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All Those Who Wander  by daw the minstrel 175 Review(s)
Red Squirrel Reviewed Chapter: 1 on 12/30/2013
Hi Daw,

I hope you enjoyed your holidays. Sorry if my reviews ramble on endlessly and please don't feel like you have to reply to them (I know you are busy in your own life). They are comments I would make if someone were sitting next to me and enjoying the story as well. I really have no one here that likes anything Tolkien beyond thinking the Elves are "hot" in the movies and my husband just groans when I talked about anything Middle Earth related. Soooooo...did you see The Desolation of Smaug? I went and saw it in 3D a couple of weeks ago and then we went again Saturday. Looooove those woodelves (and their Sindar king!). The theater was packed and each time Legolas or Thranduil was on the screen the teenage girls would squeal! LOL

Anyway onto the review. I am glad to start another little Legolas story. I am going back to work on Thursday and back to my own little imps so I don't know how frequently I will be reading and reviewing.

LOL @ Eilian teaching Legolas "bad words"...older brothers are always useful for something!

Hmmm...that is interesting about Maltanaur...can't wait to hear to whole story about that situation. Also, I think Eilian might be depressed. He seems really down and indulging in too much wine. Not that I blame him with all the heart ache the family has been through.

Poor little Legolas. Of course it would be hard to see Ada go away. Nana went away and never came back. Poor little guy. I'm glad Nimloth was there to smooth out that situation.

What struck me as funny because my sister and I were just talking about how we didn't act so stupid when we were teens (yeah right! LOL) was when Ithilden thought "I didn't act like that when I was 70!" LOL Maybe he was a little more like Eilian than he cares to admit.

This looks like it is going to be another great read!

Author Reply: I did enjoy my holidays despite having stomach flu. One thing that does is make you appreciate how great it feels not to throw up. I saw the movie on Christmas Day and enjoyed it a lot, more than the first one, I think. I thought it moved better. The Gandalf parts were the least interesting to me but the rest was wonderful. I particularly liked the Laketown parts. Also all the stuff with Fili and Kili pushed some of my buttons. I like brotherly stuff and young men at odds with their elders.

Speaking of young men at odds with their elders, yeah, Eilian is on Ithilden's and Thranduil's nerves right now, but mostly, he's on his own nerves. I've written before that Eilian decided not to put his guard at risk and this is the story where that happens. It's been a long time since Ithilden was a new warrior and I suspect he was always more restrained that Eilian. But he had his own problems. I'll bet he wasn't always easy for superior officers to manage because he was pretty sure he was right.

I hope you enjoy the story.

daw

endorearwenReviewed Chapter: 7 on 7/31/2013
I really enjoyed this story! We were taken away from the palace and got a glimpse of the unique spirit that is Legolas - surviving the crisis of a forgotten blankie and maintaining his composure sufficiently to wait calmly for help when he was lost - quite something for someone who is only 4 years of age (in human reckoning!) It was wonderful to see him 'reason' out the trust he has that his family would never let anything bad happen to him. I also enjoyed learning more about Eilian's troubles and seeing he and Thranduil reconnecting, if only in a small way. You did a great job of moving back and forth between time periods! :-) My favourite scene is Legolas' confrontation with Maltanaur as he is recovering at home - that was quite a 'high horse' for someone so tiny! Absolutely endearing!

Author Reply: It's so odd watching you read these elfling stories all at once when I wrote them years apart. Don't they seem repetitious? If not, I'm glad.

That scene with Legolas telling off Maltanaur was my favorite too. Then he politely says he had a lovely time. I cracked myself up writing that. But he wants to be sure Eilian is well looked after.

daw

6336Reviewed Chapter: 7 on 11/26/2008
P.T.S.D. Middle Earth style!
Lynda

Author Reply: Good analogy! Tolkien's use of the Shadow makes a good metaphor for the evil that people run into in RL.

autumn fallaiseReviewed Chapter: 7 on 5/12/2008
Hey Daw!

