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Msg# 8366

MEFA Reviews for November 1, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 01, 2007 - 5:26:53 Topic ID# 8366
Title: The Archives Incident · Author: Dreamflower · Genres:
Adventure: Minas Tirith · ID: 38
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-10-11 15:59:25
Poor Frodo - trapped in a library. He must feel halfway between horror
and euphoria. Although being without food and with rats might make the
experience rather less pleasurable. Yes, it's a good job they were
rescued when they were!

Get Menelcar to put that ... charming poem ... to music! Although it
might be best if he premiered it at a private gathering. I don't think
Aragorn would much appreciate a public rendition. (And Frodo is
kind-hearted enough to wish to keep the humiliation private.)

This is a most entertaining story, Dreamflower.




Title: Tea and Seedcake and the Influence of Hobbits · Author: Baggins
Babe · Races: Cross-Cultural: Gondor · ID: 492
Reviewer: PipMer · 2007-10-11 16:25:00
This is a delightful story, making use of an OC named Merlindor. He is
a merchant who is arriving in Minas Tirith for the first time since
the end of the War, and he notices several things happening in the
city that are the result of the influence of hobbits. His first time
attending a hobbit-style 'tea' is wonderfully warm, funny and
heartfelt. This story really brings home the fact that Tolkien
considered hobbits to be central to his story; not just Frodo and Sam,
but the other hobbits as well.

Well done.

Title: Some Dark Place · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 226
Reviewer: Oshun · 2007-10-11 20:27:52
A thoughtful and beautifully constructed story which answers a
question in the text which has always intrigued this reader. I am not
a fan of the horror genre, but do like the relationship of Aragorn and
Halbarad, having been intrigued by particularly by Halbarad as he is
protrayed in the RotK segment of LotR. This is one friendship that I
would like to pursue myself some day. You do it so well with sparse,
simple dialogue and the "thank you" that Aragorn gives him amounting
to a single grasp of the shoulder of a true and trusted friend.
Aragorn's fear is papable, but you manage to convey the concept that
these wraiths are not capable of being outwitted and vanquished
despite the terror they induce.

Title: The Accidental King: Five Reasons Why Finarfin Deserves an
Appreciation Month · Author: Dawn Felagund · Genres: Non-Fiction · ID: 5
Reviewer: Oshun · 2007-10-11 21:05:46
Dawn's exploration of the role of Finarfin in the context of the
Silmarillion and in comparison to other members of his illustrious
family is an interesting read. As she notes it is far too easy to
dismiss Finarfin as a dull and/or underchieving member of a family
filled with rash and intense overachievers. The other side of the
coin, the even less appealing one for me, is Finarfin as a
mild-mannered saint among a crowd of much more attractive sinners. I
am glad that she tries to put to rest to the concept that the only
motivation Finarfin could possibly have for returning to Aman is
either fear or subservient respect for the Valar. I presume, as she
does, that if either of those were the case he would not have traveled
as far as he did.

I still find it hard to accept Finarfin as the wisest of Finwë's sons.
The most pragmatic or sycophantic? I would not go so far as to say
that either. Perhaps he is neither, but rather, unlike most of his
close kinsman, does not have an ego the size of Arda and is able to
step back and make decisions regarding where he could most readily
serve his people. Who would have taken charge of the Noldor in his
absence? Or was anyone really needed to fill this role? Dawn asserts
that someone was needed and that Finarfin knew that and took upon
himself that responsibility. Whether or not one agrees with her
position, she raises an interesting discussion in this article and
provides her own logical and thoughtful considerations. I would
definitely agree with Dawn on one question. Finarfin is interesting.
Also, he produced children who were driven, brilliant and bold. A dull
non-entity is unlikely to do that.

Title: Second Mum · Author: Larner · Genres: Drama: The Shire · ID: 82
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-12 02:07:05
A gentle tapestry of hobbit life and traditions; spotlighting the
connection between Frodo and the one who helped raise him, Esmerelda
Brandybuck, from Frodo's birth to Esme's passing. Larner invests the
story with her usual rich detail.

Title: Glimpses from Cormallen · Author: Marigold · Times: Late Third
Age: 3018-3022 TA: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 614
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-12 02:24:35
These are a heartwarming and delightful series of drabbles detailing
Pippin's recovery at Cormallen.
Pippin is occasionally fretful, but his brave spirit always shines
through as does Merry's devotion to him.
I especially enjoyed the drabble featuring Aragorn where the Hobbit
makes light of the King's warning that his injury might never
completely heal.I also enjoyed the hints that Merry might make a
future Healer.

Title: The Lesson · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Drama: Gondor Drabble ·
ID: 29
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-12 08:18:57
Ah, how Branwyn has managed to show how those intended to be men of
war are led into their profession, and how insidious our beloved
Faramir finds that process. Exquisitely done.

Title: Hazardous Going · Author: Auntiemeesh · Races: Hobbits:
Hurt/Comfort · ID: 788
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-12 08:33:14
A winter trip between Crickhollow and the Great Smials goes wrong when
Pippin's pony puts her foot through the ice on a puddle and the young
Took gets thrown. Merry has good reason to be grateful to Elrond,
Aragorn, and the other healers he met on the quest for the lessons in
healing and herblore he's absorbed.

A marvelous vignette of Hobbit practicality and caring.

Title: Beauty · Author: Marta · Races: Hobbits: Drabble · ID: 646
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-12 08:42:44
We know that Samwise Gamgee had a special love, quite different from
what he felt for his Rosie, for Frodo Baggins, and here it's
eloquently expressed.

Title: Three Arrows · Author: HikoMokushi · Genres: Drama: With Merry
· ID: 717
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-12 08:43:55
Boromir's sacrifice for Merry and Pippin as recounted by Merry, this
is gently and poignantly expressed.

Title: Glimpse of Glory · Author: Linda hoyland · Times: Late Third
Age: 3018-3022 TA: General Drabble · ID: 575
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-12 08:45:51
Ah, what Galadriel thought as she looked on Frodo after he offered her
the Ring. Good reason indeed to gasp, I think, and wonderful response
to the challenge prompt.

Title: Aftershocks · Author: Gwynnyd · Times: Second Age: Drabble ·
ID: 504
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-12 08:50:05
If Elendil had made landfall in southern Gondor, it would be probable
he would indeed have contacted his kinsman who was considered Lord of
Cobas, later to be Dol Amroth.

Love seeing this lord's love for his land and people.

Title: Behold the King · Author: Linda hoyland · Races: Men: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 433
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-12 08:59:23
The King has returned, and we have two vignettes, as the new Steward
Faramir prepares for the coronation on the morrow, and as the new King
accepts the burden for which he has been prepared all these long years.

One of Linda Hoyland's best works.

Title: More Than Just Years · Author: Llinos · Genres: Adventure:
Minas Tirith · ID: 362
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-12 09:03:10
As a tiny Hobbit child, Pippin was given a silver ear of wheat as a
charm against fear by Gandalf; and as (movie-verse) Pippin climbs the
stack to the beacon of Minas Tirith he loses it, only to learn that
the courage he'd always felt when he held and looked on it was within
himself the whole time.

A wonderful look at child-life within the Shire.

Title: Pippin's Little Experiment · Author: Budgielover · Races:
Cross-Cultural: With Pippin · ID: 291
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-12 09:14:22
Visiting an inn for Men as well as Hobbits, perhaps Pippin could be
forgiven for his desire to see just how springy a bed for Men might
be--until he managed to bounce out the window and avoid a great fall
only at the expense of embarrassment and a few splinters. And after
that Frodo still wanted his other tobacco pouch!

Marvelous fun. (And beware tobacco bargains offered by the S-Bs.)

Title: Great Books · Author: Lady Aranel · Genres: Humor · ID: 149
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-12 09:26:54
It is Legolas's first visit to Imladris, and the twins are set on
convincing him to avoid seeking to seduce their sister.

Humorous, although I doubt Arwen was in much danger, even if she had
been reading the tale of Beren and Luthien.

Title: Fruition · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Alternate Universe:
Gondor or Rohan · ID: 7
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-12 09:36:14
A marvelous and chilling Might-Have-Been had Adrahil, Imrahil, and
Finduilas conspired to take the rule of Gondor by manipulating and
betraying Denethor and Thorongil into a duel to the death. Well, well
written.

Title: The Gates · Author: Isabeau of Greenlea · Races: Dwarves · ID: 70
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-12 09:48:27
Gimli had hoped to have a hand in the forging of the new gates for his
friend Aragorn's new city, but learns that dealing with the folk of
Gondor to see the project through is perhaps more important in the end
is more important than the forgework needed.

Beautiful characterizations.

Title: Thoughts About The Old Forest · Author: pippinfan88 · Races:
Hobbits: Gapfiller · ID: 141
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-12 09:57:37
As they spend their one night in the Crickhollow house before daring
the Old Forest, the conspirators and Frodo each has his own thoughts
on what this adventure might mean.

A marvelous look at anxiety and anticipation.

Title: Duty Bound · Author: Bodkin · Genres: Romance: Pre-Ring War ·
ID: 212
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-12 10:08:01
There must be progeny of the House of Hurin to see to it the
Stewardship does not fail, and for Boromir--once--there was a
marriage. It did not last long, and he was only just beginning to
appreciate his young bride when he lost her and their infant son to
death. Now Pippin's question brings that time back to him--the
unexpected pleasure of finding she had merit and skills and her own
tenderness. But he's unwilling to speak openly of that lost chance for
happiness....

Very poignant, and well written as Bodkin's works always are.

Title: Relaxation Techniques · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Romance:
Pre-Ring War · ID: 283
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-12 10:14:14
A bad day at the office has nothing on an afternoon spent listening to
the oily talk of Grima Wormtongue. At least Boromir is there to help
Theoden relax....

Title: Those Darned Socks! · Author: AmandaK · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 188
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2007-10-12 10:14:21
Okay, the title of this story baited me. At first I thought, that's an
alluring title, but in the end, my curiosity got the better of me. Set
within the allusive sock!verse and the long road home!verse, I love
the opening sequence and Amanda establishes a vivid & homely scene.
The ficlet is simple of nature, yet it is a treat to get this insight
in Boromir's mind where he realises that in his pride he could have
learnt to master a simple skill as mending his socks when he had the
chance. The author wove the memories of the quest and Boromir's youth
into this little story very effectively, making sure that those who
are not familiar with both verses still can find their bearings when
reading this. Lovely written and now I just need to read the other
piece in the sock!verse.

Title: Friendship of Their Kind · Author: Dwimordene · Times: Early
Third Age: 1-2850 TA · ID: 425
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-12 10:27:04
Aragost has reason to be upset with two of his men as they alert the
dragon they've been hunting before their fellows are quite ready. So
they are sent within the dragon's cave to see if the female they've
slain left young, and they find bodies of men taken as prey and a
cache of eggs.

Now to learn the difference between the honor of the Dunedain and the
ways of the Enemy.

Very thought provoking.

Title: Time · Author: Bodkin · Races: Cross-Cultural: Gondor · ID: 414
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-10-12 10:36:38
Legolas' investigation into the fate of one family in Ithilien that
didn't leave quickly enough was very touching to me. His folk have
endured such horrors as well, but of course Elves die and then get
better. His horror that folk could live and die and be forgotten is
both an interesting look at the way Elves regard memory and an
exploration of their respect for life. Faramir's assistance in the
matter-giving him access to the archives, hunting down witnesses that
might be able to tell him what he wants to know, is in keeping with
the young Steward who loves knowledge so much. Loved the scene with
Mablung as well! A beautiful yet somber story, that shows a Legolas
who is a caring prince as well as a warrior.

Title: Responsibility · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Gondor Drabble ·
ID: 720
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-10-12 10:40:58
A chilling look at the sort of choices Denethor's decree causes
Faramir. It is very like him to spare his men the guilt of such an
action and do what is necessary himself.

Msg# 8367

MEFA Reviews for November 1, 2007 (Part 2) Posted by Ann November 01, 2007 - 5:28:49 Topic ID# 8367
Title: In This These Days of Glory: From Autumn to Spring · Author:
Dana · Races: Hobbits: Gapfiller · ID: 567
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-12 10:55:19
And we see the evil of the Time of Troubles begin to grow, as Lotho
and Lobelia realise that the possession of Bag End fails to give them
the respect they felt they deserved. And things build until the day
Rosie knows that Sam WILL come home once more.

Shivery.

Title: Dragonfire · Author: White Wolf · Genres: Adventure · ID: 482
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-12 10:58:42
So often does White Wolf send Aragorn and Legolas in to dangerous
situations, and this one is worse than many, for between an
enchantress with magic gems to enslave others and enrich herself at
the expense of their life force and a dragon--even one in debt to
themselves, they are in for quite a time. But if anyone can prevail,
it is this pair.

Ingenious and fascinating.

Title: Triolet: The Weaver's Song · Author: annmarwalk · Genres:
Poetry · ID: 553
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-12 11:01:51
A marvelous poem-charm to add warmth and richness and protection to
the cloth from which Boromir's cloak is made.

The rhyme scheme and scanning are perfect, as are the images the poem
evokes. As always, Ann says so much in so few words, yet does so
richly and with great beauty.

Title: Shadows of a Nameless Fear · Author: Budgielover · Genres:
Adventure: Minas Tirith · ID: 766
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-12 11:04:38
The war is over, perhaps, but not the danger to Frodo and his friends
and companions. For men and orcs desire to take the Ringbearer and
enrich themselves--and avenge themselves--through him. But his friends
will not allow him to know all the danger....

A fascinating tale of adventure within and without the walls of Minas
Tirith.

Title: A Useful Skill · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Humor: Children ·
ID: 46
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2007-10-12 11:06:18
Oh, this was very touching and I am glad that I followed the link from
AmandaK's story [Darn those socks] to this one. I love Denethor's
close involvement in his son's upbringing, his concerns and worries
that Faramir learns the right skills is so understandable here.
Faramir's eagerness to show what he's doing (aww, so cute!) and
Denethor's reaction to it shows me a Denethor of who I think he is: a
complicated man but a good and devoted dad. What I specifically liked
about this short story was how Denethor stood still and tried to
remember who taught him to darn those socks, making him very human to
me. The author mingles memories of the past with the present in a very
effective manner. In addition, please stop flinging with those
nuzguls: no wonder that they bite our ankles so hard, they must be
preparing for the slinging around like you girls do! ;)

Title: Rauros, golden Rauros-falls · Author: Imhiriel · Genres: Humor:
Drabble · ID: 624
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-12 11:07:34
Oh, Imhiriel--what you've done to poor Boromir! I think he needs
Granny Weatherwax's sign--the one that reads I HAIN'T DEAD YET! Oh,
but I know I shouldn't laugh, not with him going over----

Title: Lamentable Tidings · Author: rhyselle · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Incomplete · ID: 742
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-10-12 11:15:42
Whew! Darkfic indeed, at least for poor Faramir! But to counter that
darkness we have a Boromir who is still alive and a Denethor who is
roused by his younger son's fate to defiance rather than despair. Good
characterizations throughout, though of course I would love to see
some of the back-stories hinted at here-Boromir at Amon Hen and at
Helm's Deep. The latter would be particularly interesting, since no
one I know of has covered it. The relationships between characters are
also well-done-Boromir's now-easy cooperation with Aragorn (I
particularly love the scene where Aragorn has him watch while he looks
in the palantir), his connection with his younger brother, which has
him full of fear and trepidation, and Pippin's new but sympathetic
service to Denethor.

I do hope that you will finish this-I want to know how it all ends!

Title: A Kingly Discussion · Author: GamgeeFest · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Grey Havens · ID: 780
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-12 11:17:37
The evening at the inn waxes interesting as they discuss the thank-you
letter the Gaffer received from the King. Odd folks, Men are--needing
to be reminded who their fathers are and wearin' shoes and all, and
wanderin' about through the wild. What a way to pick a
leader--choosin' one as needed to be brought up by Elves! But he's
right polite!

Brings a nice smile to one's face, this one does.

Title: Too Many Adverbs · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Humor: Drabble ·
ID: 660
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-12 11:20:02
A frustrated tutor tries to deal with a recalictrant student who
doesn't wish to study grammar. So, the orcs may be armed with parts of
speech? Heh!

Title: Fun with Farm'n · Author: Súlriel · Races: Villains: Drabble ·
ID: 269
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-12 11:23:22
Ooh--it's time to fertilize the field, but it appears the farmer ain't
dead yet. Orcs have an ODD and disgusting way of farming!

Definitely took me by surprise! Have some fun, will they? (Shivers!)

Title: The Last Temptation · Author: Maeve Riannon · Genres: Drama:
Second Age or Earlier · ID: 264
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-12 13:29:59
Intimately sad, the fate of Melian and her grandchildren. Yes, Morgoth
had been fair once, but was now brought to ugliness; will it be the
same with this Maia? But to watch the children die....

Title: A Thankless Task · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Drama: Youth ·
ID: 49
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2007-10-12 13:40:43
Oh, this was another gem of Edoraslass set in the sock!universe: it
almost picks up after [A Useful Skill] where Denethor decides that
Boromir needs to learn how to mend his clothes. This time the story is
told from the nanny's perspective who is not blind for the weaknesses
and strengths of both boys. When reading these short stories in this
universe, we eventually will know that Boromir will regret not having
mastered these skills in [Darn those socks!]. The author brings in a
great deal of foreshadowing too and I love her interpretation of this
young Faramir who is so thirsty of knowledge and wants to learn new
skills. I don't find it easy to like Boromir as a canon character, but
this little story showed me as a reader how he could have become so
haughty and well yet I feel for this teen. It seems like he managed to
convince his father extremely well that he doesn't need it. After all,
an heir will not stray far from the city he vowed to protect.
Faramir's glimpses of foresight just gave me the shivers. I really
loved reading the stories in this !verse, so thanks to both authors
for writing this!

Title: Transformation · Author: Imhiriel · Races: Men: General Drabble
· ID: 185
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2007-10-12 13:51:35
Oh yum! I think Imhiriel has a wonderful feel to portray Imrahil in a
delightful manner. This drabble is not exception! The author presents
a proud and yet carefree Prince who is just working amongst his crew.
His observations of the ships around him, the capturing of the ship
and the banner unfurled all add to this atmospheric description of a
summer day where every citizen of Dol Amroth must have felt just as
proud as Imrahil at that moment. He must have been a very popular
prince in the eyes of his own people. Wonderfully drabbled with a
vivid scene with good word usage!

Title: In Body and Mind · Author: Nessime · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Drabble · ID: 759
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-12 14:43:11
Lovely weaving from footnoted hints.

Title: Rekindling · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: General Drabble ·
ID: 688
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-12 14:43:23
Beautifully done, reflecting sensitivity and knowledge of tradition,
custom and relationships.

Title: Dragon Lore · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Villains: Drabble · ID: 404
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-12 14:43:36
Drenched in irony ["Fight fire with fire"], darkly fascinating, and
chilling.

Title: Waste Not, Want Not · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Villains:
Drabble · ID: 722
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-12 14:43:47
Chilling, as intended - barbaric acts rendered commonplace by mention
of dinner.

Title: Never Lack · Author: Ruby Nye · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: General Drabble · ID: 453
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-12 14:44:01
Powerful use of imagery; you tell a man's life-story in a mere hundred
words.

Title: Point, Counterpoint · Author: Marta · Races: Villains: Drabble
· ID: 573
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-12 14:44:17
Gorgeous! Imagery, word-choice, archaic language, rhythm of religious
writings; very well done.

Title: Fun with Farm'n · Author: Súlriel · Races: Villains: Drabble ·
ID: 269
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-12 14:44:29
Dark, grim, hideous in its conception, and yet possessing an awful logic.

Title: Rauros, golden Rauros-falls · Author: Imhiriel · Genres: Humor:
Drabble · ID: 624
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-12 14:44:40
Absolutely wicked. I shouldn't chuckle, but for some reason, I do.
(perhaps choking would be more appropriate?)

Title: Stranger in a strange land · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men:
General Drabble · ID: 695
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-12 14:44:53
Well done, indeed! Vivid imagery, clever wording. ["The blare of giant
horns, curved round the trumpeters' bodies, added grace notes to a
headache gifted by the remorseless sun. Still to come: interminable
speeches, too many over-spiced dishes, dancing girls, acrobats...."]
Nice conclusion, very likely.

Title: More Than Just Years · Author: Llinos · Genres: Adventure:
Minas Tirith · ID: 362
Reviewer: PipMer · 2007-10-12 14:45:05
This is a delightful story centering around the relationship between
Pippin and Gandalf, something that I always love to read about. It
starts out when Pippin is just a wee faunt, and meets Gandalf for the
first time. Merry plays a small part as well as Pippin's 'protector'.
The story takes up again in Minas Tirith, with more interaction
between Pippin and Gandalf as Pippin prepares to light the beacons.
The portrayal of Gandalf as grandfatherly and protective is very well
done, and Pippin is drawn to perfection as he moves from childhood to
adulthood.

Well done!

Title: Crossing · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Gondor Drabble · ID: 693
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-12 14:45:07
Wonderful use of imagery. ["caught the gleam of the ferryman's eyes as
he glanced over his shoulder to sight their landing and correct their
course"]

Title: Aftershocks · Author: Gwynnyd · Times: Second Age: Drabble ·
ID: 504
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-12 14:45:18
So much is told (and hinted at) in this review. The Fall of Numenor,
as seen from a distance, and hints as to why and how it fell.

Msg# 8368

Helpful Info: Story Search Filters and How to Use Them Posted by aure\_enteluva November 01, 2007 - 11:04:57 Topic ID# 8368
Hey guys,

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was going to try to post once a
week about various issues that some people have a hard time with. I've
been a bit scattered so I kept forgetting to do it.

I'll try to do this semi-regularly from now until the end of the
awards (just two more months!) so if you have any topics you think it
would be useful for me to post about in the future, just let me know.

So, without further adieu....

One of the most common question I hear about these awards is how to
find a story to vote for. Sometimes people have heard a specific story
was nominated and want to vote for it. Other times they want to see
all the stories of a certain subgenre, or involving a certain
character, or competing in a certain subcategory. Whatever the case,
you can find this information from our list of nominated stories.

First, go to http://www.mefawards.net/MEFA2007/ and log in. Then click
the "Browse Nominated Stories" list. This will show you all of the
stories nominated, twenty-five stories at a time, except for the ones
that you have previously told the site to skip. (More on that below.)

If you are looking for a specific story, you can do a search for the
title name. Scroll down to just above where the first story is
displayed, and you'll see a search bar. Type in a phrase, and the
website will search for those words in the title, authors' name, and
summary. So while you may get more stories than just the one you're
looking for, searching for the title *will* bring up the one you're
looking for.

Even better: if you know the story ID number, do a search for that
number, followed by the pound sign. For instance, "318#" will bring up
story #318, "Fire and Ice" by NeumeIndil.

Next, let's say you want to show a group of stories. To do this you
need filters.

First display the filters if they aren't already showing. To do this,
click the Show Filter" link. (If you don't see it, it means the
filters are already showing.)

Now, before you do anything else: if you've already searched for a
story (like entering 318#), you need to clear the prior search out.
Otherwise the website will look for things that match what you
searched for before and what you're currently searching. To clear out
the old search click the "Clear All Filters" button.

Now you're ready to do your new search. Look at the list of filters.
There are several options that you can choose from.

* STORY TYPE lets you display all the entries of a certain type
(fixed-length ficlet, poetry, full-length finished story,
work-in-progress, or non-fiction).

* AUTHOR lets you select an author's name and display all of the
stories by that author. For co-authored stories, you'll need to select
that particular co-author group to see the story.

* MAIN CATEGORY and SUBCATEGORY let you see all of the stories in a
specific main category or in a specific subcategory.

* REVIEW STATUS lets you see all of the stories you have entered a
certain type of review for, have not reviewed, have put on your skip
or wish list (see below), or where no one has yet reviewed those stories.

* LENGTH lets you display the stories that have a certain length (True
Drabble, Other FLF, FLF Series, Other Ficlet, Short Story, Medium
Length, Novel)

* GENRE, RACE, TIME CHOICE lets you display all of the stories whose
authors selected a certain main category as their first, second, or
third choice. So selecting Hobbits will pick up the story with Races:
Hobbits as its second-choice category, that ended up in Late Third Age.

* CHARACTER, SETTING, SUB-GENRE, and CANONICAL EVENT list several
characters, etc., that authors could choose from. Selecting one of
these options shows all the stories where the author selected that
item on the form about their stories – so you can find just stories
set in the Shire, or just stories featuring Haldir.

Filters are a little tricky, because if you decide to use more than
one filter, it only displays stories meeting *all* of the filters. So
let's say you select the length novels and character Merry and
Genre/Race/Time Fourth Age, thinking these are all things you enjoy
and would be happy to read. But if you do this, you'll only see
stories that meet all three requirements. Which may be what you want,
but if you'd be happy to read a novel about Merry that's not
necessarily set in the Fourth Age, you'd miss it. If you want to see
the stories that meet any of your filter choices you should select the
first one, look at those stories, click the "Clear All Filters"
button, and repeat the process for the second group of stories you'd
like to look at.

Now, before I end this note, let me explain something about skip and
wish lists. I mentioned them above. Over on the right side of the
screen you'll see links to "Skip" or "Wish" a story. These are lists
that help you tell the website what stories to show you by default. I
probably need to do a whole post just on these two features, since
some people do seem to struggle with them.

But for now I'll just mention that if you've told the site to skip a
certain story it won't show up if you do any of the above searches.
You can display it by selecting "Skip" from the "Review Status" filter
– if you do this, it will show all of the Skip stories. If you select
this review status plus some other filter (or if you select Skip and
do a keyword search), it will show skipped stories that also meet the
other criteria you select.

And so now you have a group of stories to look at. Click the title and
it will open the story in another window. Then you can read it, close
that window and come back and vote for a story. When you're ready to
vote, just click the "Enter New Vote" link to the right of the story -
again, this will open a new window into which you can enter your vote,
and when you've previewed and submitted it you can close that window
and come back to the list of stories.

I think that's enough information for one go! If you have any
questions about this (or anything else) please ask. And if you have
something you'd like to see me do a post on in the future, let me know
so I can do a future post on it.

Marta
(MEFA Admin)

Msg# 8369

Re: Helpful Info: Story Search Filters and How to Use Them Posted by Bonnie L. Sherrell November 01, 2007 - 14:03:51 Topic ID# 8368
One thing I'd like to be able to do is to choose a particular page.
I'm not skipping many stories this year, so have done a pageful of
reviews and then go "next" for the next page. However, as I'm now on
page 16 I'm having to go to 3, 5, 7.... That takes time and is rather
frustrating when I'm on the desktop rather than the laptop as the
desktop has a slower processor and less memory. Anyway to allow us to
choose a particular page to go to?
Bonnie L. Sherrell
Teacher at Large

"Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends." LOTR

"Don't go where I can't follow."

I mourn for this nation.

Msg# 8370

Re: Helpful Info: Story Search Filters and How to Use Them Posted by Marta Layton November 01, 2007 - 14:46:17 Topic ID# 8368
Hi Bonnie,

I can't offer an "official" site feature, but I've noticed that you can
manipulate the link to get to pages near the middle. The page for any
page after the first page is something like

http://www.mefawards.net/MEFA2007/index.php?page=storiesBrowse&navbar_page=[#]

(if you filter, there will be other stuff but you'll still see the
navbar_page part of the URL)

Anyway, I noticed that after the first page it displays the number of
pages after the first page. So if you want to go to your sixteenth page,
you could change the [#] to 15. In general take one away from the page
you're trying to get to and change the [#] to it.

I'm pretty sure this will work. Play around with it.

Marta

Bonnie L. Sherrell wrote:
>
>
> One thing I'd like to be able to do is to choose a particular page.
> I'm not skipping many stories this year, so have done a pageful of
> reviews and then go "next" for the next page. However, as I'm now on
> page 16 I'm having to go to 3, 5, 7.... That takes time and is rather
> frustrating when I'm on the desktop rather than the laptop as the
> desktop has a slower processor and less memory. Anyway to allow us to
> choose a particular page to go to?
> Bonnie L. Sherrell
> Teacher at Large
>

Msg# 8371

Re: Helpful Info: Story Search Filters and How to Use Them Posted by Bonnie L. Sherrell November 01, 2007 - 17:26:18 Topic ID# 8368
Now that is very helpful, Marta. I will do that, then. On the desktop
last night I just went to the last page to begin working backwards, as
it were, as that was easy to get to. But this will help a good deal.
Bonnie L. Sherrell
Teacher at Large

"Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends." LOTR

"Don't go where I can't follow."

I mourn for this nation.

Msg# 8372

Re: Helpful Info: Story Search Filters and How to Use Them Posted by Liz Warren November 01, 2007 - 17:48:04 Topic ID# 8368
Hi Bonnie

A couple of other things you can do:

* In the filter, under "Review Status", select "Have Not Reviewed". That
will "hide" all the stories you have reviewed so far, meaning the ones
you haven't reviewed will appear on earlier pages.

* In the drop down box on the right hand side just under the filter, you
can change how many stories are displayed on each page. The default is
25, but you can show 50, 100, 250, 500 or "all" stories on the one page.
(Obviously it will take a little longer for the page to appear if you
display more stories.)

We'll look into a "go to page #" link for next year (I've seen it done
on other sites, so I certainly know it's possible!).

HTH

Tanaqui

Bonnie L. Sherrell wrote:
>
>
> Now that is very helpful, Marta. I will do that, then. On the desktop
> last night I just went to the last page to begin working backwards, as
> it were, as that was easy to get to. But this will help a good deal.
> Bonnie L. Sherrell
> Teacher at Large
>
> "Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the
> very wise cannot see all ends." LOTR
>
> "Don't go where I can't follow."
>
> I mourn for this nation.
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> No virus found in this incoming message.
> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> Version: 7.5.503 / Virus Database: 269.15.17/1103 - Release Date: 01/11/2007 06:01

Msg# 8373

MEFA Reviews for November 2, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 02, 2007 - 4:38:53 Topic ID# 8373
Title: Glimpse of Glory · Author: Linda hoyland · Times: Late Third
Age: 3018-3022 TA: General Drabble · ID: 575
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-12 14:45:33
Beautifully done; a nice expansion on the original scene.

Title: I'm Your Pain When You Can't Feel · Author: Robinka · Genres:
Drama: General Drabble · ID: 103
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-12 14:45:48
Very moving, even heartbreaking. A clear picture of friendship to the end.

Title: The Lesson · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Drama: Gondor Drabble ·
ID: 29
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-12 14:46:06
Masterful in its irony and contemplation of a dreadful truth. ["How
gently men are schooled in war, so gently that they see not the lesson."]

Title: Tillecking Night in Bree · Author: Elen Kortirion · Races: Men:
General Drabble · ID: 455
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-12 14:46:19
(applauding) Nicely done! The final line made me catch my breath.
Later, I want to read the "long" version.

Title: Responsibility · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Gondor Drabble ·
ID: 720
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-12 14:46:32
Grim and telling, revealing much about Faramir's character and
discernment in a few carefully chosen words.

Title: With No Pity · Author: Elen Kortirion · Races: Villains:
Drabble · ID: 391
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-12 14:46:54
Excellent use of imagery, complete with surprise ending.

Title: Halls Beyond · Author: Elen Kortirion · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: General Drabble · ID: 454
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-12 14:47:07
Left me chuckling, even though I'm more book-verse than otherwise.

Title: The Lining of the World · Author: Ruby Nye · Races: Hobbits:
Drabble · ID: 734
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-12 14:47:17
Beautiful, sad, ultimately hopeful - this tells so much in so few words.

Title: Just Deserts · Author: Gwynnyd · Races: Hobbits: Drabble · ID: 505
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-12 14:47:28
O very well done! Hobbity and humorous - a nice gap-filler.

Title: Dragons! · Author: Aranel Took · Races: Hobbits: Drabble · ID: 327
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-12 14:47:42
Nicely leaves one chuckling, and so very true to life. Little ones
love stories over and over again.

Title: Sure as Shire Talk · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Hobbits: Drabble
· ID: 753
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-12 14:47:54
Good rhythm, sounded just like gossip, and perfect timing in the telling.

Title: Stone of the King · Author: Rowan · Races: Hobbits: Drabble ·
ID: 309
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-12 14:48:07
Whoa. Grim and startling, nice expansion on the original scene.

Title: Keep your secrets · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Hobbits: Drabble ·
ID: 751
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-12 14:48:23
Wise Merry! He knows Pippin so well, and takes every precaution...
["Cousin Everard's 'surprise' coming of age party? Boasting about that
raid on the orchard where Mother could hear you? Blabbing about
Estella…."]

Title: Surprises · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Hobbits: Drabble · ID: 690
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-12 14:48:34
Nice weaving of canon and originality, with a little coincidence
thrown in.

Title: Helping Hands · Author: Llinos · Races: Hobbits: Drabble · ID: 615
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-12 14:48:50
How well our hobbits know each other! No words need to be said, and
you use words with such skill to show us it is so.

Title: Tillecking Night in Bree · Author: Elen Kortirion · Races: Men:
General Drabble · ID: 455
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-12 15:28:52
Having read this, I now wish to know more about Tillecking Night and
what it means, and why the Hobbit children sing on that night. A
fascinating tale.

Title: Adrift · Author: fantasyfan · Times: Late Third Age: 3018-3022
TA: Gondor · ID: 313
Reviewer: PipMer · 2007-10-12 15:29:44
This story is filled with beautiful, evocative language that explores
each of the senses of a person coming into full awareness from some
kind of deep sleep or unconsciousness. The way each sense prods the
person into some kind of memory is explored in depth and detail, and
the language used is exquisite. I'm glad I found this piece; I
stumbled across it totally by accident. The writer certainly knows her
way around a paragraph, and she does a beautiful job of making the
reader care about the person she's writing about.

Beautiful job!

Title: Miss Dora Baggins' Book of Manners · Author: Dreamflower ·
Races: Hobbits: Incomplete · ID: 239
Reviewer: Garnet Took · 2007-10-12 16:14:34
While this story is entered in the humor category, it is clear that
Dreamflower did a great deal of research and put a great deal of
thought into this story. She covers most, if not all, of the hobbit
customs mentioned in the books as well as adding a few that she has
created for her other stories.

Title: The Big Green Bottle · Author: grey_wonderer · Genres: Humor:
The Shire or Buckland · ID: 208
Reviewer: Garnet Took · 2007-10-12 16:41:58
Pippin's present to Merry isn't quiet what they expected, and looks
can be deceptive.

This story is one of the best drunken hobbit stories I have read, and
the ending is just too funny.

Title: A Passing Troll · Author: Dreamflower · Genres: Humor: The
Shire or Buckland · ID: 210
Reviewer: Garnet Took · 2007-10-12 16:49:05
This is so funny, in a sick sort of way. All I can say is what goes
around comes around. I almost feel sorry for the troll.

Title: A Dragon in Buckland · Author: Pearl Took · Genres: Mystery ·
ID: 206
Reviewer: Garnet Took · 2007-10-12 17:13:26
This is one of the sweetest mysteries I've ever read. I just love it.
Pippin is so grown-up and caring, and Merry is his practical and wise
self. Just a wonderful story all around.

Title: He Came To Meet Me · Author: sophinisba solis · Genres: Romance
· ID: 33
Reviewer: Garnet Took · 2007-10-12 17:34:46
This is a very nice story of true love found. Hopeful, but with a
touch of sadness. It is also diffentent in many ways from the usual
hobbit romances. Very nice.

Title: Moira · Author: illyria-pffyffin · Races: Hobbits · ID: 676
Reviewer: Radbooks · 2007-10-12 17:46:13
A moving, lyrical story of Illuvatar introducing Manwe to the hobbits.
How hobbits are hidden in the Song and because they don't have
anything the Enemy desires. Their very weakness is their strength.

I loved the images of Illuvatar dancing among the hobbits as they went
about their lives - singing, cooking, digging out their holes, etc.

The whole story is infused with both the joy and the sorrows that is
life. There will be hard times ahead for the hobbits, but there will
also be wonderful times ahead and those cannot easily be separated.
This is a very wonderful story and I highly recommend it.

Title: Diversion · Author: Mar'isu · Times: Late Third Age: 3018-3022
TA: General Drabble · ID: 708
Reviewer: Radbooks · 2007-10-12 17:50:38
Interesting idea here. I like the thought that Glorfindel might have
been a diversion for the Fellowship, to keep Sauron's eyes fixed
somewhere else.

Title: February Bride · Author: Cuthalion · Genres: Romance · ID: 678
Reviewer: Garnet Took · 2007-10-12 17:55:21
I love this story. I have read it many times and still enjoy it. Yes
there is the romance and the sex, but there is so much more than that
here. There is the open honesty between a husband and a wife and the
heartfelt sharing of one's darkest secrets. Pippin is truly one
blessed hobbit. He has found his jewel above price.

Msg# 8374

MEFA Reviews for November 2, 2007 (Part 2) Posted by Ann November 02, 2007 - 4:40:53 Topic ID# 8374
Title: Dreams the Way We Planned Them · Author: SlightlyTookish ·
Genres: Romance: Gondor · ID: 297
Reviewer: Garnet Took · 2007-10-12 18:26:07
Stories set just before and at Carmallen are just about my favorite
kind. This one definitely makes me happy. This is a sweet tale, even
if slash is not you cup of tea. Yes, the slash is there, but it can be
overlooked to a grat extent. When you boil this story down to it's
core elements it is a story of hurts comforted and joy restored.

Title: Sea Food · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Humor: Children · ID: 53
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-12 19:08:14
A charming, delightful story, told in warm, light-hearted tone that
fits very well. The description of the tidal pools and their
inhabitants in the moonlight is lovely and enchanting, and it really
is no wonder that Faramir and Boromir are so entranced by it.

When Imrahil reveals why they have caught all those crabs, it must
have come as a real shock, the prosaic purpose so much in contrast
with the delight of before.

["That was different. Those crabs were supper. These crabs are
creatures."] Of course! Oh, the innocence of children!

And the ending just had me laughing with the irony. I wonder what
Boromir would have wanted for breakfast if they had not caught crabs,
but fish...

Title: Knave of Hearts · Author: grey_wonderer · Genres: Humor:
Children · ID: 252
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-12 19:08:37
That was a fun little story. The behaviour of the characters seemed so
very typical for those kinds of situations. Frodo was really to be
pitied, and I don't know who was worse, Pippin who was actually the
one he had to babysit, or an unhelpful, unruly Merry.

I was especially amused by Pippin clambering all over the sleeping
Saradoc and the other two desperately trying to get him away before he
wakes him up.


Title: All that is gold... · Author: Perelleth · Genres: Humor:
Children · ID: 42
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-12 19:09:01
Endearing characterisations. And despite the light-hearted tone of the
story, the Ring's sinister shadow and the memory of Celebrían's loss
looms in the background, and tinges the narrative with shade and
darker colours.

It was a wonderful idea that the brooch which gave Thorongil his name
was actually a gift from Bilbo!

Title: The Steward's New Clothes · Author: GypsieRose · Genres: Humor:
Gondor or Rohan · ID: 511
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-12 19:09:47
Completely over-the-top, but full of funny details and clever lines.
One could almost feel the tailor's disappointment at Denethor's
unimaginative choice for his own wardrobe. My favourite line was his
reason for choosing colours for Faramir's clothing.

Title: Rohan's Future · Author: Madeleine · Genres: Humor: Gondor or
Rohan · ID: 79
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-12 19:10:32
As its prequels, this story sparkles with irony and wit; it has
wonderfully engaging and vibrant characterisations, and clear
descriptions. There were a few figures of speech I found rather
inappropriate in a Middle-earth context, but mostly the language
flowed smoothly, and the details of life in Edoras were integrated
well into the plot.

Amrothos' permanent (but insufficient, as it turned out) suspicion as
he is trying to ride herd on his nephews was quite understandable. I
liked the children a lot, with their bright intelligence and blithe
single-mindedness. The other characters were equally well done, and
Éomer and Lothíriel's appearance was short but memorable.

I do wonder how Amrothos could have imagined for one moment that
building a catapult would be a good idea... It was a catastrophe (or
several?) waiting to happen, and the narrative still was compelling
and suspenseful, stringing the readers along with the question when it
will happen and how it might manifest itself.

Title: The Promise in her Eyes · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Humor:
Gondor or Rohan · ID: 100
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-12 19:11:19
Marvellous use of point-of-view and language. The voice of the
minstrel was so very vivid and immediate, it drew me right into the
story. The way he starts and stops sentences, as if he is addressing a
real audience, the way one can almost see his gestures and facial
expressions, or hear how his voice varies depending on which moment he
is describing. The way he slowly constructs his story, increasing the
tension and building up the surprising twists and revelations; I had
the feeling I was wincing and laughing right along with his other
listeners.

I loved the great amount of detail that is shown through his eyes: the
faire and its visitors, Éowyn's doings, the music and dancing. I
especially liked how the mere sight of her ["shapely ankles"] affects
him so much - details like this really bring the culture to life.

Somehow the fact that Éomer - to the evident surprise of the minstrel
- was relatively "mild" in retaliation tells me that Éowyn might have
done similar things before...

Title: Mistaken Identities · Author: Greywing · Races: Elves · ID: 201
Reviewer: Radbooks · 2007-10-12 19:12:26
A fun, amusing, and yet a melancholy tale of some of my favorite elves
who have lingered long past the time when most elves have gone to
Valinor. I loved the image of Glorfindel as Apollo especially because
it fit him so perfectly. I giggled when Haldir was made into a goddess!

Very enjoyable and well told story.

Title: Respite · Author: Linaewen · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 - 3017
TA · ID: 389
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-12 19:13:44
Atmospheric, quietly tense story.

Somehow, throughout the story, one gets the feeling that Finduilas
already is too much afflicted with whatever it was that led to her
death: her refuge is not truly one, it is no real respite for her to
come there, as she can't seem to be able to forget the Shadow of
Mordor and her worries about her husband and the looming threat in the
East.

She tries to tell herself to enjoy the moment, but it sounds not
entirely convinced. She comes back again and again to her fears and
doubts, without, it seems, being able to rest her thoughts. Even the
peaceful slumber of her children is to her only cause for concern as
she sees this peace destroyed as they grow older and take up their
duty with the sword.

Title: Welcome · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Elves: Fixed-Length Ficlet ·
ID: 694
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-12 19:15:39
This drabble is structured very effectively, contrasting Glorfindel's
memories of his first live with the new life he is about to begin in
Middle-earth.

Looking closer, the readers can see not only these two stages, but one
more: set side by side is Glorfindel's past in Valinor, then his life
in Gondolin, and now new features to discover in Imladris. All are so
different from each other, and yet they have qualities in common: the
Misty Mountains are as encompassing and sheltering, the Bruinen as
melodic, and nature as lovely as what he knew before.

And Elrond's warm welcome feels indeed like a homecoming, perfectly
demonstrating why his refuge was called "The Last Homely Home".

Also: Brownie points for using my favourite quote about Elrond!

Title: The White Tower · Author: Anna Wing · Races: Elves · ID: 528
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-12 19:16:32
Evocative, graceful and elegant descriptions that bring the landscape
and the lively community that has sprung up around Elwing's Tower
immediately to life. I have always found it odd and regrettable that
Elwing should live so alone and remote in a far-off Tower, and you
have "remedied" this situation very nicely. I liked the "reunion" of
Teleri and Sindar in this community, and also the different customs of
the Elves, depending on race and age, and the little references to
known Elves that have been reborn in the meantime.

The choice before Elwing and Eärendil, and the questions that come
with it are explored in compelling, thought-provoking ways. And the
way you resolved the dilemma had me holding my breath.

It was fascinating to see how this part of Valinor had developed since
the First Age, and the Elves' progress in science and technology. I
especially enjoyed how you have incorporated things like submarines
and airplanes, and as contrast to that, prehistoric creatures, in ways
that feel creative, yet canon-compliant.

The Silmarils as ["merciless light"] and possessing ["terrible
sanctity"] is an extraordinarily profound and appropriate description.

Title: The Smile That Wins · Author: Marta · Genres: Romance: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 258
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-12 19:18:12
Faramir's thoughts and feelings are conveyed very clearly and
movingly. I like how this drabble is construed about the changing
stanges of his perception of Éowyn. How the question about her
capability to smile is answered at the end.

First, his eagerness to know everything about his beloved, from every
source available. His uncertainty and fear as the metaphors he finds
for her get tangled with his memories about his father's end and his
own near fate. It's interesting to see that the well-known picture of
Éowyn as frozen and cool is something Faramir disagrees with and
instead comes up with the exact opposite.

Then, his doubts about his own perceived unworthiness as her puts her
on a pedestal. And finally, the realisation that she is human,
fallible and approachable.

All these apparently contradictory characteristics also remind me of
what Sam says to Faramir about Galadriel: ["Warm as sunlight, cold as
frost in the stars. Proud and far-off as a snow-mountain, and as merry
as any lass I ever saw with daisies in her hair in springtime"], and
it adds another interesting layer to Faramir's assessment.

Title: A Truth Universally Acknowledged · Author: annmarwalk · Genres:
Humor: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 556
Reviewer: Radbooks · 2007-10-12 19:21:46
An enjoyable little tale that is very well told. It sounds exactly
like Boromir and yet I can definitely hear Mr. Darcy in it as well!
Pride and Prejudice is my favorite Austen book and so to see it in
this setting was fun. That would make a fun cross-over story... I mean
a full length one. :) Very well done.

Title: An Alphabet for Middle-earth · Author: Dreamflower · Races:
Cross-Cultural · ID: 231
Reviewer: Garnet Took · 2007-10-12 20:01:29
The prompts for these short stories were quite challenging.
Dreamflower handled each one with great creativity. I especially liked
the one for the letter "T". That once was very clever indeed.

Title: A New Reckoning · Author: Dreamflower · Races: Cross-Cultural ·
ID: 308
Reviewer: Garnet Took · 2007-10-12 20:11:14
If I remember correctly, this was the first story of Dreamflower's I
ever read, and it still remains one of my favorite stories. Period.

This is a tail with so much happening that you find yourself totally
wraped up in what is happening, and not just to the familiar
characters. The original characters she creates a quite compelling.
From respectful Rohirrim and gallant Gondorians to a few horrid
Hobbits, the reader can't help but love, or hate, them as much as
Tolkien's own creations.

A fantastic story of new bonds formed in the Reunited Kingdom.

Title: Tea and Seedcake and the Influence of Hobbits · Author: Baggins
Babe · Races: Cross-Cultural: Gondor · ID: 492
Reviewer: Garnet Took · 2007-10-12 20:53:48
This is such a nice story of a kinder, gentler Gondor under the rule
of Aragorn. The influence that Frodo, Sam, Pippin and Merry have had
on their king and his city is clear to see.

After reading this, I'm hungry.

Title: Respite · Author: Lindelea · Races: Men: Gondor Drabble · ID: 303
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-12 21:19:30
This was an enjoyable and well written drabble which captures
Faramir's character perfectly.I can just imagine him enjoying
snatching some precious moments with books as a temporary respite from
the horrors of war.

Title: Falling Into Shadow · Author: Marigold · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Incomplete · ID: 205
Reviewer: Garnet Took · 2007-10-12 21:22:25
This is an interesting story. Marigold looks at something that very
few have. Merry's encounter with the Witch-King was not his first
exposure to the Black Breath. How had it affected him on those earlier
contacts?

I really hope Marigold continues this story at some point. It is a
nice look at Merry and Pippin's relationship and how a friend's love
can heal a lot of wounds.

Title: What Was That Job Description? · Author: Larner · Genres:
Crossover · ID: 523
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-12 21:24:51
I don't usually read crossover stories but this one was pure delight
from start to finish. What if Lockheart from Harry Potter applied for
a job at Aragorn's court? His opinion of Elves was hilarious and
naturally did not go down very well. Lockhearts cowadice and Aragorn's
sense of honour are brilliantly contrasted.I would love to read more
about these two!

Title: Never Speak Nor Sing · Author: Claudio · Times: First Age and
Prior: House of Fingolfin · ID: 130
Reviewer: Oshun · 2007-10-12 21:48:30
This is the beginning of an epic story cycle that has me completely
hooked, despite the fact that it takes some of my favorite characters
and relieves them of all of the most obvious of their admirable
characteristics and puts them in a series of circumstances that are
definitely not likely to result in heroics. But that is all
surface—underneath the indignities to which the author subjects
Glorfindel and Fingon in particular, although no actor in this piece
is really safe from his razor-sharp wit, a warmth and humanity
pervades the entire series. I guess backed into a corner and forced to
pick what I consider the absolute best single story in Tolkien
fanfiction (or best introductory story to a story cycle, as I would
not want to discount the stories that follow this one), I would be
hard-pressed not to pick this one. The conception of plot and
character is ambitious and promises much and so far the subsequent
parts of this story arc have lived up to its initial promise. The
backstory for the entire related group of stories is enormous and
wickedly creative, not revealed at once, but little-by-little as
stories are added. The standard cliffhanger is a trite trick compared
to the manner in which this writer draws one into his world.

On a totally different point, if there were awards for "best author's
notes ever" these would be my nomination. I have quoted them
extensively in private correspondence. My favorite lines are: [the
characters are grumpy, quarrelsome, spiteful, cruel, arrogant, and a
variety of other unpleasant adjectives besides.... But the Elves of
the Silmarillion did lie, steal, fight, discriminate, kidnap, covet,
attempt rape, betray, murder, and so on. And in Tolkien's early
drafts, they were far worse.] If that description wouldn't make
someone want to read this story I don't know what would.

Oh, yes, beautifully written, and the knowledge of canon reflected and
use of Tolkien's languages are great fun.




Title: The Beginning of a Wonderful Friendship · Author: Imhiriel ·
Races: Cross-Cultural · ID: 629
Reviewer: Oshun · 2007-10-12 22:01:46
This is a great ficlet. I loved the characterization of all of the
major players: insistent, single-minded Luthien, angry, passionate
Celeborn, and even the charming, if clueless, Finrod. The description
by Galadriel of her brothers error and his virtues was too funny.
(Finrod is often made such a saint, I want to take a little poke at
him myself now and then, but he so admirable, it doesn't work to poke
too hard--this is just right.) The beginning of a wonderful friendship
indeed. Well, it will certainly be an interesting
relationship--Galadriel, for all her adaptations remains a Noldor, and
Celeborn, well he remains Celeborn.

Title: Mastering Men · Author: Imhiriel · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Gondor Drabble · ID: 623
Reviewer: Oshun · 2007-10-12 22:07:43
I read this is one some time ago and liked it very much. Faramir is
one of my favorite characters (and being a bookish sort myself, love
his loremaster side), but it is important to me that readers remember
he was among the foremost warriors and leaders of men in Gondor,
second only to his brother (and in my opinion that might be arguable,
we only have Denethor's word for that).

Title: In Shadow Realm · Author: Legolass · Genres: Adventure · ID: 266
Reviewer: White Wolf · 2007-10-12 22:48:46
To say this story is original, visually descriptive and well-written
is to understate the obvious, as soon as the reader begins.

From the first word to the las, the reader can't help but be
mesmerized along every step of this amazing journey. I certainly was.
Even after the climax of the story, you want to keep reading to find
out exactly how it all winds up.

Each of the characters we all recognize were done to perfection, and
the original ones, good and bad, were richly textured.

The scene at the Glass Pool was wonderful. I love what Aragorn tells
Legolas: [I escaped a fate worse than death only because you were
there, and you knocked at the door of my soul till I answered, even as
you promised you would. Ever shall that door be unlocked for you,
Legolas.] They demonstrate the heart of this story, as well as their
deep friendship.

The last paragraph was so perfect for an ending and so beautifully
expressed, it made me sigh, knowing all would be well with our elf and
our king.

This is an adventure not to be missed!




Title: The Ground Portends · Author: Thevina Finduilas · Races:
Dwarves · ID: 638
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-13 00:23:23
A wonderful look at Gimli's thoughts as he rides with Eomer from
Meduseld to Helm's Deep. Good additions to the Dwarvish language as well.

Title: Stranger in a strange land · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men:
General Drabble · ID: 695
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-13 00:26:12
Oh, how well I can see this reaction by Aragorn to a meeting with
Haradri dignitaries in the desert. As for his final wish--that I fully
appreciate.

Msg# 8375

MEFA Reviews for November 3, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 03, 2007 - 6:06:47 Topic ID# 8375
Title: Returning the Favor · Author: cpsings4him · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Ring War · ID: 340
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-13 00:42:50
This look by Pippin at Frodo sleeping is very comforting for both us
and the two Hobbits. Well written and thoughtful.

Title: Fell and Fair · Author: Elena Tiriel · Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 526
Reviewer: Súlriel · 2007-10-13 01:54:54

[...two great horseman... unlike all the others] *sigh*. You know
these are my favorite guys!

[2] [perverse sunshine] is such a wonderful, viscerally emotional
phrase. I think there are very few phrase that say as much with so few
words. With the tone so well set, it would be expected that the
following text might fall short, but it does not. It brings tears and
chills with it's portrayal of stark emotion and a dark future.

[They are warriors. They do what they must.]
What a perfect line for these two.

This is such a hard review to write, I find myself totally engrossed
in your snippets and unwilling to stop between chapters to make notes
here.

- flashes of life and love and pain. War, and dread of the
consequences of war. Your drabbles focus these things with hard
punches and incredible intensity. And it seems to me that your talent
lies not so much in what is said, but in what is not said and I think
that's the magic in a drabble. The hints, the shadows, the
implications. It's the ability to use three words to convey fifty.

[Stout-hearted, my people consider me; surely I can withstand one
raised Elven eyebrow?] PRICELESS!! Poor Poor Eorl to face the mirth of
the Twins. A brave man indeed.

[tark-pets] *snicker* I love your Orc's voices and attitudes. Very
well done.

[a loyal steed]. Elena Tiriel. This one is extraordinary. the grief,
the heartfelt pain of loss and the twist. I won't give a spoiler, due
to the recent on-list discussion, - and this is hard because every
drabble in this series is extraordinary - but this one has that extra
something special. Of really being in the head and heart of the point
of view character.


in your notes you say [I hope to view the historical events (canon or
imagined) described in this series through very intimate, personal
lenses, to make them more understandable on a human scale.] I will
say, that in my opinion, you do that and more. I can't imagine that
anyone can read this series and not be moved.

You know how much I love these two guys and I thank you from the
bottom of my heart for these glimpse of them, both through others eyes
and through their own thoughts. I know this has been in progress for a
long time, but, at least in my opinion, it's been well worth it the
wait. This remains one of my favorite re-reads.

Title: Despair · Author: Silivren Tinu · Genres: Drama: The Fellowship
· ID: 171
Reviewer: White Wolf · 2007-10-13 01:58:27
The scene from the movie played in my head, as I read the argument
between Aragorn and Boromir. I really felt sorry for Boromir (here and
in the movie), because he just couldn't see that the Ring was
corrupting him little by little so that he ended up truly believing
having it would save Gondor. And as we all know all too well, that was
the same thing that corrupted Isildur.

Bless Legolas for recognizing that something needed to be done and for
taking the initiative by trying to reason with Boromir. I like the way
he This lets the man see into the depths of himself through his eyes
and share his burden of living under shadow. I think that as much as
anything would have effected Boromir. Too bad it didn't change his
mind. Of course, the Ring saw to that.

I like that Legolas was able to tell Aragorn that the Ring was trying
to influence him, too. Even though it caused Aragorn some worry, it
had to be comforting to the elf to have someone like that to share
with. We tend to think of elves as being impervious to the same
temptations as mortals, but that is not always the case. I'm sure
Aragorn feels good knowing that Legolas can come to him with his troubles.

This is is definitely a good read.


Title: The End of Dark Days · Author: annmarwalk/EdorasLass CoAuthors
· Genres: Drama: Minas Tirith · ID: 56
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-13 02:59:55
Together Annmarwalk and Edoraslass have crafted another story
containing both Mags the cook and Nanny, who cared for Faramir and
Boromir as children. Coming to Minas Tirith in the wake of the battles
to see her wounded husband and son, Nanny learns more about what
happened, and sees for herself the devastation left in the wake of the
war.

Alas for Denethor's loss; but now Nanny looks forward to following her
lamb's strengthening health and love life herself.

Very enjoyable, and the vivid descriptions of the city in the wake of
the war mirror reality very well.

Title: At the Sign of the Prancing Pony · Author: Marta · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Drabble · ID: 163
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-13 03:02:47
Ah! So THIS was how Nob came to work at the Prancing Pony! And a
wonderful response to an interesting challenge, putting disparate
elements together here.

Title: Measures of Time · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Romance:
Gondor · ID: 50
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-13 03:09:16
It must have been hard for Eowyn that despite being much younger than
Faramir, she would age more quickly. I think even without the blood of
Numenor, many women might idenify with the pangs of sadness for lost
youth that Eoyn experiences while watching Faramir dancing with their
daughter.
Faramir,though is an understanding husband and knows how to make Eoyn
feel better. I also liked the impled closesness of the King's and
Steward's familes here.
A bittersweet, touching ficlet which strikes a chord in any aging woman.

Title: Candles · Author: Eretria · Genres: Drama: With Merry · ID: 305
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-13 03:11:32
This story speaks of fear, and comfort, fear of loss and comfort of
seeing, and the final fear as to what's happening--out there.

Story is Movie-verse, I think; the love between the cousins is timeless.

Title: The Tenant from Staddle · Author: Larner · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Incomplete · ID: 408
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-13 03:12:18
An interesting and well written story which shows the great deeds of
Frodo and Sam through the eyes of ordinary Hobbits. There are some
delightful OCs in this story.

Title: Journey's End · Author: Altariel · Genres: Drama: Ithilien ·
ID: 442
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-13 06:14:13
A truly outstanding story concerning two former Rangers,who I am sure,
I'm not alone in hoping they had the comfortable friendship depicted
in this very enjoyable story,which also features a vividly depicted OC.

Title: A Collection of Sindarin Tanka · Author: juno_magic · Genres:
Poetry · ID: 224
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-13 06:19:42
The writer here shows her considerable skills as a linguist in this
collection of beautiful poems.The illustrations add a further
dimension of beauty to this lovely collection.

Title: Summer Daze · Author: Marta · Genres: Romance: Pre-Ring War ·
ID: 471
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-13 11:41:22
A very perceptive character study of Faramir, wrapped in a sensuous
description of his first sexual encounter. After an embarrassing
encounter with a prostitute in Dol Amroth, Faramir ponders his
concepts of "right and wrong" versus what is also normal and natural.
I really like the fact that it's neither a tale of impulsively
overactive hormones, or of a smug older relative deciding "now's the
time". With the cool logic and decision making skills we've come to
associate with him, Faramir takes complete control of his choice to
take this specific step from boyhood to manhood.

The details of Faramir's sexual encounter (and the act of
self-satisfaction that impels him to take this step) are tastefully
described, with just enough detail to add piquancy. We can almost
smell the scent of the sea, taste the ripe strawberries, feel the
brush of silken sheets or warm breath on heated skin. It's a very
lovely addition to the genre of First-Time stories, and one that will
please many an Faramir fan.

Title: Ten Thousand Years · Author: Marta · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA · ID: 565
Reviewer: Doc Bushwell · 2007-10-13 12:32:43
This short story says so much in only two scenes. Marta's account of a
conversation between between Boromir and Arwen speaks to themes that
extend well beyond the venue of fan fiction: self-doubt when one
cannot control the events of life and then acceptance of - rather than
struggle against - life's circumstances and the choice to engage in
them fully or eschew them altogether

Marta lends insight into the humanity of two icons of the Lord of the
Rings. Boromir, a man of nobility who is accustomed to command, is
unsettled by the inheritance of Aragorn, the heir of Isildur. Marta
writes his character such that this reader is empathetic to his pride
and doubts. Marta's depiction of Boromir's rumination of what he fears
most (lesser of two evils, perhaps) emphasizes his turmoil in just a
few powerful sentences. Arwen's response likewise resonates with
Boromir's doubts.

Marta is a skilled writer and effectively practices the "show, don't
tell" adage. Her detailing is excellent, but never slows the pace of
the narrative. She describes Imladris vividly and its confusing
architectural intricacies in an economy of words. The intimate setting
of the conversation is easy to visualize: I could feel the warmth of
the hearth and the chill damp from the late autumn rain near the
window. Through the story, she captures Boromir's restiveness to his
thoughtful contemplation through Arwen's words and presence.

Not only are the characters consistent with those described in JRRT's
history, but far more fleshed out in my opinion. When I first read
Lord of the Rings as a young teenager almost forty (!) years ago, I
developed a serious crush on Boromir (I guess I was – how do you say –
a fangurl), so I am gratified with Marta's vision of this noble,
flawed and very human fellow in this and her other works. JRRT's Arwen
left me cold, but Marta's Arwen is far more appealing: warm, wise,
funny, and pensive.

[Ten Thousand Years] is a fine story and highly recommended.


Title: Swan Song · Author: Imhiriel · Genres: Drama: Gondor Drabble ·
ID: 637
Reviewer: Oshun · 2007-10-13 17:29:20
I am also extremely interested in the history of Dol Amroth
(admittedly, on my part, largely due to my obsession with elves, but
the sea plays a large part also). The mood and ambience of the story
is lovely and the level of development of character in such a short
piece is hard to do. It is a pleasure to read a story that takes
infrequently referenced canon and uses it so well.

Title: I Will Comfort Thee · Author: agape4gondor · Genres: Drama: The
Fellowship · ID: 458
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-10-13 17:36:03
I haven't encountered this idea before, but it makes sense for Aragorn
to take Faramir to the place where Boromir died. I thought it a nice
touch that all the members of the Fellowship who were involved with
Boromir's death went with them. I liked it that it was not only
healing for Faramir, but that Aragorn also could release his grief for
Boromir.

Title: Not an Ordinary Day · Author: nau_tika · Genres: Drama: The
Fellowship · ID: 737
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-10-13 17:38:03
I'm sure nobody involved will forget this day, especially not Pippin
and Legolas. Pippin and Legolas are out practicing archery and somehow
Legolas got hurt. I love the humor in this piece and the developing
relationship between Pippin and Boromir.

Title: Are You Going to Leave Me? · Author: Llinos · Genres: Drama:
With Merry · ID: 142
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-10-13 17:39:11
This is a lovely gapfiller from the movies. How did Pippin manage to
get Merry to the houses of healing and how did Merry manage to
convince Aragorn to let him join them at the Battle at the Black Gate.
The solution to the last problem is unique and I don't think to
Aragorn's liking, but he was overruled. The characters ring true and
Eomer, who we know not much about from the books, matches his persona
from the movies.

Title: Changing the Past · Author: mistycracraft · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Incomplete · ID: 639
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-10-13 17:52:15
This is an intriguing AU, where Elrohir and Elladan in one timeline
and Aragorn in another can have their fondest wish of changing the
past. The twins can prevent Celebrian from falling into the hands of
the orcs and Argorn gets the chance to save his father. Since this
story is still ongoing, I don't know how it will all end. Changing
these two events, changes the known timeline considerably as anyone
can guess.

I love the well thought out consequences of these changes. The main
characters are now stuck in these new timelines and nothing is as they
are used to. They have to guard their secret that they are from the
future which makes for a very lonely existence. At least the twins
have each other, but Aragorn is another story. I love the
characterizations and the emotional tension which stems from
concealing their knowledge of the future. Aragorn additionally has to
hide who he really is in his new persona. I hope the story will be
updated again soon.

Title: The Days of the King · Author: Randomrattle · Genres: Drama:
With Aragorn · ID: 399
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-10-13 17:55:43
This tale about the first years after the Return of the King follows
more the movies than the books. Minas Tirith is much more damaged than
it looked at first glance and had to be evacuated until the dwarves
can fix the damage.The first part of this tale concentrates on the
dwarves and their tireless efforts to save the city. What blew me away
was the description of the Dwarves as a race different from men. They
are not just short men. They have their own distinct customs and
culture. The reader gets glimpses into that culture but just like in
Tolkien the things the reader sees in this story lets you guess that
there is much more to know and discover. The bridge between dwarves
and men and elves are Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas with their deep
friendship.

The second part of the story concentrates more on the friendship
between Arwen, Aragorn, and Legolas. Here again there is a distinct
difference between elves and men and the differences are not just
immortality and pointy ears. Theirs is a longstanding friendship, but
there is still much to discover and to grow on all sides.

Title: Strange Stars · Author: Jael · Races: Cross-Cultural · ID: 120
Reviewer: Oshun · 2007-10-13 17:59:02
I got a huge kick out of this story for its sheer imaginative scope.
It's a long way from Mirkwood to Harad. Of course, being a fan of her
entire carefully crafted world of Thranduil and Legolas, I got a kick
out of references to elements of that background that are thrown into
the story. (They provide spice for those who, like me, follow the
development of Jael's canon with interest, but in no way interfere
with the enjoyment of the story by readers who are less knowledgeable
of her entire body of work relating to these characters.)

As usual, Jael made me green with envy for her attentiveness to small
details and meticulous plotting. (I am waiting for the day when I stop
simply being jealous and decide to take a bit more care of this nature
in my own work.)

The creation of an entire cultural ambience for the location is such
fun to read. Although it is worlds away from Gondor (so much farther
than the mere physical distance) and more foreign still for our elf,
the writer does not take the cheap and easy path of turning its
inhabitants into incomprehensible villains, but makes them human and
sympathetic, with their own virtues and flaws. Someone else said in
another review that the details reminded her of the book, Memoirs of a
Geisha. I can see that comparison. I also thought of Mary Renault's
Bagoas in The Persian Boy, although, of course, our hero is merely a
talented amateur acting to a bigger purpose. It's a thoroughly
entertaining story with suspense, intrigue, and a healthy subplot of
young love.

Legolas is so attractive, smart and charming too--just an extra bonus
for this reader. I particularly like that you use the events and
experiences to allow your character to learn and grown. The Legolas
who returns is different from the one who left for this
adventure/assignment. The wicked little secret of the author is to
take the subject matter and demonstrate that she is able to tell such
a story without turning her protagonist into a victim. Excellent
story. Great read.


Title: Cophetua · Author: Jael · Genres: Romance · ID: 242
Reviewer: mbumpus_99 · 2007-10-13 18:08:00
I was lucky enough to stumble over this delightful work as one of the
first serialized pieces I was to read in the LoTR fanfic world when it
was still a WIP.

Jael's OFC Sigrid is delightfully well-rounded, as are the other canon
characters she encounters over the course of the story. Sigrid never
forgets her true place in the hierarchy of Thranduil's court, much to
her lover's consternation. Her integration as a mortal into the Elven
society is well-constructed and described, and Jael brings the reader
along to understand all of the emotions Sigrid feels. The twist at the
end was completely unexpected - and yet clearly hinted at in the very
first paragraph of the first chapter.

All in all, I love reading stories where the OCs are as complicated
and imperfect as any canon character - and Jael's Sigrid is an example
of one of the best OCs I've ever read. Thranduil, Galion and even
Legolas stay completely in character. This is a story that I can read
again and again and get almost the same measure of entertainment in
knowing what comes next as I did in that first read of discovery.

Title: At The Foot of the Sarn Gebir · Author: Rabidsamfan · Times:
Late Third Age: 3018-3022 TA · ID: 787
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-13 18:25:37
Excellent vignette that showcases Sam's resourcefulness and
resilience. I really liked the details of his preparations for the
cooking, and the unfolding of his quiet contentment at being useful in
ways that the other Fellowship members might not think of. And there's
a lovely bit of Sam and Legolas interaction that shows Legolas
understanding and appreciating hobbit priorities.

Well-written, this really says "Sam" to me; and every detail is credible.


Title: Turned Earth · Author: Dana · Genres: Alternate Universe: The
Shire or Buckland · ID: 26
Reviewer: Jael · 2007-10-13 19:43:15
I'm not usually a big fan of Hobbit stories, but I ran across this one
while browsing reviews, and the premise intrigued me. I am so glad I
gave it a try! I read it through in one sitting, even though I had
some pressing chores awaiting me, and I bookmarked it for later
enjoyment -- that's how engaging it is.

This is a very different type of story, no doubt about it. The author
manages to capture the claustrophobic terror of Night of the Living
Dead and the warm feeling of the Shire sections of Lord of the Rings,
and produce a gripping reading experience for Halloween and other
times of the year as well.

The characters, especially Rosie Cotton Gamgee, are very well-written,
and the odd and terrifiying happenings in the Shire, post-Ring War,
are logically explained by BookVerse. You don't see that too often!

If you're tired of the same old-same old, I recommend this story highly.

Title: A Boy and His Lob · Author: Ignoble Bard · Genres: Humor · ID: 162
Reviewer: Jael · 2007-10-13 20:15:57
A Boy and His Lob is yet another giggle-worthy effort from the pen,
er, keyboard of the master humorist.

In this tale, Legolas's adolescent infatuation for a certain visiting
Marchwarden collides with his humanitarian (does this word even apply
to an Elf?) impulse to take in an orphaned spider with an unusual
talent. As you might expect, the results are hilarious -- and very
embarrassing for Mirkwood's young Prince.

I got a kick out of Emo-Legolas resenting the fact that as ["prince"]
he ["must sit at the king's table"] when he would far rather be
chatting up Haldir. Life can be so very cruel sometimes! I found
Thranduil's pragmatic desire for wine and money, even at the price of
his son's dignity, especially amusing. Fortunately, Haldir seems to
share Legolas's tastes in interior decoration -- among other things.

What a great little story!

Title: Concerning the Curious Healing Properties of Soup · Author:
pipkinsweetgrass · Races: Cross-Cultural: The Fellowship · ID: 571
Reviewer: Garnet Took · 2007-10-13 20:44:19
This is a nice story of the fellowship bonding and learning about each
other through the challenges they faced. It also made me real hungry
for a bowl of thick, creamy, chicken soup.

Title: Steward and Thain · Author: agape4gondor · Races:
Cross-Cultural: The Fellowship · ID: 87
Reviewer: Garnet Took · 2007-10-13 21:46:12
Friendship can be built on the smallest commonality sometimes, and
this story proves it. Boromis and Pippin truly are good for each
other. It's said that they only had a short time to be friends.

The epilogue nearly had me in tears.

Msg# 8376

MEFA Reviews for November 3, 2007 (Part 2) Posted by Ann November 03, 2007 - 6:08:43 Topic ID# 8376
Title: A Life Between - No Secrets · Author: Elen Kortirion · Races:
Men: General Drabble · ID: 446
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-10-13 22:30:00
Boromir and Theodred always seem to me to be a very plausible slash
pairing. Boromir is openly described as being disinterested in
marriage, no wife or children are given Theodred in canon, despite his
being Theoden's only son.

This is a lovely, sensual drabble, describing in few words the
intimacy, knowledge and fear that can only occur in a long-term
relationship.


Title: Bliss and Beauty · Author: Imhiriel · Genres: Romance: Drabble
· ID: 20
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-10-13 22:35:37
[Two feet, fleeting, dancing; two graceful hands weaving music into
motion; two bright eyes laughing at him, laughing for him.]

A lovely description of Idril, and a concise, poetic description of
one of the most important relationships in Tolkien. My only complaint
is that I'd be most interested in a longer treatment of the subject!



Title: Swan Song · Author: Imhiriel · Genres: Drama: Gondor Drabble ·
ID: 637
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-10-13 22:40:36
I am pleased if I provided the inspiration for this lovely drabble,
which delicately delineates a melancholy moment in the life of one of
Imrahil's ancestors, who also possesses my Imrahil's dreaming "gift".
Which is a two-edge sword here…


Title: Gifts · Author: Acacea · Genres: Humor: Other Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 500
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-10-13 23:31:03
Heh! I was expecting the usual sort of by-play between the Steward and
an adolescent or adult Faramir, not Denethor dealing with toddler
Faramir so that Finduilas could take a nap! Very sweet and very funny
at the end.

Title: A Kingly Discussion · Author: GamgeeFest · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Grey Havens · ID: 780
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-14 00:24:55
For me, very few LOTR fanfiction stories come close to capturing the
unique character of Tolkien's hobbits. This is one of them.

GamgeeFest writes an outstanding hobbit vignette; set several years
after the Ring War, with Gaffer Gamgee getting a letter from King
Elessar and sharing it with some friends. The dialogue and speech
patterns sounded very hobbitish. I loved the attention paid by the
hobbits to Aragorn, and all Men's, knowledge of their lineage,
ancestry seems even more important to hobbits than to Heirs of Isildur
and GamgeeFest, and the Gaffer, remember this. The pity shown by the
hobbits towards Men, whose fragile feet blister so easily, is amusing
and credible.

The Gaffer is well-written; I can see his likeness to his son, even if
he is somewhat more provincial; he respects courtesy and kindness.

Very enjoyable!

Title: In the Bleak, Cold Winter · Author: GamgeeFest · Races:
Hobbits: Pre-Quest · ID: 493
Reviewer: PipMer · 2007-10-14 01:14:08
This was a sweet story, centering on the relationships between Sam,
Frodo and Merry. The backstory for this, told in "Under the Harvest
Moon", is that Sam and Merry had a falling out after one of Merry's
pranks put Sam into trouble with his Gaffer; their relationship was
never the same after that. This story takes place several years later;
their relationship is still strained, but Merry is doing his utmost to
win back Sam's trust.

The interaction between the three hobbits takes place as Sam is
healing from a badly sprained ankle. Sam, of course, is hesitant to
rely on the masters to take care of him, and part of the story deals
with how Sam comes to terms with receiving help from his 'betters.'
Another sweet aspect to the story is a developing relationship between
Merry and the healer, Miss Willow.

A capital tale!

Title: The White Tower · Author: Anna Wing · Races: Elves · ID: 528
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-14 01:51:05
Definitely one of the best post-Silmarillion Valinor stories I can
remember reading, and one of Anna Wing's best tales as well.

Elwing is written excellently; as woman and elf; she is not sitting
idly by pining for Earendil to come home from his star-bearing
routine. She rules a domain, and rules it well. The embassy of the
reborn Feanorian twins troubles the peace of her domain and her own
peace of mind; and thereby hangs the tale.

I loved the details about the Valinorean Elven technological progress;
the sky-ships and submarine. Earendil is also characterised very well;
and the resolution was quite moving and believable.

Title: The Broideress Arc · Author: Maeve Riannon · Times: First Age
and Prior · ID: 745
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-14 03:01:44
A vivid and unusual portrait of the ill-fated Miriel Serinde. The
first chapter is not my favorite, but sets up the rest; and the rest
is haunting. The ending is unexpected and packs a punch; but works.
Special kudos to the Indis-Miriel confrontation; which does justice to
both ladies.

Title: The Land of Gift · Author: Maeve Riannon · Times: First Age and
Prior: House of Fingolfin · ID: 108
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-14 03:11:15
Intriguing foray into a possible fate of Tuor and Idril - there's an
element of Greek mythology here that works well; and the ending is
quite appropriate and beautiful in a bittersweet way.

Title: The Horses of Eorl · Author: Branwyn · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Drabble · ID: 477
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-14 04:55:45
I hadn't thought of the horses... but surely they suffered and needed
healing too. Radagast was a masterful choice.

Title: Blackest Fate · Author: Branwyn · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 -
3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 476
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-14 04:56:16
Oooooh. This was heartbreaking, even as it left me reeling. There is
poetry in the carefully chosen words and images: [They spoke of simple
things--of galloping through the grass as it bowed before the wind, of
resting where clear water washed the flat stones. Of the first glimpse
of home above a distant ridge.] And perfect in its timing and
delivery. Very well done! I'd love to see more on this subject
(complete with liberation, and healing).

Title: Gold Rings and Sam · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Poetry · ID: 501
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-14 04:56:26
LOL! Extremely clever mimicking of the genre, a perfect parody.
*applauding* Won't quote or give details, wouldn't want to give away
the delight.

Title: Calm after the Storm · Author: Imhiriel · Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 350
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-14 04:56:42
So much is told in this small space, so much hinted at, layers within
layers, a much deeper story, of which we see only a glimpse here.
Nicely done.

Title: All in a Day's Work · Author: Gwynnyd · Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 421
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-14 04:57:15
*applauding* O very well done, indeed. Masterful storytelling,
advancing the plot with each varying viewpoint (and for some reason it
was a relief that all POVs were on the side of good, even the
reluctant merchant, drawing a clearer distinction between good and
evil). I found myself cheering the farmer on, in his decisive action,
nodding at the preparations and strategy, hushing when the story
hushed, and leaping forward eagerly to the finish as the action swirled.

While this could as easily been a much longer work, it stands very
well as it is. (More impressive, maybe, considering the constraints of
the drabble form.)

Title: A Need To Know · Author: Pearl Took · Races: Hobbits: Post-Ring
War · ID: 776
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-14 04:57:40
Ah, Pearl, this was so very hobbity. I love your shrewd Farmer Cotton,
and his methods worked very well, didn't they? He knew just what
buttons to push, to find his answer. MEWD.

Title: A Mother's Touch · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Humor:
Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 44
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-14 04:59:50
Very original thought here: mundane subject plus Tolkien character
combined into a diverting read. The footnotes show a depth of research
comprising as many words as the story.

Title: Dangerous Place · Author: Ushmushmeifa · Genres: Drama: Minas
Tirith · ID: 590
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-14 05:00:12
Sadly wrenching, tragic in its detail. A plausible reason for a
decision made. Nice sketch, too, of the brothers' relationship.

Title: Time · Author: Bodkin · Races: Cross-Cultural: Gondor · ID: 414
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-14 05:01:00
Unusual and sensitively written story about Legolas' interest in a
mortal tragedy. The Elven archer, while exploring Ithilien with
Faramir, comes across an old and ruined house, and wonders as to the
fate of those who lived there.

Legolas' resolve to find the names of the unknown family and its
members makes for good juxtaposition of human and Elven attitudes
towards mortality and the value of individual life. Faramir is also
well-written; as is an OFC.

Title: Stirrings of Shadow · Author: Fiondil · Genres: Adventure:
Incomplete · ID: 233
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-14 05:08:50
One of the most believably written, and interesting, Rohan stories I
have yet read in Tolkien fanfiction - all the more laudable, since
Fiondil throws Thorongil and some Elves into the mix as well as
Thengel, Morwen and many other characters into the mix.

Aragorn-a.k.a.-Thorongil is quite honest about being raised in
Imladris, which is an interesting and refreshing development; thus
facilitating Elven/Rohirrim interaction.

There's a serio-comic arc in the beginning of the story that is
particularly readable; when Thorongil makes a very minor mistake in
speaking the Eorling language, and ends up in a dungeon, and then
faces Thengel-King's justice and punishment.

I am awestruck by the depth of Fiondil's language skills, not only in
the construction of words and sentences, but in the understanding of
the nuances and minutiae. The linguistic details don't clog the story,
but advance it. Fiondil's skill extends to the politics and customs of
the Mark; the reader feels that he/she is actually there in the realm
of the horse-lords.

I look forward to the continuance and end of the story.



Title: Tillecking Night in Bree · Author: Elen Kortirion · Races: Men:
General Drabble · ID: 455
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-14 05:13:16
The hobbit youngsters remind me of future Christmas Carolers; perhaps
this is the genesis of the custom in later Middle-earth. There's an
appropriate air of mystery surrounding the two Rangers; and the
drabble as a whole has a Dickensian flair.



Title: Clothes Make the Man · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres:
Humor: Drabble · ID: 625
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-10-14 08:06:23
So many things are being shown in this drabble, which is as smooth and
subtle and refreshing as Celeborn himself.

The characterizations are marvelous - all four of them, whether
speaking or non-speaking roles - and play out against each other
perfectly in this well-chosen setting, a "missing scene" from the
Appendices in RotK. First, there is a wonderful description of
Galadriel, which captures her overtly powerful presence and uses a
wholly apt metaphor to do so. Then, we receive a deft and insightful
look into Celeborn and Galadriel's relationship: Celeborn quietly
tolerating [Noldorin obsessions]; his gentle reassurance and
encouragement of Aragorn upon Galadriel's departure; and his oblique
support of his mate's plans, achieved in his own more subtle fashion.

["Humor her."] The concept of anyone humoring Galadriel still makes me
laugh aloud.

Aragorn's discomfort with the extravagant clothing pressed upon him is
well shown, and would be exactly my expectation of a wandering Ranger
with his sensibilities; and his reaction to the comment about Arwen
(who is indeed deep enough to look beyond mere fancy dress, title
notwithstanding) is simply priceless.

This is lovely, delightful, touching and humorous, all at once; a
highly nuanced and very enjoyable gift for any reader.

Title: A Queen Among Farmers' Wives · Author: Imhiriel · Genres:
Humor: Drabble · ID: 635
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-10-14 08:09:06
As a long-time married person myself, I always enjoy an inside look at
the various couples of Middle-earth. As she often does, Imhiriel draws
on the unusual and little-visited corners of Arda for her examination
of a humorous inter-marital spat (and make-up), by focusing on a
husband and wife team that gets even less attention in fanfiction, I
think, than it does in Tolkien's books.

It starts with an oblique tie-in to the enigmatic Tom Bombadil and the
hinted friendship between him and Farmer Maggot, who must have been
drunk indeed to wander back singing *that* song - a friendship that I
seldom recalled, actually, until Imhiriel's drabble gave me this
indelible image to imprint on my memory.

The title is a perfect play on Frodo's quote, with the twist of Mrs.
Maggot's promised greeting for her returning wayward husband. The
unexpected resolution always leaves me laughing and reflecting on the
resiliency of hobbits. In fact, the entire drabble gives me a definite
"hobbity" feeling, perhaps because of the irrepressible joy. And the
love, certainly the love.

This drabble is very charming, and well-written and so structured as
to paint a clear picture, with wonderful touches like the [off-key
singing] and [tapping his nose]. It never fails to leave me with a
delighted grin.

Title: Rauros, golden Rauros-falls · Author: Imhiriel · Genres: Humor:
Drabble · ID: 624
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-10-14 08:26:01
As many times as I've read this, I'm still guiltily snickering and
chuckling by the end of it... Poor Boromir. It's cruel enough that
Tolkien killed him off as a plot device to send Frodo and Sam off to
Mordor alone, thus robbing him of ever seeing his beloved Gondor
redeemed after a lifetime spent in fighting for it; and also
oh-so-conveniently removed one possible obstacle to Aragorn's ascension.

Fortunately, fanfiction has given readers the opportunity to see that
scenario revised, with varying degrees of success. Imhiriel plays on
that desire that so many possess, of having Boromir somehow live past
Parth Galen, and hands us a very funny twist on the premise. It would
not be nearly so successful if the writing did not call up so clearly
the vision of the funeral boat and Boromir's condition, and the
approaching "code red" situation.

Ah, if only Aragorn and Legolas's lament had lasted just a little bit
longer...

Title: Bathing Boromir · Author: Marta · Genres: Humor: Drabble · ID: 645
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-10-14 08:30:19
I really enjoy Ioreth's characterization here. In a bit of an
about-face from her somewhat silly portrayal in RotK, she is shown as
a strong individual dealing with simpering, dallying fools along with
her serious work of healing. I like her protective stance over the
beloved son of the Steward.

Title: To Represent the Elves · Author: Nieriel Raina · Genres: Humor
· ID: 810
Reviewer: Fiondil · 2007-10-14 12:48:59
This is a lovely glimpse at the attempts of some of the members of the
Fellowship in getting acquainted. Pippin (the youngest of the
Fellowship) and Legolas (the oldest, if one doesn't count Gandalf)
have a delightful conversation about playing games and whether one is
too old for them. I loved that Legolas, while the consummate Elf with
all the inherent poise of his race, can be tripped up by one Hobbit.

["Master Legolas, Pip!" Merry piped up from in front of them, and
Legolas nearly stumbled at the term. He preferred to dispense with
formalities.]

And Pippin's mendacious explanation of why he knows Legolas is an elf
is so typically hobbitish and hysterically funny.

Legolas' character is aptly delineated by such terse phrases
as:[...Legolas scouted ahead, watched and listened, counseled with
Aragorn and Gandalf, and avoided the dwarf and Man of Gondor. Silence
was his mantle, caution his guide.] Yet, he's not above a little
teasing, as he actually answers Pippin's question about his age just
so he can see the Hobbit's reaction. His response to Aragorn's teasing
was also funny.

Legolas may indeed be one of the youngest elves in all of
Middle-earth, yet he is quite capable of representing his race with
all the necessary grace required. I am sure Pippin and the other
Hobbits will make sure of that.

Msg# 8377

MEFA Reviews for November 4, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 04, 2007 - 5:51:17 Topic ID# 8377
Title: Gentlemen's Night Out · Author: Oshun · Genres: Humor: Gondor
or Rohan · ID: 181
Reviewer: Fiondil · 2007-10-14 13:22:50
In a letter to his son, Erchirion of Dol Amroth describes one certain
night after the Ring War in which he, Legolas, Elladan and Elrohir
discuss the merits of LACE and just how true it's description of
elvish sexuality really is. A rather humorous, fast-paced discussion
that had me laughing out loud in some parts ensues. Legolas describing
how young elves in Mirkwood were "initiated" into elvish sexuality was
quite the funniest part of the whole story and the Elrondion's
disgusted reaction to just who Legolas had enjoyed himself while on
the Quest was also hysterical. An interesting take on whether LACE
actually is a credible piece of literature or pure bunk.

Title: Maitimo and Findekáno · Author: Oshun · Genres: Romance: Second
Age or Earlier · ID: 57
Reviewer: Ignoble Bard · 2007-10-14 14:45:38
Those familiar with the Silmarillion know the histories of Findekáno
the Valiant and Maitimo, eldest son of Fëanor. What they might not
know is that their epic, and ultimately tragic, love story began in
the days of their youth on Tirion and Formenos. A lifelong friendship
becomes something deeper when, forced to spend a summer apart,
Findekáno finally has the courage to tell Maitimo what he has wanted
to tell him all along - that he loves him.

What follows is a timeless story, freshly realized, of the yearnings
of youth and the courageousness of love. The sense of innocence and
promise is beautifully captured in Oshun's story. The descriptions are
lush, the characters, especially Maitimo's large, boisterous family,
are recognizable and as varied as a group of siblings are inevitably
bound to be. It is also a nice touch that Fëanor sees his son's
relationship as a way to subtly dig his half brother, lending credence
to his acceptance of their, shall we say, unusual situation.

In the first blush of their relationship, Maitimo and Findekáno become
the metaphor for an idyllic world that will, all too soon, be
shattered by war and loss. The progress of their relationship though
this story and its sequel mirrors and deepens Tolkien's rendition of
friendship tested and victorious through catastrophic circumstances.

And besides, how many stories inspire one to put their feelings into
verse?

Raven hair, and eyes of blue,
The loyalty of a friend so true
Is a gift the Vala cannot equal
My breath is bated awaiting the sequel
For how can love so fair, divine
A love to stand all tests of time
Fail to spark within a reader
The poignant yearning of souls so tender
Fingon, Maedhros, from the start
Through all the ages, heart to heart





Title: He Came To Meet Me · Author: sophinisba solis · Genres: Romance
· ID: 33
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-14 15:02:57
Elegant and understated writing which seems very apt for the setting
of the story.

The land itself helping in repelling and hindering the invasion of the
Ruffians was a fascinating topic and it was described very vividly,
creating a real landscape in the North of the Shire that seems to fit
with what little we actually know canonically, and which clearly also
shaped its inhabitants.

You created an interesting background for Diamond, and I like it how
Pippin and she find together by walking through the wilderness, with
nothing said between them, but the undercurrent noticeable, until
Diamond's sudden but somehow inevitable ["please"].

Title: Fourth Age, Year 13 · Author: Dwimordene · Times: Fourth Age
and Beyond: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 628
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-14 15:04:31
A fast-paced story that captures well the concern and rush parents
might often feel seeing their children grow up, a time that seems in
hindsight to fly by so fast. The wistful tone of the narrative is
particularly apt.

The moments chosen to highlight each stage of growing up are
meaningful and vivid, at once universal and at the same time highly
personal and individual for Aragorn and his daughter.

And then - oh horror! - puberty has come, and everything that worked
wonderful until now between parents and child is suddenly wrong and
stupid.

I also like the brief allusions to events in the wider world, showing
that nobody grows up in a vacuum, and that in this New Age, children
are far more likely to be *allowed* to grow up in peace (in all senses
of the word), rather than be forced into adulthood and adult concerns
all too soon.

Title: Renewal · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 - 3017
TA: Drabble · ID: 692
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-14 15:06:19
This is an absolutely beautiful word-picture that you paint in this
drabble!

Nature restored, with an abudance of plants and flowers in a multitude
of colours, like a tapestry. The colours of the rocks complement those
of the flowers, and even the buildings the people have erected are
interwoven smoothly into this natural landscape.

Everything seems to live in harmony, a concept strenghtened by the way
the different noises seem to blend to a melody, regardless of whether
they come from nature, from artificial sources like bells, from
animals or the people who tend them.

Framing this impression as something that Bilbo experiences with
surprise and, I imagine, delight, was a graceful touch at the end.

The accompanying photo fits perfectly - what a breath-taking view!

Title: Journey Home · Author: Dot · Races: Elves: With Mirkwood Elves
· ID: 102
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-14 15:07:05
The point of view of the young warrior is used very effectively, it
lets the readers experience what he experiences and feels very
directly, especially at the beginning when his circumstances gradually
reveal themselves.

The tight, narrow focus which widens to take in more of his
surroundings as he begins to heal fits very well with what someone in
his situation would actually register, I think, and so supports the
narrative wonderfully.

Nendir is an engaging original character I felt immediate sympathy
for, in his desire to prove himself a worthy warrior, but feeling just
so inexperienced and helpless.

It was interesting to see Legolas as a good, caring leader of the men
under his command, comforting and bracing, taking their minds from
their injuries.

Title: Who The Sword Devours · Author: Nancy Brooke · Races: Men · ID: 364
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-14 15:08:56
Resonant, compelling prose, employing evocative imagery that seems to
give life even to inanimate things and concepts.

The descriptions are at once very visceral and immediate, down to the
most gritty and base details, and at the same time, the language is
tantalisingly elusive.

Boromir's pride, his "masterfulness", his confidence almost bordering
on vanity, his fierce possessiveness where Gondor is concerned,
communicate themselves from the very first lines onward, but also his
supreme skills as a commander and leader of men, who knows his
soldiers and knows how to handle them.

The story of David, Uriah and Bathsheba is transposed smoothly into a
Middle-earth context; I could really see how the Boromir you were
drawing might be led to such a dark path by this searing temptation.

The description of the terror the Nazgûl evoke was one of the most
spine-chilling, scary and affective depiction I have read.

Title: The Love of Lore · Author: Oshun · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 271
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-14 15:10:37
Two sweet little interlinked pieces, showcasing in a touching and
engaging way Faramir as the scholar requested in the prompt for the
story, in two different stages of his life. The story exemplify well
the ["love of lore"] of the title.

The descriptions are evocative, conveying individual appearance and
actions vividly.

First, we are shown Faramir, already a curious and bookish person when
very young. Later in life, he bequeathes these characteristics to his
own son Elboron.

The short but memorable cameo by an obviously already failing
Finduilas, added much to the poignancy of the tender scene between the
two brothers.

I like how the persons he interacts with clearly support and
appreciate this side of Faramir, first Boromir, and later Aragorn.

Title: The Case of the Purloined Mushrooms · Author: Inkling · Genres:
Mystery · ID: 298
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-14 15:13:05
A really delightful, witty story; well-paced, and well-plotted; with
lively dialogues.

The narrator is a marvellous original character, in all senses of the
word "original". He is a complex, engaging character, opinionated,
entertaining, fond of his leisurely job and the news, recipes and food
it provides him with on his rounds, and rather accidentally takes on
the role of sleuth.

The other characters are equally wonderful, regardless of whether they
are orignal or canonical ones. The portrayals of the known Hobbits,
like Bilbo, Frodo and Sam were spot-on, and Dora Baggins's character
was credibly extrapolated from what little there is written of her in
the books.

The customs and pecularities you built around the Hobbits' known
fondness for mushrooms and show in actual detail or just in brief
allusions or references were a constant highlight of the tale,
especially in showing to just which extremes Hobbits will go in this
regard, and interwoven smoothly into a believable picture of Hobbit
society in general.

And a tasty-sounding recipe as an extra service - yumm!

Title: A Game of Chess · Author: Altariel · Genres: Romance: Gondor ·
ID: 609
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-14 15:17:01
Formal but flowing language, very realistic, complex characterisations
and relationships.

I like the way this story is set up, with the three narrators taking
turns in telling a chapter: it makes it easy to see how their
different experiences and attitudes contribute to misconceptions and
misperceptions and thus to the problems in the marriage.

The story depicts in realistic stages how a relationship can (nearly)
founder due to too little communication or miscommunication. It also
shows how much patience, tolerance and will is needed to repair the
damage.

It is also a very good portrayal of PTSD (and I thought
["war-fettered"] was a clever description), not only of the symptons
themselves and how they influence those that suffer them, but also
what a strain it can be on their environment.

I personally don't see Denethor as physically abusive, and Faramir
less shaped by his disapproval, and also by his war experiences, but I
can accept the way it is laid out consistently here and in other
stories of the "Unabeauverse".

Title: A Hobbit's Tale · Author: Pearl Took · Genres: Poetry: With
Hobbits · ID: 253
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-14 15:18:00
Engagingly told. I like how the story of TH was "summarised" in the
poem and framed by the story of Bilbo as the old story-teller. The
flashbacks and on the other hand foreshadowing to events of LotR that
are alluded to give the poem an ominous tone, in particular the last line.

The first stanza, with direct speech by Bilbo, is like an invitation
to the readers themselves. The narration then goes on to describe the
actual story-telling, seguing more and more into the tale itself. And
towards the end, the foreshadowings enable a look to the future,
before it ends again, in full circle, with Bilbo.

Title: Better Days Ahead · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Humor:
Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 51
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-14 15:19:05
Marvellous use of language! The character of Shagrat comes truly alive
here, and it really really reads like a pep talk for his fellows. You
used what little Orcish expressions and slang can be found in the
books, and expanded on it logically.

This unusual point of view on how the West vanquished Sauron seems
perfectly understandable - hey, Sauron himself *did* use the proper
forms of engagement, for example when he sent the Mouth of Sauron to
parlay! Frodo's and Sam's task must, of course, look like an
underhanded sneak attack to Shagrat and his ilk.

His plans for the future sound very ominous, and if through Arwen's
descendants something of the Elves still lives on in Mankind, then it
seems reasonable to assume (if horrific to contemplate) that also some
Orcish traits might have been passed on.

As one who likes black humour, my favourite passage was the one near
the end beginning with ["Nah,"].

Title: Temptation · Author: Linda hoyland · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851
- 3017 TA: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 419
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-14 15:44:34
A very nicely written drabble, in which Thorongil's compassion leads
him, seemingly, towards temptation. It's good to see Aragorn in a
moment of human weakness (almost), though Aragorn/Arwen purists need
not fear for his honor.The descriptive details, though they deal with
scenes of a "less than savory nature" are well written – the young
courtesan's hair smelling of jasmine was a very nice touch.

Title: A Rohan Tapestry · Author: shirebound · Races: Hobbits:
Hurt/Comfort · ID: 96
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-14 15:49:33
I'm not sure that I've encountered many stories involving the hobbits
during their stay in Rohan, on the way back to the Shire, so I found
this an unusual and enjoyable read. I particularly liked Eomer's
interactions with the hobbits, and the observation that the new king
of Rohan was younger than Pippin! My heart ached for Merry as he
suffered recurrences of the Black Breath due to his emotional
fragility over King Theoden's death;it was good to see that
relationship drawn out a bit.

A unique touch was the vivid description of the visit to the caves of
Aglarond - it sounded exactly like the caverns I've visited here in
Virginia. A nice, additional surprise in a deftly written story.

Title: The Green Hill · Author: Baranduin · Races: Cross-Cultural: The
Fellowship · ID: 562
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-14 15:50:50
Even for no other reason, I would have loved this story just for the
line [It was not a laugh he'd heard from Aragorn before—young and
carefree and barely tinged with sorrow.] which absolutely stopped me
in my tracks. When have we ever seen Aragorn laughing and playful, so
bewitched and besotted from falling in love that he can't remember a
word that was said?

