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Glorious Summer  by daw the minstrel 19 Review(s)
Tapetum LucidumReviewed Chapter: 4 on 9/23/2004
Thranduil's perusal of his youngest's letter was very sweet. I guess your baby is always your baby - and never a grown up. His assessment of Legolas' skills as a lieutenant were certainly accurate. Occasional trouble? Think how boring things would have been without Turgon. He and Annael would have never found excitement. The small gesture of tucking the letter against his breast was very parental.

Council meetings seem to have gotten a lot more interesting. A little more info on the mysterious men. You do a good job of trickling your subplots down through a family centric tale. Thranduil's handling of Celuwen was great! I would hope he would show the same mercy with any new advisor - not just his new daughter-in-law. Poor Thrior. Celuwen's proposal was a good one. Having her bring it before the colonists is a good idea. Often a proposal is rejected based on the author rather than its merit. Politics is played the same everywhere. I agree that she has the most potential to see it done. Thrior better do a darn good job in coaching the new ambassador.

Eilian's handling of Tinar keeps cracking me up. I think Tinar is looking forward to Eilian's release more than Elian is. In your earlier stories Eilian had a particularly strong gift at reading people. I guess it can be used for quieting people as well. I liked it when you had Eilian ask for permission to speak to his brother/commander. It must often be challenging to fill both roles.

Ithilden showed his wisdom in keeping his conflict with Celuwen away from his brother. It is her job to keep her husband up to date. I hope Ithilden didn't let his frustration with Celuwen keep him from listening to Eilian. If I were Tinar, I wouldn't spar with Eilian today.

Eilian did make a huge tactical error. Now everyone is up in arms. The right answer would have been: "That is great! I can't wait to see your father again! You don't mind if I go with you, do you?" Please jot that down for him and post it in his armoire where he is sure to see it. My neighbor made the same tactical mistake. He told his wife "You are not going to paint the breakfast nook wall purple." Guess what color it is. My husband is far too wise to make that kind of a mistake. At least Celuwen understood his fear and they made the most of the evening.

I am looking forward to finding out what will happen to the men traipsing around Thranduil's forest.

Author Reply: I think that Thranduil is particularly attentive to Legolas's feelings not just because he's the baby, but also because he raised him as a single parent. I think that Naneth probably was the one who provided emotional support to the older two, but Thranduil did if for Legolas and as a consequence, he's closer to his youngest.

I've had a hard time getting my external conflict plot going in this story and what will probably happen is that it will seem to hit with a bang, but that's ok.

Ithilden was annoyed at Celuwen, I think, and it's possible he took it out a little on Eilian. Poor Eilian. He's just so much his mother's child and Ithilden and Thranduil are a lot alike too.

So you think that "no" is not a good answer for a husband to make? I think you may be right! Eilian was just so startled and so frightened that the word popped out. He'll learn.

caz - bazReviewed Chapter: 4 on 9/23/2004
I just found that Mithril awards page, well done. Where there any of your stories they didn't put in?

Author Reply: I was very fortunate with those award, Caz-baz. People were kind enough to nominate me and then the judges liked a lot of what I wrote. So I felt blessed.

SadronReviewed Chapter: 4 on 9/22/2004
I really love your stories!!! (and this one is not an exception...)

I think you make some great stories about Legolas please keep going...

Author Reply: Thank you, Sadron. I intend to keep going! I'm working on chapter 5 but unfortunately my boss actually extects me to show up at work. Silly man. :-)

White WolfReviewed Chapter: 4 on 9/20/2004
I love the fact that Thranduil treasures Legolas's letters, even though he knows that his son isn't telling him about the dangerous things. It has to be hard for Legolas not to pour out his heart on how he feels about the things that happen.

There is indeed tension between Eilian and Celuwen just like you said there would be. I did like Celuwen's backbone in standing up for her idea. However, I think she will learn in time how best to handle council meetings.

I also loved the wardrobe scene---or should I say the suggestion of the scene. :o)

Author Reply: I think most warriors probably hide the scary things from their families, but Legolas has an even harder task because his father is king and his brother is the troop commander. So he has to be careful not to spy, as his captain fears he is doing.

Celuwen is a strong person, but she has a lot to learn. And who knew there were so many furniture lovers at SoA? ;-)

Ms. WhatsitReviewed Chapter: 4 on 9/20/2004
Conflicts, tensions and negotiations...this was an interesting chapter, all right. I love how you can see one situation that your characters get into grow from the stuff that happened before. It makes the story very continuous and smooth.

