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Msg# 7408

Reviews for 1 Sept - Part 1 Posted by Rhapsody September 01, 2006 - 16:22:06 Topic ID# 7408
Title: The Falcon and the Star · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: The
Great Years: Gondor · ID: 57
Reviewer: julia · 2006-07-26 23:00:46
A beautiful and very well-written story, with an excellent use of
quotes. I always enjoy HOH stories, and this one provided a new view of
how Aragorn healed Faramir. I liked the differing POV's, and the imagery
of Faramir wandering in an evil land beset with wraiths was very well
done, and actually quite scary at points.

-----------------------------------
Title: Stolen · Author: Meril · Genres: Alternate Universe · ID: 46
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-07-26 23:29:59
This author obviously understands Galadriel's character deeply. All of
the blows that first Khamul and then Sauron deal her, the parts of her
that they are aiming for, re very central to her personality. The bit
with the hair was especially well done. It could very easily have been
used to point out vanity, but in this story it is so much more.
-----------------------------------
Title: Recalled To Life - Alqualonde · Author: AWing · Races: Elves:
Feanorians · ID: 787
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2006-07-26 23:36:00
This story drew me in immediately. Seeing events unfold through
Maedhros' eyes brings out the many changes from before the first
Kinslaying to four Ages later during the time of the story. The
descriptions of the city, its people and the landscape are full and
clear without being overdone, and they never overwhelm the central
themes of repentance and forgiveness.

I thought it an excellent touch that the King and Queen bring the matter
before all their people (without warning Maedhros, mind you) - from
those killed during the Kinslaying and reborn, to those born since, and
those who came from over sea during the intervening ages. Maedhros'
rather dutiful request for forgiveness is judged by the entire community
and not by the rulers alone.

Although I have read this story several times, I am still very moved by
(and dearly love) the final scene: the connection that the
Silmarillion/Earendil's Star provides, the singing that swells up from
the gathered people, and Maedhros' grieving for his family and all they
have done. The ability to forgive even (or perhaps especially) the worst
crimes brings the beginnings of healing and hope to both sides, and I
thought AWing portrayed this believably and beautifully without making
it overly sentimental. Her writing is lyrical and flowing, and I think
this is a wonderful and creative story.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Falcon and the Star · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: The
Great Years: Gondor · ID: 57
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2006-07-26 23:51:21
I originally found "The Falcon and the Star" via Anke Eissmann's
drawings, and the fact that such a superb artist would be inspired by a
specific piece of writing just drew me right over to this story. It was
marvelous reading about the events unfolding and being able to refer
back to her artwork.

This is a wonderful story, and I enjoyed it tremendously. There were
many things that I liked about it, but to list my particular favorites:
- I liked that this part of the book is explored via Aragorn's POV, and
he is shown as both an imperfect man and determined healer.
- I thought it was very in-character for Faramir to continue fighting,
AND thinking, in the vale. (The vale itself was brilliant in imagery and
conception.)
- I loved Aragorn's reflection on Faramir as a precious jewel,
especially given the meaning of Faramir's name.
- I appreciated the careful use of language and the "Tolkienesque" tone
that was set with it.
- I thought every one of the biblical quotes were apt and well-chosen.

A small thing I really enjoyed is the intro to Part One:
[To say that I was weary was to say that Arwen was pleasant to look
upon, or that Pippin was a curious hobbit. In eight short days, I had
brought the army of the Dead to Pelargir, taken the Umbari ships and
sailed them to the Harlond, where, with a force of a few thousand men of
Gondor, fifty Dunedain, two Peredhel, an Elf and a dwarf, we surprised
the assembled might of Mordor and turned the tide of battle.]

The listing of his fighting force in this way just struck me as
extremely funny, and set the tone for how much I liked this portrayal of
Aragorn and his dry wit.

The care and attention to detail that was put into this story is very
obvious. In fact, there were many excellent details that I only caught
by reading other reviews. "Unfortunately," I then had to go back and
read the story again and again. :)
-----------------------------------
Title: The Consequences of Curiosity · Author: A L Milton · Genres:
Humor: Gondor · ID: 153
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2006-07-26 23:54:36
This is a wonderful and very entertaining story. The author has a gift
for writing smooth and rolling formal language. The conversation is
handled well and written clearly and concisely, I thought, and I was
never lost or confused despite the quick pace of the exchange. And the
entire exchange is so funny: Aragorn trying to make sure his Steward is
OK, curiously inquiring about the nature of the "exercise" after
Faramir's reassurances... and then getting far, far more information
than he ever wanted. His attempts to redirect the tenor of the
discussion were deftly countered by Faramir's enthusiastic wish to
reveal all concerning his and Eowyn's predilections. Or maybe he just
wanted to torment Aragorn for bringing it up in the first place. Or both...

I thought Faramir's description of his and Eowyn's "playacting" was
truly inspired: the Shieldmaiden/Scholar; the Rider and Her Obedient
Squire; the Lady Corsair and the Captured Emissary... Ah, the images
these all brought forth... I could just see Aragorn's fingers turning
white from gripping that ledger book, holding it up defensively in front
of him like a shield, and getting an increasingly desperate look in his
eye as Faramir went into more and more detail.

Really, I was laughing throughout the entire story. It packs a lot of
entertainment punch despite being so short.
-----------------------------------
Title: Childhood Dreams · Author: Acacea · Genres: Drama: Gondor
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 523
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-07-27 00:55:38
Aww, that one's really sweet. I'm familiar with those childhood dreams
(I wanted to grow up to be a boy, personally), and you've captured both
of these brothers well. I see them as teenagers or maybe in their
twenties - very full of life just bursting into the characters we see in
the Ring War. And as such, they're very believable.
-----------------------------------
Title: Keeping an eye on the enemy · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men:
Fixed-Length Ficlets With Children · ID: 871
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-07-27 01:11:59
A charming look at the childhood antics of Faramir and Boromir. The
image of young Faramir hiding behind the lavender bush, playing Ranger,
is irresistible. And Boromir's counter-attack seems very typical of a
big brother.
-----------------------------------
Title: Fear and Loathing in Middle Earth · Author: vladazhael · Genres:
Humor: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 407
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-07-27 01:20:06
Here's a combination that I don't think has ever been tried before - a
LOTR scene written in the style of Hunter S. Thompson. From Legolas'
POV, no less. That it works should be credited to the author's skill.
Funny in a weird way.
-----------------------------------
Title: Trust · Author: Dwimordene · Genres: Drama · ID: 216
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2006-07-27 02:04:36
Since we all freely abscond with the Professor's characters and make
them dance to their tune, it's perhaps a bit hypocritical to be
protective of the original characters that we insert into his world.
Nonetheless, I would expect someone wanting to use a character of mine
to apply for me for permission, and I would consider the matter
carefully before granting it. Dwimordene is one of the few people who
may write Andrahar any time and in any way she likes. It's really great
to have a character I'm so fond of, yet be able to read stories by
another author that hold so true to my conception of him. I never have
to worry about Andra when he's in Dwimordene's hands-and I get to read
more stories about him that I don't have to write!

This story is an expansion of a train of thought of Boromir's in my
story Discovery, in which Boromir reflects upon the turning point in his
and Andrahar's relationship, which happened after they'd been seeing
each other for six years. I had presented it as the point at which their
relationship must either die or go on to the next level, and had figured
that I would write about what brought them to that crux point some time
in the future, but Dwim beat me to it. Not that I'm sorry-as far as I'm
concerned, this is what really happened.
-----------------------------------
Title: Great Heart · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: First Age and
Prior: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 64
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2006-07-27 02:12:19
Yay! A dog story! Raksha and I are both in agreement that there aren't
enough dog stories in Middle-earth. As someone who has bred dogs, I can
say the depiction of Huan's early battles is spot-on. He is truly the
niftiest dog in Tolkien's works, and I like the fact that he holds his
heart back for a worthy master, that Celegorm can command his obedience
but not his love.
-----------------------------------
Title: 300 Horses · Author: Rous · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 631
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-07-27 02:30:07
Very clever twist on the AU theme. I wish there were a sequel or three.
The nature of the Mearas was a surprise.

Well-written drabble packing a lot into a hundred words.
-----------------------------------
Title: Moon Friend: Tales of Isildur · Author: Elena Tiriel · Races:
Men: Other Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 832
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-07-27 02:46:42
A nifty drabble series focussing on the first mortal Ring-bearer, the
mighty Numenorean, Isildur. My favorites are the first chapter, where
Isildur steals the fruit of the doomed White Tree, and the chapter where
he recalls his love for his dead brother. The moon-motif is wonderfully
handled.

Well-written and unusual drabble series.
-----------------------------------
Title: Half a Sticky Mile · Author: SlightlyTookish · Genres: Adventure
· ID: 940
Reviewer: Budgielover · 2006-07-27 04:20:32
Two of my favorite themes are hobbits being hobbits and the relationship
between Merry and Pippin, and this fic gives me both. The love and
mutual understanding between cousins is so clearly drawn in this fic,
and eachs' strengths and weaknesses. Yet above all they are hobbit-folk,
concerned with breakfast and safety, and not wishing at all to be
involved in the doings of the mighty and great. There are so many little
flashes of humor in this fic ("Suddenly Pippin became a great deal
heavier") that we are reminded of Tolkien's writing, and the 'voice' of
this fic is true also to the characters and the genre. This is a
delightful moment in a dark hour of our beloved hobbits' adventures.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Tisket, A Tasket · Author: grey_wonderer · Times: Late Third
Age: The Shire · ID: 570
Reviewer: Budgielover · 2006-07-27 04:38:54
There are so many things I love about this fic that I cannot list them
all. First, any story about six-year old Pippin visiting Bag End with
his elder cousin Merry is certain to melt the heart. Then throw in an
indulgent and slightly exasperated Frodo and a benevelent Bilbo and a
discussion on the facts of life, and you are guaranteed to melt into a
puddle of warm goo. Each of the characters is delightfully drawn and
true to their characters and ages, and Pippin as a little one wanting
baby stuffed rabbits from his (male) stuffed rabbit rings so true to
anyone who has dodged the "How do babies get made?" discussion with a
child. Perhaps my favorite part was how little Pippin innocently wrapped
all the older hobbits around his finger, even Merry, who acts exactly
like an older and more educated relative. And he is the one who caves
and supplies Pippin with proof that, if you make a nest and hope, you
will have baby (stuffed!) bunnies.
-----------------------------------
Title: Sam's Voice · Author: illyria-pffyffin · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 964
Reviewer: Budgielover · 2006-07-27 04:50:49
This is a sad story, for it tells us of what Frodo endures after the
Ring is destroyed and he returns to Bag End, forever changed and less
than he was before. In beautifully written prose, the author tells us of
his struggle to live, because Sam fought so hard on the Quest to keep
him alive. It is Sam's voice and Sam's will that keeps him functioning,
working towards some end. We see Sam through Frodo's eyes and feel his
gratitude and his sorrow that he cannot be as Sam remembers him. There
is little dialogue; this is a thoughtful, reflective piece, and the
thread of grief in it builds without truly offering a bright spot. Yet
it is a beautiful read, brilliantly thought-out, and offers the reader a
glimpse into Frodo's personality and heart.
-----------------------------------
Title: After The Storm · Author: chibi_kaz · Times: The Great Years:
Gondor · ID: 773
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2006-07-27 05:11:05
This is an engaging Movieverse romance. Faramir, of the red-gold hair,
is noble, sympathetic, and sweetly romantic. Eowyn is supremely sensible
and practical. Rather than taking her lovers along the too typical,
angsty road to romance, Chibi makes their story fun. Faramir has a keen
sense of humor, but haphazard personal hygiene. At his behest, Eowyn
literally takes charge of domestic life in Minas Tirith. Faramir and
Eowyn's story that usually gets dripped with angst. Instead, Chibi
lavishes her lovers with sweetness.
-----------------------------------
Title: Pride Before The Fall · Author: AmandaK · Genres: Alternate
Universe · ID: 742
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-07-27 13:21:23
Very effective AU story that builds up the Ring's possession of Boromir
bit by bit, each deed more sinister than the last, from the initial
theft and the sly prank he plays on Legolas and Gimli to the murder of
his own kin, until both Boromir and the realm he stole the Ring to save
are utterly ruined.

I get shivers reading it.
-----------------------------------
Title: Black Hour · Author: Nesta · Times: The Great Years: Gondor · ID: 92
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-07-27 13:38:20
A slightly AU look at Faramir's judgment of Aragorn's claim to the
Kingship.

The writer uses a minimalist style that works well. She portrays Faramir
as a man who is both the proud heir of the Stewards of Gondor and a man
of reason who balances his own rights, and those of a new claimant to
the crown, against the good of the realm itself.

Good grasp of the history of Gondor, and the post-Ring War political
ramifications of a savior coming up the Anduin bearing Elendil's sword
and the king's standard.

Faramir is well-written. The writer shows, through introspection and
dialogue and actions, the Captain's high quality. The end in particular
delineates Faramir's courage very well.

-----------------------------------
Title: Mirrors of Numenor · Author: Dostoevsky's Mouse · Races: Men:
Incomplete · ID: 242
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-07-27 15:05:20
This story has an almost lyrical quality about it, the language is
wonderful.

I really like the relationship built between Thorongil and Denethor.
Denethor is depicted as proud, somewhat arrogant, and underneath it all,
rather starved for affection and friendship, and warming to Thorongil,
perhaps in hope of getting both from one of the few men who can be said
to be his equal, at least in quality. I am not sure whether the writer
intends to make their relationship a sexual one eventually; but the idea
of a friendship, however brief, between these two [Pale mirrors of
Numenor], is fascinating. Though I wonder; if Denethor felt a need for
trust from Thorongil, and Thorongil could not of course confide all his
secrets in Denethor, was that the root of the painful anger Denethor
feels towards the returning king in the first chapter, which begins the
flashbacks that form the chapters here. The notion that Thorongil raises
in Ch. 8, that Denethor expects total trust from others, yet trusts no
one himself, is interesting. Given the idea of Thorongil and Denethor
being each other's equals and mirrors, and Thorongil's expectation that
others trust him without his revealing his own true self, we have quite
a complex interplay going on here.

I hope the writer will finish this very readable story.
-----------------------------------
Title: It's the Thought · Author: annmarwalk · Races: Men: Fixed-Length
Ficlets With Children · ID: 71
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-07-27 15:06:35
A bit of warmth in what must have been a rather dark time for the young,
orphaned Eomer and Eowyn - Theodred's kind regard for his little cousins
shows the perception that would have helped make him a good king.

And a glimpse of Eowyn's warrior tendancies, even as a little girl.

Lovely drabble!
-----------------------------------
Title: A Meara for Me! · Author: Súlriel · Genres: Non-Fiction · ID: 893
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-07-27 15:08:06
A wonderful resource for those fanfic writers who want to use horses and
have names for them, that are appropriate for Middle-earth. The
descriptions of the individual horses are particularly charming; I feel
like I know each of the beautiful mares and stallions displayed in the
photographs.

I particularly love the photo of Fione Culima, who looks spirited and
downright cute for an animal of her size.
-----------------------------------
Title: Preparing The Way · Author: Lady Aranel · Genres: Drama: Elves in
Later Ages · ID: 284
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-07-27 15:10:14
An eloquent and beautiful tale of Legolas' loss of one of his dearest
friends, as he attends Arod during the horse's last hours. Original
situation in Tolkien fanfiction, but written with effortless, effective
prose that details the sorrow of an Elf unused to seeing death take his
friends. There is just the right amount of sentiment; and the appearance
of Legolas' mortal friends Elboron and Faramir and Aragorn reminds the
reader that Legolas is unusual among Elves for the attachments he has
dared to make.
-----------------------------------
Title: Rest and Recreation · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races:
Cross-Cultural · ID: 700
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-07-27 15:50:53
I really enjoyed this little tale of Boromir's adventures in
Imladris--which were not adventurous enough for him until his bout with
the strange blond Elf! As a pervy Dunedain fancier, I always enjoy
reading about Men who can make the fancy creatures sing for their supper.

One point, though. Swordsmen don't use their actual swords in practice
bouts. They risk death or injury that way. I know a blunt sword or
weighted stick is not very picturesque, but it would be more real, and
Boromir as a captain would certainly be very aware of this need. He
seems appropriately ignorant of a lot of Elvish history, however. No
doubt Faramir was much better informed.

I cringed at the idea of playing chess with Elrond. Eek!

Wouldn't he have met Arwen during this time? It seems to me that she
would be eager to get to know him, given that she was hoping to soon be
his queen, even if he was not interested in her. A man's man, of course.
-----------------------------------
Title: Great Heart · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: First Age and
Prior: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 64
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-07-27 16:03:31
This is a vivid description of the puppyhood of the Great Hound Huan,
loyalest of friends. I particularly liked the red ears and their
provenance, a combination of personal memory and acknowledgement of the
great Mabinogion. Thanks!
-----------------------------------
Title: At the Rising of the Moon · Author: Linda Hoyland · Genres:
Humor: Gondor · ID: 846
Reviewer: Madeleine · 2006-07-27 19:31:13
What I like about this light-hearted story  yes, Linda can do that also
very well - is the idea of many various Yule traditions from different
people blending together.

Less a generation ago mistletoes werent part of the Christmas tradition
here where I live and my Grandmother would have responded like Aragorn,
itemising them simply for their medical uses. Today I couldnt picture a
proper Christmas decoration without them.

In a way this warm story is an allegory for Middle-earth after the Great
War - at least the way Ive always imagined the rebuilding after the
fall of Sauron, not only in a material sense - where the different
people find together, learn from each other and exchange the good and
positive parts of their cultures.

The tale was published during the last Season, perfectly fitting, but I
can only recommend to read it straight away  as I would recommend
reading any of the authors other stories. Its a real treat all year around.

-----------------------------------

Msg# 7409

Reviews for 1 Sept - Part 2 Posted by Rhapsody September 01, 2006 - 16:33:31 Topic ID# 7409
Title: Relief · Author: Acacea · Genres: Drama: Pre-Fellowship · ID: 518
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-07-27 19:46:23
A good evocation of the perils that Denethor's sons faced on a frequent
basis.

I would have liked to see a mention of what kind of enemy Boromir and
his men were fighting - presumably Orcs, but some kind of reference
would have heightened the realism.

I was glad to see that palantir good for something other than leading
Denethor into despair.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Little Thing · Author: Acacea · Times: Early Third Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 75
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-07-27 19:49:32
Interesting drabble about the Ring's danger even when buried at the
bottom of a river - the [little thing]'s influence is still powerful
enough to scare the other denizens of its watery grave.

Clever and well-written piece.
-----------------------------------
Title: Avoidance · Author: stefaniab · Genres: Romance: Incomplete · ID: 674
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-07-27 20:25:08
One of the most interesting and innovative, in terms of plot and
characterization, movieverse Faramir stories that I've seen.

Faramir, though still far removed from the bookverse original, is much
more comprehensible and likeable than PJ's movie version. In this story
he is a man of strength and courage, a seasoned warrior who actually
rode out to Osgiliath with a strategy that had a chance of winning,
rather than just flinging himself and many valuable lives into the path
of death merely to please Daddy. Interesting use of the original
character's visionary capacity as well.

The writer pays good attention to details; the bathing chambers are a
great addition to the architecture of Minas Tirith, and the details of
the geological/seismic/meteorologic reactions to the fall of Sauron and
eruption of Orodruin are very well written.

All in all, a good yarn - I anxiously await its conclusion.
-----------------------------------
Title: Inheritance · Author: Acacea · Races: Men: Steward's Sons
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 524
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-07-27 20:26:03
Well-written drabble that delivers an emotional punch. I'm always
pleased by fanfic that shows Faramir to be as perceptive as his father,
and share his father's stony toughness, mitigated by the compassion that
Denethor lacked, and this drabble does very well by him. Gandalf's
viewpoint is a plus.

-----------------------------------
Title: Forlorn Hope · Author: Nancy Brooke · Races: Men: Steward's Sons
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 301
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-07-27 20:28:33
A clever, evocative way of bringing home the hopelessness of Faramir's
mission to Osgiliath in the ROTK movie. I particularly liked the line
comparing Hope to the sound of Boromir's horn - very appropriate.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Fords of Isen · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Adventure · ID: 41
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-07-27 20:32:55
I do not normally care much for ghost stories, even if set in
Middle-earth, but this one is really outstanding.

Using the framing device of a Rohirric grandfather telling his young
grandson a story of the days of his youth, when he rode with an Eored
during and after the Ring War, a tale of battle, danger, and friendship
beyond death is splendidly woven.

The physical details of the story are wonderfully written - such as the
sound of the old grandmother's loom, the atmosphere in the old people's
house, the clash of arms and the difficulty in fighting in and around a
river, and the barnacles on the shield of a dead warrior.

I almost felt sorry for the Orcs - they must have had such a shock when
Theodred awakened to do some house-cleaning.

Theodred and Boromir are scary ghosts to their enemies, dead yet fully
physically present, and kind to the terrified young Rider who is telling
the story. I loved their conversation, old friends talking of battles,
and their full, rather ironic knowledge of their own deaths.

The bit with Boromir's problem in starting a fire is funny in a low-key
way that is typical of the touches of humor in the story.

-----------------------------------
Title: 'Til we meet again · Author: Dot · Races: Elves: Featuring
Mirkwood Elves · ID: 817
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-07-27 22:18:11
Good exploration of the subject of sea-longing versus staying in
Middle-earth.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Hobbit and the Man: "All That Is Gold Does Not Glitter" ·
Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Races: Cross-Cultural · ID: 351
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-07-27 22:19:03
Delightful tale of the first meeting between Bilbo and Aragorn. The
characters are captured perfectly. It gives the feeling of many more
tales to tell just beyond the narrative.
-----------------------------------
Title: Elfstone · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Races: Elves: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 252
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-07-27 22:20:51
Very evocative and lyrical - you really capture the beauty of the
Elessar and its powers. Also a good example for Elven magic. And the
little invocation is lovely and fitting.
-----------------------------------
Title: To Learn His Letters · Author: GamgeeFest · Races: Hobbits:
Children · ID: 977
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-07-27 22:22:13
Good characterisations, well-handled dialogue. I especially liked this
passage: ["He'd always loved the Bag End parlor. There was something so
stately and yet accessible about it, though why that was Fred couldn't
say. All he knew was that he needn't fear touching anything here for
fear of smudging it and that he could sit wherever he liked, even here
in the Master's favorite rocking chair."]
-----------------------------------
Title: Years After and a Sea Between · Author: Dana · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Post-Grey Havens · ID: 39
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-07-28 02:35:31
This story is just absolutely and positively stunning! I generally read
very little slash, but the slash in this is very mild, and is
overshadowed by the beautiful imagery and the gentle love. I think, even
among many of this author's stories that I enjoy, it has to remain my
very favorite.

It is an Alternate Universe story, in which, as Merry and Pippin are
nearing the end of their lives in Gondor, and Pippin finds himself
thinking more and more of Frodo. He is longing to see his dear cousin,
and he is missing him more than ever. He Tookishly decides that the
solution is to sail West in search of Frodo, and Merry goes along with
the mad idea.

With the support and blessings of their friends--Aragorn, Arwen,
Faramir, Eowyn, Gimli and most of all Legolas--the two hobbits prepare
their little boat and set sail on their greatest and riskiest Adventure.

This story is written in the author's trademark lyrical and dreamlike
style, its use of present-tense heightening the poetical turn of the
language. It makes the reader feel as though he or she is inside a dream
as well, and lends a certain immediacy to the story, as we are inside
Pippin's mind.

The ending is so very touching and so very right and so very perfect!
-----------------------------------
Title: Nothing of Note · Author: Primsong · Times: Late Third Age: The
Shire · ID: 43
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-07-28 02:35:53
I loved this story from the beginning. First of all, it is that rarity,
a Bilbo story. For some reason there are very few fics featuring Bilbo
as the main character, and as far as I know, this is the only long one.
The author has written a couple of other stories featuring him, but none
so long as this beautifully crafted and loving epic.

Taking place a year before Bilbo adopts Frodo, it begins with him
experiencing an attack of spring fever, and a longing once more for
Adventure. Not, of course, another journey with Dwarves. But a nice long
ramble all over the Shire suits his mood admirably. He has found himself
beset with unsatisfactory relatives, and wants to escape.

During his journey, the Shire is beautifully described, in a detailed
manner that really calls to mind Tolkien himself. Bilbo is soothed and
exhilarated by the scenery. He also encounters several other people,
wonderfully well done OCs, who put him in a thoughtful mood about his
future.

Chapter six, Fool's Gold, has one of the sweetest moments I have ever
encountered in a fic, involving Bilbo and a very tiny OC.

In addition, this story also contains one of the most adorable wee!Sams
it has ever been my fortune to encounter--he is sweet and shy and
enthusiastic and loving, and I could just eat him up with a spoon.

I adore this story, and highly reccommend it!
-----------------------------------
Title: Dana's Annotated Tale of Years · Author: Dana · Genres:
Non-Fiction · ID: 274
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-07-28 02:36:36
How often I have been working on a fic, and taken out my paperback copy
of The Lord of the Rings to check the date on which some important event
occurred, only to find myself squinting and trying to make out what I'm
seeing in the small print. Perhaps it is just me, and my tired old eyes,
but it can be frustrating--and embarrassing as well, if I should make a
mistake! Now I have the Tale of Years on my computer screen, where I can
make the print as large as I need it to be! Not only that, but it is
quite handy for a quick search instead of dragging the book out.

In addition to simply recording the events as Tolkien did in his own
Tale of Years, Dana has also done a few other things--she has, for
example, annotated any inconsistencies she found between the events in
the Tale of Years and information elsewhere in the Appendices. One such
inconsistency is Sam's Date of Birth, given in the Tale of Years as T.A.
2983 (S.R. 1383) this contradicts the Long-father Tree of Master
Samwise, in which Sam's DOB is given as S.R. 1380--since the text refers
to Merry being younger than Sam, it is clearly a mistake in the Tale of
Years. She has also included significant events which were *not*
recorded at all, such as the births of Merry and Pippin.

Making it even more useful, she has also included the Shire Reckoning
alongside the Gondorian dates, making the messy math unnecessary--not so
messy in the Third Age, but a distinct pain in the Fourth!

This is really a very useful tool for anyone writing LotR fic, or even
for someone who simply wants to quickly check on the date of some event.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Little Hobbit · Author: Claudia · Genres: Alternate Universe
· ID: 680
Reviewer: Budgielover · 2006-07-28 03:14:02
I can think of no other author who departs from canon so joyously and
has managed to create so unique a 'universe' with our beloved
characters. Claudia has a special gift in writing hobbits, their
relationships with each other (as demonstrated in this fic by Frodo
taking care of his younger cousin Merry and Merry returning the care)
and their ventures into other races' worlds. Though based on "The Little
Mermaid," this story is a happier one; though Frodo does not achieve his
heart's desire, the love of his friends is strong enough to return him
to the hobbit world. (In the original "Little Mermaid," the mermaid
becomes foam on the waves when her love is not reciprocated.) Not only
is this fic a good read, it manages to engage the heart - not the
easiest of tasks to achieve in alternate universe writing.
-----------------------------------
Title: Rivendell 9 to 5 · Author: Claudio · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond: Incomplete · ID: 562
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-07-28 03:15:50
This series of stories has really grown on me as I've read them. The
premise of elves in a Middle-earth tht's really rather modern isn't one
that is naturally appealing to me, but it's hilarious in these author's
hands. And every now and then we see just enough of a hint of
Middle-earth to where it still seems like fanfic. Farse, obviously, but
there are tie-ins like how a Noldorin elf woould view Silvan culture
(and vice versa).

Here we see Elladan as the de-facto ruler of Rivendell now that Elrond
et al have sailed for Valinor. One would think that Elrohir would
mature, but he is still so... well, Elrohir as he is in all the earlier
stories. Iguana, Nintendo, and all. The stress of working in an office,
the idiocy of income taxes, the frustration with bureaucracy and the
realization that even if you are the prime minister you can't get two
bowls of soup - well, it made me smile. I look forward to more.
-----------------------------------
Title: Unspeakable · Author: White Gull · Genres: Romance: Poetry · ID: 822
Reviewer: Budgielover · 2006-07-28 03:20:14
In this poem, the author manages to achieve two things - not only
producing pleasing verse but carrying an emotional thread through it.
Written from Rosie Cotton's point of view, she allows the reader to see
through her eyes, to see Frodo's suffering through her eyes, and her
desire to see him healed. This desire does in no way lessen her love for
Sam, but we the readers come to understand Rosie wishes Frodo healed out
of love of Sam, and of Frodo. This is a romantic poem, strongly touched
with sorrow and yearning. It is as lovely in verse as it is in concept.
-----------------------------------
Title: Detour · Author: xylo · Races: Hobbits · ID: 844
Reviewer: Budgielover · 2006-07-28 03:39:59
This AU is absolutely engrossing. I read it twice again before reviewing
because it is so rich in detail and authentic in its 'voice.' The first
person perspective never faulters, and the writing is technically
brilliant. The author sprinkles just enough 'realisms' like 'traumatic
amputation' in the story to make the reader believe, but doesn't overdue
the medical terminology or alienate the reader. The description of the
'LGs' is just as a Big Person would see them. The best point of this
story is how the author manages to describe the LGs's lostness in
relation to the world they have fallen into, and how closely they cling
to each other in face of all this strangeness. We know who the LGs are,
of course, but the author's confusion and yet compassion bring us into
the story. Of special note is the format chosen for the fic - e-mail as
a story vehicle! This story is delightful in conception and execution,
and leaves the reader with the wistful hope that the LGs have found a
way to go home, together.
-----------------------------------
Title: Flotsam · Author: Salsify · Times: The Great Years: Vignette · ID: 85
Reviewer: Budgielover · 2006-07-28 03:45:59
Written from Merry's viewpoint after the destruction of Isengard, this
fic brings to light an aspect of the drowning of Orthanc that the vast
majority of us never thought about. It was a brillilant stroke to tell
this story in first person from Merry's POV - it would be him that would
ponder his discovery, and also grieve over it. His intellect would
function just as written in the fic, as would his compassionate heart.
This fic is very short, but it doesn't need to be longer. It achieves
perfectly what it sets out to do - remind us of consequences beyond the
obvious.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Pippin · Author: GamgeeFest · Races: Hobbits: Poetry · ID: 937
Reviewer: Budgielover · 2006-07-28 03:50:51
This delightful poem not only manages to retain the pacing and
foreboding of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven," it infuses the meter with
humor and hobbit-ness. One can well understand the trepidation of the
poet upon finding a perpetually hungry Pippin at his door! This sweet
and endearing verse provides the reader not only a smile, but a nod to
the world of hobbitry at the same time.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Spring Day At Cormallen · Author: Marigold · Races:
Cross-Cultural · ID: 746
Reviewer: Budgielover · 2006-07-28 03:57:56
The greatest joy of this fic is the absolutely faultless 'Tolkien voice'
telling the story from King Elessar's point of view. Written in first
person, Aragorn marvels over the recovery of Pippin from his slaying of
the troll and allows the reader a glimpse into the close-knit circle of
hobbits. Each hobbit's actions and reactions are perfect to the
character, and the interaction between them described with such a loving
eye that the reader understands how much the Ranger - turned - King
loves these four small people. The reader loves them through Aragorn's
eyes, and rejoices in this snippet of happy time given the readers and
hobbits both.
-----------------------------------
Title: Following Orders · Author: EdorasLass · Times: The Great Years:
Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 54
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-07-28 13:01:38

A well-written, thought-provoking drabble on a subject rarely tackled in
fanfiction - Faramir's feelings towards the servants who enabled his
father to nearly burn him alive.

[Men I had known since I was a child, men I trained with or helped train
 all but one would have let me burn.]

I'm not sure that Faramir would have trained with these particular
servants - Tolkien calls them "six men of the household", which implies
that they are household servants. Yet he also has them bearing swords in
the "Pyre" chapter. Tolkien never calls them men-at-arms, only 'servants'.

I also wonder whether Faramir expresses this anger towards the servants
because it is easier than being angry at his father.

Very good work, especially in the framework of only 100 words.
-----------------------------------
Title: Teatime in Rivendell · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 373
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-07-28 13:04:21
Turnabout is fair play, as Legolas discovers when he meets Bilbo. A fine
drabble about a pair not often seen together in fanfic or LOTR.

And I loved the last line - very true!
-----------------------------------
Title: Claws · Author: Elena Tiriel · Races: Villains: Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 835
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-07-28 13:05:56
A wicked little piece about flying thieves, among whom there is neither
honor nor mercy. Very true to the character of Smaug! Bilbo was
fortunate in his cleverness and very good luck.
-----------------------------------
Title: Lay of Lord and Lady · Author: Vana Tuivana · Genres: Drama:
Poetry · ID: 629
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-07-28 13:06:43
Any poem this long that manages, as this one does, to hold my interest,
has my respect. The poem flows well, and I can well imagine it being
sung in later years by the survivors of Gondolin.

This line is particularly beautiful: [And he taught her the beauty of
night.]

-----------------------------------
Title: On the Fair Hill · Author: Imhiriel · Times: Late Third Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 946
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-07-28 13:16:47
This ficlet is exceptionally pretty. Lovely usage of description,
bringing to life the glory of Lothlorien's fairest hill, the visual
splendor of the unusual Elf-nurtured trees and flowers. It's like a
picture, only done in words instead of paint. Very fitting method of
conveying the sheer beauty of the Elven hill. Made me want to be there.
And the end was a particularly graceful one.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7410

Reviews for 2 Sept - Part 1 Posted by Rhapsody September 02, 2006 - 14:00:44 Topic ID# 7410
Title: But the Scent Still Lingers · Author: Imhiriel · Times: The Great
Years: Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 947
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-07-28 13:31:43

A wonderful piece answering a prompt for a drabble about aging - it
combines the physical burdens of age with Ioreth's memories of a happy
occasion in her youth, and ties it in beautifully with Tolkien's Houses
of Healing scene, and Ioreth's personal reaction to the scent of athelas.

And the pairing, if only briefly, of two LOTR characters never to my
knowledge linked in this way, is inspired, and, seen through the
crucible of long, hard, years, wistful.

This one is my favorite of its talented author's nominated works, which
is saying a lot.
-----------------------------------
Title: Ships Passing · Author: Marta · Races: Men: Vignette · ID: 302
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-07-28 15:29:14
This is my favorite of Marta's pieces that I have so far read, and since
she is so prolific there are many more to go. The piece captures both
the personalities of the two central men, as well as a particularly
tense moment in time--the march on the Black Gate. Faramir does not know
if the West will prevail, and he has just been hit with the news of his
father's madness. He does not know if his love of Eowyn will succeed.

Of course, Faramir comes out most clearly, since it is an interior
monologue. But Halbarad--one of my very favorite characters--is
portrayed in a few deft strokes.
-----------------------------------
Title: Strange Fortunes · Author: Tehta · Times: First Age and Prior:
Incomplete · ID: 81
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-07-28 15:36:18
A fascinating story that reads something like the bastard child of Oscar
Wilde and Jane Austen. Funny, and bitingly clever.

I don't find much of a Tolkienesque atmosphere here, but I'm too
engrossed by the narrative to really care.

Best moments, at least for me, are Maeglin's, written here as the
Teenaged Goth Misfit in sunny Gondolin, cool, acerbic and magnetic with
hints of hidden power and passion. He's also an emotional mess under the
dark beauty - it's easy to see how he will one day facilitate the Fall
of Gondolin. His musings about Idril are funny, sad, and a little
peculiar, not to mention confused with his feelings for his murdered
mother.

The best bit is Maeglin's attempt to convey his passion for Idril by
leaving her some of his nifty and decidedly unromantic little gadgets,
anonymously. Not to mention the atrocious, but hilarious, poetry where
he finds the weirdest rhymes with her name.

I would really like to see the story continued, and finally finished,
preferably with an appearance or two by Turgon.
-----------------------------------
Title: Of All the Pretty Little Horses · Author: Oshun · Genres: Humor:
Gondor · ID: 736
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-07-28 15:44:10
A clever and charming turnaround of the usual horse-mad Eorling cliches.
Faramir and Eomer show hidden sides of themselves; and reveal that
things are not always as they seem. Excellent command of language and a
flair for humor.
-----------------------------------
Title: Gimli's Tale · Author: Pearl Took · Races: Dwarves · ID: 934
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-07-28 16:12:58
This is a really cute story. It's nice to think of Gimli relating a
little piece of Dwarven history, and the way you made it applicable to
all of the races was nicely done.
-----------------------------------
Title: Strange meeting · Author: Nesta · Races: Men: Post-Sauron's Fall
· ID: 93
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-07-28 16:13:22
This sequel to [Black Hour] is one of my favorite stories of King and
Steward.

Like [Black Hour], it proceeds on a possibly AU premise, that Faramir
did not remember being healed by Aragorn. The writer capably takes that
premise from the taut bleakness of the previous story to the pivotal
meeting between the last Ruling Steward and the King who will replace
him, and a hopeful future for them both.

Faramir and Aragorn are well-drawn here, as is the seamless progress of
their friendship. Aragorn's understanding Faramir's value and respecting
him is a welcome contrast to Denethor's poisonous treatment of his
secondborn. And Aragorn's completing Faramir's healing with words,
restoring what that had been missing in Faramir's life of late - a
compassionate liege-lord, and the knowledge that the desperate mission
to the outwalls had not lost men's lives in vain, it had helped save
Gondor - is a wonderful notion that is elegantly expressed.

I loved the metaphor of water and wine - what Aragorn gives Faramir is
as necessary as both to a thirsty man, even though Faramir had done
without for a long time.


-----------------------------------
Title: Good Neighbors · Author: daw the minstrel · Genres: Adventure ·
ID: 818
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-07-28 17:09:32
Again, you have managed to write a highly original story and at the same
time incorporate canonical events that are often no more than a date in
the Tale of Years, and make them come to life. Obvious dedication to
details add depth and verisimilitude to the narrative (for example all
the information on arrows or tracking). It also shows well-done research
and the ability to combine it seemingly effortless into the flow of the
story.

You worked very well with your different perspectives, allowing the
reader to know more about particular details sometimes than the current
PoV-character.

The thoughts and observations regarding the twin's dealing with their
grief was particularly poignant for its resonance with Lorellin's death.
-----------------------------------
Title: Lord of Werewolves · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Humor:
Parody · ID: 255
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-07-28 17:12:39
This is absolutely hilarious! You can literally hear Morgoth's mounting
despair and exasperation with his incompetent minions. The details woven
into the narrative are one funnier than the next; from Morgoth's
slippers to the ["leggy strumpet"] Thurungwethil manicuring Sauron, to
Anfauglir's nickname and need to be housebroken. And now we know exactly
why Beren and Lúthien succeeded in Tol Sirion...
-----------------------------------
Title: Paper · Author: Dawn Felagund · Races: Elves: Feanorians · ID: 492
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-07-28 17:46:47
Beautifully told. The family dynamics you show are extremely
well-developed in their complexity; full of conflicts and hidden
currents that are elegantly sketched, without dwelling on them overlong.
Wonderfully detailed yet restrained descriptions.
I love Curufin's observations on paper and how it relates to his life.
-----------------------------------
Title: Counterpoint, Interfolio - Scherzo · Author: Daffodil Bolger ·
Races: Hobbits: Pre-Quest · ID: 617
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-07-28 18:03:13
The strong narrative voice is mischievous and thought-provoking,
fanciful and practical all at once. Excellent, creative use and
application of descriptions and imageries.
I liked how Pippin's thoughts ramble, meander, and circulate, and he
constantly has to bring himself back to his current line of thought.

This had me laughing for quite a long time: ["They took a cart because
Frodo said Pippin's legs were still too short to walk all that way and
Pippin probably should have been put out with that but he didn't
complain - if he complained too much, Frodo might give in and then
Pippin would _have_ to walk and he preferred the cart because he would
be awfully daft not to."]
-----------------------------------
Title: Father and Daughter · Author: Imhiriel · Times: First Age and
Prior · ID: 943
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2006-07-28 18:28:09
I think what I enjoy most about this story is the characterization of
Galadriel. She is so often portrayed as cold and aloof, very distant
from everyone else and in complete control of herself and her immediate
surroundings. It's interesting to see her as the
not-completely-in-control and uncertain daughter that she is here,
parting from her father for who knows how long. If ever she could let
down her guard, it would be now and with these two Elves.

I love Celeborn's quiet and sympathetic support, and that Finarfin is
able to appreciate him as a good match for his beloved daughter. The
final scene is wonderful, with Galadriel and Celeborn standing together,
their mingling hair a metaphor for the mingling of their lives - or so I
took it!

Poor Finarfin! A tough parting for any father, never knowing when or if
he'll see his daughter again, or if she too will die across the seas and
have to go through Mandos' Halls to see him again. And perhaps a
foreshadowing of the parting Galadriel and Celeborn will one day experience.

I always enjoy your writing style and characterizations, and I'm glad
you have plans to do more exploring of Finarfin and his family. He's not
looked at much by fanfic authors, but really is a strong and fascinating
character.
-----------------------------------
Title: The White Tree · Author: Linda Hoyland · Races: Men: Featuring
Aragorn · ID: 94
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2006-07-28 21:44:51
How does Linda do it? She manages to grab you right into the story and
hold you there. I enjoy how her stories continue to explore the dynamic
between Aragorn and Faramir,
-----------------------------------
Title: Another Man's Cage · Author: Dawn Felagund · Genres: Drama · ID: 136
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-07-28 21:53:53
This is a stupefyingly ambitious effort, and deserves credit for its
scope alone - some 350,000 words devoted to a year in the life of Feanor
and Nerdanel and five of their seven sons, in Valinor, back before all
the trouble began.

I would prefer some trimming, but the texture is undeniably rich and the
use of language is excellent, as is the writer's ability to portray the
daily lives of probably the most famous family in Elvenhome.

I liked the occasional interaction of the Feanorians with the Valar; and
the portrayal of Rumil was fascinating.


-----------------------------------
Title: Cacophony · Author: Gwynnyd · Genres: Humor: Parody · ID: 929
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2006-07-28 22:39:09
Holy Eru, what an amusing piece this is, particularly for both
Silmarillion and music mavens. Gwynnyd teases us with musical references
from the classics to modern pop, to avant garde music, and assigns their
performances to comically appropriate Valar and Maiar.

As might be imagined, she saves the best moment in this story for
Melkor, but to reveal what Eru wanted him to perform--as opposed to
Melkor's own, ahem, independent choices--would spoil this little ficlet.
Better you read it yourself.
-----------------------------------
Title: Recalled To Life - Alqualonde · Author: AWing · Races: Elves:
Feanorians · ID: 787
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-07-28 23:48:31
What I love most about this piece is the way that the long history of
the strife between the different Elvish clans is woven so subtly into
the events. I have only read the Silm a few times and so the characters
were not as vivid as they might be for some - but even so, this story
was really poignant. Forgiving for something that seems as unforgiveable
as a kinslaying is definitely a hard thing to do, and I was glad to see
that honoured.
-----------------------------------
Title: Roots and Branches · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races: Men: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 611
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-07-28 23:55:06
A nicely captured moment in Faramir's readjustment to life after the War
and without his father and brother.
-----------------------------------
Title: Blood Brothers · Author: Elana · Races: Villains: Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 149
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2006-07-29 01:13:34
An extraordinarily original story. Youve packed so much of the art,
folklore, military tradition, and cultural history of Harad into just
one hundred vivid, powerful words  the imagery of the Mumak and his
rider growing up together, sharing blood and tattoos and mothers milk,
is fabulous. Have you expanded this further? Id love to read more.
-----------------------------------
Title: Sleep Easy · Author: shirelinghpc · Genres: Drama: Poetry · ID: 992
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:20:06
I liked the repetition of that first line, it gave the poem a certain
beat, as if the line, like the river, is carrying Boromir on.
-----------------------------------
Title: Gandalf returned · Author: Rabidsamfan · Genres: Drama: General
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 990
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:20:33
I love the phrase [he fell birthblind]; that opening line is fantastic,
as is the idea of Gandalf seeing himself reformed, seeing the lines of
age drawn back onto new flesh as if with a quill. And how very fitting
that understanding of his unique fate should be triggered by the sight
of Narya upon his hand.
-----------------------------------
Title: Birthdays · Author: Rabidsamfan · Genres: Drama: Remembering ·
ID: 988
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:21:03
A very touching father-daughter story, of Elanor growing up and learning
the tale of her father's struggles with the memory of the past.
Rabidsamfan has always been good at getting voices to sound their age,
without any apparent effort. This slightly distant third person
perspective and straightforward, narrative style convincingly gives one
the sense of seeing the world through a very young girl's eyes, who is
opening into a new sensitivity for others. With each year, she comes a
little closer to being able to understand something of Sam's traumatic
grief, not by booklearning, but by her own care for her father. Economic
and effective, Rabidsamfan! Kudos!
-----------------------------------
Title: In a Heartbeat · Author: Piplover · Genres: Drama: Featuring
Pippin or Merry · ID: 928
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:21:46
Although the second half of the fic did not, to me, live up to the first
half, the first half is quite entertaining and amusing. I liked the
original character, Oren, and the game of getting a little relief during
the long hours of guard duty.
-----------------------------------
Title: Lothlorien · Author: laiquendi · Genres: Drama: Poetry · ID: 925
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:22:17
Lothlorien is nicely represented as the seasons turn, standing in for
the change of ages.
-----------------------------------
Title: Seabird's Cry · Author: Primsong · Genres: Drama: Poetry · ID: 898
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:22:59
I'm not familiar with concrete poetry, but the visual effect works well
with the theme and Legolas' swells like the tides he wishes to follow.
-----------------------------------
Title: Dance Lessons · Author: Tanaqui · Genres: Drama: Fixed-Length
Ficlet Series · ID: 888
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:23:29
An amusing and interesting set of drabbles. Love and devotion, in their
several articulations and ends, circle about the theme of dancing.
Dancing (or refusing to dance) is no simple matter of enjoyment--it's
political, amusing, distracting, finally desireable as formal dances
give way to one that needs no tutoring between lovers. Nicely done!
-----------------------------------
Title: For Arda · Author: Dreamflower · Genres: Drama: Poetry · ID: 885
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:23:58
This takes a step away from fanfiction into reflection upon it. I'm not
sure of the form (a dribble?), but it's visually interesting and allows
for a smooth delivery.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7411

Reviews for 2 Sept - Part 2 Posted by Rhapsody September 02, 2006 - 14:23:55 Topic ID# 7411
Title: If Only · Author: Holdur · Genres: Drama: Featuring Pippin or
Merry · ID: 826
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:24:31
Boromir fans should enjoy this one. Whether a dream or a friendly visit
from the afterlife, Boromir has a great dignity and his compassion is
evident. Pippin's regrets, that Frodo should have given so much, which
moves him to think of how much others had sacrificed, leads to a
confession and a sort of ghostly absolution. The in media res beginning
might not work perfectly, but for a short fic like this, as long as one
goes with it, the story should be enjoyable.
-----------------------------------
Title: Last Goodbyes Series · Author: Perelleth · Genres: Drama:
Fixed-Length Ficlet Series · ID: 814
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:25:05
It's an interesting idea, to drabble various ways of saying farewell,
whether they were recognized as such or not at the time. I think
Finrod's and Elros Tar-Minyatar's drabbles were most effective:
Finarfin's unexpected farewell strikes hard; Elros' peaceful passing is
well drawn.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Gift of Time · Author: Rhapsody · Genres: Drama:
Pre-Fellowship · ID: 812
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:25:31
Some bloody ironic foreshadowing for those who know Arathorn's tale. One
gets a hint of the harshness of life among the Dúnedain, its
uncertainty, and the brutality of death as a Ranger that makes all time
spent with loved ones a gift.
-----------------------------------
Title: Better Than Frodo Baggins · Author: Inkling · Genres: Drama:
Pre-Fellowship · ID: 809
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:25:59
Inkling gets the dynamics of bullying down very neatly, and convincingly
portrays Frodo as in essence a born diplomat, though even his easy
going, quick-witted camaraderie cannot win everyone over. Most
especially not the hobbit who feels too much his dependence on Frodo's
interventions. The rivlalry and bitterness between Frodo and the
Sackville-Baggins gets a dark, domestic twist to it, but it is all too
possible a line of explanation.
-----------------------------------
Title: The gift · Author: Jael · Genres: Drama: Elves in Later Ages ·
ID: 807
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:26:30
I had never thought of Legolas and Gilraen in the same room, so this was
interesting. There is a romance, here, but as Legolas says, the actual
bridegroom is death, whom Gilraen accepts even as it claims her. Things
develop quickly, but for its length, it does a fairly good job of trying
to establish relationships, and it doesn't dwell simply on the
sentimental, but tries to draw in a discussion of death that gives
attention to a graced mortal perspective.
-----------------------------------
Title: Where The Shadows Are · Author: Kenaz · Genres: Drama: Elves in
Later Ages · ID: 776
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:27:01
I haven't read Gil-galad/Elrond slash for some time, so this was a fun
venture back to one of the earliest slash pairings to appear on the net.
There are some excellent conversational exchanges, here, that seem right
for the last meeting of two lovers, the night before the last battle.
The descriptions are sometimes overwrought, but taken as a vignette,
it's still an enjoyable fic.
-----------------------------------
Title: Board Games (Cinquain) · Author: Rous · Genres: Drama: Poetry ·
ID: 741
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:27:41
This cinquain follows the classic pattern, and between title and final
line, fits Rohan up to a point. The knight's got himself into trouble,
but can't get out of it - Rohan can hold back the tide, but cannot
defeat it alone. Another cinquain, though, and this war game might not
end with stalemate.
-----------------------------------
Title: Fallen Leaves · Author: laiquendi · Genres: Drama: Elves in Later
Ages · ID: 735
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:28:09
Over the top on angst for me, but good to see some focus on movie!Gimli
in his relation to Legolas, even in grief.
-----------------------------------
Title: Fugitive · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres: Drama · ID: 366
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:29:34
This was cute, particularly the classic [I skipped that year. I went
from being ten to twelve] in response to Gilraen's standard complaint
that the adults just don't understand what being eleven is like.
-----------------------------------
Title: Chivalry · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres: Drama: General
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 374
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:29:50
A short, yet very nicely drawn, portrait of Shadowfax and Gandalf. I
like the way the three day pursuit is given through Shadowfax's eyes,
moving from disdain to curiosity, to finally a hearing and the
recognition, not of Gandalf's mastery, but of his fraternity. Well done!
-----------------------------------
Title: Earth, Water, Fire and Air · Author: Fileg · Genres: Drama:
Fixed-Length Ficlet Series · ID: 469
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:30:06
Very cleanly drawn vignettes, glimpses of moments of change, their
horizons opening out in just a hundred words each. Eowyn's is, perhaps,
the most enigmatic to me, perhaps because it isn't clear to me what she
is prepared foris this Dernhelm, or is it Eowyn? Is this the girl who
wishes to become a shieldmaiden, or the shieldmaiden awaiting her call?
-----------------------------------
Title: Relief · Author: Acacea · Genres: Drama: Pre-Fellowship · ID: 518
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:30:20
Ah, a very nice use of Denethor and his eye in the sky. The battle for
Osgiliath could easily have ended in total disaster. Acacea gives us one
scenario in which it seemed almost certain that there could be no hope
for Boromir and his beleaguered men, but for the Steward's furtive
surveillence and quick action in sending relief. One can see why he
continues to use and justify the use of the palantir.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Steward and the Wizard · Author: Acacea · Genres: Drama:
Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 522
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:30:39
Jealousy rears its head, as Denethor observes Faramir's joy in Gandalf's
presence--a joy that never seems directed at *him*. Acacea hits the nail
right on the head.
-----------------------------------
Title: Childhood Dreams · Author: Acacea · Genres: Drama: Gondor
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 523
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:30:50
An interesting conversation between brothers, and the identification,
through childhood fantasies, of Boromir and the river makes for a
slightly chilling counterpoint.
-----------------------------------
Title: Desires Of The Hroa · Author: The Last Temptation of Homer ·
Genres: Drama: First Age Elves · ID: 623
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:31:12
The forbidden and guilt that lasts the ages are economically portrayed,
here, without the encumberance of names. That Valinor spoils some with
its very perfection, while the imperfections of Arda Marred 'perfect'
others is interesting. Some grammatical flaws.
-----------------------------------
Title: Weaver · Author: Vana Tuivana · Genres: Drama: Poetry · ID: 627
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:31:25
Relentless rhythm, very sharp and quick. Vana draws you into the
weaver's world, ever oriented by the absent beloved, but it is not until
the last stanza that the poet's identity is poignantly revealed. Quite
enjoyable!
-----------------------------------
Title: Lay of Lord and Lady · Author: Vana Tuivana · Genres: Drama:
Poetry · ID: 629
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:31:45
I liked this retelling of Eol and Aredhel. Vana does a good job of
compressing the narrative, and the recurrance of motifs of light and
dark, cold and warmth lead the reader through this meeting of day and
night, lady and lord, that erupts when the two discover it is impossible
to reconcile themselves with each other.
-----------------------------------
Title: I'm Writing This With My Left Hand · Author: Vana Tuivana ·
Genres: Drama: Poetry · ID: 641
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:32:00
Simultaneously hilarious and ominous, I'm really not sure what to say of
this poem, other than: read it. There's a certain surreality, of genius
gone possibly mad, in this short, free verse poem, allegedly from
Maedhros' hand... his left hand, that is. One wonders whether one ought
nonetheless to pity what became of the rest of him, though he escaped
his bondage in Thangorodrim. I don't think I've read anything like it,
in terms of oddity, snarkiness, and foreboding, since Earmire's 'The
Vain Songs.' And I mean all that in the best possible way!
-----------------------------------
Title: Conversational, of Cousins · Author: Vana Tuivana · Genres:
Drama: Poetry · ID: 642
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:32:15
Definitely more nostalgic than the other Maedhros-centric free verse
poem; it nevertheless lives up to the promise of being slightly macabre.
On the subject of Maedhros' now severed hand, Fingon seems rather more
attached to it than does Maedhros, at least by his words, which attach
that hand to fond memories. One is hard pressed to decide whether
Maedhros is practical or in denial with regard to his own wounding,
though one suspects the latter. He seems a little too willing to discard
parts of his emotional life along with physical bits of his body.
-----------------------------------
Title: Inheritances · Author: Marta · Genres: Drama: The Steward's
Family · ID: 651
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:32:32
Interesting, although I'm not sure the push at the end to get something
a little more foreboding out of this early, brief encounter wholly
works. That does seem a lot to read in. Liked the use of Jane Austen!
-----------------------------------
Title: Nothing but Dreams · Author: Unsung Heroine · Genres: Drama:
First Age Elves · ID: 659
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:32:51
Caranthir is not my favorite Feanorian, but this is an interesting
reading of him. Caught between inverse abandonments, between the mortal
woman who loved and left him and the treachery of the mortals who allied
with and then betrayed him at the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, Caranthir's sanity
dangles by a thread. There's a matter-of-factness about Haleth's
appearances that underscores the unmoored quality of his judgment, which
is drowning in survivors' guilt and despairing remorse. From that eerie
mundanity of a ghost's visits to his ranting at his brother (one of his
brothers, never named), he doesn't so much struggle for perspective as
flounder about, shying away from the occasional effort to throw him a
lifeline.

Feanor's sons appeal oftentimes precisely because they are
psychologically scarred, and this is an apt depiction of that.
-----------------------------------
Title: Night Phantoms · Author: Marta · Genres: Drama: Remembering · ID: 696
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:33:10
This piece tries to work out what power the nightmarish past has over
Eowyn, and how Faramir might react to it. It's a bit rough.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Story of a Garden, by Frodo Baggins · Author: GamgeeFest ·
Genres: Drama: Pre-Fellowship · ID: 713
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:33:31
Very sweet, and the prose has that nice, clean feel that says "Shire" to
me. I'm not familiar with the larger story, so I can't put it in
context, but this does sound like something Sam would do, and Frodo's
efforts to, as it were, contribute, to the garden by writing the story
of its gardener seems fitting.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Humble Gift · Author: GamgeeFest · Genres: Drama: Featuring
Pippin or Merry · ID: 722
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:33:46
Gamgeefest delivers an excellent portrayal of Pippin, hale, whole,
coping with the aftermath of war and enjoying something of the peace
that has unexpectedly come. Faramir is also well drawn, the two of them
telling tales, often about Boromir, but eventually working their way to
the nightmares that afflict soldiers and the prince of Halflings who
saved Faramir's life.

The birthday customs of hobbits is put to good use by Faramir, if
inversely. It's a nice short interlude in life after the fall of Sauron.
-----------------------------------
Title: Mellyn · Author: Pentangle · Genres: Drama · ID: 322
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:34:31
Some cute humorous moments throughout; sort of a 'Life of Brian'
reversal of saviorly expectations.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7412

Reviews for 3 Sept - Part 2 Posted by Rhapsody September 03, 2006 - 13:19:37 Topic ID# 7412
Title: ... and hear the song of salt and sea · Author: Cuthalion ·
Genres: Drama: The Steward's Family · ID: 98
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:42:05
From the promising beginning through the change, never clearly
understood, to a final parting before death, Finduilas goes back through
marriage, family, and the division duty introduced into her life.
Perhaps. It's impossible to pinpoint what made the decisive change, but
the ending does not come as a surprise.
-----------------------------------
Title: Servant of the Tower · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Drama: Gondor
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 95
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:42:18
A rather devastating glimpse into the mind of one of Denethor's
servants. We all know the pattern: O woe is me, the horrors I had to
endure in the carrying out of my duties! And it is always true, but
sometimes it is only an excuse. The last line gives the game away -
there's no defense so desperate as self-defense when the last thing
desired is to see clearly the weakness of that defense.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Tide · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Drama: Gondor Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 77
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:42:40
The tides ebb and rise, and at the moment, wrath is rising for Imrahil,
to whom falls the duty to bring Faramir back from Pelennor to the aloof
Steward of Gondor.
-----------------------------------
Title: Dragons and Sailboats · Author: Acacea · Genres: Drama:
Remembering · ID: 74
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:42:54
A few threads of past lives are drawn out here. I particularly liked the
mutual realization that Aragorn could no more find the boy he remembered
in Boromir than Boromir could find the Captain he remembered in Aragorn.
Things change and are lost and can't be recovered. But it seems there's
some peace to be had in speaking of them with others.
-----------------------------------
Title: Heirlooms · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Drama: Remembering · ID: 72
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:43:13
A very sweet set of matched vignettes. I remember Winfrith and the
children's toys from Alawa's story very well--it was one of my favorite
passages, so it was lovely to see that expanded on a little across the
years and two lands. Forever absent uncles find ways into the lives of
newborn nephews. Eowyn's recognition of the toy helps connect it to a
feminine genealogy, too: from Morwen to her
great-great-granddaughter-in-law (I think), and not simply through the
stories Éomer and Faramir can tell, though those, too, are a part of it.
As always, Ann's attention to the craftwork that goes into the everyday
items shows through.
-----------------------------------
Title: Benison · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Drama: Remembering · ID: 67
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:43:26
Ann writes with precision, capturing the secrets that lie hidden in the
domestic. The phrase [second-hand memories] evokes a sense of loss, of
being always given something used, something worn out that will never
quite fit the one to whom it is given. To a degree, this is true:
memories of others cannot be ours to a certain degree. The first hand
encounter with Finduilas' day book, where lies also Denethor's poetry, I
note, at last gives her a hold on the Lady of Gondor's life that is all
her own, unfiltered by the remembrances of others.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Household Accounts · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Drama: Gondor
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 50
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:43:45
Eowyn's discovery of the 'cast offs', almost, of the last ruling
steward's family, speaks succinctly of lives cut off, like the lengths
of cloth themselves. She'll need some time to exorcise those ghosts,
clearly.
-----------------------------------
Title: SpiderWebs · Author: Lindelea · Races: Hobbits: Children · ID: 783
Reviewer: Budgielover · 2006-07-29 03:47:58
Growing up with two older brothers, this story resonated with me. It was
sweet indeed to see a smaller girl win her revenge from the incessent
bullying of the lads! The author's hobbit children are written so
realistically that no one could doubt she knows children well. Pippin,
though a lad and therefore an annoyance, shines in this story, and I had
to laugh at one remark which summed up the essence of young Master Took
- he never starts out to cause trouble, but he always does. The
childrens' reinactment of Bilbo's adventure with the Spiders was
delightful, and SO what young lads would play at. The ending paragraph
was very good, returning to the theme of the story and also showing us
that our hobbit-lass can be just as stubborn as the lads.
-----------------------------------
Title: Breeze · Author: illyria-pffyffin · Races: Hobbits: War of the
Ring · ID: 974
Reviewer: Budgielover · 2006-07-29 03:56:25
This is simply an astonishing story. Written in first-person from the
viewpoint of an errant breeze, we see the last days of Frodo and Sam's
journey to the fire mountain through its insubstantial eyes. The breeze
becomes a living character in this story, full of sorrow and grief and
anger at the evil being done to two small hobbits as they strive to
achieve the impossible. It seeks to comfort the Ring-bearer and does
what it can to ease his burden, lamenting that it is only a breeze and
can do no more. Seeing Frodo and Sam in their final extremes through the
breeze's long memory of evil and heroic battles against it forces the
reader to empathize with the breeze; we feel its helplessness and
sorrow. Written almost in prose, this is a story even the Professor
would have felt honored his masterwork.
-----------------------------------
Title: Dear Diary · Author: Lily · Races: Hobbits: Pre-Quest · ID: 264
Reviewer: Budgielover · 2006-07-29 04:02:10
This is an amazing series of stories, detailing the pregnacy of Frodo's
mother Primula in a journal-format which both entices and charms the
reader. Each diary entry is self-contained yet builds into the main
story, a progression of events just like a pregnancy. Written in
first-person (for the most part), Primula reveals herself to be a hobbit
of wit, charm, and joy. Her gratitude for her condition, and her
absolute joy at the birth of her son are a treasure. Drogo, too, makes
appearances, seen through the eyes of a loving and sometimes exasperated
wife. Perhaps the best of all is her entries concerning the infant Frodo
- any mother would recognize the terror and joy and gratitude. I was so
moved by this story that I e-mailed the author to express my gratitude
for this story - it is one of the finest of its genre I have ever read,
and a credit to the fandom.
-----------------------------------
Title: In Stitches · Author: Pearl Took · Races: Hobbits: Children · ID: 132
Reviewer: Budgielover · 2006-07-29 04:18:31
The absolute shining joy of this story is the conversations(s) between
little Pippin-lad and his mother. A cohesive and well thought-out story,
the introduction of little details into the plot, such as Pippin's
dissatisfaction with his toys and their subsequent treatment, endear the
characters to the reader and builds in us a warm feeling. I think it's
called happiness. The relationship drawn between this little hobbit and
his mother encapsules all that is best about hobbit-folk; loving
indulgence, patience, cleverness, and the response given to love. Love
given and returned.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Change In The Weather · Author: Marigold · Races: Hobbits:
Fixed-Length Ficlet series · ID: 692
Reviewer: Budgielover · 2006-07-29 04:26:14
That this author knows and loves hobbits, and our four hero-hobbits in
particular, is evident in her every word. The thought and attention
given to describing each of their personalities, to each of their
pivotal moments, shows the planning that went into this deceptively
simple fic. At the core of each hobbit's strength is the Shire, and
through each trial each hobbit undergoes, that memory and that love of
home serves to ground them. We love our hero hobbits already, but even
more after seeing them endure and triumph in these four ficlets.
-----------------------------------
Title: Cakes and Apples · Author: Ruby Nye · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 891
Reviewer: Budgielover · 2006-07-29 04:33:07
Set in the frightening and painful time immediately after the
destruction of the Ring, this is a wonderfully warming story of Merry
caring for the injured Pippin before Sam and Frodo awake from their
inforced healing sleep. The relationship drawn between Merry and Pippin,
their actions, their dialogue, shines with the love each has for the
other. Merry is worried and protective and frightened, and Pippin is
hurting and unhappy and frightened. He turns to Merry for comfort and
protection and love, as he has done all of his life. And when Pippin
wants something probably impossible to find, Merry does find it. And the
reader is included in that warm circle of love and even gifted with the
recipe for the object of Pippin's wistful longing.
-----------------------------------
Title: Stewardship · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 920
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2006-07-29 12:22:37
I cannot recall reading this before,so it was a nice surprise to find it
here. Gandalf must be well pleased that he is leaving Middle-earth in
such capable hands.He is a prime example of a good Steward in contrast
to Dethethor, but Gandalf's "pupils" have been well taught and will
never abandon their heritage. With men like Aragorn and Faramir, and
Hobbits like Merry and Pippin trained by him, Gandalf can afford to be
well satisfied with his work.Legolas too,will be a good Steward until
the sea calls him.
-----------------------------------
Title: The End of All Things · Author: Ariel · Genres: Drama: Featuring
Frodo or Sam · ID: 109
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-07-29 12:36:06
I was totally unsuspecting, totally unprepared for whose POV I was
reading. "Is it Bilbo? Is it Frodo? Who is it?"

Then, when I got to the end, I had to read it all over again.

And again.

What a terrific story. If it were longer, I could find things to tease
out of it to get you more points since length matters in this
competition (why does that sound porn-ish? *grin*). But let me say that
your story devastated me in the most gratifying way. I finished my third
read and my eyes are still all weepy, my breath quick, but pleasurably so.

This was a beautiful envisioning of the ends of two characters I love,
and one I had never imagined. Nor have I read any other fic that has
depicted it quite this way. It was perfectly plausible and felt so
"right," within the world of the source stories.

Super job, Ariel.
-----------------------------------
Title: Elfwine · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Humor: Fixed-Length Ficlet
· ID: 70
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-07-29 12:42:59
I loved it! Only three paragraphs and what a vivid depiction of the
royal birth to this particular couple in this particular kingdom. The
POV of the unnamed character was perfect to take a picture of this
moment.

I loved that the baby boy came out of his mothers womb so lustily, too,
as if he already had a tankard of ale in one hand and the reins of a
charger in the other. I am not worried about the future of that boy at all.
-----------------------------------
Title: For the Moon to Lead, and All the Stars to Follow · Author:
annmarwalk · Genres: Romance: Gondor · ID: 200
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-07-29 12:43:42
In a short space, you set the scene and mood; a man at a social event,
gracefully doing his duty. Who is he? You do not say. An unknown woman
is watching. Is she married? Is she young? Is she old? She has been
watching him dance with every sort of partner. She was in love with the
mans father, Denethor, we learn, but Denethor did not return her love,
or, not in time. She married someone else. Who is she watching, Faramir
or Boromir? They have a habitual, amused exchange between them, him
always asking her to dance, she always declining. That sounds like
Boromir, not Faramir.

The easy, almost world-weary air of the piece changes with the flicker
of candlelight; it illuminates the dancer just as it blazes up in the
mind of the woman. Suddenly I find out that to this woman Denethor once
had been fiercely radiant, which makes me suddenly sad, thinking how he
will end up  with another sort of radiance, far more fierce. How doubly
sweet is Boromirs invitation (named at last) to lead her to the floor,
becoming for her the partner she would never be able to have.
-----------------------------------
Title: Today · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Romance: Rohan · ID: 199
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-07-29 12:44:02
Ann, this was just gorgeous. Smart and sensual and elegantly written,
and so real; the style of the language suited to the story to a T,
giving it a great canon feel, and you made the content itself utterly
plausible. You seem to really know people and how they behave in both
formal and more intimate interactions.

I love the way you have portrayed these two men as two men, although
they are lovers. They have hot, pleasurable sex, obviously, but its
clear that the sex reinforces and celebrates the friendship, rather than
the friendship making the sex possible. Perhaps I didnt say that
effectively& Its as though you have in this relationship depicted a
manly friendship, but elevated, perhaps idealized, to a higher yet
more profound level through the two mens sexual intimacy. Perhaps
thats what the Greeks were after in their own ideal of manly love.

Knowing how things end for these two, especially Boromirs, which is not
just physically but spiritually tortured, I was filled with happiness to
imagine them, through your story, having had the chance to enjoy such
pleasure, such real friendship, and to have such confidantes in each
other. Would that we all might be so blessed!

One question: at the end, Theodred does not tell Eowyn that he has no
future, that he and Boromir will die young. How does Theodred know this?
This puzzled me. Is there more about Theodred having premonitions or
some form of The Sight in some other story youve written? It added
extra gravity to the ending, but I was just wondering.
-----------------------------------
Title: Too Few Words · Author: annmarwalk · Races: Dwarves · ID: 311
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-07-29 12:44:24
["She had crafted the brazier herself, spare and elegant; its design had
been widely copied throughout Erebor.]

This line struck me; it could be compared to this story. Spare and
elegant, and, if fic writers are smart, it will be widely copied
throughout ficdom. The [fine olivewood cups lined with pewter]. Things
like that. Not too much but just the right detail to reinforce the
picture of Zei as a craftswoman, but one of great taste; an artist. In a
way, the story is written in a way that reflects the persona of its
heroine.

Another example: You went a bit further describing the difference in the
sounds of the voices of the two races, Elf and Dwarf, and it was a
wonderful melding of the poetic and the informative, yet still spare. A
Dwarfs voice, not just big or deep or nice to listen to, but, [deep
and melodious as water rushing over rock.] Just one phrase, but it
calls to mind the rock the Dwarves love and the water that formed the
glories of Aglarond, while perfectly describing the voice at the same
time. For the Elf voice, you could have said it was also melodious but
lighter, but you said, [light, soft, like wind in the trees.] It made
me hear the sound of the voice, but also captured a sense of the literal
lightness of an Elf (Legolas not sinking into the snow at Caradhras) and
the trees they loved. Even the word light, used in this way, made me
think not just of sound that falls easily on the ear, but the light
that moves through those trees as the wind moved them. You pick up
the visual notion of light immediately, as you describe Legolas
perceptible light that needed no lantern. Beautiful.

The way you handled the silent exchange between Zei and Legolas was
sensitive, nuanced. Oh, perfect, I thought. But you made it better
still, with the understated little epilogue about the drawing of their
portrait (echoing the note about her portrait of Gimli at the storys
opening). The coda was made tear-jerkingly satisfying with the addition
of the sentence from the Appendices. So elegant, spare and simple, yet
so touching. The ending was made richer still by noting that although
the King kept the drawing of the two friends and admired and cherished
it, its provenance was unknown. Its like a statement about the story
itself: if this story turned up somewhere uncredited, readers who came
across it would admire and value it, wondering where it had been found
and why it had not been included in the canon text. At least Christopher
Tolkien could have included it in the HoME, they would say.

I enthused over this story when I read it in your LJ early this spring,
but a second reading only shows it off better. You really display your
craft in this story, Ann. I can see that writing short-forms has honed
your skills so that when you write something story-length, its not as
though you padded it with superfluous *stuff*, but retained your ability
to say a lot in few words, merely limning out your tale in greater depth.
-----------------------------------
Title: Aglarond · Author: annmarwalk · Races: Dwarves: Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 68
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-07-29 12:44:46
I had completely forgot about Gimli and Galadriel, reading Too Few
Words. Can you believe it? No wonder Zei didnt stand a chance.

This was acutely observed, Ann, the way Gimli "composed" or "painted"
with a hammer (rather than a pen or brush) applied to stone.
-----------------------------------
Title: Lobelia's List · Author: annmarwalk · Races: Hobbits: General
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 201
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-07-29 12:45:18
Number 4 on Lobelias list was a crack-up! -- That she would decide to
use Otho as a guard, but then have second thoughts - who would check up
on HIM, then?

It just goes to show just how savvy Lobelia was. Too bad she couldnt
put her intelligence to better use!

Very witty, Ann.
-----------------------------------
Title: Thus Are Legends Born · Author: annmarwalk · Races: Men:
Fixed-Length Ficlets With Children · ID: 732
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-07-29 12:46:12
Both Faramirs openness to the "other" in life and his considered
seriousness are contrasted well with Boromirs more sceptical,
grounded-in-reality approach in what is really a little conceit about
something two boys see by the river bank. Carefully observed!
-----------------------------------
Title: History Becomes Legend · Author: annmarwalk · Races: Men:
Steward's Sons Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 737
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-07-29 12:46:33
I read this story in the light of your body of Boromir/Theodred stories,
for a lively connection between Rohan and Gondor is implied by the young
Rider coming to sing this elegy for Boromir, obviously an intimate
friend& the beloved companion to their Prince, the Rider said. I had
assumed the Rohirric lad had found Faramir in the noisy tavern, drowning
his sorrows, but perhaps Faramir is only learning of his brothers death
hearing the boys song? Because you have not given a precise time
reference, it is up to the reader to decide, which makes the drabble all
the more thought-provoking.

I liked, too, the way you reminded the reader that folk in the Mark
spoke a different language from the men of Gondor. I rarely remember it
when I am reading the canon text. And you brought in the notion of how
stirring and moving the singing of the horse people was famed to be.
What a lot you have packed in a little drabble!
-----------------------------------
Title: A Length of Haradric Silk · Author: annmarwalk · Times: The Great
Years: Gondor · ID: 69
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-07-29 12:47:00
Oh, Ann, what a charming story. Your sense of humour is always witty,
but warm, affectionate towards your characters. How you tweak Sams
cheek! Buy the silk to give to Lily Cotton  shell know what to do with
it  really! Im sure she will! Wont Rosie be pleased. (And if they
made a dress for Elanor from that fabric, Id be ecstatic.) And the bit
about his initials embroidered on his underwear  how I chortled.

But my favourite part of this fic was the description of the fabric
itself. I felt as though I could see it, touch it, feel the soft puff of
air when the shopkeeper shook it open. That she [snapped] it made me
think of a magician saying, Presto! And magical it was, such fabric. And
not wasted on a hobbit like Sam. A practical fellow, but with a strong
taste for what is high and beautiful.
-----------------------------------
Title: Kissing is Different · Author: Lady Bluejay · Genres: Romance:
Lothíriel & Éomer · ID: 280
Reviewer: Madeleine · 2006-07-29 15:24:35
First time meeting between Éomer and Lothíriel in  surprise  the royal
stables of Minas Tirith.
A delightful and tingling vignette, one you like to read again and
again. And you are still kept wondering who is besting whom in the end.

-----------------------------------

Msg# 7413

Reviews for 3 Sept - Part 1 Posted by Rhapsody September 03, 2006 - 13:20:59 Topic ID# 7413
Title: Sleeping Arrangements · Author: Lady Galadriel · Genres: Drama:
Featuring Frodo or Sam · ID: 312
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:34:51
The little things, that seem so inconsequential, become ominous portents
when on the road to Orodruin. Cute childhood battle of wills, bookended
by a different contest with a most reluctant victor.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Woodland Prince · Author: Bodkin · Genres: Drama: Fixed-Length
Ficlet Series · ID: 303
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:35:08
Interesting idea. I liked Pippin's drabble best, followed by Gimli's two.
-----------------------------------
Title: Lonely Night · Author: NeumeIndil · Genres: Drama: Remembering ·
ID: 295
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:35:27
It's a sad portrait of the choices women have to make, particularly in
the sex trade. I'm not familiar with the story to which it is attached,
so its impact is correspondingly lessened, but it remains a fairly bleak
little vignette.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Last Thing He Said · Author: NeumeIndil · Genres: Drama · ID: 294
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:35:42
Slices of the tale, from the eyes of (if I'm not mistaken) dog, horse,
pig, and cat. The author manages to present the story in a way that
seems right for non-human creatures. I especially adore the pig, or
whatever creature narrated chapter three, [Gossip]. I'm assuming it was
a pig due to references to snouts, grunting, and the superiority of the
narrator's kind of creature over human beings (Winston Churchill was
just slightly off in his estimation of the relative status of pigs and
people, apparently?). The voice was lovely, chatty, pushy and
self-centered--everything a pig should be, assuming it is one!

The story of Boromir's dog (again, I think) is also quite touching - her
faith in "daddy", who will come home, is that of an innocent, who cannot
understand the implications of the words spoken around her. The cat in
the final vignette had a wonderfully catty view--I liked the way pallor
became dove-like, the Houses of Healing the Blood Houses, the way down
into the city marked by the memory of women who threw shoes or water
(even in the face of fire and blood in the lower circles), and her
immediate sense that Aragorn belongs to the City, since that is the
place of Mankind, not on the fields beyond the walls.

All the perspectives were nicely done, and Aragorn's incorporation into
them is often understated to the point of being slightly doubtful. But
when we do get more of a glimpse of him, he still never overwhelms the
story--the story remains the animal's, whose focus on him may or may not
be lasting. Well done!
-----------------------------------
Title: Preparing The Way · Author: Lady Aranel · Genres: Drama: Elves in
Later Ages · ID: 284
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:35:58
Well, this is a change! Usually we get this kind of scene with people,
but why not? There are other beings in the world whom we come to care
for, so why shouldn't Legolas mourn this one? I do wonder why this death
should hit him so hard, though, by comparison with others - but perhaps
now that he has mortal companions, death takes a new meaning for him.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Battle Of A Different Kind · Author: Katzilla · Genres: Drama:
Pre-Fellowship · ID: 279
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:36:13
Good for Eowyn for taking Eomer on, even if she loses. A little too much
explanation at some points, but we know the basic equation: men fight
the battles beyond the home, women must fight the *other* kind of battle
that comes of being left behind.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Green Flash · Author: DrummerWench · Genres: Drama: Featuring
Frodo or Sam · ID: 277
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:36:32
An interesting look at Sam's sea-longing, though I found Cirdan's tale
to be somewhat disruptive. Nice use of Narya - very appropriate bit of
playing with the story.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Gift of Gold · Author: pippinfan88 · Genres: Drama:
Remembering · ID: 267
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:36:51
Sweet!
-----------------------------------
Title: Return to Me · Author: Dawn Felagund · Genres: Drama: First Age
Elves · ID: 266
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:37:03
Finrod is reborn, and to the question of the meaning of his death. His
father, watching his son's body be 'repaired' and assisting him to
recover after the rejoining of spirit and body, is a father first -
there is no question his son's life is not able to be set against the
fate of the world. For Finrod, what he has been part of is worth dying for.

Some interesting descriptions and speculations about the Houses and
their unearthly, unbearable ways. The tuning fork and the healing of
Finrod's body by Namo seemed appropriately otherworldly.
-----------------------------------
Title: Fairy Tales of Middle-Earth · Author: DrummerWench · Genres:
Drama · ID: 261
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:37:19
These are delightful vignettes that captures the reader and pulls him or
her into a displaced Middle-earth: the background stories that must
surely have floated about in the oral histories of the fictional
inhabitants now have their own life. DrummerWench covers Men of Rohan,
of Gondor, the Drúedain, hobbits, elves of Rivendell and Mirkwood.
Sometimes the fairy tale empties out into an unwritten history:
Thranduil's marriage, the waking of the Balrog in Khazad-dûm, the tale
of Beorn's family and unusual shape-shifting abilities. Other times,
although we recognize characters, the story remains speculative:
Goldberry might have acted thus and so and so played a part in a tale
like "Lady in the Water." As in Tolkien's corpus, so within it: legends
and history meet and blur.

Nicely done, highly enjoyable!
-----------------------------------
Title: A Precious Gift · Author: Isil Elensar · Genres: Drama: First Age
Elves · ID: 250
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:37:33
Sweet interlude for Indis and Finwe.
-----------------------------------
Title: Master of Shadows · Author: Space Weavil · Genres: Drama · ID: 245
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:37:51
An interesting set of vignettes, detailing the fall and rise of the one
who would become Sauron's most powerful servant. Interesting history,
going all the way back to Ancalime's day, when an arrogant young
nobleman dreamed of winning his way to the throne.

Particularly interesting was the encounter with Galadriel, and her
manner of testing him, as well as responding to his attempt to rape her.
One steely woman, clearly, and his belated realization that she is the
true power in the councils of Celebrimbor and Celeborn is well played. I
also found the vignette on sloth quite intriguing. 'Pride' was very
neatly turnedhis resistance to Sauron's simple, singular command, and
eventual naming of him ('Servant') wearing away, until pride has nothing
left to offer than the lie that his service comes through his free
choice. Capitulation never sounded so proud.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Hardest Lesson · Author: mistycracraft · Genres: Drama:
Pre-Fellowship · ID: 231
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:38:05
Tough lessons to learn, indeed. Nice touch about Estel wanting to keep
the mortally wounded company, even if they can't hear him.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Falcon's Watch · Author: pippinfan88 · Genres: Drama:
Featuring Pippin or Merry · ID: 227
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:38:24
Perhaps a touch too sentimental for me, but the inability of the
Travellers to reintegrate their lives with the Shire was clearly seen in
Frodo's case. It stands to reason that in Sam's, Merry's, and Pippin's
cases, the extraordinary and horrific things they had seen would
eventually come home to drive them out again.
-----------------------------------
Title: In This Silence I Am Sinking · Author: Ghettoelleth · Genres:
Drama: General Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 222
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:38:36
Ah, theodicy! That staple of Valinorean reflection. Nicely done
confrontation between Tulkas, ever eager to extinguish evil where he
finds it and Namo, whose inscrutable domain of prophecy and death lead
him to find that there is more in the world than good alone, and
frighteningly, that a flawed world may yet be part of a greater plan.
-----------------------------------
Title: Treasures And Momentos · Author: Marigold · Genres: Drama:
Featuring Pippin or Merry · ID: 220
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:38:53
Boxing up lives after the deaths of loved ones is the real funeral, most
definitely. I did very much like the note that went with Gimli's
farewell gift - classic!
-----------------------------------
Title: The Fading of a Star · Author: Minuialeth · Genres: Drama:
General Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 219
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:39:09
Very elven concerns at work in this drabble. I have a feeling I'm
missing background for Arwen and Erestor, however, which would make this
hit harder.
-----------------------------------
Title: Quality Time · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Drama: The Steward's
Family · ID: 205
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:39:28
An interesting and intimate portrait of Denethor with his young
children, though in point of fact it's as much about the relationship
with their nurse as it is about them. Not the most rational of
relationships, apparently: she's to be close, yet distant; he does not
understand why she expects censure, yet he also knows very well he
intimidates her and is not displeased with that, or with the rumors of
his clairvoyance that aid in that process of intimidation. She seems to
be both in and outside of the family sphere, so that we are surprised
both by what Denethor knows of her, but also what he does not know (that
she reads Sindarin, for instance).

Nice touch about reading Akallabeth to Faramir as a sort of experiment
in stimulating intellect. And while his sons may now give him peace, oh
just wait 'til thirty years down the line, Denethor...
-----------------------------------
Title: Was It For This? · Author: aervir · Genres: Drama: General
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 204
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:39:45
Nice use of Owen, and I liked the first paragraph--the essential
reduction of human beings in all the glory their people can heap on them
to just a damp patch of ground and an act of treachery that almost
obliterates all else that they had been.
-----------------------------------
Title: Fire · Author: Aramel · Genres: Drama: Fixed-Length Ficlet Series
· ID: 172
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:40:16
An interesting perspective on the making of Narya--here the greatest of
the three, thanks to Celebrimbor's memories of the delights of his
grandfather's forge. Fire here is not the consuming force wielded by
darkness, but the spark of life to bring hope into being.
-----------------------------------
Title: When The Days Are Warm · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Drama: The
Steward's Family · ID: 145
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:40:34
Finduilas' promise sounds made to be broken, though in this instance,
the noble lie seems legitimate enough.
-----------------------------------
Title: Fair-weather Friends · Author: pippinfan88 · Genres: Drama:
Featuring Pippin or Merry · ID: 126
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:40:55
Even foreseen consequences can be hard to bear.
-----------------------------------
Title: Of Stone and Fire · Author: Werecat · Genres: Drama: General
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 124
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:41:11
Ooh, killer last line! The right last line can really make or break a
drabble, and I love this one! The rock of Dwarven strength has nothing
to fear from the spirit of fire in its wrath. Gimli so rarely gets his
due, but when he does, it is a sweet victory. Thank you, Werecat!
-----------------------------------
Title: The End of All Things · Author: Ariel · Genres: Drama: Featuring
Frodo or Sam · ID: 109
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:41:29
A rather quiet passing on; I was not sure who was who until the end of
the fic, however, which was a bit distracting.
-----------------------------------
Title: Stigmas · Author: Robinka · Genres: Drama: Fixed-Length Ficlet
Series · ID: 105
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-07-29 01:41:47
I'm not sure how well the seven deadly sins device works, but taking on
Turin's several names is something that seems suited to drabble series.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7414

Reviews for 4 Sept - Part 2 Posted by Rhapsody September 04, 2006 - 12:59:35 Topic ID# 7414
Title: Legacy · Author: Nancy Brooke · Races: Hobbits: General
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 299
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2006-07-30 21:29:41
Very nicely done, and brought tears to my eyes. It rings true, that
Merry and Pippin would think of Boromir at such a time, and how his
sacrifice in part bought them the peace they enjoyed.
-----------------------------------
Title: Those Who Challenge the Dead · Author: Nancy Brooke · Races: Men:
Other Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 858
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2006-07-30 21:32:17
Tragic in its inevitability. The author captures blind, arrogant pride
in just the few strokes of a pen.
-----------------------------------
Title: Forlorn Hope · Author: Nancy Brooke · Races: Men: Steward's Sons
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 301
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2006-07-30 21:34:05
Powerful, poetic, haunting in its use of repetition. But it could also
apply to bookverse, the scene where Denethor sends Faramir out again,
and Gandalf cautions against throwing his life away.
-----------------------------------
Title: Caws Llyffant · Author: Llinos · Races: Hobbits: Pre-Quest · ID: 634
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2006-07-30 22:00:56
Such a lovely Bilbo! My heart gave a pang when Frodo told Merry they
should go to Rivendell someday... But then the story had me
laughing--and hungry!--with all the lovely cheeses.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Price of Power · Author: Rabidsamfan · Times: The Great
Years: General Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 989
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2006-07-30 22:03:06
Chilling, a picture of the depth of Saruman's fall. Perhaps this shows
the moment his choice became irrevocable.
-----------------------------------
Title: Hewing Naught But Wood · Author: Thundera Tiger · Genres: Humor:
Parody · ID: 825
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2006-07-30 22:08:26
This is wordplay at its best and "brilliantest". I dare say JRRT himself
might have enjoyed such diversion.
-----------------------------------
Title: Hair · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 321
Reviewer: Vistula the Dunadan · 2006-07-30 22:10:59
Oh sure, after reading this I'm going to have the song "Hair" on my mind
for the rest of the day. It does kind of fit though. This was a
wonderfully funny look at a phenomena that an Elf, I would imagine,
would not have much experience with. Body hair. And boy is he with a
hairy bunch. Between Hobbit foot hair, men with beards and Eru forbid, a
Dwarf that appears to be covered from head to toe, I'm sure it he would
be bound to question just HOW low DOES it go.

This gave me a great chuckle. Well done Gandalf's Apprentice!
-----------------------------------
Title: Ignorance Is Bliss · Author: Eggo Waffles · Genres: Humor: Parody
· ID: 754
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2006-07-30 22:15:44
I admit, I don't read a lot of parody, but this was laughing-out-loud
brilliant! ["This is getting tiresome& Father has apparently just beaten
you into unconsciousness yet again"] Even though it deals with what I
refuse to read in fanfic, I was able to, um, relax and enjoy it.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Groomsman · Author: Elen Kortirion · Races: Dwarves:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 44
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2006-07-30 22:21:43
This was a complete and total surprise. The author led me to expect one
thing, leaving me with a punched-in-the-gut feeling at the end.
Well-written and convincingly done.
-----------------------------------
Title: Suspicion · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres: Humor:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 791
Reviewer: Vistula the Dunadan · 2006-07-30 22:22:17
I loved this one when you wrote it for my birthday this year, and I love
it now in the rereading. You have captured Sam's protectiveness toward
Frodo to perfection. And his distrustful nature. I also love the fact
that you have him calling Gandalf ["the old man"]. I bet he wouldn't do
that to the wizard's face. No sir.

Sam is my favorite character and I'm very particular about how he is
written. You do him so well, I want to read more and more.
-----------------------------------
Title: Demand and You Shall Receive · Author: grey_wonderer · Genres:
Humor: Children · ID: 159
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2006-07-30 22:30:06
This was worth several chuckles and at least one LOL! Drawn very
realistically, with evident first-hand knowledge of small children.
Amusing, and heart-tugging all in one, for the ending bit brought tears
to my eyes. Well done.
-----------------------------------
Title: Teatime in Rivendell · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 373
Reviewer: Vistula the Dunadan · 2006-07-30 22:49:51
Bilbo you cheeky devil you!

I just about split a seam laughing at this charming drabble.

Gandalf's Apprentice, you have outdone yourself showing our plucky
little Hobbit friend getting revenge at last for his long ago visit to
Mirkwood. And poor Legolas. I can almost picture the shocked look on his
face. Here at last he's getting a chance to meet with one of the Shire
folk and the little fellow snatches away his snack. Hopefully the Prince
of Mirkwood is a forgiving Elf and that he and Bilbo go on to form a
better understanding of one another.
-----------------------------------
Title: Work Detail · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres: Romance:
Fixed-length ficlet · ID: 789
Reviewer: Vistula the Dunadan · 2006-07-30 23:01:11
Oooh! Naughty Arwen. She sure knows how to get her man's attention
though. And such a work detail she has in mind. Very sexy, provocative
and engaging drabble. But did you have to stop right at the good part?

Well done G.A.
-----------------------------------
Title: Alas, for the dying of the trees · Author: Gandalfs apprentice ·
Races: Cross-Cultural: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 788
Reviewer: Vistula the Dunadan · 2006-07-30 23:08:15
This one needs a tissue warning, G.A. Very touching, very moving. I love
Gimli's grumpy attitude toward Legolas's pining. It is so very true to
character. Your description of Gimli's aging is very well done. I can
picture him quite vividly and am moved by the image. Thank you for a
sweet portrayal of this often unrepresented pair.
-----------------------------------
Title: Counting the Days · Author: Lady Bluejay · Genres: Romance:
Lothíriel & Éomer · ID: 281
Reviewer: Madeleine · 2006-07-30 23:59:38
If you wish to read a perfectly true and absolutely hilarious dialogue
between two men, you should on no account miss this story. Just thinking
about it makes me giggle again. Imagining Éomer and his friend Éothain
taking cover behind a bolder and commenting on the  wrong  woman, puts
a silly grin on my face.

Those two are so outrages in their comments and probably not quite
politically correct, but also so classical male, that you - as a female
- really have to know and understand the opposite sex very well to be
able to create such a gemstone.

Charming and funny, as all of Lady Bluejay's one-shots.

-----------------------------------
Title: Rest and Recreation · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races:
Cross-Cultural · ID: 700
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2006-07-31 00:07:57
I like the little snapshot youve given us of the Captain-General during
the first days of his visit to Imladris. Hes bored, restless, missing
Faramir, and feeling more that a little bit miffed at not being included
in the scouting expeditions, or even having his skill and experience
recognized at all. The easy writers way would have been to give him an
understandable dose of humility by falling before Glorfindels age and
experience; but I love how youve shown Boromir persisting for hours in
the impromptu match of skill and endurance. How heartening for Boromir
that he was able to win his hosts respect in such a manner! What a
wonderful tale he would have had to tell Faramir!
-----------------------------------
Title: The Groomsman · Author: Elen Kortirion · Races: Dwarves:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 44
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2006-07-31 00:09:30
What a gem, and a perfect illustration of the drabblers art: A complete
story, told in exactly one hundred words, with a twist at the end. The
characterizations are spot-on: the almost-fussy, detail-oriented Gimli,
recognizing that he is the only one with the proper respect and
appreciation for the ritual; the elf, totally useless; unfamiliar with
the customs appropriate for such an occasion; and Aragorn, distraught,
overcome with emotion.

The tiny, telling detail  Gimli breathing on a buckle, and polishing it
on his own clothes - is so perfectly real. And what a killer of a final
line - absolutely unexpected, absolutely heartbreaking.
-----------------------------------
Title: Pink Oliphaunts · Author: Branwyn · Races: Men: Post-Sauron's
Fall · ID: 49
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2006-07-31 00:10:50
The undercurrents of the various conversations are quite
thought-provoking here: I love the image of Beregond, down on Elborons
level, assisting the carefree child with his drawing. Faramirs arrival,
though, brings on a more somber tone, as the two campaigners consider
yet another detail of the battle, one they may not yet have pondered.
After how many years, how many hours of discussion, how many tankards of
ale, there is still something left to talk about! And how interesting
that, after a young life spent among the mightiest warriors of the Third
Age, the item now capturing the childs interest and fascination is the
near-legendary Mumak. Pity that neither Faramir nor Beregond have any
first-hand experiences with it to share with Elboron!

I love that Elboron is a child of such joy that he cannot imagine a
creature that would not be smiling; The detail of his tall uncle
towering above all other men, nearly as tall as the Mumak itself, is
lovely; surely that is how Eomer would have appeared to his nephew! And
what quiet delight Faramir and Beregond must find in a world so at peace
that the terrors of the past are now disarmed by a child's innocence.
-----------------------------------
Title: Do Not Think Me A Dream · Author: EdorasLass · Races: Men: Gondor
· ID: 40
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2006-07-31 00:12:35
What a melancholy tale, so different from your other droll and joyful
tales, but perfectly in keeping with the characters. Poor Finduilas 
she knows she is fading, as do all her loved ones surrounding her,
whether they will recognize the truth or not; but are all powerless to
speak the words that are utmost in their minds. Nanny could share with
Finduilas her vow to stay with the boys until Faramir is grown, raising
them with all the love and care a mother would lavish; Denethor could
promise to do his utmost, give his life if need be, to keep Gondor safe,
and by extension Finduilas sons, brothers, and kin. Finduilas herself
could choose to bid farewell to those who love her, passing on in grace
and peace, but instead she wanders, wraithlike, waiting for the choice
to be taken from her. What a heartwrenching story.
-----------------------------------
Title: Gondor Needs No King · Author: Ribby · Times: The Great Years:
Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 207
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2006-07-31 00:13:37
What a marvelously chilling tale. I always enjoy reading your AU
stories; youre so otherwise mild-mannered that its a kick to see what
happens when you unleash your Dark Side. The vision of Denethor and
Boromir being too late to rescue Faramir from the pyre is gruesome and
nightmarish, just as is should be. But Boromir sitting at his fathers
feet, Ring on his finger, is even worse. And by worse I actually mean,
Oh wow.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Steward's Dream · Author: Marta · Races: Men: Fixed-Length
Ficlets With Children · ID: 647
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2006-07-31 00:14:16
I really love the way you illustrated Boromirs acceptance of the vision
of peace and stability that the return of the king would bring, and his
understanding that the House of Hurin would play a vital part in that
aspect of the restoration. Very well done!
-----------------------------------
Title: Childhood Dreams · Author: Acacea · Genres: Drama: Gondor
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 523
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2006-07-31 00:14:59
You always have such a deft hand in your tales of gentle, affectionate
interactions between Boromir and Faramir. The idea of Faramir wanting to
be just like his brother, but couching that desire in terms of a rivers
unceasing energy, is both heartbreaking and beautiful.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Stone's Lament · Author: Thevina Finduilas · Races: Dwarves ·
ID: 53
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2006-07-31 00:16:13
I really love your description of Gimlis exhilaration as he approaches
the legendary, hallowed halls of Khazad-dûm. Like a proud pilgrim,
burning with fervor, he approaches the most revered sites of his people,
seeking illumination, communion with the spirits of his ancestors; only
to find that his enemy hears the voices instead, clearly and mournfully.
Youve beautifully expressed Gimlis desolation, his carefully-concealed
pain at the unwitting theft of his birthright.

