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Spring Awakenings  by daw the minstrel 404 Review(s)
sosweetReviewed Chapter: 15 on 4/18/2017
Ah, this story was so sweet. Very well done. And, I liked very much the insights into all the characters and the interaction between the brothers. I hope you continue to write! You have a talent for it!


Author Reply: I'm so glad you liked it. I love brotherly stuff. I continue to write original fic under my own name (Dorothy A. Winsor--my fanfic name is my initials), and I still love writing brothers.

Asms2Reviewed Chapter: 15 on 5/5/2016
I love the scene where Celuwen tells the royal family that Legolas fell off his horse! haha. He tried so hard to keep that from surfacing, and then all those years later it comes up. And at the perfect moment for it lighted a tense atmosphere.

It was neat to see Thranduil contemplating his relationship with Eilian, and the loss of his wife. His subsequent conversations with Eilian were fun to read.

It was also neat to see Legolas struggling a bit with what the bonding meant for his life and his relationship with Eilian. I thought it was very relatable for him to admit that he was sad to no longer be Eilian's favorite person in life.

I enjoyed the duel story lines of Legolas dealing with the flood and settlers, while Eilian was dealing with Celuwen's family. Both boys were out of their elements to some degree. I can see how being a diplomat would be a difficult job. Legolas did a good job dealing with a lot of unexpected circumstances.

I enjoyed it when Beolind shows up out of nowhere holding a bow and startling Legolas and the Theives. His anger at Thranduil for not sending him with Legolas is super endearing. He loves Legolas like a son. And this is the first time I've seen someone tell Thranduil he was not being protective enough of one of his kids. haha. Beolind being protective = pulls on my heartstrings. Really everyone in the royal family being protective of each other does that to me. No wonder I love your stories so much! You are an excellent writer and have great insights into the dynamics of relationships. I love it!

Also, thank you for responding to my reviews. It always feels so nice to see an author respond, and I really enjoy reading them! You rock!

Author Reply: One of the best features of SoA is how easy it is to respond to reviews. It seems polite plus it's fun to talk about the story.

Poor Legolas. Being a little brother to someone like Eilian especially means he had to learn to take teasing. Falling off his horse in front of a maiden and a warrior horrified him when he was almost of age and careful of his dignity. It was not something he wanted to talk about.

I just came home from a writing session and it's interesting though sometimes difficult to figure out what someone would really feel in a situation, such as the one Legolas encounters when he's no longer #1 in Eilian's affections. He's happy for his brother and he's an adult who can understand his feelings with some objectivity, but it's still a loss for him.

Beliond was a character who grew on me. I would not want to live my life like Legolas does with Beliond looking over my shoulder, but Thranduil knew what he was doing when he trusted his baby to Beliond's keeping.

Thank you for your kind words. They mean a lot because writing can be a struggle.

daw

LizzieReviewed Chapter: 9 on 1/14/2015
Forgot to mention that I of course still love the story! :)

Author Reply: Good!

LizzieReviewed Chapter: 9 on 1/14/2015
But what of this part of "Laws and Customs among the Eldar": "and their spirits being masters of their bodies, they are seldom swayed by the desires of the body only"? Which is what Eilian was doing, being ruled by his desires alone, which was in turn the reason why I couldn't read that part of the chapter.

Author Reply: This chapter was quite different from what I usually write, but I was interested in the idea of elven bonding. Elven sexuality is tricky to conceptualize, but what I finally decided was that sexual desire strengthens with love. Eilian and Celuwen bonded for life here, and I knew I'd never get another chance to show the way the union between them reached from body to mind to fea.

Anyway that was my theory! It's clearly not everyone's cup of tea, but then Tolkien leaves room for different interpretations.

