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Msg# 9595

MEFA Reviews for Sunday, November 30, 2008 (Morning Set, Part Four) Posted by annmarwalk November 30, 2008 - 5:54:06 Topic ID# 9595
Title: Moon Over Water · Author: Avon · Genres: Drama: Final Partings
· ID: 518
Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2008-11-29 17:21:33
Avon's short story, "Moon over Water", is about a tradition that
Boromir shared with Faramir when they were young, and that Faramir is
continuing... but he thinks it will be the last time.

It involves going to the Anduin and watching the dead float by on
ghostly boats on a particular full moon during the year. Boromir had
lost his taste for watching the procession after his first blooding as
a soldier, but Faramir continued to make the pilgrimage.

What I like about this story is the lyrical language that so vividly
describes the scene. Also, there is a melancholy sense that the
procession is becoming smaller each year, either through Gondor's
fading, or perhaps because the magic is dissipating from the
increasingly grim lives of those surviving under the shadow of Mordor.

But the story ends on a pleasingly hopeful note.

I really enjoyed reading this. Very well done!

Title: Expert Treasure Hunter · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Villains:
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 447
Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2008-11-29 17:29:55
Oh, I so enjoy reading Tanaqui's "Expert Treasure Hunter"! In it, she
suggests that Smaug the Golden sought out all the gems and treasure in
the Lonely Mountain by tasting it, as sensitively as any epicurean.
Then Smaug uses the most practical of means to extract the treasure
that is out of reach -- he fires up the walls, then smashes them with
this tail -- so he can add the treasure to his pile and savor it forever.

The language is evocative, and I can't help but get a chuckle out of
the premise. And I can so relate to finely-tuned tastes, though I
prefer to use mine to discern high-quality chocolate or cinnamon,
rather than rocks... no matter how sparkly!

Very nicely done!

Title: Somewhere I Have Never Traveled · Author: Fiondil · Times:
Fourth Age and Beyond · ID: 578
Reviewer: rhyselle · 2008-11-29 17:32:49
This tale was a beautiful as it could possibly be. The thought of
Eowyn being there to await Arwen was so sweet and
compassionate--bringing out the side of the White Lady of Rohan that a
lot of fanfic writers often elide when they write about the
shieldmaiden. I like it that Arwen was angry--and proud--she is often
written as so perfect that I can't stand it. This was a lovely difference.

[She never liked my roses either.] LOL! What a great line! The tying
of the past to the present in Arwen's similiarities to her ancestress
was another thing that caught my attention. Namo and Eowyn... I like
to think about the conversations they must have had from time to time
as Eowyn waited for Arwen.

And it was so good to see Frodo and Sam again. I do hope that your
muse will tell you the story of Gimli's farewell eventually. Frodo had
a good point when he said that Lord Namo joining the picnic on the
shore would help the grieving elves come to terms with their loss and
be able to move on.

It's a masterpiece that makes me smile and think at the same time.
Thank you!

Title: The Ring That Sauron Forged · Author: Larner · Genres: Poetry:
Hobbits · ID: 645
Reviewer: pandemonium_213 · 2008-11-29 17:34:42
A catchy set of verses here. Larner's [The Ring That Sauron Forged]
nearly reflects the tradition brought forth by Tolkien himself when
Frodo sings the familiar Man in the Moon song at the Prancing Pony. I
agree with Imhiriel that it is most effective to read this aloud, and
I'd like to imagine this in sing-song among children learning their
lore in Minas Tirith or the Shire.

