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Fire and Shadow  by daw the minstrel 18 Review(s)
pipinheartReviewed Chapter: 2 on 10/15/2005
Nice to be able to get a look at Ithilden when he was younger...and he under Beliond command,seems he was a smart Captain, since not much is said on him...

Author Reply: I wanted to write about younger Ithilden and this was the best I could come up with. The flashback is a little awkward, I think, but it was fun anyway.

esamenReviewed Chapter: 2 on 3/2/2004
Fire and Shadow by daw the minstrel

I borrow characters and settings from Tolkien, but they are his, not mine. I gain only the enriched imaginative life that I assume he intended me to gain.

You're going to crack up that I'm reviewing your disclaimer, but I love it.

And I really like your structure of this story! Very well done. Lots of suspense and great Legolas-laid-up-in-bed comfort. What on earth happened? You meanie . . . keeping us guessing like this! I should be sleeping, not reading . . . but I'm going to have to go on to the next chapter and find out what's happening.

Author Reply: Esamen-- You are the first reader who has ever commented on that disclaimer! I attribute that to an enriched imaginative life on your part. ;-)

I wrote this story partly to experiment with that flashback structure. It was tricky to handle but worked out well enough that I did it again Eilian talking about being young in the story I just finished, "Sacrifice Under Shadow." But the Legolas suspense in this one turned out to be stronger than I anticipated.

Estel_Mi_OlorReviewed Chapter: 2 on 1/20/2004
I am the previous FaerieQueen, just to let you know. Well this is a welcome update!!! I love hearing about the past, especially when it concerns the family of my favorite elf. It's sort of disturbing how said elf seems to have some memory loss. Well I'm sure he'll deal with that in the next chapter! Keep writing!

Author Reply: It may take a few chapters yet before the certain elf "deals with it." But I am glad you are enjoying his pain!

meckinockReviewed Chapter: 2 on 1/19/2004
Nothing like waking up after a dragon attack feeling like the dragon won, only to find out that on top of that, you're being court-martialed by your own brother for an offense you can't even remember, and you're afraid to tell anyone because the court-martial is preferable to the dance of the mother hens once they find out you've got amnesia. Is this Legolas's day, or what? The flashback sequence was interesting. Thranduil sure knows how to set someone up for failure (he really should listen to his wife more), although I'm sure Ithilden will rise to the occasion, after maybe a false start or two. Nice interaction between him and Beliond. Doesn't like training young warriors, huh? This will be fun to watch.

Author Reply: I'm not sure that Elves have courts-martial but you do put matters in an interesting way! I kind of feel sorry for Thranduil as a father. His obligations as king make him feel he has to lay burdens on his sons too. But you're right that he should listen to his wife. The world would be a better place if all men did.

The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 2 on 1/18/2004
Poor Legolas! Not only is he in terrible pain, but he has a case of, (selective?), amnesia. He must feel like a fish out of water. He's been filleted and battered and waiting to be fried! I imagine he is quite worried by the news that Eilian might be 'disciplining' him. I'd be nervous.

The look back into Ithilden's youth was interesting. I really enjoyed getting to see a bit of Lorellin. Poor dear..she's only been around postmortem. Maybe I'm a bit of a voyeur, but I really like seeing her interact with Thranduil. Even though we've seen nothing of her, I've always had the feeling that she was the balance in Thranduil's life. Thus, I've missed her, too.

And seeing Beliond, pre-Legolas, was an opportunity to know not only more about him, but to help understand him. But then, I've always liked him.

I'm short on time...(Panthers in the play-offs and my nephew, interestingly enough, not named Sinnarn, works for them, so we are pulling for the Super Bowl), so I better run. Just wanted to say how much I'm enjoying this and look forward to more about Ithilden as a younger elf and finding out 'what the heck' Legolas and Sinnarn did. You never disappoint, Daw. Carry on...Karen

Author Reply: So I just looked it up on the web and the Panthers are tied at 0-0 in the first. I hope your team gets there.

I tried to pattern Lorellin on the characters that Nilmandra created. I thought she did such a nice job. And I agree that she was Thranduil's balance. They all lost a lot in her.

LeraReviewed Chapter: 2 on 1/17/2004
I read in one of your author's notes that you were afraid this story was going to be boring. Quite the contrary! To tell you the truth I'm never too worried by cliffhangers where we don't know if a character is still alive. I mean I know no matter what, Legolas has to live. But what you've done here...a sort of emotional cliffhanger. I'm dying to know exactly what Legolas doesn't remember! Why does he feel guilty? What did Sinnarn and Amdir do? And where were Beliond and Nithron? Ahhhh!

