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8552MEFA Reviews, Morning, January 1 2008 (Part 1)

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  • Ann
    Jan 1, 2008
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      Happy New Year to all!

      Title: Droplets · Author: Dawn Felagund · Times: Multi-Age:
      Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 566
      Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2007-12-29 19:37:49 Score: 10
      [this has spoilers]

      [Droplets] written by Dawn is just one of her many master pieces in
      which she so often manages to crawl under the character’s skin to
      portray their world and emotions. Elrond’s name is associated with
      water and this theme is woven into every double drabble within this
      series in its many forms. It starts with Elrond as a little child and
      here Dawn sticks marvellously to the child perceptions on what is
      going on, from there you see Elrond growing in front of your eyes.
      Throughout the years you can see how the events, losses and weariness
      of Elrond nearly weighs him down and you wonder how he can hang on,
      especially when he ponders the using of his ring and how it mocks him
      so. I am aware that this sounds like a short story, yet every drabble
      will give every Elrond fangirl something to go back to and enjoy:
      whether it is for a wedding, or some angst featuring Elros or what to
      say about his homecoming in Valinor. I find it hard to say which
      drabble within this series is my favourite, especially since all is so
      incredibly tied to the other. I just can’t help to think how the rains
      of Arda helped Elrond shoulder all the responsibilities that came on
      his path and his homesickness to ME (despite being with his wife
      again), deeply moved me. What a magnificent series Dawn!

      Title: The Essence of Fire · Author: Rhapsody · Genres: Drama: General
      Drabble · ID: 278
      Reviewer: Oshun · 2007-12-29 19:39:22 Score: 7
      The last line in this drabble is fascinating. The earlier language
      building up to it, although beautifully written did not in and of
      itself break any new ground for me, but the last line sparked my
      curiosity and set my imagination moving. I spend far too much time
      thinking about the sons of Feanor and trying to understand, who they
      are as individuals (in what ways did the differ from one another) and
      what motivated them. (I compare them to historical figures did ill
      deeds or exercised poor judgment in the service of what they believed
      was the right, instead seeing them as dupes or villains. So simple
      teeth-gnashing sorrow, anger, or regret does not work for me.)
      Curufin, however, has always been the least accessible to me. He is
      said to be like Fëanor, but we have more canon clues into the
      contradictions in Fëanor’s character. The last line me some beginning
      of insight into him view with your use of the conception of closure
      and a path leading to the future.

      Title: All in a Day's Work · Author: Gwynnyd · Genres: Adventure:
      Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 421
      Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2007-12-29 19:43:39 Score: 5
      (Possible spoilers within:)

      This is one of those drabble series that shows the best of that
      particular form. Each drabble is good, but the whole is even better
      than the sum of its parts.

      After a Corsair slave ship attacks a village, the Prince of Dol Amroth
      uses a heavily-laden merchant vessel as irresistible bait for a trap.

      Each character's voice and actions are just right for his role (for
      example, the merchant's agent bewails the careless offloading of
      merchandise from his ship). Each step is full of little details that
      make it convincing, and the ambush succeeds.

      In other words, Imrahil saves the day, which is as it should be in any
      swashbuckler worth its salt!

      Title: The spaces between two silences · Author: illyria-pffyffin ·
      Genres: Drama: With Aragorn · ID: 677
      Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-12-29 19:54:28 Score: 5
      This piece spans the time from the betrothal, to the wedding feast and
      then the end in a powerful, poetic language, although they are only
      short scenes. Arwen and Aragorn come alive as people I can relate to.
      Not the distant, iconic hero and his wife the Queen, but a living
      people. I loved Aragorn's tale about the Haradric feast. It makes him
      human. Arwen's delight at the charm the woman threw her during their
      wedding celebration connects her to her new chosen people and again
      makes her come alive to me. The wedding feast is painted in vivid
      pictures and I could see the colorful dancers in my mind. The end is
      heartbreaking and still hopeful.

      Title: Sarn Gebir · Author: agape4gondor · Genres: Adventure:
      Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 398
      Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2007-12-29 19:55:10 Score: 5
      (Possible spoilers within:)

      This is a chilling vignette of one small part of the journey of the
      Fellowship, and also an interesting character sketch of Boromir, at
      the point where the Fellowship's boats almost founder at Sarn Gebir.
      Boromir seems to have a very low opinion of Aragorn's leadership,
      especially after they blunder into the shoals and the ambush at the
      rapids. It takes enormous strength to get them away from the rocks
      against Anduin's current, and Boromir wishes he had more solid Men of
      Gondor to help. That is telling, as is the last line, hinting that he
      is being unduly influenced by an external force.

