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MEFA Reviews for October 4, 2007 (Part 2)

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  • Ann Walker
    Title: Escape · Author: Bodkin · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 - 3017 TA · ID: 24 Reviewer: NeumeIndil · 2007-07-16 05:20:39 Ooh, a Radagast story! The
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 4, 2007
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      Title: Escape · Author: Bodkin · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 - 3017 TA ·
      ID: 24
      Reviewer: NeumeIndil · 2007-07-16 05:20:39
      Ooh, a Radagast story! The Dunadan grew on me quickly, and I was most
      impressed with his ability to win over the elvin captain without ever
      humbling himself more than necessary. At several points I laughed aloud
      at the dialogue, which flows very naturally. My beta-reader's eye
      caught a typo ["I picked up my escort no more thaT a day or two after
      parting from Mithrandir and my captain."] and there was a bit of
      pronoun over use as the first word in the sentence, but aside from the
      latter being a common error of my own, it fits with the speaker voice,
      making it an understandable decision.

      Title: A Passing Troll · Author: Dreamflower · Genres: Humor: The Shire
      or Buckland · ID: 210
      Reviewer: NeumeIndil · 2007-07-16 05:21:38
      Oh that's terrible! And yet I laughed, so I suppose it wasn't
      unbearably so. I like Sam's solution for the situation (very practical
      and straightforward, just like him), and Pippin's boasting falls well
      in line with his mischievous nature. The mix of practicality and jest
      feels quite Tolkienian. Well done.

      Title: Signs · Author: permilea · Races: Hobbits: Children · ID: 384
      Reviewer: NeumeIndil · 2007-07-16 05:28:51
      How darling! There's Frodo's characteristic patience and Pippin's
      mischievous nature, and with a healthy dose of humor besides. Frodo, it
      seems, is a hobbit with quite an understanding of children, or at least
      of that particular child. It's easy to see, with this sort of basis,
      how their friendship could continue through their adult lives.

      Title: Cophetua · Author: Jael · Genres: Romance · ID: 242
      Reviewer: NeumeIndil · 2007-07-16 05:34:16
      Wow. What a wonderful way to spend an evening! You wrote very strong
      women in this piece, not the least of which is Aunt Asa. In spite of
      the short amount of time she is before us, her life and choices leave a
      lasting impression. Your Thranduil is quite a man in many respects, and
      it is easy to see why Sigrid loves him so... twice. Similarly, your
      Legolas is very mature and the relationship between the two follows
      more closely with my impressions of canon than some other stories I've
      read. Also, thank you for the thorough author's notes. I always find
      such things very helpful (and I shall remember 'gweth' for the future).
      A lovely piece.

      Title: Field of Dreams · Author: agape4gondor · Genres: Drama · ID: 374
      Reviewer: NeumeIndil · 2007-07-16 05:37:31
      This piece reminds me, a bit, of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books that I
      read and re-read countless times as a child. It is heartrending, the
      picture of a manless Gondor you've painted. The character voice is
      great and does so much for the story, but I'm afraid the last two
      sentences really don't add much to the ending. I think a stronger image
      to end on would be, instead of simply restating that her husband is
      dead, to fill him into the memories she's seeing, so we as readers will
      feel the hole he has left for ourselves, closer to the way she does. It
      is always better to see than be told. I teared up as I read, I enjoyed
      this so much. Thank you for it.

      Title: More Than Just Years · Author: Llinos · Genres: Adventure: Minas
      Tirith · ID: 362
      Reviewer: NeumeIndil · 2007-07-16 05:47:39
      How wonderfully sweet! A great look into the relationship between the
      wizard and the youngest hobbit, disturbers of the peace both of them.
      I've never given much thought to baby hobbits, but Pippin was adorable
      and it was heart warming to see Merry, even then, looking after him so
      well. I'd have a hard time climbing a 50 foot hay wagon too, the poor
      little lad! I find myself wanting to hug all three of them, and even
      more so at the end when the faith Pip put in his gift from the wizard
      is revealed. A very nice little piece.

      Title: Tamer's Tale · Author: juno_magic · Races: Cross-Cultural · ID:
      41
      Reviewer: NeumeIndil · 2007-07-16 05:48:03
      And very nicely done wizard romance it is! Aside from a few typos that
      my beta's eye caught, this was an effortless read with a distinctive
      poetic feel all its own. I am impressed to see a short piece answer the
      "how" of Gandalf's humanity so well. Bravo.