Title: Refuge · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races: Elves: Noldor
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 423
Reviewer: Angelica · 2008-11-29 17:36:04
The unlikely story of Maglor fostering Elrond and Elros has always
seemed to me a link between the First and the Third Ages and this
ficlet reflects on this connection: how the aftermath of the sack of
the Havens of Sirion and the foundation of Rivendell were based on the
same basic principle of offering protection and refuge to those in
need . Elrond learnt from early on the need for a haven of peace and
comfort in difficult times and he reproduces the kindness and mercy
that he and his brother had been shown despite all the circumstances.
A reflection on childhood memories - the language and point of view of
a small child are very suitable to the story - and their long term

Title: Five Fires · Author: Elleth · Races: Elves: House of Finwe ·
ID: 736
Reviewer: Angelica · 2008-11-29 17:36:58
The competition for the saddest character in [The Silmarillion] is a
tough one. The author here follows the [Shibboleth of Feanor]'s turn
of events and advances the nomination of the Ambarussa for that honor.
In this collection of very short pieces, they are far from being a
pointy eared version of the Weasley twins and achieve a truly tragic
stature. Fire and water seem to be ever present in their lives and the
apparently random events that the author chooses paint a full picture
of the youngest Feanorians

Title: Wave-Singer · Author: Branwyn (Lady Branwyn) · Genres:
Alternate Universe: Drabbles · ID: 33
Reviewer: Angelica · 2008-11-29 17:37:34
Despite the passing of time (millenia) and the change of continent
Maglor has retained his skill to move his listeners even if they
cannot begin to imagine who they have met. Who among Silmarillion
readers, Feanorian lovers hasn't at some time hoped to run into Maglor
singing by the sea? We may still hope.

Title: PROPHECY: Changing the Future · Author: Fiondil · Genres: Humor
· ID: 11
Reviewer: rhyselle · 2008-11-29 17:44:02
This is a great addition to the humorous events that occur when
Fiondil's Valar and the Children of Iluvatar interact.

On the eve of the day that Elros takes the Edain to the Isle of
Numenor, a couple of mortals have an issue with the prophesy about
what happens to elves and men when Arda will be renewed, and take it
upon themselves to change the record.

Lord Namo is properly miffed over it, but gets his own back by coming
up with a third version he won't share with anyone, but Eru has the
final word, it seems.

Fiondil's deft hand with humor is a great way to try to reconcile the
different versions of the end of days prophesy that Tolkien came up with.

Title: Star's End · Author: Keiliss · Races: Elves: House of Elrond ·
ID: 283
Reviewer: Dawn Felagund · 2008-11-29 17:54:58
The fate of the Elves--particularly those of Elrond's house who were
given a choice between mortality and life unending--is understandably
one of the most evocative aspects of Tolkien's stories. But few
authors can truly capture the difficulty of this choice and the slow
despair that comes with it.

Keiliss does a marvellous job of showing how the world has changed
without the Elves and for those who remain. Maglor comes out of
legend, not exactly as those legends have told but with a patient
acceptance of his fate and an understanding of compassion that belies
his bad reputation. Arwen is amazingly written: her grief tastefully
and honestly portrayed; I had tears in my eyes more often than not as
I read this story. But, for me, what was saddest (and loveliest) about
this story was the way the *world* has changed without the Elves: the
way that the trees miss them, the deterioration of havens like Lorien
without their presence. This is beautifully depicted with a touch of
the memory of the beauty that was lingering still, as Arwen describes
the Lorien of her childhood to Maglor.

Perhaps my favorite scene, though, was as Maglor sat and played music
to the wood. Not only did this scene feel "Elven" to me, showing their
innate sensitivity to perceptions beyond our reach as mortals, but it
was brilliantly written, the work of a skilled writer.

A simply amazing story; highly recommended.

Title: The Apprentice · Author: pandemonium_213 · Races: Villains · ID: 52
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2008-11-29 17:59:06
As fanfic writer and reader both, I have assiduously avoided the
character of Sauron. It seemed impossible to the point of foolishness
to try to meddle with the mystery of the unknown that Tolkien wove
around the Dark Lord in the story that bears his name. To personify
it—describe it—render it more, what, human?—seemed to risk destroying
its very effectiveness.

