MEFA Reviews for October 2, 2007 (Part 2)
- Title: Hossis · Author: Fawsley · Genres: Drama: Youth · ID: 520
Reviewer: Elen Kortirion · 2007-06-25 15:44:43
This begins almost anonymously and as such is a delightfully constructed mystery that seems to be completely AU, before it twists and resolves itself into a heart-achingly poignant piece of canon literature. The characterization is fresh and delicately delineated, so that we can all read and look and say yes, it could have been that way. I do not want to give the game away to anyone about to read the story, but I do urge you to read it with a completely open mind, all the more that your breath will hitch as you read the final lines. It is an exquisite piece of misdirection that never makes the reader feel fobbed off with irrelevances designed to make you misconstrue the events simply, the writing is focussed and spare, and in its simplicity carries more weight than many much lengthier tomes.
Title: He Came To Meet Me · Author: sophinisba solis · Genres: Romance · ID: 33
Reviewer: Mews1945 · 2007-06-26 18:47:33
This is told from the pov of Diamond of Long Cleeve, and it gives a powerful portrait of a hobbit lass who is strong and independent, one who knows her own mind, and is believable and lovable. It tells of how Diamond and Pippin fall in love, and have their first kiss, and is surrounded by Diamond's memories of the year that the Travelers were away, and the Shire was occupied. Elegant prose and a tender, emotional love story
Title: Mettarë · Author: Galadriel · Races: Men · ID: 34
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-06-27 03:23:42
I loved this story. The poignancy of Boromir's predicament... the horror of it all... really comes through very well. I found his opinion that Orc attacks and ambushes cause the day not to be one of joy as incredibly telling and sad. The terms you use, like [grief nursed like a living thing] hurt so much! Accurately describe what I would think would be the feelings that rend this great man's soul. And the constant reference to blood in places where it shouldn't be... [unvoice pain glittering in his eye] broke my heart. Very well written.
Title: Foray · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 - 3017 TA · ID: 55
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-06-27 03:30:14
I really liked this. I liked Boromir being solicitous of his brother... that he went to farewell him, knowing their father would not be there - and that you used the excuse that he was too busy instead of the tired 'he hated/loathed/despised' Faramir. The phrase that you use for Rangers - I could believe it was slang for Rangers. I liked that Boromir would like Faramir to remain in MT where it is safe... happened to 'go that way' in a story of mine. I like that Boromir can already see that Faramir will be great.
Title: Despair · Author: Silivren Tinu · Genres: Drama: The Fellowship · ID: 171
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-06-27 03:36:56
This was a dark story, but well written. I wasn't sure Aragorn would call Boromir a fool - I think he had a bit more self-control than that. But the rest of the story was very good. I liked that Boromir thinks the Ring follows orders. Good thought there! Legolas' need to make Boromir understand for Aragorn's sake and for the mission's. His sharing his thoughts on watching his people die. Legolas' feeling the evil and hearing the whispers - very good! The final [be safe] was perfect... for those in Mirkwood and in Minas Tirith.
Title: To Light the Way · Author: Dot · Races: Elves: With Mirkwood Elves · ID: 12
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2007-06-27 04:38:24
Admittedly, Mirkwood is not my favorite locale, but this is a well-told story, with a point that no doubt Tolkien would agree with. I have certainly had many a conversation with a fandom friend who * is * a Mirkwood maniac about the very topic of the relationship between war under the Shadow of Dol Guldur and the festive, if also somewhat secretive, revels and merry-making of the Mirkwood elves that we see in ["The Hobbit"].
Dot draws in Elladan and Elrohir to make the point that celebration is a necessary renewal of spirit, and so also of hope in times when whole peoples were powerless to do more than hold the line (and slowly lose it) against Sauron's forces. Elladan's comparison of the Mirkwood Elves with Men was met with amusing reactions, but the point is not without merit. Fans of the twins and of Mirkwood Elves in general should enjoy this.
Title: The man in the woods · Author: Dot · Races: Men: Eriador or Rivendell · ID: 13
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2007-06-27 04:57:15
Dot takes characters from meckinock's version of the Angle and deploys a pair of them in an adventure of her own crafting. And it's not an adventure in the way that children usually mean it which is precisely the point of the story.
Halbarad's young son Alagos and daughter Falathren creep out to play one morning, after their father goes off on some unknown but urgent errand with Aragorn. The usual children's games occur, and Dot, carefully constructing this as a memory narrated to an unknown other by a much older Falathren, uses that reflective distance to point out the ways in which Falathren at that point was an innocent, who understood neither the nature of her father's duties, nor her own place within the community of the Angle:
["Though unaware yet that my birthright as a Dúnedain woman was not to fight for our future but to sacrifice my loved ones to it with a resolute heart, I nevertheless did not mind that Ada never told me Id be a good Ranger. Besides, I was still young enough to need a fathers company, not his approval"], Falathren tells us.
