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A Spring of Joy  by daw the minstrel 20 Review(s)
MariashaReviewed Chapter: 5 on 4/28/2006
I am just done with this chapter and I have to admit I am really afraid that either Loriel or more probably Eilian will die in the end. But I really have the bad feeling I will be crying in the end again.

I know I will be done with the story soon, but I had to write down my concerns.

Author Reply: You're probably done with this story by now. I wanted to tell you that Bodkin has a story on this site you might like. She was so upset by this story that she asked me if she could write about these characters in Valinor, making them happy again. It's called "In the West" and is here

BrazgirlReviewed Chapter: 5 on 5/24/2005
Wow Daw! I didn't review chapter 5 yet and you already updated chapter 6!!! I very happy by the way.
You gave us Legolas, Beliond (always a pleasure to read), Eilian and Maltanaur (he is so nice!) and Grandfather Thranduil!!! It was lovely, though little Loriel remind us all of young Eilian... ahaha!

Author Reply: I'm going to be away all next week, so I'm spending a lot of time writing this one, although I do have to work tomorrow and Thursday. Boo!

I enjoyed the chance to write about Thranduil with his granddaughter. I think this family needed a little girl, and one who looked like her grandmother must have really melted Thranduil's heart.

YanicReviewed Chapter: 5 on 5/23/2005
Esgaroth is flourishing and yet it still smells... and I can only imagine how bad it would smell, what with lack of plumbing and all. I can see how Legolas would appreciate the woods all the more.
Oh jeez, for a little bit there I was concerned about Loriel going to find her Ada on her own (a very Legolas-like thing for her to do). Although, she is a lot like her Uncle. Loved the description of Esgaroth and Thranduil's interaction with Loriel

Author Reply: If you were used to living in the woods, I'll bet a town of men really did smell. At least I assume that Esgaroth didn't have horses or other animals in the streets adding to the mix!

Loriel seems to have inherited her father's adventuresome streak and her mother's stubborness. Put that together with Legolas's wandering tendency and you may have trouble.

moonshineReviewed Chapter: 5 on 5/22/2005
Aw, that was very sweet. Loriel and Thranduil get along well. I was a little surprised, considering the distance that`s usually bewtween them. Eilian`s mission is getting exciting. Lot of anticipation at what he is going to go through or find. Legolas too, for that matter.
Great chapter. until the next!

Author Reply: I think Loriel has been to visit Grandfather Thranduil pretty regularly, and then he sends her those presents! When I was a kid, I saw my grandparents only three or four times year, and I adored them because they so obviously loved me and my brother and sister.

I hope there's some exciting stuff, at least for Eilian. We'll see. :-)

The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 5 on 5/22/2005
I don't think I've told you lately how much I love Beliond. I was thinking as I read this chapter that Daeron would really like Beliond. Beliond says exactly what he thinks, and that's often what others are thinking as well, but are too polite to say. This is one of my favorite lines: I know they cannot help their gait,” Beliond grumbled under his breath, “but they live in the middle of a lake! You would think they could bathe regularly.” I also like that even though Beliond might not think too highly of humans, he does have a respect for the warriors of men. He doesn't think much of the egotistical leader though.

The news of the stolen lamb sent shivers down everyone's spine. The implications of what else Gollum might eat remains on everyone's mind. Gee, what a horrible creature. I'm not as sympathetic to Gollum as I might have once been. Mithrandir is far too kind to this creep. But he's a wizard and what do I know? Of course, Gollum gets his just reward in the end and that ending wouldn't have happened if someone had offed the nasty critter before Frodo got to Mt. Doom.

I felt bad for Eilian. I think he loves his job, but now he has considerations that he didn't have before. There's a little Flower Face who loves and depends on him. I'm sure it was hard for him to think that he might have to leave her to go back on patrol. Of course, Grandpa will see that Celuwen and Flower Face are cared for in his absence, but it's still not the same as coming home every night to his family.

