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A Creature of Fire  by daw the minstrel 20 Review(s)
perellethReviewed Chapter: 4 on 3/27/2005
Well, just for your peace of mind, it wasn't an euphemism, at least not from me! I love the time you take to create the atmosphere, and immerse we readers in their dayly routines until we're familiar with their lifes and their ways! and.. well, maybe as my life is quite hectic, I enjoy reading about peaceful times, don't know, but I did mean I like it and I'm dreading the time when the dragon comes down. I suppose it's going to make for a powerful contrast! Hope you enjoy your vacation too! I was in sore need of one! ;-)

Author Reply: I figured you meant it the right way, but I still appreciate the reassurance! I hope there'll be a contrast. I hope it will be clear just what is being destroyed.

I'm really in need of a break too! Winter has gone on for far too long.

perellethReviewed Chapter: 4 on 3/27/2005
Wow! Great chapter! Sorry I'm late in reviewing, I'm back from a short easter vacation...

I seem to recall Legolas mentioning in some other story how an entertaining storyteller Eilian was in his letters home, and I was glad we, too, were treated to a sample of his abilities! It was a great way of having us updated into his second??? honeymoon of sorts. He seems to be having the time of his life! Maybe he can find a life for himself as a wood- elf after the shadow departs! Anyway, it is interesting the contrast between these elves and those living at the stronghold...

I wonder whether Alfirin should order her husband to take some time off too! Although I wonder where would they go…not to a settlement, surely!)

Ah! The paperwork doom! The report disease! The curse of every managing position! It was fun to see Elorfin turning it all down to Legolas! Privileges of rank!

And GLAD! you brought Tuilinn back! I think Legolas deserves the same joy his brothers have! Of course he’ll probably have to wait for better times, and first he’ll have to overcome the feeling that he cannot combine duty and a family life, but now he can see how good Celuwen’s been for Eilian, and I’d be glad to see him find a bit of happiness for himself!

Also, I loved how his pov about Beliond has shifted with the years, as now he is ready to accept his counsel even if he still finds his presence a bit tiring sometimes (and prying too! the underwear joke was *almost* a joke! ,-). This is our grown-up Legolas! It’s good to recognize his adult self in these little details… I’m eager to see him find a way to deal with Galelas. Poor boy. He must have been dismayed when his Nemesis appeared to shatter his little world…he bites out at all that reminds him of what he’s missing… I’d guess.

This story has such a peaceful day-to-day atmosphere that I'm already fearing the moment vile smaug comes down!

Author Reply: I hope you had a good time on vacation. We're going away next weekend, so I have to wait until then to get away.

I've been struggling to find ways to show what's going on with Eilian while still sticking to Legolas's POV and the letter was one way to do it. And it gave me a chance to write first-person Eilian, which is always fun to do. I think there'll be another letter too.

I can't imagine what Ithilden would do with a vacation. I think he needs grandchildren.

So you were happy to see Tuilinn? I was afraid people would protest. I think Legolas is indeed an adult now, and Tolkien says that marriage is the natural state for elves. So he must have felt some attraction at least at some times.

Hm. I've been afraid that this story is a little slow, and I'm half afraid that "peaceful day-to-day" is a euphemism for that! LOL. I'll have to kick it up a little.

KarriReviewed Chapter: 4 on 3/26/2005
Oi! Galelas is really pushing Legolas. The two really feed off each other, don't they? Should make for an interesting patrol.

Author Reply: I think these two bring out the worst in one another. They each can act OOC when the other is around and everyone else has to be wondering where the heck that came from.

White WolfReviewed Chapter: 4 on 3/25/2005
I loved the letter from Eilian. He really went into detail, which was nice to see. It was so obvious how happy he and Celuwen are. It was also nice to see Beliond get a letter for a change.

I think Legolas handled Galelas well.

Author Reply: I'm so glad you liked the letter. Because I'm following Legolas around in this story, I'm having to work at getting Eilian's POV into it, and letters seemed to be a good way.

Legolas had to put Galelas in his place, but I think he probably still has more work to do there.

DotReviewed Chapter: 4 on 3/25/2005
Great chapter! I love the thought of the officers all hating report writing – it really doesn’t seems like a very wood-elfy trait, does it?! What is elfy, on the other hand, is writing on the tree stump. I liked that image.

I’m not really sure what to make of Galelas any more. I get the impression that maybe even he doesn’t know himself. It was different when he was younger – he didn’t have a great home life and was jealous of Legolas’ skills and position and that made him a giant pain in the ass. It obviously didn’t get better when he realised how great Legolas’ brother was once he served with Eilian. But he’s so much older now. Jealousy is probably still a big part of it but it’s also just difficult to even begin to let go of dislike for someone. There are plenty of people I didn’t like growing up and I still wouldn’t like to be forced to get on with them. I think too that he’s always been made feel inferior to Tinár at home, felt the same way with Legolas as a novice and even though he’s a good warrior now he probably immediately feels the same inferiority the second Legolas appears. Normally he can forget those feelings when he’s on patrol.