But this day's Ranger-play turns out to be truer than imagination (even that of ["a girl with a boys imagination"]) had ever intended. They happen upon a body, dead by some violent, unknown hand, and Falathren, in a fit of hysteria, refuses to follow her brother home for help. Instead, she waits by the body, covers it with her cloak, and stands a sort of vigil, out of the conviction that the young man, whoever he was, should not be alone.
Later, when Aragorn and a few others come to rescue her from the task, we understand that this was the very errand that had taken Halbarad away early, the search for the missing man. Falathren has unwittingly done a Ranger's duty, though it is in the patient, resigned acceptance of loss that Falathren sees in the faces of the women of the Angle that she recognizes her own future that she recognizes her own place vis-à-vis Rangering, rather than in her play-time fantasies.
Unsettling and sad, but poignant and all too real well done, Dot! Ranger fans will surely enjoy this one.
Title: Crossing towards Sunrise · Author: Imhiriel · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond · ID: 14
Reviewer: Dwimordene · 2007-06-27 05:17:37
The quays of Tol Eressëa are ripe for stories of reunions, for the making or breaking of hopes and dreams as the Elves who have left Middle-earth come home to long-lost loved ones, to say nothing of those whom they have done an injustice.
Elrond's arrival in Valinor is logically placed under the list of people he has lost, both those who left him earlier, to strange (or mortal) fates or otherwise, but also those whom he has finally left behind. The key figure in his arrival is Celebrian, whose fate he cannot know until he reaches Aman, but to whom he must explain the absence of their children.
Imhiriel picks Gandalf as her pair of eyes a daring choice since Gandalf can be difficult to write, especially given the first person perspective. The figures who play into Elrond's anxiety as the ship approaches the Blessed Realm are carefully enumerated, while those who play a roll in supporting him are shown in that capacity. Well-constructed fans of Elrond should give it a read.
Title: Not Fade Away · Author: Jael · Genres: Drama: Elves in Later Ages · ID: 127
Reviewer: Cuthalion · 2007-06-27 12:25:17
I found "Not Fade Away" through a rec in Live Journal, started to read it the day before yesterday and finished it yesterday afternoon. The prologue takes place in the fourth age of ME, but the rest of the tale is entirely set in our modern world, introducing a heroine of a very unusual kind.
[She looked at her mirrored reflection dispassionately, telling herself that this was the face of a born patsy. Nondescript brown hair, eyes somewhere halfway between blue and grey, tall, thin, no bosom or butt to speak of.(...)She was no raving beauty -- a good solid six out of ten, assuming she was in a generous mood with herself, which she wasn't at the moment.]
Not the perfect Mary Sue, hm? But guess what her name is: M. Susan Walker (the M. stands for Mariposa - no Mary anywhere to be seen. *grins*). And she couldn't be more different from any of those annoyingly perfect ladies blushing teen authors flood the fandom with. After her divorce she finds a new job she'd never hoped top get: A company called "Dale Toys" offers her a position as designer and illustrator, and her new boss, Aaron Rivers, is one of the most attractive men she has ever seen, married to a stunningly beautiful wife who seems practically ageless, and father to a son called Leif who looks like he's barely five or six years younger than his dad.
[Posey gasped. He was too gorgeous to be true. A man this delicately beautiful had to be as gay as the day is long, and what a waste, she told herself. He held out a hand that would have been the envy of her piano teacher mother - those long fingers could span eleven keys easily.]
Oh, and did I mention that the FBI and the IRS think that Aaron Rivers is a "commie", supporting civil rights, looking for his employees among immigrants, and sharing his fortune freely with those who are in need - he must be planning crimes against the US, that's for sure. *grins* Plus that Mariposa draws the background for a new video game called "The Quest for the Lonely Mountain", without having any idea about hobbits, elves and Middle Earth whatsoever... one of the many details that made me fall for this funny, thrilling, original tale.
When she finally finds out why all those gorgeously looking men and women constantly cover their ears, and when she meets an elder man all clad in brown who finally takes it upon him to explain the mystery of Dale Toys to her, we land right in the middle of one of my favorite scenes:
[Wendell sighed. "Linda, hold her hand," He smiled at her, took a deep breath, and the friendly middle-aged brown man disappeared as the veil lifted. She saw light and beauty and something young yet unimaginably ancient.
"Stop it, please stop," she whimpered.
"Mariposa, put your head between your knees," she heard Linda saying, and she immediately obeyed, until the buzzing in her head stopped. "I wish you wouldn't do that, Aiwendil, "Linda continued sharply. "It unnerves even me."]
