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MEFA Reviews for Sunday, August 10, 2008 (Part One)

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  • annmarwalk
    Title: A Large Bold Hand · Author: Jay of Lasgalen · Races: Cross-Cultural: Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 10 Reviewer: Elen Kortirion · 2008-08-03 14:48:03 I
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 10, 2008
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      Title: A Large Bold Hand · Author: Jay of Lasgalen · Races:
      Cross-Cultural: Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 10
      Reviewer: Elen Kortirion · 2008-08-03 14:48:03
      I love it when I come across an idea that has never occured to me
      before, or when some new, shiny facet of Tolkien's writing is
      unexpectedly brought into focus. This short piece of writing does the
      job beautifully; it shows a meeting I had not considered and given
      rhyme and reason to a statement of Tolkien's I had passed over without
      considering. Bravo!

      Title: This crown of stars · Author: Fawsley · Races: Men: General
      Drabbles · ID: 586
      Reviewer: Elen Kortirion · 2008-08-03 15:05:20
      It might be regarded as uncharacteristic for Aragorn to have moments
      of doubt, and perhaps that is true of Tolkien's Aragorn, the consumate
      hero. Yet oh how recognisable to the present day reader is Fawsley's
      Aragorn, one who might be more akin to Peter Jackson's interpretation
      of 'the hero', but an Aragorn that we can all connect with. Someone
      who has doubts and misgivings in the small wee hours of a long dark
      night, yet somebody who can also get up and keep going despite his
      momentary loss of hope and self-belief. In humanising our hero,
      Fawsley brings him closer to us, perhaps a little something we might
      all be grateful for.

      Title: Charge! · Author: Tanaqui · Genres: Drama: Ring War Drabbles ·
      ID: 444
      Reviewer: Elen Kortirion · 2008-08-03 15:12:20
      I wasn't going to leave a review initially because the piece seemed a
      simple straightforward description, competant but unremarkable. Then I
      glanced at the existing reviews and realised my mistake... Of course!
      And for that reason I'm trying to give you some very well-earned
      points without tipping off the next reader so they can have the
      delight of discovering for themselves the cleverness of your writing.
      Well done you!

      Title: The Best Sword Ever · Author: Linaewen · Times: Mid Third Age ·
      ID: 290
      Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2008-08-03 15:22:22
      Spoilers!
      A well-written story that spans the years, alternating two points of
      view-Boromir's and Aragorn's (Thorongil's). The hero-worshipping
      two-year-old who adored Captain Thorongil transmutes over the years
      into the grown man who will regard him with mistrust. The way that
      Linaewen constructs the story, and the common bond of Narsil between
      the two men, almost makes me wonder why Boromir did not recognize
      Aragorn as Thorongil when they met in Rivendell in canon.

      Title: Trajectory · Author: Galadriel · Races: Men: General
      Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 153
      Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2008-08-03 15:25:19
      Spoilers!
      A well-crafted drabble, referring to all the senses in its course.
      Half personal nightmare (perhaps Aragorn has his own dreams of
      Numenor?), half foreshadowing. Like Aragorn, the reader is relieved
      when he awakes.

      Title: Nothing Less · Author: Archet · Races: Men: General Drabbles ·
      ID: 606
      Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2008-08-03 15:27:40
      A delightful 100-word niblet of Aragorn/Boromir. An acknowledgement
      that possessing the body isn't always enough, and that you can desire
      something more encompassing.

      Title: A Midsummer Day's Dream · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres:
      Drama: Gondor Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 422
      Reviewer: Elen Kortirion · 2008-08-03 15:28:07
      Spoilers!
      Such a sweet and melancholy moment for Faramir, and yet one that is
      bouyed up with hope and anticipation for what may come. The style
      flows effortlessly and the language is lyrical without being too
      overly florid or sentimental while constructing this small vignette in
      the life of Faramir, Prince of Ithilien.

      Title: Regarding Ents · Author: PipMer · Races: Hobbits: Post-Ring War
      · ID: 525
      Reviewer: Elanor · 2008-08-03 15:31:41
      A short scene that evokes the narratives of "Flotsam and Jetsam":
      Merry and Pippin's voices combine to paint a portrait of ["talking
      trees"] for a skeptical Sam and marveling Frodo as the four hobbits
      catch up on the Field of Cormallen.

      The strength of this piece is in the dialogue, which is crisp, clear
      and efficient, and serves well the author's intent: to catch a glimpse
      of the quiet talk that followed the joyous reunion of old friends who
      had so much to explain that was unexplainable. This is an ordinary
      moment in extraordinary lives.

      Title: House of Ransom · Author: Robinka · Races: Elves: Drabbles ·
      ID: 657
      Reviewer: kitt_otter · 2008-08-03 17:49:02
      You did very well at getting into Beleg's head, expressing his motives
      in few words, how he questions himself and Turin. It makes me want to
      reread those bits about him and Turin.