(Im always awestruck at your use of language. Youve written one of the
single most beautiful lines Ive ever read: [I was silver, struck with
tuned precision and ringing with incredulity.] What an amazing
description! And so perfectly apropos for a dwarven craftsman who keeps
his deepest thoughts and words buried, treasured, safe within his soul.)
-----------------------------------
Title: Pride Before The Fall · Author: AmandaK · Genres: Alternate
Universe · ID: 742
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2006-07-31 00:17:02
What a terrifying vision of the proud captain-generals descent into
madness as he takes the Ring for his own. In his passion to return to
the city and lead his armies to victory, he does not realize how the
Ring has quickly claimed him. His intended end, the command of the
Citys defenses, justifies (in his mind) the means: killing a horse, a
young guardsman, his own father. The epilogue is enormously powerful in
its simplicity: Boromir helpless before the maker of the ring, denied
the mercy of death.

I still cant get over the horrifying image of Boromir frightening a
wild animal away from its kill, and eating the filthy remains of the
grouse even as he ran to seize command of Gondors defense. In his pride
he has no self-realization of how the ring has already begun his
destruction.
-----------------------------------
Title: Untold Tales of the Mark: The Banishment of Eomer · Author:
Katzilla · Genres: Alternate Universe: Incomplete · ID: 836
Reviewer: Oshun · 2006-07-31 02:02:19
Doing Éomer this year is quite the thingbut this novel stands alone.
The ultimate use of an AU-story is to illuminate canon. This story is so
true to the darkness that had enveloped Rohan during the period of this
novel that it leaves most of the strict canon stories in the dust when
it comes to being true to the source material.

The characterization also is stunningly true to canon all the way
through, with major and minor, canon and original characters. Even
Eomers horse, Firefoot, is well developed as a character. While
uncommonly smart, brave, sensitive and loyal, Firefoot is believable to
a horse lover, with just a moderate amount of magic added. (What is a
Tolkien-based story without magic? He wouldnt have dreamed of such a
thing! One of my pet peeves with a lot of the Rohan-genre of fanfiction
these days is no magic. Except for use of canon character and place
names, many might as well be historical fiction.) This story is written
in a realistic style, but with the magic. It also has heat, sensuality,
and passion, without a sex scene in sight.

This tale is quintessentially dark and angst-ridden and certainly not
for the fainthearted (and I am not an angst-fic fan in general). Every
time I think I am getting close to limit of heart-breaking sadness and
anxiety the author throws in just the perfect amount of hope. The whole
plot hinges on a beautiful balance between the POVs of Eowyn and Éomer:
events that are occurring in Edoras with Eowyn and Grima, and Éomer in
the White Mountains.

If I had to pick one aspect that has really kept me hooked on this story
it is its pure passion and emotional depth. Loved the parts relating to
Éomer's encounter with Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli (all three
carefully-crafted characters). One gets magic with Aragorn alsosome
hands-of-the-king-style healing in the White Mountains. You have to love
the authors Aragorn too!

Throughout it is Éomer's judgment and willingness to take risks that
enables hope amidst all this darkness. Loved the emotional honesty of
the authors description of Eomer's insecurity relating to what his
éored's reaction will be to him after Grima has essentially outlawed him
and to stick by him is to risk ones life and then Eomers reaction to
the reassurance that they still consider him their leader. Eowyn is
well-written as well but it is Éomer who really stands out.

-----------------------------------

Msg# 7415

Reviews for 4 Sept - Part 1 Posted by Rhapsody September 04, 2006 - 13:01:40 Topic ID# 7415
Title: An Elf · Author: laiquendi · Races: Elves: Poetry · ID: 725
Reviewer: Branwyn · 2006-07-29 17:03:41
I like how this returns in the end to Legolas' identity as an elf. He
may be all these other things--loving son, skilled warrior, protector of
his people and their woodland home, and friend to the members of the
Fellowship--but in the end his destiny is shaped by his race. Very nice!
-----------------------------------
Title: The Eyes of Boromir · Author: pipkinsweetgrass · Genres: Romance:
Poetry · ID: 632
Reviewer: Branwyn · 2006-07-29 17:17:58
Though Tolkien says that Boromir had no interest in taking a wife,
delighting only in feats of arms, that doesn't mean that the opposite
sex was equally oblivious! In this poem, Pipkin Sweetgrass writes a
ballad about a serving maid's unrequited love for Boromir and her
despair at his death. I especially liked the description of his smell--

[...the smell of leather and of rain and air so clear.]

Mmmmm! The poem's language, form, and storyline make it sound like an
old ballad, even down to the lovesick maiden's suicide at the end. Well
done!
-----------------------------------
Title: Distant Lands · Author: Acacea · Genres: Romance: Fixed-length
ficlet · ID: 76
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-07-29 19:57:04
Now I wonder just why Faramir wants tales of Edoras so desperately. For
background on Eowyn, obviously, but I wonder whether Boromir might be
featuring into his desire as well. The disconnect here is touching -
Aragorn thinks Faramir will want tales of far-off lands, possibly like
Boromir might have enjoyed, but Faramir wants something much more real
and tangible. And that's a great way to look at Aragorn's relationship
to both brothers.
-----------------------------------
Title: Heirs of the Oath · Author: Elana · Races: Men: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 151
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-07-29 21:25:29
This is a poignant drabble pairing of inherited responsibilities not
just from forefathers but from men they both knew before they died. it
seemed a teensy bit odd to me that Theodred should think he would be
renewing his oath - did all Rohirric kings do this, I wonder? - but it
made for a lovely parallel.
-----------------------------------
Title: Red River · Author: Altariel · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
Gondor · ID: 82
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2006-07-30 01:58:49
This story really ripped me up the first time I read it-Raksandhar's
desire to be a lord who could truly help his people really spoke to me.
He is a powerfully drawn character, though the story itself is brief. I
felt sorry for him, and for Aragorn, who, powerful as he was,
nonetheless had to bend to political realities. Faramir is at the top of
his form here, as the man he was destined to be-the intelligent, astute
ruler, adjunct to an even greater ruler, with strengths and skills that
complement Aragorn's.

The story affected me strongly enough that I had to run right out and
write one where I could give Raksandhar the relief he needed.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Groomsman · Author: Elen Kortirion · Races: Dwarves:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 44
Reviewer: Branwyn · 2006-07-30 04:16:13
The title, as intended, was misleading; and I caught my breath at the
final line. This piece is tricky to review since I don't want to ruin
the surprise at the end. Kortirion disarms the reader with Gimli's
seemingly casual monologue and then with the homely details of his work
(I love that he literally uses spit and polish to shine the buckles!).

Gimli as the champion of propriety is very believable; exiled peoples,
like the dwarves, often value the old customs as a reminder of their
identity as a people. That Gimli would observe his people's customs for
a person of another race is proof that he loves and honors Boromir.
Until I read this piece, I had never considered their relationship
(certainly, I do think that Boromir and Gimli would have understood each
other better than Boromir and Legolas).

The others have only seen Gimli's skill with an axe; that he has an
artist's eye and the careful touch of a craftsman must come as a
revelation to them. It is very characteristic of Gimli that his act of
devotion speaks more loudly than his brusque words about Aragorn and
Legolas. A thought provoking and beautifully written ficlet!
-----------------------------------
Title: By The Light of Earendil's Star · Author: Branwyn · Genres:
Adventure · ID: 83
Reviewer: Acacea · 2006-07-30 05:11:08
I loved this story from the moment it started outIt had everything that
appeals to the Faramir fan in me. A promise of angst, Ithilien, rangers,
orcs, Boromir, Denethor, the works, and it's extremely well-written.
It's descriptive yet not overdone and works just perfectly.

From the descriptions of the ambush to the descriptions of Minas Tirith
to the red flowers that Boromir attacks, every bit is beautifully
captured. The characterisations are excellent, of Faramir but of course.
And of Boromir who goes in to rescue him. And of Denethor particularly
when Faramir returns. And the OCs all of whom shine on their own.

I loved the details too. I read this a year ago, and yet those little
things stayed on in my mind - the red flowers, Denthor on the boat with
Faramir when Faramir returns, all of which contribute to the
excellentness of the fic.
-----------------------------------
Title: Pink Oliphaunts · Author: Branwyn · Races: Men: Post-Sauron's
Fall · ID: 49
Reviewer: Acacea · 2006-07-30 05:21:35
I loved this. It's sweet and cheerful and happy.

There are not too many Elboron fics around, but thsi one makes up for
the shortfall so well! It presents such a pretty picture to my mind.
Little Elboron, his drawings, Faramir and Beregond!:)

I love the sweetness of the child Elboron. He has all the innocence and
curiosity that a child oif his age brought up in relatively peaceful
times would have.

And I love that Faramir gets the opportunity to observe that and to be
happy about it. I love too that when Faramir shows concern for the
oliphaunts, Elboron echoes that. He is every bit his father's son and
Faramir deserves that.

There are again, in this ficlet, the most amazing details - Elboron's
depiction of Eomer on horseback towering over an oliphaunt, the fact
that the oliphaunts are smiling cheerfully which I adored, Beregond's
help and Faramir's reassurance that the oliphuants would have found
their way back. Because I always wondered what had happened to the
oliphunt Sam and Frodo saw!

-----------------------------------
Title: Better Than Frodo Baggins · Author: Inkling · Genres: Drama:
Pre-Fellowship · ID: 809
Reviewer: permilea · 2006-07-30 05:50:47
I love how you play with our minds, especially we angst-lovers, who
expect a certain OTHER Baggins to be the one running from bullies at the
outset! Of course I love the way you show us Lotho's character in little
ways -- the crushed eggs, how he cowers in the hedge, how he threatens
to tattle. The glimpses into his bitter, fearful, suspicious mind,
behavior, motives and homelife...and then to compare him to such a
charming, popular, and unscholarly Frodo (another twist against
prevalent fanon)! Wonderful story-crafting and characterization!
-----------------------------------
Title: A Hallowed Place of Both Peoples · Author: Imhiriel · Times:
Early Third Age: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 944
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2006-07-30 05:59:05
Your drabble inspired me to go back and read through that section of
"Unfinished Tales" and the related parts in the Appendices. I had
forgotten much of it, especially the assistance (the magical mist)
provided by the denizens of Lorien, and the foreshadowing of Rohan's
future just-in-the-nick-of-time arrival at Minas Tirith during the
battle of the Pelannor Fields. After all of this, a negative reaction
from Gondor regarding the "worthiness" of Eorl's people is particularly
poignant.

Although you note that it is likely an AU version of the events, I would
also not be surprised if there was some unhappiness in Gondor at
Cirion's actions. The Eorlings may have been long-time valued allies,
but a huge portion of the South Kingdom had just been turned over to
them. They had been a nomadic people without Gondor's Numenorean
heritage, which led to big gaps in culture and development. Many of the
proud in Gondor may have felt shamed by needing assistance from an
uncivilized and "lesser" people. And indeed, facing their own long
decline, Gondor's people may not have liked this now nearby reminder of
what they could one day descend to... (The last reflection prompted by
your reference to Faramir, and what he said about Gondor's and Rohan's
influences on each other.)

A long way of saying: I found the premise believable! And you conveyed
so much with a single scene, a few subtle inferences (eg, to Faramir)
and well-chosen descriptions.
-----------------------------------
Title: Weaver · Author: Vana Tuivana · Genres: Drama: Poetry · ID: 627
Reviewer: Branwyn · 2006-07-30 13:52:26
A beautiful poem about Arwen's weaving of the banner. The repeated
questions in the first line of each stanza and the rhymed couplets give
this piece the feel of an old ballad. Arwen's silent, determined weaving
becomes a metaphor for her devotion to Aragorn despite whatever the
future holds. The identity of the narrator, revealed at the end, is a
nice twist.

Arwen is a shadowy figure for much of the books, so I enjoyed this
gapfiller about her steadfast wait in the background.
-----------------------------------
Title: Sweet Woodbine · Author: Bodkin · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond ·
ID: 864
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2006-07-30 14:02:57
I spent a very pleasant morning recently reading this story at the
recommendation of someone whose taste I trust. I don't get as much time
to read any more as I would like, but I'm a real sucker for Valinor
stories. Legolas' position as a son of a ruler who will in effect never
really have to let him succeed to the kingship was deftly explored-I
have often wondered how that plays out in the West.

Bodkin's Elves, who are certainly not perfect, ethereal beings, react as
one might expect to an influx of immigrants who threaten their way of
life and possibly their livelihoods (rather timely given current
circumstances in real life!). The dilemmna regarding the apportionment
of natural resources to two parties who both feel they have a right to
them is a very valid one.

The Valars' answer to the problem, the creation of a new, wooded land
beyond the Pelori fills me with mixed feelings. On the one hand, I think
it would be better for all the Elves to address their issues and not
have to evade them in this way. On the other hand, it is an expression
of love towards Elves who have always been somewhat suspicious of these
extreme powers.

Legolas' romance with the daughter of a most notorious family, and the
way in her family finally resign themselves to the inevitable, is very
well depicted. I had to laugh when Thranduil, who had all along been
predicted to be an insurmountable, unreasonable object, arrived and
immediately gave his blessing to the union.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Pippin · Author: GamgeeFest · Races: Hobbits: Poetry · ID: 937
Reviewer: Branwyn · 2006-07-30 14:05:41
Poor Cook! Yes, Peregrin must have been a sore trial to his elders. One
can only imagine the confusion and havoc that descended upon that
[glorious quiet kitchen] as he walked through the door! The image of
young Pippin [In his breeches that were slipping] is priceless. Very funny!
-----------------------------------
Title: Following Orders · Author: EdorasLass · Times: The Great Years:
Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 54
Reviewer: Branwyn · 2006-07-30 14:35:30
The "Pyre of Denethor" chapter is problematic for many readers
(including this one). Why did only one of the servants and guards who
were present defy Denethor's last orders? In this drabble, Faramir
shares our reaction of disbelief.

Edoraslass points out that these men would have known Faramir for years
and would have regarded him with at least the respect and affection due
to a comrade in arms. Though I think that Faramir would eventually be
able to forgive the guards, his initial rage is entirely believable. Not
only were they willing to murder him, but they stood by as his father
commited suicide (their duty to protect the steward does not seem to
have extended to protecting the steward from himself!)

Tolkien says that Faramir can read the hearts of men; he would easily
discern self-serving cowardice disguised as loyalty. An interesting take
on this scene from Faramir's point of view.


[Note: Suffering from caffeine deprivation, I hit the wrong button and
didn't save my review. So this is my second draft, a pale imitator of
the first draft which was smoothly eloquent and full of profound insights.]
-----------------------------------
Title: One Summer's Day · Author: Bodkin · Races: Men · ID: 765
Reviewer: Madeleine · 2006-07-30 15:07:44
I am a sucker for childhood stories of Éomer and his sister and I think
I can call this one - without exaggerating - my absolute favourite.

I feel for Éowyn, but I do not feel sorry for her. If I feel sorry for
somebody it is for Éomer, who has to deal not only with his own grief at
losing his parents but also with his little sisters overwhelming pain
and her inability to find a constructive outlet. Although he gets even
more hurt by her behaviour and is to young himself to find a solution,
he doesnt give up on her.

I think Théodens is very realistically depicted. He is the certainly
well-meaning uncle, who feels an obligation to take care of his late
sisters children, but he is also the king who doesn't have the time to
look after the siblings personally and had to give them into the care of
others.

And it makes also sense that Théodred, after all thirteen resp.
seventeen years older than his cousins and with plenty of
responsibilities towards the Mark, hasnt paid too much attention to the
children until this particular summer's day. But as soon as he finally
understands the whole extent of Éowyns despair and how badly it effects
Éomer - that the young boy has too much to shoulder entirely on his own
- he quickly comes to the conclusion that he cant wait for somebody
else to hopefully find one day access to the little girl. It speaks for
him that he is willing to take on the responsibility and that he knows
how to approach his cousin, treating her like an equal and making
certain that she feels secure. In doing so, he takes at the same time a
great burden off Éomer.

Having read this story, I can imagine Théodred having played an even
greater role in the lives of Éomer and Éowyn than Théoden had.

-----------------------------------
Title: Cakes and Apples · Author: Ruby Nye · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 891
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-07-30 15:25:28
I have just adored this lovely story from the first moment that I read
it at the Shire Kitchen Challenge. Merry and Pippin are the ultimate
HOBBITS in this story! The way Pippin longingly rhapsodizes over the
beautiful toothsome cakes of his memory, describing and lingering over
each detail of their making, and the way Merry listens, his own mind
providing the scenario in Bag End's kitchen--even correcting Pippin as
to how long the cake took to bake--is just so very hobbity! It's food
and taste and the memories of taste and smell that are so important to them.

And then we have Merry's absolute determination to provide Pippin with
just such a wonderful cake, and Legolas with his deliciously amused
connivance were just the perfect touch.

The part where Pippin breaks off the first piece and feeds it to Merry
just brings tears to my eyes--I love this display of affection between
them, and Pippin's generosity, and Merry's realization of all they have.
It's so beautiful. Sigh.

And to top it all off, the recipe for the cake is utterly delicious and
every bit as good as Pippin makes it sound in his description! I have
now made it a couple of times, and just thinking about it makes me drool
like a hobbit! If you like to bake at all, you should give it a try!
-----------------------------------
Title: The River · Author: Indigo Bunting · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Incomplete · ID: 51
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-07-30 15:37:51
This has to be one of the most exciting action-adventure early Quest
stories I have read since Thundera Tigers The Ring Goes South. Its
brilliantly constructed, with a heart-stopping cliffhanger at the end of
almost every chapter. Each chapter is also from the point-of-view of a
different member of the Fellowship, and the author manages to stay in
their heads beautifully.

The plot is simple enough: while crossing a river in Hollin, Sam is
swept away--along with Legolas, who is attempting to rescue the hobbit.
The description of their plight as they are tumbled helplessly through
the water had me feeling it, each time they were ducked under once more,
each time they hit a rock. Coming ashore miles away from the rest of the
Fellowship, they are captured by ruffians. And in the meanwhile, the
Company searches for them frantically.

I will not give away any more spoilers to the plot here, but just say
that what I love best is the use that the author makes of the
friendships between the various members of the Fellowship, and how all
of them are contributing to the efforts of the whole. Each person has a
chance to shine, to show his own strength, compassion and fear. It is
brilliantly done, and I look forward eagerly to each and every update.


-----------------------------------
Title: On Being the Youngest · Author: Bodkin · Races: Cross-Cultural ·
ID: 45
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-07-30 15:44:36
This is such a lovely story: it is sweet, and yet it has the sharp snap
of cleverness as well. On the surface, it is just a very nice getting
acquainted tale between Legolas and Pippin, while they discuss something
no one would guess they have in common--the experience of being the
youngest members of their respective families.

While this author seldom writes hobbits, she has a sure handle on Pippin
Took. His wit and dry sense of humor are perfectly canon, as is his
obviously serious determination to go on the Quest, no matter what, even
though he finds the whole venture mad. And she shows beautifully how the
young hobbit fascinates his Elven companion. For it turns out that
Legolas is just as curious as any Took, and is amazed to discover just
how clever--and devious--his young companion is. One thing I found quite
funny and touching was the observation that eventually, as is the way
among mortals, Peregrin Took will one day find himself no longer the
youngest, while for Legolas it will never change, and he will forever be
surrounded by Elves who are many millenia older than he.

Legolas finds himself sort of in a little mini-conspiracy with the wily
young Took, and in the process learns a few things about himself as well.

I just adore this wonderful little moment of bonding between them, and
there is the funniest little twist at the end!
-----------------------------------
Title: A Secret Gate · Author: Elanor · Genres: Drama: Incomplete · ID: 56
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-07-30 15:56:18
Of all the various works-in-progress that I am following, I have to say
that A Secret Gate is at the top of my list.

Set in Merrys and Pippins twilight years, the main plot revolves
around the decision they make to leave the Shire once more, and return
to the South.

Yet there is so much more to it than that. We also see, through a series
of flashbacks and memories, what their lives have been like in the
intervening years since returning from the Quest with Frodo.

This story contains one of the most brilliant and definitive
characterizations of Meriadoc the Magnificent, Master of Buckland, that
I have ever read. Merry stands forth as a hobbit every bit deserving of
the nickname his people have given him. We see less of Pippin in the
early chapters, yet from what I can tell, her depiction of him will
eventually be just as strong.

There are also a number of engaging and well-drawn OCs. I am
particularly fond of young Jamie Bucket. And then we have Merrys
children, and Sams and Pippins--as well as flashback glimpses of
Estella and Diamond, each of them with a strong enough personality to
hold his or her own with the canon characters.

Yet the other strength of this author is her power of description. Each
chapter is a perfectly polished gem of almost poetical prose, and her
settings have just as much personality as her people.

I cant say enough good things about this story.

-----------------------------------
Title: Frodo: The Next Generation · Author: Gentle Hobbit · Races:
Hobbits: Hurt/Comfort · ID: 272
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-07-30 16:35:00
Lord of the Rings and Star Trek: The Next Generation. Most certainly
that is not an obvious crossover. And yet in this authors hands the
story seems not only perfectly plausible but very absorbing.

There are some mysteries here--why, and how, does the traumatized
post-Quest Frodo, escorted by Lord Elrond of Rivendell, end up on board
the Enterprise? What are the deep personal connections that have led
Jean-Luc Picard to skirt dangerously close to breaking the Prime
Directive in bringing Frodo aboard?

Most of the story deals with the efforts of Dr. Beverly Crusher,
assisted by Deanna Troi, to try and help with Frodos healing without
violating the Captains orders to keep their mysterious patient from
realizing his true location. Some of the solutions she comes up with are
extremely clever.

Each member of the Enterprise crew is shown as being very much in
character, as are Merry and Sam, who are brought aboard during the
effort to help Frodo. Frodo himself is also very well-depicted,
vulnerable and in pain, yet sharply intelligent and fiercely defending
his personal dignity.

In the end of course, Beverly is not able to help Frodo quite so much as
she had hoped--for while the story is AU in the most obvious ways, it
will leave the ending of LotR as we know it, intact and in canon. And
the connections between Frodo and Picard turn out to be both profound
and obvious once explained.
-----------------------------------
Title: Wizardry · Author: Dwimordene · Times: Late Third Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 179
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-07-30 16:48:37
The scene is well-depicted, sparkling with vivid details. I love how
laconic both Aragorn and Gandalf are characterised - I think it shows in
a very subtle yet clear way their relationship and their attitude
towards hardship and reversals.
-----------------------------------
Title: Strange Fortunes · Author: Tehta · Times: First Age and Prior:
Incomplete · ID: 81
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-07-30 19:04:13
This comedy of manners is a seamless melding of Middle-earth and wry
humor. You squeeze laughter out of places one would never expect to find
it, like in the description of Maeglin enjoying being thought
inscrutable--and the description, entirely drawn from Tolkien, of the
absurdly bejeweled armor. Probably there are jokes that went over my
head, as I am far from a First Age Elf chick. Have trouble telling those
Elves apart, in fact. Which is only a testament to how entertaining your
story is, because I read it all. I was a little dubious before I
started, but because I love your "Stories Spawned by Sauron" so much, I
was determined to jump in.

I think my favorite scene of all, however, is Salgant under the table
with the chicken. Loved his terrible poetry, too.

One criticism--I thought some of the talking went on too long. Shorter
would be zippier.

I hope Tuor will be in this story.before the end. And please--finish it!

Gandalfs apprentice
-----------------------------------
Title: Work Detail · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres: Romance:
Fixed-length ficlet · ID: 789
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-07-30 20:52:06
This drabble always makes me giggle so hard, not so much for anything
that the drabble says but for another scene that's implied. Oh, the
drabble is hilarious in itself, but in order for Arwen to have this
conversation with her husband someone had to tell *Arwen* that her hips
were wide, and just what that meant. I have a hard time seeing Elves
dying in childbirth, so I think the midwife would have to drop
increasingly obvious (to her) hints, and much red-facedness would ensue.
And Aragorn here - clueless, typical man, then (prematurely) joyful,
then probably pretty mischievous at the very end. Priceless!
-----------------------------------
Title: Dark Appetites · Author: Elena Tiriel · Races: Villains:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 833
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-07-30 21:09:00
Some villains are just too ornery to obediently perish when defeated;
and this powerful drabble shows the slow healing of one of them. The
sense of great malice equaled only by great appetite is excellently
conveyed.
-----------------------------------
Title: That Which Cannot Be Put Into Words · Author: Pearl Took · Times:
The Great Years: Vignette · ID: 230
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2006-07-30 21:26:34
What a lovely little story, showing so well the different kinds of
healing, appropriate to the different personalities involved. And when
"youngest" of the Fellowship meets "youngest" of Lothlorien, it is
indeed a magical moment. Written with sensitivity and richness of
detail, this is representative of the fine reading that flows from
PearlTook's imagination.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7416

Reviews for 5 Sept - Part 2 Posted by Rhapsody September 05, 2006 - 15:09:52 Topic ID# 7416
Title: Spring Rites · Author: Gwynnyd · Genres: Romance: Rohan · ID: 842
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-07-31 18:43:40
Exciting ;)! I love Lothíriel's enthusiasm, her sudden shyness and then
brave daring in accepting Éomer's hand with its glimpse of foreshadowing.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Stars Will Light Your Way · Author: SlightlyTookish · Races:
Hobbits: Hurt/Comfort · ID: 705
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-07-31 18:46:46
The idea of Pippin's stars is truly delightful, and charmingly told.
-----------------------------------
Title: Birthday Kisses · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: Late Third
Age · ID: 59
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-07-31 18:49:47
The difficult relationship between Denethor and Faramir is depicted
through a few well-chosen words and images. The emotions in general are
handled very well, subtly yet clearly. And the dog has real personality.
-----------------------------------
Title: Changes and Constancy · Author: Lily · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 263
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-01 13:36:09
Set in post-Mt. Doom Minas Tirith, this story offers an affectionate,
smiling peek at a bit of vanity in Frodo, recovered enough to be piqued
by the sight of the on-set of grey. Pippin teases his older cousin, but
in this way makes his warm, admiring feelings towards his older cousin
plain to Frodo (and the reader) in a manner that suits the non-gushy
Ring-bearer. Pippin teases Frodo about [growing grey] and going about
with [white hair and a cane]. Frodo protests; hes not [an old
gaffer] yet!

In spite of this banter, its clear that both Pippin and the author
think Frodo looks splendid as he begins to look more his real age: a
hobbit at the end, rather than at the beginning of his youth. You write
of Frodos appearance through Pippins POV, [the grey shimmer sparkling
in Frodos hair could not be denied], and, [his cousins ebony head
was streaked with fine threads of silver]. Such descriptive language
sees beauty, not fault in those threads of grey so hard-won -- and in
the hobbit to whom the threads of silver belong.

-----------------------------------
Title: Red River · Author: Altariel · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
Gondor · ID: 82
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2006-08-01 14:18:32
This is a wonderful, understated and subtle piece of writing. All three
characters are uniquely and fully drawn, and the connections between the
trials of the Southron lord and Aragorn's past wonderfully surprising
and insightful.
-----------------------------------
Title: Peace Comes Dropping Slow · Author: Songspinner · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Grey Havens · ID: 224
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2006-08-01 14:22:06
This is a very tender scene, full of lovely details that convey a great
deal more.
-----------------------------------
Title: Earth, Water, Fire and Air · Author: Fileg · Genres: Drama:
Fixed-Length Ficlet Series · ID: 469
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2006-08-01 14:26:36
I remember reading this series when they were first posted, and am
pleased to renew the relationship. Each, in it's own element, perfectly
captures a moment of transformation, of becoming, but none so
successful, I think, as the last. Faramir's conversion is all the more
convincing and moving for it coming to him unlooked for.
-----------------------------------
Title: Inheritances · Author: Marta · Genres: Drama: The Steward's
Family · ID: 651
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-01 15:40:49
Wonderful peek into Thorongil's thoughts as he awaits his turn to
officially greet the infant heir of the rule that is righfully his.

Thorongil's thoughts are detailed and, as we might expect in the younger
Aragorn, whimsical, questioning, occasionally rueful, and perceptive,
down to his judgment of baby Boromir's character through the child's
facial expression and body language. I loved Thorongil's hope that the
baby would one day have a wise brother whose counsel would temper his
passions.

Good use of Quenya, and also good use of Austen's quote - some beliefs
are universal in the hopes of women of high society targeting an
eligible bachelor. And excellent paraphrase of the Bible quote on Saul
and David to fit Denethor and Thorongil - the application works
exceptionally well.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Green Flash · Author: DrummerWench · Genres: Drama: Featuring
Frodo or Sam · ID: 277
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-01 15:55:40
Interesting treatment of Sam's sea-longing after Frodo's departure over
the Sea. I quite liked the dialogue between Sam and Cirdan, and the way
Cirdan seemed to have inherited Gandalf's avuncular interest in the
hobbits' welfare. The novel use of Narya works well in the story.
-----------------------------------
Title: Evenstar · Author: Mar'isu · Times: The Great Years · ID: 856
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-08-01 16:02:10
What I really like about this short piece (aside from the lovely
language) is its hopefulness. All too often the Elves seem to be moping
around, keening over the lost past, whereas Men are busy making the
future. Here we see Arwen preparing to join the future, as befits her
half-Elven nature.

I don't agree with your portrayal of Elrond's view of Aragorn, but
certainly it's one possible interpretation. Rather, Elrond, I think,
thought more as Arwen does here. Or else why would he have named Aragorn
"hope"? But of course there is a huge empty chasm behind the name
"Elros"--you can create what you will, since Tolkien told us nothing of
his character.

There is a typo in the nex to last paragraph. You have "or Earendil"
instead of "of Earendil."
-----------------------------------
Title: Not Fair · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Fixed-Length Ficlets
With Children · ID: 902
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-01 17:18:35
A clever look at the not insurmountable problems Eomer's son might face
as a black-haired child growing up in a traditionally golden-haired
family and society. Though at least Elfwine is, according to Tolkien's
epithet, a handsome enough fellow, and of high enough status, to have
some insulation, there will be times when the physical differences will
be made clear to him. And of course, Elfwine has a father who loves him,
as is shown here.
-----------------------------------
Title: Spring Rites · Author: Gwynnyd · Genres: Romance: Rohan · ID: 842
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-01 17:37:57
Good evocation of something we don't see everyday in Tolkien fanfiction
- a human fertility ritual. The writer paints a striking picture of
Rohirric celebrations, with the paint-daubed shirtless men, and the leap
over the fire. Lothiriel's reactions are a nice touch.


-----------------------------------
Title: Luck from the Ashes · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races: Men:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 142
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-01 20:01:56
A nice moment between Faramir and Aragorn. I loved the picture of
Aragorn and Faramir bundling up the cat and kittens and then pushing the
cart with their cloaks and the animals in it out of Rath Dinen. That
must have been a sight for the ordinary citizens ;-). I also liked the
slight uncertainty between them where Faramir first didn't know how to
take Aragorn's remark about him helping animals. But then they come to a
new understanding.
-----------------------------------
Title: Preparing The Way · Author: Lady Aranel · Genres: Drama: Elves in
Later Ages · ID: 284
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-01 20:02:42
This is so sad. The hanky alert was necessary. It took me a moment to
realize that Legolas is mourning his trusted steed and not one of his
human companions. But the sentiment would be the same. I don't think he
will ever get used to having his mortal friends go where he never can
follow as far as he knows. But still he has to let them go. I loved it
that Aragorn, Faramir and Elboron are there to help him. I think his
greatest comfort was the trusting head of Elboron on his shoulder.
-----------------------------------
Title: ... and hear the song of salt and sea · Author: Cuthalion ·
Genres: Drama: The Steward's Family · ID: 98
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-02 03:43:49
An effective and haunting story, showing Finduilas' increasing isolation
and loneliness. The way she clings to little Faramir, perhaps
unknowingly clinging too much and expecting too much from so young a
child, is heartbreaking. I like the way the writer shows the slow
decline of Finduilas' spirit, from the happy bride to the lost and
depressed woman who cannot sustain herself.
-----------------------------------
Title: Up From The Ashes · Author: Elanor Gardner · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 645
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 15:18:10
This story is very close to my heart. As one who lived through Hurricane
Katrina, the dedication of this story of renewal and rebirth and
rebuilding means a lot to me.

Yet even beyond the theme, this is a wonderfully crafted story. Pippin
is so very wise in this, in his own intuitive way knowing just what
Frodo needs to help him see just how the White City can recover from
devestation, and how he can help as well. There is not a single wasted
word, as she builds the story from Pippin's own pains and aches to his
efforts at relieving Frodo, and on to the need of spreading it forth to
the City. This story just moves me to tears.
-----------------------------------
Title: Okay, NOW Panic! · Author: Boz4PM · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Incomplete · ID: 907
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 15:19:23
This sequel to "Don't Panic" by the same author is perhaps even more
exciting and intriguing than the original, as it begins to cover unknown
territory.

Culture clash still abounds, as the heroine, Penny discovers just how
wide the gap is between the Elves with whom she has been staying and the
other human societies of Middle-earth, in Rohan, and especially in
Gondor. She must deal, once more, with a language gap. She must
acclimate herself to the fact that Men are not as hygeinic as Elves. And
she must deal with her growing uncertainty as to her fate in
Middle-earth. I look forward to every update of this tale.
-----------------------------------
Title: Home Again · Author: Súlriel · Times: Early Third Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 863
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 15:20:29
Ah, the cats of Queen Beruthiel! I do love this haughty miss, deigning
to listen to an importunate Tom, yet knowing all along how superior she
is, LOL!
-----------------------------------
Title: Fields of Gold · Author: Anso the Hobbit · Races: Hobbits:
Hurt/Comfort · ID: 966
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 15:25:31
This sweet and gentle story takes place when a young Merry suffers a
bout of chicken pox while visiting Pippin's family at Whitwell. An even
younger Pippin then finds himself in the unusual positiion of having to
care for his dearest older cousin. I very much love the way the small
child tries to figure out the best ways to bring comfort to his Merry,
and his confusion at Merry's continued illness. This is a lovely and
gently told story, filled with love--not only from Pippin, but also
Merry's aunt and uncle, as well as his other relatives, all of whom show
their affection and worry about him. I do believe that this is my
favorite of Anso's pre-Quest stories.
-----------------------------------
Title: Starlight at Eventide · Author: Ariel · Races: Hobbits: Post-Grey
Havens · ID: 821
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 15:28:32
This is a story of marital love and romance. Not the dewy-eyed and
star-struck romance of newlyweds, but the deep love and abiding care and
protectiveness of a deeply-committed couple wed for years, and on the
verge of taking the romantic and physical side of love for granted. When
that is almost lost after Estella's illness leaves her physically
fragile, and Merry fearful of hurting or harming her, they must work to
recover it. A very insightful peice of work.
-----------------------------------
Title: The First Sip · Author: Glassadar · Races: Hobbits: Merry &
Pippin · ID: 985
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 15:29:21
The author was only five, and this is better than many fics I've seen by
writers four times her age.
-----------------------------------
Title: In Aragorn's Safekeeping · Author: Radbooks · Genres: Drama · ID: 141
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 15:30:21
This is exactly the sort of story I would never have read without the
MEFAs, simply from its summary, yet I am so glad that I did. The author
handled the story very well, by making the modern children from a time
before LotR was published, and staying close to canon in all the events.
Rebecca and Thomas are engaging OCs, and her characterization of Aragorn
in the role of foster-father was brilliant. A very gripping epic, and
worth the time to read.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Beauty of Memory · Author: pipkinsweetgrass · Races:
Cross-Cultural · ID: 652
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 15:31:09
A very beautiful little vignette, in which Aragorn and Pippin are able
to reassure Faramir about Boromir's passing. It is so sweet in tone, as
Faramir realizes just how deep the bond between his brother and the
young hobbit went, and realizes that his brother had, indeed, left
behind a legacy in the lives of the hobbits he died to save. I
especially like the way Pippin has subconsciously adopted many of
Boromir's mannerisms. And Aragorn's role in bringing them together is
subtle and very much part of his function as healer.
-----------------------------------
Title: Crickhollow March 1420 · Author: Anso the Hobbit · Races:
Hobbits: Incomplete · ID: 194
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 15:31:56
This is an engaging WIP, dealing with the first of Merry's own
anniversary illnesses, and how he and Pippin must try to deal with it on
their own. I look forward to more of this story.
-----------------------------------
Title: Safe and Sound · Author: Anso the Hobbit · Races: Hobbits:
Hurt/Comfort · ID: 664
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 15:32:54
Merry h/c, this author's specialty. As he suffers a restless night after
being separated from Pippin after the palantir incident, Legolas, Gimli
and Eowyn seek to comfort him. Each of his comforters is touched by poor
Merry's distress, and impressed by his courage

Msg# 7417

Reviews for 5 Sept - Part 1 Posted by Rhapsody September 05, 2006 - 15:10:58 Topic ID# 7417
Title: I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes · Author: juno_magic · Races: Men · ID: 698
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2006-07-31 05:07:33
An unusual and touching storybased on Psalm 121,exploring religion in
Middle- eatrth. A Beacon keeper reflects on the One, whom he is
forbidden to name.One wonders how this man's life might cahange as the
thrird age draws to its conclusion.

-----------------------------------
Title: Those Who Challenge the Dead · Author: Nancy Brooke · Races: Men:
Other Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 858
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-07-31 17:05:27
Powerful and creepy. You capture the foolishness, bravado and genuine
courage of these men, as well as their individuality. It's effective to
show Earnur before his defeat and Baldor after it. Good job
-----------------------------------
Title: Pink Oliphaunts · Author: Branwyn · Races: Men: Post-Sauron's
Fall · ID: 49
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-07-31 17:29:42
This was a nice moment between father and son. Elboron with all the
wisdom of his young years feels more for the oliphants than for the rest
of the battle ;-).
-----------------------------------
Title: Evensong · Author: aranda_nz · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond · ID: 191
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-07-31 17:32:43
This is a bittersweet tale. It plays in the last years of the life of
Gimli and Aragorn. Our heroes have to learn to live with the fact that
they are not as young as they were years ago, and especially Gimli has a
hard time with it. The way Gimli denies his frailties reminds me of some
real life persons I know. Very realistic. Aragorn seems to bear it a bit
better, but he is not immune to the knowledge that he is nearing his
end. Legolas is not growing old, but his sealonging grows harder to
ignore by the day.

The characterization of the main Tolkien characters is very good and the
orginal characters also come to life. The only thing I missed was more
of an interaction between Gimli, Aragorn, Legolas and Celebrimbor,
Narvi. It seemed like their two stories were mostly unrelated. Gimli's
only role in the tale seemed to be to get the ring from Narvi. I was
expecting more of an interaction between Gimli and friends, and
Celebrimbor and Narvi after Gimli got the task by the Valar. But that
was may be just my expectation.

All in all a very enjoyable tale, which made me long for more.
-----------------------------------
Title: I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes · Author: juno_magic · Races: Men · ID: 698
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-07-31 17:42:00
In this story the reader follows a mountain-man who brings supplies up
to one of the beacon hills of Gondor. This story of the mountain-man has
a beautifully flowing rythm to it. While reading, it felt as if I was
hiking up the steep mountain trail with the main character. The words of
the prayer interspersed into the musings of the mountain-man worked very
well.
-----------------------------------
Title: Frodo: The Next Generation · Author: Gentle Hobbit · Races:
Hobbits: Hurt/Comfort · ID: 272
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-07-31 17:42:45
In this crossover Dr. Beverly Crusher tries to heal Frodo. Shouldn't be
an issue for the crew of the Enterprise, right? Wrong. Beverly can deal
with the physical injuries but the most healing comes from a different
place. I like the way Picard and Frodo explore the common ground between
them, although Picard does most of the talking. And I love how the
technologically unspoiled hobbits figure out so much about the
Enterprise just by being good observers.
-----------------------------------
Title: Both Beholden · Author: Dwimordene · Genres: Drama:
Pre-Fellowship · ID: 180
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2006-07-31 18:04:34
I had a hard time reading this at first; the descriptions here are
highly detailed, and somewhat ponderous though very rich simultaneously.
But within I found a very interesting and thoughtful consideration of
character. The parallel's drawn in portraying Halbarad's position as
'steward' and Boromir's vision of Corsairs sailing up the Anduin under
the King's banner - past or future - were truly original to my mind.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Silent Street · Author: Sophinisba Solis · Races: Hobbits:
Merry & Pippin · ID: 65
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-07-31 18:05:56
Well-handled emotions (and I usually wouldn't like the explicit slash
aspect), good feeling for atmosphere.
It's not clear if the AU-aspect of the House of the Stewards still
standing was a deliberate decision, but it's skillfully explored.
-----------------------------------
Title: Earth, Water, Fire and Air · Author: Fileg · Genres: Drama:
Fixed-Length Ficlet Series · ID: 469
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-07-31 18:09:05
Creative, well-executed premise. The parallels drawn between symbols of
the tarot and canonical facts are inventive and fitting. I find
Aragorn's and Faramir's last lines to be particularly poignant.
-----------------------------------
Title: Strength of a River · Author: Acacea · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 513
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2006-07-31 18:11:25
This is a sweet and very understated story, no less profound for its
gentleness. In that its style echoes its subject.
-----------------------------------
Title: Call yourself Thorongil · Author: Nilmandra · Times: Late Third
Age · ID: 731
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-07-31 18:17:01
The story nicely and vividly shows the beginning of a friendship, in a
stage were Aragorn is still young and inexperienced, and not yet
entirely self-possessed and able to mask his feelings.
-----------------------------------
Title: Both Beholden · Author: Dwimordene · Genres: Drama:
Pre-Fellowship · ID: 180
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-07-31 18:17:46
Very vivid and evocative setting and atmosphere. As ever, your
characterisations are completely canonical, three-dimensional and
realistic. Despite the many inner reflections and extensive stretches of
exposition, the story doesn't feel static, non-progressing; just the
opposite: it fleshes out the plot, and makes it that much richer. The
little details of movements, gestures and sensations deftly make the
story play in the imagination.

The history of the Chieftain as Wanderer and the Rangers as the former
royal guards is very well-devised, and very plausible.

I like the contrast you show between Boromir and the others, the
exploring of the differences between the Northern and Southern Realm
despite their common origin, and how those differences affect the people
and their thinking/philosophy/way of living. Your notion of Arnor is as
ever very plausibly extrapolated from canon, and very well realised.

And I appreciate the fact that the tension between Boromir and Aragorn
is not truly resolved at the end, Halbarad acting so to speak on behalf
of his Chieftain. That it is made clear that this uncertainty and
wariness will still inform their relations in future, even if the hope
of a future understanding has been put on a more firm base because of
more knowledge about the other's point of view.
-----------------------------------
Title: You Watch To Dissociate · Author: Ghettoelleth · Genres: Drama:
General Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 195
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-07-31 18:18:45
A powerfully erotic and emotionally intense drabble. In so few words you
capture all three characters--Luthien's love, Beren's possessiveness (in
a good sense), and Daeron's futile jealousy. No word is wasted in this
perfect example of the art of the drabble.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Tracks of Time · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races: Elves:
Fixed-Length Ficlet Featuring Legolas or Thranduil · ID: 60
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-07-31 18:21:22
Lovely and moving, with a lyrical, nearly dreamlike quality. I like
Legolas employing images of nature, especially of trees, to relate to
his friends - very fitting for him.
-----------------------------------
Title: Red River · Author: Altariel · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
Gondor · ID: 82
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-07-31 18:22:35
Precisely drawn descriptions of the setting and characters; exactly the
right measure between showing details and not overburden a scene with
too much information. As ever, your little hints of movements and
gestures are a well-employed and well-executed means to make the story
come alive.

Very interesting, thought-provoking subject. It shows how war forms and
informs future generations, and how difficult it is to hold to justice
in the face of victory. How both sides of a war must build - and must be
allowed to build - new foundations, new connections, to lessen the
danger of future unrest.
-----------------------------------
Title: Inheritance · Author: Primsong · Times: Late Third Age: The Shire
· ID: 310
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-07-31 18:23:05
Nice AU-twist! And a truly brilliant ending.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Creature Of Fire · Author: daw the minstrel · Races: Elves:
Featuring Mirkwood Elves · ID: 956
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-07-31 18:24:34
Fascinating picture of the Greenwood, its inhabitants and their society
and everyday life. Vivid, well-described details, good pacing, good
characterisations, in particular of the original characters.

I find Legolas' complicated relationship towards Galelas especially
well-handled, as well as the budding romance with Tuilinn. Her death
came as a terrible shock, and his grief was wonderfully presented in its
various aspects and stages (it had me in tears more than once).

I also very much enjoyed Eilian's letters.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Tea Party · Author: AngieT · Races: Hobbits: Children · ID: 633
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2006-07-31 18:26:10
Charming, and while Pippin is in many ways the centerpiece of this
story, Eglantine is the fulcrum about which everything turns, as she
must be in her household. I particularly liked how seriously and
straightforwardly she spoke to Pippin, never condescending and stepping
effortlessly into his world where KnittedMerry is real.
-----------------------------------
Title: In Darkness Burried Deep · Author: GamgeeFest · Genres: Drama:
Pre-Fellowship · ID: 954
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-07-31 18:26:32
An engaging read. Well-told, all in all, despite some technical flaws.
The Old Forest and its eeriness is described very vividly.
-----------------------------------
Title: Shadow of Himself · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Post-Grey Havens · ID: 853
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-07-31 18:31:41
Original premise, well-told. It's a pity the story is so fast-paced and
so short. But also appropriate somehow, in keeping with Boromir's
request. His character is true to canon, despite all the changes he has
undergone. A very comforting AU-story, to have him find a new, peaceful,
happy life for himself (even if Gimli & Legolas rightly feel ambiguous).
-----------------------------------
Title: A Memorial in Four Parts · Author: Illwynd · Races:
Cross-Cultural · ID: 702
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-07-31 18:35:38
The last part is my favourite, in particular the very last line, because
of its lyrical quality.

-----------------------------------
Title: A Woodland Prince · Author: Bodkin · Genres: Drama: Fixed-Length
Ficlet Series · ID: 303
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-07-31 18:36:15
A lovely kaleidoscope of impressions and facets (canon and original) of
Legolas, by friends, acquaintances and foes alike. The drabbles manage
to create clear images with just a few well-chosen words, not only of
Legolas, but also of the respective PoV-characters.
-----------------------------------
Title: Dragons and Sailboats · Author: Acacea · Genres: Drama:
Remembering · ID: 74
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-07-31 18:39:38
Bittersweet story, good dialogue and introspection. I like how the talk
takes up and comes back to previous subjects.
-----------------------------------
Title: Stones · Author: Marigold · Races: Hobbits: Friendship · ID: 571
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-07-31 18:40:13
Once Pippin has found his hidden treasure, the story picks up pace and
becomes a wistful recollection of ["a time that had been difficult and
frightening, but was also a time shared with friends old and new in
which they had laughed and learned and become a Fellowship."] with a
very poignant ending.
The "story" of the ["pinkish stone"] was a hoot.
-----------------------------------
Title: That Which Remains Us · Author: Dwimordene · Genres: Drama:
Remembering · ID: 749
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-07-31 18:43:12
Precise, intense characterisation and introspection. Detailed
descriptions. I like the fact that not all questions are answered, that
there are little details thrown in without explanation (for example
Faramir carrying wrist-knifes even inside the Citadel, or why Húrin
would appreciate Denethor's chess board).

The awkwardness of Denethor's poems and the evidence of his persistent
trying are heartbreaking.

Msg# 7418

Review reminders Posted by elliska67 September 05, 2006 - 17:05:20 Topic ID# 7418
On behalf of Marta, who was called away this week by RL commitments,
here is a brief reminder about some of the guidelines for submitting
reviews:

Please do not sign your MEFA reviews or include a heading like "MEFA
Review for (story title)." This information is automatically
displayed for every review and adding it increases the character
count for the review without adding meaningful content to the
review. While in most cases this won't increase the count enough to
affect the points awarded for the review, it is most fair to leave
headers and signatures off all reviews to avoid any possibility of
this occurring.

Also, while many of you are bracketing quotes from the story you are
reviewing as instructed on the site (thank you!), not everyone may be
aware that quotes from Tolkien, or any other books, should be
bracketed as well so that they don't add to the character count of
the review.

Thank you, and keep up all your great reviewing!

The MEFA admins

Msg# 7419

Reviews for 6 Sept - Part 1 Posted by Rhapsody September 06, 2006 - 13:30:40 Topic ID# 7419
Title: Seabird's Cry · Author: Primsong · Genres: Drama: Poetry · ID: 898
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 15:38:04
This is a gorgeous poem filled with beautiful and haunting imagery that
not only delights the mind and ear, but the eye as well. It is a lovely
and poignant description of the sea-longing felt by Legolas. His angst
felt, as he denies himself the comfort of giving into it is
well-portrayed, and in the descriptions of the shore and in the cries of
the gulls, I could easily see and hear the scene as she describes it. In
addition to being lyrical, it is also very visually appealing, as the
lines of poetry are reminiscent of the waves of the sea washing up on
the shore. She accomplishes this by having the lines get successively
shorter and longer.

I love the gentle way the poem folds back in upon itself, ending in a
way that takes one back to the beginning. It is technically a brilliant
poem, fulfilling its unusual structure and form very well.
-----------------------------------
Title: Thief of Hearts: How Pippin Stole Merrys Heart · Author:
pipkinsweetgrass · Races: Hobbits: Children · ID: 918
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 15:40:02
I have long loved this story, which has to be among the sweetest I know
of the little!Merry meets wee!Pippin stories. The author captures
Merry's point-of-view perfectly--this is a lad with very little interest
in babies, especially babies who are too little to play with, and get
all the attention.

But his meeting with his tiny cousin soon changes that, and the last two
lines are possibly the most perfect ever on the subject.
-----------------------------------
Title: Olórë Mallë · Author: Nerdanel · Races: Elves: Poetry · ID: 892
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 15:56:22
The Book of Lost Tales is not one of JRR Tolkien's more familiar works.
I do not think that I have ever seen any fanfic placed within its
setting. But this poem is just beautiful--the language is gorgeous, rich
in tone, and very reminiscent of Tolkien's own poetry, filled with words
whose sounds are just as important as their meanings. I am very much
impressed with the way the imagery flows along--I can see only too
easily that path to the Dream-world the poet describes.

She has very well captured the spirit of Tolkien's poetry--I am put in
mind of "The Shores of Faery" from The Book of Lost Tales itself, or of
"The Man in the Moon Came Down Too Soon" and "Errantry" from The
Adventures of Tom Bombadil, or the poem which Bilbo made in the Hall of
Fire at Rivendell about Earendil.

And having it translated into Quenya was an inspired touch and added to
its authenticity.
-----------------------------------
Title: At Crickhollow · Author: Dana · Races: Hobbits: Merry & Pippin ·
ID: 896
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 16:14:53
A story that begins just before the hobbits leave Crickhollow on the
Quest, and takes up again afterward--right after they return, and then
again after Frodo leaves. Woven within this is the haunting story of
earlier inhabitants of Crickhollow--Hildifons Took, who vanished without
a trace generations before, and his dear friend Marnoc. This is a story
that Pippin took to his heart as the hobbits left on their journey, and
it haunted his steps along the way. We see, when they return, how Pippin
and Merry make Crickhollow the new home of their own hearts, and how
much it means to them, to have this very special place of their own.

There is a bit of slash in this, but it's very mild.
-----------------------------------
Title: Serious Business (or, Talk About Dreams) · Author: Dana · Races:
Hobbits: Friendship · ID: 661
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 16:31:59
I absolutely, unequivocally adore this story. It happens to deal with
one of my very favorite things: post-Quest Frodo, putting aside his own
pain and grief to come to the comfort of one of his younger cousins. In
this case, Pippin, who awakens in the throes of a nightmare while
visiting Frodo in Bag End. Frodo throws off his own haunting nightmare
to offer help to his beleaguered young cousin.

In the way of hobbits, they turn to tea and food and drink, and Pippin
begins to talk--about the dreams at first, but then telling Frodo more
about his own part in the Quest, and Merry's. And Frodo's reactions and
interactions are just painfully beautiful and loving. The atmosphere is
just as it should be for such a serious late night talk, and in the end
we see once more how tightly the bonds of love between these cousins are
woven.
-----------------------------------
Title: All The Moon Could See · Author: Dana · Races: Hobbits:
Fixed-Length Ficlet series · ID: 756
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 16:36:49
Four starkly beautiful drabbles from Merry's point of view, as the moon
overlooks different occasions: waiting for the walking party to arrive
at Crickhollow; Weathertop; after the storming of Isengard; and then at
Cormallen, before Pippin awakens. Each of them is done beautifully with
an economy of words, not a one of which is wasted, but I think that my
favorite is the one at Isengard.
-----------------------------------
Title: Until After · Author: Dana · Races: Hobbits: War of the Ring ·
ID: 897
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 16:38:01
This is a story of slash, but it is told very sweetly, and mildly, and
more than slash it's a story of love and desperation. From Pippin's
point of view, we see the gradual change in his and Merry's relationship
on the Quest, and how it is fueled by the fear of separation, and
sweetened by being reunited. That they loved each other was never a
doubt, but it was how they loved each other that the Quest changed. Very
thought provoking.
-----------------------------------
Title: All for the Best · Author: Dana · Races: Hobbits: Merry & Pippin
· ID: 572
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 16:53:18
This is the story of how Frodo gifted Crickhollow to Merry and Pippin,
and of their moving in together, and weathering Merry's first
anniversary illness. Yet of course, there is far more to it than that,
as we see Pippin groping towards an understanding of why, really, that
it IS all for the best that he move in with Merry into the little house
in Buckland. Very beautifully and lyrically told, as with all this
author's work. The only slash in this is implied.
-----------------------------------
Title: A stranger Among us, or, Here and Back Again. · Author: Ottis413
· Times: Fourth Age and Beyond · ID: 296
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-02 16:57:09
This is an interesting tale. I like the subtle things the narrator
notices about Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith seems to fit in, but small things
make him stand out to the good observer.
-----------------------------------
Title: Always a First · Author: Dana · Races: Hobbits: Fixed-Length
Ficlet series · ID: 757
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 16:58:09
A very cute little set of drabbles about first meetings: Merry and
Pippin; Frodo and Sam; Pippin and Diamond; and Estella and Merry. I love
the way we get right inside the heads of each of them as they ponder
their new acquaintances.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Price of Power · Author: Rabidsamfan · Times: The Great
Years: General Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 989
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 16:59:36
There are few authors who can make me like movie-verse. RabidSamFan is
one of them. This is a powerful drabble, in which one catches a glimpse
of the once noble Saruman. His spite against the trees, which seems so
senseless in the movie, here seems the only logical thing.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Way of a King · Author: Katzilla · Races: Men · ID: 847
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 16:59:57
An interesting take on Eomer as a young warrior in the years leading up
to the War.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Stars Will Light Your Way · Author: SlightlyTookish · Races:
Hobbits: Hurt/Comfort · ID: 705
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 17:00:24
This is so sweet and beautiful; Pippin watched over by his stars forever-
I do so love her Pippin and Gandalf together. This is a wonderful little
universe.

-----------------------------------
Title: Caws Llyffant · Author: Llinos · Races: Hobbits: Pre-Quest · ID: 634
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 17:01:08
This was written for a challenge to come up with an original idiom for
Middle-earth, and then to explain it in the story. The elaborate plot is
very humorous, and the descriptions of all the different cheeses quite
made my mouth water.
-----------------------------------
Title: Gaiety in Gondor · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Humor:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 563
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 17:01:35
Very humorous. I like Pongohil. Chuckle.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Battle Of A Different Kind · Author: Katzilla · Genres: Drama:
Pre-Fellowship · ID: 279
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 17:02:05
An interesting confrontation between Eomer and Eowyn--as Eowyn tries to
prove her ability to ride to battle, and Eomer tries to prove to her
that she cannot. Very good brother/sister dynamic.
-----------------------------------
Title: Mine · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Humor: Children · ID: 66
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 17:02:30
I love this--it is so typical of young children, and I just adore the
character of the Nanny. You can tell this author has a good deal of
experience in observing sibling interaction.
-----------------------------------
Title: Was It For This? · Author: Alawa · Genres: Drama: Remembering ·
ID: 88
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 17:02:51
A very moving and touching vignette, as Aragorn recalls what he knew of
his slain father, as he visits his graveside. His reflections and
memories are beautifully conveyed, and the language very appropriate to
Middle-earth.
-----------------------------------
Title: Forlorn Hope · Author: Nancy Brooke · Races: Men: Steward's Sons
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 301
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 17:03:14
Very melancholy drabble, seems to be about Faramir's hopeless charge in
the movie.
-----------------------------------
Title: Just a Little Shove · Author: Inglor · Genres: Humor:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 798
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 17:04:09
A very interesting and amusing conversation between the practical
Glorfindel and wise Elrond.
-----------------------------------
Title: A new tradition · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Dwarves: Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 869
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 17:04:37
Poor Gimli, Lord of Aglarond, suddenly has to invent a whole new Yule
tradition. A very amusing look at what might have come of interaction
between the Rohirrim and the Dwarves who came to colonize the Glittering
Caves.
-----------------------------------
Title: Hewing Naught But Wood · Author: Thundera Tiger · Genres: Humor:
Parody · ID: 825
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 17:05:11
The war of words begun in "Smiting Ruin" continues here, and it is just
as hilarious. I laughed till I hurt. I do love the three hunters in a
pedantic mood--and I'll bet the old professor would have had a giggle at
this, the old philologist!
-----------------------------------
Title: Ignorance Is Bliss · Author: Eggo Waffles · Genres: Humor: Parody
· ID: 754
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 17:05:43
I had to chuckle at this: Faramir and Boromir plowing through thousands
of fanfics in hopes of finding out the truth about their future. Their
reactions were very funny.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Lesser and Alien Race · Author: Marta · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 683
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 17:06:14
A very clever little ficlet, in which the reader gets to guess at both
the time period and the pairing. I'd never really paid attention to
those parallels before. Intriguing.
-----------------------------------
Title: Seeing Stars · Author: Budgielover · Races: Hobbits: Children ·
ID: 399
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 17:06:45
This recipe!fic is a sequel to another recipe!fic, "Steak and
Mushrooms". In this story, Merry, still eager to impress the serving
maids at the Green Dragon, insists that he, Frodo and Pippin return.
Alas for Merry--Pippin's charm is still too much for him.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7420

Reviews for 6 Sept - Part 2 Posted by Rhapsody September 06, 2006 - 13:50:43 Topic ID# 7420
Title: The Decoy Hobbit · Author: storyfish · Races: Hobbits: War of the
Ring · ID: 257
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 17:07:19
This story is sort of a blend of book and movie verse, combining some of
the movie elements (Pippin as decoy) with the book--Beregond and the
troll. I really like Pippin's "voice" in this, as he never quite loses
his cheeky wit, even when he's in despair, thinking he has died.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Groomsman · Author: Elen Kortirion · Races: Dwarves:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 44
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 17:07:42
An intriguing drabble with a twist at the end. I particularly love this
use of Gimli, and the comparison being made...
-----------------------------------
Title: Scattered Leaves · Author: Aratlithiel · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 110
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 17:08:08
This is really more poetry than story. From Frodo's POV during his
anniversary illness, we are given a detailed description of his angst
and shame, as he relives the time of his wounding. It is amazingly
intense and even lyrical, given the subject matter.
-----------------------------------
Title: Heart Calls to Heart · Author: Lindelea · Races: Hobbits: Poetry
· ID: 803
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-02 17:08:48
Not only a very skillful use of the elements of the challenge (and
"first letter" challenges are especially difficult) but also a very
well-wrought poem, making it's meaning perfectly clear. It's a very
beautiful use of poetic language.
-----------------------------------
Title: Shoot the Moon · Author: mistycracraft · Times: Late Third Age ·
ID: 233
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-03 00:33:32
This is a cute little story. Estel, armed with all the logic and
imagination of a five-year old manages to baffle age-old Elrond. Shoot
the moon, indeed. I loved the hunter story and I can only agree with
Estel. If the hunter hasn't shot his prey in all the ages, than he can't
be such a great hunter. This story holds a dreamlike, enchanted quality
for me, although I can't say why.
-----------------------------------
Title: To See Justice Done · Author: Lindelea · Times: The Great Years:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 306
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-03 00:36:10
Wow! What a great story.

In this story Sam goes to King Elessar to tell him that he thinks to
sentence Beregond to death is wrong. I loved the conversation between
Sam and Strider. I could see them sitting in the tower room and Sam's
struggle to find the right words to convince Aragorn that death is not
the answer. But I could understand the sentiment from Aragorn's point of
view that exile can be worse than death. Before they can conclude their
discussion, Aragorn is called away and Sam is left, feeling he failed.

I was close to tears when I read about the struggle and desperation
Aragorn felt at having to pronounce Beregond's doom and not finding a
way out from under tradition and the laws of the land without hurting
his new kingship. The scene during the hearing had me at the edge of my
seat, although I knew the outcome. The moment Aragorn found the solution
had me cheering along with everyone else in the Hall of Kings. Waiting
with the mourners for Beregond's body was heartbreaking.

The characters in this story came alive to me and I especially liked the
way you portrayed Sam and Aragorn. They felt very real to me.

This is a gem of a story. I heartily recommend it.
-----------------------------------
Title: Little Brothers · Author: DinaLori · Races: Men · ID: 686
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-03 00:37:20
This is a nice little vignette. I like it that Pippin and Merry's antics
remind Boromir of days long gone between him and Faramir. So, Faramir
was dreaming true at that young age already. Luckily Boromir doesn't
know it ;-)
-----------------------------------
Title: Prison · Author: Radbooks · Races: Men: Vignette · ID: 794
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-03 00:38:54
This is a short scene of the moment when Eomer was thrown into the
dungeon by Grima's men. What was Eomer thinking? In a few words the
author manages to capture the essence of Eomer. And Aragorn, although
not physically there, gives hope again. I like the characterization of
Eomer. He fits my picture of him.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Arrow · Author: Silivren Tinu · Genres: Drama: Elves in Later
Ages · ID: 958
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-03 00:45:41
In this tale it seems that Legolas through carelessness shoots a friend
during a battle. It takes a while until after the battle everything is
sorted out and Legolas is cleared, but the main focus of this story is
on the consequences the actions of everyone have. I like the way the
friendship between Aragorn and Legolas is depicted in this story.
Aragorn's unwavering trust and loyalty to Legolas help the latter to
overcome the incident, although I think Legolas learned a lesson, he is
not likely to forget. The confusion of battle is very well described.
-----------------------------------
Title: Quo Vadis? · Author: Tehta · Times: First Age and Prior · ID: 86
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-03 03:28:51
Dear ol' Salgant, Gondolin's favorite sycophantic artist, gets what's
coming to him.

Well, not exactly. Because in this story, he actually behaves with
something approaching courage; and in his darkest hour, gives the
performance of his life.

Wonderfully darkish, seriocomic story. It just fits Salgant, JRRT's bery
atypical Elf, very well. And the other characters are credible in their
actions and dialogue.
-----------------------------------
Title: I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes · Author: juno_magic · Races: Men · ID: 698
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-03 04:20:05
The author tackles the provocative subject of religion in Middle-earth,
and comes up with the meditations of a mountain man whose people
pre-dated the Numenoreans in Gondor, and who secretly worships the One
with more fervor than did the characters in the book LOTR.

For the most part, this premise works very well. The character of a man
whose religious convictions are almost fanatic come to life, along with
his disdain for the corrupted religion of the Numenoreans.

The narrator's feelings for his vocation, and the heights of the
mountains as sacred ground, are skilfully and passionately conveyed.

This is an unusual Tolkien fanfic, and definitely worth the reading.
-----------------------------------
Title: Interrupted Journeys: Journeys of Discovery · Author: elliska ·
Genres: Drama: Incomplete · ID: 163
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-03 08:36:14
After the tension of the last episodes in this story - with the ghastly
Black Swan doing her worst - it is most enjoyable to have this lighter
section that concentrates on the activities of a truly delightful set of
elflings and the stresses on their unsuspecting parents! They are such a
bunch of characters. I am rather partial to Eirienil, myself. Poor kid -
not only is she sensible, but she has to survive as the only female
child in the midst of a bunch of very sparky boys, who seem determined
to learn everything from experience, rather than learning to observe and
listen to those who are wiser. Of course that makes it a lot of fun.
Legolas is clearly a quicker study than his cousin Galithil, though,
because Aradunnon's younger son appears to take after his parents and be
determined to do everything the hard way. I'm also rather fond of
Brethil, who has many good qualities and will definitely be a more
relaxing friend than Galithil! I am also enjoying the links with the
other stories - the appearance of the offspring of the rebellious
families and deploring their attitude! I have my fingers crossed for
Maidhien and Tulus - I would like to see both of them have happy
outcomes (although I suspect it is too late for Tulus, which is a shame
as his troubles are not all his fault).

This is a fascinating and very complex story - this part is, I feel
sure, lulling the reader into a false sense of happy security before the
whole situation blows up and becomes disastrous. I am so looking forward
to more!
-----------------------------------
Title: Beech Leaves · Author: Redheredh · Races: Elves: Featuring
Mirkwood Elves · ID: 165
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-03 09:19:35
You are just so good at working out the complications of life and life
returned. It is so obvious  when you think about it  that there would
have had to be half-way houses where the returned could recover
themselves. I love the idea that, after the War of Wrath, the reborn
started arriving and none of the Valar had given any thought to how it
would work! I suppose that's being a Power - embodied only because you
feel like it. The Gardens of Lorien might have been able to cope with
one or two returning elves, but more than that requires a system. Elven
practicality required here.

I love the description of remembered sensation and the numb tranquility
of the returned elf, coming up out of darkness into the light. His
response to the thought of being a kinslayer is revealing. He deflates
like a balloon at the mere idea  very telling. The idea that the
Moriquendi were reborn to the forest - and the elves of Aman did not
even realise it is delightful.

I had never really thought of the difficulty of babies being reborn. But
of course it must be complicated - unless their mothers died in
childbirth, I suppose, and they were reborn together. And they have no
memories to regain, so it must be like being born the first time, only
with no mother.

I loved so much about this story  the hopelessness of poor Feren, the
waking dream  the fact that the Lady was instrumental in stimulating
his memory!  the response of Círdan and Draugryn to the sight of him.
The fact that his memory came back in a blast and he realised just who
he was.

Its a beautiful story, beautifully written and I enjoyed every bit of
it, Redheredh. And I am still looking forward to finding out more about
Rostaro!

-----------------------------------
Title: The Last Yule in Halabor · Author: Soledad · Races: Men: Vignette
· ID: 166
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-03 09:33:10
I really enjoyed this story, Soledad  despite the fact that so many of
these characters came to unfortunate ends so soon after this last Yule.
You have built such a complex world with a whole society that works
together and is so multi-layered. You have covered the classes, the
levels of success and wisdom, and looked at such a diverse group of
people. They are neither blandly happy nor unrelievedly miserable, but
they combine to make a very believable population of a very believable
decaying small town. I really enjoyed the way you have built up a
background for them all, too, so that the town exists in relation to the
greater Gondor in its place in Middle-earth.

It is an extraordinary work in that you have done so much world-building
to construct Halabor and make it real, but it is also remarkable in that
you have created so many characters in whom the reader can invest. Not
all of them are likeable  some, in fact, are decidedly unlikeable, and
slaughter seems the best fate for them! Others, on the other hand, are
intriguing and I would have loved to see what became of them and others
are the sort of character you could come (easily) to love.

I am glad some survived the disaster, sorry that others didnt  and
find the destruction of one small town makes a very good illustration of
the effect of war on those who didnt feature in the greater picture of
the Ring war. Well-planned, well-constructed, well-written: excellent work.

-----------------------------------
Title: A Matter of Honor · Author: meckinock · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Incomplete · ID: 208
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-03 09:52:22
You write Halbarad so brilliantly, Meckinock. The Dunedain, too. Their
society is a harsh one  hard work, subsistence economy, devotion to
duty. They are striving to uphold an honour and a history that dates
back to the days of Elros, while living in circumstances little better
than the poorest peasant farmers. Yet they are a resilient people.

I love the contrast between the dreamland of Rivendell and the reality
of life in the Angle  and Halbarads very practical realisation that it
is bad for men to hanker after the fairydust. It does make Aragorns
life seem even harder actually  because he really is torn between
Rivendell and reality. I love Eirien, by the way, and Halbarads
relationship with his wife is just great. And his mother is an
interesting character! If difficult.

As for the honour of the title  well. Trunks hidden in attics and long
lost messages. Hidden heirs and dishonoured heroes  it doesnt seem all
that likely. But poor Aragorn is in no condition to think his way
through this  not with so much hanging on it. But Im glad that
Halbarad is following him and sticking as close as a loyal lieutenant
should! Because whatever happens with the Dunlendings is not going to be
good, thats for sure. And Im sure complication is going to pile on
difficulty until something cracks. Its just a shame that a Certain
Hobbit isnt available for Gordian Knot duties.

Im looking forward to developments.

-----------------------------------
Title: History Lessons: The Third Age · Author: Nilmandra · Times:
Multi-Age: Incomplete · ID: 167
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-03 10:09:40
This is another brilliant piece of work, Nilmandra. I love the way you
blend current history with episodes from the past - and your
characterisation of all these people is just amazing. Elrond, Celebrian,
Glorfindel - well, they stand out as particularly remarkable, but others
- the twins, Arwen, Aragorn, among others - are wonderful, too.

But the pain the Third Age is inflicting on them! The part where the
twins are reacting to their mother's wounding is agonising - and the
failure of Nenya and Elrond's suffering in response to his parting with
Arwen is torturing the reader! Thank goodness that - somehow - Celebrian
is managing to offer him the support and understanding he needs. Between
her spiritual support and the gorgeous glorious golden Glorfindel, they
will manage to nursemaid the poor elf to the Havens and put him on the
ship. And then he will have Celebrian to help him heal - and Glorfindel
acting for him east of the sea.

I am, I confess, looking forward to Elrond reaching the shores of Aman.
He needs the relief - and so does the reader! But, on the other hand, I
am not looking forward to the end of the story - unless you feel like
carrying on into the Fourth Age to present your own version of what came
next. Excellent work, Nilmandra.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Golden Bell of Greenleaf · Author: lwarren · Times: Fourth
Age and Beyond: Incomplete · ID: 168
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-03 11:01:57
I love this story. Poor Legolas is so incapacitated by his sea-longing 
and, despite all his friends desire to help, his greatest supporter is
Arod! And then, the passage of years affects this stalwart, and Arod has
to support Legolas through the process of choosing his successor. Such a
pretty mare, too!

I think children are among Legolass biggest helps, as well. His
relationship with Elfwine is great. I really enjoyed seeing them
together in Rohan. Then Legolas came to the rescue of Erelas  and
Caelen and Raenor and the rest of their delightful family help him
ground himself. And Arador, of course, is almost elven, in a way  and
despite the fact that he is obviously centuries younger than the elf, he
gives him the fatherly support he needs at the right moment.

In a way, Aravirs newly stirred sea-longing will probably be a help 
and build bonds with Legolas. He is certainly becoming more of a friend
and less of a captain. And Legolas might be able to use his own
experience with Nienna and his enhanced ability to make sense of the
song to help his friend. And Thranduils presence, of course, will
support him  especially since he is offering acceptance and understanding.

I love your characterisation, Linda  people and horses! And your
descriptive writing is excellent, creating lovely strong images. This is
a thoroughly enjoyable story and I am looking forward to seeing where it
goes from here.


-----------------------------------
Title: By Any Other Name · Author: GamgeeFest · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Grey Havens · ID: 960
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-03 11:50:35
I feel for young Frodo here - and the saddest thing, I think, is that he
is resigned to not being as important to his father as Frodo Baggins. It
is such a good thing that the matter came to a head here, before it
could damage the lad any more! For all he says he understands the
explanation, it is clearly a delight to him when Sam manages to say his
name.

This is a very touching story - and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
-----------------------------------
Title: Good Neighbors · Author: daw the minstrel · Genres: Adventure ·
ID: 818
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-03 12:30:13
One of the things I like about this story is seeing Legolas with Turgon
 and seeing poor parenting as a major cause of Turgons character
flaws. Whereas, of course, good parenting (and brothering) is an
important element of turning Legolas into the kind-hearted generous
responsible elf that he became. Protecting poor Rodda was important to
him and Im glad that he was aware that he was in over his head  and
just as glad that Thranduil, despite the possible difficulties, was
willing to put himself out for the child. And, of course, Legolass most
generous act of all was handing over his treasured arrows. Without
making a big fuss so that everyone knew.

Roddas predicament helping Elladan and Elrohir understand the need to
go home is excellent  and I love Eilians discovery that there is such
a thing as too focused on killing. And, come to that, Thranduils
apparent realisation that there are some things that transcend species.
Not to mention Legolas's good-heartedness making him shine. Or
Ithilden's heart racing at the sight of the healer's daughter.

Although, of course, seeing Thranduil invoke the forests magic is
pretty special, too. He doesn't usually let that side of him show - so,
when he does, it's spine-tingling!

Great story.

-----------------------------------
Title: A Rabbits Tale · Author: grey_wonderer · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond: The Shire · ID: 982
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-03 13:57:48
I love Errol. If Merry would have made a rather good stuffed rabbit,
Errol would have made a very good hobbit. He has all the instincts!

Poor Pippin - it is at times like these that you can see that he is
fighting to be the grown-up hobbit who can keep pace with Merry and
Frodo, but that he still has a lot of the little Pippin under the
surface. Errol was there at just the right time to offer him the support
he needed.

I did like the way Errol handed the torch on to Merry. And I imagine he
will hand the rest of his responsibility on to Diamond when the time
comes and go into semi-retirement.
-----------------------------------
Title: Of Squirrels and Stolen Pies · Author: grey_wonderer · Genres:
Humor: Children · ID: 305
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-03 17:19:50
Pippin's ramblings are sooo funny - earnest and forthright as they seem,
they manage to tangle the adults (and the readers) all in a knot.
The use of present tense gives the story immediacy. Great use of your
PoV-character: Merry's changing moods and thoughts on the discussion and
his observations of his fellow conspirators add considerably to the humour.
-----------------------------------
Title: Gandalf's No Good, Rotten, Really Bad Day · Author: Gandalfs
apprentice · Genres: Humor: Parody · ID: 146
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-03 17:20:38
Shows in an amusing way some weaknesses in Gandalf's strategic thinking
(and/or plotholes?). You know, I never really thought about how
chock-full of dangerous secrets that letter was and how risky its
delivery. Manwë's ire is absolutely justified ;).
-----------------------------------
Title: Trivial Matters · Author: Thundera Tiger · Genres: Humor: Gondor
· ID: 839
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-03 17:21:20
I was laughing out loud even before the reason for Legolas' behaviour
was revealed. The enumeration of his achievements, with its growing
importance to him, was cleverly handled.
Of course it's difficult to find a point to this even with a magnifying
glass, but who cares?
-----------------------------------
Title: ... and hear the song of salt and sea · Author: Cuthalion ·
Genres: Drama: The Steward's Family · ID: 98
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-03 17:24:43
A story like incoming and receding waves of deceptively calm waters,
very appropriate to the subject: Beautiful to behold, but with hidden,
treacherous undercurrents telling of darkening times and the cost (and
eventual end) of happiness.
The tension increases subtly with every section set in the present until
the shocking climax. Powerful, evocative writing!
-----------------------------------
Title: In a Heartbeat · Author: Piplover · Genres: Drama: Featuring
Pippin or Merry · ID: 928
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-03 17:25:08
Engaging read, warm and witty. Good handling of dialogue and
relationships (even if it gets too sentimental for my taste from time to
time).
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7421

New Reviews Posted by Imhiriel September 06, 2006 - 15:03:29 Topic ID# 7421
Dwim asked a few days ago about sudden new reviews. I have now seen the same:
today I there were quite a few reviews published that had not been there
yesterday at the same time.

Imhiriel

Msg# 7422

Re: New Reviews Posted by Rhapsody September 06, 2006 - 15:44:13 Topic ID# 7421
Imhiriel wrote:
> Dwim asked a few days ago about sudden new reviews. I have now seen the same:
> today I there were quite a few reviews published that had not been there
> yesterday at the same time.

As of the 1st of September we entered voting season. On the MEFA award
site, when you click on seasons, you can see an overview in which season
we currently are.

It says:
Voting Season
Phase begins on 2006-09-01
Phase ends on 2006-11-20

Also there you can read: "Final Reviews will be posted to the group when
they become final or at the beginning of Voting Season, whichever comes
later."

This means that as soon as they are finalised, they will be visible to
the authors. With posting reviews to this group, we are still at the
beginning of August, so it might take a bit longer before they are
posted here, but I am doing my best.

I hope this answers your question.

Rhapsody

Msg# 7423

Re: New Reviews Posted by Imhiriel September 06, 2006 - 17:31:08 Topic ID# 7421
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Rhapsody <rhapsody74@...> wrote:

> Also there you can read: "Final Reviews will be posted to the group
when
> they become final or at the beginning of Voting Season, whichever
comes
> later."
>
> This means that as soon as they are finalised, they will be visible
to
> the authors. With posting reviews to this group, we are still at the
> beginning of August, so it might take a bit longer before they are
> posted here, but I am doing my best.
>
> I hope this answers your question.

Yes, it does, thank you very much. I was still thinking that new
reviews would only be visible each Sunday and wondered why a final
review I had made just shortly before was already visible.

Imhiriel

Msg# 7424

Reviews for 7 Sept - Part 2 Posted by Rhapsody September 07, 2006 - 13:41:22 Topic ID# 7424
Title: The Bucklander · Author: permilea · Races: Hobbits: Pre-Quest ·
ID: 793
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-04 02:16:05
An interesting take on Sam's first meeting with Frodo.
-----------------------------------
Title: A bit of garden · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Hobbits: General
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 901
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-04 02:16:24
Sam and Elrond find they have something in common. Very plausible and cute.
-----------------------------------
Title: Lord of the Rings Limericks, Chapters One and Two · Author:
Llinos · Times: The Great Years: Poetry · ID: 759
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-04 02:17:19
These were hilarious! Limericks are not the easiest things to make come
out right, but the author never misses a beat. My favorites were Fatty
Bolger--natch, and Denethor, Lord Steward of Gondor, which had just the
right touch of macabre irony.
-----------------------------------
Title: Ddraigspelt  An Orc Love Poem · Author: Llinos · Genres:
Romance: Poetry · ID: 879
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-04 02:17:47
Somehow, I never imagined orcs having love-songs. If they did, they
would be like this.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Tenth Walker · Author: Lindelea · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Incomplete · ID: 198
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-04 02:18:08
This is very different from most of Lindelea's stories. Bill the Pony's
point of view beginning as he joins the four hobbits and Strider in
Bree. I love his way of looking at and describing each of them, and his
uniquely ponyish notions. I hope very much to see this tale continued
on, through to the Gates of Moria, and then perhaps break new ground and
show how he got back to Bree.
-----------------------------------
Title: Claws · Author: Elena Tiriel · Races: Villains: Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 835
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-04 02:18:46
A very different OC tries to burgle from Smaug, and loses. An
interesting perspective, and perfectly plausible, given what we know of
dragons and of ravens.
-----------------------------------
Title: Frodo's Exciting Day Out · Author: Llinos · Genres: Humor: Parody
· ID: 829
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-04 02:23:12
This very funny AU examines what would have happened if the Eagles had
assisted in the Quest. We find it would have been a far shorter and more
amusing event.
-----------------------------------
Title: Hair · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 321
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-04 02:25:54
This really made me giggle. Poor Legolas, confronted with such very
hairy companions--I never thought before what he would make of that!
-----------------------------------
Title: Inspirare · Author: Ariel · Races: Hobbits: Friendship · ID: 622
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-04 02:26:23
This author has the skill of making small moments pack a wallop. When
Frodo gifts an expectant Rosie with some baby clothes that his mother
had made, she is hit with the painful realization of just what that gift
means. Her acceptance, of both the gift and the insight it gave her, is
sad but beautiful.
-----------------------------------
Title: Cierre, Min Heorte (Turn, My Heart) · Author: SilverMoonLady ·
Races: Hobbits: Fixed-Length Ficlet series · ID: 108
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-04 02:26:48
A beautiful bit of speculation about the origins and history of the
Tooks and the hobbits of the Shire, and their possible one time
connection to the Elves of the Greenwood, this follows an old song down
through the generations, from the first of the Tooks to Pippin. The song
is also very beautiful.
-----------------------------------
Title: Promise · Author: Vana Tuivana · Genres: Romance: Poetry · ID: 643
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-04 04:31:50
This is an interesting combination of poem and drabble. Good evocation
of the hopeful Feanor and the perceptive Nerdanel - one forgets, when
reading the later tragedies of their lives in the Silmarillion, that
they were once young and passionate, and this poem brings it home.

And a lovely last line, too.
-----------------------------------
Title: Finding the Right Words · Author: Nienor Niniel · Races: Men:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 785
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-04 04:35:59

Good description of the activities in the Citadel as the White City
prepares for the return of its King.

Faramir is well-written here, anxious to properly fulfill his charge,
intelligent and somewhat visionary.

I really liked the bit about Faramir not usually having trouble figuring
out what to say. And the ending is excellent.


-----------------------------------
Title: An Exchange of Views · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 931
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:05:51
Faramir appears to have difficulty distinguishing Aragorn from his
father, still. Fortunately, an encounter with his counterpart, whose
stiff-necked adherence to Arnor's ways of doing things, provides him
with enough work and frustration that he finally trusts his own judgment
and doesn't even apologize for it or expect it to be overruled.
-----------------------------------
Title: Hope Eternal · Author: Gwynnyd · Races: Men: Featuring Aragorn ·
ID: 930
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:06:22
Ploughsheds into swords--not exactly what was intended in the effort to
settle even orcs in the Fourth Age. It is good to see stories that deal
with the fate of the orcs and Gondor's policies towards them in the
Fourth Age. It's a disturbing little ficlet, for with the failure of
clemency, and no clear way forward without loosing a lot of armed,
angry, and hungry orcs on the world again, policy gives way to an
execution. Hope may spring eternal, but it's bound to be disappointed as
often as not.
-----------------------------------
Title: Moon Friend: Tales of Isildur · Author: Elena Tiriel · Races:
Men: Other Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 832
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:09:08
Isildur's life in drabbles, from the rescue of Nimloth's seedling in
Armenelos to his remains' end in an Isengard bonfire. Nice use of
Shakespeare to remind us of the inconstancy of the moon, and the dangers
of becoming its devotee.
-----------------------------------
Title: To Labour and to Wait · Author: Gwynnyd · Races: Men: Featuring
Aragorn · ID: 838
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:09:43
Gwynnyd writes a wonderful Aragorn, as the long watches of a night in
the midst of a chase wear away. The three hunters have paused for the
night, awaiting the dawn, and as they wait, recovering from their
labors, Aragorn remembers past toils and trials.

From his rejection of the easy course of returning home to Rivendell,
where he will be welcomed and accepted to the battle for Umbar, we see
Aragorn move from a young man who finds it too easy simply to inherit
the trust and authority of the Dúnedain or to accept Elrond's
hospitality again to a young warrior who proves himself among the
Rohirrim whose ways he did not know and rises to the king's highest
trust, to a seasoned warrior who finds himself checked, morally, by his
own competence in court and on a battlefield. From there, it's
redemption in lands so far south and east, the people don't even know
what orcs are.

All the while, Aragorn is haunted by the fact of his heritage, which at
once gives him a chance to court Arwen and yet also denies them the
consummation of their love so long as he has not fulfilled Elrond's
terms: to be king of both Gondor and Arnor. Moreover, he is not certain
he will ever be able to fulfill them. Yet, rather like the piece of wood
Legolas is carving into a gift for Pippin, Aragorn isn't meant to shape
his life like others, whether those others are warriors or even kings
who simply inherit their titles from their fathers--there's that in him
that isn't meant to be anything other than Aragorn, who is more than
Isildur's heir and doesn't need a title to accomplish his duty.

It apparently also means he doesn't need to use a comb (which had me
snorting with laughter at the end) but that bit of humor doesn't manage
to undercut the point. A lovely study of my favorite character, and a
Legolas who's well written to boot! Thank you, Gwynnyd!
-----------------------------------
Title: Summoned · Author: Agape4Gondor · Races: Men: Steward's Sons
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 840
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:10:05
Departures seem to weight heavily on Faramir: from Ithilien, from
Boromir, and from the fate his father had in store for him. The past
remains a yoke that prevents him from matching Éowyn's anticipation -
he's still claimed by it, rather than wholly by her.
-----------------------------------
Title: The One · Author: Linda Hoyland/Raksha the Demon CoAuthors ·
Races: Men: Featuring Aragorn · ID: 852
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:10:37
Three stewards (or steward's heirs) and forty years before Aragorn finds
one to match his visions. Enjoyable vignette.
-----------------------------------
Title: Those Who Challenge the Dead · Author: Nancy Brooke · Races: Men:
Other Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 858
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:11:01
Two drabbles, fraught with the irony that only comes of those arrogant
enough to take on death itself and believe they can win. Well done, to
match Earnur with Baldor--they do complement each other.
-----------------------------------
Title: Too Many Names · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Aragorn
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 866
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:11:28
I remember these--they're great fun, each half drabble a comment on one
of Aragorn's many many names. Gilraen, Arathorn, Eomer, Arwen, Bilbo,
Gandalf--many the companions and people who give them to him, or else
have cause to question them. Brief, yet always hinting at more and other
stories, these form a wonderful kaleidescope of Aragorn's personality
and history.
-----------------------------------
Title: Midwinter Rites · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Aragorn
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 868
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:11:53
Lovely hints at worlds with their own rites and customs, as Aragorn
moves from one place to another through his long and well-travelled life.
-----------------------------------
Title: Keeping an eye on the enemy · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men:
Fixed-Length Ficlets With Children · ID: 871
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:12:16
Cute little interlude between brothers! I liked Boromir using this game
to teach Faramir a lesson in paying attention. Of course, no doubt the
opportunity to teach was hardly necessary to motivate a big brother to
sneak up on his younger sibling.
-----------------------------------
Title: Rising Hope · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Other Fixed-Length
Ficlets · ID: 873
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:13:28
Interesting reflection on the evolution of names. 'Amandil' is a fairly
dangerous name to have as Numenor turns away from the Valar and their
friendship with the Elves. The possible symbolism behind the naming of
Isildur and Anarion is nicely drawn out.
-----------------------------------
Title: Show his quality · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Steward's Sons
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 875
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:14:22
Faramir reminds me somewhat of Aragorn in RoTK, when he tells Eowyn
there is a need for valor without renown. It's a similar sort of
message--that the task that seems unimportant has in fact its own
dignity and worth. One wonders how the young recruit took this gentle
effort to save him some face.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Unbidden Stranger · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Aragorn
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 886
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:14:47
Poor Aragorn, the one dark head in the sea of blond Rohirrim! With an
accent that isn't from Gondor, the only thing two curious children can
imagine is that he must be a Dunland spy. This fits nicely with
Aragorn's later words: [a hunted man wearies of distrust and longs for
friendship.]
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7425

Reviews for 7 Sept - Part 1 Posted by Rhapsody September 07, 2006 - 13:43:26 Topic ID# 7425
Title: Man of the North · Author: Marta · Races: Men: Aragorn
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 684
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-08-03 18:33:00
This drabble succeeds in capturing the moment and the mind of the King
as he contemplates the stranger before him. I appreciated his memories
of himself as a stranger in Gondor. Truly, travel broadens! Good job,
well written.
-----------------------------------
Title: Heirs of the Oath · Author: Elana · Races: Men: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 151
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-08-03 18:34:54
A beautifully done drabble pair, capturing the solemnity of the moment
as well as the emotions of the men involved.
-----------------------------------
Title: Hands of Healing · Author: Cuthalion · Genres: Romance: Rohan ·
ID: 102
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-08-03 18:40:53
I usually don't like movieverse--I figure if I want Peter Jackson's AU,
I'll watch the films, which I love--but this vignette is quite
successful at bridging the book and the movie. It's very poetic and
romantic, capturing both Eowyn's despair and the awakening of hope. You
can see this Eowyn riding to death after she believes Aragorn to be
either riding toward death and/or to have decisively rejected her love.
-----------------------------------
Title: Little Lad Lost · Author: Citrine · Races: Hobbits: Children ·
ID: 895
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-03 19:23:52
A sweet and fluffy, but not cloying story.

Baby Pippin manages to crawl away from Bag End up and end up, in all
places, in the arms of Lobelia Sackville-Baggins.

Excellent characterisation of Lobelia, who does have a heart under all
that status-hungry greed. I particularly like her reactions at the end.
The writer handles her prickly nature quite well.

Very entertaining.
-----------------------------------
Title: Was It For This? · Author: aervir · Genres: Drama: General
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 204
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-03 19:29:58
A thoughtfully elegaic piece, succint and hard-hitting, on the deaths,
so close in time, of the heirs of the lords of Gondor and the Mark.
Excellent use of Wilfrid Owen's work.
-----------------------------------
Title: Making Merry · Author: Marigold · Races: Hobbits · ID: 663
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-03 20:21:20
This little vignette captures a magical moment for Merry Brandybuck. He
and Pippin pay a visit to the Greenwood, and join in a celebration with
the Elves. The author captures his amazed delight so beautifully, and
makes it truly an enchantment.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Gardener's Wife · Author: Vistula the Dunadan · Races:
Hobbits · ID: 720
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-03 20:21:32
An interesting look at one possibility for the absence of Bell Gamgee in
her children's later life. Well written and touching, although I found
the premise somewhat unhobbity.
-----------------------------------
Title: Suspicion · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres: Humor:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 791
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-03 20:21:47
How very Sam. His suspicions of Strider were canon, and here they are
humorously and realistically explained. Why on earth would anyone need
all those weapons, after all?
-----------------------------------
Title: And all in evil ended be · Author: Werecat · Genres: Humor:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 122
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-03 20:22:04
So THAT explains it! I should have known they were the Spawn of Morgoth!
This was almost to true to be funny!
-----------------------------------
Title: Merry's Graduation · Author: pippinfan88 · Times: Late Third Age:
The Shire · ID: 125
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-03 20:22:18
I eagerly followed this story when it was first being posted. A bit of a
growing-up story for both Merry and Pippin--both of them learn important
lessons about friendship, and how sometimes help must come in a
different form than one envisions. There is also a bit of intrigue of
the Tookish variety. This is a very good read.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Gift of Gold · Author: pippinfan88 · Genres: Drama:
Remembering · ID: 267
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-03 20:22:37
This is such a sweet idea. A story within a story: at the wedding of
Goldilocks Gamgee to Faramir Took, her Aunt Marigold remembers a special
Yule gift, and passes it on to her neice. I love the hobbity sense of
family in this, and the love that is shown.
-----------------------------------
Title: From the Journal of Frodo Baggins · Author: MysteriousWays ·
Genres: Drama: Featuring Frodo or Sam · ID: 61
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-03 20:23:22
This is an interesting little peice, post-Quest Frodo in a pensive and
thoughtful mood, sad and wistful, but not especially angsty. Nicely done.
-----------------------------------
Title: Lay of Lord and Lady · Author: Vana Tuivana · Genres: Drama:
Poetry · ID: 629
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-03 20:24:02
Although I am only slightly familiar with this event, the poem
immediately brought it to my mind, and I was able to follow the story.
The rhyme and scansion are very nearly perfect--an excellent job!
-----------------------------------
Title: Rest and Recreation · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races:
Cross-Cultural · ID: 700
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-03 20:24:40
I love stories of Boromir's time in Rivendell, before he has begun to
know his companions. This one is delightful, as Boromir's frustration
and boredom lead him to challenge an unknown--to him--Elf to spar. It
turns out to be, of course, Glorfindel, mightiest of Warriors!

The bout is described with wonderful accuracy, and I could just see it
unfolding before my eyes.

And the best part was that the Ring scarcely figured in to it at all!
-----------------------------------
Title: Spring Rites · Author: Gwynnyd · Genres: Romance: Rohan · ID: 842
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-03 20:25:45
A very interesting connection of the Rohirric culture to that of pagan
England. I really liked the reactions of Lothiriel.
-----------------------------------
Title: Fos' Almir · Author: Bill The Pony · Races: Hobbits: Post-Grey
Havens · ID: 913
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-03 20:26:10
A very different look at the possibilities of Frodo's and Sam's reunion
in the West, this had a dreamlike quality to it. In this, Sam arrives
full of doubt, and finds Frodo changed more than he expected. He is
offered his own chance at healing. There was a very mystical feel to
this story.
-----------------------------------
Title: Return Journey to the Mountain · Author: Dínossiel · Races:
Hobbits: Children · ID: 984
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-03 20:27:43
I am very impressed with this seven-year-old's knowledge of
canon--getting Merry's and Pippin's age right, and knowing who Paladin
was, for example, as well as her vivid imagination.
-----------------------------------
Title: Remember This Day Little Brother · Author: laiquendi · Genres:
Drama: Poetry · ID: 923
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-03 20:28:03
Good use of movie-verse events and of poetic conventions, especially
that of repetition. The rhyme scheme was also well thought-out.
-----------------------------------
Title: The One · Author: Linda Hoyland/Raksha the Demon CoAuthors ·
Races: Men: Featuring Aragorn · ID: 852
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-03 20:29:10
The authors account for that instant connection and knowledge that
seemed to exist between Faramir and the King whom he had never met. Very
plausible.
-----------------------------------
Title: She Cries Your Name · Author: MysteriousWays · Genres: Romance ·
ID: 710
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-03 20:29:22
In this author's AU, Frodo and his bride share a time of passion. Very
sweet, given her OC and the AU the author has created.
-----------------------------------
Title: In Stitches · Author: Pearl Took · Races: Hobbits: Children · ID: 132
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-03 20:30:01
This is so sweet. I am most especially fond of this author's Eglantine,
who is always wise and patient and loving and understanding when it
comes to her youngest child. This story is no exception.
-----------------------------------
Title: Tharbad Crossing · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Races: Men:
Steward's Sons Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 253
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2006-08-03 20:43:10
I like that both Boromir's struggle and his strength come from his family.
-----------------------------------
Title: Was It For This? · Author: aervir · Genres: Drama: General
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 204
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2006-08-03 20:46:07
This fic illuminates very interesting comparisons I had never thought of
before. The last paragraph was very insightful in general, but this line
I loved: "Was it for this they grew tall and fair and bold ..."
-----------------------------------
Title: Too Many Names · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Aragorn
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 866
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-08-03 20:54:49
I love this series. Each cluster of sentences captures each name in some
unique and meaningful way. For example, you use Estel to show Gilraen's
"I have kept no hope for myself"--and in a way that she probably indeed
felt. How impossible would Aragorn's aims have seemed to her?