I do feel bad for Sinnarn, though. He and Galelas mightn’t exactly have been pals before but they probably managed quite nicely by more or less ignoring each other. Now Sinnarn gets lumped together with Legolas. Still, if Galelas carries on like that he’ll end up on the bad side of two keepers as well. “Yes, my lord. Of course.” What a twit. Elorfin is no doubt going to be unhappy that things haven’t been sorted out. I just hope he heard the full exchange between them. Legolas is never going to get anywhere with Galelas if his only tactic is to remind him of his rank.

I thought it was nice to see that Legolas has stopped blushing at compliments. He’s really grown into himself. I like too that he’s asking Beliond for advice. Beliond is probably right that the best way is to appeal to Galelas’s sense of pride as a warrior. Legolas has done that before, I think, even though it was a long time ago. Eilian does that to some extent and also makes him feel valued, but I somehow doubt Galelas would accept praise from Legolas in the same way he would from Eilian.

I LOVE the thought of Maltanaur writing to Beliond. What a great idea! I’d forgotten that Maltanaur might have some time off too. Will poor neglected Nindwen finally get to spend some time with her husband??!

That letter was so enjoyable to read. Eilian’s voice certainly came through loud and clear! That settlement seems like just the thing to help him recharge after his last stint in the south. The picture you creates sounds just the way wood-elves should be. It must do him some good to see his wife so happy too. I’m glad for Celuwen. She definitely needed the break from palace life. It sounds like the two of them are making the most of their new-found privacy!! The part about always living somewhere that’s guarded was interesting. I had never thought about it like that. I suppose Eilian didn’t either until he arrived here. I’m laughing at him having to “make do with my bow, knife, and dagger.” It reminds me of Thranduil (and Legolas!) keeping a knife in his boot in Rivendell. It would look a bit odd, though, to the settlement elves if Eilian is wandering around overloaded with weaponry.

Anyr doesn’t sound like he’s changed at all. He needs something more than a flood to make him realise that his people need protection… Celuwen seems like she has enough patience to take the time needed to try and sort them out but Eilian could crack up soon if Anyr doesn’t start showing a bit more leadership. What’s all this about a raft from Esgaroth? Is Anyr still trading with Men without the king knowing??

“Give my regards to Galelas.” And will he?!

So, it seems Ithilden was right about both brothers. It’s good to see them both happy.

Sinnarn is so lucky to have Alfirin as his mother! I just love the idea of the whole patrol knowing about these honey cakes and longing for some themselves. But there’s something very lonely about Galelas off to one side, sorting the herbs.

Tuilinn, eh? Good to see her! Who’s the other Elf, though?? At least she hasn’t forgotten Legolas! I can’t wait to see how all this works out. I’m desperately opening that she doesn’t end up being part of the problem between Galelas and Legolas. What’s she doing in the middle of a patrol anyway?! Too many questions… I’m really, really looking forward to more from you… :-)

Author Reply: I feel bad for Galelas. He was doing well in this patrol, working with Vanduil, having Elorfin's respect, ignoring Sinnarn. And then along comes Legolas. He's giving orders. He and Sinnarn share an obvious family feeling, so that Legolas can joke about Alfirin sending the honey cakes. And Galelas knows that there's probably no letter and certainly no honey cakes in the mail for him. That all has to sting. And then, as you say, feelings from childhood can run deep.

In my head, Maltanaur is at home with his wife, enjoying his leave and trying to convince himself that Celuwen is keeping track of Eilian so he's ok.

The letter was the first thing I wrote for this chapter and it was fun to try to capture Eilian's voice. I needed it because I'm just following Legolas so I had no other way to let the reader know what Eilian is doing. I think there'll be at least one more letter. I have a little account of events in the settlement and I need to make it known.

I'm writing about Tuilinn now, or trying to. She's in shock at the moment, seeing Legolas, just as he is more or less stunned to see her. I'll have to get them moving!

YanicReviewed Chapter: 4 on 3/25/2005
And here I was about to ask why Eilian hadn't mentioned Tuilinn. I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that her prescence is only going to make things between legolas and Galelas worse. :) Personally I always saw Legolas hooking up with a girl from Lorien (if only for the sake of having blonde elflings - genetics and whatnot) but I do hope he gets some love in his life. He seems so lonely. But he's got his Nana! I just adore Beliond, the old crank!

Author Reply: I laughing about your comment about Beliond but he is not amused and wants you to know that!

Tuilinn doesn't actually live in Anyr's settlement. She left there to go home to her place "somewhere in the north," to quote the airhead Anyr.