[It wasn't a smile on Aragorn's face now; it was a grin, a big toothy,
goofy grin. And young, oh his face was so young now.] I was deeply
touched by this vision of slightly-lovesick Aragorn recalling joyful
past days on the hill of Cerin Amroth. And Frodo, dear Frodo, sounding
both wistful and wise as he confides his vision of the future. At the
time in which they are speaking they have no idea what the future
holds, save desperation and sorrow and pain, but the gift of hope that
Frodo holds out to his friend is precious and heartwarming to both
Aragorn, and us as well.

Title: Soap · Author: Aliana · Genres: Alternate Universe: Gondor or
Rohan · ID: 552
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-14 15:52:53
This startling and imaginative post-modern gapfiller to 2006 MEFA
Award Winner "Fallen" showcases Aliana's droll humor and sense of the
ridiculous. It's actually like a M*A*S*H/ Return of the King
crossover, featuring one of the unnamed nurses we see running in the
opening credits, and an ambulatory (and semi-talkative) young patient.
Professor Tolkien would be scratching his head down to the scalp if he
read this, but Larry Gelbart, et al, would be standing and applauding.
The description of Crazy Lou's Fast Food and Sushi Bar is priceless –
we've all been there, and we recognized it instantly, whether it was
called Santeremo's (in Alamosa, Colorado), or More Than Coffee (in
Blacksburg. Virginia), or just plain Cheers in Boston. It's the place
where everybody goes.

Aside from the perfectly realized absurdity, though, there's a beauty
and lyricism to Aliana's writing that is unmatched anywhere in our
fandom. Beren's analogy of his pain to a soap bubble [beautiful soap
bubble of denial, little rainbow patches swimming around on the
glycerine surface] is heartaching, as is that climactic moment when
his carefully constructed facade all comes apart: [Outside, he falls
to pieces. It's like being cut with a very sharp blade; for a second
you know it's happened but there's no pain, and then… The bubble's
popped, the rainbow swirls are gone, and the inside of his mouth
tastes like nothing but salt and bitterness.] Nobody, NOBODY, writes
like Aliana, and we are fortunate to have the opportunity to watch her
develop her writing gifts and talents, to take risks, to discover and
nurture her unique voice.

Title: Charms of Wisdom and Grace · Author: annmarwalk · Genres:
Drama: Ithilien · ID: 460
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-14 18:07:27
A lovely Faramir and Eowyn ficlet with a delight image of Faramir at
the loom weaving a coverlet for his son in the hope it will protect
him when he becomes a soldier.

How appropriate a man like Faramir should want to share the weaving
with his wife.

This story conveys the depth of Faramir's love for his wife and family
and Eowyn's too in a few words.

Title: Freddy and the Thain's Rabbit · Author: grey_wonderer · Races:
Hobbits · ID: 251
Reviewer: pippinfan88 · 2007-10-14 22:24:32
This brilliant artist and author has once again out done herself with
this most lovely story. Grey Wonderer has created the world of one
stuffed toy rabbit, an original character named Errol, and has
chronicled his own adventures through several stories with a
well-known hobbit that we all know and love - Pippin. However, this
curious story takes a different turn where Pippin is not directly
involved with Errol this time, however, another child is and the
reader grows to love this child throughout the story.

Without going too deep into the details of this wonderful story, Errol
once again expains where he is, why is there, and does not hesitate to
speak his mind on a particular subject or of a particular person,
whether they be good, bad, or beloved. Whenever Errol is involved in a
story, I can be guarranteed that I will be using a handkerchief at the
end! As with all of her stories that are Errol-centric, Grey Wonderer
can make a reader laugh and then cry within the same paragraph. Her
character, Errol, can take his readers on a virtual emotional
rolercoaster throughout the story.

This talented author's stories are always well written and well
crafted, enrapturing the reader from the first word to the last. And I
especially love her Errol series.

Title: First Flight · Author: Isabeau of Greenlea · Times: Mid Third
Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 513
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-10-15 00:54:27
Oh, this is a lot of fun! It was nice to see Radagast in a "normal"
interaction with his birds, and nice fleshing out of Gwaihir's name as
well.

Title: An Expansion of the Family Influence · Author: Auntiemeesh ·
Times: Early Third Age: 1-2850 TA · ID: 819
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-10-15 00:54:38
This a nice fleshing out of an important chapter of hobbit history. I
particularly liked the attention paid to the economic situation that
would have led to the expansion; it made the events seem plausible and
hilighted hobbity perseverance and generosity quite nicely.

Title: Inroads · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races: Men: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 45
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-10-15 00:56:42
[Warning: This review has spoilers for some plot details.]

It's really nice to think that at least some Gondorians recognized the
good that Eowyn did at Pelennor. Though the image of the girl's mother
being surprised that Eowyn could speak Sindarin was priceless, too.
Excellent writing all around.

Title: No Escape · Author: Aranel Took · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 -
3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 324
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-10-15 00:56:59
I'm a sucker for original characters. And dwarves. And especially
dwarven characters. So obviously there's a lot about this drabble that
appealed to me, and when I realized what exactly the author was doing
I definitely smiled. Yet, I'm not sure that my personal tastes fully
account for how much I liked this drabble. It's a nice gapfiller, and
really gets at the dwarven spirit well. But there is also something
more fundamental going on here: at a base level, it's about a mother
protecting her children, and that seems to transcend every culture.
It's very affective both at telling a uniquely dwarven story and a
moment that could have been many different characters at different
points in Middle-earth's history. Brava, Aranel!

Title: The Far Corner of the Garden · Author: annmarwalk · Genres:
Drama: Ithilien · ID: 554
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-10-15 00:58:07
[Warning: This review contains spoilers for some plot details.]

Oh, this was gorgeous, Ann! There is a lot of healing going on here:
first for Ithilien, but also for Eowyn, that she would plan this kind
of thing rather than thinking of grand plans to save her whole
country. It takes a lot of psychological healing to be able to take
such joy in the small every-day things. And I found it a glorious
touch that she could think of grave-flowers as not *just*
grave-flowers. All and all, a lovely slice of life for Ithilien's
first couple.

Title: A Song of Silence · Author: Nessime · Races: Men · ID: 156
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-10-15 00:58:58
This story has so much of what I always love about Nessime's stories.
There are only peripheral mentions (and one brief scene) with canon
characters, and the people that populate this story are for the most
part her own invention - yet they are every inch Rohirrim, in Eohere's
ability to handle horses, the warrior's ethic, and the importance of
weaving tapestries. This piece really captures the pathos of the women
of Rohan, and it made me identify with the sacrifices of Tolkien's
characters as well.

Title: The Rose in the Fisted Glove · Author: Jael · Genres: Drama:
Second Age or Earlier · ID: 240
Reviewer: Ignoble Bard · 2007-10-15 02:30:49
This was one of the first of this author's stories I read and I was
immediately impressed with her command of language and the profundity
of her plotting and characterization. Since then I have come to expect
stories that not only entertain but are thought provoking as well.

In "The Rose in the Fisted Glove" what might have been a simple pwp in
the hands of a lesser author - Thranduil's servant and squire offers
him "warrior's comfort" on the eve of battle during the Last Alliance
- becomes a tale of wisdom attained and nobility affirmed in the face
of unexpected tragedy. Along the way Thranduil learns some unforeseen
lessons about himself and his squire, and a bitter life lesson as
well, all on his way to becoming the king who ruled Mirkwood during
its darkest days without the benefit of a ring of power. Mirkwood and
its history does not have much canon background outside of "The
Hobbit", yet it comes wholeheartedly alive in this and the author's
many other tales.

The universe Jael has created, centered around Thranduil and the Elves
of Mirkwood, rivals, and in most cases, surpasses that of the some of
the best fanfiction authors and even, dare I say it, Tolkien himself,
in its scope and depth. A feat made all the more amazing when one
considers the comparatively short time she has been crafting her
tales. This is a pivotal moment in that universe and one well worth
adding to your wish or favorites list.

Msg# 8378

MEFA Reviews for November 4, 2007 (Part 2) Posted by Ann November 04, 2007 - 5:52:33 Topic ID# 8378
Title: Not an Ordinary Day · Author: nau_tika · Genres: Drama: The
Fellowship · ID: 737
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-15 02:34:03
This was a truly delightful story which lifted my heart to read.On the
surface,it concerns Pippin causing an unfortunate accident to
Legolas,but the heart of the story is friendship and mutual support,
something we all need and can identify with.

Pippin is mortified in having hurt Legolas, but everyone tries to make
him feel better,especially Boromir and Aragorn. I found Pippin's scene
with Aragorn,especially touching and the reminder that we all mistakes
and should not judge harshly is a very good point on which to conclude.

I had forgotten just how much I'd enjoyed this story on my first
reading and it was a pleasure to return to it.

Title: Black Eyes · Author: Lialathuveril · Genres: Romance: With
Rohirrim · ID: 177
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-15 03:15:35
This second of Lialathuveril's charming Eomer/Lothiriel romances is
one of the best of the genre - crackling with wit, tension, and good
dialogue. The plot is fine too; with a genuine crisis that is
particularly believable. I like Lothiriel being, as the daughter of a
great military captain, conversant in both military strategy and the
practical aspects of provisioning.

Title: The Tragedye of Leaflet, Prince of Mirkwood · Author: Jael ·
Genres: Humor: Parody · ID: 243
Reviewer: Ignoble Bard · 2007-10-15 03:26:15
Odds bodkins, what a tale rests herein! Hark and I shall list its many
japes and jests as they fall just so, trippingly from my fingers. 'Tis
a tale full of sound and fury, signifying laughter, as Leaflet and his
trusty companion, Aragorn (Now tell me, who deservest to be the hero
and who the sidekick in these tales?) return to Mirkwood to find an
unfortunate elleth being laid to rest by two ribald gravediggers. But
the tale endeth not there as it is discovered the elleth hath died of
boredome waiting for her attentions to be returned by Prince Leaflet,
who only has eyes for… anyone of the male persuasion as it wouldst seem.

Much skullduggery ensueth as Leaflet and Aragorn chat up the
gravediggers until the guest of honor arrives, along with King
Thranduil and his retinue. Yet something remaineth rotten in the woods
of mirk as the Elves canst resist engaging in a bit of gamesmanship
over the corpse as to who loveth the fair Orofiriel more.

A great little ficlet for lovers of Shakespeare and humor alike, this
is a great send up of both the Immortal Bard and the conventions of
LOTR. Tryeth it, and thou shallst regreteth it not.

Title: Mardil Goes A-Courting · Author: Le Rouret · Genres: Humor:
Gondor or Rohan · ID: 366
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-15 04:28:20
This amusing story is a delightful read.The characters are somewhat
more informal than my personal view of them, but the writer makes them
very likeable and the tale is enjoyable.

Title: Romancing the Smut · Author: Llinos · Genres: Poetry: With
Hobbits · ID: 797
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-15 04:33:57
This was very funny!

Title: An Unexpected Party · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Humor: Drabble
· ID: 16
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-15 04:36:37
This was both clever and hilarious as the very talented author manages
to skillfully combine Tolkien's Dwarfs with Disneys!

Title: The Tragedye of Leaflet, Prince of Mirkwood · Author: Jael ·
Genres: Humor: Parody · ID: 243
Reviewer: Oshun · 2007-10-15 04:45:11
What a wonderful, well-crafted story. It raises the bar for the genre
of comedy/parody. I particularly love how it takes on Hamlet and wins!
Oh, dear, I cannot even write this review about it without laughing.
The lady knows her Shakespeare and also is not afraid to give him a
poke or two, mild ones in comparison to what she does to Tolkien
fanfic slash, however! Ouch! It helps to be familiar with some of the
worst clichés of the genre, but certainly is not necessary to
appreciate this story.

That poor girl--the dead one I mean. She gets even more sympathy from
me than the real Ophelia did (is histrionic the word I want?). Love
the gravediggers and their songs. The mix-ups and misunderstandings
are handled just right. Legolas and Aragorn are adorable.

I don't necessarily agree or intend to defend the scholars who claim
that Shakespeare's comedies are better than his tragedies, but
something of the overworked student still lives in me I think, for me
to get such a thrill out of Hamlet-the-Comedy. (He did go on and on,
didn't he? Took himself a bit seriously, I would say.) Now Jael will
probably hunt me down and beat me with a stick, because she clearly
knows and loves her Shakespeare.


Title: Coda · Author: Imhiriel · Times: Second Age: Drabble · ID: 627
Reviewer: Oshun · 2007-10-15 05:02:37
This is one of the absolute best drabbles that I have ever read. It is
heartbreaking for me to think of the book being lost (I know, I'm
probably missing the main point here, but haven't we all dreamed of
how wonderful it would be to get our hands on am actual text of the
Noldolantë). I also like to think about Maglor's relationship to Elros
and Elrond and this drabble is satisfying in that it leads me to think
about another possible aspect of that. My opinion that the drabble is
a much misused format is only reinforced by reading one like this,
which take the convention and uses it as it should be used--Taking not
one but two intriguing subjects (the story of Maglor, Elros and Elrond
as well as the destruction of Númenor) and exploring them in so few words.

Title: Rage · Author: Deandra · Genres: Drama: Minas Tirith · ID: 353
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-15 05:03:37
A new and rather different spin on the romance of Eomer and Lothiriel
- in this tale; Eomer is not the appealing studly horse-lord we've
come to know and love; but a man who bears his own scars from the Ring
War.

Interesting and appealing story, with good chemistry between Eomer and
Lothiriel; the latter being gentle and well-mannered but no pushover.

Title: To Represent the Elves · Author: Nieriel Raina · Genres: Humor
· ID: 810
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-15 05:07:51
An amusing and delightful story in which Pippin asks Legolas a lot of
questions and is amazed by the Elf's great age.I personally,would find
so many questions annoying but then, though I consider myself quite
ancient,in the eyes of the Elves, I'm hardly more than an infant!
I loved the way the writer depicts the growing friendship betwen Elf
and Hobbit here, a friendship not often explored in fanfic.

Title: Bonfires of Trust, Flashfloods of Pain · Author: Klose ·
Genres: Drama: Second Age or Earlier · ID: 413
Reviewer: Oshun · 2007-10-15 05:25:38
This is a moving and intriguing account of some of the reasons why
Fingolfin chose to follow Fëanor from Aman. Canon, of course, sums it
up rather tersely as his desire not to leave the leadership of his
people in the hands of Fëanor. Klose explores in detail other personal
aspects of that story.

Her look at the family relationships, at Fingolfin's love for his
children, Fingon, in particular, and on the other hand for his wife,
are convincing and psychologically authentic. The part where Fingolfin
describes his memories of Fingon injuring himself as a young child and
looking to his parents to make it better is heart-wrenching.

The small details and large considerations of the motivation for the
separation of Fingolfin and Anairë is devastating. As Klose writes
it,.its inevitability makes it no less painful. Many of us writing
fanfiction are very partisan in holding onto to motivations for
characters, created with the little bits and pieces we have cobbled
together from canon to develop our own stories, or the back stories
that support them. This story impresses me because, despite the fact
that I hold somewhat different opinions of how or why Fingolfin might
have made his choices, Klose has caused me, at very least for the
course of her short story, to suspend all of those and accept her
telling of it.

Title: Calm after the Storm · Author: Imhiriel · Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 350
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-10-15 06:39:53
I really enjoyed this one, being of the firm opinion that there can
never, ever be enough Nekkid!Imrahil. Or Almost Nekkid!Imrahil.
Beautiful images-the sense of heat and weariness come through, as well
as the refreshment of the plunge.


Title: Maiden Voyage · Author: Fawsley · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Drabble · ID: 654
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-10-15 16:33:55
This wonderfully captures that moment when intention becomes reality,
as the voyagers realize they have finally left home behind.

Title: Through Shadows · Author: Marta · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: General Drabble · ID: 620
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-10-15 16:39:41
This is such an interesting drabble. Gimli is caught here at a moment
of transition in a voyage filled with transition. He rejects his
people's traditions ["No true dwarf would take an Outsider to
Kheled-zâram"], allies himself with the outside world. However, in
putting his faith in Frodo, he is rewarded, as the Hobbit is shown to
be worthy of the trust of all Dwarves. By defying his own customs,
Gimli places the fate, and faith, of his people into the Ringbearer's
hands.

Title: Another Doom · Author: mrkinch · Races: Men: Gondor Drabble ·
ID: 663
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-10-15 16:41:39
This is an interesting portrait of Boromir, motivated by and seeking
salvation in what may very well be his own doom.

Title: Duty and Devotion · Author: Marta · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 411
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-15 23:57:29
We know Beregond left his post indeed to seek to protect his beloved
Captain Faramir, but in this ficlet we see the precise thinking that
led to the decision. What devotion the younger son of Denethor
inspired in the men who sought to protect Gondor!

Title: Missing · Author: conniemarie · Races: Hobbits: Vignette · ID: 731
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-16 00:20:25
These four vignettes--Merry and Pippin worried for what has occurred
with Frodo and Sam, Marigold and Rosie seeking to scry for where Sam
might be, Esmeralda demanding of her brother that Paladin tell her
what might have happened to their sons, and Sam watching over Frodo as
the Ring takes Its toll of him as they struggle along the road into
and through Mordor--are heartbreaking. Based on movie-verse, they yet
show the characters from book-verse.

Excellent images, and well communicated mood.

Title: The Yuletide Festival Feast Song · Author: Llinos · Genres:
Poetry: With Hobbits · ID: 802
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-16 00:26:04
With such a list of viands, the Yule feast cannot be anything but
filling! A good deal of fun to read.

Title: Late Start, Early Finish · Author: Lily Baggins · Genres:
Humor: Parody · ID: 602
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-16 00:32:43
Too old?

Title: Sunshine and Roses · Author: shirelinghpc · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Gondor · ID: 531
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-16 00:51:57
Merry and Pippin have one another, while Frodo recovers on his own--or
perhaps not. But when he sees that Sam is growing increasingly
isolated as no one appears to notice his pain, Faramir grows
increasingly concerned, until his taking the gardener apart and
speaking with him causes a crisis. Now the therapy prescribed by the
King allows Sam to find his own way.

I wish I could see Sam's final gift to Faramir myself!

Title: Charms of Wisdom and Grace · Author: annmarwalk · Genres:
Drama: Ithilien · ID: 460
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-16 00:55:17
Signs of love can take so many forms; and in this companion to Ann's
weaving song we see it taking an unusual shape under Faramir's hands.

Love and easing expressed, as always with Annmarwalk, so eloquently,

Title: Debbie Does The Two Towers · Author: GypsieRose · Genres:
Alternate Universe · ID: 747
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-16 01:22:57
A rousing AU parody epic, starring the irrepressible self-insert Mary
Sue to beat all Mary Sues, Debbie. Debbie of course conquers all, via
sex or psychoanalysis or common sense, with pepper spray and karate to
subdue those pesky Uruk-hai.

Nothing is to be taken seriously here; and the sex, which, considering
that Debbie is well-built and accomodating, is not graphic, more
usually cleverly mentioned rather than vividly described. The girl
goes through practically every male participant in both book and
movie, from Elrond to Aragorn to the hobbits and some Ents; and
rallies the troops at Helm's Deep.

The narrative and the dialogue are quite brisk; and the plot,
improbable as it is, makes a kind of zany, tongue-in-cheek sense. Not
for the kiddies, but not unsafe for older teens either...

I've always loved a good parody, and this one fits the bill. Highly
recommended; as are the other installments in the series.

Title: In the Waiting · Author: Altariel · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 392
Reviewer: Ignoble Bard · 2007-10-16 01:34:58
Another excellent piece from Altariel of Faramir's musings after
letting Frodo and Sam continue their journey to Mordor..This is an
amazing little vignette featuring Faramir. Faramir is a difficult
character to write well, at least in my opinion, because he has such
emotional depth, and no one brings that out like Altariel. She is a
consummate observer of the human condition and her stories are always
a treat to read.

Faramir's moment of introspection is both a great character piece and
an insightful look into the family dynamic that makes the ring leave
him cold where his brother was driven to desperation. The final lines
are chilling and gave me a whole new appreciation of the risks Faramir
took by following the path he chose.


Title: Reunion · Author: Larner · Genres: Drama · ID: 727
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-16 01:54:10
Poignant and touching story of the last days of Sam, as he makes the
decision to journey to the Undying Lands, his reunion with Frodo, and
their ultimate fate. Larner is a sensitive storyteller with an
affinity for hobbits.

Interesting connections between Aragorn and the two hobbits; and the
White Trees (one in Minas Tirith, the other in the West).

Title: The Departure of Boromir · Author: Narnian Sprite · Genres:
Drama · ID: 622
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-16 02:06:17
A stirring, rather majestic account of Boromir's death and passage
beyond it. I like the way Boromir's spirit opens up to the world
beyond Middle-earth, and eternity

Msg# 8379

MEFA Reviews for November 5, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 05, 2007 - 4:17:10 Topic ID# 8379
Title: Letter to Frodo · Author: AmandaK · Genres: Alternate Universe:
Gondor or Rohan · ID: 540
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-10-16 12:31:57
[This review contains spoilers]

This is an interesting tale. If Boromir did survive Amon Hen, I can
very easily see him grappling with what he did to Frodo, and I found
the writing and subsequent burning of the letter to be a very apt
device to get to the heart of the matter. Boromir fans won't want to
miss this one.

Title: Are You Going to Leave Me? · Author: Llinos · Genres: Drama:
With Merry · ID: 142
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 15:36:46
I think I never before noticed how in the film Merry's place beneath
his foes, with only his foot sticking out, mirrors Pippin's position
in the book.

This is indeed a nice gap-filler for the scene in the film. It makes
judicious choice of both movie and book characterisations. What a
clever answer to the question of how to get Merry up to the Houses of
Healing, and how it came to be that later he rode with Éomer to the
Black Gate!

Title: In the Hours of Joy · Author: Spindle Berry · Genres: Drama:
With Merry · ID: 289
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 15:37:46
Merry's emotions are palpable, even through the indirect way of
showing them through Gimli's eyes. I thought this choice of PoV was a
good move, as it could set what the Hobbit felt more into perspective,
bring it into sharper relief against the backdrop of everything else
that is happening.

Gimli's steadfast, unobtrusive companionship to Merry was wonderful,
as was Legolas' friendship in his turn for Gimli.

I admit when Merry left the tent and Gimli remarked that something had
changed, I was at the edge of my seat, could only draw breath when
Merry told him that Pippin had awoken - even though I knew Pippin
would recover!

Title: A Mother's Touch · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Humor:
Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 44
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 15:40:25
The incongruity of juxtaposing the tenderness of the scene between
mother and offspring with the *nature* of said protagonists creates a
hilarious picture, while still the readers can enjoy the interaction.
It seems mothers face the same problems where their children are
concerned, regardless of race or time...

Each word is carefully chosen for the greatest effect in this
"double-layered" narrative, whether to conceal the unexpected twist
for a long time, or spring it on the unsuspecting readers (I remember
I did a double take on my first read of this story; as I hadn't read
the summary, I had really been taken in).

The characterisations are very appropriate, and despite the "everyday"
subject of the story, the disctinctive natures are still recognisable.
Especially the mother really is a very fascinating character - I wish
we would see more of her! The dialogue flows very naturally, even the
archaic form Readfah uses to address her son fits perfectly, and gives
the scene an even more loving, intimate feeling.

I also very much enjoyed the author's notes, which added even more
layers to this delightful double-drabble.

Title: A Texas Gay Boy in King Thranduil's Court · Author: Ignoble
Bard · Genres: Humor: Parody · ID: 182
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 15:40:54
An outrageously irreverent romp, plundering all sorts of fandom
conventions (mostly those prone to turn out bad!fics) and poking fun
at them at the same time. I especially enjoyed the way lines from the
films were twisted, Mike's impersonation of Wilhelm Tell, and the
arrow-procuring methods.

Title: Poking The Badger · Author: grey_wonderer · Genres: Humor: The
Shire or Buckland · ID: 209
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 15:42:40
The interaction between the characters was well-written, the deep
affection both cousins feel for each other was conveyed clearly. The
dialogue in particular was really well-done, everything Pippin did or
did not say was exactly wrong, a perfect example of "talking at
cross-purpose". I also liked their reminiscences about the things
before and after their "growth spurt".

Title: A Passing Troll · Author: Dreamflower · Genres: Humor: The
Shire or Buckland · ID: 210
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 15:43:56
I really love how this story is structured - it contributes much to
the effectiveness of the dark, dark humour (especially on a re-read):
Everything about what actually happened is merely implied and
presented *after* the fact, and yet the readers can easily piece
together the events.

I can't help feeling pity for both Hyacinth and the troll both.
Hyacinth, because as awful and even downright evil as she had shown
herself to be (particularly for a Hobbit), this was neverthelesee a
gruesome end. And the Troll, because he was driven by hunger to bit
off more than he could chew (pun very much intended *g*).

Title: More than Meets the Eye · Author: Dadgad · Genres: Humor: The
Shire or Buckland · ID: 128
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 15:44:59
Effective use of the PoV of outsiders to shed light on the Battle of
Greenfields. Good balance between telling the seriousness of battle
and some light-hearted or downright comical touches.

The viewpoint of the twins helped to set the Hobbits' battle into a
larger historical context. It also helped to better visualise the
battle strategies in an "overview" manner, rather than being caught in
the confusion in the midst of it.

I like how the Elves - and obviously the Orcs - like so many after
them (and I'm sure before them) underestimated the peaceable Hobbits
and were shown just how resourceful and determined they were in a pinch.

Title: The Stone of Erebor · Author: Primsong · Genres: Mystery · ID: 401
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 15:46:52
This may be the first story I have read about Bilbo's second journey
to the Lonely Mountain, and it was a gripping adventure, packed with
drama, suspense, mystery and humour, good characterisations and a
fascinating look into the reconstructed Dwarf-Kingdom.

The story shows a believable picture of a society so much focused on
secrecy, artistic skills, and the material side of things (not merely
regarding the price of things, but also their aesthetic worth).

The behaviour of the Dwarves was often such a puzzle to Bilbo (and to
the readers), but it really helped to establish them as a completely
different culture, based on completely different values, attitudes and
temperaments.

The tension between Dáin and Thórin's Company was interesting, and I
was really indignant on Bilbo's behalf at the King's discourtesy and
suspicion.

The portrayal of Bilbo was marvellous and completely in character;
quite a few lines of dialogue or introspection had the "flavour" of
TH; I enjoyed his craftiness and resourcefulness in particular.

There were many delightful passages, but I think Bilbo's boasting to a
rather rude Dwarfish jewel-smith was my favourite:
["I am the Mathom-Wielder, the Poet Scribe of the Hill! I have spoken
to the Gaffer himself many times, and have driven the Motley
Treasure-Seekers from my land singlehanded! Those of great strength
have stood in my presence silent, as if turned to stone."]

Title: "A Cat Of A Different Color" · Author: Cathleen · Genres:
Mystery · ID: 385
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 15:47:12
The beginning of the story sets the scene very evocatively. Merry, as
someone who likes to have the overview and organise things, strikes me
as a good viewpoint character: through his eyes we get insightful
descriptions of the other characters.

The narrative flows smoothly, even if the dialogue is a little stilted
from time to time.


Title: A Dragon in Buckland · Author: Pearl Took · Genres: Mystery ·
ID: 206
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 15:47:57
Well-plotted story - building the suspense for the mystery was done
excellenty. The way the "dragon" is used for repaired items, for toys
and gifts (and against bullies), is charming. It seems perfect for
mischievous but great-hearted Pippin (I especially liked his note to
Saradoc about being ["a good son"] for his ailing father).

The ideas for Merry's upbringing as future Master of Buckland were
very interesting, and I can readily imagine him as the ["hands on"
sort of lad] he is described as in the story, as well as the
similarities and differences to Pippin's upbringing in Whitwell.

I liked the "magic" in the end: even though Pippin was prepared to do
his part, he had help from a "real" dragon (and I liked the tale that
sparked the idea for the little circle). But I was very sorry that
Pippin himself hadn't seen it.

Title: Drawn With Love · Author: MerryK · Genres: Drama: Youth · ID: 569
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-10-16 16:22:15
Oh goodness,MerryK, this story had an 'awww' factor of 7+. Great tale.
Of course, I absolutely adore your Boromir and could well see him
creating such a thing. My hubby was an engineer and knew how to draw
very well, usually blueprints, but other things as well, when he put
his mind to it.

I loved the opening quote - and am going to save it. I loved the map -
I want one - does Boromir have ANY idea how many 'fans' would love to
have such a map??? Frustrating trying to find a really good one. Even
using Karen's Atlas isnt' quite the same as this one appears to be. I
always thought his father would have been a good cartographer. Seems
it runs in the family. Dearest Faramir will learn this art too!

You painted such a sad picture of Faramir, broken hearted at his loss,
that I almost cried here at work. Not good! And the gentleness of
Boromir with his little brother is beautiful to behold. I loved the
confidence that Boromir took into the project! Yes! I loved Faramir's
confidence in his brother. I loved Boromir's trying to be a 'man' and
not cry. His thinking he had 'recovered' from the grief of his
mother's death was so sad to read. Poor boy! I'm sure neither of them
had much chance to recover. I sobbed at the description of Finduilas -
all the pieces/parts. Beautiful writing on those... And Faramir's
certainty - once he received the gift, that his mother watched over
him as he slept. Another one of the big 'Aw's' - as for Denethor...
well, I happen to love the guy and I adored the ending... I will say
farewell now myself and thank you for sharing this exquisite little tale.



Title: The Turn of the Tide · Author: Altariel · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 72
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-10-16 16:59:01
[Spoiler]
Excellent 'Boromir lives' tale - and Denethor too. Very pleasant for a
heart that loves the men of Gondor.

I wondered what was happening at first, but really enjoyed the story,
after I figured it out. My favorite lines were - [mockery of an old
man at the defiance of the young.] And Denethor's [that is how they
destroyed themselves] part.

It did my heart good to see the 'banners' of the Steward's sons. Eowyn
was well written.

Title: The River of Stars · Author: Marta · Races: Men: General
Drabble · ID: 412
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-10-16 17:05:25
I loved the constellations in the river... though it was a hideous
thought - knowing the planetarium was destroyed. But well written way
of putting it. I'm not a big 'kin-strife- follower. This, however, was
worth the read.

Title: Conjuror · Author: Branwyn · Races: Men: General Drabble · ID: 432
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-10-16 17:07:45
This was chilling and profound at the same time. I really liked your
Denethor... wise, yes! I loved what Gandalf does to the poor stone -
though I think if a Hobbit had been present - there would have been
much sobbing at the mushroom's fate! Nice job!

Title: True Silver · Author: Marta · Genres: Romance: Drabble · ID: 612
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-10-16 17:13:33
Excellent. I loved both Celeborn and Galadriel. She really knows how
to 'win' a man over. Perhaps that's why she enjoyed Gimli so much.
Perhaps the Dwarf reminded her of herself, asking for Celeborn's hair!
Celeborn was no slouch either!

Nice job!

Title: A Special Kind of Lore · Author: Astara · Genres: Romance:
Drabble · ID: 748
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-10-16 17:18:04
This was absolutely delightful. I so loved the fact that Finduilas is
looking in the library. Great way to pass the day. And glad to know
she might have had some nights that were 'interesting!'

The worn shape that the book is in is telling in and of itself. And
who needs language when there are skillful drawings. LOL

I loved Denethor's sigh. I'm still laughing as I think of it. Score
one for Finduilas.

Title: At Long Last · Author: Astara · Genres: Romance: Pre-Ring War ·
ID: 746
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 17:32:29
Good, vivid characterisations, evocative descriptions.

Denethor's portrayal was spot-on, always thinking, analysing
situations and people, searching for hidden motives.

I found the comparison between the Steward's and the Prince's family,
regarding the relationships of the different members towards each
other, quite apt (it also resembles my own take on this issue).

I liked how the romance developed quite unconsciously between them:
Denethor was for a long time unaware just what it was he felt towards
Finduilas, he only knew he had found someone he liked, and this fact
alone was unusual enough. It was amusing to see just how much she was
able to dispell his reserved attitude.

Title: The Tolkienian War on Science · Author: Doc Bushwell · Genres:
Non-Fiction · ID: 444
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 17:36:26
An entertaining exploration of Tolkien's concepts of science vs.
nature. Apart from the rather long and rambling introductory passages,
it is pleasantly fast-paced, which might not often be a criterium for
non-fiction, but fit well with the snarky, colloquial language, which
casts Tolkien's creations into contemporary concepts we are familiar
with today.

I found the conclusions rather extreme and too much black-and-white,
but thought the general premise a plausible and interesting
interpretation of the subject matter.

Title: Tolkien's Usage of "Thou" and "Thee" · Author: DrummerWench ·
Genres: Non-Fiction · ID: 443
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 17:37:50
A useful essay on the proper context and use of the archaic
grammatical forms "thou" and "thee" and related issues, providing
relevant examples not only from LotR, but also the King James Bible
and Shakespeare.

Presenting this subject matter could have resulted in a dry
instruction manual, but the essay is enlivened and made interesting by
its clear, engaging style; and made more vivid and comprehensible by
using and demonstrating incorrect and correct use on concrete examples.

Provided with this knowledge, it enhances the readers's ability to
detect additional layers of meaning in certain dialogues in the
trilogy (notably between Aragorn & Éowyn and Gandalf & Denethor), that
would either go undetected or falsely interpreted otherwise.

As a foreign-language speaker, I also appreciated the brief
information on the ["Quaker thee"] which I had encountered several
times in books, and - wrongly - took for errors by the authors.

Title: Who is this Gil-galad, of Whom You Speak? · Author: Erunyauve ·
Genres: Non-Fiction · ID: 250
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 17:38:55
This essay about Gil-galad is structured very well, it is written in a
clear language that makes the best out of brevity and yet conveys a
full picture of what is described.

It presents and analyses thoroughly what - surprisingly little - there
is written in canonical and semi-canonical sources about Gil-galad and
goes from there to speculation about the great gaps that are missing
in the wider history, but also in the personal biography of this
long-reigning Noldor King who must have decisively influenced events
in the Second Age. The speculation is sound, underpinned with
convincing arguments, or making relevant comparisons to other times or
people.

From this essay emerges the picture of a strong, active king, skilled
in diplomacy and sustaining good relations with various cultures and
races, as well as a capable, decisive strategist and leader of armies.

This essay also acknowledges Gil-galad's faults, notably his secrecy
concerning the Rings, and his inability to form a united front before
the Black Gate.

I found it an interesting detail that he (unlike so many of his
ancestors and other relations) had a much more favourable view of the
Valar.

Title: The Anglo-Saxons and the Rohírrim · Author: willow_41z ·
Genres: Non-Fiction · ID: 585
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 17:40:21
A intriguing and provocative essay exploring the question just how
much knowledge about Anglo-Saxon history and culture can be used as a
model for the depiction of the Rohirrim.

The essay uses thorough side-by-side comparison of several different
sources and aspects to come to the mostly convincing conclusion that
the differences outweigh the similarities so much that Anglo-Saxon are
hardly useful as the basis for constructing a Rohirric Culture.

One argument I didn't find convincing was the presentation of the
great differences in themes of "Beowulf" and similar texts compared to
those in LotR, when it is expressly stated beforehand that these poems
don't really reflect Anglo-Saxon realities.

Title: Triolet: The Weaver's Song · Author: annmarwalk · Genres:
Poetry · ID: 553
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 17:40:59
Intriguing idea, and the rhyme scheme is used to good effect.

I love the idea that Boromir's cloak was made with love and the weaver
hoped it might protect him not only from the cold, but would also
["shield him from all harm"]. The way the richness of it - ["dark
velvet and black sable"] is emphasised gives it meaning on an
immediate and a symbolical level.

Title: Good Rest Ye Merry · Author: Llinos · Genres: Poetry · ID: 798
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 17:41:20
Irreverent and funny. I like the modernisms that have sneaked into it,
it makes the poem even more surreal, and takes the edge of any lines
that might be construed as insult, or that remind of the pain and toil
and loss the Fellowship had to endure.

Title: Burning Your Bridges · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Poetry · ID: 125
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 17:41:44
Very descriptive and "real" in its minute details, and yet there are
touches of graceful imagery here and there (like the reminder of the
craft of Númenor) and a sense of detachment, giving the poem a good
balance (even if I can't recognise a specific rhyme scheme). Every
sense is employed - sight, sound, smell, taste, touch - which makes
the poem very vivid and three-dimensional.

Msg# 8380

MEFA Reviews for November 5, 2007 (Part 2) Posted by Ann November 05, 2007 - 4:18:49 Topic ID# 8380
Title: Harvest Bonfire · Author: Cuthalion · Genres: Romance · ID: 667
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 17:42:34
The story is told very vividly and appealing. The original character
is exactly that - original; she is also engaging, and her interactions
with the canon characters seamless. The dialogue is flowing very
naturally.

Rosie is so very frazzled, quite understandable with so so many
children (and fortunately she doesn't know that there will be 13 of
them at the end!). Sam and Roise following Lilly's sage advice was
told very tenderly, the love evident between them.

Title: Come Back to Me · Author: Marta · Genres: Romance · ID: 67
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-16 17:43:38
Very descriptive narrative. The story is told convincingly from the
set of mind of an Entwife. It was interesting to see the things
Treebeard had talked about from her perspective, it gave the subject a
new balance. The idea of the Hobbits as ["younger guardians"] seems
very apt.

The discussions between the protagonists touch on a wide range of
topics, which give some canonical facts intriguing twists and also
show that the protagonists concern themselves with Middle-earth beyond
their little corner of it.

I have trouble believing in the premise, but it was an interesting and
imaginative experiment and the story itself "sold" the premise well
for its duration.

Title: Geometry · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Drama: Gondor Drabble · ID: 80
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-10-16 19:15:15
Death absolutely sucks and you have definitely portrayed how a family
could react to such an event. As much as it pains me, I can see the
imagery of the triangle. And especially the fact that the family
still, while the triangle was intact, considered themselves 'whole.' I
think many families are made into such an object. I know when my
brother was turned into a vegetable after a serious car accident, the
whole family died. Incredibly sad, but very well written and catches
what must have been the most pain-filled moment of both their lives.
*sobs*

Title: Fun with Farm'n · Author: Súlriel · Races: Villains: Drabble ·
ID: 269
Reviewer: Oshun · 2007-10-16 20:25:15
Oh, dear lord! Those naughty, naughty orcs. I can't believe I had not
read this before. You have quite the sense of humor, girl--not for the
squeamish as they say in the fanfic world! (I've always thought I was
squeamish myself, but you surely managed to get me to laugh out loud.)
Great use of the drabble format. I guess my favorite line was:
["Farmers are a tough lot."] People always said that where I come from
too, but not in exactly the same sense. What am I saying! Not in
anything remotely resembling that sense of the expression in this
vignette. Good work

Title: The Eagle's Gift · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Drama:
Minas Tirith · ID: 591
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2007-10-17 00:43:40
"The Eagle's Gift" is a lovely vignette set on the night of Denethor's
marriage to Finduilas. As nervous bridegroom Denethor prepares to go
to his marriage bed, his alternatively joyful and fearful reverie is
interrupted by just the person he least wanted to see--Thorongil.
Using Denethor's point of view, Raksha deftly ratchets up the tension
between the Steward's son and the mysterious Dunadan of the North,
including some humorous avian allusions from Denethor's overwrought
subconscious mind. Yet over and over, Raksha points out the similarity
between the two rivals.

Raksha's Denethor is a decent man despite his deep resentment of the
"outlander." He is depicted as a loving, considerate bridegroom.
Moreover, he even has a moment of sympathy for Thorongil, who must
wait, perhaps forever to marry the woman he loves. We are left with a
hint that the true reason behind the rivalry between Denethor and
Thorongil is old man Ecthelion himself, who made the Eagle deliver the
gift.

This is one of Raksha's best stories. I'm glad to see her delving into
Aragorn and Denethor territory.

Title: Flowers of Nimloth · Author: geek_chick · Genres: Drama: Second
Age or Earlier · ID: 507
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-10-17 02:03:11
This tale about Isildur and his future wife starts when Lienilde, a
young apprentice healer, gets called with her master to care for an
injured man, Isildur. Over the course of a winter Lienilde cares for
Isildur and gets to know him and his family. When Isildur is finally,
miraculously healed, they discover that they are more than patient and
healer. I loved the glimpses into every day life we get throughout the
story of life in Numenor or more precisely in Romenna. At the
beginning Lienilde is a young woman with a leaning toward the
Faithful, but politics don't play a role in her life and she never
thought much about Sauron and his doings. Sauron is a distant threat,
but it doesn't really affect her, until she meets Isildur's family.
Learning of his deed lets her question her beliefs, and I like the way
she has to decide what is right or wrong and how to deal with her
knowledge in the face of the indifference or outright support for
Sauron around her.

Title: Cool Sunlight and Green Grass · Author: SlightlyTookish ·
Races: Hobbits: Post-Ring War · ID: 211
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-10-17 02:04:24
I think this ficlet captures Pippin's essence. It feels very Pippin to
me. He is still very weak and barely able to walk, but the fresh air
and the sunshine buoy his spirit after the long days spent recovering
in his bed.

Title: Black Mountain · Author: White Wolf · Genres: Adventure · ID: 487
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-10-17 02:05:50
This story is a page turner. Aragorn and Legolas joined by the
Rivendell twins go off to Black Mountain to investigate mysterious
rumors and stories, at least that is the rationalized reason. I love
the start of the story which to me gives a more accurate reason for
Aragorn to want to investigate, although he jests. ["Why?" the blond
elf, standing with his hands on his hips and his head cocked slightly
to the left, asked his human companion. "Because it's there?" the man
answered with a teasing question.] And off they go, encountering
adventures they, and I, didn't expect.

Sometimes I wish the author would explain less of the emotional impact
of the actions of others and leave more to the imagination of the
reader. I think that would enhance the tension even more. I like the
characterization of the four friends, their good-natured banter, how
they work together, speaking out their thoughts aloud, so that the
others can help to sort through the facts to find a solution to the
problems they face.

Title: Many Guises and Many Names · Author: Gandalfs apprentice ·
Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 380
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-10-17 02:06:44
In a few short words Gandalfs Apprentice brings Aragorn to life.
Sometimes by describing his actions, sometimes by watching him through
the actions of others. I especially like the first and the last in
this series of short ficlets.

When young Aragorn insists to Gilraen that his name is now Estel and
Elrond his ada, I felt for Gilraen. It must have broken her heart.

In the last ficlet, Aragorn comes to life as Strider, not loved by the
Breelanders, but a friend of Gandalf. I like the close understanding
between these two friends.

Title: A Tale of Elrond And Celebrían · Author: Nemis · Genres:
Romance · ID: 608
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-10-17 02:12:07
This is the story of Elrond and Celebrian. Their marriage, the
separation after Celebrian sails West and their bittersweet reunion,
since their children are staying in Middle-earth. Intertwined with
their lives are some of the most important events of the third age and
we get to see the impact of these on their lives. I love the
description of their love for each other and that Elrond is only half
a man after she left. I love it that Celebrian manages to help him
from time to time from Aman, and it seems to me she has a better
understanding of their children as he has. The reunion is everything I
had wished for in this tale.

Title: Holding onto Hope · Author: Alassante · Times: First Age and
Prior · ID: 368
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-17 03:01:17
There aren't enough fanfiction stories featuring the mysterious
Celebrimbor. I enjoyed the confrontation between Celebrimbor and his
damaged uncle; it's a rather novel treatment of Maedhros' recovery
after Thangodorim.

Title: The Wink of an Eye · Author: Linda hoyland · Times: Mid Third
Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 664
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2007-10-17 05:55:46
What a great, quirky drabble. Now we know how Sauron drove Denethor
crazy. As in all good drabbles, the best part is in the last sentence.

Title: Letting Go · Author: Ellie · Times: First Age and Prior · ID: 790
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2007-10-17 06:18:24
Ellie's tale provides insight into the thoughts of Ingwe, High King of
the Elves that dwell in Aman. The Silmarillion tells us little about
Ingwe, leaving a gap which Ellie fills nicely. Ingwe contemplates the
departure of his Vanyaran kinsmen to Middle Earth to fight alongside
the Valar in the War of Wrath. In an extended monologue, the king
expresses his love of his people and dismay that he has been denied
the honor of leading them into the battle where many might fall.

Though certainly canonical, Ingwe's feelings clearly resemble that of
a parent "letting go" of an adult child that has moved from the family
home.

Title: Fire and Ice · Author: NeumeIndil · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA · ID: 318
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-17 10:02:44
Herself forced into prostitution at a young age after she and her
mother were left with nothing, Morwen had drifted from land to land,
eventually ending up in Edoras in the Inn of the Dragon's Hoard, where
she served drinks and other appetites. But she's caught the heart of
Theoden's man Gamling, and her own heart is caught as well. Will she
take a chance at a time when Wormtongue is in the ascendancy to accept
what he offers her?

Wonderful to see Movie-verse Gamling given a life--and love--of his
own. I now wish to read the story that precedes this one.

Title: Mettarë · Author: Galadriel · Races: Men · ID: 34
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-17 10:20:52
It's no simple thing to feel like celebrating the year's end, there in
Imladris, and even the attempts of Merry and Pippin are a bit forced.
But somehow, in spite of it all, Boromir and Aragorn find themselves
sharing special feelings for this turning of the year.

Sad, and yet the writing manages to capture that small spark of hope
needed.

Title: Leaf Subsides to Leaf · Author: Ignoble Bard · Genres: Drama:
Elves in Later Ages · ID: 105
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-17 10:22:53
When Legolas comes to bid his father goodbye before succumbing to the
Sea Longing at last, neither finds it easy to bid farewell. Of course
we don't know Thranduil never followed his son to Aman; but this is
plausible.

Title: The Arachnid's Appeal · Author: TrekQueen · Genres: Humor · ID: 114
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-17 10:29:58
Shelob has written to her boss regarding some problems she's knowing,
there on the job of watching in the high passes over Minas Morgul. Too
bad things haven't been going too well--the Witch-king refusing to
share a Southron or two; food with an offensive odor, and more with
nasty, poky things. So, she has some requests.

Brought a grin.

Title: Transformation · Author: Imhiriel · Races: Men: General Drabble
· ID: 185
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-17 10:33:13
Imhiriel and Annmarwalk have to be my two favorite drabble-writers.
And this look at Prince Imrahil, free and delighted as he enjoys the
gift given him by the new King, is wonderful. A marvelously effective
drabble at depicting place and mood. I can feel the sea wind!

Title: Dragons! · Author: Aranel Took · Races: Hobbits: Drabble · ID: 327
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-17 10:36:38
It's time for a story, and Pippin KNOWS what he wants it to be about.

Very true to small chldren everywhere.

Title: Sarn Gebir · Author: agape4gondor · Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 398
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-17 10:39:52
Ah, there in the Sarn Gebir Boromir proved the hero. Yes, he's sworn
to protect the Hobbits, and he will do his best; but there is yet one
problem he faces....

Communicates the mood well.

Title: Letter to Frodo · Author: AmandaK · Genres: Alternate Universe:
Gondor or Rohan · ID: 540
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-17 10:49:38
If Boromir had indeed survived his ordeal and returned, what would he
have wished to say to Frodo Baggins; and then how would he seek to
communicate those thoughts and desires for forgiveness with Frodo gone
from Middle Earth?

A lovely moment of atonement, and mutual love between Boromir and his
brother.

Title: Marking Fours · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: Multi-Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 1
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2007-10-17 10:58:38
This series is beautifully linked with many themes and impressions. It
feels as if Faramir looks back and it doesn't matter much when he
reflects back upon it: with every drabble in this series it can happen
the day after or just after the fact. Rashka beautifully shows here
that remembering life changing events that are inevitably tied to the
nature of life. Grief is interlinked with memories, but so is love or
friendship. From darkness, Faramir steps into the light and won't
forget. I love how the author put the numbers here to good use.
Tolkien himself had a thing with numbers, so it feels at place here,
but it is not overused. This is a great character piece, very
emotional and well written!

Title: Waste Not, Want Not · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Villains:
Drabble · ID: 722
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-17 11:12:51
Ah, Tanaqui--perhaps an all-too-likely event as the heads of the folks
of Gondor were prepared to be thrown over the walls! Shuddery, and
well written.

Title: Sure as Shire Talk · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Hobbits: Drabble
· ID: 753
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-17 11:14:42
And just how did Rosie learn her Sam had disappeared with Mr. Frodo
and his cousins? Perhaps it was in this manner.

Wonderful characterizations for such a short work.

Title: Respite · Author: Linaewen · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 - 3017
TA · ID: 389
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-17 11:19:02
Inspired by a painting, this is the thoughts of Finduilas as she
spends a quiet day with her sons seeking tranquility, although the
growing dread of Sauron's intentions seeks to overwhelm her.

Marvelously conveys the feelings she might well have known before she
began to fade, and to describe her now-circumscribed world.

Msg# 8381

Whooo hoo! Posted by Nancy Brooke November 05, 2007 - 15:04:01 Topic ID# 8381
Got to the halfway point on my MEFA Junkie score ... how is everyone
else doing?

It certainly is a motivator for me; thanks MEFA Admins!

Msg# 8382

Re: Whooo hoo! Posted by Marta Layton November 05, 2007 - 23:22:06 Topic ID# 8381
Nancy Brooke wrote:
>
>
> Got to the halfway point on my MEFA Junkie score ... how is everyone
> else doing?
>
> It certainly is a motivator for me; thanks MEFA Admins!
>

Go you!

I actually made my official goal, but am hoping to do about seventy more
reviews in the next six weeks, if I can make it. Setting goals is good.

Congrats on being on track to reach yours. And thanks for all your work.

Marta

Msg# 8383

Re: Whooo hoo! Posted by Imhiriel November 06, 2007 - 2:03:07 Topic ID# 8381
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "Nancy Brooke" <graceomyheart@...>
wrote:
>
> Got to the halfway point on my MEFA Junkie score ... how is everyone
> else doing?

I only have 30 more stories to go, but when I look at what I then will
still have left in time and stories, I am certainly not going to stop
there.

> It certainly is a motivator for me; thanks MEFA Admins!

I second this!

Imhiriel

Msg# 8384

MEFA Reviews for November 6, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 06, 2007 - 3:45:11 Topic ID# 8384
Title: A Mother's Touch · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Humor:
Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 44
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2007-10-17 11:21:08
What I so like about this piece is how Raksha gives the dragon and her
wee!dragon both such a wonderful and unique voice. Little we know that
this will turn out to be the big and hoarding lover Smaug! The
mother's voice carries so much pride and care, just like all moms are,
reciting from the past and their well wishes for their own kids. The
touches upon their creator and what every dragon should be pride off
feels so utterly in character in this piece. Smaug on the other hand
is still much like a small [chick] who just loves to indulges himself
with playing all day (with friends? Maybe :) ) I love how the author
used the works of Tolkien to drabble such a nice little ficlet, and
yet at the same time the author achieves to tell so much! Then there
is the use of language in this piece: its very archaic, but also so
fitting for a dragon that would prefer to remain in her hoard only to
occasionally to go hunting, after all there weren't many dragons left
after the War of Wrath. Greatly drabbled Raksha, I hope [Readfah]
returns again in your work.

Title: The haunting of Minas Tirith · Author: Fawsley · Genres:
Alternate Universe: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 651
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-17 11:33:18
I think that perhaps Boromir might have regretted his attempt to see
if the dead did indeed walk the streets of the city on the day of the
dead--particularly after Bergil mistook a mixture of singing and a dog
howling as the agony of the spirits.

What does one do when stuck in a tomb with an upset hound?

An excellent laugh, and certainly a wonderful Halloween story! Heh!

Title: Stay With Me · Author: pippinfan88 · Races: Hobbits:
Hurt/Comfort · ID: 518
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-17 11:57:01
When a storm strands Esmeralda in the Crickhollow house with Merry and
Pippin, she finds herself seeking to help Pippin deal with a night
plagued with memories of a terrible fire in the House of the Stewards.

Warm tale of comfort given and received, and fighting bad memories
with good ones.

Title: The Great Hobbiton Race 1435 · Author: Llinos · Races: Hobbits:
Incomplete · ID: 83
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-17 12:01:31
Enamored of complicated gadgets and get-rich-quick-schemes, Merry has
ordered a huge engine capable of cutting grass or hay. But when he
accepts a bet from Sam as to whether the machine or Sam and Frodo-lad
could mow the Party Field faster, things don't go as easily as Merry
and Pippin would prefer.

Enormous laughs, and hope it's finished soon.

Title: Aragorn's Moment · Author: docmon · Races: Men: Eriador or
Rivendell · ID: 509
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-17 12:06:54
The thoughts of Aragorn as he prepares for the departure from
Rivendell with the Fellowship. He does this not for Arwen, although
she is there on his mind.

A wonderful depiction of Aragorn's choices and perceptions and loyalties.

Title: Senses · Author: mistycracraft · Genres: Drama: With Aragorn ·
ID: 367
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-17 12:10:57
After an accident robs Aragorn (temporarily) of vision and hearing, he
must learn to deal with the situation as all await signs as to whether
the situation is permanent. Patience and the love of Elrond and his
children strengthen him to begin doing things for himself and to
accept what comes to him as it does.

Mostly realistic look at how sudden disability can affect a person
taken unawares.

Title: The Essence of Fire · Author: Rhapsody · Genres: Drama: General
Drabble · ID: 278
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-17 12:15:07
For Curufin, fire has been a long companion, marking transitions in
his life. Now it marks the leaving of the Noldor from Aman....

Very solemn.

Title: The Burning of the Year · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times:
Late Third Age: 3018-3022 TA: Gondor · ID: 2
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2007-10-17 12:31:08
This story is one of my absolute favourites when it comes down to
traditions and celebrations. The details of the Mettare tradition is
woven into this piece in a great way: very symbolic with a refined
touch. It feels and reads as a rite of passage befitting the Celtic
tradition (every anology regarding that resounds incredibly well),
just as the year starts anew. And this all in a manner of storytelling
I think Tolkien most likely would have liked himself. No matter how
often I read this particular piece it feels as if I discover something
new: every time it moves me or it just puts the spotlight on something
else, just as if you can look at a diamond from several angles. The
pacing is sublime, as the march continues it feels as if Faramir opens
up to you as a reader more, his concerns, and worries... yet pride and
looking for approval.This also gives this story that poignant touch,
knowing as a reader of the books what will await him that year. This
piece also gives us an insight in the complicated relationship between
Denethor and his sons: Faramir is present and Boromir being the
important diplomat is absent. Raksha captured Denethor's missing of
his eldest in a poignant matter and I applaud that Faramir rises above
all expectations. What a marvellous piece!

Title: Don't Be Deceived · Author: Imhiriel · Genres: Humor: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 351
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2007-10-17 12:52:19
[this review contains spoilers]

This is such a lovely little piece and a great answer to the
challenge: the timing is perfect in this one which gives this piece
that perfect & humorous touch. The last lines are just perfect and
sheds a different light on where Aragorn might have found inspiration
in for his own shaggy & mysterious appearance when the hobbits see
Strider for the first time. Moreover, who else could be involved than
Gandalf! He seemingly interfered with every little detail by
introducing people to the other. I am now wondering how Aragorn might
have remembered later on how Bard chose to be amongst his own people,
still mixing with them in tavern: being truly a King adored by his own
people. Hmmm, food for thought (and more plotbunnies that pop up
suddenly).

Title: Love Story · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres: Humor: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 273
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2007-10-17 13:02:49
[this review contains spoilers]

This is a cleverly written piece that wholly sticks to Bilbo's
perspective: every thing adds up in the tiniest details and GA shows
us how the inspiring playwright Merry tries to get the tale of
Tinuviel right. Something inside me makes me go like aww and the
responses of the hobbits are so well, hobbity and fitting for their
age. I mean, this is just so great:
[Clutching his chubby cheek and waving a pointed, silver-painted
stick, Beren yelled, "Woe! I'm hungry! Will I ever get out of this mess?"]

Such wishful thinking and spot on when it comes down to things
important for hobbits! But I had to laugh so hard when Rosie made a
run for it, to get away from Fatty `Beren' Bolger probably thinking
that Tinuviel did the same. Simply fabulous! And aw, how all these
kids look up to Bilbo to get his opinion, how cute! I just can picture
that scene so well. I really loved this one GA, what a gem!


Title: Drawing Straight With Crooked Lines · Author: Fiondil · Genres:
Drama · ID: 76
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2007-10-17 13:16:31
[this review contains spoilers]

This is an interesting take on the short stay mortals normally have in
Mandos. Knowing that Beren was quite an exception, I can see why the
author made an exception for Boromir as well before he passes on (and
time is relative). What I specifically like about this piece is the
use of dialogue to further and enhance the story, without forcing it
too much. I am glad to read that Boromir found the redemption he
sought for at the end, bringing this short story full circle.

Title: Under the Eyes of the Evenstar · Author: Raksha the Demon ·
Genres: Drama: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 680
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2007-10-17 13:45:16
[this review contains spoilers]

Oh, this is a brilliantly written vignette and it was a delight to
read it from Arwen's perspective. For some reason it felt as if I
could hear Arwen talk, seeing the room through her eyes and observing
a man with that pinch of Noldorin pride, mixed with practicality and a
light touch of sensuality. She is so different from Galadriel in that
respect, yet that scene carries the same tension when Galadriel is
offered the ring. For a moment, I wondered: what shall she do, Arwen
is on a crossroad to act on behalf of her love. After all she could
have sent the maidens away and drown him if he appeared to be that
tired… The gift of foresight is there and she pauses, re-collect
herself. This is great gapfiller material and Raksha's take on how
they could have met makes perfectly sense to me since Arwen would have
acted as the lady of the house. Her internal conflict its well
explored and the portrayal of Boromir is so eerily close to the books,
yet I could see the actor Sean Bean lounging in that bath (and
probably the maidens as well). A superb piece!

Title: Tom Cotton · Author: Dreamflower · Races: Hobbits: Post-Grey
Havens · ID: 774
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-17 14:21:32
Dreamflower has crafted a thoughtful, sensitive portrait of Tom Cotton
here, ruminating over the changes wrought in his relationship with Sam
Gamgee by the fortunes of War. His humble working-hobbit's voice,
beautifully composed by a writer with an excellent ear for such
things, sadly considers the loss of his "best friend" to the memory of
Frodo Baggins and the sons of Tooks and Brandybucks, and ponders the
bleakness of the fact that a lifetime of friendship can be so
summarily swept away by the crucibles of War. Tom remains, in his
heart, devoted; Sam is still his best friend, even if destiny has
taken Sam in another direction. One senses the enormous strength and
sympathy in this eminently decent hobbit, who understands the
psychological brutality of war more than most--having held down the
fort while the commanders were away--and who is brother-in-law to Sam
through two marriages, and wonders if the hole in his heart will ever
be perceived and beyond that if it will ever heal. This is a fine
little work, deftly constructed, gently pursued, and hauntingly
memorable. I found it sweetly touching, and wished there was more!

Title: Go Out in Joy · Author: Larner · Genres: Alternate Universe:
The Shire or Buckland · ID: 145
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-17 14:22:30
A gripping AU story that speaks to the question: What if Frodo had
chosen to remain in the Shire instead of sailing with the other
Ring-bearers? And what if the members of his family had divined he was
fading, and gathered to fare him well?

The author has a considerable talent for fleshing out background
hobbits who have heretofore been only names for most of us. The family
that gathers here are far-flung relations, every individual with his
own story and his own personal grief. Readers will want to read back
in Larner's portfolio to get the backstories on some of these people,
but even if they don't, the Shire folk will leave a lasting impression.

The dying Frodo is achingly drawn, his sufferings rendered almost
beautiful through the incandescence of his character, and his nearest
and dearest are captured doing what hobbits do at the most trying and
telling times of their lives. Several surprises attend this
leavetaking, and one very near the end will take your breath away!

This is the work of a dedicated writer, sensitive, knowledgable and
constant. I was both moved and dazzled by the talent showcased here.

Title: Sweet Memories · Author: PipMer · Races: Hobbits · ID: 272
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-17 14:23:24
Here is a gentle portrait of the hero-to-be: a tender story in which a
young Frodo marks the anniversary of his parents' shocking deaths with
a solitary picnic by the river and loses himself in poignant memories
of days that will not come again. A brief Afterword moves us forward
to the perilous days of the Quest, where Frodo's early loss, absorbed
by now into the very essence of his character, helps him to make a
friend of an aloof companion. Sensitively written, with lovely images
and insightful observations, this story reveals an author who is
thoughtful, respectful and discerning, and worthy of both attention
and applause.

Title: Youngest Son · Author: Bodkin · Genres: Romance: Second Age or
Earlier · ID: 406
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-17 14:24:10
I really like this story of Finarfin and Earwen, set in the time of
the Trees. This is not a time period, or a people, I am at all
familiar with, but I was very taken with this presentation of these
two, who eventually became the parents of Galadriel. They are very
well-drawn: the serious young prince, determined but unsure of his
reception, and the silvery elf-maiden waiting to be dazzled and spoken
for. A sunny summer incandescence lights this romantic occasion, and
the gently lyrical ending, finely crafted, foreshadows the inevitable
end of summer for the Elves. Nicely written, with descriptive skill
and witty dialogue, and leaves a lasting impression of an exotic time
and place where the shadows are beginning to lengthen.

Title: Merry's Grandmother · Author: grey_wonderer · Races: Hobbits:
Pre-Quest · ID: 137
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-17 14:24:36
This story is so skillfully written that you don't realize right away
what treasures are waiting to be found at its core, or suspect what an
interesting circle is coming around. Grandmother Took looks to be the
origin of much that is special in her grandsons, being as seriously
insightful as Merry and as sweetly impulsive as Pippin, and her story
is both touching and magical. I especially loved the reference to
["poor, sensible Paladin"]. Out of his mother's mouth, it has special
poignancy. GW always serves up joy, but in this case she also tugs our
heartstrings and makes us come away feeling very thoughtful.
Grandmother Took is a wonderful character, Pippin is endearing as
always, and Merry is much enriched by his closeness to both. A lovely
story!

Title: The Dwarf Dagger · Author: Dreamflower · Genres: Drama: The
Shire · ID: 85
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-17 14:24:53
I remain fascinated by this story, which I first read last year, in
which we meet an earlier generation of Tooks and Brandybucks, focusing
on Adalgrim and Periwinkle Took, parents of Paladin and Esmeralda. A
young Bilbo Baggins and Rory and Primula Brandybuck make appearances,
along with an infant Paladin, and the dreadful Lalia Took perpetrates
a senseless tragedy on Paladin's older sister Pearl--which, one is
satisfied to note, will come full circle a generation later when
another Pearl, Paladin's daughter, is present at the old lady's
long-in-coming death.

The author has a command of canon and character here that makes this
work as a history as much as it does a story: well-written,
authoritative and poignant, it opens a window on the Shire in the days
before the heroes of The Lord of the Rings were born. There is a
strong sense of family, of community, and of social order, and we are
treated to the earlier manifestations of family traits that come to be
so important later.

I think this is a significant work, well within the bounds of canon,
thoughtfully conceived and constructed and written with confidence and
subdued passion. Very well done indeed; Bilbo would be proud!

Title: A Million Little Stars To Light Their Way · Author: Cathleen ·
Genres: Drama: The Shire · ID: 387
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-17 14:25:41
This is a sweet, gentle story with some lovely images, not the least
of which is the ["take him and cut him out in little stars"] quote
from Shakespeare at the end, put to perfect use here. I liked the
ideas expressed with regard to mortality and the juxtaposition of
flashbacks to the real-time narrative. Pippin's pain and longing and
Merry's lingering anguish are drawn with a sure hand, and their
memories of Boromir are what they should be: memories of a Hero who
was good in every way. The device of the constellation is inspired; I
rather think the skies of Middle-earth will forever be a tad more
crowded after this than they were before!

Title: If You Should Die Before I Wake · Author: PipMer · Genres:
Drama: With Merry · ID: 277
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-17 14:26:22
This story is a page-turner! Here the author conducts us on a gripping
emotional journey with Merry and Pippin on the Field of Cormallen and
through alternating moments of joy and sadness, hope and despair,
sickness and health, and life and death. The relationship between
Merry and Pippin is one of great interdependence and is drawn with
considerable sensitivity, and there are several other character
profiles--notably those of Gandalf and Gimli--that are so spot-on that
they make you smile. Passions run high in the aftermath of War and
here they are expressed with love and care. Very nicely done, with
several heart-stopping cliffhangers! Good work, Deb!

Title: A Kingly Discussion · Author: GamgeeFest · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Grey Havens · ID: 780
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-17 14:27:26
This is a delightful story, with wonderful, witty dialogue
(brilliantly laid down) in which The Gaffer and assorted other hobbits
read a letter from the King and discuss the peculiarities of Men. A
wry humor helps to bring the hobbit audience into focus and there are
several references that speak to the author's considerable knowledge
of All Things Tolkien, including a very sly reference to The Children
of Hurin, which sparks some interesting conversation among the
discreetly scandalized hobbits. But the best line, to my mind, is the
one where it is observed that while Men might make strange choices for
leaders, the Shire would most certainly not ever elect a Mayor who had
["lived with Elves and wandered about in the Blue"]. Beautifully
written, with a sure hand and a great sense of humor. I liked this a lot!

Title: Comforting Silence · Author: Radbooks · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 157
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-17 14:27:47
This sweet little portrait of Faramir and Aragorn gives us a
tantalizing glimpse of them in Faramir's later years, when their long
friendship draws them together at the time of Eowyn's death. The
author deftly handles the widowed Faramir, exhausted in grief and
years, but it is the sparsely written, keenly insightful picture of
Aragorn that wins the day here: tender, thoughtful, and sure of his
remedies. This was a great King, and here we see why. Very nicely done!

Title: In Fangorn Forest · Author: Garnet Took · Races: Hobbits: Merry
and Pippin · ID: 260
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-17 14:28:08
A welcome reminder that Pippin too has moments of grace, intelligence
and resourcefulness is this little ficlet in which the youngest hobbit
explains to his cousin that they really are in this together and
should share, as equal partners, responsibility for looking after each
other. This is a idea all too often forsaken in our fanfiction,
wherein Pippin is frequently required to be infantile so that others
can show their comforting skills. A fine statement of emancipation and
one I heartily endorse! Characters are quickly but successfully drawn
and the dialogue smoothly serves Pippin's revelation. Amen!

Title: Freddy and the Thain's Rabbit · Author: grey_wonderer · Races:
Hobbits · ID: 251
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-17 14:28:54
The wonderful thing about the stories of Errol, Pippin's stuffed
rabbit, is that while they are absolutely delightful they are also
capable of putting a lump in your throat.This charming entry into the
Annals of Errol does both with joyous efficiency, and some lovely
surprises. Errol's origins (so far as we know) are brought to light as
one of his former child companions is revealed for the first time, and
in addition to Merry's son Freddy, who took him away to Buckland for a
tender time, we meet the sweet little fellow who gets him following
Pippin's passing: young Peregrin II! As always, Errol is helped in
writing his adventures by his faithful scribe GW, who sneaks in a
little humor when Errol isn't looking, and also manages to record all
the proceedings in the voice we know is Errol's. She is a very
talented scribe. It is my personal opinion that The Annals of Errol
should be required reading for any child who thinks about journeying
to Middle-earth. It is necessary to know that such good things as
Errol are there when you are about to meet wargs and orcs!

Splendid, as always, GW. You always call it fluff, but it really
isn't. Sheep are fluffy; Errol is serious business!

Title: Making Acquaintance · Author: Bodkin · Times: Mid Third Age:
2851 - 3017 TA · ID: 216
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-17 14:29:34
I quite enjoyed this warm, witty story of Merry and Pippin meeting
Gandalf for the first time. The very young hobbits are skillfully
drawn. Flashes of their older selves are visible now and again, and
their defining characteristics are already in place--Merry's serious
sense of responsibility and Pippin's gleeful impulsivity. Gandalf is a
splendid figure, and the whole business comes across as quite
authentic. Excellent dialogue and a fine writing style; this is a
story to be proud of!

Msg# 8385

MEFA Reviews for November 6, 2007 (Part 2) Posted by Ann November 06, 2007 - 3:46:48 Topic ID# 8385
Title: In Silence Remembered · Author: fantasyfan · Genres: Drama: The
Shire · ID: 598
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-17 14:29:56
This is a stunning piece of work, beautifully written in a haunting
voice: subtle, sad and inexpressibly touching. The simple hobbit
narrator, recounting the death of his best friend in the Battle of
Bywater and, in casual asides, the horrors of Occupation in the Shire,
both plumbs and transcends his plain-speaking origins to become in the
telling of his story a bard of piercing perception and skill. The
author, who has gentle, if total command of the language, and an ear
that is always finely tuned to the tremulous sweetness of humanity,
endows her protagonist with heart and humility, and though he remains
nameless throughout, we know somehow his voice will speak for the ages.

I am a huge fan of this author's work. There are few among us who
command this level of technical skill with such discipline and
artistry, and few who are so in tune with the artless beauty of human
nature that lies at the heart of The Lord of the Rings. Simple,
thoughtful, and compelling, this is writing at its most careful,
considerate best. Bravo!

Title: If You Could See What I Hear · Author: Cathleen · Races:
Hobbits: Incomplete · ID: 488
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-17 14:32:54
I have been following this captivating story for some time now, and I
have to say I find Tulip the Knitted Piglet as charming and as
integral to Pippin as that other famous suffed toy, Erroll, The
Thain's Rabbit! Truly, Pippin's childhood has been blessed with wise
and wonderful friends.

Tulip serves as a sort of pre-integrated conscience and common sense
for the very young Pippin here, and she is droll and grumbly and Mary
Poppinsish. She is a marvelous character, cleverly conceived and
written with flourish; it takes very little time to realize that Tulip
is the grownup here, and I often look to her for reassurance as little
Pippin wanders through his enchanted wood. A very interesting byplay
takes place between Pippin and Tulip, a skillful and sophisticated
conversation that suggests the brilliance of Pippin's imagination and
an internal dialectic belied by his youth. Very nicely done! And the
appearance of the fairy Rhoswen creates enough uncertainty to give the
story just a kiss of danger--a magical read, well-written and guided
by a very accomplished hand!

Title: Three Things About Pippin · Author: grey_wonderer · Genres:
Humor: Children · ID: 133
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-17 14:33:11
No one can paint a picture of wee Pippin like GW can, or put funnier
words in his mouth. The GW signature is plain to see here, in this
sweet story of an absolutely charming whirlwind of destruction and the
folk who can't help but love him, even when they want to ["send him
back!"] Pippin's mother and sisters (in particular the fiery Vince)
are well drawn here, and Frodo Baggins, who happens innocently upon
the scene, is alternately wise and wily. But Pippin steals the show in
a tour de force of sparkling dialogue and heart-warming contrition.
Gentle and touching, well-paced and written with considerable skill
and great heart, this is a hot-cocoa-and-marshmallows bedtime story
that teaches a tender lesson--even Vince comes around in the end! Well
done, as always; this is a particularly wonderful writer.

Title: Field of Dreams · Author: agape4gondor · Genres: Drama · ID: 374
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-17 14:34:33
An anguished tale of war's aftermath in the countryside around Minas
Tirith, this little story also reflects some admirable research into
farming in the Middle Ages! This keen insight drives the touching
story of a war widow bringing in the crop not only for what's left of
her family, but for the needs of the suffering community at large. An
interesting idea and a perspective that tends to be forgotten as we so
often consider the lives of the Great in the after-stories, this
gently paced and deeply-realized piece fills in the tapestry of Men in
Middle-earth with many tough and shimmering strands of emotion and
endeavor. There is no escaping suffering and sacrifice here; the
author brings home the war in ways the grand Tower of Ecthelion is
helpless to portray. Very nice work; unforgettable!

Title: The Arachnid's Appeal · Author: TrekQueen · Genres: Humor · ID: 114
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2007-10-17 15:53:42
[this review contains spoilers]

Oh my goodness, it was great to read this letter again. The author
leaves the reader with this brilliant visual of a Shelob sitting there
as a supporter, probably with a hat, a Sauron shawl supporting her
troops. At the same time I can see her missing one eye, still feeling
a bit sore after the encounter with Sam and Frodo [The nasty run-in
with those two dastardly creatures, one of whom was the one who
stabbed me, also had an annoyingly bright, white-glowing bottle of
light.] At the same time Trekqueen gives us insight in the relations
between the fractions within Sauron's army and Shelob's description of
the Witchking is just fabulous:
[Mr. I-am-the-former-king-of-Angmar-hear-me-roar] That sentence alone
is good for a fit of laughter, it makes sense though that Sauron's
creatures – including Shelob – would have a some sort of resistance
against the WiKi's cry. This whole letter is just full of details and
what makes it so great is that it just reads so reasonable seen from
her perspective – an isolated creature, yet serving the current evil
in ME. The tie in to her predecessor Ungoliant and her offspring in
Mirkwood was a good one, making it all fit so perfectly.

I love this piece: it is fast paced and the so-called punches appear
at the right time, and all the ingredients of a humour piece are here:
this all poured into the form of a letter. Darn and now I am stuck
with this visual of Shelob cheering for her boss while probably eating
popcorn, could you pass on the bucket?

Title: Requiem · Author: Rhapsody · Races: Cross-Cultural · ID: 280
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-17 17:52:26
A thoughtful, extremely well-researched account of the latter days of
Celegorm, his bond with Huan, and the roles they play in the Last
Battle alluded to in HoME/The Lost Road/The Book of Lost Tales. Good
usage of Orome and Vana, among others. And the quotes from the Requiem
material are quite lovely and appropriate.

Title: Aragorn's Moment · Author: docmon · Races: Men: Eriador or
Rivendell · ID: 509
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-10-17 19:37:18
I love fanfic not just for its ability to speculate on the large
spaces in time or between events that populate Tolkien's vision, but
for these more subtle gapfillers, where an author sometimes takes but
a single line - often one that I have unthinkingly breezed over a
dozen times in my reading - and expands it such that the potential
import of the words comes thundering down on me. Docmon has done that
here, in a vignette both beautiful and heartbreaking.

She has turned her personal vision into an excellent exploration of
Aragorn's thoughts in that moment just before the Quest sets out. The
full weight and burden of his doom is laid out convincingly, plainly
and painfully, but this is not an Aragorn that I feel pity for. He is
much too strong, too noble for simple sentiment. When he stands up at
the end, ready to accept whatever the results of the Quest may be,
prepared to walk this horrible road not for any gain to himself but
for the good of Arda, my chest does ache with sorrow for him. But
more, it burns with pride and triumph, for it is this commitment to
individual self-sacrifice and the determination to do one's best which
has always conquered evil.

Wonderful writing, believable speculation, and the Aragorn I love and
admire! Thank you for giving me such a vision to hold, docmon, during
every future reading of that FotR passage.

Title: Signs · Author: permilea · Races: Hobbits: Children · ID: 384
Reviewer: Inkling · 2007-10-17 19:38:06
The aftermath of an outrageous tea-time prank provides a quirky,
delightful glimpse of two young cousins and their relationship. The
event is all the funnier for being seen in retrospective, through the
lens of Pippin's cockeyed logic and childish superstitions, and
Frodo's barely suppressed hilarity.

With the wonderful economy of words I admire in all of her stories,
Permilea paints a vivid word-picture for us: Frodo braced in the
window seat, a profusion of flowers spilling over the sill, and
Pippins' knees jabbing him in the ribs.

The danger in writing stories about children, and perhaps
hobbit-children in particular, is in letting them become overly cute
and cloying. Permilea avoids that trap skillfully. Her Frodo and
Pippin are funny and charming, and their affection for one another
shines through, but there's just the right touch of tartness in their
interactions that makes them believable youngsters: Pippin pokes
Frodo; Frodo shoves the "bony Took" off his lap.

I love Frodo's canny grasp of child psychology. He dutifully runs
through all the "grown-up" reasons why Pippin's act was wrong, but
then plays his trump card: they didn't get any apple-cherry crumble!

"Signs" was the first piece published by this talented author under
the pen-name Permilea (following terrific stories written under a
different alias), and I dearly hope that it won't be the last by her
that I have the pleasure of reviewing.


Title: Shadowfax, Lord of all Horses · Author: grey_wonderer · Races:
Cross-Cultural: With Pippin · ID: 597
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-17 19:39:16
The name of a tavern in Minas Tirith, and the sign outside it, gives
rise to an amusing tale about Shadowfax taking Pippin for, well, if
not necessarily a ride, then a good lesson. Very good characterisation
of Gandalf.

Title: At the Sign of the Hungry Hobbit · Author: Mews1945 · Genres:
Humor: Parody · ID: 475
Reviewer: Inkling · 2007-10-17 19:45:37
Ever wondered about the meaning of life, the universe, and everything?
Let Samwise Gamgee--hobbit philosopher, barkeep and much, much
more--explain it all for you (and no, the answer's not 42).

No one is off-limits in this wickedly funny, irreverent piece, from
Creationists to atheists, gods to men. Sam has the latter pegged
pretty well: ["Men would rather argue than eat, if you give 'em their
druthers..."].

Even the good Professor comes in for his share of skewering. One of my
favorite things about this story is that, unlike all the gentle,
affectionate fanfic encounters between hobbits and their creator that
I've read, this one has an irate Tolkien throwing them out of his
house for their ["heathen claptrap"].
.
I don't want to reveal too much, but suffice it to say that the Valar
and Maiar are not all they're cracked up to be in Sam's universe. Nor
are Aragorn and Legolas...er, make that Legless. And don't be
surprised if the Earth Mark 3 turns out to be mushroom-shaped...


Title: The City and Star Island Line · Author: lipstick · Genres:
Mystery · ID: 524
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-10-17 19:46:33
[The City and Star Island Line] is an unusual take on one of the most
popular couples in LotR fanfic. The style is smart and unique:
humorous with dashes of horror and grief, off-beat with just the right
amount of twisted, such that I came away from it with a renewed and
fresh appreciation for the tale of Faramir and Eowyn. Lipstick somehow
manages this while capturing the essence of the book
characterizations; these are the people we love, just shown through a
different filter.

There is wonderful, witty dialogue throughout the story, spectacular
descriptions and sometimes startling character moments. I love the
story-within-a-story effect, and Faramir's "Halloween" tale is
fabulous in its own right: the perfect mix of hair-raising and
ridiculous, with dabs of modern references to tweak recognition and an
entertaining and subtle portrayal of Denethor.

There are so many favorite bits in here... I love the off-kilter but
accurate view of Numenorean history; the scent of paraffin and the
comment on breaking down; and ["My family were very against that kind
of thing."

There was a silence that went on for longer than it should have.

"Yes," he said, "really."]

Followed by the marvelous description of Arwen and her "tactful"
wedding gift; and that superb, evocative section on what loving
Faramir has brought to Eowyn. Threaded within it all is Faramir's
efforts to cope with his father's legacy - none of the poignancy is
lost here, and it often has an extra sharpness due to the unexpected
way it is presented.

Title: Miss Dora Baggins' Book of Manners · Author: Dreamflower ·
Races: Hobbits: Incomplete · ID: 239
Reviewer: Inkling · 2007-10-17 19:55:11
It's a shame that Tolkien didn't do more with Dora Baggins...she
always struck me as a character with great potential, comic and
otherwise. Fortunately, Dreamflower has stepped into the breach and
given us an entire book of etiquette penned by the formidable Miss Dora.

I like the foreword's canonical basis, drawing on Bilbo's character in
"The Hobbit" for the chief Principles of Respectability: kindness,
hospitality, and (pre-Adventure, at least) predictability. And I
appreciate the amount of research and knowledge behind this tome, from
the invaluable Letter # 214 in "The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien" to the
conventions of classic etiquette guides generally, supplemented and
embellished by Dreamflower's own prolific imagination--providing the
reader with reams of Useful Information on hobbit customs and manners.

But make no mistake, what I love most about this piece is Miss Dora
herself.

Tolkien likened the Shire to Victorian England, and Dora is a prim and
proper Victorian through and through, with quite a flair for
euphemisms like ["Goings On"] and ["Putting the Dessert Before the
Main Course"]. She is nonetheless full of shrewd insight and dry
humor, even on subjects that, as a spinster, she might reasonably be
expected to take a pass on. Consider this observation about older
children looking after their younger siblings:

["It steadies a child to have to set a Good Example, and even if their
Natural Affection and Protectiveness does not serve as a deterrent,
the knowledge that Little Brother or Sister is a witness often will."]

Yes indeed, this is one spinster who knows how children think! Some of
Miss Dora's finest moments, in fact, come in the sections on the
rearing of children--topped only, perhaps, by the chapters on
mealtimes and manners, in which she extols ["the importance of
Respecting Food."] I can just picture her penning those last two words
with a flourish!

Despite the occasional dig (properly veiled, of course) at her
scandalous cousin Bilbo, Dora is never mean-spirited, and in her
tireless zeal to anticipate and provide instructions for any
eventuality, she clearly has her readers' best interests at heart.

We should all be so lucky as to have an Aunt Dora!
.



Title: Looking Awfully Hard · Author: Gryffinjack · Races: Hobbits:
Merry and Pippin · ID: 779
Reviewer: Elanor · 2007-10-18 00:27:58
It is not often that we consider the trauma that Pippin's experiences
with Denethor must have engendered. The Steward was a hard and bitter
man, beside himself with grief and beset with madness. His hall was
tense and his relationship with his only living son shockingly
insensitive. What must an innocent, sheltered hobbit of the Shire have
felt in the darkly erratic company of such a Man, and how might the
Steward's horrifying death by fire become Pippin's own experience?

Gryffinjack explores these interesting ideas in a gap story of
admirable insight and sensitivity. Here is a writer who brings a
deeply thoughtful perspective to a moment that passes without incident
in the Original; readers will be glad to know that Pippin's staggered
soul is redeemed here. Nicely done!

Title: Tales of the Innkeeper · Author: Allee · Genres: Drama:
Incomplete · ID: 237
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-18 01:47:21
[This review includes spoilers of some plot details]


Nice series of vignettes from the point of view of an OMC, a busy
innkeeper who finds himself hosting a weary King Elessar and his men.
Interesting contrasts between the down-to-earth innkeeper and the
King; the crusty innkeeper finds common ground with and respect for
his royal guest.

Title: Tales From The Garden · Author: Elemmire · Races: Hobbits:
Incomplete · ID: 793
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-18 03:19:05
Alas that we have but one chapter of this as yet, as we see the
normally predicable but now love-struck Bungo Baggins planning his
grand smial, to be dug within the Hill on the edge of Hobbiton.
Orchards, vinyard, children, they're all planned for. Love will do
that to a Hobbit, you see.

Beautiful imagery and descriptions,

Title: Steward and Thain · Author: agape4gondor · Races:
Cross-Cultural: The Fellowship · ID: 87
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-18 03:23:37
As wonderful a series of exchanges between the heir to the Thain of
the Shire and the heir to the Steward of Gondor as one could hope to
find. Each is expanding the understanding of the other and learning
the ways of leadership with humor, pathos, and grace. A warm telling
of a special friendship.

Title: Outmatched · Author: Tiana Luthien · Genres: Drama: Vignette ·
ID: 132
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-18 03:30:58
When Faramir offers for the hand of Eowyn, her brother seeks to assure
himself his prospective sister's husband will be worthy of the
Shieldmaiden from Rohan. A worthy protector does he find.

Title: Of Echoes of Bruinen · Author: Berzerker Prime · Races: Elves ·
ID: 345
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-18 03:36:29
The challenge was to "correct" a scene from the movies, and it has
been accomplished here with grace.

Title: The Beginning of a Wonderful Friendship · Author: Imhiriel ·
Races: Cross-Cultural · ID: 629
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-18 03:46:03
Finrod's comments on the compositional skills of dark Elves were taken
badly, but his sister's support of the Elf who'd overheard them won an
unexpected devotion.

Wonderful look at the first meeting of these two.

Title: A Very Good Teacher · Author: Cathleen · Races: Hobbits: Merry
and Pippin · ID: 700
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-18 03:49:28
A humorous slightly AU take on the Movie-verse identification of a
pint at the Prancing Pony, as Merry and Pippin find themselves in the
midst of a free-for-all. And who really taught Pippin all he knows?

Title: Before the Gate · Author: Jay of Lasgalen · Races: Elves:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 704
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-18 03:51:46
Two of those fighting before the Black Gate accept that whatever
happens now, they will remain side by side.

A lovely look at two we KNOW were there but rarely see mentioned by
the Master himself.

Title: The Green Hill · Author: Baranduin · Races: Cross-Cultural: The
Fellowship · ID: 562
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-18 04:00:35
Not quite canon, perhaps, but desirable as Aragorn admits the
trothplighting of himself with Arwen to Frodo.

Title: A Moment Lost · Author: Fawsley · Races: Men: Gondor Drabble ·
ID: 491
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-18 04:03:30
A good question--at precisely what moment did Aragorn truly embrace
his destiny as King? A movie-Aragorn moment, perhaps, and well told.

Title: Thengling Mighty · Author: Linda hoyland · Times: Late Third
Age: 3018-3022 TA: General Drabble · ID: 420
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-18 04:09:35
Although her first loves are Aragorn and Faramir, Linda here proves
herself one fully capable of picturing Theoden, going from the shadows
of Saruman's spells and Grima's dark counsels to the brilliance of his
renewal by Gandalf. In so few words she packs quite the wallop!

Marvelous!

Title: The Rose in the Fisted Glove · Author: Jael · Genres: Drama:
Second Age or Earlier · ID: 240
Reviewer: Oshun · 2007-10-18 04:48:47
I had read nothing, or practically nothing, of Jael's work when I read
this and fell completely in love with the story and particularly with
her subtle but well-developed characterizations of Thranduil and
Galion and their relationship with one another. I adore Galion's voice
in particular and Thranduil's understanding of him. One of my all time
favorite lines is: ["You have marks in your shoulder from the straps,"
said Galion, in a tone that managed to mix concern with irritation…]
This story is so smart, tender, funny, and sad-- totally satisfying,
beautifully thought through and executed in the unique style that I
have come to expect from this author. Loved the references to those
laws and expectations in regard to the expression of sexuality as ["a
pile of pious Lachenn cant"] and the further observation that perhaps
Elves are less ["a chaste and virtuous people"] than ["a very discreet
people"]. The ["no man is a hero to his own valet"] point is well
proven in the first chapter, but also that friendship and shared
experiences can cross the boundaries of ethnicity and station. I
really loved Thranduil's little squeak and also the revelation on the
part of Thranduil of how he would characterize their shared experience
that gives near the chapter's end.

The second chapter is at least as moving as the first in a totally
different manner. It gave me a subtly altered insight into Oropher's
disastrous charge and his subsequent death along with two-thirds of
his army in the Battle of Dagorlad. Prince Thranduil of the first
chapter has significantly grown and changed to become King Thranduil
of the second.

Msg# 8386

Re: Whooo hoo! Posted by dwimmer\_laik November 06, 2007 - 8:42:13 Topic ID# 8381
Made my unofficial goal early. Have fallen off horse ever since!

Dwim

--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "Nancy Brooke" <graceomyheart@...>
wrote:
>
> Got to the halfway point on my MEFA Junkie score ... how is everyone
> else doing?
>
> It certainly is a motivator for me; thanks MEFA Admins!
>

Msg# 8387

Re: Whooo hoo! Posted by Liz Warren November 06, 2007 - 9:15:41 Topic ID# 8381
Nearly 80 per cent of the way to my target, and yes I'm finding it very
motivating and encouraging to see the total of reviews to be done
increase and the total to meet the target go down.

Glad to know people are enjoying the feature!

Tanaqui

Nancy Brooke wrote:
>
>
> Got to the halfway point on my MEFA Junkie score ... how is everyone
> else doing?
>
> It certainly is a motivator for me; thanks MEFA Admins!

Msg# 8388

Re: Whooo hoo! Posted by Bonnie L. Sherrell November 06, 2007 - 11:54:38 Topic ID# 8381
Well, I surpassed mine a few weeks ago, and have managed to triple it
so far. Am trying to review MOST of the nominees this year.
Bonnie L. Sherrell
Teacher at Large

"Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends." LOTR

"Don't go where I can't follow."

I mourn for this nation.

Msg# 8389

Re: Whooo hoo! Posted by heartofoshun@aol.com November 06, 2007 - 12:00:02 Topic ID# 8381
"Am trying to review MOST of the nominees this year."


Wow! That is ambitious. My goal was to be happy if I could review even all
of the stories I really loved. (Of course, I am an addictive reader.) I got
off to reasonably good start, but need to kick into higher gear to make my
personal goal.







************************************** See what's new at http://www.aol.com


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

Msg# 8390

Re: Whooo hoo! Posted by Stephanie Brucker November 06, 2007 - 13:53:26 Topic ID# 8381
Whoo hoo from me, too. I passed the half way point last night. That's
an accomplishment for me, since I gravitate to the longer fics. Don't
know if I can make my goal but I'm sure trying. Thing is, I love
reading other peoples reviews quite as much as writing my own. I've
read some terrific reviews for this year's MEFAs.

- Stefania



-- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "Nancy Brooke" <graceomyheart@...> wrote:
>
> Got to the halfway point on my MEFA Junkie score ... how is everyone
> else doing?
>
> It certainly is a motivator for me; thanks MEFA Admins!
>

Msg# 8391

Re: Whooo hoo! Posted by Chris November 06, 2007 - 17:40:55 Topic ID# 8381
I made my official goal a few weeks ago, but I discovered that it was more
hindering. It kind of kept me from reading more, since I 'only' have to read
so many more stories. Now that I'm past my goal I find that I'm much more
motivated. Setting the goal higher would not have worked either, because
then I would probably have given up to reach it. But I already know that I
will probably not make my whole wish list, since I will be on vacation with
no Internet access to speak of next week and I have discovered that I at
least need another week to get back into the swing of things.

Chris

> -----Original Message-----
> From: MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com [mailto:MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com]On
> Behalf Of Liz Warren
> Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2007 10:12 AM
> To: MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com
> Subject: Re: [MEFAwards] Whooo hoo!
>
>
> Nearly 80 per cent of the way to my target, and yes I'm finding it very
> motivating and encouraging to see the total of reviews to be done
> increase and the total to meet the target go down.
>
> Glad to know people are enjoying the feature!
>
> Tanaqui
>
> Nancy Brooke wrote:
> >
> >
> > Got to the halfway point on my MEFA Junkie score ... how is everyone
> > else doing?
> >
> > It certainly is a motivator for me; thanks MEFA Admins!

Msg# 8392

Re: Whooo hoo! Posted by Chris November 06, 2007 - 17:42:33 Topic ID# 8381
Stefania wrote:

> Thing is, I love
> reading other peoples reviews quite as much as writing my own. I've
> read some terrific reviews for this year's MEFAs.

I stopped reading the reviews or I would not get to the stories. But there
were some great reviews among those I managed to read.

Chris

Msg# 8393

MEFA Reviews for November 7, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 07, 2007 - 4:47:37 Topic ID# 8393
Title: Bilbo's Gifts · Author: Llinos/Marigold CoAuthors · Races:
Hobbits: Children · ID: 207
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-18 05:52:52
Bilbo managed to make the third birthday for each of our favorite four
very special indeed--a gift of understanding for a father, a gift of
communication, peronal instruction and explanation for the one who is
far too literal--and generous--for his own good, the help of the Elves
when a visit to the greenhouse turns potentially deadly. We certainly
see why Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin came to love the old Hobbit.

Poignant, funny, thoughtful, and alarming by turn, and well done
altogether.

Title: Through the Eyes of Another · Author: grey_wonderer · Races:
Hobbits: Merry and Pippin · ID: 136
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-18 06:02:47
Indeed not the simple Hobbit walking party it at first appeared! But
it appears even Knights of Gondor need to feel protected while those
of the Mark appreciate being needed. But what a thing to remember, and
THERE, of all places!

As usual, amusing and touching by turns.

Title: Taking Leave · Author: Soubrettina · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 326
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-18 06:21:12
Soubrettina has a style that's unique among Tolkien fanfiction readers
- not very Tolkienish, but quite fresh and vivid. This is an unusual
take on the death of a LOTR character.

Title: The Most Beautiful · Author: Meril · Races: Cross-Cultural ·
ID: 508
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-18 07:07:40
A touching ficlet, beautifully illustrated exploring Melian's dual
state of being.I found the Maiar's love for her little daughter very
moving.

Title: The Wrong Path · Author: White Wolf · Genres: Adventure · ID: 481
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-18 07:15:07
A roller coasterride of angst and adventure.There are a great many
angst stories around about Aragorn and Legolas getting into incredible
and alarming adventures, prior to LOTR, for which there is no canon
evidence, but this one is well told and had me on the edge of my
seat.White Wolf is a gifted storyteller.

Title: Mastering Men · Author: Imhiriel · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Gondor Drabble · ID: 623
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-18 07:17:52
A vivid depiction of the fall of the bridge at Osgiliath.I liked the
detail of shedding the armour as a man would surely drown in a river
with such a weight. Faramir is indeed a great commander.

Title: Transformation · Author: Imhiriel · Races: Men: General Drabble
· ID: 185
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-18 07:23:09
A vivid and compelling glimpse of Imrahil during the Ring War, showing
him as a vigourous and attractive man and fierce warrior

Title: The Arachnid's Appeal · Author: TrekQueen · Genres: Humor · ID: 114
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-18 07:27:01
This is both clever and amusing.We know what Frodo and Sam think of
Shelob,but what does she think of them amongst other beings she has
encountered? I actually quite liked the wicked and surprisingly vain
old spider by the end of this!

Title: The Waves' Song · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Drama: General
Drabble · ID: 6
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-18 07:29:01
A heartrending account of Arwen's desolation and grief as she laments
her beloved Aragorn and gazes at the sea she will never now cross.

Title: Beauty · Author: Marta · Races: Hobbits: Drabble · ID: 646
Reviewer: Inkling · 2007-10-18 08:31:22
The precise nature of the relationship between Frodo and Sam has been
the subject of much speculation in the fandom, ranking right up there
with "What is Tom Bombadil?" and "Do balrogs have wings?" In this
drabble Marta has addressed the question as well as any discussion
I've seen, and much more succinctly than most.

Sam may think he hasn't words to describe Frodo, but in fact he does
very well...the middle passage, with its analogy of moonlight on the
Water, is lovely and poetic, but in a completely believable, Sam-like way.

In the end, the fic leaves the question ambiguous, as the larger
discussion ultimately must be. For although I'm quite sure that
Tolkien never intended for the bond between these two to be construed
as sexual in nature, there's no denying that something is going on
between them that transcends simple friendship or brotherly love. The
fact that it can't be pinned down definitively is part of the beauty
of LOTR--and of "Beauty."


Title: Taters and Thyme · Author: Cuthalion · Genres: Romance · ID: 499
Reviewer: Inkling · 2007-10-18 08:40:33
In fanfic it's tempting, and all too easy, to approach hobbits' love
of food in a cliched, stereotypical way--the cheap shot about
mushrooms, the easy gag of a "light snack" that takes a paragraph to
describe. Heck, I've done it myself! But in this lovely little piece,
Cuthalion has given us something much more complex and satisfying. Her
hobbits demonstrate a truth found in all the best stories and films
about food ("Babette's Feast" and "Tampopo" come to mind): that when
prepared as a labor of love, it gives sustenance to soul as well as body.

There are so many wonderful details to be savored here: the delightful
scents of sizzling lamb, aromatic herbs, and sun-warmed soil; the
capable yet tender midwife brushing flour off Sam's brow, the easy way
the hobbits take over each other's cooking, or place by the bedside.
My favorite passage is the scene in the herb garden...the sensations
and Sam's emotions are so vivid!

The story concludes in a comforting blur of warmth, love, new life,
food and sleep, all mingling to form a picture of domestic bliss that
filled me with a powerful urge to immediately cook something or plant
an herb garden. The feeling passed and the herbs will have to wait
until next summer now, but I'm still dreaming about it, thanks to
Cuthalion.


Title: Still Round the Corner · Author: lbilover · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Grey Havens · ID: 515
Reviewer: Inkling · 2007-10-18 08:47:13
In this beautifully written story lbilover imagines the final parting
between Sam and Frodo--not, for a change, Frodo Baggins, but his
namesake, Sam's son. Inspired by Tolkien's epilogues to LOTR
(unpublished in his lifetime but appearing in "Sauron Defeated"),
"Still Round the Corner" is distinguished by a spare, elegant style,
lyrical descriptions, convincing dialogue and insightful
characterizations.

