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A Creature of Fire  by daw the minstrel 34 Review(s)
elliskaReviewed Chapter: 9 on 4/16/2005
You are doing an amazing job with this. Legolas flitting between moments when he knows he should be concerned with what is going on with his patrol, overwhelming grief and dull oblivian is too realistic. And the thing that really drives it home for me is lines like this: Legolas blinked. That was it? The ruin of hundred of lives and the destruction of his hope for happiness could be summed up in two sentences? !! So true. You did a terrific job of capturing the way it feels to be in the first moments of an unbelievable loss.

I am so glad Eilian showed up. I love Sinnarn's line and Galelas's reaction to it. That was classic (and the humor was much needed). I was wondering how Eilain and Ithilden and Thranduil were going to react to hearing about this girl. They have never heard Legolas mention anyone. But, of course, elves form relationships differently from humans so they will recognize that it is perfectly possible Legolas could fall for a girl as he did Tuilinn. I really hope we get to see Legolas with Thranduil (though that scene is phenomenally hard to write--of course all of this has been, I'm sure). Nevertheless, I'm sure we'll get a glimpse because whereas Legolas thinks he won a battle of 'I'm in command here,' the fact is everyone around him is allowing him to do what he needs to grieve. Returning to his patrol after he leaves Tuilinn's village is not going to be part of that and I have no doubt Beliond will assert his own authority then.

The last part was so incredibly sad. This poor mother--it's amazing how much you could communicate with something that simple. I hope Legolas is able at least to form a relationship with Tuilinn's family. That would be some connection to what he has lost.

Great job, Daw.

Author Reply: Writing this from Legolas's POV has been interesting. I do think he's kind of shell-shocked. So given that, how do I show not only his real feelings but also those of everybody else around him? Particularly since what he thinks is happening (he's in command) is not what happening at all. Geez. I think I need a vacation.

It seems to me that all of Thranduil's family are very comfortable with one another. So Sinnarn jokes with Eilian. And an outsider like Galelas must sense the ease, and poor Galelas is so jealous! I feel for the guy.

Eilian and Beliond had a discussion while Legolas was busy staying away from the food, so I wouldn't be at all surprised if plans were made. Eilian is on his way home with Galelas, and Thranduil is about to get an earful.

DotReviewed Chapter: 9 on 4/16/2005
Now that was a tough chapter to read. Apart from Legolas’ grief, his trouble thinking straight and his resolve to keep going while he can, there’s a very touching sense of how badly everyone around him feels for him and how they want to help him if only he’d let them in. *sigh* Elf-angst is one of my favourite things, but you bring these characters to life so much for us that at times like this I always feel like I’m intruding on something private. I still love it, though ;-)

I thought one of the saddest things in this chapter is the way Legolas keeps his eyes on Tuilinn, trying not to let her out of his sight.

The others seem to be having a hard time too. Galelas, of course, is in a bad way, but Vanduil has suddenly been given a lot of responsibility in his duty to care for Galelas and it must be made worse for him because they had worked with each other and seemed to have built up a definite relationship. I’m glad for him that he seems to be doing well and it’s good to see that he even takes the time to try to help Legolas. Actually, Legolas’ vague awareness that he should be in charge and slight incomprehension of being told to rest by Vanduil was such a good touch. To me there’s a very detached feeling about this chapter, which really shows us that Legolas, in his shock, is slightly removed from reality. And on some level he knows this but doesn’t seem to be able to do anything about it.

I think it’s quite important that Fyndil comes and tells Legolas that “she glowed with what she felt for you” and sympathises with him. It gives even more meaning to the connection between Tuilinn and Legolas that even Fyndil, who has only seen them together one time, knew the importance of their bond. It’s probably hard for Legolas to hear now but at least later on, when he goes back to duty and normality and when he might question what they meant to each other, he can know that they really did have something together.

Ah, I was wondering when he was going to start blaming himself. Hopefully he knows enough by now that some things can’t be prevented or changed, but I imagine it doesn’t help that somewhere in his mind he was still feeling guilt at Naran’s death.

That moment when Beliond asks Legolas if he would like to talk was so lovely. Beliond is being such a pillar of strength – something for which I imagine Legolas will be grateful down the road when he can think clearly again – and it must be difficult to watch his charge struggle with his grief. Especially when he knows something of what Legolas is feeling. He himself seems to hold on to the idea that he’ll be reunited with his wife and son again and his attempt to gently give some strength to Legolas was so moving. I had a lump in my throat when he says “Do not let it destroy you, son. They are with Namo and we may see them again one day.”

Well, what a surprise – it’s Eilian! LOL.

Legolas’ incredulity that Beliond could sum up all that had happened in such a brief manner brought tears to my eyes. It’s something he’s probably done loads of times himself when giving a report but in this case he clearly can’t take in all the horror, and certainly can’t speak of it in such a calm way.

“We were in the grasslands engaged in some training when we saw flashes of fire on the mountain.” Um, does that mean Celuwen doesn’t know where he is?

It was so sweet to see how delighted Galelas is to see Eilian, and how good Eilian is with dealing with him. He makes it look so easy! But I suppose it probably is fairly effortless for him.

You wrote Eilian’s astonishment very well, and the way he tries to piece things together. I just love the fact that he responded to Legolas’ need and never for a second doubted how he was affected by Tuilinn’s death, even though the thought of them bonding must have seemed fairly unbelievable to him. Thank heavens Eilian was there. His presence allowed Legolas to open up a bit, which he probably wouldn’t have done otherwise. What a very moving image of Legolas in his brother’s arms, with his head on his shoulder. Do you think Thranduil has some inkling that something is up with Legolas? I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s felt his spirit wandering, and it might help him realise just how much Tuilinn meant to his son. I liked the reminder that Legolas never eats when he’s unhappy. My heart went out to Eilian too when he speaks of the death of their mother and how they both found the strength to go on. It must be hard sometimes for Legolas’ family to know that Legolas doesn’t remember that time after they lived through such fear for him. I’m glad that Legolas is able to take some comfort in Eilian’s reassurance that he could go on with life and even find some happiness again.