Love it to pieces. And if you really would like to see a "modern day woman meets elves"-story with beautiful characterizations, wildly original (but believable) ideas and a great plot, go and read Jael's tale. She deserves it, for she fueled my enthusiasm for fanfiction once again, and she's a gorgeous writer.
Title: Like Falling Asleep Again · Author: lbilover · Races: Hobbits: Merry and Pippin · ID: 299
Reviewer: Mews1945 · 2007-06-27 17:43:33
A story of ravishing tenderness and beauty. It tells of Merry and Pippin, grown old, but still deeply in love and as inseparable as ever they were, after they have left the Shire and come to Minas Tirith to spend their last days there. The dialogue is spare and alive with the light-hearted spirit of the two hobbits, as they talk about their lives together and their undying love for each other. There is melancholy in this tale, but it is a sweet melancholy that makes one smile through tears.
Title: Force of Nature · Author: shirebound · Genres: Alternate Universe: The Shire or Buckland · ID: 360
Reviewer: Mews1945 · 2007-06-27 19:20:43
This story is a lovely addition to the author's Quarantined universe. It's a wonderful place, a pleasure to visit with hobbits and rangers and that sweet little rascal, Scamp. It always makes me feel good to read about Frodo and Estel and Bilbo, and having Merry and Pippin, and Halbarad and Thalguron along just made it a happier time for all. There is h/c and a mystery concerning the Old Forest, and the experience furthers the trust and understanding amongst Aragorn's rangers and the hobbits of the Shire.
Title: To Sleep, Perchance to Dream · Author: Blackbird Song · Genres: Drama: Ithilien · ID: 301
Reviewer: Mews1945 · 2007-06-27 21:20:29
A powerful tale of nightmares that come to Pippin and Merry first in Buckland before the quest begins, and later in Ithilien, after the final battle before the Black Gates. It is also a deeply emotional exploration of the bonds between them, of a love that binds them closer than either even realizes.
Title: Letting Go · Author: SlightlyTookish · Races: Hobbits: Post-Ring War · ID: 230
Reviewer: Mews1945 · 2007-06-27 21:36:11
This story gives a powerful portrait of a strong, loving father who only wants what is best for his son, and slowly comes to the realization that he cannot provide that for him. Paladin's anguish on behalf of Pippin, who is suffering terribly from nightmares, is believable and touchingly portrayed. The relationship between father and son is shown as sympathetic and one of mutual respect and caring, as Pippin tries to spare his parents the knowledge of the horrors he and Merry, and Frodo all endured in the quest and the war of the Ring. It presents a compelling and logical reason for Merry and Pippin moving to the Crickhollow house to live.
Title: The Long Winter · Author: Baranduin · Races: Hobbits · ID: 159
Reviewer: Mews1945 · 2007-06-27 21:59:41
This story is based on an old legend called "Saving Spring". Sam tells the story to Elanor one cold, snowy night, seated by the fire, the perfect place and time for telling old tales. It concerns a long, hard winter in the shire, as recalled by an old hobbit who once told the tale to small Samwise. Sam and Elanor's conversation frames the story, but gives a very clear portrait of a loving father-daughter relationship, deeply based in the prosaic world of the Shire hobbits. The legend itself is a weaving of myth and fairy tale, with magic, enchantments, talking beasts who were once hobbits and men and elves, a wicked sorcerer and a lovely maiden imprisoned in a dungeon. The writer guides us from the cozy fireside of the hobbits to a lonely castle made of ice, and brings us back again with assurance and deftness. A beautifully told tale.
Title: Gathering the Pieces · Author: Ellisande · · ID: 543
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-06-28 19:11:53
A beautiful rendering of a span of Finduilas' life. I am most impressed with the simple beauty of the words. And Imrahil's part. And Denethor's love. And Boromir. And, especially, the ending. Nicely done!
Title: The Dark Night of the Soul · Author: Ellisande · · ID: 544
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-06-28 19:22:44
I can't even begin to express how beautiful and haunting this series of vignettes/poems is. It really undid me as I read them; my heart broke for Denethor. His love is so tranparent, so fragile, and yet he sees himself as a poor substitute for what she could have, in fact, have had. I adore the one where he berates himself for what he considers his selfishness. I love the technique of crossing out some of his words, as if he actually were writing these. The sad part is - if that is so - did he ever speak to her of the love he had? Incredible beautiful, sad, and heart-rending pieces. Thank you!
