Penname: SurgicalSteel [Contact]
Real name:
Member Since: 01/20/10
Membership status: Member

Biography:

Native Texan. Surgeon. Former military. Fortysomething.


I've loved The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings since I read first read them at age 10, attempted to tackle Silmarillion for the first time at 12 (successfully got through it for the first time at 14), and once drove through a Category One hurricane to pick up my pre-reserved copy of one of the HoME volumes in college. The Atlas of Middle Earth seems to have found a permanent home by my bed. So, yes, you might say I'm a Tolkien geek.


I also geek out a bit on medical history, especially in three areas. Firstly, the fact that there are techniques and instruments that we think of as modern that in some cases date back thousands of years (rotational flaps going back well over 2000 years in India, attempts to repair bowel injuries being described in Ancient Rome, etc). Secondly, how advances in medicine and surgery have often come out of wars (modern nursing care from Crimea, blood banking out of WWI, repair of vascular injuries out of WWII and Korea, dialysis out of Korea, modern ventilators out of Viet Nam, etc). Thirdly, how things we think of as antique and not useful any longer really are quite useful (medical grade maggots and leeches, use of honey as a dressing material for wounds, etc).


I'm reading and writing fanfic for the love and joy of it.

Live Journal: http://surgicalsteel.livejournal.com.livejournal.com
Beta-reader: Yes

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Stories by SurgicalSteel [32]

Series by SurgicalSteel [1]

id='active' Reviews by SurgicalSteel [24]

Challenges by SurgicalSteel [0]

Favorite Series [0]

SurgicalSteel's Favorites [9]

Reviews by SurgicalSteel

Feature Five Things That NEVER Happened to Bilbo Baggins by Dreamflower

Rated PG
[Reviews - 3]
Table of Contents

AU.  Just what the title says.

Categories: The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit
Characters: Hobbit: Baggins: Bilbo
Genres: Alternate Universe, Angst, Character study, Drama, Tragedy
Places: None
Times: 3-Third Age: late
Warnings: None
Series: Bilbo Baggins, Esquire
Chapters: 1    |    Word count: 924    |    Read Count: 3890
Completed: Yes    |    Updated: 02/03/10    |    Published: 02/03/10
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Reviewer: SurgicalSteel (Signed)
02/14/10
Chapter 1: Five Things That NEVER Happened to Bilbo Bagigns

Oooo, I remember reading this on SoA wen it first came out! So many wonderful little AUs all in one - and that second one is delightfully creepy!



Author's Response:

Thanks, dear! I'm glad you still like it!  I gave myself the creeps, actually!


Feature Tears for the Fallen by pandemonium_213

Rated G
[Reviews - 3]
Table of Contents

Melkor considers a flower.  

Written for International Poetry Month, April 2010.

MEFA 2010 Winner. First Place in Genres: Poetry: Drama

 

Categories: History of Middle-earth
Characters: Other: Morgoth/Melkor
Genres: Poetry
Places: Beleriand
Times: 0-Pre-First Age
Warnings: None
Series: None
Chapters: 1    |    Word count: 322    |    Read Count: 1246
Completed: Yes    |    Updated: 04/06/10    |    Published: 04/06/10
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Reviewer: SurgicalSteel (Signed)
04/06/10
Chapter 1: Tears for the Fallen

I've said it elsewhere, but it bears repeating - this was just absolutely gorgeous, IMO. It somehow feels Yeatsian to me, for reasons I can't really verbalize - but he's one of my favorite poets, so that's a compliment. ;)

I'm still especially struck by this bit:

The leaf-song swells strong

Sipping jewels of light, gifts from Anar,

Weaving the Sun into its substance,

Wheeling with the spiral dance of life.

Because it's such a gorgeous description of photosynthesis and the 'spiral dance of life' is a phenomenal poetic way of describing DNA.

Yeah, I'm that geekly. But I really loved this.

