2006 Award Category: Times: The Great Years: Post-Sauron's Fall - Honorable Mention
Story Type: Other Fiction ✧ Length: Novella
Rating: G ✧ Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: In which Pippin encounters an old friend in Minas Tirith after the Quest. (Sequel to "Life of a Bard".)
Reviewed by: Bodkin ✧ Score: 10
I love Chance Encounter and feel that Menelcar is a great addition - and very understanding bard he is, too. And experience of hobbits has just become a great career enhancement! Pippin and the others haven't really grasped the significance of those guards around them - or their exalted position in the city - and how it is partly to keep away undesirables. I am, however, very glad that Pippin heard and met Menelcar. The bard himself is much more aware of the analysis is those grey eyes of the young Steward - he knows he is being checked out for suitability. But he is suitable - and talented - and deserves the break he gets here. What else do I love about this story? The Eowyn interlude is delightful. The point about Eomer's youth - I like seeing the hobbits as the mature, responsible support for those who, although taller, are so young. The nasty trio of confidence tricksters who equate small with stupid. And the fact that they were taken in by the youngest hobbit of all. (I'm glad that Pippin put his foot down about the death penalty.) I do hope Menelcar continues to appear in your stories! He has an interesting perspective on both kings and hobbits - and his experience of wandering must give him a bond with the Ranger who has been confined in the city.
Reviewed by: Marigold ✧ Score: 6
This is a story that is enjoyable for many reasons. First is the wonderful detail. It is easy to imagine the action taking place, whether it is in the streets of the City, in the Court, or at a party at the Guesthouse of the Fellowship. This, in combination with the terrific dialogue, and situations, makes this tale eminently re-readable. The interactions of all of the characters are very well done and I am pleased to meet Menelcar again, a wonderful OC! My favourite part of this story is Pippins exciting adventures to help foil and capture the would-be hobbitnappers. After Pippin takes a particularly dastardly one down Aragorn whispers to the Man just how lucky he had been that his Sir Peregrin, slayer of a troll, hadnt carried Trollsbane, and the Mans reaction is superb! So are Frodo and Merrys reactions to Pippins heroism. A very engaging story!
Reviewed by: GamgeeFest ✧ Score: 5
There is so much to love about this story, from the Fellowship surprising Sam for his birthday, to Legolas wanting to spare the hobbits of their nightmares, to the little glimpse into Eowyn's childhood. But the true star of this story is Pippin, who gets his chance to shine and prove to his cousins just how much he has grown, in character not just height, during the war. It was also nice to see Meneclar, a wonderfully drawn OC, who has come back to Gondor after being away for years. The reunion of old friends is truly heartwarming. My favorite part though has to be the hobbit fan girls. Even in Middle Earth, the hobbits aren't safe from swooning girls!
Reviewed by: grey_wonderer ✧ Score: 5
This story stands out for me thanks to the author's original character, Menelcar. This is a wonderful original character that has appeared in one of her other stories and he is just as entertaining here. I was drawn into his attempts to stay within his social bounds while dealing with the Hobbits who don't always think of such things. The author includes music in this tale and she does it very well. There is a sense that everyone in the story holds a special place in their lives for song. I always enjoy reading tales where other members of the Fellowship interact with the Hobbits and in this story Aragorn has quite a part to play in the action. Lovely!
Reviewed by: pippinfan88 ✧ Score: 5
A delighful story about a chance meeting between Pippin and his would-be benefactor in Minas Tirith, post-War. That is, if Pippin had indeed acted on impulse when he was a younger lad. And in this lovely story we get to see again what Pippin is really made of! This is a sequel of sorts of Life of a Bard--another endearing tale about these two lovely characters who blend their talents of singing and making music. Dreamflower, again, has this blessed gift of capturing a magical place and time that happened so long ago. I just love her world of hobbits!
Reviewed by: obsidianj ✧ Score: 4
This is such a nice hobbity story, although it plays in Minas Tirith. The interactions between the hobbits ring true. They are in Minas Tirith but they are more concerned with their own private affairs than with what is going on around them. Pippin gets a chance to shine and to show his cousins that he is grown up, although he is still missing a few years to his majority.
Reviewed by: Imhiriel ✧ Score: 4
Very good characterisations, layered, canonical. The relationships are handled excellently. Good pacing, the plots and subplots have just the right amount of build-up and resolution. The descriptions of Minas Tirith are wonderfully detailed and bring the city and its inhabitants truly to life, in all its broad range from good to bad, from rich to poor. I love the inclusion of the song ["When the King enjoys his own again"] - it's remarkable how well it fits into Middle-earth.
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 3
While in Minas Tirith Pippin meets an acquaintance from the past, and the story goes on from there. The bard with whom Pippin traveled for a time as a youngster recognizes our four lads, and ends up becoming attached to Aragorn's court. Marvelous looks at the four Travellers, and a wonderful adventure for them to become caught in.
Reviewed by: Llinos ✧ Score: 1
An enjoyable story, with good characterisations and plot twists.