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A Creature of Fire  by daw the minstrel 27 Review(s)
lwarrenReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/25/2005
Legolas is turning into a cheeky little brother, isn't he? Teasing Ithilden about picnics and thick blankets, etc! I had to laugh at that part, especially after almost crying over Legolas' sadness and guilt over Naran's death. Taking the body of a young warrior back to their family and having to tell them had to be an awful burden and of course, hyper-responsible Legolas would blame himself. Thank goodness Ithilden was there to talk to him and reassure him and see that he needed posting somewhere besides the South for awhile. It's almost like Shadow picks the vulnerable point of each individual and presses on it until despair sets in...with Legolas, hitting him in that responsible/duty area and playing on his tendency to feel at fault and insecure is certainly bound to affect him in the worst possible way.

I love the new horse...and am glad everyone finally figured out that obedience lessons needed to come from someone BESIDES our Prince! LOL

In fact, daw, the whole first chapter is great. I like seeing everything from Legolas' POV, altho' that had to be hard to do (of course, I like anything from Legolas' POV) and you really did it well, especially the part where he overhears the argument between Eilian and Celuwen. So, a sabbatical in one of the villages...and Anyr's? Isn't he the goofy, not-a-brain-in-his-head elf that had the flooded village? OOOOOHHHH, does that mean that cute little elf maiden that caught Legolas' fancy will show up again? He's certainly feeling somewhat jealous of Ithilden and Eilian and all that wedded bliss/bonding going on about him! Great beginning....I am off to review chapter 2 and hopefully beyond (IwillcatchupIwillcatchupIwillcatchup...)

linda
(couldn't Calith hit Tinar with a paperweight or a map or an acorn...or something...just once...pleaseeeeeeee?????)

Author Reply: When I start a new story, one of the things I have to do now is go and look at my list of them, see where these comes, and remind myself repeatedly of how old Legolas is in them. So this story (as I keep telling myself) is set later than anything except the one about the Battle of 5 Armies and the one about the forming of the Fellowship. So I thought Legolas would be establishing a more or less adult relationship with his brothers and father and (he hopes) Beliond. And I thought the teasing of Ithilden was part of that, although I did hesitate because I would hesitate to tease Ithilden about 'picnics'!

Anyway, I think your analysis of Shadow is right on. I think it does pick people's weakest spots and worm its way in. Legolas is not as well suited to the Southern Patrol as Eilian is. Eilian is more naturally optimistic.

Glad you liked the POV. I'm finding it a bit of a struggle, I have to admit. And as for the maiden, she didn't live in Anyr's village or Legolas would have been visiting there. She lived "somewhere north" according to Anyr. :-)

I think I might have to write something from Calith's POV one of these days. He's beginning to interest me.

MirkwoodmaidenReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/16/2005
Daw!

I love reading your stories and so happy that you've started another one! You've created such a wonderfully realised world for Legolas to live in. The storylines are always so intricately woven with details and relationships that develop further story after. I'm curious as to where this one will go, but I know it will be a joy to read.

MM

Author Reply: Thank you for these encouraging words! I've been writing these stories so obsessively for quite a while now and their world is getting kind of complicated, which can be hard on readers.

And will we see Estel back in Imladris or with the Dunedain soon?

Rose SaredReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/14/2005
I really love the way you consistently manage to capture the bittersweet nature of elven life. Sadness and joy, immortality and sudden death, odd mixtures. No sorrow without the perfect comprehension that time will ease it, no joy without the knowledge of its inevitable end. Constant in an endless sea of change, no wonder elves sail eventually for the west.
I hope Leggy tastes at least a little romance, tough to be the odd one out when the whole fam-damily is, or has been, happily partnered.
Lovely to have another story from you - do hope you might get to my neck of the world one day soon, you would, indeed, be most welcome.
Rose

Author Reply: My husband was just asking me yesterday where I'd still like to go and I said New Zealand, so maybe we'll make it one day.

I was caught by your comments here. That word "bittersweet" does seem to characterize much of what it must have been like to be an immortal in ME, with all the perspective on impermanence that deathlessness would give you.

Legolas is feeling a little left out just now. I was thinking about LACE, in which Tolkien seems to say that marriage is the natural state for an elf. That suggests that one who isn't bonded might feel a certain emptiness.

Thank you for letting me know you're reading, Rose Sared.

Tapetum LucidumReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/13/2005
Sometimes it is hard to make the jump from one story to the next. It usually takes me a little while to figure out where I am in your Legolas timeline. He went from rookie to lieutenant and it is a hard adjustment to make. Starting a story with a Tinar scene is always a good way to get back in the swing of things. He is always good for a laugh. Ithilden handled his youngest sibling well. It was best to clear the air over the death of a warrior before moving on to new assignments. I hope Legolas never learns to take death lightly. He shouldn't. I am glad his attitude towards this new posting is a good one. It sounds like their Nana was very wise. The picnic sounds like a good way to relieve stress!

