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Penname: Morcondil [Contact]
Real name:
Member Since: October 10, 2016
Membership status: Member

Bio:

MANIFESTO: to honor the unsung female heroes of Tolkien's legendarium


With that in mind, the fannish prose I've written over the past 6 years (Morcondil being a new penname) spans across all ages and races of Arda, and it is generally about women. Galadriel is a particular interest of mine, but I don't really have a "favorite" character. However, The Silmarillion is my favorite book and always will be. Forever amen.


Outside of J.R.R.'s imagination, I'm a short-in-stature student working with visibility of race/ethnicity and gender in literature and its implications. I like bears, soft blankets, and enchiladas. Also: Shakespeare.


You can find a guide to my fic here.


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Chasing Mirages by Russandol

Rated: Adult | [Reviews - 98]
Summary:

The story of Eönwë, Maia of Manwë, and Mairon Aulendil after the War of Wrath. A tale of darkness, light, love and betrayal over the Ages of Eä.

Tolkien simply told us that [Sauron] fell back into evil, for the bonds that Morgoth had laid upon him were very strong. But this line is unsatisfactory on so many levels that it became a challenge to create a plausible background story for Sauron's fall, from the time Eönwë returns to Aman to face the Valar over his decision to free one of Morgoth's most dreaded minions to Sauron's final fate, long after the destruction of the Ring.

MEFA 2011 1st Place - Incomplete: Drama & Smaug's Treasure (but complete since then!)

B2MeM 2011 and 2012 participant 

 


Characters: Anrion, Celebrimbor, Elrond, Erestor, Enw, Finarfin, Galadriel, Gandalf, Gil-galad, Glorfindel, Maglor, Mandos, Manw, Melian, Melkor, Original Character(s), Sauron
Challenges: B2MeM 2011, B2MeM 2012, Fifth Birthday Celebration
Genres: Adventure, Drama, Slash/Femslash
Warnings: ***Rape/Non-consensual Sex, ***Torture, Character Death, Expletive Language, Mature Themes, Sexual Content--Graphic, Violence--Graphic
Series: The Secret Chronicles of the Ainur
Chapters: 40 Table of Contents
Completed: Yes
Word count: 171311     Read Count: 59747
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Published: July 12, 2010     Updated: July 31, 2012


Reviewer: Morcondil Signed
Date: October 18, 2016
Title: Chapter 38: Choice

Oh boy. Where to begin? Well, A) I definitely stayed up until 2 am finishing this, and that's important. Seriously. This fic is wonderful and very addictive! And, B) in ~2011 I was basically obsessed with Chasing Mirages and may or may not have read chapters 1-18(ish) several times because that's all that was posted at the time. And then life happened and I got sidetracked, but I came back! 

Right. All that probably sounded a little creepy. Sorry. Hi there! I'm a big fan and longtime lurker.

No on to "serious" commentary...

Absolutely, one huge gap in The Lord of the Rings is how two-dimensional Sauron is, even for a fantasy villain. Luckily, The Silmarillion, etc. give us enough on him to form a pretty decent picture. And THEN, you've gone ahead and done this, which adds so much more. What I love is that Chasing Mirages is 100% canon compliant, but it twists everything the reader is meant to think (about Mairon, about the Valar, about the Cracks of Doom, about everything) and shows an alternative explanation. Which I think is what truly good fanfiction does. 

And, obviously, this isn't just Mairon's story—it's Eönwë's as well. His character arc throughout this is wonderfully executed, I think. Looking back after finishing it all, his transformation is evident. In my experience it's really hard to have good, sustained character development when writing about a character you didn't create. Though of course, this particular version of Eönwë is all yours.

Also, that plot twist when we find out what name Manwë has provided for Eönwë? It was the best. Seriously. Plot twists never surprise me—before this, only Charlotte Brontë's Villette has ever stumped me, so that's a huuuuuge compliment. I promise. There's so many great moments in this piece, but that right one is going to stick with me for a while.

Lastly, I just wanted to comment on how I love your conception of the land and culture of Kiinlúum. The areas of Middle-earth not really talked about in any of Tolkien's major works are always interesting, and there's so much you can do with them. I liked the way you approached the task respectfully and genuinely, since (let's face it) writing about non-White cultures without relying on ignorant stereotypes was not J.R.R.'s strength.

Anyhoo. Long story short: I love this! A lot. I'm truly amazed by how you've managed to take characters and situations and make them your own, to tell a wholly independent story within another writer's stories, and to just, honestly, bring something to the world of Tolkien fanfiction that's completely different that anything else out there.

"Great work" seems woefully inadequate here, but: great work!



Author's Response:

Creepy? Woefully inadequate? No way! On the day the SWG noticed pinged in my mailbox, I read your review and went to work smiling to myself. Here I am, finally with some time and quiet to pen a response.

I am so chuffed that you remembered Chasing Mirages after five years and went back to read it. I also was a longtime lurker, once, and know too well how a "life happens" period can interfere with fandom and hobbies... I'm blown away by your comments, I don't know where to start, so in no particular order... About my take on characters, I was terrified about borrowing an Evil Lord and turning him into a pathetic caricature. Developing Eönwë was easy in comparison, as Tolkien said so little about him.

To be paired in any way with Charlotte Brontë, that is a huge compliment, but even better when it's about THE plot twist... yeah, that was actually a very early idea, and a crazy one, but I couldn't let go of it. As soon as I put it next to the urge to fill that mile-long gap about Sauron in Tolkien's canon, bang! I knew exactly what the whole story had to be. Which was great, but I also thought at the time it would be six, maximum eight chapters long. LOL. Instead, I spent several years wringing my hands and feeling guilty about being so wicked to these poor borrowed characters who had moved into my head. Despite all those chapters you stayed late to finish the story? Yay!

I was actually sad to "leave" Kiinluum, when it was time to resume the canon story elsewhere. I realised then how much fun it is to create a world with a different culture, and how to make your home in a different country to the one you're familiar with - I have. I'm so glad you thought it was well handled.

At the moment I'm submerged in my own "life happens" hiatus so a review like yours ("what truly good fanfiction does" OMG...) is a most welcome pat in the back of my neglected writer ego. Thank you so much for coming back, and for letting me know that you enjoyed reading!