MEFA Reviews for Sunday, October 12, 2008 (Part One)
- Title: Somewhere I Have Never Traveled · Author: Fiondil · Times:
Fourth Age and Beyond · ID: 578
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2008-10-12 03:26:36
I love Arwen's delightfully unexpected response to her circumstances.
Both funny, and in a way, rather realistic, psychologically speaking...
Title: The Wanderer · Author: Lackwit · Genres: Adventure: Incomplete
· ID: 627
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2008-10-12 03:27:08
This is a marvelous premise--I look forward to more of this story.
It's always fund to read fic that draws on themes and motifs from
Title: If You Could See What I Hear · Author: Cathleen · Times: Mid
Third Age: Eriador · ID: 614
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2008-10-12 03:28:14
I am always a bit ambivalent when I review a story that I beta'd--it's
hard to know if I'm not a bit biased, and it's hard to say how others
will feel about it. But I enjoyed working on this story, which
features some of Cathleen's favorites: Tulip, the knitted pig; little
Pippin; and the Took faerie ancestry. She blends these into an
interesting story that is both fluffy and angsty, and has a bit of
mystery as well. I think that she accomplished a good deal with this
Title: My Precious · Author: SheBit · Genres: Romance: Drabbles · ID: 14
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2008-10-12 03:29:19
This is both powerful and squicky at the same time, and yet dare I say
it, in a good way? By that I mean that it sheds some light on the
character of Grima, and explains his willingness to sell out his
country and yet it does not shy away from his perverted nature.
Title: Five Things that Never Happened to Serinde of Dol Amroth ·
Author: SurgicalSteel · Genres: Alternate Universe: Angst/Tragedy ·
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2008-10-12 03:31:09
SurgicalSteel's OC Serinde has a large following for an OC, probably
because she is written so realistically. These AUs of things that
["never happened"] to her are intriguing and rather chilling for the
most part. I think the saddest was the first one.
Beautiful and thought provoking. Not many are willing to walk down the
AU road with their OCs. But SS does it masterfully.
Title: A Maid Waiting · Author: Larner · Genres: Romance: Gondor · ID: 691
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2008-10-12 03:31:37
In this story, Larner once more displays her remarkable ability to
create memorable OCs. Both Systerian and Ivornil are engaging and
believable, developing from the rather callow young people who arrive
at Elessar's court into more thoughtful ones over the course of the
story, due to their exposure to the King and his friends. A very
lovely and tidy little tale!
Title: Feet That Wander · Author: Linaewen · Races: Cross-Cultural ·
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2008-10-12 03:32:11
What a wonderful and very plausible idea! Tom Bombadil is so
under-utilized in fanfic, but this is a not unlikely scenario. I can
certainly see that particular wanderer lost on the borders of his country.
Furthermore, the author has captured the cadence of his speech very
well; not an easy thing to do!
Title: The Onion Riddle · Author: Branwyn (Lady Branwyn) · Races:
Cross-Cultural: Post-Ring War · ID: 13
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2008-10-12 03:32:37
LOL! Poor Beregond! How embarassing. Of course all the clues are there
if one knows that there is something to have a clue to! Both funny and
Title: Least Expected · Author: Imhiriel · Genres: Alternate Universe:
Drabbles · ID: 512
Reviewer: Nath · 2008-10-12 08:49:29
A chillingly AU version of the entry of the Grey Company into Rohan.
While the moment in this drabble is already heartrending by itself,
especially to fans of Halbarad, the true horror of this version of
events only becomes obvious when you start thinking about what led to
this moment, and what the consequences on the larger tale will be.
There is a lot of food for thought in this wonderfully dark piece of
Title: Too Many Rangers · Author: Larner · Races: Hobbits · ID: 116
Reviewer: Nath · 2008-10-12 09:23:00
A clever and light-hearted look at - I won't say `reconciling' or
`combining', as it's more of a collision - the final version of this
scene with one of the earlier draft versions as written in HoME.
While the events of the story attempt to play out as they should, [too
many Rangers] drive poor Mr. Butterbur slightly batty, and one can
only feel for him in shared dizziness as Trotter shifts about and
fails to keep his shape yet again.
There are some wonderfully snarky moments, both between Trotter and
Strider, and between them and the other characters. ["But to give my
name to--to this miserable example of Hobbitry! I ask you!"] to name
All in all, the rather unlikely Trotter works rather well in this
crossover with, well, himself, I guess.
Finally, this story should really carry a `coffee and cats' warning,
as the unwary reader or their pets could come to harm from nasally
expelled liquids if caught by a funny turn of phrase at the wrong moment.
