Middle-earth Fanfiction Awards

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Reviews for Monday, October 26, 2009 (Part One)
Misc: Mosaic Owl
just_ann_now wrote in mefas

Title: Fireflies · Author: Calenlass Greenleaf · Genres: Character Study: Elrond and Family · ID: 582
Reviewer: Ellynn · 2009-10-24 20:01:12
Oh, it's such a sweet little story about little boy. I love your description of little Aragorn - innocent, happy, playful - just as any child should always be. Lovely story!

Title: A Golden Flower · Author: Celeritas · Genres: Character Study · ID: 439
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2009-10-25 01:45:32
Absolutely enchanting. There's almost a mystical quality about this story. It's definitely due in part to the presence of Glorfindel, who is every inch the warrior of Gondolin, but it's also due in part to a startling characterization of Elanor. I don't think I've ever seen her portrayed quite this way, and having now read this version of her, I'm having trouble imagining her otherwise. She fits her name in every way possible, and she understands Frodo with an unnerving but childlike perception that startles and confounds. The combination of the Glorfindel and Elanor and their impact on Frodo's life makes for a powerful tale that weaves in and around time as it relates segments of Frodo's life. That's another thing that adds a mystical aspect to the story. It's not bound by a rigid forward progression through the years. It moves fluidly, much like Glorfindel and Elanor who understand and see further than one might expect. Beautiful and captivating tale! I gained a new perspective on everyone involved.

And I have to add that if Arwen can borrow Glorfindel's horse and usurp his role in the Quest, I think it very fitting and appropriate that Glorfindel can do the same with Arwen's gem and Frodo's journey over the Sea (to say nothing of Sam's).

Title: A Trickle of Green Ribbon · Author: Nieriel Raina · Genres: Character Study · ID: 172
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2009-10-25 01:47:02
Charming and endearing! I thoroughly enjoyed meeting little Ruby in this story. What a precocious thing she is! And she's every inch the spitfire that Sam can be when he's pushed hard enough. I definitely see his stubborn streak in her. Though if she continues insisting that Legolas is ["her prince"], I may have something to say about it. I loved that Legolas didn't introduce himself. He seems ill-at-ease around Ruby initially, and it's a good reminder that he's probably had very limited contact with children. But she's certainly a charmer, and though he's partially embarrassed by all this attention, Legolas quickly catches on. I liked his race to get to the party ahead of Ruby. And though Sam, Rosie, and Elanor were either in it for a very limited time or only mentioned, they were also well characterized. Sam's and Rosie's concern about a properly behaved little girl was great to see, and I can easily imagine a frantic Elanor seeking Legolas's help. Superb story all around!

Title: Taking Stock · Author: Virtuella · Genres: Character Study · ID: 255
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2009-10-25 01:49:07
One of Tolkien's more prevalent themes is the idea that inanimate objects hold a lot of power. Rings, Silmarils, the Arkenstone, staffs, swords, etc. But in this story, Virtuella takes a look at items that hold a different kind of power. Because Tolkien is right: the inanimate objects with which we surround ourselves hold meaning for us, and therefore, power. And for Gandalf, who already brims with power, this is a fascinating look.

I love the bit regarding his hat. It's a quirk I've always loved about Gandalf ever since I first read ["The Hobbit"], and I love the way it's handled here. I would be very interested to learn the name and the story behind his elven hatter. But moving on to more serious items, I very much enjoyed his musings on his sword and his staff. It was a great look at the larger picture that is always a part of Gandalf but which we don't always see. Very perceptive tale!

Title: Spoiling Nice Fish · Author: Narya · Genres: Character Study · ID: 306
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2009-10-25 01:50:38
One of my favorite moments from ["The Hobbit"] was the part of the story where Gollum remembers his grandmother, triggered by Bilbo's riddle about eggs. Narya extrapolates nicely from that scene, using another food trigger. It's something that I think most people can relate to. How often have we smelled a favorite dish or a holiday treat and immediately found ourselves remembering home or family or friends? And given the hobbits' predilection for food, perhaps this would resonate even more strongly with them. But even Gollum's memories of eating fish and chips become twisted as he remembers a scolding and being sent away. It's like he's reaching for something that he can't ever have again. Lovely wistful tone!

Title: Standard Bearer · Author: Nancy Brooke · Genres: Character Study · ID: 79
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2009-10-25 01:51:16
This is a brilliant little gem. Poor fellow! ["Crap!"] indeed. That was priceless. In all seriousness, though, what a difficult position! It's no wonder that he didn't volunteer for it. I know that in medieval times it was considered quite an honor, but there's a feeling of fellowship and camaraderie in this man that doesn't mesh well with said honor. To watch his friends fall and not be able to do anything about it would be a trial. I like how his thoughts drift to Aragorn, though, and how he isn't the only one who's had to wait while things happen outside the scope of his control. Great insight into this unnamed individual!

