MEFA Reviews for Tuesday, September 30, 2008
- Title: Kementari · Author: Marta · Times: First Age and Prior · ID: 99
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2008-09-30 02:32:26
A wisfful and melancholy vignette, as Yavanna mourns the loss of the
Two Trees. The author skillfully captures her "otherness" as one of
the Valar, and yet manages to make us sympathize with her sorrow.
Title: The Dwarves Treasure · Author: eiranae · Races: Dwarves · ID: 312
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2008-09-30 02:32:41
This is an intriguing premise: the Dwarves of Erebor find an orphan
Elven child, and one of them ends up keeping her as his own. The
unlikelihood of this is covered by the OCs backstory, and it ends up
being rather plausible after all. I find myself wondering what will
Title: Lost and Found · Author: Branwyn (Lady Branwyn) · Times: Mid
Third Age · ID: 23
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2008-09-30 02:33:56
The canonical friendship between Gandalf and a young Faramir is all
too seldom explored in fic. This particular story portrays an adorable
and eager youngster, already quite at home among the many scrolls and
books of the archives. Gandalf's bemusement as he finds himself
trailed by an eager and able young assistant was delightful. I really
enjoyed this very much, and only wish it had been longer--it was so
fun to see the two of them interacting!
Title: Flame of Life · Author: Imhiriel · Times: Multi-Age:
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 114
Reviewer: Marta · 2008-09-30 02:39:55
I don't know that I've ever seen a drabble on the Imperishable Flame,
and this ficlet piqued my interest for that reason alone. But there's
more to it than just that. The language is lovely, with just the right
combinations of archaism, and the content was insightful as well. I
found the idea that the flame wasn't any *thing* that could be reached
to be very in line with the nature of divinity, and also very telling
of Melkor's Morgoth-y nature that he cannot grasp limits. That seems
to be his most basic problem, and Imhiriel nails it in this short
piece, giving an oft-overlooked minor character an intriguing voice.
Title: Of First Impressions and Old Friends · Author: Dreamflower ·
Races: Cross-Cultural: Frodo and Faramir · ID: 146
Reviewer: Marta · 2008-09-30 03:36:12
I always enjoy reading stories on a theme that I've read before, but
where the authors don't normally writer the characters involved.
Denethor's rerference to Faramir as ["wizard's pupil"] is one that's
been fleshed out in a number of stories, but Dreamflower brings a
breath of fresh air on it because of her focus on Gandalf rather than
Faramir. Not to the exclusion of him, by many means, and she writes
all of the Gondorians very well, but there was more characterization
of Gandalf than I think I've ever seen in such a fic. I particularly
loved the exploration of Gandalf's gruffness - too cute! And the
description of a pipe was very interesting and very appropriate to
Gondor's lack of smoking.
I also was pleasantly surprised by the fact that the story wsa told
from so many different perspectives. That made the scene feel very
organic, and meed for a very fun read. I heartily enjoyed this fic.
Title: A Taste of Home · Author: Pearl Took · Races: Hobbits:
Friendship · ID: 138
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2008-09-30 04:45:57
A warm and very hobbity look at Pippin and Merry in their senior
years, a bit homesick in Minas Tirith, especially for a favorite Yule
treat. Pearl Took really writes credible hobbits! And the last line
had me giggling - well done, Pearl!
Title: Generations · Author: Bodkin · Genres: Drama: Featuring Aragorn
· ID: 508
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2008-09-30 05:09:09
Often, fanfiction writers depict Eldarion Elessarion as the parfit
gentil knight, or at least a cute and well-mannered young man. Bodkin
presents a delightful story that is a bit more realistic, wherein
Eldarion is much more spoiled than his father ever was, and, on a
visit to the North, turns his nose up at the the comparative roughness
of the Northern Dunedain lifestyle.
Bodkin is too good a writer to make Eldarion a totally spoiled and
obnoxious brat. She writes him as a boy who feels over-burdened by the
legacy of a heroic, legendary father, and also one who has been
pampered during his upbringing in Gondor. Of course, the Northern
Dunedain, young and old, are definitely not pampered. Eldarion gets
some verbal comeuppance; and, as befits his heredity, takes it and
quickly learns from it.
There is a thread of ironic humor running through the tale - Eldarion
cannot understand what he sees as his father's love affair with dirt
and mud and his father's conviction that Eldarion will find his inner
Ranger self by giving up luxuries. Aragorn cannot understand what he
did wrong in raising a boy who does not seem anything like him, when
of course they were reared in totally different times with different
A wonderful portrait of the contrasts between cultures and Ages and of
the tribulations of adolescence.
Title: Legolas in Mandos · Author: Fiondil · Genres: Drama: Featuring
Aragorn · ID: 317
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2008-09-30 05:29:34
A witty story with some pathos - Few writers do more interesting
things with the Valar than Fiondil. Here, Namo allows Aragorn to
compete for the life of just-killed Legolas; in a chess match.