The story abounds with small details that bring the narrative to life:
the stable lad with ["one hand cupped over the pony's nostrils to
prevent him from whinnying at the sight of his master"]; Sam's fingers
["gnarled as the roots of the trees he'd planted in the long-ago days
after the Troubles."]

My favorite moment is when Sam comes riding out of the morning mist in
a halo of light ["like some legend stepping out of one of the great
tales"] before dwindling again to an elderly hobbit. Not only is it a
stunning image, but it neatly sums up what surely was Frodo-lad's
experience growing up with such a father, at once a living legend and
a simple, earthy gardener.

While knowledge of the epilogues is not necessary to the enjoyment of
this tale, those who have read them will appreciate this as a worthy
extension of their themes.



Title: Gentlemen's Night Out · Author: Oshun · Genres: Humor: Gondor
or Rohan · ID: 181
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-10-18 14:03:58
In my mind, this was a definite 10+ from the very beginning. I
absolutely adored this tale. I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes.
Of course, my favorite baseball team (Cleveland Indians) were winning
by a huge margin, so I was extremely happy as I began to read this,
but nothing diminished the humor in this tale. Absolutely excellent!

The irreverent look at LACE was a scream. I have never held with those
principles. It is my understand that they were 'guidelines' - ROTFL. I
loved Elladan's response to poor Ercherion's earnest studying of such
tomes.

What the author did to the poor young Elves was very sad and cruel
indeed. LOL - having them read this and believe it! Still laughing as
I write this, though I read this tale two days ago!

Oh - and the fact that [the book fell right open to those pages], and
the words used! Frantic, thumbing, futiley, hope.... readily describe
an Elf close to the throes of despair! *Howls with laughter*

I loved Legolas' wondering over what his punishment might be before he
[ransacked the entire place] looking for hope that he was not doomed!
ROTFL

I underlined so many places in the piece that just tickled me. I'll go
to the author's website to comment some more. But the ones above, as I
said, had me in tears. Thanks for a great read. I will treasure this
little treasure!

Title: At Long Last · Author: Astara · Genres: Romance: Pre-Ring War ·
ID: 746
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-10-18 14:27:36
The author has a nice way with words. I enjoyed this tale of the first
encounter. Denethor's slight perturbance at helping to strengthen Dol
Amroth's pride was interesting at the very beginning of this tale.

I was thoroughly taken by this description of the Steward's Heir -
[The tone was as neutral as the mask he wore] - told everything about
Denethor - at least the future Denethor. Profound description. I still
shudder at it.

I liked the strained relations between Angelimir and Ecthelion. Very
believable. But it was so sad to read of Denethor's surprise over the
Swan's family dynamics... very sad in light of what you describe for
the Steward's family. And your impression of Ecthelion and Thorongil's
relationship was spot on. I never have given much credence to those
who think Denethor's envy of Thorongil was not well-earned. Very, very
difficult for a son. And yet, later on, does not Denethor do the same
to Faramir? Sad family.

I enjoyed the snowball fight, the kiss, and the strained relationship
after it. Very glad it all ended well.

Title: Summer Daze · Author: Marta · Genres: Romance: Pre-Ring War ·
ID: 471
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-10-18 14:40:35
What a delightful tale of Faramir's growing into one aspect of his
manhood!

I have to go back and read 'Summer Nights' after the quote you use in
your author's notes. [I would sooner find release...]

Your descriptions are well written. Some of my favorites are: [he
could slip the gown off her shoulders] - Faramir definitely has a
vivid imagination; [he would gladly feed her fruit] - yes, he does
have a good imagination!; [stroking himself...behind the screen] - I
just love his thoughts, poor lad; [if he could not control his other
blade] - this made me ROTFL; [the man's gate excited him] - control
yourself, Faramir! Again, made me ROTFL.

I enjoyed his actions, unknown to him until he became aware, and in
such an awkward place. I had to laugh. The fact that his studies did
nothing to ease his physical stress...

I found it sad that he could only dream or imagine someone else in the
spot of pleasure - perhaps it comes from Denethor's ill-regard for
Faramir.... I'm glad he was able to overcome that hurdle. LOL

I found the 'inkeeper's' distress interesting. To have a Lord of
Gondor be misused would not be good for business, nor, perhaps, her life.

Isilwen herself is a great character. I very much liked how she
handled the Steward's son. It must have been exciting for her to
'have' a virgin. Probably - they do not come along very often.

I liked the ending with Faramir realising that, without the mistake,
he would have been home [eating stew with his cousins!]

Absolutely delightful little tale. I look forward to more Iselwen???

Title: The Blessing · Author: Golden/Pearl Took CoAuthors · Genres:
Alternate Universe: Incomplete · ID: 235
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-10-18 14:51:02
A most delightful tale. I very much like the premise. It would seem
that all of the 'heroes' in Tolkien's tale - those that lived
(grumble, grumble), came out of the battle physically unscathed
(except, of course, dear Frodo). This puts that thought to short shrift.

Pip's injury, subsequent diagnosis (long in coming), and his fighting
it and all those around him, is well written. The fact that his
friends do not, in the course of their own healing of inner wounds,
recognize the depths of Pip's injury is profoundly sad.

Pip's struggles to survive and eventually live as whole as he possibly
can are well documented. His friends coming to terms with the extent
of Pip's injury and the repercussions for the rest of their lives, as
well as his, are sad. But it is great to find that they all are 'up to
the task' of helping their friend. And that Pip is stalwart, brave,
and wondrous in 'tackling' what his life now is, and not giving in to
despair.

Wonderful tale.

Title: Rauros, golden Rauros-falls · Author: Imhiriel · Genres: Humor:
Drabble · ID: 624
Reviewer: Aranel Took · 2007-10-18 18:50:16
Oh god, that killed me (not quite in the same way as poor Boromir,
however)! I suppose Aragorn needs to improve his basic medical skills
before dumping people into rivers. ;-) Great job on the humorous
elements--everything clicks right into place leading up to the finale.
*still giggling* Poor Boromir!

Title: Stay With Me · Author: pippinfan88 · Races: Hobbits:
Hurt/Comfort · ID: 518
Reviewer: PipMer · 2007-10-18 18:58:46
What a wonderful story about Pippin and Esmeralda. Pippin and Merry
are living at Crickhollow, and Esmeralda happens to be visiting when
she notices Pippin having a waking nightmare. The two talk on into the
night, Esmeralda keeping Pippin company and distracting him from his
dreams.

Wonderful!

Title: A Suitable Tribute · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Drama · ID: 474
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-18 19:46:25
This lovely ficlet is the middle scene of the tale which began with
Ribby's "Gifts of the People". Here we find the young woman, Marrin,
examining her possessions and resources with a highly critical eye in
search of the perfect in-kind gift to offer as her tithe to the king.
She considers her artistic and culinary skills to be modest at best,
and her lilacs and roses, alas, have not yet recovered from the
trepidations of war (a very nice touch.) She feels that she has only
two items of value from which to choose. Too charmingly modest to
offer a dance (though she does take a moment to daydream about that
possibility), she instead decides to offer her hair.

Marrin's choice to sacrifice her richest possession is heartaching in
its simplicity and nobility. Her gift is not given painlessly, for
what would be the value in that? I particularly love her betrothed's
participation, as the one who actually cuts off her braid, acting as
the priest to her sacrifice. His obvious love and pride help to soothe
her pain, and shock, when the deed is done.

What is particularly noteworthy about is tale (other than its supreme
loveliness) is how seamlessly EdorasLass is able to pick up another
other's character, add a perfect layer to the characterization, and
then pass her on. I know there was no design to this arc, just the
marvelous synergy of two great authors working together to produce
this exquisite gift to us all.

Title: Bitter Springs · Author: Dwimordene · Times: Mid Third Age:
2851 - 3017 TA · ID: 634
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-18 19:47:59
A carefully researched and thoughtfully written vignette featuring
Théodred and Boromir. AU to my AU, they are not lovers here, nor do
they seem particularly good friends, but more like junior colleagues
respectful of each others' professional qualifications and managerial
potential. They are both chafing at the bit, frustrated at being
forced to watch poor leadership, corruption, and ill luck take its
toll. There is little they can do at this point other than meet
unobtrusively to share honest, if discouraging, appraisals of the
situation in their respective countries.

What is particularly impressive to me in this tale are the what-if's:
What if Théodred had been able to overcome Grima's machinations, and
lead Rohan under his father's blessings? What if Théodred had
rebelled, and led a renegade band (much like Film!Eomer), fomenting
civil war in Rohan? These questions are for far more skilled writers
than I to explore. Perhaps these whispers will lodge in Dwimodene's
subconcious, rooting stealthily until they take simultaneous control
of her brain and her fingers. I can only hope; or at least hope for,
and welcome, more such insightful tales as this featuring Théodred and
Boromir.


Title: The Void · Author: SheBit · Races: Villains: Drabble · ID: 452
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-18 19:48:41
This is chilling, but very realistic in the contrast between the
half-truths we tell our children, and harsh reality we must share with
them eventually. When the child first asks, ["what lies outside the
world?"] the answer is the type of fairy tale parents have always told
their children in an attempt to sooth and minimize their fears. It is
only when we as parents are able to accept that our little ones are
now adults, and able to take on adult concerns and responsibilities,
that we can share the this harsh reality with them – an expression of
growing up on our part, as well as theirs.

It's very sobering to think that parenting hasn't changed very much
through the thousands of years from the First Age to our own. There is
still a Void, full of nameless fears, and little that we can do,
really, to protect our loved ones. A very somber and thought-provoking
drabble.



Title: Conversion · Author: Pentangle · Genres: Drama: With Aragorn ·
ID: 169
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-18 19:49:38
What a rich and satisfying story. In contrast to Ribby's ["Gifts of
the People"], the folk of this village do not offer their tithes
joyously to the king, but with bitterness and despair. One returned
soldier, feeling he has nothing left to lose, speaks his mind to
Aragorn as he passes by in royal procession; the resulting
conversation is eye-opening to both king and subject.

The main character, Talion, is skillfully and realistically drawn. He
reminds me of war-weary veterans, even in our own age, who have given
so much in defense of their country, but find the lands to which they
return are a far cry from the homes they left. Talion could have borne
grinding the grinding poverty of a wheelwright in [a village with one
horse and three oxen]; the pillaging of the surrounding fields by both
orcs and soldiers, the not-unexpected deaths caused by starvation or
illness, but the loss of his only son to "friendly fire" [a black
arrow with gull's wing fletching] is more than he can bear.

But the king that he confronts angrily with a list of true, not
imagined, grievances is not what he expects to meet: the king Elessar
is generous, compassionate, full of sympathy and empathy, well aware
of the tribulations suffered by his people. [The king pulled away from
me and placed his hand upon my heart. And I swear, and will swear
until the stars burn out, that my grief flowed from me into his
fingertips, that I saw my pain in his eyes. The tearing anguish that
had been my companion for so long gentled into a deep longing sadness
that was nevertheless much easier to bear.]
[Elessar is a fine name—a name steeped in history and portent—but they
should have named him Hope.]Talion's own transformation, from
desperation to hope as the newly-appointed leader of his village, is a
pleasure to read.


Title: Adolescence · Author: Larner · Races: Cross-Cultural: Gondor ·
ID: 143
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-18 19:50:25
The unusual choice of characters makes this an unique and memorable
story. I particularly liked that the mischievous adolescents were
girls, not boys, for a change, and the characterization of willful
adolescent girls was spot-on. The description of the market itself was
rich and full, just the way I like it. I can just imagine that lovely
jewely, green-gold glass or [opaline blue with salmon pink] – I wish I
had a string of each. And the description of the hand-carved toys, and
Rosie's skill at haggling, were just perfect; the Shire-money being
suspect in Minas Tirith was a nice touch. The market guard's insight
in recognizing the anomalies in the girls' behavior was very
perceptive – I hope he's commended for his alertness. A very colorful
and enjoyable tale!


Title: Stone of the King · Author: Rowan · Races: Hobbits: Drabble ·
ID: 309
Reviewer: Inkling · 2007-10-18 21:14:19
This drabble is worth the price of admission for the first line alone,
with its wonderful alliteration: ["A sentinel now you are, standing in
ceaseless stony vigil while the birds make nests in your eyelids."]
The evocative language recalls, for me, indelible images from two of
my favorite poems, "Ozymandias" and "The Second Coming."

I also love the image of Isildur ["dumb and unmoving"]--helpless--as
his bane approaches once more. I can imagine the Ring here as a
malicious, sentient presence, enjoying the moment.

Frodo's thoughts are very plausible, and a nice alternative to his awe
and fear in this scene in Tolkien's book. And I can well believe his
envy of Isildur, viewing death as a release even this early in the quest.

A most impressive first drabble!




Title: Risen From Flame · Author: Ribby · Races: Men: Gondor Drabble ·
ID: 761
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-18 21:48:42
Excellent use of imagery and comparison/contrast. I love Faramir's
outcome likened to that of the city he served, and the legendary sunbird.

Msg# 8394

MEFA Reviews for November 7, 2007 (Part 2) Posted by Ann November 07, 2007 - 4:49:52 Topic ID# 8394
Title: Coda · Author: Imhiriel · Times: Second Age: Drabble · ID: 627
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-18 21:52:30
Such elegant use of imagery and metaphor to personalize tragedy.
Somehow I am reminded of all those papers flying from the WTC
before/during/after their fall.

Title: Could Will Have Its Way · Author: Nancy Brooke · Races: Men:
Gondor Drabble · ID: 286
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-18 22:01:47
O my. Powerful writing, fantastic construction with the repetition of
the question(s) [How could I not...?] giving structure to the piece.
There are logical reasons put forth to personalize Denethor's action,
making him more of a tragic figure and less of a caricature than the
film would have one think. What struck me on re-reading was the
progression of emotion from grief to resolve to hopeless despair.
Excellent, one of the best stand-alone drabbles I've seen yet.

Title: Where There's Life, There's Hope (and in need of vittles) ·
Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Drama: Gondor Drabble · ID: 463
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-18 22:06:27
O yes, very cleverly done! You begin with an image from the book and
segue into something new, but eminently believable. Nice play on the
senses and emotions.

Title: Another Doom · Author: mrkinch · Races: Men: Gondor Drabble ·
ID: 663
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-18 22:09:03
Nice explanation of why Boromir took on the task from his brother.
Reads like poetry.

Title: Darkness Visible · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Gondor Drabble · ID: 725
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-18 22:11:20
Nice. Engages all the senses, reaches out to the emotions, calls on
the reader's memory of similar experience. Reminds me of the eruption
of Mt. St. Helens, actually.

Title: Maiden Voyage · Author: Fawsley · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Drabble · ID: 654
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-18 22:13:01
Breathtaking in its imagery and progression, from tangible to
intangible. Left me breathless and amazed.

Title: Gifts of the People · Author: Ribby · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Gondor Drabble · ID: 472
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-18 22:14:18
This left me grinning in delight. Such a wise King - but was there
ever any doubt? (Perhaps among the Gondorians, but certainly not in my
mind.)

Title: Night Terrors · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 -
3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 752
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-18 22:16:02
Sweet. But it took me awhile to "get" the title!

Title: Mistaken · Author: Fawsley · Genres: Humor: Drabble · ID: 490
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-18 22:17:35
LOL! Well done, and nice surprise at the end. (If only...)

Title: Through Shadows · Author: Marta · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: General Drabble · ID: 620
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-18 22:23:23
Oooo. This one left me with shivers. Very nicely done.

Title: Cultural Exchanges In Gondor · Author: Llinos/Marigold
CoAuthors · Times: Late Third Age: 3018-3022 TA: Other Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 94
Reviewer: White Wolf · 2007-10-18 22:28:06
What a charming collection of tiny vignettes, neatly woven together.
It was a delight to move through each in turn, never knowing what
those curious and amazing hobbits were going to find next. It was fun
to guess just what each discovery was going to be, as the clues were
revealed.

Definitely a fun read.


Title: Observations · Author: grey_wonderer · Races: Hobbits: Children
· ID: 204
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-18 22:28:36
O yes, I remember this story. This is an absolute delight, and so very
true to life in its observation of the literalness of children, and
the exploration of a special father-son relationship (you just know
Merry had to be well-brought-up, in order to be the person he was on
the Quest, and accomplish what he did). As always, GW's dialogue rings
true, the settings are so well described as to make the reader feel
like being there, and the timing perfect. I love the conclusion, where
the father learns as important a lesson as his son! As an added bonus,
a clever Prologue precedes the main course.

Title: One Frodo Too Many · Author: Baranduin · Genres: Humor: Parody
· ID: 683
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-18 22:30:45
As you may know, I prefer het and gen, but I took a chance on this one
and found it very cleverly done. This bit in particular had me
rolling: ["even the Master himself said that others would come after
him to expand the tale in music and painting and drama, though …"
cough "… it seems unlikely that he had quite these kinds of stories in
mind."

The Frodos preened again; even triangle!Frodo sat up a little
straighter and wiped away his tears.

Book!Frodo shuddered. "Descended from me you are, yes … but otnay
ootay rightbay," he said. At their quizzical glances, he waved a hand.
"A very ancient form of Elvish, accessible only in very old scrolls in
Rivendell."]

Title: Behind Every Great Man... · Author: annmarwalk · Times: Mid
Third Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 52
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-18 22:31:05
Very funny! I am quite fond of extremely competent personal servants.
(Need one, actually.)

Title: A Game of Chess · Author: Marta · Genres: Drama: Gondor Drabble
· ID: 605
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-18 22:31:16
Started out skeptical - surely it was no new game to him. But your
clever explanation answered that nicely.

Title: Spring after Winter · Author: annmarwalk · Times: Mid Third
Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 462
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-18 22:31:31
Excellent. Excellent. (I seem to be repeating myself.) The dream
imagery, so winsome and wooing, so true to the senses; the reluctance
to wake, the joy and laughter awaiting... This is one of the best
"takes" I've seen on this scene. Very well done.

Title: The Waves' Song · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Drama: General
Drabble · ID: 6
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-18 22:32:01
The tragedy of this piece grabs my throat and leaves me shaken. Once
again I'm astounded at the power of words to be woven, turning prose
into poetry, and that it falls within the scope of a drabble makes it
even more of a wonder. [Winter swept from the north on grey gull
wings. Chill waves furrowed the grass, while the branches above surged
and heaved in a golden tempest of leaves.]

Title: Geometry · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Drama: Gondor Drabble · ID: 80
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-18 22:32:14
Very nice use of symbolism and imagery. Well done, especially within
the confines of the drabble form.

Title: Stopping by Woods · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Drama: Vignette ·
ID: 19
Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-18 22:34:19
O very nice fusion. One would almost think the poem a part of the
story rather than an external source of inspiration. You do a nice job
of weaving images, involving all the senses; and often your prose
makes itself into poetry. [Night fell early at the turning of the
year, and the birch trees gleamed like bleached bones in the twilight.
Snow swept across the western highway, stirring the yellow leaves that
lay heaped around the milestone.] and [The only sound was the sweep of
snow among the bare branches.] and [Feathers of snow soon brushed away
their tracks] were among my favourite passages.

I do wish Faramir might one day be able to trace his brother's
journey. I could see him doing that. (I have Pippin's son Faramir
doing much the same thing, in draft form at present.)

Title: Through Shadows · Author: Marta · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: General Drabble · ID: 620
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-10-18 23:28:03
Marta has captured Dwarven culture very effectively here with her use
of language and proper names. I particularly liked Gimli's reaction to
Frodo having seen the vision Gimli was hoping to share.


Title: Shadows of the Past · Author: Marta · Genres: Drama: General
Drabble · ID: 331
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-10-18 23:30:03
This is a very effective look at Smeagol's corruption into Gollum – at
first still with enough humanity (Hobbitity?) to bury Deagol with some
ceremony and to feel remorse, even if only in dreams. Only for those
feelings to slip away as Smeagol's true nature is consumed and
corrupted by the ring. The imagery of the ring of golden sunflowers
mirroring the gold of the One Ring is very striking. Well done!


Title: Diversion · Author: Mar'isu · Times: Late Third Age: 3018-3022
TA: General Drabble · ID: 708
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-10-18 23:34:38
This is an extremely plausible extrapolation from canon of what
Glorfindel might have done in lieu of going with the Fellowship. I
love the characterisation of Glorfindel as a stern and uncompromising
warrior - giving real depth to a character who in canon is mostly
present in rather impersonal accounts of heroism - and I am impressed
by the deft use of his first age backstory to illuminate his present
actions. Very nicely done.

Title: Mettare Duties · Author: Marta · Genres: Romance: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 647
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-10-18 23:36:30
This is a vivid and entertaining picture (and undeniably erotic in an
understated way) of personal moments amidst the tedium of court
politics. I'm not sure which part I like most: the depth of
characterisation in small details such as the reference to Eowyn's
[restless hands]; the intimacy in the exchanges between Faramir and
Eowyn, such as Faramir's thought that [Dernhelm lurked beneath her
surface, and he loved both shieldmaiden and hearth-warmer]; or your
effective use of Michael Longcor's song. Very nicely done!


Title: Woven in Friendship · Author: SlightlyTookish · Races:
Cross-Cultural: With Pippin · ID: 290
Reviewer: Garnet Took · 2007-10-19 00:57:42
For a short ficlet this story says a lot. There are hints of things to
come, and even a hint of Pippin's Tookish Sight. There are memories
also, memories of war and rescue. There is also the love of friends
and family.

This story also has something not found a lot in fan fiction; the
friendship and understanding between Pippin and Eowyn. It would be
nice to see more of this relationship.

Title: Last Light · Author: Ignoble Bard · Genres: Drama · ID: 194
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-19 00:58:19
Very poignant and unusual ficlet, complete with a splendid photo
illustration; from a POV I haven't seen before in Tolkien fanfiction.
This story is sad and dark, but fits well into Tolkien's MIddle-earth.

Msg# 8395

MEFA Reviews for November 8, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 08, 2007 - 4:10:25 Topic ID# 8395
Title: Alone, Yourself and Nameless · Author: Pearl Took · Races:
Cross-Cultural: With Pippin · ID: 434
Reviewer: Garnet Took · 2007-10-19 01:18:42
This is one of those stories with a lot of meaning in it. It is a deep
and thought-pervoking story.

Pippin sees with clear Sight just who Tom Bombidil is, and what his
own life might have been like had not thing happened the way they had.

There is so much here for eyes to see that will.

Title: Good Rest Ye Merry · Author: Llinos · Genres: Poetry · ID: 798
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-19 01:41:17
Rather fiendishly jolly; and quite good in the fit of words to melody
- some of the verses had me singing along.



Title: Bitter · Author: vladazhael · Genres: Drama: General Drabble ·
ID: 173
Reviewer: Súlriel · 2007-10-19 01:57:48
I found this drabble to be very powerful. Emotional and punchy with
the build-up of love and loyalty despite all odds and the final, very
final, betrayal that severed all ties. Well done.

Title: Subdivisions · Author: Aliana · Genres: Alternate Universe:
Gondor or Rohan · ID: 551
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2007-10-19 02:14:47
Another fine addition to Aliana's collection of Houses of Healing
stories, postmodern and otherwise.

What I love about these stories, and about Aliana's writing in
general, is the way she manages to capture the sense of time moving
on, of everyone being perpetually out of step with time. Whether it's
not having enough of it, because facing a sort of end of time within
time (end of the world, end times), or whether it is the phenomenon of
a sort of lost time, a being out of time and not being able to quite
fit in to the new world that is first and foremost a new Age, her
characters stumble through their lives, missing moments and sanity,
but at certain crucial sticking points, they manage to stand up
straight and say the truth of their situation. Then they tumble free
and who knows what will happen to them?

Nostalgia and idealism, engagement and disillusionment, and the irony
of getting exactly what you thought you always wanted and discovering
that that was never quite it - all of these things play in so strongly
to Aliana's work. It may be funny, it may be tragic, but it captures
something that feels very real - a way of being that we recognize from
our own time and see reflected in a work that is oriented by a book
already dated, reflecting an image of a past that never was. It's great!

Long live postmodern Gondor - and I hope to see more of Fallen one day
soon...

Title: Divided · Author: Pen52 · Genres: Drama: The Fellowship · ID: 223
Reviewer: Súlriel · 2007-10-19 02:19:21

Pen gives us an amazing, heart-wrenching glimpse into the heart of the
man who will be king, contrasted painfully with another one who had
been raised to rule, through the eyes of a simple Hobbit.

In this single scene we see, and feel, the pains and heatbreaks of the
ages, of how many lives lost, how many families broken.

I believe that Pen reaches deep into the heart of Tolkien's
mythologies with her portrayal of these two men, again, in contrast
with the Hobbit. - She shows us, through their lives, how wrong it can
be to try to hold what's right, and yet, how can they be any
different? How can Boromir imagine forgiveness for a people who have
killed so many of his own over the year. How can Aragorn not? The
clash and the conflict of them both being 'right' reaches all the way
back through the histories, giving this short LoTR story a wonderful,
deep Silmfic-ish feel.

Title: Five Things That Never Happened to Theodred and Boromir ·
Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Alternate Universe · ID: 545
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2007-10-19 02:23:33
EdorasLass has given us some great Alternate Universe fics in the
past, and here are five short gems to add to the lot. Boromir and
Theodred, of course, and EdorasLass ranges freely over the
possibilities: we see how easily things could have ended before ever
they began, and how well they might have ended if only fortune had
been kinder.

But I think the two that hit hardest were the ones dealing with
Boromir's journey north to Imladris, and his stop in at Edoras. One of
these drabbles is absolutely chilling - understated power politics
that are entirely, *entirely* too plausible, all wrapped up in just a
hundred or so words. It is simply too easy to imagine now that she's
put the possibility in front of us. And angstbunny that I am, if
EdorasLass were to pursue such a dark AU, I'd probably be there
drooling all the way. *ahem*

The other, while less likely, I think, nevertheless has such a
beautiful, tragic end to it that it is hard to resist the idea. In the
line of tenth walkers, this would be a very interesting tale as well,
though I still wonder about the command situation. Ah well. It's
suggestive and, as noted, beautiful - well done!

Those who love Boromir and Theodred should enjoy these drabbles!

Title: Calm after the Storm · Author: Imhiriel · Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 350
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-19 03:46:38
Well-written ficlet blending a sense of post-battle accomplishment and
weariness. Excellent descriptions; and there's a lot of story packed
into 200 words. Very appropriate title, too.

And of course, a nekkid Imrahil is ALWAYS a plus!

Title: My Dear Bandobras · Author: Le Rouret · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond · ID: 818
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-10-19 11:08:31
This is a most entertaining story - one that infuriates the reader
along the way and leaves a definite urge to tell Legolas to snap out
of it and dispose of the brain-dead bimbo who seems to love nothing
more than her own reflection in the mirror. Really! I had rather hoped
that elves were more or less immune to Paris Hiltonitis - but the girl
seems a prime example of the breed.

Bandobras is delightful - and if anyone can reassure Legolas that he
has had a very, very lucky escape, the hobbit should be the one.

You depict a very interesting world ... very mannered and three
dimensional. A most enjoyable story. With a most aggravating 'heroine'.

Title: A Pirate's Life for Me! · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races:
Men: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 438
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-19 11:30:58
Ah, Faramir playing at pirates, first as a child with Uncle Imrahil,
and then as an adult with his children, seeing both their awfulness
and their attractions! A wonderful cross-generational look at Faramir
and his perceptions of the folk of Umbar.

A marvelous pair of vignettes!

Title: Healing Lessons · Author: Pearl Took · Races: Cross-Cultural:
With Pippin · ID: 296
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-19 11:43:42
When it comes to healing, Dwarves also have their methods and useful
tools. When Pippin finds he can't sleep due to the extent of his
injuries and the headache he's enduring, healer Parsow starts off to
get advice from the King but instead gets assistance from Gimli.

A most appropriate means of helping the body heal using ideas that I
know have been a part of alternative medicine for centuries (in my
mind I can hear Caspar singing, ["This is my box, this is my box, I
never travel without my box!)]. And the story is told well and
effectively. Parsow is another OC I've come to admire.

Title: Justice · Author: Imhiriel · Genres: Drama: Gondor Drabble ·
ID: 633
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-19 11:48:21
Ah, yes, our beloved newly acknowledged of still uncrowned King
offering hope to the former slaves of Mordor, giving them the lands
they'd worked for Sauron now for their own, offering them also hope
for the future.

As always, a magnificent theme well written and executed, with the
representative slave brilliantly and convincingly portrayed in spite
of the limitations of the drabble form.

Title: An Unexpected Party · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Humor: Drabble
· ID: 16
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-19 11:50:26
One of my very favorite short crossovers, as Thorin contemplates the
seven very odd Dwarves recruited by Gandalf for the trip to Erebor. If
you don't recognize them, you must have had a VERY protected
childhood! Heh!

Title: Riders to the Sea · Author: claudia6032000 · Genres: Alternate
Universe: The Shire or Buckland · ID: 158
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-19 12:01:41
A wonderful AU here of a possible first meeting between Frodo and
Aragorn. How wonderful, with images we already know are part of the
story of Frodo's future. And the description of the small camp the two
share for the night and Frodo's demand of his new acquaintance is
marvelous!

Title: Fate and Destiny · Author: pippinfan88 · Races: Hobbits:
Pre-Quest · ID: 300
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-19 12:10:10
The family of Paladin Took has become closely attached to young orphan
Degger Greenholm; but when a sledding accident breaks the one heirloom
the lad carries, a watch very similar to that carried by Paladin and
other heirs to the sons of the Old Took, the mystery of Degger's
forebears becomes irresistable to Pippin and his closest kin. And we
learn why it is that in the case of Isembold Took, the family tree
states only "Many descendants."

A fascinating look at Hobbit life and life within the Great Smial for
the descendants of old Gerontius, no matter which side of the beize
door they tend to dwell on.

Title: Journey's End · Author: Altariel · Genres: Drama: Ithilien ·
ID: 442
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-19 12:21:55
Ah, to have read this once more! Two Rangers, younger and older, have
come to Bey and Eilen's inn, far down in Ithilien. The older one puffs
at his pipe, both seem glad to sleep in the barn when the inn proves
full, and the song sung about leaving a brother behind in the war
brings tears to the eyes of the younger one. She gives them a good
meal for supper and again for breakfast....

A lovely look at two traveling incognito, getting back to their roots.
And the moods are superbly conveyed.

Title: First Flight · Author: Isabeau of Greenlea · Times: Mid Third
Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 513
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-19 12:26:15
A joy to read again, as we see Radagast checking on the progress of a
former patient and seeing him live up to his name indeed. Of all the
sentient races of Arda, the Great Eagles are among my favorite, and
this story is a wonderful one!

Title: For all the Gold in Harad · Author: Elendiari22 · Genres:
Drama: Incomplete · ID: 584
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-19 12:30:06
Eldarion's tutor has left, and it looks as if he will have a summer of
leisure with no studies. But then he meets a Haradri princess who
teaches him and his sister without the two children being truly aware
of how they are learning. But the story of this lady and her losses
touch the heart of the Prince of Gondor, until he finds a lost
treasure and sees it restored.

Lovely use of reality and fantasy brought together to make a
satisfying tale.

Title: Seasons · Author: Robinka · Races: Elves: Fixed-Length Ficlet ·
ID: 655
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-19 12:38:47
Alas that Celegorm could not accept that Luthien failed to find him as
desirable as he found her. The tragedy of unrequited love leading to
unbearable sorrow told in four powerfully told short segments, each
associated with a season.

Title: Endings and Beginnings · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Second Age:
Drabble · ID: 726
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-19 12:41:47
A unique manner of bringing together the worlds of Star Gate Atlantis
and Middle Earth in this unusual changing of the story of the Founding
of Gondor and Arnor.

Title: Romancing the Smut · Author: Llinos · Genres: Poetry: With
Hobbits · ID: 797
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-19 12:46:40
A piece of advice, when trying to write a delightful love sonnet, it's
best to first muzzle younger cousins and lock them in the closet!
Charmingly funny.

Title: It Is Custom · Author: Mar'isu · Races: Cross-Cultural: The
Fellowship · ID: 820
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-19 12:53:42
It appears that only Boromir is moved to find solace in a way common
to Men after the loss of Gandalf in Moria.

Rather a sad story, really, and not a flattering look at Boromir, I
fear; but all, all too human.

Title: Future Imperfect · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851
- 3017 TA · ID: 749
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-19 13:02:20
A thoughtful and painful vignette of Faramir overhearing a debate
between his father and his grandfather Adrahil as to his future. How
does the ruler of a great nation such as Gondor deal with the
possibility of losing sons in the service of the land, and yet not
appear to be granting them special privilege if he follows the
dictates of his own heart.

It is wonderful to see Denethor showing how deeply he cares for both
his sons.

Title: Freddy and the Thain's Rabbit · Author: grey_wonderer · Races:
Hobbits · ID: 251
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-19 13:06:25
Errol the stuffed rabbit has been a feature of many of Grey Wonderer's
tales of Pippin; now as a new generation of little Hobbits grow up
within the Great Smial we learn his origin and watch his interactions
with little Freddy.

A wonderful tale of finding and coming to terms with life while
growing in love and imagination, complete with a revelation from the
Queen that doesn't quite surprise Pippin as much as it might the rest
who learn it.

As usual, a wonderful, thoughtful, humorous tale by GW.

Title: The Archives Incident · Author: Dreamflower · Genres:
Adventure: Minas Tirith · ID: 38
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-19 13:12:53
To their surprise and horror, Pippin and Frodo learn that there are
some places within the White City that are not completely safe, as a
search of the Archives ends with them locked in a disused corner,
Pippin injured, and endangered by rats.

So likely a piece, with Pippin's finding of a sappy poem written in
honor of Thorongil that has them chortling to the attempts to stave
off those rats drawn by the scent of the injury. Dreamflower brings
the less commonly visited corners of the archive to life.

Title: Fell Wisdom · Author: Marta · Times: Late Third Age: 3018-3022
TA: General Drabble · ID: 323
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-19 13:17:13
A marvelous examination of the second thoughts Theoden might have
known as they rode for Helm's Deep, with language so reminiscent of
the speech he gave his men later before the charge of the Pelennor.

Beautiful word usage!

Msg# 8396

MEFA Reviews for November 8, 2007 (Part 2) Posted by Ann November 08, 2007 - 4:11:48 Topic ID# 8396
Title: And We Will Travel North · Author: bewize · Times: Mid Third
Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 39
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-19 13:20:53
Aha! At last the thoughts of Elladan and Elrohir that led them to join
those of the Dunedain that could be gathered in haste and sent south
to Aragorn's aid. The title is a bit misleading, but the drabble is
well done.

Title: The Company of Heroes · Author: annmarwalk · Races: Hobbits:
Children · ID: 393
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-19 13:40:55
Little Bilbo Gamgee-Gardner could name eight of the Nine Walkers. Why
is it so difficult to remember Boromir?

Sam confronts his own reluctance to think about the tall Gondorian,
and accepts that in the end he played a crucial part in the quest in
spite of his fall.

It is wonderful when Ann turns her creativity to Hobbits after so much
time spent in Gondor and Rohan, and this story is most thoughtfully done.

Title: Under the Eyes of the Evenstar · Author: Raksha the Demon ·
Genres: Drama: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 680
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-10-19 14:09:28
I really like this character of Arwen. Here she is shown as proud as
Boromir usually is - a fresh and true way of seeing her, to my eyes.
But her pride, umbrage and ambition are believable transformed to
compassion by the end of the piece - an difficult accomplishment in
short works. Well done: a short piece with action, arc, and growth in
characterization.

Title: Fate and Destiny · Author: pippinfan88 · Races: Hobbits:
Pre-Quest · ID: 300
Reviewer: PipMer · 2007-10-19 17:45:47
This tale takes place after the author's work 'Merry's Graduation'. It
centers around a wonderful, loveable OC named Degger Greenhill. He is
an orphan that has been taken in by the Tooks, and he is very good
friends with both Pippin and Merry. This follows his journey from
servant to member of the family, and it is delightful. Pippinfan does
a wonderful job of fleshing out her characters, especially Degger,
Pippin, and Paladin.

Nice job!

Title: Father and Son · Author: Istarnie · Genres: Drama: Second Age
or Earlier · ID: 718
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-19 18:43:15
Istarnie is one of the most Tolkienesque fanfic writers I've seen in
Silmarillion fanfic; and I love the way she characterises Feanor and
his firstborn in this intense vignette. I could really feel Feanor's
mingled anger and grief and bitterness.

Title: Coda · Author: Imhiriel · Times: Second Age: Drabble · ID: 627
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-10-19 20:05:45
I have long admired Imhiriel's incredible drabbling ability, and I
think this particular example showcases many of her strengths to their
fullest. From title to ending, this touches on subjects that go far
deeper than the surface layer.

The tone is set from the first line, with an utter sense of loss and
grief that echoes right through to the end, where it redoubles when we
find out just what book is being destroyed. The imagery is excellent,
with the beauty of the book (embellished and treasured and obviously
valuable even before author and subject are revealed) representing the
lost beauty of Numenor, also drowned; and such a chilling line
concerning the disappearing words: ["Like blood and ashes."] Without
ever touching directly on what else is floating in the water, Imhiriel
has painted a complete picture for me.

This would be powerful enough in itself, but then we receive the
ultimate points of the drabble: the relationship between Elros and
Maglor, wherein the first King of the Dunedain is granted a precious
and poignant gift from his foster father; and the heartbreaking and
pointed link between events over two Ages apart - Andor is a terrible
["coda"] indeed, and connected by a strain of Feanorians to the first
theme.

The entire structure of this piece brings us along steadily until the
full impact breaks on you at the finish. The message and its subtle
undercurrents, the family backstories that are only hinted at here:
they and all the speculation they engender stay with me long after
I've finished the drabble.

Title: Prince of Winter · Author: jastaelf · Genres: Alternate
Universe · ID: 93
Reviewer: Súlriel · 2007-10-19 23:00:11
I find Jastaelf to be one of those amazing authors that manages to
pull out all the stops emotionally. I found her through her Dark Leaf
Saga and have followed along for years and was delighted to find this
one story through the MEFAs that I had missed in my casual reading.

It's still so soon after his rescue and so painful to live these days
with him,but I love to see her little prince growing and starting to
find himself in spite of all he has been through

I also love her characterizations. Usually, no matter how much I like
an author, there will be some tidbit I can pick at or disagree with in
spite of liking the story overall. but not Jasta. Her characters are
deeply layered and real. One thing I especially like is her balance
and contrast of the various cultures. I especially love her original
characters, [Saeros] and the others. She so perfectly portrays the
dark and dangerous elements that I love because they seem to truly be
wild woodland creatures. Not animalistic at all, but truly part of
Arda as Tolkien intended of the Firstborn.

Title: February Bride · Author: Cuthalion · Genres: Romance · ID: 678
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-19 23:48:03
Ah--Diamond and Pippin's wedding! They put the dessert before the meal
a bit, perhaps, although to no harm to any or to their reputations;
but now they are fully man and wife, and she is learning to deal with
the memories, hearing for the first time the (movie-verse) memories of
the death of Boromir, the song for Denethor, and the growing madness
of the last ruling Steward of Gondor. And she's finding that Peregrin
Took, Soldier of Gondor, is all she ever wanted and moreso.

Title: Clothes Make the Man · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres:
Humor: Drabble · ID: 625
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-10-19 23:49:45
The theme of the drabble is about appearances and the substance
beneath, and the drabble itself delivers on both counts. Gandalf's
Apprentice has clothed her vivid character sketches of Celeborn,
Aragorn and Galadriel in some gorgeous phrases. I particularly loved
the description of Galadriel as [straight and commanding as a
mallorn]. Well done!


Title: Temptation · Author: Linda hoyland · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851
- 3017 TA: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 419
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-10-19 23:54:39
I greatly enjoyed this vignette exploring a slice of Aragorn's life
during his journeys in the South. Linda hoyland presents us with an
Aragorn who is both noble and very human, quickly engaging our
sympathies. The other characters also ring true to their situations.
The bittersweet final few lines are more bitter than sweet – only
tempered by the knowledge we have (which Aragorn does not) that his
story ultimately has a happy ending. Overall the writing is crisp and
economical, with well-chosen descriptions that bring the scene vividly
to life with a minimum of words, and it has a plainness and clarity
that perfectly suits the rather harsh nature of the subject matter. In
short, this is exactly the sort of gem I love unearthing during the
MEFAs, while kicking myself that I didn't come across it earlier. Well
done!

Title: Mistaken · Author: Fawsley · Genres: Humor: Drabble · ID: 490
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-10-19 23:55:46
A very cute what-if story, nicely put together. The commonplace nature
of Gandalf's final words after the earlier dramatic build up rounds
the piece off nicely.

Title: The Boatbuilder · Author: DrummerWench · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond · ID: 536
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-19 23:56:58
Exquisite, Drummerwench--truly exquisite. The idea of Cirdan building
boats today and naming this one Elanor and them keeping that name as
they set out on the Road Home--absolutely wonderful! I am in awe.

Thank you!

Title: Knave of Hearts · Author: grey_wonderer · Genres: Humor:
Children · ID: 252
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-20 00:13:01
Another hilarious tale of that thief of tarts and hearts, Peregrin
Took, three years old and all too devilishly Tookish. I think Merry
has the right of it--this baby is delightfully wicked and devious, and
Merry is a bit too shrewd for his own good. And poor Frodo and Saradoc
find themselves right in the middle, equally manipulated by little
Pippin and his older cousin Merry.

Delightful!

Title: Where Once My Enemy Stood · Author: Nieriel Raina · Races:
Elves: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 109
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-20 00:16:57
Ah, how wonderful to see stubborn Thranduil come to embrace Gimli, at
last giving over his prejudices in the face of the love Gimli has
shown his son.

Marvelously written.

Title: A Crown of Woodland Flowers · Author: Jay of Lasgalen · Races:
Elves: With Mirkwood Elves · ID: 180
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-20 00:26:17
Thranduil and his wife share a most wonderful begetting day, and we
learn how it was that Thranduil came to wear ever a crown of flowers
and leaves.

Marvelous moment of peace for one who will know much of threat and war
in the future.

Title: Gone Fishin' · Author: Aranel Took · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 322
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-20 00:28:20
Yes, in fishing Aragorn can recapture the freedom of being Strider
once more, a needed gift.

Lovely images of stolen moments of peace and oneness with nature.

Title: Family Jewels · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Drama: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 464
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-20 00:33:30
Faramir has chosen a different way for himself and his children, and
looking on them he no longer is stirred by the oath of Feanor as he
once was. And he has learned the importance of one act Feanor bound
himself and his sons against--Faramir knows the restorative powers of
forgiveness.

Lovely images of peace after the war, and seeing that the fruits of
what went before are well worth the labor and dangers he survived.

Title: Morocet's return · Author: Fawsley · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 650
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2007-10-20 05:04:15
The King of Gondor has been kidnapped by the evil pirate Morocet and
Faramir must ransom him with gold from the King's private stash. This
brief AU tale hints at a darker, slashier side, if that's how you want
to interpret it. The ending does have a literally sweet twist.

Title: The Northmen · Author: SheBit · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
Drabble · ID: 451
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2007-10-20 05:41:38
Not everyone wants to live where the climate is warm and no frost ever
touches the ground. Shebit's Northmen are such a lot, reminding their
Gondorian cousins that cold climes breed hot blooded men and
full-bodied beer. Just ask the hardy New Englanders, whose tough and
sturdy life style Shebit's Northmen made me recall with some nostalgia.

Title: Gentlemen's Night Out · Author: Oshun · Genres: Humor: Gondor
or Rohan · ID: 181
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2007-10-20 08:53:28
Oh, "Gentlemen's Night Out" is naughty, not only in its subject matter
but also the way it skewers both Tolkien's LACE and the many notions
of sexuality in Arda that pervade fanon. Oshun portrays Legolas as
quite the randy dandy. He's is quite, ahem, catholic, in his hearty
tastes. Friends Elladan and Elrohir seem to have the same appetites
but much less of a penchant to talk about them. Young Echirion of
Gondor, narrator of the story, is quite naive by comparison.

As someone who has been criticized for writing brothels into her
landscapes of Minas Tirith, I heartily cheer Oshun's choice of
supplying the weary soldiers on the Field of Cormallen with their very
own camp followers. However, this detail and some of the sexual
bantering might not be to every reader's taste. However, "Gentlemen's
Night Out" certainly was to my taste.

Title: Conversion · Author: Pentangle · Genres: Drama: With Aragorn ·
ID: 169
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-10-20 14:30:09
Excellent tale! Though I absolutely adore Denethor and had to swallow
a couple times over the inuendos of a harsh ruler... still I had to
read on, for I immediately grew to love your main character.

His courage and humility in the face of such devastation - not only to
those he cherished, but in the end to his village... well, this is a
sad and wondrous tale and well worth the read.

Title: Waiting By the Water · Author: Linaewen · Genres: Drama: With
Aragorn · ID: 395
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-10-20 14:42:50
Oh my goodness! *sits back and sighs heavily* You have such a way with
words. Your descriptions are appropriate and just enough to give
flavor to the tale, but not bog your reader down in too many details.
Your sense of peace in this tale is beautiful - especially since the
beginning is taut with unexplained waiting. Aragorn is perfect! I
could see the man, waiting by the river, perhaps with Gimli and
Legolas standing just far enough away to protect him, yet far enough
away to give him his privacy.

Aragorn's memory of that last day with Boromir is well written. Enough
detail is given to 'know' the moment he remembers, but not too much
that the reader thinks it is a 'word for word' reprise of the book. It
is not. I loved the fact that the boat seems to 'sense' Aragorn and
goes willingly to him. I loved Aragorn's greeting. It is spontaneous,
joy-filled, and perfect.

My favorite part is Aragorn's speculations as to why it has taken
Boromir so long to reach him. That he might have stopped, as a living
being, to see Minas Tirith once again, That he might have stopped to
farewell kin (dear Faramir)... and that he stopped now to farewell his
liege lord one more time before going to his destiny.

Absolutely gorgeous vignette. Again, I sit back and sigh at the beauty
and the peace of the death and farewells of this glorious
Captain-General of Gondor.

Bravo!

Title: Kindred Spirits · Author: Cathleen · Genres: Drama: The
Fellowship · ID: 377
Reviewer: PipMer · 2007-10-20 16:56:11
What a heart-breaking and angsty little tale. My heart went out to
Boromir and Faramir in this, especially little Faramir, who so needed
to be protected from his abusive father. The portrayal of Denethor was
very eerie; movie-Denethor could easily have been this person. It
broke my heart to see the difference between Pippin's upbringing and
Boromir's. Boromir deserved so much more.

Well done, Cathleen.

Title: Not an Ordinary Day · Author: nau_tika · Genres: Drama: The
Fellowship · ID: 737
Reviewer: PipMer · 2007-10-20 17:13:34
This was both tender, and funny at the same time! I enjoy stories
where Pippin's cheerfulness is tempered with seriousness, even though
he regains his cheerfulness at the end.

Well done.

Title: Testaments of the Past · Author: Dreamflower/Gryffinjack
CoAuthors · Races: Hobbits: Post-Grey Havens · ID: 549
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-21 14:43:21
Thoughfully written and beautifully realized, this is a treasure-box
of a story in every respect.

After Frodo's departure over the Sea, his friends find a strongbox in
Bag End containing momentoes of his life; and remember various
experiences connected to some of the items. The authors also include
photos of the items; and further explanations in their author's notes.

The detail in the documents of Primula and Drogo's marriage and
Bilbo's adoption of Frodo is particularly exquisite and makes the
story even more believable.

A lovely effort that reminds us all of the significance of memories
great and small from a pivotal life in Middle-earth. Highly
recommended to all hobbit-fans!

Msg# 8397

URL change needed Posted by fantasyfanoftorn November 08, 2007 - 9:12:36 Topic ID# 8397
Due to instability on the TORn server, the URL for Curious' essay
Bilbo's Dark Psyche (number 519) no longer works. There is a new URL
that accesses the essay:
http://archives.theonering.net/rumour_mill/rpg/viewer/readingroom/405C3A
D60001A00C.html

Can someone change it on the site?

Msg# 8398

Re: URL change needed Posted by Marta November 08, 2007 - 9:19:28 Topic ID# 8397
Hello fantasyfanoftorn,

I have changed the link. Please check it at our site to make sure I
have done this correctly.

Thanks,
Marta

On Nov 8, 2007 10:12 AM, fantasyfanoftorn <persimmontook@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Due to instability on the TORn server, the URL for Curious' essay
> Bilbo's Dark Psyche (number 519) no longer works. There is a new URL
> that accesses the essay:
> http://archives.theonering.net/rumour_mill/rpg/viewer/readingroom/405C3A
> D60001A00C.html
>
> Can someone change it on the site?
>
>

Msg# 8399

Re: URL change needed Posted by fantasyfanoftorn November 08, 2007 - 12:02:54 Topic ID# 8397
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta <melayton@...> wrote:

Thanks, Marta, that was very quick. It does work correctly now. And the
people at TORn also changed it so that if someone has the old URL, it
will now forward to the correct post.

(Plus I took the opportunity to mention the awards website URL there.
Perhaps someone will be inspired to visit!)
FantasyFan
>
> I have changed the link. Please check it at our site to make sure I
> have done this correctly.
>
> Thanks,
> Marta
>
>

Msg# 8400

MEFA Reviews for November 9, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 09, 2007 - 4:59:11 Topic ID# 8400
itle: The Most Beautiful · Author: Meril · Races: Cross-Cultural · ID: 508
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-21 14:44:31
Excellent vignette exploring the duality of Melian's existence as
ethereal Maia and flesh-and-blood wife and mother. Beautiful language;
and all in all quite believable. The piece's only flaw (which is not
really a flaw) is that I was left wanting more.

Title: Seven Deadly Sins - Theodred · Author: EdorasLass · Genres:
Drama: Vignette · ID: 754
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-21 17:27:55
Karl Urban, in one of his interviews for "The Two Towers", described
his character Éomer as an orc-killing machine. Though in some ways
that description would probably be quite accurate for Théodred as
well, in these seven glimpses (which could hardly be considered
"sins') EdorasLass has fleshed out and developed his character much
more fully without straying too far from the foundations that Tolkien
provided us in "Unfinished Tales." Her Théodred is fierce in his
devotion to his homeland and his pride in the warriors who defend her;
singleminded and ferocious in battle; farsighted and thoughtful as he
considers Eomer's future, and bitter in his frustration and despair
over his father's decline and the bleak long-term outlook for the
survival of Middle-Earth. This is the Théodred Tolkien *should* have
written, the thoughtful, courageous, and charismatic leader. No wonder
Saruman quailed at the possibility of his kingship!

Theodred's one indulgence, though, is his deep and abiding love for
Boromir. Though their meetings are rare and brief, it's clear that
this is the luxury that grants him, and his lover as well, their
sparse moments of peace and and joy. Rare delights to be savored and
treasured, and a well-earned respite from the doom they already know
they cannot escape.


Title: Three Cups of Kindness · Author: Elen Kortirion · Times:
Multi-Age: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 448
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-21 17:28:21
A very moving three-drabble series, in which Estel/Aragorn/Elessar, at
various stages of his life,is offered a cup to ease shock or pain.

The first drabble, which focuses on young Estel's first blooding, is
particularly vivid. Somehow we've glossed over the nuts-and-bolts of
what rangers do – kill to protect the innocent – and so a description
of the result of a fight, butchery and [bloody horror of hacked flesh
] is shocking, just as the experience itself has left Estel sickened.
The empathy of an older, more experienced ranger does not comfort him,
though; he is still young enough to imagine that he should be above
such weakness if he is to be a leader. I'm sure the lesson, that every
battle can be as frightening as the first, was hard-learned.

In the second drabble, Legolas offers an elven-draught to strengthen
Aragorn in the immediate aftermath of Boromir's death. There is no
time for mourning; grief and regret must be set aside for more
leisurely times, and Kortirion has well expressed the pain of that
moment of decision.

The final drabble brings us to Elessar's last hours, where the rich,
heady vintage brings not only comforting warmth but also memories of
those loved ones who have gone before. Through Kortirion's graceful
words we share the hope and joy of his final moments, as he envisions
the long-awaited reunion with his most beloved companion.

Title: The Spear of the Lily · Author: The Bookbinder's Daughter ·
Genres: Romance: Gondor · ID: 11
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-21 17:28:56
An exquisitely lush and sensuous ficlet. There's no plot, as such, but
a rich discourse of Faramir's adoration of his wife" how the soft
flush of dawn gilds her skin, her hair, her eyes; how in every hour of
the day he finds the warmth of sunlight or flowers a pale reflection
of the loveliness of his bride, [long after the wedding veil has been
put away and the need for wooing passed]. Faramir's musings are a form
of poetry,subtle and barely whispered music in themselves; a work of
art no less than a painter's gift.

Title: Go Out in Joy · Author: Larner · Genres: Alternate Universe:
The Shire or Buckland · ID: 145
Reviewer: PipMer · 2007-10-21 18:54:51
This is a beautiful portrayal of what might have happened had Frodo
remained in the Shire instead of sailing West. His body failing him,
his friends and family from all over the Shire gather around to offer
him comfort and healing.

Well done.

Title: If You Could See What I Hear · Author: Cathleen · Races:
Hobbits: Incomplete · ID: 488
Reviewer: PipMer · 2007-10-21 20:33:13
This captivating story had me hooked since I first read the
introduction for one of Marigold's challenges. The author sure knows
how to draw Pippin's personality, and it is spot-on. We all know that
Pippin as a little lad of ten would be getting into trouble all of the
time. This is one time when he disappears, and has a little adventure
in the woods surrounding his home, accompanied by his knitted piglet
Tulip. It is delightful!

Title: South · Author: Aliana · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond: Gondor
or Rohan · ID: 8
Reviewer: PipMer · 2007-10-21 20:58:26
This is just wonderful! A haunting glimpse into the relationship
between Merry and Eowyn: a loving one, without delving into a sexual
aspect. The two would have a special bond, not only after riding with
the Rohirrim, but also because the two of them faced the Witch King
together... and vanguished him.

I love how the difference between his love for Estella and his love
for Eowyn is portrayed; with much sensitivity, and beautiful language.

Thank you for this story.

Title: Mighty among both Elves and Men · Author: Tanaqui · Times:
Multi-Age: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 606
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-21 23:33:54
A marvelous history told in drabbles of Elrond, from the sundering
from his twin to his look at Dale in the Devastation of the Dragon.

Excellent choice of subjects as well as imagery.

Title: The spaces between two silences · Author: illyria-pffyffin ·
Genres: Drama: With Aragorn · ID: 677
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-21 23:53:19
The significant moments between Arwen and Aragorn, told in the words
and images and songs of the moment. Beautifully done indeed, complete
to the realisation that the land of Lothlorien yet held the memory of
her Estel for her to seek and find.

Title: A Special Kind of Lore · Author: Astara · Genres: Romance:
Drabble · ID: 748
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-21 23:57:43
A nice giggle to think that Denethor might have been embarrassed to
find his wife reading an ancient manual of certain--activities! Wonderful!

Title: An Expansion of the Family Influence · Author: Auntiemeesh ·
Times: Early Third Age: 1-2850 TA · ID: 819
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-22 00:15:21
Ah, Auntie Meesh, this is so delightful, particularly as I hope soon
to be looking at this part of the Shire's history in my own history of
Gandalf. So, this is how Brandy Hall came to be? And much as I myself
had pictured it.

A fine home for Gor'n and his Arabella.

Title: Property Rights · Author: Salsify · Races: Cross-Cultural · ID: 74
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-22 00:25:09
This vignette spotlights the history behind the animosity between Bard
and Thorin after Smaug's fall in THE HOBBIT; and does so quite well.
Each of them bears the burden of history and cultural bias; and that
burden is stopping them from communication and understanding, or at
least making the effort to find common ground.

Thoughtful and very credible.

Title: Good Rest Ye Merry · Author: Llinos · Genres: Poetry · ID: 798
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-22 00:32:41
Only Llinos could have come up with THIS! A big grin for a cheerfully
pessimistic look at the possible futures for our remaining eight
Walkers as of the breaking of the Fellowship! Hilariously done.

Title: Celeborn's Trees · Author: Isabeau of Greenlea · Races: Elves:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 514
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-22 00:49:01
The perfect defense against the insufferable ones who brag about
having seen the Light of the Trees of the Valar--knowing the one who
bears witness to both as evidenced in her beautiful hair.

Lovely moment between two long given to the love of one another.

Title: The Captain and the King · Author: plasticChevy · Genres:
Alternate Universe: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 738
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-22 01:24:46
One of the earliest (I believe) Boromir Lives alternate universe
tales; and one of the most angsty and adventurous. In this AU, Boromir
and Aragorn are captured at Amon Hen instead of Merry and Pippin, and
things proceed very differently from there.

The story is generally exciting and angsty. I liked Faramir's role,
and choice, in the final chapters.

Fans of Movie-Boromir should especially enjoy the story.

Title: Crossing · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Gondor Drabble · ID: 693
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-22 01:42:52
Very descriptive drabble with an excellent last line that smoothly
summarizes and drives home the change in Faramir's life.

Title: Renewal · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 - 3017
TA: Drabble · ID: 692
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-10-22 05:17:34
When I reviewed this story at your blog, I think I commented that the
imagery was so beautifully vivid. And I stand by that comment, because
I can so easily see just what I think Bilbo must have seen on this
return trip to Erebor. Having just gone for a drive with agape4gondor
this afternoon to see the foliage outside of town, I can identify with
his being overwhelmed by the natural world. But what struck me most
this read through was the last paragraph, as Bilbo [turned his head
from side to side, round-eyed with wonder]. The whole valley seems in
bloom, in whatever direction Bilbo looks, and somehow that makes the
renewal all the more overwhelming. Good job capturing that!

Title: First Among Equals · Author: Tanaqui · Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 564
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-10-22 05:17:44
I really like this drabble series. The sensory details in the first
one made the scene palpable and were surprisingly effective at
capturing Faramir's sense of humor. Then the gravity of the
post-battle scene captured a different side of Faramir's character.
Less visceral, perhaps, but no less poignant. Nice work!

Title: Pippin's Little Experiment · Author: Budgielover · Races:
Cross-Cultural: With Pippin · ID: 291
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-22 17:39:47
Pippin manages to turn even the ordinary into a dangerous adventure by
indulging tween-aged curiosity in The Prancing Pony in Bree.

Understated and well-written; with excellent characterisation of Frodo
and Pippin.

Makes me wonder why they didn't put Pippin on a leash for most of the
journey from the Shire to Amon Hen, though, LOL.

Title: All in a Day's Work · Author: Gwynnyd · Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 421
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-10-22 17:49:31
This is very nicely imagined, each vivid piece coming together to make
a very convincing whole.

Title: The Treasure Hunt · Author: Jay of Lasgalen · Races: Elves ·
ID: 320
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-22 18:12:13
A lively story featuring the Trouble Twins of Imladris; who, for once,
do not get themselves into life-threatening peril. Short and sweet,
but not saccharine; and good use of riddles.

Title: No Harm Will Come of It · Author: Marigold · Times: Mid Third
Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 456
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-10-22 18:22:33
This is nicely conceived. I particularly enjoy fics where something
that was included all along in the Professor's story is brought out
and given a new light for us all to look at.

Title: Five Things That Never Happened to Theodred and Boromir ·
Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Alternate Universe · ID: 545
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-22 18:27:11
Sad, sympathetic, sensitively written, sorrowful, shamelessly angsty -
those are five things I could say about these elegant What-If's; and
still not come anywhere near to conveying their high quality.

I was especially glad that the fourth possibility didn't come to pass
- that was so horribly plausible that I would bet that Wormtongue
thought of it in the 'real' Middle-earth but never had the opportunity
(or the guts) to have it done.

Title: The Steward's Archives · Author: dancingkatz · Genres: Drama:
Incomplete · ID: 337
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-10-22 18:45:47
Three, ["Stone"] was my favorite. What a perfect metaphor, not only
for a lover, not only for a ruler ("L'etat, c'est moi"), but for a
Steward of Gondor, ruler of the city of stone. Well done.

Title: A Mother's Wish · Author: Rhapsody · Genres: Drama: General
Drabble · ID: 429
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-22 18:57:41
A wonderful concept, masterfully and beautifully translated into
words. It is sad that the only communication between Nerdanel and her
last living child is reduced to wind-borne songs; but it is also good
that at least the Sea-sundered mother and son can still hear each other.

Msg# 8401

MEFA Reviews for November 9, 2007 (Part 2) Posted by Ann November 09, 2007 - 5:00:12 Topic ID# 8401
Title: Making the best of a bad situation · Author: Hai Took · Races:
Hobbits: Gapfiller · ID: 535
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-22 21:22:36
Concerned that Pippin is taking an inordinate amount of time fetching
firewood, Merry goes in search of him, only to realize Pippin is
taking advantage of being out of camp to deal with the growing tension
he feels that he not adversely affect Frodo, who is struggling with
the recently endured Morgul Wound.

A most effective tale in which we see the compassion and empathy I,
too, believe Pippin hid behind a lighter manner than he intended,
expressed most effectively.

Title: Letting Go · Author: SlightlyTookish · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Ring War · ID: 230
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-22 21:37:59
Most of us who write Hobbit-centered stories have looked at the
question of how much the Travelers would have told their families of
their experiences and under what circumstances--and how much their
parents and siblings might have been willing to accept. This is well
and thoughtfully written as Paladin Took does his best to understand
what it is Pippin has been through and as he gives Pippin permission
to seek healing as he sees best.

Thought-provoking.

Title: The Taming of the Badger · Author: Pentangle · Genres: Drama:
With Aragorn · ID: 234
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-23 00:39:53
A fine tale of friendship as well as a character study. Aragorn,
recently come of age, meets a Dunedain healer who was a close friend
of Arathorn, and a conflict results.

I really liked that the writer did not take the route I thought would
appear in this story, but accomplished a less flashy solution to the
conflict. The OCs were very well-written, and fit seamlessly into what
Tolkien wrote about the Dunedain, particularly Kenuric.



Title: Time to Let Go · Author: PipMer · Races: Hobbits: Post-Grey
Havens · ID: 261
Reviewer: pippinfan88 · 2007-10-23 01:39:06
This story is a wonderful journey into the heart of Elanor as she
awaited her father's arrival...for the last time. How sad she must
have been, proud, and perhaps even at ease, knowing that Sam-dad was
finally going to his "rest" from his labours. Her thoughts take her to
places she can only imagine, and perhaps to places she had actually
been, long after the Quest. It was wonderful accompanying her on her
own "journey" through her mind's eye, and heart.

The author immediately captures the attention of the Reader from the
first word and doesn't let go until the last. Not a word out of place,
well written, and the pace smooth. Excellent writing on the part of
PipMer.

Title: The Long Winter · Author: Baranduin · Races: Hobbits · ID: 159
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 04:44:09
Hero Baggins and Sam Greenhand volunteered to go off in search of help
and missing Tooks in this Ardaish adaptation of a Scandinavian folk
tale, written to meet a challenge. A tale of the Long Winter, this is
marvelous as our intrepid searchers seek out news as to why Spring
doesn't appear able to make an appearance and help save--well, not the
day but the season.

Wonderfully done!

Title: Remembering Anew · Author: Pearl Took · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond · ID: 88
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 04:55:09
Ah--Jebbin and Other Brandybuck and their discovery of an ancient book
that puts the lie to the tale of the Quest as "known" within the Shire
some four hundred years after the fact. Complete with a spell/curse on
Lotho and his progeny by Saruman before his demise that needs to be
lifted, the intervention of the Faerie Wife, and ghostly visitations,
this look at how lies even to apparently enhance the original story
serve in the end to degrade those who embrace them is marvelously and
memorably done. Now, if only the Master of the Hall hadn't been moved
to burn the texts on which Other and Jebbin based their research,
including the original Red Book----

Title: Comes Now The Plaintiff, Frodo Baggins · Author: EdorasLass ·
Genres: Humor: Parody · ID: 17
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 04:56:23
Humorous, and yet tragically indicative of the litiginous attitudes of
today's society.

Title: Elements: Dreams of the Dead, Visions of the Living · Author:
pipkinsweetgrass · Genres: Alternate Universe: The Shire or Buckland ·
ID: 202
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 05:01:18
As Pippin carves small figures of each member of the Fellowship and he
and Merry examine them, the two find that the memories they evoke
assist them to find healing and closure for the wounds suffered and
the losses known--and the triumphs so dearly won.

Well, well done.

Title: Love Story · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres: Humor: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 273
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 05:03:19
Bilbo watches his youngest cousins seeking to put on a play of a
romantic tale he's told them, and finds humor and pleasure in the
performance.

Sweetly told.

Title: The Use of a Good Bit of Chain · Author: bodldops · Races:
Hobbits: Vignette · ID: 344
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 05:12:21
Young Daisy Boffin sees that the chain through Frodo's Ring is broken,
and substitutes her own. Did she help manage to save Middle Earth in
her own sweet way?

A lovely tale, and one I appear to have missed the first time through.

Title: Butterfly Wings · Author: White Wolf · Genres: Adventure:
Pre-Ring War · ID: 486
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 05:32:12
A sweet moment between Legolas and his mother, and well written at
that. Lovely by one of my favorite Legolas/Aragorn writers.

Title: Fourth Age, Year 13 · Author: Dwimordene · Times: Fourth Age
and Beyond: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 628
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 05:42:12
Ah, the joys of watching our children grow and reach adolescence....
So true of girls of that age, having been one myself and watched my
classmates and sister through it and dealt with students that age....

A wonderful examination from Aragorn's POV of his first daughter's life.

Title: A Need To Know · Author: Pearl Took · Races: Hobbits: Post-Ring
War · ID: 776
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 06:14:34
It was quite a test Tom Cotton sprung on Sam, seeking to learn if Sam
had enough gumption to stick up for himself and his family. But he did
wish to know if Sam was worthy....

So marvelous a tale, and so well written!

Title: Daybreak · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Gondor Drabble · ID: 705
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 07:01:38
A superb tribute to the joy of seeing the world anew without the
shadow of Mordor and Sauron. So well written, and with a profound
power to the imagery.

Title: Tea and Seedcake and the Influence of Hobbits · Author: Baggins
Babe · Races: Cross-Cultural: Gondor · ID: 492
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 07:23:20
To say the world has changed is a gross understatement as a merchant
from Lebennin faces Dwarves, Elves, Hobbits, and a King he remembers
from his childhood!

Wonderful story, complete with a delightful Thorongil moment!

Title: Calm after the Storm · Author: Imhiriel · Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 350
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 07:27:22
After conquering a Corsair ship Imrahil seeks a moment of peace and
cleansing, wishing the wind to pick up so they can return home, but
taking advanage of the momentary peace for a quick, cleasing bathe in
the sea.

Lovely double drabble, expressing the distaste felt in the aftermath
of battle.

Title: The Big Green Bottle · Author: grey_wonderer · Genres: Humor:
The Shire or Buckland · ID: 208
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 07:39:46
Ah, it's been a while since I first read this. The biggest bottle in
the Brandy Hall cellar, and Pippin's nicked it to give to Merry as a
birthday mathom, forcing Merry to fulfill his promise to share the
liquor Pippin was able to obtain for him. They don't know what it is,
but Frodo does.

A nice look at Hobbit inebriation, and an anticipation of a painful
day after. Heh!

Title: Merry's Grandmother · Author: grey_wonderer · Races: Hobbits:
Pre-Quest · ID: 137
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 07:52:04
One of Grey Wonderer's more sober tales as Merry for the first time
has the chance to truly speak with Grandmother Took, realizing that
she has had her own youth and delight. When he believes her tale of an
encounter with an Elf, she and he bond in a way he'd never thought to
know.

Poignant and thoughtful.

Title: The Spear of the Lily · Author: The Bookbinder's Daughter ·
Genres: Romance: Gondor · ID: 11
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 07:57:17
In this Bookbinder's Daughter has managed to capture Faramir's
continuing and maturing love for his wife and express it in terms of
the light and colors of the day as it passes.

Lovely and lyrical.

Title: A Collection of Sindarin Tanka · Author: juno_magic · Genres:
Poetry · ID: 224
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 08:10:52
A marvelous, creative series of Tanka poems looking at the pleasures
and pains of life as experienced by Elves, in Sindarin with
translations, and each wonderfully illustrated.

Very evocative and emotionally stimulating.

One of the best poetry cycles I've seen touching on the lives of the
Children of Iluvatar.

Title: The Right Choice · Author: Linda hoyland · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Drabble · ID: 437
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 08:14:20
Linda's stories capture my imagination, but she shows remarkable
strength in the construction of her drabbles. This one looking at
Arwen's choice to stay in Middle Earth at Aragorn's side is
particularly touching. Imagery and message are both masterfully presented.

Title: The Most Beautiful · Author: Meril · Races: Cross-Cultural ·
ID: 508
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 08:20:04
For a Maia to have entered into the world of Arda, clothing herself
with the Hroa of an Elven Child of Iluvatar so as to spend a life as
Elu Thingol's wife and Luthien's mother--perhaps she's not as far from
dancing in the Light, Breath, and Song as she thinks herself.

Lyrical.

Title: Morocet's return · Author: Fawsley · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 650
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 08:26:10
Very cute, and eminently amusing. What a find--an odd sort of gold
coin Aragorn had hidden in his desk!

Title: Great and Terrible · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: General
Drabble · ID: 721
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 08:28:12
A most dread Might-Have-Been, and one I rejoice didn't come to be.

Title: One Frodo Too Many · Author: Baranduin · Genres: Humor: Parody
· ID: 683
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 08:43:24
I've had Frodo meet with Deagol and the Little Match Girl, Dumbledore
and Ptolemy; but this meeting with his own splinter creations as they
reflect the pairings we've written for them--Hilarious!

As for the last Frodo to come to book-Frodo's meeting! So PRECIOUSSSSS!

Msg# 8402

Important Information: Wish and Skip Lists Posted by aure\_enteluva November 09, 2007 - 14:27:23 Topic ID# 8402
Hey guys,

It's been about a week since I made my informative post on how to use
filters to find stories to review, so I thought it would be helpful to
talk about a new topic. So, without further adieu….

Skip lists and Wish lists

Many people participating in the MEFAs go their entire participation
without ever using a wish or skip list. They can be a little confusing
at first, but they are also very helpful. They let you tell the
website just what stories you want to see when you look for a new
story to read.

To use these lists, log in to www.mefawards.net/MEFA2007/ and click
the "Browse Nominated Stories" link. Scroll down to where the actual
stories are displayed and look on the right side of the screen. You
will see "Skip" and "Wish" reviews. Clicking on these links will add
your story to the list you selected.

Stories on the skip list are not displayed by default when you go to
the "Browse Nominated Stories" page. You can see stories on your skip
list by selecting "Skip" from the "Review Status" filter. Stories on
your wish list *are* still displayed by default, but you can also see
just these stories by selecting "Wish" from the "Review Status" filter.

Reviewing a story automatically removes it from your skip and wish
list. So if you review a story it will show up on the "Browse
Nominated Stories" page without you having to filter to display the
skipped stories. Of course you can still choose not to show it (along
with all of the other already-reviewed stories) by selecting the
option to show only those stories you haven't reviewed from the
"review status" filter.

When you add a story to your wish or skip list the website will open
up a new tab or window telling you the story has been added to the
appropriate list. If you close this window you'll come back to the
page you were viewing before you clicked the "skip" or "wish" list.
You'll need to reload the page or go to another one before the change
shows up on your screen.

I think that's the most important stuff about wish and skip lists. Any
questions about this feature?

Also, what would you like to see discussed next week?

Marta
(MEFA Admin.)

Msg# 8403

Re: Important Information: Wish and Skip Lists Posted by Bonnie L. Sherrell November 09, 2007 - 15:29:23 Topic ID# 8402
I'm putting the longer stories I hope to read when done with the
shorter fare I'm commenting on now on my wish list so I can find them
more easily when done with what I'm doing--I hope. Heh!
Bonnie L. Sherrell
Teacher at Large

"Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends." LOTR

"Don't go where I can't follow."

I mourn for this nation.

Msg# 8404

Re: Important Information: Wish and Skip Lists Posted by Marta Layton November 09, 2007 - 20:36:49 Topic ID# 8402
Bonnie L. Sherrell wrote:
>
>
> I'm putting the longer stories I hope to read when done with the
> shorter fare I'm commenting on now on my wish list so I can find them
> more easily when done with what I'm doing--I hope. Heh!
> Bonnie L. Sherrell
> Teacher at Large
>

Hi Bonnie,

That is a fantastic use of the wish list. I think a lot of people use
that, and I think it's a good thing to do if you have stories you want
to make sure you get to.

Marta

Msg# 8405

MEFA Reviews for November 10, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 10, 2007 - 4:49:30 Topic ID# 8405
Title: The Love of Lore · Author: Oshun · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 271
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-10-23 10:52:52
For me this story lives in the last paragraph. I love Boromir's quick
change of mood spurred by pride in his brother's ability, but that he
doesn't forget the lesson in comportment!

Title: The Stone of Erebor · Author: Primsong · Genres: Mystery · ID: 401
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2007-10-23 13:16:44
This was a story I very much wanted to nominate myself, and it was on
my list. But once more, I was too late, and someone else beat me to
the punch!

There are so many reasons I love this story. For one thing, it is a
BILBO story, something that there simply are not enough of out there!
Not only that, but it is a Bilbo story concentrating *on* Bilbo
himself, not Bilbo as Frodo's guardian. And I do believe that it is
the *only* story I have ever seen that actually dealt in any detailed
way with Bilbo's second journey to the Lonely Mountain.

Primsong has created an interesting, mysterious culture for her
Dwarves, using many of the hints JRRT gave us in canon: their love for
the treasures they made, their secretiveness, their mistrust of
non-Dwarves, the strange lack of females--and made a rather amazing
and coherent society. And she gives each Dwarf an individual character
as well--they are not simply interchangeable.

In addition to that, she has given us a mystery to solve: what has
happened to the Arkenstone? Bilbo, in danger of finding himself
accused of theft, must try to solve the mystery, which he goes about
doing in a thoroughly hobbity manner. And we see that even without a
magic ring of invisibility, he remains clever, brave, honest and loyal
to his friends--and he still has that amazing luck that brought him
through his first Adventure.

She writes Bilbo with a firm grip on his canon "voice", and I love the
moments when he must occasionally try and make sense of some Dwarven
custom that seems completely unnecessary to a hobbit. And I must say,
the ruse he used when his investigations needed to take him outside
the mountain was both funny and touching and very much in character.

And the solution he came up with in the end also displayed his
compassion and wisdom--just what one would expect of the hobbit who
could give up the Arkenstone to stop a battle and give away the Ring.

Title: Descent · Author: Dwimordene · Times: Early Third Age: 1-2850
TA · ID: 632
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-10-23 13:19:31
The Kin-strife is not often addressed in fanfiction, but has a wealth
of open territory to explore as an awful and complex period in
Gondor's history. Here we get an insightful "ground-level" view of the
forces closing around the common man in the impending war.

I have always loved the way that Dwimordene writes political
situations and this is no exception. The story revolves around two
wonderful, believable OC's, and the use of such young protagonists
allows a unique viewpoint of mixed innocence and experience. They know
what is coming, and although they lack a full understanding of the
politics, both boys recognize how it might impact their lives. Their
dialects and interactions, and all the lovely touches of
authentic-feeling culture, are very well done; as is the distasteful
and revealing interlude between the bigoted guards at the end.

The setting is delightfully rendered: the docks, the descriptions of
the hustling and multi-racial Row. I am left with a very a clear
picture in my mind, and love the image of Pelargir as the mercantile
crossroads of southern Arda.

We finish with a beautifully descriptive and heart-chilling ending
that points to the looming "first great evil": the rebellion against
the rightful king, the siege and breaking of Osgiliath, and the
terrible and pointless loss of many of the best men of the southern
kingdom.

Title: City of Trees · Author: Gwynnyd · Races: Elves: With Mirkwood
Elves · ID: 641
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-23 18:05:58


A charming vignette wherein Celeborn gets one heckuva peace offering
from his wife after a prolonged separation. Excellent extrapolation of
the rather muddled pre-Ring War canon concerning the couple.

Title: Blackest Fate · Author: Branwyn · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 -
3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 476
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-23 18:47:01
[spoiler warning]
When I first began to write, I was taught this definition of a
drabble: "A complete story, told in exactly 100 words, with a twist or
kick at the end." By that standard (or just about any other
imaginable), [Blackest Fate] is as perfect a drabble as can be.

We are immediately pulled into the story of the two prisoners and
their torment. But who are they? Who are their captors? The words
[black-haired men] are troubling: surely neither elves nor dark-haired
men of Numenorean descent would treat their captives so. Would they?

The mood changes fleetingly in the second paragraph, as the prisoners
seek consolation in shared memories of happier times. If there is
anywhere a lovelier phrase than [resting where clear water washed the
flat stones], I don't think I've encountered it. [galloping through
the grass as it bowed before the wind] finally gives us a surprising
hint as to the identity of the prisoners and the dark forces who have
captured them.

[Reaching through the bars, each gently searched for the other's
face…] There's achingly lovely imagery here, as the mysterious
prisoners exchange compassion and encouragement,[ until the black
muzzles brushed together.] then pow! as the identity of the prisoners
is finally revealed. I had to stop, catch my breath, then read it all
again.

[Dead to their Riders and kindred, at least they two could share this
evil doom.] Honorable, courageous, and loyal, Branwyn's Rohirric
steeds are just as heroic and unforgettable as their Riders. An
amazing piece of writing. *stands and applauds the wondrous Branwyn*


Title: Passages · Author: Isabeau of Greenlea · Genres: Drama:
Incomplete · ID: 60
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-23 18:53:11
This is a very satisfying story on so many different levels. There
seems to be have been a dearth of good action-adventure stories
lately, at least that I've been exposed to; I'm very pleased to have
found both this and Dwimordene's most recent contribution to the
'verse, "Reconciliation." "The Plucky Youngster Proves His Worth,
Rescues His Friends, And Learns Something About Himself In The
Process" trope is an age-old one, and Isabeau writes it very well.
Brandemir is an engaging character, and it's a pleasure to see aspects
of his personality we can very easily imagine as being inherited from
his father – quick wit, leadership, imagination – coming into play as
Brand engineers his rescue and that of his young companions.

The Cinderella aspects of the tale, explored in the original tale
"Noble Jewel", are more fully developed here. Brand is aware of the
truth about his origins, and is becoming comfortable with both his
new-found family, and the expectations and opportunities now available
to him. That he is able to conduct himself so well in a crisis
situation is a salute to both heredity and environment.

The most touching elements of the story, though, deal with Brand's
realization of the truth about Andra and Boromir, the two men whom he
has learned to respect and admire more than anyone else in the world.
His shock and confusion is both painful and realistic as he is forced
to examine a lifetime of prejudice. What he experiences is not all
that different from what a young person of the late Fourth Age would,
in a similar situation, another vivid example of the universality of
experience that we find so moving.


Title: The man in the woods · Author: Dot · Races: Men: Eriador or
Rivendell · ID: 13
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-23 18:54:18
What a gorgeous, gorgeous story, with wondrous use of language, and
absolutely perfect characterization.

I've read a number of Halbarad stories, and never really seemed to be
particularly moved by them, until I read this – I think it is the
imagery of Halbarad as a loving husband and father that must have been
moved me so. Though Halbarad appears only briefly, at the beginning
and the end, it is his influence on his young daughter Falathren that
defines her personality and her actions in the story. [Though unaware
yet that my birthright as a Dúnedain woman was not to fight for our
future but to sacrifice my loved ones to it with a resolute heart, I
nevertheless did not mind that Ada never told me I'd be a good Ranger.]

Falathren and her older brother Alagos have slipped away while their
mother is sleeping to play in the woods. Their games are based on the
stories (and other useful skills) they've learned at their father's
knee [far away places that made my father's voice warm and soft as
fresh baked bread when he spoke of them, though he knew them only from
his own Ada's stories and the faith that thrummed in Dúnedain
blood...], so that when they find a body in the woods, they are not
unduly shocked or startled
but know exactly what action is called for: [He surveyed me for a
moment and then with a decisiveness no doubt born of life in a
Dúnedain household he announced, "We need to go for help."] Falathren,
though, chooses to stay with the body, her fear overcome by compassion
she is yet too young to recognize.

What I found particularly touching in this story was Falathren's
honest voice as she describes her early resentfulness of Aragorn: [I
knew I was supposed to like Aragorn because my parents did – almost
everyone did – but he always took my father away from me] which is
transformed into comfort and reassurance when it is Aragorn who
retrieves her from the dead man's side [He rose and carried me away,
hugged close to his chest so that I could listen to the hum of life
within him].

The final lines [I looked away from the reflection of my future in the
knowing gazes of the women and leaned into him, grasping at the scent
of him, that scent of smoke and sweat and self-assurance, of the
achingly familiar in a strange new world.] are almost heartbreaking,
symbolizing to me the world of Dunedain women, into which this child
has been thrust all too soon.

Title: Dissonance · Author: EdorasLass · Races: Cross-Cultural: Gondor
· ID: 450
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-23 18:55:52
This subtle yet powerful tale speaks so much to things that have
happened in our own Age, not just the final days of the Third. This
reminded me of the people right here in our country who attacked
mosques and abused Middle Eastern people right after 9/11. Do you
remember? Such blind rage and xenophobia.

In the Narrator's case this shock and anger is quite understandable,
as he was an enemy combatant, mortally wounded in the very act of
seeking to destroy her city. [Part of me is repulsed by him, by
everything I know his countrymen have done to mine, and I want to
scream and rage at him.] A very realistic reaction on her part, yet
her immediate and unthinking compassion for a dying man, even her
enemy, does her great credit.

It's not easy to take up someone else's original characters and write
them as smoothly and seamlessly as you've done here. Every nuance of
the Narrator's character is spot-on: her nervousness at being
discovered by Valacar where she's not supposed to be, the tiny detail
of her noticing the strange scent on her fingers from touching the
Southron's hair. For those of us who have been following Aliana's
story, this additional episode, somber as it is, is a welcome treat.

The imagery you've provided, of the man singing his own death-song, is
extraordinary. I think I can imagine his voice, that high wailing
chant rising and falling. What despair, to use the last of his
strength for this. A fiercely beautiful, unique and memorable story.



Title: The Burning of the Year · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times:
Late Third Age: 3018-3022 TA: Gondor · ID: 2
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-23 18:57:07
Raksha's [The Burning of the Year] is at the same time disturbing and
satisfying, which makes for a very memorable experience. The idea of
the people of Gondor perpetuating a custom which has its roots in
blood-sacrifice, a remnant of a barbaric phase in Numenorean history,
is quite intriguing; however, the way in which the custom has been
modified throughout the ages, and the beauty of the ritual itself, is
very well written. Poor Faramir! The usual star of the celebration is
absent, so he must perform in his brother's place. Certainly it's very
easy for him to draw the parallels between the ancient ritual
offering, and the sacrifice that all Gondor will have to share in
order to survive. This knowledge gives an overwhelming sense of, not
futility exactly, but resignation, to his participation. But it's also
perfectly in character for Faramir to set aside his own feelings, and
take upon the mantle of his duty as upholder of the spirits of the
City in Boromir's absence. ["It breaks my heart to nod and smile; for
I believe the new year shall bring death, not light; but I will not
quench their hope when hope is all they have."]

I'm pleased that Faramir is able to set aside his misgivings for the
moment to drink and dance and participate as fully as his people wish.
["Yestarë's first hour goes by in song and good cheer. I am
decorously, though far from fully, drunk. It eases the business of
giving cheerful greeting, when I fear what will befall the children
and their parents, the wise old folk and the lads and maids, before
the next year-fire is lit."] The description of the celebration brings
to mind both Cretan and Celtic revelry, an intriguing mix; yet
Denethor's final words provide a grim foreshadowing. An unusual
gap-filler,and a very well-told tale.



Title: True Silver · Author: Marta · Genres: Romance: Drabble · ID: 612
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 19:04:14
Now this is a wonderful manner in which to express ones interest in
someone else! This look at Galadriel through Celeborn's eyes is marvelous!

Title: Standards · Author: Marta · Times: Late Third Age: 3018-3022
TA: General Drabble · ID: 541
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 19:06:57
Ah, Marta--again a short one that manages to express the hope of Arwen
and Halbarad together so well and with such an economy of words! And
glad the staff to the standard itself is well wrought!

Title: All in a Day's Work · Author: Gwynnyd · Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 421
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-23 19:07:06
What a wonderful story, and just a perfect use of a drabble series.
The writing overall is crisp and vivid; each drabble performs its
purpose perfectly, moving the action along with a wonderful sense of
immediacy. Each of the seven characters are described in loving and
lively detail, and their dialogue, where used, is spot-on, with never
an extraneous word or gesture. This is short-form writing at its very
finest.

Title: Safe In My Arms · Author: Fiondil · Genres: Drama · ID: 470
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 19:47:15
A wonderful tale of finding healing within the Halls of Mandos first
for Denethor's sons and then for Denethor himself. Fiondil's gift at
writing the Lord of Mandos is marvelous!

Title: Truly Tested · Author: Súlriel · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 -
3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 257
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 20:02:30
Definitely Aragorn is no longer a green youth, but a warrior trained,
no matter how much he might regret it.

Title: Sons of Hador · Author: TrekQueen · Races: Men · ID: 115
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 20:05:15
Love this glimpse at Hador's sons finding their way amidst ease the
likes of which they've been unknowing.

Title: A Mother's Touch · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Humor:
Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 44
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 20:07:41
A wonderful response to the "Dirty Dragon" challenge, and love Readh's
love and care for her son. Yes, even dragons must know the delight of
loving mothers! Heh!

A delight!

Title: He Came To Meet Me · Author: sophinisba solis · Genres: Romance
· ID: 33
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 20:17:57
The Pippin-meets-Diamond stories are almost always delightful. Am glad
I met this one.

Title: All Lies and Jest · Author: Jael · Races: Elves: With Mirkwood
Elves · ID: 104
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 20:33:02
And how Thranduil must have grieved indeed to realize he had doomed
two to die who might have lived, loved, and borne children to the
renewal of the great forest of their home.

Poignant and thought-provoking.

Title: Ribbons · Author: Lily · Races: Hobbits: Pre-Quest · ID: 246
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 20:36:21
And who was it that Merimac Brandybuck married, and how did she manage
to truly capture the heart of this most fickle of Brandybucks? A
wonderful tale of love east of the Brandywine! Yes, a delightful tale
amd marvelously told, as well as well worth the reading. Well recommended.

Title: Bound by Duty · Author: Lady Bluejay · Genres: Romance: With
Rohirrim · ID: 175
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 20:40:50
This marriage may have been arranged, but now Lothiriel reviews it
from start to this time, seeing how it was she went from accepting
Eomer as her bridegroom to loving him, and thinking on the reasons why
last night he slept on the cot in his study rather than with her in
what had been their bed.

Marvelously done and intimately told as Lothiriel makes the
transformation from Princess of Dol Amroth to Queen of Rohan in spirit
as well as name.

Title: May It Be a Light to You in Dark Places · Author: Cathleen ·
Times: Fourth Age and Beyond: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 388
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-23 20:52:04
Movie-verse--Eowyn and Faramir remember past Yules while looking at
the decorations for this one, interrupted by rampaging Hobbits and
irate wizards. But love abides here, and tales and gifts help to
confirm that past loves and future loves are yet entwined together.

Title: Warriors' Scars · Author: Marta · Times: Early Third Age:
1-2850 TA · ID: 648
Reviewer: Ellie · 2007-10-23 21:07:32
this is a very subtly poignant look at the twins and what their grief
over the assault upon their mother has cost them. One can see that the
twins still respect Glorfindel and wish to please him as depicted by
Elladan's fear of telling Glorfindel the truth about his reasoning for
going after the orcs out of revenge. I pity Elrond and Glorfindel for
their powerlessness in this situation and for their grief at the anger
and sorrow the twins so obviously still feel and their inability to
help them through it. We know the twins eventually do find healing,
and you have made the ache their loved ones endure palpable. Nicely done!

Title: Hiraeth · Author: Llinos · Genres: Poetry · ID: 803
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-24 01:39:55
A wonderful look at the effects of the Sea Longing.

Title: Mettare · Author: rhyselle · Races: Cross-Cultural: The
Fellowship · ID: 732
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-24 01:43:16
Pippin and Merry learn a Gondorian custom from Boromir, common at the
turning of the year. A sweet story, and a lovely custom that is not
unknown in the Real World.

Writing is excellent, and imagery pleasing.

Title: Dangerous Place · Author: Ushmushmeifa · Genres: Drama: Minas
Tirith · ID: 590
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-24 01:51:29
A marvelous, sad and poignant story on the specific situation that led
Boromir to claim the quest for Imladris as his own. Imagery is sharp
as a sword blade, and the telling sweet. The use of a poem to break
each small segment is exceptionally well done and adds to its poignancy.

Msg# 8406

MEFA Reviews for November 10, 2007 (Part 2) Posted by Ann November 10, 2007 - 4:50:56 Topic ID# 8406
Title: Three Cups of Kindness · Author: Elen Kortirion · Times:
Multi-Age: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 448
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-24 01:57:27
Three instances in the life of Aragorn son of Arathorn when an offered
drink helped him deal with the realities of death.

Title: The Blessing · Author: Golden/Pearl Took CoAuthors · Genres:
Alternate Universe: Incomplete · ID: 235
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-24 02:03:50
The challenge was to write a story somehow utilizing a quotation from
someone else's book--in this case the works of E. Nesbit, and Golden
and Pearl Took have done well at meeting that challenge.

Someone did not recover completely from the injuries he suffered in
his private fight against Mordor, and in this case it was NOT Frodo
but Pippin, who's been left epileptic. For a people among whom the
fits of the Falling Sickness are usually enough to cause families to
lock away family members that they not be seen in public, this is
horrible.

The presence of a guardian spirit and the work of Elrond, Aragorn, and
healer Parsow, however, help to assure that Pippin does know indeed
the positive effects of the blessing uttered over him in Cormallen.

Poignant and well researched.

Title: The Unbearable Smugness of Being Feanor · Author: Ignoble Bard
· Genres: Humor · ID: 164
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-24 02:10:22
So, now we know HOW our modern universe came to be--through the
collision of two of the greatest, most self-absorbed personalities in
all of Ea! A wonderful laugh.

Title: Kindred Spirits · Author: Cathleen · Genres: Drama: The
Fellowship · ID: 377
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-24 02:35:38
Pippin and Boromir are realizing they have a good deal in
common--except for fathers, with Pippin having a problem understanding
how Denethor could be as he was toward his sons.

But they both find Gandalf's care for them reminds them of....

Sad and yet heartening at the same time.

Title: The Witch-king's Cloak · Author: Radbooks · Genres: Humor:
Parody · ID: 106
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2007-10-24 05:47:26
That scruffy man set his good cloak on fire and now the poor Wiki must
wear the short, tattered replacement cloak squished into his pack.
How's he supposed to strike that trademark terrifying pose in a not
quite black enough cloak with less than adequate volume?

Who would have thought old Angmar was as image conscious as Wilhemina
Slater, the evil genius of the American television version of "Ugly
Betty?" Radbooks did, and made me grin at the Witch King from a
different perspective.

Title: City of Trees · Author: Gwynnyd · Races: Elves: With Mirkwood
Elves · ID: 641
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-10-24 06:33:09
This story is a rather different and very enjoyable interpretation of
the origins of Lorien, with some lovely, humorous and not-often-seen
character interaction to boot.

One of my favorite parts of this vignette is the introduction, where a
gorgeous scene is splendidly laid out before us; it allows us to
personally connect with Celeborn's ardent love of the forest. His
breach with Galadriel is nicely and believably laid out, giving reason
behind their long separation that jives with two such strong
personalities who are very different in their aesthetic appreciations.

I love the back-and-forth between Celeborn and Thranduil, who would
indeed seem to have much in common. I can see a friendship there, one
that perhaps deteriorates after they become neighbors and have to
"share the trees". I also love that Celeborn has kept count of the
days, and that it is Galadriel who makes the first peace offering
through Thranduil - the wonderful compromise that is Lorien.

Although the author has noted that this can be considered AU, I also
see no evidence that it cannot be canon. It comes from a
"glossed-over" period in Tolkien's works, and concerns a relationship
that the master himself changed his mind about frequently.

Title: All in a Day's Work · Author: Gwynnyd · Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 421
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-10-24 10:30:24
Aaaaargh, matey! I love tricksy, piratey Imrahil stories. All the
different viewpoints here gave a vividly drawn picture of a Prince
concerned for his people and doing his job to protect them. The swift,
professional efficiency with which he and his men accomplish the task
seems very much in character.

Title: Outmatched · Author: Tiana Luthien · Genres: Drama: Vignette ·
ID: 132
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-10-24 10:35:53
I can just see Eomer using the device of a sparring match to decide
whether or not a certain grave Gondorian is worthy of his sister. Good
images of both men here, despite the brevity of the piece.

Title: Summer Daze · Author: Marta · Genres: Romance: Pre-Ring War ·
ID: 471
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-10-24 11:03:16
Whew! <fans self> I have absolutely no problem reading about a young
Faramir in the throes of adolescent sexual urges, and Marta conveys
his aching frustration and embarassment very well. His earlier
confrontation at a Dol Amroth inn that turns out to be something else
entirely has left him wondering and imagining what he might have done
had he stayed. He takes these fantasies in hand, as it were, and
eventually returns to the inn to make them real. Very sensual
descriptions, of the surroundings, the food and the act itself. I was
amused when he thought about telling Boromir about the evening-it
seemed such a typical young man's response.

Title: Inroads · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races: Men: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 45
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-10-24 11:07:49
A nice depiction of the difficulties Eowyn must have faced, wedding
the Steward of Gondor. Sniping society matrons must indeed have been a
trial, and one she was not by disposition and temperment inclined to
deal with well. But she overcomes these difficulties with grace, and
by the end of this piece, you can imagine her integrating herself
eventually into the very heart of Gondor. Well done, Raksha!

Title: Charms of Wisdom and Grace · Author: annmarwalk · Genres:
Drama: Ithilien · ID: 460
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-10-24 11:12:49
Having done a small bit of weaving myself, I was intrigued by this
story, which gave Faramir a hitherto unthought-of skill. But it made
sense the way annmarwalk depicted it. And Eowyn, after years of
marriage, has no problem with her husband showing a gift for what
might be considered womens' work. It would be very like Faramir to
make a gift for his son or his brother that would guard them from the
elements. A beautiful, haunting piece.

Title: Sunshine and Roses · Author: shirelinghpc · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Gondor · ID: 531
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-10-24 11:24:39
Awwww, this was a sweet piece! Tolkien made much ado about Frodo's
trials and what they had done to him, but never mentioned the fact
that poor Sam might have been damaged as well. Trust Faramir, with his
keen perception, to notice this when the hobbits are oblivious due to
the difference in their social station between themselves and the
gardener. If he is not complaining, he must be all right, right?
Faramir has just the right medicine for Sam, and he and Aragorn bring
the other hobbits to an awareness of the fact that Sam too has his
demons to slay. A very touching story, the characterizations were
right on target.

Title: The Turn of the Tide · Author: Altariel · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 72
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-10-24 11:35:16
Spoiler Alert! As AUs go, this one is more hopeful and much more
perceptive than most. It's not just the fact that both Boromir and
Denethor live, it's that Faramir went on the Quest and Eowyn met him
in Rohan and loves him and not Aragorn. This gives Eowyn's own quest
to Minas Tirith a validity, at least to me, that is lacking in canon.
Her responses to Boromir, and later to his father, are very
interesting because of this, particularly her growing relationship
with Denethor, in whom she sees a kindred spirit. The despair, tension
and fear that hang over Minas Tirith after the Armies of the West
depart for the Black Gate are the same as they are in LOTR, Eowyn
still has her nightmares to deal with, but the final outcome is ever
so much happier!