Ha! Ha! I am surprised we haven't seen a lot of matchmaking in the past! I can't really blame Beliniel - she must have a lot of friends ask about the most eligible bachelor in the realm. I am sure she was pleasant enough but I am glad he is holding out for true love.

Legolas is a popular guy when he is on leave. The trip to the stables was very pleasant. The horse sounds like a pleasure - Go Thranduil! It was good to see Legolas act so maturely and take his new assignment and horse in stride. The training issue was handled cleverly.

The lilac and trellis screen sounds like a dangerous place. Eilian and Celuwen would be mortified if they knew their "discussion" had been heard. Celuwen is not making an unreasonable request but I can also understand Eilian's guilt over taking some time off. You have set up quite a quandry. It is nice to see Legolas stop and smell the roses. Great start!

Author Reply: It's hard for me to adjust too, TL! On my author page, I put together a list of my stories in chronological order with Legolas's age on there too, and I actually have to consult it sometimes. Legolas is 290 here, and we last saw him picking locks a little over 200 years ago. Legolas is a grown-up here, and that's one of the things I was trying to show, the other being his loneliness as he sees the happy pairs around him. In LACE, Tolkien says that marriage is the natural state for elves, so I think an elf who isn't bonded might be aware of something missing.

I thought Ithilden handles Legolas well too. He treated him patiently and showed confidence in his ability, even as he listened to what bothered him. The last time I wrote about capable!adult!Legolas it took me a while to get into the swing of things, but then I found him quite attractive. :-)

White WolfReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/13/2005
Legolas seems a little weary to me. I guess that comes from being in the Southern Patrol, plus he's older in this story and has seem a lot more.

I admire Calith's self-control. I would have brained Tinár long before now, if I had to work with him. The phrase 'long-suffering' comes to mind.

I'm glad to see Annael back. He's a great character, and I've missed him. I'm sure Legolas has, too.

Author Reply: He is a little weary, I think. And I think your reasoning about why is correct. He's young to be weary, but supposedly elves did get that way after a while. He'll be fine once he's had a chance to recover.

I think I might have to write something about Calith one of these days. He's funny. And I too love Annael. I love his whole family and am still feeling guilty about killing his father.

Thank you for the review, White Wolf.

perellethReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/13/2005
Legolas seems to be discovering the lingering melancholy of being adult...It's a strange beginning. I like it very much, but it suddenly makes such a contrast from the delighted Legolas we left behind at the end of your last story...it is striking. Legolas is older now, and he seems even more by contrast. Now life seems almost a weigh of routines, instead of the world full of treasures and surprises that it used to be for Legolas the elfling. I love how you manage to draw the weigh of shadow upon him, in the way he seems to be only passing through things that in other circumstances are source of great enjoyment for him. Sure in a couple of days the shadow will disappear, but it's an interesting way of introducing this older Legolas, and the way he sees himself through what he has and has not... poor one, he's needing some romance in his life!

I'm intrigued by Eilian. I cannot see him simply "taking a holiday" away with his wife. And it seems he still has some issues to sort through regarding his father. In a sense he's being slower in reaching maturity than Legolas... let's hope Celuwen helps him...

I think this is the first time I hear Thranduil being a bit "reluctant" about his duties!"... and think of me listening to what are likely to be some very tedious petitions.” LOL! He's human, err, mean, elven!!!! ;-)

I'm thrilled you're back!


Author Reply: You cannot possible be more thrilled to have me back than I am to be back, Perelleth. I miss writing no end when I don't have time to do it.

I jump around in time so much that going from one story to another can be jarring. This Legolas is over 200 years older than the one at the end of "Time's Turnings." He seen a lot more and spent time in the shadows near Dol Guldur. He's strong and will recover, but in the meantime, he's a little vulnerable and lonely. I like writing about competent!Legolas too though. He's kind of sexy. :-)

I think that Eilian is slow to mature (as is Ithilden's son, Sinnarn). Perhaps that's part of their wood elf heritage, or perhaps it's what elves would be like if they weren't battling for the survival of ME. I don't know. I'm making it up as I go along!

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/13/2005
Dumb or what! Of course if Legolas is 290, then Sinnarn is 290 - 40 or so. It's odd how you can get the timeline on one and then mess it up on another.

I'm surprised at Calith's self control, too. Those oliphaunt paperweights would be in shards if I had to share an office with Tinar. (They probably are in Calith's imagination.) And I would take great pleasure in devising a need to send messages to VERY distant places. I'm sure Thranduil needs to send an elf off to Far Harad for some reason. A reason that requires Tinar to place himself under an oliphaunt's foot. His arrogance is just so total - no matter what happens it proves his own perfection.

