Author: daw the minstrel
2005 Award Category: Genres: Drama (includes Angst): Mirkwood
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Novella
Rating: PG-13 ✧ Reason for Rating: Violence
Summary: Legolas is learning his role as a newly minted lieutenant, while, at home, his brother Eilian is a newly minted husband.
Reviewed by: Karenator ✧ Score: 10
What a wonderful job you did with stirring up sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat suspense! . This Zalan guy proved to be quite a challenge. He was reckless and unafraid to cause harm. Not exactly the kind of guy you can reason with. I was glad to see that the creep was taken out. I couldn't help it, but I got all hot under the collar that the men dismissed Celuwen and Isiwen as inferior. This prejudice might have serve our hero in the end, but still... Jerks. You did a very nice job of making the villains believable. What a heart-stopper during the part where it finally dawned on Legolas that where goes Maltanaur, there goes Eilian. Or the other way around. At any rate, he has quite an incentive to see this operation come off smoothly. He would have done his best anyway, but knowing your brother is most likely in the clutches of the enemy kind of adds another dose of stress. Poor Maltanaur. At least he got in some good licks before he went down. One of my first thoughts was for his wife. She's probably back at the ranch pacing the floor and telling herself to be calm; it's not the first time she sensed danger where her mate is concerned. As I read this, I envision Maltanaur waking to find Eilian (Maltanaur's wife just stepped out for a moment) at this bedside, his feet propped on the bed, and a look of mischief in his eyes. Just think how much delight Eilian will get out of telling his keeper how he and Legolas saved his hide. So who's the keeper now? As I said, poor Maltanaur. Loved the settlers not being intimidated by the danger. After all, they've lived in these woods and had to know how to protect themselves to some degree. I imagine they're pretty doggone good with those bows. They just lack the formal training of warriors. . I'm loved how you maneuvered Legolas and Eilian freeing the hostages. In the end Celuwen came through as smart and brave, and she did what she had to do, just like Legolas and Eilian. I truly got a kick out of Ithilden and Eilian having a little 'discussion' on who was going to tell Celuwen that she couldn't dismiss the guards. No one really wanted to tackle that. This was an exciting ride and one that I thoroughly enjoyed
Reviewed by: elliska ✧ Score: 8
I really like this one too. Celuwen is such a strong character and she really shines in this--taking her role as Thranduil's advisor so seriously, standing up to Thranduil's guards and her parents and Eilian in the village. And then staying cool and helping to defend herself. Of course her father wasn't awake to see how well Eilian did too! I really felt for Eilian in this--we have seen his impulsive side often enough in these stories to know he was chomping at the bit to do something but he really played this carefully. It goes to show how much both Eilian and Celuwen have matured while still staying within what we expect 0f their characters. And you do a really great job showing Legolas developing too. I like how he interacts with his patrol and Beliond. His relationship with his keeper has really evolved to one where he can learn from him. I also liked--I think :)--how tense this story was. You did a really great job making a complex plot that really made me read fast. Great story!
Reviewed by: jastaelf ✧ Score: 4
Cutting and pasting away, here we go again.... There is always just something refreshing and brilliant about this story for me. I have gone back and read, then re-read, this tale many times. And yes, I will say this about many of the stories that have been nominated this year. The characterizations here are brilliant. daw has a great eye for such details, and she uses language so beautifully... there are no dull thunks in my head when I read her works, no "this doesn't ring true", because she takes (in my mind anyway!) a great deal of time and hard work to craft her stories. Elves are proper Elves, Men are proper Men, Hobbitses are Hobbity, Dwarves are Dwarven... and it all comes together as a lovely whole. I could go on forever. There are so many sparkling examples.But the part that sticks out for me is the tension in the patrol scenes, as Legolas tries to work out the difficulties of life as a warrior. Losing his temper, being afraid, trying to stay calm, to keep everything moving and keep people safe... OH! And the part where Celuwen's family was in danger... OMG that was so tense and excellent.... but I'm glad everyone was mostly all right.
SO well written... and my thanks for creating a suite of OCs that I love as much as Tolkien's originals, for their own sake as well as for the simple fact that they are true to Tolkien! (grin) Thank you, daw, for this lovely piece of work!
Reviewed by: Larian Elensar ✧ Score: 3
Another engaging, interest-drawing story. You should change your handle to daw the magnificent! Well, I guess Solith really does have to be hit over the head with a heavy object before he will come around, doesn't he? Had to laugh though, when he yelled at them all that he gave the orders in his own house. *hee* And Celuwen! The knife throwing elf maiden!
Reviewed by: Bodkin ✧ Score: 3
Eilian being - well, Eilian. What more could you want? Good thing he was right, though, or, king's son or not, he might have spent the next couple of centuries polishing swords. And Legolas is doing a great job maturing into a leader of elves. A most enjoyable story.