Middle-earth Fanfiction Awards

A Comments-based Fanfic Award

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Reviews for Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Misc: Mosaic Owl
just_ann_now wrote in mefas

Title: Past Deeds · Author: Marta · Genres: Ficlets: Elven Lands Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 266
Reviewer: Virtuella · 2009-10-27 16:19:58
An intense and chilling ficlet. We're all so easily willing to believe that we have no choice and cannot act differently. It would have taken little more than a shrug of the shoulder and an inner resolve for Maglor to turn away from his path of destruction, but he didn't. In the end, he had noone to blame but himself. Sad, but true.

Title: That which remains · Author: Vilwarin · Genres: Character Study · ID: 540
Reviewer: Virtuella · 2009-10-27 16:25:04
Isn't it delightful that those poor and sorely tested rangers now have leisure to worry about the price of beer? Lovely ficlet!

Title: Where the Shadows Lie · Author: Clotho123 · Genres: Horror · ID: 724
Reviewer: Virtuella · 2009-10-27 16:30:09
How sad to think of a world in which there is ultimately no forgiveness and no chance for reparation. No wonder it drove him mad!

Title: Far From Home · Author: Raksha the Demon · Races: Cross-Cultural: Drabbles · ID: 821
Reviewer: curiouswombat · 2009-10-27 18:03:26
As the nights draw in, this lovely drabble has an extra resonance. A time when one might feel far from home used to give an insight into two well-loved characters..

Title: Batty Does Barad-dûr · Author: Eiranae · Genres: Humor · ID: 157
Reviewer: Robinka · 2009-10-27 18:51:12
This is an absolute 'LOL', Eira :) I love the humor and the way, in which you portrayed the often feared villains of the Silmarillion as more human and flawed, which is both thoughtful and hilarious. Brava!

Title: Swamp King · Author: MedeaSmyke · Genres: Humor: Drabbles · ID: 82
Reviewer: Robinka · 2009-10-27 18:59:59
I always appreciate those pieces of writing that skilfully build a vivid and amusing scene in a short form of a drabble. Worthy of giggles and well written. Thank you!

Title: Tucked Away · Author: NeumeIndil · Genres: Romance: Drabbles · ID: 497
Reviewer: Robinka · 2009-10-27 19:05:55
Awwww, this is an utterly lovely glimpse at Sam that perfectly captures his voice. Excellently done!

Title: There and Back Again -- A Mystery · Author: Eiranae · Genres: Mystery · ID: 179
Reviewer: Robinka · 2009-10-27 20:27:49
What an excellent way to create a story about a mysterious event as seen through the eyes of an obscure character. Indeed, mystery on many levels here, and a greatly composed piece of writing. Well done!

Title: The Burden of Truth · Author: Rhapsody · Genres: Drama: House of Finwë · ID: 63
Reviewer: Robinka · 2009-10-27 20:45:18
Nerdanel turns from her (seemingly everlasting) grief and decides to find a purpose in her life. Though that does not mean she forgets about the painful past. A beautiful and poetic piece with gorgeous imagery. Moving!

Title: Antikythera · Author: annmarwalk · Races: Cross-Cultural: Drabbles · ID: 484
Reviewer: Raksha the Demon · 2009-10-27 21:48:10
This is a real treat on any terms; a tie-in between the actual Antikythera, an ancient mechanical computer-like instrument, and Fourth Age Gondor. I love how Ann involves three races - Man, Elf and Dwarf. It makes a lot of sense that Faramir and Legolas and Gimli are friends, and they all three have the type of inquisitive, intelligent minds capable of creating the instrument. (and of course my inner Faramirist knows that the Prince of Ithilien would help with the mathematics that brought the device into being) Neat touch that Gimli and his people carefully construct the thing; and just as neat or neater, that Eldarion eventually uses it for stellar observation.

Title: Speak All the Words · Author: juno_magic · Genres: Character Study: Steward's Family · ID: 692
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2009-10-27 22:48:03
A fascinating look at Denethor! I love that this story starts at the very beginning and builds itself both a theme and a foundation by first looking at what it calls, ["Little things, of no consequence."] And in that list of little things, we see the shaping of a man who is of much consequence. Therein lies the foundation, but therein also lies the groundwork for the theme of words. Because words are also little things that sometimes seem to be of no consequence, and yet they shape events and people just as much as Denethor's early years shaped him.

I enjoyed the contrasts drawn between Thorongil and Denethor. Gandalf, too, gets a mention, and Denethor's grudging acceptance of the fact that their words proved as powerful as their deeds shows a turning point reached too late. It's very much the portrait of a tragic hero, a man of great potential and worth who can't quite overcome that last flaw: his lack of words. And so he turns to the only thing he can: deeds. The tragedy grows with the entrance of Boromir and Faramir, who seem to embody the schism between words and deeds that so obsesses Denethor. A powerful and moving character study that seems to touch on all aspects of Denethor's life, both the good and the bad. Beautifully rendered!

Title: Advice · Author: Dwimordene · Genres: Character Study: Steward's Family · ID: 281
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2009-10-27 22:49:49
And thus the wizard's pupil is born.

