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Battles Won  by daw the minstrel 17 Review(s)
LeraReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/11/2004
What a sweet story. First person is hard to write in, but you pulled it off well. When I first saw it was going to be in first person, I kind of went "bleeeh," but as soon as I started reading, I was drawn in, just like I normally am when reading your stories. Feel free to write in first person whenever you want!

I thought I knew Eilien well, but it was amazing how much more I saw of him when I was hearing his thoughts. It cracked me up to hear him think things, he'd never be able to say aloud, like about Ithilden needing an elleth in his bed. I like knowing Ithilden'll get what he needs. I seem to remember him saying, he never knew he was lonely until he met Alfirin and he didn't know he lacked joy until they had Sinnarn(or something). Eilien knew a long time before Ithilden did.

It was funny and sort of sad that Eilien was apprehensive about talking to Ithilden. It reminded me again how hard it must be in a military family where you're under a brother's authority.
And sorry, Thranduil, but Eilien will never be too grown up to play! It was so sweet to see Eilien and Gelmir, two dangerous warriors playing with the elflings. "We can be warriors together." If they only knew.

Author Reply: Thank you, Lera. If I actually drew you in despite the first person, then I am pleased. I was kind of surprised about how the first person worked out too. You picked out a line I would not have had Eilian say out loud so you're right. And we see how perceptive he is too, with Ithilden as you say.

And it's not only Eilian and Gelmir who are still able to play. Surprisingly enough, so are Thranduil and Ithilden!

AnaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/8/2004
It's soo cute, adorable, sweet, ... to see Eilian and Legolas play in the snow. Especially since we have enough snow to imagine all those things. Snow is so ql.

Legolas is the only person in my life now who is always happy to see me. ... Poor Eilian... How can he believe that. I, for one, am always happy when I "see" him.

“I do not think Eilian is too grown up at all,” he said dryly.

When I was a youngling, the novice masters and Adar had all frequently accused me of leading others into trouble. ... :)))

“Eilian, I just said that I know you will be a good lieutenant. My reluctance comes from the fact that I am sorry to have to lay this responsibility on you while you are so young. If I had enough experienced warriors, I would leave you free of the burden of command for a while longer, but I do not, and so I have to ask this of you. I am unhappy to have to do it, but I am grateful that you are here to help me.” ... I did not realise that Eilian needed to be told that he is invaluable to his Ada and brothers. He is always so confidend and it is sad to see he is not. That's why I like this type of writing, you learn what's really going on with someone, even though I like your usual style more. But maybe I only need time to get used to it... and then I'll like it anyway.

I will not think about it, I resolved, falling back on a tactic that had served me well over the years. ... I'd like to know how he does that... not to think about it, I mean

Gelmir looked puzzled for a minute and then groaned as the light dawned. “Eilian, you cannot be thinking of showing them how to make snow tunnels. Nimloth said she would blame us if they got into trouble.” :)))
...He is such a good friend for Eilian. Even if he is afraid of Thranduil and Nimloth.

Slowly, Legolas smiled. “We will be warriors together,” he announced happily and crouched to his tunneling. I grimaced. I hoped not.

Thank you


Author Reply: Oh, Ana, you picked out some of my favorite lines! And you're right. Writing this way allowed me to show how vulnerable Eilian can be. He's so cheerful and devil-may-care most of the time, that it's hard to see how much he needs to feel loved. I think he felt the loss of his mother a great deal.

I'm not so sure that not thinking about his troubles is a good tactic for dealing with them. I suppose it helps when there are things he cannot control, but he might do better if he thought about *why* Celuwen gets so distant or his father gets so angry.

The second chapter will be posted soon.

JebbReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/8/2004
This was a real treat for a Monday morning a lovely Eilian and elfling Legolas story and I really enjoyed the first person approach as I feel you know Eilian so well that it works.
Loved the interplay between Ithilden and Eilian wondering what he had done wrong! Guilty conscience perhaps.
Also that Eilian knows that his father appreciates the love he shares with Legolas
Does this story only have to be two chapters?
I am enjoying so much

Author Reply: First person is hard to write but once I got into it, I found I could suggest things about Eilian and his family that are hard to do otherwise. The family came out looking closer, and I could really show Eilian's love for Legolas as well as his need for Legolas's love.

