Author: Celandine Brandybuck
2005 Award Category: Books/Time: The Hobbit
Story Type: Vignette ✧ Length: Short Story
Rating: G ✧ Reason for Rating: n/a
Summary: While visiting the Dwarves in Erebor after his Birthday Party, Bilbo goes to Dale to buy a new scabbard for his sword.
Reviewed by: Marta ✧ Score: 7
Cel, I have to admit, I was laughing out loud at the beginning -- all of the bothersome busy-bodies reminded me too much of some of the old ladies in my church. You know them, or do they just make the same variety in your neck of the woods? Because you've nailed them perfectly. To think that they think it's less rude to talk audibly about someone than to ask him properly -- well, that fits the character, I think. Beyond that, Balan was a real treat. He's probably one of the best original characters I've ever read. He has a sense of realism about him. It's little touches, I think, like the haggling and the way he was touched by Bilbo's courtesy during the quest for Erebor. And his annoyance at not being able to make the design perfect by using mithril was very well thought-out, too. All in all a very enjoyable read.
Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger ✧ Score: 6
I think what made this story so good were the little details. Details like the confused people in the market, the fact that Dain insisted on giving Bilbo another bag of gold, the whole idea behind Sting's new sheath, etc. They filled the story out and made it far more enriching. Of course, the primary characters were excellent, too. Bilbo was wonderful - every inch a hobbit but also a hobbit who's grown into somebody more. And Balan was a great example of a craftsman, almost immediately losing himself in the work once Bilbo shows him the sword. Great story all around, and a great tribute to Sting and to everything that happened in The Hobbit.
Reviewed by: Dreamflower ✧ Score: 2
Very nice. I remember reading this before, and was impressed with how realistic it was. I loved Bilbo's bargaining, and the bit about shoes at the end.
Reviewed by: Dwimordene ✧ Score: 2
Well-written interaction between Bilbo and a cordwainer in Dale. Bilbo, as is usual, manages to be both forthright yet polite and unassuming about his identity, and the OC, Balan, is well-realized in this brief story.
Reviewed by: nerwen_calaelen ✧ Score: 1
An interesting little scene. It is a nice piece with well don characterisations.
Reviewed by: Nancy Brooke ✧ Score: 1
This is a nice little vignette, creating a nice and probable scene, but somehow lacking in heart.