Apart from elflings, Tinar is another reason I would like to see a post Tangled Web story. For the first time, his self assurance was cracked a little by Galelas's death. It would be good to see if someone managed to hammer in a wedge that lets out some of the hot air. Beliond, perhaps.

Author Reply: I finally got around to adding this story to the chronological list of them on my profile page. I know I'm confusing sometimes because I jump around.

It's hard for me to imagine Tinar ever changing, but I suppose it's possible. Elves had a lot of time and perhaps they're more able to learn from experience than we are -- although as I consider the sons of Feanor, I'm not sure I see signs of that.

NilmandraReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/12/2005
Its taken me some time to review, as I let my imagination wander to how exactly Eilian could help there at the end.

I do like the time you are taking to set up the story emotionally, for us to see the relationships among the characters and to establish Legolas's maturity. And really, Calith does need to do something to Tinar - he deserves some humor for having to put up with him all the time. Ithilden is fortuante that Calith does not mutiny.

Author Reply: Eilian is, as we now know, resourceful. I'm sure he could help in many ways. :-)

Sometimes I feel like writing a story is endless setup leading to a chapter or two of action and then the finale. But I'm having an interesting time experimenting with using Legolas's POV only. If I ever get to writing that story from the POV of the wives and keepers, maybe I'll have to throw Calith in too.

AliceReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/12/2005
Oh, my poor Legolas. I suppose you have to respect what the canon implies and leave him single or else kill of his one true love tragically (which you'd better not do). Still though he's lonely. And lying to himself about having nothing to envy. Foolish elon that we love. And you just had to have one of his warriors die on him, didn't you? Honestly Daw, just keep shoving the angst on top of him.(grins)

I love Annael and his family. Legolas has been adopted. It's nice that Beliniel is kind of mothering along Legolas with Elowen. You set the scene nicely by the way with Legolas coming into the kitchen to find a pretty maiden there. My first thought was "set up!". I'm glad to see Legolas is just as quick on the uptake. It doesn't surprise me that Elowen and Beliniel are attempting to put pretty maidens in his path. Frankly, I'm surprised Thranduil hasn't started doing the same thing.

I also enjoyed Legolas's brothers interacting with their respective wives. Heh. Personally, I thought it was rather brave of Legolas to make certain insinuations about what his formidable commanding officer was about to do with his wife. But then, Ithilden is his brother and Ada will know what happened to the baby if said baby doesn't come back out of the troop commander's office. I liked seeing Eilian and Celuwen's arguement (though Legolas didn't). I really am fond of that girl.

So, my last scatterbrained thoughts. Sorry for the general scatteredness of this, but I just got back from London and am still a bit jet lagged. Oh! I wanted to tell you how much I've grown to love your original characters. Like I was reading the story and scrolled down to the next section and was like, " Gosh, Legolas again?? When are we going to get to the other characters?" Oh and one more thing, Calith deserves a medal or the elvish equivalent for putting up with Tinar in a small, enclosed space. I'm sure the rest of the troops of Greenwood would strongly agree. Update soon!

Author Reply: Oh dear, Alice. I don't know how happy you're going to be with this story. I plan to follow Legolas throughout it, without cutting to the other characters. I thought I'd do it as an experiment, but it's already driving me crazy. I have to resort to devices like Legolas overhearing Eilian and Celuwen.

In LACE, Tolkien seems to say that marriage is the normal state for elves, and particularly given the idea of bonding, I think an unmarried elf is going to feel like there's an empty place inside. Especially if he's surrounded by happily married folks.

I hesitated about letting Legolas imply that Ithilden and Alfirin might be going to do more that eat egg salad sandwiches at that picnic, but I thought they were all adults, and he might joke a bit.

I'm so jealous that you were in London! Did you have a good time? Was it a vacation?

BrazgirlReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/12/2005
Hi Daw! Nice start! I am curious about this one. And I was so willing to read from you again, especially a fic about Eilian and Celuwen post bond. And there it is! I like this Legolas introduction and his little metting with the people he most cares about. Annael's mother is a nice woman! I was so sorry when her husband died... I still do not quite believe you killed him. Anyway, Legolas is a witness to his brother's love for their wives in many ways; while Ithilden and Alfirin are a little bit more restricted, Eilian and Celuwen clearly love each other and have no doubts in showing it. And that was makes even the description of their relationships unique. And poor Legolas and Thranduil in the middle of all this! I am happy to read from you again.

Author Reply: Sadly, I don't know how much we'll see of Eilian and Celuwen because I'm planning to follow Legolas in this story, but I hope we at least get glimpses of them. In his essay "Laws and Customs among the Eldar," Tolkien says that marriage is the normal state for elves, so I think Legolas might be feeling a sense of something missing right now, especially when he sees the happy marriages around him. And I love Annael's family! I still feel bad about killing his father.

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