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The Seeds of Time  by daw the minstrel 21 Review(s)
obsidianjReviewed Chapter: 2 on 3/17/2007
That was a sad story Eilian had to tell. I like the way you describe the shadow. Makes me shudder.

Author Reply: Thanks, Obsidianj. I'm not naturally good with descriptions. They're something I have to work at. So I'm glad these worked for you.

perellethReviewed Chapter: 2 on 3/17/2007
This troubled relationship between Eilian and Thranduil is so interesting. THrnaduil will never ever let pass a minor slip of tongue and Eilian always reacts badly fearing that his Adar is judging him. Even with Lorellin alive it is sad to see how difficult it is for these two to have a peaceful relationship. NOw poor Eilian and poor Gelimir, no wonder they are both affected, that was surely a very distressing experience. Being home will make him good.

Author Reply: Thranduil and Eilian are temperamentally quite different (as are Lorellin and Ithilden), and that makes it hard for them, although I do think they do better with Lorellin there to smooth the way.

Home will indeed help make things better. Especially baby brother. :-)

Elena TirielReviewed Chapter: 2 on 3/17/2007
Hi Daw,

Just a note to let you know how much I am enjoying this, even more now that Eilian is featured....

Thank you for sharing it with us.

- Barbara

Author Reply: Thanks, Barbara. Eilian is always a good thing. :-)

ManderlyReviewed Chapter: 2 on 3/17/2007
The encounter with the orcs gave me shivers. What a horrific death for Fithral, something which will no doubt bring on night after night of nightmares for his comrades who witnessed his death.

Amazing description of the Shadow. I could almost feel it creeping onto me. Must be so heartbreaking for the elves to see it encroaching onto their beloved trees and befouling the air that they breathe.

So sad that as young as Legolas is, he is already experiencing death and mourning. I wonder how that would affect his notion of the immortality of elves.

Author Reply: Writing about Fithral's death gave me shivers. Thank goodness there's healing for him in the Halls of Waiting and then in Valinor.

You know, I'm interested in your point about how many elves in Tolkien's world think about immortality. In theory, they have it. At least until the world ends. But in practice, they see an awful lot of death. Think about Thranduil returning with only one-third of the force his father led away. And the time of elves is ending. Do they know that? Does it affect their sense of things going on and on? Of course, I'm not sure we know how to think about that anyway because it's so foreign to us.

Good question, Manderly.

And thanks for the review.

sofiaReviewed Chapter: 2 on 3/17/2007
Good chapter. Sheesh... that was NOT a good way to die at all. Poor Fithral! No wonder Eilian is getting nightmares.
Little Legolas and big brother Eilian are too cute, I bet Legolas will tire him to the bone with the plans he has.
I was reading through your other reviews when I came across Jess's and her question about your story See the Stars. And when I read that you had considered deleting that story I have to say "DON'T! Please don't!"

Author Reply: Yeah, I thought that chapter was kind of grim. So much so that I afterwards thought I shouldn't have posted it in the evening because it really wasn't good bedtime reading.

Legolas adores Eilian and that's good for Eilian I think. He needs a dose of innocence.

I haven't deleted stories yet. I probably won't. It was just that I kind of cringed at how crudely the early ones were written.

Thanks for the review, Sofia.

The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 2 on 3/17/2007
I'm so far behind with reviewing.... Doesn't life know I have better things to do, like read and review stories? How incredibly rude.

I missed reviewing Chapter One, so I'll just summarize with a hearty 'squee'.

Chapter Two: intense. My favorite part was the creativity of the orc tunnels. I really liked that. And the sinkhole. Oh, man. How awful for everyone. I can see why Eilian would be slightly off balance. There's nothing worse than feeling helpless and that situation was terrible. I don't even want to think about why the bundle at the funeral was so small. Oh dear...

I also loved the description of the forest in the south. The leaves being tinged with slime and curling into themselves was very vivid. The whole scene was haunting. I could hear the stillness and feel the heaviness of evil. Well done, your minstrelship.

I'm slow with reviews, but I'm trying to catch up on reading and reviewing. Don't give up on me. I always love your stories and this one is no exception.

Did I mention my fangurl squee? :>)

Author Reply: You shouldn't feel obligated, Karen. I know how busy you are with other people's needs right now, needs that are a lot more pressing than mine!

The tunnels creeped me out. I considered following the elves into them but decided against it. Ick.

As you know, I'm not big on description, but the union of landscape and evil and the harm done to Eilian's spirit is really hard to resist.

Thanks for taking the time to do this. Go write about Daeron.

