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A Creature of Fire  by daw the minstrel 18 Review(s)
Jay of LasgalenReviewed Chapter: 3 on 3/19/2005
Legolas is a very able leader now, and guides his patrol well. It's clear that Galelas is a good warrior, works well with the novices he is guiding, and gets on with everyone but Legolas! I liked the detail about him checking Vanduil's search pattern.

The scene with the dwarves was great - but what would Thranduil say about his youngest dining with dwarves?? I particularly like the dwarf leader (and Legolas's method of establishing which he was - look for the beard!) Their leader wasn't fazed by the sudden appearance of so many elves. Will we meet him again?


Author Reply: Galelas and Legolas tend to bring out the worst in one another, although I think Legolas is much more self controlled, but then he's a happier person. But Elorfin has seen Galelas in good warrior mode, so he's going to be startled by the change, I think.

The Dwarf leader had a pretty good sense of Elves, actually. He knew he was in the wrong, but he also seemed to believe that he wasn't going to die for it!

We might meet that Dwarf again. I'll have to see. :-)

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 3 on 3/19/2005
Bit of a problem, isn't it? Now, if he were Eilian, he could just indulge in a bit of Galelas-praise and tell him how well he is doing in nurturing the young'uns - but Legolas would have to be very careful to do that without coming over as patronising. Perhaps he could have an interesting chat about his brother with Eilian's protege - although that would only remind Galelas again how lucky Legolas was in his family when compared to the poor unfortunate brother of Tinar.

I just love Beliond's perception that the only danger they were facing in the healthy woods could be the unexpected attack of killer squirrels armed with acorns. I get the feeling that he would enjoy the trees more in the absence of a bunch of young warriors. And the contrast with them again underlines just how much Legolas has grown up - he'll be saying the policemen look young soon. Although Sinnarn is only forty years younger, I think it'll take thirteen dwarves and a hobbit to make him more mature. And only then when it's followed by death and serious injury. He's busy seizing joy with an almost obsessive determination - almost too much so, perhaps - it almost seems like self-defence in the face of what is happening in the greenwood.

The elves do enjoy playing with dwarves, though, don't they! Mostly in the way that cats play with mice, so I'm not sure the dwarves get the same pleasure from the experience.

'“They were probably poaching,” Beliond muttered from his seat next to Legolas.

Legolas nodded. “We will try to make sure that the next time they do it, they at least have enough sense to take their kill back to their own territory before they cook it.” '

Love it. Mature sense of humour - it's nice seeing Legolas when he's not feeling he has something to prove.

It'll do them both good to spend some time in the north. Well, unless Galelas loses his head. And until a certain creature of fire decides to warm things up a bit.

Author Reply: Legolas's past history with Galelas makes it very hard for him to approach the guy at all. And they're never going to be buddies. But they do have to be able to work together.

I've been thinking about Sinnarn as I worked on this story, and I do think he's engaged in a sort of exaggerated version of his grandmother's advice to take a moment for joy. I think he sees the shadow approaching and isn't sure it will be defeated, so there's a sort of carpe diem quality in his behavior.

If the dwarves had been engaged in something that looked threatening, then the elves would have replied in kind, but mostly Legolas just wanted to put the fear of the Valar (or maybe the fear of both kings) in them.

I like competent, adult Legolas myself. :-)

The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 3 on 3/18/2005
“Unless the squirrels start hurling acorns at us, I think we are safe so far,” Beliond observed.

Oh, Beliond. I love this line. I don't know if Beliond can stand the excitement of the northern patrol. But surely, he must appreciate a break from the south occasionally. I'm sure he enjoys the healthy trees as much as Legolas, but would rather have every hair on his head plucked than admit it. He's such a hoot.

I liked Vanduil. He's so excited to be a real warrior. I get this image of a happy, young elf just digging all this patrol stuff. I was relieved to see that Galelas was supportive of him. That's such a good indicator that Galelas isn't all bad. We know that, of course, but it was nice to see this in his actions with Vanduil.

