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MEFA Reviews for Thursday, July 31, 2008 (Part 2)

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  • Ann
    Title: Shelter From the Storm · Author: SlightlyTookish · Races: Cross-Cultural: Friendship · ID: 315 Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2008-07-23 02:23:19
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 31, 2008
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      Title: Shelter From the Storm · Author: SlightlyTookish · Races:
      Cross-Cultural: Friendship · ID: 315
      Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2008-07-23 02:23:19
      Spoilers!
      This is a fun gapfiller that addresses those bothersome little details
      about traveling. You know, the details that authors sometimes forget,
      ie: bathroom breaks, water rations, and, in this case, exposed feet.
      Sure, those feet are fine as long as the weather is also fine. But
      even covered in thick hair and tough skin, exposed feet on Caradhras
      could be disastrous. Good thing there are stories like this to not
      only remind us but also to provide a heartwarming solution. Very nice
      story.

      Title: And all was made ready · Author: Dreamflower · Races:
      Cross-Cultural: Friendship · ID: 427
      Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2008-07-23 02:24:03
      Spoilers!
      The best way I can think of to describe this story is as a fun little
      series of snapshots. It feels like nothing so much as impression after
      impression from each of the hobbits regarding the coronation of the
      King. And I think that might be one of the best methods of describing
      such an event, especially from a hobbit's point of view. It would have
      to be impressions given the scope and grandness of the whole thing.
      But perhaps my favorite part of the story was the very end, when given
      all that was said and done, Frodo just wanted to go home.

      Title: A White Coverlet to Cool a Hobbit's Toes · Author: Claudia ·
      Races: Cross-Cultural: Friendship · ID: 73
      Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2008-07-23 02:25:02
      For all the play in the snow, this was a surprisingly warm story.
      There was a lightness in its tone that was maintained throughout the
      story, even though the characters strayed into serious topics from
      time to time. And that lightness felt very needed, especially by
      Frodo. I very much enjoyed the give and take between him and Faramir,
      and it seemed to me that both characters found healing in their faux
      rivalry. Very satisfying.

      Title: Jewels of Light · Author: Larner · Races: Cross-Cultural:
      Friendship · ID: 394
      Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2008-07-23 02:25:39
      Spoilers!
      Being a big sucker for Legolas and Gimli stories, I was delighted to
      review this one. Much of their animosity is gone, but that doesn't
      mean they necessarily understand one another. At least, not until this
      moment when they find at least a measure of understanding in the
      sharing of metaphors about the rest of the Fellowship. And though the
      metaphors are different, they're surprisingly similar, which turns
      into a revelation for both Elf and Dwarf. Excellent gapfiller.

      Title: In Good Company · Author: foxrafer (csevans8) · Races:
      Cross-Cultural: Friendship · ID: 20
      Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2008-07-23 02:26:44
      Spoilers!
      What surprised me most about this story was the way it handled the
      narrative. The focus seemed not to be on the characters but on the
      environment. The setting drove the pace, and it made for a very unique
      read. In just a short time, we became intimately familiar with
      Faramir's land as he saw it, and his friends seemed to become an
      extension of that land. This is a Faramir who is content, and given
      his penchant for appearing in angst stories, it's a welcome change.

      Title: A Dainty Dish · Author: Linda hoyland · Races: Cross-Cultural:
      Friendship · ID: 722
      Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2008-07-23 02:27:07
      I had a good guess as to what favorite food might be missing from the
      menu, and though I was right about that, I found I was wrong about the
      reasons for its absence. The resulting story about the nobility's bias
      against a certain food group was intriguing to me, and I very much
      enjoyed both the unfolding of the problem and its somewhat clandestine
      solution. I think my mother did something similar on many an occasion...

      Title: A Cat in King Elessar's Court · Author: agape4gondor · Races:
      Cross-Cultural: Friendship · ID: 66
      Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2008-07-23 02:28:20
      Spoilers!
      In order to see clearest, it's sometimes best to get an outside
      perspective. And I'm not sure you can get any more outside (at least,
      outside the box) than this cat that narrates the story. To begin with,
      it's a cat, complete with feline mannerisms that show up in
      delightfully unexpected ways. But more than that, it's a cat with a
      rather unique heritage from Beruthiel's feline companions, and even
      more unique is this cat's loyalty and love for Denethor. That was
      probably what drew me into the story faster than anything else.
      Denethor is painted beautifully in this cat's eyes. His flaws are
      evident but so are his strengths.

