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Fire and Shadow  by daw the minstrel 30 Review(s)
ANAReviewed Chapter: 8 on 2/2/2004
Aah, it is with a big sigh of contentment that I read the last words of this wonderful story. Mixed with it is regret, as always, that the story has ended. I hope you won't keep us waiting for too long for your next story. I really do love the family dynamics in all your stories. I think the modern family can learn much from Thranduil and his sons. They are certainly not perfect individuals (which makes them that much more likable) but the love and support that they have for each other is so touching that one feels almost envious. Thank you again for sharing your talent with us!

Author Reply: Thank you so much, ANA. I love writing family dynamics; I think it's what's kept me writing with this group of characters. So I'm glad you like reading them. I confess I'm a little jealous of them too!

DotReviewed Chapter: 8 on 2/2/2004

Ah, Alfirin is risking Thranduil’s wrath by allowing Legolas out of his room?? Brave girl!

I was beginning to wonder if we were going to see Beliond at all. He’s so funny – I love the way the two of them sit there grumbling about the healers! But how sad that Beliond seems to realise just how much easier it can be to sometimes forget events rather than face them.

Legolas killed the dragon?? And nobody thought to mention this? Do they even know? Wow. Well done, Legolas!

O.k, I feel really bad for any negative thoughts I might ever have had about Beliond. He’s brilliant! “But you are as limited as the rest of us […] It is best not to have any illusions about one’s power to stop the inevitable.” Well… I guess you can’t really argue with that. I love that there’s absolutely no mollycoddling with him – just straight to the point. Sometimes a little abruptness is exactly what’s needed to stop someone tormenting themselves.

It’s great to see the Beliond and Legolas getting back to full strength. I really like the sense of trust between them and lack of fear in showing any weakness. A lot different from the first time they both sparred.

Poor Thranduil has to let Legolas go again. It seems that it really doesn’t get easier for him. At least now Legolas can see how hard it is for his father and appreciate the effort he is making. It’s a lovely thought that his youngest son, who has so recently experienced such horrors, can still teach him a little about the joy to be found in life. Ithilden obviously isn’t the only one to realise, albeit a little belatedly, the wisdom in Lorellin’s words. I really love the idea of father and son spending the night under the stars – living the lesson she tried to teach them.

Beliond seems much more relaxed. Out in the open, doing what he does best, I suppose. It’s good to see him teasing a little. Maltanaur really loves Eilian, doesn’t he? He seems to be able to read him better than even his own family. He, more than anyone, is in a position to help Legolas realise the burdens Eilian carries and the reasons behind his decisions, be they right or wrong.

I loved the reunion between the two brothers. Eilian seems almost giddy with relief that Legolas is alright. It seems Maltanaur has been ‘helping’ Eilian a bit too… It says a lot, though, about how much Eilian respects Malatanaur to listen to him and heed his advice. Being responsible for Legolas and Sinnarn seems to have really helped Eilian. It must have been difficult for him to realise how much pain it caused Beliond when Legolas disappeared and was then injured, when he frightened Malatanaur just as much countless times. He’s a good captain, especially when he learns to leave himself open to guidance.

No! Celuwen has been sending back his letters? I can see that it’s probably the only way she can save herself from pain but still…poor Eilian! He seems to have grown a lot in all other respects but I’m afraid that maybe there’s still a hint of desperation in him when it comes to Celuwen…..

LOL! I can’t believe he tied them together! Beliond has become so much more open, hasn’t he? I really like the way he offers advice but does so now without lecturing and has become unashamed to admit his affection for Legolas. They really seem to have earned each other’s respect. After all, while his family have all helped in their own way, at the end of the day it is Beliond who has enabled Legolas to see that in terms of his duty he did what he could and can learn from the experience. Thranduil really is wise in his choice of ‘keepers’ for his sons, isn’t he?!

I really enjoyed this story – you had me totally gripped from the beginning! Thanks for putting up with my impatience;)

Author Reply: Beliond is indeed entertaining, although I think he may be more entertaining to read about than be around. He thinks that Legolas's family is a little too careful around him and I think he's probably right.

And I liked the idea that Lorellin's words were still having an impact on her sons and husband. Celuwen needs to think about taking a chance for joy too. But Eilian is lucky to have Maltanaur, who genuinely cares for him. And he is growing up some. Celuwen will eventually have to see that.

I imagine that Legolas will remember being tied to his keeper for a good long time. It's one of those things I thought the patrol might do to enforce their tacit rules. It would work far better than formal discipline, I think.

And I'm glad you liked the story. It's structure made writing it a stretch for me.

tigerlily713Reviewed Chapter: 8 on 2/2/2004
Great story! I am glad to see everyone communicating better. I eagerly await your next creation! Lily

Author Reply: Thank you, Lily. Thranduil's family seems to move forward by fits and starts --learning lessons and then finding the need for new ones. I'm thinking about the next story but it's pretty vague yet. Until then.


NelsoniaReviewed Chapter: 8 on 2/2/2004
Hello Daw
how are you? hope all is well. Sorry for not reviewing sooner, I loved this story! Looking forward to see what happens about Eilian and Celuwen... As usual very well written and planned, Thanks loads
Best wishes

Author Reply: I'm glad you liked it, Nelsonia. And you could review a year from now and it still would be precious to me!

I too look forward to seeing what happens with Eilian and Celuwen. A little time and a little peace in the realm would do wonders for them. Not to worry. They will be rewarded eventually.