A story that's always seemed to me to be possible is that Legolas met a girl in Lorien during the Fellowship's stay there. But in my universe, Tuilinn is here now and he's going to have to deal with that. :-)

thechevinReviewed Chapter: 4 on 3/25/2005
This was another of those fascinating chapters where it pays a person to take notes
so many lovely little insights many of which I will later say if only I had understood the importance of that at the time! Sigh, I never seem to learn!
The letter from Eilian was a wonder he reads other elves so well you feel sure he should know his Adar better than he does, but of course that is family and thereby different
Legolas is fortunate to have the support of Beliond in this the comment about the underwear was priceless as was Beliond's reply
I begin to feel a little sorry for Galelas not too much of course
and do I scent a hormone rush from Legolas I do hope so
thank you for sharing this wonderful universe with us

Author Reply: I had fun writing that letter. It was the first thing I wrote for the chapter and was like writing a first person account from Eilian. He and his father are so blinded by their emotional history when they face one another that it's hard for them to see beyond it.

Legolas is indeed lucky to have Beliond, who looks after him like a nana even if he doesn't like to be called that. And I feel a bit sorry for Galelas myself. My beta says he's like Jan in the old Brady Bunch series: "Legolas, Legolas, Legolas."

Jay of LasgalenReviewed Chapter: 4 on 3/25/2005
Eilian's letter was great - the whole tone was so Eilian. I'm glad he and Celuwen have been making good use of their privacy! It's an interesting observation that he's never before slept anywhere unguarded. He seems so relaxed and happy here - the therapy of living among healthy trees is clearly working. I'm glad Anyr hasn't changed, though.

Thranduil's sons, being more in tune with the forest, must be more affected by the shadow and blighted trees than others. It must be hard for Ithilden to send healthy warriors - and especially his brothers - south, and see them return so changed.


Author Reply: I have to tell you, Jay, that even though I've made a big deal out of the fact that Thranduil's sons are more in tune with the forest, it never occurred to me that that would make their suffering more acute. I must be asleep half the time! That's a great point.

Eilian's letter was the first thing I wrote for this chapter. It was fun to try to catch his tone.

esamenReviewed Chapter: 4 on 3/25/2005
“Good. From now on, you can write the reports. Here. See if I have left anything out of this one.” With a look of intense relief, he shoved the report toward Legolas.

I had to smile a bit at this scene. Is this a writing teacher talking here, mining her rich life experiences with administrative assistants as she tells her tale?

And Eilian's letter was fabulous. He must be having the time of his life. You know what, the Elves he describes remind me a little bit of the light-hearted Elves who greet Bilbo and the Dwarves as they enter Rivendell in The Hobbit. It's too bad that more of that kind of portrayal couldn't find its way into the movies. That would have been so fun.

Ah, Tuilinn is back! I knew that the elf maid with the straight hair wasn't going to make any points with Legolas. I thought we'd see her again. I'm wondering now if the other visitor is Anyr? Would you do that to us?

I am so looking forward to the rest of the story! I want to see how Legolas deals with Galelas, Tuilinn, and Dale. Thanks for a wonderful plot line and I hope you update soon!


Author Reply: LOL. So far as I can tell, writing reports is a universally hated task. Even I don't like to do it.

I was interested in your saying that the settlement elves are like the ones in The Hobbit. I meant them to be more wood-elfy, to live more like wood elves are meant to, than the ones around the stronghold. And Eilian is the most wood-elfy of Thranduil's children, so he fits right in.

I'm glad you think the plot is wonderful! I was afraid this was going much too slowly.

BrazgirlReviewed Chapter: 4 on 3/25/2005
Seems ada's little boy is impressed with a maiden! That is so nice Daw! At least Legolas will have some distraction now... I hope for the best.
I love that letter from Eilian! So nice of him to write to his little brother, as always. Some parts of it were so funny! Now Eilian is living as a wood-elf and I take his mother would appreaciate it. I wonder what Thranduil will say when he learn about the races again...
And Galelas... I think he will never hear of Eilian's greetings... Legolas is quite jealous of his brother's friendship with Galelas. Let's see what Beliond will say to him on this. Maltanaur is on extended leave too? I wonder what he is doing... ops; I forgot he has a wife!!! Nice chapter Daw! I take is as a birthday gift!

Author Reply: Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear Brazgirl,
Happy birthday to you!

I wish I could put a little tune it. :-)

Eilian is indeed living like a Wood-elf. I suppose there are some differences from settlement to settlement, but I think that by nature, Wood-elves are a bit wild and undisciplined. They'd live off of the forest and have a good time. And if Eilian is lucky, Thranduil will never hear the gory details!

I think Maltanaur is home with his wife. He deserves some time away from Eilian! Now that would be a tough job.

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