Title: Celevon a Mallen · Author: Tanaqui · Genres: Romance: Other
Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 279
Reviewer: Larner · 2008-10-12 09:41:17
Still another wonderful drabble series, this of significant moments
between the two who became Lord and Lady of Lorien. A beautiful series
with a poignant ending. Do give it a read!
Title: Estel I Was Called · Author: Marta · Genres: Drama: Featuring
Aragorn · ID: 351
Reviewer: Nath · 2008-10-12 10:53:06
After finding out his identity and leaving Rivendell to live among his
own people, young Aragorn has to adapt to his new environment, and if
he isn't to endanger the Dunedain while doing so, he needs to do it
fast. Halbarad's solid and pragmatic approach, tough but laced with
understanding of his cousin's situation and feelings, is just what
Aragorn needs here, both to stop him feeling sorry for himself and to
help him settle in his new home. And of course, a rather important
point, Halbarad finds a solution for what Aragorn should be called
without his name betraying his identity.
The first layer of the story examines the relation between Aragorn and
Halbarad, but at the same time there are many glimpses of a wider
history, both for these two and for the backstory, as well as details
of Dunedain culture that help to give depth to this story.
A well-written and well-characterised addition to the all-too-small
niche of Aragorn-Halbarad friendship stories.
Title: The King's Time · Author: Larner · Genres: Drama: Final
Partings · ID: 333
Reviewer: Nath · 2008-10-12 12:35:10
This story was written in response to my birthday card prompt, `time',
and that is what one notices immediately in the first paragraph: time,
and the many ways of measuring its passage that are worked into the
story. While such a listing of time pieces could easily become
contrived and overwrought, here it ties into Aragorn's sense of time
passing, ticking away, and seems no more than a logical representation
of his naturally heightened awareness of time in this, his last night
What stands out, apart from the more general theme of `time', is that,
while there is a melancholy tone to Aragorn's thoughts, he is fully at
peace with the gift of Men and the end of his own time, and in fact
looks forward to meeting again those who have gone before him. He has
faith in the son he raised to follow in his footsteps, and is
confident that he is leaving his heritage in good hands.
An elegant and sensitive handling of Tolkien's core theme of mortality.
Title: With Hope and Without Hope · Author: docmon · Genres:
Adventure: Incomplete · ID: 466
Reviewer: Michelle · 2008-10-12 13:16:48
This could have been nothing more than the typical storyline of the
fellowship gets captured by orcs and they are tortured for the rest of
the story. Fortunately, docmon manages to avoid a simple unfolding of
that storyline, but instead writes an engaging AU-tale by changing one
single fact that in the end has big ramification while still wrapping
up the story up with a chapter that places all characters on their
respective places on Tolkien`s chessboard.
I found that docmon has a real knack for writing wizards both
Gandalf and Saruman are superbly captured (and they are by no means
easy characters to write) and chapter 16, which evolves around the
confrontation between Gandalf and Saruman is probably the high point
of the story (so much good dialogue to be found here!). Still, my
favourite part of the tale was Aragorn`s and Pippin`s storyline and
while I`m not much of a hobbit fan, I was very much impressed by
Pippin`s journey and the reversal of roles between Aragorn (the strong
and responsible ranger) and Pippin (the young and reckless hobbit). It
made me see potential in Pippin I had never noticed before.
Title: Choosing · Author: docmon · Genres: Drama · ID: 473
Reviewer: crowdaughter · 2008-10-12 14:18:59
Three great vignettes, showing the reasoning why three of the
messengers who would later be among the nine walkers were chosen. I
love the way the reasoning is related to the particular way of
thinking of the three leaders, and how it shows the assets the three
chosen warriors had in their view. the most interesting of these
reasonings are those of Denethor. The idea that he clearly perceived
the reasons for the dreams Boromir came to Rivendell to ask about, and
chose Boromir in hiopes that he might return with the weapon to
resolve Gondor's need, is striking.
Thank you for this interesting glimpse at the ideas behind choosing
these three messengers!
Title: Captain of Mordor · Author: draylon · Times: Late Third Age ·
Reviewer: crowdaughter · 2008-10-12 14:45:45
Very strange story, but well told. I like slash, especially unusual
slash tales, but this one took me unawares. I like the idea of a more
humanized Orc, though, and the way you show us that Orc as someone who
one can nearly come to like, was well done, too.
Title: The Myth of the One Ring's Power · Author: Dreamflower ·
Genres: Non-Fiction · ID: 532
Reviewer: crowdaughter · 2008-10-12 14:54:38
A very interesting essay, and very well thought out. I love the clear
arguments, and also the conclusion. Well done!
