The Days Now Are Short
2005 Award Category: Books/Time: Gap-Filler: Grey Company
Story Type: Vignette ✧ Length: N/A
Rating: G ✧ Reason for Rating: n/a
Summary: What drove the Grey Company to cross over into Rohan from their familiar lands and obligations? A ficlet from Halbarad's point of view.
Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger ✧ Score: 7
The narrative in this story is a thing of beauty. I love the clipped pace it adopts at the beginning, mirroring the frantic race to find Aragorn. The descriptions and imagery are great, and it paints a very clear, very dark picture for us. We know the Grey Company will get to Rohan, but for a moment, we're forced to doubt. And then comes the moment when Aragorn answers Halbarad, and here the pace of the story changes. I love the final line about the time for skulking in shadows being finished. In fact, the ending feels almost like a beginning. The story feels as though it's preparing to leap into something big and climactic, but there's also enough closure to leave the remaining adventure to the reader's imagination (or to canon). Great narrative work, and great emotional work, too, especially when Halbarad and Aragorn are reunited.
Reviewed by: ErinRua ✧ Score: 6
In stealth, in haste, at a hunter's glide and urgency's hard gallop, this vignette sweeps the rider careening on the Grey Company's urgent quest to find their errant captain, and answer destiny's call. Rich in detail and atmosphere as all Anoriath's writings are, this tale brings us into Halbarad's very skin, and his anxiety tightens the readers spine with every step. Nor is the sparseness of dialogue a deterrent, for it is the senses her writing evokes that speaks for the characters, cold and dark, haste and uncertainty, warmth and reunion. A magnificent glimpse of the first leg of legend, and a character-story beautifully told.
Reviewed by: Marta ✧ Score: 3
Oh, this was a joy to read. You gave voice to the despair and slight hopelessness that I think Halbarad and the other Dunedain Rangers would feel as they looked for Aragorn and Rohan. Nice tying of the untold events in with the canon that Tolkien left us, especially in the italicised ones and the last line. Very nicely done.