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The Seeds of Time  by daw the minstrel 21 Review(s)
ponypetterReviewed Chapter: 2 on 4/1/2007
I don't suppose Thranduil and Eilian will ever be able to have a conversation without some tense words between them. Thranduil doesn't mince his words, and Eilian is highly sensitive to criticism. Eilian's tendencies make it believable that he would often prefer being "away from home" and on patrol than at home, where he is subject to criticism (real or imagined).

Author Reply: Eilian and Thranduil are just too different to get along easily, although I think as Eilian matures, they get better. It's sad really, because they do love one another.

Elena TirielReviewed Chapter: 2 on 3/20/2007
Hi again, Daw,

Sorry that I'm not really feeling up to writing a real review... dealing with the death of a dear friend a few days ago, and feeling kind of "out of it" right now....

But I saw Agape's question about Elves dissipating, and I do have the quote handy:

"The flesh of Dwarves is reported to have been far slower to decay or become corrupted than that of Men. (Elvish bodies robbed of their spirit quickly disintegrated and vanished.)"

The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 2, Ch 13, Last Writings: Notes, Note 24

Not sure how exactly to interpret it, but I thought you did very well in that story about Legolas's girlfriend dying.... sorry, the name isn't coming to me right now.... but I suspect that "quickly" means in relationship to Men, here, not necessarily "instantaneously", except possibly for spirits of fire....

- Barbara



Author Reply: I'm so sorry about your friend, Barbara. RL has a way of knocking us down once in a while.

Thanks for the quote. That's really useful, as are many of the ones you dig up.

daw

French PonyReviewed Chapter: 2 on 3/19/2007
Okay, it's appropriately dark outside, and I am free of homework for the rest of the week. Time to read!

I liked the sense of the Shadow as a palpable Thing, twisting around and creeping into Elves and trees as if it had a will of its own. Tolkien likes to pair up good and evil creatures such that each good creature has its own evil parody -- Elves and Orcs, Ents and Trolls, Hobbits and Gollum, I guess -- and the Shadow seems like that kind of evil parody of the tree chorus.

I also like the sense of Thranduil sort of semiconsciously being an imposing presence. Clearly, that's a mask that Eilian has trouble approaching, and Thranduil either cannot or will not turn it off when dealing with Eilian. No wonder they have problems with each other.

And it seems that Elves are forever vulnerable to holes opening up in the ground.

Author Reply: Free of homework is the best feeling in the world.

I think Eilian and Thranduil did better when Lorellin was alive because she kind of smoothed the way between them. Heck, she smoothed them a little! But for Eilian and Thranduil, it's always a bit of a struggle because they're very different. And as you say, Thranduil is imposing even when he's trying not to be.

erunyauveReviewed Chapter: 2 on 3/19/2007
>>His mother took up her knitting, and Eilian eased back on the bench, sipping his wine. The fire was warm and the clicking of his mother's knitting needles was soothing. Perhaps he would not go out tonight after all. He felt as sleepy as Legolas, as if he might be able to sleep the night through without stumbling onto a dream path crowded with terror.

There's something about the unexpectedness, and the way things weren't as they seemed, that makes Fithral's death more horrible. I'm also guessing that there wasn't much left for the warriors to recover.

For Legolas, though, he's still young enough not to understand much, or have a real concept of death, so it's natural for him be awed and quiet at the funeral and able to forget it quickly.

Author Reply: Fithral's death was about as horrible as I could stand to write. It would sure give me nightmares if I had witnessed it. I figure there were bones left and that's about it. Ick.

Thanks for the review, Erunyauve.

pipinheartReviewed Chapter: 2 on 3/19/2007

I like that you seen this through Eilian eyes. Thranduil is trying to help him, its one of thier more reasonable talks as well. Eilian is taking this hard, and it is possible that he too has shadow sickness, though he'd never admit it to anyone.
I loved the drescription of the trees that was covered in shadow, nice work...

Update soon, this is nice...

Author Reply: I had to decide whether to have Eilian just tell his father what happened or to show it in a sort of flashback, and I decided the flashback was more dramatic. It was also kind of grim to write. Ick.

Eilian does indeed have the beginning of shadow sickness, but he's pretty resilient, and he's home so he's getting better. And he's not about to admit even to himself that he could have it.

Thanks for the review, pipinheart.

