Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

B2MeM 2011: Haradhrim Nights

Author: mirach
Nominator: cairistiona
2011 Award Category: Adventure: General - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Story : Length: Medium Length
Rating: Teen -- Reason for Rating: Violence
Summary: The adventures of Captain Thorongil under the hot sun of Harad - fragrant nights, oriental smells and music, merciless desert, sharp sabres, honour, treachery and unexpected friendship. Written for the challenges of B2MeM, one chapter for every challenge, creating together one coherent story.


Reviewed by: Ragnelle -- Score: 7

I think one of the things that intrigued me with this story, was the way it was written: one chapter of each challenge, and still all one complete story. To write a story this way is risky as it is easy to get off track and loose the tread in the writing. But Mirach avoids these traps, and weaves a tale that comes across as well-composed and coherent. Mirach has a distinct voice in her writing, and she does not only tell a story, she also creates a mood within the story. I find it difficult to describe that mood in words, it has the hint of something melancholy, or of reflection, and left me with the image of deserts, and the beauty latent in the danger of the desert. The short chapter-entries worked well with the mood of the whole story, and the hints of unsaid words or stories that especially marks the first parts of the story, until the tale and the plot begins to unfold and the characters, their motivation and the relationship between them becomes clearer. I found this a beautiful story.

Reviewed by: Ellynn -- Score: 6

This special story was written for Back to Middle-earth 2011 challenge. I really admire the courage of the author, and I know I'd never try something like this. The thing is, each day of the month (March) has its own prompt; even the authors who wrote all 31 stories for 31 days/prompts did it in a way that they had written 31 separate stories. But Mirach wrote one single story, and each chapter was connected to the daily prompt, which is very difficult, in my opinion. The story can go in one direction, while the next prompt could be something that doesn't fit in. But Mirach did it successfully, and she fit in all the prompts into her story very skillfully. In the end, the result is a very interesting, exciting, tense and beautiful story about Aragorn's adventures in Harad, with a very touching epilogue. Highly reccomended.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 5

Last year some people attempted to create a single story from the wide variety of prompts which were daily given to participants in Back to Middle-earth Month. This was one such ambitious project, detailing the events of an adventure which Thorongil had in Harad. The target of an unsuccessful assassination attempt, Thorongil finds himself in a life-and-death situation. I was impressed by the way in which mirach was able to incorporate each day's prompt into an coherent whole. The story is suspenseful, exciting, and well told! A really good read!

Reviewed by: cairistiona -- Score: 5

This story always makes me think of Errol Flynn adventure movies! There's adventure and intrigue and mystery, all taking place in the beautifully drawn, exotic setting of Harad. Aragorn's days as Thorongil are the perfect gap in canon for sending him into all manner of perils and he doesn't escape danger in this one. The Haradric characters are intriguing, and Thorongil is at his honorable, brave best, and there's hurt/comfort to satisfy the most demanding hurt/comfort fan. To think that this was written day-by-day, following prompt challenges, simply adds to its appeal. It takes great skill to bend a story this way and that at the whim of a prompt and fortunately for all of us, Mirach was up for the task.

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel -- Score: 4

Mirach's Haradhrim Nights is a wonderful prompt-based tale that follows Aragorn as Thorongil around the southern deserts, sees him enmeshed in a sticky situation, and finds him more or less safe at the end. The plot, brought to the author as it was by a daily prompt, was quite well done, and I loved the arc as it expanded and grew to a fully-fledged storyline. The cast of characters was quite appropriate, and I thought the author's use of original characters was perfectly balanced. A very nice series.

Reviewed by: obsidianj -- Score: 4

Haradrhim Nights follows in little scenes and snippets Captain Thorongil on his last adventures in Harad. The scenes paint a vivid picture of the brutal climate of the desert and the culture of its people. I like the inclusion not only of sights, but also of smells into the story. I especially like the last scene where the two main characters sit together in peace and watch the stars.

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland -- Score: 4

This story kept me on the edge of my seat last March and I eagerly awaited each daily chapter.I just loved all the twists and turns that Mirach created. My favourite parts included the woman at the inn, the menace of the tower and Kadar's change of heart and the kindness he showed towards Aragorn.A story to settle down with on a cold December night and be transported to to the heat and intrigue of Harad by.

Reviewed by: Himring -- Score: 3

Mirach has managed to write a coherent, well-plotted and exciting story on the basis of a series of very disparate prompts. It is a desert adventure, featuring a number of original characters apparently drawn from the Middle-earth equivalent of a tribe of Bedouins, a villainous emissary of Sauron and, of course, Aragorn as Thorongil.

Reviewed by: Liadan -- Score: 3

This is a wonderful story. It is a brief but telling glimpse into one of Thorongil's many journeys. This journey helped to him to learn and understand the Haradians better -- and also his own destiny.