Mirror of Lies

Author: Alassante

Nominator: Larner

2009 Award Category: Genres: Drama: House of Finwë - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Ficlet

Rating: Teen  ✧  Reason for Rating: character death

Summary: Celebrimbor reflects on his father's final act. (triple drabble)

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Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 10

Truly a haunting tale, this story Alassante has presented us with. Word has come to Celebrimbor that his father is--finally--dead; destroyed by his dedication to that terrible oath! And the son mourns the father, and to what said father came as a result of the oath Feanor wrung from his own sons. He remembers the last time he and Curufin faced one another, when Curufin sought to disinherit him for turning from that oath, disavowing him as his own son. And he knows that that cursed Silmaril is still in the possession of Elwing, leaving the deaths of all who sought to steal it from her fruitless, robbing them of any meaning. And we can imagine the younger Elf grieving for the wasted lives that the dedication of his father and his brothers to the oath of Feanor has led to, the hatred, uncountable deaths and betrayals.... It is a moment of intense grief, well wrought and told, and a full worthy read. I found it thought-provoking and poignant. Its imagery and the symbols used are well chosen and as well displayed. Wording is skillfully chosen and shaped, carefully evoking emotional response from its readers. Definitely Alassante is to be commended for this one! I was glad to nominate it, and pray that others will find it as worthy as I have.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: 7

Wonderful snapshot of a moment. This scene could have gone so many different ways, especially given the way Curufin and Celebrimbor parted company when the former was driven from Nargothrond, and I really like the direction Alassante decided to take it. Right up until the moment the news was delivered, it felt like Celebrimbor held on to that sliver of hope. When he declares that there is no hope now. it's like sounding a death knell. Hope shatters in his heart, much like the mirror shatters in the end. And his decision to cast aside his father's reflection, while possibly not the healthiest way of dealing with grief, fits perfectly with the character created. I also liked the quiet flashback of the scene when his father rode away and Celebrimbor remained behind. His words regarding the Silmaril proved prophetic, though Celebrimbor might have hesitated to call them such. All in all, a superb story!

Reviewed by: Erfan Starled  ✧  Score: 5

I read the reviews of this story in Open Scrolls and agree that Celembrimbor is not written about enough – I am glad the MEFAs gave me reason to read more widely and to see this about him. Your triple drabble uses the short format to present clear feelings and cleverly delivered ‘back-story’, and to give a memorable view into an adult child’s pain. I have always enjoyed (and admired) short stories done well and your ficlet is an example of the genre used effectively, emotively and in language that works. You match your style smoothly to your contents. I find this a well-written piece with strong content and a character that speaks from the heart.

Reviewed by: elliska  ✧  Score: 4

Wow. I never really thought of how hearing about the deeds in Menegroth, and their outcome, would have affected Celebrimbor. And how Celebrimbor's actions in Nargothrond would have cast that loss in an even more tragic light. I really love these canon-based Silmarillion fanfictions that you have been writing Alassante--they are more and more amazing with each one. You are really catching some great themes out of canon.

Reviewed by: Robinka  ✧  Score: 3

Each of the clan of Feanor paid his price, but I think that Celebrimbor's was the cruelest one -- if we look at the grand scheme of things. And no way he might chose would bring him peace of mind. This is an excellent look at a very complex character. Well done!

Reviewed by: Súlriel  ✧  Score: 3

I love the layers and depth of this in how you portray the pain of betrayal and loss and then the pain of freedom when he casts the mirror away. It begs the question of love and blood. Of family loyalties and what it costs to cast them away. At what point are we better to turn aside and be alone rather than to be part of something? How high might those costs be? Well done!

Reviewed by: MedeaSmyke  ✧  Score: 3

The crushing finality of Curufin's choices come through strongly in this ficlet, as well as the burden it leaves on the generations left behind. I also liked the short, cryptic line from the anonymous elf maid, informing Celebrimbor that Elwing had the simaril. Well done, Alassante!

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 3

A perceptive look at the youngest and most clear-headed of the Feanorians. Alassante captures Celebrimbor's ambivalence towards his father, and the sorrow that Curufin's death caused his estranged son.