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A Spring of Joy  by daw the minstrel 47 Review(s)
Antietam Reviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/21/2023
Reading this for the umpteenth time, remembering when you first posted it and how I looked forward to each new chapter...then realizing that was almost 20 years ago. Quick, send help! ;D

These stories are just as enjoyable as they ever were. I know you've moved on to bigger things, but I hope you continue these at some point. I would love to see some post-war Eilian!

autumn fallaiseReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/25/2008
Hey Daw!

Loriel is so cute! I really liked how you built the suspense, and the flashes of humour - Eilian definitely doesn't want to explain how he can do hair up so quickly, though Celuwen probably already knows!

I really liked the father/daughter realtionship, and Eilian's life in the settlement - will we be reading more about that?

autumnfallaise ('illereyn' at HASA, but sometimes I prefer reading at SoA)

Author Reply: Hey, Autumnfallaise!

It seemed to me that this family needed a girl child. And Eilian was so good with Legolas when he was little that I thought he'd be a natural father. So this was fun to write.

I'm afraid trouble is stirring and Eilian won't be able to hang around the settlement for too much longer, more's the pity.

Wherever you read, I'm always glad to hear from you. I appreciate your taking the time to tell me you enjoyed the chapter.


JoeeReviewed Chapter: 1 on 7/5/2005
Even though I typically read things over at FF.Net, I figure it's probably a lot easier for you to respond if I review here.

I've grown so used to Eilian that I don't even consider him an OC anymore, he's almost like a canon charater to me, lol. Although I must admit that I'm having a hard time seeing him as a father. His interaction with Loriel is completely natural, but I think I'm so used to him as a warrior serving in the dangerous southern patrol (and only recently as a husband), that it just seems so odd.

Anyway, since I already scanned the chapters as they came out, I already know what the webbed footed thing is, but I look forward to reading it anyway, lol.

Oh, and by the way, let me just tell you right now that I am NOT happy about what happens in the last chapter and I will probably end up crying when I actually read it. STOP KILLING OFF YOUR CHARACTERS!!!!!!!!!

Author Reply: LOL. OK, Joee. None of them is going to die for a while. I'm tired of it myself.

I had to think about Eilian as a father. He was a good big brother to Legolas though, so I thought he would be a good father. He's probably inclined to be indulgent. I expect Celuwen is the disciplinarian in the house.

AliceReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/16/2005
You're a very evocative writer. That was some real horror in the end. I kept thinking to myself, " Daw wouldn't make Eilian's baby disappear would she? Nilmandra wouldn't let her do that, right? Right?!" I was getting just a bit panicky along with Eilian there. I think they need to get some locks on those doors though.

Also, my heart leaped with joy and surprise when Loriel first appeared. She's so cute! We needed a nice, adorable elfling story after that last angst filled romp. She's just so cute you could eat her. No wonder she's got Eilian wrapped around her little finger. I can't imagine what she'd do to Thranduil.

Some very interesting Solith moments in here too. I think he and Eilian will only finally bury the axe when Loriel starts dating. Eilian's going to be giving any upstart young elves the talk about how precious his daughter is to him, the Troop Commander, the King, and perhaps how it's a good idea to keep that in mind before trying anything. And oh yes, did he mention that he's armed? Solith's really going to enjoy watching Eilian squirm through that.

I found the hair comment kind of interesting actually. It seems kind of out of character for a wood elf to have a hang up about someone wearing their hair up. But then again, elves are technically behind our times so to speak and Tolkien doesn't really mention much about how elves wore their hair (color yes, style no) or how they dressed. It's an important part of their culture, darn it. Inquiring minds want to know.

So, excellent start. You've got heavy emotions and you've built up very nice suspense. I'm half-afraid to go and check to be sure whether Gandalf mentioned Gollum stealing babies. Because I think he did. :( While that would be an interesting move for Eilian's character, please don't do that. You've had enought of angst, right?

Author Reply: Thank you for saying that ending was evocative. I originally intended for this chapter to be chapter 2. I like to start with a Legolas section because otherwise there's no hope that anyone new will ever read these stories, but I did like the way this settlement chapter turned out, so I put it first. It was fun to introduce a whole new character -- and Eilian is a very good if somewhat indulgent ada. He's loving life in the settlement with his little family.

LOL about the speech Eilian will have to give to Loriel's suitors. I think he's going to be horrified when all the chickens come home to roost there.