Author Reply: Thank you, Ms. Whatsit. I was working in those first three chapters to set up a lot of this, and I'm glad it seems to have been effective. To me, what's interesting is not so much what events happen (although that can be interesting) as what the events *mean* to the people involved.

DotReviewed Chapter: 4 on 9/20/2004
Only me again… Yeah, I know Celuwen’s guards aren’t staying in the settlement; I meant the three warriors that Ithilden can spare if the settlers agree to the training plan. Never mind, I was just trying to sort it out in my head but didn’t phrase it too well! LOL, it did sound like a math problem – I always hated those! Plus, I think I just figured it out – two warriors to each of the three settlements to conduct the training but only one to stay in each permanently. Yes? See, I told you I wasn’t good at this kind of thing… Feel free to shake your head in despair ;-)

Author Reply: I think I see what you mean! Math is not my strong suit either.

DotReviewed Chapter: 4 on 9/20/2004
Crikey, I’m tense after that chapter. It was fantastic, though.

I really loved the opening scene with Thranduil sitting in the garden reading Legolas’ letter. There’s a real sense of resignation on Thranduil’s part. He’s been down this path before and knows these feelings of pain and fear, just as he knows they probably won’t subside and he won’t get the information he wants, no matter how reassuring his son tries to be. Of course, as a parent he very possibly thinks that the more his children try to reassure him, there more likely it is that there’s cause for worry.

In a way I feel bad for Legolas. I don’t blame him at all for keeping a lot of things from his father because we’ve all done the same but he probably needs someone to talk to about his new role and how he’s doing and yet must feel limited in what he can say about that because his father and Ithilden have the power to interfere. I guess he can always write to Annael.

The comparison to his older brothers is interesting. I suppose Thranduil can’t help comparing his sons but I like that he still sees Legolas as an individual and willingly – and indeed proudly – acknowledges his strengths. I imagine he knows Legolas a little better than he did the other two. Better than he did Eilian anyway. I absolutely agree with Thranduil that it’ll just take time for the rest of the patrol to recognise Legolas’ strengths. And I’m sure Beliond would agree that it’ll take Legolas time too.

I was utterly fascinated by the council meeting! I don’t think we’ve ever seen much of one except for that bit in ‘Tangled Web’. I’m going to have to get myself a decent map. My poor brain doesn’t do very well with the what’s-going-on-wheres. Plus, I think I tend to forget that there’s life outside Mirkwood! Thranduil’s spies are certainly well travelled…

The Men agreeing to pay the river toll – is that the lot from ‘Spring Awakenings’? Lol, Legolas did well, then.

Poor Thrior. I think he’s lucky Thranduil is so fond of Celuwen. Her suggestion made a lot of sense. If she was going to unwittingly upset the meeting, at least it was with something worthwhile. She has some courage telling Thranduil that the settlers might not feel much gratitude towards him and practically ignoring Ithilden. It’s funny. I don’t think it’s dawned on her that she should be more wary of them. I’m kind of glad, though, that she didn’t totally get her own way just because I think it’s good for her to learn from the beginning that things actually are difficult and the king isn’t just holding back on aid. I could be a tad biased, though – those settlement elves annoy me no end! Sólith has given them all a bad name with his stubborn refusal to move nearer the stronghold while persistently demanding to be guarded. *deep breath* So, if one warrior is left in the settlement, do they then move onto the next and leave one again so that the last settlement has just one warrior doing the training? Or have I got it mixed up? I don’t know if that’s something many would volunteer for. Ithilden’s right that he’ll have to choose very carefully.

“Can you be ready to leave in the morning?” Ah. I figured something like that would happen sooner or later. It looks like Eilian is about to get a taste of what it was like for her whenever he went off on patrol and what she’ll face when he eventually returns south.

LOL at Eilian sparring with Tinár. I bet Eilian enjoyed that no end.

Now, just who *are* these strange Men? They’ve cropped up too many times not to be important. I’m looking at the screen feeling like I should know what’s going on. Or maybe I’ve just become very suspicious of you and your fondness for leading your readers astray…;-)

“Eilian, are you sure that you are disturbed by the reports and not by the fact that someone else is making decisions for the Southern Patrol?” Hmmn. I’m going to be bad and agree that there might be some truth in that. But I also trust Eilian’s gut instinct about such matters and Ithilden generally trusts him as well – he should still do so because it’d be a pity if Celuwen had to be hurt for his family to realise that Eilian was right… I had to laugh, though, when Eilian caught Ithilden in a bad mood and Ithilden couldn’t very well explain that he was annoyed by his brother’s wife!

