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The Enemy Within  by daw the minstrel 57 Review(s)
emma-girlReviewed Chapter: 6 on 10/24/2019
Hello, Daw!

I wanted to leave a review for a long time, but I never took the time to do it. Now, since for the third time I've finished reading your entire work, I just wanted to let you know how much I love your universe, your characters and your creativity.

Also, you should know that your stories hold a special place in my heart. The first time I've read them was ten years ago, I was 15, and, thanks to you, I fell in love with English (I'm French). In a few months I'm moving to the USA for a year or two, and I realize that it would never have happened if I had never found your stories.

I love everything about them and yet, to be honest, I wasn't a big fan of Legolas (I was more team Elrond and the twins). But the universe that you created is just... something incredible. All your characters (OC or not) are so believable, endearing and fascinating! I have so many favorites... Eilian, Ithilden, Thranduil, Sinnarn (I don't know if I will ever forgive you for killing him, though), Maltanaur, Alfirin, Beliond, Tinar (he's incredibly funny!).

ALL of them are perfect. You made me dream, cry, laugh. Because of you I've spent many nights reading until dawn. The experience is always amazing and I don't that I will ever grow tired of your universe.

Now, I can only hope that one day you will start writing again (it'd be the most wonderful present in the world!). Think about Eilian, Ithilden, Thranduil and Legolas! They are all waiting for you to start again writing about their adventures.

Thank you for everything,

Emma.

Author Reply: Emma,

I can't tell you how much your review touched me. It was incredibly kind of you to tell me how much these characters mean to you, and that you still enjoy reading about them after all this time. The characters mean a lot to me too. They eventually came to feel like real people.

And writing about them changed my life. It was how I learned to write fiction in a community of people who were all interested in LOTR and happy to hear from one another. The main reason I'm not about them now is that I decided to write fantasy novels under my own name. In the first one I wrote, I actually patterned an older and younger brother on Ithilden and Eilian.

So fanfic was very good to me. I hope you enjoy your time in the US.

DAW
Dorothy A. Winsor

Moonshine4488Reviewed Chapter: 6 on 3/26/2017
Always a pleasure reading one of your stories. I really enjoyed Legolas interacting with a human child. This is fun and exciting to read like all of your fanfics :)

Author Reply: Legolas needs to prepare to join a Fellowship that includes other races. :-)

It struck me that a human girl would look exotic to him, and at his age, girls are already hard to figure out.

Glad you liked it.

Caz-BazReviewed Chapter: 6 on 2/23/2017
OMG! I have been rereading all my favourite childhood literature recently, from Roald Dahl to Tolkein to J K Rowling, and I had this sudden urge to come back to this site and start rereading some of your fan fic. Definitely not disappointed!

I was so happy to find a new story uploaded as well! I hope you are as glad as I am that you didn't kill Eilian off in one of your earliest stories. I always related so much to the misunderstood middle child through my teens.

Thank you so much for sharing all these wonderfully creative tales they were a pleasure to read the first time around and I am working away on rereading them all now. I think Annael maybe one of my favourite OC's now!

Caz-Baz

Author Reply: Hi, Caz-Baz! Long time, no see.

I was insane to think of killing Eilian. He turned out to be a wonderful character to write about because he has good points but also flaws, so he always felt alive to me.

Annael is one of my favorite OCs too. He's the friend we all wish we'd had.

Glad you're still enjoying these stories.

daw

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 6 on 1/7/2017
Ahh.

Hard as it is to credit, I've only just had time to read the whole of this. Christmas and grandbabysitting really do eat into your time!

You can't blame Thranduil for having so little faith in men. He never seems to meet any that are really trustworthy ... well, not until Aragorn comes along. And even he has his downside when it comes to elf/men relations - carrying off Elrond's daughter as he did.

Legolas is growing up, but not as fast as he'd like. But I'm glad Thranduil took a hand in sending Ithilden and Alfirin off together. I'm not sure that Ithilden would ever get round to it without paternal encouragement.

I'm missing LotR. I think I'm going to have to go back to reading my favourite authors.

Author Reply: Bodkin! How wonderful to hear from you. It sounds as if your life is full, which is good.

Thranduil didn't have the patience to wait for Ithilden to take the initiative. He just briskly set things in motion himself. :-)

I miss LOTR too. I miss the way it absorbed me and also the lively online life it created.

Take care.

daw

DotReviewed Chapter: 6 on 11/26/2016
I'm working elsewhere today and am being very bad and sneaking on here. I feel like it's years since I've done that!

You know, you almost have to give Camil credit. He's seriously determined. Or totally oblivious to body language.

I'm glad Thranduil is able to tell Ithilden that his self doubt is unnecessary. Charm or no charm, Ithilden can be so hard on himself. Not that I'm biased.

Thranduil must have thought everyone had just completely lost the run of themselves. It sounds like quite a brawl going on!I laughed at him realising he was actually rather relishing the chance to wade in and do something.

Fair play to Eilian and Legolas for realising what was going on. How do you even think of these things, daw?? I'm glad that Camil didn't realise what he'd been doing. He didn't seem like someone who'd deliberately cause harm, especially not to his family. Plus you'd imagine if he'd known what was happening he wouldn't have loitered...

Thranduil wondered what the charm had whispered to Eilian and felt a flash of pain that whatever it was had preyed on a weakness he knew his son was struggling against. Oh man. That's heartwrenching.