      Title: Not Fade Away · Author: Jael · Genres: Drama: Elves in Later
      Ages · ID: 127
      Reviewer: NeumeIndil · 2007-07-16 05:49:25
      Wow, wow and again I say thee wow! I love your play with names. I love
      the puns. I love how the Rivers corporation celebrates the winter
      holidays, costumes and all, and I most overwhelmingly adore the cast of
      characters and how they've adapted to the times and places in which
      they live. You've created such a plausible and happy world that the
      elements of Mariposa's life before the job change stand out like dirty,
      smelly sore thumbs. I think it helps that I've been to Chicago and,
      while I don't know it exceptionally well, memories of the dirty snow
      and joggers at the lake were readily available for me to fill in as
      moving wall paper for your story. One of the best modern girl meets
      elves stories I've ever read. This was a GREAT way to spend an evening!

      Title: Crossing towards Sunrise · Author: Imhiriel · Times: Fourth Age
      and Beyond · ID: 14
      Reviewer: NeumeIndil · 2007-07-16 05:50:07
      Very very nice. The catalogue of Elrond's losses is, once one sees it
      all listed, quite devastating. I appreciate the way, even with all
      those sadnesses on his mind, you've let the Hobbits help him smile. His
      bitter-sweet reunion with his wife, though, is the master stroke here.
      I must confess I thought the narrator to be Cirdan for a while, but
      when Shadowfax was mentioned I realized who it must be. A very nice
      read. Thank you for it.

      Title: Five Things That Never Happened to Theodred and Boromir ·
      Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Alternate Universe · ID: 545
      Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2007-07-17 23:47:40
      One of the greatest delights I've found in fanfiction is how a skilled
      writer can take a minor canon character and breath such life into him
      that, in retrospect, it's difficult to imagine Tolkien's world without
      him. Such is the case with Théodred, son of Théoden: when we first hear
      of him in “The Two Towers” he is already dead; in “Unfinished Tales” he
      did manage to live for three pages. In the films he was robbed of
      twenty years of his life even before he died (for he was of an age with
      Boromir, not younger and prettier than Éomer and Éowyn). Yet in the
      hands of writers like Kortirion, Scribendi, and EdorasLass, Théodred
      lives life to the full, with loyal and devoted companions at arms, an
      affectionate family, a steadfast lover. Despite the Shadow that, to
      some extent, oppresses all of Middle-Earth, Théodred's life is rich and
      full of joy.

      Well, mostly. In this chilling series, EdorasLass kills Théodred three
      times, breaks his heart once, and forces him to live to a ripe old age
      before he is able to snatch any happiness at all. (Thank heaven for
      small mercies.) In the course of wreaking such havoc she also
      instigates war between Gondor and Rohan, slaughtering the leaders and
      ruling families of each nation and clearing the way for the triumph of
      the Dark Lord. Alternately, she adds a Tenth Walker who must watch with
      growing fear the changes in his beloved before dying valorously at his
      side.

      * Happy sigh * Of course it's all angsty, and heartbreaking, and
      relentlessly wibble-inducing. But it's also a marvelously satisfying
      read, especially to those who know that this AU is AU to her standard
      AU, where Boromir and Théodred and Théodred's children and Théodred's
      cat all live in blissful ignorance of the future that canon holds for
      them.


      Title: God of Wrath · Author: Katzilla · Genres: Drama · ID: 369
      Reviewer: NeumeIndil · 2007-07-18 05:31:17
      Wow! This is remarkably close to being a romance from a writer who says
      she cannot write such things. Yet it isn't the usual "boy meets girl"
      scenario. As always, Katzilla's images are stunning; vivid, graphic and
      dark but not overly worked or handled with kid gloves. She is certainly
      never afraid to delve into the darkest parts of human minds and hearts,
      or the depths of cruelty the forces of the Enemy could conjure! Eomer
      here seems to me a very good mix of the film's brash, angry young man
      and the mature, responsible warrior of the books. The narrator, too, is
      a warrior in her own way, soldiering on through the trials of daily
      life after horrible loss-- and horrendous torture-- and that warrior's
      spirit seems to be what binds the two, even if it's for only a short
      time. The conflict between the two, the universal argument of ending
      conflict once and for all versus being a compassionate victor, is very
      well balanced within the narrative, and in history as well. The
      problems that plague Katzilla's characters are not those of a specific
      story or fandom; they are as real for us as they are to her characters,
      making each work of fiction seem far more realistic than many would
      dare hope.