Until I read pandemonium's "The Apprentice." Now I cannot imagine the
Dark Lord any other way. Pandemonium by some stretch of brilliant
imagination, fertilized by a wicked knowledge of the ways of
scientists, keeps the eeee-VILLE, indeed enhances it, while
constructing a personage that, trembling, we can imagine having a
conversation with. Egad, how does she do it? Very few, even among the
greatest writers I have read, can draw a villain simultaneously
terrifying and sympathetic. George Lucas really ought to have hired
pandemonium as a screenwriter before he attempted his ludicrous
explanation of how Annikin Skywalker turned into Darth Vader.

What else do you need to know to get off your butt and read this
story? It's about Celebrimbor. It's about the forging of the Rings.
It's about Elvish arts and women leaders. So read it, already!

Forever will I hear the words: "you're hopeless, Samaril, hopeless...."

Title: Answering the Call · Author: docmon · Genres: Drama · ID: 340
Reviewer: PipMer · 2008-11-29 18:04:53
Such realistic scenarios for every Fellowship member in how they might
become seduced by the Ring. Very well done, I enjoyed it very much.

I especially liked Legolas, Gimli and Pippin, in that all hope is not
lost, but redemption and/or success is still possible. That seems very
true to their characters, as opposed to the others.

Title: The Road Trip · Author: Garnet Took · Times: Modern Times · ID: 410
Reviewer: PipMer · 2008-11-29 18:05:45
This is hysterical! Leave it to Pippin to turn what should have been a
pleasant trip into a nightmare.

Well done!

Title: The Water's Song · Author: Nieriel Raina · Races: Elves: Family
· ID: 707
Reviewer: Dawn Felagund · 2008-11-29 18:09:44
What a bittersweet story, a reminder of how often the choices of the
Elves come with difficulty and great loss no matter what the decision.
Thranduil's acceptance of his son's fate is all the sadder knowing
Legolas's choice in the Fourth Age. I like how NiRi ties this into the
events of the Third Age as well, and that it ended on a lighter note
was the perfect touch!

Title: Legolas in Mandos · Author: Fiondil · Genres: Drama: Featuring
Aragorn · ID: 317
Reviewer: rhyselle · 2008-11-29 18:20:46
The whole idea of Aragorn having the audacity to charge into Mandos
and demand his elf back grabbed me from the get go. The first part of
the story is a wonderful interaction between the Lord of Mandos and
the Elessar, the latter having challenged Namo to bring his friend
Legolas back to life after a very sudden—and quite embarrassing—manner
of dying. It's in Aragorn's POV so we don't actually see inside of
Námo's head, but it works well. Namo agrees to Aragorn's demand, after
getting permission from the higher ups (Manwe and Eru, too, one
assumes), chooses a chess game as the manner of battle. Aragorn gets
white, Namo gets black, and the fëa of Legolas actually moves the
pieces on the board. It's pretty clear that Namo is going to release
Legolas, even if he makes Aragorn play hard for the outcome—including
telling Aragorn that he can't talk to Legolas or he forfeits not only
his friend's life, but his own, but the tension is strong throughout
until the denoument.

Of course the game is rigged—and Aragorn does win. However it's not an
instant recovery for our favorite Mirkwood elf and it requires the
intervention of an "in the nick of time" arrival of
Glorfindel—appropriately garbed in red with a holly wreath on his
brow—to bring him back to life, to the joy of Aragorn.

Seeing the second half of the story from inside Legolas' head was a
nice counterpoint to the first half. He has lost much of his memory,
but unlike the Reborn in Mandos who gradually regain most of their
memories prior to remembering their Judgments, Legolas must remember
his judgment in order to recall everything else. In particular, one
bit really stuck with me and I'm still trying to figure out if the
episode of his life as seen in Judgment is something that Fiondil has
already written about: [He thought he started weeping at one point and
even struggled out of Námo's hold when a particularly vicious memory
concerning betrayal and loss reared it's ugly head and he found
himself cowering against the throne, clutching at Namo's feet as if to
an anchor. Námo said nothing, merely reaching down and placing a hand
gently on the elf's head, lending him his strength to get through this
worst memory, a memory Legolas had studiously forgotten for several

That certainly has me very curious... but I won't demand a story
pertaining to that incident--at least not now. *grin*

I really love how Fiondil has so many different things in his tales
that hint at other things in the lives lived by the characters, such
as this memory, and Legolas remembering that he had once been in love
with Arwen, but she chose Aragorn. (And that's another story waiting
to be told!)