I have really enjoyed all the stories I've read so far! All the characters are convincingly drawn and interstingly different from each other, and I quite like your OC creations. Your plotlines are nicely interwoven and interesting! I'm addicted.

Constructive criticism: Hmmm.... The only thing I can think of is: You mentioned some Sindar/Silvan culture clashes in 'Woodelves' - about Thranduil in Lorinand. Does his sons experience any, and how does it inform their thinking/upbringing? Do they ever have trouble with defining themselves as they have a mixed cultural heritage? Or is the area around the Stronghold thoroughly Sindarised by the time of Ithinduil, Eilian and Legolas? I guess part of Eilian's problem with Celuwen is a clash between Sindar/Silvan views on how to deal with Shadow? On the other hand, I think I remember one of the brothers identifying himself as a 'woodelf'. How does their father, who remembers Doriath, feel about that? Hmmm...didn't think about that before. now I'm wondering!

Before I forget, you asked whether all the time jumps were clear, and they are, except for the last chapter of this story. I'm not sure where it's supposed to fit in. Maybe it's because I'm not that familiar with your storeis?

I'll go back to reading now!

Author Reply: Hi, AF!

Oh man. I attached that last added scene to the wrong story, which is why you can't make sense of it. No one could! It belongs with "My Brother's Keeper."

Interesting questions about Sindar/Silvan clashes. In LOTR, Legolas identifies himself as a wood elf, and I think by the late Third Age, the cultures must have been pretty mixed. I think even Thranduil would have seen himself as wood elf by that time, though he'd have remnants of his Sindar heritage too. Given the length of Elves' lives, I suspect there was more mixing as time went on, and the clashes were rarer than fanfic sometimes shows.

That's my take anyway.

I'm glad you're enjoying the stories. I'm very fond of these characters myself.

daw

elliskaReviewed Chapter: 7 on 8/3/2007
This is very powerful and captures the relationship between Eilian and Maltanaur so well. Especially the ending. Poor Eilian, he is so light-hearted that it is easy to forget that he is also driven, maybe even more than either of his other brothers, to protect his home at any cost. As I said, very powerful daw!

Author Reply: Thanks, Elliska. I screwed up when I attached this scene. It really belongs with "My Brother's Keeper," since it's the bout of Shadow Sickness that sent Eilian home there, and Maltanaur thinks about this scene at the end.

I'm finding when I just think about a scene and not a whole story it's easier to bring out the emotion because I'm not trying to do as much at once.

sofiaReviewed Chapter: 7 on 8/2/2007
ooh... I don't like reading about Eilian crying- its so sad. Maltanaur is having such a 'nana' moment, I love it.
Keep it coming please!

Author Reply: Thank you, Sofia.

As it turns out, I screwed up posting this! It should be a missing scene attached to "My Brother's Keeper," the story where Eilian comes home with Shadow Sickness and plays drug cop. He really was luck to Maltanaur. Eru only knows if anyone else could have made him go home.

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 7 on 8/2/2007
Maltanaur is brilliant. He's just the rock Eilian needs. And Eilian would never have survived long enough to grow up and have Flower Face without his keeper - he'd have cracked for sure.

Thranduil should be very, very grateful to his old friend. (Not least for preventing the royal insanity his son might have driven him to without his steady reassuring presence.)

So many delicious characters - all three dimensional and much loved.



Author Reply: Thranduil showed his wisdom when he picked both his sons' keepers. Maltanaur is such a good match for Eilian. He tolerates Eilian's foolishness because he sees Eilian's strengths and goodness. And he saves Eilian from himself and all the evils that lie around him.

Thanks, Bodkin.

obsidianjReviewed Chapter: 7 on 8/1/2007
I always love to hear more of Eilian. This scene throws some more light on the shadow thickness and how it affects Eilian. It makes this sickness and its effects more real to me. Eilian is so lucky that he has Maltanaur to be his minder.

