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Fire and Shadow  by daw the minstrel 30 Review(s)
endorearwenReviewed Chapter: 8 on 9/23/2013
An excellent illustration of 'perspective' and how it changes the shape of things, Daw! I thoroughly enjoyed not being able to figure out what had really happened until we reached the end and had seen the situation through so many sets of eyes! I also thought it was a good lesson in realizing that no one person's actions/decisions are the catalyst for any given outcome - regardless of how much we burden ourselves with individual responsibility for it! We're all interconnected and the choices we make will necessarily affect those around us - no man is an island.

My favourite parts, of course, were the private, quiet moments wherein Legolas (and I) learn more about Ithilden - the brother, not the troop commander. The lesson of taking every chance for joy that you come upon is not an easy one for 'old souls' who enter life always understanding the responsibility they are meant to bear. Fun, happiness, joy - these are not comfortable places for the Ithilden's of the world. In many ways, allowing oneself to savour them is like a betrayal - to the memory of the dead, to the sacred trust that you're burdened to carry, to your duty of being strong for everyone else. Yet, those were the feelings Lorellin wanted for her family - and especially that son whom she knew with certainty was unlikely to experience very much of because of who he was and who he would become. It was so nice to see how that tender spot in Thranduil which is still so deeply bonded to Lorellin can influence him from time to time. My eyes filled when he agreed to join Legolas on the camping trip. Too few are the moments Legolas gets to share in privacy with his father and they are treasures for both of them. Although you didn't speak to their time together, I expect that Lorellin was spoken of often during those short hours they shared under the canopy of stars...

Finally, I must say that it is interesting to see some changes in Eilian's character. Against all possible odds, I think he might actually be maturing! If that is the case, then I think we have all learned something important about how great his love for Celuwen actually is - despite the appearances to the contrary that he seems content to display in public. Yet, I remain uncertain about whether or not he is truly worthy of her! (Interesting, isn't it, to consider how long you could flirt about with someone's heart when you had all the days of Arda to finally win them back? The race of Men have so few years of life by comparison that making huge romantic errors is far more costly to one's ultimate success for happiness with another. I guess it's that perspective that sometimes makes Eilian's actions seem a bit 'frivolous' to me...)

In any event, yet another wonderful story, Daw! :-)

PS - LOVE reading about the ever growing bond between Beliond and Legolas!

Author Reply: When I was posting this, readers were very annoyed at me! They had to wait for each chapter and poor Legolas had been knocked silly, so they had to learn things as he did.

Because Legolas was little, it's easy to think he missed his mother the most of the three boys, but Ithilden lost a lot too. She'd have helped him be happier. And Eilian and Celuwen would be long married by now! He's one of those people who never let go of someone they've come to love. Celuwen lodged in his heart when they were children. He just had to realize it. No other girl ever had a real chance, which is why it's so easy for him to flirt. He's just killing time until the real thing is possible.

One of the interesting parts of writing this was letting Maltanaur take charge once Eilian was missing. Most of the time, he pretends he's serving under an officer like everyone else, but no one outranks him when it comes to Eilian's safety.

As always, thank you for this kind and thought provoking review.

Author Reply: PS. I also meant to say that Sinnarn came into focus for me in this story. He's sharp, like his father, but more cynical, rather like Thranduil. And he's scared silly that he'll wind up having to rule.

pipinheartReviewed Chapter: 8 on 10/15/2005
Legolas tied too his keeper, I am not sure who I feels sorrier for Legolas or Beliond.. Very funny... Another Letter returned for Eilian, he has so much on his plate u feel for him, and hopefuly stop treating Legolas like a baby...

Author Reply: Eilian is struggling toward seeing Legolas as a competent adult. They all are really. It must be maddening to be the baby in a family like that. Thanks for all these reviews, pipinheart.

nessie6Reviewed Chapter: 8 on 4/24/2004
This story was a little different from the previous ones, but it was good nontheless. I felt really sorry for the poor Dwarves...Actually, I assumed that even children Dwarves have beards, because it's kinda funny to picture it. Really good story!

Author Reply: Yeah, it was different because of all the flashbacks. I wanted to have younger Ithilden but I didn't want to lose Legolas, so this was the only way I could think of to do it.

I had enough trouble thinking of female elves with beards!

ElentariReviewed Chapter: 8 on 3/6/2004
Finished heart`s ease, tide of times and this one here at SA. I have this one question bothering the shit out of me:
What about celuwen/eilian? are they not going to make up?Will sódith not swallow his tongue and die?????????????
Lovely, lovely, and perfect as ever. Thank you so much for the caring and effort.