I think my very favorite, though, is poor Faramir struggling with that
eccentric man's choice of name for his House. A delightful exchange
between him and Merry!

The "Stick-at-naught" is playful and, again, unexpected. And it paints a
lovely picture of the delights to come.
-----------------------------------
Title: Flotsam · Author: Salsify · Times: The Great Years: Vignette · ID: 85
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-08-03 21:11:26
A thoughtful and well-written vignette. Indeed, there are many innocent
victims in the tales of Middle-earth, and they seldom get much
attention--and may I say, especially from Tolkien. "Heroic romance"
doesn't usually take up such subjects. But in fact, even in the most
just war, the innocent will suffer.

Thanks for writing this.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7426

Reviews for 8 Sept - Part 1 Posted by Rhapsody September 08, 2006 - 14:54:11 Topic ID# 7426
Title: Maturity · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Fixed-Length Ficlets
With Children · ID: 899
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:15:10
Humorous, and all too plausible! Boromir shows himself to have a more
wicked sense of humor than his brother, although I suppose romantic
humiliation and the desire to avenge it would inspire him to make
certain he lets things get a lot further before moving in to tease and
torment.
-----------------------------------
Title: Fair Trade · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Steward's Sons
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 900
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:16:44
Armies run on their stomachs, it is said, and Faramir shows the truth of
that adage in this drabble. It isn't mere physical sustenance that's
wanted, but a loaf of bread--newly baked and soft, rather than hard and
cold--is more than just food, it's recognition, relationship, and honor.
-----------------------------------
Title: Not Fair · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Fixed-Length Ficlets
With Children · ID: 902
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:17:10
This was sweet, and Eomer shows himself to be clever in turning his
son's 'disadvantage' into a an advantage and a compliment. It all
depends on the meaning one gives certain attributes.
-----------------------------------
Title: Rejection · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Aragorn Fixed-Length
Ficlets · ID: 903
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:18:39
Entirely too much sympathy for Aragorn in this ficlet, since getting a
job that serves one's needs is a concern ever on the starving student's
mind. And although a royal pedigree does help in some circles, it has to
be known, and Middle-earth doesn't exactly have affirmative action to
help a down-and-out Ranger find gainful employment in foreign lands.
-----------------------------------
Title: Unfolded · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Fixed-Length Ficlets
With Children · ID: 906
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:19:01
I love Bergil stories, and this is a very sweet one. The connection
between him and the Steward is lovely and understated, a little
side-view into Faramir's recovery after Pelennor.
-----------------------------------
Title: First Impressions · Author: Bodkin · Races: Men: Featuring
Aragorn · ID: 806
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:20:40
Halbarad is well drawn: resilient, optimistic, teasing, confident as he
confronts a broody, melancholy young Aragorn who is suffering through
the adjustment to life among the Dúnedain. Nice understated affirmation
of his new Chieftain: [All right? ... He'll do].
-----------------------------------
Title: Finding the Right Words · Author: Nienor Niniel · Races: Men:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 785
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:21:08
I liked the visionary reconciliation of Faramir with his father that
precipitates his finding the right words to greet the new king on
coronation day.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Circle · Author: Karenator · Races: Men · ID: 778
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:21:23
I gather I'm missing some of the background for this story, but
Halbarad's interactions with his more abstracted and inexperienced son
are firmly drawn. Hurin is a dreamer, and a source of both pride and
some bafflement to Halbarad, but in the end, the importance of dreamers,
particularly the young ones, is brought home. Legacies of service and of
hope are passed from generation to the next as Hurin comes brutally of
age among Rangers, and the dead children of a long forgotten people
return to speak of [tomorrow], opening possibilities.
-----------------------------------
Title: History Becomes Legend · Author: annmarwalk · Races: Men:
Steward's Sons Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 737
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:21:47
Poignant that the Rohirrim should make a song just for Boromir. Faramir
must have been deeply touched.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Standard-Bearer · Author: Thevina Finduilas · Races: Men:
Vignette · ID: 716
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:22:11
Nice interlude, though Aragorn's gratitude seemed a touch excessive
given Halbarad's role.
-----------------------------------
Title: In the Shadow of Hope · Author: Thevina Finduilas · Races: Men:
Vignette · ID: 715
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:22:31
Eowyn's frustrations, her sense of futility, war against the evidence of
life going on and continuing itself, even while the Army of the West
goes to battle for all their lives. But providence is not always so
indirect in demonstrating its will in the world - demanding proof that
Bema remains and that not all is hopeless, Eowyn asks for a sign.

What she gets moves her that much closer to healing.
-----------------------------------
Title: About Legends or Whisperings of a Ghost · Author: juno_magic ·
Races: Men · ID: 699
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:22:45
A very plausible rereading of the Beruthiel legend. Juno pays attention
to more than just Beruthiel and her cats, but also to her husband,
Tarannon Falastur, in order to construct a tale that could explain how
Beruthiel and her nine feline friends could have come to be so demonized.

The predatory, sadistic Tarannon is revealed to be as many other such
monsters are: carefully in control of their image, cunning in choosing
their victims, and masters of propaganda. In this tale, a woman-child
for a bride becomes the easy victim of a king who loves pain and loves
inflicting it. Power can hide the truth, and he uses it to cover it
over, until all that is left of Beruthiel, besides the legends, is her
ghost and a strange tale out of the Haradric South that suggest she
might not have been the monster legend made her.

Juno uses an interesting combination of first person narration and a
historian's persona to tell this story, blurring the line between fact
and fantasy. Very interesting, if horrific tale, Juno! For the adult
readers, if you're curious about the footnotes and details that make M-e
come alive, this is recommended.
-----------------------------------
Title: I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes · Author: juno_magic · Races: Men · ID: 698
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:23:00
Juno Magic exploits the fact that the Numenoreans are not the only
inhabitants of Gondor, but the colonists, and builds an intense and
fascinating character whose reflections on the old faith are framed by
the lowlander/highlander distinction that maps onto the
Numenorean/native distinction.

Middle-earth has had its direct encounters with the powers of the world,
who are themselves servants of the One. The whole history of Numenor is
an extended tale of a people's relationship with those powers, their
rise in faith and friendship, followed by their downfall in profanation
and violence. Juno's mountain men remember this history, contrasting it
always with their own faith, still kept and tied to the seven mountains
central to their relationship with Eru the One, whom they will name
where the Numenoreans will fall silent.

But is it a living relationship? This particular highlander lives with
doubts--for after all, he has never seen the things spoken of in the old
religious traditions. And when he doubts, then cultural discontent gains
a political dimension--had the natives risen up against the Gondorians,
who made Eru's name taboo for all but the King, might their prayers have
more meaning? Might they bring the wonders told of?

In the end, however, there are no answers--religion is not a matter of
scientific cause and effect, but a crucible, where faith and doubt
reside together, just as light and darkness do, as the mountaineer
reminds himself. The substance of faith is that he does continue to
climb the mountains and to say the prayers, whether he expects anything
to come of them or not today or the next day--he simply lives in the
hope that perhaps he will see the old pledges of eagle- and wolf-song
fulfilled.

Elegant and thoughtful, Juno!
-----------------------------------
Title: Little Brothers · Author: DinaLori · Races: Men · ID: 686
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:23:18
This book-movie blend explores the closeness of Boromir and Merry and
Pippin, and provides a foundation for it in Boromir's relationship to
Faramir. Always the protector of Faramir, and early sworn to take care
of his adoring little brother, Boromir finds an analogous relationship
between Merry and Pippin, which wakens him to take on the role of elder
brother to them both. He can't do everything an older brother would do
for a younger one for the hobbits, but he does make it his place to keep
them safe, and to teach them to keep themselves safe.
-----------------------------------
Title: Man of the North · Author: Marta · Races: Men: Aragorn
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 684
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:23:31
Thengel's sense of fellowship with a stranger out of place opens him to
consider accepting his service, despite his looks. We rarely get stories
about Thengel, so this is an interesting glimpse into the mind of the
man who inherited a kingdom in some disarray after his father's bad
ways. Clearly, flexibility and a willingness to look beyond the surface
would serve him well as a king, and it gains him a valuable servant who
would go on to fame in Gondor.
-----------------------------------
Title: Lossarnach Yule · Author: Isabeau of Greenlea · Races: Men:
Gondor · ID: 677
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:23:45
This is a delightful sidebar to Isabeau's universe, and it's lovely to
see some of the Rangers on their own without Faramir present. Mablung,
Lorend, and Hethlin are assigned to the weregild patrol, that makes
rounds to see that the families of slain Ithilien Rangers are given
their due. Idren and his family are the last of the families on their
list, but things are not going nearly so well.

Poverty, greed, and politics combine to put Idren and his family in
danger of being turned out of their home and separated simply to try to
survive. Isabeau's Ranger patrol must take it upon themselves to rectify
the situation. Lorend, one of her OCs we've grown accustomed to in
previous stories, and a bit of a rascal black sheep, shows his worth in
this story, since it is he who has the bartering skills and the family
connections to bring together the community against the predations of a
greedy trader upon the helpless. It's so very nice to see a little
community action and organization, reminding us that again, central to
Tolkien's work is the importance of fellowship--or of solidarity, as
might also be said.

A lovely story, with humor thrown in to good effect; those who enjoy
stories about Gondor's common people will enjoy this one.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Steward's Dream · Author: Marta · Races: Men: Fixed-Length
Ficlets With Children · ID: 647
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:23:57
Faramir is a good one for recognizing when to give something up: Rings,
hobbits, and in this one, a too-narrow dream that reduces the hope of
renewal for Gondor to fear for his own family's place in a society where
the king has returned. In giving it up, he doesn't lose but gains a
broader hope, recognizing that change does not mean he will be without a
role to play in that brighter future.
-----------------------------------
Title: Roots and Branches · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races: Men: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 611
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:24:15
It's good to see the connection between Sam and Faramir continued, here.
It often doesn't seem to attract much attention. However, Raksha reminds
us that Sam has his own insight and wisdom, and that his words mean a
great deal to Faramir. Faramir's own doubts, about himself and the worst
actions of his immediate family, make for a painful journey towards
healing, but Sam sets him on the right path, in his own hobbity
metaphor, and Faramir fortunately is wise enough and open enough to be
helped along by it.
-----------------------------------
Title: Inheritance · Author: Acacea · Races: Men: Steward's Sons
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 524
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:24:28
Acacea recalls the affinity that Tolkien gave Faramir and Denethor,
underneath their more visible differences and uses that to good effect.
Faramir interrogates Gandalf as to his father's death, showing his
likeness to him, yet also, in the end, demonstrating that gentleness
that sets him apart from his sire.
-----------------------------------
Title: Strength of a River · Author: Acacea · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 513
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:24:41
This loose set of scenes, revolving around Ithilien and Faramir's long,
patient struggle there, gets its titular image (one repeated in other
fics) from a young boy's desire to be a river. Faramir's affinity for
Anduin and the sea, and the unstoppable force of the river flowing
becomes a metaphor for his life and work and the story itself. The river
can hold many things, and the story, too, holds together these little
scenes from Faramir's life, opening out in the end onto an uncertain future.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Night in the Woods · Author: Acacea · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 511
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:24:59
Sweet vignette, as the brothers banter about elves (and whether Boromir
has actually seen some) and marriage and in the end are simply glad to
have some time to talk with each other, whatever the content.
-----------------------------------
Title: Brothers at Heart · Author: Radbooks · Races: Men: Incomplete ·
ID: 451
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:25:13
This lengthy story explores Aragorn's arrival among his own people at
age twenty and his growth into their leader. The lives of the Dúnedain
of the North are fleshed out in villages and on patrols. Halbarad's and
Aragorn's developing relationship is central to the story, and numerous
OC Dúnedain fill out their world.

The part that probably affected me the most was the fate of the bandits
in the end; nice to see Aragorn learns a little about the complexity of
people's motives.
-----------------------------------
Title: Do Not Think Me A Dream · Author: EdorasLass · Races: Men: Gondor
· ID: 40
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:25:39
A sensitive portrait of Finduilas in her decline. The Appendices of
course make her health and eventual death a matter of much speculation.
Edoraslass turns this into an image of a woman struggling with
depression without having the words for it, disturbed by dreams of her
own coming demise, victim of mood swings and exhaustion, and weighed
down by care for her loved ones, to whom she cannot explain her night
time wanderings and poor health. Denethor makes a brief appearance, but
nevertheless, gives a strong impression with just that too knowing frown
that says he can't believe her excuses, but neither can he question them.

Haunting the bedroom of her children at nights, feeling as if ill health
and duty are drawing her away from them and into the arms of Nanny, who
minds them day and even night, she makes the most of these nocturnal
visits. Touching and melancholy, it's a convincing image of Finduilas
and her family.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Oathbreakers · Author: Branwyn · Races: Men: Aragorn
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 42
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:25:51
Now this was quite the surprise. I had thought Isildur might be among
the Dead, but it's a much more recent ghost that Aragorn recognizes.
This is very well done, and heart-wrenching, as Aragorn struggles
against the impulse to call out to this particular shade, desirous of
his company and perhaps some better peace than they had been able to
make with each other, but equally too afraid to speak and doom the other
to linger still instead of departing to a deserved rest.

Creative and concisewell done, Branwyn!
-----------------------------------
Title: Consolation · Author: EdorasLass · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 47
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:26:05
The toy pony rides again! It's always fun to watch elements common to a
set of writers, who are weaving together a particular version of
Middle-earth, shift back and forth between their stories. Naturally,
it's enjoyable when it's done *well*, but no fear: Edoraslass puts a
well-loved toy to good use as she draws two grieving children struggling
to comfort each other. Boromir, ten years old, and more aware of the
conversations grown-ups don't intend for children to overhear, knows
time is running out, that he and Faramir cannot continue to sleep
together for comfort after their mother's death for much longer, that
they must separate and pretend for a while that everything is all right,
until at last it finally is.

The toy pony proves the means to soothe Faramir's fears of being alone
in his room, and inspires a reciprocal offer that Boromir wisely
accepts, enabling Faramir to feel as if he, too, has something to give
his brother when everything seems so very wrong and out of control. But
they are both young children, still, and Boromir isn't quite ready to
give up the comfort of having his younger brother with him at nights,
either. It's a fitting ending and quite plausible.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7427

Reviews for 8 Sept - Part 2 Posted by Rhapsody September 08, 2006 - 14:58:10 Topic ID# 7427
Title: Pink Oliphaunts · Author: Branwyn · Races: Men: Post-Sauron's
Fall · ID: 49
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:26:19
Nice to see Beregond again--poor man does not get enough fanfic. It's a
cute interlude, with a child's chalk drawings of mumakil and famous
uncles providing both amusement and a hope for a more peaceful future to
two men who've seen enough of war. Loved that Beregond isn't adverse to
joining in Elboron's work--no doubt, he's done this with Bergil before.
-----------------------------------
Title: Music Lessons · Author: Acacea · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 55
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:26:33
This was a lovely depiction of a young Faramir with Mithrandir. Both
characters are well-portrayed: Faramir sounds like a young child, though
an intelligent one for his years, set apart by temperament as well as
rank. Mithrandir sounds and looks as he ought to: old, but vigorous,
kindly, perceptive, and just a little weary the wary frustration that
others, both stewards and hobbits, treat a wandering wizard with.

The wizard's willingness to step away from matters of high statecraft or
learning in order to teach a mystified boy how to produce various bird
calls--more and better than his brother--reminds us again of
Mithrandir's fundamental focus on the need of the person who comes
before us, rather than subordinating others to some overarching project
and dismissing them if they do not clearly touch upon his own work.

His foreshadowing of Faramir's eventual career in the Rangers and the
summation of the well-mannered and kindly boy he's met with the line
that he is also superbly loyal makes for a good laugh at the end. Nicely
done!
-----------------------------------
Title: It's the Thought · Author: annmarwalk · Races: Men: Fixed-Length
Ficlets With Children · ID: 71
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:26:51
Good foreshadowing in that last line of the drabble--last lines often
make or break these short fics, so I'm always delighted when I find one
that ends strongly. In this case, Ann shows us a brief glimpse of
Théodred's efforts to make his young cousins welcome, but then opens a
few gifts, given simply to distract and comfort them, out onto the
future when Éowyn would come to covet the freedom and honor of a warrior.
-----------------------------------
Title: The White Tree · Author: Linda Hoyland · Races: Men: Featuring
Aragorn · ID: 94
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:27:08
This story gives us a glimpse at the early relationship of Aragorn and
Faramir. Although alike in many ways, in their gifts and leadership and
their experience of war, Aragorn's Rangerly and solitary habits and
Faramir's Oedipal legacy interfere with their efforts to befriend each
other for a time.

The first two chapters, I think, are solid; the third I think wraps
things up too quickly and with just a little too much sentiment. But
it's still an enjoyable read, and fans of these two characters should
like it.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Road Not Taken · Author: Branwyn · Races: Men: Vignette · ID: 104
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:27:23
Frost gets good employment in this is a well-crafted interlude that
shows the very beginning of Boromir's journey out of familiar lands and
into the wilds of the North. The description of the birch forest is
wonderful, as is the 'dialogue' with the swan that Boromir's horn allows
him and his companion. The finding of the road, buried beneath ages of
dirt marks the beginning of many discoveries for him, though he cannot
foresee them.
-----------------------------------
Title: Luck from the Ashes · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races: Men:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 142
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:27:37
Cat-lovers ought to like this one. Faramir and Aragorn come upon some
unlikely residents of the steward's mausoleum and take in mother and
kittens with the intention of breaking the tradition of Beruthiel (and
also ridding the city of vermin). Nice banter, cute idea, and a nice
glimpse into the early friendship of steward and king.
-----------------------------------
Title: Until the Stars Are All Alight · Author: Kenaz · Races: Men:
Featuring Aragorn · ID: 148
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:27:51
I've got my objections to one of the central devices for this fic,
however, it remains an interesting attempt to shed light on Aragorn's
coming of age in the rendering of high justice among the Rangers and his
sexual initiation, with Halbarad acting as the key to both these moments.
-----------------------------------
Title: Heirs of the Oath · Author: Elana · Races: Men: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 151
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:28:05
This is a very thoughtful pair of drabbles, featuring Boromir and
Theodred, Aragorn and Eomer. Legacy is the theme that binds them
together: the Oath of Cirion and Eorl has many heirs, but the heirs
themselves are not simply bound to the oath but to those who came before
them as oath-takers. Eomer, seeing that legacy broken by untimely death
of cousin and Denethor's elder son, finds in his oath-taking with
Aragorn a connection to both the history of the nations, but also to two
men who loom large in his past, and it's to the memory of his cousin and
Boromir that he finds the personal meaning of the ancient oath. Well
done, Elana!
-----------------------------------
Title: The Last Yule in Halabor · Author: Soledad · Races: Men: Vignette
· ID: 166
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:28:20
Soledad builds an entire town up, household by household, trade by
trade, brick by brick. In the twenty-four vignettes, as the citizens of
Halabor, common and noble, Old Folk and Dúnadan, Rohirric, Haradric, and
those in between, advance towards the Yule with anticipation. Hopes and
memories abound, as tragedies and joys are revisited and worked upon,
sometimes dwelt upon, and the net of relationships among the townspeople
and their lords takes form against the backdrop of Númenorean history
and that of the native Gondorian population.

The loose relationship of the stories works--it gives us an image of
life in a town already doomed to fall to an Orc attack, though no one
knows it yet. There are so many threads of lives just left loose, so
many projects and dreams that one senses will be destroyed before ever
coming to fruition--if Soledad doesn't tell us outright that this is so.
The town feels fully realized, with its share of troubles and prejudices
and the struggles to overcome them.

Beautifully done, Soledad! Absolutely recommended to anyone who wants to
read a well-constructed world.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Cloak · Author: Elen Kortirion · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 177
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:28:33
A quite fascinating story--this old nurse is most emphatically *not* the
sort of woman to sit at home by the fireside, even if she does end up
making Boromir a nice warm cloak. A spy on the front lines who bargains
trades for slaves taken by Corsairs and their knowledge as often as she
does aught else, and who seems to be beholden to a lord more northerly
than Denethor, she's a tough old bird who pretty clearly knows Boromir
inside and out.

Her efforts to tell him what he needs to know about the journey north
and the Elves he seeks fall on ears that are perhaps somewhat deaf,
though not for lack of love. A pity indeed for her that Boromir did not
return, but she's not one to drown in grief, either. She'll do her
mourning and continue on in service to the kingdom.
-----------------------------------
Title: Mirrors of Numenor · Author: Dostoevsky's Mouse · Races: Men:
Incomplete · ID: 242
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:28:47
Thorongil and Denethor together in their early days is a subject of much
fascination to this reader, as both reader and writer. Dostoyevsky's
Mouse builds a complex relationship and a Denethor whose pride and
confidence, and indeed, his leadership, are as great as his lacks: of
trust, of friendship, of fatherly affection. He and Ecthelion are
Gondor's sons--both of them hard men and stern, even handed in praise
and rebuke, save that the former is impersonal, the latter all too
personal. Denethor at this stage of his life is as desperately desirous
of his father's personal approval and warmth, and clearly this is the
one thing he is doomed to be denied.

Denethor is also clearly intelligent, clever in his words, a shrewd
young man who confronts Captain Thorongil's omissions and his neatly
crafted excuses about such silences, pointedly and clearly, yet is
confident enough, despite his mistrust, to leave his new captain's
secrets alone... for a time, at least.

Aragorn shows himself a doughty fighter and a bold counselor, as well as
a budding healer. Yet he is also properly enigmatic, hard to read, and
an object of fascination.

Fans of Aragorn and Denethor, and particularly of the two of them
together in one story, should not miss this tale, which promises to be
interesting as it continues to unfold. Write more and soon,
Dostoyevsky's Mouse! Thanks for a satisfying read!
-----------------------------------
Title: Tharbad Crossing · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Races: Men:
Steward's Sons Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 253
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:28:59
Wet, wounded, and at an utter loss in terms of possessions (like his
sword, for example), Boromir clambers out of the river at Tharbad
cursing his mission as only a half-drowned traveler can. But in the end,
loyalty and memory of Faramir's hope stop the complaints and rekindle
his determination to journey north and save Gondor. Concise and
intense--very well done!
-----------------------------------
Title: That Immortal Sea · Author: Marta · Races: Men: Steward's Sons
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 265
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:29:13
I like this drabble for the interesting elemet of guilt that it seems to
introduce and couple with the dream of Numenor drowning. Faramir's
dreams haunt him, but this time there is a very personal element
involved--what is he trying to wash away, as wakes up to Ithilien? What
is the real nightmare? It's an enigmatic piece, where the land itself
becomes somehow threatening.
-----------------------------------
Title: Forlorn Hope · Author: Nancy Brooke · Races: Men: Steward's Sons
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 301
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:29:26
Haunting and lyricial. Hope and its future are not simply denied Faramir
and his men, but must be actively renounced, rejected by those who make
the last ride out to Osgiliath. The dying of hope, in the last images of
the drabble, 'til hope at last is identified as a dead tree makes a
cynical inversion of the more usual reading of the old white tree. Very
well done!
-----------------------------------
Title: Ships Passing · Author: Marta · Races: Men: Vignette · ID: 302
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:29:40
I've got my issues with this one, but I do love the idea of some form of
encounter between Faramir and Halbarad, some sense of a passing of
torches and a kinship between these two men. Marta gives us a go at
showing that connection and opens some intriguing possibilities.
-----------------------------------
Title: Lawd of Them Hills · Author: Make It Stop/Princess Faz CoAuthors
· Races: Men: Incomplete · ID: 304
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:29:54
I think I've probably ruptured something laughing over this. This beats
the bits of "Bored of the Rings" I've read; it may possibly beat
'Spaceballs' for the sheer screwball factor. It's really a pity it's not
finished yet.

The authors of this snarkfest transpose LOTR to the poverty-stricken,
poorly-developed, yet fiercely possessive denizens of a backwoods
Appalachian community that is as much a caricature of hillbillydom as
anyone could wish. Starbucks and its global exploitation scheme, with
its white-obsessed CEO Sarah Mann in the tower of I. Singh Ard have
taken the reigns of evil from Sauron, it seems, not that we're
complaining about this. Sarah Mann has a plan... or at least, she had
one back in Ohio, but Starbucks' marketing strategy has gone missing.

We all know what's coming next, don't we? In case we don't, LaTisha the
psychic is standing in for a palantir to read the cards to Denny of
Go'nder Holler. Yeah. I do hope that this parody does not remain in its
current, unfinished state, as it will undoubtedly provide hours of
hysterical laughter just when it's most needed. It's unapologetically
surreal, and that's what makes it work. Kudos!
-----------------------------------
Title: Soldier's Luck · Author: Branwyn · Races: Men: Steward's Sons
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 309
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:30:08
Soldiers may believe in luck, but as this drabble shows, Faramir's
fortune in battle has solid planning behind it. No detail is left
unconsidered, weapons are cared for, men tested and carefully selected.
Good fortune bows to the Boy Scout's motto of being ever prepared.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Dancing Master · Author: Flick · Races: Men: Vignette · ID: 323
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-04 06:30:25
A nostalgic little vignette, as newlyweds Faramir and Éowyn find dancing
to be an unexpected memorial to Boromir, who taught them both.
-----------------------------------
Title: The King's Surgeon · Author: SurgicalSteel · Races: Men:
Incomplete · ID: 845
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-04 08:18:27
Thank the MEFAs for leading me to this story! I found it - and then
spent hours reading through all the parts I could find. Serinde is an
absolute delight - tough and resilient, but kind-hearted and skilled and
just such an all-round good character. I like her in her youth - she did
very well to survive exposure to the Poison Butterfly and find her
vocation. Her friendship with Thorongil is great - especially her
freely-expressed opinion of his healing skills and teaching. I love the
acidity of her relationship with Denethor - not a good person to cross.
Diplomacy was clearly not a word in Serinde's vocabulary, at least not
until the delightful Steward attempted training. I love her middle years
- the trip north and her discovery of the northern Dunedain and the
friendships she builds with them and in her new life.

The story is beautifully and engagingly written, too, and the characters
are developed and multi-dimensional. I can't wait to find out more about
the lives of Serinde and her friends and family.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Sight to Remember · Author: Dreamflower · Races: Hobbits:
Children · ID: 703
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-04 08:23:23
I did enjoy Pippin's second excursion with the intrepid Rusty. Although
I'd be surprised if they weren't both scarred for life by this
experience. Lobelia in the bath ... ... ... The sight of that must have
been punishment enough for two young hobbits!

Rusty is a delightful character! I'd like to know what kind of adult she
became - and what she did during the Troubles. I can't imagine she would
have sat back and cowered. Perhaps her scribe would like to expand on
her adventures.

Frodo is a very clever hobbit - with excellent management skills! (He
would need to be to get round Pippin!) He offers just precisely the
right amount of gentlehobbitly approval and interest here to bend
Rusty's mother to his will! And she doesn't even realise she is being
managed. Observers could learn a lot from him! A delightful story,
Dreamflower.

-----------------------------------
Title: Raven Hair and Silver Eyes · Author: Ellie · Times: First Age and
Prior · ID: 174
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-04 08:31:50
I do feel sorry for most of the female kin of all those headstrong
Noldor. Those who remained behind were deserted without an apparent
second thought - and then left to deal with the consequences.

Poor Anaire is, of course, one of them. Nolofinwe has just a touch too
much sibling rivalry about him when it comes to his half-brother - but
he does try to keep the peace. And I can see how his father's death
would drive him to try to take revenge. After Alqualonde, too, he
doubtless felt damned and doomed and unable to turn back - and Anaire is
left to be another of those characters who lost everything they had and
was abandoned to remain alone in the Blessed Realm until one day -
possibly, hopefully - her husband and children returned from the Halls.

Grief - self-righteousness - anger - all sorts of emotions might have
carried them through the first centuries, but what then? The Blessed
Realm - especially among the Noldor - must have been a community of
abandoned wives and sweethearts. Children without fathers and parents
without sons. I wonder how it would have affected the social structure...

Sad story. I hope they found each other again. In the end. Fingers crossed.

-----------------------------------
Title: A Length of Haradric Silk · Author: annmarwalk · Times: The Great
Years: Gondor · ID: 69
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-04 08:40:45
Sam is such a practical hobbit - and determined not to move above his
station - but, in a way, this fabric represents him and indicates that
his station has moved above and beyond that of almost everyone in
Middle-earth. Gleaming above the sober, sensible goods beneath.

Some fabric is just so beautiful you have to have it. And I'm glad the
shopkeeper offered Sam just the right incentive to get him to take the
silk back to the Shire. I can just picture Rosie dressed in Haradric
silk - marvelling at the texture and the gleam of contrasting colours.

Beautiful. It catches at the imagination just as the fabric caught Sam.

-----------------------------------
Title: The Healer and the Warrior · Author: Madeleine · Genres: Romance:
Lothíriel & Éomer · ID: 140
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-04 08:50:04
When I first found your stories, Madeleine, I was inspired to fall in
love with your Eomer and Lothiriel! I love Lothiriel's single-minded
devotion to her craft and her determination not to be pressed into being
nothing but a representative of her house and then who can resist
Eomer's disregard of his own safety and his obstinacy and his refusal to
recognise the way that the healer affects him!

There is something remarkably intimate in the way that the healer and
the warrior confront each other - the quiet of the dark night and the
silence of the Halls of Healing. The shadowy corridors - the solitude.
The background conspires to make the two characters brighter and
stronger. It's no surprise that the healer manages to make a very
powerful impression on the warrior. Apart from the slap on his 'oh no,
it's nothing' wound, designed to make him pay attention to her demands,
I imagine not many would have reacted to his instinctive attack so
calmly. And then, how could she not respond to this really rather
gorgeous - if smelly - warrior. Especially after dunking him in a big
tub of hot water.

Then, the story has what I consider to be the sexiest thing of all -
it's all in their heads. Touching - for healing purposes; nudity - the
same. No romance - but boy, sexual tension floods the tale.

It's excellent writing, Madeleine and a very worthy beginning to your
story arc. Great stuff.
-----------------------------------
Title: First Anarchist · Author: Robinka · Times: First Age and Prior:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 316
Reviewer: Minuialeth · 2006-08-04 10:25:44
I always thought of Melkor as a sort of impertinent child with a twinge
of genius This drabble not only sheds light on such an important topic
as Melkors relationship with Eru but also gives us insight into what it
must have been like at the beginning before Melkor developed into the
full blown embodiment of evil. I believe that you have successfully
managed not only to give him a sort of innocence( albeit slowly fading),
but youve kept the feeling that despite everything Eru still had
control and that Melkor started like so many monsters a curious child.
It also is quite thought provoking, as Rhapsody said, because after all
Eru must have known what powers he gave to Melkor, and what character he
might grow to become. In the end, Melkor after all is necessary to
maintain balance and he certainly is a genius in his own right. This
drabble not only sparks off a lot of questions in the mind of the
reader, but it is written in such honesty and simplicity that it is
striking in its truthfulness, rendering it a very memorable piece of
work. I loved the title as well. Its a great pointer to a master mind
behind the words. Very powerful!
-----------------------------------
Title: Luck from the Ashes · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races: Men:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 142
Reviewer: Branwyn · 2006-08-04 11:17:18
Tolkien was an ailurophobe who had little good to say about cats. In
this story, fortunately, Aragorn and Faramir show more wisdom than their
creator. The tale is set in the Hallows in the autumn after the end of
the War; Aragorn and Faramir have come to plan the necessary cleanup and
repair of the gutted House of the Stewards. A few realistic details--a
worker's handcart and piles of stone and ash--create the setting.
Faramir's fear of disappointing his new king and friend is very
touching, and the dialogue shows clearly that he is still a little
uncertain in his role as steward (which is not unrealistic since he
never expected to hold the title). Faramir is able to calm the mother
cat with the same skill that he used to calm his horse when the Nazgul
attacked during the retreat from the Causeway Forts. Both he and Aragorn
show a characteristic pity for this half-starved, homeless cat and her
brood.

Faramir's reaction when he revisits the scene of his father's death is a
recurring theme in fanfic, but this is probably the first cheerful,
positive story about the event! The tale of Beruthiel and her cats is
filled with cruelty and mistrust, but Raksha clevely uses it as the
inspiration for a story about kindness and hope.

-----------------------------------

Msg# 7428

Reviews for 9 Sept - Part 1 Posted by Rhapsody September 09, 2006 - 14:23:35 Topic ID# 7428
Title: Of Falcons and Mûmakil · Author: Lialathuveril · Genres: Romance:
Lothíriel & Éomer · ID: 97
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-04 13:25:37
I thoroughly enjoyed this story - and perhaps the element that gave me
the greatest entertainment (perverted reader that I am) was what could
be described as 'the cheese knife incident'. Lothiriel's attempts to
defeat the bad guys through the application of excess water was good -
but Eowyn's use of the cheese knife was masterly! To reinterpret a well
known expression - those who don't eat by the cheese knife can still die
on them.

And the relationship between feisty princess and rather over-confident
king was delightful - culminating in the expected happy ending.

Good stuff - and I'm looking forward to finding out what you do to the
pair of them next!
-----------------------------------
Title: Merry Yules · Author: Marigold · Races: Hobbits: Fixed-Length
Ficlet series · ID: 114
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-04 13:44:00
I really enjoyed these lovely glimpses of Merry and Pippin at Yule.
Merry is an excellent big cousin - so loving and supportive of little
Pippin. Then, over the years, I loved seeing Pippin increasing in
confidence and maturity - so that the balance shifted ever so subtly
from Merry protecting Pippin to the other way round.

These two make an excellent team - and I am pleased that they had each
other (alongside their families) in constant mutual support right up to
their eventual deaths in distant Gondor.

-----------------------------------
Title: Elven Braids · Author: viggomaniac · Races: Men: Featuring
Aragorn · ID: 808
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-08-04 15:25:49
You achieve a high level of angst in this short fic. Best done, I think,
is the portrait of the Orcs themselves. You've captured their mode of
speech in a very Tolkienesque fashion. They are truly scary and I was
terrified along with Aragorn. And very relieved at the arrival of the
Elven warriors!

One small point: I do think an Orc could recognize a Numenorean when he
saw one. They called them "tarks."
-----------------------------------
Title: In the Woods · Author: Werecat · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond ·
ID: 119
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-08-04 15:34:04
I love this little story. It is so evocative of both Middle-earth and
the wonderful Irish tales of the Sidhe. Your portrait of Radagast is
moving and vivid. I wanted to cry along with the girl in the story as
the Fair Folk left.

One of the things I love most about your writing is its sound--and I
don't mean that I read it out loud to myself, but that I always HEAR
what is going on, because you evoke sound so clearly with words like
"whistle" and so forth. I understand that your first language is not
English, and so it is all the more remarkable. I would never know if I
hadn't been told.
-----------------------------------
Title: Desires Of The Hroa · Author: The Last Temptation of Homer ·
Genres: Drama: First Age Elves · ID: 623
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-08-04 15:45:22
I'm sorry this is so short. I appreciate your dilemma--how to criticize
Tolkien canon on sex and LACE in particular without using parody. In
fact, it cries out for parody, because it is itself a mockery of human
love, IMHO. The other option is high tragedy--the inevitable result of
trying to tie up in chains such unchainable desires. Thus comes Lancelot
and Guinever and all the other great "forbidden" loves.

Therefore I think you dodged the bullet by not having your character
(whoever he is) commit the ultimate sin and go for it. Maybe the lovely
maiden would have been interested. And THAT would have been a great tale.

I suppose canatics would object that I am giving myself away when I say
"human love." Well, even Tolkien said that the Elves are meant to
express a part of human nature (the higher part). I don't happen to
agree with him that sexuality is too debased to be "high" except within
the bounds of heterosexual monogamy. In fact, it is a large part of what
makes us human--sex is NOT just for procreation.
-----------------------------------
Title: Treasures And Momentos · Author: Marigold · Genres: Drama:
Featuring Pippin or Merry · ID: 220
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-04 15:55:27
In spite of the rather gloomy subject--a deathfic for Merry and
Pippin--it manages somehow, to be cheerful, hobbity and uplifting, all
at the same time. I like to think that this would be just how it was, no
real angst, except for those who were left bereft of their sweet
presence. We know that the last of the Fellowship are going to miss
their dear hobbits most dreadfully, but the important thing is that the
two of them are together.
-----------------------------------
Title: Tolkien's Use of Expletives · Author: Dreamflower · Genres:
Non-Fiction · ID: 147
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-08-04 15:56:53
This essay made me laugh. You have indeed done an admirable job of
cataloguing "oaths"; it ends up making Tolkien look charming and rather
childish. I suppose it's because so many of these words are out of the
mouths of Hobbits.

It reminded me of Tyellas's "Lost in the Translation," where Bilbo
confesses to Frodo that he "cleaned up" the tales of the Elves so as not
to shock the respectable.
-----------------------------------
Title: Just Us Lads · Author: pippinfan88 · Times: Late Third Age: The
Shire · ID: 291
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-04 16:00:12
I really like the warm and loving relationship this author depicts
between Pippin and his father. Her Paladin is a wise, warm and
afffectionate parent, who somehow always manages to make time for his
children. It is easy to see how Pippin grew up to have such an open and
generous nature with a parent like that. This little vignette of a quiet
father/son evening is very pleasant and soothing, and I like it very much.
-----------------------------------
Title: Blood Brothers · Author: Elana · Races: Villains: Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 149
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-04 16:02:46
A very touching drabble; it's a shame that it has to be categorized as
"villains", as it is hard to imagine this mumak-rider as actually being
a "bad guy", even though he fights on the enemy's side. It really
depicts the cost of war, and the deep bond between human and animal.
-----------------------------------
Title: Distant Lands · Author: Acacea · Genres: Romance: Fixed-length
ficlet · ID: 76
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-04 16:05:32
-grin-. This drabble really made me smile. At this point in time, there
is only one distant land on Faramir's mind. I do love the many things
this shows in so few words: Aragorn's wish for friendship, Gandalf's
wisdom--and how much in love Faramir is.
-----------------------------------
Title: In the Shadow of Hope · Author: Thevina Finduilas · Races: Men:
Vignette · ID: 715
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-04 16:16:37
This is a well-done little interior monologue for Eowyn, as she waits in
the Houses of Healing, her thoughts in turmoil, and feeling sad and
useless. I loved the little actions--naming the herbs, the ant, the
bee--those little things that can be a distraction from unwanted
thoughts. I also loved her musings on Merry. And the last two lines were
lovely and insightful.
-----------------------------------
Title: In a Heartbeat · Author: Piplover · Genres: Drama: Featuring
Pippin or Merry · ID: 928
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-04 16:40:36
This is a wonderful bit of classic Pippin hurt/comfort. Pippin is
wounded, heroically saving Aragorn's life, and then is taken care of by
all his dearest friends and loved ones. But there is more than just h/c
in this. The author depicts Pippin as brave and competent and proud of
his position as a Guard of the Citadel, and it's a delight to see the
love between him and his King. I loved this story when first it was
written, and am very glad for this chance to read it again.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Heads of One Thousand Goblins: A Love Story · Author:
SickleYield · Races: Dwarves · ID: 644
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-04 17:29:25
What a rare find! It's so unusual to find a Gimli romance, much less one
in which the love is requited! This is a delightful story of Gimli in
the Fourth Age, and of the resettlement of Moria. I enjoyed it very much
indeed! This is another tale I would never have found without the MEFAs!
-----------------------------------
Title: To Ride, To Will, To Fear · Author: Ellethill · Races: Men:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 841
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2006-08-04 21:17:04
This is a most unusual story written in the style of an ancient epic.It
gripped me from start to finish and lingered in my mind from amongst the
many stories I read.
It tells of Eowyn's abduction and rescue,while another theme is how
Faramir wins the respect of both Aragorn and Eomer who previously had
harboured some reservations about what manner of a man he was.By the end
of the story, both come to realise his true worth and Faramir and Eowyn
realise just how much they love one another.
The language of this story has a unique beauty and poetry.
-----------------------------------
Title: Night Rain · Author: permilea · Races: Cross-Cultural · ID: 792
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2006-08-04 21:17:56
A touching little story about Frodo's joy in rain after the
Quest.Aragorn,ever the healer wants to keep him warm and dry but comes
to realise how much Frodo needs to be in the rain, after the desert of
Mordor and having no water.

I can understand something of how he feels,for when the rain comes after
a heatwave, I always want to rush out to greet it and feel it on my face
like Frodo.
We often fail to appreciate the precious gift of rain.
This story is beautifully told and heartfelt..
-----------------------------------
Title: Birnam Wood · Author: Inkling · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond ·
ID: 917
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2006-08-04 22:31:34
Inkling answers the question I have wondered about myself: What if
Tolkien wrote fanfiction? If the anwer was yes, surely Birnam Wood would
(unintentional pun) have been it. This story applies Tolkien's love of
the natural world, without slavishly evoking the Professor's style, into
a number of pivotal scenes from Shakespeare's MacBeth.

Inkling moves the noise, textures, and terrors of Tolkien's Old Forest
into the Scottish Highlands of an age long past our modern times. Yet as
you read, you can tell that "Birnam Wood" is the remains of the same
forest that thousands of years ago was wandered by Tom Bombadil and some
adventurous hobbits.

The story trully evoked the atmosphere of an angry haunted forest, so
true to Tolkien that your thoughts are jarred when suddenly a strange
old woman appears. Though she fits so amazingly well into the forest now
bent on war, she still reminds us that she is one of Shakespeare's weird
sisters. MacBeth is ultimately the Bard's creation. Shakespeare
influenced Tolkien, not the other way around.
-----------------------------------
Title: Midwinter Rites · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Aragorn
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 868
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2006-08-04 22:32:02
This is a touching drabble, all the more evocative as I write this on a
very hot evening in late July.
-----------------------------------
Title: Inheritance · Author: Acacea · Races: Men: Steward's Sons
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 524
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2006-08-04 22:33:39
Spare writing, as appropriate for drabbles, and a nice twist at the end.
-----------------------------------
Title: The One · Author: Linda Hoyland/Raksha the Demon CoAuthors ·
Races: Men: Featuring Aragorn · ID: 852
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2006-08-04 22:34:42
So often we read fanfics that show how a dying Faramir is rescued from
the dark dreams of the black breath by Aragorn, the long hoped for king
who has finally returned. But in "The One", Linda and Raksha turn the
tables on fanfic fables and on Tolkien, as well, by having Aragorn dream
of Faramir.

In their tale, Aragorn is so haunted by his youthful dream of receiving
the Steward's rod from a strange man that memory of the dream persisted
through the years as he met the Lords of Gondor. The thought that he had
a vision of Faramir practically a generation before Denethor's son was
born is quite touching.

"The One" is nicely written, tight and quick flowing, with lovely
language very much in Tolkien's style.
-----------------------------------
Title: Strange meeting · Author: Nesta · Races: Men: Post-Sauron's Fall
· ID: 93
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2006-08-04 22:37:03
This fine story deals with a subject about which many have
conjectured--what happened at the "true" first meeting between Aragorn
and Faramir, where the latter was awake and coherent. "Strange Meeting"
is a discussion of Gondorian politics, during which the King to be "wins
Faramir over" so that he "can win over Gondor."

One more highlight: the story begins with the seldom described
"cleansing" of the Pelennor Fields after the seige of Gondor. Nesta
makes the scene atmospheric and almost Gothic.
-----------------------------------
Title: Ignorance Is Bliss · Author: Eggo Waffles · Genres: Humor: Parody
· ID: 754
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2006-08-04 22:40:17
This is a clever tale, sez me who likes her Faramir red-haired and
red-bearded. (Note the use of "sez", which proves that those of us who
like red-headed Faramir can't spell.) Just kidding, but very much in
keeping with some of the themes in this cute story. "Ignorance is Bliss"
evokes the heyday of the Book Versus Film Faramir debate at its height.
But whatever 'Mir ya favor, or even if you don't care too much about any
'Mir's, you should get a kick out of "Ignorance Is Bliss."
-----------------------------------
Title: 17 Cunning Corsairs · Author: stefaniab · Genres: Humor:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 244
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-08-04 22:52:22
My heart is all with Lothiriel in this one. I've always wanted to be
Black Sebastian, the Terror of the Seven Seas.

It's so dull to be a Good Girl.
-----------------------------------
Title: Lord of Werewolves · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Humor:
Parody · ID: 255
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2006-08-04 22:57:46
The first time I read "Lord of Werewolves", I almost cried with
laughter. I love humor and parodies, especially those that take down the
"bad guys" of history and literature. "Werewolves" is a wonderful little
fic that fits this bill quite handily. It's almost the Silmarillion, as
Mel Brooks would do it.

The story was authored by Raksha, in whose hands the Darkest Lord of
them becomes a classic cartoon uber-villain, like SuperMan's Lex Luther.
As evil as he is, you gotta laugh at him. Morgoth's protege Sauron is
now a raging Metrosexual pretty boy and a hopeless failure at animal
training. Bad enough that Sauron has made a wuss out of Wolfie,
Morgoth's little pet, but surely Sauron should have housebroken the
beast before giving him proper behavioral training! Raksha turns
Thuringwethil the vampire bat into a leggy moll you'd almost expect to
have a stereotypical Brooklyn accent, even if she was originally created
by an Oxford don.

"Lord of Werewolves' is just hilarious. I hope I haven't spoiled the
story for you, lovely readers, by my review. Just go check out this
wonderful parody.
-----------------------------------
Title: Trivial Matters · Author: Thundera Tiger · Genres: Humor: Gondor
· ID: 839
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2006-08-04 23:16:58
Heh. I'm always a sucker for Faramir being clever, and this vignette is
a lovely example of that, as he plays both Legolas and Aragorn to
achieve his desired ends.
-----------------------------------
Title: An Empty Saddle to Fill · Author: Anoriath · Races: Men: Vignette
· ID: 752
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2006-08-04 23:24:22
Delightful irony in Theodred's last thoughts. The depiction of his
impromptu sparring match with Eowyn was very well done. There is an air
of suspicion and foreboding over the entire piece, though Eowyn herself,
as seen through her cousin's eyes, is a beacon of hope. Poor
Theodred-one definitely gets the idea he has some foreboding of the fate
that lies in store for him.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7429

Reviews for 9 Sept - Part 2 Posted by Rhapsody September 09, 2006 - 14:29:53 Topic ID# 7429
Title: Heirlooms · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Drama: Remembering · ID: 72
Reviewer: Branwyn · 2006-08-04 23:26:45
The heirlooms of the title are toy ponies which were made by Morwen
Steelsheen for baby Boromir and Theodred. As they are passed along to
new owners, the ponies become a symbol of the ties of love and kinship
between the ruling famlies of Gondor and Rohan. The unassuming heroines
of the piece are Boromir and Faramir's Nanny and Theodred's old nurse
Winfrith who have kept the old toys for all these years, though a thread
of devotion runs through the entire ficlet, starting with Morwen's
lovingly hand-made gifts. The description of the simple, soft toy made
from brown wool with a mane and tail of flax rope is wonderful--Morwen
knew exactly what a small child would love. The wonder and joy of the
two mothers, Eowyn and Lothiriel, as they gaze at their tiny sons is
described with great tenderness. The two sections of the piece are
written in close parallel, emphasizing the close ties between the two
families and also the similarities between the two new sets of parents.

A beautifully and lovingly written piece! This tale is part of the
Pony!verse stories, written by Annmarwalk and Edoraslass, which follow
the fortunes of the two stuffed ponies.
-----------------------------------
Title: Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit · Author: Altariel · Genres: Drama:
Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 91
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2006-08-04 23:40:07
This is a crossover that wouldn't immediately leap to mind, though when
you read it you know that it works. Poor Rosemary-at least Gollum sang
praises of her youth and freshness to Sam...And it serves as a good
illustration of how all of nature was being oppressed by Sauron's rise.
-----------------------------------
Title: Wizardry · Author: Dwimordene · Times: Late Third Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 179
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2006-08-04 23:42:33
I love Dwimordene's Aragorn, and here he is in my favorite incarnation,
in full Strider mode. Despite the brevity of the piece, you get a good
feel for the friendship and humor in Middle-earth's most important
partnership.
-----------------------------------
Title: Sleep Easy · Author: shirelinghpc · Genres: Drama: Poetry · ID: 992
Reviewer: Branwyn · 2006-08-04 23:54:52
This elegy to Boromir flows along like the waters of the Anduin.
Shireling's language has a smooth, rocking cadence; and the reader is
drawn along by the forward movement of the narrative as Boromir's boat
is cast loose and he journeys down the river, past his brother, and into
legend. Very nicely done!
-----------------------------------
Title: The Last Thing He Said · Author: NeumeIndil · Genres: Drama · ID: 294
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2006-08-04 23:56:13
This is so sad! As a long-time dog owner, I can just see Boromir having
a four-legged friend who waits in vain for his return.
-----------------------------------
Title: Heart Calls to Heart · Author: Lindelea · Races: Hobbits: Poetry
· ID: 803
Reviewer: Branwyn · 2006-08-05 00:50:06
My MEFA readings have led me to yet another wonderful poet. Though I
couldn't figure out why Lindelea didn't just write a regular English or
Italian sonnet until I noticed the acrostic "Welcome Home" running down
the page!

The iambic pentameter, the rhyme scheme, and the "turn" in the eighth
line lend this piece the feel of a sonnet, even if it doesn't exactly
follow that form. The question or conflict of the poem is Samwise's
despair at the departure of his dearest friend. Samwise says that his
heart is failing within him, but the reader senses a change in tone at
the word "hope" in the eighth line --

["Hope beyond hope, you laboured to the end"].

The actual resolution of the problem comes in the last line, when
Samwise assures himself that

["E'en, so, one day we two shall meet again."]

The formal language and the iambic pentameter give the piece a somber
feel which suits its topic. I truly enjoyed this piece!

-----------------------------------
Title: A bit of garden · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Hobbits: General
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 901
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-05 05:01:00
Excellent depiction of two very different people united in the love of
tending growing things. I can definitely see Elrond as the type of Elf
who would enjoy personally tending his herb-garden, and it's a great
moment of shared interest between the humblest of the hobbits and the
gentlest of the high-Elves.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Healer and the Warrior · Author: Madeleine · Genres: Romance:
Lothíriel & Éomer · ID: 140
Reviewer: Katzilla · 2006-08-05 07:27:12
What Maddy achieved with her tales of Éomer and Lothiriel must not be
underestimated - from what has followed in her wake, one can conclude
nothing less than she has created the "perfect" Éomer and Lothiriel, and
even more, since those were virtually a blank sheet of paper, the
ultimate Dol Amroth family unit! The way she writes them changed
fanfiction, which is something to take immense pride in.

I was never much of a "romance-reader", but the way she writes those
two, with her quirky, sharp wit, always taking the turn the reader - and
Éomer! - does not expect and a sensuality that is so breathtaking I need
to fan myself while reading her stories - especially this incredible
introduction to her fanfic-world - makes me a convert.
-----------------------------------
Title: Counting the Days · Author: Lady Bluejay · Genres: Romance:
Lothíriel & Éomer · ID: 281
Reviewer: Katzilla · 2006-08-05 07:30:49
This one is hilarious! This is such typical behaviour of boys (okay,
woman do it, too) who think they are alone! I was in stitches when Éomer
was shocked by the "false" Lothiriel and desperately trying to think of
a way out. Just his luck that in the end, it all turns out well for him.
A wonderfully witty story.
-----------------------------------
Title: Hewing Naught But Wood · Author: Thundera Tiger · Genres: Humor:
Parody · ID: 825
Reviewer: Katzilla · 2006-08-05 07:34:41
She is one of my absolute favourite writers, and with this hilarious
little scene during the Helm's Deep Battle she has done it yet again:
marvellous characterisations throughout (one can easily imagine this
scene even ending up in the movie), and as someone with a special "soft
spot" for a certain Horselord, I could easily envision the consternated
expression on Éomer's face while he tried to keep an eye on the battle
and had to listen to the three friends' discussion. Priceless!
-----------------------------------
Title: Heirlooms · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Drama: Remembering · ID: 72
Reviewer: Acacea · 2006-08-05 15:10:17
I loved this for the way it weaves together so many little threads into
one compact yet exteemly touching piece.

There is the thought of Morwen making two little ponies for two little
boys to play with, and the thought of the roles that were enivisaged for
both boys and the way it in some manner acts as a prelude to their
potenetial friendship (and more in Ann's other fics:)). Then there's
Theodred understanding the loss his cousins would have felt and trying
in his own way to help them, Eowyn's jealousy for the sword, and yet her
care of the stuffed pony, of Boromir giving the pony to Faramir and how
Faramir feels safe with it.

It is such a beautiful thought that both Elfwine and Elboron have
something of their uncles, both of whom have helped shape their fathers
and mothers into what they are.


-----------------------------------
Title: It's the Thought · Author: annmarwalk · Races: Men: Fixed-Length
Ficlets With Children · ID: 71
Reviewer: Acacea · 2006-08-05 15:16:35
I really liked the sense of foreshadowing in this! And I love the way it
links with Heirlooms and the way in so few words, you capture so much.
It gives a fine glimpse into the future - of Eowyn's desires and her
frustrations, and of how much Eomer and deowyn love and respect
Theodred, and will miss him.

It is a beautiful piece.
-----------------------------------
Title: Benison · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Drama: Remembering · ID: 67
Reviewer: Acacea · 2006-08-05 15:19:25
This is a lovely little piece detailing out a look at Finduilas through
Eowyn's eyes. There's so much one gets to understand about Finduilas'
days as a mother, abd also as a wife. I particularly liked the bit about
the poetry!

And I loved too that Eowyn could find in this book a sketch of a small
Faramir!
-----------------------------------
Title: A New Year · Author: Bodkin · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond · ID: 704
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-05 16:38:10
I love this story. In it, Legolas, in company with Elladan, Elrohir,
Gandalf (and he is Gandalf once more in this tale) and others who have
returned to the Blessed Realm from Middle-earth, seeks to pay tribute to
his friends of the Fellowship, and to make the sheltered Elves of Aman
understand just what went on in the battle against the Shadow.

I love seeing Olorin transform himself once more into Gandalf, and
indulge himself in fireworks, and I love the byplay and teasing between
the twins and Legolas, and the politics that are so much a part of
Bodkin's universe.

But most of all, I was touched by the moment when the High King toasts
Frodo and Samwise, and by Legolas' wistful addition to that toast. It's
so clear that he will forever miss the mortal friends from whom he is
sundered until the end of days--Merry and Pippin, and Aragorn and Gimli
and Boromir, as well as Frodo and Sam.

Very beautiful and moving moment.
-----------------------------------
Title: Little Stars · Author: Space Weavil · Races: Elves: Feanorians ·
ID: 107
Reviewer: Súlriel · 2006-08-05 17:44:37
This is one of my favorites, both in subject and style. I have always
enjoyed your writing, and especially enjoy stories about the Sons of
Feanor and the Peredhil twins, and this is no exception. I love the
depth of tragedy and the mix of compassion that Tolkien gives us and you
use both well in this. The strength of the Eldar come through clearly in
both the love of the nanny and the hate and the strength of the vow in
both Maedhros and Maglor, as well as the pain and confusion that
Maedhros feels for his actions.
-----------------------------------
Title: Wizardry · Author: Dwimordene · Times: Late Third Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 179
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2006-08-05 19:40:03
I enjoyed this very much as I find the long friendship between Gandalf
and Aragorn interesting and wish Tolkien had told us more about it.I
just loved the image of these two laughing about their predicament in
being unable to find Gollum.It is amazing that the slippery creature
evaded the greatest in Middle- earth for so long !
-----------------------------------
Title: Avoidance · Author: stefaniab · Genres: Romance: Incomplete · ID: 674
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2006-08-05 19:50:58
This is a touching and enjoyable story of Faramir and Eowyn's romance in
which the author has some original and unusual ideas.I especially liked
the idea of Galadriel communicating with Faramir in his dreams.

The erruption of Mount Doom is brilliantly done, the most vivid
depiction of the event that I have ever read.

I am not a great fan of the film version of Faramir but this story has
almost won me over and I love the way the writer depicts the gradually
growing bond between these two troubled people.

There is also some humour, such as Eowyn's attendands peeping at Faramir
taking a bath in the steam room and describing his assests, naughty but
very funny.
-----------------------------------
Title: I can only manage One · Author: Lady Bluejay · Genres: Romance:
Lothíriel & Éomer · ID: 766
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-05 20:30:38
A story that's as engaging as its young heroine. I like the concept that
Lothiriel is a sheltered innocent, and grows up as she faces the
challenges of war, peace and an arranged betrothal. It makes sense that
she has been insulated, as a Prince's only daughter and youngest child.
But the writer imbues Lothiriel with a sweet disposition, a lack of
arrogance, and a zest for life and new experience, that makes her ideal
for a warrior-King who wants a pretty little wife to care for but not a
scaredy-cat or a prude.
-----------------------------------
Title: Beneath the Hollow Hill · Author: Haleth · Races: Elves:
Feanorians · ID: 314
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-05 20:38:58
Interesting and encounter of Maglor and the Tuatha de Danaan. The writer
succeeds in evoking an atmosphere of beautiful, if fated, immortals; and
Maglor is written quite well.

Good use of color and description. I liked Nuada's final gift to Maglor,
that was an especially fine touch.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Tide · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Drama: Gondor Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 77
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2006-08-06 01:16:48
Oh, how deftly you tear out our hearts, with a mere hundred words! Ive
never known anyone who could select words as deadly and precise as
arrows, to convey your tale with such stark clarity.

Prince Imrahils controlled grief is perfectly depicted as his words,
Tolkiens words, belie his rage. Yet you have moved us far beyond what
we were given, to Imrahils frustration with his brother-in-law, his
long- simmering fury over the treatment of the less-favored son. Imrahil
is clearly near his own breaking point, but you have marvelously
conveyed how Denethors cold ivory mask reminds him of the utter need,
at this moment, for self-control, for Faramirs sake, and for Gondors.
-----------------------------------
Title: Make It One For Paladin · Author: Marta · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 48
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2006-08-06 01:19:23
First, a confession: even after Peter Jacksons films, I had a very
difficult time envisioning hobbits as quite real, having the same
hopes and fears or feelings of passion or anger or despair, as, say, the
Men of Gondor or Rohan. I kept thinking of them as cute and cuddly,
always happy, like Disney characters.

Your unique, powerful story made me look at hobbits in a whole new way.
What a startling twist, to take a very minor character from the scouring
of the shire, and use him to symbolize all the collaborators, or even
those who stood silent and did nothing, hoping the shadow would not fall
on their houses? Youve drawn Robins guilt and shame so well,
particularly in the vivid and somewhat shocking scene where he wraps the
rope around his neck to imagine what his kinsman felt, as he was about
to be hanged.

Id never really though about the bitterness and despair that must have
run rampant during those dark days; the last remnants of Saurons work
Thank you for reminding me that the hobbits are much more complex than
Id ever considered.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Little Thing · Author: Acacea · Times: Early Third Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 75
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2006-08-06 01:20:37
Ooh, well done! I love the idea that the danger of the ring is tangible
even to the wild creatures. They are familiar with other deadly things
in the water, and know, in their simple ways, how to avoid them, but the
insidious poison of the ring fills them with such terror that they avoid
that tiny cove no matter what.

(Oh, and the part about the river fern that does not age  oh, wow,
creepy. Cool.)
-----------------------------------
Title: Consolation · Author: EdorasLass · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 47
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2006-08-06 01:21:43
Im always awed by your Bitty 'Mir stories  you write those children
with such understanding and imagination, tenderness and skill, but above
all, with perfect honesty and reality; and no where else do you
demonstrate all these aspects as in Consolation. Boromirs devotion to
his younger brother, his determination to be a source of comfort to him
in spite of his own grief, is heartbreaking and wondrous to see. His
offering his own most precious possession displays a wealth of
compassion that gives us a glimpse into the man he will become: devoted
and protective of the weak and fragile, despite whatever fear and grief
he may be suffering himself.

But the tale is not at all maudlin: there is lovely humor here, as in
Faramir (at five years old) not-quite understanding the significance of
regional politics and diplomacy, and his own generous offer of his
Precious in exchange for Boromirs. Just a lovely, lovely sweet-and-sad
story.
-----------------------------------
Title: Such a Little Thing · Author: Ribby · Genres: Alternate Universe
· ID: 206
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2006-08-06 01:22:36
Im so pleased that you shared this powerful backstory to Gondor Has No
King. The vision of Boromir killing Aragorn is so reminiscent of the
story of Cain and Abel, two brothers separated by greed and the cunning
spirit of evil. And the poor hobbits, terrified and trying to escape
back to the Shire! But Faramir, screaming his brothers name as the
flames consume him, is just harrowing, the stuff of nightmares. You are
an evil, evil woman. Keep it up!
-----------------------------------
Title: Birthday Kisses · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: Late Third
Age · ID: 59
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2006-08-06 01:23:40
(Ann is crying)

What a heartbreaking story! And Im not even a dog person. All the
standard angst-inducing elements are here, but the addition of a puppy
(and a particularly elegant one, at that) give this such an engaging,
original twist. How I love the name Mousie, and Faramir and Boromirs
delight when they discover the pups heritage, linking them once again
to their mother. Poor Denethor, unable to express his love for Faramir;
unable to open himself to the boys warmth and affection which is his by
right. So, so sad.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7430

Reviews for 10 Sept - Part 1 Posted by Rhapsody September 10, 2006 - 12:02:34 Topic ID# 7430
Title: Soldier's Luck · Author: Branwyn · Races: Men: Steward's Sons
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 309
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2006-08-06 01:30:18
What a wonderful illustration of the difference between luck and
skill! It reminds me of the old adage: Good judgment comes from
experience, and experience comes from bad judgment. What his
superstitious troops choose to call luck is actually Faramirs
knowledge, skill, experience, and intuition all carefully woven into the
matrix of command. Just as you have woven so much that is
thought-provoking into only 100 words.
-----------------------------------
Title: Tolkien's Use of Expletives · Author: Dreamflower · Genres:
Non-Fiction · ID: 147
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2006-08-06 04:56:56
This is an interesting and well thought out essay.I hope those who read
it will take note as I hate reading fanfiction based on Lord of the
Rings using swear words as it is so false to Tolkien's vision. The
writer has compiled a list of what expressions are used and proved
without doubt that Tolkien's characters do not blaspheme or use foul
language.I turn to Tolkien's words with a sign of relief as one knows
they are free of obsenities.I only wish all fanfiction were the same.
-----------------------------------
Title: Reaping · Author: Dreamflower · Races: Hobbits: Post-Sauron's
Fall · ID: 169
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2006-08-06 05:05:10
This was a truly chilling and bloodcurdling story about the fate of Ted
Sandyman. It shows Frodo's character that he is the only one to treat
this villian with kindness.I heartily dislike the character in the book
but his fate here makes me pity him.
Fleeing from his own kind, Ted is found by some of the ruffians who
formerly terrorised the Shire before Frodo,Sam, Merry and Pippin
returned. These ruffians think it great fun to torture poor Ted until he
dies.
I cannot say I liked this story as such but is is compelling,well
written and deals well with the serious subject matter.

Ted's fate reminded me of what I have read about collaborrators in real
lufe wars.
-----------------------------------
Title: When The Days Are Warm · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Drama: The
Steward's Family · ID: 145
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2006-08-06 05:59:08
This was just heartrending,the vision of the two young boys and the
mother who will never again see warm days.
I just love young Faramir's thoughtfulness in bringing the crocuses.

His poor mother is unlike the sturdy bulbs that can take root elsewhere
and doomed to wither and die so far from the sea she loves.

The writer captures the characters of young Boromir and Faramir perfectly.
-----------------------------------
Title: By The Light of Earendil's Star · Author: Branwyn · Genres:
Adventure · ID: 83
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2006-08-06 06:15:04
This is very exciting and beautifully written story.I kept wanting to
know what happened next ! I felt concerned for the brothers.Boromir is
just amazing,no wonder his men respect him !
Faramir,was badly hurt in this story and his fate had me on edge..I was
glad Boromir's cousin was still alive which made a pleasant surprise

Many chapters were moving and all,well written and enjoyable

I was relieved when Faramir was on the mend and Denethor seemed to care
though I disliked the way he treated the other men .
Atotally unique for your insight into Denethor's character.Very
refreshing and original !I like Hirluin very much,something I rarely say
about OCs !


it was so good to see them all recovering and contented.I also liked how
you brought the star into the last chapter.The puppies were ever so
cute. A well written and original story which I have enjoyed.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Standard-Bearer · Author: Thevina Finduilas · Races: Men:
Vignette · ID: 716
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-06 07:50:30
I thought the story could have been just a little longer, but as it is,
it stands as a quietly effective portrait, through introspection, of
Aragorn's strong and capable kinsman who has answered the summons that
will kill him. Halbarad seems a quiet, salt-of-the-earth type of
Dunedain, a man who might want more, but is content with less because he
has had to be.

-----------------------------------
Title: A Battle Of A Different Kind · Author: Katzilla · Genres: Drama:
Pre-Fellowship · ID: 279
Reviewer: Madeleine · 2006-08-06 12:22:06
To quote Mahatma Gandhi: There is as much bravery in keeping ones home
in good order and condition as there is in defending it against attack
from without. One is tempted to add Just less glory and public tribute.

Personally Ive never understood the appeal of a woman who resorts to
the rather primitive means of physical violence. I have no problem with
leaving that to the stronger sex. Probably because I dont consider
physical superiority  and its simply a fact that men are physically
stronger than women; just check the difference of the athletic
achievements of the two genders - necessarily as evidence of true strength.

And I think that is what Éomer is forced to prove to Éowyn in a way he
would have had preferred to avoid. He had to show her her place  as
she put it  because she overestimated her own abilities, her chances
against a foe who would not be considerate of her status as a woman or
the Kings niece like her sparring partners but who would have only one
goal, the goal to kill her. Theory and reality are two very different
sides of a coin.

Éowyn had to accept that she had to fight a battle of a different king,
a battle that demanded even more strength - true strength, the strength
of the mind and not the of body - from her than the battle of the warriors.

-----------------------------------
Title: But the Scent Still Lingers · Author: Imhiriel · Times: The Great
Years: Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 947
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2006-08-06 15:26:02
What a lovely idea to portray the Aragorn's awakening of Faramir in
Houses of Healing from Ioreth's point of view. I would love to know if
he knew and remembered her from his past visits to Gondor?

How amazing that the athelas can transport the aged IOreth back to her
youful dance with Captain Thorongil!

I enjoyed this very much especially the idea that the ancient IOreth of
the books was once a lively young woman who loved dancing.
-----------------------------------
Title: Hidden on the Mountain · Author: Imhiriel · Times: The Great
Years: Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 945
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2006-08-06 15:30:47
It is a delight to reread this little gem !This is just beautiful.I love
the story of the white tree I love your idea of the tree being
sentinent,something I hadn't thought of before.It is a delightful idea
to explore how the tree feels at being handled, first by Gandalf;lf and
then by Aragorn.A very original ficlet which I greatly enjoyed.
-----------------------------------
Title: Of Falcons and Mûmakil · Author: Lialathuveril · Genres: Romance:
Lothíriel & Éomer · ID: 97
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-06 21:05:02
A delightful Eomer/Lothiriel romance. There's a refreshing lightness to
it, without minimizing the occasional danger, perhaps due to the
heroine's youth and essential innocence. Though Lothiriel is an ingenue,
she is written with the strength necessary to the future Queen of the
Mark. The courtship is amusing, energetic, and at times rife with
danger. Good action scenes, such as Eomer/Faramir sparring fiercely and
the later kidnapping of Lothiriel and Eowyn. In fact, there are a lot of
good scenes, flowing smoothly together. (the chapter where Lothiriel's
six suitors are dealt with in various humorous ways is a favorite of mine)

I like the tension that begins the relationship of Lothiriel and Eomer,
it's well-handled and sustained, the courtship isn't easy and the
tension makes the eventual understanding and passion all the more fun to
read as they're developed.
-----------------------------------
Title: Discretion · Author: Bodkin · Genres: Humor · ID: 286
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-06 22:43:19
Vastly entertaining read, that much more poignant and layered because
the humour and silliness are contrasted by sad experiences and dark
history. Very good characterisations (I especially like your Celebrían)
and dialogues, well-handled relationships. The various "curses"
sprinkled cleverly throughout the narrative are hilarious as well as
highly inventive.
-----------------------------------
Title: Awaiting The Thaw · Author: Bodkin · Genres: Romance · ID: 953
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-06 22:44:06
A tale of healing and love; quiet, delicate, believable and resonating
(and funny, at times). Miriwen is a wonderful original character:
perceptive and caring, with a dry wit, knowing when to hold back and
when to give.
-----------------------------------
Title: Theme and Variations · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres:
Humor: Gondor · ID: 784
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-06 22:45:23
Engaging style, excellent, flowing dialogue. The presentation of
relationships and interactions is superb. You show very well Faramir's
perceptiveness and fairness in judgement. I very much like that you also
show his lighter side and the instant connection between him and Aragorn.
-----------------------------------
Title: Bored · Author: Make It Stop · Genres: Humor: Gondor · ID: 779
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-06 22:45:48
Vivid narrative voice. Some devastatingly hilarious, biting lines. This
is my favourite: ["- Your scorn moves me to pity, thought Faramir. -
Your pity moves me to scorn, was the response."] The ignorance of the
others to the internal quarrel is particularly funny.

-----------------------------------
Title: Lesser Ring · Author: Larner · Genres: Adventure · ID: 184
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-06 22:48:03
Engaging tale, all in all (despite some awkward and/or incorrect
expressions): interesting story, good descriptions, skilfull build-up of
tension. The characterisations of canon characters is plausible; and the
original characters are richly detailed and realistic.
-----------------------------------
Title: Mine · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Humor: Children · ID: 66
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-06 22:48:55
Charming, funny and sweet. The children's behaviour and reactions are
presented utterly believable. There are many wonderful lines, but this
is may favourite: ["And be careful with his ears - he doesn't like it
when you get water in his ears."]
-----------------------------------
Title: Ignorance Is Bliss · Author: Eggo Waffles · Genres: Humor: Parody
· ID: 754
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-06 22:50:05
Hilarious parody of the films, fanon and slash
["reddish-goldish-brownish-blond"] - Bwaahaa! Love how they are able to
recognize the real scrolls ["It has lots of words. Lots. And they're all
spelled correctly."]. The fact that they are as yet ignorant of what
awaits them "in reality" gives the story unexpected depth.
-----------------------------------
Title: One Summer's Day · Author: Bodkin · Races: Men · ID: 765
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-07 03:12:19
A thoughtful, insightful vignette forging a warm relationship between
Theodred and his orphaned young cousins, the saddened Eomer and the
angry, out-of-control Eowyn.

Eowyn is particularly well written here; her anger and confusion are
palpable, as is her unanswered need for something to do to on her own
rather than needlework or resting.

The resolution is heart-warming, but flows very naturally from the
themes and ideas woven into the rest of the tale.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Price of Power · Author: Rabidsamfan · Times: The Great
Years: General Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 989
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:10:35
Rabidsamfan gives us a Saruman who is not completely given over to
darkness, but whose choice to destroy the copse within Isengard is the
undoing of a long relationship of cultivation and trust. He grew those
trees, taught them something of language, and now must ignore their
demand for justice and an answer in favor of giving the order that will
destroy them.

Chilling, and it does a lot to make movie!Saruman more complex than he
can appear at times.
-----------------------------------
Title: But the Scent Still Lingers · Author: Imhiriel · Times: The Great
Years: Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 947
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:16:58
Thanks again for my birthday drabble, Imhiriel! I have a soft spot for
Ioreth, and Imhiriel feeds it. Ioreth remembering Captain Thorongil from
her youth, and the vividness of the rose-scent brought back to her by
the athelas is wonderfully nostalgic.
-----------------------------------
Title: Hidden on the Mountain · Author: Imhiriel · Times: The Great
Years: Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 945
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:17:16
The White Tree gets a voice, remembering its removal to the
mountainside, and rejoicing in its rediscovery. A unique perspective.
-----------------------------------
Title: Healing the Healer · Author: SlightlyTookish · Times: The Great
Years: The Fellowship · ID: 935
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:17:30
The physician gets a dose of his own medicine - or rather, the hobbits'
medicine, which might well be worse!
-----------------------------------
Title: The Hours of Waiting · Author: Nesta · Times: The Great Years:
Gondor · ID: 909
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:18:07
As Nesta says, we all have our personal version of what happened during
this time frame with Faramir and Eowyn, but it is a joy to see these
[days of waiting] brought to life so beautifully.

Eowyn's anger and fear of intimacy as being too close to a cage are very
well captured (pardon the pun, as it were) in this vignette. Faramir's
intensity and his holding fast to the moments of joy and peace so that
they will have happened, whatever else may come, is very poignant, as is
the final accommodation of Dernhelm and the steward of Gondor.

Faramir and Eowyn fans should enjoy this one. Understated, yet moving
drama, played out between the lines that Tolkien gave us, but they feel
fresh. Well done!
-----------------------------------
Title: Tom Bombadil and the Four Travellers · Author: Dreamflower ·
Times: The Great Years: Poetry · ID: 887
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:18:32
This certainly has the feel of Bombadil about it. I cannot say it's
enjoyable (I was never that big a fan of Tom and his poetry) but that's
not to say it's not worth the read to see what Dreamflower does to
recast the original encounter in Tom-like verse.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Smallest Hands · Author: Dreamflower · Times: The Great
Years: Poetry · ID: 884
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:18:47
The moral of the story is given a song to go with it - nice rhythm!
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7431

Reviews for 10 Sept - Part 2 Posted by Rhapsody September 10, 2006 - 12:24:05 Topic ID# 7431
Title: For the love of the Lord of the White Tree · Author: Tanaqui ·
Times: The Great Years: General Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 870
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:19:04
Legolas as an elf is able to hear so many voices that others cannot: the
trees, the land, and most especially, the sea. But it's the one voice
others can hear--Aragorn's--that holds him in Middle-earth after the
Ring is destroyed. Nicely done!
-----------------------------------
Title: Evenstar · Author: Mar'isu · Times: The Great Years · ID: 856
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:19:27
I like Arwen's sense of defiance in this story--she is offered a gentle
life in the Undying Lands where the light of evening will never fade and
seem all the brighter, yet she rejects it for the morning. It's not only
because of Aragorn, but the promise of a future, and of the healing of
the rift between Elves and Men, seen most starkly in her own family as
the difference that divided brothers. It can be so difficult to inject
Arwen with some passion other than a romantic one for Aragorn, and so it
is good to have fics like these. Well done, Mari'su!
-----------------------------------
Title: Along the Morgai · Author: Rabidsamfan · Times: The Great Years:
General Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 849
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:19:39
Poignant and appropriate, that Frodo should find it hard to think that
no one will ever know (likely) the full tale of Sam's valor. Both the
early Sam, whom Frodo remembers slaying dragons with trowels and the
older Sam who faces down Shelob will be disconnected from each other,
permanently prevented from meeting in the minds of absent others. Only
he will be able to hold the whole of Sam's life in mind, and not for
very long probably. But it's still enough to get a smile from
Frodo--very hobbity indeed.
-----------------------------------
Title: Awake · Author: Rabidsamfan · Times: The Great Years:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 837
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:19:57
Rabidsamfan remains one of my favorite hobbit authors. She really does
get at the heart of the character and the situation, unfolding both for
the reader. Here she finds a gap in the movieverse reunion and fills it
beautifully.

Sam's sense of unreality, then of cautious wondering whether he might
not be alive after all, to his waking and finally grasping that he is
among his friends, that he is alive, and that most importantly, Frodo
is, too, is very well done.

I've always loved the scene where Sam enters, last of all the
Fellowship, and the voices just fade away as the two of them look at
each other and smile a little--no need for more. Rabidsamfan gives a
wonderful set-up for that moment.

Well done once again, RSF!
-----------------------------------
Title: Lord of the Rings Limericks, Chapters One and Two · Author:
Llinos · Times: The Great Years: Poetry · ID: 759
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:20:17
Llinos can write some pretty mean poetry--in the best sense of that
word, too. Her poems can bite and be funny at the same time. Limericks
are of course open to all sorts of mischievous poetic impulses, and
Llinos takes full advantage. Her Gimli verse had me chuckling softly.
-----------------------------------
Title: What Goes Around Comes Around · Author: Cathleen · Times: The
Great Years: The Fellowship · ID: 726
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:20:30
As the title says, the tellers of tales and mischief-makers get what's
coming to them. Especially among uninvolved bystanders, there's always
someone willing to egg somebody else on to tell the story--with an eager
audience, there are no friends too dear not to betray embarrassing
childhood anecdotes, as the entertainment of one night and a morning
prove. And it doesn't look like the nights to come will be any less
filled with lovingly recounted tales of humiliation, either. Fun!
-----------------------------------
Title: Memorabilia and Other Useful Things · Author: Illwynd · Times:
The Great Years: The Fellowship · ID: 714
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:20:49
I've never seen a story that made something out of this particular
moment and item, and I'm glad I've read this. We get a glimpse into
Pippin's personality as he lays out the treasures that he keeps close
(in addition to the spare pipe) for his friends. Memories of Bilbo, of
an old love (and possibly one still waiting for him), of a lesson
learned about the falsity of the adage that there's never too much of a
good thing, a keepsake of Lorien, and even of Boromir, which brings a
somber note to what had been a more light-hearted story. But it ends
well, and with a laugh that seems perfectly timed and suited to the
characters.

Those who enjoy Pippin and Fellowship fics should definitely read this
one--it's delightful.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Worst of All Evils · Author: Marta · Times: The Great Years:
Vignette · ID: 697
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:21:09
We've talked about this fic before, and I still think the elements don't
quite hold together, however, I like the idea of playing with that line
from ROTK, that upon learning his sister is alive, Eomer feels the cares
that come with having hope once more, and so agony is drawn out. If she
had been dead, at least he could've mourned and moved on, but now he's
back to waiting, uncertain, and suffering from sustained hope.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Shield-maid's Dance of Death · Author: Marta · Times: The
Great Years: Poetry · ID: 694
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:21:33
Eowyn's despair comes through plainly in this filk. I'm not familiar
with the original song, but the rhythm seems pretty steady. The last
stanza shows us an Eowyn who, like the Witch-king, has nothing left to
lose, and so can in some sense face him on equal footing.
-----------------------------------
Title: Elements · Author: Pearl Took · Times: The Great Years · ID: 667
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:21:47
The device of the elements, and the repetition of the first few lines
gives this story the feel of an incantation or a mantra, as Gandalf
reaquaints himself with the most basic of worldly things. His glimpse of
Valinor, his sense of being a foreigner there, of not belonging, are
answered by the Valar, who do nothing without purpose.

Indeed, as in the movie, Gandalf and Pippin sit waiting for the final
break through of the Enemy's soldiers, he will find a reason for his
straying where immortal Maiar do not belong.

Interesting story, and quite enjoyable.
-----------------------------------
Title: Holding the Line · Author: Marta · Times: The Great Years: Gondor
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 581
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:21:59
Thank you for giving some substance to what has always been a gratuitous
special effect for me. I know, I know, it got the immortal line ["That
still only counts as *one*!"] and I'd hate to do without it, BUT
NEVERTHELESS...

This drabble can't quite remove the elven gymnastics, but at least it
gives the moment some gravity, as Legolas remembers the horror he felt
at learning some of the cruelties corrupted men are capable of,
remembers the corruption of elves into orcs, and turns to face the
oliphaunt if it's the last climb he ever makes.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Summons · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Times: The Great
Years: The Fellowship · ID: 254
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:22:18
Good to see Gandalf with a sense of humor, and the progression of the
relationship of Aragorn and Boromir is interesting. Boromir's fixation
on Thorongil and the summons of Elendil's heir to Minas Tirith collides
violently with Aragorn's sense of duty towards Frodo after Gandalf's
fall. Doesn't quite hang together for me, but some good character
moments nonetheless.
-----------------------------------
Title: Such an Hour · Author: SlightlyTookish · Times: The Great Years:
General Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 237
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:23:11
An unusual perspective on the battle before the Black Gate. The
barrow-blade, once a dagger, now a sword, remembers its forging and the
long wait until it came into its present owner's small hands.

Later, when Pippin stabs the troll, the sword finds its ultimate purpose
once more in the slaughter of the Enemy's troll.
-----------------------------------
Title: Following Orders · Author: EdorasLass · Times: The Great Years:
Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 54
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:25:25
One always wonders about the relationship between the guards who had
assisted Denethor on his final descent and Faramir, who was nearly the
innocent victim of their inability or unwillingness to refuse the
steward's orders. Excuses from the perpetrators and explanations of them
from others who had resisted (Pippin) cannot undo the betrayal Faramir
feels that people he had known and trusted all his life were prepared to
allow his father to kill him.

Rage, indeed--one wonders what would come of so dramatic and awful a
breach of all trust.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Falcon and the Star · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: The
Great Years: Gondor · ID: 57
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:25:39
It's difficult to write what might happen when Aragorn heals Faramir,
while Faramir lies trapped in his dreams under the Black Breath. In
dreams, anything can happen, so how to employ that strange psychic space
effectively?

Raksha opens with Faramir wandering in the wasteland of his dreams--the
valley of the shadow of death, as she uses the Psalm later, where
Aragorn must go to find him. We then move back to Aragorn's exhaustion
after the battle, to the news from Mithrandir, and the resolution to go
and attempt to heal the three heroes and heroine of Pelennor Field.

Faramir's seeking after his father, his need to find Denethor, and the
dangerous phantoms that are the legacy of a the Nazgûl's spell are well
drawn. And the journey back with Aragorn ends up giving Aragorn
something unexpected as well.

Nice job, Raksha.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Length of Haradric Silk · Author: annmarwalk · Times: The Great
Years: Gondor · ID: 69
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:25:52
Sam's fascination with a beautiful bolt of cloth, though he himself has
only the crudest and most class-conscious appreciation of fabrics and
clothing, ends with a sales pitch that is all too prophetic. No doubt,
Sam and Frodo will laugh over it once he returns to meet his bride-to-be.
-----------------------------------
Title: Black Hour · Author: Nesta · Times: The Great Years: Gondor · ID: 92
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:26:07
The time of waiting, between Faramir's healing and the coronation,
attracts ficwriters. What must he have been thinking? Feeling?

Nesta shows us a Faramir who is not entirely clear immediately that
Aragorn has made his case for claiming the throne, or that he should
acknowledge him. Imrahil and he exchange letters that could have
multiple meanings, and Faramir ponders--is his uncle subtley suggesting
Faramir must decide whether Aragorn is king, or is he aligning himself
with Aragorn as a partisan? Why doesn't Aragorn write himself?

The council is even less certain of Aragorn's claim, insisting that
Gondor under the Stewards is well enough, and that they will fight for
Faramir. The choice of Pelendur gains a new force and life in this fic,
as Faramir ponders his duty, his words of welcome when he had been so
sick that he cannot now remember how he first greeted Aragorn. It's a
convincing and plausible debate that slots neatly into the bookverse
while showing how things might have been much more dicey than one
imagines from the books.

Very nicely done, Nesta!
-----------------------------------
Title: Last Defence of the City · Author: Branwyn · Times: The Great
Years: Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 96
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:26:23
Another short AU--this one of the Denethor Lives! Variety. And it might
have gone so--one wishes sometimes that it had.
-----------------------------------
Title: Wishing On The Stars · Author: Marigold · Times: The Great Years:
General Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 116
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:26:48
Eglantine has only intuition and a pair of stars, but she faithfully
watches and listens to both as she waits for word of her son over the
long year of the Ring war.
-----------------------------------
Title: Iridescence · Author: Larner · Times: The Great Years: Vignette ·
ID: 121
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:27:05
Larner gives us peacocks in Middle-earth, and in Minas Tirith no less.
Lovely hobbity banter in the beginning, and tea with a noblewoman and
her children. Bergil gets a humorous mention. Very nice!
-----------------------------------
Title: Pity · Author: Elana · Times: The Great Years: General
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 152
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:27:21
Excellent insight into how the Ring might have made its final
appeal--Gollum and Smeagol loom large, as does Bilbo, and even Gandalf,
who together circumscribe the importance of pity and the desire for good
that is the last and greatest temptation to the truly great. I can well
believe this might be what undid Frodo in the end, as worn out and
exhausted as he was. Very well done!
-----------------------------------
Title: Necessity and Desire · Author: Gwynnyd · Times: The Great Years ·
ID: 173
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:27:39
Sorry, Gwynnyd, but prepare to see what you've seen before in another
venue. [Necessity and Desire] makes a nice gapfiller, fleshing out
Aragorn's absence and also making something of the line that Elrohir and
Elladan had returned unlooked for with news he wished to hear. Drawing
into their journey the hunt for Frodo, the discovery of the passage of
wraiths downriver, and the discovery of Boromir on the final leg of his
journey, integrates a number of isolated events into a nicely coherent
whole. The humor, too, was well incorporated and appropriate throughout,
and I liked seeing Arwen in her role as canny hostess.

In terms of the theme, necessity and desire, I found it very appropriate
that the story makes that conjunction dangerous: it is, indeed, the
gateway of temptation, to present an action as necessary in such a way
that it seems to coincide with desire, and so get a readier hearing.
Aragorn's worry on that account is nicely handled, and a much more
sophisticated concern than I usually see in fanfic. Very well done on
that score.

A very enjoyable fic, those who like Fellowship stories or Aragorn, or
the twins definitely won't want to miss this one.
-----------------------------------
Title: An Exaltation of Larks · Author: Ibilover · Times: The Great
Years · ID: 178
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:27:57
Cute--really, this one comes down to the exchange between the hobbits
and the rest of the Fellowship at the end. Good comic timing.
-----------------------------------
Title: Ring Thoughts · Author: Nesta · Times: The Great Years · ID: 190
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:28:12
Oh brilliant! Giving the Ring a voice, a snarky, evil, running
commentary as it courts and woos its victims--perfect! Not a wobble in
style, and beautifully timed the whole way through.

I loved the fact that the Ring thinks of people in terms of 'flavors' or
texture--in terms of its ability to devour them, and so unique
resistances get boiled down (no pun intended) to the [aftertaste] of
Aragorn or [sour, wizardly overtones] or the gristly quality of a
Dwarf's mind. Supremely self-confident, appropriately beholden to an
underlying fear of the Fire and of [Them], the Ring spares nothing. It's
a little like Wormwood's letters to Screwtape.

Funny and yet too perfect in its insights into the minds of Boromir and
Faramir in terms of turning weaknesses on strengths, and then converting
strengths to weaknesses, [Ring Thoughts] is a wonderfully wicked tale.
Recommended reading for all fans.
-----------------------------------
Title: King's Man · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Times: The Great
Years: Vignette · ID: 197
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:28:29
The relationship of Halbarad and Aragorn has always been of interest to
me, and this fic speaks to that interest very well. Though short,
there's not a wasted word in it--Halbarad's loyalty is unswerving, and
the trust between the two men is clearly built on decades of friendship.
The little bit of banter, as Aragorn acknowledges (probably not for the
first time) his debt to Halbarad, for helping to transform an [elvish
princeling] into the Chieftain of the Dúnedain, is beautifully drawn.

It makes the foreseen end all the more heartbreaking.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7432

Reviews for 11 Sept - Part 1 Posted by Rhapsody September 11, 2006 - 12:46:36 Topic ID# 7432
Title: Drift · Author: Ribby · Times: The Great Years: Gondor
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 203
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:28:43
Understated and tragic, this drabble gives us a look at the funeral boat
of Boromir, and how it came to Faramir's attention. The residents of
Gondor would have this boat, carrying so much that should not be upon
the river, given into hands that will know what to do with
it--Faramir's. But Boromir does belong to the river, as Faramir well knows.
-----------------------------------
Title: Gondor Needs No King · Author: Ribby · Times: The Great Years:
Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 207
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:28:56
Every so often, I fantasize about writing an AU in which Boromir *does*
take the Ring (successfully, that is). This is about what I imagine
would happen (at first, at least). Which is good, since I can point to
Ribby's fic to get the plotbunny to back away--it's already written!

Nicely done! Puts the chills up the reader's back.
-----------------------------------
Title: Homecomings · Author: Marta · Times: The Great Years: General
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 225
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:29:22
These make a lovely set of drabbles. It's always fun to see our favorite
characters from other perspectives, and the paternal perspective gives a
sense of a long relationship, and of love that sees these men, dwarves,
elves, hobbits differently than do others.

I love Glóin's perspective, his being torn between Gimli's new friend
and the fact of Gimli's survival and the honor he has clearly brought
home with him--the last line is perfect. Ham's reunion is also
beautifully written, with another killer last line that sounds just like
the cantankerous old Gaffer. Elrond and Thranduil both take a very long
and so appropriately elven view as they welcome their sons, adoptive and
otherwise, home at last; while Pippin's and Merry's fathers both remark
the foreignness that hangs about their children, evidenced by clothes
and new height and possible injury. Bilbo seems sharp as ever in
greeting Frodo.

A wonderful collection, Marta--all Fellowship fans should enjoy these.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Remains of Power · Author: Pearl Took · Times: The Great
Years: Vignette · ID: 228
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:29:37
I haven't seen any stories about Saruman after he loses his authority to
Gandalf. Yet there is quite a lot to explore, as Saruman must attempt to
deceive the Nazgûl sent to take the hobbit he is supposedly keeping
imprisoned. Even then, he cannot be certain of his own life; the loss of
his powers leaves him vulnerable, weary, and burning with resentment and
a desire for revenge.

Well done, Pearl Took!
-----------------------------------
Title: The Recall · Author: Isabeau of Greenlea · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond: Gondor · ID: 738
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-07 16:34:25
This was an interesting little story of political manuevering. It seemed
to call for knowledge of some of the author's previous work, yet not
enough to spoil the story for one unfamiliar. I very much like this Imrahil.
-----------------------------------
Title: Fire · Author: Aramel · Genres: Drama: Fixed-Length Ficlet Series
· ID: 172
Reviewer: Dawn Felagund · 2006-08-07 16:37:28
Quite a thought-provoking drabble, Aramel! The idea that there was a
Ring of Earth--and how it came to be changed to a Ring of Fire--is an
intriguing idea. I also love the flashbacks to Celebrimbor's past.
-----------------------------------
Title: Fellowship of the Conkers · Author: Llinos · Genres: Humor · ID: 880
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-07 16:39:02
This is my favorite of this author's stories. I laughed myself sick the
first time I read it. I love the macho competitiveness between the three
cousins, Sam's smug self-assurance, and the total discomfiture of the
non-hobbit members of the Fellowship as they try and master this
esoteric game from the Shire. Most of all, I had to chuckle at poor
Boromir, who was utterly humiliated, and yet it seems had the last laugh
after all.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Parting Gift · Author: Imhiriel · Times: First Age and Prior:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 948
Reviewer: Dawn Felagund · 2006-08-07 16:39:48
What a lovely, heartbreaking idea! I love the way that you've tied the
quote from RotK back to Elrond's past. Stories and drabbles like this
always make me wonder how Elrond and Elros thought of their foster
fathers over the years; I like to believe that they remembered them
kindly. Beautiful.
-----------------------------------
Title: Strange meeting · Author: Nesta · Races: Men: Post-Sauron's Fall
· ID: 93
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-07 16:47:44
I had skipped this story originally, since it relied upon another fic I
had not yet read. However, now that I've had the chance to read [Black
Hour], I am in a position to review this story.

I like my stewards political, sharp-witted, and with an edge to
them--not that compassion is out, but there aren't any saintly men in
Middle-earth. Nesta delivers a knock-out encounter between Faramir,
newly healed and capable of riding about to oversee the repairs of the
city, and Aragorn, ever the Ranger. This is a sharply written,
well-conceived meeting, and the attitude of the two men towards each
other is that wonderful combination of uncertainty, calculating
political interest, bemusement, and the desire for something more than
only politics between them.

Faramir has decided to admit Aragorn, but he doesn't expect his king to
show up on the road alone in Ranger guise just to talk to him. Aragorn,
for his part, is frank in admitting Gandalf's advice and role in
bringing him to this crossroads, but his interest is not reducible to a
utilitarian calculus of political power; nor, as it happens, is
Faramir's, though perhaps he had not realized it before then. Aragorn as
king can validate the horror of the retreat that weighs so heavily on
Faramir's mind as a failure; he can redeem the sacrifices of Faramir's
family with the acknowledgment that they had a role to play. And he can
recognize Faramir's service with a reward.

Faramir, for his part, can show himself worthy of the power and title
Aragorn is willing to grant him beyond the stewardship, by offering to
trade the title to Ithilien for the life of a single soldier otherwise
condemned. Aragorn's acceptance of this, but also his slightly pointed
remonstrance, asking what sort of monster Faramir took him for if he
couldn't see the justice of sparing Beregond, is also spot on.

It's a wonderful beginning to their relationship--it's not easy, yet
it's respectful, the encounter of two intelligent men, both of them
leaders who are nevertheless accustomed to lurking in the shadows to
accomplish their ends, and who are at their best when dealing with
people face to face, where they can trust their own judgment.