Title: Elements: Dreams of the Dead, Visions of the Living · Author: pipkinsweetgrass · Genres: Alternate Universe: The Shire or Buckland · ID: 202
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-06-28 19:32:11
I had to laugh by the time I was finished with this because I write little notes in the side margins and there were FOURTEEN 'Oh My!'s'
This is a beautiful telling. I loved having Pip's carving be such a focal point. You caught me well when you had Boromir say that [the best dreams are the ones in which I am dying] - of course, I had to read on. And he was right. You had me biting my nails, in tears, nodding my head in agreement, and mourning those whom I love... Merry's death was beautifully written and who would I not love to die in Aragorn's arms!
But of course the best, for me, were the Boromir parts! *sobs* One thing that amazed me - I just finished writing a chapter in a tale I'm working on - and I put what the collar might have meant to Boromir. My idea and yours are not the same - but I love your idea and I love the obscure line that you base it on. Not many people remember Boromir's collar. I made the stone a White Opal from South Harad.
Again - glorious tale - very much appreciated your sharing this!
Title: Comes Now The Plaintiff, Frodo Baggins · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Humor: Parody · ID: 17
Reviewer: Marta · 2007-06-29 20:12:22
This was a really fun read. Besides being true (!)--Frodo really did have a hard go of things on the Quest to destroy the Ring--and in our modern lawsuit-happy culture I don't doubt for a moment that he would have won a pretty gold-piece or two. I am not overly familiar with legal language, but what you have here seems realistic, and somehow that made it all the more hilarious.
On one level this piece works as pure humor. All of the names given for Gandalf, Aragorn, and Faramir at the beginning are simply hilarious, and the reference to other fictional cases was similarly chuckle-inducing. And it was all so hobbity! This reminded me of Tolkien's references to convoluted Shire legal customs, and I could very easily see this happening. It also strikes me as a particularly hobbity way of dealing with being forced to go off on a (horror of horrors!) adventure. Yet under all of that, there seems to be a biting commentary on honour and its place in Middle-earth versus our modern world. Even so, it doesn't forget its humorous roots. Quite a nice piece of comic writing all around.
Title: Gifts · Author: Acacea · Genres: Humor: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 500
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-06-30 02:14:01
Delightful little moment. I have a granddaughter who is eating everything right now and I can sooooo commiserate with Denethor. And I loved the ending!
Title: Behind Every Great Man... · Author: annmarwalk · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 52
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-06-30 02:17:21
Very nice, indeed! I'm glad Denethor had someone looking out for him at least at some time. Mormegil must have died sometime before 3019!
Title: 13th Birthday · Author: stefaniab · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 138
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-06-30 02:30:26
Oh! My! The first chapter - I love Boromir pouncing on his brother to surprise him, I love him hiding the fact that he's on a plain old regular soldier's leave! LOL - and I love the part with Denethor and the stone and Faramir's fear for his father. *chills*
I love Boromir's buying the horse, but I'm doubly pleased with Faramir's concern with funds - and Boromir's troubling thought that Faramir was becoming too much like their father. *chills*
I loved the comaraderie between the troops! I had forgotten that Boromir too is still green.
The scene in the 'Home' was perfect as was the matrons obeying Denethor's law and Faramir discerning a 'use' of the moment.
It made me happy to see that Denethor chose Faramir's horse.
Oh my goodness! The last part - you saved the best for last - when reading things about Denethor and Faramir - I tend to cringe and wait for the worst - but you saved the best for last. I loved the ending. I loved the gift. And I loved the advice given. For Denethor to know that Faramir will have to use the stone... to help Boromir govern Gondor. Such a hideous thought - when one knows the price paid for such use - but so right of Denethor to offer it to his son... how odd!
And, of course, the very last part was delightful
Thank you for a great read - I had not expected this and if you could see my beaming face - you would be happy!
Title: Duty and Devotion · Author: Marta · Times: Late Third Age: 3018-3022 TA: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 411
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-06-30 02:35:07
Ah ha! So the Dark Lord is the one ultimately who 'saves' Faramir - nice way of writing this chilling event!
Title: Could Will Have Its Way · Author: Nancy Brooke · Races: Men: Gondor Drabble · ID: 286
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-06-30 02:43:08
I liked this very much - a very good reason for the Steward to look into the Palantir.
Title: A Useful Skill · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Humor: Children · ID: 46
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-06-30 02:52:18
Very nicely done. I love that you have Denethor take a part in F&B's lives... and not an unkind one!
Title: Duty Bound · Author: Bodkin · Genres: Romance: Pre-Ring War · ID: 212
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2007-07-01 04:25:57
Wow - knocked my socks off with this one. Love Pip - love the question - first and last - and am stunned by the answer. Though Denethor did not marry till he was in his late 50's.... I'd expected the same for his sons.... But I like the idea - Bittersweet tale but beautifully written. Excellent tale. Thank you so much for sharing it. *wipes tears from her eyes*
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