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Sacrifice Under Shadow  by daw the minstrel 36 Review(s)
Asms2Reviewed Chapter: 7 on 5/1/2016
Legolas did a great job keeping Eilian and himself safe in this one. And Eilian handled the situation quite well too - allowing himself to be taken care of and trusting Legolas. It was fun to see the two of them alone together for a while without their keepers or other warriors around. They did pretty well considering the circumstances.

It's interesting to see glimpses of their Mother and remember that Eilian and Ithilden grew up with her in their lives, as Legolas didn't get a chance to. The family dynamic would have been different back then.

Maltanaur and Beliond are endearing with how protective they are of the boys. This would have been difficult for them to have no idea where they were! When they came back to camp, and Legolas learns that Eilian will be ok, and then slumps back into Beliond's grasp, I like how Beliond says: "Yes, yes. Now you see sense. Come. You can sleep now."

Another fun read! :)

Author Reply: Thanks, Asms2. I wanted to do a role reversal between Eilian and Legolas here, and also a glimpse of one between Eilian and Ithilden. In each case, I wanted the younger brother to care for or comfort the older one, which kind of confused them both. :-)

You're absolutely right that if their mother had lived, the family would have been very different. For one thing, I think Eilian and Celuwen would have bonded younger. Lorellin would have worked her way around Celuwen's father and brought him to see sense, if anyone could. And Ithilden might not have been so driven to save everyone else. And of course, as you note, Legolas would have grown up with a mother's unconditional love. Of course then he might not have been so motivated to go on the Quest, so you never know.

daw

endorearwenReviewed Chapter: 7 on 11/2/2013
This was another enthralling story, Daw! Naturally, I simply could not get enough of Ithilden! I just LOVE reading about the early years in this family. It was very touching to envision that scene of Eilian awkwardly comforting his older brother in the palace gardens. Oh, how my heart broke when Ithilden revealed his fear of not being able to bear the return of Shadow to the Woodland Realm. Sometimes experience is the hardest burden to bear - ignorance does hold a certain amount of bliss. However, I quite appreciated seeing Ithilden in a rare moment of vulnerability!

You did a superb job of reversing roles between Eilian and Legolas. It was difficult at first to think of Eilian as 'dependent' - upon anyone! I really enjoyed seeing Eilian deferring to his younger brother's judgement in getting them both to safety. I always like it when you move between the past and the present in your stories. This one delivered that in spades! It was a clever idea to parallel the role reversals between the brothers in both the past and present - well executed too!

I found it fascinating to follow Legolas' thoughts as he surmounted each new challenge threatening Eilian's safety. The series of tests you threw at him would very easily have overwhelmed even the most seasoned of warriors and it was gratifying to see him emerge as a force to be reckoned with - even if he has only 200 years of experience to his credit! ;-) After having ventured so far along the path with this wonderful family, it was both heartwarming and satisfying to see Eilian openly acknowledge Legolas' abilities (not that I anticipate he will actually curtail his protective instincts but...!)

If there was anything wanting in the work, Daw, it was reaching the end of the story without being told the content of Celuwen's letter to Eilian! It was the only part of the plot left unresolved... Why would you do that to us, Daw - really, why?! :-)

Author Reply: Endorearwen! How nice to see you again. I hope you're feeling better.

Thranduil is cynical and never believed the Shadow was gone forever, but Ithilden is more hopeful, so it's return was hard for him. Eilian was certainly shocked to see him so beaten down.

And poor Legolas knew that he wouldn't be able to bear it if Eilian died in his care. Eilian wasn't always an easy child for his parents, but hearing that comment from his mother was tough.

You'll see the content of Celuwen's letter in the next story. I should probably warn you that story is my only R rated story. Thank god my mother never saw it, rest her soul.

daw

pipinheartReviewed Chapter: 7 on 10/15/2005
Maltanaur is fierce in his protection for Eilian, Legolas did a good job caring for him and he let him know...Beliond as well was worried about him and threatened to beat him with his crutch, funny...
Thranduil loves his childeren and can tell as he sits with Eilian, and the worry over Legolas out with no family watching after him,he has grown up and that is hard for a father...

Author Reply: Eilian is home with a "personal" letter from Celuwen, and he and Thranduil are temporarily at peace.

moonshine44(ff.n)Reviewed Chapter: 7 on 4/24/2005
Hey Daw! I just re-read this story! It still amazes me in the way which you manage to capture such a strong sence of loss and love among Legolas`s family. I have read this story once, and I am still left dazed by it!

Author Reply: I'm glad you like it, moonshine. When I wrote it, I was experimenting reversing the usual order of who comforts and looks out for whom. So Legolas cares for Eilian, and Eilian comforts Ithilden. "Dazed" is a high compliment.

ErendisReviewed Chapter: 7 on 3/12/2004
Well, now I can say that I've read every story you wrote, (or have I?) and I found them all equally wonderful. The way you handle known characters is wonderful and I find myself agreeing with your view of them. Plus, I admire your own characters (Eilian, Ithilden, Celuwen) quite a bit! I can "see" them clearly in my mind and that's what makes them believable to me.
I like also how you explore family relationships and the way the characters grow and mature in every chapter of your stories.