LizzieReviewed Chapter: 6 on 1/14/2015
I really, really like this story, it has such an interesting storyline and all of the characters are so well-rounded. I especially like the OCs, you've written them in such a way and given them such distinct personalities that I've come to like Eilian, Ithilden et al. a lot. It's also great to see Legolas being given more responsibility and representing his father in rather delicate situation. It shows how much Thranduil actually trusts him, and I think it's good for Legolas to know that. I just hope the king is not going to be angry about what Legolas did and decided. The only thing I wasn't so sure about in this chapter was the "love story" for Legolas I can see looming on the horizon. It's just a personal preference, but I guess I would've rather seen him simply get on with his mission than turning into a bit of an idiot - being distracted and speechless - because he's "fallen in love" with a beautiful woman. I've probably seen too many stories where the hero falls for the perfect Mary Sue and then turns into a complete, bumbling fool who can't manage a single complete, coherent sentence anymore and am therefore a bit wary. But I'll see how it continues. At the moment I'm just curious to see if there's going to be more flooding and how Eilian and Celuwen will resolve their difficulties.

Author Reply: Thank you, Lizzie. I'm shamelessly fond of my OCs, so if someone appreciates them, I'm always happy.

I approached the Legolas romance here with some caution because Legomances have such a bad reputation in the fandom, and also because I have more trouble writing female OCs than male ones. That probably says something unfortunate about my psyche. Anyway, we'll see how you like it.

Eilian and Celuwen resolve their difficulties in a very Eilian-like way. Writing that was...interesting.

daw

endorearwenReviewed Chapter: 15 on 11/6/2013
You’ve done a great job in this story, Daw, of illustrating how the character differences between Eilian and Legolas affect the outcome of the 'missions' they are executing. The very strengths that make Eilian a competent warrior are the same flaws that lead him to disaster in his personal life. Where Eilian completely disregards anything that poses a problem in securing the end he wants, Legolas is constantly reminding himself of his duty - to his father, his family, his people, and his realm. Unlike his brother, Legolas has little difficulty foregoing a personal pleasure if it conflicts with the task he's been assigned to complete. In some ways, Legolas has a more 'elven' view of life than Eilian. For Legolas, there will always be time in the long term to enjoy whatever he must sacrifice in the short term. That attitude wins him the respect of his King and the pride of his Adar.

Given what I just said, it is not unexpected that I was not surprised at all to see Eilian take matters into his own hands to ensure he could satisfy himself. I think Solith has been wrongly maligned for his part in the drama between Eilian and Celuwen. He is Celuwen's father and he was correct about Eilian's self-indulgent character. History had provided Solith with very sensible reasons for believing that Eilian couldn't make his daughter happy and that he was not suitable as a potential mate. Solith had seen his daughter cry a river over Eilian's antics for years and then had to suffer the misery of watching her fade, completely helpless to stop it. In the end, Eilian did exactly what Solith expected, he used Celuwen's weakened state to achieve a goal he wanted instantly fulfilled. I like that Solith's convictions in the matter were so strong and that he stayed true to himself even when he was being obviously manipulated by Thranduil. Both of these fathers have met their match in one another. If Thranduil didn't have the authority of his position to curb Solith's determination, I think Solith could have given him a real run for his money!

The role that Celuwen could play within the palace was clear from the outset. Thranduil is too astute to have missed the strategic advantage she could provide in dealing with the settlements and it was logical that he conferred upon her the role of advisor. I'm curious, though - did you plan from the outset for the settlements to become an issue that Celuwen would be drawn into helping Thranduil manage or did this plotline develop on its own as the story/ies were written? It was quite an ingenious way to resolve the drama!

My favourite part of this story was when Beliond upbraided Thranduil (King or not) for sending Legolas off on a diplomatic mission without him. I roared with laughter when I read the line - “... He (Thranduil) strongly suspected that Beliond intended to make him be the one to rue a day, this day probably...” The imagery of that entire scene was hilarious and I just loved seeing Thranduil being treated as 'just another friend with whom I need to clear the air' - absolutely priceless! As always, the great Elvenking graciously concedes to Beliond's demand realizing that the request has resulted from genuine concern. Perfectly written, Daw! :-)


Author Reply: did you plan from the outset for the settlements to become an issue that Celuwen would be drawn into helping Thranduil manage or did this plotline develop on its own as the story/ies were written?

I made things up as I went along, mostly trying to see where what had already happened would lead me. I'm flattered you'd think I could do otherwise because usually it was all I could do to stumble to the end of the story I was working on without contradicting myself somewhere, and I didn't always succeed.

Beliond, Thranduil, and Maltanaur are old friends. They even call one another that. Somewhere I have a story about them as young elves soon after Oropher and Thranduil came to the Greenwood. It's not in the Legolas time-line, obviously. But they all know lots of things about one another they wouldn't want shared with their kids!