      Title: The Taming of the Badger · Author: Pentangle · Genres: Drama:
      With Aragorn · ID: 234
      Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-12-29 19:57:31 Score: 5
      Aragorn as a young man has to take command of a ranger outpost earlier
      than expected. Most of the rangers welcome the son of their lost
      chieftain with open arms, but there is one in their midst who resents
      the new lord. Kenuric, an original character, is the chief healer of
      the camp and he doesn't hide his dislike for his young chieftain. It
      takes some doing from Aragorn and the help of some of the other
      rangers until Aragorn and Kenuric come to some understanding. I love
      Kenuric as an original character. He comes alive in this tale and his
      motivations for his rejection of his new lord are heartbreaking.

      Title: Lift the Wings · Author: Imbecamiel · Genres: Romance: Pre-Ring
      War · ID: 376
      Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-12-29 19:59:33 Score: 5
      This is the first story I read which describes the actual parting
      scene between Elrond and Celebrian. The sorrow is palpable, and I like
      the nearly understated grief of Elrond. For Celebrian's sake he keeps
      it together as good as he can. I especially like Celebrian in this
      piece. She is frail and tired of Middle-earth, but she is still able
      to discuss the plans for the near future of her family with Elrond and
      give him some cryptic prophetic words as parting gift.

      This story is very well written. The only thing that marred my
      enjoyment was the, to my mind, unnecessary killing off of Gilraen
      together with Arathorn. Even with Gilraen around, Elrond could still
      be the one to comfort Estel in his nightmares.

      Title: Riders to the Sea · Author: claudia6032000 · Genres: Alternate
      Universe: The Shire or Buckland · ID: 158
      Reviewer: obsidianj · 2007-12-29 20:02:03 Score: 4
      I love this alternate universe. Frodo can meet Strider any day for my
      taste. I like the way you describe Frodo's wanderings through the
      Shire. It is a beautiful landscape. Only when he meets Strider, the
      reader gets a glimpse that there is a dangerous world out there, and
      that maybe even the Shire is not safe. I loved it that Frodo bumped
      into one of Strider's weapons at every turn. But my favorite part was
      when Strider tells Frodo of the outside world and Frodo slips into
      dreams. That part has a magical quality to it.

      Title: The Third Eagle · Author: Imhiriel · Times: Late Third Age:
      3018-3022 TA: General Drabble · ID: 630
      Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2007-12-29 20:20:13 Score: 4
      (Possible spoilers within:)

      This is a poignant vignette; Meneldor goes with Gwaihir and Landroval
      to pick up Frodo and Sam on the slopes of Mount Doom after the
      Destruction of the One Ring, but only two eagles were really needed.
      Meneldor is young and proud, and hurt that he couldn't do anything but
      accompany the other two eagles.

      We get a glimpse into the mind of an eagle, and he feels both pride at
      being selected and then empathy for the two beleaguered Hobbits... all
      in all, a very honorable and sympathetic character!

      Title: City of Trees · Author: Gwynnyd · Races: Elves: With Mirkwood
      Elves · ID: 641
      Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2007-12-29 20:45:35 Score: 5
      (Possible spoilers within:)

      Oh, I really enjoy this story! Celeborn is such a moody Sindarin Elf
      here, giving Thranduil plenty of opportunity to tease him. Celeborn
      misses Galadriel so much he can rattle off exactly how many days they
      have been separated... and then claim it doesn't matter to him!

      The back-and-forth between these two left me grinning widely... like
      ["If she has razed all the trees and paved the land in marble, I do
      not wish to hear it."] Oh, ye of little faith, Celeborn!

      But my favorite part is the lengths Galadriel will go to build a city,
      but one that Celeborn will feel at home in. He may not realize it at
      this point, but she loves him just as fiercely as he loves her.

      Well done!

      Title: Rock and Hawk · Author: Adaneth · Races: Cross-Cultural · ID: 221
      Reviewer: Jael · 2007-12-29 20:56:53 Score: 7
      I would never in a million years have believed that I could be so
      enchanted by a story that features all original characters, all the
      time, and nary an elf in sight, but here I am, proved wrong. Rock and
      Hawk (indeed, all the stories of the Dunhebaid Cyle) is simply splendid!