I also noted that Eilian hasn't lost his connection to the woods and to the shadow. He feels it lurking about again even if he can't quite put his finger on what's wrong. I like the mushroom conversation. I don't blame Eilian for checking to see what kind of mushroom his father-in-law put in his food.

Sinnarn is really an adult now. He's all grown up and acting like it. I like the old boy. He's a good addition to the king's family.

The ending was just glorious. The king up a tree with a little lady. Loriel is so full of energy and fun, she's just bursting at the seams to get out and play. The king needs a little playtime too. I loved his thoughts on Eilian and how Loriel had frightened him so that he couldn't properly enjoy the curse of the harried parent: I hope you have a child just like you someday. The king picking flowers. What a sweet picture.

Wonderful chapter. I really enjoyed seeing what everyone was doing...even if I do hear the distant drums of something wicked beating in the distance.

I'm looking forward to the next chapter.


Author Reply: I wonder how Beliond and Daeron would get along? I suspect Daeron might occasionally get a whack on the head. On the other hand, he'd pick up a whole new vocabulary!

Gollum is a mixed bag, I think. Did you see Marta's essay on this? She's much kinder to Gollum than I am here. I think it's possible to read these things in different ways. But it's always cautionary to remember that his ownership of the ring began with the death of Deagol and ended in his biting off Frodo's finger. Ick.

I think Eilian will feel awful if he has to be away for long periods, letting Loriel grow up without him, and yet I think he might feel obligated to do just that once he realizes that the Nazgul have moved into Dol Guldur. I suppose Ithilden could keep him home. I haven't really decided yet, and that's for another story anyway, I think.

I loved writing about Thranduil and Loriel at the end of this chapter. He's so taken with her and so frightened for her, with good reason, I might add.

thechevinReviewed Chapter: 5 on 5/22/2005
There were three distinct elements in this chapter
Legolas, Anneal and Beliond in Lake Town.
Beliond's view of humans does not seem to have improved very much! LOL
The description of the Town Hall was lovely

Then there is Eilian and it was interesting to see how his opinions have changed so much since the birth of his daughter. He is now thinking of danger and how the changes he can sense might affect his family and the thought of how the stronghold had not protected his mother was very sad while the comment about his father in law and the mushrooms made me laugh outloud

But best of all was some grandfather grandaughter bonding, Loriel is so like her father and I thought Thranduil's thoughts on this were so funny whereas his seeing his wife's look on Loriel's face made me feel very sad.
His thoughts on the meadow were amusing also I wonder if Eilian knows how 'special' it is
thank you for another lovely update this is an enchanting tale

Author Reply: Beliond is always amusing, although I suspect it's easier to be amused at a distance. He's antsy in the town and would like Legolas out of there, and you kind of can't blame him. He was a spy in the east for a good many years, so he saw men at their worst.

Eilian was never happy about the evil in the woods, but when he was younger, he just kind of took the fight for granted. Now he's had this glimpse of peace and taken advantage of it to have daughter. And now he's worried that he made a big mistake in being so trusting. Poor guy.

The Thranduil-Loriel part of this chapter was definitely the most fun to write. My beta, Nilmandra, has written a story called "Eilian's Begetting Day," in which Eilian is turning 20 (about 8) and Thranduil and Lorellin revisit the meadow. That's how I know he was conceived there! :-)

perellethReviewed Chapter: 5 on 5/22/2005
"At least this part is coming along with your usual effortless, easy flowing appearance" Well, you mentioned in a previous reply to one of my reviews that you were finding some trouble with some parts of this story, and I thought you might like to know that, whatever the "suffering", the result is being wondrous as usual! So just take your time! nobody could ever blame you for posting one chapter a week, or even every two weeks! You're the fastest writer I ever heard of! just give yourself a break! ;-)