Excellent job, Nesta!
-----------------------------------
Title: The Tide · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Drama: Gondor Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 77
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-08 00:04:45
A very powerful image of Imrahil's devotion to his nephew, and his
efforts to keep his anger and contempt for Denethor in check. I think I
like this Imrahil very much indeed.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Fading of a Star · Author: Minuialeth · Genres: Drama:
General Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 219
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-08 00:05:09
How very sad! Erestor's affection for Arwen is clear, and his grief
poignant.
-----------------------------------
Title: Ada Knows Best · Author: mistycracraft · Genres: Adventure · ID: 290
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-08 00:05:31
Interesting story of a young Estel getting himself into--and out
of--trouble. Very good depiction of his relationship to his foster brothers.
-----------------------------------
Title: Those Who Challenge the Dead · Author: Nancy Brooke · Races: Men:
Other Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 858
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-08 00:05:56
A very chilling pair of stories. I think Baldor's affected me most--what
a horrible fate!
-----------------------------------
Title: A Letter Home · Author: Frodo Baggins of Bag End (Febobe) ·
Times: The Great Years: Gondor · ID: 978
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-08 00:06:32
Sam tries to write a letter to his father about the Quest. It's nicely
done--a very good use of Sam's voice, but I wonder--in canon, the Gaffer
was illiterate, so I'm not sure of the purpose of Sam's letter.
-----------------------------------
Title: Desires Of The Hroa · Author: The Last Temptation of Homer ·
Genres: Drama: First Age Elves · ID: 623
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-08 00:07:36
A rather odd little ficlet, of a dead elf lusting after a maiden other
than his wife.
-----------------------------------
Title: Fair-weather Friends · Author: pippinfan88 · Genres: Drama:
Featuring Pippin or Merry · ID: 126
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-08 00:08:04
Such a realistic scenario: for the first time, a newly-wed Estella
confronts one of her new husband's nightmares, and must decide how to
deal with it. I love how her moment of strength shines through.
-----------------------------------
Title: Music Lessons · Author: Acacea · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 55
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-08 00:08:27
This little fic of a first encounter between a young Faramir and
Mithrandir is just lovely. Gandalf is so patient and kind and indulgent
to a shy young boy, and Faramir's mixture of enthusiasm and politeness
is just perfect.
-----------------------------------
Title: Earth's Daughter · Author: Aramel · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
Gondor · ID: 170
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-08 00:08:50
A very lovely and plausible telling of the maiden's point of view, in
JRRT's poem "The Last Ship". I like it very much, as well as the idea of
a fic based on poetry.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Long Road Home · Author: AmandaK · Genres: Alternate Universe
· ID: 743
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-08 00:10:24
A very interesting take on the "Boromir lives" type of AU. I like the
plausibility of his survival in this one, and the idea that Faramir kept
that survival a secret. I also like the way it all plays out in the end,
and the interaction of all the remaining Fellowship members. Nice tale!
-----------------------------------
Title: The Household Accounts · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Drama: Gondor
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 50
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-08 00:10:53
What a wonderful and unexpected idea for a story! Somehow, though it is
hard to imagine of the Shieldmaiden who slew the Witch-king, she did
become the chatelaine of Faramir's possessions. And yes, it would be a
sad and dreary thing to think of those mementoes of the past.
-----------------------------------
Title: Mathom · Author: Perelleth · Genres: Humor · ID: 192
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-08 00:12:42
A very cute, funny and absorbing little comedy of errors as certain
members of Elrond's household try very hard to keep certain other
members of the household from encountering thirteen dwarves, a Wizard
and a hobbit. I find all the interactions to be very plausible, in spite
of all the machinations. I really love the way both Bilbo and Gandalf
are portrayed.
-----------------------------------
Title: A thing unheard of · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Dwarves:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 905
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-08 00:12:45
Excellent use of that exchange between Elrond and Gimli, back when the
Fellowship first set out. The one time when Gimli doubts whether he can
go on is on the threshold of the Door of the Dead, and though we know in
part it's his relationship to Legolas and a healthy bit of interspecies
rivalry that pushes him forward, memory of that oath must also have been
lurking.
-----------------------------------
Title: Changes and Constancy · Author: Lily · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 263
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-08 00:13:24
A very cute little vignette, in which Pippin teases Frodo about his
first grey hairs. I really liked this.
-----------------------------------
Title: For the Dwarves · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Dwarves: Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 894
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-08 00:13:34
I know it's said that holidays are often hard, because bad news or
events seem to wait for them to arrive. It seems like that's a bit true
for Durin's Day the year the quest begins. Gimli's announcement, that he
wishes to go with the Company, comes as no surprise, and Glóin, to his
credit, doesn't prevent him from going, but the poor old Dwarf can't be
wholly happy with this.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Walk · Author: Kelllie · Genres: Drama: Featuring Frodo or
Sam · ID: 618
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-08 00:13:49
This fic is both clever and thought-provoking. Frodo is very much in
character in his musings here.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7433

Reviews for 11 Sept - Part 2 Posted by Rhapsody September 11, 2006 - 12:55:21 Topic ID# 7433
Title: A new tradition · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Dwarves: Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 869
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-08 00:13:59
This is very sweet--Yule gets a Dwarven twist, and Gimli gets a bit of a
holiday headache for his newly created tradition. It's a different look
at Gimli, and I quite enjoyed it. I also liked seeing Legolas'
reaction--nice to know that 'Santa' will also be taken care of!
-----------------------------------
Title: [untitled] He: Gimli fic prompt #84 · Author: Thevina Finduilas ·
Races: Dwarves · ID: 718
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-08 00:14:29
Thevina gives us a dwarven romance, taking up the line that there are
few dwarf women and using it to good end. Gimli's relationship with
Vram, long-standing and intimate, poses a problem when it comes to the
quest. It's hardly satisfying to say farewell via a letter, even less so
when the stakes are so high. Lovely last line, Thev!
-----------------------------------
Title: The Tea Party · Author: AngieT · Races: Hobbits: Children · ID: 633
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-08 00:14:34
I love this sweet little story of an indignant Pippin and his
understanding mother, as well as Pippin's very special little guest.
It's just adorable.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Heads of One Thousand Goblins: A Love Story · Author:
SickleYield · Races: Dwarves · ID: 644
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-08 00:15:05
It's an untraditional courtship, but one I can see rather well. Poor
Gimli, and poor Wiri, both of them caught in the trammels of unrequited
love. I'm not sure that the switch at the end quite works--the pronouns
have been too consistent throughout, but nevertheless...

Gimli's isolation from other dwarves, as a result of his encounter with
Galadriel, is well portrayed, and one feels for him--well, one would if
there were any hint that he is in the least self-pitying. Desiring
recognition or not, he doesn't seem to be terribly bitter; rather he
simply seems resigned and a bit abstracted. Finding someone who can
share in his memories and value them for what they are seems to be enough.

Nicely done! I'd say this does help make up for the poor use of
movie!Gimli noted in the author's notes.
-----------------------------------
Title: Gandalf returned · Author: Rabidsamfan · Genres: Drama: General
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 990
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-08 00:15:20
A perfect explanation: why WAS Gandalf sent back to the top of
Caradhras, rather than directly to Lothlorien, which would have saved a
good deal of time? The author answers the question brilliantly and
plausibly.

I loved the description of Gandalf's re-imbodiment as well: I could
visualize it so easily!
-----------------------------------
Title: Too Few Words · Author: annmarwalk · Races: Dwarves · ID: 311
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-08 00:15:31
This is quite unique, and I very much enjoyed this look at the
understated courtship of Dwarves. Work forms the context, the
restoration of Gondor's gates, and the opening of Aglarond--Gimli's
animation is evident, while Zei remains a quiet presence. She has a
definite dignity, and there's no question she's attracted to Gimli, but
it is not quite enough, it seems--not when, perhaps, there's an elf in
the way, a friend who might come to dominate all other relationships.
The turn-down line is classic, and the sketch that ends up in Elessar's
private papers a poignant testimony to Zei's skill and love: that she
should draw Gimli with Legolas, the block to her own relationship,
speaks volumes of her character.
-----------------------------------
Title: Swan Dance · Author: Rhapsody · Times: First Age and Prior:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 797
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-08 00:15:51
Although I have read The Silmarillion a couple of times, I am not nearly
so familiar with its events as I am those of LotR. Nevertheless, I could
still understand and realize what the author described here.

The pride and haughtiness of the slayer, and his own regret at what he
felt compelled to do for his father's sake is very well depicted.
-----------------------------------
Title: Antiphon to Light · Author: Thevina Finduilas · Races: Dwarves ·
ID: 155
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-08 00:16:00
Thevina continues her stellar exploration of Gimli's personality, in all
its dwarvishness, in this follow up to [The Stone's Lament.] Dwarves
seem to be a very private, secretive people in many ways, and Gimli's
need to withdraw a bit, to process things in his own mind after having
been utterly stunned by Galadriel's welcome of him and her hommage to
his people and their art, seems very much in character.

Yet he isn't gruff about it, or touchy, either--he is tolerant of
Pippin's curiosity, though he remains somewhat withdrawn, unable to
speak of his experience in a way Pippin would understand. But it doesn't
obsess either of them, and Thevina uses this interlude to draw out a
little more how Dwarves might be perceived versus Gimli's own sense of
himself and his people.

The final move puts us in a vein of thought Thevina has mined before,
but seems to be getting more and more deft in handling: the relationship
between Gimli and Legolas. This marks, to me anyway, a major advance
over earlier efforts--there's a new quiet and spareness to their
interaction, that nevertheless conveys so much without need of extensive
dialogue. You can feel these two have reached an understanding--basic,
perhaps, and they don't know each other so well that Gimli can be
confident Legolas would not take Galadriel's gift in the event of
Gimli's death, but there's a trust and respect there that doesn't need
words.

Any Legolas-Gimli fans should read this for the final segment alone, and
anyone with any interest whatsoever in Gimli or Galadriel ought to enjoy
this.
-----------------------------------
Title: Midwinter Rites · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Aragorn
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 868
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-08 00:16:12
It's so interesting, the different customs that have been devised for
each land that Aragorn has dwelt in--each different, yet plausible for
Middle-earth, and not just an imitation of modern customs.

And of course, the last was best.
-----------------------------------
Title: Aglarond · Author: annmarwalk · Races: Dwarves: Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 68
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-08 00:16:26
Nice incorporation of book quotes - the [small chip of rock and no more,
in a whole anxious day] and that Gimli [tends these glades of flowering
stone] recalls his conversation with Legolas very well. I like the
comparison of the stonewright with the poet, and the idea that the
hammer is Gimli's stylus, all of Aglarond but his way of writing a
single them: Galadriel.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Stone's Lament · Author: Thevina Finduilas · Races: Dwarves ·
ID: 53
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-08 00:16:52
Thevina deftly captures the essence of dwarvish sentiment in this
vignette, giving Gimli a voice worthy of him. His excitement as he
approaches the ancient dwellings of the Dwarves, his slips into his
native tongue and melody, heighten the sense of anticipation.

All the more shocking, then, is Legolas' intrusion into Gimli's
homecoming with his observation of the speech of the stones--a speech
that Gimli feels he ought to hear before any elf. There's loss on more
than one level in this story, and perhaps a hint of some ground for
future relations between him and Legolas. Well done, Thevina!
-----------------------------------
Title: The Groomsman · Author: Elen Kortirion · Races: Dwarves:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 44
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-08 00:17:18
Ok, nice play on the *groom* in groomsman--it had all the hallmarks of
an entirely other fanfic convention, so I wasn't expecting this, so it
made for a twist at the end. Very clever!
-----------------------------------
Title: Hewing Naught But Wood · Author: Thundera Tiger · Genres: Humor:
Parody · ID: 825
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-08 06:39:36
Clever, unusual exploration of Dwarven wordplay and martial skill.
Gimli's pride as a craftsman is visible even in battle.

It was amusing to see a discussion of battle that drove Eomer to want to
be somewhere else.


-----------------------------------
Title: Cacophony · Author: Gwynnyd · Genres: Humor: Parody · ID: 929
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-08 06:43:10


An amusing account of the Valar's cacophonous musical forays.

I don't blame Eru for threatening Namo's maia pop band with an asteroid
if they didn't expand their repertoire - how many repitions of 'Yummy,
yummy, yummy I've got love in my tummy' could the supreme being stand,
anyway?!
-----------------------------------
Title: Nothing but Dreams · Author: Unsung Heroine · Genres: Drama:
First Age Elves · ID: 659
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-08 06:59:49
Haunting tale of Caranthir at the end of both his wits and his hope. I
am not sure whether Haleth is supposed to really be there, or a produce
of Caranthir's somewhat stressed mind, but it doesn't seem to matter.

Good job getting inside Caranthir's head.
-----------------------------------
Title: Elven Braids · Author: viggomaniac · Races: Men: Featuring
Aragorn · ID: 808
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-08 07:04:36
Harrowing vignette with Aragorn being manhandled (and facing far worse)
by the orcs who have suddenly captured him.

I would really like to see this story expanded; but it's taut enough and
tight enough to work as a brief one-shot.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Hobbit and the Man: "All That Is Gold Does Not Glitter" ·
Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Races: Cross-Cultural · ID: 351
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-08 07:18:12
A quietly fitting first meeting of Aragorn and Bilbo. It makes a lot of
sense that they would meet and bond over pipeweed!

Aragorn is well-written here, but Bilbo's characterisation is superb -
very hobbitish and yet distinct for his love of things beyond hobbit
ken, and his curiosity.

The last lines are wonderful.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Gardener's Wife · Author: Vistula the Dunadan · Races:
Hobbits · ID: 720
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-08 07:20:12
Well-crafted story of what could have happened to Sam's mother. The
writer captures the characters of Sam and the Gaffer quite credibly and
well. The speech patterns of the son and father seem not just hobbitish,
but quite right for those two characters.

The ending is quite lovely, with a bittersweet quality that ties the
strange threads of this story together, not so much neatly as the way,
one feels, they were meant to be.
-----------------------------------
Title: Bedtime Story · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres: Humor:
Children · ID: 355
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-08 15:43:37
This is such a delightful little story. Eldarion playing Sam at the
Prancing Pony is just too cute. So much for bedtime stories to calm down
the child. I loved the last line by Legolas ["Dont worryIll let him
practice on me first.] Now I wonder what he will let him practice...
Aragorn should be concerned ;-)
-----------------------------------
Title: The One · Author: Linda Hoyland/Raksha the Demon CoAuthors ·
Races: Men: Featuring Aragorn · ID: 852
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-08 15:48:19
Interesting idea. Faramir showing up in a vision of Aragorn. But that
would explain why Aragorn instantly trusted this stranger. That Faramir
is Denethor's son and Boromir's brother is not really a great
recommendation after Aragorn's experiences with Denethor.

I like the way how Aragorn with every new member of the stewards family
searches for the man of his vision. And every time he is disappointed
until the end.
-----------------------------------
Title: Good Neighbors · Author: daw the minstrel · Genres: Adventure ·
ID: 818
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-08 15:49:37
This is a delightful story about the elves of Mirkwood and their
interactions with the men around them. Although the story has only a few
canonical characters, the richly drawn, original characters paint a
vivid tapestry of what life in King Thranduil's kingdom is. There are
several interwoven storylines, starting with young Legolas who rescues a
mannish child out of the woods and tries to hide it with the help of his
friends,King Thranduil dealing with a greedy human merchant who attacks
the elves to get a better price for his wares, to an orc raid on a camp
of humans. Elrond's twin sons make an appearance and help Thranduil's
son Eilan (one of my favorite original characters in Daw's stories) see
how dangerous grief and self-centeredness can be for the people around.
All the story lines come together in the end and now we know why the
enchanted river is enchanted ;-) I like how the seemingly unrelated
story lines come together naturally without the reader feeling that the
connection is forced.
-----------------------------------
Title: Heirlooms · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Drama: Remembering · ID: 72
Reviewer: Madeleine · 2006-08-08 20:07:41
No doubt, these heirlooms are of a rather different kind. A lovely idea.
Im just surprised those toy horses survived nearly unscathed the
devotion and love of several children.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Falcon and the Star · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: The
Great Years: Gondor · ID: 57
Reviewer: Branwyn · 2006-08-08 22:58:29
Tolkien says that Aragorn had to "walk afar in some dark vale" to
retrieve Faramir to the world of the living; this story explores that
journey. I like how Raksha describes the dark vale as a place that is
supernatural but is also influenced by Faramir's sensations in the real
world--the thirst from his fever, the heat and smell of fires. Very nice
that it isn't the physical hardship that disturbs him; from years of
travelling in the wild, he knows how much and how long he can endure
that. He is most frightened because he cannot see the stars, Tolkien's
symbol of hope.
The disembodied voices are fittingly eerie--

["Go back, West-Man," said a thin sharp voice. "This is not your road.
The Son of Gondor is ours."]

Sad but true that the appearance of Denethor would be the one thing that
could break Faramir's spirit. Even in this other world, Aragorn and
Faramir at once recognize each other's worth. The details about their
dress are so telling--Faramir is dressed as a simple ranger, which is
how he views himself, and Aragorn is wearing the Elendilmir because he
must bring the healing powers of the king into this place. Faramir shows
a characteristic combination of resilience and humility; I loved him
asking, as he is about to keel over, if there is anything he can do to
help Aragorn!

Though I do not think that Aragorn was reluctant to become king, it does
seem reasonable that he would have doubts about his own abilities. He
says in "The Two Towers," after the breaking of the Fellowship, ["All
that I have done today has gone amiss."] The burden of leadership fell
to him after Gandalf's death, and he feels he has failed the test.
Before he can claim the kingship, he must resolve his own lingering
doubts about his fitness to be king (though when the Dead answer his
summons, that is one validation of his claim), and this story provides
an interesting exploration of that process. I especially like when
Aragorn takes Faramir's hand between his two hands ["in token of the
vows of fealty we would exchange one day."] A few of Faramir's men
watching from the hallway, showing how loyal they are to their beloved
captain, and Beregond hugging Bergil and crying---awww!

In this tale, Aragorn says, ["It was well that I had begun my kingship
with the saving of so worthy a Steward."] How true that is! And thanks
so much for sharing this wonderful tale with us.

-----------------------------------
Title: The Princess and the Horse Lord · Author: Oshun · Genres:
Romance: Incomplete · ID: 425
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-08 23:36:18
This story has a lot of potential, and I particularly liked the
characterization of Lothiriel and Eomer. Those conceptions seemed very
true to how someone might have developed if they went through in their
formative years what those two went through. The sense of destiny and a
most hasty desire to rebuild Arda in the new age were palpable and very
well told. I also liked how the three main characters (Lothiriel, Eomer,
Imrahil) all had faults and strengths. Just when I though the tale was
venturing dangerously close to Sue-land, you ssurprised me and managed
to center it again.

I did feel like the story was too personal and not political enough
especially in chapters 8-10. The marriage of the Rohirric king and the
most important born Gondorian lady would not have been a personal
choice, and I wish that Aragorn had expressed more of a political
opinion here - especially after Aragorn has just been taken off the
marriage market in Imrahil's eyes at least, those political
considerations would be even more important. However, over all I liked
the piece and will look forward to reading more when it is finished.
-----------------------------------
Title: Lord of Werewolves · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Humor:
Parody · ID: 255
Reviewer: Branwyn · 2006-08-08 23:53:59
Being an evil overlord isn't all it's cracked up to be, as Morgoth finds
out in this hilarious ficlet by Raksha the Demon. The lord of the
werewolves discovers to his chagrin that even giant, red-eyed, snarling
hellhounds start out as playful puppies. I laughed out loud at the image
of the poor werewolf chewing on Morgoth's boots.

[He also had one of my boots in his mouth, and a happy look in his
yellow eyes.]

Even worse, trusted lieutenant Sauron can't seem to follow the simplest
instructions and teaches young "Wolfie" to roll over instead ot to rend
and kill. As Morgoth says,
[Good help is truly hard to find.]
Some rather pointed obedience training follows for his errant evil
minion. Raksha doesn't write humor very often, but when she does, the
results are very funny.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7434

Reviews for 12 Sept - Part 1 Posted by Rhapsody September 12, 2006 - 14:20:08 Topic ID# 7434
Title: Dragons and Sailboats · Author: Acacea · Genres: Drama:
Remembering · ID: 74
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-09 01:32:13
What I really like most about this piece is the distanced tone you
manage to give both Faramir and Aragorn, yet you don't make the piece
itself dull. They aren't falling all over each other and more
touchy-feely than you would think men and especially rulers would be.
They offer an interesting glimpse into both men's characters. Well done.
-----------------------------------
Title: Strength of a River · Author: Acacea · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 513
Reviewer: Branwyn · 2006-08-09 01:46:54
This lovely story is written as a series of short scenes where Faramir
contemplates the nature of inner strength. Finduilas tells her sons that
a river is patient yet unyielding and ["...there will come a time when
the hardest stone will give way to its tirelessness. There is more to
strength than size and hardiness."] The dialogue between Faramir and his
brother and mother is written with a deft touch, as are Faramir's
childish impressions of the conversation.

I love the "fish story" about the giant, black fish that swam from
Mirkwood to the Anduin. One of the rangers tells an incredulous
audience, ["They have strange beasts there. Big, black squirrels and
big, black fish.'] I also love how the author works in Faramir's
prohobition against bloodsports, an edict which the men uphold because
of their respect for their Captain if not because they agree in
principle. Yet Faramir wisely recognizes that progress is being made, if
slowly.

Faramir's remark that he will follow the path before him until it
changes sounds very Zen-like to me. That strategy of yielding before and
redirecting the strength of others is so very characteristic of him and
it is perfecty suited to his partisan fight in Ithilien.

This is a story which is not only a lyrical joy to read but also leaves
the reader with a great deal to think about.
-----------------------------------
Title: Boromir's Journey Home Amon Hen to Minas Tirith · Author:
majorbee · Genres: Alternate Universe · ID: 690
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-09 03:08:22
An energetic and ambitious movie-verse AU where Boromir survives Amon
Hen and returns to Gondor with Faramir. There's an interesting sub-plot
with Sauron's agents committing nefarious acts with the Palantir; and
it's not Faramir who ends up sharing a Pyre with Denethor.

Entertaining, especially for those who loved the movie and Sean Bean's
incarnation of Boromir.
-----------------------------------
Title: On Being the Youngest · Author: Bodkin · Races: Cross-Cultural ·
ID: 45
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-09 03:31:24
Oh, this was just delightful. Not just any first meeting of Fellowship
members in Rivendell - there are quite a few of those stories floating
around, not to discount the sub-genre - but this really takes into
account a similarity between two of the most dissimilar members. The
whole thing reminds me of the Star trek episode where the ship escapes a
trap by cutting off all but the absolute essential power. Just like that
episode, this story shows that there are two ways to victory:
overwhelming through strength and underwhelming by evading the enemy's
attention. Hobbits seem to take the second path, and so it's perfect of
Pippin to be the one to remind Legolas of this value. Well done.
-----------------------------------
Title: Pink Oliphaunts · Author: Branwyn · Races: Men: Post-Sauron's
Fall · ID: 49
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-09 12:38:17
It's vaguely unsettling to see a child transform the carnage of Pelennor
into ["happy pink oliphaunt"]s, but I can see Elboron's thoughts here.
And I think that unsettledness works well to add to how I see this
piece. We shouldn't want to forget. Very cute little piece.
-----------------------------------
Title: Water and Stone · Author: Erynhith · Races: Elves · ID: 673
Reviewer: Oshun · 2006-08-09 14:33:19
This tale set against the backdrop of the defense by the Galadhrim of
their enclave against the return of the Shadow to Dol Guldur contains
all of the fundamentals of great story telling. Its excellent character
development, compelling plot and expansion of key elements of canon all
come together to create a unforgettable and unique environment. Great
read! It is an engaging gap-filler, non-canonical to good purpose, with
outstanding original characters who get into the readers head and
heart. It includes numerous well-known and well-loved canon characters
and interprets them strongly and accurately. Its well-handled romance,
eroticism and psychological tension that are both internally consistent
and unique to the authors interpretation of elves. It makes you sad,
makes you happy, and keeps you reading with its balance of romance,
drama and adventure. The author draws upon a solid grounding in the
legends, myth and history of Middle Earth to keep the reader firmly in
the grip of this somewhat extended (but always firmly based on the
original) magical realm--I hate to use the expression "alternate
universe" here (although technically it is) because one never forgets
the original source and each departure is carefully chosen and
consistently followed through and always leads the reader back into
Tolkien's universe. No stereotyped, over-simplified elves here but
individuals that one cares deeply about and roots forthe
characterization here makes the reader care about these people and want
to know what happens next.
-----------------------------------
Title: Mellyn · Author: Pentangle · Genres: Drama · ID: 322
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-09 14:40:04
The first encounter between a young Estel and Legolas. Neither is what
the other expected. Legolas is a disappointment as far as princes go,
and Estel seems to be a manipulative little brat. After a series of
misunderstandings, the two find themselves in a dangerous situation
where they get a chance to get to know each other better. But it takes
more until these two get to be friends. Legolas tries for the longest
time to resist little Estel's charm, but in the end he finds his match
in stubbornness. The misunderstandings between Legolas and Estel are
hilarious. They mostly stem from their preconceived notions what the
other should be. But even as young as he is, Estel shows already the
characteristics he shows later as a grown man.
-----------------------------------
Title: Appearances Can Be Deceiving · Author: Dreamflower · Genres:
Adventure · ID: 760
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-09 15:27:55
This was a really fun read. It's not the high adventure that we see in a
lot of these stories, but rather just a normal every-day romp. I also
liked the details you gave us, and the origins of Bilbo's poem.
-----------------------------------
Title: Rejection · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Aragorn Fixed-Length
Ficlets · ID: 903
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-09 16:25:05
A quite intriguing look at Aragorn as we never see him, down-and-out and
unsuccessful, in a place where his looks, usually respected in a West
that respects the Numenorean phenotype, put him at a disadvantage.

I wish this drabble could be expanded into a longer piece; though it is
good on its own.

Good bits of description evoking the physical differences between this
town and the Northern lands Aragorn usually frequents. Perhaps this time
he ranged too far from his more usual habitats.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Woodland Prince · Author: Bodkin · Genres: Drama: Fixed-Length
Ficlet Series · ID: 303
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-08-09 17:01:02
A carefully thought out and well-written series of drabbles that tell
the complete story of Legolas' life.
-----------------------------------
Title: For the love of the Lord of the White Tree · Author: Tanaqui ·
Times: The Great Years: General Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 870
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-08-09 17:02:37
This is just short of poetry. An eloquent portrayal of Legolas's bond
with nature, and with his friend the king.
-----------------------------------
Title: Castle · Author: Timmy2222 · Races: Men: Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 256
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-08-09 18:14:55
This is my favorite Aragorn story of the angst genre. The villains are
real characters and fit into the author's concept of Gondorian politics
very well. The unlikely hero, Vlohiri, is a great character! I cheered
for him all the way, and absolutely adored the interactions between him
and Aragorn (the poacher).

I didn't like the helplessness you put Aragorn in sometimes--it was just
too much, and frankly I think the villains would have considered him too
valuable to be banned to the mines, muzzled, et al. But you allowed him
to have enough true moments of heroism that I didn't mind too much. The
ultimate scene in the mines is one great read!

I wasn't as interested in the Faramir-Eomer side of the story, but you
built up a lot of suspense over what they knew and didn't know, and the
craftiness of the villains in hiding it all.

The doctor is a fantastic touch. And truly I was just horrified--like in
the most spellbinding thriller--at the condition of the captured king by
that point. Cheers for Vlohiri on the roof!
-----------------------------------
Title: Half a Sticky Mile · Author: SlightlyTookish · Genres: Adventure
· ID: 940
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-09 18:21:39
Creepy. You did a great job of characterizing the quiet courage of the
hobbits, and the pacing was solid throughout.
-----------------------------------
Title: Imrahil's Daughter · Author: Madeleine · Genres: Romance:
Lothíriel & Éomer · ID: 183
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-09 20:09:39
What a fun little tale! Eomer's and Lothiriel's anger toward each other
is palpable, and I think that only proves that their relationship is
very hot (in more way than one!). When Eomer realized that Lothiriel
might have been trying to trap him in marriage by coming to his
chambers, I was sitting on the edge of my seat and clearly could
identify with both characters. But Lothiriel's dread and even cold
terror of her father finding out she had been anything but proper was
even more well done.
-----------------------------------
Title: When Winter Fell · Author: Lindelea · Races: Hobbits: Incomplete
· ID: 111
Reviewer: Súlriel · 2006-08-09 20:56:33
What a delightful story. I love the timeframe, young Bilbo and all. The
format of alternating journals entries is great fun and a wondful way to
see into the youth of those we've only known as oldsters. Great job!
-----------------------------------
Title: Voices on the Wind · Author: Phyncke · Times: First Age and Prior
· ID: 112
Reviewer: Súlriel · 2006-08-09 21:04:27
This is one of the most tragic passages in the Silmarillion and I feel
that in many ways it encaspulates the overview of the entire saga. Your
short story is an emotional and moving close-up of this difficult loss.
I especially like how you handled his ending, his thoughts and views and
Thorondor and Turgon.
-----------------------------------
Title: An Elf · Author: laiquendi · Races: Elves: Poetry · ID: 725
Reviewer: Súlriel · 2006-08-09 21:10:50
I especially like the way this work is structured - simple, yet complex,
like the Elf-himself - so that the poem itself reflects the subject.
Each simple, straightforward part combines to present a delightfully
complex whole.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Smallest Hands · Author: Dreamflower · Times: The Great
Years: Poetry · ID: 884
Reviewer: Súlriel · 2006-08-09 21:12:40
Dreamflower, this is nothing short of amazing, I was goosebumped and
teary-eyed before I got halfway through.

In my mind, it touches the heart of what Tolkien wrote - of all the
grand and epic deeds, but also of the Shirefolk, the simple folk who
don't seek glory yet come forward and do well when the need arises.

Very well done. Thank you.
-----------------------------------
Title: Fire and Flowering · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Romance:
Incomplete · ID: 58
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-08-09 21:38:26
Raksha, this series contains some of your best writing. The elegant
language tops off the emotion and eroticism. The voice is very Faramir,
and his love for his lady shines through. You succeed at blending a
vivid physical presence with feeling and atmosphere. I enjoyed the
appearance of the children at the end.
-----------------------------------
Title: ... and hear the song of salt and sea · Author: Cuthalion ·
Genres: Drama: The Steward's Family · ID: 98
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-08-09 21:40:53
A very melancholy and tragic take on Finduilas's end. Some might
consider it noncanonical, but I believe it is entirely legitimate for
the writer to read between the lines into what Tolkien did NOT say. It
is hard to carry off a piece that is so grim and sad, but you do a good job.
-----------------------------------
Title: Love Me Now, Forever · Author: iorhael · Genres: Drama: Featuring
Frodo or Sam · ID: 419
Reviewer: Súlriel · 2006-08-09 21:52:56
What an absolutely delightful surprise. I especially love unique and/or
unusual points of view and this takes the cake in the best possible way
- especially that it is so well done. The thoughts and emotions are
wonderfully in character, in the way that Bag End is concerned for it's
appearance and what Frodo thinks about it. The despair over Frodo's
eventual departure is heartbreaking.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Taste of Diplomacy · Author: Thevina Finduilas · Races:
Cross-Cultural · ID: 939
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-09 23:05:27
Denethor and Dwarves are quite possibly my favourite elements of
Middle-earth, and believe me, I've thought about trying to work them
into the same story. So I know how hard it is to come up with an idea
that incorporates both. I had assumed it was impossible. But here you
give us a young Denethor encountering his first dwarf. The world is
fully informed by canonical events as divergent as the marriage of
Thengel to Morwen and the re-claiming of the Lonely MOuntain to give us
a Gondor that seems perfectly situated in Tolkien's world. Even more
importantly, your Denethor is exactly as I would envision him at this
point in his life. He is serious and skeptical and responsible but still
with that spark of childlike curiosity. Your portrayal offers a fitting
answer to the question of how Boromir and Faramir could be the men they
are if Denethor was such a miserable excuse for a man, as we see in
fanfic. Yours is brilliant, human without being too soft.
-----------------------------------
Title: Ddraigspelt  An Orc Love Poem · Author: Llinos · Genres:
Romance: Poetry · ID: 879
Reviewer: Branwyn · 2006-08-09 23:06:00
This poem made me stop in my tracks--the concept of an orc love poem is
so startling, and the writer does not disappoint in the execution.
Though this may be more of a lust poem than a love poem, for Nagash's
passion is more carnal than courtly (as befits an orc). His attraction
to, courtship of and mating with a female orc (the poetically-named
"Dragon's skin") makes for a fascinating piece of writing. Well done and
highly original!
-----------------------------------
Title: The Falcon and the Star · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: The
Great Years: Gondor · ID: 57
Reviewer: Oshun · 2006-08-10 00:13:49
The prologue to this story, Faramirs point of view, is startling in its
beauty. For all of those readers out that like myself who are always
mining for good Faramir this is a mother lode. What I find most moving
in the early parts of the story are the ways in which you describe
longing for old friends and loved ones: Arwen, his mother, Ecthelion,
Boromir, Halbarad, Elrond, etc. This human dimension is one of the main
reasons that I read Tolkien fanfictionthe plot, the magic, the stories,
are all there in the canon sourceswhat I miss is the development of
character and warmth. You satisfy this with the musings of your Aragorn
in the story and his reflection on others. For example, your understated
reference to Boromirs feelings for Faramir is perfect.

I really buy your description of Aragorn entering into Faramirs
headhey, my Middle Earth comes with magicI am glad yours has it too.
My pet peeve of a lot of this years crop of fanfics is the abandonment
of magic and fall into some sort of semi-historical fiction based in a
vaguely familiar medieval setting. I love the use of the Elessar to give
him power and hope. Another stunning image is Aragorn figuratively
drawing Andúril to help him face the dark spirits that have a hold on
Faramir. Faramir singing the songs of Elbereth and Eärendil is perfect
too. (Where was your head when you wrote this piece? I want to go there!)

Anyway, I loved your Aragorns reaction to Faramir as the model of the
virtues of Westernesse in the South. You really captured them both so
well and the whole Denethor characterization and the dénouement was
great. Congrats! Awesome storyone of your very best.


-----------------------------------
Title: The Summons · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Times: The Great
Years: The Fellowship · ID: 254
Reviewer: Oshun · 2006-08-10 00:48:08
It is easy for me to forget sometimes the age difference between Boromir
and Aragorn. You deftly highlight it in this story and weave in the
history of Aragorn in Gondor seamlessly. Your characterizations of both
of the men are on point. I love what a jock Boromir is in the beginning
sequencehis fascination with the sword moves and all of that, but also
that his admiration of Thorongil has a much deeper basis and is rooted
in Boromir true obsessionthe defense of Gondor against the enemy. After
just a few paragraphs the reader is overcome with affection for both of
these men. Gandalf is great as well, observing amused, but always wise.
Also, I like the fact that they are speaking Sindarin. (Thats my own
little hobby horse, of course. But I would expect that they would fall
naturally into it. I am glad to see reinforcement of canon on this
point, right down to pointing out that Frodo would have understood the
conversation if he had been listening! Attention to those little canon
points go so far to lift a story from good to excellentIm always
pleased to find this in your work.)

The poignancy of the story overall is reinforced by the early use of
humor and then the subtle move onto much more serious ground, to grief
and regret. From laughter to tears in one short story--a lot like real
life, wouldn't you say? Great work.

-----------------------------------

Msg# 7435

Reviews for 12 Sept - Part 2 Posted by Rhapsody September 12, 2006 - 14:42:47 Topic ID# 7435
Title: Alas, for the dying of the trees · Author: Gandalfs apprentice ·
Races: Cross-Cultural: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 788
Reviewer: Oshun · 2006-08-10 01:07:41
Nobody hates to think about aging more than I do. Having said that, I
have to admit that this short piece relentlessly drew me into
consideration of the dreaded topic. (Perhaps I could handle it a little
better if I had Legolas around to sing me pretty songs about it. Nah. I
doubt it. I think I would be just as grumpy as Gimli.)

Love the language referenceI can relate to Gimlis sentiments on that
one as well. Some of the things I hear from the younger crowd around my
own house sure make me wish that I had never learned Spanish! Anyway, to
get back on point, I love both your characterization of Legolas and
Gimli in this story. I love the incandescent images. It is a perfect
little piece. Short is so hard to do well. I am so happy to hear that
you will be writing more on those two--Middle Earths quintessential odd
couple. I certainly intend to follow all of your upcoming Legolas and
Gimli stories.

-----------------------------------
Title: Fairy Tales of Middle-Earth · Author: DrummerWench · Genres:
Drama · ID: 261
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-10 02:42:41
These are all fantastic. They really seem to create a culture in
Middle-earth bybuilding canonical hints into full-grown folk stories.
It's a really interesting way of gap-filling.
-----------------------------------
Title: Gondor Needs No King · Author: Ribby · Times: The Great Years:
Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 207
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-10 02:45:16
*meep* There's lots of dark little hints here, but especially the line
about ["such a pity"] that they weren't abloe to pull Faramir away in
time. It's that understatement that really got me about this drabble.
-----------------------------------
Title: Inspirare · Author: Ariel · Races: Hobbits: Friendship · ID: 622
Reviewer: Súlriel · 2006-08-10 02:51:33
Ariel, this is absolutely exquisite. The subtly and nuances are
wonderfully done, the slow twist of the tone is especially well done
with the weaving of the threads from the smells, the baby, Frodo's
illness and coming back to the child. I started out, nodding and
smiling, I had the same problem with smells with both my pregnancies,
and ended up with goosebumps and tears in my eyes.

I always enjoy your work, but you've out-done yourself with this one.
-----------------------------------
Title: Swan Dance · Author: Rhapsody · Times: First Age and Prior:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 797
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-10 02:55:02
The use of the song metaphor to describe the kinslaying here was eerie.
It reminded me of the disharmony of Melkor's strain in the Great Music.
-----------------------------------
Title: 17 Cunning Corsairs · Author: stefaniab · Genres: Humor:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 244
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-10 03:09:03
Hee! All hail Lothiriel, long lost Corsair Queen. Methinks there's a
hint of Pippi Longstocking in this rendition of her. And that's all for
the good - it would take someone with that adventurous spirit to be the
queen of her own roving band of horse-lords someday. This was really
cute and fun, all the way through to the end.
-----------------------------------
Title: When The Days Are Warm · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Drama: The
Steward's Family · ID: 145
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-10 04:05:44
A vignette of Finduilas and her two children that is sweet, cute, and
very sad. It's sad because the reader and, it seems to me, Finduilas,
know what the children do not; that she does not have longer than a year
or two to live. Boromir suspects that something is terribly wrong, and
the writer deftly captures his angry determination to make his mother
fight, to relish life, if only through leaving the stale-smelling room
and coming out into the garden. Faramir is too young to understand; a
happy little boy equally determined to share simple pleasures with the
mother he doesn't realize is ill.

The dialogue flows very naturally. Though it's hard to write children
realistically, the writer pulls it off nicely. Little Faramir's joyful,
chirping delivery of the flowers he pulled from the garden is
particularly affecting; and Boromir's mental commentary about his
brother's penchant for "great truths" is particularly funny in a wry and
understated way.

Good use of descriptive details, such as Faramir's holding [a muddy
fistful of] flowers, and the specific lavender scent of the room, help
create a very real sense of place and time.
-----------------------------------
Title: An Army of Tooks · Author: Mariole · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 831
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-10 08:27:02
This is a rousing story of Pippin's return to his home and rousing the
Tooks to fight for the Shire. It's a milestone in Pippin's development,
as the pampered baby of the Took household returns home as a tall and
brave knight and takes up his duties as the Tooks' heir and defender.

Good characterisations of Pippin's parents, too.
-----------------------------------
Title: Summoned · Author: Agape4Gondor · Races: Men: Steward's Sons
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 840
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-10 08:33:00
An interesting fixed-length vignette exploring Faramir's differing
feelings for Minas Tirith and Ithilien between Sauron's downfall and
Aragorn's coronation. The ending is a bit unexpected, but most of the
piece flows well and it all holds the reader's interest quite well.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Lost Hunter · Author: tuxedo_elf · Times: First Age and Prior
· ID: 721
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-10 14:06:39
This was certianly a novel idea, and you made it work for me. I'm not
sure I can fully accept a love relationship between a Vala and any of
the Eruhini, just because I'm not sure they could be fully equal. But
you built on some things from canon that made the story really synch
with the larger canon. The story tried to cover too many events too
quickly for my personal taste (which is not a comment on the story per
se, but rather my ability to enjoy *anything* written in this style) and
the fact that I enjoyed it as much as I did was a testament to the
authors skills. What details there were were very rich, and the style
fit the POV character better than I think I've ever seen.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Spring Day At Cormallen · Author: Marigold · Races:
Cross-Cultural · ID: 746
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-10 14:19:50
This was touching. You have captured Pippin's hope, curiosity, and
incorrigibility so well here.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Letter · Author: Gryffinjack · Races: Hobbits: Post-Sauron's
Fall · ID: 955
Reviewer: GamgeeFest · 2006-08-10 14:49:48
Listening to the hobbits attempting to find the right way to tell their
loved ones about their duties in the war and that they are now fine was
not only charmingly hilarious but also reminded you of just what these
four friends have been through. The wounds and horrors are still there,
but in typical hobbit fashion, they find a way to make light of it all.
The final letter Paladin receives is appropriately parent-friendly. I
also greatly enjoyed seeing a caring and concerned Paladin, as most
representations of him show him as being stern toward Pippin, even after
his son is returned to him.
-----------------------------------
Title: Make It One For Paladin · Author: Marta · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 48
Reviewer: GamgeeFest · 2006-08-10 15:05:55
Robin is one of my favorite minor characters and it's nice to see him
take center stage in this dark and tragic look back at the Occupation of
Men in the Shire. The aftermaths as seen through his eyes are poignant
and harrowing. He's unlikely to be the only one to have those dark
thoughts, but because of his guilt he is unable to see that. His guilt
eats at him and the author does a brilliant job of bringing that to the
page.
-----------------------------------
Title: A New Kind of Courage · Author: Auntiemeesh · Genres: Drama:
Featuring Pippin or Merry · ID: 959
Reviewer: GamgeeFest · 2006-08-10 15:23:59
Pippin losing his memory is an interesting concept and it's well handled
here. Even as Pippin struggles to remember and understand what has
happened to him, you see how deeply he cares for Merry, doing his best
to make sure his cousin's dreams do not plague him more than they need
to. Merry's dreams are wonderfully written, as are his own care and
concern for Pippin. Some of my favorite moments were the times he spent
in the tent with Frodo and Sam, seeking comfort from their sleeping forms.
-----------------------------------
Title: Quo Vadis? · Author: Tehta · Times: First Age and Prior · ID: 86
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-10 17:36:50
Dark humour in a unique view of the Fall of Gondolin. Vivid
descriptions, original and convincing characterisation of an obscure
canon character.
-----------------------------------
Title: Cacophony · Author: Gwynnyd · Genres: Humor: Parody · ID: 929
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:00:34
This reminds me of that line from Douglas Adams: first, God creates the
universe. This, everyone agrees, was a pretty big mistake! Eru appears
to reap the benefits of his own ingenuity with Valar offspring that
would try the musical patience of a heavy metal band. Nice solution in
the end!
-----------------------------------
Title: At the Rising of the Moon · Author: Linda Hoyland · Genres:
Humor: Gondor · ID: 846
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:01:07
The things you do for love - or mistletoe - rather the same thing in
this story!
-----------------------------------
Title: Trivial Matters · Author: Thundera Tiger · Genres: Humor: Gondor
· ID: 839
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:01:39
Ha, cute! Yes, it's inane, but it's amusing still.
-----------------------------------
Title: Concerning Hobbit's Feet · Author: grey_wonderer · Genres: Humor:
The Shire · ID: 828
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:02:10
It seems that males everywhere have the same strange size fixation and
ways of attempting to determine it by the most unscientific and
ridiculous measures. Amusing.
-----------------------------------
Title: Hewing Naught But Wood · Author: Thundera Tiger · Genres: Humor:
Parody · ID: 825
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:02:38
*groan!* I hear the Monty Python Argument office is taking applications
for a Middle-earth branch...
-----------------------------------
Title: Just a Little Shove · Author: Inglor · Genres: Humor:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 798
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:03:06
Ah yes, I know this debate! The little nudge becomes a little shove, and
3000 years of Middle-earth's history is altered for the price of one
man's 'accidental stumble' off a volcano ledge.
-----------------------------------
Title: Suspicion · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres: Humor:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 791
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:03:31
Nice interlude--very plausible interaction between Sam and Frodo on the
topic of Strider.
-----------------------------------
Title: Theme and Variations · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres:
Humor: Gondor · ID: 784
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:04:23
Not quite the piece I'd have put in the humor section, but cheerful,
hopeful--an excellent opening onto the Fourth Age and Aragorn's and
Faramir's early relationship. Lots of hints and suggestions of things to
come.

Faramir's encounters with various people who have met the redoubtable
Captain Thorongil in the past are well portrayed. Morwen's scheming
provides the bluster necessary to arouse both amusement in anticipation
of her being shown up and the essential irritation to inspire that
amusement. The old household retainer's confusion and dismay when his
new master does not meet his expectations and proceeds to take a more
personal (and unorthodox) interest in the running of his household than
Talbeth thinks proper, are comic, but one sees Aragorn's reasons for
them fairly quickly.

A nice vignette of the days before Arwen's arrival.
-----------------------------------
Title: Bored · Author: Make It Stop · Genres: Humor: Gondor · ID: 779
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:05:03
What a difference perspective makes! Cheerfully irreverant, Make_It_Stop
shows us that a quiet, affectionate family dinner, where nothing ever
happens, much to the disappointment of the terminally bored guard,
Weblog, is in fact NOTHING OF THE SORT.

While it may seem that Boromir's devouring of the peas is the only thing
worth watching, a shift to the inside of Faramir's head shows otherwise.
It's a full on mental contest to see who can see the most of the other's
secrets. Not the grand ones, but the petty ones, so the whole thing
eventually dissolves into an irritating game of 'echo' by way of proving
whose insight is clearest.

Excellent parody, from one of the writers of [Lawd of Them Hills].
-----------------------------------
Title: Ignorance Is Bliss · Author: Eggo Waffles · Genres: Humor: Parody
· ID: 754
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:05:30
I remember reading this and being grateful that someone else was as
flabbergasted by how many people see Faramir as having either red hair
or blond. Or some version of brownish-coppery-fiery-sandy. The device of
the scrolls makes for an amusing commentary on fandom tendencies where
Denethor's two sons are concerned, and Boromir's absorption in one of
the True Scrolls gets a chuckle.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7436

Reviews for 13 Sept - Part 1 Posted by Rhapsody September 13, 2006 - 14:58:13 Topic ID# 7436
Title: Psychodiagnostic Evaluation - Subject: The Lady of Rohan ·
Author: Anoriath · Genres: Humor: Parody · ID: 753
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:05:56
Anoriath gives us a contemporary report on Eowyn, and I quite agree--how
[these people] find each other is a mystery. Eowyn's mental health is
most certainly not at its best in the days after the Pelennor, but the
poor consulting psychologist can be forgiven for wondering how she might
be helped by the attention of a man with Oedipal issues and depression
as severe as Faramir's!
-----------------------------------
Title: In a Pig's Eye · Author: Lindelea · Genres: Humor · ID: 747
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:06:42
Given how elves are always portrayed as so much cleaner than any other
species in Middle-earth, I can certainly sympathize with Pippin's
gleeful discovery of the pig-sties of Rivendell. His decision to jump in
them, however...
-----------------------------------
Title: Of All the Pretty Little Horses · Author: Oshun · Genres: Humor:
Gondor · ID: 736
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:07:18
A slight reversal of expectations, here, considering who's involved. And
another in the fine tradition of horsey pseudo-romance in Middle-earth!
-----------------------------------
Title: Inside Out · Author: grey_wonderer · Genres: Humor: The Shire ·
ID: 636
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:07:53
The backstory, I gather, to [Strike While the Iron is Hot], in which
Pippin had won coins off of Freddy over the box incident. Fredegar
really should've known, given this incident, that Pippin is not one to
be messed with!
-----------------------------------
Title: The Unexpected Guest · Author: pippinfan88 · Genres: Humor: The
Shire · ID: 635
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:08:17
Rather like the realization of the nightmares where you end up somehow
naked in front of an audience. Poor Pippin!
-----------------------------------
Title: Gaiety in Gondor · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Humor:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 563
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:08:49
Those ambiguous words are such problems - the Witch-king was killed for
misunderstanding the difference between 'man' and 'Man', and poor
Faramir subjects his sovereign to the attentions of undesired would-be
partners for misinterpreting 'gay'. It's a good thing Gimli didn't have
to kill anyone for mooning over his elf.
-----------------------------------
Title: In a Tent Somewhere Near Whitwell or The Truth About Merry ·
Author: grey_wonderer · Genres: Humor: The Shire · ID: 472
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:09:42
Ah, the romantic comedy of errors--not that I don't think Pippin is
enjoying himself immensely twitting his cousins. Totally deserved what
he got.
-----------------------------------
Title: Fear and Loathing in Middle Earth · Author: vladazhael · Genres:
Humor: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 407
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:09:56
*snork* That pipeweed, it gets you every time...
-----------------------------------
Title: Bedtime Story · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres: Humor:
Children · ID: 355
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:10:12
Cute! Not sure where Legolas comes in...
-----------------------------------
Title: Of Squirrels and Stolen Pies · Author: grey_wonderer · Genres:
Humor: Children · ID: 305
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:10:25
Once again, Pippin can do clueless like no one else. Classic comic
routine, complete with pie, which does in fact end up on *someone's* face.
-----------------------------------
Title: Revenge is a dish best served cold · Author: Lialathuveril ·
Genres: Humor · ID: 297
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:10:37
The entertainment value of forcing strange delicacies on unsuspecting
guests is always a venue for humor. Eomer should be grateful it was
octopus, not blowfish. His literal dishing out of revenge was wicked,
while at the same time being not nearly so bad as it could have been.
I'm sure Amrothos will be doubly embarrassed once he finds out what he's
actually eaten. Nice working Gimli and Legolas into this one.
-----------------------------------
Title: Discretion · Author: Bodkin · Genres: Humor · ID: 286
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:10:58
This is the sort of joke that starts wars, if you're in the Douglas
Adams universe. Fortunately, this is Arda, so there is a chance to
exchange apologies for the remainders of pride.

The snowballing of a family joke, one I think the brothers E rather
deserved, given their original attitude, is amusing and successfully
draws in Galadriel, Celeborn, Glorfindel, Elrond, Celebrian, Legolas,
and even Arwen, Aragorn, and Gimli.

Delightful and an excellent example of just how far out of control these
sorts of things can get. Well done!
-----------------------------------
Title: Lord of Werewolves · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Humor:
Parody · ID: 255
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:11:12
Oy vey! It's just so hard to keep evil up to snuff, it would
seem--there's always some lieutenant having his black, wicked, shriveled
heart stolen by the fangy puppy dogs... or the like. Poor Morgoth, his
life is so very hard with Sauron for a second-in-command. Who knew the
future Dark Lord of Middle-earth at one point thought some form of job
satisfaction for subordinates might be a good idea?
-----------------------------------
Title: 17 Cunning Corsairs · Author: stefaniab · Genres: Humor:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 244
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:11:28
Nice use of a young girl's imagination to illustrate that the
nicely-bred girls are always the ones you want to watch!
-----------------------------------
Title: Strike While the Iron is Hot · Author: grey_wonderer · Genres:
Humor: The Shire · ID: 234
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:11:44
Ha! Guessed it once it became clear Fredegar had been getting so clever
as to get others to do his pranking for him. At some point, the tables
had to turn, and watching it all fall apart on him was most
entertaining. This was a classic turnabout tale. Pippin does cluelessly
earnest very well, and shows himself possessed of spunk even his elders
in evil lack. Go Pippin!

Saradoc was also great--loved his way of handling the matter in the end.
Enjoyable story, Grey_Wonderer!
-----------------------------------
Title: How the Eorlings Ride · Author: NeumeIndil · Genres: Humor · ID: 213
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:12:00
*snork!* Ok, that sounds about right for this scenario--clever Morwen,
making her client look good.
-----------------------------------
Title: Mathom · Author: Perelleth · Genres: Humor · ID: 192
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:12:18
A comedy of errors. Nice misdirection where Estel was concerned, and a
good point--what would be the reaction to Orcrist and Glamdring finding
employment in non-elvish hands?
-----------------------------------
Title: What Goes Around · Author: GamgeeFest · Genres: Humor: Children ·
ID: 188
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:12:43
The back and forth dialogue between Merry and Pippin helps heighten the
amusement, as the past repeats itself with a few minor twists. There may
not be any Aunts to lower the boom on misbehaving youngsters, but there
are wives.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Prince and the Pea · Author: Karri · Genres: Humor: Children
· ID: 158
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:12:59
Amusing retelling of the Princess and the Pea. One wonders about the
*other* occasions for this stunt...
-----------------------------------
Title: The Consequences of Curiosity · Author: A L Milton · Genres:
Humor: Gondor · ID: 153
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:13:18
Yes, this is one of those TMI moments that you know had to happen. It's
also the only F/E of its type that I've managed to read without choking.
Humorous, incongruously civilized, and an instance of even wise kings
learning far more than they really wanted to know about a close and
trusted associate.
-----------------------------------
Title: Gandalf's No Good, Rotten, Really Bad Day · Author: Gandalfs
apprentice · Genres: Humor: Parody · ID: 146
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:13:36
A few minor mistakes--the sorts of errors *anybody* could have made--and
the Valar are all breathing down Gandalf's back, demanding answers.
Sheesh! What's an embodied Maia to do, given all the limitations he
operates under? Like Manwe could do better! Quite amusing, G.A.
-----------------------------------
Title: Elves Do Skate · Author: Caporal · Genres: Humor · ID: 135
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:13:50
Amusing banter between the twins over their absolutely humorless
brother's venture into the concept and act of "having fun."
-----------------------------------
Title: And all in evil ended be · Author: Werecat · Genres: Humor:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 122
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:14:04
Ok, this was good for a laugh. And I quite agree with Ioreth, they're
disgusting. Of course, I also think Morgoth is the proper origin of the
pests, and that's he's likely right that they'll outlast us all.
-----------------------------------
Title: For a cause, a friend, a loved one · Author: Werecat · Genres:
Humor · ID: 120
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:14:24
Werecat as always pays attention to the predicaments of the animas of
M-e. Cute play with the mice.
-----------------------------------
Title: Elfwine · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Humor: Fixed-Length Ficlet
· ID: 70
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:14:36
Sounds about right for Eomer-delerious with joy over the birth of a
first child and heir.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7437

Reviews for 13 Sept - Part 2 Posted by Rhapsody September 13, 2006 - 15:29:02 Topic ID# 7437
Title: Mine · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Humor: Children · ID: 66
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-10 22:14:48
Cute!
-----------------------------------
Title: Book Learning · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Romance: Incomplete ·
ID: 910
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-10 23:01:21
This is one of the best Faramir/Eowyn romance stories I have ever read;
and I have read most of them. It is certainly one of the most
sensitively told, beautifully, honestly and realistically written
Faramir/Eowyn stories I have ever read. And the touches of humor,
comparatively rare in the stories of Gondor's most angsty young couples,
are delightful.

The story chronicles the course of a not uncommon difficulty among
newlyweds, occurring when Faramir and Eowyn have been married a month.
They love each other and are happily adjusting to life as a married
couple. But there's one problem - they are both woefully ignorant about
sex, don't know if they are doing right by the other, and of course,
being raised in a culture substantially different from our own, would
not think to discuss it frankly between themselves. And they don't have
relatives from whom they could comfortably seek guidance (Faramir thinks
of his uncle, but Imrahil is back in Dol Amroth).

Fanfiction writers still debate, and differ, in their perception of
Dunedain sexuality, whether Aragorn, or Faramir, or others, would have
been sexually experienced when they married. Branwyn makes a good and
plausible case as to why Faramir has had only minimal sexual experience,
and in his own words is [green as a newly-cut stave of wood] when he
comes to his wedding bed. The flashback to the wedding night is
wonderfully told, elegant, natural and sympathetic to the couple's
earnestness and nervousness - what sex there is is explicit, but not
very graphic. Faramir's view of his new bride as [small and soft] is
particularly sweet, considering that Tolkien painted Eowyn as a tall
steely flower, but it's quite touching and reveals Faramir's own
self-confidence and inner strength, as well as his own physical height
and power. In the course of the story, he also thinks of her as [strong,
clever]; it is clear that he feels respect as well as tenderness and
love for her.

Faramir and Eowyn each realize that their knowledge of sex is deficient,
and set out separately to remedy the gaps in their education. Branwyn
writes the two married lovers as essentially strong, proactive people -
though faced with a problem that is new to their experience, they do
their best to solve it on their own, rather than sitting around and
brooding over it.

While I love the characterisation of Faramir, who is shown both as a
noble and generous-hearted man trying to fulfill both his duties as a
Steward and a husband (and in this story, he is definitely more obsessed
with his husbandly duties than the charges of his office), it is Eowyn
who particularly shines here. I have rarely seen her so well-written as
an intelligent, strong-minded young woman and enjoying her new life as
the Steward's bride in Minas Tirith. There is also an appealing
poignancy to her quest, the extent of the loneliness of Eowyn's youth
and young womanhood in Edoras is made quietly, subtly obvious.

The way that Faramir and Eowyn find the knowledge they seek is
skillfully written; with moments of quite brilliant humor as well as
poignancy. The third chapter had me literally laughing so hard I cried.

I am looking forward to seeing how Faramir and Eowyn put the information
they've found to good and practical use.
-----------------------------------
Title: Until the Stars Are All Alight · Author: Kenaz · Races: Men:
Featuring Aragorn · ID: 148
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-10 23:59:28
This story has a lot to recommend it, but I think the thing that jumps
out at me is the way that it is not just about either Aragorn or
Halbarad. At the beginning I thought it would be an Aragorn-centric fic,
but the authors doesn't take that easy road and makes it just about
Halbarad's background. I also noticed that Halbarad is not *that* much
older than Aragorn. Ten years for a Dunedain isn't too great a span, and
the difference between the two men tell us a lot about life in Eriador.
-----------------------------------
Title: Unspeakable · Author: White Gull · Genres: Romance: Poetry · ID: 822
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-11 00:02:36
This is a nice poem. You've created a very erotic moment without giving
too many specifics - the best kind, especially in poetry, in my opinion.
But the last verse is what really makes the poem work for me. the quest
of seeking relief is worthwhile even if the relief turns out to be
unattainable.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Little Thing · Author: Acacea · Times: Early Third Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 75
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-11 00:52:45
I think this is the first instance ever of foliage being affected by the
power of the Ring, such that it doesn't age. Interesting perspective.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship · Author: Elana · Times:
Early Third Age: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 150
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-11 00:54:52
I liked this little glimpse into Gandalf's first encounter with hobbits.
That their smoking should appeal to a Maia with a fire affinity makes
sense, and I liked how the hobbits come to trust him based on his
enjoyment of the passtime.
-----------------------------------
Title: We Shall Return · Author: Marta · Times: Early Third Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 650
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-11 00:58:08
Castamir's supporters rarely get much of a voice; this is an excellent
look at how they might have thought. I particularly liked the idea of
Gondor growing away from its heritage in becoming the land of stone,
enamored with the land. Osse underlies Numenor, but clearly this is an
insular reading of that heritage. The repetition of the title gives a
strong forboding sentiment to the drabble. Well done!
-----------------------------------
Title: The Usurper · Author: Elena Tiriel · Times: Early Third Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 834
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-11 01:00:45
Castamir's true colors show plainly here: he is both egotistical and
cruel. For the sleight to his pride, and a prince's unwillingness to
acknowledge him, he will order a most horrific and slow death for the
offender. Indeed, collective punishment apparently isn't too good for
the people of the City who (at least nominally) were loyal to Eldacar's
line.
-----------------------------------
Title: Lobelia's List · Author: annmarwalk · Races: Hobbits: General
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 201
Reviewer: Branwyn · 2006-08-11 01:07:44
In a tale dominated by male characters, Lobelia Sackville-Baggins stands
out as one of the few strong females, a hobbit as tenacious and lovable
as an old tree root. In this drabble, annmarwalk gives us Lobelia's
hilarious "To Do" list of tasks to be done before the auction at BagEnd.
True to form, Lobelia comes across as a ruthlessly efficient organizer
and a merciless critic of human behavior. She is resignedly realistic
about her own son--

[4. How to keep lollygaggers away from beer barrel? Station Otho at
cellar door? Who to watch Otho?]

Of course, subsequent events will prove that he is even weaker than she
had suspected. Her avariciousness and her snobbery toward those who she
sees as her inferiors are right in character. The line about the missing
spoons made me laugh out loud! Still, Lobelia is unapologetically her
own master and she does win our respect at the end of LOTR when she
hobbles out of prison, so it is a pleasure to read this delightful piece
about one of Tolkien's fiestiest characters.
-----------------------------------
Title: Tokens of Sorrow · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Early Third Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 874
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-11 01:10:34
Tanaqui picks an obscure corner of fandom for this drabble. The king is
dead, long live the king--save that the heir has also died. Worse, as
Minohtar learns from the Rohirric captain, the king's younger son,
Faramir, has also gone to war in disguise and been killed--he was
recognized by the tokens of rank found on his body. A tragic day, and
the tragedy hasn't ended yet for Gondor, either--part of the horror of
the drabble comes from the knowledge that Minohtar, the king's nephew,
hasn't long to live either.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Hallowed Place of Both Peoples · Author: Imhiriel · Times:
Early Third Age: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 944
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-11 01:15:12
Imhiriel puts the two resting places of Elendil to good use, employing
it to explore the cross-cultural tensions between the Rohirrim--classed
as 'Middle Men' by Gondorians--and their new Gondorian allies. Cirion
may have bowed to his council and moved the body for several reasons,
but it does seem like an act of mistrust not to leave it on Halifirien.
Eorl shows that the 'Middle Men' have the generous spirit of a much
higher people, and so suggests that Gondor might need to rethink its
classification schema. Well done, Imhiriel!
-----------------------------------
Title: Claws · Author: Elena Tiriel · Races: Villains: Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 835
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-11 01:22:09
Minus the fact that crows and ravens have a positive significance for
the Dwarves, this reminds me of the relationship between wargs and orcs:
the [friendship of their kind] is an opportunistic use and abuse of each
other. The crow steals Smaug's gems, while Smaug retrieves it without a
second thought for the crow-thief's survival. Interesting side-view into
[The Hobbit].
-----------------------------------
Title: Midwinter in Mordor · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Villains:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 872
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-11 01:25:04
A very orcish holiday drabble. There's nothing like slave labor to
lighten the load of a celebration, and to provide for the indulgence in
a little schadenfreud when it comes to relieving the itch to hurt
something. Then there's the small matter of needing meat for the menu,
which Lugdush heartily appreciates. An appalling depiction--quite as it
ought to be.
-----------------------------------
Title: Blood Brothers · Author: Elana · Races: Villains: Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 149
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-11 01:28:21
An intriguing glimpse into the life and formation of a mumak and his
rider. Rider and beast share in everything together--birth, blooding,
ornamentation, and finally, death. Well done!
-----------------------------------
Title: Dark Appetites · Author: Elena Tiriel · Races: Villains:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 833
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-11 01:31:36
Shelob was always a wild card, serving no one but herself, really. Here
we see that that independence enables her to outlast the one who would
call himself her master. When Sauron falls, she can fall back upon her
own strength and power, having not allowed herself to be shaped so fully
by him. And so she survives, waiting for someone to fill her stomach
again at last. Good job!
-----------------------------------
Title: Shadow and flame · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Villains:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 876
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-11 01:34:52
It seems appropriate that the bitterest stroke to the fallen balrog is
not any punishment that might be dealt out to him in the afterlife, as
it were, but the insight into the Music, which tells him that his
corruption and death was but an instrument for others to rise. For a
would-be rebel, what could be worse than the knowledge that all one's
plans were foreseen and made to suit another's designs? Well done!
-----------------------------------
Title: Hunting Orcs · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Villains: Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 723
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-11 01:37:27
An interesting twist on the twins' incessant quest for revenge. The orc
narrator is so wonderfully self-centered--he and his band weren't doing
anything, just torturing a bunch of villagers to whom Elrohir and
Elladan had no relation. What call for the twins to go hunting them down
and chasing them far over the fields to death? Wonderfully ironic.
-----------------------------------
Title: Four Conversations and A Dream · Author: Forodwaith · Times: The
Great Years: Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 90
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-11 03:05:25
The different interludes all work so well. They are tender and full of
details, and give us great scenes of Arwen's relationships with
different people. I know this author has a special Arwen-shaped muse,
but I didn't realize until reading this piece that that meant that she
just *got* Arwen so completely - not just Arwen herself but how Arwen
would relate to other characters, and how they would relate to her.
That's the feeling I have coming away from this piece. It's a great
gapfiller for how Arwen came to give the evenstar to Frodo, but much
more than that develops a very under-developed (book-canon speaking) elf.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Price of Power · Author: Rabidsamfan · Times: The Great
Years: General Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 989
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-11 08:34:33
A heartless, and heart-rending ficlet from the point of view of a voice
not often heard in LOTR fanfiction - Saruman. Here, he shows awareness
and regret for what he is doing to achieve his goals, as well as his
ruthlessness and ends-justify-the-means motivation. Saruman is someone
who understands nobility and beauty - his willingness to sacrifice what
he once cherished makes his fall all the more horrible.
-----------------------------------
Title: In Aragorn's Safekeeping · Author: Radbooks · Genres: Drama · ID: 141
Reviewer: Madeleine · 2006-08-11 12:57:00
Usually I avoid fanfiction about anybody or anything falling into
Middle-earth like the plague. I cant even recalled why I started to
read this particular story, but I know why I kept reading it with
enthusiasm till the last chapter.

The story is good.

I am not quite sure if 'storyteller' translates verbatim into English,
but that is what Radbooks did. She told a good story. Its as simple as
that.

It is detailed, colourful and the most enjoyable part are the brilliant
characterizations of virtually every protagonist, no matter if they are
of the own characters or the well-known and well-loved Tolkien
characters. She does everyone great justice, Elves, Men and Hobbits.

I can only recommend to anybody who usually avoids this genre, to give
this fanfiction a try. I'm sure you won't be disapointed.

-----------------------------------
Title: Dinnertime Folly · Author: Cathleen · Genres: Humor · ID: 733
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-11 14:57:00
Poor Pippin! I know what it's like to have to behave like an adult all
the time even when sometimes you want to have fun and not be so
responsible. I think he was being a bit unreasonable and at his age he
might have had a bit more shame about this. But I can certainly
understand the inclination. Good for him that he had the nerve to get
back at Merry with a story of his own.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Smallest Hands · Author: Dreamflower · Times: The Great
Years: Poetry · ID: 884
Reviewer: GamgeeFest · 2006-08-11 16:03:08
This is a beautiful song that honors Middle Earth's unlikely heroes. The
names of legendary heroes at the beginning, and the qualities that are
thought to make them so great, is wonderfully juxtaposed by those of the
hobbits in the second half of the sonnet. ["Although in height but half
as high full twice as large their hearts"] the hobbits prove that they
are equal to the task and no less valiant than the heroes who have come
before.
-----------------------------------
Title: Chance Encounter · Author: Dreamflower · Times: The Great Years:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 187
Reviewer: GamgeeFest · 2006-08-11 16:21:21
There is so much to love about this story, from the Fellowship
surprising Sam for his birthday, to Legolas wanting to spare the hobbits
of their nightmares, to the little glimpse into Eowyn's childhood. But
the true star of this story is Pippin, who gets his chance to shine and
prove to his cousins just how much he has grown, in character not just
height, during the war. It was also nice to see Meneclar, a wonderfully
drawn OC, who has come back to Gondor after being away for years. The
reunion of old friends is truly heartwarming. My favorite part though
has to be the hobbit fan girls. Even in Middle Earth, the hobbits aren't
safe from swooning girls!
-----------------------------------
Title: To The King! · Author: Ithil-Valon · Times: Multi-Age: Incomplete
· ID: 848
Reviewer: Katzilla · 2006-08-11 16:44:14
Although this story started as 'merely' an undertaking of showing the
relationship between Éomer and Théoden in greater depth (which was
sorely missed in the movie and even prompted this outpouring of
wonderfully intimate scenes), it quickly developed into a full-fledged
adventure story that is mindful of canon, lovingly fleshing out the
characters and overal, a real page turner.

I know that this is the author's first attempt at fanfic, and if it is
any indication of what might await us in the future, we will be in for
many more wonderful stories from her. The thing that sets her apart from
many others are, in my opinion, the very lovingly written relationsships
between the different characters. Very nice work, my friend!
-----------------------------------
Title: How Grima Lost His Eyebrows · Author: NeumeIndil · Times: Late
Third Age: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 800
Reviewer: Katzilla · 2006-08-11 16:48:39
Ha ha!! I have never been one to read drabbles or very short stories as
I always figured that they are too short for me to get involved... but
this provided me with a good laugh - I can just see those scenes of Brad
Dourif's RingCon-panel again when he discussed at great length how
disturbed his girlfriend was when he had to shave them off six times
during the production! Poor, evil Gríma! Isn't it fun to have something
like this happen to him? Thank you, Neu!
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7438

voting deadline Posted by Mechtild September 14, 2006 - 9:54:25 Topic ID# 7438
Hi!

I am sure that sometime this summer, the voting deadline was stated, but I
have forgotten which note that was in or even which month of emails to look
through. I have been thinking the MEFA's didn't end until November, saying
so in my LJ last month. But recently I saw it mentioned that it would be
September.

I checked under the "Voting" Info. place, clicked open the topic on how long
one can vote and it said until the last day of September, for the 2005
competition. It didn't mention 2006. Is it the same? And was there ever
any mention that the MEFA's ended in November? I can't think why I thought
that. (But I'm pretty drifty).

Thanks so much,

~ Mechtild


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 7439

Re: voting deadline Posted by Marta Layton September 14, 2006 - 10:10:56 Topic ID# 7438
> Hi!
>
> I am sure that sometime this summer, the voting deadline was stated, but I
> have forgotten which note that was in or even which month of emails to look
> through. I have been thinking the MEFA's didn't end until November, saying
> so in my LJ last month. But recently I saw it mentioned that it would be
> September.
>
> I checked under the "Voting" Info. place, clicked open the topic on how long
> one can vote and it said until the last day of September, for the 2005
> competition. It didn't mention 2006. Is it the same? And was there ever
> any mention that the MEFA's ended in November? I can't think why I thought
> that. (But I'm pretty drifty).
>
> Thanks so much,
>
> ~ Mechtild
>

You can vote through November 20. Last year we got started earlier
than we did this year, so voting ended on the last day of September.
This year we started later, we had made the administrative season
where volunteers categorize stories longer (to allow us to get
confirmations from authors nominated near the end of nominating
season), and we made nomination season itself longer at the request of
some members and so pushed everything else back by two weeks,
including the end of the awards.

Thanks for catching the FAQ snafu. I had not changed it since I
originally wrote that last winter, before we'd finalized the calendar
for this year. I've updated it now.

If you (or anyone) sees errors that need fixing, please let me know.
There is so much to keep track of, sometimes I do not change
everything that needs to be changed.

Marta

Msg# 7440

Reviews for 14 Sept - Part 1 Posted by Rhapsody September 14, 2006 - 13:55:31 Topic ID# 7440
Title: First Night · Author: Pearl Took · Races: Hobbits: War of the
Ring · ID: 400
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-11 22:31:51
This is a very angsty mood piece in Pippin's first person point of view,
set in Minas Tirith the first night of his arrival there, as he
struggles to come to terms with his loneliness for Merry, his fears for
Frodo and Sam, his guilt for his encounter with the palantir and his
homesickness for the Shire. The author really has a good voice for him
in this.
-----------------------------------
Title: Man of the North · Author: Marta · Races: Men: Aragorn
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 684
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-11 22:32:16
This is wonderful. I don't believe I've ever read anything before from
Thengel's point of view, and this is wonderful, tying together not only
the Numenorian ancestry of Thorongil, but also hinting at Thengel's
Gondorian wife Morwen.
-----------------------------------
Title: Hidden Wonders · Author: Marta · Genres: Romance: Fixed-length
ficlet · ID: 420
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-11 22:32:35
Very nice description of a lovely domestic moment between Eowyn and
Faramir. I could imagine them after the drabble's end, ensconced upon
the couch, with Faramir reading to his bride.
-----------------------------------
Title: Gondor Needs No King · Author: Ribby · Times: The Great Years:
Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 207
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-11 22:32:50
A very dark and scary AU.
-----------------------------------
Title: Teatime in Rivendell · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 373
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-11 22:33:12
This made me chuckle. I could easily imagine Bilbo wanting a chance to
repay the Elves for their lack of hospitality all those years ago.
-----------------------------------
Title: Passing Regrets · Author: Ariel · Races: Hobbits: Pre-Quest · ID: 657
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-11 22:33:47
This lovely little vignette of a fauntling Frodo casting a spell of his
charm over his Uncle Bilbo is just lovely. The author describes the
child in such an appealing manner, and lingers over each of Bilbo's
delighted reactions. Bilbo's realization of what it means to love a
child as a parent does is a very nice bit of foreshadowing.
-----------------------------------
Title: Divinity · Author: illyria-pffyffin · Races: Hobbits · ID: 824
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-11 22:34:19
What a lovely look at the graces granted to the Ringbearer by the Valar!
I love the way each one gives his or her own particular favor and help,
and the pleasure taken in doing so! Very nicely done!
-----------------------------------
Title: Castle · Author: Timmy2222 · Races: Men: Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 256
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-11 22:34:43
This is a very angsty and action oriented fic, centered around Aragorn's
early reign. It's a long story, with a plot full of twists and turns,
and some very intriguing OCs, especially the character of a young boy.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Importance of Being a Hobbit · Author: Lamiel · Races:
Hobbits: War of the Ring · ID: 961
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-11 23:40:37
This story has so many grewat elements about it, it's hard to single in
on jusgt one. I think what I likied most here was Merry's irritation. In
stories of this size and type, you usually dont see a major and
oft-loved character given a real fault. But hbere Merry is unfair to
himself and his kinsmen. I can see why Merry might feel that way. I
think we all tend to idealize those people in glamorous roles, and to
want that, and in Merry's time that would have been the warriors. I'm
glad he had Legolas there to set him straight. But this story also had
great fun, some interesting moments about the hobbits learning
swordplay, and generally good all-around Fellowship characterization. If
you like ensemble casts then this one iss a good read.
-----------------------------------
Title: It's the Thought · Author: annmarwalk · Races: Men: Fixed-Length
Ficlets With Children · ID: 71
Reviewer: Madeleine · 2006-08-12 00:27:38
Although it was initially not Théodreds own idea to give his old toys
to his cousins, nonetheless is was a lovely gesture. I know how hard it
can be if one suddenly is expected to part with childhood keepsakes even
though one hasnt paid any attention to them in years.

Im just wondering if Éowyns preference for more belligerent activities
had always been high in gear or if it wasnt rather a response to her
later confinement at her uncles court.

And as a true descendant of Eorl you need not just a sword but - even
more importantly - a horse to be able to fight properly.

-----------------------------------
Title: The White Tree · Author: Linda Hoyland · Races: Men: Featuring
Aragorn · ID: 94
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-12 00:39:36
Faramir here is a bit weepy and insecure for my personal tastes. Not
that he doesn't have cause after he's been through! Still, his reaction
to the White Tree was moving, and I'm glad Aragorn was able to
straighten everything out.
-----------------------------------
Title: Wizardry · Author: Dwimordene · Times: Late Third Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 179
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-12 00:56:53
I think "Well" is an apt description. Gandalf is right in his mirth. The
situation is funny. But it takes some doing to see the comic after the
days of frustration. It is nice to see that Aragorn and Gandalf can
laugh together and not be only grim and stern. Although I think they
would prefer to strangle Gollum ;-)
-----------------------------------
Title: Strange meeting · Author: Nesta · Races: Men: Post-Sauron's Fall
· ID: 93
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-12 00:57:48
This is a gap filler which describes the aftermath of the Battle of the
Pelennor Fields from Faramir's point of view. The amount of work to be
done and what is to be done is vividly described. The line [I try not to
remember the flies.] really brought home to me how horrible the clean up
had to be. On the fringes of the battlefield Faramir meets a stranger
who turns out to be Aragorn. I love the way their first meeting after
Aragorn went to the black gate is described. I think the
characterization of both Aragorn and Faramir is spot on. And this
discussion reveals a lot about how Aragorn plans to run his kingdom and
that he needs and wants Faramir at his side.
-----------------------------------
Title: Tales of Life · Author: Ainu Laire · Times: Multi-Age: Incomplete
· ID: 235
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-12 00:58:22
This is a great series of ficlets. Little snippets out of Aragorn's
life. Together they shape the character of Aragorn. I can't really
decide which is my favorite. The one with the palantir or the last one
with Sam or the one on the Pelennor fields. I like the way Aragorn's
friendship with Halbarad is portrayed, and I think Sam's voice and
characterization in the last ficlet and the characterization of Strider
here is spot on.
-----------------------------------
Title: Consolation · Author: EdorasLass · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 47
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-12 01:39:21
Aww, EL, this is really well done. The boys are obviously grieving, but
that doesn't overwhelm the piece. It's nice to see Boromir looking out
for Faramir and the fact that it costs him something and that he
struggles with what to do just made the story that much more touching.
-----------------------------------
Title: For Arda · Author: Dreamflower · Genres: Drama: Poetry · ID: 885
Reviewer: Branwyn · 2006-08-12 02:11:07
Dreamflower's tribute to the Professor's genius reminds us why we return
again and again to a world that is
[Untrammeled by the mundane and bitter...]
I love the idea that we are exploring the outer boundaries of Arda--what
a beautiful way to describe the research and creative writing and art
that have been inspired by the master storyteller. Thank you for such an
uplifting message.
-----------------------------------
Title: Last Defence of the City · Author: Branwyn · Times: The Great
Years: Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 96
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2006-08-12 03:08:39
Of all the AU scenarios we've encountered at the various challenges in
which weve participated, this seems to be one of the least presented.
It's also one of my very favorite of your drabbles. Im so proud of your
vision of Denethor, loving and compassionate of his injured son,
generous and thoughtful toward his young squire Peregrin, and fearless
and determined in his action to direct the defense of the City. Thank
you for this marvelous vision of Denethor fulfilling his destiny as Last
Ruling Steward.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Steward and the Wizard · Author: Acacea · Genres: Drama:
Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 522
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2006-08-12 03:09:30
Oh, what a sad and bitter tale. How well youve portrayed Denethor here,
the strict and cold taskmaster who nevertheless craves his sons love.
So sad that Denethor was not able to see (and would not have agreed, had
the suggestion been made) that the unhappiness of the relationship if of
his own making. Thank goodness Faramir consciously chose not to follow
in his fathers footsteps in this matter.
-----------------------------------
Title: Following Orders · Author: EdorasLass · Times: The Great Years:
Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 54
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2006-08-12 03:10:20
In all my years of reading LOTR fanfiction, I dont think Ive ever
before come across this scene: Faramir wondering why men he had known
all his life would have allowed him to be murdered so brutally.
Edoraslass has brilliantly conveyed, without a touch of angst or pathos,
Faramirs sense of bitterness, yes, and anger. Pippins soft voice is
heard in the background, trying to explain, trying to defend those who
are not worthy, really, to be defended; yet theres still that ominous
touch of coldness, of carefully controlled fury in Faramirs voice.
-----------------------------------
Title: Hidden Wonders · Author: Marta · Genres: Romance: Fixed-length
ficlet · ID: 420
Reviewer: Oshun · 2006-08-12 03:34:37
I really loved this story and I am not usually a big fan of shorts--but
it was the idea of looking at the books that drew me in. Beautifully
written and well-conceived. I have a tiresomely long, defensive
"author's note" on a WIP novel of mine defending the concept that the
fact that Rohirric was not a written language would have in no way
indicated that Eomer, Eowyn, Theodred, et al., would not have been
literate. I am so glad to see someone agrees. The characterization of
both Eowyn and Faramir is great--especially in such a short piece. I
appreciate it this, as it is hard to do in longer pieces and on a short
one like this a real challenge. Just one more note/question: I read a
couple of other positive reviews on this story--am I the only one who
wants to know what that book was about? Well, perhaps that is part of
the beauty of the story--it can be about anything I want it to be about.
I chose to think that this particular book is the hidden wonder of the
story. All in all, this story is a great reading experience (that was an
unintended pun, but I guess I'll leave it!).
-----------------------------------
Title: Until the Stars Are All Alight · Author: Kenaz · Races: Men:
Featuring Aragorn · ID: 148
Reviewer: Oshun · 2006-08-12 03:51:10
This story is one of my all time favorites and certainly one of the ones
that I love the most of recent Aragorn fanfic (and there are some very
fine writers who specialize in this). This one-chapter story could by
some be characterized as slash, but it is in fact less than that and
much more. There are several layers to this one short piece. It could be
characterized an exploration of comradeship, loyalty and one of the most
moving and sensitive expositions of the relationship often referred to
as the kings man that I have read in any work of fiction. The
characterization of the very young, green Aragorn here is completely
recognizable as the same man we love so much in the book at the height
of his maturity and power. The pairing of Aragorn and Halbarad could
become routine, formulaic, or derivative, but it certainly is not here.
It is authentic, real, believable, profoundly human and humane. Other
issues taken on in the story, such as: initiation in battle, the first
time Aragorn actually kills, his transformation from rather isolated and
protected Elvish young man to a ranger and leader of men are all taken
on and developed with sensitivity. The attention to canon and insightful
usage of the same enrich the story. The pacing, organization and
evocative, poetic language have led me to return and re-read this story
multiple timesfor me the greatest recommendation for any fic. (Hey, the
title is awesome and the introductory quotation perfect.) I love it.
Read it.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Salt-Rose · Author: Lady Aranel · Genres: Romance: Incomplete
· ID: 283
Reviewer: Oshun · 2006-08-12 04:07:44
Such a lovely vignette. The eroticism is stunning and understated. The
introduction of sense of mystery and the unknown as experienced by an
Elf, in this case Legolas, when the reader is accustomed to thinking of
him as the one who is mysterious and unknowable is perfect. It is so
refreshing to see this vision turned on its head. The glance at Gimli
and the sense of Legolass implied loss of privacy is such a subtle
detail. Of course, the quote from Pablo Neruda drew me into the story in
the first place. A well-written and satisfying story that certainly has
not been done.
-----------------------------------
Title: New beginnings · Author: Perelleth · Genres: Humor · ID: 815
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-12 08:52:51
This is an intricate story of political and familial connections being
broken, made, and remade in the aftermath of Morgoth's fall and the
sinking of Beleriand.

The writer has an excellent knowledge of Elvish history and languages,
and uses both to good effect.

A complex but entertaining tale with a few moments of real magic.
-----------------------------------
Title: Elfwine · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Humor: Fixed-Length Ficlet
· ID: 70
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-12 11:32:56
Pale! As if he's not chopped more orcs into bits than he has dinners!
Still - he was brave to stay. Very sweet - I love his excitement and his
need to tell his sister.
-----------------------------------
Title: Childhood Dreams · Author: Acacea · Genres: Drama: Gondor
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 523
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-12 11:36:11
Ironic edge there. A river and Boromir. Well. The two came together in
the end. I like to think of Faramir and Boromir snatching moments from
their duties to have time together away from battle plans and paternal
pressures.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7441

Reviews for 14 Sept - Part 2 Posted by Rhapsody September 14, 2006 - 14:04:24 Topic ID# 7441
Title: Book Learning · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Romance: Incomplete ·
ID: 910
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-12 12:14:02
I am loving this. Faramir just would look on the library as the perfect
resource for finding out more - yes, he might have gone to Boromir if he
was available, or possibly spoken quietly with Imrahil or his sons, but
he is quite likely to have treated the subject like a research topic
anyway! Eowyn, on the other hand, was very fortunate to find Freydis. A
delightful afternoon of gossip and - shall we say - wide-eyed
illumination is much more likely to be informative for a young woman who
has a decided lack of female kin! Cucumbers, indeed.

I do look forward to finding out just how Faramir and Eowyn - er - share
the results of their learning. Good stuff.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Yule Visit · Author: SlightlyTookish · Races: Hobbits:
Friendship · ID: 981
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-12 12:26:34
Lovely that Frodo turned up after all, even though things are clearly
not well. It sounds as if he is anxious to create a better memory of
Yule for the two of them to hold on to. A very comforting ending for
Frodo - taking him back to the time before rings and quests and his
failure to recover. Well done, Merry and Pippin. The longer they can
keep him there, the better. There is a definite tinge of bidding
farewell here - but if anyone can offer comfort, it will be his cousins.

-----------------------------------
Title: 'Til we meet again · Author: Dot · Races: Elves: Featuring
Mirkwood Elves · ID: 817
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-12 12:55:38
This is absolutely delightful, Dot. And so sad. When Legolas thinks that
it is harder to be the one left behind than the one to move on, he is so
right. Thranduil has had the joy of watching the forest recover from the
ill-effects of the Shadow, but he has lost wife, elder son - and now
Legolas, who really left him over a century before when he took his
group of elves to Ithilien. At least, though, he was within reach then -
but this is a farewell until such time as he is prepared to leave his
forest. Then, too, the number of elves is diminishing with the
inevitability of an ebbing tide - until he will, in all likelihood, be
the last one standing.

I like the title - it gives Legolas (and me) reassurance that Thranduil
does not intend to remain doggedly until it is too late for him to pass
across the sea. Whose voice was, by the way, beautifully described. I
always feel sorry that Legolas lost his closeness to the song of the
forest - and that the sea was no replacement, but perhaps it was. To
him, at least, even if its effect on him was upsetting to Thranduil.

Lovely story, Dot.
-----------------------------------
Title: Sums, Showers, and Scones · Author: Dreamflower · Races: Hobbits:
Pre-Quest · ID: 890
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-12 13:00:15
Such a sweet and peaceful afternoon. I'm glad the sudden shower brought
Sam in from the garden - even if wearing Merry's shirt was not entirely
proper!

There's nothing like spending a wet afternoon in the kitchen.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Secret of Dog Lake · Author: Karenator · Races: Elves · ID: 819
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-12 13:15:04
I love this story - it's full of so many lovely unspoken messages all
being passed over the heads of the oblivious young.

Celeborn saying he had to pay a dowry to get Elrond to take Celebrian
off his hands is so funny - as is the twins' confusion. (You don't often
get Celeborn joking - or, come to that, admitting that he is putty in
his daughter's hands.)

Celebrian admitting that she was a mischievous elfling and that it was
her mother who rolled up her sleeves and kept her daughter in order is
most amusing. I particularly like to think of a non-squeamish Galadriel.
I can believe that, somehow - together with the fact that it was a case
of like mother, like daughter!

And the thought of match-making Celebrian deciding that Haldir needs a
wife and elfling - perhaps he should start thinking of running now.

The conspiracy to get Haldir to tell the 'best' version of the story of
Dog Lake - the one suitable for elflings - is totally charming. So
typically elfling to want to know the name of the dog in preference to
the people!

I love the throat-clearing reminders to keep the story within boundaries
- and the final threat to take the frightened twins to share Haldir's
bed when they wake up at night. And he might just hold Celeborn to that
decree!

Lovely story.

-----------------------------------
Title: The Three Towers · Author: Shirebound · Times: The Great Years:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 113
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 13:56:51
In this immediate-post-Quest story, on May 23, 1419 (S.R.), Frodo,
recovering in Minas Tirith, determines he wants to revisit Cirith Ungol,
the place where he was cruelly tormented a few months prior, to try and
remember what is now vague and blurred. He hopes that he might, in the
remembering, come to terms with what has happened. Sam, appalled,
worried, but game, has a feeling Aragorn should accompany them. Sam goes
to Aragorn and makes his plea. The King is pressed and busy with the
restoration of Minas Tirith, but he agrees; he will do anything "for Frodo".

After a few days of preparation, they ride off, re-visiting places that
Frodo and Sam had traveled through during the Quest, some of which now
are much improved. After a few days the party enters Cirith Ungol. And
quite an entourage it is; not only many men for guarding them against
stray orcs (or clearing away dead ones at the Tower before Frodo gets
there), but, except for Boromir and Bill the Pony, the entire Fellowship
comes along to support Frodo. That is the sort of esteem in which Frodo
is held by his king and friends, and, before the end, each will be
called upon to provide his own special kind of support.

Merry and Pippin, with one's youth and the other's zeal, provide loving
comfort and lighten the mood when it becomes too dark; Gimli destroys
the body of an old enemy and takes away its means or torture before
Frodo sees it; Legolas offers thoughtful feedback. At Frodos request,
Gandalf uses his expertise to help Frodo recover his memories, enabling
a sort of psychological re-enactment. Sam, (on hand from the beginning),
gets to sing part of his Tower song (Though here at journeys end I
lie), which further jogs Frodos memory. A guard from Minas Tirith,
Alcaren, recently made a widower, provides the ring, which he just
happens to wear on a chain around his neck. Frodo remembers, begins to
sort things out, and is helped to come to some therapeutic conclusions.
Light from the Elf stone at Aragorns throat further enables his inner
healing. Wisdom is shared, appreciation expressed, and mutual
affirmations are made all around.

I hadnt really given much thought to what Mordor might actually look
like after the fall of the Dark Tower, so this story was a welcome
eye-opener. I enjoyed the glimpses of recovering Ithilien (seeing the
head of the statue of the king at the Crossroads heartened me as much as
it did Frodo), and the picture of Mordor on the other side of the ridge
 still covered in a layer of volcanic ash and shards of rock, its
buildings broken or in ruins  stirred my imagination. The writing was
smooth and accomplished, and there were many fine character moments.

As for the tale itself, even if its chain of events didnt proceed in
such a pat manner  as if the whole thing were a dramatic device for
letting readers see more of Frodos Tower experience and see him healed
 I found its major premise questionable. Not that Frodo would wish to
recover from his trauma, nor even that he would feel so sure (more like
a contemporary psychiatric patient than a hobbit) that it would be
therapeutic to relive his Tower ordeal, but that he would go ahead with
his plan once he realized the sort of manpower, time and expense that
would be required in order to gratify his wish, especially considering
his friend and King was weeks away from the most anticipated and
longed-for event in his life, his wedding to Arwen Undomiel. This I do
not think Frodo would ever do.
-----------------------------------
Title: Lossarnach Yule · Author: Isabeau of Greenlea · Races: Men:
Gondor · ID: 677
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-12 14:09:08
I thoroughly enjoyed this story - a nice traditional tale of the triumph
of good over evil and friendship bringing good fortune to a worthy
family. It does seem very much according to Faramir's character to
ensure that the families of those who served among his Rangers would be
looked after. And that, if it took the twisting of a few rules, then it
would happen all the same.

I do feel for Idren. He has so much responsibility and worry on
shoulders not yet ready for it all. Thank goodness for Mablung and
Lorend and Hethlin. It must have been such a relief for the lad to
unburden himself to Lorend. Who, most fortunately, could do something
about most of his troubles!

The gathering of those determined to make life better for the
unfortunate family is most enjoyable. I'm not surprised that Idren
couldn't quite keep track of all that was going on. Nor that Lathron
gave in. He does, after all, know what's best for him! Lord Forlong came
over well - andLorend's parents are a delight. I don't blame Lorend for
his frustration when the cow needed help just at that moment. Typical!
Good that his parents joined them, though.

And I just had to reread the whole story - and it is just as delightful
now as it was last time and the time before.

Lovely world, delightful story, beautifully written.
-----------------------------------
Title: Following Orders · Author: EdorasLass · Times: The Great Years:
Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 54
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2006-08-12 14:27:10
A nice, creepy drabble about something I've wondered about from time to
time. Poor Faramir-insightful as he is supposed to be about the hearts
and minds of Men, it's very logical that he would have anger about the
people who tried to kill him.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Steward and the Wizard · Author: Acacea · Genres: Drama:
Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 522
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2006-08-12 14:35:55
Ouch! Poor Denethor! An interesting idea is put forth here in this short
piece-that perhaps Faramir is at least partly responsible for his
father's favoritism of his elder brother by favoring others over his
father himself.
-----------------------------------
Title: Stones · Author: Marigold · Races: Hobbits: Friendship · ID: 571
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-12 15:06:46
I found this to be a delightful story. At first glance, the idea of
Pippin collecting stones wherever he goes seems remarkably childish and
in tune with the young hobbit he was when he set out on the quest - but,
once he explains his reasoning, it actually becomes a very good idea.
(Like a lot of things to do with Pippin.) Like him, I would probably go
back over old ground to try to find the stones tucked away in the hope
of retrieving them later! Not, I suspect, that he wouldn't remember the
tales anyway, but ... it's just like taking home a Present from Blackpool!

And now he has Merry doing it. They'll need an extra pony for the return
journey!


-----------------------------------
Title: Thranduil's begetting day · Author: daw the minstrel · Genres:
Humor · ID: 287
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-12 15:18:59
This is a delightful dance of characters - all come together for
pleasure. Aunt Glilan and her determination to provide suitable maidens
is most amusing (unless you're Legolas) and I would like to know how
Eilian managed so successfully in a single exposure to deter her from
ever trying again to find him a bride. Then there was Eilian -
entertaining Toviel in the stables and being mistaken for a stable boy.
Whereas, as we all know, there are moments when he is more of an
unstable boy.

I loved meeting Calith's son. Admiring the activities of Sinnarn and
Maltanaur's grandson. I imagine friendship with Sinnarn caused much the
same dread in parental hearts that friendship with Eilian did some
half-century or so earlier. My toes curl up at the thought of those
rilliums - but I suspect Thranduil will love Sinnarn all the more for
providing them. (It must be rather grand not to be able to do any wrong
in Thranduil's eyes. I'm sure Eilian and Legolas agree.)

But something about Beliond being a little frightening kept me giggling.
Such an ... inadequate description of our favourite curmudgeon.

And the farce of the final chapter! Imprisoned keepers and rillium
fights! No wonder the men don't quite know what to make of them all. The
only one I feel sorry for is Alfirin, who tried so hard to give
Thranduil a memorable begetting day - only to have it turn out even more
memorable in ways I am sure she won't want to recall.

Lovely story.
-----------------------------------
Title: Passing Regrets · Author: Ariel · Races: Hobbits: Pre-Quest · ID: 657
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 15:37:37
What a great story! Ive read many stories of Frodos early childhood,
often depicting it as dreary or even downright terrible, but you seem to
have hit the right note. This story of what it was like for Frodo
growing up, with loving, normal hobbit parents, with [a thoroughly
enchanted] Bilbo looking on, seems right on the money in terms of what I
read in canon.

Bilbos first sight of Frodo: I loved the vision of the toddler:
[He walked very deliberately as he clung to his nurse's hand, tottering
a bit as if he were still learning the craft, and drinking in the sights
and sounds of the celebration. Primula gathered him up and straddled him
expertly over her hip as she rejoined her husband at the edge of the
circle of hobbits under the party tree.

The boy didn't make a sound as the Bagginses dutifully greeted him. His
little face had a look, not of fear, but of serious deliberation, as if
he were busily memorizing every name and face for later evaluation.
Bilbo chuckled and rose lightly to his feet, setting himself in line to
greet the newest Baggins lad.]

I can just see him. At first I thought you were going to paint Frodo as
too humourless, too serious a child, but then you included Primulas
cautions to Bilbo about what her son would be like once he began to feel
more familiar and comfortable in his new settings. Then, she warned with
a twinkle, hed be a terror! Which only made Bilbo want to see this
hellion in action, I am sure. That Bilbo should be won by the childs
smile -- like a beacon (ah, that spark Tolkien spoke of!) -- said
more about Bilbo, perhaps, than about Frodo.