Title: Jewel · Author: Aranel Took · Genres: Romance: Drabble · ID: 325
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-24 15:20:41
The idea for this Dwarven tradition sounds very plausible for their
culture, especially as I imagine the fact that there were so few
Dwarven women gave them some advantages when it came to choosing their
future husbands. In addition, skill in the suitors' respective crafts
is surely something the women would take into account when making
their choice.

A nice, engaging touch is that this drabble has Gloin and his future
wife as the protagonists: it's fun to imagine that this might indeed
have happened when Gimli's parents were courting, and to think of the
stout Dwarf we know from TH and LotR as an endearingingly nervous and
smitten suitor awaiting judgement from his love.

Title: A Life Between II · Author: Elen Kortirion · Genres: Romance:
Drabble · ID: 445
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-24 15:21:24
A drabble that focusses on the smallest details of Boromir's hand,
with its own personal history of scars and healed wounds - Théodred
wants to memorise everything about it when his lover is absent and
takes his time to explore everything very slowly and thoroughly. No
direct feelings are described, yet the mood seems wistful because of
the looming parting - maybe even somewhat foreboding?

The ending is particularly poignant, and seems to creep up quite
unexpectedly, to great effect.

I like how the drabble skirts the edge between subtle and overt erotic
touches, and the languorous pace of it, which also contributes to the
punch of the ending.

Title: Dreams the Way We Planned Them · Author: SlightlyTookish ·
Genres: Romance: Gondor · ID: 297
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-24 15:21:48
A moving, descriptive narrative, told in a calm, gentle tone, with
enough details of setting and characters to bring them to life in the
readers' mind. Engaging characterisations.

Title: Four Voices - Autumn, 3018 · Author: annmarwalk · Genres:
Romance: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 756
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-24 15:22:21
Beautiful language, the images and metaphors paint a wistful but
shining and moving picture of deep love and affection. I especially
loved Éowyn's musings, and the very last line of Éomer's contribution.

Title: Seeking to Please · Author: Gwynnyd · Genres: Romance: Pre-Ring
War · ID: 193
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-24 15:23:15
This story fills a gap in the development of the Aragorn/Arwen
romance: between Arwen almost dismissing Aragorn when he professed his
love to her, to their encounter in Lothlórien almost thirty years
later when she seemed to instantly fall in love with him.

It is written entertainingly, and the characterisations are spot-on,
yet given an extra slant that is all fresh and new.

Elrohir's special perspective as, on the one hand, Arwen's brother who
is not in awe with her beauty or high station, and on the other,
Aragorn's brother and friend who has watched him grow up and mature
among his folk, abroad and in the wilderness, lends a particularly
interesting insight into the relationship.

I loved the way she was so taken aback at the realisation that indeed,
this is no longer Estel, the little child, but Aragorn, a grown and
confident (and thoroughly charming) man.

I can well imagine that Elrohir later had times when he regretted
having arranged this meeting, I doubt he would have wanted it to go
quite this far.

Title: The Beginning · Author: Oshun · Genres: Romance: Second Age or
Earlier · ID: 339
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-24 15:24:08
Gil-galad muses on Elrond who he has come to love. There is desire in
his thoughts, expressed by the loving descriptions of Elrond's looks,
but also clear insight into and appreciation of the other's inner
qualities.

I liked the calm, leisurely tone of the story, with the restrained
passion lurking just beneath the surface, giving the narrative a
slightly simmering quality that felt quite appropriate for ["the
beginning"] of their love.

The hesitation of as yet undeclared love, of the doubt whether the
other reciprocrates the feeling, and whether one dares speak one's
heart, is conveyed very realistically and movingly. It must have come
as such a relief (and a surprise) to Ereinion, when the normally
reticent Elrond dared the first step in such a forward manner.

Title: Youngest Son · Author: Bodkin · Genres: Romance: Second Age or
Earlier · ID: 406
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-24 15:24:38
Wonderful setting of scene; the description of the seashore was very
lovely.

And then to contrast this, and Finarfin's surreptitious admiration of
Eärwen, with the ellith, including her, mocking the oblivious
Finarfin, and simultaneously admiring his features like fangirls - too
funny!

I like the obvious yet innocent sensuality the characters notice about
each other: it's a fine balance to keep, and you managed it very well.

The characterisations and character interactions were believable and
engaging.

The brief foreboding gave the light-hearted story a feeling of
transience that made it all the more precious perhaps.

Title: Yours to command · Author: Lialathuveril · Genres: Romance:
With Rohirrim · ID: 129
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-24 15:25:36
There is so much in this story: adventure and action, intrigue and
suspense, romance and drama - all well-shaken (not stirred *g*!), and
served as completely enthralling plot seasoned with good
characterisations, humour, and creative twists and turns.

The romance in particular is well-played against the intrigue of the
plot with a remarkable and believable villain, and the solution to
both satisfied, and felt well-earned by the way the plot was structured.

I like this Éomer very much: you have achieved a fine balance between
showing the fierce, temperamental warrior, and the caring king and
leader with a great sense of duty and responsibility.

And your portrayal of Lothíriel is pure delight: her bravery and firm
will, coupled with a sweet nature, is very engaging, and all the more
impressive for her disability with she faces with so much courage and
forthrightness and lets neither it nor her family who almost smother
her with over-protectiveness hinder her in anything.

Title: Black Eyes · Author: Lialathuveril · Genres: Romance: With
Rohirrim · ID: 177
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-24 15:28:19
A well-plotted, visually descriptive, and engaging story.

The characterisations, the interaction between the characters, and the
dialogues were well-written. I especially liked Lothíriel's daring,
perceptiveness and resourcefulness.

Framing the story with quotes from "The Art of War" (transferred to
M-e), and using martial terms throughout was inspired, and fit well
with the "sparring" going on between the protagonists.

It was entertaining to witness Lothíriel's (quite creative) attempts
to thwart the plans to "marry her off", even for the cost of acting
foolish or downright appalling, only to discover that those attempts
mostly backfired.

I also liked how you interwove political/mercantile concerns into this
generally light-hearted and not quite serious story to give it more
depth (and to offset somewhat the unbelievable, *outrageous* rudeness
of Aunt Ivriniel).

Title: Winds of Change · Author: Lady Bluejay · Genres: Romance: With
Rohirrim · ID: 228
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-24 15:28:52
Lively, descriptive style, very pleasing to read (apart from some
minor issues like modernisms or errors); vivid, flowing character
interaction. The expressions, gestures and dialogues felt very real
and immediate, as did the settings, street life, furnishings etc. in
Minas Tirith. I also liked the fact that you took your time to develop
the romance, that you took into account that there were so many other
important things and changes going on in Gondor and Rohan at the time
that would mean as much to Éomer and the people he interacts with.

Éomer is portrayed very much in-character, and it was very interesting
to follow his thoughts and feelings over the course of the story. I
very much liked him in his role as brother to Éowyn, and I *loved* his
interactions with Faramir (who was characterised equally well).

Title: The Promise in her Eyes · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Humor:
Gondor or Rohan · ID: 100
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-24 16:36:40
I remember this as one of the first stories of yours, EL, that I ever
read, and as such it's fun to go back and note the very beginnings of
characteristics of your writings that we know and love so much now.
First off, of course, is the attention to detail and description: the
embroidery trim on Eowyn's dress, the swirling of her skirt and the
reckless flash of her ankles, the fact that the young hero is a
bodhran player – a bodhran player! You've put all that time spent at
Renfaires to joyful use, which is what great writers do, of course –
store up every experience until the story that will require it is
ready to be told.

The second engaging characteristic is the vividness of your OC. Your
original characters are always extraordinary – it's like they've
always existed somewhere, with rich and full and rambunctious and
playful lives of their own; you merely whisper you magic over them to
bring them to life for us. I don't know that you've ever written your
bodhran player again, and I wish you would: perhaps a bit older and
wiser – he couldn't be a carefree musician forever – but yet, not
beaten down by what he's seen and experienced since his meeting with
Eowyn. I'd love to see him at the festivities surrounding Eowyn's
wedding or Elfwine's birth or the harvest festival in Ithilien.

The third characteristic is the sense of absolute joie-de-vivre you
bring to all your writings. Even the sad or somber or creepy or goofy
ones convey the total delight you take in creating these worlds and
people and places and sharing them with us. You are a creator-goddess,
and you bless us with your gifts.

Title: The Gates · Author: Isabeau of Greenlea · Races: Dwarves · ID: 70
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-24 16:37:16
What a lovely read. At first I felt terribly sorry for Gimli – stuck
with the managerial bureaucracy while others had the satisfying
opportunity to do the actual craftsmanship. But the points that Snorri
makes are very valid and thought-provoking, about the importance of a
proper support staff in allowing the artisans to concentrate without
distraction. It made me think about my own support staff position, and
the contributions I can make to the effective and smooth operation of
our department. On a day like today (frantically busy), this story was
a particularly meaningful gift. Thank you!

Msg# 8407

MEFA Reviews for November 11, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 11, 2007 - 5:50:15 Topic ID# 8407
Title: The Northmen · Author: SheBit · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
Drabble · ID: 451
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-24 16:37:50
An engaging bit of banter between the soldiers of sunkissed Gondor and
their visitors from cooler, greyer climes. The language is gorgeous:
[Will you stay here, the soldiers ask, where the days are long and
warm and sun-riped grapes make rich and crimson wines?] sounds like a
love song to the land, almost like something from one of the Entish
ballads. The Northmen's reply [We belong to the north, where the
weather is reassuringly inclement and grey, and damp days make barley
plump for the brewers' trade] is somewhat stolid, less passionate and
vivid, though wonderfully descriptive in its own way. The last word,
though, comes from the Northmen in a bit of neat turnabout, claiming
hot-blooded virility for their own folk. Ha!


Title: Blooded · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Drama: Youth · ID: 3
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-24 16:38:42
A very thoughtful tale of Faramir's first blooding, his first
experience in battle. His contemporaries are very realistically drawn,
alternately boastful and gleeful as they regale each other with tales
of their own derring-do; they don't seem very different from young men
of the Fourth Age in similar situations. Only Faramir sits alone and
pensive as he recalls the physical sensations of the battle, the
actual sounds and sights of death.

Poor Faramir – rather than settling down for a period of reflection
about his own reactions, whether or not he met his own expectations of
behavior in this situation, he must now deal with a new fear, that he
will not be able to bring himself to kill again. It's not really an
unexpected view of Faramir, but in Raksha's loving hands, Faramir's
fear and self-doubt is treated with compassion and delicacy.

Title: The Wink of an Eye · Author: Linda hoyland · Times: Mid Third
Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 664
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-24 16:39:13
[Oh what joy to jest with Gondor's solemn Steward! He would drive him
to madness yet.]

Though meant as a humorous drabble (and it does work wonderfully as
such) this also made me think for a moment of the utter plausibility
of Sauron taking foul glee in his manipulation of Denethor, the poor
guy. So it's humor with a bitter undertaste. Well done!

Title: Ten Thousand Years · Author: Marta · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA · ID: 565
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-24 16:41:28
There's a lovely sense of vulnerability in Boromir here that we don't
often get to see. You hint at it in the very beginning, showing his
restless frustration with the weather, and how he longs to be out of
doors, to use the natural world, a soldier's world, as his lodestone
to ground him again. I can easily imagine Faramir as much more at home
indoors at Rivendell, wandering the galleries and libraries, wishing
the rain would continue. I also particularly liked the way you noted
Elrond's respect for the history of his brother's kin ["though Elrond
was an elf-lord, his brother had been a king of men. Why should
Boromir wonder that he would collect relics of Númenor's sons?"]. It's
not an element that I've considered much in the past, but find myself
pondering more often lately, thanks to you and also Bewize, in her
drabble "Men of the North".


The theme of vulnerability continues with Boromir's heart-to-heart
with Arwen. Surely his prior diplomatic training would have taught him
to be cautious, to hold back, especially to someone whom he knows
would be a close ally to his rival! Yet he finds himself freely
confessing his greatest fears, as though speaking them aloud enables
him to confront and examine them.

Arwen, in her turn, is also surprisingly open with him, confiding some
of the deepest concerns of her heart to this stranger (as well as a
glimpse of a precious, secret gift - how did she know he wouldn't
speak of it?) It's a lovely scene, and something I've never imagined.
Thank you, as always, for presenting us with the unexpected in such a
graceful, memorable way.


Title: Fell Memories · Author: Gwynnyd · Genres: Drama: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 191
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-10-24 21:47:43
Very visceral and dark and with nothing held back. The violence
certainly draws the reader along, making one gasp at the rawness, but
still without being overly gratuitous.

Graphically drawn, it is at times hard to read, but impossible to stop!

Impressive work!

Title: First Among Equals · Author: Tanaqui · Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 564
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-10-24 21:48:34
What struck me about these two drabbles were the references to two
very different types of killing - one for sustenance and one to
protect his people. Not at all the same and yet they are, as both are
necessary for survival.

Faramir's thought about Denethor was very appropriate and at last he
has a chance to find approval, though it still will not be from his
father.

Title: Oliphaunts and String · Author: agape4gondor · Genres: Drama:
Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 658
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-10-24 21:50:32
The grandmother's sweet and simple character throws what Smeagol has
become into sharp relief. One can imagine that he too was once sweet
and innocent and yet there must have been *something* in him to make
the Ring take hold so quickly. The author gives us a hint of this
underlying oddness that I really like. Very sad, that he was destined
for such an evil path when without the Ring he might just have been
considered rather simple and eccentric amongst his own folk..

Title: A Life Between II · Author: Elen Kortirion · Genres: Romance:
Drabble · ID: 445
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-24 22:20:05
Kortirion is marvelously skilled in conveying lush sensuality even in
the most economical of genres. This delicious drabble focuses solely
on Théodred's caressing of Boromir's hand. There's that lovely element
of shared history in that Théodred is already familiar with each
callous and scar and knotted bone; he knows and loves Boromir's body
as well as he does his own. And while it's clear that Théodred's
exploration with fingertips, lips, and tongue is a precursor to a more
thorough and detailed examination, for the discerning reader these 100
words, like a perfect chocolate, provide complete satisfaction.

Just under the surface of this richness, though, lies a bleak
undercurrent [the too-short life-line that matched his own]. Théodred
and Boromir both sense that they are not destined for long life, and
so must make the most of each rare and precious moment they have
together. This melancholy adds a slightly bitter tang to the the tale,
lifting it far beyond the ordinary.


Title: Subdivisions · Author: Aliana · Genres: Alternate Universe:
Gondor or Rohan · ID: 551
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-24 22:21:17
Another witty and sardonic postmodern tale from Aliana. It is now
twenty years after the siege of Minas Tirith, and the city has
rebounded emotionally, socially, and economically beyond anyone's
wildest dreams. A university, a thriving Haradric quarter with
take-out curry shops, Starbucks and Mickey D's and KFC, and a postwar
baby-boomer generation threatening to burst the White City at its
seams. The only place to grow is outward; so a central theme of the
story is the debate over the proposal to allow affordable housing to
be built out on the Pelennor. Though on the surface the concept seems
a bizarre twist on Tolkien's work, perhaps this is the very future he
foresaw, and chose not the write. How would the good folk of
Middle-earth deal with "normalcy"?

Aliana's dialog is alternately hilarious and thought-provoking, and
her characters, even those making quick walk-on appearances, are vivid
and realistic. Haven't we all known relentlessly perky students like
Piri, hardworking and ambitious entrepreneurs like Mrs Ishrani, or
even class clowns like Firendir: ["Ooow!" Firendir wails. My husband
sighs, walks over to him, and smacks him on the side of his crew-cut
head. Look, if you're going to be a soldier, you're going to have to
learn to DEAL WITH A LITTLE PAIN."].

Yet as wacky and entertaining as the story is, there is a bittersweet
side to it, in the underlying debate as to whether or not the City's
past should be respected or enshrined.
["Don't you care? They're calling it `Pelennor Fields Quality Homes'
or something insipid like that. Don't you think the Pelennor should be
preserved as it is? You fought on those fields, your friends fought on
those fields."] The Narrator is nearly screaming with frustration, but
she's nonplussed by her husband's reply: ["Well, maybe I'd like to see
houses and kids there for a change, instead of seeing piles of the
dead in my mind. Have you thought about that?"]

It's a debate that's continuing even to our Age. Too bad that ours is
driven more by greed than the urge toward rebirth and renewal.


Title: Some Dark Place · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 226
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-10-24 23:17:35
This is a strongly-written short take on a first encounter between
Aragorn and the Ringwraiths. Raksha's descriptions create a vivid
sense of the fear the Ringwraiths induce, and its effect on Aragorn.
Nicely done.

Title: Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush · Author: Isabeau of
Greenlea · Genres: Romance: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 512
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-10-24 23:18:19
This is a cute and amusing ficlet about Pippin's courtship. Isabeau
provides a lively and strong characterisation for Diamond of Long
Cleeve, showing how Pippin has truly met his match. The writing is
crisp, clear and brisk. An enjoyable read.


Title: Maiden Voyage · Author: Fawsley · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Drabble · ID: 654
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-10-24 23:22:36
This drabble is a beautiful and atmospheric rendering of Legolas and
Gimli's sailing. In it, Fawsley provides some extremely memorable
phrasing, captivating me from the first line with the wonderful use of
["puzzling streams"] to describe the delta of the Great River.

The gentle rhythms of the piece convey a sense of slowness,
tranquility and yet inevitability in Legolas and Gimli's departure. On
top of that, Fawsley shows a masterly control of the drabble form by
using a structure within the constraints of the hundred word drabble
limit that leads the reader through the story and provides a
satisfying resolution.

Although this subject is often written about, I've rarely felt so
moved by any of the versions I've read as this one. Truly excellent.

Title: The Third Eagle · Author: Imhiriel · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: General Drabble · ID: 630
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-10-24 23:25:05
Imhiriel has pulled off the by-no-means-easy feat of creating a
drabble that conveys a bittersweet mix of joy and sorrow. The last
line of the drabble is heartrending, reminding us as it does of the
whole tale of Gollum, and his redemption, fall and ultimate unwitting
contribution to the victory over Sauron celebrated in the drabble's
first line. I am particularly impressed with the way Imhiriel has used
the rhythms of phrases and paragraphs within the drabble to strengthen
the impact of the words, leaving us with a tangible sense of the
eagle's regret in the brevity of his last thoughts. Overall, the
drabble also does a fine job of capturing the nature of the Eagles,
both fierce and gentle. In short, an extremely satisfying hundred
words to read. Bravo!


Title: A Very Rain of Sparrows · Author: Dwimordene · Races: Men · ID: 440
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-10-25 01:21:39
A very sad look at the life of a child as he nears manhood. The
characters were very well written and 'life-like.' The story itself
was unbearably filled with despair. It almost seemed like a tale about
Elves.

Title: Sons of Hador · Author: TrekQueen · Races: Men · ID: 115
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-10-25 01:27:55
*heavy sigh* I do so love the tales of Men - whether in the First or
the Third Age - this is a poignant little look at a moment of peace.
So few and far between for these brothers.

Title: Sorgbyrðen · Author: Aranel Took · Races: Men · ID: 275
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-10-25 01:31:13
Life in Middle-earth, much as we would like to think differently, was
not easy, was filled with pain and sorrow, and was difficult, to say
the least. This author really brought out the pain and horror of
living during the time immediately before the War of the Rings. Her
Eowyn speaks volumes. The Eowyn we meet in The Two Towers is begun in
this tale.

Title: Stone from Above · Author: Thundera Tiger · Races: Men · ID: 284
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-10-25 01:43:20
A beautiful telling of Hama's last moments. It could have been; the
man was definitely wise and faithful. I can see him sacrificing
himself, if not for his own king, for their ally's king. A very
poignant piece of work.

Title: Charcoal, Stone and Cloud · Author: shadow975 · Races: Men ·
ID: 610
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-10-25 01:59:41
I give this five stars. A very good and telling tale of the growth of
friendship, loyalty, and affection between two 'good' men! SPOILERS

I found it quite plausible that Aragorn would finally tell Boromir who
Thorongil 'happened' to be. I loved his remembrances of that time -
especially of Boromir as a babe. I loved Boromir's discomfiture at the
realization that Aragorn had seen a little more of him than he would
have wished; the ease with which, after a moment, Boromir accepted
Aragorn's claims; Aragorn's regard for Denethor and Ecthelion;
Boromir's forthrightness and Aragorn's willing acceptance of it;
Boromir's realization that there must be 'something' to this man who
would be his king if Ecthelion held him in esteem.

I liked the unfolding of these two characters: Aragorn is tight-lipped
when secrets need to be kept; Boromir's love for his brother; his
concern for his father and his City; Boromir's pride (as evidenced by
his statement [I am not one to beg, even of my brother.]; Boromir's
quick-wittedness in realizing that Aragorn (as Thorongil) would not
have wished his lineage known; Aragorn's ease at 'reading' Boromir;

My favorite line is [I have always been grateful that Faramir has not
let the same happen between the two of us, for my stubbornness and
Denethor's regard.] A great response to Aragorn's own admissin of why
there was disagreement between Denethor and Thorongil.

There are so many parts to this tale that just touched my heart...
Boromir's asking Aragorn to have faith and trust 'his' people, the
worthiness that each saw in the other, and the fact that Boromir was
reminded of his brother and his father (their strengths) in this heir
of Elendil.

This tale was filled with warmth and laughter. Though the ending
'foresight' was difficult, it was still a great tale and ending with
hope, at least for a word of love for a brother.

Title: Mushrooms · Author: claudia6032000 · Genres: Drama: The
Fellowship · ID: 561
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-10-25 02:13:55
This is a well thought out and plausible tale of a 'could have
happened' moment on the road to Mordor.

Poor Frodo - and he barely recovered from the Morgul-blade. Being a
Boromir fan, I'm grateful the man was able to lend his support - by
the use of his great cloak - to the cause of helping give Frodo
comfort. Though I could imagine him wondering aloud - and trying to
keep it at a whisper - what their next course of action might be IF
the worst were to happen.

Title: Not an Ordinary Day · Author: nau_tika · Genres: Drama: The
Fellowship · ID: 737
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-10-25 02:32:18
This was a delightful little moment that very likely 'could' have
happened. The characters were all perfect. And Pippin learned and
taught a lesson. What more could one ask for?

It made me laugh and that is always a good thing!

Title: Dear · Author: Febobe (Frodo Baggins of Bag End) · Genres:
Drama: The Fellowship · ID: 811
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-10-25 02:40:03
I thoroughly enjoyed this bit about Sam and his love for Frodo, food,
and life. Delightful tale. I especially had to giggle over Gondorian
food! Still laughing.

Title: Vocabulary Lessons · Author: Larner · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Gondor · ID: 521
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-25 03:47:15
A spoiled and untested young Gondorian lordling finds himself a fish
out of water when he comes to the court of Elessar shortly after the
end of the Ring War.

Excellent display of Larner's writing talents - good descriptions and
rich details; and a certain wry humor in the way the visitor keeps
digging himself deeper into trouble. However, Larner is a subtle
enough writer that the lordling is not a one-dimensional character;
and there is hope that he might benefit from exposure to the precepts
of the new King.

Title: Not Fade Away · Author: Jael · Genres: Drama: Elves in Later
Ages · ID: 127
Reviewer: Fiondil · 2007-10-25 05:02:19
This is one of those Cinderella-type stories that makes you feel good
all over when you finish reading it. In a world where apparently
Tolkien's stories were never published the Elves of Eryn Lasgalen set
out to tell the world the story of "The Hobbit" and the War of the
Ring via computer games and hire a mortal woman to help create the
background paintings for the games. Mariposa is a very real and
brutally honest woman, and it was fun to recognize what scenes she was
painting from the Legendarium, even if she did not. The elves are
delightful, and I loved how their Sindarin names were transformed into
modern names such as Randy, Leif, and Wendell. (I won't spoil the
surprise for others by revealing who is who). The bar scenes were
funny, especially Leif singing "O lachrymosa, dies illa" from Mozart's
"Requiem" as counterpoint to Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters", which
is playing on the jukebox or having one of the elves sport a tee-shirt
with tengwar writing saying, "Moriquendi and Proud of It!". But I
think the thing that will stay with me the most from this story is the
haunting scene of the elves' riding described in the Prologue:

[At the head of the train rode a pale haired elf. His face was grim,
and he wore no outward sign of rank upon his brow, yet any who saw
them would have recognized his lordship over the company.....

....and on the face of the Elven-lord was a somber look as if he were
riding to his doom. And yet, at the same time it was a hopeful
expression, a strange, resigned joy in whatever was to come. The look
said, Home."]

I hope there is a sequel to this. I, for one, would gladly read it.

Title: First Among Equals · Author: Tanaqui · Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 564
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-25 05:27:59
I particularly like the first half of this double-drabble. [Blooded]
is a fine snapshot of a young warrior's first kill; taut as the
bowstring with which he makes it.

Title: To This My Love Hath Come At Last · Author: Roh_wyn · Genres:
Romance: Incomplete · ID: 699
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-25 06:11:01
Intriguing story of Boromir's relationship with a young noblewoman,
some eight years before the Ring War. I don't think I have ever seen a
story where Boromir was immediately infatuated with an attractive
young lady; and it works quite well here that even Boromir the
super-soldier can be prey to tender feelings. I look forward to seeing
what Roh Wyn does with the tale.

Msg# 8408

MEFA Reviews for November 11, 2007 (Part 2) Posted by Ann November 11, 2007 - 5:51:26 Topic ID# 8408
Title: The Third Eagle · Author: Imhiriel · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: General Drabble · ID: 630
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-10-25 06:36:01
Tolkien created many incredible and fascinating beings to populate his
world, and the Eagles are foremost among them. They are intelligent,
proud and unbelievably useful: a foremost tool of the Valar for their
relatively rare direct interventions in Middle-earth. And at times
they appear to take their own initiative to join in on events,
although typically they seem to prefer remaining aloof (if informed)
of goings-on among all those earthbound Eruhini.

Imhiriel makes use of an Eagle's perspective in a retelling of one of
the most relief-inducing scenes of the book, the rescue of Sam and
Frodo. Meneldor's state of mind is beautifully described, the setting
clearly portrayed, and - for me - an entirely new understanding is
introduced. I had never before thought of the third Eagle as being
intended to retrieve Gollum (I thought Gwaihir carried only Gandalf),
but this drabble very effectively and irrevocably changed the way I
view that scene in RotK. Of _course_, knowing Gandalf's pity and past
defense of the Ringbearer's guide, they would have been hoping to
bring out Smeagol, and perhaps even finally heal him of the Ring's
corruption. The way that the author reveals this is indirect but hits
hard, with Meneldor's acknowledgement ["but I came in vain."]

This is an extremely well-written drabble which deftly incorporates an
unusual character to highlight a poignant scene, one which has threads
of sadness and disappointment running through the otherwise
overwhelming joy. My new understanding, however belated, has greatly
enriched the moment's meaning for me.

Title: Mentor · Author: Nessime · Times: Second Age: Drabble · ID: 653
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-10-25 06:39:05
The author uses a unique voice to show one Maiar's perspective of the
history of Numenor. Eonwe's PoV has the poignancy of one who was
intimately among the Numenoreans as teacher, adviser, and guide: an
insight into a direct touch of the Ainur that Tolkien left as only a
single line in the Silmarillion. Here was one of the Powers, living
among the Secondborn unveiled... This just brushes what is really a
fascinating interlude that deserves more attention: the founding of
Numenor under a Maiar's mentorship, one who would have enhanced and
expanded what the Edain gathered from their alliances with the Elves,
and who helped set the foundation for future Numenorean scholarship
and majesty.

The descriptions are vivid and evocative: first of a people
well-deserving of the honor shown them by the Valar, and receptive to
everything that Eonwe taught them; and then of the descent into evil,
ending with his former students being under the sway of a new mentor.
The contrast between Eonwe and Sauron is well presented, and Eonwe's
sorrow at Numenor's defection is quite clear, as he knows ["that once
again they will learn their lessons well."]

The Ainur themselves took away important lessons from this, of the way
that successive generations of humans often have to relearn harsh
lessons. And eventually, that you can't dangle something so desirable
as the Undying Lands (or rings of power) and not expect humans to
reach for it...

Title: Comforting Silence · Author: Radbooks · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 157
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-10-25 10:20:14
A lovely exploration of a long, long friendship and how words are not
always necessary, even in the darkest of times.

Title: Go Out in Joy · Author: Larner · Genres: Alternate Universe:
The Shire or Buckland · ID: 145
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2007-10-25 15:00:30
[review contains spoilers!]

Go out in joy is such a marvellous story that describes the progress
on how one can and will have to let someone go. This gem of an AU is
set around the time the Shire has settled down in a relative peace,
shortly before Bilbo's 131st birthday. Frodo is hurting, his body is
failing him, but the emotional burden pulls him down and it seems that
he cannot shed it off, no matter who councils him and tries to make
him understand that most events that happened was not caused by him,
but it was fate, the doing of someone else. A near counterpoint in the
story, or at least one of the important ones is Gandalf visiting:
vibrant and encouraging as ever, but gives the best council one can
give to all. His conversation with Merry, Pip, and Sam says so much:

[Pippin, his face pale even in the dim light, shook his head. Suddenly
he held out his arms, and Gandalf sank to one knee to embrace him,
then held out his other arm to embrace all three. "I will not say, do
not weep," he whispered to them, "for not all tears are an evil. But
stay by him and let him comfort you as he can, and do not fear to let
him go when the time comes, as come it must."]

From there it feels like it is more than ever inevitable, the chapter
is just well named and I surely recommend to get a box of tissues
because I found myself often blinking away tears, lying down the
printed pages only to be later on fully engrossed in this story. For
someone who is not familiar with Larner's works, the cast of minor
characters makes you want to pull out the LoTR, to keep track on who
is who. This didn't disturbed me at all when I read it because with
the changing perspectives in this stories, the minor characters come
to life even more. I could not help but to really start feeling for
Bartolo, Brendilac and Narcissa, they grow and change throughout the
story, Barti probably the most. In this piece Larner gives us the
insight in the close knitted hobbit culture, the traditions and the
honour, respect & love all felt for Frodo in their own way. I think
the most heartbreaking moment is when Saradoc says this:

[He may have been the Rascal of Buckland and Master of Bag End and the
Ring-bearer, but he has ever been one of the lights of joy in my
heart, and I'm glad I was granted the chance to cherish him while he
remained with us."]

This combined with the rest of the fellowship being there, the sons of
Elrond, but oh the epilogue (since Larner's nuzgul demanded it) has a
beautiful and deeply touching ending which makes it rightfully full
circle. Although I burst into laughter at the mentioning of Bilbo
building a smail on Valinor. What an amazing AU Larner, I loved the
author notes in where you invite a sweet bunny into your home ;)



Title: The Sword of Elendil · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres:
Drama: Incomplete · ID: 69
Reviewer: Oshun · 2007-10-25 15:48:42
I have been following this novel for a long, long time and I have seen
it go through several re-drafts, so I know full well how committed
this writer is to getting it right and the amount of sheer elbow
grease and thought that have gone into the development of her
conception of the characters and the plotline. The effort and
attention to detail have been worth it.

The original characters are particularly strong and clear and quite
believably fit into Tolkien's world as seen through the prism of this
writer. Her views of Rivendell and the Angle are internally
consistent, cannot be disproved by canon, and continue to be enhanced
and filled-in as the story moves forward. She is not above grinding
her own ax now and then, with grace and humor, to take the story and
characters to a new level and make them truly her own. She works
particularly well at making Arwen a full and real person. The age of
Arwen, in contrast to the young man who falls in love with her, is
handled in an interesting and convincing manner. There is a perfect
mesh of pain and humor in her portrayal of the smitten young man. He
is always real and flawed and yet one ever sees the man he will
become. She claims that she is not an elf-writer, but Elrond is one of
my favorite characters in this story. I love the way she shows how
attached he is to his foster-son and how he has allowed himself to
become emotionally invested with this latest heir of Isildur (a
serious risk for an elf in his situation and position) and yet is
always looking at the bigger picture. On a technical level alone the
author is one of the best writers in fanfiction.


Title: At The Foot of the Sarn Gebir · Author: Rabidsamfan · Times:
Late Third Age: 3018-3022 TA · ID: 787
Reviewer: SurgicalSteel · 2007-10-25 17:54:44
I really liked the feel of this - the fog, the desire for some little
bit of comfort - and Sam's utter practicality. I can easily see this
sort of thing having happened. I liked that Sam takes his comfort in
doing something comforting for others. Very nicely done.

Title: When the King Comes Back · Author: shirebound · Genres:
Alternate Universe: The Shire or Buckland · ID: 361
Reviewer: SurgicalSteel · 2007-10-25 18:04:43
Shirebound's 'Quarantined' stories have served as a source of
inspiration and plot-bunnies for me, and this one was no different.
I'm not certain if anyone else has blown up the Shire, but she does
early in the story and with results that had me logging on to internet
cafes in Ireland to see if there had been any updates. Lovely
hurt/comfort involving both Aragorn and Frodo, a very appealing young
Halbarad, loving concern from Bilbo, and a healer who seemed really
'true' to me. And puppies. A wonderful, comforting read.

Title: Woven in Friendship · Author: SlightlyTookish · Races:
Cross-Cultural: With Pippin · ID: 290
Reviewer: SurgicalSteel · 2007-10-25 18:11:02
This is a lovely look at friendship - the use of the tapestry and the
mention of the horns - and Eowyn's thoughtfulness at the end. Really
nicely done.

Title: Green Magic · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres: Crossover ·
ID: 312
Reviewer: SurgicalSteel · 2007-10-25 18:16:48
This was a really interesting look at a twentieth century Tom
Bombadil, with a delightfully creepy twist at the end.

Title: Harvest Bonfire · Author: Cuthalion · Genres: Romance · ID: 667
Reviewer: SurgicalSteel · 2007-10-25 18:23:55
Cuthalion's stories involving her OFC midwife never disappoint - and
although Lily is only a peripheral part of this tale, it's absolutely
marvelous. Lily steps in to help an exhausted Rose and gives Rose and
Sam the opportunity to be lovers again rather than fatigued parents.
The bedroom scene at the end is deliciously smolderingly hot.
Wonderfully done.

Title: Marbles · Author: grey_wonderer · Genres: Humor: Children · ID: 197
Reviewer: SurgicalSteel · 2007-10-25 18:33:22
Grey Wonderer has really mastered the art of the humorous story with
young hobbits. One can easily see this sort of scenario playing out
with the cousins, and it had me laughing out loud at several points.
Just delightful!

Title: Sea King; Seeking · Author: Tanaqui · Genres: Drama: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 689
Reviewer: SurgicalSteel · 2007-10-25 18:36:40
A lovely series of drabbles focusing on a character not often explored
in fanfiction: Aldarion of Numenor, and how his actions affected those
around him.

Title: Concussion · Author: Dreamflower · Genres: Adventure · ID: 711
Reviewer: SurgicalSteel · 2007-10-25 18:45:14
Beautifully done hurt/comfort. Dreamflower takes Bilbo's canon head
injury following the Battle of Five Armies and expands on his
recovery. The care shown to Bilbo by the Dwarves and Gandalf is
wonderful, and the medical detail is spot-on.

Title: When Day is Done · Author: Dana · Genres: Alternate Universe ·
ID: 23
Reviewer: SurgicalSteel · 2007-10-25 18:52:11
This was a fascinating alternate universe in which Dana explores how
the journey to Mount Doom would have been different had Merry and
Pippin accompanied Frodo rather than Sam. She stays true enough to
Tolkien's style of writing that it's difficult to tell at times where
she's quoting from the books and where her own writing begins. I can't
wait to see the corresponding tale with Sam in Rohan and Minas Tirith!

Title: For Eyes to See That Can · Author: SlightlyTookish · Races:
Hobbits: Hurt/Comfort · ID: 770
Reviewer: SurgicalSteel · 2007-10-25 18:55:43
Lovely hurt/comfort tale in which Pippin uses a psychic gift to find
Merry in Minas Tirith after the Siege is lifted. Beautifully done.

Title: The Archives Incident · Author: Dreamflower · Genres:
Adventure: Minas Tirith · ID: 38
Reviewer: SurgicalSteel · 2007-10-25 19:10:16
Lovely tale - Frodo and Pippin are exploring the archives and are
locked in. Lovely cousin interaction and bonding while they try to
find a way out.

Title: Thinking of Marigold · Author: grey_wonderer · Genres: Humor ·
ID: 349
Reviewer: SurgicalSteel · 2007-10-25 19:37:41
A hilarious tale of naked hobbits and naughty references. Just delightful!

Title: Hay and Clover · Author: Cuthalion · Genres: Romance: Pre-Ring
War · ID: 679
Reviewer: SurgicalSteel · 2007-10-25 19:47:37
A gorgeously written 'prequel' to the tales with Lily Proudfoot -
Frodo is visiting his Tookish cousins and has a delightfully hot
encounter in a haybarn with one of his cousins. Cuthalion writes
gorgeous erotic scenes, and this one is no exception.

Title: Lily of the Valley · Author: Baranduin · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA · ID: 682
Reviewer: SurgicalSteel · 2007-10-25 19:53:04
Beautifully written hurt/comfort - Frodo is ill after the attempt on
Caradhras, and Aragorn must convince him to accept treatment. Gentle
humor, wistful at times, and gorgeously done.

Title: Miss Dora Baggins' Book of Manners · Author: Dreamflower ·
Races: Hobbits: Incomplete · ID: 239
Reviewer: SurgicalSteel · 2007-10-25 20:00:43
Reads *exactly* like an old etiquette book. Miss Dora has written
wonderful advice for the edification of the Shire - and some of which
we could all take to heart as well. Wonderfully done.

Title: Sons of Hador · Author: TrekQueen · Races: Men · ID: 115
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2007-10-25 21:43:28
This little ficlet is filled with the details and observations in this
piece. It is actually a very still moment, where the two brothers from
the house of Hador find their reprieve in Gondolin. TQ does marvellous
job with painting the contrasts in this work: two cultures meet each
other, the eldar -who do not question the wisdom of the eagles-
meeting the edain for the first time, the feeling of wonder of Hurin
and Huor, used to the hard life in Beleriand who are witnessing the
luxury of the Gondolindrim elves. I love Húrin's observation of this
piece, a view he probably will never forget the rest of his life:

[As the eagles had brought them out of the fog, Húrin had spotted the
bright jewel of the city standing beautifully against the mountains
and green valley floor. ]

The quiet conversation that follows and the way the brothers worry
about the fates of their people is poignant, even when they are
pampered in the wealth of the elves they still worry about what will
become of them. This just gives this ficlet that touch of ME reality,
knowing that once they leave this will feel like a dream (although
this visit will have its consequences). The wealth of the elves is
overwhelming, a simple statement portrays the awe so well: the gentle
and soft manners compared to the harsh world the men live in outside
the realm. The wording is well chosen and this private moment between
the brothers make such a nice gapfiller, one cannot blame those two
for falling asleep finally and wanting to stay just a bit longer. What
a jewel of a piece!


Title: Bitter Springs · Author: Dwimordene · Times: Mid Third Age:
2851 - 3017 TA · ID: 634
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-10-26 01:28:56
For a brief interlude, this vignette reveals a lot of information. It
all flows very naturally and realistically, however, and provides a
glimpse into Rohan and Gondor's relations in the years just before war
begins. The politics are very well thought-out (just as you would
expect from Dwimordene) and there are excellent bits of foreshadowing
scattered from start to finish. The interactions between Boromir and
Theodred are insightful and well-written: their mutual frustration
with the situation and their mutual respect for each other coming
through clearly. This spring is bitter indeed, with worse to come; and
the effectiveness of Rohan's army - the wellspring that both men
depend on for the defense of their lands - is already poisoned by
Wormtongue's manipulations.

For all the wonderful things I've mentioned, I think what impacts me
the greatest in this work is the feeling of impending loss. Both of
these young men are capable, strong, intelligent and politically
adept; both would have made good rulers in their own right... But
neither is given the opportunity, for the very war that now inexorably
bears down on them (and they do see it coming, oh yes) will take their
lives. Tolkien at least gave us some knowledge and understanding of
Boromir, but Theodred is barely more than a courageous footnote in the
books: a contemporary of Boromir; another prince who was never allowed
to reach his full potential; and most tragically, another who never
saw the fulfillment of all his life's striving, the redemption and
rescue of his beloved lands. Theodred's death always makes me feel
wistful, as if I almost witnessed greatness and it slipped out just
before I could appreciate it.

So for this chance to see some of what he might have been, I
especially thank you, Dwim.

Title: Emmaus · Author: Dwimordene · Genres: Drama: Vignette · ID: 636
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-10-26 01:57:54
The imagery in ["Emmaus"] is breathtaking and surreal. I can
completely immerse myself into the scenery - sight, scent, sound,
sensation - and feel to my bones the peace and contentment that it
must have meant to Faramir, even without the links to love and joy
that his mother's family offered him. This is a place where he has
been unconditionally happy, and the memories that show us this are
touching and very well incorporated into the "dream".

In fact, Faramir's overall dreaming capacity is managed very
plausibly: his obvious comfort with them and the way he knows what to
expect; how he can leave them or refuse them, and knows the difference
between dream and vision; that they all ["end in water, well up as
waves to engulf the mind."] The last reminds me of his Numenor dreams,
and I considered how they might lead to Faramir feeling more keenly
than perhaps even his father or Boromir how he is destined to defend
Numenor's remnants from another obliteration. Dwimordene makes
stunning use of the fossil to represent this last vestige of past
greatness; how it turns to sand running through Faramir's fingers left
me feeling more of the potential horror of the situation than more
graphic methods could have done. I thought there could even be
resonances with Aragorn's, ["You are the very rock of this land"] -
how Faramir goes, so goes Gondor.

The brief intrusions of reality lead me increasingly to Faramir's
encounter with Aragorn, waiting to lead him back to life. It is
painful to watch as the memories worsen, as the hill becomes his
toiling to leave this dream world, until Faramir is given the terrible
choice - again: to refuse or obey. The compare and contrast of his
King's call to duty against that recently made by his Steward is
just... wow. Brilliant, and heart-breaking. Faramir's response, his
bravery and self-sacrifice, are as beautiful and powerful as in any
scene in the books

This is such a unique, insightful take on Faramir's spiritual battle
when under the Black Breath, and Aragorn's call to bring him home.
What would be harder to fight against, I wonder? Alluring contentment,
or torment? Knowing Sauron's often seductive methods, I can see this
version being all too realistic...

Finally, the title and its inference resonated with me on many levels,
from Aragorn's kingly revelation on the road to Tolkien's deeper
thematic religious parallels. An excellent and thoughtful work!

Title: From the Sea · Author: Ford of Bruinen · Times: First Age and
Prior: House of Fingolfin · ID: 113
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-26 04:35:12
Beautiful language in this vignette, which emphasizes the alienation
that Tuor, once he has delivered his message, feels in the perfect,
leisured, city of Gondolin. His meeting with Idril evokes a sigh of
contentment from the reader, it reads with storybookish, Tolkienish,
grace.

Title: My Sword Sings · Author: agape4gondor · Races: Men: Gondor ·
ID: 426
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-26 04:51:35
[warning - some spoilers ahead]



A long and complex AU tale proceeding from a premise that has not, to
my knowledge, been used in AU Tolkien fanfiction - Denethor dies about
30 years before the Ring War, leaving two grieving, motherless sons
and a sister determined to protect both her nephews and Gondor.

Agape deserves respect for the vision and scope of this story; which
features a dizzying number of OC's and canon characters and abounds
with thrills and chills.

Msg# 8409

MEFA Reviews Digest for November 12, 2007 Posted by Ann November 12, 2007 - 5:21:48 Topic ID# 8409
Title: Sunshine and Roses · Author: shirelinghpc · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Gondor · ID: 531
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-26 05:07:32
Faramir's status as something of an outsider, though a valued one, to
the post-Ring War Fellowship, and his observational skills, come well
into play in this gentle, sensitively written story. I really like the
relationship that develops between Faramir and Sam; it is a natural
follow-up to the mutual respect that sparked between them in
Henneth-Annun. They are both survivors of a conflict that they
believed would kill them; and they both love green and growing things.
The ending is as warm and sunny as the gardens that the Steward and
the future Mayor both treasure.

Title: Lost in Translation · Author: sophinisba solis · Races:
Cross-Cultural: With Pippin · ID: 31
Reviewer: Garnet Took · 2007-10-26 10:09:47
How frustraiting it must have been for the hobbits who didn't speak
elvish to be left in the dark as to what is going on those first days
in Rivendell.

This is something that most authors don't touch on. That is one thing
that makes this story especially interesting.

Title: Foray · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 -
3017 TA · ID: 55
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-26 10:18:21
Father is too busy to see his younger son go off on the first
overnight training trip for youths preparing for their days as
warriors, so it is up to the older brother to fare him well, finding
himself experiencing all the anxieties and plans to keep him safe in
the future any parent might know. A wonderful look at the love between
the brothers "Mir."

Title: Marbles · Author: grey_wonderer · Genres: Humor: Children · ID: 197
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-26 10:31:55
This time That Wicked Baby is into Merry's marbles, and there are
seven--no, six--missing. Will they all show up in the end? Does Merry
truly hate little Peregrin Took? Frodo's not so certain....

Another gem from Grey Wonderer, who gets more giggle per byte than
almost any other author I can think of.

Title: For All Things a Cost · Author: Súlriel · Times: Second Age:
Drabble · ID: 268
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-26 10:35:21
When is it wrong to teach your child the meaning of love and beauty?

But for an orc, such knowledge could be fatal.

Shuddery.

Title: Hope Unquenched · Author: White Gull · Genres: Poetry: With
Hobbits · ID: 410
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-26 10:38:38
The loss of love draws from him, until a different hope calls.

A wonderful poem from White Gull.

Title: When the King Comes Back · Author: shirebound · Genres:
Alternate Universe: The Shire or Buckland · ID: 361
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-26 10:48:51
I've very much enjoyed the "Quarantined" stories in which the Ranger
Estel finds himself visiting with young Frodo Baggins, usually at Bag
End. But this time things fail to go precisely as planned when an
accident involving fireworks and a barrel of strong drink leaves Estel
and Frodo both injured. Can Halbarad negotiate with Dwarves while his
chieftain recovers (if he manages to do so, of course)?

Wonderful, as always.

Title: The Waves' Song · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Drama: General
Drabble · ID: 6
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-26 10:52:49
A most interesting drabble. Arwen in fading Lorien at the end of
winter, looking to the return of her Hope? Or another?

Delightfully eerie, as is the accompanying picture.

Title: The Dryad · Author: Imhiriel · Times: Late Third Age: 3018-3022
TA: General Drabble · ID: 71
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-26 10:55:27
The idea of a Dryad seeking to protect Ithilien and its Rangers is
such a charming and enticing one, particularly when she chooses the
proper champion for the land. As usual, Imhiriel has produced a gem of
a drabble, perfect in mood and imagery.

Title: My Sword Sings · Author: agape4gondor · Races: Men: Gondor ·
ID: 426
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-26 10:59:18
A most fascinating AU, as we watch treason take Denethor and threaten
his two young sons as well as the peace and stability of Rohan. But
can Denethor's sister Indis, whose husband has died so recently,
manage to protect the sons of the Steward and the realm until Boromir
is ready for Rod and Chair?

Full of intrigue and engagingly written.

Title: Reconcilation · Author: Dwimordene · Genres: Drama · ID: 86
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-26 14:16:27
While the rest of the world was reading Harry Potter, I treated myself
to a gift I have put away for just this occasion: Dwimordene's latest
installment in her Swan Knight saga. These tales wander all over the
timeline, so it was quite interesting to find a younger, less assured
Andrahar and his companions to be the focus here.

It's been a very long time since I've read a good adventure tale, and
"Reconcilation" would be memorable from that standpoint alone. Dwim's
battle scenes are well presented and choreographed so that it's very
easy to visualize all the action. Peloran and Andrahar's stand against
the Corsair raiders, with the help of hastily assembled and trained
townspeople, was very vivid, and the scene of Andra's last rites for
the dead Corsairs was quite moving.

The description of Andrahar falling in love with his native language
was very lovely, and gave me a new insight into his character. How
frustrating for him that he could not teach the language in its
beautiful and poetic forms, but had to use sterile accounts of warfare
instead! It was also a wonderful twist that Elethil ended up a
statesman and scholar of Haradric language and culture – my heart
ached for that boy all through the story.

More than action-adventure, "Reconciliation" works very well as a
coming-of-age tale, thoughtfully exploring the issues of young
manhood: pride, loyalty, jealousy, pack-mentality, finding one's
proper place. Adding racism and xenophobia to the mix gives a timeless
element to the tale – I see young men grappling with these same issues
and concerns every day.


Title: A Useful Skill · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Humor: Children ·
ID: 46
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-26 14:18:54
This is quite an endearing story – I'm loving the fact that, although
the Faramir and Boromir are growing up, they still manage to be quite
winsome. There's never a dull day for Nanny, that's for sure!

In this tale, Faramir, prince of small motor skills, is caught out by
his father mending his own socks. Denethor takes offense and Faramir's
lip trembles, just a bit, yet he holds his own very well in explaining
why he's performing what Denethor considers his Nanny's task. In a
priceless moment of guilt and embarrassment, it dawns on Denethor
that, rather than engaging in a useless hobby or whim, Faramir is
actually learning a valuable skill. I really liked the brief glimpse
of flustered!Denethor when he realizes that at some point he, too, had
to do his own mending while in the field; even better is his
discomfort at not being able to remember who taught him. You can
almost see him frantically worrying over forgetting such a tiny
detail, the way senior citizens panic over the idea of Alzheimer's
when they've forgotten to write something down on their grocery list.

And I laughed out loud over the fact that, once again, Denethor has
underestimated Nanny. The score stands: Nanny 482, Denethor 3. Nanny
for the win!



Title: Drawing Straight With Crooked Lines · Author: Fiondil · Genres:
Drama · ID: 76
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-26 14:19:46
In this thoughtful story, a grief-stricken and remorseful Boromir,
newly arrived in the Halls of Mandos, is forced to examine the
consequences of his recent actions.. Considering various scenarios of
what might have happened, had he not spurred Frodo to immediate
decision and action, leads him to realize that his purpose was far
greater than anything he had ever imagined, and he is able of find a
new measure of peace within himself.

I really like the way RecentlyDeceased!Boromir hasn't had the
opportunity to change very much yet from Live!Boromir. After his
initial confusion and discomfiture, he recovers his wits quickly
enough that in his Socratic discussion with Namo, Gatekeeper and
Doomsman of Arda, he is able to discourse with his characteristic
forthrightness and passion. It's quite intriguing to see him faced
with the uncomfortable truth that his own death was the key to many
others moving on to meet the fates that were appointed for them. I
also like that he finds such a warm and compassionate listener for his
fears and insecurities. Would that he had had such a wise and generous
confidant while he lived! An unusual tale, very well-told.


Title: A Thankless Task · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Drama: Youth ·
ID: 49
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-26 14:21:06
A companion piece to [A Useful Skill]. What fun to see Boromir the
Bold as a spoiled, temperamental, self-centered git! He's just at the
age here to be very full of himself, just discovering (and quite
pleased to discover) his Rightful Place In The Universe. Faramir and
Nanny are there to burst his bubble, just a bit; but to the surprise
of those two, and the wide-eyed readers of the story, things do not
turn out quite as expected.

The characterizations here are perfect: Boromir pulling a hissy fit
over being forced to do something he's not good at, Faramir being an
obnoxious prig as only a little brother can be, Denethor being overly
indulgent of his darling firstborn, Nanny washing her hands of the
whole matter. It's an interesting conflict, and a symbol of what most
certainly would have come about more often, had Nanny stayed around
just a bit too long with her boys. I really like Nanny's insight and
instinct as to how to choose her battles - she knows just when to
speak up, and when to pull back and let the chips, and learning
experiences, fall where they may.

Title: Elf Interrupted · Author: Fiondil · Races: Elves: Incomplete ·
ID: 77
Reviewer: Ellie · 2007-10-26 20:49:46
This story is easily one of the best Silmarillion stories I have ever
read (and continue to read). I have been an avid (or should that be
rabid?) reader for months and look forward to each update. Fiondil
does a wonderful job of painting a picture of what Mandos is like for
the reborn as well as what newq life is like for the reborn elves both
in Mandos and as they are reassimilated back into life in Aman among
both other reborn and among the "once born" (love that term). Fiondil
achieves this by beautiful imagery and characterizations not only of
the Valar but of the elves as well as he presents the new lives of
Glorfindel, Finrod, and other reborn original characters. The
adventures of the reborn as they assimilate are interesting and
nail-biting as well. The kings of Aman, Ingwe, Olwe, and Arafinwe, are
all presented in great majesty as well as great "humanity" as they are
depicted in their rolls as leaders. Fiondil also brings to light their
fraility as well in his depiction of the kings as fathers, brothers,
uncles, and grandfathers. The Valar are exquisitely brought to life as
being both beyond mortal and immortal comprehension in their
greatness, and yet as if they are mere children playing with the elves
in bemused wonder as if the elves are new toys or cute pets.

The descriptions of the land, the cities, the halls, and clothing and
food are all so vividly expressed, the reader is treated to a lesson
in many sciences just by reading a chapter for Fiondil's notes at the
end of the chapters are very informative. The amount of research that
goes into the fine details of this tale is awe inspiring. I have been
recommending this story to others to read for months now. I was
thrilled to see it nominated for an award.

Kudos to Fiondil on a job that is continually well done!



Title: Romance · Author: Greywing · Genres: Humor: Other Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 375
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2007-10-26 23:11:33
Greywing's special talent with words is in evidence here: funny,
moving and delightful! I particularly like the adverbs, the clever use
of the mundane (dessert) and the last three lines. It's really hard to
believe English is not her first language. I'd like to see one of her
drawings with this one!

A refreshing change from overly serious romance or the merely silly.
Bravo!

Title: The Boatbuilder · Author: DrummerWench · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond · ID: 536
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2007-10-26 23:24:54
DrummerWench has a gift for the magic of everyday life, and the
telling of fables and tales in clear, simple language. In this one,
she evokes the sparkling bay and the white sails of San Francisco Bay,
and makes it a wholly natural environment for the last of the Elves
and the Shipbuilder, still doing his job after all these Ages. Dan
belongs in Sausalito, somehow, with the ponytail and silver hair.

I particularly like the AU reference to Narya and the palantir--no
complaints about canon from me. It's so carefully done, and brings
such meaning to the story. And the explanation--the Little People
didn't get it quite right--is exactly to be expected from an oral
tradition.



Title: Honor Unabated · Author: Linaewen · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 570
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-27 05:02:17
This story was new to me before MEFa and I'm delighted I discovered
it.Although, I'm not a fan of Denethor,this story made me feel for him
as he embarks of a journey of self awareness.A Very well written story.

Title: Taking Leave · Author: Soubrettina · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 326
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-27 05:04:05
This was a deeply moving story,which I just found through MEFA.
It was heartrending to see poor Eowyn thus.
I loved Aragorn's kindness,wisdom and compassion.
Uncomfortable and harrowing reading, but so it should be.Very well
written.

Title: Seeking to Please · Author: Gwynnyd · Genres: Romance: Pre-Ring
War · ID: 193
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-27 05:30:30


This elegant vignette pre-supposes Aragorn's returning to Rivendell
between his departure at 20 and return at 49. Though Tolkien didn't
mention such a visit; Gwynnyd spins an enchanting tale of Aragorn,
somewhat older and wiser, encountering the she-Elf of his dreams once
more and responding to her in quite a different way than he did as a
callow, awestruck boy.

Eminently readable and quite enjoyable.

Title: The Young Knights · Author: Soledad · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 98
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-10-27 11:53:13
The Youth of Gondor and Rohan meets in Lord Forlong's town for a
tournament and the knighting of a new Swan Knight. 13-year old Faramir
attends as guest of his grandfather, Prince Adrahil, and Boromir gets
a holiday from his duties to attend also, although Denethor thinks
tournaments are a waste of time. Readers of Isabeaus stories will find
some more familiar figures. I love Liahan as an earnest young page.

The story paints a vivid, colorful picture of a medieval tournament
and fair, Middle-earth style. It is told mostly from the point of view
of the children and the young man who gets knighted, which gives the
whole event a fresh, innocent flair, since it is for most of the young
people the first time they attend such an event. Although the fair
itself is a yearly occurrence, there is usually not a tournament and a
knighting. I love the children's game of who can name the various
coat-of-arms and the special competitions for the children during the
tournament. The tournament and the customs around it are very well
described. In the details it becomes clear that these are different
and rougher times than ours. Nobody minds bruises and the occasional
broken nose or dislocated joints or concussions during the games. It
is all for fun.

Title: Conversion · Author: Pentangle · Genres: Drama: With Aragorn ·
ID: 169
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-10-27 11:55:34
This is a very short story, but it conveys a profound Tolkienesque,
epic feel. A non-military survivor of the war who doesn't care which
army ruins his crop this time meets King Elessar and has an
eye-opening experience. I love the way the OC works up his resentment
and courage, and then, when he meets the Kings entourage, his
expectations are first met until Elessar turns everything upside down.
This encounter is very touching. Elessar is portrayed the way I think
Tolkien envisioned the King Returned to be. I love this sentence:
[Elessar is a fine name—a name steeped in history and portent—but they
should have named him Hope.] The character doesn't know what the
reader knows and that gives this statement even more impact.

Title: Green No Longer · Author: Allee · Genres: Drama: Vignette · ID: 666
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-10-27 12:00:14
This short vignette brings into stark relief the aftermath of the
Battle at Helm's Deep or for that matter all battles with a clever
play on the meanings of the word "green". I like the interplay between
Aragorn and Gimli.

Title: Concealment · Author: Marta · Genres: Romance: With Rohirrim ·
ID: 649
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-10-27 12:01:07
Boromir and Theodred are lovers in this story. But nobody knows in
Gondor, and Boromir is at pains to keep it that way. In his position
he can't let anything slip. Rohan seems to be more open to this kind
of thing, and Theodred lacks the understanding for Boromir's need of
concealment. But they are on Gondor's territory, and Theodred is
diplomat enough to play along. I like it that you show them as not
only lovers but also very good friends who care for their emotional
well-being. I love the solution to their dilemma of having no place to
meet. The description of the culture clash is very believable.

Title: Even Quicker Than Doubt · Author: Keiliss · Genres: Romance:
Second Age or Earlier · ID: 365
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-10-27 12:03:27
In this story the main characters Elrond, Erestor, Gil-Galad, and
Glorfindel meet, some for the first time, and the reader can watch
their relationships evolve. Elros stays more in the background,
although the parting from him is a major influence on Elrond's
development. I had tears in my eyes in chapter 18 watching Elrond's
grief after Elros is finally gone and was happy that at least Erestor
was there he could turn to. I like the way the reader encounters the
characters with their public face and then during the enfolding story,
like peeling back the layers of an onion, discovers what surprises lie
behind the public face (especially Glorfindel was not what I expected,
but I liked his flaw) and what causes them to act the way they do. The
Valar and their Herald play a rather chilling role in this tale. I
never looked at the story of the twins choice to become mortal or
elven quite this way, but it makes sense. This gives the fate of
Elrond and Elros an even more tragic flair.

Msg# 8410

MEFA Reviews for November 12, 2007 (Part 2) Posted by Ann November 12, 2007 - 5:23:13 Topic ID# 8410
Title: Room with a View · Author: Beth · Races: Elves · ID: 459
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-10-27 12:24:00
This story tells different scenes throughout Elrond's life playing out
in his room in Imladris. It tells of his relationship with Gil-Galad,
his courtship and marriage to Celebrian, his role as a father. The
vivid descriptions let the scenes come to life and invoke strong
emotions. I had tears in my eyes during Elrond's meeting with
Celebrian just before he goes off to war to the slopes of mount doom.

The desperation in this scene and the following is such a contrast to
the last scene which shows Elrond with Celebrian and his children as a
happy family. I like the interweaving of dreams in this scene where he
gets already a warning of trouble and hope to come.

Title: He Just Doesn't Listen · Author: White Wolf · Genres:
Adventure: Minas Tirith · ID: 495
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-10-27 12:24:46
In this short story in a deviation of canon, Legolas gets wounded in
the Battle of the Pelennor Fields trying to save Aragorn. I like the
way the deep friendship between Legolas, Aragorn and Gimli is
portrayed and the different ways the friendship between the three is
shown.

Title: Pointy-Eared Mischief · Author: TrekQueen · Genres: Crossover ·
ID: 782
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-10-27 12:30:22
In this interesting crossover between Star Trek and Tolkien's
Middle-earth the author draws on the obvious connection between some
of the races of both universes, the pointy ears. I like the
characterizations of the main characters in this tale. I got a chuckle
out of Worff getting taken for an orc.

Title: The Pearl · Author: Jocelyn · Times: Late Third Age: 3018-3022
TA · ID: 815
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-10-27 12:33:08
This long expected sequel to [A Little Nudge Out Of The Door] is
everything what I expected. Legolas and Gimli arrive home after the
quest and discover that not everyone can understand their friendship,
which is no surprise to anyone. But some people are clearly over
reacting. I love the depiction of Legolas' and Gimli's friendship and
the twists and turns the story takes. Especially the parallel
unraveling of the mystery of Silivren's, Legolas' niece, behavior
toward Gimli in the third chapter had me on the edge of my seat. I
think the constant switching between King Thranduil's and King
Thorin's halls works very well. I don't think you need to know the
earlier story to enjoy this story, but a knowledge of the pertinent
chapters would deepen the emotional impact of this one.

Title: Feasting on Poison · Author: Gryffinjack · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Ring War · ID: 534
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-10-27 17:07:15
A long time ago, before I was even into my tweens, I read a short
story about a spy who had become George Washington's cook and after
poisoning him, killed himself, leaving a note admitting to the crime.
Unfortunately, the poison he had chosen was tomatoes, and Washington
was just fine. I wondered if you had seen that story, though the
details are very different from this.

This was a nice moment of peace after war, as the Fellowship gets to
relax and enjoy their triumph. Faramir was beautifully drawn as the
concerned host, but Pippin definitely stole the show!

Title: Tradition · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Cross-Cultural: Drabble ·
ID: 691
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-10-27 17:27:28
Faramir's got some cultural assimilation to make in this one. A nice
drabble utilizing a character mentioned only once in canon. Well-drawn
for all its brevity.

Title: No Escape · Author: Aranel Took · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 -
3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 324
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-10-27 17:42:24
In this drabble, Aranel Took has written from an extremely unusual
perspective – and written from it very effectively. I love the touches
of dwarven culture scattered throughout the drabble, and the
repetition of phrases is very effective in building the tension within
the piece. Nicely done!

Title: A Game of Chess · Author: Marta · Genres: Drama: Gondor Drabble
· ID: 605
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-10-27 17:49:31
Although I feel chess games are often lazily overused as a metaphor in
Tolkien fanfic, especially Gondor-set ones, it's always a pleasant
surprise to find exceptions – and that's the case with Marta's take on
a game between Denethor and Thorongil. I won't spoil the details of
how she uses the game to explore their characters, except to say it's
very well done!

Title: Coda · Author: Imhiriel · Times: Second Age: Drabble · ID: 627
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-10-27 17:51:03
Oh, what a wonderfully surprising and insightful drabble! I love
stories in which writers weave together disparate snippets of canon to
give us a fresh insight, and here Imhiriel does so to great effect.
This drabble delivers a punchy commentary not only on the Downfall of
Numenor but the history of the Noldor. Excellent work!

Title: A Queen Among Farmers' Wives · Author: Imhiriel · Genres:
Humor: Drabble · ID: 635
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-10-27 17:51:41
Oh! This is a fabulous presentation by Imhiriel of an old-fashioned
fighting, loving married couple. I like the mix of humour and
tenderness, and the way the story is told effectively through glimpses
of brief moments, making excellent use of the drabble form. Very well
done!

Title: And Happily Ever After (A Romantic Interlude) · Author: Unsung
Heroine · Genres: Romance: Second Age or Earlier · ID: 643
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-10-27 18:16:59
Caranthir/Haleth is one of those pairings that seems so right that it
"feels" canon, even though I know it's fanfic that has convinced me of
this relationship. Actually, I have the MEFAs to thank for this, as
thye have exposed me over the years to the stories that make this one
of my favorite Tolkien pairings. It's always a delight to read a C/H
story that is both true to the larger canon and still captures what I
love so much about this pairing: their fierce loyalty, their sensual
natures, the way that the pairing seems always on the edge of time
because we know it can't last forever.

And "And Happily Ever After" was all of these things. I won't spoil
the details, but it was sensuous and erotic while never actually
telling anythinug past the Teen rating (an accomplishment in itself).
It was a lovely "happy ending" moment sandwiched in between the
pressures of being leaders and the tension that the possibility for
these sort of meetings are slipping through their fingers. A very nice
read all around.

Title: Naming Places · Author: Elen Kortirion · Genres: Romance:
Drabble · ID: 447
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-10-27 18:17:36
Oh, yummy! This was delightfully sensual, and very nice slices of life
for my OTP. Good work, I really enjoyed this.

Title: Soap · Author: Aliana · Genres: Alternate Universe: Gondor or
Rohan · ID: 552
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-10-27 18:17:49
The subject matter of the piece is dead serious, in a sort of
theater-of-the-absurd sort of way, and oh-so-poignant. I definitely
found myself sitting up straight at points, and the postmodern
elements did not seem out of place. The gritty language and the
reference to modern nihilistic philosophers only made the themes of
the piece seem more universal, but the story is definitely fanfic as
it connects quite nicely with a beginning in your universe. Death,
denial, grief, and existential angst in the aftermath of Pelennor -- I
can completely see this kind of thing happening in Middle-earth, even
if the details would have been a bit different.

And it has to be said: there's something beyond cool about the line
["This is not a menu. This is a hardback edition of Atlas Shrugged."]
Just sayin'. One-liners like that made me want to burst out laughing
as I read this piece, so I wasn't overwhelmed by the piece's more
serious themes. Excellent use of humor throughout, ALiana.

Title: Oliphaunts and String · Author: agape4gondor · Genres: Drama:
Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 658
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-10-27 18:17:59
Oh, now this is sad! Nice exploration of how this period in his life
might have unfolded. I particularly liked the first part of the
ficlet; it's probably the best examination I've ever seen of the way
Smeagol would have turned into Gollum at the very beginning, and I
found the transition both unsettling and very believable.

Title: Tales of the Innkeeper · Author: Allee · Genres: Drama:
Incomplete · ID: 237
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-28 02:49:03
These vignettes showing Aragorn through the eyes of a humble innkeeper
are a sheer delight.We grow to see Aragorn gain the man's respect
after initial apprehension.
Aragorn even takes some of the regular customers under his wing and a
mutual respect develops between King and Innkeeper until eventually
the King even receives sound advice from the innkeeper who has a down
to earth wisdom.
Highly recommended.

Title: Inroads · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races: Men: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 45
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-28 03:00:32
[spoilers warning]

It cannot always have been easy for Eowyn in the early days of her
marriage to Faramir, however happy she might have been with him.Every
woman needs some female friends.The Steward of Gondor would have been
the most eligable man in the land and his betrothal to Eowyn no doubt
broke many female hearts.

This well written ficlet shows poor Eowyn as somewhat shunned by the
Gondorian ladies, some out of jealousy and others it seems,out of
fear. She is feeling left out until a young girl speaks to her and
breaks the ice.

The reader of this well written ficlet is left hoping that Eowyn will
soon find the respect and the friendship she deserves

Title: Merry's Wedding · Author: Larner · Races: Hobbits: Pre-Quest ·
ID: 84
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-28 03:10:41
[spoiler warning]

It always saddens me to think that Frodo was never able to see his
beloved cousins marry,though at least he saw Sam marry Rosie and their
first child born.

Without reverting to AU, Larner allows us to imagine Frodo at Merry's
wedding to Estella by imagining what if the young Hobbits had held a
pretend wedding years before the quest.Such'weddings' are indeed quite
popular in schools in the UK to teach children about marriage.

This charming story shows Frodo enjoying officiating at this pretend
wedding,which will come to pass years later for real.

Title: Salt · Author: Dawn Felagund · Times: First Age and Prior · ID: 743
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-28 03:58:01
[spoiler warning for some plot details]


An interesting, unusual look inside Caranthir's head. I found the last
part, "Doriath", the most compelling; Caranthir's mental union with
his dying brother was sharply and poignantly written.

The writing style is both sophisticated and subtle.

Title: Endings and Beginnings · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Second Age:
Drabble · ID: 726
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-28 04:01:43
Fascinating glimpse of what could have been a very different truth
behind the coming of the Faithful to Middle-earth from Numenor. As a
devoted fan of the "Stargate" television stories, this makes a nifty
kind of sense as an AU/crossover. And Tanaqui gets my vote for Most
Audacious Crossover!


Title: Woven in Friendship · Author: SlightlyTookish · Races:
Cross-Cultural: With Pippin · ID: 290
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-28 04:28:15
[spoiler alert]


A touching moment for Pippin and Eowyn as they mourn the dead.I wonder
if this was the moment when Eowyn thought of giving a horn to Merry?

Title: When the King Comes Back · Author: shirebound · Genres:
Alternate Universe: The Shire or Buckland · ID: 361
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-28 04:32:02
[spoiler alert]

This is a delightful story from start to finish.I don't usually like
AU, but this is a charming premise that Aragorn knew Frodo from the
Hobbitt's youth.

In a reverse of the usual kind of plot,both Aragorn and Frodo are
injured and cared for by Bilbo and the Gamgees.

This is warm,feel good story,made all the more delightful by the
addition of frodo's lovable dog and the birth of her puppies.

Title: Conjuror · Author: Branwyn · Races: Men: General Drabble · ID: 432
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-28 04:35:15
[spoiler warning]

A chilling drabble which vividly illustrates the vast gulf between
Gandalf and Denethor.

Title: Beginnings · Author: Gwynnyd · Genres: Romance: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 503
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-28 04:38:14
[spoilers]
This was a nice twist on the usual Faramir and Eowyn getting to know
each other stories as Eowyn considers Faramir's wellbeing and shows
herself a strong minded lady.

Title: Too Many Adverbs · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Humor: Drabble ·
ID: 660
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-28 04:42:02
This drabble conveys an amusing insight into Boromir's impatience at
anything save fighting.I imagine a similiar piece about his brother
would be quite different!

Title: At the Sign of the Prancing Pony · Author: Marta · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Drabble · ID: 163
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-28 04:46:35
A delightful drabble featuring a not often written about character, Nog.

Msg# 8411

MEFA Reviews for November 13, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 13, 2007 - 4:40:33 Topic ID# 8411
Title: The River of Stars · Author: Marta · Races: Men: General
Drabble · ID: 412
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-28 07:14:38
The theme of Numenor Uber Alles resonates loudly and sadly in the
Kin-Strife, to the detriment of all Gondor; as this deftly written
drabble testifies. Marta reprises, in her own brief and telling words,
Tolkien's theme that change should not and cannot always be fought;
and those who would tear apart a land to hold it do not necessarily
deserve to keep it.

Title: New Life · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Late Third Age: 3018-3022
TA: General Drabble · ID: 686
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-28 09:19:32
[spoilers]

A touching look at Elrond's farewell to his daughter.
I especially liked the link between ripening corn and new life with
the NEW Age that Arwen is now part of.We know this union will be
fruitful and worthwhile whatever the cost for Elrond.

Title: Duty and Devotion · Author: Marta · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 411
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-28 09:25:07
[spoilers]

I found this drabble interesting and thought provoking though it
differs from my personal views of Beregond's decision to help Faramir.

Title: Circumstances · Author: Marta · Genres: Drama: Gondor Drabble ·
ID: 621
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-28 09:31:47
[spoilers]

An interesting look at Aragorn as Denethor's sisters ponder the
mysterious captain who has won their father's favour.I enjoyed their
speculations and how far off they were! It seems,they are not immune
to Thorongil's charms,ut who could not be?

Title: The Smile That Wins · Author: Marta · Genres: Romance: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 258
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-28 09:35:35
[spoilers]

A very enjoyable drabble as Faramir ponders the mystery of the lady he
has recently met and wonders if she can be wooed and won.I love his
patience in trying to understand her. Very well written.

Title: Don't Be Deceived · Author: Imhiriel · Genres: Humor: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 351
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-10-28 12:30:42
Imhiriel pulls off a neat bit of misdirection in this drabble by
combining two bits of paralleled canon. I was definitely deceived for
the first few lines. Well done!

Title: The Smile That Wins · Author: Marta · Genres: Romance: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 258
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-10-28 12:32:26
Marta has produced an insightful drabble about the start of Faramir
and Eowyn's relationship in which the notions she gives us say as much
about Faramir as they do Eowyn. Summer lightning is a wonderful
metaphor for Eowyn's quickness, brightness, strength and power, and
it's very perceptive of Faramir to see that. And, having just escaped
from the literal and metaphorical "fire" of his relationship with
Denethor, I can see him being afraid of putting himself in anyone's
power, and interpreting that power as "fire" - even though he's
clearly already completely smitten by her and it's too late. Very nice
use of language and culture here, too. Well done!



Title: Iron to Iron · Author: mrkinch · Times: Second Age: Drabble ·
ID: 662
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-10-28 12:42:42
The drabble about the Silmarils – from the perspective of the jewels
themselves – is a diamond in its own right. I love the sense of
fierceness conveyed here, fitting for something made of energy, as
well as the insight into Feanor's character evident in his attitude
towards and treatment of the jewels. Very well done!


Title: The Inner Light · Author: Rhapsody · Genres: Drama: Elves in
Later Ages · ID: 236
Reviewer: Doc Bushwell · 2007-10-28 14:39:19
It is fitting that I write this review of [The Inner Light] in the
waning of the year, because that is what Rhapsody captures so well in
this story: the autumn of the Noldor in Middle-earth as told through
the voice of Erestor. This atmospheric piece inexorably pulls the
reader into the palpable sense of regret and loss experienced by the
Eldar as written by Tolkien.

Rhapsody develops Erestor as a fully realized character within a short
story. His loyalty to - and love for - his lieges, past and present,
are clearly illuminated. As he recalls his life from Fëanáro's
rallying of the Noldor in Aman to the Third Age, Rhapsody's
characterization of Erestor serves a touchstone for the history of the
Noldor in Middle-earth.

Rhapsody effectively paints Erestor as world-weary, having witnessed
far too much grief in his life, yet he does not wallow in his sorrow,
but carries on by virtue of his intense loyalty. Juxtaposing Erestor
with Elrond's sons nicely conveys a sense of age for this Noldorin exile.

Rhapsody invokes powerful images with deft strokes. For example: [Lord
Fëanor shone as a fierce beacon in the dark that suddenly fell on us.]
In a single sentence, the uncertainty and fear of the Noldor are
conveyed, and Fëanor is shown as their hope and rallying point in
bewildering darkness. There are others, too, notably the aftermath of
Glaurung's conflagration. That moved this typically cynical and less
than sentimental reader to tears.

Rhapsody's pen name is apt. She writes with a lyrical style, and to
this reader, [The Inner Light] has the quality of a dream, a nod to
the state of mind invoked by the elvish minstrels. Erestor's song of
loss, loyalty and hope comes highly recommended.




Title: A Game of Chess · Author: Marta · Genres: Drama: Gondor Drabble
· ID: 605
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-10-28 15:23:24
Ha! Cunning Thorongil - he's learned a lot from living with elves.
Denethor might not find himself doing quite as well in this game as he
expects - and might well end up wondering just how the Captain managed
to get ahead. Very entertaining.

Title: Decorum · Author: Larner · Genres: Humor: The Shire or Buckland
· ID: 59
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-10-28 15:33:08
Naughty Frodo - to tease his well-intentioned and respectable aunt
like that! Perhaps the lessons he is learning from his
rather-less-respectable Uncle Bilbo are not quite the ones she would
want passed on to the impressionable younger generation.

Or perhaps she does understand, after all, that the most important
gift you can give is love and that manners are just a way of showing it.

Title: Darkness Visible · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Gondor Drabble · ID: 725
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-10-28 15:37:19
Very evocative. And multisensory, too. I like the appeals to touch and
taste.

Title: Winds of Change · Author: Lady Bluejay · Genres: Romance: With
Rohirrim · ID: 228
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-10-28 15:47:54
I like your different approaches to the romance of Eomer and
Lothiriel. It's rather fun to have Eomer inclined to lose his heart
all unknowing - even if the sheer political practicalities push him
towards Imrahil's daughter. And I'm glad to see Eowyn has good sibling
manipulation skills and Eomer reacts just as his sister (and half the
Gondorian court) want him to. But at least he thinks it's his own choice.

Another enjoyable Lothiriel/Eomer story.

Title: Reconcilation · Author: Dwimordene · Genres: Drama · ID: 86
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-10-28 15:54:44
Oh yes! I loved this story. Poor Peloren and Elethil - I am not at all
sure that those dismissed from the esquires didn't have the easier
sentence. These two are still struggling with the penalties for what
they were involved in. So, really, is Andrahar - a fact that might, in
the end, strengthen their relationship.

I was worried for Peloren - but more worried for Elethil. I was fairly
sure he was going to end up a victim of institutional bullying in the
name of brotherhood and was glad that it wasn't as bad as I suspected.

It's a good thing that the Princes of Dol Amroth are, on the whole, a
wise, determined and perceptive bunch - they do a good job at running
a paternalistic princedom and looking after their dependents.

Most enjoyable.

Title: Tom Cotton · Author: Dreamflower · Races: Hobbits: Post-Grey
Havens · ID: 774
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-10-28 15:59:23
Tom is perceptive, isn't he? He understands the closeness between
those who left and returned - and their sorrow at the loss of one of
the four. It must seem odd to him for his childhood companion to be
more closely bonded to the gentlehobbits than to his double
brother-in-law. It's good of him to hold back - and to hold on. I'm
sure Sam appreciates his loyalty.

Title: Temptation · Author: Linda hoyland · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851
- 3017 TA: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 419
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-10-28 16:05:03
It must have been hard on Aragorn to wait forty years for his
betrothed. Sixty, if you count his Luthien-and-Beren moment. But he is
strong and resolute - and kind, too, to save the girl from her master.
One who knows that truth is more important than appearance, since his
actions could be misconstrued by any watcher.



Title: Stricken From the Book · Author: Larner · Genres: Drama: The
Shire · ID: 348
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-10-28 16:09:21
Poor Frodo. The worst of his injuries weren't physical, really. Much
deeper and harder to heal.

I'm glad Fosco reinstated him. The Shirefolk needed that, even if it
no longer mattered one whit to Frodo himself.

Title: A Dragon in Buckland · Author: Pearl Took · Genres: Mystery ·
ID: 206
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-10-28 16:15:08
I like omniscient Aunt Esmeralda, knowing all the time that Pippin was
involved. And of course Merry couldn't keep out of it entirely - not
once he cottoned on. He had to make sure his little cousin was safe.
Mind you, Pippin is devious enough for anything. He did a good job on
the bullies, without even touching them. Nothing like making a lad wet
himself to bring him down a peg or ten. Great fun!



Title: Before the Gate · Author: Jay of Lasgalen · Races: Elves:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 704
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-10-28 17:56:34
Nice fleshing out of this moment. I could totally see this happening,
and liked the way you got across the connection between the brothers.

Title: Mighty among both Elves and Men · Author: Tanaqui · Times:
Multi-Age: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 606
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-10-28 17:56:41
[spoilers]

There are some really great moments in each of these drabbles. I
particularly liked Elrond's meeting with Tom Bombadil and Cirdan's
reasoning for giving his ring to Gandalf rather than to Saruman. Some
very nice gapfillers throughout. And at a higher level, the drabble
series as a whole works admirably well, showing how Elrond both
remains the same essential character but is changed by what happens
over the years. Fans of drabble series won't want to miss this one.

Title: The Use of a Good Bit of Chain · Author: bodldops · Races:
Hobbits: Vignette · ID: 344
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-10-28 17:56:47
This is a touching story, getting at the heart of hobbit generosity
and the way small choices have big affects. Nice work!

Title: And We Danced · Author: Phyncke · Times: First Age and Prior:
House of Fingolfin · ID: 110
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2007-10-28 21:24:30
[this review contains spoilers]

This short story sparkles with energy and is filled with vivid
descriptions. The tale takes place during the siege of Angband and all
feel a bit freer to truly enjoy their stay in the lands of Beleriand,
but the tension of a possible threat is there. I like the way how
Phyncke gave us insight in both Fingon's and Aegnor's private life by
means of a diary fragments. By using this technique, both characters
have such distinct voices in this piece, while at the same time we get
the chance to see and experience intimate things through their eyes.
With this the author also gives us insight in how the two different
houses arranged their business as in traditions, positions, and etiquette.

The story has a gentle pacing, it is very atmospheric with a fine
balance between action and relaxation, new discoveries and memories of
old. Moreover it comes with a sad touch of foreshadowing at the end,
knowing what is to come you just grant them this joyful winter together.

The parallel with the dancing festivities and the end of the hunt
(especially given the first encounter) was very cleverly written as
the intent of Aegnor becomes clear at the end as both lie there so
peacefully. This is a magnificent short story where the members
belonging to the houses of Fingolfin and Finarfin meet and well dance
before fate strikes again.



Title: The Blessing · Author: Golden/Pearl Took CoAuthors · Genres:
Alternate Universe: Incomplete · ID: 235
Reviewer: pippinfan88 · 2007-10-29 00:40:16
This is a work in progress by Pearl Took and Golden, so I won't give
away too many details. Pearl and Golden have taken yet another view of
the gap the Professor left open with regard to Pippin being crushed by
the Troll at the last stand before the Black Gate. The difference in
this tale is that they are delving deep into a more realistic view of
what probably transpired in the wake of the incident. Using Golden's
professional skills and experiences, Pippin is portrayed with maladies
that are more chronic, life-threatening, and forcing the lad to
readjust himself to life, and for his friends to readjust themselves
to him. And life will no longer be the same for Pippin, unlike how the
Professor left him. A very tender story, well crafted, and an absolute
delight to read.

I cannot say enough about the talents of Pearl Took and that of
Golden, as well. I am more familiar with Pearl's works and have yet to
be disappointed with any of her stories. This story, like her others,
captures the reader from the very start and won't let go. If anyone
has missed this story so far, I encourage them to catch this wonderful
tale in progress.

Title: An Alphabet for Middle-earth · Author: Dreamflower · Races:
Cross-Cultural · ID: 231
Reviewer: pippinfan88 · 2007-10-29 01:01:42
This is an amazing take that Dreamflower used in that each letter of
the alphabet is used to create a title for story. As a result, this
"volume" contains 26 individuall stories that portray an array of
characters, from Eru to Elves to Men, Dwarves, and finally the
Hobbits. She doesn't limit herself to only one genre or Race, and
nearly every conceivable type of story is offered; vignette, drabbles,
poetry, and a fulll variety of wonderful short stories. I looked
forward to reading the next chapter, as the title is what usually
tickled my fancy. My favourites Letters, naturally, were M and P.

And I was never disappointed with any tale and Dreamflower's talent
never wavers. An absolute delight to read.

Title: The princess from the sea : a Gondorian fairy-tale · Author:
Fawsley · Genres: Alternate Universe · ID: 652
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-29 03:44:28
This is a very smoothly written fairytale version of Denethor and
Finduilas' courtship; as gentle and lovely as the daughter of Dol
Amroth herself. A unique and elegant version of what had to be a
singular romance. Well done!

Msg# 8412

MEFA Reviews for November 13, 2007 (Part 2) Posted by Ann November 13, 2007 - 4:41:59 Topic ID# 8412
Title: Looking Awfully Hard · Author: Gryffinjack · Races: Hobbits:
Merry and Pippin · ID: 779
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-29 03:53:48
[some spoilers ahead]


We don't hear often, in LOTR fanfic, about the hobbits' discussing
what had to be a living nightmare for Pippin; his witnessing a father
going mad enough to try to burn his still living son alive and them
himself. I like the way this story unravels that tale, as Merry learns
from Pippin what his cousin saw and did during the Siege of Gondor. Of
course, considering there are hobbits involved, there is consumption
of a tasty dish.

I like Pippin's trying to find the good in his former, if brief,
liege-lord; that seems very typical of the character.

Title: Frodo's Thoughts - Sam · Author: trikywun · Genres: Drama:
General Drabble · ID: 786
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-10-29 17:56:47
This drabble is a moving meditation on the friendship between Frodo
and Sam, and Frodo's understanding of the contribution Sam made to the
Quest. I love the language Triky has used here, and the rhetorical
devices and rhythms that give additional force to the words. Very
nicely done.

Title: Death of Hope · Author: Linda hoyland · Genres: Romance:
Drabble · ID: 618
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-10-29 19:35:08
A nicely written drabble from Lindahoyland on Aragorn's death from
Arwen's perspective. I particularly liked the phrase [He departed with
such courage, full of hope, my Estel to his last breath.] in which the
writer encapsulates Aragorn's character so well.

Title: Blackest Fate · Author: Branwyn · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 -
3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 476
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-10-29 19:42:28
Oh, what a wonderfully effective drabble Branwyn has created, with a
surprising twist at the end – this is very nice misdirection! I love
the descriptions the author gives here of what the prisoners remember
of their lives in Rohan which are such a sharp contrast to the vivid
portrayal she provides of their current torments in captivity in
Mordor. The pacing and language all contribute to helping shape the
mood of the drabble, which is quietly sorrowful. This is a beautifully
written and moving piece, and a very fine example of the drabblist's
art. Very well done!

Title: Vocabulary Lessons · Author: Larner · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Gondor · ID: 521
Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-10-29 21:11:33
I adore stories about the upstairs/downstairs aspects of life in the
White City, and this is an element that Larner always handles very
expertly in her stories. The sense of Doing Things Correctly is
vividly conveyed from the very opening of this tale, when the haughty
young lordling is passed around from the doorwarden of the Citadel,
all the way up to his interview the Ringbearer himself, as the highest
ranking noble in City in the absence of the King and Steward.

A detail I particularly loved was the description of the rationing of
meat, grain, and spirits, with the upper levels of the City last in
the hierarchy – this just seems so wonderfully in character for
Aragorn, and a powerful message for him to convey, quickly and firmly,
to all the residents.

It would have been interesting to have a bit more of Ivormil's
perspective, as he begins to realize that being his father's spoiled
darling has not adequately prepared him for Gondor's new world order.
The ragged Strider warns him, [I suggest that you consider the nature
of nobility, honor, service, and humility before you present yourself
tomorrow before the King."] but apparently this message is received
just a bit too late, and the truth dawns upon the poor boy during his
long-awaited presentation to the King Elessar.





Title: Swan Song · Author: Imhiriel · Genres: Drama: Gondor Drabble ·
ID: 637
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-10-29 23:08:55
I believe this is one of my favorite drabbles, insofar as mood and
language go. The scene is lovingly, beautifully created: the scent and
sound of the ocean, the effects of the moon and tide, are very
tangible and lyrically presented; they completely capture the
["elusive essence"] of the sea, and make it a living, breathing
entity. This drabble feels exactly like a gorgeous painting that you
could walk into and experience directly, if you could just find that
"magic door"...

Using the forlorn Prince to anchor this in time and place works
extremely well, as we gain the benefit of a personal and powerful
connection; the timeless quality of the setting is given an extra
resonance and depth by the intensity of his attachment to his home.

Blending the separate bits of canon is a perceptive and believable
step, as is the introduction of the Prince's foresight (or perhaps
it's just that weird prescient feeling that many people get). His
sadness is balanced by his acceptance, and his strength in marching
forth to his destiny is echoed in the endless waves that he loves. The
combination makes him as living and breathing an entity as the ocean,
in a deft act of character-building that is all the more amazing for
its brevity.

Finally, once again, Imhiriel's care with choosing a title is wholly
apparent: It not only resonates with the swan connection to Dol Amroth
(highlighted by the calling swan in the body of the work), but
describes the situation within the drabble to a "T", as well as
conveying the complex tone of melancholy acceptance and the end of a
life well-lived. Superbly done!

Title: A Truth Universally Acknowledged · Author: annmarwalk · Genres:
Humor: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 556
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-30 04:02:27
[spoiler alert]

A charming and delightful ficlet in the style of Jane Austen,which
actually works very well.

Lothiriel is curious why Boromir has not yet chosen a young lady and
is horrified that he seems only interested in a wife as a brood mare.

I wonder what Denethor would have made of faramir's choice,not being a
Numenorean? I would have liked to hear more from Faramir in this
ficlet but I loved the foreshadowing of Lothiriel's eventual
bridegroom despite her youth at the time.

Title: Rain on the Downs · Author: Breon Briarwood · Races: Hobbits ·
ID: 794
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-30 06:39:44
This is a clever response to a challenge. I like the way the line
between adventure, legend, and childhood imagination, is blurred. I
would have liked the ficlet to be a little longer, but it does work
well at the current length.

Title: The man in the woods · Author: Dot · Races: Men: Eriador or
Rivendell · ID: 13
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-30 06:49:14
[warning - some spoilers ahead]

A gem of a story; this tale brings the everyday life of the Dunedain,
and the pressures, stresses and hope they live with and for, to vivid
life through the eyes of a little girl, Halbarad's daughter. The
innocence of the games she and her brother play in the woods, (and the
game of "king-returned" is an absolutely delightful, and very credible
concept for the children of Aragorn's people) gives way to a grim
discovery; reality intruding on the children's youthful fantasies.
Falathren's response shows the courage and strength of the Dunedain
women, who have different responsibilities, but no less resilience,
then their Ranger husbands.

Title: Justice · Author: Imhiriel · Genres: Drama: Gondor Drabble ·
ID: 633
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-10-30 07:17:35
Imhiriel makes yet another brief-but-telling probe into a
little-explored area of Tolkien's universe. The books mention only
that the slaves of Mordor were freed and given the lands they had once
tilled under duress, to use for themselves however they wish. It is a
situation that could be rife with political and trade implications, so
it's surprising that you don't see it examined more often in fanfic.

["Justice"] gives us a keen look into the beginning of a new era for
an oppressed people. The former slave's attitude and past are given
gently but pointedly: he is worn down, sensitive to potential harm
(twitching at the sound of metal on metal) - and as their
representative, he must be among the healthiest, strongest, and least
beaten-down of those from Mordor! Their truly desperate straits are
brought home to me in this one sentence.

And Aragorn is the King we all love, for he shows this man not pity or
gentle scorn, but only the dignity and respect of one leader to
another. His kindness and compassion are in both his actions and his
words: He will not take control of these rich lands, freed by the
blood of Gondor and Arnor; he will not force help where it is not
wanted. He extends his hand in friendship and support, and from this
the reader can see the beginnings of what will hopefully become a
mutually beneficial relationship.

I'm left with many more questions about how things develop from
here... Do the former slaves pull themselves out of poverty and into
free trade? We know there are wars yet to be fought; do they support
Aragorn or his enemies? The more I reflect on it, the more powerful
Aragorn's hope and trust become.

Title: The White Tower · Author: Anna Wing · Races: Elves · ID: 528
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-10-30 07:50:32
There are so many things to praise in ["The White Tower"] that I'm not
quite sure where to start...

What strikes me first and perhaps hardest is the brilliant and unusual
world-building. It is complex, subtle, and as carefully crafted as any
art of the Eldar. Anna Wing has constructed a fantastic and
fantastical setting for her characters. Her Blessed Realm is not a
static place, not some sterile Elven "heaven" (as Tolkien sometimes
seems to have left it), but a changing, developing, technologically
advanced country. The author's vision unfolds as the story goes along,
using precise details and language to reflect a society that is
intrinsically Elvish, one at harmony with the world even as they alter
it; and each part is firmly grounded in canon or plausibly
extrapolated from it. It is wonderfully creative, and has become the
definitive image of post-book Aman for me.

Set against this backdrop are stunning characters, both canonical and
OC. They too are carefully constructed and fleshed out, given specific
characteristics and roles to play. Their various interactions and
relationships with Elwing (even when involving off-screen individuals
like Elrond) are well thought-out and believable. And such diversity!
Young Elves born in Aman, others who died for Elwing and remained
loyal on rebirth, refugees from Beleriand, ancients who have seen the
Trees, Sindar, Teleri, Noldor, Vanyar... Even briefly mentioned Elves
(Finrod, Thingol, Eol) seem extensions of their canonical selves, true
to Tolkien's writings.

But the masterpiece is, of course, strong and capable Elwing, Lady and
leader of the people of Hanstovanen - closely followed by her mate
Earendil and the Kinslayer twins. Marvellously textured and unique,
they provide the foundation upon which rests the crux of the story. We
find that Elwing does not necessarily know Earendil so well as she
believes (when she asserts that he will not give up the Silmaril, for
example, or only now questions the effect her long-ago choice has had
on him); and more critically, she does not completely know herself, as
she discovers the depth of the Silmaril's hold on her.

The resolution of the quandary - Is the lone remaining Silmaril to be
offered to the Kinslayers, or not? - is moving, graceful and utterly
fitting. Underlying it is the theme that I found most insightful of
all: a startling and blunt look at the true nature of the Silmaril...
Cold, for all its radiant beauty; a weight that drags upon the soul of
the one holding it. Earendil's burden is painfully and artfully
explored, as is Elwing's new understanding of it. I am left wondering,
indeed, at the nature of what is captured within. Is the jewel's
["merciless light"] a result of its containment, of it being
"possessable"? Or was the Light of the Trees always so?

An all-around incredible story, which has taken its well-earned place
in my personal top-tier favorites.

Title: Tales of the Innkeeper · Author: Allee · Genres: Drama:
Incomplete · ID: 237
Reviewer: Nieriel Raina · 2007-10-30 14:49:49
It is not often that an author can write first person so convincingly,
portraying the very personality of the character, his morals and
wisdom, that the reader comes to feel they really know the character.
Allee has done just that in these tales of the Innkeeper. The
character voice is so richly done. At the same time, through his eyes,
we see a well established character, King Elessar, and through the
eyes of the innkeeper, we learn much about him. The innkeeper is
thoughtful, reflective, kind, even marveling at the new king and his
way of handling things. But not only do we see these two characters,
but a few others original characters, one of them a young soldier in
need of some fathering. Through the innkeeper's eyes, we can see
Elessar's wisdom and nobility shine through.

My favorite part of these tales is the feeling that I am in the inn,
hearing these stories from the innkeeper himself. A wonderful series
of Tales. Well done, Allee!

Title: Green No Longer · Author: Allee · Genres: Drama: Vignette · ID: 666
Reviewer: Nieriel Raina · 2007-10-30 14:53:58
Allee has a gift for capturing vivid settings and depth of character.
This short fic is no exception. In it we see the ravages of war and
the loss of innocence. Aragorn's perceptions are in keeping with the
character Tolkien created. A serious look at the aftermath of Helm's
Deep. Nicely done!

Title: O, Cruel Fate · Author: Greywing · Genres: Alternate Universe:
Incomplete · ID: 58
Reviewer: Nieriel Raina · 2007-10-30 15:06:48
An accident of the Valar causes a modern day girl to be thrown into
Glorfindel's newly reborn body. Not only must she adjust to being in
Middle-earth, but deal with being in a male body, and a well known
male at that. Her inability to speak the language sets her against the
healer, Neldor, from which hilarity proceeds. Meanwhile, Namo
experiments on the spirits in his halls to figure out how to solve the
problem using Feanor. Dark humor abounds.

This is a story full of unparalled accidents and cliches taken to a
whole new level. Greywing's humor is wickedly hysterical. She has
taken her knowledge of Tolkien's world and created a dark comedy that
will become a masterpiece when completed. Full of canon and original
characters, each personality is well portrayed. The story never drags
and the reader is treated to laugh after laugh in a well written, even
believable story line. I can hardly wait to see what she comes up with
next. Great story!

Title: A New Day · Author: Oshun · Races: Elves: Incomplete · ID: 176
Reviewer: Ignoble Bard · 2007-10-30 23:18:40
Picking up after Maitimo's near death experience on Thangorodrim, this
sequel to the story "Maitimo and Findekano" continues the saga of the
two Noldor Elves as they settle a new world quite different from the
one they left behind.

