The Gift

Author: Dawn Felagund

Nominator: Rhapsody

2006 Award Category: Times: First Age and Prior - Third Place

Story Type: Other Fiction  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: PG  ✧  Reason for Rating: mild romantic content

Summary: As the Noldor leave Valinor, Celebrimbor helps his uncle Celegorm make some important discoveries about love, joy, and the special meaning of gifts.

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Reviewed by: Rhapsody  ✧  Score: 10

The Gift is a story that has a special meaning to me, it was quite unexpectedly gifted to me before Christmas last year, and as the story itself deals with a gift that cannot be expressed in a materialistic value, this story has the same value for me. Dawn has this unique voice and talent in her stories in which she captures the daily life of the House of Fëanor. The events seemingly seems quite insignificant, but have a huge impact later on. The selfless Celegorm lets go of the woman he wants to court for his younger brother Curufin and throughout the story you can feel that Celegorm wished differently by the wording to buy him love… but also in a way for himself. In the end, Celegorm does end up with the most precious gift for the Midwinter Festival, even though it comes at a high price for all. Celebrimbor lost his mother (as many others during this event), but gained the undying love of his uncle, a gift that Celegorm is more willing to give and in a way to accept. This story leaves me wondering what would have happened if Curufin had not pleaded to have Terentaulë as his wife. Celegorm would have settled down, have a peaceful life; there would be no Celebrimbor, therefore no forging of the rings. A very intriguing thought. On top of this all, Dawn gives us insight in what must have gone through their minds after the kinslaying of Alqualondë with stunning narrative gift which gives you the feeling that you, as a reader, are witnessing this personally. There is pain and doubt in the air, yet all move on because there is no turning back. So yes, The Gift is exactly as it was intended and gives you as the reader a great insight in the characters and the events that those characters experienced. A smooth read with outstanding prose, which gives you the feeling that the story came to an end too fast. Thank you so much Dawn, for giving.

Reviewed by: Alassante  ✧  Score: 10

I must confess that when I see any story with Celebrimbor in it, I squee a little bit. Throw in a few of his uncles or his father and I’m a happy camper for sure. Celebrimbor’s history is so vague until he separates from his father to stay with Finrod’s people and the details of Curufin’s wife also have never been stated in HoME or the Silmarillion, so I like it when people explore what may have been. Dawn has written a sad tale of the parting of Curufin and his son from his wife and the effect it had on Celegorm as well. Seeing Celebrimbor as a child, still innocent of the crimes his family committed was nice, even though his fate ends up being bad despite whether he was guilty of kinslaying or not. I did enjoy the tale of brotherly competition between Curufin and Celegorm, in fact I giggled a bit when he mentioned how their rooms had connecting doors but they stayed locked. And both of them thought the other one had it so much better – so true of siblings. Celegorm had the looks and could have any elleth (except Luthian of course lol) he wanted in Curufin’s eyes. Curufin had been doted on by Feanor in Celegorm’s eyes. Both fell in love with the same elleth. In the end Celegorm realizes his brother’s love was more important which shows a tenderness to Celegorm that was very endearing. The final part with the snow falling and making both Celebrimbor and Celegorm both laugh was a fitting end to a sweet story.

Reviewed by: dkpalaska  ✧  Score: 10

I finished this story with tears in my eyes. Dawn tells it with seeming simplicity, yet powerful familial depths are explored in her usual intimate style. The characters are distinct individuals, with moving, believable interactions and motivations. Dawn uses flashbacks effectively to provide backstory for the sundering of a family and Tyelkormo's reaction. The sibling rivalry between Tyelkormo and Curufinwe is explored deftly as the brothers struggle for their father's approval and a young woman's love. Dawn lays out a compelling dual perspective of this time, here and in ["Paper"]. Terentaulë and Tyelperinquar earned my greatest sympathy. She for being the farmer's daughter, drawn into this famous, talented and misguided family; he as the innocent impacted by it all. Tyelperinquar brings the one bit of bittersweet joy into it, with his child's ability to see laughter in the snowfall, which Tyelkormo is finally able to share. Curufinwe's ring fulfills yet another role: intended to win his father's love, used to clear the path to his future wife's heart, now comforting his son. A bit of foreshadowing there, too, to the Rings of Power that Tyelperinquar will one day create. A beautiful, pensive story.

Reviewed by: Erynhith  ✧  Score: 5

I really liked the structure of this story, the way it took us back to the gift and what it was supposed to bring about, and the way the ring did bring Tyelkormo happiness in the end, but in the most unexpected of ways. The relationship between the two brothers is poignantly described, the way the door between their rooms is always kept locked, and the hope their parents have that they will one day be friends. Maitimo the eldest brother does his best to bring comfort in impossible circumstances, and I'm left with a feeling of a real family going through real crises, and all the love and hate of family life, which in the end holds them together.

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 4

What a sad story of the parting between the elves leaving Valinor for Middle-earth, and those staying behind. Not all were driven by a madness to ge back what had been taken from them, and I'm sure there were scenes just like this. I can see this memory playing into how Celebrimbor's personality forms. He's an artisan like his grandfather, drawn to create, but he's different somehow, and I can see this moment as well as his memories of what Feanor did to everyone he knew help him take a different path.

Reviewed by: Imhiriel  ✧  Score: 3

Oh, this is absolutely hearbreaking! Extraordinarily intense, wonderfully-handled emotions, beautiful, rich language. Very good characterisations that manage to be vivid and descriptive with just a few well-chosen words and images. And the hints of stories just beyond the narrative add to the rich texture of the story.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 3

I wish I had more familiarity with the Silm, but I know enough to be able to follow this story, which is about love and pride and loss on a number of levels. And yet the end of the story is more sweet than bitter. Very insightful.