Unfortunately, Galelas couldn't get his irritation with Legolas under control. He's going out of his way to make sure that Legolas knows that he's annoyed by his presence. That scene reminded me of the one when they were novices and Galelas told Legolas that Legolas would be made an officer whether he deserved it or not, just because Legolas was the king's son. I couldn't help but wonder if Galelas was thinking that Legolas didn't deserve to be lieutenant during this new scene. They became warriors at the same time. I can see that Galelas might be resentful. He certainly acted with disrespect.

Sinnarn! Fire-jumping? And he had the nerve to tell Legolas, when questioned about who was present during this stunt, that he wasn't an idiot. I suppose that's debatable. And then he just smiled and went on his happy little way. Bless his heart, to be only a little younger than Legolas, he sure has a lot of growing up yet to do. I actually feel a little sympathy for him. He has to walk in the footsteps of a bunch of alpha males.

So Galelas didn't report to Legolas as he should have? I'm looking forward to seeing how you let these two resolve this.

Good show, Daw.


Author Reply: Beliond is just a natural grouch. He's a real contrast to Vanduil, who, as you say, is excited. Legolas used to be like that and from Beliond's POV, that must have been a real trial!

Galelas is pretty sure that Legolas is getting special treatment, and as Legolas knows, he kind of is. But then he has more responsiblities that most people have too. He just had a warrior die on a mission, for instance. That might not feel so much like a good thing.

Sinnarn does look awfully young. It's taking him a long time to mature. He's lucky he has that generation between him and his grandfather, and that he's not in Ithilden's position. Now that would have been scary for everyone!

meckinockReviewed Chapter: 3 on 3/18/2005
Call me sentimental, but I was glad the Dwarves got to eat their dinner. Lovely visual image of elves materializing all around them with bows drawn. They seemed to take it in stride, though. I liked the little insights into Legolas's analysis of the situtation - his counting the packs and his identification of the Dwarf leader by his beard length. I also liked his calculated diplomacy - make sure the Dwarves know who's in charge, but treat them respectfully.

Galelas is turning into a handful, though. Time to take him behind the woodshed, maybe. Or at least put him in his place very casually but very publicly. I have every confidence that Legolas can turn this situation around!

Author Reply: Only you could get "sentimental" about food, Meckinock! LOL. I'm glad Legolas seemed to know what he was doing. I wanted him to be competent looking. Of course, dealing with Galelas is going to take all his diplomacy, and he may have other distractions. Who knows? :-)

ManderlyReviewed Chapter: 3 on 3/18/2005
Legolas is really becoming a leader in his right. All the littler mannerisms that he displayed in this chapter point to a growing ease with his position of authority. What a difference between this Legolas and the young, breathlessly eager elf who first joined the ranks of warriors. It must be getting harder for Beliond to hide his pride for his charge. It's funny that Beliond is probably the one person who is most aware of Legolas' maturing ability, more so than Legolas' own family. I wonder if Thranduil ever feels jealous of his sons' keepers.

If Legolas found it difficult growing up in the shadows of his two brothers, then Sinnarn must find it even harder to grow up in his father's and uncles' shadows. It's intersting that Sinnarn feels trapped by his royal obligations. He's obviously no longer the rebellious adolescent, but he's not at ease either with his position in the realm.

And Galelas is making life difficult for Legolas. There is a lot of resentment and jealousy there. Legolas seems to have everything he himself lacks - a position of authority and a caring and loving family. I really feel sorry for him, especially when I think of his ultimate end. It will be interesting to see how Legolas handles this situation.

Author Reply: I kind of like authoritative Legolas! He's very attractive. And your idea that Thranduil might become jealous of the intimate knowledge the keepers have is very intriguing. I never thought of that.

Sinnarn really does feel overwhelmed by the responsibility that could be associated with being Ithilden's heir, I think. He's not at ease with that at all.

