Author: daw the minstrel
2005 Award Category: Races/Places: Elves: Mirkwood - Third Place
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Novella
Rating: PG ✧ Reason for Rating: Violence
Summary: Legolas is a young warrior, testing his skills and trying to earn the respect of his father and older brothers.
Reviewed by: Karenator ✧ Score: 10
I watched with great interest to see how Ithilden handled his encounter with his wayward son. Ithilden did well. He didn't scold, kept his composure and put the ball in Sinnarn's court. Good tactics when dealing with hormonally-driven teenagers. And Sinnarn does have a lot to juggle. I loved how you showed Sinnarn trying to learn to be himself while following in the footsteps of some powerful personalities. Fortunately, he wants to be a warrior and that's a load off his father's mind. Though, I know Ithilden would allow him to do something else if he wasn't suited to the warrior life. But it would still be tough. Eilian shrugged. Surely you do not want his spirit to be destroyed by life in the palace? He shot Thranduil a provocative grin. LOL! That Eilian. He's always such fun.
What I want is for him to survive to adulthood, Ithilden said emphatically. Thranduil could only sympathize. At times, he had been reduced to wanting the same thing for each of his own sons.As the parent of teenage males, I can say that I identify. All you can hope for sometimes is survival until they can gain some sense. And Eilian's right; sometimes all we have are the basics. I also love how Thranduil was wise with the distance of not interfering in Ithilden's parenting of Sinnarn, but the worm turned when the commander said he was going to reassign Legolas. The father-role was sliding all over the place in that scene. Very well done. And poor Galelas. You have taken Galenas through his own journey in your stories. He needs someone like Eilian. Not only is Eilian his captain, but he's a good friend. Eilian has always been perceptive about people and this is one example of how Eilian has put his gifts to use. Galelas is a sad figure. He's trying. And of course, knowing his fate, makes the kindnesses shown by Eilian even more poignant. I was glad to see Beliond teaching Legolas to pick locks. I think that speaks of his acceptance of Legolas's ongoing maturity. And I was pleased that he spoke some about his son. They are beginning to understand each other better. Beliond might be a grouch, but I think he's a kind, caring grouch underneath the rough exterior. I love this story, Daw. So much subtle growth and understanding in every paragraph! As always, I hate to see your stories end.
ADMIN note: excessive quoting has been blocked to correct the score on this review. Prev score = 1894ch = 10 pts Current score = 1735ch = 10 pts
Reviewed by: elliska ✧ Score: 7
The part of this story that I always remember most fondly is Legolas's long line of half wild horses and his father's disapproval of the gray and Legolas's irritation. And it is partially in this story where we come to love Sinnarn so much--that jumping over the river is insane and his resentment of his studies is funny given whose son he is--it is fun to seeing him struggling with responsibility in these early set stories. But of course the whole situation in the town with Eilian, Legolas, Beliond, the inn and the spice merchant's shop was an utter riot. I thought I would die laughing reading the scene in the inn and I think Thranduil would die if he knew what Legolas was learning from Beliond. I am always impressed how you weave so much into these stories--the main plot, the family relations and the humorous moments. Great story!
Reviewed by: Larian Elensar ✧ Score: 5
I laughed so hard every time I read the line right before Beliond goes into the spice shop to search... "He hated the idea of leaving the young fool on his own to do anything that popped into his head, but he solaced himself by
vowing that he would beat the snot out of Legolas if he violated orders."As an ex-manager, and a present aunt, I can tell you, I have lived those very moments myself. (And though our missions were not as dangerous, some were covert!) I also love the quieter moments between Sinnarn and Ithilden. It must drive them both a little crazy to be on opposite ends of the duty vs personal freedom line sometimes...
ADMIN note: excessive quote blocked from being scored
Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger ✧ Score: 5
This felt a bit like an in-between story, but even so, it was still a very enjoyable ride. I loved seeing Eilian, Belion, Legolas, and Maltanaur team up in Dale. The plot around the spice merchant and the tension between elves and men was an interesting twist that developed slowly until the entire story came out with Belion's discovery. Great emotions and reactions from everyone, and I love the character growth that went on, too. Definitely a time of learning for all involved, and as a bonus, Legolas can now pick locks! That should prove both interesting and helpful in the future.
Reviewed by: Leaward ✧ Score: 5
This is the first of Daw's stories that I ever read when joining Stories of Arda and I have studied her style and her seemingly smooth transitions when switching point of views between her characters, both canon and original. Her original characters have a depth of their own, causing me sometimes forget that they are original and not created by the professor himself. Each character (canon or original) stays within character, and offers insight to each scene. Each scene advances the plot which is intricately woven and maintains a suspense. A masterful tale.
Reviewed by: Bodkin ✧ Score: 3
It is a delight to see Legolas growing up - and learning to pick locks. I am sure that he will find the skill remarkably useful. Just as he will benefit from his understanding of - the nocturnal habits of certain females. A nicely balanced tale here.
Reviewed by: jastaelf ✧ Score: 2
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 part that gets me the most is that prat Tinar... I always giggle at the part where he is bragging about his wife loving to do things for him like mending his leggings, and Eilian says she loves to sew them shut.... LOL!!!!
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!