MEFA Reviews, Morning, January 1 2008 (Part 2)
- Title: Night of Love Â· Author: Linda hoyland Â· Genres: Romance: Gondor
Â· ID: 617
Reviewer: Rhapsody Â· 2007-12-29 22:06:22 Score: 3
Those two will have a hard time adjusting in this new place and from
the way Linda addressed both concerns, Arwen the most. Luckily enough
comes Galadriel to the rescue and they can get past that moment both
had wondered for so long how it would be. Very sweetly written,
although I hope that they will get adjusted to this stone city.
Title: Glimpse of Glory Â· Author: Linda hoyland Â· Times: Late Third
Age: 3018-3022 TA: General Drabble Â· ID: 575
Reviewer: Rhapsody Â· 2007-12-29 22:10:58 Score: 3
It isn't easy to capture the thoughts of Galadriel in just 100 words,
and this drabble has that book feel over it. I found this a lovely
interpretation of the challenge, just the combination of a [gasping
Galadriel] combined with the offering of the ring by Frodo gave me a
nice visual of the scene. Nice work Linda!
Title: The Perfect Girl Â· Author: nikara Â· Genres: Non-Fiction Â· ID: 232
Reviewer: dkpalaska Â· 2007-12-29 22:20:14 Score: 5
Well-written and comprehensive look at the dreaded Mary Sue. It was
one of the first terms I learned after discovering fanfiction, and I
was surprised at the virulence surrounding her existence. It didn't
take me long to realize that as a fantasy/SF reader I'd always had my
own Mary Sues - I simply hadn't had a term for them before.
The point that many Mary Sues are the product of immature writers is
well-taken. It is also true that "Mary Sues are in the eye of the
beholder". I've seen well-loved OFCs, generally thought wholly
believable, be labeled "unrealistic" by other readers. We all bring
our biases to the table and should strive to be aware of that in our
judgments; and most of all: Be Kind.
Title: No Escape Â· Author: Aranel Took Â· Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 -
3017 TA: Drabble Â· ID: 324
Reviewer: dkpalaska Â· 2007-12-29 22:20:48 Score: 4
Chilling and powerful, this drabble does a superb job of capturing the
demise of the Dwarves' colonization of Moria. Their combined
desperation and bravery is evident, and the tension inexorably builds
until we get the shock at the end: they will kill themselves, children
and all, rather than allow anyone to be taken alive.
Excellent descriptions and characterization of the female Dwarf, and
of the sounds they hear in the distance signaling the approaching end.
Title: The End of Dark Days Â· Author: annmarwalk/EdorasLass CoAuthors
Â· Genres: Drama: Minas Tirith Â· ID: 56
Reviewer: dkpalaska Â· 2007-12-29 22:21:56 Score: 9
A very moving look at the aftermath of the war from the ground level.
Nanny has a unique perspective with her tight ties to the Steward's
family, but we see her interact with her own family as well, and these
are in fact among my favorite scenes. (And how wonderful it was to see
her and Durvain together - I love the story behind how they met and
their newly-fragile relationship in ["Under My Wing"].)
Edoraslass does not spare her protagonist from the war's effects, and
her shock and dismay at her first sight of both Tirith and her damaged
family are very effectively written. The same goes for how annmarwalk
utilizes her practical Mag's thoughts and descriptions of the horrible
events she witnessed: it is all the more chilling for the immediacy
they held for her character. Their combined effort is well-blended and
an excellent addition to their personal MT universe.
However, there is *no way* this can be "Complete"! I want to see Nanny
and Mag figure out the King is Thorongil-who-Nanny-didn't-like. I want
to see Nanny visit Faramir, and ambush Eowyn, and meet Pippin and
Merry, and most particularly: bump into Prince Imrahil. Please?
Title: Mighty among both Elves and Men Â· Author: Tanaqui Â· Times:
Multi-Age: Fixed-Length Ficlet Â· ID: 606
Reviewer: dkpalaska Â· 2007-12-29 22:23:13 Score: 7
Each of these drabbles is self-contained and succinct, and yet
features a wealth of detail. Tanaqui is adept at spinning the lyrical
phrase, the simple but breath-taking description, the masterful
connection that I had previously missed; and these repeatedly deliver.