Author Reply: This made me laugh! I guess Sodith has annoyed you, Elentari.

Not to worry. I have plans for Eilian and Celuwen when the time is right. I think some impromptu bonding in the woods followed by breaking the news to both adars would be amusing, don't you?

Thank you for your kind words.

EsamenReviewed Chapter: 8 on 3/3/2004
Oh! Beautiful! On so many levels!

This was just a great story. I admire how you must have worked out all the different story threads that run along in it, and then how you wrapped it all up in the end. And the moments when fierce Thranduil becomes tender with Legolas are just fabulous.

"Legolas laughed and turned his head to the sky to wait for the stars to emerge, not because he would then be freed from his keeper, but because it was a chance for joy."

I love the ending. It has that certain weight, and that certain ring, that makes a reader want to sigh and say, Oh, wonderful.

Is there a story that comes chronologically after this one? And do you have anything going on Legolas during the Fellowship time?

You certainly have a lot going on up your talented sleeve! Many wishes for many fun hours travelling the Mirkwood realm! I'm looking forward to your next tale!

esamen



Author Reply: Thank you, Esamen. I am particularly pleased that you like the ending because endings are hard to write, I think. I just finished a story called "Sacrifice Under Shadow" which is the next one chronologically after this and is paired with it in my head because it uses flashbacks about Eilian this time. I have nothing set during the Fellowship except "A Question of Duty," I suppose, but I think you already read that. Mostly I've written about a young Legolas, as a child and an adolescent.

And again, thank you. Your feedback is wonderful.

meckinockReviewed Chapter: 8 on 2/3/2004
"That" vs. "which"? I need that course. Badly. I'd drive on over there but I'm afraid they'd revoke my Herky fan club membership...

Don't listen to Karen (Hey, I'm not the one reveling in gratuitous glimpses of Eilian's naked backside!). I like Celuwen right where she is - driving Eilian crazy! I don't think he would be half as interesting if he were happy. With two lovely, dutiful, obedient sons, where would we be without the good-hearted but darkly conflicted black sheep? I am so afraid you will just get frustrated with him and send him off to Elf re-education camp!

Anyway, it's great the way that the relationship between Legolas and Beliond continues to deepen and grow in complexity. I find it interesting that the one person who is statutorily entitled to mother-hen Legolas is the one person who doesn't do it. Beliond truly respects Legolas and treats him as an adult and as an individual. The exchange about the healers was delightful. Beliond has clearly not only accepted but has embraced his unusual partnership with Legolas.

It has been fun to see Eilian's evolving relationship with Legolas. Eilian clearly wants to do the right thing, but he has a lot of ingrained risk-aversion to overcome. I can't wait to see where this leads next.
And hey, if you put more of Eilian in the next story, I won't complain!

Author Reply: I have to admit I paused for a moment over the image called up by the parenthetical remark in your review. Ahem. Eilian is not going to be getting naked with Celuwen any time soon, but eventually I have a nice unconventional bonding ceremony planned for them.

Beliond had grown on me gradually. He has known Legolas only as a young adult and, as you say, that's affected his treatment of him. Eilian has a harder time. He still sees the elfling who mourned his nana and wanted to dance with him. But they have time to change, all the time in Arda.

And I think I will have more Eilian in the next story. Right now, I'm doing a giant jigsaw puzzle my son gave me for Christmas - 3000 pieces. But after that!

brynReviewed Chapter: 8 on 2/3/2004
Fantastic tale, as always, daw! :) This one almost had a cliff-hangish feeling to its ending--I can't wait until you post another.
I can't tell you how much Legolas' recollection of the Dwarves' fate moved me... and his reaction... Truthfully, I don't think it could have been written any better. Ithilden's character became a force in his own right, and Eilian... well... I still maintain he needs a good kick in the head (I don't know what YOU thought I meant... *snicker*). And I have a strange desire to slap Celuwen as well.

You are an amazing talent. Thank goodness you're kind enough to share your stories with the rest of us!

Author Reply: Thank you, Bryn. If you want to kick Eilian in the head, that's entirely up to you! ;-)

I still feel bad about the Dwarves. It would be an awful thing to see. But I think warriors must have seen awful things. And I'm glad Ithilden came through. I wanted to spend a little more effort with him in this story because I usually find Eilian easier to write. And I think I have to write about him next. He needs me!