This story boasts some fascinating contrasts. Denethor, Finduilas, and Boromir all have warnings to give with their advice: Do this, because this bad thing is about to happen or is already happening. Gandalf, on the other hand, gives his advice with a positive incentive: you'll laugh more. It's a rather profound contrast, especially if one stops to consider the grim and somber steward family and then stops to consider the gray pilgrim who walked with a twinkle in his eye and found himself drawn to hobbits. And in the parallels that Dwimordene draws between Gandalf and Faramir (the heart and head filled with stories and cares, the burdens upon shoulders, the forced battles), it's easy to see why Faramir would find himself drawn to Gandalf's advice. I'm reminded of when Beregond told Pippin that Faramir was more bold than most people thought. There's an element of fearlessness in what he does, from sending the Ring-bearer on to Mordor to obeying his father's command and heading out to defend the river crossings.

And on an entirely different note, I loved the little character stroke for Boromir that implies he always feels old enough to counsel his brother.

Title: A Blade For The Battle · Author: Linaewen · Genres: Character Study: Steward's Family · ID: 379
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2009-10-27 22:50:47
A fitting tribute for Boromir! I think what I like most about this story is the way it weaves around its title. The ["blade for the battle"] is realized in a number of things. Boromir's sword is the most obvious, of course, but Boromir himself becomes one of the many blades in the battle as does the concept of hope, which finds incarnation in Aragorn at the end of the tale. Boromir's vow to fight the darkness, even when he was very young, is a vow to service, and as Aragorn points out, blades broken in service are honorable. It's a powerful send off for Boromir, and he can rest easy knowing that there are still blades opposing Mordor.

Title: Catharsis · Author: Marta · Genres: Character Study: Steward's Family · ID: 1
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2009-10-27 22:53:04
Very much like Boromir himself in this story, Marta keeps a distant tone. And that tone supplies the perfect setup for this very unusual story. I've read several stories that comment on or follow the course of Boromir's ship after it leaves the Anduin, but a reunion of sorts with the phantom of Numenor is a wonderfully original take on the whole idea. And it really is a phantom, as much as Boromir himself is now a shadow of what was. That's the beauty of this story. It keeps everything in shades of gray, and the wearing of Boromir's boat and possessions seems to echo the way the first Kings of Gondor sought for Numenor but came up empty.

There's also an interesting parallel and theme in the order of things that wear away. The mark of the Hand and Eye go first, leaving the Tree behind. It would be what Boromir might wish most to keep. But eventually, even that starts to go as the true catharsis takes over. Still, it is a reminder of suffering, just as Boromir's soul senses the suffering of those who came before. And as Legolas sensed the echo of elves who came before him in Hollin, so Boromir senses the echo of the ancient mariners who suffered as he did. Boromir of the many titles probably felt alone often, but Boromir stripped of that seems to have found peace. And it was probably the first time in life or death that he wasn't Boromir of/the something. He was simply Boromir. Beautiful tale!

Title: Each Moment, Without End · Author: illwynd · Genres: Character Study: Steward's Family · ID: 57
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2009-10-27 22:53:53
Fifty glimpses into Boromir made for an enriching journey. To me, many of the sentences seemed to hold either contrast or blending. And that probably would have defined Boromir's life. He would have dealt in contrasts, and he would have tried to blend or reconcile the contrasts dearest him. Throughout these prompts, you can also glimpse Boromir's love of Gondor, his love of family, and his impatience to help and to act. I especially loved the observation that his mother's blood runs through him, and the Sea can be an impatient mistress. I was also quite taken with the image of Boromir walking quietly beside Pippin, though I was saddened at the thought that Pippin talked of something ["pleasant and distant"], as though for Boromir, pleasant things were now distant things. Great character exploration!

Title: Brothers in Arms · Author: Galadriel · Genres: Character Study: Steward's Family · ID: 473
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2009-10-27 22:54:47
A wistful little story that seems to dance around its point even as it nails it. Faramir's musing is very much what I might expect from him, and Boromir's firm defense of his position and his responsibilities is just what I would expect of him. I also enjoyed seeing his devotion to his brother, and it was good to see Faramir's response. But despite their brotherly love, there are profound differences between the brothers that this story touches upon. The fact that Boromir felt the question was meant only for him speaks of where his focus lies. He never seems to consider that Faramir meant the question for both of them, as evidenced by his casual remark that if he were not Denethor's son, there would be no one to look after Faramir. And so with the question answered, Boromir feels the matter is put to rest, while Faramir is still caught up in the same musing. A very telling characterization stroke for both brothers. Nicely done!

Title: Banners · Author: The Little Dwarf · Genres: Character Study: Steward's Family · ID: 463
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2009-10-27 22:55:26
There are really two distinct parts to this story, though in the end, they all flow into one. Not unlike Tolkien's own story, actually. But back to the review, the first part is Faramir paying tribute to Denethor, and it's a touching, emotional scene that feels cathartic as Faramir seems to reach an understanding with his father. At the very least, he finds peace for himself and wishes peace for his father.

