A Gift at Year's Turning

Author: Celandine Brandybuck

Nominator: Marta

2005 Award Category: Races/Places: Gondor: Denethor and Finduilas

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: G  ✧  Reason for Rating: n/a

Summary: In Minas Tirith, Denethor and Ecthelion prepare for the annual Steward's Feast to celebrate the end of the year. Boromir hopes for a sword as his gift, but Finduilas warns him that he may get something else.

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Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 6

I remember when I was a kid how we had to wait for the adults to finish eating Christmas eve dinner before we got to open one present on Christmas eve (the rest waited until Christmas day). I swear they dragged it out, coffee and desert and endless small talk, just to torment us. And pity the one of us cousins who pestered if they were done yet -- he or she had to hand out the presents to everyone else and had to be the last to open his or hers. So I can completely understand Boromir's torment. There are many things to like about this story because it's such a charming series of anecdotes, but I think that's my favourite part of it: how you've captured the frustrations and excitement of the holiday time, at many places through the eyes of a child.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: 5

Brilliant moment with the Steward's family. I loved how well defined all the characters were, and I enjoyed the tidbits of culture and history that were thrown in, such as the rules dictating the custom of gift exchanging. Little things like that made this a very enriching story. And of course I loved Faramir's introduction to the world. Interesting take on it, and it explains quite a bit. Loved the foreshadowing toward the end, too, with Finduilas's head on the pillow. That was chilling.

Reviewed by: nerwen_calaelen  ✧  Score: 3

A lovely tale. The way you show this family and their interactions is wonderful. I liek the way you show Denethor as a sypathetic character and show the other memebrs of his family similarly well. The plot is clever and the way you show customs of Gondor is very clver for you manage to introduce them without over much explanation.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 2

A charming story that really makes the reader feel at home in the White Tower. I loved the details; and the foreshadowing of Finduilas' eventual death is well done, a subtle shadow on the joy surrounding Faramir's birth...

Reviewed by: Nancy Brooke  ✧  Score: 2

I have always loved this story and I am glad to see it here. Celandine has done her usually wonderful job at creating a vivid tapestry of a story. All her characters feel full and real, and pieces of canon are woven in seeming without effort.