 



Author's Response:

Thanks so much, Steel!  Yeatsian, Miltonian, hey, those are high praise indeed and more than this deserves.

I'm tickled that you honed in that little bit of science-as-poetry.  When trying to explain complex scientific concepts to laymen, I often try to use metaphors. When thinking about abstract concepts, many scientists tend to think metaphorically, e.g., Kekulé's day dream of the aromatic ring structure of benzene as the Ouroboros. So something approximating that is what I was aiming for here.

Geekliness is good!  Thanks again.


Feature Characterization in Fanfic: Using Canon as the DNA for Your Characters by Dreamflower

Rated G
[Reviews - 7]
Table of Contents

2012 Tree & Flower awards; 2nd essay

An essay on characterization: constructing your characters to fit into Middle-earth.

Categories: Essay--Canon, Essay--Writing
Characters: None
Genres: Essay (non-fiction)
Places: None
Times: None
Warnings: None
Series: None
Chapters: 1    |    Word count: 4337    |    Read Count: 3620
Completed: Yes    |    Updated: 09/15/10    |    Published: 09/15/10
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Reviewer: SurgicalSteel (Signed)
09/15/10
Chapter 1: Characterization in Fanfic: Using Canon as the DNA for Your Characters

Firstly, excellent essay!

Secondly, you've gone and made me blush. ;)



Author's Response:

Thank you!  And I'm glad you liked it!

And I hope you are blushing from pleasure and not embarrassment, because I did not say anything that wasn't true.


Feature Driftwood by pandemonium_213

Rated PG13
[Reviews - 5]
Table of Contents

When mortal fishermen rescue a half-drowned elf-man from the northern sea, Elrond's help is requested.   Elrond travels to the village of Mousehole, hard against Lindon's northern border, to find the recovering survivor who tells Elrond of his background and his mission, which promises to bring the innovations and wonders of Aman to Lindon. Elrond is intrigued as he attempts to discover just who this mysterious fellow is. 

Driftwood

Many thanks to Robinka for the nomination, to all who reviewed and to all who have read this, and to Russandol for the banner!

Categories: The Silmarillion
Characters: Half-Elven: Elrond, Other: Sauron/Annatar/the Dark Lord
Genres: Short story
Places: Eriador
Times: 2-Second Age: middle
Warnings: 2. mild violence, 6. adult themes
Series: None
Chapters: 1    |    Word count: 8830    |    Read Count: 662
Completed: Yes    |    Updated: 01/27/11    |    Published: 01/27/11
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Reviewer: SurgicalSteel (Signed)
02/04/11
Chapter 1: Driftwood

This was a fantastic read. The first part, from the raven's POV, was just wonderfully written - there's enough anthropomorphism there to allow us to empathize with the raven, but enough details of how a raven might regard an eye or a glittery stone that we know the narrator isn't human. The end of that bit was startling, but the beginning of the section from Elrond's POV makes it all too clear why Sauron's killed the raven: he has a story, and needs to make certain there aren't any contradictory witnesses.

I like that your Sauron has a story to explain his presence - and that it's not one that relies on him being a Maia, and one that's not easily verifiable. I like that he actually comes across to Elrond as being a nice enough guy, pleasant to talk with, and with knowledge that seems truly tempting. I also like that at the end, Sauron's given away by the tinest of details, and Elrond doesn't trust him simply because of the absence of calluses on his hands.

And I love the picture you paint of Gil-galad feeding his lizard.

Fantastic stuff!



Author's Response:

Thanks a million, Steel, for the lovely review and for indulging me. :^)  I've had this story in mind for quite a while, including a rough draft of a few paragraphs that had been lingering on iLugburz for quite a while, but it was the raven that made it take off.

I'm veering a little from Tolkien's version of Annatar knocking on the doors of Lindon in that Tolkien sort of implied that Annatar's manifestation anticipated the Istari.  But I like to think that he'd try to blend in as well as he could.  So he'd take an elvish form and come up with a hard-to-verify backstory.

