Middle-earth Fanfiction Awards

A Comments-based Fanfic Award

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Reviews for Tuesday, October 27, 2009 (Part One)
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Title: The Maegd Feorran · Author: Nancy Brooke · Times: Pre-Ring War · ID: 89
Reviewer: NeumeIndil · 2009-10-26 09:23:21
I'm impressed with how the bunny I bounced you grew up here. The tone of the piece is very lonely even when she speaks of happier times. What drew me most, though, was the rhythm of it. Reading it felt like riding ripples of grass beneath a breeze, or the steady walk of a horse. Let's hope that her life upon arrival was less bleak than she anticipates here.

Title: October the Third · Author: Lindelea · Genres: Drama: Drabbles · ID: 794
Reviewer: Virtuella · 2009-10-26 11:17:03
This is a very intense drabble. I liked the short sentences and the tense atmosphere. Good to see a first person POV for Gandalf.

Title: Fingon The Valiant · Author: Oshun · Genres: Non-Fiction · ID: 819
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2009-10-26 12:26:53
I have to confess that I often have a hard time keeping the many "F" protagonists of the Silm straight, not to mention keeping the events straight.

This "biography" of Fingon was very helpful to me-- by concentrating on the life and deeds of only one, it actually helped to make the Silm more accessible to me. I had more than one "Aha!" moment as I read this.

Title: Not all the birds are to be trusted · Author: Altariel · Times: Ring War: Drabbles · ID: 542
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2009-10-26 12:28:07
One of the questions frequently asked by those who are new to LOTR: why didn't the Council just give the Ring to an Eagle and have it dropped into Mt. Doom from the air? There are any number of reasons, both story-external and -internal; but this one is very telling.

What if that Eagle had been tempted to take the Ring and claim it? This drabble gives a very chilling answer.

Title: Elwing the White · Author: Oshun · Genres: Non-Fiction · ID: 584
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2009-10-26 12:29:28
While my own preferences are undeniably for hobbits, there are some parts of the Elven side of things that fascinate me. My interest in the story of Earendil and Elwing was sparked by a beautiful song, found on the album "In Elven Lands" called "The Evening Star". It's a love song from Elwing's POV as she watches her husband sail away which left me with a sympathy for her character.

This exploration by Oshun of what is known about her really gives very few answers to the question of why she left her children to save the Silmaril, but it places all of the questions in context: was her deed a positive one, as JRRT himself seemed to think? or a negative one, a mother abandoning her children to possible death? We are given no canonical answers, but simply having the questions laid out is helpful.

Also very helpful are the charts laying out the bloodlines of her and her descendants-- I had not quite understood the various connections before.

A very nice gathering of the threads for a character about whom little is known.

Title: A Bad Habit · Author: dancingkatz · Races: Men · ID: 777
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2009-10-26 12:30:35
*grin* One of the most telling signs of the era in which LotR was written is how acceptable, even laudable, smoking was in the story. From our own perspective however, it's different. I can easily imagine a conversation like this-- it's quietly funny. I love Faramir's wry reply at the end. Indeed, taking up the habit might be the lesser evil.

Title: As The Night The Day · Author: Jael · Times: Modern Times · ID: 278
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2009-10-26 12:31:49
I quite enjoy Jael's Elves in modern times stories. She's built up a credible background for them, and one of the most fun things is watching the reactions of ordinary mortals gradually realizing who and what they have encountered.

This is a quiet and understated romance, with an engaging POV character. It was also fun to once more encounter the bumbling Federal agents who constantly are a thorn in the Elves' sides.

Title: Lord of Misrule · Author: Tanaqui · Races: Cross-Cultural: Eriador · ID: 679
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2009-10-26 12:32:28
Very nice holiday story, with plausible descriptions of customs among the Men of that era. I love Elladan and Elrohir's reactions to those customs, and the very clever way in which Elladan took advantage of one of them.

Title: The Storm · Author: Linda Hoyland · Genres: Romance: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 21
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2009-10-26 12:33:23
Linda Hoyland has often written some romantic interludes between the King and Queen of Gondor. I think this is one of her loveliest, sensual without being titillating, lyrical and evocative, it really shows the love between these two beautifully.

