Dawn & Dusk

Author: Clodia

Nominator: Elleth

2010 Award Category: Times: First Age and Prior: Mixed Drabbles - First Place

Story Type: Drabble  ✧  Length: True Drabble Series

Rating: Teen  ✧  Reason for Rating: A violent flashback.

Summary: The dawn before and the dusk after the sack of Doriath by the sons of Fëanor.(Two true drabbles written for the weather challenge 'blizzard' at the LJ comm tolkien_weekly.)

Read the Story

Reviewed by: Elleth  ✧  Score: 10

Clodia Metelli's [Dawn & Dusk] depicts the Fall of Doriath through the eyes of one survivor, Erestor. Although I am not familiar with the larger backdrop of the author's own stories that these two drabbles are put against, they are nothing less than convincing on their own. Clodia is a master of prose and in a few words paints the icy winter in the forest, evokes the dismay of Erestor at having fought and killed in Doriath himself, and depicts a sharp and astute image of the Oath of Feanor and its impact on those around them in seldom-used metaphors and vivid language. Even as a self-proclaimed fan of the Sons of Feanor (though not their deeds), I cannot help feeling much sympathy for the Doriathrim in this situation, which in turn spurred my Maglor-muse into protest ficlets of his own... so the impact of this is nothing if not inspiring. Which should hardly be a surprise when, like here, so much thought and care have gone into the crafting of 200 words. Reading the drabbles, they certainly feel much more substantial than that. Breathtaking would be one word to describe the double-drabble, riveting another, but throwing around any more adjectives would perhaps lessen the impact the story itself has. Go read it, please.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: 8

I live in a climate where the majority of the year is spent with snow on the ground, and I have to tip my hat to Clodia for so perfectly capturing both the sheer beauty and the deadly confusion of a blizzard. It's so easy to lose yourself in the tumbling flakes and reach a point where you cease to feel and can no longer say for certain where you've wandered. And this particular phenomenon seems to be a perfect fit for the attack on Doriath. At least, it does from Erestor's viewpoint, and oh how I love the way he's portrayed here! The references to wolves and madness lend a crazed ferocity to the attack. The second drabble feels like those winter storms that pound and pound and pound until everything is cold and tired, but the snow never seems to end. The last line of the second drabble really captures everything, both the snow and the impact of a terrible battle. Clodia takes the concept of a blizzard and turns it into far more than just the weather. It becomes a striking metaphor that brings home the horror and bewilderment of the attack on Doriath.

Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 5

Clodia's drabbles have an intense quality and aesthetic sparkle not often seen elsewhere. In this exquisite pair of miniatures she gives us two glipmses of Erestor after the sack of Menegroth. The two brief scenes fit seamlessly into her account of the battle in "Blood and Fire" and still stand very well on their own. We see him in the morning and then again at nightfall, we are left to imagine what happens in between. The most impressive aspect to me is the vivid impression of the wintery landscape and the way its chill serenity is contrasted with the heat and despair of the recent battle.

Reviewed by: Kitt Otter  ✧  Score: 5

The two drabbles say so much and leave so much unsaid. First we join Erestor in the midst of a brittle blizzard that really is also a picture of his freezing up heart. The anguish behind his run leaves me breathless. Next we join him after the slaying in a moment so personal it is almost an intrusion. None of the day’s events are shown but rather are implied, subtly and vividly. I am stunned by the images of utter devastation I got from only a few simple sentences. [Elves died so easily.] As terrifying a line as it is beautiful. I think the two drabbles impart more of the horror of the Doriath kin-slaying than could a whole novel-length story. Excellent work, Clodia!

Reviewed by: Ignoble Bard  ✧  Score: 5

Clodia has such a poetic way with words that whether the subject is a wintery forest or blood and fire the imagery is aestheticly compelling. Here Erestor runs at dawn through a beautiful snowy landscape, his horror and disbelief palpable as he rushes to Menegroth. Then comes the contrasting dusk, the battle behind him, his thoughts full of tragic, painful memory as stark and cold as the surrounding forest. There is no warmth, within or without, for Erestor and his desolation is absolute. A skillfully wrought double drabble that carries a big punch.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 5

A dramatic pair of drabbles that bookend a day of battle against a wolfish attack, a terrible day that leaves Erestor thinking on how easily and grievously death can take those one loves and honors. And over it all the cold of a blizzard broods.... The mood is well set by the imagery Clodia evokes, first the anxiety of the run with the word that the enemy is coming, and afterwards with the horror of the battle clearly before the protagonist's mind's eye. And the chill of the day followed by the deeper chill of the coming night help seal the horror more fully into the mind. Makes me shiver with both cold and horror, even though I read it now in the last of summer heat.

Reviewed by: curiouswombat  ✧  Score: 4

I remember reading this pair of drabbles when they were posted at Tolkien Weekly, back in the freezing cold of last winter. They would chill me to the soul even if I had read them in mid-summer, I think. The imagery of the snowfall before dawn, the slow cessation of snowfall at dusk, and of the death and destruction all through the intervening time is masterful. I am half in love with Clodia's Erestor - and by the last line here I want to hug him - but fear he would still be too quick with the knife, caught up as he has been in battle all day.

Reviewed by: Elfique  ✧  Score: 3

A very powerful drabble, and I think the fact that the actual event of the attack is omitted makes it all the more so - you're left to fill in the gaps yourself, dwelling on Erestor's panic at first, and then his numb shock and horror at the end. I love the wolves metaphor, its very fitting with the cold wintry scene.

Reviewed by: Tanaqui  ✧  Score: 3

Clodia's writing in these two related drabbles is compelling, using vivid vocabulary and well-constructed phrasing to create powerful prose poems. I particularly love the phrase [Dawn dreamt an hour into the future] in the first piece, while the descriptions of the snow are sharp and evocative. Lovely craftsmanship here!

Reviewed by: crowdaughter  ✧  Score: 3

A short, but vivid flashlight at the horror of the attack against Doriath by the sons of Feanor through the eyes of Erestor. The images in this short piece are intense, and yet we do not see any scenes of battle. they are not needed to show the shock and desperation of the attacked, as well as the survivors. Greatly done! Applause!

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 2

Bitterly lovely and atmospheric drabbles. I could almost feel the snow. The sense of desolation and winter-white shock comes across well.

Reviewed by: Anna Wing  ✧  Score: 2

Vivid, sharp and ferocious. Brief, eloquent fragments implying much more than they say. Very nice.