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A Creature of Fire  by daw the minstrel 34 Review(s)
sofiaReviewed Chapter: 9 on 4/17/2005
That is so so sad! You were actually able to bring a few tears out of me. Good job. I don't really have much to say except that I love that you added Eilian into the story for a little bit. I think that was what Legolas needed, although he didn't want to admit it, some brotherly love. Can't wait for the next chapter!!!

Author Reply: In a sick sort of way, I'm glad I made you cry, Sofia! I was glad to see Eilian show up too. I think I needed his comforting presence as much as Legolas did.

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 9 on 4/17/2005

'And like water breaking through a dam made of sand, Legolas felt his control flow away, and he fell into the depths of her grief and his own.'

This is an amazing last sentence.

Author Reply: Thank you, Bodkin. I hesitated. I tend to be a very plain Jane writer, but poor Legolas needed something a little fancier here.

perellethReviewed Chapter: 9 on 4/17/2005
I like that you seem to be giving Legolas the chance of a healthy mourning. The blurr he's living in seems quite realistic to me, according to his character. I guess he'll have his bouts of denial and anger later on, as anyone in such situation has, but the fact that he did not react that way (with angry denial) from the very beginning tells a lot about how emotionally balanced he's become. He tries to hold on to duty after the first day, but knows that Eilian's warm embrace might undo his resolve. He carries Tuilinn's body home, and allows himself to drow into her mother's grief. He's not hiding from pain and that can only help him heal faster. It'll be hard but he's going to be fine.

"Stop it! he scolded himself. You cannot know what would have happened"
I think I can trace Thranduil's sound reasoning there, even if he then refers to Ithilden. I think he's learnt his mental processes straight from his father, he knows the truth, that he's not blame, and he's ready to accept that emotionally, he'll never be free from the pain and guilt, just like his fahter.

" he could not see her face, and he reached to move it, but then stopped, with his hand hovering over her head" I found this very touching! he wants, but then.. wants not...I can understand that.

Eilian's arrival was a blessing. I think that he's the one responsible for much of Legolas stance in the face of pain: he's always been the warm, nurturing, unconditional presence...He's simply great here, taking command when it is needed, finding the appropriate words, touchng and comforting, letting go without a word when he would be willing to pack his baby brother home with him...Thranduil should be proud of him.

"A sweet, feminine face bent over him and smiled". He dreamt of his Nana!!!, didn't he? Oh, truly, that DID bring tears to my eyes.

I fear you'll have to take extra time to answer msny long reviews, so IŽll stop here. Just make sure Ithilden gets word of how well Sinnarn is doing!
Wonderful, daw, as always! Just hope you're not too down after this!

Author Reply: Eilian is right: Legolas is made of strong stuff. He's suffering now though. But I really like the way you trace his reasoning to Thranduil. I can just hear Thranduil saying that. He has the benefit of thousands of years of perspective and he's not shy about sharing that with his sons. He's done such a good job with them! I love Thranduil.

And Eilian's presence was just what Legolas needed. He was comforting and Legolas could let go a little and accept easy, open love from Eilian. And besides that, I was glad to have him arrive. I've missed him in this story, even though I've had a chance to write those letters.

And yes, that last bit of dream was of his mother. I almost took that out as too sappy, but Nilmandra said it was okay and I've learned to trust her!

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 9 on 4/17/2005
Meanwhile, back at the Stronghold, the Woodland King knows that all is not well with his youngest. He is seized with memories of his wife's death, when he was unsure whether he would be able to hold his son's spirit in Arda. Unexpectedly, his middle son arrives with an injured warrior and offers illumination, whereupon he springs to the stirrup and, followed closely by his guards,(Dirck and Joris), he gallops, they gallop, they gallop all three to Tuilinn's village. Who has the power to make Legolas go home? Who is better equipped than anyone to offer him some hope and consolation? Adar.

That ending! Could it get more heart-rending? It's bad enough taking slain warriors back to their naneths, but arriving with the body of your one true love. And, without explanation, how are they to know that, standing before them is their once-and-future prospective son-in-law? And just who, at a time like this, can offer that kind of explanation? I hope their elven spidey-senses are tingling and they just know.