Brenda G.Reviewed Chapter: 2 on 3/18/2007
Daw, I have been out of circulation for a very long time now (two back-to-back moves and lots happening on the home front), but I was so delighted to look up this site again after my lengthy absence away and see this story by you. As usual (and always), I am hooked from word one and ready for more stories from you as quickly as you can churn them out. Your writing just gets better and better. Oh, how I have missed this!

I noticed in reviews of the first chapter that you talked about working on a "second novel" which means (I conclude) that you have written a first? If so, how in the world can I get my hands on it? I've always maintained that you should collect your stories into a book. Is that what you have done or does this first novel stand alone? If you have written a novel, I cannot express my joy to see this personal dream of yours fulfilled. Equally, I cannot express the urgency of my need to have, hold, devour from cover to cover, and treasure forever a copy of this fabled work. When you have time, please email me all of the delicious details of your first outing.

You are a marvel to me and your work like little miracles that brighten and bless and drive the Shadow away. I'm looking forward to the next installment of The Seeds of Time. Your Lorellin is enchanting.

Hope you are well.

B.G.

Author Reply: So glad you liked it, Brenda. Two moves in a row would wipe me out. It's so much work! Every time we do it, I swear I'll never do it again.

Lorellin is interesting to me. I've never written from her POV before and I'm just getting to know her.

I've been trying to write original fic, which is the main reason I'm writing less fanfic. I've completed one novel and am trying to interest an agent, and I have a draft of a second. I'll email you some more about it.

daw

IdhrenielReviewed Chapter: 2 on 3/18/2007
Wow... what a terrible death indeed. Thranduil was very accesible to Ellian this time. It must be hard for him to hear his son talking about such a scene. It was a sad chapter, but the way you write about those characters is amazing.


Author Reply: Eilian and Thranduil approached one another more easily while Lorellin was alive, mostly because she smoothed the way between them, I think. You're right that Thranduil probably did feel his son's pain. He's seen things Nana hasn't. This is one story that Nana isn't going to hear.

Thank you for your kind words. They make me feel good. :-)

White WolfReviewed Chapter: 2 on 3/18/2007
When Legolas said, "Nana said this was for Fithral, but where was he? Which warrior was he?", I cringed right along with Eilian. It really brings home how children have their own view of things, doesn't it?

Eilian's story about the Shakow and Fithral's death was well done and made me shudder. I think being pulled down into a hole by horrid creatures would terrify me beyond words.

A sad but well done chapter.




Author Reply: Being pulled into a hole by orcs is nightmare stuff. I don't want to think about it and I wrote it. Ick. The best I could do was have an orc slash Fithral's throat so he'd at least be out his misery quickly. Ick again.

Legolas's view of the world is interesting to write. He amuses and amazes with the creative and off-beat interpretations children make of things they don't understand.

DotReviewed Chapter: 2 on 3/18/2007
Great chapter, daw.

The funeral scene was very well done. I thought it was interesting that even as Eilian thinks about how heís glad he doesnít have the weight of responsibility that his brother and father must bear, itís still duty that he struggles with. But more than duty as kingís son or warrior to his people, thereís what he seems to feel is his duty as wood-elf to the forest. I loved the little details to show us how the others are feeling Ė Thranduilís ďpublicĒ face, Ithildenís straight back, Legolasí wide eyes and Lorellinís scanning of the trees. It really is sad that Legolas knows the words of the song of mourning Ė and it very poignantly suggests that itís a song with which most of the Woodland Realm are familiar. Poor Gelmir :-(

The heartbreakingly small wrapped bundle of Fithral's bones. Oh God. Thatís heartbreaking. I was torn between wanting to know what happened to him and really, really not wanting to know.

He looked away into the smoke-smudged trees. Thatís a gorgeous description.

"You may lean on me any time, Naneth, though to me, it still feels the other way around." Thatís really sweet. And I think her way of offering support to a son who doesnít want to need it is by asking for it for herself.

I actually had tears in my eyes at Legolasí questions about Fithral. Heís very literal, as small children are. It must be so hard for his parents to have to explain death to a child when really the only way his people die is as the result of evil.

"Alas, at present my stories are out of favor, and your naneth's are the truly desirable ones." I loved that! Itís a great glimpse of a real family unit and family life. And the easy way in which Eilian notes Thranduilís tiredness suggests people more comfortable in each otherís presence than we see later.

