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Sacrifice Under Shadow  by daw the minstrel 21 Review(s)
pipinheartReviewed Chapter: 4 on 10/15/2005
Legolas is worried about his brother and has him continue his story...Eilian liked to make trouble for himself, poor Ithilden was so mad at him...he scared him...

Author Reply: Ithilden was ready to clobber him! Luckily the novice master stepped in.

tigerlily713Reviewed Chapter: 4 on 2/23/2004
Great chapter! I love these falshbacks of Eilian and Ithilden. I also love Eilian's naivity regarding Celuwen. Keep it up! Lily

Author Reply: Clueless!Eilian is amusing to watch. Maidens find him attractive and he likes that but he has no idea what's right under his nose in the form of his friend, Celuwen.

The flashbacks are a lot of fun to write, so I'm glad you're enjoying them.

Antigone_QReviewed Chapter: 4 on 2/23/2004
I'm really enjoying seeing Legolas taking care of Eilian for a change. You can almost hear Legolas quoting Eilian back to himself.

I love Eilian's stories - maybe because the difficult kids are always my favorites. Eilian and Legolas were in some ways very similar when they were younger, weren't they? What an interesting pattern is forming in Eilian-the-younger's behavior. As I see it, it goes something like this:

Eilian: Watch this!

Friends: Oooh, better not (insert dangerous activity here) Eilian! You might get squished!

Eilian: Oh, yeah - I hadn't thought of that. Here I go anyway!

Person in authority: That was really dangerous! I'm upset!

Eilian: What'd I do???

All his caregivers must have been in constant fear for the poor boy's life! Where does Eilian get it from? Was Lorellin that way when she was younger? Because Thranduil seems like one of those people who were born responsible.

And I must really say, ICK! It must have been so sickening for Legolas to see those bones in the cave, knowing his Naneth died the way she did. No wonder Legolas felt ill.

Author Reply: LOL. A nice little script, I think. Yes, that's Eilian. He's far more fun to write about than he would be to raise, I think.

As for where he gets it from, I think partly Lorellin. She died because she didn't want to wait for an escort to arrive to accompany her home from a visit to family. So she rode out with only two warriors and ran into a party of orcs. But Thranduil's side of the family has made its contribution too. Remember Oropher? Didn't want to be under Gil-galad's command? Rushed rashly into battle? If Grandpa Oropher were still alive, he'd be patting Eilian on the head and telling Thranduil that he worries too much.

And then Tolkien says somewhere that in comparison to the Noldor, the wood elves were more dangerous and less wise. (at least I think that's what he says)

Anyway, yes, the bones were sick making.

FadesintothewestReviewed Chapter: 4 on 2/23/2004
Wow what a cliff hanger! I am in and out of town for the next couple of weeks so it's always exciting to get a breather when I am home and find that I have a couple of chapters to catch up on.... and all Thranduil's boys! I love it!

Author Reply: This story seems to lend itself to cliffhangers. But like all my stories, it won't go on forever. I can't imagine how people write the 30 chapter ones. I don't have the attention span, I guess.

Thranduil's boys are in trouble here but at least they are together.

mistry89Reviewed Chapter: 4 on 2/22/2004
A terrible situation for them (and left as a cliffhanger! tut tut) but it's great to see that Legolas rises to the occasion despite his fears. The diversion of the tale of young Elian was not only helpful in keeping him focussed, it was a treat for the reader!

Seeing the life of the Mirkwood elves pre-FOTR is fabulous, especially when they are realised so beautifully. Of all the elves left in Middle-Earth, the Mirkwood elves are (to me) the most appealing and the most alien (we don't see enough of the non-aristos in Lothlorien to compare), as they are so much less involved with Men (in a caring/sharing way) and see them (or Thranduil does) as sometime-traders rather than as "people". The Hobbit shows us their more alien nature - the singing and feasting balanced against the um.... temporary store-keeping of a band of travellers, they are just more involved with ME and less with Men/Dwarves/whomever (not that I blame them - immortality and a good memory probably leads to a little grudge-holding that seems unreasonable to shorter-lived folk and to a distinct lack of interest in forming closer bonds .... in 70 years an evening spent together telling tales may be remembered by no-one but the elf, so why bother when the trees, the stars, the *life* is so absorbing).

Elian is a favourite character of mine, and that's odd, because he is "yours" rather than JRRTs (which can mean the story is less-canonish (if that makes sense when talking about and "new" character)and the character less-well-developed - but not in this case) and I think that in temperament Legolas fits nicely between Elian and Ithilden (despite birth order) - he becomes a serious assassin-elf by the time of LOTR, but has a sense of fun "19 .... 20..." even if it is a bit dark and he, for whatever reason, is (apparently) more open to forming friendships beyond his own kind, something that is presented as relatively unlikely (Elrond Half-Elven and co aside). Elian's own story has been unfolded in little bits through all your stories and it adds depth (and fun/poignancy) to hear details of his younger self.

