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Sacrifice Under Shadow  by daw the minstrel 20 Review(s)
pipinheartReviewed Chapter: 5 on 10/15/2005
Even when they were young Eilian cared for Celuwen...Legolas is playing a game with the Orcs hope it turns out allright...

Author Reply: When I started trying to think about a romance for Eilian, I had to think about what kind of romance he would be likely to have. And it seemed to me that once he had loved someone, he'd be loyal forever. So I thought these two would have known one another from very early childhood. And their friendship would gradually ripen into love.

Jay of LasgalenReviewed Chapter: 5 on 2/25/2004
I seem to be rather late in reviewing this chapter - but hopefully it means I won't have to wait too long for an update!

I know I've said it before - but I do like the way you write Thranduil. I like the link he has with all three sons, and the way he can sense their danger. But like Thranduil, I'm worried about Eilian as well - he is becoming increasingly confused from the pain, blood loss and poison, and now his best chance of rescue has passed by! Legolas, too, is playing a dangerous game by leading the orcs away - he has to keep them too close for safety so they don't give up!

Eilian's poor keeper must be frantic, and Beliond will no doubt blame himself for being injured when he finds out they are both missing. Great chapter as always, Daw.


Author Reply: We Good!Ada!Thranduil fans have to support one another! Eilian is growing weaker but he is fortunate that his baby brother has become a competent warrior while Eilian's back was turned.

DotReviewed Chapter: 5 on 2/24/2004
So, I read this late last night, with the intention of just writing a quick review and going to bed but, well, it completely overwhelmed me and I had to go away and come back to it today! Daw, what an amazing chapter this is.

My favourite part of this chapter has to be the opening piece with Thranduil. You created a wonderful sense of restlessness, of that feeling that something is wrong but not quite being able to pinpoint what, and it’s clear to see the worries that weigh on his mind when his first thoughts even in the middle of the night are about his people’s plight. When he realised that something was wrong with Eilian I think I actually gasped out loud, despite knowing very well that this is what woke him! The whole scene kind of reminded me of that feeling you get when the phone rings during the night and you wake up with such a sense of dread, that almost certainty that something must be wrong but not knowing for sure yet exactly what it could be. I can’t imagine what it must be like for him to know that his son is in trouble, and I imagine it doesn’t get any easier no matter how many times he experiences this. The only thing is that I suppose at least he knows that as long as he can feel some connection there is hope that Eilian is not in too much trouble. “He would sit vigil this night for the child he did not understand but loved anyway, in the depths of his heart beyond those in which understanding was necessary.” That image really touched me. What a perfect and eloquent way of expressing Thranduil’s feelings for this son. Of course, we knew he loved him, but it really brought tears to my eyes to think of how fierce and deep this love is. *sigh* If only Thranduil had someone to comfort him and make his vigil a little less lonely.

Wow, Maltanaur is really something. I think I’m used to seeing him more as a guide and protector rather than in full warrior mode. I love the way he just immediately takes command and Sórion clearly has enough respect for him, as well as an understanding of Maltanaur’s unique role, to just step back.

Legolas is just so brave! How clever of him to think of his ‘crippled elf’ plan. I found his thoughts about Eilian really interesting. He seems to be growing more objective regarding his brother, but rather than just dismiss him as reckless he is able to see and understand his behaviour a little more. I like the way he realises for seemingly the first time that the fact that Eilian was the only one of Thranduil’s sons to be raised in a time of peace is probably what makes him different. In some ways Legolas seems to understand him a little more than his father does, despite having worshipped him so unquestioningly until recently. And just what does Legolas think he is going to do now?? Those arrows aren’t going to last long… Um, I’m getting a bit worried…!

“I see that you are a warrior. You have nothing to prove to me or anyone else.” I love the way suddenly he realises that he is willing to admit this. I’m so glad he notices everything Legolas has done for him. But Eilian is pain! Make him better, daw!!

That piece with Eilian and Celuwen was just brilliant. What a wonderful way in which you showed them both growing more aware of themselves and of each other, and not feeling quite comfortable with any of it. It’s as though Eilian suddenly realises that his friend is actually a maiden!! Sólith didn’t seem at all impressed, though…;)

“Do you want to make your naneth unhappy?” Hmmn. That was a little harsh. Even though I think fathers everywhere have used that trick. Still, I suppose he needed to be reminded of how much his actions affect those he loves. And it looks like Thranduil used affection as a more effective punishment than an outright scolding even way back then! Poor Eilian. I hope he focused on his father’s worry about sending his sons into battle rather than the comment about having problems raising him…

That last part! No! But…but…they’re looking for him… I love the way you wrote that, by the way – his thoughts growing confused and a vague knowledge that something’s not right. O.k., I’m way too worried about him now. I’m ready for him to wake up and be found and everyone to be reunited again. Maybe even live happily ever after. That’s what’s going to happen, right?! Daw?!;)

Author Reply: Thank you so much for this eloquent review, Dot. At this very minute I am writing about conflict between Thranduil and Eilian, and it was important for me to remember that Thranduil does love him, even when Eilian is driving him to despair. But it's hard to describe what that difficult love is like, so that's what I was trying to do. I'm glad you found it effective.

