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Reviews for 2 October

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  • Rhapsody
    Title: Merry s Magnificent Yule · Author: Marigold · Genres: Humor: The Shire · ID: 211 Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-09-04 17:51:59 Entertaining and engaging.
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 2, 2006
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      Title: Merry's Magnificent Yule · Author: Marigold · Genres: Humor: The
      Shire · ID: 211
      Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-09-04 17:51:59
      Entertaining and engaging. I like the wry humour of the narrative voice
      and how helpful and cheerful Pippin stays despite it all. It must have
      been odd that in this case _he_ is the one who has to look after his
      older cousin. The close relationship between the cousins comes through
      very clearly.
      Merry's drunkenness and poor Pippin's attempts to handle him are
      depicted very vividly, amusing and sweet both.
      You clearly haven't left out many embarrassing possibilities *g* (but at
      least Dinodas didn't recognize them)!
      A good thing Merry won't remember much of the night, and let's hope
      Estella will write soon...
      -----------------------------------
      Title: Nothing but Dreams · Author: Unsung Heroine · Genres: Drama:
      First Age Elves · ID: 659
      Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-09-04 17:53:05
      Vivid description of the current bleak surroundings, so in contrast to
      Caranthir's wistful memories of Thargelion, creating an atmosphere that
      feels appropriate for haunting ghosts. The emotions are handled excellently.
      I like the ambiguous language, mimicking Caranthir's fever dreams and
      his unsettled state of mind, where Haleth appears so very real, and that
      he wavers between longing for her and fearing her nearness.
      -----------------------------------
      Title: The Remains of Power · Author: Pearl Took · Times: The Great
      Years: Vignette · ID: 228
      Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-09-04 17:53:37
      Very good exploration of Saruman's thoughts as he is held captive at
      Orthanc. His arrogance, his diminished power, his shameful anger, his
      desire for revenge, his fear of Sauron, are very clearly sketched. How
      humiliating that he is now inferior even to the formerly despised Nazgûl.
      It's amusing to see that in his reduced state, even his petty attempt to
      menace some ducks is vain - in both senses of the word.
      -----------------------------------
      Title: Avoidance · Author: stefaniab · Genres: Romance: Incomplete · ID: 674
      Reviewer: Make It Stop · 2006-09-04 19:41:34
      A wonderful tale! "Avoidance" is vivid and touching, with a narrative
      pace that moves along quickly. It's the story of Faramir and Eowyn's
      relationship, told in flashback as they prepare for an evening with the
      King: their meeting, their growing attraction to one another, the
      jealousies and setbacks, the redemptive possibilities of love. Angst is
      nicely balanced with whimsy. I particularly admire Stefania's sensory
      details, backed up with meticulous research and footnotes: the layout of
      the gardens, the hamams (Roman-style baths), the nervous horses and
      seismic activity that precede the eruption of Mt. Doom, and Faramir's
      preference for "cavay", an aromatic black beverage from Far Harad. A lot
      of thought and craftsmanship has gone into this story.

      I also like the way Stefania uses the inspiration of movieverse to fill
      in gaps in the story, and bring out the humanity of the lovers. How
      liberating, and refreshing, to have the story told by characters who
      perspire, get dirty, banter, tease, lust, feel jealousy, and so forth.
      Highly recommended!
      -----------------------------------
      Title: The Letter · Author: Gryffinjack · Races: Hobbits: Post-Sauron's
      Fall · ID: 955
      Reviewer: pippinfan88 · 2006-09-04 20:58:11
      This is yet another story from Gryffinjack that I loved at the first
      read. She puts her own spin on things in that she actually has Pippin
      write a letter home to his parents while he is yet in Minas Tirith. And
      this, in turn, creates another host of very valid questions that
      Eglantine and Paladin raise after they read the letter to discover their
      son is really alive. The author turns the table of thought in that
      Paladin and Eglantine are worried about whether or not the Shire is a
      safe place for the lads to return to. The part of Pippin recounting his
      entire adventure into a rather long and breath-taking recital is both
      humorous and sobering. I think the author has shown her creative
      imagination in considering the possiblity of the hobbits sending letters
      home to precede their arrival in the Shire, which is a very brilliant
      idea! The author's style of writing is magnificent, smooth, and reads
      just like a book. A wonderful story.
      -----------------------------------
      Title: The Short Cut · Author: Garnet Took · Races: Hobbits: Friendship
      · ID: 827
      Reviewer: pippinfan88 · 2006-09-04 21:15:38
      This is a wonderful story in that Merry thinks he's 'all that and a bag
      of chips, too' with regard to reading maps and finding his way through
      short cuts. Rather than listen to the very one who would most likely be
      familiar with his father's favourite places to hide--or fish, Merry
      takes it upon himself to navigate through the unfamiliar territory
      without any assistance until he finally gives in. Hence, Pippin gets the
      upper hand in the deal, and poor Merry's balloon is deflated just a bit.
      In the end, the pair still has fun and gets home safely. A very lovely
      story!
      -----------------------------------
      Title: Seeker of Shadow · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Romance:
      Fixed-length ficlet · ID: 63
      Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2006-09-04 22:59:09
      The poetry fit's Eöl well, its arhythmic cadences mirroring his
      unsettling thoughts. I like the ambiguity of the tale: different time
      frames, Eöl speaking to different persons, that it is unclear in how far
      he used some compulsion or if indeed she came ["of her own will"].
      -----------------------------------
      Title: Relief · Author: Acacea · Genres: Drama: Pre-Fellowship · ID: 518
      Reviewer: Branwyn · 2006-09-04 23:40:06
      Faramir leads the relief party, but the surprise hero of the piece is
      Denethor! This is how Denethor's downfall probably began--when he could
      not resist using the palantir for military reconnaissance. Sauron would
      have shown him just enough information to gain a current and temporary
      advantage. This ficlet raises the question of how much Faramir and
      Boromir guessed about Denethor's use of the palantir. Tolkien says that,
      as the heir, Boromir would have been told of its existence. How many of
      these coincidences before he began to guess the truth?