Heh.  Gil-galad's iguana is likely the result of being infected by Darth Fingon and the Lizard Council plus the earlier "Darwen" story. :^)

Thanks again!


Feature A Journey through Arda by Larner

Rated PG13
[Reviews - 10]
Table of Contents

To house the ficlets written for the 2011 B2MEM challenges.  This will wind probably through all the ages of Arda as well as throughout its geography.  Shall we see where the prompts take us?

Beta by RiverOtter.

Categories: Challenge Stories, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, The Children of Hurin, History of Middle-earth, Unfinished Tales
Characters: As a Group: The Valar, As a Group: Dwarves, As a Group: Elves, As a Group: Ents, As a Group: Gondorians, As a Group: Hobbits, Dwarf: Gimli son of Glóin, Dwarf: Thorin Oakenshield, Elf: Celeborn, Elf: Celebrian, Elf: Elu Thingol, Elf: Finrod Felagund, Elf: Galadriel/Artanis, Elf: Glorfindel, Elf: Maglor, Gondorian: Denethor, Steward of Gondor, Half-Elven: Elrond, Hobbit: Baggins: Bilbo, Hobbit: Baggins: Frodo, Hobbit: Gamgee: Rose (Cotton), Hobbit: Gamgee: Samwise, Northern Dúnedain: Aragorn/Strider, Northern Dúnedain: Dírhael, Northern Dúnedain: Halbarad, Northern Dúnedain: Ivorwen, Númenórean: Isildur, Other: Radagast the Brown/Aiwendil
Genres: Angst, Character study, Drama, Family, Friendship, Gapfiller, General, Horror, Hurt/Comfort, Romance-het, Short story, Vignette
Places: Annúminas, Bree, Lothlórien, Rivendell/Imladris, Arnor, Beleriand, Caradhras, Erebor, Eriador, Gondor, Gondor: Minas Tirith/Minas Anor, Mirkwood/Eryn Lasgalen/Greenwood the Great, Mordor, Mordor: Barad-dûr, Mordor: the Black Gate/Morannon, Númenor, Rohan: Eastfold, The Misty Mountains, The Shire, Undying Lands: Valinor
Times: 0-Pre-First Age, 1-First Age, 2-Second Age, 3-Third Age, 4-Fourth Age
Warnings: 3. violence, 6. adult themes, 8. character death
Series: None
Chapters: 28    |    Word count: 20444    |    Read Count: 2106
Completed: No    |    Updated: 04/01/11    |    Published: 03/01/11
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Reviewer: SurgicalSteel (Signed)
03/18/11
Chapter 2: In Defiance

I really get a sense of anger and a sense of betrayal between these two.

I've got to say, though, that the switching back and forth between Quenya and Sindarin in Valinor at a time when no one in Valinor would have even heard of Sindarin sort of threw me.



Author's Response:

Sorry--I take it you are finding "gwador" and "muindor" Sindarin--I admit I'm not the best in fully appreciating the differences in vocabulary.  I did try to keep to the Quenyan forms as much as possible.  Was following Fiondil's lead, although he does have those who've returned either physically or by rebirth from Middle Earth using Sindarin a fair amount, and particularly with other returnees to Aman.  I'd appreciate corrections, as you know!

And I do think that there must have been some who felt this sense of betrayal when they realized that those left behind would have to make the longer journey over the ice now.  It must have been quite difficult for many once their fury at the refusal of the Teleri to lend them their ships had cooled and they realized what they'd become.


Reviewer: SurgicalSteel (Signed)
03/18/11
Chapter 14: The Wedding Breakfast

Given his newlywed status, I've got to say that I'm impressed that Sam's got enough blood going to his brain to get out of bed and make breakfast. ;)



Author's Response:

Well, what else do you expect from our beloved, so-responsible Samwise?  Heh!  Thanks so, SS!