Your picture of young Frodo as highly observant, and observing, makes so
much sense considering the sort of person he turns out to be, the hobbit
who was chosen to bear the Ring, and who recorded the tale of many in
The Red Book. If he were not a child who paid attention, who watched,
from an early age, how would he have gathered the material that would
become the saga of LotR? How would he have survived in the first place?

[And, in turn, the boy stared at him. Bilbo felt himself being weighed
and measured, catalogued and judged by this studious little fellow. So
intense was the feeling that Bilbo would not have been surprised if the
boy had opened his mouth and spoken, in a clear and adult voice, the
words of fair greeting.]

You are not just describing a precocious child, but an arresting
child. Your little Frodo is so  immediate, so direct  in his
interactions. I love that. What a shame he will have to veil it all when
he is older, if only out of self-protection.

Im going to quote a long section here, even though I know it counts as
no points at all, simply because the sequence is so brilliant, and
because it moved me so much (and I could quote many more snippets).
Bilbo makes so bold as to ask if he might hold Frodo. Primula teases him
for his wish (like the ladies), but hands him over the table.

[Frodo looked at him even more intently when he realized he was being
handed over, his piercing eyes raking over Bilbos frame. Whatever he
saw seemed to satisfy him, however, and he settled against the older
hobbit without a backward glance. Bilbo sat back down with the child
nestled in the crook of his arm.]

Bilbo had better watch out! No one, not even an eighty-year-old bachelor
hobbit, can be assessed by a pet or a child and found acceptable, and
not turn to putty.

[He wasnt as light as his small body suggested and Bilbos respect for
Primulas handicapped grace increased. He was a solid child for all his
softly padded curves, and Bilbo could feel the surging mischievous
energy that swirled just under the surface.]

It may seem like an innocuous paragraph about how cute Frodo is, and
what a dear little bum he would have had, but I read it as a statement
of Frodos future mettle. Hes pretty, hes unique (yes, that ubiquitous
word, Elvish), but, as you say, hes unexpectedly solid, with lots of
fire underneath his peaches-and-cream exterior.

[Once in Bilbos arms, Frodo seemed to realize he was once again within
range of the mugs on the table and he reached for them.

Oh, you are a thirsty thing! Bilbo chuckled. Here, this one has some
cool cider left. Would that do you? He reached for the indicated cup
and gave it to the tyke. Frodo wrapped his small hands around it and
began to drink with gusto. He paused once, seemingly to breathe, and
then finished off the cup, panting afterwards as if hed just run a race.]

Again, it seems like a harmless observation on perpetually thirsty and
hungry children, but I read it as a statement about Frodos ardour and
zest, his appetite for life, and his will to have what he wanted to
have, which only makes his fate more grave.

[Easy there! You were thirsty, werent you! There now, Uncle Bilbo will
have your father get you some more of this. He looked up, searching to
where Drogo had gone to see if he could request a cider instead of the
shrub.

Beebo? said the small voice and Bilbo felt a surge run up his spine.

The boy dropped the empty cup in his lap and reached up to touch Bilbos
face, exploring the laugh lines at the corners of his eyes and mouth.
Bilbo didnt move, afraid to disturb the childs studious investigation.]

That was it. Bilbo was done for. The poke in the eye and the sweet
breath against his cheek only confirmed it. No other child could have
fiddled with Bilbos diamond stud or wrinkled his waistcoat and got away
with it. This one could and did. This interaction starts a whole train
of thought going in Bilbos head, all about what he might have missed,
not having a child. But Bilbo is a very astute hobbit; he realizes that
it isnt having a child that he has missed, but having *this* child.

In this passage of your story, you make clear that from this moment on,
Bilbo will be watching out for this child, in new-found, unanticipated love.
-----------------------------------
Title: Starlight at Eventide · Author: Ariel · Races: Hobbits: Post-Grey
Havens · ID: 821
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 15:38:25
You began with a splendid opening chapter. The reader finds out at the
same rate Estella does how sick shes been, why shes been sick, and
whos been sticking close by her. The thrum of Merrys heart is the
repeated motif, the sound and feel of it: constant; strong; anchoring
her to life. Its as if you have started off your fic with a steady,
insistent beat, sort of like the opening of Ravels Bolero. *smile*

You included much that underscored how real your hobbits were; adults,
easily recognizable as people past their first youth, but still in their
prime years for loving and being fruitful, not cute little wee folk
who are merely playing at grown-up life. Also very real and recognizable
was the observation that Merry loved Estella all the more desperately,
nearly losing her; her brush with death made him fearful of spoiling her
recovery, almost as if he were superstitious, the way many of us are.
If I enjoy this too much, it will go away! That Estella should not
perceive this feeling in Merry was also perfectly recognizable. She is
worried over having lost her looks. And, honest author that you are, you
let your hero admit that he misses her former looks. She mourns for the
loss of fertility, but Merry doesnt quite understand that. The scene in
which he peeps through the door when she is weeping by herself is very
affecting.

This was a story about people with a deep, committed relationship that
has come under unexpected siege. Yet they manage to come through it
because of love, good advice from beloved friends, and taking the risk
of talking honestly and plainly with each other. They emerge as more
vibrant, more enriched than ever; in themselves and in their love for
each other, even as they realise that the other is more deep and
mysterious than they had ever imagined. You do much to support this
premise, and do it well.

A few notes. I loved&.

-- the way you conceived the scene between Merry and Pippin over
horseflesh. The juxtaposition of the ease and naturalness of the horses
mating and the difficult time Merry was having recovering his amorous
relationship with Estella was perfect. Pippin was awfully sympathetic,
too, as a friend who can be frank without being confrontational.

-- the way you wove in the spectacle of Aragorn and Arwen together,
calling to Merrys mind the song of Beren and Luthien, so that he could
draw the comparison of Luthiens love with Estellas: that she would
wish to love him to the full, come what may, even at the diminishment of
her life.

-- the touch you added in Ch. 8 that Merry could feel Estellas
heartbeat  steady and strong  recalling the steady, strong heartbeat
that had so comforted Estella when she was ill.

-- the way you subtly drew a comparison between Estellas new Elvish
looks (in her new dress at the celebration) and Frodos, harkening back
to Merrys continued sorrow over the loss of his Elvish friend. Her
new look seemed to make Merry love her all the more, yet, perhaps,
amplifying his fear that he would lose her, just as he lost his older
friend. How appropriate that their joyous reconciliation should come at
this point in the story. And such responsiveness! I was in admiring awe
over Estella reaching a climax after Merry had only unfastened her
corset, followed by nuzzling her inner thigh. No wonder he had missed
this woman in bed! And no wonder she had missed being in it with him!
Yet its not just the pleasure. In their love scene in last chapter you
underscore this by your choice of words: she is Merrys treasured
spirit; he embraced her soul with tenderness; he felt her bright
spirit; her essence filled his heart; he cradled her spirit; she
was his light. All of these expressions emphasize that the bond he
feels with his wife is deeper than what their bodies celebrate physically.

This line was super, as your sum-up: [Within his wifes being he had
seen the dark under the stars of the worlds beginning. Perhaps all
women held, unrealized to themselves, some morsel of that power that
brought the world into being (&)]
-----------------------------------
Title: Benison · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Drama: Remembering · ID: 67
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 15:40:24
This presented an intriguing, unexpected image for me of Eowyn. I
suppose Ive never stopped to picture Eowyn past the time of standing on
the wall with Faramir, their hair mingling in the wind. What did the
Shieldmaiden of Rohan do after she settled into married life? How would
she have adjusted? You show her making the transition with modesty and
grace  further graced by the unintended gift of the dead woman, the
wife of Denethor, who would have been her mother-in-law.

The opening of the sewing basket was splendidly done; I longed to see
every little thing and snatched at each object as you uncovered it for
us in prose. What an eye for *just* the right detail you have.

This is the second of your nominated fics I ve read, which gave a
glimpse of Denethors youth  a young steward, full of fire, worthy of
the love of women, but whose passion was poured out on his wife. How
might Denethor have fared had she lived? The way he responded to her
death  becoming tormented and deformed inside from the torment  makes
me wonder if Boromir might have been similarly affected, had he lived,
if he came back home to find Theodred slain and buried (taking for
granted your love affair for the two characters, of course).
-----------------------------------
Title: Heirlooms · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Drama: Remembering · ID: 72
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 15:41:36
A fine conceit! Again, you have done much done through carefully chosen
details to open up my imagination to a time and characters I knew little
or nothing about, and illuminated (by further insights) characters I did
know something about. The notion of a thing passed on without the
original maker (Morwen) having an inkling as to where or to whom it
might in time go is an inspired one.

In Tolkiens stories, the motif of an heirloom having great meaning is a
strong one. How fitting, that in this story you should fashion heirlooms
of a homelier sort than swords and shields. It reminds me that more than
weaponry and battle skills make a noble hero.

I was touched, too, by the idea that not just Grandmother Morwen, but
the dead uncles of the boys both were able to reach through time to give
these gifts, just as in Benison, Finduilas did it for Eowyn. The passing
of the heirlooms in this way helps convey a sense of love strong and
enduring enough to weave itself into the lives of those who come after,
even after those who first loved have died and passed on.
-----------------------------------
Title: Diplomatic Relations · Author: annmarwalk/EdorasLass CoAuthors ·
Genres: Romance: Gondor · ID: 189
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 15:43:56
This was high-quality Lotr romance-fanfic, I have to say. Whatever you
made of the cultural approaches towards same-sex love in these two
realms (vis-à-vis Tolkien), it all sounded totally authentic within your
world. The setting, the people, the ambiance, the diction of the
characters, all sounded like the world of the books. The formal, staid
Gondorians sounded more familiar, the Rohirric culture, more exotic.
They arent really like the Greeks or Romans, even if they share a
tolerance, even support, for same-sex love, especially for their youth.
I dont think the Greeks or the Romans welcomed women in their practices
for sexual initiation, for instance, which makes the Rohirrim quite
ahead of their time. (Where was I during this era?) But the cultural
practice is described convincingly.

As for the romance between the two men, it was love at first sight
(the sensitive reader intuits that its not going to be merely lust at
first sight), but I believed it; it seemed perfectly plausible for these
two characters. The erotica was handled very tastefully, but adult
readers certainly got the point, so that the references to their love
conveyed a sense of their pleasure and excitement, without pressing the
mechanics of it.

This story definitely made me want to read more. It normally read hobbit
slash which tends to be very different. A lot of it falls in the genre
of Bawdy Romp, since hobbits are supposed to be creatures of appetite
with a lot of spare time on their hands. The rest is mostly angsty, with
characters driven to find themselves and self-actualize. Your story of
these two men is a story of two *men*, people with real jobs in the
world  mens jobs  which they go about doing to the best of their
ability, with very little time taken for personal pleasure. I feel as
though Ive left a world of prolonged adolescence for a world where
adolescence is short: the goal is adulthood with an adults duties and
responsibilities. This burdened quality to your characters lives makes
the time they are able to spend together that much more precious.

P.S. Loved the philosophical, live-and-let live Theoden. No wonder his
nephew and niece loved him before Wormtongue got to him.
-----------------------------------
Title: Breath of Winter · Author: Cuthalion · Genres: Drama: Featuring
Pippin or Merry · ID: 101
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 15:55:43
This story had many, many wonderful moments for me in it. The conceit is
a good one: the hobbit friends, from the excellently-written POV of
Merry, are presented with the frightful situation of Frodo in dire
straights -- in terrible pain and very ill from the wound on Weathertop
-- left by their authority figure, Aragorn, to do for Frodo without
him. Frodos major presenting symptom is coldness. I loved the way you
let Merry express it:

[Once more I take your hand, and once more I shy back from the
coldness, flowing down from your shoulder and burning my skin like ice.]

This leads into a very well-imagined, well-suited flash-back to a time
when the shoe was on the other foot (not that hobbits wear shoes  poor
choice of expressions!). Frodo is a tween in Buckland, and Merry and
Pippin are lads, during a hard winter. Merry and Pippin go wandering off
to look at the ice and snow; a storm comes and they are trapped in the
weather. Everyone goes out to search for them, including Frodo. Long
after the horn is blown for the searchers to come back in from the
worsening storm (such a moving use for the Horn of Buckland!), Frodo
finds the little hobbits. Merry has found a place for them inside a
fallen, ruined oak (wise Merry  and already being helped by trees!),
but Pippin, so very little (one could die from Awww!s to hear Pippin,
so little and blithe and trusting, asking Merry if hes brought a picnic
when they reach the Jewel Tree), is on his way to frostbite. This all is
vividly described (super description of the snow scenes, concerned
parents, etc.), with lots of suspense, but the best is yet to come.

How I loved the scene inside the oak. Frodo is simply, well, wonderful
is an understatement. If you wrote certain sorts of fic, I might feel a
little alarmed to witness Frodos decision to strip himself and the
children, to hunker with them under the sheepskins he had brought (the
good shepherd!), snuggling them close to warm them, keeping them calm
and rapt by singing them songs. [I thought we would die], Merry
confides. [I wont let you die], Frodo assures him. *SOB* The verse,
[Breath of winter, so cold and white], was excellent in itself. Was it
yours, or does it come from somewhere in Tolkien? I cant tell, it fits
so well. And so the night goes, with Frodo watching over them, tending
the fire he has made, holding them close until morning comes.

You end back in the Quest. The remembrance inspires Merry to return the
favour to the now freezing, deathly ill Frodo: the hobbit friends strip
Frodo and themselves, right down to their skivvies, snuggling close to
keep him warm and living, chanting to him the song Frodo sang to them,
years before, when he kept them alive through a winter's night.

Again, if you wrote another sort of fic, I might read this scene as if
it were written with a bit of a wink. But, as it is, I thought the scene
was lovely, convincing and moving. This fic, more than many have done,
shows the young hobbits in a way that thoroughly explains why they
should love their older cousin so, thinking the world of him, and having
complete confidence in him.

Well done, Cúthalion!
-----------------------------------
Title: Unspeakable · Author: White Gull · Genres: Romance: Poetry · ID: 822
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 15:58:49
This poem well expresses what a lot of readers who love Frodo feel. I
dont know if this is written from the POV of one of your heroines,
White Gull, or from that of any of those who love him. Everyone who sees
Frodos suffering -- especially once he has returned to find that he is
no longer able to enjoy his old life: his home, his friends, his past
pleasures -- wishes to see him healed. And not just in Tol Eressea, but
right in Middle-earth, in the Shire, in the midst of the land he loved
and for which he gave himself.

In verse 3, the heroine of your poem shows that she wishes to make him
well through earthy pleasures, the sort that any hobbit should enjoy:
the simple but unspeakable pleasures of being in the arms of ones
lover. But she is astute. [I cant give what you wont take], she
says, acknowledging the depth of her beloveds self-blame, and lingering
attachment to the destroyed Ring (if thats what you mean in v. 4 about
[a vow] to which Frodo remains so tightly bound that he cant respond
to what a lover might do for him to [stay the dark] he fears). The
heroine wants healing for Frodos sake (vss. 2-4), but also for her own,
since she yearns for his love unrequitedly (vss. 5 and 6). The final
verse could have been a simple happily ever after stanza, but you
finished it with a more nuanced idea, acknowledging that the therapy of
love-making, however blissful, might not be a permanent measure to keep
such pain from returning. Nevertheless, the heroine says, the seeking
for it was unspeakable  unspeakably worthwhile, I take her to mean.

I hope she will be able to persuade him to continue with her therapy.
One doesn't get rid of a sore neck with only one massage; it takes
repeated applications. Seriously, White Gull, this was very well-done in
both the verse-making and the poignant content.
-----------------------------------
Title: Tinúviel, Tinúviel · Author: Cuthalion · Genres: Romance: Rohan ·
ID: 103
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 16:00:23
This story is based on a movie scene. While re-tellings of film scenes
are not my favourite sorts of fanfics, you do some nice things fleshing
out the interior thoughts of Aragorn after he has gone over the cliff
with the Warg. Once he begins to skirt with consciousness, thoughts of
his past in Imladris turn to thoughts of his nightingale, Arwen. Those
thoughts recall him, and act as a blessing. The appearance of Brego, as
if sent by Arwen, further bolsters him. Supported by thoughts of his
lover, his concerns widen to think of the beleaguered people of Rohan,
and of the Quest, focussing in the small person of the Ring-bearer, Frodo.

[I will not disappoint him], Aragorn vows silently, his hope and
resolve re-kindled by the love of his Tinúviel, whom he also vows not to
disappoint. It's good to see how his love of individuals fuels his love
and sense of service towards the wider world, for which he soon will
bear so much responsibility.


-----------------------------------
Title: ... and hear the song of salt and sea · Author: Cuthalion ·
Genres: Drama: The Steward's Family · ID: 98
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 16:06:03
In this fic, you envisioned a part of the LotR backstory that I have
never stopped to think about: Finduilas of Dol Amroth, and what her
marriage to Denethor might have been like. Thanks so much for bringing
this gap to life for me.

(Before I forget, I want to say I loved the touch of her remembering how
her brother would take the boy Faramirs hand during walks when they
visited in Dol Amroth  the prince and uncle who would save Faramir as
he fled before the Nazgûl, across fields of the Pelennor, decades hence
.... This little detail touched me deeply; its the sort of
gap-filling that fleshes out the story beautifully, making characters
merely glimpsed in the canon text live.)

From the first, you show your protagonist, Finduilas, as a gently,
caring soul. Although [she did not love him at first sight], in time
she came to see his loneliness and loved him. Yet, love was not enough.
How well you sketch the sort of place Finduilas grew up in, Dol Amroth,
by the sea. I have never thought of Minas Tirith as anything but
beautiful; somewhere Id like to live. But, to make a comparison, while
Rome was beautiful and impressive, emperors preferred to take their
holidays in Capri. You make it understandable how a woman raised by the
sea, with its milder weather, soft breezes, and fragrant gardens (and
from a beloved home), would find the White City as severe as its
steward. Too hard, too exposed, too hot, too cold. You tell how his
cares (fighting the powers of the East) harden and darken Denethors
heart, so that love wanes. Then, his patronage of his first son and
rejection of her second son  or the way she was raising him  seems
finally to kill her love.

In the appendices, Tolkien implied two main threads for why Finduilas
would have grown unhappy. I think you touched on both of them. He says,
&it seemed to men that she withered in the guarded city, as a flower of
the seaward vales set upon a barren rock. The shadow in the east filled
her with horror, and she turned her eyes ever south to the sea that she
missed. Your Finduilas did not seem directly affected by horror in
the east, but she certainly suffered through Denethors grim
preoccupation with it. Her withering because she was, so to speak, out
of her element  a sea flower on a barren rock of a city  was
well-shown in your story.

My only reservation about this fine fic concerns its ending. Nowhere in
the canon materials or drafts is it hinted that Finduilas actually
killed herself (is it?). She died untimely; she withered. We know her
children mourned her, and that her husband became more grim and taciturn
and sour after losing her to death.

Considering the way in which you depicted Finduilas sinking into deeper
and deeper despond and depression, it is entirely plausible that she
would have killed herself in the way you describe. But, based on my
knowledge of real-life situations in which a parent has killed herself,
the way this sort of death would have impacted her survivors would have
been extremely severe. Denethor would have been incapacitated by guilt,
and I don't see how her sons would have got over it. From the source
materials, though, this did not appear to be the case. Therefore, I
think you could keep the idea that she killed herself, but it might do
to show that it was generally *believed* ("generally" including her
children and husband) that her death was accidental.

If Denethor lived to be haunted by the suspicion that it had been
intentional, and that he himself was responsible for the state of misery
that would have driven her to it, that could make sense in the context
of canon. But he could not know *for sure* -- he'd have to be able to
put the thought aside enough to shoulder the huge responsibilities he
actually had. And her sons could not be allowed to know at all, I think,
or the repercussions would have to have shown up more than they do in
their LotR portrayals.

A sequel, perhaps...? :D
-----------------------------------
Title: House with the Cedar Shingles: Ramson Spring · Author: Cuthalion
· Times: Fourth Age and Beyond: Gondor · ID: 987
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 16:09:23
This was a complete delight, Cúthalion! From beginning to end, it was a
pleasure to read, conveying me to a world and time in Middle-earths
history that I do not know well. Ive read only a handful of fics that
take place long after the Quest (ones that dont take place in the
Undying Lands). This one was just great.

The opening was light and fluffy: the Gamgees at Court; along with the
treat of seeing Elboron (what a dish hes going to be when he grows
up!). Your powers of description, and your knowledge of growing things
Ive seen you demonstrate in other stories was put to excellent use
here, especially in the scenes at Noerwens.

After the fluffy start, you took us with Sam and Rosie to the home of
people I did not know at all. In fact, with the divider indicator
between the sections, I really did not know at first if I was still in
Ithilien or in some other part of Middle-earth, or whether it was the
same time frame as the first section, or what sort of folk Noerwen and
Lírulin were (Men, I think  but what sort?). Surely not Dwarves or
Elves. I stayed with you, to be utterly gratified to see Samwise stand
his ground before the huge dog, Maethor. No wonder the Healer of
Ithilien (as she turned out to be) was reminded of tales of this hobbit
facing off with Shelob!

Soon the tale was no longer light and fluffy, but grew more and more
contemplative and profound, delving into the loss Sam still felt towards
Frodos leaving, but in a beautifully understated way, revealing the
understanding this woman seemed to have for what Sam and Frodo had been
through, along with a glimpse into the profundity of her own
relationship with her husband, the Ranger, Damrod. You even gratified me
with a sense of the Great Tale of Frodo, and his War of the Ring, and
how it would have been sung and handed down after his departure to the
West. I was one happy reader.

I had one question. In the scene between Noerwen and Damrod, he asks her...

[Did& did you ever regret it? he suddenly asked.

What?

That you left your world behind& to be with me?]

What did he mean by this? What world had Noerwen left behind to be with
him? Does he mean that she left her sphere of regular humans (with
normal life spans) to marry him, a Numenorean? And that she will
probably pre-decease him? That is all I could think of. Perhaps I missed
a detail that would have let me know what the issue was behind this
discussion.

This was a super story, Cúthalion. I am so happy it was nominated, or I
might never have read it.
-----------------------------------
Title: Shelter · Author: Shirebound · Times: The Great Years:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 217
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 16:14:00
If ever there was a story to make up for all the appreciation and
attention the film hobbits didnt get in the films after the battle at
the Black Gate because there were no Cormallen scenes (e.g. the tending
of the sick hobbits, and the honouring ceremony), and no scene of Merry
being healed in the HOH, *this* would be it.

I absolutely wallowed in vicarious pleasure as the Men filed through the
tent of the injured hobbits in your Ch. 1, sighing with them their sighs
of affection, appreciation, and wonder at the little brave-hearts lying
there. Ch. 2 got to me in the same way, with the wonderful passage about
how the presence of the courageous little ones in the tent of the
wounded lifted the hearts and brought smiles to the lips of the most
battle-hardened soldier. How gratifying to a hobbit fan!

The fic allowed plenty of opportunity for the reader to vicariously care
for and cherish the hobbit heroes, too. I loved the passage in Ch. 1
when Gimli lifts Pippin to sit up a bit. It is so lovingly described.
And to have Gimli (the gruff Dwarf) be the one to behave thus makes it
all the more delightful. In fact, your Gimli is a delight throughout, as
is your Pip; very young, high-hearted, voluble, and completely
irresistible. The way you used Merrys POV (as the more serious and
concerned hobbit) to focus attention on Frodos state and what might
have befallen him was awfully good. [What *happened* to him?] he
demands, the reader demanding it right along with him.

All through, I thought your dialogue for the characters was simply and
faithfully imagined, only increasing the appeal of this story, which is
as charming as the characters it describes.
-----------------------------------
Title: Healed · Author: Shirebound · Genres: Alternate Universe:
Post-Grey Havens · ID: 117
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 16:19:52
*To start, may I say that your 'disclaimer' at the top of all your fics
is my favourite of all that Ive read.*

Shirebound, if someone had told me before-hand the premise of this
story, I probably would not have read it, thinking it would be too silly
for words. But you have carried it through and fashioned a story of
considerable charm. It is AU, but what a sweet-natured AU it is. In it,
you have healed everyone, even Celebrian, whose story always made me
sad, seeing in it a parallel to Frodos, who, after the Quest, was no
longer able to take joy in his life or in Middle-earth, just as
Celebrian could not after being attacked. She sailed West, too, hoping
for healing.

And it was gratifying to see her reunited with Galadriel. You allowed me
to see Galadriel as a mother, a very different role from Lady of
Lothlorien and Keeper of Nenya. In LotR, I cant remember a passage
where she is ever seen with an intimate family member; even with
Celeborn she seems distant, as if they have a state marriage. In the
Silmarillion, the Elves are depicted with intense familial relationships
(even if often unhappy), but, in LotR I sometimes lose a sense of the
Elves even having families; they just are.

I enjoyed looking at the five hobbits from a different perspective in
your fic, not only because you portrayed them all as children, but
because of the five roles you assigned them: explorer, poet, artist,
singer, and scribe. Not only were the titles and what they implied about
the characters simply interesting to me, the device of the titles added
to the sense of your fic being a tale or legend.

To see all your characters so thoroughly healed was a pleasure. I was
moved to hear Frodo described by Elrond (Elrond!) in this manner:
[Perhaps not since the Firstborn awoke in Middle-earth and greeted each
new thing with joy and wonder has there been such an open, eager
spirit.] *happy sniffling on Frodos behalf*

Minor note: I did wonder at the hobbits being noted for their extreme
curiosity (at the opening, by Elrond, and then at the end by Gandalf).
It seemed to me that Tolkien made a point of saying that hobbits were
precisely *not* curious -- a fault in them, he implied. The Took clan
was known to show a bit more curiosity in some of its members than the
rest. Pippin possessed the trait to a remarkable degree -- and this was
frequently noted in LotR, but as exceptional , not typical.

-----------------------------------
Title: In Frodo's Hands · Author: Mews1945 · Races: Hobbits: Pre-Quest ·
ID: 62
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 16:27:58
Mews, this was quite a beautiful story. You took a fairly simple
premise: Frodo gets left with the care of Pippin, whom he occupies by
letting him join him doing everyday tasts. Simple, but crafty, you are!
You took that premise and just followed it along, letting it open up, as
if all by itself, until it naturally and easily presented your
characters in a convincing, engaging way. Your Frodo and Pippin are
characters to love. They are familiar, resembling canon enough for me to
warm to them at once, yet you emphasized characteristics slightly
differently from what I would, letting me see new aspects of them.

I have never seen Frodo presented as a born teacher as well as you have
in this story. Most Frodos who are depicted as teachers are also
pedantic, trotting out the moral lesson in any situation, a behaviour I
cant imagine in Frodo. The way you portrayed him with his little-boy
cousin made him seem like a natural  he just *is* suited as an
instructor of the young, even if his talents havent been tapped  until
now. Your Frodo isnt at all indulgent with Pippin; in fact, he is
notably fastidious in his habits, and requires that Pippin comply. Yet
he is respectful of his little cousin, takes the child and his efforts
seriously, is good-humoured, patient and kindly. How could Pippin not be
impressed (and smitten) by his much-older cousin?

Your Pippin is very well-drawn. Everyone seems to love reading of Pippin
as a charming scamp; me, too. But your story plausibly shows *why*
Pippins behaviour draws censure. You show how he gets into trouble, but
allow him to display the fineness of character and feeling that will
come out so strongly in LotR, especially in the third book, in Minas
Tirith. Too often have I read a Pippin who, while amusing and charming,
could not possibly turn out to be the young hobbit who offers his
service to Denethor, or befriends and comforts young Bergil on the walls
of Minas Tirith. In this storys characterization of little-boy Pippin,
I think you have done much to portray the sort of child who will become
the one we see in RotK.

Thanks so much for a Pippin who is the little terror we are so
familiar with (that is, always in trouble, somehow), yet who has the
high heart, the noble nature, and the sensitive spirit that is revealed
in LotR as the more profound side of his character.

-----------------------------------
Title: Frodo Lad: First Yule · Author: Mews1945 · Races: Hobbits:
Pre-Quest · ID: 830
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 16:36:00
What a lovely sojourn in the Shire. This is one of those fics that
allows the reader to enter into its world and just live there until it
is over. You establish your settings  their look and feel 
beautifully. Its wonderfully cozy and comfortable; the Shire is a safe
haven with kindly, wise parents and good-hearted relations. Even
Pimpernel, who makes her entrance as a future harridan, is given a
softer side when Frodo feels sorry for her, her belongings having been
spoilt by a wrongly-vengeful Pippin. I feel as though I am at those
scrumptious dinners, pulling my comfy chair up to those blazing fires,
and snuggling under those covers with the best cousin in the world.

Yes, best. If Frodos talent for teaching was emphasized in ["In
Frodos Hands"], Frodos kindness, protective instincts, and empathy are
shown off in this one  and, as in ["In Frodos Hands"], these are
feelings and instincts he didnt know he had until tapped. (Loved the
passage in which he felt Pippin cowering behind him, and was
unexpectedly moved by the small childs trembling.) Circumstances (they
share a room) and Frodos empathetic nature combine to make Frodo and
his lively, sensitive little cousin friends.

As in ["In Frodos Hands"], one of the things that most recommends this
story to me is the characterization of Pippin. He is so unlike the
cheeky, smirking, wise-cracking Pippins I read so often. I know hes
only a little boy in this fic, but I feel confident that this Pippin
could never grow into that sort of tween or adult. In that moment in the
Hobbiton section of your story, in which Pippin walks at Frodos side
and slips his little hand into Frodos, he is so very much without
guile, how could I not be enchanted?

Your ending image, with all the young hobbits in bed, listening to a
bedtime story, is wonderfully well-done. They are so cozy with the
younger two leaning on Frodo in the middle (how appropriate to his
future role!), with the wind howling outside, and the fire burning in
the grate (loved how the fire crackled and murmured in the grate,
the wind rattled the shutters, and the hobbit-children munched their
filched treats  a string of great verbs). It leaves the reader with a
terrific feeling of satisfaction. All is well with the world  or at
least the world of the Shire  for now.

-----------------------------------

Msg# 7442

Reviews for 15 Sept - Part 1 Posted by Rhapsody September 15, 2006 - 15:23:34 Topic ID# 7442
Title: The Importance of Being a Hobbit · Author: Lamiel · Races:
Hobbits: War of the Ring · ID: 961
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-12 16:37:51
I loved this tale when first I read it, and it only improves on a
re-reading. For one thing, it has some significant interaction between
Legolas and Merry, one on one. Not something I think I have ever seen
before, and it is beautifully and plausibly done. And the theme, that
"oridinary" is something good, something useful, is very much one of
JRRT's own themes. It's a lovely, lovely story!
-----------------------------------
Title: Cierre, Min Heorte (Turn, My Heart) · Author: SilverMoonLady ·
Races: Hobbits: Fixed-Length Ficlet series · ID: 108
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 16:41:02
This is one of the more unusual hobbit fics I have read, SilverMoonLady.
I didnt expect it to be involving at all, dramatically, initially
looking over my printed-out sheets. What is this? A series of drabbles
and poems? I was skeptical. But I wanted to read a story by you. This
was one of your nominations, so I waded into it. Waded was right; but
soon I was swept into a rushing river of hobbit history, which is what
the story became. It started out fast and narrow, a series of short but
vivid vignettes, then widened out and slowed down as it reached the
Third Age. I have read the HoME, the appendices, etc., but this story
really made dry (or humorous) notes about hobbit antecedents live for
me. Their trek west seemed as grave and adventurous and determined as
the Mormon exodus from New York State. ;)

And the poem! The poem you devised for the fic was just *super*. By the
time you had presented the third version of it, I was scrawling in the
margins of my print-out, This gives Bilbos walking songs SOOO much
history! And it did. The story made real the hobbits Tolkien had
developed by the time he had got to the end LotR. These were not the
cute little storybook characters who appeared in the opening of ["The
Hobbit"], but a real, historical people; an adult people. I thank you
for that. You gave me a picture of the hobbit-folks past, but you
didnt stop there; you stretched your history into the Fourth Age, into
the Shires future, where they still were singing a version of the same
handed-on song. I just loved that! The story of (musical) talent and the
associated heirlooms handed down through the generations, focusing in
the Brandybuck and Took families (especially the former), was set off
perfectly by this long overview.

This was a really an original story. I am guessing it arose out of a
chance image, or a snatch of a melody, or a bit of dialogue, but you
went ahead and started writing, taking some risks. I think it was worth it.

-----------------------------------
Title: Scattered Leaves · Author: Aratlithiel · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 110
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 16:48:02
Here is a really imaginatively-written story of Frodos second
anniversary illness from his wounding by the Witch Kings Morgul
blade. In the canon story, Sam finds his master in the study looking
very strange; very pale"; his eyes seem to see things far away. Sam
asks Frodo what the matter is; Frodo answers, I am wounded, wounded; it
will never really heal. The turn appears to pass and the next day Frodo
is quite himself. Afterwards, Sam remembers that it was October sixth,
the anniversary of Weathertop. With this paragraph from RotK as your
springboard, you take a leap and sink yourself into Frodos POV.

What might produce the behaviour Sam saw in his master, a person who
normally keeps all of his emotional cards so close to the vest? You have
imagined for Frodo visions that are deeply disturbing; waking
nightmares; but this is not implausible, considering the break Sam sees
in the mild manner that Frodo typically presents.

Your writing reflects the dark subject matter (literally black, since
Frodo [feels in colors, all of them black]): vivid, almost Gothic in
poetic excess, full of strong metaphors and contrasts. In the first full
paragraph you inundate the reader with a whole series of intense words
and images: a sea of desire/an ocean of despair overtakes and overwhelms
Frodo; his life lost, his soul wasted and dead; cold fingers (of the sea
of desire/ocean of despair) set fire to his mind/race through his veins
like molten iron/cleave to his heart [with the breach of forged
steel]; Frodo falls [drained and lifeless into the ruin of (his)
spirit]. Heavens! I thought, where will she go from here?

Ah, you were just warming up, preparing your readers for the ordeal to
come: "Hold onto your angst-seatbelts, folks, as we follow Frodo into
the crucible of guilty Ring-lust, where he [continues to pay the price
with the relentless rape of (his) soul]".

The most powerful section for me was the part in which Frodo (in the
sway of this terror and desire, which so distorts his thinking), sees
himself as a false front, cloaking his true repulsiveness from which his
friends would shrink from in horror if they only knew  marred, guilty,
and already rotting. He is convinced he has spoiled their happiness and
destroyed their lives, with (what he sees as) his poisoned love. The
Breughel-esque nightmare visions continue until Frodo is raving, the mad
man who haunts the streets in Tolkiens The Sea-bell. Finally, Sam
enters, [a brilliant nimbus of golden light]. Ah, relief at last, I
sigh. But no, its the most poignant moment in the story (although its
full effect is diminished by being too drawn out with too many similar
sentences):

[I look to speckled hazel and see the reflection of a friend
well-loved. Ah, yes  this picture of truth and good intentions is what
I was once. I will let him hold to it for a while longer. (&) I will not
shatter his illusions with the truth of myself. (&) I will not tell him
that I murdered the one he loves in cold blood (&) I will not tell him
that he holds to a corpse.]

It is here that you have Sam say, Whats the matter, Mr. Frodo?

You could have left the reader here, and had a very dramatic little
ending, but then you would have left your readers with a vanquished
Frodo. You did not do that, but went on to an even better ending.
The fit subsides, and Frodo recovers himself enough to demonstrate to
the reader that he will *not* lie down for this. Just as he stood up to
the Witch King at the ford, nearly fainting from the knife-wound, he
declares these demons will not have him. When they come back to haunt
him again, he says, he will be gone.

Bravo, Frodo!

-----------------------------------
Title: Merrys Present · Author: Mariole · Times: Late Third Age: The
Shire · ID: 639
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 16:55:26
This was a nicely extended character study of young-boy-Merry, Mariole.
Your depiction of him was sensitive and thoughtful. More than anything
else, what struck me about him in this story was his degree of courtesty
(especially in so small a child), his great warmth, and his serious
nature. Perhaps, too serious. Your Merry is as quick to ascribe blame to
himself as he is to ascribe finer feelings to others. Consistently, he
interprets what Frodo does in the most generous manner, while producing
apologies for his own thoughts, feelings, and actions, whether they call
for it or not.

But, luckily, you portray Frodo as a youth who is up to accepting the
responsibilties that come with such a childs friendship -- so caring,
so trusting and potentially woundable. In their finely-drawn exchanges,
each time Merry talks about one of Frodos behaviours  and rushes to
give it the most positive explanation -- Frodo sees it. He feels its
charm, but also the bit of a burden such a level of trust and high
opinion confers on him. Almost abashed by the spectacle of such
goodness, Frodo modulates what he does or says to accommodate it, as
shown in his most inspired accommodation, including Merry in the
commemoration of his parents death day. Your characterizations make me
feel confident that Frodo, so loving, so responsible, and so perceptive,
will be able to help Merry learn to accept truths as they are with
greater resiliance as he grows older.

Another note of appreciation: As ever, I very much appreciate the way
you depict the Shire as a good place to live and grow up; its families
mostly provided with kind, wise, caring parents, and its communities
with solid, decent folk. I have never found depictions of the Shire as a
dysfunctional place at all convincing, although such stories can make
for entertaining melodrama.

-----------------------------------
Title: Heralded By Storms · Author: SilverMoonLady · Genres: Romance:
Incomplete · ID: 128
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 17:01:20
When I saw this was a story about Esmeralda and Saradoc, I thought, Ho
hum. But, having heard so much praise about your work, I marked this
story off to read. Well! You really have a facility for presenting the
in-depth Shire, SilverMoonLady. I read and reviewed your Cierre, Min
Heorte yesterday, and this story, too, makes me feel as though I am in
good hands. You are a fic writer who seems to know, love, and respect
Tolkiens world. I really, really appreciate that.

As for the story itself, your opening, Part I, enthralled me at once,
although I wasnt always sure if Saradoc was speaking to someone else 
real or imagined  or to himself, when he heard the old hobbit
muttering to him. If he himself were not the old hobbit, who was?
Whoever it was, I was concerned and worried about Saradoc, clearly in
serious trouble. Then began a long flashback. In it, I was entertained
to settle back and be regaled with the remembered tale of Esmeralda and
Saradocs first meeting (quite exciting!), followed by a difficult
courtship, hampered by her father, the crotchety and quirky Aladgrim.
Esmeralda was quite the pistol, wasnt she? I kept thinking of
easy-going John Wayne attempting to court the beautiful but
blunt-spoken, fiery-tempered Maureen OHara in the old film, The Quiet
Man (a film which I enjoyed as a child on re-runs, and still enjoy).
Everything went along quite interestingly through Ch. 5, (when it was
revealed that Adalgrim had Alzheimer-like symptoms, but was, in his own
way, well-disposed towards Saradoc), and things looked rosey for
Esmeralda and Saradoc. And the chapter ended.

And the story ended! I looked for more, but there was no more. I cant
help feeling unsatisfied, Sil, by this ending. What happened to Saradoc,
lying out there? Did anyone happen along? Did he come to any sort of
reassessment of his life, lying there, injured, alone, possibly dying?

It was only when I realised there really was no more (I opened the link
twice) that I got out the family trees and saw that Saradoc died in
1432, the year you designated for your opening vignette. Obviously,
then, you meant this flashback to be the content of his last conscious
thoughts. But how many readers are going to remember that 1432 was
Saradocs death year? I didnt, and I consult the trees rather
frequently  but ONLY because I am writing fic myself. Therefore, I
think you should seriously consider writing a matching book-end sort of
finish for this fic to go with your opening  a little epilogue to
return the reader to 1432 -- so your readers can know that a) Saradoc
died, and b) what the whole intermediate section (from 1374) *meant* to
him, as a dying man.
-----------------------------------
Title: Counterpoint, Interfolio - Scherzo · Author: Daffodil Bolger ·
Races: Hobbits: Pre-Quest · ID: 617
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 17:03:59
I read this story as part of the full reading of Counterpoint this
past spring. I emailed you a comment then, what a fine little story this
was about young Pip, and what a good outside (literally!) glimpse it
gave of the relationship you created for Frodo and Merry. Re-reading it
for this competition, I was all the more impressed with this fic. This
is really an inspired bit of writing. Your picture of young Pippin is
one of the best character studies of young children Ive read. And the
child you describe, furthermore, is completely plausible as the sort of
child who might grow up to be the Pippin we see in LotR. Why are words
what they are? Why are some more attractive than others? Why do the
people and things I see look, sound, and act the way they do? How did
they get to be that way, and how will they affect me?

I always loved that scene in TTT (The Palantír) when older-tween
Pippin is riding before Gandalf on Shadowfax, being borne out of harms
way (having looked in the Seeing Stone  such a Pippin thing to do).
Gandalf says with benign exasperation, If the giving of information is
to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my
days in answering you . What more do you want to know? Pippin laughs,
The names of all the stars, and of all living things, and the whole
history of Middle-eath and Over-heaven and of the Sundering Seas & Of
course! What less? But I am not in a hurry tonight. At the moment I was
just wondering about the black shadow&. I think your story portrays
beautifully the child that the Pippin in that scene might have been.
Its not just a matter of being curious, but a profound desire to *know*.

I want to emphasize how much I LOVED the whole internal discourse Pippin
had with himself about ghosts, the dead, what it was like for ghosts,
what it would be like if he were dead, etc. It was funny, but, even
more, brilliant in how well it portrayed the workings of this childs
acute mind, enhanced by keen powers of observation and a good imagination.

Pippin in your story really comes through as a child who adores (in
fact, who cannot refrain from) speculating about things, turning
everything over; each experience, each *word*; to see every facet; to
know it. What a fine, natural scholar he would have made. Its not
everyone who has such a keen, pure thirst for knowledge. It is far more
than just, curiosity.
-----------------------------------
Title: Somewhere to Belong · Author: Lily · Races: Hobbits: Pre-Quest ·
ID: 942
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 17:07:43
This story has a really strong opening. The image of Frodo with his head
against the glass, looking out into the rainy night of a cold June sets
the mood well. From there, you went right into Frodo having to cope with
a suddenly very ill Pippin, left in his care. I felt as distressed as
the young heir of Bag End. Then the extreme illness of Pippin, along
with the childs natural openness, created the opportunity you needed
for Pippin to feel free to ask the questions that would allow Frodo (and
the reader) take a closer look at his feelings about the loss of his
parents and his happy life with them. I loved this beautifully observed
image of Frodo looking at the framed picture of his family&.

[Frodo drew a gentle finger across the features of Drogo and Primula
Baggins. He always did that when looking at their happy faces. Pippin
followed his example. They look awfully nice.]

But I thought the story lost a little of its intensity when you switched
to your flashback section, which seemed more sketchily indicated than
your beginning. For example, you wrote&.

[Yet it was only through Bilbo that Frodo had been able to make peace
with himself and there were no words that would ever describe how
grateful he was for that.]

I thought, Ah ha! Now we will have a juicy section showing how Bilbo
did this (helped Frodo make peace with his loss). But there was no such
section. Instead, you sent us back into the narrative present, Frodo
with Pippin curled up in his lap, and Frodo resolving that his true home
was now at Bag End with Bilbo. While that was a perfectly wise and just
observation on Frodos part, I would have liked to see more of how he
came to that conclusion. That is, I would like to have had more detail
on how Frodo came to terms with being an orphan, and how Bilbo helped
him make peace with losing his parents. Just my nosey-parker opinion, of
course.
-----------------------------------
Title: Breeze · Author: illyria-pffyffin · Races: Hobbits: War of the
Ring · ID: 974
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 17:11:11
Illyria, this is one of my favourite Frodo suffering in Mordor stories
Ive ever read, perhaps my favourite of all. When I read the summary,
[A fragment of Frodos journey in Mordor, seen from the POV of a
breeze,] I thought it was going to turn out to be something rather
light-weight. But, oh, no.

I have read another excellent Mordor story recently, written from the
POV of (what should be) another non-sentient being, a plant. By choosing
a breeze for your storyteller, you, too, are able to observe Frodo (and
Sam and Gollum) unawares, something accomplished by the other story.
However, because a breeze can move around, using this image has given
you a great deal of freedom. First of all, it gives the POV a lot of
narrative liberty in terms of space: your breeze can carry with it the
stirring, enlivening scent of its origins in the West: of purity and
hope and living things. At the same time, the breeze identifies its
experience with the hobbits: like them, it is a clean thing made dirty
and tainted by its sojourn in a dirty, tainted land. It *empathizes*
with the hobbits in their distress and travail.

But that was not all you did by choosing this (I think, brilliant)
conceit. Not only did it give you freedom in relation to space, but in
relation to time. The breeze could be right with the hobbits, in the
present, up close and personal, actually touching them, soothing them as
it passes over their sweaty faces and through their matted hair. But
*then* you let the breeze pull the perspective waaaay back; the breeze
has been everywhere and seen everything, you remind us. It danced around
Glorfindel when he fought the Balrog in the flight from burning
Gondolin, mourning for him when he fell; the breeze was with Turin as he
met their ends before Glaurung, wept for Niniel, full of horror and
pity. Reminded of these stories, the breeze gives the readers a sense of
the hobbits ordeal as set in the context of the *whole history of
Middle-earths travail*; evil against good, darkness against light. This
is what, I think, gave this story its poetry and its greatness. It could
have been just a moving little story about the hobbits suffering and
struggling in Mordor (and it IS moving; here I go, weeping again).
Instead its the centre jewel set within the crown of the whole epic.
For it never loses its heart, this story. The breeze never take us too
far back or away, but always returns to the close, intimate perspective
of the breeze, which seems to care for, even *love* the little ones over
and around whom it (she?) moves.

Just for the record, even if it doesnt count in the vote, I want to
quote the passage that most makes me weep, both from love for the hero
and admiration for the writing:

[But you, my dear one&. No trace of warlike blood runs in your veins.
Your life had been nothing but simple pleasures and contentment before;
you are hardly prepared for any kind of battle, least of all against the
embodiment of ultimate darkness. You look fragile and feeble in the vast
desolation of Mordor, yet you tread wearily on, steadily moving toward
the absolute doom, to challenge the supremem shadow at its very heart.
You, my loved one, a creature of gentle green hills, merry songs and
ample supper before dancing fire. How are you to surmount this ordeal?
What shall become of you in the end? Ash, dust, less than that? I
tremble in fear at the thought.]

-----------------------------------
Title: Sam's Voice · Author: illyria-pffyffin · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 964
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 17:12:08
This is an insightful, evocative study of how Sams voice  his talk,
his song, his mutterings, his cajolings and admonitions  all helped
call Frodo out of his bouts of ennui, nightmarish visions, depression,
and melancholy  in Bag End, as in Mordor. No wonder Frodo proposes that
Sam come and live with him. How Frodos heart must have sunk at first to
hear Sam hem and haw at his invitation  and how it must have soared to
hear why Sam was doing so: Sam and Rosie to marry, and both to live at
Bag End! *Two* dear ones talking, laughing, giggling, humming,
breathing, murmuring  *two* dear voices to help rescue him from demons
and despond.

Your fic helped expand my sense of what lay behind this section of the
canon tale for Frodo. Thank you!
-----------------------------------
Title: An Army of Tooks · Author: Mariole · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 831
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 17:16:50


Mariole, I read this story when you posted it along with its parallel
fanfic universe story, Devoted. Although I thought it excellent then,
I really did rush through it. I think I squeed a bit in a LJ few
comments, but that was all. Having read it again tonight for the MEFAs,
I copied and pasted a dozen memorable passages onto my workpage (and
that was restraining myself). For the sake of this competition, I will
just refer to them (however much I would like to post each extended
quotation), because they would take up too much space. From the first
paragraph, you had me as an eager listener  but I am used to that with
your fics. I have read many of them, as you are no doubt aware from my
comments; you are a mistress of the opening grab. I read on. More
great stuff. Ah, but maybe it would flag further on. But it never did! I
just added my insert page counter feature to my saved quotiations for
this fic, and it was up to page eight (!!).

Mariole, this fic was as canon as it could be  a *brilliant*
gap-filler, with on-target characterizations, super establishment of
place and milieu, and wonderful plotting. Really, I think this is the
best of all your fic I have ever read, and one of the best LotR fics I
have read, hobbits or orcs or Men or Elves or anything. Thank you so
much for having set it to paper (virtually speaking).

(I am saving a copy of this with all my "fave moments" saved, just for me.)
-----------------------------------
Title: Bad Step · Author: Mariole · Races: Hobbits: Incomplete · ID: 786
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 17:19:27
This was another super story, Mariole. I had seen this going up on your
LJ, but never started reading it for lack of time, seeing it had grown
to a multi-chapter extravaganza. I am so glad it was a MEFA nom, which
nudged me to go ahead and read it. Like An Army of Tooks, this is a
really fine example of what you do so well: deliver an involving,
accessible, reality-based drama (with wry comic touches), which draws
the reader in immediately and doesnt let go. It is not as though the
characterizations arent splendid, and plausible in canon, but your
talent for telling a tale  as such  is what makes your stories such a
pleasure to read. I joked in the comments for your fic (where you have
it posted on your LJ), just as the citizens of Hobbiton and Bywater kept
gathering to see what was going on with Sam and his rescuers, readers
kept pouring in to read this fic: the string of comments for each
chapter kept getting longer and longer. I work at a library; if this
were made into a mini-series, it would be one of the DVDs that would be
checked out *all* the time.

I could single out dozens of passages and moments I admired or which
moved me in ["Bad Step"], but Ill save that for LJ. What I want to
stress here is how much I appreciate and love the way you portray a
Shire that has so much the flavour of canon, its land, and, especially,
its people. With the invention of myriad small characters and the
fleshing out of named folk that appear in canon, you portray a Shire
full of hobbits who display the full array of minor vices and foibles
that Tolkien gave them, but also the ability to meet adversity well.
Just as you showed them pull together in An Army of Tooks, you show
them coming through here with the sort of courage, warmth, stamina, and
industry they will demonstrate in the Scouring and restoration of the Shire.

I so hope you can get back to this to finishing this, Mariole. But, even
if you are not able, thank heaven its pre-Quest: readers can take some
comfort knowing characters *will* survive what you put them through!
-----------------------------------
Title: Divinity · Author: illyria-pffyffin · Races: Hobbits · ID: 824
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 17:20:57
You are someone who can portray the Valar in a fanfic and do it well,
Illyria. Some writers make them too familiar, others too stiff and stagy
in their attempts to keep a sense of the Valars otherness and
elevated status in relation to the beings they helped create and/or
watch over. You let them be other -- high, lyrical-voiced, wise, and
beautiful -- but also accessible, emotionally; characters with whom we
can empathize.

What I most valued in this story was the way your enumeration of the
different Valar and their contributions towards the success of the Quest
helped lift up the fact that *so many* were supporting and furthering
the efforts of the Nine, eventually telescoping in on the mission of the
Ring-bearer and his faithful servant. How this might be experienced by
the Valar was made most poignant for me in Manwës section. Admonished
by Eru that there could be no direct intervention into Middle-earths
affairs, the anguished Vala watches helplessly, while the little ones
cross Gorgoroth and up the smoking mountain, where one of them will meet
his own stark doom in its fiery heart. Through Manwë's eyes and
sensibilities, you allow the reader to see their plight from this
larger, though no less heart-breaking perspective, too.
-----------------------------------
Title: Perspectives · Author: illyria-pffyffin · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Grey Havens · ID: 991
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 17:22:51
This story of Frodo conversing and consorting with various luminaries in
the Undying Lands was very original. The Finrod section, especially,
gave me an interesting look at how hearing about the darker parts of the
Elves history might have put Frodos sense of having failed in better
perspective. Perhaps reading of the truly dastardly things done by the
elder Children of Iluvatar  those whom Frodo had looked upon with only
awe and admiration  proved to be an eye-opener, if an unhappy one, at
first. But, by the end, you present a healed Frodo soaring along with
Earendil, only leaving the sky-mariner to dip down and float over
Middle-earth and take a look at things in the Shire, his invisible
presence wafting like a breeze. I kept picturing Sam or Rosie turning to
the other, saying, Did you smell that? Just now, when the wind lifted?
For a moment, I thought  I mean, I was reminded of  But, no, thats daft.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Bond Between Us · Author: Lily · Races: Hobbits · ID: 963
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 17:24:12
In this story, you show four very major events in Frodos life, all from
Pippins POV, in which Pippin, a very loving, deeply feeling sort of
person, is moved (extremely) by the spectacle of his older cousins
suffering. Further developed, each chapter could have been developed
into its own story. Yet you put them together into one work. Why?, I
wondered. It wasnt until the end that I felt I had got a feeling for
why you did it: you kept showing Pippin angsting over the sight of Frodo
in travail, not just for the angst of it (after all, gobs of Frodo
readers love that above everything), but so you could show Pippin having
a moment of revelation, a break-through, in which he finally was able to
work through his suffering on Frodos behalf and be happy for him (when
Frodo finally has the chance to go to a better life, sailing to the
Undying Lands).

Your last chapter, The Grey Havens  the cream of the story for me  was
very nicely-imagined. Pippins mind meld with Frodo did not detract; I
just chalked it off as a demonstration of the Tookish Sight. I
appreciated your last paragraph most of all, when Pippin, watching
Frodos farewell to Sam, finally, really and truly, feels better about
his cousins decision.

[(Pippin) heard the cries of the gulls and the murmur of the waves, and
smelled the salty smell fo the sea. A great calm took hold of his heart&.]

This whole passage had a very movie look to it, but I didnt mind. You
put it to good use. I have always wanted to get a clearer feel for the
way the three hobbits rode back in silence, according to the book; Merry
and Pippin only breaking into song when they had finally returned to
Hobbiton (what would that have been  at least a two-day journey? three?).

You have helped give greater richness to that passage in the canon text.
My only serious criticism is that some of your sentence structures and
English usage could use some additional beta work.
-----------------------------------
Title: Dear Diary · Author: Lily · Races: Hobbits: Pre-Quest · ID: 264
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 17:25:43
This story, [Dear Diary], I left for last. The reason was, well, I was
not looking forward to reading it. I read the opening blurb and thought,
"Oh, no. Another sentimental, drippy story about Primula with her
itsy-bisty, dear, darling little Frodo." But it wasn't! It turned out to
be a charming, moving, endearing piece of fic. It portrayed the mother
and father of Frodo Baggins in a way I really find plausible. I have
read many fics in which Primula is imagined as high-strung, difficult;
even mentally disturbed. Some of these stories have been very enjoyable
to read, but the Primulas they painted never seemed the sort of person
who would have been the real Frodo's mother.

You wrote in your opening note that you had never been pregnant. You
seemed worried that your fic, therefore, would not have the savour of
authenticity. You neednt have worried. Just as the writer of mystery
novels needn't have killed anyone to write a good thriller, you neednt
be a mother in real life. Yet you write with such sensitivity, such
understanding, such appreciation for what it is to carry, bear and care
for a little child, greatly beloved, it amazes me. How well you capture
so many moments, moments of great beauty, which are perfectly faithful
to reality.

I would lift up many, many moments for special mention; lovely, and
keenly observed, but I will only say that I deeply appreciate the way
you have portrayed Frodos parents. I thought I loved my child, but the
way you have drawn Primula and Drogo, I feel as though my love is a
little pedestrian by comparison. They really are wonderful, just the
sort of mother and father I would wish for the character I so love. The
feelings you portray, especially in Primula, and her fineness and
expressiveness writing about them, make me *ache* that Frodo was not
able to know her when he was older. Yet the love you depict is so
intense, so all-involving (in Primula), perhaps it was best she never
knew what befell her son. I think it would have hit her worse than his
actual death, seeing how his joy was taken away from him. If there is
one key thing I could single out in your characterization of Primula, it
would be her capacity for joy. For me, reading her diary was a journey
into joy  as it was for Frodo when he read it, I am sure. Reading it
would have given him pain, but the pain would have been sweet.
-----------------------------------
Title: Whispers of the Dragon · Author: Shirebound · Times: The Great
Years: The Fellowship · ID: 916
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 17:34:52
This is the third of your MEFA noms Ive read, and it only confirms that
you are an engaging storyteller, using a tale-like style very like that
of LotR, yet who is free to use her own imagination.

Your depiction of Frodo as intelligent, capable, and mentally sound is
very much appreciated. And he is so tirelessly thoughtful of others. In
quite a few places in the story he takes the time to let others know how
much he appreciates their efforts on his behalf, and how much they mean
to him. I am thinking particularly of the passage in Ch. 11, when Frodo
lets Gimli know how much he has valued Gimli as a friend and protector.
The interchange between them is convincing and heart-warming. (Actually,
Ch. 11 is probably my favourite the conversation between Frodo and
Aragorn is also excellent  all of it is super gap-filler fic.) Sam is
Sam-ish, and your Merry is caring and acute, able to improvise at need 
and with a wonderful head for maps! Your Pip is sweet-natured and
affectionate, providing the bulk of the lighter moments. He is a little
more childish than I imagine in a hobbit a few years shy of his coming
of age. In the sequences about lembas in Ch. 10, you show him maturing
through his changing attitude towards the delicious way bread he covets,
but its awfully like a primary school-childs transition from wolfing
down his treats at once, or keeping them to himself, to being able to
share them or delay gratification and save them for later. Elsewhere I
think you make perfect use of Pippins role as the most youthful member
of the Fellowship. The exchange quoted below is wonderful. You let
Pippin be droll (intentionally or not, I can't determine), but you let
him make a very astute observation at the same time:

[Pippin looked at Frodo. "Can you really feel the wraiths when they're
near?"

Frodo sighed. "Apparently so."

Pippin thought about that. "You're like Sting, then, aren't you? You can
sense the wraiths, and it can sense the Orcs." He grinned. "You're very
useful, cousin Frodo!" ]

Your Legolas is seamlessly canon. I feel as though you have got his
diction just right. Everything he says could have come right out of lost
drafts of LotR. I also very much like what you did with Gimli. You are
able to have a little with him, but never make him a laughing stock or
diminish him in any way. The way he warms to, even indulges the hobbits
is beautifully drawn, very true to life.

I most admire in this story the way you highlight Aragorns carefully
considered, shrewd, yet good-humoured leadership. I loved Mortensens
Aragorn, but he lacked ease in his role as King-to-be  well, it was
basic to the movie interpretation that Aragorn be conflicted about it!
Book Aragorn, I always found a little too high, too formal and reserved
to really love. But your Aragorn in this story seems to take the best of
both. He is always warm, concerned, and attentive, but also a true
leader: willingly, ably, naturally shouldering his responsibility, with
humility, grace, and skill. I thought you did very fine work giving me a
better look into what is going on internally for Boromir, and a very
real, very sympathetic Boromir he is.

My only reservation about your work in this fic is what you did with
Boromir in Ch. 12, when he tries to force Frodo to give him the Ring by
holding Sam at sword-edge. All the way through my reading, I had been
wondering, Why has she called this story, 'AU'? Except for the earlier
fire and boulder incidents (which *could* have been imagined into the
canon story as gap-filler moments), your tale was quite in sync with the
canon text. Therefore, it pulled me out of the story for a few
paragraphs when you had Boromir act out the desperate scenarios he had
been brooding over on the river. I think I was too unprepared for it 
not that he might have wished to do such a thing, but that he actually
did it, in what was otherwise a canon-based story.
-----------------------------------
Title: It's the Thought · Author: annmarwalk · Races: Men: Fixed-Length
Ficlets With Children · ID: 71
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 18:34:50

This story perplexed me at first, but, having read Heirlooms, as soon
as I saw that stuffed pony, I knew what was going on. Tears welled in my
eyes. Again, there is that theme of how actions taken in the moment, as
if by destiny, carry great weight in the future.

Those old toys of Theodreds were hushpuppies to the children who
turned out to be his cousins. But, like the legacy he would give them in
the form of his own life and example, the toys carried far more meaning
for their recipients than Theodred was conscious of.
-----------------------------------
Title: Inspirare · Author: Ariel · Races: Hobbits: Friendship · ID: 622
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 18:37:16
Of the stories of yours Ive read, Ariel, I think this is one of the
best youve written  perhaps the very best. The subject matter is
compelling, the characters beautifully and faithfully observed; the
writing is tight, lean, understated  and all the more effective because
of that.

I thought the idea of Rosie developing a nose during her pregnancy 
something women are known to do  and applying that heightened sense to
Frodos malaise was a brilliant conceit. It could have backfired, making
it seem as though Frodo actually stunk, but the impression I got was
that what Rosie smelled was actually something indefinable. [He
seemed perfectly healthy], Rosie noted & but hes always cold,
requiring a fire even through the summer. I understood the taint as
something she intuited, more than as a scent she smelled with her
physical nose.

Through Rosies normal-person, observant, concerned POV, you portrayed
Frodo vividly, and with insight. Well-mannered and courteous as ever, he
was, but increasingly reserved, as if consciously holding himself apart.
You use of him the words [unobtrusive]; [watchful]; he is
[present]; he [listens]. They all give a sense of him not just
moping around or off in a bad dream, but waiting, biding his time,
calculating the when of his leaving, not the whether. He is
withdrawing, she notes, already turning over his role as Master to her
and Sam (long before the journey to the Havens).

Even though I know it doesnt count in the vote, I want to lift up a
passage for special attention. Frodo has just spread out his baby things
before Rosie (in the beautifully, heart-breakingly modest and retiring
manner you have given him), telling her they are hers now, for the baby.
You make clear that Rosie understands what this means.

[She looked at him again and her lip trembled. Sam always said Mr. Frodo
was more than just a good master, that he was the best of hobbits and
had been honored by kings. She didnt know any kings. She didnt know
what it meant to be honored by one, but she wondered what could
compensate this dear, gentle soul for what he had lost. No mother or
father, wife or child nor even, it seemed, life left to live.]

Oh, heavens, what a paragraph! It shows just what I love about what you
have done in this tale. You could have said this in twice the space,
milking it for the tears, yet not squeeze one out of my eyes for all
your efforts. But, said so sparely, so concisely, with the plain
elegance of Rosies uneducated, but intelligent, clear-eyed observation,
it tells all there needs to be told, and tells it superbly. *weeps again*
-----------------------------------
Title: Hands of Healing · Author: Cuthalion · Genres: Romance: Rohan ·
ID: 102
Reviewer: Mechtild · 2006-08-12 18:43:16
This is another movie-based story in which you do some nice things with
foreshadowing. Éowyn tells this story, which gives a bit more of a feel
for interior life than watching the film. You begin by recalling the
film scene in which she meets Aragorn (Théodens exorcism and healing),
before bringing the reader into Éowyns present, the stable scene in
which Aragorn soothes the rearing, panicked horse of her cousin Théodred
 also the scene in which she falls in love with him.

I really didnt know what you were going to do for your ending, other
than follow the film scene to its conclusion, but you did something
different. I was very pleased by the way you let Aragorns healing of
the trapped, near-bolting horse; distressed but brave, beautiful and
nobly-bred; remind the reader of the healing to come. In the Houses of
Healing, distressed but brave, beautiful, nobly bred Éowyn will benefit
from his word and touch. The HOH healing scene doesnt appear in the
film (more is the pity), but every fan knows the book scene of Éowyns
healing, in which Aragorn demonstrates that the hands of the king are
the hands of a healer. Your foreshadowing of that, in the stable scene,
was moving and well-conceived.
-----------------------------------
Title: We Don't Say Goodbye · Author: iorhael · Genres: Drama: Featuring
Frodo or Sam · ID: 968
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-12 20:11:13
Aww, this was touching. I could really feel what Sam felt, and it seemed
really true to his character.
-----------------------------------
Title: Tales of Life · Author: Ainu Laire · Times: Multi-Age: Incomplete
· ID: 235
Reviewer: Nienor Niniel · 2006-08-12 21:39:21
As Aragorn is my second favourite character, I really enjoy Ainu Laire's
collection of Aragorn-centric one-shots. They feature scenes from the
different periods of his life, some of them humorous, others, like the
one featuring Halbarad's death, heart-wrenchingly sad. It is always a
surprise to see what the next part is about, as they come not in a
chronological order.

Some of the one-shots expand on canon events that we know about, but
have not seen in detail: like the giving of Roheryn from Arwen to
Aragorn. Others describe everyday events that canon does not show us:
typical events from the life of a Ranger, or Gilraen's introspection on
her son and husband.

Altogether, these vignettes show a deep understanding of canon and
Aragorn's character. I would not complain if they were longer - but this
is not a fault of the author, but my due to wish to read good Lord of
the Rings fics that center on the characters I like and expand on what
canon gives us without straying from it unnecessarily.
-----------------------------------
Title: Gandalf's No Good, Rotten, Really Bad Day · Author: Gandalfs
apprentice · Genres: Humor: Parody · ID: 146
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-12 21:45:02
Definitely cute. I hadn't thought of just how idiotic it was to leave
that note for anyone to find.
-----------------------------------
Title: Safe? · Author: Ainu Laire · Genres: Drama: Featuring Frodo or
Sam · ID: 271
Reviewer: Nienor Niniel · 2006-08-12 21:54:02
I am quite glad that I found this story through MEFAwards. It is
unusual, but very gripping.

The story begins with Frodo pondering a seemingly easy question: is he
safe? Can he even be safe with the Ring? Then we are taken to Aragorn,
who is experiencing a nightmare. I do not exaggerate when I say that
reading the description of it scared me quite a lot. I find it
interesting that Aragorn experiences blackness and a flood of water. The
similarities to Faramir's (and Tolkien's) returning nightmare probably
are intended.

It is notable that Lorien has a very different effect on both Frodo and
Aragorn, which may in Aragorn's case (as I guess) have to do with the
evil of the ring. So it is not surprising that the conclusion of the
story is that not even Lorien is a safe place anymore. But still the
story ends on a somewhat optimistic note, which we, who know the ending,
know to be true.

As mentioned before: a somewhat unusual fic that explores an aspect of
the story that I have rarely seen in writing and does so in a very
gripping way.
-----------------------------------
Title: My Eyes! My Eyes! · Author: Alassante · Genres: Humor:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 358
Reviewer: Nienor Niniel · 2006-08-12 21:56:46
A funny little scene that gives the ultimate explanation for Arwen's
choice of husband. Although I am not entirely sure that Tolkien would
approve of it...
-----------------------------------
Title: A Yule Visit · Author: SlightlyTookish · Races: Hobbits:
Friendship · ID: 981
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-12 22:15:26
This little snippet is set two years after Frodo returns from the Quest,
and one might expect Frodo to be in bad shape. He has the remnants of
the October illness, but besides that it's remarkably fluffy. It's nice
to imagine Frodo having some good memories from this time, though I
suspect in the end the contrast only caused him more pain. This author
catches the daily life as well as she ever does, and I really enjoyed
this little window into a lighthearted family Yule gathering.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7443

Reviews for 15 Sept - Part 2 Posted by Rhapsody September 15, 2006 - 15:31:10 Topic ID# 7443
Title: Desires Of The Hroa · Author: The Last Temptation of Homer ·
Genres: Drama: First Age Elves · ID: 623
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-12 22:18:01
Interesting interpretation and twisting of some lines from LACE. THings
are much simpler on paper than in real life!
-----------------------------------
Title: First Impressions · Author: Bodkin · Races: Men: Featuring
Aragorn · ID: 806
Reviewer: Nienor Niniel · 2006-08-12 23:23:06
An unusual take on Aragorn's return to his people, but perhaps closer to
the truth than what many of us would like to imagine it to be like. The
differences between Rivendell and the life of the Dunédain must be grave
indeed, and to know that a destiny forced him to leave his old,
comfortable life and go to a strange place must be difficult to accept
for such a young man.

I like the fact that Aragorn learns something during the fic, but yet
isn't suddenly content with his situation. We can guess that he has a
long, difficult way before him, which is just realistic.

I also like Halbarad having an appearance: I have a soft spot for him,
and it is good to see him play an important role for Aragorn.
-----------------------------------
Title: At Crickhollow · Author: Dreamflower · Races: Hobbits: Merry &
Pippin · ID: 241
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-13 02:24:39
Maybe, as a bachelor settling into my first place away from home, I have
a special affinity for what Merry and Pippin are experiencing here. But
it certainly did resonate! What you describe feels so perfectly natural.
It's lovely to imagine Merry and Pippin enjoying these simple pleasures.
Still yearning for adventure a bit, perhaps, but for the moment
definitely at peace.
-----------------------------------
Title: Breath of Winter · Author: Cuthalion · Genres: Drama: Featuring
Pippin or Merry · ID: 101
Reviewer: Nienor Niniel · 2006-08-13 12:06:40
I already enjoyed this story a lot when I first read it. It explores the
friendship between Frodo, Merry and Pippin by retelling a moment from
their youth and tying it in with a moment that could have happened on
the Ring Quest.

I like that the age difference between Merry and Pippin comes into play:
too often are those two seen as a pair of exchangable providers of comic
relief. And I also like that we get a feeling of what Frodo's
relationship to his younger cousins might have been. Sam is not left out
either, although he did not share the others' earlier adventure.

All in all, this is an enjoyable fic which explores the friendship
between the Hobbits and fits well into canon.
-----------------------------------
Title: Tolkien's Use of Expletives · Author: Dreamflower · Genres:
Non-Fiction · ID: 147
Reviewer: Nienor Niniel · 2006-08-13 12:36:25
This is quite useful writing resource. Fanon has developed a lot of
exclamations that have to canonical foundation whatsoever, and I am
always startled on seeing something as "Valar!", "Béma!", or worse, if
writing this here is allowed, "Eru's balls!"

The list also shows clearly that such expressions are more likely to be
used by hobbits than by any other species. In fact, we see no mention
that any Man ever uses any except "Alas!" In fanfic, the picture often
is quite different.

It is good that Dreamflower has undertaken the work of compiling this
list of Middle-earth swearwords. I, for one, will make use of it if I
should ever write a story in which the character have to express their
feelings in a somewhat stronger manner than usual. Many of the Hobbit
exclamations are fairly unusual in today's speech, so it is good to have
them all together in a handy list.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Fords of Isen · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Adventure · ID: 41
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2006-08-13 13:33:55
A great ghost story! I've always liked the idea that Boromir and
Theodred were good friends-it makes sense, given that they were both
warriors, heirs of their respective countries and of an age to each
other. A very tragic symmetry, that Rohan and Gondor both lost their
heirs on the same day. It's nice to think that Boromir would be able to
come once more and aid his old friend in battle. The business with his
continual dripping of water and the oyster shells growing on his shield
was sort of gruesomely funny.
-----------------------------------
Title: Little Lad Lost · Author: Citrine · Races: Hobbits: Children ·
ID: 895
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-13 14:02:32
Poor Lobelia. Her actions were clearly wrong, but at the time I can see
her motivations. Good for Frodo being able to use her need for
respectability to right things in the end, though.
-----------------------------------
Title: Hewing Naught But Wood · Author: Thundera Tiger · Genres: Humor:
Parody · ID: 825
Reviewer: Madeleine · 2006-08-13 18:11:45
Reading this baffling piece of work I could imagine myself put into
Éomers position: a slight sense of unreality, wishing to be elsewhere
but not daring to leave them on their own, fearing what they would be
able to do if they were left without proper supervision.

But the most remarkable about this story: as hilarious as the argument
between Gimli, Legolas and  surprisingly  Aragorn is, Thundera Tiger
never made fools of the characters.

This is one of the stories one enjoys reading again once in a while.

-----------------------------------
Title: The Secret of Dog Lake · Author: Karenator · Races: Elves · ID: 819
Reviewer: LydiaB · 2006-08-13 20:21:14
I've often thought about writing a ghost story set in Tolkien's world,
so your summary particularly caught my eye, and I'm very glad it did.
This story was so full of charm. It's lovely to see Haldir's softer
side. Speaking as someone who gets a bit fed up of him being portrayed
as arrogant, I was really impressed with how you brought out his humor
and affability. The ghost story was well-constructed, and I found myself
getting the shivers there at the end. I think I was as sucked into it
and as keen in my attention as the twins!
-----------------------------------
Title: Strength of a River · Author: Acacea · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 513
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-13 23:27:19
I know a boy who lost his mother at about the same age Faramir lost his,
so fics like these where he does have some memories of Finduilas have a
very special place in my heart. And it's true, it's amazing the
capability a young child has to retain memories. I think Faramir would
have remembered some things beven if he didn't realize he knew them
until something in later life brought them up.

But this story is much more than a sappy memorial to Finduilas. It is a
tale of Faramir's hidden strength. He really is likie a river: quiet,
persistent, but with the ability to crumble mountains given the time.
And the use of that memory to give him strength at a critical canonical
moment is what really tied this piece together, at least for me.
-----------------------------------
Title: Imrahil's Daughter · Author: Madeleine · Genres: Romance:
Lothíriel & Éomer · ID: 183
Reviewer: julia · 2006-08-14 00:42:20
If they had a category for the story with "The Hottest Kiss in Middle
Earth" this one would win. I think it's one of the best, most sensual
without being icky, kissing scenes I have read in all of fanfic. And the
rest of the story is just as good. I like the way you write Eomer and
Lothiriel, both together and apart, and you also do a good job with
establishing the characters of Lothi's brothers.
-----------------------------------
Title: Midwinter Rites · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Aragorn
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 868
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-14 04:00:57
This is simply lovely. All the different holiday festivities that
Aragorn would have experienced. I loved the details you worked in,
especially in the snippet about Rohan. As an unmarried captain of
obviously noble birth (how could it not be obvious when you're fostered
by elves), he really would have to be careful not to encourage any of
the daughters to think he might marry them. And the idea of a special
private drink in Harad seemed particularly symbolic in desert Harad. But
the one that *really* got me was the very un-kingly image of Aragorn
hurling snowballs. In the North, no less. I usually think of them in
Gondor, but that image of father and son in Arnor was perfect.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Tide · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Drama: Gondor Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 77
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-14 04:04:08
I can feel Imrahil's anger throughout here. You did a very good job of
capturing not only the emotion but the reason behind the emotion, not
easy to do in such a short form. I especially liked youruse of the
phrase ["cold ivory mask"].
-----------------------------------
Title: With Bow and Blade · Author: Lady Aranel · Races: Elves:
Fixed-Length Ficlet Featuring Legolas or Thranduil · ID: 282
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-14 08:21:29
A skillful vignette blending Legolas and Thranduil's viewpoints of
battles fought on the same day in different places, linked by a moment
of vision.

I particularly liked Legolas' sudden comprehension of the fatigue that
he has never before felt.


-----------------------------------
Title: In Stitches · Author: Pearl Took · Races: Hobbits: Children · ID: 132
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-14 11:25:22
I do like the image of a bored Pippin learning to knit. And that
knitting is a secret vice of assorted males of the Shire. (They probably
gather on dark nights in hidden holes to talk about cable stitch and
Fair Isle. I can just imagine them sneaking out, claiming to be off to
the Green Dragon, when really they're all excited about being introduced
to the skills needed to knit Guernseys.)

And, really, I can't think of a better occupation for Pippin than
knitting. Keeps him in one place while his hands are busy. And he can
make things for his friends and family. And it gives himself something
to do when he is confined to his bed - which must be something for which
his mother can be really thankful. A lovely story.

-----------------------------------
Title: Revenge is a dish best served cold · Author: Lialathuveril ·
Genres: Humor · ID: 297
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-14 11:30:07
I do love the Princes of Dol Amroth! And, as goes without saying, the
King of Rohan. Amrothos / Eomer, Eomer / Amrothos. What potential for
brother-in-law rivalries and teasing! Lothiriel might end up wondering
what she has started in allowing these two to get to know each other.

Eomer - forcing himself to chew on octopus, because he was in love with
Lothiriel and wanted to impress her family was just so likely! As was
Eomer remembering the torture and getting his own back. I think Eomer
might have won the encounter - sheep's eyes and a vile hangover must
have made it hard for Amrothos to keep the contents of his stomach
inside him.

I wonder what Amrothos will do in return. Somehow, I can't see him just
leaving it. I think you have set up a relationship with tremendous
potential for ever-greater provocation. Very entertaining!
-----------------------------------
Title: A Humble Gift · Author: GamgeeFest · Genres: Drama: Featuring
Pippin or Merry · ID: 722
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-14 11:32:40
What a way for an heirloom to enter a family.

Faramir is lovely - thoughtful, intelligent, considerate - all the
characteristics that shine out of him as far as I am concerned. Pippin
is shrewd and loving and a lot more mature than he often appears! And I
just love the way they interact. And the server, too. Apparently
concentrating on her task, whilst at the same time she is picking up
every word and nuance of behaviour from the other two in the room.

Pippin is very good at evading topics he doesn't want to elaborate - but
he does it so well that only a diplomat of Faramir's skill would notice.

And the gift is lovely. The story is a delight.

-----------------------------------
Title: To Tell a Tale · Author: Anso the
Hobbit/Beruthiel/Bodkin/Dreamflower/Elendiari22/Jay of
Lasgalen/Lindelea/Pearl Took/pipkinsweetgrass/Rabidsamfan/Shirebound
CoAuthors · Races: Cross-Cultural: Incomplete · ID: 973
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-14 13:10:40
An entertaining set of vignettes! Even Pippin will bow to the power of a
good story, and as the other characters--members of the Fellowship or
else more recent friends made in Minas Tirith--go in and out of the
sickroom, they never fail to come bearing tales, or else to listen when
one's told. I liked that inversion with Faramir--one would expect him to
be the one telling the story, given his artistic predilections and
general captainly instincts when it comes to caring for his men, but
then, too, he knows how to listen very well.

Bergil's tale--or rather, the [lead] had me laughing. Huzzah of tales of
transvestite valor--one might almost think that superstition or fortune
was getting its own back with Aragorn for being a bit too clever. Nice
transposition of the movie!Merry-and-Pippin's firework story to Bilbo
and Adelgrim, and I loved Ioreth's constant presence and designation of
her charges as 'lambs' (despite all evidence to the contrary). Fitting
that she should have the last word (thus far), where we find that habit
goes back a long way, and that she should bring Boromir in by proxy to
bring Pippin some cheer. Nice to see, too, that Boromir had other
talents, also artistic, that simply went unknown once his war-years began.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Taste of Diplomacy · Author: Thevina Finduilas · Races:
Cross-Cultural · ID: 939
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-14 13:11:08
An interesting interlude in the life of a young and precocious, if still
awkward, Denethor. His question about Morwen's choice of Thengel, [But
why him...?], suggests either a child's disinterest in the whole matter
of love or else a prefiguration of adult disaffection that would
eventually take its toll. His sense of always managing to do something
not quite right and being frustrated--by errant wisps of hair, by being
always worried about being late, by making the wrong impression--seemed
appropriate for a youth of his station, and it was satisfying to see him
succeed in some measure, after a few mistakes, with the Dwarf Favik. A
little diplomatic success does a lot to bolster his confidence.
-----------------------------------
Title: Pride Goeth... · Author: Marigold · Races: Cross-Cultural · ID: 936
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-14 13:11:34
Heh heh, nice turn about! The starting out of the Fellowship has a
couple of hasty actions--oaths and announcements are both warned
against. But at least Gimli's swearing, whether or not it broke him in
the end, wouldn't give away their location. Boromir's horn call is
another story, and the hobbits rightly pick up on the incongruity of the
need for secrecy and that sound off. Who knows who heard it? Very well
played set of misperceptions, Marigold.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Choices of Spirits · Author: Dawn Felagund · Races:
Cross-Cultural · ID: 927
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-14 13:12:05
The difficulties of Elf-Man unions are illustrated in this fic, and it's
almost banal in some sense--Caranthir just keeps assuming that there's
still time. When Haleth dies, it's a shock--what happened to tomorrow?
Interesting solution to the separate fates problem.
-----------------------------------
Title: Stewardship · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 920
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-14 13:12:19
Very nice portrait of an afternoon in Emyn Arnen. Gandalf is always a
difficult character to write, but this short drabble picks up on one of
my favorite Gandalf lines and shows the passing of his work to other
worthy hands.
-----------------------------------
Title: Such loveliness in living thing · Author: Tanaqui · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 904
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-14 13:12:37
*snork!* Great last line, Tanaqui. I like the mystery that Arwen
presents, and Bilbo's description of the testimony of the twins about
their sister. His reading of Aragorn's words--a besotted lover who will
always of course see more virtues in his beloved than actually
exist--was a perfect set up for the finale.
-----------------------------------
Title: Ship and Shore · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 867
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-14 13:12:50
These were each quite lovely, and I particularly liked the one from the
perspective of one of the Forodrim--an ambivalent legacy, that meeting
with Arvedui and his people. The Teleri artist's appreciation of the
tragic and bloody irony of the Noldor who followed Fëanor is well drawn.
I wasn't quite sure I could identify the speaker in [Foresight], but the
Man-Elf relationship in the final drabble was very convincing.
-----------------------------------
Title: Night Rain · Author: permilea · Races: Cross-Cultural · ID: 792
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-14 13:13:05
This evokes that line in ROTK, where Sam wishes for nothing more than
sunlight and clean water. Frodo's memory, consumed by the Ring, seems
slow to return, but it fits nicely that it should be recalled when the
rain finally comes. Good evocation of atmosphere.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7444

Reviews for 16 Sept - Part 1 Posted by Rhapsody September 16, 2006 - 15:03:19 Topic ID# 7444
Title: Alas, for the dying of the trees · Author: Gandalfs apprentice ·
Races: Cross-Cultural: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 788
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-14 13:13:26
[Not mine the words]--I can't be fair, this was written for my birthday.
But it's just so perfectly dwarven--and so perfectly crotchety and
irreverent, as old age should be in the presence of youthful melancholy!
I can well imagine a dwarf of Gimli's venerable age, and burdened with
all the pains of old age, would get a tad annoyed with all the elven
mournfulness over the passing of time. Like he needs a reminder from
someone who's never going to have that visceral experience of time
passing that is the fate of all mortals!

Thank you, Gandalf's Appentice!
-----------------------------------
Title: A Spring Day At Cormallen · Author: Marigold · Races:
Cross-Cultural · ID: 746
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-14 13:13:41
Nice portrait of the hobbits on the mend--resilient and irrepressible,
to the consternation of many healers, Aragorn included to a degree,
though at least he knew enough about hobbits not to give Pippin up for
dead when Gimli found him.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Memorial in Four Parts · Author: Illwynd · Races:
Cross-Cultural · ID: 702
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-14 13:13:57
Very well done. It's interesting to me that although Faramir's
remembrance is undoubtedly the longest, and appropriately opens the
story, it's not until the final and shortest memorial that we get a
first-person perspective. Interesting choice.

The other mourners each have a moment when they *almost* connect with
the departed Boromir, or where they do, in some sense, connect--in the
fog in Henneth Annun, Faramir's memories come so close to being alive
that he can almost hear Boromir; Pippin and Merry find the anonymous
voice that warned them of danger so similar to Boromir's voice they
can't shake the sense that it in some way belongs to him; Frodo's dream
is reminiscent of dreams others have had where they are convinced their
loved ones came and made peace with them beyond the grave--Aragorn
doesn't have that, yet his is the most immediate voice. In some way, he
encompasses the other perspectives, but because it seems Boromir is
clearest to him through the memories of others. Quite interesting.
-----------------------------------
Title: Rest and Recreation · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races:
Cross-Cultural · ID: 700
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-14 13:14:17
Ooh, called it on the first pass--had to be Glorfindel! This was
excellent--I loved Boromir's longing to be about useful work, or at
least to keep up his form. To be stymied by refusals from Elves who
wouldn't even try him must've been utterly galling. That he should then,
by sheer ignorance, end up challenging Glorfindel and giving him more
than just an afternoon's work-out was fabulous. Go Boromir! Show those
elves the folly of judging books by covers, to slip into Farmir's idiom
for a moment! Boromir might lack Faramir's patience in the library, but
not when it comes to sword-play, and his willingness to get soundly
beaten and bounce back again and again, showing improvement, is a
patience of its own and appropriate to him. Well done!
-----------------------------------
Title: Sixteen Singing Eagles · Author: Isabeau of Greenlea · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 678
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-14 13:14:39
I love how aquiline the eagles are! Their antics and dignity are
wonderful, as is the rather uncomfortable decision to display their
singing voices... or lack thereof. I can certainly imagine the
screeching. Hethlin's reciprocation, and the eagles' reaction, were a
perfect ending to this humorous little cross-cultural exchange.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Beauty of Memory · Author: pipkinsweetgrass · Races:
Cross-Cultural · ID: 652
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-14 13:14:56
Sweet memorial to Boromir in Pippin.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Age of Men · Author: Marta · Races: Cross-Cultural · ID: 401
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-14 13:15:09
An appropriately long view of the newly budding Fourth Age from
Treebeard. Good use of the song about the Entwives, and of
movie!Galadriel's opening lines. I wonder, though, was Treebeard
conscious of Melkor's fall? Would he know Morgoth's original name since
the Elves pretty much had a ban on speaking it?
-----------------------------------
Title: Teatime in Rivendell · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 373
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-14 13:15:23
*snork!* Oh that's priceless! Nice use of that scene in [The Hobbit]--I
hadn't thought to put that into a hobbit's perspective like that, or
take it into account when Bilbo and Legolas should first meet. Well done!
-----------------------------------
Title: Horse Thief · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Races: Cross-Cultural
· ID: 365
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-14 13:15:43
Cute brotherly interaction--I like the fact that Gilraen's wrath is
apparently so formidable as to cow even a half-elven princeling. Estel's
'punishment' being nothing of the sort is an amusing twist, and I like
the combination of stubbornness but also a pretty quick turn around in
temprament. Nice pre-figuring of the adult Aragorn, who likes things on
his terms, but who can roll with the punches and also the apologies when
necessary.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Hobbit and the Man: "All That Is Gold Does Not Glitter" ·
Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Races: Cross-Cultural · ID: 351
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-14 13:15:58
Awww! I liked this first meeting of Aragorn and Bilbo, from a hobbit's
perspective. But Bilbo being an unusual hobbit, he has an eye for
interestsing stories. I loved that last line! Excellent turn about, and
it makes perfect sense of the context for that poem.
-----------------------------------
Title: Hair · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 321
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-14 13:16:12
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it is always up for
cross-cultural interrogation. Poor Legolas, accustomed to hairless
elves, save the stuff on the top of the head, is certainly getting a
lesson in what counts as an 'appropriate' part of the body for hair to
grow upon!
-----------------------------------
Title: A Matter of Honor · Author: meckinock · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Incomplete · ID: 208
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-14 13:16:30
I've not managed to read [In the Hands of the Enemy], although every so
often, something will prompt me to remind myself that I should read it.
However, I did make a point of putting [A Matter of Honor] on my MEFA
reviewing list, and I'm not sorry I did.

No doubt, I would be able to appreciate it better if I had the whole
backstory to inform my impressions, but it's not necessary. This is a
serial piece, and what you need from the previous story is not so much
the events as the attitudes of the characters towards each other--and
that Meckinock provides, and brilliantly.

As a Dunedain fancier, I appreciate the way the Elf-Mankind division is
put here--this is not a piece that only half-heartedly defends a mortal
perspective as over against the 'higher' or more comfortable elven one.
It is clearly written from a mortal perspective, and a perspective that
is tired of making apologies for itself before an immortal one, and
which can point out the shortcomings of the current elven situation. At
the same time, certain lacks in mortal life in the North are made to
show, too, so it's not a one-sided portrait.

Halbarad's voice and personality come through beautifully, as does the
peril and hardship of a Ranger's life. Aragorn, too, sounds like
himself, though in the mode of an invalid and a man who's suffering from
father-issues. I'm very intrigued to see how the plot twists from here
on out, now that he and Halbarad have gone looking for Arathorn's
bastard son--a son older than Aragorn, and so quite possibly, depending
on what sorts of arrangements were in place, Isildur's Heir.

Halbarad isn't enthused with this idea, nor does he think an
illegitimate line would be accepted, especially if it's a line that goes
through a Dunlending mother. But he's willing to see the thing through
for Aragorn's sake, even if it does look as though this quest has landed
them in quite a lot of trouble.

I look forward to updates on this story, and recommend it to anyone who
enjoys stories about the Northern Dunedain. Well done, Meckinock!
-----------------------------------
Title: The Tenth Walker · Author: Lindelea · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Incomplete · ID: 198
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-14 13:16:51
I've seen a few Bill the Pony stories, but usually they are vignettes
only. Trying to chart the course from Bree to Imladris through his eyes
makes for a much more satisfying read, for it allows more of his
personality to come out.

Bill's voice is distinct, and his concerns are a pony's concerns. Not
for him to worry about darkness gathering, he has to contend with the
scars on hide and heart that Bill Ferny, [my old misery] as Bill thinks
of him, left on him. His initial mistrust of Aragorn, due to his being
of the same kind as Bill Ferny, seems right, as does the gradual easing
of tension as Bill comes to know the travelers on the road.

His affection for Sam is obvious, and the hobbits' efforts to aid him,
as well as his observations of them, and eventually of Aragorn as well,
are well portrayed. Lindelea needs only a few short paraphraphs to
sketch the interaction, and keeps us moving at a pony's pace through the
story. The result is a quick, but enjoyable read. Well done!
-----------------------------------
Title: The River · Author: Indigo Bunting · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Incomplete · ID: 51
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-14 13:17:05
A good Fellowship fic is a rare treasure, and this is a very good
Fellowship fic. Some canon details are altered, and in fact the river
itself is totally non-canonical, but I stopped caring about these things
after about the first paragraph or two.

Indigo Bunting seems bent on giving each character a significant chunk
of a chapter in which to be our eyes and ears (and sometimes noses). Her
characterizations are convincing--I can believe Merry might think as he
does, that Boromir would think as he does, Sam and Legolas are
masterfully drawn, and for those desperately wishing Gimli would get
some credit, do read this fic. Whether seen through the eyes of the
narrating character or from the inside of their heads, the characters
act and feel and think convincingly.

The winter flood that sweeps two members of the Fellowship away to
struggle on their own to survive is a device I've seen used before and
in this very time frame, but it is absolutely different as a story. The
fear and worry of the remaining members as they seek their missing
companions and discover they're not the only ones on the look-out for a
hobbit and a few comrades, is well portrayed, and although we know what
has to happen so long as this story remains outside of a full blow AU,
still, the suspense remains. That takes talent to pull off, and Indigo
Bunting does it with style.

Hopefully, this story will be completed soon, and I shall be interested
to learn what effect this might have on the Fellowship as they continue
on their canonically-mandated path. Excellent tale, if very intense at
key points--job well done, Indigo Bunting!
-----------------------------------
Title: On Being the Youngest · Author: Bodkin · Races: Cross-Cultural ·
ID: 45
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-14 13:17:20
Pippin is young enough that it's easy to find stories that use this
element to get everyone in more trouble than one finds easy to believe
is possible. It's good to see that aspect of his character put to a use
that makes it an *advantage*, and that shows that he does sometimes
think fairly well.

That the youngest of those who will eventually go on a quest should
bring some comfort and optimism about the benefits of use to Legolas, of
all people, is ironic, but Pippin's confidence is so unprepossessing and
straightforward, it's clear that it's genuine. Legolas' youth is also
referenced convincingly to draw the two into conversation over a common
topic. Clearly, there's a lot to be said for the hobbity habit of being
more than appearance might make give out.

Very nicely done!
-----------------------------------
Title: Nothing but Dreams · Author: Unsung Heroine · Genres: Drama:
First Age Elves · ID: 659
Reviewer: Vana Tuivana · 2006-08-14 13:36:08
The Unsung Heroine has written more about Caranthir and Haleth than
anyone else I know, but she somehow manages to capture a fresh aspect or
perspective on their relationship with each new story. 'Nothing but
Dreams' is simultaneously a ghost story, a love story, and an amazing
piece of prose that's filled with poetic emotions.

The story follows Caranthir, the fourth son of Feanor, in his descent
into something like madness after the defeat of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad.
Not only has he lost his beloved home in Thargelion and his comfortable
way of life there, but he has also lost the one woman he's ever loved:
Haleth of the Haladin.

The emotions running through this piece -- loss, fear, anger, betrayal
-- are almost too real for comfort, especially when Caranthir's grief
over losing his lover and his home collides with the idea that he has
betrayed his kin by recruiting Ulfang the Black to the side of the
Noldor in the battle, who later proved to be the traitor who led to
their defeat. Speaking to one of his brothers (and part of the genius in
this story is that the only named characters are Caranthir and Haleth --
we don't know which brother comes to bring him comfort, which somehow
makes the story more personal for the reader), Caranthir releases some
of those feelings:

["She was a girl," I cry, "for Ilúvatars sake, only a girl! What harm
could she have done? You had a thousand wise counsels for me, a thousand
good reasons why I should leave her alone. Why did you not use a single
one of them to warn me of him? Just a single one! Why did no one warn me?"

I know I am probably not making any sense now. It just keeps coming
together all at once; the love I had for Haleth, the betrayal of
Ulfangs people, my inability to let the past be past and move on, and
it is pushing out of me with such a force that it is making me breathless.]

Added to this emotional stew is Caranthir's fear that he is going mad,
because the ghost of his lover Haleth keeps visiting him, but no one
else ever sees her. He pushes her away out of a desire to retain his
sanity, but at the same time he's desperate for her to be there:

["Leave me," I forced out hoarsely. "You are not there. I do not want to
see you. I am not going mad." But she did not move the least bit and
only when I awoke the next morning she was gone.

Her visits became a strange routine within a world tumbling down into
chaos and the few times when night had fallen, and the rain beat down,
and the fire burnt low, and yet she still had not appeared, I found
myself eagerly listening to my own anxious breathing, longingly waiting
for her slender form to emerge from the shadows.

People soon started whispering among themselves that I was losing my
mind, seeing things that were not there, but she sat beside me during
the bad nights when I could find no sleep and as much as reason screamed
against it, I desperately wanted her to be real.]

In the end, it is Haleth who helps Caranthir to realize that he must
move on with his life and not dwell on the tragedies in his past. And
yet it is the ghost of Haleth (is she there or not? We never really
know...) who clings to Caranthir, reminding him of the past.

All in all, this is a haunting fic with excruciating, grinding emotion
that brings me back time and again to read it and find something new in
the story each time. Besides being a great work of narrative fiction, it
has the feeling of poetry in unstoppable prose-like motion, and a great
depth of feeling which actually brought tears to my eyes the first time
I read it. Fantastic writing.
-----------------------------------
Title: Man of Gondor · Author: LittleHobbitGal · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Incomplete · ID: 682
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-14 13:39:19
It's an interesting attempt to reintroduce Boromir to the drama of his
family, after his death on Parth Galen. The idea that Boromir is privy
now to his brother's experiences, remembered in his own fever dreams and
transformed into nightmares of a Dark Lord who might have been had
things gone otherwise in Ithilien, is intriguing. Faramir's nightmare
temptation and the twisting that the Ring exercises on moments of
dream-lucidity are well portrayed. Sometimes it's a little hard to
distinguish Boromir's thoughts from Faramir's, but otherwise, an
enjoyable quasi-redemption story.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Heads of One Thousand Goblins: A Love Story · Author:
SickleYield · Races: Dwarves · ID: 644
Reviewer: Vana Tuivana · 2006-08-14 14:08:40
This is one of the most heartfelt and touching romances I've read in
this fandom. I love the characterizations of the Dwarves, particularly
the new look at Gimli after the Ring War is over, as a sort of oddball
figure who keeps to himself because the other Dwarves could never
understand all that he's done in his life. Very unique, fresh, and
hilarious at times. The ending is sweet, but not saccharine, and keeps
the light humor of the rest of the piece.