Title: Glitter · Author: Raksha the Demon · Genres: Drama: Elrond and Family · ID: 638
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2009-10-26 12:34:42
Wow! I love this encounter-- it shows just how strong Annatar could make his temptations, and yet still Elrond can resist. Is it because of his heritage perhaps? He carries the blood of High Elves and of Melian the Maia and of the noblest among the Secondborn. Or is it his foresight, warning him subtly? Or is it that he is simply clearer-sighted than the other Elves?

I wouldn't mind wondering what Annatar thought when he fled? Probably "Rats! How did that happen?"

Title: Room For Adventure · Author: Cathleen · Races: Hobbits: Buckland or Tookland · ID: 510
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2009-10-26 12:35:28
A series of ficlets inspired by a challenge at the PippinHealer's group, to detail Pippin's first encounter with Great-great-grandfather Gerontius' musty old study. Each of them evokes that sleepy dreamy feeling of being in a quiet room filled with books. I think my favorite one is the last one, in which we get to vicariously meet a young Gerontius.

I hope she writes more of these soon.

Title: Beleg Cúthalion · Author: Oshun · Genres: Non-Fiction · ID: 119
Reviewer: Dreamflower · 2009-10-26 12:36:30
I have to say, I found the story of Beleg and Turin very depressing in the Silm. It was more accessible and understandable for me in [The Children of Hurin]. Yet it is still very sad to realize that Beleg met his death accidentally at the hands of his best friend.

This essay makes the story even more tragic, as Oshun points out the evidence that Beleg must have been among the Elves of the Awakening at Cuivenen. How awful that such a long life was cut short by Turin's action!

Title: Amends · Author: Dwimordene · Times: Post-Ring War and Beyond: The Shire · ID: 275
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2009-10-26 17:35:23
That was lovely! a total delight. I love the way you caught Sam's voice, truly but not simply or tritely, with just enough Hobbitisms so that we knew it was really Sam. And I thought this a wonderful and unexpected concept. You found a great little taking off point everyone else I can think of missed, and followed it to a sweet and - to my reading - unexpected but thoroughly charming end. Great work.

Title: Mine · Author: Nath · Genres: Alternate Universe · ID: 684
Reviewer: Virtuella · 2009-10-26 22:53:52
This is a very chilling and entirely convincing AU story, and it smoothly written. Shows how much the plot depends on the author conveniently letting hobbits stumble over magic rings, doesn't it? ;-)

Title: Bedazzled · Author: Branwyn (Lady Branwyn) · Genres: Romance: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 50
Reviewer: Virtuella · 2009-10-26 22:57:42
What a charming glimpse of a young Finduilas! I liked the opening sentence in particular, but the whole ficlet is well written.

Title: Duplicity · Author: agape4gondor · Genres: Ficlets: Gondor or Rohan · ID: 596
Reviewer: Virtuella · 2009-10-26 23:05:48
Yes, it is plausible that Boromir and Gandalf would have had some private talk at this point - they would have known each other well. Interesting conversation - I particularly liked the thoughts that buzzed about like a cloud of gnats - nicely linked with the creepy crawly theme!.

Title: The Archivist's Gift · Author: dancingkatz · Races: Men · ID: 763
Reviewer: Larner · 2009-10-26 23:31:08
It does sound to be a beautiful gift, I must say.

Title: Speak All the Words · Author: juno_magic · Genres: Character Study: Steward's Family · ID: 692
Reviewer: Larner · 2009-10-27 02:25:57
I grieve for the Denethor who is pictured here, who cannot speak what he wishes because he has never learned how--has never been allowed to learn how to deal with others effectively. One can see how he came to envy Thorongil and resent Mithrandir for their ease with others, and how he came to resent even his own son, believing words are less necessary than deeds and thus managing to squash the words of love and friendship and honor others would have given him if only allowed.

Truly poignant and sad, and most well written. Juno, you are to be commended for this piece.

Title: Whispers on the Wind · Author: Jaiden_S · Genres: Mystery · ID: 428
Reviewer: Larner · 2009-10-27 03:12:01
Quite the obsession.

Title: Shards of Courage · Author: Alassante · Times: Second and Early Third Age: Akallabeth · ID: 70
Reviewer: Larner · 2009-10-27 03:31:46
This look at the character of Ohtar and how he might have been as a youth and as Isildur's squire is thoughtful and expresses well the grief he must have known. Well told, with excellent characterizations.

Title: Solving Old Mysteries · Author: Aeärwen · Times: Post-Ring War and Beyond · ID: 92
Reviewer: Larner · 2009-10-27 03:51:54
Of all the things that might have been found within the ruins of Minas Morgul as it was dismantled, no one could have anticipated such a find as THIS, and the ring that identified the remains.