Feature Better to Give Than to Receive by Dreamflower

Rated G
[Reviews - 3]
Table of Contents

A series of letters concerning gifts, between Dora Baggins and some of her nearest and dearest...(written for the B2MEM March 17 Challenge)

Categories: Challenge Stories, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
Characters: Hobbit: Baggins: Dora, Hobbit: Baggins: Dudo, Hobbit: Baggins: Frodo, Hobbit: Boffin: Daisy (Baggins), Hobbit: Boffin: Folco
Genres: Character study, Family, Friendship, Humor
Places: The Shire
Times: 3-Third Age: late
Warnings: None
Series: If It's Trewsday It Must Be Buckland...
Chapters: 1    |    Word count: 1040    |    Read Count: 2097
Completed: Yes    |    Updated: 03/18/11    |    Published: 03/18/11
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Reviewer: SurgicalSteel (Signed)
03/19/11
Chapter 1: Better to Give Than to Receive

That was a fun bit of epistolary!



Author's Response:

Thanks!  I'm glad you enjoyed it! It was fun to write.


Feature There was echo of song by Dreamflower

Rated G
[Reviews - 2]
Table of Contents

A mysterious tower and a strange dream...(Written for B2MEM March 23 challenge)

Categories: Challenge Stories, The Lord of the Rings, Other Fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien
Characters: None
Genres: Stream-of-conciousness, Vignette
Places: None
Times: 5-Post-Fourth Age
Warnings: None
Series: If It's Trewsday It Must Be Buckland...
Chapters: 1    |    Word count: 765    |    Read Count: 1452
Completed: Yes    |    Updated: 03/23/11    |    Published: 03/23/11
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Reviewer: SurgicalSteel (Signed)
03/23/11
Chapter 1: There was echo of song

Oh, I liked this - you've really captured a magical atmosphere in it!



Author's Response:

Thank you! 8-)


Feature What Goes Around by Dreamflower

Rated G
[Reviews - 2]
Table of Contents

Sometimes history repeats itself (written for B2MEM March 25 Challenge)

Categories: Challenge Stories, The Lord of the Rings
Characters: Hobbit: Brandybuck: Merry (Master), Hobbit: Took: Pippin (Thain)
Genres: Family, Fluff, Humor
Places: The Shire: Brandy Hall
Times: 4-Fourth Age
Warnings: None
Series: If It's Trewsday It Must Be Buckland...
Chapters: 1    |    Word count: 889    |    Read Count: 1811
Completed: Yes    |    Updated: 03/26/11    |    Published: 03/26/11
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Reviewer: SurgicalSteel (Signed)
03/26/11
Chapter 1: What Goes Around

This was lovely - and an appropriate punishment for the boy!



Author's Response:

I'm so glad you enjoyed it!  I am sure little Theodas will think twice about handling other people's property from now on!


Feature The Prisoner and the Hobbit by pandemonium_213, Dreamflower

Rated PG13
[Reviews - 25]
Table of Contents

2012 Tree & Flower Award: 2nd place, W.I.P.

A prisoner in the Halls of Mandos, although grateful to be alive, nonetheless finds his days to be monotonous, that is, until a most unusual person, and one whose life was affected greatly by the prisoner's masterwork, accepts an offer to begin a correspondence.        

Categories: The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, History of Middle-earth
Characters: Hobbit: Baggins: Bilbo, Other: Sauron/Annatar/the Dark Lord
Genres: Character study, Drama, Humor
Places: Undying Lands: Aman, Undying Lands: Tol Eressëa
Times: 4-Fourth Age
Warnings: 1. use of profane or obscene language, 6. adult themes
Series: None
Chapters: 9    |    Word count: 62174    |    Read Count: 4818
Completed: No    |    Updated: 09/20/12    |    Published: 08/28/11
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Reviewer: SurgicalSteel (Signed)
09/06/11
Chapter 1: Chapter 1: Incarceration

This is a fantastic start! I really like Sauron getting little hints of who his jailors might be by their aromas, I like the inclusion of Makar and Measse, and the iPad/tablet computer is a neat touch!