This is a terrific and wonderful addition to your tales of the members
of the Fellowship and Lord Namo.

Title: FAULT: The Doctor Is In · Author: Fiondil · Genres: Humor:
Valar & Maiar · ID: 545
Reviewer: Dawn Felagund · 2008-11-29 18:21:24
["It amazes me that such a dysfunctional family ever survived long
enough to get themselves killed the way they did."] This is my
favorite line of this story--how true! (Though I'd be inclined to
apply it broader to the entire House of Finwe rather than just the
Feanorians!) A delightful and humorous story!

Title: MAGIC: The Password · Author: Fiondil · Genres: Humor: Elven
Lands · ID: 451
Reviewer: rhyselle · 2008-11-29 18:24:50
The perils of modern technology! As someone who has forgotten
passwords more times than I care to admit to, this really stuck a
chord with me even as I laughed my head off. Poor Thranduil! I hope
that Radagast gave him the means to change the darn password to
something a bit less difficult!

The beverage warning is absolutely necessary to preserve your keyboard
or laptop. It really is!

The punch line was just perfect!

Title: WAR: A Promise Before Dying · Author: Fiondil · Times:
Multi-Age · ID: 55
Reviewer: rhyselle · 2008-11-29 18:28:16
This story just made me smile. Fiondil tied together the second and
fourth ages wonderfully with this story.

For all that we know from canon about Gil-galad is contained in just a
few lines with nothing of his actual character, Fiondil brings him to
life as a fully formed person who I'm glad to "meet" and identify with.

I get the impression that he is somewhat ashamed of the way he feels
when he finds out that Elrond had been unable to get Isildur to cast
the Ring into the fires of Mt. Doom--after all the work and terror and
death, to find that it seemed in vain and the evil one had been
battling was still alive and growing in power must have been awful for
him. To feel disappointment is a normal emotion, but it is hard to
deal with feeling disappointment in a person one loves--and it's very
easy to feel guilty about it.

I did laugh about the arm-wrestling comment in regards to "I get to
kill him first" with Celebrian and Finrod. But the very best part was
"Well, it certainly took you long enough" when Elrond, who also
probably agonized over not being able to keep the promise realized
that he was forgiven.

And saying hello to Olorin once more--even if he didn't look the same
as when the Maia had bid Ereinion farewell--that's a hug I'd like to
experience myself! :)

Well done!

Title: WAR: A Promise Before Dying · Author: Fiondil · Times:
Multi-Age · ID: 55
Reviewer: Radbooks · 2008-11-29 18:33:41
A favorite story of mine because it features Gil-galad - one of my
very favorite elves. I like seeing him at different stages here - just
as he dies (although that is a little tough!), as he is newly reborn
and somewhat confused about things, and then as a fully restored elf -
if that is the way to say it! It would be so disappointing to think
that your death had been in vain and that one who you counted on had,
apparently, let you down. Gil-galad was fortunate to be surrounded by
many others who could give him wise counsel on the matter. I enjoyed
the interaction between Gil-galad, Celebrian and Finrod and then his
surprise when he met the hobbits. Very nicely done and a story I think
others will truly enjoy as well.

Title: Early Winter at Himring Hill · Author: Oshun · Genres: Romance:
Elven Lands · ID: 79
Reviewer: Jael · 2008-11-29 18:35:34
You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing in
this charming addition to this author's cycle of Fingon and Maedhros.
The descriptions are beautifully done, evoking the feel of winter in

Let it snow! Thank you, Oshun!

