Bones of the Earth

Author: Marta

Nominator: Dwimordene

2011 Award Category: Fixed-Length Ficlets: General

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Ficlet

Rating: Teen  ✧  Reason for Rating: Violence

Summary: The last thoughts of Azaghal, dwarf-lord of Belegost. (Double drabble.)(precisely 200 words)

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Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 7

Marta writes some fantastic Dwarves, and her Azaghal here reaps the benefits of her inspiration. This is a short piece, and we meet Azaghal just as he is about to exit, stage left, into the murky fate of mortal beings. We have only a short period of time in which to get to know him, and Marta delivers on it. The strangeness of death upon the earth as opposed to within the earth gives us our access to a stricken Dwarf-lord's psyche - the gravelly rock, which gives little support for one dying to draw upon, gives way to the starry sky that begins to blend the differences between Belegost and Dorthonion. Azaghal emerges in his last breaths a broader person than he had been, perhaps, before this battle, and that speaks well of him, that he is so ready to learn and to find connections even in this moment. And it makes one wonder how many Dwarves there are like him - he is the bones of the earth, as it were, or rather one of them. Well-done, Marta! I'm sure fans of Dwarves will enjoy this ficlet.

Reviewed by: Azalais  ✧  Score: 4

This is lyrical (odd as that might sound for a piece about violent death) and evocative. Azaghâl is both pragmatic and poetic (I did like the reference to the ["song like drums in the deep"]), even in this last moment; reaching out as any Dwarf would in search of reassuring stone, yet determined to take what comfort he can from his surroundings. Given that the Dwarves of Belegost made that defiant stand in defence of the Noldor, perhaps it's appropriate that their lord should find some trace of home even as he dies beneath the Elves' beloved stars...

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 3

A brief reminder that the Dwarves and Elves were not always enemies, but were at times allies, and perhaps even friends. In this brief but poignant vignette, based upon an obscure canon note, we are reminded of the valiance and loyalty of the Dwarves!

Reviewed by: ziggy  ✧  Score: 3

Incredibly visual and evocative. A wonderful description of the dwarf-lord's last moments and his need for stone, and seeing it is not so different. I loved the images of cold and stars and stone. Gorgeous writing.

Reviewed by: Ellynn  ✧  Score: 1

Touching description of the final moments of Azaghal, dwarf king. Beautifully done.