On to the next chapter!



Author's Response:

Oh, hey, glad to see you're reading this!  Tolkien's whole bit about the aromatic Maiar in PE17 just slayed me;  incorporating the whole scent thing is irresistible.  And Makar and Méassë!  Now they were Valar with brio!  Scary Valar at that. >:^D

"iPad/tablet computer is a neat touch!"

Excellent!  You recognized what it was without my explicitly naming it.  That's a fun challenge for me:  describing high tech in less techy terms.

Thanks a million! :^)


Reviewer: SurgicalSteel (Signed)
09/06/11
Chapter 2: Chapter 2: On Language

This is another great chapter - I like that the initial curiosity/conversation seems to start out with a mutual love for/interest in languages, and love the nods to obscure canon!



Author's Response:

Thanks muchly!  I figured the mutual interest in language might ease conversation between two characters who rightly be quite tense with one another.  And you know I love obscure canon in a most unseemly manner. ;^)


Reviewer: SurgicalSteel (Signed)
09/06/11
Chapter 3: Chapter 3: Of Rings

I'm really looking forward to seeing more of this - I'm looking forward to Sauron's answer to Bilbo regarding what life under the Two Trees was like, and hoping to see more of Bilbo's thoughts on the 'fairy wife.'

And I'm reminded that someday I should really write my version of how the theft of Nimloth's fruit came about.

A really enjoyable read!



Author's Response:

" I'm looking forward to Sauron's answer to Bilbo regarding what life under the Two Trees was like..."

I'm wondering if he's going to feel comfortable bringing up the whole Domes of Varda business.

"...and hoping to see more of Bilbo's thoughts on the 'fairy wife.'"

I love Dreamflower's Ancestress so I'm looking forward to this, too!

"And I'm reminded that someday I should really write my version of how the theft of Nimloth's fruit came about."

Yes.  Yes, you should. :^)

Thanks for having a read, and I'm glad to know you're enjoying this bit o' heresy. ;^)


Reviewer: SurgicalSteel (Signed)
10/02/11
Chapter 4: Chapter 4: The Years of the Trees/Riddles in the Dark

Oh, hooray, I was glad to see more of this today! I really liked the initial descriptions of Sauron being allowed outside for the first time in a long time - and also his observation that the green grass, blue sky, etc, may be just a bit too perfect. I also like that it's a letter from family that snaps him out of his depression.

I liked that he describes life during the Time of the Trees as both extraordinary and ordinary - that is, that the same little day to day things anyone would do in Middle-earth were also done under the Trees. And the prank on Curumo! :)

I liked Bilbo's caution in answering questions about Pippin and Sam - and I also liked that he seems to have found a sort of healing in telling someone the real story of how he found the Ring.

Wonderful, and I look forward to more!



Author's Response:

My apologies for the late reply, but my appreciation for your comments and reading this are no less heartfelt!   I loved Bilbo's account of the finding the Ring and his reaction when he had finished.  Dreamflower did a masterful job of that.  And there is more...when you get back.  :^)  Glad you enjoyed it and thanks!


Reviewer: SurgicalSteel (Signed)
11/20/11
Chapter 5: Chapter 5: Of Marbles and Golf

Heeee! I thought I saw a nod to my fic in there! :D

I liked reading Sauron's reminiscences on Ost-in-Edhil. Although some of the details were disturbing, we get a really good insight into his state of mind in the Pande-verse at the point when he's captured Celembrimbor. I also enjoyed the banter between Olorin and Sauron.

The descriptions of golf and marbles from Bilbo were fun. His reaction to Sauron's feelings about the Ring (sorry to disturb you, but you did ask) rings very true for me.

I'm looking forward to the continuation of this!



