2004 Award Category: Genres: Adventure - First Place
Story Type: Other Fiction ✧ Length: unknown
Rating: PG ✧ Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: The day after the battle Frodo rode to Michel Delving and released the prisoners from the Lockholes. One of the first that they found was poor Fredegar Bolger, Fatty no longer. He had been taken when the ruffians smoked out a band of rebels that he led from their hidings up in the Brockenbores by the hills of Scary.--"The Grey Havens"
Review scores are not available for 2004.
Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger ✧ Score: N/A
Lindelea writes excellent hobbit stories, and I consider this to be one of the best. I love the respect and admiration that other hobbits have come to give Fredegar, and through the flashbacks, we see just how much Freddy has changed in order to deserve that respect. There are many hints of his courageous side in the flashbacks, but they come out in full force when the ruffians start making trouble. I cheered when the other hobbits covered for him, and I cheered even more at the bravery going on behind the scenes, such as Rosie managing to give water to the prisoners. It would be easy for this story to descend into a mindless slog across the Shire toward the Lockholes, but it keeps its focus, it draws the reader in through vivid flashbacks, and the small moments of courage from ordinary hobbits shine all the more in the dreary situation. Last but not least, I love the fact that Frodo immediately understands why Freddy wants to stay in the rain. Very nice touch, and a reminder that Freddy wasn't the only hobbit to suffer.
Reviewed by: Viv ✧ Score: N/A
The dialogue was stark and uncomfortable, several times making me wince. The torment of imprisonment, contrasted so baldly with those warm and inviting and hobbity flashbacks, evoked all the feelings I think you were going for: horror, anger, emptiness, and furious hope. Gorgeous writing.
Reviewed by: Marigold ✧ Score: N/A
Lindelea has created a wonderful Middle-earth universe. Even though I don't always agree completely with her hobbit society, I enjoy her stories very much and this is no exception. I really like the way this story is constructed; the flashbacks tied in with the present are very effective. There are some lovely nuggets that give the reader glimpses into Freddy's character, for example the rich young tease, knowingly tweaking Farmer Cotton by his word play concerning Rosie and the quality of the apples, and then showing several different facets at once when he purchases their whole waggon of apples that he is rich and can afford to let money flow on a whim, his playfulness in having the apples delivered to Merry at Bag End as a jest, and his knowledge that Farmer Cotton needs the money for his roof and other things, and this is a way to help him out without offering charity. We see he is a good person, who likes to have fun, is comfortable with his wealth, and yet knows that he has a responsibility to the community and is a position to help less affluent hobbits. From the way this character is drawn in his earlier days, I was left in no doubt that Freddy would risk himself for the good of the Shire. He seamlessly goes from a carefree hobbit to the leader of the rebels, and his ascension is completely natural, as is his willingness to help Merry, Pippin, Frodo and Sam. The other characters are well done as well, and I loved the glimpses of the other hobbits. The way that they safeguard Freddy's identity, the way that other hobbits tried to feed them, give them water, support them emotionally by singing in their hearing, that Tom Cotton planned to chop down the last tree standing in Bywater so that the ruffians couldn't hang any more rebel leaders, the up close glimpse of Lobelia's behavior in the Lockholes all of these were written just as I believe hobbits would have responded in such situations. And the horrific descriptions of their treatment in the Lockholes was just chilling, and yet not over the top, made all the more horrible by the straightforward descriptions. I have to say that this is one of the few stories I have read in which I actually LIKE Freddy. He is hard to write sympathetically it seems, and after reading this story I find I like and admire him very much. Instead of being uninterested in this character as I usually am, I am rooting for him all the way, and feel that he deserves to have his story told. Lin has done a brilliant job.
Reviewed by: Llinos ✧ Score: N/A
Fredegar Bolger in this story is one of Lindelea's best-written characters. He is multi-dimensional, and the background she gives us in this story really makes the reader sympathetic to this often overlooked character. The forced march through the Shire is also very vivid, and very realistically done.