MEFA Reviews for Sunday, August 10, 2008 (Part One)
- 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
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 ·
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 ·
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2008-08-03 15:22:22
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
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 ·
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
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 ·
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
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 ·
Reviewer: Isabeau of Greenlea · 2008-08-04 04:41:24
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
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....
Title: The Water's Song · Author: Nieriel Raina · Races: Elves: Family
· ID: 707
Reviewer: Larner · 2008-08-04 08:50:37
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
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
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
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
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
Title: Creation Myths · Author: Tanaqui · Genres: Drama: General
Drabbles · ID: 300
Reviewer: Imhiriel · 2008-08-04 15:28:15
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
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 ·
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!