All in all, I really can't wait to see what else you've got for us in your future writings. Thank you, then, for letting me see Mirkwood and its inhabitants with your eyes!

Author Reply: Erendis--

You are too kind. You must have been reeling by the time you finished all those stories. You pick out exactly what I like writing: family dynamics and characters who grow and change. I so appreciate your kind words.

daw

FadesintothewestReviewed Chapter: 7 on 3/7/2004
Finally, I got to catch up. I have been out of town on work too much but was happy to see this story come to such a fine end. It's good to have your stories to read when I am home.

Legolas really came into his own in this one and it makes me excited to read more of your stories. Again, the character development is so wonderful. These characters are all so dear to me. Ah Eilian, hope he finds what he's looking for.

Author Reply: Travelling for work really eats into your fanfic time I find. Your boss should be told.

Eilian hasn't yet told me what was in the letter from Celuwen (because it's *personal*), but he will eventually, I'm sure. And I was proud of the warrior Legolas has become. Years of love, training, and discipline have finally paid off.

LKKReviewed Chapter: 7 on 3/3/2004
This was a wonderful story with an ultimately happy ending, daw. So why are my eyes stinging from tears? Maybe because of these two simple lines: And yet, in his mindís eye, Thranduil saw a small, blond elfling running to him with his arms lifted to be picked up. Where had that elfling gone? If anything, this story has been about loss -- loss of innocence -- and recognition of the loss. And that saddens me. Your story touched me deeply.

LKK


Author Reply: I am the mother of a son who is all grown up (more or less) and I sympathize with Thranduil. He has lost the baby. Legolas has lost the sense the Eilian will always take care of him and Eilian has lost the idea that he can shelter his little brother. And as you point out, the back story is all about loss. At least, Thranduil's family gains something too in their love for one another.

Thank you, LKK.

NikaraReviewed Chapter: 7 on 3/1/2004
Wonderful job with this story. It was very well written, and very fun to read. I can't wait to read more!

Author Reply: Thank you, Nikara. I enjoyed writing it too. I get wrapped up in my characters and can't bear to leave them hanging, which is why I finish the story so quickly!

A new story will be along soon.

LeraReviewed Chapter: 7 on 3/1/2004
Oh, wow. *wipes away tear* that last part was so touching. I love Thranduil. More and more I see his side of things and right now my heart is just hurting for him when he hears that his youngest son is part of a fellowship traveling toward Mount Doom. I was so happy at his words to Eilien. So often those two clash and don't communicate well, but for once, they both just said what needed to be said. What was in that letter?! The "my dearest Eilien" sounds good, but you better be planning to reveal exactly what its contents were in the next story!(which is coming really soon right?!) Your readers are so spoiled. We feel we have the right to demand story after story, with constant updates. We love you!!!

Maltaneur and Beliond have become loveable to me in their own gruff ways. It was sweet to see Legolas sagging against Beliond who's being supported by a crutch. And now Legolas is all alone. He's been so lucky to have the kind of family support he's had. K, that was a beautiful story. I loved seeing a bit of young Eilien, seeing his wonderful mother Lorrellin, and now I finally see Legolas a full fledged adult and warrior.

Author Reply: Lera--How good you make me feel! And I just came from a depressing day at the office so I welcome it especially.

I cannot imagine how this family I made for Legolas reacted to his going with Frodo. It must have about knocked them flat. And then, of course, the enemy attacks the forest at the same time. They must have been just insanely worried.

You can thank my beta for the moments with the keepers. I had some stuff in there but she suggested that I put more, and she was, as usual, right.

I'm not sure what I'm doing for my next story. Whether the letter comes into it depends on where in the timeline I write. But Eilian seems happy so you can enjoy imagining what must have made him feel that way. I will say that he has a way to go yet to get what he wants, but at least she's speaking to him.

PortiaReviewed Chapter: 7 on 3/1/2004
I have loved all of your fics for a while, but I am a terrible reviewer *hangs head in shame* and so I've never told you so. Sorry! You've completely reinforced my shameless Legolas love and Thranduil love, and you've made me like Ithilden and Eilian almost as much.

I really like the glimpse into the Shadow returning that you give us in this chapter. Drunken and sad Ithilden...poor boy. And everything he says is so natural and just what one would expect from someone in his position. "I have been contemplating mortality. I find I do not like it." Aww. Legolas and Eilian in the caves are incredibly touching, as are Beliond and Maltanaur when they find their charges. Legolas is such a clever Elf. And of course the glimpse into Eilian's novice days is intriguing. And imaginative! You seem to know all these different ways for people to do reckless things and get themselves into trouble.

And now I want to know what the note from Celuwen says. Too bad this is the last chapter!

Author Reply: I am always so thrilled when another reader tells me they like these stories. I think that most writers feel a little unsure of themselves even when reviewers say nice things (well, we say, they're just being kind). So I really appreciate your telling me that you've been reading all along.

I felt bad for Ithilden too. I think he would take the return of Shadow hard. And why not? It must have seemed miraculous when Mithrandir drove it out and there was a mostly peaceful interlude in the forest. And to have to start over again is just heartbreaking.

The relationship between Legolas and Eilian has always seemed a special one to me and I was anxious for them to negotiate an adult version of it. I'm glad you think it worked.

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