Title: Five Hair Care Tips for Rohirrim · Author: EdorasLass · Genres:
Humor · ID: 71
Reviewer: crowdaughter · 2008-10-12 15:06:48
Wonderful, very funny read, and this needs a severe beverage warning.
The idea thatv the proud Rohirrim needs to be encouraged that grooming
indeed is something not only fit for horses is absolutely great. Thank
you for writing and sharing! :)
Title: Unwilling · Author: Elena Tiriel · Races: Elves: Drabbles · ID: 64
Reviewer: crowdaughter · 2008-10-12 15:35:26
What a powerful, compelling drabble, capturing in but a few words the
viewpoint of the Avari, and the fate of a faded elf. This is
marvelous, and will stay with me for a long time. Thank you for
writing and sharing!
Title: U elyë, Ar-Pharazôn · Author: Elitihien · Times: Second and
Early Third Age · ID: 486
Reviewer: crowdaughter · 2008-10-12 15:47:47
Powerful and rich images, and a thoughtful end. The doom of
Ar-Pharazon has rarely been told more compelling, and more
breathtaking. Thank you for writing and sharing!
Title: Spaces in the Heart · Author: Keiliss · Races: Elves: House of
Elrond · ID: 251
Reviewer: Larner · 2008-10-12 18:04:29
What a wonderful first meeting between these two who in time will
become partners in the defense of Middle Earth, and co-mentors of
those Men who will follow the Elves as stewards of the mortal lands!
Descriptions are clear and inviting; reactions realistic. Well written
Title: PROPHECY: Changing the Future · Author: Fiondil · Genres: Humor
· ID: 11
Reviewer: Larner · 2008-10-12 18:15:35
Ah, when Tolkien's own papers indicate how changes were made from
original concept to apparently final form, and how some of those
changed even more after publication of the work that OUGHT to be seen
as final, it's so much fun to imagine how the conflicts in wording,
naming, or imagery might have come about! This look at how Elros's
closest folk might have changed some wording in Namo's Second Prophecy
to make it appear Men might have a bigger part after the remaking of
the world than given in those copies of that prophecy kept by Elves,
and at the reactions of Mandos himself as well as that of the Creator
is delightful! Nice catch there as well as providing a means to
appreciate the different endings to the same prophecy! Thanks, Fiondil.
Title: The Last Stand · Author: Rhapsody · Times: First Age and Prior
· ID: 82
Reviewer: Larner · 2008-10-12 18:35:15
I\\\'ve never had much interest in the battles of the Elves; but this
story has an immediacy that drew me into it from the start and left me
caring deeply for all involved. To learn that for all the treachery
Men can be subject to, they can also be true as any of the highest
among Elves would be a great lesson to learn.
Well told and engaging--and both heartbreaking and hopeful.
Title: Sam's Crosswise Verse · Author: Elanor Gardner · Genres: Drama:
Featuring Frodo or Sam · ID: 519
Reviewer: Larner · 2008-10-12 19:16:55
I must wonder why this marvelous tale has not received more feedback.
Do folk not read Frodo and Sam stories unless they're written by
prescribed authors or something?
This tale of a particular rhyme being used as a code to indicate a
perceived disagreement ought to be discussed and dealt with is just so
perfect; and I love how much of the imagery I find myself invoking
when I write of these two is reflected here with even more perfect
descriptions to add to it all. The thought of the olfactory memories
of a hot, muggy day in the Shire visiting with the tinker as an
alternative to a less-that-desirable visit with Lobelia is just so
wonderful! [Leather and ink and cinnamon] clinging about Sam that way,
and then a ghost of them evoked there in that place--perhaps that one
memory of a scent was enough to allow Sam to go on to do what he
needed to do, now that he'd made the determination he had about his
beloved Master; but I was so touched that he had to try that doggerel
in an last-ditch attempt to get a physical response to confirm the
hint given by the illusory scent of cinnamon....
Oh, oh--so well worth a read, so poetical in its writing, so grievous
and touching and somehow heartening for those of us who know Sam was
wrong in his current perception of the situation. And I hope that
Frodo found a way to himself find rhymes to the word for reassurance's
sake once they were in "civilized places" again.
Title: The Dooming of Small Hands · Author: Thundera Tiger · Times:
Late Third Age · ID: 639
Reviewer: Larner · 2008-10-12 19:21:37
Had others not already nominated this one, I would have. Ah, what a
perception to have--that this burden must be borne by such a one who'd
already suffered so much and would suffer yet more ere the end!
But who else could have done it if not the one who in the end said, "I
shall take it, though I do not know the way"?
Thundera Tiger has written such a poignant tale here, and so very well
and worthily! Thank you for it!