As for the hair, I think Solith just wanted to pick on Eilian. Why not? He's been at it for a good long time now. The idea of two of them living in the same place tickles me.

rgbjReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/16/2005
I have abandoned Also known as the Evil Empire. I realize they are a huge site and have to have rules. But the quality of writing has been declining there for some time. Many good writers have left because their work is too adult thus leaving behind very young and unskilled writers. While some of them have good ideas and the execution is adequate I feel the time has come to encourage writers on smaller and more compassionate sites. I will still read there since there are a few of my favorites there and no where else.
I hope I can keep up reviewing. Both DH and I have fathers in wheel chairs now. It takes a lot of energy to just keep up with all this. We are the sandwich generation. We are in the middle of failing parents and educating our children. Makes me tired to just think about it.
I will just start with this tale and hopefully this summer I can review the three that I missed. I hate to tell you that I didn't finish the dragon one. As soon as I realized she would be there and what was going to happen I had to quit. Too much bad news in my life as it is. I will read and review when I feel a little more "up" as far is life goes. So here goes.
So, Eilian has a real wood elf job now. Here he goes wood elfing through the forest. Such a nice mental picture. Oh No. The trees are unsettled for some reason. You don't give him much time to enjoy himself before you turn up the temperature.
Great! Slinker/Stinker. UGH! Poor baby birds and poor mommy when she comes back and sees the damage. Nature, red in tooth and claw.
Eilian is an adar. What fun. It is so nice that the elves really loved the time of children. Although to tell you the truth I could never really figure out if they were talking about their childhood or the time of their children's childhood. Maybe both. I don't research as much as I should.
You know DH has decided when DD begins to get serious about guys that he can set tests for them. You know like the Greeks or Romans did. The first test is can he outrun a speeding bullet. If he passes that one he will think of one that is harder. I can just see Eilian, with his vast knowledge of young male elves, coming up with a outrunning a loosed arrow test for his future law-sons. Wouldn't it be funny if she is like Eilian and grandmother Lorelin and she cuts a swath through the Woodland Realm just like good old ada did. Eilian deserves it.
Yes Eilian would have spent a lot of time in the garden if the king had thought of it. I am sure he spent a lot of time doing other things. One day you will have to get over this OC business and just write some very OC tales of Legolas' older brothers. I like flashbacks, especially when Legolas was a youngling but we need more of little Eilian and Ithilden. Have pity on us.
I do agree with Eilian about the lack of education on the really important things. We just don't realize it until we have children.
You have come up with some great truisms in your stories but the one about Loriel liking her grandparents despite being so bright is right up there with the best. Even Eilian would have to admit that Isiwen is a great grandmother. Solith is probably a great grandfather too, just not a great father-in-law.
I am amazed that the king let Eilian live so far away when this is his first female offspring in such a male dominated family. That must really hurt him. He is able to put Eilian's feelings first though. It must be much healthier for Eilian to be in the woods with the trees than stuck in that old delved stronghold.
I also enjoyed "the tasks that come with a simple life in the settlement." I may enjoy reading Tolkien but I would just as soon not live during that time. I live better than any king or noblemen from that time and have better health care too.
Ah, Loriel has dark curls and grey eyes with dark eyelashes like a certain grandmother. I wonder how much this gratifies the king and pains him at the same time. So sweet though that she can be a reminder for them and how nice to think of the time when Lorellin will see Loriel for the first time. You have to feel sad that she has missed Legolas' life, Ithilden's marriage and child and now Eilian's marriage and child. Lots to catch up on.
I loved the image of Eilian carefully combing her hair, gentle with the knots and the braiding. That is so hard I know. DD insisted on long hair and braids long after I wanted to mess with them. Also when he hangs on to her when he rescues her shoes and won't let go while he cleans them because one second out of his arms and he would have to clean her up all over again. Does that ever sound familiar.
Solith. Just as soon as he hears that Eilian put up Loriel's hair he has to start in on one of his asides. Poor Loriel. Dropped down a chimney by eagles. Solith just doesn't want to acknowledge that Eilian could have had any contribution to make to his sweet grandelflings existence. It's a wonder Solith's spit doesn't curdle any milk he wants to drink.
Many young girls want to marry their Daddy's and many do in one form or another. I can just see another Eilian in Solith's future. I did like Eilian's epiphany. He will have many more of those and will come to really appreciate the king's attitudes and Solith's fears. Children change everything.
I'm so glad the Solith hasn't offered to gut Eilian in some time. Not that Solith will ever admit Eilian is worth anything. He probably thinks Eilian is just playing at being a good wood elf. He is probably the most wood-elfy of all his brothers.
Once a warrior, always a warrior. We have a friend who still responds to certain things just as if he were still in VietNam. He says those reflexes kept him alive long ago and his brain still thinks along those scary lines. He can't help it and neither can Eilian. He is very chary of peace and he has every right to be. I wonder of these elves will ever be wholly at peace even in Valinor. Those born there will never understand them as they have always had more peace than those who were born in Arda in the later ages.
When I read about the empty room my first thoughts were about Jon Benet Ramsey and that little girl in Florida (Jessica Lunde?) when they went missing from their bedrooms. Every parents, human, elf or dwarf, nightmare. Sigh!
Eilian was also born during the peaceful times and he knows that she must always tell nana and ada where she is. I did like that he let Celuwen do the glare and scolding part. I had to always be the voice of reason in my family. Must be nice to let someone else do that part. I wonder if nana's glare is like the king's. Scary thought. You wouldn't want to mess with those two.
The trees know what evil lurks in the deeps of the woods and Loriel is wood elf enough to know that something not quite right is happening. Oh the tale that open window could tell. I really hate to think of what Slinker/Stinker was up to roaming around, getting hungrier and hungrier. I am glad that you didn't go into detail.
Can't wait for more of this tale. It sounds like a really scary one.