Legolas has a very clever plan to get rid of the Orcs! At least, I think he does. We'll see if my beta thinks it's plausible. No jumping over rivers while flung from trees or anything though. That kind of stuff is Eilian's territory.

I am always touched by the awkwardness of adolescence and I think that Celuwen and Eilian are trying to work their way past it so they can glory in their own changing bodies and in one another's. But Eilian is still not quite mature enough for their road to be an easy one, I'm afraid.

I think I too am ready to see what kind of an ending I can make here. Two more chapters at most, and maybe even just one! ;-)

KalileReviewed Chapter: 5 on 2/23/2004
AHHHHH! :pokes Eilian: Wake up! Wake up!
I'm confused about Thranduil's comment about having another child...specifically the "not wanting to send them out to battle." If Legolas wanted, couldn't he have been a healer, a smith, etc. or is he sort of required to be a warrior because of his position? Further, couldn't have the said child been female? (wouldn't have that been weird...) Anyhoo, I'm going to keep poking Eilian until you get started on another chapter. :poke:

Author Reply: You keep poking away, Kalile!

I think that Thranduil knows the child could be a daughter (who would also be vulnerable to the dangerous times, of course, although not so immediately dangerous as a warrior son), but he's unwilling to take the chance on having a son who will, like the older two, become a warrior. I also think that he would expect his sons to serve the realm in the way they were most needed, just as Denethor expected Faramir to become a soldier of Gondor. Legolas could have done something different if he had been determined to do so, but that would not have been what was expected.

My opinion only, of course. And also of course Thranduil is going to lose this argument, thank the Valar!

NikaraReviewed Chapter: 5 on 2/23/2004
Oh my gosh! Another amazing chapter. I love where the second story is going. It's a lot of fun to watch. What is happening to Legolas? I need to know! Please add soon!

Author Reply: The flashbacks are fun to write in this. Clueless, hormone ridden Eilian is just a disaster waiting to happen from any parent's point of view, including that of Celuwen's father!

Estel_Mi_OlorReviewed Chapter: 5 on 2/23/2004
Good grief, Eilian! *Curses dramatic irony* Oh, what to do? He's not going to answer Maltanuar because he's only half-concious. Maltanuar is going to think there's no one in the cave, and leave. Eilian is going to go into some sort of coma, further endangering his life. Legolas is battling fifteen, wait it's thirteen now, orcs. I can't endure this torture! OH!!! It's a very good story though. I love the flashbacks. I think there's a mistake though, in the paragraph after Lorellin says "We should have another baby, Thranduil,” Lorellin said in a low voice." When Thranduil answers he says "So you have said before. And I have said before, do you not think we have enough problems raising the child we have?” But he has children, plural. Doesn't he? I mean Ithilden is older than Eilian? Right? *Winces* It could just be my insanity speaking. I don't mean to go correcting my betters, so please don't hurt me if I misunderstood you. Well cheers and keep writing!

Author Reply: Poor Eilian. He's not doing too well right now.

I had a problem phrasing that sentence you quote. Thranduil and Lorellin do indeed have two sons. But only Eilian is a child they are raising right now. Ithilden is an adult. And I wanted Thranduil to be complaining specifically about what a pain Eilian is. I hesitated over how to say it too.

tigerlily713Reviewed Chapter: 5 on 2/23/2004
Ah! So he is starting to get it, is he? Poor kid has the hardest time with that elleth. Great chapter, I eagerly await more! Lily

Author Reply: Holy cow! Who knew that Celuwen was a girl?!! Turns out she's that AND she's one of his oldest friends. I think that's a combination that is irresistable to Eilian, although he doesn't know it yet.

nanethReviewed Chapter: 5 on 2/23/2004
The Surgeon General warned today that reading stories by an author named Daw the Minstrel can be hazardous to one's health. No mention was made if the danger was to the reader or to the author when her rabid fans attack her after finishing her latest chapter. :-)

Thranduil's love and worry for Eilian was so touching. We may not understanding those younglings, but we sure do love them bunches and worry about them often.

I truly loved Maltanaur taking charge of the search. I would think that all the commanders and warriors know that Beliond and Maltanaur "allow" themselves to be led by those nominally in charge. When the prince they guard is in danger, I do not doubt that pretences are dropped until their Thranduilion is safe once again.

When Legolas thought of those bones again, I had a sudden memory of him as a child. I had forgotten that he believed that his naneth was eaten by orcs. That made the whole scene with the bone even more sickening to contemplete. Uggh!

I'm really worried about both of my boys. Work cannot be an excuse, you must write and post quickly or you'd better watch out for rabid fans on your doorstep!

Author Reply: For the last three chapters, my beta has made the same comment, "Your readers are going to hurt you." So you and Nilmandra agree!