Author Reply: Thank you, Perelleth. It's nice to know that the story looks different to readers than it does to me as I sweat it out. And I know I'm ridiculous to worry about a day when I can't write and think I might have "writer's block." OK. I'll be sensible. :-)

perellethReviewed Chapter: 5 on 5/22/2005
How good that this chapter updates us on the three fronts!
"...but they live in the middle of a lake! You would think they could bathe regularly" Ha! one of those things you must never, ever remark when boarding other people's ship or entering other people's village or home, rule number one ! and Beliond,wise as he is, does not let escape any chance to show his displeasure about men...just to remind Legolas they're not there to indulge in his curiosity! He's so great at those reminders!
"Beliond shifted restlessly, and Legolas realized that, now that their business was concluded, his keeper wanted him out of there." Just to make the point clearer!Better than any other alarm device! :-)

And I was looking forward to seeing Thranduil with his grandaughter (I'm sure he was,too...) He must be grateful to have another young one around as an excuse to get out and forget about such things as rebuilding bridges. It was fun to hear Celuwen's concern, I suppose Thranduil must have rolled his eyes in a very unkingly manner at that!

When I was re reading Tangled Web the other week I laughed at the part when Thranduil tells Eilian to go home and beget children, and at how dutifully Eilian complied with his Adar's orders that time... and now Thranduil finds his arms full with a young, female version of his most errant son...dangerous games included! I bet the king is able to see the humour of it all!

The patrol, on the other hand, seems relaxed enough, although Eilian's perceptions are scaring. Hope this adventure doesn't prove too dramatic for them! Anyway, the setting is worrying: Gollum on the loose, Loriel delving for information about her ada's wherabouts and how to reach him, and the fantastic patrol heading south to dol Guldur, recently re occupied by a Nazgul or two. Ufff... should I say, thanks the Valar Mithrandir is around?

Hope you go on easily, daw. At least this part is coming along with your usual effortless, easy flowing appearance, although one can trace -and appreciate- how very detailed job you're doing. Best luck!

Author Reply: You're making me laugh about Beliond! Yes, indeed, he's letting Legolas know just what's what, and if Legolas is smart and wants an easy life, he'll pay attention!

How fortunate for Eilian that Thranduil's ideas about grandchildren and his own about children coincide! He's managed to more or less please his father for a change. Loriel is a bit of handful, but I'd say they couldn't have expected anything different, given her parentage (and grandparentage). She's not bad or defiant; she's just active and not very knowing about danger.

At least this part is coming along with your usual effortless, easy flowing appearance -- this made me laugh and groan a little too. For some reason, the words are flowing slowly on this story. I had two chapters written before I posted any which is why it's still being posted regularly, but I've spend days unable to write more than a paragraph and feeling like it was all boring and pointless. It seems to eventually come along though, and I suppose I may even see the point to it!

DotReviewed Chapter: 5 on 5/22/2005
Oh, so many wonderful moments in this chapter.

So they’ve reached Esgaroth. Much to the delight of Beliond, it seems! But really, I thought he was rather complimentary about the captain of the guard. In his own way, of course.

I enjoyed the descriptions of the town. LOL at the girl who nearly toppled into the water. I can’t say I blame her in the slightest. I’m not sure what to make of the new Master, though. He mostly seems a fairly decent sort. At least he appears to know what’s happening in his town and is worried for the safety of his people. And he has a healthy fear of Thranduil too! He is a bit of a twit for taking credit for Esgaroth’s current good fortune but I suppose we see that all the time. When things are going well for a country we tend to attribute it to our leaders, even though he/she may have just happened to be in the right place at the right time. As Legolas says, in comparison with the last guy, this one must “look like Gil-galad”. *g* What a great line. I loved all the little details too, like Legolas finding the scent of the forest on the wind and Beliond slightly moving his chair for a better view of the room.

It definitely sounds like Gollum was responsible for the lamb being taken. I know he did go as far as Esgaroth but I can’t imagine him actually being in the middle of he town. Chances are he’d be seen but also, he’d probably hate the crowds of people as much as the Elves do. I loved the moment with Annael saying that the Men probably wouldn’t have been able to find tracks, while managing to suggest that an Elf would. I guess he’d better go and prove himself, then!

