Reviews for Child Of Buckland
illyria-pffyffin chapter 1 . 8/28/2003
Dear Niphredil-of-Doriath,

I have just read your story, Child of Buckland. I can only say that it is beautiful, especially the very emotional part near the end, at the grave of Primula and Drogo, and when Merry tucked Frodo in bed, and that bit in the middle where Frodo wrote of the incident in Cirith Ungol, they gave me the shiver. I know this review is hardly something you can use, being so impulsive and completely non-technical. But I just want you to know how much I enjoyed Child of Buckland. It's a masterpiece. Thanks for writing it.
Pheriandil chapter 1 . 6/24/2003
I really adore your story. It's very touching and most of all for the fact that the horror is never really expressed in words. So it stays subliminal all the time and that makes it even more present. You've done a wonderful job in portraying Frodo and Merry so sensitively. Really, I cried when I finished the story. However, I added this masterpiece to my favourites as one of the best I've ever found here. Thank you very much.
Mariole chapter 1 . 4/25/2003
I first saw this story at Henneth Annun and was very moved by it. It's a lovely, quiet piece. The way you describe the two characters, and the friendship between them, really touched my heart. Thank you for sharing this.
Flame Tigress chapter 1 . 2/22/2003
I can hardly express adequately the beauty of that piece, the pain and love, the torment and healing it conveyed. With every observation you made, I was more astonished and touched by how accurately you portrayed what Frodo's feelings must have been. That writing his memoir must have been agony for him is obvious, but the way you vividly described the torture of the memories, the desperation to get past them, and the catharsis that writing them brings carries the perceptiveness of a truly great writer. Every connection you made - for instance, the comparison between Frodo's perfectionistic stalling while writing until something inspires him to write very prolifically and his hesitation to go on to Mordor alone until determination and threat spurred him to leave hastily - was dead-on. The historical/literary allusions - Agincourt, Prince Hal, Oedipus, the "What a piece of work is man!" tribute - were possibly a bit incongruous, seeing as neither Shakespeare nor the Greeks inhabited Middle-earth, but they seemed to work, as none of the hobbits made the comparisons or acknowledged the sources, and such connections always resonate deeply with literate readers.

I was pleased with the way you didn't cheapen other characters' experiences and suffering by focusing on Frodo's. I was similarly pleased that the Frodo you wrote very realistically felt guilty that he thought he didn't pay enough attention to the pain felt by other participants in his tale, because naturally, the pain that was most real and *present* for him was his own. You've characterized Merry in a way that I have seldom seen outside Tolkien's original: kind, caring, perceptive of Frodo's feelings, intuitive, intelligent, decidedly distinct from Pippin, not just half of a Weasleyesque comedy duo (excuse the Harry Potter reference). Though I'm not so sure if I agree with Merry's assessment that what Frodo really needed was a woman.

But, as I have said before, Frodo's feelings as well were powerfully, perceptively depicted, from the suffocated need to get out of the tunnel of Cirith Ungol and the equally desperate need to "break through this suffocating blackness" by writing about it, to the grief for the mother who was torn from him when they were both far too young. Your use of insinuation and metaphor - far, far too painful in themselves to be called "euphemism" - to tell what Frodo might have gone through in the Tower, "stripped and devoured, torn physically, dismembered mentally, limb from limb," was not only tasteful, but much more artful than any graphic description could have been. Your focus on Frodo's emotional experience deepens the horror that lurid details of his physical experience would have debased, so thank you for that.

Thank you also for incorporating memories of pre-Quest life that would not have left either Merry or Frodo, nearer and stronger as Quest memories certainly would have been. A little bit of lightness and humor never goes amiss either, no matter how heavy the angst is.

In short: poetic, profound, painful, wise, and beautiful.

~Flame Tigress~

P.S. I don't usually write this much in reviews, but this fic moved me to rambling.
Ariel3 chapter 1 . 12/2/2002
Oh, Niphy! This story is just too good for the likes of ! Breathtaking, stirring and quality beyond belief! I so love this story - I love the grave scene, I love the scene with Merry! I love the riding through the Shire in a dreamlike state! This is one of the stories I read over and over again... it is THAT good.