I'm also enjoying seeing a younger Ithilden. I love the guy and I'm looking forward to seeing what made him into exactly who he is today.

Also, not to be greedy or demanding, but I'd really like to know how Annael's doing. Obviously he's married by now. Does he have any elflings?

You've really done a magnificent job of creating characters that are real and personable. Thank you so much for the enjoyment you give so many readers.
God bless.

Author Reply: An "emotional cliffhanger": what a great term! Yeah, I'd like to draw the suspense out until the end and hope people don't give up on the story or send me firebombs before then.

I was just working on younger Ithilden today, although he doesn't appear again until chapter 4. He's still himself no matter what I try to do with him.

We're not going to see Annael in this story, but I will try to let his fans know how he's doing. ;-)

DotReviewed Chapter: 2 on 1/17/2004

You’re utterly maddening, daw! Dropping all these little hints. What a clever way to keep us all gripped - Legolas trying to unravel what happened while we do the same. But it’s at times like this that I really wish I were a more patient person…!

Didn’t Legolas suffer from bad dreams after his mother died as well? It seems to be his way of dealing with, or rather not dealing with, horrific events. I wonder what disturbed him so much… I could be wrong, but it seems that part of the reason he doesn’t remember could be because he might not want to, whether he realises it or not. Still, he does seem genuinely frustrated that everyone else around him does remember. It’s a bit worrying, though. Surely someone has to realise soon – if not his family, then the healer. Thranduil seemed to know in the previous chapter though, when he had to tell Legolas how the events began, even though presumably Legolas would have been told most of that by Eilian. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see how things go….;)

Hmmn. So Sinnarn is in trouble. Amdir seems to be just as much a troublemaker as Turgon was – although possibly a little less loveable. And Legolas might need to be disciplined?? I’m guessing by his feelings of guilt and incompetence that he did something that led others into unnecessary danger. Of course, as his protector Beliond would have had to follow him.

I don’t even know Nithron and I feel sorry for him being Sinnarn’s guard after he had been responsible for Ithilden. That must have been a shock!

The glimpse into Ithilden’s past was fascinating! He and Eilian do seem to have had more experiences than Legolas but I imagine that it’s nothing more than overprotectiveness by Thranduil of his last child, who had to grow up without a mother and in a time of increasing danger. Lorellin is wonderful. She’s only in such a small part of this chapter, yet she’s so vividly drawn. I love the little signs of her loving relationship with Thranduil – the way she leans against him, despite their argument, and the way he tenderly kisses her hand. She does seem a little more vibrant than her husband and son. I can see more of Eilian’s spirit in her and perhaps a little of Legolas. There’s something quite touching about the idea that she desperately wants her son to experience the more joyous side of life, away from duty. She clearly knows exactly what Ithilden is like - “you will expect too much from yourself and leave no room in your life for play or for joy”. It’s interesting to think that the only other person to encourage the lighter side of him is Alfirin. Ithilden himself in his younger days is so completely believable – almost the same person, just slightly less experienced. He has the same logical and calm way of assessing things and he appears to always have been so shrewd, clearly seeing how difficult it was for Thranduil to send him south, no matter what he said to his wife. He reads Thranduil so well, a gift that has worked well for him over the years.

Ah, there’s Beliond – as grumpily endearing as ever! He seems impressed, though, by Ithilden’s assessment of Anilith and lack of fear in stating his doubt in his worth as a warrior.

“Everyone makes mistakes, Legolas”. Now, Ithilden is obviously telling this story for a reason. What did he do?? Something that remained with Beliond for so long that he never wanted anything to do with one of the king’s sons again?! No, but seriously, it’d be really interesting to see Ithilden in the days when he was still learning and still making mistakes. I’m so intrigued! He seems to be trying to teach Legolas that it’s o.k to make mistakes but it’s killing me not to know what either of them has done! And just what has Beliond got to do with it all?! *sigh* I have this image of you at home gleefully concocting ways to confuse us! Still, all this confusion and mystery is really quite enjoyable!:)

Author Reply: It must be very frustrating for Legolas to know that everyone around him knows what happened on the patrol and he doesn't. :-)

I'm laughing at your description of Nithron taking on Sinnarn after guarding his father. Indeed, Nithron must have been shocked if he was expecting someone like Ithilden. I wonder if Elves are immune to tension headaches?