After his rescue, still tormented in body and spirit, Maitimo finds
himself in the arms of the lover he thought never to see again. Though
strained by the vagaries of fate, Feanor's oath, and an enmity foisted
upon them through lies and doubt, their bond remains intact. Both
Maitimo and Findekano have done a lot of growing up since the previous
story, and both have learned that, despite their hardships, nothing
can sever their bond. Using canon events as a jumping off point, yet
imbuing them with a fresh perspective, Oshun gives us a story that is
part romance, part epic. She takes us through Maitimo's recovery, his
reconnection with Findekano, and the striving of both to insure the
survival of their people in the face of an uncertain future.

This is a work in progress, and though the shadow of events to come
looms large in the background, the focus at this point is on
perseverance and healing. The reader cannot help but be caught up in
the lives of these two elves, whose story promises to be to be as
sweet and sorrowful, as beautiful and grievous, and as rich in
character and emotion as the best of Tolkien's work.

Title: Divided · Author: Pen52 · Genres: Drama: The Fellowship · ID: 223
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-10-31 00:23:23
Oh, this is haunting. Nice way of looking at the way Gondorians viewed
the "other", and seeing it through Pippin's eyes was a nice way to
make it approachable and more poignant. Nice work.

Title: To Light the Way · Author: Dot · Races: Elves: With Mirkwood
Elves · ID: 12
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-10-31 08:27:00
I think Elladan must have his own share of crazy Wood-elf heritage to
risk telling Thranduil - Thranduil!! - that his people have any
resemblance to men whatsoever. And then to carry it off! Maybe he does
have some of Elrond's blood running through his veins after all.
Although I can quite see why his family freeze whenever he says he has
been thinking - clearly thought from Elladan is likely to risk the
necks of all around him.

I love young(ish) Legolas and his interaction with the two rather
older and more widely-experienced Elrondionnath. And the way the
brothers play off each other. And the symbolism of light in darkness.
And spitting in the face of the enemy. (Thranduil is just such a hero.
Only he could possibly have held Mirkwood together just by sheer
strength of character.) And the final passing reference to 'hope',
which is obviously meaningful to the sons of Elrond. And the
acknowledgement that Mithrandir is playing them all like violins and
they find themselves doing his bidding without wondering why - and
then find he manipulated them for an entirely different reason. And
... well, just about everything really. I just wish you indulged us
with more stories, because I love your style and characterisation and
would like to read more.

Title: Stone of the King · Author: Rowan · Races: Hobbits: Drabble ·
ID: 309
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-31 23:53:48
As he passes the statue of Isildur at the Argonath Frodo has things
he's love to say to that long-ago king. But he finds that for the
moment he envies one quality Isildur now enjoys that he does not.

From Ringbearer to Ringbearer, a very thoughtful moment, mixing movie
and book images. Very thought-provoking.

Title: The Handmaiden's Rainbow · Author: Isil Elensar · Races: Elves:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 238
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-10-31 23:57:53
An interesting series of drabbles dealing with the ellyth who dyes the
fabrics for the Lady's gowns. Love to see someone love her work.

Title: Erestor and Estel: Hidden · Author: Pentangle · Genres: Drama:
Youth · ID: 167
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-01 00:02:52
They can't imagine why young Estel wishes to spend time with unsmiling
Erestor, but Estel has discovered how to tell Erestor likes him. An
excellent vignette, and love the pathetic form of entreaty Erestor
perceives in the boy. Heh!

Title: Behind Every Great Man... · Author: annmarwalk · Times: Mid
Third Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 52
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-01 00:07:11
How can one NOT like Mormegil, the perfect Gentleman's gentleman? And
we see just how well he manages the Lord Steward Denethor. A perfect
look at this wonderfully British arrangement settled in the Citadel of
Minas Tirith. Exquisite!

Title: Burden of Guilt · Author: Linda hoyland · Races: Men · ID: 123
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-01 00:10:07
When Faramir accidently wounds his wife's brother Aragorn directs he
be set in gentlemanly confinement until the matter is settled. A
misunderstanding, however, sends him to the public gaol with tragic
results. Can Aragorn manage to make things right between Faramir and
himself, and between Faramir and Eomer?

A most tricky situation for Linda to settle for us.

Title: Last Light · Author: Ignoble Bard · Genres: Drama · ID: 194
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-01 00:16:14
Ah, how absolutely marvelous a tale, told as it is by an inhabitant of
Fangorn Forest. The imagery is perfect, the mood well experessed, the
feeling of despair palpable as the crebain follow Saruman's orcs.

Oh, how perfectly told! I salute you.

Title: A Twist of Fate · Author: LydiaB · Times: First Age and Prior ·
ID: 478
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-01 00:21:20
An evocative moment we're told between Glorfindel and an unknown lady
love.

Title: Descent · Author: Dwimordene · Times: Early Third Age: 1-2850
TA · ID: 632
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-11-01 00:22:48
Strange though it may seem, I am as wary of stories containing nothing
but original characters as the next person. But I will always read
Dwimordene's. Her sons of the North and South have their own
culturally unique brands of fatalism as they contemplate their
families' current difficulties and the prospect of war on the horizon.

In a way, children are the wisest of us all, in that they can reach
across the gulfs of race and culture to extend hands in friendship,
and this story beautifully illustrates that. Though circumstance would
seem to spare them from the possibility of fighting against each other
on opposite sides, one gets the idea that a permanent parting will
happen all too soon. This is an era that not many people write fic for
but it is beautifully dilineated by Dwimordene.

Msg# 8413

MEFA Reviews for November 14, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 14, 2007 - 4:34:10 Topic ID# 8413
Title: Resurrection · Author: Dwimordene · Genres: Alternate Universe
· ID: 265
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-01 00:28:52
How many of us have wished something like this might have happened,
that we see Halbarad and Aragorn side by side, Halbarad not dead upon
the Pelennor but serving both lands....

A marvelous, very realistic look at how it Might Have Been.

Title: Testaments of the Past · Author: Dreamflower/Gryffinjack
CoAuthors · Races: Hobbits: Post-Grey Havens · ID: 549
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-01 00:31:36
A very poignant look at the life and loss of Frodo Baggins by those
who loved and knew him best, as they learn how they did NOT know him.

Sad, joyful, poignant, angsty. How deeply they miss him, and with such
reason. The combination of story and images of artifacts, and the
finding of that chain....

Moving indeed, and strongly recommended.

Title: Through Shadows · Author: Marta · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: General Drabble · ID: 620
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-01 00:35:47
Oh, Marta--such a perfect moment for Dwarf and Hobbit! And to know
that Frodo is equally able to empathise with Hobbits, Elves, Men, and
Dwarves--how marvelous.

Well, well done look at a special moment shared between Gimli for the
Dwarves and the Ringbearer.

Title: Tradition · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Cross-Cultural: Drabble ·
ID: 691
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-01 00:38:29
A marvelous look at the traditions of Rohirric minstrely, as Faramir
learns why he must not question Gleowine.

Excellent reason for the lack of writing from that day.

Title: Well-Lettered (The Director's Cut) · Author: Ribby · Races:
Men: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 762
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-01 01:32:57
I love this look at King and Steward reading together, both just
scholars together. Such a wonderful look at the men not as warriors or
leaders, but as themselves, sharing a love of lore.

Title: Property Rights · Author: Salsify · Races: Cross-Cultural · ID: 74
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-01 02:28:11
One of the best fics for explaining how long-term prejudices keep
getting handed on to new generations. Well written from the POV first
of Bard the Bowman and then Thorin Oakenshield as the two of them
attempt negotiations (or not) about the treasure collected by Smaug
and who has how much claim to what.

Title: Truly Tested · Author: Súlriel · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 -
3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 257
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-01 05:00:21
[spoiler warning]

A chilling drabble about the difference between learning to fight and
actually fighting and killing.
Aragorn's first real battle is vividly depicted and sent chills down
my spine.

Title: Lighting Fires · Author: Gwynnyd · Genres: Adventure: Pre-Ring
War · ID: 95
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-01 06:02:28
An excellent adventure that is more than an adventure, taking place in
Imladris during Aragorn's childhood.

Gwynnyd is a fine writer, and brings young Estel and his wise Elven
foster-brother to vivid life. Estel is not a total prodigy, he is a
smart, brave kid who is very lonely, but is still, for all his
promise, a child, with a child's impatience.

Wonderful detail and characterisations.

Title: Well-Lettered (The Director's Cut) · Author: Ribby · Races:
Men: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 762
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-01 06:31:13
This double-drabble brings a smile to my face each time I reread it. I
love the story; it is plausible, and flows easily and naturally.
Faramir's pleasure in being able to take time to enjoy the library
without shirking his duty is written well here; and his finding an
unexpected kindred spirit is also beautifully written.

Title: Welcome · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Elves: Fixed-Length Ficlet ·
ID: 694
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-01 10:08:51
Excellent depiction of mood and memories as Glorfindel returns to
Middle Earth to dwell in Imladris.

Title: Mastering Men · Author: Imhiriel · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Gondor Drabble · ID: 623
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-01 10:11:39
Ah, Faramir does indeed assist others to master themselves, instilling
calmness and helping folk save themselves. A wonderful look at that
last moment there on the Bridge of Osgiliath.

Title: Soap · Author: Aliana · Genres: Alternate Universe: Gondor or
Rohan · ID: 552
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-01 10:13:50
The Battle of the Pelennor meets modern warfare as we look at the
universality of losing companions who are dear to us and the manner in
which we fall into denial.

Title: The Wrong Path · Author: White Wolf · Genres: Adventure · ID: 481
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-01 10:18:26
White Wolf tends to write among the best and most compelling
Aragorn/Legolas friendship stories around, and this one is one of the
most compelling I've read yet as a fallen dark Elf uses the poison of
his "pet" on Legolas to seek to manipulate Thranduil to seek him out
so he can be more easily--and painfully killed, along with his
youngest child. Truly a page turner, with plenty of twists and turns
as Aragorn, Elrond, and the twins seek ways to save the archer and
bring Mordraug to justice.

Title: Knowing · Author: rhyselle · Genres: Drama: Elves in Later Ages
· ID: 765
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-01 10:27:03
How we spark one another! Here the work of Fiondil's "Elf Interrupted"
has inspired the tale of Glorfindel finding fulfillment, knowing he
will assist in the raising of Elrond and Celebrian's twin sons,
remembering those he loved before, both of whom he sees in these
newborn Elflings.

Well done and excellent use of imagery.

Title: Golfing Fever · Author: lbilover · Races: Hobbits: Pre-Quest ·
ID: 75
Reviewer: SurgicalSteel · 2007-11-01 13:07:24
Slashy and delightfully funny!

Title: The Spear of the Lily · Author: The Bookbinder's Daughter ·
Genres: Romance: Gondor · ID: 11
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-01 13:19:31
Beautiful treatment of the relationship of Faramir and Eowyn. The
image throughout was tender and pastoral, but I particularly liked the
transformation of Tolkien's flower analogy.

Title: A Rohan Tapestry · Author: shirebound · Races: Hobbits:
Hurt/Comfort · ID: 96
Reviewer: SurgicalSteel · 2007-11-01 13:22:33
A wonderful gapfiller - a look at what happened those few days that
the hobbits were all in Rohan for Theoden's funeral. Gentle
hurt/comfort (heavy on the comfort), and lovely reading.

Title: Keeper of the Jewels · Author: Cuthalion · Genres: Adventure:
Minas Tirith · ID: 64
Reviewer: SurgicalSteel · 2007-11-01 13:41:36
This was a thoroughly engaging tale - political plots, suspense,
danger, some lovely hurt/comfort. There's also a fantastic OFC who
starts out on the wrong side of the tale but ultimately redeems
herself and in a wholly believable manner. Wonderfully done.

Title: Force of Nature · Author: shirebound · Genres: Alternate
Universe: The Shire or Buckland · ID: 360
Reviewer: SurgicalSteel · 2007-11-01 14:02:34
Anotherof Shirebound's 'Quarantined'-verse stories, and for completely
selfish reasons, possibly my favorite. Frodo and Halbarad share an
unusual experience thanks to the trees of the Old Forest. An
intriguing premise, engaging characters, and beautifully done gentle
hurt/comfort.

Title: Seeing Red · Author: Linda hoyland · Genres: Humor: Drabble ·
ID: 121
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-11-01 15:04:36
An amusing skit on all those horrible movie!inspired Abusive!Denethor
and weepy!Faramir!Sue-fics. Very well done.

Title: Halls Beyond · Author: Elen Kortirion · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: General Drabble · ID: 454
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-11-01 15:14:55
[This post contains spoilers.]

A well-written movie!verse drabble in which the spirits of those who
fought and died together arrive in the afterlife together. I very much
liked the notion of the shared comradeship evident in this drabble –
that the dead Rohirrim welcome even strangers – and wish Haldir had
stayed for one drink, even if his place was elsewhere. Lovely writing.

Title: A Ranger's Love (Song to Arda) · Author: Michelle · Races: Men:
Eriador or Rivendell · ID: 112
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-11-01 16:56:48
What I liked most about this, apart from its lovely, even rhythm, is
the even handedness of its author. In each section we see the good and
the bad of each season, and appreciate it more for the fullness of our
understanding. Fortunate is any man or woman who finds love so.

Title: Stopping by Woods · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Drama: Vignette ·
ID: 19
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-11-01 16:57:17
This is a lovely vignette, the characters and scenery drawn clearly,
fully, and lovelingly. Like the riders, however, it seems to appear
out of nowhere and disappear the same way, raising many questions
flying like the snow: where did they come from? where are they going?
to name only a few.

Title: Blooded · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Drama: Youth · ID: 3
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-11-01 16:57:58
This is such a wonderful and insightful portrait of Faramir straddling
a new line of experience. I love the way the author gives Faramir the
charater to see beyond this moment, past his own immediate feelings of
fear, surprise and repugnance to his greater role in his Company of
Rangers and Gondor's ruling family. His failure or success will never
be his alone.

Title: A Thankless Task · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Drama: Youth ·
ID: 49
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-01 17:30:48
I really enjoy this universe. This was a lovely instalment and I
especially enjoyed the characterisations of Boromir and Faramir here -
I liked the way that Faramir is already the patient one and is
comfortable enough in his relationship with Boromir to tease his elder
brother. Boromir is already a young man preferring action, definitely
at the age where his Book-haughtiness is beginning to show. Their
later relationship is already very clearly defined in this story.

Msg# 8414

MEFA Reviews for November 14, 2007 (Part 2) Posted by Ann November 14, 2007 - 4:35:57 Topic ID# 8414
Title: Answers and Questions · Author: Peredhil lover · Genres: Drama:
Youth · ID: 189
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-01 17:51:22
I liked the frank explanation that Elrohir gave regarding Elladan's
behaviour towards Estel. Most fanfic that I have read involving the
twins and Estel have them all three very close and I found the reasons
behind Elladan's distance and fault-finding to be very logical. It
must have been terribly hard for an elf to lose one mortal friend
after another.

Thinking about this made me consider various aspects of Aragorn's
later relationship with Legolas and it become suddenly much clearer to
me why Legolas waited for Aragorn's death to cross over the Sea - he
didn't want to miss one moment of the life of a mortal that he had
become deeply attached to. I really enjoy it when a fic makes me think
about various points in canon that I had not previously considered too
deeply before.

Title: Erestor and Estel: Hidden · Author: Pentangle · Genres: Drama:
Youth · ID: 167
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-01 18:08:08
I really enjoyed the relationship between these two! Even at such a
young age Estel has learned to see the truth of a person's heart and
worth beneath their outward appearance.

This story also made me think about what sort of life a young active
boy would have had among the elves - certainly not all of them were
grave and aloof but still I still can't imagine Imladris as a place
where a child would be encouraged often to whoop and run about. It was
very easy to picture him in this story, engaging in the quiet pastimes
of the elves yet choosing to do so in companionship with one he
considers a friend.


Title: Regrets and Consolations · Author: Mews1945 · Genres: Drama:
Youth · ID: 430
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-01 18:49:54
The descriptiveness of this story is just wonderful - everything from
dress to surroundings. The characters and their appearance and
emotions are described clearly, colourfully and in marvellous detail
and yet the descriptions are not overdone; they enhance the telling of
the tale rather than distract from it. I particularly liked the way
that Merry is drawn here. Though he is still largely inarticulate we
know all about him from the excellent descriptions of his cheery
nature and appearance, both before and after the incident in question.

The relationships between the characters is well done too and the plot
a very believable one. Near disasters like this one can happen to any
small child and I thought that the reactions of all of the characters
very well done.

I also liked the workings of Brandy Hall in this story. I have always
thought the Brandybucks, including the Master and his family, to be
very hands-on, self-sufficient hobbits and I find it quite believable
that Saradoc and Frodo are busy in the fields along with the other
workers and that Esmie is in charge of the accounts - I can imagine
that the Brandybucks have quite a number of investments, not to
mention the outgoing funds needed to support the Hall.

I liked this story very much!




Title: Blooded · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Drama: Youth · ID: 3
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-01 19:06:07
How sad for Faramir, to be forced to take on a role so unsuited to his
temperament. And to be trapped in that role, knowing that there would
be no escape unless the impossible happened must have been a terrible
burden to bear, but bear it he must because others depended upon him.

How wonderful for him that after the King came back that Faramir was
largely given the opportunity to be the man of peace his nature
compelled him to be!

Title: Hossis · Author: Fawsley · Genres: Drama: Youth · ID: 520
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-01 19:21:25
Very cleverly written so that we aren't quite sure of the characters
until near the end, but this is not done in a distracting way. I liked
this young woman and her son even before I found out their identity.
The little boy is a joy, off in his own little world and oblivious to
that fact that his life has changed. Well done story.

Title: Drawn With Love · Author: MerryK · Genres: Drama: Youth · ID: 569
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-01 19:46:52
This is a beautifully done story. I liked very much the relationship
between the two brothers - Faramir goes to Boromir knowing that he can
make things right and Boromir painstakingly strives to make sure that
his little brother has what his heart desires.

I thought the description of the painting process very good - I used
to paint myself so I appreciate the accuracy of the details, down to
the mixing to get just the right colours. This attention to detail
really brought the scene to life.

A very nice story!




Title: Dawning Hope · Author: Radbooks · Genres: Drama: Youth · ID: 498
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-01 20:07:56
I especially liked the relationship between Eowyn and Eomer here - it
was a very realistic look at a brother and sister, both staunchly
loyal to the other and yet occasionally quarrelsome.

Both children must have felt alone and out of place at having their
lives turned upside down. I liked that Theoden and Theodred were so
concerned that they settle into their new home and find happiness.

Title: In The Shadows I Wait · Author: Pentangle · Genres: Drama:
Youth · ID: 248
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-01 20:36:22
Most of all in this story I liked the thoughts and motivations of the
sword - they were very well done. The technical details really added
to my enjoyment and to the believability of the story. There was also
a wonderful sense of history. I also liked the characterisations,
especially of Elrond and Estel.



Title: Day and Night · Author: Peredhil lover · Genres: Drama: Youth ·
ID: 190
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-01 22:28:37
There is a bit of everything in this story - drama, humour, angst and
hurt/comfort. All of the main characters are wonderfully individual
and well-written. I liked the premise and the descriptions of the
battle, in particular the way that Elrohir and the last surviving
troll were each motivated by the same emotion.

Most of all though, I thought that the way that Estel summoned his
gift of healing for the first time was very realistically done, out of
desperation, when he had nothing else to aid him. The different
reactions of Elrohir, Elladan and Estel to the significance and
possibilites of Estel's gift were well done.

I liked Glorfindel here too, with his touches of humour and pride in
his cooking skills, and behind the light facade a very great wisdom.

Title: The Witch-king's Cloak · Author: Radbooks · Genres: Humor:
Parody · ID: 106
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-01 22:37:23
Oh dear! After this I am never going to be able to watch the Witch
King all ablaze in the film or read about Aragorn driving him off on
Weathertop in the book without laughing out loud! Well, he was a real
king at one point after all, and was probably used to being
well-dressed - why shouldn't that desire for sartorial splendour carry
over into the wraithworld?

Title: The Tragedye of Leaflet, Prince of Mirkwood · Author: Jael ·
Genres: Humor: Parody · ID: 243
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-01 23:22:50
My favourite parts of this humorous parody had to be the digs at
fanon, the ones pertaining to slash fics in particular. Among many
other funny lines the mpreg reference and the comment relating to
fanon-Aragorn's aversion to bathing really tickled me. But what made
me laugh out loud was [LEGOLAS: I prithee, take thy fingers from my .
. . too, too solid flesh. On second thought, leave them there.]

I really enjoyed this!




Title: At the Sign of the Hungry Hobbit · Author: Mews1945 · Genres:
Humor: Parody · ID: 475
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-01 23:37:55
Well I didn't see *that* ending coming!

Leave it to Merry to be the one to draw up all of the plans and I
thought that it was wonderful that Pippin was the one one to name
everything and of course Sam would take care of the flora - very
fitting to their characters!

A very clever way to put Frodo into the godlike position that his
character is interpreted by some to be!

Title: Pour Me One More · Author: Marta · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Drabble · ID: 402
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-02 00:27:16
A drabble as fresh and lively as its two OC protagonists. The drabble
expresses the vigorous new prosperity and cross-cultural opening of
Dale in a drink-off between two young friends.

Original and well-written.

Title: Healing Lessons · Author: Pearl Took · Races: Cross-Cultural:
With Pippin · ID: 296
Reviewer: Garnet Took · 2007-11-02 05:06:34
I really liked this story. It is one of true cultural exchange. Parsow
learns about dwarves as people as well as a couple of the secrets of
their healing arts. Gimli shows a side of himself that few ever get to
see, and Pippin is coming to understand just how much he means to to
the dwarf.

Parsow also has his mind opened to the possibility that there are more
healing methods than the ones he is used to. This will stand him in
good stead once he becomes a full-fledged healer.

Title: If I Keep You Beside Me · Author: sophinisba solis · Races:
Cross-Cultural: With Pippin · ID: 548
Reviewer: Garnet Took · 2007-11-02 05:10:25
Despite Pippin's open and generous heart, in the end, he could save
neither Boromir nor Denethor. Maybe He was the only one who saw the
true moral in the tale after all.

Title: Shells · Author: pipkinsweetgrass · Races: Cross-Cultural: With
Pippin · ID: 506
Reviewer: Garnet Took · 2007-11-02 05:24:45
The "meat" of this story is really the story within the story. A crab
can not only be tasty, but it can be a wonderful teaching device as well.

Title: Shadowfax, Lord of all Horses · Author: grey_wonderer · Races:
Cross-Cultural: With Pippin · ID: 597
Reviewer: Garnet Took · 2007-11-02 06:08:22
This is classic Grey Wonderer. A humorous tale that keeps the reader
guessing just what all the fuss and confusion is about.

Title: Pippin's Little Experiment · Author: Budgielover · Races:
Cross-Cultural: With Pippin · ID: 291
Reviewer: Garnet Took · 2007-11-02 06:27:59
This story made me think of that rhyme about the five monkeys jumping
on the bed. Pippin learns that that activity can be dangerous, and
Merry, Sam and Frodo have to bail him out once again. Very amusing stuff.

Title: Mistaken · Author: Fawsley · Genres: Humor: Drabble · ID: 490
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-02 07:28:48
[warning - some spoilers]

A reconstruction of a pivotal scene in FOTR turns the entire trilogy
on its ear, shortens it drastically, and gives the unwitting Frodo a
whole new lease on life.

Well done, with a great last line.

Title: Reunion · Author: Fawsley · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
Drabble · ID: 489
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-02 07:34:15
Wonderful little character sketch of an old soldier declining in his
final years, who gets a surprise after the Ring War in the form of a
long-ago acquaintance in a new guise.

And my inner Faramirist joyfully notes the proper characterisation of
the prince-Steward, whose tendancy to kindness is the catalyst for an
unexpected sconfrontation.

Title: Blooded · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Drama: Youth · ID: 3
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-02 09:03:28
Indeed a story I'd read before, and one that I found managed somehow
hit home both then and now.

Faramir and his fellow new warriors have just survived their first
battle, and although he didn't retch as did some of the others, the
Steward's younger son is not as elated as many of his fellows in the
aftermath. And as the rest discuss by what names their weapons will be
known, Faramir considers the fact that today he was forced to slay
someone much of an age and as afraid of dying as himself.

A thoughtful and rather profound look at how those who must fight to
protect their lands and people are often affected by what they must
do. An excellently written piece indeed.

Title: Making Acquaintance · Author: Bodkin · Times: Mid Third Age:
2851 - 3017 TA · ID: 216
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-02 09:17:02
It is said that the Wizards, having begun as Maiar, were intended to
be serving angels--GUARDIAN angels. And so Gandalf proves as he
arrives precisely when he means to--just as an adventurous and rather
reckless Peregrin Took starts to fall from the beech tree he'd been
climbing.

Young Pippin and Merry--you can see their disparate natures already as
they have their first encounter with [Bilbo's Gandalf], and as he
looks his first on the Brandybuck and Took he must one day convince
others to trust to see things done properly.

Title: A Mother's Wish · Author: Rhapsody · Genres: Drama: General
Drabble · ID: 429
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-02 09:21:58
He came not home again, but his song was yet heard and returned. Alas
for Nerdanel, who longed for her remaining son to return to her.

Achingly poignant.

Title: It Is Custom · Author: Mar'isu · Races: Cross-Cultural: The
Fellowship · ID: 820
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-02 12:15:34
[mild spoilers]

This story has some very interesting discussions on the place of sex
(and in particular prostitution) in the various cultures of
Middle-earth represented by the Fellowship. I can see these kinds of
situations arising very easily, and it appealed to my sociological
bent to see the "why" presented so logically. It also creates some
very interesting cross-cultural moments that I found very illuminating
to read. It made sense of Boromir's later disdain and distrust of some
of the Lothlorien Elves.

The ending, though, was sobering. Boromir is deeply wounded, and the
hurt he carries into Lothlorien will make him more susceptible to
Galadriel's pryings - and his inability to lean on others will make
him more susceptible to the Ring's call. Chilling.

Title: Rock and Hawk · Author: Adaneth · Races: Cross-Cultural · ID: 221
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-02 15:53:12
A thoroughly fascinating, captivating story, told in a language
perfectly suited to its setting and the people inhabiting it, and a
marvellous way to fill in some "blanks" in Middle-earth history and
geography. You have managed to create a profoundly original world
which is nevertheless deeply and smoothly integrated into what Tolkien
gave us.

The wind-swept landscape ["between the Mountains and the Sea"], harsh
yet beautiful in its wildness, is created before the readers' eyes in
intricate, careful detail, appealing to all senses, often enough part
of the plot itself in how its bounty is put to various uses, and how
the weather affects it, and all of it just as much a character as the
people encountered in the narrative.

The characterisations are complex, nuanced, and immediately engaging
in all their diversity, in particular the two protagonists Saelon and
Veylin.

The Dúnedain woman is forthright and strong-minded, but behind her
confident and solitary facade lie also loyalty, a caring heart, and a
certain fragility.

All this is recognised by her new acquaintance and unlikely friend,
Veylin the Dwarf. Curious, enterprising, willing to take a chance in
what the earth may yield to his skilled hands, and in this woman from
another culture

Msg# 8415

MEFA Reviews for November 15, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 15, 2007 - 5:05:41 Topic ID# 8415
Title: Fair Folk and Foul · Author: Adaneth · Races: Cross-Cultural ·
ID: 222
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-02 15:54:26
As the first part of the series, this, too, is a wonderfully intricate
exploration of clashes of opposing, or at least differing, cultures
and races: Dúnedain and Rangers, Elves and Dwarves, women and men
etc., amidst a fully-realised and very present landscape.

The new element some Rangers bring to this already heady mix gives
opportunity for new misunderstandings that for a time threaten the
still wary understanding the Dwarves and Saelon's people had reached
(and the Elves, too, begin to take an interest in the people settled
on their land).

It was very poignant that the Dwarves - the strangers - could
appreciate Saelon's qualities more than her own people, who either
held them in little regard, or took them for granted.

You show well the effect of many people circumstances force to live
together; as well as how the unlikely friendship between Veylin and
Saelon is not or wrongly understood by both races, and thus poisoned
by malicious or merely thoughtless insinuations, which force them to
self-consciously distance themselves from each other.

The hunt, fight and defeat of the mysterious "raug" was plotted well,
and had me holding my breath more than once.

Title: Tamer's Tale · Author: juno_magic · Races: Cross-Cultural · ID: 41
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-02 15:55:17
Evocative, elegant prose; a wonderful original character; and a
believable, moving and sensual romance. The unusual premise is handled
artfully, convincingly, and with a sensitive touch.

The introductory chapter perfectly sets the mood: the readers are
going to read a tale between truth and legend. The somewhat distant
PoV and and quickly passing time between episodes recounted in more
detail increases the feeling of reading a myth.

I like the idea of Gandalf having a small home somewhere for the few
times he allows himself some rest, and such a remote spot like Himling
seems the perfect place for him.

The story makes clear that Gandalf is both "human" and Istar, but
still it takes experiencing the most profound emotions and sensations
- love and desire - to really reach the deepest understanding of what
it means to be more than spirit, to be a Child of Ilúvatar.

Title: An Alphabet for Middle-earth · Author: Dreamflower · Races:
Cross-Cultural · ID: 231
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-02 15:55:34
A kaleidoscope of very different and varied views of Middle-earth,
giving insight into both familiar characters and situations and
exploring "nooks and crannies" or unusual viewpoints.

All are intriguing (even if I think some miss some inner tension), and
I especially enjoyed the prompts for F, Q, W, and X.

Title: A New Reckoning · Author: Dreamflower · Races: Cross-Cultural ·
ID: 308
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-02 15:56:13
A sweeping, well-paced plot (although some passages seem a little
choppy). The constantly shifting PoVs work well here to paint an
intricate picture of a great many plot threads.

The great cast is handled expertly, all characters are distinct and
appropriate for their respective cultures. The appropriate moods and
emotions are conveyed very well, from suspense to action, from drama
to humour (I very much enjoyed Sam's plight concerning saying
"proper"). I also liked how you wrote the more unpleasant Hobbits.

The story contains some of my favourite subjects in Hobbit stories:
other Hobbits learning of events in the outer world & the four
Travellers' contributions, and the Shire coming into more contact with
this wider world.

There are also some other thought-provoing topics: long-time results
of the Travellers' injuries and of the Troubles, what to do with
Saruman's "leavings" in Orthanc etc.

Title: Property Rights · Author: Salsify · Races: Cross-Cultural · ID: 74
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-02 15:57:14
An unusual look at and interpretation of the acrimonious encounter
between Thorin and Bard in TH. The story explains credibly why both,
Man and Dwarf, were so unyielding in their demands and not given to
reconciliation. And yet, once each side has persevered over the other,
they are prepared to become allies once again as in the past - this
fact lends the story even more edge.

Taking this almost overlooked passage from the Appendices, this draws
a believable history between Dragons, Dwarves and Men, and how
prejudices and merely using one's own limited viewpoint can influence
decisions and behaviour between different people.

Title: The Horses of Eorl · Author: Branwyn · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Drabble · ID: 477
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-02 15:58:16
A very imaginative gapfiller. I had never thought that it might be
possible the horses abducted from Rohan could be recovered after the
war. A very hopeful outlook, despite the present difficulties!

And yet, it is understandable that these horses would need much time,
care and affection after their surely terrible experiences. It shows
the particular Rohirric culture and the bond the Rohirrim have with
their horses that they are as concerned about them as about the
healing of their people and their lands. I like the sudden detail of
Éomer being touched by their plight.

And Radagast seems a logical choice as a helper and healer for these
traumatised horses, as evidenced already by his name: ["tender of
beasts"], and the fact that in FotR he is described as having ["much
lore of herbs and beasts"]. Reminding the readers of the connection of
Radagast living in Rhosgobel and the prior home of the Éothéod in the
vicinity gave the drabble an additional layer due to the combination
of relatively obscure canon facts.

Title: Maiden Voyage · Author: Fawsley · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Drabble · ID: 654
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-02 15:59:02
Wonderfully descriptive. As each new landmark appears and is evoked
with just a few brief words, and then passes as attention is drawn to
the next one, the readers can really put themselves in the shoes of
Legolas and Gimli as they the boat slowly glides by and they sail past
for the last time on their way to Valinor.

There is a melancholy and wistfulness about this last view of the
outer edges of Middle-earth, but also a subtle and very quiet
expectancy and excitedness as the thoughts slowly turn away from what
they leave behind toward that what lies in front.

The drabble also conveys that this is for both an extraordinary
journey, not only for its final destination, but also because they are
both in unfamiliar territory.

I very much appreciate that you leave the specifics of the "working"
of the Straight Road to the readers' imagination; just using a few
carefully chosen, poignant words to convey enough of the picture. It
strengthens the mystery of this "process", and is a very graceful and
dreamy conclusion to the drabble.

Title: Multicultural Interactions · Author: annmarwalk · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Gondor · ID: 18
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-02 16:00:14
Excellent characterisation and an entertaining and evocative narrative
style.

I can clearly see the heritage of their parents in the children, as
well as the cultural influence of their different races, and yet they
are uniquely their own, individual persons.

Elboron is so delightedly adolescent: uncoordinated, over-eager,
oblivious to what's going on in front of his nose and yet curious
about a great many things. His voice has this tone of one very much
wanting to be grown up, but who has not left the last traces of
childhood behind yet. He is his father's son in his courtesy and his
interest in words, and in the elegant way he tells his story, and his
mother's in forthrightness.

And Elanor is a pure delight; so much a child of the Shire that Sam
and Rosie exemplify so very much: down to earth, friendly and polite,
and interested in nature; and her voice, too, sounds completely authentic.

Title: Dissonance · Author: EdorasLass · Races: Cross-Cultural: Gondor
· ID: 450
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-02 16:00:44
The readers are immediately right along the narrator, wondering with
the narrator about the mysterious patient, experiencing the story
through all her senses.

She is characterised well, not only by happenings in the main story,
but also by her asides, which evoke her world in swift little details.

The beginning paragraphs serve to establish her as a perceptive
observer, so it is entirely natural that through her eyes, we get such
a detailed picture of the Southron - not only as a subject observed,
but as a character in his own right.

The open and melancholy end resonates long after this brief story is
finished.

Title: Wind of Change · Author: Imhiriel · Genres: Crossover · ID: 669
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-11-02 16:08:57
Relentless time and the constant development of new world conflicts
had made me forget much about this moment in history until I read
["Wind of Change"]. The fall of the Berlin Wall happened during a very
impressionable time in my life, yet it's hard now to recall that this
important city was once divided; it is a joy to remember the
jubilation and satisfaction that came with its dismantling. In this
story, Imhiriel adroitly captures the generous nature and heart-felt
rejoicing of a population reunited. Historical details and snippets
from photographs of the event are smoothly blended into the narrative
and turned to her own use, giving this a solid feel of reality and
possibility. Who's to say it didn't happen just like this?

Maglor is placed into this background with firm certainty and
credibility of purpose: alone in the world, he seems to be drawn
almost against his will to share in a celebration where he will not
stand out or be commented on. His description is brought out gradually
and naturally, until there can be no doubt as to who he is even though
his name is never stated.

The distant third-person PoV is handled very well, and makes me feel a
bit like I am watching a documentary, lending to the historical
atmosphere of the piece; the other effect is to leave Maglor's actual
reasoning and feelings open to interpretation, but the author still
gives us much insight into this enigmatic being. His interactions with
the people around him are wonderful, particularly the family, and it
is through these that we catch glimpses of both his past and his present.

The final scene of him singing is simply beautiful and extremely well
described. I particularly love the imagery surrounding his voice, and
that it did not drown out the human voices but uplifted and enhanced them.

Title: 13th Birthday · Author: stefaniab · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 138
Reviewer: Altariel · 2007-11-02 16:18:24
Charming and funny story about Faramir's coming-of-age, abetted by his
older brother, and with a touching portrait of their father.

Title: First Among Equals · Author: Tanaqui · Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 564
Reviewer: Altariel · 2007-11-02 16:23:39
I like these glimpses of Faramir's transition from untried to blooded
soldier, with [fear forgotten].

Title: Seeing Red · Author: Linda hoyland · Genres: Humor: Drabble ·
ID: 121
Reviewer: Altariel · 2007-11-02 16:26:37
Very funny! I can picture movie!Faramir's bottom lip wobbling.

Title: Measures of Time · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Romance:
Gondor · ID: 50
Reviewer: Altariel · 2007-11-02 16:34:47
How hard for Eowyn, to feel that she is slipping away from Faramir;
how hard for Faramir, to see her ageing and slipping away. What I like
most about this beautifully characterized short piece is that Faramir
does not comfort or coddle Eowyn: he simply continues to treat her
with the respect, love, and admiration that have always been her due.

Title: Gondor's Sons · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Drama:
Vignette · ID: 728
Reviewer: Altariel · 2007-11-02 16:39:42
["Unlikely brothers"] touched me very much. I'm glad that the two
kings were there for him, when Boromir could not be, even if Eomer
couldn't stop talking about horses! And then he sees his brother in
his son - and hence the name. In the second piece, I loved Aragorn's
generosity, to be pleased that Faramir's son - named to commemorate
Boromor - was born in the city first.

Title: Heart of Lamedon · Author: Nancy Brooke · Races: Men: Gondor
Drabble · ID: 288
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2007-11-02 18:59:41
It has been a while since I read this drabble, but it still gives me
the chills. Nancy writes a very powerful, rightfully so angered Angbor
who feels that this [this ragged eagle of a man] initially has no
business to challenge him so. In a way this immediately reminded me of
proud Boromir who so desperately tried to rally Aragorn to aid Gondor.
Lamedon as a province in Gondor enjoyed a somewhat more secured
position and Angbor realises that as his opinion slowly turns, still
his ire and strenght is there, but I think Nancy sets up a great
premise in this drabble for what will follow next. Aragorn aims truly
for the heart of Lamedon (Nancy handles the metaphors in an incredible
manner, but not too much) and knows how to play this character very
well. This is a nice gapfillerish drabble that also serves as a
characterpiece with beautiful language which gives this story that
elegant touch.

Title: A Ranger's Love (Song to Arda) · Author: Michelle · Races: Men:
Eriador or Rivendell · ID: 112
Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2007-11-02 19:20:18
[this review contains spoilers]

This piece conveys so much that at first I thought that this could be
any ranger that served Arda and her inhabitants. This ficlet stands
out in its poetic elegance and meter (with a perfectly balanced
pacing), where the character of this piece paints a beautiful portrait
of mistress he serves. I found it a marvellous reading experience
because it gives you the feeling you are reading a poem. The woman
Aragorn so loves can either be forgiving and cruel, and Michelle
portrays this by letting Aragorn reflect on every season and at the
same time captures a deep longing within him as well: he knows he has
to wait, to stand by and serve. To frame this moment and the moments
within, this ranger finds himself in comes with such visual strength:
it is as if you observe the world through his eyes. Michelle achieves
this with well chosen words, perhaps to some it might be too
enomically written, but for me the words serve their purpose extremely
well.

[He has fallen in love. And he has been embraced.]

This is such a great line! This ode to Arda is such a treat that you
don't want to miss!


Title: A Princeling Lost · Author: Cuthalion · Genres: Humor: Gondor
or Rohan · ID: 795
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-03 02:17:45
A pleasant romp in the woods of Ithilien; as little Elboron plays
truant from the ghastly chore of getting dressed up for the King's
visit. Intriguing use of an OFC and Damrod. Excellent characterisation
of Elboron, and nice descriptions, too.

Title: Domestic Crisis · Author: SurgicalSteel · Races: Men: Eriador
or Rivendell · ID: 729
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-03 02:40:56
A charming look into the family dynamics of the household that
Serinde, Surgical Steel's Gondorian surgeon OFC, has set up in Bree
with Halbarad. Here, Halbarad's scapegrace brother Thalguron is trying
to do something right for a change, and actually pulls it off rather
well. I liked the interaction between Thalguron and little Tarie;
there's a bit of the big kid in the immature-for-his-age Thalguron,
and that enables him, along with some native cunning, to look after
his small niece even though he is not used to babysitting.


Title: Firelight · Author: Songspinner · Genres: Drama: Ithilien · ID: 817
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-03 16:46:28
Beautiful story with lots of nice character moments for the Fellowship
in Ithilien. I particularly liked the many ways fire was used - that
was very cleverly done, and a good way to drive home the diversity of
the many types of situations these characters have faced.

Title: Circumstances · Author: Marta · Genres: Drama: Gondor Drabble ·
ID: 621
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-03 20:21:07
In this drabble, Denethor's semi-canonical older sisters watch Captain
Thorongil dancing, and offer thoughts on the enigmatic outlander.
Marta paints the ladies well; complacent in their [high lineage] but
attracted to Thorongil nonetheless. The tone seems rather Austenesque,
but it works very well here.

Title: Wings · Author: ErinRua · Genres: Romance: With Rohirrim · ID: 9
Reviewer: Deandra · 2007-11-03 22:35:05
The author considers this work a bit fluffy, and so it is, but
delightful fluff for certain. Eomer is often portrayed as gruff and
stern, and possibly he was during the bleak war years, but I prefer to
believe that peace and finding love would change that. I can well
imagine the setting of this piece, and we share in his discovery of
why he loves. The tale also presents a nice glimpse of his gratitude
for life and those around him. We cannot help but see a shining future
for Rohan's king and his bride, and we are not surprised that he will
eventually be labeled Eadig - blessed.

The story is simply written but rich in details, and a most enjoyable
read, particularly when life is harried and you need something to
uplift you.

Title: The Tragedye of Leaflet, Prince of Mirkwood · Author: Jael ·
Genres: Humor: Parody · ID: 243
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-04 02:28:54


A masterful slight-of-literary-hand, with various characters and
history from Middle-earth transposed onto "Hamlet", with Legolas in
the starring role. Lots of innuendo and plenty of amusement.

My favorite bit is this, which I find a rather hilarious notion:

[FIRST ELF: Aye, mad as a Gwaeron hare! He runs in the snow in light
elven-shoes, sleeps with his eyes open, and removes the saddle from
his horse. At wits' end, our King Thranduil sends him to Imladris, as
it is supposed 'twill not be noticed there.]

Title: Counsel · Author: Alassiel · Races: Cross-Cultural: Gondor ·
ID: 292
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-04 14:20:11
Written in a gentle, elegant and restrained way. There is a fine
balance between giving details to bring the scene to life, and a
tantalising, dreamlike vagueness, which fits so very well with this
mysterious, improbable encounter between Aragorn and Finrod.

I also like the balance between awe at this momentuous time, and
downright friendly companionship between the two kings.

Obscure (semi-)canon details are woven smoothly into the narrative.

Finrod's thoughts on true kingship show his greatness, and I feel sure
Aragorn will heed his advice and follow in his footsteps.

Title: Tea and Seedcake and the Influence of Hobbits · Author: Baggins
Babe · Races: Cross-Cultural: Gondor · ID: 492
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-04 14:20:27
Detailed and evocative descriptions of the appearance of Minas Tirith
and the teeming life within.

It was fascinating to see through the eyes of your original character
what a few years of peace under the reign of the King have wrought of
changes in the city.

Msg# 8416

MEFA Reviews for November 15, 2007 (Part 2) Posted by Ann November 15, 2007 - 5:07:59 Topic ID# 8416
Title: Time · Author: Bodkin · Races: Cross-Cultural: Gondor · ID: 414
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-04 14:21:19
A haunting and melancholy tale about the differences in memory and the
perception of time between Men and Elves. Written with passion and
care in even the smallest gestures.

I feel with Legolas: it is sad that people should be forgotten or be
deemed unimportant so easily. But I think he does not fully appreciate
the (sometimes dubious) advantage Elves have over Mortals - their
infallible memory and their longlevity. It is easier to remember if
you don't have to rely on written records who might be incomplete or
faulty, or on tales passed on which might change with every teller.

Your portrayal of Faramir was wonderful, striking for all its
subtlety. I had the feeling that he is guiding Legolas for a better
understanding of Mortals in that he didn't just tell him of "official
records" and "personal memories" and what might be contained and not
contained in each form, but in that he let him discover and experience
it for himself. And I loved the little reminder of how respected and
beloved he is among his men.

I loved Thimbriel: with some edges, dignified, wise; patiently
teaching Legolas what he sought.

Title: The Gates · Author: Isabeau of Greenlea · Races: Dwarves · ID: 70
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-04 14:25:26
What I most love about stories about Dwarves is the way their
particular interests, and their cultural heritage and preoccupations,
are very often given expression in the way the stories are told, with
appropriate metaphors and imagery.

This is also the case here, whether in Gimli's thoughts about the
sinking sun, or in Snorri's speaking of Gimli's adventures in [the
"upper world"].

The interaction with Gimli and Snorri is well-depicted, and through
it, we get a glimpse of social interaction among the Dwarves in general.

I find it natural that Gimli would want to contribute something
tangible, a product of skill and artisanship so valued by the Dwarves.
It was good of Snorri to remind him that organisation, administration,
negotiation and diplomacy are the very basics which ensure that works
can begin, continue, or be concluded successfully.

Gimli's ability to reach out to other people, accept different
viewpoints and make compromises, which he had already demonstrated
during the quest, are put to great effect here.

Title: Lost in Translation · Author: sophinisba solis · Races:
Cross-Cultural: With Pippin · ID: 31
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-04 14:26:21
This story fills in a gap in Tolkien's story in ways that are
believable and moving.

Pippin's frustration and near resentment at being left out of the flow
of information about a loved one is palpable, and from his perspective
it might indeed have seemed thoughtless and condescending that he is
left with almost meaningless platitudes.

It must be especially difficult for Pippin, the most inquisitve and
impatient of the Hobbits, to have impenetrable walls erected before
him, so to speak.

The theme of alienation and feeling left out in a strange environment
that the film of the same name evoked so very well is conveyed here as
well, a feeling that has as much to do with the actual unfamiliar
language, as the unfamiliar culture. Pippin feels uncomfortable and
disconnected even in the Last Homely House, even after his primary
worry about Frodo is allayed.

I liked the fact that the theme of the title was interwoven into the
story in different ways; language and not understanding them, needing
a translation to get to the heart of matters was very much central to
the story as a whole.

Title: Blackest Fate · Author: Branwyn · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 -
3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 476
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-04 14:26:52
Moving; the drabble is so very sad and at the same time heart-warming
and gentle.

The drabble plays with the identity of the two "prisoners", and even
if the first assumption of the readers had been right, it would still
have had the same impact. I like the fact that this misconception is
not used in a "sensational" way, as a loud punchline, but that it
comes about quiet and unobtrusive.

The contrast between their bleak and oppressing surroundings and their
happier memories of lovely places of their home is particularly
poignant, as is their deep bond, and the shared comfort they try to
give each other.

Title: Mentor · Author: Nessime · Times: Second Age: Drabble · ID: 653
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-04 14:28:54
An marvellously written drabble, with elegance, resonance and rhythm
in the obviously carefully chosen words. The prompt ["teaching"] that
was part of the inspiration for the drabble as you note is answered
with great finesse.

Eonwë's thoughts and feelings are captured very well, in every
changing nuance; his perplexity and lack of understanding at what the
Númenóreans chose to do with this Gift is conveyed particularly well.
It gives us a perspective not only on the Men he contemplates, but
also on his own kind: it shows that despite all the divine powers the
Valar and Maiar have, there are still limits to omniscience, that Men
are really as unpredictable and free as Eru wanted to make them - and
the Powers had no part in this.

I like the description of Sauron as ["the one who broke faith with
me"]. This is an incident rarely explored in fanfiction, and the way
you have built it into the drabble gives it a personal angle that will
make it memorable for me on re-reads.

Title: The Slave of the Ring · Author: Linda hoyland · Races: Men ·
ID: 418
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-04 14:29:24
Good use of formal language.

Boromir is annoyed at Aragorn's appropriation of command even before
he glimpses the Ring, prideful and only reluctantly conceding that
Aragorn might have greater knowledge of their whereabouts.

Setting Boromir's desire to see the Ring in contrast to the others'
disregard of it was an effective touch: it shows how even though
Boromir seems to be aware of his different attitude, he doesn't seem
to regard this is as something sinister.

Title: A Ranger's Love (Song to Arda) · Author: Michelle · Races: Men:
Eriador or Rivendell · ID: 112
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-04 14:30:10
Beautiful use of language and rhythm. The "examples" for every season
are perfectly chosen and highly evocative.

I liked the unusual order of describing the seasons - beginning with
winter and ending with spring. Although you describe both positive and
negative sides of each of the seasons, this order seems to invigorate
the piece, make it more colourful and fresh and warm as it goes on. It
is also a wonderfully appropriate transition to the last passage about
Arda in general and the Ranger's love for her, in all her facets and
her changeability.

I can very well imagine that Rangers have a particularly deep
connection and appreciation to the land they traverse in all times and
all weather. And that would include, as you have so poignantly shown,
also the inhabitants of these lands, no matter that they are oblivious
(and unappreciative) of the Rangers protecting them.

Title: Life Lessons · Author: Marta · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 582
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-04 14:31:22
A lively and engaging story, filled with evocative details. The
characters of Arwen and Éowyn are captured well.

I found it completely believable that they would talk in great length
about the subjects raised here in the story. There are also
fascinating moments of intercultural exchange that provide insights
into the cultures and traditions of both Elves and Men.

Title: Future Imperfect · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851
- 3017 TA · ID: 749
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-04 17:00:34
I liked Denethor in this. His strength of character really comes
across, both as a father and as a leader, and the love for both his
sons and his responsibility for his land and people are very well
conveyed.

Title: Bitter Springs · Author: Dwimordene · Times: Mid Third Age:
2851 - 3017 TA · ID: 634
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-04 17:00:45
A well told glimpse of how Grima's machinations are falling into
place, to the dismay of Theodred (and Eomer) who can do almost
nothing, and Boromir, who can do even less. There is a very
appropriate sense of sad resignation and approaching tragedy.

Title: Respite · Author: Linaewen · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 - 3017
TA · ID: 389
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-04 17:00:58
Lovely story of a mother's attempt to escape the unescapable for a
time, but even so her fears follow her. I especially enjoyed her
thoughts of her sons as individuals - she knows them both well. It is
sad to know that soon even this place will be no partial refuge for her.

Title: Burning Son · Author: Aruthir · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 -
3017 TA · ID: 436
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-04 17:01:20
The author does a vivid job here of describing the bleakness of war
and its cause and effect.

Title: The Heir of the Hill · Author: Lothithil · Times: Mid Third
Age: 2851 - 3017 TA · ID: 675
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-04 17:02:09
A nice, long story that details Frodo's early years at Bag End.

Title: Dawning Hope: A Day Out · Author: Radbooks · Times: Mid Third
Age: 2851 - 3017 TA · ID: 659
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-04 17:02:53
This author is skilled at getting inside the heads of her characters
and she doesn't fail to do so here - all of the characters are well
written but her characterisation of Eowyn simply shines. She is very
much a seven-year-old little girl here and most definitely and
distinctively she is *Eowyn*.

The plot was well thought out, from the quiet moments to the stressful
time after the accident. The realistic attempts at first aid were very
good. I enjoyed this!

Title: Foray · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 -
3017 TA · ID: 55
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-04 17:03:18
A very nice glimpse of Boromir and Faramir - I liked the mix of the
maternal/paternal way that the elder looks after the younger, trying
to stand in for both absent parents.

Title: Making Acquaintance · Author: Bodkin · Times: Mid Third Age:
2851 - 3017 TA · ID: 216
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-04 17:19:26
This was a very hobbity tale filled with subtle foreshadowings of the
future, from the characterisations of both young hobbits to Gandalf
holding Pippin ["...the big person had caught him and swung him round,
clasping the young hobbit to his chest as if he was meant to be
there."] to their offers of future service and Merry's sudden thoughts
that he might someday like to see the wide world outside the Shire.

I found the actions of both Merry and Pippin to be very in character,
both as hobbits in general and as Merry and Pippin in particular. She
has captured their different personalities very well and also their
similarities. Their comfortable and close relationship with each other
is very well described and isn't overdone or overly sweet and I liked
that very much. They display so many hobbity characteristics here but
still the writing is subtle I think - what I mean by that is that the
author is simply writing hobbits as they *are*, she does not overwrite
them to impress upon us that they are hobbits and so, different from
us, nor does she explain every motivation behind their hobbity
behaviour as if we, the reader, aren't familiar with the race. I know
what I mean to say here but don't know if I am getting it across very
well! Suffice it to say that I think she does a grand job.

I also liked that the hints of foreshadowing weren't grim and terrible
but spoke more of comradeship and adventure.

And the last line was just right, because a well-mannered young hobbit
wouldn't fail to issue such an invitiation, lol.



Title: Brothers at Heart · Author: Radbooks · Times: Mid Third Age:
2851 - 3017 TA · ID: 330
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-04 18:03:09
This story has really impressed me. For my interest to be so truly and
wholly engaged throughout a multi-chapter story of this length about
Estel/Aragorn that doesn't include (save for the barest mention) my
favourite race, the hobbits, is pretty much unheard of and yet I
couldn't stop reading this and finished it in one sitting.

The author has captured Aragorn's character here to an extent that I
have seldom seen in fanfiction. This is very much Tolkien's
Estel/Aragorn. Even though he is young in this story he has all of the
wisdom, maturity, skills and nobility that one raised as the only
human child amongst the elves would have developed, on top of his own
noble blood. It is easy to see that as he matures amongst his own
people he will only grow even greater as he comes to know them and
their ways and to incorporate this new knowledge with the old. This
story gives us an insightful look into the beginnings of this process.

That he knows he doesn't have all of the answers and is willing to
learn and to be guided when necessary is one of Estel/Aragorn's many
strengths and evidence of his true wisdom. Yet he does not use his
youth and inexperience as something to hide behind and ultimately all
decisions are his alone, for he accepts that he is the one responsible
for his people and those that they protect. He doesn't shun that
responsibility, he takes it very seriously. He is kingly here and it
is easy to see that this new Chieftan is something special. It is
clear to the reader that he is truly born to be King and everything
that he learns and endures will be remembered and analysed and will
help him attain this unattainable goal, then when he has done so, help
him to govern wisely and well.

In addition to the excellent depiction of Estel/Aragorn there are many
other wonderfully drawn original characters in this story and the
other canon characters that appear are also well written, Halbarad in
particular. I really enjoyed watching the friendship developing
between the two cousins.

The pacing is wonderful and it is not just the characterisations and
interactions that are well written, so are the various events that
take place in Estel/Aragorn's first year as Chieftan. Various
altercations with orcs, bandits, and scenes in which Estel/Aragorn
must put his healing abilities to use had me on the edge of my seat.

This is definitely a story that is going onto my list of favourites! I
would love to read more!





Title: Escape · Author: Bodkin · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 - 3017 TA
· ID: 24
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-04 18:30:54
I liked the anonymous and yet familar man and elf - the fact that we
don't know exactly who they are and yet understand the events that
they are caught up in really struck me. In addition to the characters
that we know, so many unnamed others played a part in the struggle
against Sauron and I enjoyed this nod to them.

Title: At The Foot of the Sarn Gebir · Author: Rabidsamfan · Times:
Late Third Age: 3018-3022 TA · ID: 787
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-04 18:39:46
Sam is wonderfully resourceful here - I couldn't make such a meal in
my own kitchen! I liked the way that he brought comfort to himself by
providing comfort for others. How very perfectly Sam!

Title: Between Crown and Mantle · Author: Marastar · Times: Late Third
Age: 3018-3022 TA · ID: 701
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-04 18:50:43
What I liked most about this story was the implication that every
decision has an effect and that all things are tied together in some
way. And even now that the battle against Sauron is won Gandalf still
acts as a guide to help others understand.

Title: Lily of the Valley · Author: Baranduin · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA · ID: 682
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-04 19:35:48
Very nice hurt/comfort and I especially liked the idea that Aragorn
was in hiding watching the Birthday Party, waiting to escort Bilbo on
his next Adventure. I could really imagine that happening!

Title: Snare · Author: Ruby Nye · Times: Late Third Age: 3018-3022 TA
· ID: 539
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-04 19:48:15
Hobbits really are fierce as dragons in a pinch and Pervinca shows
that bravery here. The hobbits may not be equal to the Ruffians in
strength but they are smart and canny and Pervinca adds her own
feminine wiles to the equation and does the job that needs to be done,
foul though it may be.

I like stories that show the hobbits coping with the invasion of the
Shire to the best of their abilities and this one does not disappoint.
I just hope that the archers show up before things go too far!

I particularly like that it is Pervinca here - she is the daughter of
the Thain after all, and Pippin's sister - look at how brave he was.
There is every reason to suspect that his sisters were very special
too, having the same Tookish blood in their veins. Excellent story,
and hopeful despite its grimness!



Title: Divided · Author: Pen52 · Genres: Drama: The Fellowship · ID: 223
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-11-04 19:49:51
This is a nice moment between Pippin, Aragorn and Boromir. The
characters are captured so well: Pippin with his insatiable, innocent
curiosity, Boromir and Aragorn with their wide range of experience,
which is weighted down by, especially for Boromir, bad memories.
Pippin's innocent question(s) about the Swertings brings into focus
the difference in Boromir's and Aragorn's experience and also a
difference in character between the men.

Title: Free and Gay · Author: Marta · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 81
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-11-04 19:50:35
In this short tale Boromir and Faramir celebrate Yule away from home
with Gondor's soldiers. With a few words the brothers come to life and
the reader gets a sense about the differences in their characters. On
the surface their conversation is just some light banter between
brothers, but Boromir is troubled and some of his remarks can have a
different meaning if Faramir would suspect anything.

Title: The Harper · Author: juno_magic · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
Gondor or Rohan · ID: 10
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-11-04 19:51:22
In this story a blind harper spends the winter month in a little
mountain village. He is mysterious and never gives his name. He
befriends a little boy and, although he tries to discourage the boy,
the boy follows him at the end of the winter to become a harper. This
short summary doesn't give justice to the story. This is a beautiful
piece. It reads like a fairy tale with a dreamlike quality. I like the
symmetry of the story. It starts with short, chopped sentences and a
lot of questions and ends the same way, I can't really describe it.
You have to read it to see what I mean.

Msg# 8417

MEFA Reviews for November 16, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 16, 2007 - 4:11:26 Topic ID# 8417
Title: Fell Memories · Author: Gwynnyd · Genres: Drama: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 191
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-11-04 19:52:00
This is a chilling set of drabbles of what might have happened to
Aragorn after he left Gondor. No wonder he was so weary of the Nazgul.
I like the way how the scenes comes to life with just a few well
chosen words. The short drabble chapters lent themselves well to the
unimaginable horror Aragorn endures.

Title: When the King Comes Back (the Great Smials) · Author:
Dreamflower · Genres: Drama: The Shire · ID: 262
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-11-04 19:57:39
In this story Pippin comes home after the war to a father who has
already given up hope of seeing his son again and is not especially
happy about this stranger who shows up on his doorstep. Pippin has
grown up and doesn't fit the old categories anymore. Father and son
have a hard time adjusting to each other again. The characters come to
life in this tale. I especially like the portrayal of his father. He
is a proud hobbit, very set in his ways and likes to have everything
the way it should be I think like a typical hobbit. I found the final
reconciliation very touching.

Title: The Three Hunters · Author: Dreamflower · Genres: Adventure ·
ID: 333
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-11-04 19:59:10
This story consists of 3 separate pieces and the epilogue where it is
all put together. In each part Legolas, Aragorn and Gimli tell us
their unique view of the hobbits. The characters of the three hunters
come alive through what they observe and value about the hobbits. And
the hobbits also come to life in the thoughts and little scenes the
narrators remember.

Title: Ten Thousand Years · Author: Marta · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA · ID: 565
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-04 20:01:39
An excellent meeting between Boromir and Arwen. Their conversation is
well done and I was intrigued that even though Boromir is still
uncertain of Aragorn as his King that he would gladly accept Arwen as
his Queen.

Title: Night of Love · Author: Linda hoyland · Genres: Romance: Gondor
· ID: 617
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-11-04 20:01:52
In this story Aragorn and Arwen celebrate their wedding night in a
unique setting. I find it especially suitable for Arwen, and Aragorn
is adorable to follow Galadriel's advice. Arwen will have time enough
to adjust to the customs of men in the coming years of their life
together.

Title: Stone from Above · Author: Thundera Tiger · Races: Men · ID: 284
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-11-04 20:07:12
The hero of this little tale is Hama, doorwarden of Theoden King. He
fell during the battle at Helm's deep and in his last moments, with
waning strength, he manages to cast the stone which gives Aragorn the
break he needs to get to safety. For me Hama here symbolizes the
heroics done by all the warriors in this desperate battle. Hama knows
he is dying. But instead of giving up, he takes his last strength to
give his comrades a fighting chance, although whether that will be
enough he will never know, which gives this story its special poignancy.

Title: Cool Sunlight and Green Grass · Author: SlightlyTookish ·
Races: Hobbits: Post-Ring War · ID: 211
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-11-04 21:07:13
How lovely that what most effects Pippin in this first outing are such
wonderfully Shire-ish things - clear sky and cool grass - the wonder
of the everyday natural world. I particularly liked how the author
made everything so vibrant, and Pippin's experiences so heightened
after the forced quietude of his recovery bed.

Title: Firelight · Author: Songspinner · Genres: Drama: Ithilien · ID: 817
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-11-04 21:25:30
This was born out of a clever idea - to use fire, comforting and
wounding - that wonderfully drew out these small but vibrant moments
in the Fellowship's recovery.

Title: Waiting By the Water · Author: Linaewen · Genres: Drama: With
Aragorn · ID: 395
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-11-04 21:29:41
What an interesting idea! That Boromir would stay bound to Gondor
until its safety was assured, and that Aragorn would wait until his
own arrival in Minas Tirith were blessed, as it were, by the heir
whose place he was taking.

Title: Alone and Forsaken · Author: Linaewen · Genres: Drama: Vignette
· ID: 466
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-11-04 21:33:48
Terrific! True seduction always takes the guise of reason, after all,
and here Boromir most rationally justifies his later insanity. The
pacing is measured, and even, never rushed, and the language just the
right mix of formality and ease to make this an easy but captivating read.

Title: The Pearl · Author: Jocelyn · Times: Late Third Age: 3018-3022
TA · ID: 815
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-04 22:01:19
A marvelous tale of friendship. The difficulties faced between two
races long in discord that now have great reason to be friends and
allies is very well described as is the emotional state of Legolas's
neice. Most of all though, what I liked best about this story was the
final scene with Legolas and Gimli!

Title: All that is gold... · Author: Perelleth · Genres: Humor:
Children · ID: 42
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-04 23:53:46
This was a fun read with some really nice interactions between Bilbo
and Aragorn. I can really see how these two characters could grow into
the friends we see in "Many Meetings". I also like all of the
connections you draw between both The Hobbit and your earlier story -
it creates a really nice, multi-layered world.

Title: Youngest Son · Author: Bodkin · Genres: Romance: Second Age or
Earlier · ID: 406
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-05 05:48:59
A (literally) frothy tale of romance and some danger; as elf meets
she-elf on the shores of the Undying Lands.

Good characterisation and dialogue; and a sense of the beauty and
power of the First Age Noldor and Teleri.

Title: My Treasure · Author: Armariel · Genres: Poetry: With Hobbits ·
ID: 332
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-05 06:06:53
Armariel is a gifted poet and wordsmith, who spins out lyrical poems
that dazzle the senses; and this one is no exception. Without crossing
over into slashiness; she conveys the joy of Frodo and Sam's future
reunion through Sam's anticipation as he journeys West.

Title: Sorgbyrðen · Author: Aranel Took · Races: Men · ID: 275
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-11-05 14:57:05
I thought this story very well done. Eowyn's transformation from an
open-hearted child, absorbing all the depth of grief around her, to an
yount woman steeling her spirit and shuttering her heart to such grief
is well and most reasonably told. I like that her final decision comes
during a time of waiting, not in reaction to the event she fears, but
in attempting to forever protect herself from it.

Title: The Slave of the Ring · Author: Linda hoyland · Races: Men ·
ID: 418
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-11-05 15:06:28
What an interesting gap-filler, bringing to life all the ills of
spirit and rationalizations which the ring will amplify to Boromir's
undoing. This one-sided conversation Boromir has with himself, and by
extension with the reader, is well-paced and unfolds most naturally,
even as Boromir reverses himself at the sight of the ring, almost
entreating Aragorn to bring it to Minas Tirith and take the kingship,
where moments before he was reviling the Man. I like Boromir's
palpable pride, too, as he cites his status, his wealth, and his
parentage here.

Title: Journeys in High Places · Author: Illwynd · Genres: Adventure:
Pre-Ring War · ID: 259
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-11-05 15:36:55
What a great adventure yarn! and like all good works, the action here
works most to illustrate the characters, not the characters serving
the action. Well done.

Title: Seen in the Halls of Dwarrowdelf · Author: Aruthir · Races:
Dwarves · ID: 73
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-11-05 15:42:57
This piece was full of lovely, rich phrases really enlivening the
dwarven tradition full of art and poetry. But I particularly loved how
this culture of artisans saw their art not as anything solitary or
muse-driven, but part of their larger glory, not personal glory, but
racial glory. These dwarves labored not as indivuduals, but as
representatives, and so their downfall is all the greater and more tragic.

Title: A Mother's Work · Author: Dreamflower · Races: Hobbits:
Vignette · ID: 134
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-11-05 16:01:25
I do love the genre of "Everday life in the Shire," as it were, and
these stories are terrific additions to that. Each mother's seperate
trials ring true and sweetly, without ever being overly
sentimetalized. Would that I could be so even tempered as these mothers!

Title: Sweet Memories · Author: PipMer · Races: Hobbits · ID: 272
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-11-05 16:07:40
This is a curious coupling: both halves of this story are compelling
in their own ways, but somehow don't quite go together. The first is a
wonderfully gentle capturing of reminscence - never too bathetic
despite its subject matter, and the second almost drabble-like in its
simple but fine heart. Still, I enjoyed reading both and was
pleasantly surprised by this thread of similarity between Boromir and
Frodo I had not considered before.

Title: Remembering Anew · Author: Pearl Took · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond · ID: 88
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-05 18:10:56
I think that this story has a wonderful premise, that history has the
habit of becoming skewed over time depending upon those that pass the
history down. The Professor gave examples of this, in my opinion, in
the remarks about how golf came to be and Merry and Pippin's height in
the Prologue of LoTR; these remarks were said to be written by hobbits
and are clear examples of tales that grew in the telling.

Pearl's protagonists, Jebbin and Other, have come to find that the
tale of the Travellers of long ago has become warped and aggrandised
far beyond truth and in this wonderful tale they try to bring the true
story back to the people - but it's a hard road and their efforts are
far from appreciated. Their traits as descendants of both Merry and
Pippin stand them in good stead in this endeavour.

There are lots of unexpected twists here and the story holds the
readers interest from beginning to end.






Title: The Burning of the Year · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times:
Late Third Age: 3018-3022 TA: Gondor · ID: 2
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-05 18:11:11
What struck me most about this excellent story is that it is Faramir
leading the procession for the very first time - a significant change,
and one that signifies other important changes to come for the better
though no one knows this, least of all Faramir.

Faramir's thoughts reveal his nobility and I wondered at how Boromir's
thoughts would have differed here, aside from the obvious differences
regarding his relationship with Denethor.

Title: The Tides of the World · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: Late
Third Age: 3018-3022 TA: Gondor · ID: 101
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-05 18:11:26
This is a very well done vignette. Aragorn's thoughts must have been
in turmoil after this night, both for sorrowful reasons and for
hopeful ones and the author has captured that here perfectly.
Aragorn's thoughtful and generous character is very well portayed
indeed, in the way that he remembers even Bergil by name and in the
way that each of those that he has healed or those that have fallen
are remembered not just by name but with respect to their deeds and
character. Aragorn's weariness and the love his brothers have for him
is very well conveyed.

I liked the thoughts about the weregild for I have often wondered at
that myself - how can the life of a dear one be paid for after all?




Title: Triumphal Entry · Author: Garnet Took · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Gondor · ID: 244
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-05 18:11:38
Garnet did an excellent job with the Challenge starter she had for
this story.

I think that my favourite part of this tale is when Pippin notices the
brightly coloured clothing that the people of the City are wearing and
realises that it has been a long time since they have had any reason
other than to wear sombre colours. As they have taken out their gaily
coloured clothing from the boxes and lofts where it has long been
stored away, so too can they now allow themselves to feel joy and hope
again. And as the clothing bears the ravages of time, so do these
people bear the ravages of long war, and it will be a while before
either clothing or people will be whole again. But they are making a
start!

Pippin's toast at the end was just right, and I appreciated that his
maturity was reflected in his words.



Title: Crossing towards Sunrise · Author: Imhiriel · Times: Fourth Age
and Beyond · ID: 14
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-05 18:11:55
The descriptions were lovely in this and I liked Gandalf as narrator
here - he seemed a logical choice, knowing all of the characters so
very well as he did. The grim list of Elrond's many losses gave me
pause as I had never seen them set out so clearly before and his sense
of loss and fear to hope at the beginning of the piece was so
wonderfully offset by his reunion with Celebrian.

Msg# 8418

MEFA Reviews for November 16, 2007 (Part 2) Posted by Ann November 16, 2007 - 4:13:02 Topic ID# 8418
Title: The Boatbuilder · Author: DrummerWench · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond · ID: 536
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-05 18:12:26
I liked this very much and didn't see it as an AU at all but of
something that could easily be as true as anything in Tolkien's universe.

The hopeful thought that there could be elves (and therefore
descendants of hobbits and of Numenor or Rohan) in modern times is a
happy one but even more so is the possibility shown here that when
this world, so different from that the elves once knew becomes too
much of a burden that Cirdan waits as he ever did with his ships and
the elves have this chance to pass to their true home. I can see
Cirdan witing until the very last elf is ready to sail.

Wonderfully imaginative and well thought out, particularly in
describing Dan's physical acclimation to the modern world.


Title: Vocabulary Lessons · Author: Larner · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Gondor · ID: 521
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-05 18:12:45
What a pleasure to find this story! I enjoyed this very much. The
story is told in a straightforward way with just the right amount of
an undercurrent of humour. The dialogue is excellent and very
appropriate to each character.

I really liked the references to the still scarce supplies and that
the King's own household prefers to do without so that others more in
need have what is necessary - that is exactly as Aragorn would see
things done. And I enjoyed the protocol and the servant's references
and reactions to Frodo and Sam; respectful and reverential and yet
treating them as they wished to be treated.

I agree that there must have been some, like Ivormil and his father,
that looked to their own interests during the war as much as could be
done. Hopefully Ivormil will have learned that he has not had the best
example to look up to in his own father and will take the new King's
words and the lesson given him to heart. I don't have the greatest
hope that his father will though - I can just imagine the father's
reaction when Ivormil takes the King's message back home and can see
him simpering and trying to say what he thinks the King wants to hear
during his own audience. He'll find out though that Ellesar is not
deceived! Ivormil just might find himself lord in his father's place!

Excellent story!



Title: There and Back · Author: Lindelea · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Gondor · ID: 801
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-05 18:15:31
It's hard to believe that this was Lindelea's first work of
fanfiction! She has done an excellent job of capturing the characters
here. The dialogue is very Tolkienesque - not over the top with angst
or overly dramatic, but much as he would have written the dialogue for
this scene himself I think. The understatedness makes the content even
more dramatic and meaningful in my opinion.

The way that Pippin's memories are scattered throughout as he wanders
in his dreams is very effective and the choices Lindelea has made for
the memories are just exactly right. Her decision to use both
filmverse and bookverse works very well here.

All of the characters are well-written but I especially like the
dialogue and interaction of Merry and Pippin in this story. They are
very much bookverse Merry and Pippin; they are clearly adults. Their
dialogue is hobbity but it is not childish or overly sentimental and
the same goes for their actions.

Well done Lindelea! This is a first (or tenth or twentieth) story to
be very proud of!


Title: Bransle Royal · Author: Ribby · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Gondor · ID: 473
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-05 18:16:15
I had really enjoyed the story where Ellesar was given the woman's
braid in tribute so I was very, very pleased to come across this! What
a wonderful way for the King to show that he treasured the gift! I
think that he is just the type to want to move amongst his people as
one of them and to sometimes experience life as they do so as to be a
better ruler. And in this case, he also shows his gratitude for a
treasure truly given from the heart - and in turn gives the couple
their own secret treasure.

There is a wonderful energy in this short story - both in the
descriptions of the dancing and in the spirits of the people as they
celebrate.


Title: My Dear Bandobras · Author: Le Rouret · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond · ID: 818
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-05 18:16:38
I enjoyed the style of this, an intriguing story told through letters
both by and to Legolas. Each letter is told in the voice of the
character writing it and the author has managed to capture Bandobras's
hobbity down to earth style and Legolas's fond yet courtly tone very
well; the supporting characters are equally well done. Through the
letters also come wonderful pictures of Ithilien and the Shire.

An interesting idea and well executed.

Title: The Scars of Stone And Sky · Author: Lady Elina · Times: Late
Third Age: 3018-3022 TA: Gondor · ID: 719
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-05 18:16:58
Not a pairing I usually read but the context that this story was set
in is very believable. The language is lovely and the author is
skilled in her description of emotions and in setting the mood and
scene. Nicely done!

Title: Adrift · Author: fantasyfan · Times: Late Third Age: 3018-3022
TA: Gondor · ID: 313
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-05 18:17:14
This fic is filled with beautiful and evocative language with not a
word wasted. From the light touch upon his senses in the beginning to
his final awaking, Frodo's journey back to awareness is breathtaking.

Excellent!

Title: Conjuror · Author: Branwyn · Races: Men: General Drabble · ID: 432
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-11-05 18:39:03
[this review contains spoilers]

Gosh, what an incredibly powerful, profound and subtle drabble. And
what a treat to stumble across it so unexpectedly.

In this brief sketch of Denethor and Mithrandir, Branwyn has woven
together ideas and words to create one of the best drabbles I have
ever read.

The tense interplay between Denethor and Mithrandir is beautifully
handled in terse, pitch-perfect dialogue. We gain so much knowledge of
their relationship just from this short scene, which is a remarkable
achievement given so few words, as well as their individual
characters. Denethor's strength and pride are clear, while Mithrandir
is his usual maddeningly cryptic self!

The different kinds of kinship between Mithrandir and Sauron are
delicately drawn out. Branwyn touches on both their inherent natures,
of which Mithrandir knows the truth and Denethor perhaps only guesses,
and also on their behaviours, as Denethor perceives them (and, in
truth, Gandalf's shaping of the events of the age is not so far off
the mark). We see here the fertile soil of Denethor's frustration into
which Sauron can plant and nurture the paranoia we find in him in the
book.

The use of the stone to demonstrate the extent and limits of power is
a masterstroke of imagery.

This is a drabble I will keep reading over and over and feel as if can
never truly appreciate all the layers of meaning Branwyn has wrapped
in it. Quite superb. Bravo!


Title: Frodo's Thoughts - Boromir · Author: trikywun · Genres: Drama:
General Drabble · ID: 674
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-11-05 18:47:55
An excellent take on how Frodo perceives the conflict between
Boromir's obligations to Gondor, his obligations to the Fellowship and
the Ringbearer, and his desire for the Ring. I love the sense of
inevitabile doom in Frodo's reasoning, and the way Frodo clearly feels
complicit for bringing this conflict down on Boromir. Very nicely done.

Title: Fire and Ice · Author: NeumeIndil · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA · ID: 318
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-05 19:05:19
There are some wonderful original characters in this story as well as
a nice glimpse of some of the minor characters in Edoras. The author
has created a very realistic universe with this series and this
instalment is one of the best.

Title: Longing · Author: Larner · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond · ID: 468
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-05 19:48:59
I hadn't read the quotes from Tolkien about the nature of lembas
before I found this story. I found the possibilities fascinating. The
author has taken these quotes and what we know of Merry and Pippin's
last days and written a very thoughtful story. I am glad that Faramir
understood in the end.

Title: The Course of Love · Author: Aranel Took · Times: Fourth Age
and Beyond · ID: 179
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-05 19:52:49
I was really pleased to read this sequel to Roots of the Ivy. The
author has created a wonderful universe here, filled with both
familiar characters and original characters that it is impossible not
to be fond of. There is a good mixture of drama and humour and the
dialogue is just right.

Title: Renascence · Author: Kenaz · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond · ID: 577
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-05 20:00:17
This story is beautifully written, the language evocative. The pairing
here comes across as natural and I found myself quite caught up in
this very elvish tale.

Title: Sometime Ever After · Author: Dwimordene · Times: Fourth Age
and Beyond · ID: 363
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-05 20:07:04
Poor Aragorn - it must have been so difficult for him to lose Halbarad
just as he was coming into his own at last. It makes sense that
Halbarad would visit Aragorn in his delirium and likely in other
dreams over the years.

Nice dreamlike quality and strong writing.

Title: Sent Unto Men · Author: Alassiel · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond
· ID: 346
Reviewer: Marigold · 2007-11-05 20:13:13
A beautifully written tale connecting two universes together. Very
moving and thoughtful with quite a pleasant and surprising plot twist.
Tolkien would have liked this very much I think - I certainly did.

Title: Stranger in a strange land · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men:
General Drabble · ID: 695
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-05 20:41:32
Wonderful turnabout here, with Aragorn now the one being honoured and
no longer the one on the outside envisioning the luxuries within and
out of reach. And the fact that he is as uncomfortable in his new
status there as much as he was in years past is very much in Aragorn's
character. He is very much a man with simple desires for all that he
is King.

The writing was very evocative - I could feel the heat and Aragorn's
discomfort. Very well done to set such a vivid scene in so few words.

Title: Dark Vision · Author: White Wolf · Genres: Adventure: Minas
Tirith · ID: 483
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-05 20:41:44
An exciting premise and I enjoyed the depth of the bond between
Aragorn and Legolas.

Title: Four Voices - Autumn, 3018 · Author: annmarwalk · Genres:
Romance: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 756
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-05 20:42:15
Very interesting pairing and the writing is loving and has a quality
of nobleness about it. I especially liked Eomer's part and his vision
of Boromir and Theodred. It's nice to think that Boromir had his lover
waiting for him in death and that they would have a chance to be
together and happy with no further parting.

Title: Kindness Rewarded · Author: White Wolf · Races: Elves:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 494
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-05 20:42:55
A very sweet story but in no way cloying and the writer tells it
simply, as is exactly appropriate for the subject matter. I could
easily see Legolas doing just this and very much liked the connection
he made with the mother bird. This scenario works very well with an
elf as the protagonist and Legolas has definitely made a loyal friend.
I enjoyed this!

Title: The Smile That Wins · Author: Marta · Genres: Romance: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 258
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-05 20:43:43
I enjoyed Faramir's uncertainly in this, a typical young man in love.
He is eager to get to know and to win Eowyn and yet afraid, evidenced
through the metaphor of fire, that she will consume who he is at the
same time.

Very nice example of the uncertainties of love and with an ending that
shows us that there is hope for them.

Title: Family Jewels · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Drama: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 464
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-05 20:44:21
Faramir's nobility really shines through here. His true nature has
always been to strive to do and understand that which is *just* and
*right* and I found the natural progression of his growing wisdom to
be very realistic and believable. It is easy to imagine from his
change of perspective here how he will continue to gain wisdom as he ages.

I enjoyed seeing him here, happy and content with his life and family.

Title: Some Dark Place · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 226
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-05 20:44:56
I had often considered just when in his past Aragorn had his initial
close altercation with the Nazgul and I enjoyed this description of
that first brush with them very much. Aragorn is written very well
here, very human despite his heritage, an aspect of his character that
I appreciate in LotR and the writer has managed to capture that
humanism here very well. His relationship with Halbarad is also very
well depicted.

I appreciated the realism here - the writer does not overgrandise
Aragorn's abilities by having him defeat the Nazul; rather he only
just escapes with his life and not without aid. Also, the writer
doesn't worry about offending the readers sensibilities in regard to
Aragorn's involuntary physical reaction but just tells it like it was.
I don't have any doubt that Aragorn might have reacted just this way,
that the terror of the altercation could have affected him physically
as well as emotionally. This doesn't lessen the nobility of Aragorn's
character in the least, but rather adds to it as in later years he
will face them again without hesitation, despite the fact that this
initial experience was so overwhelming.

Like Marigold, I also felt that Aragorn's very real terror here adds
to his future heroism at Weathertop and gives even more understanding
of the heroism of the other characters that later will face the
Nazgul. In my next reading of these sections of the Book I too will
have even more respect for any character that comes in contact with
any of the Nine.


Title: Beginnings · Author: Gwynnyd · Genres: Romance: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 503
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-05 20:45:38
I liked this short ficlet very much. There is nothing one dimensional
about Eowyn here - she is captured very well in all of her complexity.
She is noble and commanding and yet also caring and nurturing. When
she sent the pot to Faramir I couldn't help but think that she would
have done so irregardless of her unadmitted feelings towards him.
Indeed, at this time those feelings may not have even begun to grow
and she may have seen Faramir as nothing more than another invalid in
need of comforting ease as she was herself and she has the compassion
within herself to provide that for him, a near stranger still.

The difference in the healing teas seemed symbolic of the differences
between Minas Tirith and Rohan. The City being hard and bitter through
long hardships and Rohan being more free and wild and where there is
still sweetness on the open rolling plains.

Very nice!

Title: The Odd Couple · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres: Romance:
Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 270
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-05 20:46:45
The last line of these was totally unexpected!

Title: Fell and Fair · Author: Elena Tiriel · Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 526
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-05 20:47:09
This is a highly original series and I am impressed at the ability the
writer has to write so many pov's so very well. I especially enjoyed
the deft use of nuances of language.

Msg# 8419

Wrong link? Posted by Imhiriel November 16, 2007 - 18:34:02 Topic ID# 8419
Hello,

I'm unable to access the story "Living Tales" by Pippinfan88 (ID
#806). The link directs me to a page which says I have to login to
access the desired page, which is, I think, against the MEFA rules.

Although I do have an account for ffnet, even when I try to log in,
the page doesn't open because of an "exception error".

Imhiriel

Msg# 8420

Helpful Information: Review Statuses Posted by aure\_enteluva November 16, 2007 - 19:37:45 Topic ID# 8420
Hey guys,

There's about six weeks left to vote for the 2007 MEFAs. That's still
plenty of time to start voting if you want to. So if you still have a
long list of stories you want to review you don't have to panic.

That said, it's not too soon to start thinking about the status you've
giving your reviews. These statuses control when your review is
displayed, when you can edit it, and whether it is counted. You can
give your review one of three reviews:

DRAFT reviews are not counted. They are never visible to anyone
besides you and award administrators. You can edit them at any point,
but if you want them to count or be shown to other members, you need
to change their status to Hidden or Final.

HIDDEN reviews are counted. They can be edited through the end of
voting on December 30, and they will be displayed to everyone else at
that time.

FINAL reviews are displayed in the final few months of the awards.
Final reviews began displaying on our website on October 1, and new
ones submitted will display as soon as they're submitted. They'll be
counted. But you can't edit final reviews once they're submitted. (If
you had entered a final review before October 1, you wouldn't have
been able to edit it beginning October 1.)

So which type of review you want to use depends a lot on what you want
to do.

- Draft is good for keeping story notes that you might want to
eventually turn into a review, but where you wouldn't want anyone else
to see them in their current form. Remember, your review won't give
the story any points unless you change the review to a hidden or final
review.

- Hidden should be used for reviews you might want to edit before the
end of the awards, but that you also would be happy to have them
counted (and displayed) as-is if you don't get a chance to do that.

- Some people also use hidden reviews to ration out their reviews. If
you think your authors are likely to check for new reviews regularly
throughout the course of reviews, you may want to make your reviews
visible in small batches. To do this, enter them all as hidden and
change them over to final whenever you're ready for them to be displayed.

- Final reviews should be used when you're ready for the review to
display, and you know you won't want to edit it later.

You can edit a review's status the same way you edit the review
itself. Log in to http://www.mefawards.net/MEFA2007/ and click the
"Browse Nominated Stories" link. Find the story you reviewed and click
the "Edit [draft/hidden/final] Review" link on the right side of the page.

There's no way to reset multiple reviews' status at once, but you can
*display* all of the stories you've entered a certain type of review
for. To do this use the "Review Status" filter on the "Browse
Nominated Stories page.

That's a lot of information, so let me boil it down to two key points.
If you've read this far and remember nothing else, remember this:

1. If you would like your draft review to "count" (give points to the
story you're reviewing), you need to change its status to either
hidden or final by December 30.

2. If you have a hidden review you don't want to be displayed to
everyone, you need to change its status to draft by December 30.

Hopefully this information will help make reviewing easier. If you
aren't sure what status to use, just ask, either here or by emailing
mefasupport(at)gmail(dot)com.

Happy reviewing!

Marta
(MEFA Admin)

Msg# 8421

Re: Wrong link? Posted by Marta Layton November 16, 2007 - 20:42:49 Topic ID# 8419
Imhiriel wrote:
>
>
> Hello,
>
> I'm unable to access the story "Living Tales" by Pippinfan88 (ID
> #806). The link directs me to a page which says I have to login to
> access the desired page, which is, I think, against the MEFA rules.
>
> Although I do have an account for ffnet, even when I try to log in,
> the page doesn't open because of an "exception error".
>
> Imhiriel
>

Hi Imhiriel,

The link the author provided was to the page the author goes to in order
to edit the story. Liaisons try to catch as much of this stuff as
possible, but with so many stories, sometimes these kinds of things slip
through.

The correct link is:

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3025633/5/Hobbit_Tales

I will change the link over at the website and email the author to let
her know about the change.

Marta

Msg# 8422

MEFA Reviews for November 17, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 17, 2007 - 5:06:50 Topic ID# 8422
Title: Calm after the Storm · Author: Imhiriel · Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 350
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-05 20:47:43
One thing that really struck me about this ficlet is that without
directly saying so, it is obvious from the author's descriptions that
Imrahil is a person of importance. If a reader did not know already
that Imrahil was noble there would be no question after reading this
because his nobilty is implied by his very actions and attitude.The
author doesn't go the route of many others and spell out things that
we know already and so is able to use her limited word allocation for
stunning and realistic descriptions that add depth and interest. Very
good!

Title: A Quadrabble for Sam · Author: agape4gondor · Genres: Drama:
Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 397
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-05 20:48:01
I liked very much how concerned those among the great that were in
attendance worried over Sam. The last line was very in character.

Title: Mettare Duties · Author: Marta · Genres: Romance: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 647
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-05 20:48:21
I especially enjoyed the reference to the horsemanship training. Eowyn
is still her own person, spurning convention and willing to encourage
other young girls to follow paths of their own choosing.

Title: Sarn Gebir · Author: agape4gondor · Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 398
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-05 20:48:48
The author captures Boromir very well here, especially his
uncomfortable relationship with Aragorn. Boromir defers to his
rightful lord but only so far; when action can no longer wait he takes
the initiative, as he has been used to doing all of his life.

My favourite part of this series was Boromir's obvious concern for the
hobbits - that the arrow nearly striking Merry was the final impetous
he needed to manage that final burst of strength to turn the boat.

A very good character study!


Title: The River of Stars · Author: Marta · Races: Men: General
Drabble · ID: 412
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-05 20:49:06
The author paints a vivid picture here of the costs of war - death and
the destruction of beauty. The imagery is very well done and evocative
and it's clear that this will not be a conflict easily resolved, to
everyone's detriment.

Title: Under the Eyes of the Evenstar · Author: Raksha the Demon ·
Genres: Drama: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 680
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-05 20:49:33
I had never before thought about a meeting between Boromir and Arwen
and that Arwen must have regarded Boromir with some reservations due
to her relationship with Aragorn. That she would do so makes perfect
sense.

The nobilty of both characters is well done and each is noble in a
different way as is appropriate.

Title: All in a Day's Work · Author: Gwynnyd · Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 421
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-05 20:50:19
Imrahil is portrayed as quite the swashbuckling hero in this series! I
really enjoyed the very different type of hero that he is here on the
sea, in his element and amongst his own folk in contrast to his
courtly Book behaviour at the Pelennor, forced to fight on land. The
descriptions here give a nice contrast between Imrahil of the sea and
Imrahil tied to the earth.

Title: Rekindling · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: General Drabble ·
ID: 688
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-05 20:51:01
An excellent drabble! I liked the characterisation of Theoden here
very much, a strong ruler observing time-honoured traditions for his
people and also for the comfort of his young neice and nephew, seeking
to make them feel secure in their new familial relationship by giving
them a part to play. Before he succumbed to Grima's whisperings he was
obviously a very caring and loving uncle to these two and a good
father to Theodred. I have no doubt that he would have taken Theodred
aside first to explain why he was passing over him and allowing Eomer
and Eowyn to carry out the ritual.

Title: A Life Between - No Secrets · Author: Elen Kortirion · Races:
Men: General Drabble · ID: 446
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-05 20:51:23
The intimacy between Boromir and Theodred is well described - they are
clearly in love and not merely lovers. The knowledge that the other
could die at any time must have been a terrible burden for them each
to bear.

Title: Sea King; Seeking · Author: Tanaqui · Genres: Drama: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 689
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-05 20:52:23
An excellent example of how a person's destiny and desires can affect
those around them and that no one can really be changed by the wishes
of another. We are who we are and can't be forced into a mould of
another's desire of what they would like us to be.

Excellent pov's all around and excellent progression.

Title: Reconcilation · Author: Dwimordene · Genres: Drama · ID: 86
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-11-06 04:13:51
I spent a very pleasant afternoon re-reading Reconciliation. After
all, what can be better than someone you trust taking your characters
and writing good stories about them? Dwimordene answers a question in
Unabeauverse that I hadn't had time to get around to and does it
wonderfully well-how is it that Andrahar not only reconciles but
eventually becomes friends with one of the esquires who attacks him in
Kin-Strife. That process isn't completed here by any means, but the
seeds of the future relationship are sown.

She adds lots of good detail (which I intend to shamelessly
appropriate!) about how the Swan Knights train their esquires, and
fleshes out Andrahar's cultural background, including his views on
religion, his language and Gondor's bewildering differences,
particularly its more fluid social structure, so unlike Harad's more
ordered castes. He is still, despite his recent knighting, the odd man
out here, the warrior from the enemy culture regarded with suspicion
by his fellow Swan Knights, fighting to win a place for himself other
than that of the oddity tolerated because of Imrahil's friendship. And
he is still very much fighting his desire for his oath-brother. Add to
that his superiors' request that he somehow advance the reconciliation
between himself and Elethil and Peloren, and that he teach his native
tongue to the esquires who dislike him, and you have one stressed-out
young man.

My characters all ring true here and Dwim adds some good ones of her
own. Aldan, the valorous man-at-arms called up from the foot to try to
become a Swan Knight is a particular favorite. Older than the other
esquires, and of lowly birth, he is a good, common-sense foil for the
angst-ridden Elethil and Peloren, who have been allowed to come back
to the Swan Knights after spending a year in the foot as penance for
the attack upon Andrahar. This is a historical precedent for the Swan
Knights and their fellow esquires seem to be determined to drive them
away once more. Harthil, an instructor in Haradric who turns out to be
something more, is also a memorable creation, but in a more sinister way.



Title: The Great Hobbiton Race 1435 · Author: Llinos · Races: Hobbits:
Incomplete · ID: 83
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-06 04:33:06
[some plot spoilers ahead]


This is a rip-roaring good time of a story; sheer fun from start to
middle and presumably on to the end when it is written.

Some fifteen years after the Ring War, Merry and Pippin bring
technology back to the Shire, in the form of ...[The Great Steam
Vapour Spindle Activated Vegetation Dissection and Lubrication
Apparatus]. I kid you not; that's what the new lawn-mowing machine is
called. The dwarves in Dale, who apparently manufactured this
technological marvel, were evidently quite serious about naming it.

Merry and Pippin are like children with a new toy; excited and happy
to show off their new gizmo and use it for the benefit of the Shire;
but they really have little idea how to manage the machine. A race is
set up to prove the thing's usefulness, between Merry and Pippin
driving the machine on one side of the party field, and Sam and his
son Frodo-lad on the other, to see who can mow more grass. And therein
hangs a very funny tale.

I loved it when Sam referred to the machine as a "thingamabob". The
other hobbits' reactions to the new marvel are also funny and very
much in character. And the adventures of Merry and Pippin as they try
to operate a machine whose workings they really don't understand very
well are hilarious.

Highly enjoyable, and thoroughly hobbity! I can't wait to see how the
story ends.

Title: Sea Food · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Humor: Children · ID: 53
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-06 05:15:45
[spoiler alert]

This is truly heartwarming story concerning young Boromir and
Faramir's visit to Uncle Imrahil. Their uncle takes them fishing for
crabs and they catch a good many, but the boys insist on freeing them
rather than taking them home to eat. I thought this a lovely
foreshadowing of the compassion that adult Faramir will show towards
those in need. I loved the dreamy atmosphere of this charming story.

Title: Some Dark Place · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 226
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-06 05:22:04
[spoiler alert]

This is an interesting attempt to show why Aragorn speaks of the
Nazgul with such fear to the Hobbits,though to give the Ranger soon to
be King credit,he bravely fights them off. This story shows his first
encounter with the dread creatures and the fear they inspired in
him,though he somehow managed to fight them off.

I'm not sure if anything would produce such physical reactions in
Aragorn as described here,but then I never met a Black Rider! I liked
the ay Halbarad cares for his young chieftain.

Title: Go Out in Joy · Author: Larner · Genres: Alternate Universe:
The Shire or Buckland · ID: 145
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-06 05:27:06
[spoiler alert]

This story answers the question what if Frodo had chosen to stay in
the Shire and turned down the chance to sail West? In this version,
the Hobbit is unable to survive in Middle- earth and bids a deeply
moving farewell to his friends.

I liked it that Aragorn came to be with him at the end,though I'm not
sure the King would be so loath to enter the Shire,years before he
passed the law forbidding Men to set foot there.

It turns out his presence is much needed to tend Frodo and free him
from a hidden evil .

I am certain few readers can read Frodo's death scene without a tear
in the eye.

Title: Vocabulary Lessons · Author: Larner · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Gondor · ID: 521
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-06 05:31:58
[spoiler alert]

This original and amusing story shows the writer's wide range of
talents and I enjoyed reading it greatly.

A proud and haughty young lord comes to pay his respects to the new
King, though his attitude suggests,he thinks the King should bow down
to him!

The young man encounters first Frodo and Sam, without knowing who they
are and shows scant respect for them,or even the King himself when
Aragorn appears in less than kingly guise.

This story suggests Aragorn will have his hands full with some of the
Gondorian nobility.I do not envy him at all!

Title: Longing · Author: Larner · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond · ID: 468
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-06 05:35:23
[spoiler alert]

I learned something new in this story as I had no idea that in his
other writings,Tolkien said that lembas is dangerous to mortals as it
gives them sea longing.That makes sense,when one considers the
ultimate fates of the Fellowship,as only Aragorn does not seem
restless. Pippin's son must have been very puzzled why his father felt
he had to leave to spend his last days in Gondor.

Title: Green Magic · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres: Crossover ·
ID: 312
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-06 05:56:38
A well written and haunting story set in our own times which leaves
the Reader feeling profoundly unsettled.

Title: The Captain and the King · Author: plasticChevy · Genres:
Alternate Universe: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 738
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-06 05:59:20
An interesting AU giving a diffrent angle on the oft asked
question,what if Boromir survided? A treat for angst lovers.

Title: Blackest Fate · Author: Branwyn · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 -
3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 476
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-06 06:07:16
[spoiler alert]

I loved this dark drabble about the suffering of Mordor's captives and
how they help and support each other.The twist at the end catches the
reader entirely off balance,yet the identidy of the captives could not
be more apt,especially as Tolkien mentions their capture.

Title: None may live now as they have lived · Author: Tanaqui · Times:
Late Third Age: 3018-3022 TA: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 687
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-06 06:11:09
[spoiler warning]

A deeply moving and beautifully written drabble showing a moment
between Aragorn and Arwen before he leaves with the Fellowship when he
gives her farewell messages for his men.

Aragorn fears he may never return and both know the cost should the
mission fail .

The drabble ends on a note of hope as Arwen encourages her beloved and
maybe glimpses the future ahead.

Title: A Suitable Tribute · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Drama · ID: 474
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-06 06:14:44
[spoiler alert]
I liked this very much, both in what it tells us about Aragorn and the
young woman. As King, Aragorn is entiteled to tribute and needs it to
run Gondor,but he will not let his people suffer or go hungry to
provide it.

