Reviews for Starlight
colagreenleaf chapter 1 . 4/8/2004
Its Cola again! I apologise, this is a terrible waste of a review, but its the only way to contact you!
I wanted to nominate 'The Path to Tread' in the Mithril Awards 'Best vignette or short story' category, but to submit a nomination they require your email address, I assume to contact you and see if you're ok with being nominated.
If you this is ok, would you email me () an email address that I can submit along with the Path to Tread?
Thanks, Cola!
Crecy chapter 17 . 11/22/2003
Heh! I love the ending! The story was so kewl! I'm glad to have read it! _
So-Lovely-Dovey chapter 17 . 11/17/2003
Aww, I guess all great things must come to an end at sometime, huh? Anyways, good luck on your future writings!

So-Lovely-Dovey chapter 15 . 11/16/2003
Hehehehehe! Another wonderful chappy, preciouss! We lovess it oncce again!

So-Lovely-Dovey chapter 14 . 11/9/2003
I lovess it preciouss! More ssoon?

Crecy chapter 14 . 11/8/2003
Kute! ANd sweet! Plez update soon! Shoulda checked earlier bout this story... but yeah... I'm here now! Luv it! Plez update soon! _
French Pony chapter 11 . 10/27/2003
Aww. How sweet. This chapter continues your tradition of writing in a pleasantly literate style, although there are a few spelling errors and anachronisms that break the flow. To wit:

1) "the palace was always kept at a comfortable temperature"

How? Does Rivendell have central heating? It's not entirely improbable - after all, the Romans had it - but it would be an unusual technology for Middle Earth, and thus deserving of mention. If Rivendell is heated by wood fires, then its temperature will be extremely uneven, very warm by the fire and fairly cold away from it.

2) "how the water looked like pixie dust in her hair."

I don't think that's a simile that Legolas would use. Pixie dust, of the kind you mention here, is pretty much a Victorian invention.

3) "Busted," Elrohir said

That is a modern-Americanism, and jarringly out of place in Middle Earth.

4) "went by rather uneventful"

I think you mean "uneventfully."

5) "Will you deny them of that freedom?"

Should be "Will you deny them that freedom?"

6) "The wood had been painting a blue-green"

Should be "The wood had been painted a blue-green.

7) "inlayed with silver"

Should be "inlaid with silver."

8) "as he watched his granddaughter talk to the royal family."

Elrond and his family are not royal. Elrond isn't a king. You could just take out the "royal" and the sentence would work fine.

These are all pretty minor errors, and shouldn't take too long to fix.

As for the chapter as a whole . . . well, it was certainly sweet, perhaps overly cutesy in parts. I think the bit with the sparrow on her hand is verging dangerously close to Princess Disney and Mister Bluebird territory. It's a little too sentimental and is edging towards the ridiculous.

And, please, do forgive me, but I have completely forgotten where Legolas and whatsherface are supposed to be going. Clearly, it's not particularly urgent, as they decide to postpone the trip for five months or so, but maybe you could just remind me. The parting scene was pretty nice, especially the tender-awkward moments with Glorfindel. Like I've said, you have some real graceful moments in this story, and I think this was one of them.

Are you going to continue calling her Êlcàlë for the rest of the story? It really is a humdinger of a name - three different kinds of diacritical mark in one word is just a bit much.

As for questions of detail . . . detail is great. I love detail, too. But there is an art to using it, just as with anything else in writing. The trick is to know twice as much detail as you put into a story. Long descriptions are great when they serve a purpose, such as providing atmosphere in a reflective scene, or when little items are to take on great importance, but detail for the sake of detail gets clunky fast. A good rule to remember is to use description as a spice, not a vegetable. For instance, you didn't describe the sword, and that was just dandy. We don't need to know just what the sword looked like, because the important part of that scene is the interaction between Êlcàlë and Glorfindel. Use description sparingly, and not to the exclusion of character.

Keep up your writing!
French Pony chapter 10 . 10/26/2003
I can tell that you're working very hard at this story. There are some absolutely delightful moments, such as the playful intensity of the bout between Legolas and Haldir and the clash of swords causing the air to ring. I'm guessing you've heard that ring before; when it happens to one of us at épée practice, we always shrug and say, "Well, that's why they call them *bell* guards!"

I think you're overdoing the prose slightly, especially the beginning scene with Galadriel; the prose there is fairly purple. This whole bit:

"The two beings, one clad in a simmering white dress, blond hair spilling over her shoulders, almost to her waist, the other in pale green, a soft braid of black hair falling down her back, so different, yet so very similar. The two were quite a sight to behold for anyone looking out the windows of the palace as they walked into the forest."

could be cut without sacrificing anything. It's overly descriptive and serves no real purpose in the story.

There isn't really any call to describe any of your characters as a "being." Woman, girl, maiden, all those are perfectly useful nouns. "Being" sounds pompous. There isn't even any need to describe Êlcálë, or whatever her new name is, as a "part elf." You've already made her ancestry clear, and it looks clunky if you keep harping on it. Even Tolkien didn't use that description very often.