Eilian seems to be in a hurry to get this job done. At least this little party seem to be getting along quite well. I love the way Maltanaur trusts him. If Eilian wants to just gather mushrooms and go back, then so be it. There are those cattail thingies again. Supposedly nutritious, if I remember rightly ;-) I felt quite sorry for Eilian here. He obviously senses something, even if he can’t pinpoint exactly what, and I imagine he must be aware that his own fear of what they’ll find could be making him uneasy too. Plus, the possibility of going back to the warrior life again has so many more consequences for him now that he has Loriel to think about. The part about the children moving to the stronghold was interesting. I hadn’t realised that. I also hadn’t thought about what a girl in the king’s family would do as a career until Eilian thought about how Sinnarn never really had much choice about the path he’d take, despite a relatively happy and secure childhood. Isn’t it amazing to think how different the world will be when Loriel grows up? If you let her grow up ;-)

It’s always so much fun watching them tease one another. What is it about keepers throwing things at Sinnarn?! I loved Sinnarn telling Tynd he should put wine in the sauce and the discussion of the fathers-in-law. Sinnarn is very lucky – and Eilian is very wise to be wary of Sólith!!

I was so thrilled to see Loriel and Thranduil spend some time together! I had to laugh at the way the advisor knows the second they hear Loriel that he’s lost the king’s attention. “There were days when he too wanted to whine, “The woods! Please!” Oh, I love that! I was smiling right along with the guards too when Thranduil emerged clutching the hand of his little granddaughter. Those poor guards must be bored a lot of the time, but in a time of peace I’d say it must feel like a fairly pointless job, so I’m glad they have nice moments like this!

Thranduil leaping up into the tree is a wonderful image! That little elfing is far too daring, though. A mixture of Eilian, Celuwen and Lorellin? No wonder she’s making daring jumps through the trees. As much as I felt for Thranduil in his fear for his granddaughter, I’m still laughing at “Thranduil contemplated the idea of Eilian warning a child to be careful of danger and found he had been so shaken by Loriel’s daring that he could not even take proper satisfaction from it. He would have to try again later, he decided.” That’s so funny.

I’m a bit worried about how interested she is in where Eilian is and whether she could get there. I understand that Thranduil doesn’t want to be the one to have to explain to her how dangerous the forest is, but this child has absolutely no concept of danger at all, other than the possibility of hurting herself. I’m thinking Nimloth needs to be hauled in to watch Loriel whenever Celuwen isn’t around. Although, on second thoughts, Celuwen wouldn’t know her. Hmm. This one does need watching, though.

What a lovely ending. There’s nothing quite like seeing Thranduil with his grandchildren. :-)

Author Reply: I thought Beliond would appreciate another soldier. At least he's see what the guy was doing as useful, which he might not believe about a politician like the town master. The town master seemed to me to be a mixed lot too. When Balin and Gandalf visit Bilbo at the end of The Hobbit, Balin saysm "The new Master is of wiser kind, ... and very popular, for, of course, he gets most of the credit for the present prosperity." That seemed quite cynical to me. The new Master doesn't run off with the gold, but he's not a person someone like Beliond would have much use for.

As for Gollum, what Gandalf tells Frodo in ch 2 of FOTR is that Gollum's "padding feet had taken him at last to Esgaroth, and even to the streets of Dale." So I don't know whether he went into Esgaroth, but he sure went into Dale. And I had to stop for a minute to realize that this is the rebuilt Dale we're talking about. I think Gollum is pretty sneaky.

I'm sitting here pondering your question about what a girl-child of the royal family would do for a career. Tolkien says that elves didn't differentiate much by sex as to what people could do, except most cooks were men and most healers were women. But I wonder if wood-elves would have what we think of as "careers." I think our society is much more specialized than theirs, but I think in the normal course of things wood-elves would just live. They'd keep house and hunt and forage and sing. That's sort of what I picture life in the settlement being like. But of course, a child of the king's household has a different set of responsibilities, especially in difficult times. It's hard to imagine.

