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The Dwellings of the Dead  by Nilmandra 57 Review(s)
The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/22/2006
Oh, my! Holy moly, Nilmandra. You captured the essence of fear. I've always thought the scariest stories are the ones that are subtle--no chainsaws, or stupid skimpily-dressed co-eds flouncing down to the basement to see what the noise was only to find the guy with the knife. That kind of scary story is easy. It's all visual, like slap-stick comedy. To write a really good scary tale, you have to be able to tap into silent fears, the ones we worry about or sense, like if you leave your foot out from under the covers a hand will reach up from beneath the bed and grab it. The scary part isn't the hand--even if it does show up; it's what goes on in the person's head. The experience from the character's POV is what grabs us.

A unseen foe is always frightening because you can't fight it on normal terms. Boy, did you get Elrohir by the throat and make him fight! You set the scene beautifully with the 'dead' village, the dying man, and the malevolent spirit. I loved it when Elrohir recognized that the spirit was an elf. What a shock. Not only did he have to ward off the spirit, but he also had to face the truth of evil's corruption of one of his kind. That must have made him feel even more vulnerable as it tried to find a clink in his armor. And it wanted his body! (Get in line, bad spirit!)

Glow-in-the-dark Glorfindel is outstanding. I mean...outstanding. I can't wait to find out what or who Glorfindel thinks this 'thing' is.

Thank you so much. Really good spook tale!


Author Reply: I am glad you liked it - a good ghost story for your birthday. I was pleased that Tolkien gave us such dark fodder to choose from.

Now we'll see where it goes. Glorfindel is patiently waiting for me to listen to his tale.

RadbooksReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/22/2006
Oh, this is spooky/scary, but very good. :) I can't imagine how horrible it would be to walk into a village like that and look for the dead and dying. For a moment I thought that Elrohir was going to have to ease the old man's passing by using his knife, not by releasing his spirit... that was a wonderful way to go after that long, lingering time he'd lain there in pain.

That evil elf spirit is... well, evil! :) Elrohir is fortunate that he's been well-trained by Elrond AND that Glorfindel is there.

Did I ever tell you that Glorfindel is my favorite elf? Well, he has moved back up to the top spot after that little 'adventure' I wrote about. :) I so love the way that you write him.

Looking forward to the next chapter.

Author Reply: I knew I wanted to write a 'ghost' story for Karen, and as I skimmed through the Tale of Years and Appendix A, I was amazed to see all the evil stuff that happened in the Third Age.. there is something for anyone and everyone! And this is why I like elves... they were there through all of it.. and Elrond's house was involved through history.

Glad you liked Glorfindel.. he is such a joy to have around. :D

EllieReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/22/2006
Elrohir and Glorfindel??? Oh Yummy! I can't wait to read this!

Author Reply: I hope you like. I've been out of the loop, but I saw you were writing a scary story - I need to check it out!

vampfan30Reviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/22/2006
very interesting beginning...........

Author Reply: Thanks..hopefully it will continue. :D

elliskaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/22/2006
Holy Cow this is scary, Nilmandra! I have always thought the idea of the Houseless Ones was absolutely terrifying and you did too good a job of showing why here. Set them together with the equally scary setting of the plague in the mannish villages and you have a really powerful story here. I am curious to see where this is going to go (afraid to find out, but still curious). ;-)

Author Reply: The TA is just full of scary things. I knew I wanted to do a ghost story for Karen and I knew Middle-earth had plenty to choose from, but I was surprised at just how much there really was. I think what is to come will surprise even Glorfindel.

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/22/2006
First of all, Glorfindel rocks. The moment when he comes, all aglow, is terrific.

The scene in the village is very sad. I can't imagine what it must have been like to see plague sweep through a town and kill everyone.

The scene with the beech was also interesting. Elrohir apparently hasn't seen something like this before.

Author Reply: I think poor Elrohir was pretty overwhelmed by it all. He's going to get back home and feel like it was just some nightmare and he's glad he woke up. :D

Vicki Turner Reviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/22/2006
Ooh, very intruiging!

Author Reply: Glad you think so! The early third age has everything to choose from - deceit, treachery, war, disease, more war, bad guys, more war, evil things, more bad guys, more war....

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