Title: Worth Two in the Hand · Author: Dwimordene · Genres: Character Study · ID: 690
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2009-10-25 01:52:07
When he gets any attention at all, Radagast seems to be a pretty enigmatic character in fanfiction. I think a lot of this comes from his treatment in the books. Saruman certainly thinks him a fool, but this alone is reason enough to take a closer look at the brown wizard. And I think Dwimordene has nailed him in this little ficlet. Gandalf mentions that Radagast's a master of shapes and hues, and I think the imagery in Dwimordene's writing captures that. The birds swirling around the Carrock, the rising sun, the creeping shadows... It's all brilliantly painted and so easy to visualize! I especially love the image I have of the birds scattering away, leaving a lone eagle high in the sky. What a powerful picture! I could hear and see everything!

Finally, I love the thoughts that Radagast regarding Gandalf. Saruman may consider Radagast the unwitting fool, but though he didn't have Gandalf's responsibilities in the upcoming war, he had his own role to play and he played it well, to the undoing of Saruman. His demeanor here suggests that he certainly has a sense of that and that he's ready to rally his own form of defiance.

Title: That which remains · Author: Vilwarin · Genres: Character Study · ID: 540
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2009-10-25 01:53:23
Change seems to be hard on everyone, and it's only natural that the remaining Rangers would feel it, also. I like this look into their thoughts as the rebuilding moves ever further north. There's heritage to be recaptured and a legacy to be passed on, as Pelendur points out, but it also means giving up dreams. I very much appreciated Mardil's opinion on the matter. The Rangers might have dreamed of rebuilding Annúminas, but they lack the skills to actually do it. Their skills were cultivated with an eye for the sword rather than the chisel. Pelendur's thought that this simply requires a shifting of thought so that they now protect the builders is a practical one and nothing short of what I would expect from a people who would have had to be nothing if not practical in many respects.

Title: The Measure of a Man · Author: Virtuella · Genres: Character Study · ID: 23
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2009-10-25 01:54:44
This story is absolutely phenomenal. Virtuella brings Déoric, son of Féadred, to life. The story is his in every sense, and as an original character, he carries his weight and earns his place amongst some of Tolkien's more familiar faces. The plot has been done before: a wounded veteran finds himself unfit for war and struggles to reinvent his life. It's a story we've all heard in one form or another. But Virtuella gives it a life that is unique to Rohan, and it seems to me that it's complimented and given further meaning by a parallel story: the making of a book. After Déoric starts the book that Eomer commissions, he finds two weeks into it that he has to restart. And in attempting to complete the book, he has to fall back on things he learned as a boy. And he has to force himself to look differently at the world. To see the lines behind the colors. It's a beautiful echo of the twists and turns that his own life takes.

I also loved the other characters Virtuella brings in. They became as real for me (if not sometimes more so) than the Tolkien characters that moved fluidly in and out of the tale. Eomer's romancing of Lothiriel was a fun sidenote, but as entertaining as it was, I kept wanting the tale to go back to Fana and Déoric. That's how well Virtuella wrote these characters. Breathtaking story firmly anchored in Rohan! Thank you for such an enjoyable read!

Title: Eclipsed · Author: Calenlass Greenleaf · Genres: Ficlets: Men of the North · ID: 393
Reviewer: Marethiel · 2009-10-25 03:34:28
I absolutely loved this story the very first time I read it. It skillfully touched on so many themes loved by LoTR afficionados: an Adan child growing up among the "perfect" Eldar; Celebrian, and her relationship to the family; the father-son dynamic of Elrond and Estel/Aragorn. And they were all woven so beautifully in with a natural phenomenon that is, in itself, a metaphor for young Estel!

Beautifully and realistically written, filled with the pathos of a left-out child, the wisdom of an 'ada' with thousands of years' experience dealing with young ones...

Just a delight from start to finish.

Title: Hunting · Author: Thundera Tiger · Genres: Adventure: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 492
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2009-10-25 04:35:27
What a great story. I know I’ve read this before somewhere, which makes it apparent that it is worth remembering!

I loved the way you wrote the interaction between Gimli and Legolas. Their ‘voices’ were perfect, IMHO. The references to their former animosity, and then the subsequent growing of the friendship was quite nice. The fact that Legolas and Gimli now cover each other’s back with more than duty is quite nicely described and embellished.

I was especially taken with your ‘reasons’ for why and how the Fellowship felt as they scattered – powerful thoughts and images and emotions flowed through this section.

The humor was good, interspersed throughout and yet, not jarring, but in its proper place. Smiling is always nice when reading a Tolkien-based tale. They can, especially when discussing an elf, be fraught with angst. Nicely done.