Antigone_QReviewed Chapter: 8 on 2/1/2004
Oh, a nice close to the story! I liked Beliond and Legolas bantering back and forth about the evils of healers and cementing their friendship. Legolas killed the dragon? Wow! Way to go, Legolas!

I noted the reference there at the end to Celuwen sending back Eilian's mail. So, no Eilian romance story upcoming? What would I have to do to bribe you to write one? Some of us are very fond of him... Anyway, it was nice to see that Legolas and Eilian worked out their differences. Beliond and Legolas are back on good terms, and Eilian is going to _try_ to remember that Legolas is a warrior, and not just his baby brother. All's well that ends well for Thranduil and his sons!

Now I just have to wait patiently for another episode of the Thranduilion Saga... I'm sure it's not over yet!

Author Reply: A couple of reviewers had pointed out to me that I never told what happened to the dragon. In my head, he was dead! He just wasn't dead in the story yet.

I have a Celuwen/Eilian romance planned but I think it fits best if there is a little peace in the realm. Fortunately, they will NOT have to wait until after the War of the Ring because Tolkien created another little period of peace there. ;-)

I am thinking about another story but haven't started doing anything about it yet. And as a consequence, I was so bored last night that I didn't know what to do with myself.

LOTRFaithReviewed Chapter: 8 on 2/1/2004
Well, I know I am late.. But better late then never right?;-) Hmmmmm. Happy to see Legolas healed as well as Beliond. Burns, I think are some of the worst wounds you can get... I feel rather sorry for Eilian. He is still trying to convince Celuwen, (That's her name right?) that he truly loves her. But I can understand why she is still refusing him. Eilian still has some growing up to do and Celuwen (I think) knows that, and I think she also knows that he will grow better without her... My two cents anyway;-) But I really enjoyed your story and I hope you continue! (You've done what, two stories to my one? lol)

Author Reply: Absolutely, better late than never! I appreciate your taking the time to leave a review at all.

One of the reasons that Legolas has no burns is that I couldn't stand to write about them. They are pretty awful. Beliond got better without my having to do anything.

I think you're right about Eilian. He's coming along, but he and Celuwen will eventually be happier if he grows up BEFORE they bond.

Tapetum LucidumReviewed Chapter: 8 on 2/1/2004
I go out of town for a few days and you finish it! At least I get two chapters at once.
Thranduil's little chat with his son was very encouraging. He knows better than anyone what it is like to take responsibilities for someone else's actions. Ithiliden's story was the same - it was an excellent parable for Legolas on the difficulty with being a leader and second guessing one's actions. It is also nice to know that your perfect older brother is also fallible.

Beliond and Legolas' conversation was excellent. Commiserating about the evils of healers was funny. Anyone who has been in the hospital knows just what they are talking about. Legolas did need a little shake to get rid of some of his self-pity. Beliond is right - the youngest of Thranduil is tougher than his family thinks. Their verbal sparring is almost as good as their sword fighting. I imagine warriors of their skill level would draw a crowd on the practice field. Legolas and Thranduil do both need to stop and smell the roses.

Their return to the border patrol was the right place and time for Legolas to gain more perspective. He was able to see how he hurt both Beliond and Eilian. You handled his discovery very well. Tying them together at the end was clever.

Great job with your multiple story lines. They intertwined quite well and were all relevant to character development.

Author Reply: Tapetum--

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your consistent and interesting reviews. You make me feel as if my characters are alive, or at least that they are living in someone's head besides mine.

Legolas's family does tend to be very careful with him. He's the youngest and somewhere they must still feel the pity that came with the early death of his mother. But Beliond is right. Legolas has grown up into a strong warrior who can hear the truth and live with it.

I would think that Legolas would remember being tied to his keeper for a good long time!

sofiaReviewed Chapter: 8 on 2/1/2004
BRILIANT story. very good. I like the ending with Legolas being tied to Beliond.

Author Reply: Thank you, Sofia. You don't know how much comments like yours mean to me. I expect Legolas will remember being tied to his keeper for a good long time!

wireReviewed Chapter: 8 on 2/1/2004
A fantastic and engrossing story, but I was wondering who the voices are in chapter one which Legolas hears after the incident. I've been trying to work it out all the way through! Thank you so much and I can't wait for where you plan to go next with this series.

Author Reply: I think we just heard an assortment of patrol members speaking. I'm not sure I ever decided who was talking (except for Eilian, of course). So sorry!

I'm glad you enjoyed this, wire. It was satisfying to write. I'm thinking about the next story and have some elements in mind that I want to appear in it, but I haven't worked anything out.

JustafanReviewed Chapter: 8 on 2/1/2004
Oh! The conclusion (indeed, all of it) was so well-written and -good-. I'm so glad to see that in the story new plot lines are still constantly being developed because that means sequels! Thank you so much for writing this wonderful story. I love the punishment at the end and the affection that Beliond and Legolas show towards each other (and Eilian and Legolas too).

Author Reply: Beliond has turned out to be a interesting character to develop. He is irritable, I think, but he is also experienced and knowledgeable, so he has a lot to teach Legolas, and he is genuinely fond of the kid. His family is careful around Legolas, perhaps as a legacy of their pity for him as a little one who lost his mother. But Beliond knows he's grown into a strong adult and can take being told the truth about himself.

Thank you for the review, Justafan. I'm glad you liked the story.

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