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A Creature of Fire  by daw the minstrel 33 Review(s)
Ms. WhatsitReviewed Chapter: 5 on 3/30/2005
Sorry I missed the first few chapters, daw. I'm really enjoying this story. I love the Eilian/Celuwen bits, and the tension between Legolas and Galelas, and Sinnarn the Bitter Cynic, and Anyr the Hippie. Of course all wood-elves are hippies but Anyr's in a league of his own.

And Tuilinn! I really want those two to be together now! Maybe she can go to Ithilien with him post-Ring War. But I doubt it--this seems like a relationship that can't really happen.

Author Reply: You're absolutely right! Wood-elves are hippies. LOL. Poor Thranduil. It doesn't seem like a lifestyle he'd embrace. Of course, maybe that's not true. Maybe he likes living among these people and they let him be a little freer. And he does have a connection to the forest. He's just not as likely to run around singing tra-la and letting the future take care of itself. Thank Eru.

tigerlily713Reviewed Chapter: 5 on 3/30/2005
I've been printing this off at the library and then reading it every chance I get (i.e. work, school, church, etc.)! What a wonderful story! As other reviewers have mention, you are absolutely accurate and also consistent in your emotional portrayals, so much so that I feel both joy and pain when I read the stories.

I cannot wait for more, though I suppose I'll have to!


Author Reply: I'm so glad you like it, Lily. My beta says that sometimes I tend to cut off a show of emotion before it's finished, so I've been working on not doing that, and I have to say, I was pleased with this chapter. It took some revising to get it where I wanted it, but people seem to like it. :-)

thechevinReviewed Chapter: 5 on 3/29/2005
Ah but what a lovely legomance it is and how bitter sweet because I have this horrible feeling that this can not last not given where Tuilinn is headed
The descriptions of Legolas' feelings and emotions were spot on IMO and after a long time alone he would feel all the heady excitement of thinking he has found his soul mate
Even Nana approves the only fly in the porridge being Gaeleas, I think I better read the earlier story to see if he was taking an interest in Tuilinn when they were battling the floods or is this just another thing to be jealous of Legolas for
I really enjoyed this chapter

Author Reply: Yeah, the mention of Dale is kind of cringe-worthy, isn't it?

I had an interesting time, trying to tweak the chapter to reflect the delicate nature of Legolas's feelings and also to try to suggest through his eyes what was going on with other people too. It was an enormous relief to me when I got to write about Tuilinn finally showing up and telling him how she really felt.

Galelas isn't really interested in Tuilinn. It was his brother Tinar who was at the settlement when it flooded and the only person Tinar is interested in is himself. She's just a pretty girl, so far as Galeas is concerned, but she's also one more thing that falls into Legolas's lap with seeming ease.

I think I'm going to have to give up predicting how readers will react to a chapter. I thought folks would hate this romance.

IthildinReviewed Chapter: 5 on 3/28/2005
Your stories just keep getting better and better, Daw, and this one is no exception. Excellent chapter and I really enjoyed it. I laughed out loud at Legolas wanting Eilian to kick that ‘maddeningly imprecise’ Anyr into the river; Beliond is terrific guarding the young lovebirds all night, and the line about him approving of love because it makes warriors cautious is just great. Beliond - gotta love him. And I’m glad he got a letter from Maltanaur. :-)

And then there’s Galelas - he’s not over the edge yet, but he’s getting there. I’m looking forward to how their interaction pans out. I like Sinnarn, but I don’t feel that I know him as well as some of the others so I hope he and Nithron get more ‘screen-time’ (page-time?) in this one. And how about a Nithron/Beliond conversation - perhaps reflecting on Nithron's days as Ithilden's keeper?