Title: NIGHT and FOREST: A Glimpse of Beauty · Author: Fiondil ·
Times: First Age and Prior · ID: 554
Reviewer: rhyselle · 2008-11-29 18:35:45
I admit that I've not really paid a lot of attention to the Beren and
Luthien based fics out there, until Fiondil took up the challenge. I
think I like this so very much because is deals in exquisite detail
with a part of Beren's life that few writers dare to address--the dark
times before he found his Tinuviel.

The descriptions of Beren's journey and suffering are painfully sharp,
but because of that, we, too, are enchanted when he catches his first
glimpse of Luthien.

For the first time, this epic love story felt real instead of just a
mythic lay. Well done!

Title: A Fair Trial · Author: Maeve Riannon · Genres: Humor: Valar &
Maiar · ID: 403
Reviewer: Dawn Felagund · 2008-11-29 18:39:33
This is a funny medley of humor from a variety of sources, from the
Silm to the LotR movies to Montey Python. I really liked Sauron's rant
in legalese about his ownership of Minas Tirith and Finrod's crimes
against him, and Melian's excuse for creating Doriath as a tax haven.
Very funny!

Title: A Meeting in the Tower Hills · Author: Imhiriel · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 374
Reviewer: Dawn Felagund · 2008-11-29 18:45:52
First meetings between different peoples are fascinating. Imhiriel's
drabble is a look at the first meeting of Numenoreans and Men of
Middle-earth. The first impression that the Numenoreans ["seemed
living people"] is great, as is the drabble's conclusion. Nicely done!

Title: Silver Blossoms Blown · Author: Ignoble Bard · Races:
Cross-Cultural · ID: 646
Reviewer: Jael · 2008-11-29 18:48:11
Ignoble Bard is a writer of great scope -- stories ranging from dark
erotica to wickedly witty humor that never fails to leave me laughing
helplessly to the gently poetic. This story is of the last, its
carefully crafted descriptions evoking the love and wonder of a Valie
as she first beholds three of the Firstborn.

The contrast with the final paragraph, as she watches the departing
Noldorin Exiles is both moving and heartbreaking. Yes, children must
grow, but it is still a bitter thing to a parent.

Nicely done, Bard!

Title: DISGUISE: Emissaries · Author: Fiondil · Genres: Humor: Valar &
Maiar · ID: 56
Reviewer: Radbooks · 2008-11-29 18:56:57
Reading Olorin the way Fiondil writes him is a treat. I've always
liked the character, but now I truly love him as I see him in a new
light. Perhaps it's just seeing him as he might have been before the
burdens of Middle-earth wore him down that make him so special.

In this particular story, I really like the distinctions that are so
clearly drawn between Olorin and Curumo. Distinctions that were there
even before they arrived in Middle-earth. I also enjoyed the humor in
this story as Olorin shows the different forms they 'could' take as
they prepare to go to serve the peoples of Middle-earth in their fight
against Sauron. It rings very true to form as Tolkien clearly showed
Gandalf's sense of humor in The Hobbit and early on in The Lord of the

A most enjoyable tale and one that I highly recommend to others.

Title: GOBLINS: The Herald's Summons · Author: Fiondil · Times: First
Age and Prior · ID: 53
Reviewer: Dawn Felagund · 2008-11-29 19:04:35
I particularly related to Finarfin in this story: his constant
questioning of himself, how he berates himself and belittles his
contributions to his people, and his protest at Galadriel's continued
barring from Aman, just like the son of Finwe that he is. His fears
and his questions really bring home what the War of Wrath would have
been like for Elves who, otherwise, had no idea what Middle-earth was
like, had no experience in battle, and would have arrived shocked at
the changes in their loved ones, even changes as small as a different
name. Nicely done, Fiondil!