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MEFA Reviews for October 31, 2007 (Part 2)

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  • Ann
    Title: Daybreak · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: Late Third Age: 3018-3022 TA: Gondor Drabble · ID: 705 Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-10 03:22:56 Well
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 31, 2007
      Title: Daybreak · Author: Raksha the Demon · Times: Late Third Age:
      3018-3022 TA: Gondor Drabble · ID: 705
      Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-10 03:22:56
      Well done! Wonderful way with words: [Then the memories ... opened in
      his mind like the pages of a great tale of old.] I hadn't imagined
      Minas Tirith past the Eagle's song, but of course the celebration must
      have been one to write home about.

      Title: Celebration · Author: Tanaqui · Times: Fourth Age and Beyond:
      Drabble · ID: 139
      Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-10 03:23:16
      What a joyous picture of life and living as they had fought for; after
      the battles are over, after the sacrifices and losses, at last the reward.

      Title: They also serve who only stand and wait · Author: Tanaqui ·
      Races: Men: Gondor Drabble · ID: 724
      Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-10 03:23:33
      Skillfully woven word-pictures of this particular piece of the story,
      something like viewing an old snapshot, in which details stand out in
      startling contrast.

      Title: Standards · Author: Marta · Times: Late Third Age: 3018-3022
      TA: General Drabble · ID: 541
      Reviewer: Lindelea · 2007-10-10 03:27:27
      A gap-filler for a scene I hadn't thought about before, very apt. I
      love Halbarad's confidence in his Chief, and the understanding between
      himself and Arwen. Nice play on words. ["Shall we carry hope to Hope?"]

      Title: Descent · Author: Dwimordene · Times: Early Third Age: 1-2850
      TA · ID: 632
      Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-10 03:38:01
      A sad and haunting story of two boys in Pelargir who are soon to leave
      childhood behind, in the shadow of the Kin-strife that will soon set
      Gondor aflame.

      The boys, one a fair-haired son of Northmen, and the other a
      dark-skinned descendant of Haradrim, are both outsiders in Pelargir;
      their parents struggling to live in one of the poorer districts; since
      political pressures prevent their fathers from finding their usual
      work. Dwimordene masterfully depicts a friendship between the two; and
      shows how that friendship, and the boys themselves, is at risk from
      forces far beyond the two boys' control. The last paragraphs are
      utterly chilling; the unknown guards echo genoicidal bigots in our own
      Age; and the imminent death of Valacar is a death-knell that we can
      hear, but the boys, as they run to eat cakes, cannot.

      Wonderful commentary on the utter ruthlessness of historic events.

      Title: Risen From Flame · Author: Ribby · Races: Men: Gondor Drabble ·
      ID: 761
      Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-10 04:06:36
      Here's a drabble after my own heart - Faramir after the Ring War,
      putting his trials and the horror of his father's pyre behind him in a
      wonderful way that does not negate the sorrow of the past, but takes
      him beyond it. I love the concept of Faramir's identification with
      Gondor, scarred by war and fire, but surviving and enduring. And the
      notion of Faramir rising from the fire [like the sunbird of lore] is
      just magnificent. The last line is also lovely, as Faramir faces a
      very new world with new people to love and a new domain to rule.

      I don't know how Ribby managed to get all this into one hundred words,
      and do it so beautifully, but the drabble takes my breath away every
      time I reread it.

      Title: Respite · Author: Lindelea · Races: Men: Gondor Drabble · ID: 303
      Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-10 04:09:21
      Good presentation of the all too few quiet moments in the life of the
      Ithilien Rangers, specifically (though it isn't clarified) Faramir,
      who seizes the opportunity to read by candle-light. The drabble is
      smoothly written and evokes the rarity of such occasions in a
      soldier's life.

      Title: Responsibility · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: Gondor Drabble ·
      ID: 720
      Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2007-10-10 04:13:48
      A drabble that is, like its subject, quietly lethal when necessity
      demands it. I liked the focus on Faramir's strength and decisiveness
      and sense of responsibility.

      Title: Bathing Boromir · Author: Marta · Genres: Humor: Drabble · ID: 645
      Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-10 05:15:56
      This a delightful drabble which made me smile. I could just picture
      old Ioreth.Naughty apprentices to be missing to perform dull tasks but
      all want to bathe Boromir !I would if Boromir is glad or sorry that
      Ioreth protects him so fiercely?

