2005 Award Category: Books/Time: The Lord of The Rings: Incomplete - Second Place
Story Type: Incomplete ✧ Length: Novella
Rating: PG-13 ✧ Reason for Rating: battle injury, gore, mature themes
Summary: They're overworked, unsung, and constantly in demand: meet the healers, surgeons, and hospital administrators of Minas Tirith; the Ring War from the perspective of one very ordinary Gondorian nurse. This story features, by necessity, some speculative "mini-world-building" concerning the structure and workings of the Houses of Healing, as well as a whole slew of OCs, but overall stays very faithful to book canon.
Reviewed by: Marta ✧ Score: 8
It amazes me when an author can create a world that is almost entirely original, but yet feels very well integrated with canon. Aliana does that here. We see glimpses of the Houses of Healing in _The Return of the King_, of course, but our exposure is more or less limited to Ioreth and the herb-master. Canon characters skirt along the edges of this story, but the focus stays firmly on our cast of original characters -- Valacar, Elloth, Beren, Laeron, and the others There were some minor things that caused me confusion. For example, the Army of the Dead seems to have reached Minas Tirith (making this story movie!verse), but Elrohir and Elladan heal the Gondorians (which would situate the tale in book!verse). However, there is enough redeeming qualities to make me forget this discrepancy. I think my favourite characteristic was how the author developed a sort of version of feminism, about the place of women in a less domestic environment like the Houses of Healing. I look forward to seeing where this story goes.
Reviewed by: annmarwalk ✧ Score: 7
One of the great pleasures of involvement in an awards activity is the opportunity to go back and revisit old favorites; to discover them anew with fresh eyes. Such has been my happy experience with Fallen, a story I have followed with great interest and enjoyment since its very first appearance. This tale focuses almost entirely on original characters; canon characters such as Eowyn or Merry playing only minor, peripheral parts. Alianas characters are realistic and perfectly drawn, whether frightened or resigned, making difficult choices or making sweet rolls. Her descriptions of the House and its staff, atmospheric rather than detailed, perfectly convey the many moods of the last defenders and supporters of the city. Aliana, one of our most talented young authors, writes with grace and wisdom far beyond her years. We can look forward with great anticipation to the continuation of this tale, and many others.
Reviewed by: Dwimordene ✧ Score: 6
An engaging tale, well-handled, all woven about the book's events even though we get them only in glimpses and side-views. The uncertainty of the fate of everyone in Minas Tirith is well-portrayed, as well as the trauma of both healers and patients alike as they deal with an impossible situation. And as if a siege and the omnipresence of darkness and apocalypse were not enough, there is also the petty politics and bureaucracy that render the painful decisions of triage even more unbearable. I will be interested to see how this turns out, whether Valacar is vindicated or not, whether the strange whittler claims a victim or not. Aliana has given us a very enjoyable, if sad, tale, and I look forward to its continuation.
Reviewed by: nerwen_calaelen ✧ Score: 4
An interesting start to a story. Your descriptions of the lives of the healers and the others in the Houses of Healing are fascinating. The way you develop their culture and everything is very clever and intreaging. I am fasicanated to see where you are going with this. The plot is interesting and it is nice to see a different aspect of life from a different point of view. I look forward to reading more of this.