A young woman has no idea what she could give but has an idea by the
end of this charming drabble.

Title: The Blue Book of Bilbo Baggins, or, Tales of the Forbidden
Silmarillion · Author: Gandalfs apprentice/Greywing CoAuthors ·
Genres: Alternate Universe · ID: 195
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2007-11-06 06:22:31
What a wonderful reworking of the Silmarillion stories. The Blue Book
presents an "alternative" rendering of the Silmarillion canon. In
Gandalfs Apprentice (most of the writing) and Greywing's (artwork and
a short fic) hands, Tolkien's myths become satirical fairy tales. They
borrow from every type of mythology available: Greek myth, the
Brother's Grimm, Shrek (what??), and, much to my surprise and delight
the legend of Pelehonuamea. There is lots of implied sexuality for
anyone who thought the Silmarillion too dry and puritanical. No
Tolkien character is safe from the authors' pens. No fanfic flight of
fancy is safe from their pens. L.A.C.E. is definitely not safe from
their pens.

The authors save the best for last, a pseudo-scholarly review of the
"Blue Book" that takes the skewer to all those scholarly
interpretations of Tolkien that people like me sometimes read in spite
of themselves. Good job, Gandalfs Apprentice and Greywing.

Title: Under the Ring · Author: Holdur · Races: Hobbits: Vignette ·
ID: 215
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-11-06 17:52:19
Very interesting characterizations here, and interesting to examine
the more subtle effects of the Ring on Frodo and the general stress
and mourning for Gandalf, on all of them.

Title: Building the Future · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Mid Third Age:
2851 - 3017 TA: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 644
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-11-06 19:12:01
I do love drabble series such as this. Each one is a separate story of
its own, that can stand without the rest of the episodes and still
make sense, but as a whole they build upon and resonate with each
other beautifully.

The stage is set in the first drabble, where we are shown Dale being
slowly reborn. It is perfect in its detail: the men arriving first,
providing the basics for survival, while the women come after,
bringing civilization. Bard's belated realization that every family is
flourishing but his feels apt and in character for the man I've
envisioned.

What follows are his attempts to rectify the situation, and sycophants
and flatters need not apply. I really couldn't see the grim-voiced man
who disdained the corrupt Master of Esgaroth falling for fluttery and
finery, so his attraction to the plain-but-practical also felt wholly
right. Too, he is given enough similarities and parallels with Aragorn
that I liked this female contrast to Arwen.

Her response to his summons is well-handled and shows her worthiness
to be his partner in Dale's future, as well as making clear that she
weds the man and not the position. The ending is sweet and charming -
my favorite part being Bard's plea, ["Will you have me even so?"] and
that big grin upon seeing his intended.

There is much left to explore - not many authors attempt fics set in
Erebor. Personally, I hope Tanaqui takes us up to Bard's last stand,
and beyond.

Msg# 8423

MEFA Reviews for November 17, 2007 (Part 2) Posted by Ann November 17, 2007 - 5:08:50 Topic ID# 8423
Title: First Flight · Author: Isabeau of Greenlea · Times: Mid Third
Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 513
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-11-07 00:35:45
I have always enjoyed the great Eagles from Isabeau's Hethverse. We
haven't seen them for some time in the current storyline, though, so
little episodes like this are a wonderful fix for me. Isabeau has
fleshed out both canon and semi-canonical individuals, giving them
unique personalities without overly anthropomorphizing, IMHO: they
are, in the end, still the majestic Eagles of Tolkien's vision, with
their own separate and consistent racial characteristics.

As so often, Isabeau mixes humor into a touching and uplifting story,
one that backfills a bit of history for a well-known Eagle family. The
light tone does not override the lovely character development,
however. Radagast is very well utilized and given an ideal personality
for his Maian role; his insights into the family dynamics and
exchanges with the Eagles are delightful in their own right.

But best of all, we see Gwaenaur, her husband and their sons at a very
critical moment in the life of a young Eagle. The different ways that
these much-loved brothers approach it are completely in tune with
their very disparate personalities, and the highlighting of Gwaihir's
name a perfect ending. Although it does make me wonder what
"Landroval" might mean...

Title: Wings · Author: ErinRua · Genres: Romance: With Rohirrim · ID: 9
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-07 05:28:44
[Spoilers for plot details]

This is a lovely piece of work; lyrical and credible. Eomer, in love
with Lothiriel, sees the sea for the first time, in Dol Amroth with
Imrahil.

Eomer is a son of a kingdom that prizes the spoken word as much as the
written; and here we see that he has hidden depths of poetic fancy
within him, called forth by the sight of something so grand and
mysterious that he finds it hard to fully comprehend it, but yet
embraces it fully, much as he embraces his love for Lothiriel. The
literal and figurative broadening of Eomer's horizons is well-handled
here. A nice additional theme is the mutual admiration of Eomer and
Imrahil that deepens here into a son/father relationship.

I love the way the first and last paragraphs mirror each other with
the mention of the gulls; and the following line is particularly pretty:

[He hurled his heart to the wind and the sea, and the laughter of a
king spiraled skyward on the tilting of gulls' wings.]

Title: The Dancer · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Drama: Minas Tirith ·
ID: 150
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-07 05:57:02
[Warning - Plot Spoilers Ahead]


This is so sad; poor Irilde, loved Denethor, saw him love another,
built a good life with a worthy man, and then lost husband and sons.
At least Denethor had two sons that survived, something to delight his
old age. And yet, Irilde is not a pathetic victim; she seems to accept
and go on and fail to despair.

Great descriptions of Denethor as a handsome and charismatic young man.

Title: Heart's Blood · Author: ChristineX · Genres: Romance · ID: 709
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2007-11-07 07:02:36
Ah, nothing like a heart pounding romance between a lovely Noldor
elleth with a death wish and Sauron. That's right, Mr. Dark Lord
himself. "Hearts Blood" is a Middle Earth version of the currently
popular dark romance genre, in which an innocent young girl finds love
in the arms of a mythic villian. You can't get much better (worse?)
than Sauron, who at first courts lovely Lithiniel only in her dreams.

ChristineX isteeps her prose with lush descriptive text appropriate to
this gothic, over-the-top tale. Though the love story sometimes gets a
bit too predictable, Christine's description of every day life in
Barad-Dur is quite imaginative. This is a good story for those hungry
for villian lover romances and anyone who wished Christine had chosen
the Phantom.




Title: Elements: Dreams of the Dead, Visions of the Living · Author:
pipkinsweetgrass · Genres: Alternate Universe: The Shire or Buckland ·
ID: 202
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-07 14:48:24
[spoiler warnings]

I really enjoyed this series of vignettes about Pippin, Merry, and the
rest of the Fellowship. Your image of Pippin's and Merry's care for
one another was touching in its own, and I loved your discussion about
what Boromir learned from the hobbits. But where the story really
takes off is your treatment of Tolkien's claim that it was rumored the
Tooks had taken a fairy wife at some time. Tolkien says that the blood
of Numenor ran true in Faramir and Denethor but not in Boromir, so I
found it fascinating that a very similar thing was happening with
Pippin. And the consequences of that blood were well-handled.

A most enjoyable tale - first-rate Fellowship writing, but with a twist.

Title: Graceful and Green · Author: Alawa · Genres: Drama: Ithilien ·
ID: 62
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-11-07 15:33:29
Even now, over a year since I first read this, the mere sight of the
title conjures up beautiful and moving imagery. It is one of those
stories that fits so seamlessly into Tolkien's universe that I'll be
imagining it in the background whenever I read the books. More, the
author has filled a gap that I didn't even realize was there, and yet
is obvious in hindsight.

Sam is perhaps one of the most poignant and revealing PoVs that could
be chosen to tell this tale, with his unflinching honesty, plain
"working-Hobbit" speech, and his personal war demons to come to terms
with - some shared and some wholly his. Alawa has taken this character
and made him her own, giving us a pitch-perfect voice that brings me
to tears by the end, and has me repeatedly nodding in agreement,
sniffling or chuckling over his observations. And he is not the only
one: all the characterizations are uniformly well done.

This is also a story that bears several rereadings; at least each time
I read it I have been gifted with more insights. It is densely packed
with details and references, but still flows along smoothly:
uncontrived and clear connections being formed and reformed through
Sam's meandering but brightly truthful perspective. The reflective
tone of the story is consistent and beautifully managed throughout,
leading up to a wonderful moment within Henneth Annun and an ending
that binds the various elements together into one shining, brilliant
whole. The entire story feels right and perfect - something like this
must have happened, and Alawa's vision is one marvelous possible answer.

Title: In This These Days of Glory: From Spring to Autumn · Author:
Dana · Races: Hobbits: Gapfiller · ID: 568
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-07 19:05:49
Ah, but it's been a time since I read this--the Time of Troubles from
the points of view of Lotho, Rosie, Folco, and several others, as
Lotho sees himself rising and foresees himself falling; as others see
the changes wrought by Lotho's giving himself to the evil pressed on
him by "Mr. White."

Yes, a dark time darkly told, the feelings of each individual palpable,

until the Light returned and Frodo came back, the one event each had
found himself or herself hoping for, even in the end....

Title: Drink Down the Sun · Author: Michelle · Races: Men: Eriador or
Rivendell · ID: 355
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-07 19:15:17
Perhaps the best Aragorn's birth story I've come across--how does one
feel when a child is born safely? For Arathorn, who has foreseen his
child as an adult, it is as if he has indeed drunk the sun, filling
himself with Anor's light....

Very real, very heartwarming.

Superbly written.

Title: Stone from Above · Author: Thundera Tiger · Races: Men · ID: 284
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-07 19:28:52
A marvelous tale of sacrifice, even if Hama was indeed already dying
as he recognized. But if his own death would leave the Light of a King
Returned for the future....

The desperation to see that last boulder dropped to the consternation
of Saruman's Uruks and Aragorn's safety is so well written!

Title: The Dryad · Author: Imhiriel · Times: Late Third Age: 3018-3022
TA: General Drabble · ID: 71
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-11-07 19:30:22
The entire concept of this drabble rings right and true. The author
manages once again to take a single curious allusion and weaves an
entire lustrous image out of it, with depth and beauty and a
compelling resonance with my personal vision of Arda. These may not be
Tolkien's words, but to me they capture the elemental nature of his world.

Although Imhiriel notes this is potentially AU, I'm not thrown off by
the idea of a dryad in Tolkien's universe. My goodness, with canon
spirits as ambiguous as Bombadil and Goldberry, and the Ents taking
care of partially sentient trees? The dryad fits right into the
mythology. Best of all, her existence provides a reason behind the
resolute loveliness of Ithilien. By all rights it should have been
completely despoiled by centuries of being hard against Mordor: Orcs
roaming throughout, streams that pour right off the Ephel Duath,
perpetually in the Shadow. The dryad's determined resistance not only
offers cover to her land's more mobile protectors, but no doubt
permeates even into their subconscious understanding. (And I love the
symmetry of Ithilien's tree-like guardian guarding her human Guardians!)

Then at the end, Tolkien's own words about Faramir echo through the
dryad's impression, perfectly capturing the Captain's character. It
makes it even more appropriate that this cherished Man becomes Prince
of her realm, for surely to him and his people the dryad will grant
blessing and benediction. Truly a magnificent work, Imhiriel!

Title: Magical Mystical Cave · Author: Lily · Races: Hobbits: Children
· ID: 213
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-07 19:41:30
Once Frodo led Merry, age five, through mystical caverns of the
imagination, facing great falls, dragons (Merry would have preferred
unicorns), and trolls (or is it a centaur?).

A marvelous look at how Frodo's imagination fired that of both, and at
how play is as natural in its way to adults as to children.

Lovely work.

Title: Are You Going to Leave Me? · Author: Llinos · Genres: Drama:
With Merry · ID: 142
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-07 20:04:41
How it was that Merry, in movie-verse, came to be found under the
troll, healed by Aragorn, and to run at the side of Pippin, first
after Aragorn at the Battle before the Black Gate.

Not Llinos's usual humor; marvelous in its telling nevertheless.

Title: Woven in Friendship · Author: SlightlyTookish · Races:
Cross-Cultural: With Pippin · ID: 290
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-07 20:09:59
A tapestry of Eorl the Young, come to lead his folk to the needs of
Gondor, leads Pippin to memories of Boromir's horn, and a wish that
sparks a gift from Eomer and Eowyn to their smallest Swordthain.

Quiet yet powerful moment well told.

Title: Beginnings · Author: Gwynnyd · Genres: Romance: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 503
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-07 20:21:47
The healers of the Houses of Healing are most skilled and learned, but
it appears there is much they could yet learn from the folk of Rohan;
and perhaps a better brew for willowbark tea is among them. And so
Eowyn offers her first gift beyond her company to Faramir.

Lovely!

Title: Kissing Hope · Author: Linda hoyland · Genres: Romance: Drabble
· ID: 574
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-07 20:24:56
Yes, Hope he has been and continues to be, and now he is her Hope as
well. A gentle moment between future King and Queen as they take leave
of one another--with a kiss.

Title: Bathing Boromir · Author: Marta · Genres: Humor: Drabble · ID: 645
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-07 20:26:56
Ah, but he would be a delectable sight--and experience! No wonder so
many wish to help him bathe! But there's always one to insist on
decorum! Rats!

A joy to read.

Title: Journey's End · Author: Altariel · Genres: Drama: Ithilien ·
ID: 442
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-11-07 20:48:04
Ah, this story is so lovely and understated and beautiful, with the
trademark Altariel ability to turn out a plethora of magical phrases
and descriptions: ["impossible courtesy", "fellow fools and hopefuls",
"soft grey speech", "a smile of unusual and vivid beauty";] and the
entirety of the heart-breaking paragraph that starts ["Oh, but these
new songs..."], to name a few. Marvelous tone and writing throughout,
and an ending that leaves me deeply contented.

Eilen's voice is extremely well done. She is calm and matter-of-fact
about the tragedies and triumphs of life, still sympathetic and kind
despite the trials she and her husband have endured. It is the mindset
required of someone brave and (yes) foolhardy enough to help resettle
once-abandoned and still dangerous lands. The piecemeal and casual way
that her own full story is told fits perfectly with her characterization.

I didn't guess at the identity of the rangers until the end, and my
suspicions (borne out by the responses of the vast majority of readers
*g*) do add an additional layer of enjoyment for me, watching two
well-loved individuals interact. But in the end, it really doesn't
matter who they are: for me, the emotional impact comes almost
entirely from Eilen and the settlers' stories and daily courage, and
the blessed peace of the Fourth Age they "woke up" to one day. Such a
wonderful, wonderful ground-level view of the Average Man meeting
adversity head on and still wanting to ["begin the dance again"].

The ends of many journeys are contained within: the end of evil, and
peace finally realized in Ithilien; the victorious struggle of
tenacious settlers from war to prosperity; and of dreams accomplished
for our beloved pair of Rangers.

Title: Perturbation of Fate · Author: Rhapsody · Genres: Drama:
General Drabble · ID: 428
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-08 01:54:55
This story has some exquisite imagery, from [Osse's sheltering arms]
to the whisper of the sea - it makes for a very vivid image, which
works very well for Maglor's role as bard. Nice work, Rhapsody.

Title: A Mother's Touch · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Humor:
Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 44
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-08 02:53:08
Cute! This is a fun image of Smaug, and a good job of getting in lots
of dragony details. Truly the maternal instinct runs in all kinds of
species - even dragons.

Title: In Shadow Realm · Author: Legolass · Genres: Adventure · ID: 266
Reviewer: aralas · 2007-11-08 03:48:01
I have to bow to Legolass' genius in creating this almost epic tale.
The most outstanding feature of her writing is that she has woven a
fantastic yet believable story around one tiny detail in the books
that most people would have glossed over and not given a second
thought. The premis of her story is supportive of those in the books,
and the one AU element she incorporates into the story, even if
clearly AU, does not offend the canonical premises at all. It
astonishes me how she has incorporated several events from canon into
her original plot, bringing the readers back along well-trodden paths
we all love, revisiting the deeds of Aragorn, Legolas, Sam, Frodo and
the rest of the Fellowship during the Quest of the Ring, while letting
us revel in the excitement of new and unexpected developments. The
love she has for the well-known characters shines through every word,
while her OCs are wonderfully alive. As in her other stories, the deep
friendship between Aragorn and Legolas is not only poignantly
portrayed but is central to the story. In this story, their bonds with
numerous other characters - notably the other members of the
Fellowship, as well as Celeborn - also play an important role. The
active involvement of Celeborn in particular delights me, as we hardly
see him in a significant, meaty role elsewhere. The dialogs between
the characters - especially those between Aragorn and Legolas, between
Legolas and Celeborn at the end, and (I must mention this) the one
between Gimli and Elladan earlier on in the story - are superbly
articulated to drive home important points about unique
characteristics of each Race and the inter-racial relationships. This
is SO much more than an adventure story. All in all: a MUST READ!

Title: The Days of the King · Author: Randomrattle · Genres: Drama:
With Aragorn · ID: 399
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-08 05:08:32
A sweet tale, if somewhat sad, and filled with mysticism. Love that
I'm not the only one to consider the manner in which water is
introduced into the city of Minas Tirith.

Title: Conjuror · Author: Branwyn · Races: Men: General Drabble · ID: 432
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-08 05:11:59
Ah, Denethor fails to recognize the greatest difference between
Mithrandir and Sauron, that the former offers choice while the latter
would steal all choice away, imposing his own will on all. Like the
old story, the Wizard sells not solutions but seeds the purchaser must
nurture himself to bring them to fruition.

A good deal of punch once more in a small story.

Title: An Apple for Your Thoughts? · Author: Demus · Races:
Cross-Cultural: The Fellowship · ID: 716
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-08 05:15:10
Wonderful to see another who has been as inspired by Baylor as I was.
A wonderful tale in the mode of ["The Care and Feeding of Hobbits"] in
which once more Boromir learns the intricacies of Shire relationships,
this time from Frodo. I've had folks offer a blossom for thoughts,
while Frodo offers an apple.

And the interaction between Merry and Pippin as they work out the
anxieties of the day is marvelous.

Title: Summer Daze · Author: Marta · Genres: Romance: Pre-Ring War ·
ID: 471
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2007-11-08 06:11:16
This boy's deflowering tale is sweetly charming while taking on the
very controversial topic of sexuality in Middle Earth. Marta presents
us with a Gondor that has houses of prostitution and a young Faramir
painfully in the throes of teenaged boy horniness. The world of
"Summer Daze" is not a world of the ideal of courtly love or of
Victorian morality, which some Tolkien scholars have attributed to the
works of JRRT. Instead, in "Summer Daze" Marta creates a realistic,
not mythic, world, where people have occupations and Steward's sons
don't wait until they marry to lose their virginity. I applauded
Faramir in his awkward attempts to deal with his urges.

And thank you, Marta, for taking on the honorable Faramir, fairy tale
chaste Gondor fanon. I strongly agree with Marta's approach, myself,
but any fanfic aficionado with an open mind can appreciate this fine
story.

Title: Of the Silmarils · Author: Isil Elensar · Races: Elves:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 111
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2007-11-08 06:21:35
Am eery drabble series that deftly captures the beauty of the
Silmarils and their deadly affect on those that saw them. Feanor feels
their power as he creates them and their pull as the Valar endow the
jewels with a frightening fate their creator never could have imagined.

Msg# 8424

Re: Wrong link? Posted by Imhiriel November 17, 2007 - 8:32:29 Topic ID# 8419
Posted by: "Marta Layton" melayton@gmail.com aure_enteluva

> The link the author provided was to the page the author goes to in order
> to edit the story. Liaisons try to catch as much of this stuff as
> possible, but with so many stories, sometimes these kinds of things slip
> through.
>
> The correct link is:
>
> http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3025633/5/Hobbit_Tales
>
> I will change the link over at the website and email the author to let
> her know about the change.

Thanks, Marta. This had me confused for quite a while, so I'm glad it
was just a "normal" oversight...

Imhiriel

Msg# 8425

Re: Wrong link? Posted by Marta Layton November 17, 2007 - 23:57:08 Topic ID# 8419
Imhiriel wrote:
>
>
> Posted by: "Marta Layton" melayton@gmail.com
> <mailto:melayton%40gmail.com> aure_enteluva
>
> > The link the author provided was to the page the author goes to in order
> > to edit the story. Liaisons try to catch as much of this stuff as
> > possible, but with so many stories, sometimes these kinds of things slip
> > through.
> >
> > The correct link is:
> >
> > http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3025633/5/Hobbit_Tales
> <http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3025633/5/Hobbit_Tales>
> >
> > I will change the link over at the website and email the author to let
> > her know about the change.
>
> Thanks, Marta. This had me confused for quite a while, so I'm glad it
> was just a "normal" oversight...
>
> Imhiriel
>

Hi Imhiriel,

Not a problem. Thanks for catching it! If you come across any other
trickssy links, please let me know so I can investigate.

Marta

Msg# 8426

MEFA Reviews for November 18, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 18, 2007 - 4:48:56 Topic ID# 8426
Title: Of Echoes of Bruinen · Author: Berzerker Prime · Races: Elves ·
ID: 345
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2007-11-08 06:36:12
An interesting challenge from Henneth Annun to correct scenes in the
LOTR films that irritate you resulted in this story from Bezerker
prime. The departure from canon film moment of Arwen at the Fords of
Bruinen may have irked Bezerker prime, but here Bezerker nevertheless
presents a lovingly created action moment that is true to the films,
but with a reasonable canon explanation subtly inserted to answer the
HASA challenge.

Title: The Waves' Song · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Drama: General
Drabble · ID: 6
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-11-08 11:53:42
In this drabble, Branwyn shows expert control of vocabulary and rhythm
to deliver beautiful imagery that connects sea, wind and tree in order
to give a vivid portrait of Arwen's last years. I particularly liked
the line [her long cloak flapped like a poorly-trimmed sail]. Highly
evocative. Well done!

Title: Calm after the Storm · Author: Imhiriel · Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 350
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-11-08 12:15:48
[This review contains spoilers]

Naked Imrahil? What's not to like?!

But Imhiriel does more than provide pleasant food for the daydreams of
us Imrahil-fanciers. This drabble is woven from magical words, and
gives us a subtle portrait of the aftermath of battle. I love the
characterisation of the night-battle taking place under
[moonstone-and-pearl], while Imhiriel provides deft descriptions of
the repairs to the ship, the fate of the Corsair prisoners, and the
depradations that the Corsairs have visited on Imrahil's people. And
the details as Imrahil sheds his battle gear and searches for relief
from the doldrums conjures up a picture of his mood with great
clarity. Excellent execution lifts what could have been a cliched
scene into the level of a prose poem. Bravo!

Title: Bilbo's Dark Psyche · Author: Curious · Genres: Non-Fiction ·
ID: 519
Reviewer: fantasyfan · 2007-11-08 15:27:23
It is always interesting to speculate on what was on Tolkien's mind
when he wrote The Hobbit. His world had existed in his mind for
decades, but Hobbits, their peculiarities and culture, were relatively
recent inventions. In the 1937 version of The Hobbit, the choice of
the Ring as a link to the larger story had not yet been concieved, and
its power was not as clearly delineated as it became in the later
work. So, knowing LOTR, having come to see Gollum through the eyes of
Frodo and Sam, seeing his near repentance and having his hobbity
similarities pointed up deliberately, of course we see him as a foil
for Frodo (and Bilbo) in their reactions to ownership of the Ring. I
had always seen the point of departure between the characters as the
finding of the Ring. Gollum reacted with murderous intentions, and
Bilbo with pity. So Gandalf says, and it must be true! Looking at the
earlier version of the story, as Curious does in this essay, brings
out interesting points about Gollum's reactions and motivations as
they were originally concieved by the author. It is specifically
courage that Gollum lacks: perhaps the Took in Bilbo is his true
salvation and that of the whole of middle-earth, as much as his
compassion for a pitiable creature. This is a well-reasoned and
thought-provoking short essay, and an interesting point of view well
worth pondering.

Title: Stranger in a strange land · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men:
General Drabble · ID: 695
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-08 16:25:53
Evocative drabble concerning Elessar's reaction to pomp and
circumstance in Harad, both as the King and as a wanderer in the
South. Good package of details, with emotions and senses in full play
- I could almost see the scene; and feel Aragorn's discomfort.

Title: Falling Into Shadow · Author: Marigold · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Incomplete · ID: 205
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-11-08 17:21:00
This is a very nice vignette which serves well to expound on the
characters we know so well and show us something a little new.
Glorfindel's perspective is perfect to tell this story: with all his
experience he is still learning about Hobbits.

Title: A Useful Skill · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Humor: Children ·
ID: 46
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-11-08 17:32:28
This is a great view of Denethor. Rather than cold, bitter, or
resentful as he is traditionally described, you give is a portrait of
a thoughtful, if somewhat distant parent. Well done. I particularly
liked the detail of his self-chastisement for being so long away from
the field and forgetting the necessities that make men equals.

Title: Exploring the Wild · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Adventure:
Pre-Ring War · ID: 30
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-11-08 17:58:26
This is a sweet tale and a nice portrait of your OFC. Your Boromir
strikes me as a bit young (there are five years between the boys), but
the brothers certainly act and interact truly, as do all your characters.

Title: Making Acquaintance · Author: Bodkin · Times: Mid Third Age:
2851 - 3017 TA · ID: 216
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-11-08 18:06:56
I really liked this story. It is full of fun, character, action,
foreshadowing and foresnickering but in no way too full. The style
remains uncluttered but rich, the story straightforward but sweetly
told. I particularly like the detail of Gandalf's coming to the Shire
as if to rendezvous with fate while not know what that fate might be.
Very nice.

Title: Fissures · Author: Thundera Tiger · Races: Dwarves · ID: 804
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-08 18:55:10
A story that poignantly contrasts the "usual" Dwarven suspicion of and
distance from Elves with Gimli's changed attitudes when he came to
befriend Legolas.

I liked the discussion about architectural details, and how those
reflect Gimli's ambitions and his experiences in encountering
different races and cultures on the one hand, and Otin's unease at the
innovations and change from tradition on the other.

A detail I appreciated was that Gimli had even taken thought to
Dunland in his plans.

Title: For the Dwarves, Gimli · Author: annmarwalk · Races: Dwarves ·
ID: 155
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-08 18:55:30
I enjoyed this short series, and even more did I enjoy "getting to
know" Gimli's mother. Fast-paced, yet with enough detail in dialogue
and description to leave the right impression.

There was such a feeling of mutual love between mother and son (and
Gloín, too), and I liked that Gimli just took all the extra things his
mother insisted on, without complaint.

Title: Seen in the Halls of Dwarrowdelf · Author: Aruthir · Races:
Dwarves · ID: 73
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-08 18:56:28
Wow. What a marvellously written story, strong, rhythmic, so very
appropriate for Dwarves. Powerful imagery and the word structure both
strengthen the eeriness and immediacy of the narrative.

Effective use of fast pacing and sentence lengths - I could really
feel how breathless and precipitous the Dwarves were getting when
their goal seemed so near.

The readers can sense the sweat and arduousness of labour, just as
they can feel the satisfaction and joy the Dwarves find in their
common endeavour. And how their desire to go on and on and still
achieve *more* turns to obsession, making them blind to warning signs,
unable to give up against all reasonable odds.

["Look about you, traveller..."] - this passage reminded me of the
epitaph on the Spartans' burial mound at Thermopylae. I don't know if
the reference was deliberate; in any case it fits very well, and gives
the story an additional fascinating resonance.

Title: The Weregild · Author: tyellas · Races: Dwarves · ID: 522
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-08 18:57:01
The story is descriptive and evocative, the setting and characters
come to life with just the right amount of detail. Customs known from
canon (even obscure ones) and original are both interwoven flawlessly.
I particularly liked the fact that the Dwarves were so appreciative of
the care that had been given to the wrapping of the precious stones;
and that the king's wife was his chief counsellor.

It was fascinating to see the wars of Eregion and Eriador through the
eyes of the Dwarves, and to witness how one of the Dwarven Rings
actually came into their keeping, and to catch a glimpse - even a
brief one - of "Annatar".

I found it especially ominous how quickly the Ring began to work on
Bolin; how he began to neglect to pay attention to his wife's words,
and that in the end, he stole the ingot of ill-gotten spoils.

Title: Woven in Friendship · Author: SlightlyTookish · Races:
Cross-Cultural: With Pippin · ID: 290
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-08 18:57:34
I could feel with Pippin how the character in the tapestries almost
came alive, the descriptions were so very vivid.

His memory of being in Minas Tirith and hearing the horns announcing
the coming of the Rohirrim to the beleaguered city was very moving,
recalling to mind the breath-taking moment in canon.

I like how the horns of the Rohirrim and Boromir's horn are here
linked together. And now we know why Merry received the horn as his
parting gift from his Rohirric friends!

Title: My Treasure · Author: Armariel · Genres: Poetry: With Hobbits ·
ID: 332
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-08 18:58:07
Powerful and powerfully moving.

The readers can truly feel Sam's anticipation, his quivering joy only
slightly tinged with nervousness - he seems so full of gladness at the
expected reunion there is no place for doubt, beyond a few questions
in the first stanza that are apparently quickly forgotten in the rush
of other imagined details full of the certainty of welcome.

I love the choice of tense for this: writing the poem in the future
tense gives it even more a feeling that Sam can hardly wait any more,
that he has imagined minute details of how it will be. On the other
hand, he clearly still has questions of how exactly the reunion will
play itself out he is eagerly looking forward to getting the answers.

Some wonderful word pictures and metaphors; and I appreciate that you
took their aging into account and wove it so naturally into Sam's
imagination.

Title: Osgiliath · Author: Dwimordene · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Gondor Drabble · ID: 626
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-08 18:58:47
This drabble has a driving rhythm that fits the tense moment
perfectly. Word choice and word order complement it wonderfully, the
alliterations marking out some even sharper moments.

A haunting picture, infused with the desperation of fierce struggle.
The moment of the fight on the bridge and the plunge into the Anduin
is given keen immediacy.

The terror the Nazgûl evoked, that of the battle itself, and the
battle-lust that can come in the very midst of fighting, are conveyed
very evocatively.

I found the play with the term ["shadow"] in the last line very
intriguing. It seems as if the attack by the Ring-wraiths insinuated a
feeling of futility into Boromir, which could not even be shaken once
the fight was over. A tinge of the Black Breath? Moreover, a "poison"
that might have contributed to Boromir's feelings that the Quest might
be hopeless, and the Ring should be put to better use? The allusions
are vague, ambiguous, but the basis is there for this kind of
interpretation - which is what a well-constructed drabble that
contains more than the surface layer like this is can provide.

Title: They also serve who only stand and wait · Author: Tanaqui ·
Races: Men: Gondor Drabble · ID: 724
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-08 18:59:20
A close-up look at the Gondorian soldiers guarding the beacons. It
seems entirely plausible that people would be selected who are no
longer fit for more strenuous jobs, but still soldiers charged with a
vital part of the defence of their land.

It also reminds me of Aragorn giving soldiers quailing on the way to
the Morannon an honorable task in recapturing Cair Andros - he know
that is is important for them to feel needed and given a task they
still can in honour fulfil.

I like how the pride is captured so succinctly that they have in their
monotonous and dull job, that they know exactly that their routine and
diligence is vital part of the task, even if for long stretches of
time nothing might come of it. An apt elaboration of the
excellently-chosen title.

Wonderful details of what the job entails, notably the mention of
smother to be able to signal in daylight.

Title: Twice blessed is help unlooked for · Author: Tanaqui · Times:
Late Third Age: 3018-3022 TA: Gondor Drabble · ID: 631
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-08 18:59:37
The sensations of what a warrior feels after a long and strenuous
battle engagement are evoked in precise, vivid terms; including the
almost numb befuddlement when seeing something strange - Imrahil
doesn't even react to believing himself dead and thus able to see
Thorongil, just taking it in stride unexcitedly.

Only after some moment of questioning this sight as something that
must be only a false vision - for how could it be? - does he search
for another explanation and is palpably relieved and glad he is
correct after all (and apparently prepared to let explanations wait
for a more opportune moment).

Title: Come Back to Me (Drabble) · Author: Marta · Times: Fourth Age
and Beyond: Drabble · ID: 538
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-08 19:00:10
Yes, there is bitterness in this drabble, as the summary says. It is
poignantly conveyed, as is the passage of some not specified but
clearly long passage of time since the end of the Third Age.

Bitterness at Men's forgetfulness and disregard for each other and
other beings (it appears as if the weapons they use in their wars on
each other only inadvertently also kill Ents).

But also bitterness, or so it seems to me, at the Ents' complacency
and retreat from daily life which makes them oblivious and "treeish".
Treebeard himself is no exception, as the gathered topsoil on his
roots signifies. At least he has woken up now and is prepared to be
active again in the search for the Entwives, in the course of his
race's very survival.

Title: More than Meets the Eye · Author: Dadgad · Genres: Humor: The
Shire or Buckland · ID: 128
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-08 22:03:49
Oh, this was excellent! Really nice use of humor throughout the early
parts with the way Elladan and Elrohir only slowly revealed the full
tale - the false starts and Elrond's increasing dismay was extremely
well used, I could so see the scene and found myself chuckling at
several points.

But what really I liked even more than that was the way you used
canonical information about the hobbits and your own extrapolation to
create a fleshed-out account of the Battle of Greenfields. I could
completely see this as Tolkien's hobbits, which made the conversation
with the elves all the more entertaining. Really nice work on all
counts, Dadgad.

Title: A Noble Thing · Author: Lily Baggins · Genres: Drama: Ithilien
· ID: 596
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-09 06:45:02
I liked Faramir's kindness to Frodo in this somewhat AU story.

Title: Ours · Author: Queen Galadriel · Races: Hobbits · ID: 334
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-09 06:47:56
A sweet moment showing Sam's devotion to Frodo.

Title: The Turn of the Tide · Author: Altariel · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 72
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-09 06:54:57
[spoilers]

A fascinating AU full of beautifully written what if moments.It was
very interesting seeing Denethor and Epowyn keeping one another
company as they wait for Faramir's return.

Title: Devious Council · Author: Rhapsody · Genres: Drama: Vignette ·
ID: 427
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-09 06:57:08
An interesting ficlet exploring the not always harmonious
relationships between Feanor's sons.

Title: Dawning Hope · Author: Radbooks · Genres: Drama: Youth · ID: 498
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-09 07:01:58
[spoilers]

This hearwarming and enjoyable story explores the childhood of Eomer
and Eowyn in very believable detail.
I've never been very interested in Theodred,but here he is brought to
vivid and likeable life.
Eomer and Eowyn were just as I imagined them to be as they struggled
to adjust to life in Edoras without their parents.Eowyn's grief at
even being parted from her nurse is profound.
I also liked Eomer's protectiveness and Theorded's willingness to help
cheer his cousins, though that ends in a near fatal accident.
A great read!

Msg# 8427

MEFA Reviews for November 18, 2007 (Part 2) Posted by Ann November 18, 2007 - 4:50:02 Topic ID# 8427
Title: Drawn With Love · Author: MerryK · Genres: Drama: Youth · ID: 569
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-09 07:07:34
[spolers]

This nicely written story turns the usual ideas about Boromir and
Faramir upside now as it is Boromir who is thoughtful,caring and
sympathetic.
The usually practical lad even turns his hand to art to produce a
special gift for his younger brother, which also moves the usually
cold Denethor to tears.

Title: Concussion · Author: Dreamflower · Genres: Adventure · ID: 711
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-09 07:13:00
[spoilers]
A warm hearted story concerning Bilbo in the Hobbit after Thorin's
burial. The poor Hobbit has suffered a head injury and his cared for
by his companions.
I especially liked Gandalf's concern for the Hobbit and the fact that
some of his favourite mushroom soup was found for Bilbo as he recovers.

Title: Pointy-Eared Mischief · Author: TrekQueen · Genres: Crossover ·
ID: 782
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-09 07:20:23
[spoilers]

An enjoyable story speculating what if the Crew of the Enterprise D
encountered the Elves of LOTR. I like the idea that Vulcans may be
descended from Elves. No doubt they are,as Tolkien pretty much laid
the cornerstones from which science fiction like Star Trek sprung.

Title: At The Foot of the Sarn Gebir · Author: Rabidsamfan · Times:
Late Third Age: 3018-3022 TA · ID: 787
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-09 09:06:50
When sore muscles, blisters, and nightmares disturb Sam's sleep, he
finds peace in typical Hobbit fashion by seeking to give the rest of
the Fellowship a warm and filling morning. Not even Legolas will turn
from the comfort Sam offers.

Warmly told, bringing thoughts of good meals and tantalizing cooking
scents.

Title: In Body and Mind · Author: Nessime · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Drabble · ID: 759
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-09 09:15:36
We know that Aragorn Elessar resembled Earendil and Elros
Tar-Minyatur; but there was one other descendant of the first lords of
Numenor he is also reputed to have resembled; and an ellyth thinks of
this one as the Lay of Gil-galad was sung for the Hobbits.

A wonderful image taken from Unfinished Tales.

Title: Rekindling · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: General Drabble ·
ID: 688
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-09 09:23:12
Theoden finds a means to help his newly-orphaned nephew and niece feel
a part of the holiday celebration at the turning of the year.

A sweet inclusion for Eomer and Eowyn.

Title: Night of Love · Author: Linda hoyland · Genres: Romance: Gondor
· ID: 617
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-09 09:29:50
The marriage of Aragorn and Arwen was one to strengthen the lineage of
men; but it appeared its consummation might be less than either
desired or had ever hoped for. But Galadriel's advice offers hope for
desired fulfillment.

A gentle joining.

Title: At the Sign of the Hungry Hobbit · Author: Mews1945 · Genres:
Humor: Parody · ID: 475
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-09 09:50:57
So--no Eru, no Valar, no Maiar--just a few lads out to
experiment--Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin, and they just managed to
put together Middle Earth and now....

A hilarious look at the REAL Frodo Baggins, working at his glass of
single malt.

Title: Dragon Lore · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Villains: Drabble · ID: 404
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-09 09:54:50
Ah, and now we know the origins of dragons! Some who'd once taken the
shapes of Balrogs now accepted a new shape, one intended to counter
the Great Eagles.

Chilling.

Title: The Green Knight and the Heir of Meduseld · Author: Le Rouret ·
Genres: Adventure · ID: 170
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-09 09:59:31
An interesting tale of life within Middle Earth in which Faramir and
Eowyn dwell not in Emyn Arnen but in Osgiliath, and their son, seeking
to flee from being adopted by his uncle as his heir, claims refuge in
the hope of Legolas.

Elboron and Elfwine do not dwell here; but it is a rousing tale
nonetheless.

Title: Green Magic · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres: Crossover ·
ID: 312
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-09 10:02:21
Even in the forests of northern California perhaps not all the trees
are as quiet and still as they appear; and not all will tolerate the
foolishness of a bored visitor.

Fascinating mixture of modern-day and Middle Earth forest life. I
rather think the Professor would approve of this one.

Title: Growed · Author: agape4gondor · Races: Men: Other Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 218
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-11-09 12:50:57
A beautiful illustration of the love between two brothers, starting as
boys and ending in the midst of battle. And a very interesting twist
of an ending-I wasn't expecting that!

Title: "A Cat Of A Different Color" · Author: Cathleen · Genres:
Mystery · ID: 385
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-11-09 12:59:04
A nice picture of the Fellowship at rest, being entertained by a most
unlikely storyteller. Though perhaps Boromir has had more practice
than he lets on, telling tales to his younger brother for years. His
ability to play to an audience certainly leads me to believe that!

Title: Sometime Ever After · Author: Dwimordene · Times: Fourth Age
and Beyond · ID: 363
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-11-09 13:11:46
I always enjoy Dwimordene's Halbarad stories. Alive or dead, he is
always Aragorn's most faithful friend. In this story, he's a
time-traveler as well, visiting Aragorn in present, past and future in
the various incarnations appropriate to those times. The disjointed
vignettes depict very well a wounded Aragorn's mental state. And
Halbarad proves to be fore-sighted as ever about one very important
thing. But over all the feeling of the piece is the sense of a
friendship that is close enough to transcend death itself.

Title: Black Eyes · Author: Lialathuveril · Genres: Romance: With
Rohirrim · ID: 177
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-10 04:09:24
[spoilers]

This one of the funniest stories I have ever read and a sheer delight
from start to finish.

Unlike in many stories, it is not love at first sight for Eomer and
Lothiriel and the princess is determined not to marry her suitor, but
how can she turn him down without causing a diplomatic crisis?

Her plan is make herself so unattractive to Eomer that he will not
want her,which involves hideous clothes,prentending not to like horses
and being disagreeable.

Lothiriel's plans are thrwarted,however when she and Eomer are
marooned together and she discovers he is a likeable and desirable
man.He in turn realises her odd behaviour was an act.

A most enjoyable and highly reccomended read.

Title: The Departure of Boromir · Author: Narnian Sprite · Genres:
Drama · ID: 622
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-10 05:33:22
[spoilers]

This is a moving story about the death of Boromir. Unusually it does
not deal so much with the actual death as his entry into the afterlife.
I especially liked Boromir's reunion with his soldiers and his genuine
remorse.The afterlife is described very vividly.

Title: Are You Going to Leave Me? · Author: Llinos · Genres: Drama:
With Merry · ID: 142
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-10 05:52:06
[spoilers]
This touching story skillfully combines book and film verse to explore
Merry and Pippin's feelings and actions in the fight against Sauron.

Pippin seeks Merry on the battlefield and has the clever,albeit gory
idea of using oliphant fat to light a fire to summon help.

I liked Eowyn's concern for Merry,something she must have felt but is
often looked.

The scenes with Aragorn and eomer were my favourites.

A very well written story.

Title: The Days of the King · Author: Randomrattle · Genres: Drama:
With Aragorn · ID: 399
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-10 06:00:23
An enjoyable story concerning Aragorn's early days as King,his
marriage to Arwen and his friendship with Legolas.
Shadowfax is also well featured in this story and Gandalf.
I loved the illustrations and the way the story was laid out,making it
a visual as well as written treat.

Title: Gifts · Author: Acacea · Genres: Humor: Other Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 500
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-10 06:06:46
[{spoilers]

A hilarious ficlet concerning Faramir and his father. The
toddler,Faramir wants to play in his father's study and chew
Denethor's treasured pocessions.

Unlike in many stories,Denethor is portrayed as a patient and kindly
father.

The last line carries a real punch and makes me smile every time I
read it.

Title: Decorum · Author: Larner · Genres: Humor: The Shire or Buckland
· ID: 59
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-10 06:12:36
[spoilers]
A delightful story in which Dora Baggins, a prim maiden aunt,compiles
a book of manners and presents it to Bilbo and Frodo.
How shockerd the poor lady is when they fail to comply with her idea
of decorum,especially in proper dressing.

Only later does the good lady realise that there is more to Bilbo and
Frodo than she thinks.

Title: Gold Rings and Sam · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Poetry · ID: 501
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-10 06:18:24
[spoilers]

I don't usually read fanfic poetry but am glad I read this as it is
one of the funniest and most hilarious pieces I have ever read.

Using the syle of Dr.Seuss the writer somehow conveys both Sam and
Faramir's personalities to a T.

Would anything make patient Faramir snap? the answer is contained in
the final line. A must read poem!

Title: A Kingly Discussion · Author: GamgeeFest · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Grey Havens · ID: 780
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-10 06:24:17
[spoilers]
A charming and warm hearted story which perfectly captures the nature
of Hobbits.

The Gaffer has received a letter from King Elessar and all his
neighbours want to know what it says.

The musings on the ways of big folk are hilarious and even Aragorn's
handwriting is discussed.

I loved the Gaffers conclusions at the end.

Title: Time · Author: Bodkin · Races: Cross-Cultural: Gondor · ID: 414
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-10 06:29:01
[spoilers]
A haunting and beautifully written story in which Legolas and Faramir
try to find out about a family who were victims of the war.

the depth of the story lies in the debate over the shortness of human
life and memory.Legolas wants to know who lived in a ruined house that
they might not be forgotten as he is imortal and can remember the story.

Faramir is wise enough to support the Elf's wish.

A moving and perceptive tale which lingers in the mind.

Title: Stirrings of Shadow · Author: Fiondil · Genres: Adventure:
Incomplete · ID: 233
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-10 06:35:35
[spoilers]

This outstanding story has had me gripped and on the edge of my seat
for months now.

Aragorn as Thorongil is caught up in plot to overthrow King tHengel of
Rohan and must work to save the King and his people.

Not only is this an entralling tale of mystery and adventure, but it
is beautifully written and atmospheric.

The OCs are especially outstanding from the mysterious Elves to the
young Rohir,who develops a touching and devoted friendship with
Aragorn and becomes his shield brother.

A must read story I cannot praise highly enough.

Title: Rauros, golden Rauros-falls · Author: Imhiriel · Genres: Humor:
Drabble · ID: 624
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-10 06:41:42
[spoilers]

A delightful dark comedy. What if Aragorn were not as good a Healer as
we suppose and put Boromir into the boat when still alive?
What if Boromir woke up?
Rauros brings Boromir's musings to an abrupt halt !

Msg# 8428

MEFA Reviews for November 19, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 19, 2007 - 4:10:36 Topic ID# 8428
Title: Celeborn's Trees · Author: Isabeau of Greenlea · Races: Elves:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 514
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-11-10 09:25:56
This is a lovely drabble about Galadriel and Celeborn, showing both
the tensions in relationship and how they resolve them. Isabeau
perfectly captures the characters of both Noldor and Sindar here, and
shows Celeborn's strength, wisdom and worth to be the husband of a
powerful Elf like Galadriel. His words to Galadriel at the end are
delightful. Well done!

Title: Fell Wisdom · Author: Marta · Times: Late Third Age: 3018-3022
TA: General Drabble · ID: 323
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-11-10 09:40:44
In this drabble, Marta has created a very powerful picture of about
Theoden's hopes and doubts before the Battle of Helm's Deep. There is
a relentlessness to the shape of the drabble and the phrasing that
effectively shows how Theoden's thoughts circle around to return to
previous, despairing patterns. A very nice study of a troubled mind.
Well done!


Title: Gone Fishin' · Author: Aranel Took · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 322
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-11-10 10:26:50
This is a lovely little vignette of Aragorn dealing with the stresses
and strains of his new responsibilities. Aranel Took nicely balances
different moods: Aragorn's frustration, the soothing casting of the
line, and the humour of his perception of the reactions of those
around him. Well done.

Title: The Ground Portends · Author: Thevina Finduilas · Races:
Dwarves · ID: 638
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-10 10:52:59
Poor Gimli - not only endless hours on horseback, but his nose in
Eomer's back! Good thing that dwarves can endure extreme discomfort. I
like his discussion with Legolas. And the look at gallant Eowyn.
(Gimli has a kind heart - and a courtier's nature.)

Title: The Gates · Author: Isabeau of Greenlea · Races: Dwarves · ID: 70
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-10 10:59:47
This is a lovely story. I thoroughly enjoy Gimli stories anyway - they
are like jewels in their rarity - and this has such a delightful
elaboration of dwarven culture and relationships. The interaction
between Gimli and Snorri is a pleasure to read. It's good to see the
Gimli is valued among his own people for the skills he has in great
quantity. For Snorri and Eyvdis to decide to follow him to Aglarond
says a lot about Gimli's status - and his reaction speaks well of his
modesty. Most enjoyable.

Title: What Was That Job Description? · Author: Larner · Genres:
Crossover · ID: 523
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-10 11:03:23
Now, if ever there was a wizard you wouldn't want to have turn up at
your court ... I think he should be sent off with the elves for a
while. Might learn a thing or two! Most amusing.

Title: A Suitable Tribute · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Drama · ID: 474
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-10 11:10:11
A tribute that is undoubtedly a great sacrifice for the girl ... but
I'm left wondering what on Middle-earth Aragorn would find himself
doing with her braid. After he had accepted it with due appreciation,
as I'm sure he would.

Title: Sea Food · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Humor: Children · ID: 53
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-10 11:20:43
Beginning to get a Ranger's eye for the edible, perhaps - but he's not
yet made the association between live creatures and dinner. Faramir is
so sweet here. And so is Boromir - who is quite happy to eat fish
provided by others. Kind Imrahil, letting them get away with such
squeamishness. It's great to see the three of them having so much fun
on a early Dol Amroth morning, behaving in a way that Denethor would
doubtless see as unsuitable. Faramir's wish to the crabs for a
profitable life - charming. I found this story to be delightful.

Title: Web of Treason · Author: Linda hoyland · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 124
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-10 11:26:38
I was so relieved that there was a happy outcome to this story - it
looked along the way as if there might well not be! I really like
Elbeth, who took on a delightfully rounded nature as a determined and
not-always-perfect child. I did find myself wanting to punch assorted
people on the nose - Aragorn, for failing to see what Faramir had
endured to save him - yes, I know he was hurt, but that was just plain
stupid of him. Imrahil, for another, for immediately thinking the
worst of his nephew and not acknowledging how actions - getting out
there and saving the king - speak much louder than any number of
helpless laments. This is a very dramatic story, with lots of
suffering along the way - and I'm very pleased it turned out as it did!

Title: The Tenant from Staddle · Author: Larner · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Incomplete · ID: 408
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-10 11:33:13
The combination of stories here - Denra and Alvric, Delphinium and her
family of Bracegirdles, the Rangers, the farming family, and, of
course, over it all, the story of Frodo's failing health and the worry
all those who understand him feel about his achievements and his
weaknesses - make for a complex web of activities. It was interesting
seeing how the Bracegirdles - some of them - managed to figure out
what nobody would actually come out and tell them. (How does Frodo
think he's going to keep it all secret - unless he stops hobbits going
out of the Shire?) And watching Bartolo struggle with his prejudice is
entertaining - his oldest son seems to have inherited a fair bit of
Baggins and sees further into a brick wall that his old man. A most
enjoyable story.

Title: Thoughts in the Night · Author: Pearl Took · Races: Hobbits:
Hurt/Comfort · ID: 479
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-10 11:41:56
Parsow is going to be good at his profession - he has a good eye for
what is important, combined with a lot of common sense. (I like seeing
how his character has developed over the stories that feature him.)

Athelas is really helpful - it seems to relieve the spirit as well as
having actual curative properties. And Pippin needed relieving, poor
lad! The siege has been a bit much for him. And, of course, it will do
Merry a lot of good to see Pippin - and Pippin a lot of good to see
Merry awake and looking better.



Title: Letting Go · Author: Ellie · Times: First Age and Prior · ID: 790
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-10 11:46:58
Yes ... Ingwe would have found it very hard to send out his people to
fight and die in Middle-earth while staying behind in the Blessed
Realm. He would have looked on it as betrayal, perhaps, and cowardice.
Hardly the action of a king. But then, if the Valar didn't want him to
go, he couldn't have gone against them.

I'm glad Mrs Ingwe managed to offer him consolation - and shared his
watch over their extended family.


Title: The Case of the Purloined Mushrooms · Author: Inkling · Genres:
Mystery · ID: 298
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-10 13:31:37
Oh, this was a fun read for a Saturday morning. Nice mix of intrigue
and humor - you had me reading to the end and smiling throughout. A
story could certainly do less.

Title: Endings and Beginnings · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Second Age:
Drabble · ID: 726
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-10 13:36:58
I don't know much about Star Gate: Atlantis, but Tanaqui made this
drabble work even for someone who didn't know the other fandom in this
crossover. "Endings and Beginnings" effectively shows the similarities
between the Faithful of Numenor and a similar group of refugees in
SGA, and the commonalities in the two situations only serve to
complement each other. It's exactly how a crossover should work, and
Tanaqui does it all in 100 words - a laudable accomplishment in
itself. Nice work.

Title: The Voices of Silence · Author: Rhapsody · Times: Multi-Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 172
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-10 20:41:06
This is a really creative set of gapfillers, with each drabble
capturing some aspect of the Finwean's character that was
illuminating. And it was understandable for a non-Silmfic reader like
me. I enjoyed this, Rhapsody!

Title: The spaces between two silences · Author: illyria-pffyffin ·
Genres: Drama: With Aragorn · ID: 677
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-11 01:09:56
This is an exquisite and poetic set of vignettes focussing on the epic
romance of Aragorn and Arwen, from the golden summer in Lorien to the
ceremonial culmination and then the final end.

I loved the description of the couple's entry into Minas Tirith with
such great pageantry and wonderful human touches - Arwen's heartfelt
acceptance of the old woman's homely gift was touching, as was Arwen's
realization of how dearly her happiness was bought from the blood and
lives of Gondor.



Title: Many Guises and Many Names · Author: Gandalfs apprentice ·
Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 380
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-11 01:16:15
[spoilers]

Oh, these were great fun! All of Aragorn's many identities shone
through quite well in each of the different drabbles, and they show
off well how you can write so many different genres with such a light
touch. You really do understand Aragorn's character, and that shows
through each word.

One quibble: in the last ficlet you implied it was Arwen who demanded
Aragorn become king of both Gondor and Arnor before the marriage, but
I think in the appendices it's Elrond who sets that condition. This
gave me pause, especially since it's Elrond who's told Gandalf about
the betrothal. My mind worked up a justification for why Gandalf would
have been misled, but it might be worth considering changing.

But regardless, this is a really fine series and I heartily enjoyed
reading it. Any Aragorn fans should enjoy this read.

Title: Night Terrors · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 -
3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 752
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-11 01:20:52
[spoilers]

This is a delightful drabble with a lot to commend it. Aragorn's
mangling of names sets him up as a child immediately and is very cute
without being saccharine-sweet at the same time, a reaction that's
surprisingly difficult for fanfic to cause in me. Then there is the
childish insistence that "bathing" in the river is the same as a
proper bath. I really smiled at that, and could completely imagine
Aragorn's impish smile.

But what really made the drabble work for me is the reference to the
story of [the last king and the snowman]. Hilarious, and at the same
time completely tied to canon in a really clever way. It ties the
drabble together nicely, and does a good job of keeping the tone
light. Nice work, Tanaqui!

Title: Freddy and the Thain's Rabbit · Author: grey_wonderer · Races:
Hobbits · ID: 251
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2007-11-11 02:25:54
Every now and then, an OC comes along who can just steal the readers'
hearts without effort. Over the course of several delightful stories
Grey Wonderer's readers have been made acquainted with Errol, Pippin's
childhood friend and stuffed Rabbit.

In this story, Errol makes the acquaintance of Merry's youngest son
Freddy, but there is far more to it than that, and I don't wish to
spoil any of the story!

Freddy once again proves that GW is quite adept at capturing the voice
of a small child, and Pippin proves that though he is a wise and
capable Thain, he is still quite "Pippish" at heart.

We also see that no matter how much time passes, the banter between
Merry and Pippin remains as sharp and funny as ever, with love and
respect underneath.

But most of all, I love Errol in this--he has such a wealth of love
and wisdom and insight and should take his proper place in the
pantheon of beloved Textile Persons, alongside such famous personages
as Winnie the Pooh or the Velveteen Rabbit!

Title: Fate and Destiny · Author: pippinfan88 · Races: Hobbits:
Pre-Quest · ID: 300
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2007-11-11 02:27:55
I've always been intrigued by Pippinfan's OC Degger, who has in
previous stories proven himself a good friend to Merry and Pippin. In
this story, we learn a bit more about him.

The story, set in the Great Smials during the time of Ferumbras III,
proves that there are a lot of family secrets among the Tooks. I truly
like the friendship Pippin shows to Degger, and the efforts that Merry
and Frodo, not to mention Paladin, make on his behalf.

The author has promised to let us know how Degger turns out when he
grows up--I am very much looking forward to finding out.

Title: Observations · Author: grey_wonderer · Races: Hobbits: Children
· ID: 204
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2007-11-11 02:31:43
It's very hard to know what to say about this gem without giving
anything away. Let us say that it is about Brandybuck
determination--both Merry's and Saradoc's--as each of them learn some
very important lessons that they need to learn. And that Frodo is as
wise and insightful an older cousin as ever, even though he no longer
lives at Brandy Hall.

I enjoyed looking at this through Saradoc's POV, and I especially
enjoyed his observations on Tooks and talking, LOL!

This is a truly delightful read, and gives the reader some fascinating
food for thought as well!

Title: Time to Let Go · Author: PipMer · Races: Hobbits: Post-Grey
Havens · ID: 261
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2007-11-11 02:47:31
The author's use of the quotation assigned to her for a challenge
story to describe Sam was very appropriate: Sam was indeed, brave,
wise, hard-working, loving and devoted to his home. I particularly
liked the way she used each characteristic as part of his different
roles in life. It's clear that Elanor is going to miss her father very
much! A very nice character study of Sam.

Title: Force of Nature · Author: shirebound · Genres: Alternate
Universe: The Shire or Buckland · ID: 360
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2007-11-11 02:49:01
This is a very fun story, set within Shirebound's "Quaratined"
universe, in which Aragorn gets to know Frodo and Bilbo before Bilbo
leaves the Shire. This particular tale takes place at least partially
in the Old Forest.

The story has a bit of mystery, some mild danger, and a little
hurt/comfort, all wrapped up with love in Shirebound's gentle style. I
especially like Shirebound's portrayal of a young Halbarad and of her
OC Thalguron--both of whom find themselves enthralled with hobbits!

And I like her interpretation of the Old Forest as well--a very unique
take on it. Yes, I can see the trees reacting that way, responding to
certain hidden aspects of both Frodo's and Aragorn's natures...

Title: The Heir of the Hill · Author: Lothithil · Times: Mid Third
Age: 2851 - 3017 TA · ID: 675
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2007-11-11 02:49:55
There are a multitude of "Frodo's Life with Bilbo" stories out there,
and to stand out from the pack, a story needs something to make it
different--this story *has* that, an unusual take on life in Bag
End--though I don't wish to spoil things. If you are fond of "young
Frodo" stories, I think you will like this one.

Title: South · Author: Aliana · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond: Gondor
or Rohan · ID: 8
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2007-11-11 02:55:20
Wow! This is absolutely breathtaking.

Merry's memories of his time away on the Quest fill his dreams and his
thoughts, and so he makes a journey South, to visit his old friend
Eowyn. His thoughts, his feelings, are palpable. We are shown the ways
in which his time away from the Shire, in the world outside its bounds
has changed him--but not in the usual fashion of angst-ridden memories
of battle, though they are present--but in the longing for old
friends, whose absence in his life is always felt, and in the longing
for the world he once journeyed in--a world which had held marvel as
well as battle.

I love the relationship between Merry and Eowyn shown here, of
comradeship and an understanding of something that only the two of
them will ever know. A beautiful piece.

Msg# 8429

MEFA Reviews for November 19, 2007 (Part 2) Posted by Ann November 19, 2007 - 4:11:41 Topic ID# 8429
Title: The Taming of the Badger · Author: Pentangle · Genres: Drama:
With Aragorn · ID: 234
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2007-11-11 02:56:22
A very interesting look at a young Aragorn, faced with an inexplicable
antagonism from the healer in his first command among the Dunedain.
The OC, Kenuric is deftly and believably drawn, as is Aragorn's
solution to the problem.

Title: Mardil Goes A-Courting · Author: Le Rouret · Genres: Humor:
Gondor or Rohan · ID: 366
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2007-11-11 02:57:22
I have always enjoyed Le Rouret's archaic style, but this is the first
time it has made me laugh so heartily! Legolas as a matchmaker is
amusing enough, but his machinations in this story are convoluted to
say the least! This story is simply good fun!

Title: Marbles · Author: grey_wonderer · Genres: Humor: Children · ID: 197
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2007-11-11 02:59:58
Poor young Frodo! An afternoon of minding baby Pippin turns worrisome
when the curious infant consumes something he's not supposed to! I
loved so much about this--Merry's protestations that he doesn't like
["that wicked baby"] when it is quite obvious that he does, and that
they are already kindred spirits; Sam's total amazement at the baby,
and his commonsensical approach--echoed by his father's; and poor
frazzled Frodo, trying very hard to get a handle on things that have
spun out of control...

Title: Second Mum · Author: Larner · Genres: Drama: The Shire · ID: 82
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2007-11-11 03:01:55
Esmeralda Brandybuck is one of the minor canon characters that remains
one of my favorites, and I am fascinated by the various takes on her
character by different writers. Larner writes of her with gentleness
and compassion. And while the story seems to be of Esmeralda's
observations of Frodo's life, it sheds a good deal of light upon her
own loving and nurturing nature.

And the ending brings tears.

Title: Bound by Duty · Author: Lady Bluejay · Genres: Romance: With
Rohirrim · ID: 175
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2007-11-11 03:02:27
This is a rather unique take on the usual Eomer/Lothiriel romance. One
can truly appreciate the differences in this Lothiriel! And there is
also a bit of intrigue and adventure to spice things up--a most
enjoyable read!

Title: The Tides of the World · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: Late
Third Age: 3018-3022 TA: Gondor · ID: 101
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2007-11-11 03:03:07
This intimate look at Aragorn's weary thoughts after the long day of
the Battle of Pelennor is very like what I would imagine them to have
been--exhaustion, grief for all those slain--but hopeful, as well. I
liked his recognition of the fact that he was able to save many from
death, and his thoughts of giving Sauron something to worry about.

Title: Honor Unabated · Author: Linaewen · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 570
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2007-11-11 03:04:13
What a beautiful story this is, allowing Denethor to find hope and
consolation from beyond. Boromir was the perfect guide to his father,
showing him the truths that had been hidden from him by the Enemy. I
also loved the moment with Pippin at the end, which was delightful,
and played up the affection Boromir had held for him and for Merry,
and they for him.

Title: All Lies and Jest · Author: Jael · Races: Elves: With Mirkwood
Elves · ID: 104
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2007-11-11 03:05:40
This is an interesting look at the strictures in the Laws and Customs
of the Eldar, as Thranduil grapples with its restrictions, in trying
to form a judgement. I find his efforts to reconcile the law with
compassion very realistic.

Title: Flying Snails and Dragon-flies · Author: pippinfan88 · Races:
Hobbits: Children · ID: 99
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2007-11-11 03:06:37
This is a sweet little story about the power of a small child's
imagination, and Pippin's in particular. I love Gandalf's interaction
in this story--he understands the creative impulses that have given
Pippin his ideas, and lends a bit of encouragement!

Title: Divided · Author: Pen52 · Genres: Drama: The Fellowship · ID: 223
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2007-11-11 03:09:51
Finding stories I've never before read by authors I've never before
encountered is one reason I love the MEFAs!

A Fellowship fic, it is on the surface of things, a simple
conversation to pass the time in the depths of Moria. And yet there is
so much more to this vignette than that: an innocent question from
Pippin (who serves once more in his role as a catalyst) results in a
difficult conversation between Aragorn and Boromir. It is so easy to
see the pain and anger of both of them as they speak of an enemy the
young Hobbit has as yet no understanding of. Yet his perspective and
shock is not enough to quell his Tookish curiousity.

And it is disturbingly true that the questions raised between Aragorn
and Boromir on this topic are unfortunately relevant to our lives
today. A very thought-provoking and timely story.

Title: The Steward's Tale · Author: plasticChevy · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Incomplete · ID: 739
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-11 03:09:52
PlasticChevy serves up another helping of angst, pain, darkness and
action in this sequel to [The Captain and the King]. It's a very
exciting story; though even darker than its predecessor, with
treachery, battles, and an encounter with some very evil orcs who do
very evil things. A ripping good read, and lively appearances of
Legolas and Gimli.

Title: Frodo's Thoughts - Aragorn · Author: trikywun · Genres: Drama:
General Drabble · ID: 785
Reviewer: Firya · 2007-11-11 04:49:43
A quite self-reflection Frodo gets into trusting nature and influence
of the Ring. Well done.

Title: A Moment Lost · Author: Fawsley · Races: Men: Gondor Drabble ·
ID: 491
Reviewer: Firya · 2007-11-11 04:51:45
I like the plot and love your style. Sometimes we can't help
reflecting the road we has trudged and wonder just when and where we
complete the conversion or surpass the obstacle, especially when we
achieved something once seemed impossible. And often there is no
precise milestone to be identified. Just like Aragorn, we may realise
that all our life were preparation for this something, even when we
believed we were rejecting it. And this drabble captured perfectly the
many layers of ambiguous emotion at those moments, content or rather
resigned finally yet somehow lost, full yet empty, and with a hint of
self-mockery.

But all these muses were but a second's introspection, the `King
Raggy' would never leave all these responsibilities to anyone else
once he took on the invisible kingship. We can feel his confidence and
determination from the last sentence, and this is just why he is named
`Estel', isn't it?

Title: Sticky Sweet · Author: SheBit · Races: Men: Gondor Drabble ·
ID: 196
Reviewer: Firya · 2007-11-11 04:52:24
Can't believe only one hundred words could hold such great power.
[sticky, feather-light, honey-rich, exploded, burning, scalded numb].
Every elaborately selected word and even every blunt syllable cut
deeper and deeper when I immediately reread it with wide eyes after I
was choked by the last sentence. I had to recite it again silently,
let every word roll on my tongue and scrape my teeth. And it hurt even
more. I was well taught even I don't find any writer in me yet. Thank
you, heart-achingly.

Title: Twice blessed is help unlooked for · Author: Tanaqui · Times:
Late Third Age: 3018-3022 TA: Gondor Drabble · ID: 631
Reviewer: Firya · 2007-11-11 04:53:04
First, I love the idea to quote Eomer's line as title. The book
version of Eomer's song was very impressive, and this drabble captured
the same fervent atmosphere in war yet quite different mood and
reaction of Imrahil, a mighty warrior as well as long established
Prince and once comrade of Captain Thorongil. The process from
resignation to question to hope and refreshment was concise and
precise. A great gap-filling.

Title: Reunion · Author: Fawsley · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
Drabble · ID: 489
Reviewer: Firya · 2007-11-11 04:54:52
Firstly, I have to echo the preference of Thorongil recognition
stories. Yes, I vote for another in different category, but I have
more than one weak point for this one. I especially prefer this
unknown commoners' POV, since sometimes it touched me more than those
epic scenarios. This gem perfectly portrayed a sturdy-minded old
soldier who still full of courage and obviously had intact memories
despite his age. I also love the description of contrast and
connection between dealing with martial death and dealing with
senescence, for it could be as hard for a hearty warrior.

And this sentence [What family there is left] made me sad. But the
mutual care between Falborn and Faramir was encouraging, so I'm
grateful Falborn was there for Faramir after the war and the ordeal
he'd suffered. While in some way, I could even count Thorongil/Aragorn
as one of this reunited family, for it was hinted Ecthelion had some
parental affection for Thorongil, and I usually imagine Aragorn would
be some kind of redemption of his lost father and brother to Faramir.

Finally, this reunion scene reminded me again of Sam's words `There is
some good in this world. And it's worth fighting for'. And I think
this is certainly one of them. A round OFC, a subtle revelation
connecting past and present, and a warm ending/beginning, what else
shall we ask for a drabble? This is a satisfaction in so many aspects.

Title: Clothes Make the Man · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres:
Humor: Drabble · ID: 625
Reviewer: Firya · 2007-11-11 04:55:38
Surely I couldn't find more fitful praises for this, could I? It
really made me laugh and this wise, compassionate, humorous,
benevolent elven lord is surely one of the most glamorous Celeborn
I've read. His relationship with Aragorn here seems more relaxing and
supportive even a bit conspiratorial, just like that farewell gift
scene in the movie. To me, Celeborn would be Aragorn's best and only
resource of marital advices, if he ever needed any.

Title: In Body and Mind · Author: Nessime · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Drabble · ID: 759
Reviewer: Firya · 2007-11-11 04:56:38
The story of this mysterious ellyth hooked me a lot, for I always feel
it less convincing that Aragorn-Arwen was the ever third man-elf pair
during all three Ages. And this drabble gave me a glimpse of another
possibility, even it wouldn't have to be romance. I really hope the
tale of her life will be unraveled one day.

However, as a drabble, this one is quite accomplished itself. The
subtle narration described that kind of moment and mood when two ages
and two lives entwined together. And so many centuries and so great a
destiny were all covered by hundred words. Excellent.

Title: Fruition · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Alternate Universe:
Gondor or Rohan · ID: 7
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-11 06:54:39
[spoilers]
This is one of the darkest most scary Aus I have ever read,putting a
whole new slant on why Thorongil left Gondor.
What if Imrahil and his family were not the saints we have been led to
believe?
What if Denethor's hatred for Thorongil eventually resulted in a dual
to the death?
A chilling,beautifully written story which is highly original.

Title: Duty Bound · Author: Bodkin · Genres: Romance: Pre-Ring War ·
ID: 212
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-11 07:02:55
[spoilers]

This somewhat Au story is beautifully told and quite heartrending.
Pippin asks if Boromir has a wife which prompts the Steward's heir to
tell his story.

Boromir was indeed married, a match arranged by his father for a girl
purely to serve as a brood mare.

Boromir weds reluctantly but as time passes he grows to love his bride
and look forward to impending fatherhood.

The tragedy that follows and puts Boromir off ever remarrying will
leave a tear in any reader's eye who is capable of feeling.

Very well written.

Title: Dragonfire · Author: White Wolf · Genres: Adventure · ID: 482
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-11 07:12:11
[spoilers]
This enjoyable story is a cut abouve the usual Aragorn and Legolas
friendship/angst/adventure stories as it features a crotchetly but
lovable dragon and a remarkable and very scary villianess.
Aragorn and LEgolas have a touching loyalty and devotion to each other.
A story that will linger in the reader's mind long after it is finished.
The writer is a highly gifted storyteller.

Title: Well-Lettered (The Director's Cut) · Author: Ribby · Races:
Men: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 762
Reviewer: Firya · 2007-11-11 07:13:31
Well I'd really love to babble more than thousand words just for the
heart warming picture at the end if I am able to. The King and the
Steward did share so many appealing characters and who would be more
deserving than these two to enjoy a hour's peace and indulging
themselves a little in the tomes. Here I must say I do envy that
archivist.

Furthermore, I love you gave Faramir very believable paces to relax
and finally immersed into the parchment with another peer scholar,
King or not. Though we know Faramir accepted Aragorn as his King as
soon as he opened his eyes, but they were still nearly strangers at
that time, and this double-drabble gave us a very natural occasion for
them to begin their mutual understanding and develop real friendship.
Love this.

Title: Sarn Gebir · Author: agape4gondor · Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 398
Reviewer: Firya · 2007-11-11 07:14:08
Very tense writing and an agitated and vivid Boromir. This is those
moments belonged to the Captain, though the Ring wouldn't cease its
temptation even at that time. As the above reviews mentioned, Boromir
was more an action man. I wonder had the fellowship had a clear plan
not some ambiguous and uncertain future when they lingered on the bank
of Anduin, would it be easier for Boromir to just follow orders and do
what a warrior should do. Alas, the Ring was far craftier than that.
And here I feel sorrier for Boromir the misplaced hero, because he
could sense the stir of evil but still couldn't hold himself.

Title: Respite · Author: Linaewen · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 - 3017
TA · ID: 389
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-11 14:20:22
This story has a lovely whimsical tone to it that makes you almost
ache with Finduilas. It is so sad that she would have to worry about
such things for her sons when they're still so young, and you captured
that despair quite well. Good job!

Title: The Oarsman · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 357
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-11 14:23:20
Each of these drabbles alone is a nice glimpse into what those
captured Gondorians would have felt, and so form nice gapfillers. But
put together, the dichotomy between freedom and servitude is palpable,
and the imagery plays off each other particularly well. It's a very
rich, thought-provoking read, and I highly enjoyed it.

Msg# 8430

MEFA Reviews for November 20, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 20, 2007 - 4:25:34 Topic ID# 8430
Title: Darkness Visible · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Gondor Drabble · ID: 725
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-11 14:27:21
Oh, there was some nice imagery in this! I particularly liked how the
Dawnless Day was so like other natural sultry spring rains. The
differences and similarities emphasized the fact that this was no
ordinary spring quite well.

Title: Never Lack · Author: Ruby Nye · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: General Drabble · ID: 453
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-11 14:35:41
This is a really sad glimpse into Middle-earth. It seems all too easy
for this man to have fallen into these circumstances. And while I am
sure he had his faults - you underlie this with the way he enjoys
controlling the hobbits - it seems that he is not fundamentally bad
and could be improved if the opportunity presented itself.

You worked in a surprising amount of backstory for only 100 words, and
I think that's cruciali for this drabble to work. Yes, he's a ruffian
and so the enemy of our loveable hobbits, but he has a story to tell
that gives some context for his evil actions. Nicely done, Ruby; I
heartily enjoyed this.

Title: Shadows of a Nameless Fear · Author: Budgielover · Genres:
Adventure: Minas Tirith · ID: 766
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-11 19:38:57
This is a very exciting tale! Budgie's portrayals of the hobbits are
particularly well done, and Pippin really shines. His bravery and
self-sacrifice on Frodo's behalf is both exceptional and believable.

Title: The Three Hunters · Author: Dreamflower · Genres: Adventure ·
ID: 333
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-11 19:51:49
I liked seeing Merry and Pippin through Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli's
eyes. Good job of portaying the friendship amongst these members of
the Fellowship and good descriptions of the personalities of these
particular hobbits.

Title: Black Mountain · Author: White Wolf · Genres: Adventure · ID: 487
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-11 19:54:24
There is a lot of wonderful teamwork in this story and the friendship
between the characters is very clear. There are some very exciting
situations in this.

Title: I Bid You Stand · Author: storyfish · Genres: Adventure · ID: 225
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-11 19:55:42
A very exciting story and the realtionship between Merry and Pippin is
well done.

Title: Dragonfire · Author: White Wolf · Genres: Adventure · ID: 482
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-11 19:57:32
The friendship between Legolas and Aragorn was very well described
here. Very imaginative story!

Title: Concussion · Author: Dreamflower · Genres: Adventure · ID: 711
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-11 19:59:21
Good hurt/comfort and drama but it's the friendships that really stand
out here.

Title: The Green Knight and the Heir of Meduseld · Author: Le Rouret ·
Genres: Adventure · ID: 170
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-11 20:08:36
This tale fits wonderfully in the author's Green Knight universe. As
always the language is elegant and the plot well thought out with
compelling characterisations.

Title: In Shadow Realm · Author: Legolass · Genres: Adventure · ID: 266
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-11 20:16:40
An epic tale with a bit of everything from drama to humour and all of
the emotions in between. Most especially though, it is a tale of
friendship and loyalty. I really enjoyed this.

Title: The Wrong Path · Author: White Wolf · Genres: Adventure · ID: 481
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-11 20:19:55
This is a very imaginative story and easily holds the reader's
interest. Once again the author has done a fine job of showing the
friendship between Legolas and Aragorn. Some very good dialogue in this.

Title: Dangerous Folk · Author: Budgielover · Genres: Adventure:
Incomplete · ID: 800
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-11 20:24:08
Once again Budgielover has created a story rife with exciting
cliffhangers! The water-goblins are a marvelous invention and the
characterisations of each member of the Fellowship are very well done.

Title: Butterfly Wings · Author: White Wolf · Genres: Adventure:
Pre-Ring War · ID: 486
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-11 20:32:14
A sweet story, appropriately told in a simple style. A nice glimpse of
the ties elves have with nature and I enjoyed reading a story in which
Legolas' family group is intact and happy.

Title: A Little Nudge Out the Door · Author: Jocelyn · Genres:
Adventure: Pre-Ring War · ID: 823
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-11 20:35:14
There are some very well thought out OC's in this story. The author
has some very good ideas about elven society.

Title: Exploring the Wild · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Adventure:
Pre-Ring War · ID: 30
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-11 20:37:03
I am always glad to find a new instalment in this series. Very enjoyable!

Title: Lighting Fires · Author: Gwynnyd · Genres: Adventure: Pre-Ring
War · ID: 95
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-11 20:42:05
Elrohir is an excellent foster brother to Estel. The I enjoy stories
about Estel's childhood and this was a very good one.

Title: Journeys in High Places · Author: Illwynd · Genres: Adventure:
Pre-Ring War · ID: 259
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-11 20:59:22
The descriptions here were excellently done - very vivid! This was a
very exciting story, making Boromir's later experience on Caradhras
seem a walk in the park. The relationship between Boromir and Faramir
was very believable and so was the dialogue.

Title: When the King Comes Back (the Great Smials) · Author:
Dreamflower · Genres: Drama: The Shire · ID: 262
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-11 23:13:00
Four disappeared into the wild, and too many thought them dead,
including Paladin Took. To learn that his son is alive and apparently
well--well, perhaps not as well as he'd first thought....

This is a thoughtful, thought-provoking look at the return of the four
Travellers and their welcome home, and the amazement and confusion and
relief attendant on learning the new state of affairs.

Well written and delightful.

Title: Fell Memories · Author: Gwynnyd · Genres: Drama: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 191
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-11 23:22:25
Aragorn has long been my favorite character. To see how it is that he
first came to Lothlorien has been a terrible delight, one that Merry
and Pippin would recognize and empathise with all too easily.

Thought-provoking; written in a disjointed manner perfectly suited to
the fading in and out of awareness natural to one in such a position;
and the use of the Lay of Leithien to fight the commands of the
Nazgul--perfect!

Title: A Queen Among Farmers' Wives · Author: Imhiriel · Genres:
Humor: Drabble · ID: 635
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2007-11-12 05:53:20
This drabble made me chuckle, from Tom Bombadil's cheerful but
unappreciated greeting to the manner in which the farmer and his wife
resolve their squabble.

Title: Love Story · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres: Humor: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 273
Reviewer: stefaniab · 2007-11-12 05:59:48
In "Love Story," everyone's favorite gang of young Shire characters
put on a play based on a classic tale from the Silmarillion. Bilbo,
the critic, was not terribly impressed. However, I was. Gandalfs
Apprentice continues to impress me as a witty, enjoyable writer.

Title: To Represent the Elves · Author: Nieriel Raina · Genres: Humor
· ID: 810
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-12 07:01:39
A most pleasant, entertaining vignette about the nature of age,
experience and youthful hobbit perception. Pippin has some great lines
here; and is well characterised. His reaction to the realization of
Legolas' true age is right on target.

Title: Concealment · Author: Marta · Genres: Romance: With Rohirrim ·
ID: 649
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-11-12 11:51:37
Ah, thoughtful Theodred! Riding all the way across Gondor to succor
poor Boromir in his grief! I must say, I thought his methodology was
very successful. And hot besides! Boromir makes the most canonically
plausible partner in any LOTR slash pairing, and I particularly enjoy
him paired with Theodred, as they both share an age, and a similar
position on responsibilities within their two countries. Here,
Theodred is the quintessential Rohirrim-passionate and quick to want
to slake those passions. Boromir, as the Gondorian, is also passionate
but a little more reasoned and careful in his response. The love
scenes between the two are very well done, sensual but also conveying
the affection and trust that lie between the two of them.

Title: Crossing · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Gondor Drabble · ID: 693
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-11-12 11:54:37
A lot of people write about Faramir's first kill, but this is the
first work that I've seen dealing with the first time he goes to
Ithilien. Though brief, it captures the sense of entering an entirely
new world, the world of men and war, very well.

Title: Resurrection · Author: Dwimordene · Genres: Alternate Universe
· ID: 265
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-11-12 12:01:09
One of my very favorite Dwimordene stories. Halbarad, severely wounded
on the Pelennor, hovers between life and death. Even after he is
healed enough to leave his bed, he still hovers. Only Aragorn can
truly bring him all the way back to life.

Halbarad's odd, in-between state is well-described, his physical pain
and mental detachment conveyed precisely using very few words. His
long friendship with Aragorn is also conveyed in simple gestures and
brief dialogue. This story depicts the hopeful rebirth of both
Halbarad and Middle-earth.

Msg# 8431

MEFA Reviews for November 20, 2007 (Part 2) Posted by Ann November 20, 2007 - 4:26:53 Topic ID# 8431
Title: The Dryad · Author: Imhiriel · Times: Late Third Age: 3018-3022
TA: General Drabble · ID: 71
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-11-12 12:07:47
I very much like the idea that Ithilien had spirits of nature that
guarded and cherished it. This story put me in mind of Tolkien's
friend C.S. Lewis and his Narnia stories, with their dryads and
naiads. That such a spirit would actively seek to aid those who
defended its land by providing camoflage and shelter is a really nifty
idea.

And the fact that she appreciates Faramir's quality only confirms that
she's a spirit of taste and discernment!

Title: Some Dark Place · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 226
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-11-12 12:13:12
A great gapfiller, compelling despite its brevity. It's obvious in
FOTR that Aragorn has encountered the Nazgul before, and that it left
a mark on him. Raksha describes the encounter and its aftermath in a
very plausible way. Despite being a blooded Ranger, this is for
Aragorn, his first true encounter with the Enemy, and the true
strength and horror of his foe is made clear to him for the first
time. It's a good thing he has a friend like Halbarad to come to his
rescue!

Title: Lords of Gondor · Author: Linaewen · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Incomplete · ID: 154
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-12 17:51:34
Beautiful language, flowing and with a slightly archaic touch that
feels entirely natural.

The vivid descriptions of the landscapes through which the characters
travel are reminiscent in their careful preciseness of Tolkien's style.

The story is marvellously plotted, the different threads weaving and
interweaving around Bormir as the central figure and as the one the
thoughts of the other characters often come back to.

One of the most moving portrayals of Boromir I have ever read.
Legolas' thoughts about how Boromir is here for the first time
revealed as a respected and beloved leader of Men in chapter 15 had me
in tears.

I very much admire your nuanced portrait of Denethor and his relations
to his sons. Denethor is a stern but fair man, hard but not unfeeling,
shrewd but unfortunately slowly sliding into the despair that will
cloud his judgement but is yet barely noticeable. It is clear that
Boromir is the favourite son, but there is still love also between him
and Faramir, even as it is recognised by all that there are
difficulties in that relationship.

The other characters are equally well-drawn, vivid and fully-rounded,
regardless of whether they are canon like Legolas or Faramir, or
original like Boromir's men.

Title: City of Trees · Author: Gwynnyd · Races: Elves: With Mirkwood
Elves · ID: 641
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-12 17:53:04
Marvellous setting of scene - the details Celeborn was seeing and
clearly reveling in were captured in such vivid details the readers
can clearly see the images themselves; the trees, and in particular
the wonderful light.

Very good character interaction; even the interaction only described
in hindsight seemed completely natural. The characterisations
themselves were precise and convincing; their emotions conveyed
clearly. Good balance between humour and seriousness, for example in
Celeborn's keeping precise count of the time of his separation from
Galadriel.

I can well imagine their so different cultural background, as well as
the strong-mindedness and temper both have in common, might possibly
lead to longer separations (and neatly explains Tolkien's muddle in
canon *g*), and yet clearly: love conquers all!

I also want to add that I was very amused by the author's notes.

Title: To Light the Way · Author: Dot · Races: Elves: With Mirkwood
Elves · ID: 12
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-12 17:53:31
Vivid and convincing characterisations; I especially liked your
Thranduil. Good descriptions of the environment.

The interaction between him and the twins was very interesting, a
thoroughly believable middle way between the hostility on the one
hand, and close alliance on the other, often posited in fanfiction
between Rivendell and Mirkwood. The differences between the twins and
Mirkwood's Wood-Elves were conveyed by action and dialogue, rather
than merely stated - a fine case of "show, don't tell".

It is evident that Celebrían's fate still weighed heavily on her sons,
but it was not belaboured overlong, it was "just" one facet of their
preoccupations at this point in time, even if an important one. You
also gave a sense of what else is occupying their thoughts with brief
allusions to Gandalf and Aragorn.

Their thoughts about the Mirkwood denizens feasting and dancing in the
gathering Darkness were understandable, yet I think that celebrating
and taking joy out of every moment possible is also part of "fighting
the long defeat", and defying despair and beleaguerment.

Title: Separation · Author: dancingkatz · Races: Elves · ID: 757
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-12 17:53:44
The perspectives of the children were captured well, you really got
into their minds and described things as they would have seen and
understood them.

Title: Celeborn's Trees · Author: Isabeau of Greenlea · Races: Elves:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 514
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-12 17:54:21
Very romantic, with excellent characterisations, beautiful
descriptions of the scenery (including Celeborn *g*), and movingly
intimate character interaction.

I could very well imagine the frosty, strained atmosphere during the
dinner. And although unspoken, I felt Celeborn was upset and angry so
he had to walk among the trees to find his inner calm once more. All
the more admirable that he held back his temper under such
provocation! To me this shows just *who* is the more superior...
Tolerance indeed! You conveyed his calmness, and even wry humour about
the situation very vividly.

No wonder Galadriel fell for him: one who could pay such beautiful
compliments must be irresistible. I loved it that although it was him
who was offended, at the end it seemed he was also the one giving
comfort and reassurance.

Title: The Understanding of a Father · Author: Ellie · Races: Elves ·
ID: 174
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-12 17:54:49
I was very moved by the father's musings in this; his love for his
child is conveyed very poignantly.

I have speculated about whether Glorfindel (and Finrod) would be
reborn before the War of Wrath, and if so, whether they would bring
their experiences of fighting Morgoth in Middle-earth to bear (and
there is still a bunny waiting to be let out of the hutch *g*). Thus
your premise just fed into those musings in convincing way.

The reality of war is brought out very clearly, when the Reborn
drastically show that "rules of engagement" don't exist in battle with
Evil.

Title: It's No Mystery, Really · Author: grey_wonderer · Races:
Hobbits: Merry and Pippin · ID: 36
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-12 17:55:27
The characterisations are really well-done, and conveyed with apt
choice of vocabulary for the succinct descriptions and excellent
handling of dialogue.

Pippin's grouchiness is conveyed very well - the readers can both
sympathise with him because he is ill, and be exasperated with Merry
by his contrariness.

And yet despite their bickering their love and concern for another
shine through very clearly.

Title: A Mother's Work · Author: Dreamflower · Races: Hobbits:
Vignette · ID: 134
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-12 17:56:06
That was a sweet collection! Wonderful dialogues and excellent
character interaction.

I like the depth of detail in each of the chapters; it really makes
the scenes and the characters come to life. I also thought it a good
touch to not focus exclusively on the mother-child connection, but to
embed this in a wider context of family relations and other happenings
in the Shire.

Nice little references to some of your others stories - they were a
lovely little reminder for those who knew them, but didn't puzzle
those readers unfamiliar with them.

The mothers are really "motherly" (*g*), and you can feel the love
they have for their children and other people in their life. They have
exactly the right balance between showing their tenderness, being
encouraging and being firm.

My favourite was definitely the first one - and I can completely
understand the men wanting to play with this fabulous toy!

Title: Still Round the Corner · Author: lbilover · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Grey Havens · ID: 515
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-12 17:56:49
Lovely story with beautifully expressive little details. Very good
setting of scenes and mood. The interactions between father and son
were very natural and very moving, and the characters were captured well.

Frodo's emotions are oftem only hinted at, yet still they are clearly
conveyed by the way he sees and experiences things through the story.
It is heart-wrenching to see him so torn in what he feels, desperation
and resentment, a feeling of not measuring up to this distant,
awe-inspiring figure, professing incomprehension when deep down he
understands only too well...

I had to laugh at the description of Sam's travel equipment: even on
this last journey, he has not neglected to pack either the rope or his
trusty frying pan!

Title: A Song of Silence · Author: Nessime · Races: Men · ID: 156
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-12 17:58:00
I like this perspective on the flight of the people of Edoras to their
mountain refuges. The details paint a vivid picture of the narrator's
family and her concerns. The image of Meduseld standing empty and
abandoned was particularly poignant.

The history of the tapestry was extraordinarily intriguing, and I
liked how you interwove canon details with original creations to a
believable story of this specific tapestry and its "predecessors".

Title: Poking The Badger · Author: grey_wonderer · Genres: Humor: The
Shire or Buckland · ID: 209
Reviewer: Pearl Took · 2007-11-12 23:50:36
This story is a wonderful look at those too tall hobbits, Meriadoc
Brandybuck and Peregrin Took. Not that they were really that much too
tall according to some (and I'm rather convinced of it myself) but
still - it makes for a fun story. What is it like to suddenly be
different than you were before? This happens all the time to the
adolescent who has a growth spurt or the person who quickly gains or
loses weight. When it's an issue of height being gained after ones
growing is finished and the anticipated strength that is added to it,
things become awkward for poor Merry while things have improved for
Pippin.

Grey Wonderer gives her magic touch to a difficult adjustment in
Merry's life.

Most Excellently Well Done as always!

Title: Great Books · Author: Lady Aranel · Genres: Humor · ID: 149
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-13 01:48:09
A great send-up of LACE and its origins; told in straight narration
and dialogue rather than parody, which adds to the story's appeal. Is
the venerable tome a collection of genuine customs from days of yore
and written by a hero of the Noldor, or something else entirely?

I really liked the line about Legolas being as green as his home forest...

Title: Of Dragons and Manicures · Author: Llinos · Genres: Humor · ID: 714
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-13 01:57:30
[Spoiler warning]


This is a wonderful tale-within-a-tale; so good, atmospheric and
hobbitish that I was wishing it was an AU where the adventure really
happened. Wonderful descriptions and audacious plotting - entertaining
and credible!

Title: Flying Snails and Dragon-flies · Author: pippinfan88 · Races:
Hobbits: Children · ID: 99
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-13 03:20:21
It's hot, and there are plans to go down to Bywater and maybe wade or
swim some, and if they behave Gandalf might give Frodo, Merry, and
Pippin each a cracker to pull; but all is placed on hold as Pippin
finishes his drawings of improvements some creatures might appreciate.

A sweetly told story of children's imaginations at their best.

Title: The Road to Recovery · Author: Isil Elensar · Races: Elves ·
ID: 241
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-13 03:35:32
Amrod swore a deep oath, and has been mightily wounded and now
recovers. He examines his beloved Eliriel through the five senses as
she eases his pain, and she sees him through a sixth.

A sensual look at recovery and love and loss well told in six ficlets.

Title: A Passing Troll · Author: Dreamflower · Genres: Humor: The
Shire or Buckland · ID: 210
Reviewer: Pearl Took · 2007-11-13 04:07:43
Wicked, wicked humour - but humour nonetheless! This is a marvelous
story that I have enjoyed reading more than once. It is still funny
even knowing what's coming. Most Excellently Well Done, Dreamflower!

Title: Glistening · Author: Ellie · Races: Elves · ID: 383
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-13 04:18:41
In each generation there was something different that glistened, from
Elu Thingol finding Melian singing within the wood to Elladan and
Elrohir finding a different purpose to their lives and a different
source for the glistening they knew.

Glorious and sad at the same time, and well, well worth the read.

Title: Nothing At All · Author: MagicalRachel · Races: Hobbits:
Hurt/Comfort · ID: 809
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-13 06:55:26
Frodo counsels Sam accept Strider's ministrations after the flight
from Moria; but when it's his turn....

A moment of comfort and acceptance that horror does indeed pursue
them, as Sam begins to think on what the trip through Moria has done
to him and his fellows.

Title: Not an Ordinary Day · Author: nau_tika · Genres: Drama: The
Fellowship · ID: 737
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-13 07:33:42
Pippin had only been wanting a bit of archery practice, in privacy so
other wouldn't laugh at his lack of expertise; but what occurred
proved a possible embarrassment toward both himself and Legolas as his
instructor. He worries that others will judge him, only to learn the
rest seek to assure him they've done worse, even with greater
experience to warn them. Now, to deal with Legolas's embarrassing injury.

I smirk along with Aragorn on this one. Nice, light humor.

Title: The City and Star Island Line · Author: lipstick · Genres:
Mystery · ID: 524
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-13 08:03:29
Humor, mystery, campfire scary stories, phoenixes and wizards and
mystical familiars--all meet in this tale in which a former
shieldmaiden tries to make sense of this larger world to which she's
made herself aware.

Fascinating, and well written, particularly the exchanges between
right and left-hand Ravens.

Title: Never Lack · Author: Ruby Nye · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: General Drabble · ID: 453
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-13 08:07:56
We see how one turned ruffian and ended up in the Shire, and how so
far he feels he's landed well on his feet.

I love the accompanying look at Sam, Merry, and Pippin rejoicing in
the bounty following the use of the Lady's gift better, however.

Both with plenty of punch.

Title: The Rose in the Fisted Glove · Author: Jael · Genres: Drama:
Second Age or Earlier · ID: 240
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-13 08:34:00
Ah, Thranduil and his friend/valet Galion, before and after the fatal
assault on the gate of Mordor in the battles that ended the Second
Age. Sensual and emotional.

Title: Conversion · Author: Pentangle · Genres: Drama: With Aragorn ·
ID: 169
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-13 09:33:09
"They say" many things, some true, some false, some indeterminate. But
here we have a man renewed by hope returned by the king. Will he in
time come to know that the King WAS named "Hope" when he was a child?

Talion had apparently lost all after the death of his wife, and then
the death of his little son due to "friendly fire." Yet, in expressing
his grief before the King he was not chastised but comforted and
granted authority to see to the needs of his village.

A wonderful story, well told.

Msg# 8432

MEFA Reviews for November 21, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 21, 2007 - 4:26:51 Topic ID# 8432
Title: Measures of Time · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Romance:
Gondor · ID: 50
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-13 09:39:37
Ah, our Eowyn has known envy of the woman in Faramir's arms for the
dance; but it is to her he turns next, as he allows their daughter to
turn to dance with the Prince of Gondor and Arnor now.

To think of Eowyn still turning heads when her children are grown to
adulthood is pleasing, as is this lovely story.

Title: Dance of Desire · Author: Ellie · Genres: Humor: Children · ID: 405
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-13 09:51:11
It is in play that children prepare for what they will do once they
are grown; and for the brother of Haldir, that play prepares him to
become the march warden he will be one day, and the warrior who will
assist in the defense of Lorien against its enemies.

His brother and father watch and worry, and accept the play for what
it is. A beautiful tale of one growing up in a world where war is too
pervasive.

Title: Blackest Fate · Author: Branwyn · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 -
3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 476
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-13 09:56:20
Two prisoners of Sauron's folks regret the loss of the life they knew
in Rohan. But they do not yet know the intended uses to which such as
they have been put.

Wonderful twist at the end as we realize the identity of these two,
and wonderful reference to an easily forgotten detail from the books.

Title: Death of Hope · Author: Linda hoyland · Genres: Romance:
Drabble · ID: 618
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-13 09:59:06
In watching her beloved lord husband go before her, Arwen begins to
better appreciate not only death but the promise beyond it, even if
she feels robbed of most of herself.

Profound.

Title: Frodo's Thoughts - Sam · Author: trikywun · Genres: Drama:
General Drabble · ID: 786
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-13 10:01:38
A true drabble from a newer writer; we see Frodo's thoughts on Sam as
they approach the Fire. Sad and thoughtful.

Title: Fading Embers · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races: Elves:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 760
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-13 10:06:52
Feanor's pride and grief destroyed the hope and love known by his
wife, who refused to follow him to Middle Earth. But now, when she
knows all but Makalaure are dead and he remains wandering in grief,
what has she left?

Powerfully told from Nerdanel's POV.

Title: Sea King; Seeking · Author: Tanaqui · Genres: Drama: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 689
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-13 10:14:24
Aldarion was indeed wedded to the sea before he took Erendis to life.
This series of drabbles shows his life and the reactions to that
commitment from the points of view of those who loved him best and
were hurt most by him.

Each vignette is a jewel in its own right, well set in the necklace of
the series.

Title: Romance · Author: Greywing · Genres: Humor: Other Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 375
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-11-13 11:19:54
[They kissed in the darkness, and did a great many things besides.
Imrahil found them.] I just bet he did! A great little drabble. I love
the images of Lothiriel with syrup in her hair, and Eomer hopping in
the dance. His supposition that he could afford lobsters every now and
again only shows that he was smitten from the start. A great
description of love at first sight.

Title: In the Waiting · Author: Altariel · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 392
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-11-13 11:27:32
Brrrrrrr. A chilling reflection from Faramir as he contemplates the
consequences of letting the Ring go rather than returning it to his
father, and its effects upon his house, from Boromir to himself. There
are those who don't agree with Altariel's depiction of the
relationship between Denethor and Faramir, but it is always
consistent. Ithilien itself seems to be trying to convey its approval
of Faramir's actions with its sweet scents and beauty, but the
vignette ends with that cold glint from Mindoullin that can only be
Denethor using the palantir, a foreboding of the disaster to come.