I'm afraid Eilian probably has a guilty conscience a lot of the time!

JulesReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/8/2004
Yay! I was very happy to see a new story. I love these. I also love little Legolas. Can't wait to see what happens next? It is good for Elian and Gelmir to play w/ the elflings. It means so much to the little ones and it good for the Warriors. They spend so much time in war, they need to play. They had better hope Nimloth doesn't check on them, though, imagine 2 of Mirwoods finest warriors in the corner (LOL).

Thanks for writing


Author Reply: I thought that Legolas and Eilian certainly needed to play. Their mother's death took a lot out of them, so I think they're good for one another here.

Now, Nimloth may not think that!

camp6311Reviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/8/2004
This story is too fun, don't you think you could extend it to more than just two chapters?? :)

Author Reply: LOL. I'm glad you are enjoying it, Camp. Writing in the first person is hard! If I had to do it for more than two chapters, I think I would go nuts. Second chapter should be posted today. Soon.

erunyauveReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/8/2004
"I will not think about it, I resolved, falling back on a tactic that had served me well over the years."

This first-person stuff is intriguing - who knew that Eilian was the Scarlett O'Hara of the elven world?

And it was quite sneaky of Legolas to climb up the hill while his friends were tangled at the bottom - he's got a little of Eilian in him, I think. The snow tunnels sound like great fun. I remember having a regular warren of them when I was a kid, but now, reading this story, all I can think is what my mother always feared (though it never happened): it will collapse on them! They'll all be smothered! Adulthood is a terrible thing, and I think I like Eilian so much because he still has a lot of kid in him.

Author Reply: LOL. I never thought about Scarlett but you are so right! And Eilian truly does think of ignoring his problems as a good way to deal with them. I suppose that's a sign that much of his life is out of his control, poor guy.

I worried about the tunnels collapsing too, actually. I'm a little claustrophobic and I hated the idea of crawling into one. But Nilmandra played in them as a child too, and she's still alive and kicking.

In the second chapter, Eilian's (semi)inner kid will be released.

FadesintothewestReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/7/2004
I think it was very well done. Of course you handle Eilian so well, know him so well that I really and truly felt he was narrating the story for me. Great work! Oh that Eilian, his mischieviousness is endearing and little Legolas is quite the darling.

Author Reply: I've really been getting interesting comments about the first person POV. I never realized how many people are leery of it. It turned out to be tougher than I anticipated because Eilian kept sounding like me at my most formal, so I had to keep going back and loosening up the prose. And then I found I could give him a couple of thoughts that he would never say out loud in another story and that was fun -- that one about Ithilden needing an elleth in his bed, for instance. Anyway, thank you. :-)

Tapetum LucidumReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/7/2004
Young Legolas is fun isn't he? I like this one being from Eilian's perspective. Having Legolas wake you up in the morning would be a very good thing. Eilian is lucky. It is nice to feel so loved and admired by someone, you feel you can do no wrong. Eilian needs someone like that since both Thranduil and Ithilden can often be wroth with him. (Ha! I used it too). I agree with Eilian, Ithilden needs to romp in the forest and get a good elleth in his bed. At least we know he will do one, if not both.

Eilian's reaction to his Commander's request for a meeting was entertaining. I have often felt the same way - in trouble - even though I know I have done nothing wrong. I have no doubt he deserved the promotion, in spite of the lack of promotable warriors. Having Ithilden sense his consternation and clear the air was an excellent thing to do.

Can Eilian play? That's a silly question. It seems he and Turgon are well matched in the trouble department. The attack plan on the path seems like a good one. He and Legolas warriors together? If he only knew!

Author Reply: Eilian *is* lucky because Legolas loves him whole heartedly. He returns the favor, of course, but that experience of unconditional love is one he is really hungry for after his mother's death. Actually, Eilian is on pretty good terms with Thranduil and Ithilden for once. I just thought of that. It surprised me!

