Journeys of Vása
Author: Dawn Felagund
2008 Award Category: Races: Elves: Incomplete
Story Type: Incomplete ✧ Length: Short Story
Rating: Mature ✧ Reason for Rating: canon rape (non-graphic); mature themes
Summary: A series of vignettes about the first rising of the Sun, from the perspectives of different characters. This story will eventually contain six vignettes. Completed are vignettes from the point-of-view of Tilion, Mahtan, and Fingolfin.(The final story will consist of six vignettes; three have been completed.)
Reviewed by: Rhapsody ✧ Score: 10
This is an elegant set of vignettes of which I find it very hard to choose my favourite. I love that it's written from so many different perspectives and handles such different themes with the sun being central. I love Tilion's vignette: his pain and self-loathing is so well pictured even though Arien herself sought this out, his guilt is so immensely palpable. I so feel for him as he sits there all powerless. I have grown quite fond of Dawn's stories featuring this Maiar. But then there is also Mahtan, one of the most underappreciated characters in the Silm imho, who reflects and gives us insight in the vessel which will carry Arien once she will become the Sun. I find that vignette most enchanting because it gives you such a marvellous visual as all the Aulendili work on this. Just the thought that those who stayed behind would craft such a fine thing is most definitely heartening, especially since the rebellion tore apart so many houses, Mahtan surely understands that pain all to well. Then there is Fingolfin who quite economically relates the crossing of that grinding ice leaving the young scribe in awe regarding the practically it as been approached and is told to him. But can you really blame Fingolfin, even though he is not the High King yet, you can just see he is born to lead (sorry Fëanor). I personally would recommend this story since it feels like a journey through [the Silmarillion] where Dawn shows us sides of the story or aspect one would not think about that soon with Vása being a constant. Wonderfully done Dawn, I hope you will continue with it soon!
Reviewed by: whitewave ✧ Score: 10
The tragic triangle between Arien, Melkor and Tilion reminded me of a book I read once about how angels or spiritual beings fought--not with spears nor with blows but rather a battle of wills which is much stronger and is much more intense than anything physical. Very much like mental scars are deeper and takes longer to heal than broken bones or scars. This is also one of the concepts that I've been entertaining on how Melkor corrupted the elves into orcs. I felt that it must have taken more than physical strength to turn something beautiful into something very ugly. Mahtan is a very interesting character and it would be great to read more about him. The detail you placed about his father remaining in the Wildlands holds much promise for me, having read (and obsessed) about "Another Man's Cage". I could not help but cross my fingers that we'll be hearing more about the sundering from you in your future work. Thanks for writing more about Mahtan and what he thinks about his son-in-law. He must have been a strong character too to have been able to train Feanor, raise Nerdanel and subsequently become the father-in-law of the "greatest" of the Eldar. The second chapter gives a good glimpse of what the elves who remained in Aman might have felt at the rising of the sun and moon upon Arda. I re-read the passage about Nerdanel and could not help but think that could she somehow feel the pain that her eldest son is currently experiencing, or about the death of her husband? The possibilities are endless. As for the third piece, I've never been fond of Fingolfin and have always preferred his "bad boy" brother to him but it made me laugh when I read the line you wrote for him: "bureaucracy". I think that was the word I was looking for in describing him: bureaucratic but practical as a Noldo would have been, in my mind at least. I also liked his line when he compares him and his three brothers to items and what purpose they serve to his father. I enjoyed the interaction between Pengolodh and Fingolfin and the possible reasons why he was chosen above all the others. My favorite line for this chapter is "a candle in the window". I think it summarizes the hope that is still in the hearts of the Elves that there will be redemption someday even for those who chose exile rather than stay in Aman. It is also heartening to note that despite some of their more questionable decisions, the Valar did not utterly forsake the Children of Eru. Pengolodh's last line was priceless: ["...Imagine the bureaucracy it must have taken to accomplish that!"] Very nice touch--in my humble, not-formally-trained-in-writing opinion, I think it ties the chapter all together and gives it a sort of "unity".
Reviewed by: Moreth ✧ Score: 7
In these vignettes, Dawn has presented the Rising of the Sun from a series of unusual perspectives. The first is a heartbreaking look at Tilion's memories of his unrequited love for Arien, and her catastrophic encounter with Melkor. The writing is dark and haunting, and does not leave me with the impression that there will be a happy ending - which suits the flavour this particular theme in Tolkien's writing. The second is less epic in scope, but captures the uncertainty of a world that has changed and in which 'light' will never quite be the same again. Mahtan's fears and concerns are convincingly expressed. The final vignette is much lighter in mood, and looks at just what it takes to succeed in crossing the Helcaraxë and surviving to watch the new Sun rise. The answer is, of course, 'good organisation'! Interesting and entertaining studies - I would certainly read further vignettes in this series.
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 5
How wonderful it is to look at the first rising of the Sun over Arda from such divergent points of view, including this last one by a survivor of Fingolfin. Myth, artificer, self-professed bureaucrat--each has a different tale to tell, all of them equally valid in the end. The quality of the telling, particularly in the original, is marvelously lyrical and poetic, truly in keeping with the mythical nature of that particular telling. Alas for Tilion, who saw the object of his devotion raped by Melkor and who could not protect her--or the world afterwards--from that evil. Marvelous series.