Author Reply: Do you think other fandoms have the same problems on I wonder sometimes how different each subsection of that site is. Anyway, I'm happy to have you anywhere, and I'm sorry that you're dealing with such tough issues. Hang in there.

For some time now, I've been wondering what Eilian would do if peace came, and this was what I've come up with for now. I think he'd like living in the forest with his little family, neighbors, and some work to do. And I do think it would be hard work. We forget sometimes how much was involved in living in this kind of society. That garden isn't a hobby for Celuwen. It's a source of some of their food.

I also think that he was a loving big brother to Legolas, so he'll be a loving father. I suspect he'll be a little indulgent at this age. We'll see what happens when Flower Face gets old enough to really have suitors. He'll be sure to know the 'wrong' kind of guy when he sees him, because he was one himself! But oh my goodness, the idea that she would actually marry one because he was like Eilian just made me laugh. I hadn't thought that far into her future.

Have you read Bodkin's stories about life in Valinor at SoA? She shows the elves as very like what you say -- the ones who have always lived in Valinor can't always understand the ones from ME.

meckinockReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/15/2005
Oh, Daw, I'm speechless. OK, wait, I'm frequently speechless, or at the very least, speech-impaired, so let me re-word that. This was fabulous. I love it. I want to live in Eilian and Celuwen's house. They need a second daughter, don't they? Eilian Tamed is just too adorable. I love all the little bits of insight into the daily work of their lives (the dialogue about the peas and the weeds was wonderful), and the little bits of introspection into his relationship with his father and her father, and, er...other people ("And indeed, he worked rapidly with a skill whose origin he had decided it was better not to explain to his wife") And I dearly love little flower face. The wonderful thing about what you've done with Eilian is that none of this house-husband routine has diminished him at all. He's the person he was meant to be all along. Though I did love it when the sword came out. Yes, I did.

Author Reply: Ada Eilian, living in the settlement with his little family and his in-laws close by, has been a lot of fun to write about. I can see him enjoying this life and being enriched by it. He surprised me by not being diminished at all. There's something about him watching over his family and caring so capably for them that's still very attractive. And I'm sure they need a second daughter!

I hesitated to start the story with this chapter because it's all OC. I wrote what's now chapter 2, thinking I'd start with that, but then this was too much fun and I thought that returning readers would enjoy it.

perellethReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/12/2005
Well, this goes beyond amazing! I've been away less than a week and now I'm TWO chapters behind! This story has a very promising start. The tale of the years for 2951 is quite sobering...

"Tangled Web" is one of my favourite stories because of the extraordinary job that you did there taking the narrative in the hobbit and centering the pov in Mirkwood, and then fitting in your so well defined characters. The result was just amazing. We got to know what that terrible battle meant for them, while in The Hobbit we just have glimpses of them. The moment when Legolas embraces Eilian and cries, knowing that Eilian is crying, too, is impressive. And now you pick up that thread and we got to know how the Re-return of the shadow to Mirkwood shall affect their lives...( they should be used to it, one cannot help to think...)