“I know,” Sinnarn murmured. “But make no mistake, Eilian. This was serious.” Bravo, Sinnarn. I was so glad he said that, because Eilian really needed someone apart from Legolas to tell him that it was true. Sinnarn is doing incredibly well. He seems to have taken on responsibility unquestioningly and is showing a lot of strength and compassion too. Grandfather would be very proud.

I love the idea that Eilian was by his side when he was going to sleep and Beliond was there when he woke up.

Legolas seems to be having trouble in understanding that Galelas isn’t the only one who needs to go home. And it looks like he’s seized in duty and his role here to keep him going. He rarely shows his stubborn streak but he most certainly has one and it’s appeared now so the rest of them might as well just give in for now. I can see why it’s important to him to take Tuilinn home, though, and I’m glad the rest of them do too. He could never just leave her like this.

There’s a little typo in the line “You will feel better is you use the sling”, I think. I liked that their separation was so simple. Any more sympathy would probably be too much for Legolas right now and I imagine Eilian knows anyway that Beliond will drag Legolas off home once he takes Tuilinn back to her parents.

The end of this chapter was absolutely heart-breaking. Her mother’s grief is so powerful and I really feel for Legolas because now he has to let Tuilinn go. This was truly an amazing chapter. But please, can he go home soon?! :-)

Author Reply: I kind of went all out in this chapter. I'm not going to write about Legolas's love dying ever again after all, so I might as well do it right. Doing it from his POV is interesting though. I wrote and deleted and wrote and deleted a lot because I had to really think about how he would react. Would he withdraw into duty, for instance? And then how was I supposed to convey how everyone else was reacting too when Legolas is kind of out of it?

I think both Vanduil and Sinnarn are rising to the occasion. I think Sinnarn in particular does what he has to but then denies that he's ready for responsibility. If he's not thinking about it, he's fine. It scares him, but he can do it.

I figured Fyndil was with Tuilinn for several days after she met Legolas again. I'll bet she chattered non-stop about him, probably amusing Fyndil no end -- or driving him crazy.

As for whether Legolas and Beliond expect to see their dead again, I debated with myself for a long time about that. I wasn't actually sure that Legolas planned to sail until after he was hit with sea longing. And I don't think he did. But it's a possibility that's always there, which must be comforting.

Celuwen thinks that Eilian and his buddies were off "hunting." At least, that's what he told her. What she thinks is really going on is a more open question. She may have her suspicions!

I figured that Eilian's presence would comfort Legolas, give him some strength, and also maybe cause him to break down a little. Eilian is "safe." Legolas trusts him as he does few other people. And Eilian knows him very well. He knew that taking Tuilinn's body back was important to Legolas and that he should be allowed to do it. But he and Beliond had their heads together and Legolas is too oblivious to even suspect what they decided was going to happen once the body was returned.

Thank you for pointing out the typo. I fixed it. :-)

AliceReviewed Chapter: 9 on 4/16/2005
I cried there at the end. I think that really sums up just how effective this chapter was. This is just awful for them all. The way you characterized Legolas's grief was very effective. Telling this story completely from his POV was a good choice for this story. This is completely his story unlike the others which also belong to his family.

I liked Beliond in this story. He just took care of things. Nana is a good nickname for him actually, which I'm sure he would be miffed to hear. Eilian was a good brother to both Legolas and Galelas in this chapter. I think Galelas witnessing a bit of a power struggle between them was an eye opener. The Royal Family has their own level of complications also.

So, good chapter. I really do think the fact that it make me cry tells you everything you need to know. Though I have to say little stuff like Legolas drawing comfort from the stars and trees and Eilian reminding Legolas about their mother's death's effect on them added to it also.(sigh) Update soon. We need to see what Legolas says to Tuilinn's parents. Oh her poor parents. Or maybe not, because that's probably going to be a crying chapter also.

Author Reply: I'm finding this story hard to write because I wind up trapped in Legolas's head and he is suffering right now. But it certainly seems to help give impact to the story.

I'm thinking I might skip the actual scene with Tuilinn's parents. I'd have to make up two new OCs and the scene would be complicated and full of explanations. But I'll have to think about it.

Personally, I was relieved when Eilian showed up. Legolas needed him. Beliond is affectionate but not particularly nurturing.

Jay of LasgalenReviewed Chapter: 9 on 4/16/2005
That was so sad - even sadder than the chapter about Tuilinn's death, I think. Legolas seems so lost in his grief, and so bewildered by what has happened. I was glad that Eilian turned up when he did - Legolas needed his brother's comfort. Beliond would have done, but Eilian was better. And poor Eilian had no idea of the significance of this death on Legolas. “But I have never even heard him mention her before,”

Two details in particular seemed very real to me - the oddity that elsewhere, life goes on; and the vivid dreaming about the one who has died.

I can see why Legolas needed to take Tuilinn's body home - but he needs to go home too. Please, Daw!


Author Reply: You and Beliond think alike, Jay. And Beliond is a force of nature, so I wouldn't worry too much. :-)

Legolas's whole family is going to startled by this. He's held his tongue and they're going to have to figure out how shattering this was. Of course, if they see him, it won't be hard.

Thanks for the review, Jay.

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