Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Tales of Life

Author: Ainu Laire
Nominator: Gandalfs apprentice
2006 Award Category: Times: Multi-Age: Incomplete - First Place

Story Type: Incomplete : Length: Short Story
Rating: PG -- Reason for Rating: In one of them, there is battle and death, though not at all graphic. In another, there are slight wounds. And in one more, there is arguing and angst. So it is a very, very light PG rating... anyone above the age of 8 should be fine for all of the ficlets, I think.
Summary: A *series* of ficlets for a series of prompts which include small excerpts of life experiences, everyday occurances, and other such drabblings. Most, if not all ficlets shall have Aragorn as a character. Most fit the 'general' category, but as that was not an option, there are more drama ficlets than the others. There is a combination of action/adventure and humor as well. And while there are other races than 'men' in these drabbles, there are definitely more men than other races.


Reviewed by: Nienor Niniel -- Score: 7

As Aragorn is my second favourite character, I really enjoy Ainu Laire's collection of Aragorn-centric one-shots. They feature scenes from the different periods of his life, some of them humorous, others, like the one featuring Halbarad's death, heart-wrenchingly sad. It is always a surprise to see what the next part is about, as they come not in a chronological order. Some of the one-shots expand on canon events that we know about, but have not seen in detail: like the giving of Roheryn from Arwen to Aragorn. Others describe everyday events that canon does not show us: typical events from the life of a Ranger, or Gilraen's introspection on her son and husband. Altogether, these vignettes show a deep understanding of canon and Aragorn's character. I would not complain if they were longer - but this is not a fault of the author, but my due to wish to read good Lord of the Rings fics that center on the characters I like and expand on what canon gives us without straying from it unnecessarily.

Reviewed by: Gandalfs apprentice -- Score: 4

This collection of small tales is charming and full of life indeed! They touch on many scenes from Aragorn's life, and range in point of view from his own to that of others. There are moments from the great story (heroic deeds) and highly personal vignettes. Most of them are solidly founded in canon; the others have no contradiction with canon. While each one is worthy in its own right, taken together they paint a portrait of more depth. The author is young; I expect even better things from her as her writing matures. Keep at it!

Reviewed by: obsidianj -- Score: 4

This is a great series of ficlets. Little snippets out of Aragorn's life. Together they shape the character of Aragorn. I can't really decide which is my favorite. The one with the palantir or the last one with Sam or the one on the Pelennor fields. I like the way Aragorn's friendship with Halbarad is portrayed, and I think Sam's voice and characterization in the last ficlet and the characterization of Strider here is spot on.

Reviewed by: SĂșlriel -- Score: 3

Ainu, I haven't read much of your work before, but found this here and very much enjoyed the snippets and episodes of life you present. I especially like your characterization of Aragorn, human and kingly at the same time.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 3

A very nice set of ficlets which gradually add up to a picture of Aragorn. The tales range all over the timeline, and some are humorous, while others are angsty. A good anthology of stories.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 3

Ambitious set of ficlets covering various aspects and times and moods of Aragorn's life, all inspired by various prompts. My favorite pieces are "[Thoughts of Home] where Aragorn thinks on the places he could call home, the delightfully realist [Anywhere But Here], and [Old Habits Die Hard], a gentle and credible vignette about the early days of Elessar's kingship from Faramir's point of view.

Reviewed by: Bodkin -- Score: 3

This is a most enjoyable collection of incidents in the life of a certain ranger chieftain. I think the sixth one is my favourite - it supports my feeling that Aragorn especially would have felt trapped indoors after all his years in the field.

Reviewed by: Imhiriel -- Score: 2

These vignettes of Aragorn's life capture his character very well, generally. I especially liked ["Alone in Death"], ["Soon"], ["Heirlooms"] but, being a tale with the new White Tree *g*, my favourite was ["Blossom"].