It is a bonus for her readers that she still has a long way to go on
this personal tour of the lore-master's life. (Hint, hint!)
One of my favorite themes may be Elrond's caution about his Noldorin
heritage. I can see it sing to him in ["Laying the foundations"], and
the stab of anxiety over it in ["Bloodline"]. His meeting with a
certain colorful figure of M-e might be the most delightful for me,
although I also loved his earnest proposal to Celebrian with its
mention of a ring that would not weigh on him. However, my favorite of
the bunch (so far) is probably ["Echoes"]: there are so many layers
and emotions and links to his past, and the imagery and allusions are
all incredibly tight and poignant.
Title: Faint Heart Never Won Fair Lady Â· Author: Marta Â· Genres:
Romance: Gondor Â· ID: 604
Reviewer: dkpalaska Â· 2007-12-29 22:24:01 Score: 4
I love the interaction between Faramir and Hurin in this, and the way
it is Hurin's idea to have Faramir give Eowyn the cloak. It is
extremely practical, even with the romantic underpinnings, and
certainly something that would appeal to a woman of Eowyn's strength
of character. It's good that perceptive Hurin shows up, in fact:
Faramir could use advice from someone who cares about him, but who is
also at the same time somewhat removed. Hurin aptly suggests a
stealthy approach to the former Ranger, as opposed to an outright pursuit.
Title: The Dancer Â· Author: annmarwalk Â· Genres: Drama: Minas Tirith Â·
Reviewer: dkpalaska Â· 2007-12-29 22:24:51 Score: 7
Augh! This is devastatingly sad. The narrator's voice is extremely
well done. I was drawn right into her narrow world, her hopeful and
then hopeless feelings for Denethor... her brave - so brave -
acceptance of Vinyarion's invitation (and I love that he is gentle
with her distress). She would have indeed made a worthy wife of the
The descriptions of Denethor were wonderful. I adore the way he is
brought to life as a graceful, virile, handsome and charming man; it
gives his later despair and descent into madness an even more horrible
cast. The writing is excellent, too: even though we know the end to
his story, I was as impatient as the lady when he was slowly and so
tantalizingly building up to asking for her correspondence.
Denethor's love of Finduilas takes on a complex bittersweetness
because of my total sympathy for Irilde, and the end of her own
story... That was terrible. I wish she could have had at least one son
left to bring her joy, and I do hope that her marriage was happy in
Title: The Accidental King: Five Reasons Why Finarfin Deserves an
Appreciation Month Â· Author: Dawn Felagund Â· Genres: Non-Fiction Â· ID: 5
Reviewer: dkpalaska Â· 2007-12-29 22:26:06 Score: 10
Dawn Felagund has written a highly-organized, intelligently-explored
essay that is also extremely entertaining. I love the description of
Finarfin as ["the accidental king"], as it highlights one of his
greatest accomplishments touched on further in the text.
Dawn is an excellent writer, and she puts her talent to good use here.
The tone is conversational and personal, with appropriate quotes
smoothly worked into the narrative itself. The scholarly effort is
obvious, but the result is enjoyable and easy to read. I also liked
the non-Tolkien quotes used at the beginning of each section - they
set up the following points very well.
Each argument is made clearly and reasonably, and the author notes
personal interpretations and extrapolations, although none are out of
line. The conclusions drawn from the sources make perfect sense to me,
and in truth I remembered most of the Silm quotes from my many
readings of the book - but I had never quite put them together so
succinctly. I am especially thinking of the specific time at which
Finarfin left Feanor's host to return to Valinor, and the conditions
under which he took up the kingship.
I had neither negative or positive opinions about Finarfin before
reading this, but am now convinced: He deserves *at least* his own
month, and a great deal of respect.
Title: The Anglo-Saxons and the RohÃrrim Â· Author: willow_41z Â·
Genres: Non-Fiction Â· ID: 585
Reviewer: dkpalaska Â· 2007-12-29 22:26:39 Score: 5
Very interesting and well-composed review of one of the common
possible sources of Rohirric culture. The discussion is intelligent
and easy to follow, and the conclusion is completely reasonable.