      This story is what I would call high quality historical fiction set in
      the world of JRR Tolkien. However, it is a novel of people and their
      often strange ways. A strange, solitary Dunadan woman living on the
      shores north of Lindon, is forced by circumstance into an odd
      friendship with a Dwarf and into becoming a leader of her people.
      Adaneth has a wonderful way with words -- each line of dialogue and
      exposition packs incredible meaning. And the descriptions of the land
      and the life these people led is utterly superb.

      I find myself wanting to learn more and more about Saelon and Veylin
      -- and the folks who surround them. Since Adaneth is on her third
      sequel in this wonderful cycle, I will get my chance. Jael says, check
      this one out!

      Title: Marking Fours · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: Multi-Age:
      Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 1
      Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2007-12-29 21:01:16 Score: 4
      (Possible spoilers within:)

      A poignant and bittersweet tale of Faramir's slow recovery from grief
      over Denethor's death, so close after Boromir's.

      There is shock at the fact of Denethor's death, and then the manner of
      his death, and then the intent to kill Faramir, too. But Faramir
      builds a new life with a wife and son, and there is finally grief not
      just for Faramir's own loss, but for the the loss of the person that
      Denethor could have been.

      It is both warm and sad at the same time. Well done!

      Title: Maitimo and Findekáno · Author: Oshun · Genres: Romance: Second
      Age or Earlier · ID: 57
      Reviewer: Jael · 2007-12-29 21:11:02 Score: 6
      This story, the beginning of Oshun's Maitimo and Findekano cycle, has
      to be my favorite of all of them. From the outset, the detail is rich
      -- Finwe's court at Tirion, a snapshot of Feanor and Nerdanel arriving
      at a gathering, two young would-be lovers among the trees.

      As ever, Oshun's strength in writing is the warm-spirited depiction of
      family life, even in the face of a relationship that will have its
      problems in greater Elven society. Oshun makes me want to be a part of
      this family; to meet these people.

      At the story's sweet climax, I can't help but weep for the young
      lovers, knowing what the future holds in store for them.

      I regret I lack the eloquence to do this story justice. All I can say
      is, read this story. I cannot recommend it enough.

      Title: It's No Mystery, Really · Author: grey_wonderer · Races:
      Hobbits: Merry and Pippin · ID: 36
      Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2007-12-29 21:14:41 Score: 5
      Ah such joys for those who care for the ill. Pippin is ill and in this
      piece, GW captures Merry's care and almost infinite patience so
      wonderfully. This is a cute little story where even feeling so ill,
      Pippin realises what the problem is although it at first is hidden as
      the plot in Merry’s book (hence the title of the story). I loved the
      banter between them, it felt like such a realistic quarrel between
      brothers. GW explores the friendship and dynamics between those two
      quite wonderfully, marking their special friendship even during bad times.

      Title: A Collection of Sindarin Tanka · Author: juno_magic · Genres:
      Poetry · ID: 224
      Reviewer: Marta · 2007-12-29 21:17:00 Score: 5
      I marvel at anyone who can write poems in a foreign language,
      especially those Tolkien invented for Middle-earth. And while I do not
      read Sindarin, the meter seems to flow and the translations Juno
      offers are quite poetic. They do a marvellous job of capturing the
      natural world of Middle-earth, and with the chosen illustrations
      really transport the reader. And I slipped into the world of these
      short poems effortlessly, which is a real accomplishment for poetry in
      my opinion -- many poems, including classics of great beauty, I have
      to invest a lot of work into in order to thoroughly get. I highly
      recommend these tankas to anyone who enjoys poetry.

      Title: Not Fade Away · Author: Jael · Genres: Drama: Elves in Later
      Ages · ID: 127
      Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2007-12-29 21:20:25 Score: 10
      (Possible spoilers within:)

      This is a fascinating story set in modern-day Chicago of a woman who
      is at her lowest point after a divorce from her venal lawyer of a
      husband, whom she had supported through law school with dead-end jobs
      until he graduated and dumped her.

      She has artistic talent, though, and on a whim applies for a job as an
      illustrator with a Dale Toy Company... a job she never expects to get
      without an art degree.

      But to her surprise, she gets the job and is befriended by a wide
      variety of very odd hippy-ish sort of people whom she discovers to be
      Elves... namely, Thranduil, his wife, Legolas, and a wide variety of
      others, including Haldir and his brothers from <i>The Lord of the
      Rings</i>, and Galion from <i>The Hobbit</i>.

      Her adventures are many, varied, and always a surprise... and, in the
      end, she finds a happy home.