I have to say, I am suspicious about that ring. Generally, magic tchotchkes don't fit too well into Tolkien's world - when they appear at all, they either have a very specific, intrinsic function like Sting, or they are evil, like the One Ring. The side of good tends not to use fancy bijoux.

And I understand what you're saying about treating Tolkien like the Arthurian legends, but do bear in mind that there is a big difference between them. Tolkien is one very specific author, and he set down guidelines that are directly traceable. The Arthurian legends don't have that single authorial voice, although most of them that we know come from two sources, Thomas Malory and Chrêtien de Troyes. The source material there is a lot looser than with Tolkien, although most writers in the Arthurian tradition do tend to stick closely to the defined parameters of that world, both historical fact and religious symbolism. It is generally a good idea, if you're writing within a set world, to respect the boundaries of fact and symbolism until you're quite sure which ones to press.
Crecy chapter 10 . 10/26/2003
Back again. I wonder what she's gonna choose... Go back for two dayd, don't go backa at all, go back then stay (Which I'm sure she won't with Legolas being in this releam). I dun like thinking... I'd rather read... PLEASE DUPATE SOON! _
French Pony chapter 9 . 10/21/2003
Okay, the language is still readable, and the writing style remains generally pretty good. I see also that you've tried to give a little character background, especially for Atheral, and I do commend you for that.

Here are some details that strike me as a little out of place. Glorfindel (thank you for correcting the spelling of his name) is eons older than Haldir, being the Lord of the House of the Flower. They're two different nationalities of Elf, and it's highly unlikely that they ever would have met in Haldir's childhood. Still, the cameraderie is nice to see, as it gives a little life to what up till now have been somewhat cardboard characters.

Next, given that it is after the War of the Ring, any mention of what Gimli is up to? He and Legolas were the very best of friends by the end, so some mention of him would help ground this story a little more in reality.

Nice job on the observation that Elves tend not to be cruel towards captives, by the way.

The ceremonial Elvish tongue is Quenya, not Quenyan, and it's highly unlikely that Galadriel would be speaking it. It hasn't been spoken in Middle Earth for millennia - it's a ceremonial tongue that very highly educated Elves learn to read so that they can read old documents, but that's pretty much it. It'd be as if someone suddenly started speaking Latin. The Elvish tongue that everyone in your story would know and use is Sindarin, of one dialect or another.

Elves tend not to re-name people, especially people of other races. There's just no need for Joey to have an "Elvish name." It's certainly not a ritual thing. They'd just let her keep the name she was born with. They might add a descriptive such as Undomiel, but that would be an addition or a nickname, not a replacement for her birth name. I believe that one Elvish world for Starlight is Gil-Galad, and that name is already taken by the late, great High King of the Noldor, Ereinion Gil-Galad, leader of the Last Alliance. Probably better all around just to stick with "Joey."

I'm not sure yet how I feel about Joey's reaction to Atheral's trial. Knee-jerk reaction is that it's an act of equal parts stupidity and naivete and that it will return to bite her on the butt, but then Tolkien made a great deal about the qualities of mercy and pity in regards to Gollum, so that makes it a draw. I'll have to get back to that one.

I can definitely see that you're putting some effort into this story, more effort than usually goes into stories of this variety, hence this second review.

Good luck on your writing!
Hellga chapter 9 . 10/21/2003
Oh, no need for me to throw objects :) In pharmacy school you learn some much more interesting ways to cause pain ;) (as a side effect of learning to cure pain :))

I am a firm believer that one has to read LotR at least 3 times and Silm at least once to write Tolkien fanfic, but I am willing to concede on this point. *looks at her collection of chem texts, some with material well forgotten, but that doesn't prevent Hellga from writing intelligent-sounding scientific papers)*

As far as Barrowdowns generator, I haven't seen it give a proper name once, and I and my friends had at least a hundred attempts. We laughed hard on some of them, like unforgettable Beard-maiden or Rat-daughter :)

Since you have a rationale for changing timeline, and make a redeemable Evil!Elf (though some kinds of Evil!Elf do not exist, such as raping Elves, because a)Elves die when someone tries to rape them, b)if they don't it automatically creates a "marriage bond" between them, as per HoME), Hellga will swallow that too. Without chewing.

There are some Tolkien resources on teh net which you can check when books are not accessible.

arda is a reasonably good Tolkien encyclopedia

.com is great language resource, though it takes time and effort to use it properly. If you need a good Elvish name or a phrase, e-mail me, I will be willing to help.

"Êlcàlë" has too many special symbols, which makes it look weird (they are phonetic, and shouldn't be used merely to spice up the way word looks on paper, and sound ê doesn't exist in Quenya, which root "cale" is from), though I think it is another of the Name Generator Crimes. Besides, it is a Quenya name, which is anachronistic. And incorrect. Quenya version would be "Elencalë". You should use Sindarin version, which is, teehee, Gil-Galad. "Êl" is archaic, and used only rarely, and only in poems long before the Third Age rolls around. If you insist on "Starlight", Gilthilien "star-glister" is the best alternative that sounds nice and doesn't look like a butchered version of Gil-Galad.
Katy chapter 8 . 10/12/2003
Hello there! You are doing an excellent job writing this story! I would only change one thing. The rating. I think it should be changed to at least PG because of the relationship between Joey and Legolas. Otherwise, very well done! Keep writing! You have great talent, and it will take you places in life, thats for sure.