Author's Response:

Thanks muchly!  Yes, indeed, there was a nod. :^D   Bilbo has another letter in hand so there will be continuation soon.


Reviewer: SurgicalSteel (Signed)
11/27/11
Chapter 6: Chapter 6: Distant Kindred

Another fantastically rich chapter!

Although all we've seen of Mairëa so far is this letter, I'm intrigued enough to want to see more. This line:

 You and I both know how that is, and for all of us who join with the Eruhíni, the endings are invariably bittersweet.  Yet we cannot help ourselves, can we?

Particularly intrigued me in her letter, because it suggests that she knows about this from experience.

And Sauron's 'I Do Not Approve Of Glorfindel' had me giggling.

The explanation of the Balrogs' origin was very cool and creative!

I also liked the nod to Sámaril, and Sauron's recognition that this is another person to whom he needs to make amends.

I liked Bilbo's astonished delight that there are books about golf, and his reminiscences about Sam.

I appreciate the shout-out and look forward to more!



Author's Response:

Thanks so much, Steel!  Glad to know that you're continuing to enjoy this joint effort.  Mairëa will certainly be showing up in other works, and her comment that intrigued you will be answered.  My Maiar are more akin to the minor gods and goddesses of the Greek pantheon, who, shall we say, "interacted" more intimately with humans.

I loved Bilbo's response to discovering that there are BOOKS about GOLF!  :^D


Abundance by pandemonium_213

Rated PG13
[Reviews - 1]
Table of Contents

During the waning of the Third Age, an elven-smith returns to northern Eriador after a long absence. There she receives a cold reception initially, which unfolds into an abundantly warm welcome.

Written for the November 2011 LOTR Community Challenge.  Theme: Feast.  Element:  Sieve.

Companion pieces to this story are Red Herring, Inner Light, The Glitter of Swords, and The Token.

 

 

Categories: Challenge Stories, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion
Characters: Half-Elven: Arwen Undómiel, Half-Elven: Elrond, Original Female Character, Original Male Character, Other: Gandalf/Mithrandir/Ólorin
Genres: General, Recipe fic
Places: Rivendell/Imladris
Times: 3-Third Age: the War of the Ring
Warnings: 1. use of profane or obscene language, 5. mild sexual content
Series: 45. 2011 November Challenge: "Feast"
Chapters: 1    |    Word count: 6544    |    Read Count: 1065
Completed: Yes    |    Updated: 11/19/11    |    Published: 11/19/11
[Report This]


Reviewer: SurgicalSteel (Signed)
11/20/11
Chapter 1: Abundance

I really enjoyed this story. The opening paragraphs make it clear that Melamire is a returning exile, and there are subtle hints which point to just how far away she's been and just how long she's been away: the fact that she doesn't even recognize the guards, the linguistic drift which has rendered their language not quite completely comprehensible, the duration of time it took her to make the journey, and the remembrances of an Indian-type culture in her previous 'home.'

The remembered reunion with Laurefin was fantastic. He's clearly recognized that waiting for that perfect moment may end up leading to long - or permanent - separation. I also liked that just as they're about to sing their marriage vows, she's already trying to pick a fight about religion. It sets the tone for their relationship to come: passionate, but not always in 100% agreement about everything and sometimes argumentative.  And the hints of smutty goodness were lovely.

The renunions with people she knew from before in the kitchen mix with the recognition that some of her friends are gone either because they've sailed or been killed, that's a bittersweet little bit.

I also like the way the introductions are handled - that Elrond remembers her and welcomes her immediately, that Arwen's more hesitant and more of a girly girl by comparison to Melamire, and that she immediately recognizes Gandalf's nature (and her panic when she realizes that he recognizes hers).

A great read!



Author's Response:

Thanks so much, Steel!  This story was likely too long and too "out there" for the LOTR community group challenge, but the prompt was a good one that allowed me to write what will become a chapter in the next endeavor, which all seem to go forward in parallel.