"The Heads of One Thousand Goblins" is one of my favorite LoTR stories,
and I keep coming back to it when I want something familiar to read. It
satisfies the craving for a fresh, original, creative story with some
unexpected romance. Wonderful writing.
-----------------------------------
Title: Thranduil's begetting day · Author: daw the minstrel · Genres:
Humor · ID: 287
Reviewer: Perelleth · 2006-08-14 14:21:07
Any of Daw's stories is a jewel, but this one is a particularly amusing
commedy of sorts, with people getting into and out of scene, all full of
good intentions and marked for disaster. A light tale of a highly
amusing chaos, with plenty of screen time for her delightful OCs.

In the first part, the setting is displayed and we get to know what it
is on store for each of the characters. Thranduil's efficient daughter
-in-law is in charge of the operations, and for once all the males in
the household are supposed to follow her well-laid plans. Thranduil is
most comfortable in his appointed role, the easiest one, no doubt, and
he greets his guests -be it family or human allies- regally. Legolas
spends a good part of the story fighting an evil plot concocted by a
cunning aunt playing match-maker. Eilian is mistaken for a stable hand
and manages to find advantage in it, and Sinnarn, Thranduil's
adventurous grandson, is busy enjoying himself and enlisting his friends
to help him unearth a perfect gift for his beloved grandfather.

Precisely the search for this gift, which is basically the rest of the
story, proves disastrous for some of the more serious, effcient and
composed elves in Thranduil´s staff, and the great fun of seeing them
running madly into the woods is simply indescribable.

The radical, and perfectly captured difference between Men and Elves
adds up to the mayhem, as the human guests try in vain to make sense
-according to their understanding- of the elves' more than strange
behaviour. This ocnfusion offers added amusement to the already mad
story, and it all ends up with Alfirin battling a monstrous headache and
all of us readers claiming to know how Beliond got back at all of them.

Hilarious,delightful commedy. Thranduil never had such an entertaining.
begetting day!
-----------------------------------
Title: Discretion · Author: Bodkin · Genres: Humor · ID: 286
Reviewer: Perelleth · 2006-08-14 14:23:38
Life in the Blessed Realm -well into the Fourth Age and beyond- is never
boring. Not with Elladan, Elrohir and Legolas trying to adjust to their
peaceful surroundings and taking advantage of general lightness. But
jokes are given and taken in a delightful story in which we get to see
Celeborn, Galadriel, Celebrían, Elrond, Glorfindel, take their revenge
at the younger three elves thanks to a certain "misunderstanding" that
took place back in the Third Age.The glimpses of that period -with
Arwen. Aragorn, Gimli making part of the conspiration- are funny,
bittersweet pieces of flashback, as some of the main characters recall
the origins of a joke that seemed to be lost in time and that
unexpectedly backfires against all of them in the Blessed Realm...

Writing fun, agile, witty dialogue is one of Bodkin's talents and it
shows greatly in this tale of sparkling humorous exchanges. Differences
of personality and relatonship between parents, grandparents and friends
mark the evolution of the game. Everyone is truly in character, which is
another treat.

And yet, we can get to see how life in the Blessed Realm eased the
worries of some of those duty burdened elves, as we knew them by the end
of the Third Age. We are shown a group of merry creatures who are
finally free of burdens and can look back to their past with a pain that
has been softened by time and understanding.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Grey at the End of the World · Author: jodancingtree · Times:
Fourth Age and Beyond: The Shire · ID: 288
Reviewer: Perelleth · 2006-08-14 14:28:37
This is a sequel to The Queen's orc" but it is not necessary to have
read this one first to enjoy this deeply Tolkienish account of the last
days of the Shire. Suffice it to say that Canohando is an orc redeemed
by Frodo, Arwen's jewel and Radagast, and who married an elf woman
marred by torture in the hands of the Dark Lord's minions during the
last years of the third Age. Both marred and doomed creatures are
redeemed and we see them now, some thousand years later, settled down
with their descendants as Guardians of the Shire. The children of
Canohando and Melewen intermarried with humans and, as generations
passed by , their children almost completely lost the traces of their
ancestors' nature. They are strong, loyal and valiant people devoted to
protect the borders of the increasingly dwindling Shire.

This is a tale of fruitless victories of duty beyond hope and hopeless
fight. But it is also the story of a bitter redemption against nature,
the tale of an Orc, Logi, born in a time when orcs exist no more, and
who must learn, through fire, and betrayal, and fruitless love and
misery, to tame his own nature and to trust the gifts he too possesses.

IT is a tale of darkness not denied, but embraced in the hopes that
light will shine through. A tale of duty, and friendship and betrayal
and family love, in which the gentle, compassionate and resilient nature
of the hobbits shines as deeply as the honest commitment and desperate
valour of Canohando and his children, as they fight the relentless tides
of time, intent of sweeping away the last remnants of a mythic time from
Middle-earth. The time of Men is fully come and there is no place left
for orcs or elves or hobbits. The dwindling of the shire is full of
melancholy in its unavoidability,

Jo's smooth style, and the easy way in which she manages to describe
events without stacking the chapter with dialogue is enthralling, as
that kind of distant, enchanted pov to events that aren't mythical but
that did not happen yesterday...

And sure there is mercy, and hope, amidst darkness, yet we tend to
forget darkness, which is a substantial part of light, for were it not
for the darkness what would we know of hope and light? Some times,
darkness is needed so good and shiny things can be discovered.

["She could not rob him of what he never had."] Actaully it turned out
that Logi needed to walk down that terrible path to its most bitter
bottom before finding out that, indeed, he did have honour and he was a
faithful orc.

No concessions to easy, short lived hope in this story, no hope that
Tulco is alive, that Osta will survive, that any of them will, for, who
would want to when all you have known has been destroyed and all your
loved ones have been swept away?

Yet we end up hoping that Logi may somehow redeem himself and that
Canohando shall understand. The ending is bittersweet, as it becomes
life, and I choose to cling to the image of Arato, a lonesome gurdian,
smoking his pipe under the starlight, leading his solitary, faithful
life until his end, keeping his guard.

Beautifully, deeply and most compassionately done, Jo, I bow again to
your skill! :-)

-----------------------------------
Title: Celebrian, Sell i Nos Galadhad · Author: Redheredh · Genres:
Drama: Incomplete · ID: 318
Reviewer: Perelleth · 2006-08-14 14:33:41
This is the tale of an eventful day in the city of Ost -in-Edhil in
Eregion, during the Second Age, and of an unexpected arrival that sets
in motion a flow of memories, some plotting, and entertaining insights
into the history of Middle- Earth seen from the pov of the Green Elves,
although part of the tale is told from the pov of an obcure. endearing
Noldorin scribe, at the service of Celebrimbor, who fervently hopes to
climb on the social ladder.

A misterious Elf is stalking Lord Celeborn's only daughter as she and
her nanny made their way through the busy market in a bustling city that
is vividly described and that inmediately reminds you of the times of
the Gold Rush.

The nanny sets the guards upon the stranger, who is imprisoned quickly.
The vagabond turns out to be Lord Celeborn's most faithful servant,
guard and friend, long ago vanished without word or trace and now
showing up in a city full of Dwarves and Noldorin elves. Intrigue is
guaranteed.

With this setting, the tale is spun from the author's wonderful and
artfully crafted background history of the third Host of the Elves, and
their own look at the events and the kingdoms there. We learn that
Celeborn is seen as Thingol's rightful heir. This faithful warrior
hopes, as many of their people do, that Celeborn shall stand forth and
restore the glory of Doriath and will finally take the place and honour
that he deserves, rather than serving/helping Gil-galad.

We also get to see a not usual side of Celeborn, a fine politician with
a view and a goal. The confrontation between these two in the dungeons,
and the subsequent walk through the secret passages in the palace while
a feast is held in the public areas is a particularly masterfully well
done scene. You most definitely have to read those scenes, in chapters
three and five for it.

And while Celeborn and his long lost friend catch up with news and
gossip and politic plans for the future, a feast is held, and
Celebrimbor is unsuccesfully trying to match Celeborn and Galadriel's
skill at plotting, with hilarious results.

The details are wondrous, the city and the palace are vividly described.
The background epic of the Green Elves from which many other tales have
sprung to life are a delight, and the story gains even more depth from
being read as a whole.

And Hrassa, Celeborn's friend and guard is one fo the best developed OCs
I have found in ffiction.


-----------------------------------
Title: Conversational, of Cousins · Author: Vana Tuivana · Genres:
Drama: Poetry · ID: 642
Reviewer: Perelleth · 2006-08-14 14:35:16
This story has a beautiful rythm, an almost enthralling exchange of
voices and moods; skeptical, resigned, from the bereft eldest cousin,
and emotional, tender, sadly hopeful from his rescuer.

Written as a conversation between Fingon and Maedhros after the
Thangorodrim episode -no slash- it offers in less than three hundred and
fifty words a beautiful glimpse of the friendship between these two
characters, from episodes in their youth to the subtle indications of
how that friendship has been changed by words and acts. But love and
respect remain untouched.

Abused as this episode has been, I think that this little poem makes it
shine anew. I also liked, too, the businesslike tone both cousins employ
when referring to that missing item, almost carelessly left behind for
Morgoth to vaunt over. Remembering the things that hand did, and why it
was cherished, Fingon tells the story of a childhood, and a happy,
carefree life, and also tries to fuel a bit of life, of enthusiasm, of
warmth in his friend and cousin's much wasted spirit.

Maedhros´ detachment, cyinicism, matches perfectly what can be expected
after such an ordeal. Both are much in character, and that is another
virtue of this tale.

-----------------------------------
Title: Strange Fortunes · Author: Tehta · Times: First Age and Prior:
Incomplete · ID: 81
Reviewer: Perelleth · 2006-08-14 14:39:21
Hilarious commedy that manages to portray a quite endearing Maeglin
-despite his non-too-subtle machinations- in all his cluelessness before
the old, experienced, world-wise Eldar of Gondolin.

A moral conflict related to a sentece in LaCE perturbs formal Ecthelion
and charming Glorfindel. a meddling Salgant discovers a secret that
threatens to blemish the reputation of the Gondolindhrim captains, and
he uses it to blackmail them. Meanwhile, a love-struck, ignorant of the
uses of more sophisticated courts Maeglin boils in rage as he begins to
suspect that Glorfindel is in love with Idril, and, worst, that she
corresponds his love. So he sets out in search of a way to discredit the
blond hero, only he completely misunderstands what Salgant was trying to
tell him abut both captains.

On the other side, truth, honor, friendship, morality and love make the
two friends's relationship even more difficult. They are threatened by
Salgant on one hand, and inadvertently set at odds by Maeglin's
machinations and their own misunderstandings. Hilarious scenes of
clueless elves, misguided suspicion, sarcastic songs, Glorfindel in full
wrath mode, almost hamletian Ecthelion and slimy, nasty Salgant manage
to drive poor Maeglin nuts.

The scenes are precise and delicately crafted, like a weaving of
diffrent threads that are all converging with great mastery, but, above
all, providing great fun to the reader.
-----------------------------------
Title: From the Journal of Frodo Baggins · Author: MysteriousWays ·
Genres: Drama: Featuring Frodo or Sam · ID: 61
Reviewer: Pearl Took · 2006-08-14 14:59:20
This story captures a lot of how I think Frodo must have felt about his
needing to leave. I like that Mysterious Ways has him being attracted to
hobbitesses but unable to find one that fits him well, ones that can see
beyond the Shire enough . She shows the struggle he has gone through to
try to be who he was before he left on the Quest, and his frustration
and sorrow that he cannot. That he is too damaged to be what he once
was. That although the darkness is gone some things, like Shelob\'s
poison in his blood, still remain.

It has a lot a beautiful imagery. Frost on the window that Frodo
doesn\'t know that the elves could create something as lovely. Time
alone at Bag End, with Sam and Rosie gone visiting, being like the years
after Bilbo left when Frodo felt he lived in innocence. And I
particularly love that Frodo writes of Mount Doom, of the ash and fire,
of seeing molton rock, but then he says that in his study the fire on
the hearth is now a source of reassuring comfort.

The author does a wonderful job of expressing Frodo\'s sadness without
it becoming maudlin. She has him not so much depressed as resigned,
knowing that he has tried his best to fit into Shire society, to fit
into life at Bag End, as he used to, but simply cannot.

This is a beautifully and powerfully written story.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7445

Reviews for 16 Sept - Part 2 Posted by Rhapsody September 16, 2006 - 15:24:01 Topic ID# 7445
Title: To Follow an Elf · Author: etharei · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Incomplete · ID: 816
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-14 15:12:25
Interesting mix of journalistic asides and narrative. Gimli's sense of
humor comes through, as does the lively relationship between Legolas and
his dwarven friend. It seems 'little' Legolas has gone and grown up
whilst on the Quest, and also been wounded, along with all his
companions, in ways that those outside the Fellowship cannot truly
understand. Add to this the swelling of internal divisions into power
politics now that the Enemy is defeated, and a sojourn at home becomes
more a trial than anyone would've anticipated. It's nice to see the
Thranduil of [The Hobbit] for once, and Nasseryn and Edendor are lovely
siblings. Gimli's sense of being at once outside the family drama, and
yet somehow at the heart of it, elevated by his unusually close
friendship with this newly 'adult' Legolas, seems believable.
-----------------------------------
Title: Peace Comes Dropping Slow · Author: Songspinner · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Grey Havens · ID: 224
Reviewer: Pearl Took · 2006-08-14 15:20:44
This is a short but incredibly stunning story of love and tenderness in
the old age that comes to many of us. Despite white hair, despite
infirmity Pippin still loves his ailing Diamond and tenderly cares for
her. Written for a challenge that required at least one naked hobbit,
the story begins with Pippin gently bathing Diamond. The reader barely
notices or thinks about her being naked, the attention is on their love
for one another and the gentleness with which Pippin tends to his wife.
It isn't until a bit into the story that the reader is made aware of the
fact this is an old couple and that Diamond has had a stroke,
necessitating her husband's needing to bathe her.

I love that he lingers over rinsing her white hair, commenting that her
hair is still beautiful. He is still seeing her with the eyes of a lover.

And the ending is touching as Diamond is concerned with Pippin's
welfare, not just wrapped up in her own condition.

All of this is handled deftly by Songspinner. The story is concise yet
doesn't feel cut short. Her word pictures are perfectly painted. This is
a warm, gentle and evocative piece of writting.

This is a truely remarkable tale.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Gift · Author: Dot · Races: Elves: Featuring Mirkwood Elves ·
ID: 160
Reviewer: Perelleth · 2006-08-14 15:51:40
Post Quest Legolas is not such a common subject in fanfiction, but his
time in Ithilien is a very interesting period, offering chances for many
interactions. In this case we get to see a loving Thranduil taking a
holiday off his realm to visit his son's experiment in Ithilien. It is
wonderful to see the fluid, caring relationship between father and son.
Thranduil the forest healer is a pleasure, in all his power and his
wisdom, and the image of the grass growing beneath his palm is
comforting beyond words.

I like the use of flashback to picture Legolas' taking his leave from
his father, in what must have been a painful moment for both of them.
Yet the gentleness between them adn their shared delight in the task
that Legolas undertook in Ithilien gives us hope that, after all,
Thranduil would have udnerstood - and accepted - his son's choice
gladly, and to the point of going down there to give a hand. It is a
moving story of what must have been a deeply felt moment between father
and son. The trees imagery is very well and consistently worked and the
characters are truly in character.

-----------------------------------
Title: An Exaltation of Larks · Author: Ibilover · Times: The Great
Years · ID: 178
Reviewer: Perelleth · 2006-08-14 15:53:30
Wonderful! Amusing! and so well documented! I'm sure you had great fun
writing this! The book sounds like one of those compendia which remind
us that there are other worlds where there is a particular, specifical
word for each minute difference or each occurrence in nature or at work!
Such richness!

It is such a rare moment between Aragorn and Boromir, and the amusement
provided by the contemplation of the hobbits is quite understandable.
Everyone is so in character, the two Men interacting, the Dwarf grunting
his opinion, but I I loved best Gandalf's intrusion. Of course he would
know! That was lovely!

The tip about the book is also very well wrought. I can very well
believe that Gandalf would have indeed done so, and it must have brought
Boromir a brief moment of comfort to share a meomory with the wizard.
And then both men laughng helplessly like children! It was priceless!


-----------------------------------
Title: History Lessons: The Third Age · Author: Nilmandra · Times:
Multi-Age: Incomplete · ID: 167
Reviewer: Perelleth · 2006-08-14 15:56:50
This is the last in the History Lessons series, a wonderfully clever
device used to refill the gaps of history of Middle earth as taught by
its main actors.

This third installment focuses on the well known events of the War of
the Ring. Using the timelime of the three books, the story tells us what
the books did not show: how this dreadful times were lived in Rivendell,
where so much was at stake, and where there would be loss no matter how
the Quest turned out.

It is a sheer delight to see how Nilmandra brought together the timeline
and the characters to bring us to the backstage, to explore
machinations, conversations, thoughts and feelings as these important
events took place. The glimpses back into earlier stages of the Third
Age, mainly Celebrian's ordeal are exquisitely managed, never overdone,
with the precise amount of suffering, pain, anguish, denial, grieving
and healing.

To me, this is fanfiction at its best, in the sense that it follows the
main story, that of the Quest, from a completely different pov, from a
place of contemplation and reflection and resistance, and this is so
diffcult to do while at the same time keeping the reader's interest!

But, of course, we all want to read what Elrond has to tell about those
times!

We are looking forward to -as well as dreading- the last chapters, for
that will mean the end of this wonderful series. The blend of creation
and canon is perfect, and you have managed to develop the archetypical
Elrond, at least to me.
-----------------------------------
Title: Interrupted Journeys: Journeys of Discovery · Author: elliska ·
Genres: Drama: Incomplete · ID: 163
Reviewer: Perelleth · 2006-08-14 16:00:18
Interrupted Journeys is a wonderful series in a wide arch of time that
covers the life of Thranduil King of Greenwod the Great, in an
impressive mix of politics, war, canon events and relationships with an
interesting approach to the Wood elves daily life.

This installment offers a view into this realm through the eys of a very
young Legolas and a bunch of other elflings his age: his cousins,
closest friends and children their age. The problems, discussions,
misunderestandings, the evil still stirring within the forest are
experienced here through the eyes of these children.It is a very
amusing, telling and interesting experience not only to see Legolas deal
with his mistakes (and his whirlwind of cousin's ) but also to learn how
they see the adults and the forest. The scene when the children watch
the adults ( King, King's brother and King's counselor) exit the throne
room in anger after a nasty interview with a dwarf is a wonderful
moment, the first time when Legolas and his cousin see their parents as
what they are, adults with power and responsiblity, and ready to act in
defence of their people. The moment is perfectly built, masterfully done
from the children's pov, There are also frightening adventures with a
boar, unfair murmuring against the king and a general sense of doom that
must have been felt around Thranduil's stronghold for great part of the
Third Age. .
-----------------------------------
Title: The Prince and the Pea · Author: Karri · Genres: Humor: Children
· ID: 158
Reviewer: Perelleth · 2006-08-14 16:01:31
A delightful, hilarious variation of the Princess and the pea folk tale,
set in Rivendell Third Age, with the heir of Isildur starring as very
gullible audience and the Lord of Lorien acting the Princess.

These are bright, merry elves at their highest. It is so easy to guess
these creatures devoted to lightness and humour at the sligthest chance!
And the poor youngster would be a nice target for their machinations.
IMladris comes out as a lively place. These elves have known each other
for so long that they can inmediately play along anything they can come
up with with the utmost seriousness and without any sense of shame!

A light, agile, charming vignette with a choral flow of characters all
in their most inspired moods. It depicts one of the many merry moments
Aragorn must have enjoyed in Rivendell as a child. The trick of using
the folk tale is more than appropriate here. I remember that I laughed
out loud when I read this piece, and it did the trick on a second reading.

-----------------------------------
Title: Elves Do Skate · Author: Caporal · Genres: Humor · ID: 135
Reviewer: Vana Tuivana · 2006-08-14 18:27:55
"Elves Do Skate" is one of my favorites of the too-rare genre of
Silmarillion fluff-fic. The characterizations are sweet and generous.
The descriptions are just dry enough to be witty without being ironic,
particularly this one:

[You know. Brother of ours, about so high..." Amras raises a hand a few
inches above his own head "...no sense of humour, blushes a lot. You
must know him."

"Not," says Amrod, incredulous, "our brother Carnistir? Not
black-like-my-soul Morifinwë?"

"The very same."]

It's almost plotless -- everything is given by suggestion, dialogue and
inference, but it does feel like a complete story in some odd way. And
of course, it's truly funny while still being sweet and fluffy, which
counts for a lot in my book.

I particularly love the last three lines because of that double-take you
have to do at the end... ["Not only up," he says.] It still makes me
laugh out loud, and this must be at least my fifth time reading it.
Wonderful writing!
-----------------------------------
Title: House of Reeds · Author: The Bookbinder's Daughter · Races: Elves
· ID: 660
Reviewer: Vana Tuivana · 2006-08-14 19:36:15
This is an unexpected, bittersweet romance between two unlikely
characters. I suggested this pairing thinking it would be difficult to
pull off, but you'd never guess it from the way this story makes it seem
so easy and natural.

The portrayal of Glorfindel after his return to Middle-earth, in
particular, is so terribly real. As I return to this nearly two years
after reading the story for the first time, I'm struck again by the
unique way he views the world, as a character who has died but is still
alive. It's one of the best-written aspects of this story, and one that
I didn't appreciate as I should have until I'd read it several times
during that two-year period.

The romance is believable and sweet without being trite, and the
characterization of both characters is fresh and interesting while still
remaining close to canon. I adore this story still. Thank you, Narmir,
for writing it so beautifully and sensitively.
-----------------------------------
Title: Young Master Merry · Author: Pearl Took · Races: Hobbits: Poetry
· ID: 666
Reviewer: Vana Tuivana · 2006-08-14 19:43:31
This is a great concept and a sweet little poem. The ending,
particularly, is great. Some of the lines' rhythms felt a little out of
synch, but overall it's a nice hobbitish ditty.
-----------------------------------
Title: Naneth - Farewell · Author: Aearwen · Races: Elves: Poetry · ID: 212
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-14 21:19:18
This poem did a good job of capturing the intensity of grief while being
remarkably removed. But it didn't feel very tied to the story of Maeglan
and Aredhel in particular, and I would have liked some imagery or
something that made it feel more specific in that regard.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Falcon and the Star · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: The
Great Years: Gondor · ID: 57
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-08-14 21:45:02
It's hard to find words to describe how special this story is. It takes
place almost entirely in Aragorn's mind, yet it is overflowing with
drama and emotion. In the process of the healing, you form a bond
between the two men that is already strong.

Tolkien tells us almost nothing about how Elven healing worked, so it is
left to us fanfic writers to extrapolate. It could easily be silly or
unconvincing, but Raksha's tale makes it compelling and believable. The
description of the hellish place of the Black Breath (a corner of
Sauron's mind--I really like that) and Faramir's bravery in resisting it
is moving and dramatic.

The references to Denethor are so numerous and well-done that his
personality comes alive as well--in his relationship with both Aragorn
and Faramir. I liked as well the mention of Ecthelion.

The healer's invocation is poetic and intense. I especially liked the
line about wishing he had come in time to heal Denethor. This is typical
of Aragorn's generosity.

It's wonderful that it is this moment that finally convinces Aragorn
that he is indeed the lord of Gondor. This is very in character--I
always thought that he believed he had to earn his crown, that he did
not see it as something he was born to, except in the strict sense of
hereditary right.
-----------------------------------
Title: Mathom · Author: Perelleth · Genres: Humor · ID: 192
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-15 00:45:55
This one had me chuckling from start to finish. All of our favourite
Rivendell elves and sundry - many of them no more than names in the
canon material - pop into a vivid three-dimensional world. And what a
world! Erestor is stressed, Glorfindel is peeved, Gilraen is the perfect
frazzled mother, the Twins are just trying to figure out what the heck
they did wrong, and Elrond is more than a little worried about his
precious wine -- which of course the dwarves don't want at all, it's all
Erestor's way of exacting quiet revenge on his lord for throwing one
more wrench in the already complicated Midsummer plans.

And then in chapter two, when we find out the *real* source of all the
hullabaloo in keeping a certain someone and Thorin's company apart, I
felt as foolish as Erestor thought Elrohir was -- but also had to bow to
the author's wonderful job at keeping things ambiguous without them
seeming that way. Clearly, Erestor is not the only one skilled at
keeping a lot of balls in the air. The fact that it was all set during
_The Hobbit_, probably the least-written of Tolkien's books and my
personal favourite for fanfic source material, made me appreciate this
piece all the more. This piece is a godsend to those in need of a bit of
a highbrow laugh.
-----------------------------------
Title: Last Rites · Author: Isabeau of Greenlea · Genres: Drama · ID: 80
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-15 00:52:34
There is a lot to recommend this piece, but the truly original aspect
that jumps out at me is the same thing I noticed immediately when it was
first parted. Andrahar (a long-standing OC of this author, a haradren
warrior who comes to befriend Imrahil and live in Dol Amroth) has a
much-different belief in the afterlife than our canon characters and so
does not believe he will see his lover after his death. The separation
is more final and more crushing because of this, and so Imrahil annd the
rest of the characters have no easy answers to offer. It is a fitting
tribute to Gondor's fallen warrior as well as a moving glimpse into the
hearts of the other characters in the piece, both original and canon.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Decoy Hobbit · Author: storyfish · Races: Hobbits: War of the
Ring · ID: 257
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-15 07:12:34
This is a delightful story. I love seeing Pippin as the young voice of
wisdom - looking on himself as a trained and experienced decoy hobbit,
with little difference between the little Pippin in the Shire with jam
on his face and the Pippin of the quest, distracting attention from his
cousin and giving him the chance to get through.

But the very beginning - Pippin as the decoy in an orc-slaying machine -
there is the difference. This is a desperate business under the
light-hearted banter.

And it took a hobbit to bring him back. Once Merry was with him and he
knew Frodo and Sam were safe, of course he wasn't going to fly away!
After all, you never know when they might next need a decoy hobbit!
-----------------------------------
Title: Cousin Calla · Author: Dreamflower · Races: Hobbits: Pre-Quest ·
ID: 767
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-15 07:22:59
I feel for poor Merry here. The first losses can be very traumatic -
even if those who die are old and infirm and willing to go. It can be
the first indication that your world is not inviolate. I'm glad Rory and
Menegilda waited long enough to say goodbye to their grandson.

Frodo was good for him - and Cousin Calla was an interesting inhabitant
of Brandy Hall. Remarkably talented. The glimpses into another world
were interesting - and her gift of sketches suggested that she, too,
knew her path was ending.
-----------------------------------
Title: Curious Mind, Noble Heart · Author: Nilmandra · Genres: Adventure
· ID: 270
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-15 07:26:15
What a gorgeous story. I love thinking about the relationship between
the twins and Estel. I can see how he thought of them as grown up
brothers (with a youthful streak), but from their point of view it must
have been - well - different. However much they came to love him, he was
round (and young) for such a short period of years - and they had been
there before, in a way, with his fathers and his fathers' fathers.

But a child this endearing (if trouble) - how could they resist him?

And he never means to get into trouble! He just wants to know - and to
be as good as his brothers. And, after all, they are elves. They should
hear him coming.

Estel's terror when he shot Elrohir was very well done - and his
courage. And the secret dread that Elrond might invoke some dreadful
orcish punishment. Although I think he will find the one he has drawn to
be rather more of a penalty than it seems in the first flush of guilt.

And Glorfindel is great, too. The difference between him and the twins
is still so clear - he is so much older and wiser and more experienced -
and they are still more light-hearted, despite their couple of millennia
and their experience of grief and battle. And it's good to see Gilraen
taking some part in her son's upbringing (and to see that he is as
nervous of angering his mother as he is of upsetting Elrond). Who is
such a good adar. And, contrary to youthful belief, thoroughly
experienced in disciplining the recalcitrant young!

I hope the pop-gun quietly finds its way into the depths of some lumber
room. Middle-earth is dangerous enough with swords and arrows and spears
without needing the addition of firearms!
-----------------------------------
Title: Healing the Healer · Author: SlightlyTookish · Times: The Great
Years: The Fellowship · ID: 935
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-15 07:40:23
Having Aragorn fretted over and cosseted by the hobbits is a definitely
amusing thought! Especially Merry's herbal paste. Somehow, seeing
Strider tormented with the best and most caring intentions is
delightful. However, you can certainly see that wishing to offer him
that level of care is an indication that he has become a friend - almost
an honorary hobbit.

Boromir's aid was most welcome. And, of course, he can expect the
results to return to him - with great pleasure, I would think! Gimli
must be hoping that dwarves are resistant to colds.

Pippin's fascination with his bald feet - the hot cloths - I'm not
surprised Aragorn just gave into the pressure. And Sam's soup must have
made up for a lot!

Charming tale. And Gandalf's word are - naturally - very wise.
-----------------------------------
Title: Celebrian, Sell i Nos Galadhad · Author: Redheredh · Genres:
Drama: Incomplete · ID: 318
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-15 07:59:21
There are so many things I enjoy about this story. For one thing you
have set up such a delightfully complex society full of the most
delightfully complex characters, all buzzing around and trying to
out-think and outmanoeuvre all the others. Then, Celebrian is gorgeous -
and, as the true child of both her parents, as clever as a barrel load
of monkeys and as charming as it is possible to be without being
sick-making! Not to mention mischievous. Celeborn is the essence of
power and intelligence - together with sharing his daughter's
characteristics in fair measure and so skilled in nudging people into
just exactly the positions he wants them to fill that half the time they
don't even notice! And Hrassa - well, he is perhaps one of the few who
could resist being coaxed into doing what he doesn't want to do. An elf
of principle who has the advantage of knowing Celeborn through and
through. Of course, he might end up doing Celeborn's will anyway,
because of the strength of his loyalties - but I have a feeling that it
will be Celeborn's daughter who will be able to play Hrassa like a fish
on a line. Even if he doesn't let her know that he is water in her
hands. (Could describe him better than putty, because he might just be
able to slip between her fingers!)

Then there are the other characters - Celebrimbor is charming ... don't
tell him, but he has some puppy-like qualities: for all his cleverness
he desires love and approval! And I am growing partial to all the
others, too and would love to know more about their pasts - and,
hopefully, their futures. Assuming they manage to escape the traps that
will be set them.

I thoroughly enjoy this story and am always delighted to see updates.
And one day Galadriel might even make it on-stage and we'll get to see
how she responds to Hrassa's return! I suspect she might confound them
all. And I can't wait to see Celebrian's tea-party. Wonderful.
-----------------------------------
Title: New beginnings · Author: Perelleth · Genres: Humor · ID: 815
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-15 08:17:21
This is such a gorgeous tale of frustration and decisions - and hurt and
incomprehension - with a fantastic cast of characters! And you can't
help but end up feeling sorry for everyone as they all rush round at
cross-purposes trying to understand what's going on as they jockey for
position. Well, except for Oropher. It's quite difficult to feel sorry
for Oropher here - he does need to be pinned down by Mrs Oropher and
threatened into a little good behaviour. I feel for Finarfin - Galadriel
is professional at being difficult - and Celeborn, who must be picking
up a great deal of flak between in-laws and wife. And caught between
cultures - Noldor on one side and Silvan on the other, with the Sindar
in the middle throwing up their hands. And then there are Elros and
Elrond - who is suffering from being abandoned by just about everyone he
has ever loved - but the person for whom I feel sorriest is Ereinion.
Poor kid. Scarcely older (in elven terms) than Elrond, he is struggling
to be king in the face of a host of ancient, wily, self-confident elves
all playing their own games. I hope - I hope so much that the Second Age
was very very good to him and that everything - apart from romance, I
suppose - went his way. Until the end, anyway.

Then there's the gull. She is a delight all on her own. Ingil's most
devoted admirer. Finarfin's desperate attempt to manage Olvarin and
Ingil - you had me feeling sorry for him, too. (But then - I LOVED the
return of Finrod. Finarfin deserved it - and so did Finrod. Not to
mention Earwen.

And it all worked out - sort of - in the end. Elros grew into kingship.
And Mariner-ing. And Elrond was coaxed into a role of his own, so that
he wouldn't miss his brother as much as he might have done - I was glad
to see he looked on Ereinion as family. And then there was great-uncle
Celeborn. Also known as Lord of Harlindon. Ereinion's sense of humour is
delightful. I was glad to see him settling into his role. (Probably
greatly helped by the absence of Oropher.)

This is a lovely story - I enjoyed all the twists and turns and I am so
pleased that Ereinion was left balancing carefully at the top of the
pyramid.
-----------------------------------
Title: Imrahil's Daughter · Author: Madeleine · Genres: Romance:
Lothíriel & Éomer · ID: 183
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-15 08:31:50
This takes your story arc on beautifully. I'm glad to see that Eomer
can't get the healer out of his head. The past months have been
frantically busy - and she's still niggling at him.

I like the way he interacts with others - Faramir, Elfhelm and Amrothos
are very different and he reacts differently with each: teasing Faramir
(poor man - he's not quite sure what to make of it), friends with
Elfhelm - yet in authority - able to be himself more than with any
other, and irritated by Amrothos.

The problems of Rohan are going to be very much on Eomer's mind, too.
Wars don't just end and go away - I'm glad to see the aftermath
considered. Even the aftermath of blond children being born in Minas Tirith.

Then - as soon as he sees Lothiriel. Wow. The chemistry! Something
happens as soon as these two set eyes on each other that is quite magic.
They both lose all common sense - and awareness of what is happening
around them. And matters don't - well - improve. Lothiriel can
wrong-foot Eomer with a glance. If she only knew what she was doing to
the poor man it would be cruel.

I'm not at all disconcerted to find that Imrahil knows! Not, perhaps,
exactly what is going on - (although I wouldn't be surprised) - but he
has seen the way they looked at each other and he is carefully not
asking questions! He probably started thinking of Eomer as son-in-law
material right after the Black Gate.

I love Eomer's diffidence when asking for aid - he is really quite taken
aback by Elessar, Faramir and Imrahil's instant agreement to provide as
much support as Rohan needs.

And, in spite of not needing a wife, Eomer goes straight off to carry
out the bidding of the Princess of Dol Amroth. And, if he's lucky, see
her - just, of course, so that he can express his displeasure. And the kiss!

Elfhelm, too, is a wonderful character. His story of his own courting is
informative - and he is right! Eomer can only have Lothiriel as his
wife. I wonder how long it will take him to come round to the idea.

Your Lothiriel has become the definitive Lothiriel as far as I'm
concerned. And your Eomer. Wonderful characterisation - not just
attractive, but multi-layered and rounded. Delightful part of a great
collection of stories. I just love them all.

-----------------------------------
Title: Master of Shadows · Author: Space Weavil · Genres: Drama · ID: 245
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-15 15:03:04
this series of ficlets used the seven deadly sins effectively, but even
without that theme the moments were powerful. Combined, they create a
convincing version of the Witch king's backstory in relatively few words.
-----------------------------------
Title: On Frozen shores · Author: ann_arien · Times: First Age and
Prior: Incomplete · ID: 490
Reviewer: Dawn Felagund · 2006-08-15 16:15:14
Alina, this is a lovely AU. What I like best about it is that the
emotion is handled very believably--I almost want to say sparingly. It
is not choked with sap and angst as one might expect from this sort of
AU (and given that I know the relationship that you develop between
Feanaro and Nolofinwe in some of your other work. >:^D ) It is
believable, an enticing first chapter that hints at much more to come. I
do hope that when RL settles down a bit for you, then you will continue it.

My favorite bit of this piece is when Nolofinwe notices the spots of
light on the horizon and suspects that he is betrayed; what a lovely
image. Also notable is his reaction to Turukano's panic; this is so
in-character for Nolofinwe, imho, and very much like one would expect a
father to behave.
-----------------------------------
Title: Birnam Wood · Author: Inkling · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond ·
ID: 917
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-15 17:27:50
Evocative descriptions; good feeling for the atmosphere of the forest
(it truly feels like Tolkien's wild forests); elegant, fitting style.

I liked the mystery of the witch, and of Treebeard and the fact that the
boy didn't know about Ents and Huorns (but we the readers did). All the
more respect to his bravery and quick thinking when it counted!

A wonderful story, respectful and reminiscent in spirit and execution to
both of its sources. The use of "original" Westron is a clever touch to
give a feeling of the passing of time from the time of LotR to the 11th
century.
-----------------------------------
Title: Kissing is Different · Author: Lady Bluejay · Genres: Romance:
Lothíriel & Éomer · ID: 280
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-15 17:28:40
I enjoyed this light-hearted story (despite a few technical glitches),
especially Éomer's thoughts about his trials and tribulations as the new
King and how his thoughts, ahem, stray when contemplating Lothíriel.
Loved the twist at the end.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7446

Reviews for 17 Sept - Part 1 Posted by Rhapsody September 17, 2006 - 14:21:56 Topic ID# 7446
Title: Where The Shadows Are · Author: Kenaz · Genres: Drama: Elves in
Later Ages · ID: 776
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-15 18:02:04
It is the nature of Middle-earth societies that the woman can stay
private if she chooses to do so (and in some cases has no choice *but*
to do so), but duty more often than not keeps the man bound to the
public sphere. For this reason slash, especially between lords like most
of the characters in Tolkien's books, can never be a purely personal
relationship. How nice to read an author that gets this! This piece,
while touching and romantic in its own way, is very properly placed in
the drama category just because of those warring obligations and the way
that the outside world cannot be kept outside of Gil-galad's tent. I
don't think I'd ever read Elrond/Gil-galad slash that worked for me,
until I stumbled across this little gem. Very erotic and technically
brilliantly done with lots of sensory details that make you feel the
scene, but even more than that it's a great glimpse into the despair
these men must have been feeling even without the romantic component.
-----------------------------------
Title: Preparing The Way · Author: Lady Aranel · Genres: Drama: Elves in
Later Ages · ID: 284
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-15 18:50:22
*sniffle*

Legolas's last parting with the mortal friends he acquires during the
Fellowship have become almost a sub-genre in this fandom. Some have been
done so often (and well) that it is hard to imagine learning anything
new about the characters through reading the latest one. But "Preparing
the Way" is not such a piece. If anyone has ever written Arod's death
before, it's news to me.

And Legolas's character comes shining throlugh. He is a sensitive enough
soul to be touched profoundly to the point of wordless grief not only by
the speaking races, the people that we as humans think opf as our own
evolutionary parallel, the ones we would form an attachment with. He has
formed a bond with his faithful horse at least equal to the others. And
that speaks highly of his character, beyond a doubt. And the fact that
he stays in Ithilien instead of moving back to Mirkwood after knowing
exactly what friends with mortals will cost him also speaks highly of
his courage.

And it's all told so beautifully! The language here is probably the best
I've ever seen this author write, which is really saying something. I
think it's what she *doesn't* say. She doesn't try to over-explain
Legolas's grief but just let it be. Anyone familiar with losing a pet or
loss in general will be deeply moved by this vignette.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Green Flash · Author: DrummerWench · Genres: Drama: Featuring
Frodo or Sam · ID: 277
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-15 19:31:09
This was an interesting encounter, and I especially liked the story of
Earenwen. I think it would have been interesting to write Cirdan
actually telling it, because that would have given us the story and more
interaction between hobbits and elf. Still, it was a neat way to
approach the beginnings of Sam's sea-longing.
-----------------------------------
Title: Love Me Now, Forever · Author: iorhael · Genres: Drama: Featuring
Frodo or Sam · ID: 419
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-15 21:28:42
This little one-shot evoked a serious "aww" response from me. We know
that Frodo never married, and it seems fitting that his love was instead
given to his entire world - symbolized very nicely here by his home.
-----------------------------------
Title: Fair-weather Friends · Author: pippinfan88 · Genres: Drama:
Featuring Pippin or Merry · ID: 126
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-15 22:52:38
How nice for Merry, that he has a wife with the courage to try to
understand.
-----------------------------------
Title: Midsummer's Day · Author: MysteriousWays · Times: Late Third Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 980
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-16 02:28:25
Nice to see Frodo get a moment of peace post-war.
-----------------------------------
Title: All Is Well · Author: Gryffinjack · Times: Late Third Age: The
Shire · ID: 969
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-16 02:28:55
Interesting bit of foresight for a very young Pippin.
-----------------------------------
Title: On the Fair Hill · Author: Imhiriel · Times: Late Third Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 946
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-16 02:29:19
Imhiriel evokes the beauty of an evening on Cerin Amroth, deftly
describing the scene, with its birds and breezes and flowers in a few
short lines. In so doing, she creates a wonderful place for a pair of
lovers who will draw two sundered peoples together in their love.
-----------------------------------
Title: Unchanged · Author: Marta · Times: Late Third Age: Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 926
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-16 02:29:44
Thank you, Marta, for my birthday drabble! I enjoyed reading this one,
because Rory doesn't find in aging simply the pains and aches and all
the other assorted ills of old age. Those exist, and he has to deal with
them, of course, but there's more to age than pain--there's wisdom and
the benefit of experience, and a life lived well, all of which he'll
gladly set against being unchanged or frozen in youthfulness.
-----------------------------------
Title: Home At Last · Author: Dreamflower · Times: Late Third Age: The
Shire · ID: 883
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-16 02:30:09
Dreamflower continues her filling in of the edges and interludes of the
quest of [The Hobbit] with a bit of the aftermath. Poor Bilbo's
adventurous ways, however they began, have cost him his place in the
family as tutor, much to his dismay. But the quest has clearly changed
him, for despite disappointment, he can't regret the adventure.

And although not all of his relatives welcome him home with open arms,
there is at least one cousin, one of Bilbo's more promising former
students, who shows himself to be an unexpected receptacle for Outside
tales. It seems Drogo has a hankering for stories of adventures, so at
least we know in part where Frodo gets his interests. In between
catching Bilbo up on the doings of the family and neighbors, Drogo drops
hints of interest til he at last insists on hearing Bilbo's story.

As Dreamflower notes, it may be the first, but it's not the last time
he'll tell it. Very well done and highly recommended.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Merry Old Inn · Author: Dreamflower · Times: Late Third Age ·
ID: 881
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-16 02:31:03
Dreamflower convincingly imitates the tone of [The Hobbit] and fills in
a gap in the journey of Bilbo and the Dwarves quite delightfully. The
Dwarves feel like Dwarves, though a few of the more peripheral of them
get a little more time in the limelight: Gloin, Dori and Nori, and Balin
are mostly about. Bree feels a little fuller and more solid, but still
essentially a cheerful place with a peculiarly good set of relations
amongst the Big and Little Folk.

Bilbo's dream, which stands behind the song Frodo will later sing in the
Prancing Pony, is well done. It appears Frodo is also not the only
Baggins with a predilection for climbing onto tabletops, though he never
did get a chance to indulge in quite as much of Barliman's beer as Bilbo
did.

Fans of [The Hobbit], to say nothing of fans of 'our' hobbit or just
hobbits in general, should greatly enjoy this. Those who like a little
more of the Dwarves, too, should give this story a try. Excellent job,
Dreamflower!
-----------------------------------
Title: How Grima Lost His Eyebrows · Author: NeumeIndil · Times: Late
Third Age: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 800
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-16 02:31:27
Ah, that movie scene gets some good fanfictional employment here! Yes,
never meddle in a wizard's business without announcing oneself as
instructed, for sometimes the wizard is also a chemist.
-----------------------------------
Title: Call yourself Thorongil · Author: Nilmandra · Times: Late Third
Age · ID: 731
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-16 02:31:53
Nilmandra writes a wonderful Gandalf--appropriately wizardly, enigmatic,
proud, and deceptively, abrasively straightforward at times, he also has
a Holmsian streak which he employs to good advantage. She has an
excellent grasp of his voice, and of his immediate willingness to dive
right into a situation and get his hands dirty with camp work.

Aragorn's situation is also well-drawn--I liked the bit about talking to
himself, and learning to be self-reliant in the Wild as perhaps a first
expression of his need to go beyond what the Rangers ordinarily would
do, and so what they can teach him. Gandalf's advice to him, to broaden
his concept of who his people are, and so where his duty lies, enables
Aragorn to take the steps necessary for his sojourns among the Rohirrim
and Gondorrim.
-----------------------------------
Title: Object Lessons · Author: Marta · Times: Late Third Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 668
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-16 02:32:28
Somehow, I don't know that Faramir's lesson will prevent future
incidents, given Boromir's energy and competitiveness...
-----------------------------------
Title: A Tisket, A Tasket · Author: grey_wonderer · Times: Late Third
Age: The Shire · ID: 570
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-16 02:35:10
In the [kids do the darnedest things] category, Pippin waits expectantly
for a stuffed toy rabbit, designated 'he', to have babies. Naturally
there's much nesting material spoiled (and so also garden grass) in the
effort, and much amusement for the onlookers who don't catch on to the
project's meaning immediately. Eventually, someone does and out of pity
plays stork. Cute!
-----------------------------------
Title: Inheritance · Author: Primsong · Times: Late Third Age: The Shire
· ID: 310
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-16 02:35:29
Oh that's brilliant! I remember how disappointed Lobelia was when she
found Bilbo's will all in good order, seven red signatures all neatly on
their proper lines. Had things gone just a little differently--if
Gandalf had left before ensuring Frodo knew the Ring had been left to
him, if the will had been claimed by Lobelia (and possibly altered?
Replaced? Or is it really a simple error on Bilbo's part?), the
consequences could've been absolutely devastating for Middle-earth's
history.

For the Ring to pass by accident to Otho, who, without even knowing
what's in the envelope, responds to the quiet compulsion to slip it and
its unusually 'weighty' as it were enclosure into his pocket... I
shudder to think. Well written and wonderfully understated, this story
opens out onto an uncertain and ominous future. Recommended for Ringers
of all persuasions, this is a lovely speculative AU piece that lets your
imagination roam in the unwritten aftermath.
-----------------------------------
Title: Boats To Build · Author: Nancy Brooke · Times: Late Third Age ·
ID: 300
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-16 02:35:43
Very touching, and especially powerful to me, given the prevalence of
Alzheimer's in my family. That period of knowing that there will come a
time when you lose the ability to do what gives meaning to your life,
and the turmoil in the family this causes, is very difficult--an
intensification of the natural process of aging and dying. Adrahil shows
the wisdom of accepting this, and planning for it, for the good of all,
himself included. In that, he shows his grandson an image, in the late
days of the Third Age, of the grace and wisdom of the Numenorean kings.
Well done!
-----------------------------------
Title: Just Us Lads · Author: pippinfan88 · Times: Late Third Age: The
Shire · ID: 291
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-16 02:35:55
Sweet!
-----------------------------------
Title: Lost · Author: Radbooks · Times: Late Third Age · ID: 260
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-16 02:36:14
Ooh, the irony! Pity, old Bill is much more likeable at this stage of
his life. One wonders what soured him so to Rangers, and to this
particular one, later on.
-----------------------------------
Title: Oasis · Author: Radbooks · Times: Late Third Age · ID: 259
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-16 02:36:27
A sweltering interlude in the journeys of one Captain Thorongil. Nicely
captures the dangers he would face in Harad, between weather and his own
foreign origins.
-----------------------------------
Title: Butterflies and Caterpillars · Author: Radbooks · Times: Late
Third Age · ID: 258
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-16 02:36:40
The caterpillar-butterfly connection is certainly one of the abiding
wonderous discoveries of childhood. It's also a great metaphor for
mortality and afterlife, but that's no doubt reading more than is warranted.
-----------------------------------
Title: Shoot the Moon · Author: mistycracraft · Times: Late Third Age ·
ID: 233
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-16 02:36:52
A trip down memory lane--back to astronomy and fourth grade! But I liked
the lesson, and Estel's questions make quite enough sense to me, at
least! The stars would be such an important way for a Ranger to orient
himself, even at night, that of course it would be more than mere
pleasure and a history lesson or a lesson in myths to teach him to
stargaze properly. Thanks for filling out Middle-earth's nightsky,
mistycraft.
-----------------------------------
Title: Regret · Author: mistycracraft · Times: Late Third Age · ID: 232
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-16 02:37:13
Well written, and while one suspects that Legolas' original hypothesis
about the woman and child can't be correct, the actual tale works out
well to cover the facts. Bregor's friendship with Aragorn is
well-sketched, and it would probably be the most deeply traumatic event
of Aragorn's first years among the Dúnedain to face up to the fact that
people he loves are essentially committed to die for him--and then
actually go through with that. Although the AU element means I can't see
this form of reaction to that event, I do think he would have taken some
time to reconcile himself to this aspect of his life.
-----------------------------------
Title: Birthday Kisses · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: Late Third
Age · ID: 59
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-16 02:37:30
Aww, sweet and melancholy! I'm not much of a dog person, either, but
puppies are of course the exception to every category and Faramir's
delight in the new addition to his bereaved family is infectious.
Denethor's stiffness and inability to reach out in any clear way to his
younger son portends the long affectionate deprivation Faramir will
suffer into adulthood where his father is concerned. Nice use of Imrahil
as POV.
-----------------------------------
Title: Fugitive · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres: Drama · ID: 366
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2006-08-16 05:05:40
An unusual and likeable story about Aragorn's young daughter,
Gilraen.The little princess runs away,as she feels and neglected at
Faramir's home and wants her mother.
IT concludeds delightfully when her father,having lost none of his old
ranger skills, tracks her down and tells her why mummy,isn't there, as
she is soon to have a little brother !
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7447

Reviews for 16 Sept - Part 2 Posted by Rhapsody September 17, 2006 - 14:25:45 Topic ID# 7445
Title: Lightly Sings the Wind · Author: Ellie · Genres: Drama: Elves in
Later Ages · ID: 799
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-16 07:21:50
This must have been such a hard time for Earwen. In some ways, I think
she might have understood Artanis's decision to stay with Celeborn
rather better than Finarfin did - after all, she left Alqualonde for
him. (Although, of course, she could visit when she wanted.) But the
knowledge of her sons' deaths - and how they died - must have been
dreadful for this elf of Aman, to whom death was a horrific rarity.

Finarfin's experience must have changed him, too. Years of experiencing
war and sending elves to their death must have helped him come to terms
with his sons' fate - but it seems unlikely that messages would have
gone back and forth between Aman and Ennor. This return would have been
the first that most heard of the fate of their kin.

Having another child is probably a good move. I think, maybe, they
rushed into it a bit, but it's not one of those decisions you can make
rationally - and, if they had taken time to think, they probably
wouldn't have done it.

And their sons will return - and so will Galadriel, in time. (It would
be interesting to see how she responded to a much younger sibling!)

I enjoyed this - and feel for both Earwen and Finarfin. And her parents,
too. (Her mother is very wise.) And everyone else, really. The Blessed
Realm must have been an entirely different place in the aftermath of the
War of Wrath.
-----------------------------------
Title: Pennies for a Sunny Day · Author: Cathleen · Times: Late Third
Age: The Shire · ID: 728
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-16 07:27:55
Pippin's sisters - and parents - could clearly do with a rest from their
youngest family member. Frogs, indeed!

Merry and Frodo regarding his visit with some trepidation doesn't
surprise me in the least! Pippin is a very wearing young hobbit! But
they manage to deal with him very well - and I'm sure they'll soon
decide they wouldn't want to be without him!

-----------------------------------
Title: A Message and a Bottle · Author: Larner · Genres: Drama:
Featuring Pippin or Merry · ID: 89
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-16 07:35:03
This is a delightful birthday custom that demonstrates real affection
between the two taking part. That the wine was good after all those
years - well, that is remarkable, but no more remarkable than hobbits.

I like the glimpse of the Valar at the end - and hope they realise that
the traffic in toy boats and bottles is likely to increase!

It is such a Pippinish thing to do - and a delight to see. I liked the
way everything is wound in with your other stories too. And I'm guessing
that Gandalf told Frodo that he wasn't to reveal anything about the
West, so that he confined himself to pictures rather than writing. A
sweet link between hobbits.

-----------------------------------
Title: Treasures And Momentos · Author: Marigold · Genres: Drama:
Featuring Pippin or Merry · ID: 220
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-16 07:37:39
I'm glad Merry and Pippin stayed together. And Merry would be obstinate
enough to remain as long as Pippin did - and then immediately follow
him. Pippin would have the courage to go first too.

Poor Aragorn. Even knowing he was likely to outlive them, this must have
been another step on his own way to leading Arwen to a non-elven fate
for which he probably always felt guilty. And Legolas was reminded again
that he was going to be the last one left standing.

Love the gifts and messages - and the brushes.

-----------------------------------
Title: Old Man Willow · Author: Jay of Lasgalen · Races: Elves:
Fixed-Length Ficlet Featuring Legolas or Thranduil · ID: 859
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-16 07:41:15
Very elfy! I love Legolas's cool handling of the power of enchantments -
and his kindness. You have me feeling sorry for Old Man Willow. To be
alone and elfless (or, I suppose, Entless) for so long must have twisted
him. Legolas's touch seems like lancing a boil to let out the evil.

-----------------------------------
Title: Kissing is Different · Author: Lady Bluejay · Genres: Romance:
Lothíriel & Éomer · ID: 280
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-16 07:43:43
Very clever, Lothiriel. How to make an impression!

Although I'm not sure she needed to be devious! As soon as he glimpsed
her loosely laced blouse and her concern for Helm made her inadvertently
show him more, he was panting to become better acquainted!

-----------------------------------
Title: In the Service of the King · Author: grey_wonderer · Times: The
Great Years: Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 138
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-16 07:45:28
Pippin the wanderer proves to be the one whose ease of manner and
ability to get on with allcomers can encourage the people of the White
City to open their minds to the king.

Pippin and the boys scrubbing the fountain is actually a clever
high-profile way of showing everyone that the king tempers justice with
mercy and understanding - and the story about Boromir is just a massive
plus. Although I imagine that a hung-over seventeen-year-old accepted
his punishment rather more grumpily and with rather less grace.

And then there's the singing! Pippish, indeed! And Legolas's pained
expression when he congratulates himself on the graciousness of his
response to mangled Elvish. And Haldir teaching the songs in order to
penalise Legolas for the dwarf's presence. And Gimli's indignation and
the hint of revenge in his eyes. This is just one delightful incident
piled on another until the whole concoction is so rich!

The formal appointment with the King - at the same time and place as the
informal meeting with Strider - will certainly result in some allocated
play areas for children. Which is probably a good thing - as long as
they are chosen for something other than being out of the way and not
wanted by anyone else.

Splendid story. So pleased to read it.

-----------------------------------
Title: Benison · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Drama: Remembering · ID: 67
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-16 07:52:54
I found this such a beautiful tale. And I love the title - which is, I
think, exactly the right choice of word!

The sewing basket and its treasures give such a touching point of
connection between Eowyn and Finduilas and provide an understanding that
they could have had in no other way. The drawings - and poetry - are a
real window on the past, whereas the sketch of baby Faramir is perfect.
I wonder if Eowyn will show it to him - it will do him good, I think, to
realise how much he was loved. The feminine input into life in the
Steward's family has been restored after a long and sad interlude - and
Finduilas is happier, wherever she is, because of it. It is like a
handing on of the torch! (Or needle.)
-----------------------------------
Title: A Merry Old Inn · Author: Dreamflower · Times: Late Third Age ·
ID: 881
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-16 07:56:41
How lovely to see a Bilbo and the Dwarves story!

I bet Bilbo wishes he hadn't been quite so keen to knock back those
large tankards of ale! But the visit must have been very interesting to
him. Bree, with its easy-going mixture of races, must seem very odd to
someone who had never left the Shire before. I like the fact that it is
quite egalitarian - no one race seems to subordinate another. I think it
will do its part in opening the Baggins's mind.

-----------------------------------
Title: Chance Encounter · Author: Dreamflower · Times: The Great Years:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 187
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-16 08:13:56
I love Chance Encounter and feel that Menelcar is a great addition - and
very understanding bard he is, too. And experience of hobbits has just
become a great career enhancement!

Pippin and the others haven't really grasped the significance of those
guards around them - or their exalted position in the city - and how it
is partly to keep away undesirables. I am, however, very glad that
Pippin heard and met Menelcar. The bard himself is much more aware of
the analysis is those grey eyes of the young Steward - he knows he is
being checked out for suitability. But he is suitable - and talented -
and deserves the break he gets here.

What else do I love about this story? The Eowyn interlude is delightful.
The point about Eomer's youth - I like seeing the hobbits as the mature,
responsible support for those who, although taller, are so young. The
nasty trio of confidence tricksters who equate small with stupid. And
the fact that they were taken in by the youngest hobbit of all. (I'm
glad that Pippin put his foot down about the death penalty.)

I do hope Menelcar continues to appear in your stories! He has an
interesting perspective on both kings and hobbits - and his experience
of wandering must give him a bond with the Ranger who has been confined
in the city.

-----------------------------------
Title: The River · Author: Indigo Bunting · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Incomplete · ID: 51
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-16 08:19:55
This is a splendid and most exciting story - I am thoroughly enjoying
the arrival of each new chapter. The relationship Sam and Legolas
developed in the face of their captors is great - as is their strength
of mind and body and their commitment to helping each other. When they
went into the river for the second time - well, I'm just glad they all
have to be there for the coronation, that's all. (Except for poor
Boromir, who has another appointment with death.)

Merry is a hero - living by the Brandywine turned out to be a Very Good
Thing - and the fellowship is building into a team, each member of which
is vital to the survival and comfort of the others. Good thing, too,
that the hobbits are wise enough to share their worries - and their
experience with the siren call of that dratted ring. If only Boromir had
been able to do the same then maybe, just maybe...

Good story.


-----------------------------------
Title: Dawn of a New Age: First Age · Author: elliska · Times: First Age
and Prior: Incomplete · ID: 406
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-16 08:28:10
So Manarindë - what a charmer - doesn't appreciate the arrival of the
moon, then? Glad to see that a certain elleth with the characteristics
of a swan with sable plumage was just as good-natured and lovable in the
First Age, even at the point when the Noldor have only just arrived in
Middle-earth.

And just imagine being able to look up at the moon and say 'I know him'.
And, come to that, to be able, without any apparent effort, to raise and
maintain a barrier that keeps the baddies at bay. Melian packs some
serious power - although I'm not entirely sure that she has much of a
real understanding of elves. Except the general gorgeousness of Elu, of
course.

The battle was remarkable. Did you have battle plans, to see where
everyone was and what they were doing as you planned it out? I'm glad to
see that Oropher's impetuous side is already firmly in place - and his
competitiveness with Amglaur. In fact you could say that 'impetuous'
seems to be a bit of a family trait - one to which Denethor was not immune.

I love this - it's great to see the back story to lots of the
Interrupted Journeys characters and to get to meet those whose presence,
by the Third Age, is sadly missed. I am keeping my fingers crossed that
the story will continue soon!

-----------------------------------
Title: To Become A Queen · Author: Madeleine · Genres: Romance:
Lothíriel & Éomer · ID: 157
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-16 17:27:59
Lothíriel is on her way to Rohan to wed Éomer King accompanied by her
whole family. Meeting Éomer again after being apart for 9 months, sets
some of her insecurities to rest. She is still drawn to him and he seems
still drawn to her. She desperately wants to talk to Éomer in private,
asking him all the questions burning on her mind about the why of her
betrothal. Éomer has his own doubts about Lothíriels motives, but the
princes of Dol Amroth are in top form safeguarding their sister until
the wedding. Especially Amrothos gets marks for always showing up at the
right place at the right time or the wrong place at the wrong time
depending on the pov. Even as her favorite brother, his beloved sister
comes to wish him harm -- slightly.

Again the author excels in writing humorous dialogue between the main
protagonists. I love the discussion during the wedding night about the
differences between the mating rituals of turtles, sorry, giant
tortoises and human lovemaking. Éomer has to do one mental somersault
after the other to keep up with his wifes reasoning.

The part where Eomer admits to himself why he is marrying Lothiriel is
very touching.

Another of my favorite scenes is Éomer's rather unorthodox method to
convince Éothain to agree to Lothíriel performing surgery on him by
knocking him out. When Lothiriel questions this action, Aragorn and her
father assure her that they agree with Eomer and that this act was
completely reasonable.

The characters in this story come to life and are well developed.
Madeleines Lothiriel is a mixture of innocence, intelligence and
pragmatism which will come handy once she has to be Queen along her
husband as King.

-----------------------------------
Title: The Groomsman · Author: Elen Kortirion · Races: Dwarves:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 44
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-16 17:28:19
Who would have thought. Gimli doesn't loose his head and knows what to
do. I like it that he does Boromir the honor of readying him for his
last voyage.
-----------------------------------
Title: Ignorance Is Bliss · Author: Eggo Waffles · Genres: Humor: Parody
· ID: 754
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-16 17:28:57
This piece is hilarious. Poor Faramir and Boromir. Having to read
through all the drivel. I loved the criterion for finding the true
scroll [It has lots of words. Lots. And theyre all spelled
correctly.] I'm still giggling. I never realized that most of the
Faramir/Boromir stories can be so neatly filed into these categories ;-).
-----------------------------------
Title: Hewing Naught But Wood · Author: Thundera Tiger · Genres: Humor:
Parody · ID: 825
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-16 17:29:26
LOL! This piece is very funny. Poor Eomer has to listen to the debate
about semantics in the middle of a battle. But I have to say I have seen
discussions like this on mailing lists. And this one at least had an
amicable ending without erupting into a war on its own.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Matter of Honor · Author: meckinock · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Incomplete · ID: 208
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-16 17:30:30
This is a great story. You paint such a vivid picture of the landscape
and the people. The characters come to life and I love the relationship
you develop between Halbarad and Aragorn. I especially like the
characterization of Gandalf in the early parts of the story. In this
story he seems more of a person than just the wizard spouting off sage
advice. I hope he shows up again.

There are intesting bits of the life of the Dunedain sprinkled between
the main plot of the story. Your Dunlendings seem to be varied in their
customs, too, and not just simply the bad guys.

I think the balance between narration and dialogue is just right.
Necessary exposition is embedded between the action so that it doesn't
get boring or feels force fed. I love the humor in this story. For me it
is just the right mixture. It lightens the mood, so that it doesn't get
too serious, but it doesn't get into silly slapstick.


-----------------------------------
Title: A Battle Of A Different Kind · Author: Katzilla · Genres: Drama:
Pre-Fellowship · ID: 279
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-16 17:31:06
This is an interesting little scene. I never thought of Eowyn and Eomer
fighting a duel. But it rings true. I could see them doing that. Eowyn
fighting for her right to go with the men, and Eomer desperately trying
to convince her otherwise. I can see both of their points of view, and I
can't think they can come to a solution which suits both of them. Eowyn
wants to 'do' something, not just fight battles with words. She is
between a rock and a hard place and there is no way out of it.
-----------------------------------
Title: Ring Thoughts · Author: Nesta · Times: The Great Years · ID: 190
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-16 18:15:59
The Ring has a believably sly, smug voice (the modernisms didn't jar
overmuch). His running commentary on the Fellowship (and those they
encounter) are darkly humorous and highly entertaining, as is the way he
works on his potential victims and insinuatingly talks to them.
Loved the unusual perspective of the Ring on Faramir - nope, no chance
there *g*!
-----------------------------------
Title: Gondor Needs No King · Author: Ribby · Times: The Great Years:
Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 207
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-16 18:16:55
The beginning and ending line suggest further horror beyond the
spotlight of the drabble. The detached, cynical narrative voice, laden
with double-meanings, adds to the chilly, uncanny atmosphere.

-----------------------------------
Title: Another Man's Cage · Author: Dawn Felagund · Genres: Drama · ID: 136
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-16 18:17:45
Evocative, rich and well-told (although I have a few quibbles, e.g.
regarding modernisms); intense and moving. Very strong characterisations
- each of the characters is distinct, three-dimensional and vividly
realised. Lovingly detailed descriptions of the various settings that
bring them vividly to life in the readers' imagination.

You show convincingly how the Fëanorians are more than just this
collective, how each one has his own individual strengths, faults,
obsessions, fears and dreams. How hard and awkward it can be with the
constant pressure of living up to the example of Fëanor and the
competition among the brothers.

You skilfully show where the faultlines are starting to appear within
the immediate family as well as in relation to others (the half-family,
the Valar) that will be so fateful later on.

The little hints of foreshadowing are a clever touch that add to the
slightly uneasy, tense atmosphere.
-----------------------------------
Title: Recalled To Life - Alqualonde · Author: AWing · Races: Elves:
Feanorians · ID: 787
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-16 18:25:18
The story is told in a quiet tone that seems fitting to the subject.

Beautifully detailed description of Alqualondë that brings the city
vividly to life, and the flashes of the past in their contrasting images
add poignancy.

All the different, conflicting emotions felt by all of the characters
concerned are sketched and given due weight, without getting sentimental.

I particularly appreciate the fact that forgiveness comes not
immediately, not easily, and when it does, it is because of the highly
symbolic Silmaril up in the Heaven for all to see - here once again
"Gil-Estel" - and through a song in whose creation both kindreds had
their part.
-----------------------------------
Title: Wishing On The Stars · Author: Marigold · Times: The Great Years:
General Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 116
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-16 18:26:49
This is such a delightful story - I love the link between Eglantine and
the stars - and her unwitting recognition of the link between them and
Pippin's wellbeing. And then there is the return of the Shining Hero to
the Smials. What a moment of joy for her. Not to mention a relief!
-----------------------------------
Title: Antiphon to Light · Author: Thevina Finduilas · Races: Dwarves ·
ID: 155
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-16 18:30:52
Elegant style, very good descriptions of the beautiful but slightly
uncanny Golden Wood.

Gimli's character and voice are captured very well: he is gruff,
passionate, suspicious, honest. The story brings alive the moment of and
reason for his impassioned admiration of Galadriel.

I also very much liked how you showed how he, a dwarf, can and does see
and acknowledge beauty.

This encapsulates his thoughts very well, I find: ["Gimli was convinced
more than ever that the whole land here was enchanted; what astonished
him was that he cared not a whit."]

-----------------------------------
Title: A Tisket, A Tasket · Author: grey_wonderer · Times: Late Third
Age: The Shire · ID: 570
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-16 18:38:08
This is such a delightful story.

I must confess Errol has taken on a tremendous personality (are you sure
he's not a canon character?) Stories in which he features do tend to be
extremely entertaining. And this is such a sweet story. The only thing
that surprises me is that Errol only produced one baby. I could have
sworn he would have ended up with three. Which would have given Bilbo's
words on the potential of rabbit reproduction even more force!

Mind you the tales about Frodo and the baths and Merry and the squirrels
are delightful, too. Shame there's no-one old enough to know just what
Bilbo was like at the same age.

Very enjoyable!

-----------------------------------

Msg# 7448

Reviews for 18 Sept - Part 2 Posted by Rhapsody September 18, 2006 - 14:42:12 Topic ID# 7448
Title: Lesser Ring · Author: Larner · Genres: Adventure · ID: 184
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-17 15:51:08
I enjoyed the complications of this story - so often it seems as if
there is nothing in Middle-earth beyond Gondor and the elven realms and
it is good to see Elessar attempting to build up a positive relationship
with other nations as well. And you have a very developed idea of the
different cultures and their complications which makes reading this very
interesting.

It is good to see that we ended up with a group of people whose minds
have been thoroughly opened to other cultures.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Three Towers · Author: Shirebound · Times: The Great Years:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 113
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-17 15:55:37
It's good to think of Mordor recovering and becoming green again. It's
about time!

This turned out to be a very healing visit, one way or another, for all
those who followed the our heroes to the tower.

-----------------------------------
Title: To Learn His Letters · Author: GamgeeFest · Races: Hobbits:
Children · ID: 977
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-17 15:57:28
Good for Halfred. He did a good job here and he found the right argument
in the end. The Gaffer couldn't argue with it - not and remain honest
with himself.

Sam is such a sweetie - I loved him holding onto his brother at the
beginning. And his pride in his slate. Bilbo will find him a
delightfully enthusiastic student, to whom the chance to learn means so
much.

-----------------------------------
Title: Earth's Daughter · Author: Aramel · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
Gondor · ID: 170
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 17:39:46
The evocative descriptions of nature and how the protagonist experiences
the meeting with the Elves have a certain beautiful but wistful glow
about them. You have fleshed out the poem believably and given it a
lovely, engaging context.
Ceveniel's rejection of the invitation seems more understandable because
you have given it more context than there was in the poem.
I like the suggestions of who the three Elves were in the Last Ship,
although I personally hope that Galadriel didn't have to wait that long
for her husband.

-----------------------------------
Title: Breeze · Author: illyria-pffyffin · Races: Hobbits: War of the
Ring · ID: 974
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 17:42:13
Unique perspective, brought to life by an evocative, meaningful style,
an engaging, intense narrative voice, and lovely details of description
and "characterisation".
The breeze's sympathy and compassion, it's persistent tries to help the
weary, suffering Hobbits in the little ways that it is able are
endearing and very moving; and expressed suitable to its nature.
I liked how you gave the breeze a background that stretches back in
place to Aman, and in time to the First Age.
-----------------------------------
Title: A New Year · Author: Bodkin · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond · ID: 704
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 17:46:12
An important subject, embedded in an entertaining story.
The big cast of characters helps to presents the different attitudes
towards the reason for the celebration (although I had the feeling that
a few of the characters suffered from lack of "stage-time").
I particularly liked the transformation of Olórin to his persona as
grumpy old Gandalf
-----------------------------------
Title: Birthdays · Author: Rabidsamfan · Genres: Drama: Remembering ·
ID: 988
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 17:48:03
Wonderfully told, sad and funny and comforting at the same time.
Excellent use of PoV - the childish voice is marvellously handled,
especially because you took Elanor's maturing into consideration.
-----------------------------------
Title: Until the King Returns · Author: Marta · Races: Men: Vignette ·
ID: 540
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 17:53:02
Very intriguing premise, skillfully and plausibly presented. Good
characterisations of both Mardil and Eärnur. The allusions to events in
Gondor's history are cleverly woven into the narrative, giving the story
depth and background without distracting from the main plot.

I like how you have slighty changed the wording of the oath of fealty -
it feels right to use this specific variant for the time when Gondor
still had her kings. And I like how you subtly used some specific quotes
from canon, for example ["...Mordor where the shadows lie."]

As to the probable "AU-ness" of the story - it seems to me Mardil is
less jaded but rather desperate, employing the only means he can think
of, perhaps the last means he has tried.
-----------------------------------
Title: Divinity · Author: illyria-pffyffin · Races: Hobbits · ID: 824
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 17:53:56
Beautifully realised, original idea. I'm usually rather critical of the
Valar, but this story somehow feels very... comforting, to know they did
care, and aided in small ways. The emotions of the Valar, their
compassion and helplessness are well-presented.
The part about Manwë is my favourite: it's poignant, and moving, and
lyrical. It resonated long after I had finished reading the story.
-----------------------------------
Title: Merry Yules · Author: Marigold · Races: Hobbits: Fixed-Length
Ficlet series · ID: 114
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 17:55:58
The maturing of both Merry and Pippin is presented very realistically.
Good, lively dialogue, touching relationship (I especially liked how it
evolves and sometimes changes, depending on the circumstances). The
progression of the years is well-handled.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Still Point · Author: stultiloquentia · Times: The Great
Years: Gondor · ID: 87
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 18:01:14
Sensuous, in a tasteful, touching, lovely and loving way. Wonderfully
evocative descriptions that bring the mood, the ambience of the night
and the morning to life. Intimate, but with little touches that keep the
connection to the outside world.

True and vivid characterisations, and their interactions is just
perfect, almost painfully so. Despite the dreamlike, symbolical/mystical
quality of the narrative, of the meaning of this night for both of the
protanists personally and for Middle-earth in general, I particularly
like the little details that show them as real people, not only icons
out of legend: Their glowing happiness on the way to the wedding bed,
Aragorn's red nose and frizz of hair, the picture of him as the ["the
interminable drinker"], Arwen curling on the settee, their banter about
the servants...

Arwen especially is beautifully realised, as a strong woman despite her
own brief doubts and uncertainties; aware and curious of the realities
of Mortality she is going to experience now, too; valiant, passionate.

A very interesting and plausible theory of exactly when and HOW Arwen's
choice manifested itself.

-----------------------------------
Title: Midwinter Rites · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Aragorn
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 868
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 18:02:02
You have managed to pack many different traditions and vignettes into
this little story. They don't seem as mere enumeration, each one is
fresh and evocative. And Aragorn's appreciation for each of them,
diverse as they are, is palpable, and speaks favourably to his
character, I find.
-----------------------------------
Title: Lossarnach Yule · Author: Isabeau of Greenlea · Races: Men:
Gondor · ID: 677
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 18:09:26
A story of ordinary Gondorians and their everyday life and concerns.
Very well-explored, seamlessly combining canon, plausible
extrapolations, and noticeably diligent research, as shown in the deftly
interwoven details (contracts, or enlistment requirements, for instance).
The original characters are believable, three-dimensional and clearly drawn.

I especially liked Idren and Lord Forlong, this further view of Lorend
(which shows his mischievous side as well as the good heart and
generosity beneath); and as always, I enjoyed this outside look on
Hethlin. The summary in the epilogue gives teasing and satisfying
glimpes of a bright future for the protagonists.

The passage starting with ["I looked about, at all who were with us, a
bit of everything that made Gondor strong..."] was a lovely summary of
the essence of the story.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Gift · Author: Dawn Felagund · Times: First Age and Prior ·
ID: 131
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 18:12:16
Oh, this is absolutely hearbreaking! Extraordinarily intense,
wonderfully-handled emotions, beautiful, rich language.
Very good characterisations that manage to be vivid and descriptive with
just a few well-chosen words and images.
And the hints of stories just beyond the narrative add to the rich
texture of the story.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Long Road Home · Author: AmandaK · Genres: Alternate Universe
· ID: 743
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 18:17:45
I find the premise rather improbable (Boromir "The Bold" wanting his
secret kept from anyone, even his grieving father and the Fellowship &
being so inordinately afraid of Denethor's reaction), and have some
quibbles about how canon characters are portrayed now and then.
BUT the story is very well-written: with a rich, gripping plot; clear,
vivid descriptions, especially of nature; a very good feeling for
atmosphere; and interesting, convincing original characters (although
the episode told from the PoV of the female orc seems oddly out of place).
-----------------------------------
Title: Memorabilia and Other Useful Things · Author: Illwynd · Times:
The Great Years: The Fellowship · ID: 714
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 19:15:02
I liked the collection and how it is described, but I missed interaction
with the other characters during Pippin's explanation. Surely they would
have had questions or comments?
-----------------------------------
Title: A Little Thing · Author: Acacea · Times: Early Third Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 75
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 19:16:11
Very good realisation of the prompt for the drabble: ["Life Aquatic"].
It combines the innocence but instinctive perceptiveness of animals and
plants in the Anduin with the malevolence of the Ring. Understated and
restrained, yet evocative.
-----------------------------------
Title: Those Who Challenge the Dead · Author: Nancy Brooke · Races: Men:
Other Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 858
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 19:17:38
Very dynamic characterisations that bring the two protagonists instantly
to life. Poignant use of descriptions. I especially liked the respective
endings.
-----------------------------------
Title: Music Lessons · Author: Acacea · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 55
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 19:18:52
Lovely story, with wonderful characterisations, and a believable,
nicely-handled first meeting between the Wizard and his "pupil". I like
the quiet humour that pervades the story. And I like the beginning: it's
as if the reader's mind is slowly drawn into the scene, being given the
time to appreciate the idyllic setting.
-----------------------------------
Title: Cacophony · Author: Gwynnyd · Genres: Humor: Parody · ID: 929
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 19:19:45
Absolutely hilarious. Eru's despair is palpable; and very understandable
given the images you put into the reader's mind (and ear).
-----------------------------------
Title: Farewell Lullaby · Author: Armariel · Races: Hobbits: Poetry ·
ID: 719
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 19:23:48
Beautiful, lyrical, inventive imagery; enchanting, deeply-affecting
voice. Frodo's regret and sadness, his concern for Sam, but also his
acceptance of the fact that he will have to leave and thus will not
being able to watch Elanor grow up are tangible.
-----------------------------------
Title: Appearances Can Be Deceiving · Author: Dreamflower · Genres:
Adventure · ID: 760
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 19:26:42
An answer to the question of how Bilbo and Aragorn first met - with a
nice twist.
Lovely descriptions of the valley of Imladris. I liked Bilbo's attention
to details, regarding his environment and Aragorn both.
-----------------------------------
Title: An Army of Tooks · Author: Mariole · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 831
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 19:28:38
Believable gapfiller; gives a real feeling for sense of place, and of
the tactics for the fight against the ruffians. I especially liked
Paladin's characterisation. The rallying speech was perhaps a bit
melodramatic, especially for Hobbits.
-----------------------------------
Title: Heirlooms · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Drama: Remembering · ID: 72
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 19:29:32
Very moving. A nice way to link the future of Rohan and Gondor through
Théodred and Boromir, and, further back, to their common ancestress Morwen.
-----------------------------------
Title: Flotsam · Author: Salsify · Times: The Great Years: Vignette · ID: 85
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 19:31:58
This story grips the heart, as reluctantly but inevitably as it is for
Merry when seeing and thinking about the baby in his dreams, perhaps.
Resonating and disturbing images; a haunting narrative voice, telling of
the cost of war - in destruction, in lives, in hardened hearts.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7449

Reviews for 18 Sept - Part 1 Posted by Rhapsody September 18, 2006 - 14:49:17 Topic ID# 7449
Title: Making Merry · Author: Marigold · Races: Hobbits · ID: 663
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-16 18:45:11
I just love Merry and Pippin here in the middle of an elven feast - and
it is so very like practical Merry to stand back and doubt the reality -
just as it is very like the more impetuous Pippin to be right in the
middle of it all. And they, (unlike their Cousin Bilbo) were actually
invited and got to enjoy the feast.

While Magick with a 'k' is just so much more magical than everyday magic!

-----------------------------------
Title: Appearances Can Be Deceiving · Author: Dreamflower · Genres:
Adventure · ID: 760
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-16 18:49:48
I love the way that brave Bilbo runs to the rescue of Rivendell - only
to find he had instead been delivering timely help to a brave and
injured ranger. One he remembered from a brief meeting with a curious
child, too.

This really is a good beginning to their friendship - one you can see
leading to Poetry!

I'm impressed, too, that an ancient hobbit still manages to pack to much
resilience - and power in his legs. He may be old, but his spirit is
still young! I thoroughly enjoyed this story, Dreamflower.

-----------------------------------
Title: The Falcon's Watch · Author: pippinfan88 · Genres: Drama:
Featuring Pippin or Merry · ID: 227
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-16 19:12:34
I had never really thought of the heartbreak the children of the Four
Travellers would feel after their fathers left. In a way it's something
like a suicide. Kali here had a lot of practical wisdom to offere, and a
lot of what he said made good sense; I'm glad he was there for Faramir.
Not sure I completely buy there not being healing in the Shire but maybe
a society more used to dealing with PTSD and other post-war woes would
know better how to help them. That would have been interesting to see
expounded more. Regardless, this is a really touching tale and you
seemed to crawl into the headspace of the new thain and master very well.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Message and a Bottle · Author: Larner · Genres: Drama:
Featuring Pippin or Merry · ID: 89
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-16 23:22:56
I do feel like I'm missing a lot of backstory to this piece, so it
doesn't make as big an impact as perhaps it should. Still, it was a
fascinating story about Tobolard and an interesting way of connecting
Valinor and the Shire. I especially liked the Bree scene, and the
explanation of Shire customs.
-----------------------------------
Title: Never Let Go · Author: ann_arien · Genres: Drama: First Age Elves
· ID: 621
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-17 02:39:55
This piece does a really good job of not feminizing either of the
leading characters. They are certainly in love, but their love is the
quiet, strong sort that doesn't at all undercut the warriors and princes
that they were. It's a difficult balance to strike, and you handle it
nicely.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Matter of Honor · Author: meckinock · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Incomplete · ID: 208
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-17 05:16:30
An excellent adventure story! Aragorn, recovering in Imladris, finds a
collection of letters to his father left in the attic, and is convinced
he must find out the truth of an old family mystery.

The writer weaves a fascinating tale, blending gripping action sequences
with humor, pathos, sharp dialogue, and wonderful portraits of LOTR
characters and OC's. I particularly love the characterisations of
Halbarad, a practical, down-to-earth sort of warrior who nevertheless
foresees his own doom in Gondor, and is determined to meet it valiantly,
for love of Aragorn and the prosperity that his friend's kingship will
bring to the beleaguered Dunedain.

The dialogue between Aragorn and Halbarad is well-written too. Kudos as
well for the portrayal of the contrasts of easy living in Rivendell and
the hardscrabble existence of the Dunedain; and how well Aragorn fits in
both environments, though not without cost. Elrond and Gandalf are also
written particularly credibly.

A great story that I hope will eventually be concluded.
-----------------------------------
Title: Counting the Days · Author: Lady Bluejay · Genres: Romance:
Lothíriel & Éomer · ID: 281
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-17 05:31:00
I loved Eomer's reluctance to move and his spying on the camp of the Dol
Amroth princes. And his assumption that their elegance would be shared
with their sister. His immediate horror on seeing an un-beautiful girl
is rather shallow - I would have expected more from him - but I hope he
would have learned on actually meeting the girl that there is more to
her than simple beauty. And, actually, since he is going into an
arranged marriage for political reasons, he has no reason to expect
beauty, charm and intelligence to come as part of the package!

Of course, he ended up with more than he deserved - but at least
Lothiriel was able to take some consolation in that her father and
brothers hadn't done too bad a job in selecting a suitable husband.

-----------------------------------
Title: Inside Out · Author: grey_wonderer · Genres: Humor: The Shire ·
ID: 636
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-17 05:35:34
What a sneaky little hobbit that Pippin is! Well, at least they'll be
too busy to be bored now until it's time to eat. But it'll be Merry's
turn to get even. (I doubt he'll actually kill Pippin. But he won't take
kindly to having been fooled!)

This little bunch of gentlehobbits clearly don't have enough to do to
keep them out of mischief. Still - I suppose the skills they've learned
might prove useful when it comes to fooling Nazgul!
-----------------------------------
Title: Until Light Returns · Author: elliska · Races: Elves:
Fixed-Length Ficlet Featuring Legolas or Thranduil · ID: 707
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-17 05:39:50
Oh - very nice, elliska! One of those moments when perfect elven memory
would be a definite advantage. The beauty of that moment must have made
the effort of trying to preserve the forest worthwhile, despite the
trials that came with it.
-----------------------------------
Title: Sixteen Singing Eagles · Author: Isabeau of Greenlea · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 678
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-17 05:42:07
A humorous vignette wherein the author's OFC, the indomitable
Ranger-warrior-Dunedain Hethlin, demonstrates one of the few things she
cannot do, when she learns that the Great Eagles also lack that
particular talent.

Both Hethlin and her author/creator are at their best here, thinking and
speaking with wry good humor, from a place where most mortals rarely
fare - or dare.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Spy · Author: daw the minstrel · Races: Elves · ID: 268
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-17 05:50:08
I do love Beliond. And feel sorry for him - although, don't tell him
that. He might not appreciate the sentiment. He spends so much time
alone - and far too much time among people he despises. I would love to
see him forced to spend enough time with a man to come to appreciate his
good qualities and have to admit that not all men were that bad. Really.
Despite their bad odour, poor singing voices, inclination to deceive and
inability to hear the trees.

But this story is a delight. Spying with bells. Actually, literally.
Abun doesn't know how lucky he is - and neither do the townsfolk. I love
seeing Beliond manipulate all the people in the town - picking pockets
is another of his talents, it would appear! And, of course, seeing
Beliond tugging down the back of a too-short tunic is rather delicious, too.

And this special mission Thranduil has planned for him - it couldn't
have anything to do with a princeling on the point of warriorhood, could
it? I'm not surprised Beliond was a little miffed at his change in role.
Although it will be good for him. It is time the elf returned to the
fold and opened up a bit.

A fun story. I like picturing the old curmudgeon disguised as a minstrel
singing for his supper. I want to join the Beliond fan club!


-----------------------------------
Title: A Creature Of Fire · Author: daw the minstrel · Races: Elves:
Featuring Mirkwood Elves · ID: 956
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-17 05:59:16
This is such an emotional roller-coaster of a story. Legolas is so happy
- and then plunged into such despair. And are there any people as well
qualified as Beliond and Thranduil to understand his pain and help him
to deal with it? Probably not. Is there any part of the story that is
less than excellent? Answer: no.

Legolas's grief - his inability to speak and eat, his reluctance to be
with people who are happy, his inertia, and so on are just so accurate.
The anxiety of his family - all hanging there and not quite sure what to
do except feed and talk to him, yet all unconsciously increasing his
feelings of loss and abandonment. And Thranduil is just brilliant. I
only wish he had had someone comparable to him to lean on when Lorellin
died. He coped by being needed - by realm and sons - and by being angry,
but a shoulder would have been a bonus.

Beliond - what a star. I loved the way he provided the ring for Legolas
to use - the way he took him home - the way stalked into the palace and
carried Legolas off to the forest. He has a real understanding of the
elf under his care.

And then, Annael's care is what he needs, too. Undemanding. Annael has
always been good at being the kind of friend who gives what Legolas
needs, rather than demanding. And it was good for Legolas to see Elowen
and Galelas and Naran's parents.

But the best moment of all, I think, was Legolas's recovered memory of
his naneth. I hope that, now he has found a trail into the big black
hole, he will be able to find a little more of her in there.

I love these characters. And this is such a good story. So well written.
So skilled. It must have been hard to do - but it was worth it!

-----------------------------------
Title: Better Than Frodo Baggins · Author: Inkling · Genres: Drama:
Pre-Fellowship · ID: 809
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-17 10:55:36
Pathetic, sad, and a little scary, given hindsight. Lotho was one nasty
young hobbit, striking out at even someone who had befriended him. The
end, with its foreshadowing, in Lotho's attack on innocent creatures,
the damage he will do to the Shire, is excellent.
-----------------------------------
Title: Call yourself Thorongil · Author: Nilmandra · Times: Late Third
Age · ID: 731
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-17 11:13:07
Trust Mithrandir to turn up at a moment like this! I can just picture
Aragorn prancing around in his smalls! (It reminds me of the Monty
Python bit about nobody expecting the Spanish Inquisition.) And the poor
young Dunadan. No sooner has he got used to being Aragorn than it's time
for him to adopt his next alias. Still, he might as well get used to it
- it's going to become a bit of a habit.

I love the cook who sent Mithrandir off with a selection of Estel's
favourites. It really reinforces the fact that Aragorn was not a duty,
but a much-loved child of Imladris. And, at the moment, a very lonely
one. And the wine his adar long-sufferingly offered. Elrond is
pretending reluctance here, I sense. And also sending something to warm
the son of his heart.

So now Mithrandir has taken on the role of directing the whereabouts of
Isildur's heir. Aragorn'll not be free of his manoeuvrings again until
the king returns.

Thorongil. Named by Mithrandir for symbolic reasons. Makes sense. The
Elessar and the Star of the North - and let's give Denethor plenty of
clues to make him suspicious about this unknown northerner!

But at least Aragorn has a reason to visit Halbarad - and his mother and
Imladris before he heads south.

The image of of half-dressed ranger will linger with me, I fear. Not
necessarily a bad thing.

Love the notes. Excellent supply of information. (I forgot to mention
how impressive your history of the White Jewel was, too. Very
comprehensive.)

Great tale. Loved it.
-----------------------------------
Title: Of Squirrels and Stolen Pies · Author: grey_wonderer · Genres:
Humor: Children · ID: 305
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-17 11:15:47
This story is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

Pippin is just so very Pippin - only he could have the victims of the
crime apologising to him and offering him its fruits!

Merry is sneaky enough to remind everyone of his status when it suits
him, too. (It actually makes me feel rather sorry for the local farmers
and housewives that this bunch of rather privileged little gentlehobbits
can run round pinching their crops and stealing their pies. 'Young
gentleman's pranks' are often actions that would be considered crimes
among the ordinary working hobbits.) I do have rather a desire to see
the pie thieves get their comeuppance! This lot deserve to have children
just like themselves, so that their own mischief can come back to haunt
them.

But the story is absolutely hilarious. Made me laugh out loud - and not
much does that!

-----------------------------------
Title: Strike While the Iron is Hot · Author: grey_wonderer · Genres:
Humor: The Shire · ID: 234
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-17 11:19:04
This is another terrific episode in your Brandybuck and Took series. I
am rather surprised that the tweens-and-a-teen managed to survive quite
so long before Saradoc jumped on them with both feet. And indoor goats!
I would have thought Esmeralda would have been rabid at the smell of
goats inside her nice clean smial.

On the other hand - what clever and evil cousins poor Freddy has. I
thought he took it rather well actually, once he discovered that he had
been set up. I liked Pippin trying to wangle out of the 'legal'
agreement. Sharp as a tack.

I wonder if Saradoc, somewhere under his frustration, was shaking his
head in anticipation of what kind of adults these will make. Such
schemers. Very impressive devious thinkers - it might be useful to them
in the future!

-----------------------------------
Title: The Shield-maid's Dance of Death · Author: Marta · Times: The
Great Years: Poetry · ID: 694
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2006-08-17 14:53:14
I was impressed on this, my second reading, with the third stanza - that
it is fear that begins Eowyn's turn-around, from feeling dead to
contemplating her opponent's physicalility/mortality to being afraid to
lose her life. It's an extraordinary journey in such a short time.
-----------------------------------
Title: Ships Passing · Author: Marta · Races: Men: Vignette · ID: 302
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2006-08-17 15:01:19
This is an interesting character study. To whom else could Faramir
confess his doubts? To what other might he confess his fears? Wonderful
how you teased out their similarities and differences here.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Tracks of Time · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races: Elves:
Fixed-Length Ficlet Featuring Legolas or Thranduil · ID: 60
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2006-08-17 15:11:33
This is excellent. The formal tone is perfect to convey this venerable
elf's well-considered and complex feelings, his advice to Arwen so
appropriately brief, ironic, hopeful and chastizing.
-----------------------------------
Title: Prison · Author: Radbooks · Races: Men: Vignette · ID: 794
Reviewer: Madeleine · 2006-08-17 15:12:38
A short piece about the moment Éomer is thrown into the dungeon by
Grimas henchmen. Trying to calm himself down he remembers his encounter
with that mysterious stranger on the plains of Rohan, and although he
couldnt give a rational reason for it, he begins to believe that that
man, who claims to be Isildurs heir, will keep his word and come to
Edoras and help the Rohirrim to turn the tide.

With relatively few words Radbooks perfectly depicts Éomers feelings:
his helpless fury, his fear for his sister and for the king and probably
for his entire people, his feeling of utter powerlessness. Because of
the films people more often than not ignore that Éomer has not been
banished but incarcerated, an even worse fate for someone who is
supposed to be a man of vigour. In the dungeon he is totally helpless
and dependent on the actions of others to save him and his land. That is
something he is certainly not used to.

-----------------------------------
Title: Teatime in Rivendell · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 373
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2006-08-17 15:14:08
This is a great portrayal of a wonderfully cranky, aging Bilbo. It would
be fun to see this from the Elves point of view - the sudden
disappearing act revealed.
-----------------------------------
Title: But the Scent Still Lingers · Author: Imhiriel · Times: The Great
Years: Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 947
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2006-08-17 15:15:59
Very provocative idea - that there were those in Gondor remembering
Thorongil in Aragorn - brought to a lovely personal level.
-----------------------------------
Title: Horse Thief · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Races: Cross-Cultural
· ID: 365
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-17 15:36:18
This is such a delightful story. Obstinate Estel - Elladan (at about
3000 years old) in similar trouble. Glorfindel tapping his toe. The
penalty of having to explain to Gilraen.

And, perhaps most of all, the ancient story of youthful moodiness that
will live with poor Elladan until Arda ends. (Who would be an elf!
Blessed - or cursed - with friends and relations with perfect recall.)

Such a beautifully constructed story with such delicious
characterisations. Lovely.

-----------------------------------
Title: On the Way Home · Author: Citrine · Races: Hobbits: Post-Grey
Havens · ID: 649
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-17 15:40:34
Imagine Pippin being tactful and keeping out of the conversation for so
long! His maturity levels have gone up hugely since he set off on the
quest in Frodo's wake. (Unsurprisingly, really, considering what he has
seen and done in the meanwhile.)

It is good to see Sam and Merry really accepting their friendship and
overcoming the son-of-the-Master/son-of-the-gardener divide. In some
ways Merry really needs Sam's friendship. Sam's qualities of loyalty and
solid reliability and staunchness will do him good.



-----------------------------------
Title: Starlight on Leaves · Author: Jay of Lasgalen · Races: Elves:
Featuring Mirkwood Elves · ID: 813
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2006-08-17 15:43:17
A return combining joy and grief. Thranduil is wise to put off
celebrations - even if he does combine it with selfishly uxorial motives!

Beraid seems a complete pain in the ... neck. Insensitive and demanding
- he wants to talk over politics and administrative matters? Within ten
minutes of the king's arrival? And is dumb enough to knock on the king's
door during his reunion with his wife? He could do with a posting to
some far-flung part of Arda perhaps. Being diplomatic with dwarves.

Love the outdoor excursion - and the enhanced harmony with the forest
that comes with being its king. And the enhanced harmony with his wife
that comes with having endured so long a separation. A festival of love
- combined with niphredil for the queen. What more could you want?

-----------------------------------

Msg# 7450

Reviews for 19 Sept - Part 1 Posted by Rhapsody September 19, 2006 - 13:58:31 Topic ID# 7450
Title: Benison · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Drama: Remembering · ID: 67
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 19:38:19
Oh, this is beautiful! Lovely, varied details, wonderfully described,
one more moving than the other. I also liked the brief glimpse of the
housekeeper. And the idea of Denethor writing love poems for his wife is
just... so increadibly sad and touching.
The idea of linking Finduilas with Éowyn in this way is very creative,
and the title for the story, coming full circle in its last line, seems
particularly appropriate.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Falcon and the Star · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: The
Great Years: Gondor · ID: 57
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 19:48:56
Wonderful characterisations true to canon, well-chosen, evocative and
vivid descriptions, beautiful and elegant style. The biblical quotes you
used to head each chapter are well-chosen and resonating.

