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Tangled Web  by daw the minstrel 436 Review(s)
LiljeConvallariaReviewed Chapter: 17 on 12/26/2018
I’m home visiting my family for Christmas and last night the wi-fi fell out. The most interesting on the television was that mess of a movie «battle of the five armies» (my apologies to those who like the Hobbit-movies, but I was never a fan of them)

But on the flip side; watching it made me realize I haven’t read LOTR-fiction in a loooong time.
So today when the wi-fi was back I decided to read something from my favorite LOTR-writer.

These stories are always worth a re-read.

Happy Holidays :)

Author Reply: You're not going to believe this, but this review landed in my mailbox TODAY. I have no idea where it's been for the last two months.

I'm glad you still enjoy a stroll through these stories. I admit to glancing over them once in a while myself. I miss the characters.

PSWReviewed Chapter: 7 on 10/31/2016
*sigh* I remember this one...I spent half the time laughing and half the time feeling bad for Legolas that he was so worried about Hobbit the Dwarf child. It is sweet, though... :-)

Author Reply: I laughed too. There's something just inherently ridiculous about how earnest he is. He's a good guy.

endorearwenReviewed Chapter: 17 on 12/1/2013
A truly brilliant tale, Daw, though it was something of an emotional roller coaster ride to be sure! As always, your battle scenes and descriptions of life in a border patrol unit were wonderful! The shock of such unexpected events - everything from the encroachment of the spiders towards the Stronghold to the charge on Dol Guldur to the death of Smaug - as seen through the eyes of different characters was very well written. I thoroughly enjoy it when you write from so many different perspectives!

I felt almost as tired and weary at the end as the warriors who were returning to the Stronghold, Daw. The devastation of so great a loss of life came ringing through the dialogue with crisp reality. I particularly enjoyed seeing Thranduil portrayed as the supreme commander. The imagery of his leading his three sons into battle was thrilling! The wisdom of his many years and first-hand knowledge of fighting in major conflicts was evident by the way you had written his bearing of close personal losses, his serenity in accepting the fact of war's carnage, and his efforts to 'rekindle' the spark of hope in his sons by reminding them of the joys they might now realize. Absolutely LOVED Thranduil's cheeky remarks to Eilian about having elflings!! I found the closeness between Thranduil and Ithilden when Sinnarn's survival was something of a question very touching. It made me think of the centuries of life they had shared before the siblings came along and how deeply they truly love and understand one another. It is the moments of family intimacy like this that I think really marks your writing - it is more than just a 'skill' you possess and it very quickly grasps the hearts of your readers so they are totally engaged in the story!

In some ways, I felt the weight of the passage of time more in this story than the others. Perhaps it is more correctly expressed as sharing a sense of battle fatigue with them. We've been with them for all the passing centuries that the stories cover and we've followed all the struggles - minor and major, good and bad - that each of them has come through. Suddenly it seemed that life was just a little too long somehow. At one point I started thinking about the relief that would come once they were all in Valinor and their involvement in these endless horrors was at an end. You composed this story so well that I felt I better understood a remark I once read by Tolkien where he eludes to the fact that the elves sometimes envied the Second Born because they were not tied to Arda. It is not easy to create with words circumstances that provoke such empathy in readers - so, one again, great job!

The only thing missing for me in this story was the homecoming. I would like to have seen how the elves responded to such a sweeping set of losses amongst their kind, to see how those affected made the choice between staying or sailing West. We have only seen funeral rites when it involved one or two casualties, but it would have been interesting to explore how they coped with the loss of a full generation of warriors. I also would like to have heard Thranduil's words of encouragement to his people. I think this would have been a great opportunity to hint again at the 'magic' the Elvenking has at his disposal and yet uses so judiciously - which, by the way, I must say you put to very clever use against the dwarves at Tonduil's wedding!

Well, that's quite enough of my ruminations! I'm on to the next one, Daw! Can't wait to see what you've got in store for me! ;-)

Author Reply: I was just thinking about you yesterday, wondering how you were feeling. Glad to hear from you.

This is the longest fanfic I ever wrote and one of the most canonical. The whole time I wrote it, I had my copy of The Hobbit open next to me, and I kept trying to solve the problems it created for me. Like how did Bilbo and Co. get so far into Mirkwood without being seen? (My beta finally said well, maybe they were seen.) Why did Thranduil take an army with him to Erebor? Why were the elves so upset about the dwarves crashing their party in the woods? Why did Sauron leave Dol Guldur so easily? What am I supposed to do with Beorn at the Battle of Five Armies? And on and on. Creating answers to question like that was, for me, a big part of the fun of writing fanfic.

In many ways, Ithilden is Thranduil's closest friend. Thranduil values and trusts him totally. And Ithilden has managed to become a full adult in a way his brother still struggle with sometimes. Thranduil as general commanding his troops was unexpectedly appealing. He and Ithilden are both take-charge kind of guys.

And yeah, I made myself laugh by having Thranduil demand more grandchildren.

Glad you enjoyed this.

AnnarielReviewed Chapter: 17 on 9/4/2007
splendid narration of the five armies battle, just marvelous!

So much elven lifes was lost, but they gain their peace for several years.


Author Reply: This story was a ton of fun to write. Working it into "The Hobbit" was challenging but exciting. I'm glad you liked it.