Author Reply: Thanks, Obsidianj. I've been gradually feeling my way to a better picture of Shadow Sickness. It's not pretty. Eilian goes home and then we get the story told in "My Brother's Keeper." Legolas is an adolescent there and he idolizes Eilian. This scene with Maltanaur is one he never hears about. Eilian wouldn't want him to know, not just because it would be humiliating, but because he wants to shelter Legolas from some of the horror in the woods.

meckinockReviewed Chapter: 7 on 7/31/2007
God, I love Maltanaur. Too bad we can't all have someone to tell us we fought the good fight and go home and everything will be all right. Where was I? Eilian's despair and exhaustion really come through here, as well as Maltanaur's caring. A nice addition to the story - either one!

Author Reply: I still can't believe I attached this to the wrong story. You remember at the end of "My Brother's Keeper" when Maltanaur sits with the guy who's addicted to dangwath? And he holds him while he weeps and thinks he did it for Eilian when the shadow overcame him? That's what this is supposed to be about.

Thanks for the review, Meckinock.

DotReviewed Chapter: 7 on 7/31/2007
Arenít you full of surprises?!

Itís always good to see something new from you (Iím a little confused as to where this fits in with this story because I would have assumed it was much later but that could be because I havenít had pleasurable rereading time for far too long.) This is excellent. The language in it Ė wow! I hadnít realised I was holding my breath until I got to the part where Sůrion comes up to Eilian and I was sure the fight was over.

Great job with Eilian. His irritability really comes through. And I like how he seems aware of it and yet canít seem to remedy it Ė that rings so true. Thereís such a sense of hopelessness and weariness too in his thoughts about how more orcs will keep coming no matter how many they get rid of.

I also thought it was well done how we begin to realise whatís wrong Ė Eilianís despair and self-loathing, Maltanaurís calm handling of him, the fact that the rest of the patrol seem to be looking more towards Sůrion than Eilian.

his thoughts spun in tight little repetitious circles.

I love that description.

Iím so glad Eilian has Maltanaur. Even Gelmir seems a little at a loss. Though maybe he knows Maltanaur is the best person to speak to Eilian right now too. I suppose as scary as it is for the person whoís suffering, it must be frightening for everyone around them too. Physical injuries are so much easier to deal with. I feel bad too for Sůrion Ė heís in a tough position because he has to work with Eilian and yet heís being snapped at for trying to do his job. That canít be easy even when you suspect whatís wrong with the person. Plus, Iíve always had the impression that those two were never great friends. I do love how you show Eilian trying, though Ė he knows that heís being short-tempered and tries to stop himself when he can. You can still see what a good captain he is beneath this sickness.

"You are going home if I have to tie you up and drag you."

Go Maltanaur! Heís about the only person who could make Eilian do whatís best for him. Unless Thranduil or Ithilden happened to ride into camp.

Iíd say you heard my sigh all the way over there when he thought about his fatherís disapproval. Thranduil will be only too happy that Maltanaur dragged his son out of there to come home and get help.

That was a very tense scene between the two of them. I knew Maltanaur would win but Eilian just has to fight it all the way until thereís no other way out. It was quite a moving moment when relief then all but knocks him over.

The ending too was very touching. I was so glad to see Eilian give in and open himself up to some comfort and the reassurance that if he just holds on it will be ok, even if it doesnít seem possible to him yet. It was a rather unsettling glimpse too of how insidious this shadow is.

Maltanaur really is a rock.

Great piece, daw.


Author Reply: I'm not surprised you couldn't see how this fit with "All Those Who Wander" because as it turns out, I attached it to the wrong story. I belongs with "My Brother's Keeper." :-)

Oh well. Just a little mistake there!

I tried to keep this tight to Eilian's perceptions and you're so right when you say he's misjudged his father. Eilian is deep in Shadow Sickness. He sees no hope at all from any direction. Poor thing. He's lucky to have Maltanaur to insist he go home. Eveyone else just has to tiptoe around him, though they can see far more clearly than Eilian does exactly what's wrong.

It's interesting that Tolkien saw Sauron working through despair and fear as much as through physical force.

Thanks for the review. Lovely as always.

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