Title: Free and Gay · Author: Marta · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 81
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-11-13 11:36:02
In canon, Boromir is said to prefer war to courtly things and he never
married. You can draw your own inferences from that as to the reason.
Marta never comes out directly and says why, but she gives a good
image here of Boromir preferring to share the holiday with his fellow
soldiers, dancing with them and his brother rather than the ladies of
the court. His reflections upon his inability to use his "other" sword
and engender the heir that Gondor needs are eventually laid aside so
that he might enjoy the holiday.

Title: Field of Dreams · Author: agape4gondor · Genres: Drama · ID: 374
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-13 11:39:01
I thought this story very well done. It's a sad but true
representation of how people are forced to cope and take on unfamilar
responsibilites that they are unsuited to, simply because they must. I
admired the spirit and strength of character of the protagonist after
suffering such terrible losses. The details of the harvesting were
well researched.

Title: And Not To Yield · Author: Lady Marshy · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 117
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-13 13:52:46
This is a gritty and chilling story made all the more so because of
its realistic descriptions and solid characterisations. Book-Faramir
really shows his quality here and so does Eomer.

Title: The Turn of the Tide · Author: Altariel · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 72
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-13 14:13:21
[Spoiler Alert]

A well executed "what if" story. Though this story is written from
Eowyn's pov what really caught my interest were the references to
Faramir going to Mordor. I am not surprised that Faramir's nobility
carried him through and that he did not make Boromir's mistake of
misplaced judgement and estimation of what the Ring would actually do
were he to take It. I'd like to read more of this AU of the Quest!

Title: The Captain and the King · Author: plasticChevy · Genres:
Alternate Universe: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 738
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-13 14:53:47
There is quite a lot of well done angst and drama in this "what if"
tale. I didn't agree with Halbarad's characterisation but I really
enjoyed the story overall.

Title: Tillecking Night in Bree · Author: Elen Kortirion · Races: Men:
General Drabble · ID: 455
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-13 16:22:53
A very nice tradition and I wonder just who Estel's hidden companion
might be!

Title: Conjuror · Author: Branwyn · Races: Men: General Drabble · ID: 432
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-13 16:29:04
A very subtle drabble and I liked what was actually *not* spoken
between them. Denethor is not far off the mark in his comment about
Mithrandir's methods, though his purpose is certainly nobler.

Title: Great and Terrible · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: General
Drabble · ID: 721
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-13 16:40:35
[Spoiler Alert]

This is a stunning drabble. Thank goodness that Aragorn understood at
the Council that for him to take the Ring would have availed nothing
in the end. His nobility in the beginning, when he is perceived by the
people as a saviour makes his later innefectualism and immunity to his
people's suffering even more tragic. One has to wonder what he turned
into as more years passed, and if he eventually became just as much an
evil tyrant as Sauron. Very well done!

Title: A Thankless Task · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Drama: Youth ·
ID: 49
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-11-13 16:45:42
What really makes this story work for me is the OFC. She is terrific,
and well realized. The boys are good, but not so unique. I
particularly like that we hear Nanny's inner monologue, demonstrating
how much she doesn't say, her choices, the battles she picks and those
she lets slide.

Title: Transformation · Author: Imhiriel · Races: Men: General Drabble
· ID: 185
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-13 16:48:35
I liked the visuals at the beginning - Imrahil is the Errol Flynn of
his day!

Title: Three Cups of Kindness · Author: Elen Kortirion · Times:
Multi-Age: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 448
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-13 16:51:02
A very thoughtful drabble set - the last is particularly moving.

Title: Droplets · Author: Dawn Felagund · Times: Multi-Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 566
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-13 16:52:24
Lovely use of metaphors. This is a wonderful characterisation of Elrond.

Title: The Voices of Silence · Author: Rhapsody · Times: Multi-Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 172
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-13 16:57:05
Each of these drabbles reads so smoothly; there is no out-of-place
word that jars the reader. Each character's emotions are thoughtfully
conveyed.

Title: Marking Fours · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: Multi-Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 1
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-13 17:24:41
[Spoiler Alert]

I was so pleased to discover this excellent drabble series, another
gem that I was guided to by the MEFA's. This series is very
emotionally charged, even though that emotion is cloaked beneath a
matter-of-fact tone that is completely in character.

The numbness, grief, anger and ambivalence that Faramir feels is
conveyed very realistically. He is not one to moan and wail and beat
his breast, he is very much a character that keeps his sorrow and
doubts to himself and just gets on with what needs doing and that
really comes across here.

The last drabble is the perfect resolution to this series, as Faramir
realises what he has lost and perhaps never had, as he contemplates
his own son. I find it quite believable that the extent of his grief
didn't hit him until he had a son of his own and actually experienced
the depth of feeling that there should have been between himself and
his own father, the lack of which is his true loss.

Title: Mighty among both Elves and Men · Author: Tanaqui · Times:
Multi-Age: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 606
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-13 17:29:39
These drabbles really bring Elrond's age and experience into sharp
focus. It is an interesting series and I like the way we see Elrond
evolve over the years while his basic character remains the same.

Title: Enter the Fourth Age, Hastily · Author: Dwimordene · Times:
Fourth Age and Beyond: Drabble · ID: 140
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-13 19:48:37
I really appreciate the way the author has constructed this drabble
and the irony of the title of is most appropriate. The reader is
forced to take in the words as if Treebeard is actually speaking and
the device works well. The language is beautiful and very in
character; as stately and placid as Treebeard himself. Treebeard is
certainly a very difficult character to capture and the author has
done a wonderful job. This is an excellent and evocative drabble!

Msg# 8433

MEFA Reviews for November 21, 2007 (Part 2) Posted by Ann November 21, 2007 - 4:28:31 Topic ID# 8433
Title: The Northmen · Author: SheBit · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
Drabble · ID: 451
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-13 20:00:01
I enjoyed the manly posturing in this drabble. The elegant and archaic
language doesn't change the fact that each group is trying to get the
point across that their home town is the best; some things never
change! But the rivalry is friendly and these men are all clearly
allies. Well done!

Title: Thyme is a great healer · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Fourth Age
and Beyond: Drabble · ID: 723
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-13 20:15:28
This drabble is simply written but the meaning behind it is deep and
thoughtful. There is a gentle wistfullness here for things that might
have been and quiet gladness too, in remembrance of the time that the
ones that have gone were amongst them. Boromir and Frodo might be gone
but their memory remains in the day to day tasks and surroundings of
their loved ones. Beautifully done.

Title: Point of View · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
Drabble · ID: 750
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-13 20:34:37
[Spoiler Alert]

That King Elessar would want a copy of the Red Book is very in
character. For one thing, he would want to see things from the
perspectives of all of his people, something that will enable him to
understand them even better. For another, the Red Book, in my opinion,
would be the most important of these histories because it is written
from the perspective of the hobbits, the race central to the
destruction of the Ring.

I thought that the hobbits were very in character in this piece. Sam,
still a simple homebody in many ways, considers that the Shire and
Gondor are two entirely separate places while Pippin, who is more
open-minded about such things, understands that both locations are a
part of the same wide world.

Title: Celebration · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
Drabble · ID: 139
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-13 20:42:02
It was nice to see Faramir and Eowyn enjoying themselves here and that
they have clearly moved on in their life together. There are no grim
memories to spoil the day as there are in many fics; it's a pleasant
day amongst their people from beginning to end. Very nice!

Title: Come Back to Me (Drabble) · Author: Marta · Times: Fourth Age
and Beyond: Drabble · ID: 538
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-13 21:03:39
[Spoiler Alert]

There is an excellent sense of the passage of time in this drabble. At
least Treebeard remains awake amongst the Ents, finally deciding that
it is time at long last to go on his search. It makes me hopeful that
some could linger still despite the depredations of Men. I do hope
that he found them, in the end.

It's so sad that Men gradually forgot or disregarded the existence of
the Ents but not surprising really, Men being what they are.


Title: Reunion · Author: Fawsley · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
Drabble · ID: 489
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-13 21:12:28
The author gets a lot of information into this drabble and it is told
in a very readable way. We are shown the who, why, where and how of
Falborn, past and present, so clearly that the piece actually seems
longer than it is. I enjoyed this very much and wished for more. I'd
like to see their reunion. Very nice!

Title: Coda · Author: Imhiriel · Times: Second Age: Drabble · ID: 627
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-13 21:23:59
Achingly sad and exceptionally evocative. The author manages to touch
on several different themes in this drabble and does so skilfully,
using just the right words to make the maximum impact on the reader. I
have seldom seen a drabble that manages to convey such strong
emotions. Excellent!

Title: Aftershocks · Author: Gwynnyd · Times: Second Age: Drabble ·
ID: 504
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-13 21:33:00
Very intriguing. I liked Lord Cobas very much and wondered what he
must have felt getting the news so long after the event, unlike today
when we can communicate almost instantly. Would it have made the event
easier to bear since so much time had passed or would the passage of
time have made it worse for him? Well done.

Title: Iron to Iron · Author: mrkinch · Times: Second Age: Drabble ·
ID: 662
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-13 21:50:35
Interesting, original and thought-provoking. I have never seen this
pov before and was impressed with the sense of anger and loathing the
author managed to convey in so few words. For such things of beauty
their justified hatred was so cold and unyielding - and seemed very
right, exactly as a thing not exactly living would experience such
deep emotion. Excellent!

Title: Mentor · Author: Nessime · Times: Second Age: Drabble · ID: 653
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-13 22:08:25
This drabble does a very good job of conveying Eonwe's emotions,
chiefly sadness, resentment and resignation. His bemusement that Men
can be so easily misled is subtly done but unmistakable. Well done!

Title: Endings and Beginnings · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Second Age:
Drabble · ID: 726
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-13 22:13:46
I have seen Stargate: Atlantis exactly once, but even I could
understand that this drabble works very well. Crossovers often seem
very forced but this one didn't, it seemed perfectly feasible.

Title: Begetting Day · Author: Lady Aranel · Races: Elves: With
Mirkwood Elves · ID: 146
Reviewer: White Wolf · 2007-11-13 22:20:08
Picturing elfling Legolas with his head down, feeling bad about what
happened, was an adorable vision.

I love stories where Thranduil is portrayed as a good father, and it
was great that he allowed Legolas to save his dignity. It was also
nice to see his mother in this sweet little tale.

Title: Darkness on a Bright Morning · Author: Hai Took · Races:
Hobbits: Hurt/Comfort · ID: 807
Reviewer: White Wolf · 2007-11-13 22:32:01
What a sweet little vignette. We tend to think of the hobbits as
constantly cheerful, so it's hard knowing that these wonderful
characters have doubts and fears, too. Merry and Pippin are so good at
helping each other that I know I don't have to worry about them.

Title: Brothers at Heart · Author: Radbooks · Times: Mid Third Age:
2851 - 3017 TA · ID: 330
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-13 23:10:21
Marigold suggested that I would like this story and she was right. I
also read it in one sitting. Radbooks is a skilled storyteller; this
held my attention throughout and I eagerly read chapter after chapter
and was sorry to come to the ending. Marigold had mentioned to me that
she felt that she was reading a published novel rather than a work of
fanfiction and I pretty much agree - this tale is better than many
books I have purchased in my time.

Very few fanfic authors have managed to capture Aragorn as spot on as
he is written here. His nobility, sense of responsibility, experience
and inexperience, as well as his youth are all taken into account and
so are his ancestry and upbringing. All of these aspects have clearly
been carefully considered by the author and the Aragorn that we meet
in this story is exactly as I would expect the character to be at this
age and in these circumstances.

The confidence that Aragorn develops, both as an individual in a new
place and as a leader and healer, is realistically gradual and gained
with the help and advice of his elders but he also doesn't hesitate to
see things through in his own way if he thinks that way is the best
for his people. It was no stretch of the imagination to imagine this
youth becoming the Aragorn that we know from the books..

His integration into the Dunadain is well done and I enjoyed watching
the relationships develop between him and the other characters,
especially Halbarad. The OC's are very much distinct personalities and
well-conceived. The plot is considered and focussed. It was exciting,
angsty, frightening and humorous by turns. The dialogue was in
character and never failed to move the story forward.

This is a work to be proud of and I would have no hesitation in
recommending it to anyone that is looking for a superb fic that they
can really lose themselves in. I too am hoping there is a sequel!





Title: Dawning Hope: A Day Out · Author: Radbooks · Times: Mid Third
Age: 2851 - 3017 TA · ID: 659
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-13 23:17:19
This story does a great job at capturing Eowyn as a child. Eomer and
Theodred and the other characters are also well written but to me
Eowyn is the one that really shines in this story. This author seems
to have a real knack of working out just the right personalities for
our favourite canon characters as they are growing up.

The plot was engaging and entertaining. I enjoyed this very much!

Title: Burning Son · Author: Aruthir · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 -
3017 TA · ID: 436
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-13 23:21:00
This really reinforces the insanity of war and the way that such
conflict brings out the worst (and sometimes the best) in people.
Harsh and vividly written, which is right for the subject matter.

Title: Death of Hope · Author: Linda hoyland · Genres: Romance:
Drabble · ID: 618
Reviewer: White Wolf · 2007-11-13 23:51:41
These are exactly the thoughts that I believe Arwen would have had
after Estel's death. To me, it was natural for her to wonder if seeing
him linger only to have him a little longer would have been better
than letting him go on his own terms. I'm glad that she could be proud
of the way he chose to die. Very nicely done.




Title: Mighty among both Elves and Men · Author: Tanaqui · Times:
Multi-Age: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 606
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-14 02:34:28
I am always intrigued by stories, however large or small, about my
favorite Elf (alright, halfElf; but he lives as an Elf), and this
quintet of drabbles does not disappoint.

Tanaqui captures Elrond's multi-faceted character, that he is a seeker
of knowledge of all kinds, as fascinated by construction as he is by
lore. And I loved the last one, where Elrond finds solace and more in
Celebrian...

Title: A Game of Chess · Author: Altariel · Genres: Romance: Gondor ·
ID: 609
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-14 03:52:05
Whether or not one agrees with the direction Altariel has taken the
post-Ring War characterisation of Faramir, this is a powerful and very
well-written story. I particularly liked the characterisation of
Eowyn; and Aragorn is also written quite well.

Title: City of Trees · Author: Gwynnyd · Races: Elves: With Mirkwood
Elves · ID: 641
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-14 05:33:12
The author admits in the notes that this short tale isn't completely
canon, but that thought didn't even enter into my mind when I read it.
Whether the timeline completely jives (and, as she said, with Celeborn
and Galadriel who can really tell?), the characterizations are spot on
and I could completely buy this Celeborn, Thranduil, and Galadriel as
Tolkien's characters, at least as I like to imagine them.

And Gwynnyd deserves extra kudos for her creative characterization of
Elrond. When I imagine the families of Celeborn, Galadriel, Elrond,
and Celebrian, I see Celebrian mirroring Celeborn and representing the
Sindarin side of the family, and Elrond mirroring Galadriel and taking
after his Noldorin foster-fathers. But it needn't have been like that
- he was after all Elwing's child - and I love this image of his
passive aggressive resistance to Galadriel's meddling. Well done!

Title: Watching and Waiting · Author: Llinos · Genres: Poetry: With
Hobbits · ID: 796
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-14 05:38:42
This is a touching view of Merry's and Pippin's feelings for each
other. Nicely conceived, and beautifully presented. Nice work, Llinos.

Title: The Spear of the Lily · Author: The Bookbinder's Daughter ·
Genres: Romance: Gondor · ID: 11
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-14 05:40:47
An exquisite look at Eowyn from Faramir's viewpoint. We see Faramir's
poetic tendancies interacting with his sincere love for his wife as
well as a strong streak of honesty about his inability to totally
capture Eowyn in words.



Title: Celebration · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
Drabble · ID: 139
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-14 05:44:06
This drabble is just lovely, capturing so much about how the people of
Ithilien might have celebrated the simple seasonal moments that came
every year. I particularly liked how the martial competitions were
more or less over by noon - it gave the drabble a lovely Fourth Age
feel that I really liked. And the distrust of the ladies as Eowyn
judged their handiwork was so delightfully *normal*, it really made me
smile. You've really captured the festive spirit well.

Title: Waste Not, Want Not · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Villains:
Drabble · ID: 722
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-14 05:54:19
I think if I could say that I "liked" this drabble it would be a sign
that there was something wrong with me. The drabble is much too
gruesome and unnerving for that description. But it is delightful, a
wonderful characterization of the orcs in just 100 words, and exactly
what a drabble about villains should be. Nice use of description and
our own sense of revulsion, it was very effective and very well done.

Title: Of Dragons and Manicures · Author: Llinos · Genres: Humor · ID: 714
Reviewer: NeumeIndil · 2007-11-14 06:58:04
This is so sweet and hobbity. It felt very like a part of the original
story that was simply not written by Tolkien. Well characterized and
great description too. I enjoyed it very much.

Msg# 8434

MEFA Reviews for November 22, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 22, 2007 - 5:47:53 Topic ID# 8434
Title: The Last Leaf to Fall · Author: Robinka · Genres: Romance:
Second Age or Earlier · ID: 546
Reviewer: NeumeIndil · 2007-11-14 07:43:37
This story tugs at me right from the beginning, while Flower sits,
begging her great aunt for a story. It brought to mind the smell of my
grandmother's apartment and knitting lessons when I was a girl. I also
enjoy the narrator's voice, the chatty tone she adopts from the start
is welcoming, almost comforting in a way, easing us through the
sadness of her pending departure with the happiness of her girlhood.
And yet, over all, the melancholy is what has stayed with me since I
first read it so many months ago. Not only does the OC have only one
day with her husband, but the niece that would know her story never
hears it. The leaf falls too soon. Except for us, the readers, the
truth dies with her. It makes me wonder how many of my grandmother's
stories passed when she did, a testament to the power of the narrative
here, that someone can be touched so closely by a simple, relatively
short tale. It is also worth noting that it is rare to see stories of
humans who had interacted with First and Second age elves in this
fandom. Thanks in part to the P. Jackson films, the early history of
Middle-earth is still an untapped resource in many ways, and yet the
Silmarillion-based stories to be spawned by a simple "what if" seem
nearly endless. This is, I hope, just one of many sweet and sad and
engaging stories still to come from the pen (well, keyboard) of a
great writer with excellent command of the language in which she writes.

Title: Blessed by Ilúvatar · Author: White Wolf · Genres: Drama: Elves
in Later Ages · ID: 485
Reviewer: NeumeIndil · 2007-11-14 08:02:34
A sweet, short tale illustrating how even the greatest hearts are
touched by sorrow and loss, and how the simple, open heart of a child
can help healing begin. I very much like this Thranduil and the
structure of the house of Oropher. Nicely written.

Title: Mistaken Identities · Author: Greywing · Races: Elves · ID: 201
Reviewer: NeumeIndil · 2007-11-14 08:04:15
Haldir as Pallas-Athena? Okay, that gave me the giggles in a bad way.
This whole idea just somehow *works* so wonderfully well. What a
creative, extraordinary take on the lives of those First Born who did
not sail. Just lovely.

Title: Future Imperfect · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851
- 3017 TA · ID: 749
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-11-14 11:34:01
A good look at a more sympathetic Denethor than is usually provided.
He and his father-in-law Adrahil are discussing Faramir's eventualy
role in the guarding of Gondor, while unbeknownst to them, Faramir
listens outside. Denethor's regret that he will have to send his
second-born to one of the most dangerous postings is palpable here,
but his resolve is as well. Adrahil obviously favors Faramir, and
wants to spare his grandson some danger, but is over-ruled. Good
character development in a little bit of space.

Title: Tradition · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Cross-Cultural: Drabble ·
ID: 691
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-14 14:19:35
This drabble is sad in its way, but there's a beautiful poignancy to
Eowyn's simple statement that [a scop's music dies with his lord]. I
also liked this presentation of Rohirric custom as something worthy of
respect, just not yet understood by Faramir. He would have been within
his rights to insist Gleowine sing, I'm sure, and it speaks highly of
Faramir that Eowyn knows she can convince him to alter his actions in
the future.

Title: Gifts · Author: Acacea · Genres: Humor: Other Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 500
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-14 14:41:02
Hee! Oh, this is a fun moment, and I can completely see it happening
the way you laid it out. And it's good to see Denethor and Faramir
interacting naturally, and Denethor as a good father - so much to love
in this ficlet. Nice work, Alawa.

Title: The End of Dark Days · Author: annmarwalk/EdorasLass CoAuthors
· Genres: Drama: Minas Tirith · ID: 56
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-14 14:45:24
Another enjoyable story set in this well-conceived universe. There is
a nice mix of relief and shocked disbelief here as Nanny learns about
what has happened in the City and to Faramir.

Title: Breath of Spring · Author: Ribby · Races: Men: Gondor Drabble ·
ID: 763
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-14 14:45:51
[mild spoilers]

There is something truly sad (but also really poignant) about the idea
that the smell of death followed Faramir even into his black
breath-induced dreams. It makes sense, and I wouldn't have it any
other way, but when you said even Boromir [reeked of blood and death],
I wanted to cry for Faramir.

But then there is the transition, the moment where the air clears and
a new smell comes in, and I'm sure it would be as refreshing as a
summer rain to him. There's some really affective use of smells and of
sensations in general in this drabble, and I really enjoyed it.

Title: Letting Go · Author: Rowan · Genres: Drama: The Shire · ID: 310
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-14 15:26:48
This is a tale that could easily have turned out to be overly
sentimental, but Rowan rose to the challenge and gives us a
conversation between Bilbo and Frodo that feels natural and fresh
without losing its poignancy. It's not an easy task by any stretch of
the imagination, but Rowan manages it well, and the result is a
delightfully fresh tale.

When I try to think about why I liked this tale so much, two things
come to mind: characterization and description. The descriptions both
of Bilbo's preparations for the party and the physical world he and
Frodo walk through are rich and vivid, yet they do not slow down the
tale. Rowan gives us just enough details to whet the appetite and lets
our imagination carry us the rest of the way, just as it should be.

That on its own would make for a nice read, but Rowan also shines
through in characterization. Bilbo is not the impulsive adventurer of
the Hobbit, the care-worn and diminished uncle we see in Rivendell, or
the snarky gift-giver of the party scenes, yet he feels fundamentally
"Bilbo-ish." Frodo brings out his softer side without (as I said)
making him overly sentimental, and I can very easily see one of my
favorite characters acting in this way. I tend to be very exacting in
how I like Bilbo in fanfic, and this story does a good job with him,
too. And with Frodo, too. I can see the gentle spirit and earnestness
of the young in him, but he also has the wisdom and the generosity of
heart that will make him a fine ringbearer.

All in all, this was a very enjoyable read. Anyone who likes
vignettes, gapfillers, and especially fic about Bilbo should give this
a try.

Title: A Thankless Task · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Drama: Youth ·
ID: 49
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-14 17:31:55
I especially enjoyed the interaction and banter between the brothers
here. I can't help but think that it would have ultimately been better
for Boromir's character if his father had insisted he continue his
lessons. Perhaps he would have turned out less haughty and impatient.

Title: Answers and Questions · Author: Peredhil lover · Genres: Drama:
Youth · ID: 189
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-14 17:37:46
There is an interesting twist here that I have never seen before and
it really appealed to me. It made the twins much more alive, clearly
individuals rather than clones of each other. Estel's characterisation
was also well done.

Title: Erestor and Estel: Hidden · Author: Pentangle · Genres: Drama:
Youth · ID: 167
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-14 17:51:18
It's lovely that Estel already has the ability to see the worth of a
person beyond their exterior. Another example of "all that is gold
does not glitter"!

Title: Force of Nature · Author: shirebound · Genres: Alternate
Universe: The Shire or Buckland · ID: 360
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-14 21:18:53
Ah, another sequel to "Quarantined," wherein Aragorn seeks a Ranger
apparently lost in the Old Forest. But when the trees appear to poison
first the Ranger and then Bilbo Baggins's young cousin Frodo, it's to
be wondered what's going on here.

A wonderful look at ineractions between Rangers and Hobbits, and first
meetings between Estel and Merry and little Pippin and his ducks.
Sweetly told.

Title: To Sleep, Perchance to Dream · Author: Blackbird Song · Genres:
Drama: Ithilien · ID: 301
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-15 00:45:29
The deep love between these two is very clear in this story. I
especially liked the first part, set in Buckland. The descriptions
were very well done. Pippin's prophetic dream was very Tookish!

Title: Charms of Wisdom and Grace · Author: annmarwalk · Genres:
Drama: Ithilien · ID: 460
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-15 00:53:35
[Spoiler Alert]

This is a beautiful story, very calming somehow. The descriptions are
lovely.

I didn't find the idea that Faramir could weave farfetched at all, so
well thought out was the reasoning behind it. The idea that he had
made Boromir's cloak and so helped to save the hobbits from freezing
on Caradhras was a nice one, another tangible thing that he had done
to help the Quest succeed.


Title: The Far Corner of the Garden · Author: annmarwalk · Genres:
Drama: Ithilien · ID: 554
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-15 00:59:20
I enjoyed this - it is a very life-affirming story and does a
wonderful job of showing just how far Eowyn has come from the cold
maiden who desired death. Now so many of her thoughts are on
sustaining life. The simbelmyne was a particularly nice touch.

Title: A Noble Thing · Author: Lily Baggins · Genres: Drama: Ithilien
· ID: 596
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-15 01:43:26
My favourite part of this story was the flashback to the bath.
Faramir's kindness really shines through.

Title: Journey's End · Author: Altariel · Genres: Drama: Ithilien ·
ID: 442
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-15 01:57:37
This is a very good story. The two "Rangers" are very much at the
heart of the piece even though the story is not told from their pov.
The mistress of the inn is an excellent OC and her thoughts provide a
very clear example of how everyday folks must have suffered during the
War.

I really liked the idea that these two particular travellers might
sneak away now and again for a bit of anonymity!

Title: Firelight · Author: Songspinner · Genres: Drama: Ithilien · ID: 817
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-15 02:20:33
A nice weaving of film and a bit of Book-verse! The fire theme was
well conceived. The close friendship that the members of the
Fellowship have for each other is well conveyed; their closeness is
obvious primarily because of the characters' actions rather than too
many words. The friendship between Legolas and Gimli and the fondness
that everyone feels for Pippin is expressed especially well.


Title: Night Terrors · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 -
3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 752
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-15 02:27:32
Great title! This is a very sweet drabble. I'd love to hear the story
about the [Last King and the Snowmen]!

Title: Truly Tested · Author: Súlriel · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 -
3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 257
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-15 02:34:50
This drabble really manages to convey what training with a sword is
menat to accomplish, the reflexiveness so that one can act and react
without hesitation. Well done and realistic.

Title: Behind Every Great Man... · Author: annmarwalk · Times: Mid
Third Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 52
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-15 02:39:14
This drabble works very well written completely in dialogue. Mormegil
is an excellent servant and I found myself wondering what had become
of him in later years.

Title: The Wink of an Eye · Author: Linda hoyland · Times: Mid Third
Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 664
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-15 02:41:29
I wouldn't have guessed that Sauron had a sense of humour! Definitely
*not* what Denethor was hoping for!

Title: Outmatched · Author: Tiana Luthien · Genres: Drama: Vignette ·
ID: 132
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-15 02:42:36
One of the best Eomer/Faramir piecesI've ever read. The descriptions
are almost cinematic; and make me see the action, which is intense;
yet there is a certain playfulness, and a beauty about it all -
witness the line [Thrust, parry, block, dodge, they danced sure-footed
across the earth raising clouds of dust, lightning flashing from their
hands.]

The only problem is that Tiana Luthien did not write me into the story
with a camera. But the image of the combat between such well-matched
heroes remains engraved in the FanGirl portion of my brain...

Too often, Faramir's strength and skill at arms is given scant
attention in fanfiction stories. Here is one that not only
acknowledges Faramir's martial skills, but Tolkien's assertion that he
can hold his own with any man of the Mark.

And the ending is wonderful, and very believable.



Title: And We Will Travel North · Author: bewize · Times: Mid Third
Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 39
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-15 02:53:58
This drabble made me consider something that had never crossed my mind
before; characterisations of Elrohir and Elladan that I have read,
including LotR itself, portray the twins as elvish in every way. Yet
as Peredhel they must have wondered at some point in their lives about
what it would mean to be human. Their journeys with Estel must have
been enlightening for them. Very thoughtful drabble about the
relationship between the three of them.

Msg# 8435

MEFA Reviews for November 22, 2007 (Part 2) Posted by Ann November 22, 2007 - 5:49:31 Topic ID# 8435
Title: No Escape · Author: Aranel Took · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 -
3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 324
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-15 03:03:25
[Spoiler Alert]

I hadn't considered before that Balin would have taken females when he
led the group of dwarves bent on retaking Moria but it does make sense
as they planned to recolonise and took many of their folk.

This was very grim and touched my heart as it would the heart of any
mother. The sense of hopelessness is palpable as is the resolve and
bravery of this poor dwarf woman.

This drabble is certainly unlike anything else that I have ever read
by this author and I thought it well done indeed!



Title: Blackest Fate · Author: Branwyn · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 -
3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 476
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-15 03:13:10
An excellent nod to a brief reference in the books. The language is
beautiful here and the thoughts suit the two prisoners very well. I
had no idea at all just who these poor unfortunates were until the end
and the realisation was a jolt, but a good one.

I'd love to read more about these two, especially their escape or
rescue. It makes me very sad to think that they ended their days in
servitude in an evil foreign land.

Title: Spring after Winter · Author: annmarwalk · Times: Mid Third
Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 462
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-15 03:19:04
[Spoiler Alert]

How lovely that Sam woke to a gentle rain and laughter - it's the
perfect reward for him after the lack of water and joy he suffered in
Mordor.

Good description of that vague moment between sleep and waking.

Title: Renewal · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 - 3017
TA: Drabble · ID: 692
Reviewer: Llinos · 2007-11-15 03:27:59
The author does a wonderful job here of painting a picture with words.
Everything is so vividly described that it's hard to remember that
this is a drabble and not a longer piece.

Compared to what it looked like the last time Bilbo saw the place this
must have seemed a scene out of a fairy story to him and his wonder is
described perfectly. I really liked the way that the renewal is
described in colours and sounds. Very nice indeed!

Title: Devious Council · Author: Rhapsody · Genres: Drama: Vignette ·
ID: 427
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-15 03:31:08
In this intriguing vignette, Rhapsody explores a small corner of
Noldor history mentioned in the Silmarillion, bringing Maedhros and
Caranthir to vivid life in the process.

Good dialogue and characterisation.

Title: Twice blessed is help unlooked for · Author: Tanaqui · Times:
Late Third Age: 3018-3022 TA: Gondor Drabble · ID: 631
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-15 04:03:50
There are so many delightful turns of phrase in this drabble: [dealing
death and defending blows], [weary joy], even the simple descriptor of
[comrades] for Thorongil. There is a magical lilt to the whole peace
that makes the scene come alive; I can definitely see the whole scene,
especially Imrahil's smile. Well done, Tanaqui, I enjoyed this.

Title: The Tragedye of Leaflet, Prince of Mirkwood · Author: Jael ·
Genres: Humor: Parody · ID: 243
Reviewer: Claudio · 2007-11-15 04:08:01
Any story that manages to effectively parody both Tolkien and
Shakespeare at the same time is an absolute must-read. In this case,
an idea that could easily have fallen flat or gone overboard is
executed perfectly, with just the right mix of careful knowledge and
bawdy humour. A well-written story leaves the reader both satisfied
and wanting more, and The Tragedye of Leaflet does just that. There's
enough here to appreciate immensely, but I'd still like to read the
whole play some day...

Title: Fun with Farm'n · Author: Súlriel · Races: Villains: Drabble ·
ID: 269
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-15 04:09:02
Ugh! But wonderfully, truly spectacularly orcish. I knew the ending
was coming, but it still worked really well, and you even got a bit of
orcish humor in - no easy task. Good work.

Title: None may live now as they have lived · Author: Tanaqui · Times:
Late Third Age: 3018-3022 TA: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 687
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-15 04:16:40
This was touching. I don't think I've read much fanfic that deals with
the question of Arwen's confidence in Aragorn, though she must have
believed in him. I particularly like that she knows the northern
Dunedain so well. I can imagine this is just what Aragorn would have
needed to hear, and I really enjoyed seeing the encouragement fleshed
out so evocatively.

Title: Night of Love · Author: Linda hoyland · Genres: Romance: Gondor
· ID: 617
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-11-15 04:39:50
Very nice little vignette. I like the place Galadriel suggested for
'this' night. Nice job.

Title: Dreams the Way We Planned Them · Author: SlightlyTookish ·
Genres: Romance: Gondor · ID: 297
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-11-15 04:42:14
Very nice. I think it would be nigh unto impossible for anyone NOT to
love Pippin. I had to say 'yikes' when Aragorn suggested things might
not end well... I loved the touch with the swollen lip and bruised jaw
- nice touch that the helm would do some damage!

Very nice tale.

Title: The Spear of the Lily · Author: The Bookbinder's Daughter ·
Genres: Romance: Gondor · ID: 11
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-11-15 04:43:43
Very nice moment.

Title: Waters of Life · Author: Linda hoyland · Genres: Romance:
Gondor · ID: 423
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-11-15 04:46:24
Nicely done. Having Arwen be the one who ended up doing the guiding -
the further up they went - was a very nice touch and made me laugh. I
really loved the fact that the place made her want to dance! So
Luthien - ish!

Title: Faint Heart Never Won Fair Lady · Author: Marta · Genres:
Romance: Gondor · ID: 604
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-11-15 05:02:27
Very nice indeed, Marta! I liked the whole premise of this. But most
especially, I liked the tension between Hurin and Faramir - it would
be most difficult for the Warden of the Keys to NOT have had an
intense relationship with Denethor and would have HAD to learn to read
the man... therefore, it seems totally plausible that he would note
the traits in Faramir - as Tolkien himself writes.

One other part that I really found made me shiver - one little tiny
reference to what might have happened on the east banks of the Anduin.
What manner of interrogation did Faramir have to resort to in those
hellacious days of torment during the War of the Ring???

I also will agree that Faramir probably didn't yet know the
circumstances surrounding his father's death - not at this particular
moment, at least.

Good tale.

Title: Measures of Time · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Romance:
Gondor · ID: 50
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-11-15 05:07:26
An excellent chapter in Eowyn's life. I most appreciated this view. I
could just feel the Shieldmaiden's emotions; they flowed freely and
well throughout. I wrote 'wow' at the very first paragraph and
relished the rest. Her anger at Faramir's 'youth' - the resentment of
her daughter's youth - the fact that she could still dance, thank the
Valar - and the rejoicing in being able to still [catch a young man's
eye] were such fun to read. I really enjoyed this one.

One little side note. I loved the fact that you put that Faramir never
lied to her. It reminded me of a quote I read somewhere that Tolkien
said that the men of Gondor do not lie. I thought it most important
for these men.

Good tale.

Title: A Dragon in Buckland · Author: Pearl Took · Genres: Mystery ·
ID: 206
Reviewer: NeumeIndil · 2007-11-15 08:09:03
This was just darling to read. Very sweet and seems in character for
Pippin-- playful and a bit mischievous but also loyal and kind.

Title: Tea for Two · Author: pippinfan88 · Races: Hobbits: Children ·
ID: 304
Reviewer: NeumeIndil · 2007-11-15 08:36:14
Aww! Being an only child myself, I've never felt the rejection that it
seems comes with being "replaced" as the baby of the family. Poor
little Vinca! Wonderful of Frodo to step in and make her feel noticed,
even more so for a nearly grown lad to play tea party. I like your
Frodo, and the family he's been adopted into. Bravo.

Title: The Rose in the Fisted Glove · Author: Jael · Genres: Drama:
Second Age or Earlier · ID: 240
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2007-11-15 11:00:25
This gem is a delight from beginning to end. The deft dialogue, the
mix of sorrow and humor, brings Middle-earth alive before your eyes.
Jael's favorite milieu, the Wood-elves of Oropher and Thranduil, puts
her in just the spot to observe the rest of the world of Men and Elves
with keen sight. Not being a fan of the stuffy Noldor, I love her sly,
insightful digs at the likes of Feanor and the "flame-eyed." I'd much
rather hang with Jael's Thranduil.

It's a challenge to pull the rug from under LACE and yet stay "true"
to the feel of Middle-earth, and Jael does it. Of course those
"canonites" who view strict monogamy alone as "worthy" of a story of
Middle-earth will not, and cannot, be satisfied. More pity they. If I
can indulge in a bit of polemic, there's plenty of evidence that
Tolkien himself realized there were--ahem--large improbabilities about
LACE. Jael makes a lively, moving tale out of just these.

I particularly enjoy the relationship between prince/king and valet,
as the distance between them opens and closes in the course of the
tale. It is a hard thing to write well.

Jael continues to grow immensely as a writer. I enjoy her tales, and
seeing her development. What will she do next? Her happy readers can't
wait to see.

Title: The Anglo-Saxons and the Rohírrim · Author: willow_41z ·
Genres: Non-Fiction · ID: 585
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-15 13:29:14
This is an interesting take on the perennial problem of fanfic
treating the Rohirrim as Anglo-Saxons. Instead of taking on the bigger
problem of why we think any historical culture would exactly parallel
a fictitious one in a work by an author who proclaims to dislike
allegory, willow_41z takes a more pragmatic approach. Let's say
Tolkien intended the Rohirrim to resemble the Anglo-Saxons in some
significant way. Would it be the Anglo-saxons of history, of
literature, an idealized version combining some aspects of both, or
what exactly? And given how little we know about the Anglo-saxons,
what would we gain by making this analogy?

It's a really interesting way to look at characterization in fanfic,
both with regards to this specific issue and the larger issue of how
we go about world-building. Nice work, willow - it was a very engaging
read, and I'm sure I'll be mulling your points over in my mind over
the next few days.

Title: Devious Council · Author: Rhapsody · Genres: Drama: Vignette ·
ID: 427
Reviewer: Oshun · 2007-11-15 16:17:41
I appreciate this very short story because it takes a well-known but
not explicitly developed bit of text and gives thoughtful
characterization and backstory that illuminates it. Of course, it
doesn't hurt at all that I see bits of the character of both Maedhros
and Caranthir that which fits my own personal imagination of what
these two sons of Fëanáro might have been like. Maedhros displays an
understanding of both his brothers and politics that enabled him to
effectively accomplish an enormous amount during those years; it also
displays the contradictions of Caranthir.

Title: Lost in Translation · Author: sophinisba solis · Races:
Cross-Cultural: With Pippin · ID: 31
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-11-15 16:38:07
This is wonderful perspective on otherwise familiar events. I can't
help but think that Pippin's preoccupation with the language barrier
was keeping him from thinking about the great, wider world, in an
larger detail - that would have been truly alienating!

Title: 13th Birthday · Author: stefaniab · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 138
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-11-15 16:46:04
I really liked this multi-faceted depiction of the Steward's family,
and that Denethor is shown as fair, knowing, compassionate, and yet
distant and troubled. A most fair assessment.

Title: Holding onto Hope · Author: Alassante · Times: First Age and
Prior · ID: 368
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-11-15 17:02:19
This is such a wonderfully layered piece. On top, we have the
comparatively simple tale of nephew goading and coaxing uncle into
reviving from self-pity and despair. Their exchanges are almost
child-like, teasing, full of reverse-psychology and engaging. But more
intriguing is the ironic undertext, that Meadhros's path to recover
lies through violence - the sword - retribution and the destruction
neither knows lies in their future.

Title: Blackest Fate · Author: Branwyn · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 -
3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 476
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-11-15 17:11:05
I liked this one! I didn't suspect the prisoners' identity until the
very last line. Very poignant!

Title: Seeking to Please · Author: Gwynnyd · Genres: Romance: Pre-Ring
War · ID: 193
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-11-15 18:09:30
What an unconventional Yenta Elrohir makes! content to let the future
take care of itself so long as he as manipulated the present. This is
a lovely story, nonetheless delightful for its simplicity. The writer
does indeed set it like a stage, like a farce, one player entering
stage left, the other stage right, the unforseen observer standing in
for the audience. As Arwen loses more and more sticks, she unburdens
herself of her apprehensions, and gives over more of her affection as
Aragorn recieves them.

Nicely done.

Msg# 8436

Helpful Information: Promoting the MEFAs Posted by aure\_enteluva November 22, 2007 - 12:00:21 Topic ID# 8436
Hey guys,

Voting for the 2007 Middle-earth Fanfiction Awards is going on for
just over another month. (You have until December 30.) That's plenty
of time to write lots of good reviews, though it probably is a good
idea to start soon if you haven't already.

Around this time of year many members decide to promote the awards
wherever they spend time - for instance, at a forum where they
regularly post, or on their blog. This is great! I love people being
excited about these awards, and the more people who know about the
MEFAs and participate in them, the better it is for the awards.

There are a few things to keep in mind before you make that post.
First, remember that many communities have a MEFA member that makes
official announcements about the MEFAs at that site. This doesn't mean
that you can't also make your personal post there, but do be
considerate to people reading at wherever your posting. If it's a
small community you may want to time your post so you don't make it
right after someone else posts about the awards. (This is obviously
not a problem if you're posting at your own personal site, but may
affect people posting at communities.)

If you're not sure if someone is promoting at your group check out

http://www.mefawards.net/MEFA2007/index.php?page=FAQvolunteers

And of course if you'd like to make official MEFA announcements, I'd
love your help. Drop me a line at mefasupport(at)gmail(dot)com.

Also, if you're posting to a community, keep in mind your comm's rules
regarding off-topic posting. Some groups don't have a problem with
fandom news not directly related to the group being posted there;
others request it be made in certain threads, or that the subject
identify the post as "off-topic." Be courteous and make sure you're
following your groups rule. When in doubt contact the moderator of
your group.

When you make your post, remember that it's against MEFA rules to
encourage people to vote for specific stories and authors. By all
means encourage people to get involved, but it's really best if you
let them choose what they want to review themselves.

If someone is interested in participating in the awards, they are
welcome to! Most voting members need to join the MEFAwards Yahoo
group; nominated authors are the only exception. Once a person joins
MEFAwards, they should receive an email in a day or two with a name
and password they can use to log in to our voting website. If you know
someone who has forgotten their password or needs help joining, have
them email mefasupport(at)gmail(dot)com. I'm happy to help. (And this
obviously goes if you *are* that person who needs help logging in, too.)

And finally: If you post about the MEFAs, people may ask you questions
about the MEFAs. You don't have to be an expert on the awards, and if
someone asks a question you aren't sure of the answer to, email
mefasupport(at)gmail(dot)com. Of course you can link to any of the
FAQs if you want.

(Awards are often controversial in fandom. Some people don't like
awards in general; some people have a problem with the way a certain
awards is run, or may have lost in a previous year and just don't like
that particular awards program. If someone replies to your post, don't
take it personally; awards, and any specific awards program, aren't
for all people. If they have a real problem with the awards they need
to discuss with someone, please ask them to email me at
mefasupport(at)gmail(dot)com. I'm happy to talk to them.)

I think that's enough suggestions and rules about how to promote the
awards. A lot of this is just common sense. If you aren't sure if a
post you'd like to make is appropriate, please email
mefasupport(at)gamil(dot)com. I'll be glad to look over it for you.

And have fun with the last months of the awards!

Marta
(MEFA Admin)

P.S. - *waves to all the Americans* Happy Turkey Day! :^)

Msg# 8437

MEFA Reviews for November 23, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 23, 2007 - 6:21:18 Topic ID# 8437
Title: The Wizard's Coin · Author: grey_wonderer · Races: Hobbits:
Pre-Quest · ID: 480
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-15 18:44:42
One of Grey Wonderer's early stories, considering the prologue and
disclaimer; but we do get a good look at the interactions of the three
cousins, as well as the confusion of Bilbo as he gets to deal with a
small, confusing Took who has him looking for something that was lost
but won't tell him what, assuring him he'll know when he finds it.

The lost returns--but mysteriously, just after Merry and Frodo realize
precisely why Pippin wanted to "borrow" the Wizard's coin to begin
with. How did it end up back on Merry's desk?

Fun, as GW's works usually are.

Title: Elrond's Song · Author: White Gull · Genres: Poetry · ID: 409
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-15 18:49:10
Elrond's praise of Frodo, the unexpected hero, come from quiet fields
to carry the token of greatest evil to its destruction, Melancholy and
poignant.

Title: The Departure of Boromir · Author: Narnian Sprite · Genres:
Drama · ID: 622
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-15 19:04:59
A gentle look at Boromir's time in the Halls of Mandos, followed by
his return to the Source.

Poignantly written.

Title: Crossing · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Gondor Drabble · ID: 693
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-15 19:10:06
Ah, that first of what would be many crossings of the river. Effective
use of mood.

Title: Drawn With Love · Author: MerryK · Genres: Drama: Youth · ID: 569
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-15 22:44:10
A marvelous look at the love between the Brothers Mir as Boromir seeks
to give a form to his younger brother's memories, giving a touch of
healing to his father as well.

The story is drawn with love.

Title: Concussion · Author: Dreamflower · Genres: Adventure · ID: 711
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-15 22:47:46
A wonderful find for those who wish to see gapfillers not focused on
the Sil and LOTR. Here is one for The Hobbit as Dreamflower looks at
Bilbo awakening after the Battle of Nine Armies to find the battle
won, Thorin dying, and himself suffering the effects of a concussion.

Characterizations are perfect, the scene is authentically drawn, and
medical details accurate. A perfect gift for those of us who love
Bilbo as well as the Fellowship!

Title: Dawning Hope · Author: Radbooks · Genres: Drama: Youth · ID: 498
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-15 22:51:57
Poor little Eomer and Eowyn--their parents dead; forced to leave their
home to come to live with Uncle Theoden and Cousin Theodred in Edoras,
and few familiar faces. A look at how the two of them come to accept
they are part of a new family, and are beloved where they now are.

Lovely look at the relative innocence and stubbornness we see in the
adults in LOTR.

Title: Devious Council · Author: Rhapsody · Genres: Drama: Vignette ·
ID: 427
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-15 23:19:56
One way to get your brother to cooperate, Rhapsody!

A look at the politics of the First Age as Maedhros uses what he knows
of his brothers to manipulate them. Well done.

Title: Field of Dreams · Author: agape4gondor · Genres: Drama · ID: 374
Reviewer: Linaewen · 2007-11-16 02:22:15
I cannot read this eloquent tale without weeping for this amazing
woman of Gondor! She copes so bravely with the physical and emotional
hardships that come when parted forever from a loved one, now that she
is left behind with all the responsibility of feeding her family
without the support of her husband and sons. Hers is that special kind
of bravery of one who presses on in spite of the obstacles, even in
the midst of her very powerful personal grief. Her care is not only
for her family, however, but also for her countrymen who are in need
of the wheat in her fields, and this is another duty that keeps her
going, in spite of the hardship. She cares as much for her extended
family and their need, as she does for her own family which remains.
But it is a heavy burden for her, even though she carries it with as
much strength as she can muster in her time of sadness.

The first person narrative is effective, as the bereaved widow moves
from describing her day-to-day routine with her daughters in bringing
in the harvest, to remembering the happiness of other times, brought
to mind by her work. The detailed descriptions of how she goes about
that work -- the harvest, the sharpening of the scythe, the threshing,
the caring for her children who remain -- are poignant and striking,
and add very much to the reality and emotion of the tale.

Agape4gondor has written a very moving story that cannot be forgotten
once it is read!

Title: Emmaus · Author: Dwimordene · Genres: Drama: Vignette · ID: 636
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-16 04:24:13
A singular, unusual version of Faramir's personal experience in the
"dark vale" from which Aragorn called him in ROTK. Here, Faramir casts
himself away from the horrors of combined memory and Shadow influence,
into a more gentle dreamscape; until Aragorn appears and gives him a
fateful choice.

I really liked Aragorn's words to and about Faramir. The appellation
of [Pilgrim] has a spiritual quality to it. And Aragorn's calling
Faramir [the very rock of this land] reminded me eerily of Peter being
called the rock upon whom the Christian church would be built.

A lovely vignette from this outstanding author.

Title: Field of Dreams · Author: agape4gondor · Genres: Drama · ID: 374
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-16 07:12:49
[spoilers]
This is a moving story about the struggle of the women left behind in
the Ring War to survive.Having decided to explore agriculture in
Gondor in one of my own stories,this struck a chord with me.The
bereaved woman is very true to life,thinking she sees her lost love
everywhere.
By the end of the story, I truly cared that the woman and her children
would survive.
A well written and unique story.

Title: Green Magic · Author: Gandalfs apprentice · Genres: Crossover ·
ID: 312
Reviewer: NeumeIndil · 2007-11-16 07:16:25
Ooh, creepy, scary and reminiscent of Fellowship all in one. Very nice.

Title: The Great Hobbiton Race 1435 · Author: Llinos · Races: Hobbits:
Incomplete · ID: 83
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-16 07:17:29
[spoilers]

A delightful and amusing story exploring what might happen if the
Hobbits decided to embrace technology and use machinery.The idea of a
race reminded me of the London to Brighton run of vintage cars,an
annual event in England.
Well written and heartwarming.

Title: 13th Birthday · Author: stefaniab · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 138
Reviewer: Inkling · 2007-11-16 07:24:04
"13th Birthday" operates on several levels, and succeeds beautifully
on all of them. On the surface it's a light-hearted romp with the
brothers 'mir--a charming coming-of-age tale in which Faramir
graduates from desert ponies to a big, spirited horse, suffers the
indignity of a cracking voice, and offers unexpected, endearing
responses to the classic question, What do you want to be when you
grow up? But darker, more ominous undercurrents are present from the
opening lines, with the description of the White City [spread out
beyond the manor walls in all its beauty and despair.] And perhaps
more than anything, it's an astute character study, with sensitive,
nuanced portrayals of Faramir, Boromir and Denethor, and the
relationships among the three.

This exchange between the brothers, for example, speaks volumes about
the family dynamics:

["You can't tell me that you couldn't miss Government for one day. I
hated Government."

"Well, one of us has to study Government," Faramir retorted. "That's
what Father says. He'll cane me if I skip out this afternoon."

"When's the last time he caned you?" Boromir defied him.

"Why, I don't remember."

"Of course not. As I recall, I was the one who always saw the butt of
his cane. Something about how I was older and therefore I should know
better."]

Stefania nimbly shifts gears throughout the story, moving from comic
to serious and back again. The thoughtful, somber notes sneak up on
you when you're caught off guard by the lighthearted bantering,
particularly the haunting line that ends the first chapter:

["I do not fear Father," Faramir said softly. "I fear for him."]

There are sly twists in the final chapter that upend what we--and
Faramir--think we know about Boromir...and about Denethor too, for
that matter. Boromir may not be quite the spendthrift he seems, and
Steff has managed to make the Steward quite likeable, even warm and
paternal, while always remaining very much Tolkien's character...no
small feat!


Title: Harvest Bonfire · Author: Cuthalion · Genres: Romance · ID: 667
Reviewer: NeumeIndil · 2007-11-16 07:33:19
Poor Rosie, and thank goodness for Lily, once again! I don't suppose
this has been said in public before, but your Sam's actually quite
sexy when he stops worrying about every little (or big) thing! As
always, your hobbit tales are so vivid and real I feel like I've
stepped back into the book, though of course the good Professor would
have subtly shut the bedchamber door behind them. I'm glad you don't.
*wink* You've taken one of my favorite holidays and turned it into
what is likely to be Rosie's favorite holiday for a long time to come,
and so well in such a small space. I simply can't say enough how much
I enjoy these stories.

Title: Decorum · Author: Larner · Genres: Humor: The Shire or Buckland
· ID: 59
Reviewer: Inkling · 2007-11-16 07:44:03
[spoilers]

In "Decorum" Larner has created a delightful sequel to Dreamflower's
"Miss Dora Baggins' Book of Manners," answering such practical
questions as just how did Dora distribute her magnum opus, and to
whom? She has also raised--and answered--some deeper questions on just
what constitutes real manners.

The opening paragraph captures Dora's personality with amusing
precision...after running through a mental checklist of the virtues
and flaws in Frodo's and Bilbo's appearance, she concludes that [when
all was said and done the two of them were worthwhile acknowledging as
her relatives.]

There is a charming moment when Dora blushes at Bilbo's teasing,
making her suddenly seem much less starchy. But she soon reverts to
form, pronouncing Frodo with great satisfaction ["a fine specimen of
decorum"].

I loved the hilarious denouement, as Dora discovers her relatives'
most undecorous behavior at elevenses, with Frodo attired in [the most
disreputable nightshirt it had ever been her misfortune to see.]

But my favorite scene is the coda. Frodo, with the know-it-all
presumption of youth, had once viewed most of Dora's advice as
self-evident and, therefore, unnecessary. He now learns the hard
way--inundated with nosy, inconsiderate questions following Bilbo's
disappearance--that not all of his relatives possess his natural good
breeding, and that perhaps Dora's advice would make useful reading for
many of them.

And Dora, for her part, can see that Frodo's kindness, manners, and
grace under pressure are flawless when it truly counts. Their final
exchange, when Frodo understands his aunt's compliment on his decorum
for what it is--an expression of love--brings the story to a sweet,
touching conclusion.



Title: The Turn of the Tide · Author: Altariel · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 72
Reviewer: NeumeIndil · 2007-11-16 07:48:58
Ooh. This is a *very* different take on the waiting in Minas Tirith
from those I have read before. I have to say, I almost like this
version better than canon. There is more hope for Faramir and his
troubled family in this way. The strength you've found in him and
shown to us is admirable. Eowyn's relationship with her father-in-law
is another narrative path I think I should like to see more of one
day. A wonderful, thought-provoking piece.

Title: The Dryad · Author: Imhiriel · Times: Late Third Age: 3018-3022
TA: General Drabble · ID: 71
Reviewer: Inkling · 2007-11-16 07:50:34
Beautiful sentiments, beautifully expressed. The passage in LOTR that
inspired this drabble was one of my favorites long before I was
otherwise paying much attention to Tolkien's use of language. The
poetry of ["dishevelled dryad loveliness"] is unmistakable and
haunting, and I'm thrilled that Imhiriel has honored it with this drabble.

In her notes Imhiriel qualifies her dryad as ["presumably AU"], but I
don't know...Tolkien's natural world strikes me as full of sentient
life, from the mournful stones of Eregion to cruel Caradhras to the
River Woman of the Brandywine, and I think this dryad fits right in.


Title: A Mother's Touch · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Humor:
Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 44
Reviewer: Inkling · 2007-11-16 07:56:27
Raksha has a real knack for writing lovable monsters! Baby Smaug ranks
right up there with her portrait of Carcharoth (aka Wolfiekins) in
"Lord of the Werewolves." He's so cute you just want to bring him home
with you--almost. (And wouldn't Hagrid just die for him?)

Readfah is quite endearing herself, having to contend, like mothers
through the ages, with a muddy child and reciting a maxim with the
ring of classic maternal wisdom: ["A good dragon is fearsome, but
never dirty!"]

A most enjoyable ficlet!


Title: One Frodo Too Many · Author: Baranduin · Genres: Humor: Parody
· ID: 683
Reviewer: Inkling · 2007-11-16 08:07:45
Frodo Baggins has invited some very unusual guests to Bag End...

If you have even a passing acquaintance with Frodo slash pairings,
you'll find this fic's characters hilariously familiar. And if you
know Baranduin's own fics, or those of other authors in this genre,
you'll appreciate the affectionate digs at such slash classics as the
Pretty Good Year series.

But even if you're unfamiliar with any of these things, you will still
find this a funny, funny story. Book!Frodo disparaging the
intelligence of his fanfic descendents in Pig Latin makes me laugh out
loud every time I read it.

Book!Frodo is here portrayed as the "stout little fellow" described by
Gandalf to Butterbur in FOTR. I confess to preferring the
slimmed-down, post-Weathertop book!Frodo that peeps out of the mirror
at Rivendell, but Baranduin is clearly going for maximum comic
contrast here, and in this she succeeds splendidly.


Title: Rain on the Downs · Author: Breon Briarwood · Races: Hobbits ·
ID: 794
Reviewer: Inkling · 2007-11-16 08:11:21
Rain--and hunger--can drive a hobbit to desperate measures indeed! An
enjoyable ficlet with a clever twist at the end.

Title: Letting Go · Author: Rowan · Genres: Drama: The Shire · ID: 310
Reviewer: Inkling · 2007-11-16 08:18:36
I love this story's introduction...how Rowan deftly sets the stage in
two brief, beautifully worded passages: first the sights of twilight
in the bucolic Shire countryside, then the sounds of the approaching
hobbits--the thump of the steel-shod staves and the voices raised in
song--bring the scene vividly to life. It's simple, understated, and
very effective.

This vignette captures a subtly drawn moment between Bilbo and Frodo
that rings true emotionally. I can well imagine that they must have
had a conversation just like this one before Bilbo left the Shire.

Bilbo's POV is convincingly done, very much in his voice: ["How can he
not feel as if he's being orphaned all over again? Bilbo, you fool!"]

But it is Rowan's portrayal of Frodo that most impresses me...his
quiet perceptiveness, confidence and generosity shine through, proving
not only that he has indeed come of age, as Bilbo realizes with some
surprise, but also that he truly is ["the best hobbit in the Shire."]

Frodo's reference to the star of Eärendil, and apt comparison of the
legendary wanderer to Bilbo, provide the perfect note on which this
lovely story ends.


Title: The Minstrel to the War Is Gone · Author: Pentangle · Races:
Elves: With Mirkwood Elves · ID: 813
Reviewer: Fiondil · 2007-11-16 10:52:47
This was an interesting look at two completely different elves: the
consummate warrior, Legolas, and the equally consummate bard, Lindir,
who is anything but a warrior, yet exhibits those qualities most
associated with true warriors: courage under adverse conditions, a
willingness to sacrifice one's self for the sake of another. and
ingenuity.

The situation the two elves find themselves in as they travel from
Imladris to Lothlorien was both believable and quite harrowing.
Lindir's character comes out very strongly and I could easily
sympathize with his dilemma. The ride of the elves from Imladris under
the command of Glorfindel to rescue the two hapless (and helpless)
elves was both visually exciting and emotionally rewarding considering
the horrific nature of the "baddies". Glorfindel's method of curing
Legolas and Lindir's emotional scars was quite funny and true to his
character, bringing the experiences of two lifetimes to bear upon the
problem.

A most enjoyable read.

Title: Not an Ordinary Day · Author: nau_tika · Genres: Drama: The
Fellowship · ID: 737
Reviewer: Fiondil · 2007-11-16 11:20:11
Poor Pippin and Legolas! A most perilous and funny situation. I liked
how Legolas, in spite of his pain and embarrassment, tries his best to
comfort the youngest member of the Fellowship and how solicitous
Pippin is, even to the point of ensuring that none but Boromir learns
the truth of how Legolas was injured. Boromir's actions are what I
expect of so honorable a Man and I love Glorfindel's response when he
sees that Legolas is injured:

[A voice of authority drowned out any response Pippin might have made.
"Assemble a patrol. Have my horse readied. Where did the attack take
place, Lord Legolas?"]

Aragorn and Boromir's talk with Pippin hit just the right note to help
the youngster from belittling himself because of what happened with
Legolas, and you can sense the love and concern these two warriors
have for the hobbit, but Aragorn's final line as he sees just where
Legolas was injured had me laughing out loud.


Title: What Was That Job Description? · Author: Larner · Genres:
Crossover · ID: 523
Reviewer: Fiondil · 2007-11-16 11:35:00
I've always loved Larner's stories and this one is a personal
favorite, if only because of the Harry Potter crossover. Kenneth
Branaugh's performance of the clueless Gilderoy Lockheart shines
through in this little vignette. The best line was about house elves
being pathetic and the reactions of Legolas and Elrohir to the slur. I
also think Gimli's suggestions were spot on. One wonders if Aragorn
actually does accept Gilderoy as a court magician or if he will end up
putting the hapless wizard in motley instead.

Msg# 8438

MEFA Reviews for November 23, 2007 (Part 2) Posted by Ann November 23, 2007 - 6:22:59 Topic ID# 8438
Title: Emmaus · Author: Dwimordene · Genres: Drama: Vignette · ID: 636
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-16 11:55:41
[spoilers]
A new and original take on the ever popular HOuses of Healing theme,
my favourite part of the book.
This story is unusual in that Faramir's dream world is not unpleasant.
I loved the way Aragorn appears to him. The title is very apt too.
A most enjoyable story.

Title: Well-Lettered (The Director's Cut) · Author: Ribby · Races:
Men: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 762
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-16 12:02:35
[spoilers]
A truly delighted and heartwarming glimpse of just how much Aragorn
and Faramir have in common and how their shared love of lore and
learning creates a mutual bond.
The image of them them both bent over a book engrossed,is one to
treasure.Beautifully written.

Title: Breath of Spring · Author: Ribby · Races: Men: Gondor Drabble ·
ID: 763
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-16 12:05:13
[spoilers]

Beautiful is the only word to describe this stunning drabble.I loved
the way the writer uses the images of light and spring as Tolkien
does.A lovely angle on a familiar and well loved tale.

Title: Gifts of the People · Author: Ribby · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Gondor Drabble · ID: 472
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-16 12:06:57
An enjoyable drabble, showing Aragorn as a wise and caring King,who
puts his people's welfare first.

Title: Bransle Royal · Author: Ribby · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Gondor · ID: 473
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-16 12:13:00
An enjoyable ficlet in which Aragorn gives the gift of a dance to a
loyal subject.

Title: Risen From Flame · Author: Ribby · Races: Men: Gondor Drabble ·
ID: 761
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-16 12:26:16
[spoilers]
This outstanding drabble crams many profound ideas into a very few
words. I always feel that Tolkien spared Faramir has he represented
the best of Gondor. Both he and Gondor have risen phoenix like from
the ashes to a bright future in which Aragorn is King. just lovely!

Title: The Perfect Girl · Author: nikara · Genres: Non-Fiction · ID: 232
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2007-11-16 17:41:39
The author tackles dangerous territory: a serious and thoughtful
consideration of the heinous world of Mary Sue. The excellent research
and intimate knowledge of fanfiction result in an essay that is a true
contribution to the writing of fanfic.

The essay also jives with a couple of strongly held personal views of
my own: 1) there is no inherently "superior" form of genre. You can
write within "Mystery" or "SciFi" or "Fantasy" and write something
every bit as good as "serious literature." Consider the greatest
English poet of them all: Shakespeare. He wrote for the unwashed
public, including buffoonery, drunkenness and gratuitious sex and
violence. 2) He also stole most of his plots and characters from
history or other authors. It's the insight and excellence of language
that makes a work "great." I seem to remember, for example, that one
celebrated English poem, "Paradise Lost," is based on some old
religious book or other..... Some of those Mary Sues might lead, in
the end, to some really great stuff!

Just to say, guys, lighten up and let a hundred flowers bloom!

Title: The Beginning · Author: Oshun · Genres: Romance: Second Age or
Earlier · ID: 339
Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2007-11-16 17:50:56
What can I possibly say about Oshun's work? I am, of course,
completely without objectivity, as she is a dear friend. She has also
begun to branch into an area of fanfic writing that has yet to entice
my own writing: Silmarillion. I see some contradiction in this, on her
part: the Sil is full of grandeur and violence, but Oshun likes the
quiet moments, and only addresses the aftermath of violence, not its
bloody course. She is interested in the secret, inner life of
Tolkien's heroes.

And this little story is a perfect example. We get a glimpse into the
mind of that oh-so-neglected hero, Gil-galad, who, it seems, was
created by Tolkien simply to provide an excuse for a bit of poetry
(then he had to back-write him into the Sil), and an enticing portrait
of a young and vulnerable Elrond.

Don't pass it up.

Title: The Turn of the Tide · Author: Altariel · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 72
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-11-17 00:45:51
Absolutely, an incredible AU. Spare and subtle, there is so much
contained therein that a reader wishes could be expanded upon; like
Tolkien's LotR, there is a backstory only glimpsed, which adds depth
to the bare essentials that Altariel has chosen to share with us. It
is left to our imaginations how the ["wreck of Rauros"] fell out, how
Faramir's presence altered the dynamics of the trip through Mordor,
and how (oh, I *wish* we could see this!) Aragorn and Denethor's first
meeting goes. I think in the end the ambiguity only increases the
power of this alternate vision.

Despite the tremendous shifts to the original storyline, none of the
characterizations deviate from the books. Eowyn still loves despite
the brevity of her meetings with her intended, appreciates
forthrightness and is wounded in body and soul; Faramir is perceptive
and can read Men's hearts, and pities and loves Eowyn immediately;
Denethor is yet stern and rigid and without hope. Boromir is perhaps
the most interesting individual in some ways, as here Altariel reveals
the unusual situation of the favored son dealing with his father's
displeasure. Marvelous interactions, particularly those between Eowyn
and Denethor, buoyed along by excellent and evocative writing.

The story resonates strongly with me not just because the ending is
what I wish had truly happened (although I do *love* this ending), but
because Altariel has blithely appropriated so many minor details from
the original story and applied her own delightful twists: the
Steward's Son that meets Eowyn on the walls is Boromir; the love that
Eowyn follows South is Faramir, and not solely out of despair; the
Anduin brings Faramir to Boromir - alive; Denethor visits Eowyn and
gives her a cloak; and perhaps my favorite, Eowyn proclaims Imrahil's
words to Denethor, but in triumph!

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful...

Title: Lords of Gondor · Author: Linaewen · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Incomplete · ID: 154
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-17 03:29:05
A long, epic and well-reasoned variation on the Boromir Lives! AU
theme. Here, Aragorn is able to successfully treat Boromir's wounds,
saving the Steward's heir from death; and the story proceeds with
Boromir's endeavor to recover and return home, while Denethor and
Faramir wait anxiously for word of his life or death.

Good characterisation of the Gondorian OC's. I especially liked it
that Boromir was still not convinced of Aragorn's suitability to be
King of Gondor after Aragorn healed him, and is man enough to admit
it. I look forward to seeing where this story will take Boromir and
his father and brother.

Title: Leaf Subsides to Leaf · Author: Ignoble Bard · Genres: Drama:
Elves in Later Ages · ID: 105
Reviewer: White Wolf · 2007-11-17 04:48:48
The differing paths that Legolas and Thranduil chose for their
destinies was a hard one to accept. Their exchange was exactly the way
I think their last meeting would have gone.

The scene at the end where they are on each side of the closed door
broke my heart. It makes me keep hoping they will somehow be reunited.

Title: Merry's Wedding · Author: Larner · Races: Hobbits: Pre-Quest ·
ID: 84
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-17 05:30:44
Larner always displays great skill at bringing the customs and
everyday lives of hobbits to life, as well as the Great Years, and
this story is no exception; as young Merry takes part in an unusual
ceremony that will be repeated one day with greater significance.

Title: The Gates · Author: Isabeau of Greenlea · Races: Dwarves · ID: 70
Reviewer: White Wolf · 2007-11-17 05:46:05
Snorri is a very wise dwarf. He knew that it was dwarves like Gimli
who made it all work out. Gimli, bless him, didn't see that until it
was explained to him. I'm glad he was honored the way he was. It was
funny that he couldn't avoid making a small swipe at Legolas and his
love of Nature. I liked this entertaining story.

Title: Time · Author: Bodkin · Races: Cross-Cultural: Gondor · ID: 414
Reviewer: White Wolf · 2007-11-17 06:14:06
What a wonderful story. It's so like Legolas's character for him to
believe that it's important for those who lived and died and left no
record to be remembered. Thank goodness for Thimbriel. I really liked her.

The fact that Legolas went to great lengths to find out about the
people who lived in that abandoned farmhouse spoke clearly of his deep
feelings. And the fact that he wanted to keep the doll was poignant
and again, so like him. Well done.

Title: To This My Love Hath Come At Last · Author: Roh_wyn · Genres:
Romance: Incomplete · ID: 699
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-11-17 06:27:08
I found this delightful reading and truly hope the author completes
this. For I really wonder what is going to happen between Boromir and
this woman from the south. I very much like the poetry inserted. Done
well.

I loved their meeting, I loved his grandmother, I loved Imrahil and
the intrigue of the southern court. I very much love Boromir's
character. And hope he's not going to become 'too' bitter. I loved her
little piece of subterfuge about her 'warrior' capabilities. LOL And I
loved the Faramir/Boromir part.

I love the ease with which the two seem to have fallen 'into' each
other. This is a pleasant story so far, and I much hope to read it
when it is complete. Nicely done little romance.

Title: February Bride · Author: Cuthalion · Genres: Romance · ID: 678
Reviewer: grey_wonderer · 2007-11-17 06:58:54
This is utterly beautiful. Very romantic and I love the way Pippin
takes charge of the wedding plans, making the announcement and setting
the date. Diamond is lovely in this and Pippin is strong and very
heroic but both are very much hobbits. I enjoyed this very much.

Title: In the Hours of Joy · Author: Spindle Berry · Genres: Drama:
With Merry · ID: 289
Reviewer: grey_wonderer · 2007-11-17 07:20:11
This is a very interesting look at Merry's time spent waiting and
worrying while his three dearest friends heal. What made this so
enjoyable for me was the fact that the author included Gimli in the
tale. Gimli's concern for Merry was very well written as the dwarf
tried to help Merry through the waiting. Very well done!

Title: Returning the Favor · Author: cpsings4him · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Ring War · ID: 340
Reviewer: grey_wonderer · 2007-11-17 07:35:43
I very much enjoyed seeing a newly mature Pippin caring for Frodo
while he slept. Pippin's joy and his whole reason for running to see
Frodo change when he arrives and sees that his dear cousin is
sleeping. Pippin's thoughts are very well expressed in this and you
realize that in some ways Pippin and Frodo have exchanged roles. Now
it is Pippin who is the caretaker. Lovely!

Title: I Will Comfort Thee · Author: agape4gondor · Genres: Drama: The
Fellowship · ID: 458
Reviewer: grey_wonderer · 2007-11-17 07:39:03
I think that this was something that should have been done. I found it
very believable that Faramir would need to see the place where Boromir
had fallen. A very thoughtful, well-written story.

Title: Pippin's Little Experiment · Author: Budgielover · Races:
Cross-Cultural: With Pippin · ID: 291
Reviewer: grey_wonderer · 2007-11-17 07:41:58
This story always makes me smile. I have read and re-read this one and
I never tire of it. Absolutely wonderful and I enjoy Frodo's reactions
in this one very much!

Title: Beauty · Author: Marta · Races: Hobbits: Drabble · ID: 646
Reviewer: grey_wonderer · 2007-11-17 07:44:48
I do so admire drabbles and this one is excellent. Sam's point of view
in this one is very well done and his observations ring true like
always. Sam always sees more than most. Great drabble and even though
the description is of Frodo, I could see Sam while reading it.

Title: Concealment · Author: Marta · Genres: Romance: With Rohirrim ·
ID: 649
Reviewer: grey_wonderer · 2007-11-17 07:52:16
I had not read any fiction with Théodred in it until this one and I
must say I did enjoy the author's way of writing him. Boromir was very
entertaining in this and, well, lets fact it shall we, this is a very
hot story. I loved the the character, Isilwen. She was a very
interesting person and I would like to read more about her life. I
usually stick to stories with hobbits in them but I'm glad I gave this
one a read.

Title: Signs · Author: permilea · Races: Hobbits: Children · ID: 384
Reviewer: grey_wonderer · 2007-11-17 07:59:00
This is very cute. I liked the way Pippin decided on and justified his
little trick. Adorable!

Title: Irreverence · Author: Aratlithiel · Genres: Humor · ID: 619
Reviewer: grey_wonderer · 2007-11-17 08:10:48
Lots of fun and I enjoyed the banter between Frodo and Pippin. Lots of
stubborn Tookishness and a wonderful test of determination between the
two cousins.

Title: Crossing towards Sunrise · Author: Imhiriel · Times: Fourth Age
and Beyond · ID: 14
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-11-17 08:17:06
I came away from ["Crossing towards Sunrise"] with a much fuller
appreciation of Elrond's history, and a new view of his state of mind
during this journey. Although I knew he would be grieved at leaving
his children behind when he sailed, I had always imagined he'd also be
traveling with the joy of soon seeing his wife, restored and well.
Imhiriel, however, poignantly illustrates just how much the long fight
has cost Elrond. The starkness of his "list of loss" made his refusal
to hope only too plausible, for what had victory against evil ever
brought him before?

["Crossing"] is full of beautiful, evocative descriptions that awaken
every sense: I absolutely had the sensation of being aboard ship, of
feeling the rain and smelling Bilbo's pipeweed. So many small bits are
tucked in, unobtrusive but fleshing out the background, reminding us
of the other personal histories that are on their way to a new future
in Aman.

I have not read many works that use Gandalf's PoV, but I think it is
an excellent choice here: not only well handled and believable, but
Gandalf is in the unique position of being close to all the other
characters, and yet his Maian status also sets him apart such that he
can be a slightly more removed observer, one that can bear witness to
many things without being overwhelmingly involved in any of them. In
particular, the ending is set up cleverly to allow him to watch
unhindered as Celebrian and Elrond reunite. There are wonderful
characterizations all around, large and small; even Finarfin's very,
very brief appearance speaks worlds about him and his daughter - as
well as making me laugh every time.

Last but not least, I always enjoy a well-chosen title. This properly
carries a message of hope - precisely what Elrond has denied himself
and yet will find at the end of this crossing. Celebrian is rightly
clothed in the colors of the dawn, for she is representative of the
new day, the new and hopefully wholly-healed life that Elrond has
found in Aman.

Msg# 8439

MEFA Reviews for November 24, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 24, 2007 - 6:00:16 Topic ID# 8439
Title: A Passing Troll · Author: Dreamflower · Genres: Humor: The
Shire or Buckland · ID: 210
Reviewer: grey_wonderer · 2007-11-17 08:31:12
This is such a fitting end to a very vile character. Hyacinth had it
coming! I love the way Sam solves the little troll problem in this
too. Very clever! And, yes, I do think that Hyacinth is vile enough to
give any Troll an upset stomach.

Title: Fissures · Author: Thundera Tiger · Races: Dwarves · ID: 804
Reviewer: White Wolf · 2007-11-17 08:58:25
You demonstrated so well how Gimli is changing, as a result of being
the friend of an elf, even if he isn't aware of all the ways he's
different. You write Gimli as well as any fanfic writer I've read.

It was easy to see both points of view, which, to me, is one of the
marks of a good storyteller. And you are definitely that.

I like the multiple meanings of the title.

Title: Awed in the Presence of Beauty · Author: Istarnie · Races:
Elves · ID: 517
Reviewer: geek_chick · 2007-11-18 02:58:56
I love this story, it is short and sweet, yet has a lot of depth to
it! Maybe this was your intention, but much of the story could also be
describing a lover instead of a child -- when I first read this story
a while back, I did think at first that the story was about Feanor
instead! (I guess I didn't take the hint from the quote at the
beginning that the story was about a child!) So the last few lines are
a nice little twist, and made me want to read the story again in this
new context. I love how Nerdanel seems to suddenly appreciate the
unique beauty in her son, realizing that he is more beautiful than
even the great Two Trees or the Valar's physical forms! And we all
know how much the Elves loved the light of the Two Trees so that is
saying a lot... Then after describing how beautiful he is, I like how
you continue on with Nerdanel's response to that beauty, and how she
wants to do everything she can for him no matter what he desires. I
also like how you describe Maitimo's movements; I could just picture a
beautiful little red-haired baby in her arms, looking around in
amazement! Also an interesting opening sentence, it sounds like
Nerdanel has already communicated with Maitimo through dreams, which
is a nice touch and fits with Tolkien's idea of fea being able to
communicate. Overall, a lovely little story!

Title: Once Upon a Strongbow · Author: Legolass · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Gondor · ID: 685
Reviewer: White Wolf · 2007-11-18 03:10:38
This is a touching and clever story that weaves the tale of two
friendships, both between an elf and a man but separated by ages and
told from differing prospectives.

We see the friendship of the two tragic figures of Túrin Turambar and
Beleg Strongbow and the much more familiar friendship between Aragorn
Ellessar and Legolas Greenleaf. The two stories are woven like a rich
tapestry and doesn't fail to touch the heart.

The reader is treated to a most entertaining tale, complete with
endearing children, who are not only rapt listeners but wonderful
participants in the telling.


Title: The Long Winter · Author: Baranduin · Races: Hobbits · ID: 159
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-18 14:33:49
Written in a lovely, intimate, warm and almost cosy style that
perfectly fits with Sam telling a story by the fireside on a night of
fierce snow.

Sam's voice is captured very well.

The charming "real world" folk take is transferred smoothly into a
Middle-earth context as seen from the points of view of Hobbits. I
like the way themes of Sam's and Frodo's "own" Quest are woven into
the tale.

Title: Moira · Author: illyria-pffyffin · Races: Hobbits · ID: 676
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-18 14:34:36
Beautiful, lyrical style; exquisite use of metaphors and imagery.

This is such a wonderful and creative idea of the origin of Hobbits,
and it fits so very neatly into the the themes of the Ainulindalë,
expands on it, and fills a gap that I'm sure many have wondered about.

I appreciate it very much that you didn't focus on the Hobbits alone,
that you showed their beginning in the larger context of the origin of
the other races - to contrast and compare, yes, but in the end, to
show that they are all the Children of Ilúvatar.

The images invoked represent the essence of what Hobbits are and what
they stand for in Eru's creation (and in Tolkien's).

The homey, idyllic scene Manwë witnesses is capured vividly and
poignantly, radiating warmth and comfort and contentment.

The story ends of an very uplifting note; Eru entrusting the Hobbits
to Manwë himself and his helpers. And as we have seen, in the end this
charge was upheld faithfully.

Title: The Lining of the World · Author: Ruby Nye · Races: Hobbits:
Drabble · ID: 734
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-18 14:35:08
Beautifully and movingly written, with some piercingly bright images
at the end.

Tobold Banks, an original character, is brought fully to life to the
readers; his character, his fate during the Troubles, and his courage,
undaunted by his imprisonment. A great achievement to not only
recapitulate the personal history, but also to interweave it so
smoothly with the narrative in a narrative voice with fits perfectly
with how I imagine Tobold would sound like.

It is just so "hobbity" to give the familiar notion of "taking one's
enemy with oneself into death" a less violent and revengeful twist,
when he thinks that in this way he has helped to keep save the Shire
and his family, and so accepts the price he himself had to pay.

Wonderful feeling of his bond with land and nature, even in his final
moments; and a marvellous depiction of his acceptance of his death and
the joyful experience of what comes after.

Title: Looking Awfully Hard · Author: Gryffinjack · Races: Hobbits:
Merry and Pippin · ID: 779
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-18 14:36:05
A convincing take on how Pippin might have told Merry of his
experiences in the White City.

Smooth continuation in style of the canonical passage quoted in the
beginning, which then segues quite naturally into a more personal look
at the Hobbits' feelings.

Title: Like Falling Asleep Again · Author: lbilover · Races: Hobbits:
Merry and Pippin · ID: 299
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-18 14:36:43
The deep love and affection Pippin and Merry have for each another is
conveyed very well. I liked the view back over their lives; what has
changed, what hasn't. There was a wistfulness in it, but also
acceptance. Wonderfully moving ending with the two flowers from the
White Tree representing their passing.

Title: Testaments of the Past · Author: Dreamflower/Gryffinjack
CoAuthors · Races: Hobbits: Post-Grey Havens · ID: 549
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-18 14:37:17
A wonderful idea, beautifully and carefully realised.

The characterisations are perfect, taking book canon and taking then
into account how they might have developed in the intervening years.
The interaction is completely on target, vivid and natural. The
emotions are conveyed clearly and evocatively. The changes of mood
that the different mementos and memories engender are conveyed
realistically and smoothly.

The descriptions bring Bag End really to life in all details, as well
as the papers and other paraphernalia the story is about.

It was so wonderful to read about how they discover document after
document and tell stories of their meaning and importance, fill bare
facts of the stations of several Hobbits' history with vibrant life.
And how Frodo in particular is once again *present* in their midst.

The care and intricacy with which the "artifacts" have been created
and reproduced really impressed me, and I thought it gave the story
even more impact and resonance.

Title: Living Tales · Author: pippinfan88 · Races: Hobbits: Post-Grey
Havens · ID: 806
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-18 14:37:31
A nice gap-filler, with good character interaction. Lovely
descriptions of Rivendell and its surroundings - the impressive
mountains-and-waterfalls landscape really came to life.

I enjoyed the speculations about Boromir.

Title: Tom Cotton · Author: Dreamflower · Races: Hobbits: Post-Grey
Havens · ID: 774
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-18 14:38:00
A deeply moving look on Tom Cotton's thoughts on his twice-over
brother-in-law and the changes his adventure and the company he kept
has wrought in him.

There is melancholy there, and regret, that their once deep friendship
has altered and Sam is now friends with the ["gentlehobbits"], but no
real resentment; rather the opposite: Tom appreciates that Sam needs
people around himself with similar experiences.

I also very much liked this sympathetic outsider's perspective on the
friendship between Sam and Frodo (and Merry and Pippin) before
everything began.

The last line really expressed what he had been ruminating about in a
nutshell, and I was profoundly moved by it.

Title: Spring after Winter · Author: annmarwalk · Times: Mid Third
Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 462
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-18 14:39:16
The contrast between water and dry dust and ash is conveyed very
evocatively in this drabble. The readers can almost smell and feel the
rain, see how it nourishes fruits and grass.

I like how the drabble is structured, with the horrific pictures of
Mordor and Mount Doom in the middle between two "green" passages.

The first passage is a reminder of the Shire, and it lulls the readers
into seeing a lovely, wholesome picture. Then the ["ash and smoke and
dust"] as a twist into the exact opposite direction. And at the end
the image of the beauty of Ithilien and a laughing Gandalf to make
everything all right again and let the drabble fade out with a
positive image.

Title: The Exile · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races: Men: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 537
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-18 14:40:05
Profoundly moving story, as it is told in a calm, measured tone by
Beregond himself.

His pride and love for his city come through very clearly. All of his
experiences there, good and bad ones, made up the man he was, and not
to have access to where those memories were made must have been very
painful, even as he accepts the judgement and deems it was worth it.

And indeed, his longing to be able to enter the city again is
tangible; eager to catch even a glimpse of it while the doors are
open. It must be especially painful to never be able to see the new
White Tree in bloom when he done so much all his life to guard the
withered old one.

I also loved Faramir's silent acknowledgement of his captain's
feelings. It can't have been easy for him either, to have to leave
Beregond alone before the Gates each time they came to the city. It
makes me wonder if he (and Aragorn, too) would sometimes come out to
him instead (which would be good for practical reasons, anyway).

It is as if the Great Gate opening and then closing symbolise Beregond
indulging for a moment in his melancholy yearning, and then firmly
shutting it away again. And yet, a last wistful thought escapes at the
end: ["Forever is a long time"]. A resonating ending.

Title: Exploring the Wild · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Adventure:
Pre-Ring War · ID: 30
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-11-18 17:43:07
A sweet story featuring a 9-year-old and 4-year-old Boromir and
Faramir. Their nanny plans a camp-out for them in their gardens and
Lord Denethor adds a few touches of his own. The children are
well-drawn for their ages, and the simple adventures they share that
day are the first taste of what Faramir's grown life is to be. The
Ithilien Rangers are patient with their small charges, and poor Nanny
has to endure a first taste of what will be a final parting all too soon.

Title: Sometime Ever After · Author: Dwimordene · Times: Fourth Age
and Beyond · ID: 363
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-11-18 19:34:51
I love the explanation for why Aragorn had no vision of the coming
injury: the destruction of Sauron has opened up Men's future until
foresight becomes lost in the vastness of it, returning no echo of
what is to come. The counterpoint to this is the loss of Arda's magic
with the dawning of the Age of Men; it must have been an interesting
transition for a Man who has lived and fought with the Elves, and his
wife...

The writing, pacing and tone are managed very, very masterfully.
Dwimordene deftly incorporates reality and dream, war and peace, and
clearly delineates between them. Yet they flow along so smoothly that
the reader is completely drawn in; the end scene seems as natural and
inevitable for us as it is for the King. Each scene is briefly and
eloquently captured with spare but perfect detail; I particularly
liked Aragorn's thoughts when wounded, and aged Halbarad.

It almost goes without saying in Dwim's Aragorn and Halbarad moments,
but their friendship is once again beautifully shown. Their deep
affection is evident and very much the kind that "doesn't have to be
said" - even their innermost dreams are known to each other. But like
Aragorn, I'm glad some things are stated aloud anyway.

I thought of the title as a clever twist on the "happily ever after"
theme. Aragorn's joy in the future will always be colored somewhat by
the pain of what it cost to win the war. But here, ["sometime"], out
of time, he has the chance for one final proper leave-taking, to meet
a much-missed ghost he can perhaps lay to rest. As for Hal, he points
Aragorn back to the glorious reality of the Reunited Kingdom, knowing
that the royal line he fought and died for has its own future to revel in.

And Arwen's lovely greeting at the end... As Hal waited outside of
time for his friend, so Aragorn's love waits for him in Tirith. A
beautiful parallel which brought to mind how much Hal and Arwen would
have been twin pillars of support for Aragorn in his long years of
wandering.

Title: The Turn of the Tide · Author: Altariel · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 72
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-18 20:16:55
A fascinating AU--it was Faramir who took the quest of the riddling
dream rather than his brother; and as he went northward he paused at
Edoras. Now, in company with Denethor, Eowyn watches eastward where
all their hopes have gone, for Boromir follows the bearer of Anduril
to the Black Gate.

Well told and much in keeping with the original, although the singing
eagle is conspicuously missing.

Title: Marking Fours · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: Multi-Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 1
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-18 20:55:24
Fourth hour--fourth day--fourth month--fourth year after waking in the
Houses of Healing, Faramir remembers the grief of learning of his
father's death; the shock, further grief, and anger at learning HOW he
died and what he'd planned; finds hope returned with love and a
turning away from the memories of the father who'd lost hope himself
as he plans for his future life with his warrior princess; and then,
with his son's first words at last is able to properly grieve the loss
of his father as a son should be able to do.

An outstanding series of four drabbles that indeed marks the fours
Faramir knew. Well recommended.

Title: Drawing Straight With Crooked Lines · Author: Fiondil · Genres:
Drama · ID: 76
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-18 21:07:23
A joy to read again. To learn that the grave sin was in its way
necessary would be a shock; and so it proves for Boromir as he accepts
that his actions at Amon Hen worked to the Good. As for his reason for
choosing to stay in the Halls--it is so RIGHT!

Fiondil's Namo stories are always a delight.

Title: Growed · Author: agape4gondor · Races: Men: Other Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 218
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-18 21:12:00
Foresight can be so uncomfortable, as Boromir realizes after the
escape from the collapse of the last bridge of Osgiliath. Memories of
his brother's childhood and foresight of his own mortality.... Is this
why he insisted on the quest of the dream?

Thought-provoking.

Title: In the Hours of Joy · Author: Spindle Berry · Genres: Drama:
With Merry · ID: 289
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-18 21:20:37
It's difficult to say for whom Gimli is now most worried--Pippin or
Merry during the interminible wait for the young Hobbit to wake,

A marvelous look at the caring Gimli has developed for the Hobbits,
and the joy knowing Pippin recovers gives them all.

Title: Journeys to Harad · Author: Gwynnyd · Races: Men: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 502
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-18 21:25:57
Ah, how different the preparations the Ranger and the King as Aragorn
contemplates journeys to Harad. To have a few home comforts--bed,
bath, and wife--yes, those add so much!

Lovely pair of drabbles! Heh!

Title: The Undiscovered Country · Author: Wimsey · Genres: Drama:
Elves in Later Ages · ID: 715
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-18 21:40:18
A sweet, poignant look at the acceptance by Arwen of the mortality
she'd embraced, and the hope returned at the end.

Title: Building the Future · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Mid Third Age:
2851 - 3017 TA: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 644
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-18 21:41:59
So, now we know how it was that Bard the Bowman, now King of Dale, saw
to the taking of one to be his queen, confirming the future of the
rule of his re-established kingdom.

Very practical and joyful.

Title: Point, Counterpoint · Author: Marta · Races: Villains: Drabble
· ID: 573
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-18 21:44:08
A thought-provoking look at how it was that Melkor felt compelled to
bring disharmony into the Song; and to know that Iluvatar failed to
disclaim it brings even more thought.

Excellent application of modern musical theory and structure to
Tolkien's creation story.

Msg# 8440

MEFA Reviews for November 24, 2007 (Part 2) Posted by Ann November 24, 2007 - 6:02:19 Topic ID# 8440
Title: For everything, there is a season · Author: Tanaqui · Genres:
Drama: Gondor Drabble · ID: 696
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-18 22:53:02
There is a simple beauty to this drabble about how the statue of the
king Sam and Frodo see in Ithilien got its crown of flowers. The
natural imagery is beautiful, but it is also symbolic, hinting at how
Gondor is healing itself and remembering the heritage of the kings.
It's a fine example of the author's skill at drabble-writing.

Title: The End of Dark Days · Author: annmarwalk/EdorasLass CoAuthors
· Genres: Drama: Minas Tirith · ID: 56
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-19 03:18:12
[slight spoilers]

This is an endearing story, cowritten by two of my favorite authors
and involving two of my favorite of their original characters.
(Mormegil would give Mag and Nanny a run for their money, though I
can't imagine anyone ever displacing those two. *g*)

It's a fun reunion to see, but it also has much to commend it for
people who aren't always looking for more with these delightful OCs.
The first chapter especially has a great sense of the despair and
angst that comes from lack of information, as we moderns can testify
to (in a more limited way) who have had to wait for news of family
members in the wake of Katrina, 9/11, the Virginia Tech shootings,
etc. And then in the last chapter we see a lovely commentary on the
Faramir/Eowyn romance. Really nice stuff throughout! I think all fans
of Gondor and especially of Mag and Nanny should check this one out.

Title: A Mother's Work · Author: Dreamflower · Races: Hobbits:
Vignette · ID: 134
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-19 03:32:26
A lively quartet of vignettes about the childhood of the 'Fab Four' of
the Shire, from the viewpoint of their mothers. Dreamflower is an
outstanding writer of hobbits; I love the rich details about the
halflings' home life. All of these are wonderfully written; but my
favorite is the chapter about the overworked but sensible and
good-humored Bell Gamgee.

Title: Twice blessed is help unlooked for · Author: Tanaqui · Times:
Late Third Age: 3018-3022 TA: Gondor Drabble · ID: 631
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-19 05:36:21
Splendid little drabble that conveys, in a brilliant first paragraph,
the sheer weariness of desperate battle, and then brings hope in the
person of a long-gone hero.

Title: Blades of the Downfallen West · Author: Tanaqui · Genres:
Drama: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 441
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-19 05:52:31
There's a beautiful symmetry to these two linked drabbles; one from
the viewpoint of the Witch-King and the other from Merry's, as Merry
raises the West-forged blade and strikes the demon lord. A powerful
double-drabble.

Title: Just Deserts · Author: Gwynnyd · Races: Hobbits: Drabble · ID: 505
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-19 15:01:39
Sweet! And it's so like Merry and Pippin --especially Pippin-- to be
frustrated with having to wait. You fleshed out this scene really nicely.

Title: Subdivisions · Author: Aliana · Genres: Alternate Universe:
Gondor or Rohan · ID: 551
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-11-19 20:39:19
I never would have thought I'd enjoy post-modern Middle-earth stories
until reading Aliana's versions of it. It doesn't hurt that I'm deeply
smitten with her serious fic, ["Fallen"], from which these spring. But
her spin-offs are funny and thought-provoking even without that
previous familiarity; they touch on universal human truths, sneakily
couched in a delightful blend of M-e and current times.

In ["Subdivisions"], the characters who were once involved in the Ring
War are faced with a common modern-day trade-off: prosperity bought at
the price of a land's soul. The disposable society has led to a better
life for many, but it often also seems to cheapen things; there really
is that sense of nostalgia for the "olden days", which hindsight
renders in glowing colors. Of course, the olden days had their own
problems, and Aliana uses her characters to great effect to explore
the complex issue of accepting the cost of progress and the different
viewpoints of those involved.

Well-constructed and written with a light but insightful tone, this
blends humor and profundity in just the right mixture, leaving me
laughing out loud even as the voice in my head says, "Too true - all
too true."

Title: Helping Hands · Author: Llinos · Races: Hobbits: Drabble · ID: 615
Reviewer: White Wolf · 2007-11-20 00:54:13
These four little stories feature a different hobbit in need of
comfort. While not connected by plot, they come together to
demonstrate how much solace can be given by the simplest acts of kindness.

Title: No Pain, No Gain · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Humor: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 435
Reviewer: White Wolf · 2007-11-20 01:07:51
These little stories show how you can take identical dialogue and
apply them to entirely different situations. Either alone would be a
cute story, but together they are unique.

Title: Counsel · Author: Alassiel · Races: Cross-Cultural: Gondor ·
ID: 292
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-20 01:52:16
Oh, now this is a fascinating story id! I never would have thought
about the connection between these characters, but you flesh out that
relationship nicely. Even more than that, you walk the line between a
sympathetic Aragorn and one who is weak. I really liked this snapshot
into his psyche.

Title: Stricken From the Book · Author: Larner · Genres: Drama: The
Shire · ID: 348
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-20 06:01:58
A bittersweet vignette of legal and personal consequences of the Ring
War to Frodo and some of the remaining Baggins clan. Meticulously and
realistically written.

Title: Go Out in Joy · Author: Larner · Genres: Alternate Universe:
The Shire or Buckland · ID: 145
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-20 06:59:01
[warning - some plot spoilers]

A sad but quite worthwhile story that follows the course of what would
have happened had Frodo decided to remain in the Shire to die rather
than accompanying Bilbo into the West. Frodo's reasoning is entirely
credible, and his fierce determination to live and die as a hobbit of
the Shire quite touching.

Interesting, though rather horrific, bit about the legacy of Shelob.

Title: Iron to Iron · Author: mrkinch · Times: Second Age: Drabble ·
ID: 662
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-20 12:24:29
The premise of this drabble caught me quite by surprise - and it was
executed fantastically!

I always love reading stories from unusual perspectives, but it is
difficult to get right, and you have caught exactly the right tone for
the light: the readers can almost feel the yearning of this imprisoned
light to be free, and the original "goodness" twisted by captivity to
hate against any of the captors, making no difference between Fëanor
and the "ultimative evil" Morgoth.

There are some lovely descriptions in this drabble that really bring
out and emphasise the beauty of the Silmarils, and then the contrast
to their dark imprisonment.

I especially liked the emphasis that Fëanor did *not* make the light
itself, he merely used it as part of his creation.

Title: A Very Rain of Sparrows · Author: Dwimordene · Races: Men · ID: 440
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-20 12:24:41
An unusual perspective on the Kin-Strife. The PoV from the bottom, of
some poor, common people, many of them young ones, is used
consistently and effectively. The "pig picture" of politics and civil
war impinges only indirectly on their daily lives - or if it has
direct effect, they are unable to set it in context.

Using the few existing snippets of canon, extrapolations and new
creations are integrated smoothly and convincingly.

I admit it was difficult to really get close to the characters because
I had to work so hard to understand the dialect. Nonetheless, they
provide a moving insight into the universal theme of common people
getting ground under the wheels of decisions by those ruling over them.

Title: Reunion · Author: Fawsley · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
Drabble · ID: 489
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-20 12:24:58
Wonderful juxtaposition between the past of the original characters as
soldier and his present as an old man. My favourite passage was the
second paragraph, with the contrast between having dealt quick death,
and now receiving a slow death of old age in return.

The depiction of his aging is conveyed in evocative language. You
don't omit the indignities or shortcomings that come with failing
senses, and yet his still clear mind and proud bearing come shining
through.

A wonderful notion that Faramir would want Aragorn to visit his old
comrade. The soldier's attachment to the Steward's family is evoked in
just a few brief words.

Title: The Stranger · Author: mistycracraft · Races: Men: Eriador or
Rivendell · ID: 89
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-20 12:25:23
Appearances can certainly be deceiving! A suspenseful look at
"Strider" at his most grim and sinister, reminiscent of the Hobbits'
first impression in the Prancing Pony. And just as they, the OC, too,
has a lesson to learn about "seeming foul but feeling fair" as he gets
to know this mysterious man better.