I'm sorry, I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your stories, and your "take" on life in Middle-Earth, not ramble on!

I hope you find inspiration at every turn to continue this marvelous story arc (or another, or anything!).
Thank you.

Author Reply: The wood-elves do seem to be mysterious and different. I probably humanize mine too much but I love the idea of them being contented to just live in the woods and enjoy the song of Arda. In our world, being "unambitious" is a bad thing, but that's what they are. Why should they *want* something all the time?

I have to admit to being very fond of Eilian myself. He's interesting to write about. I always feel that I have less of a handle on Ithilden, but I am working on him!

And to me, the fact that Legolas wound up in the Fellowship is what give significance to any of what's happening in these stories. That's always a future that we readers know they are moving toward.

Thank you so much for this nice review.

NilmandraReviewed Chapter: 4 on 2/22/2004
I love hearing about Clueless!Eilian, but I would sure hate to have had to deal with him like that! I love Lorellin. I also like how Legolas got Eilian to talk, and how the role reversal worked. I also love that I give a few ideas and PRESTO! they are all in the story.

I might just tell you what needs to happen in the next chapter of HLII and leave it to you :D

NikaraReviewed Chapter: 4 on 2/22/2004
Wow! I have a feeling that Legolas is going to go get himself into trouble now. Great job with this chapter, I look forward to the next one!

Author Reply: Legolas is in a difficult situation, I think. He can't let the Orcs get into the cave because Eilian is defenseless, and the cave had three entrances so they would be hard to guard. He has to get the Orcs away, but that means exposing himself to danger. There is no safe option here, I think. Thank you for the review, Nikara.

KalileReviewed Chapter: 4 on 2/22/2004
I was going to spend the night drearily trying to finish my term paper while nibbling on oatmeal cookies...until yay! Blessed distraction! You had a new chapter up. I have found the tone of this entire story so far to be quite bittersweet since both in this chapter and last we got to know just a little bit better both "Naneth" and Siondel...both of which we know the tragic fate of... Then of course, there is the change in the relationship between Legolas and Eilian.
On a brighter note, I love Lorellin's relationship with her sons. Although Thranduil obviously loved his children, I don't think there was anyone who understood them quite like naneth. So maybe Legolas' inability to remember her is actually a blessing; he doesn't feel her loss as greatly as Eilian must still do.
The image of Eilian telling a little Legolas stories in the midst of their current, bleak situation was nicely done. Now I just hope the blizzard lets so that our two mighty "keepers" can tear through there and make a rescue.

Author Reply: I'm so glad I could distract you from your schoolwork! Naneth is a sad figure, isn't she? The more I write about her, the more I realize how important she was to all of them and not just to her husband and litte Legolas. I think she would have tempered Ithilden's overserious nature and helped Eilian find something besides excitement to give him satisfaction. She understood Eilian in a way that Thranduil still doesn't, that's for sure.

Beliond is out of commission for now, I think, but Maltanaur's name is on my computer screen right now!

Estel_Mi_OlorReviewed Chapter: 4 on 2/21/2004
Oh dear, Legolas out in a blizzard ALONE facing an UNKNOWN number of orcs with TWELVE arrows. I don't see that working...Unless of course the Patrol (wonder where they got to) decides to help him. Eilian was terribly reckless. I wonder what happened to make him such a great leader. A sudden jolt into reality? It's so heartbreaking to read flashbacks of when Legolas's mother (Lorellin, in this case) was alive. It, again, makes you realize how devastating her death really was. It also helps the reader to understand why Thranduil and sons were so...devastated. (Sorry I can't think of another fitting adjective). Legolas is very quickthinking. Eilian should be grateful for that. Thanks for this lovely little cliffhanger you've got going. I hope we won't have to wait too long to find out whether The Legolas Escapade Part II works out, or not. Keep writing! Cheers!

Author Reply: I figure the patrol was fighting orcs and the blizzard. They'll come after their lost ones as soon as they can.

I think "devastating" is just the right word to describe the effect of Lorellin's death on her family. If she had lived, Ithilden might have been less weighed down by responsibility, Eilian might have settled down sooner (and be bonded to Celuwen!), and Legolas might have been more sure of himself at a younger age.

Eilian has taken what care he can of Legolas for a long time, so it's nice to see Legolas caring for him, I think. :-)

JustafanReviewed Chapter: 4 on 2/21/2004
Oh goodness! The orcs are coming back! What a great cliffhanger (not that I terribly enjoy being left hanging even though I enjoyed the cliffhanger). Legolas really seems to bring out all of his training in this section. I thoroughly enjoyed it, thanks!

Author Reply: Legolas is repaying all the time and trouble his family and teachers took with him, isn't he? And what is really fun to write about is how he isn't even conscious of how well he's doing. So far as he's concerned, this isn't about proving himself; it's about taking care of this brother he loves. Thank you for letting me know you're enjoying the story, Justafan.

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