      Title: My Treasure · Author: Armariel · Genres: Poetry: With Hobbits ·
      ID: 332
      Reviewer: Larner · 2007-07-18 15:13:33
      Of all the writers of poetry focused on the times and characters of the
      World of Arda, Armariel is the one who almost always evokes the
      greatest emotional response in me. This poem, looking forward to the
      coming of Samwise Gamgee-Gardner to Tol Eressea, is one I find
      especially moving, and the imagery evoked by the word choice is
      exceedingly powerful. This isn't just an incipid arrival anticipated,
      but one that has the two of them foreseeing the type of greeting that
      one expects when new worlds are born. It will be a collision of joys
      enough to light the skies of the Undying Lands with the delights of
      renewal both shall know as they come together once more. Images are
      powerful, words dripping with anticipation and eagerness.

      I am proud to nominate this free-verse poem for the perusal of all
      others.

      Title: The Three Hunters · Author: Dreamflower · Genres: Adventure ·
      ID: 333
      Reviewer: Larner · 2007-07-18 15:55:42
      In this story we don't see much directly of the familiar Hobbits of
      which Dreamflower usually writes, but more the thoughts and memories of
      Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas as they follow the trail left by the Uruks
      who captured them at Amon Hen and carried them across Rohan to the
      eaves of Fangorn Forest. As each remembers incidents in which the
      abilities, charm, and determination of Merry and Pippin to do all that
      could be done for Frodo's sake were best displayed to them before they
      set out from Rivendell, each of the three hunters binds himself to the
      search for these two young cousins, finding the alternative
      unthinkable. Then at Isengard they meet with the quarry and all seems
      so very hobbity--food, drink, shelter, and means for comfort
      found--save these have clearly been driven, beaten, and savaged--as
      well as having grown both physically and emotionally as a result of
      their experiences.

      A wonderful story to illustrate just how special was the creation of
      Hobbits....

      Title: Ours · Author: Queen Galadriel · Races: Hobbits · ID: 334
      Reviewer: Larner · 2007-07-18 16:11:10
      All Hobbits appear to have a magnetism to them, drawing those of good
      will to champion them and seek out all that can be done for them; but
      this capacity is especially strong in the person of Frodo Baggins. In
      spite of (or perhaps because of) his apparent fragility Frodo draws to
      himself the love and protective instincts of those who come under his
      spell. In this story we see Sam accepting Bilbo's inclusion of himself
      as one of those who sees Frodo as "ours," then another vignette in
      Gondor where Sam recognizes Aragorn has come to love the younger
      Baggins as deeply as himself, and so Sam is willing to accept that
      Frodo is "ours" as much as far as Lord Strider is involved as is true
      for himself. Then in the final thoughts, the "ours" shifts to Merry,
      Pippin, and himself hoping that this leaving of Middle Earth grants the
      healing their Frodo so clearly needs.

      Queen Galadriel is a young writer who has yet managed to find her feet
      in her writing; and in this story she has managed to clearly and
      convincingly communicate the love these all feel for Frodo and share it
      with the rest who have come to the conviction that Frodo is equally
      "ours."

      Title: Lord Námo's Yule Gift · Author: Fiondil · Genres: Humor · ID: 335
      Reviewer: Larner · 2007-07-18 16:44:51
      When Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took arrive in the Halls of
      Mandos just before Yule of the year 70 of the Fourth Age, it appears
      that the ancient edifice will suffer greatly at the event. After all,
      who else would enter those hallowed halls to set the souls of the
      departed mortals among whom they find themselves wishing after Yule
      decorations and perhaps setting off a minor revolt? When the rest of
      the Valar look on this advent with amusement and seek to give the two
      Hobbits what they wish Namo finds it both amusing and embarrassing as
      he finds ropes of balsam and wreaths of candles shining everywhere and
      himself under the mistletoe....

      But when our irrepressible two seek to make certain that Namo himself
      isn't alone at Yule they find he is willing to allow them to join his
      own Yule plans as he sits by the sleeping Turgon, who is nearly ready
      to know the Judgement that is his by rights. And all learn more of the
      nature of ineffible joy and delight.

      Fiondil's ability to portray so many characters, including the Valar
      themselves, so beautifully, with humor and love, make his stories ever
      a joy to read, and this one a true delight.