Writing from an elvish viewpoint is a challenge when trying to capture the passage of time, so I strived to capture that here.  Looks like I might have done that! :^D


Red Herring by pandemonium_213

Rated R
[Reviews - 4]
Table of Contents

A quest to send a hobbit into Mordor bearing the One Ring seems doomed before it starts, yet even before the Council of Elrond, Gandalf feels that Frodo Baggins is three-quarters decided to take on this monumental task.  But how to guide Frodo into reaching the final decision himself?   For this, Gandalf enlists Glorfindel's assistance, which requires an otherwise intelligent man to "dumb himself down" a little, much to his critical spouse's surprise.

Categories: The Lord of the Rings
Characters: Elf: Glorfindel, Half-Elven: Elrond, Original Female Character, Other: Gandalf/Mithrandir/Ólorin
Genres: Gapfiller, General
Places: Rivendell/Imladris
Times: 3-Third Age: the War of the Ring
Warnings: 7. sexual content
Series: None
Chapters: 1    |    Word count: 1528    |    Read Count: 439
Completed: Yes    |    Updated: 11/19/11    |    Published: 11/19/11
[Report This]


Reviewer: SurgicalSteel (Signed)
11/20/11
Chapter 1: Red Herring

I loved both halves of this. I like that your Elrond and Gandalf aren't the pure-minded saints portrayed in some stories, but manipulative old men with a very definite goal in mind. Melamire's contemplation of precisely how she might attempt destroying the Ring is really great, as is her conclusion that even if she tried, it'd take too long, there's no guarantee of success, and she really doesn't want the thing anywhere close to her.

The second half - making use of the intimate conversation between Laurefin and Melamire - both retells that part of 'Council of Elrond' in a different light, and gives us a great view into their relationship.

Great stuff!



Author's Response:

Thanks so much for having a read and the compliments, Steel!  Much appreciated.

Gandalf is one of my favorite characters in LOTR, but there's no doubt he is manipulative.  Witness how he finagled to get Bilbo involved with that rabble of Dwarves and their quest! Elrond surely had a very good idea of what needed to be done, but like many a kindly but cunning CEO, he needed to "guide" the decision.  So the apparent contradiction in Tolkien's text made Glorfindel the ideal fall guy for this.   Glad to hear that L and M worked well for you, too!


The Glitter of Swords by pandemonium_213

Rated PG13
[Reviews - 12]
Table of Contents

Who shall forge the Sword of Elendil anew?   Aragorn meets the elven-smith who is to accomplish this task and who asks him to take an active role in the forging.  His experience in the forge with the smith is profound when he is drawn into the mysteries of the deep arts and hears the language of Power spoken:  Valarin.   His questions as to how the elven-smith knows this language are rebuffed, until later, apologies are made, and Aragorn discovers why the smith was so guarded in revealing the source of her knowledge.

 

Categories: The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion
Characters: Elf: Glorfindel, Northern Dúnedain: Aragorn/Strider, Original Female Character
Genres: Gapfiller, General
Places: Rivendell/Imladris
Times: 3-Third Age: the War of the Ring
Warnings: 4. sexual content implied, 5. mild sexual content
Series: None
Chapters: 6    |    Word count: 13219    |    Read Count: 2499
Completed: Yes    |    Updated: 11/19/11    |    Published: 11/19/11
[Report This]


Reviewer: SurgicalSteel (Signed)
11/20/11
Chapter 1: Chapter 1: Prologue

I am just 100% in love with the mere idea of an 'Istyar Mairon Took' in New Ost-in-Edhil.

Oh, and also rather in love with the notion of 'Guildmaster Miriel Canafinion.' :D


Reviewer: SurgicalSteel (Signed)
11/20/11
Chapter 2: Chapter 2: Tea at Midnight

This is a really great way of introducing an OFC into a story with canon characters, in my opinion. You introduce her to us by way of Aragorn's POV, and give us details about her appearance and personality in the way that he would notice them. I remember reading this for the first time in an older, unrevised form and being really intrigued by her and wanting to know much more about her story.