      And then there is Gandalf, who also starts displaying new
      characteristics under a cat's watchful eyes. He's definitely the
      sympathetic and well-intentioned wizard of LotR, but Alqualonde is
      shrewd and Gandalf isn't without his own set of shortcomings.

      And who can forget Aragorn? I can't. Not from this perspective.
      Elessar is every inch the King, and watching him assume that role
      during the last days before Sauron's fall was a wonder.

      In fact, all of the Fellowship and the bulk of Gondor's nobility get
      their chance to shine in this spectacular gapfiller. It feels like an
      ensemble tale, but it never strays from its heart, which is the cat.
      By the end, Alqualonde is easily one of my favorite original
      characters in fanfiction, and I've gained new insights into all that
      happened just prior to the crowning of the King.

      Title: Good King Elessar · Author: Dreamflower · Races:
      Cross-Cultural: Friendship · ID: 2
      Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2008-07-23 02:29:12
      Spoilers!
      What a heartwarming yule tale! I loved the way this tale fell into
      synch with the traditional Good King Wenceslas carol, and I loved the
      whimsical tone taken up by the narrative. It made this story feel like
      a carol itself. Or at the least, a fleshed out version of the carol if
      this carol were made to fit into Tolkien's canon. The tone also felt
      very appropriate given who held the story's perspective, namely Frodo
      Gamgee. And in the spirit of his very hobbity look on things, his
      interactions with Aragorn (who was in superb form) and Mr. Appledore
      were delightful. As an added bonus, characterization was top notch for
      all involved, which is something I've come to expect from Dreamflower.
      And this characterization applies not only to those with major roles
      but also to those who never appear until the epilogue (like Merry).
      But perhaps what I loved most about this story was the dialog. It was
      clever and light, serious when needed but able to turn a quick phrase
      in the next beat that had me smiling. A cheering tale, all around,
      that took its cues from a carol and then firmly rooted itself in
      Middle-earth.

      Title: With Many "Fond" Acknowledgments · Author: Thundera Tiger ·
      Genres: Humor · ID: 472
      Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2008-07-23 03:39:20
      Spoilers!
      Everyone's a critic, as Sam learns when he brings a copy of the Red
      Book of Westmarch to Gondor to show it to his friends and check
      against written accounts for errors.

      This is a funny vignette; as Legolas and Gimli and Aragorn squabble
      over lines and phrases that they do not appreciate; and Sam is then
      given an out by Faramir - but he is far from safe from his would-be
      editors.

      Original (for fanfiction) concept, good use of humor, with
      Middle-earthy language. I enjoyed this immensely.

      Title: In the Van · Author: Branwyn (Lady Branwyn) · Genres: Humor ·
      ID: 72
      Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2008-07-23 03:45:52
      Spoilers!
      Imagine a road trip. Imagine a road trip with half the Fellowship -
      Boromir, Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas, and Gandalf - in a modern minivan,
      on the way to the Black Gate in ROTK. A line in ROTK about certain
      characters going [in the van] evidently inspired Branwyn's
      considerable sense of humor, and wackiness ensued.

      Definitely not fully Tolkien's M-e, but a rousing 'other' type of
      snippet. The interplay and dialogue is marvelous, and somehow very
      characteristic. Aragorn is quiet; Gimli and Legolas squabble about
      their television viewing preferences, Boromir is boastful; and Gandalf
      bossy in a fatherly sort of way.

      I saw; I read; I laughed!

      Title: Alqualondë · Author: Moreth · Genres: Drama: General
      Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 220
      Reviewer: Larner · 2008-07-23 03:49:00
      Spoilers!
      A tragic, needless encounter seen from two different viewpoints.
      Definitely a waste, what was done by the Noldor.

      Well written; the mood well conveyed, as well as the horror as seen
      before by the Teleri and after by the Noldor. A pair of well balanced
      drabbles.

      Title: A Promise · Author: Golden · Races: Hobbits: Childhood · ID: 149
      Reviewer: Larner · 2008-07-23 03:57:33
      Spoilers!
      The loss of a pet is a heartrending one, as I know from over half a
      century of living with animals all around me. This pain is well
      described in this story, as is the comfort known by finding another to
      love--not to replace but to keep the love going. And the peace Pippin
      knows here is well described indeed.

      Title: Expert Treasure Hunter · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Villains:
      Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 447
      Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2008-07-23 07:45:51
      Spoilers!
      I have to admit to a certain soft spot for Smaug,the dragon we love to
      hate! In my own stories, I even had Eldarion namr his favourite toy
      after the infamous dragon!

