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A Spring of Joy  by daw the minstrel 270 Review(s)
Antietam Reviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/21/2023
Reading this for the umpteenth time, remembering when you first posted it and how I looked forward to each new chapter...then realizing that was almost 20 years ago. Quick, send help! ;D

These stories are just as enjoyable as they ever were. I know you've moved on to bigger things, but I hope you continue these at some point. I would love to see some post-war Eilian!

NoorReviewed Chapter: 8 on 11/3/2016
Just reread this again Daw, it is a very moving story. Would love to hear about SInnarn and Legolas having adventures as adults before the sadness in this story. SInnarn obviously really cares about Legolas as per your story "A creature of fire". As you say in one of the chapters of this story the age gap between Sinnarn and Legolas is even less than that between Eilian and Legolas and this is why they are so close. I really love the OCs as well as the usual suspects. Thank you again!

Author Reply: It's been a while since I wrote this, but a sentence sticks in my head. Something about how Legolas and Sinnarn had kept one another's secrets. I find that thought very alluring. They'd maybe know about failed romances, or fear and despair during a battle, or the Shadow sitting so heavily on one of them he can hardly function. I will tuck that idea away for the next time I have a break from original work and am looking to visit these characters.

PSWReviewed Chapter: 2 on 11/1/2016
Hmm... Legolas might think he's jealous over Sinnarn and Tynd's relationship, but he would miss Nana Beliond crabbing at him all the time -- he wouldn't give it up... :-P

Author Reply: Probably! Though I personally would find Beliond hard to live with. But then Legolas is a hero, so he can manage. :-)

Asms2Reviewed Chapter: 8 on 6/1/2016
Sinnarn! The last 2 chapters of this story pack an emotional punch. I’ve come to love this family through all of your stories and to see Sinnarn die, knowing how much this will pain his family…aww, good writing! You make me feel things.

The moment that sticks out most to me is when Ithilden comes to take Sinnarn’s body from Eilian: Eilian says “I am so sorry”. Ithilden says “I know. We will talk about this later, but I know”. OMG I almost teared up reading that part.

I was impressed at how well Ithilden and Alfrain, handled the situation, everything considered. I cannot imagine what they were going through, but they are strong people.

It’s sad that Emmeline and Elowen sail west. And I’m glad that they at least have each other to lean on. I feel for Annael and his wife who are losing their daughter in a way. But I’m glad Annael is staying. Legolas and his friendship is great.

I confess I’ve never read the books, so the concept of sailing west as well as the physical bonds between elfs are a little fuzzy for me. I assume that these physical bonds (where they can feel pain of another) is only between spouses and parents for their kids? Another words, siblings, uncles, close friends, ect, can’t feel it right?

Out of curiosity, is the title, “A spring of Joy”, meant to be ironic? It would seem that this particular spring was not one of joy. Lol. But I like it, because it made the darkness of this story stand out.

I am thoroughly enjoying your writing and I am sad that I don’t have many more Legolas tales to read. I love this family you created and your take on their relationships and lives. It is really special.

Author Reply: Thank you, Asms2. The title of this story is taken from The Hobbit. At the end, after Smaug is defeated, the narrator says the Wood-elves looked forward to a spring of joy after long winter. In fact they had something like 10 years before the Necromancer went to Dol Guldur and evil started to stir again, as you see here.

As for the bond between elves, I totally made that up. :-) In my head, it's between spouses and then between parents and children.

I felt terrible for killing Sinnarn, but I thought it was unrealistic to believe that none of Thranduil's warrior family would be killed. So there you have it. Afterwards, Bodkin asked my permission to post a story in which Sinnarn is eventually reunited with his family in the west. Here's the link if you want to read it. I know I felt better after I read it:

Bodkin's "In the West"

Thank you for taking the time to review. You can't know how much I appreciate it.

endorearwenReviewed Chapter: 8 on 12/4/2013
I thoroughly enjoyed the lighter moments in this story, Daw! I stand with Thranduil in being surprised at how easily Eilian adjusted to life in the settlement. Celuwen may have 'settled' him, but Loriel brought out the truly tender side of his heart! I LOVED the strong bond that exists between father and daughter and the way in which Eilian has finally begun to think about some of the more reckless tendencies that long governed his behavior. Loriel certainly is a chip off the old block - I can walk to the South without my shoes on indeed! I think she has inherited her grandfather's acute sense of 'hearing' the forest. I like that you gave her a heightened sense of that particular Wood-elf character trait!