      Boromir's wry way with words (["He kept his head, quite literally..."])
      is very much in character. (I always loved his sardonic remarks in the
      book "Fellowship.") It is gratifying to see Denethor as an effective
      ruler and loving father for a change.

      A very enjoyable read!
      -----------------------------------
      Title: A Meara for Me! · Author: Súlriel · Genres: Non-Fiction · ID: 893
      Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-09-05 03:34:34
      This is an absolute joy to read and one of the most useful pieces of
      Middle-earth nonfiction that I have come across. Writers like me, who
      lack any real knowledge of horses, are truly challenged when it comes to
      writing about the creatures. In fact, as you well know, there is a very
      important horse character in one of my stories, and he has to be written
      well to be believeable and worthy of love. It's been a real struggle,
      and I'm eternally grateful for the help you gave me.

      I will definitely choose one of your horses to "be" him. Don't know
      which one yet--there are so many to choose from! But between the
      pictures and the careful descriptions of the horses' characters and best
      uses, you have provided the tools I need to write despite my ignorance.

      There is rather an absence of stallions, however. Another thing I would
      like to know about (dare I ask?) is how gelding would change the
      behavior of a horse. Do you know about the use of geldings as war horses?

      I was glad you included the comical one who likes to pick people's
      pockets. A horse with so much personality is crying out for a story.

      For those who are not interested in portraying horses in their stories:
      don't miss this piece anyway! It is extremely interesting, the horses
      are astonishingly gorgeous, and you will probably want to create a story
      just to use one of them in it!

      Thanks, Sulriel!
      -----------------------------------
      Title: Home Again · Author: Súlriel · Times: Early Third Age:
      Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 863
      Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-09-05 03:38:32
      I discovered cats and The Lord of the Rings at about the same time in my
      life, and it's a delight to be able to appreciate them together. A
      perfect portrait of a feline, and a beautifully wrought drabble--every
      word just what it should be. The evocation of smell is, of course,
      perfectly catlike. Some day we've got to rescue cats from Tolkien's
      obvious dislike. Why, did you know he called Siamese cats "creatures of
      Mordor"? Ha!
      -----------------------------------
      Title: The Prince and the Pea · Author: Karri · Genres: Humor: Children
      · ID: 158
      Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-09-05 03:39:39
      This enjoyable story takes off on the Princess and the Pea. It's fun
      seeing the great Elf lords getting the better of little Estel, but I
      suspect he figured it out pretty quick. I did wonder what happened to
      the badly wounded Elf at the beginning.
      -----------------------------------
      Title: Gondor Needs No King · Author: Ribby · Times: The Great Years:
      Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 207
      Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-09-05 03:40:09
      A remarkable drabble that sets up an entirely AU tale in 100 words. The
      best chosen words are "wolfish and predatory." Your backstory is
      suggested also--and the reader has to expect Boromir to soon do away
      with his father, as well, with that Ring winking on his finger. Well done!
      -----------------------------------
      Title: The Consequences of Curiosity · Author: A L Milton · Genres:
      Humor: Gondor · ID: 153
      Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-09-05 03:41:02
      A delightful take on "my hands are ungentle." I got a big chuckle out of
      it. My favorite scenario is The Lady Corsair and the Captured Emissary.