      Title: Yours to command · Author: Lialathuveril · Genres: Romance: With
      Rohirrim · ID: 129
      Reviewer: Cuthalion · 2007-07-19 19:29:45
      "Yours to command" by Lialathuveril is her third big Éomer/
      Lothiriel-saga so far. The first one, "Of Falcons and Mûmakil", set the
      theme the author feels dedicated to ever since, and "Yours to command"
      is the most surprising variation so far. When Èomer of Rohan ponders
      the thought where he should search for a suitable wife and queen, he
      remembers Prince Imrahil and the fact that his noble battle companion
      has a daughter. Perhaps she might be the right choice... but when he
      makes the first, careful steps in this particular direction, people
      seem to be rather uncomfortable with the mere idea. And when the young
      Rohan King finally gets to know the Princess, he suddenly understands
      why... for Lothiriel is blind.

      I doubted for a while if I should really give away the special twist of
      this tale, but Lothiriel's very unique perspective of a woman who has
      to rely on her ears, her fingertips and her sense of smell to find her
      way through a dark world is one of the aspects that make this story so
      special and thrilling. Since the accident that took her sight away her
      father is overly protective, and Éomer is like a fresh, unexpected wind
      in a universe that keeps her firmly in place, an obedient daughter, a
      noble woman constantly in need of a helping hand. Their love story is
      delightfully told, full of humor, sizzling passion and wonderful
      characterization. Lothiriel is strong, clever, courageous and utterly
      believable, and Éomer is the hero every woman with a heart dreams of.
      There is even a villain thirsting for revenge, and the reader spends a
      lot of time biting fingernails and sitting on the edge of the chair
      while a dangerous conspiracy unfolds. I guess I don't give too much
      away if I reveal that in the end the lucky Rohan King actually gets his
      girl... for "Yours to Command" is firmly rooted in canon, giving
      delightful, strong-colored glimpses of rohirric life and Dol Amroth
      nobility. completely with ballads, poems and a hysterically funny
      "bride manual" for noble women by a certain Belector - the quotes from
      that gloriously uptight and prude tome alone give the reader a good
      snicker every time they appear.

      If you love Éomer (and Lothiriel) and really good romances, this is the
      choice for you.





      Title: Moira · Author: illyria-pffyffin · Races: Hobbits · ID: 676
      Reviewer: Cuthalion · 2007-07-19 19:33:08
      I have followed Illyria's writing for years, and she included the
      thoughts and plans of the Valar once before, in her amazing story
      "Divinity". Here she takes even a step further, and she describes the
      creation of elves and men in wonderful, shining images, like this one:

      [I am reminded of the red tinge in the eastern sky as I watched my Lord
      kindle the light in the spirits of Men, a finite incandescence so
      bright it nearly blinded me. Wake up, my children, my Lord had spoken,
      to the sound of a deep, solemn chord that somehow trembled with
      restlessness, an undertone of cries of glory, paid full in blood, and
      laments of great loss, fierce with pride. Wake up, my Lord had said,
      your time is brief, while the new song suffused the bones of the earth,
      humming in the rivers, taking root.]

      This time the Vala telling this astonishing tale watches the making of
      an entirely different kind - not the Firstborn, not the race of Men or
      dawarves (though each of them has its own, shining appearance in this
      story) but the coming of... hobbits:

      [They are hidden, my Lord, from the eyes of the enemy, because they
      neither rise up against him nor do they have aught that he might wish
      for himself, power and knowledge and craft. It is in their weakness
      their strength lies.]

      As a great hobbit fancier I was (of course!) delighted to find here
      what both the Silmarillion and the Lord of the Rings refused to tell:
      how did the halflings come into being, what made Ilùvatar create them
      in the first place? Of course this is fanfiction, of course this is a
      tale from Illyria's imagination only, but I can't help thinking that
      even the Professor would have approved of what she does here - finding
      the words to sing of Eru's plans for the Little People, of their
      rustic, earthy way to celebrate life and to enjoy what they have been
      given. The author has written many beautiful tales, but this is perhaps
      the best and most "tolkienesque" tale she ever told.

      Title: No Escape · Author: Aranel Took · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 -
      3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 324
      Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-07-19 19:51:43
      This is a vivid and poignant snapshot of the brave Dwarves on the edge
      of doom, about to fall to the orcs and Balrog in Khazad-dum. The
      tension is palpable, as is the unnamed dwarf-woman's grim resolve.

      Title: A Time to Reap · Author: Linda hoyland · Genres: Adventure:
      Incomplete · ID: 415
      Reviewer: Larner · 2007-07-20 07:23:49
      In the story previous to this one, Aragorn was kidnapped and tortured
      by disgruntled lords who thought they desired to return to the
      government under the line of Stewards, and to rescue him Faramir was
      forced to pretend to be one of the rebels, even to the point of
      branding his beloved King on the shoulder to convince the rest that he
      was indeed part of their plans. Now King and Steward need to undergo
      reconciliation and to let go the fear and anger and guilt each bears in
      his heart of hearts. The Queen and Princess Eowyn are able to convince
      the two of them to leave the city for a time to find peace in the
      countryside about the White Mountains and the farms at their bases.

