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The Elf Path  by Nilmandra 17 Review(s)
shireboundReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/18/2012
I just wanted you to know that I still read your lovely stories, I still enjoy them immensely, and I'm so happy you wrote them. I think of you often, and hope you're doing well.

Agape4GondorReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/31/2008
Very interesting. Glad indeed am I that the Elves didn't leave Frodo for the trees! They didn't sound particularly welcoming. It was fun seeing what I assume was Strider on guard duty! And glad indeed that Merry was the one to wake him and not someone less kind!

Ah - another journey....

Author Reply: I was sort of going for Gildor type elves here, LOL. And I'm not sure who the Rangers were, for that matter! They showed up but didn't leave their names. I like the idea of elf paths though - that for those who have eyes to see, they are there. :D

DotReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/30/2008
This is absolutely delightful! I love how you write Frodo. His sense of adventure and his courage really come through.

I thought it was very clever too what you do with the atmosphere. It feels so oppressive and strange in that forest and yet Frodo’s curiosity and moments of sheer wonder keep the reader going through the sense of unease and wariness right along with him. Bilbo would be very proud of that adventurous streak that Frodo seems to have inherited! And it’s quite touching too to see how much Frodo wants to follow in Bilbo’s footsteps. Though something tells me that he’ll do that with bells on... Oh, and it amused me no end the way he decides he’s ready for an adventure so off he goes and has one!!

I’m still smiling at the way he laughs and sings with delight as the path appears, even taking him across the Brandywine. Now that must be magic ;-)

And then he gets smacked on the head. Nice.

I was hoping we’d get to meet the elves! I love the way this elf chastises the tree. For some reason I thought it was a lovely touch too that he wraps up Frodo’s cake and puts it into back into his pack. These elves are so kind and protective. And one at least seems not unused to hobbits :-)

Soon, two riders appeared across the river. Men, tall and dark. Rangers! Yay! Nameless rangers that I’m going to name in my head anyway ;-) I have to admit I started chuckling at the thought of them all running into each other in the middle of the night – all because Frodo decided to go exploring. These hobbits do have a way of inadvertently shaping events. That meeting between the men and elves was just wonderfully written – and Frodo missed it!

“Hopefully enough explanation to keep him from wandering where he does not belong.” LOL!!

Merry’s great. No sympathy from him, only excitement and a slight rebuke. And the suggestion of food, of course.

He wanted to find that path again, and something in his heart told him he would need to make that quest alone. What a gorgeous ending. Elf paths aren’t without danger but faith will guide the way. And, of course, there’s the reminder of the final Path that waits for him when the time comes and we already see here the sparks of courage that will allow him to follow it.

Really, this was terrific. Not only did you make the events completely canonical but your characters have walked straight out of the pages of Tolkien. It’s always wonderful to see something like this pop up on the front page of SoA. Not to mention how great it is to see a story from you – keep that inspiration burning!

Author Reply: LOL, I did think it funny that Frodo missed out on this meeting of Elves and Rangers. I think the elf helped him stay asleep a little longer than he might have on his own, too.

A little foreshadowing is always fun too, and Tolkien did it a lot - something I've definitely picked up on this last time through the book. The Straight Road is the ultimate and final elf path, and Frodo will be one of the only mortals ever to take that one.

Glad you liked the story - and especially so if Frodo bore a resemblance to Book!Frodo. Merry is just a tween here, but yeah, food and adventure. Most guys of that age are not big on sympathy!

GwynhyffarReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/30/2008
Nilmandra! How nice to see a story from you!

You managed to get Frodo square on. I love his decision that he's ready for an adventure. Of course, he'll be on a real adventure soon enough and will meet all sorts of elves!

You are really good at developing and keeping that tight pov that everyone is always talking about, and you manage to do it while fitting your characters square into canon.

Author Reply: If Frodo seemed like Tolkien's Frodo, then I am well pleased. Thanks for your kind words about POV - I got good advice from someone once about that and I think it made a big difference in my writing.

RedheredhReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/30/2008
Ah, Frodo lured deeper into the Forest by that yearning we all have to know the elusive Elves. Very nice.

And even better to see a new story from you!
Thanks to Shirebound for prompting you to do it!

Author Reply: It has been a long time since I've had the desire to write - I'm glad it returned from wherever it has been vacationing.

Glad you liked this - I would like to step out my door one day and on to an elf path. :D

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/30/2008
What courage Frodo has! I can't see any other hobbit having the ... vision or the nerve to follow something as tenuous as the elf path - and how frustrating that the wretched tree clonked him on the head so close to his goal of encountering elves. This is a lovely Frodo - one who would walk into Mordor with little but faith and courage to support him.

Nice group of protective elves and brave Rangers - sending him home to his resilient cousin.

Author Reply: I was imagining living in a world where such magical things exist - but with elf paths come malicious trees, with ranger guards come barrow wights. I am glad you like this Frodo - I was hoping it was Tolkien's resilient curious adventuresome hobbit!

Gentle HobbitReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/30/2008
I enjoyed this nighttime adventure. I especially liked the elves' path and how it drew Frodo on.

Author Reply: I like to think that Elbereth indeed guided him to it. Thank you, I am glad you liked it.

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/30/2008
Ah--to find an Elf Path! How wonderful a gift, and a sign indeed he was intended to be an Elf friend indeed! And Aragorn helped bring him back? Excellent!

Author Reply: The ranger and elves may be of your choosing :D

I want to find an elf path.

Eruanneth_LuinReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/30/2008
My dear Nilmandra, what a delightful little tale. How I yearn to follow that Path as well. Though fraught with danger, it is well worth the pursuit. Alas, like poor Frodo in the Woods, a glimpse of their passing and a fragrant hint of their song is all we may ever experience of Elf-kind.

Thank you for brightening my day with this sweet surprise.

Author Reply: I am glad you caught that there is a greater elf path yet to follow - the Straight Road, and that one will take as much courage to get on as anything else this hobbit has done. But, he will have companions then - another dear hobbit, a half elf and many elves, and it will be a first and last for all of them.

Does make you wonder as you tramp about though, if there might be other elf paths, in dimensions that cross ours.

The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/29/2008
What a lovely tale! The forest was magnificent. Your descriptions truly brought it to life. I could see and hear his feet sinking into the bogs and the ornery old tree bopping Frodo on the head. The elves and rangers came across as perfect 'shadow people'. The elves naturally slip among the trees and the rangers were very good in stealth mode. Poor Frodo doesn't know what he missed.

Beautiful imagery, Nilmandra. A delight to read. And Happy Birthday to Shirebound.

Author Reply: Thanks, Karen. I enjoyed writing it and trying to come up with answers to questions raised in my mind about who used that path and if the elves passed through the Old Forest and why Frodo didn't speak of his previous experience as Merry did... etc. I am glad when it all works itself out into a story!

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