I have been writing about the snowball attack this afternoon. :-0

nanethReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/7/2004
I had forgotten how much I missed elfling Legolas stories. I'm glad he's back, even for a short story. I think you did well with the first-person viewpoint. First person is not my personal favorite (don't know why), but you could make me into a believer!

I *so* agree with Nimloth-it's lots harder directing small ones. I do it five days a week and it's not a job for the faint-of-heart!

Author Reply: Elfling Legolas is so sweet. I like the adult warrior he because and even the erratic adolescent, but the baby is just a sweetheart.

I am finding it interesting to write in the first person but I wouldn't want to do it all the time. It's much harder than I thought it would be. Eilian kept coming out sounding like me.

You couldn't pay me enough to be a primary school teacher. It's a jungle in there!

DotReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/7/2004
Hi daw! Well, it looks like your little experiment is a success! I have to admit that I wouldn’t generally read stories written in the first person but I really enjoyed this. What puts me off this style of writing is really two things – the person telling the story talks about himself in the same manner as the writer would if telling the story in third-person, e.g. even things like “I smiled invitingly” can annoy me a bit, I mean how would you know?! You might hope you were, but you don’t know what sort of a way the other person thinks you might be smiling…(bad example but I can’t think of one so this mightn’t even make sense!!). I also find that the narrator often knows far too much about other events or people’s thoughts and emotions, which really is a sign that the writer isn’t comfortable with this style. Anyway, my point is that what I see as the most frequent flaws in this type of writing are beautifully avoided by you. You allowed us to see the people around Eilian and view their actions and reactions but it is consistently told only from his POV. I like that you ensure you use phrases like “He paused for moment as if marshaling his thoughts”, “Judging from the paper piled on his desk” and “To me, she did not look any different” – there’s always a sense that this is how Eilian sees things but that it might not necessarily be so. One teensy, tiny thing that stood out for me (and it probably is just me), at the start when he says “I used to be asleep”… I think “used to be” sounds like a much longer time ago, sort of “once upon a time” if you know what I mean, rather than “I had been asleep”. But maybe that’s just a matter of preference of phrasing…feel free to ignore my tired ramblings… Anyway, I’m not really in a position to look critically at your style; I’m sure many others will be much more coherent and helpful!

On another note, what a wonderful way this is to give us a glimpse into Eilian’s mind! He’s really so perceptive – he seems to know exactly why his father reacts to him in the way that he does – and even reads himself quite well. It’s interesting to see his judgement of himself in comparison to the last story when he’s much older and looking back, e.g. when he says “I will not think about it, I resolved” he still at that time seems to think it really is the only thing to do. I was so happy to see elflings again! It was wonderful to see the unconditional love between the two brothers and fascinating to understand how Eilian knows that Legolas adores him and how he does everything not to shatter his little brother’s illusions about Eilian’s qualities. I loved the insight into the way that Eilian sees others, and a wonderful sense of familial closeness comes through. I also really liked that Ithilden’s reluctance and the reasons for it came across so well. I think that by writing this piece as you did, it adds a certain weight to everything, as though as a reader I know that if I see or understanding something, then Eilian has too. It looks as though he might get little Legolas into trouble, though;)

Sorry, I could probably do better but it’s been an exhausting weekend and I should really go to bed so that I can get up in a few hours! I really can’t see how you could view this as anything other than successful, though and I look forward to the next chapter…:)

Author Reply: This is such good feedback. I really appreciate the concrete examples you give of pitfalls in this point of view. I was really feeling my way along and my beta was more or less stopped in her tracks when I first sent it to her. Fortunately, she pointed out to me that I had to sound like *Eilian*, not like me at my most formal. Your points are good too. I have to go look at the second chapter (which I'm working on) and see if I do that stuff with the adverbs. I liked your wording for the "used to be sleeping" and changed in on SoA, where it's easy to edit (unlike

I think that Eilian is very sensitive, more so than people realize. But he doesn't always cope well with emotional distress and seems to believe that pretending it didn't happen is a solution! And in a way that surprised me, being in Eilian's head let me show this family as closer than they look from the outside.

I am having fun writing the second chapter about the snowball throwing. I have a list of victims that I am amusing myself with. :-)

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