Keep up the good work!

Hellga chapter 8 . 10/12/2003
Not bad, as far as the style, grammar, etc. go. However, we are here today to discuss the content, right? Right. *get out the long list of notes*

Chapter 1. I don't comment on it, since someone's real life is none of my business.

Chapter 2. What, pray, is "edan"? Did you, perhaps, mean "adaneth" (a "human female" in Sindarin)? Human male, accordingly, is "adan".

I should commend you for knowing that there is more than one Elven language. However, why do you keep saying "Elvish"? There is no such thing as "Elvish" language, no more than there is a "Slavic" language, or "Germanic" language, or "Romance" language. There are Nandorin (the language of the Elves of Mirkwood and Lorien), Sindarin (the language spoken in Imladris), Quenya (the mothertongue of Galadriel, who was a princess of Noldor).

Also, most Elves have dark hair. The only Elven people that is universally golden-blond is Vanyar, but there are none in Middle-earth. There are some Elves with Vanyarin blood (Galadriel, whose grandma was a Vanye, and presumably Glorfindel). Some royal Sindar had blond or golden hair (Celeborn, Thranduil). There are some exceptions possible (the unnamed golden-haired Lorien Elf) but they would be very, very few. Most would have Vanyarin blood (quite a few Noldor must have stayed with Galadriel).

Chapter 3. Merely two years after the War of the Ring, no one could have walked freely around dark corners of Mirkwood. Even with Sauron gone, the Spiders haven't gone anywhere, my eight-legged friends. Why is Haldir caught? It was a tactic of the Elves to shoot from the trees and escape, luring the Orcs deeper into Lorien where large groups of fighters were, not to jump at them with the swords. Healing!Sue powers of Joey I will leave alone, though you should have elaborated more on explaining them in the next chapter, since it is plausible from what we know about Elven medicine. And take the flashy light out. It is vulgar, serves no purpose, and looks like a cheap computer game.

Chapter 4. Be very careful with your timeline. Remember that the Ringbearers left the Gray Havens on Sep. 29 3021, two and a half years afte the War of the Ring ended on March 25 3019. And the Third Age ended with the Passing of the Ringbearers, not with the end of the War of the Ring. So Legolas would not say "Fourth Age".

Who is Glorfindol? We all know Glorfindel of Gondolin, reborn and returned to ME as Glorfindel of Imladris.

Chapter 5. Atheral is not a name in any Elven langauge. Elven names have meanings. And Evil!Elf is a very unnatural creature.

Chapter 6. Sort out your perception of distances. Don't forget that you need to cross the Misty Mountains (not easy with the horses). And just to remind, it took three weeks for the Fellowship to go from Rivendell to Lorien, on foot, counting Caradhras and Moria misadventures. So the question arises where did Legolas and Joey go that they walked for three weeks?

Chapter 7. Auvia is not an Elven name (see Ch. 5 comment).
Crecy chapter 8 . 10/12/2003
Kewl story so far. I like it. Plez continue soon. updating is good! _~
French Pony chapter 8 . 10/12/2003
This piece of writing has some strength to it. Mechanically, the writing quality is above decent, and every so often, you come up with quite a nice turn of phrase. Your understanding of the rules of grammar and composition is pretty good, all of which make this story a relatively easy read mechanically.

There are a few aspects that need work, though. The first one is the character of Joey. In Chapter 1, you give a brief, snapshot bio of her, almost as if you were rattling off baseball player statistics. Height, hair color, eye color, age, check. You then proceed to some brief description of personality traits (she's an "old soul," for instance), but you never really elaborate or expand upon these in subsequent chapters. Consequently, Joey comes off as something of a template, with no real personality or depth of character. I think that if you were to write in more detail about some of the choices (both wise and foolish) that she makes in her life and the reasons behind those choices, it would make her character far more realistic and rounded and a better complement to the prose you write.

The other aspect in which I think this story could be improved is motivation. Not motivation of character, but motivation of events. At present, I get the impression that things are happening fairly randomly, without much in the way of prompting or cause. Legolas and Joey just happen to be traveling through Mirkwood without a specific reason, the orcs and Haldir appear just to provide a somewhat artificial "danger" scene, Atheral appears out of nowhere with only one rather un-Elven thing on his mind, Glorfindel turns up at the cave in the nick of time more as a deus ex machina than anything else, the party inexplicably moves to Rivendell . . . it reads a little like the Grand Tour of Elf Habitats in Middle Earth. Eight chapters in, I'm still not sure what the story is about, where it's heading, or what exactly is motivating events.

I think that, should you feel inclined to do any revision to this piece, some more attention paid to the complexities of Joey's character and a unifying thread tying the strands of the plot together would vastly improve this work. I think that you have a strong foundation of basic writing skills, and although this is not the world's most original storyline, you have the ability to do it better than most who attempt it.

Good luck on your writing!
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