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The Novice  by daw the minstrel 24 Review(s)
FaerieQueenReviewed Chapter: 12 on 1/5/2004
Another fantastic story! I really loved this one: Legolas dealing with difficult companions in dangerious situation. Very nice. I can only praise you again, and urge you to keep writing.

Author Reply: Thank you, Faerie Queen. I hope that Legolas comes across as someone who is slowly growing into the elf Tolkien gave us.

sofiaReviewed Chapter: 12 on 1/1/2004
GOOD. Off i go to read your other stories.

Author Reply: I'm glad you liked it, Sofia! This story was the first one I wrote that I still am pleased with.

Antigone_QReviewed Chapter: 12 on 11/8/2003
Nope, nope, somehow or other hadn't finished this one. I'm pleased - it’s like finding a Christmas present you didn't know you had!

There was so much humor in this story. There was a priceless scene in chapter six. Legolas had lost his temper, and Thranduil went to talk with him. So intent was he on reining in his temper and handling his son well that he entirely forgot that Legolas had lied to him until he had left. If I remember it, the line that made me laugh was something like, "There were only so many filial sins he could cope with at once."

Same chapter, I think, Miriwen points out that Legolas doesn't treat his other friends the way he treats her, and he is totally clueless. Of course he doesn't treat his friends the same way, he thinks: "he doesn't want to kiss Annael!"

On the training trip:

I liked that Legolas looked for little details about other people's naneths. So sweet and so painful at the same time.

Eilian must have been frustrated with Legolas for saying there was nothing he could do about his fight with Galelas, when Eilian had gone to such trouble with Galelas' older brother (I've forgotten his name) to make working together more bearable. Once again, Eilian's talent with people comes in handy - it's lucky Legolas is so open to being taught what doesn't come naturally.

I felt sorry for Galelas from beginning to end. He was so much like his brother that I couldn't help but think that either or both of his parents must be very demanding Elves, and that he must have grown up believing that nothing less than "perfect" and "best" was ever good enough. What Galelas said to Legolas about Eilian being so nice confirms that for me.

The Novices really need a mentor, and I still don’t like much the idea of Maldor being in charge. I wish Eilian could keep right on doing that - I'm sorry that he's so determined to go back to his patrol. He's so good with younglings, and that would solve nicely the current difficulty about being away from home so much. Probably not dangerous enough for him, though.

Best line in the story: "he recognized it as a very fine Dorwinian. He paused, considered consequences, and then took refuge in a second long draught…" That's so like a teenager. So was the hair! I remember the Dorwinian was the wine in the Hobbit that got the guards drunk enough to miss the Dwarves' escape. Not surprising it went to Legolas' head, as well.

Author Reply: I'm glad you liked the humor in this. I made myself laugh writing it, especially the whole Dorwinian/haircut scene and then the return to Annael's cottage. (I like Annael's parents in general.) So it's good to know that someone else laughed too.

And Galelas is right. Legolas really is lucky because Eilian is so nice. Poor Galelas. He is lucky that he is not his parents' favorite. That honor falls to his brother, who is even less likeable because of it.

Antigone_QReviewed Chapter: 4 on 11/8/2003
Well! I thought I had read everything you had written, and I do remember reading parts of this. But I must have either skimmed this one or not finished because this chapter came as a big surprise to me. I'm glad I decided to re-read some of your stories while waiting for your next chapter!

That was a beautiful conversation Eilian had with Legolas about kissing, and more than kissing. Legolas ought to thank his lucky stars (and rainbows!) that he has a brother he can trust and can ask about girls and so on. I can see how asking Thranduil about kissing would end up to be less than enlightening.

Annael's take on being spoiled vs. being priviliged was very perceptive, especially for someone so young. Good for him for pointing out that privilege comes with a certain amount of obligation; there are a lot of adults who don't understand this so well.

And here is where I knew for sure I hadn't read this whole story: I was absolutely, positively, shocked and outraged when Maldor purposely slapped one of his trainees. There is not much that makes me angrier than abuse of power, and you do NOT hit the people that have been entrusted to your protection! I don't believe there is any excuse for it, no matter what kind of training you happen to be doing, or what kind of ills you think are going to befall those people later. "Maldor didn't hurt the trainees on purpose" my foot! It's the sort of thing that I would be organizing protests and letter-writing campaigns about in real life - no kidding. I really wanted to rant and rave at Ithilden and Thranduil for letting it go on - then had to take a deep breath and remind myself that it's just a story.

I guess that's a compliment to you as a writer: that you can make me so mad I have to get up and go stomp around a while, even though I KNOW none of these people are real.

But I see that Eilian's comments have given his older brother and his father some food for thought. Good old Eilian. I suspect I'll be sending another review your way when I'm done reading through to the end.

Author Reply: Antigone, you made me laugh! Your indignation at Maldor was wonderful and I did take it as a compliment. Thank you for telling me how you reacted.

The conversation between Eilian and Legolas was fun to write. I love Eilian. Legolas is lucky to have him.

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