Needless to say, I was most distraught over the fact that this is written of the time on Amon Hen, but it is tastefully done. (I always cover Boromir’s back!!!) I loved the fact that he was not vilified.

As for the battle scenes, they were spot on. I love a good battle and you gave us more than one. Great job with these.

Bravo for a well-written, tense, delightful and poignant tale.

Title: Trees, Nothing More · Author: Linaewen · Races: Cross-Cultural: Gondorians · ID: 144
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2009-10-25 05:15:13
The author writes descriptively. I think this is one of the strongest parts of her tale – flowing descriptions and yet enough action to keep her readers glued to the edge of their seats… Little phrases catch the imagination and start plot bunnies… Another great gift this author has is the gift of tongues, if you will. Though she writes primarily of the Men of Gondor, her talent in writing ‘other’ voices is incredible. My particular favorite is Gandalf… but in this tale, we ‘meet’ someone else. The voice is perfect, as always!

This story, though not written by Tolkien, seems valid enough… enough to make one want to continue reading it to see where the author is going with this ‘remembrance’ of an event in Boromir’s life that was quite ‘unusual’ to say the least.

The author begins with a memory as Boromir and company float down the Anduin, and progresses into a flashback of a terrible tale of near-loss and mind-rending grief.

Revenge can be as a life-giving draught of water – or the bitterest of herbs. Boromir finds that the need for revenge brings him to a place he should not be. Children’s tales and old legends are best listened to. Led by his need for vengeance, he enters Fangorn – only to meet someone from such tales.

Delightful tale – I think you will enjoy this.

Title: Fighting Orcs · Author: Linaewen · Races: Cross-Cultural: Gondorians · ID: 381
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2009-10-25 05:38:08
First off – I love good Author’s Notes. They usually carry some fun little tidbit as to why the author decided to write a certain tale or moment in a character’s life. This is true with this tale of growing friendship and respect between Boromir and the Dwarf.

These two members of the Fellowship have already battled Wargs – now the prospect of an encounter with Orcs is upon them. As the two now prepare as all ‘good’ warriors do – with the honing of their weapons, we learn more of Gimli and Boromir.

Though the premise is not usual with Tolkien tales, the author cuts through any ‘misgivings’ by her skillful use of ‘voice.’ Gimli’s voice is, as is normal for this author, spot on. The exchange between the Steward’s son and Gloin’s son is a delight and makes it all believable.

There is one particular line that Boromir says that is such fun [Alas that we could not send you some of ours!] just perfect for the Captain-General of Gondor, and yet gentle so as not to offend this creation of Aule.

In the movies, PJ made such an eloquent statement, so many times, by the use of hands… this author does the same with the flick of a thumb. I am constantly smiling at little quirks that just bring a bit of humor to a desperate moment.

Again – the repartee between the two – discussing points of warfare – is fun to read.

Title: Light Fingers · Author: Aeärwen · Genres: Drama: Gondor · ID: 90
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2009-10-25 08:33:20
We know that Gondor emerged victorious after the Ring War, but what happened to all the orphans that the fighting must have left?

This touching story tells the tale of two little girls struggling to survive alone in what seems a very hostile word:That is until they meet Aragorn, Arwen and her brothers.

A delightful well written story well worth reading.

Title: Judgement · Author: Independence1776 (Crystal113) · Genres: Alternate Universe · ID: 580
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2009-10-25 10:00:44
A quietly effective alternate universe story of Maglor's fate after the War of Wrath. The authors script the reactions of various Elves to Maglor's surrender quite well; it is hard to forgive a Kinslayer, someone who took part in so many wrongs, even if the weary and repentant Maglor is trying to make some kind of amends by surrendering himself and the Silmaril. I loved the reconciliation between Elrond and Maglor; it strike me that Elrond's forgiveness is very much in character.

The story shows that Maglor's road to redemption may be quite long and unsteady, and how hard it might be to reach his destination.

Well-written and plotted.

Title: In Empty Lands · Author: Larner · Races: Cross-Cultural: Incomplete · ID: 408
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2009-10-25 11:06:05
A Boromir's-eye view of the events of [The Fellowship of the Ring]; with some delightful additions, such as Boromir's leaving Gondor and his long journey to Imladris.

The story does not disappoint. The beginning is a wonderful use of Boromir's horn, to signal to all the members of the future Fellowship that the game is afoot (to borrow from another literary series). The interplay of Boromir and Faramir, and the echoes of Denethor and Faramir both that Boromir finds in Aragorn and the Northern Rangers, are well-imagined and well written.

The first meeting of Boromir and Aragorn is a marvel of restraint and yet a certain communion; as Boromir meets one of the few men alive who not only outranks him but could out-fight him and command his respect. Larner wisely eschews jealousy or envy in her characterisation of Boromir at this point; and the lost King and the man born to be his Steward get off on the right foot.