Faramir indeed has reason to rejoice that his wife managed the feat she'd accomplished, rejoicing to give honor where it has been far too long withheld.

Well told and most creepy--a perfect tale for the season!

Title: A Mother's Lament · Author: agape4gondor · Genres: Character Study · ID: 277
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2009-10-27 04:15:56
There's no shortage of the bittersweet when it comes to Tolkien, but I have to admit that I hadn't really connected it to the reunions that went on when the Travelers returned. I know there are lots of fics on it, but none of them really seemed to address the sorrow that someone like Eglantine must have felt. Because Pippin was considered very young when he left, and coming back having grown the way he did, it would have been quite a shock. I like the fact that his own mother doesn't even recognize him until she hears his voice. And though she's grateful he's alive, there's still something that she's missed and that she can never get back.

Title: Nothing Gold Can Stay? · Author: Starlight · Genres: Character Study: General Drabbles · ID: 430
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2009-10-27 04:17:33
To begin with, the title of this drabble immediately brought to mind one of my favorite poems, so I had to read it if only to find out what the connection might be. I was very excited to learn that Galadriel and Celeborn were the focus, because I can't think of a better duo to represent both the fading message and the bittersweet power of this poem. I also can't think of a duo to simultaneously present a refutation to the poem.

Throughout, you can feel the clash between the two characters, though clash may be too harsh a word. But there's definitely tension. And at times, it's a good tension, because as the drabble points out, it compliments even as it divides. Galadriel has traits that Celeborn needs, and Celeborn has traits that Galadriel needs. But the tension still makes for debate, and when it comes to the Ring, all debate is amplified. I love the moment when Celeborn wakes and feels Galadriel's test at hand. In just a few words, we get a very vivid picture of the turmoil that enveloped both of them. And in the end, we discover that something gold can indeed stay, even if the rest fades. Beautifully written!

Title: Force Majeure · Author: Tanaqui · Genres: Character Study: General Drabbles · ID: 682
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2009-10-27 04:19:04
I've been struck recently by the absolute deceptiveness of water. Very rarely, my community will have to sandbag against floods if the snowmelt happens too quickly or there's simply too much of it, and it's amazing to me how much damage a very little amount of water can do. And it does it so slowly! So gradually! Which is exactly what Tanaqui has managed to capture in this drabble. I love that the water's actions are personified. It makes it so much easier to visualize. Initially, I was looking for an individual (maybe even Gollum) as the perpetrator in the drabble, and upon learning that this individual was the water itself, I had to read it again several times because it was such an inventive way to characterize the water. It really does start out as a thief, slipping into places where nothing else can go and slowly breaking those places open. Then it increases in intensity as the main flood waters near, and the violence escalate. The final moment when it breaks free of its confining banks and floods the fields is breathtaking and filled with powerful imagery. Fantastic drabble! I could picture every moment.

Title: Where Light in Darkness Dwells · Author: Dreamflower · Genres: Character Study: General Drabbles · ID: 102
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2009-10-27 04:21:23
What strikes me most about this drabble series is the sheer variety Dreamflower envisions concerning light and its place in the darkness. Each of the nine drabbles are powerful and poignant with words chosen carefully to convey as much meaning as possible given that there can only be one hundred of them. But the two drabbles that caught my attention most were Legolas's and Pippin's.

Being the first drabble of the series, Legolas really caught me by surprise because his is a different kind of ["Light in Darkness"] than what I was expecting. I was looking to see hope in darkness, since light frequently represents that. This first drabble, though, alerted me to the fact that light was going to be more things than hope, and not all of those things were going to work to the Fellowship's benefit. Legolas's drabble is about abandoning light in the darkness and leaving Moria only to find that the light outside isn't as bright or as hopeful as he'd anticipated. Great way to start the series and shake the readers.

But Pippin's drabble... Wow. The concept of shadows having a life of their own independent of the light that forms them is one that I think Tolkien very powerfully brings to life, and Dreamflower capitalizes on that with the idea of a ["dark light"] that's incomprehensible to the poor hobbit but exists and overcomes him, nevertheless. And even as Pippin is struggling to remember true light, he can't get past the light with which Sauron confronts him. Brilliant and original take on a metaphor that we so often overlook!


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