AnnarielReviewed Chapter: 11 on 9/4/2007
Oh my, poor, so poor, very poor, terribly poor Sinnarn.

I knew that somebody had to be the guilty about the escape, and better him than Legolas, but it gave me grief so much... and too much laughter *lol*

Excellent chapter minstrel *winks*


Author Reply: Poor Sinnarn indeed. I was so glad to get to the end of this chapter and be able to write about Thranduil and Emmelin supporting him. He knows now that Emmelin truly loves him.

MariashaReviewed Chapter: 17 on 4/27/2006
This story, especially the last two chapters, is one of the best written fanfics I have ever read.

You were sooo good at weaving your story and "The Hobbit" together, that it will be hard to separate them in my mind from now on.

I felt so terribly sorry for Galelas, especially since the only time he seems to get recognition from his family is when he is not able to receive it anymore. I do not want to say, I'd rather see his brother die, but I came pretty close to it.

What I also really appreciate is that you are giving "life" to characters, which are, understandably, due to the length of the books, neglected in Tolkiens works.

It is a a sign for good work by the author, when the readers even weep for or love* or come close to it* the OCs.

I am shattered that I am almost done with your stories here. :(

Author Reply: one of the best written fanfics I have ever read

Wow. That makes me feel really good.

I had fun writing this story. I'd open my copy of The Hobbit and try to figure out how in the world all this would have looked to Thranduil's people. The battle was hard to write because it was so much more sweeping than the little skirmishes I usually describe.

I felt bad for Galelas too. I comfort myself by saying he's happy in Valinor.

DotReviewed Chapter: 7 on 5/14/2005
There should be a button for replying to replies... Although, then your reviewers would never stop talking.

Anyway, thank you so much. Sad to say, that was really confusing me!

He needed a break from command? Yes, that's it! He was tired of the responsibility

Sounds good to me! It's either that or the appearance of elflings...;-) No need for an explanation, though - I highly doubt anyone else is crazy enough to spend two days wondering if she's got her elves mixed up :-)

Author Reply: Always a pleasure to hear from you, Dot.

DotReviewed Chapter: 7 on 5/14/2005
May I ask a question please? I was re-reading this on and off yesterday and something puzzled me. I always find it really hard to keep track of which warriors are in what patrols and who the captain is, and I was wondering... is Elorfin a member of the Home Guard here just as an ordinary warrior or did I miss something? Because isn't he the same person who's captain of the Northern Border Patrol in 'A Creature of Fire'? I wouldn't normally ask but am getting even more confused trying to figure it out.

I swear I'm not being annoying on purpose. Someday I'll have to write it all out for myself because my poor brain can't keep track of people. Feel free to delete this from your reviews if you want.

Author Reply: Hm. Apparently he is. Now how do I explain that? He needed a break from command? Yes, that's it! He was tired of the responsibility. :-)

Hisie LomeReviewed Chapter: 17 on 9/7/2004
Daw, What can I say ? This family just keeps getting better (and bigger). I read the whole tale today. I am almost in tears over the deaths and then you leave us all with hope for renewed happiness. Eflings and a new marriage.... Both would be fun to witness. As always, well done. Thank you for all of your hard work.

Mina Sedh, Hisie Lome

Author Reply: Thank you, Mina. I had a huge cast in this story and it was kind of hard manage. But I was trying to play off the events in "The Hobbit" (and the casting out of Sauron from Dol Guldur which is mentioned in The Tale of the Years) so I needed them all. I intend to write about Eilian's elfling and Sinnarn's marriage, but not yet. I think I have to go back and write about the year after Eilian was married, when Thranduil kept him home and Legolas was in the south.

EmilyReviewed Chapter: 17 on 8/20/2004
What a wonderful tale! You did a great job weaving "The Hobbit" in with your own story.

This Legolas is very much different from the one I just left in "My Brother's Keeper." Still, he's the same character at heart. I loved his looking out for 'Hobbit.' Poor thing. How's he supposed to know that a Hobbit is a halfling? Good Thranduil warmed my heart with his gentle teasing. I love stories where Thranduil is a good ada.

I'm playing catch-up with all the characters. Ithilden is married and a father? I'm so glad! I felt terrible for his son. As soon as you made him the Head Guard I groaned. I was so happy when Bilbo told them what he had done with the wine.

I especially enjoyed Beliond. I'm looking forward to reading more of him. What a fun character! He's quite the crank-pot. Love that.

The Battle of Five Armies was great. Just what I wanted to see from the Elves' point of view. I have to say that I thought Todith would bite the dust from his first line in the story. Too bad I was right. I liked him.

Well, I enjoyed that immensly. Looking forward to reading more of your work.

Author Reply: Thank you, Emily. I really valued your review of this story just now because I've been having doubts about it. The most enjoyable part of writing it was trying to figure out how to answer all the puzzles that appear as soon as you start trying to explain the Elves' behavior. How did the dwarves get so far into Mirkwood before they were caught? Why were the elves so determined not to be seen at their merry making? Why did Thranduil take an army to Esgaroth with him if he thought the dwarves were all dead? That kind of stuff was fun to try to answer.

I felt terrible for Ithilden's son in this too. He's a nice kid and very much like his Uncle Eilian was at his age. The two bodyguards, Beliond and Maltanaur, have turned out to be popular characters. I had a lot of OCs in this one though. You were valiant to struggle through it!

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