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A Creature of Fire  by daw the minstrel 26 Review(s)
YanicReviewed Chapter: 7 on 4/5/2005
Oh my gosh! I was actually on the edge of my seat! Reading that chapter was like watching a movie in my head, I could feel the panic of the people, it felt like I was actually there. Well done! I loved the interaction with the dwarves and the townspeople, it really enhanced the chapter.

I see Tuilinn is still alive... no blonde elflings then. I really liked how Legolas ran to save her, though. He completely ignored his own safety for her. It was touching.

And Beliond with the baby! Oh it was great, the old crank-pot is too cute with kids! Loved it!

I do hope you update soon though, it seems Legolas always gets trapped in rubble when dragons come, I can only hope he isn't oo badly banged up. I know I'm gushing a bit but its always a treasure to read a new chapter, in fact I'm off to read it again!

Author Reply: I'm really starting to feel good here! I wanted this to be intense and sort of up close, not coldly distant, and you're helping to convince me that it was! Thank you, thank you!

Legolas couldn't have stopped himself from trying to save Tuilinn, not that he wanted to stop. Of course, Beliond had a different priority. I'll bet he nearly had a heart attack. And then Legolas hands him the baby and he goes into ada mode. :-)

I'll get to the next chapter as soon as I can. I'm on a roll now!

French PonyReviewed Chapter: 7 on 4/5/2005
Oooh, exciting! It is the mark of supreme bravery to run towards a burning structure rather than away from it (which is the sensible thing to do). If anyone, any Dwarf, doubts the courage of these Elves, all they have to do is watch six of them racing headlong towards a dragon.

The whole scene kind of reminded me of an old National Geographic article that I read when I was real little, about the excavation of Herculaneum and Pompeii. It talked about how they found lava casts of bodies, of people caught right in the act of grabbing up their most precious things and running for their lives. And there were also people who tried to hide out in their cellars, thinking that would save them. (It didn't.) They had drawings, too, of what the towns must have looked like, with people running while fire rained down on them. It really made an impression on me at age seven, and this chapter was exciting and horrifying in exactly the same way.

And even in the midst of chaos, there are wonderful little personal touches. The old man who won't go without the shawl, the singed Dwarf beards, Beliond suddenly finding himself with an armful of baby and automatically jiggling it (I guess parental instincts never die). And Tuilinn is in fine form, immediately grabbing the nearest child. Legolas does get to see quite a bit of that side of her.

Unfortunately, it looks as though the girl's about to get either squashed or french fried. Sigh. Legolas is going to be an absolute wreck when this is over. And everyone thought the Northern Border Patrol would be a nice restful assignment.

I also liked the image of destruction coming with "monstrous beauty." I've had that same thought about some of the destruction I've seen, most notably the World Trade Center, and I've always felt just the teensiest bit guilty for thinking it, so it's good to know I'm not the only one.

Author Reply: I could see Legolas being driven to run toward Dale because he knew Tuilinn was there, and Beliond would have followed Legolas. But you really have to give the other warriors credit, I think. They did this from a mix of courage, discipline, and a sense of obligation. Good guys all the way around, even Galelas.

I've always wanted to see the ruins at Pompeii and haven't made it there yet. All that archeological stuff sounds fascinating to me.

I tried to think of what people do in a disaster, and I've read that sometimes they seize what's most important to them -- photo albums sometimes, although that wasn't going to work here. But the shawl seemed right for a confused old man.

Horrible things can be beautiful, I think, in an appalling kind of way.

The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 7 on 4/5/2005
Oh my! That was intense! I sat on the edge of my chair all the way to the end. I'm pretty sure, your minstrelness, that the ending is what we would call a cliffhanger! I nearly banged my head on the keyboard in frustration. Well, people have been offering the ranger bribes...what do think Nilmandra would like? Never mind, I'll ask her myself. I don't trust you.

I was winded by the time the elves got to Dale. Of course, I was holding my breath, but you know what I mean. And the poor woman...dragon dainty. Oh my... For a moment, I thought the dragon had snatched Tuilinn and Legolas was going to have to take off to the mountain to save her. I'm glad you skipped that part. Anyway....