      Title: Kin-Strife · Author: Isabeau of Greenlea · Genres: Drama:
      Incomplete · ID: 92
      Reviewer: Marta · 2008-08-03 18:42:49
      Andrahar is one of my favorite original characters in the Tolkien
      fandom, so I really like this glimpse into his beginnings with the
      Swan Knights. I liked the author's original developments, like the
      history of Andrahar's sword, and it was a fun read all around.
      Consider this my plug, too, to WRITE MORE, ISA! Because a story like
      this shouldn't remain untold.

      Title: Birthday Double Drabble · Author: PipMer · Times: Multi-Age:
      Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 526
      Reviewer: Elanor · 2008-08-03 20:35:43
      The life-long friendship of Merry and Pippin is encapsulated in a
      double-drabble that neatly telescopes birth and death: the eager
      anticipation of the first, as Pippin's birth enchants a small Merry,
      adrift in life with too many lass cousins; and bitter anticipation of
      the second, as Pippin lies grievously injured after the battle at the
      Black Gate and Merry seeks to accept his death before the fact in a
      despairing attempt to survive the shattering loss.

      The author has an affinity for these two "least of my brothers", whose
      innocence and emotional learning curves provide her a great deal of
      material for such touching gap-fillers. She has a gentle way of
      rounding out their experiences, and the best tools possible: a good
      eye for closure and absolute confidence in the integrity of her subjects.

      Title: Galdor: An Elf By Any Other Name.... · Author: Marta · Genres:
      Non-Fiction: Character Studies · ID: 475
      Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2008-08-04 03:02:06
      Marta presents some fascinating speculations, and as much as is known
      in canon, about Galdor, a mysterious Elf who plays a minor role in the
      Council of Elrond. Elf-fans and diehard fans of Middle-earth in all
      Ages should enjoy this well-written essay.

      Title: A Woman in Few Words: The Character of Nerdanel and Her
      Treatment in Canon and Fandom · Author: Dawn Felagund · Genres:
      Non-Fiction: Character Studies · ID: 107
      Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2008-08-04 03:16:42
      An excellent character study of Nerdanel, from her physical appearance
      to her influence on Feanor, and her popularity in fanfiction. The
      essay makes me appreciate Nerdanel, a character I always liked, even
      more as a wise and under-appreciated elf.

      Title: My Oaths I Will Keep · Author: Encaitariel · Races: Elves:
      House of Finwe · ID: 298
      Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2008-08-04 03:59:18
      Spoilers!
      Encaitariel writes some wonderful stories about Gildor Inglorion,
      creating an fascinating back story for the character. Here, Gildor
      meets Beren as the fated outlaw comes to plead for Finrod's help.

      Excellent characterisation of proud, lonely and determined Beren; and
      of Finrod, whose nobility shines here. The bond between Finrod and
      Gildor is well-written. Encaitariel's use of Quenya is outstanding.

      A thoughtful variation on canon themes.

      Title: Bibliophile · Author: Imhiriel · Genres: Romance: Drabbles ·
      ID: 370
      Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2008-08-04 04:41:24
      Spoilers!
      A rare depiction of Eowyn as a literate lady. Odds are good that she
      was, for even if Rohan relied more on the oral tradition than the
      written one, its aristocrats needed to be lettered. Fortunately, she
      has her priorities in order and Faramir can woo her away from her
      book! A sweet look at a gentle, loving moment between husband and wife.

      Title: Out of the Blue · Author: Jael · Races: Elves · ID: 205
      Reviewer: Larner · 2008-08-04 08:29:43
      Spoilers!
      Okay, I finally broke down and read this, and am delighted with it.
      Jane has entered a world of enchantment hidden outside Chicago. A
      child with what she believes are deformed ears is learning archery
      with real arrows, and it appears all are a bit mad, perhaps. But there
      is love her--a good deal of love, even if they speak of towers having
      fallen down--two of them! But are they terrorists of some kind or other?

      The modern plays on names are delightful, and the misunderstandings
      are even moreso. As for her search for the reclusive Aaron....

      Wonderful read.

      Title: The Water's Song · Author: Nieriel Raina · Races: Elves: Family
      · ID: 707
      Reviewer: Larner · 2008-08-04 08:50:37
      Spoilers!
      From a young age Legolas Thranduilion has heard a song in the water,
      an echo of the song he will hear centuries later when he comes to
      Pelargir.

      A wonderful tale of loving and letting go when the time is right. One
      Elven lord in grief left his daughter behind to seek the renewed love
      of his wife once more; another lingered in Endore, allowing his son to
      go ahead of him. Which would grieve the more in the end, I wonder?

      Gently told, with pathos and humor interspersed, and with excellent
      characterizations of Elf and Dwarf.