Fiondil employs excellent command of Quenya and Sindarin as well as
great knowledge of the game of kings. And, as is often found in other
stories by this excellent fanfic writer, there is an undercurrent of
gentle humor. Poor Legolas is going to be explaining the manner of his
death for awhile, I fear...
Title: Put Aside Your Doubt · Author: sophinisba solis · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Frodo and Faramir · ID: 187
Reviewer: Larner · 2008-09-30 05:36:40
The prompt was to show Frodo receiving a positive benefit of touch
from Faramir during the stay in Henneth Annun without it getting
fluffy, and here the response was well accomplished. A most unique
means of responding to the prompt as Frodo finds himself threatened in
a dream on the doorstep of Bag End, where he ought to feel safe, then
finds the Ring restored and a most unusual second ring granted to him.
Interesting use of imagery and symmetry.
Title: Not One of Us · Author: StarLight9 · Races: Cross-Cultural:
Elves and Men · ID: 542
Reviewer: Larner · 2008-09-30 06:00:28
Raised among Elves, Estel was yet forcibly reminded, again and again,
that he was not an Elf himself. But in the Valour Contest, where the
skills of the younglings were tested, Estel proved to be capable in
ways no one had thought would be needful that day.
Perseverence and the responsibility bred into the Heir of Isildur win
Title: Now the Green Blade Riseth · Author: annmarwalk · Genres:
Drama: Ring War Drabbles · ID: 37
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2008-09-30 15:33:20
This is a moment when the brevity of the drabble form really adds to
the content. With more words, this might have been over wrought, but
as a drabble feelings and actions remain between the lines and, to my
way of thinking, come off all the stronger for having to be fully
imagined. Plus, one can well imagine the gaffer being a Hobbit of few
words. It's also a nice touch that Sam trades in his sword for little
green blades of growing things, and that those same blades bring peace
to the Shire inhabitants.
Title: Courage · Author: annmarwalk · Genres: Humor: Gondor · ID: 41
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2008-09-30 15:36:43
Nicely spooled out. I didn't guess the riddle until told the answer
and was happier that way. And, being as I live in a place where this
item is served ceremoniously at Christmas and Thankgiving, this
vignette was especially fun.
Title: A Sea Visit · Author: Elen Kortirion · Genres: Humor: Drabbles
· ID: 96
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2008-09-30 15:40:55
Curious and amusing.
Title: Tangled Webs · Author: Ribby · Races: Men: Gondor Drabbles ·
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2008-09-30 15:42:33
This is lovely; I was glad to have the summary. Without it I don't
think I would have understood the reference.
Title: The Last Stand · Author: Rhapsody · Times: First Age and Prior
· ID: 82
Reviewer: Oshun · 2008-09-30 21:56:41
Not marking spoilers, because unless one considers knowledge of the
original text still a spoiler for you (shame on you! LOL) this review
will not detract from your enjoyment of this story. "Unnumbered
Tears"? I can vouch for that. I am not a crier, either while reading
or watching movies, but every time I read Rhapsody's [The Last Stand]
it brings me to tears.
In her account of the greatest and most important battle of the First
Age, she touches on so many of the key and most significant points in
such a short piece and with such skill and emotion. This is a must
read for anyone, either confirmed Silm-geek or LotR reader who has
often wondered what all the emotion of Silm aficionados come from when
this particular event is raised.
The heart-rending tragedy of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad or the Battle of
Unnumbered Tears, organized largely by Maedhros, is that the Elves and
Men who participated in that great confrontation could almost taste
victory, but it went down into the last great defeat of the Elves
through a combination of betrayal and the short-sighted lack of the
entire support of all of their potential allies. Thingol, in his
increasing resentment and mistrust of the Noldor, withheld his
potentially significant support. Turgon, forced to guard his, in my
opinion great folly, of the hidden city of Gondolin, brought only
10,000 men. The principled and selfless heroism of the two greatest
warriors of Doriath, Beleg and Mablung, is shown in their response to
word of the preparations for that battle. They obtain leave of Thingol
to go alone, unable to turn their backs on this enormous effort to
finally unseat Morgoth.
Rhapsody tells a poignant could-have-happened-this-way detail of the
end of that battle and the result of it for Mablung and Beleg. The
whole first section, written from the point of view of Ecthelion of
Gondolin, show him to be a hero in the best sense and a truly
admirable man. Yet his voice is pricelessly and effectively that of a
haughty Noldo, a beautifully balanced character study. He is my
favorite part of the piece.
And, through their choices, Mablung and Beleg away changed and wiser.
I have to repeat this is a must-read and highly original and deeply
moving account of one of most important events recounted in The
Silmarillion. (And it is really short! Wow!)