I appreciate the author's personal opinion that Tolkien envisioned the
Rohirrim as what he wished the Anglo-Saxons could have been. He
borrowed what he liked of their culture (particularly from a
philological standpoint) and went on to compile the remainder in the
same light as the rest of the cultures: in the manner of a grand epic,
in which the best and most noble is highlighted.
Title: Tolkien's Usage of "Thou" and "Thee" Â· Author: DrummerWench Â·
Genres: Non-Fiction Â· ID: 443
Reviewer: dkpalaska Â· 2007-12-29 22:27:39 Score: 9
Like the author, I grew up believing "thou" and "thee" were formal
variations. It was a bit of a shock to realize that the opposite is true.
This is a subject I could have easily become confused over, but the
author has generated an extremely clearly written essay that truly
enlightened me. As someone with a rather intuitive approach to grammar
in general, I immediately appreciated the initial section that
outlined the correct terminology.
Even better, DrummerWench's examples from Tolkien and subsequent
explanations have thoroughly deepened my appreciation and
understanding of those scenes. Despite many previous readings, I would
have never caught on by myself - Tolkien's note in the appendices
The culling and presentation of book quotes is unbelievably thorough,
and are expounded on through the author's discussion in a very
readable and well-developed way. The writing is flowing and
entertaining, and successfully keeps the work from becoming at all
dull. This is an excellent contribution to Tolkien fanfic, and an
important resource for both writers and readers.
Title: In Body and Mind Â· Author: Nessime Â· Races: Cross-Cultural:
Drabble Â· ID: 759
Reviewer: dkpalaska Â· 2007-12-29 22:29:13 Score: 7
What a lovely, evocative drabble... There are many details that help
spin the background out with a minimal use of words: the Halflings'
presence gives us a placement in time, the Hall of Fire, Aragorn and
Arwen's story. Wonderful writing and construction, also, bringing me
right into the scene. The mysterious, unknown Elf is very compelling;
I hope that her tale does get told in full one day, especially as she
seems to feel a connection to Men that at least somewhat parallels her
I love the descriptions drawn from her memory as the minstrel's song
pulls her thoughts back in time. Given the powerful and
never-diminishing force of Elven memory, it is no wonder that she
opens her eyes to what she thinks is a waking dream. Excellent,
excellent use of the relevant quotes to connect the dots between
little-known Elendur and Estel. It reminds me that the Northern line
was ever unbroken, and bred true. Well done!
Title: Celeborn's Trees Â· Author: Isabeau of Greenlea Â· Races: Elves:
Fixed-Length Ficlet Â· ID: 514
Reviewer: dkpalaska Â· 2007-12-29 22:32:14 Score: 5
A lovely and inspired response to the Tolerance Challenge. There
likely was a great deal of superiority complex flourishing among the
Noldor when they rejoined their long-sundered kin. I have wondered how
Galadriel's "intermarriage" with Celeborn was viewed among her
Noldorin kin; and it would figure that her relatives would manage to
offer insult, whether intended or not...
I love the characters of Galadriel and Celeborn here, and their
exchange is marvelous. Celeborn might get ticked off over callous
remarks about his people, but I think he is well-grounded enough to
shrug them off personally - and he knows who mighty Galadriel turns to
for her own comfort. Nicely done!
Title: The Eagle's Gift Â· Author: Raksha the Demon Â· Genres: Drama:
Minas Tirith Â· ID: 591
Reviewer: dkpalaska Â· 2007-12-29 22:36:03 Score: 6
Very humorous but also telling exchange between two intense rivals.
(The author's reference to them as ["two alpha males"] is decidedly
spot on and had me laughing before ever starting the story.)
Denethor's irritation under the circumstances is perfectly
understandable, and his private thoughts about Thorongil made for much
amused snickering on my part.
The set-up is nicely constructed, and the characterizations are
enjoyable. I particularly love Denethor's constantly tender thoughts
and concern over his waiting bride. I was glad that he came out ahead
in this little meeting, for he surely deserved it this time. One tiny
characterization that jumped out at me was his reflection about
Thorongil's "imperfectly spoken" Quenya - the obvious error of it (in
connection to a student of Elrond's) made me chuckle, and it spoke
worlds about Denethor's Gondorian pride and superiority complex.
