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The Robin's Tale  by Branwyn 7 Review(s)
Raksha The DemonReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/22/2010
A most unusual, and delightful, use of the ancient White Tree. I love the robin describing the guards to his mate as just standing there like rocks. And Mithrandir's knowing the language of birds is a lovely Tolkienish touch.

Nicely done!

Author Reply: I am so pleased that you liked this. Yes, the poor robins are puzzled by many of the strange habits of humans. I am not sure whether Gandalf spoke to the eagles in their own language or the eagles understood the Common Speech, but he seemed to know every language in Arda, so I assumed that he could speak to birds.
Thanks for commenting.

BMReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/22/2010
This was cute! Very well done and a wonderful children's story quite fitting for Middle Earth and in good keeping with Tolkien's vision. thank you for sharing it!

Author Reply: I do love how Tolkien's heroes are often characters who are weak or held as of little account--hobbits, ents, women (Eowyn), younger sons (Faramir). Thank you for the kind review!

annmarwalkReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/22/2010
There are so many elements I love about this story I hardly know where to begin. The amount of meticulous research your put into your writing is well-known, but how did you manage to get inside a bird’s head, to be completely (I imagine) spot-on with dialogue, emotional reaction, physical and behavioral details? These aren’t cute Disney or Pixar birds, if anything, they’re closest to the creature of Richard Adams’ Watership Down, rich in realism but full of imagination and mythic power.

Details – you know how I love them, and you captivated me within the first paragraph:
He sang to his lovely Ruby as they worked, and she fed him juicy grubs. Slowly, a soft cup rose in a coil on the ledge. Evenly round, smooth and silvery grey, it was the fairest nest he had ever seen.
Willem’s flight in search of a new nesting site gives us a unique view of a landscape we think we know very well:
He flew over the high city wall then over the rows of houses. Not a tree was in sight, only pots of flowers, and the streets were filled with people. As he flew higher, the streets emptied and the houses grew larger. Their crumbling walls offered inviting niches, but there were no nearby fields with grubs for hungry chicks. There’s nothing here, he thought sadly then paused in his flight, wings aflutter, at the sight of a lone tree.

The small bits of human dialogue are just perfect, too:

“That robin could wake the dead,” he heard one of the shiny men mutter.
“Or the entire City. How can something that small be so loud?”

You know how I laughed out loud at that - we say that about our Carolina wrens all the time.

The concept of Denethor’s hawks and falcons being so loyal to him (“Why do you want to protect this Lord Denethor?” the robin asked. “He is not your mate or one of your nestlings.”), as well as their instinctive understanding of, and concern over, ominous changes in the sky, the air, was very well done. The scene with Willem, raising a ruckus to alert the humans to their danger, was very vivid writing – what a movie scene that would make! And Mithrandir, drawing upon a skill he must have absorbed from Radagast, was thoughtful and tender.

Awe-inspiring, imaginative, original writing! Marvelously done!



Author Reply: a unique view of a landscape we think we know very well
I was a little nervous about writing this POV, but I tried to think of what a bird would consider important enough to notice--sources of water, sources of food, nesting sites, potential predators.

You know how I laughed out loud at that
The robins in my backyard are unbelievably loud. Even with the windows shut.

Thank you for your help with this story. As always, you bring out the best in other writers (and in friends). *hugs*

phyloxenaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/22/2010
Such a sweet story! I loved Captain Dart - there is something very characteristically Gondorian about this bird :)

Author Reply: The story was a lot of fun to write. I imagine that a lasting truce was declared between the hawks and the robins. :)
Thanks for commenting!

Elena TirielReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/21/2010
What a charming tale! I like stories written from unusual PoVs, and this one conveys the robin's perspective well. Nicely done!

- Barbara

Author Reply: Thank you so much! This fic was inspired by the pair of robins nesting in my backyard. They have been making sure that I don't sleep in past 5:00 in the morning. (Though I found out--much to my surprise--that American robins are a different species than their English cousins.)

ElflingimpReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/21/2010
That was charming and well written. Hugs The Imp

Author Reply: I am glad that you liked it, and thanks for commenting. :)

UTfrogReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/21/2010
Started reading this on a whim. So glad I did. Loved it - most unusual and very well done. Thank you.

Author Reply: Thank you so much! I was a little nervous about posting it because of the unusual point-of-view.

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