Tuilinn is a wonderful character, I like her a lot already and she and Legolas are simply adorable together. Happy is good! I enjoyed the whole scene from the ME equivalent of a ‘deer in headlights’ look to the farewell kiss. And I really did cringe when I realized she and Fyndil are headed to Dale - talk about bad timing on their part… yikes. So, is there any way she can escape dying here? A whack on the head and wandering off with amnesia to turn up again after the Quest maybe? LOL! OK, maybe that’s a stretch, but I’m grasping at straws! (Yeah, your characters do seem real!) I keep thinking about that cryptic bit in ‘Tangled Web’ where Legolas keeps looking for a maiden with curly hair… Well, we shall see. I will be patient – this is worth waiting for.

Whatever you’ve got planned – I’m hoping for the best and braced for the worst. I’m watching for each and every update, so, happy or sad, keep ‘em coming! I’ll be laughing and/or weeping along with the rest of your readers and loving every minute of it. :)

Ithildin *(

Author Reply: I'm a little worried I won't be able to get Galelas and Legolas in any sort of realistic truce, and yet I think they have to come to it. Galelas is a good warrior and his warrior role is important to him. And I don't feel I know Sinarn as well as some of the others either. I've written about him some for my own sake since starting this story and I have a better idea of him now. In this next chapter, I need to do a little with both Galelas and Sinnanrn. At least, that's what my outline calls for! We'll see.

I love jumping around in time with my characters, writing about little Legolas one month and the adult warrior the next, but it does sometimes make for problems in continuity, as I try not to violate what I've said before too badly. I had to look up that quote in "Tangled Web" before I started this story, just to be sure it wasn't too explicit. Fortunately for me, it wasn't. :-)

I'm glad you're enjoying this. I'm surprised at how well people are accepting the romance, actually.

esamenReviewed Chapter: 5 on 3/28/2005
I told you I was going to read it again. This time I noticed something else:

Suddenly, he became aware of someone approaching, although he could not see them yet and knew he had not heard them either.

“She led me straight to you last night,” Beliond murmured thoughtfully. “That was how I knew where you were.”

Oh, no. They're getting that bond. Now this IS going to be heartbreaking.

Ah well . . . tell your story . . . We'll all have a good cry together. Or maybe you've got some way out of this that I haven't figured out yet. Well, it's OK. I'm up for a really heartrending romantic tragedy. I hope that you will please, please indulge me one time and serve up some good old-fashioned Legolas h/c along with the love story.

Author Reply: Yeah, that bit in Chapter 1 in which Ithilden senses Alfirin's presence was a set up for this, as is the way Legolas resists all the maidens Annael's wife produces for him.

I think this is a story in which love and h/c are inevitably intertwined.

esamenReviewed Chapter: 5 on 3/28/2005
Ooooo! Ohhhhh! The most wonderful love scene I've ever read in my life!

This was so much fun to read that I kept on stopping and then going back later, trying to prolong the delight.

Nicely, beautifully written. I really, really like the way that you went after the loneliness/companionship/love/completion angle instead of the simple physical attraction. The maturity and depth that you, as the writer, bring to this scene just makes it incredibly thrilling. I think that you have just written the only love scene that I think is worthy of such a hero.

Galelas -- whew, you are cranking up the friction on this one, aren't you? What on earth are those two guys going to do next -- duel?

Beliond -- aw, he's so good to take care of Legolas like that. What a lovely picture, Beliond walking the two lovers in to breakfast the next morning. He is such a truly original character. He's devoted, but not exactly like Sam was to Frodo. Nor is he like an under-educated Jane Austin-type retainer to a master -- as in Persuasion, when Anne Elliot meets Mr. Elliot for the first time at Lyme, and Jane A. penned something like "master and man were both wearing black" when referring to Elliot and his manservant. Beliond is so much more than that. His age and wisdom make him more, and although Thranduil assigned him this job, he now really seems to look after Legolas out of love as much as duty. Nice job with that line about love making warriors cautious. I think that the line really showcases Beliond's feelings about Legolas.

