Author: daw the minstrel
2005 Award Category: Genres: Drama (includes Angst): Mirkwood
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Novella
Rating: G ✧ Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Legolas joins a warrior patrol for the first time, coming to terms with his body guard, his fellow warriors, and the reality of battle.
Reviewed by: Karenator ✧ Score: 10
You wrapped this one up with your usual skill of insight into your characters and balanced it with an old fashioned good read. I'm glad you have insight, because poor Tinar is blind as a bat. Foril's song was a hoot and it was one that everyone 'got' but the victim. Tinar is so much fun to hate. Certainly, it was good to see Legolas get a chance to go home. I had wondered if Thranduil sensed something was amiss with his youngest when Legolas was wounded. Ithilden handled himself well when faced with the injury of his 'baby brother' and even gained some insight into his own mistakes with Eilian. BUT, my favorite scene was with Thranduil and Beliond....and that says a lot since Eilian did drop his clothes all over his chamber on the way to his bath. The more I see of the Beliond, the more I like him. He's not just a good babysitter, he's a wise elf who was not afraid to be honest with his king about his task. I loved the line where he said Legolas reminded him of Thranduil at his age, but was more biddable. Well, that was a good reminder to the king that he had once been a handful, too....and still is in his own way. Fortunately, Thranduil was able to put aside his fatherly fear and see the wisdom of Beliond's words. I stood up and cheered! You've done such a good job with peeling away the layers of Eilian's personality. He's young and he makes mistakes, but I can't help but want to tell him he should know better. And he does learn better, but at the moment and in this story, you did a wonderful job of setting up all the interferences he and Celuwen have that come from not only their personality differences, but also from outside influence. Solith has also contributed to the problems. I'm sure he loves his daughter, but he has not acted wisely as a leader..and, maybe, not even as a father. I love how you've made these people so real and complicated. A bright point was certainly the news of Annael's betrothal. Wonderful as always, Daw.
Reviewed by: elliska ✧ Score: 7
I really enjoy seeing Legolas's first patrol in this story--especially since I love Beliond. Their early relationship is wonderful. The birth of the nickname 'nana' was hilarious to see! And Legolas visiting a mortal maid, buying her present and just scandalizing Beliond! I smiled all the way through that part--and Legolas is right to be insulted. But I liked the tie-in with the earlier story. I think my favorite part of this story is how well and realistically Legolas does in his first battle with the spiders and then the one with the orcs. Battle scenes are really hard to write and you did a great job with these. I liked that Legolas made some mistakes and that we saw he was more nervous about the Orcs. Poor Eilian must have had a stroke when he saw his little brother in battle for the first time--and seeing him wounded! Sometime, when Legolas is older, I'd like to see him discussing this period of time with Eilian and Beliond. This is a great story daw!
Reviewed by: Larian Elensar ✧ Score: 5
Daw, another great story. It's nice to watch the way Legolas and his friends and family grow and develop. I think Eilian is my favorite or your OCs, although Maltanaur and Beliond are close seconds. Those two possibly have the hardest jobs in the whole kingdom, I think. Although I wouldn't really want to be in any of the king's sons' shoes either. And Solith, though I can sort of see where he's coming from,he would drive me totally nuts. Ideals are fine to live by, but some of those settlers seem to live there all the time, instead of coming down to earth/reality sometimes.
Reviewed by: Bodkin ✧ Score: 5
Now I've undoubtedly said this before - about two minutes ago, before this review decided to get lost - this is very high up on my favourites list. Why? Well, for one thing Legolas is at a really interesting stage of learning - grown up, but only just - and he's learning things at a tremendous rate. Mostly from the corner of his eye (laundry). He's also just coming to terms with the joys of being Beliond's charge. And a Beliond that isn't really too keen on the whole keeper thing. And I just love it.
Reviewed by: jastaelf ✧ Score: 1
Here I am cutting and pasting 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 parts that stick out for me are the battle scenes. I know how hard those are to write....
and you did SUCH a good job! 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!