I've always thought Thranduil named Beliond as Legolas's guard as much for Beliond's sake as for Legolas's. He'd been alone for far too long and needed to be drawn back into caring and being cared for. The old goat.

Hisie LomeReviewed Chapter: 15 on 5/8/2004
What can I say? Well done, Daw. The celebration was quite nice. Please continue to write about this family. Any words about Sinnarn? I hope spring has begun where you are, as it is always the beginning....I look forward to more. Again, Thank you for all of your hard work. Please let your family know how much joy you have gifted us.

Minna Sedh, Hisie Lome

P.S. Yes, Thranduil is a wiley king! Perhaps the relationship between Thraduil and Eilian will improve alittle. Their is always hope.


Author Reply: Thank you, Hisie Lome. I was sorry to leave Sinnarn out of this story but I already had more OCs than I could manage easily. And spring has crept in here. It's raining today and everything is green.

My family somehow fails to appreciate my hobby! I'll tell them you said they had to change their minds. ;-)

meckinockReviewed Chapter: 15 on 5/1/2004
That was great, Daw! I especially loved the father-son heart-to-heart. Eilian's been waiting a long time to get some things off his chest. "I believe you expect me to behave irresponsibly and are shocked when I do not." So true. I'm glad Thranduil was willing to listen this time. Now that he's worked things out with his troublesome middle son and found some acceptance of his intrinsic nature, the king really ought to turn his attention to those unresolved issues he has with his wife and realize that "those qualities" didn't kill her. Orcs killed her. He needs to progress a little further through the grieving process and stop blaming her for it. People come in complete packages, and there's no volume button on their personality traits (gosh, I'm on a rant- been spending too much time with Kaladriel, huh?).

Moving right along, then...the family gathering was wonderfully tense. Thranduil disarmed Solith effortlessly, as expected, and his irony-edged observations were wonderful - he "regretfully supposed that he would have to stop being so frank" about Solith once his daughter started attending his meetings. Solith is such an unreconstructed bonehead I can scarcely believe it. The nicest thing I can say about him is that at least you can't accuse him of being two-faced. I would love to see what Isiwen has to say to him when she gets him alone...

Eilian's friends, whooping and hollering out at the barbecue. Another downside of the elopement - we evidently missed out on the bachelor's party of the millenium.

Good old Beliond, always showing up just where he's most needed. It was moving when Thranduil had to avert his eyes from the joyful embrace of the newlyweds.

Legolas - well, I'd like to tell him it's better waiting, but I'm sure he's not ready to hear that. He has a long road to go alone, unfortunately, and I'm afraid it will be a long time before he sees the beauty in that.

Wonderful story, as always, Daw. Thank you.

Author Reply: Meckinock, I'll get you an appointment with Thranduil! I think he needs to hear what you have to say. Now whether he'll listen is a whole other thing. But he dominated this chapter, wouldn't leave me alone while I was writing. On his worst day, he could have squashed Solith like a bug. Eilian should be impressed and grateful.

The bachelor party would have been fun! I can imagine Eilian having a little celebration with his friends a week or two from now. I'll just tuck that idea away for future use.

Legolas does have a long road. I feel bad for him. I know he was a hero, but I think a normal life might have been more satisfying.

Thank you for your kind words, Meckinock.

FadesintothewestReviewed Chapter: 15 on 4/29/2004
What a great ending! I am happy that both families were able to celebrate the bonding of Celuwen and Eilian. And oh what great things await Celuwen and Eilian. It is good that he is staying and he will realize this soon enough. Our Legolas, searching and scanning teh crowd, hopefully he too can soon find what he needs.

Author Reply: Eilian should thank the stars that Thranduil and Ithilden are making him stay home. His "punishment" will be sweet!

Poor Legolas. He seems so alone.

LauraReviewed Chapter: 15 on 4/29/2004
So whats next? I can't wait for your next story. I've read each of them about 5 times. I love your writing. Please write another one soon!

Author Reply: Thank you, Laura. I am thinking about a story with young Legolas and perhaps Ithilden before he was married. They haven't spent much time together in my stories. It might be interesting. But I have to do some work first.

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