And then, the poor old man and his granddaughter. When you said that Sinnarn and Nithron hurried them down the street, I got quite a visual of them trying to help the old fellow 'hurry'. I was glad that Nithron just picked the old guy up and booked it. Oh, I hope they found shelter.

Of course, Florence Tuilinn Nightingale showed up with a child in her arms. Legolas shot out before Beliond could stop him AND Galelas covered him by exposing himself...wait a minute, let me rephrase that. Galelas attacked the dragon to draw its attention to him while Legolas helped Tuilinn to safety.

I loved it when Legolas shoved the screaming child into Beliond's arm and he went on automatic, jiggling and cooing. Kind of like when one is used to taking a child with them to the grocery store and even when you don't have one with you, you rock your buggy back and forth. Took me years to break the habit.

And then the roof FELL IN! I think you forgot the rest of this chapter, you dawship. Perhaps in order to prevent riots, looting and pillaging, chapter eight will appear quickly?

Man, this was good. I've got to lie down for a minute...and drink something cool and refreshing....


Author Reply: I had already written a lot and it was time to stop. :-)

In The Hobbit, Thorin Oakenshield describes the descent of Smaug on Dale, including the fact that he would snatch maidens and carry them off. Thorin was a child at the time, and I meant him to be one of the Dwarf children Legolas sees in the distance. Anyway, in The Hobbit, the tone of this is sort of light, but it struck me that it would really be quite appalling to see.

Beliond is an ada, and the instinct is still there. And it turns out Sinnarn can be responsible when he sees the need. He just doesn't often see it.

The roof fell. Yes. I'll have to get to work on explaining what happens now, but I have to teach tomorrow night. Blech!

elliskaReviewed Chapter: 7 on 4/5/2005
You are getting really cruel with these cliffhangers!

Holy cow, Daw, this literally gave me chills while I was reading it! This review is going to be shorter than normal because I want to go back and read again.

I love that the dwarves they met up with included Thror and I love how well Legolas handled that. And all the terrified, fleeing people and the snippets of their conversations, the wind from the dragon's wings, the descriptions of the streets in Dale, the warrior interrupting to report about the river, the helpless people that the elves stop to evacuate--what a phenomenal (sp?) job of portraying the chaos that this event would cause.

The conversation with Girion's son--do I recall that only the one son (in the boat) escaped? How sad that is.

And I think Beliond might lose his mind if Legolas blows him off one more time.

I'd almost hoped Legolas wouldn't find Tuilinn--because having her right under his nose is going to make this worse. Or maybe you have decided on a different fate?

Ok, sorry, but I have to go read it again. Outstanding chapter, Daw!

Author Reply: Thank you! I'm so glad you reacted strongly to it. I had to keep trying to picture the kind of chaos this would cause in a town.

Girion's oldest son was interesting to me because his armor was paid for by the emerald necklace that turns up again in "The Hobbit." And so far as I can tell, only the mother and the youngest son escaped down the river to Esgaroth to be the ancestors of Bard.

Beliond is not having a good day, poor guy.

Small TriumphsReviewed Chapter: 7 on 4/5/2005
Phew! If you thought the pacing for the first part of the story was slow, this chapter more than made up for it! My heart was thudding the entire time reading this, and the ending has nearly put me into cardiac arrest! You are cruel with the cliffies. ;)

So Tuilinn is safe, though for how long is the question! How like her that she would be saving a child at this moment. I'm sure Beliond is definately going to have a thing or two to say about Legolas' stunt. Oh, please hurry with the next chapter! I don't think this is at all good for my health!

~Small Triumphs

Author Reply: So maybe the contrast between the calm first part and this is good. I'm glad it was a little scary. It should have been and I was afraid I hadn't done it justice.

I'm not sure how safe anyone is at the moment. :-)

ManderlyReviewed Chapter: 7 on 4/5/2005
Oh, oh, GASP! Daw, you have left me totally breathless and not knowing what to say.

That was heart-pounding stuff, the entire chapter! Everything was so vivid, the people's fears, the destruction, the helpless desperation. Amazing piece of writing!

I just wished you didn't leave us gasping over a cliff like that.

Author Reply: Then my work here is done! LOL

I'm glad it was vivid. I thought that Smaug's descent on Dale would have seemed like a fire bombing.

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