      And frankly it's nice to see some of the kink being attributed to het
      relationships! Why should slash have all the fun? Both Eowyn (off stage)
      and Faramir are totally in character here.

      Just one complaint: I really don't think Aragorn was as slow on the
      uptake as all that.
      -----------------------------------
      Title: Trivial Matters · Author: Thundera Tiger · Genres: Humor: Gondor
      · ID: 839
      Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-09-05 03:41:53
      I got the biggest kick here out of Legolas, the super-sensitive Elf (so
      typical of those moody, whiny creatures--sorry, but so often that's how
      they are presented in fanfic!). Obviously Faramir is getting a wicked
      chuckle out of besting everyone, including the rather self-satisfied
      King. I appreciated Gimli's role in the commission of the crime in question.

      The story is of course completely without any point or any redeeming
      meaning or social value, and that's the reason it is so funny, along
      with the astute turns of phrase.
      -----------------------------------
      Title: Finding the Right Words · Author: Nienor Niniel · Races: Men:
      Post-Sauron's Fall · ID: 785
      Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-09-05 03:42:17
      This thoughtful portrait of Faramir's night before the coronation is a
      delight to read. It's a good touch that he sits in the Steward's chair
      for the first time and "sees" the rulers of Gondor--for he is one,
      although he serves the King. I always thought Aragorn would be very good
      at delegating responsibility and would want a strong council, headed by
      the Good Steward Faramir.

      I'm not sure you are right about Denethor accepting Faramir's withdrawal
      as Ruling Steward. I could argue it both ways, and I have, in one story
      or another. He is a complex character who surely would have experienced
      real conflict on the matter. I can't see him scorning the house of
      Elendil, but I can see him scorning Aragorn and doubting his claim.
      There is a lot of room for story-writing in that one!

      We see the characters in a very similar light, so it's no wonder we like
      each other's stories! I'd like to read more of yours.
      -----------------------------------
      Title: An Exaltation of Larks · Author: Ibilover · Times: The Great
      Years · ID: 178
      Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-09-05 03:43:02
      I love books, words and "The Lord of the Rings," and this tale gives me
      the opportunity to enjoy all three. So beautifully in character, too,
      for all the members of the Fellowship. I particularly appreciate the
      making of a story out of wordplay, leading up to the Hobbitpile. A
      beautiful, unusual piece.

      Just one complaint: the "aught" etc. in Aragorn's and Boromir's speech
      sounds stilted.
      -----------------------------------
      Title: Fear and Loathing in Middle Earth · Author: vladazhael · Genres:
      Humor: Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 407
      Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-09-05 03:43:24
      Hilarious! It's a challenge, telling Tolkien's tale of heroic romance
      mixed with Hobbit plainness in the style of the gonzo journalist. But
      you did it.
      -----------------------------------
      Title: Mirrors of Numenor · Author: Dostoevsky's Mouse · Races: Men:
      Incomplete · ID: 242
      Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-09-05 03:43:52
      I only have one complaint about this story: it isn't finished! This tale
      has everything that I look for in the best fanfic: Aragorn, flashing
      swords, Aragorn, interesting interpersonal dialog, Aragorn, fine writing.

      I love Thorongil stories, but so many are disappointing. Yours provides
      a fine portrait of both Denethor and Aragorn and establishes an
      intriguing respect and wariness between them. I could see them becoming
      fast friends--or enemies. I am very eager to see where you will take the
      tale. There are already several threads to be followed and resolved:
      Denethor's discovery of Thorongil's identity--or not; how much will he
      find out about the healing powers (which should already be raising big
      questions--they are hardly common, I should think); more to be revealed
      about Thorongil's time in Rohan.

      The battle scene was very well done. Graphic, full of action, but not
      going on too long. Your knowledge of ships is thorough enough to be
      convincing.

      One thing jarred me, though. With the story being told from Denethor's
      point of view, it is odd that Aragorn is called by his real name, and
      not by Thorongil. After all, the reader knows who he is, if Denethor
      does not.

