In the Hands of the Enemy

Author: meckinock

Nominator: unknown

2004 Award Category: Genres: Mystery

Story Type: Other Fiction  ✧  Length: unknown

Rating: PG-13  ✧  Reason for Rating: some violence

Summary: When Aragorn is waylaid by bandits while racing to answer an urgent summons from Gandalf, he gains an unexpected ally whose loyalties are suspect. With Gandalf and Halbarad in pursuit, can Aragorn discern friend from foe and escape the hands of the Enemy before he is forced to reveal the secret of the Shire?

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Review scores are not available for 2004.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: N/A

Wow. Just…wow. I'd heard of this story, but I'd never gotten around to actually reading it, though people kept telling me it was good. I'm so glad I read it for these awards. First of all, Halbarad gets a starring role, and that's going to win me over on sheer novelty alone. I love Halbarad and I've always regretted the fact that there just aren't enough fics out there about him. But this story not only has a healthy dose of Halbarad, but it pairs him up with Gandalf and characterizes both of them so well that I have a hard time believing this was not a part of Tolkien's canon. There are so many little moments that say so much about the characters involved, insert just a nice twist of humor, and then get right back on track. Such as Halbarad's blank stare at Gandalf's request for a handkerchief, Aragorn's comment about being too young to understand his own life, and a hilariously frank discussion about good beheading strokes. Those are just a few; the entire story is peppered with moments like that. And it's a great mystery. You're always guessing, always wondering, but you've been told just enough to realize that something very wrong is going on. Besides Halbarad and Gandalf, Aragorn is characterized terrifically, and I love how the fact that he's been out hunting Gollum and the Ring has taken him away from the other Rangers. To finish up, the OCs are stunning, and the plot is great. Very moving, very fast, and very good at leaving you hanging around hoping that just a bit more information is going to come your way. It tells you enough to expect a twist, but when the full twist comes, it's a thing of beauty!

Reviewed by: Ainaechoiriel  ✧  Score: N/A

I love the characterization of Halbarad! He's funny, rough, scary at times, and so very three-dimensional. I feel like I've finally gotten to know the guy. This is the most 3-D portrayal of him I've ever read. I love this line: "Hell have all those complacent little Boffins and Bolgers in an uproar within a week.", which brings us to Tillfield, anotehr well-rounded character, though this time, an original one. And don't even get me started on Rolly. Kept me guessing through it all: bad, good, liar, honest, bad, liar.... And the whole angsty story ends with a good laugh or three. Thanks!

Reviewed by: ElenaTiriel  ✧  Score: N/A

Very interesting… I didn't expect the enemy to be who he is. Liked the interplay between the characters -- e.g. Halbarad breaking open the box that Gandalf had just said was sealed with a spell… LOL!