Fyndil -- "Fyndil was dark haired, with even features, and a pleasant aspect." Talk about Austen! "even features" ???? "aspect" ???? Are you priming your younger readers for their first read through Pride and Prejudice?

Well, Austen's my second-favorite writer, after Tolkien, so I'm enjoying the fun. Someone should have an Austen-Tolkien crossover challenge. Now, that would be a riot. "It is commonly known that a good-looking, eligible Elf Prince is in need of a wife."

Now, having gushed and praised, I have to get mad. You're going to kill off that lovely young woman and break Legolas's heart, aren't you???!!!! Well, if so, count me in for the ride. I just love a good love story and I haven't read one for a long time. I'm counting on you . . . bring on the heroics and the rending heartstrings . . . you can't make it angsty enough for me. Get the whole family involved and wring all the emotion you can out of this plot. I'm going to love every minute of it. I'm going back right now to reread the whole chapter. Would you please post your next chapter soon, maybe a little later on tonight?

Author Reply: Wow. I'm speechless. I seriously don't know what to say to that kind of praise except thank you. It took me a while, but I eventually had this worked out so that Legolas and Tuilinn could gradually edge toward one another, but even then, she was very brave to approach him, not knowing how he'd react. I'm glad you liked it. :-)

I'm hoping I haven't made Galelas so far gone that I can't get him back. I'll work on him a little in the next chapter, I think. And I have to tell you that Beliond is here and he's spurting new words (in Sindarin, thank Eru, so I don't understand them) about the comparison of him and anyone's manservant! I pointed out that you said he wasn't like that, and he's calmed down some, but he's still snorting.

I worked on the new chapter a little today, but tomorrow I have to go to my office all day and then go out to dinner with a graduate student who's on Cloud 9 because she got the job she wanted. It's nice when they're happy! Sometimes they come and cry in my office. This will be much better.

sofiaReviewed Chapter: 5 on 3/28/2005
I could not keep the grin off my face while reading this chapter. At first I thought that Tuilinn was trying to stay away from him but then as the chapter progressed it showed other wise, which I am thankful. I was feeling sorry for Legolas with his older brothers both married and he wasn't. I wonder what Thranduil's reaction will be, I'm guessing it will be interesting. As long as Legolas doesn't run off and bond with Tuilinn then I think Thranduil will approve!

Author Reply: I like picturing you grinning as you read this, Sofia. It sounds as if your understanding of Tuilinn's feelings grew at about the same rate that Legolas's did, and that's good. That's what I wanted.

I think Thranduil will be happy for his son, although he'll also be quite aware of how hard it would be to be a married warrior -- and to a settlement girl at that! But Eilian and Celuwen are happy.

And I can't picture Legolas doing anything as rash as Eilian did!

BrazgirlReviewed Chapter: 5 on 3/28/2005
Thank you Daw, for two reasons: first for your wishes for my birthday. Thank you sooooo much. Second, for saving my day... I was in a really bad mood and then I opened my mail and this! What a wonderful chapter!
When Legolas approached Tuilinn for the first time I really felt he was all grown up. Sometimes I read your Legolas thinking like his brothers and his father... probably because elfling Legolas is too cute for us, we all tend to keep him in mind! For me, Legolas got his independence from me there: when he realized he was in love with Tuilinn!
I wonder what will you write in the next chapter... all the patrol know about their lieutenant affair... or his feelings for the maiden. And as always Beliond comes up in the right times. I just love the guy... and I am glad your beta loves him too!!!
Galelas... jealous even of Legolas' affair! Those two will end up quarreling again, and this time there is no Eilian around.

Author Reply: Isn't it odd sometimes how little it takes to turn our mood around in either direction? It's sunny here today, after a long winter, and I feel terrific.

Legolas does seem like an adult here to me too. The only stories I have set later than this one are "Tangled Web" (about the Battle of 5 Armies) and "Question of Duty" (about the forming of the Fellowship). He's an adult in those stories too, a young adult by Elven standards (even in the last one, he's younger than Ithilden was when Legolas was born), but an adult. And he's making a decision for himself here. Truly, I think his family would be happy for him.