      I am glad also that you show a reasonable tension between Ecthelion and
      Denethor without making either one a villain. There is too much "taking
      sides" in fanfic.
      -----------------------------------
      Title: History Lessons: The Third Age · Author: Nilmandra · Times:
      Multi-Age: Incomplete · ID: 167
      Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-09-05 03:44:35
      This epic tale chronicles Elrond's very long life, thus many, many other
      characters are also represented. The author does a good job fleshing out
      the emotional reality behind some very complex events. A good story
      about Elves. I really like your take on Elladan and Elrohir and their
      role in the Fourth Age.
      -----------------------------------
      Title: Wizardry · Author: Dwimordene · Times: Late Third Age:
      Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 179
      Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-09-05 03:44:57
      Of course, I can't possibly be objective about this piece, since it was
      so graciously written for my birthday. But why be objective? It's simply
      splendid! A word-perfect portrait of both men (for Gandalf is in man's
      form, after all, and feels the same aches and pains) at a particularly
      excruciating moment in their toils. And breaking into laughter is so
      characteristic of them both, as is shown by the two lovely quotations
      that the author has included as footnotes. Reading between the lines,
      one might think that Gollum knew they were on his trail by this point.
      It's not clear from the way Tolkien tells the story whether in fact he
      was locked up in Sauron's dungeons all those years they searched to no
      avail. Thanks again, Dwim!
      -----------------------------------
      Title: On the Way Home · Author: Citrine · Races: Hobbits: Post-Grey
      Havens · ID: 649
      Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2006-09-05 03:45:16
      The sorrow of those left behind after Frodo sailed from the Grey Havens
      has often been explored, and I never tire of reading it. This gentle
      story in which Merry and Sam commiserate together, and comfort one
      another is just a beautiful example. As usual, Pippin finds the right
      thing to say to lighten the mood--yet at the same time, their sorrow
      remains--but somewhat consoled by the knowledge of their own friendships
      with one another. Beautiful job, but this author always does angst
      beautifully without ever going over the top.
      -----------------------------------
      Title: Tales of Life · Author: Ainu Laire · Times: Multi-Age: Incomplete
      · ID: 235
      Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-09-05 03:45:18
      This collection of small tales is charming and full of life indeed! They
      touch on many scenes from Aragorn's life, and range in point of view
      from his own to that of others. There are moments from the great story
      (heroic deeds) and highly personal vignettes. Most of them are solidly
      founded in canon; the others have no contradiction with canon. While
      each one is worthy in its own right, taken together they paint a
      portrait of more depth.

      The author is young; I expect even better things from her as her writing
      matures. Keep at it!
      -----------------------------------
      Title: Strange Fortunes · Author: Tehta · Times: First Age and Prior:
      Incomplete · ID: 81
      Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-09-05 03:46:27
      This comedy of manners is a seamless melding of Middle-earth and wry,
      observant humor. You squeeze laughter out of places one would never
      expect to find it, like in the description of Maeglin enjoying being
      thought inscrutable--and the description, entirely drawn from Tolkien,
      of the absurdly bejeweled armor. Probably there are jokes that went over
      my head, as I am far from a First Age Elf chick. Have trouble telling
      those Elves apart, in fact. Which is only a testament to how
      entertaining your story is, because I read it all. I was a little
      dubious before I started, but because I love your "Stories Spawned by
      Sauron" so much, I was determined to jump in.

      I think my favorite scene of all, however, is Salgant under the table
      with the chicken. Loved his terrible poetry, too.

      One criticism--I thought some of the talking went on too long. Shorter
      would be zippier.

      I hope Tuor will be in this story.before the end. And please--finish it!
      -----------------------------------
      Title: For a cause, a friend, a loved one · Author: Werecat · Genres:
      Humor · ID: 120
      Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-09-05 03:46:51
      Such a delightful piece, which only Werecat could produce! Each of the
      animals is deftly drawn in a few strokes, and so well named! The cat is
      perfection in her independence and her fierce motherhood. The mice are
      very wise to flee, given what I've seen my cats do to mice (and birds,
      for that matter). So we've got war in the human world and war in the
      animal world!
      -----------------------------------
      Title: Quo Vadis? · Author: Tehta · Times: First Age and Prior · ID: 86
      Reviewer: Gandalfs apprentice · 2006-09-05 03:52:06
      I like this portrait of the artist as an unloved Elf even better than
      your other, no doubt because there is a dragon in it, and so well
      captured, too. And I even felt sorry for Salgant. I love your use of
      canon, although, since I have never read the book of Lost Tales, you
      could have made twenty errors and I would never know. This is how I like
      to use canon myself in many of my stories (I like to write about
      Aragorn)--that is, reinterpreting Tolkien mythology as if it really were
      a mythology and not to be worshipped like a dead thing.

      I hope Morgoth lets Salgant compose some real stuff--he might find the
      atmosphere a little more liberating than Gondolin (stuffy old Elves).
      Brilliant story.
      -----------------------------------
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