lilting
language. I am humbled to have been thought worthy of such an
exquisite gift.