I see Lorellin as a true Silvan elf, someone who lightened Thranduil's life and softened him a little. It would have saddened her to see her oldest son deprived of the opportunity to simply live in the woods and be himself.

Ithilden's story will all get told eventually. I'm working on that right now, actually, even though it won't be in the next chapter. I'm finding it hard to do this story in order. I am struggling to avoid confusing myself!

MollyReviewed Chapter: 2 on 1/17/2004
So by the time Legolas shoots down the winged Nazgul along the Anduin, he's already had much the same experience with dragons! Interesting. I'm also curious to find out why everyone seems to think Legolas has made a mistake. Perhaps he feels guilty because Sinnarn and Beliond were wounded trying to help/protect him? I'm eager to read more.

Author Reply: I'm glad you're eager, Molly. All will come clear eventually, but it may take some time. Thank you for letting me know you're reading.

Antigone_QReviewed Chapter: 2 on 1/17/2004
I thought you described the confusion Legolas feels upon waking very well. And Legolas is having memory problems, but not so many that he can't remember that Thranduil likes to fuss over him (lol)! Seriously, I think it's great that Legolas can't remember everything, but he can remember who he trusts right away. As I've said before, it's wonderful that Legolas has such a close-knit family.

Yay! We get to see a Beliond in his earlier days! And Ithilden! Ithilden made a mistake or two, hm? Any chance we're going to hear about this? Thranduil seems a lot less over-protective 600 years ago. But then, I supose the realm was less dangerous then. Um, Anilith - have we seen him before? If so, I could use a quick reminder.

Poor Beliond! I hope he is all right! I was just beginning to be fond of him.

Author Reply: Anilith is new. I made him up because I didn't have enough OCs already. :-)

I think that Thranduil got very protective of Legolas after his mother died. He worried about the older two, of course, but his wife's death must have driven home how vulnerable they all were, and he had this little kid, his baby, on his hands to raise alone. I can imagine him really wrapping the kid in cottonwool.

Ithilden is telling Legolas this story for a reason so we'll get to hear more of it.

As several readers have reminded me, I have a story set later in time called "Question of Duty" in which both Beliond and Amdir appear so I can't kill either one of them. Too bad!

Tapetum LucidumReviewed Chapter: 2 on 1/17/2004
Ahh, Lots of Legolas angst, my favorite. Sounds like whatever happened scared the heck out of him. I can't wait to find out what it was. I would think Sinnarn thinks the world of Legolas at this age and it is quite alarming to have his hero injured and frightened. Ithilden was smart to send him away. Legolas' memory problems is a clever way to feed us the story a little at a time. You have me dying to know what happened. I was sorry Ithilden felt hurt, I guess he hasn't figured out that Legolas doesn't know what is wrong so he certainly can't tell his older brother. Legolas' concern for Beliond is very touching. He may have a lot of guilt to overcome if he is indeed responsible for the older warrior's injuries. Go Ithilden! He has the sense to distract the distraught elf from his current problems.

It must have been hard for young Ithilden to carry the weight of his father's expectations from the time he was born. Sounds like he was always the serious one and even his naneth worried about him. He must have felt a lot of pressure being appointed lieutenant. You described his internal turmoil very well - self doubt, excitement and a touch of fear. Nithon sounds like he was an excellent mentor and Ithilden an excellent student. I am sure their closeness made it easier to assign him to guard Sinnarn. I have no doubt that Beliond was an imposing captain and his question about Anilith had been a little test. What are those dwarves up to anyway?

Your double story line is going very well thus far. I am desperately trying to figure out what happened. The changes in POV and timelines work well. You must have put a lot of thought into this one and planned it well for all of the lines to weave together at the end.

Author Reply: No one has figured out that Legolas can't remember. They just assume he doesn't want to talk about it. And the really trying thing for him is that EVERYONE else knows what he can't remember.

I'm sure that Ithilden was an excellent students, as you say, and Sinnarn must have been a shock to Nithron's system when he came along. Nithron was probably expecting Sinnarn to be like his ada. :-)

I hope this all weaves together at the end. I actually had to write some chunks of things that haven't happened yet to make sure I knew what was going on. And I have pieces of this story on three different computers. It's driving me crazy trying to keep it all straight.

Glad you're enjoying it, Tapetum.

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