The poor elfling is swinging from despair to numbness to ill-temper to duty so realistically. So often in the early stages the instinct is to carry on normally, as if nothing has changed - go back on patrol, take refuge in your role - but it's unsustainable. I'm not surprised Beliond is worried - and determined to get this son-of-his-heart back to where Ada can apply a patch to the wound.

And Sinnarn can do it when it's needed. He doesn't want to wallow in responsibility, but it's in his blood and, when the call comes, he does it as naturally as walking. I like the way he can see more deeply into a plank of wood than he lets on, too. He knows that this unmentioned love was serious stuff (- and so does Fyndil).

Thank goodness Eilian appeared when he did. His presence - and memories - and the reminder of despair shared and survived helped anchor Legolas. Even if he still can't get him to eat when he's upset. (Still he's bigger now. He can starve himself for longer before collapsing.) And Eilian was so great with Galelas and Sinnarn and just made things more comfortable just by being there.

But the real star in keeping this group on the road has to be Beliond. It's a good thing that Legolas has built up such a good relationship with him - his love and sympathy and concern and gruff insistence are what have kept at least part of this heartbroken elf's feet on the ground. That and the trees.

Oh dear. I'm wittering on far too much, although I know I've missed out lots of things I'd like to say. And I need to go and read it again. This is very powerful stuff. And it needs considerably more expansion. Please.

Author Reply: Bodkin, have you been reading my notes? LOL. Eilian is no doubt giving Thranduil the full story, and Legolas is not going to be able to tell Adar that he's in command. He can't even really tell Beliond that!

I would say that Tuilinn's parents have no idea who this is with their daughter. It's possible she talked about him, I suppose, maybe not saying that she loved him but they'd know anyway.

Going back to the patrol would be dangerous for Legolas right now. He can't concentrate well enough to keep from getting killed.

I was so relieved when I could make Eilian appear. His presence comforted me, much less Legolas. But it's Beliond who has Legolas in his care now and he's not about to let Legolas do anything too foolish. Take the body back? Yes. Eilian convinced him that was important. Beyond that, Beliond is NOT willing to go.

Expansion? I need to lie down NOW! I had to ask my beta if this chapter was too long and boring as it was. I tend to want to cut things short.

emjoReviewed Chapter: 9 on 4/17/2005
Oh I am so sad. But I do love Beliond and big brother! I hope Legolas gets home quick he needs ada's support right now. Sorry this isn't much of a review but just know that as always I'm loving this story!

Author Reply: Glad you liked it, emjo. Beliond and Eilian together are doing their best to help Legolas, but he did need to take Tuilinn's body home. Sigh. I need this story to get happier soon!

RitaReviewed Chapter: 9 on 4/16/2005
I've been reading your stories for about two years and I've finally been compelled to leave a review. From the beginning of this story, or since you introduced Tuilinn into the story, I knew it couldn't end well. Although it was inevitable, you've managed to write such a powerful story that was able to reduce me to tears when you wrote of Legolas's grief. I think Legolas is due for an extended leave (like Eilian). Or maybe he should serve a stint in the Home Guard so his family could keep an eye on him. If I'm not mistaken, Legolas hasn't, as of yet, served in the Home Guard. I hope this means Beliniel and Elowen will finally leave him alone and stop trying to matchmake.

I just want to express my appreciation for your writing. Although I've stopped reading LOTR fan fiction a while ago, I keep coming back to read yours. It's because your stories are so well written and entertaining. And I love that you're writing about so many different points in his life--it must be hard to keep all the facts and characters straight. It's nice when I get an urge read about Legolas as a novice, or skip to when he's a warrior. Thank you for your writing, Daw.

Author Reply: This was an extremely nice review to get. I love learning about people who are out there reading these stories. I told someone else it's like having friends you didn't know about.

This story has been interesting to write. I really hesitated to do a Legomance and then I decided to try to do it all from Legolas's POV rather than skipping around from character to character like I usually do. And it's been kind of a struggle to do that. But I'm starting to think that putting those two things together has given this story more impact.

I like skipping around in age for Legolas. I'm thinking about writing about him as an elfling next (although I really do need to write about the time after the Battle of Five Armies -- Eilian needs an elfling).