Thranduil deciding not to push the topic of Hoth was wise, I think. Pick your battles and all that.

I think my favourite moment was Eilian making such an effort for Gelmir's parents. It says so much about him. And of course, it was so good of them to come and reassure him. That'll tell you how engrossed we get in your stories - I knew Gelmir was ok and still I was worried!

So what was the story with Jardin? Was the not eating to do with what was whispered to her or just stressing about her father? I possibly missed something as I keep reading this in bits.

"More than you hope, but less than I'd like." Love that. Sounds to me like parenting in a nutshell.

"Ithilden will escort you home, Alfirin," Thranduil said briskly. "No reason for you to hang about while your adar waits for your naneth." Ooh, nicely played! :-D

And it all finishes on a lovely and normal note - Legolas trying to persuade his father he's better off not actually being punished.

I better go... But I thoroughly enjoyed this story and would love to encourage you to write more :-)

Author Reply: I wonder how well humans can read Elven body language. Or vice versa, for that matter. I suppose Camil has had a fair amount of exposure to Elves, so you'd think he could manage. But Thranduil just doesn't care most of the time. He's busy.

One of my favorite moments in this chapter is Ithilden vaulting over the table to wade into the brawl, snapping his fingers at warriors along the way. The guy radiates authority, which I find quite attractive. Is that wrong?

I figured the charm was whispering to Jardin whatever it is that people with anorexia say to themselves. I've wondered about things like eating disorders and cutting. Have they always existed? It's hard to say, I think.

Glad you enjoyed the story, Dot, even if you are sneaking a read. :-)

daw

DotReviewed Chapter: 5 on 11/26/2016
Wow, there are a lot of crotchety woodelves. I love Annael trying to keep the peace. Although I imagine Legolas thinks he's being restrained by not yelling at Eilian.

I was kind of glad Hoth challenged his father, though. It was time for all that underlying tension to spill over.

"The Troop Commander told you what happened?" Yikes. Though to be fair, there was no way it could be kept secret for long. Poor Eilian. Obviously there's more to his temper than he realises but still, I feel for him.

"Hoth's gone." Well. Of course he is. What else could go wrong?!

And Legolas trying to look after Eilian! I'm torn between thinking it's sweet and feeling so bad for Legolas that he feels he has to.

"His back is burned." Oh, for... *sigh* Go get Gwaleniel.

"Legolas," Eilian said, "go get Gwaleniel." Hey, I just said that.

Why does he need the charm all the time???

"We have to talk to Adar," Eilian said. Oh thank God. Except I have to run to work now... Back later!

Author Reply: It's very annoying when they expect you to go to work all the time.

Hoth did the right thing in speaking up to his father. His impulses were good ones. Well, some of them anyway. The one to jump the fire wasn't.

Eilian's best moment was when he acts to help find Hoth even though he's still wearing the charm. He wavers because he's not at his best, but in the end, his love for Legolas makes him do what the brat asks. And then the charm annoys him enough that he pulls it off. Good going, Eilian. :-)

Thanks, Dot.

daw

meckinockReviewed Chapter: 6 on 11/24/2016
When you're writing Thranduil now, do you ever think of George Washington from Hamilton? Especially the parts where he's telling people to take a walk and meet him inside.

This was such a satisfying ending. It's great to see everyone at each other's throats but even better when they all make up. And I'm glad even thought the Men were responsible, it wasn't a deliberately malicious act. Funny that of everyone who was affected, Ithilden seemed to show fewer signs because making him more uptight and controlled than normal just seemed...normal, somehow.

Author Reply: It never occurred to me to compare Thranduil to Washington! Tough leaders are tough leaders, I guess.

Funny that of everyone who was affected, Ithilden seemed to show fewer signs because making him more uptight and controlled than normal just seemed...normal, somehow

That's true. Ithilden is always his own worst enemy, but then maybe we all are.

meckinockReviewed Chapter: 5 on 11/24/2016
Thranduil would have to know about the injury to the merchant's son, but given the scene Eilian had just made on the Green, some other time would be better. Much better.

Oh, yeah. Much.

I can't wait to see what Thranduil is going to say about all this.


Author Reply: I love Thranduil but he's pretty high-handed and exacting. I wouldn't want him as a father. And his boys have learned how to get around him, each in his own unique way.

meckinockReviewed Chapter: 4 on 11/24/2016
Hee, vintage Eilian - clucking at Legolas not go too near the cliff's edge, and then diving straight off it himself. I can't wait to see where this ends up, with Legolas in rationally logical bad-decision mode and Eilian indulging his inner demons at the same time, and the Mannish girl in the mix doesn't bode well either.

Author Reply: Eilian indulging his inner demons

I announced the theme of this story pretty blatantly in the first chapter when Thranduil is hearing a case about two elves behaving badly. He says that if you give in to your worst impulses, you don't need someone from outside to destroy you. Then everyone went on to act it out!

obsidianjReviewed Chapter: 6 on 11/23/2016
Thranduil as parent was great. Too many things to deal with in depth at once, so he let some things go like Hoth. It was probably for the better that he didn't know what Hoth was up to or Legolas would not hear the end of it.

Author Reply: Too many things to deal with in depth at once, so he let some things go

That's very well put. Exactly so. Three sons and his people drawing daggers on one another mean he has to set some priorities.

When I first stated writing fanfic, there was a fashion for showing Thranduil as an abusive parent. That struck me as unlike the elves Tolkien shows us, and I had fun writing him differently.

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