"I know." Thranduil's face was impassive, but Eilian believed his father did know. Body and spirit, he was so connected to the Woodland Realm he probably felt the twisting of each tree. In the face of his father's stolid endurance, Eilian felt like Legolas whining over a skinned knee. I thought that was really moving. I love the idea that Thranduilís tie to the forest is that deep but itís quite distressing to think how that which gives him his power must also cause great suffering as darkness spreads through it. Mmm, I love your ThranduilÖ Though Eilian shouldnít be so hard on himself. Heís a wood-elf and heís out there every day. Itís no wonder heís affected and he needs to know itís ok to be.

I was glad to see Eilian give in and talk to Thranduil. But what a horrific time heís had :-/ He opened his mouth to give the order, then bit back the words. Todith had told them to take care. He should muster his small patience and follow the safer course of action. Ooh, thatís interesting! It seems Eilian once upon a time was learning to control himself and not act impulsively until his world turned upside down.

The descriptions of the Shadow and of the choking, rotting woods were just amazing. It felt so heavy and stifling to me. Iíve never seen the Shadow seem such a tangible presence either. It was incredibly well done. The difference when they emerge from the area touched by Shadow gave me such a sense of relief. I hadnít realised I was holding my breath along with Eilian until I released it again when he came into the sweeter air and birdsong! But that whole section really was so tense. I was wondering what they could have missed and where the orcs were gone. Iíd swear my heart stopped for a second when Eilian realised that they were in tunnels. I was torn then between thinking how clever yet horrifying that was!

A twisted maple slowly tilted, its branches stretched out to the other trees as if pleading to be held, its roots tearing away and rearing up like a gigantic, spiked shield. Everything seemed to be sliding toward a hole collapsing into the forest floor. Everything, including Fithral. *covers eyes* Oh God, thatís sickening. I canít even think about it. Or about what they found when they went into the tunnels later. But you did a great job, daw. You really showed the reality what these warriors face.

"And you conclude I have let the Shadow damage me? I thought that really showed how Eilian seems to think it would be a personal weakness to let the Shadow affect him. He is so sympathetic towards Gelmir but he doesnít want to think that he could possibly allow himself to be so weak. The only thing is that heís naturally quite upbeat and energetic so if he gets to spend some time away from the Shadow and with his family Ė always assuming he can overcome his guilt at not being there to fight for his home every minute of the day Ė he might recover quickly. I was glad anyway to see him draw some comfort from Thranduil. But everyone in his family has something to offer him if he just gives in and accepts it.

Iím loving this. More please :-)





Author Reply: One of the things that's interesting to do with multiple POVs is show how each character sees the others, and I'm having fun with that in this story. My POVs are going to be Nana, Eilian, and Legolas (sorry, no Ithiden POV). I think those three would see their family from pretty different angles. So that's more or less why you got Eilian's view of everyone at the funeral.

And you're right about Lorellin offering support to Eilian, even as she asks for it from him. She made a difference to him, helping him be calmer, I think. He slipped out of his own control and everyone else's after she died.

I racked my brain to think of those tunnels. I wanted the orcs hiding somewhere new for a change, because it just seemed to me to be pretty convenient for there to be caves everywhere in the woods.

You're right on the money about Eilian thinking of shadow sickness as a weakness in him, though not in others. Because as you say, he's tied up in duty to his father and people, and most of all to the woods. Sitting around while others deal with it seems self indulgent to him, and no son of Thranduil is going to do that without guilt.

Glad you liked it, Dot.

GwynhyffarReviewed Chapter: 2 on 3/17/2007
Poor Eilian. He is so concerned with infecting others than he can't really look out for himself. Thranduil, Elbereth love him, just can't keep from rubbing Eilian the wrong way. Even when he's worried about Eilian, he can't really step away from the authoritarian in himself. That seems to haunt him when it comes to Eilian and even Legolas a bit.

The thought of orc tunnels makes me sick. When I was reading the bit about going into the tunnels, I was thinking of Shelob's lair and that... well, at the risk of being too gross... smell of rot. It's an overwhelming sick smell that you never forget once you've experienced it. You even taste it for a few days when you try to eat. Oops, I wasn't going to be too gross! At any rate, I feel for Eilian having to go in there.

I also feel bad that Legolas is finding himself in the position of having realm responsibilities placed upon him so young. Even if he didn't fully comprehend what was going on, I'm sure it will affect him.

Good job as always, Daw.

Author Reply: Eilian truly believes that it would be self-indulgent to say he has Shadow sickness. He learned responsibility early too, even if he is still a little adrenalin addicted.

The taste of rot is a pretty gross thought. Would this have anything to do with the moose in the well? :-)

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