Reviewer: SurgicalSteel (Signed)
11/20/11
Chapter 3: Chapter 3: The Sword That Was Broken

This is a great continuation. I like Arwen's reaction to Melamire - 'nice enough, but bitchy sometimes' seems to sum up her feelings about the Istyanis. It adds to the realism of your character that the canon characters don't all immediately adore her.

And the 'red eye' at the end is a nice little bit of foreboding.


Reviewer: SurgicalSteel (Signed)
11/20/11
Chapter 4: Chapter 4: Weaving the Spell

I think my favorite part of this chapter are the visions that Aragorn experiences while the sword is being re-forged. The chapter as a whole is fantastic, with the descriptions of the forge and of the smith as a 'goddess of fire' who is later 'quenched.' Lovely atmosphere and lovely little hints of the puzzle that Aragorn's still trying to work out.



Author's Response:

Thanks muchly!  Gandalf's Apprentice's poem in the introduction to The Sword of Elendil inspired the visions.  This chapter was a very enjoyable one to write, i.e., the combination of magic with a tiny bit of metallurgy.


Reviewer: SurgicalSteel (Signed)
11/20/11
Chapter 5: Chapter 5: Light Born of Dark

I really liked the ethical debate in this chapter - the way in which it's pointed out that just as opium can be used to poison someone, it can also be used as a medication, and that the same arts used to forge the Ring might be used for less malignant purposes.



Author's Response:

Thanks!  Yes, indeedy, those are snippets of my larger themes in the Pandë!verse:  the dual nature of technology.  But you know that and how!


Reviewer: SurgicalSteel (Signed)
11/20/11
Chapter 6: Chapter 6: Andúril

*applauds* A fantastic conclusion to a great story!



Author's Response:

Oh, thanks so much, Steel, for reading this (again) and for the many kind compliments!  A while back, someone asked if Sámaril would be the smith who reforged Andúril.  That's an appealing notion, and might have been more "canon-friendly" (whatever that implies), but didn't quite fit with my plans for Sámaril (although it would have been just about as ironic if he had reforged the sword) so Mélamírë it was!


The Token by pandemonium_213

Rated G
[Reviews - 1]
Table of Contents

When the Fellowship departs Rivendell, Merry witnesses his new friend, the Istyanis, give something to Frodo in the Hall of Fire.  Later, when he inquires of Frodo what the elven-smith gave to him, Frodo shows him a small token that survived the destruction of a great city, a token of endurance.

Categories: The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion
Characters: Hobbit: Baggins: Frodo, Hobbit: Brandybuck: Merry (Master), Original Female Character
Genres: Gapfiller, General
Places: Rivendell/Imladris
Times: 3-Third Age: the War of the Ring
Warnings: None
Series: None
Chapters: 1    |    Word count: 486    |    Read Count: 1366
Completed: Yes    |    Updated: 11/19/11    |    Published: 11/19/11
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Reviewer: SurgicalSteel (Signed)
11/20/11
Chapter 1: The Token

I liked this quite a lot. I frankly wish I were half as good as you are at the descriptive writing - the contrast in the opening paragrah between the nasty cold weather and the warmth of Merry's sword (and the remembered warmth of apple pie) is brilliant, and really sets the tone.

 

I also really liked the notion of Frodo being given a good luck token, and that the piece in question is a coin from a place that Sauron destroyed. It suggests that a place - or a person - is never really completely destroyed, but that something always endures.



Author's Response:

Oooh, thanks so much for reading and for the compliments!   On descriptive writing, I just bumble my way through.  Marta's prompt was a good one, and a coin from Ost-in-Edhil was the first thing I thought of...not that I am biased or anything. ;^)  It was fun to take my first official foray into writing hobbits, too!