Title: Marking Fours Â· Author: Raksha the Demon Â· Times: Multi-Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlet Â· ID: 1
Reviewer: dkpalaska Â· 2007-12-29 22:36:38 Score: 9
A deft handling of Faramir's struggle to come to terms with his
father's legacy, post-pyre. I love the way the author has structured
this drabble sequence; her vision of Faramir's grieving process feels
very real. The repetitive "four" not only helps place the events in
the timeline (and they all blend wonderfully into canon), but aids in
the smooth transitions through jumps in time and attitude.
There's also something about the specific moments that Raksha has
chosen that feels very right, although I'm finding it impossible to
adequately frame it in words. Suffice to say, each drabble seems to
ring out like a clear bell, one crystal note that encapsulates the
individual moments perfectly and also contributes to a harmonious whole.
The writing certainly carries the weight of this subject well. Every
word is carefully chosen, phrases beautifully sculpted, and Faramir's
excellent characterization is carried throughout it all in wonderful,
touching details. I find it perfect that his own son, his own foray
into fatherhood, finally allows Faramir to connect to Denethor and
Title: Who is this Gil-galad, of Whom You Speak? Â· Author: Erunyauve Â·
Genres: Non-Fiction Â· ID: 250
Reviewer: dkpalaska Â· 2007-12-29 22:38:17 Score: 9
A very eloquently reasoned and concise collection and discussion of
what little (and I had not realized *how* little) information exists
on Gil-Galad. Relevant quotes are noted, and the author does a good
job of extrapolating and expanding on the final High King's character
from the sparse evidence. The conclusions are reasonable and fit well
with Tolkien's overall vision of Middle-earth I also like that
Gil-Galad's limitations are laid out plainly; rather than diminishing
his character, they serve to make him three-dimensional.
My favorite facet of the arguments may be the delineation of Gil-Galad
as an active king. He paid attention to portents and feelings of
unease, he laid out plans and made allies - all when, truly, he did
not have to, with the eventual destiny of the Firstborn to fade and
pass the baton to Men. The author's vision of him is especially suited
as a "bridge" between the Elves of the First and Third Ages, and this
smooth continuity is perhaps what convinces me most of the accuracy of
the interpretations of the quotes. I wish the author had included what
little we know of his childhood, as additional foundation for the
adult he became.
Title: Blooded Â· Author: Raksha the Demon Â· Genres: Drama: Youth Â· ID: 3
Reviewer: juliaaurelia Â· 2007-12-29 22:45:45 Score: 10
This is a very fine story, detailing Faramir of Gondor's first true
battle when he was but a young man and known only as the younger son
of the Steward Denethor. As his battle companions sit by telling tales
of the fight, Faramir reflects on the horrors of the battle and how
different it had been compared to what his older brother Boromir had
told him it would be like. This story illustrates how different
battles were until modern times, as in the old days, you had to meet
your enemy close up in order to vanquish him, to fight within arms
length of someone who was trying desperately to kill you, just as you
were trying desperately to kill him. Faramir's horror is real, but he
knows it is his duty to serve Gondor as the Shadow of Mordor comes
ever closer. The ending of this tale is particularly good as Faramir
wishes for the return of the King, never suspecting that he will live
to see it, and will see the Shadow vanquished and Gondor returned
again to glory with himself as Steward. The grammar and spelling are
unimpeachable, and the language is very Tolkienesque, with no jarring
modern phrases to take the reader out of the story. A very
well-crafted piece of fan fiction. The author shows a good
understanding of the character of Faramir as well as a good knowldege
of the tactics of warfare in Tolkien's world.
Title: Steward and Thain Â· Author: agape4gondor Â· Races:
Cross-Cultural: The Fellowship Â· ID: 87
Reviewer: obsidianj Â· 2007-12-29 22:51:48 Score: 3
This is an endearing story of Boromir's and Pippin's friendship.
During the quest they discover they have a lot in common. I like the
way they get to know each other by telling tales of home and past
exploits. Although it was mostly Pippin doing the talking. But Boromir
is always there with his comments. A very enjoyable read.