I could hardly bear to read that scene in the sitting room! I understand that Celuwen was excited but surely she has been there long enough to know that these people don’t easily separate work and home life, and can only do so if they don’t speak of work at all at meal-times… *cringe* Poor Eilian is obviously going to find it hard to come to terms with the fact that now his wife will sometimes be privy to more information that he is and answerable to his father as well. I can only imagine how tense that meal was. I can just see Alfirin desperately prattling on about everyday affairs and the rest of them glowering at their plates.

“You have no idea how difficult the last month has been for me.” He probably doesn’t totally but I think he has been doing his best and is likely frustrated because he can’t do much about it, as well as trying to live with the fact that he’s the one who brought her here and thus feels responsible for any unhappiness that she experiences. I also think that it’s been tough for him in many ways and maybe she doesn’t quite realise that. He wants to get back to his life as a warrior, yet also wants to spend time with his new wife and his father hasn’t entirely forgiven him yet. Plus he has to share an office with Tinár. *shudder*

“I will not be careless as your naneth was, Eilian.” Ouch. I like that she was perceptive enough to realise this was influencing him even before he did but boy, that was blunt. No matter how much he loves Celuwen, it must hurt Eilian to hear his beloved mother be called ‘careless’, even though he does know his father thinks so.

And they’re at it again? Geez. I hope they used the bed this time…;-)

I’m worried. I’d be even more worried if I didn’t know that Celuwen survives but still, I’m wondering if the different strands in this story will remain separate or if Legolas and Celuwen will meet again amidst danger…And if anything happens to Celuwen I’m afraid that Eilian will completely blame Thranduil and Ithilden. And Legolas is hardly in a very safe place with Shadow, Orcs and strange Men... Ah well, I guess I’ll wait and see what happens. Impatiently, mind. But I’ll wait. :-)

Author Reply: I feel very sorry for Thranduil, having to send his sons off into danger. And I feel particularly bad for him with Legolas, whom he raised as a single parent and thus, I think, is close to. I hadn't thought about the fact that Legolas can't even do the normal griping in his letters because of who his father and brother are, but that must be hard. I wonder what would happen if he did gripe. Maybe they'd mostly ignore it, trying to separate their family role from their duties, but that's a hard thing to pull off.

The war that Thranduil is talking about in the council meeting is one between Rohan and various enemies. This is the summer of 2759 TA, the one after the Long Winter in which Helm Hammerhand froze to death. Corsairs attacked Gondor, making it unable to help Rohan much when men from the east attacked Rohan. The Dunlendings (Dunland is just west of the Gap of Rohan) took advantage of the situation and attacked too because they thought of the land of the Rohirrim as belonging to them (Gondor gave the land to the Rohirrim in 2510). The Dunlendings set up one of their own, a man named Wulf, on the throne in Edoras. When spring came, Gondor had driven the Corsairs away and came to aid of Rohan. The thaw was catastrophic given the depth of the snow, and the rivers all flooded, so the enemy was in a bad way. By the end of the year, they were all driven out. (I'm sorry if that's too much information!)

The two guards going with Celuwen are just her escort. They're not going to stay in the settlement. She's just testing the waters here. I looked at your question about how the last settlement would wind up with one warrior and decided that it looked like a math story problem. Then I shuddered and read on.

I like the fact that in the discussion between Eilian and Ithilden, you see them both as being in the right but also influenced by less lofty motives: Eilian wants *his* patrol and Ithilden is ticked at Celuwen. I like mixed, flawed characters who are basically good. I think that's realistic.

I couldn't bear to write the dinner scene. I thought it would be way too tense. And I think it's interesting that Celuwen has gained power in a way as Eilian has lost it. That has to be hard to adjust to, and I'm not sure Eilian intends to do it! I also thought that she might not understand how hard this was for him. There was a reason they didn't marry for all those years and things haven't changed any.

JebbReviewed Chapter: 4 on 9/20/2004
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!
I hear the sound of threatening music in the background and just know that Celuwen and Legolas are about to find out that there is indeed need for others to worry
I loved Thranduil's musings on the strengths of his youngest son and how he compared to his older children and Legolas' letter of course. Thranduil knows all of his sons very well but his 'baby' is special I think
As for the council well Celuwen is very brave to take on Adar and Ithilden who obviously did not like being challenged which meant poor Eilian was then in the firing line and why is it that when everyone should be listening to his advice and concerns no one is?
As for these strange men and news of the war well it just adds to my concerns which is exactly the effect you hoped to achieve I guess
thank you

Author Reply: Yes, the plot is thickening! :-)

I think that Thranduil knows Legolas better than the other two, certainly better than he knows Eilian anyway. And I think it's because he raised him as a single parent. He did things for Legolas that Nana did for the other two, and Legolas turned to him for the things that the older brothers would have sought from their mother. Thranduil held Legolas when he had nightmares, saw to it that he had a good time with his friends on his begetting day, tried to talk to him when his heart was broken for the first time, and generally worried about his emotional well-being. And I think that habit would be hard to break.