I recommend this intriguing story for fans of Elves, Hobbits and of course Boromir himself.

Title: Last Star I See · Author: Phyncke · Times: First Age and Prior · ID: 431
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2009-10-25 11:33:27
A sad commentary on the cost of the epic crossing of the Helcaraxe. The unknown Elf's narrative as he is dying is beautifully written, an interplay of stars and regret and cold.

Title: The Man in the Moon · Author: shirebound · Races: Cross-Cultural: Elves and Mortals · ID: 237
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2009-10-25 11:34:46
A delightful short story, one of the best I have seen of Frodo's time in Valinor - the characterisation of both Elrond and Frodo is superb; and Frodo's sense of wonder and joy in what Feanor's device shows him is indeed infectious, as the lovely ending portrays, quite believably and cleverly, through Tilion's reaction.

A treat to read!

Title: Quickbeam · Author: agape4gondor · Genres: Ficlets: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 426
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2009-10-25 11:43:49
An unusual story of an understated friendship of two very different sorts of natural Stewards - Faramir, leader of men and future steward to a returned king, and Quickbeam the shepherd of trees. The connection is immediate; though Faramir never realizes that his special tree is an Ent. Agape captures the gentleness and strength of a resting Ent; and writes Faramir very well here.

I could really see this happening in Tolkien's Middle-earth. I hope there might be a sequel, where Faramir meets the wandering Ent once more.

Title: Tree Song · Author: Isabeau of Greenlea · Races: Elves: Elrond and Family · ID: 5
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2009-10-25 16:01:07
Ooh; isn't this a pretty piece of work! I love stories that convey the, well, elven, nature of the Firstborn; and we don't get those often enough; especially stories dealing with Peredhil.

Elrohir's conversation with the nameless Ent is wonderfully written - I love the connection formed through "Silver Tree", and the references to Elrohir as Celeborn's "sapling" are marvelous and appropriate. It makes a lot of sense that Elves would have a special type of speech for trees; different from the way that the hobbits spoke to Treebeard in The Two Towers.

The whole thing is complementary to Tolkien; and the last paragraph is quite brilliant.

Title: Jest in Time · Author: Cathleen · Genres: Character Study: Pippin · ID: 814
Reviewer: Garnet Took · 2009-10-25 19:00:50
This story is a nice explanation of Pippin's behavior at the Council of Elrond. It gives those of us who love book-Pippin a good reason for movie-Pippin's foolish actions.

Thanks, Cathleen.

Title: Tattoo · Author: Isabeau of Greenlea · Races: Men · ID: 595
Reviewer: Larner · 2009-10-25 19:27:16
Imrahil's current determination disturbs his devoted Captain Andrahar, and now the Haradri must reason out just why, and whether or not he will share that reason with Imrahil himself.

Very good characterizations and description of the scenes. Writing is excellent, and pacing perfect.

Title: Crows · Author: ErinRua · Genres: Ficlets · ID: 524
Reviewer: Larner · 2009-10-25 19:33:10
A perfect description of the Crebain, with oblique reference to their current--and undoubtedly temporary--alliance with Saruman. Yes, I can so see this point of view as they follow the sound and fury of the battles their "master" engineers, and their final disdain for even him.

Suitably creepy, and with excellent use of language to set the tone of the piece.

Title: As Little Might Be Thought · Author: Marta · Times: First Age and Prior: Featuring Maedhros or Maglor · ID: 453
Reviewer: Larner · 2009-10-25 19:43:52
This description of the reaction of the sons of Earendil to their foster father, apparently not long after they came into his care, is so poignant, as is his own reaction to their rejection. He can both understand and decry their behavior, and his anger is believably expressed.

Truly poignant and sad, and so very likely considering the circumstances. Marta has written a ficlet to give us an appreciation of Maglor's hatred to his oath, and to lead us to question the response even as he does.

As for the final portion--yes, an appropriate beginning to that hymn.

Title: The Master of Bag End · Author: GamgeeFest · Races: Hobbits: Frodo or Sam · ID: 786
Reviewer: Larner · 2009-10-25 19:56:27
How glad I am to have had the chance and excuse to read this once more! Yes, our Sam as seen by each of his thirteen children, each seeing their dad in his or her own individual voice, each seeing the delight and the sagacity of Samwise Gamgee at his best. And through these we catch glimpses of sixty-one years of life within Bag End, and the joy and griefs they have known and that he bore with him until his sailing.

It is a poignant series, with quick, furtive glimpses of the true loves of his life--his beloved Master, his family, his wife, his gardens, his homeland....

Our Samwise--prince of Hobbits as well as of the West.


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