I feel sorry for Galelas too. Poor guy. He's a pain, but then he's had some bad breaks.

elliskaReviewed Chapter: 3 on 3/18/2005
Yeah! Another chapter. I always like the way you describe the elves in the forest. I particularly liked the differences that Legolas saw--new stream beds for example. That would be a change a human would likely see over the course of their life but Legolas sees it between postings (which is a really long time). And I like the details agout how they patrol--not just looking for tracks but also listening to the trees. So elfy!

And I just loved that little encounter with the dwarves. Well done with Legolas's little trap for them. That was funny. And well done with Legolas's threat/promise to inform the Elvenking of their trespass--yes I doubt they will like the consequences of that with their own king very much. And I love the way you showed the conflict with Legolas and Galelas. That was a simple thing for Galelas to do but it had nasty repercussions when it all unfolded with the captain. I like how you come up with those simple (and therefore very believable) but also significant complications. Well, Legolas should not have had too high hopes that he wasn't going to have to earn Galelas's respect. I hope he can do it before Galelas's attitude makes them all into crispy critters when Smaug swoops in.

And good old Sinnarn. He's learning the same lessons everyone has to when a family member becomes an authority figure. (Had my mom as a teacher once--yuck. It's really wierd to call you own mom Mrs....) Firejumping on a patrol. I'm sorry, I had to laugh at that because I can so see it happening with both him and Eilian.

Great chap, Daw.

Author Reply: It occurred to me that Elves witnessed big geological changes -- all the upheaval of Beleriand, for instance, and the smaller things here. It's very hard for me to remember those differences in the experiencing of time.

I'm glad you think the stuff with Galelas was realistic. He and Legolas just bring out the worst in one another, and I do think that happens sometimes. And Galelas could probably tell himself he was just protecting the young warrior.

I thought firejumping would be elfy too. I'll bet they're good at it! Although in Sinnarn's case, he wasn't quite good enough.

I'm travelling all day tomorrow and am looking forward to reading your new chapter when I get home.

French PonyReviewed Chapter: 3 on 3/18/2005
Elorfin is really Mr. Nice Elf, isn't he? Galelas should probably be spending some time on KP for insubordination. Of course, Elorfin allowed Sinnarn to go jumping over fires. This probably explains why the good captain is in the north rather than in the south.

Speaking of Sinnarn, there goes Legolas channeling his family again. It's just horrifying when you hear your family's words coming out of your own mouth. Kind of makes you feel like the originator of the speech will pop out any second crying, "I told you so!"

I'll bet those Dwarves just about peed their britches when all the Elves suddenly jumped down from the trees. But at least everyone kept their tempers, and they got a good hot meal out of the bargain. Looks like Vanduil got his wish after all. It is indeed astonishing how much young males can eat. I grew up in a mostly female family, and the adjustment of scale when my (male) cousin and his college roommate dropped in for dinner was tremendous. A stew that could feed our entire family for several days just disappeared.

I like the trees here. They have such personality (though they are somewhat wooden characters. . . ). They don't seem to be very bright, but they are trees, after all, so I suppose they can be forgiven. And the adjustment from being in a terrible horrible place to a relatively normal one is indeed shocking for the first few days.

Author Reply: Galelas really pushed his luck, I think, but it's true that it would be best if Legolas were the one to deal with him. He just has to figure out how.

I think scarring the bodily fluids out of the Dwarves was the point of all the elves showing up at once! Elves are good at being intimidating. That way they don't actually have to shoot those arrows.

I'm going to ignore that terrible pun about the trees, assuming you'll recover over spring break. :-)

Frodo3791Reviewed Chapter: 3 on 3/18/2005
For the record, I just wanted to say that I am enjoying this Legolas only POV in the story. I love all your other characters a lot, but I think you're doing really well with staying with Legolas. You've kept this interesting, and I'm looking forward to seeing the story progress.

Ah, Galelas. He is acting like a stubborn child. We'll have to see if Legolas can make their situation better for the group.


Author Reply: Thank you, Frodo! It's taking me a while to get used to having only one character's mind to work with, so I'm glad you're enjoying it. Galelas is a mixed bag, I think. He is like a stubborn kid when he's dealing with Legolas, but he's better the rest of the time. He and Legolas bring out the worst in one another.

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