Tales of Thanksgiving
Author: Dawn Felagund
2007 Award Category: Times: First Age and Prior - Third Place
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Short Story
Rating: Mature ✧ Reason for Rating: violence, slash, sexual content
Summary: Many are the friends and associates in this fandom who have helped, inspired, and encouraged me over the past two years. During the 2006 holiday season, I wanted to begin to thank them for the gift of their support and friendship. These ficlet series were written in response to the requests and preferences of friends. (All pieces are based on The Silmarillion and all are exactly a multiple of 100 words, though some are too long to meet the MEFA's requirement that fixed-length ficlets be less than 500 words.)
Reviewed by: Oshun ✧ Score: 10
Where do I even start with this one? Dawn Felagund has created a whole new canon of the Fëanorians, the entire the House of Finwë, for that matter, beginning with her wonderful novel Another's Man Cage. Every single character has a rich and fully-developed backstory that is consistent throughout this story cycle and reflected in these ficlets and drabbles. The stories are filled with tragedy and comedy, warmth and humanity, and completely internally consistent with one another. Even character lives and breathes. The book canon is seriously considered and reflected. The psychological insights and her ability to engage and emotionally involved the reader, utterly without manipulation or any easy shortcuts or cheap tricks, are outstanding in a writer who is so young. Every story stands on its own and yet all enrich the others and make me so look forward to their development as she continues with this saga. Please do not stop writing these, Dawn! Waiting for the prequel and sequel to Another Man's Cage, these short stories and ficlets provide a much desired temporary satisfaction for me. Favorites for me include ["Hatred"] a dark, edgy Fingon/Maedhros slash ficlet (actually a departure from Dawn's personal canon for the two protagonists). Another one that really moved me was the near-endgame story of interactions between Maedhros and Maglor, ["Evidence Of"] which made this reader question which one was truly the crazier of the two at this point. I cannot count the number times I have read ["Hatred"]. Oops! Now the reader of this review is wondering if I am crazy. I don't think so--just really taken in by Dawn's ability to paint a vivid picture. This atmospheric piece takes off and tries to explain, leaving much to the imagination, how Fingon and Maedhros might have found themselves estranged before the flight of the Noldor.
Reviewed by: Rhapsody ✧ Score: 10
It has been a while since I read most of these pieces in this collection. They are all small treasures of their own, written for friends who have their own likes in the rich palate of what Dawn has to offer in her writings. My experience is that you can toss Dawn an idea to write about and most often she comes back with a great short story or a drabble series. For those who love to read about the various persons within the House of Finwë, I highly recommend this series. Besides that rather large family, Dawn also included an absolutely stunning piece featuring Rúmil and how he creates the Sarati in [Hands and Voices]. Caranthir is a well loved character by many and I find it hard to tell which short work in this collection I like the most, its so hard to tell. For me personally I thoroughly enjoyed reading [Of Love, Mischief, and Flowery Prose] again, where she writes a young and rebellious Celegorm who tries to fix something with a touching gesture. For every Maglor fan, there is a lot to be found here, Dawn writes a great set of different fates regarding this elf. Dawn is a very versatile writer with a deep love and knowledge of her characters. Some might call these little works within this collection character studies, but I do believe it goes beyond that as she explores canonical events just as easily and skilfully.
Reviewed by: dkpalaska ✧ Score: 6
My goodness, each one of these is gem in its own right, and deserves fulsome praise. They range through many characters and times, with an equally varied mix of emotions and events. Every single PoV is absolutely well told: clear, distinct, illuminating and often surprising. Dawn Felagund has a lovely and personal style of writing that makes you feel like the stories are being told by a dear friend, that you can actually reach out and touch the remarkable individuals being explored in these ficlets. I loved nearly all of them, although I think ["The Wanderer"] is probably my favorite; of a collection that captures its characters wonderfully well, this one really nails my impression of Finrod; and I adore the way he meets his "stranger" relatives at the end, complete with the very serious little boy greeting.
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 1
Are they of thanksgiving, or grief, or a mixture of the two? Must be read.