Title: No Escape · Author: Aranel Took · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 -
3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 324
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-20 12:26:00
A powerful drabble, compelling and wrenching.

The repetition of the phrase ["There was no escape."] increases the
tension, gives the drabble a driving rhythm, and evokes the
hopelessness and inevitable doom of the situation. It also reminds me
of the Moria chapter in LotR, where Tolkien uses the drums heard in
the deep to increase the urgency and danger the Fellowship is in.

The way the characters are described makes them immediately
recognisable as Dwarves, without the need to belabour the point. The
emotions are conveyed in a very tangible way.

What also moved me was how you indirectly included even the fate of
the Dwarven men in the drabble, and how this fate was conveyed so
tellingly in an absence, their voices no longer audible, whereas those
of their foe (the Balrog?) is all the more present and loud.

The last paragraph - together with the final ["There was no escape."],
which here takes on an utterly tragic double-meaning - was delivered
with flawless timing, all the more effective for being left unspoken,
but seemingly seen as inevitable.

Title: Ten Thousand Years · Author: Marta · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA · ID: 565
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-20 12:26:22
Excellent descriptions of settings and mood - Boromir's moody
restlessness in the rain is conveyed very vividly.

The interaction between Arwen and Boromir in all its nuances, from
awkward and wary to more open and friendly, was written very well, the
easing tensions built smoothly into dialogue and description.

Arwen unveiling the banner was a powerful moment, especially in front
of Boromir of all people, who has so obvious doubts about Aragorn's
claim. Her own hard-won certainty of the rightness of the claim must
have cleared his own rather confused feelings and preconceived
notions, the better to analyse them with calm and reason.

Also an unusual twist was that Boromir would sooner acknowledge Arwen
as Queen than Aragorn as King. It showed that he recognised her as the
strong character she is, that she is more than a "trophy bride", that
she, too, has a part to play in making the Return of the King possible.

Title: A Little Knowledge Can Be A Dangerous Thing · Author: Tanaqui ·
Races: Men: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 352
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-20 12:26:39
Wonderful character portraits, written in an engaging, precise style,
with carefully chosen, vivid descriptions.

I love the idea of Arwen and Aragorn "bonding" with Faramir over the
books Arwen brought from Elrond - it is really a pity Faramir never
saw the centre of lore and learning that is Imladris (at least in
canon), and that there must have been little opportunity for him to
converse with Elrond.

It's really moving and (amusing in places) how both Arwen and Aragorn
enjoy Faramir's enthusiasm and try their best to encourage and support it.

A further plot thread introduced smoothly into this sequence was
Aragorn's in fanon well-established dislike of fancy court clothes. A
cunning trick, to divert the funds for more pleasurable expenses...

I especially like the image of a nervous Arwen in the first drabble
and, predicatably *g*, that of Faramir drying himself after sluicing
["away the day's dirt with cool water"].

Title: Glimpses from Cormallen · Author: Marigold · Times: Late Third
Age: 3018-3022 TA: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 614
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-20 12:27:01
Sweet, but not too sweet, snapshots of Pippin's recovery from
Cormallen. I like the sense of deep friendship between the member of
the Fellowship appearing in the series, in particular, of course, that
between Merry and Pippin.

Telling little details of Pippin's injury and the healing process.
Nice incorporation of Merry's (future) interest in herblore mentioned
in the prologue.

Title: Brothers at Heart · Author: Radbooks · Times: Mid Third Age:
2851 - 3017 TA · ID: 330
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-20 12:27:55
I still stand by my last year's review, but have tried to not repeat
*everything* for this year's MEFAs *g*.

This is a thoroughly engaging, exciting, well-plotted and entertaining
story! Wonderful characterisations all round, with a host of OCs that
feel distinct and real, each with their own motivations and foibles,
showing a broad range of reactions to their returned Chieftain with
his Elvish upbringing far from his people.

Aragorn in his first months of taking up the Chieftainship of the
Dúnedain, his gradual maturing as he comes to to get to know his
people and his place among them is depicted believably and
evocatively, and with a real character arc. His bond with Halbarad is
especially important for him, not only because of their friendship,
but also because Halbarad provides an intimate link to his heritage.

Your version of the village life in the Angle (although I still have
reservations about some details *g*) is plausible, and rendered with
an intricate, descriptive depth of detail.

Title: Holding onto Hope · Author: Alassante · Times: First Age and
Prior · ID: 368
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-20 12:29:01
An evocative beginning that sets the scene very well, showing Maedhros
inner condition that Celebrimbor has come to change. It's an
unexpected, but believable twist to have Celebrimbor be the one to
rouse Maedhros from his self-imposed exile, not his own brothers
and/or Fingon. I can well believe that Maedhros would be too proud to
let himself be seen by his brothers other than at his best, and
Celebrimbor gives him the incentive he needed to actually want it again.

Title: Triolet: The Weaver's Song · Author: annmarwalk · Genres:
Poetry · ID: 553
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-11-20 18:31:28
Oh my gosh! I thoroughly enjoyed these. I loved Boromir's cloak, and
the flowers - which is which just still makes me giggle; and dearest
Imrahil - yes indeed, time for a pony.

Oh dear - I'm still giggling - delightful triolet. Thank you.

Title: Soap · Author: Aliana · Genres: Alternate Universe: Gondor or
Rohan · ID: 552
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-11-20 18:31:29
Excellent, excellent and evocative look at grief, in wartime or any
time. It really is a missing scene from ["Fallen"], but the themes are
so universal that I don't think any knowledge of that storyline is
necessary. This is representative of anyone dealing with a great loss,
and it's a wonderful bonus that it additionally fleshes out Aliana's
wonderful OCs for those of us who already love and root for them.

I loved the interactions between Beren and his future wife, and his
reflections about how they are both being rather boring. It's very
funny and true-life to me that they had such an awful first date, and
yet ended up married. Crazy Lou and his restaurant are just... awesome.

Beren's attempts to encapsulate his grief over Tarondor and hide it,
to carry on in a fantasy world, speaks clearly to all of us who've
been there. The breaking of his bubble is handled very well, with
inspired imagery used throughout. It's bittersweet and moving, and I
love the bleak way he starts to come to terms at the end. Tarondor's
death will always leave a hole in Beren's life, one of those things
never truly filled no matter how terrific future friendships may be,
but Beren is at least learning to live with it.

Title: Fruition · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Alternate Universe:
Gondor or Rohan · ID: 7
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-11-20 18:33:14
Edoraslass has managed to take one of my all-time favorite LotR
characters and completely, totally twist said character into Evil.
Augh!! It speaks volumes of her writing skill that she pulls it off
with brilliance and that I still enjoy this story so much.

The premise is scary, and quite likely something that *was* brewing in
the background during various points in Gondor's history. The lust for
power can lead to truly atrocious deeds, and - if one is willing to
step away from Tolkien's Ideal Society for a moment - who more likely
than one of the most powerful families in the land? So close to the
ultimate authority, yet not quite there... A situation that could be
rife for envious greed.

Excellent writing, with the true villains only coming to light well
into the piece, and just enough detail and interaction to enhance its
plausibility - I sometimes think that "less is better" with the more
outrageous AUs, and the author carries this off well. I am left avidly
speculating afterwards.

Msg# 8441

MEFA Reviews for November 25, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 25, 2007 - 5:01:49 Topic ID# 8441
Title: ...To the Edge of Night: Seven Tells of a Moment · Author: Elen
Kortirion · Races: Men: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 439
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-20 19:30:18
This is a very poignant series of drabbles, with lots of detail in
each one. The individual scenes feel complete in themselves, but they
also connect nicely into a story arc. I personally disagree with the
way Denethor's relationship with his sons was portrayed, but this is
movieverse so I could accept it for the duration of the series, and
there was so much other good material I could sink my teeth into. Fans
of drabbles and Gondor won't want to miss this one.

Title: Bonfires of Trust, Flashfloods of Pain · Author: Klose ·
Genres: Drama: Second Age or Earlier · ID: 413
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-21 02:08:24
This was an interesting and poignant read. As a Tolkien fan who
doesn't necessarily specialize in Silmfic, I found it nicely
accessible without being at all shallow; there was a lot of depth to
this piece, both emotionally and philosophically. The imagery was
evocative throughout, and, while the subject matter keeps it from
being something you can properly "enjoy," this short story manages to
pack a lot of content into a relatively short space without ever
feeling rushed. Nice work, klose!

Title: Life Lessons · Author: Marta · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 582
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-21 06:58:37
One of the better treatments of the post-Ring War relationship of
Arwen and Eowyn that I, at least, have read. It is natural that Arwen
and Eowyn should turn to each other, since they are both outsiders in
Gondor, for support and, eventually friendship, not to mention their
husbands being bound together in the relationship of King and Steward.
I particularly like Arwen's decision here; and how she is giving a
gift of the Elves to Men in a female-to-female almost sisterly
transaction, which seems to me to parallel Arwen's bringing a fresh,
and last, infusion of the blood of the High-Elves into the bloodlines
of Men.

Title: A Wish for Yestare · Author: rhyselle · Races: Men: Gondor ·
ID: 178
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-21 07:01:32
Intriguing story of Denethor and Faramir's mettare observation at the
end of 3018: I like how father and son, who seem nearly estranged, are
drawn together by their memories of and hopes for Boromir, who they
both love.

Title: A Pirate's Life for Me! · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races:
Men: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 438
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-11-21 16:13:06
These were great drabbles, linking Faramir's childhood with the
childhood games of his own children as both parties played the
Gondorian version of Cowboys and Indians. Imrahil's turn as the
dreaded pirate king was very well done, his promise to Faramir to
teach him Umbarian Adunaic curses so he can play with Boromir more
acurately a telling indication of how well he already knows his young
nephew.

Title: Sometime Ever After · Author: Dwimordene · Times: Fourth Age
and Beyond · ID: 363
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-22 01:49:28
[spoilers]
I loved this beautifully told story,being a fan of both Aragorn and
Halbarad.
In this haunting tale, a badly wounded Aragorn sees his old friend and
is granted a reunion with hm.
The reader is left to guess was it real or the product of a fevered mind?




Title: Strange Stars · Author: Jael · Races: Cross-Cultural · ID: 120
Reviewer: Ignoble Bard · 2007-11-22 05:47:37
Who would have thought a simple courtesan exchange with Harad could
prove so enlightening, and on so many levels? This story is great, and
has already been praised by those more capable and eloquent than me,
but I just want to add that I loved it for all the same reasons and more.

Legolas' desire to aid Aragorn in opening diplomatic talks with
Gondor's former enemy after the Ring War is admirable on the face of
it. But, despite his best intentions and his research of the "role" of
a courtesan he thinks to merely play, culture shock finds him at a
loss. He handles things well enough at first, being the clever and
open minded Elf he is, but soon finds himself navigating the
unfamiliar, and at times dangerous, court of the Sultan. Along the way
he develops affection and empathy for some of his "clients" coming to
realize that, despite their differences, the ravages of war have
touched Gondor and Harad in similar ways. Finally, he is confronted
with a situation that, while not entirely unexpected, forces him to
rethink his attitudes, relationships, and even his prejudices in ways
he never imagined. Would that we could all take such a journey at
least once in our lives.

Jael's stories are true "must reads" for any Lord of the Rings, Wood
Elf, or Mirkwood aficionado. To call the details, characterizations
and plots of her stories "rich" is too cliché for the emotional impact
the work produces, often in so subtle a manner that one finds oneself
revisiting scenes in the mind's eye days and weeks later.

Title: Cophetua · Author: Jael · Genres: Romance · ID: 242
Reviewer: Ignoble Bard · 2007-11-22 07:02:28
A poor girl, forced to leave home, runs into an unexpected benefactor
in this tale that begins like the standard Mary Sue story but ends up
making us believe in the depth of eternal love. Once again, Jael
triumphs over the predictable and mundane by bringing us a story that
answers the question of what happens when a lonely king finds love
with a woman well below his station. The story is brimming with fine
details about Mirkwood and its politics, as well as the
characterizations we've come to anticipate from this author. To say
too much is to give away the little surprises throughout that are like
Easter eggs for the spirit.

Suffice it to say that a reader that sticks with this story will have
some pleasant moments in store and some wrenching ones as well. The
deft blend of drama, humor, and heartfelt emotion transports the
reader to a time and place that never existed but, in the author's
capbable hands, feels like it could and should have.

Title: Sticky Sweet · Author: SheBit · Races: Men: Gondor Drabble ·
ID: 196
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-22 17:37:52
Ah, the memories of childhood compared with the griefs of the day!
What was sticky sweet now perhaps has the tang of copper to it as
Aragorn kneels by the river.

Title: Burning Your Bridges · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Poetry · ID: 125
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-22 18:00:48
Another look at how it was that the last bridge of Osgiliath fell, as
Faramir sees to its destruction while Boromir keeps the enemy at bay
before all seek the safety of the river.

I could feel the heat beating against my closed eyes.

Title: Foreign Ways · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Humor: Gondor or
Rohan · ID: 54
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-22 18:04:22
Ah, our Mag learns how to ferment mares milk, and compliments her new
mistress by asking about making other Rohirric delicacies she
remembers from her youth.

Calls to mind my favorite Sutcliff tales! Thanks for the reminder.

Title: The Great Blotmath Walnut War In The Year 1423 · Author:
grey_wonderer · Races: Hobbits: Post-Grey Havens · ID: 165
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-22 18:39:20
This has to be one of the funniest stories GW has written, and she's
written some pips! When Pervinca begs Pearl for some walnuts to make
her walnut cake for Tom and Marigold's third anniversary, she agrees
to hull all Pearl gives her--an unwise wording it turns out.
Pimpernel, Pippin (recovering from an injury to his weak knee) and
Merry all find themselves caught in the war between Paladin and
Eglantines oldest and youngest daughters, and poor Pippin almost
wishes he'd go blind when he sees Pervinca in all her glory.

Absolutely hilarious.

Title: Bliss and Beauty · Author: Imhiriel · Genres: Romance: Drabble
· ID: 20
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-11-22 19:01:15
This is a wonderful example of how structure can be used to enhance
storytelling within the limited framework of a true drabble. Each
paragraph (only a sentence or two) is clearly a new step forward in
Tour and Idril's relationship; amazingly, they are all self-contained
and marvelously expressive. Each section builds on the one before,
until it feels almost like a mini drabble series. The numbering
strategy works very well as a subtly suggestive and compelling beat;
given the romantic elements, I hear Tour's heartbeat in my mind. The
beat connotation feels even more appropriate in connection with the
musical undercurrents of the white city's name.

I love how so much about the two characters is smoothly and naturally
tucked in: Tour's sea-longing, Idril Celebrindal's dancing, the
magnificent unlikeliness of their love and the similarities with Beren
and Luthien's. The imagery is lovely and beautifully poetic; one of my
all-time favorite Imhiriel phrases remains ["two graceful hands
weaving music into motion"]. I come away with the picture of Idril
seeming like a fleet and somewhat mischievous doe, and Tour the hunter
calmly and patiently waiting until, intrigued despite herself, his
love slips to his outstretched hand.

A very creative and apt treatment of the beginnings of their relationship.

Title: Salt · Author: Dawn Felagund · Times: First Age and Prior · ID: 743
Reviewer: Doc Bushwell · 2007-11-22 21:50:30
Dawn's magnum opus, _Another Man's Cage_, was my first introduction to
Tolkien fan fiction. I spent a good chunk of my New Year's vacation of
2007 immersed in it. Yet again, Dawn draws me into her secondary world
of the Fëanorians with [Salt], a story that so lovingly, tragically,
and convincingly paints a vivid portrait of Carnister.

Carnister's narrative begins in Aman. The mother-son relationship is
beautifully drawn here, and Dawn illustrates Nerdanel's love for each
of her sons with the detailing of the phials. These are consistent
with Dawn's overarching fictional take on Tolkien's Firstborn. She
portrays the Elves as fully human (as explicitly noted by Tolkien
himself), but still possessing the sense of the Other that sets them
apart from mortals. The eldritch touch of the phials conveys the
strangeness here.

Tolkien's legendarium, _The Silmarillion_ in particular, lends itself
to the interpretative fan fic writer, and Dawn, as characteristic of
her work, takes this and runs with it. In Salt, Fëanor is a Noldorin
Cassandra; few listen to his misgivings. Dawn also fills the white
spaces between the lines with her description of the harsh realism
likely to underlie the more general descriptions written by Tolkien.
This is starkly illustrated by Dawn's description of the commandeered
ships foundering and drowning of the Noldor, and furthermore, the
terror experienced by Fëanor and his sons at the mercy of the fierce
ocean, and most intensely by Carnister as he takes another's life.

The symbolism of the ocean and its intimate connection to Carnister
are interwoven skillfully throughout the narrative. The sea offers
peace to Carnister yet displays its lethal force to him. Salt is given
to the ocean by the tears of a god, and yet is benign and trivial as
flavoring on popcorn. Through this theme and the interlaced
connections between the force of nature and the protagonist, Dawn
effectively conveys Carnister's inner anguish and depth of feeling
that lie beneath his carapace of the weird. Throughout the story, the
sea lies in wait for Carnister, ready to take his tears.

Salt is a haunting story and for this reader, evokes a dream-like
quality. It is an excellent addition to Dawn's expansive compendium of
First Age tales.


Title: The Eagle's Gift · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Drama:
Minas Tirith · ID: 591
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-22 23:43:56
Denethor finds his father's gift on the night of his marriage almost
embarrassing, and the messenger sent to bring it almost an insult. But
at least this night he looks to hold a treasure the equal of which
Ecthelion's Eagle of the Star admits he cannot boast--at least, not as
yet. It is an admission that allows Denethor to feel superior as he
looks to claim the full pleasure of his own.

An enlightening look at the dynamics between Denethor and Thorongil
and the absent Ecthelion.

Title: Brotherhood · Author: Bodkin · Genres: Drama: Incomplete · ID: 733
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-22 23:55:40
As always, a wonderful, clever glimpse into the lives of the sons of
Elrond and their father and the rest of the inhabitants of Imladris as
they find their hope and interest in life restored by the coming of a
small child of Men and his bereft mother to join the household of the
Last Homely House. A marvelous, thoughtful tale that I pray will be
continued soon. Don't keep us waiting too long, Bodkin.

Title: Iron to Iron · Author: mrkinch · Times: Second Age: Drabble ·
ID: 662
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-22 23:57:47
The title says it all as we examine the thoughts of the very Light
with which the Silmarils were filled--meant to shine freely, it was
first hoarded and then made to shine upon degredation.

Thought provoking and in ways disturbing. Well done.

Title: Hossis · Author: Fawsley · Genres: Drama: Youth · ID: 520
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-23 00:01:03
What a way for mother and child to learn their lives have been
overturned as husband and father is killed by an orc arrow. No, the
Master wasn't always consistent with details, and this is definitely a
different look at how Gilraen's son came to look on Elrond as his father.

Interesting and unique vision of that time.

Title: The Inner Light · Author: Rhapsody · Genres: Drama: Elves in
Later Ages · ID: 236
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-23 00:05:42
First as he watches Elrond prepare for his departure from Middle Earth
and over time glimpse the thoughts and memories of Erestor, most
recently of Imladris. But when he himself returns to Aman, his own
heart is conflicted--and then healed by what he finds, as he sees
still another family he'd thought torn apart for eternity at least
partially restored, and he finds in that breach healed the chance for
himself also to reach more toward healing for himself.

Very poignant and thoughtful.

Title: Weary Beyond Joy Or Sorrow? · Author: Imhiriel · Times: Late
Third Age: 3018-3022 TA: Gondor Drabble · ID: 671
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-23 00:10:00
He looks upon a still figure--that of Halbarad, I must suppose. Not
all that happened on the day of the Battle of the Pelennor brought joy
and gladness to our beloved Aragorn.

Love how he finds comfort. It made me feel stern myself.

Title: Fissures · Author: Thundera Tiger · Races: Dwarves · ID: 804
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-23 00:30:39
Ah, the reality of the changes within Gimli as a result of his
participation in the quest and his friendship with Legolas now meets
the rigid traditions of the Dwarves who follow him to the Glittering
Caves of Aglarond, and Otin hopes to minimize the possibility of too
deep a fissure in the structure of their new colony and within Gimli
himself.

Now, to learn how pervasive and potentially dangerous the fissures
Gimli is opening might be.

Title: I'm Your Pain When You Can't Feel · Author: Robinka · Genres:
Drama: General Drabble · ID: 103
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-23 03:53:13
The devotion between Finrod and Beren was unique at the time; and this
look at Finrod's last wishes and prayers for his mortal friend is
heart-rending.

Title: The Understanding of a Father · Author: Ellie · Races: Elves ·
ID: 174
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-23 04:15:54
His son was sent back and must now prepare him to follow the Valar
eastward to the War of Wrath, and Glorfindel's father finally
appreciates that his son has known his own griefs and losses as
terrible as his own; while Glorfindel finally realizes the pain his
father feels at not having been able to protect his child from those
griefs.

In this case, pain shared is indeed healing.

Title: Setting the Captives Free · Author: pippinfan88 · Races:
Hobbits: Post-Ring War · ID: 245
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-23 04:39:54
Once the ruffians were bested, the next task was to free those who had
been incarcerated in the lockholes in Michel Delving. Told with a
sensitivity and purposefulness equal to that of our returned
Travellers themselves as they sought to restore the folk of the Shire
and to find and free their beloved cousin Fredegar Bolger.

Title: Peregrin · Author: Pearl Took · Races: Hobbits: Gapfiller · ID: 316
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-23 04:49:40
Ah, what a movie-verse moment as a peregrine falcon comes to aid
Peregrin Took and give him heart as he ascends the rock holding the
beacon, helping strengthen him that last bit of the way as he climbs
enough to make of the beacon a small sun indeed.

As heartlifting as the section of the films in which the light of Hope
is passed from mountaintop to mountaintop.

Msg# 8442

MEFA Reviews for November 25, 2007 (Part 2) Posted by Ann November 25, 2007 - 5:03:20 Topic ID# 8442
Title: A Million Little Stars To Light Their Way · Author: Cathleen ·
Genres: Drama: The Shire · ID: 387
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-23 05:01:55
What a wonderful memorial to Boromir the Bold by Merry and Pippin, as
they find he indeed was cut out into stars and shines both in the
night and their memories.

Compelling.

Title: I Will Comfort Thee · Author: agape4gondor · Genres: Drama: The
Fellowship · ID: 458
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-23 05:13:47
The loss of Boromir is one that still deeply touches his brother,
Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas, and the two Hobbits for whom he died. A
fitting memorial to the Man they know as they make pilgrimage to Amon
Hen. Love the comforting of Faramir.

Title: Still Waters. · Author: Ellie · Times: First Age and Prior:
House of Fingolfin · ID: 529
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-23 05:21:56
If there are any within Tirion to realize the full extent of the
horror of the actions of those who took part in the Kinslaying at
Alaquonde, it is Anaire. Yet she cannot help but mourn those lost to
her in following Feanor away from Aman, finally across the ice to
Ennor once more.

Such grief, well expressed.

Title: The Gaze of the Lady Galadriel · Author: Aprilkat · Genres:
Drama: The Fellowship · ID: 600
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-23 05:30:07
A bit of a movie-moment as Aragorn learns Frodo has looked into
Galadriel's mirror, seeing again what he sacrifices in order to fulfil
his charge.

Yes, wistful.

Title: Elf Interrupted · Author: Fiondil · Races: Elves: Incomplete ·
ID: 77
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-23 06:05:46
An extremely complex and ambitious epic dealing with the death,
afterlife and return to life of Glorfindel. Sensitively written, with
excellent use of Valinorean mythology and language.

Title: Weary Beyond Joy Or Sorrow? · Author: Imhiriel · Times: Late
Third Age: 3018-3022 TA: Gondor Drabble · ID: 671
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-23 06:15:21
A drabbled look at Aragorn's grief for Halbarad after the Battle of
the Pelennor. I really like the relationship that is portrayed between
the weary Aragorn and Gandalf; their mutual respect and familiarity
and love conveyed in few but powerful words.

Title: O, Cruel Fate · Author: Greywing · Genres: Alternate Universe:
Incomplete · ID: 58
Reviewer: Oshun · 2007-11-23 15:16:20
Greywing always writes brilliant comedy, but this story stands out as
my favorite of hers. It is wonderful, witty, ridiculous and
irreverent. She takes beloved canon characters and makes them wholly
her own. Among those are included her beauteous Glorfindel, hero of
Gondolin (elven maids to squeal and grow short of breath at the sight
of him), her fumbling, bureaucratic Mandos, nor, especially the
cranky, short-tempered Cirdan. But her real tour de force in this
piece is her creation of one of the most memorable original characters
in Tolkien fanfiction, whether it be comedy, tragedy, romance, or
adventure, in her utterly incomparable Neldor the healer. Everyone who
has read and discovered her Neldor loves to hate him. Who should be
more kind, thoughtful, considerate and wise than an elven healer?
Well, Neldor is the absolute antithesis of all that. Greywing writes
him as pompous, self-serving, utterly without redeeming personal
merit, unless one might consider his scheming and completely amoral
ruthlessness a virtue, or his self-confidence in his own cleverness
despite his capacity for outrageous error and subsequent mayhem in
pursuit of his own ambition and self-promotion. He is ungentle,
unkind, envious, proud, and petty. Neldor is, however, nothing if not
democratic. No one is safe from Neldor: neither the oldest and wisest
nor the most vulnerable, not even dumb beasts.

One quotation just for flavor, which does not include a serious spoiler:

["]"Oh be quiet, Fëanor," replied Mandos, quite unaffected, as he
prepared for his experiment. "You ceased having rights ever since that
mess at Alqualondë, which, if I may remind you, filled my halls to
bursting and wrecked havoc with the paperwork.["]


Title: A Rohan Tapestry · Author: shirebound · Races: Hobbits:
Hurt/Comfort · ID: 96
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-11-23 19:13:13
This story was best when it simply included us in the happenings of
this journey, let us be present when the remaining members of the
Fellowship interacted simply and genuinely with one another, their
words and actions telling us all we needed to know. This: ["When it
comes to living rock, Dwarves, too, become gardeners. There should be
a balance between the beauty of that which grows wild, and that which
is encouraged to achieve a potential lying dormant within"] was masterful!

Title: Hay and Clover · Author: Cuthalion · Genres: Romance: Pre-Ring
War · ID: 679
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-24 00:18:55
This story is very sensuous, full of sense details just like a story
about hobbits should be. The author did a good job setting the stage
for this story, and Clover was an intriguing character. I wouldn't
mind reading more about her one of these days. Frodo and Pippin, too,
were drawn as approachable characters while still true to canon. I
enjoyed it.

Title: O, Cruel Fate · Author: Greywing · Genres: Alternate Universe:
Incomplete · ID: 58
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-24 00:19:36
This work-in-progress was the first thing of Greywing's that I read.
As someone who usually sticks with a)Ring-War era stuff, and b)
finished (and fairly short) stuff, this is a story I probably wouldn't
have given it a second look if a friend hadn't encouraged me to read
it. But I'm glad that I looked at it. Throughout the story, the author
shows a wicked since of comedic writing (and, I have to admit, an
irreverent sense of humor that I loved), original characters that fit
into the canon world, and a really clever use of the canon material
without feeling like there was an info-dump. For a story so far out of
my reading comfort zone, I did not struggle at all to enjoy this story
- it effortlessly became a good read for me, which is a real
accomplishment. I highly recommend it to anyone needing a good laugh.

Title: Where There's Life, There's Hope (and in need of vittles) ·
Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Drama: Gondor Drabble · ID: 463
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-24 08:12:04
Oh yes - I can see how that would remind him of life and hope and the
beginning of another day. Mag is a great character. And reassuringly
practical.

Title: In the Waiting · Author: Altariel · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 392
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-24 08:14:29
Poor Faramir - but when your place is always in the wrong, I suppose
you can allow yourself the liberty of making up your own mind. Such a
good thing that he let the hobbits go.

Title: A Truth Universally Acknowledged · Author: annmarwalk · Genres:
Humor: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 556
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-24 08:19:44
My, but Boromir is a romantic! But then, as far as his bride was
concerned, it would be rather a waste of energy, as I'm sure Denethor
has a list ready. Prioritised, too.

Title: Way Out West · Author: Pearl Took · Genres: Adventure: Pre-Ring
War · ID: 769
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-24 08:31:00
Yes, I can see these two adventurous hobbits wanting to see for
themselves. It was very sneaky of the elves, though, to make them
think that their journey had been a dream. Although maybe it was
important in the longer run for them to go into the quest unaware of
it. I'm glad they remembered it in the end though. I suspect they
needed to recall the wonder of their first time to help them deal with
the grief of this visit.

Title: Still Waters. · Author: Ellie · Times: First Age and Prior:
House of Fingolfin · ID: 529
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-24 08:38:54
Poor Anairë. When you first hear all the stories of battle and
derring-do that are associated with all the History of Middle Earth
adventures, they are stirring and brave and frequently bull-headed and
mistaken - but after a while you do start to think about those behind
the stories. Indis, left grieving for her husband and son and
grandchildren. Finarfin and Earwen - bereft of their children and most
of their close kin and enduring the anger and bitterness of the
Teleri. And how did those who dwelt in Aman deal with all the
after-effects of that? So many of the nameless mothers and sweethearts
- so many children could have been left fatherless. It could change
the whole way society worked - and that doesn't even touch on private
grief. And guilt.

And then being elves, there was no prospect of the sorrow ending. I
hope Nolofinwe got rehoused and sent back before too long.


Title: Longing · Author: Larner · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond · ID: 468
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-24 08:46:51
Poor Faramir. And Pippin. It tends to be the way with wanderers, that
they are left always hankering after what they don't have. And the
lembas and the closeness of the Fellowship must have made it far
worse. Pippin and Merry settled down and did their duty - and now they
are free to do as they choose. Except, of course, that they weren't
given the chance to sail. Shame, really.

Title: Foreign Ways · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Humor: Gondor or
Rohan · ID: 54
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-24 08:50:24
Mag has such an open mind! And her enthusiasm must have done a lot to
reduce Eowyn's feelings of being a rather unsophisticated outsider. I
love the memory of Mag's first introduction to kumiss.

Title: Stirrings of Shadow · Author: Fiondil · Genres: Adventure:
Incomplete · ID: 233
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-24 08:57:23
I am enjoying the tale of Aragorn's adventures among the Rohirrim. And
the way the elves have turned up at critical moments. While I found
the penalty exacted on Aragorn for linguistic incompetence to be
highly entertaining and very apt!

Title: Drawing Straight With Crooked Lines · Author: Fiondil · Genres:
Drama · ID: 76
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-24 09:01:27
Well - if anyone could come to terms with the knowledge that he was
the sacrifice, it would be Boromir. I reckon he could cope with the
military necessity. And, having accepted the inevitable, the thought
of waiting for Aragorn would be a consolation.

Title: Journeys to Harad · Author: Gwynnyd · Races: Men: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 502
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-24 09:06:08
Ha! Travelling light takes on a whole new meaning when you're looking
at a king's progress. (I suspect the travelling bath might be the item
that causes Aragorn most shock.)

I sometimes wonder how he endured his change in circumstances. And how
many times he wished he could go back to the simpler ways.

Title: Jewels · Author: Lindelea · Races: Hobbits: Incomplete · ID: 311
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-24 09:10:04
I do enjoy reading about your version of the Shire - and your
characterisations of people both canon and other. (And, of course,
anything to do with my favourite - and excessively accident-prone -
hobbit.) And this is yet another highly enjoyable story - with its
obligatory dose of angst and its satisfactory resolution.

Title: When the King Comes Back (the Great Smials) · Author:
Dreamflower · Genres: Drama: The Shire · ID: 262
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-24 09:49:12
It must have been so hard - for Pippin, particularly - to go back to
the Shire and back to being sons and subordinates. Especially as
Paladin is remarkably reluctant to acknowledge what went on in the
world outside. I tend to feel that the Shire is a very parochial,
enclosed environment - and hobbits are rather reluctant to make a nod
to the outside world. Not that it's unusual to feel that local tremors
are rather more important than distant earthquakes. I'm glad Paladin
came round - and that Pippin was able to speak to him. Paladin and
Saradoc might well be able to relieve their sons of some of the pain
of their experiences. Shame Frodo doesn't have the same resources. He
needs someone to confide in! The King's heartfelt commendations of the
travellers was good to read. (And the stipends won't hurt the
travellers' positions, either!)

Title: Night of Love · Author: Linda hoyland · Genres: Romance: Gondor
· ID: 617
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-24 09:56:47
The stuffy conventions of Gondor must have been so hard on both
Aragorn and Arwen. I imagine it must have taken some time for them to
hammer into the protocol-obsessed courtiers that the two of them would
lead their private lives in the way that suited them. Outside under
the stars - a much more fitting setting for the Evenstar and the Ranger.

Title: The Wink of an Eye · Author: Linda hoyland · Times: Mid Third
Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 664
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-24 09:59:23
Wicked! In more ways than one. And, for Sauron, a remarkably subtle
scheme.

Title: A Rohan Tapestry · Author: shirebound · Races: Hobbits:
Hurt/Comfort · ID: 96
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-24 10:12:04
It was good to see the last of these characters' time together - they
have become more than friends, really. A great extended family that
crosses age and species. Which means that parting is hard. Not,
perhaps, quite on the Arwen/Elrond level, but then they could all hope
to meet again in the not too distant future.

(I'm sure the ... nutritional information ... will be of great benefit
to the inhabitants of Edoras. And perhaps the hobbits have a duty to
visit regularly to ensure that their teaching is reinforced.)

So sad that their current adventure is ended, though - and that they
will never really be together again. Although there is hope. At the
moment, anyway.

Msg# 8443

MEFA Reviews for November 26, 2007 (Part 1) Posted by Ann November 26, 2007 - 4:03:28 Topic ID# 8443
Title: When the King Comes Back (Brandy Hall) · Author: Dreamflower ·
Genres: Drama: With Merry · ID: 713
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-24 11:30:49
Ho hum. Saradoc is so much more sensible that Paladin in some ways.
Although I suppose he has always been prepared to be Master, while
Paladin spent much of his life as a farmer before being dragged to the
Smials to take over the Thainship. And Saradoc has only one child,
while Paladin had three daughters before obtaining his heir. It's good
to see the family reconciled, though. And to have them learn more of
what happened Outside - although the males are being nicely protective
of female sensitivities. Love the irony of Paladin's declaration - no
reconciliation until the king comes back. Well, right back at you,
Paladin!!

Title: Safe In My Arms · Author: Fiondil · Genres: Drama · ID: 470
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-24 11:47:39
Uncle Namo! Now Faramir is just exactly the person who would call Namo
uncle!

I love the way that Boromir spends time playing with his brother - and
that he finally realises that it is he who needs to feel safe.
Although he accepts Faramir's exalted status far more easily than his
father can - Boromir has always appreciated Faramir's talents, I
think. In a big brother way.

It is good to see Denethor freed from his torment - although, I
daresay, he still needs a lot of time to come to terms with his past.

And are you suggesting that Eomer has found his time with the
periannath to be rather wearing? Surely not!


Title: The Dancer · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Drama: Minas Tirith ·
ID: 150
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-24 11:52:50
The poor woman - that is so sad! A society where she must be totally
passive and receptive. Always be asked, not asking, wait and smile and
be patient. And he intended to wed her - one day, when it suited him
and the need for heirs made marriage inevitable! Only he fell in love
- and dropped her without even an apology. Such self-centred arrogance!

But Vinyarion sounds a kind man - and understanding. And she was
content - both to be with him, I imagine, and to be away from Minas
Tirith. The last thing she needed was to see Denethor with Finduilas!

Only life didn't even spare her one of her sons to stand by her side,
but doubtless handed her home to her husband's heir and sent her back
to watch Denethor atrophy.

A lovely - but sad - perspective on the prospects for the Mothers of
the Sons of Gondor.

Title: One Who Sticks Closer than a Brother · Author: Lindelea ·
Genres: Drama: Incomplete · ID: 417
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-24 12:05:19
My goodness, but they do go through it! Poor Tolly - he's just had so
much on his plate recently (non-edible things on a metaphorical plate,
too, to make matters worse) that it's not surprising that, when he
fell ill, he fell hard. It's just a good thing that the Thain and the
pseudo-Son of Elrond were prepared to stretch a few rules and those
hobbits not so much in-the-know as in-the-suspicion are prepared to go
along with it!

And Tolly was right with his mercy - and I only hope that everyone who
know of the matter becomes aware of it. The mindless application of
rules for the sake of them does no-one any good. Not to mention that
the young men were a) friends, b) owed a life debt, c) adopted elves
and d) born and raised in the Shire and thus (in a way) hobbits.

I'm glad things appear to be settling. Although the key word there is
probably 'appear'.

Title: Getting Away from it All · Author: Bodkin · Times: Fourth Age
and Beyond: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 63
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-24 12:46:22
A wonderful pastoral setting for this story. There is a golden glow
and feeling of relaxation to the scene that is really appealing. Yet
this doesn't get in the way of the more serious layers underneath: the
wistfulness that such truly restful and informal moments can only
rarely be snatched from duties and the formalities of the court, which
must be especially difficult for those four characters. Smooth
switches in mood.

Lovely character interaction and dialogue, the readers can truly sense
the ease and friendship between these four, as well as the love of the
couples. I especially liked how you described the gestures and
expressions. There was also a wonderful sense of the personal history
of each character woven into the narrative.

The talk about politics and plotting nobles was intriguing and has me
fervently hoping you will some day write a sequel to this story!
Excellent strategical thinking of the four protagonists; I think they
have the situation well in hand.

Erm, and I completely agree with Éowyn's disapproval at Faramir's
reluctance ["to strip off at the least provocation"] *g*!

Title: Sorgbyrðen · Author: Aranel Took · Races: Men · ID: 275
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-24 12:47:25
Wonderful characterisations. The readers can really see the brashness
of a young Éomer, and Éowyn hiding her fears behind a mask of
unconcern and aloofness.

The relationship between the siblings was captured very well. Just
like in the books, there is evidently a deep bond between them; but
just like in the books, Éomer doesn't always see Éowyn's fears and
worries.

I really liked the sense of family between the four of them you
captured in the scenes set in 3002.

There is a palpable tension in the narrative, quiet but insidious, fed
not only by Éowyn's memories of her parents, but also about what is
happening in the present with Gríma and Théodred's wife. I found it
remarkable how you achieved this so much between the lines, by what is
unsaid, or just stated matter-of-factly. It also captured very well
the universal theme of how the families of soldiers feel, having to
wait, torn between trying to be brave and worrying about their loved
ones in peril.

Title: Sent Unto Men · Author: Alassiel · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond
· ID: 346
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-24 12:48:06
A believable and very moving premise in this intersection between LotR
and the Bible. The details taken from the Silmarillion, HoMe, and
"Hail Earendel", the poem so beloved by Tolkien, are filled with life,
are believable and very touching. There is respect there and care, for
both sources.

I like the sense of mystery, joy and wonder, that suffuses the
narrative, and is shared by all protagonists. A very fitting touch to
use here the titles of the characters instead of names: it gives the
story an hightened, archetypal feel.

I also like the open end, that you leave what will follow to the
readers' imagination, and what is "known" from the Nativity.

Title: Risen From Flame · Author: Ribby · Races: Men: Gondor Drabble ·
ID: 761
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-24 12:49:15
Wonderful and very, very appropriate equation of Faramir and Gondor.

The drabble is structured excellently, and the words are skillfully
chosen for a maximum impact, and set in such a manner that a very
powerful rhythm keeps resonating throughout.

Yes, both have endured much, wounds and losses. But both survived and
came out all the stronger, tempered and honed like metal in fire.

Usually, the pyre that nearly claimed Faramir, and the flames that
swept through the Pelennor Fields and through (at least) the first
circle of Minas Tirith is only seen as a destructive force. But here,
the fire that destroyed was also a cleansing fire, a fire of rebirth
(I'm thinking here of burning forests & fields leaving fertile ashes
for agriculture) - truly like a phoenix from the ashes.

Title: Point of View · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
Drabble · ID: 750
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-24 12:49:58
I can very well imagine that this is exactly what happened when
Aragorn asked for a copy!

Both Sam and Pippin are very much in character, especially taking into
account what we know of their concerns and interests after the Quest
from the Prologue, and of course the brief hints refered to here of
how a copy of the Red Book came to Minas Tirith.

Sam is modest and humble when thinking about the greatness of Minas
Tirith under King Elessar, whereas Pippin is enthusiastic and not so
easily daunted, and much more perceptive that he is often given credit
for.

Title: Vocabulary Lessons · Author: Larner · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Gondor · ID: 521
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-24 12:50:27
Entertaining despite some long-windedness and repetition. The OCs were
three-dimenional, and integrated well into the narrative.

I found the contrast between the pompousness, self-importance and
self-righteousness of the young heir especially misplaced - and funny
- when contrasted with the helpfulness and humilty of the other
characters.

Title: Could Will Have Its Way · Author: Nancy Brooke · Races: Men:
Gondor Drabble · ID: 286
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-24 12:51:30
Haunting and moving look into Denethor's reasons for beginning to look
into the palantír.

The drabble is structured very well, with a the repeated question
giving it a powerful rhythm wich resonates throughout the drabble, and
throughout his thoughts. The slightly altered repetition at the end
leaves the readers with a very ominous feeling. The sentence structure
and word order increase the sense of rhythm, and it reads almost like
a prose poem.

Powerful imagery, with some excellent, evocative turns of phrase, and
I especially loved this line: ["I ached to see beyond the dark of
mourning"]. I also liked the many different uses of "sight" that are
woven very appropriately throughout the drabble, whether literal,
figuratively, and concerning vision/foresight; as well as the
juxtaposition of darkness versus light.

Title: South · Author: Aliana · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond: Gondor
or Rohan · ID: 8
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-24 12:52:01
Exquisitely lyrical style that gets really close to the characters,
what they think, feel and experience, as well as paint scenes with
short but brightly evocative "colours", rather like Impressionist art.
As ever in your stories, you manage to tell just as much in what you
*don't* say, through what can be inferred or read between the lines.

Merry's dreams, so enigmatic to begin with, are interwoven into the
narrative of his day-to-day life with its little mundane things that
are nevertheless so very important to him. This contrast between
dreamscape and reality hightens the mysterious, almost mystic quality
of the dreams.

I like the way the comparison between Éowyn and Estella is very
subtle, very naturally; no value judgement, just a matter-of-fact
allusion to some parallels and some differences.

And just for the record: I want a copy of that map *g*!

Title: Sometime Ever After · Author: Dwimordene · Times: Fourth Age
and Beyond · ID: 363
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-24 12:52:49
In this very gripping story, you manage to write from so far within
Aragorn's perspective that the readers feel as if they are very
directly witnessing his feelings and thoughts, as if they are sitting
in his head, almost.

The way the episodes weave in and out of focus also help to convey
Aragorn's current condition with its hallucinations. These episodes
seem to be not completely "there", just a little out of focus. And
this is so effectively contrasted with the change in writing style in
last paragraphs, with its so much more neutral, observant and
reporting voice.

And on top of that, the relationship you convey between Aragorn and
Halbarad is as fully-realised as ever when you write about them. Just
a few brushstrokes, a few well-chosen words in dialogue and description...

A realitiy in which Halbarad grows old and is there to know Aragorn's
children is a very moving notion, and I wager Aragorn was torn between
the grief that it could never be so, and thankfulness that at least in
his visions/hallucinations, it could be true.

Title: Behind Every Great Man... · Author: annmarwalk · Times: Mid
Third Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 52
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-24 12:53:08
Great use of the dialogue-only form. The discussion between Denethor
and his servant was pitched perfectly, and the readers could very well
imagine their respective voices. The dialogue itself flowed completely
naturally and captured perfectly the rhythms of speech, with trailing
off, stammers, awkward noises etc.

Denethor is quite obviously rather nervous at the prospect of his
wedding (and his wedding night *g*), and is also quite flustered at
the amount of detail his servant went to to prepare the bridal
chamber. I rather think his question elicited much more information
than he was expecting as answer!

I liked the character of the servant: he was solicitous without being
servile, I imagine his tone as quite calm, perhaps even elaborating on
his answers so as to soothe his master.

Title: Unexpected · Author: Madeleine · Genres: Romance: Incomplete ·
ID: 559
Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-11-24 13:05:47
I was delighted to see another episode of Lothiriel and Eomer's story
- and I only hope that it will make it through to a conclusion. It is,
like all your stories, great stuff, with delightful and really
attractive characterisations.

From the very first chapter - I think one of the things that makes my
toes curl with delight is Lothiriel looking at Eomer and wondering if
this is the moment to mention getting a tutor to teach her Rohirric.
It is just so Lothiriel. Only she.... And then - Eomer's changes of
mood - from passionate to laughing to teasing to irritated to bemused
and back again over a matter of moments are a joy. As is his admission
that he wasn't all that happy about his proposal and that he was not
pressured but rushed. Not to mention finally getting out the three
words 'I love you'. Lothiriel is so practical, too. A little
uncomfortable with the situation, but not gauche and embarrassed and
naive. Aragorn was right when he described her in the last chapter of
To Become a Queen. Practical, intelligent - but not grasping the
subtleties - which I think will suit Eomer down to the ground. Mind
you - it is going to take them some time to settle down together - and
- short of the bedroom - they will be adjusting to married life in
public. Not easy.

I love the way Lothiriel begins to learn her way round Edoras - and
round the Rohirrim (and her own personal Rohir in particular!!) And
she has such strength of character! Yet she is confident enough that
she just isn't going to allow herself to be moulded into anybody
else's idea of a perfect Queen of Rohan. She doesn't see that she has
done anything wrong and she's not going to give way just because
society wouldn't necessarily agree with her.

But, as always, there is more to the way you tell their story than the
words. They debate brilliantly and confuse each other and respond
verbally according to their characters, but underlying it all are the
most amazingly sensual undertones - followed by the most amazingly
sensual overtones. I love your writing.




Title: Where Once My Enemy Stood · Author: Nieriel Raina · Races:
Elves: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 109
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-11-24 15:58:58
Nieriel Raina has produced a lovely little ficlet about Thranduil's
response to one particular friendship Legolas forged in the War of the
Ring. I really liked the way Thranduil's reactions explore notions of
honour, worth and love – and how, perhaps, those have been changed, or
he has changed enough to perceive them differently. My favourite line
is [even our people have changed, and we are not a people who change
easily]. The language is crisp and clear, and I love the subtle way
the evolution of Thranduil's understanding is shown through partial
repetition of phrases which are then carried on to a new turn of
thought – this seems reminiscent of the sea and Elves in general. Very
nicely done.

Title: First Flight · Author: Isabeau of Greenlea · Times: Mid Third
Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 513
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-11-24 15:59:48
I really like the sense of Eagle culture Isabeau creates here, and the
nice contrast in character of the two eaglets. Most unusual and
entertaining.


Title: An Unexpected Party · Author: Branwyn · Genres: Humor: Drabble
· ID: 16
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-11-24 16:00:17
Oh, this made me laugh out loud. A lovely blending of Tolkien's
magnificent, proud, brave and noble dwarves with a very different take
on dwarf culture. Well done, Branwyn – I'm still chuckling!

Title: The Weregild · Author: tyellas · Races: Dwarves · ID: 522
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-24 22:26:31
This is a nice gapfiller of the history of the dwarves. Bolin is every
inch a dwarf, with both the treasure-lust and the gruff exterior, and
I really like how tyellas has Nili, as a female dwarf, be so
perceptive. It's a really nice glimpse into Durin's sons.

Title: Drawn With Love · Author: MerryK · Genres: Drama: Youth · ID: 569
Reviewer: Linaewen · 2007-11-25 02:05:35
I truly adore this story! Not only is it a lovely tale of the special
relationship that is shared between two brothers, remembering the
mother they both miss, it is also an amazing treasure trove of insight
into the character of Boromir. For Boromir, maps drawn must be
accurate, work done must be perfect, promises made must be kept, no
matter what the consequences to his own grief. Though he is busy about
his own work, having the reputation of not liking to be disturbed, yet
he keeps his door open, and one eye trained to his brother's need.

I think it quite fitting that Boromir should be a fine artist, for
indeed, a practical leader and tactician like Boromir might well have
such an artist's eye -- accurate in detail, memory sharp and easily
recalled, able to capture reality and reproduce it with pen or
paintbrush. I am certain the qualities that made him able to draw well
also aided him in other ways as he grew older, and turned those
abilities to his needs as the leader of his men and his City.

I love the description of Finduilas, and the picture of her that is
formed before the reader's eye even as it is formed before Boromir's,
as he chooses just the right colors to recall his mother to life,
though it be on parchment and not in reality. Even the reader who is
not familiar with the artist's tools of the trade understands through
MerryK's finely worded phrases what it is like to paint, to take a
picture that is in the mind and the memory and make it live on paper.

I was very touched by this tale, to the point of tears, particularly
over the simple trust and firm confidence that young Faramir has for
his older brother -- he knows that Boromir will be true to his word,
and he knows that Boromir will fix whatever is wrong. I also love the
brief but satisfying glimpse we see of Denethor's care for his young
ones, and his own tender memories of his wife. I have a feeling that
Denethor might have visited Faramir's room even more often after that,
not only to tuck his young son into bed at night, but to catch just
one more glimpse of Finduilas, living again in Boromir's painting.

Title: Sure as Shire Talk · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Hobbits: Drabble
· ID: 753
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-25 02:26:14
This drabble really brought home the gravity of the quest for those
who would have been touched by it. By not describing Rosie's reaction
directly you avoided becoming maudlin, yet there isn't a doubt in my
mind that she was very much affected by Sam's disappearance from the
Shire. Well done!

Title: ...To the Edge of Night: Seven Tells of a Moment · Author: Elen
Kortirion · Races: Men: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 439
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-25 05:17:42
A beautiful set of drabbles focussing on the heart-wrenching scenes
between Faramir and Denethor and Pippin in movie-ROTK, when Denethor
sends his son to certain death. Here, not only are these moments
viewed and interpreted by the father and son and reluctant witness,
but by others of the Citadel such as a courtier and a cook.

All the drabbles resonate with incredible pathos; but is the Ostler's
piece that strikes me the hardest - the ostler chastises a stable-boy
for using a second-best blanket for one of the horses who will bear
the doomed knights; and berates him for the idea of allowing one of
their soldiers to go to his death in less than the best of
accoutrements - this, to me, seems very Gondorian.


Title: Lords of Gondor, Sons of the Shire · Author: Gandalfs
apprentice · Races: Men: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 379
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-25 05:25:15
Two well-written vignettes; of which the first is good and the second
outstanding. The second vignette presents Pippin and Faramir poring
over some particular dusty tomes in the Minas Tirith archives after
the Ring War ends - great dialogue and characterisation here,
especially of Faramir as an avid student of history, and a delightful
ending.

Title: The Ground Portends · Author: Thevina Finduilas · Races:
Dwarves · ID: 638
Reviewer: White Wolf · 2007-11-25 08:20:47
A nice little piece that gives us a glimpse into the strength of
Gimli's connection to the earth. We also see him with Legolas and
understand why he was called Elf-friend.

Title: Fissures · Author: Thundera Tiger · Races: Dwarves · ID: 804
Reviewer: Nieriel Raina · 2007-11-25 08:27:56
Excellent piece of work! This is one of the best dwarven tales I've
read, even though it is short. The choice of words is exceptional for
getting across the culture. Thundera's insight into the culture of the
dwarves impresses me to no end! Sometimes I think she must actually
have found a way to get into these characters' heads, for she writes
them as if she knows them personally!

In this tale, Gimli presents his plans for the Glittering Caves to his
friend and second, and in the process reveals much about how the Quest
and belonging to the Fellowship changed him, not to mention his
friendship with a certain elven princeling. As they discuss the plans,
two views collide. Time honored custom and long held prejudice faces
enlightenment.


As always when it comes to Thundera's work, I am utterly amazed at the
amount of talent in the writing and I can only be grateful she writes
for us hopelessly obsessed fellow fan fiction addicts, instead of
writing award winning tomes of literature.

Msg# 8444

MEFA Reviews for November 26, 2007 (Part 2) Posted by Ann November 26, 2007 - 4:04:35 Topic ID# 8444
itle: She Watches · Author: Larner · Races: Hobbits: Gapfiller · ID: 640
Reviewer: White Wolf · 2007-11-25 08:38:10
It was a delight to read this wonderful little piece about Rosie
watching Sam and marveling that she could be the one to hold this hero
of Middle-earth to home and hearth. The tale is told simply but with
touching emotion that is very satisfying. It made me smile.

Title: Crossroads of Time · Author: Ellie · Genres: Alternate Universe
· ID: 382
Reviewer: Nieriel Raina · 2007-11-25 08:56:02
First, I need to say that I do NOT read elf/mortal romances. I just
don't. And I do NOT read modern girl in Middle-earth! Nope, can't
abide them! So, I'm a little perplexed to say thoroughly enjoyed this
story! I would not have read it if not referred by someone else, but I
am glad I did! It takes a lot to impress me when it comes to this kind
of a tale. I actually could not sleep for needing to finish the story
But I was very glad I did so! A most unusual and well done tale! I
applaud Ellie for such a feat.

Title: Frodo's Thoughts - Aragorn · Author: trikywun · Genres: Drama:
General Drabble · ID: 785
Reviewer: White Wolf · 2007-11-25 09:02:08
The questions Frodo has regarding Aragorn are very thought-provoking.
I believe he would wonder about those things concerning the man who
vowed to protect him with his life.

Title: Great Oaks · Author: Bodkin · Genres: Romance · ID: 319
Reviewer: Nieriel Raina · 2007-11-25 09:03:31
An absolutely beautiful tale. I loved this look into Oropher and his
family. Thranduil's lady was charming. Thranduil himself was adorable
in that dashing way of his. I really liked how you showed the
difference between the Silvan elves and the Sindar coming to the
Greenwood. The differences are very realistically done.

Title: The Rose in the Fisted Glove · Author: Jael · Genres: Drama:
Second Age or Earlier · ID: 240
Reviewer: Nieriel Raina · 2007-11-25 09:09:26
I think this story was the one that started my coming out of the
closet as far as reading slash. I was very hesitant to read one with
Thranduil, but this tale was so much more than a PWP. The characters
were handled with love and the story line went far beyond any bedroom
activities. I really enjoyed it.

Title: Web of Treason · Author: Linda hoyland · Times: Fourth Age and
Beyond: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 124
Reviewer: Michelle · 2007-11-25 12:07:24
And the King returned and everyone lived happily ever after... That's
what most fanfiction authors write when they think about Gondor in the
4th Age and maybe that's even what Tolkien envisioned, but if you look
at it realistically it's very unlikely. In history, there are a lot
less kings who died of old age than there are kings who were
assassinated, poisoned, overthrown or otherwise done away with. Add to
that the fact that Aragorn's return as a king is a huge political
change that will most likely cause dissatisfaction amongst certain
groups and you have all the ingredients for Linda's "Web of Treason".

She sends Faramir on a mission to save his king and friend from a
group of conspirators who want back "the good old days". And they
don't fear treason or killing or torturing their king. Of course
Faramir manages to snatch Aragorn from the grasp of those men, but the
reader will soon realize that this is only the beginning of another
kind of torture. Because Faramir had to gain the trust of the
traitors, he now lost the trust of his friend and king. And it seems,
that's the more painful experience for them both.

I always like immersing myself in Linda's stories, because she masters
a wide range of characters with absolute ease. And even though I see
Aragorn differently in some aspects, she makes him believable for me
in her world - and that's the fun of fanfiction! Of course the
relationship between Aragorn and Faramir is at the heart of this
story, but there are also a lot of supporting characters I enjoyed a
lot. I like Linda's view of the Rohirrim, who are stout, realistic and
matter-of-fact. Eowyn (and later Eomer) work as a wonderful contrast
to Aragorn and Faramir, who tend to be so wound up in their honour and
their upbringing that they don't see what's in front of their noses.

All in all, a wonderful tale that had me engrossed from beginning to
end. It ended on a sad and uncertain note, something that will cause
it to reverberate in my mind even longer. The morale is: There are
some things that cannot be undone, cannot be healed. Let's hope Linda
will find a way to give Aragorn and Faramir some hope of closure!

Title: Riders to the Sea · Author: claudia6032000 · Genres: Alternate
Universe: The Shire or Buckland · ID: 158
Reviewer: Michelle · 2007-11-25 12:08:26
Being a fan of AU stories I always like ideas where characters meet
not where they're supposed to meet in canon. I like seeing how they
react to each other under these different circumstances. This story
worked pretty well as an exmple of how a meeting between Aragorn and
Frodo might have happened. We have the adventurous hobbit and the
wounded ranger (cookie points for adding a bit h/c to the mix) and
while Frodo is a bit apprehensive in the beginning, he sure opens up
in the end!

Title: And Not To Yield · Author: Lady Marshy · Genres: Alternate
Universe: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 117
Reviewer: Michelle · 2007-11-25 12:09:32
[this review contains spoilers]

This is exactly what fanfiction is for in my opinion. The story very
effectively tests the limits of the universe and explores the
characters by throwing them into a very dark and desperate version of
"The Return of the King". In only 3000 words the author manages to
rearrange canon profoundly: The ring has been taken and the throne of
Gondor has been reclaimed. And now darkness seems to descend upon
Middle Earth.

The story is told from Faramir's POV, who is imprisoned in the hopes
that he will eventually swear allegance to the new king. But he does
not - he witnessed the death of his rangers, witnessed Eomer's death
and in the end he must face his own death proudly. He is not more of a
hero than he has to be. Faramir surely is afraid and he wavers, but it
is exactly that momend of doubt that makes his decision to stand firm
even more admirable. He dies by the sword and nothing more is spoken
of it. There is no timely rescue, no lament. Instead, the author moves
to the one who bears the ring and you can't help but shudder at his
cold indifference.

In a lot of aspects, the story is very subtle - which somehow only
adds to its brutality. The vast backstory is barely sketched out, a
lot of it is left for the reader to imagine (very good, that, since I
dislike everything being spelled out to the last). The fact that the
story is actually slash (Faramir/Eomer) is also woven in quite subtly.
It almost feels like an afterthought in the wake of grander things.

A very powerful story, which definitely got the wheels in my brains
turning. It's a very convincing "what if..."!

Title: Lord Námo's Yule Gift · Author: Fiondil · Genres: Humor · ID: 335
Reviewer: Aranel Took · 2007-11-25 15:03:35
Why isn't it surprising that Merry and Pippin would instigate a
rebellion in the afterlife? ;-) A very cute and funny story. It was
also very touching in Námo's treatment of the souls in his care.

Title: Seen in the Halls of Dwarrowdelf · Author: Aruthir · Races:
Dwarves · ID: 73
Reviewer: Aranel Took · 2007-11-25 15:27:07
Very powerful! I like the warning at the beginning: ["Read my words,
traveller, and despair."]. I could feel the lust for mithril and the
desperation to break through the obsidian wall driving the dwarves in
the rhythm of the lines and the repetition of words. The ending was
very poignant -- you can't help but feel sorry for the dwarves even
though it was their own greed that brought about their destruction.

Title: Romancing the Smut · Author: Llinos · Genres: Poetry: With
Hobbits · ID: 797
Reviewer: Aranel Took · 2007-11-25 15:40:06
I love this! Poor Merry, trying to pour his heart out in a poem to
Éowyn, and Pippin just has to try to be ... helpful? And I like that
Pippin seems to have a talent for making naughty rhymes. ;-)

Title: Comes Now The Plaintiff, Frodo Baggins · Author: EdorasLass ·
Genres: Humor: Parody · ID: 17
Reviewer: Aranel Took · 2007-11-25 16:30:28
This is one of the funniest things I've ever read. The legal language
is perfect, which makes it all the more funny because legal language
can be very funny on its own just from the ridiculousness of how
things are worded. A lawsuit makes perfect sense for what poor Frodo
has gone through, because this complaint makes perfectly clear that
the actions of Gandalf, Aragron and Faramir really were that bad! They
abused him, abandoned him and used him! Poor hobbit! I also like the
reference to a similar lawsuit Bilbo brought against Gandalf and
Thorin's Company.

The aliases are hilarious: ["Frankie 'The Hammer' of Pelargir",
"Magneto", "Stoned Old Guy in the Hat"]. There is also insightful
analysis of certain characters -- ["an individual of questionable
mental health called "Tom Bombadil""]. I always suspected that one.
;-) And regarding Faramir -- ["Defendant Faramir took to speaking in a
disjointed, rambling manner, quoting lengthy passages from poems,
while continuing to interrogate Plaintiff Baggins in an unlawful
manner. Exposure to such obvious mania constitutes yet another form of
harassment."], which is hilarious to me because my husband always
complains about that scene in the books, for those very reasons. So
the complaint is spot on! Even Faramir's entrapment of poor Sméagol is
brought up, as the pool of Henneth Annûn was not clearly marked as a
restricted area.

What makes this especially good is that the humor is not forced or
overdone, it just fits together perfectly. I could probably spend all
day quoting out the funny bits, so I'll just say that it's a brilliant
and very funny look at Frodo's point of view of the events.

Title: A Queen Among Farmers' Wives · Author: Imhiriel · Genres:
Humor: Drabble · ID: 635
Reviewer: Aranel Took · 2007-11-25 16:37:34
Funny and sweet. I like the off-key ["ring a dong dillo"] immediately
followed by the swinging rolling pin. Maybe Farmer Maggot has finally
learned to listen to his wife? Probably not. ;-)

Title: Field of Dreams · Author: agape4gondor · Genres: Drama · ID: 374
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-25 19:09:08
There is a real bittersweet poignancy to this vignette. The
first-person narrative style makes it all seem more immediate, yet the
pace is anything but urgent. The OFC shows us her world slowly,
matter-of-factly, which makes the pain all the worse. And when I think
that this OFC is not extraordinary and that her plight is quite likely
shared by many, I was truly moved. This vignette does a fine job of
bringing home the loss of the Ring War, while at the same time showing
a very developed economic system of Gondor without letting that
override the emotional content. I enjoyed it, so much as one can enjoy
such a sad piece.

Title: Fruition · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Alternate Universe:
Gondor or Rohan · ID: 7
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-11-25 21:55:24
I found this a horrible alternate version of events, but well and
chillingly told, the style clear and consise without ever being
bloodless or perfunctory, but gripping, in fact.

Title: Thirst · Author: sophinisba solis · Races: Hobbits: Vignette ·
ID: 32
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-26 00:46:01
Ah, a wonderful series looking at Merry and drinks of water, whether
he's urging them on everyone or thinking of them, or avoiding them for
the moment as he deals with a woman's grief and shock, or feeding them
to Frodo and Sam and Pippin, drop by drop, interspersed with words of
love and caring.

Very poignant.

Title: Justice · Author: Imhiriel · Genres: Drama: Gondor Drabble ·
ID: 633
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-11-26 02:13:22
Imhiriel has created a fine drabble about Aragorn's freeing of the
slaves of Núrnen. I love the details showing the former slave's
nervousness, and Aragorn's sensitive treatment of him. A very
effective look at a difficult subject. Well done.

Title: A Moment Lost · Author: Fawsley · Races: Men: Gondor Drabble ·
ID: 491
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-11-26 02:20:50
This is a terrific drabble about Aragorn's assumption of the mantle of
Kingship. I love the way Fawsley shows how it is both no single
defining moment that makes him a king, but a series of events in which
he grows towards kingship - and yet a single moment that demonstrates
he *has* become the King of Gondor: [the shadows of the Dead could
have told him]. The language and structure is clear and powerful, with
a final, satisfying line. Very well put together!

Title: Dragons! · Author: Aranel Took · Races: Hobbits: Drabble · ID: 327
Reviewer: Tanaqui · 2007-11-26 02:29:03
Oh, this is a delightful drabble, with wonderful characterisations of
Bilbo, Frodo, Merry and especially Pippin. Aranel Took has perfectly
captured the happy pleasure of telling scary tales in the security of
home, and managed to pull off the difficult trick of being charming
without stooping to sentimentality. The dialogue sparkles, and the
descriptions are vivid. I especially liked the touch of a sleepy Merry
tweaking Pippin's toes! Well done.

Title: Moira · Author: illyria-pffyffin · Races: Hobbits · ID: 676
Reviewer: Garnet Took · 2007-11-26 03:56:30
This was a very interesting story, with just a bit of sweetiness to
it. It is fun to see the different ideas that people have about the
how, why and wherefore of the creation of hobbits. I enjoyed this
story very much.

Title: Temptation · Author: Linda hoyland · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851
- 3017 TA: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 419
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2007-11-26 04:40:37
I always figured that Aragorn was fair game for romances before he
plighted his troth to Arwen, but not after. Here it is after, and poor
Aragorn, who must have suffered many such moments over the years,
rises to the challenge of resistance. Nicely done!

Title: Freddy and the Thain's Rabbit · Author: grey_wonderer · Races:
Hobbits · ID: 251
Reviewer: Garnet Took · 2007-11-26 05:02:45
I love this story. Errol is such a wonderful character, and Grey
Wonderer tells his stories with such joy and love.

There are some very humorous moments in this, but it is the ending
that gets me. It is sweet but a little sad. It is good to know that
Errol ended up in the care of just the right person.

I really think this is absolutely one of the best stories Grey
Wonderer has written.

Title: Heirloom · Author: Pearl Took · Races: Hobbits · ID: 778
Reviewer: Garnet Took · 2007-11-26 05:23:25
If family heirlooms could talk, oh the stories they might tell. That's
just what this story does. We get such interesting glimpses of a few
of the personalities of the Took clan, and it's doubly intersting
because most of them in this case are female.

Pearl has done a very good job of tracing a path through then
generations for her heirloom, and she manages to may this little item
a character in itself.

Very nicely done.

Title: Dear · Author: Febobe (Frodo Baggins of Bag End) · Genres:
Drama: The Fellowship · ID: 811
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-11-26 06:00:44
Here's a wonderful vignette that goes beyond Frodo/Sam hurt/comfort to
really get inside Sam's head. I felt I was actually reading the
thoughts of Tolkien's Sam.

Great descriptions of food; which is one of Sam's priorities, as well
as the state of Frodo (emotionally and physically) - another of Sam's
priorities. I loved Sam's recognition of Faramir's help, and Sam's
remarks about the portrait of Finduilas.

Title: Taters and Thyme · Author: Cuthalion · Genres: Romance · ID: 499
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-26 07:28:53
This was really nice, mixing both interesting descriptions of the
preparation of the meal as well as believable contemplation by Samwise
as he waits for his child's birth. Nice work.

Msg# 8445

MEFA Reviews for November 27, 2007 Posted by Ann November 27, 2007 - 5:04:37 Topic ID# 8445
Title: There and Back · Author: Lindelea · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Gondor · ID: 801
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-11-26 15:46:30
This could have been a ponderous story, full of detail and filling
every gap, but instead the author gives us a wonderfully rich
conconction replete with flavors and textures, never heavy or dull.
The framing of Pippin's in-and-out recovery with mirroring
recollections of the journey to that point is masterfully done, and
gives meaning to both sections. This has some lovely details; I
particulary liked the note that at the end Merry was included by the
members of the Gondorian guard. So many author's assume the Fellowship
members must always be the center of the action. This is Pippin's
experience, so Merry is appropriately, temporarily, judiciously sidelined.

Title: Yule · Author: rhyselle · Races: Hobbits: Merry and Pippin ·
ID: 764
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-26 19:48:57
[spoilers]

This story is really poignant, describing each of the Yule traditions
in the different lands Merry and Pippin have connections to, and I
could very easily see each of these celebrations. What's more, I
really liked the way Boromir looked on from beyond the Circles of Time
-- it seemed fitting to canon and emotionally nice that he was still a
part of their lives. Nice work.

Title: A Truth Universally Acknowledged · Author: annmarwalk · Genres:
Humor: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 556
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-11-27 01:47:29
This humorous piece had me giggling. Boromir, listing all the virtues
his future bride should have to an audience of Faramir and Lothiriel
sounds just like one of Austen's characters.

Title: Decorum · Author: Larner · Genres: Humor: The Shire or Buckland
· ID: 59
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-11-27 01:48:20
This is an amusing little tale. Dora Baggins discovers that manners
are not everything. I think she learned a lesson by first preaching
good manners and then violating them herself. That was an eye-opener.
I think you captured Frodo and Bilbo really well and at the end Dora
herself shows that she is not all rules and regulations, but has a heart.

Title: Drink Down the Sun · Author: Michelle · Races: Men: Eriador or
Rivendell · ID: 355
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-11-27 01:50:21
This is a beautiful little story, watching Arathorn with his newborn
son. I laughed at Arathorn rushing home to his wife and then having to
cool his heels in the living room. Poor man, not even being the
chieftain gave him entrance to the birthing room. The ending is
especially poignant because we all know how little time Arathorn will
have with his son, no matter how much he wished he would be there for him.

Title: My Sword Sings · Author: agape4gondor · Races: Men: Gondor ·
ID: 426
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-11-27 01:52:06
The story starts when the news of Denethor's assassination reaches
Edoras, where his sister and his sons stayed for a visit. Rohan is
loyal to the Steward's house, and we follow his sister and Theoden and
the boys (Boromir, Faramir and Theodred) on their dangerous way to
Minas Tirith to claim the Stewardship for Boromir, who is only a boy
of 11 in this story. The story had me on the edge of my seat. Traitors
and assassins are everywhere and the plot has some surprising twists
and turns I didn't expect. The children are well characterized and
Indis, Denethor's sister, an OC, takes on a life of her own. The women
in this story take on an active leading role, which is not always to
the liking of the Rohirrim who, despite of having the tradition of
shield maiden, prefer that Indis would stay out of the fighting. There
are a lot of familiar names of minor Tolkien characters, which are in
their prime during the timeline of this story, and get a chance to shine.

Title: Feasting on Poison · Author: Gryffinjack · Races: Hobbits:
Post-Ring War · ID: 534
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-11-27 01:52:50
In this amusing story, Sam goes on about the Gondorians feeding their
guests a poisonous vegetable or fruit depending on whose point of view
is used. The charactes come to life in this short tale, especially
Sam. I could see his agitation and the confusion of his hosts as if I
was a part of the story.

Title: In the Waiting · Author: Altariel · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 392
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-11-27 01:53:40
In this story Faramir muses about the effect the ring has on him and
on the people around him, notably his father and brother. Even if the
ring itself does nothing for him, because of Sauron's designs he is
still affected. This is book!Faramir as I love him best. And I like
the language in this vignette which I think is very Tolkienesque.

Title: Who is this Gil-galad, of Whom You Speak? · Author: Erunyauve ·
Genres: Non-Fiction · ID: 250
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-11-27 01:54:17
This is an interesting little essay about Gil-Galad. It shows that
there is really very little Tolkien ever wrote about him. But it
brought to my mind that there is a lot of fanon. But still Gil-Galad
is special among the kings of the elves.

Title: The Course of Love · Author: Aranel Took · Times: Fourth Age
and Beyond · ID: 179
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-11-27 01:58:03
In this story Faramir Took and Theoden and Eomer Brandybuck all find
their future spouses and their happy ends. But the way to bliss for
them is riddled with obstacles. I think Eomer had the easiest time of
it. Theoden is up against class prejudices, and Faramir gets caught by
the past and his scars from his father's unhappy marriage to Diamond.

The story paints a vivid picture of life and customs in the Shire,
although the customs had to be bent since in this AU Eowyn of Rohan
married Merry Brandybuck. It gets occasionally confusing for me with
all the character names because Merry and Pippin have the habit of
naming most of their children, and there are a lot of it, after the
heroes of the Ringwar, and I have a hard time attaching these names to
hobbit families.

The stories of the three friends are tightly interwoven with the focus
on one of them as time goes by. The characters are very well drawn and
engaging. I could have rattled Sam, and Diamond is a character I love
to hate. I liked Faramir best, probably because he is the most flawed
of the three and I could relate to him the most.

Title: And Thought How Blessed He Was · Author: Imhiriel · Genres:
Romance: Drabble · ID: 670
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-11-27 02:25:03
Ohhhhh... *melts*

This drabble contains some beautifully sensuous passages. The erotic
descriptions stay well below a "mature" rating, but also delightfully
stimulate the imagination and paint a loving image of this (at long
last!) intimate moment between these two lovers. The profound
connection between Aragorn and Arwen is wonderfully explored and very
clear to the reader. The author has captured the sense of their long
history, of the weight of time and all they have endured, and what it
means for Aragorn especially.

That last resonates most powerfully for me: the reminder of Aragorn's
long years of wandering, of all the struggles to bring about his
destiny and the "right" to wed Arwen. Once homeless and road-weary, he
has finally achieved what must have often seemed like pipe-dreams
during endless nights and dangerous ordeals: both his kingdom and his
love. With all this in mind, I can understand how overwhelming it all
could have been for him. Arwen - his heart - would indeed be "home" in
a way noone and nowhere has ever been before. Imhiriel interweaves all
the erotic and deeply emotional elements extremely well, with a tender
and insightful touch that leaves me happy and satisfied at the end.

Well, OK - mostly satisfied. I'd love to see the rest of that night,
too. *g*

Title: A Very Rain of Sparrows · Author: Dwimordene · Races: Men · ID: 440
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-11-27 02:39:01
A very, very intense story set during a tumultuous and difficult time
in Gondor's history, and loaded with complex politics, alliances and
ironies. Like so much of Dwimordene's work, this is not an easy read;
but like all of her stories it is utterly worth it. Everything is
carefully thought out and intricately woven together into a tapestry
worthy of gracing Tolkien's world.

The author brilliantly extrapolates from the tiny amount of existing
Kin-Strife canon. Careful research lays out a complete and realistic
background for the characters to act against, whether it is the
ground-level effects of higher political decisions; or the grinding
daily details of life in a small fishing and farming village; or the
wonderful cultural delineations. Pelargir and its docks in particular
come vividly alive.

The characters are sympathetic but still carry their own shortcomings
and faults; I finished the story caring deeply about them and grieving
over their fates. I love the technique of bookending the peasants'
story with the "extracts" from official records, as it emphasizes how
much of the bloody truth is compressed and lost in the historical
retellings, and that those viewpoints usually reflect those of the
mighty victors - not the "small folk", who typically suffer no matter
whose side they are on.

This works well as a parable both for Middle-earth, in the sense that
each war has affected Common Man everywhere in different yet similar
ways; and for us today, with the majority of our world's people living
in poverty, war-torn areas and/or under repressive regimes. Thoughtful
and telling, Dwimordene has given us a work that fills in gaps in
M-e's history and also carries an unhappily universal theme.

Title: Better Days Ahead · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Humor:
Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 51
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-27 06:05:52
[spoilers]

If you ever wondered what happened to the Orcs after Sauron fell,this
amusing ficlet will give you the answer!

It seems that Shagrat has taken command now that his master is no more
and he is busy trying to raise the spirits of his followers, no easy
task, I would imagine ,given that so many Orcs were killed and they
lack organisation.

Naturally,Shagrat feels it wasn't fair that Sauron lost but
vaingloriously still believes the Orcs are due for a comeback.

This ficlet is chilling as well as funny,given that Shagrat chews a
dead comrades finger while he speaks and plans a worse fate than being
devoured for the women of Middle-earth.

At least we readers can rest safe in our beds,knowing that Aragorn and
Faramir are determined to clear out the orcs so they will no longer
carry off innocent maidens and rage war.

A well written and darkly amusing ficlet.

Title: First Flight · Author: Isabeau of Greenlea · Times: Mid Third
Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 513
Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-11-27 06:11:14
[spoilers]

A delightful ficlet concerning the somewhat mysterious Radagast and
the great eagles which he has befriended.I love the idea of Radagast
as a healer of wild creatures,tending the eagle's broken wing.

There is a lovely surprise in the last line of this ficlet,which
suggests Radagast did more to help than we supposed.

Msg# 8446

MEFA Reviews for November 28, 2007 Posted by Ann November 28, 2007 - 4:24:53 Topic ID# 8446
Title: Tell This Mortal · Author: Chathol-linn · Races:
Cross-Cultural: The Fellowship · ID: 611
Reviewer: White Wolf · 2007-11-27 22:13:56
This was a wonderfully woven and very original tale seen through the
eyes of a mortal woman named Aerlinn. Her observations of Legolas and
Gimli was done with a keen eye and appropriately fit the storyline.

I loved the way the story went full circle with the past, and though,
for the most part, it was sad in nature, it ended on a note of hope
and ultimate joy. I particularly liked the description of the ship
leaving the sea and moving onto the Straight Road. It's just how I
think it would have been.



Title: The Dancer · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Drama: Minas Tirith ·
ID: 150
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-27 23:24:14
It feels a bit odd to be reviewing this, as I beta'd this story and so
I have a very personal connection to it. But I think it is objectively
good, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone, especially
people who like original characters. The OFC in this story provides a
fresh look at the Gondor of a generation before the Ring War. The
politics certainly feel consistent with canon, and annmarwalk's
version of how Denethor met Finduilas was utterly believable. And the
individual short sections made the piece race by almost too quickly,
capturing the way I'm sure the years would have slipped by for this
dowager lady. Nice work, Ann.

Title: Spring after Winter · Author: annmarwalk · Times: Mid Third
Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 462
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-27 23:30:06
Oh, beautiful! This drabble has some splendid imagery, and the
symbolism of water washing away sorrow worked very well as well.

Title: Jewel · Author: Aranel Took · Genres: Romance: Drabble · ID: 325
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-11-27 23:39:15
Romantic and sweet, but with a very Dwarven spin to it. The ancient
tradition ties in nicely with what little canon exists, and is well
thought-out: incorporating the Dwarven emphasis on craftsmanship and
the upper hand that women would have in choosing a husband, and thus
their power in granting the boon of additional privacy in which to
further the courtship.

While it would be a charming look at even an unnamed couple, this
carries extra punch because we've seen Gloin in other, very different
situations. The contrast between that dour, stout warrior and this
["trembling in his boots"] suitor is wonderful.

Title: The Company of Heroes · Author: annmarwalk · Races: Hobbits:
Children · ID: 393
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-11-27 23:51:43
This was sad, but I could completely see it. Sam has a passionate side
and if his relationship to Gollum is any indication he can carry a
grudge. And he really did wrong Frodo, even if it was under the
influence of the Ring. So while I like to think of Boromir remembered
kindly for his noble sacrifice and his honorable past, I can see Sam
not wanting to talk to him that often.

P.S. - I had a real chuckle when the first "ninth walker" people
thought of was Haldir. ROFLOL!

Title: Kindred Spirits · Author: Cathleen · Genres: Drama: The
Fellowship · ID: 377
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-11-28 01:24:08
It is amazing how many similarities the members of the Fellowship can
find, although they belong to so many different races. In this tale it
is Boromir and Pippin who have a look at their similarities. The
characters of Boromir and Pippin ring true and Gandalf really reminds
me of a mother hen sometimes in the books.

Title: Three Cups of Kindness · Author: Elen Kortirion · Times:
Multi-Age: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 448
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-11-28 01:25:42
This is a beautifully written set of drabbles. Each time someone hands
Aragorn a drink to help him in a situation and it is touching to see
how the situations change.

Title: Dangerous Place · Author: Ushmushmeifa · Genres: Drama: Minas
Tirith · ID: 590
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-11-28 01:28:16
[Spoiler]
This is a touching vignette. I think this filled in another motivation
for Boromir to go to Imladris. Just going for duty feels pretty cold
to sustain him for such a long time, but going for some tangible
thing, for the welfare of Gondor's children after witnessing the death
of this little one is a powerful motivator.

Title: Mettare · Author: rhyselle · Races: Cross-Cultural: The
Fellowship · ID: 732
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-11-28 01:30:36
[Spoiler]
This little piece gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. It seems like Boromir
and the hobbits are feeling homesickness. By telling of each others
customs and building the little boats together they feel better. But
thinking about going into the ice cold waters of a river in the middle
of winter gives me shivers. This letting boats float down the river is
obviously a custom of warmer climates...

Title: Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush · Author: Isabeau of
Greenlea · Genres: Romance: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 512
Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-11-28 01:31:36
I think Diamond is a match for Pippin in this piece. At least she is
determined to claim him in no uncertain terms. Pippin better watch out.

Title: Bounty · Author: Marta · Genres: Romance: Drabble · ID: 572
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-11-28 06:21:16
I love all the allusions and subtle connotations in this drabble.

First, there is the reminder of who Eowyn is: the strong and brave
woman who felled the Witch-King. Not only a lady deftly able to
maneuver about a royal court, and beautiful and intelligent enough to
win and keep Faramir's heart, but also a tomboy and skilled warrior.

From this, Marta leads right into what is my favorite part: that
Faramir loves this about Eowyn. Her scars are not something to be
ignored or skimmed over when they are making love, but rejoiced in as
part and parcel of who she is. That he incorporates them into their
intimacy speaks volumes to how much he loves the whole of Eowyn, no
matter her internal or external scars. I particularly adore this
lovely tribute to committed love and open-armed acceptance.

Finally, what a sensuously intimate gesture in front of the assembled
throng: a subtle and hidden caress that speaks of tremendous joy and
love to come, that evening and far into the future. (My last thought
was, how cool if this was the night Elboron was conceived - a great
bounty indeed!)

Title: A Song of Silence · Author: Nessime · Races: Men · ID: 156
Reviewer: dkpalaska · 2007-11-28 06:21:56
The deliberate calmness of the narrator sets a nice contrast to the
hurry of preparation, both within and without the house, with
beautiful and clear descriptions. The tone and style is close to
Tolkien's own, but is not stiff or stilted at all. Rather, it has the
rolling and smooth feel that I'd associate with Rohan's emphasis on
oral tradition.

The discussion of Deorwyn's deafness is handled adroitly, showing the
stark contrast between her and other Rohirrim but also giving me cause
to rejoice on her behalf. I have to wonder: Would her tapestries have
been as glorious, have "sung" so clearly, if her voice had had other
outlets? I found the telling of her story via her daughter-in-law's
perspective to be very effective and moving, with excellent use of
canon characters and details.

What I am most enchanted by, however, is the strength of the women:
the narrator's refusal to weep, Deorwyn's leaving her wool and
compassionate embrace, Willa's calm obedience. Even Eowyn at the end,
as we know what horrible pressures she has been under and how soon her
despairing ride will occur - yet she can smile a little, and think of
preserving the tapestry. They are the hardy Rohirrim to the core.

Title: Inroads · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races: Men: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 45
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-28 07:30:30
There are those who look on the coming of Eowyn of Rohan to Gondor as
Faramir's wife with disapproval; but a short confidence from a young
girl helps to turn the tide of public opinion.

A lovely moment as the honesty of a young maiden helps bring the Lady
Eowyn into context. The short exchange is very intimate in feel.

Title: The Smile That Wins · Author: Marta · Genres: Romance: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 258
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-28 07:35:02
Aha! Now we see Faramir gaining confidence with his desired courtship
as he begins seeing Eowyn coming alive, no longer the ice maiden or
the summer lightning.

Wonderful images here!

Title: Forcing a Path · Author: Linaewen · Genres: Drama: The
Fellowship · ID: 400
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-28 07:44:34
Herein we see the final breaching of the drifts on Caradhras from the
point of view of the two Men who did the work. Beautifully integrated
gapfiller here.

Title: In Passing · Author: Lily · Races: Hobbits: Post-Grey Havens ·
ID: 613
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-28 07:52:37
I've read so many stories in which we see the passing of Merry and
Pippin from this life. This is one of the most poignant as we see
Pippin, having lingered a time in Aragorn's company after Merry's
death, realizing just how much he has been awaited as he is conducted
across Tol Eressea as a result of a brief reunion he hadn't anticipated.

Beautiful and heart stirring.

Title: The End of a Lonely Road · Author: White Gull · Races: Hobbits
· ID: 542
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-28 07:59:02
Another of White Gull's AUs in which we see Frodo with a love in his
life, this time one who is allowed to do more than remain behind as he
goes with the Elves to Tol Eressea.

A lovely tribute to the Hobbit so many of us love so well. May he
always find his Violet nearby!

Title: Summer Daze · Author: Marta · Genres: Romance: Pre-Ring War ·
ID: 471
Reviewer: Larner · 2007-11-28 08:00:17
A most interesting look at our Faramir and his sexuality as a youth.

Now, did he or didn't he? Heh!

Title: Cultural Exchanges In Gondor · Author: Llinos/Marigold
CoAuthors · Times: Late Third Age: 3018-3022 TA: Other Fixed-Length
Ficlet · ID: 94
Reviewer: Inkling · 2007-11-28 08:33:11
[spoilers]

Worlds collide with hilarious results in this double drabble series,
in which the four hobbit heroes take on post-war Gondor and encounter
such exotic mysteries as veil dancers, prawns, cigars, champagne, and
spas.

It's hard to single out favorite moments, but I loved their griping
about Arwen's dreadful tea-making skills, and Sam's itching to do it
himself just to get ["a decent cuppa."]

Their day at the beach is priceless, with Gandalf wisely deciding not
to try to explain tides, saying only that the sea ["moves about you know."

"What, like the Ents?" Merry suggested.

"Hmm!" Gandalf agreed, "something like that."]

It's clear that this cultural exchange will leave neither side unscathed!




Title: My Children: Reflections from the Shire · Author: Gryffinjack ·
Genres: Poetry: With Hobbits · ID: 35
Reviewer: Inkling · 2007-11-28 08:34:56
The sentiments of this poem are very movingly expressed. While the
meter strays at times, the central image of the Shire as mother is a
powerful one, reminding me of the stirring Irish folk song "Four Green
Fields." Nice work!

Title: Fell Beasts · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Villains: Drabble · ID: 403
Reviewer: Inkling · 2007-11-28 08:38:22
What marvelous, evocative language in this drabble! Especially well
done are the descriptions of characters, making use of their names
unnecessary...I love the reference to Sauron as [he who walked behind.]

Title: Dragon Lore · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Villains: Drabble · ID: 404
Reviewer: Inkling · 2007-11-28 08:53:07
Tanaqui offers a fascinating explanation of the origin of dragons,
further developing the ideas in her companion drabble "Fell
Beast"...whereas [The beasts of the field – and the birds of the air]
could be twisted to Morgoth's ends, spirits must be asked--and can
refuse. And so while the fell beast of the first drabble is no match
for an eagle, here we can see that a dragon, as a fellow Maia, just
might be. The motivations of the Balrogs are equally intriguing,
seeing the Eagles as traitors.

I liked Morgoth's unconvincing dismissal of the eagles as [a mere
pinprick], given what we know of the talon scar that, with his limp,
served as a permanent reminder of his humiliating battle with
Fingolfin. His desire to [have them gone] seems more obsession than
whim, giving rise to at least two new breeds of evil creatures.

An impressive example of just how substantive a 100-word ficlet can be!


Title: Pest Control · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Cross-Cultural: Drabble
· ID: 697
Reviewer: Inkling · 2007-11-28 08:57:26
I love this glimpse of Fimbrethil, fierce as any riled-up Ent...yet
eminently practical, too, which seems very much in character for an
Ent-wife. I can just picture her the next morning, cheerfully handing
out sacks of fresh bloodmeal and bonemeal to unsuspecting, grateful men...

Wonderful title!



Title: The Burning of the Year · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times:
Late Third Age: 3018-3022 TA: Gondor · ID: 2
Reviewer: Inkling · 2007-11-28 09:30:19
This intelligent, powerfully written story was inspired by Denethor's
death speech in "The Siege of Gondor." While I had always interpreted
this chilling passage as alluding to a funeral pyre rather than a
sacrificial one, Raksha's take on it has produced a riveting piece of
fan fiction, richly layered with symbolism, foreshadowing, and
familial tension.

While firmly rooted in book verse, the fic also provides an intriguing
counterpoint to Faramir's gloriously futile assault on Osgiliath in
the film version of ROTK: [If the lives of one man, ten, twenty or two
hundred, could safeguard Gondor for a year, I would lead them out
myself and be the first to bare my throat for the knife. But such
wanton slaughter would serve no purpose save to delight our Enemy.
When we die, our end must be made for some better reason.]

The story turns on contrasts--between pagan and civilized customs,
between defiant revelry and impending doom, and between the favored
and "lesser" sons in the eyes of their father. But most of all it
highlights the choice between despair and, if not hope, then at least
resistance and stubborn endurance, echoing one of Tolkien's most
resonant themes. Despair may indeed be the easier way, but survival of
a people depends on those who choose the harder path.


Title: She Watches · Author: Larner · Races: Hobbits: Gapfiller · ID: 640
Reviewer: Inkling · 2007-11-28 09:37:46
This lovely vignette presents a convincing, sympathetic glimpse of
Rosie, as she voices the questions faced by families of returning
veterans throughout the ages (expressed more irreverently in that WWI
chestnut ["How 'Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm after They've Seen
Paree?"])

This nuanced portrait shows us not only Rosie's fears, however, but
also her perceptiveness, confidence, generosity of spirit, and perhaps
most of all her good, plain hobbit-sense. All of her questions are
answered with eloquent simplicity in the wonderful final line.

Msg# 8447

MEFA Reviews for November 29, 2007 Posted by Ann November 29, 2007 - 4:23:48 Topic ID# 8447
Title: The man in the woods · Author: Dot · Races: Men: Eriador or
Rivendell · ID: 13
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-28 10:32:23
Engagingly told, with some beautiful and highly evocative descriptions
and/or turns of phrase. The PoV is used to good effect, giving the
story an additional layer: we have the girl's thoughts and
preconceptions, and her limited worldview, and at the same time those
are filtered through the lense of the more experienced Falathren as
she tells the story.

Clear descriptions successfully flesh out the background or highlight
small details that give the story a three-dimensional feeling.

Good charactersations all around. I was impressed with the way the
Dúnedain and their way of life were evoked with just a few "brush
strokes". Even Halbarad was a fully-fleshed character, despite his
only brief appearance. This passage: ["Alagos wanted to play
king-returned then. I loved that game, loved to imagine far away
places that made my father's voice warm and soft as fresh baked bread
when he spoke of them, though he knew them only from his own Ada's
stories and the faith that thrummed in Dúnedain blood."] I found
particularly meaningful.

The encounter with the body is told hauntingly, and here the small
details are especially resonating: ["the ragged edges of a lovingly
embroidered tunic"], the bug crawling over his face, the remains of
the bow. The description of her lonely vigil moved me very much and
this: ["I ... wrapped myself in the hush and the creeping of time."]
captured the particular stillness of death and the forest beautifully.

Title: The Tides of the World · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: Late
Third Age: 3018-3022 TA: Gondor · ID: 101
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-28 10:32:55
Very vivid, almost "cinematic" description of the scene. I especially
like the fact that it was ["winter apples"] set out for him, and how
the twins helped their foster-brother so matter-of-factly.

I think you have captured well the light-headedness that comes with
total exhaustion, when one is yet too edgy and keyed-up to sleep.
Making lists of the losses and those saved could also be a way to try
to bring Aragorn's thoughts in order to try to find the calmness he
needs for sleep.

Title: Through Shadows · Author: Marta · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: General Drabble · ID: 620
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-28 10:33:21
This captures really well one of those magical moments in the trilogy
where I wish Tolkien had lingered longer. At least now, with this
drabble, I have a fuller picture to draw upon whenever I read the
scene in the book...

Evocative description of the beauty of the Mirrormere.

The drabble captures well the Dwarven mindset, their possessiveness
and secretiveness, especially regarding what is theirs, whether
tangible or not.

I like Gimli holding his breath and wondering whether Frodo might
understand what Kheled-zâram means for him and all other Dwarves, and
his joy when Frodo really does.

Title: The Northmen · Author: SheBit · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
Drabble · ID: 451
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-28 10:33:44
This drabble contains lush and at the same time elegant language,
wonderfully evoking some vivid images or employing some clever metaphors.

I like the calm tone of the comparison between North and South - each
party is of course biased towards favouring his own homeland and
climate, but it seems they are prepared to listen to what the other
side has to tell of their own country's advantages.

Title: The Wink of an Eye · Author: Linda hoyland · Times: Mid Third
Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 664
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-28 10:34:15
Oh, what a wonderful idea! And eerie plausible, somehow...

Denethor's characterisation in particular is captured very well: his
need to control, to *know*, to draw every drop of advantage he can
from the palantír, is shown her almost as greed, as an obsession, and
I find this a very insightful observation tucked in between the humour.

The drabble is structured very well, building up the tension and the
expectation of Denethor and the readers alike, to deliver its twists
with excellent timing.

The language is used with great effect, the almost overblown
descriptions really deepen the irony and the dark humour of what is
really going to be revealed.

I do not think Sauron has a sense of humour as such in general, but I
can very well imagine him feeling glee when one of his schemes proves
successful - and be it such an absurd and roundabout way to vanquish
his opponents.

Title: Aragorn's Moment · Author: docmon · Races: Men: Eriador or
Rivendell · ID: 509
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-28 10:35:00
A close look, extraordinary careful, insightful and moving, into what
might have gone on and through Aragorn's head at the moment in the
trilogy just before the Fellowship sets out from Rivendell.

This moment, ["Aragorn's Moment"] of solitary introspection has always
intrigued me, and you have given me a thoroughly believable answer to
my wonderings.

The ficlet is structured well: with each little movement of his
preparation it is laid out how *others* have helped raise and shape
him as the man he is now, but that now is his up to *him* to prove
ready and worthy for the task. Regardless of many decades gaining
wide-spread experience, this quest to destroy the Ring will truly
bring his long endeavours to a head, can only lead to victory or doom.
Should they fail, there is no more hiding in anonymity or the wilds of
Middle-earth.

I especially love his calm surrender to do his duty to the best of his
ability, with his acceptance of it as being beyond any expectation of
personal gain.

Title: Drink Down the Sun · Author: Michelle · Races: Men: Eriador or
Rivendell · ID: 355
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-28 10:35:55
Well-written and moving gapfiller with good pacing and engaging
characterisations.

Arathorn's love for his wife comes through very clearly and movingly,
the way he appreciates her strength of will, mind and body, how she
has as great a sense of duty and responsibility as he does, while
nevertheless brightening his days.

Gilrean as seen through her husband's eyes has just as strong a
presence in the story.

The anxiety and nervousness of impending fatherhood is captured well;
the readers can almost feel his frustration when the midwife bangs the
door in his face, his mounting tension and fear at the long wait, and
his immense relief and sense of wonder when he hears his child has
finally arrived. How bittersweet and poignant his joy and love set
against the knowledge of the readers that he will not be able to keep
his promise made with so much conviction, never see his son grow up to
be the man in his vision!

I also have to admit that I found Baby Aragorn absolutely adorable *g*.

Title: Duty and Devotion · Author: Marta · Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 411
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-28 10:36:51
This is an insightful, thought-provoking and just perfectly... *right*
look at Beregond in the moments between Pippin telling him what went
on in the House of the Stewards until he determined to do his best to
save Faramir.

The way I envisage Beregond, I can very well imagine that it might
have taken him some moments to spring into action, no matter how much
he loved Faramir. This cannot have been an easy decision, as it goes
against all he has been taught as a soldier of Gondor: leaving his
post, entering a forbidden place, defying the orders of his lord. I
can understand his reluctance, his question of why it should fall to
him to do something.

His nervous energy while pacing informs and supports the tension that
the subject matter evokes. I liked it that you even made a reference
to his station as a ["plain man of arms"] which must also have
influenced his initial hesitation.

That it is the horror of the looming Nazgûl that finally spurs him to
action reminds me of the passage in ["The Siege of Gondor"], where
they had a similar effect on him as he and Pippin watched Faramir's
retreat towards the city. You have captured well this precipitous,
almost reckless streak that Beregond possesses in the midst of his
usual (or so I imagine him at least) equanimity.

Title: A Wish for Yestare · Author: rhyselle · Races: Men: Gondor ·
ID: 178
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-11-28 10:37:31
A bittersweet story, told with warmth and gentleness, combining the
celebration of Yestarë and personal memories of the absent Boromir
with politics and politicking.

The characterisations are convincing and moving - it was nice to see
this peaceful and harmonious interaction between Denethor and Faramir,
but still tinged with awkwardness at the uncommonness of it.

How ironic and sad that the boat t