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A Spring of Joy  by daw the minstrel 269 Review(s)
DotReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/8/2005
What a lovely surprise! Alright, so the date is ominous (isn’t that when the Nazgul took back Dol Guldur?) but I suppose there wouldn’t be much of a story without some excitement ;-)

So Eilian and family are contentedly living in a settlement with little to worry them other than trying to make flour?! My, how times have changed! I’m actually quite glad for Celuwen that she has this chance to live the life that makes her happiest.

But something is disturbing the trees. Some sort of creature with webbed feet that can get up a tree. Sounds nasssty.

I like the way Eilian tries to convince himself that there’s nothing wrong. It really shows how things have changed in the forest, how much they’ve become used to having some peace. And he has a daughter! Yay! Thranduil must be delighted. I wonder how much convincing it took for him to let them off to the settlement with her, away from him??! It’s great seeing Eilian so happy. He’s clearly a natural with Loriel. And I love the fact that his little girl is happy out to be playing in the dirt and digging for worms! “How could his tutor have talked at him for all those years and never told him what worms ate?” LOL. Funny how that never came up.

I’m still laughing at the line “she loved visiting Celuwen’s parents, a flaw that always puzzled Eilian, given that he found Loriel to be unusually bright.” It sounds like Sólith hasn’t exactly managed to wriggle his way into Eilian’s heart, then. Still, much can be forgiven when grandchildren come into the picture.

Having a bath sounds like a job and a half. It’s probably doing Eilian a world of good to be doing these tasks, though. Especially as he enjoys them. Of course, having a child must keep him busy and contented enough that he doesn’t have to be off looking for excitement elsewhere!

“…he looked at her and saw again his mother’s wide grey eyes, fringed with heavy dark lashes.” Ah! We have a little Lorellin look-alike! She seems quite spirited too. I wonder if she has her grandmother’s way with the men in her life?! It certainly looks like it so far.

I love the image of the three of them walking hand-in-hand. They’re absolutely radiating happiness. “Of course, Eilian was certain that Sólith preferred to believe that Loriel had been dropped down their chimney by an eagle.” ROTFL!! I imagine Loriel’s existence is not something this grandfather likes to contemplate. I can’t help having warm(ish) feelings towards Sólith, though, seeing him with Loriel, hearing that he’d built her a high-chair and watching him make a whistle for her.

It sounds like Eilian, in typical ada fashion, hasn’t really fully enjoyed the peace for all it’s worth because he has a small child to worry about and everything can seem a danger for children. But then, he’d have been totally bored with no child to dote upon and no Orcs to hunt.

My heart nearly stopped when Eilian found Loriel’s bed empty! I was just about to think mean things of you. Thank heavens she hadn’t disappeared. But how frightening that the strange predator was outside Loriel’s window. Eilian will probably go into protective mode now. I couldn’t help smiling at the thought that Eilian hadn’t the heart to scold his daughter very much but had no objections to Celuwen doing it! It’s interesting that Loriel has the same affinity with the trees as Eilian and his family do. She’s a right little wood-elf. I thought Eilian’s realisation that this child of the peace has no real understanding of danger was nicely reminiscent of his own childhood. At least he was older before he was made suddenly and painfully aware that evil had returned. Not saying that’s what’s going to happen to Loriel because I don’t know how far you’ll take this story and what it’s going to be about, but what bliss they have can’t really last much longer.

There’s wonderful atmosphere in this, by the way. It’d make a great start to a horror film. There’s so much happiness and contentment on the surface, but underneath there’s the sense that something is stirring – scary dreams, mysterious footprints and not to forget that really vivid image of the little girl in white and her rather chilling ““The trees are different, Ada”!!! Still, it is called “A Springof Joy” so I’ll remain optimistic!

Great chapter. I loved all the laugh-out-loud Eilian moments. I can’t wait for more :-)


Author Reply: For some time now, I've been trying to think of what Eilian would do if he weren't a warrior, and this is more or less what I've come up with for now. To his surprise, he likes living this simple, close to nature life, doing chores and loving his family. I don't think he'd be nearly as happy at the palace. Poor Thranduil. He must miss this little girl who looks like her grandmother.

In the meantime, Solith also dotes on this little one, who probably reminds him of Celuwen when she was little. In another century or two, he may even forgive Eilian for marrying his daughter! But not yet. Things have to happen.

The hard work involved in having a bath was suggested to me by a line from Virginia Woolf, who talks about what was involved in making a cup of tea at one time -- chopping wood, fetching water, etc. It's a lot of work to accomplish things we do with the flick of a wrist.

I hadn't made the connection between Loriel and Eilian as both children of the peace (and Celuwen too) but you're right of course. He'll have to figure out how to deal with that once he realizes that the dangers are increasing again. After all, Sauron went to Mordor. He didn't leave ME.

The title of this comes from The Hobbit in which Tolkien talks about Thranduil's army: "The dragon was dead, and the goblins overthrown, and their hearts looked forward after winter to a spring of joy." Too bad it didn't last.

YanicReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/8/2005
Oh awesome, Eilian has a little girl! And she's adorable! I guess it'll be punishment for his womanizing ways when it comes time for suitors to come. I already love the way this chapter is shaping up... webbed feet, after the Battle of Five Armies...Gollum perhaps?

Author Reply: I suspect you're right. Right now, Loriel's heart belongs to her ada, but some day, Eilian is going to turn around and find out that she's out walking with a young Elf and all kinds of visions will go through his head! We can only hope that Celuwen bars the door to keep him from going after them.

LOTRFaithReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/8/2005
Eilian has a child!!! Oh my gosh! That is well a little difficult to comprehend.. I mean Eilian it probably a great father, but wow.. Took me a few steps backward... Peace, yet an underlurking sense of danger. Is that certain 'thing' after Legolas? Or someone close to Eilian? Of course I always think it is Legolas :-) But I also know Eilian and Legolas have a close connection as brothers, so Eilian could be have some premonition for Legolas' safety... But who know? (except you of course:-)) I eagerly look forward to a new chapter!

Author Reply: LOL. It's tough for him to comprehend too. But he was a good big brother and he'll be a good, if somewhat indulgent, ada.

We'll see Legolas in the next chapter, so you'll have a better sense then of where he is and what he's doing. The nature of the danger should become clearer as the story goes on.

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/8/2005
Not only bright, but with her Ada and Daerada's feel for the forest. Could come in useful.

Author Reply: Loriel is a wood elf, like both her parents and her grandmother Lorellin. I think she'd likely to scare the wits out of her family on more than one occasion.

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/8/2005
What an absolute joy this is! So full of the most enchanting, laugh-out-loud Eilianishness. He can't bring himself to scold Loriel, but doesn't mind if Celuwen does. He sympathises with his elfling for taking a step back from a cross Celuwen, because he does the same himself! And his response to living near Solith! Who hasn't threatened to gut him recently. And prefers to believe that an eagle dropped Loriel down the chimney.

Solith managed to spit out that Loriel couldn't marry Eilian! Well, at least he can congratulate himself on that. And he thinks Eilian is a pampered son-of-a-king who can't do a day's work. What does he think warriors do in the South? And how does he picture them living? A settlement is a pinnacle of comfort in comparison!

But a super-gem of a line has to be She loved visiting Celuwen’s parents, a flaw that always puzzled Eilian, given that he found Loriel to be unusually bright.

But a nasty webbed-footed creature prowling around - and peering in Loriel's open window. That doesn't sound good. Eating little jayses, too. I'm not surprised the forest doesn't like the creature. I don't think Eilian is going to manage to find it though.

This made my afternoon. I shall go and read it again now - so I can enjoy the Eilianishness all over again.

Author Reply: Eilian is having an unexpectedly good time living in the settlement, just working with the neighbors, heating water, caring for his (unusually bright) daughter, loving his wife. I think this is a life that he was meant to live. It's a good substitute for the excitement of patrolling in danger. But then, he might not need a substitute for long. :-(

BrazgirlReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/8/2005
Me again. Just to say I love this line: "I will not have suitors. I am going to marry Ada." - I could hear myself at her age saying this to my ada.

Author Reply: Eilian had better enjoy this while it lasts. At some point, it will dawn on Loriel that there are young Elves out there who have interesting things to offer. And won't that send Ada into a panic!

BrazgirlReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/8/2005
Finally a girl to this family!!! Loriel - a trouble maker girl... just like her father! Lovely start, Daw!!! Your OCs are so nice! It is a pleasure to read Elian again. As a father!!! I hope you give us some glimpse of grandfather Thranduil. And take cer of Eilian. I am scared now.

Author Reply: I'm so glad you like it, Brazgirl! I'm looking forward to writing about Eilian as the father of a daughter. She's small here, so her heart still belongs to Ada, but I think I could have some fun with this eventually.

JoeeReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/8/2005
Quit writing! I'm falling so far behind here and you keep producing new and interesting stories to read! I've just started reading Time's Turnings and here you are with another new story. I wish I had your gift to keep writing. I'm lucky if I can get out a new story every 6 months, lol. SLOW DOWN!!!

Author Reply: LOL. I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm kind of compulsive about this, I'm afraid, as I am about most things.

Ms. WhatsitReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/8/2005
This chapter was very sweet and funny and Eilianish.

I especially liked this line: "She loved visiting Celuwen’s parents, a flaw that always puzzled Eilian, given that he found Loriel to be unusually bright." Hee!

And Loriel saying she was going to marry Eilian! And Solith and Eilian being hostile to each other--heh. And Eilian knowing how to do hair--well, of course he would.

Author Reply: Eilian is having an unexpectedly good time just living day to day in the settlement and being a wood elf. This is good for him, I think. And he's such a doting ada. It's a good thing Celuwen has some sense.

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