NilmandraReviewed Chapter: 9 on 4/16/2005
Well, it made me cry again. I enjoyed reading it as a reader, and not as beta. I do think Legolas's disorientation came through well, as did everyone humoring his 'command', cause you know Beliond and Eilian were calling the shots.

Beliond really has grown to care for Legolas. I noticed somewhere you said he was affectionate but not nurturing..I would say he actually is nurturing too. He is very much a rock, a strength that can be depended on..and while he is not Eilian, he has in his own gruff way helped to train, educate, and develop Legolas into the warrior we see. (yes, I am the president of the Beliond fan club, why do you ask?). I also loved the 'does Maltanaur know where you are?' line...not 'does your father..' but his keeper! Tells you what esteem Beliond holds the role of keeper.

Author Reply: Yes indeed, Beliond and Eilian are letting Legolas do what's important to him, but Legolas is dreaming if he thinks that he's "in command" of anything right now.

This site is thick with Beliond lovers. When I first wrote about him marching onto the training field and testing Legolas's sword work (and thereby sending Legolas into Ithilden's office in a towering rage), I would never have guessed that the guy could acquire so many fans!

French PonyReviewed Chapter: 9 on 4/16/2005
And you know what else? I've finally figured out why I like Beliond so much. It was when he called Legolas "son" that I figured it out. He reminds me of Batman.

No, really. Two secretive, supersmart guys, with lots of psychological issues and hidden talents. They both lost family early in their lives and have never really recovered from it. And then they get these damaged kids to take care of and train and end up loving them like their own children.

Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na Beliond!

Batman is a particular favorite of mine.

Author Reply: That's a good analogy. Maybe it's what made Thranduil think of assigning Beliond as his son's bodyguard!

French PonyReviewed Chapter: 9 on 4/16/2005
Legolas just keeps bringing the corpses home, doesn't he? This can't be very good for his soul, to keep being the bearer of bad news. He's needed some coddling and being treated like an elfling for some time now, and how convenient that the first older family member on the scene was Eilian. He and Legolas have always been close, and Eilian is the one member of that family who will show unreserved, open love without asking too many questions.

He's also the person that Galelas needs to see right now. Ol' Eilian should get some sort of a medal for doing double big-brother duty. He's a real mensch.

I liked the way that Eilian slowly figured out that Something Was Not Right with Legolas from the little clues in body language and who spoke for whom. It shows that he's both observant and finely attuned to his family's fortunes. They are all very lucky to have him around, even if Thranduil doesn't always appreciate that.

It'll take a lot of time and a lot of TLC for Legolas to get over this, but it looks like he's well on his way. All the important people in his life (except Tuilinn) know what he needs, and they're all going to do their darndest to give it to him. If he ever manages to recover from meeting Tuilinn's parents for the first time, that is. Most boyfriends only worry about knocking the girlfriend up.

Author Reply: Thank Eru for Eilian. I was so glad when I could finally write about him and let Legolas get some comfort because I've been in Legolas's angsty head for much too long now. And being with Eilian let Legolas break down just a little, which I think he needed to do.

It had occurred to me that no one in Legolas's family (except Sinnarn) knew about Tuilinn. Beliond had seen them together but no one else has a clue, so I thought Eilian would need to adjust to the idea that something very bad was going on with baby brother.

And it's certainly true that these would not be ideal circumstances under which to meet the parents. I don't think I can face writing about that in too much detail. For one thing, I'd have to make up two more OCs and that makes me want to lie down.

White WolfReviewed Chapter: 9 on 4/16/2005
I was so happy to see Eilian show up. Unfortunately, big brother couldn't just kiss it and make it all better---but he was able to offer his love and support. I'm wondering if Beliond's insistance that Legolas go home will eventually be heeded. Throwing himself into his work will only delay Legolas's unavoidable emotional breakdown. He really does need all of his family.

The next chapter, facing Tuillinn's family, will be extra hard on Legolas, I fear.

Author Reply: I was happy to see Eilian show up. It was relief to have someone there to comfort Legolas because I've been entirely in Legolas's POV for much too long.

And I think that going back to the patrol would be dangerous for Legolas. He's just not thinking clearly enough right now. Fortunately Beliond agrees with me.

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