Reviews for Terrible Gifts
Gyreflight chapter 1 . 2/14/2013
It ought to be a surprise that this has so few reviews, but speaking as someone who has several times (and on several occasions) failed to find the right words to even start, I think that what it is actually reflecting is the ability to leave the reader silent and speechless, heart and mind both humming with private, deeply felt impressions and reactions that cannot easily be shared.

To say that this is beautifully written is certainly true, but it doesn’t really touch on the way that the words wrap around and hook in to the reader with an emotional immediacy as complete and as hard to describe as the knowledge of truth that is felt in dreams.

Memorable. Powerful. Thought-provoking. In places, truly horrible, an awfulness from which the reader cannot close their eyes to escape, because they are almost there themselves… It manages to be both beautiful and terrible, somehow satisfying in the resolution of a complete experience.

I still can’t find the words, but an impression will have to be enough, because I can’t manage the eloquence that this deserves, and the alternative is to write nothing at all.

Thank you for writing this.
Evohe chapter 1 . 11/22/2007
Astonishing...
RavenLady chapter 1 . 3/10/2006
This had me in tears at one point, and then smiling, to my surprise, at the incredible conclusion. I've read this several times now, with the same reaction. And that's really all I can say about it, short of repeating what others have said better, I'm afraid. Total awe.
Angranse chapter 1 . 12/25/2005
Oh my god. I don't think I can find words that will do this justice. It's just... lovely and lyrical and terrible and dark and I guarantee I will never forget it. The language used is stunningly beautiful. Thank you so much for writing this. I think it's one of the most lovely short stories I've ever read.
Queen Melian chapter 1 . 4/21/2005
Wow, this is a truely beautiful story. Bittersweet and wonderfully poignant. I cannot believe that this only has four reviews! Ah well, I've discovered this well hidden treasure and I thank you for writing it. I don't really know what else to say, there's a delightful wordiness about this like layers that each build upon the next to create something unique. You really get to grips with the gift that few elves ever understood and Finrod and Beren's nobility of heart really shine. Just beautiful.
wicked kiwi chapter 3 . 1/21/2004
This is an amazing story. Despite the rather disturbing imagery, I couldn't tear my eyes away. Even the images invoked that I found disturbing where quite brilliantly worded. I thank you for this chance to read something so good, for once, on .
Kiwi
Oboe-Wan chapter 3 . 9/10/2002
I don't think... any thing I can put into words would even begin to "review" this amazing piece of writing.

The way you use language is just incredible. The reader is bombarded by imagery - some of it terrifying, some of it beautiful, but all of it wrought carefully and perfectly. you've expressed, strikingly and traumatically, how horrible it is for one who isn't SUPPOSED to die, to be killed. And yet you leave your readers with hope.

Finrod is so beautiful. I've loved him since the first time I picked up the Silmarillion, and your writing, and your characterization makes me love him more.

And Beren... Beren is really just an incredible person.

Your glimpses at Barahir and Emeldir are so bright and beautiful, but not without their sadness. For Beren, who has had such a harsh life in such a short time, to try to give hope to his companions...

I can't tell you enough (heck, I can't even finish my sentences. What would I do with out ellipses?), what a beautiful piece of writing this is. I know I'm going to have to read it again... there was just too much to catch the first time through. Incredible work.
vorondis1 chapter 3 . 8/16/2002
What a terribly difficult story! I had to reread it before I could even begin to grasp it.

It can't have been easy to think this situation through; even in the Lays of Beleriand Tolkien doesn't get to the bottom of it.

Good point to suggest the Elves were shielding the fact of Beren's mortal weakness from the awareness of the werewolf. And to think there were ever fewer of them...

But anyway, this adds sense to the tale in a way Tolkien would have applauded, I think, for this may well have been what he had in mind.
Finch chapter 3 . 7/14/2002
Philosopher's at large are obviously dangerous; they wrench your soul.

This is the answer to a question that bothered me for years: what exactly did Finrod and his companions DO for Beren, dying not being a deed but a passion. (A bit like asking what Christ did on the Cross if you don't know Genesis 3.) Now I can blame Christopher T. for picking the wrong version of the tale for his 1977 version of The Silmarillion ('their kinds were revealed).'

You seem have a better grasp of Tolkiens intentions than his son had. Sauron is evil, but no longer benighted. Finrod turns out to be thrice greater than he was. It becomes obvious why Elves and Men SHOULD meet and meddle. The 'disiecta membra' of the Tolkien canon start to form a body. Elvish magic is a 'technique' sufficiently alien to be incomprehensible - but mortals have their own techniques.

The horrors are real, and yet they don't generate horror because of the love that mitigates them - neutralizes them? turns them into joy?

The most agreeable shock was the passage where the mortal opens himself to the fea of the dead elf. An eye-opener, too, that any elf can be tempted thus. Am I allowed to name this particular elf Edrahil?