Soul Brothers

Author: Erulisse

Nominator: Robinka

2011 Award Category: Drabble: Drama

Story Type: Drabble  ✧  Length: True Drabble

Rating: Teen  ✧  Reason for Rating: Violence

Summary: At the Awakening, two brothers experience the good and bad about life on Middle Earth.(Word count of 100, written for Tolkien Weekly, Fell Creatures-Orcs prompt.)

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Reviewed by: The Lauderdale  ✧  Score: 4

I have seen this story before: that of an Elven pair (two friends, or a husband and wife, or a brother and sister) separated when one is stolen and transformed by Morgoth. This is the first time I have seen it presented as a drabble. Amazing to see the sweeping history of these two people, and their final untimely moment of recognition, presented in such a small space.

Author response: I could have sworn that I responded to this and thanked you for your kind words, but suddenly, it shows I can respond (?). If I didn't earlier, then shame on me. I do appreciate your words and the fact that you took your time to read and let me know your thoughts. Hannon le. - Erulisse (one L)

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel  ✧  Score: 4

What a beautiful look at Orcs (sounds a bit oxymoronic, yes?). Erulisse's chosen narrator is wonderful here--I love his simple, understated eloquence. The brevity of the piece in no way hinders the tale he has to tell, and the sparsity of words only serve to highlight the narrator's emotion. The tale is told in a straightforward manner, but the resolution, when it comes, is breathtaking. Fantastic!

Author response: Although this type of story has been done before, I hope I put my own stamp on it. I am delighted that you found it worthy of reviewing and thank you so much for your kind words. - Erulisse (one L)

Reviewed by: ziggy  ✧  Score: 4

This is s superb example of a drabble, raising more questions than it answers about the nature of orcs, about what happens in the 'making' of orcs and their sense of self. In this the writer simply has a meeting of eyes followed by death. A grim and tragic drabble that does a very great deal in very few words but that references the Hunter and the torture and anguish of those captured. You get the sense of things being spoken in hushed whispers, in corners or after dark and hinted at, things kept from the women and children.

Author response: There is nothing easy about this subject matter, and I'm delighted that it resonated with you. I appreciate your review a great deal and thank you so very much. - Erulisse (one L)

Reviewed by: elfscribe  ✧  Score: 4

Transforming captured elves into orcs has always struck me as one of the most hideous things Morgoth did. This drabble is about two brothers who awake at Cuiviénen but suffer different fates as one of them is lured by the "Shining One" and is transmuted into an orc's form. It's chilling to think of such a terrible fate for two brothers. The author softens the blow with recognition and redemption. Here is an entire story in one hundred well-chosen words.

Author response: Thank you for your very kind review. Reading your words for this small drabble just made my heart sing. - Erulisse (one L)

Reviewed by: KyMahalei  ✧  Score: 3

Erulisse shows her mastery of the drabble form. This is an engaging little nugget with the painful twist at the end.Tolkien glosses over the implications of how works were created; this piece unpacks that nicely.

Author response: Oh, I suspect I have a long way to go before I can "master" the drabble, but isn't it a fun journey? "Soul Brothers" was an opportunity to examine closely a part of canon that is often simply taken for granted or glossed over. Thank you for your very kind words. - Erulisse (one L)

Reviewed by: Darkover  ✧  Score: 2

This drabble is sorrowful, almost shocking, and superbly written. It grabs the reader's heart. Brilliantly written.

Author response: Thank you so very much for your kind and effusive review of "Soul Brothers". I love writing drabbles and feel that the corruption of some of the First Born was a tragedy that was barely acknowledged in Tolkien's work. I appreciated the opportunity to explore it a bit more. - Erulisse (one L)

Reviewed by: Ragnelle  ✧  Score: 1

Both sad and uplifting at the same time.

Author response: Thank you. The early years of the Firstborn were filled with darkness and trouble. Having the two brothers exist through separation, and then mutual recognition while battling to the death, is fraught with angst. I hope that I managed to present it in a way that resonates with the audience and appreciate your review.