Aragorn frequently refering to Faramir as Denethor's son is a subtle yet
poignant way to show his regard and respect for the late Steward,
despite all conflicts, and that it is also for Denethor's sake that he
undertakes the healing of his son.

What I like best about the story is your portrayal of Faramir's valour,
determination and strength of mind, his hopes against all odds, his
instant acceptance of Aragorn; Aragorn's thoughts about him, the
parallels you draw between Aragorn, Denethor, Boromir and Faramir, and
the marvellous, powerful, detailed description of the creepy, haunted
"dark vale" and its unnatural denizens (and the inventive ways in which
Faramir manages to defeat them).

My favourite passage is this one: ["It seemed I held the spirit of
Gondor itself. Here, in my keeping, was a treasure beyond price: the
virtues of the Southern Kingdom embodied in one man: the ancient pride
and traditions of Westernesse, the courage at arms and desire for peace,
the love of music and lore, the keenness of mind and generosity of
heart, passed down from our lost home in Númenor to this last Steward to
guard the realm. Gondor and Faramir had suffered, but had never yielded."]

And I love that you chose this moment as the one that Aragorn finally
commits himself to the kingship and to Gondor; that it not strength of
arms, or a battle, or inevitability and fate, but his capacity for
healing, caring, compassion that marks the final threshold.

-----------------------------------
Title: Work Detail · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres: Romance:
Fixed-length ficlet · ID: 789
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 19:49:16
Funny and tingling all at once. Lovely portrait of the mischievous side
of their intimate relationship. Aragorn's (intentional?) misperception
is carried through in a very clever way.
-----------------------------------
Title: Beneath the Hollow Hill · Author: Haleth · Races: Elves:
Feanorians · ID: 314
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 19:50:17
Sad, lyrical and haunting. Beautiful, flawless blend with Celtic
folklore. I like the fact that the whole encounter, and indeed even the
characters, stay shrouded in mystery.
-----------------------------------
Title: Old Man Willow · Author: Jay of Lasgalen · Races: Elves:
Fixed-Length Ficlet Featuring Legolas or Thranduil · ID: 859
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 19:50:52
Original idea, beautifully executed. Elegant, evocative style. I
appreciate this new side to Old Man Willow, it feels very reconciling
(and moving) after what we see of the tree in the books.
-----------------------------------
Title: When The Days Are Warm · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Drama: The
Steward's Family · ID: 145
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 19:52:23
Very good characterisations and emotions. Excellent use of perspective
and introspection. The subtly interwoven foreshadowing lends the story
additional poignancy and depth.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Story of a Garden, by Frodo Baggins · Author: GamgeeFest ·
Genres: Drama: Pre-Fellowship · ID: 713
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 19:55:04
Enchanting. Beautifully told, full of lush descriptions of nature and
its denizens. The loving care of the animals for "their" garden, and the
unsual friendship between normally hostile species is particularly touching.
-----------------------------------
Title: First Impressions · Author: Bodkin · Races: Men: Featuring
Aragorn · ID: 806
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 19:56:51
Good handling of dialogues and introspection. Your technique of
contrasting Aragorn's prior experiences in sheltered Rivendell with what
he sees and experiences now bring to light his misery at the cold dose
of reality, his insecurities in this new environment he has to make his
home, and his reserve towards these, for him, strange people that are
HIS people.

-----------------------------------
Title: Sweet Woodbine · Author: Bodkin · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond ·
ID: 864
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 19:57:30
Beautifully drawn characterisations, each one vivid and believable, no
matter if canon or original characters, from the protagonists to the
minor characters. Even you minor characters are sketched distinctly, for
example Finrod.

Although I see society and politics in Aman differently, your picture is
consistent, well-devised, and quite persuasive.

Chapter 9, with the coming of the ship from Middle-earth, is my
favourite. I also liked the observations on Nerdanel and Aulë in Chapter
12, and how the story comes full circle in the glade in the end.
-----------------------------------
Title: Consolation · Author: EdorasLass · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 47
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 19:57:43
Beautiful, sweet portrayal of relationship between Boromir and Faramir.
I especially like Boromir's careful way of both comforting and bracing
Faramir, and how considerate he is of his feelings. His introspection is
also very touching: how he takes into account both his brother's
immediate need for solace and the future need for Faramir to stand on
his own.
-----------------------------------
Title: An Empty Saddle to Fill · Author: Anoriath · Races: Men: Vignette
· ID: 752
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 20:01:06
Wonderfully elegiac yet spare prose; good choice of vocabulary. Told in
a manner which seems particularly suited for a story set in Rohan.

-----------------------------------
Title: Reaping · Author: Dreamflower · Races: Hobbits: Post-Sauron's
Fall · ID: 169
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 20:06:05
Very good interweaving of canon events and original extrapolation;
believable characterisation through a strong, clear narrative voice. The
tension rises steadily to a chilling, terrible climax, that seems
nevertheless unavoidable. The ending gives a hopeful glimpse that is
very welcoming.
-----------------------------------
Title: Pride Before The Fall · Author: AmandaK · Genres: Alternate
Universe · ID: 742
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 20:06:57
The progression of Boromir's slide into madness and evil is very subtly
and therefore very effectively depicted. It begins so harmless, like a
mere retelling of film!canon events, to inexorably increase in tension,
severity and horror.
-----------------------------------
Title: Inspirare · Author: Ariel · Races: Hobbits: Friendship · ID: 622
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-17 20:09:52
Finely drawn characterisations and relationship, the emotions are subtle
and restrained, but poignant.

Rosie's perceptiveness and Frodo's patient endurance are wonderfully
true to canon and expertly realised. Good handling of dialogue and
introspection.
The beautifully written narrative is quietly intense, resonant, rich in
meaning. Deftly interwoven little details of description.

My favourite passage: ["Your mum'd've wanted you to keep them in your
family." ... He smiled slowly and nodded. "Yes."]
-----------------------------------
Title: About Legends or Whisperings of a Ghost · Author: juno_magic ·
Races: Men · ID: 699
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-08-17 22:54:08
This story is too dark for me--the theme of unadulterated cruelty is
beyond what is a good read. Sorry, but that's my honest feedback!
Beruthiel is too thoroughly a victim and the king a monster, and the
poor cats tormented beasts. I have a black cat and a white cat at home,
so it hits the heart!
-----------------------------------
Title: Olórë Mallë · Author: Nerdanel · Races: Elves: Poetry · ID: 892
Reviewer: Branwyn · 2006-08-18 00:17:15
Luthien sings her son Dior to sleep with a lullaby about the [path of
dreams] that leads the sleeper to a magical garden.

[O silver-threaded moonlit way!
O stairway lit with white star-spray!]

The poem skillfully echoes the style of Tolkien's verse, and I
especially liked the use of shoon and umbel and other Tolkienesque
vocabulary. Since this is Luthien's lullaby, the translation into Quenya
is a clever and fitting touch. A suitably ethereal piece of writing for
the subject of dreams -- well done!
-----------------------------------
Title: Was It For This? · Author: aervir · Genres: Drama: General
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 204
Reviewer: Branwyn · 2006-08-18 01:06:02
This piece is very dark, but I think it is still in the spirit of
Tolkien's work (see his play "The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm's
Son," where two ceorls search for the body of their slain lord, for a
very sardonic view of glorious death in battle). Aervir shows us the
parallels between the deaths of Boromir and Theodred -- both died due to
treachery, both were per force given hasty burial (especially for such
high-born lords). The language is at the same time beautiful and
understated, the meaning brutally incisive. Aervir tells us

["For it's the custom of elegies to lie by omission"]

The omission being, of course, to question the futility of their deaths.
I loved the closing line; it has the terse, fatalistic tone that
permeates much of old English literature and lands like punch to the gut --

[On that, the songs remain silent.]

This is the best sort of fanfic--beautifully written and resonating with
the truths of our own world.
-----------------------------------
Title: How the Eorlings Ride · Author: NeumeIndil · Genres: Humor · ID: 213
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:19:54
Cute and rather bawdy story of how some of the Rohirrim cheer Merry up
after Pippin left.
-----------------------------------
Title: Boromir's Song · Author: Rhiannon Merdon · Times: The Great
Years: The Fellowship · ID: 695
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:20:39
A very nice blend of book-verse and movie-verse. I really like the
lovely imagery of the sea at night, and of Frodo's granting of truth and
forgiveness. The use of the song from the Two Towers was very well done.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Summons · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Times: The Great
Years: The Fellowship · ID: 254
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:21:11
Aragorn faces his decisions, from Eriador to Amon Hen, as he forges a
friendship with Boromir, he has to consider how his identity will be
received in Minas Tirith.

I really like the characterization of Boromir in this story--he is open
and friendly with Aragorn, at least at the beginning. Very refreshing.
-----------------------------------
Title: Detour · Author: xylo · Races: Hobbits · ID: 844
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:21:57
This is an absolutely adorable bit of AU which the author calls
"crackfic". But really, in spite of plot elements that indicate that
sort of thing, this is really a very touching and sweet bit of
implausibility. I love the kind and clueless narrator.
-----------------------------------
Title: Redemption of Meriadoc · Author: aelfgifuemma · Races: Hobbits:
Incomplete · ID: 915
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:22:21
An interesting premise, but not really my cup of tea.
-----------------------------------
Title: Bored · Author: Make It Stop · Genres: Humor: Gondor · ID: 779
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:22:55
A very--unusual--interpretation of JRRT's line about Faramir inheriting
the ability to read the hearts of men from Denethor. It leads to a very
interesting dinner "conversation". Hilarious!
-----------------------------------
Title: The Roots of the Ivy · Author: Aranel Took · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Post-Grey Havens · ID: 118
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:23:39
An interesting premise for an AU story--Merry and Eowyn have a daughter,
and she is sent to be raised in the Shire.
-----------------------------------
Title: Theme and Variations · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres:
Humor: Gondor · ID: 784
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:24:10
I liked this very much: early days in Minas Tirith, after the War is won
is one of my favorite settings. Faramir's POV is delightful, and I
thought his aunts were wonderful OCs. All the gossip and speculation
regarding the new King was wryly and humorously described. A fun story,
and well-put together.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7451

Reviews for 19 Sept - Part 2 Posted by Rhapsody September 19, 2006 - 14:09:46 Topic ID# 7451
Title: A Healer's Tale · Author: Lindelea · Races: Hobbits · ID: 861
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:24:45
This is a favorite story of mine. In it the author gives us a biography
of one of her more memorable OCs, interspersed with flashbacks of an
ailing Pippin's interaction with her. The flashbacks are handled
brilliantly, and make perfect sense in moving the story forward. It
definitely fills in some gaps in the author's own Universe. An excellent
read!
-----------------------------------
Title: Web of Friendship · Author: Gwynnyd · Races: Hobbits: General
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 932
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:25:05
This was very cute. I liked the image of Arwen working to make her small
handmaiden feel at home, and the hilarity of the others, as Elanor
teaches them something new.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Change In The Weather · Author: Marigold · Races: Hobbits:
Fixed-Length Ficlet series · ID: 692
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:25:49
In each of these, one of the four hobbits remembers his favorite type of
weather, and how he had always loved it. And then experiences a version
of it that is altogether the opposite. Friendly breezes become howling
winds, summer warmth becomes the searing heat of Mount Doom, a pleasant
blanket of silent snow becomes a blizzard, and gentle showers are
miserable cold downpours. Very well executed!
-----------------------------------
Title: Midsummer's Day · Author: MysteriousWays · Times: Late Third Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 980
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:26:24
Wonderful mood peice--it is very descriptive and gentle.
-----------------------------------
Title: Curious Mind, Noble Heart · Author: Nilmandra · Genres: Adventure
· ID: 270
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:27:24
Such a sweet "young Estel" story, in which Aragorn at about seven or
eight years of age finds himself allowing his curiousity to get him into
all sorts of trouble. It was written to explain how Gandalf had heard of
pop-guns, as mentioned in The Hobbit, and was very cleverly done--a very
plausible scenario. As always with this author, I enjoy her version of
Elrond's household--such a happy and close family!
-----------------------------------
Title: Ring Thoughts · Author: Nesta · Times: The Great Years · ID: 190
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:28:05
The Ring's thoughts--it's been done from time to time, but this one
covers a lot of territory. The fic covers the Ring's POV, but
concentrates on its efforts at seducing Boromir and Faramir. I love the
way the author characterizes the brothers in spite of the Ring's disdain
for them.
-----------------------------------
Title: Drabbles for Lord of the Rings · Author: Llinos · Races: Hobbits:
Fixed-Length Ficlet series · ID: 758
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:28:49
These are very clever poems--technically difficult, yet the author
manages to keep the rhyme and scansion accurate while maintaining the
word limit--not, I would imagine, an easy thing to do!

I really love the summaries of the Prologue. That section of LotR is
much neglected, so it is lovely to see it done--she hits every single
high point, without missing a single beat!

I could only wish she had done a few more. I would, for example, like to
see her take on the Prancing Pony chapter. Or Appendix C!
-----------------------------------
Title: The Path · Author: AngieT · Races: Hobbits: Hurt/Comfort · ID: 638
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:29:13
A really nice creepy story, drawing on elements of modern urban myth, to
make a thoroughly plausible Middle-earth legend...
-----------------------------------
Title: Merry Yules · Author: Marigold · Races: Hobbits: Fixed-Length
Ficlet series · ID: 114
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:29:51
This lovely set of ficlets, dealing with Merry and Pippin and Yuletide
are beautiful, sweet and sentimental. In each, at some point, the
cousins have a dance, which becomes their tradition.

I think my favorite one is the one set during the Yule just before the
Quest, when Merry realizes that *this* will be the year Frodo seeks
adventure--of course, none of them had any idea of just how different
that adventure would be than what they envisioned. But the certainty of
*knowing* that Frodo would go, and that Pippin would as well speaks to
the strength of the cousinly bond.
-----------------------------------
Title: Wishing On The Stars · Author: Marigold · Times: The Great Years:
General Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 116
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:30:25
This sweet set of three triple drabbles is bound up with the universe of
Slightly Tookish's "Stars and Sniffles". Yet one does not need to have
read that story to understand Eglantine's fear for her son, or the
comfort she derives from seeing "his" stars.

I love this Eglantine, her confidence in her son, though she worries for
him, and her description of him as the most Tookish of Tooks.

And the end of the last one is absolutely wonderful.
-----------------------------------
Title: The End of All Things · Author: Ariel · Genres: Drama: Featuring
Frodo or Sam · ID: 109
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:30:50
-Sniff- This is a bit of a tear-jerker, and just perfectly done, a
little vignette of two friends, facing the end together. It's sad, but
oh so sweet.
-----------------------------------
Title: Both Beholden · Author: Dwimordene · Genres: Drama:
Pre-Fellowship · ID: 180
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:31:30
In this story, Boromir accompanies Aragorn on one of the pre-Quest
scouting expeditions, only to find himself with the group led, not by
Aragorn, but by Halbarad. What follows is a tense duel of wits, as
Boromir tries to find something out about Gondor's potential King. Very
well done.
-----------------------------------
Title: Show his quality · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Steward's Sons
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 875
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:31:57
And once more we see why Faramir was such a beloved leader of his
men--he understood, and cared, even about those who could not serve him.
I love the understanding and compassion he shows in this.
-----------------------------------
Title: Welcome to Rivendell Mr. Anderson · Author: Snodgrass and Winkle
· Races: Cross-Cultural: Incomplete · ID: 662
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:32:22
The Fellowship falls from Middle-earth into the world of a modern girl.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Tracks of Time · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races: Elves:
Fixed-Length Ficlet Featuring Legolas or Thranduil · ID: 60
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:33:14
Poor Legolas! I have often thought that in a way he has the rawest deal
of all the Fellowship--to continue on, after all his dear mortal friends
and companions have left him behind, only Gandalf, as Olorin, is
left--and how much of his persona of Gandalf remains when he becomes
once more a Maia? Yet Legolas continues on.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Will · Author: LydiaB · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 770
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:33:41
So, now we know how the famous Red Book of the Westmarch came into the
Professor's hands! Given the idea behind his own conceit, that he was
merely a translator, not an implausible scenario.
-----------------------------------
Title: Two Snippets · Author: Glassadar · Genres: Humor · ID: 983
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:34:07
It's always nice to see young talent encouraged. This little author
shows promise.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Shirt for Legolas · Author: Lady Aranel · Races: Elves:
Fixed-Length Ficlet Featuring Legolas or Thranduil · ID: 285
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:34:38
It's interesting to imagine Legolas as a big brother--so often he's
depicted as the youngest of his family or an only child. I like to think
if he did have a small sister, he would be just as kind as he is in this
lovely fic.
-----------------------------------
Title: Peace Comes Dropping Slow · Author: Songspinner · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Grey Havens · ID: 224
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:35:03
This is such a sad and tender piece, depicting Pippin and Diamond, near
the end of Diamond's life. Pippin's love and tender care for her, and
her worries for him after she will be gone are dealt with sweetly and
with dignity. It is very peaceful and yet sorrowful as well.
-----------------------------------
Title: We Shall Return · Author: Marta · Times: Early Third Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 650
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:35:37
An interesting look at a much neglected era. Yet it had long-standing
repercussions, not even ended with the Ringwar.
-----------------------------------
Title: Not Fair · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Fixed-Length Ficlets
With Children · ID: 902
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:36:12
I had to grin at Eomer's handling of Elfwine's complaint--a favorite one
of young children everywhere. And the double meaning of "not fair" was
adorable!
-----------------------------------
Title: An Army of Tooks · Author: Mariole · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 831
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:36:38
I really like this version of Pippin's triumphal return to Tuckborough
to fetch the Tooks for the Battle of Bywater. It's very well done, and I
love the author's Paladin and Eglantine in this story.
-----------------------------------
Title: Truly Exposed · Author: Marta · Races: Elves: Other Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 689
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:37:03
Very lovely and romantic--Celeborn and Galadriel come alive as a couple
in this!
-----------------------------------
Title: Young Master Merry · Author: Pearl Took · Races: Hobbits: Poetry
· ID: 666
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:43:18
A very cute little nursery poem. I really like the rhyme scheme--it has
the genuine feel of an old-fashioned nursery rhyme and put me in mind of
Little Miss Muffet. And the last line is perfect!
-----------------------------------
Title: The Remains of Power · Author: Pearl Took · Times: The Great
Years: Vignette · ID: 228
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:49:46
A chilling look at Saruman, after his downfall. He's almost powerless,
he's lost his gamble more drastically than he would have thought
possible. Yet he has no regret, only an attempt to hold on to his anger
and pride, and what little power he has left.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7452

Reviews for 20 Sept - Part 2 Posted by Rhapsody September 20, 2006 - 14:16:14 Topic ID# 7452
Title: A Tisket, A Tasket · Author: grey_wonderer · Times: Late Third
Age: The Shire · ID: 570
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 13:56:58
Appearances of Pippin's stuffed bunny Errol are always fun, but this one
is funnier than most. I love Pippin's convictions in this one--when he
decides he's right, well, he's right--even if he's not.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Rabbits Tale · Author: grey_wonderer · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond: The Shire · ID: 982
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 13:59:03
In this story, we actually get the POV of Pippin's bunny, Errol, and we
learn that he is really no ordinary toy, but a friend, confidante and
protector. Merry has always had an uneasy relationship with the rabbit,
but I love the accommodation they come to in the end.
-----------------------------------
Title: In a Tent Somewhere Near Whitwell or The Truth About Merry ·
Author: grey_wonderer · Genres: Humor: The Shire · ID: 472
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 14:01:16
I nearly howled myself sick over this one. The number of euphemisms that
the author came up with for what didn't happen was amazing, and all of
them funny and apt. She tweaked a lot of noses with this in a very funny
way.
-----------------------------------
Title: Inside Out · Author: grey_wonderer · Genres: Humor: The Shire ·
ID: 636
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 14:06:55
In the war of practical jokes between cousins, this one stands out as
one time that Pippin "got" Merry. But the star of this is Freddy Bolger,
who seems to know more about it than he should have. And I loved Frodo's
line at the end.
-----------------------------------
Title: Concerning Hobbit's Feet · Author: grey_wonderer · Genres: Humor:
The Shire · ID: 828
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 14:16:50
This is another of those very strange situations that GW has the ability
to come up with, and keep me laughing until my eyes water. And once
more, Freddy solves all arguments.
-----------------------------------
Title: If I had a Hammer · Author: grey_wonderer · Times: Late Third
Age: The Shire · ID: 162
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 14:22:21
I love this story. It is funny and touching, hilarious and sad, all at
the same time. And woven throughout is the deep love of friends and
family. The premise is simple: Pippin is to have carpentry lessons while
staying at Bag End. But there are complications, not the least of which
is that both he and Merry are at a rather prickly age, and are a bit at
odds with one another. Poor Frodo tries to deal with it all, but the
star of the story is Sam, who is calm, patient and wise. Of course all
comes out well in the end. I also really enjoy the OCs, and particularly
seeing Tobias Tunelly get his comeuppance.
-----------------------------------
Title: Return to Me · Author: Dawn Felagund · Genres: Drama: First Age
Elves · ID: 266
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-18 14:24:02
This story deserves major kudos for the description of the Halls of
Mandos. There is torture of a sort, and it is not pretty -- and just
because the pain is in its way restorative does not take away from the
pain of it all. I love the way that even the gardens are sickly with the
touch of all the death, and the way that Arafinwe's horse would not go
through. That reminded me of the paths of the Dead in LOTR.

You also give us some touching father-son moments, especially in the
garden at the end. I really liked the moral ambiguity in their
conversation. Is martyrdom for a noble and worthwhile cause worth the
death, or is that familial kinship the only cause that matters (if it
can even be described as a "cause")? I think Arafinwe is right that he
should never be willing to sacrifice another, but Findekano also has his
points. Definitely made me think!
-----------------------------------
Title: The Return of the Shadow · Author: juno_magic · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Incomplete · ID: 330
Reviewer: Isil Elensar · 2006-08-18 19:33:13
I have come to adore what I've read out of the Juniverse, and this story
is definitely third on my list, under 'Only A Game' and your
Elrond/Nihil story (of which I've stupidly forgotten the title).

The characters in 'Return' come alive for me and I love that in a story.
Elentar, while very prickly and angsty, is a delightful male lead, and
worthy of being the son of Elrohir and Jarro. And I love Mina: so
thoroughly in the modern/real world, but able to believe in the
possibility of something... more. Admittedly, I am not as caught up as
I'd like to be, but I'm very certain this story will leave me smiling at
the end, and very happy. ;-)

This story is loaded with enough mystery/intrigue to keep the reader
turning pages, enough romance to satisfy a hopeless romantic's heart,
and enough action/adventure to get one's heart racing. This is a
wonderful story, Juno, and I can't wait to finish it!

Well done!
-----------------------------------
Title: Paradox of the Fourth Age · Author: Alassante · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Incomplete · ID: 106
Reviewer: Isil Elensar · 2006-08-18 19:39:46
I have tried to keep up with this story as much as I can, but I am still
sorely behind. I will make that up as soon as I can!

This story is wonderfully written and has served to interest me more in
a character I hadn't really noticed before. Glorfindel. He is a proud
Noldorin elf, who has found his heart and soul in Indil and with their
love, they create Laureanna, the unwitting savior of Middle-earth. The
characters are very real to me, and I have also grown to admire Elrohir
a lot more through your story.

I can't wait to see this finished, Alassante. Keep up the good work!
-----------------------------------
Title: He walks among the greenèd bowers · Author: Dwimordene · Genres:
Drama: Poetry · ID: 669
Reviewer: Vana Tuivana · 2006-08-18 22:20:26
Wow, this poem is so full of emotion and power. The simple rhythm and
rhyme scheme belie the seriousness of the topic: how to live life as a
survivor, when other people, even family and friends, are killed.

These lines, particularly, are resonant with grief:

[The price to pay, to be that one,
To bear the cost of living won.]

The rhythm does seem a bit off in some of the lines, but the words ring
so true that it scarcely matters. Great writing, and a beautiful poem.
-----------------------------------
Title: Nothing but Dreams · Author: Unsung Heroine · Genres: Drama:
First Age Elves · ID: 659
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-19 00:05:28
Caranthir is not a character that I had spent one thought on before
reading this story - but I know now that I won't be able to get my mind
off him for at least the next few days, thanks to you. Anyone who has
ever struggled with clinical depression will recognize the fixation on
those thoughts, the need to blame oneself, and the wish that the world
would just not be there when you wake tomorrow. And yet it was done
skillfully without pulling us out of Middle-earth by resorting to modern
psychiatric terminology. And even more, it fits in with the devastation
he could very well have felt at this point. Wonderful job.
-----------------------------------
Title: Distant Lands · Author: Acacea · Genres: Romance: Fixed-length
ficlet · ID: 76
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2006-08-19 00:09:20
What a sweet story! Of course Faramir the dreamer, Faramir the bookworm
would want to know of distant lands, and what a deft touch to have
Gandalf as the one who now knows Faramir better than anyone in the
world. Aragorns longing for friendship with his Steward is quite
understandable and his seeking advice about Faramirs interests is
endearing. I love the twist at the end  that at this particular moment,
besotted Faramir is only interested in the history and lore of a land
that is not so far away.
-----------------------------------
Title: Quality Time · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Drama: The Steward's
Family · ID: 205
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2006-08-19 00:10:51
What a complex, and original, view of Denethor youve given us! I like
that youve taken that well-known ominous air of his, that coolness, and
shown us how he uses it to manipulate those around him. At the very same
time, though, there is that hidden flame, that warmth that he would
share with only those very nearest and dearest to him. He wants to be a
close and loving father to his children, but circumstances, and his own
nature, prevent him from participating in their daily life as fully as
he would like. The very premise of the story, that Denethor would take
advantage of the Nannys day off to spend some time with his sons (and
begin to put his child-rearing theories to the test) is quite a
startling one, and not anything Ive ever read before.

I particularly like the interaction between Denethor and Nanny:
haughtiness and respect; wariness and surprising gentleness. They have
both have the opportunity to learn a bit more about each other this
night; the knowledge theyve gained will help them in the loving and
raising of those two dear boys.
-----------------------------------
Title: Servant of the Tower · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Drama: Gondor
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 95
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2006-08-19 00:13:34
Loyalty, fear, guilt - I can very easily imagine the thoughts that have
been going through this courtier's mind; not only during the horrific
events of the siege but the reflective time afterward. I hope that
Faramir will be able to help him expiate his guilt, and that he will be
able to find a measure of peace.
-----------------------------------
Title: Come When You Are Ready · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Alternate
Universe · ID: 795
Reviewer: Branwyn · 2006-08-19 00:19:25
In this slightly AU tale, Denethor survives the flames of the funeral
pyre but only for a short while before succumbing to his injuries. The
first hint that something is not as it should be is when he hears
Finduilas' voice and then the low voice of an adult Boromir.

The plot unfolds slowly but relentlessly until the full horror of the
situation is revealed. The description of the ugly wounds, impossible to
treat, and the stench of the sickroom are very effective. Edoraslass
cleverly uses the detail of Denethor's bare feet--the one part of his
body left unscathed--to convey the extent of his injuries. To his son
Faramir, the bare feet also seem to show how vulnerable this stern,
distant parent actually was. I love the dream-like quality of Denethor's
thoughts, how he wanders the Citadel looking for Faramir, as if in a
nightmare. Mercifully, he is not fully aware of his attempt to kill his
son, though his confused concern about Faramir argues that he has some
vague memory of the event.

Though this story is filled with suffering (on both the part of Denethor
and his remaining family), it ends with the reconciliation with Faramir
that Tolkien never gave us. A very satisfying if grim piece of reading.
-----------------------------------
Title: Earth, Water, Fire and Air · Author: Fileg · Genres: Drama:
Fixed-Length Ficlet Series · ID: 469
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-19 00:26:54
What really makes these drabbles work for me is the word play, like
Faramir's [a white staff of ash, come to me through ashes] and Aragorn's
[newly tempered, quenched, and sharpened]: such great analogies for both
of them. And not that I would reduceeither man so bluntly, but they're
really great analogies for their characters.

But what really got to me was Arwen's seeing herself as a chalice. Great
use of the grail legend, but even more than that, great affirmation of
the value of womanhood. She (and Eowyn, for that matter) are not just
the passive woman, but neither do they necessarily need what men seem to
value. One quibble: Eowyn seemed a little too passive and accepting for
the Dunharrow days, which is where the opening placed me. But besides
that, it's a great series.
-----------------------------------
Title: House of Reeds · Author: The Bookbinder's Daughter · Races: Elves
· ID: 660
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-19 00:37:34
Unusual pairing, plausibly and elegantly handled. The romance is
delicately described, never syrupy or overladen, bittersweet; the ending
is sad, but seems only right and inevitable, not merely because of the
canon facts, but also because of how Glorfindel, unfortunately, lets
this opportunity slip through his fingers.
It has a dreamlike quality that seems fitting to the setting in time and
place.
Marvellously lyrical style; full of lovely, poetic, truly _beautiful_
descriptions and imagery.
To pick only two of my favourite lines: ["His mouth had forgotten how to
laugh, but it recalled pieces of old smiles, and patched them together
into a new one."] and ["The sunlight fractured on every surface, making
rippled flames in icicles cored by smoke-dark wood."]

-----------------------------------
Title: Dance Lessons · Author: Tanaqui · Genres: Drama: Fixed-Length
Ficlet Series · ID: 888
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-19 00:37:59
These were all great. The image of the stoic Aragorn trying to ward off
potential matches (or women whose families thought they should be) at
all those points during Aragorn's life is great. It's a motif I like,
but to really carry it out you need to understand the politics in all of
those situations. Which you do, obviously.

I particularly liked the one set in Arnor. Something about the brief
dialogue, I guess. Aragorn and Halbarad were both very well drawn, and I
could see this look of dismay on his face when he thinks he has messed
up the social cues and will now have to offend the young woman - and
then the [I will never be ready] line really pulls at your heartstrings.
That evasion is itself a sort of dance, one that really earns the last
triumphant movement with Arwen.
-----------------------------------
Title: Fire · Author: Aramel · Genres: Drama: Fixed-Length Ficlet Series
· ID: 172
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-19 00:45:09
Ooh, very interesting. The thoughts and memories that inspired
Celebrimbor's choices don't really bode well for the future effects of
the rings, though.
-----------------------------------
Title: Of Stone and Fire · Author: Werecat · Genres: Drama: General
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 124
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-19 03:29:22
That last line ([Stone fears not the fire]) is what makes this drabble
really work for me. It perfectly sums up Gimli's quiet courage which,
when coupled with Feanor's fire, really cuts to the heart of both their
characters.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Fading of a Star · Author: Minuialeth · Genres: Drama:
General Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 219
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-19 03:49:33
I love just what breaks Erestor's heart at the end here: it isn't love
of Arwen so much as hating that her child will not be Elven, and so the
line of Luthien will die off. In a way he's mourning for a whole
history. Very touchingly done.
-----------------------------------
Title: Chivalry · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres: Drama: General
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 374
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-19 04:18:37
You really have captured Shadowfax's proud spirit here. Moving from
disdain to curiosity to willing helper seemed right on for the king of
horses.
-----------------------------------
Title: Necessity and Desire · Author: Gwynnyd · Times: The Great Years ·
ID: 173
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-19 04:55:21
This is a story full of gapfiller after gapfiller! Rich, multi-layered,
very well connected to canon or plausibly extrapolated from it.

There are so many things deftly woven into the narrative, making sense
of vague or puzzling allusions of Tolkien's. From Boromir's travel-worn
arrival, to Elladan's and Elrohir's absences during the Council of
Elrond, to Aragorn wearing armour in the Hall of Fire.

And it's a very good story in it's own right. Wonderful
characterisations, vivid descriptions, and very good dialogue.

I very much appreciate the mention of Aragorn grieving at the perceived
passing of Denethor, and Aragorn admitting to feeling tempted by the ring.

And the strategy discussion between Aragorn and his brothers is truly
fascinating; you have managed to impart all this information in a truly
realistic, interesting way, without it ever once becoming static or
overburdened.

-----------------------------------
Title: The gift · Author: Jael · Genres: Drama: Elves in Later Ages ·
ID: 807
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-19 05:03:59
I'm not convinced of the pairing, but I find your portrayal of Gilraen
very good. Her strength and courage shine, clear and moving, as, once
again, she forsakes her own happiness for the sake of another. Her
explanation of Death as truly a "Gift of Men" is insightful and resonant.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Burdens of Office · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 865
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-19 05:07:04
The premise is really not at all improbable, and the image of the
protagonists actually playing out their different and conflicting roles
in all seriousness is quite amusing to witness.

The way you construct the story adds much to the humour: naming the
titles without giving away the fact that actually some of those are
borne by one-and-the-same persons, and having Beregond as an additional
perspective to further confuse the issue. It is not only Aragorn who has
"many names and many guises"!

I also liked the little hint about Faramir's momentary nervousness and
Aragorn's reaction: it gives, in just a few well-chosen words, an
insightful picture of their relationship.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7453

Reviews for 20 Sept - Part 1 Posted by Rhapsody September 20, 2006 - 14:26:37 Topic ID# 7453
Title: The Stories of Our People · Author: Pearl Took · Times: Fourth
Age and Beyond · ID: 292
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:51:19
I love the speculation here that hobbits survived right on into our own
age, and that they sought out the Professor, to make their story known.
A very fun premise, and thought-provoking as well.
-----------------------------------
Title: If I Had It All Again To Do · Author: Pearl Took · Times: Fourth
Age and Beyond: The Shire · ID: 226
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:53:15
Such a sad story, of what became of hobbits after they dwindled as a
people, losing their identity as a race. Almost frightening, but very
well written.
-----------------------------------
Title: Gimli's Tale · Author: Pearl Took · Races: Dwarves · ID: 934
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:55:02
Gimli takes his turn at telling a sick Pippin a story. I love the very
authentic mythic quality of this. It really has the sound of an oral
tradition.
-----------------------------------
Title: Elements · Author: Pearl Took · Times: The Great Years · ID: 667
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:57:24
This is a wonderful juxtaposition of two events: Gandalf's death and
restoration at Moria, and the moment in the film when he speaks to
Pippin of death. A lovely use of movie-verse and imagery.
-----------------------------------
Title: Pippin's Hands · Author: Pearl Took · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond: The Shire · ID: 130
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 01:59:39
I am a sucker for a musical Pippin. In this story, he is asked to
perform after his return home from the Quest. I love his thoughts and
doubts and his ultimate confidence. And I love the instrument he plays.
-----------------------------------
Title: defining a circle shape through points · Author: Dana · Races:
Hobbits: Merry & Pippin · ID: 569
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 02:08:21
This author excells at progressive fics, that is, showing how a similar
scenario is re-enacted at different times, and how it is the same, and
how it has changed. This is Merry/Pippin, but it's very mild--the
important thing is how they have stuck to one another through all the
trouble, and how they comfort one another. The lyrical prose and the
depth of feeling are very palpable.
-----------------------------------
Title: It's the Thought · Author: annmarwalk · Races: Men: Fixed-Length
Ficlets With Children · ID: 71
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 02:11:24
Beautifully spare. I love the characterization of Theodred, and how he
cares for his bereaved young cousins--and the sudden and subtle
characterizations of both Eomer and Eowyn at the end.
-----------------------------------
Title: Homecomings · Author: Marta · Times: The Great Years: General
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 225
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 02:16:09
Beautiful set of drabbles about the reactions of the fathers (or
foster-fathers) of the Fellowship after they return. I like them all,
but I think my favorites are Gloin and the Gaffer. So very much in
character!
-----------------------------------
Title: Stronger Songs · Author: Marta · Times: First Age and Prior:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 688
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 02:22:50
I'd not much thought of Treebeard and Tom Bombadil meeting, but this one
makes sense.
-----------------------------------
Title: Stigmas · Author: Robinka · Genres: Drama: Fixed-Length Ficlet
Series · ID: 105
Reviewer: LydiaB · 2006-08-18 02:24:36
Do you know, I hadn't read these for a while, and I had forgotten just
how very good they were. You provide a great interpretation of these
pivotal moments in Turin's life and a wonderful insight into his
troubled mind. The heavy and fatalistic atmosphere is skillfully built
up until the tragic climax, and the reader is left with a feeling of
disquite long after reading this series of drabbles, which is just as it
should be in the case of Turin Turambar.
-----------------------------------
Title: For a cause, a friend, a loved one · Author: Werecat · Genres:
Humor · ID: 120
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 02:25:37
Wise mice! LOL! I really liked the way the author managed to make each
type of animal very true to its nature, even though they were speaking.
Well done!
-----------------------------------
Title: We Shall Return · Author: Marta · Times: Early Third Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 650
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-18 02:33:29
I like the palpable tension between what the narrator says and what the
images he uses conjure up instead in the mind of the readers: his
apparent worry about Gondor losing her roots is shown in sharp contrast
to the allusions to Ar-Pharazon, reminding the readers how temporary and
deceptive this victory at Umbar was and, even more pertinent, reminding
of the folly and Fall of Númenor.

Clever, poignant use is made of Denethor's dismissal to Gandalf of
Aragorn's claim, found in RotK: an allusion to yet another case of
deluded pride and subsequent, inevitable fall.

The repetition of the nicely ambiguous... promise? warning? threat? ["We
shall return."] gives the drabble a gripping rhythm that adds to the
tension as well.
-----------------------------------
Title: Awake · Author: Rabidsamfan · Times: The Great Years:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 837
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 02:34:17
Movie-verse Sam's POV, as he awakens from his ordeal. Rabidsamfan is one
of the few fic writers I know who can infuse movie-verse with the sort
of dignity usually found in book-verse fic. This is just gorgeous--Sam's
confusion, and his friends' gentle and loving concern come through so
well, and it all leads naturally to that one moment, of catching Frodo's
eyes from the doorway. Beautiful!
-----------------------------------
Title: Half a Sticky Mile · Author: SlightlyTookish · Genres: Adventure
· ID: 940
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 02:50:27
I've often thought Merry and Pippin found more adventure during the
storming of Isengard than they admitted to their friends. This is a
marvelously suspenseful little gapfiller, and Pippin saves the day a
time or two.
-----------------------------------
Title: Hidden on the Mountain · Author: Imhiriel · Times: The Great
Years: Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 945
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 02:52:11
I don't believe I've ever read anything from the POV of the White Tree
before. Very evocative.
-----------------------------------
Title: Old Man Willow · Author: Jay of Lasgalen · Races: Elves:
Fixed-Length Ficlet Featuring Legolas or Thranduil · ID: 859
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 02:55:53
What a nice thought, that a Wood Elf would be able to heal the heart of
darkness of Old Man Willow. I find myself wondering about this
drabble--why is Legolas in the Old Forest, and how did he find Old Man
Willow, and did he meet Tom Bombadil?
-----------------------------------
Title: Flotsam · Author: Salsify · Times: The Great Years: Vignette · ID: 85
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 03:01:49
This is a chilling little moment of realization, in which Merry sees
something disturbing in the ruins of Isengard. His sickened reaction,
and his attempts at rationalization, are very realistic. This is a fic I
read some time ago, and it still gives me a visceral reaction. Very well
executed.
-----------------------------------
Title: At Last · Author: SlightlyTookish · Races: Hobbits: General
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 238
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 03:14:43
I really like the way the author goes back and forth between Merry's POV
and Pippin's. I have to say though, my favorite is the first, as Merry
confides in a silent "Dernhelm".
-----------------------------------
Title: Better Than Frodo Baggins · Author: Inkling · Genres: Drama:
Pre-Fellowship · ID: 809
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 03:18:29
There have been many fics written about what a nasty bully young Lotho
must have been. This one however, takes a completely different tack, and
somehow makes it very plausible, not to mention sad.
-----------------------------------
Title: Aglarond · Author: annmarwalk · Races: Dwarves: Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 68
Reviewer: Branwyn · 2006-08-18 03:26:57
Gimli is turned into the comic relief side-kick in the films and is
often overshadowed by the other characters in the books, but in this
lovely drabble, annmarwalk gives him the center stage.

To Gimli the dwarf, the stonemason's art is an expression of love--his
love for Galadriel and his love of the creative process itself. There is
also a love and respect for his materials which he uses with great care.
One of my favorite passages in the LOTR is when Gimli tries to explain
to an uncomprehending Legolas the wonders of the Glittering Caves. He
describes the geological formations as if they are living plants, and in
this drabble, the writer picks up on that imagery of [glades of
flowering stone.]

I also liked Gimli's proud comment that his artistry is not inferior to
that of a poet; the applied arts are not inferior to the fine arts.

A very interesting glimpse into the mind and motivation of Gimli. I
enjoyed this very much!
.


-----------------------------------
Title: Thirsty · Author: Elfhild · Times: First Age and Prior:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 319
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2006-08-18 05:20:05
I like the chilling eroticism of this drabble.Thuringwethil's momentary
remorse was a good twist. Yet Elfhild's character is as much a
contemporary vamp as Tolkien's hazily sketched denizen of the undead.
-----------------------------------
Title: Grey Havens · Author: Space Weavil · Races: Elves · ID: 708
Reviewer: LydiaB · 2006-08-18 05:24:03
Ive liked everything Ive read of yours so far, and this story was no
exception. You are amazingly consistent in the quality you deliver.
Oddly enough, I was actually doubtful that I would enjoy this story as I
read the first few chapters, because I could only see this tale ending
unhappily and thus predictably for all concerned. However, you drew me
in first with the beautiful descriptions of the settings and of these
important events, and then you rung the pity out of me with your
characterization of Cirdan and his struggle with these new-found
feelings of love. I loved the contrast between Cirdan, the older wiser
elf abiding by the formalities, and Ereinion, rushing in where bearded
elves fear to tread. I also think you handled the interactions between
the great lords present at the haven very well, as I can imagine such
powerful characters would have all been vying for their bit of the
limelight, and you tied up very neatly all the different paths that they
took from there. And finally, you surprised me at the end after all. I
couldnt imagine what was going to happen to this marriage. Would Elinel
stay with him but quietly in the background with no mention of her in
the records? Would you kill her off? No, instead you thought of a much
better solution than that, and it worked perfectly.
-----------------------------------
Title: Jewels · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres: Romance:
Fixed-length ficlet · ID: 790
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-18 09:30:42
A lusty look at the Evenstar and the White Lady taking the air on
horseback, as viewed by a very appreciative King and Steward.

Good ambience, with just enough detail to establish the physical
exuberence and beauty of this moment.


-----------------------------------
Title: Elfstone · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Races: Elves: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 252
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-18 09:47:33
Evocative and imaginative ficlet about the making of the Elfstone.
Beautiful use of words and Elven-magic; as the writer captures the power
of the moment and the power of the Elessar's maker.

I would have liked this ficlet to be a few times longer, but the piece
works at this brief length.
-----------------------------------
Title: Demand and You Shall Receive · Author: grey_wonderer · Genres:
Humor: Children · ID: 159
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-18 13:54:47
This is such a hilarious bit of interaction, and so very realistic to
anyone who has ever had to deal with a determined toddler! Frodo's
exasperation, Merry's smugness, and Pippin's burgeoning skills as a
manipulator, and Esme's obliviousness to it are all delightful. But what
lifts it above ordinary fluff is the sweet ending, when we learn just
how much that coin purse meant to Pippin.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7454

Reviews for 21 Sept - Part 2 Posted by Rhapsody September 21, 2006 - 13:59:34 Topic ID# 7454
Title: Home Again · Author: Súlriel · Times: Early Third Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 863
Reviewer: Angmar · 2006-08-19 21:22:47
The mysterious Queen Beruthiel of Gondor, the wife of King Tarannon
Falastur, twelfth King of Gondor, was one of those tantalizing subjects
about whom Tolkien wrote only a sketchy outline. He left the rest of the
details about her and her ten cats up to the imaginations of the
readers. In this story, we get a "behind the scenes" glimpse of the love
life of one of those lovely feline "familiars" of the queen and learn a
little bit about the cat's personality. I found this an enjoyable story.
-----------------------------------
Title: Lay of Lord and Lady · Author: Vana Tuivana · Genres: Drama:
Poetry · ID: 629
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-19 21:25:51
This ballad did a fine job of mixing detail and lyrical distance where
necessary, to just hint at those parts of this story that are best left
under-told. I especially liked the way you contrasted the lights of Sun
and Moon.
-----------------------------------
Title: Weaver · Author: Vana Tuivana · Genres: Drama: Poetry · ID: 627
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-19 22:03:58
Nice job of keeping the narrator hidden until the last. That little
surprise made this all the more effective.
-----------------------------------
Title: Remember This Day Little Brother · Author: laiquendi · Genres:
Drama: Poetry · ID: 923
Reviewer: Branwyn · 2006-08-19 22:29:30
I like how Boromir (who Tolkien says was ever the defender and protector
of Faramir) is standing in the stead of Denethor, offering praise and
words of encouragement that should have come from the father. No, I
don't think Boromir ever dreamed that he wouldn't return from Imladris.
Nice work evoking the two scenes--the celebration in Osgiliath and,
later, Faramir's departure on his hopeless mission.

-----------------------------------
Title: The Smallest Hands · Author: Dreamflower · Times: The Great
Years: Poetry · ID: 884
Reviewer: Branwyn · 2006-08-19 23:35:30
I like the "historical" note at the beginning. The poem is executed in a
style which is skilfully modeled on Tolkien's own. Comparing the
towering heroes of legend and history with the four hobbits, it sums up
one of the central themes of the LOTR -- that worldly power is neither a
true measure of worth nor an indication of an individual's ability to do
good.

[...into the smallest hands did give
the greatest deed of all.]

Thanks for sharing this piece--it is very touching.


-----------------------------------
Title: Both Beholden · Author: Dwimordene · Genres: Drama:
Pre-Fellowship · ID: 180
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-20 02:27:39
I haven't read this story since my story about Mardil and Earnur, and
was caught a bit off-guard by Boromir's sharing my Earnur's concerns
that the return of the king might lead to another kinslaying. That
revelation was central to how I approached this story this read-through,
because in the appendices it is Earnur who is described as having
characteristics similar to Boromir. But Boromir here has a certain
political savvy, or at least a sense of political responsibility, about
him. He knows that he is perhaps not as eloquent or as sure-footed
outside of the military arena, and he does on occasion reveal too much
of himself -- but that doesn't mean he does not respect the need to be
cautious. That is perhaps Dwim's greatest accomplishment with this
story, but it is far from her only one: she sets up some important
relationships between Boromir and the characters who will become part of
the Fellowship, describes his intense protective pride of Gondor better
than I have ever seen anyone do, and gives us a glimpse at the rangers
of the North that is somehow both enigmatic and telling at the same
time. It's a very well-pulled off gap-filler that won't disappoint
Boromir fans or anyone who likes a story that is anything but subtle.
-----------------------------------
Title: Stewardship · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 920
Reviewer: Branwyn · 2006-08-20 04:00:23
In ROTK, Gandalf tells Denethor that ["I also am a steward"]; Raksha
takes that line as the inspiration for this lovely drabble. Though
Tolkien was creating a "pre-Christian" world, the literature of
Christianity is a pervasive influence on his writing. Several passages
in the New Testament refer to the attributes of faithful and unfaithful
stewards. (I admit to chuckling that Peter Jackson felt it necessary to
have Gandalf define the word "steward" for a modern and presumably
semi-literate audience.)

In this drabble, Gandalf is the faithful steward who, having labored
long, now rejoices that he can turn his responsibilities over to Faramir
and the members of the Fellowship. It is easy to imagine this peaceful
scene in Ithilien as Faramir, Legolas, and Samwise talk avidly about
plants and planting.

[...of flowers common to their lands, of preserving old trees while
planting new crops.]

The sight of Frodo sleeping against a tree, while the others joke and
plan for the future, is a bit of a sad note. Perhaps he is still tired
from his ordeals, but his experiences have also distanced him from his
friends and the joys of everyday life.

I enjoyed this quiet scene very much. Well done!
-----------------------------------
Title: Legend · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
Gondor · ID: 933
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-20 04:04:45
I like the reflective tone this takes. Fanfiction loves to give the
heroes and heroines a chance to look back on their deeds, and to make
the separation between the outward form, the one legends spring from,
and the experience itself of heroic deeds plain. Raksha opens Eowyn to
us in this vignette, succinctly and well.

Eowyn in her old age has a wide swath of time and experience separating
her already from her younger self already; the legendary Shield-maiden
that other people know is even more of a stranger to the woman who
remembers how deadly the despair was, how unthinking, almost, her own
actions were once the battle began.

But she shows us that despite this split vision of herself that she
can't reconcile conceptually or emotionally, she's both those people--in
her will and determination, the legend and the woman are united. As she
says, reflecting on whether, with her greater knowledge and experience,
she'd do it again if one of her loved ones were threatened once more:
[Oh yes. With one foot in the grave and with my last breath. ]

Well done, Raksha! Fans of Eowyn will definitely want to read this.
-----------------------------------
Title: In the Woods · Author: Werecat · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond ·
ID: 119
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-20 04:05:05
Werecat succeeds in blending the dominion of Men with recognizable bits
of real world religion, and the the forgetfulness of humanity in later
ages. The narrator's encounter with the 'Sidhe', and her love of the
strange little hut in the woods where animals came in friendship with
each other, touches on Tolkien and draws his stories back into the web
of mythical happenings that originally helped give rise to them.
Radagast, still hard at work in the Fourth Age and beyond, seems to be a
shepherd of sorts or a way guide for Elves seeking the way West, and
also the creator of a safe place for the non-human creatures.

As is the way of things when 'modern' people meet up with the beings
beholden to an older magic, afterwards, there are plenty of ways to
explain that meeting away, but nothing can shake the conviction of the
narrator that it happened. Well done!
-----------------------------------
Title: Incubus · Author: Werecat · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
Incomplete · ID: 127
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-20 04:05:18
I only finally saw the first film in the [Alien] trilogy (or is it a
four part series now, what with the much-reviled AVP?) this year--what
can I say? I'm a chicken when it comes to horror stories. I'm impressed
by the way Werecat has managed to make this fit into Middle-earth--you
wouldn't think the two would mix easily, but by finding that one quoted
line that suggests there might be things older even than Shelob and
perhaps as fierce or more so, and absolutely without allegiance save to
themselves (and therefore undiminished by Sauron's fall), she
convincingly builds the aliens into Middle-earth.

It's logical to me that prospecting Dwarves should discover the menace,
and the rejoining of the Three Hunters to take on this evil promises to
be interesting once the story gets to that point. I am definitely
curious to know whether the Elves did indeed originally seal those
tunnels--the Orc remnant that's also aware of the problem and seems to
have been guarding the way at one point--suggests that may be so,
assuming Orcs have elvish immortality and remember something of the old
days of discovery. Or else perhaps Sauron *did* know of the creatures
and set his own guard when he couldn't bend them to his own uses--who
knows? Werecat hasn't told us yet, but I look forward to the
continuation of the story.
-----------------------------------
Title: Pippin's Hands · Author: Pearl Took · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond: The Shire · ID: 130
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-20 04:05:37
Short and sweet.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Lost · Author: Altariel · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
Gondor · ID: 181
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-20 04:05:55
This is a fairly late story in the [Best-loved Sons] series, so without
knowing at least some of the backstory of Boromir's affairs, this won't
be as accessible. Probably the minimal reading would be [Noble Jewel],
which discusses Brand's history, as well as giving a quick summary of
Boromir's relationship with Andrahar. Knowledge of the T.S. Eliot series
of shorts by Altariel would help to understand Faramir's position.

If you've read the series, then this story is about closure for Faramir,
who, I think, feels a certain abandonment by his brother, and a sense
that the other people in Boromir's life--his other family, as it were,
that Faramir had less part in--have a greater hold on his brother's life
and legacy than he himself does. This is a source of some tension and
grief, as Faramir struggles with himself and the urge towards possessive
love he inherits from his father. In the mean time, his uncle, cousin,
and Andrahar and Brand struggle to give him space enough to deal with
these issues which touch on them so closely.

As usual, it's exquisitely written, and the intricacies of grief and
anger, misunderstanding and woundedness, are well-portrayed. Not
everything is resolved--[A Game of Chess] still lies ahead, which will
bring Faramir's father issues, echoed in his struggle to accept and
relate to his newphew, to the fore in ways that cannot be side-stepped.
He's not there yet, but we can see some of the foundations for that
'later' portrayal.
-----------------------------------
Title: If I Had It All Again To Do · Author: Pearl Took · Times: Fourth
Age and Beyond: The Shire · ID: 226
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-20 04:06:11
An intriguing glimpse into the life of the changing Shire and
surrounding area. It seems as though the Shire hobbits are at last
cutting their ties to that old land, and some are moving out into the
wider world of the Breeland. Bree has grown, swallowing the Chetwood,
and it seems as though the once-excellent relationship between hobbits
and Men that was so remarkable to that town has soured a bit--the
narrator hides his hobbit ancestry, and refuses to tell his children,
product of a mixed-marriage, of their heritage. Nor does anyone seem to
recognize the most obvious signs of that heritage for what they are,
though apparently people in Bree know about the Shire and families
there. We hear that Maggot's farm is up for sale, that eventually the
narrator's own home, which has scattered to the wind, leaving the
parents the last possessors of the family farm, is to be sold.

One wonders what the situation is in this forgetful time, that the
narrator would make such a choice, one that he regrets in the end.
-----------------------------------
Title: 300 Horses · Author: Rous · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 631
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-20 04:06:34
Heh heh, very amusing play on words!
-----------------------------------
Title: A Lesser and Alien Race · Author: Marta · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 683
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-20 04:06:47
I like the idea that this pair of courtiers could be referring either to
Vidumavi and Valacar or to Faramir and Eowyn. It's appropriate, either
way, and draws both of these highly visible mixed-heritage marriages
firmly into a continuum. Gondor has had its violent racial strife in the
past, and retains something of its prejudices down through the end of
the Third Age at least, as Faramir's words make clear.
-----------------------------------
Title: A New Year · Author: Bodkin · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond · ID: 704
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-20 04:07:01
An interesting set of tensions building in this story. The isolation of
the Elves even in Middle-earth is a major theme, and a sign of their
fading. The turn inward and away from the affairs of the other peoples
of the world marks the disappearance and self-absorbance of the Eldar,
and Bodkin brings this self-regarding attitude to the fore.

The choice of actors for this story--all of them participants in the
Ring War, and major players in the defense of various parts of
Middle-earth against Sauron--makes sense, as does their desire to see
that struggle given its due weight in Elven history.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Recall · Author: Isabeau of Greenlea · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond: Gondor · ID: 738
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-20 04:07:15
This is the latest-set story in the Unabeauverse, so readers unfamiliar
with its events may find this less accessible. After the dilemma of [Red
River], we get to see the beginnings of the resolution. Diplomacy kicks
in, and gets a boost from Imrahil, who has been called up from Dol
Amroth and an extended time away from politics after a serious bereavement.

Imrahil has the long-standing history of involvement in Gondor's
politics, going back consistently through Denethor's era, to command the
respect of the Council. He's also the single wealthiest lord in Gondor
and has a good view of who's owed what--and he's not afraid to use his
own grief and Dol Amroth's impressive economic base and his standing to
give the council an ultimatum where justice for neighbors are concerned.

It might be the last diplomatic hurrah for Imrahil--one gets the sense
that he's fading fast, but at least he goes out with a bang.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Will · Author: LydiaB · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 770
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-20 04:07:28
Interesting provenance for the Red Book - poor Tolkien!
-----------------------------------
Title: Sword Play · Author: Lindelea · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond: The
Shire · ID: 782
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-20 04:07:43
Never try to lord it over the girls--they do hit back, and tend to be
sneakier about it. Cute vignette of Goldilocks and Faramir. Sam's
response to his daughter's willingness to pick up a sword seems the
responsible one, and no doubt the Princess of Ithilien would love to
meet her. Nice touch, bringing Boromir briefly as the source of Sam's
swordsmanship and sense of duty where handling weapons is concerned.
-----------------------------------
Title: Second Son · Author: Nesta · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond: Gondor
· ID: 843
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-20 04:07:57
I like the movement back and forth between Denethor's rebukes of his own
independent-minded and strong-willed second son, who would trust his own
judgment, and Faramir's facing his own second son's deviations from law
and custom. I wonder, too, whether Faramir found it easier to make the
step away from being controlling because of his own younger son's
intellectual precosity--Túrin may not be a musician or a loremaster in
the traditional sense, but he's certainly a master of observation and
deduction. And Faramir we know has a reverence for the kind of learning
he had to set second to his duties as a captain.

Nice to see, too, that Túrin's forensic abilities can allow some peace
of mind and closure for his father, and so perhaps also for others. The
new ways of looking at bones and bodies need not be radically counter to
the traditional reverence for them. Very well done!
-----------------------------------
Title: Making the Legends of Our Times · Author: Gwynnyd · Times: Fourth
Age and Beyond: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 860
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-20 04:08:11
Eowyn as a terrible old woman instills just enough fear in her
granddaughter for her granddaughter to tell her the story of her life.
Literally. Legend may be replacing memory in the latest generation, but
the continuity of names draws things together for an ironic finish.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Burdens of Office · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 865
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-20 04:08:24
Very clever! Faramir's divided loyalties, and the ridiculously formal
way they are handled by both himself and Aragorn, were hysterical. One
gets the feeling Aragorn was hard pressed to avoid laughing during the
court session. I liked Beregond's side-views--it may be a hot, dull duty
to sit in judgment at times, compared to the trials of yore, but then
you have cases of official schizophrenia that come to light in amusing,
refreshingly forthright ways to infuse a bit of surreality into the
mundane world.
-----------------------------------
Title: Birnam Wood · Author: Inkling · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond ·
ID: 917
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-20 04:11:02
Wow, what an impressive response to Tolkien's disappointment with Birnam
Wood! Poor Dougan, a commoner with uncommon wisdom caught up in the
sweep of politics, shows us the wood gone nearly wild in his own
memories of Birnam after dark. The Ent's confusion and removal from the
times, such that it cannot tell a hobbit from a Man, is countered by a
touching sort of interest in the strange wanderer in its forest--that
was unexpected.

The arrogance of MacDuff and also of Siward is such that they could
easily have been MacBeth or Saruman, and it's only chance, the memory of
a commoner and the rote charity of a captain towards a strange old
woman, that saves them from becoming objects of the Woods' vengeance.
The encounter with the old woman--a witch of sorts, perhaps, or a
remnant of an older people, who knows?--and her inexplicable knowledge
of and familiarity with the woods and the speech of the trees eerily
sets up the forthcoming explosion.

The violence of the Huorns' fury, which we saw at a little distance at
Helm's Deep, and got a better notion of in the Ent-attack on Isengard,
is here totally unfettered. The trees are thick and they swarm--no few
Ents, they, that march upon MacBeth's fortress, and they only barely pay
heed to their shepherd. As it is, men are lost who disregard the warning
of the old woman, to follow the trees, not to go in among them or try to
run before them.

I imagine that Tolkien might have enjoyed this playing out of his own
fantasies. I certainly did, and I highly recommend it to other readers.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Rabbits Tale · Author: grey_wonderer · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond: The Shire · ID: 982
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-20 04:11:21
Every so often, when writers share enough of a world for it to happen,
characters and other items gain a life of their own and end up being
shuttled back and forth between other people's stories. It's a bit of a
rough life for the OC or item, but it can have interesting results, as here.

Something like a cross between the [Velvatine Rabbit] and LOTR, the tale
of Errol, Pippin's stuffed rabbit and for many years, his confidant and
comfort, doesn't end in him becoming Real. It does, however, shed light
on Pippin and Merry in a very unique way, as well as mark the passage
from childhood to maturity--it's not the putting away of childish
things-as-in-objects, but the putting away of childish dependencies on
other people's good opinions.

Though only a toy, Errol's tone is never childish and has a great
dignity in his capacity as Pippin's original protector. The passing of
the torch to another is accomplished without a fuss and without ever
breaking frame, as Errol decides that [Merry really would have been a
splendid stuffed rabbit. That is the highest praise that I can offer to
Pippins other protector and I offer it gladly.]
-----------------------------------
Title: House with the Cedar Shingles: Ramson Spring · Author: Cuthalion
· Times: Fourth Age and Beyond: Gondor · ID: 987
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-20 04:11:34
A peaceful, reflective interlude in the life of Samwise Gamgee and one
of the Rangers of Ithilien. Twenty years after the Ring War, Sam has a
large and growing family, and he, Rose, and Elanor are for the moment
visiting in Gondor, staying with Faramir and Eowyn. A chance visit by an
ambassador from Harad provides the family an opportunity to take a
little retreat with Elboron to the herbalist's garden.

The OC herbalist has a steady, calming, wise presence as the
conversation turns to Sam's first visit to Ithilien, during the Ring
War, and how much Frodo's absence still hurts, despite all the blessings
of peace. Noerwen apparently has had to learn a similar lesson, that
sometimes, healing is harsh, but ultimately there is hope. Damrod's
brief part in the story, which allows this point to come out, gives us a
nice glimpse of him as well, and the man he has come to be since the
war. Good job, Cuthalion!
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7455

Reviews for 21 Sept - Part 1 Posted by Rhapsody September 21, 2006 - 14:16:19 Topic ID# 7455
Title: Too Many Names · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Aragorn
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 866
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-19 05:08:10
It's impressive how much story you manage to capture in just 50 words
each. The snapshots are all fully-rounded on their own, and together
they form a caleidoscope of impressions and spot-on characterisations of
Aragorn and the people that are important to him throughout his life.
I especially like how you find fresh interpretations for many of the
(nick-)names.
It's difficult to pick a favourite, but I think I like ["Elfstone"] and
["Stick-at-Naught"] best.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Hours of Waiting · Author: Nesta · Times: The Great Years:
Gondor · ID: 909
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-19 05:10:29
The narrative has good pacing, balanced between dialogue, description,
and driving the plot forward. The language is formal, but flows smoothly.

The well-known motif of the cage in connection with Éowyn gets a fresh
perspective here, and the robin is a lovely touch. Faramir intending to
send Éowyn to safety is an unusual premise, but plausibly presented.

The characterisations and emotions at this particular point in time are
captured skilfully: Éowyn resentful of all kindliness, but intrigued by
and attracted to Faramir nevertheless, and Faramir skilfully, subtly,
slowly, drawing her out despite herself, like coaxing a skittish animal
to trust.

As I have a soft spot for the Warden of the Houses of Healing, I am
particularly delighted that your lovely portrayal of him agrees so well
with my own image of his character.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Healer and the Warrior · Author: Madeleine · Genres: Romance:
Lothíriel & Éomer · ID: 140
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-19 05:14:42
Though the prospect of the Prince of Dol Amroth allowing his only
daughter to become a professional healer is rather a stretch for me,
stranger things have happened in Middle-earth. Besides, the situation
sets up some lovely dialogue here, as Lothiriel and Eomer meet each
other as healer and very reluctant patient, both ignorant of each
other's true station.

Good knowledge of medical details helps this pleasant and romantic
vignette sparkle. Excellent pacing, too. And what a romantic, sexy Eomer!
-----------------------------------
Title: Inheritances · Author: Marta · Genres: Drama: The Steward's
Family · ID: 651
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2006-08-19 05:22:30
A delightful story as Aragorn reflects on baby Boromir and the futures
that might await them both.He feels a certain unease about the child and
the way he grasps at his rattle, foreshadowing how he will one day try
to grasp the Ring.
Aragorn reflects too on his own circumstances. I think Arwen most likely
would have him if he asked her to elope but he is too honourable a man
for that.
I especially like the way this explores Aragorn's reasons for not taking
the throne at that time.
-----------------------------------
Title: Home Again · Author: Súlriel · Times: Early Third Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 863
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2006-08-19 05:45:24
I loved this charming drabble ,showing that even the cats of a Queen
might look at handsome tom !I love the way the cat is so loyal to her
mistress despite the attractions of the opposite sex.A treat for someone
ownded by cats like myself.
-----------------------------------
Title: Aglarond · Author: annmarwalk · Races: Dwarves: Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 68
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-19 09:14:26
A perfect and beautiful drabble. I love the notion of Dwarves as poets
writing their verse with stone and hammer, bringing forth beauty from
stone. The concept of skill in carving being as delicate an art as any
bard's work fits the dwarves, and Gimli, who seems a particularly
broad-minded one, excellently. And there's a lovely echo of Gimli's
devotion to Galadriel!
-----------------------------------
Title: Today · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Romance: Rohan · ID: 199
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-19 09:26:15
Spoiler ahead:

What I find most notable here is the last paragraph, the terrible but
also joyous recognition by Theodred that he and his lover have no need
to father heirs, that death is lying in wait for them and will take them
in their prime, and that their fate will be to live on in glorious
legend. It's very Rohirric.

The sense of moments of romantic and sensual joy seized and treasured
when they come is also conveyed quite well.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Road Not Taken · Author: Branwyn · Races: Men: Vignette · ID: 104
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-19 11:48:37
J.R.R. Tolkien, meet Robert Frost. Well, sort of. Frost's lovely lines
about taking the road less travelled by, and that choice making all the
difference, weaves seamlessly into this vignette.

Boromir's final leaving of the lands he knows, as he faces the road that
will take him from Rohan and the young Rider who has escorted him there,
is both splendid and sad. The use of the swan, ancestral sigil of
Boromir's mother's Dol Amroth line, as herald and harbinger, is a lovely
touch. Indeed, the connection between the trumpeter swan, Boromir's own
horn-call and his eventual fate, is almost magical, the writer's use of
the Old English word for swan is just perfect. There's a fitting tinge
of melancholy in the fair autumn landscape, and a touch of suspense as
to where Boromir's road will lead him.

Good and evocative descriptions heighten the power of this quiet but
significant moment in the life of Denethor's heir.
-----------------------------------
Title: Elves Do Skate · Author: Caporal · Genres: Humor · ID: 135
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2006-08-19 12:56:51
It's good to know that even those superior, ethereal Firstborn love
nothing better than a good, salacious bit of gossip. Amusing and
well-written.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Green Flash · Author: DrummerWench · Genres: Drama: Featuring
Frodo or Sam · ID: 277
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2006-08-19 13:04:34
A very nice gap-filler, and a good explanation for Narya possibly
remaining in Middle-earth and what its greatly reduced powers might do.
This was a Sam story primarily, and his voice is strong and true, though
Cirdan's grief and patience are also well-depicted.
-----------------------------------
Title: Gandalf returned · Author: Rabidsamfan · Genres: Drama: General
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 990
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-19 14:56:15
This is a great little drabble for those of us who like to see corners
of canon explored that Tolkien only gave us peaks at. I particularly
love the phrases like ["birthblind"], the way the signs of age are seen
as very much a part of who he was. Also the role Narya plays in
reminding him of his purpose in being sent back. Truly those rings have
a preservative value if nothing else. Well done.
-----------------------------------
Title: Was It For This? · Author: aervir · Genres: Drama: General
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 204
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-19 15:19:08
*whimper* I had never thought about the similarities between the two
heirs, but you drew them out so well here that I'm not sure how I ever
missed them. And the point of the whole thing, the comparison between
how [tall and proud] they were to their [cold death in the mud] was just
fantastic. It seemed very Tolkienesque and very in keeping with the idea
that Frodo and the halflings and other dark horses did what the heroes
could not.

I can see how the funereal songs would be kind to Boromir, and I think
it is right that he should receive credit for what he did *before* his
death. But this drabble made me wonder how that was a kindness to
Theodred? For he had nothing to be ashamed of, did he? Unless maybe that
he did not act with more decision to rout the Worm earlier. See, you've
taken me to new fertile grounds of Tolkien exploration - quite a feat
for 100 words.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Household Accounts · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Drama: Gondor
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 50
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-19 15:41:19
Powerful. I love how you use objects and heirlooms to introduce Eowyn to
the family history she has just united herself with. The ending wasn't
what I was expecting, but it felt somehow appropriate for her.
-----------------------------------
Title: Servant of the Tower · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Drama: Gondor
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 95
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-19 16:54:06
Ouch. This works on some level because it at least acknowledges what a
weakness it would be to let Faramir die. And the servant is at the least
obviously twisting from the shame enough to want to turn it outward.
Somehow, though, I'm left with a disgust for the "ordinary" Gondorians
like thim. Thank God for Beregrond, and no wonder PJ's version suffers
for his absence! And I guess that disgust is the point of it all - not a
pleasant one, but one worth experiencing nonetheless.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Steward and the Wizard · Author: Acacea · Genres: Drama:
Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 522
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-19 17:41:49
This really makes me feel for Denethor. Not that it excuses how he
handled his sons at certain key moments, but he is dealing with an
*awful* lot: ruling a country in decline and gearing up for war, the
death of his wife and father just a few years earlier, and now sole
father to two sons. And probably too proud to ask for help, and too
high-born and austere for others to easily offer it. I can see very
easily how his relationship with Faramir would take on the chill that we
see in this little ficlet. And it would certainly explain his later
jealousy and poor feeling toward Mithrandir. You've made me feel bad for
all of them, which is good in a story of this type.
-----------------------------------
Title: For Arda · Author: Dreamflower · Genres: Drama: Poetry · ID: 885
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-19 17:53:08
Nice job exploring the way that good and bad seems to mix in Arda by its
very nature. "Bittersweet" really is a fine description for the land as
a whole, when you think about it.
-----------------------------------
Title: By The Light of Earendil's Star · Author: Branwyn · Genres:
Adventure · ID: 83
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2006-08-19 18:26:02
This powerful story begins with a simple premise. A ranger patrol, led
by young Faramir, is overrun and captured by orcs; Boromir organizes
their rescue. In hands of this marvelously skillful writer, this becomes
a tale of action, horror, suspense, and humor. Brimming with
meticulously researched detail, vivid description, and finely drawn
characters (both canonical and original) this extraordinary tale never
wanders down the twisted path to A-U, nor descends into hurt/comfort,
but remains true to its roots as a gripping action-adventure yarn.

The most outstanding feature of this tale is its fine characterizations:
Boromir is young, somewhat reckless, but imaginative and resourceful.
His impetuous decision to steal boats and ambush the orcs who have
captured Faramir and his companions is completely in character. Faramir,
badly wounded, is still able to inspire his companions to unimagined
acts of strength and courage. Original characters, such as Boromirs
longsuffering second-in-command / bodyguard, Haldan; and Boromir and
Faramir's cousin, Eldahil, serve as excellent counterpoints (and
occasional comic relief). Even the orcs have their own personalities and
rivalries which are integral to the plot.

Another noteworthy feature of the tale is the meticulous research and
wealth of detail. Fight scenes are realistically and accurately
described, providing marvelous visualizations. Medicinal herbs,
structural and architectural features of a surgical room, and Gondorian
hangover cures round out the corners of the tale. Faramirs feverish
dreams (particularly an exquisite vision of stargazing expedition, as a
small child wrapped securely in his fathers arms) provide lovely
stories-within-the story, each of them as intricately detailed as the whole.

Special recognition must be made of Branwyns characterization of
Denethor. Far from the cartoonish madman of the film, her Denethor is a
loving and compassionate father who has felt himself forced to present a
powerful, controlled persona to his people. Every parent can empathize
with his despair, when he believes Faramir to be dead; and his elation
and then worry when he discovers his child alive, though severely wounded.
-----------------------------------
Title: Here You Cannot Leave Me · Author: Alassante · Genres: Drama:
Poetry · ID: 356
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-19 18:35:27
Touching, but in a very minimalist way that lets the reader fill in a
lot of the details for themselves. Which is probably the only effective
way to tell a final parting. It worked well here.
-----------------------------------
Title: Seabird's Cry · Author: Primsong · Genres: Drama: Poetry · ID: 898
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-19 19:10:46
Concrete poems always amaze me, when theyr're well done. Here you
capture the feeling of the sea waves' waxing and waning not only in the
length of your lines but in their meanings and strength. The longer ones
seem almost to languor in their soft, gentle longing for the sea, and
you can feel it invading all of Legolas's thoughts as the lines crest.
But on the descent toward the shorter lines there's a power that anyone
caught in the undercurrent of the ocean would recognize. It is almost as
of those thoughts and sentiments have a gravity that cannot be escaped
and will pull anything those thoughts touch on to their center,
represented by [Ah-] and [Alas!] Those exclamations are telling in
themselves, as if Legolas is incapable of anything more eloquent at the
heart of the sea's pull. Nice job crawling into his headspace.
-----------------------------------
Title: Inheritance · Author: Acacea · Races: Men: Steward's Sons
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 524
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2006-08-19 19:20:48
I really like the way youve highlighted the similarities between
Faramir and Denethor. Phrases like stone-cold gaze, piercing quality
and acidic bitterness really pack a lot of punch into just a few
words, the way great drabbles should. The gentleness of the last line,
though, reminds us that Faramir was not *only* his father's son; there
was also a good bit of his mother, her kindness and compassion, in him
as well. Wonderfully done!
-----------------------------------
Title: At Last · Author: SlightlyTookish · Races: Hobbits: General
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 238
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2006-08-19 19:30:17
Such wonderfully vivid glimpses! And your characterizations are spot-on:
Merry and Pippin, unexpectedly separated, lonely and isolated, trying
valiantly to conceal their fear from their preoccupied companions.

Each one of the four double-drabbles stands perfectly well on its own.
Joined together, they provide a simple yet powerful and honest depiction
of the events surrounding the charge of the Rohirrim as viewed from
within and without the City. Well done!
-----------------------------------
Title: In the Houses of Healing · Author: Elen Kortirion · Races: Men ·
ID: 877
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2006-08-19 19:39:28
I had read a bit of this before, just a foretaste of its power and
beauty, its rich and passionate detail. This tale is like an ancient
tapestry newly restored to glory, a story that has existed for thousands
of years, rediscovered.

The two women are fabulous: Melleth: bearer and keeper of secrets,
friend, and confidante of heroes, fiercely protective of those to whom
she sworn her loyalty and given her heart. The intriguing Gil-forod,
female elf-Ranger, loving and beloved of Faramir, adds interest but does
not overwhelm. This is not her story, but her presence is warm, a
necessary comfort to Faramir as he fights his way back to life.

Your descriptive skills are sublime: Faramirs various wounds, scars,
his mans body viewed with an appreciative gleam by the woman who
changed his clouts as a babe. An overgrown moonlit garden, scented of
greenery and roses; a white fur-lined cloak, stolen to settle a debt.
Each of these elements carry their own stories within them; I eagerly
await the day youll be able to tell us those stories too.
-----------------------------------
Title: Lothlorien · Author: laiquendi · Genres: Drama: Poetry · ID: 925
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-19 19:41:52
This is hauntingly beautiful. In this poem the flowering and fading of
Lothlorien seems to parallel the elves themselves, and the choice of the
seasons as a metaphor was very effective.
-----------------------------------
Title: I'm Writing This With My Left Hand · Author: Vana Tuivana ·
Genres: Drama: Poetry · ID: 641
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-19 20:25:24
Good job capturing Maedhros' state of mind here. The fact that he
remained so eloquent even here speaks highly of him.
-----------------------------------
Title: I Yessë En Mentë · Author: Rous · Genres: Drama: Poetry · ID: 739
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-19 20:57:27
It's not easy to write a form as complicated as Rohirric alliterative
verse -- believe you me, I've tried! -- and I am always impressed when
an author pulls it off in a way that seems effortless. I know that it
couoldn't have been, but this is one of those pieces that feels like it
really was written by a bard school in that time. The language is rich
on both the tongue and in the images it brings to mind, and it gets at
the gravity of the situation without being overly angsty.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7456

Reviews for 22 Sept - Part 1 Posted by Rhapsody September 22, 2006 - 14:37:30 Topic ID# 7456
Title: Promise · Author: Vana Tuivana · Genres: Romance: Poetry · ID: 643
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-20 05:20:01
Ah, this is so poignant! The first paragraphs, pregnant with
expectations and promises--life, fire, great deeds and passion, and
above all, undying love--shrink away so quickly into sorrow foreseen.
Nerdanel is both beautiful and wise, but she is also brave, to accept
from the outset the tragedy and trauma seeded in those flowers and that
promise. No surprises, no unexpected falls--she foresees the shape of
her future with Feanor, but chooses to accept the painful for the sake
of the promise in him of a life worth singing of.

Beautiful and concise, Vana! Fans of Feanor and Nerdanel should read this.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Fords of Isen · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Adventure · ID: 41
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-20 05:20:33
A very interesting ghost story--save for the water, the scent of
mouldering earth, and the oysters, and the bits of conversation, you'd
think that Boromir and Théodred were quite alive. I loved Boromir's
comment that, with regard to his expectations about death, he'd just
assumed neither of them would ever die. The matter-of-fact,
down-to-earth talk and comfortable manner of the two ghosts towards each
other makes death just a slight disruption of an otherwise contiuous
life. Théodred's comment about disliking the damp of the river, though
he knows he shouldn't complain to Boromir about it, is hysterical. The
dialogue throughout captures the spirit of two men who were warriors
first and foremost, and great friends.

The poor narrator, though, terrified out of his wits by these ghosts,
even if they are his benefactors! Good of him and of his friend to
return to honor the dead, and attempt to assuage their longing for
certain missed pleasures of life.
-----------------------------------
Title: Curious Mind, Noble Heart · Author: Nilmandra · Genres: Adventure
· ID: 270
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-20 05:20:49
I hadn't even noticed the line that inspired this story, but Nilmandra
does much to make it henceforth memorable.

In addition to giving a plausible reference for pop-guns in
Middle-earth, this is a story about learning to be responsible in the
following of orders. Estel is young enough that of course he can't do
much else but that, but he is also a child growing up without other
children about, and in the midst of beings who count time in centuries.
There's a lot going on in the outside world that goes far over his head,
but not so much so that he can't hear it in snatches. There's nothing
like a half-known secret to set imagination and curiosity into play, and
they feed nicely into Estel's already established desire to be helpful
and to join in the defense of his home. Before anyone can blink twice,
chance conspires to make a minor disaster out of his stealthy efforts to
learn how to use the pop-gun.

In the background of it all lurks Arador, whose death has affected
Elrohir apparently profoundly, especially given the news from the
Rangers of finding Arador's sword in a troll's cache. That makes Estel's
reconciliation gift--his grandfather's star-brooch, though he doesn't
know its provenance--that much more profoundly moving for Elrohir, and
indeed for all the adults. But he doesn't ask about those
reactions--perhaps respecting the need to tame curiosity.

Well done, Nilmandra!
-----------------------------------
Title: Appearances Can Be Deceiving · Author: Dreamflower · Genres:
Adventure · ID: 760
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-20 05:21:06
I love Bilbo and Aragorn stories. Clearly, there's a fairly lengthy
history between the two by the time we meet Bilbo (or rather, meet him
again) in Rivendell, in FOTR. But we don't know how long they've known
each other or much else about their friendship, other than that there's
some poetry beta-reading that involves some rather brutal honesty...

This first meeting of the Dúnadain and the hobbit is plausible, humorous
in the way of mistaken identities and misconceptions that turn out well
in the end, and shows us Bilbo's adventuresome spirit. His decision to
tour the valley of Rivendell on his own gives us a lovely glimpse of the
enchanting landscape, and has that sense of an extended holiday that I
imagine fits Bilbo in his adjustment period among the Elves.

That holiday feeling is interrupted by Aragorn's unexpected arrival at
the ford. Bilbo's determination to warn his new fellows of the entry of
a strange, unkempt, and rather wild-looking Man, injured but able to
cross into the valley unhindered, is touching. His eventual meeting with
Aragorn, and the almost immediate friendship they strike up, as they
introduce themselves and tell their respective tales, is well written,
and we see the genesis of the poem Bilbo recites in the books--the one
he had composed when Aragorn originally told him his story.

Very nicely done, Dreamflower!
-----------------------------------
Title: A Battle Of A Different Kind · Author: Katzilla · Genres: Drama:
Pre-Fellowship · ID: 279
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-20 12:47:14
Eothain is obviously right. Worries for Eowyn's welfare waside, the men
will fight better if they are protecting something. It's sexist in a
way, but it's also honouring the world Tolkien created. But I could so
feel for Eowyn! To feel helpless and hopelesss as those around you are
taken away one by one, it must have been a cruel torture indeed. And her
battle with Wormtongue was more elusive and less prone to inspire songs,
but even more dangerous in its own way.

One quibble - you use Rohirrim to refer to an individual man, but it is
singular. Would eorling or rohir be better?
-----------------------------------
Title: Birthdays · Author: Rabidsamfan · Genres: Drama: Remembering ·
ID: 988
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-20 13:30:19
There's something about the tone of this story, especially toward the
end. Elanor is so childlike just how she should be, and I think that
simplicity is maybe what makes Sam finally be able to forgive himself
well. It's not easy to pull off, but it works here.
-----------------------------------
Title: Lonely Night · Author: NeumeIndil · Genres: Drama: Remembering ·
ID: 295
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-20 13:31:19
How sad, these choices! You made me feel for both OCs here.
-----------------------------------
Title: Benison · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Drama: Remembering · ID: 67
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-20 13:59:18
The thing about this story that still blows me away on my third reading
is the way that Annmarwalk uses physical details so effectively here!
The two best examples are probably the threadbox and the basket. The
basket, ["woven of sea-grass, green and gold fronds now faded"], iks
obviously a relic from her Dol Amroth childhood. And the threadbox is
similary described as ["ivory-inlaid"], and since ivory comes from
elephant tusks and elephants from Harad, then this must either also be
from Dol Amroth or be a very queenly gift if it comes from Minas Tirith.
How much could Harad be exporting to Gondor in those days?

Details like this that just skirt on the edge of describing let me
create a whole world inside my head, with nothing you said to contradict
it. Like the poetry ["written in a powerful masculine hand, of such
passion that Eowyn blushed as she read"]. It makes me blush, too,
because I am even now imagining just the kind of romantic (and probably
fairly erotic) poetry that a man who closed himself off to so many would
choose to compose for his wife. This very short story is easily as much
a [treasure-trove] as Finduilas's basket and I'm so glad to have read it.
-----------------------------------
Title: Today · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Romance: Rohan · ID: 199
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-20 16:26:14
Another in the series of Annmarwalk's Boromir/Théodred stories, this is
aptly titled. Present tense, foreshortened future that looks no further,
really, than the night, dismissing the concerns of diplomacy for
tomorrow. Diplomacy can afford tomorrows, is all about there being a
tomorrow, but as the final paragraph chillingly shows, there is no
future for these two lovers. Théodred knows it--it seems this one
glimpse of foresight among Rohirrim shows the dead end awaiting both
himself and Boromir, which makes today the only day that matters for
their love.

Tragic in the end, the unfolding is nevertheless warmly written and
angst-free. Recommended for slashers who like a little angst sprinkled
in with their fun.
-----------------------------------
Title: Quality Time · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Drama: The Steward's
Family · ID: 205
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-20 17:18:31
We usually only see Nanny with the children, so this story where she
interacts with Denethor gives her a chance to interact with an adult. It
adds a lot of depth to her character, even though the story seems more
about Denethor than her. I understand the demands on his time - if
Faramir is born Ecthelion is probably dead or dying - but he still
suffers from the fact that his duties keep him from his sons more than
he'd like. That was really touching, and the ending with him watching
Faramir sleep was precious beyond words (and in a completely
non-gollumesque way!)

One thing I noticed: Nanny was chosen by Finduilas! Which makes good
sense but is never made explicit anywhere else that I've read. If
Denethor is intimidating now, she's in trouble when Finduilas dies,
especially if she is connected to Finduilas in Denethor's mind. That
would be an interesting idea for a future story *nudge, nudge*
-----------------------------------
Title: When The Days Are Warm · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Drama: The
Steward's Family · ID: 145
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-20 17:27:38
This was a hauntingly sad little piece that really captured Finduiilas'
melancholy well.
-----------------------------------
Title: Revenge is a dish best served cold · Author: Lialathuveril ·
Genres: Humor · ID: 297
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-20 19:04:14
This was great fun. Eomer was delightfully in character, especially with
those thoughts about mustering the courage that let him do all his
heroic deeds, and it's good that he's getting a bit of a cooler head
from a few years at king. But let it never be said that this is merely a
boys-will-be-boys thing. My female cousins pulled the same type of gag
on me when I came to Germany for the first time. Somehow it seems
inherent in human nature that we like to see each other squirm.
-----------------------------------
Title: Of Squirrels and Stolen Pies · Author: grey_wonderer · Genres:
Humor: Children · ID: 305
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-20 22:53:29
Cute! Pippin's meandering answers made me smile.
-----------------------------------
Title: Bedtime Story · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres: Humor:
Children · ID: 355
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-20 23:06:21
This was fun! Eldarion is such an energetic little kid in your hands,
which makes for some great moments.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Gift of Tears · Author: vladazhael · Genres: Drama: Elves in
Later Ages · ID: 615
Reviewer: Súlriel · 2006-08-21 01:37:28
As I've said before, I really appreciate the depth of emotion you convey
in this work - especially the view of Elven death.
-----------------------------------
Title: Gaiety in Gondor · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Humor:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 563
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-21 14:24:48
This drabble makes me laugh. I love the semantic differences between gay
and gay ;). I especially love the hinted at consequences of interpreting
the gayety the wrong way.
-----------------------------------
Title: Where The Shadows Are · Author: Kenaz · Genres: Drama: Elves in
Later Ages · ID: 776
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-21 14:25:52
This was a heartbreaking tale. Gil-galad expecting to fall and trying to
distance himself from Elrond, trying to make the separation more
bearable. But Elrond wants none of it.

I was a bit confused with some of the point of view changes in the
beginning, but I could figure it out.

I thought your description of the desolate landscape very vivid and
descriptive. It set the mood for the whole piece, which then carried on
into the encounter between Gil-galad and Elrond.


-----------------------------------
Title: Lesser Ring · Author: Larner · Genres: Adventure · ID: 184
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-21 14:26:40
This tale starts with Aragorn's first visit to Harad and spans into
Aragorn's years as King when he makes another visit to Harad, meeting
some of the people still living he got to know during his first visit.
Along the way Aragorn can show that even after 10 years as a king, he is
still a warrior and the enemies of him and his friends should never
underestimate him. I thought it a lovely idea to have a lost group of
Dunedain found somewhere beyond Harad. That made for some interesting
reactions.

The characterization of Aragorn is great, his care and concern for all
his people and even people he just met. I like the description of his
duties as king, and how similar these duties are in other cultures. The
ruler has to rule and to speak judgement, no matter what the customs are.

This story features a host of canon and original characters and they all
come to life with their own voices.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Three Towers · Author: Shirebound · Times: The Great Years:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 113
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-21 14:27:46
Frodo has to visit the past to find healing for the future. With the
help of his friends from the fellowship, he visits the Tower of Critih
Ungol again to try to sort out what was dream and what was real of his
captivity there. Along the way everyone has a chance to heal some of the
wounds of the quest.

The characters in this story are very well developed. The four hobbits
each have their distinctive voice and especially Sam is spot on. I love
the description of the interaction between the members of the
fellowship.How Merry and Pippin try to cheer Frodo up, how Gimli in his
rough way makes sure Frodo will not encounter a dead Snaga and gives Sam
the cruel whip to dispose of, to lay that demon to rest.
-----------------------------------
Title: Was It For This? · Author: Alawa · Genres: Drama: Remembering ·
ID: 88
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-21 14:28:21
A nice reflective piece on the worth of the fight against Sauron.
Aragorn finally finds a connection to his father.
-----------------------------------
Title: At the Rising of the Moon · Author: Linda Hoyland · Genres:
Humor: Gondor · ID: 846
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-21 14:38:28
This was a fun little romp. It's great to see the length that even king
and steward will go to keep their harried wives happy, and Elbeth was
charmingly tomboyish.
-----------------------------------
Title: Quo Vadis? · Author: Tehta · Times: First Age and Prior · ID: 86
Reviewer: Dawn Felagund · 2006-08-21 19:40:06
I have been a long-time fan of your work, though this is my first time
reading this particular story. As usual, you bring to life the people of
Gondolin--in this case Salgant--people whom we see sketched in few words
in the books and reveal much about their characters and motivations
without creating a story that is heavy or too expository. The subtle use
of humor is always appreciated.

This is perhaps my favorite line in the story:

[Once, only once, had he won that honour: an injustice, no doubt, but on
this terrible day a fortunate misfortune. After all, he had only one head.]

This says a lot about Salgant's character and--I will admit--made me
snicker a bit too.

The ending is sad and frightening yet fitting: That he who had not the
courage to die as a warrior, in defense of his home, will instead suffer
a worse fate as a captive of Angband. At once, I feel sorry for Salgant
yet can't completely dismiss the feeling that he was deserving.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Precious Gift · Author: Isil Elensar · Genres: Drama: First Age
Elves · ID: 250
Reviewer: Dawn Felagund · 2006-08-21 19:49:47
In a family that will later be torn by strife and betrayal, stories like
this remind us of the happier times that make the later tragic events
all the more painful when they do begin. But even as this is a sweet
little story, there are other things at work too. For one, there is the
very real fear--probably looming in the thoughts of more than just
Finwe--that Indis will succumb to the same strange affliction that took
the life of Mirel. There is the reader's knowledge that with the birth
of Fingolfin, events have been set in motion that cannot be rescinded.
And there is the subtle humor of poor Indis trying to sleep and being
interrupted by her proud and excited husband...and her eventual success,
of course, is a fitting conclusion.
-----------------------------------
Title: THE DAWNING · Author: digdigil · Genres: Drama: First Age Elves ·
ID: 938
Reviewer: Dawn Felagund · 2006-08-21 20:03:33
This story will always be precious to me, for reasons that might be
obvious to some. :) As a reader and an author, the awakening of Maedhros
after his rescue from Thangorodrim has always been of great interest to
me, in part because of the many ways that different authors approach the
same subject. Your tender and no-nonsense OFC is left dealing with many
of these issues--explaining the loss of his hand, of his beautiful
bodily form--and she lends a feeling of both strength and tenderness
that is hard to create in a character. One of your strengths as an
author, I believe, and so rare in this fandom is the ability to create
original characters that are at once realistic and lively and yet do not
overshadow their canon counterparts.

And I love that the story is gentle and hope-filled where many (myself
included) would take this topic in an angsty or even brutal direction.
Your stories always cheer me up and lighten my (admittedly) sometimes
ponderous moods. Such a lovely little story, Jenni!
-----------------------------------
Title: Raven Hair and Silver Eyes · Author: Ellie · Times: First Age and
Prior · ID: 174
Reviewer: Dawn Felagund · 2006-08-21 20:15:55
Your Anaire is very different from mine but a joy to read! The beginning
of this story is light and beautiful but turns dark with the strife
between Feanor and Fingolfin and the Darkening of Valinor. The device of
using "raven hair and silver eyes" is fitting and very nicely done,
tracing this feature as the first that Anaire noticed about Fingolfin
until the point where she realizes that it--representative of her
children's similarity to their father--has helped bring about the first
kinslaying. A beautiful story, Ellie, at once beautiful and heartbreaking.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7457

Reviews for 22 Sept - Part 2 Posted by Rhapsody September 22, 2006 - 15:22:51 Topic ID# 7457
Title: Trivial Matters · Author: Thundera Tiger · Genres: Humor: Gondor
· ID: 839
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-21 21:19:15
This was just great. I should have known from the summary and what I
know of this author that it would be an understated refined sort of
inanity. Faramir was cunning and just... great, I guess. He seems to
almost defy description. Every inch the subtle man we see in the book
canon but with a sense of humor refined by peacetime and an obvious
enjoyment of toying with other lords. And you knew he'd take the jokes
foisted on him in the same way.

But the real reason this story shines so much is Legolas. He is lordly
and restrained (moreso than I would have ever been) but he still has
that rough edge that we see when he storms out. It's exactly what I
would expect of a Sindarin prince. No event here is canonical, but every
one fits EXACTLY with the character that Tolkien developed. On finishing
this story, the very first thing I did was email a Legolas-centric
writer and recommend it. From those ["rougher elements"] of the crowd at
the Rohirric festival, to the fact that Gimli would not only try for
days to figure out the irritant but would see fit to share it - spot on.
Poor picked-on elf, you feel sorry for him by the end of the piece. But
that does keep you from giggling.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Matter of Honor · Author: meckinock · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Incomplete · ID: 208
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-08-21 23:44:41
This story has everything: adventure, humor, drama, great writing. The
author starts with an entertaining comic tale (told by Aragorn) and
drops right into a near-death experience involving flying arrows, deadly
wounds, and a raging river. What more could you want?

And then it gets better. Aragorn finds a cache of letters that seem to
indicate he is not Arathorn's first-born son! Omigod! How's that for a
little wrinkle in the plans? So he flees into the Wild, seeking answers.

Naturally, Halbarad comes to the rescue. Only it appears now, at this
point in the story, that Halbarad needs rescuing more than Aragorn. Will
we ever get to find out the answer to the central mystery?

In any case, it's clear there's more sword-whacking ahead, and no doubt
a timely appearance by Gandalf--all to be wrapped up with a solution
confirming our hero's hereditary rights....at least I hope so.

Meckinock has created some great original characters in this story, as
well as carrying over some from the prequel, In the Hands of the Enemy.
I expect a final appearance from Dudo, of course, filling us in on his
adjustments to life in Rivendell, and his eventual move to the Shire.

The best comic scene so far is the night in the Hall of Fire where
Elladan makes a fool of himself.
-----------------------------------
Title: Shadow of Himself · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Post-Grey Havens · ID: 853
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-22 00:15:58
That was just devastating, to be perfectly frank right up front. I've
seen several variations on the Boromir Lives alternate universe,
including one that did go with an amnesiac Boromir. But to play it out
to the end (or to one of its possible ends) takes a lot of work, and
though this might be the shorter path, it's by no means the easy one.

Randir, formerly Boromir, in his new life is a man more at peace perhaps
than any of those who came through the Ring War alive and with memories
intact. Aside from the occasional nightmare that warns him against
delving into his past, he has no connection to anything from his past
and after so many years, no longer desires to have anything to do with
his old life. Gimli and Legolas are devastated, and Boromir is not
unsympathetic to their yearning to have him in their lives again, but he
cannot force his own feeling, and he sees in them a reaction he does not
wish to see in others. Nor does he wish his life, built up with such
effort, destroyed for the sake of something he may never recall. He's a
different person, more thoroughly so than any could imagine him to be,
and so no longer suited perhaps to the calling he once had in life.

What a burden for Legolas and Gimli, to have to decide whether to bring
the tale to Minas Tirith and all Boromir's family and friends! The
reader really identifies with them, and sympathizes with them, yet
Boromir, too, in his new guise as Randir, is also worthy of sympathy.
He's an innocent now, in a way that he never was, and who would wish to
see his life ruined by the intrusion of past ties he's in a way outgrown?

Very well done, EdorasLass! A very poignant story--people who like AUs
should read this. Actually, anyone who likes Fellowship stories should
enjoy it--highly recommended.
-----------------------------------
Title: After the End · Author: Ottis413 · Genres: Alternate Universe:
Post-Grey Havens · ID: 781
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-22 00:32:24
Very gutsy move, setting a story in a dystopic Middle-earth, where the
Quest failed. The major actors in that we assume are long since dead--or
at least, we hope they are. Being a prisoner of the Dark Lord or his
agents is hardly a fate worth considering.