On the other side, as I guess that the webbed foot is Gollum's, you're showing us the story Gandalf and Aragorn will have to unravel years later. The description that Gandalf shall make to Frodo so many years after that is blood freezing. I fervently hope that newborns dissapearing from their craddles shall not happen here! I love your use of canon, for it enhances a better understanding of the events, in this case prior to the War of the Ring. Congratulations, I'm thrilled at the prospect of what this story is exploring!

And Eilian as a settler, a father of a little lady and living *that* close to Solith is...amusing! I die to read about Thranduil, though! he must be pleased to have Eilian happily settled but sad that his grandaughter is far from him!

Author Reply: Was it really so fast? To me it felt like a long time between stories.

I particularly appreciate your positive comments on "Tangled Web." It was hard for me to write and then it got turned down at an archive where I usually post and accepted at another one by only a very narrow vote, so I kind of lost confidence in it. But working Tolkien's world and mine together was a very interesting task. I like finding events in the Tale of the Years and then trying to think about how they might have affected my characters.

I remember coming across Gandalf's tale of Gollum after I'd started writing fanfic and thinking "Wow. Now there's a good plot element to use." And I was surprised that no one else seemed to have done it. So I tucked it away for the future.

Eilian is living a simple life that Wood elves are probably meant to live. He's in the woods, with neighbors and his small family, and he has to do the tasks that just allow them all to live like they want to. Granted, Solith is the fly in the ointment, but maybe Eilian needs that little spur! Anyway, it's too bad that things are happening elsewhere in the woods that will cut this idyll short.

nediethReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/12/2005
Your amazingly fast updates are not always a good thing Daw, I was going to finally read this today, and what do I see? the second chapter. But in most cases they are an wonderfully good thing. I know what the creature is! Gollum! But I had a sudden terrible thought (now i'm paranoid) Loriel isn't going to be killed by Gollum, is she?!? That adorable grubby little elfling?!? NO! Ah well, if it happens, I will bare it, but not well. Now I shall read the second chapter and review that.

Author Reply: Gollum, indeed! Quite a while back, I made a note of the fact that Gollum crossed Mirkwood twice after he came out to search for Bilbo. It always seemed to me to be the germ of a good story. We'll see how it goes.

esamenReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/11/2005
Mmm, something about Gollum stands out in this chapter more than it ever did to me in the trilogy: his evilness. You know what, in the books, he is never placed in close proximity to children -- only to adults who have some means of defending themselves. The scene you gave us in the early part of the chapter, about the ravaged bird's nest and Eilian's casual response to it, sets up a very creepy moment here when Eilian feels his OWN nest threatened. Gollum seems really, really scary when you picture him preying on a child.

Nice work . . . a real thriller here.

Author Reply: Gollum is much more evil that we always remember. He seems to redeem himself a little under Frodo’s attention, and I do feel sorry for him in a way. But the Ring had done its work on him, starting with the murder of Deagol. And Gandalf makes pretty plain that Gollum was hungry, very hungry.

lwarrenReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/11/2005
Wonderful! A new story - and already full of surprises! Elian and Celuwen living in a settlement...near her parents (you ARE brave to put Elian and Solith in such close proximity! LOL) And a sweet little elfling named Loriel to wrap her ada around her little finger! I love it - the whole scene, including the worm (and it gets its own song, too), Elian with his hairdressing skills (gee, I wonder....), and the dinner with the in-laws (priceless, especially Elian's and Solith's reactions to Loriel (of course, they still circle each other like two junk-yard dogs looking for the right place to jump each other!). Eilian seems deliriously happy and settled, responsible and busy - life is a peach! *sigh*

Enter evil. (When I saw the 'webbed feet' I immediately thought 'Stinker') and in reading some of your replies to other reviews, I see I was on the right track.) And you have this slimy little felon slinking around the baby's window? Daw! You must be practicing of building tension and anxiety in your readers...I give you an can quit now...

Peace didn't last very long did it? Just long enough to lull everyone into a pleasant dream of "this is how it should be". Great beginning, daw (please slap that stinker for me when next he rears his slimy head in your imagination...) ;-)


Author Reply: I had a lot of fun writing about Eilian’s life in the settlement. It seemed to me to be a good place for him to be, despite the presence of Celuwen’s father. I thought she would need her extended family to help with life there and especially with caring for their daughter. And Eilian is happy with having neighbors, with living in the woods, and with being responsible for the chores that keep his little family going.

Some time ago, I read Gandalf’s little speech about what Gollum did after he crept out of the mountains to go in search of the ring, and I tucked it away in my notes to use in a future story. I love it when Tolkien writes about things that happened in Mirkwood! He doesn’t do it nearly often enough.

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