      Title: Life Lessons · Author: Marta · Races: Men: Gondor · ID: 582
      Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2007-10-10 05:23:19
      This was a truly delightful and heartwarming story which provides a
      glimpse into Arwen and Eowyn's daily lives and the growing friendship
      between the two womem, which I believe existed.

      Arwen regrets that the servants do most of the caring for her daughter
      while Eowyn explains that is the mortal way.

      It is an especially lovely moment when Arwen realises that Eowyn will
      soon be a mother and decideds to confine her Elven knowledge to her.I
      liked this very much.

      Title: A...Like An Antagonistic Arwen · Author: Linda Hoyland/Raksha
      the Demon CoAuthors · Genres: Humor: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 758
      Reviewer: stefaniab · 2007-10-10 05:25:27
      "Antagonistic Arwen" is the lead story in a drabble series written in
      response to the Alphabet of Middle Earth challenge at Henneth Annun
      and its sister web sites. Linda Hoyland has written most of the
      entries, with additional drabbles from Raksha the Demon and
      accompanying icons, mostly from the LOTR films, created by Fileg.

      The presentation of the drabbles is visually lovely and the drabbles
      pleasing, though some moved me more than others, as often happens in
      series. My favorites are the Arwen drabbles. I wouldn't call the
      elleth antagonistc--more like strong and no-nonsense, very much the
      Arwen that I liked in Linda's "Burden of Guilt." Another stand out is
      the touching drabble where Aragorn wipes Boromir's face as he lies
      dying. It's enjoyable to see how Linda and Raksha have responded to
      the quirky prompts of this notable challenge.

      Title: Day and Night · Author: Peredhil lover · Genres: Drama: Youth ·
      ID: 190
      Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-10-10 10:26:00
      I love the contrast between Elladan and Glorfindel - and the totally
      adult and powerful twins, who nonetheless are, particularly in
      Elrohir's case, able to nurture a youth on the verge of manhood.

      The avalanche of rock sounds a bit of an extreme way for Elladan and
      Estel to do a bit of male bonding! The fight was dramatic - and I
      could see Estel learning and growing as he confronted the trolls!
      Polishing them off seemed a good plan - you wouldn't want them coming
      up behind you while you were trying to dig out the injured - but I can
      understand Elrohir's frustration! And I can see his pity for the
      troll, too. It's not as if the monsters made any conscious choice in
      their careers - born evil, that's what they had to be.

      I am glad both came out safe and sound - and that Elrohir can counsel
      the younger rescuee wisely, while leaving his older brother to the
      wisdom of Glorfindel.

      It must be disconcerting for both of them - Estel to find that he can
      heal in a way that I daresay he only thought was possible for elf
      lords, and Elladan to realise that this might well be the heir for
      whom they have all been hoping.

      Very symbolic sunset - at what is, in some ways, the beginning of the
      end. A most enjoyable story.

      Title: Miss Dora Baggins' Book of Manners · Author: Dreamflower ·
      Races: Hobbits: Incomplete · ID: 239
      Reviewer: Bodkin · 2007-10-10 10:31:43
      Aunt Dora's reflections are wonderful. And particularly accurate, of
      course, coming as they do from an elderly spinster! Who would,
      clearly, be completely qualified to Tell Others How to Rear Children.

      Looking at the day separated into mealtimes, I'm rather surprised that
      hobbits managed to survive the night without Midnight Snack (midnight)
      and Early Morning Bite (4 am) added to the list. Two - three hours
      seems to be the biggest gap they could manage!

      Some very sensible advice there, Miss Dora. And I imagine that sending
      Recalcitrant Children away from the Table would indeed be the Worst
      Punishment they could Envisage!

      This is a delicious play with the ideas and customs of the Shire - and
      Miss Dora Baggins and her Words of Wisdom make an excellent addition
      to Tolkien's works!

      Title: Marbles · Author: grey_wonderer · Genres: Humor: Children · ID: 197
      Reviewer: White Gull · 2007-10-10 12:13:25
      That was a treasure to find and so worth the read! How funny and sweet
      and in some way, comforting, all at the same time! Frodo would have
      made a good dad. Thank you for this brief excursion into a place
      without darkness and pain and what if. Well, maybe a bit of what if....

      Title: In Silence Remembered · Author: fantasyfan · Genres: Drama: The
      Shire · ID: 598
      Reviewer: White Gull · 2007-10-10 12:24:28
      I thought this an accurate, moving account of the Battle of Bywater.
      It was a hobbit's eye view of one of the main events of the Scouring,
      and one that rang true in sentiment and dialogue. The innocence and
      underlying courage of the Shire was evident, and it was good to see
      our heroes through the eyes of a hobbit who appreciated them.

