In Search of a Song
2011 Award Category: Post-Ring War and Beyond: Elves or Dwarves
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Short Story
Rating: Teen ✧ Reason for Rating: Violence
Summary: One elfââ¬â¢s search of hundreds of years ends in a single night in a test of skill. But will his findings be all that he hoped for?
Reviewed by: Himring ✧ Score: 10
An interesting and somehow satisfying idea--that Lindir should be the son Maglor left unborn in Valinor and that once he has found Maglor they should find common ground through their shared musical inheritance, that is the Valinorean traditions they are both steeped in and their professional skill, so that they are able to bond over this despite all the past history that divides them. Personally, I like this story best when it gets thoroughly technical about the names of harps, "lambalindale" (a system of teaching and learning music that Ellie has borrowed from the Scottish Highlands), and the Noldorin and Vanyarin music academies. Others will probably have more appreciation for the set-up, as Ellie carefully heightens the narrative tension by not telling us at first who it is that is looking for Maglor and for what purpose. Also, the story makes a very valid point about all the female relatives whose existence Tolkien hints at or implies but whose stories he does not seem very interested in: in this case of course especially Maglor's wife, who in this story is naturally Lindir's mother but who also seems to be a member of a Valinorean household full of Feanorian female relatives!
Reviewed by: Darkover ✧ Score: 5
This is a well-written character piece, and the dialogue is very well done, too. The story itself concerns sin and redemption. I did find myself getting a bit impatient with Maglor. The question is not whether or not he deserves forgiveness, but whether or not his prolonged suffering is doing anyone any good. It isn't, certainly not his victims; and if he wishes to atone, he must make a genuine effort to do so. I suspect that once he makes that genuine effort, forgiveness will be easier than he ever imagined. Elves have extremely long memories, but they do not seem to carry grudges to the degree that Dwarves or even Men sometimes do.
Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon ✧ Score: 5
This was hugely satisfying to read! I've always had a soft spot for Maglor; in particular for the compassion he showed the young Elros and Elrond; and hoped that one day he would find a way home. Here, that way, or at least the invitation, comes from an Elf we know, Lindir. Ellie creates very plausible reasons for Lindir to have searched for the Feanorian exile in (apparently) Fourth Age Middle-earth, and their encounter is both magical and emotional. Excellent use of musical knowledge here; I loved Lindir's introduction to Maglor's harp.
Reviewed by: Levade ✧ Score: 3
I liked the use of musical technique in this story, and a recognition of skill that leads to reconciliation. I'm not sure Tolkien meant Maeglor to wander the shores forever, lost in regret. That would be a waste of a life and talent, and ultimately useless. Maeglor can't undo what he's done, but this story gives him direction and hope for a future. Nicely done!
Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel ✧ Score: 3
This is an interesting look at lives torn apart, and at old relationships discovered. The author's interpretation of Maglor is thought provoking, and the role of music and technique in this piece is wonderful.