Reviews for Keystone
Chathol-linn chapter 1 . 1/26/2003
Wild Iris, I found this story delightful. Here's why. (1)The story craft. You are telling a story that clearly makes for some ending or resolution. (2) The pace of the story does not drag, not even during the conversations. You move the story along using narration. A lot of writers seem to be afraid of it and we get pages and pages of conversation like a soap opera. Not you! Your use of narration results in a well-paced plot. (3) The actual language is pretty and sounds Elvish/Tolkienish. (4)The names. You spent time with the Sindarin Dictionay Project, I bet, and the canon, plus your own imagination. I'll stop the praises for a moment to say, your Thranduil was so sweet he lacked imperfections. I mark this up to his being on his best behavior for Yule, and the story was too short to develop his faults. You used the word "somewhat" - pet peeve of mine - "somewhat fresher air." And I'd love to know how Yule fits in with the Elves' emotional life. Here it's just accepted as a Mortal or Hobbit would do. Now returning to other factors I liked - (5) the details of the structures, both indoors and out, were the touches that added an extra depth of credibility. The explanations of the importance of star history, of the Sindar's linnege - obviously you researched Tolkien in depth and transformed it into your own vision. (6) The strong roles for female characters! And the dwarf Fain was a skillful tour de force. Loved the story. Very impressive piece of writing. Chathol-linn
Ainaechoiriel chapter 1 . 1/3/2003
Oh, I liked this! Very nice to see a Yule story where Legolas is grown up. I like the child stories, too, but it's nice to see a difference now and then. I like this queen and king as well. You feel their wisdom and their concern for their people. You feel the threat of the Necromancer as well, which hangs over this. But the Yule festival brings peace and light within the darkness. Very nice.
PuterPatty chapter 1 . 1/3/2003
Wonderful tale in every way. Your Thranduil every bit of the wise and loving king that he is. And an extra special treat that his queen is still with him. Throwing the dwarves in there as well was a great move.

I absolutely loved the description and explanations of the stars. Beautiful job.
erunyauve chapter 1 . 12/30/2002
I liked Thranduil's attempt to explain the elves' love of stars to the dwarves. Your take on the relationship between Thranduil and dwarves is unique - it doesn't ignore the history, but doesn't present them as current adversaries, either.

The squirrels on Galion's gloves were a nice touch. What did Neldhiril make for her sons, I wonder?
TreeHugger chapter 1 . 12/24/2002
Ah! Another Yuletide jewel to add to the collection! Sounded a bit like our beloved King there for a moment! :) Ah! The beginning of Thranduil's palace! How wonderful.

I was wondering if you would mention that while Dwarves helped to build the wondrous Menegroth, that it was also Dwarves that brought about its downfall. Yes, Elves and Dwarves have some issues to overcome. :) I am glad that Thranduil is relying on their stonecraft though. They are the best when it comes to making stone it were.

Neldhiril seems like a wonderful queen, very generous and kind. All that a queen should be.

Gracious! What beautiful rooms have been wrought for the children! They sound absolutely glorious and wondrous.

LOL to Thranduil thinking that the Dwarves all look about the same. ;) Well, it is the beards I think.

I like that Neldhiril calls it the sky building. Again, what a fair room they have created, the queen and the Dwarves.

Your descriptions are lucious! The ice palace is a marvel. I love Galion's squirrel gloves! That made me laugh! I guess Neldhiril has indeed been busy with the gloves!

"It was a wise, but sad rule of his own making that no two siblings should serve on the same patrol..." Very sad, but necessary indeed.

What is Yuletide if there is no matchmaking involved somewhere?

And oh! The sky building's ceiling is too amazing for words!

Thank you so much! This was a great, touching story! You have made my Christmas Eve!

Elenath sila am le!
Soledad chapter 1 . 12/24/2002
A wonderful story! I can't remember ever having read anything about the time when Thranduil and his people moverd to the North of Eryn Galen, but I think it matches perfectly Christmas time: fugitives finally making their home.

The Dwarves are great fun - I'm glad to see Thranduil being friendly with them. This clearly shows that he had no problems with those Dwarves who were in his realm by invitation. :)

Thanks for sharing, you peole really spoil and honour me.
Jay of Lasgalen chapter 1 . 12/24/2002
Gemma, that was lovely. There are some excellent 'Christmas' stories up now. You're quite right that the elves gradually moved their realm northward to escape the shadow, butI tend to forget that. Very well written Thranduil (of course!) and I also like his queen, Neldhiril.

Images I particularly like: the children's chamber, with space to play and put up drawings, the stars in the ceiling, and the wonderful colonnade of trees where they held the feast. Great stuff.

JastaElf chapter 1 . 12/23/2002
Oh now, that was just lovely! I like your Thranduil, and it is nice to see Silinde looking and acting a bit more relaxed. (grin)

I just *love* the imagery you give here, of the children's quarters with their lovely starry ceiling! What a great use for some of those gems of which Thranduil is so fond. I hope the King-bashers take note how he is SHARING them with the little ones... (grin) What a nice Elf-Lord!

And what a nice story. Thank you!