      Title: The Archives Incident · Author: Dreamflower · Genres:
      Adventure: Minas Tirith · ID: 38
      Reviewer: White Gull · 2007-10-10 12:42:36
      Oh, that was worth the read! Funny and touching, it was good to see
      Frodo almost his old self after the quest. A nice little adventure for
      recovering cousins!

      Title: A Noble Thing · Author: Lily Baggins · Genres: Drama: Ithilien
      · ID: 596
      Reviewer: White Gull · 2007-10-10 12:56:55
      That was a sweet, movie-verse read! Nice characterization of Faramir,
      Frodo and Sam. Nice image of Frodo in the bath. :)

      Title: O, Cruel Fate · Author: Greywing · Genres: Alternate Universe:
      Incomplete · ID: 58
      Reviewer: Robinka · 2007-10-10 13:57:25
      Okay, imagine… An accident happens and you wake up in an absolutely
      unfamiliar territory. Well, not absolutely unfamiliar because you
      begin to think it may actually be Middle Earth. Funny, isn't it? Some
      of you may utter a squeal ;) But I would be really, really cautious at
      the very prospect.

      Greywing's story "O'Cruel Fate" surely is one of the most hilarious
      stories I have ever read. Ellie, a more or less ordinary young woman
      and aspiring scientist is accidentally whisked away to Middle Earth.
      She wakes up in the gorgeous body of the famous Balrog Slayer,
      Glorfindel himself, who has been just re-embodied. Or rather he was
      about to be re-embodied. From now on, awkwardness and chaos ensue.

      Ellie finds her current situation utterly confusing. Even taking care
      of her basic needs proves to be a tough task. Apart from her new
      stunning looks, she remains a modern woman, spiritually so, and being
      a tall, strong and handsome elf gives her a headache.

      And the question is, where the hell is the real Glorfindel?

      Greywing's story is wonderfully written. It shines with humor, and the
      scenes that feature the Valar are hysterical. The story should have a
      warning: don't drink anything while reading. The characters are
      well-rounded and original, and I particularly like the (in)famous and
      very ambitious healer – Neldor. There is more to him than meets the eye.

      I realize that some of the readers may be reluctant when it comes to
      reading a story with a `modern-girl-falls-into-ME' premise, but I can
      assure you this one is fresh and imaginative. Whenever I have a bad
      day I can go back to Greywing's story, sit back and enjoy this
      intriguing tale. Outbursts of hysterical laughter guaranteed.

      Oh, and one more thing. [Heavens, who would have thought the mere
      sight of a good-looking fellow would cause a group of civilized women
      to behave like a pack of starving hyenas?] My inner fangirl raises her
      hand immediately hearing such a question.

      Wonderful job, Greywing!

      Title: Before the Gate · Author: Jay of Lasgalen · Races: Elves:
      Fixed-Length Ficlet · ID: 704
      Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-10 17:22:57
      There seems to be so much packed into this drabble, but it feels
      completely unhurried, with a natural flow; both dialogue and
      description are sufficient and complete, painting an exciting,
      evocative picture of this action-packed moment.

      The readers can really "see" the hordes of foes arrayed against the
      small force of the armies of the West, feel the looming threat always
      increasing and coming ever nearer.

      I can imagine brief talks similar to the one between Elladan and
      Elrohir taking place throughout the army, saying farewell, but also
      giving each other courage and determination.

      Good gap-filler of such a tense, decisive time, and a wonderful
      interaction between the twins as brothers *and* brothers-in-arms.

      Title: A Kingly Discussion · Author: GamgeeFest · Races: Hobbits:
      Post-Grey Havens · ID: 780
      Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-10 17:24:10
      This story reminds me of the very beginning of LotR, with the
      discussion in the Ivy Bush about the upcoming birthday party, and you
      have recreated the mood and patrons of the inn very well, all with
      their own individual quirks and idiosynchrasies. The dialogues with
      the Gaffer as focus and various others are very vivid and natural, and
      the language is flowing and fits very well for Hobbits.

      I had to laugh at the Gaffer's reverent protectiveness towards the
      parchment, not allowing anyone to even touch it who has not cleaned
      his hands first.

      And then the typical Hobbit discussion about relations and how ["the
      Big Folk ain't very good at keeping track of their relations"] -
      wonderful! Am I right in thinking that the scandalous tale the Gaffer
      only half remembers is that of the Children of Húrin?