      I found the characters really interesting, and the situation both
      believable and compelling. There are luscious details -- the woman
      turns out to be one of many descendants of Aragorn and Arwen, and
      there are some funny hints that some really creative people throughout
      history (Frank Lloyd Wright, for example) are really "one of them".

      I find many Tolkien fanfics set in modern day to be either silly or
      uninteresting, but this one truly makes us care about these characters
      and how they will continue to thrive in the future. I like this story
      so much that I've re-read it several times over the last few months,
      and highly recommend it.

      Title: Frodo's Thoughts - Boromir · Author: trikywun · Genres: Drama:
      General Drabble · ID: 674
      Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-12-29 21:27:11 Score: 2
      How typically poignant of Frodo to blame himself for bearing the means
      of Boromir's temptation!

      Title: All that is gold... · Author: Perelleth · Genres: Humor:
      Children · ID: 42
      Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-12-29 21:28:17 Score: 3
      A delightful story about a meeting that I'm sure many Tolkien fans
      liked to believe happened,that between Bilbo and little Estel. I like
      the way the writer foreshadows future events in this charming tale.

      Title: The Love of Lore · Author: Oshun · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 271
      Reviewer: Marta · 2007-12-29 21:30:58 Score: 3
      These are really nice ficlets, capturing Faramir's character in rather
      original moments. I particularly liked the last line of the second one
      - that ["perhaps not for his father's son"] bit cracked me up, and at
      the same time created a nice image of Faramir and Aragorn as friends
      in the Fourth Age.

      Title: Three Arrows · Author: HikoMokushi · Genres: Drama: With Merry
      · ID: 717
      Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-12-29 21:32:17 Score: 1
      ["Sometimes I wake up late at night because the blare from the Horn of
      Gondor is ringing in my ears"] almost says it all!

      Title: The haunting of Minas Tirith · Author: Fawsley · Genres:
      Alternate Universe: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 651
      Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-12-29 21:35:54 Score: 1
      Very amusing!

      Title: A Truth Universally Acknowledged · Author: annmarwalk · Genres:
      Humor: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 556
      Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2007-12-29 21:40:02 Score: 3
      Very amusing, particularly for its brevity. The author knows when not
      to belabour the joke. But seriously, folks, this is well cribbed, and
      originally arranged. A nutty bit of confection.

      Title: Inroads · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races: Men: Other
      Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 45
      Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2007-12-29 21:47:09 Score: 5
      [Spoilers, I think]

      Oh this is beautifully done, even though Éowyn is used to court
      etiquette and alike, still this nearly feels like a different culture
      to her. Raksha portrays Éowyn as the intruder quite well, this all
      with the shield maiden’s own observations of the ladies of Gondor
      court. She wants to belong and yet it feels as if she is placed above
      them: I love this eye for character detail and it shows through in
      this ficlet. Still Éowyn does what she thinks must be done, and the
      conflict that was on Eowyn's path is gracefully over won. I think
      Raksha handles these turning points quite well and makes good use of
      natural language to convey the thoughts and political intrigue of the
      courts.

      Title: Point, Counterpoint · Author: Marta · Races: Villains: Drabble
      · ID: 573
      Reviewer: Rhapsody · 2007-12-29 21:56:06 Score: 4
      [spoiler alert]

      Hmmm this is an intriguing drabble in which Melkor seeks for the flame
      imperishable, but once he can't find it, he ruins it for the others.
      Well not in his mind of course, to him it is justified to share his
      anguish instead of going back to [the One], because that is what
      family is for. This is a creative take on the Ainulindalë and what
      happened that caused such discord. One can only imagine how it did
      sound at the forced [counterpoint]. Nicely drabbled.

      Title: Droplets · Author: Dawn Felagund · Times: Multi-Age:
      Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 566
      Reviewer: Elena Tiriel · 2007-12-29 21:58:06 Score: 6
      (Possible spoilers within:)

      This is a superb series of nine double-drabbles about Elrond, spanning
      from when Maglor and Maedhros find him and his brother to after his
      reunion with Celebrian in the Blessed Land. Each chapter is
      beautifully wrought, with strongly evocative language.

      True to the character of Elrond, there is an underlying melancholy
      about the series, as one important person after another leaves him,
      including Elros, his own twin brother, ageing before his very eyes.
      Perhaps the most despairing vignette is after Arwen declares her
      choice, when he feels that the emptiness of Rivendell and the very
      song of its fountains mock him, and he even considers abandoning
      Vilya. But, in the end, his father leads him to Aman, where he
      reestablishes a life with his beloved wife.

      Very beautifully done!