The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 8 on 2/3/2004
As always, I hate to see your stories come to an end, but then, there is the anticipation of the next one to come. I hope it won't be long.

Well, Alfirin is certainly running this household of males now, isn't she? As a matter of fact, she has nearly become Nana-like to Legolas. When he asked her to bring him a book about the Frist Age and she refused, but offered him a nice sappy book of poetry, I thought Lorellin would be pleased. However, poor Legolas, they just won't let him stand on his own two feet...can't even decide which book he wants to read. Of course, their over-protectiveness is born of love, but that doesn't make them any less frustrating to the poor elf-boy. I loved it when Beliond told Alfririn that Legolas would not break. She loved that!

Beliond's words to Legolas about his guilt were well done. All Thranduil's sons have something of a hyper-responsibility complex. They're Thranduil's sons! No big surprise there. Beliond is a breath of fresh air in Legolas' life. He's an excellent guide, teacher and protector. And he's even a friend as much as his position will allow.

Poor Eilian. I have always liked Celuwen, but I'm now beginning to think she's been too influenced by her hard headed adar. Come on girl! Follow your heart! She knows she got him wrapped around her little finger and I think it would serve her right and maybe, get her in gear, if some other fair elleth took a shine to the wild child. You could take applications. I'm sure the line would be out the door and around the corner.

I liked the way Eilian made his point about considering the others in the patrol by tying Legolas to his keeper. It made his point and allowed Legolas to keep his dignity. The situation was almost a no-win situation and under the circumstances, Legolas didn't react badly, just maybe not according to protocol. Not to mention, he slew the dragon.

Nicely done, your dawness. However, the Ranger Meckinock and I were having a short little routine patrol meeting and we have discovered your secret of rapid posting. We have spies in all foreign lands, ya know. Anyway, admit it! You assign these stories to your students and they write them. You surely can't have time to correct their work, so you grade them on their chapters. Ah ha! That's it, isn't it? Isn't it? Dang those spies. Never hire hobbits to spy on Elves. Back to the drawing board.

Carry on, Karen



Author Reply: Karen,

And as always, thank you for this lovely review. You are such a rewarding reader!

Alfirin is, indeed, running this household. And I think that's a good thing. She is at least not caught up in ruling or running the troops. But like everyone else in his family, she babies Legolas. And Beliond...doesn't! I think he sees Legolas as a young adult who is strong, even if he is still learning.

Celuwen will come around eventually. I could send you and Meckinock after her, but I'm not sure I trust you to bring her back to Eilian. I think you may have plans for him that differ from mine!

I am teaching editing this semester so my students are learning exciting stuff like the difference between 'that' and 'which.' I'm so glad I don't have to do their assignments.


LeraReviewed Chapter: 8 on 2/3/2004
Wow, great story as always! I love Alfirin. They're all lucky to have her.

Seeing what Beliond and Legolas's relationship has come to is neat. It's good for Legolas to have someone who doesn't see him as a sweet little brother. Having them tied together was hilarious.

I'm glad Legolas killed the dragon. It made me think of how later on Legolas shoots down the...what is it? the nazgul's beast during the FOTR. Whatever that thing is. It's sort of like a dragon.

I loved the two storylines going on at once. And the suspense. You really mastered that in this story.

It was a beautiful ending. Thranduil and Legolas camping under the stars. Lorellin must have been a special lady. Even after she's gone her wisdom stays with them.

Author Reply: Thank you, Lera. Alfirin turned out to have much more grit that any of them thought at the start. I picture her now as running this household, and I think that the rest of them are glad that she is.

It *is* good for Legolas to have someone he trusts who sees him simply as a young adult who is capable but occasionally needs his butt kicked. His family are all very gentle with him. And after all, he did kill a dragon, even if none of them thought to tell him about it.

It was fun to experiment with the time lines in this story. It was a little stretch for me, and it felt chancy to do, so I was relieved that it worked out.

Lorellin was special. Have you seen the two single-chapter fics that Nimlandra wrote with Lorellin in them? They're on this site and they're called "First Celebrations" and "Eilian's Begetting Day."

caz - bazReviewed Chapter: 8 on 2/3/2004
hey great story. when do you think you'll have another one out?

well i'm going to be late if i don't run now so bye.

Author Reply: Thank you, Caz-baz. I'm mulling over a new story but haven't started outlining yet. It doesn't usually take me too long though.

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