I think in the next chapter, we need another letter from Eilian and then a little patrol action. I hope you continue to enjoy the story.

perellethReviewed Chapter: 5 on 3/28/2005
Wow! Look what you had up your sleeve! Who cares for action and fast paced stories, with this kind of things coming instead?

I loved it when Legolas compares her to a doe; it’s so accurate he would come up with something “natural”! so wood-elvish!

I enjoyed this chapter very much, his awkwardness and her hesitation! His doubts and her courage! My! I wouldn’t go back to that time for anything, but it is great fun to read about it, and he definitely needs some joy in his life. And he seems to have realized that, too! (after eleven years! Lovely!) Well, we know Eilian took his time before “dragging Celuwen to the forest” (great line, Sinnarn!) and we can guess Elrond and Celebrían, too, endured quite a long courtship before marrying, so I do not see a reason for assuming Legolas of the fellowship was a single, all alone, free ellon…;-) So please, tell Tuilinn to take care in Dale!!!

BTW, Galelas is an efficient elf; he took care of the visitors while the lieutenant was in shock! ;-) Pity these too will never get to understand each other!

This story is going on wonderfully daw!Their feelings are so natural, and the reactions in camp too! Beliond was great! as well as the wide-eyed younger warriors!!! She could have been covered in mud, and they'd still be gaping!! ,-)

Author Reply: I'm glad you liked the doe comparison. I'm working on my figurative language! :-)

Getting Legolas's emotional ups and downs was hard in this chapter. At first, I had things on their way to resolution by the end of the first page! But in the long run, watching them inch their way toward one another was a lot of fun. I thought she was very brave indeed to risk rejection and come after him.

Galelas did a very good job, and it occurred to me that he was doing what Legolas should have done but was too stunned to do. Eilian always says there's good stuff in Galelas, buried there somewhere.

AnaReviewed Chapter: 5 on 3/28/2005

Well I did something unusual for me… I’ve read some reviews before writing this. So I know I’ll sound silly, but I cannot help myself. Please… please… If there is a way for Legolas to stay single for few more decades or stories, without him hurting or without anything bad happening to Tuilinn… She truly is wonderful elleth, but … For some reason I really like reading about single Legolas and Eilian without Celuwen. Not that I dislike her, because I adore all your characters, but… There are just too many buts.

I hope Tuilinn will live and Legolas will have his love, because he truly deserves to be happy. And killing his love would truly be cruel thing to do to him. I believe/hope, you’ll let Tuilinn live. And now I’m babbling. I apologize. After rereading paragraph in “Tangled Web” where Legolas is searching the crowd for elleth with “wild, untidy curls” I became concerned. That event will happen 171 years after this story… Legolas looking for elleth that is not there makes me very afraid and not so hopeful anymore. I do know something: you are great writer and everything you do is there for a reason. So I’ll just wait and see and hope. Because rereading the chapter made me see that Legolas and Tuilinn together isn’t something bad. Actually it is great! :)

Just one more thing: Beliond is such a great Nana. ;) And I really look forward to next letter from Eilian.


Author Reply: I enjoy writing about single Legolas and Eilian too, and I always tell myself that I can, thank goodness, go back in time and write about them when they were younger. I'm thinking about writing a story set just before Lorellin dies. Or another possibility would be to write about Legolas getting "lost" as he remembered happening in "Legolas's Begetting Day."

As for Tuilinn, I have to make some choices, I think. This is one of those areas in which I can't have everything. So you may have to cover your eyes one way or the other, Ana!

I love Beliond. He's very fond of Legolas and he's had a rather sad time himself. I just spent a couple of hours roughing out the next letter from Eilian. I hope you like it. It's always fun to try to catch his tone.

I have to say I'm flattered by the fact that you react to these characters as if they were real. :-)

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