Oh yeah, Ithilden took his annoyance out on Eilian, who is right, for pity's sake!

The war really did happen in Tolkien during the Long Winter and following summer. This is the summer of 2759 TA, the one after the Long Winter in which Helm Hammerhand froze to death. Corsairs attacked Gondor, making it unable to help Rohan much when men from the east attacked Rohan. The Dunlendings (Dunland is just west of the Gap of Rohan) took advantage of the situation and attacked too because they thought of the land of the Rohirrim as belonging to them (Gondor gave the land to the Rohirrim in 2510). The Dunlendings set up one of their own, a man named Wulf, on the throne in Edoras. When spring came, Gondor had driven the Corsairs away and came to aid of Rohan. The thaw was catastrophic given the depth of the snow, and the rivers all flooded, so the enemy was in a bad way. By the end of the year, they were all driven out.

That's probably more than you wanted to know. :-)

French PonyReviewed Chapter: 4 on 9/19/2004
You know between the Orcs and Shadow in the South and the icy relations at the caverns, Legolas may actually be the safest one in his family right now. And of course you don't go writing your parents about the really nasty stuff. Parents have a disturbing tendency to get maudlin enough. Mine did, when I left home. And, of course, I hid things from them, including nearly getting evicted into the snow in Germany three days before Christmas while an exchange student. They found out anyway, though. Parents always do.

It's good to see Celuwen in action. For all that she's the newest daughter-in-law, she's always been kind of this peripheral character -- Eilian's Girlfriend or Eilian's Wife. It's good to see her on the job. The chair recognizes the freshman Senator from the settlements, and all that. Her idea about training up the settlers for defense is a good one. The settlers seem to want a lot of the benefits of the King's protection without paying the price either of service or of moving closer to home base, and it's time that they pitched in a little. I think it'll make them sit up and realize just how much the King does for them that they don't know about.

Thranduil's splitting up the honeymoon couple? He's got a coupla big brass ones, is all I have to say. Maybe his room is a little too close to their Special Wardrobe and he can't sleep nights. . . or mornings. . . or afternoons. . . or early evenings just after tea-time. . .

“I promise.” She looked at him for a long moment. “I will not be careless as your naneth was, Eilian.”

Anyone who says something like that about a guy's momma and trusts that he won't smack her has got to feel utterly secure in his love for her. I can't picture Eilian letting anyone else get away with phrasing it that way, except possibly Legolas, who wouldn't say it anyway.

Author Reply: It's my theory that one reason kids should go way to college is so you won't know what they're doing any more. I wanted to know my kid was happy, but beyond that I really didn't want to think about it. Anyway, the family will calm down. I don't imagine this is the first time there's been a spat.

Celuwen is at the stage where she can actually get some stuff done because she's the new kid and doesn't know she's not supposed to do some things. But eventually, she'll have to conform to the rules or she's likely to get fired. I suspect that Thranduil is still a little annoyed at Eilian and thus not at all averse to making him sleep alone for a while.

I think Celuwen does feel secure in Eilian's love, although I suspect I could have had her phrase that a little better. It just sort of occurred to me as I was writing that that had to be a factor, and it occurred at that moment, late in the chapter.

ManderlyReviewed Chapter: 4 on 9/19/2004
So much for the peace and quiet! It seems like everyone is on edge now. Definitely glad I am not a member of the Royal family!

As much as I admire Celuwen, I do not get a good feeling about her taking off like that, especially when she makes mention of Eilian's naneth. I hope I am wrong. Elian must be beside himself knowing that he can do nothing to prevent his wife from going on this mission. It may give him a bit of what Celuwen must go through when he goes on patrol and perhaps they will come to some acceptable compromise.

Strange men and a large contingent of orcs in the forest. What exactly do you have plan for us? I am holding my breath in anticipation.

Author Reply: Things blew up, didn't they? But my experience is that families have these horrible moments sometimes. They get over them, of course, but in the meantime, everyone it ticked off.

That's a good observation about how Celuwen must go through the same fears when Eilian goes off to his warrior duties. I look forward to seeing Celuwen with her parents though.

"Strange men and a large contingent of orcs in the forest." Hm. When you put it that way, it does sound bad!

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