      I greatly enjoyed this clever drabble in which Smaug sees his prized
      hoard of gems much as we might see our favourite chocolates! The
      dragon certainly has expensive tastes,worst even than my taste in
      chocolates!

      A delightful drabble which uses language and stylistic devices to
      great effect.

      Title: Jewels of Light · Author: Larner · Races: Cross-Cultural:
      Friendship · ID: 394
      Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2008-07-23 07:54:35
      Spoilers!
      What a beautiful idea this story is centered around ,the idea that the
      Quest is shaping Aragorn, Frodo and Sam as Jewels filled with light.!
      I could almost see the lights glowing as I read this.Our heroes are
      indeed precious jewels! It is interesting that it takes Gimli to
      mention this first,but Legolas sees it too. I enjoyed the way the
      author also uses this story to show the growing friendship of Elf and
      Dwarf.
      The final lines are especially lovely.


      Title: The Dance · Author: Dawn Felagund · Genres: Romance: Elven
      Lands · ID: 128
      Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2008-07-23 08:03:52
      Spoilers!
      I don't usually read stoies about "The Simarillion", only having read
      the book once, yet I found myself enjoying this story. It seemed both
      touching and amusing that an Elf should go to a ball in an ill fitting
      dress.It makes Nerdanel seem very human,somehow.
      I've never warmed to Feanor, but I feel greatly for his wife, a
      talented mistress of crafts in her own right.
      This delightful story shows Feanor and Nerdanel as coming from very
      different backgrounds yet being drawn to one another.

      Title: Dead Steward's Gift · Author: stefaniab · Genres: Mystery · ID: 572
      Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2008-07-23 08:24:10
      Spoilers!
      Although, I'm far more of a book than a film fan, I very much enjoyed
      this story, though I must admit it was the cat that stole my heart
      rather than any of the human heroes!
      I know I ought to consider the delightful mystery or wonder about the
      palantiri powers as the highlights of this story, but good they they
      are, the cat is unforgettable!
      Who could not love a cat that jumped on his owner at unexpected
      moments, wanted fish soup that makes Faramir shudder ,chases the mice
      and most priceless of all,sees the palantir as something to climb over.

      If only Denethor had owned(or rather been owned by) this wonderful
      cat, he would never have become hooked on the palantir as the cat
      would have been too busy polishing his whiskers on the globe to allow it!

      As a big Aragorn fan, I Especially enjoyed the final scene where King
      and Steward can sense each other's desire to communinate via palantir
      and fortunately the cat allows it!

      A truly delightful tale. A must read if you like cats,mystery stories,
      ghosts or good stories of any variety!

      Title: A Little Misunderstanding · Author: Radbooks · Races:
      Cross-Cultural: Elves and Men · ID: 275
      Reviewer: Linda hoyland · 2008-07-23 08:28:05
      Spoilers!
      I found this story extremely touching and very plausible. I truly felt
      for young Halbarad and understood his fear of being taken away by the
      twins.It is easy to forget how hard times were for all Aragorn's
      people and this story reminds us.I especially enjoyed the wayHalbarad
      is coaxed to overcome his terror.

      Title: Restoration · Author: Branwyn (Lady Branwyn) · Races: Men:
      Minas Tirith · ID: 19
      Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2008-07-23 11:07:22
      What I particularly like about this drabble are the details about
      Beregond refusing to leave Faramir's side, the soot and dried blood on
      his face, and how he just curls up on the floor when told to rest -
      those are all so telling of his devotion to Faramir. After having
      saved him from death once already during the night, he's not about to
      take any further chances.

      [ The elves found rest by gazing on green leaves or into the
      star-dappled heavens, and so he found new strength as he looked at his
      charge.]

      Oh, that's very lovely; that after a night (all right, a lifetime) of
      ceaseless battle, Aragorn is able to refresh his soul by practicing
      his healing arts. An interesting twist to "The hands of the king are
      the hands of a healer..." in the dichotomy of roles. Very beautifully
      done!

      Title: In Passing · Author: Altariel · Races: Men · ID: 104
      Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2008-07-23 11:08:23
      A brief interlude: a rainy morning, an old man, and an extremely
      fortunate young one. Faramir uses an ancient game to illustrate more
      recent history. No one, no one, writes Faramir as well as Altariel
      does, and in this slightly bittersweet tale she has given us a loving
      vision of the Prince at peace. I'm particularly delighted, though, by
      her extraordinarily vivid writing of an original character, Faramir's
      great-grandson, Beren. This boy is so real! I see him every day: [He
      sat down opposite, curling one foot beneath him and hooking the other
      around the leg of his chair.] Beren's a bit standoffish at first, not
      quite comfortable with his distinguished great-grandsire, nor
      overjoyed with the invitation to stay and chat for a bit. ["The boy
      did not look much taken with the idea, but Barahir encouraged respect
      for the Prince and excellent manners.] Yet Faramir has inherited, and
      perfected, his father's skill at reading hearts, and soon recognizes
      how the boy's interest is to be stirred: ["What Beren liked, his
      great-grandfather had noted, was to be given pictures. Strong images
      captured his mind and had to be set down."]