I had a good time showing Loriel and Thranduil together. I don't think I showed him much with Sinnarn when he was small except in little glimpses here and there.

I'm still reading some of the young people's books you recommended, Dot. I just started one of the Edge Chronicles. I'd never heard of them before. I don't think it's as good as Lloyd Alexander's stuff.

elliskaReviewed Chapter: 5 on 5/22/2005
I loved the whole chapter and I hate to skip around when commenting because then I confuse myself and forget things I wanted to say but still I have to comment on the end first--I have been just dying to see Thranduil with his granddaughter. I had the biggest smile on my face as I was reading that part. From “You will have to watch her, Adar. --she's telling Thranduil! to the very end it was just delightful. I loved the guards trying to be not too obvious, Thranduil jumping right up into the tree after her, Thranduil learning again how frightening it can be to have a child--and one sooo like Eilian. I bet Eilian has thought of his adar a lot over the last ten years. And poor Thranduil not even being able to take pleasure in imagining Eilian telling her to be careful.

I know what is coming next with poor Loriel. She is too clever for her own good and we know perfectly well Thranduil's guards aren't any good at keeping things inside that stronghold--dwarves, Gollum, mischievous elflings--I laugh every time I read that line in the Hobbit where the Elvenking says nothing can escape his magic doors. Hah! Don't give Solith too much fodder for criticizing the stronghold.

Ok, now back to the beginning...

The details in the town just cracked me up. When I read ...but they live in the middle of a lake! You would think they could bathe regularly. I howled so loud that the dog ran away and it woke my husband. Priceless and too true. I love the dicussion of the worthiness, or lack thereof, of the Masters of Lake Town. I always thought the one during the Hobbit was a real sleeze. And I just got a kick out of Beliond placing more faith in the warriors--at they have a sense of self preservation--not even much faith there. But there is so much here--the lady nearly falling, their sitting position in the Hall (poor Beliond), the gilded (sp?) halls, the wolf tracks and Annael's reaction... great job with all of this. It really played like a movie in my mind--your stuff usually does but this seemed particularly good.

Poor Eilian. He is really feeling different now that he has a child and he just doesn't know what to make of that, does he. You did a really good job showing the progression of thoughts that show how Eilian looks so differently at the world now. I really liked that.

Don't I remember Sinnarn joking about the quality of camp food and spices to improve it in another story? That part made me laugh. You almost forget Tynd is a keeper, he is so much easier going. I think his attitude towards his duty is about to change.

But the joking about family dinners was great. Again, poor Eilian. :)

Great chapter Daw. *Sigh* I suppose it will get nasty from here. You always set these things up really well but I think this has been one of your best. I am dying to so where all these events go.

Author Reply: I'm so glad you liked the scene between Thranduil and Loriel. I've suggested that he was a pretty indulgent grandfather with Sinnarn, but I don't think I've ever shown them out together, so this scene with Loriel was fun to imagine. In particular, I really liked being able to show Thranduil jumping into the tree. He's not too old to do that yet!

That scene with the Master of Laketown got extensively rewritten after my beta pointed out to me that the Master during the Battle of Five Armies was dead! Somehow I missed that and was merrily writing about him talking to Legolas. But at the end of The Hobbit, Tolkien has Balin and Gandalf visiting Bilbo in the Shire, and Balin tells about the death of the old master and the nature of the new one. Thank goodness Nilmandra saved me.

I think that the difference in Eilian comes from a combination of being a father and living in peace for a time. If some horrible disaster had happened when Legolas was small, and Eilian had wound up caring for him, I think he would have worried over him (although perhaps not so sensibly), but it's that tantalizing time of peace that's really led him to hope for a different life.

Sometimes I think my stories are all set up followed by a big bang and then the end.

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