I always appreciate the Legolas sequences! He shines in his new responsibilities and I love the dogged determination he shows in tracking Gollum. I'm always interested in reading about his interactions with men and this chase after the 'creature' provided a nice bit of that with the encounters at Dale/Erebor! I also like how much more comfortable he seemed to be with Beliond and the other warriors around him, teasing them with little hesitation. The friendship he shares with Anneal has always been a favourite for me and I was happy that they were working so closely together in this story.

Overall, I think you've done a great job of relating the way everyone senses the Shadow's return and their realization of how precious the past years of peace have really been for each of them. The loss of Sinnarn was a perfect way to bring the walls of peace and happiness down around everyone's ears. I'm glad you wrote Emmelin sailing West after the funeral. There is no other alternative for this poor character, but perhaps now she and Sinnarn can have the elflings she longs to share with him (if such things happen in the Undying Lands?) I'm left wondering if you had planned this part of the plot line out ahead of time so that Anneal's mother would accompany Emmelin in her journey west. This was a natural fit. I did feel quite sorry for Legolas though. He loses the closest thing he's ever had to a 'mother' when Elowen leaves. I was happy that you didn't let Thranduil be left totally bereft of grandchildren when Sinnarn dies. I found the imagery of Thranduil walking away from Sinnarn's smoldering funeral pyre with Loriel in his arms quite touching. An excellent demonstration of what makes the 'Elvenking' the remarkable and powerful force that he is!

Author Reply: I loved writing about what a settlement life would be like for Eilian and his family. And really, it's what he needed all along. He has work and responsibility, but also love, life among healthy trees, and a secure home. Well, sort of secure. These things never last, as the Elvenking always knew.

The Legolas part of this was the hardest to write because there didn't seem to me to be much tension. Still, Tolkien tells us that Gollum crossed Mirkwood twice searching for his lost ring, so there it is. And he had a good time seeing the statue of his father. :-)

I totally did not plan to have Elowen and Emmelin leave together until the situation arose. As a matter of fact, when I wrote the chapter that ends with Emmelin keening, I got such strong reaction from readers that I actually considered backing down and letting Sinnarn live. But I think this is more realistic. And the experience left me in awe of how a story I'd written made readers react.

The next "story" is just a few little bits I assembled that all had Loriel in them. There's no overall plot. I hope you won't be disappointed.

If you like, you could read Bodkin's story "In the West," which follows Emmelin and Elowen after they sail. There should be no more spoilers in it for you.

curiouswombatReviewed Chapter: 8 on 8/3/2008
Oh dear - you made me cry again. This is probably one of the biggest compliments that I could give a writer - things so well written that they make me cry are very rare.

autumn fallaiseReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/25/2008
Hey Daw!

Loriel is so cute! I really liked how you built the suspense, and the flashes of humour - Eilian definitely doesn't want to explain how he can do hair up so quickly, though Celuwen probably already knows!

I really liked the father/daughter realtionship, and Eilian's life in the settlement - will we be reading more about that?

autumnfallaise ('illereyn' at HASA, but sometimes I prefer reading at SoA)

Author Reply: Hey, Autumnfallaise!

It seemed to me that this family needed a girl child. And Eilian was so good with Legolas when he was little that I thought he'd be a natural father. So this was fun to write.

I'm afraid trouble is stirring and Eilian won't be able to hang around the settlement for too much longer, more's the pity.

Wherever you read, I'm always glad to hear from you. I appreciate your taking the time to tell me you enjoyed the chapter.


Agape4GondorReviewed Chapter: 8 on 4/3/2008
I was reading 'Home For Now' and realized that I missed 'A Spring of Joy' - what a sad tale this is. Though you show the strength and the courage of the Elves as darkness once again descends upon them, my heart broke.

Wonderful, gripping tale! Though I so wish the ending could be other than it is.

Author Reply: Writing this story about killed me. Thank the Valar it bothered Bodkin so much that she asked me if she could write the tale of them all coming together again in Valinor. I nearly wept with gratitude. The story's on this site. It's called "In the West."

moonshineReviewed Chapter: 8 on 10/26/2007
I just read this story over again, and it still made me cry like a baby.

Author Reply: I'm glad so sorry I made you cry.

Seriously, I do love these characters and I can hardly stand to think of Sinnarn or even worse, his parents. Thank goodness, Bodkin wrote a story resurrecting him in Valinor. Have you read it? It's called "In the West," and is on this site. It perks me right up when I get sad.

AnnarielReviewed Chapter: 8 on 9/5/2007
I'm so sad for Sinnarn, but I liked the Legolas' determination to fight against the shadow

Author Reply: I felt terrible for Sinnarn and his family. But it seemed unrealistic to me that Thranduil's family would all escape unharmed.

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