I'm glad you found Thranduil touching. He does love Eilian, but he has a hard time showing it. I think the remark that Eilian overheard (We have enough problems with our current child) must have stung a little.

Maltanaur has no doubt at all that he is in charge now and the Valar help anyone who gets in his way.

As for nana, well it makes me squirm to even write it, but I wouldn't be surprised if an orc took a bite or two out of her. Ick, ick, ick.

I am a state employee and we are in budget crisis for the third year in a row. That means my official work load just got upped by 20%. Sigh.

The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 5 on 2/23/2004
Your Minstrelness,

The Ranger is right; you post faster than a road runner on caffeine dodges on-coming traffic. Mind you, I'm not complaining. What a pleasant surprise to find two new chapters when I got home.

The last chapter was wonderful as always, but I'll concentrate on this one. I was glad to get a glimpse into what was going on with Thranduil. Even though he and Eilian do not share as close a bond as the king does with his other two sons, it's still there. I really like that. Eilian may be an 'alien' to his adar, I don't think anyone could ever doubt, not even Eilian, that his father loves him. I don't imagine this is the first time Thranduil has been shaken awake by a feeling of restlessness and worry to find his bond to Eilian being tugged. And this on top of trying to pull his realm through such a harsh winter. It's a good thing Elves don't age the same way us mortal parents do, or Thranduil would be drooling onto a bib by now.

Maltanaur! I love Maltanaur! He plays the game of 'who's in charge' until the wheel meets the rut, then he has no time for such niceties. That's one of the things I've always like about your 'keepers'. At first glance, it looks like such a crud job, but in reality, no one outranks them but the king where their charges are concerned. The keepers Thranduil appoints would have to extraordinary Elves: experienced, mature and completely egoless. And I love that they will buck anybody's system...including the king' order to do their job. They are very parental.

Legolas had certainly stepped out into danger. I think he would have done the same for any of his companions, but the stakes are particularly high when it's Eilian's life on the line. Elf-boy is growing up nicely. We, of course, know he survives or Tolkien would be out of a character. Still, I love the way you have brought him along in the course of your stories to be the Elf Tolkien wrote about.

My heart fell when Eilian got so lost in his memories that he passed up the signal of his rescue party. The poison and loss of blood has certainly left him confused and disoriented. He's hiding all right! From the wrong guys! Poor Eilian. Maltanaur may be 'wroth'at all this, but he cannot blame Eilian this time. It's not like he was doing anything foolish at the time. He was just doing his job. No, I think he will be angry with himself for going with Beliond and leaving Eilian alone under such unstable circumstances. Of course, knowing this won't make him any less lethal when the time comes. Have I mentioned that I love Maltanaur?

We, the readers, can only hope that you stay swift in pushing that 'post' button. This has been one of your best stories...right up there with 'Prodigal Sons'...which is my personal favorite.

Carry on, your dawness. Karen

Author Reply: I am sucking down caffeine even as I type. It's a wonderful thing.

I wanted to be sure to remind readers that Thanduil loves Eilian because that's not always easy to tell. He's so often ready to kill his son that the love doesn't actually shine through. And bossy Maltanaur charmed me too. He has absolutely no doubt that he's in charge now. And everyone else knows it too (including Eilian, when he's not in lala land).

I have to admit that I really like writing about Legolas as a child and adolescent and was a little reluctant to write the stories in which he becomes more fully adult, but they are really the point of the whole story cycle. Legolas will join the Fellowship. That's what makes it important to see how he got to be the kind of person he is.

I have to work a little now, but the next chapter is all planned out. Indeed, almost everything in it was originally going to go in this one. I have no judgement at all when it comes to guessing how much space it will take to tell any given part of a story.

Hope you had fun in the mountains.

Antigone_QReviewed Chapter: 5 on 2/23/2004
The paragraph where Thranduil stays awake in vigil for his least-understood son (the one that starts "in recent years") is just gorgeous. I loved every word of it.

I noticed there were several shifts in point-of-view here. I thought you handled them well, and they were very useful in keeping the reader informed about how events are unfolding as they relate to the search for the lost elves.

I laughed at the scene with Celuwen's father. Yes, Eilian, Celuwen's father knows _exactly_ what you are thinking. Poor Rainbow-boy is so clueless at times; it's a wonder Celuwen ever figured out what was going on in his head!

I'm a bit concerned about Eilian's state of mind. I can't believe he missed the search party! And yet another cliff-hanger - this isn't like you, Daw! Sigh. Just get Eilian and Legolas home in one piece, please?

Author Reply: I really wanted to bring out Thranduil's love for Eilian because it's not always obvious. I'm glad you liked it.

The shifting points of view turned out to be necessary when I decided I wanted to take a look at Thranduil and Maltanaur. Readers had asked how they were doing and I thought that a little scene now would be much better than having someone tell about things later.

Celuwen's father was once a young male elf himself. He probably even saw Eilian making eye contact with his daughter at chest level. LOL. Poor guy.

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