Far from the front, the Breelanders discover too late that they are on
the losing side, as Sauron's army sweeps over them, destroying the town
and reducing it to a few huddled, hardened survivors whose fatalism and
endurance are their two most prominent traits. And they need it, for
life under Sauron and his chief lieutenants--the Nazgûl and a 'redeemed'
Saruman--is brutal and often short. William Baker, born into this world,
has nothing of idealism in him; he doesn't even have desire--life is a
continual accommodation of a ruthless reality, where even Nazgûl are not
so much frightening as simply a part of the world he knows. He can't
even conceive of anything more than that.

The disruption his father's return to Bree causes is enough to inspire a
peculiarly cool hatred that just barely rises to the point of inspiring
action. Even then, his world is so narrow, he can't connect to anyone
beyond the grandmother he would avenge, so that his targets in vengeance
are really accidental--he doesn't hate them. So far as they affect them,
he's fascinated by them, but that's of no consequence; nor are any of
the foreseen consequences. It's all fate and the mechanism of necessity.

Chilling, somber, and dark, for those who've been missing
post-apocalyptic fics in this fandom, try this story!
-----------------------------------
Title: Pride Before The Fall · Author: AmandaK · Genres: Alternate
Universe · ID: 742
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-22 00:36:50
Sic transit Boromir. And Denethor. And the entire course of the war. If
Boromir had claimed the Ring (successfully claimed it, that is), it
might have gone something like this. The desire to protect may move him
initially, but how quickly it becomes something terribly, horribly
other! After so long alone with the Ring, invisible to all other eyes
and so in a sense unassailable because unable to get outside himself and
realize there are others to whom he is responsible, Boromir returns home
a twisted creature. He is most definitely not himself, transformed by
the power of the Ring into a delusional, impulsively violent tyrant,
capable of the most casual sort of slaughter.

Not that it helps in the end, as the epilogue shows. A very dark tale,
Amanda, but one all too plausible!
-----------------------------------
Title: The First Age of the Sun: Triumph · Author: Inglor · Genres:
Alternate Universe: Incomplete · ID: 215
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-22 00:39:42
This is too early in its development for the AU aspects to really have
had a chance to play out for the reader, and demonstrate the
consequences of a love match between Luthien and Finrod. Some
interesting character interactions, though. We'll see whether the wars
against Morgoth end where the title would have it, in triumph.
-----------------------------------
Title: Such a Little Thing · Author: Ribby · Genres: Alternate Universe
· ID: 206
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-22 00:42:30
Brutal and quick, one wonders what ultimately becomes of Denethor and
Boromir, now that they've claimed the Ring. Fall out among family? Do
they challenge Mordor successfully? Just how much time do they have, and
now that there's no challenge from the North, is Middle-earth condemned
to fall to darkness? I think we need a third fic, here...
-----------------------------------
Title: Years After and a Sea Between · Author: Dana · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Post-Grey Havens · ID: 39
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-22 00:52:52
I love the tone of this piece--in the tumble of narration, punctuated
with conversation, Dana gives force to the fate or decision or call it
what you will that moves Pippin. The need for healing, and for an end to
exile from friends gone over the sea, suffuses the story, and the love
and longing of the two aged, ex-patriots is palpable.

So, too, the intimate, loving relationship between Pippin and
Merry--more than friends or cousins, unapologetically in love and each
other's comfort after the deaths of their wives, they have the feel of
people who have gone through lives that have been stretched to the very
limits. Dana writes them with a certain welcome spareness that mimics
the way long time lovers really don't need to say much--they know each
other so well, and yet when they do speak, it's hardly trivial. But
being hobbits, they're not overly somber--the two set sail for the
Straight Path and Valinor with Merry still insisting Pippin's cracked at
long last, and Pippin quite willing to say he has and grina about it to
cover the sorrow of leaving friends behind. Legolas feels just right in
this respect, and the brief appearances of Aragorn and Gimli are both
satisfying, despite their brevity.

Very well done, Dana, I quite enjoyed this. Hobbit-lovers ought to enjoy
this alternate fate of Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took, as they
light out on one last adventure.
-----------------------------------
Title: Come When You Are Ready · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Alternate
Universe · ID: 795
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-22 01:10:50
Redeeming Denethor is quite the task, especially after the pyre. The
eerie stillness of Denethor's dreams, alone in the tower, save for the
voices of wife and son, and two allies, all of them now dead. But
Denethor cannot join them quite yet--he's in the borderlands between
life and death, plucked from the pyre but so wounded as to be
unrecognizable.

Cutting back and forth between Denethor's oddly peaceful--save for a few
disturbing intrusions from the outside world and his persistant, driving
fear over his inability to find Faramir--dreams, and the reality of his
sickroom and the plight of family and acquaintances is an effective
tactic. Poor Faramir--as if the man had not enough trauma to deal with,
his father's steadily worsening condition cannot but horrify him.

But there is a release for them both--this is a redemption story.
Denethor cannot be ready to pass until he knows his younger son is safe
and well, and happily, Faramir is able to provide him that assurance,
and to know that his father feared for him undoubtedly goes some length
towards healing him as well.

Well-told, EL!
-----------------------------------
Title: Beleg and Túrin · Author: Raihon · Genres: Romance · ID: 755
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-22 01:19:20
Turin has never been my favorite character, and Raihon reminds me of
why--he's just not likeable, as selfish and perverse as he can be (and
by 'perverse' I don't mean erotically, I mean in the five year-old child
sense of perverse). This also makes him a hard character to write as the
beloved of a man who has some sense of selflessness, despite what love
makes of him. That perverse temperamtent makes the first part of this
fic on the rocky side, but once past that point, I think the story
improves and becomes a very credible, plausible glimpse into one
possible relationship between Beleg and Turin.

Beleg's awareness of his beloved's faults, and the unfairness with which
Turin treats him, and his way of dealing with it strike me as about
right for an Elf, as does the forging of the crisis moment for him. It
makes sense to me that once committed, the problems he has with Turin
become manageable for him and he knows a little peace in this
relationship, which is far from ideal.

Nicely done, Raihon!
-----------------------------------
Title: Work Detail · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres: Romance:
Fixed-length ficlet · ID: 789
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-22 01:20:46
An amusing bit of verbal foreplay. I'm sure there are many other work
details not nearly so enjoyable a king could be given.
-----------------------------------
Title: Bored · Author: Make It Stop · Genres: Humor: Gondor · ID: 779
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-22 02:49:27
This one really did earn quite a few snickers. I don't know which part i
liked best, the complete pettiness we see bouncing back between Faramir
and Denethor, or the exquisit boredom you've given the sentryman. But
Boromir's ["Pass the peas"] line absolutely takes the cake. No wonder
the bloke volunteered for the Rivendell trip - it would be worth it just
to get away from that family.
-----------------------------------
Title: Psychodiagnostic Evaluation - Subject: The Lady of Rohan ·
Author: Anoriath · Genres: Humor: Parody · ID: 753
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-22 02:51:14
It's amazing how much of the canon shines through the psychobabble. Well
done on this.
-----------------------------------
Title: Cacophony · Author: Gwynnyd · Genres: Humor: Parody · ID: 929
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-22 02:56:04
Oh dear. I was tutored in piano since I was about six, so by the time I
got to middle school the violin was my second instrument. So I can
*completely* appreciate the horror off duelling Valar. The modern
musical references just make it all the more irreverent - which is all
to the good. The barbershop quartet had me snickering.
-----------------------------------
Title: Gondor Needs No King · Author: Ribby · Times: The Great Years:
Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 207
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-22 05:54:10
An inversion of Gondor's Faithful Jewel into something far more cold and
predatory in this AU ficlet. The horror is in the sinister implications
of Denethor's pleasure in the lack of rivals for the rule of Gondor, in
his pleasure at what his son has become, and the mildly rueful tone of
his regret over Faramir's horrible death.


-----------------------------------
Title: Such a Little Thing · Author: Ribby · Genres: Alternate Universe
· ID: 206
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-22 06:03:03
A darkly detailed ficlet that dovetails with the writer's AU drabble
[Gondor Has No King]. This longer and even darker explains how the Ring
fully corrupted Boromir. In this AU, Boromir the Fair does not redeem
himself, and kills a comrade, with fateful consequences for
Middle-earth. Even worse (Spoiler!), he consents to Faramir's immolation
- the description of those moments are horribly effective, particularly
the notion that Faramir's death kills all that was good and noble in
Boromir.

Go and read the real TTT and ROTK; this AU ficlet is written too well,
and leaves a shivery, painful aftertaste in the reader's mind.
-----------------------------------
Title: Home Again · Author: Súlriel · Times: Early Third Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 863
Reviewer: Robinka · 2006-08-22 10:38:01
This is a wonderful, vivid, sensuous, and beautifully done portrayal of
a feline. It sounds very "cattish" and like what I've always imagined
the inner monologue of a cat could be. You painted a splendid picture
with words.
-----------------------------------
Title: Voices on the Wind · Author: Phyncke · Times: First Age and Prior
· ID: 112
Reviewer: digdigil · 2006-08-22 14:14:33
This is a wonderful story of a terrible battle, of hope lost, and yet
regained at the end. It is a moving tale of release from a terrible
bondage into freedom once the battle is over. It tells of Fingolfins
last fight against Morgoth, when he went forth on his own to challenge
the Dark Lord in single combat.

The descriptions are excellent: from Fingolfins vision of the ravaged
countryside to his reflections as he travels on his lone quest. There is
a heart-rending description of the battle between High King and Dark
Lord. Morgoth is presented in terrifying terms, as is his weapon, the
Hammer of the Underworld.

There are shudderingly realistic descriptions of Fingolfins last
moments, and of the vision his fëa had of the aftermathof what was
about to happen to his body.

Towards the end of the story there is a nice touch, a lovely surprise:
the mention of Fingolfins horse, Rochallar, that the fallen king sees
as the eagle is carrying his body away from the battle scene.

The story has a lovely ending, whereby Fingolfin lets his soul be
released and becomes finally free.

I found this short story to be an uplifting read and moving in its
lovely, emotional descriptions.


-----------------------------------
Title: The Lost Hunter · Author: tuxedo_elf · Times: First Age and Prior
· ID: 721
Reviewer: digdigil · 2006-08-22 14:23:40
The main thing that I love about this story is its remarkable
emotionality, expressed in the second voice, an unusual voice to use
when writing any story. But it works very well in this tale, bringing an
element of closeness and intimacy to the events as the Vala Oromë
expresses his regret upon losing his loved one, Celegorm.

There is a sense of sadness imbued within the entire short story. The
reader is told in the first paragraph that something went wrong in the
relationship that resulted in the sundering of the two parties involved.
This creates a state of suspense as the reader is left wondering what
happened between the lovers to sunder them.

This suspense, as well as the sadness, is alleviated briefly by the
narrators descriptions of the lovers first meeting and the joy the
narrator shows in his description of the affection he feels for
Celegorm. The author does a good job of describing this happiness and
the emotion expressed in his happiness when he is with his lover.

The descriptions of Celegorms ability to speak to animals is beautiful.
The reader is led to understand completely how the Vala could be drawn
to this Elf, and then fall in love with him, and how much in common they
possessed.

Then comes the heartbreaking conclusion: the realization of the
severance between the two lovers that occurs because of the interference
of Celegorms father in their lives, the desire of everyone for the
corrupting Silmarils and of what Fëanor has done in the madness that has
overtaken his reason, and has involved all his sons in it. This is all
very well dramatized by the author.

There is good description in the end of Oromës sense of horror, loss,
sadness and regret over what has become of his loved one, but also the
hope that he and Celegorm may meet again and love one another once more,
is beautifully described.

In conclusion, I think that this story is beautifully written, describes
the emotions throughout extremely well, and leaves the reader with a
lingering sense of sadness in the futile sundering of a once-great
relationship, and the sense that it did not have to be this way. The
sentiments within can be very well applied to peoples lives today.


-----------------------------------
Title: Earth, Water, Fire and Air · Author: Fileg · Genres: Drama:
Fixed-Length Ficlet Series · ID: 469
Reviewer: digdigil · 2006-08-22 14:25:33
This series of four drabbles based on the four elements as well as four
of the tarot cards, the Ace of Shields, Ace of Cups, Ace of Swords and
Ace of Wands. The author nicely uses them to capture the character of
each person upon which they are based.

The first one, concerning Eowyn, contains some lovely metaphors that
illustrate the shield maidens bravery. The first sentence adeptly
conveys the hope for the future of this countrysaid only in a few
words, it encapsulates the importance of the upcoming battle.

In the second drabble, the author beautifully illustrates the sentiment
that causes a woman to put the welfare of others before her own, as
Arwen contemplates a golden bowl, another beautiful metaphor used here
to illustrate life. The last line is powerful, as Arwen reflects upon
her decision to trade her contentment for love and uncertainty. The
author comes to the conclusion that Arwen chose her fate not merely out
of love for Aragorn, but also to realize her vision that she would be
ensuring that Elven blood will flow through the veins of future human
beings.

Next, the Ace of Swords belongs to Aragorn, whom the author compares to
his broken sword. The power of sacrifice and his nobility are very well
drawn as he ponders his father or forefathers, and realizes that he
shall carry on.

In the last drabble, Faramir considers his fate, and healed of his
wounds, feels the uplifting sense of liberation. It has a lovely
melancholic yet hopeful mood, illustrated by the use of colorful words:
white, ashes, darkness. The hurt done to Faramir is evident in the words
used to describe his thoughts: I heard voices, struggled, I had
burned, grew heavier.

I thought that these four connected drabbles were beautiful and very
well-written. They describe the thoughts and moods of their subjects
extremely well.


-----------------------------------
Title: I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes · Author: juno_magic · Races: Men · ID: 698
Reviewer: digdigil · 2006-08-22 14:32:56
This thoughtful, rather moody story asks us to follow not only Mernoch
on his daily journey up the mountain path to the summit of the beacon
hill of Halfirien, but also to follow his train of thought and his
struggle with his beliefs about Eru and the holy mountain. Eventually he
comes to the conclusion that his beliefs are intact and his well-known
prayer is finally fully stated. Throughout the story, one line of the
prayer is interspersed among some of Mernochs thoughts.

The opening of the story is strong and descriptive, with colourful
descriptions of the stables, the area outside the house, and the path up
the mountainside. I also liked the mention of the Numenoreans beliefs
about Eru and their own experience with Him, and how they contrasted
with Mernochs own beliefs. The characterizations were strong. We have a
good sense of who Mernoch is and how he differs from the other people
around him. I particularly liked the mention at the end of Gerricks
wife, who is waiting for him down below. That lent a sweet, everyday
human touch to this story which is mainly about spirituality.

The descriptions are colourful and help to imbue the story with a unique
moodone that is thoughtful and spiritual.

This intriguing, thoughtful story about a simple man questioning his own
beliefs encourages the reader to think about his or her own
spirituality. Overall I enjoyed this spiritual story very much.

-----------------------------------
Title: A Golden Light in the Time of Darkness · Author: wenont · Genres:
Alternate Universe · ID: 911
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-22 17:01:08
A human foundling raised by Haldir in Lothlorien. Movie-verse.
-----------------------------------
Title: Assume, Confuse, Consume, Amuse · Author: pipkinsweetgrass ·
Genres: Alternate Universe · ID: 648
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-22 17:02:44
A very amusing bit of fluff--it's what all of us secretly wish would
happen to us.
-----------------------------------
Title: Nothing of Note · Author: Primsong · Times: Late Third Age: The
Shire · ID: 43
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-22 17:14:19
Engaging story, right from the start. Flowing dialogue, skilful handling
and use of suspense. The descriptions are evocative and precise and fit
smoothly into the narrative. You show very well how beautiful the Shire
can be, and Bilbo's small adventures are well-plotted and interesting,
especially his stay at the White Towers.

The characterisations are vivid, distinct and believable, the characters
truly come to life and are easily memorable. All the members of the
Gamgee and Cotton families were a true delight. The portrayal of Bilbo
is especially wonderful: perceptive, mischievous, eccentric, loving
adventures, warm-hearted (loved how he dealt with the children) and
generous. And the children themselves are adorable, from Sam to little
Rosie to further canonical or original characters (just the right
balance: sweet without inducing toothache *g*).

The distance between Bilbo and most of the other Hobbits is explored
very well, in conjunction with clear observations on Hobbit society and
their general way of thinking (and I appreciate that you show the
positive as well as the negative sides).

The issue of Bilbo adopting Frodo as his heir is developed cleverly,
hints and thoughts subtly slipped into the course of the narrative,
until the issue becomes imminent.

The oblique allusions to Bilbo's pointed birthday gifts in FotR and him
inventing, working on and singing poems were a nice touch.
-----------------------------------
Title: Hope Eternal · Author: Gwynnyd · Races: Men: Featuring Aragorn ·
ID: 930
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-22 17:17:03
Sad, difficult subject. It shows unflinchingly the painful, hard
decisions leaders must make to balance mercy, justice, and the need and
responsibility to protect their own people.
Though only briefly sketched, the descriptions and characterisations are
clear and distinct.
I find the title strangely heartening, it seems to give a positive
outlook, especially in contrast to the haunting ending.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7458

Reviews for 23 Sept - Part 1 Posted by Rhapsody September 23, 2006 - 14:17:15 Topic ID# 7458
Title: Hewing Naught But Wood · Author: Thundera Tiger · Genres: Humor:
Parody · ID: 825
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-22 17:38:41
I had wondered about Gimli's claim myself, and you deliver an extremely
funny, but, in light of the fact that Tolkien was a philologist,
particularly appropriate and enlightening answer. Well-handled dialogues
and relationships. Good use of PoV - Éomer's befuddlement as the
argument goes on and on echoes that of many readers, I would imagine.
-----------------------------------
Title: Diplomatic Relations · Author: annmarwalk/EdorasLass CoAuthors ·
Genres: Romance: Gondor · ID: 189
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-22 20:09:43
Annmarwalk and EdorasLass have been producing quite the set of stories
depicting the long relationship of Boromir and Théodred. This would be
the one that gets everything started--their first meeting, when Théoden
comes to Gondor to negotiate with Denethor. The two heirs are expecting
a rather dull, formal visit--perhaps pleasant enough, but ultimately
unsatisfying. It quickly turns out to be as far from their initial
expectations as possible.

It's a plausible set-up, and Théodred certainly benefits by becoming a
character, rather than a name in the list of honored dead mentioned
briefly in TTT and slightly more substantially in [Unfinished Tales].
Different customs and the need for diplomatic caution and reserve hold
the relationship back for a time, but given the look they initially give
each other, all roads lead to romance in the end.

It's nice, too, that Boromir and Théodred are not alone in their
universe--there are fathers who watch, one approving, one disapproving,
soldiers and guardsmen and discreet old friends who conspire to help the
two find time to meet and to break them apart when things threaten to
become unable to be ignored. We get a sense of the difference between
Rohan and Gondor, between the father-son relationships that show in this
story. Sensual, hopeful, and warm, those who like their slash to have a
bright side and also a tincture of cultural difference as a setting
should enjoy this story, as well as many others written by Ann and EL.

Well done, both of you!
-----------------------------------
Title: A stranger Among us, or, Here and Back Again. · Author: Ottis413
· Times: Fourth Age and Beyond · ID: 296
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-22 21:09:05
This was marvelous! The author perfectly imitated the pedantic and
academic tone of the era. I find myself wishing there had been more of it.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Still Point · Author: stultiloquentia · Times: The Great
Years: Gondor · ID: 87
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-22 21:19:59
An incredibly beautiful and poetic Aragorn/Arwen. I love Arwen's POV,
and the way in which she feels the loss of her Elvishness, and takes on
her mortality.
-----------------------------------
Title: Four Conversations and A Dream · Author: Forodwaith · Times: The
Great Years: Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 90
Reviewer: digdigil · 2006-08-23 14:34:50
This lovely story contains emotional, heart-felt dialogue and beautiful
descriptions. It presents a good explanation of what must have been in
Arwens mind when she asked permission for Frodo to go to Valinor in her
place. It is a good gap-filler, using good characterizations and
realistic dialogue, along with exquisite, sensitive description to
emphasize Arwens emotions when she makes her choice and afterwards.
This was a very enjoyable read.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Summons · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Times: The Great
Years: The Fellowship · ID: 254
Reviewer: digdigil · 2006-08-23 14:40:10
This is a beautifully-written story. The author has imbued it with a
pathos that envelops Aragorn like a shroud. The characterizations of
Aragorn and Boromir are sensitive and sympathetically drawn. Their
conversation is riveting, each being faced with his own dilemma. This
captivating story clearly shows the difficult choices that Aragorn is
faced with without knowing the right decision to make.

Besides being very well-written, moody and thoughtful, this story was an
intriguing gap-filler. It gives the reader a realistic glimpse into the
workings of Aragorns mind, a man faced with an awful dilemma.
-----------------------------------
Title: On Frozen shores · Author: ann_arien · Times: First Age and
Prior: Incomplete · ID: 490
Reviewer: digdigil · 2006-08-23 15:15:09
I think this story excels in three areas: atmosphere, characterizations
and drama. The author has created a chilling atmosphere of an
unrelentingly cold, cheerless place at the edge of a tempestuous sea,
with the atmosphere invading the characters' psyches, and permeating the
story with a foreboding atmosphere. There is good use of imagery and
illustrative words to effect this atmosphere.

The story involves three characters, each individually strongly drawn,
with a separate, distinct personality. The complicated relationship
between the brothers is well-realized, without at all reiterating
Tolkien's own words. Their characters are fleshed out by the author in a
unique way, by having them discuss a subject that is original to the
author. There is good contrast between the characters of the brothers,
one displaying reluctance and hesitation, the other forthright, showing
his strength of resolution and his inability to let go of this resolve.
The son is well-drawn too, as he is shown struggling with his fears and
emotions and appears much younger in his mannerisms than his father and
uncle. The author has a keen sense of reality when writing dialogue
between characters. This dialogue flows naturally and is very strikingly
accurate.

There is a good sense of drama in this short work. It is driven by the
characters' reactions to the events that have occurred before the story
begins, and news is brought of what has taken place by the character who
returns and discusses it with the protagonist. There is a good element
of surprise in this story as well, when one of the events turns out
differently than what we had expected. I was very favourably impressed
by this story.
-----------------------------------
Title: Strange meeting · Author: Nesta · Races: Men: Post-Sauron's Fall
· ID: 93
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-23 17:13:23
The brief sketch of the necessary burials going on is evocative without
the need to resort to more graphic descriptions; it also serves to set
the tone for the slightly tense mood of Faramir at the beginning.

I appreciate your portrayal of both Faramir and Aragorn as perceptive,
strong-willed men who are yet willing to take counsel with others and
seek common ground.

The laconic tone of their conversation suits the urgency and importance
of what both have to know from and to say to one another. Farmir's offer
to renounce Ithilien in exchange for Beregond's life is moving and
plausible, as is Aragorn's reaction.

It seems clear that this important discussion can form a firm foundation
for a good relationship, both public and personal, for them.
-----------------------------------
Title: Seabird's Cry · Author: Primsong · Genres: Drama: Poetry · ID: 898
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-23 17:17:46
The form of the poem supports its content. Beautiful images that capture
the sea-longing very well, as well as Legolas' determination to fight it
yet awhile.
-----------------------------------
Title: Conversational, of Cousins · Author: Vana Tuivana · Genres:
Drama: Poetry · ID: 642
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-23 17:18:54
Shows vividly the differing emotions of Maedhros and Fingon in this
specific situation, even if the subject is a morbid one: Maedhros is
cynical, seemingly disinterested and detached, but his thoughts seem to
circle around his hand despite himself, while Fingon tries to hearten
him by reminding him of positive memories.
-----------------------------------
Title: Black Hour · Author: Nesta · Times: The Great Years: Gondor · ID: 92
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-23 17:20:52
An intriguing look at the politicking and pondering before Gondor's
acceptance of the King "with one voice". This momentuous change in her
history and status gets short shrift in the books, but you show a
plausible possibility.
Faramir's honesty, thoughtfulness, cunning, hope, and above all, his
devotion to the wellfare of Gondor, are portrayed very vividly through
excellent handling of introspection. His wariness is balanced
appropriately with his determination to keep an open mind.
-----------------------------------
Title: Such a Little Thing · Author: Ribby · Genres: Alternate Universe
· ID: 206
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2006-08-23 20:12:52
A bold AU by Ribby. The Ring of power takes over Boromir's mind and
forces him to break every rule of canon.
-----------------------------------
Title: Hewing Naught But Wood · Author: Thundera Tiger · Genres: Humor:
Parody · ID: 825
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-23 20:27:05
This inanity was hilarious. Legolas, Gimli, and Aragorn are sharply
drawn and I found the contrast of the academic descriptikon of hewing
versus cleaving to the war to only add to that humor. But what really
makes this vignette work is Eomer. He's trying to stay out of this tale
that's going way too over his head but keeps getting pulled in -- just
like us members of fandom listservs that really think we're above these
"trivialities", yet they have an amazing ability to engage us more than
we think they should. Very fun read!
-----------------------------------
Title: Just a Little Shove · Author: Inglor · Genres: Humor:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 798
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-23 20:28:00
You know, Glorfindel is evil and conniving, but amazingly convincing...
nice little drabble, here.
-----------------------------------
Title: Gaiety in Gondor · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Humor:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 563
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-23 20:28:43
Pongohil is quite possibly my favourite original character in all of
Tolkien fanfic. He has some good competition, of course, and we only see
him for a few lines in a drabble. But there's just something about the
way the character is written that always makes me laugh. I enjoy reading
serious slash but very rarely enjoy slash parody because it seems
cliched - this is the exception. It pokes fun not only at the
effeminatizing nature of a lot of slash that makes me groan, but also at
some fanons that have taken over certain canonical (or not-so) pairings.
And Faramir as the wise and tolerant steward, indeed! Whenever I need a
laugh, this can give it if anything can.
-----------------------------------
Title: Fellowship of the Conkers · Author: Llinos · Genres: Humor · ID: 880
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2006-08-23 20:42:42
The title of this whimsical piece caught my curiousity. Not only did the
story enlighten me on the obscure game of conkers but also amused and
delighted me, as a fluff tale should. Now I know the origins of the
American slang expression, "conked out." Well done, Llinos.
-----------------------------------
Title: Ignorance Is Bliss · Author: Eggo Waffles · Genres: Humor: Parody
· ID: 754
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-23 21:17:49
Cute! And nice original topic for a metafic of this sort. Of all the
fanfic topics they could have been researching, Faramir had much bigger
things to get upset over. Still, his anxiety and irritation is shared by
many book followers. Nicely portrayed.
-----------------------------------
Title: Lord of Werewolves · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Humor:
Parody · ID: 255
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-23 21:21:21
This story deserves props for the use of the term "Wolfiekins" is
nothing else. But there's much more than that: the horrors of
housetraining a pet crossed into the Silm? It shouldn't work, but with
Raksha's light and slightly irreverent humor it does. I'll never think
of Morgoth quite the same.
-----------------------------------
Title: Untrodden Path · Author: Timmy2222 · Races: Men: Featuring
Aragorn · ID: 308
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2006-08-23 21:21:44
This is a fascinating and well written story about Aragorn's hunt for
Gollum.The poor ranger is nearly drowned and saved by some villagers who
nurse him back to health. Aragorn then sets off again,accompanied by a
very believable and likeable young man. Many adventures ensure
including, Orcs and an unexpexted encounter with some crotechty dwarfs.
Lots of action and angst contribute towards this very enjoyable story.
-----------------------------------
Title: Legend · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
Gondor · ID: 933
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2006-08-23 21:47:29
This is a unique look at a familiar story as the elderly Eowyn,together
with her young grandson, Barahir look at a tapestry depicting the
slaying of the witch king. Eowyn now wonders however she acheived the
great deed and recalls she felt terrified rather than heroic and sought
only to try to protect her uncle, Theodren.

Eowyn recalls how different things were for her then,when she was young
and desparate and unhappy.One thing remains the same,though, she would
still fight to protect those she loved.

A very well written and thought provoking story.
-----------------------------------
Title: Fire and Flowering · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Romance:
Incomplete · ID: 58
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-23 23:10:06
Sweet and sensual, Raksha. I liked Eowyn's indignation over the
"ripened" comment, and her way of giving her husband his comeuppance.
-----------------------------------
Title: Seeker of Shadow · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Romance:
Fixed-length ficlet · ID: 63
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-23 23:10:44
Well, I liked Eol's poetry, particularly the last couple of lines--at
once exultant and foreboding, it's tense, which seems right for these two.
-----------------------------------
Title: Remembrance · Author: Acacea · Genres: Romance: Gondor · ID: 73
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-23 23:11:01
Poignant depiction of the courtship and life of Denethor and Finduilas.
The calmness of a political match is interrupted by the occasional pulse
of something deeper than that, though it's a quiet thing, love, for both
of them.

The constrained affection Denethor evinces, the sense of so much bottled
inside that even he forgets how much and then can weep for the loss of
that knowledge strikes me as right for his personality. Particularly in
this time frame, when he is losing Faramir, too, or so he thinks, that
sense of failure to face what was before him comes back to haunt him.
Unfortunately, he draws the wrong lesson from it in his grief and despair.

Well done!
-----------------------------------
Title: Distant Lands · Author: Acacea · Genres: Romance: Fixed-length
ficlet · ID: 76
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-23 23:11:16
Portents of things to come, clearly!
-----------------------------------
Title: Hands of Healing · Author: Cuthalion · Genres: Romance: Rohan ·
ID: 102
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-23 23:11:31
A filling out of the early movieverse relationship of Aragorn and Éowyn.
Nice characterization of Eowyn. Some grammatical difficulties.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7459

Reviews for 23 Sept - Part 2 Posted by Rhapsody September 23, 2006 - 14:29:15 Topic ID# 7459
Title: Tinúviel, Tinúviel · Author: Cuthalion · Genres: Romance: Rohan ·
ID: 103
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-23 23:11:44
This time Cuthalion sets her sights on that little dip into the
movieverse river Aragorn takes. I like this fleshing out, which draws
Arwen in much more fully, fills out Aragorn's feeling for Eowyn, his
devotion to Arwen. Nice touch of humor, amidst the pain, when he
realizes Brego has somehow come for him, and I like the way Arwen is
woven into his resolution to stay alive and continue to fight for Frodo,
to be the man he is supposed to be for others.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Healer and the Warrior · Author: Madeleine · Genres: Romance:
Lothíriel & Éomer · ID: 140
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-23 23:11:59
A very interesting portrayal of the first meeting of Lothiriel and
Eomer. Lothiriel gets a mention in the Appendices, but we know
absolutely nothing else about her, other than her lineage and her
husband. I like her incarnation as a competent, sharp-tongued and
sharp-witted young healer, though one unaccustomed to love despite her
social standing. Eomer's stubborn young Rider routine, though softened
here and there by manners Lothiriel wouldn't expect him to possess given
his rather humble and filthy appearance from the battlefields, is also
well played. Then again, I've always liked Hugh Beringar, and Hildegard
isn't bad either.

The banter back and forth, the veiled hints of burgeoning romantic
interest (well, in Eomer's case, at least sexual interest), is amusing
and makes the story read very quickly. One or two persistently awkward
turns of phrase, but on the whole, very well written. Fans of Eomer will
enjoy this, as will those who like to see the neglected ladies of
Middle-earth get a voice worthy of them, and it's just a lovely post-War
fic altogether.
-----------------------------------
Title: To Become A Queen · Author: Madeleine · Genres: Romance:
Lothíriel & Éomer · ID: 157
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-23 23:15:29
An excellent finish to this series. As usual, nothing is simple for
Eomer and Lothiriel, who go from excitement after a long absence to
quarreling over why the other did not write for nine months in something
like an hour, maybe less. And Lothiriel's brothers, as usual, continue
to make life difficult, appearing at just the wrong time to interrupt
conversations just when both of them are on the cusp of answering each
other's questions and so providing some reassurance that this isn't just
a political match. Much as Amrothos can be entertaining, I was certainly
in sympathy with Lothiriel's desire to kill him half the time. I
definitely was with her on the desire to kill Elphir.

Rohan is refreshingly open and straightforward after life in Gondor,
which helps greatly, but Lothiriel doesn't quite put it all together
until Eomer finally is able to draw her aside and assure her that in
Rohan, a woman doesn't need her husband's permission to do anything. Or
her male relatives' permission, and that he himself has no intention of
forcing her to give up her career as a healer, just as he would expect
she would have no intention of making him hang his sword and spear
up--they each have a calling in life that means too much to them to wed
a partner who wouldn't respect that.

Gandalf showing up to administer vows was a nice touch, and Eomer's
efforts to redo the ceremony to make it clear and obvious, not just to
Lothiriel but to everyone, what he feels for his bride was very sweet. I
liked the Fellowship interaction, Aragorn's particularly--he and Eomer
clearly have a close friendship that thrives on verbal sparring. Good
advice to the groom on his wedding night, and also nice work with
supporting Eomer's 'technique' for bringing recalcitrant Riders like
Eothain to the operating table in a compliant position for Lothiriel to
operate on. As painful as that was, it was also illuminating. And
amusing. It was good that Eomer got to actually see her mettle rather
than simply hearing report of her ability to stuff bowels back into
people's bodies and amputate limbs at need. And he's clearly got a
strong stomach, too--good thing, if he's living with Lothiriel.

And while I still don't think Lothiriel would be quite so sheltered when
it comes to sex and love, the giant tortoise conversation and its
consequent 'learning experiences' were priceless. I loved Eomer's sense
of good humor throughout, his desire to be gentle with her, to show he
really does love her, and that there's a difference between simply
having sex and making love. Nice curtain call at the end, there.
-----------------------------------
Title: Imrahil's Daughter · Author: Madeleine · Genres: Romance:
Lothíriel & Éomer · ID: 183
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-23 23:15:45
And it just keeps getting better! An excellent sequel to [The Healer and
the Warrior]. It would seem that Lothiriel and Eomer together in one
room, or just in the vicinity of each other, have the unerring ability
to do precisely the most outrageous things, without half trying. This is
a cause for much concern, not only to them, but to poor Elfhelm, who
finds himself in the unenviable position of attempting to talk sense
into his suddenly lovestruck young king--a king who hasn't given a
single thought to marriage, and who is firmly convinced now isn't the
time, no matter how hard he finds himself falling for Lothiriel.

Lothiriel continues to be a wonderful mixture of innocence and witty
competence. Although I do think she'd be a little less naive than she
is--if she *was* bred for this, as claimed, she must have learned
something about the missteps of courtship and how to avoid
them--nevertheless, the dialogue is good and the interactions between
her and Eomer are very sharply written. Her concern for Eomer's wounded
men, and her ability to communicate with them and get them to trust her
(and to obey her when her healer's judgment determines they need
something), even without speaking their language, is impressive,
suggesting that Eomer ought to think twice about his fears that she'd be
helpless in Edoras were he to marry her.

Elfhelm is also becoming a presence in this story, and I hope to see him
develop further--he's delightful.

Highly recommended, particularly to fans of Eomer and those who wish
they had a personality to pin on the name "Lothiriel."
-----------------------------------
Title: Spirit of Fire · Author: Marta · Genres: Romance: Fixed-length
ficlet · ID: 196
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-23 23:15:59
I like Nerdanel's determination to outdo her husband's artistry,
becoming the bearer of light (well, seven of them, eventually) in a way
that the cold, artificial Silmarils never could be.
-----------------------------------
Title: For the Moon to Lead, and All the Stars to Follow · Author:
annmarwalk · Genres: Romance: Gondor · ID: 200
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-23 23:16:12
Interesting little vignette. Denethor's unperturbed performance of this
particular duty, and her longing for him to look her way just once,
neatly sets up the balance between them. I like that her refusal to
dance with him over the years has become a kind of joke, if one with a
certain, painful point. The last scene with Boromir taking his father's
place is sweet, though sad--for in fact, he's as sterile when it comes
to love's flowering as his father is now and nothing can come of this
one dance, for all its beauty.
-----------------------------------
Title: Kissing is Different · Author: Lady Bluejay · Genres: Romance:
Lothíriel & Éomer · ID: 280
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-23 23:16:27
An amusing case of courtship without names, although I do wonder if that
last bit with Lothiriel can really be reconciled with the conversation
at dinner--if it really was an act the whole time, why continue the
facade instead of turning the tables of ignorance immediately? Or was
she uncertain that he might not be playing her until she had his
official assurance that he was interested in her, and not simply in an
alliance? Nevertheless, an enjoyable tale.
-----------------------------------
Title: Counting the Days · Author: Lady Bluejay · Genres: Romance:
Lothíriel & Éomer · ID: 281
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-23 23:16:38
Another amusing scenario for the first meeting and eventual marriage of
Eomer and Lothiriel. Betrothed already, and never having even seen
Lothiriel, the King of Rohan and his boon companion, Eothain, set out to
meet the Dol Amroth contingent on the road. And to do a little
reconnaissance, to see if they can catch a glimpse of the Princess to
whom Eomer is to be wed. Entertaining banter throughout, with the
obligatory twist and embarrassing encounter with one of Lothiriel's
brothers. Fortunately, he's too much a gentleman, and apparently has too
good an eye for the ridiculous to torment Eomer too greatly, although
that closing remark of his is priceless.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Salt-Rose · Author: Lady Aranel · Genres: Romance: Incomplete
· ID: 283
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-23 23:16:50
There aren't many romances that occur between the west and the east, and
I certainly wasn't expecting Legolas to fall for a Haradric
belly-dancer. It could be an interesting courtship when it continues!
-----------------------------------
Title: Hidden Wonders · Author: Marta · Genres: Romance: Fixed-length
ficlet · ID: 420
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-23 23:17:04
Library love! My kind of romance! It seems very fitting, this encounter.
Rohan, with its oral tradition, where only the most elevated on the
social ladder might own books, would hardly have anything to compare
with the library of the scholarly Steward of Gondor. And in the 'love
me, love my books' way of bookworm courtship, it'll be up to Faramir to
show her that books contain a thousand different keys to heart and mind.
-----------------------------------
Title: Immortality · Author: LydiaB · Genres: Romance: Fixed-length
ficlet · ID: 494
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-23 23:17:24
Tragic love has a faint whiff of Narcissus and Echo here. Nicely done.
-----------------------------------
Title: Kindly Winter's Gift · Author: Thevina Finduilas · Genres:
Romance: Rohan · ID: 717
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-23 23:17:41
Not to everyone's taste: a sweet, slashy PWPish interlude.
-----------------------------------
Title: Respite · Author: Nesta · Genres: Romance: Gondor · ID: 750
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-23 23:17:54
A welcome change from the angst, I agree (though I still love the angst
to be sure). Faramir's lazy, mischievous romantic side gets a rare day
out with Eowyn. They make a lovely image, with him lying in her lap, and
she just watching him. Lovely!
-----------------------------------
Title: A Bride for a King · Author: Madeleine · Genres: Romance:
Lothíriel & Éomer · ID: 777
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-23 23:18:08
Continuing my way through the betrothal series. Lots of familial
interaction here--Amrothos and Erchirion had already been fleshed out a
bit in the previous story, but here they become characters in their own
right as they attempt to broach the news of their sister's betrothal...
to their sister. Dealing with the aftermath of that news provides the
opportunity for Amrothos to show himself something other than simply a
devil-may-care hedonist with a talent for convoluted sentences. And at
long last, Imrahil gets a lengthy conversation with his daughter about
his motives, and we find that in fact, there are no secrets that can be
concealed in the upper levels of Minas Tirith.

Poor Lothiriel, with her theoretical bent, struggles with the question
of whether to accept Eomer's proposal (inspired, she believes, by her
father's rhetoric), and with the question of whether or not she is in
love with Eomer... or he with her. At the same time, the appalling
marriage market conditions make themselves felt, and although she does
end up doing what she believes she wants, which happens to coincide with
Imrahil's wishes and apparently Eomer's as well, still, it's impossible
not to feel for her.

Another well done story, Madeleine!
-----------------------------------
Title: Jewels · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres: Romance:
Fixed-length ficlet · ID: 790
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-23 23:18:24
Fourth Age optimism here - I like the image of Eowyn and Arwen flying
over the fields on their horses. Neat reversal of the Faramir-Eowyn on
the tower image--now from the heights, Aragorn and Faramir look down to
see raven and gold tresses flying in the wind that comes of racing horses.
-----------------------------------
Title: Spring Rites · Author: Gwynnyd · Genres: Romance: Rohan · ID: 842
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-23 23:18:39
Great imagery, and I love the conspiracy to get Lothiriel out from under
her father's protection to go and see the spring rites. The Rohirrim,
enacting a blend of Samhain ritual and masked dancing. Naturally it ends
up being Eomer who 'wins' the battle, and who approaches to ask
Lothiriel to do a little bonfire leaping with him--not exactly the tame
evening Imrahil imagined it would be. This was great fun, Gwynnyd!
-----------------------------------
Title: Ddraigspelt  An Orc Love Poem · Author: Llinos · Genres:
Romance: Poetry · ID: 879
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-23 23:19:19
How very orcish! Love is war, indeed, and a battle for conquest that
never fades. In fact, it's impossible for the lovers to settle with each
other, such is the fierce, harsh way of the Uruk-hai. Orcs writing
poetry always spells trouble--one wonders what becomes of this orc later on.
-----------------------------------
Title: Book Learning · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Romance: Incomplete ·
ID: 910
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-23 23:19:33
Oh dear, both of them each thinking the other must find him or her
wanting as a lover. We'll have to see whether the discursive explantion
of books on anatomy or the demonstration-by-vegetable-analogy is the
more effective, though I doubt either one would manage to banish all
concern. Amusing tale, Branwyn!
-----------------------------------
Title: Arwen's Heart · Author: Bodkin · Genres: Romance · ID: 139
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-23 23:20:10
Large, sprawling story that tries to pull together Arwen's story, from
before Aragorn ever arrived in Rivendell, to death and beyond. Some nice
character moments, though with so much time covered, the jumps between
episodes can be jarring. Nevertheless, good to see an effort to tell so
large a part of Arwen's tale.
-----------------------------------
Title: Shin to Toe to Thigh to Mind · Author: Talasi · Genres: Romance ·
ID: 369
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-23 23:38:37
Nice job comparing the OFC's feelings to Haldir's warrior side. It works
well.
-----------------------------------
Title: Another Man's Cage · Author: Dawn Felagund · Genres: Drama · ID: 136
Reviewer: digdigil · 2006-08-24 13:16:32
This is an epic story of over 350,000 words. I have read every one of
them and would recommend this book to everyone, even people who are not
familiar with Tolkien. It is the saga of one year in the life of a
complicated family. It takes the reader through the ins and outs of
their daily lives and their interactions with each other, while tying in
with the story of Feanor and his sons that Tolkien had laid out in The
Silmarillion.

The characterizations are wonderful. Each person in this story is a
unique and fully-realized individual. The characters live, love, cry and
celebrate the happenings in their lives realistically and with great
enthusiasm. The author creates the people and situations with great
skill, involving the reader fully in their lives and making him or her
care deeply for these characters.

The story is full of beautiful descriptions. It does not stay in one
geographical place, but moves over several areas, going from city to
town to countrysideand each place is lovingly and vividly described so
that the reader is given a good sense of where the action is taking place.

The structure of the story is very well laid out, with each chapter told
from the point of view of a different character, appropriate to the
place and the situation of each episode, as the story moves along to its
inevitable conclusion.

There is so much more to the story that I havent touched on: wonderful
peripheral characters, great depth of knowledge of different
occupations: metal-working and other arts of craft, medicine, music,
sword-play, horseback-riding, hiking, exploring, cooking, inn-keeping,
and it goes on and on. This story is truly awe-inspiring and ambitious
and is among the best I have ever read in fan fiction.


-----------------------------------
Title: Rivendell 9 to 5 · Author: Claudio · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond: Incomplete · ID: 562
Reviewer: digdigil · 2006-08-24 13:36:02
Rivendell 9 to 5, as its predecessor, The Elladan Show, brings
Tolkiens Elves into the modern era, but as themselves they are strange
and archaic social outcastsmisfits in a wayyet fully functioning
within their own communities of Rivendell and Mirkwood.

The author uses a great deal of ironic humor in the story, which helps
to make the reader see how odd the Elves and the whole situation is.
We are drawn to these loveable misfits and their adventures in the
modern world in a way that makes them seem like family. It makes us
want to read on and learn more about their adventures and relationships.

The characterizations are clever and while encapsulating each character
into his own niche, the author never turns a character into a
caricature. Yet we have, for example, Legolas, who was so mindlessly
vacuous in The Elladan Show, evolving into a character with a lot more
depth than we had previously seen, within the confines of his own home
and familiar situations. We see him as a very capable, helpful sort of
person who may or may not have his own agenda where Elladan is concerned.

Elladan, the protagonist, is more capable a leader than he thinks he is,
but it is fascinating to see how he worries about and grapples with
everyday sorts of problems. Even his incompetent slacker brother Elrohir
of The Elladan Show is not what he seems, becoming more fully
developed as a character in this story as it progresses.

This wonderfully humorous work-in-progress is character-driven, but the
author also provides some vivid images and description. The ski-race at
the end of the last chapter is so well described that the reader feels
he/she has actually taken part in it. Plot-wise, it looks as if there is
one developing, but it cleverly does not get in the way of the Elves
daily adventures.

All in all, this story is a delightful read, and makes the reader
anxious for the author to continue it.

-----------------------------------
Title: Rejection · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Aragorn Fixed-Length
Ficlets · ID: 903
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-24 14:32:03
Poor Aragorn. City life is not always easy. I never thought of how
Aragorn would get some coin when he came to a new place, unless he had
some recommendation.
-----------------------------------
Title: To Labour and to Wait · Author: Gwynnyd · Races: Men: Featuring
Aragorn · ID: 838
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-24 14:32:25
An interesting tale of Aragorn's musings during the long nights when
they were chasing the orcs across Rohan. I liked the intercutting of the
present with Aragorn's rememberances of the past at several different
stages of his life, from Rohan through Gondor and the countries to the
far east and then back to Arwen and Rivendell.
-----------------------------------
Title: Curious Mind, Noble Heart · Author: Nilmandra · Genres: Adventure
· ID: 270
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-24 14:34:16
This was a nice glimpse into Estel's childhood at Imladries. I love the
way Estel, in typical children's fashion, ignores the little voice in
his head telling him his behavior is wrong<g> and does it anyway... with
uninteded consequences. Elrond is great here as a father. He is not just
telling Estel off for using the pop-gun, but he guides Estel in
recognizing his real failures and what followed out of those. Compared
to Estel's ideas about proper punishment (what did they let him read
anyway?) his real punishment is less painful but probably lets him think
about his misbehaviour much more.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7460

Reviews for 24 Sept - Part 1 Posted by Rhapsody September 24, 2006 - 13:29:41 Topic ID# 7460
Title: The Falcon and the Star · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: The
Great Years: Gondor · ID: 57
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-24 14:36:45
What a great story. It is kind of a gapfiller, although the scene is
described in canon. But you flesh it out and give us some vivid
descriptions of how it would be for Aragorn to go out and call back
Faramir, Eowyn and Merry after the long day of battle.

I like the way you get into Aragorn's head. Something I sorely miss in
the books. His weariness and grief about all his lost friends and kin.
His doubts about his fitness to be king, I think mostly stemming from
his weariness and the still coming battles.

And then your description of Faramir's fever dreams, very chilling.
Faramir's spirit was really in a very bleak place. I love it that
Aragorn can see what Faramir sees and that he uses Anduril and his
Elessar stone to guide Faramir back. I liked it that Faramir mistook
Aragorn at first for his father, which added another obstacle to the way
back, the moment he realized his mistake. The immediate connection
between Faramir and Aragorn was beautifully written.

A great story.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Mud Summer Night's Dream · Author: SueB · Genres: Humor: Gondor
· ID: 712
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2006-08-24 14:37:13
In this lighthearted romp with some serious undertones, Aragorn, Faramir
and Eomer go orc hunting into a mud-infested country. I love the
addition of the severely reduced army of the dead and ghost!Boromir. I
had to laugh at the image of the dignified kings of Gondor and Rohan
falling into the mud and trying desperatly to get clean.
-----------------------------------
Title: Before Thangorodrim: The Last Fall of Himring Hill · Author:
AWing · Times: First Age and Prior · ID: 78
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-24 17:14:06
Wonderful, elegant language, effective, vivid descriptions.

Skilful interweaving of canonical facts (even obscure ones), believable
interpolation and original ideas. The idea of Finrod being reborn in
time to fight in the War of Wrath is particularly intriguing, and it is
put to good use. The portrayal of the Easterlings as resembling Mongols
is an interesting and plausible concept, with well-researched details.

The characterisations, relations and emotions are excellent, nuanced and
evocative. The Sons of Fëanor seem of a precarious state of mind,
clinging to the edge of reason and "humanity", the first impression of
them - ["gaunt and ragged, lean and fell as winter wolves"] - is
unsettling but fitting, evoking in the readers the same wary reaction to
them as in the other characters.

The use of "magic", or rather "Art", often a difficult concept, is
depicted excellently, true to Tolkien's thoughts on the issue.

You show very well how thin the line is, and how easiliy crossed,
between right and wrong, good and evil (the Song each side sings is a
particularly notable example). The parley and Maedhros' words at the end
of chapter 8 are particularly haunting, as is the ambiguous note on
which the story ends.

I think this is my favourite passage: ["Looking at his nephew with the
deeper insight, he could discern only the ash and cinders of despair.
Like the Anfauglith, like Beleriand, a blasted wasteland where nothing
green would grow again, though blood watered it like rain."].
-----------------------------------
Title: Passing Regrets · Author: Ariel · Races: Hobbits: Pre-Quest · ID: 657
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-24 17:17:59
It's delightful and touching to witness how Bilbo's usual disinterest in
children is totally overcome by little Frodo. The child is described
charmingly perceptive and earnest, already exhibiting many of his later
character traits, while at the same time acting according to his age.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Bargain at any Price · Author: quizzabella · Genres: Romance:
Incomplete · ID: 952
Reviewer: Madeleine · 2006-08-24 17:31:05
There is only very little biographical information about Prince Imrahil
of Dol Amroth and his family and the little we know does not come from
The Lord of the Rings but from The Unfinished Tales of Númenor and
Middle-earth and, especially, from The Peoples of Middle-earth: The
History of Middle-earth vol 12, I VII The Line of Dol Amroth. And even
that is not much. We only learn  besides the names of the family
members, their date of birth and that Imrahils only daughter marries
King Éomer of Rohan  that the line is said to descent from an Elf-maid,
Mithrellas and an Númenórian named Imrazôr. However, Tolkien gives us
the understanding, that this is rather a myth than a true story.

So, here we have a whole wagonload full of canon characters, who are
close to the main protagonists  Imrahil is Elessars mightiest vassal,
Éomers father-in-law and Faramirs uncle  but who are also an unknown
quantity. That should be a fanfiction writers dream; the imagination can
run wild  to a certain extent.

Quizzabella has picked out Amrothos, Imrahils youngest son and dropped
him in Udûn, which should be  even a few years after the War of the
Ring - a rather unpleasant place. His horse had been stolen from him
and he needs replacement, but he gets himself not only a new steed for
his journey back home, but also a female companion. He takes pity in a
slave girl whom he redeems from her captors.

The story is an entertaining mixture of reluctant romance  a Prince of
Dol Amroth and a female blacksmith who is half an Easterling are not the
most likely couple  and adventure story. Amrothos has to convince the
lady that he hasnt the intention to keep her as his slave, he has to
fight an warg, gets injured and saved by Najila  the girl  and they
end up in a dubious inn, populated by an assortment of eccentric and
well-drawn characters. A mysterious gang of baddies shows up and at this
point  the story is still in progress  it is not clear whom they are
after: the prince or the pauper.

The style of the story is sweeping, the plot unique and I just wish
Quizzabella would update more regularly. I really want to know how this
tale is going to continue. Who are the villains? What is their aim? And
what is the royal family of Dol Amroth going to say about Amrothos
blacksmith?

-----------------------------------
Title: Recalled To Life - Alqualonde · Author: AWing · Races: Elves:
Feanorians · ID: 787
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-24 19:33:55
Another brilliant portrait of Maedhros, this time returned to life in
Valinor, but with the memory of all his deeds and those of his kindred
upon his head. Nevertheless, it is clearly a different Maedhros from the
deadened, burnt-out, hopelessly cynical creature we saw in [Before
Thangorodrim: The Last Fall of Himring Hill]. Knowledge does not
cripple; enough time has passed for him to have learned something from
the horror that has been many centuries of his life.

The description of Alqualondë, with its foundation of friendship between
the Noldor and the Teleri, and then the rift between them that built the
walls, and the slow spread of Telerin styles--wandering, meandering,
haphazard as the sea, and yet somehow bound together in a whole--is
beautifully written. Maedhros' meditation in the garden, and then his
appearance before the multitude of Alqualondë, Telerin Ages old as well
as Maedhros' more recent victims (Sindar and Falathrim of Beleriand),
are well matched. I liked the question that eventually led to judgment,
and which suggests that the younger among the Eldar are more fitted to
judge the need for forgiveness and for reconciliation than those old
enough to remember the crimes, and can lead others towards healing.

Well done, Awing!
-----------------------------------
Title: Make It One For Paladin · Author: Marta · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 48
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-24 22:36:03
This story goes straight to the depths of affliction, using the
unexpected perspective of Robin Smallburrow. As a collaborator, Robin
had a hand in the enforcement of Saruman's reign of intimidation and
brutality--a reign that surely did not occur simply by verbal threats,
but which had the power to enforce its threats and make examples. On the
other hand, Robin is an innocent of sorts--he's not in his position of
Shiriff for the power kick it might give, but because he wanted to see
the Shire and be helpful when needed. He's a decent person, but he's not
heroic--this leads him to his present, awful circumstances.

Robin is caught in a vicious cycle of recriminations--he cannot
understand why this has happened to him and to other "small lives" like
his, cannot understand why he should be set against others not very
different from him, nor why those others (because they are so like him
in their smallness and helplessness and, I think he is thinking, his
'mean-ness') should not blame and despise him.

And his entire world is transformed--everything has lost its luster, and
there is no good in the world any longer, only a wrongness attached to
everything and everyone, most especially to those whose lives were
larger than his and who made the incomprehensible things happen, whether
by their intention or not. It's so terrible that he can't stand the
sight any more of what is good in the great--it's intolerable to him
because they are false securities in a senseless world, where good is in
the excuses a widow makes for him for no reason he can discern, not in
the sorts of stories that movie!Sam can tell at the end of Two Towers,
for example.

So he'll find the little things the heroes should've done and the more
angry he is with them, the more he'll hate himself for not having been a
Fatty Bolger big enough to stand up when the heroes left him for larger
concerns, and because he can't be sure, I think, which is worse: the
idea that he might have failed in a world ruled by fixed standards of
right and wrong, or the idea that the world might be senselessly cruel.

Well done, Marta! A very different view on this character indeed, but
one that rings true to the brutality of war and corruption. Nicely
ironic title, too.
-----------------------------------
Title: Stronger Songs · Author: Marta · Times: First Age and Prior:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 688
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-24 22:36:32
Interesting possibility, that Tom and Treebeard met in Beleriand all
those years ago, and that Tom should be responsibly for Treebeard's
relocation to the 'present day' Fangorn Forest. Nice!
-----------------------------------
Title: A New Age · Author: Marta · Races: Elves: Fixed-Length Ficlet
Featuring Legolas or Thranduil · ID: 685
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-24 22:36:50
Those Noldor are somewhat given to doom and gloom (not without reason)
that tends to strain against the impulse to stop and enjoy the beauty of
the world. Not everything need be attached to a grander plan or
destiny--sometimes the appropriate response is to stop and admire and be
grateful for what's present.
-----------------------------------
Title: Truly Exposed · Author: Marta · Races: Elves: Other Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 689
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-24 22:37:09
I like the way that Nenya forms a competing third in the relationship of
Galadriel and Celeborn, one that tends to divide them more so than
governance ever could. It's good to see Galadriel willing to lay that
divisive third aside, even if only for a little while, for the sake of
her husband and herself.
-----------------------------------
Title: Untold Tales of the Mark: The Banishment of Eomer · Author:
Katzilla · Genres: Alternate Universe: Incomplete · ID: 836
Reviewer: Madeleine · 2006-08-24 22:42:06
Ive never been an avid reader of Alternative Universe fanfiction. If we
borrow from an author we should try to tamper with his work  because
that is what we do - at least in his spirit, if that is possible at all.

Ive also never been a fancier of the Banishment-of-Éomer version from
the films. I always found that the incarceration of Éomer had much more
significance for a man like him, a man who is used to act. In the
dungeon he is completely helpless, relying on others to free him and
take action on his behalf.

Katzilla banished him but at the same time bereaved him of any
opportunity to take any immediate action on behalf of Grimas hostages 
his uncle and his sister  or for the people of Rohan. Unlike in the
films he doesnt get sent off with his weapons and riders, but thrown
out alone, without as much as switchblade and any useful equipment, just
with his horse and his basic clothes, hardly enough to keep him warm and
alive in the winter. Moreover, Grimas henchmen and a gang of Uruk-hais
are after him with the order to kill him. He barely survives both
attacks  badly injured as we cant expect otherwise from Kat  and
cant survive without the help of others. At this point he is in the
situation of dungeon-Éomer, utterly powerless and vulnerable.

But he finds that the people of the Eastfold of Rohan are staunchly
loyal to their Marshal despite being forbidden to even come close to him
on pain of death. An old farmers couple gives him shelter and as much
gear as they can spare. And after his fight against an superior number
of Uruks, when Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas finally find  close to death
and bravely guarded by Firefoot  another farmers family takes him in
without second thought. No doubt, Wormtongue has underestimated the
allegiance of the Rohirrim and their will to fight until they cant
fight anymore.

However, Kat follows not only Éomers fate. In a downright tormenting
way she describes Éowyns anguish. She, who had been forced to remain in
Meduseld  Grima gets more and more obsessed with her, his advantages
more and more blunt and repelling  has to watch helplessly how her
uncle fades away, how faithful friends like Elfhelm, Gamling and Hama
get tortured and murdered while she is at the mercy of a cruel and
ruthless man and his henchman from Dunland.

This is  as said earlier  AU and so Éomer decides on the council of
Aragorn to forestall the Wizards force, call the Rohirrim to arms and
marsh against Orthanc. Successfully he unites the éoreds of the Eastfold
and of the Westfold. Here he shows natural talent for leadership and
command and his ability to convince people and make them understand his
purpose, makes them want to follow him.

Other than most AU stories this one appears to come straight out of
Tolkiens work. Not the language, of course. That is contemporary without
being too modern or using 21th century slang. The characters, both canon
and OC, and the plotline simply fit in perfectly.

This tale is on its best way to become an heroic epic in its own right.



-----------------------------------
Title: Beware the Sea · Author: Marta · Races: Elves: Other Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 404
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-24 22:43:14
These are a lovely collection of drabbles. I like the paradoxical nature
of desire in several passages, the confusion, that the sea should still
call over the power of destruction, over the choosing of the spirit of
fire, and over Vilya's mastery of water, for example. Aldarion's torn
love flows neatly into Legolas' and Sam's (and thanks for the mention of
Halbarad, btw, because you know I am an utter sucker for that). I'd
totally forgotten about that passage in RoTK that suggests Sam is
susceptible to sea-longing, but there it is. Nicely employed!

These are great little character sketches of a diverse cast, and should
be enjoyed by fans of [The Silmarillion] as well as of LOTR.
-----------------------------------
Title: Strike While the Iron is Hot · Author: grey_wonderer · Genres:
Humor: The Shire · ID: 234
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-24 23:16:44
I have to confess, one of the reasons I love this story is that it was
written at my instigation. But trust GW to go a whole lot further with
the idea than I had ever thought possible, and to come up with something
so crazy and off the wall as this.

I think what I love most is the way that Freddy Bolger is so thoroughly
taken in. He has been playing one against the other in a war of pranks,
seemingly without ever planning one himself. He thinks of himself as
very clever, and in the clear.

But he's not reckoned on the acting abilities of Pippin Took, and he
thinks himself a good deal cleverer than he really is.

I love all the hilarious reactions to the eventual prank--especially
Frodo's and Saradoc's! This is a really twisted bit of fiction and a
good deal of fun!
-----------------------------------
Title: Recalled To Life - Alqualonde · Author: AWing · Races: Elves:
Feanorians · ID: 787
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-24 23:17:20
Very beautiful prose, lyrical and poetical in itself, this is an account
of reconciliation. I am not well-versed in the Silm, but I do know of
the sons of Feanor, and this is lovely.
-----------------------------------
Title: Until the Stars Are All Alight · Author: Kenaz · Races: Men:
Featuring Aragorn · ID: 148
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-24 23:17:57
I really liked the voice the author gave Halbarad in the first part of
this, though I confess to kind of skipping the slashy ending. It was
interesting to see what Halbarad thought of the untried boy brought to him.
-----------------------------------
Title: That Immortal Sea · Author: Marta · Races: Men: Steward's Sons
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 265
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2006-08-24 23:39:38
Hmmmm...never made the connection for some reason, that the waterfall at
Henneth-Annun might trigger Faramir's dream of Numenor. But it's obvious
when you think about it! Nicely done, Marta!
-----------------------------------
Title: Hidden on the Mountain · Author: Imhiriel · Times: The Great
Years: Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 945
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2006-08-24 23:48:56
A very interesting point of view, Imhiriel! I like the fact that it was
Gandalf who planted the fruit there and then went with Aragorn to take
it back. And a great description of Aragorn's hands-it expresses the
healer side of him as well as the soldier.
-----------------------------------
Title: I can only manage One · Author: Lady Bluejay · Genres: Romance:
Lothíriel & Éomer · ID: 766
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-24 23:57:03
Very sweet and amusing courtship. Some dialect issues threw me at times,
and some of the transitions were rough, but it was a fun read. Rohan
seems to be leading the way in terms of cultural openness to the plight
of women, which gives the journey towards an arranged marriage an ironic
twist, making it a journey of liberation as well.
-----------------------------------
Title: Planning Ahead · Author: Gwynnyd · Races: Men · ID: 84
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2006-08-25 00:02:27
I love Gilraen here, so self-confident and composed! She knows what she
wants, or rather what it is that is her destiny. Arathorn is suitably
confused and confounded. A very sweet vignette.
-----------------------------------
Title: Was It For This? · Author: Alawa · Genres: Drama: Remembering ·
ID: 88
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2006-08-25 00:06:15
There were some good stories that came out of that Memorial Day
Challenge and this was one of them. I actually like the images of the
Twins best throughout-their gentle insistence that Aragorn visit the
grave, the mourning keen for their friend, their matter-of-fact
recounting of belongings buried and retrieved. A lovely 500 words.
-----------------------------------
Title: Elfstone · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Races: Elves: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 252
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-25 00:06:51
Interesting look at the forging of the elessar. I like the symbolism in
the poetry, and the idea that the stone has to be awakened by it, that
mere smithying or settings don't create it.
-----------------------------------
Title: Return to Rivendell · Author: Acacea · Races: Elves: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 521
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-25 00:07:05
Evocative and sad--I liked the small signs of fading: the fog coming in
to cover the clarity of an elven dream, and clouds to cover what had
been a legendary sky. The fading of the voices in the Hall of Fire, and
their songs of a past summer's glory, were a fitting ending. Well done,
Acacea!
-----------------------------------
Title: Dust On My Saddle · Author: Rous · Races: Elves: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 630
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-25 00:07:17
Middle-earth meets the modern spaghetti Western! Boromir (so I guess)
rides into town seeking Elrond and heads straight for the saloon, as
tradition demands. At least he gets news of the elusive
Elf-lord-cum-sheriff there, who is, it seems, awaiting the posse's
arrival...
-----------------------------------
Title: Frodo Lad: First Yule · Author: Mews1945 · Races: Hobbits:
Pre-Quest · ID: 830
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-25 00:08:36
This is a beautiful Yule story, brimming with the good will and warmth
of the season! Young Frodo makes the acquaintance of small Pippin, and
in spite of their tumultuous meeting are soon fast friends. We are
treated to not one, but three celebrations--at Great Smials, Bag End and
Brandy Hall! I really enjoy this author's Frodo, who is so very sweet
and kind! And little Pippin is adorable.

The scene at the end just makes me melt.
-----------------------------------
Title: In Frodo's Hands · Author: Mews1945 · Races: Hobbits: Pre-Quest ·
ID: 62
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-25 00:09:36
I am not quite sure of how to describe this beautiful story--the summary
is rather stark. A very young Pippin finds himself staying at Bag End
while his parents are off to a funeral, and Bilbo is away on business.
Unlike in many stories, this Pippin is not yet well-acquainted with
Frodo, and so he is a bit hesitant and unsure of his reception.

The story is told gently in Pippins first person point-of-view. There
is a dreamlike, luminous quality to his description of the quiet at Bag
End, and his sharp observations of all that he not only sees, but
touches and smells and hears. Through small Pippins eyes, we are
introduced to a young Frodo who already has begun to be the wise and
gentle hobbit we know he will become. This is a Frodo accustomed to the
needs of young cousins, and even though he is never even mentioned in
the story, one gets the feeling that perhaps Frodo is remembering a
young Merry, as well as his own feelings and curiosities at that age.

Its quite clear that by the ending of the story, Pippin has already
begun to form that deep love and trust of Cousin Frodo that will take
him through his life in not only wanting to please Frodo, but to follow
him and protect him, just as Cousin Frodo protects him here.

-----------------------------------

Msg# 7461

Reviews for 24 Sept - Part 2 Posted by Rhapsody September 24, 2006 - 15:23:52 Topic ID# 7461
Title: Of Birds and Bees · Author: Cathleen · Times: Late Third Age: The
Shire · ID: 727
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-25 00:11:58
Story within a story. On the Quest, Pippin tells of a time he
embarrassed Merry. It's very funny and cute.
-----------------------------------
Title: Pennies for a Sunny Day · Author: Cathleen · Times: Late Third
Age: The Shire · ID: 728
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-25 00:21:08
This is a very cute story of little Pippin, who is just full of mischief
and energy. I like his imaginative turn of mind, and the way he
automatically assumes that his idea of fun is everyone's! And the idea
of pennies for a sunny day is darling.
-----------------------------------
Title: Great Auntie Pringle Took · Author: Cathleen · Races: Hobbits:
Incomplete · ID: 994
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-25 00:22:58
Great Auntie Pringle is a very unique OC. I love her eccentricitiies,
and the way the other hobbits talk about them. She certainly makes a
stir wherever she goes!
-----------------------------------
Title: What Goes Around Comes Around · Author: Cathleen · Times: The
Great Years: The Fellowship · ID: 726
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-25 00:27:28
It's always fun to hear embarassing childhood stories about our favorite
characters--and this fic has them in abundance!
-----------------------------------
Title: Dinnertime Folly · Author: Cathleen · Genres: Humor · ID: 733
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-08-25 00:29:41
Another cute story of childhood anecdotes. I like the way Boromir eggs
the hobbits on, and the author's nod to another of my favorite writers.
-----------------------------------
Title: Nan Elmoth · Author: Robinka · Genres: Romance: Poetry · ID: 249
Reviewer: Branwyn · 2006-08-25 00:50:07
The wedding night of Melian and Thingol is written with sensuality and
great tenderness. I liked the image of her skin shimmering in the
darkeness and the almost frantic eagerness of his movements. A short
note about Melian and Thingol would give the poem a context for readers
unfamiliar with the early history of MiddleEarth (like this one--I admit
that I didn't know who they were and had to look them up in the
Encyclopedia of Arda). A very effective piece.
-----------------------------------
Title: Gaiety in Gondor · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Humor:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 563
Reviewer: Branwyn · 2006-08-25 01:53:17
Raksha demonstrates her talent for humor and clever dialogue in this
inspired response to the "Twenty Gay Gondorians" Yule challenge at
Henneth Annun. When Aragorn laments the lack of gaiety at court, Faramir
recruits some suitably gay men to liven up the festivities. Distant
(very distant) cousin Pongohil, an indiscriminate flirt, probably didn't
get invited to many family gatherings when Denethor was around! The line
[Stop him! Gimli will kill him!] made me snort with laughter. But even
Faramir is surprised when Gimli and Legolas take to the dance floor.

[An Elf and a Dwarf? Is such a thing possible?]

he asks Aragorn. Evidently, Faramir hasn't read much fanfiction! A very
amusing fic.
-----------------------------------
Title: Swan Dance · Author: Rhapsody · Times: First Age and Prior:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 797
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-25 01:57:52
I like the image of kinship being forged by a literal mingling of blood,
rather than the more metaphorical sharing of kindred bloodlines.
-----------------------------------
Title: Thirsty · Author: Elfhild · Times: First Age and Prior:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 319
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-25 01:58:11
In the fine tradition of vampires and dangerous liaisons, Thuringwethil
proves once again that she cannot be trusted, and that all love is
merely lust in the end. It begins in her, and returns to her, and gives
nothing back to the lover, who is consumed for her own ends. Of his
ends, we do not know, nor does Thuringwethil care.
-----------------------------------
Title: The Parting Gift · Author: Imhiriel · Times: First Age and Prior:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 948
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-25 01:58:24
Ah, the origin of Elrond's harp gets a story. I liked the way speech and
silence were portrayed--Maglor, with his great poetic and musical
talent, unable to find the words to say farewell, allows the work of his
hands to speak for him down the years when he will not be there.
-----------------------------------
Title: Great Heart · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: First Age and
Prior: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 64
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-25 01:58:37
I'm not much of a dog person, but this seems to capture a dog's
perspective to me. Little Huan, never one to turn down a challenge nor
allow adversity to prevent him attaining his goal, will indeed do great
things.
-----------------------------------
Title: First Anarchist · Author: Robinka · Times: First Age and Prior:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 316
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-25 02:01:30
Imagining Melkor as the first kid to be yelled at to "turn that music
*down*!" is hysterical, although the line about turning the lights out
when the music is done is both chilling and an excellent reference.
-----------------------------------
Title: Web of Friendship · Author: Gwynnyd · Races: Hobbits: General
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 932
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-25 02:07:47
Aww, very sweet! And a nice transformation of the ugly spider back into
a gathering of cheeful Arachnes.
-----------------------------------
Title: Red River · Author: Altariel · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
Gondor · ID: 82
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-25 06:22:58
A bittersweet Fourth Age look at the effects of Gondor's victory on its
former foes.

Faramir and Aragorn are in character, 25 years older and somewhat wiser.
The young Southron prince is an interesting character; taking on some
characteristics of those who defeated his father's generation, while
seeking an end to the unequal balance of trade that is damaging his people.

And Faramir and Aragorn are still playing chess, with much the same outcome.

Excellent writing, as usual from this restrained but eloquent writer.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Merry Old Inn · Author: Dreamflower · Times: Late Third Age ·
ID: 881
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-25 06:35:08
A charming tale of a hobbit's stay at the Prancing Pony in Bree; i.e. a
stopover by Bilbo and company en route to the Lonely Mountain.

Bree, and the Inn, are deftly conjured and written with good,
atmospheric details.

I loved Bilbo's getting drunk, singing, and then having a dream which
inspires his writing of the song Frodo will later sing in the same Inn.
-----------------------------------
Title: Arwen's Heart · Author: Bodkin · Genres: Romance · ID: 139
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-25 18:00:52
This story has some really interesting scenes. The author captures
adolescent Estel really well and also hints at the anger he must have
felt at being deceived so much. Arwen's calculating nature and calm
acceptance of her fate were also drawn well. We don't know much about
her personality from canon, but I would expect this from what we know
about her parents. All in all an interesting read.
-----------------------------------
Title: Home At Last · Author: Dreamflower · Times: Late Third Age: The
Shire · ID: 883
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-25 19:18:23
Nice gapfiller. It hows very well the Hobbit's general opinion of
"Adventures" and the "queer" people who undertake them. Bilbo's
loneliness and his feeling of being ["out of place"] is depicted
excellently.
I'm glad Drogo at least was friendly and interested - it seems this is
where Frodo inherits some of his character traits.

-----------------------------------
Title: Just Desserts · Author: Lindelea · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond ·
ID: 161
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-25 19:20:27
A gripping story; with a great cast of characters that is skilfully
handled, each one distinct and believable. A satisfying and just
conclusion to Jack's tale. Once more the Hobbits shine with their
unerring sense of justice.
I do have some quibbles (e.g. sometimes confusing order of events), but
they didn't lessen my enjoyment.
And I very much hope to read soon the full tale of Farry Took's journey
in the footsteps of his father.
-----------------------------------
Title: Planning Ahead · Author: Gwynnyd · Races: Men · ID: 84
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-25 19:21:01
Delightful, original story of how Arathorn and Gilraen might have met.
Both protagonists come clearly alive: Arathorn in "gruff-Ranger"-mode
and Gilraen the pert, perceptive child, having so much faith in her
foresight (["I promise I'll grow up as fast as I can,"]. It's funny and
touching how helpless Arathorn is against this determined ["mite"].

-----------------------------------
Title: Lay of Lord and Lady · Author: Vana Tuivana · Genres: Drama:
Poetry · ID: 629
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-08-25 19:22:56
The contrasts are employed very clever, both directly in descriptions,
and symbolically. The rhyme scheme is not constricting but actually
helps to draw the readers into the narrative. The pacing is quick,
fitting to the strong, gripping rhythm.

The beginning of their love and the end of it are both depicted
believably and moving, e.g. in this stanzas:

["Fair was the Lord, though dark was his vale,
And the Lady he loved for her light;
And great were his woods, and wondrous his delves,
And he taught her the beauty of night."]

["Proud was the Lord, and proud was his son,
And proud was the Lady fair;
And nor would they bend, and nor would they break,
But that her brother ruled there."]

The end of the poem, with its contrast/comparison to the beginning, is
an excellent touch.
-----------------------------------
Title: Ships Passing · Author: Marta · Races: Men: Vignette · ID: 302
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2006-08-26 02:06:35
A very touching story.It is so sad that Faramir and Halbarad never had
chance to know one another.I am sure they could have been friends.You
portray Faramir's grief very well.There must indeed have been times when
he wondered if he wanted to live but I'm sure that changed when his
fortunes did.
-----------------------------------
Title: Truly Exposed · Author: Marta · Races: Elves: Other Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 689
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-26 03:11:13
I'm always intrigued by the occasional fanfic presentation of the wise
and grave Celeborn as Galadriel's romantic lover. This drabble conveys
the lord of the Galadhrim as both graceful and sensual in a quiet way.
His and Galadriel's love for each other is still palpably real after
millenia - conveyed subtly and easily in only a hundred years..
-----------------------------------
Title: Lost · Author: Radbooks · Times: Late Third Age · ID: 260
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-26 03:19:13
A very original vignette, with Aragorn meeting a character who does not
usually inspire sympathy. Here, we see an unpleasant LOTR character
during a childhood that could well have bleak, since he was different
from many of his peers and probably suffered for it.

Interesting idea that is effectively translated into a haunting encounter.
-----------------------------------
Title: Old Man Willow · Author: Jay of Lasgalen · Races: Elves:
Fixed-Length Ficlet Featuring Legolas or Thranduil · ID: 859
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-26 03:29:06
A lovely vignette chronicling Legolas' confrontation with Old Man
Willow. This is a ficlet where I really feel that Legolas is an Elf, a
being both like and quite different than a human being, and his affinity
with trees is particularly well-written. Good descriptions, too.
-----------------------------------
Title: Summer Call · Author: mitasova · Races: Men: Post-Sauron's Fall ·
ID: 772
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2006-08-26 03:45:02
Quite a poignant tale of Faramir's last day. The use of Boromir's
horn-call as a summons not so much to death as to Faramir's reunion with
his much missed loved ones is very effective.

I am not sure that Faramir would have such a low opinion of the
Hurinionath, including himself, in terms of their value to Gondor, as
these two sentences imply:

[Our King is just, his lady Queen wise and fair. We of Hurins line are
all but embroidery on their glorious standard.]


The relationship between Faramir and his grandson Barahir, and their
dialogue, is very well written here.
-----------------------------------

Msg# 7462

Reviews for 25 Sept - Part 1 Posted by Rhapsody September 25, 2006 - 13:23:12 Topic ID# 7462
Title: Threshold · Author: Mechtild · Genres: Romance: Incomplete · ID: 823
Reviewer: White Gull · 2006-08-26 14:31:43
This story grew on me. At first I was put off by the May-December
romance, made more startling by the fact Rosa is the mother of Frodo's
good friend, and a woman he has grown up knowing. BUT, I loved from the
start the author's wonderful prose. I've never read better, and not just
in fanfic! I came to realize that Rosa is a great example of the age-old
tradition of older, experienced women taking in the young bucks and
teaching them, molding them, in the art of love-making. And who, tell
me, could possibly resist Frodo Baggins? That she grows to love him is
very believable, even if acting upon that love (the both of them) takes
a little more imagination. :)
-----------------------------------
Title: The Falcon's Watch · Author: pippinfan88 · Genres: Drama:
Featuring Pippin or Merry · ID: 227
Reviewer: Pearl Took · 2006-08-26 23:10:08
This is a wonderful story about dealing with partings and dealing with
death. Merry's son, Kalimas and Pippin's son, Faramir, are on their way
to Minas Tirith to pay final respects to their fathers. Kalimas is at
peace with Merry's need to leave the Shire to spend his final days in
the King's city but Faramir is bitter about Pippin doing so. On the way
Faramir has to come to terms with his unforgiving and bitter heart
before it ruins him.

There is a great deal of Merry and Pippin in Kalimas and Faramir. They
share the same sort of closeness and insight into each other's minds and
hearts as did their father's. Yet in some ways, Kali is Pippinish and
Faramir is Merryish. Kali quickly could understand his father's need to
leave the Shire, understanding that he needed healing the Shire couldn't
provide. He is insightful into other people's feelings. Faramir is
pragmatic, why did is father leave when his family still loved and
needed him? Even though he is very aware of Pippin's increased
nightmares and sadness after Diamond's passing, Faramir simply can not
see past his own need to have his father near him. He (Faramir) gets all
the comphort and strength he needs from the Shire and his family, why
can't his father?

Through interaction with his cousin, the King, his own son and a
mysterious falcon, Faramir Took finds the understanding he needs to
leave behind his bitter attitude towards Pippin's leaving and at last
can truly morn his father.

All of this is handled with great insight and sensitivity by Pippinfan.
Even with a moment of suspense part way through, the whole story has a
wonderful gentleness throughout it. Pippinfan paints beautiful word
pictures that help us feel everything right along with Faramir.
-----------------------------------
Title: A Meara for Me! · Author: Súlriel · Genres: Non-Fiction · ID: 893
Reviewer: Angmar · 2006-08-26 23:59:17
This very well done work deserves to be included in any Tolkien fan's
list of reference links. The background material on horses, their
training, their mental and physical strengths and weaknesses, was very
well done and researched by the author, and shows the author's insight
into and a knowledge of the subject. The addition of the photographs of
the horses adds greatly to the overall feeling that one is dealing with
real horses. A thoroughly delightful read overall, and the author is to
be complimented for a scholarly research effort.
-----------------------------------
Title: For a cause, a friend, a loved one · Author: Werecat · Genres:
Humor · ID: 120
Reviewer: Angmar · 2006-08-27 00:10:07
When I was reading this story, I was reminded of children's tales, such
as "Chicken Licken and the Sky is Falling" or the "Little Red Hen." In
these tales, each one of the animals has something to add, whether good
or bad, and this one is no different. The steady horse, the owl, the
mourning doves, the mice, and the wisest, the disdainful cat. The horse
must go away to war and the other creatures who occupy the barn are
frightened that their protector will be leaving them. Who is left around
to save the day? The cat, of course. Not even an orc could take on a
mother cat and a litter of kittens. Another one of Werecat's charming
tales that I found enjoyable.
-----------------------------------
Title: And all in evil ended be · Author: Werecat · Genres: Humor:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 122
Reviewer: Angmar · 2006-08-27 00:18:38
In the House of Healing, Ioreth has a problem that she didn't expect.
What could cause that very staid woman to shriek in fear and run to find
a weapon to fight the foe? Nothing less than a reminder of Melkor's
continuing influence upon the earth - some nasty cockroaches. I have
been a reader of Werecat's stories for years, because she always gives
her tales a twist. Another good one that brought some chuckles from me.
-----------------------------------
Title: Of Stone and Fire · Author: Werecat · Genres: Drama: General
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 124
Reviewer: Angmar · 2006-08-27 00:29:51
When Gimli arrives in Valinor, Feanor learns that Galadriel had given
the dwarf three trands of her golden hair. However, Galadriel refused
Feanor's request for the same boon. Feanor is not happy. How long can he
hold a grudge? Probably for the rest of eternity. It is good for Gimli
that Feanor will be in Mandos for a very long, long time yet to come. An
enjoyable read.
-----------------------------------
Title: In the Woods · Author: Werecat · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond ·
ID: 119
Reviewer: Angmar · 2006-08-27 00:37:17
In medieval Europe, tales about Elves were commonplace. In this story, a
grandmother regails her grandchildren with a story from her youth. A
strange old man who was kind to all the animals lived there near her
home, but the villagers feared that which they didn't understand.
Ignorance breeds violence, and so they burnt his cottage. The girl sees
an appearance by lingering elves on their way to the West, and somehow
the old man appears in different manifestations. Could he have been
Radagast, the Brown Wizard, who was still lingering? A nice story
linking the tales of medieval Europe into Tolkien's mythologia.
-----------------------------------
Title: Where The Shadows Are · Author: Kenaz · Genres: Drama: Elves in
Later Ages · ID: 776
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2006-08-27 00:44:35
This is a pairing I enjoy when it is well-handled, and it certainly is
here! During the Last Alliance, Elrond and Gil-galad come together for
what looks to be the last time. Elrond will be great one day himself,
but he is an acolyte to greatness now. Gil-galad knows of his looming
fate (and that is an interesting touch) for Elrond has foreseen it, and
even while he affirms his love for his herald, he is beginning to sever
the connection between them, to push Elrond away from him and towards
Celebrian, towards the life that Elrond must live after Gil-galad is
gone. He shines like a star indeed, in this story-I chuckled over the
unfortunate minstrel and the inevitable spear jokes. It's always been
rather strange to me that, alone of the Elves of Middle-earth, Gil-galad
is proficient with that weapon to an extent that you never hear of him
wielding a sword.

The heat, the grit, the discomfort of a war held in Sauron's territory
is beautifully conveyed, as is the sort of physical intimacy that would
take place in such a setting. The descriptions of the almost combative
love-making are both sensual and vivid, yet there is an undeniable care
and tenderness beneath them that shines through. To dare to love in such
a setting and in the face of such a doom, is the truest victory of all.

["Not only fell deeds awoke here, but the fairest deeds as well!"]

Definitely. The fairest writing too.

-----------------------------------
Title: Beleg and Túrin · Author: Raihon · Genres: Romance · ID: 755
Reviewer: Marta · 2006-08-27 02:06:56
Original pairings that have any basis in Tolkien are getting hard to
find, which is why I am thankful for this story. I had never read or
even imagined a romantic relationship between Beleg and Turin. It works
in an enigmatic sort of way, though the ending felt a little short. I
really liked especially how you did not smooth over Turin's rough character
-----------------------------------
Title: Untold Tales of the Mark: The Banishment of Eomer · Author:
Katzilla · Genres: Alternate Universe: Incomplete · ID: 836
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2006-08-27 05:10:56
I seem to be forging a personal tradition of getting sucked in by one
epic length story that I had been absolutely convinced I would never
have time to read. And then I go ahead and click chapter one, and before
I know it, I'm reading through the last chapters of the story. Despite a
few POV wobbles and a couple of grammatical errors that occasionally
tripped me, this story has proved absolutely gripping from chapter one.

Katzilla has taken elements from book and movie and managed to put them
together in a manner that is plausibe, suspensful, and yet uniquely its
own story, following neither the books nor the movies. It's a better
story for it. The banishment scenario in the movieverse was clearly a
plot device that didn't quite get handled as it deserved: no one who
goes into exile with as much clout as Eomer is allowed to take his
personal eored with him. This scenario makes sense, and the trials he
goes through as he struggles to survive the weather, assassination
squads, and the tearing pressure of personal loves sacrificed for ends
larger than the personal are believable and moving. Théodred's Obi-wan
Kenobi-like presence, as a part of Éomer that continues the fight and
identifies him with others is well done, and I quite enjoyed these
episdoes, as they added to our sense of Eomer's inner world. I can
believe Eomer would think and behave as he does in this story, and that
Eothain, Elfhelm, Gamling, and Háma would think and behave as they do.

And I can certainly believe Eowyn. At one point, a few years ago, a
friend and I discussed the possibility of an AU!Rohan where the cavalry
didn't come in time, and the means of control on Eowyn were essentially
what we see played out in this story: Eowyn is controlled through her
love for those closest to her--to keep her controlled, torture or the
threat of it is the most effective means. It won't get Grima everywhere
he wants to go with her--it will fail to give him the one thing he most
wants, but it'll give him the appearance for a time.

And may I say, this is without doubt the best Grima I've seen written up
close in fanfic--there's no flinching from his cruelty and lust, but
there's also no cheapening of the complexity of his desire for Eowyn,
which isn't merely lust. But arrogance, vengefulness and his quite
apparent selfishness thoroughly mar the chances of that feeling ever
developing so that the object of his affections could ever accept it. At
the same time, his selfishness makes it impossible for him to see, until
too late, that this is the case. I'm not saying I feel for him,
precisely, but he's comprehensible--Katzilla does the hard work to show
his contradictions in a way that makes Grima come alive, instead of
reducing him to a character that feels false or less complicated than an
actual person would.

And now that we've reached the climactic stage of horror for the
hostages, will the cavalry come to the rescue in time? Will this story
pull through to rejoin the main storyline of LOTR, or will the AU spiral
even wider, so that the events in Rohan change the course of the war and
result in a different outcome, or the same outcome but achieved in a
definitely different manner? I eagerly await the next chapter, and for
adult readers who can handle some truly violent, ugly and painful
situations, read this story. It's an AU written with style and it
carries off the alternate situation beautifully. But be prepared to
sacrifice sleep time for this one, or else hours you'd planned to be
doing something else: at least for me, this is one story that I can
safely say I was not able to put down once I started in on it, despite
having other plans. Bravo, Katzilla! Thank you for a marvellous story,
and please continue soon.
-----------------------------------
Title: Reaping · Author: Dreamflower · Races: Hobbits: Post-Sauron's
Fall · ID: 169
Reviewer: Nienor Niniel · 2006-08-27 13:14:05
This is quite a sad story. It shows well how people can be drawn into
crime while deceiving themselves that they do not really cause harm, and
how they can be harmed by events they do not really understand.

The fic makes the reader really pity the poor Miller, although usually
we see him as one of the (smaller) villains of the book.

I like the fact that in spite of the terror Ted experiences, there is
some sort of reconciliation in the end.

Well done! Nienor
-----------------------------------
Title: To Ride, To Will, To Fear · Author: Ellethill · Races: Men:
Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 841
Reviewer: Nienor Niniel · 2006-08-27 14:05:27
This is an amazing story. It has quite a simple premise: someone is
captured, and others must free this person. Yet the plot grows very
complex due to the relationships of the characters involved.

The story plays on the fact that many people, including himself,
underestimate Faramir. Here, the same is true for Éomer, who draws his
own (wrong) conclusions on Faramir's guilt after a bad thing has
happened to Éowyn. When the truth and Faramir's true valour are
revealed, it is almost too late to save him. We see that Faramir is a
very brave man who, when driven to it, completely ignores his safety and
his own life to do what he feels he has to do.

We also get an insight in Éowyn's character: her courage on the one
hand, the way she deals with fear and desperation on the other hand.

Aragorn is also in character, at least as I perceive him: he realises
that stopping Faramir from what he is about to do out of concern for him
would not do him any good. So he acts against his instincts in order to
respect Faramir's wishes.

I like the writing style of the piece: it relates well to Tolkien's,
without seeming like an imitation.

All in all, this is a great story in which all the characters are indeed
in character and which is very gripping.
-----------------------------------
Title: THE DAWNING · Author: digdigil · Genres: Drama: First Age Elves ·
ID: 938
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2006-08-27 14:56:37
I have to admit that I re-read this short story once a while. This tale
is simply beautiful and stunning while each time I read it, I discover
something new in it. The manner how the author writes about Maedhros'
awakening and how is nurse encourages him reclaim his life is splendidly
explored in clear and effective prose. To me this piece feels almost as
if Maedhros is reborn again, yes, I know, with one hand less.

Digdigil s original character, the nurse, serves a great purpose, if
not the most important here while Maedhros tries to deal with the shock
of loosing his hand while recovering and yet she does not steal the show
by being on the foreground too much just as a nurse would be. Serving
the patient, giving them hope, alternatives and yet confronting them
with reality in a gentle manner. Maedhros incoherent thoughts, his mind
focussing on the one that rescued him brought tears to my eyes.

And this line gives me the chills:

[I am Amaurea, she replied. Think of me as heralding the dawn of your
new life. And she smiled at him once more, lighting up his new day with
a brilliance to rival the sun.]

Simply wow!
-----------------------------------
Title: Son of Finwë · Author: Minuialeth · Races: Elves: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 193
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2006-08-27 15:19:36
This is a piece of powerful prose of which I thought I had to share. I
love the manner how the author describes what goes through this
warrior's mind, his courage, defiance, and realisation in his heart. He
knows he will not survive, but yet to face death. But there is something
so forceful and evocative with this drabble.

After reading the first line, you know something crucial is about to
happen and I almost have my nose pressed against the screen to read what
will happen next as if I am driven by the rush of elven adrenaline
myself. This is what makes this drabble so incredibly great. Minuialeth
crawls into Fingolfins head and shows us what goes through his mind
when he fights the utter evil in Tolkiens world: Morgoth. But what
gives me the shivers is how Minuialeth takes a step further and gives us
insight in Fingolfins final thoughts which is incredibly well done.
Once I read the final word, I am amazed how the author managed to
capture this significant moment in High Kings life in simply 100 words!

But the last line is the best:

[My own destiny I etched into the forehead of time: He who marred evil.]

This line for me shows me that even though Morgoth caused much harm to
Arda, it is Fingolfin's powerful blade Ringil that let this evil feel
how it feels like to get it returned. I can just envision this fallen
Valar screaming his anguish and hurt pride now that Fingolfin has proven
something which others though long impossible. What a heritage to leave
behind.

Truly amazing!
-----------------------------------
Title: Spirit of Fire · Author: Marta · Genres: Romance: Fixed-length
ficlet · ID: 196
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2006-08-27 15:35:13
Oh what a powerful portrayal of Nerdanel's thoughts. Very sensual and
moving, I love the way you captured her love for her husband with well
chosed wording!
-----------------------------------
Title: Shattered Twilight · Author: Rhapsody · Genres: Drama: First Age
Elves · ID: 247
Reviewer: Minuialeth · 2006-08-27 15:41:57
Maeglin has always been one of the rather fascinating characters.
Rhapsody managed to touch on exactly the point that makes him
interesting: Elves are creatures of the light despite their falls from
grace, but hes a perfect mixture of shadow and light. Rhapsody conveyed
that with smooth and flawlessly touching language. You can see him there
breathing his last breath and the images flash in front of you; a
brilliant mind gone astray.

But the finer points in this piece arent directly obvious, when you
read again, you notice that not only do the words show Maeglin as a
character you can neither hate nor sympathize with, but a unique
individual. He is poetic and tragic even in has last thoughts.

Yet as heavy as these thoughts are, the piece floats. This floating
really gives it an atmosphere of both surreal and unearthly departure,
just like a spirit. There is nothing artificial about the language; it
is sincere and as such highly adapted to focusing on the actual
importance of the thoughts presented. This is a mark of a very clever
writer.

The final product is so vivid that one stands before a striking
emotional weight; when I finished reading I caught myself breathing
slowly&Hes gone&A mystery, a tragedy, a paradox&all there in a flash, a
life lost&.Absolutely gorgeous work!
-----------------------------------
Title: The Gift · Author: Dawn Felagund · Times: First Age and Prior ·
ID: 131
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2006-08-27 17:21:58
The Gift is a story that has a special meaning to me, it was quite
unexpectedly gifted to me before Christmas last year, and as the story
itself deals with a gift that cannot be expressed in a materialistic
value, this story has the same value for me. Dawn has this unique voice
and talent in her stories in which she captures the daily life of the
House of Fëanor. The events seemingly seems quite insignificant, but
have a huge impact later on. The selfless Celegorm lets go of the woman
he wants to court for his younger brother Curufin and throughout the
story you can feel that Celegorm wished differently by the wording to
buy him love& but also in a way for himself. In the end, Celegorm does
end up with the most precious gift for the Midwinter Festival, even
though it comes at a high price for all. Celebrimbor lost his mother (as
many others during this event), but gained the undying love of his
uncle, a gift that Celegorm is more willing to give and in a way to accept.

This story leaves me wondering what would have happened if Curufin had
not pleaded to have Terentaulë as his wife. Celegorm would have settled
down, have a peaceful life; there would be no Celebrimbor, therefore no
forging of the rings. A very intriguing thought.

On top of this all, Dawn gives us insight in what must have gone through
their minds after the kinslaying of Alqualondë with stunning narrative
gift which gives you the feeling that you, as a reader, are witnessing
this personally. There is pain and doubt in the air, yet all move on
because there is no turning back.

So yes, The Gift is exactly as it was intended and gives you as the
reader a great insight in the characters and the events that those
characters experienced. A smooth read with outstanding prose, which
gives you the feeling that the story came to an end too fast. Thank you
so much Dawn, for giving.
-----------------------------------
Title: Of All the Pretty Little Horses · Author: Oshun · Genres: Humor:
Gondor · ID: 736
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2006-08-27 17:32:13
This is such a naughty piece that makes me laugh. A I read along, a
suspicion dawns on me that both men are talking about two complete
different things and the manner Oshun writes it is done in such a
splendid manner. Priceless, good writing and very enjoyable!
-----------------------------------
Title: 17 Cunning Corsairs · Author: stefaniab · Genres: Humor:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 244
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2006-08-27 17:32:49
What a delightful little tale to read. Very slowly the author reveals to
us who the girl in question is and it leaves me smiling broadly one I
finished the story. Who would have thought that Lothíriel would be such
a rogue at heart.
-----------------------------------
Title: Naneth - Farewell · Author: Aearwen · Races: Elves: Poetry · ID: 212
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2006-08-27 17:56:20
This is simply beautiful. Even though I read this poem a couple of
times, it still amazes me how this piece touches me so deeply when I
read it. Aearwen