The second part of this story is Faramir paying tribute to Aragorn and looking to be released from his office. The emotions in this section are a sharp contrast to those of the earlier scene in the tombs, but the end is still the same: Faramir finds peace, and Aragorn also wishes peace to the departed. Fantastic parallels all around, and a moving study of Faramir.

Title: An Honorable Calling · Author: Pearl Took · Genres: Character Study: Steward's Family · ID: 507
Reviewer: Thundera Tiger · 2009-10-27 22:56:56
A fantastic and original perspective through which to watch the movieverse unfold. I enjoyed hearing Gandalf's words from Faramir's mouth. If Gandalf couldn't utter them, then I can think of no one more fitting in this particular situation than Faramir. I also thoroughly enjoyed seeing the armor's change of heart, if such a thing can apply to armor. His initial haughtiness seemed to echo many first impressions about hobbits, as did his astonishment when Pippin mentions some of his accomplishments. Hearing a voice from the elven cloak was also a welcome surprise, and I loved the armor's excitement when Faramir enters the scene. The armor shows a surprising amount of perception when it comes to understanding where Faramir's heart really lies, and I'm afraid he has found a similar soul in Pippin. But he seems content in his role, and that also says something about the character of Gondor.

Title: Hope Stirs · Author: Linaewen · Genres: Ficlets: Gondor or Rohan Fixed-Length Ficlets · ID: 380
Reviewer: Nancy Brooke · 2009-10-27 23:57:24
The thing I liked best about this ficlet was not the lovely happy ending, but that Boromir turned his father's despair to hope not by contradicting what Denethor believed, but by understanding it and moving beyond. Nicely done.

Title: The Dark Foe Wears Feanaro · Author: whitewave · Genres: Humor: Parody · ID: 402
Reviewer: Linda Hoyland · 2009-10-28 00:13:01
What if Feanor and his family ran a fashion design firm? This hilariously funny story tells the results. I laughed out loud several times while reading and was reminded of a recent poster of a footballer in tight underpants to advertise underwear made by a top fashion house. I don't follow football, but the poster of said hunk was all over the papers. I guess the footballer is now better known for his undies than kicking a ball!
I'm sure Feanor and his sons would make super fashion models! All the She Elves would too? How about Galadriel modelling the latest gowns?

Title: Mr. Frodo's Waiting · Author: Linaewen · Genres: Ficlets · ID: 617
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2009-10-28 02:57:09

Sam, dear Sam. What a wonderful tribute to Frodo’s gardener and life-long friend. Such a simple little letter, but the depth of the wonders of Sam just spill out from the paper. His regard for his friends and especially bringing a pipe for Gandalf – just in case. Pure Sam. Beautifully written and the voice is spot-on.

I hadn’t thought of this time, the time Sam decides to go West – I don’t remember if Merry and Pippin were able to be there to ‘see him off’ or if he even told them he was going… But I begin to think that perhaps Sam would have left quietly, just letting the family know and then slipping away to the Havens. For another adventure? No, this time for the peace he could find – and the friendship he could once again share with Frodo.

I love Sam’s undying humility; his knowing that, even if Frodo is in the best of company, that a Hobbit needs a Hobbit to talk to now and again; his trust that his family will do all right without him; and especially his blessed assurance that Mr. Frodo is waiting for him. Surety springing from his own loyalty.

Once again, Linaewen takes a character that she does not often write of and makes us ‘see’ that character. This is truly Sam, as I have often thought of him, and I think the gardener would have been pleased with the effort.

Title: Worth the Pain · Author: Silivren Tinu · Genres: Drama: Friendship · ID: 382
Reviewer: agape4gondor · 2009-10-28 03:32:02
Hurt comfort genres can pose real problems with writers. The tale can get lost in the feelings; the angst gets so unendurably 'sad' that one feels lost in it all, and the comfort is not good enough.

However, this tale is exceptional in that, though one of the characters is hurt, and the other suffers, there is still the feeling of hope throughout. I also loved the addition of 'level thinking' Elves coming to the comfortors rescue.

Another thing that particularly struck me is the sense of mortality - and the horrors of it for one not of Man. Reminded me very much of having children and having to 'let them go.' Not fun! But vital.

Very well written. Liked this bunches!

Title: Just Desserts · Author: Larner · Genres: Humor: Children · ID: 429
Reviewer: NeumeIndil · 2009-10-28 04:08:18
A nice slice-of-life that fits canon well. It was smart for Uncle Sara to be the one to break it up too. Nicely done.

Title: Rider of Rohan · Author: Beruthiel's Cat · Genres: Mystery · ID: 341
Reviewer: NeumeIndil · 2009-10-28 04:44:01
Oh My! Horse Lord fancier and animal lover that I am, this story brought me to tears. How great a gift he has received! I was a little surprised to hear "gear" used in reference to the elf's mount, because in my understanding of book canon he would suffer nothing more than a rider. I was also surprised as who rode him, but the ending more than made up for my puzzlement. Just excellent!


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