      I've taken great delight in this year's MEFA particularly for the crop
      of fascinating, well-drawn original characters: dwarf women preparing
      to send their men to war; bold and courageous hobbit-lasses,
      compassionate men of Harad; and, particularly, this gangly boy who
      will use his own unique gifts and talents to interpret the history of
      his home and forebears in a whole new way.

      Title: Out of Memory and Time · Author: Shireling · Genres: Drama:
      Hurt/Comfort · ID: 136
      Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2008-07-23 11:08:50
      A very original, compelling story - I could hardly tear myself away.
      Vividly written, excellent characterization of both canon and original
      characters, great descriptive detail, painfully realistic in terms of
      post-traumatic stress disorder. Unique, and uniquely well done!

      Title: A Moment in the Morning in Bree · Author: Budgielover · Races:
      Cross-Cultural · ID: 731
      Reviewer: annmarwalk · 2008-07-23 11:09:51
      *chortles* Oh, this is lovely, and not what I expected at all! There's
      always been some debate in various communities over the burning
      question "Numenoreans: Bearded or Not?" but I love the way you've
      sidestepped that hairy issue to examine the question from a whole new
      angle. The cleverly repeated imagery of the line of wide-eyed hobbits,
      watching Strider's every movement as he shaves, made me think of
      something we'd see in "Cute Overload". Poor Aragorn! and it's only the
      first morning! Yes, indeed, it's going to be a long trip. Very
      imaginative, very clever!

      Title: Pip-napped! · Author: Dreamflower/Lindelea CoAuthors · Genres:
      Adventure · ID: 669
      Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2008-07-23 11:30:08
      Spoilers!
      Nice use of the excited and a bit overwhelmed PoV of Diamond on
      entering Minas Tirith and encountering the King and his Queen. You can
      feel how it opens her horizons and makes her re-evaluate her husband
      and his grand adventure.

      It takes her some time take in the consequences and appreciate it, but
      Pippin's kidnapping helps her come over her initial feeling of being
      excluded and neglected. I thought the development of this character
      arc was well-handled, emotionally and plot-wise.

      I liked the inventiveness of all concerned, Aragorn using the
      palantír, Pippin always searching for an opening to escape...

      Title: The Mariner's Son · Author: cairistiona · Genres: Adventure ·
      ID: 329
      Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2008-07-23 11:30:35
      The story is good at depicting and building tension. The descriptions
      are vivid, painting a detailed picture of the surroundings. The
      growing storm, in particular, seems like a real presence here, growing
      in menace.

      The PoV is used skilfully, letting us see and explore the scene
      through Aragorn's eyes, follow his thoughts and feelings, and
      gradually discover the plot along with him.

      There seemed a whiff of Movie!Aragorn in the characterisation, and the
      revealing of the mystery seemed a little pat, but all in all, I
      thought his portrayal in such a low moment, which must necessarily
      bring anxieties to the front, well done, and I liked how he handled
      the situation in such a level-headed and compassionate way.

      Title: The Fire of Hope · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races: Men:
      Pre-Ring War Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 625
      Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2008-07-23 12:37:09
      Spoilers!
      As in so much of your writing, Raksha, you have taken familiar
      elements and made out of them something quite new - the exploration of
      this young Aragorn and how his love for Arwen would bring him maturity
      and patience.

      Title: The Consuming Darkness · Author: Isil Elensar · Genres: Drama ·
      ID: 467
      Reviewer: Larner · 2008-07-23 12:39:36
      Spoilers!
      The last moments of Miriel, who should have been Queen of Numenor but
      who had been forced into marriage to Ar-Pharazon to legitimize his
      claims to the throne, are detailed here, from the command that those
      who were about her should seek to save their lives to the fruitless
      struggle up the mountain of Meneltarma when the waves took her.

      There are a few surprises along the way that delighted me, but left me
      wondering whom Elendil's children and/or grandchildren married. The
      terror of the populace and purpose and despair of Miriel are well
      expressed, along with the grief and rage aimed at Ar-Pharazon in his
      unweaning hubris.
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