      An excellent depiction of how guilt and fear can override our good
      sense, and the psychological aspects of seeking healing for these
      maladies of the spirit.

      Since Linda and Raksha began their partnership, LindaHoyland's writing
      has markedly improved, becoming more intense and powerful; and her
      choice of quotations to open each chapter is inspired.

      Title: To Light the Way · Author: Dot · Races: Elves: With Mirkwood
      Elves · ID: 12
      Reviewer: Jay of Lasgalen · 2007-07-20 18:12:25
      I really like the teasing between the twins. Moments like this say so
      much about their closeness: “I have been foolish, brother,” Elladan
      said once they were alone.

      Elrohir grinned at him. “I can well believe it.”

      Elladan slapped him lightly. “Try not to discourage me from my moment
      of self-discovery, please, Elrohir. Those moments are few enough.”
      I like the differences between them too - Elladan is so much more
      impatient than Elrohir. You can feel his tension and exasperation with
      the wood-elves, and their apparent obliviousness to the encroaching
      shadow.

      Thranduil is right, though - he can do no more at this time than to
      offer hope, but it is so vital. If his people despair, they will never
      win the battle. I liked the twins' realisation of this at the end.

      This line made me laugh out loud: 'Elrohir spat his mouthful of cider
      back into his cup as discreetly as possible. Choking could be an
      ill-advised move.' Poor Elrohir - there is nothing worse than suddenly
      laughing in the middle of drinking something!!



      Title: Journey Home · Author: Dot · Races: Elves: With Mirkwood Elves ·
      ID: 102
      Reviewer: Jay of Lasgalen · 2007-07-20 18:15:26
      Nendir is a wonderful OC! He seems so young and vulnerable at first,
      but his injury makes him realise the comradship of an elven patrol.

      Legolas is wonderful as the patrol's captain, and I like the simple
      expression of his worries about his father. Thranduil ... Thranduil is
      just marvellous. Such a short walk-on part, but he steals the show! The
      way his presence fills the chamber despite his humble dress, and his
      gratitude for Nendir's words about Legolas.

      A lovely story, Dot - I'd like to see more of Nendir!



      Title: The man in the woods · Author: Dot · Races: Men: Eriador or
      Rivendell · ID: 13
      Reviewer: Jay of Lasgalen · 2007-07-20 18:17:17
      This is lovely, Dot. The small, incidental details you've included are
      great - the little girl tucking the frayed end of her skirt into her
      knickers; the children climbing over the fence the neighbour had put up
      to stop his goat eating the washing. These tiny snippets add so much
      life and colour to the story!

      Little Falathren is so brave as she sits beside the dead warrior to
      keep him company, but I feel sorry for her as they return to the
      village - she sees that her job will always be to sit and wait, while
      others do the great deeds. She could be a great warrior and Ranger too!


      Title: Youngest Son · Author: Bodkin · Genres: Romance: Second Age or
      Earlier · ID: 406
      Reviewer: Jay of Lasgalen · 2007-07-20 18:52:29
      I really liked this story, and I rarely read anything much to do with
      the Silmarillion!

      The opening scenes on the seashore were beautiful - I loved your
      descriptions here. Drowning elflings seem to be a very good way of
      bringing hesitant couples together!!

      Title: Escape · Author: Bodkin · Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 - 3017 TA ·
      ID: 24
      Reviewer: Jay of Lasgalen · 2007-07-20 18:58:50
      You have some wonderful characters here, even though they're unnamed.
      The man - Isildur's heir, since he hails from Imladris and knows
      Elrond's sons so well; but he's not Aragorn or Halbarad. The elf
      captain - wonderful leadership, and I like the interaction with his
      patrol. And his brother receives the reports? There's the guardian as
      well.

      Wonderful characterisations, Bodkin. I love this tale.

      Title: And We Will Travel North · Author: bewize · Times: Mid Third
      Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Drabble · ID: 39
      Reviewer: Jay of Lasgalen · 2007-07-20 19:05:31
      I really like this, especially anything with the twins and Estel :>)

      Love the last line: 'becoming for a short time that which we are not:
      Men of the North.' I've always liked the image of Elladan and Elrohir
      with the rangers, especially the idea that they only joined them to
      support Aragorn.
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