      I love how they keep getting distracted from the "important" letter by
      trivial arguments; and their views on Men and Elves are just
      hilarious, but, if you think about it, sooo understandable from the
      point of view of Hobbits! I wonder if anyone ever told Aragorn about
      these notions...

      Title: Friendship of Their Kind · Author: Dwimordene · Times: Early
      Third Age: 1-2850 TA · ID: 425
      Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-10 17:25:05
      An adventurous, suspenseful look into one of the less-known episodes
      of Middle-earth history. It brings the culture of the Dúnedain, and
      especially those of the Rangers, vibrantly to the readers imagination.
      Details like the smell of dragons, the ["kill-hole"], or the hoard and
      gruesome debris in the lair paint concise pictures.

      To kill the dragon's offspring might seem cruel, but the commander is
      right: should they survive to grow up, they would only mean a peril to
      the countryside. And killing them now, swiftly, might also mean a more
      merciful end than death by starvation.

      Title: Relaxation Techniques · Author: EdorasLass · Genres: Romance:
      Pre-Ring War · ID: 283
      Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-10 17:26:11
      Wonderful characterisations; their fierceness and fire, and then
      tenderness and sympathy, is almost viscerally palpable; their actions
      are described very vividly.

      I especially liked how you convey their "manliness" *g*: by that I
      mean that despite the passion and love equally evident in the story
      (if more implied than expressed directly), they are still strong,
      capable warriors and leaders of men.

      And despite the tight focus on the two men, there is still a brief but
      concise glimpse of the cultural differences between Rohan and Gondor,
      and the beginnings of Gríma's machinations.

      ["Théodred glanced over his shoulder quizzically. "Remove my shirt?
      Boromir, I mean no offense, but I am not in the mood –"

      Boromir rolled his eyes as he stood and went to retrieve the bottle of
      oil from underneath the bed."]

      I think I read to much slash *g*: The idea of Boromir getting the
      bottle of oil from *that* place (when we know exactly *why* it is
      there) just when Théodred says he is not in the mood had me laughing

      Title: The Use of a Good Bit of Chain · Author: bodldops · Races:
      Hobbits: Vignette · ID: 344
      Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-10 17:26:34
      Daisy is a sympathetic original character: ordinary, a bit sloppy, but
      interested in learning, and, in particular, friendly and kind.

      And again it is proven that even small things can have great
      consequences, and especially kind deeds tend to be rewarded somehow in

      Title: The Most Beautiful · Author: Meril · Races: Cross-Cultural ·
      ID: 508
      Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-10 17:27:48
      Lyrical, graceful prose, quite appropriate for the subject matter.

      This story captures in a moving and meaningful way the
      double-existence of Melian as on the one hand corporeal wife and
      mother and queen, with all the joys and limitations of being
      incarnate, and on the other, as divine being, existing as fëa still
      hearing echoes of the Song she longs to join.

      The constant alterations between the "high", spiritual things, and the
      mundane, sometimes ugly or violent reality keeps sharpening this
      contrast, focusing on the question just what it was in the end that
      moved Melian to make the choice she did.

      The answer given here seems so simple and yet as a revelation: it was
      love, and joy, directly felt and experienced from up close and
      personal, something that might be lost in the vast concerns of the
      Ainur which might see only the "big picture".

      How terribly ironic and sad that with Lúthien's choice, Elu Thingol's
      murder, and the sack of Doriath all these things are lost to her in
      the end, after all.

      Title: Elladan and Elrohir's Not So Excellent Adventure · Author:
      Fiondil · Races: Elves · ID: 97
      Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2007-10-10 17:29:35
      Entertaining, suspenseful, well-paced plot; there is a good balance
      between more leisurely and/or amusing episodes, and exciting action.
      Vivid characterisations, the characters relate to each other very

      My problem with many adventure stories is that many of the twists and
      turns seem articifical and forced, contrived to get the protagonists
      from one thrilling experience to the next. This is here not the case:
      the plot developments feel for the most part natural and credible,
      arising just as much from the surroundings through which the twins
      travel as from their own innate characters.

      I especially enjoyed how you used Middle-earth's sprawling geography
      (whether above ground or under it), making it so much a part of the story.

      The sojourn with the Dwarves gave a fascinating view into their
      culture and their home; and I liked that althought they were amused at
      the twins' antics (along with the scouts), they left their dignity intact.

      The stubborn tree trapping Elrohir had me nearly biting my nails in
      frustration and suspense, and I cheered when Celeborn forced it to
      yield, revealing, as he seldom does, his inner Power.
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