      Title: Midwinter Thoughts · Author: Rhapsody · Races: Elves: Noldor
      Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 570
      Reviewer: Larner · 2008-08-04 09:00:05
      What to do with the desire that fills his heart? That is the question
      he seeks to answer as he considers his brothers and the changes
      wrought in them as they build their lives anew within Endore and the
      needs of their people.

      The images are alluring, and the thoughts charmingly phrased.

      Title: A Perfect Impression · Author: weepingnaiad · Times: Second and
      Early Third Age · ID: 494
      Reviewer: Larner · 2008-08-04 09:04:21
      Spoilers!
      Another lyrical Elven nativity story for the son of Thranduil. Tender
      moments between father and mother, and delighted counting of fingers
      and toes. Very nicely done.

      Title: The Revenge of Curufin's Horse · Author: Moreth · Genres: Humor
      · ID: 139
      Reviewer: Larner · 2008-08-04 09:10:24
      Spoilers!
      Apparently taking the horse of a Noldor prince wasn't the wisest thing
      Beren ever did, for she bore tales on him to her true masters. And she
      managed to bring the relief of laughter to those who'd been feeling
      disgruntled and wary after their last encounter with the Man....

      Charming and well paced.

      Title: Another Country · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Men: General
      Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 438
      Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2008-08-04 14:36:34
      Spoilers!
      A thoughtful and introspective Boromir is depicted here, waiting in
      the Halls of Mandos. He uses the wait to good purpose and begins to
      understand that deeds, even his own, are part of a larger picture. He
      is even able to reach out to another, when that person arrives...I
      would like to see this premise fleshed out into a longer story, it is
      intriguing.

      Title: Creation Myths · Author: Tanaqui · Genres: Drama: General
      Drabbles · ID: 300
      Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2008-08-04 15:28:15
      Spoilers!
      This answers the prompt to perfection. The language is exquisite and
      poetic, just right to describe what is the subject matter in the
      drabble, ["jewel-bright"] and sparkling.

      The differing attitudes of the two creators are conveyed very poignantly:

      Ilúvatar is generous with his creations, both in tolerating their
      imperfections, and in his willingness to give them to others for
      further enjoyment and use. He is wise to see that it's the
      imperfections which enrich the beauty, and that further use and change
      will let creation live.

      Wheras the beauty Fëanor creates is static and distant. In his greed
      and possessiveness, he reminds me of those people who buy the most
      marvellous paintings, only to hoard them behind in dark vaults.

      I can almost see them - Ilúvatar proudly smiling, with open hands,
      whereas Fëanor hunches over his creations, peering about suspiciously.

      The drabble ties together some of the philosophical underpinnings of
      Tolkien's world: the importance of change, and free will for the
      furtherance of good.

      Title: Comes the moment to decide · Author: Linda Hoyland · Times:
      Late Third Age: Gondor · ID: 418
      Reviewer: nau_tika · 2008-08-04 15:45:05
      Spoilers!
      I like the way this story evolved, from Denethor demanding to know if
      Faramir thought himself the Ruling Steward, to Faramir's declaration
      at the end that he was the 27th Ruling Steward of Gondor. Great
      symmetry there. I also appreciated the role his uncle played in your fic.

      Title: When Trouble Came · Author: Lily · Races: Hobbits: Incomplete ·
      ID: 109
      Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2008-08-04 16:45:15
      This story is a remarkable achievement. It is hard, given the strength
      of the Professor's own words, to see past them some times, but this
      author does a terrific, insightful job. This story is both tender and
      tough - full of tension and action, but only so much as give the depth
      of feeling and personal interractions context. Extraordinary.

      Title: A Cat in King Elessar's Court · Author: agape4gondor · Races:
      Cross-Cultural: Friendship · ID: 66
      Reviewer: Oshun · 2008-08-04 19:00:20


      A cat story! Oh, really. I was not immediately drawn to read this (not
      an animal-narrator story person myself or a cat person either, or even
      a big Gondor reader, often finding a lot of repetition without a new
      perspective), but I have enjoyed your work in the past, so I had to
      give this story a try. It surely would have been my great loss if I
      had not read it. I truly enjoyed the perspective. I was absolutely
      delighted with your ability to combine catlike behavior and animal
      instinct with the strange wisdom and magic of the cat you created
      here. I love her loyalty to Denethor yet her ability to question his
      judgment and really liked the parts where she first begins to feel an
      affinity for Pippin (the food stuff cracked me up, but, in fact, is
      very far from silly, but goes back again to the basic animal instinct
      of this strange hybrid creature). Also, liked the subtle reminder that
      Gandalf is so much more than just the wise old wizard, but the Maia of
      Olórin, which is shown in his ability to so easily discern the
      consciousness of the cat and communicate with her. Of course, I
      utterly adored it when the cat speaks to Faramir and how quickly
      Faramir accepts and understands. Great tale as you tell it. You
      managed to take familiar canon text and give tell it from a unique
      perspective. Nice work and a real surprise and a treat!
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