Title: Sarn Gebir Â· Author: agape4gondor Â· Genres: Adventure:
Fixed-Length Ficlet Â· ID: 398
Reviewer: obsidianj Â· 2007-12-29 22:53:52 Score: 4
This ficlet recalls the desperate minutes on the Anduin when the
Fellowship unexpectedly came across the rapids at Sarn Gebir from
Boromir's point of view. I like the characterization of Boromir. He is
a man of action. He doesn't care how they could be already that far.
They hit the rapids and he wants to get out of there immediately. But
Aragorn is their leader and so he waits in frustration.
Title: Reconcilation Â· Author: Dwimordene Â· Genres: Drama Â· ID: 86
Reviewer: Elena Tiriel Â· 2007-12-29 22:56:06 Score: 8
(Possible spoilers within:)
A fascinating, intricate story of two trainees in the Swan Knights of
Dol Amroth who return to training after having been punished for an
attack on a Haradric colleague by the name of Andrahar.
This is a sort of coming-of-age story for the young men, who face
overwhelming obstacles in rejoining the insular and tight-knit Swan
Knight community. They must prove themselves worthy of respect and
finish their training, despite being the targets of anger and informal
retaliation among their peers, which is not acknowledged or helped by
their commanders until much later.
There are a number of adventures along the way, including hitting the
depths of despair, and rallying to protect a defenseless village
against overwhelming odds from a major Corsair attack.
This story keeps me transfixed each time I read it; the plot is
intricate and the author makes the interactions between characters
rich and real-life and messy, not cut-and-dried, so the situations
seem as complex and ambiguous as they usually do in reality.
Title: Letter to Frodo Â· Author: AmandaK Â· Genres: Alternate Universe:
Gondor or Rohan Â· ID: 540
Reviewer: obsidianj Â· 2007-12-29 22:57:05 Score: 4
Boromir has survived the War of Rings in this AU and regrets that he
never could ask Frodo for forgiveness. Instead he writes a letter to
Frodo. It is endearing to see him struggle with this letter. I know
well the feeling of agonizing over the 'right' address to a letter. I
liked Faramir's idea of sending the letter in a 'spiritual' way, since
there is no post office in Valinor.
Title: Mentor Â· Author: Nessime Â· Times: Second Age: Drabble Â· ID: 653
Reviewer: Marta Â· 2007-12-29 22:57:48 Score: 2
Poor Aule. I could see the dread he'd feel over Numenor, and it was
affectively captured here. You made him sound suitably Valar-ish, but
still gave a real connection to Numenor.
Title: Lily of the Valley Â· Author: Baranduin Â· Times: Late Third Age:
3018-3022 TA Â· ID: 682
Reviewer: obsidianj Â· 2007-12-29 22:59:09 Score: 3
Oh, Frodo and Aragorn could both win prices for stubbornness in this
story. Although Aragorn has the advantage of being bigger than Frodo
as he pointed out. I like the warm friendship with strong hints of
more at the end between those two. It gave me a warm and cozy feeling.
Title: The Green Hill Â· Author: Baranduin Â· Races: Cross-Cultural: The
Fellowship Â· ID: 562
Reviewer: obsidianj Â· 2007-12-29 23:00:31 Score: 3
This is such a beautiful, sweet little ficlet. Aragorn and Frodo's
friendship comes through loud and clear. I loved the imagery of the
cloud threatening to darken Aragorn's mood, after he relived his most
dearest evening on Cerin Amroth. And then Frodo's assurance. It is the
perfect ending to this little gem.
Title: Wings Â· Author: ErinRua Â· Genres: Romance: With Rohirrim Â· ID: 9
Reviewer: Elena Tiriel Â· 2007-12-29 23:07:09 Score: 4
(Possible spoilers within:)
A delightful vignette of a King of Rohan learning to love the sea of
his betrothed; Eomer becomes almost drunken and exultant with the
thought of the love of his Lothiriel, and her bemused father Imrahil
witnesses it all.
Good thing that he approves of the marriage.... and is not overmuch
concerned with the possibility of madness in his grandchildren.