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 2 on 3/17/2007
Poor Eilian. He might not be as shadowed as Gelmir, but he's certainly not far from it. That Shadow is so ... tangible, and polluting. And being in the midst of such a clutch of it as poor Fithral was dragged to a fate that left him so small ... it must have made his death so much worse than simple death in battle. The tunnels beneath the trees are such a likely - and horrible - idea. And I'm glad Eilian came independently to a decision that wouldn't infuriate Maltanaur. While he showed yet again how close he is to the forest - he almost smells shifts in the currents of air - and this must make its darkening hurt him. Yet he knows himself well enough to be genuinely glad not to be burdened with Ithilden's role.

His mother is so good for him. She asks him for support - even though he knows that she is also providing it - and he expands in her presence. It's not surprising that he got on better with Thranduil with Lorellin to act as buffer. And she knows to offer him Legolas, too. Her littlest adores his big brother and has total faith in him - and Eilian does need that.

Sad, though, that that little good boy already knows the song of mourning. Inevitable, but still sad. I love Legolas's literal understanding of what is explained to him. And his desire for his mother's stories. And his plans for Eilian. (Which might be more fun than Ithilden's plans!)

Lorellin is just such a big part of their lives. It's a wonder they managed to cobble themselves together again after she died - and no surprise that there were scars.

Author Reply: I couldn't bear to think about Fithral's death from Fithral's POV. It was bad enough from Eilian's. Actually, I feel the same way about Lorellin's.

Eilian is still young enough to need the support of his family, and I think he draws it even from Thranduil here. His mother's death deprived him of her support and also his father's in a way, because they couldn't really reach out to one another as well afterwards.

Death is pretty baffling to human children. I can't even imagine what it would be like for an elf child trying to make sense of it. Of course, they have that certain knowledge of re-embodiment in Valinor, but still.

Thanks for the review, Bodkin.

meckinockReviewed Chapter: 2 on 3/17/2007
Eilian's insights into his family were entertaining. I especially liked him not envying Ithilden's ramrod-straight back.

The scene where Fithral is pulled below is truly horrific. I think there must be nothing worse for a warrior (or anyone) than to see a friend taken by the enemy and be helpless to stop what's happening to him. I imagine that scene will haunt Eilian for a long time.

It was nice seeing Thranduil more relaxed with Eilian than we typically see him, even though Eilian was not really on his best behavior.

And yes, I am where I told you I would be :-)

Author Reply: I was sort of trying to map out Eilian's view of everyone in his family in that scene. He has a lot of respect for his father and brother, even though he doesn't necessarily get along with them all the time and sure wouldn't want to be them.

Fithral's death was about as nasty as I could stand to make it. Just for some variety's sake, I was trying to figure out where the orcs could hide other than a cave, and I thought about Vietnam and the fact that the Viet Cong traveled through tunnels. And then I got these really grim pictures of what could happen. I actually toned that down.

I thought Thranduil and Eilian probably did a little better together before Lorellin died. She prodded both of them into better understanding.

And yes, I am where I told you I would be :-)

Sucks to be you.

Jay of LasgalenReviewed Chapter: 2 on 3/17/2007


Poor Eilian. And poor Fithral, too. What a horrible way to die, and how awful for the others to see him slaughtered before their eyes and be quite helpless. They must all know very well that it could just as easily have been one of them.

Despite his strenuous denial - or more likely, because of it - it's clear Eilian is suffering from Shadow, but it's hardly surprising. You did a wonderful job of conveying the pervasive evil. My skin crawled just like Eilian's as the darkness clung to them.

I hope someone will make Eilian see sense, and make him stay at home like Gelmir. Time spent playing with Legolas will help him enormously, and bring them even closer.

Author Reply: That death gave me the creeps to write and I actually toned it down a little. And yeah, it could have been any of them. It was just one of those things.

I figure Eilian is touched by Shadow but not able to recognize it well. I also figure he's better at dealing with it than most people are because of his naturally optimistic temperament. He may need less healing time than Gelmir does. And time with Legolas will definitely help him. The kid amuses me no end.

Agape4GondorReviewed Chapter: 2 on 3/17/2007
Beautiful line - "You may lean on me any time, Naneth, though to me, it still feels the other way around."

And this one - humour in the midst of sorrow - "I do have some experience of combat, you know..."

"Eilian would be able to lead the search without his keeper's glare prodding his spine at every step he took."

I love how you write each of Thranduil's sons so very differently and yet I can feel that they are brothers. Very nice job.

One question - I thought Elves kind of 'dissipated' into the air when they died? Read it somewhere - but can't remember so I was surprised by the burning of his hroar.

Again - great chapter - suspenseful, fun, and serious at all the same time. Family dynamics, as always, are awesome.

Author Reply: I'm working on trying to develop a different narrative voice for each POV character. It's an interesting challenge.

As for elves dissipating, I think Tolkien tells us that Feanor did that so fast they found no body, and the fact that he comments on it suggests to me that most of them dissipated more slowly. As I recall, Glorfindel was buried after his death from Balrog burn. But like you, I think of their bodies as sort of drying out and dwindling.

In this case too, the only thing there was bones. I fear the orcs dined on Fithral.

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