2009 Award Category: Races: Cross-Cultural: Elves and Mortals - Honorable Mention
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Ficlet
Rating: General ✧ Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Elendil's first meeting with Ereinion Gil-galad(triple drabble)
Reviewed by: Red Lasbelin ✧ Score: 10
I know that writing these two together upon request was much out of the usual for Keiliss, but upon reading, you'd not guess. It rings true of two very different kings - yet at the center they have a few things more in common than one might think. Elendil, tired, almost as battered as his ship and in a very foreign land - this was all well expressed. I think it says a lot about him that his first concern was the rest of his party, not trusting them to land somewhere and then catch up with them later. There's no 'it's just collateral damage' that you hear thrown about today. Gil-galad - in charge, seemingly effortless awareness of all the details, one could almost be fooled with how easily it appears to come to him. But underneath lies a lot of hard work mixed with natural talent and charisma, he's a born leader. You really get the sense of a geniune love for his people and an overall warmth of being that I think would still exist whether he were a ruler of elves or a carpenter. And, if you enjoy this look at Gil-galad, I fully recommend you check out Keiliss's body of work. He's a regularly occurring character, fully fleshed, and she is very consistent with him. One of my favorite views of a often neglected elf.
Reviewed by: Rhapsody ✧ Score: 7
This story perfectly captures that first meeting of Elendil and Gil-Galad. I can so imagine how Elendil wanders around looking like a drowned cat, having lost his bearings in a world that he might have known before, but all feels so jilted and strange. Keiliss conveys these emotions so immensely well, how this mortal takes in his surroundings as realisation dawns on him. He just knows that as of that moment, things will change. Gil-galad has quite a presence once he enters the scene, yet not too much and he is brought with the diplomacy one can expect from such a first meeting. What stands out for me in this ficlet, are the eye for details (like the elven servants setting up chairs so that the lords can talk), the pacing (Kei has found a key balance between giving information and showing what is going on) and characterisation. I so love her Gil-galad. This is a fabulous interpretation of such a turning point!
Reviewed by: Dwimordene ✧ Score: 5
This ficlet moves quickly, but it doesn't feel rushed. One gets immediately into Elendil's sense of being out of place. The 'handshake' is a nice way of symbolizing and condensing all the little mundane gestures that differ between Elves and Men in one, quick, compact description, and we get a good sense of Gil-galad's strength here. The outer events, the concerns that newly (barely) landed Men would have, particularly Elendil, as their leader, but also as a father, break in very well and sharply, and Gil-galad's reaction I thought was very plausible for a king accustomed to be in control but also gracious. Well done snapshot!
Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger ✧ Score: 4
What a fantastic characterization of Gil-galad! The story begins with Elendil and his bewildered musings over all that has happened, but then Gil-galad comes in and completely takes charge of the story. The momentum and tone of the ficlet change to match Gil-galad's presence, and it's clear that he has a head for details and wants to know as much as possible about what's going on in his lands. Great portrait of a king.
Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon ✧ Score: 4
Excellent vignette about the first meeting of future friends, and ultimately legends, Elendil and Gil-galad. Keiless skillfully has the storm-tossed Numenorean prince enter the Elf-lord's land feeling as a supplicant, feeling lost and wanting a ship to use to search for his missing sons, and then has Gil-galad reverse the dynamic and turn Elendil from supplicant to guest and peer. The trust that will one day unite these great lords flows naturally from the plot and dialogue.
Reviewed by: Virtuella ✧ Score: 3
I liked this impressive ficlet. It gives a very good impression of the strangeness of the experience and is written in impeccable language. Alas, it is so short that I cannot think of much else to say.
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 3
It is quite a first meeting as Elendil and Gil-galad meet, and it appears the Elf is even more impatient than the Man. At least he offers Elendil reassurance his sons have also made safe landfall.
Reviewed by: Starlight ✧ Score: 3
The way this fic gets to the point so quickly echoes well Gil-galad's own sense of command and straightforwardness. It is a very interesting examination into the fundamental differences between Elves and Men, all done in such few words. An interesting meeting!